Each month we 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 December edition of BayViews. Not a member? Join, come to our monthly meetings, and hear about these Outstanding books in person!
Dreamers written and illustrated by Morales, Yuyi; Roaring Brook, 2018.
Dreamers follows an immigrant mother and her infant son as they move from one country to another and build a new life for themselves in part through their trips to the library. Timely and timeless, Morales’ book is not only a welcome, but necessary addition to school and public library collections. (Grades PreK-3.)
The Field written by Paul, Baptiste and illustrated by Alcántara, Jacqueline; North-South, 2018.
Told in both English and French Creole, The Field is a celebration of friendship, play, and the carefree joys of childhood. Has a broad appeal regardless of one’s affinity for soccer or familiarity with the Caribbean. Ultimately, it’s an exuberant reminder to not let obstacles impede enjoying life. (PreK-3.)
Imagine written by Herrera, Juan Felipe and illustrated by Castillo, Lauren; Candlewick, 2018.
The autobiographical poem that Juan Felipe Herrera read at his inauguration as the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2015 is now a picture book tracing the growth of Herrera from a young child of migrant farmworkers in California to a white-haired man standing at the podium in the Library of Congress. (K-4.)
A Moon for Moe and Mo written by Zalben, Jane and illustrated by Amini, Mehrdokht; Charlesbridge, 2018.
A sweet, successful tale of a burgeoning friendship between two young boys, one Jewish and one Muslim, that extends beyond shared nicknames and physical resemblances. Serves as a hopeful tale and introduction to the commonalities within Jewish and Islamic religious traditions. (PreK-5.)
Otis and Will Discover the Deep: the Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere written by Rosenstock, Barb and illustrated by Roy, Katherine; Little, Brown, 2018.
Otis and Will loved nature, adventure and discovery. They teamed-up to explore the deep ocean. Based on a true story, fabulous watercolor illustrations complement dramatic text detailing the nail-biting action as the men descend lower and lower, going where no human had gone before. (K-4.)
A Parade of Elephants written and illustrated by Henkes, Kevin; Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2018.
Through whimsical pastel illustrations and clear, straightforward text, Henkes’ simple picture book of elephants marching provides an appealing and instructive story for young children. (B/T-PreK.)
The Stuff of Stars written by Bauer, Marion Dane and illustrated by Holmes, Ekua; Candlewick, 2018.
Luminous, swirling, spellbinding illustrations pair with lyrical text illustrating both the beginning of the universe and the human connection to it. Holmes’ unique illustrations are a powerful match to Bauer’s poetic reminder of our connection to the galaxy. (PreK-3.)
Thank You, Omu! written and illustrated by Mora, Oge; Little, Brown, 2018.
Omu shares her delicious cooking with friends, neighbors, and other community members in a series of mixed media collage illustrations. Oge Mora’s book offers a story of warmth, generosity, and reciprocity that would be a welcome addition to a school or public library collection. (PreK-3.)
We Are All Me: A Toon Book written and illustrated by Crane, Jordan; TOON, 2018.
This electrifying metaphysical bite of a picture book is vibrant and succinct and a necessity to readers of all ages. The day-glo art is gripping, and its brief description of our interdependence in this world is important. (PreK-Adult.)
Meet Yasmin! written by Faruqi, Saadia and illustrated by Aly, Hatem; Picture Window/Capstone, 2018.
Yasmin Ahmad is an inquisitive second-grader who embraces life’s adventures. A Pakistani-American, she lives with her grandparents and her parents in an urban environment. Colorful illustrations that include a diverse cast of friends and community members accent this delightful debut reader. (K-3.)
Blood Water Paint written by McCullough, Joy; Dutton/Penguin Random House, 2018.
Set in 17th century Rome, the harrowing and deeply emotional novel in verse is a fictionalized account of the early life of painter Artemisia Gentileschi. (10-12.)
Children of Blood and Bone written by Adeyemi, Tomi; Henry Holt, 2018.
In this first volume of her Legacy of Orisha series, Tomi Adeyemi has gifted readers with a compelling novel. This is a welcome new addition to YA speculative fiction, and correspondingly would be a welcome addition to any school or public library collection. (7-12.)
The Flight of Swans written by McGuire, Sarah; Carolrhoda/Lerner, 2018.
A descriptive and compelling fantasy retelling of the Grimm’s story of six brothers enchanted into swans who are saved by their sister. The Flight of Swans manages to create a beautiful and believable world with a strong heroine who grows in ability and confidence while fighting for her family. (4-8.)
Girls on the Line written by Liu, Jennie; Carolrhoda/Lerner, 2018.
A fast-paced story narrated by two teenage friends who are leaving an orphanage in China to start lives on their own. Unwanted pregnancy and the threat of fines and criminal pressure force the girls to protect each other as they fight for a new life together. (8-12.)
Odd One Out written by Stone, Nic; Crown/Penguin Random House, 2018.
Teens Courtney Cooper, Rae Chin, and Jupiter Charity-Sanchez form a friendship triangle complicated by issues of sexuality, loyalty, and shared trauma. The characters feel honest; the story shows the realistic complexity of young people’s sexuality and avoids labels, pigeonholing, and punishment. (9-12.)
Pride written by Zoboi, Ibi; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2018.
This “remix” of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, set in contemporary Bushwick, Brooklyn, is a charming, breezy YA romance that also tackles issues of class and race. When the wealthy Darcy family move in across from the Benitez family, Zuri is immediately biased against the snooty Darius Darcy. (8-12.)
The Red Ribbon written by Adlington, Lucy; Candlewick, 2018.
Set in Auschwitz-Birkenau, this story of survival follows 14-year-old Ella as she sews for Nazi guards in the camp’s Upper Tailoring Studio. Chilling depictions of camp life are bolstered by explorations of collaboration, survival, friendship, and courage in the face of unspeakable horror. (5-10.)
Saving Winslow written by Creech, Sharon; Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins, 2018.
Louie is tasked with caring for a baby miniature donkey and worries he won’t be able to help it survive, to return to his uncle’s farm; Louie was a preemie and relates to the animal’s plight. Memorable, with relatable characters and a timeless setting. (3-5.)
Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules written and illustrated by Cliff, Tony; First Second, 2018.
A dust-up in Anatolia throws English adventurer Delilah Dirk and her Turkish companion Selim together with a yellow-journalist seek a mythical city. Richly detailed and gorgeously colored illustrations capture the 19th century romance of the Mediterranean basin in a plot worthy of Indiana Jones. (4-12.)
Hey, Kiddo written and illustrated by Krosoczka, Jarrett J.; Graphix/Scholastic, 2018.
This moving graphic novel for young adults chronicles the author’s personal experience growing up with a parent struggling with drug addiction, and the ways his struggle came to fuel his own artistic journey. (7-12.)
The Prince and the Dressmaker written and illustrated by Wang, Jen; First Second, 2018.
Prince Sebastian has a secret: he prefers wearing dresses, taking Paris by storm as Lady Crystallia in his best friend Frances’ brilliant designs. But how long must Frances defer her dreams to protect Sebastian’s secret? A hopeful open-ended tale of friendship, ambition, and endless possibility suitable for all ages. (2-12.)
Speak: The Graphic Novel written by Anderson, Laurie Halse and illustrated by Carroll, Emily; Farrar Straus Giroux, 2018.
This graphic novel version of Anderson’s 1999 YA classic about the fallout from a sexual assault doesn’t skimp on the emotional or narrative depth and is enhanced by the extra dimension of stunning illustrations. (8-12.)
A First Book of the Sea written by Davies, Nicola and illustrated by Sutton, Emily; Candlewick, 2018.
A gorgeous new collection of poetry about the sea combines accessible language with sumptuous watercolor paintings to explore the topics as diverse as limpets, ancient voyages, and conservation. Readers of all ages will delight in this beautiful book. (PreK-2.)
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler written and illustrated by Hendrix, John; Amulet/Abrams, 2018.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor in Germany who believed deeply in civil rights for all, so he opposed Hitler and his regime; he even conspired to assassinate Hitler. The artwork is not the usual paneled comic strip art but more boxes of illustration, dominated by salmon red and turquoise. (7-12.)