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Lois Ehlert, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Illustrator, Dead at 86

It has been a rough week for our childhoods. On Wednesday, news broke that Eric Carle, the creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar had passed away. And then Thursday, Simon & Schuster announced that Lois Ehlert, the illustrator behind Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and author of more perennial childhood favorites has also died. She was 86.

According to NPR, Ehlert was once the most popular illustrator of stories geared towards preschool aged children, with her art appearing in more than 30 books. The 86-year-old was born in Beaver Dam, Wisc., in 1934. She lived there until she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a degree in English and psychology. From there, she went on to study at Milwaukee’s Layton School of Art.

Ehlert got her start in graphic design, where she worked until she discovered her true passion was illustrating children’s books. She was in her 50s when her first book, 1987’s Growing Vegetable Soup, was published.

Her signature designs were created using a collage method, where she would cut and paste designs, fabrics, and other materials where she wanted them. According to Simon & Schuster, Ehlert died of natural causes.

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Help your children learn the alphabet with this enchanting story of letters who are racing to get to the top of a coconut tree.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom $4.59 on

Growing Vegetable Soup

Growing Vegetable Soup

Your little ones will develop a passion for gardening with this picture book, which tells young readers everything they’ll need to know in order to grow the ingredients for a vegetable soup.

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Waiting for Wings

Waiting for Wings

Learn about the lifecycle of a butterfly with this brightly illustrated book that also includes tips for young gardeners looking to grow the flowers that will bring a variety of butterflies into your yard.

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