Eric Hill, creator of Spot the Dog, dies at 86

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Updated: 6/12/2014 6:42 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Eric Hill, whose effort to entertain his young son with a simple drawing of a mischievous dog named Spot blossomed into a popular series of children's books that have sold more than 60 million copies, has died at his home in Central California. He was 86.

Adele Minchin, a spokeswoman for Hill's publisher, Penguin Children's Group, said he died Friday at his home in Templeton after a short illness.

Hill's first book, "Where's Spot?" — with its clean design, whimsical characters, and bold, bright colors — was an instant success with preschool children in 1980.

It told the gentle tale of Spot's mother, Sally, as she searches for him around the house — but finds a hippo, a lion and other creatures along the way.

Hill is survived by his wife, Gillian; his son, Christopher; and his daughter, Jane.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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