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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Children's Author Spotlight: Julia Donaldson

Jack is 3 1/2 years old now, and we have enjoyed a great many books together. Thanks to some great children's authors, Jack is developing a great love of reading. I want to share some of our favourite books with you, so that you can continue to inspire your little ones to read.

One of my son's favourite authors is Julia Donaldson. Her books are also fun for moms and dads to read. The stories are very clever. The writing is rhythmic and full of fun rhymes.

Julia Donaldson has worked with 11 different illustrators to produce more than 40 picture books. She also writes books for older kids, plays, poems and songs. Check out Julia's web page to learn all about this wonderful woman who so clearly adores children. We were introduced to Julia Donaldson through the Gruffalo series (The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child), illustrated by Axel Sheffler.

The Gruffalo
Product Description from Amazon.com:
A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . .
This story teaches kids that size and strength are no match for wit and creativity!

The Gruffalo's Child
Product Description from Amazon.com:
One night, the Gruffalo’s child wanders into the woods to search for the Big Bad Mouse. But instead, she comes upon a small mouse in the woods . . . and decides to eat him! But wait, what is that? A shadow of a very large, scary creature falls on the ground. Could it be the Big Bad Mouse after all?
This story demonstrates to kids that things are not always as they seem. Once again, brains win out over braun! 

Charlie Cook's Favourite Book
Product Description from Amazon.com:
Charlie Cook has a favorite book. It’s about a pirate, who also has a favorite book . . . about Goldilocks, who also has a favorite book . . . about a knight, who also has a favorite book. . . . This hilarious pattern continues throughout the story, right to the surprising conclusion. Told in rollicking rhyme, this tale is sure to please the read-aloud crowd.
I love his book. It has a sing-song rhythm to it, and shows lots of different characters enjoying books. Great reading inspiration for young kids!

Monkey Puzzle
Product Description from Amazon.com:
"I've lost my mum!" "Hush, little monkey, don't you cry, I'll help you find her," said Butterfly. But somehow Butterfly keeps getting it wrong. Will monkey ever find his mum.
This story is really cute. Kids learn about specific features of animals, and the differences between them. 

Room on the Broom
Product Description from Amazon.com:
The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch's hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?
This one is a great selection for Hallowe'en, but is also fun year-round. It teaches kids that doing good deeds often leads to great friendships. Just as we help others in need, others will be there for us to lean on when we need help.

Visit Julia Donaldson's picture books page: http://juliadonaldson.co.uk/picturebooks.htm

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