The Dutch creator of Miffy the cartoon rabbit has died aged 89, his publishers have announced.
Writer and illustrator Dick Bruna died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday night in the Dutch city of Utrecht.
He created the much loved character in 1955 as a story to entertain his young son. More than 80 million Miffy books have been sold globally.
Over the years, Bruna wrote more than 100 books but Miffy was by far his most popular and enduring character.
At first, he was uncertain whether the rabbit was a boy or a girl, but settled the matter by putting her in a dress for the sixth book, Miffy’s Birthday, in 1970.
In the Netherlands, she is called Nijntje (“little rabbit”). It was her first English translator, Olive Jones, who christened her Miffy.
Bruna was still writing Miffy stories in his old age and his books have been translated into more than 50 languages.