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 June edition of BayViews.
Bunnies on Ice written and illustrated by Johanna Wright
N. Porter/Roaring Brook, 2013.
An enthusiastic, aspiring ice-skater describes her preparation and techniques in a sparkling, humorous story that radiates family warmth. (Preschool – Grade 1)
Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore; illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Storytime audiences will cheer this tale of five ducklings rescued from a storm drain, which may remind some of Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (Viking, 1941). The narrative builds tension, and the artwork helps to convey what the brief words do not, in a great model of an exemplary picture book. (Preschool – Grade 2)
Ol’ Mama Squirrel written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein
N. Paulsen/Penguin, 2013.
Ol’ Mama Squirrel protects her babies from all kinds of danger until a huge, hungry bear climbs up her tree. A satisfying story of the small triumphing over the mighty, brains over brawn, the power of organized resistance, and a mother’s fierce love, this will delight children and their parents, especially their mothers. (Baby/toddler – Preschool)
Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang; illustrated by Greg Ruth
Small Tai Shan is separated from his father during China’s cultural revolution, but they work out a secret system of flying kites to keep their love in mind. Quiet but powerful story with handsome illustrations that will encourage classroom discussion. (Kindergarten – Grade 3)
Mr Putter and Tabby Dance the Dance by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Arthur Howard
When Mrs. Teaberry asks Mr. Putter to go ballroom dancing, he reluctantly agrees, not wanting to say no to his good friend. Off they go to the Crystal Ballroom with Mr. Putter’s fine cat, Tabby, and Mrs. Teaberry’s good dog, Zeke. The pencil, watercolor, and ink illustrations are as humorous and charming as in previous books in the series, and the story is on target with the current popularity of ballroom dance. (Kindergarten – Grade 3)
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner; illustrated by Julian Crouch
Maggot Moon is a dystopia as bleak as 1984, seen through the eyes of a teenager who is “a breeze in the park of imagination” and has a unique, funny and almost poetic voice. (Grades 8 – 10)
Soldier Dog by Sam Angus
In this novel, set during World War I, thirteen year-old Stanley misses his brother Tom, who is fighting in France, so he runs away and joins the British Army where he becomes responsible for the care and training of army messenger dogs. Features well developed characters, rich descriptive language and a most compelling story. (Grades 4 – 7)
Healthy Kids by Maya Ajmera, Victoria Dunning and Cynthia Pon
Through photographs and short text, children from many countries are shown performing healthy activities such as washing hands and brushing teeth. More mature matter in the back discusses the disparity of health among children globally and what may be done. A great conversation starter to be used with young children! (Preschool – Grade 4)
Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron by Mary Losure; illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
In 1798 a feral child was captured in southern France; he was treated like freak or a specimen until he found a home with a scientist and his assistant. The author delivers a text rich in factual detail (ten pages of source notes) while also wondering what may have gone on between the lines of the official record. (Grades 6 – 12)