Bernard Waber, 91, the author of such children's books as

The House on East 88th Street

and

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile,

died May 16 at his Long Island, N.Y., home after a long illness, the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said Monday.

Mr. Waber - a Philadelphia native and graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) - made his debut as an author in 1962 with The House on East 88th Street.

The book introduced readers to the lovable Lyle, first spotted in a bathtub in an Upper East Side brownstone.

Lyle's story continued in Lyle Finds His Mother, Lyle and the Birthday Party, and other works. Mr. Waber also wrote many non-Lyle books, such as Ira Sleeps Over, in which a boy fears he will be teased for taking a favorite stuffed teddy bear to a friend's house.

The publishing company said his 33 books have sold 1.75 million copies. - AP