After reading Alexandra Alter’s front page article for the Sunday New York Times – “Masters of Prose, Warming Up to Picture Books” – I thought about authors who have managed both adult and children’s books successfully.
Roald Dahl, famous for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and whose children’s book The BFG (big friendly giant) is coming out in film soon, first attracted me with his short stories about World War II (Dahl was a fighter pilot in the war) with their eerie endings. Dahl’s “Beware of the Dog ” is one of my favorites – you can read it here.
Alter’s article mentions famous authors crossing over into writing children’s books, including Jane Smiley, Calvin Trillin, and Elena Ferrante. James Joyce, Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, and James Baldwin are also mentioned. I’m looking forward to reading Trillin’s funny book of poetry for children and the elusive Ferrante’s scary book.
Here is a list of the titles:
James Baldwin’s Little Man Little Man
Elena Ferrante’s The Beach at Night
James Joyce’s The Cat and the Devil
Jane Smiley’s Twenty Yawns
Calvin Trillin’s No Fair No Fair with illustrations by Roz Chast)
John Updike’s A Child’s Calendar
Kurt Vonnegut’s Sun Moon Star
And did you know Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the story of a magical car made famous by Disney, was written by Ian Fleming – the creator of James Bond stories?