Here’s the thing you should remember about this list:
- Not every book on this list was published this year.
- Every book on this list was read this year.
- Each book caught my kids’ attention and held it, becoming a huge re-read this year.
There’s a Wolf at the Door (2008) by Zoe B. Alley. Illustrated by R.W. Alley. Nominated for a Cybils award last year, There’s a Wolf at the Door is a collection of fairy tale sretellings. All five stories, from Little Red Riding Hood to the Boy Who Cried Wolf features the same main character, the Big Bad Wolf. With illustrations by R.W. Alley, this is a book that’s perfect for reading aloud.
Babymouse series by Jennifer L. Holm. Illustrated by Matthew Holm. Babymouse is a mouse with a huge imagination. From fighting imaginary dragons when she should be studying for a math contest to trying to get some alone time away from her baby brother, Babymouse is one of the funniest characters in children’s literature right now. Another great thing about the series is that they’re not drawn in the traditional black and white but black, white, and pink drawings. One book in the series, Babymouse: Monster Mash is drawn in orange, black, and white for Halloween. This is a series that my kids haven’t grown tired of.
Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen. Jane Yolen is one of my favorite authors ever. Whether it’s reading her picture books or collection of essays, Yolen is a writer for all ages. Sleeping Ugly turns the traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty on its head, showing that beauty isn’t everything and you can still get what you want in life.
A Good Day by Kevin Henkes. This is a book that my five-year old had me reading over and over again to him. The day starts out horribly for the book’s characters, a fox, squirrel, bird, and dog. But as the day goes by, it becomes better for each one. With beautiful illustrations by the author this book has a place in our personal library.
New Socks by Bob Shea. My youngest loves the voice I use every time I read New Socks and I enjoy reading it to him. A young bird takes delight in his new socks, slipping and sliding throughout the house while using his imagination. Shea is also the author of Dinosuar vs Bedtime, another favorite in this house.
The Black Book of Colors(2009) by Menena Cottin. The premise behind this book is how would the reader describe colors to a blind person. An imaginative and thoughtful read.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. Do you remember the show Reading Rainbow from the ’90s? As a child I loved watching this program, dedicated to reading that had Levar Burton as its host. Reading Rainbow was probably the only time I was ever read to as a child. I discovered many books through the program including Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. This year I thought my kids were old enough to appreciate this book and I was right. Sylvester is a young donkey who finds a magic pebble and makes three wishes. The third wish turns him into a rock. The kids loved wondering if Sylvester was ever going to turn back into his original form.
Let’s Do Nothing (2009) by Tony Fucile. Like many of the books I’ve found this year, if it wasn’t for bloggers I wouldn’t know this book existed. After playing every game and doing every activity they can think of, Frankie and Sal are bored. The boys decided to declare do nothing for 10 seconds. That means sitting still, no blinking, no moving, nothing. They imagine themselves as redwoods trees, statues, and more with the same results. I may have read this more than the kids.
Most read children’s author of the year: It’s a two-way tie between the books of husband-and-wife team Sarah Stewart and David Small and Daisy Meadows with her Rainbow Magic series. I prefer Sarah Stewart and David Small because their books are ones that both kids and parents can enjoy reading together.
So for all the children’s book readers out there, are you including children’s books in your notables/favorite books lists?