Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kids Books A to Z: M is for Mercer Mayer

I have been a Mercer Mayer fan since I was a little kid. The Little Critter books amused me when I learned about them in junior high. My all-time favorite one is Just For You. Little Critter tries so hard to do something special for his mom, but makes a million messes along the way. Eventually he is able to give her the greatest gift of all - a big hug. It's hilarious and endearing at the same time.

I share these books with my students, who can all tell you that I love Little Critter the most. They are constantly pulling his books off of the library shelves when we take our weekly trip to the library.

Little Monster books were the ones that I had more of when I was a child. The creepy little dragonlike character was actually adorable and just as endearing as Little Critter. Those are harder to come by these days.

Mercer Mayer is also the man who taught us to not be afraid of those things that go bump in the night. He made us laugh when he showed us that nightmares can be controlled with There's a Nightmare in My Closet. No more worries about monsters under the bed could be allowed after There's an Alligator Under My Bed. And those funky noises creeping across the ceiling seemed less scary after There's Something in My Attic.

Mercer Mayer has written over 100 books just featuring Little Critter and his friends and family. Dozens of books from his other series and beyond the ones I briefly mentioned here are in existence. He also has illustrated dozens of books for other authors. Mayer's stories and illustrations have created a classic collection that will stand the test of time.

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