Outstanding! (part 2)

Yesterday I posted the picture books and fiction that were rated as Outstanding in May. Today is the turn of fiction, graphic novels and professional books . Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the May edition of BayViews.


Bird Talk: What Birds are Saying and Why by Lita Judge.
Roaring Brook, 2012.
Those doing simple science reports and those who may like bird watching or visiting zoos will enjoy this introductory look at how 28 different birds communicate.  The pencil and watercolor illustrations, depicting a nearly life-size bird (in some cases) set on a stark white background, feature more artwork than text, making this a book inviting to primary graders. (Grades 1-4).

The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Veins and Vampires by H. P. Newquist.
Houghton, 2012.
The fascination, importance, and ick factor of blood is explored in this intriguing, lurid and comprehensive study, which will satisfy report writ­ers, the science minded, and sensation seekers. (Grades 4-9).

The Boy Who Harvested the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Meelner. Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon.
Dial, 2012.
Warm, earth-toned oil paintings and cut paper collage bring to life the true story of a Malawian boy who designs and builds an electric windmill, which pumps water up from the ground. (Grades K-3).

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns; photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz.
Holt, 2012.
A timely look at citizen science, everyday people collecting data for professional scientists, which will get many readers fired up and ready to become involved, and gives them all the re­sources they need to get started. (Grades 3-6).

Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O’Keeffe Painted What She Pleased by Amy Novesky; illustrated by Yuyi Morales.
Harcourt Houghton, 2012.
Invited by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired to paint many island scenes, but not the pineapples they had requested. Handsomely illustrated, this perceptive account reveals O’Keeffe’s stubborn personality and passion for painting. (Grades 1-6).

Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! by Jonah Winter; illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.
Levine/Scholastic, 2012.
As though bursting into “a peaceful, lovely landscape paint­ing,” Pablo Picasso initially excites then infuriates the art world in this energetic, insightful picture-book biography that con­veys the core of his personality and the essence of his genius. (Grades 2-5).

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal.
Feiwel/Macmillan, 2012.
From birth, early adoption, and early education through his failures and successes, this even-handed biography presents the enigmatic innovator in all his complexity for readers who have never known a world without computers. (Grades 6-10).


No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Nelson Micheaux; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.
Carolrhoda LAB, 2012.
Michaux was the owner of a landmark bookstore in Harlem, specializing in books by and about African-Americans.  The book walks the border between fiction and nonfiction, using a journal format told from a variety of voices. There is also illustrative material, including photos, newspaper clippings, FBI files, and Christie’s distinctive ink drawings. (Grades 7-12).


From Boardbook to Facebook: Children’s Services in an Interactive Age by Adele M. Fasick.
Libraries Unlimited, 2011.
Fasick’s new book on children’s library services lives up to that title by offering ideas for blending traditional library services with new technological innovations such as ebooks, Ipads, electronic media, online resources, and the growing revolution libraries are facing at this time due to these changes.  Whether you are a youth services librarian who started before we had computers, to those “digital natives” who are newer librarians, this will have something for you.

– Hayley

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