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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Franzilla on May 23, 2014, 10:29 AM

Title: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Franzilla on May 23, 2014, 10:29 AM
So I've noticed time and time again that when people (authors/illustrators/agents/editors) write about their all-time up-there-on-a-pedestal picture book authors and author/illustrators they tend to list folks like Mo Willems, David Shannon, Chris Rauschka, Eric Carle, Dr Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Ludwiv Bemelmans, Ezra Jack Keats, Chris Van Allsburg, Robert McCloskey... The only two women who seem to come up regularly in the 'Best Lists' are Jane Yolen and Margaret Wise Brown, but they don't come up anywhere near as often as all these others.


Who is on your Top Five All-time Best Female PB author/author/illustrator list, aside from the two mentioned above? (Just to clarify, these aren't necessarily the authors of your favourite books, but author/illustrators who have influenced your work, your PB heroes if you will.)


Mine are:
Marie-Louise Gay
Sandra Boynton
Patricia Polacco
Julia Donaldson
Beatrix Potter


I'd like to add Margret Rey, too...

Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Anne Marie on May 23, 2014, 10:43 AM
Holly Keller and Pat Hutchins have influenced me. 
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: JodyJS on May 23, 2014, 10:49 AM
Cynthia Rylant  :superwoman
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: olmue on May 23, 2014, 11:24 AM
Molly Bang (The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher)
Joanna Cole (Magic School Bus)
Helen Oxenbury (er, she might only do illustration, but she's definitely an influence!)
Mem Fox (who often is the author to Helen Oxenbury's pictures)
Marla Frazee
Virginia Hamilton
Tasha Tudor (illustration)
Trina Schart Hyman (illustration)
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Franzilla on May 23, 2014, 11:31 AM
Wow, I'm quite gobsmacked to say I haven't ever heard of some of these!


Looking forward to exploring their work... Thanks!
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: C.K. on May 23, 2014, 11:37 AM
My enormous adoration for I Like You prompts me to add Sandol Stoddard to the list  :yup . It's an absolute treasure.


Also Canadian author Monica Kulling has been doing terrific stuff - I love her Mister Dash books, as well as The Tweedles Go Electric, Lumpito and the Painter from Spain, and When Emily Carr Met Woo.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: mariwho on May 23, 2014, 12:09 PM
Peggy Rathmann   :love5:
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: pmccleery on May 23, 2014, 12:44 PM
Off the top of my head here are a few that should be mentioned with the best. Future legends! Just one "man's" opinion, though. :grin3

Tammi Sauer
Emily Gravett
Kara Lareau
Melanie Watt
Doreen Cronin
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: LeslieG on May 23, 2014, 12:55 PM
Charlotte Zolotow
Ruth Krauss
Lisa Wheeler
Helen Lester
Tammi Sauer (hi, Tammi!)
Margie Palatini
Andrea Beaty
Phyllis Root
Bonnie Becker
Elise Broach
Liz Garton Scanlon


and ooooh, so many others! Thanks for starting this list, Franzilla. Looking forward to exploring some new ones!
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: DianaM on May 23, 2014, 02:44 PM
 I always list Julia Donaldson as an influence! Love her work.


Also: Doreen Cronin, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Candace Fleming, Lauren Child, and Laura Numeroff.


Oh, and Lisa Wheeler.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: JulieM on May 23, 2014, 03:33 PM
Margaret Wild
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Franzilla on May 23, 2014, 07:23 PM
Brilliant!


And pmccleery, men's opinions on this MOST welcome! I love the idea of 'future legends' too. I suspect there are several Blueboarders who fit into that category, along with the wonderful Tammi, Jean Reidy, Salina Yoon and many others.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: LoriA on May 25, 2014, 12:17 PM
I'd add Molly Idle to the 'future legends' list  ::-)
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 26, 2014, 09:06 PM
Lois Ehlert and Denise Fleming. These are my go to authors for birthday presents for one year olds who already own the works Eric Carle.

I'll also add Eve Bunting for Smoky Night alone.

I'm leaving off names of folks already mentioned.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Lynda on May 27, 2014, 01:39 AM
I agree with many already mentioned. I'm also very fond of Judith Kerr.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Franzilla on May 27, 2014, 07:15 AM
I suddenly thought of Polly Dunbar, Catherine Rayner, and how could I forget Babette Cole!!! Genius, that woman.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Kimberly Lynn on May 27, 2014, 07:40 AM
If we are talking about a historical female picture book author, I’d also have to vote for Beatrix Potter.  In addition to the many talented names that others have mentioned, here are a few of my favorites:

Marion Dane Bauer
Jane Yolen
Carole Boston Weatherford
Joyce Sidman
Jane O’Connor
Anna Dewdney
Laura Numeroff
Andrea Davis Pinkney
Kay Thompson

Oh gosh, I could go on and on...  LOL!

I do believe their picture books will be around forever, though. =)   
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: LindaJoy on May 27, 2014, 07:55 AM
I love that you started this list! So many authors I respect. Don't forget Verla Kay, either, who started this list. She pioneered cryptic rhyme in the 90's and it's become a common style with many authors now. Did she tell how an elementary school is performing a play of one of her books? So cool.

And with no disregard to men authors, I have noticed often at SCBWI events how male authors are pushed higher up the respect pedestal, perhaps because women often fall into the roles of supportive nurturers. So shout out to all wonderful picture book authors--of all genders.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Mike Jung on May 27, 2014, 09:23 AM
I love the "future legends" idea. I'd add Deborah Underwood and Marla Frazee to that list, although in my mind they're both legends already.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Andi W. on May 27, 2014, 11:18 AM
Also Linda Ashman and watch out for Ame Dykman and Pat Zietlow Miller. I know David LaRochelle is a man, but his books rock too.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Franzilla on May 27, 2014, 04:50 PM
Also Linda Ashman and watch out for Ame Dykman and Pat Zietlow Miller. I know David LaRochelle is a man, but his books rock too.


Ooh, I agree, yes! I agree on all three of those!


PS There are LOTS of great male picture book writers, no doubt about that. But that's not the point of this thread. The point is entirely to highlight female picture book authors/illustrators because they don't get as much press/kudos.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: HaroldU on May 27, 2014, 05:57 PM
Lots of great names....


But I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Vera B. Williams. Truly one of the greats, though not with a huge output. And she works at both ends of the picture book range, with More More More Said the Baby for the very young, and books like Cherries and Cherry Pits or A Chair for My Mother at the other end...
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: MVP on May 27, 2014, 06:37 PM
Karma Wilson
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: MVP on May 27, 2014, 06:42 PM
Oh!  And Rosemary Wells.  My kids love the Sophie books and the Max and Ruby books, and Love Waves makes me cry buckets as a Work-Outside-Home Mom.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Franzilla on May 27, 2014, 07:17 PM
Oooh, more greats! What a wonderful list.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Kell on May 27, 2014, 08:04 PM
I came back on to say Rosemary Wells, but I was beaten.

Other undisputed classics: Wanda Gag (Millions of Cats)
Janette Sebring Lowery (Poky Little Puppy)
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Andi W. on May 28, 2014, 04:53 AM
Alice Schertle
Helen Lester
Nancy Shaw
Elizabeth Spurr
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Shelly on May 28, 2014, 05:50 AM
Great thread. Thanks for starting it!

I'd add Kristy Dempsey and Anne Marie Pace to the Blueboarder 'future legends' list. :-)


Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Franzilla on May 28, 2014, 01:00 PM
Great thread. Thanks for starting it!

I'd add Kristy Dempsey and Anne Marie Pace to the Blueboarder 'future legends' list. :-)


Yes, and Debbie Ridpath Ohi!
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: barbara-dimarco on May 28, 2014, 03:55 PM
Loving the lists.


Rosemary Wells
Nancy Shaw
Sandra Boyton


Oh yeah, there's more.....


I need to look up some of the talented ladies mentioned.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: KDuBayGillis on May 28, 2014, 04:24 PM
Ditto on Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Polly Dunbar, Lauren Child (Charlie & Lola), Laurie Keller (love that woman's hilarious brain).
 
And ditto on so many fantastic female PB authors/illustrators taking the PB world by storm!
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: onestepp on May 28, 2014, 09:38 PM
Another addition to the list - Jan Brett   
 
I really like her illustrations which give a hint to the next step in her story.     :)
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Andi W. on May 29, 2014, 05:50 AM
Tony Johnston. Read THAT SUMMER.

Kelly DiPucchio
Lynne Plourde
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Jennifer D G on May 30, 2014, 07:46 AM
So many greats have already been mentioned but I'm surprised these two classic author/illustrators haven't been listed:

Barbara Helen Berger

Elsa Beskow
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Mike Karg on June 02, 2014, 09:56 AM
That's a great list. How about some love for Virginia Lee Burton? She should be mentioned in the same breath as Beatrix Potter, Margaret Wise Brown and Jane Yolen.

A name rarely mentioned is Patricia Scarry, who illustrated much of her husband's earlier work, and she also wrote some including Good Night, Little Bear and The Bunny Book. That last one is one of my childhood favorites, and perhaps the earliest picture book example of a stay-at-home dad.

I don't think Lillian Hoban wrote any stories, but her Frances illustrations are all-time classics.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Kell on June 02, 2014, 10:12 AM
How about  Else Holmelund Minarik? I often see her most famous series described as "Maurice Sendak's Little Bear," but Minarik was the writer.
Title: Re: The greatest female picture book writers in history
Post by: Franzilla on June 02, 2014, 01:02 PM
Andi, I just looked at the blurb for THAT SUMMER and it sounds amazing.


And I love Elsa Beskow, I can't believe I forgot her! And Virginia Lee Burton too!


If I wrote a blog, I'd do a blog post listing all these historical greats, then perhaps another one with a 'future greats' too. Anyone who writes a blog fancy doing it instead?!