Five children’s authors to absolutely discover for children

Children’s literature is a particularly dynamic sector, which multiplies the possibilities of discovery for budding or established readers. But how to navigate between all these stories, novels, albums, historical fiction or series to identify the titles that will challenge your child? The works of these authors and illustrators, now important to young audiences, offer many opportunities to begin the journey.

Beatrice Alemagna

This writer and illustrator was born in Bologna. Cradle of Pippi Longstocking and the adventures of the novel Baron Perche, by Italo Calvino, Beatrice Alemagna decided at the age of 8 to become a painter and writer of books. What she has managed to do with around fifty published books, including the multi-translated ones My Belovedpublished by Helium.

his album A great day with nothing, with Albin Michel jeunesse, several times awarded, has a child forced to go out in the rain instead of playing his video game. We find there Beatrice Alemagna’s “melted” style, where the materials seem to blend together while providing relief and texture. Spikes of bright color seem to illuminate his illustrations.

Presentation of the album A great day with nothing when it was released in 2016.

His books are conceived as objects with layers, collages, atypical formats and sometimes very little text, but which leave plenty of room for the interpretation of the adult reader and the listening child. His last book Goodbye Snow White revisits the narrative and leaves the floor to the mother-in-law in all its cruelty, ambivalence and pain. The subject always has multiple reading levels, making his work accessible to multiple ages and allowing for different interpretations.

Marie-Aude Murail

Member of the “Charter of Youth Authors and Illustrators” and decorated with several prizes, including the prestigious “Prix HC Andersen” which was awarded to her in 2022, Marie-Aude Murail is one of the pillars of French children’s literature. .

She was born in 1954 in Le Havre, in a family of artists. Later, when asked “How to become a children’s author?”she will answer: “We become so by chance, and we remain so by conviction.” Most of his work, published at L’École des loisirs, is aimed at teenagers. She gets closer to their world and brings characters to life with whom they can identify, with a pendulum movement between identification and projection, to imagine other possibilities and other horizons. She supports the idea that the audience should feel that she loves her characters and her readers.

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Among his best-known novels, such as Oh boy! (2000), Simple (2004), Long live the republic! (2005) or Miss Charity (2008) follow the series one after the other: Emilian (1989-1992), zero (1991-1998) and Malo de Lange (2009-2012) conquer the hearts of teenagers, and the spypublished by Bayard since 2001, for younger readers.

Today, Savior & Sonabout a psychologist who helps suffering young people is in its seventh season, the second part of the cartoon adaptation of Miss Charitywhich tells about the adventures of a little girl full of curiosity about the good English society in the XIXe century, will soon appear, and the police investigation in the streets of Le Havre (written with his brother Lorris) is now three: Angie, remember September and Why not a hotel?.

Jean-Claude Mourlevat

Recommend reading books for young people by Jean-Claude Mourlevat, is it original? This former German teacher, worked in the theater as an interpreter and director, translated into twenty languages ​​as well as Braille, awarded the prestigious Astrid-Lindgren prize in 2021, enjoys an international reputation.

Many adults have read some of his memorable books to their children and grandchildren or had their students read them. At the end of primary school we can read Child of the Seaparaphrase by transposition to the contemporary era of Tom Thumb of Perrault, combined the specialists speak of “contamination” when combining several literary sources for memories of Hansel and Gretel, by the Brothers Grimm. But the author’s real skill lies elsewhere. This renews Faulkner’s exploitation in his polyphonic novel As I die. Mourlevat writes in the silences of Perrault’s tale, he gives voice to all the characters, including, in a virtuosic way, all the brothers of this silent little Poucet.

Others remember having to re-read several nights in a row the chapter in the gang fight about The Ballad of Cornebique to their children who stamp with glee and rush to recycle these archaic and palatable insults.

Gallimard Youth/Folio Junior

The latest novel Jefferson, intended for children aged 9 and up, deals with serious subjects, with nuance and a tonal flexibility that allows you to go from the most chilling tension to frank laughter or subtle humor. The story begins after the murder of a hairdresser, a badger named Edgar, for which the hero, Jefferson, a young hedgehog, is accused. The investigation, launched together with his friend, the pig Gilbert, to escape a vindication, forms the core of the plot. It only concerns the animal case in a second step: it turns out that the victim secretly campaigned for this case and condemned the way animals suffer in slaughterhouses.

The dialogues between the characters are worth their weight in gold, especially thanks to the recurring use of human expressions by these animal characters, the figurative meaning coming to double the literal meaning. Thus “the old goat” is an old goat, the wife of a judge…

Claude Boujon

Claude Boujon was also a painter, sculptor and puppeteer. Writer and illustrator, he is one of the essential figures for young audiences of kindergarten age. The striking thing, in the texts as in the drawings, is their simplicity combined with great expressiveness. Everything is in a posture, a look, an onomatopoeia.

His universe is extremely rich and deceptively light, because to enter a Claude Boujon album is to enter literature, to go through a small door to open up the relationships between characters, to the power of words, to the reader’s questions. It is him the fox is staring at, straight in the eyes, on the front Bon appetit Mr. Fox.

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Incipits trigger a quest, always with humor: “Once upon a time there was a young wolf who didn’t know he was a wolf”in The apprentice wolvesWhere “When the Ratatouille witch compared herself to the picture in the magazine, she thought she was ugly”in Ah! good soups.

At Claude Boujon, it’s about living together, as in the alienationtasty neighborhood history and i the uninvited guestwhere Ratinos faces one “mountain of flesh”. It is also about books, i A beautiful bookand in The sitting toadwhere the hero “could have spent whole days with my nose in a book”. One of his funniest lyrics, The blue chairis the story of a friendship and an ode to the imagination because “A chair is magic. We can transform it.”

Susie Morgenstern

Born in the United States in 1945, Susie Morgenstern has been writing since the late 1970s and is a significant author of children’s literature. His works are both moving and complex. After having written a lot for primary school readers, in recent years she has turned to a more mature audience with texts about youthful lust, such as Touch mepublished in 2020, or about technology and intergenerational relations with [email protected].

His most emblematic works are aimed at readers aged 8 to 12 years old The sixth, Joker, Love letters from 0 to 10or The two halves of friendship. While the first two books focus on school, the last two on the list are beautiful reflections on love and friendship between generations and between religions.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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