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The Best Books for Children - 2013

Award season is upon us!

But did you know that the very best of the best in books for children are also recognized this month? In less than two weeks (Monday, January 28th) the American Library Association will name the recipients of their 2013 ALA Youth Media Awards, including the John Newbery Medal, the Randolph Caldecott Medal, and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards.

In preparation for this exciting news, Richland Library’s team of Children’s Librarians has put together a list featuring some of our favorite books from 2012. Check out the titles, below, or stop by your favorite library location for more great recommendations. And check back on the 28th to discover if your favorite book or author won.


Leah B. Says: Board Book
Amazon Says: This interactive board book allows children to learn their ABC's with 26 durable sliding panels and a whole alphabet of colorful creatures. Kids will love reading this book a more...
Amazon Says: This interactive board book allows children to learn their ABC's with 26 durable sliding panels and a whole alphabet of colorful creatures. Kids will love reading this book and parents will love how their faces light up as they guess what creature will appear on the next page. With beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, it’s a fun and exciting way of learning the alphabet that kids will never tire of. less...
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I Can Do It Myself! by Stephen Krensky
Leah B. Says: Board Book
Amazon Says: Children and parents alike will delight in this joyous declaration of toddler independence. This book celebrates the feats of growing out of babyhood and starting to embrace t more...
Amazon Says: Children and parents alike will delight in this joyous declaration of toddler independence. This book celebrates the feats of growing out of babyhood and starting to embrace the world on your own terms. Whether it’s being tall enough to reach a high shelf or brave enough to splash in the waves, Krensky and Gillingham address the small victories that come with growing just a little bit older. Energentic text and retro-fresh illustrations celebrate this important developmental stage with charm and relevance. Note: illustrations are in the style of vintage screen prints, with imperfect variations in color and texture. Praise for I Can Do It Myself "Short and satisfying, these 'empowering celebrations' of burgeoning independence will encourage small children to see how far they've already come." —The Wall Street Journal "Krensky celebrates the increasing independence of toddlers and their pride of accomplishment." —The Horn Book Awards The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens - Spring 2013 Toronto Public Library system’s “First & Best” Reading Program less...
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This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: WINNER OF THE 2013 CALDECOTT MEDAL! From the creator of the #1 New York Times best-selling and award-winning I Want My Hat Back comes a second wry tale. When a tiny f more...
Amazon Says: WINNER OF THE 2013 CALDECOTT MEDAL! From the creator of the #1 New York Times best-selling and award-winning I Want My Hat Back comes a second wry tale. When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened. . . . Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale. less...
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Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Die cut pages bring surprise after surprise in this magical new book from the "Queen of the concept book"—an intricate and satisfying homage to green, the color of all creat more...
Amazon Says: Die cut pages bring surprise after surprise in this magical new book from the "Queen of the concept book"—an intricate and satisfying homage to green, the color of all creation. How many kinds of green are there? There's the lush green of a forest on a late spring day, the fresh, juicy green of a just-cut lime, the incandescent green of a firefly, and the vivid aquamarine of a tropical sea. In her newest book, Caldecott and Geisel Honor Book author Laura Vaccaro Seeger fashions an homage to a single color and, in doing so, creates a book that will delight and, quite possibly astonish you.  Green is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012 Green is a 2013 Caldecott Honor Book less...
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Mice by Rose Fyleman
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: The lights are out—and so are the impy house mice—in this delightful nighttime cat-and-mouse adventure. Could it be true that mice are…nice? That’s certainly more...
Amazon Says: The lights are out—and so are the impy house mice—in this delightful nighttime cat-and-mouse adventure. Could it be true that mice are…nice? That’s certainly what the cat thinks in this after-dark romp just perfect for young children. Featuring whimsical, comforting text and vibrant collage illustrations from Caldecott Honor medalist Lois Ehlert, this engaging story puts a fresh spin on the classic cat-and-mouse dynamic. less...
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The Bear in the Book by Kate Banks
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: It's time for bed, and a little boy chooses his favorite book for his mother to read to him. The bear in the book is preparing for his own deep slumber, hibernating through t more...
Amazon Says: It's time for bed, and a little boy chooses his favorite book for his mother to read to him. The bear in the book is preparing for his own deep slumber, hibernating through the winter while humans and other animals explore the snowy landscape around him. Just when the bear wakes up to greet the spring, the boy drifts off to sleep. Kate Banks’ soft and rhythmic text is brought to life by Georg Hallensleben’s strong, expressive paintings in this bedtime read that will carry young readers through the seasons. less...
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Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller, is the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn transfor more...
Amazon Says: Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller, is the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community.With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.Extra Yarn is written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, who also won a Caldecott Medal for This Is Not My Hat.Supports the Common Core State Standards. less...
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Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Caldecott Medalist Paul O. Zelinsky illustrates Kelly Bingham's outrageously funny, critically acclaimed, and boundary-breaking story about a moose, a zebra, and the alphabet! more...
Amazon Says: Caldecott Medalist Paul O. Zelinsky illustrates Kelly Bingham's outrageously funny, critically acclaimed, and boundary-breaking story about a moose, a zebra, and the alphabet! Zebra wants to put on a show as simple as ABC, but Zebra's friend Moose has other (unexpected and hilarious) ideas!Zebra thinks the alphabet should be simple. A is for Apple. B is for Ball. Easy! But his friend Moose is too excited to wait his turn, and when M isn't for Moose (Mouse gets the honor), the rest of the letters better run for cover. Exuberant and zany storytelling brings to life two friends and one laugh-out-loud comedy of errors that's about friendship, sharing, and compromise. The incomparable Paul O. Zelinsky's artwork is bursting at the seams—literally—with child appeal. Breaking the borders of the page, and creating the art both digitally and traditionally, Zelinsky turns convention on its head. The result is a picture book that is innovative, hilarious, and begging to be read over and over again.Named a Notable Book for Children by the American Library AssociationSupports the Common Core State Standards less...
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Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell...Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to more...
Amazon Says: It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell...Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story? This endearing story of friendship and patience is a worthy companion to Philip and Erin Stead's last collaboration, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.  Bear Has a Story to Tell is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012 less...
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Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Two adorably floppy dogs confront unexpected change in this endearing picture book from two-time Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee. Boot and Shoe were born into t more...
Amazon Says: Two adorably floppy dogs confront unexpected change in this endearing picture book from two-time Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee. Boot and Shoe were born into the same litter, and now they live in the same house. They eat out of the same bowl, pee on the same tree, and sleep in the same bed. But they spend their days apart—Boot on the back porch because he’s a back porch kind of dog, and Shoe on the front porch because he’s a front porch kind of dog. This is exactly perfect for them. But then a crazy neighborhood squirrel arrives . . . and everything goes topsy-turvy!      Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee brings her signature wit, tenderness, and hilarious illustrations to this tale of an irresistible puppy pair. less...
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Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant min more...
Amazon Says: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.One day—for no particular reason—they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then—for no particular reason—they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl.Definitely not!Supports the Common Core State Standards. less...
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Hide & Seek by Il Sung Na
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: As Elephant counts from one to ten, all the animals find special places to hide. When it's time to seek, will he be able to find everyone . . . even Chameleon? Like Na's prev more...
Amazon Says: As Elephant counts from one to ten, all the animals find special places to hide. When it's time to seek, will he be able to find everyone . . . even Chameleon? Like Na's previous books, Hide & Seek offers rich illustrations, bright colors, and a simple, spare text—all wrapped up in a beautiful kid-friendly package. Elephant counts from one to ten in big, bold numerals, and there's an additional butterfly on each spread, giving readers something to count as the story goes along. Kids will also love spotting the camouflaged chameleon on every page! less...
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And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Following a snow-filled winter, a young boy and his dog decide that they've had enough of all that brown and resolve to plant a garden. They dig, they plant, they play, they w more...
Amazon Says: Following a snow-filled winter, a young boy and his dog decide that they've had enough of all that brown and resolve to plant a garden. They dig, they plant, they play, they wait . . . and wait . . . until at last, the brown becomes a more hopeful shade of brown, a sign that spring may finally be on its way. Julie Fogliano's tender story of anticipation is brought to life by the distinctive illustrations Erin E. Stead, recipient of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.  And Then It's Spring is one The Washington Post's Best Kids Books of 2012.One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012 less...
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A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: While out foraging for interesting things, Vernon the toad finds a new friend - a small blue bird who is curiously silent. Vernon shows Bird the river and the forest and some more...
Amazon Says: While out foraging for interesting things, Vernon the toad finds a new friend - a small blue bird who is curiously silent. Vernon shows Bird the river and the forest and some of his other favorite things, but Bird says nothing. Vernon introduces Bird to his friends, Skunk and Porcupine, but Bird still says nothing. "Bird is shy," says Vernon, "but also a very good listener." Vernon worries that Bird is silent because he misses his home, so the two set off on a journey to help find a home for Bird. This is a tender tale of a thoughtful friend who is determined to help his quiet companion, by the author of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. A Home for Bird is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012 less...
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Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big su more...
Amazon Says: Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission? With spare text and lush illustrations, Nighttime Ninja is a fun, adventure-filled story about the power of play and imagination. less...
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Oh, No! by Candace Fleming
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: "This picture book reads like an instant classic.... Oh, yes!" raved Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. Young children will delight in repeating the refrain "OH, NO!" as one more...
Amazon Says: "This picture book reads like an instant classic.... Oh, yes!" raved Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. Young children will delight in repeating the refrain "OH, NO!" as one animal after another falls into a deep, deep hole in this lively read-aloud. This simple and irresistible picture book by hugely popular picture book creators—Candace Fleming and Caldecott medalist Eric Rohmann—feels like a classic-in-the-making. Fans of Rohmann's Caldecott Medal­-winning My Friend Rabbit, will be thrilled to see a new book created in the same expressive and comical style. less...
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We March by Shane W. Evans
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place--more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation's capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Th more...
Amazon Says: On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place--more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation's capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his  historic “I Have a Dream” speech, advocating racial harmony. Many words have been written about that day, but few so delicate and powerful as those presented here by award-winning author and illustrator Shane W. Evans. When combined with his simple yet compelling illustrations, the thrill of the day is brought to life for even the youngest reader to experience. We March is one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012 less...
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East Dragon, West Dragon by Robyn Eversole
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Two giant, imposing dragons confront their greatest fears…each other! East Dragon and West Dragon live on opposite sides of the world. They have never met—and the more...
Amazon Says: Two giant, imposing dragons confront their greatest fears…each other! East Dragon and West Dragon live on opposite sides of the world. They have never met—and they like it that way. East Dragon is sure that West Dragon’s huge wings mean that he is very, very strong. West Dragon fears that East Dragon’s long, swishy tail means that he is very, very fierce. But when some meddlesome knights start a riff between their two kingdoms, East Dragon and West Dragon are finally forced to come face-to-fire-breathing-face. Might the two dragons finally discover they aren’t so different after all? Detail-rich illustrations combine with a lighthearted, inspiring message to create a playful twist on the classic theme of fierce, fearless dragons. This story of friendship across cultures begs to be read again and again! less...
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Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: The #1 New York Times Bestseller This irresistible sequel to the New York Times bestselling How Rocket Learned to Read is "a perfect choice to inspire new readers and more...
Amazon Says: The #1 New York Times Bestseller This irresistible sequel to the New York Times bestselling How Rocket Learned to Read is "a perfect choice to inspire new readers and writers," according to a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. Rocket loves books and he wants to make his own, but he can't think of a story. Encouraged by the little yellow bird to look closely at the world around him for inspiration, Rocket sets out on a journey. Along the way he discovers small details that he has never noticed before, a timid baby owl who becomes his friend, and an idea for a story. Declared a best children's book of the year by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, this book is sure to appeal to kids, parents, teachers, and librarians. less...
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Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: 2013 Randolph Caldecott Honor Award In this magical bedtime story, the lyrical narrative echoes a Runaway Bunny – like cadence: “Does everything in the world go to sleep? more...
Amazon Says: 2013 Randolph Caldecott Honor Award In this magical bedtime story, the lyrical narrative echoes a Runaway Bunny – like cadence: “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In sincere and imaginative dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger. The Caldecott Honor artist Pamela Zagarenski’s rich, luminous mixed-media paintings effervesce with odd, charming details that nonsleepy children could examine for hours. A rare gem. less...
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Step Gently Out by Helen Frost
Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text implore children to look more closely at the world around them. Be still, and watch a single blade of grass. An ant cl more...
Amazon Says: Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text implore children to look more closely at the world around them. Be still, and watch a single blade of grass. An ant climbs up to look around. A honeybee flies past. What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a cricket leap, a moth spread her wings, or a spider step across a silken web. In simple, evocative language, Helen Frost offers a hint at the many tiny creatures around us. And in astonishing close-up photographs, Rick Lieder captures the glint of a katydid's eye, the glow of a firefly, and many more living wonders just awaiting discovery. Fascinating facts about all the creatures pictured may be found at the end. less...
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Leah B. Says: Picture Book
Amazon Says: The creators of Jazz ABZ are back for an encore! With infectious rhythm and rhyme, musical master Wynton Marsalis opens kids’ ears to the sounds around us. What’s more...
Amazon Says: The creators of Jazz ABZ are back for an encore! With infectious rhythm and rhyme, musical master Wynton Marsalis opens kids’ ears to the sounds around us. What’s that sound? The back door squeeeaks open, sounding like a noisy mouse nearby — eeek, eeeek, eeeek! Big trucks on the highway rrrrrrrumble, just as hunger makes a tummy grrrrumble. Ringing with exuberance and auditory delights, this second collaboration by world-renowned jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers takes readers (and listeners) on a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood. less...
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Castle: How It Works by David Macaulay
Leah B. Says: Beginning Reader
Amazon Says: Take a tour of a medieval castle. Every part of the castle has a function. Walls keep the enemy out. Towers protect the lord and the soldiers. From the moat and portcullis to more...
Amazon Says: Take a tour of a medieval castle. Every part of the castle has a function. Walls keep the enemy out. Towers protect the lord and the soldiers. From the moat and portcullis to the great hall and dungeon, see how a castle works as an enemy army tries to storm the walls.  Castle: How It Works is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012 less...
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No Fooling by Dori Chaconas
Leah B. Says: Beginning Reader
Amazon Says: Cork is a muskrat who likes small, safe adventures. Fuzz is a possum who likes big, exciting adventures. When Fuzz convinces Cork to go with him on a snowy exploration in the more...
Amazon Says: Cork is a muskrat who likes small, safe adventures. Fuzz is a possum who likes big, exciting adventures. When Fuzz convinces Cork to go with him on a snowy exploration in the eighth book of this popular series, both friends discover how brave they really are. Plus they learn something important about when it is and isn't okay to fool someone you care about. less...
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Leah B. Says: Beginning Reader
Amazon Says: “Get up!” cries Mac. “It’s hot outside.So hot we need to take a ride. The bus will take us to the sea. Get up now, Cheese, and come with me!”Best friends Mac and Che more...
Amazon Says: “Get up!” cries Mac. “It’s hot outside.So hot we need to take a ride. The bus will take us to the sea. Get up now, Cheese, and come with me!”Best friends Mac and Cheese are back—and this time, Mac wants Cheese to go to the beach with him. But oh, no, Cheese doesn’t like the beach at all! Mac finally convinces Cheese that the sea is the place to be. So with their bags packed, the friends set off—only to miss their bus. Can Cheese find a way to give his friend a fun-in-the-sun day anyway?From beloved duo Sarah Weeks and Jane Manning, the second adventure of these endearing odd-couple alley cats is sure to delight beginning readers. less...
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Leah B. Says: Beginning Reader
Amazon Says: WINNER OF A 2013 GEISEL HONOR! Rabbit’s carefully planned visit with Robot doesn’t work out exactly as he imagined in this offbeat tale about two comically mismatched more...
Amazon Says: WINNER OF A 2013 GEISEL HONOR! Rabbit’s carefully planned visit with Robot doesn’t work out exactly as he imagined in this offbeat tale about two comically mismatched friends. Rabbit is excited: his friend Robot is coming to spend the night! Rabbit has left nothing to chance and has drawn up a list of all the things they will do. First off is making pizza, but Robot only likes nuts and bolts and screws on top (good thing he has magnetic hands). Next on the list is watching TV, but the remote is missing, and Rabbit is panicking! Will Robot find a logical (and rather obvious) solution to the problem? Number three is . . . uh-oh! Why is Robot lying down instead of playing Go Fish? And what is that message reading "BAT" printing out from a slot on his front? New readers who like silly stories will race through this funny adventure about a rabbit who likes to be in control and an obliging robot who calmly keeps their friendship humming. less...
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Leah B. Says: Novel
Amazon Says: Lulu loves animals. When Lulu finds a duck egg that has rolled out of its nest, she takes it to class to keep it safe. Lulu isn't allowed to bring pets to school. But she's no more...
Amazon Says: Lulu loves animals. When Lulu finds a duck egg that has rolled out of its nest, she takes it to class to keep it safe. Lulu isn't allowed to bring pets to school. But she's not really breaking the rules because it's just an egg. Surely nothing bad will happen... A fun-filled new series for early readers and animal lovers alike. less...
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Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
Leah B. Says: Novel
Amazon Says: Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. Th more...
Amazon Says: Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle.  His father is the unpredictable one. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out. They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . . It's anyone's guess who will actually survive "Expedition Survival". . . . less...
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The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Leah B. Says: Novel
Amazon Says: "We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teache more...
Amazon Says: "We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression has hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie's beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone. less...
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Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Leah B. Says: Novel
Amazon Says: The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers now also includes the bestselling short story The Julian Chapter. I won't describ more...
Amazon Says: The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers now also includes the bestselling short story The Julian Chapter. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. "Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder less...
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Love, Amalia by Alma Flor Ada
Leah B. Says: Novel
Amazon Says: A young girl’s discovery of her cultural heritage helps her lovingly cope with loss in this tender tale from acclaimed authors Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta. more...
Amazon Says: A young girl’s discovery of her cultural heritage helps her lovingly cope with loss in this tender tale from acclaimed authors Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta. Amalia’s best friend Martha is moving away, and Amalia is feeling sad and angry. And yet, even when life seems unfair, the loving, wise words of Amalia’s abuelita have a way of making everything a little bit brighter. Amalia finds great comfort in times shared with her grandmother: cooking, listening to stories and music, learning, and looking through her treasured box of family cards.      But when another loss racks Amalia’s life, nothing makes sense anymore. In her sorrow, will Amalia realize just how special she is, even when the ones she loves are no longer near?      From leading voices in Hispanic literature, this thoughtful and touching depiction of one girl’s transition through loss and love is available in both English and Spanish. less...
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Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst
Leah B. Says: Novel
Amazon Says: Feisty Lulu sets out to earn some cash in this illustrated chapter book from children’s book legends Judith Viorst and Lane Smith. The stubbornly hilarious Lulu has more...
Amazon Says: Feisty Lulu sets out to earn some cash in this illustrated chapter book from children’s book legends Judith Viorst and Lane Smith. The stubbornly hilarious Lulu has decided it’s time to buckle down and earn some cash. How else can she save up enough money to buy the very special thing that she is ALWAYS and FOREVER going to want? After some failed attempts at lucrative gigs (baking cookies, spying, reading to old people), dog walking seems like a sensible choice. But Brutus, Pookie, and Cordelia are not interested in making the job easy, and the infuriatingly helpful neighborhood goody-goody, Fleischman, has Lulu at the end of her rope. And with three wild dogs at the other end, Lulu’s patience is severely tested. Will she ever make a friend—or the money she needs? In this standalone sequel to Lulu and the Brontosaurus, industry legends Judith Viorst and Lane Smith once again prove that even the loudest, rudest, and most obstinate of girls can win us over. less...
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Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Leah B. Says: Novel
Amazon Says: An instant New York Times bestseller, Liar & Spy is a story about games and friendship. Seventh-grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twe more...
Amazon Says: An instant New York Times bestseller, Liar & Spy is a story about games and friendship. Seventh-grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: How far is too far to go for your only friend?  Like Stead's dazzling Newbery-winner When You Reach Me, Liar & Spy will keep readers guessing until the end.       * A New York Times bestseller    * A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2012    * Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012 List    * Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Fiction 2012    * School Library Journal Best of Children's Fiction 2012 List    * The Horn Book's Best of 2012 List   * The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 2012 Blue Ribbons List    * Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2012 for Kids List     * NPR Outstanding "Backseat" Reads for Ages 9-14, NPR's Backseat Book Club   * Amazon's Top 5 "Best of the Year" (Middle Grade Books)    * The Wall Street Journal's Best Children's Books of 2012    * The Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2012    * A Junior Library Guild Selection less...
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Nic Bishop Snakes by Nic Bishop
Leah B. Says: Nonfiction
Amazon Says: YIKES!!! Join naturalist Nic Bishop for a closer look at scaly, scary snakes! Snakes are scaly, scary, silent predators. They use powerful venom or crushing strength to overw more...
Amazon Says: YIKES!!! Join naturalist Nic Bishop for a closer look at scaly, scary snakes! Snakes are scaly, scary, silent predators. They use powerful venom or crushing strength to overwhelm their victims. Then they swallow them whole! With breathtaking full-page images, Sibert Medal-winning photographer Nic Bishop introduces the terrifying and beautiful world of snakes. The simple, engaging text presents both basic information and captivating details about the appearance, habits, and remarkable abilities of these amazing reptiles. An index and glossary are included, along with an author's note detailing his research and the fun stories behind the photographs. less...
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Leah B. Says: Nonfiction
Amazon Says: A paean to play from an award-winning poet and a New York Times best-selling illustrator.  The trappings of childhood change from generation to generation, but there are so more...
Amazon Says: A paean to play from an award-winning poet and a New York Times best-selling illustrator.  The trappings of childhood change from generation to generation, but there are some timeless activities that every kid loves. Marilyn Singer and LeUyen Pham celebrate these universal types of play, from organized games such as hide-and-seek and hopscotch to imaginative play such as making mud soup or turning a stick into a magic wand. Lyrical poems and bold illustrations capture the energy of a group of children in one neighborhood as they amuse themselves over the course of a summer day. At a time when childhood obesity rates are soaring and money is tight for many families, here is a book that invites readers to join in the fun of active play with games that cost nothing. less...
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The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins
Leah B. Says: Nonfiction
Amazon Says: Beetles squeak and beetles glow. Beetles stink, beetles sprint, beetles walk on water. With legs, antennae, horns, beautiful shells, knobs, and other oddities—what’s not t more...
Amazon Says: Beetles squeak and beetles glow. Beetles stink, beetles sprint, beetles walk on water. With legs, antennae, horns, beautiful shells, knobs, and other oddities—what’s not to like about beetles? The beetle world is vast: one out of every four living things on earth is a beetle. There are over 350,000 different species named so far and scientists suspect there may be as many as a million. From the goliath beetle that weighs one fourth of a pound to the nine inch long titan beetle, award-winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins presents a fascinating array of these intriguing insects and the many amazing adaptations they have made to survive. less...
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Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close
Leah B. Says: Biography
Amazon Says: This fascinating, interactive autobiography presents Chuck Close’s story, his art, and a discussion of the many processes he uses in the studio. The question-and-answer form more...
Amazon Says: This fascinating, interactive autobiography presents Chuck Close’s story, his art, and a discussion of the many processes he uses in the studio. The question-and-answer format is based on real kids’ inquiries about Close’s life and work, and his answers to them. Close, who is wheelchair-bound and paints with a brush strapped to his arm, discusses the severe dyslexia and face blindness he has struggled with since childhood, as well as a collapsed spinal artery that left him nearly paralyzed at the age of 48. An engaging feature of the book is a mix-and-match Chuck Close self-portrait section. This hands-on component encourages the reader to create new and interesting combinations of Close’s techniques and images. The book also includes an illustrated chronology of Close’s life, a list of museums where his work can be seen, and an index. Praise for Chuck Close: Face Book STARRED REVIEW "Art lovers of all ages will revel in this vivid, wonderfully affecting book, which is almost as ingenious and memorable as Close himself." –Kirkus Reviews, starred review STARRED REVIEW "Close describes his work with candor and insight. The high quality printing and lush colors of the reproductions make it easy for readers to share that excitement. A nifty mix-and-match section lets readers compare the methods used in 14 of the artist’s self-portraits." –Publishers Weekly, starred review STARRED REVIEW “Excellent-quality reproductions of his paintings appear throughout. A readable and engaging look at a fascinating artist and his methods of working.” –School Library Journal, starred review "Chuck Close’s art and life story are the ideal way to introduce art and artists to children." –Horn Book "A winner. Chuck Close's honest, personal memoir about his life and work makes an ideal book for kids who find school challenging, who are creative or who see the world a bit differently from their peers. In other words, this one's for most everyone." –Shelf Awareness Awards: WINNER - 2012 Boston Globe Horn Book Nonfiction Award New York Public Library’s Children's Books 2012: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing list Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2012 list: Children's Nonfiction Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens Orbis Pictus Recommended Book 2013 Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - The Arts 2013 ALA/ALSC Notable Book   less...
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  • American Library Association
    Award announcements will be posted on the American Library Association's website on Monday, January 28th. You can also see a list of previous years' award winners by clicking the Awards & Grants link in the left-hand column and then clicking on Book, Print & Media Awards.
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