Group preserves home of ‘Danny & the Dinosaur’ author

02/07/2013 2:41 PM

02/07/2013 4:51 PM

To the late cartoonist Syd Hoff, humor was what mattered.

His creativity taught generations of children how to read through books like Danny and the Dinosaur, Sammy the Seal and over 60 volumes of stories he wrote in the HarperCollins “I Can Read” series.

The Florida Center for the Book and the American Library Association will designate Hoff’s Miami Beach home, 4335 Post Ave., as a historic literary landmark on Sunday . The house, now owned by Miami Beach resident Carol Karp, will be provided a plaque to mark its status as the association’s 18th site in Florida.

“Syd Hoff created his most well known stories in Miami Beach,” said Dina Weinstein, a freelance writer and journalism professor at Miami-Dade College, who is leading the project.

Hoff’s home will join the literary landmarks of other noted Florida writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, who celebrated Eatonville in Central Florida in many of her works, and Tennessee Williams, who wrote several of his plays in a Key West cottage.

After reading Hoff’s stories to her children, Weinstein said she became curious about the author and began to track him down.

“His stories are so timeless that I wanted to see if I could go out meet him,” Weinstein said. “When I found out that he died in 2004, I also found out that his centennial was coming up in 2012.”

She began procuring grants to celebrate Hoff’s work, which included cartoons that he had published in The New Yorker and the Saturday Evening Post.

Additionally, Weinstein’s “Syd Hoff: Finding Home” exhibition is on view until Monday at Temple Beth Sholom, 4144 Chase Ave. Miami Beach. The exhibit features books, memorabilia and other pieces of Hoff’s literary life.

The historic home ceremony, which will take place in his home, will be open to the public and will feature a visit from Danny’s dinosaur.

Hoff’s niece, Carol Edmonston, who launched a website dedicated to the legacy of her late uncle, will speak at the event.

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