Top 5 Children’s Books
The votes are in! During the last week in August, viewers voted for their favorite children’s book, and not surprisingly, some familiar names made the Top 5 list. Here they are!
Coming in at 5th place – Where The Wild Things Are
By Maurice Sendak
A fascinating author, Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn to Polish Jewish immigrant parents. Because he was a sickly child, he spent a great deal of time reading. Then when he was 12, he saw Disney’s Fantasia and a whole world of imagination opened up to him! He began drawing, composing, creating anything at all that would help him into the publishing world. As an adult, he began illustrating comic books, and then in 1963 his work, “Where the Wild Things Are was published. At first, parents were concerned about the toothy characters, but children have consistently asked for this classic throughout the generations.
Sailing in for 4th place – Goodnight Moon
By Margaret Wise Brown
Margaret Wise Brown was not the warm, maternal children’s author you may be expecting. In fact, her personal life was quite surprising. She was born in 1910 in Brooklyn and died at a relatively early age in 1952. When asked if she liked bunnies she replied, “Well, I don’t especially like children, either. At least not as a group. I won’t let anybody get away with anything just because he is little.” Nevertheless, her books have endeared her to many children and parents. She also published under the pseudonyms Timothy Hay, Golden MacDonald, and Juniper Sage.
Give it up for 3rd place – The Giving Tree
By Shel Silverstein
Finally, an author who was born outside of Brooklyn! Shel Silverstein was born on September 25, 1930, in Chicago. In 1950 he enlisted in the Army and illustrated cartoons for The Stars and Stripes. When his stint was up, he published cartoons for “Playboy” from 1957 to the mid 70s. Also through that time he was composing songs, such as “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash and “One’s on the Way” for Loretta Lynn. At the urging of a publisher, he authored his first children’s book, Uncle Shelby’s Story of Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back. When he authored The Giving Tree, it was initially rejected by publishers because the intent was unclear and the audience was ambiguous. Was it for children or adults? Regardless of the answer, children have consistently asked for Silverstein’s books.
Rolling in at 2nd place – I’ll Love You Forever
By Robert Munsch
Robert Munsch was born on June 11, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After a less than stellar academic performance in high school, he spent most of his time writing poems and intended to become a Priest. Apparently he overcame his frustrations with academia though, because while he was studying with the Jesuits, he also was obtaining a Masters in Anthropology. After this degree, he decided that he wanted to work in a daycare. (I’m not making this up people, he tells his story for the world to read on his website http://robertmunsch.com/about). It was while he was making up stories for the children’s circle time, that the seed was planted to create children’s books.
And finally, 1st place – Oh the Places You’ll Go!
By Dr. Seuss
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss, was born in 1904 in Massachusetts. A prolific writer, at the time of his death on September 24, 1991, Ted had written and illustrated 44 children’s books. Oh the Places You’ll Go, published in 1990 was the last of his books to be published and is a common gift for graduating seniors. A fitting gift indeed, with lines like, “Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed. (983⁄4% guaranteed.)”