FRIZZY by Claribel A. Ortega a #CYBILS ๐Ÿ“š๐ŸŽถย 

FRIZZY By Claribel A. Ortega Illustrated by Rose Bousamra First Second Books Middle Grade Contemporary, Family, Growing Up, Realistic Fiction Finalist – Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels 2023 CYBILS Awards The Book   Frizzyย by Claribel Ortega is an exploration of cultural expectations connected to hair and respectability. Marlene loves art and hanging out with her best friend. But she does not …

BIG by Vashti Harrison a #CYBILS ๐Ÿ“š๐ŸŽถ

BIG By Vashti Harrison Little, Brown Books for Young Readers All Ages African American, Emotion, Mental Health, Realistic Fiction, Storytime Winner – Fiction Picture Book 2023 CYBILS Awards The Book   Big by Vashti Harrison is a stunning picture book that explores the meaning of being big in a world that often values small. The story follows a young girl …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Early Chapter Book Finalists

Here we are, friends! It seems only appropriate that Early Chapter Books be the “final chapter” in our posts sharing judges reviews of 2023 CYBILS Awards finalists and winners. There are a few familiar series and new faces, too. These stories also welcome young readers into stories that may be comfortable and fun, and others that will expose them to …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Board Book Finalists

Colorful Bright Interactive Cute Destined to be a favorite … everything you want in a board book, yes?ย  There’s no shortage of animals, learning, or engaging questions for young readers, either. Whether you have a toddler scurrying onto your lap for storytime or you want the perfect gift for a baby shower or toddler birthday, you won’t go wrong with …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Finalists Poetry Collections

Roses are red. Violets are blue. If you don’t like college basketball. This list is for you. Happy #PoetryFriday to you. For some of us, basketball is a kind of poetry in motion. For others, well, it just isn’t. Thankfully, this roundup of poetry books can help. Moving, funny, imaginative, jarring … all found in the pages of these poetry …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Middle Grade Fiction Finalists

It’s Middle-Grade Monday, y’all! 2023 WINNER Simon Sort of Says Bow, Erin Disney Hyperion–Rick Riordan presents Nominated by: Susan (Bloggin’ ’bout Books) Sondy @ Sonderbooks – [This has] got so many wonderful ingredients: Quirky characters who seem more realistic because of those quirks, a new kid in school at a very distinctive place, loving parents but kid-centric adventures, a main …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 YA Speculative Fiction FInalists

What “binds” all of these books together? Besides being for young adults? and speculative fiction? with amazing cover art? Well, weย couldย tell you, but you are such a savvy, discerning reader, we know you’ll find the answer.ย  This much we’ll share: the word “original” was used by multiple judges across multiple books; and two titles made a fantasy lover out of …

#CYBILS2023 Book Review: YA Fiction Finalists

ICYMI – This year’s slate of Young Adult Fiction finalists includes two debut authors. In fact, the award-winning book is the debut novel of Jas Hammonds. The stories are contemporary, compelling, heart-tugging, and heart-wrenching. Things you’d expect in coming-of-age stories. There’s drama, intense storytelling, mystery, family, and … well, let’s turn it over to our judges to tell you more. …

#CYBILS2023 Book Reviews: Fiction Picture Book Finalists

What are you doing this Monday morning? Us? Oh, we’re “March-ing Fourth” with reviews for the 2023 CYBILS Awards finalists and winner in the Fiction Picture Book Category. From “lovely,” “beautiful,” and “powerful” to “funny,” “hilarious,” and “extra outlandish,” our judges not only share their thoughts, but give you some inside scoop on what their kiddos thought, too! Go on …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 EMG Speculative Fiction Finalists

A quick recap for those who are just now discovering our review series … excerpts of judges reviews. Their own opinions (not their panels). Did not necessarily judge this category. 2023 WINNER The Grace of Wild Things Heather Fawcett Balzer + Bray Nominated by: marsenault13 Deb @ The Book Search – This one’s a charmer. The whole story is just …