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Best Children's Science Books of the Year (According to the NSTA)

Picture Books: Mooing Babies, Blue Poultry, Sailing Cats, and More

Picture books. What a fun world they offer. Here are some recommendations from my reading of the past few weeks.

E-mergency! An alphabet book with a hilarious twist: E is injured and out of commission for a while. O must fill in, leading to newspaper headlines like "Man Bitos Dog!" and "Football Toam Wins Big Gamo." By Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer. (Chronicle, 2011)

Blue Chicken. An unfinished picture + a curious chicken + a full bottle of paint = watch out! Artist Deborah Freedman plays with perspective, telling most of the story through the adorable illustrations. (Viking, 2011)

Samantha on a Roll. Channeling the spirit of Curious George, Samantha must try out her roller skates, even though her mother is busy. A steep hill? No problem, if you know how to stop. How do you stop, by the way? A rhyming book written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Christine Davenier. (Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)

0763641642.medScrawny Cat. A lonely stray cat hiding on a boat accidentally sets sail. Will he find love and acceptance at the island in the distance? (Of course!) Written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Alison Friend. (Candlewick, 2011)

Poindexter Makes a Friend. A gently humorous story with some practical advice, this book begins and ends with the theme of connection. I plan to read Poindexter, which stars a shy pig, to the second-grade class where I volunteer. Written and illustrated by Mike Twohy. (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, 2011)

I Want My Hat Back. A bear, a fast-talking rabbit, a missing hat. Hmm. Grownups' favorite picture book of the year is making a number of the Best of 2011 lists so far. By Jon Klassen. (Candlewick, 2011)

Baby Says “Moo!” A rhyming cumulative story, this one ought to tickle 2 and 3 year olds who know their animal sounds. Silly baby, cats don't say "Moo!" Written by JoAnn Early Macken and illustrated by David Walker.  (Disney/Hyperion, 2011)

The Runaway Tortilla. Eric A. Kimmel's Southwestern spin on "The Gingerbread Man" was a big hit with the second graders, who want more of this kind of story. Illustrated by Randy Cecil. (Winslow Press, 2000)


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I Want My Hat Back has been a hit in storytime here.

Hi, Susan. Thanks for the great recommendations, which I've added to my "to read" list. I'm always excited when the fabulous Phyllis Root has a new book out -- can't wait to read it! And thanks for including Samantha in such excellent company!

I haven't tried I Want My Hat Back with the second graders, Adrienne. They would probably like it, and the book is a quick read, so I could squeeze it in.

Linda, you're welcome. I could just hear the sound of the skates on the sidewalk as I read about Samantha!

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