When I look at my sons’ bookshelf, packed full of books, I sometimes wonder how some of the stuff ever gets published. While the majority of what’s published in children’s literature is fantastic, I feel there are some that slip through the cracks. For example, one my five year old twins’ favorites is an alphabet book that uses “toots” to describe the letter “t.” Certain books are simply geared toward boys (and their sense of humor) to get them to read. I get it. And if an illustrated truck that calls another truck a “pottyhead” will get them reading, I’m in – just not enthusiastically.
There are, however, certain books that guarantee a great read – the Newbery and Caldecott Award winners. So, if you are looking for quality books to get your kids, check out the 2012 Newberry and Caldecott Award winners.
There’s not a potty joke in sight.
2012 Newbery Award Winner
Author Jack Gantos’ colorful writing weaves a tale full of adventure, humor and history in, Dead End in Norvelt. Set in the early 1960’s, 12 year old Jack Gantos suddenly finds himself in quite a predicament when he is “grounded for life” for disobeying his parents. His mother lends him to a spirited old neighbor who tasks him with writing the obituaries of the deceased citizens of Norvelt for the local paper. The information Jack uncovers leads him down an interesting path as he discovers interesting facts about the founders of the town and begins to suspect a curse has been placed on the town of Norvelt.
Reading Level – Ages 10 and up.
“This is a brilliant book, full of history, mystery, and laughs. It reminded me of my small-town childhood, although my small town was never as delightfully weird as Norvelt.” —Dave Barry
“Gantos, as always, delivers bushels of food for thought and plenty of outright guffaws.” —Booklist
2012 Caldecott Award Winner
This year’s Caldecott winter is A Ball for Daisy, written and illustrated by Chris Raschka. This wordless book has enormous kid-appeal for his colorful illustrations that describe one of life’s toughest lessons. A Ball for Daisy is a tale of an irresistible dog whose most prized possession is accidentally destroyed. Daisy’s devastation is short-lived, however, as Raschka brilliantly balances Daisy’s experience with a sense of loss and later, recovery and friendship.
Reading Level – Ages 3 and up.
“Raschka’s genius lies in capturing the essence of situations that are deeply felt by children.” – School Library Journal