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Artist Dick Bruna, creator of rabbit Miffy, dead at 89

Posted: 2:22 PM, Feb 17, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-17 14:32:11-05
Illustrator Dick Bruna at the opening of his exposition of Miffy creations in Madurodam, the Hague. The Netherlands on Thursday will mark the 80th birthday of a favorite son, illustrator Dick Bruna whose iconic white rabbit "Miffy" has charmed children worldwide, particularly in Japan. (INGE VAN MILL/AFP/Getty Images)

Illustrator Dick Bruna at the opening of his exposition of Miffy creations in Madurodam, the Hague. His iconic white rabbit “Miffy” has charmed children worldwide, particularly in Japan. (INGE VAN MILL/AFP/Getty Images)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dick Bruna, the Dutch illustrator and artist who created the bestselling series of children’s books starring white rabbit Miffy, has died at age 89.

His Dutch publisher, Mercis, said in a statement Friday that Bruna died peacefully in his sleep Thursday night in the central Dutch city of Utrecht.

The simplicity of Bruna’s characters drew adoration not only from children around the world, but also from adult art lovers. Amsterdam’s venerable Rijksmuseum put on a show featuring his work in 2015.

He wrote and illustrated a total of 124 books, but Miffy, known in the Netherlands as Nijntje, was far and away the most popular and best known.