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.
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.