Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A is for Amazing Authors by Lynne Benton

This month I’ve decided to start writing about favourite children’s authors in alphabetical order, from Andersen to Zephania.  (This, I realise, will keep me going for quite a few more blogs in the future, which can’t be bad!)

Accordingly I started making a list of Favourite authors, and discovered that some initial letters seem to provide considerably more authors than others – (For example, without even trying I could think of about 22 authors whose surnames began with B!) while I couldn’t think of any Qs, Xs, or even Ys (though I’m sure someone will immediately come up with someone extremely famous who I really should have remembered!)

Here is a selection of children’s writers whose surnames begin with A:

Hans Andersen, who inspired so many children (and writers) with his wonderful fairy tales, many of which seem nowadays to have acquired the status of “traditional”.  I was indignant when someone, objecting to a complaint about “The Little Mermaid” being reworked by Disney, said, “Well it’s not as if anyone actually wrote it.”  Poor Hans Andersen!

Louisa M Alcott, who wrote “Little Women” (and its sequels), about four girls called Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy during the American Civil War.  It has been beloved by generations of children all over the world ever since it was written in 1868.

Jane Austen, whose books aren’t really for children, though older children and young adults are regularly introduced to them in their teens at school and usually become huge fans for the rest of their lives.  The popularity of her books, especially “Pride and Prejudice,” seems to increase year on year, and they have all been made into films or television series.

Reverend Awdry, of “Thomas the Tank Engine” fame.  Although slightly dated now, his many books about Thomas and his friends are still immensely popular, especially with small boys who like trains.  The television series, narrated by Ringo Starr, didn’t do them any harm either.

Joan Aiken – her historical books, most famously “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase”, are perennial favourites.

Allan Ahlberg – who has not introduced “Each Peach Pear Plum” (the book he wrote with his late wife Janet) to their babies?  Not to mention “The Jolly Postman”, and his many books of poetry, such as “Heard it in the Playground”.

Edward Ardizzone – who wrote and illustrated “Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain”, among others, and whose wonderful illustrations for other people’s books are now legendary.

Bernard Ashley, who, as a London primary school headmaster has a wealth of knowledge of today’s children, has written many realistic books that children can identify with, for example “The Trouble with Donovan Croft.”

Richard Adams, whose epic story about rabbits, “Watership Down”, created huge interest when it was first published and then made into a film, and has raised the awareness of children about man’s relationship with the natural world.

David Almond, whose book “Skellig” won many prizes when it was first published, is now among the most popular of modern writers for children.

This is a small selection of writers I could have chosen, and I apologise if I’ve left out your favourite.

More next month (though I promise I won’t write about all 22 B’s!)


Joan Lennon said...

Great idea, Lynne - not having to worry about what to write about for 26 months for you, and pleasant re-visitings for us! (Come back to me when you hit Y and I'll give a hand ...)

michelle kogan said...
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Penny Dolan said...

Lovely to be reminded of these titles. Thanks!

Helen Larder said...

Lovely! Thanks, Lynne xxxx

Lynne Benton said...

Thank you, everyone - and Joan, I may well get back to you when I reach Y! (I thought I'd posted this comment on the 14th, but somehow it didn't show up. Sorry about the delay!)