Have you ever read the Sally books by the artist Stephen Huneck? We received “Sally Goes to the Beach” when E. was born. In the book, Sally the Black Labrador goes to an island for the weekend with her owner. The woodblock prints are simple (yet detailed) and colorful, the books are oversized and just so pretty to look at. Sally’s point of view (taking a cab with a ferry full of Yellow Labs, taking a cab, the beach smelling like catfood) is funny to the kids and kind of an inside joke to parents. (Ward/Mike/Cliff and I always giggled that Sally and her friends sounded like a crew heading to Fire Island for some serious club hopping.)
I was so saddened to hear of Huneck’s suicide in the Boston Globe today. Apparently Huneck had to let some of his staff go, and he felt he really let them and his family down. He shot himself outside his therapist’s office. It pains me to think of an amazing artist who made so many dog lovers and book lovers and art lovers happy, to have been in so much pain. I’m sure it is something he carried through his life, as many artists do.
I’m not much of a dog lover, but I really loved his artwork and his stories. Huneck touched me and my family. Think about reading one of his books or buying one of his books to honor his memory. I will read “Sally Goes to the Beach” to E. and J. tonight.