At In The Book, we’re not only impressed by our own work as a publisher of personalised children’s books! Here are our favourite 5 authors.
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dahl welcomes the macabre through encapsulating dark twists and turns meant to astound and awe. His otherworldly characters are warped by his childhood, where adults are often cast as villains and children as the lionhearted heroes (though it takes a few life-changing events such as turning into a giant blueberry or falling into a chocolate river, to get there).
The nonsensical language woven throughout Dahl’s story is simply mind-blowing. Dahl inspires the imagination with his bombastic creations in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, magicking up phrases like “Cavity-Filling Caramels” and of course “Everlasting Gobstoppers”. As kids, we wished the sweets were real and then, the film and following fandom, made the book a real-life taste sensation. Like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dahl’s books are tasty chocolate bars coated in stories with morality tales as gooey centres.
“On Saturday, he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon.
That night he had a stomach ache.”
― Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
One of childhood’s most essential reads, The Very Hungry Caterpillar embraces bundles of nostalgia. Sitting cross-legged in a classroom and our eyes bulging at Carle’s magnificent illustrations made storytime worthwhile. Mouths would water at the thought of a pear or pickle. The book is multifunctional, layered through bitesize text, a feast for the eyes and teaches the reader to count through the medium of food. What could be more accessible for kids let alone wistful grownups?
The only word to describe The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is “timeless”. It is a heart-warming tale of transformation that ages well into society today and there are no limitations to the age in which the book can be enjoyed. The splendour and simplicity of the food featured (even more gratifying when illustrated) is reason enough for the book to stand the test of time.
“And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.”
― Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
Without even knowing the author’s background, Where the Wild Things Are is a mode of escapism. “Max” the protagonist is a wild thing, and his unruly behaviour sees him cast away to his bedroom without supper. There, in his wolf costume, his imagination conjures another world, the land of the wild things, where creatures terrifying and grotesque become his companions for play – a release from the hardships of normal life, until he once again longs for motherly love and a hearty supper, and leaves.
The illustrations and story reimagine Sendak’s own experiences in childhood. Critical reception slammed the story when it was first publicised, fearing the tale was too terrifying for children. But, like any true wild thing understands (child and adults alike), Maurice Sendak vowed not to write stories of sunshine and rainbows because that’s not real life.
“Well, Gruffalo,” said the mouse. “You see? Everyone is afraid of me! But now my tummy’s beginning to rumble. My favourite food is – gruffalo crumble!” – Julia Donaldson, The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo uses whimsical rhymes at its best and you can get lost in the illustrations as you journey through the book. Aesop-esque with its misleading but heroic little mouse, the story speaks volumes about perception and how everything is not all as it seems. The real star of this story is the marvellous mouse who tricks his would-be hunters, who secretly want to eat the mouse up for dinner.
Mischievous and cunning, the little mouse thinks quick to conjure up a beast to put the fox, owl and snake off their hopeful dinner. Like all little white lies, the mouse’s words soon catch up with him, but, having laid the foundations of fear in his previous foes, the Gruffalo follows behind the mouse naively, helping the mouse scare away the fox, owl and snake! Realising the mouse really is the scariest of all, the beast also scampers away, terrified he’ll become “Gruffalo crumble!” The book is clever, witty and resonates with every read.
“The clouds were made of marshmallow fluff, the trees were lollipops, and the houses were all gingerbread and patterned with gumdrops.” – Katherine Grant, Personalised Unicorn Adventure
Katherine Grant is one of our authors who has written a variety of children’s fiction throughout her career, including My Day at the Zoo and My First Day at School. The Personalised Unicorn Adventure Book is just magical, written through rhyme and even more breathtaking when paired with the vibrant illustrations. Since anyone can become the mythical unicorn, the story is utterly captivating for the reader. It is perfect for any child who has ever dreamt of transforming into a magical unicorn!
It’s a tale as enchanting as it looks, where the unicorn, iridescent and fancy-free, ventures to lands far and wide to find a home and eventually settles at Rainbow’s End with other magical unicorns. The story is effortless and pure. The mythical creature is an adventurer and the story will become a child’s favourite book well into adulthood.