Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for his 1978 classic Snowman, has died aged 88.
His publisher, Penguin Random House, announced.
The Snowman was first released as a picture book – and has sold over 5.5 million copies worldwide – before being turned into a much-loved animated film in 1982.
Briggs has also created the beloved children’s books Father Christmas and Fungus The Bogeyman.
A statement from his family said: “We know that Raymond’s books have been loved and touched by millions of people around the world. Those who will be saddened to hear this news have been pinned to the wall of the workshop. his drawing.
“He has lived a rich and fulfilling life and says he feels lucky to have both his wife Jean and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.
“He shares his love of nature with Liz while walking in the South Downs and on family vacations in Scotland and Wales. He also shares a sense of fun and excitement with his family and with his family. his artist friends – at get-togethers, fancy dress parties, and summer picnics in the garden.
“He plays practical jokes and enjoys them being played with him. All of us close to him know his needless sense of humor – which can be frustrating in his job. when it comes to those in power. national treasures’.”
An extraordinary legacy
Francesca Dow, children’s chief executive officer of Penguin Random House, which was a publisher of Raymond Briggs, said: “I’m very proud that Puffin has been the home of Raymond’s children’s books for the past few years. many years.
“Raymond’s books are visual masterpieces that address some fundamental questions about what it is to be human, speaking to both adults and children with a substantial economy of words and illustrations. .
“Raymond is perhaps best known for Snowman. He needed perhaps greater freedom than the standard 32-page picture book format allowed and created a radical and stunning innovation: a book wordless children’s picture book, a still-life storyboard that became an instant classic in its own right, as well as much loved animation.”
She said he was “a wonderful observer, a humorous, honest storyteller about what life is like rather than how adults might want to tell it to children”.
“A kindness, integrity and generosity runs through all of his books,” she added.
“And in life too: Raymond is a generous person, with a spirit of no envy, a pleasure to work with, as well as to visit his small Sussex home and experience the genius of teasing. in his house. He’s funny! He made us laugh a lot.” I will miss him. All of us who had the privilege of working with him will miss him. “
Ms Dow said Briggs is “unique” and has “inspired generations to create picture books, graphic novels and animations”.
She added: “He left behind an extraordinary legacy and a huge hole.”