The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Extravaganza of Books - October 2006

presented to the Illinois Library Association, October 5, 2006
by Betsy Hearne on behalf of the Center for Children's Books

All books have a 2006 publication year.

Fiction | Picture Books | Non-Fiction


Abbott, Tony Firegirl Little Gr. 6-9
Seventh-grader Tom struggles with his old friendships and the arrival of a new classmate Jessica, who has moved to town to receive treatment after being badly burned in a fire.

Anderson, M. T. The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen Dial Gr. 5-7
The intrepid trio of Lily, Jasper, and Katie (Whales on Stilts, BCCB 4/05) heads off to the Moose Tongue Lodge and Resort for a much-deserved break, only to find themselves in the middle of another crime involving the missing Hooper Quints. Can the quarreling trio come together to solve this mystery?

Brenna, Beverley Wild Orchid Red Deer Gr. 7-10
Eighteen-year-old Taylor is managing her Asperger’s Syndrome but is not quite ready to tackle life on her own. This brings her to spend the summer with her mother in Prince Albert National Park , where she finds support from the people who work at the park’s interpretive center.

Bruchac, Joseph Jim Thorpe: Original All-American Dial Gr. 6-10
This dynamic fictionalized autobiography of superstar athlete and Native American Jim Thorpe is “narrated” in Thorpe’s own voice. The trials and triumphs of his long career are documented.

Bruchac, Joseph Wabi: A Hero’s Tale Dial Gr. 7-10
Wabi the owl is thrilled to learn that he has inherited the ability to choose between human and owl form. He eagerly undergoes the transformation in the hopes of winning the heart of an Abenaki woman, only to find himself inept as a new human and uninformed about the way to win her over.

Chima, Cinda Williams The Warrior Heir Hyperion Gr. 7-10
In an inventively plotted, action-packed fantasy, Sixteen-year-old Jack has taken medicine every day since a childhood operation, never knowing that the medication keeps his secret magical powers at bay. Finally, he learns that he is a member of the Weirlind race of magical people living in human society.

Dunrea, Olivier Hanne’s Quest Philomel Gr. 3-5
In a mythical island world Mem Pockets is an animal-loving woman, and her heart lies with her speckled Scaldy hens. When faced with the possibility of losing her farm, the smallest hen goes on a quest to learn to lay golden eggs and save Mem Pockets from a terrible fate.

Golds, Cassandra Clair-de-Lune Knopf Gr. 4-7
Clair-de-Lune was an infant when her mother, a brilliant dancer, died on stage of a broken heart. Her stern grandmother is determined to keep her from the same fate, so she takes magical steps to ensure that Clair-de-Lune will never know love. As a result, Clair-de-Lune cannot speak, and she is plagued by loneliness until she meets Bonaventure, a talking mouse.

Kennen, Ally Beast Scholastic Gr. 8-12
Years in foster care have left seventeen-year-old Stephen an outsider, but his suspicious behavior stems from a terrible problem: he is responsible for a savage twelve-foot-long crocodile his convict father acquired illegally.

Na, An Wait for Me Putnam Gr. 7-12
Korean-American Ming Kang wants to plan her own future and avoid the life her mother has chosen for her. When her mother finds out she has been sneaking off with a secret boyfriend and plans to leave L.A. with him, confrontation ensues and readers will wonder if their relationship can be repaired.

Parkinson, Siobhan Something Invisible Roaring Brook Gr. 5-7
When Jake’s baby half-sister is born, he worries that his father, who only happened on the scene a few months after Jake’s birth, is going to be closer to his only birth child. Soon Jake’s concerns disappear in the face of a terrible and unexpected tragedy striking his new friend Stella’s family.

Tal, Eve Double Crossing: A Jewish Immigration Story for Young Adults Cinco Puntos Gr. 7-10
Although she loves to entertain her siblings with tales of the wonders of America , twelve-year-old Raizel, a Jewish girl in 1905 Russia , doesn’t want to go there. She is left without a choice, however, when her father comes home with two tickets—one adult and one child—and chooses her as his companion. The pair makes the journey to Ellis Island , only to be sent back, and then attempt the trip again.

Zusak, Markus The Book Thief Knopf Gr. 4-7
Liesel Meminger has just lost her brother and is being sent to live with a foster family when she begins her career as a book thief, pocketing The Grave-Digger's Handbook. Soon Liesel begins stealing more and more books, but her foster family is committing a bigger crime, hiding a Jew in Nazi Germany.


Picture Books

Ahlberg, Allan The Runaway Dinner Candlewick 4-7 yrs
Banjo is a hungry little boy who dines on sausage every night for dinner – but one day Melvin the sausage jumps off the plate and races down the road, and the rest of Banjo’s dinner follows. Will Banjo ever catch his runaway dinner?

Hurston, Zora Neale The Six Fools HarperCollins 5-8 yrs
This folktale tells the story of a young man so disgusted with the antics of his fiancée and her family that he goes off traveling, to return only if he finds three fools as big as they are. Inevitably and humorously he finds three such characters and returns to his beloved.

LaReau, Kara Ugly Fish Harcourt 6-9 yrs
Meet Ugly Fish, who is “ugly. And BIG. And mean.” Each time Ugly Fish meets a newcomer to his tank he gobbles him up. As loneliness sets in, Ugly Fish begins to regret his hasty consumption and wish for a new playmate. Unfortunately the new Shiny Fish has other plans, and this time it’s Ugly Fish on the menu.

Long, Ethan Tickle the Duck Little 2-5 yrs
“Whatever you do . . . don’t you DARE tickle me here!” Don’t be fooled by Duck’s defiant eyes, aggressive bill, belligerent stance, or full-page speech bubble—this is one duck who wants to be tickled.

Look, Lenore Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding  Schwartz/Atheneum 5-9 yrs.
Jen loves being her Uncle Peter’s special girl and is having difficulty with the idea of sharing him with a new aunt. As the family gathers to celebrate Uncle Peter’s wedding, readers learn about many of the Chinese traditions associated with the ceremony.

Lorbiecki, Marybeth Jackie’s Bat Simon 7-10 yrs
A different look at Jackie Robinson’s 1947 rookie season from the point of view of a fictional Dodgers batboy, Joey, who initially regards the new player with scorn.

MacDonald, Margaret Read Conejito: A Folktale from Panama Little Folk/August House 3-6 yrs
This Panamanian folktale tells the story of Conejito (“Little Bunny”) and his journey to his Tia Monica’s house. On the way there he runs into a fox, a tiger, and even a lion each of whom want to make Conejito their lunch, but the little rabbit devises a plan to make it to Tia Monica’s and back home in one piece.

MacDonald, Margaret Read The Squeaky Door HarperCollins 4-7 yrs
When Grandma tells Little Boy that he gets to sleep in the big brass bed all by himself, she first asks if he’ll be scared. “No. Not me!” he confidently replies . . . that is, until Grandma tucks him in and the door starts to “squeeeeeak.”

McMillan, Bruce The Problem with Chickens Lorraine/Houghton 5-8 yrs
This fanciful story details the bizarre occurrences following the purchase of chickens by the ladies of an Islandic village. Initially procured for eggs, the chickens start imitating what the ladies do: attending parties, singing, gardening, having tea and cakes. When the chickens stop laying eggs altogether, the ladies come up with a rather roundabout solution to their problem.

O’Brien, Anne Sibley The Legend of Hong Kil Dong: The Robin Hood of Korea Charlesbridge Gr. 4-7
Shown in graphic novel format, Hong Kil Dong is the son of powerful minister but is not entitled to his birthright because his mother is a commoner. He studies martial arts and leads a band of men to right the injustices many peasants face, all the while trying to be the wise leader he is meant to be.

O’Connor, Jane The Snow Globe Family Putnam 5-8 yrs
In this lavishly illustrated tale a little toy family wishes for a grand snow storm so they can go sledding; there’s not a lot else to do when you live in a snow globe. But none of their owners seem to notice their existence – will it be the baby that finally shakes things up?

Pericoli, Matteo The True Story of Stellina Knopf Gr. 2-5
Stellina is a baby house finch, found helpless and alone on a Manhattan sidewalk by the author’s wife, Holly, who takes the little bird home and tends her. This is initially a demanding task, so Holly takes her everywhere; soon, however, a grown Stellina is content to be eating on her own and sharing an apartment with Holly and her husband, singing along with the piano (and the shower) and flying around the author’s desk.

Raven, Margot Theis Let Them Play Sleeping Bear Gr. 3-5
In a heartbreaking tale of racial discrimination, the 1955 Cannon Street YMCA little league team travels from South Carolina to Pennsylvania for the championship playoffs, only to be denied the chance to play when no other South Carolina teams agree to compete with the only African-American team.

Savadier, Elivia Time to Get Dressed Porter/Roaring Brook 2-4 yrs
Simple watercolor lines tell the story of Solomon, the independent-minded toddler from No Haircut Today! This time he insists on dressing himself. Even relatively inexperienced dressers will chortle knowingly, as the shirt goes on sideways, pants go on head, socks go on hands, and shoes are attached by their laces to ankles.

Schaefer, Lola M. An Island Grows Greenwillow 4-7 yrs
Rhyming couplets and paper collages animate an island forming from the sea with a volcanic burst. Soon the buffeted rock turns to soil, which blooms with plant life, eventually luring settlers who establish a robust culture on their speck of turf.

Shannon, David Good Boy, Fergus! Blue Sky/Scholastic 3-6 yrs
Fergus is a West Highland Terrier with a taste for adventure and mischief. The artwork shows the reader activities from Fergus’ rambunctious point of view as the dog walks all over his owner, literally and figuratively.

Smee, Nicola Clip-Clop Sterling/Boxer 1-3 yrs
With a clippity-clop rhythm throughout, Mr. Horse gives cat, dog, pig, and duck a ride on his back, asking them to make sure to “hold on tight.” When the riders cry out for Mr. Horse to stop they are flung off his back but, sure enough, want another ride.

Smith, Lane John, Paul, George & Ben Hyperion Gr. 3-5
 Many a biography has been based on the lives of John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, but few have such a comical take on what the childhoods of these four Founding Fathers “might” have been like. Lane’s broad parodies of adulatory histories and visual play on colonial artwork out-legend the legends themselves.

Tingle, Tim Crossing Bok Chitto Cinco Puntos Gr. 3-5
Songs, traditional stories, local histories, and arresting illustrations combine to project a gripping legend of Native Americans helping African-American slaves to freedom.

Weatherford, Carole Boston Dear Mr. Rosenwald Scholastic Gr. 3-5
Fourteen free verse poems are narrated by Ovella, the daughter of African-American sharecroppers in 1921. Ovella explains many aspects of her daily life in poems before her final verse, a thank you letter to Julius Rosenwald, the president of Sears, and a man responsible for the construction of her new school.

Weatherford, Carole Boston Moses Hyperion 6-9 yrs
Luminous pictures focus on the story of Harriet Tubman, beginning with her escape from a Maryland plantation. Her perilous journey north and decision to go back and help other slaves to freedom is punctuated by prayers for guidance and responses from the Almighty.

Winter, Jonah Dizzy Levine/ Scholastic 6-10 yrs
Collage illustrations portray the life story of “Dizzy” Gillespie, from his rough childhood to his professional success to playing his horn in “Jazz Heaven.” The text vibrantly speaks in jazz-like rhythm that will have readers bebop-ing right along.

Wood, Nancy Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen Candlewick 5-8 yrs
Mr. and Mrs. God are by turns collaborators, competitors, and critics as they cook up the cosmos. From “an oven big enough to roast a star” and a pantry full of eyeballs, hooves, bones, claws, fur and feathers, they fiddle and create the creatures of the earth.


Non-Fiction Books

Bausum, Ann Freedom Riders National Geographic Gr. 6-10
Tracing the separate life journeys of freedom riders John Lewis and Jim Zwerg, Bausum then covers the rides themselves, the riots that erupted, the behind-the-scenes collusion between segregationists and local authorities to allow unpoliced violence, and the actions of a few brave officials who protected the protesters’ right to ride.

Borden, Louise The Journey That Saved Curious George Houghton Gr. 3-6
Written in easy-to-read sentences this biographical tale begins by briefly touching on Margret and H. A. Rey’s early life and then follows their rapid succession of plans to flee Nazi occupation and save both their lives and the manuscript of the book that would become Curious George.

Butterworth, Chris Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea Candlewick 4-8 yrs
From a lyrical blend of illustrations and text, readers can learn many facts regarding the life cycle of this amazing creature, the sea horse.

Engle, Margarita The Poet Slave of Cuba Holt Gr. 7-12
A memorable and powerful depiction of the young life of Cuban poet Juan Francisco Manzano is told in free-verse from multiple viewpoints. Manzano was born a slave and as a young man had two very different owners; one encouraged his poetry and the other beat him nearly to death because of it.

Fleischman, Sid Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini Greenwillow Gr. 6-10
The story of professional magician Harry Houdini distinguishes the myth from the man while maintaining a sense of awe and admiration.

Fradin, Judith Bloom 5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft’s Flight from Slavery National Geographic Gr. 5-10
In 1848, William and Ellen Craft decided to pose as a Southern gentleman (light-skinned Ellen) and his slave (darker William) and made their way on a nearly disastrous trip to Philadelphia, in plain view, via rail and water.

Hatkoff, Isabella Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship Scholastic Gr. 2-4
Among the tragic 2004 tsunami’s survivors was an orphaned baby hippo named Owen. After being placed in an animal sanctuary, Owen became inseparable from a tortoise known as Mzee, following the large reptile around as if it were his mother.

Hurston, Zora Neale Lies and Other Tall Tales HarperCollins Gr. 2-4
This collection of spectacular lies, legends, and tall-tale exaggerations is enhanced by simple, fluid shapes and blocks of color that highlight the text’s brazen oral humor.

Krinitz, Esther Nisenthal & Bernice Steinhardt Memories of Survival Hyperion Gr. 3-6
Holocaust survivor Esther Nisenthal Krinitz’s story accompanies thirty-six embroidered panels that portray her childhood, her flight from the Nazis, her time spent disguised as a Catholic farm girl, and her post-war discovery of death camp atrocities. A narrative by her daughter, Bernice Steinhardt, contextualizes Krinitz’s own words.

Krull, Kathleen Giants of Science: Isaac Newton Viking Gr. 5-9
In this second title in the Giants of Science series, Newton carries out his landmark studies of optics and motion, then scraps with his critics and impounds his own research, lest someone else lay claim to his discoveries.

Kudlinkski, Kathleen V. Boy, Were We Wrong about Dinosaurs Dutton 6-10 yrs
What can be more delightful to a kid than to find that the grownups got it wrong? Here a number of widely accepted “facts” about dinosaurs are recanted by researchers with an embarrassed “Oops.”

Miller, Norma Stompin’ at the Savoy Candlewick Gr. 4-8
In a text narrated by Norma Miller herself, the great dancer recalls her creative journey starting at the age of twelve. Growing up in Depression-era Harlem she mimicked the dancers of the Savoy Ballroom, and soon these imitations paid off as she became a young member of Herbert “Whitey” White’s Lindy Hoppers, a swing dance troupe.

Schlitz, Laura Amy The Hero Schliemann: The Dreamer Who Dug for Troy Candlewick Gr. 5-8
Hyperimaginative Schliemann thought beyond the conventional wisdom of his day, so much so that he dug up the Turkish ruins at Hissarlik on little more than a hunch that they were the Homeric city of Troy.

Tchana, Katrin Hyman, ad. Changing Woman and Her Sisters: Stories of Goddesses from Around the World; Holiday House Gr. 6-8
Ten stories of goddesses from a broad range of world cultures and religions portray love, faith, violence, and compassion.