Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Notable Children's Books

I love books! Maybe it started with our family tradition of getting a new book or two each Christmas. It was something I looked forward to with great anticipation. I have carried this love of books to all my interactions with children and particularly as a nanny. I recently came upon the website for the American Library Assocation and the page on 2011 Notable Children's Books. Here is a sample of their extensive list. You'll see the link to the site at the bottom of this posting, visit the site for their complete list. I'm excited to check these titles out for myself and, of course, share them with the children in my life.

Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. According to the Notables Criteria, "notable" is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.

Younger Readers

April and Esme, Tooth Fairies. By Bob Graham. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
On their first assignment, two young tooth fairy sisters journey by night 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.
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 refuses to move from her seat.

Big Red Lollipop. By Rukhsana Khan. Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Viking.
Rubina’s excitement over an invitation to a birthday party is dimmed by her mother’s insistence that she take her younger sister Sana with her.

Middle Readers

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring. By Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. Illus. by Brian Floca. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Making Appalachian Spring – Spare, dramatic text and uncluttered watercolors relay the story of the collaborative creation of a classic American ballet. Sibert Honor Book

The Bat Scientists. By Mary Kay Carson. Illus. by Tom Uhlman. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Exceptional photography and 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.
Poetic text and lush illustrations tell the true story of an extraordinary artist living in 19th-century South Carolina. Caldecott Honor Book & ALA Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

Older Readers

90 Miles to Havana. By Enrique Flores-Galbis. Roaring Brook.
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. Belpré Author Honor Book

Black Elk’s Vision: A Lakota Story. By S.D. Nelson. Abrams.
This handsome, large-format volume combines archival photographs, original acrylic paintings and powerful first-person narrative to present the devastating story of the painful changes in life forced upon the Lakota people.

Countdown. By Deborah Wiles. Scholastic.
A “documentary novel” set in the 1960’s Cold War era, this title captures a girl’s fears about the world around her.

All Ages

Bones: Skeletons and How They Work. By Steve Jenkins. Illus. by the author.
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 Mifflin Books for Children/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Twelve elegantly crafted poems celebrating the night are accompanied by prose pieces about nocturnal flora and fauna. Newbery Honor Book

Farm. By Elisha Cooper. Illus. by the author. Scholastic/Orchard.
Experience life on a very real farm with very real farmers through the muddy month of March until the next winter.

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