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2013 Notable Children's Books-All ages

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 appeals interest for children in ages ranging from preschool to 14. 

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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Water Sings Blue
Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.
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The Year Comes Round
"Brown bear politely/offers to surrender his/den to nosy skunk." Twelve nature-themed haiku accompanied by lush illustrations take the reader from January to December. A great way to introduce children to the traditional Japanese poetry form.
release date: Mar 13, 2012
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Step Gently Out
Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text implore children to look more closely at the world around them.

Be still, and watch a single blade of grass.
An ant climbs up to look around.
A honeybee flies past.


What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a cricket leap, a moth spread her wings, or a spider step across a silken web. In simple, evocative language, Helen Frost offers a hint at the many tiny creatures around us. And in astonishing close-up photographs, Rick Lieder captures the glint of a katydid's eye, the glow of a firefly, and many more living wonders just awaiting discovery. Fascinating facts about all the creatures pictured may be found at the end.
release date: Sep 11, 2012
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National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry
Named one of the Best Children's Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews!

Named one of the top Children's Books of 2012 by the New York Public Library!

"Add a little natural wonder to your poetry shelves. Because if we're talking about the best possible compliment to your eyes and ears alike, few have as many perks and grand moments as this." School Library Journal starred review

"Out of a windless August night/A luna moth in ghostly light
Beat softly on my window screen/Tick-tick-ticking-all silver green.
She whispered secrets in my ear--/I am but a stranger here.
The stars are scrawled across the sky/By ghostwriters, the Moon and I.
You will not see me here tonight--/I have a thousand stars to write."

What could be better than cuddling up with your child and this book on your lap and allowing your imaginations to soar with the words and images? Lovingly selected by U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and paired with vibrant animal photography, this collection of poems is an exuberant celebration of the animal kingdom and a beautiful introduction to this genre of literature. Designed for family sharing but targeted to ages 4-8, this dynamic, fresh, yet still classic collection of animal poems is a must-have for the family bookshelf.

Featured poets include J. Patrick Lewis, Dorothy Aldis, Emily Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling, Jack Prelutsky, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and many more.

Divided into chapters that group the poems by theme for extra resonance, the collection is a mix of old and new, classics, and never-before-published. A foreword from Lewis, sets the scene for helping children appreciate this gift of language and this visual feast for the eyes. Chapters include:
Welcome to the World (birth of animal young)
Big Ones (large animals--elephants, hippos, rhinos, bears)
Little Ones (small animals--worms, insects)
Winged Ones (birds and other flying creatures)
Water Ones (aquatic animals--fish, dolphins, crabs)
Strange Ones (curious creatures--armadillos, centipedes)
Noisy Ones (loud animals--lions, hyenas)
Quiet Ones (silent or still animals--hens, rabbits, snakes)
Last Thought (a reflection on the world we share with animals)


Releases simultaneously in Reinforced Library Binding: 978-1-4263-1054-6 , $28.90/$33.00 Can

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information. 
release date: Mar 20, 2012
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Little Bird

A man drives his truck up to a cliff's edge. Unable to go any further, he opens the back door of his truck and a flock of birds flies out, but, as the man soon discovers, a small timid bird remains. Surprised and delighted, the man acts kindly towards the bird and an intimacy develops. After lunch, the man tries to show the bird that he should fly off and join his friends. The man's comic attempt at flight deepens the encounter between these two very different creatures. Soon the bird flies off and the man drives away, but in a surprise twist the bird and his friends return, and in a starkly lyrical moment we see them all experience something entirely new.

Germano Zullo is a prolific writer and poet who lives in Geneva, Switzerland. He writes for adults and children alike, and has written many popular children's comics and stories.

Albertine has illustrated loads of children's books and also illustrates for many of the daily French newspapers in Switzerland. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts in Geneva.


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