The Great Ones

There are many excellent books, as it has been my pleasure to find out. And yes, I love finding new ones—strange ones by authors I have never heard of, books I discovered at library sales or left out on the street or under someone's bed.

This post is not about those, however.

It's about those people you just can't believe exist, children's book authors who have the uncanny (uncanny!) ability to run some crazy wire from their own minds deep into the minds of some universal kid soul and connect. People like Judy Blume, and Cynthia Rylant, and Louis Sachar. People who seem to be able to do it over and over again, like they're returning to some hidden inner spring. Who else? Terry Pratchett. Beverly Cleary. Roald Dahl.

Who else?

This is the question I am asking you, my most excellent readers. See, I am thinking that I need to use this blog to make some acknowledgement of these giants who stride (or strode) the earth, but there are no doubt more than I am thinking of. So I need to come up with a list.

What are the qualifications? Well, here's what I have so far:

1) a magical, inexplicable (or explicable, either way) connection to kids

2) have written a variety of books, displaying said author's previously mentioned magical ability to connect to kids of different ages at will

3) some combination of greatness and utter lack of pretension, which is, I guess, part of greatness anyway.

So what do you guys think? Help me out, if you would, in the comments.

21 thoughts on “The Great Ones

  1. For older kids, Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved). For littles, Sandra Boynton. And of course, for all kids, Dr. Seuss.


  2. I’ll add:
    C.S. Lewis
    Robert McCloskey
    Jean Craighead George
    Peter H. Reynolds
    And I agree with all of yours and Sendek and Eager and definitely Dr. Seuss.


  3. Agree with most of those listed. My personal greats, based purely on # of reads & re-reads, would be:
    Roald Dahl
    Judy Blume
    Madeline L’Engle
    Lloyd Alexander
    Lois Lowry
    Katherine Paterson
    for illustrated books:
    Maurice Sendak
    Dr. Seuss
    Robert McCloskey


  4. I’m going to add Dennis Lee, who mostly writes poetry for children, but just taps into those poetic moments of being a kid.
    And Jane Yolen. Love her picture books. Love her novels.


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