…storytime, books, and ideas

Archive for December, 2016

Winter wonderlands

snowt-dayAs the snow piles up, as winter peeks around the corner, I start to think of snowy days. A classic snow book is The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats. This book won the 1963 Caldecott Medal, and has been a childhood favourite for years. Not only is it a a universal snow experience, it has diverse characters and can be found in nearly every library. So, in homage to The Snowy Day, and the first day of Winter, let’s look at some more snowy books.

Beth Krommes won a Caldecott for her art in The House in the Night, and she could be noticed by the committee again this year for the art in her latest book, Before Morning. The book is a short poem, an invocation of snow. Anyone who has ever wished for a snow day will love this book. The poetry of Joyce Sidman is beautifully illustrated in scratchboard and watercolour. I always admire artists that can make white look so enticing, which is exactly what Krommes does in this little gem. before

If you’ve ever been snowed in for days, Blizzard by John Rocco will bring it all right back. From the joy of no school to the stir-crazy house to running out of milk, this book captures a snowstorm perfectly. Don’t miss the centerfold map of the boy on snowshoes around his neighbourhood.

How white is white? Explore the many colours of winter in Arctic White by Danna Smith. Illustrator Lee White does a fine job of capturing the many shades of white as well as the blues and greens of winter skies.

If you want something light and interactive, try Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda. Tilt the book so the rabbit can ski downhill, shake it to make snow fall. Fans of  Tap the Magic Tree and Press Here will enjoy this bunnywintery romp.

In Peter McCarty’s First Snow, cousin Pedro has to be convinced that snow is fun. He doesn’t like the cold! We all have a friend or relative like this, so it is fun to see how the snow (and his cousins) changes his attitude.

Enjoy the snow photography and learn some facts about the water cycle in Best in Snow, by April Pulley Sayre. Teachers, add this one to your classroom reading for the winter! best-snow

If adorable little woodland creatures are what you are looking for, you’ll love Waiting for Snow. Those little critters are just so dang cute that I had to mention this one.

A gentle song of winter settles over the lovely world in Hawksley Workman’s Almost a Full Moon. Grab a cup of cocoa and snuggle up while you pore over the illustrations by Jensine Eckwall.

full-moonHow does all that snow get moved? By a snowplow, of course, Get inside the head of Supertruck, the super hero that gets the streets cleared so the other trucks can do their jobs. Your truck-loving youngsters will be happy to see this in the pile of snow books.

Take a close look at snowflakes with Snowflake Bentley. This is the Caldecott Medal winner about the man who first photographed snowflake crystals. Not only is it a fascinating story, the artwork will wow you as well.shackleton

Explore the deep snowy winter in Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill. If your readers love poring over minutiae,  this book will thrill them. Diagrams of sleds, what the team packed to take with them, and how they planned for their long trip are all drawn in fine detail. This one is a beauty!

Any I missed? What are your favourite wintery books? Tell me in the comments!


The bests

bestAs the year winds to a close, the “BEST OF” lists start popping up all over. I’ve gathered some of my favourite Best Of lists here in one spot, for those who love lists, who want to read the best in children’s books, or who might be looking for ideas for gifts for the young people in your life. Here we go!

First off, here’s my list of books I think have a shot at winning the Caldecott.

And my list of the BEST OF 2016. I’ve compiled this from lots of lists, including some of my own personal favourites. It includes picture books, non-fiction, and chapter books.

Jbrary compiles a list of storytime favourites each year. These are actually tested by librarians. And they give you tips about the books. This list ROCKS.

Here’s a list from the Center for Study of Multicutural Literature: their Best Books of 2016.

School Library Journal has a great list, divided in handy sections for the age group or type of book you are looking for.

Looking for holiday books? Horn Book has an annual “Holiday High Notes” to guide you.

And there’s also the Horn Book Fanfare, with their choices for the best books of 2016.

It is always fun to look at what the New York Times chooses as the Best Illustrated books of the year. Here’s the 2016 list.

My favourite new list is the Undies: Case Cover Awards. There are two places to see all the winners, here at 100 Scope Notes, and here at Design of the Picture Book.

And here’s a really nice booklist from ALSC, the Association for Library Services to Children — a booklist about Unity, Kindness, and Peace.

In-depth exploration of the Best of 2016 from Brain Pickings.

Ok, one more, just in: The Curious City Besties, featuring some books you many not know but should.

I’ll admit, I keep finding great lists. Here’s the Fuse 8 “31 Days 31 Lists” lists. So. Many. Lists!

All these lists should keep you busy for a while. What are YOUR favourite lists?

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