Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Love of Children's Books in High School

Two posts today.
Don't forget to read about how I met Tedd Arnold after this post.

High school is where my serious love of children's books began, and I started to explore the idea of becoming a Children's Librarian. (Why did I ever steer off of that path!!?)

During my early high school years my mother bought me Animalia by Graeme Base which is one of the most richly illustrated books I had ever seen!

Animalia is what really opened my eyes to the idea that children's book illustration is a form of art!
Here is the Graeme Base Website, author/illustrator of Animalia and many other books.

The book below was given to me by a friend my Sophomore year. It was a great help in learning about illustrators of the past. I learned about the Caldecott Medal and Randolph Caldecott himself and studied the illustrations of Kate Greenaway, Arthur Rackham, and E.H. Shepard. And I did it all without the internet! The Williston Library had a fantastic biography of Kate Greenaway!

The Golden Age of Children's Book Illustration by Richard Dalby

The Golden Age of Children's Book Illustration contains small biographies of a number of illustrators (56 different illustrators to be exact).
Here are just a few of my favorites. Click on each name and you will be taken to Project Gutenberg where you can see a copy of one of their books! Isn't technology wonderful!?

Leslie L. Brooke

During my Senior year my English teacher had our class do a number of activities involving children's literature. We had a speech assignment which involved learning a children's book and reading it aloud to an elementary class. I chose Whose Mouse Are You by Robert Kraus and Illustrated by Jose Aruego. My mother read this book to my brother and me when we were kids. It's a great read-aloud and I still love it!

Along with learning a book, we had to recite a poem from memory. I chose The Duel by Eugene Field, otherwise known as The Gingham Dog and The Calico Cat.
I believe I froze behind the podium the first time (no big surprise there), but was given another go and did fine the second time.

My Senior year is also the year I was able to meet one of my favorite authors, Tedd Arnold!


  1. Hi, can i ask you something? I’m looking for children books with “scary” animal illustrations like the big bad wolf (or a fox) eating pigs (or seven kids or Red Riding hood or birds in Chicken Little) or being pictured with a fat stomach. Could be any other animal as well. Have you seen any book of this sort? Any sort of help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Great blog, by the way!

    1. Thanks for liking my blog, Reese!
      The first book that comes to mind is The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, Illustrated by Lane Smith. It was written in 1989 but is still in print and is available on Amazon.
      The book is written in the perspective of the wolf and the illustrations in Three Pigs are kinda creepy (sorry Lane Smith) with rabbit ears sticking out of a pot of stew, etc. The wolf also eats the first two pigs and there is a picture of the wolf's fat stomach. The story is pretty funny, and might be what you are looking for. This author/illustrator duo also did The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, which is also pretty good.
      Hope that helps!

    2. It surely does help, thank you!