Some authors to know

Of Consuming Interest

January 09, 2000

To celebrate Read Across America, reading specialist Bernice Cullinam created a list of authors and illustrators everyone should know. The list was meant to introduce children, and the adults who care for them, to newer books in the field of children's literature.

That's why well-known classics, such as Beatrix Potter, Lewis Carroll, A.A. Milne and E.B. White are not included. They are enduring masterpieces that every child should know. If you've not yet introduced your child to them, start today.

In the meantime, here are some of the authors and illustrators every child in grades 1 to 3 should meet:

Jan Brett: A meticulous artist who weaves subplots and intricate details into creative borders to extend the meaning into works such as "The Mitten" and "Annie and the Wild Animals."

Anthony Browne: His startling images and subtle messages in art and story make us see the world in a new way in books such as "The Piggybook" and "Gorilla."

Barbara Cooney: Gentle stories and beautiful art touch the heart and leave deep thoughts to ponder in works such as "Miss Rumphius" and "Ox Cart Man."

Tomie De Paola: Tells wonderful Irish and Italian family stories using strong black line and folk-art style; titles include "The Art Lesson" and "Strega Nona."

Eloise Greenfield: Poet and storyteller captures the language, melodies and strong African-American family images in her poetry and prose, which include "Honey I Love" and "Nathaniel Talking."

Leo Lionni: Deeper meanings permeate Lionni's stories -- including "Frederick" and "Swimmy" -- more than the elegant, sophisticated collage and design art might suggest.

Arnold Lobel: Delicate and decorative art on attractively designed pages invites thoughtful probing in "Frog and Toad Are Friends" and "Fables."

James Marshall: Cartoon-like drawings of unique characters present unexpected humor and spoofs in works such as "The Cut-Ups Crack Up" and "George and Martha."

Robert McCloskey: Superb, classic works that convey the importance of small but significant moments in a child's life; examples are "Blueberries for Sal" and "Make Way for Ducklings."

Emily McCully: Creates wordless books in cartoon style and elaborate stories with Impressionist-style art; works include "Mirette on the High Wire" and "School."

Chris Van Allsburg: Presents something that seems predictable but catches you by surprise when he turns it on end in works such as "Two Bad Ants" and "The Polar Express."

Vera B. Williams: Conveys the simple strength of multicultural families who share love and unity in works such as "A Chair for My Mother" and " `More, More, More,' Said the Baby."

Jane Yolen: An enchanting storyteller and poet who captures past, present or future in word songs such as "Owl Moon" and "Street Rhymes Around the World."

Ed Young: Sophisticated simplicity describes the art he uses to retell Asian-American folklore in works such as "Lon Po Po" and "Seven Blind Mice."

Charlotte Zolotow: Gentle stories play on the heartstrings, causing children to think about their world in new ways; works include "William's Doll" and "Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present."

-- Courtesy the Children's Book Council

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