Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Ask an Author: What's your favorite children's book?
Hazel: This is a difficult question for me because I’m rather like the child who names as his best friend whomever he has just been playing with. Lately I’ve enjoyed Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series, Rick Riordan’s The Olympians series and Christopher Paolini’s The Inheritance Series (can you see a pattern here?). But my favorite book(s), at the moment, are the Harry Potter books. I return to them again and again, for inspiration, entertainment and sheer wonder at the breadth and depth of J. K. Rowling’s boundless imagination and her ability to make the richness of the wizarding world she created come alive in the words of her books.
Brian: I love A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. I love the way Milne introduces us to a hapless stuffed bear who tries to think of a better way to come downstairs as he’s being dragged by the feet, head bumping each stair, on his way to his own stories. I love Milne’s dry, understated humor. I love the poems he gives Pooh to recite throughout his adventures. And I love the way Milne creates suspense and drama without any real conflict – a remarkable feat (and I think a hallmark of great children’s literature). In my early adult years Benjamin Hoff reintroduced me to Pooh and friends in his amazing book, The Tao of Pooh, and I came to appreciate the depth of A.A. Milne’s masterpiece on an even deeper level.
Lana: I'm with Hazel--it's so hard to choose one. I have a long list of favorites, but I think I'd have to say The Giver by Lois Lowry. That book works on so many levels. The spare writing is perfect for the character and the theme. The ideas really make the reader think and question. Even the open ending, which I normally don't like, was perfect for this story. This is the kind of book that you either love or hate, and I definitely loved it.
What about you? What's your favorite children's book?