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 September edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

Baby Bear Sees Blue written and illustrated by Ashley Wolff
Beach Lane, 2012.
As a curious young bear asks question after question, his mother patiently shows him the world around him. Baby Bear stops to notice the special colors: the yellow sun, the green leaves, the brown trout. Wolff’s intricate woodcuts and radiant watercolors capture the joy that mother and baby experience as they explore their world, in this perfectly paced picture book.
 (Toddler – Preschool)

Gem written and illustrated by Holly Hobbie
Little Brown, 2012.
With shades of spring greens and dandelion yellows, Hobbie (Toot and Puddle, 1997) captures two journeys in this beautiful wordless picture book: that of the young toad, Gem, and of Hobbie’s granddaughter, Hope. Hobbie’s watercolor illustrations create both a sense of wonder and drama in this small springtime story of friendship and acceptance. (Preschool – Grade 3)

One Special Day by Lola M.Schaefer; illustrated by Jessica Meserve
Hyperion/Disney, 2012.
Spencer undergoes a remarkable transformation from a wild and raucous boy to a gentle, big brother in a joyful, tender story for “big brothers and sisters.” (Preschool – Grade 1)

Presioni Aqui written and illustrated Herve Tullet
Chronicle, 2012.
Excellent Spanish translation of Herve Tullet’s Press Here (2011). (Preschool – Grade 2)

Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always written and illustrated by Tao Nyeu
Dial/Penguin, 2012.
Squid and Octopus sometimes disagree, but in these four silly yet cozy stories, they are always the best of friends. (Preschool – Grade 1)


Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
Candlewick, 2012.
In 1860’s London, Clara disappears after hosting puppeteer Grisini at her birthday party. When Grisini too goes missing, it’s up to his apprentices to find out what’s going on. Oozing atmosphere, this Dickensian novel is brimming with rich description, vividly drawn characters, and the perfect amount of creepiness. (Grades 4 – 8)


Drama written and illustrated by Rana Telegemeier
Graphix/Scholastic, 2012.
Callie is a proud member of the school play’s tech crew, and she experiences some personal drama in the form of unrequited crushes. But more than teen romance, Drama is a wonderful tribute to the joys of teamwork, strong friendships, and pouring your heart into doing what you love. (Grades 4 – 8)


A Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle written and illustrated by Claire Nivola
Farrar, 2012.
Nivola (Planting the Trees of Kenya, 2008) creates a beautifully illustrated, detailed picture book biography that conveys oceanographer Earle’s passion for teaching others about the wonders of the ocean, the importance of learning all we can about the life beneath the surface, and the belief that we all must take care of the world’s oceans. (Grades 2 – 5)

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose
Farrar, 2012.
By studying the success of B95, a rufa red knot who has lived 20 years and flown over 325,000 miles in his yearly trip from Tierra Del Fuego to Southampton Island in the Arctic, scientists hope to save the diminishing numbers of this amazing shorebird species. Maps, source notes, excellent photos and anecdotes make the title as distinguished as Hoose’s The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (2004). (Grade 5 – Adult)

– Hayley

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