By the Numbers
Picture Books: 14
Writing: Neville by Norton Juster, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
It's tough being the new kid in town. Convinced that he'll never find any friends, this little boy discovers them in an unexpected way. It made me smile, and I think you could have an argument over whether his unorthodox method was on purpose or a random accident.
Illustration: My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
It's a neat premise to begin with--what do animals do on their first day of life?--and Jenkins' detailed and beautiful cut-paper illustrations bring this book richly to life.
Overall: Moonday by Adam Rex
When the moon lands in a family's backyard, the whole world is thrown into confusion. Nobody can quite wake up. This is a dreamy, magical book that swims around in your head. And the endpapers look like my desert hometown. They do, they do!
Because I Want To Awards
Yay for Jeff Mack and Different Intonations: Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack
With only two letters (A and H), this book follows a wily frog in and out of trouble, with the attendent exclamations of dismay, triumph, and discovery. Can't wait to read it aloud.
Probably Already Being Used in English Classes Across the Land: Little Red Writing by Joan Holub, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
This is quite a fun examination of the multi-level mechanics of creative writing. Everything from grammar to plot to run-on sentences is encountered by a little writing implement.