News

The Snowman author Raymond Briggs has died aged 88

Sad news in this morning.

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 10th August 2022

The author of the Christmas classic The Snowman has sadly died, it has been confirmed this morning.

Raymond Briggs, the revered author and illustrator, sadly passed away aged 88, his publishers Penguin Random House have confirmed this morning.

A statement from his family said: ‘We know that Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news. Drawings from fans – especially children’s drawings – inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned up on the wall of his studio.

‘He lived a rich and full life, and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean, and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.

ADVERTISEMENT

‘He shared his love of nature with Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and craziness with his family, and with his family of artist friends – at get-togethers, fancy dress parties and summer picnics in the garden.

He played practical jokes and enjoyed them being played on him. All of us close to him knew his irreverent humour – this could be biting in his work when it came to those in power. He liked the Guardian editorial describing himself as an “iconoclastic national treasure”.’

Francesca Dow, managing director of children’s at Penguin Random House, which served as Briggs’ publisher, said: ‘I am very proud that Puffin has been the home of Raymond’s children’s books for so many years.

ADVERTISEMENT

‘Raymond’s books are picture masterpieces that address some of the fundamental questions of what it is to be human, speaking to both adults and children with a remarkable economy of words and illustrations.

‘Raymond is probably best known for The Snowman. He needed greater freedom perhaps than the standard 32-page picture book format allowed and created a radical and beautiful innovation: a wordless picture book for children, a storyboard of stills that became an instant classic in its own right, as well as the much-loved animation.’

She added: ‘Raymond was a brilliantly observant, funny storyteller, honest about how life is rather than how adults might wish to tell it to children. A kindness, integrity and generosity run through all his books.

ADVERTISEMENT

‘And so in life: Raymond was a generous, unjealous spirit who was a pleasure to work with, as well as to visit in his Sussex cottage and experience his teasing genius in its home. He was funny! He made us laugh a lot. I will miss him. All of us who had the privilege of working with him will miss him.’

Tributes have been pouring in thick and fast for the author online, with former Children’s Michael Laureate Rosen, who wrote We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, tweeteing: ‘Raymond Briggs… RIP xxxx. You are fantastic…’

Angela Raynor, deputy leader of the Labour party, tweeted: “Raymond Briggs brought so much magic and joy to so many. Rest in peace. And thank you for the memories.”

Children’s author of How To Train Your Dragon Cressida Cowell said: “Deeply sad to hear of the death of Raymond Briggs.”

‘What a magnificent legacy he leaves, from his iconic Father Christmas and the Snowman to the terrifying Where The Wind Blows.

ADVERTISEMENT

‘His books brought so much joy and inspired so many, touching, hilarious and heartbreaking work. RIP.’

Feature image – Youtube