Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Book Club

Sometimes dinner conversation with the kids lacks a certain zip. I ask questions, the kids reluctantly give me one-word answers, we chew and swallow. Eventually Allie cries about some great crime against humanity, like the fact that there's broccoli on her plate.

Tonight, though, was like the Algonquin Kiddie Table. I started by asking the kids who their favorite authors were. Sean replied, immediately: "Chris Van Allsburg!" From there on, the names and titles flew about -- and when I thought their interest was waning, Sean said, "But wait! There are more authors!"

I was impressed with how many names the kids knew, either on their own or with a few hints.

Here's the list we came up with, in no particular order, augmented with the kids' favorite books by the authors.

Mo Willems: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny
Jez Alborough: Duck in the Truck, Fix-it Duck
Chris Van Allsburg: The Polar Express, Zathura
Cynthia Rylant: Henry and Mudge books, Mr. Putter and Tabby books
James Marshall: George and Martha, The Cut-ups
Bill Peet: The Caboose Who Got Loose, Kermit the Hermit
EB White: Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little
Mark Brown: Arthur's Pet Business, Arthur's Sleepover
Laura Ingalls Wilder: Little House in the Big Woods
Kevin Henkes: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysanthemum
Ian Falconer: Olivia
William Steig: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Brave Irene
Patricia Polacco: When Lightning Came in a Jar, Something about Hensley's
Susan Meddaugh: Martha Speaks, Martha Calling
Lisa Campbell Ernst: Bubba and Trixie, Squirrel Park
Doreen Cronin: Diary of a Worm, Click Clack Moo
Graeme Base: The Waterhole, Jungle Drum
Beverly Cleary: Ramona the Pest
Lynn Plourde: Book Fair Day, Pajama Day
Paulette Bourgeois: Franklin and the Thunderstorm, Franklin's Secret Club
Mem Fox: Where Is the Green Sheep?
Dr Seuss: The Lorax, The Sneetches
Mary Pope Osborne: Magic Treehouse books
Joanna Cole: Magic School Bus books
The Rev. W. Awdry: Thomas the Tank Engine
Kate DiCamillo: Mercy Watson to the Rescue
Bernard Waber: Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, Ira Sleeps Over

Readers' Favorites:
From Mayberry:
Judy Schachner: Skippyjon Jones

From Kate:
Monica Wellington: Pizza at Sally's, Firefighter Frank
Nancy Elizabeth Wallace: Apples, Apples, Apples; Trees, Trees, Trees
Lucy Micklethwait: I Spy
Holly Keller: Pearl's New Skates

From Don Mills Diva:
PD Eastman: Llama Llama Red Pyjama, Sam and the Firefly

From Alison:
Robert Munsch: Alligator Baby, Stephanie's Ponytail, Moira's Birthday Party
Barbara Reid: The Party

From Liesl:
Kevin Lewis: My Truck Is Stuck

From CCW:
Allan Ahlberg: The Runaway Dinner, The Jolly Postman

From Camille:
Linda Sue Park: Bee Bim Bop
Frank Asch, Margaret Wise Brown, Eric Carle, Donald Crews, Todd Parr

After we were done, I came up with a lot of other authors we've loved that we didn't even mention: Peggy Rathman, Kate Lum, Amy Hest, Maurice Sendak, Arnold Lobel, Peggy Parish, Shel Silverstein, AA Milne, Jean Van Leeuwen, Steven Kellogg, Mercer Mayer....

Care to offer your kid(s)' own favorites? I'll add them to this post -- I imagine it'd be quite a cool resource to have, what with all you literate readers out there!

Edited to add: I don't want to give the impression that my kids knew all these authors -- they knew a lot of them, but often they knew just the books, after I supplied the author. And in a few cases they just nodded in recognition when I supplied author and title...