HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Two Authors Share Six Family Favorite Kids Books

Two Authors Share Six Family Favorite Kids Books

The Children’s Book Review | June 19, 2018

Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick Share Their Family Favorites

Though our kids were raised thousands of miles from each other – Liz’s in Texas and Audrey’s in New Jersey – they had in common a steady, nourishing diet of children’s books. It is true that some of the books, the ones they HAD to hear EVERY night, may be remembered both fondly and also through the gritted teeth of a parent needing to get a child to sleep. But it would be impossible not to look back on those days wistfully, with the magic of the books we shared and explored and loved deeply. The details our children noticed that the adult reader might have missed are the very things they remember to this day.

Audrey Vernick’s Family Favorites

AUDREY VERNICK is the author of over twenty books for young readers, including Unlike Other MonstersIs Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?First Grade Dropout, and the co-written Bob, Not Bob!.


Written by Alice McLerran

Illustrated by Barbara Cooney

I am terrible at picking favorites, but if I had to, here it is. I think my kids would say the same. The freedom, the genuine kid play and the magic such play evokes, the always heart-wrenchingly beautiful illustrations by Barbara Cooney. My kids are grown but still speak of Roxaboxen with great reverence.

Order a Copy NowIndieboundAmazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2004 | ISBN-13: 978-0060526337

Fair Ball- 14 Great Stars from Baseball's Negro LeagueFair Ball: 14 Great Stars from Baseball’s Negro League

Written by Jonah Winter

This book opened my eyes and my son’s to players we’d never heard of and couldn’t wait to learn more about. We retained odd little details–Boojum Wilson was so MEAN, Cool Papa Bell was so fast “he could turn off the light and be in bed before it was dark.” Maybe not your typical bedtime fare, but it hit the spot for baseball-loving readers.

Order a Copy Now:  | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 7+ | Publisher: Scholastic | 1999 | ISBN-13: 978-0590394642


Written and Illustrated by Kevin Henkes

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect book. This is the one my daughter still quotes. While the teasing Chrysanthemum endures at school is what drives this book, her parents’ pure devotion to and love of their perfect mouse-daughter is the big take-away. Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum.

Order a Copy NowIndieboundAmazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | 1991 |  ISBN-13: 978-0688096991

Liz Garton Scanlon’s Family Favorites

LIZ GARTON SCANLON is the author of many beloved books, including Caldecott Honor book All the World, and her debut middle grade novel, The Great Good Summer. This is her second collaboration with Audrey Vernick—the first was Bob, Not Bob! illustrated by Matthew Cordell.

The Seven Silly EatersThe Seven Silly Eaters

Written by Mary Ann Hoberman

Illustrated by Marla Frazee

Long before I imagined that Marla Frazee might some day illustrate a book of mine, my family was entranced by those seven silly Peters! Along with absolutely spot-on rhyme, there’s just something about the messes and demands and frustrations of a family co-existing with deep, funny, unconditional love. And Marla’s depiction of that rambly home? Who wouldn’t want to live there?

Order a Copy NowIndieboundAmazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2000 |  ISBN-13: 978-0152024406

Farmer DuckFarmer Duck

Written by Martin Waddell

Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

There is still not a chore day that goes by at our house without one of us calling out to another, “How goes the work?” only to be answered with a satisfying, “Quack!” Part barnyard romp, part social justice manifesto, we loved this book celebrating the underdog, er, duck.

Order a Copy NowIndieboundAmazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Candlewick | 2017 (Reprint) |  ISBN-13: 978-0763695613

Snow by Uri ShulevitzSnow

Written and Illustrated by Uri Shulevitz

This perfect book taught me more about the abiding hope that our children bring to the table than any parenting guide ever could’ve. All four of us had the spare text memorized – we knew it that well – and still, we were surprised and delighted every time we turned the page to see those flakes come down in earnest. Snow.

Order a Copy NowIndieboundAmazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Square Fish | 2004 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0374468620

Dear-SubstituteDear Substitute

Written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick

Illustrated by Chris Raschka

Publisher’s Synopsis: When a substitute teacher named Miss Pelly comes to class, one student bristles at the change in routine-Miss Pelly doesn’t follow the rules like Mrs. Giordano. But in time, our student learns that even though the substitute may do things a little differently, and she may be a bit silly, mixing things up might not be so bad.

Told in a series of epistolary poems, this funny, relatable picturebook is a great fit for classrooms and for any child nervous about new experiences.

Ages 5-6 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | June 19, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1484750223

Available Here: 

Learn More

Visit Liz Garton Scanlon online at lizgartonscanlon.com or on twitter at @LGartonScanlon.

Find Audrey Vernick online at audreyvernick.com or on twitter at @yourbuffalo.


Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, authors of Dear Substitute, selected these six family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with .

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The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

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