Margaret Wise Brown, most famous for her Goodnight Moon, has written over 100 children’s books in her short 41 years of life. “To write well for children,” Brown said, “one must love the things that children love.” Her poetry is a thing of beauty and though she passed 55 years ago, her books still inspire every new generation. She has quickly become my favorite author for children and I always reach for her books first when reading to my son because her books flow so lovingly and naturally.
Of her books, I have several favorites, but The Runaway Bunny holds much meaning to me because this was the first book I ever read to my son. I read it to him, snuggled in bed together, on the first day of his life in this world. It is the story of a mother bunny’s love for her precious little bunny, and even though he tries to run away and leave her, she lets him know that she will always find him and be there for him. “For you are my little bunny.” Brings tears to my eyes. The illustrations are done by Clement Hurd, the same illustrator who perfectly drew and colored Goodnight Moon.
It seems that every morning and night, my son and I read Brown’s A Child’s Good Morning Book and A Child’s Good Night Book. “Seize the day! What will you think? What will you play?” Brown exclaims as children peer through her lens, watching lions and ladybugs excitedly see and feel the sun rise. A Child’s Good Night Book received the Caldecott Honor for one of the best children’s books published in 1943: “The sheep in the fields huddle together in a great warm blanket of wool. The lambs stop leaping, and the rams stop ramming, and the steep stop baaa-ing, and they all go to sleep. Sleepy sheep.”
Bunny’s Noisy Book is another classic in our house – for we love bunnies! A little bunny wakes up and listens to all the noises in his wood. He sniffs, sneezes, watches the sun rise, all while thinking about their sounds. What a delightful way for a child to be introduced to their senses through this masterpiece.
There are many more delightful titles in Brown’s collection. The Dirty Little Boy, The Scarecrow Boy,Home for a Bunny, Big Red Barn, and The Little Island (Caldecott Award winner) are a just a few of her masterpieces. But worth finding is Give Yourself to the Rain. This is a large collection of Brown’s individual poems with gorgeous illustrations by Terri L. Weidner. The poems almost sound as if they were written by a child. Some carefree and silly, others striking and thoughtful.
Never has the grass been so green
Bright and green and growing
Never have the dandelions been so yellow
In any spring.
Here is Brown’s official website and here you can see her full collection of books and read more about this remarkable author. And may I suggest visiting the library and finding these treasures to bring home to read to yourself and/or your own little one?
**Author Spotlight: I try to share about a different (and phenomenal) children’s author or illustrator every month or two. There are so many wonderful children’s books out there and it is important to know about and celebrate these wonderful authors.