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Top 20 Children’s Books of 2012 (#5-1)

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oh no Top 20 Childrens Books of 2012 (#5 1)

5. Oh, No! by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohmann [Schwartz & Wade | Grades PreK-2]

Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read.

Can a librarian tell you about an outstanding picture book by answering eight important questions? Oh, yes!

Q1: Does it star a brave frog, a mean tiger, a helpful mouse, a slow-moving loris, a large bear, an enthusiastic monkey, and a loud elephant?
A1: Oh, yes!

Q2: Is it a cumulative tale?
A2: Oh, yes!

Q3: Are Caldecott Medalist Eric Rohmann’s illustrations a perfect match for Candace Fleming’s words?
A3: Oh, yes!

Q4: Are the illustrations relief prints?
A4: Oh, yes!

Q5: Does it work well as a read-aloud?
A5: Oh, yes!

Q6: Will anyone reading or listening to the story start shouting ,“Ribbit-oops! Pippa-eeek! Soo-slooow! Grab on! Wheee-haaa! Slop-slurp! BA-BOOM!”
A6: Oh, yes!

Q7: Could you easily adapt it for a readers theatre?
A7: Oh, yes!

Q8: Will kids find it boring?
A8: Oh, No! Oh, No! Oh, No!

-John Schumacher

***

Unspoken Top 20 Childrens Books of 2012 (#5 1)

4. Unspoken by Henry Cole [Scholastic | Grades 1-4]

Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read.

Henry Cole’s Unspoken is the most breathtaking and suspenseful wordless book of the year.  Set during the Civil War, an unnamed girl discovers a runaway slave hiding in her family’s barn. Startled and confused, she darts back to the house.  Soldiers arrive, her family is questioned, and the young girl must decide what is the right thing to do. Her decisions show that a young child is capable of making a difference with the simplest of gestures.

A wordless winner from endpaper to endpaper.

-John Schumacher

***

Extra Yarn Top 20 Childrens Books of 2012 (#5 1)

3. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen [Balzer + Bray | Grades K-2]

Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read.

It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s weird. And there’s magic. And an archduke from distant lands. And a pickup truck wearing a sweater. But once the story starts, you don’t think about any of those seemingly incongruous things. Barnett and Klassen use everything but the kitchen sink, but it doesn’t feel gaudy – it feels classic.

-Travis Jonker

***

Wonder Top 20 Childrens Books of 2012 (#5 1)

2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio [Random House | Grades 4-6]

Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read.

If any book crossed over in 2012 it was R.J. Palacio’s debut novel about August Pullman, a fifth-grader with severe facial deformities about to enter school for the first time. The hype was big – billboards, bestseller lists, and a national campaign that caught on. Teachers were talking about it. So were parents. Students too. And everyone was reading it. At the center of it all was a book that deserves the attention – full of authentic struggle and joy.

-Travis Jonker

Ivan1 Top 20 Childrens Books of 2012 (#5 1)

1. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate [Harper | Grades 3-6]

Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read.

Did Ivan know? Did he know his story was out in the world? When the real life Ivan, Silverback gorilla and the inspiration for Katherine Applegate’s spare, moving novel passed away in Zoo Atlanta in August, it seemed like a sign.

In a story that channels Charlotte’s Web, Ivan is at the center. The reader sees the world through his steady eyes. Doomed to an existence amusing tourists at a roadside mall, Ivan has given up. Until Ruby arrives. The young elephant breaks Ivan’s malaise and reminds him that there’s a much bigger world out there. If he can just reach it.

Although the real-life Ivan is no longer with us, his story lives on because of this, the best book of 2012.

-John Schumacher & Travis Jonker

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. Judy Freeman says:

    Fabulous list, guys. Many of my favorites of the year are on it, too. As for Candace Fleming’s Oh, No, did you know you can sing it to the tune of “Froggie Went a-Countin’”? As for the Reader’s Theater script, I wrote one for my children’s lit seminars for teachers and librarians, sponsored by BER this year (www.BER.org), and we’ve been performing it with audience volunteers each day amid great hilarity, using fabulous hand puppet props from http://www.MimisMotifs.com. You can find my script and download it free from http://www.candacefleming.com.

  2. John says:

    Hi, Judy! I was thrilled to stumble upon your readers theatre script a few days ago. I included it in the resources post. http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/2012/12/top-20-childrens-books-of-2012-5-1.html -John

  3. PragmaticMom says:

    This list will garner some Caldecotts or Newbery awards! Thanks for your spot on picks!

  4. Allison says:

    I really enjoyed your choices and comments – thank you so much for doing this! Plus – can I just say I feel so proud to see you at your new home at SLJ – congrats again!

    I had not seen Wonder or heard of it either (oops!) so can’t wait to.

  5. Suzanne Carney says:

    I heard about Wonder from Time Magazine for Kids. RJ Palacio was listed on their site as a candidate for Person of the Year. I’m anxious to dive into this book.

  6. Kristiyan says:

    Very nice article!

    I am planing to buy my kids a book from here:

    natalietinti.com

    Regards

  7. Michelle says:

    What a fantastic list this is to do my last order for the year. Extra Yarn I’d already fallen in love with but many of the other titles are new to me. Thank you.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s weird. And there’s magic. And an archduke from distant lands. And a pickup truck wearing a sweater. But once the story starts, you don’t think about any of those seemingly incongruous things. Barnett and Klassen use everything but the kitchen sink, but it doesn’t feel gaudy – it feels classic. -Travis Jonker  [...]

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