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Find more Notable Children's Books
This list was compiled by the Notable Children’s Books Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). Librarians throughout the U.S. helped to select the titles from the several thousand children’s books published during 2008. Included are books of fiction, information, poetry, and pictures—all of special interest and value to children through age 14. The winners of the 2009 ALSC Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert, Batchelder, and Geisel Awards and the Honor Books for those awards are automatically included on the list. Notable children’s books that were also given 2009 Coretta Scott King Awards, Schneider Family Book Awards, Pura Belpré Awards, and Best Books for Young Adults designations are noted below as well.
Are You Ready to Play Outside? By Mo Willems. Illus. by the author. Hyperion, $8.99 (9781423113478).
The easily approachable text and expressive drawings tell the story of Piggie and Gerald, who experience the ups and downs of a rainy day. The 2009 Geisel Award winner.
Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane. By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Sean Qualls. Holt, $16.95 (9780805079944).
John Coltrane’s childhood echoed with sounds. The formative experiences of the legendary musician and composer are portrayed in rhythmic language and stylized, mixed-media illustrations. A 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.
Beware of the Frog. By William Bee. Illus. by the author. Candlewick, $15.99 (9780763639204).
Living alone in the forest, Old Mrs. Collywobbles needs protection from the Greedy Goblin, the Smelly Troll, and the Giant Hungry Ogre. Her pet frog jumps out of folklore to come to her rescue and gives Mrs. Collywobbles more than she anticipated.
Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp. By Denise Fleming. Illus. by the author. Holt, $16.95 (9780805078923).
After a week at Cowboy Camp for Dogs, Buster’s homesickness evaporates as he joyfully joins the controlled canine chaos of camp activities. Fleming’s richly colored multimedia art details the camp’s layout and tracks the animals’ constant motion.
Chicken Said, “Cluck.” By Judyann Ackerman Grant. Illus. by Sue Truesdell. HarperCollins, $16.99 (9780060287238).
Earl and Pearl shoo Chicken away as they work on their pumpkin patch, but as the story comes full circle, it’s Chicken who does the shooing and saves the day. A 2009 Geisel Honor Book.
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. By Marla Frazee. Illus. by the author. Harcourt, $16 (9780152060206).
Using lively, detailed, subtly retro cartoons, Frazee gently pokes fun at adult expectations and captures the unbounded joy of two friends experiencing a parent-free summer adventure. A 2009 Caldecott Honor Book.
Garmann’s Summer. By Stian Hole. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Don Barlett. Eerdmans, $17.50 (9780802853394).
In this tale of a six-year-old’s last summer before starting school, a humorous and poetic text combines with surreal and multilayered artwork to create a unique, complex book about the universality of fear and uncertainty. A 2009 Batchelder Honor Book.
Ghosts in the House! By Kazuno Kohara. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook, $12.95 (9781596434271).
Faced with a houseful of ghosts, a little girl and her cat come up with a creative solution for repurposing them. Orange and black linocuts, collaged with rice paper “ghosts,” enliven this appealing package for very young children.
Goose and Duck. By Jean Craighead George. Illus. by Priscilla Lamont. HarperCollins/Laura Geringer, $16.99 (9780061170768).
Goose imprints on the boy who finds his egg; Duck imprints on Goose, and both follow the boy around until autumn, when they figure out who they are and join their fellows flying south.
The Hinky-Pink: An Old Tale
. By Megan McDonald. Illus. by Brian Floca. Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson, $16.99 (9780689875885).
Until young seamstress Anabel finds the perfect bed for the Hobbledy-gob Hinky- Pink, she will get no sleep, and the princess’ dress will never be ready in time for the ball.
The House in the Night. By Susan Marie Swanson. Illus. by Beth Krommes. Houghton, $17 (9780618862443).
This timeless bedtime verse offers reassurance to young children that there is always light in the darkness. Elegant lines, with touches of golden watercolor, evoke the warmth and comfort of home as well as the joys of exploring the wider world. The 2009 Caldecott Medal winner and the 2008 Booklist Top of the List winner for picture books.
How to Heal a Broken Wing. By Bob Graham. Illus. by the author. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763639037).
On a busy street, young Will stops for an injured pigeon. Soft watercolor panels depict the family’s care of the bird and its subsequent release into the sky over the city.
Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book. By Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $17.95 (9781596433298).
Vibrant jewel-tone colors masterfully capture Señor Calavera’s quest to find the perfect birthday gift for Grandma Beetle. Part ghost story, part trickster tale, the book features motifs from Mexican culture that represent each letter of the Spanish alphabet. The 2009 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Book and a 2009 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book.
Maybe a Bear Ate It! By Robie H. Harris. Illus. by Michael Emberley. Orchard, $15.99 (9780439929615).
When a favorite book goes missing, the frantic narrator conducts a frenzied search, imagining the worst. Cartoon-style art illustrates the emotions that come with losing and finding a cherished object.
Old Bear. By Kevin Henkes. Illus. by the author. Greenwillow, $17.99 (9780061552052).
During his annual hibernation, Old Bear dreams of the seasons of his youth. Seasonal changes and Old Bear’s sense of wonder are gently evoked in Henkes’ ink-and-watercolor pictures.
One Boy. By Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $14.95 (9781596432741).
Seeger leads readers to discover words within words through a distinctive die-cut design and clean, bold illustrations. A 2009 Geisel Honor Book.
Papá and Me. By Arthur Dorros. Illus. by Rudy Gutierrez. HarperCollins/Rayo, $16.99 (9780060581565).
Lively artwork tells the story of a father and son who spend a special day together in the city, culminating in a visit with Papá’s parents. A 2009 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book.
Stinky. By Eleanor Davis. Illus. by the author. RAW Junior/TOON, $12.95 (9780979923845).
Stinky the swamp monster is at first determined to rid his beloved “muddy, slimy, smelly swamp” of Nick, only to realize that this dreaded “kid” is not the appallingly clean intruder he supposes him to be. A 2009 Geisel Honor Book.
A Visitor for Bear. By Bonny Becker. Illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763628079).
The simple backdrop of Bear’s forest home sets the stage for a visit from the persistent and irritating mouse that insists the two will become friends.
What Can You Do with a Rebozo? By Carmen Tafolla. Illus. by Amy Cordova. Tricycle, $14.95 (9781582462202).
Rich, vibrant colors swirl and swoosh across full-page spreads, depicting the home of an imaginative, young Mexican American girl who playfully invents modern-day uses for the traditional Mexican rebozo, or long scarf. A 2009 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book.
What’s Up, Duck? A Book of Opposites. By Tad Hills. Illus. by the author. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $6.99 (9780375847387).
Adapting Duck and Goose for the board-book crowd, Hill whimsically presents concepts such as loud and quiet, far and near, and heavy and light in clear, child-appealing watercolors.
Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator. By Sarah C. Campbell. Illus. by the author and Richard P. Campbell. Boyds Mills, $16.95 (9781590785546).
Magnified photographs and an informative text provide a look at the carnivorous wolfsnail trapping and devouring its victim. This science book will attract readers and amaze them. A 2009 Geisel Honor Book.
Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend). By Deborah Hopkinson. Illus. by John Hendrix. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (9780375837685).
Taking a boyhood story about Lincoln as inspiration, Hopkinson provides a lively, tongue-in-cheek telling with as many bends as Knob Creek. Hendrix’s broad, cartoonlike illustrations visually suggest several possible outcomes to the boys’ predicament.
All Stations! Distress! April 15, 1912, the Day the Titanic Sank. By Don Brown. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook, $17.95 (9781596432222).
Selecting just the right amount of essential information, Brown artfully captures the drama of what happened to the unsinkable Titanic on that fateful night.
Bird. By Zetta Elliott. Illus. by Shadra Strickland. Lee & Low, $19.95 (9781600602412).
A young boy, Mehkai, nicknamed Bird because he loves to draw birds, finds solace in his artwork when his beloved grandfather dies and his admired older brother succumbs to drug addiction. Winner of the Coretta Scott King 2009 John Steptoe New Talent Award.
The Blacker the Berry. By Joyce Carol Thomas. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Amistad, $16.99 (9780060253752).
This collection of 12 poems celebrating and affirming both the variations in skin color and individuality of African American children is illustrated with richly colored paintings that complement the imagery of the free verse. The 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Book and a 2009 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.
Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman
. By Marc Tyler Nobleman. Illus. by Ross MacDonald. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375838026).
Part picture book, part graphic novel, this is the fascinating story of how two high-school friends created a superhero who endures to this day.
Buffalo Music. By Tracey E. Fern. Illus. by Lauren Castillo. Clarion, $16 (9780618723416).
Pioneer Mary Ann Goodnight saves her beloved Texas buffalo from extinction by shipping those that escape slaughter to Yellowstone to become part of a new national herd. Spare scenes of primitive abstract art create a stunning visual landscape.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond
. By Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. illus. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $19.95 (9781596430716).
Beginning with a description of the dramatic “Gates” project installed for two weeks in Central Park in 2005, this attractive book introduces readers to the extraordinary pair, whose art, in its immense scope, has amazed and astounded the world.
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote. By Tanya Lee Stone. Illus. by Rebecca Gibbon. Holt, $16.95 (9780805079036).
This introductory biography outlines Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s childhood realization of the secondary status of women and continues with her later activism that led to the right to vote for women. Folk art expands the text.
Frogs. By Nic Bishop. Illus. by the author. Scholastic, $17 (9780439877558).
Bishop presents salient facts about frogs through a clear text, augmented with eye-popping photographs of species from around the world. Even the frog-phobic will be fascinated.
The Graveyard Book. By Neil Gaiman. Illus. by Dave McKean. HarperCollins, $17.99 (9780060530921).
A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens. A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor, and human longing, Gaiman’s tale is told in magical, haunting prose. The 2009 Newbery Medal winner and a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Horse Song: The Naadam of Mongolia
. By Ted Lewin and Betsy Lewin. Illus. by the authors. Lee & Low, $19.95 (9781584302773).
Alternating lavish watercolors and lively cartoon sketches, the artists document their travel to Mongolia, capturing the excitement and beauty of Naadam, a summer festival, where young boys and girls compete in horse racing.
How I Learned Geography. By Uri Shulevitz. Illus. by the author. Farrar, $16.95 (9780374334994).
Recounting memories of his family’s flight from Warsaw and his years as a refugee during World War II, Shulevitz employs watercolor and ink to depict a boy liberated from his dreary existence through flights of fancy inspired by the map his father buys in the village market. A 2009 Caldecott Honor Book.
Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka. By Jon Scieszka. illus. Viking, $16.99 (9780670011063).
A hilarious saga of growing up in a household with five brothers during the 1950s and 1960s by the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, illustrated with candid pictures from the period.
The London Eye Mystery. By Siobhan Dowd. Random/David Fickling, $15.99 (9780375849763).
In a race against time, 12-year-old Ted, with his sister Kat, uses his special skills and perceptions to discover how their cousin Salim disappeared while riding the London Eye, the world’s tallest observation wheel. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Masterpiece. By Elise Broach. Illus. by Kelly Murphy. Holt/Christy Ottaviano, $16.95 (9780805082708).
An artistic beetle with a yen for adventure and a lonely 11-year-old boy team up to catch the thief who has stolen a priceless Albrecht Durerfrom the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
. By Nahoko Uehashi. Illus. by Yuko Shimizu. Tr. by Cathy Hirano. Scholastic/Arthur Levine, $17.99 (9780545005425).
Balsa, a female warrior, accepts the task of protecting a young prince, the guardian of the sacred spirit, from both demons and his father’s assassins. Together, Balsa and Prince Chagum must find in each other the source of strength they need to prevail. The 2009 Batchelder Award winner.
Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City. By Janet Schulman. Illus. by Meilo So. Knopf, $19.99 (9780375845581).
Lush watercolors and a personable narrative bring to life the story of Pale Male, a male hawk that nests atop a swanky Fifth Avenue apartment building and sparks a battle between residents and conservationists for his habitat.
Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum
. By Robert Andrew Parker. Illus. by the author. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (9780375839658).
Employing a first-person narrative, Parker imagines renowned jazz pianist Tatum’s early years, taking readers from his Toledo youth to big-city clubs and concert halls. Luminous watercolors compellingly extend the text. A 2009 Schneider Family Book Award winner.
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai. By Claire A. Nivola. Illus. by the author. Farrar/Frances Foster, $16.95 (9780374399184).
Naïf, charming pictures and well-chosen details illuminate the life and work of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, who responded to the impending desertification of her native Kenya by instigating the planting of 30 million trees. A 2009 Amelia Bloomer Book.
The Porcupine Year. By Louise Erdrich. HarperCollins, $15.99 (9780060297879).
Set in 1852, the third in the Birchbark House series finds Omakayas, a young Ojibwe girl, now 12, and her family facing serious challenges as they move westward from land the U.S. government has claimed.
Rapunzel’s Revenge. By Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. Illus. by Nathan Hale. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (9781599900704).
In a vibrantly illustrated graphic novel set in a make-believe frontier land, an untraditional Rapunzel escapes the tower, uses her long braids as weapons, and takes revenge on the wicked Mother Gothel. A 2009 Great Graphic Novel for Teens.
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams
. By Jen Bryant. Illus. by Melissa Sweet. Eerdmans, $17 (9780802853028).
Sweet’s mixed-media collage and primitive watercolors flow seamlessly with Bryant’s prose to reveal the important bits and pieces of Williams’ ordinary—yet extraordinary—life as a doctor and poet. A 2009 Caldecott Honor Book.
Savvy. By Ingrid Law. Dial, $16.99 (9780803733060).
This rich first-person narrative draws readers into a wild bus ride that winds through the countryside and becomes a journey of self-discovery for Mibs Beaumont and her companions. A 2009 Newbery Honor Book.
Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad. By James Rumford. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $17.95 (9781596432765).
Ali, a young boy in contemporary Baghdad, loves calligraphy and practices his art to shut out the sights and sounds of war. Mixed-media illustrations employ rich color, lush texture, bold silhouettes, and flowing calligraphy.
Six Innings: A Game in the Life
. By James Preller. Feiwel and Friends, $16.95 (9780312367633).
The heart-stopping action of a Little League baseball game frames a personal introduction to the players, the strategies, and 12-year-old Sam, sidelined by cancer.
The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos. By Lucia Gonzalez. Illus. by Lulu Delacre. Children’s Book Press, $16.95 (9780892392223).
Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian hired by the New York Public Library, introduced immigrants living in El Barrio to the library and hosted the neighborhood’s first Three Kings’ Day fiesta. A 2009 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book and a 2009 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book.
The Underneath. By Kathi Appelt. Illus. by David Small. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416950585).
Intertwined stories of an embittered man, a loyal hound, an abandoned cat, and a vengeful lamia tell of love, loss, loneliness, and hope. A 2009 Newbery Honor Book.
Wanda Gág: The Girl Who Lived to Draw
. By Deborah Kogan Ray. Illus. by the author. Viking, $16.99 (9780670062928).
This intimate portrait of the creator of Millions of Cats combines Gág’s own words with more-detailed text to describe a girl who never let go of her dream. Lush illustrations suggest Gág’s style and versatility.
Way Up and Over Everything. By Alice McGill. Illus. by Jude Daly. Houghton, $16 (9780618387960).
Stylized watercolors illustrate a storyteller’s account of five newly purchased Africans who escaped the horrors of slavery by flying away from the Georgia plantation where her great-grandmama’s mama lived and worked.
Ways to Live Forever. By Sally Nicholls. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780545069489).
Using clever lists, insightful questions, thoughtful journal entries, and drawings, 11-year-old Sam shares his perspective on his leukemia and his upbeat attitude as he faces the end of his life.
What to Do about Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy! By Barbara Kerley. Illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780439922319).
Growing up as the daughter of the president was not easy, but being the president and father of Alice Roosevelt wasn’t easy either. Kerley’s playful use of language and Fotheringham’s rollicking illustrations converge in energy and outrageousness as they detail Alice’s life. A 2009 Sibert Honor Book.
When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone
. By Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Illus. by Dan Hartman and Cassie Hartman. Walker, $17.95 (9780802796868).
Lively photographs capturing images of wildlife and an easy text make clear to young readers the beneficial impact to the ecosystem when wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone.
Young Voices of Afghanistan. By Tony O’Brien and Mike Sullivan. Illus. by the author. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (9781599902876).
Young people of various backgrounds from around Kabul share their hopes and dreams in this amazing and heartrending collection, illustrated with full-color photo portraits.
After Tupac and D Foster. By Jacqueline Woodson. Putnam, $15.99 (9780399246548).
Bonded by Tupac’s music, three girls explore the lure of freedom and build a friendship that redefines their own identities. A 2009 Newbery Honor Book, a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults, and a 2009 Rainbow Project Book.
Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry
. By Scott Reynolds Nelson and Marc Aronson. National Geographic, $18.95 (9781426300004).
Historian Nelson, with coauthor Aronson, explains how he connected bits of information acquired in a larger research project to identify the actual story and person behind the John Henry folk song. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past
. By James M. Deem. illus. Houghton, $17 (9780618800452).
In this exploration of glacier archaeology, Deem’s visual presentation engages readers through period newspaper illustrations, paintings, maps, and photographs of ice mummies and artifacts from four continents. A 2009 Sibert Honor Book.
Chains. By Laurie Halse Anderson. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781416905851).
Sold as a slave to an influential New York Tory family, 13-year-old Isabel spies for the patriot side during the American Revolution in a desperate hope to gain freedom for herself and her 5-year-old sister. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Here Lies Arthur. By Philip Reeve. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545093347).
Reeve places his Arthur in Britain’s Dark Ages, where the Merlin-like Myrddin embellishes his story like a medieval spin doctor turning the straw of brutal fact into the gold of heroic legend. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
The Hunger Games. By Suzanne Collins. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780439023481).
In this futuristic page-turner, Katniss takes her younger sister’s place as one of 24 youths who are turned over to the Capitol to participate in a deadly reality game in which only one contestant can survive. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Keeping the Night Watch. By Hope Anita Smith. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. Holt, $18.95 (9780805072020).
While the rest of the family welcomes his father’s return, 13-year-old CJ cannot hide his hurt and anger over his father’s abandonment. Smith’s graceful poetry delves deeply into CJ’s emotional life. A Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.
The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary
. By Candace Fleming. illus. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $24.99 (9780375836183).
Short articles, vignettes, excerpts from letters, historical photographs, and documents form the scrapbook that depicts the intertwined lives of the Civil War president and his devoted but unbalanced wife, giving equal attention to both subjects.
Nation. By Terry Pratchett. HarperCollins, $16.99 (9780061433016).
After a tsunami, island native Mau and shipwreck survivor Daphne construct a nation that blends each other’s customs, science, and faith in this multilevel novel of survival and politics. A 2009 Printz Honor Book and a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Reaching Out. By Francisco Jiménez. Houghton, $16 (9780618038510).
In this poignantly written autobiography, Jiménez recounts his days as a young Mexican American student who is the first in his family to attend college. Against great odds, he is determined to complete his education. A 2009 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book.
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom
. By Margarita Engle. Holt, $16.95 (9780805086744).
Hauntingly beautiful free verse breathes life into this finely crafted story that illuminates Cuba’s fight for independence from Spain in the 1800s. A 2009 Newbery Honor Book, the 2009 Pura Belpré Author Award Book, and a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Tiger Moon. By Antonia Michaelis. Tr. by Anthea Bell. Abrams/Amulet, $18.95 (9780810994812).
In colonial-era India, a betrayed woman facing death, an unlikely hero, and a sarcastic white tiger come together in a magical story within a story. This masterfully crafted tale moves seamlessly from reality to fantasy as it reveals the profound power of story. A 2009 Batchelder Honor Book.
The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West. By Sid Fleischman. illus. Greenwillow, $18.99 (9780061344312).
This rip-roaring biography of America’s quintessential humorist is as outrageous as its subject. Twain’s early life is conveyed through memorable quotes and period photographs as Fleischman disentangles facts from fiction. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Waiting for Normal. By Leslie Connor. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $16.99 (9780060890889).
Even as she longs for the loving family life her younger half sisters share with her former stepfather, resilient sixth-grader Addie copes with living in a trailer in Schenectady, New York, with her neglectful mother. A 2009 Schneider Family Book Award winner and a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Washington at Valley Forge. By Russell Freedman. illus. Holiday, $24.95 (9780823420698).
Freedman’s customary graceful prose, eye for the telling detail, and clear narrative arc are all here as he describes the winter Washington’s troops spent at Valley Forge.
The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body
. By David Macaulay and Richard Walker. Illus. by David Macaulay. Houghton/Walter Lorraine, $35 (9780618233786).
The amazing human body, its systems and functions, gets an equally amazing treatment here. Thorough explanations, written and visual, offer an inside look at the body’s marvels.
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
. By Kadir Nelson. Illus. by the author. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, $18.99 (9780786808328).
This fascinating and well-documented history of Negro League Baseball is told in the voice of an Everyman narrator. Dignified, riveting, full-page illustrations capture the spirit of these larger-than-life men who loved the game, despite the prejudice they faced. The 2009 Sibert Medal winner, the 2009 Coretta Scott King Author Award Book, a 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, and the 2009 Booklist Top of the List winner for youth nonfiction.
A Is for Art:
An Abstract Alphabet. By Stephen T. Johnson. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, $16.99 (9780689863011).
In this amazing tour de force, Johnson creates an original piece of abstract art for each letter of the alphabet. Playful touches include hidden letters, alliterative text, and details on the construction of each piece.
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. By the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance. Candlewick, $29.99 (9780763620677).
One hundred and eight of children’s literature’s finest authors and illustrators tell both the historical and human stories of a beloved national landmark.
Wild Tracks: A Guide to Nature’s Footprints
. By Jim Arnosky. Illus. by the author. Sterling, $14.95 (9781402739859).
Life-size footprints depicting more than 60 North American wild animals make this an enticing field guide for young explorers.
Notable Children’s Books, 2009, committee members: Caroline Ward, chair, The Ferguson Library, Stamford (CT); Betty Carter, Coppell (TX); Elise DeGuiseppi, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma (WA); Eliza T. Dresang, University of Washington, Seattle; Roxanne Hsu Feldman, The Dalton School, New York (NY); Darwin L. Henderson, College of Education, University of Cincinnati (OH); Barbara Immroth, School of Information, University of Texas, Austin; Kathleen Isaacs, Pasadena (MD); Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport (NY); Sally Anne Thompson, Paradise Valley (AZ); Martha M. Walke, Children’s Literature New England, Inc., South Strafford (VT). Ilene Cooper, consultant, Booklist, Chicago (IL).
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