Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ten Picture Book Authors Every Toddler Parent, Story Time Leader, and Childcare Provider Should Know

The ten individuals listed below consistently create high-quality, appealing picture books for young children. Books by each of these individuals are available in the Children's Department here at Tredyffrin Library.

1. Molly Bang excels at using shape, color, and simple language to introduce themes and concepts that are essential in the lives of young children.

2. Kate Banks writes lyrical texts that ingeniously connect small children to the larger world through familiar daily routines that are comforting.

3. Byron Barton might best be described as a minimalist. Barton's simple, brightly colored illustrations are captivating, and there's never an extra word or line in his crowd-pleasing stories that often center on machines.

4. Donald Crews, the favorite author of many two-year-olds, writes and illustrates boldly colored books about favorite topics such as planes, trains, and trucks. His detailed illustrations are accompanied by nearly wordless texts invite a lot of participation. His book design always reinforces left-to-right movement across the page.

5. Denise Fleming uses distinctive collage style illustrations featuring handmade paper and batik in her books, which draw from the natural world to tell stories that appeal to preschoolers. Her expert pacing and playful use of language make for great read-alouds.

6. Pat Hutchins excels at using developmental tasks and easy concepts as the building blocks for her engaging stories. Her use of repeition, perfectly paced texts, and clear, boldy colored illustrations make her books perfect for group story times.

7. Angela Johnson's quiet stories generally revolve around contemporary family life and feature African Americans.

8. Ann Jonas combines simple concepts with the drama of everyday life to create appealing, child-centered sotries. Her books frequently show biracial children and are full of familiar objects in a child's world.

9. Keiko Kasza uses animal characters and humor to tell entertaining sotires about characters in conflict. Her resolutions are often surprising and always satisfying.

10. Lynn Reiser's genius is to make complex, multilayered picture books completely accessible to young children by remaining true to their interests and abilities. Her warm stories are accompanied by colorful, expressive art.

Compiled by Kathleen T. Horning and Megan Schliesman

Reprinted with permission from the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), School of Education, University of Wisonsin-Madison.

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