105 Ways to Give a Book

Cybils: Fiction Picture Books Shortlist

It was quite a job bringing a list of more than a hundred nominations down to seven selections for the judges to hash out. Lots of reading, and rereading. Discussions with family members and colleagues. And then starting at 9:00 on Saturday night, a hashing out of all the titles that had floated to the top. There could easily have been another seven books on this list without us feeling that we had lost anything in quality. We had some great books this year. I think we came up with a list that represents some of the best work and that provides a range of style, artwork, and tone. Basically, I love this list and I hope that you do too.

(If it looks somewhat familiar, that’s because I’ve taken it directly from the Cybils site.)

by Adam Rex
Harcourt Children’s Books
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Pssst! is a funny, light-hearted fantasy that uses snappy text and surreal post-modern oil-and-acrylic illustrations to tell the tale of a girl who visits a zoo with crafty animals who all want something from her. This results in a surprise ending and one of the year’s most unforgettable illustrated double-page spreads.

Go to Bed, Monster!Go to Bed, Monster!
written by Natasha Wing; illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz
Harcourt Children’s Books
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A sleepless girl creates a playful monster to keep her company one evening with surprising results. Kantorovitz’s oil paint and pastel illustrations, made to look like crayon drawings, capture the immediacy and creative range of a child’s imagination.
— Annie Teich, Crazy for Kids’ Books

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar CountyThe Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County
written by Janice N. Harrington; illustrated by Shelley Jackson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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A sassy, young farm girl, living with her Big Mama, transforms herself from chicken-chaser extraordinaire to fender-of-the-fowl in this spirited read-aloud, whose energetic mixed-media collage illustrations provide much for observant eyes to take in.

by David Ezra Stein
Putnam Juvenile
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In this engaging poem of a picture book with spare text and shimmering earth-tone paintings, David Ezra Stein captures the wonder of the changing seasons as seen through the perspective of a wide-eyed bear.

Four Feet, Two SandalsFour Feet, Two Sandals
written by Karen Lynn William & Khadra Mohammad; illustrated by Doug Chayka
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
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Two girls in a refugee camp in Pakistan share a pair of sandals that begins a friendship in this poignant story of courage. When hope of a better life comes for one girl, they must both find a way to still share their sandals — and their hearts.
— Marcie Flinchum Atkins, World of Words

Knuffle Bunny TooKnuffle Bunny Too
by Mo Willems
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In this sequel to Knuffle Bunny, the photography, the cartooning, and the drama are all kicked up a notch as Trixie and her dad have to set things right in the early morning hours. Fantastic in its capture of subtleties of expression, the dynamics of families, and the mind of a child.
— Pam Coughlan, MotherReader

The Incredible Book-Eating BoyThe Incredible Book-Eating Boy
by Oliver Jeffers
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Oliver Jeffers has crafted a visually-stunning, humorous story about a young boy who loves books so much he eats them — until he discovers that the greatest power comes from reading them. Jeffers’ innovative illustrations, cleverly superimposed on pages from various books, merge with an inviting storyline that continues right into the book’s back cover.


Cheryl said...

You're right--it was quite a job narrowing it down; there were a lot of fantastic books, and we all felt strongly about it (which is a wonderful thing). What a great discussion we all had that evening!

Vivian Mahoney said...

What a wonderful list. Now, go get some much needed rest!

Anonymous said...

Great list! Those I haven't already read I've just requested from my library. Thanks for all the work you do. I always appreciate your candid reviews and I'm honored that you've included some of my books among them this past year. Happy New Year, MotherReader!

Phyllis Sommer said...

those last two we *just* got from the library this week and laughed OUT LOUD while reading them. i'll have to check out the rest! thanks...