Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back to School Favorite Authors and Illustrators List

Back to School is here for most kiddos. For the littlest kiddos, this means more time sitting in circles, snuggling in someone's lap, listening to stories read aloud and looking at amazing illustrations. For bigger kiddos, this means getting lost in descriptive text, imagining a world created by their imaginations, and alas- sometimes the dreaded book report. Here are a few authors and illustrators whose style is sure to engage and make them want to read more.

For the Littlest Kiddos
Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry (1919- 1994) is one of the most beloved children's author and illustrator. He wrote or illustrated over 300 works during his lifetime. He is best known for his work with Little Golden Books and his Busytown Series, of which the television cartoon series is based. Children are drawn to his adorable characters: personified animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs, or mice. His writing is simple, yet cleverly describes what the animal characters are doing.

For Medium Size Kiddos
Paul Galdone

Paul Galdone (1907-1986) began illustrating children's books in his mid-forties. During his lifetime he wrote and /or illustrated over 300 books, and is best known for his versions of traditional folk tales such as The LittleRed Hen and The Three Bears. He received the Caldecott Honor for Anatole and Anatole and the Cat written by Eve Titus. One publisher wrote,"Knowing that copies of his books were bound for use in preschooland elementary school classrooms and public libraries, he planned his illustrations with the child in the last row at story hour in mind."

For Bigger Kiddos
Franklin W. Dixon, Carolyn Keene, Victor Appleton
Who is Franklin W. Dixon? Who is Carolyn Keene? Who is Victor Appleton?

This mystery could be straight out of one these writer's books; they never existed! Franklin W. Dixon, Carolyn Keene, and Victor Appleton were pen names used by ghostwriters of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, founded by Edward Stratemeyer. These ghostwriters were often given story outlines and paid to not reveal their true identity.

The Hardy Boys book series centers around two teenage brothers and their detective work. Leslie McFarlane is credited for ghostwriting 19 of the first 25 volumes of the series. Since it's first publication in 1927, over 300 novels have been written featuring the Hardy Boys characters.

The Nancy Drew book series consists of the first 56 original stories and continues up to number 175. Like the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew is a teenage detective. Two of the most well known ghostwriters from the Nancy drew series are Mildren Wirt Benson and Harriet Adams (daughter of Stratemeyer).

The Tom Swift science fiction and adventure books focus on science, invention, and technology. Edward Stratemeyer himself and Howard Garis wrote most of the original series.


  1. i love this list! i am sad i was too late on the goo goo gallery scarrys! amazing finds from the team! i can highly recommend "the little fur family" that is on googoogallery's site as well, it's my boy's favorite book! it's reprinted now too but i do find the vintage copies have better fonts and illos!!!


  2. This was really interesting! I did not know that Carol Keene was a pen name! I was such a big Nancy Drew fan.
    I have a fabulous Richard Scarry book that I am debating selling. I love his books!

  3. Love it! Thanks for featuring my ND book <3

  4. A fabulous list of books for all ages!
    Love all of your choices :-)
    I still have all of my Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books!

  5. great post! lishyloo, the little fur family is one of my faves too!!

  6. awesome post! books are so great for the whole family. thanks for featuring my little gold star mini library. sandra x

  7. We love us some Richard Scarry. We have a big book collection of his works in our Etsy shop.

  8. I'm vintage children's book obsessed! I can't get enough of Richard Scarry books....I don't think I'll ever be able to part with any I've collected! Great post!


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