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 May edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

building our houseBuilding Our House written and illustrated by Jonathan Bean

For every child who stops to gaze at a construction site, here is a feast of how-to details that also tells a warm story of one family’s home-building adventure. (Preschool – Grade 4)

I Scream Ice Cream!: A Book of Wordles by Amy Rosenthal; illustrated by

“Wordles are groups of words that sound exactly the same but mean different things,” for example “I scream” and “ice cream.”  Not all wordles are easy to decipher but this is a wonderful book for readers who like puns and wordplay. (Grade 3 – Adult)

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone; illustrated by

Stone’s terrific telling of the story of Elizabeth Blackwell’s path to becoming the first woman doctor in the U.S. and Priceman’s energetic illustrations make this little biography engaging and empowering for young readers. (Kindergarten – Grade 2)

Fiction

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

Maggot Moon is a dystopia as bleak as 1984, seen through the eyes of a teenager who is “a breeze in the park of imagination” and has a unique, funny and almost poetic voice. (Grades 8 – 10)

Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

Oberan Venn, explorer and adventurer, is holed up in his ancestoral home figuring out the magic of the obsidan mirror, a time travel device, that will allow him to find and save his wife from a tragic accident.  His seclusion is disrupted by unexpected visitors – his angry teenage godson, a girl from the future, and a scarred face man who owned the mirror in the Victorian era.  There’s more – a fairy queen wants Venn and wants him bad. (Grade 8 – Adult)

P. S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia

Following up on her Coretta Scott King winner One Crazy Summer (2010), Rita Williams-Garcia has crafted a sequel as tremendously full of sound, light, discomfort and warmth as the original. Triumphant. (Grades 4 – 8)

Poetry

I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus by Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by

“When you use no herbs in cooking, / Do you hope you’re saving thyme? / When a lemons’ green and tiny, / Does it seem a bit sublime?”  Prelutsky has once again created joyous verse that will have kids laughing and appreciating the cleverness of wordplay from a master. (Grades 1 – 4)

Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems by Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by Carin Berger

Presented as a field guide, Children’s Poet Laureate emeritus Prelutsky and collage artist Berger introduce sixteen new specimens, including the Planda and the Slobster, created from animal names mashed up with other nouns. Poems and illustrations play on these implied traits and are beautifully crafted and full of creative wit. (Kindergarten – Grade 3)

Nonfiction

Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet written and illustrated by Andrea Cheng

In this terrific biography, Cheng gives us a powerful portrait of an amazing artist (potter), poet, and quiet rebel. The physical, mental, and spiritual pain of slavery is conveyed in (mostly short) free verse poems, many in Dave’s voice.  Cheng illustrates her own verse with striking woodcuts that deliver parts of the story in bold strokes of black-and-white. (Grade 3 – Adult)

The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage by Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens writes a memoir of his young manhood, including his humanitarian work in Bosnia and Rwanda, his Rhodes Scholarship, and, especially, his training to become a Navy SEAL.  Greitens has a message for teens – think critically, challenge yourself, and be strong in order to serve others. (Grades 7 – 11)

– Hayley

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