Sunday, January 1, 2023

I Am Happy to Announce the 2022 Cybils Awards Picture Book and Board Book Finalists!

After three months of searching for and reading and reviewing and discussing 280 Cybils Awards Picture Book and Board Book nominees, the five of us serving as first round judges---

Lynne Marie Pisano, My Word Playground

Nicole Levesque, Bluestocking Thinking

Sam Richardson, Little Cub Literacy

Maggi Rohde, Goodreads: Maggi Rohde

Deb Nance, Readerbuzz---

have agreed upon the 2022 Cybils Awards Picture Book and Board Book Finalists...


Odd Birds: Meet Nature’s Weirdest Flock

Written by Laura Gehl

Illustrated by Gareth Lucas

Published by Harry N. Abrams

This engaging and educational board book introduces a fantastically unique selection of birds as well as their unique quirks.

These fun illustrations and accompanying facts and expansive backmatter make this a board book that will appeal to both toddlers and young readers/listeners, and even might inspire a chuckle or two.

A wonderful way to introduce children to the wild and wonderful world of birds, with food for thought -- who is the odd one?

                                                                                ---by Lynne Marie Pisano, My Word Playground

Be My Neighbor?

Written and illustrated by Suzy Ultman

Published by Chronicle Books

Bright colors and whimsical art will entice readers inside this story shaped like a house. Follow the cat family as they go door-to-door in search of some cookie ingredients. Inside each new home young readers will delight in opening ovens, cupboards, and drawers, to see what each family keeps inside. How fun it is to explore each unique home! And through it all, neighborly warmth radiates outward!

                                                                                ---by Nicole Levesque, Bluestocking Thinking

Animals Move (Big, Little Concepts, 3)

Written and illustrated by Jane Whittingham

Published by Pajama Press

Captivating photographs portrayed side-by-side compare animal movements to that of a child, encouraging readers to get up and move! Readers learn the proper names for baby animals and their adult counterparts. With simple sentences and such an engaging premise, this is a phenomenal introduction to nonfiction texts for the youngest audiences. 

                                                                                ---by Sam Richardson, Little Cub Literacy

Hello, World! Garden Time

Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald

Published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Hello, World! Garden Time is a wonderful first look at gardening---how seeds are planted and how they grow, the parts of plants, interactions of plants with earthworms and pollinators...everything a little person might like to know about growing plants.

It's a happy way to introduce the joy of gardening, the joy of the outdoors, with young children.

                                                                                ---by Deb Nance, Readerbuzz

10 Little Tractors (10 Little Vehicles)

Written by Annie Bailey

Illustrated by Jeff Harter

Published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Ten little tractors have a busy day working, and when the day comes to an end, they all gather together to go to sleep. 

This is a board book that does everything we ask for in a board book: It’s about little things that are, nevertheless, very strong…it's a counting book…it’s a bedtime read-aloud—10 Little Tractors is perfect for all the small folks who love things that move.

                                                                                ---by Deb Nance, Readerbuzz

The Hair Book

Written by LaTonya Yvette

Illustrated by Amanda Jane Jones

Published by Union Square Kids

Bold, fun illustrations showcase hair of all types: short, long, curly, straight, nonexistent and more! The hairstyles represented are inclusive and accurate. Little readers will enjoy identifying their own hair and that of friends and family as they flip through each page and examine their reflection on the mirror page. With highly contrasted imagery, this read grows with children from birth! 

                                                                                ---by Sam Richardson, Little Cub Literacy

Look Twice: An Interactive Board Book Full of Surprises!

Written and illustrated by Giuliano Ferry

Published by mineditionsUS

From beehives to pigs, from flowers to lions, the illustrations in this simple board book provide plenty of opportunities for discoveries. In addition, dicuts on every page transform the familiar animals and landscapes in unexpected ways. Young learners will be engaged in finding the differences, bolstered by the straightforward text. This is a simple book for older toddlers who are learning to comprehend description in text. 

                                                                                    ---by Maggi Rohde, Goodreads: Maggi Rohde


Out of a Jar

Written and illustrated by Deborah Marcero

Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons for Young Readers

Llewellyn doesn't like to feel sad or angry or embarrassed or lonely, and he comes up with a plan to deal with his feelings: he hides his feelings in a jar and puts them away so he won't be bothered with them.

It isn't long before he finds that he needs to hide not only the bad feelings, but also he has to hide feelings of excitement and joy, too.

And then he has no more room for jars...

A lovely little story that offers help in sorting out feelings for kids…and, maybe, for grownups, too. And who among us couldn't use a little more of that these days?

                                                                            ---by Deb Nance, Readerbuzz

How to Party Like a Snail

Written by Naseem Hrab

Illustrated by Kelly Collier

Published by Owlkids

Snail loves parties, especially the quiet parts. Making wishes, confetti, the moments before people yell SURPRISE!

But when sweet snail stops getting invited to parties he reflects that maybe his friends see him as more of a party pooper than a party animal.

So, snail throws himself a pity party for one. He includes all his favorite quiet things: warm milk, lullabies, and being wrapped in a blanket burrito. The story doesn’t end there though! You’ll never guess what happens next.

                                                                                ---by Nicole Levesque, Bluestocking Thinking

Nigel and the Moon

Written by Antwan Eady

Illustrated by Gracey Zhang

Published by Katherine Tegan Books

Nigel is a dreamer, and he tells his dreams to the moon. During the day, however, at school while learning about careers, he is asked to speak his dreams aloud, and Nigel isn't ready. What if his wish to be a superhero isn't possible? In this gentle story of hopes and aspirations, dreams and reality blend to prove the adage that all things are possible if we wish them to be so. 

                                                                                    ---by Maggi Rohde, Goodreads: Maggi Rohde

Finding Fire

Written and illustrated by Logan S. Kline

Published by Candlewick Press

After a foundation in the needs of a neanderthal family is laid, a young boy leads the reader on a journey to find fire through stunning, colorful and captivating illustrations. It's a journey of trials and tribulations, improvisations, failures and successes and unexpected surprises without even a word being said.

A fabulous book of persistence with a subtle message that if the need of someone else pulls you off your path, the blessings will find their way to you despite your altered course.

                                                                                ---by Lynne Marie Pisano, My Word Playground


Written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

A family of twelve children once grew up inside these farmhouse walls, but now it’s nothing more than peeling wallpaper and faded fabric scraps. Gorgeous, detailed illustrations and text written in verse give readers a glimpse inside the farmhouse walls, imagining what memories could have been made in the time the family lived there. Based on the author’s true experience of finding an abandoned farmhouse on her property, this read is full of nostalgia and love. 

                                                                                ---by Sam Richardson, Little Cub Literacy

Knight Owl

Written and illustrated by Christopher Denise

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Owl desperately wants to be a knight, but he's not sure he is up for the job. But then knights start disappearing and, he dares to apply. Off he goes to knight school, and, happily, he successfully becomes a knight and is assigned to be on Knight Night Watch. And it is here he faces his biggest challenge of all.

Such a gentle story, and yet such a powerful story, of courage and cleverness and overcoming obstacles, all told in a way that allows children to figure things out for themselves. You can't help but love Knight Owl.

                                                                               ---by Deb Nance, Readerbuzz

Apple and Magnolia

Written by Laura Gehl

Illustrated by Patricia Metola

Published by Flyaway Books

Despite others telling her that trees cannot be friends, Britta imagines a friendship between an apple tree and a magnolia tree. And when Magnola becomes ill, despite others giving a grim prognosis, she comes up with a plan to keep them connected over the long, cold winter. And although no one, except Grandma, believes trees can be friends, Britta learns the power of friendship in a most special way.

This book is lyrical, humorous, doubtful and hopeful all at the same time, with a wonderful nod toward hope and a foundation in friendship. 

                                                                                ---by Lynne Marie Pisano, My Word Playground

Congratulations to all the authors and illustrators and publishers who created these wonderful books!

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