Friday, June 13, 2014

RIP Eric Hill author of Where's Spot?

I just read that Eric Hill the creator of one my favorite series of books for children has died.  His character of Spot the dog will always hold a warm place in my heart.  When I started working in my first bookstore---a Doubleday Bookshop----our children's section was very small.  Which is why I remember almost all the books we carried. Where's Spot?  was a true novelty when I first encountered it.  It was one of the first books that really changed the interactive landscape of children's books.  I also remember the the original plush puppy based on the book.  I loved to recommend it to customers because of it's simplicity.  I always sold the book with plush boxed set to customers shopping for a new baby.

When I moved on to run the children's department of Barnes and Noble my favorite thing to do was merchandise the big picture windows in the front of the store.  This was in the days before all stores had to have the same displays.  For Mothers Day one year I decorated the window with all Mother's Day type books.   Central to the display was the over sized Spot doll with little plush spot dolls around it.  I put a hat on and necklace on the bigger one so that it represented his mother.  It was really a fun display to create with all the books and other kinds of gifts for Mom in the window.

After awhile I moved into the buying office of B&N to buy Preschool books for all the stores.  I loved seeing how Spot never went out of fashion and how his books became one of the best series to be adapted into a board book.

Today I still love to recommend a Spot book to customers. Partly because they are timeless but mostly because I know that whatever title it is will be read again and again.  Mr Hill has given the world an iconic little character that will never be forgotten.

Here are some of my favorite Spot titles:

Where's Spot?  ---which comes a great board book too.....

Spot Goes to School --- great back to school title

Spot Loves His Mommy and Spot Loves His Daddy  --- perfect for new parents

Spot's Birthday Party  -- always fun to get read before a child's special day....

There are many more....not just lift the flap but other concepts as well.  These books are definitely a must have for every child's bookshelf.  Thank you Eric Hill for creating such an iconic character.  You will be missed.