By the Numbers
Picture Books: 9
Writing: Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Chad Cameron
This starts out like every fall book ever, until you notice that some things are not where they're supposed to be. I can't wait to try this on our storytime kids.
Illustration: Let the Whole Earth Sing Praise by Tomie dePaola
While it's not for everyone in its unabashed religiosity, the art in this one is top-notch. Flowers, animals, and people in the signature dePaola style (additionally influenced by native Mexican art) spill over the pages in washes of color.
Overall: Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
A boy and a robot make friends. When trouble appears to occur, they each respond lovingly and in their own particular way to take care of their friend. Yaccarino's solid shapes and strong colors bring both characters to life.
Because I Want To Awards
Dark and Twisted, Just the Way I Like It: That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems
With a menacing wolf, a dewy-eyed duck, and a gosling Greek chorus of doom, this book was already making me grin by the time I got to the twist. Then I laughed out loud, because I'm sort of sick like that.
Would Like to See How a Teacher Uses This: A Call for a New Alphabet by Jef Czekaj
Filled with contemplation of how letters go together to form sounds (particularly combinations like ph or qu), this one seems made for teachers to use in class.