Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award 2013-2014 Kindergarten – Grade 3
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett illustrated by Adam Rex Have you ever wondered how authors and illustrators work together to create a great picture book? Mac Barnett and Adam Rex show us that working together is not always easy. Mac wants to write a story about a girl named Chloe who meets a lion on the way to the circus. The storytelling goes hilariously awry when Adam tries to use his illustrations to make the story more exciting. Things get sillier when Mac fires Adam and learns that good illustrations are not as easy as they seem. The story will have you laughing out loud and searching for a writing partner of your own!
Island A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin They swam, flew and drifted to the island. After a million years, animals and plants had arrived at the Galapagos. Author-illustrator Jason Chin follows the life and death of one of a series of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. Find out how and why the inhabitants adapted to their new environment, and who discovered some of these unusual creatures?
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer Olivia is back and having identity crises. Who should this irrepressible pig be when she grows up? She definitely does not want to be a pink frilly princess. That is what everybody else (even some boys) want to be! And why, she plaintively asks, can’t there be other kinds of princesses like an African princess or an Indian princess. With humor Olivia investigates many options, perhaps a nurse or a reporter! Her solution – pure Olivia. Read Olivia and the Fairy Princesses for a laugh- out-loud happy ending!
Dinothesaurus by Douglas Florian Twenty poems humorously describe dinosaurs: their surroundings, their habits, and their appearances. Douglas Florian uses collage to artistically render each poem. His muted illustrations done on paper bags prominently include letters and realistic pictures. The illustrations and poems work together to create short funny pictures of each dinosaur. Florian includes a Glossarysaurus and a list of Dinosaur Museums and Fossil Sites for those readers wishing additional information.
Dog in Charge by K.L. Going illustrated by Dan Santat Dog earns a big hug and a scrumptious treat when he sits, stays, and dances on his back paws for his owner. “Good Dog. Smart Dog, the very best Dog,” says his owner, as she puts Dog in “charge” of their five cats, while the family goes out shopping. Proudly, Dog begins his training. But….. before she she can command the cats to sit and stay, they disappear. Brilliantly, Dog pulls out the “Good Kitty,” treats to train the cats, except the treats smell too good. Can Dog stay in charge?
Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus by John Grandits illustrated by Michael Allen Austin Can you remember the first time you had to ride the school bus? Was it something you were looking forward to, or dreading? Kyle is ready to start kindergarten, but riding the school bus makes him very nervous. His older brother tries to help by making a list of ten rules for Kyle to follow. Breaking the rules could get him laughed at, yelled at, or even pushed around or pounded! After looking over the list, though, Kyle gets even more scared than before. On his first day, he breaks rule after rule – he sits in the back row, makes eye contact with another student, and worst of all he talks to a girl. You’re sure to find something to connect with in this humorous story about facing your fears and coming up with your own ways to survive.
Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes Penny, a small girl mouse, receives a perfect gift from her Grandmother, but there is a problem. Penny was in the garden with her Mom when her gift, a beautiful doll, arrived. Penny loved the doll right away. She had pink cheeks, a pink bow and a pink dress with big buttons but no name! Penny struggled to find just the right name for her just right dolly. Everyone else in her family, after all, has a name. Read this short chapter book to discover the name Penny bestows on her doll.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce Morris Lessmore loves words, stories and books. He is very happy. One day a terrifying hurricane blows all he loves away. He is left in a strange colorless land. Morris aimlessly wanders until he comes upon a lovely lady who is being pulled along by flying books. She gives Morris her favorite book. This book befriends Morris and leads him to a library filled with extraordinary stories. Morris’ world is filled with color again as he takes care of the books and they take care of him. Morris shares his books with others and even writes his own. Eventually Morris passes his story and his love of books to a new young caretaker. This book began as an award winning wordless animated film. There is also an app which creates Morris’ amazing world.
Captain Awesome to the Rescue by Stan Kirby illustrated by George O’Conner Eugene McGillicudy is an eight-year-old boy who loves adventure and superheroes. He even has a superhero alter ego, Captain Awesome. On the first day of school, his teacher gives him the job of taking care of the class hamster, Turbo. A couple of days later, when Eugene goes out for recess, he notices that Turbo is missing. He sees a trail of bedding and suspects he knows where Turbo is, but has to leave for recess anyway. When he returns it is time to become Captain Awesome and rescue Turbo. Read to find out if Captain Awesome can find Turbo, catch the hamsternapper, and solve the case. He just might find a sidekick and new friend in this first exciting adventure of the hilarious Captain Awesome series.
The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara illustrated by Mark Fearing Three little aliens are all grown up and ready to head into space and find their own homes. Each alien settles onto his own planet, and soon a big bad robot comes to call. The three little aliens find safety together in the third alien’s home. Does this story sound familiar? It is a funny twist on the Three Little Pigs! You will laugh at the aliens and their silly antics, and you will love the illustrations that help you get to know the planets in our solar system
Marty McGuire by Kate Messner illustrated by Brian Floca Marty is a third grade girl who prefers blue jeans to dresses, and outdoor fun things like frog hunting instead of playing princess. She loves second grade. Before heading off for summer vacation, Marty’s second grade teacher tells the class how wonderful third grade will be. There will be lots of special activities, including a school play. But things don’t start out well for Marty. She loses her best friend to another classmate. As if things aren’t bad enough, when The Frog Prince is announced as the school play for this year, and all the roles are assigned, Marty is given the role of the princess! How can a girl like Marty, who prefers science, nature and slimy creatures, find a way to succeed as a princess in the school play? Will she eventually find something to like about third grade? You will enjoy getting to know Marty McGuire.
11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter Does your school have a Science Fair? Do you know how to do a science experiment? 1) Ask a question. 2) Make a prediction (hypothesis). 3) Gather your supplies. 4) Write down the directions, 5) Record what happened. You might not want to do the 11 experiments in this book, with experiments like “Can a kid make it through the winter eating only snow and ketchup?” or “Do dogs like to be covered in glitter?” But you will have to read the book to find out the experimental results!
Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater illustrated by Adam Stower Looking out the window of their new home in a tall apartment building, Nick and Maxine see a little old fashioned house surrounded by huge buildings. Secretly, with the help of Mike, the janitor, they find it and meet the owner, a plump old lady named Mrs. Noodlekugel. She kindly invites them in for freshly baked cookies and tea. Maxine and Nick are delighted with their visit, especially when they meet her cat who bakes, plays the piano, and elegantly serves the tea. Read to discover the talents of Mrs. Noodlekugel’s four far sighted, prize winning mice, who also join them for tea.
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds illustrated by Peter Brown Jasper Rabbit loves carrots and the carrots he finds in Crackenhopper Field are the best. He eats them several times a day. But one day he starts seeing carrots everywhere. He begins to suspect the carrots are following him. No one believes him, but he knows the carrots are there! Are the carrots really stalking him? If so, can they be stopped? Read this funny and suspenseful book to find out!
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson illustrated by E. B. Lewis When was the last time you treated someone kindly? Was there a time when you could have been kind, but chose to be mean instead? Do we treat others the way we would like to be treated? Maya is a new student. She wears second hand clothing, broken sandals, and obviously comes from a poor background. She tries to make friends, but is rejected by Chloe and her friends who make fun of Maya and refuse to include her. When Maya’s family has to move and she is no longer there, Chloe begins to feel guilty and sorry for the way she behaved. How can she ever make up for her hurtful behavior toward Maya? This meaningful and emotional story about a lesson in kindness will cause you to reflect on how you behave toward others.
Remember, it is easy to participate. Just read or listen to at least 3 books from the list by March 1, 2014. Voting will take place during your library class time. Votes will be sent to the awards committee by March 15 and the winning titles and authors will be announced at the annual Pennsylvania School Librarians Conference. Keep reading!!! Annotations adapted from psla.org.