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
Farrar, 2013.
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 Serge Blochi-scream-ice-cream
Chronicle, 2013.
“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 WomenWho Says Women Can’t Be Doctors: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone; illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
H. Holt, 2013.
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

Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisherobsidian
Dial, 2013.
Oberon Venn, explorer and adventurer, is holed up in his ancestral home figuring out the magic of the obsidian mirror, a time travel device, which will allow him to find and save his wife from a tragic accident. Fisher, author of Incarceron (2010), has created another page-turner with well-developed characters and a keen sense of historical setting, science fiction, and fantasy. (Grade 8 – Adult)

ps be elevenP. S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
Amistad, 2013.
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 Jackie Urbanovichippopotamus
Greenwillow, 2012.
“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)

stardinesStardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems by Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by Carin Berger
Greenwillow, 2013.
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 Chengetched in clay
Lee & Low, 2013.
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)

warrior's heartThe Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage by Eric Greitens
Houghton, 2012.
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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