Syd Hoff: A Birthday Celebration

  • by Louise Lareau

    Do you remember the first time you read a book by Syd Hoff? If you were too young to read on your own, maybe someone in your life shared the book with you. For some, books such as Danny and the Dinosaur, Grizzwold, Barney's Horse and Sammy the Seal bring back vivid childhood memories. For others, these books were discovered as one's children or grandchildren began to explore the world of children's books.

    Syd Hoff did not set out to be a children's author. Born and raised in New York, Syd started his career as a cartoonist after studying fine arts at the National Academy of Design. Syd sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker when he was 18. He became a regular contributor to The New Yorker as well as other national magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Look. During the 1940s, Syd drew a nationally syndicated cartoon called Tuffy. It was not until 1958, however, that his career as a children's author took off with the release of Danny and the Dinosaur. Syd went on to write and illustrate over 60 books for beginning readers.

    TuffyTuffySeptember 4th, 2012 will mark what would have been Syd's 100th birthday. Sadly, Syd passed away in 2004 at age 91. The Children's Center at 42nd Street will be hosting birthday festivities for Syd on Saturday, September 8th. Come in and join us for stories and crafts. Decorate a birthday hat and listen to Carol Edmonston, Syd's niece, as she reads some of Syd's stories. "Mr. Dinosaur" will be coming to the party, thanks to the generosity of HarperCollins Publishers, so do not forget to bring your cameras. Please call the Children's Center at 212-621-0208 to register for the program.

    For more information about Syd Hoff please visit the following resources.

    If you are interesting in checking out some of Syd's stories take a look at these booklists.

    Syd Hoff with sister Dorothy (left) and niece Carol.Syd Hoff with sister Dorothy (left) and niece Carol.