All posts in Award Winning Books for Kids

Great New Easy Readers

Great New Easy Readers

It just so happened that most of the diversity picks on the nominated easy readers for The Cybils made the short list. I personally was a champion of Don’t Throw It to Mo! by David Adler which also won the Geisel Award.

My fellow judges were mostly librarians and they needed something fresh to get excited about. I can relate; I think an award like The Cybils is helpful to highlight new authors rather than award a long running and popular series like Elephant and Piggie. In fact, the popularity of Elephant and Piggie spawned many knock offs which starts to become tiresome as well. And, my final gripe is that there is only so much rhyming you can pull off with fox/box, yet there were more books that you’d expect with this rhyming scheme.

The upshot is that new Easy Readers seem to be a pretty closed off group: books are either popular series that seem to spawn endless books, imitators of these popular series, or rhyming sequences involving “fox” and “box.” While most of the selections below fit into those three categories, they are the best of the pile and there are also a few that refreshingly don’t.

How about you? Are there any Easy Readers that you don’t mind reading over and over again? Please share! Thank you! Read more…

Fannie Mae Hamer Book event

Meeting Voices of Freedom: The Fannie Mae Hamer Author and Illustrator

It was an honor and a thrill to meet author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Ekua Holmes of Voices of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Did you know that Voices of Freedom won:

  • 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
  • 2016 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
  • 2016 John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award Winner

Meeting Voices of Freedom: The Fannie Mae Hamer Author and Illustrator

The book also won a silver medal at the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and the Flora Steiglitz Straus Award for nonfiction from Bank Street College of Education. Read more…

Picture Book Doll House at My Library

Picture Book Doll House at My Library

My public library has a display that I’ve long admired of a picture book doll house. Each room represents a children’s book.

picture house doll house

Isn’t it wonderful? Three bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and living room.

The Good Night Moon room was the most obvious to me; this is such an iconic book but Five Minutes’ Peace is new to me. I’m glad there is a bathroom in this doll house though!

How about you? Did you guess all the room correctly? Read more…

Top 10 Super Hero Girls

Top 10 Undercover Super Hero Girls

I’m really excited to have author Lisa Yee guest posting today! She has a new middle-grade novel series showcasing the DC Super Hero Girls. This new series brings all-new stories to life beyond what was in cartoons and will let the Super Hero Girls have new adventures!

In Yee’s middle grade series, these iconic DC Comics characters are your {typical} high schoolers. Ok, maybe not. At Super Hero High, the galaxy’s most powerful teens nurture their powers and master the fundamentals of what it means to be a hero.

In the first book BY LISA YEE!!, the student body is about to meet their strongest classmate yet – Wonder Woman!

DC SUPER HERO GIRLS #1: Wonder Woman at Super Hero High released a few days ago, on March 1, 2016. Get it while it’s hot off the presses!

Wonder Woman Super Hero High by Lisa Yee Read more…

My 5th Grade Son Blogs on Books!

My 5th Grade Son Blogs on Books!

My son’s 5th grade class has a class blog. It’s private but he showed me his posts and I copied and pasted his two book reviews here.

I love the idea of a classroom blog. His teacher says it’s a sneaky way to get kids writing. They love blogging, apparently, and don’t realize that they are writing!

These two books, Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick and Holes by Louis Sachar were assigned reading group books.

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Soap, Vinegar, and Curry Powder

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

“That’s when Freak squeezes the trigger and sprays him right in the eyes.”th

In my book group we read Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick.  The book is about two friends with disabilities and their adventures.  One is big and named Max and the other is short and named Kevin.  Max has dyslexia and Kevin has Morquio Syndrome.  It’s a disease when your organs grow but your body doesn’t.  Max is mighty and Kevin is freak.

Read more…

Multicultural Children's Book Day books

Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Thank you to all of our wonderful participants including Co-Hosts, Medal Sponsors, Author Sponsors, bloggers and readers! Thank you to Robert Liu-Trujillo for his wonderful FREE downloadable poster!

Robert Liu-Trujillo Multicultural Children's Book Day FREE poster Read more…

2016 Newbery Winners

2016 Caldecott, Newbery Winners and More!

The 2016 Youth Media Awards will be announced at 8 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, January 11, 2016, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition in Boston.  Doors open at 7:30 a.m. local time. The Pura Belpré Award marks its 20th anniversary in 2016.

My predictions for the Caldecott and Newbery this year are here. I totally missed the mark for the Caldecott but the pundits that I follow were right about the Newbery.

Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 2016

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

2016 Caldecott Winner

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Read more…

Civil Rights Movement Books for 4th Grade and MLK Day

Civil Rights Movement Books for 4th Grade and MLK Day

Civil Rights Movement Unit for 4th Grade

In honor of Martin Luther King, Junior day, I wanted to share my son’s 4th grade Civil Rights Movement project. His teacher created a really great time line that I hope will be helpful as well.

I am Jackie Robinson (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

I’m not sure if I would consider Jackie Robinson “ordinary.” He was, after all, the first UCLA student ever to letter in four sports in the same season! His family’s backstory of how they shared extra food with everyone in the neighborhood, regardless of color helps to give insight into how he had the inner strength to withstand the pressure as the first African American major league baseball player. This picture book uses cartoons as well as text to tell his story and skillfully draws the reader into his extraordinary life. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Civil Rights Movement Books for 4th Grade Read more…

Caldecott and Newbery 2016 Predictions

Caldecott and Newbery 2016 Predictions

This is my third year judging for the Cybils and I don’t dare compare it to the Caldecott or Newbery awards but I wonder if there is the same dynamic that we have in deciding a winner. For the Cybils, we work off of a short list that is presented to us by first round judges so there is a set number of books to consider but only one winner. A few of the books in each category, I’ve noticed, get a strong reaction that’s either love or hate. Thus a compromise situation is necessary so there’s always a book that everyone likes though it might have also made everyone’s second tier. But  this book is the book that tends to win.

I can see how picture books that win a Caldecott honor or award need to appeal to a young audience of 4 and older. Picture books that a four-year-old can not grasp might be eliminated and I can understand that but that might be why a picture book as gorgeously illustrated as Bird by Beatriz Martin Vidal might not win or even find its audience. Read more…