Oh. I heard with great sorrow that children’s author Steven Kroll passed away earlier this week. I don’t know how many of you ever had the chance to meet Steven. He was a big part of PEN here in New York City, which is where I’d usually run into him. Over the years I got to know his books better, and was able to incorporate a lot of them into my library. His Pooch on the Loose: A Christmas Adventure gets a lot of play in my library branch, thanks to the cover art. Stuff!: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle comes in very handy every Earth Day. I suspect that mine is not the only library lending out Mary McLean and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade at this time of the year. And I always regretted not reviewing Kroll’s fantastic Dutton title Barbarians. We’ve more Viking books than you can shake a stick at, but how many books are out there about the Goths, the Huns, and the Mongols as well? That book was filling a need.
Steven always remembered my name and was always exceedingly nice to me. He left behind more than 90 books for kids, many of which will be remembered far and away into the future. And I, for one, will miss him very much.