Best of 2013: for the kids

Today we explore all the great picture books, fiction, how-to and much more in our list of the best books for children in 2013. Cats work construction? Who knew?

Children’s Fiction:

That is not a Good Idea! | Mo Willems

A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one’s inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose.

This is another genius picture book from one of my favorite authors. Told in the format of an old silent movie with villains and innocent damsels, this story builds suspense and ends with a surprise. Great for storytimes! – Andrea

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses | James Dean

Pete the cat is feeling glum, and a friend cheers him by giving him a pair of “magic” sunglasses that help him transform his world. A grouchy squirrel, an upside-down turtle, and a grumpy alligator want the glasses too.

Expressive paintings and lots of action make this a story that will help young children understand their own emotions. – Esta

Not Your Typical Dragon | Dan Bar-el

A young dragon tries to breathe out flames, but instead snorts out whipped cream, party streamers, and other hilarious things. Other dragons are upset, but a knight who is also an oddball becomes his good friend.

Hilarious illustrations and a playful yet comforting story about being different. – Esta

The Long, Long Line | Tomoko Ohmura

A very long line of 50 animals is waiting anxiously and asking “What’s this line for?” It’s a wild and wacky roller coaster ride that they all want to try, with hilarious results.

The bold graphics invite kids to count, identify the animals, and talk about the actions that they see. Great for developing a young child’s pre-math skills! – Esta

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat | Anna Dewdney

Gilroy Goat bullies others in school—teasing, kicking sand, snatching toys. Little Llama dares to speak back. He shows the others how to “walk away and tell someone.” Then the compassionate teacher leads Gilroy into learning how to be a friend.

This gentle story helps young children understand that bullying often derives from the bully’s own unhappiness. This is also a comforting story focused on caring about others’ feelings.– Esta

Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow | David Soman

A brave girl in red-spotted boots and ladybug costume explores the outdoors after a snowstorm. She and her dog Bingo get stuck, build snow creatures, and explore the magic of deep snow.

This daring, spunky little girl always shows her spirit of adventure! This is the latest in the delightful “Ladybug Girl” series of books. – Esta

The Snatchabook | Helen Docherty

Young animals are reading or listening to stories at bedtime when a little creature called the “Snatchabook” sneaks in and steals the books…but why? He has no-one to read to him! Brave rabbit figures out a delightful solution to the problem!

Lively rhyme and playful illustrations give this book great appeal. It’s a sweet and reassuring story about the power and joy of reading. – Esta

Baby Bear Counts One | Ashley Woolf

A young bear watches all the animals around him prepare for winter, and then sees his first snow.

This author/illustrator’s artwork is superb and dramatic, and young children will thrill as they find and count hidden details and end with snowflakes ‘too many to count.’ – Esta

Construction Kitties | Judy Goodwin-Sturges

A lively crew of cats wearing their hard-hats work together with a dump truck, excavator, backhoe and other heavy trucks at a construction site.

Young children will enjoy the action as they see how these machines work. The cats stop for their favorite lunch: sardines and milk. – Esta

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library | Chris Grabenstein

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.

As an adult who thinks an awful lot like a 12-year-old, I found this book a hilarious adventure through one of my most favorite institutions: a public library. A ‘Ready Player One’ for the middle-school crowd. – Carol

Children’s Non-Fiction:

Think Again! : False Facts Attacked, Errors Exploded, Myths Busted | Clive Gifford

Organized into five broadly themed sections the human body, the animal world, science, history, and popular culture this book tackles commonly held and commonly repeated mistaken beliefs head-on. Each falsehood is debunked in straightforward and factual explanations grounded in real scientific research, incorporating discussions of why the myth persists.

Colorful illustrations and tons of fascinating information. You can open to any page and learn something new. – Theresa

The Big Book of Crafts &Activities | James Mitchem, editor

This book is packed with crafts, recipes, games and activities for children who want to get creative and try new things-from growing tasty fruit and vegetables to customizing your furniture.

This book is full of crafts and activities that are fun and don’t require specialized materials or equipment. – Theresa

Myths Busted! Just When You Thought You Knew What You Knew— | Emily Krieger

From the origins of fortune cookies to alligators living in the sewers of New York City, this book gives kids the tools to break and bust wild and wacky myths from around the world.

More than 100 ‘myths’ are debunked, first with a suggestion of how they came to be believed and then with the science that disproves them. – Theresa

Star Wars: Science Fair Book | Samantha Margles

Presents thirty step-by-step instructions for science projects and experiments based on elements from the “Star Wars” film series, including how to create crystals, make a hydrometer, and move objects with “the force.”

An engaging concept to encourage young scientists with all the tips needed to make a great science fair project. – Theresa

Be sure to visit A Reading Life for more reviews and news of all things happening at the Everett Public Library.

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