August 26, 2004

Kid Lit

Well, they are my questions, so I suppose I ought to answer the Thursday Three this week, huh?

1. Who are your three favorite children's authors?
Three is, of course, such a limited number -- why couldn't the author of the questions have asked for the top five or something? Oh right. Nevermind. Anyway, some of my favorites for little kids books (since again the author of the questions was very non-specific and didn't say whether she meant picture books or chapter books or either) are Arnold Lobel, Kevin Henkes, Robert McCloskey. I don't think a good children's author has to also illustrate, but I do think the ones who do both are often some of the best.

2. What are your three favorite children's books? I suppose I could take the easy way out and name books by the authors above, since their books are, of course some of my favorites. Some others I like a lot though -- from my own childhood -- are Miss Suzy by Miriam Young, Who's Got the Apple by Jan Loof, and Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban. I know I liked all the Frances books as a kid, although my love for this particular one may be more influenced by my adult self. Either way all the books about Frances are wonderful.

3. What children's books would you rather never ever see again?
I know it is near sacrilege to say, but I'm very tired of Goodnight Moon. It isn't one my kids have ever demanded enough for me to have to hide it, but I've never been a big fan. I will also be glad to never again have to read about the adventures of Prudence or Joshua and their new potty, but my reprieve in that area will be a long time away. I've resorted to hiding Richard Scarry's Cars, Trucks and Things that Go and all of Harry Allard's Miss Nelson books, but not because they or so bad or because I never want to read them ever again, but simply because they were requested just a little too often. I let them be found once in a while.


I found the Frances book about the tea set in an antique store sometime within the past year or so, and NATURALLY snapped it up. I guess they're still publishing Frances books? I'm not really familiar with the current kiddie lit offerings, but I'm sure I will be before too long.

Posted by: Lenise at August 26, 2004 04:42 PM

A Bargain For Frances is another really good one. All the Frances books are wonderful.

There are lots of really, really good kids books out there, and I think it is often worth just checking out a huge number to find a few really great ones. There are plenty of crummy ones too.

Children's books are one time when I think you often can judge a book by its cover. Books with really good illustrations are often some of the best books, in my experience. Of course, defining what you mean by good illustrations is difficult. I like a wide variety -- some that would pass for high art and some that are merely doodles, but as with pornography, I may not be able to define good illustrations but I know them when I see them.

Posted by: Jordana at August 26, 2004 04:50 PM

just have to give a shout out for miss suzy.
i love miss suzy.

Posted by: amy at August 26, 2004 10:24 PM

Is there a book about Frances having something to do with eating? Like that she always wanted to eat the same thing... For the life of me, I can't remember the title, but I know it was Frances!

Good choices! :) I need to look into these more!

Posted by: angie at August 27, 2004 11:39 AM

Angie, that one is Bread and Jam for Frances.

Posted by: Jordana at August 27, 2004 12:14 PM