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7 Great Children’s Book Author/Illustrators

Reading skills are an important part of any child’s development and essential to their success in school, work, and life. At Logan’s Treehouse, we recommend starting to read to your little one as soon as possible to enhance their cognitive development, improve their language skills, and widen their imagination; not to mention that a lifelong love of reading begins in early childhood

The best way to introduce your child to the wonderful world of reading is through picture books. Illustrations make it easier for children to link concepts with words, and can help enhance the book’s story and its emotional resonance, expanding your child’s imagination and cultivating an appreciation for art. One of the most interesting things about picture books is that they are often written and illustrated by the same person. In this post, we discuss seven of the greatest children’s books author/illustrators of all time.

At Logan’s Treehouse, we take reading seriously. We offer a large library of various picture books, appropriate for everyone from infants to middle schoolers. By reading with your child daily, our early childhood educators introduce your little one to exciting new concepts that they’ll be eager to share with you once they come home from daycare. Read on to discover some of our favorite author/illustrators then get in touch with Logan’s Treehouse today to book a tour of our early learning center.

Eric Carle

Known for his colorful collages using hand-painted paper, Eric Carle is one of the most well-known figures in picture books. Most of his stories focus on nature, particularly animals, which is an interest shared by many small children. His books are not only entertaining and visually stimulating, but they help introduce children to the natural world around them.

His most popular book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into more than 66 languages and sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, equivalent to 1.8 copies sold every minute since it was published in 1969. Other popular books include The Very Lonely Firefly, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Busy Spider, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, and more. Almost all of his books come as board books, so they are appropriate for even the littlest tots.

Maurice Sendak

Another beloved figure in picture books is Maurice Sendak. Some of Sendak’s most popular books include In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There and, of course, his best-selling title Where the Wild Things Are. Where the Wild Things Are transports children to a faraway island populated by enormous, friendly monsters. While some children and parents might find the illustrations a bit unsettling, most readers agree that Where the Wild Things Are is a classic that demands multiple rereadings. Sadly, Sendak died in 2012, but his legacy as a children’s book heavyweight lives on.

Jan Brett

Known for her vivid, colorful illustrations and attention to nature, Jan Brett has been a favorite among picture book readers for years. Her picture books feature stories about animals and various human cultures around the globe, ranging from Scandinavia to Africa. Many of her books feature compassionate messages about respecting all living things. In addition to adapting numerous traditional stores, such as the Gingerbread Man and Goldilocks, Brett is most well-known for her books The Mitten, the perfect winter tale, and Annie and the Wild Animals, featuring a strong female heroine.

Ezra Keats

Ezra Keats is considered one of the most important childrens’ book author/illustrators of all time, because his picture books were among the first to feature protagonists of color. He was also one of the first children’s book authors to use an urban setting for most of his stories. Keats’s illustrations are beautiful cutout collages of patterned paper, fabric, oilcloth, stamps, ink spatterings, and other materials. “I was like a child playing,” he said of his creative process, “I was in a world with no rules.”

Many of his stories feature real-life problems that are recognizable to young readers, such as loneliness, bullying, divorce, and more. The Snowy Day is his most popular book, earning him the 1963 Caldecott Medal. It was the first picture book featuring a black protagonist to win this prestigious award. Some of Keats’s other popular titles are Peter’s Chair, Whistle for Willie, A Letter to Amy, and Goggles! All of the books star Peter, the protagonist of The Snowy Day.

Marc Brown

You may remember Arthur the aardvark as the star of the Emmy-winning PBS Show Arthur, but did you know that the character originated from a series of picture books by author/illustrator Marc Brown? Starting with 1976’s Arthur’s Nose, in which Arthur must deal with his self-consciousness about his face’s most defining feature, the Arthur series would go on to inspire dozens of other titles, including the popular Arthur’s Teacher Trouble, Arthur’s Halloween, Arthur’s Eyes, and more. Whether your child already loves the Arthur series or is looking to root for a new hero, you should be sure to check out Marc Brown’s bibliography.

Tomie dePaola

The late, great Tomie dePaola created more than 260 children’s books within his lifetime, many of them becoming classics of the genre. Known for his simple, yet effective illustrations, dePaola wrote books on a variety of different topics, including holidays, legends and folktales, growing up in his family, and more. He is most well-known for his Strega Nona series, particularly the first book in the sequence. Strega Nona (roughly translated as “Grandma Witch” in Italian) concerns an edlerly sorceress and her inept assistant, who causes her to create so much magic pasta that it nearly buries a town.

Arnold Lobel

No list of children’s book authors/illustrators would be complete without Arnold Lobel, creator of the famed Frog and Toad series. All of Lobel’s many books feature animal protagonists who must come to terms with complex experiences and emotions. In fact, he once described his books as “adult stories, slightly disguised as children’s stories.” Comprising four books, the beloved Frog and Toad series tells the tale of two unlikely friends, the adventurous Frog and the somewhat uptight Toad. Despite their differences, both amphibians learn to love each other.

Lobel is among a very small group of people who have received both the Newberry and Caldecott medals for excellence in children’s book writing and illustrating, respectively. Some of his other well-known books include Mouse Soup, Fables, Owl at Home, and others.It is important to note that Lobel’s books are technically classified as “early readers,” meaning they are most appropriate for emerging readers in pre-K through second grade.

Set Your Child Up for Success at Logan’s Treehouse!

At Logan’s Treehouse in Louisville, we love picture books! Whether exploring the colorful world of Eric Carle, or the mysterious tales of Maurice Sendak, your children are sure to love their adventures to faraway places at Logan’s Treehouse. In addition to reading time, we also offer the children in our care a variety of other stimulating activities, including art, science, computer time, outdoor play, and so much more. We offer four distinct programs: Infant Daycare and Early Education for children ages six weeks through one year, Toddler Daycare and Early Education for one-year-olds though two-year-olds. Preschool for three- to four-year-olds, and our popular Before and After School Activities program for children in elementary and middle school. Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today to book a tour of our daycare facility!