Spotlight on Cynthia Rylant


Cynthia Rylant, born June 6th, 1954, is an American author and librarian who has written extensively for early readers. Rylant's beloved series, like Henry and Mudge, as well as her award-winning titles have made her a beloved author for children of all ages. In honor of the author's birthday, we're highlighting some of her work here for you to enjoy.

The Henry and Mudge Series

The highly-acclaimed Henry and Mudge series follows Henry, a young boy who lives on a street without any children, and his new dog Mudge. Mudge is a sweet little puppy...but not for long. Mudge soon grows into the massive, lovable icon we all know. Their many books follow the two's adventures on their street and in their town, facing rain, Halloween, vet visits, and more. Many of the Henry and Mudge books also include a read-along CD, to help beginner readers.

If you love Henry and Mudge, there's also a spinoff series, Annie and Snowball, about Henry's cousin and her pet rabbit.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Series

Similar in reading level and scope to Henry and Mudge, Mr. Putter and Tabby follows Mr. Putter and his pet cat Tabby. Not many children's series focus on a retired older man as the protagonist, but Mr. Putter still manages to delight and entertain young readers.

Dog Heaven (and Cat Heaven)

Not only a writer of charming stories, Cynthia Rylant wrote and illustrated these classic books to help young children understand where their pet has gone after death. With dreamlike sequences of dogs playing in fields full of ice cream, and cats can enjoy napping in the laps of angels. These books contain light Christian-based spirituality, with mentions of angels and God.

Missing May

Tackling death for older elementary school readers, Missing May is the Newbery Award-winning story of a young girl, Summer, losing her Aunt May, who was also her guardian. Summer and Uncle Ob have to find a way to keep Aunt May in their lives, while still moving forward after loss.

A Kitten in Gooseberry Park

Kona the labrador, Gwendolyn the hermit crab, and Murray the bat help a lost bobcat kitten find his family after being swept down the mountain from the rain.


Poppleton the pig makes a friend, reads a library book about adventure, and helps a sick friend get better.

Some descriptions adapted from the publisher.
By CynthiaM on June 3, 2024