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Recommended Authors for Grades 1-3
STAN AND JAN BERENSTAIN A prolific team captures the rhythms of children’s language in engaging stories.
JAN BRETT A meticulous artist weaves subplots and intricate details into creative borders to extend the meaning carried in the central pictures.
MARC BROWN Marc Brown presents a warm, witty and sometimes poignant look at facing a bully, losing a tooth, or accepting a new baby sister.
MARCIA BROWN Marcia Brown adapts the art style (woodcuts, intricate cut paper, flamboyant cartoon, delicate watercolor) to enrich the special meaning of each story.
ANTHONY BROWNE His startling images and subtle messages in art and story make us see the world in a new way.
JOANNA COLE Superb informational books present straight facts in photo essays or combine facts with riotous humor in the Magic School Bus books.
BARBARA COONEY Gentle stories and beautiful art touch the heart and leave deep thoughts to ponder. New England scenes are especially provocative.
TOMIE DEPAOLA Tomie tells wonderful Irish and Italian family stories using strong black line and folk-art style.
LEO AND DIANE DILLON Both artists work on the same piece of art often characterized by an opulent, iridescent quality.
- Aida (Leontyne Price)
- Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears (V. Aardema)
ELOISE GREENFIELD Poet and storyteller captures the language and melodies and strong African-American family images in her poetry and prose.
TRINA SCHART HYMAN Meticulous art and extensive research enable Hyman to portray Arthurian England authentically or childhood memories vividly.
- Little Red Riding Hood
- Saint George and The Dragon (M. Hodges)
WILLIAM JOYCE Broad humor in comically expressive animals and playful language make Joyce’s books fun to read aloud or alone.
STEVEN KELLOGG A heap of comic-strip detail spills from Kellogg’s splashy, riotous, color-filled pages and causes children to pore over them.
LEO LIONNI Deeper meanings permeate Lionni’s stories more than the elegant, sophisticated collage and design art might suggest.
ARNOLD LOBEL Delicate and decorative art on attractively designed pages invites thoughtful probing.
JAMES MARSHALL Cartoon-like drawings of unique characters present unexpected humor and spoofs. A pair of hippos, a substitute teacher, and a lovable prankster guarantee laugh-out-loud joy.
ROBERT MCCLOSKEY Superb, classic works that convey the importance of small but significant moments in a child’s life.
EMILY MCCULLY She creates wordless books in cartoon style and elaborate stories with Impressionist-style art.
JERRY PINKNEY He paints from live models, often African-Americans, in a realistic style using full-color art and well-crafted scenes.
- The Talking Eggs (R. San Souci)
- Mirandy And Brother Wind (P. McKissack)
JAMES E. RANSOME Talented young African-American artist portrays characters realistically in historical or contemporary scenes.
- Uncle Jed’s Barbershop (M.K. Mitchell)
- How Many Stars In The Sky? (L. Hort)
MAURICE SENDAK A superb artist whose books invite rereading and whose illustrations beg for repeated viewing.
SEUSS (THEODORE S. GEISEL) Creative genius whose spontaneous art and lilting lines sing children into reading on their own.
CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG Van Allsburg gets you to think. He presents something that seems predictable but catches you by surprise when he turns it on end.
VERA B. WILLIAMS She conveys the simple strength of multicultural families who share love and unity.
JANE YOLEN Enchanting storyteller and poet holds a moment in time to capture past, present, or future in word songs.
ED YOUNG Sophisticated simplicity describes the art he uses to retell Asian-American folklore.
CHARLOTTE ZOLOTOW Gentle stories play on the heartstrings and cause children to think about their world and relationships in a new way.