Beloved Vt. children's author 'Mama Llama' dies - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Beloved Vt. children's author 'Mama Llama' dies

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Ann Dewdney Ann Dewdney

Her "Llama" children's books are a hit across America, but it's here, across a covered bridge in Rockingham just outside of Chester, where Anna Dewdney lived for the last decade.

"Anna was sort of this very vibrant but eccentric personality," neighbor TigerRose Leisey said.

Now, neighbors and friends are remembering Dewdney, who passed away Saturday after a 15-month battle with brain cancer.

"Anna was definitely quirky but she was really vibrant," Leisey said. "She handled it with such grace."

Dewdney's work was celebrated Wednesday by some of her biggest fans.

"She signed the inside of the book," said Hazel Kekic, a fifth-grader at Chester-Andover Elementary School.

Hazel Kekic brought her favorite book, "Llama Holiday Drama" to school Wednesday to share the story with her classmates.

"I would say they should read them because they're really interesting and cool, and they have good pictures and stuff," Hazel said.

"Anna's stories really help the kids to realize they're not the only ones who have these feelings of emotion and excitement," said Frank Kelly, a teacher at Chester-Andover.

Students here at Chester-Andover Elementary School say it's the great illustrations and funny stories that make them love the Llama books so much. It's that great storytelling and the life lessons within that the town of Chester and Dewdney's readers will remember her for.

"It's important for them to know that here in our small town of Chester that there are people who are writers, who are artists, that there are people who are making books," Kelly said.

"A lot of people really loved her, her whole family and a lot of people are going to be really sad, I was really sad" Leisey said. "I think she's done a lot to inspire other people and I think that's what she's leaving."

Instead of a funeral, the Mama Llama, as many called her, made one last request: that friends and fans simply read a book to a child.

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