Nominations for the December 20 Capitol Choices agenda will be due at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 12. Nominations for the 2014 List will still be accepted for the January 17 meeting as long as the books were published in 2013. The last date for any nominations of 2013 books will be on January 9, 2014.
When no one in her busy family wants to play with her, a girl uses chalk to draw herself into a wordless adventure involving boats, balloons, mechanized airships and a flying carpet in a steampunk world from which she rescues a bird. A carefully crafted homage to previous illustrators (Crockett Johnson, Maurice Sendak, Shaun Tan and more) but with its own 21st century connections. For audiences of a wide age range. Seven to Ten. Kathy Isaacs
Whimsical adventures abound in this first picture book publication by author/illustrator Annesley Williams. A free spirited young girl encounters adventures at every turn of the page. The succinct and thought-provoking text is brought to life with skilled pencil and gouache illustrations, depicting pretend and creative play. The child invites the reader to accompany her on the high seas, catching stars, walking a tightrope, going into outer space and more. Williams is adept at conveying the liberating feeling that children have when they let their imaginations run wild. Up to Seven. Lena Gonzalez-Berios
A quirky story about a loving community who helps a young boy, Stanley Potts, come into himself as a daring-do. There are lots of characters here, never fully flushed out but just developed enough to propel the story forward, most of them supporting Stanley is some conventional or unconventional way. Lots of asides to the readers too but in a conspiratorial way rather than a preachy and this creates a feeling of all of us being in this together, watching and cheering Stanley on. There's no resolution to this story,not because a sequel is coming but because life isn't like that, we don't necessarily know how it will all work out and that adds to the genuine nature of this delightful read. Ten to Fourteen. Edie Ching
When thirteen-year-old Jack Baker's mother dies, his father a naval officer moves Jack from landlocked Kansas to Maine, and enrolls him in al all boys prep school. When his father is supposed to come for a visit but does not, Jack decides to accompany Early Auden, an odd classmate on a quest on the Appalachian Trail. Early is on a mission - to search for his brother whom he believes is still alive although he was reported missing in action in WWII and presumed dead. Jack is rutterless. However, he does need a friend and Early will do. This is a wonderful story of friendship, loss and discovery. This novel is possibly better than Newbery winner Moon over Manifest, for it delves deeper into the soul. The audio is narrated in a matter of fact way by Tobbie Daymond with the story within the novel narrated with an adult voice by Mr. Bramhall which makes for a nicely paced and entertaining audio. Ages 10+ Maria E. Gentle
In this “respectful” sequel to The Wind in the Willows, Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger have adventures with hot air balloons, Toad’s nephew’s kidnapping, and Ratty’s romance. Detailed and descriptive illustrations of characters and objects create an underlying humanity.
Rendi, a runaway stranded in the peculiar village of Clear Sky, starts trading tales with a storyteller that help him unravel the many mysteries around him, including the biggest—the moon’s disappearance. Chinese folklore interweaves and ties together the lyrical, complex plot and memorable characters.
Kidnapped by a pair of rascals and taken from Minnesota to Plains country in 1866, 8-year-old Chickadee works his way back to his grieving Ojibwe family. Like others in the Birchbark House series, Erdrich’s pencil drawings enliven this adventure.
A worm, a mole, and a dog all try to dissuade Roslyn, a rabbit, from digging a hole to the South Pole . . . but matter-of-fact Dad gently supports his determined daughter. Torn paper illustrations float through lots of white space, the perfect combination for this firmly grounded fantasy.