GO! GO! GO! STOP! BY CHARISE MERICLE HARPER

One word and some enthusiasm can be a powerful combination.  Little Green’s shout of “Go!” wakes up the construction equipment from their nap and prompts them back to work building a new bridge.  However, his repeated encouragement leads to a bit of chaos.  Thankfully, newcomer Little Red’s “Stop!” provides the break everyone needs to regroup.  Can Little Red and Little Green work together to get the bridge building back on track?  Perfect for sharing one-on-one or with a group, this engaging title begs to be followed by a game of Red Light – Green Light.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for ages 2-5.

WEASELS BY ELYS DOLAN

With a reputation for being clever, quick and cunning, no one should be surprised to discover that weasels spend their days plotting world domination. However, just as their plans for supremacy are about to come to fruition, the lights black out.  The weasels scramble to locate the source of their troubles.  A tale told as much through the conversation bubbles and illustrations as the text, readers with sharp eyes will detect the problem ahead of its resolution. 

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for grades 1 – 4.

FLORA & ULYSSES: THE ILLUMINATED ADVENTURES BY KATE DICAMILLO

Holy bagumba!  This year’s Newbery Medal winner is an action-packed tale featuring a host of quirky characters and filled with graphics and comic-style layouts.  Using knowledge gleamed from a comic book, Flora Belle Buckman, a natural-born cynic, revives a squirrel that had been sucked up by her neighbor’s super-suction, multi-terrain vacuum cleaner only to discover that the incident has provided the squirrel with super powers.  Surprises keep coming as she meets her neighbor’s unique grandnephew, discovers her mother is Ulysses’ archenemy, and realizes hope and love are also formidable super powers.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for grades 3 – 6.

2014 Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner and Honor Books

For the “most distinguished American picture book for children”

 WINNER:

 “Locomotive” illustrated and written by Brian Floca

 

 HONOR BOOKS:

 “Journey” written and illustrated by Aaron Becker

 

“Flora and the Flamingo” written and illustrated by Molly Idle

 

“Mr. Wuffles!” written and illustrated by David Wiesner

2014 Coretta Scott King Award Winner and Honor Books

For an African-American author and illustrator

 

WINNERS:

 Author Award:  “P.S. Be Eleven” written by Rita Williams-Garcia

 

Illustrator Award:  “Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me”  illustrated by Brian Collier

            Written by Daniel Beaty

 

 

HONOR BOOKS:

 Author:  “Words with Wings” written by Nikki Grimes

 

Illustrator:  “Nelson Mandela” illustrated by Kadir Nelson

            Written by Kadir Nelson

2014 Pura Belpre Award Winner and Honor Books

For a Latino writer and illustrator “whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience”

 

ILLUSTRATOR WINNER:

 “Nino Wrestles the World” illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales

 

HONOR BOOKS:

 Author:  “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale” written by Duncan Tonatiuh

            Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

 

Illustrator:  “Maria Had a Little Llama” illustrated and written by Angela Dominguez

 

Illustrator: “Tito Puente: Mambo King” illustrated by Rafael Lopez

            Written by Monica Brown

 

Illustrator:  “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale” illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

            Written by Duncan Tonatiuh

2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner and Honor Books

For the best beginning reader book

 WINNER:

 “The Watermelon Seed” written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

 

HONOR BOOKS:

 “Ball” written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan

 

“A Big Guy Took My Ball” written and illustrated by Mo Willems

 

“Penny and Her Marble” written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

2014 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Winner and Honor Books

For informational books for children

 WINNER:

 “Parrots Over Puerto Rico” written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

            Illustrated by Susan L. Roth

 

HONOR BOOKS:

 “A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin” written by Jen Bryant

            Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

 

 “Look Up: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard” written by Annette LeBlanc Cate

            Illustrated by Annette LeBlanc Cate

 

“Locomotive” written by Brian Floca

            Illustrated by Brian Floca

 

“The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius” written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

2014 John Newbery Medal and Honor Book Winners

For the “most outstanding contribution to children’s literature”

 

WINNER:

 “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” written by Kate DiCamillo

            Illustrated by K.G. Campbell

 

 HONOR BOOKS:

 “Doll Bones” written by Holly Black

 

“The Year of Billy Miller” written by Kevin Henkes

 

“One Came Home” written by Amy Timberlake

 

“Paperboy” by Vince Vawter

Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013 by School Library Journal

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

 

Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty by Tonya Bolden

 

Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution by Don Brown

 

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant

 

Locomotive by Brian Floca

 

Becoming Ben Franklin: How a Candle-Maker’s Son Helped Light the Flame of Liberty by Russell Freedman

 

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan

 

Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd

 

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel

 

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

 

Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song by Andrea Davis Pinkney

 

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport

 

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth & Cindy Trumbore

 

Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People by Susan Goldman Rubin

 

Eruption!: Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives by Elizabeth Rusch

 

Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Really Looked Like? by Catherine Thimmesh

 

The Dolphins of Shark Bay by Pamela S. Turner

Best Fiction Books of 2013 by School Library Journal

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

 

Doll Bones by Holly Black

 

Jinx by Sage Blackwood

 

Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg

 

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

 

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

 

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

 

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

 

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: A Novel of Snow and Courage by Chris Kurtz

 

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal

 

Bluffton: My Summers with Buster by Matt Phelan

 

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

 

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

 

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

 

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia

Best Picture Books of 2013 by School Library Journal

 

Journey by Aaron Becker

 

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

 

The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson

 

Henry’s Map by David Elliot

 

Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming

 

If You Want to See a Whale by Erin E. Stead

 

Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes

 

Little Red Writing by Melissa Sweet

 

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

 

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

 

Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

 

The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan

 

Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park

 

The Tortoise & the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

 

Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker

 

Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

 

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

 

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner

Boston Globe – Horn Book Awards and Honors 2013

Picture Book Award Winner

 

                 Building Our House by Jonathan Bean

 

Picture Book Honor Book Awards

 

                Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier

 

                Black Dog by Levi Pinfold

 

Nonfiction Award Winner

 

                Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd

 

Nonfiction Honor Book Awards

 

                Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale

 

                Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Best Picture Books of 2013 by The Horn Book Magazine

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean

 

Journey by Aaron Becker

 

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

 

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks by Eve Bunting

 

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

 

Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

 

The Dark by Lemony Snickett

 

Mr. Wuffles! By David Wiesner

Best Fiction Books of 2013 by The Horn Book Magazine

Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes

 

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

 

Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill

 

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

 

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal

 

Bluffton: My Summers with Buster by Matt Phelan

 

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

 

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia

Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013 by The Horn Book Magazine

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

 

The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

 

Look Up!: Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate

 

Locomotive by Brian Floca

 

The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest – and Most Surprising – Animals on Earth by Steve Jenkins

 

Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Really Looked Like? by  Catherine Thimmesh

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Clang-clang, clang-clang, clang-clang.  WHOO-OOOOOO!  Lovers of steam engines will delight in this story of a family making their way west on America’s newly built transcontinental railroad in the latter half of the 1800s.  Through blank verse, Floca pacts details of the sights and sounds surrounding the building of the line, the mighty trains, and the experience of traveling from Omaha to Sacramento so long ago.  Simple sketch illustrations depicting various aspects of the journey through the plains to the mountains to the Pacific Ocean sweep across some pages but are scattered among the text on others.  This title will be fully appreciated by train enthusiasts looking to learn about this highlight in locomotive history.   

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for ages 7 – 10

TURKEY TOT BY GEORGE SHANNON

Turkey Tot has “been different since the day he hatched,” according to Hen.  When Hen, Turkey Tot, Pig and Chick find some delicious blackberries beyond their reach, they are all disappointed to miss out on such a yummy treat.  Then, Turkey Tot finds some string that, with some balloons, would help the friends float up to the berries.  Although each pal dismisses Turkey Tot’s idea, the bird doesn’t let their attitude determine his.  Turkey Tot proceeds to look for a few balloons only to discover a tin can and a new idea of how to reach the blackberries.  Again he receives negative feedback from his pals.  With his eye on the appetizing prize, Turkey Tot does not give up.

This title is definitely a tasty treat of its own.  Kids will catch on to the repetitive chorus of discouraging comments while delighting in Turkey Tot’s determination and innovative mind.  The use of common words provides an excellent opportunity for younger readers to entertain others by reading it aloud.  A great read to start an imaginative engineering discussion about how we solve physical limitation problems.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for ages 3 – 6.

Playing with Fire by Bruce Hale

We meet 13-year-old Max Segredo as he is watching his latest foster home burn to the ground, insisting that he had nothing to do with the fire.  Since his father disappeared and his mother died, Max has had a long line of foster homes that did not work out, and with this latest failure, he’s sure he’s headed for juvie.

Instead, he finds himself at the Merry Sunshine Orphanage, where the third floor is off limits because of a super secret science project, and the house rules include, “no unsupervised gunplay.”  The instructors have names like “Styx” and “Stones.”  There are classes in lock picking, code breaking, surveillance techniques and martial arts.  Field trips include tailing unsuspecting citizens and breaking and entering.  The “orphanage” turns out to be a vocational school training students in Systematic Protection Intelligence and Espionage Services (S.P.I.E.S.).  Max is fitting in nicely until he receives a coded message that his father, a spy, is alive.  Will Max give up his new-found friends to find his dad?  Because surely, a real blood relative is more important than a bunch of nefarious misfits.  After police chases, lock picking, breaking and entering, Max discovers what friendship and family really mean.

Reviewed by Kathy Thornhill, Zauel Memorial Library

Recommended for grades 4-6

House of Secrets by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini

Once, Cordelia, Brendan and Eleanor Walker had everything – two loving parents, a beautiful home in San Francisco, and all the portable electronic devices, clothes and things that a person could ever want.  All of that changed when Dr. Walker lost his job after a mysterious accident at the hospital where he was a top surgeon.  In dire straits, the family buys an old Victorian home that was the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff—a house that is decidedly creepy and too good to be true for the family.

One person is definitely NOT happy the Walkers will be living in the old Kristoff mansion—Kristoff’s daughter Dahlia.  Believing that the Walkers have taken something rightfully hers, she wreaks havoc on the children and their lives.  Banishing them to live in her father’s books, Cordelia, Brendan and Eleanor must battle supernatural pirates, medieval warriors, wolves, strange seas and islands that are the characters and settings of Denver Kristoff’s books, in search of one mysterious book that has the power to make all wishes come true, hoping to find it before Dahlia—Queen Daphne—the Wind Witch can find it and use it in her evil plan to become Queen of the World.

An adventure story full of heroes, villains, and heart stopping thrills.

Reviewed by Kathy Thornhill, Zauel Memorial Library

Recommended for grades 4-8

Noteworthy & New

Chronicling America & Michigan Digital Newspaper Project

Chronicling America is a website providing information about and access to select historical newspaper pages. It is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. The Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University was chosen to partner with the National Digital Newspaper Program and with financial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, has expanded the number of Michigan newspapers freely available online.

Click here to view this page.

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