For the third A-Z list, I am selecting a single child's author from each letter of the alphabet.
A is for Alexander
I fell in love with Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Series when I was in elementary school. The honest truth is I took out the first book because Taran, the main character, looked like Luke Skywalker.
Yup, back then, I was a HUGE Star Wars fan. I was Luke Skywalker for Halloween one year and Princess Leia the next. And Taran was wearing the right type of clothes (see cover below).
I still own it.
In some ways, if you have read a fantasy series, you have read the Prydain Series. All the expected motifs are there: the boy who journeys from naivety to mature understanding (see, it IS Star Wars), the wise mentor, the lovely princess-queen, the poet-warrior, the great battle.
And yet, Alexander's use of Welsh mythology grounds his fantasy motifs in a unique milieu (and he delivers the mythology consistently). Plus his characterizations make the story a story, not merely a collection of fantasy motifs. As I've mentioned elsewhere, a good fantasy novel/series involves more than putting a hero, wizard, elf, dwarf, princess, and bad guy into a bag and shaking them up.
The Prydain Series is a good series! And one that I predict will continue to last.