One of my favorite children’s book author’s died last week–Bernard Waber, author of 30 plus children’s books and creator the most charming and beloved crocodiles ever–Lyle.
The world first met Lyle in 1962 in a bathtub in a well decorated brownstone in the Upper East Side and immediately fell in love with the talented tap dancing reptile in the Waber’s most popular book, The House on East 88th Street.
But I must admit, I fell in love with all of the characters in the Lyle series. The Primm family was so sweet to open their house to Lyle.
And Mrs. Primm is a lady after my own heart with her love of antiquing and cooking!
But it was Hector P. Valenti, star of screen and stage, that I adore the most.
Bernard Waber wrote many other wonderful non-Lyle children’s books. Actually my all time favorite book (which always makes me tear up a bit) is Rich Cat, Poor Cat. It is a really heartbreaking look at how stray cats live as opposed to indoor cats. And it has the best ending ever. But more than that, it paints a beautiful yet at times haunting look at mid century New York.
But it is Lyle that most people will always connect Clearly the Lyle love didn’t end. In fact his last book was “Lyle Walks the Dog,” which was a 2010 collaboration with his daughter, Paulis. That just makes me smile from ear to ear that he wrote it with his daughter. Makes me like him and miss him even more.
So, why not crack open one of Bernard Waber’s books tonight with your kiddo!
Are you familiar with his books?