The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Youth Literature Festival 2010 - October 2010

Selected and annotated by Maoria Kirker


Aylesworth, Jim. Goldilocks and the Three Bears ; illus. by Barbara McClintock. Scholastic Press, 2003. 32 p. 2-6 yrs.
The partnership of Aylesworth and McClintock brings this classic tale to life through lively text and vivid illustrations. The rhythmic language will allow for ease while reading the tale aloud. The detailed images bring Goldilocks to life for a child reader. This is a book that will sure to be retold again, and again, and again, and again . . .

Aylesworth, Jim. Our Abe Lincoln: An Old Tune with New Lyrics ; illus. by Barbara McClintock. Scholastic Press, 2009. 40 p. 4-7 yrs.
Set as a school play, McClintock’s images bring life to Aylesworth’s lyrics about the life of Abe Lincoln. Sung to the tune of “The Old Grey Mare,” the tale, combined with the illustrations, brings history alive for young readers. Melodies are included as well as an author’s note that contains factual information about the Civil War era president.

Aylesworth, Jim. The Gingerbread Man ; illus. by Barbara McClintock. Scholastic Press, 1998. 32 p. 4-7 yrs.
Alyesworth uses precise language in this retelling that allows for a new tellable favorite. McClintock's watercolor illustrations may initially seem outdated, but they enhance the charm of Alyesworth's retelling. Children will love the Gingerbread Man's call, “No! No!/I won't come back!/I'd rather run/Than be your snack!” and be sure to ask to hear the story again.

Chocolate, Deborah M. Newton. My First Kwanzaa Book ; illus. by Cal Massey. Scholastic, Inc., 1992. 32 p. 3-7 yrs.
It’s Kwanzaa time and in her picture book Deborah M. Newton Chocolate explains what that entails. Chocolate’s words and Massey’s illustrations bring the African-American holiday to life. In addition to being informative for children, there is also a history and explanation of symbols that are geared for older children and adults.

Chocolate, Deborah M. Newton. Talk, Talk: An Ashanti Legand ; illus. by Dave Albers. Troll Associates, 1992. 32 p. 7-11yrs.
What would you do if inanimate objects started talking to you? Well that’s exactly what happens to Jumaani in this West African legend. After his yam talks to him, Jumaani journeys to tell the Chief of the village, but on his way he encounters other men who experience the same curiosities.

Codell, Esmé Raji. Sing a Song of Tuna Fish: Hard-to-Swallow Stories from Fifth Grade ; illus. by Leuyen Pham. Hyperion Books for Children, 2004. 133 p. 9-13yrs.
Esmé Raji Codell depicts stories of her childhood that evoke nostalgia for adult readers and familiarity for children. Through her tales of family, religion, and community, Codell demonstrates for readers the transforming power of turning personal narratives into entertaining tales.

Del Negro, Janice M. Passion and Poison: Tales of Shape-Shifters, Ghosts, and Spirited Women ; illus. by Vince Natale. Marshall Cavendish, 2007. 64 p. 10-14yrs.
With a refreshing take on women in folktales, Del Negro combines original tales and retellings to depict strong women in a genre where they are often left behind. Justice and vengeance run rampant through the tales, but love runs alongside them. These goose bump inducing tales are ideal for storytelling.

Fradin, Dennis Brindel. Bound for the North Star: True Stories of Fugitive Slaves . Clarion Books, 2000. 206 p. 10-16yrs.
There are few tales more exciting than escape plots, but add life or death circumstances and pursuit of freedom and you have the 12 stories of this nonfiction work. Although many accounts of runaway slaves and the Underground Railroad were never recorded, here we have first hand accounts of those who made the attempt for liberty. Join these fugitive slaves on a journey guided by the North Star as they take you through slave conditions in 19 th Century America.

Fradin, Dennis Brindell.
The Signers: The Fifty-six Stories Behind the Declaration of Independence ; illus. by Michael McCurdy. Walker & Company, 2002. 164 p. 9-15 yrs.
In 1976 fifty-six men became out laws by signing their names to a document that would affect our lives today – The Declaration of Independence. Fradin’s work examines the men from each of the 13 original colonies who signed the fateful Declaration. Reading like an encyclopedia, this work is a useful ready reference tool for students writing reports on the Founding Fathers of our nation.

Fradin, Dennis Brindell.
Nicolaus Copernicus: The Earth is a Planet ; illus. by Cynthia von Buhler. Mondo, 2004. 32 p. 7-12yrs.
Children will be transformed to a time when publishing ideas could lead to imprisonment or death in this tale about how Copernicus formed his revolutionary ideas about Earth. Fradin begins his tale with Copernicus as a youth and concludes it with his impact on science and modern times. This is an excellent title for the young reader interested in science or history.

Fradin, Judith Bloom and Dennis Brindell Fradin. The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine . Clarion Books, 2004. 178 p. 10-14 yrs.
This is the story of Daisy Bates, a woman who conquered a difficult childhood to become a civil rights activist in Arkansas during the integration of Central High School. Bates became the mentor of the first nine African-American students at the Little Rock school. She struggled to encourage the students against the racism they faced, as she was a victim to attacks herself. This work brings to life not only the story of Daisy Bates, but also the brave nine students who began to change the face of America.

Fradin, Judith Bloom and Dennis Brindell Fradin.
Fight On! Mary Church Terrell’s Battle for Integration . Clarion Books, 2003. 181 p. 10-14yrs.
History is rich with heroes who leave behind a life of relative privilege and comfort, and Mary Church Terrell fits that bill. In her 80s, Terrell choose to champion desegregation in Washington D.C. After a detailed rendering of Terrell’s early years you will be pulling for this Civil Rights activist as you share in her struggles and accomplishments. A detailed bibliography and index accompany the text.

Fradin, Judith Bloom and Dennis Brindell Fradin. Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy . Clarion Books, 2006. 216 p. 10-14 yrs.
Time has often shifted how history views particular personas, and Jane Addams is no exception. This Noble Peace Prize recipient was once demonized as “unpatriotic,” but her humanitarianism and activism in the suffrage and civil rights movements are what are remembered today. The Fradins portray Addam’s life in a balanced account from her childhood to her pacifism in World War I. This work includes photographs, a bibliography, and index for research assistance.

Keding, Dan and Amy Douglas, eds. English Folktales . Libriaries Unlimited, 2005. 230 p. 9+ yrs.
Folktales bring to life cultures which may seem unreachable from our doorsteps. In this compilation of English folktales, Keding and Douglas bring the land across the pond into your homes and hearts. From dragons to heroes to witches, English tradition comes to life in this array of tales. If the stories leave you begging for more, fear not, for you can find recipes, riddles, and rhymes as well.

McGinty, Alice B.
Darwin ; illus. by Mary Azarian. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009. 48 p. Ages 6-9.
Dazzling illustrations and descriptive language bring the story of Charles Darwin to life for young readers in this book. McGinty makes Darwin’s Origin of Species and his concept of natural selection accessible to children through her fluid and concise narrative. In addition to being an informative source for the novice researcher, the book also applies to the curious child interested in animals, exploration, science, and/or history.

Powell, Patricia Hruby. Blossom Tales: Flower Stories of Many Folk ; illus. by Sarah Dillard. Moon Mountain Publishing, 2002. 32 p. 5-9 yrs.
A love of flowers interweaves these international folktales. These 14 tales ranges from the Americas to Asia, but all contain different flowers that remain integral to each tale's plot. This collection will appeal to both the lover of flowers and the folktale enthusiast.

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