Best of 2011 (Staff Picks) - For Kids

Katherine Paterson

Reimagines Francis of Assisi's 1224 prayer of praise in celebration of God's gifts throughout the universe.

Maurice Sendak

Bumble-ardy the pig has missed eight birthdays in a row. So for his ninth birthday he has a party without telling his aunt. What will happen when she comes home? Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Martin Jenkins

The tiger is just one of thousands of animals -- including the ground iguana, the white-rumped vulture, and the partula snail -- currently in danger of becoming extinct, joining the dodo, the marsupial wolf, the great auk, and countless others we will never see again.

Tom Lichtenheld

Cloudette, the littlest cloud, finds a way to do something big and important as the other clouds do. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Tom Angleberger

Harvey, upset when his Darth Paper finger puppet brings humiliation, gets Dwight suspended, but Origami Yoda asks Tommy and Kellan, now in seventh grade, to make a new casefile to persuade the School Board to reinstate Dwight.

Allen Say

Caldecott Medalist Allen Say presents a stunning graphic novel chronicling his journey as an artist during WWII, when he apprenticed under Noro Shinpei, Japan's premier cartoonist. Drawing from memory is Allen Say's own story of his path to becoming the renowned artist he is today.

Suzanne LaFleur

When twelve-year-old Elise, orphaned since age three, becomes disheartened by middle school, with its bullies, changing relationships, and higher expectations, keys to long-locked rooms and messages from her late father help her cope.

Kadir Nelson

A simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.

Jon Klassen

A bear almost gives up his search for his missing hat until he remembers something important.

Margaret Peot

Teaches how to change inkblots into works of art and to use them as keys to creativity.

Gary Paulsen

Fourteen-year-old Kevin is very good at lying and doing so makes life easier, but when he finds himself in big trouble with his friends, family, and teachers, he must find a way to end his lies forever. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Shaun Tan

Three stories explore how we lose and find what matters most to us, as a girl finds a bright spot in a dark world, a boy leads a strange, lost being home, and a group of peaceful creatures loses its home to cruel invaders. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Sarah Sullivan

A boy and his family befriend a country fiddler, who teaches the boy all about playing the old tunes, which the boy promises to help keep alive. Inspired by Melvin Wine and Jake Krack.

Eric Litwin

Pete the cat wears his school shoes when visiting the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and more while singing his special song. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Hervé Tullet

Instructs the reader on how to interact with the illustrations to create imaginative images. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Bill Martin Jr.

Illustrations and rhyming text follow ten caterpillars as one wriggles up a flower stem, another sails across a garden pool, and one reaches an apple leaf, where something amazing happens.

Stephen Savage

In this wordless picture book, follow Walrus on a happy-go-lucky spree through the big city, as he tries on different hats to disguise himself from the chasing zookeeper. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Colin Meloy

When her baby brother is kidnapped by crows, seventh-grader Prue McKeel ventures into the forbidden Impassable Wilderness--a dangerous and magical forest in the middle of Portland, Oregon--and soon finds herself involved in a war among the various inhabitants.