2009 Finalists: Fiction Picture Books

Curious Garden, The
by Peter Brown
Little, Brown
Nominated by: Eric Carpenter

When a little boy discovers a near-dying garden atop the buildings in his drab city, he quickly learns the changes that can occur under the caring hands of one dedicated person. This magical tale–coupled with beautiful illustrations–enables children to see just how much they, too, are capable of.

Katie Harvey

Lion & the Mouse, The
by Jerry Pinkney
Little, Brown
Nominated by: Kirsten Cutler

Jerry Pinkney builds on his outstanding résumé with this remarkable, nearly wordless retelling of the classic Aesop fable. One of the most significant artistic achievements of the year, the rich, expressive illustrations invite young readers to interpret the tale in their own way.
Travis Jonker

Jeremy Draws a Monster
by Peter McCarty
Henry Holt
Nominated by: Lily

One day, Jeremy–who never goes out–uses his special crayon to draw a monster. He draws like mad to satisfy the demanding beast, but only finds peace when he sends the beast on its way. Simply told and creatively illustrated, this book wraps itself around the deeper meaning within–that we draw our own monsters, and neither feeding nor ignoring them will make them go away. Brilliant.

Pam Coughlan

Listeners, The
by Gloria Whelan
Sleeping Bear Press
Nominated by: Joe

In the time when slavery gripped the South, Ella May and her two friends become the ears for the community as they make “listening” trips in the evenings–trips where they learn news from the outside world and the Master’s plans. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a book that will open your eyes and touch your heart.
Shelly Burns

All the World
by Liz Garton Scanlon
Beach Lane Books
Nominated by: Cynthia Leitich Smith

A multicultural family (and those around them) starts a day with a morning on the beach, endures a thunderstorm, shares a meal and ends with a quiet night at home. A wide audience will enjoy the lyrical rhyming couplets and breathtaking illustrations–this book is perfect to cuddle and read aloud with young children.
Natasha Maw

Book That Eats People, The
by John Perry
Tricycle Press
Nominated by: Bri Meets Books

Whatever you do, do not allow your little ones to read this book if they have the slightest hint of peanut butter and jelly on their fingers. You see…this book eats people and has already consumed little Sam Ruskin, sweet Victoria Glassford and a security guard. This wonderfully dark story has as much devious fun as a picture book can hold.

Natasha Maw

Silly Tilly
by Eileen Spinelli
Marshall Cavendish Childrens Books
Nominated by: Kathy Temean

Silly Tilly is not your ordinary goose. Quite the opposite, in fact — and her barnyard friends have decided they’ve had enough of her silliness. But as the farm quickly turn dull, Tilly’s friends realize that her quirkiness makes Tilly special. Funny, rhyming text and colorful illustrations make this book a treat to read aloud, and Tilly’s wacky antics will leave kids giggling.
Katie Harvey