Author Studies in Grade One

Each year in Grade One, we rotate some author studies amongst the 4 classes.  This familiarizes students with various authors and motivates them to read and be on the look-out for these authors in the library.  We have compiled some short information on each author for you, as well as their websites.  We encourage you to visit these websites with your child and discuss these authors.  Some of these websites have great activities and will ensure some fantastic conversations with your child.

Julia Donaldson is a British writer who grew up in London.  She started out by writing songs for children’s television.  In 1993, one of her songs, A SQUASH AND A SQUEEZE was made into a book.  From that moment on, Julia also started writing children’s books with great hits such as THE GRUFFALO and more recently THE STICK MAN.  Julia writes mostly in verse form, making these books great for studying rhyme and various sounds during phonics lessons.

Check out her website on


Theodor Seuss Geisel (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991), commonly known by his pen name Dr. Seuss, was an American writer and cartoonist most widely known for his children’s books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone. He published 44 children’s books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters and rhyme. His most celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham (containing most of the first 100 sight/high frequency words), The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Numerous adaptations of his work have been created, including several films.

These books are great to use for practicing sight words, rhyme, description, fantasy and phonics.

Check out his website on


Babette Cole, born in 1949, is an English children’s writer and illustrator. She has written over 70 pictures books and her best-selling book Doctor Dog has been made into a successful children’s cartoon series. She mainly writes children’s comedy books (usually rude but still supposed to be funny and not taken offensively) like ‘The Smelly Book’, ‘The Hairy Book’, ‘The Slimy Book’ and ‘The Silly Book’ and funny fairy tales such as ‘Princess Smartypants’.  Babette currently spends her time writing, visiting schools and travelling.

Check out her website on


Jan Brett (born December 1, 1949) is a best-selling American author/illustrator of children’s books, many which are non-fiction. Her books are known for colorful, detailed depictions of a wide variety of animals and human cultures ranging from Scandinavia to Africa. Her best-known titles include The Hat, The Mitten, The Three Snow Bears and Gingerbread Baby.

Brett has often used illustrated borders in her artwork that show readers what will happen later on in the story. According to Brett, her editor initially discouraged her from including borders, but had a much different reaction when he saw that they served a purpose beyond the decorative and are useful for learning how to predict.

Check out his website on


Helen Lester was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1936. She is an American children’s author, best known for her character Tacky the Penguin in many of her children’s stories.

As a girl, Lester dreamed of getting married but never of being a writer. She became an elementary school teacher, got married and had two sons. After her sons were born, Lester took time off as a teacher and began writing children’s literature. Her works are mainly influenced by her old second-grade students who helped produced characters such as Tacky the Penguin, Pinkerton the Pig and Fragility the Hippopotamus.

Lester’s first children’s book was published in 1979 and her writing career took off from there. She has now published more than two dozen books including Hooway for Wodney Wat, Fluffy the Porcupine, Me First, Something Might Happen, An Author and Princess Penelope’s Parrot.

Lester has also illustrated a few of her own books, but typically illustrator Lynn Munsinger has produced the illustration for Lester’s books. Lester and Munsinger have collaborated on over a dozen children books.

Helen Lester’s books are fabulous for focusing on social-emotional issues such as bullying, inclusion, taking turns, acceptance, self-confidence, being polite and much more.  They are a favorite with the students and the teachers!


Check out her website on


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