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If you were to search Google for the most famous children’s book authors, you would find familiar names:
Roald Dahl, whose creativity shined over the pages of Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and The Witches.
Dr. Seuss, who brought us favorites, such as The Cat in the Hat, Oh, The Places You’ll Go, and Horton Hears a Hoo.
J.K. Rowling, of the infamous Harry Potter series…
They are joined by C.S. Lewis, A.A. Milne, and E.B. White… and the list goes on!
References to children’s book authors are truly all about literature… where you might put your vote in for Lynne Reid Banks, who wrote The Indian in the Cupboard, or Ludwig Bemelmans of the Madeline series.
Writers who can capture the imagination, innocence, and whimsy of children are to be applauded! Can you imagine having to be a responsible adult, yet have the talent to think like children! It is with this talent the authors listed have consequently made a lasting imprint on children’s literature the world over.
Why do we concern ourselves about making sure our children read works by such authors? There is far too much bad writing available; books that talk down to children, still their imagination, or try to push a particular agenda. That is not what we want to make available to young readers when our full intent is to create a love for books, which in the end not only provides entertainment but fosters a healthy desire for lifelong learning.
Parents want to provide the quality of children’s literature that can be set apart as a work of art! Think of the creativity in the perfect illustration, brilliant word choices, and magical plots brought to life by brilliant minds. Ultimately, great children’s books pass the test by both parents and children. These authors are often recognized by some special element they bring to children’s literature:
Eric Carle is most likely known for colorful illustrations and odd little, memorable features, such as holes in the pages of the book.
Steven Kellogg‘s books are favored to be read aloud, and the ability to engage both children and adults in his “over-the-top” plots.
Arnold Lobel brings an interesting flavor to his writing: funny characters, clever dialogue, and beautiful illustration.
Beatrix Potter remains the best-selling children’s author of all time. Her books are known for outstanding vocabulary, funny and heart-warming narration, engaging characters and attention-getting illustrations.
If you are working to instill early literacy with your children, look for resource lists… increase the potential of selecting the works of an acclaimed children’s book author – or ask your favorite Library staff member for suggestions. There is just SO MUCH in the world of children’s literature; it is an honor as parents and educators, to share our favorites to a “community” to make the selection process easier and more navigable. You might also want to look at your bookshelves! I have a Shel Silverstein mini-book that all my children and grandchildren have enjoyed… the pages are tattered and losing their color; it is falling apart at the seams, but somehow… I know great-grandchildren will come to love it too!