When I was a little girl, my mom took me to the local children's book shop, called The Reading Railroad. There was an author appearance that day, and I loved to read. I ended up purchasing a silly book called What Do You Call a Dumb Bunny? by a relatively unknown author named Marc Brown. He signed my book, complete with a quick sketch of a silly bunny. I read that book to pieces, and probably still have it somewhere in my collection.
Little did I know that years later, this author would become one of the most beloved in the history of children's books. Marc Brown created his character, Arthur, the same year that I was born, in honor of his own children. Arthurmania took over when I was in high school and college, giving rise to the TV show, games, and multiple book series. I have used Arthur stories in my classroom and after school care programs for years. I even have plush versions of all of the main characters. I used to put out a book featuring each character, including that character, in a special book basket for a special reading time. Kids went crazy for it. Having a character to hold brought them even closer to the book. It worked well for children who were feeling sad and needed to hug something. And it was fun to work on a theme for the week, featuring a favorite character or subject.
Arthur doesn't seem to be quite as popular as he was at his peak, but children still love to read him today. I have included a few of my favorites in these widgets, so that you can experience the joys of Arthur with your kids.