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2013 Holiday Kids' Book List

Candlewick Press
"A wordless book that has a serenity and dreaminess to it that I think would be lovely to share." - Sue Davis

George Bernard Shaw said, “Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Annie Leonard of The Next Chapter in Knoxville, Sue Davis of River Lights Bookstore in Dubuque and Jerri Heid of the Ames Public Library about the year's best books to be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart.  You can find the full list below.

Picture Books

Digger, Dozer, Dumper by Hope Vestergaard, Illustrated by David Slonim - "Lots of cute poems and great pictures." - Annie Leonard

Open Very Carefully:  A Book with Bite by Nick Bromley - "The reader gets to help capture the crocodile, who eats his way out of the book." - Jerri Heid

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown - "Wonderful illustrations.  It's a parable about self-expression and honoring your true nature." - Sue Davis

Credit Candlewick Press
Candlewick Press
"Readers get to help capture the crocodile." - Jerri Heid

Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts - "It's about a little girl who loves to invent things, but is easily discouraged if they don't work. Children will enjoy finding every little illustration on the page." - Annie Leonard

That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems - "Young readers play along to warn the goose, but it's the fox that gets outsmarted." - Jerri Heid

The Snatchabook  by Helen Thomas Docherty - "It's adorable.  We're in love with the book." - Sue Davis

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea - "A little bit hip and edgy.  A great read aloud that points out how even people who are very different people can be great friends." - Annie Leonard

Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman - "A lot of fun to read." - Jerri Heid

Journey by Aaron Becker - "A wordless book that has a serenity and a dreaminess to it that I think would be lovely to share." - Sue Davis

Dream Animals:  A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin - "The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and fill the children’s heads with beautiful images they can take with them to bed." - Annie Leonard

The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert, photographs by Per Breiehagen - "Absolutely darling Christmas book." - Annie Leonard

Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd - "Wordless picture books are wonderful for storytelling activity and relating to your own experiences." - Jerri Heid

Big Snow by Jonathon Bean - "Very nice illustrations." - Jerri Heid

Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner - "Cutest darn cat in a picture book." - Sue Davis

Chapter Books

Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman - "It really should be read in one sitting.  The kids won't let you quit anyway!" - Sue Davis

Credit Harper Collins
Harper Collins
"It's a little Dickens, a little steampunk, a little Lemony Snicket." - Annie Leonard

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz - "A wonderful book for the 9 to 10 year old.  If you liked Wilbur and Babe, you're going to love this one." - Jerry Heid

The Peculiar and The Whatnot by Stefan Bachmann - "It's a little Dickens, a little steampunk, a little Lemony Snicket.  The kids are so brave a resourceful and the world making is wonderful." - Annie Leonard

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson with Chris Grabenstein - "I'm often leary of famous names attempting children's books, but they have the right formula here." - Sue Davis

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo - "A laugh out loud book with endearing characters.  No one will be disappointed." - Jerri Heid

Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker - "A very nice novel." - Jerri Heid

A Dog and His Girl MysteriesPlay Dead, Dead Man's Best Friend, and Cry Woof by Jane B. Mason - "Second and Third graders will enjoy this.  Sweet characters." - Annie Leonard

The Creature Department  by Robert Paul Weston - "A caper story for 4th, 5th and 6th graders." - Annie Leonard

The Testing  by Joelle Charbonneau - "Another dystopian teen trilogy with a lot of new clever plot ideas.  Lots of twists." - Sue Davis

Credit Workman Publishing
Workman Publishing
"Big and bright and easy to follow. Well explained and just wonderful." - Sue Davis


Go:  A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd - "Any child interested in art and graphic design should see this book.  Big and bright and easy to follow.  Well explained and just wonderful." - Sue Davis

Alpha Block by Christopher Franceschelli, Illustrated by Peskimo - "Great for really young kids." - Annie Leonard

Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson, Illustrated by Gennady Spirin - "Absolutely gorgeous treat for the eyes, but you also learn so much about these beautiful little creatures." - Annie Leonard

The Child Labor Reform Movement:  An Interactive History Adventure by Steven Otfinoski - "Nine, 10, and 11-year-olds would love this, especially reluctant readers.  A history person would really love it.  You can read it again and again." - Jerri Heid

The Elements of Harmony by My Little Pony - "If you have a My Little Pony fan, this is the book to get for them." - Jerri Heid

Bedtime Math:  A Fun Excuse to Stay up Late by Laura Overdeck, Illustrated by Jim Paillot - "We have loved this book.  It’s a wonderful bedtime routine, or breakfast routine." - Sue Davis

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katherine Perkins is IPR's Program Director for News and Talk