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A Legacy of Literacy: The Final Wish of Author Anna Dewdney

Share a moment and build a legacy.

Can you remember the first book that you ever read? Or even the first book ever read to you?

These are probably hard to remember but are more meaningful than you might realize.

Afterall, without those early experiences, you may never have come to read this.

Children’s author and illustrator Anna Dewdney once said, “When we read books with children, we share other worlds, and even more importantly, we share ourselves.”

It was that desire to share a world of possibilities with our children that became Ms. Dewdney’s final wish as she lost her fight with cancer on September 3, 2016.

Before her passing, the creator of the kid-and-parent favorite book series “Llama Llama” asked that, in lieu of a funeral service, for adults everywhere to take the time to read to a child.

Her call to action was heard and results were instantaneous.

Parents, educators, and fans have taken to the internet to share their grief at her passing and the bittersweet undertaking of her last wish. On Facebook, #llamallama started trending, reaching nearly 87,000 hits, and tribute videos of adults and children alike reading “Llama Llama” in memory of Ms. Dewdney have been uploaded to Youtube. 

Though death is a somber experience for those of us left behind, there is always something to be learned from a person’s passing.        

Placing as many books into the lives of as many children as possible was the mission that drove Ms. Dewdney’s creative process. It is that literacy goal that eventually became her legacy.

Anna Dewdney will be remembered as a woman who saw the power of words and sought to pass that magic on through the stories she wrote.

She lived her legacy daily; leaving us with a collection of charming tales, a touching final wish, and inspiration to live our own legacies the same way.

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