Peter D. Sieruta, author, reviewer, and respected voice behind the blog Collecting Children’s Books, died suddenly at his Michigan home on May 25, after suffering complications from a fall. He was 53.
He was known to many for his knowledgeable and opinionated posts about the books (and book creators) that were of passionate interest to him. Those fondly remembering him these past days all over the kidlitosphere also recalled his quick wit and great sense of humor, which he displayed to great effect in several April Fools’ Day postings on his blog.
“I was Peter's agent, and had been (proudly) since 2009,” said Stephen Barbara of Foundry Literary + Media told PW. “Like many people, I never met him nor even spoke with him on the phone – he was extremely, unusually shy – but I had become very fond of him due to his amusing correspondence and extraordinary blog.”
As a print author, he penned Heartbeats and Other Stories (HarperCollins, 1989) a collection for teens that embraced such themes as sibling rivalry, first love and friendship. At the time of his death, he was co-authoring a work tentatively titled Wild Things!: Untold Stories Behind the Most Beloved Children’s Books and Their Creators which is scheduled to be published by Candlewick next year. “We hope the book helps leave behind a little of Peter’s legacy to the world – warmth, erudition, and a remarkable passion for children’s literature,” Barbara said.