As I wrote back in December (in a post featuring a video of Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog), I am a big fan of the books written by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham. Today’s obituary of Ms. Bloy Graham, who passed away last week at the age of 94, shows how important the Harry books were to generations of children.
Ms. Graham and Mr. Zion, who married in 1948, also collaborated on three Harry sequels: “No Roses for Harry” (1958), “Harry and the Lady Next Door” (1960) and “Harry by the Sea” (1965). Their marriage ended in divorce in the late 1960s, and their creative partnership ended with it.
The couple’s non-Harry collaborations include “Really Spring,” named a best illustrated book of 1956 by The New York Times Book Review, and “All Falling Down” (1951), a Caldecott Honor Book, as the runners-up for the Caldecott Medal, presented annually by the American Library Association to the best illustrated book of the year, are known.
I shared all these books with my children, and they received as much joy from them as I did. If you’re not familiar with the series, I suggest you check it out. I think you’ll love the precocious Harry.