Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Best Children's Books of 2013

It’s so hard to choose just one book of the year, so we have a short list of great books for children we came across in 2013. We hope you will enjoy reading them with your families.

• Ling and Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin

This funny little chapter book is designed for beginning readers, and it also makes a fun family read aloud. Ling and Ting are identical twins who are not “exactly the same” since Ting sneezed at the barber shop and has a missing patch of hair. The six short stories in this book show the sisters shopping for presents, baking cakes and celebrating birthdays. Kids will enjoy the honest mischief that the twins get into, and the gouache illustrations really bring out the twinkles in their eyes. Children with siblings will appreciate how the girls are as close as can be, but still have their own very unique personalities.

• Animals Upside Down by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Steve Jenkins can do no wrong when it comes to making beautiful non-fiction titles for the younger set. This interactive book with flaps to lift, pull, or turn shows fun facts about twenty six different animals. Kids will love the darkling beetle who defends himself by tipping up his tail and farting an obnoxious liquid. The illustrations are collages of torn and cut paper and the 3D pop-ups will be greatly enjoyed. The best thing about this book is that it is as fun as it is informative. Recommended for kids in Kindergarten through fourth grade.

• Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein

Dinah, a baby dinosaur, is just out of her egg and ready to explore her green, swampy home. She learns to walk (stomp!) and to eat (chomp!), but the next thing Dinah sees (a kiss) she has to learn more about. She stomps all over looking for a special someone to kiss, making unsuccessful and funny attempts along the way. A fishlike creature gets a “whomp!” a dinosaur gets a “chomp!” and a reptilian critter gets a “stomp!” Realizing that she must pucker up politely to get her elusive kiss, Dinah finds her next would-be smooch, but she accidentally eats him. Finally, she befriends another baby dinosaur, and the two noisy buddies chomp, stomp, and whomp kisses to their hearts' content. Kids will love the cheeky but thoughtful expressions on Dinah's face, and the bottom-bitten dinosaur is sure to bring gleeful chuckles. Rendered in pen-and-ink, charcoal, watercolor, and crayon, the illustrations are bold, simple, and humorous. Dinah's big, goofy smile is sure to be reflected in the faces of her young admirers. Kids in preschool through first grade will enjoy Dinah!

• How the Meteorite Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland

There are a lot of non-fiction science books out there. There are not a lot of non-fiction science books out there like this! This interesting story teaches kids about meteorites in a fun, contemporary way that is not didactic or dull at all. Kids will learn a lot about many different careers in this book as well as scientific facts; geologists, curators, firefighters, cosmologists etc. all play their part in this accessible, informative little gem. Recommended for children in Kindergarten through fourth grade.

• Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron by Mary Losure

This fascinating true story tells of a boy aged between nine and twelve found living in the wild in a French forest in the late 1700s. The author has done an amazing job with her research in this book and tells the story in the third person, which makes the narrative flow like a novel. Once the boy was captured, he became known as the savage of Aveyron, and this mysterious child grew to live, albeit uncomfortably, around others. This is a great book for kids who devour non-fiction and those who are curious about the lives of other children. The illustrations are moody and evocative, reinforcing the text beautifully. Recommended for kids in grade four and up.

The great news is that if we do not have these books in stock today, we can order them for you!

We hope to have whetted your appetite to do much family reading in 2014!

-Posted by Alison Donnelly, Children's Librarian