I am so impressed with my library system. They have had at least 85% of the books nominated for the Cybils Fiction Picture Book category, and all of these books have been published within the last year. I’m so thankful to be living in such a well-read community.
Today I am sharing 12 more nominees for the 2016 Cybils Fiction Picture Book category.
Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford (ages 5-10)
This book touches on a very tough topic – slavery. It focuses on Sundays in Congo Square in New Orleans when even slaves were given a half day off of work. It discusses the hard work performed on Mondays through Saturdays and even includes such things as lashings, but the spirit is hopeful and light. It would be a good conversation starter to explain this dark spot in America’s history with young readers.
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley (ages 3-5)
After a long day at the beach, Lucy and her parents are all very tired. Her mother declares an early bedtime and falls asleep reading a bedtime story. It’s dark, and Lucy feels like all the faces in the pictures on the wall are staring at her. She creeps out of her bed to find her stuffed bear. She ends up bringing many friends to her bed, and they all yawn before going to sleep. Young ones will enjoy counting all of the yawns in this book.
The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Ellen Bogart (ages 3-6)
This book is a retelling of the poem “Panguar Ban” about an old monk and his white cat. They share a room but each pursue their own interests – studying for the monk and hunting mice for the cat. I loved the illustrations. At times they’re laid out like the tiles of a graphic novel. The first few pages of this book don’t have any words, but then the poem begins. This poem is easy to follow, which I appreciated.
Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock (ages 6-10)
This book is adorable! It follows a young girl and a ballerina throughout one day. Both Emma and Julia love ballet. They both go to practice in the morning and listen to their teachers. They both eat and study, and they both go to an evening performance. Emma, as a spectator where she dreams of dancing on stage, and Julia, as a performer equally in love with ballet. This book is perfect for anyone who dreams of being a professional dancer when they grow up.
This Is My Dollhouse by Giselle Potter (ages 6-10)
The narrator of this story is a young girl who has made her own dollhouse out of a cardboard box. She has stuffed animals and dolls who live in the house, and she imagines elaborate adventures for the family. But when she plays at Sophie’s house and sees her perfect dollhouse with matching dolls she begins to doubt her own creation. Luckily when Sophie comes to her house, they have a great time playing and imagining. It’s very wordy, but it’s a fun story for kids who are into make believe and dolls.
A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts (ages 6-10)
In this story, Hee Jun has immigrated to the U.S. with his family because his father is attending law school in West Virginia. Hee Jun, his sister, and his grandmother are having a hard time adjusting. But they start to learn the language and fit in little by little. Finally on a playdate, Hee Jun sees a flower that his grandmother used to grow at home in Korea. He takes it to her, and she calls it “a piece of home.” It’s cute.
The Journey by Francesca Sanna (ages 6-10)
After their father dies in a war, two children and their mother flee their country looking for safety. It’s a long, dangerous journey, but they are hopeful that they will find a new home. This book is eye opening. It’s another hard subject, but important to discuss.
There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith (ages 2-8)
The illustrations in this book are so adorable! It’s a book about the names for groups of things – animals, rocks, plants. There are some unusual ones in here that you may not know. It’s a really cute book. I don’t often like books without a story, but this one is great.
If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t! by Elise Parsley (ages 4-8)
The little girl in this story walks you through the crazy chain of events that will happen if you bring a piano to the beach. It’s pretty insane, but funny and cute. I especially loved the page when the seagulls attacked her while she was eating lunch. I could relate! This book is nonsensical but fun. The font is a little fancy, so it would make a hard independent read, but it’s a good read aloud.
Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead (ages 6-10)
This story is very stream of consciousness, which is not my favorite. The author needs an idea for a story, but she doesn’t have any, so she writes about what she sees and thinks while on a walk with her dog. She touches on war and poverty and birdcalls and canoes. It’s kind of all over the place. There are photos to accompany the words and illustrations. It’s unique, but ultimately it wasn’t a book that I really enjoyed even though I did like the message about inspiration being all around us.
A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu (ages 4-8)
A little girl sees her grandfather doing tai chi in the garden. She asks what he’s doing, and he explains. Mei Mei tries to do some of the poses that her Gong Gong is doing, but she has a hard time moving slowly. When they finish, Mei Mei teaches Gong Gong some of the yoga moves she learned at school, and he has a hard time twisting his body in the ways that yoga requires. It’s a cute story that exposes kids to other cultures.
I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino (ages 4-8)
This book traces the story through the history of human existence from the campfire story of cave men through Little Free Libraries of today. It discusses the ability of stories to instill emotions, incite anger and fear, and inspire millions. It’s a simple yet powerful book. The illustrations include many cultures throughout history. I love the idea of the permanence of the story. While this isn’t a book you’d want to read over and over, it’s worth reading at least once.
Have you read all of these books yet? If not, which one would you like to read first?
On the blog last year…