2012 Baker's Dozen

NOTE: I wrote this post a few months ago. I forgot to schedule it. Oops. Better late than never, right? 

Every year the Pennsylvania Center for the Book releases a Baker's Dozen. What's this, you ask? They are thirteen picture books books that are perfect for family literacy and meet the following criteria:
  1. Recent outstanding trade books whose text and illustrations are particularly suited to the interests and developmental characteristics of children between three and six years of age. Fiction and non-fiction as well as wordless books are considered.
  2. Books that are accessible to adults enrolled in family literacy programs, particularly those characterized by:
    • Text that is easily approachable because of attributes such as these:
    • Print that is easy to read because of features such as these:
      • large lettering with ample space between letters and words
      • few sentences per page without many sentences that break to the next page
      • print that appears at about the same place on each page, and generally reads left to right and top to bottom
    • Illustrations that support and extend the text

  3. Books that are enjoyable for reading aloud and have appeal to a wide range of families.

ABC Kids. Written and illustrated by Simon Basher. Kingfisher, 2011.

Publisher description: 

Using creative alliteration, his signature Manga-style artwork, and his eye for clever design, Simon Basher brings a fresh approach to reimagining the alphabet. Each spread brings a new letter, a new friend, and some hilariously imaginative action. From Arthur, whose angry ant ate apples, to Maude whose mean monkey makes marvelous milkshakes, to Vera who vacuums vegetables, and Zak who zaps zeppelins, each page of this book begs to be turned to see what's coming next.

Blackout. Written and illustrated by John Rocco. Hyperion, 2011.

Bring on the Birds. Written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale. Peachtree Publishers, 2011.

Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? Written by Susan A. Shea. Illustrated by Tom Slaughter. Big Apple Books, 2011. 

Eddie Gets Ready for School. Written and illustrated by David Milgrim. Cartwheel Books, 2011. 

Publisher description: 

Fall in love with Eddie as he gets ready for school!

Now that Eddie can get ready all by himself, his morning routine is anything but ordinary!

*wake up (with a megaphone)
*get dressed (up in a costume)
*pack a snack (a watermelon's perfect)
* find something for show-and-tell (No, not the TV!)
*run like mad to catch bus!

With understated humor and uproarious illustrations, David Milgrim's first checklist book gets you to school 
on time, and in a great mood.

Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five. By Valorie Fisher. Random House, 2011. 

Publisher description: 

Do you know your letters? Can you count to twenty? Learn all that and more in this all-in-one concept picture book. Perfect for kids heading to kindergarten, this book covers the alphabet, counting, opposites, shapes, colors, and seasons. Award winning author-illustrator Valorie Fisher uses bright, gorgeous photos of retro toys to illustrate these topics in a completely fresh way. Parents will love this stylish and funny approach to basic concepts, while kids will learn, well, everything.

I Spy With My Little Eye. Written and illustrated by Edward Gibbs. Candlewick Press, 2011. 

Publisher description: 

Look through this eye-catching book’s special spy hole to discover a world of animal colors!

Have you ever played the I-spy game? Debut artist Edward Gibbs takes the game to a whole new level in this picture book with spy holes. Peeking through the pages, children will be able to spot a different colored animal every time, and guess what it is using a simple, factual clue. Bold illustrations and die-cut holes will absorb young readers as they learn about colors and animal names.

I Want My Hat Back. Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Candlewick Press, 2011. 

The Loopy Coop Hens. Written and illustrated by Janet Morgan Stoeke. Penguin, 2011. 

Melvin and the Boy. Written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Henry Holt and Company, 2011.

Mother Goose Picture Puzzles. By Will Hillenbrand. Marshall Cavendish, 2011. 

RRRalph. Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert. Simon and Schuster, 2011. 

The Twins' Blanket. Written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. Frances Foster Books, 2011. 

Publisher description: 

These look-alike twins have always shared everything—their room, their toys, a crib, and, since the day they were born, a blanket. But as they grow into new beds, they need new blankets, too. Now they face a new dilemma: they don’t know how  not 
to share.

Told from the perspective of two five-year-olds, The Twins’ Blanket playfully illuminates squabbles and affection between young siblings. Yum’s minimalistic art astutely captures these twins’ emotions as they toss, turn, and tug their new and old blankets—and embrace their growing independence.


  1. Yes, I have a great Christmas list format daughter and nieces. Can't wait to cuddle up in front of the tree with some of these books.


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