Outstanding!

Every month, we’ll post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ and nominated for our Distinguished List at our previous month’s meeting. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the June edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
Hyperion, 2012
Pigeon throws a fit when Duckling gets a cookie. With references from previous books and the deceptively simple illustrations conveying multiple emotions from the pigeon, this is a hilarious lesson in manners. (PreK – Grade 2)

Faster! Faster! by Leslie Patricelli
Candlewick, 2012.
Brightly textured illustrations show how a girl’s imagination can turn a ride on Daddy’s back into the adventure of a lifetime. The visual clues and repetitive text will encourage active participation during storytime. (Baby/Toddler – Kindergarten)

Freedom’s A-Callin’ Me by Ntozake Shange; illustrated by Rod Brown
Amistad, 2012.
In this collection of free verse Ntozake Shange describes, in the dialectal voices of the travelers, powerful and disturbing journeys on the Underground Railroad, illustrating beautiful oil-painting illustrations by Rod Brown. (Grade 6 – Adult)

Just Ducks! By Nicola Davies; illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino
Candlewick, 2012.
A young girl narrates her day in a town full of mallard ducks, sharing information about ducks’ lives in a well-illustrated informational picture book. Can work well as read-aloud. (Baby/toddler – PreK)

The Monster Returns by Peter McCarty
Henry Holt, 2012.
The monster Jeremy thought he was rid of returns, so he enlists some new friends to help him out.  A sweet message about friendship, and bright pen, ink and watercolor illustrations abound in this equally deadpan sequel to Jeremy Draws a Monster (Henry Holt, 2009). (PreK – Grade 2)

No Jumping on the Bed by Tedd Arnold
Dial, 1987, 2012.
Walter ignores his father’s warning and jumps on the bed falling through every floor of his apartment building till he lands in the basement and realizes the whole adventure was a dream. (PreK – Grade 2)

We March by Shane W. Evans
Roaring Brook, 2012.
In simple prose and images, Evans tells the story of one child whose family participated in the 1963 March on Washington. This essential story invites young children to imagine themselves joining this historic event. (PreK – Grade 2)

Fiction

Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers 
Houghton Mifflin, 2012.
Seventeen-year-old assassin Ismae is tasked with finding and dispatching the traitors in the Duchess’ court at Guérande. (Grade 9 – Adult)

Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery & a Very Strange Adventure by Lissa Evans
Sterling, 2012.
Stuart Horten and friends must solve a series of puzzles to locate his mysterious magician great-uncle’s long-long workshop. A page-turning mystery, with elements of magical realism. (Grades 3-5)

One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt
Nancy Paulsen, 2012.
Thirteen-year old Carley Connors works hard to keep her feelings completely hidden as she is thrust into foster care, but she slowly learns to understand what it means to belong to a loving family, in this richly realized debut novel. (Grades 4-8)

Sadie and Ratz by Sonya Hartnett; illustrated by Ann James
Candlewick, 2012.
Hannah’s hands – troublemakers named Sadie and Ratz – struggle to change their mischievous ways in an exploration of imaginative play, sibling dynamics, and children’s burgeoning self-control. Energetic charcoal illustrations enhance the emotion of this satisfying story. (Grades 1 – 3)

Nonfiction

Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies by Marc Aronson
Candlewick, 2012.
Aronson’s discussion of Hoover against the background of major social challenges – the civil rights movement, labor unrest, Communist hysteria- leaves the reader not only enlightened but empowered to think seriously about the ways we in the 21st century will try to balance the demands of national security with the commitment to individual freedoms. (Grade 8 – Adult)

Professional

Show Me a Story: Why Picture Books Matter compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus
Candlewick, 2012.
Leonard Marcus has collected a series of “conversations” with 21 picturebook illustrators, including Maurice Sendak, Mo Willems, Yumi Heo, and Jerry Pinkney.  The relaxed back-and-forth yields fascinating glimpses of a variety of creative approaches.

– Hayley

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