Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, who is best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, has died aged 88.
A statement from his family said: “We know Raymond’s books have been loved and touched by millions of people around the world, who will be saddened to hear this news. Fan drawings – especially children’s drawings – inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond. and pinned to the wall of his studio.
“He lived a rich and full life, and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean and his companion of over 40 years Liz in his life.
“He shared his love of nature with Liz on walks in the South Downs and on family holidays in Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and madness with his family and with his family of artist friends – at get-togethers, fancy dress parties and summer picnics in the garden.
“He was playing practical jokes and enjoyed being played on. All of us close to him knew his irreverent humor – it could be biting in his work when it came to those in power. He loved the Guardian editorial describing himself as an ‘iconoclastic national treasure’.”
“Raymond’s books are masterpieces of the image”
Francesca Dow, general manager of children’s books at Penguin Random House, who served as Raymond Briggs’ publisher, said: “I’m very proud that Puffin has been Raymond’s children’s book house for so many years.”
“Raymond’s books are illustrated masterpieces that address some of the fundamental questions of what it is to be human, addressing adults and children alike with remarkable economy of words and illustrations. ”
“Raymond is probably best known for The Snowman. He perhaps needed more freedom than the standard 32-page picture book format allowed and created a radical and beautiful innovation: a wordless picture book for children, a stills storyboarding that became an instant classic in its own right, as well as the much-loved animation.”