"I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers"
Books are our best friends and children’s authors are generally the ones who help us with inculcating a reading habit from an early age.
Books play a vital role in shaping our personalities and our lives and their benefits are numerous and well documented.
These days, kids have lots of distractions like social media, online games, OTT streaming platforms, etc. A youngster with a book has become a rare sight.
With studies and classes going online, reading books has become an even more cumbersome and outdated concept for children.
Famous children’s author Roald Dahl once said:
“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted.
“Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”
Parents know how beneficial books can be and often look for ways to initiate their children into reading. But not every child wants to read and it is often not an easy task.
However, there are ways this can be done. For example:
- Not forcing the child to read but leading by example
- Setting a scheduled time for reading
- Creating a reading area
- Providing a good collection of books by the best children’s writers
Here is what introducing your children to books can do:
- Widen a child’s knowledge base
- Expand the imagination
- Improve communication skills and vocabulary
- Improve comprehension skills
- Build a child’s personality
- Help in creative development
- Acts as escape and therapy while feeling dejected
- Decrease screen time and the harmful effects of Blue light
- Provide holistic insight on various subjects
- Develop a diversified world-view
In short, reading is a life skill. It is a gift that keeps on giving throughout one’s life.
Parents should take their children (who haven’t been to one) to a bookstore. Let them browse through different books. Allow them to pick up what they like.
This exposes them to a whole new world, full of fantasy, colour, knowledge and creativity.
This newfound autonomy (to choose one’s own book) is most often the catalyst in converting a youngster into a reader. Usually, the best book for a person is the one he/she reads for the first time.
If parents succeed in creating a reading habit in their children, building a library for them is the next thing to do.
We at DESIblitz have made a list of ten best children’s authors that your kids will absolutely cherish reading.
Many of these authors have written a variety of books that seem to grow with their readers; from children to young adults.
These writers offer a wide range of genres-light, silly, serious, humour, dark and everything in between. All of their books have their own cult following and are popular among different age groups.
These writers have been loved by generations after generations so you can pick up anything. By the end of it, your son or daughter will have a new favourite book and author for sure.
Children’s literature cannot be talked about without the mention of the British novelist Roald Dahl, arguably the best Children’s author of all time.
With almost 250 million copies sold worldwide, he has been referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century” by the Independent.
His writing had a lot of his own made-up vocabulary sprinkled with sly, surprisingly dark humour. The backdrop of the stories was almost always magical and imagined.
From a mysterious chocolate factory, land of the giants, outer space to the insides of a gigantic flying peach. Dahl’s world was always something of a marvel.
Dahl wrote indelible books for both children and adults and is responsible for some of children’s literature’s most memorable characters.
His stories are usually narrated by the child protagonist and that means your kids can delve right into the story.
His child hero mostly pushes back against the evil elders and always wins in the end. This makes up for a read that will inspire confidence and self-reliance in young children.
Some of the most renowned characters from children’s literature can also be found in Dahl’s world. The eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka, the telekinetic student Matilda, the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), the Witches, etc. are very popular among children.
Many of his books have been adapted into movies by the likes of Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton.
Roald Dahl is loved by many people around the world and will continue to be loved by generations to come.
Some of his famous works: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, The BFG.
English children’s author Enid Blyton is somebody probably everyone has heard of, even if they are not into reading.
Her books have been among the world’s best-selling books and have sold more than 600 million copies worldwide! Her books are so popular that they have been translated into 90 languages.
Blyton’s stories include genres like fantasy, mystery, biblical narratives among many others. You definitely must know the very famous cartoon character ‘Noddy’.
It was penned by Blyton in 1949 and it has gone on to become one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature.
Her books are perfect to teach kids about family values, fight against the wrong and just have magical and fun-filled adventures.
Her characters often meet fairies, pixies, elves, goblins and all sorts of mystical creatures in enchanted lands.
Enid’s protagonists are young, brave, adventurous and very curious, inspiring the young readers to be the same.
She also wrote The Famous Five and The Secret Seven series, where the group of friends often explore deserted places and solve mysteries.
In Blyton’s books, adults are often just onlookers and bystanders, a world where children shine and achieve great things.
Due to her massive following, her books have also been adapted for the stage, screen and television several times.
Famous works: The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Malory Towers, Noddy.
Robert Lawrence Stine, the American novelist and children’s author, is probably the odd one out in the whole list, yet one of the best.
Stine has been referred to as the “Stephen King of children’s literature” because most of his novels are horror and supernatural fiction.
Before people had sleepless nights because of films like The Conjuring and The Grudge, Stine’s Goosebumps series horrified them as kids.
The beloved author has written hundreds of horror fiction novels and Goosebumps has sold over 350 million books in English and about 50 million in 24 other languages.
Stine does not write sunny, conventional stories for children but delved into the niche of scary novels for teenagers.
He makes all sorts of monsters and supernatural entities come alive for the kids of the 90s through his characters. There are ghosts, zombies, werewolves, vampires, aliens, deadly cameras, you name it!
What initially attracted kids to the Goosebumps books were the iconic neon cover art and catchy titles they couldn’t forget.
In three consecutive years during the 1990s, Stine was named America’s number one best-selling author by USA Today.
In 2003, the Guinness Book of World Records named Stine as the best-selling children’s book series author of all time. Today, he is still writing books for both kids and adults.
His classic horror fiction novels were a staple in one’s book collection while growing up. This could turn out to be your child’s favourite genre too!
Famous works: The Haunted Mask, Night of the Living Dummy, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, One Day at Horrorland, The Fear Street series.
If you are a Harry Potter fan you got to check out Rick Riordon’s books. You get a taste of similar fantasy fiction but with a twist; Riordon’s books are set in mythological settings.
The American children’s author takes Greek, Norse and Egyptian Gods and the other related mythological creatures and wraps them up in teenage fiction.
He uses young adult parlance and transports children to this hybrid world- a mix of city and the mythical realms of the Gods.
His protagonists undertake exciting adventures and missions, fight fantasy-folkloric monsters and save the human and the mythical world.
Riordan is most known for his Percy Jackson & the Olympians series set in Greek mythology. It is about the teenager Percy who discovers he is a son of the Greek god Poseidon, hence a half-god, and his two best friends.
This series has been translated into 42 languages and has sold more than thirty million copies in the US.
Recently, 20th Century Fox adapted the first two books of the series as part of a film series of the same name. Both these books also won the Mark twain Award in 2008 and 2009.
The Percy Jackson books have spawned related media, such as graphic novels and short story collections.
Since the beginning of the 21st Century, Riordon has written two more series based on mythology.
The Kane Chronicles focuses on Egyptian mythology and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series is based on Norse Gods.
Rick Riordon is the perfect kind of author if your child is into mythology and monsters and likes a blend of the real with fantastical.
Famous works: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, The Trials of Apollo.
Lewis Carroll was an English children’s author, mathematician and poet. His real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and he used Carroll as his pen name.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass are his most popular works. They have a cult following in children’s and English literature worldwide.
Carroll’s writing style created a new genre ‘literary nonsense’ that paved the way for a different type of children’s writing.
In the 19th century, children’s books were mostly aimed at instilling morals in kids. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was different.
It wasn’t didactic, it did not instruct, it just took you on an adventure with fascinating animal characters.
Carroll employed satirical illusions, dream-like imagery, vivid picturisation and adept storytelling skills, something hitherto considered unimaginable in children’s books.
He was known to use fantasy mixed with real-life nuances and nonsensical elements to create a lasting impression on young readers.
His books have been translated on screen through the ages by the famed director Tim Burton and many others.
The author’s characters- the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter-are some of the most iconic characters known to children.
His book was published in 1865 and the fact that it has been a hit among kids since its inception is testimony to Carroll’s literary genius.
If you want your kid to have an imaginative and fertile mind with the ability to vividly describe things, give them a Lewis Carroll work.
Famous works: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, The Hunting of the Snark, Sylvie and Bruno.
Gore Vidal, the famous American writer and public intellectual hailed Edith Nesbit as the next best English fabulist after Lewis Carroll.
However, there is a difference between the two. While Carroll, like many others on this list, incorporated elements like secondary worlds, horror, macabre, Nesbit was more of a realist.
Her work was innovative in that it combined realistic, contemporary children in real-world settings with magical objects and adventures to fantastic worlds.
This genre now has a name; it’s classed as contemporary fantasy. For this reason, her biographer, Julia Briggs, called her “the first modern writer for children”.
Edith did not write for children, but about them. Her books consume you as a kid and stay with you even in adulthood. Her books make you feel significant. A quality of any great children’s author.
She was known for her economic use of words and phrases and her unmatched ability to conjure up, in Noel Coward’s words, a”hot summer day in the English countryside”.
Nesbit has influenced a lot of writers, many of whom have gone on to become the biggest names in children’s literature.
Some of these admirers are Gore Vidal, Noel Coward, P.L. Travers, Michael Moorcock, Edward Eager and J.K. Rowling. C. S. Lewis was also influenced by her in writing the Narnia series, which is next on this list.
If you are looking for some books to influence a great kid – or if you just want to read some classics, E. Nesbit is the right author to start with.
Famous works: The Story of the Treasure Seekers, The Railway Children, Five Children and It.
Clive Staples Lewis was an Irish author and scholar. Lewis is known for his work on medieval literature, Christian apologetics and children’s fiction.
He is considered as one of the intellectual big shots of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day.
He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University and Cambridge University, England’s premier academic institutions.
Lewis’s most notable and famous work is his most widely known book, the children’s fantasy The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The book became a massive hit and the children’s author went on to write six additional stories.
This series of books later came to be known as The Chronicles of Narnia, one of the cult classics of children’s fantasy literature. Narnia is the name of the fantasy otherworld in Lewis’s work and is home to magical creatures.
The series has sold over 100 million copies in 41 languages. It has also been adapted several times for radio, television, stage and cinema.
The Narnia books contain Christian ideas intended to be easily read and understood by young readers.
In addition to Christian elements, Lewis also uses characters from Greek and Roman mythology, as well as traditional fairy tales.
He writes in a lucid way that both young and adult readers get engrossed in the vivid imagery of the world he creates.
Lewis wrote more than 30 books which have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.
Famous works: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, The Space Trilogy.
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett was a British-American novelist and playwright. She wrote mostly for adults but is primarily remembered for being a children’s author.
Her best-known works are the three children’s novels -Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden.
Burnett was the best-known and highest-paid woman author of her time. Her children’s writing is mostly attributed to sentimental fiction.
Her novel Little Lord Fauntleroy became so famous that after it was published, Fauntleroy fashion suits, merchandise, chocolates and playing cards gained huge popularity.
Transformation stories and sentimental narratives were quite popular during the time Burnett wrote in America. Her books are a perfect example of this genre.
Her book, The Secret Garden, went on to become a children’s classic. It is a pastoral story of self-healing and belief that is admired by love from children.
Burnett’s children’s books embody values that the kids need and can relate to. Examples of resilience, growth, honesty, courage and determination in her books influence not only the kids, but also the adults.
The child protagonists in her books rise above adversity and show the power of imagination and positive thinking.
Her stories also pay homage to nature and its power to transform people and its effect on the human spirit.
Her books have a calming, restorative and healing effect on the young readers and perhaps this is the secret of her popularity even today. Your kids will love Burnett’s stories if they are the introvert and nature-loving kind.
Famous works: Sara Crewe, The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Eva Michelle Ibbotson was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children’s books. Some of her novels for adults have been reissued for young adults in recent years because of her popularity as a children’s author.
Her most famous work, the historical novel Journey to the River Sea won her the Smarties Prize. She also garnered an unusual commendation as runner-up for the Guardian Prize and made it to several other shortlists.
Ibbotson has enraptured young readers with stories effortlessly made from an endless source of imagination. Her books are loved by both children and adults for being descriptively vivid, imaginative and perfectly timed wit.
Ibbotson wrote more than a dozen books for children, many of which were nominated for various awards in British children’s literature.
Her books Which Witch? and Journey to the River Sea are held in the WorldCat libraries in more than ten languages.
Ibbotson writes in the juvenile fantasy genre, employing magical creatures and places, tied together with humour and imagination.
She wanted to decrease the fear of the supernatural among her readers and hence created such characters. reflect Ibbotson’s love of nature.
Just like Frances Hodgson Burnett, Ibbotson love for nature is also reflected in her work. She had also said she disliked “financial greed and a lust for power” and the bad guys in her book can be seen having these characteristics.
Her books are best known for an epic journey into the unknown, memorable characters, and a mystical setting.
The author’s fantasy stories are great for kids who like magic, witches and wizards, frothy wit and fascinating creatures.
Famous works: Which Witch?, Journey to the River Sea, The Secret of Platform 13, The Great Ghost Rescue.
Neil Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books and much more. His best-known work includes the groundbreaking comic book series The Sandman and novels American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.
He has been honoured internationally with awards like the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards. Gaiman has also won the most prestigious accolade in America as a children’s author-Newbery and Carnegie medals.
It is rightly said that either you are a Gaiman fan, who knows everything about him, or you haven’t heard of him.
His writing style has a cult following; Dictionary of Literary Biography listed him as one of the top 10 living post-modern writers. This feat is not ordinary for a children’s writer.
When it comes to a particular genre, Gaiman does not fall into a particular category. However, Fantasy and Fiction are the two broad categories that go with his writing.
He uses horror, fairytales, folklore, and blends everything with such finesse that it reaches audiences of all ages.
When you are reading a Gaiman novel there are endless possibilities; there is nothing predictable about his stories. Yet, his descriptions are deep, fulfilling and short.
Gaiman has himself said that he was inspired by the likes of Lewis Carroll and C.S Lewis, the other two writers on the list.
His work is definitely not for the faint of heart though. If your child enjoys a distinct writing style with allusions and dark undertones running through a novel. Gaiman is your guy.
Famous works: The Sandman, Neverwhere, Coraline, The Graveyard Book.
So grab any of these books by these widely loved children’s authors and set them on an adventure. We promise they will never want to return.