Dav Pilkey is the creator of children's books that even reluctant readers can't get enough of. His two incredibly popular series--Captain Underpants and Dog Man--combine delightful kid humor with themes of friendship, empowerment, and tolerance. The illustrations are fun and the format is one that works well for kids who already love books, and those who have difficulty reading. Pilkey particularly understands the struggle of young people with reading challenges--he was one of them himself. Dav Pilkey is an author who not only inspires kids to read, he inspires them to follow their dreams and do good in the world.
Pilkey's new book, Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, immediately hit the bestseller lists, and is one of our editors' picks for the best children's books of August. It's also no surprise that kids are already asking for the next installment (psst: it's Dog Man: Fetch-22, coming out on December 10th).
So what does this author/illustrator like to read in his spare time? Below you'll find three of Dav Pilkey's recent favorites and why.
The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood by Richard Blanco
Inaugural poet Richard Blanco’s childhood memoir is brilliant, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking. Richard grew up in a Cuban immigrant family in 1970’s Miami. Although his childhood was very different from my own, Richard Blanco’s thoughtful and poetic writing makes everything feel familiar and relatable.
The beautiful writing may make you want to linger and cherish every word, but this is a page-turner, too. It’s something you’ll want to revisit more than once.
Lowriders Blast from the Past by Cathy Camper
The Lowriders books are some of the most exciting and original graphic novels being published today. Cathy Camper’s anything-goes writing combines perfectly with Raúl the Third’s inventive artwork creating a childlike dreamscape of joy and enchantment.
I love how the three main characters often use found objects to construct their artwork, much the same way Raúl the Third creates his brilliant illustrations using ordinary ball-point pens.
Freedom Fire (Dactyl Hill Squad #2) by Daniel José Older
Imagine dinosaurs fighting in the Civil War. An elevator pitch of this series might seem absurd, but Daniel José Older weaves realism, emotion, and political and social history into these fast-paced adventures. The results are more thrilling than the most recent movie blockbusters, and more relevant to our times than the latest news scrolls. Although these books are aimed at middle graders, adults will be spellbound, too!
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