2011 Nerdy Book Club Awards -- Best Picture Books

(This post is cross-posted on the Nerdy Book Club blog.)

Ladies and Gentlemen! Nerds and Non-nerds! I am excited to announce the winners for Best Picture Book in the 2011 Nerdy Book Club Awards. Congratulations to the winners and nominees. Thank you to those who nominated picture books and voted.

YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! by Peter Brown [Little, Brown and Company | Grades K-3]

Lucy, the adorable bear who debuted last year in Children Make Terrible Pets!, is back and more enthusiastic than ever. Lucy wants to make a friend more than anything in THE ENTIRE WORLD. She cannot wait to meet her new friend so they can climb trees, go swimming, and do cartwheels together. Sadly, her search to find a new friend is not easy--most of the forest critters just don't understand her effervescent personality. Just when Lucy's feeling hopeless and frustrated, a wonderful thing happens...she makes a FRIEND! You Will Be My Friend is a must-purchase!

Peter started making picture books when he was six years old. The Adventures of Me and My Dog Buffy was one of his first picture books.

Behind the scenes of YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND!

It takes Peter Brown about a year to make a book.

Watch Peter draw Lucille Beatrice Bear.

Peter Brown is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. His Web site is www.peterbrownstudio.com. - Bio taken from here.

Happy Pig Day! and Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems [Hyperion | Grades PreK-2]

Do you think Mo Willems' successful Elephant and Piggie series will receive two Geisel citations this year? I think it looks promising. Willems is the king of writing distinguished beginning readers and picture books. I didn't think it was possible, but the Elephant and Piggie series keeps getting better. Should I Share My Ice Cream? and Happy Pig Day! will make readers laugh, cheer, and re-read. Thank you, Mo Willems, for creating beginning readers that beg to be read aloud.

Download an Elephant and Piggie teaching guide.

Mo makes sure all of his characters are simple enough for children to draw.

Becky Anderson, the owner of Anderson’s Bookshop, interviews Mo.

Play the Elephant and Piggie Dance Game.

My work in children’s books, animation, television, theater, and bubble gum card painting have garnered 3 Caldecott Honors, 2 Geisel Medals, a Geisel Honor, 2 Carnegie Medals, 6 Emmys, and multiple bubble gum cards. -Bio taken from here.

Press Here by Herve Tullet [Chronicle | Grades ALL]

Press Here catches the eye of an enthusiastic kindergartner and a fourth grader who claims he only reads chapter books. An unknown narrator instructs and encourages the reader to touch, shake, and blow on the book. Dots change colors, grow, and switch places. It is an interactive reading experience that does not require WiFi, batteries, touch-screen technology, or a mouse. Press HERE to place it on hold at your school or public library.

Hervé Tullet's website reminds me of Prezi.

Hervé Tullet is known in France as the "prince of pre-school books."

Hervè Tullet has been an art director at various ad agencies, a magazine illustrator, and for the past 15 years, a creator of children's books. He lives with his two sons and daughter in Paris. -Bio taken from Chronicle's website.

Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell [Little, Brown and Company | Grades 1-4 ]

Spend time with the young Jane Goodall and her stuffed toy chimpanzee Jubilee. Jane and her faithful companion watch birds making their nests, read about plants and animals in books, and dream of a life in Africa helping all animals. It is no surprise Jane grows up to be an animal activist, environmentalist, and a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Patrick McDonnell’s detailed India ink and watercolor illustrations make this the most beautifully illustrated book of 2011. Me…Jane proves that childhood dreams can come true.

Download the Me...Jane educator's guide.

Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the Mutts comic strip, which recently celebrated its fifteenth anniversary, as well as several bestselling children's books including Wag!, The Gift of Nothing, Just Like Heaven, South, Hug Time, and Art. He has been hailed as "the next Charles Schulz." Patrick sits on the board of directors of the Humane Society of the United States, with a deep concern for the environment and animal welfare, and has won numerous awards for both Mutts and his animal welfare work. He is the co-creator of Guardians of Being with Eckhart Tolle. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Karen, their formerly feral cat, MeeMow, and their newly adopted terrier, Amelie. -Bio taken from here.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen [Candlewick Press | Grades 1-5]

This thirty-two page picture book caused folks to take sides and tweet, “Are you on #TeamBear or #TeamRabbit?” Twibbons were created, hats sewn, and very opinionated blog posts were tweeted, facebooked, and emailed. Some people decided not to join either camp and formed #TeamSquirrel and #TeamTurtle. When was the last time a picture book caused such strong reactions and side-taking?

Reading I Want My Hat Back feels like you’re playing the detective game Clue. Who took Bear’s favorite hat? Was it the friendly frog? The determined turtle? The loquacious rabbit? The confused armadillo? Can Bear trust any of the forest critters? Will he ever get his red hat back? The intense and surprising conclusion will leave some kids speechless.

Download a "Read to Us Story-Hour" kit.

"Right now, I live in Los Angeles, California. I'm from Niagara Falls, Ontario, though." -Bio taken from Jon Klassen's website.


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