growing up good

mothering, homeschooling, and me

Children’s Author Study 2014!

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We are 3 weeks into our homsechooling adventure for this year! We’re off to a good start, I’m still trying to work out how we’re actually going to get everything thing I want to do done, but more on that later.

Today, I want to share our author study with you. A good friend of mine did a author study with her children a few years back, she got a unit off Teachers Pay Teachers and went from there. I’m inspired by her list, but added a few others as well.  I have meant to do 2 authors a week, but that’s a lot of books to read in a week if you’ve got a really prolific author. We’re in week 3, and we’re just wrapping up our 3rd author. Basically, what we do is real simple: we check out as many books from that author that we can find, read their bios, and read their books as many times as we like in that time frame. When applicable, we discuss the illustrations (especially when the author IS the illustrator).

As a mom and a homeschooler, I am really enjoying this study (we’ve been doing it for awhile…with a long break after the baby arrive).  It gives me direction at the library, that I’m not just grabbing random books and throwing them into our always-loaded library bag. It helps to break up the rut we get in- always checking out the same books or same kinds of books over and over. AND, best of all, it has led me to discover new authors. And some of these “new” authors aren’t new at all, they’ve been around for awhile but may not be the most popular on Amazon at Barnes and Noble, so I haven’t seen them much.

Our authors this time:

Marla Frazee

She’s more known as an illustrator, but I think her own books are great, too. We discovered her a couple year back when we read “A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever” when it was a Monarch Award Nominee. She’s also the illustrator for one of my most favorite children’s books, “All the World” by Liz Garton Scanlon.

Our favorites: 

Edison: Walk On!

Mary: Santa Claus The World’s Number One Toy Expert

Elliot: A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

Me: A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever (the boys- and Grandpa- are just adorable)

Laura Numeroff

Known for her, “If you give…” books, but my kids surprisingly chose other titles, except Edison, who fell for the one with “cupcake” in the title.

Our Favorites:

Elliot: Chicken Sisters

Mary: Chimps Don’t Wear Glasses

Edison: If you Give a Cat a Cupcake

Me: Chicken Sisters

Chris Van Dusen

Over the last few years, we’ve read a LOT of Chris Van Dusen.  He won our hearts w/ If I Built a Car and it’s rhythmic, energetic phrasing that makes it a great read aloud.  We check out his books from the library over and over, and I was glad to put him on the list of authors to study this year. I went to his website and dropped him a line via the “Contact Me” tab, letting him know just how much we have enjoyed his books.

HE WROTE ME BACK! I GOT AN EMAIL FROM CHRIS VAN DUSEN!!!  Needless to say, I did a little happy dance! I’m pretty certain I was more excited with the kids.

Our Favorites:

Elliot: If I Built A House (but he always wants me to read King Hugo’s Huge Ego)

Mary: Circus Ship

Edison: If I Built a Car

Me: If I Built a Car, it was the first one we read so it was our gateway books to Van Dusen’s world!

Here’s a pic w/ E and his his votes for favorites from these authors:



Author: Growing Up Good

Mom of 3 under 6. Expert coffee drinker. Homeschooler. Wanna-be-sewer. From-scratch cooker. And pizza orderer.

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