Newsletter - Volume 1 #3

SUBJECT: The Enrichment of Our Childhood by American Authors

Having given the British authors their due in the previous newsletter, here are  several  great American authors who have enriched our childhood. However,  interestingly enough, in the U.S., these books fall into two categories: literary, and a combination of words and pictures whereas the British books are generally  literary.  

Predominantly  Literary:

Louisa May Alcott - Little Women, Jo's Boys, Little Men, Eight Cousins and more.
Richard Atwater - Mr. Popper's Penguins
J. Frank Baum - The Oz series, 14 in all.
James Fenimore Cooper - The Last of the Mohicans, etc.
Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time, etc.
Eugene Field - The Sugar Plum Tree, Wynken Blynken and Nod, Gingham Dog & Calico Cat, etc.
Bret Harte - The Luck of Roaring Camp, Outcasts of Poker Flats, Tales of the Argonauts
Nathaniel Hawthorne -
The House of Seven Gables, etc.
Washington Irving -
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, etc.
Norton Juster - The
Phantom Tollbooth
Harper Lee -
To Kill a Mocking Bird
Jack London - 
The Call of the Wild
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Evangeline, Hiawatha, etc.
Clement Moore - 
'Twas the Night Before Christmas 
J.D. Salinger -
Catcher in the Rye, etc.
Carl Sandburg -
Poems for Children; The Rootabega Stories.
John Steinbeck - Travels with Charley, The Pearl, The Red Pony.
Mark Twain - Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn

A Combination of Words and Pictures

Chris Van Allsberg - The Polar Express, Two Bad Ants, Jumanji, plus, plus, plus
Joan Walsh Anglund -
A Friend is Someone who Likes You, etc.
Ludwig Bemelmans -
Madeline series
Jan Brett - The Mitten, The wild reindeer, etc.
Margaret Wise Brown -Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, etc.
Demi -
Has illustrated and enhanced several classics in a delicate Chinese manner. Exquisite work.
Jean Fritz -
High on my list for her wonderful grammar school level books on U.S. history.
Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) -
The Cat in the Hat, Yertl the Turtle, the Lorax, plus, plus, plus 
Johnny Gruelle -
The original Raggedy Ann and Andy Stories.
Ruth Heller -
Kites Sail High (grammar series), The Reason for a Flower ( 1 of 4 in origin series)
Crockett Johnson -
Harold and the Purple Crayon series
Ruth Krauss -
A Hole is to Dig
Munro Leaf -
Lois Lenski -
The Mr. Small books (back in print! - Hurray!)
Robert McClosky - Make Way for Ducklings, One Morning in Maine, Blueberrys for Sal, etc.
H.A. & Margaret Rey -
Curious George series, Find the Constellations.
Maurice Sendak - 
Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen
Tasha Tudor - A Time to Keep, Give us This Day, The Great Corgiville Kidnapping, etc. 

Clearly, in the U.S. in modern times, we have developed a tradition of superb illustration as part of the story. Both words and pictures are integrated. In fact, we are in a golden era of children's book illustration. If we have left any out, please let us know. 

In creating these lists, it is important to note a few others that have arrived from overseas in translation. These would include Grimm's Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson Stories, Babar the Elephant, and Le Petit Prince ( now available in 5 languages).

All of these books point to the same two facts: a strong story line and in the literary group, adult use of the English language. Please note that  those in the literary group almost all date from the 19th century - early 20th century.

Again, I urge adults to reread the McGuffey Readers - grades 4-6.

We would be delighted to hear from you with suggestions, questions or comments. Our e-mail address is: We look forward to your correspondence.



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