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Van Stockum, Hilda 1908-2006

Van Stockum, Hilda 1908-2006

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born February 9, 1908, in Rotterdam, Netherlands; died of a stroke, November 1, 2006, in Berkhamsted, England. Author. Van Stockum was a popular author and illustrator of children’s books. Born in the Netherlands, she would also spend some of her childhood years in Ireland, and in adulthood she lived in the United States, Canada, and England. All of these settings would eventually work their way into her children’s stories. Her first book, A Day on Skates: The Story of a Dutch Picnic (1934), included a foreword by her aunt, the noted author Edna St. Vincent Millay. After attending the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, in the mid-1930s, she continued to release more self-illustrated children’s titles. Among these are Francie on the Run (1939), Pegeen (1941), and The Mitchells (1945). Van Stock-um’s books were typically gentle stories of family life, but in some cases, as with The Winged Watchman (1962) and The Borrowed House (1975), she would write on serious topics, such as World War II and the Holocaust. Also a translator and illustrator of other authors’ works, such as Catherine C. Coblentz and Louisa May Alcott, Van Stockum published over twenty of her own titles. Among her other works are Canadian Summer (1948), Little Old Bear (1962), Rufus Round and Round (1973), and The Mitchells: Five for Victory (1995). Van Stockum was an accomplished still-life painter, too, and she was honored in 1993 when one of her artworks was featured on an Irish postage stamp.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES

BOOKS

Twentieth-Century Children’s Writers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1989.

PERIODICALS

New York Times, November 4, 2006, p. B15.

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