Sunday, November 15, 2015

My Favorite Books of 2015

I am sometimes asked for book recommendations so I am going to list some of my favorite books of 2015 (and two that come out in January). I will undoubtedly add to this post with books I read before the new year and also the ones that should be on here but I've forgotten to add. Check back!

Picture Books

Dewey Bob by Judy Schachner
     This is a really sweet book with really cool art. I loved the sweet story and the storytelling.

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad
      An amazing story told in perfect words by Laurel Snyder and absolutely stunning art by Julie Morstad. I can't say enough good things about this book. One particular spread literally made me stop and marvel for a long time. 

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
     No one tells a humorous story like Drew Daywalt. This book does not disappoint. The sheer amount of weeks on the NYT list should tell you something about this book. I can also tell you, Drew is one of the nicest people in the world. Love to see the good guy get ahead!

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
     There are times when there is so much talk about a book and you are disappointed... You will not be disappointed with this book. A great true story told with awesome art.

Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato
     I love everything about Elliot. I have given this and it's predecessor away several times because it has a lot of heart. 

Wolfie The Bunny by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
     Ame Dyckman is a seriously funny person. You get to see that shine through in Wolfie The Bunny!

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Joshua Funk, illustrated by Brendan Kearney
     This is a fun book to read and to read aloud. The quest of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast is just plain fun.

Growing Up Pedro by Matt Tavares
     Inspiring story with the most stunning art. Matt has truly made a masterpiece with this book. 

You and Me by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
     Looking for a book about friendship? This is it. A very sweet message with Peter's awesome illustrations.

Birdie's First Day of School by Sujean Rim
     Birdie is a handful and this book is the perfect companion to the first days of school. I gave a copy to the Kindergarten teacher because I thought it was important to get this in the hands of kids! As a bonus, I love Sujean!

Snoozefest by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
     Another read-aloud classic, you can't help but love everything Samantha Berger writes. Take a trip with a lovable sloth and you will feel sleepy in no time. 

The Whale in my Swimming Pool by Joyce Wan
     Here is how I read every Joyce Wan book.... Open the book, look at every cute picture and wonder how art can be so cute, then go back and enjoy the story.  This is a fun book and the Kindergarten class I read it to loved it!

(New Additions)
There Was An Old Dragon that Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann, illustrated by Ben Mantle
     Fun read aloud that will inspire kids to think of ways to change old songs into fresh and fun new songs!

Daylight, Starlight, Wildlife by Wendell Minor
     I am the world's biggest Wendell Minor fan (except maybe for Florence). Absolutely stunning art work contrasting day and night creatures.

Your Alien by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Goro Fujita
     Super story and really different (and awesome) illustrations. 

Middle Grade and YA

Mosquitoland by David Arnold
     A really smart adventure book. This book has it all from laughs to heartache. 

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
     I've probably already recommended this everyone. But just in case, I had a two week book hangover from this book. I didn't want to read another book, I wanted to remain in this world. Read this, you will love it.

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
     So much heart packed into these pages. A great story that might help you find your sense of wonder again.

Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee with art by Christopher Denise
     I would recommend this book based on the Christopher Denise magical artwork alone. However, Alison has written a great story about love, friendship and fitting in.

The Truth about Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh
     This book is a great story which is told in such a way that little bits are revealed and you can't help but wonder how someone could write such a sweet and wonderful story. Included in this book are recipes and, you might just run out and buy your wife some Cherries in the Snow lipstick!

Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
     This book should be required reading for all teachers, administrators, and everyone who has struggled in school. This book is for the kids who struggle and everyone who helps the kids who struggle. I think of it as a love letter to teachers everywhere. I believe this book will change lives.

Coming Soon: 

Audacity Jones to the Rescue by Kirby Larson (January 26, 2016)
     This is such a fun adventure story. I wasn't really sure what to think when it arrived, but I loved every single word. Kirby Larson tells an amazing story. I don't know many people who can make historical fiction so fun to read.

Peddles by Elizabeth Rose Stanton (January 5, 2016)
     If we have been friends for longer than ten minutes, you know I adore Elizabeth Rose Stanton.  Part of the reason is because she is a generous and kind person. The major reason is because she writes unusual and extraordinary stories. I have read hundreds of books and sometimes they all blend together, but Henny and Peddles have both struck a chord in me as unique and important. The message kids get from these books is so important. I read Peddles to the Kindergarten class and they loved every minute. See their review below.