The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat is a small book with a lot of personality. Four relatable critters have three cookies to share, and inadvertently, comically, discover an underlying math lesson. From the expressively drawn faces to the memorable-yet-simple dialogue between the nervous hippo and her friends, this vibrantly illustrated, fun-to-read story will appeal to teachers and children alike.
Piggie and Elephant Like Reading: We are Growing by Mo Willems and Laurie Keller is a hoot and perfect for early readers. Piggie and Elephant make a fun appearance at the beginning and end of the book. Laurie Keller makes grass growing entertaining! Students will cheer for every blade of grass.
Rabbit and Robot and Ribbit
by Cece Bell
Publisher/ Author Submission
Cece Bell, author and illustrator of the magnificent Newbery honor-winning El Deafo, has provided the early reader community with another gem in this sequel to last year’s Geisel winner. Rabbit arrives at Robot’s house to find him visiting with a new friend, Ribbit. Rabbit is less than thrilled about sharing his friend, but with Robot’s support, they find a degree of equilibrium. With empathy and humor, Rabbit and Robot provide young readers characters they can both identify with and aspire to be like.
It’s not easy to write a clever book for very beginning readers, but with Snail & Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends, Tina Kügler has done it. The simple, colorful comic-style panel illustrations and the expressions on Snail and Worm’s faces enhance the simple text. Readers will relate with both characters and find humor in their gentle misconceptions. This easiest of easy readers will find a wide range of readers.
The Great Antonio
by Elise Gravel
Publisher/ Author Submission
Antonio Barichievich was a Canadian strong man who performed amazing feats of strength. Elise Gravel blends fact and myth to bring this enormous man to life. She uses a series of spreads to illustrate his size (he weighed as much as a horse) and his quirky behavior which included pulling a 443 ton train, singing Italian opera songs, wrestling a bear and becoming a human merry-go-round by twirling children from his braids. The tragic parts of his life are explained simply and the cartoony graphic illustrations will make this “almost true” biography a fun title for beginning readers.
The story surrounding the Ratso brothers is hilarious. The two fellows want to be tough like their dad but find they’ve been mistaken regarding what being tough really means. This fun read is great for boys who won’t pick up a book. It’s a fast-paced read that is lively and full of interesting characters. In this case, trying to be tough turns out to be a good thing.
Early Chapter Books:
Early chapter book readers love humor and Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheep delivers. Young readers know that reading can be tough and in this story, Dory experiences that reading challenge too.
Juana is a spunky character who loves her home in Bogata, drawing, and Lucas, her “amazing perro.” What she doesn’t like is learning to speak English. It’s too hard! Juana & Lucas shares the struggle a child has in learning a new language but shows how doors are opened when one can communicate with others. The book is sprinkled with Spanish vocabulary that is easily understood through the context and illustrations. The kid friendly drawings make this early chapter book lively and fun. Juana & Lucas will appeal to multicultural readers who are interested in learning about children from other countries.
Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig (Book One) (Mango & Bambang 1) by Polly Faber (2015-09-03)
by Polly Faber
Nominated by: Amanda Snow
Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig is a quirky and lovable story. Mango is a strong girl with pluck, determination, and wisdom beyond her years. Bambang is a skittish and endearing tapir far from home. With perfectly balanced character development and plot, a classic, reassuring storytelling voice, and lovely language, this charming story will delight readers of all ages.
The panel found this story to be equally as entertaining as the prequels in the series and appealing to the young chapter book crowd. Princess Magnolia has to transform into the Princess in Black and head to a field of bunnies. Boys and girls will all be engaged with the story.
Weekends with Max and his Dad by Linda Urban is about Max and his dad enjoying their weekends together. Max and his dad are both adjusting to their new family situation and growing closer in the process. This is an important book that deals with divorce and family changes in a kid friendly way.
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume Three
by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Nominated by: Sara Ralph
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? by Kate DiCamillo is about the character Baby Lincoln who is usually bossed around by her older sister Eugenia. But this time Baby Lincoln is going by herself on necessary journey. This touching story is about meeting new friends and Baby Lincoln’s journey to find herself and where she belongs. We loved the writing and sweet moments between Baby Lincoln and the characters she meets on her journey