Are you a Spot fan? If you were born in 1980 or later, you were probably raised on the Spot books. I was sad to hear that the author passed away this year at the age of 86. Eric Hill’s books brought joy to a generation of children, beginning with his first book, Where’s Spot? I discovered Spot, not as a child, but as an adult in search of a book for a one-year-old. I gave the book to that child in 1983, and it became my go-to baby gift ever after.
Though lift-the-flap books existed prior to the publication of Where’s Spot, that book popularized the concept for children’s books. The next few Spot books were all lift-the-flap style, but the author soon branched out into board books. Just this year when I bought a baby gift for a friend’s first grandchild, I found a snugly Spot stuffed toy to accompany the books.
The first little girl I gave the book to was the oldest of nine children, and I loved her Mom’s story of reinforcing the flaps with clear packing tape so they would hold up as the book was passed down the line. I continued to give the book here and there and eventually stumbled across the 25th Anniversary Edition. I was headed to a baby shower and was astonished to realize I’d been buying the book for so many years. That time, I found it at Barnes and Noble. Just now, when I looked it up, I found it on Amazon—in French—and as a DVD in England. Spot is popular the world over.
I was happy to hear Spot had become the favorite of another friend’s grandson when I gave him the books a few years back, but it wasn’t until I got a thank you card this year that I learned just how popular Spot had been. These parents told me that they had both grown up with Spot and were looking forward to introducing their newborn to him.
It looks like we are well on our way to another generation growing up with Spot. What an amazing legacy Eric Hill has left us all.