This week is Children’s Authors and Illustrators week, where we get to highlight the incredible people who create engaging texts for kids of all ages.
I have a few different posts planned for you, and I am excited to share them with you!
Last week, I wrote about what parents can do to help their kids with reading comprehension, and gave you the top 5 tips of educators for that endeavor.
I also promised in that post to give some recommendations of books that you can borrow or buy for your child.
Here is the first installment, with many more such posts to come!
In order to give you some solid recommendations of picture books, I asked Jennifer Woodard, from Storygalorey to show and tell some of her favorite authors and illustrators of kids’ books.
We had some awesome conversation about discussions that can spring from a good book, how people are drawn to stories to learn, and finding books with character trait themes incorporated in a way that doesn’t sound preachy. We could have kept going all day long! (We didn’t, for your sake.)
You can watch the video recording of our chat here on YouTube, or listen to the audio file below. Listen to the end, or scroll to the bottom to find a special offer Jennifer is making for my readers/listeners!
If you’d like to skip all the book talk, or if you’d like a recap after listening, here are the authors, illustrators, and books that we discussed. When applicable, I linked to their author sites so you can see what other books they’ve written or illustrated!
10 Notable Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators
Rafael López – Illustrator
Rafael López’s illustrations are vibrant and colorful and those are two reasons why kids will love the books he has illustrated. Jennifer talked about two books of his: Maybe Something Beautiful is about a girl who finds beauty in unexpected places. The Day You Begin describes the experience of being the new kid – an experience that is both difficult and relatable for many children.
With beautiful illustrations, Matthew Paul Turner and David Catrow draw in the reader as he explains, in rhyme, biblical truths. Seriously, just look at the covers? They make me want to run to the nearest bookstore or library so I can soak in the beauty for awhile.
Andrea Beaty/David Roberts
The Questioneers Collection teaches about character traits like perseverance and breaks gender stereotypes about scientists all at the same time. These books are great for reading aloud and then using them as a natural springboard for discussion with your kids.
Chris Van Dusen – author/illustrator
Chris Van Dusen is another rhyme specialist, and he writes in a way that is engaging not just for littles, but all the way up to middle grade kids. His books help kids think creatively and builds vocabulary, and his illustrations are bright and immersive.
Carson Ellis – author/illustrator
Du Iz Tak? is a surprisingly popular book, given that it is written all in nonsense words. But that’s also what contributes to making it fun: the illustrations are essential for making sense of the story, and it’s a bit of a puzzle for kids’ brains to figure out.
Nina Laden – author
If I had a Little Dream is a book of poetry that, as the title and cover art suggests, invites the reader into reflection. It’s not too high and lofty for kids, though, especially if they have an adult with whom they can talk about the ideas.
When Pigasso Met Mootisse gives the reader a fun, whimsical introduction to the styles of Picasso and Matisse – a creative way to interest kids in art history!
Chris Van Allsburg – author/illustrator
Reading books that movies are based on, like these two from Chris Van Allsburg, is a great way to support language learners and reluctant readers in their comprehension. Van Allsburg’s illustrations are almost photographic, and his stories are beautiful, imaginative, and adventurous. These two titles might be some great options for helping kids to connect to texts!
Lois Ehlert – author/illustrator
Lois Ehlert uses a distinct medium for her illustrations in Snowballs: gathering real objects that she arranges to create a picture and then photographing those objects. Jennifer said she loves to use Snowballs for babies and toddlers during the winter. Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf is another fabulous seasonal book for young readers.
Jane Yolen – author
Owl Moon is directed toward older elementary students and subtly teaches the character trait of patience. The boy and his dad go out in the snow to wait for the first hoot of an owl.
Jason Chin – author/illustrator
This author-illustrator is relatively new to me, but I absolutely adore his illustrations! They made Coral Reefs accessible to my preschool-age nieces, even if they had never heard the words coral polyp before. He uses the correct terminology as he explains nonfiction concepts, and then supports comprehension through his stunning illustrations. His writing almost feels like a story.
One way that Jennifer is giving her book-inspired art lessons is online through a monthly subscription. So even if you don’t live locally, you and your kids can experience her amazing teaching. Right now she is offering a special discount for my readers!
Follow this link to receive $3 off the normal price of $17/month for your monthly subscription.
You can also use the coupon code VALENTINE if you find the checkout page on your own after exploring her website, Storygalorey.
Your turn! Who are some of your favorite picture book authors and illustrators?
Share the love in the comments below, because we can all use more beautiful, heart-filling books in our lives!