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2016 Notable Children’s Books

Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association identifies the best of the best in children's books. These books are deemed “notable” because they exhibit venturesome creativity, and reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.

The year’s Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, and Batchelder Award and Honor books automatically are added to the Notable Children's Books list.

These categories loosely represent the following: Younger Readers – Preschool-grade 2 (age 7), including easy-to-read books; Middle Readers – Grades 3-5, ages 8-10; Older Readers – Grades 6-8, ages 11-14; All Ages – Has appeal and interest for children in all of the above age ranges

Younger Readers

An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns. By Betsy R. Rosenthal. Illus. by Jago. Lerner/Millbrook.
This collection of humorous illustrations and clever word play introduces children to the wide variety of animal groups, such as a prickle of porcupines and a tower of giraffes.

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore. By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Lerner/Carolrhoda.
Lewis Michaux Jr.takes readers through the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. This one-of-a-kind store offered a place for African Americans to read, learn, and debate ideas for over 40 years.

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret. By Bob Shea. Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion.
Ballet Cat loves ballet more than anything. What happens when her best friend Sparkles doesn't want to play ballet everyday? Find out in an early reader that breezily dances along.

Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! By Todd Tarpley. Illus. by John Rocco. Little, Brown.
Three rowdy robots keep a young boy awake with their requests for more oil, tightened bolts, loosened fan belts, and more. Will a bedtime story finally lead to sleep?

Boats for Papa. By Jessixa Bagley. Illus. by the author. Roaring Book/Neal Porter.
Bagley’s gentle artwork and warm story sensitively portray Buckley’s way of coping with the absence of his father by making boats from found beach objects. 

A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl. By Robin Page. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane.
Whether they own chickens or not, young readers will use this handy guide to answer their basic questions about the familiar fowl.

Detective Gordon: The First Case. By Ulf Nilsson. Illus. by Gitte Spee. Tr. by Julia Marshall. Gecko.
Squirrel’s nuts have been stolen! Never fear, a bulbous toad, Detective Gordon, and his new mouse assistant, Buffy, are on the case. A delightful mystery.  

Don’t Throw It to Mo! By David A. Adler. Illus. by Sam Ricks. Penguin.
Underdog football player Mo Jackson may be the smallest kid on his team, but Coach Steve has a plan for him to save the day. (Geisel Medal Book)

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music. By Margarita Engle. Illus. by Rafael López. HMH.
In this story inspired by a real musician, a girl in Cuba longs to play the drums, and with perseverance, she breaks down the gender barrier, eventually becoming a famous drummer. (Belpré Illustrator Medal Book)

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah. By Laurie Ann Thompson. Illus. by Sean Qualls. Random/Schwartz & Wade.
Emmanuel doesn't allow his malformed leg to deter him from riding a bike to crusade for disability rights in Ghana. His successes chronicled in this biography are inspirational.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear. By Lindsay Mattick. Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Little, Brown.
This heartening tale is an incredible account of the friendship and love shared between a soldier and the real bear that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. (Caldecott Medal Book)

Float. By Daniel Miyares. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster.
In this wordless picture book, a gray, rainy day turns into an adventure when a boy makes a paper boat and plays outside in the rain. 

See the complete list of ALA's 2016 Notable Children's Books

Posted October 20, 2016 in General
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