THE author and illustrator Eric Hill, who created the Spot the Dog children’s books, has passed away. He was 86.
Mr. Hill had originally come up with the idea for stories about a puppy called Spot in the mid-1970s as a way of entertaining his then infant son Christopher. He developed the idea and in 1980 the first story, Where’s Spot?, was published.
With its distinctive flip-up format to reveal parts of the story, the book started a new publishing concept of interactive books for babies. The book quickly topped the U.K. best-seller list before going on to become a worldwide publishing success with sales of more than 50 million.
Spot the Dog has been described as being the ‘world’s favourite puppy’. Today, Spot features in not only books but has been animated for DVDs (see below).
Mr. Hill, who was born in London, had originally trained as a graphic designer and illustrator before working in the advertising industry.
He was awarded an O.B.E. in 2008 for his services to children’s literature.
His publisher, Puffin Books, paid tribute to the author. In a statement the company said: “Eric’s ingenious lift-the-flap device turned the reading of a Spot book into a glorious game of hide-and-seek, enjoyed by children and adults alike.”
Mr. Hill passed away at his home in California. He is survived by his wife Gillian and children Christopher and Jane.
In a statement. the family said: “Although this time of loss is a great hardship for us, we can honestly say that we take some solace in the joy he brought to so many children and families through his work. We know Spot, and therefore Eric, has had a beloved presence in so many homes and bedtime readings. And we know we share our grief with many.”
To see a clip featuring Sport the Dog, click here.
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