Natalie Babbitt, American children’s author and illustrator, Died at 84

Natalie Zane Babbitt (née Moore) was born on July 28, 1932, in Dayton, Ohio, and died on October 31, 2016.

She was an American writer and illustrator of children’s books.

As a children’s writer, she was the U.S. nominee for the biennial international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1982.

She studied at Laurel School in Cleveland and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Babbitt was married to Samuel Fisher Babbitt, and the couple had three children, born between 1956 and 1960.

Together the family lived in Samuel’s home town of New Haven, Connecticut, until he earned a PhD in 1965 and became the president of Kirkland College in Clinton, New York.

The famiy collaborated to create The Forty-ninth Magician, a picture book that he wrote and she illustrated, published by Pantheon Books in 1966.

However, Samuel became too busy to participate but editor Michael di Capua, at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, encouraged Natalie to continue producing children’s books.

When she completed writing and illustrating two short books in verse, she turned to children’s novels, and her second effort in that vein, Knee-Knock Rise, was awarded the Newbery Honor in 1971.

Next was Tuck Everlasting, published in 1975, was named an ALA Notable book and continues to be popular with teachers.

Which was ranked number 16 among the “Top 100 Chapter Books” of all time in a 2012 survey published by School Library Journal.

Chosen was two of her books have been adapted as movies: Tuck Everlasting twice, in 1981 and 2002, and The Eyes of the Amaryllis in 1982.

The book was also adapted as a Broadway musical, which premiered in Atlanta on February 4, 2015, and played on Broadway from April 26 to May 29, 2016.

Also to her own writing, Babbitt also illustrated a number of books by Valerie Worth.

She died at her home in Hamden, Connecticut.

Natalie Babbitt had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Natalie Babbitt passed away at 84 years old.