In her essay for the New York Times Book Review today – “An Author Perfect for Now” – Ann Patchett talks about discovering award winning children’s book author Kate DiCamillo. Amazingly, Patchett had never read any of DiCamillo’s books. And her comment made me realize – not everyone knows about the wonders of children’s books.
Reminded of my traveling days when a good children’s book would carry me away and pass the long hours on a flight, I thought of the time I was surreptitiously reading Dahl’s BFG, trying to hide the cover from my seat mate, or the happy discovery of a discarded old Flat Stanley in the waiting area of an airport. But, it seems, adults do not read children’s books – unless they are reading a story to a child, If Ann Patchett had never read Kate DiCamillo, probably many well read adults had missed her too – along with Maurice Sendak, Beverly Cleary, Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson, Scott O’Dell, E.L. Konigsburg, and more.
With my attention span wavering between Saki’s short stories and the New Yorker’s one frame cartoons, a children’s book seems a likely diversion.
What’s your favorite children’s book?
If you are looking for ideas for reading, I have a list of children’s books I’ve reviewed. The top three are written by Kate DiCamillo. Click here for a list of children’s books