Else Homelund Minarik, author of the Little Bear children's books, has died
It has been a hard day for children's literature fans. First we learned of the death of Donald Sobol, creator of Encyclopedia Brown, and now comes word of the passing of Else Minarik, the Danish author whose series of books about Little Bear has enchanted generations of young readers.
Ms. Minarik, born in Denmark in 1920, came to the U.S. five years later. She taught first graders during WW II, and began writing children's books in order to entertain her young daughter.
The Little Bear books launched Harper's I Can Read books, part of a new genre of readers, books written for new readers to tackle themselves. The first one came out in 1957 and was illustrated by Maurice Sendak who sadly died in May.
In 1995, when Nickleodeon ran an animated adaptation of Little Bear adventures, interest in the series exploded once again.
Mrs. Minarik, who was 91, died July 12th at her home in North Carolina from complications of a heart attack she suffered a while ago.