Each month we post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ at our previous month’s meeting and nominated for our year-end Distinguished List. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the October edition of BayViews. Not a member? Join, come to our (currently virtual) monthly meetings, and hear about these Outstanding books “in person”!
Eyes That Kiss in the Corners written by Ho, Joanna and illustrated by Ho, Dung; HarperCollins, 2021.
A young girl describes her eyes and the eyes of her loved ones in this celebration of family and Chinese culture. The perfect picture book to add more diversity and Asian acceptance to your library collection. (Grades PreK-2.)
Kiyoshi’s Walk written by Karlins, Mark and illustrated by Wong, Nicole; Lee & Low, 2021.
On an inspiring walk a grandfather answers a boy’s question – ‘where do poems come from?’ Detailed and whimsical illustrations reinforce the clear and compelling explanation of the origins of inspiration. An author’s note goes into greater depth about the history and structure of haiku. (K-3.)
Wishes written by Văn, Mượn Thị and illustrated by Ngai, Victo; Orchard/Scholastic, 2021.
Author Mượn Thị Văn and illustrator Victo Ngai tell the complex story of a family fleeing Vietnam in deceptively simple text and richly detailed illustrations. (PreK-3.)
The Forest of Stolen Girls written by Hur, June; Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, 2021.
Set on Jeju Island in fifteenth century Korea, this evocative and fast-paced mystery centers on two sisters, Hwani and Maewol, the first of whom returns to the island to try and find their missing father, Detective Min and thirteen local girls, uncovering the family’s and the island’s past. (8-12.)
Kaleidoscope written and illustrated by Selznick, Brian; Scholastic, 2021.
In this unusual allegorical novel, the first-person thirteen-year-old narrator is unnamed, and describes his best friend James who the reader learns has died. The two have adventures and seek knowledge in a series of episodic chapters that could also serve as stand-alone short stories. (5-9.)
Artie and the Wolf Moon written and illustrated by Stephens, Olivia; Graphic Universe/Lerner, 2021.
Eighth grader Artie discovers she comes from a line of werewolves. Beyond learning about her heritage, how to manage her powers and deal with the threat of vampires, she has a sweet romance with Maya, another young werewolf. The werewolves are all Black and the vampires are light skinned. (5-8.)
It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health (Newly Revised and Updated) written by Harris, Robie H. and illustrated by Emberley, Michael; Candlewick, 2021.
Twenty five years ago Harris and Emberley set the “gold standard” on honest yet accessible sex education information for younger children. This newest edition for library collections and home libraries is heartily recommend.