Author and illustrator Eric Hill has died, according to his publisher, Puffin Books. Hill is known primarily for his children’s series about Spot The Dog, the yellow puppy he began drawing for his son, Christopher, in the late ’70s, after making up a series of Spot bedtime stories for him.

Hill was born in London in 1927. He did a stint in the Royal Air Force before working for an advertising agency. He said in an interview with his publisher, “It must have been subconscious, but I realized that when I came to draw the spot on his body and the tip of his tail, I was copying the markings on an aircraft. I grew up drawing aircraft—that is how I learned to draw.”


The extensive Spot bibliography—probably many of which are on A.V. Club readers’ childhood bookshelves—shows the pup learning to count, visiting the farm, and playing sports. Hill remained active in the benevolent Spot empire until his death.