Beloved children’s book author Raymond Briggs has passed away

Author-illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for his 1978 classic The Snowmandied at the age of 88.

British author Raymond Briggs and a snowman sit in a deckchair which Raymond designed based on his children’s story ‘The Snowman’, in Hyde Park in London May 29, 2008. Briggs died at the 88 years old.
Photo: SHAUN CURRY

His death was confirmed by his family, who said he was “much loved and will be deeply missed”.

“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,” they said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Snowman was made into a Bafta TV Award-winning animated film in 1982.

Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Penguin Random House Children’s, said: “Raymond’s books are illustrated masterpieces that address some of the fundamental questions of what it is to be human, aimed at adults and to children with a remarkable economy of words and illustrations.”

Briggs’ original wordless children’s picture book finished second in the Library Association’s Kate Greenaway Medal, for best children’s book illustration of the year by a British writer.

The TV adaptation, which also received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short, told the story of a young boy, waking up after a heavy snowfall and building a large snowman that comes to life. later as if by magic.

The film was silent except for the hit song taken from it, “Walking in the Air”, sung by St. Paul’s Cathedral altar boy Peter Auty and written by Howard Blake.

A recorded version performed by Welsh altar boy Aled Jones reached the UK top five in 1985.

“Magical Day”

Speaking about the origin of the story, Briggs said: “I remember that winter because it brought the heaviest snow I had ever seen.

“The snow had been falling steadily all night and in the morning I woke up to a room filled with light and silence, the whole world seemed to be held in a dreamlike silence.

“It was a magical day… and that was the day I made The Snowman.”

His family, in their statement, said they “would like to thank the entire Overton Ward team at Royal Sussex County Hospital for the kind and caring care they provided to Raymond during his final weeks.”

– BBC

Grover Z. Barnes