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BPL Staff Favorites of 2012 - Children's Books   Tags: bpl kids, children, children's books, reading suggestions  

Books published in 2012, selected by staff of Berkeley Public Library
Last Updated: Apr 10, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Cover Art
Chloe and the Lion - Mac Barnett; Adam Rex (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Barnett, M
Mac, the author, fires Adam, the illustrator, over their artistic differences about Chloe, the main character of their book, until Mac realizes both of their talents are needed and they must work together or their story about Chloe will never be finished.

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Extra Yarn - Mac Barnett; Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Barnett, M
With a supply of yarn that never runs out, Annabelle knits for everyone and everything in town until an evil archduke decides he wants the yarn for himself.

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Happy Like Soccer - Maribeth Boelts; Lauren Castillo (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Boelts, M
For soccer games Sierra rides a bus out of the city to fields that are nicer than the "lot" in her neighborhood, but so her auntie can be at her last game, she asks Coach Marco if the team might play in her neighborhood on a day her aunt does not work.

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Boy + Bot - Ame Dyckman; Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Dyckman, A
A boy and a robot strike up a friendship despite their differences.

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Small Bunny's Blue Blanket - Tatyana Feeney
Call Number: P Feeney, T
A young bunny who is very attached to his blanket worries when his mother insists the blanket needs to be washed.

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Oh, No! - Candace Fleming; Eric Rohmann (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Fleming, C
A series of animals falls into a deep hole, only to be saved at last by a very large rescuer.

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And Then It's Spring - Julie Fogliano; Erin E. Stead (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Fogliano, J
Simple text reveals the anticipation of a boy who, having planted seeds while everything around is brown, fears that something has gone wrong until, at last, the world turns green.

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Boot & Shoe - Marla Frazee
Call Number: P Frazee, M
Boot and Shoe are dogs that live in the same house, eat from the same bowl, and sleep in the same bed but spend their days on separate porches until a squirrel mixes things up.

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Charley's First Night - Amy Hest; Helen Oxenbury (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Hest, A
On Charley the puppy's first night with his new family, Henry tells him, "This is home." A book about friendship, new beginnings and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.

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This Is Not My Hat - Jon Klassen
Call Number: P Klassen, J
A tiny minnow wearing a pale blue bowler hat has a thing or two up his fins in this underwater light-on-dark chase scene.

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Big Mean Mike - Michelle Knudsen; Scott Magoon (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Knudsen, M
Mike is proud to be the biggest, toughest dog in the neighborhood, so when tiny, fuzzy bunnies start showing up in his big, mean car he sees them only as a threat to his reputation, no matter how adorable they are.

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Out of the Way! Out of the Way! - Uma Krishnaswami; Uma Krishnaswamy (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Krishnaswami, U
When a boy spots a young tree in the middle of the path that runs through the village, he puts rocks around the base of the tree to protect the tree from being trampled.

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Sleep Like a Tiger - Mary Logue; Pamela Zagarenski (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Logue, M
At bedtime a young girl asks "Does everything in the world go to sleep?"

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Too Tall Houses - Gianna Marino
Call Number: P Marino, G
Owl and Rabbit are good friends and neighbors atop a hill, but when Rabbit's garden blocks Owl's view of the forest Owl builds a higher house, which prevents sunlight from reaching Rabbit's plants.

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Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! - Wynton Marsalis; Paul Rogers (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Marsalis, W
Takes readers (and listeners) on a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood.

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Chloe - Peter McCarty
Call Number: P McCarty, P
Chloe Bunny lives with her big family of ten older brothers and sisters and ten younger brothers and sisters, but it is only Chloe who is able to compete with the new television set that Dad brings home one evening.

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Squid and Octopus - Tao Nyeu
Call Number: P Nyeu, T
Four separate stories celebrate the many-legged friendship between Squid and Octopus as they disagree over how to stay warm, encourage each other, and fret over the contents of a fortune cookie.

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Creepy Carrots! - Aaron Reynolds; Peter Brown (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Reynolds, A
The carrots that grow in Crackenhopper Field are the fattest and crispiest around and Jasper Rabbit cannot resist pulling some to eat each time he passes by, until he begins hearing and seeing creepy carrots wherever he goes.

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Sky Color - Peter H. Reynolds
Call Number: P Reynolds, P
Marisol loves to paint. So when her teacher asks her to help make a mural for the school library, she can't wait to begin! But wait, how can Marisol ever make a sky without blue paint? After gazing out the bus window and watching from her porch as day turns into night, she closes her eyes and starts to dream.

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Dragons Love Tacos - Adam Rubin; Daniel Salmieri (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Rubin, A
Explores the love dragons have for tacos, and the dangers of feeding them them anything with spicy salsa.

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Green - Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Call Number: P Seeger, L
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text explore the many shades of the color green.

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Tallulah's Tutu - Marilyn Singer; Alexandra Boiger (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Singer, M
Tallulah takes ballet lessons and eagerly awaits her coveted tutu, which, she learns, she must work hard to earn.

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Bear Has a Story to Tell - Philip C. Stead; Erin E. Stead (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Stead, P
Bear, with the help of his animal friends, remembers the story he had hoped to tell before the onset of winter.

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Each Kindness - Jacqueline Woodson; E. B. Lewis (Illustrator)
Call Number: P Woodson, J
When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya's shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

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Bomb - Steve Sheinkin
Call Number: 355.825 Sh42b
As Allies thwarted Nazi efforts to build an atomic bomb, Americans rushed to create their own nuclear weapon--unaware that the Soviets were stealing their plans.

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A Hen for Izzy Pippik - Aubrey Davis; Marie Lafrance (Illustrator)
Call Number: 398.2 D29h
A retelling of a traditional folktale, in which Shaina finds Izzy Pippik's hen and decides to care for the animal until its owner comes to get it, but after dozens of eggs begin to hatch and the chicks run amok throughout the town, Shaina will have to fight to protect the birds.

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Island - Jason Chin
Call Number: 508.866 C441i
Discusses the processes that led to the formation of the Galapagos Islands.

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Ocean Sunlight - Molly Bang; Penny Chisholm
Call Number: 571.455 B224o
Explains how all life on the Earth depends, directly or indirectly, on light from the sun, and describes how all ocean life, from the tiniest plankton to great whales, including the creatures in the darkest depths, form a web that uses sunshine.

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Moonbird - Phillip Hoose
Call Number: 598.33 H769m
Examines B95, a red knot bird that has flown the distance to the moon and halfway back during its lifetime.

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Brothers at Bat - Audrey Vernick; Steven Salerno (Illustrator)
Call Number: 796.357 V597b
Documents the story of the Baseball Hall of Fame honorees, tracing how the Acerra family of New Jersey formed their own semi-pro baseball team in the 1930s and became the longest-running all-brother team in history.

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Step Gently Out - Helen Frost; Rick Lieder (Photographer)
Call Number: 811 F9285s
Through pictures and poetry, experience the insect world.

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Temple Grandin - Sy Montgomery; Temple Grandin
Call Number: 920 G764m
An authorized portrait about Temple Grandin's life with autism and her groundbreaking work as a scientist and designer of cruelty-free livestock facilities describes how she succeeded through education and the support of her mother.

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Beyond Courage - Doreen Rappaport
Call Number: 940.531 R182b
Doreen Rappaport brings to light the courage of countless Jews who organized to sabotage the Nazis and help other Jews during the Holocaust.

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White House Kids - Joe Rhatigan
Call Number: 973.099 R341w
Shares the experiences of growing up in the White House, discusses the good and the bad, and profiles the children that have lived there.

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Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass - Russell Freedman
Call Number: 973.7 F875a
Recounts Abraham Lincoln's brief friendship with African American leader Frederick Douglass before and during the Civil War, narrated against the backdrop of the race relations and politics of the time.

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The Camping Trip That Changed America - Barbara Rosenstock; Mordecai Gerstein (Illustrator)
Call Number: 979.447 R727c
Offers insight into the camping trip that President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir took to the redwoods of Yosemite in 1903, during which the two men had experiences and conversations that eventually contributed to the establishment of national parks in the United States.

Cover Art
The One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate
Call Number: Fiction Applegate, K
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

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The Raft - S. A. Bodeen
Call Number: Fiction Bodeen, S
Robie's last-minute flight to the Midway Atoll proves to be a nightmare when the plane goes down in shark-infested waters. Fighting for her life, the co-pilot Max pulls her onto the raft, and that's when the real terror begins.

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Sadie and Ratz - Sonya Hartnett; Ann James (Illustrator)
Call Number: Fiction Hartnett, S
Hannah and her hands, named Sadie and Ratz, regularly get into trouble, especially when younger brother Baby Boy is around.

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Infinity and Me - Kate Hosford; Gabi Swiatkowska (Illustrator)
Call Number: Fiction Hosford, K
After the sight of a night sky filled with stars makes eight-year-old Uma feel very small, she asks people how they think about infinity and gets a variety of answers before realizing the comfort in knowing that some things go on forever.

Cover Art
Same Sun Here - Silas House; Neela Vaswani
Call Number: Fiction House, S
A twelve-year-old Indian immigrant in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism.

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See You at Harry's - Jo Knowles
Call Number: Fiction Knowles, J
Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible in her family, where grumpy eighteen-year-old Sarah is working at the family restaurant, fourteen-year-old Holden is struggling with school bullies and his emerging homosexuality, and adorable, three-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention when tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point.

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The Unfortunate Son - Constance Leeds
Call Number: Fiction Leeds, C
Luc, a youth born with one ear and raised by a drunken father in fifteenth-century France, finds a better home with fisherman Pons, his sister Mattie, and their ward Beatrice, the daughter of a disgraced knight.

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Dumpling Days - Grace Lin
Call Number: Fiction Lin, G
When Pacy, her two sisters, and their parents go to Taiwan to celebrate Grandma's sixtieth birthday, the girls learn a great deal about their heritage.

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Lulu and the Duck in the Park - Hilary McKay; Priscilla Lamont (Illustrator)
Call Number: Fiction McKay, H
Lulu, who loves animals, brings an abandoned duck egg to school, even though her teacher has banned Lulu from bringing animals to school ever again.

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Wonder - R. J. Palacio
Call Number: Fiction Palacio, R
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

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Splendors and Glooms - Laura Amy Schlitz
Call Number: Fiction Schlitz, L
When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.

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Liar & Spy - Rebecca Stead
Call Number: Fiction Stead, R
Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father's efforts to start a new business, his mother's extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

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Crow - Barbara Wright
Call Number: Fiction Wright, B
In 1898, Moses Thomas's summer vacation does not go exactly as planned as he contends with family problems and the ever-changing alliances among his friends at the same time as he is exposed to the escalating tension between the African-American and white communities of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Cover Art
Fly Guy #11: Ride, Fly Guy, Ride! - Tedd Arnold
Call Number: Reader Arnold, T
While riding in the car with Buzz and his father, Fly Guy gets blown out of the window and finds himself riding in a truck, then a boat, a train, an airplane, and maybe even a rocket.

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Penny and Her Doll - Kevin Henkes
Call Number: Reader Henkes, K
Penny instantly loves the doll her grandmother sends her, but finding the perfect name for her is a challenge.

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Penny and Her Song - Kevin Henkes
Call Number: Reader Henkes, K
Penny comes home from school eager to share her very own song, but must wait until the time is right to teach it to her parents and the babies.

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The Shark King - R. Kikuo Johnson
Call Number: Reader Johnson, R
In graphic novel format, retells the Hawaiian story of Nanaue, born of human mother and shark father, who struggles to find his place in a village of humans.

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Maya Makes a Mess - Rutu Modan
Call Number: Reader Modan, R
Maya's unique table manners turn the palace upside down when she accepts an invitation to dine with the queen.

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Let's Go for a Drive! - Mo Willems
Call Number: Reader Willems, M
Elephant Gerald and Piggie want to go for a drive but as Gerald thinks of one thing after another that they will have to take along, they come to realize that they lack the most important thing of all.

Cover Art
Explorer: The Mystery Boxes - Kazu Kibuishi (Editor)
Call Number: GN Explorer
An anthology of short graphic works by such artists as Kazu Kibuishi, Dave Roman, and Raina Telgemeier, all on the theme of a mysterious box and the marvels, or mayhem, inside.

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A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle; Hope Larson (Adapted by, Illustrator)
Call Number: GN Larson, H
A graphic novel adaptation of the classic tale in which Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

Cover Art
Drama - Raina Telgemeier
Call Number: GN Telgemeier, R
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.


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