Beloved children's book illustrator, Croton resident Jerry Pinkney dies at 81
Children's book readers in Croton are mourning the death of illustrator and resident Jerry Pinkney that happened earlier this week.
His wife says Pinkney died of a heart attack. He was 81 years old.
At the Croton Free Library, where the award-winning illustrator visited often, there is a solemn remembrance of acclaimed children's book illustrator through a display of his most famous works - which includes "The Lion and the Mouse."
"Everyone who works here knew him, and he'd come in, he'd come to the staff area, he'd talk to everyone. He knew everyone by their first name, so I think it's going to take a little time," says library director Jesse Bourdon.
Back in 2002, News 12 caught up with Pickney at the White Plains Public Library and asked about the inspirations for his books.
"My inspiration, I guess, it first starts with the love of children, extreme love of literature, and the ability to express myself," Pinkney said.
Every resident with a library card holds the legacy of Pinkney in their hands. That's because he designed the image on the card of a fish holding a book."
For Pickney, his library was not just a place to research his next page turner. He supported it as a patron.
"He walked around with a smile, he loved seeing the kids come in, go in, just to the children's room and everything like that. It was one of his favorite places to be," Bourdon recalls.
Pinkney's legacy is in the library, with hundreds of books that have and will continue to touch generations of kids.
"His stories, and his artwork, I think they're going to live on forever," Bourdon adds.
There is no word yet on Pinkney's funeral arrangements.