Terrible news. Russell Hoban has died aged 86. Together with Dick King Smith this means two greats of the Children's Literature world have gone this year, one at the beginning of the year (January 5) and the other at the end.
I get so much pleasure watching and listening to children when I read Hoban's Whitbread prize winner How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen and my favourite Ace Dragon Ltd to them. They are also very animated about the Frances stories because they realise that Frances is really them not a badger.
Perhaps publishers will acknowledge Hoban's great contribution to children's books by reissuing Ace Dragon Ltd and I will pay homage to him by watching the wonderful Glenda Jackson movie of his book Turtle Diary.