Prep and Lower School Notable Books
Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer. By Diane Stanley. Illus. by Jessie Hartland. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman.
This engaging biography introduces nineteenth-century scientist Ada Lovelace, who developed the first algorithm used by the world’s early computers.
Ada Twist, Scientist. By Andrea Beaty. Illus. by David Roberts. Abrams.
Inquisitive Ada Twist is determined to identify a mysterious smell. Her mission includes some not-so-successful science experiments, supportive parents, and insatiable curiosity.
Before Morning. By Joyce Sidman. Illus. by Beth Krommes. HMH.
Through rhythmic text and scratchboard illustrations, readers follow a family from “the deep woolen dark” of night into a snowy morning, where all is made “slow and delightful and white.”
Best Frints in the Whole Universe. By Antoinette Portis. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Using their own unique language, space creatures Yelfred and Omek demonstrate that friendship troubles are universal.
Counting. By Fleur Star. illus. DK.
Experience counting in the natural world with a variety of textures and shapes. Numbers and words are printed as text and Braille in this early learning board book.
Coyote Moon. By Maria Gianferrari. Illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. Roaring Brook.
Striving to feed her pups, a coyote hunts in the moonlight until dawn. This strikingly illustrated, nonfiction offering holds many facts and celebrates this skilled predator.
Fabulous Frogs. By Martin Jenkins. Illus. by Tim Hopgood. Candlewick.
Frogs of all sizes and colors, bearing a variety of unique characteristics, hop through this beautiful nonfiction picture book.
Go, Otto, Go! By David Milgrim. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Simon Spotlight.
Extremely simple text and humorous, energetic illustrations bring to life, with surprising emotional complexity, this tale of Otto the robot who is building a spaceship to take him home. (Geisel Honor Book)
Good Night Owl. By Greg Pizzoli. Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion.
When an unfamiliar noise prevents Owl from falling asleep, his desperate efforts to find its source escalate to comedic effect.(Geisel Honor Book)
The Great Pet Escape. By Victoria Jamieson. Illus. by the author. Holt.
The class pets at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary are on the loose! Second-grade classroom hamster GW has had enough and sets out to free his two best friends.
Horrible Bear! By Ame Dyckman. Illus. by Zachariah OHora. Little, Brown.
When a kite goes astray, an accident and misunderstanding bring together two unlikely friends in a story about the power of forgiveness.
A Hungry Lion; or, A Dwindling Assortment of Animals. By Lucy Ruth Cummins. Illus. by the author. Atheneum.
Why do a little calico kitten, a brown mouse, and a floppy-eared bunny disappear? Ask the hungry lion.
The Infamous Ratsos. By Kara LaReau. Illus. by Matt Myers. Candlewick.
Trying to follow in their tough father’s footsteps, Louie and Ralphie’s efforts go humorously awry. (Geisel Honor Book)
Leave Me Alone! By Vera Brosgol. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook.
In her endeavor to make sweaters for 30 curious grandchildren, a harried grandmother embarks on a quest for peace and quiet. (Caldecott Honor Book)
The Night Gardener. By Terry Fan. Illus. by Eric Fan. Simon & Schuster.
A dreary town comes to life through the efforts of a mysterious nocturnal gardener, whose fantastic topiaries amaze and empower a young boy.
Old Dog Baby Baby. By Julie Fogliano. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Simple text and watercolor illustrations capture the sweet relationship between a crawling baby and a lovable old dog as they play together on the kitchen floor.
Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caper. By Mike Twohy. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray.
In this playful abecedary, a ball and a dog interrupt mouse’s nap, triggering an A to Z chase. (Geisel Honor Book)
Over the Ocean. By Taro Gomi. Illus. by the author. Chronicle.
Depicted through serene watercolor spreads, a young girl stands on a beach and imagines the world beyond the ocean. (Batchelder Honor Book)
A Piece of Home. By Jeri Watts. Illus. by Hyewon Yum. Candlewick.
In this compassionate immigration story, Hee Jun and his family slowly adjust to their new life in West Virginia after moving from Korea.
Puddle. By Hyewon Yum. Illus. by the author. Farrar.
A mother and child draw a story of themselves and their dog walking in the rain. The child splashes in a puddle, but it’s only a picture—until reality mirrors art.
Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas. By Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Wild adventures ensue when young luchador Niño is pitted against his little sisters, the lucha wrestling queens.
School’s First Day of School. By Adam Rex. Illus. by Christian Robinson. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
In this charming account of first-day jitters, a brand new school building is the one wracked with nerves as the school year begins.
Thunder Boy Jr. By Sherman Alexie. Illus. by Yuyi Morales. Little, Brown.
Named after his father, Thunder Boy Jr. seeks a new name that’s all his own and celebrates something cool that he has done.
We Are Growing! A Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! Book. By Laurie Keller. Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion.
The exuberance felt by a few blades of grass as they celebrate their individuality and quick growth is cut short in the face of an approaching lawn mower. (Geisel Medal Book)
We Found a Hat. By Jon Klassen. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
Two turtles unexpectedly explore the depths of their friendship and loyalty when they come across a good-looking hat without an owner.
Weekends with Max and His Dad. By Linda Urban. Illus. by Katie Kath. HMH.
On weekends, third-grader Max visits his dad's new apartment and begins to adjust to his parents' divorce.
When Andy Met Sandy. By Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis. Illus. by Tomie dePaola. Simon & Schuster.
A story of gentle friendship begins when one child courageously asks another to play.
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? By Kate DiCamillo. Illus. by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick.
Baby Lincoln goes on a “necessary journey,” taking the opportunity to explore, grow, and find herself. In the end she realizes that there is no place like home.
An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns. By Betsy R. Rosenthal. Illus. by Jago. Lerner/Millbrook.
This collection of humorous illustrations and clever word play introduces children to the wide variety of animal groups, such as a prickle of porcupines and a tower of giraffes.
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore. By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Lerner/Carolrhoda.
Lewis Michaux Jr.takes readers through the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. This one-of-a-kind store offered a place for African Americans to read, learn, and debate ideas for over 40 years.
Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret. By Bob Shea. Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion.
Ballet Cat loves ballet more than anything. What happens when her best friend Sparkles doesn’t want to play ballet every day? Find out in an early reader that breezily dances along.
Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! By Todd Tarpley. Illus. by John Rocco. Little, Brown.
Three rowdy robots keep a young boy awake with their requests for more oil, tightened bolts, loosened fan belts, and more. Will a bedtime story finally lead to sleep?
Boats for Papa. By Jessixa Bagley. Illus. by the author. Roaring Book/Neal Porter.
Bagley’s gentle artwork and warm story sensitively portray Buckley’s way of coping with the absence of his father by making boats from found beach objects.
A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl. By Robin Page. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane.
Whether they own chickens or not, young readers will use this handy guide to answer their basic questions about the familiar fowl.
Detective Gordon: The First Case. By Ulf Nilsson. Illus. by Gitte Spee. Tr. by Julia Marshall. Gecko.
Squirrel’s nuts have been stolen! Never fear, a bulbous toad, Detective Gordon, and his new mouse assistant, Buffy, are on the case. A delightful mystery.
Don’t Throw It to Mo! By David A. Adler. Illus. by Sam Ricks. Penguin.
Underdog football player Mo Jackson may be the smallest kid on his team, but Coach Steve has a plan for him to save the day. (Geisel Medal Book)
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music. By Margarita Engle. Illus. by Rafael López. HMH.
In this story inspired by a real musician, a girl in Cuba longs to play the drums, and with perseverance, she breaks down the gender barrier, eventually becoming a famous drummer. (Belpré Illustrator Medal Book)
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah. By Laurie Ann Thompson. Illus. by Sean Qualls. Random/Schwartz & Wade.
Emmanuel doesn't allow his malformed leg to deter him from riding a bike to crusade for disability rights in Ghana. His successes chronicled in this biography are inspirational.
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear. By Lindsay Mattick. Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Little, Brown.
This heartening tale is an incredible account of the friendship and love shared between a soldier and the real bear that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. (Caldecott Medal Book)
Float. By Daniel Miyares. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster.
In this wordless picture book, a gray, rainy day turns into an adventure when a boy makes a paper boat and plays outside in the rain.
Flop to the Top! By Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing. Illus. by the authors. TOON.
Wanda is shocked to learn that her dog, Wilbur—not Wanda—has become an instant celebrity when a selfie goes viral. Bright, bold cartoon art tells this story, emphasizing that friendship and family are more important than fame.
Flutter & Hum / Aleteo y zumbido: Animal Poems / Poemas de animales. Ed. by Julie Paschkis. Illus. by the author. Holt.
Fourteen poems of mammals, birds, insects, fish, and reptiles are presented in both English and Spanish. Embedded within the lively illustrations are additional words in both languages.
Gingerbread for Liberty: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution. By Mara Rockliff. Illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch. HMH.
Little-known hero baker of the American Revolution Christopher Ludwick stars in this engaging picture book biography with a tasty twist.
Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village. By Fang Suzhen. Illus. by Sonja Danowski. Tr. by Huang Xiumin. NorthSouth.
Xiao Le’s grandmother passes away soon after he spends a rare day visiting her. His mother is sad, but Xiao Le helps her feel better, telling her what Grandma is doing in Heaven. (Batchelder Honor Book)
The Grasshopper and the Ants. By Jerry Pinkney. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown.
In this adaptation of Aesop’s fable, vivid, intricate watercolors bring to life hardworking ants as they prepare for the winter, while a playful grasshopper wishes they would join in his merrymaking instead.
Growing Up Pedro. By Matt Tavares. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
A young Pedro Martinez, inspired by his brother Ramon, rises from humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic to become one of the best Major League Baseball players of our time.
Hippos Are Huge! By Jonathan London. Illus. by Matthew Trueman. Candlewick.
The hippo, with its monstrous jaw and razor-sharp tusks, is the most dangerous animal in Africa. Filled with fascinating facts about the fierce, but sometimes playful, hippopotamus.
I Yam a Donkey! By Cece Bell. Illus. by the author. Clarion.
Correcting a donkey’s grammar and pronunciation comically leads to one yam’s demise.
If You Plant a Seed. By Kadir Nelson. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray.
A rabbit and mouse wait patiently for the seeds they planted to grow into delicious vegetables. When some birds want part of the harvest, everyone learns being kind is the most fruitful way to be.
Last Stop on Market Street. By Matt de la Peña. Illus. by Christian Robinson. Putnam.
CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature, and people surround him. (Newbery Medal Book & Caldecott Honor Book)
Lenny & Lucy. By Philip C. Stead. Illus. by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Book/Neal Porter.
Homemade guardians Lenny and Lucy protect Peter and his dog from the dark, scary woods and help him find fun and friendship at his new home. Pops of color bring life to the charcoal illustrations.
Leo: A Ghost Story. By Mac Barnett. Illus. by Christian Robinson. Chronicle.
Leo, a child ghost, leaves his home when its new occupants fear him. He soon meets Jane and discovers the wonder and joy of a true friend. Cut-paper collages capture Leo’s emotional journey.
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. By Jonah Winter. Illus. by Shane W. Evans. Random/Schwartz & Wade.
Recalling the fight for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a 100-year-old woman on the way to cast her ballot recounts the journey her family faced in gaining the right to vote.
Mango, Abuela, and Me. By Meg Medina. Illus. by Angela Dominguez. Candlewick.
When Mia discovers that her Abuela can’t speak English, she finds the perfect gift that helps them both with their language barrier. Vibrant illustrations and Spanish words blend together to create a warm family story. (Belpré Author & Illustrator Honor Book)
The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House. By Ida Pearle. Illus. by the author. Penguin/Dial.
Addy and her family watch the moon follow them through the sky on a car ride home. Colorful cut-paper collage illustrations in luminescent tones illuminate the journey.
The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea. By Brenda Z. Guiberson. Illus. by Gennady Spirin. Holt.
A dozen intriguing sea animals in the ocean explain their unique characteristics. Readers are invited to choose which is the most amazing.
Moving Blocks. By Yusuke Yonezu. Illus. by the author. Michael Neugebauer/Minedition.
In this small-format board book, three squares transform into a variety of vehicles, and with each page turn, shapes turn into objects in a fun visual twist.
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon. By Sebastian Meschenmoser. Illus. by the author. Tr. by David Henry Wilson. NorthSouth.
Mr. Squirrel’s imagination runs wild when he mistakes a wheel of cheese for the moon. Gorgeous illustrations detail his efforts to get rid of the moon before anyone comes looking for it.
My Tata’s Remedies = Los remedios de mi tata. By Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford. Illus. by Antonio Castro L. Cinco Puntos.
Aaron learns first hand from his grandfather (Tata), who cares for family, friends, and neighbors, the significance of healing with a tender touch of wisdom and medicinal herbs. (Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
A Pig, a Fox, and a Box. By Jonathan Fenske. Illus. by the author. Penguin.
In three humorous stories, not-so-clever Fox comes out the worst for wear when he uses a box to play tricks on his friend Pig. (Geisel Honor Book)
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree. By Ellen Potter. Illus. by Qin Leng. Knopf.
Piper Green’s life is rich with family, friends, kittens, and magic. She meets her challenges head on and shows her spirit in everything she does.
The Popcorn Astronauts: And Other Biteable Rhymes. By Deborah Ruddell. Illus. by Joan Rankin. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry.
Sink your teeth into a delicious collection of poetry for all seasons, complete with imaginative watercolor illustrations that bring the whimsy to life.
The Princess and the Pony. By Kate Beaton. Illus. by the author. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine.
Princess Pinecone wants a proper warrior’s horse for her birthday. The round, short, flatulent one she gets instead is not what she had in mind, but she learns it can be a secret weapon.
Raindrops Roll. By April Pulley Sayre. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane.
Beautifully detailed, up-close photos of the natural world demonstrate the wonder of raindrops as they splatter, drip, roll, and more.
Red. By Jan De Kinder. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Laura Watkinson. Eerdmans.
A girl and her friends laugh when a classmate blushes on the playground. When one student takes the teasing too far, the girl must make a critical decision.
Roger Is Reading a Book. By Koen Van Biesen. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Laura Watkinson. Eerdmans.
Cinematic art and text illuminate exuberant Emily, whose loud hobbies interrupt Roger as he tries to peacefully read his book.
Sidewalk Flowers. By JonArno Lawson. Illus. by Sydney Smith. Groundwood.
A little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays little attention. In a wordless homage to the importance of small things, each flower becomes a gift, transforming the giver and the recipient.
The Skunk. By Mac Barnett. Illus. by Patrick McDonnell. Roaring Brook.
What is a man to do when a skunk appears on his doorstep? Readers follow the man and skunk on a quirky, humorous adventure.
Special Delivery. By Philip C. Stead. Illus. by Matthew Cordell. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Meeting some odd characters along the way, Sadie travels by plane, train, and alligator to deliver an elephant to lonely Great Aunt Josephine.
Supertruck. By Stephen Savage. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
When a blizzard comes to town, an unassuming garbage truck secretly trades his glasses for a powerful snowplow and becomes the heroic "Supertruck.” (Geisel Honor Book)
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova. By Laurel Snyder. Illus. by Julie Morstad. Chronicle.
Elegant illustrations and poetic text tell the story of Anna Pavlova, an accomplished ballerina who shared the beauty and joy of dance with the entire world.
Tiptoe Tapirs. By Hanmin Kim. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Sera Lee. Holiday.
Other than Tapir and her little one, the jungle animals are all so noisy! When a hunter comes to the jungle, the other animals learn the value of quiet. Stylized illustrations convey the jungle sounds.
Trombone Shorty. By Troy Andrews. Illus. by Bryan Collier. Abrams.
In this autobiography, Trombone Shorty reminisces about his early life in the jazz music scene of his beloved hometown of New Orleans. (Caldecott Honor Book)
Two Mice. By Sergio Ruzzier. Illus. by the author. Clarion.
Two mice embark on adventures on the water and in the air, by both day and night. Beginning readers will enjoy the simple text, the counting experience, and the colorful illustrations.
Wait. By Antoinette Portis. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
On their way to catch a bus, a mother wants to hurry; her child wants to wait. A surprise stops them both, just short of the bus.
Waiting. By Kevin Henkes. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Greenwillow.
In this gentle story of five animal figurines waiting together by the window, readers and characters meet new friends, observe the unhurried passage of the seasons, and anticipate what may come next. (Caldecott & Geisel Honor Book)
Water Is Water: A Book about the Water Cycle. By Miranda Paul. Illus. by Jason Chin. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
Through simple, poetic phrases and engaging watercolor illustrations, a sister and brother experience the water cycle throughout the seasons.
Who Done It? By Olivier Tallec. Illus. by the author. Chronicle.
Flip the pages to view the suspect line-ups and use the visual clues to determine the “who done it” on each page. A mystery designed for preschoolers.
Wolfie the Bunny. By Ame Dyckman. Illus. by Zachariah OHora. Little, Brown.
When her parents decide to raise a baby wolf as their own, Dot the rabbit fears that he will eat them all up, until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.
The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy. By Beatrice Alemagna. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Enchanted Lion.
Five-year-old Eddie, after a spirited quest through the shops in her French village, parlays a brioche, a clover, a button, and a postage stamp into the perfect birthday gift for her mother. (Batchelder Award Book)
Woodpecker Wham! By April Pulley Sayre. Illus. by Steve Jenkins. Holt.
Enter the world of woodpeckers and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of their everyday life. A variety of woodpecker species fly through these beautifully illustrated pages.
Written and Drawn by Henrietta. By Liniers. Illus. by the author. Tr. by the author. TOON.
Henrietta is writing and illustrating a story about a three-headed monster. Liniers’ thin-lined, expressive cartoons, complete with Henrietta’s crayon-thick scrawls, track her joyful creation of a scary and funny adventure.
All the Water in the World. By George Ella Lyon, Illus. by Katherine Tillotson, Atheneum Books for Young Readers. From deserts to the kitchen sink, the water cycle is lyrically yet economically described in Lyon’s poem emphasizing the importance of water conservation. Katherine Tillotson’s digital paintings splash, surge and drip off the page.
A Ball for Daisy. By Chris Raschka, Illus. by the author, Schwartz & Wade Books, A wordless tale of an irrepressible little dog whose most prized possession is accidently destroyed. A buoyant tale of loss, recovery, and friendship. (2012 Caldecott Medal Book)
Blackout. By John Rocco, Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion Books. A summer power outage draws an urban family up to their building’s roof and then down to the street for an impromptu block party. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
Bring on the Birds. By Susan Stockdale, Illus. by the author. Peachtree. Rhyming couplets and clear, identifiable illustrations remind readers that birds vary in many ways, but all have feathers and are hatched from eggs. Colorful acrylics help provide just the right of information for preschool ornithologists.
The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred. By Samantha R. Vamos, Illus. by Rafael López. Charlesbridge. Nothing is better than a delicious bowl of arroz con leche unless, of course, a host of farm animals have a hand in the preparation! (A 2012 Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
Chirchir Is Singing by Kelly Cunnane, Illus. by Jude Daly. Schwartz & Wade Books. In this cumulative story set in Kenya, Chirchir sings as she tries to help with family chores. Acrylic folk art highlights the activities of daily life in this rural setting.
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? By Susan A. Shea, Illus. by Tom Slaughter. Blue Apple Books. This book playfully challenges children’s concepts of the growth capacity of living vs. non-living things in a fun and engaging way. Dot. By Patricia Intriago, Illus. by the author. Farrar Straus Giroux. To a child’s delight, bright dots and brief rhyming verses cleverly demonstrate antonyms and synonyms in this clever picture book.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. Chronicle Books. Truck-loving toddlers will be willingly tucked into bed along with the vehicles in this superbly constructed goodnight poem.
Grandpa Green. By Lane Smith, Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook Press. Elaborate topiary sculptures give visual form to memories in a wildly fanciful garden tended by a child and his beloved great-grandfather. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
Harry and Hopper. By Margaret Wild, Illus. by Freya Blackwood. Feiwel & Friends. A poignant depiction of grief and acceptance at the loss of a beloved pet is relayed in this quietly moving story whose illustrations add emotional depth.
I Broke My Trunk. By Mo Willems. Illus. by the author. Hyperion Books for Children. Piggie is very concerned about his best friend, Gerald the Elephant, who has broken his trunk, and Gerald tells him a long, rambling story about how it happened. (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
I Want My Hat Back. By Jon Klassen, Illus. by the author. Candlewick Press. After losing his hat, Bear politely and patiently questions his fellow forest dwellers as to the whereabouts of his “red pointy hat.” (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
King Jack and the Dragon. By Peter Bently, Illus. by Helen Oxenbury. Dial Books for Young Readers. Enhanced by whimsical illustrations, this story of the wonders and terrors created by a child’s imagination, shows the power of playtime and the magic of make-believe.
Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World. By Jacqueline K. Ogburn. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Houghton Mifflin. Raschka’s pictures give distinct personalities to the subjects of these endearments and the book is a reminder of how much children are loved in every language and culture. Translations and pronunciation guides are included.
Little White Rabbit. By Kevin Henkes, Illus. by the author. Greenwillow Books. Little white rabbit explores the springtime world wondering what it would be like to be different - green, tall, solid, or able to fly - but when he comes home he knows who loves him.
Me...Jane. By Patrick McDonnell, Illus. by the author. Little, Brown. Watching birds and squirrels in her yard, a young girl discovers the joy and wonder of nature. A glimpse of the childhood of renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
Mouse & Lion. By Rand Burkert, Illus. by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. di Capua/Scholastic. Mouse is the center of this retelling of a familiar Aesop’s fable. Elegant illustrations place the story solidly in the natural world of Africa.
Naamah and the Ark at Night. By Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Illus. by Holly Meade. Candlewick Press. As the waters rage, this lullaby reveals Noah’s wife as a nurturer of diverse creatures aboard the ark. Watercolor and collage illustrations amplify the text, a form of lyrical Arabic poetry, called ghazal.
A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story. By Yu Li-Qiong, Illus. by Zhu Cheng-Liang, Candlewick Press. Vibrant illustrations highlight a young girl’s joy when her father makes his annual visit for Chinese New Year in this tender story.
Over and Under the Snow. By Kate Messner, Illus. by Christopher Silas Neal. Chronicle Books. While skiing cross-country with her father, a girl envisions the “secret kingdom” under the snow, where small forest animals shelter in winter. Neal’s bright, snowy landscapes contrast with his depictions of shadowed, subterranean nests.
Prudence Wants a Pet. By Cathleen Daly, Illus. by Stephen Michael King. Roaring Brook Press. In this quietly humorous picture book illustrated in soft colors, Prudence tries out a branch, a twig, a shoe, her little brother, a tire, and sea buddies until her parents finally give her a kitten as a pet.
See Me Run. By Paul Meisel, Illus. by the author. Holiday House. Dogs and more dogs are everywhere: running, sliding, jumping, splashing, and having fun. (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
Should I Share My Ice Cream? By Mo Willems, Illus. by the author. Hyperion Books for Children. A common human problem is posed and solved with Willems’ minimal illustration and graceful humor.
Stars. By Mary Lyn Ray, Illus. by Marla Frazee. Beach Lane Books. A duet of spare, poetic observations and ethereal illustrations explore the realities and possibilities of many kinds of stars, embracing the immediacy of a child’s experiences. A great read aloud.
Tales for Very Picky Eaters. By Josh Schneider, Illus. by the author, Clarion Books. Five chapters recount James’ refusal to eat yet another disgusting, smelly, repulsive, lumpy, or slimy food. (2012 Geisel Medal Book)
Tell Me the Day Backwards. By Albert Lamb, Illus. by David McPhail, Candlewick Press. Mama bear and child reflect on the day, recounting its events in reverse order. Gentle and reassuring, this book wonderfully illustrates a sometimes difficult concept: the flow of time.
Ten Little Caterpillars. By Bill Martin, Jr., Illus. by Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane Books. Ten different caterpillars inch their ways across vibrantly-illustrated environs in this newly-illustrated, rhyming story. Supplemental facts widen the book’s appeal and usefulness. Ehlert’s watercolor collages are remarkably entomologically accurate.
These Hands. By Margaret H. Mason, Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Both an affirmation of a nurturing relationship between grandfather and grandson and an explanation of one reason labor unions fought for workers’ rights, the brief text and warm illustrations tell an uplifting American story.
Tìa Isa Wants a Car. By Meg Medina, Illus. by Claudio Muñoz. Candlewick Press. Using a cheerful positive tone, Medina depicts a warm relationship between Tia Isa and her niece and shows the strength of community as a life-long dream is realized.
Where's Walrus? By Stephen Savage, Illus. by the author. Scholastic. Walrus escapes from the zoo and cleverly disguises himself around the city; the zoopkeeper and the children reading the book search for him on each bold, bright page of this wordless book.