Outstanding!

Every month, we 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 December edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

charley's first nightCharley’s First Night by Amy Hest; illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
Candlewick, 2012.
Henry knows his dog, Charley. is to sleep in the kitchen on his first night in the house, but to comfort Charley when he’s crying in night, Henry takes him into his bed where they both fall asleep. (Preschool – Grade 2)

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Peter BrownCrazy-Carrots-cover1
Simon & Schuster, 2012.
An inventive, visually appealing narrative picture book that tells the story of Jasper Rabbit, who begins to notice creepy carrots following him after grabbing carrot snacks from Crankenhopper Field. The use of black, white, gray and contrasting orange illustrations creates an almost cinematic atmosphere. Works one-on-one or as a read-aloud. (Preschool – Grade 3)

goldilocksGoldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: As Retold by Mo Willems and illustrated by Mo Willems
Balzer & Bray, 2012.
A very funny fractured fairy tale take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this picture book works on several levels, subverting well-worn genre conventions while creating fresh, funny characters. Deceptively simple mixed media pencil and digital illustrations let the story and characters shine through. Works as a read-aloud or one-on-one. (Preschool – Grade 2)

Little Tug written and illustrated by Stephen Savagelittle tug
N. Porter/Roaring Brook, 2012.
Though not the biggest, tallest or fastest boat in the harbor, Little Tug still has an important role to play.  Savage’s latest is easy on young eyes with its limited, soothing color palette rendered primarily in shades of blue, solid shapes set in graphic color blocks, and one short phrase/sentence per page. (Baby/toddler – Preschool)

trains-goTrains Go written and illustrated by Steve Light
Chronicle, 2012.
Hitch a ride on a freight train, streamliner, mountain train, speed train, old steam train, diesel train, big steam train, and caboose as they clang, chug, and clutter across the pages of this buoyant board book. (Baby/toddler – Preschool)

Fiction

Dodger by Terry PratchettDodger
HarperCollins, 2012.
The first historical novel by popular English fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett captures London life during Victoria’s early reign. Teens willing to dig into Dodger will be rewarded with humor, a fast-paced mystery and a painless history lesson. (Grades 8 – 12)

every dayEvery Day by David Levithan
Knopf, 2012.
Every day, A wakes up in a different body – life has always been like this. Until A meets Rhiannon and falls deeply in love. Teens will be fascinated with Levithan’s philosophical musings on love, identity, gender and relationships, and yet they will ultimately be drawn by this love story. (Grades 8 – 12)

Hokey Pokey by Jerry SpinelliHokey-Pokey-Spinelli-Jerry-9780375831980
Knopf, 2012.
Jerry Spinelli’s novel unfolds in the mysterious realm of Hokey Pokey, whose inhabitants are all children, and follows the slow awakening of Jack, the oldest, to his departure from Hokey Pokey into maturity.  Wildly inventive language describes various stages of childhood; the book’s child appeal is less certain than appreciation by adults who have a backward perspective to inform them. (Grade 6 – adult)

Nonfiction

hand-in-handHand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Disney/Jump at the Sun, 2012.
In this collective biography, the author celebrates ten African-American men of achievement, from Benjamin Banneker to Barack Obama.  Each segment (approx. 20 pages in length), gives quite a bit of detail on each individual, and will both inform and inspire young readers and work as a resource for reports. Embellishments for each segment include an original poem about the person, a portrait, and a few scattered watercolor illustrations done in Pinkney’s distinctive style. (Grades 5 – 8)

Noah Webster and His Words by Jeri Chase Ferris; illustrated by Vincent X. KirschNoah-Webster-and-His-Words-by-Jeri-Chase-Ferris
Houghton, 2012.
Noah Webster is celebrated in this lively picture book biography, which describes his efforts in writing the first dictionary in the U.S., and his efforts in achieving literacy for everyone.  The narrative has a wry humor at times and periodically there are definitions inserted for words that may be unfamiliar to the primary grade reader. The quirky illustration style suits the subject and tone of the narrative. (Kindergarten – Grade 3)

one times squareOne Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World written and illustrated by Joe McKendry
Godine, 2012.
Covering more than a century of dramatic urban change, this engrossing visual history of Times Square traces the area’s heyday, decay, and renewal, describes and depicts significant architectural structures, and explains the technology behind the iconic bright lights and advertising signs. (Grade 5 – Adult)

– Hayley

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