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The greatest female picture book writers in history

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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...

#1 - May 23, 2014, 10:29 AM

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Holly Keller and Pat Hutchins have influenced me. 
#2 - May 23, 2014, 10:43 AM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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Cynthia Rylant  :superwoman
#3 - May 23, 2014, 10:49 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

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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)
#4 - May 23, 2014, 11:24 AM

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Wow, I'm quite gobsmacked to say I haven't ever heard of some of these!


Looking forward to exploring their work... Thanks!
#5 - May 23, 2014, 11:31 AM

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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.
#6 - May 23, 2014, 11:37 AM
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 02:11 PM by C.K. »
Film school grad. Time traveller. Billy Bragg fan. Canadian/Irish novelist of character-driven fiction from sci-fi to slice of life.

Peggy Rathmann   :love5:
#7 - May 23, 2014, 12:09 PM
THE DARING PRINCE DASHING, Sky Pony Press - available now!

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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
#8 - May 23, 2014, 12:44 PM
BOB AND JOSS GET LOST! (HarperCollins Feb. 2017)
BOB AND JOSS TAKE A HIKE! (HArperCollins 2018)

www.petermccleery.com
https://twitter.com/pmccleery

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!
#9 - May 23, 2014, 12:55 PM
« Last Edit: May 24, 2014, 11:47 AM by LeslieG »

 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.
#10 - May 23, 2014, 02:44 PM
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 02:47 PM by DianaM »
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

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Margaret Wild
#11 - May 23, 2014, 03:33 PM
I've Got a Tail! - Amicus Ink 2020

www.juliemurphybooks.com

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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.
#12 - May 23, 2014, 07:23 PM

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I'd add Molly Idle to the 'future legends' list  ::-)
#13 - May 25, 2014, 12:17 PM
BACKHOE JOE, HarperCollins, 2014
FAMOUSLY PHOEBE, Sterling, 2017
ALL IN A DROP, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019

http://www.lorialexanderbooks.com/

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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.
#14 - May 26, 2014, 09:06 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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I agree with many already mentioned. I'm also very fond of Judith Kerr.
#15 - May 27, 2014, 01:39 AM

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I suddenly thought of Polly Dunbar, Catherine Rayner, and how could I forget Babette Cole!!! Genius, that woman.
#16 - May 27, 2014, 07:15 AM

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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. =)   
#17 - May 27, 2014, 07:40 AM

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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.
#18 - May 27, 2014, 07:55 AM
Author of SNOW DOG, SAND DOG, THE SEER, DEAD GIRL, CURIOUS CAT SPY CLUB & in 2016: CA$H KAT
www.LindaJoySingleton.com
twitter.com/LindaJoySinglet

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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.
#19 - May 27, 2014, 09:23 AM

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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.
#20 - May 27, 2014, 11:18 AM
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Trains Don't Sleep, HMH 2017
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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.
#21 - May 27, 2014, 04:50 PM

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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...
#22 - May 27, 2014, 05:57 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

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Karma Wilson
#23 - May 27, 2014, 06:37 PM

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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.
#24 - May 27, 2014, 06:42 PM

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Oooh, more greats! What a wonderful list.
#25 - May 27, 2014, 07:17 PM

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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)
#26 - May 27, 2014, 08:04 PM
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 08:08 PM by Kell »
Kell Andrews
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Twitter @kellandrewsPA

THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, October 2, 2018
MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE, Sterling, 2016

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Alice Schertle
Helen Lester
Nancy Shaw
Elizabeth Spurr
#27 - May 28, 2014, 04:53 AM
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Trains Don't Sleep, HMH 2017
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Great thread. Thanks for starting it!

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


#28 - May 28, 2014, 05:50 AM
Even Superheroes Have Bad Days (Sept 2016, Sterling)
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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!
#29 - May 28, 2014, 01:00 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.
#30 - May 28, 2014, 03:55 PM

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