Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea Beaty; David Roberts (Illustrator)
Aaron Slater loves listening to stories and dreams of one day writing them himself. But when it comes to reading, the letters just look like squiggles to him, and it soon becomes clear he struggles more than his peers. When his teacher asks each child in the class to write a story, Aaron can't get a single word down. He is sure his dream of being a storyteller is out of reach . . . until inspiration strikes, and Aaron finds a way to spin a tale in a way that is uniquely his.
The Bad Mood and the Stick by Lemony Snicket; Matthew Forsythe (Illustrator)
Once there was a bad mood and a stick. The stick appeared when a tree dropped it. Where did the bad mood come from? Who picked up the stick? And where is the bad mood off to now? You never know what is going to happen.
The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson; Rafael López (Illustrator)
On a dreary, stuck-inside kind of day, a brother and sister heed their grandmother's advice: "Use those beautiful and brilliant minds of yours... Somebody somewhere at some point was just as bored you are now." And before they know it, their imaginations lift them up and out of their boredom. Then, on a day full of quarrels, it's time for a trip outside their minds again, and they are able to leave their anger behind. This precious skill, their grandmother tells them, harkens back to the days long before they were born, when their ancestors showed the world the strength and resilience of their beautiful and brilliant minds.
Boogie Boogie, Y'all by C. G. Esperanza
Author-illustrator C. G. Esperanza delivers a celebratory ode to graffiti and the Boogie Down Bronx through an infectious read-aloud beat and colorful illustrations that leap right off the page! The city is alive with vibrant art in every corner of the parks, the shops, the trains. But most people are too busy to see it--or worse, choose to ignore it! When three children stop to marvel at the art around their community, they realize it's up to them to show everyone else how truly special it is when art and reality dance together so seamlessly.
Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter; Oge Mora (Illustrator)
Everybody in the red brick building was asleep. Until . . . WaaaAAH! Rraak! Wake up! Pitter patter STOMP! Pssheew! A chain reaction of noises wakes up several children (and a cat) living in an apartment building. But it's late in the night, so despite the disturbances, one by one, the building's inhabitants return to their beds--this time with a new set of sounds to lull them to sleep.
Saturday by Oge Mora
Today would be special. Today would be splendid. It was Saturday! But sometimes, the best plans don't work out exactly the way you expect.... In this heartfelt and universal story, a mother and daughter look forward to their special Saturday routine together every single week. But this Saturday, one thing after another goes wrong--Mom is nearing a meltdown...until her loving daughter reminds her that being together is the most important thing of all.
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña; Christian Robinson (Illustrator)
Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there's the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo--walking the same path, going to the exact same place--Milo realizes that you can't really know anyone just by looking at them.
Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe (Illustrator)
The biggest mistake Pokko's parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals --first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf--and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father's voice when he calls her home?
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L. B. Deenihan; Lorraine Rocha (Illustrator)
When Grandma gives you a lemon tree, definitely don't make a face! Care for the tree, and you might be surprised at how new things, and new ideas, bloom.
A House for Every Bird by Megan Maynor; Kaylani Juanita (Illustrator)
A young artist's drawings rebel against her when she tries to put her sketched birds in houses that match how they look, but not how they feel.
Watercress by Andrea Wang; Jason Chin (Illustrator)
Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl's parents stop suddenly when they spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road. Grabbing an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail covered watercress as they can. At first, she's embarrassed. Why can't her family get food from the grocery store? But when her mother shares a story of her family's time in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress.
Journey by Aaron Becker (Illustrator)
A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart's desire?