Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Most Beautiful Books of the Year

The children's staff at the library had our mock Caldecott discussion this morning and it really hit home what an amazing array of gorgeous picture books were published this year. Favorite illustrators had more than one book each, even, making it harder and harder to choose. While our consensus (and that of bloggers and reviewers) was that Jerry Pinkney's wordless The Lion and the Mouse is an odds-on favorite to win the Caldecott this year, we were completely flummoxed in how to order the other books we love. Here is a list, organized by author, rather than by preference, of the picture books I thought were the most beautiful or creative this year. (I couldn't order it if I tried. I have 10 favorites!)

1. The Longest Night - words by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrations by Ted Lewin

2. Redwoods - words and illustrations by Jason Chin

3. A Book - words and illustrations by Mordicai Gerstein

4. The Negro Speaks of Rivers - words by Langston Hughes, illustrations by E.B. Lewis

5. Tsunami! - words by Kimiko Kajikawa, illustrations by Ed Young

6. The Lion and the Mouse - illustrations by Jerry Pinkney

7. Duck! Rabbit! - words by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld

8. All the World - words by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrations by Marla Frazee

9. But Who Will Bell the Cats? - words and illustrations by Cynthia von Buhler

10. The Scarecrow's Dance - words by Jane Yolen, illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline

Illustrators I love who produced multiple books this year included Steve Jenkins, Bagram Ibatoulline, Ed Young, E.B. Lewis, and Barry Moser.


Anonymous said...

I've got to second your honoring of "Tsunami!" If you haven't seen this gorgeous book, you _must_. It's a lovely Japanese folktale with beautiful collage-style art. I think there should be loads more folktales for kids like this one -- it's a great way of teaching kids about the world, and about human nature. Truly a timeless story, and a great book! (My youngest nieces and nephews are getting copies for Christmas!) And if you're a teacher reading this, the author posts lesson plans on her website: authorforkids dot com

Anonymous said...

Ohmygosh! That URL I posted yesterday is incorrect. Kimiko Kajikawa's website is at: author4kids dot com

So that's "4" rather than "four." Sorry!

author4kids dot com