Every 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 July edition of BayViews.
Big Cat, Little Cat written and illustrated by Cooper, Elisha; Roaring Brook, 2017.
A white cat takes a new black kitten under their wing and shows them the ropes, and when the older white cat passes, it’s up to the black cat to then show the ropes to a newly introduced white kitten. An endearing and straightforward title with which to gently broach the subject of death and dying with little ones. (Grades Preschool-2.)
Daddy Played the Blues written and illustrated by Garland, Michael; Tilbury House, 2017.
Six-year-old Cassie moves with her family from Mississippi to Chicago. Set in 1936 during the Great Migration, this fictional but historically correct story celebrates the musical style known as Chicago blues through luminescent illustrations, song lyrics, and copies back matter that pays tribute to blues musicians from the era. (K-3.)
Goldfish Ghost written by Snicket, Lemony and illustrated by Brown, Lisa; Roaring Brook, 2017.
The ghost of a goldfish drifts out of his fishbowl in a boy’s bedroom and flies around town, trying to find someone to talk to and befriend. But if the living can’t see or talk to him, who can? The narrative has a calm, understated quality that suits the characters, and the artwork is matched in tone. (P-2.)
The Treasure Box written by Wild, Margaret and illustrated by Blackwood, Freya; Candlewick, 2017.
In an unknown historical time (perhaps during World War II), the war forces a people to flee their homes; a young refugee, Peter, carries a cherished family possession through an incredibly sad, grim and dangerous period of survival before reflecting on its great importance when he has reached adulthood. This is a beautiful and profound story of loss and survival. (2-4.)
Saturdays with Hitchcock written by Wittlinger, Ellen; Charlesbridge, 2017.
Maisie, nicknamed Hitchcock, and her best friend Cyrus attend classic film screenings at their local theatre, where they are joined by classmate Gary who has a crush on Maisie. How can she cope with this first romance, especially after Cyrus tells her he is gay and has a crush on Gary. This is a book with wide appeal, where the LGBTQ element is key to the plot and characters and is age appropriate for the target audience. (5-8.)
Solo written by Alexander, Kwame; Blink/HarperCollins, 2017.
Soulful prose tells the story of eighteen year old Blade’s trip to Ghana to find his birthmother and forage an identity separate from his rock star father. Using a 14 song playlist, Newbery Award-winner Alexander breathes new life into trite themes in his Young Adult debut. (9-Adult.)
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers written by Heiligman, Deborah; Henry Holt, 2017.
A complex and layered YA biography of Vincent and Theo Van Gogh that readers can enjoy both as a story of the close bond between two brothers and for insight into one of the world’s most renowned painters and his art. (8-12.)