There are many children's literature lists out there that focus on classic authors, such as C.S. Lewis and E.B. White. While those well-loved stories continue to stand the test of time, many kids connect more with more current publications - say, after the invention of the internet. Check out this list of wonderful authors that may mae you smile and may keep your kids reading.
For the Under Six Set
Every parent knows that this age group loves the familiar - requesting the same book, over and over again until your brain is ready to explode from boredom. From an educational standpoint, all that repetition is good for them, building a confidence that comes from predictability and growing synapses. However, that won’t prevent you from wanting to tear your own eyes out on the 700th rendition. You need some authors that will help you through this phase with a little humour and entertainment value.
Favourite books: Counting Kisses, Where is Baby’s Belly Button?
Why her books are great: Okay, these ones will make you a little stabby around the 656th read through, but luckily your little one will grow out of them before that. Karen Katz books are great for littlest readers. They are interactive as they involve lifting flaps or kissing your baby’s toes and usually induce those early two-tooth smiles as you share them with the littlest of readers.
Favourite Books: Belly Button Book, Not the Hippopotamus
Why her books are great: All Boynton’s books have a wonderful sense of rhythm and rhyme. The clever wording gets stuck in your head like a pop song, making them easy to recite during boring car journeys. There is a bit of humour and really endearing illustrations in every book. Another bonus? These books are short, wonderfully “please-just-one-more-story” before bedtime short.
Favourite Books: so many, but current faves are Seeing Red and Smelly Socks
Why his books are great: Kids just love these books. Clever wording, entertaining pictures and humorous story lines combine to make Munsch go to in many classrooms and family rooms around the country. although born and raised in the USA, Munsch is now a Canadian citizen and doing our country proud!
Favourite Books: Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie
Why his books are great: Mo Willems makes me laugh. His books are light, fun and downright entertaining. He also uses interesting art techniques for his pictures, such as combining black and white photography with colourful cartoon drawings, giving the reader and their audience lots to look at.
For Ages Six to Nine
Your beginning and middle readers can be a tricky group to please. Sure, you want to instill a love of books, but offer boring or babyish books and your reluctant reader will quickly turn away. For this age group, you need accessible picture books and chapter books that in no way resemble the board books of early childhood.
Favourite Books: Animalia, The Eleventh Hour
Why his books are great: First, the illustrations (done by Base himself) are stunning. Every picture is bursting with colour and exceptionally detailed. Secondly, there are always several hidden things to find in each picture, which kids and adults delight in searching for. Often the illustrations contain clues to help the reader solve a mystery. Finally, The stories are most often told in rhyme and contain just enough sophisticated vocabulary to challenge the reader or listener and make them feel a little more “grown up.”
Favourite Books: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Math Curse
Why his books are great: Scieszka’s books often combine educational subject matter (math, science, history concepts) with entertaining and humorous storytelling. These are great books for reluctant readers and often have a particular appeal to boys. I’ve have had great success in my various classrooms engaging less enthusiastic readers with Scieszka.
Favourite Books: Bad Day at Riverbend, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick
Why his books are great: A master of storytelling and illustration, these books are brimming with imagination and wonder. Even if you don’t yet know the books of Allsburg, you will probably recognize his books that have spurned movies, such as Jamanji and The Polar Express. The art work in these picture books appeal to older kids, as there is nothing babyish about them. The stories are filled with adventure and mystery, while remaining charmingly relatable.
Favourite Books: Clementine series and Flat Stanley series
Why her books are great: Novels for the early readers, these books are easy enough to make a young reader feel confident, but packaged as a chapter book for a more mature feel. The characters are relatable and funny. There are just enough pictures included in the books to add to the fun factor. Plus, series are great because if your child loves them, the next book makes an easy gift idea for the next occasion.
What authors are your family favourites? Who would you add to this list?
Have older kids? Watch out for my next post listing great authors for tweens and teens.