Cybils Fiction Picture Books – Batch 4

Somehow I had completely missed the board book category in the Cybils database. Luckily there are only 41 of those books nominated. I’ll do a separate post (or two) on board books in the future, but the final nominations are in, and between board books and fiction picture books, there are 253 books. That’s A LOT of books.

I have stacks all over my bedroom, and it’s starting to stress me out. Before reading books for this post, I had only rated 67 books, which means that after these 12 books below, I still have 174 books to go. Gulp! Good thing I love books.

Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko (ages 2-6)

This book is so cute! It’s told from a child’s point of view, and it walks the reader through everything he does out in the snow one afternoon. The illustrations look like crayon, and they depict the snow storm so well. Even though I’m dreading winter, this book made me wish for snow. It will make a great read aloud with younger kids. And the simple sentences would even make it a good independent read for older kids.

5 stars

From Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs by Hudson Talbott
(ages 5-9)

This book is a simplified, yet fun, story about how wolves became dogs. It starts with an orphan wolf and an orphan boy, and it emphasizes the collaboration and teamwork that helped them survive. It’s a good read.

4 stars

The Princess and the Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh (ages 5-8)

This book is the author’s take on a Mexican legend about two vulcanoes: Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl. It’s a story about a princess and the man who falls in love with her. It has sort of a sleeping beauty type element, but not as happy. I’m not a huge fan of princess stories, so I didn’t love this one.

3 stars

The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers (ages 4-8)

This book is magical. William wakes up every morning to find a new topiary on his street, curtesy of The Night Gardener. One night after celebrating late into the night when a dragon is made, he comes upon The Night Gardener and gets to help him. The trees only last until fall, but the bring the residents of the street alive forever. That one night’s experience also inspires William for a life time.

4 stars

The Mixed-Up Truck by Stephen Savage (ages 3-5)

In this story, the cement mixer is new to the construction site, so when he’s told to mix up some powdery white cement, he doesn’t know what to do. He tries flour, then sugar, before he finally gets it right. There’s a little surprise at the end. It’s a funny story, but I think it would be over kids’ heads.

3 stars

Creation by Cynthia Rylant (ages 2-5)

This book is the creation story from Genesis. The illustrations are beautiful, but since I am an atheist, I am not a fan of this story. If you’re looking for a stand alone creation story vs. reading from a children’s bible, this story is good. The illustrations help simplify the text. It’s a nice introduction for Christian children. I won’t be reading it with my son, however, since I believe in evolution.

3 stars

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith (ages 4-8)

This jazzed up version of Little Red Riding Hood features jungle animals and one smart little girl. I like that you’re expecting the same old story, but the ending is quite different. Also, it’s a regular story that happens to have a black main character. It’s always nice to read books with diverse characters that aren’t historical and are very universal. Children of all races will enjoy this story. Watching the lion be outsmarted was just plain fun.

4 stars

The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield (ages 6-10)

Chris Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut. This story is autobiographical. It’s about a young boy who’s afraid of the dark and who wants to be an astronaut. He dreams of going to the moon, and then he watches Neil Armstong step onto the moon in 1969, and he realizes that space is the darkest dark of all. The message at the end from Chris is my favorite part. He talks about the good things that come with the dark. That’s what may help kids the most.

4 stars

Salad Pie by Wendy BooydeGraaff (ages 4-6)

When Maggie arrives at the park, she’s alone. Perfect! She starts making Salad Pie. When Herbert comes along, he disturbs her peace and quiet, and he tries to help her when she doesn’t want help. Eventually she really needs help, and he’s there for her. After that the two kids play make believe together and share a delicious Salad Pie. It reminded me of making stew in my backyard growing up. It’s a fun story.

4 stars

Imelda and the Goblin King by Briony May Smith (ages 5-8)

This book is a new fairy tale. Imelda plays with the fairies everyday. They live happily in the forest until the Goblin King comes along and is greedy and nasty and won’t share. He kidnaps the Fairy Queen and won’t play nice, so Imelda teaches him a lesson by turning him into a worm with some berries. It was a rather shocking ending, but it was kind of nice to see a bully get what he deserved for once.

4 stars

Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau (ages 6-10)

I love this story! It’s about kids seeing a problem in the world and fixing it. One girl notices that baby turtles are heading the wrong way on the beach because of the lights in the houses. She works with her teacher and her class to start a campaign and save the turtles, and they do. This is an inspirational story that will get kids excited about changing the world.

5 stars

A Year of Borrowed Men by Michelle Barker (ages 6-10)

This story is like a German Little House on the Prairie. It tells of a young girl in Germany at the end of WWII. Her father is away fighting and her family is housing French prisoners who work the farm. She befriends them and discusses the day to day events of her life during that year. It’s an interesting story.

3 stars

Have you read any of these books?

On the blog last year…

Friday Fiction #3: Whistling Tune

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