3 Great authors’ childhoods can inspire children’s writing dreams

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Duke and Daisy have a new assistant, Dugan the Literary Critic. He spends his time finding great books for children. Here’s what he found for his first assignment.

Dugan, the Literary critic, discovered a fantastic book, “Before they were Authors Famous Authors – Famous Writers as Kids.”  These illustrious authors’ stories may inspire future young authors. They realize that childhood discouragements may become their most significant rewards as they grow into great writers.

Dr. Seuss childhood

He was born Theodor Seuss in Springfield, Massachusetts.

When his sister teased him, he drew his creatures all over her bedroom walls.

He did not find much support at school, where one teacher remarked.

“You’ll never learn to draw. Just skip the class for the rest of the term.”





Amazingly,  the criticism turned into a stroke of luck.  The fire inspiration grew stronger in young Seuss since he never quit drawing, and over time, this very lack of formal art education shaped his distinctive “Seuss style.”

As Dr. Seuss said:

“Since I can’t draw. I’ve taken the awkwardness and peculiarities and developed them.”

See what happened to the young man who didn’t listen to others but followed his dream.

He wrote 45 books, with these five becoming his most famous.









Roald Dahl

Destiny planned for him to become an adventurer.  Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Wales, to Norwegian parents. He got his name from Amundsen, the first explorer to reach the South Pole.

Roald relished his moments of independence. Wheeling around the country roads on his tricycle, he raced to the candy store at every chance he had.

Presuming all children to be ill-behaved thieves, the store owner tormented Roald to no end. After discovering a dead rodent, a plan for revenge formed on Roald’s mind.

He dubbed it the Great Mouse Plot. He snuck the rotten animal into a jar of gobstoppers; he got caught and punished. However,  his prank earned him the admiration of classmates.

Later, Roald got sent to boarding school-not as punishment, but he disagreed.

Homesick, he wrote letters to his mother every Sunday, And his mother saved every one of them.

Roald’s bizarre style received much criticism from his teacher.

His earliest stories gave a glimpse into his unusual imagination. And one tale featured a machine that turned into a conversation from the past.

Madeleine L’Engle

The only child of a writer and a musician, Madeline seemed designated to appreciate the lyrical, rhythmic beauty of the written word.

Her clumsiness made her unpopular in the schoolyard. As a result, Madeline was often the last one picked for sports.

She retreated into a world of her own, writing stories and getting lost in her favorite books.

clever girl in vector format

The characters seemed so alive; Madeleine soared and sank with their triumphs and plights.

Entranced by mythology, Madeline read ancient tales from around the globe. Her love of Shakespeare inspired her to try acting in high school, where a teacher noticed her talent and encouraged further studies.

For all the authors’ childhood stories, check out this super book for the budding authors in your family.

Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids Hardcover – Illustrated, May 14, 2019

by Elizabeth Haidle

This exciting debut in graphic novel format tells the childhood stories of literary legends including Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and Sandra Cisnernos. Perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.

What makes a writer?  What inspires them? Where do their stories come from? Striking illustrations and a popular graphic novel format bring to life this anthology of literary legends and their childhoods. Featuring beloved authors such as Maya Angelou, C.S. Lewis, Gene Luen Yang and J.K. Rowling, these stories capture the childhood triumphs, failures, and inspirations that predated their careers.

Children ages ten and up will see themselves in these humanized portraits and wonder if they, too, might have it in them to write. A celebration of creativity, this collective graphic biography is sprinkled throughout with writing wisdom and inspiring quotes.







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Judy Kundert

Judy Kundert, a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Excellence in Authorship award, loves storytelling, from folk and fairy tales to classics for elementary school children. She authors award-winning middle-grade novels designed to inspire and intrigue children. After she left her career as a United Airlines stewardess, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University, Chicago and a Master of Arts from DePaul University, Chicago. Most recently, she completed a master’s Certificate in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Denver. For fun, she likes reading (usually three or four books at a time), watching movies from the oldies to the current films, traveling, biking, and hiking in vast Colorado outdoors with her husband. Learn more at www.judykundert.com.You can find me at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains hiking, biking

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