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2013 Notable Children's Books (Preschool-G2)

View all Recommendations by Age > Recommendations for Age 4-8 book lists; This list was last updated on 8/9/2013
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Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. According to the Notables Criteria, "notable" is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways. This list is for Younger Readers – Preschool-grade 2 (age 7). 

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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In a Glass Grimmly
Take caution ahead!


If you dare, join Jack and Jill as they embark on a harrowing quest through a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and others. Follow along as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true in this hair-raising companion to Adam Gidwitz's widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm.
 
An Oprah Kids' Reading List Pick
A New York Times bestseller
A Publishers Weekly Best New Book of the Week Pick
 
For more twisted tales look for A Tale Dark & Grimm
release date: Aug 01, 2012
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Lulu and the Duck in the Park
Lulu loves animals. When Lulu finds a duck egg that has rolled out of its nest, she takes it to class to keep it safe. Lulu isn't allowed to bring pets to school. But she's not really breaking the rules because it's just an egg. Surely nothing bad will happen... A fun-filled new series for early readers and animal lovers alike.
Iceberg, Right Ahead!
Approaching its one-hundredth anniversary in 2012, the 1912 tragedy of the sinking of theTitanic still looms large in the public imagination, as attested by numerous books, films, and exhibitions. Through a straightforward account of events both before and after the largest ship in the world hit an iceberg and sank, Stephanie McPherson examines why the Titanic continues to intrigue us.
release date: Feb 28, 2012
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Z Is for Moose

Caldecott Medalist Paul O. Zelinsky illustrates Kelly Bingham's outrageously funny, critically acclaimed, and boundary-breaking story about a moose, a zebra, and the alphabet! Zebra wants to put on a show as simple as ABC, but Zebra's friend Moose has other (unexpected and hilarious) ideas!

Zebra thinks the alphabet should be simple. A is for Apple. B is for Ball. Easy! But his friend Moose is too excited to wait his turn, and when M isn't for Moose (Mouse gets the honor), the rest of the letters better run for cover. Exuberant and zany storytelling brings to life two friends and one laugh-out-loud comedy of errors that's about friendship, sharing, and compromise. The incomparable Paul O. Zelinsky's artwork is bursting at the seams—literally—with child appeal. Breaking the borders of the page, and creating the art both digitally and traditionally, Zelinsky turns convention on its head. The result is a picture book that is innovative, hilarious, and begging to be read over and over again.

Named a Notable Book for Children by the American Library Association

Supports the Common Core State Standards

release date: Feb 16, 2012
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Up, Tall and High
2013 Recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award!

Three side-splitting stories in one great picture book!

In three laugh-out-loud situations, an irresistible cast of colorful birds illustrate the concepts of "up," "tall" and "high." First, a short peacock proves that he may not be tall, but he definitely isn't small. Then, a resourceful bird helps his penguin friend find a way to fly. Finally, two birds want to live in the same tree, but what goes up must come down! Each short story features a flap that reveals a surprise twist.

With fun fold-outs, easy-to-read text, and a hilarious cast of characters, these stories beg preschoolers and emerging readers to act them out again and again.
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This Moose Belongs to Me
Winner of the irish book awards children's book of the year 2012 and the honour award for illustration from childrens' books ireland, 2013. An exquisite new book, featuring a boy and his moose, from internationally bestselling, multi-prize-winning picture book creator, oliver jeffers. "wilfred owned a moose. He hadn't always owned a moose. The moose came to him a while ago and he knew, just knew, that it was meant to be his. He thought he would call him marcel. "most of the time marcel is very obedient, abiding by the many rules on how to be a good pet. But one dark day, while deep in the woods, someone else claims the moose as their own...is marcel really wilfred's pet after all?an beautifully-illustrated, witty and thought-provoking story, exploring the concept of ownership.
release date: Jan 01, 2012
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This Is Not My Hat
WINNER OF THE 2013 CALDECOTT MEDAL!

From the creator of the #1 New York Times best-selling and award-winning I Want My Hat Back comes a second wry tale.


When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it's a good thing that enormous fish won't wake up. And even if he does, it's not like he'll ever know what happened. . . . Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale.
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Sleep Like a Tiger

2013 Randolph Caldecott Honor Award

In this magical bedtime story, the lyrical narrative echoes a Runaway Bunny – like cadence: “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In sincere and imaginative dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger. The Caldecott Honor artist Pamela Zagarenski's rich, luminous mixed-media paintings effervesce with odd, charming details that nonsleepy children could examine for hours. A rare gem.

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Rabbit & Robot
WINNER OF A 2013 GEISEL HONOR!

Rabbit's carefully planned visit with Robot doesn't work out exactly as he imagined in this offbeat tale about two comically mismatched friends.


Rabbit is excited: his friend Robot is coming to spend the night! Rabbit has left nothing to chance and has drawn up a list of all the things they will do. First off is making pizza, but Robot only likes nuts and bolts and screws on top (good thing he has magnetic hands). Next on the list is watching TV, but the remote is missing, and Rabbit is panicking! Will Robot find a logical (and rather obvious) solution to the problem? Number three is . . . uh-oh! Why is Robot lying down instead of playing Go Fish? And what is that message reading "BAT" printing out from a slot on his front? New readers who like silly stories will race through this funny adventure about a rabbit who likes to be in control and an obliging robot who calmly keeps their friendship humming.
release date: May 01, 2012
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Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat is wearing his favorite shirt—the one with the four totally groovy buttons. But when one falls off, does Pete cry? Goodness, no! He just keeps on singing his song—after all, what could be groovier than three groovy buttons? Count down with Pete in this rocking new story from the creators of the bestselling Pete the Cat books.

release date: Feb 19, 2013
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Penny and Her Doll

Penny loves her new doll. The doll is absolutely perfect, from her head to her toes. But Penny's doll needs a name. What should Penny call her?

release date: Mar 20, 2012
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One Special Day
Does having a new brother or sister make you into MORE than you already are?

Spencer is about to find out.

He's as strong as a bear, as funny as a monkey, and as wild as a tiger. But on one special day, everything changes. Now Spencer is strong, funny, wild, brave, free... and gentle, too.
release date: Jan 10, 2012
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One Cool Friend
When well-mannered Elliot reluctantly visits the aquarium with his distractible father, he politely asks whether he can have a penguin--and then removes one from the penguin pool to his backpack. The fun of caring for a penguin in a New England Victorian house is followed by a surprise revelation by Elliot's father.
release date: Sep 11, 2012
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Oh, No!
"This picture book reads like an instant classic.... Oh, yes!" raved Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.

Young children will delight in repeating the refrain "OH, NO!" as one animal after another falls into a deep, deep hole in this lively read-aloud. This simple and irresistible picture book by hugely popular picture book creators—Candace Fleming and Caldecott medalist Eric Rohmann—feels like a classic-in-the-making. Fans of Rohmann's Caldecott Medal­-winning My Friend Rabbit, will be thrilled to see a new book created in the same expressive and comical style.
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Nighttime Ninja
Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?

With spare text and lush illustrations, Nighttime Ninja is a fun, adventure-filled story about the power of play and imagination.
release date: Mar 06, 2012
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More
One magpie,
lots of stuff,
and a few friendly mice
show us that less is
more.
This innovative and spare picture book asks the question: When is MORE more than
enough? Can a team of well-intentioned mice save their friend from hoarding too
much stuff? With breathtaking illustrations from the award-winning Brian Lies, this
book about conservation wraps an important message in a beautiful package.
release date: Jun 19, 2012
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Martín de Porres

2013 Pura Belpre Award for Illustration

As the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave, Martin de Porres was born into extreme poverty. Even so, his mother begged the church fathers to allow him into the priesthood. Instead, Martin was accepted as a servant boy. But soon, the young man was performing miracles. Rumors began to fly around the city of a strange mulatto boy with healing hands, who gave first to the people of the barrios. Martin continued to serve in the church, until he was finally received by the Dominican Order, no longer called the worthless son of a slave, but rather a saint and the rose in the desert.

release date: Apr 17, 2012
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Magritte's Marvelous Hat

"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see." —Rene Magritte

D.B. Johnson writes and illustrates the surreal story of famous surrealist painter Rene Magritte and his very mysterious (and mischievous!) hat. While the art reflects some of Magritte's own work, the text sets readers on a fun and accessible path to learning about the simpler concepts behind Mr. Magritte's work.

This delightful picture book captures the playfulness and the wonderment of surrealist art. Four transparent pages add yet another level of surrealism to the illustrations as pictures can be altered with the turn of a page.

release date: Jun 05, 2012
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Machines Go to Work in the City

Toddlers love machines and things that go, and this book gives them everything they want, from a bucket truck to a tower crane to an airplane. Every other spread has an interactive gatefold which extends the original picture to three pages, revealing something new about each situation.

The last spread diagrams each city machine, providing additional information for young readers to pore over again and again.

William Low's classically-trained artist's eye adds a new layer to this genre, and both parents and children will appreciate the beautiful illustrations, the attention to detail, and the clever situational twists revealed by lifting the flaps.

release date: Oct 09, 2012
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Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In Let's Go for a Drive! Gerald and Piggie want to hit the road! But the best-laid plans of pigs and elephants often go awry.
release date: Mar 27, 2012
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Just Ducks!
A young girl shares her observations about the mallards near her house in an engaging, informative story sure to make a splash with duck lovers.

Quack quack, Quack-quaack-quack.
It's the first sound I hear every morning.

The young girl in this story may live in the city, but outside her window there's a river full of mallard ducks! She hears them as soon as she wakes up, and on the way to school she sees them upside down bobbing for food. Interspersed with fun facts, her enthusiastic commentary about her feathered neighbors — what they look like, how they behave, where they nest, where they sleep — pairs swimmingly with cheerful watercolor illustrations.
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Infinity and Me
When I looked up, I shivered. How many stars were in the sky? A million? A billion? Maybe the number was as big as infinity. I started to feel very, very small. How could I even think about something as big as infinity? Uma can't help feeling small when she peers up at the night sky. She begins to wonder about infinity. Is infinity a number that grows forever? Is it an endless racetrack? Could infinity be in an ice cream cone? Uma soon finds that the ways to think about this big idea may just be . . . infinite.
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release date: Mar 27, 2012
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Green

Die cut pages bring surprise after surprise in this magical new book from the "Queen of the concept book"―an intricate and satisfying homage to green, the color of all creation.

How many kinds of green are there? There's the lush green of a forest on a late spring day, the fresh, juicy green of a just-cut lime, the incandescent green of a firefly, and the vivid aquamarine of a tropical sea. In her newest book, Caldecott and Geisel Honor Book author Laura Vaccaro Seeger fashions an homage to a single color and, in doing so, creates a book that will delight and, quite possibly astonish you.

Green is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012

Green is a 2013 Caldecott Honor Book

release date: Sep 04, 2012
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Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.

Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.

One day—for no particular reason—they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then—for no particular reason—they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl.

Definitely not!

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

release date: Jun 06, 2012
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Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns
Magnificently capturing the colorful world of Islam for the youngest readers, this breathtaking and informative picture book celebrates Islam's beauty and traditions. From a red prayer rug to a blue hijab, everyday colors are given special meaning as young readers learn about clothing, food, and other important elements of Islamic culture, with a young Muslim girl as a guide. Sure to inspire questions and observations about world religions and cultures, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns is equally at home in a classroom reading circle as it is being read to a child on a parent's lap.
release date: Jan 17, 2012
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Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller, is the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community.

With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.

Extra Yarn is written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, who also won a Caldecott Medal for This Is Not My Hat.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

release date: Oct 01, 2012
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Dreaming Up
A collection of illustrations, concrete poetry, and photographs that shows how young children's constructions, created as they play, are reflected in notable works of architecture from around the world.
release date: Sep 04, 2012
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Dogs on Duty

When the news of the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound broke, the SEAL team member that stole the show was a highly trained canine companion. Throughout history, dogs have been key contributors to military units. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent follows man's best friend onto the battlefield, showing readers why dogs are uniquely qualified for the job at hand, how they are trained, how they contribute to missions, and what happens when they retire. With full-color photographs throughout and sidebars featuring heroic canines throughout history, Dogs on Duty provides a fascinating look at these exceptional soldiers and companions.

release date: Jan 01, 2012
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Demolition
What's even more exciting to preschoolers than seeing big machines that build things? Watching
the massive ones that tear them down!


Crush the stone. Crush the stone.
Chip and grind and munch.
Make new concrete from the old.
Whirr! Churr! Crunch!

From the huge crane with a swinging ball (crack! ) to the toothy jaws that ram the walls (thwock! ), this rambunctious demolition, reverberating with sound words, is guaranteed to have small kids rapt. Bright spreads showcase the gargantuan machines in all their glory, and a pictorial glossary explains what each one can do.
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