Announcing the 2016 Cybils Fiction Picture Book and Board Book Shortlists!
I'm so proud of these Cybils Fiction Picture Book and Board Book Shortlists; you'd think I'd written and illustrated all these books myself.
Between the seven of us panelists, we read and considered 1,716 books, which is 97% of the nominated books. Somehow, we managed to agree on our favorite fiction picture books and our favorite board books. We did all of this in less than two months. Pretty amazing work.
"Once upon a time there was a hungry lion" the book begins, and then lists all the other adorable animals surrounding him. Oh wait, that's not quite right. Let's try listing those animals again. And again. And... where did everybody go? Surprise! Of course the lion didn't eat them all! It's a party! Um....they're going to eat the cake, right? Well....maybe not....
There are quite a few "a hungry animal is going to eat you, no, wait, it's just a party" books, but this one stands out with its triple-twist and giggle-worthy ending. Cummins' bright, colorful illustrations feature an adorable assortment of animals - and a stoic lion with a glare that fits his naughty personality perfectly. Cummins has a perfect sense of timing as she plays out the joke and surprises readers on every page. A Hungry Lion will keep your storytime audience and classes laughing hysterically as they request multiple readings so they can catch every detail.
Filled with lyrical language and vivid verbs, this book reads like poetry. The story of Gus and Ida touches on death and friendship in a peaceful and hopeful way. The illustrations add depth and power to the well chosen words. The unmistakable bond between Ida and Gus creates an emotional resonance that stays with you long after you’ve read it. You’re reminded that those you’ve lost are right there with with you. Always.
“The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . .”
When you see a cat, what do you see? A child sees a cute calico cat and wants to pet the kitty. But a mouse sees a large black cat with yellow crazed eyes, large pointed teeth, and long sharp claws ready to pounce. It is all a matter of perspective in Brendan Wenzel’s debut. He gives children twelve animals' visions of the cat. The beautiful images will have children thinking about size and perspective, giving them a new view of their world.
Are your toes tapping? There's a definite rhythm going that makes this book a natural read-aloud. Children can of course see the snake peeking out of the eucalyptus tree, and that snake gobbles up that boy with the whirly-twirly toy. The boy keeps calm and immediately hatches a plan, convincing the snake to swallow more and more adorably illustrated creatures, until he is finally so full, he...er...burps them all out. Early literacy skills, a feeling of empowerment, fun illustrations, science and social studies extensions, and just plain fun make this a well-rounded addition to the list.
The Night Gardener is a magical book. A small town is forever changed by the works of the Night Gardener, a mysterious man who creates new topiaries out of the local trees each night. One little boy, William, is impacted a bit more. One night after celebrating with the neighbors late into the night, William comes upon the Night Gardener and gets to help him create many creations in the local park. Though the trees only last until fall, the community is never the same again. And a small gift from the Night Gardener inspires William for a life time.
The text in this book is fairly minimal, with no more than a few sentences per two-page spread. The illustrations begin in muted tones with only the topiaries in color. But as the story progresses and the people in the neighborhood are impacted by the Night Gardener's sculptures, they begin to appear in color as well. By the end of the book, the whole town is in full color, appearing as vibrant and alive as the people of the town. This book is perfect for kids ages 4-8.
There’s a Bear on My Chair written and illustrated by Ross Collins
Publisher/ Author Submission
"There's a bear on my chair!"
On my chair!
I declare! A bear on my chair!
A mouse arrives home and discovers an enormous polar bear is sitting on his chair. How far will the mouse go to remove that bear from his chair?
There's a Bear on My Chair is a exuberant tale filled with surprising rhyme and unexpected plot twists and wild mouse mood swings. This is a book children will ask to hear over and over again, with side benefits: you will love reading it over and over, and it will soon be a book children will find they can read solo.
Dare to ensnare this rare and extraordinaire bear-chair affair, There's a Bear on My Chair.
When one little boy and his tiny pet elephant try to participate in Pet Club Day, they are met with a sign that says: Strictly No Elephants. Despite their sadness, they push forward together and ultimately travel from the realization that they do not fit in that club, to a joyful accomplishment and a place where they can celebrate their differences with friends. This well-written and aptly-illustrated book conveys the sadness and sweet success often found in the process of finding true friends and subtly suggests the meaning of friendship.
Filled with pitch perfect rhymes and onomatopoeia, Dinosaur Dance waltzes from one page to the next with daring illustrations and colorful dinosaurs. The words are fun to say and create a rhythm that encourages small children to dance with the dinosaurs. Reading this board book provides the ideal environment for learning, laughing, and of course, dancing.
Look, a donut! Or is it? Unfold the (sturdily constructed) flap, and you find those are actually the curves of a lounging cat. A green apples becomes two crocodiles, and so on, in this playful counting book.
The counting part of it is almost an extra. The real fun comes in learning to look at each shape differently, and in guessing what else it might be. Adults may remember similar photo games in magazines like National Geographic for Kids, or in the back pages of Reader's Digest. The pages are easily manipulated by little hands, and while younger readers will enjoy marveling at the transformation, older children can be led in games of, "What else could this shape be?"
Follow the Yarn is a creative new take on the basic color board book. Each page shows yarn of a different color being unraveled by a cat, and the featured color is written in big, bold, color appropriate text. On each subsequent page, the previous colors are still displayed in what creates a fun web of colors by the end of the book. The yarns crisscross each other, so toddlers will enjoy following each color's yarn to the end. The last page, white, is stunning with the colors contrasted against a black background. This book will make the task of teaching colors a delightful experience for both parents and children.
What in the world is Cuauhtémoc? And what is it doing in a child's board book?
The charm of this little board book is the surprising variety of learning the author and illustrator have included in twenty-two pages. Cuauhtémoc is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces the youngest of our future readers to shapes. But that's not all: it also names the shapes in both English and Spanish. And this book has still more: it focuses on one of the most neglected groups in children’s literature, indigenous American culture. You can find this all in a package that is perfect for 0-2 year olds, with simple text and large bright pictures. Cuauhtémoc is a wonderful book for your baby or your library system.
Your little one will have fun while learning as he/she travels through a generic city in this quality board book with engaging lift flaps and cut page turns via a variety of city transportation methods. Fabulous city destinations await, including a museum, a carousel, a sports stadium and more! And that is not all – in this “big city – all you can eat city,” there are many cultural treats to discover. This fabulous book slices up the essence of a big city in manageable bites, just perfect for a little one’s mind to chew on. Chock full of art to enjoy, words to learn, details to savor and most importantly, it’s a city block little ones will want to revisit again and again.
What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.
Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.