Monday, July 7, 2014

Favorite Authors

Outstanding authors are one of my favorite education topics to discuss. I'm told this is an area where I'm knowledgeable, but I don't feel particularly knowledgeable. I have been fortunate to have two wonderful mentors without incredible knowledge about children's literature. Amazingly, they both gave me crates full of books when they left primary education.

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I love books! These are 3 of my favorite children's book authors and 2 of my favorite authors for personal entertainment.

One of my favorite children's book authors is Cynthia Rylant.

Cynthia Rylant

I hope you are familiar with Cynthia Rylant. She is the author of  the Henry and Mudge books, the Mr. Putter and Tabby series, and the Poppleton series. These books are beginning chapter books. They are perfect for the end of first grade and for second grade readers.

Ms. Rylant also has picture books. My favorite is The Old Woman Who Named Things. In this book an old woman is all alone because everyone she knew has died. To ward off her loneliness, she names things like her house, her car, and her chair, but she refuses to name anything she might outlive. A little brown puppy comes along and the woman refuses to give it a name because she could outlive it. In time, the woman discovers attempt to protect her heart from loss is not the path she wants for herself.

Ms. Rylant also has some award winning books for older readers!

One of my favorite children's authors is Leo Lionni.

Leo Lionni

I've recently realized that many teachers are unfamiliar with Leo Lionni. This is nothing short of a tragedy! My favorites are The Biggest House in the World and The Alphabet Tree, but they're all wonderful. Many of these books work very well with the Author's Message lesson I wrote about last week. Kids learn to value friendship, teamwork, freedom, diversity, creativity, and simplicity.

Kristine O'Connell George is one of my favorite authors of children's poetry.

I've read a few of Kristine O'Connell George's books, and I've enjoyed them all, but I want to highlight Little Dog Poems. These short poems are so sweet! I like to use this book as a mentor text when we write poetry because they don't rhyme. In first grade students aren't really ready to write rhyming poetry, so I always struggle to find good mentor poems that are accessible to young kids. This book is the perfect solution. Also, when writing this post I discovered that she has a really great website.

Since it's summer and we teachers really need to relax, I wanted to tell you what I like to read for fun. I've read every book I could find by Elinor Lipman. They make great summer reads.

Lastly, I've read almost all of the books written by Marian Keyes. Perfect for summer reading! Rachel's Holiday is the story of a woman's struggle with alcoholism, and it was my favorite. I love that she can deal with tough topics in such a humorous way.

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photo credit: Stack of thin flexicover books on reflective table via photopin (license)


  1. Great list of authors. I love Cynthia Rylant. She is from my home state of WV. We often do an author study about her.

  2. Leo Leonni is one of my favorites! Great author choices!

  3. Love Leo Leonni! His books are timeless!

  4. What your post REALLY reminded me of is how much better I need to get at pinterest...OR my food pinterest is in great shape...I just kept thinking about how could I save all these wonderful book ideas in one place...:)


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