Recently I attended an excellent workshop by Judy Freeman called What’s New In Children’s Literature and Strategies for Using It in Your Program. It includes a workbook with an list of the 150 Best Children’s Books published in 2015. I was excited to see some of the books I featured on the blog on the list. There were several that I started entries about last year; but wasn’t able to polish and publish the posts. Truthfully, some of the posts just have a title and author. Here are 10 books that Judy Freeman loved which I meant to share with you in 2015.
I love what Judy said on how to determine if a book is great. “Did the book leave you Surprised? Startled? Satisfied? Each of these books left me that way.
Red Butterfly by A. L. Sonnichsen and illustrated by Amy June Bass – You would not anticipate the beauty of this book from the summary provided by the Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication data. “In China, a foundling girl with a deformed hand raised in secret by an American woman must navigate China’s strict adoption system when she is torn away from the only family she has ever known.”
The Library of Congress CIP provides “a brief, non-critical, one-sentence annotation (commonly referred to as the summary) that describes the content of the work being cataloged without making any judgmental statements. The general rule of thumb about length is twenty-five to thirty words.”
Here’s my long, run on sentence about this book which I feel captures the essence of the book more than the CIP summary. . . A lyrical novel in verse which delicately navigates the implications of China’s strict one child policy realistically and with compassion using the poetry of a young girl, Kara, who was abandoned by her birth mother and cared for by an American woman living in China for many years, until she is taken away from her “adoptive mother.”
The black and white sketches throughout the book enhance this heartbreaking yet uplifting book. After reading this book, look closely at the cover. It will touch you in a way it didn’t when you first opened the book.