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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
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 2010. Included are books of fiction, information, poetry, and pictures—all of special interest and value to children through age 14. The winners of the 2011 ALSC Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert, Batchelder, Belpré, and Geisel Awards and the Honor Books for those awards are automatically included on the list. Notable Children’s Books that were given 2011 Coretta Scott King Awards, Printz Awards, and Best Fiction for Young Adults designations are noted below as well.
April and Esme, Tooth Fairies. By Bob Graham. Illus. by the author. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763646837).
On their first assignment, two young tooth-fairy sisters journey into the huge world of humans to collect a young boy’s tooth and fly it safely home.
Back of the Bus. By Aaron Reynolds. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Philomel, $16.99 (9780399250910).
A young boy and his mother take a familiar ride on a city bus unaware of the historic event they are about to witness: passenger Rosa Parks refusing to move from her seat.
Big Red Lollipop. By Rukhsana Khan. Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Viking, $16.99 (9780670062874).
Rubina’s excitement over an invitation to a birthday party is dimmed by her mother’s insistence that she take her younger sister with her.
Bink and Gollie. By Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee. Illus. by Tony Fucile. Candlewick, $15.99 (9780763632663).
Dissimilar yet steadfast friends celebrate the ups and downs of their daily escapades in three lively chapters that explore compromise, asserting independence, and jealousy. The 2011 Geisel Medal winner.
Chalk. By Bill Thomson. Illus. by the author. Marshall Cavendish, $15.99 (9780761455264).
In this wordless picture book, three young children arrive at the park to find a bag of colored chalk that turns their imaginary drawings into something very real.
City Dog, Country Frog. By Mo Willems. Illus. by Jon J. Muth. Disney/Hyperion, $17.99 (9781423103004).
Unleashed on his visit to the country, a dog meets a new friend in Frog, and together they experience the seasons and the cycle of life.
Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin. By Duncan Tonatiuh. Illus. by the author. Abrams, $15.95 (9780810938724).
The universality of childhood experiences is shown through the lives of two cousins, one in the U.S. and one in Mexico. A 2011 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book.
Fiesta Babies. By Carmen Tafolla. Illus. by Amy Córdova. Tricycle, $12.99 (9781582463193).
The simple rhyme scheme is embellished by colorful illustrations of multicultural babies and toddlers celebrating at a local fiesta. A 2011 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book.
Grandma’s Gift. By Eric Velasquez. Illus. by the author. Walker, $16.99 (9780802720825).
This personal tale is based on the author’s special relationship with his grandmother, who influenced his dream of becoming an artist. The 2011 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner.
Hip-Pocket Papa. By Sandra Markle. Illus. by Alan Marks. Charlesbridge, $15.95 (9781570917080).
The papa hip-pocket frog from Australia, who carries his babies in his hip pocket, is introduced with attractive watercolor illustrations.
In the Wild. By David Elliott. Illus. by Holly Meade. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763644970).
A joyful collection of brief poems paired with dynamic woodblock prints celebrates favorite animals from every continent.
Interrupting Chicken. By David Ezra Stein. Illus. by the author. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763641689).
This hilarious tale presents Little Chicken and her long-suffering papa, who just wants to get through a bedtime story without his daughter’s metafictive disruptions. A 2011 Caldecott Honor Book.
Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! By Grace Lin. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown, $14.99 (9780316024525).
Six vignettes chronicle the daily adventures of identical twins as they get haircuts, make dumplings, perform magic, and take a trip to the library. A 2011 Geisel Honor Book.
LMNO Peas. By Keith Baker. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $16.95 (9781416991410).
Tiny green peas take readers on a fun, whimsical tour of the alphabet.
Pecan Pie Baby. By Jacqueline Woodson. Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Putnam, $16.99 (9780399239878).
Unlike her friends and relatives, Gia is not looking forward to the birth of her first sibling, “that ding-dang baby.”
Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. By Salley Mavor. Illus. by the author. Houghton, $21.99 (9780618737406).
Familiar and lesser-known nursery rhymes, illustrated with superb needlework and appliqué, create a charming dollhouse of a book.
The Quiet Book. By Deborah Underwood. Illus. by Renata Liwska. Houghton, $12.95 (9780547215679).
Quiet comes in many varieties, from “Sleeping sister quiet” to “First snowfall quiet” to “Right before you yell ‘SURPRISE’ quiet.”
Rubia and the Three Osos. By Susan Middleton Elya. Illus. by Melissa Sweet. Disney/Hyperion, $15.99 (9781423112525).
A bouncy, rhyming story about a little golden-haired niña who helps herself to everything in the house of the three bears.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee. By Philip C. Stead. Illus. by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $16.99 (9781596434028).
Zookeeper Amos McGee gets the sniffles and receives a surprise visit from his caring animal friends. The 2011 Caldecott Medal winner.
Tuck Me In! By Dean Hacohen. Illus. by Sherry Scharschmidt. Candlewick, $9.99 (9780763647285).
Readers interact with this deceptively simple good-night book, tucking sweet animals into bed.
We Are in a Book! By Mo Willems. Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion, $8.99 (9781423133087).
Elephant and Piggie discover that someone—the reader—is looking at them in this hilarious, interactive story about the joys of reading and being read to. A 2011 Geisel Honor Book.
Yucky Worms. By Vivian French. Illus. by Jessica Ahlberg. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763644468).
While digging with Grandma in the garden, a child learns why earthworms are so important in helping plants grow.
Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring. By Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. Illus. by Brian Floca. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $17.99 (9781596433380).
A spare, dramatic text and uncluttered watercolors reveal the collaborative creation of a classic American ballet. A 2011 Sibert Honor Book.
The Bat Scientists. By Mary Kay Carson. Illus. by Tom Uhlman. Houghton, $18.99 (9780547199566).
Exceptional photography and a clear text capture the lives of bats and explore the myths and threats to these amazing mammals.
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave. By Laban Carrick Hill. Illus. by Bryan Collier. Little, Brown, $16.99 (9780316107310).
Poetic text and lush illustrations tell the true story of an extraordinary artist living in nineteenth-century South Carolina. A 2011 Caldecott Honor Book and the 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner.
The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. By Barbara O’Connor. Farrar/Frances Foster, $15.99 (9780374368500).
In this summer adventure, Owen is enthralled by his conviction that something amazing has fallen from a train.
Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. By Sarah C. Campbell. Illus. by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell. Boyds Mills, $17.95 (9781590787526).
Crisp design and clear photography introduce and depict Fibonacci patterns in nature.
Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys. By Bob Raczka. Illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Houghton, $14.99 (9780547240039).
Six haiku for each season of the year, celebrating the interaction of boys and nature, combine with loose, expressive cartoons to make a winning combination.
The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe. By Loree Griffin Burns. Illus. by Ellen Harasimowicz. Houghton, $18 (9780547152318).
After beekeepers discover the strange abandonment of hundreds of hives, scientists seek to understand this catastrophic phenomenon.
How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships. By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Illus. by Steve Jenkins. Houghton, $16 (9780547245157).
Animal partnerships often defy explanation. Jenkins and Page explore and clarify these relationships in concise text and glorious torn-paper collage.
Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot. By Sy Montgomery. Illus. by Nic Bishop. Houghton, $18 (9780618494170).
This book documents the successes and failures of a rescue effort in New Zealand dedicated to saving a species of flightless parrots numbering fewer than 100. The 2011 Sibert Medal winner.
Me, Frida. By Amy Novesky. Illus. by David Diaz. Abrams, $16.95 (9780810989696).
The story of newlywed artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in 1930 San Francisco is accompanied by paintings resembling Kahlo’s folkloric style. A 2011 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book.
Nic Bishop Lizards. By Nic Bishop. Illus. by the author. Scholastic, $17.99(9780545206341).
Using photographs so vivid and sharply focused that one can see a bit of dry scale on a glass lizard’s skin, Bishop treats readers to a new appreciation of the diversity within the lizard world.
The Night Fairy. By Laura Amy Schlitz. Illus. by Angela Barrett. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763636746).
Flory loses her wings after a bat attack and struggles to adapt to life as a day fairy.
Ninth Ward. By Jewell Parker Rhodes. Little, Brown, $15.99 (9780316043076).
In this story of survival, 12-year-old Lanesha and her adopted grandmother have little choice but to stay in New Orleans and weather Hurricane Katrina. A 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book and a 2011 Amelia Bloomer Book.
¡Ole! Flamenco. By George Ancona. Illus. by the author. Lee & Low, $19.95 (9781600603617).
In this nonfiction introduction to Spanish flamenco, the art form is described in easy, understandable language. A 2011 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book.
One Crazy Summer. By Rita Williams-Garcia. Amistad, $15.99 (9780060760885).Three sisters find adventure when they are sent to Oakland in 1968 to meet their estranged poet-mother, who prints flyers for the Black Panthers. A 2011 Newbery Honor Book, the 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Award winner, and a 2011 Amelia Bloomer Book.
Ruth and the Green Book. By Calvin A. Ramsey and Gwen Strauss. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Carolrhoda, $16.95 (9780761352556).
Using the Green Book, a guide to find welcoming places for African Americans, Ruth’s family travels through the segregated South in the 1950s.
Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light. By Tim Tingle. Illus. by Karen Clarkson. Cinco Puntos, $17.95 (9781933693675).
This picture-book autobiographical vignette shows a modern Choctaw family enduring and supporting each other with love, courage, and fortitude.
Shake, Rattle, and Turn That Noise Down! How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me, and Mom. By Mark Alan Stamaty. Illus. by the author. Knopf, $17.99 (9780375846854).
An autobiography in graphic-novel format shows how Stamaty’s love of Elvis and rock ’n’ roll at first drove his mother crazy but ultimately made her proud.
Smile. By Raina Telgemeier. Illus. by the author. Scholastic/Graphix, $21.99 (9780545132053).
Through artwork showing the details, the reader shares Raina’s pain as the angst of middle school is exacerbated by her disfiguring dental mishap. A 2011 Top 10 Great Graphic Novel for Teens.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. By Tom Angleberger. Abrams/Amulet, $12.95 (9780810984257).
In this hilarious tale, Tommy and his sixth-grade friends must decide if the advice of an origami finger-puppet can be trusted.
A Tale Dark and Grimm. By Adam Gidwitz. Dutton, $16.99 (9780525423348).
As dark and bloody as the title suggests, these six retellings tweak the classic fairy tale as Hansel and Gretel embark on an epic journey of self-discovery.
Trickster: Native American Tales. Ed. by Matt Dembicki. illus. Fulcrum, paper, $22.95 (9781555917241).
This collaborative effort by more than 40 writers and artists presents 21 Native American trickster tales in graphic-novel format. A 2011 Great Graphic Novel for Teens.
Turtle in Paradise. By Jennifer L. Holm. Random, $16.99 (9780375836886).Sassy 11-year-old Turtle finds her life turned on end when she is sent to live with her aunt in Depression-era Key West. A 2011 Newbery Honor Book.
Black Elk’s Vision: A Lakota Story. By S. D. Nelson. Illus. by the author. Abrams, $19.95 (9780810983991).
This handsome, large-format volume combines archival photographs, original acrylic paintings, and a powerful first-person narrative to present the devastating story of the painful changes in life forced upon the Lakota people.
Countdown. By Deborah Wiles. illus. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545106054).
A “documentary novel” set during the 1960s cold war era, this title captures a girl’s fears about the world around her.
Departure Time. By Truus Matti. Tr. by Nancy Forest-Flier. Namelos, $18.95 (9781608980871).
An 11-year-old mourns the death of her father in chapters that alternate between the real world and a dreamlike hotel staffed by odd creatures. A 2011 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book.
The Dreamer. By Pam Muñoz Ryan. Illus. by Peter Sís. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780439269704).
In language inspired by the Nobel Prize winner’s own poetry, Ryan tells the stunning tale of young Pablo Neruda’s self-discovery and the development of his ideologies and artistic voice. The 2011 Pura Belpré Author Award winner.
Fever Crumb. By Philip Reeve. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545207195).
A lone girl sets out on a mission to retrieve lost technology in a bleak and irrational London of the future. 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults.
The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba. By Margarita Engle. Holt, $16.99 (9780805090826).
A plantation owner’s daughter conspires with Swedish feminist Fredrika Bremer to secure the freedom of an African-born slave. A 2011 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book and a 2011 Top 10 Amelia Bloomer Book.
Heart of a Samurai. By Margi Preus. illus. Abrams/Amulet, $15.95 (9780810989818).
This swashbuckling adventure is based on the true story of Manjiro, the young fisherman believed to be the first Japanese person to visit America, who, against all odds, became a samurai. A 2011 Newbery Honor Book.
Lafayette and the American Revolution. By Russell Freedman. illus. Holiday, $24.95 (9780823421824).
This compelling biography of Lafayette looks at the whole of his life and illuminates the role he played in the American Revolution. A 2011 Sibert Honor Book.
Mockingbird. By Kathryn Erskine. Philomel, $15.99 (9780399252648).
Ten-year-old Caitlin, who struggles with Asperger’s syndrome, seeks closure following the murder of her brother. 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults.
Moon over Manifest. By Clare Vanderpool. Delacorte, $16.99 (9780385738835).
Alternating between WWI and the Great Depression, this tale of the eclectic people and mysteries of Manifest, Kansas, is told through a mix of letters, newspaper articles, and a fortune-teller’s tales. The 2011 Newbery Medal winner.
90 Miles to Havana. By Enrique Flores-Galbis. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (9781596431683).
The author’s experience, as one of 14,000 children moved from Cuba to a refugee camp in Miami in 1961, is told through engaging, fast-paced writing and well-developed characters. A 2011 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book.
Nothing. By Janne Teller. Tr. by Martin Aitken. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416985792).
As classmates struggle to convince a friend that life has meaning, they force each other to prove and provide meaning, with consequences that are deep, dark, and disastrous. A 2011 Printz Honor Book, a 2011 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book, 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults, and a 2011 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.
Ship Breaker. By Paolo Bacigalupi. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316056212).
Nailer, a teenage scavenger, works to take apart ancient oil tankers in a future world where he must choose between harvesting riches or saving a girl. 2011 Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults and the 2011 Printz Award winner.
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group. By Susan Campbell Bartoletti. illus. Houghton, $19 (9780618440337).
The Ku Klux Klan’s rise from a club of restless young men into the largest domestic terrorist organization in American history is documented with archival photographs and other primary-source material.
A Time of Miracles. By Anne-Laure Bondoux. Tr. by Y. Maudet. Delacorte, $17.99 (9780385739221).
A young refugee searches for identity, safe haven, and truth in a journey from war-torn Caucasus to the freedom of France. The 2011 Mildred L. Batchelder Medal winner.
Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors. By Joyce Sidman. Illus. by Beckie Prange. Houghton, $17 (9780618717194).
Three books in one! This amazing book of poetry is also a beautiful picture book and a nonfiction tribute to the adaptability of life on earth.
We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World. By Stuart Stotts. Illus. by Terrance Cummings. Clarion, $18 (9780547182100).
This iconic song, handsomely illustrated here, serves as the framework for new understanding of the civil rights movement.
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty. By G. Neri. Illus. by Randy DuBurke. Lee & Low, $16.95 (9781584302674).
Based on true events, this graphic novel, told through the eyes of a younger boy, relates the story of Robert (Yummy) as he tries to navigate the dangerous world of a Chicago neighborhood. A 2011 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book, and a 2011 Top 10 Great Graphic Novel for Teens.
Bones: Skeletons and How They Work. By Steve Jenkins. Illus. by the author. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780545046510).
Collage illustrations support exploration and comparison of various human and animal skeletons, from fingers to skulls.
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night. By Joyce Sidman. Illus. by Rick Allen. Houghton, $16.99 (9780547152288).
Twelve elegantly crafted poems celebrating the night are accompanied by prose pieces about nocturnal flora and fauna. A 2011 Newbery Honor Book.
Farm. By Elisha Cooper. Illus. by the author. Scholastic/Orchard, $17.99 (9780545070751).
Experience life on a very real farm with very real farmers through the muddy month of March until the following winter.
Meanwhile. By Jason Shiga. Illus. by the author. Abrams/Amulet, $15.95 (9780810984233).
Jimmy explores the lab of a mad scientist in this “choose your own adventure”–style graphic novel. A 2011 Top 10 Great Graphic Novel for Teens.
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. By Marilyn Singer. Illus. by Josée Masse. Dutton, $16.99 (9780525479017).
What fun! Read the poem in one direction, and it tells the folktale from one point of view. Read it in the opposite direction, and the point of view is reversed.
Shadow. By Suzy Lee. Illus. by the author. Chronicle, $15.99 (9780811872805).
A young girl’s imagination morphs dark attic shadows into a fantastic jungle scene in this wordless book.
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