Monday, April 23, 2012

Hanging in the Kiddie Section

This week in the land of Listicles, Stasha recommended we steer our lists in a more intellectual pursuit. I guess last week's  lists inspired by celebrity will do that to you.

This week we were asked to use books as our inspiration.

In my past life, as a former Kindergarten and first grade teacher, the majority of my day was spent teaching those little lovely  faces how to read. Phonics, direct instruction, guided reading, literacy centers were all part of my daily lexicon, as I guided those twenty some six and seven year old children into their first glimpse of the written word.

I loved my job!

That look,  the moment when a kid "gets it!" is simply amazing! It truly is one of the best feelings I have felt in my life.

In honor of my former profession, my list of ten this week takes me back to the early elementary classroom. I present: 
my most favorite children's book authors. 

Where to begin? 
Between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Witches,  these alone could have been enough. Yet his library goes on, including  Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, and Esio Trot. Dahl's books are the most perfect pieces to use as a read aloud. His stories are magical for the young and old alike.

Why Spinelli? 
I think my adoration for Jerry Spinelli came because he's from my hometown. Perhaps it's the fact he dedicated a book to our middle school wrestling team. Check the liner notes to There's a Girl in my Hammerlock. Maybe it was his visit to my English class in eighth grade where he signed my copy of Night of the Whale that sealed the deal? 
But, I know the real, simple reason I adore Jerry Spinelli:
 Maniac Magee. 
What a read! 

3. David Shannon

I do believe if I were to every pen children's books, I would seek out David Shannon to be my mentor. His books are just plain funny, the stuff kids love, and tied up in these silly moments are honest, great themes. 
In our house, No! David!, How I Became a Pirate, and Duck on a Bike find themselves books of choice many a bedtime, and when a teacher, David Goes to School was the book I used to help develop our class rules. 
Finally,  A Bad Case of Stripes just might be
 my most favorite children's book 
Thank you for making it funny Mr. Shannon!

4. Robert Munsch
Did you know there's a book called Moira's Birthday?
I did not until right around my Moira's first birthday, and I felt like it was written for my baby.
Mo with her copy of Moira's Birthday
While this book makes my heart happy, and Munsch has a large list of books to his credit,  
mothers and fathers everywhere loves Robert Munsch simply because of these lines:

I'll love forever, 
I'll like you for always.
As long as your living, 
My baby you'll be. 
-Love You Forever

Thank you Mr. Munsch
for giving us a story that brings a tear to the eye with

5. Mo Willems
Yes, he has a pigeon on his head. 

If you are a Willems fan then you know why. 

His Pigeon series are a favorite among the emergent reading set because, well, talking pigeons doing things like driving buses and eating hot dogs is just plain silly!
In our house, we prefer the Knuffle Bunny series. His bibliography is quite expansive and touches on a variety of topics from extinction to "Time to Pee"

6. Eric Carle
Between his captivating illustrations and beautiful storytelling, Eric Carle may be one of America's best children's authors. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, his most popular book has been embraced by party planners and Pottery Barn alike, for it's fabulous theme. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst MA, displays his as well as other illustrators pieces, and works to promote the art of picture books. I personally love The Little Seed and Papa Please get the Moon for Me. 

7. Peter Sis
Peter Sis just recently came into our lives during a recent trip to the library. We discovered his series centered around a city girl named Madlenka. The city blocks are her playground and her love of soccer captivated my own soccer girl, Moira. Needless to say, this book has been checked out on numerous occasions. 
Sis embraces multiculturalism and diversity in his works, which I find is often missing in mainstream works for children, and for that we will continue to read. 

8. Sandra Boynton
Is there a baby shower in your future? 
If so, may I suggest a basket of books from Boynton? 
Her books primarily come in the board book form, making them the perfect introduction to reading for the drooling set. With titles like Snuggle Puppy, Going to Bed, Doggies, and our personal favorite, 
Moo Baa La La La, her books are short, sweet, and perfect to share while cuddling. 

9. Jan Brett
This is Mo & I with our buddy Jan Brett at book signing at our local grocery store
Jan Brett illustrations are amazing! 
Watching her draw in person is utterly fascinating, and the stories aren't too shabby either. The Mitten is my favorite of her pieces, as all the animals climb into that one stretched out white mitten. 

10. Dr. Seuss
A list of children's book authors without Seuss would be anything but complete. 
The godfather of children's literature, Seuss's prolific career gave us, the reader so many interesting pieces to read. His emergent reading pieces like Hop on Pop offered many children their first successes in reading aloud. While books like  The Grinch who Stole ChristmasThe Sneetches, Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, and the Lorax gave us entertaining pieces we could read again and again. 
Finally, there's The Cat in the Hat, a book, an image, a story embraced by all. 

Which author am I missing? 
Is there a book that still speaks to you even as an adult? 
Linking up with Stasha and her Monday Listicles. 


  1. It's great to hang out in the kiddie section! I love Dr. Seuss...always have and always will. I think I'm the only one whose favorite is Fox in Socks.

  2. What an outstanding list! I love it! I agree with all of them...there was only one I hadn't heard of. Oh my, every time I read Love You Forever to my girls, I would end up sobbing...

  3. Which little one doesn't love Dr. Seuss. We have so many of his books and I get to read them over and over again to my little one. The Alphabet book is one of her favorites right now. My son read Roald Dahl and I really enjoyed reading along with him and helping him with his assignments.

  4. It's hard to top Dr. Seuss...but my kids love, love, love the Pigeon books too. And Harold and The Purple Crayon is pretty good too.

  5. What a fabulous list! I love that you made your list by author. We are big time Dr. Seuss fans, but I saw others on there that I love just as much. I love reading to my kiddos!

  6. Terrific list, Jackie! Some great books from these people!

  7. Fantastic list! Roald Dahl is one of my all-time favorites and we're big fans of Robert Munsch around here. And Dr. Seuss? Classic.

  8. Absolutely love this list. I can only imagine what an amazing feeling it is to teach a child how to read. I loved putting faces to these authors. They truly are a big part of our lives! Must look for Moira's book ;)

  9. This is such a cool list! I love that you decided to honor the authors. Sandra Boynton is a favorite in our house for sure. I bet being a kindergarten teacher was fun! Great list.

  10. I miss children's books and still get my reads in with nieces and nephews! This is a great author list.

  11. All great ones. My kids aren't old enough yet, but I adore J.K. Rowling. Can't wait to read the series with them!

  12. I am late to the party, but I just have to add Shel Silverstein! I spent many hours as a kid poring over A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Missing Piece and best of all, The Giving Tree! Oh how I love children's books!


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