Anna Dewdney, ‘Llama Llama’ Author, Dies at 50

Beloved illustrator and bestselling children’s writer had been battling brain cancer

Anna Dewdney
Publisher's Weekly

Beloved children’s writer Anna Dewdney, who penned and illustrated the “Llama Llama” book series for toddlers, has died. She was 50.

Dewdney had been battling brain cancer for 15 months, Publisher’s Weekly reported, and she passed away at her home in Vermont on Saturday.

Published by Viking, “Llama Llama Red Pajama” hit bookshelves and captured young hearts in 2005, with the rhyme “Llama, Llama red pajama/waiting, waiting for his mama/Mama isn’t coming yet./Baby Llama starts to fret,” becoming a bedtime staple for millions of kids.

The tale of Baby Llama’s struggles to get to sleep at bedtime received critical praise and became an instant hit. The series now boasts more than 10 titles and has sold more than 10 million copies.

Netflix is currently producing an animated “Llama Llama” series that is due out in 2017, with Jennifer Garner joining the voice cast in the role of Mama Llama.

Born in Englewood, New Jersey, Dewdney began her career by creating artwork for “The Peppermint Race” by Dian Curtis Regan, and went on to illustrate a number of other children’s books in the 1990s, according to Publisher’s Weekly.

Dewdney is survived by partner Reed Duncan and two grown daughters. In lieu of a funeral service, she had asked fans to read a book to a child.