As of November 14th when I am writing this post, I have now read 185 Cybils nominees for fiction picture books and board books. I have only 68 more books to go, but I'm waiting for the last books to come into the library and arrive from the publishers, so at this point I have read all of the books I can read. There are no more piles on my bedroom floor, and I am feeling pretty great about that.
By the time you read this post, we will have likely narrowed out short list down considerably, but I cannot share the finalists with you quite yet anyway, so it's fine that I am writing this post well in advance. Here are 11 more nominees for Fiction Picture Books for Cybils 2016.
A Moon of My Own by Jennifer Rustgi (ages 4-6)
As a little girl travels the world, the moon seems to be following her. She thinks the moon has come out just for her. This book has cool activities at the end for parents/teachers to do with kids. It's a cute story with great illustrations of the phases of the moon and many famous places around the world.
A Night of Great Joy by Mary Engelbreit (ages 4-8)
Children act out the story of Jesus' birth in this adorable picture book. The illustrations include some great details from facial expressions to small mishaps. I enjoyed looking at the pictures while reading this fairly traditional story of the nativity scene. It's a great book about the true meaning of Christmas for believers. Be warned though, there's glitter on the cover.
What Noise Do I Make? by Brian McLachlan (ages 3-6)
This book will have families cracking up trying to read and imitate these crazy animals sounds. There are animals in here that I have never even heard of, and many sounds that I wouldn't have known for animals I have heard of. It's a great expansion on the typical sounds shared in a board book for younger children.
The Bear Who Couldn't Sleep by Caroline Nastro (ages 4-6)
A little bear cannot hibernate like everyone else. He just can't fall asleep, so he goes walking through the woods until he comes to a large city, NYC. He is fascinated by all the activity, and he can't stop exploring, but then he finally gets sleepy. He cannot find a place to rest, and he ends up going home. This is a cute story with fun illustrations of NYC. It's good exposure to the idea of hibernating and the concept of large cities.
What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada (ages 4-8)
This book illustrates how ruminating on a problem can just make it worse. Anxiety can grow, and it can become hard to think about anything else. The best thing to do is to tackle the problem head on because hidden within the problem may be an opportunity. This book contains great advice for readers of all ages. I think it's a must read for everyone.
The Storm by Akiko Miyakoshi (ages 4-8)
The boy is this story is very much looking forward to a trip to the beach with his parents, but when a huge storm rolls in, his mother tells him they may not be able to go tomorrow. The rain comes hard into the night, but the boy dreams of a large ship with propellers to push the storm away. When he wakes, it's a beautiful sunny day. Perfect for the beach. This book has just a touch of magic, but I really enjoyed.
The Sleeping Gypsy by Mordicai Gerstein (ages 6-8)
This book is inspired by the author's fascination with Henry Rousseau's famous painting, The Sleeping Gypsy (1897). In this story he has imagined a dream Rousseau may have had that could have inspired him to paint this piece. It's creative and unexpected. I don't think I'd ever seen that painting before.
Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Maniac Muffins by Chris Monroe
This book was too strange for my taste. It's pure chaos. Clark the elephant is making food for a party he's throwing, but in the process he is completely destroying the house. Chico the monkey can't help but try and clean up. When Clark makes maniac muffins that start destroying the town, Chico has an idea. Using all of Clark's other failed cooking, he manages to save the day. Maybe kids would find this funny?
You Look Yummy! by Tatsuya Miyanishi (ages 4-6)
When a baby ankylosaurus hatches, a tyrannosaurus rex is ready to eat him, but the baby calls him "Daddy" and he freezes in his tracks. He becomes very protective of the baby because he says he wants to be just like him. It's cute. But the ending is a little strange. The T-rex teaches him everything he knows and then tricks him into leaving. Luckily, the baby finds his real family.
Why? by Nikolai Popov (ages 4-8)
This wordless picture book attempts to explain the reasons for war. The author lived in Russia as a child when the Nazi invaded, and he struggled to understand. The characters in this book attack each other for what appears to be no reason. Perhaps it's illustrating that we never know another person's motivations? I won't be sharing this book with my son because I think it's a little too dark.
"Oh, No," Said Elephant by A.H. Benjamin (ages 4-8)
This is a great book about flexible thinking. Elephant is bad at all of the games his friends suggest, but he tries them anyway. Then when he wants to play tug-a-war, the other animals agree because it's only fair and finally elephant wins at something. I enjoyed this book a lot. The illustrations were great as well.
Have you read any of these books? Which is your favorite?
On the blog last year...
Friday Fiction #7: Playground Dad Part 1