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Ten Picture Book Authors
Every Childcare Provider Should Know

Compiled by Kathleen T. Horning and Megan Schliesman
© 2004 Cooperative Children's Book Center

The ten individuals listed below consistently create high-quality, appealing picture books for young children. Books by each of these individuals should be available at or through your local public library.

1. Molly Bang excels at using shape, color, and simple language to introduce themes and concepts that are essential in the lives of young children.

2. Kate Banks writes lyrical texts that ingeniously connect small children to the larger world through familiar daily routines that are comforting.

3. Byron Barton might best be described as a minimalist. Barton's simple, brightly colored illustrations are captivating, and there's never an extra word or line in his crowd-pleasing stories that often center on machines.

4. Donald Crews, the favorite author of many two-year-olds, writes and illustrates boldly colored books about favorite topics such as planes, trains, and trucks. His detailed illustrations are accompanied by nearly wordless texts invite a lot of participation. His book design always reinforces left-to-right movement across the page.

5. Denise Fleming uses distinctive collage style illustrations featuring handmade paper and batik in her books, which draw from the natural world to tell stories that appeal to preschoolers. Her expert pacing and playful use of language make for great read-alouds.

6. Pat Hutchins excels at using developmental tasks and easy concepts as the building blocks for her engaging stories. Her use of repeition, perfectly paced texts, and clear, boldy colored illustrations make her books perfect for group story times.

7. Angela Johnson's quiet stories generally revolve around contemporary family life and feature African Americans.

8. Ann Jonas combines simple concepts with the drama of everyday life to create appealing, child-centered sotries. Her books frequently show biracial children and are full of familiar objects in a child's world.

9. Keiko Kasza uses animal characters and humor to tell entertaining sotires about characters in conflict. Her resolutions are often surprising and always satisfying.

10. Lynn Reiser's genius is to make complex, multilayered picture books completely accessible to young children by remaining true to their interests and abilities. Her warm stories are accompanied by colorful, expressive art.

Below we have listed four books by each author to provide a sampling of their work for young children.

Other CCBC bibliographies featuring recommended books for young children.


Click on underlined book titles to see the CCBC review of the book, and/or the cover image.
Complete list of CCBC bibliographies


Bang, Molly. *Ten, Nine, Eight. Greenwillow, 1987.

Bang, Molly. When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry.... Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1999. 36 pages. Ages 2 - 7

Bang, Molly. Yellow Ball. William Morrow, 1991. 24 pages. Ages 1-3

Banks, Kate. And If the Moon Could Talk. Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben. U.S. edition: Frances Foster /FSG, 1998. 40 pages. Ages 3 - 6

Banks, Kate. Baboon. Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben. U.S. edition: Frances Foster / FSG, 1997. 26 pages. Ages 2 - 4

Banks, Kate. Close Your Eyes. Illustrated by Georg Hallensleban. Frances Foster Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002. 32 pages. Ages 2 - 4

Banks, Kate. The Night Worker. Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben. Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000. 32 pages. Ages 2 - 5

Barton, Byron. The Three Bears. HarperCollins, 1991. 32 pages. Ages 2 - 4

Barton, Byron. I Want To Be an Astronaut. Thomas Y. Crowell, 1988. 32 pages. Ages 3-6

Barton, Byron. Machines at Work. Crowell, 1987. 32 pages.

Barton, Byron. My Car. Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins, 2001. 32 pages. Ages 1 - 3

Crews, Donald. Freight Train. Greenwillow, 1978.

Crews, Donald. Parade. Greenwillow, 1983. For ages 6 months - 4 years

Crews, Donald. School Bus. Greenwillow, 1984.

Fleming, Denise. The Everything Book. Henry Holt, 2000. 64 pages. Ages 1 - 3

Fleming, Denise. Mama Cat Has Three Kittens. Holt, 1998. 32 pages. Ages 2 - 6

Hutchins, Pat. My Best Friend. Greenwillow, 1993. 32 pages. Ages 2-4

Hutchins, Pat. Shrinking Mouse. Greenwillow, 1997. 32 pages. Ages 2 - 6

Hutchins, Pat. *Titch. Greenwillow, 1971.

Hutchins, Pat. The Very Worst Monster. Greenwillow, 1985. 32 pages.

Johnson, Angela. Do Like Kyla. Illustrated by James Ransome. Orchard Books, 1990. 32 pages. Ages 2-5

Johnson, Angela. When I Am Old with You. Illustrated by David Soman. Orchard, 1990. 32 pages. Ages 3-6

Johnson, Angela. Julius. Illustrated by Dav Pilkey. Orchard, 1993. 32 pages. Ages 4-7

Jonas, Ann. Now We Can Go. Greenwillow, 1986. 24 pages. Ages 1 - 5

Jonas, Ann. Two Bear Cubs. Greenwillow, 1982.

Jonas, Ann. *When You Were a Baby. Greenwillow, 1982.

Jonas, Ann. Where Can It Be?. Greenwillow, 1986. 32 pages. Ages 2-5

Kasza, Keiko. A Mother for Choco. Putnam, 1992.

Kasza, Keiko. *The Wolf's Chicken Stew. Putnam, 1987.

Kasza, Keiko. The Rat and the Tiger. Putnam, 1993. 32 pages. Ages 2-5

Kasza, Keiko. My Lucky Day. Putnam, 2003. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

Reiser, Lynn. The Surprise Family. Greenwillow, 1994. 32 pages. Ages 3-6


This list may be reproduced and distributed by educational and/or nonprofit organizations so long as credit is given to the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.



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