TOON Books is so proud of our extraordinary authors whose stories and original art are the inspiration for everything we do.
It's with great sorrow that we share the news of the passing of Geoffrey Hayes, beloved TOON author and even more beloved friend. As the author of over 50 children's books, his tender, emotionally honest tales and sweet yet masterful illustrations touched the lives and inspired the minds of thousands of young people. He was in good spirits and seems to have died suddenly in his sleep of natural causes–he would have turned 70 this year. He will be dearly missed by everyone at TOON.
"I had Geoffrey's work in mind when I founded TOON Books. He stood out among children's book authors for his deep love and mastery of comics. Benny and Penny was part of the launch and quickly became a cornerstone for what we're aiming at: comics for beginning readers. He knew how to tell stories that resonated with young kids–with expressive images, great comic pacing and spare but well-chosen words. Looking at the images makes you experience the character's emotions and want to turn the page. He has contributed so much to our efforts to bring quality comics to kids. Just last week I talked to him about ideas for another Benny and Penny book. I'm still in shock, but I try to find consolation in knowing that Geoffrey's work will endure–the books are classics for generations to come.
I will forever remember Geoffrey for his love of humor. While all of his books deal with the difficulties young children experience in managing their emotions, Geoffrey could always bring a smile to a young reader's face—inspiring them to read on and read more.
He was a special author and friend—and will be greatly missed."
Editorial Director of TOON Books
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