When I left New York after Book Expo America, I had an imaginary shortlist of books I wanted to read right away. I had picked up lots of books, but some just really stood out and said “me first!”
Then I got home and life took over. A week flew by, and it seemed too late to write a full summary. There were great wrap-up posts; nothing new to add from here. Two more weeks went by and it seemed like an odd time to talk about my discoveries. Some of my favorites are already being reviewed. More blogging angst!
So, I decided to wait a little longer and set a date: the one month anniversary of BEA. I revised my list. The middle-grade and Young Adult books have gotten some post-BEA chat of one sort or another? Gone.
My new, shorter list is board books, picture books, and easy readers that I haven’t seen talked about or reviewed (yet). Potential gems? I hope so!
Book titles are linked to the Reading Tub website; covers link to Amazon.
14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy, in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah (ill. Thomas Gonzalez) – Oh, my word! This is the story of how a rural village in Kenya decided to help Americans after the September 11 attacks. The illustrations are stunning. (Peachtree Publishers, 2009)
Dear Baby What I Love About You by Carol Casey (ill. Jason Oransky) – This little board book doubles as an autograph book. On the last page, is this request “Please sign my baby yearbook so I know who read this to me.” Just makes me go “aww-w-w” every time I pick it up. (Dear Baby Books, 2008)
The Longest Night by Marion Dane Bauer (ill. Ted Lewin) – Click the cover to make it bigger. This is just a beautiful book and both Catherine and I keep flipping the pages to look at the images. We haven’t read any of it yet! Book lovers who want endflaps that are more than just filler pages will be overjoyed. (Holiday House, 2009)
Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets by Barbara Esham (ill Mike Gordon and Carol Gordon) – Our narrator tells us about his struggles with paying attention in school and how he tried to solve the problem. The story helps readers see the “blessings and burdens that result from combining the creativity of an artist, the energy of an athlete and the attention controls of an 8-year-0ld.” Frankly, this whole series looks very interesting. (Mainstream Connections, 2009)
Mrs. McGee’s Coconut by Allia Zobel Nolan (ill. Peter Cottrill) – This is a story about a runaway coconut told in rhyme. What grabbed my attention is how the author uses elipses to help add to the suspense of the reading. Of course the cover image of Mrs. M. on a Harley is a good setup, too. (Tiger Tales, an Imprint of ME Media, LLC, 2009)
Neela Potts has Lots of Knots by Tina L. Wuehr (ill. Mari Brown) – For starters, the word “knots” has a tangled-up “o.” There is lots of white space, lots of color, some fun typesetting, and plenty of rhyme. (Pipsqueak Publishing, 2008)
Poppy’s Pants by Melissa Conroy – Poppy, Penelope, Mama, and Seymour (dog) are Wooberry dolls. I didn’t know what they were, but they make adorable picture book characters. (Blue Apple Books, 2009)
The Prairie-Dog Prince (A Prairie Tale) by Eva Katharine Gibson (ill. Carolyn Digby Conahan) – This looks like it has potential as both a transitional reader and a reluctant reader book. What first caught my attention was the publisher … which explains why there’s a word list at the back and a bibliography, too. (South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2008)
Sikulu & Harambe by the Zambezi River by Kunle Oguneye (Ill. Bruce McCorkindale) – The subtitle for the book is “An African version of the Good Samaritan story.” I love the idea of universal/multicultural storytelling. (Blue Brush Media, 2008)
Tell Me, Tell Me, What Do You See? series: At the Zoo, In the Garden, In the City by Lauren McNerney Stinnett – these are accordian-style boardbooks designed for toddlers. There are pictures and then a simple descriptive that can help with counting, colors, size, shape, etc. Each book comes with stickers that are the same picture in the book so the child can recreate their own. (McNerney Publications, LLC, 2007)
Testing the Ice: A True Story about Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson (Ill. Kadir Nelson). Kadir Nelson’s work is amazing, but my reason for including it can be summed up in one word: “awestruck.” Nelson is great, but meeting Jackie Robinson’s daughter? Too cool for words! (Scholastic Press, 2009)