RIP Else Homelund Minarik

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about the recent death of Donald Sobol, writer of the Encyclopedia Brown series.

Unfortunately, Else Homelund Minarik, the Danish-born author of the well-known beginning reader series “Little Bear” (HarperCollins), died July 12.

Mrs. Minarik began her career as a writer after teaching first grade for several years.  As a teacher, she discovered how few books were both interesting and easy enough for new readers who still struggled to sound their way through each syllable.  Yes, there was Dick and Jane but Minarik felt these stories were too dry to actively engage children.

Instead, she wrote “Little Bear,” which was illustrated by Maurice Sendak and published by renowned editor Ursula Nordstrom.  The book was not only Minarik’s first but also the first book in the still popular “I Can Read!” series.

Minarik went on to write over 40 children’s books, including more titles featuring Little Bear, but none of the others achieved the popularity of her debut title.

Why not pick it up and see if it inspires you to write a beginning reader?

–SueBE