Jim Aylesworth tells his stories with generous doses of loud sounds, rhythms and rhymes. His teaching career taught him that these are the elements children like in a story — especially when it is being read aloud.
Aylesworth's experiences as a teacher gave him a great appreciation for children's books. And while he agrees teaching requires much patience, Aylesworth says that books really help. He is amazed how a good book will make a room full of children sit and pay attention. Having read hundreds of books to his students over the years, Aylesworth found himself wanting to be a bigger part of this world of children's stories. And so he decided to write his own books, and has stuck with this goal ever since his first work, Hush Up!, was published in 1980.
All of Aylesworth's stories, whether filled with sounds of a country night or catchy rhymes, find their way back to his inspiration — his students and what he found that they liked. So, in Hanna's Hog, Aylesworth includes a loud hog call. In The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock, he offers numerous bouncy nonsensical rhymes. In Country Crossing, the sounds of the still countryside and a train passing fill the night. And in Old Black Fly, a repetitious, rhythmic chant follows a pesky fly in its journey through a house.