Certain books have a huge kid-appeal. Most children are familiar with and many even adore Dr. Seuss, Pete the Cat, and the Magic Tree House books. These are just a few of the books that kids say are their favorites according to the 6th edition Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report.
Celebrate National Trivia Day — and beyond — with these fun facts about some of your kids' favorite books and authors!
1. Pete the Cat
Pete the Cat is based on a kitten that the series illustrator, James Dean, adopted from a shelter in 1999. Dean named the kitten Pete. The real Pete wasn't blue; he was black.
This beloved series is based on author, Victoria Kann's three-year-old daughter who loved all things pink. On April Fool's Day, Kann sent an email to friends stating that her pink-loving daughter had "pinkavitis" because she ate too many pink cupcakes. One of her friends believed it to be true. When the friend found out the email was a joke, she encouraged Kann to turn it into a story.
There is a musical based on Mo Willems' duo called "Elephant & Piggie's We Are In a Play!" In the performance you would hear references to several Elephant & Piggie titles including: I Am Invited to a Party!, Elephants Cannot Dance!, Listen to My Trumpet!, I Am Going!, Should I Share My Ice Cream?, I Love My New Toy!, and We Are in a Book!
4. Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham has only 50 words in it. Author Theodor Seuss Geisel took a dare from his editor that he could not write a book with only 50 words. It turned out he could and he won the bet!
Writing the Berenstain Bear books is a family business. Jan and Stan Berenstain started creating the Berenstain Bear books in the 1960s and now their son, Mike, writes and illustrates new stories in the series.
6. Llama Llama
Author Anne Dewdney started creating books before she even went to school. When she began her books, she pretended to be Llama Llama as she wrote and illustrated. Dewdney enjoyed making the faces of her characters as she worked. All of her books began with a feeling she had or feelings she saw children express.
Author Barbara Park came up with the name Junie B. Jones by making a list of first names and last names. Then, she started to pair them together to see which ones sounded the best together. One day Junie B. Jones just popped out at her. And, the B stands for Beatrice.
Just like in the books where Annie and Jack go on all sorts of adventures, author Mary Pope Osborne has traveled to many places. Growing up, she lived in 13 different houses and went to eight different schools.
Dav Pilkey, the author, came up with the idea for Captain Underpants when he was just in second grade. The main characters, Harold and George, are named after two characters from other well-known children's books. Harold's name came from Harold and the Purple Crayon and George's name came from Curious George.
10. Boxcar Children
Although there over 100 Boxcar Children books, Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote only the first 19 books. The series is still being written today.
11. I Survived!
Lauren Tarshis, author of the I Survived series, taught herself how to be a good writer by studying children's books she discovered as an adult. She has said there were three books that helped her truly learn to write. Those titles were: When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, Walk Two Moons, and The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods.
Share these trivia facts about children's literature with your own kids. They just might appreciate learning a few new things about their favorite books and authors.
Connect with Jodie at Growing Book by Book.