The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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January 2005

Librarians’ Choice 2004 · Books for Children

Easy Books

cover of Boom Chicka Rock Boom Chicka Rock
John Archambault
Twelve mice who live in a cuckoo clock wander out to find birthday cake and have a party while Max the cat sleeps.

cover of A+ Custodian A+ Custodian
Louise Borden
The students and teachers at Dublin Elementary School make banners, posters, and signs for their school custodian to show how much they appreciate him and all the work he does.

cover of Please Say Please! Penguin’s Guide to Manners Please Say Please! Penguin’s Guide to Manners
Margery Cuyler
Penguin teaches his animal friends how to behave when they are invited for dinner. Illustrations by Will Hillenbrand, a Cincinnati native.

cover of One Pizza, One Penny One Pizza, One Penny
K. T. Hao
Ben Bear and Chris Croc, best friends, try to make money selling the fabulous pizzas and cakes that they create.

cover of My Favorite Thing (According to Alberta) My Favorite Thing (According to Alberta)
Emily Jenkins
In words and pictures, Alberta shares what she likes and does not like about dogs, cats, baths, and many other things as she leads up to what she likes best of all.

cover of Hurty Feelings Hurty Feelings
Helen Lester
It looks like trouble when Fragility, a hippopotamus whose feelings are easily hurt, meets Rudy, a rude elephant, on the soccer field.

cover of Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3
Bill Martin
Numbers from one to one hundred climb to the top of an apple tree in this rhyming chant by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson with illustrations by Lois Ehlert.

cover of Aaaarrgghh! Spider! Aaaarrgghh! Spider!
Lydia Monks
A clever spider is lonely and longs to become a family pet.

cover of Tanka Tanka Skunk! Tanka Tanka Skunk!
Steve Webb
Animal names introduce rhythmic language and rhyme as Tanka the elephant and his friend Skunk play drums to keep the beat.

cover of Crepes by Suzette Crepes by Suzette
Monica Wellington
Suzette sells a variety of her crepes (French pancakes) from the street cart she takes all over Paris. Includes a recipe and a short glossary of French words used.

Juvenile Fiction

cover of Honeysuckle House Honeysuckle House
Andrea Cheng
An all-American girl of Chinese ancestry and a new immigrant from China find little in common when they meet in their fourth grade classroom, but they are both missing their best friends and soon discover other connections.

cover of Hunter Hunter
Joy Cowley
A Maori boy in 1803 and a plane crash survivor marooned on a deserted island in 2003 experience interconnecting visions.

cover of Heartbeat Heartbeat
Sharon Creech
Twelve-year-old Annie ponders the many rhythms of life the year her mother becomes pregnant, her grandfather begins faltering, and her best friend (and running partner) becomes distant.

cover of Bindi Babes Bindi Babes
Narinder Dhami
Three Indian-British sisters team up to marry off their traditional, nosy aunt and get her out of the house.

cover of Summer of the Skunks Summer of the Skunks
Wilmoth Foreman
This is the story of ten-year-old Jill, her brothers, sister, and parents, and their life on a southern farm in the late 1940s.

cover of Ida B. Ida B. And Her Plan to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World
Katherine Hannigan
In Wisconsin, fourth-grader Ida B. spends happy hours being home-schooled and playing in her family’s apple orchard, until her mother begins treatment for breast cancer and her parents must sell part of the orchard and send her to public school.

cover of The Young Man and the Sea The Young Man and the Sea
Rodman Philbrick
After his mother’s death, twelve-year-old Skiff Beaman decides that it is up to him to earn money to take care of himself and his father, so he undertakes a dangerous trip alone out on the ocean off the coast of Maine to try to catch a huge blue fin tuna.

cover of Jackson Jones and Mission Greentop Jackson Jones and Mission Greentop
Mary Quattlebaum
His plot in a community garden brings ten-year-old Jackson Jones more zucchini than he cares to see and the unwanted attention of a bully, but when a company plans to destroy the garden, Jackson turns his attention to trying to save it.

cover of Yankee Girl Yankee Girl
Mary Ann Rodman
When her FBI-agent father is transferred to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1964, eleven-year-old Alice wants to be popular but also wants to reach out to the one black girl in her class in a newly integrated school.

cover of Really, Truly, Everything’s Fine Really, Truly, Everything’s Fine
Linda Leopold Strauss
Fourteen-year-old Jill forces her family out of denial when her father pleads guilty to a criminal act that isolates them from their friends and neighbors.


cover of An Elephant in the Backyard An Elephant in the Backyard
Richard Sobol
The full-color photographs in this book take the reader to the village of Tha Klang in Thailand where the elephant, Wan Pen, plays soccer with children, gets a bath, and works hauling logs in the forest.

cover of Bottle Houses Bottle Houses: The Creative World of Grandma Prisbrey
Melissa Slaymaker
Grandma Prisbrey’s whimsical creation–a whole village of houses made of multicolored glass bottles gathered from the dump—serves as an introduction to the genre variously known as outsider art, self-taught art, or visionary art.

cover of Quilting Bee Quilting Bee
Gail Gibbons
A contemporary “quilting circle,” consisting of adults and two child helpers, plan a new quilt to display at the county fair. Historical background on quilting and on traditional American patterns enriches the simple text.

cover of The Voice that Challenged a Nation The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
Russell Freedman
In the mid-1930s, Marian Anderson was a famed vocalist who had been applauded by European royalty and welcomed at the White House. But because of her race, she was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. This is the story of her resulting involvement in the civil rights movement of the time.

cover of Mighty Jackie Mighty Jackie: The Strike Out Queen
Marissa Moss
In 1931, seventeen-year-old Jackie Mitchell pitches against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game, becoming the first professional female pitcher in baseball history. Illustrated by C. F. Payne, a Cincinnati native.

cover of Family Reunion Family Reunion
Mary Quattlebaum
Fifteen poems tell chronologically of a young girl’s experiences at her family’s week-long reunion.

cover of Ellington Was Not a Street Ellington Was Not a Street
Ntozake Shange
In a powerful poem accompanied by majestic paintings of influential men, Shange reflects on her childhood when her home was often filled with visionaries and talented artists like Ellington, DuBois, Gillespie, and Robeson.

cover of The Way a Door Closes The Way a Door Closes
Hope Anita Smith
A thirteen-year old boy writes of parental deprivation in his fatherless family. Steptoe Author Medal 2004.

cover of Boy on Fairfield Street Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew up to Become Dr. Seuss
Kathleen Krull
This biography introduces the life of renowned children’s author and illustrator Ted Geisel, popularly known as Dr. Seuss, focusing on his childhood and youth in Springfield, Massachusetts.

cover of Red Land, Yellow River Red Land, Yellow River: A Story from the Cultural Revolution
Ange Zhang
In 1966 Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution swept through China and transformed the life of Beijing teenager Ange Zhang. Ange longed to join the Red Guard with his classmates but was denied membership after his father, a famous writer, was arrested and charged with being a counter-revolutionary. As Ange struggled to maintain his friends’ respect, he began to question the Revolution and his role in it.