Monday, December 12, 2016

Top 20 Books of 2016 (#20-16)


Happy Monday! Over the next four days, Travis Jonker and I will share our top 20 picks of 2016. 


Please visit 100 Scope Notes to read the blurbs.


Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley




Kate visited Watch. Connect. Read. on Gertie's book birthday. 

Hi, Kate Beasley! Hooray! Gertie’s book birthday is finally here! Thank you for celebrating this big day with the Nerdy Book Club, Colby Sharp, and me.

Kate: Thank you, Mr. Schu!


I wrote the words in orange, and Kate wrote the words in black.
Gertie’s Leap to Greatness tells the story of a girl on a mission to be the best fifth grader in the universe.
Great-Aunt Rae thinks that Gertie already is the most important person in the universe. She also thinks that you shouldn’t buy anything that isn’t on sale.

I wrote Gertie’s Leap to Greatness over the course of three years, on two different laptops, on scraps of paper, on the windows in dry-erase marker, in coffee shops, in a pecan orchard, in hotels, in the early morning and late at night and every time in between.


I think Jillian Tamaki’s illustrations are classic, kinetic, and delightful. I can’t pick a favorite; I love them all!

Kate DiCamillo and I met this summer at nErDcamp Michigan!!! She’s just as kind and intelligent and cool in person as I imagined she would be from reading her books. She told me to keep my eyes and heart open.


Reading is my cure-all. For boredom, anger, loneliness, small-mindedness, sadness, insatiable curiosity. There’s a book for that.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I’m dressing up as for Halloween! I’m going to be the Tardis. Are you going to have a costume, Mr. Schu?



"But I suspect what early readers have responded to is Kate Beasley's surprising knack for picking out the details in human life that matter: like the slightest hint of lemon Gertie tastes in her Twinkie filling every morning; the comforting weight of a frog in a shoe box before show-and-tell; or the promise of a parent's unconditional love." -Grace Kendall | Click here to keep reading.



Please click here to read Colby's post.



Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead






Margie Myers-Culver featured Ideas Are All Around on March 25. 


A gorgeous blend of artistic techniques, monoprinting, cardboard printing, painting on paper and applying pressure to the back, drawing in crayon on brown paper and cutting out the forms and pictures taken with a Polaroid camera, are used to render the illustrations in this book.  Across the dust jacket large brush strokes and swirls of blue paint form a horse with the other guide, the real dog Wednesday, running alongside in perfect unison. On the book case an array of Polaroid pictures, seventeen, in rows of three on a background of white give us a first peek at them before their appearance on the interior pages.  The title text occupies one of the spaces. Click here to read the full review. 


Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea


Learn how to draw Ballet Cat. 





School's First Day of School by Adam Rex; illustrated by Christian Robinson



Illustration credit: Christian Robinson 
For the opening and closing endpapers Robinson chooses to change the background to brushed black.  This choice, like the white, draws our attention to his use of primary and secondary shades.  The heavier lines are in white outlining all the playful points on the playground.  Prior to the beginning of the narrative, Robinson starts the story visually with the machinery and crews building the new school across the verso and title pages. Click here to read the full review. 

A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson

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