Raymond Briggs, author of beloved Christmas tale 'The Snowman', dies aged 88

LONDON (Reuters) - Raymond Briggs, illustrator of the classic children's Christmas book 'The Snowman', has died aged 88, the Press Association said on Wednesday, citing his publisher.

Born in London in 1934, Briggs studied art before going on to publish a range of children's books, but he is best known for The Snowman, a crayon-illustrated wordless picture book.

First published in 1978, it tells the story of a boy whose snowman comes to life to play during the night and then takes him on a flight through snowy British landscapes.

The book ends on a melancholy note when the boy wakes to find the snowman has melted.

An animated television adaption first aired on Boxing Day 1982 and has since become a staple of British broadcasters' Christmas scheduling, bringing the story to new generations of children. It was nominated for an Oscar in 1983 and won a British academy television award in the same year.

(Reporting by William James and Farouq Suleiman; Editing by Kate Holton)

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