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6 Children's Book Authors Influencing Child Development

Children’s books are pieces of art and take a lot of hard work to create and write. The author must be able to write in a clear, concise style that captivates the imagination, but also still fit with the storyline.

Reading plays a major role in the growth and development of children. In fact, children who have reading materials are able to develop basic reading skills like letter and word identification, phonemic awareness, and completion of sentences, according to a Learning Point study Children’s Access to Print Material and Education Related Outcomes.

The following authors have written extensively in the world of children’s books. Each can be followed through social media and maybe even provide inspiration to you, your children or future students.

1. Mem Fox


As Australia’s most loved picture book author, Fox has written over 40 books for children. Some of her most popular books include; Possum Magic, Time for Bed, Whoever You Are, and The Magic Hat. Most recently, Fox was a featured speaker at NAEYC’s annual conference.

Fox believes that by reading aloud to children, we can wipe out illiteracy within one generation. Many early childhood educators agree that reading aloud to a child can help a child’s brain development, speech skills and cultivate a love for reading.

2. Kevin Henkes

Influenced at a young age by art museums and books, Kevin Henkes is a Caldecott Medal winner for children’s books and illustrations. His first book, All Alone, was published in 1981 but Henkes’ 1994 book Owen won him acclaim and received the Caldecott honor. Since then, he has written several other children’s literature books and received a Newbery Honor.

Like Fox, Henkes believes you should read aloud as often as possible to encourage a child’s development and skills. Additionally, Henkes encourages creativity through art and storytelling.

3. Eric Litwin

Folk guitar-playing author, Eric Litwin, is a New York Times best-selling author who shares many of his stories through song and interactive performances. Litwin has played at many schools and libraries throughout the country, and has performed at the Lincoln Center in New York City.

Litwin inspires students to want to learn and read through music. His music-rich books help activate the parts of the brain responsible for language, hearing and rhythm.

4. Anne Mazer


With the sound of typewriters as a wake-up call in her early life, Mazer grew up in a house of writers. As a young adult, Mazer attended three universities, spent several years in Paris, and worked in Boston and New York City. Her experiences inspired her to become an author in (year?) and now she has over 40 children’s books published.

Many of Mazer’s books try to help instill confidence in young children by asking them to express themselves through written word. While few young children are able to write literary masterpieces early in life, journaling can help them become familiar with language in a non-threatening environment.

5. Stuart J. Murphy


Stuart J. Murphy has been a storyteller since he was young. He also cultivated a passion for illustration and drawing at a young age. He began his career studying at the Rhode Island School of Design where he became interested in visual learning. Murphy is now a visual author for students learning social, emotional, health, safety and math skills.

Visual authors usually prefer to use pictures and bold colors to communicate with their audience, and many children have difficulty visualizing what they are reading because it is easier for children to learn from images what the author is describing in words.

6. Patricia Polacco


As an author and illustrator of over 40 books, award-winning author Patricia Polacco draws and writes stories that include rich culture, different languages and illustrations. Polacco’s writing is inspired by her own childhood experiences living and working on her grandparents’ farm.

Patricia Polacco believes drawing and writing from personal experiences can inspire and motivate young children to read. Many young children relate well to personal stories and experiences that are told.

Have any of these children’s book authors encouraged you or your children? Share with us your favorite children’s book and if you have any other children’s book authors you would recommend.

The above profiles and links are included for inspirational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of Rasmussen College by the individuals or sources referenced.

Kendall Bird

Kendall is a Social Media Strategist at Collegis Education who is focused on bringing awareness and engagement to Rasmussen College's social media properties. She is passionate about helping others, the power of education and building strategies that put the needs of students first. 


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