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 September edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

alphablockAlphablock by Christopher Franceschelli; art by Peskimo
Abrams/Appleseed, 2013.
An alphabet book and guessing game in one, this is a perfect board book for toddlers. A die-cut page features the letter, with space for the reader to peak through at part of the illustration on the next page.  The full color illustrations have a 1950’s graphic quality that is distinctive, and clearly shows the items pictured. (Baby/toddler – Preschool)

favorite daughterThe Favorite Daughter written and illustrated by Allen Say
Levine/Scholastic, 2013.
Say has chosen to write a wonderful tribute to his only daughter, Yuriko, commemorating an art project about her name  that she was at first reluctant to do because of bullying. His quiet encouragement and his gentle exposure of her to Japanese customs help her produce something unique. What a quiet but obvious picture of parental pride! (Grades 2 – 6)

Yosemite’s Songster: One Coyote’s Story by Ginger Wadsworth; illustrated by Daniel San Souciyosemite
Yosemite Conservancy, 2013.
Two coyotes are separated while gathering food and their journey is  used to take readers through Yosemite. With the text and San Souci’s watercolor paintings describing the sights, this book will serve as an introduction to the National Park and one of its wildest creatures. (Preschool – Grade 2)

Fiction

after irisAfter Iris by Natasha Farrant
Dial, 2013.
Blue is still reeling from the death of her twin sister Iris in this bittersweet middle grade novel reminiscent of Hilary McKay’s Casson family series. Told with humor and deep emotion but not sentimentality, this is a moving story about a family’s healing process. Grades 5 – 8)

The Cart That Carried Martin by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Don TateThe-Cart-That-Carried-Martin-by-Eve-Bunting
Charlesbridge, 2013.
Eve Bunting’s simple story of the faded wooden cart on which Martin Luther King Jr.’s body was carried from Ebenezer Baptist Church to Morehouse College in 1968  is quiet and poignant and beautifully illustrated in pencil and gouache by Don Tate. (Kindergarten – Grade 4)

zeno and alyaThe Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya by Jane Kelley
Feiwel, 2013.
Adventures take on different meanings for Zeno, an African grey parrot, and Alya, a young cancer patient, as they each find what they desperately need in each other. (Grades 5 – 8)

Graphic

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani; illustrated by Maris Wicksprimates
First Second, 2013.
Clean, engaging drawings bring humor, clarity and insight to the intertwined lives of the three greatest primatologists: Goodall, Fossey and Galdikas. Extensive research, compressed events and some fictionalized dialogue produce a vivid story that conveys the spirit of the women, the tenor of their times, the difficulty of their living conditions and the quality of their discoveries. (Grade 7 – Adult)

Biography

FarmerWillFarmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin; illustrated by Eric Shabazz Larkin
Readers to Eaters, 2013.
Spot-on biography of Will Allen whose MacArthur Genius-awarded work in urban farming has brought nutritious food to many a table and inspiration to thousands of others to go forth and grow food – everywhere! Allen’s unique life path and his worm-fueled farming techniques are vividly portrayed through Martin’s narrative and Larkin’s ink and pen illustrations. (Grades 2 – 6)

Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Brian PinkneyMartinMahalia-cover
Little, Brown, 2013.
With poetic words and inspiring illustrations, Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney show how Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahalia Jackson came together as leaders of the civil rights movement, arriving at the pivotal moment of the 1963 March on Washington. (Grades 1 – 4)

– Hayley

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