Editor’s Choice

Here readers will find a list of titles that the editor has chosen to highlight. New titles are added to this list regularly.

February 2004


Pagan in Exile

By Catherine Jinks


March 2004




The Various


By Steve Augarde


April 2004




On Sand Island


By Jaqueline Briggs Marti

Illustrated by David A. Johnson


May 2004




Hard Times For Jake Smith


By Aileen Kilgore Henderson


June 2004




The War

By Anais Vaugelade


July 2004




Petals in the Ashes

By Mary Hooper


August 2004






By Kenneth Oppel

September 2004



The Friend

By Sarah Stewart

Illustrated by David Small


October 2004




The End of the Beginning

By Avi


November 2004




The Crow-Girl

By Bodil Bredsdorff


December 2004


The City of Ember

By Jeanne DuPrau


January 2005




A Child is A Child

By Brigitte Weninger

Illustrated by Eve Tharlet


February 2005




Zen Shorts

By Jon J. Muth


March 2005




The Truth About Sparrows

By Marian Hale


April 2005




The Quilt Makers Journey

By Jeff Brumbeau

Illustrated by Gail de Marcken


May and June 2005




A Quiet Place

By Douglas Wood

Illustrated by Dan Andreasen


July 2005




Mr. George Baker



By Amy Hest

Illustrated by Jon Muth


August 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling






September 2005




Willow Run

By Patricia Reilly Giff


October 2005

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

By Michael Morpurgo


November 2005





By Steve Augarde


December 2005





By Dugald A. Steer

Illustrations by Anne Yvonne Gilbert, John Howe, Tomislav Tomic, and Helen Ward


January and February 2006




Dickens: His work and his world

Michael Rosen

Illustrated by Robert Ingpen


March 2006




Angel on the square

By Gloria Whelan


April 2006




The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

By Kate DiCamillo


May 2006




The Valley of Secrets

By Charmian Hussey


June 2006




Septimus Heap: Book One – Magyk

By Angie Sage


July 2006




Four in All

By Nina Payne

Illustrated by Adam Payne


August 2006




Endymion Spring

By Matthew Skelton


September 2006




I had seen castles: A Novel

By Cynthia Rylant


October 2006




Life as we knew it

By Susan Beth Pfeffer


November 2006




The Dot

Peter H. Reynolds


December 2006




Shipwreck Detective

Duncan Cameron and Richard Platt


January 2007




The Supernaturalist

Eoin Colfer


February 2007




The Book Thief

Markus Zusak


March 2007





Bernard Waber


April 2007




Way Down Deep

Ruth White


May 2007




The Miner’s Daughter

Gretchen Moran Laskas


June 2007




Once Upon a Picture

Sally Swain


July 2007




Private Peaceful

Michael Morpurgo


August 2007




Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

J.K. Rowling

September 2007



Mathilde Stein

Illustrated by Mies van Hout


October 2007






Ida B…and her plans to Maximize fun, avoid disaster and (Possibly) save the world


Katherine Hannigan


November 2007






The Loud Silence of Francine Green


Karen Cushman


December 2007




The Arrival


Shaun Tan


January 2008





Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams


February 2008




At Night

By Jonathan Bean


March 2008




Why War is Never a Good Idea

By Alice Walker


April 2008





By Matthew Van Fleet


May 2008





By Caroline Bingham, Ben Morgan, and Matthew Robertson


June 2008




The Dead and the Gone

By Susan Beth Pfeffer


July 2008




Sand Dollar Summer

By Kimberly K. Jones


August 2008




The Day the World Exploded

By Simon Winchester


September 2008




The Book Book

By Sophie Benini Pietromarchi


October 2008




A Visitor for Bear

Bonny Becker

Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton


November 2008





Elise Broach

Illustrated by Kelly Murphy


December 2008




Sucks to be me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe)

Kimberly Pauley


January 2009




How to get rich in the California Gold Rush

Todd Olson

Illustrated by Scott Allred


February 2009




The Magic Thief: Book One

Sarah Prineas

Illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo


March 2009




The Year the swallows came early

Kathyrn Fitzmaurice


April 2009





Barbara Lehman


May 2009

Hounsley and Catina: Plink and Plunk

James Howe

Illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay


June 2009





Stephen Michael King


July and August 2009




The evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Jacqueline Kelly


September and October 2009




The Cabinet of wonders

Marie Rutkoski


November and December 2009




Waiting for winter

Sebastian Meschenmoser


January and February 2010




The Carbon Diaries 2010

Saci Lloyd


March and April 2010




Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies

Julie Andrews and Emma Hamilton


May and June 2010




The Story of Cirrus Flux

Matthew Skelton


July and August 2010




Keeping the Moon

Sarah Dessen


September and October 2010




The Black Book of Secrets

F.E. Higgins


November and December 2010





Wendelin Van Draanen


January and February 2011




Toby Alone

Timothee de Fomelle

Illustrated by Francois Place


March and April 2011

William Shakespeare: His Life and Times

Kristin McDermott and Ari Berk

Illustrated by Ian Andrew, Diz Wallis and Eloise Lambert


May and June 2011




Ten Miles Past Normal

Frances O’Roark Dowell


July and August 2011





Ann Aguirre


September and October 2011




The Popularity Papers

Amy Ignatow


November and December 2011




In search of mockingbird

Loretta Ellsworth


January and February 2012

The sandwich Swap






Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio






March and April 2012





Sarah Weeks






May and June 2012




Above World

Jenn Reese


July and August 2012

A Hero for Wondla

Tony DiTerlizzi


September and October 2012

The Sixty-Eight Rooms

Marianne Malone








Adele and Simon

Adele and Simon

Barbara McClintock
For ages 4 to 8
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006   ISBN: 978-0374380441

Today, as is usual on every school day, Adele is picking up her little brother Simon from his school. One of the first things Adele does is to ask her brother to "please try not to lose anything today." From her words it sounds as if Simon is in the habit of losing things. Unfortunately, today is no exception. The children are not far from the school when Simon realizes that he has lost the cat drawing that he did in class that day. The children are in the middle of a street market and they look and look everywhere for the picture but they cannot find it. On they walk through the Jardin de Plantes. Here Simon climbs a tree, much to Adele's annoyance. Somehow he manages to lose his books.

The children go from place to place through the colorful and vibrant city of Paris. They visit Pont-Neuf, the Louvre art museum, a patisserie where they have a snack, and many other places, and in each one Simon loses something. Why, by the time they get home Simon has lost his coat, hat, gloves, scarf, sweater, knapsack, books, and crayons. Luckily the items he has lost find their way back to him.

Children will love this simple and amusing story, sympathizing with Simon and understanding how hard it is not to lose things every so often. Better still, young readers will have a wonderful time trying to find Simon's lost possessions in the detailed, meticulously executed drawings that fill the double page spreads. The soft colors in the beautiful artwork give the pictures a delicious vintage feel.

At the back of the book the author includes information about each of the places that the two children visit, and inside the covers readers will find a map of Paris which shows them where each of the places are.

Good-bye Winter! Hello Spring

Good-bye Winter! Hello Spring

Kazuo Iwamura
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
NorthSouth, 2019   ISBN: 978-0735843455

One morning the squirrel children wake up to discover that the snow of winter has gone. Their father explains that every year “The snow returns to the sky.” Sure enough, in the sky, the children see white puffy clouds. They also notice something else; they hear water dripping and little streams running. As they watch, the little snow that is left on the ground is turning into “a babbling brook.”

Eager to find out where the water goes, the squirrel children follow its path until they come to stream. A log is floating in the stream and the children climb onto it. The snow melt “sang as it joined into one stream,” and a nightingale added its voice to the music of the wakening forest.

The log, with its three little passengers, floated down the stream, which then emptied into a large lake. There the children were, tiny little creatures sitting on their log in the middle of a lake, seemingly all alone.

In this special picture book Kazuo Iwamura pairs his wonderful illustrations with a rhyming text that captures the magic of the changing seasons. The little squirrel children discover that they are witnessing something that, though it happens every year, is still awe inspiring and beautiful. Some of the lines in the narrative truly lift the spirit with their imagery.



1 2 3 4 5 6 7

April Fools Day

1834– The birthday a French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi who created the Statue of Liberty

1805 - Hans Christian Andersen was born

1934 - Jane Goodall was born

1693 - The inventor John Harrison was born


1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. Was killed


1856 – Educator and leader, Booker T. Washington, was born

1827 – Dr. Joseph Lister, founder of antiseptic surgery, was born

1909 - Robert E. Peary reached the North Pole







8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Buddha’s birthday

1866 – The Civil Right’s Bill was passed by Congress

1865 – The American Civil War ended

1970 - An accident took place on the Apollo 13 spacecraft.

1955 – Anniversary of the development of a safe polio vaccine

1743 – The birthday of Thomas Jefferson, American President

1962 - Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" was published


1866 – The Birthday of Helen Keller’s “Teacher,” Anne Sullivan

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

1817 – The first public American school for the deaf was founded by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc.

1912 – The luxury liner “Titanic” sank on her maiden voyage

1947 – Jackie Robinson played his first game in the Major Leagues breaking the color barrier in baseball

1452 - Leonardo da Vinci was born

1867 - The birthday of Wilbur Wright, powered flight pioneer.  


1775 – Paul Revere made his famous ride from Boston to Concord

1906 – San Francisco was rocked by an earthquake that destroyed much of the city

1775 – The American Revolution began with the battles of Lexington and Concord


1933 – Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt went on a flight together

1838 - The birthday of John Muir, naturalist, writer, and environmental activist.

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Earth Day (USA)

St. George's Day (UK)

1564 – The birthday and death anniversary of William Shakespeare



1874 – The birthday of Guglielmo Marconi – the inventor of wireless telegraphy

1785 – The birthday of naturalist John James Audubon

1822 - The birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, the great landscape architect.

1521 – Ferdinand Magellan died in the Philippines

27th, 1791 – Samuel Morse was born

1927 - The birthday of Coretta Scott King

28th, 1789 – The anniversary of the Mutiny on the Bounty


29 30

1899 – The birthday of musician and composer “Duke” Ellington 












1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1692 - The Salem witch hysteria begins

National Pig Day (USA)

1904 - Dr. Seuss was born.

Read Across American Day

1847 - The birthday of inventor Alexander Graham Bell

Hinamatsuri -Doll Festival - (Japan)

1678 - The birthday of volinist and composer, Antonio Vivaldi.

1512 - Mapmaker Gerhardus Mercator was born

1836 - The fall of the Alamo

1475 - The birthday of painter and sculptor, Michelangelo



8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Girls Write Now Day (USA)

International Women's Day

1451 - The birthday of adventurer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci

1913 - American Abolitionist Harriet Tubman died

Johnny Appleseed Day (USA)

1888 - The Great Blizzard of '88

1879 - The birthday of Albert Einstein

15 16 17 18 19 20 21
1767 - Andrew Jackson, American president, was born

44BC - The Ides of March and the day Julius Caesar was murdered.

1933 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice was born

1751 - The birthday of James Madison, America's 4th president

St. Patrick's Day (Ireland)



1848 - Famous American lawman Wyatt Earp was born



1928 - Fred Rogers, TV personality, is born

1685 - The birthday of musician and composer Johann Sebastian Bach
22 23 24 25 26 27 28




1857 - The birthday of Fannie Farmer, cook and cookbook writer



1874 - Magician and escape artist Harry Houdini was born


1911 – A fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City

1874 - Robert Lee Frost, Poet, was born




1854 – France and England declared war on Russia – The Crimean War began
29 30 31


1853 – The birthday of painter Vincent Van Gogh

1732 – The birthday of composer and musician Franz Joseph Haydn

1889 – The Eiffel Tower was completed

1927 – Cesar Chavez, labor leader, was born












1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Robinson Crusoe Day

1902 - The birthday of poet Langston Hughes

Groundhog Day (USA)

1894 - Painter Norman Rockwell was born


1913 - Civil rights leader Rosa Lee Parks was born

1902 - Aviator Charles Lindbergh was born


1895 - The birthday of famous baseball player Babe Ruth



1827 - Ballet was introduced to the United States

1812 - The birthday of writer Charles Dickens

1867 - The birthday of pioneer and author Laura Ingalls Wilder



8 9 10 11 12 13 14

1828 - The birthday of Jules Verne, writer  


1847 - Thomas Alva Edison, inventor, was born

1809 - Abraham Lincoln was born

1809 - Author and naturalist Charles Darwin was born

1892 - American artist, Grant Wood, was born

Valentine's Day


15 16 17 18 19 20 21

1564 - Galileo Galilei was born

1874 - Explorer Ernest Shackleton was born

1820 - Susan B. Anthony was born

  1895 -The anniversary of the death of Frederick Douglass



22 23 24 25 26 27 28

1732 - The birthday of George Washington

1685 - The birthday of George Frederic Handle, composer

1786 - The birthday of Carl Wilhelm Grimm

1841 - The birthday of Pierre Auguste Renoir

1846 - Buffalo Bill Cody was born

1829 - Levi Strauss, inventor, was born

1807 - Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born

1897 - Singer Marian Anderson was born















The Reluctant Dragon

The Reluctant Dragon

Kenneth Grahame
Illustrator:  Ernest H. Shepard 
For ages 7 and up
Holiday House, 2020   ISBN: 978-0823447251

Once day a shepherd comes back from his work tending his sheep in a real state. It would appear that there is a dragon living in a cave on the Downs, and everyone knows that dragons and sheep just don’t mix. Luckily for everyone, the shepherd’s son is a scholarly young fellow and he announces that he - knowing more about dragons than everyone else - will take care of the scaly problem.

The boy and the dragon soon strike up a pleasant acquaintance and the boy soon learns that the dragon is a "lazy beast" who is not in the slightest bit interested in fighting knights or eating maidens. He is quite happy to rest quietly, write sonnets, and mind his own business. The problem is that the dragon simply cannot seem to grasp the idea that people have a terrible preconceived notions about dragons. What on earth is the boy to do with this reluctant dragon who won’t fight to protect himself when Saint George, of dragon slaying fame, comes to town?

Using the rich language that he is famous for, Kenneth Grahame takes us back to time when dragons were a part of everyday living and when little boys could indeed have wonderful adventures. The characters, many of whom have a touch of the South Downs accent in their 'voices,' are charming, funny, and often surprising. Ernest H. Shepard, whose drawings of Pooh are beloved by so many, has superbly captured the essence of the story in his artwork. Sophie Blackall, whose own books have won numerous awards, has written a foreword for this special anniversary edition.

All in all this is a book to treasure for years to come, and it would make an excellent addition to a collection of classic children’s literature.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7

New Years Day

1892 - Ellis Island was opened

1735 - American patriot, Paul Revere, was born

1752 - American patriot, Betsy Ross, was born



1793 - Women's rights leader Lucretia Mott was born

1892 - J.R.R. Tolkien was born

1843 - Sir Isaac Newton was born

1809 - Inventor Louise Braille was born

1943 - Death anniversary of George Washington Carver

1412 - Joan of Arc was born

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

1324 - Marco Polo, explorer, died

1859 - Women's rights leader Carrie Chapman Catt was born

1755 - Politician Alexander Hamilton Was born


1741 - Benedict Arnold was born

15 16 17 18 19 20 21
1929 - Martin Luther King Jr. was born Appreciate a dragon day  

1706 - Benjamin Franklin was born.


1839 - Painter Paul Cezanne was born

1809 - Writer Edgar Allen Poe was born

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

1737 - American patriot John Hancock was born

1832 - Painter Edouard Manet was born

1849 - Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive an MD degree in   America

1848 - Gold was discovered in California

1890 - Nellie Bly ended her journey around the world

1893 - The birthday of aviator Bessie Coleman

1756 - The birthday of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

1832 - The birthday of author Lewis Carroll

29 30 31


1882 - The birthday of American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt

1649 - King Charles I of England was beheaded for treason


1919 - Famous baseball player, Jackie Robinson was born












Elaine Vickers
Illustrator:  Samantha Cotterill 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2021   ISBN: 978-1534477346

Every year a little girl and her family start making “thankful chains” on the day when the first snow starts to fall. On strips of colored paper they write down what they are thankful for, and then they create a paper chain using the pieces of paper.

The little girl starts with the things that she is thankful her in her home. She has parents who love her, and who show their love with every story that they read to her, every time they brush their hair, and every night when they close the day with a poem full of good wishes for her. One of those wishes has come true and now the little girl can be thankful for the little dog who “jumps when I am happy and comforts when I am scared.”

The little girl goes on to give thanks for big things like “a heart that beats” and “every breath” and colors that makes her world so beautiful and exciting. Then we hear about the wonderful things that are warm and give comfort, for things that are cold, for things that are soft, and for things that are hard.

Onto the little strips of paper all these words of thanks go, with one sentence of thanks leading to a memory that brings forth another.

Many of us forget that we have a great deal to be thankful for. We are in so much of a hurry to move on to the next thing that we don’t take the time to stop and look and to remember. It is only when we do this that we realize that we have so many beautiful, special, and enriching things in our lives.

One the pages of this picture book, readers will find a lyrical text that summons up memories as they are read; as the little girl remembers her thankful things, we remember ours. These lines are paired with photos that combine dioramas and drawings in a unique and emotive way.

This is book that will encourage children and their grownups to pause and find gratitude, and readers might even decide to bring chains of thankfulness into their homes.



Chris Saunders
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Quarto, 2019   ISBN: 978-1786033468

Every year there is a day when wishes rise from the earth. They fill the air with sparkle and hope, dancing here and there, and if you are lucky a wish chooses you. On one of these wish days Rabbit was chosen by not one wish, but by three. Rabbit had never had a wish before, and he did not quite know what to with the three that he now had. So he decided that he would go and ask his friends for their advice. Off Rabbit went, running across the flower speckled meadow and then punting, atop a log, on a river.

The first friend Rabbit talked to was Mouse. His diminutive companion said that if he had a wish he would wish that he could fly so that he could see the world that “is so big.” Thinking about this wish, Rabbit set off again. His friend Fox said that he would wish that he could write stories that people would love, and books full of  “knowledge and hope,” books that had the “power to inspire.” What a wonderful wish this was, but was it the right wish for Rabbit? Bear told Rabbit that he would wish for a boat so that he could explore. Bear had walked great distances and climbed great heights, but he had not been able to set off across the sea as yet, and this was something that he was eager to do.

Rabbit still does not know what he wanted to wish for, but he did know that he wanted the world to be a better place, and so he made three glorious wishes that gave his friends what they yearned for.

Rabbit’s wishes were beautiful and generous, but he had not wished for anything for himself, and he felt rather forlorn. What Rabbit did not know was that kindness begets kindness, and wishes have a habit of growing.

This sweet picture book beautifully shows how rewarding it is to think beyond oneself. Generosity and selflessness are gifts in their own right, but these qualities also have a tendency to reflect back on the giver.

Throughout this book the delightful and emotive rhyming text is paired with soft illustrations that are truly charming. It is hard not to fall in love with sweet, expressive Rabbit as he hops along on his journey.



Almost a Full Moon

Almost a Full Moon

Hawksley Workman
Illustrator:  Jensine Eckwall 
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
Tundra Books, 2016   ISBN: 978-1770498716

The moon is almost full, and outside a little house in the snowy woods a boy collects wood. Back at the house his grandmother stirs a huge round-bellied pot that is full of hot, savory soup. Her grandson adds some herbs to the steaming pot that contains “Pumpkin and parsnip, carrot and turkey bones. Bay leaf and pepper, potato and garlic cloves.” The gifts of the harvest create a meal that will perfect on this cold winter night.

Soon friends arrive at the little house, drawn there by an invitation to have some soup in the candlelit room. They come bearing gifts, smiles, and rosy cheeks. In addition to the expected guests are a few unexpected ones. A girl with flaming hair traveling on the back of a giant wolf arrives with her animal friends. There is always room for more and they join the party, for the boy and his grandmother have made enough soup to  “feed everyone we know” and  “everyone we don’t.” This is a place where “No one’s different…”

Based on the lyrics from Hawksley Workman’s song Almost a Full Moon, this picture book gives readers a picture of a cold, moonlit winter’s night. The white of the snow, leafless trees, and blue shadows are juxtaposed by the welcoming warmth of the little house where friends, both old and new, gather to sip soup, share news, and dance.

Unassuming and evocative illustrations provide a perfect backdrop for the text, giving readers of all ages a thoughtful and memorable story experience.

click to see Previous Editor’s Choice Titles