I have consistently read my children bedtime stories from that first night my son was home from the hospital. That is almost six years of reading books made for the bright eyed, influential, youth. My son, Zyler, who is currently learning to read and write understands the high esteem I put on literature. Fortunately he has the patience to sit through the longer books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Harry Potter. My daughter, Alex, prefers books that will conclude before her attention wavers with lots of colourful pictures. This differential suites me fine as I get to read a varied collection. We have our weekly trips to the library where the children can pick one movie and our fresh stack of bedtime stories. With that all said these are my favorites authors that entertain the whole family.
5. Mo Willems
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie Series.
What Makes His Stories Fun For All-
Mo Willems uses his humour while breaking the fourth wall. Lots of his books are interactive, asking the children questions or putting them in charge of a reluctant little pigeon. The timeless humour used in his stories extracts laughs from the whole family. I do not think a week goes by that a Mo Willems book is not involved, as he is a favorite of both Zyler and Alex.
4. Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel
Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Lorax, Horton Hears a Who, One Fish Two Fish…, Oh the Place You’ll Go, Fox in Socks, the list goes on and on.
Why His Work is Still Loved-
The master of rhymes and rhythm, as a parent you have to appreciate how his stories challenge your tongue to keep up. As much as I enjoy reading a good Dr. Seuss book he is part of the reason I ask the kids to read different stories each night. After your twentieth consecutive read through of Green Eggs and Ham you will understand the annoyance of the repetition. Good news being his massive collection is full of unique books. The creative mind of Dr. Seuss is inspirational to me as my final project in culinary school featured a 5 course menu of Seuss influenced meals, from Who Roast Beast to Pink Yink Ink Drink. I aced it by the way, largely due to all of us, my chef instructor included, having a soft spot for these stories.
3. Neil Gaiman
Coraline, Chu’s Day, Crazy Hair, Blueberry Girl, Odd and the Frost Giant, Fortunately, the Milk.
How His Brilliance Works in Kids Books-
Neil Gaiman is surely one of the greatest creative minds of our time. His creations spanning genres and media with equal skill and relevance. Reading his works across the board, in my opinion his strength is in children’s literature. He has an ability to expand the child’s mind with beautiful imagery. Fortunately, the Milk is my favorite little books, one of my favorite stories period.
2. Dav Pilkey
Captain Underpants, Dumb Bunnies, Dogzilla, Kat Kong, Ricky Ricottas Mighty Robot.
Why He is so Great-
This guy knows how to make kids laugh. Potty humour may seem simple minded but the way Dav Pilkey constructs his books is very well thought out. Though Dumb Bunnies is a hard one to explain to my toddlers as they do everything the opposite we tell our kids to do. Captain Underpants is a hit and one of Zyler’s favorite… Anything.
1. Robert Munsch
50 Below Zero, Love You Forever, Paper Bag Princess, Mortimer, I Have To Go, Alligator Baby, Stephanie’s Ponytail, Up Up Down.
Why He is Number One-
Munsch is a master of his craft. I love reading his stories, the charisma of the characters comes alive. Great blend of humour, morals, adventure, heart felt and innocent story telling. I have been known to recite 50 below Zero on road trips or Stephanie’s Ponytail, from memory, when we cannot find a book. The characters are always entertaining, usually with the children smarter than their parents. Each story is always a perfect length for getting ready for bed and leaving everyone entertained.
Thanks again booknerds, keep those creative little minds flowing.