If you’ve done much research on writing children’s books, you’ll know one of the best things a writer can do to improve his/her craft is to read and read and read and read children’s books. Sometimes I do this more than other times. I have tons of favorites. Interestingly enough, many of them happen to be Newbery winner or Newbery honor books, many are not.
I was interested in the 2009 Newbery picks. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins) won the medal; while The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illus. by David Small (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster) was one of the honor books. I really liked both of these books, though they are very different.
I got my husband to read them, too. He read TU first then TGB, he liked The Graveyard Book better. Recently he reread TGB and is now rereading TU and his comment was, he still likes TGB better. 🙂
My mom visited me yesterday and wanted a book to read and borrowed The Graveyard Book (after all it is Halloween this weekend). I will be interested to see if she likes it.
So what do you think a book needs to be good? What is your favorite children’s book or can you get it down to the top 10-20?