Top 10 of 2018: #1

 

 

Christina

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

by Grace Lin

A simple, beautiful story about Little Star trying to resist eating the Big Mooncake that Mama has hung in the sky to cool.  Little Star wakes in the night and takes a tiny bite.  She does this each night until you see the full moon waning to the new moon.  Text and pictures tell this story lovingly.  A great book to share with your little ones.

Sarah

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

by Ryan T. Higgins

It’s the first day of school and Penelope Rex is ready with a new backpack.  When she discovers her classmates are children this causes a few problems because “children are delicious.”  After eating her classmates (and spitting them out thanks to the teacher), Penelope does learn how to be a friend.

This book has a good bit of slobber in the pages, which just add to its appeal!

Jessica

I Hate Everyone

by Naomi Danis

I actually didn’t read this book until I was in the process of writing this list and loved it so much it immediately bumped my previous #1 title.  Danis perfectly describes the contradictions of children: “Don’t look at me.  No!  Look at me!” Several pages made me laugh aloud and the illustrations alone are so great once I finished I flipped back to the beginning and started again to pay better attention to them.

Tess

The Serpent’s Secret

by Sayantani Dasgupta

I loved this audiobook!  Just an average 12-year-old girl from New Jersey who happens to be a demon slayer –  no big deal!  Dasgupta creates such a fun, relatable hero in Kiranmala, and I loved the Indian folklore mixed with fantasy elements.  The audiobook is read by the author and she is a fantastic narrator!

Great read for fans of Rick Riordan or fantasy… or anyone!

Marta

Willa of the Wood 

by Robert Beatty

This book is just so beautifully written.  It brought me right back to the feeling I’d get as a kid when I’d fall in love with a book in that deep, profound, genuinely sad when it is over way.  I listened to this audiobook and was sucked right into the world that Beatty created.  The world of the Faeran is magical but dangerous.  Willa, a night-spirit, is trying to find her way in her clan but the clan is changing.  Through a tragic chain of events, Willa comes to realize her clan is no longer her family and that she doesn’t truly have a place there.  On her own in the world she befriends a man named Nathaniel.  Though Willa and Nathaniel have a tenuous relationship at first, they form a bond that goes well beyond what Willa expects.  Nathaniel becomes family to her and she becomes family to him.  When she discovers a secret about Nathaniel’s children, she realizes that she can help him and his children but very much at her own peril.  Read my full review of this amazing book here.  For fans of fantasy, this book is a must-read, but it also is a good read for animal lovers and adventure readers.

 

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Top 10 of 2018: #3

 

Christina

The Season of Styx Malone

by Kekla Magoon

Caleb and Bobby Gene Franklin are in a lot of trouble with their mom after they trade their baby sister for a bag of fireworks.  In their attempt to hide the fireworks they meet their new neighbor, Styx Malone.  Styx is sixteen and is so cool and worldly.  He’s been to Indianapolis which is only 30 minutes away whereas the brothers aren’t allowed our of their suburb.  What’s more Styx promises them away out of their troubles with the fireworks and a bully.  As you read it, you can’t help but wonder what is Styx hiding?

This book is lighthearted and yet there are several levels to it with many opportunities for discussion about race, safety, family, and friendship.  I thought of Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen when I read this.  Many others have mentioned author, Christopher Paul Curtis for comparison.  Either way, it’s a great read.

Sarah

Love 

by Matt de la Pena

Love is about love being everywhere, in faces, sights and sounds. There is loss, but love comes through to hold us. Life changes and children grow and the love grows too. The illustrations help bring the words to life and may pull at your heartstrings. A warm and gentle tale.

Jessica

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge 

by MT Anderson

I really like how the interesting use of art in this book shows how your perspectives and beliefs about people can be influenced by propaganda and change over time.  If you enjoy unreliable narrators, political intrigue, or grand adventures with unlikely heroes, then this fantasy buddy comedy/spy thriller is sure to become one of your favorites too.  Read my full review here.

Tess

Julian is a Mermaid 

by Jessica Love

Lovely picture book about a boy who wants to be a mermaid and his loving abuela.  The illustrations are captivating and the story is heartwarming.  I loved noticing all the small details in each picture and how fully the characters are developed by Love with her words and illustrations.

Marta

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates!

by Ryan T. Higgins

This adorable picture book comes with a lot of giggles.  Penelope Rex is so excited to make friends at school!  Just one problem: she goes to school with humans, and well… HUMANS ARE DELICIOUS!  This books was a hit with my preschool friends this year!  They loved the pictures and story but I loved watching the kids predict Penelope’s actions, shout out when Penelope was being a good friend or a bad friend, and give suggestions on how she could be an even better friend.  Text and illustrations are something kids and adults alike will love sharing with each other again and again.

 

New Books @ MPL

This awesome array of new-book-ey goodness will be arriving at MPL soon!  Come check these titles out!

I am Not a Chair by Ross Burach

Could there be anything worse for Giraffe? Maybe being sat on by a skunk or smooshed by two hapless hippos, or worst of all—cornered by a hungry lion? No one seems to notice that Giraffe is not standing around just to be sat upon. Will he be able to find his voice and make his friends realize who he really is?

The Day I Ran Away by Holly Niner

While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day—which was anything but calm.

Duck, Duck, Dinosaur: Noise At Night by Kallie George

Feather, Flap, and Spike are spending their first night in their very own nest. They tell stories and snuggle up to get a good night’s sleep, until . . . GRRORE! What’s that scary-sounding noise?

How to Find a Friend by Marie S. Costa

Two creatures …too busy …to notice each other! Finding a friend can sometimes be a hit-and-miss affair! When Rabbit moves into his new burrow and Squirrel moves into her new treehouse, they would both love to BUMP into a friend. But will that ever happen or will they keep on MISSING each other? With all the appeal of those ‘it’s behind you’ moments from pantomime, you can join Squirrel and Rabbit on their comedy CRASH course in how to find a friend!

Good Night My Darling Baby by ALyssa Satin Capucilli (board book)

In this lovely bedtime story, animals tuck in their babies, sing a song, and give a kiss good night, ending with parents tucking in their child for a sweet sleep.

I’m Grumpy by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (board book)

A grumpy cloud upsets his friend Sunny and must make amends. A sweet, funny, and simple introduction to the impact that emotions can have on those around you.

Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds

Displaying his distinctive voice and images, Reynolds celebrates the joys and challenges of being a creative spirit.

Flora and the Chicks by Molly Idle (board book)

Idle brings her balletic heroine Flora to a younger audience in this nearly wordless board book that finds the girl struggling to keep up with a nestful of hatching chickens.

Brobarians by Lindsey Ward

Two brothers, two great warriors—two brobarians!—engage in an epic backyard battle, until the “magic that ruled all” (aka mother) calls them in.

Is Your Smile Like a Crocodile’s?

Get ready for fun as you compare your toddlers smile to the toothy grin of a crocodile.

Bird, Balloon, Bear by Il Sung Na

Bird’s new in the forest, and as much as he’d like to befriend Bear, he never quite gets up the courage to say hello.

Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

Having failed in the hospitality business due to a rude and surly bear (Hotel Bruce, 2016), mice Rupert, Nibbs, and Thistle decide to go into publishing.

Carrot and Pea: An Unlikely Friendship by Morag Hood

Colin is tall. He’s orange. He’s a carrot! He’s nothing like Lee, a round green pea. He can’t do any of the things Lee and his pea pals can do. How can Colin and Lee ever be friends? A charming celebration of embracing differences and standing out in a crowd.

Amazing Animals: A Spin & Spot Book by Liza Charlesworth

 Be on the lookout for polar bears in the Arctic, elephants in the savannah, chickens on the farm, and more exciting creatures of all shapes and all sizes. Can you spot all 64 animals?

Bear Likes Jam by Ciara Gavin

When Bear discovers jam for the time, he can’t think of anything else. Mama Duck tells him that growing bears need to eat their vegetables first . . . but Bear can’t stand the strange green things on his plate. He only wants jam! It’s not until Bear notices the little ducks around him eating ALL of their food, that it finally clicks: Bear can have his dinner and his jam.