Top 20 Books of 2018 (#15-11)

Happy Wednesday! Travis Jonker and I are counting down our top 20 books of 2018. 

#20-16 | #15-11 | #10-6 | #5-1

Please visit to read our blurbs.

Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera; illustrated by Lauren Castillo 

I interviewed Juan and Lauren on February 8, 2018. Click here to read the full interview. An excerpt is below.

Lauren, the cover for Imagine is gorgeous. Why did you depict this scene on the cover?

Lauren: Thanks so much, Mr. Schu! The idea for the cover was taken from an interior spread where the child is spending the night under the stars. Illustrating this scene recalled wonderful memories of warm nights spent outdoors on the hill in my family’s backyard; the dark, the quiet, the magical expanse of sky. You couldn’t help but dream, and imagine. This is what I wanted to depict on the cover— the feeling of a whole world being yours to explore. 

Juan Felipe, what planted the seed for Imagine?

Juan Felipe: The first line, the feeling of what I was about to write, on a legal-size yellow paper pad,

I truly love how the poem flows and how much it says in a few lines

Meet Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi; illustrated by Hatem Aly 

Watch Meet Yasmin's book trailer. 

Authors Saadia Faruqi, Jacqueline Jules, and Fran Manushkin talk about their early reader series. 

I interviewed Saadia Faruqi on July 31, 2018. Click here to read the full interview. An excerpt is below.

Yasmin is an explorer, a builder, a painter and a fashionista. What else does she love doing on her own and with her family?

Saadia: Yasmin is modeled after my own daughter, who is a little older than Yasmin now. But she’s also her own person, who has these little qualities that are just so uniquely Yasmin! She loves reading with her Baba, and working on crafts projects with her grandparents. She really enjoys going out with her Mama, very similar to the way my daughter and I have girls’ day when we go shopping and then a nice lunch somewhere. Yasmin is also a very curious child so she likes to know how things work and how to fix things that are broken. You see some of that in Yasmin the Fashionista.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin 

Grace Lin discusses A Big Mooncake for Little Star.

Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot's World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman; illustrated by Melissa Iwai 

Colby Sharp recommends Thirty Minutes Over Oregon

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier 

Jonathan Auxier introduces Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster


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