There are some authors that we like almost all of their books. When we go to the library, I always skim certain letters to see if there are any new (or new to us) books by these authors because I know that we will enjoy them. A lot of these are fairly well known, but I'm going to make the list anyway. Most of these were introduced to me by my mom, who has contributed greatly to Eleanor's personal library.
Rosemary Wells is wonderful. I have yet to read any book by her that we don't just love. This is one of Eleanor's favorite Rosemary Well's book, because the little girl (badger?) in the book has a doll named Elinor. Of course, Wells is also the creator of the bunny siblings Max and Ruby (I think they have a tv show?), but they are not my favorites of her books. Some of Eleanor's favorite books by Wells is a series that centers around a group of animal children who attend Hilltop School. Yoko, a cat from Japan, is one of Eleanor's favorites. We check a lot of these books out of the library and have found them helpful in helping Eleanor prepare for school. There is also a series of DVDs (maybe a show on TV?) called Timothy Goes to School. For a while they were on youtube.com and Eleanor LOVED them. They were fun little episodes with characters from the books.
James Marshall is another favorite in our house. He is witty and subtle in a way that makes reading the same old stories refreshing. He does a great job of having some things in his stories or illustrations that are entertaining to the adult reader, which is quite fun. Most of the stories of his I've seen are retellings of fairy tales: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel. He also has some original stories that I think are hilarious. One of my favorites is Wings: A Tale of Two Chickens.
Andrea Beck's Elliot Moose books are still a favorite around here. These books are about a group of stuffed animals. I like these books because they model good problem solving and teamwork skills. The illustrations are nice too.
Eleanor loves the Ella books by Carmela and Steven D'Amico. I like them too. Ella is a little elephant on the Elephant Isles in the Indian Ocean. She is timid, but kind. In the first book (the one on the left), she is struggling to fit into a new school. Despite being taunted she remains kind and considerate. In Ella Takes the Cake, another of Eleanor's favorites, Ella tries to find a way to be helpful to her mom. That's behavior we encourage around here:) In the end, Ella and her mom make a Zanzibar cake. I searched and searched for a recipe for a Zanzibar cake, finally finding one here (under "Fun Stuff").
Eric Carle is a prolific children's author and illustrator. Thanks to my mom, Eleanor and Charlotte have many of his books. For his illustrations, he uses an interesting technique of painting tissue paper then cutting it to make collages. This gives his books a unique look. Not all of his writing is quality, but much of it is. The Very Hungry Caterpillar shows the life cycle of a butterfly. Pancakes, Pancakes! catalogs the ingredients in pancakes and where they come from. In her early toddlerhood, Eleanor insisted on Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? being read to her nightly, usually twice.