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 July edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

blue socksHave You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
Clarion/Houghton, 2013.
Little green duck cannot find his new blue socks, and asks the fox, ox and peacocks if they have seen them. This works both as a storytime choice as well as a picture book that is easy for a beginning reader, due to the consistent Seuss-like rhyme, repetition, easy vocabulary, and guessing game element of the story. (Preschool – Grade 2)

Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos; illustrated by Joy Angmustache baby
Clarion, 2013.
Riding the wave of the hipster craze is this hysterical, highly original book about a baby born with a mustache.  As Baby Billy gets older, his facial hair changes from a straight, good-guy mustache into a curly, bad-guy mustache. (Preschool – Adult)

Readers

luluLulu and the Dog from the Sea by Hilary McKay; illustrated by Priscilla Lamont
A. Whitman, 2013,
In this second book starring Lulu, a young British girl of African descent and an animal lover, Lulu and her cousin find a dog when on vacation. Black and white ink sketches beautifully capture the personalities of both girls and dog. A great series for summer reading that will appeal to fans of Ivy + Bean. (Grades 2 – 4)

Fiction

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowelleleanor
St Martin’s, 2013.
High schoolers in 1986 Nebraska unite as they share the experience of being an outsider.  Nuanced characters, and plenty of ambiguity encourage readers to draw their own conclusions and set this novel apart from others in the YA genre. (Grade 9 – Adult)

LarasGiftLara’s Gift by Annemarie O’Brien
Knopf/Random, 2013.
Young Lara dreams of becoming the next kennel steward raising prestigious borzoi dogs on Count Vorontsov’s countryside estate. When her mother gives birth to a son, Lara is caught between honoring her family’s traditional values and her own dreams. O’Brien creates a fully realized setting, weaving many historical, cultural and linguistic details into this compelling story. (Grades 5 – 8)

The Lost Kingdom by Matthew J. Kirbylost kingdom
Scholastic, 2013.
Kirby (Icefall, 2011) skillfully mixes fact, fiction, myth and fantasy, in this rousing adventure yarn about an expedition of the American Philosophical Society in 1753, which also weaves in wider themes of difference and father-son relationships. (Grades 5 – 8)

openly straightOpenly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
A. Levine, 2013.
High school sophomore Rafe Goldberg leaves his public high school, where he is openly gay, for a boys boarding school where he decides to leave the “gay boy” label behind and become “openly straight.”  A funny and honest examination of the complex feelings that come with being labeled, and how those labels are really seen by those around us. (Grades 8 – 12)

Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed; illustrated by Barbara McClintocktwelve-kinds-of-ice
Houghton, 2012.
Lyrically describing a family’s love for ice, conveying the thrill and fun of skating that causes them to chart their year by the different kinds of ice that arrive during a winter. This fictionalized, nostalgic memoir delights and informs and is equally well suited for reading to younger children or for tweens to read themselves. (Grades 2 – 6)

Poetry

cat-talkCat Talk by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest; illustrated by Barry Moser
K. Tegen/HarperCollins, 2013.
Thirteen poems eloquently convey the charm and eccentricity of cats.  The variety in personalities is shown vividly by MacLachlan and Charest’s poignant words and by Moser’s exquisite watercolor illustrations.  The cats are all beautiful, even the scruffy one with the softness of their shapes suggests stillness waiting on movement. (Grades 1 – 3)

Nonfiction

SandraMarkleBatsBookBats: Biggest! Littlest! by Sandra Markle
Boyds Mill, 2013.
Fourteen bats from the world’s smallest to the largest and from six countries are shown with their special adaptations for surviving. Clear color photos entice the reader to turn each page. A map at the end points out where each is from. This title is a must for public and school libraries. (Grades 2 – 4)

facesFaces from the Past: Forgotten People of North America by James M. Deems
Houghton, 2012.
The modern study of skeletons, and the sculpturing of faces from skulls, in particular, brings to light the stories of forgotten people buried in unmarked graves in North America. (Grade 5 – Adult)

– Hayley

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