Monday, March 23, 2015

Authors Who Grow With Their Readers

There is nothing like seeing a familiar name on a bookshelf, whether it is the name of a character (ooh, look, a new (the last) Clementine book is out!) or that of an author (hey, a new book by Rebecca Stead!).  But often as a child grows and leaves pictures books behind (mostly!  please, not entirely!), she leaves certain authors in her wake.  Some very talented authors, however, write for a range of ages, from picture books to early readers to early middle grade chapter books to harder chapter books.  It is such a delight to not have to say good-bye to these authors on our reading journey.

School Library Bulletin Board

If you are reading this blog you probably, like me, always read the name of the author and illustrator when you read aloud to your children.  As toddlers and preschoolers, mine got into the habit of imitating this.  When one of my daughters "read" (that is, pretended to read), she would make up a title for the book and then announce "by Kevin Henkes."  She attributed all her pretend books to him, as we read so many by him that she had heard his name again and again.

Well, lucky for her,   Now at age 7, her first-grade teacher is reading Henkes's early chapter book The Year of Billy Miller to her class, which she is loving.  And personally, I preferred his Junonia, a slightly harder chapter book about a girl who has to get used to the fact that life means that things change.

One of my favorite and most versatile authors is Grace Lin.  From picture books (e.g., Fortune Cookie Fortunes) to early readers (the Ling and Ting series), to early grade books (the Pacy Lin books)  to more complex novels like Starry River of the Sky and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, she hits it out of the park every time.

And there's Cynthia Rylant.  While I think that her early readers have taken on a formulaic quality, her picture books (e.g., The Relatives Came, In November), chapter books (e.g. The Van Gogh Cafe) and poetry (e.g., God Got A Dog - for middle schoolers and up) stand out.

Who is your favorite writer for all ages?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Where We Read

At the post office

At the bar (waiting for a table at the diner)

At the diner (no reading when the food arrives!)