The purpose of this “TBR Pile” blog series is twofold: (1) to document books I am seriously jazzed about for future reading and RA, and (2) to broaden my knowledge of books outside of my selection areas. Though I more or less manage children’s materials at two branches, I don’t actually get to order all that much. My branches are also very small (one is a former bank, the other is a former bagel shop), so shelf space is extra limited. This list will share books regardless of their accolades, but I’ll include any stars received from any of the Big Six* because I do still care about that sort of thing.
Caveat: I am serving on the 2017-2018 Rainbow Book List Committee (hooray!), so note that I will deliberately be leaving out any books with queer content until my term is up. But don’t worry because next February we’ll have something extra special and extra queer to share that will hopefully make up for this necessary omission.
Picture & Board Books
Brown, Margaret Wise. North, South, East, West. illus. Greg Pizzoli. (1/24/17)
1 star. I will read anything with Greg Pizzoli’s name on it. Than man deserves a Caldecott already.
DiPucchio, Kelly. Antoinette. illus. Christian Robinson. (2/14/17)
2 stars. Big fan of Gaston and have high hopes for this sequel. I’m also an unabashed Christian Robinson fanboy.
Dyckman, Ame. You DON’T Want a Unicorn. illus. Liz Climo. (2/14/17)
0 stars. Though Kirkus brutally notes it’s “best seen as a joke gift for a unicorn lover” I remain optimistic that I’m going to love it because I love the idea of Ame Dyckman & Liz Climo working together.
Freedman, Deborah. This House, Once. (2/28/17)
2 stars. Still haven’t read Shy but I’m seeing a lot of love for this one and it’s catching on.
Medina, Juana. ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet. (2/7/17)
2 stars. I look at the cover and I am already entertained. Plus, there’s pasta. What’s not to like?
Patricelli, Leslie. Hair. (1/3/17)
1 star. Leslie Patricelli is one of my toddler storytime go-to book creators.
Yoon, Salina. My Kite is Stuck!: And Other Stories. (1/10/17).
0 stars. I like ducks, I like porcupines, and I like Salina Yoon.
Blumenthal, Deborah. Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe. illus. Laura Freeman. (1/17/17)
0 stars. Party!? Gowns!? No, she actually had me at fancy.
Chin, Jason. Grand Canyon. (2/21/17)
2 stars. Another picture book creator who deserves a Caldecott. Also I am obsessed with National Parks.
Meltzer, Brad. I Am Jim Henson. illus. Christopher Elipopoulos. (1/10/17)
0 stars. Do I even need to explain myself?
Weatherford, Carole Boston. Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression. illus. Sarah Green. (2/28/17)
1 star. After Jazz Day, I find myself even more interested in photography and its representation in picture books.
Cheng, Jack. See You in the Cosmos. (2/28/17)
2 stars. Admittedly, I’m not really a dog person but the dog’s name is Carl Sagan so maybe I’m a dog person after all.
King, A.S. Me and Marvin Gardens. (1/31/17)
2 stars. Mostly I just really want to see how she writes middle grade but I also think the plot just sounds awesome.
Thompson, Lisa. The Goldfish Boy. (2/28/17)
1 star. Rear Window meets middle grade? My interest is piqued. I hope the representation is accurate.
Young Adult Fiction & Nonfiction
Marquardt, Marie. The Radius of Us. (1/17/17)
1 star. SLJ says this is a must-have. I say this sounds like exactly the thing I need after reading and loving Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also a Star.
Powell, Patricia Hruby. Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case. illus. Shadra Strickland. (1/31/17)
2 stars. After watching the film Loving, I’m so ready for more of this story.
Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give. (2/28/17)
3 stars. How could anyone ignore this book? I can already tell it’s gonna be an important one. Plus, if Jason Reynolds recommends it, I’m bumping it in the queue.
Watson, Renée. Piecing Me Together. (2/14/17)
2 stars. She started the amazing I, Too, Arts Collective and I think she is someone to watch—and, er, read. I read Harlem’s Little Blackbird (because, well, Christian Robinson) but I haven’t yet red any of her work for older readers.
I gotta say that making this list was harder than I thought… So, what did I miss? Any titles you’re excited about?
* The Big Five, as I was taught, are Booklist, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB), The Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal (SLJ). Publisher’s Weekly (PW) is also a great resource, so its stars are counted here, too. Also six is better than five because it’s a multiple of three.
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