Artist and author Stuart Hample, who published several children’s books as Stoo Hample, died September 19 at his home in New York City. He was 84. Born in 1926, Hample began drawing at a young age, and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy and work in advertising before publishing his first book, The Silly Book, which was edited by Ursula Nordstrom and published by Harper in 1961, and recently reissued by Candlewick. With Eric Marshall he co-edited Children’s Letters to God in 1966, a bestselling collection of kids’ missives to and questions about God that inspired a 2004 Off-Broadway musical.

In addition to his children’s books, Hample made regular appearances on Captain Kangaroo in the 1950s (as a character called Mr. Artist), wrote a number of plays and musicals, and created a pair of syndicated comic strips, Inside Woody Allen and Rich and Famous. The New York Times has an extensive obituary of Hample.