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Max Velthuijs, 81; Wrote and Illustrated Books for Children

January 28, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Max Velthuijs, 81, an award-winning Dutch children's author and illustrator best known for his books about a frog, died of lung cancer Tuesday in Amsterdam.

Born in The Hague in 1923, Velthuijs studied graphic design and art at the Academy in Arnhem and worked in the design field for many years, producing posters, stamps, book covers and ads.

He illustrated a book for a Swedish author in 1968 before turning out his own picture book, "The Boy and the Fish," the following year.

With "Frog in Love" in 1989, Velthuijs began to concentrate on writing and illustrating children's books. Titles such as "Frog in Winter" and "Frog Is Frightened" followed and were eventually translated into two dozen languages.

Painted with simple lines, his illustrations won many awards, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award and the American Graphic Award of the Society of Illustrators.

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