Children's book author Bill Martin Jr. died on August 11, at the age of 88.

Over his long career, Martin was an air force sergeant, a teacher, a school principal, a textbook editor and finally a full-time writer. He published his first book, The Little Squeggy Bug, in 1945 and went on to write more than 300 books for children. Among his published works are the classics Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, written with John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? illustrated by Eric Carle. Carle and Martin collaborated on two other titles as well and were friends for 40 years.

Laura Godwin, associate publisher of children's books at Henry Holt, said, "No one has had a more long-lasting impact on Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, or on early literacy in general. Bill was a teacher to teachers, mentor to authors, champion to readers and a friend to all. For us, and for all his friends, Bill's passing marks the end of an era in children's literature."