Tuesday, March 25, 2008

PLANETESME PICKS: A 2007 INDEX

Well, spring has sprung, and so has the new book season, so, as promised, it is time to look back on all of the best of the best of this busy year! It was a frenetic 2007, moving the bookroom and having worked full-time as a school librarian, but I still managed to consider over seven hundred titles. Of that bevy of books, here are the bunch that rose to the top, the cream of the crop! When I look at this list I am renewed in my resolve that children's literature is our best hope for equalizing education and that even when schools fail, children don't have to, with the help of all that books have to share. History! Arts! Poetry! Astrophysics! Beautiful multicultural offerings! Laughter! Adventure! It's all here, folks, but best of all, when I look at this list, I see books that kids will actually enjoy! I hope this will be handy for folks looking to confidently build family collections, choosing perfect gifts for beloved children or developing collections for their school or public libraries, and for authors and illustrators looking for publishers that support the kind of books they are creating. I have to make a few special commendations:

Favorites for sharing in a classroom setting:
THE ESCAPE OF ONEY JUDGE: HOW MARTHA WASHINGTON'S SLAVE FOUND FREEDOM by Emily Arnold McCully (Farrar Straus Giroux)
GINGER BEAR by Mini Grey (Knopf)
GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES! VOICES FROM A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd (Candlewick)
THE JEWEL-BOX BALLERINAS by Monique De Varennes, illustrated by Ana Juan (Schwartz & Wade)
MY DOG IS AS SMELLY AS DIRTY SOCKS by Hanoch Piven (Schwartz & Wade)
RICKSHAW GIRL by Mitali Perkins (Charlesbridge)
THE END by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Richard Egielski (Scholastic)
THOSE SHOES by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones (Candlewick)

Made me laugh the hardest:
17 THINGS I'M NOT ALLOWED TO DO ANYMORE by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (Schwartz & Wade, 2006) (even though it was very naughty)
DEAR MISS PERFECT: A BEAST'S GUIDE TO PROPER BEHAVIOR by Sandra Dutton (Houghton Mifflin)
SQUIRREL'S WORLD by Lisa Moser, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev (Candlewick)
STARRING MISS DARLENE by Amy Schwartz (Roaring Brook)

Made me cry every time I read it:
HALF A WORLD AWAY by Libby Gleeson, illustrated by Freya Blackwood (Scholastic)

My favorite book of the year:
ARTIST TO ARTIST: 23 MAJOR ILLUSTRATORS TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT THEIR ART to benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Philomel), tied with
HERE'S A LITTLE POEM: A VERY FIRST BOOK OF POETRY by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Candlewick) (my new favorite baby gift)

Biggest hits with reluctant readers:
EVERY MINUTE ON EARTH by Steve and Matthew Murrie, illustrated by Mary Anne Lloyd (Scholastic)
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID series b Jeff Kinney (Abrams)
THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
TITANIC by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Brian Sanders (Candlewick)
TWELVE ROUNDS TO GLORY: THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD ALI by Charles R. Smith, Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier (Candlewick)
THE SEEMS: A GLITCH IN SLEEP by John Hulme and Michael Wexler (Bloomsbury USA)

Book that deserved a prize even if the illustrator doesn't have any more room on the shelf:
HOW TO PAINT THE PORTRAIT OF A BIRD by Jacques Prévert, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Brook Press)

Book that isn't on the list because I didn't get to it but it was my son's favorite read this year:
FROM CHARLIE'S POINT OF VIEW by Richard Scrimger (Puffin) (thanks, Russell!)

Now's the time to fix yourself a cup of tea or fetch a pint of Ben and Jerry's and look over this index, below. As a special incentive, if you "comment" below on your favorite pick or make your own addition or category by March 31st , U.S. residents will be entered in a random drawing for the new unabridged Listening Library undabridged audio version of VIVE LA PARIS, narrated by Tichina Arnold (of Everybody Hates Chris fame!) on CD, a $38.00 value!

And if you need bookplates for your new acquisitions, shop with Esme at One Good Bumblebee (the "don't be a blowhole, return this book" plate kills me!) and the super snazzy personalized retro plates at The Paper Princess make amazing gifts for booklovers or baby showers. Both purveyors are from Etsy, oh, the joys of shopping handmade! I have to confess, though, my standard is still the Aliki "Sharing" plate from Kidstamps, who also have rubber stamp plates, and then there is the insane dream-come-true website My Home Library with gorgeous downloadable bookplates designed by primarily British illustrators, like Quentin Blake and Tony Ross and Brian Wildsmith! I kid you not! So go look, and come back!

For your convenience, I have added links to my review or Amazon (I actually evaluated more books than I was able to review this year, though I will try to continue to write them up). Keep in mind, I link to Amazon because it is such an amazing clearinghouse of reviews and information, but it's always a good idea to support your local independent bookseller, because then you are supporting your own community! I also played a little catch-up, and those books are so marked; you can see a complete list of 2006 PlanetEsme Picks and even further back at planetesme.com. I'm glad PlanetEsme can be a place where the door to finding the right reader is always open, whatever the year of book publication.

Okay, enough blabbing! Here is the 2007 PlanetEsme Pick Index:

PICTURE BOOKS
17 THINGS I'M NOT ALLOWED TO DO ANYMORE by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (Schwartz & Wade, 2006)
AND THE TRAIN GOES by WIlliam Bee (Candlewick)
ANDREW HENRY'S MEADOW by Doris Burn (San Juan, reissue)
THE ARRIVAL by Shaun Tan (Scholastic)
AUGUSTINE by Mélanie Watt (Kids Can Press)
BALLET SISTERS: THE DUCKLING AND THE SWAN by Jan Ormerod (Scholastic)
BIG BAD BUNNY by Franny Billingsley, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Atheneum)
THE BLABBER REPORT by True Kelley (Dutton)
THE BOY WHO PAINTED DRAGONS by Demi (McElderberry)
THE CASTLE ON HESTER STREET by Linda Heller, illustrated by Boris Kulikov (Simon & Schuster, reissue)
THE CHICKEN-CHASING QUEEN OF LAMAR COUNTY by Janice Harrington, illustrated by Shelley Jackson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
COCK-A-DOODLE-HOOOOOOO! by Mick Manning, illustrated by Brita Grandstrom (Good Books)
DELILAH D. AT THE LIBRARY by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Rosie Reeve (Clarion)
DINO-PETS by Lynne Plourde, illustrated by Gideon Kendall (Dutton)
THE DOG CHILD by Simon Black, illustrated by Gernimo Garcia (Cinco Puntos)
THE DUMPSTER DIVER by Janet Wong, illustrated by David Roberts (Candlewick)
FIONA'S LUCK by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Kelly Murphy (Charlesbridge)
FIRE UP WITH READING by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa (Upstart)
FIRST THE EGG by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook)
FIVE LITTLE GEFILTES by Dave Horowitz (Putnam)
FIVE NICE MICE by Chisato Tashiro (Penguin)
FIX IT, SAM! by Lori Reis, illustrated by Sue Rama (Charlesbridge)
FOUR FEET, TWO SANDALS by Karen Lynn William and Khadra Mohammad, illustrated by Doug Chayka (Eerdmanns)
GATOR by Randy Cecil (Candlewick)
GINGER BEAR by Mini Grey (Knopf)
THE GINGERBREAD GIRL by Lisa Campbell Ernst (Dutton, 2006)
HALF A WORLD AWAY by Libby Gleeson, illustrated by Freya Blackwood (Scholastic)
HAIR FOR MAMA by Kelly A. Tinkham, illustrated by Amy June Bates (Dial)
THE HOUND FROM THE POUND by Jessica Swaim, illustrated by Jill McElmurry (Candlewick)
HOW TO PAINT THE PORTRAIT OF A BIRD by Jacques Prévert, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Brook)
I DON'T LIKE GLORIA by Kaye Umansky, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain (Candlewick)
THE INCREDIBLE BOOK EATING BOY by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel)
IVAN THE TERRIER by Peter Catalanotto (Atheneum)
JABBERWOCKY by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Christopher Meyers (Jump at the Sun)
THE JEWEL-BOX BALLERINAS by Monique De Varennes, illustrated by Ana Juan (Schwartz & Wade)
THE LEMON SISTERS by Andrea Cheng, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss (Putnam, 2006)
LET'S TAKE OVER THE KINDERGARTEN by Richard Hamilton, illustrated by Sue Heap (Bloomsbury)
LISSY'S FRIENDS by Grace Lin (Viking)
LITTLE HOOT by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace (Chronicle)
LITTLE EAGLE by Chen Jiang Hong (Enchanted Lion Books)
LOVE THE BABY by Steven Layne, illustrated by Ard Hoyt (Pelican)
THE MAGIC RABBIT by Annette LeBlanc Cate (Candlewick)
MEERKAT MAIL by Emily Gravett (Simon and Schuster)
THE MOON MIGHT BE MILK by Lisa Schulman, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand (Dutton)
NEW CLOTHES FOR NEW YEAR'S DAY by Hyun-Joo Bae (Kane/Miller)
MOTHERBRIDGE OF LOVE by Xinran, illustrated by Josée Masse (Barefoot)
MY DOG IS AS SMELLY AS DIRTY SOCKS by Hanoch Piven (Schwartz & Wade)
MY LITTLE GRANDMOTHER OFTEN FORGETS by Reeve Lindbergh, illustrated by Kathryn Brown (Candlewick)
PENGUIN by Polly Dunbar (Candlewick)
PIANO PIANO by Davide Cali, illustrated by Eric Heliot (Charlesbridge)
PIGS LOVE POTATOES by Anika Denise, illustrated by Chrisopher Denise (Philomel)
THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA by Rachel Isadora (Putnam)
PRINCESS GRACE by Mary Hoffman,illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying Hwa-Hu (Dial)
PUNK FARM ON TOUR by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Knopf)
OVER IN THE MEADOW AT THE BIG BALLET by Lisa Shulman (Putnam)
PRETTY SALMA: A LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD STORY FROM AFRICA by Niki Daly (Clarion)
RED RED RED by Valeri Gorbachev (Philomel)
SKY SWEEPER by Phyllis Gershator, illustrated by Holly Meade (Farrar Straus & Giroux)
SQUIRREL'S WORLD by Lisa Moser, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev (Candlewick)
STARRING MISS DARLENE by Amy Schwartz (Roaring Brook)
THE STORY OF CHERRY THE PIG by Utako Yamada (Kane/Miller)
SUGAR CANE: A CARIBBEAN RAPUNZEL by Patricia Storace, illustrated by Raul Colon (Jump at the Sun)
THE END by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Richard Egielski (Scholastic)
THOSE SHOES by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones (Candlewick)
THUMBELINA OF TOULABA by Daniel Picouly, illustrated by Olivier Tallec (Enchanted Lion)
UNBRELLA by Scott E. Franson (Roaring Brook)
WHO'S HIDING? by Satoru Onishi (Kane/Miller)
THE ZOO by Suzy Lee (Kane/Miller)

FICTION
ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS by Brandon Sanderson (Scholastic)
CELESTE'S HARLEM RENAISSANCE by Eleanora E. Tate (Little, Brown)
THE COYOTE ROAD: TRICKSTER TALES edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (Viking)
A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT by Linda Urban (Harcourt)
DEAR MISS PERFECT: A BEAST'S GUIDE TO PROPER BEHAVIOR by Sandra Dutton (Houghton Mifflin)
DEXTER THE TOUGH by Margaret Peterson Haddix, illustrated by Mark Elliott (Simon & Schuster)
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID series b Jeff Kinney (Abrams)
ELIJAH OF BUXTON by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic)
EMMY AND THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING RAT by Lynne Jonell (Holt)
THE ENTERTAINER AND THE THE DYBBUK by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow)
THE FABLED FOURTH GRADERS OF AESOP ELEMENTARY by Candace Fleming (Schwartz & Wade)
GEORGE'S SECRET KEY TO THE UNIVERSE by Lucy and Stephen Hawking (Simon & Schuster)
GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES! VOICES FROM A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd (Candlewick)
HATCHET: THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION by Gary Paulsen (Simon & Schuster)
HOW TO STEAL A DOG by Barbara O'Connor (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
JACK PLANK TELLS TALES by Natalie Babbitt (Scholastic)
KEEKER series by Hadley Higginson, illustrated by Maja Anderson (Chronicle)
LITTLE FUR series by Isobelle Carmody (Random House, 2006)
LETTERS FROM RAPUNZEL by Sara Lewis Holmes (HarperCollins)
MIDDLE SCHOOL IS WORSE THAN MEATLOAF: A YEAR TOLD IN STUFF by Jennifer Holm (Atheneum)
MOOMIN: THE COMPLETE TOVE JANSSON COMIC STRIP by Tove Jansson (Drawn and Quarterly)
MOXY MAXWELL DOES NOT LOVE STUART LITTLE by Peggy Fisher (Schwartz and Wade)
THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY by Trenton Lee Stewart (Little, Brown)
THE NEDDIAD by Daniel Pinkwater (Houghton Mifflin)
PAINT THE WIND by Pam Munoz Ryan (Scholastic)
PUPPET PANDEMONIUM by Diane Roberts (Delacorte)
PIPER REED: NAVY BRAT by Kimberly Willis Holt, illustrated by Christine Davenier (Holt)
THE PUZZLING WORLD OF WINSTON BREEN by Eric Berlin (Putnam)
RICKSHAW GIRL by Mitali Perkins (Charlesbridge)
REACHING FOR SUN by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (Bloomsbury USA)
ROBOT DREAMS by Sara Varon (First Second Books/Roaring Brook)
THE SEEMS: A GLITCH IN SLEEP by John Hulme and Michael Wexler (Bloomsbury USA)
SOMEONE NAMED EVA by Joan M. Wolf (Clarion)
STEALING HOME by Ellen Schwartz (Tundra, 2006)
TASTING THE SKY: A PALESTINIAN CHILDHOOD by Ibtisam Barakat (Farrar Strauss Giroux)
THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS by R.L. LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin)
THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY by Adam Rex (Hyperion)
THE WEDNESDAY WARS by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion)
WHERE I LIVE by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Matt Phelan (Dial)
YELLOW STAR by Jennifer Roy (Marshall Cavendish, 2006)

NONFICTION
1607: A NEW LOOK AT JAMESTOWN by Karen E. Lange, photos by Ira Block (National Geographic)
ARTIST TO ARTIST: 23 MAJOR ILLUSTRATORS TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT THEIR ART to benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Philomel)
ARCHIE'S WAR: MY SCRAPBOOK OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR by Marcia Williams (Candlewick)
C IS FOR CABOOSE: RIDING THE RAILS FROM A TO Z by Traci Todd (Chronicle)
CAPOEIRA! GAME! DANCE! MARTIAL ART! by George Ancona (Lee & Low)
CITY HAWK: THE STORY OF PALE MALE by Meghan McCarthy (Simon & Schuster)
DADBLAMED UNION ARMY COW by Susan Fletcher, illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root (Candlewick)
DELICIOUS: THE LIFE AND ART OF WAYNE THIEBAUD by Susan Goldman Rubin (Chronicle)
DIFFERENT LIKE COCO by Elizabeth Matthews (Candlewick)
DINOMUMMY by Dr. Philip Lars Manning (Kingfisher)
DINOSAURS: THE MOST COMPLETE, UP-TO-DATE ENCYCLOPEDIA FOR DINOSAUR LOVERS OF ALL AGES by Dr. Thomas Holtz Jr., illustrated by Luis V. Rey (Random House)
DISGUISED: A WARTIME MEMOIR by Rita la Fontaine de Clerq Zubli (Candlewick)
DOGS AND CATS by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin)
DRUMBEAT IN OUR FEET by Patricia A. Keeler and Julio T. Leitao, illustrated by Patricia Keeler (Lee & Low)
ESCAPE! THE STORY OF THE GREAT HOUDINI by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow, 2006)
THE ESCAPE OF ONEY JUDGE: HOW MARTHA WASHINGTON'S SLAVE FOUND FREEDOM by Emily Arnold McCully (Farrar Straus & Giroux)
EXPLORER: A DARING GUIDE FOR YOUNG ADVENTURERS by Henry Hardcastle (Candlewick)
EXTREME DINOSAURS by Robert Mash, illustrated by Stuart Martin (Atheneum)
GERSHWIN'S RHAPSODY IN BLUE by Anna Harwell Celenza, illustrated by JoAnn Kitchel (Charlesbridge)
GIANT POP-OUT SHAPES by Meagan Bennett (Chronicle)
THE GOLDEN RULE by Ilene Cooper, illustrated by Gabi Swiatowska (Abrams)
GREEN EGGS AND HAM COOKBOOK by Georgeanne Brennan and Dr. Seuss (Random House, 2006)
HANUKKAH AT VALLEY FORGE by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Greg Harlin (Dutton, 2006)
HENRY'S FREEDOM BOX by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Scholastic)
HERE'S A LITTLE POEM: A VERY FIRST BOOK OF POETRY by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Candlewick)
A HORSE IN THE HOUSE AND OTHER STRANGE BUT TRUE ANIMAL STORIES by Gail Ablow, illustrated by Kathy Osborn (Candlewick)
EVERY MINUTE ON EARTH by Steve and Matthew Murrie, illustrated by Mary Anne Lloyd (Scholastic)
FOOTWORK: THE STORY OF FRED AND ADELE ASTAIRE by Rocanne Orgill, illustrated by Stéphanie Jorisch (Candlewick)
THE GIRL'S LIKE SPAGHETTI by Lynne Truss, by Bonnie Timmons (Putnam)
A GOLDEN LEGACY by Leonard S. Marcus (Golden, adult)
I AM MARC CHAGALL by Bimba Landmann (Eerdmans)
IF YOU CAN READ MUSIC, THANK GUIDO D'AREZZO by Susan Roth (Houghton Mifflin)
JANE ADDAMS: CHAMPION OF DEMOCRACY by Dennis Brinell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin (Clarion, 2006)
JAZZ ABZ by Wynton Marsalis, illustrated by Phil Schapp (Candlewick)
LIVING COLOR by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin)
MEET THE MUSICIANS: FROM PRODIGIES (OR NOT) TO PROS by Amy Nathan (Holt, 2006)
P IS FOR PRINCESS: A ROYAL ALPHABET by Stephen and Deborah Layne, illustrated by Robert and Lisa Papp (Sleeping Bear)
PALEO SHARKS by Timothy J. Bradley (Chronicle)
A PRINCESS PRIMER by Stephanie True Peters (Dutton)
RED BUTTERFLY: HOW A PRINCESS SMUGGLED THE SECRET OF SILK OUT OF CHINA by Deborah Noyes, illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Candlewick)
A SECOND IS A HICCUP: A CHILD'S BOOK OF TIME by Hazel Hutchins, illustrated by Lady McDonald Denton (Scholastic)
THE SNOW BABY: THE ARCTIC CHILDHOOD OF ROBERT E. PEARY'S DARING DAUGHTER by Katherine Kirkpatrick (Holiday House)
SOPHISTICATED LADIES: THE GREAT WOMEN OF JAZZ by Leslie Gourse, illustrated by Martin French (Dutton)
THE SPATULATTA COOKBOOK by Isabella and Olivia Gerasole (Scholastic)
STRONG MAN: THE STORY OF CHARLES ATLAS by Meghan McCarthy (Knopf)
TELL ME A PICTURE by Quentin Blake (Frances Lincoln, 2006)
THIS IS JUST TO SAY: POEMS OF APOLOGY AND FORGIVENESS by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (Houghton Mifflin)
TITANIC by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Brian Sanders (Candlewick)
TITANIC: THE SHIP OF DREAMS by Duncan Crosbie and Ken Geist (Orchard)
TODAY AT THE BLUEBIRD CAFÉ by Deborah Ruddell, illustrated by Joan Rankin (McElderberry)
TRAILBLAZERS: POEMS OF EXPLORATION by Bobbi Katz,illustrated by Carin Berger (Greenwillow)
TWELVE ROUNDS TO GLORY: THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD ALI by Charles R. Smith, Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier (Candlewick)
UNEVERSAURUS by Aiden Potts (David Fickling)
VINNIE AND ABRAHAM by Dawn Fitzgerald, illustrated by Catherine Stock (Charlesbridge)
WAR, WOMEN AND THE NEWS: HOW FEMALE JOURNALISTS WON THE BATTLE TO COVER WWII by Catherine Gourley (Atheneum)
WHEN IS A PLANET NOT A PLANET? THE STORY OF PLUTO by Elaine Scott (Clarion)
WHO PUT THE B IN BALLYHOO? THE MOST AMAZING, BIZARRE AND CELEBRATED CIRCUS PERFORMERS by Carlyn Beccia (Houghton Mifflin)
WOE IS I, JR. by Patricia O'Conner (Putnam)
YOGA POEMS by Janet S.Wong, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (McElderberry)
YOUNG PELÉ: SOCCER'S FIRST STAR by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome (Schwartz & Wade)

Thanks again for your patience and support this past year, and for all of the years! I look forward to what 2008 has in store...titles have already arrived, been read aloud and are queued up for review, so I hope you'll check in again. Happy reading, everyone!!!

Girl reading in library clip art by Mark A. Hicks, via Discovery Education.
Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to
support your local bookseller.

14 comments:

Sara said...

Thanks, Esme. I'm honored to be part of such a stellar list!

linda said...

I'm glad I wasn't drinking tea when I saw the list -- I'd have choked on it! Thank you so much for including A Crooked Kind of Perfect on your list.

AMY S. said...

Tis been worth the wait, and your excellent lists have appeared with perfect timing---we're on Spring Break until March 31. I'm off to the library!

Teacherninja said...

My personal favorite was The Arrival--Tan, my 5-yr-old daughter would pick Penguin--Dunbar or The End--Rochelle. I'd have to pick The End for all-round fave since my wife and I got more requests from our daughter for that for read-aloud AND my second graders not only liked it AND used it for cause and effect, but requested it read again for fun. Always a good sign.

Mitali Perkins said...

I'm sputtering over my virtual cup of tea along with Linda in delight. Thanks so much, Esme, for the shout out about Rickshaw Girl.

bethany said...

I really loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret and though it would be tough to read aloud to a group of 33 students-this would be a great bedtime story!! My son's favorite (he's only 2) of the year would have to be Diary of a Fly...he's obsessed with the picture books by Doreen Cronin :)

Anonymous said...

Count me in as another author who is pleased as punch to have his book included on your list of bests. Thanks, Esme!

David LaRochelle

Sheila said...

Thank you for putting together this list, and for all of your reviews. Your picks never miss with my kids.

Most of our favorites from last year are on your list, but here are some others we liked:

The Talented Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker
Gravity Buster, by Frank Asch
The Thing About Georgie, by Lisa Graff

Thanks again!
Sheila

Shelley Rosas, B.A., M.Ed. said...

Esme, I just read When Is a Planet Not a Planet? The Story of Pluto with my fourth grade son... who is still spongin' up facts. We BOTH learned a month's worth of science lessons in a few nights. This book should be on every elementary school science teacher's bookshelf. Just think of all the applications!! Shelley

Deborah B. Ford said...

So many of my favorites are there...who could resist the first line of Evil Librarians of Alcatraz or the boys who master the Dewey system because they aren't going to let a librarian outsmart them! Two favorites I don't see are: The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous by Suzanne Crowley- poignant story about a girl with asperger's and The Name of this Book is Secret- a great book for boys. I loved, loved, loved them.Thanks, Esme for being there for us!

Deborah B. Ford

AMY S. said...

the pic at the top of the post...

who is the artist?

any recs for sites to find such prints for classroom walls and the like?

Esme Raji Codell said...

Amy S., the artist is Mark A. Hicks, he did a nice job, didn't he? This and other thematic clip art may be found at:
http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/

Kyra Teis said...

Dear Esme -

Wonderful list! Thank you again for all your insight. I love Polly Dunbar's illustrations (of Here's a Little Poem). So fanciful! I salivate whenever I see one of her books. And you know I gotta shout out to all collage artists!

Deborah Ruddell said...

Being included on your list gives me goosebumps! Thanks, Esme!

Deborah Ruddell
Today at the Bluebird Cafe

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