Sam McBratney, author of the children’s classic book Guess How Much I Love You, has died at the age of 77.
The Belfast-born author died Sept. 16, his publisher Walker Books announced Monday.
The story of the two Nottbrowne Horacees became a children’s classic in an attempt to express their affection for each other.
The book has now become memorable for ending with the most familiar phrase “I love you on the moon and back”.
The illustrated children’s book, first published in 1994, has been translated into more than 57 languages and sold over 50 million copies worldwide.
A sequel to guess how much I love you – the title will be You’ll be my friend? – Will be published later this month.
A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, McBretney was a teacher before becoming a full-time writer.
He is the author of more than 50 books, but was best known for his stories about the two beloved Nottbrowne Hare.
Karen Lotz, managing director of Walker Books Group, described McBretney as a “deeply pleasant man.”
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“You recognized his voice in an instant. He was an exceptionally talented talker and always knew what children would enjoy listening to the most,” said Mrs. Lotz.
He added, “His legacy of kindness and humor will shine and be driven into his stories,” he added.
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