Off topic: Our favorite children’s book author

I don’t often blog about other things than sewing. But once in a while, I feel like sharing something different which I think might interest you.

Today, I’d like to write a bit about my (and Norah’s) favorite book author. Christopher Wormell is his name, and he has written and illustrated 14 books so far. And let me tell you: they are divine! I first heard about him when Mr. StraightGrain brought the Dutch translation of Ferocious Wild Beasts (‘Een Bos Vol Enge Wilde Beesten’) from the library.

Googling around a bit, I found out that the paperback versions of the English originals are actually super affordable online. And as they don’t contain that much text, they are perfectly suitable for non-native speakers to read to their children. At around €7 per book, the paperback versions cost only half of what the Dutch (or German, or Spanish, …) translations cost here in Europe. Over the past years, I bought Ferocious Wild Beasts, The Animal Train, George and the Dragon, Eric The Hero, Two Frogs, Off to Fair, Scruffy Bear and the Lost Ball, Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice, and One Smart Fish.

What is so great about these books? Firstly, there is the story. All these books have really clever stories, which always include an unexpected twist. The tales are funny and original, but never too complicated for an average 3- to 7-year old. And there is always a really sweet lesson, a witty resolution, or a lovely surprise. They are a joy to read to kids!

Secondly, there are the brilliant illustrations. All books contain incredibly rich and detailed pictures – the kind of pics you can just keep looking (and smiling) at.
My favorite illustrations are those in which the animals have a surprised or startled look on their faces. They are SO good. Check out this lion, when he hears from a little boy that there are ferocious wild beasts in the area (not realizing that he himself is one of those beasts the boy’s mom warned her son about).

Or have a look at these three animals, when they suddenly realise that Scruffy Bear tricked them.

If you have young kids and love reading original stories to them, I really recommend checking out Wormell’s work.

Are any of you familiar with these books already? Who is your favorite children’s book author?


21 thoughts on “Off topic: Our favorite children’s book author

  1. Oh, die kende ik niet, en daar zou ik bij de jongste zeker mee scoren! Ze kiest nu heel vaak de 'klassiekers' van grote beer en kleine beer, dus ik denk dat ze ook wel eens voor deze tekenstijl kan vallen. De oudste is – net als haar moeder – fan van het meer geometrische werk en zweert bij 'Tommie en de torenhoge boterham' en andere hersenspinsels van Pieter Gaudesaboos.

  2. Ik heb 'Joris en de draak'. Superboek! Ik lees het heel graag voor in mijn klas (mijn dochters zijn nog een beetje te jong..)
    De andere ken ik niet, toch eens opzoeken. Boekentips zijn altijd welkom..

  3. Oh, we have the Scruffy Bear and George and the Dragon – so wonderful.
    I need to go check some of the other stories as well 😉
    I've very picky with children books – a good story and illustrations that capture little one's imagination are a must 🙂

  4. We also have some favorite authors around here and one off them is Oliver Jeffers, he does amazing illustration and also writes the stories. We have several of his books and my little girl loves them (and me too). 🙂

  5. Such a great post – we are always on the lookout for great children's authors. My favourite Australian author is Pamela Allen, not sure how difficult her books are to access overseas. Wonderful, simple stories, although often with a gentle sadness too, gorgeous bright illustrations, and somehow really accessible to young children. They've been favourites of our children from the time they were 1, but our 4 year old still loves them.

  6. I love this, An! We are always looking for new books. Every week I put a bunch on hold at the library. Our library is all about the 'shushhhh' so going in with 5 kids… not so much. I am going to try to put these on hold now.

    Lately Iris is really into Pete the Cat books. Her favs are I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy buttons. You can also hear the audio version here –
    We liked them so much that we bought them and we rarely buy new books (we have a lot already!). But we do max out our library card. 🙂

  7. Yeah, we stopped going to the library when we kept getting fines for bringing books back late. Chaos and all. We figured that we'd better spend that money on books 🙂

    Pete the Cat looks lovely. Completely different style from Wormell, but really fun and Original!

  8. We read the Scruffy Bear's series and George and The Dragon, An. My children love animal characters stories like Betty Bunny, Ovide a l'ecole (by Carrie Weston), etc. Have you ever read “Dr de Soto” by William Steig? It's nice story too.

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