Reading with your child is a wonderful way to explore and engage with one another. According to research, it is also an essential part of developing your child’s reading skills. There are thousands of children’s books available and many of them are excellent. However, there are some authors who stand out from the rest, drawing us in with their books time and time again. Here are eight of the best children’s authors to share with your child and just some of the reasons they’ve won our hearts.
A New Jersey native who grew up in the Quaker tradition, Sandra Boynton is known for her quirky books full of animals and their hijinks. With over 40 books to her name, Boynton enjoys themes of individuality, personality, and music. Her first book, titled Hippos Go Berserk!, set the tone for many more silly, endearing, and fantastic stories that children will giggle through every time.
It is doubtful that any person in the Western world has not heard of Dr. Seuss. One of the most popular children’s authors of all time, Theodor Seuss Geisel was not really a doctor at all, but rather added “Dr.” to his pen name to honor his father, who always wanted him to practice medicine. Geisel was a prolific author as well as a cartoonist, poet, screenwriter, and artist. But he will remain remembered for such classics as The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Green Eggs and Ham.
A former writer and animator for the iconic show Sesame Street, Mo Willems loves to make people laugh. He has authored three Caldecott Medal-winning books: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. While children adore Willem’s books, they are the sort of reading that parents enjoy as well. Willems’ more recent series of Elephant and Piggie books are excellent for teaching simple lessons, like sharing and table manners.
The author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle has illustrated more than 70 books, many of which he also wrote. His hand-painted paper technique is extremely distinctive and lends a sort of whimsy to his sweet and simple books. The themes of his stories usually stem from his extensive knowledge and love of nature.
Virginia Lee Burton
A New England native, Virginia Lee Burton wrote books that showed her love for simpler times. Her book The Little House, about a house that is swallowed up by the big city until it is rescued and taken back to the country, won a Caldecott Medal. Burton was an accomplished artist as well as an author and founded the Folly Cove Designers, a textile collective with work in many museums to this day.
Best known for the much-loved book Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak was an accomplished author and illustrator. Sendak’s childhood was difficult due to losing many loved ones in the Holocaust, and an extended sickness when he was young. However, as an adult he became a huge success, publishing over a dozen children’s books and illustrating many more, including the Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik.
Ezra Jack Keats
Ezra Jack Keats is credited with many significant roles in American children’s literature. He introduced urban settings and multicultural characters, as well as crafting a unique collage style of illustration. His book The Snowy Day won a Caldecott Medal in 1963. The main character from that book, a boy named Peter, appears in a total of 7 of Keats’ books, and the plots follow him as he grows up and faces new challenges.
A winner of 2 Caldecott Medals, Robert McCloskey is known for his sweet stories set in New England. He is the author and illustrator of classics such as Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings. He is also responsible for the beloved chapter book Homer Price, which is a lovely and hilarious first chapter book to read aloud.
A joyful fact of children’s literature is that this list barely scratches the surface of the talented and unique authors available. Hopefully, you have found a new name to look up at your library and will find more books to love. If you are looking for a childcare facility that values literature and exposing children to good books, come to visit us at Legacy Academy. We look forward to meeting you.