5 min read
Many of the fantastic family shows we put on at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre are based upon classic literary works, including some of the most beloved tales ever penned by famous children’s authors. Over the years, we’ve come to appreciate the works of many such writers, but – as is often the case – some of these writers have become our firm favourites! Here are The Grand Theatre’s Top 10 Children’s Authors…
A former teacher who famously saw the “magic” that a writing career could bring, Michael Morpurgo was the third Children’s Laureate, holding the position from 2003-2005. A master of “magical storytelling”, his recurring themes include the triumph of an outsider or relationships with nature.
Must read works: War Horse, Private Peaceful.
A former flying ace in the Second World War, Roald Dahl’s books sold more than 250 million copies worldwide, and he’s renowned as one of the greatest children’s authors of the 20th century. His warm literature features (frequently) villainous adult characters, humour and often surprising endings.
Must read works: The BFG, The Witches, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Perhaps best known for his comedic acting in BBC’s Little Britain, David Walliam’s began writing for children in 2008, and he’s been hailed as the UK’s fastest growing children’s author. His books have been translated into 53 languages, and his style is regularly compared with Roald Dahl.
Must read works: The Boy in the Dress, Mr Stink.
The 2011-2013 Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson is best known for her charming rhyming stories, and actually started off writing songs for children’s television. 120 of her 184 published works are intended purely for use in schools, and include the Songbirds phonic reading scheme.
Must read works: The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Stick Man.
A German born illustrator and writer who’s sold more than 10 million books, Judith Kerr fled the Weimar Republic during the rise to power of the Nazis in 1933, settling in Britain. She even put this story into a semi-autobiographical trilogy. Many of her books include her own illustrations.
Must read works: The (17 part!) Mog series, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, the Out Of Hitler Time trilogy.
Also a natural scientist, conservationist, and prize-winning breeder of Herwick sheep, Beatrix Potter wrote a total of 30 books, many featuring animals. Upon her death in 1943, she left almost all of her property to the National Trust, and is credited for preserving much of the Lake District National Park.
Must read works: The Tale of Peter Rabbit (along with her 23 other children’s tales!).
A true “rags to riches” story, the world’s first billionaire author has actually lost this status by giving away substantial parts of her wealth to charity. The Harry Potter series alone has sold over 500 million copies. Rowling also writes crime fiction for adults under the pen name of Robert Galbraith.
Must read works: The Harry Potter series (of course!).
Born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the famous moniker of Lewis Carroll was actually a pen name. Carroll made heavy use of word play, logic and fantasy in his stories, although some of his famous poems – such as the Jabberwocky – are actually formally defined as literary nonsense!
Must read works: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass.
Author of more than 30 books and holder of academic positions at both Oxford and Cambridge. Clive Staples Lewis’ strong Christian beliefs often made their way into his fiction. Lewis was close friends with fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien (who very possibly could have made this list with works like The Hobbit!).
Must read works: The Chronicles of Narnia.
A veteran of both World Wars, Alan Alexander Milne was actually a successful playwright, before his famous children’s books following the story of a certain “bear with very little brain” dwarfed his former accolades. The original manuscripts for Winnie the Pooh are still archived in Trinity College Library.
Must read works: Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner.
What do you think? Do you agree with our suggestions? Whoever your own favourite children’s authors might be, do keep an eye on our upcoming events, as you never known when adaptations of the works of some of these famous writers might hit our stage!
Find you favourite Children’s book at The Book People.
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