Five Family Favorites with Jude Watson
The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 18, 2013
Jude Watson is the New York Times bestselling author of multiple books in the international bestselling The 39 Clues series. In October 2013, Watson will kick-off The 39 Clues: Unstoppable, a new story arc in the phenomenally popular multi-platform series which has more than 16 million copies in print.
Watson is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Last of the Jedi and Jedi Quest series. As Judy Blundell, she wrote What I Saw and How I Lied, the 2008 winner of The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She lives in Katonah, New York with her family.
Only five? Unfair! How can I choose between Frog and Toad and George and Martha? Between “The Big Red Barn” and Maurice Sendak? And it hurts to leave out the hours we’ve spent with Harry Potter, the feverish (literally, it was flu season) read-aloud of Rebecca Stead’s Liar & Spy, and how the audiobook of Holes helped us survive those dark, cold nights in a house without power during Hurricane Sandy. I don’t know what this family would do without books.
So Reader, I cheated. Cheerfully and without any guilt whatsoever. See below for a list of slightly-more-than-five family favorites. (And note how I folded in a few others, above. Heh.)
Oh, wise Margaret. What you do with simple words. How many times you have lulled both my daughter and me to sleep in a world where everything is exactly how it should be, under a sailing moon. And a weather vane, of course. A golden flying horse…
Ages 1-6 | Publisher: HarperCollins | April 4, 1989 | ISBN-13: 978-0694006243
There are alligators all around, you know. Apathy can get you swallowed by a lion. And what’s better than chicken soup with rice? I could have picked In the Night Kitchen or Outside Over There, but tiny fingers love tiny books. I loved these four stories as a child and so they are a sentimental favorite.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: HarperCollins | Oct. 10, 1962 | ISBN-13: 978-0060255008
(And all other mouse books by Kevin Henkes.)
By Kevin Henkes
It’s impossible to pick a favorite of these wonderful books. How can one choose between Chester’s Way and Sheila Rae the Brave andLilly’s Big Day? We’ve read them all, over and over and over and over again. If I’d read these before my daughter was born, I might have named her Chrysanthemum.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | Jan. 24, 2006 | ISBN-13: 978-0688128975
By Arnold Lobel
I am shamelessly cheating by lumping these books together, but what better way to teach us about friendship than through these cranky, stubborn, thoroughly devoted duos of amphibians and hippos? Around the Watson household, when one is determined to continue on path destined for ridiculous failure, the response is always this: “Martha didn’t say a word.”
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | Sept. 11, 1974 | ISBN-13: 978-0395199725
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | Feb. 18, 2003 | ISBN-13: 978-0064440202
By Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave MacKean
I’m cheating again here, because although we have read The Graveyard Book, I am really referring here to the audiobook, which is masterfully read by the author himself. Mr. Gaiman reads his book so delightfully, so movingly, so humorously, that I almost think if you haven’t heard his version of the story, you don’t really know it at all.
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Harper Festival | Sept. 30, 2008 | ISBN-13: 978-0061551895
Find out more about Jude Watson, visit: scholastic.com
The 39 Clues: Unstoppable, Available Now!