2008 Fiction Picture Book Finalists

Abe Lincoln Crosses A Creek: A Tall Thin Tale
(Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend)

written by Deborah Hopkinson
illustrated by John Hendrix
Schwartz and Wade Books

In a year abundant in releases about our 16th president, this picture
book title stands out for its originality, vibrant illustrations, and
interactive flair. While the setting is historical, the mood is
thoroughly modern in this clever celebration of the oral storytelling
tradition.
–Travis Jonkers, 100 Scope Notes

Big Bad Bunny, The
written by Franny Billingsley
illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Atheneum

No rushing stream or mucky swamp can stop Big Bad Bunny and his long
sharp claws. Through the tangly bushes he marches, fierce and
scowling–and a worried mama mouse has just discovered her baby mouse
is missing. Suspenseful pacing, engaging art, and a delightful twist
ending make this an enchanting tale for the preschool set.
–Melissa Wiley, Here in the Bonny Glen

Chester’s Back

written and illustrated by Melanie Watts
Kids Can Press, Ltd

A sublimely pushy cat vies for attention and control with his author
and illustrator in this wildly funny book. With creativity and
innovation, the author allows her persistent character Chester to
scrawl over her illustrations and text with a red marker, creating
immediacy, tension, and humor.

Cheryl Rainfield

How to Heal a Broken Wing
written and illustrated by Bob Graham
Candlewick Press

When a pigeon is injured in the middle of a busy city, no one stops to
help until a little boy and his family take the bird home to heal it.
Told mainly through pictures with minimal text to drive the plot
forward, the story is touching one of kindness, patience, and humanity.
–Pam Coughlan, MotherReader

Katie Loves the Kitttens

written and illustrated by John Himmelman
Henry Holt

The dog Katie canโ€™t contain her desire to play with the new kitten
companions in her home, but unfortunately her exuberance is
overwhelming to the tiny creatures. With redirection and restraint,
Katie finally finds a way to show her love for the kittens. The humor
in, the situation, the story-telling, and illustrations will engage
kids of all ages in this fun, romping story.
–Pam Coughlan, MotherReader

Sea Serpent and Me, The

written by Dashka Slater
illustrated by Catia Chien
Houghton Mifflin

An extraordinary friendship begins when a sea serpent drops from a
faucet into a little girl’s bath. As their friendship grows so does the
sea serpent, until the girl has to admit that this creature belongs in
the sea. This charming tale of friendship is propelled by lovely,
energetic watercolor illustrations that create a world full of whimsy
the reader will find hard to leave.
–Stephanie Ford, ChildLit

Visitor for Bear, A

written by Bonny Becker
illustrated by Kady Denton
Candlewick Press

When a mouse ignores the sign on Bear’s door that reads “NO VISITORS
ALLOWED”, Bear can’t get back to business as mouse continually
reappears in Bear’s home finally making Bear wonder if he really
prefers to be alone after all. The text begs to be read aloud and the
subdued watercolor, ink, and gouache illustrations chock full of
personality that creating a tale every member of the family will adore.

–Stephanie Ford, ChildLit

Wabi Sabi
written by Mark Reibstein
illustrated by Ed Young
Little, Brown

A Japanese cat searches for the meaning of her name, and discovers that beauty can be found in simple, ordinary things and experiences. The text shows many layers and depth, the haikus are well-integrated into the story, and the collage illustrations are astonishing in their texture and beauty.

Cheryl Rainfield