Eric Hill, Author of the Spot the Dog Series, Dies at the Age of 86
Children's author Eric Hill has died at the age of 86 in his California home following a short illness. A statement was issued by the author's family this afternoon:
"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."
Born in September 1927, Hill authored the Spot the Dog Series. He created the mischievous character Spot, for his son, Christopher. His books were the first to incorporate lift-the-flap concept, so that young readers could find Spot on his adventures.
Puffin, Puffin, Hill's publisher, described Hill as "a master of simple design. He created one of the world's most loveable children's book characters - Spot, the charming, naughty, playful puppy, loved and appreciated across the world".
Hill released his first book in 1980, and then went on to introduce more books in the Spot series, including Spot's Birthday Party, Spot Goes to the Farm and Spot Loves His Friends. His book sales top 60 million around the world currently, and there is an animated series based off of Spot.
Hill received an OBE for services to children's literature in 2008. He never belittled the minds of children, saying that they "have far more intelligence and style than many adults credit them with". Hill wanted children "to experience, through my drawings, ideas which were just outside their experience yet were basic enough to be understood". "I believe children all have a basic creativity which needs to be encouraged and nurtured and the Spot books seem to provide that encouragement."