Books that authors read to their kids

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Leila Sin­claire

Read­ing pic­ture books aloud is a tra­di­tion in many homes. The other tra­di­tion? Kids who pick out the same books over and over again. Some­times, we need a rec­om­men­da­tion or two to mix it up. Here, we asked best-selling authors and il­lus­tra­tors to tell us what they like or liked to read to their young chil­dren. Read on for some lesser-known gems that will keep both the reader and au­di­ence en­chanted through sto­ry­time.

An­nie Bar­rows, au­thor of “Ivy and Bean”: “Two books by Pe­ter Spier, the mag­i­cal ‘Peo­ple’ and also the lesser-known ‘Oh Were They Ever Happy!’ be­cause it’s about kids whose par­ents leave and couldn’t get a sit­ter and the kids paint the en­tire house!”

Lisa Brown, il­lus­tra­tor of “Gold­fish Ghost”: “I rec­om­mend ‘A Wog­gle of Witches’ by Adri­enne Adams be­cause it’s beau­ti­ful and strange, and it’s for kids (like me) who were ob­sessed with the creepy and witchy. Also ‘Big Rab­bit’s Bad Mood’ by Ramona Bade­scu be­cause it an­thro­po­mor­phizes a bad mood, who picks his nose and wipes the boogers on the car­pet.”

Lisa Damour, au­thor of “Un­tan­gled”: “I have one book that I give as a gift, at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, to par­ents of young chil­dren: ‘Bub­ble Trou­ble’ by Mar­garet Mahy. The wa­ter­color il­lus­tra­tions are gor­geous to look at and the story, told in rhyme, skips and rol­licks along. It’s a pure plea­sure to read as it in­tro­duces young chil­dren to how the sounds and ca­dence of words can be used for play.”

An­thony Do­err, au­thor of “All the Light We Can­not See”: “When he was 3, our son asked to read ‘The Stray Dog’ by Marc Si­mont ev­ery night. I paged through that book with him prob­a­bly a thou­sand times. It’s a comic and ten­der story, aglow with Si­mont’s wa­ter­col­ors, about a fam­ily on a pic­nic who en­coun­ters a stray dog, dreams about him for the whole week to come, and — af­ter a dra­matic chase with a dog catcher — takes the home. With one shel­ter dog al­ready in our house, and an­other about to ar­rive, I think our son took com­fort in the les­son that some­times a fam­ily needs a dog as much as a dog needs a fam­ily.”

Sharon Draper, au­thor of “Stella by Starlight”: “We loved ‘Alexan­der and the Ter­ri­ble, Hor­ri­ble, No Good, Very Bad Day’ by Ju­dith Viorst. The mom in the pic­tures is bald and wear­ing a head scarf, her sub­tle trib­ute to moms who do it all even while fight­ing can­cer.”

Karen Joy Fowler, au­thor of “We Are All Com­pletely Be­side Our­selves”: “I loved ‘A Hole is to Dig’ by Ruth Krauss. It’s ter­rif­i­cally witty, a sort of dic­tionary with en­tries like ‘hands are to hold’ and ‘mashed pota­toes are to give ev­ery­body enough’ and ‘a prin­ci­pal is to take out splin­ters.’ ‘The Duchess Bakes a Cake’ by Vir­ginia Kahl is rhymed and rhyth­mic, and I loved the re­frain of ‘a lovely light lus­cious de­lec­ta­ble cake,’ which is the Duchess’ great am­bi­tion. The il­lus­tra­tions are also won­der­ful as you watch the king­dom get fat and thin again.”

Ka­t­rina Gold­saito, au­thor of “The Sound of Si­lence”: “We read In­nosanto Na­gara’s ‘A Is For Ac­tivist’ to our 2½- year-old, and we es­pe­cially love that it has funky rhyme schemes. My hus­band I get bored with tra­di­tional rhyming books, and with this one some­times he will beat­box and I rap the words.”

Jon Klassen, il­lus­tra­tor of “Tri­an­gle”: “I loved a book called ‘The Big Jump’ by Ben­jamin Elkin be­cause it was about solv­ing rid­dles; the rules of the book felt very spon­ta­neous but taken very se­ri­ously. A more cur­rent book is ‘Duck, Death, and the Tulip’ by Wolf Erl­bruch. I love its gen­tle treat­ment of the sub­ject, the beau­ti­ful pac­ing, and all the il­lus­tra­tion choices. I wish I saw more of it in the United States.”

Jil­lian Lau­ren, au­thor of “Some Girls: My Life in a Harem”: ” ‘And Tango Makes Three’ by Justin Richard­son is a de­light­ful true story about a cou­ple of male pen­guins who shack up to­gether and adopt an egg. The mes­sage of love defin­ing fam­ily is par­tic­u­larly poignant right now. ‘The Mon­ster Who Lost His Mean’ by Tif­fany Stre­litz Haber is about a mon­ster who loses his “m” and be­comes an “on­ster,” which is a fun word to say. This sweet and clevpooch er book is a play­ful med­i­ta­tion on iden­tity. It gives our strong­willed four-year-old per­mis­sion to ex­plore his softer side.”

Michael Lewis, au­thor of “The Un­do­ing Project”: We loved ‘Mommy Laid An Egg’ by Ba­bette Cole be­cause it’s a hys­ter­i­cal sex ed book.

In­nosanto Na­gara, au­thor and il­lus­tra­tor of “A Is For Ac­tivist”: “I rec­om­mend ‘Golden Domes and Sil­ver Lanterns: A Mus­lim Book of Col­ors’ by Hena Khan. The au­thor does a re­ally good job of writ­ing about Is­lam for kids.

Peggy Oren­stein, au­thor of “Girls & Sex”: My fam­ily was heav­ily into Taro Gomi. Peo­ple gen­er­ally know ‘Ev­ery­one Poops,’ but he has writ­ten so many other lovely, whim­si­cal, strangely mov­ing books. My daugh­ter’s fa­vorites (and ours) were ‘My Friends,’ ‘Spring is Here,’ and ‘Bus Stops.’ And ‘Ho­race and Mor­ris but Mostly Dolores’ is the best fem­i­nist book for all gen­ders.”

Kate Schatz, au­thor of “Rad Women World­wide”: “I rec­om­mend ‘A House Is A House For Me’ by Mary Ann Hober­man. I read it all the time as a kid and have it mem­o­rized. The il­lus­tra­tions are mag­i­cal and so de­tailed that I’m still find­ing new things I’d never no­ticed.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.