Books can be a magical portal to faraway, mystical lands, or historical eras long gone. They can transform you into mystical beasts, heroic dragon-slaying knights, or courageous underdogs.
Books can make you laugh, cry, or shiver with fear. They can also help children develop their creativity and self-identity.
As Kathleen Kelly said in You’ve Got Mail, “when you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”
Additionally, according to a study in the journal, Child Development, encouraging reading at an early age can increase your child’s IQ.
Fostering your child to read a variety of books can be beneficial as an author’s or illustrator’s geographic location, ethnicity, and culture can influence their work, thus exposing them to many themes and ideas.
According to the Oregon History Project, the “earliest published writing in the Pacific Northwest was the work of the fur men and explorers,” whose “literature described the people and landscapes of Oregon.”
By reading books created by individuals from their community, children can develop a sense of pride and learn about diversity and inclusion.
Here, we will focus on the best children’s books by Oregon authors and illustrators.
Best Children’s Books by Oregon Authors and Illustrators
How the World Got Better
This warm, wishful book was written by Greg Flint and illustrated by his Eugene, Oregon-based daughter, Claire Flint.
Published in 2022 by Luminaire Press, this heartwarming story delivers a powerful message about hope and asking the right question.
Claire’s colorful, vivid images contribute to the overall beauty of this book. It is no wonder it has excellent reviews online!
Pigling, A Cinderella Story [A Korean Tale]
Written by Dan Jolley and illustrated by Portland, Oregon-born Anne Timmons, Pigling is a beautiful retelling of a classic story.
Published by Graphic Universe™ in 2009, it is a story about Pear Blossom, a young Korean girl whose life is filled with heartache and hardship, but after meeting a magical creature has the chance to get her fairy-tale ending.
With excellent reviews and beautiful, full-color illustrations, it is a great story for children ages 9-14.
Ten Ways to Hear Snow
Written by Oregon-based librarian Cathy Camper, this award-winning book is perfect for a cozy winter day.
Great for children ages 4-8, this book focuses on pausing and finding the space to discover the world around you.
As an Arab American, the author’s thoughtful representation of a modern Arab American family successfully conveys her messages of mindfulness and empathy.
Published by Kokila in 2020 and illustrated by Kenard Pak, it captures the magic and wonder of snow beautifully.
Pig and Horse and the Something Scary
Written and illustrated by Portland, Oregon-based Zoe Abbott, this whimsical story gently approaches serious themes and acknowledges fears and worries often experienced by young children.
Published in 2022 by Harry N. Abrams to excellent reviews, it is a story to be enjoyed by children ages 4-8.
Tails from the Animal Shelter
Written by Oregon native Stephanie Shaw, this non-fiction book is an excellent way to teach children ages 5-8 about community animal shelters.
Using rhyme and informative text, the author teaches children about all the animals placed in shelters and why they wind up there.
Published in 2020 by Sleeping Bear Press, this book shines a light on the caring work done by humane societies and rescue organizations and reminds us how a loving home can change the life of a helpless animal.
Oregon Reads Aloud: A Collection of 25 Children’s Stories by Oregon Authors and Illustrators
Published in 2016 by West Margin Press, this book is a collection of 25 original children’s stories by Oregon authors and writers, including Eric A. Kimmel, Elizabeth Rusch, David Horn, Brian Parker, and Trudy Ludwig.
Ideal for children 5-8 years old, this book celebrates all things Oregon, from food carts to dancing to Oregon’s mountain ranges.
The Good Egg
Written by Oregon-based, #1 New York Times best-selling author Jory John and illustrated by Pete Oswald, this wonderful picture book tells the story of a very good egg who has a difficult time as other eggs misbehave.
Published by HarperCollins in 2019, this wonderfully charming story teaches children ages 3-7 years old about the importance of finding balance, self-care, and accepting our loved ones as they are.
Other best-selling books in The Food Group series include The Bad Seed, The Sour Grape, The Cool Bean, and The Smart Cookie.
Early reading is essential in helping children develop their creativity and self-identity, and it can help them boost their IQ.
Although reading can be a wonderful source of entertainment, it can be a great way to expose children to different cultures and ideas.
By reading books from authors and illustrators from their state, such as Oregon, children can feel a sense of pride and learn there can be incredible diversity within their community.