Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 Favorites

Each December, I’m asked by kids and parents for a list of my favorite books published in that year. Putting together such a list is both fun and challenging. I read so many good books for kids and teens that it can be hard to keep the list a manageable size! But here are my final choices for this year’s list. Enjoy!



BOARD BOOKS:



Leslie Patricelli is the go-to author/illustrator these days when it comes to the youngest readers. This year, she published two more gems: Tickle and Toot.






PICTURE BOOKS:



Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, illustrated by 2013 Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen and written by Mac Barnett, who wrote Klassen’s 2013 Caldecott Honor book, Extra Yarn (ages 3-7)
Watch the book trailer.



The Baby Tree, written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, noted for her work with the Measles-Rubella Initiative (ages 3-6)







My Teacher Is a Monster, written and illustrated by Peter Brown (ages 4-7)
Watch Peter Brown at the National Book Festival.







Where’s Mommy?, written by Beverly Donofrio and illustrated by Barbara McClintock (ages 3-6)





The Farmer and the Clown, written and illustrated by Marla Frazee (ages 4-7)






Time for Bed, Fred, written and illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail (ages 3-6); it was selected as one of the New York Times Best Illustrated books this year.
A young fan.





Once Upon the Alphabet, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (ages 4-8)
A peek inside.






The Iridescence of Birds, a book about artist Henri Matisse written by Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper (ages 4-7)







Mix It Up!, written and illustrated by Hervé Tullet, of Press Here fame (ages 3-7)
Tullet talks about his book.





Bad Bye, Good Bye, written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Jonathan Bean (ages 4-7)





EARLY CHAPTER BOOKS:



LeRoy Ninker Saddles Up, written by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
DiCamillo at the National Book Festival.
Visiting Takoma Park.







Digby O’Day in the Fast Lane, written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vuillamy






Dory Fantasmagory, written by Abby Hanlon








MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION (ages 8-12)



The Madman of Piney Woods, written by Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis








Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff






Rain Reign by Ann Martin







The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
The book trailer.





Nuts To You, written and illustrated by Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins









YOUNG ADULT FICTION (ages 12 up)



We Were Liars, written by E. Lockhart






Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern









GRAPHIC NOVELS/MEMOIRS:









El Deafo, written and illustrated by Cece Bell (ages 8-12)
Bell and Telgemeier together.









The Dumbest Idea Ever, written and illustrated by Jimmy Gownley (ages 8-12)
The book trailer.







The Return of Zita the Space Girl, written and illustrated by Ben Hatke
The book trailer.









Benny and Penny in Lost and Found, written and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes (comics-style beginning reader, ages 4-7)
Hayes reads from another Benny Penny book.






Aphrodite, written and illustrated by George O’Connor
A visit to the author's studio.







This One Summer, written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki (ages 12 up)
The illustrator discusses the book.








Sisters, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (ages 8-12)
The author discusses the book.








NON-FICTION:



Ashley Bryan’s Puppets, written by Ashley Bryan (ages 7 up)
The puppets in Ashley Bryan's home.





The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (ages 7-10)
Book trailer.







Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines, written by Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman (ages 10 up)
An interview with the author.







The Family Romanov, written by Candace Fleming (ages 10 up)
Book trailer.








Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, written by Susan Kuklin (ages 12 up)
A noisy interview with the author.






Chasing Cheetahs, written by Sibert Medalist Sy Montgomery, with photographs by Nic Bishop
The author at home.




Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Christian Robinson
Book trailer.






Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
(ages 7-10)
Sylvia Mendez herself.





POETRY:



Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems, selected by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet






Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons, written and illustrated by Jon Muth






END NOTES:  A HUGE Thank you to my fellow librarian Rebecca, who found and posted all of the book cover images here, as well as the links. She did an amazing amount of work, and I literally wouldn't have been able to do this post without her help. Thanks also to the publishers who provide review copies, and to the folks in the Children's & Teen department at Politics & Prose Bookstore, who always steer me towards the best books. A final disclosure note: this favorites list has appeared in two other places, the December edition of the City of Takoma Park Maryland newsletter, and my library's Children's Room blog.

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