Books Children’s Authors Liked When They Were Kids

Did you ever wonder what your favorite children’s authors and illustrators read when they were little?  I was curious so I set off on a mission to find out what books inspired them as youngsters.  This was a pretty labor intensive project, but I got to chat with some fun folks and got to explore lots of author and illustrator websites and interviews.

So, here we have books that our favorite authors and illustrators read when they were kids!

What did your favorite children's author read as a kid?  Here is the inside scoop from

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Children’s Authors and Their Favorite Books

The amazing Mo Willems has created so many wonderful books including the Elephant & Piggie books, Knuffle Bunny and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  Willems says that he wasn’t much of a reader when he was young.  But, he did enjoy the Charlie Brown Peanuts comic strip.

I had a nice little chat with Drew Daywalt author of The Day the Crayons Quit on Twitter the other day.  His favorite book as  a boy was Dr. Seuss’ What Was I Scared Of?: A Glow in the Dark Adventure.  He also loved books by Roald Dahl and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien.

Linda Sue Park is the author of Xander’s Panda Party and Bee Bim Bop which are two of our all-time favorite books.  Park enjoyed reading Rain Makes Applesauce by Julian Scheer and Over and Over by Charlotte Zolotow.

Todd Parr has written and illustrated numerous books in his super colorful style.  His newest book is It’s Okay to Make Mistakes.  He said when he was little, he liked to read Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman.

You can also see an interview I did with Todd Parr and Zoobean last year where I ask him about his favorite books.

I adore Karma Wilson’s books.  Bear Says Thanks and Horseplay! are just two that top our list.  Wilson told me that one of her favorite books as a child was Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Eric Carle author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar  and many more classics enjoyed reading Mickey Mouse and Flash Gordon when he was a child.
Patricia Polacco another all-time favorite of mine loved books as a child.  One of her many favorites included The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

Chris Van Allsburg author and illustrator of The Polar Express was a fan of Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
Anna Dewdney is the author of all the Llama Llama books.  She said that she can still remember her dad reading her the Winnie the Pooh books.
Loren Long is the author and illustrator of the Otis books.   Our family is super excited about the new Otis book coming out- Otis and the Scarecrow this fall.   As a child he enjoyed reading The Little Engine That Could, The Poky Little Puppy and Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel.
What book do you think your child will look back on and say was their favorite?

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About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. This is such a fun list! We haven’t read Linda Sue Park’s favorites. Must check them out!

  2. What a super idea for a post! I’ve never heard of Drew’s Seuss choice before. Love the idea of a glow in the dark Seuss book. Will def have to find a copy to share with my kids. Thanks Jodie!

  3. What a great list. How cool to hear author’s favorites! Thank you for sharing at the After School Linky Party!

  4. What a fun post! Thanks for doing so much legwork for that. Thanks for sharing this on Booknificent Thursday! Hope to see you again this week!

  5. This is so interesting! Thanks for linking up to the Love to Learn Linky!


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