January 1 & 15, 2016 Booklist 15 www.booklistonline.com
who has moved from California to Vermont
with her family in 1969. In addition to navigating a new, primarily white society, Mimi
dreams of being an astronaut and faces obstacles as a girl interested in science.
Goodbye Stranger. By Rebecca
Stead. Random/Wendy Lamb, $16.99
(9780385743174). Gr. 5–8.
Bridge, Em, and Tabitha are best friends
heading into seventh grade, an age ripe for
transformation. In spite of their myriad
changes, though, their friendship survives.
With exceptional nuance, Stead gracefully
captures the shifting sands of adolescence
and offers a warm, winsome story about all
kinds of love.
The Hollow Boy. By Jonathan Stroud.
(9781484709689). Gr. 4–7.
When a major paranormal disturbance
threatens London, the four young people of
Lockwood & Co. take up the challenge, despite friction within their firm. Stroud brings
his considerable narrative skills to bear in
this sometimes terrifying, sometimes amusing, but always riveting novel.
The Nest. By Kenneth Oppel. Illus. by
Jon Klassen. Simon & Schuster, $16.99
(9781481432320). Gr. 5–8.
When an angelic wasp offers to fix his
sick baby brother, Steven accepts. That
is, until the wasp’s dreadful plan emerges.
Brilliantly merging Steven’s anxieties about
his own brokenness with the wasp’s malignant assertions, Oppel tells an outstanding,
spine-chilling tale about monsters both outside and in.
The Thing about Jellyfish. By Ali Benjamin.
Little, Brown, $17 (9780316380867).
Suzy lost her longtime best friend twice: first
when she shifted away into the “pretty girls”
clique and irrevocably when she drowned. In
a novel notable for its clean, fluid writing,
Suzy’s highly individual first-person narrative
makes for a compelling experience.
The Wolf Wilder. By Katherine Rundell.
Simon & Schuster, $16.99
(9781481419420). Gr. 4–7.
In the snowy wilderness of Russia, Feo and
her mother work as wolf wilders, retraining
domesticated wolves to survive in nature.
But when her mother is arrested, Feo determines to save her, with the help of her wolf
pack and a new friend. A deftly told and inspiring adventure.
The Day The Crayons Came Home. By
Drew Daywalt. Illus. by Oliver Jeffers.
Philomel, $18.99 (9780399172755).
The Crayons are back! Well, not exactly.
Some have left home, though all have access
to postcards, which they send to their owner,
Duncan—and they’re not too happy. Wonderfully inventive and lots of fun.
The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have. By
Edward Van de Vendel. Illus. by Anton Van Hertbruggen. Eerdmans, $17
(9780802854513). K–Gr. 3.
Sumptuous, stunning paintings combine
with spare, off-kilter words to tell the story
of Nino, who finds comfort in an imaginary
dog that innately understands Nino’s needs.
After getting a real dog, Nino has the powerful realization that his imagination doesn’t
have to stop there.
Fire Engine No. 9. By Mike Austin.
Illus. by the author. Random, $16.99
With siren blaring and horn honking, Fire
Engine No. 9 speeds through the streets to
reach the scene and douse the fire. The vivid
digital artwork shapes the main narrative, using
color, texture, and form to amplify the drama.
Kids will want to chime in on the sound effects
and staccato words of this total dynamo. (Top
of the List winner—Picture Book.)
Home. By Carson Ellis. Illus. by the author.
Candlewick, $14.99. (9780763665296).
In this arrestingly illustrated book, Ellis
presents many types of home, some as contemporary and concrete as a brick apartment
building slashed with graffiti, others as fanciful as a shoe covered with cavorting children.
Ellis draws with precision and simplicity, with
an eye for detail, making each picture a piece
of framable art.
I Don’t Like Koala. By Sean Ferrell. Illus.
by Charles Santoso. Atheneum, $17.99
(9781481400688). PreS–Gr. 1.
Adam hates his stuffed koala. Its terrible
eyes follow him wherever he goes, and despite the boy’s attempts to lose the toy, Koala
always reappears. However, Koala’s unshakable vigilance becomes a thing of comfort
when Adam needs reassurance in the night.
Quirky pencil drawings lend humor to this
It’s Only Stanley. By Jon Agee. Illus. by the
author. Dial, $17.99 (9780803739079).
A family’s slumber keeps being interrupted by strange noises, but don’t worry.
It’s only Stanley, their nondescript beagle,
howling at the moon, then modifying their
oil tank, then experimenting with test tubes.
What he’s up to is at first a little ominous
and then, unexpectedly, touching. A droll
Moletown. By Torben Kuhlmann.
Illus. by the author. North-South, $17.95
(9780735842083). PreS–Gr. 2.
In meticulous, mesmerizing, wordless illustrations, Kuhlmann traces the history of
Moletown. Beginning with one mole in a
verdant field, it gradually grows, mimicking
the history of industrialization, into a buzzing mole-tropolis. But what happened to
the grassy field? Kuhlmann’s moving art asks
thoughtful questions about sustainability.
My Dog, Bob. By Richard Torrey.
Illus. by the author. Holiday, $16.95
(9780823433865). PreS–Gr. 2.
A little boy introduces his dog, Bob, an
original whose idea of having fun with a ball
is playing golf. The easy-to-read words and
cartoon-like illustrations combine to create
this lovable picture book’s understated but
hugely accessible humor.
The Night World. By Mordicai Gerstein.
Illus. by the author. Little, Brown, $18
(9780316188227). PreS–Gr. 1.
A sleeping boy and his cat go out to explore the night in this evocative story by
a Caldecott Medalist. Stunning spreads
executed in shades of black and charcoal
grow lighter with the coming of dawn. The
message: look around, there are so many
wonderful things to see.
The Princess and the Pony. By Kate Beaton. Illus. by the author. Scholastic, $17.99
(9780545637084). K–Gr. 2.
Princess Pinecone is a warrior, thank you
Feo took the
wolves, a lantern, and a
haunch of beef
tree to hide
until her head
stopped spinning. The meat,
at least, did not
try to kiss her.
me once that
if you worried
you were crazy,
it means you
couldn’t be crazy.
people apparently had no idea
they were crazy; they thought it
was normal, walking around naked