Best of 2013 for Children


The third and last of my Best Of 2013 posts includes a variety of selections for children.

Hold Fast by Blue Bailliet – Tonia Burton (Central Library) – From NYT bestselling author Blue Balliett, the story of a girl who falls into Chicago’s shelter system, and from there must solve the mystery of her father’s strange disappearance.

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean – Adrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – In this unique construction book for kids who love tools and trucks, readers join a girl and her family as they pack up their old house in town and set out to build a new one in the country.

Journey by Aaron Becker – Adrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) & Tonia Burton (Central Library) – Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton – Adrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – Everything you need to know about finding, keeping, and training your very own pet train.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers – Kathy Wolf (Central Library) – Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle – Adrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance.

Toilet: How It Works by David Macaulay and Sheila KeenanAdrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – Everyone knows what a toilet is for, right? But what exactly happens after you flush? Where does our waste go, and how is it made safe? With his unique blend of informative text and illustration, David Macaulay takes readers on a tour of the bathroom and the sewer system, from the familiar family toilet to the mysterious municipal water treatment plant.

If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty & Stephen Kellogg – Kathy Wolf (Central Library) – “If you decide to go to the moon,” writes Faith McNulty, “read this book first. It will tell you how to get there and what to do after you land. The most important part tells you how to get home.

Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller and Anne Wilsdorf – Kathy Wolf (Central Library) – On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents’ gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes…. What’s a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi MoralesAdrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Niño—popsicle eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre competitor!

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, and Matthew Myers – Adrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – When Alex gets a silly, sappy picture book called Birthday Bunny, he picks up a pencil and turns it into something he’d like to read: Battle Bunny. An adorable rabbit’s journey through the forest becomes a secret mission to unleash an evil plan–a plan that only Alex can stop.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen – Adrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn’t come into Lazslo’s room. But one night, it does.

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool – Kathy Wolf (Central Library) – New York Times Best Seller Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, Newbery Medalist for Moon Over Manifest, is an odyssey-like adventure of two boys’ incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters.

Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner – Kathy Wolf (Central Library) – In a near wordless masterpiece that could only have been devised by David Wiesner, a cat named Mr. Wuffles doesn’t care about toy mice or toy goldfish. He’s much more interested in playing with a little spaceship full of actual aliens—but the ship wasn’t designed for this kind of rough treatment. Between motion sickness and damaged equipment, the aliens are in deep trouble.

Disclaimer: All the links go to Amazon, and the annotations have been borrowed from there as well.

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