Children Lists

Children Features

Best Children's Books of 2011

Vicky Smith, Editor

Compiling our best-books-of-the-year lists is a process that is both exciting and heartbreaking. Exciting, because I get to steep myself in the year's great books, and heartbreaking, because I have to pick favorites. After considerable solitary soul-searching and spirited back-and-forth with our corps of reviewers, I am pleased to present our Best Books for Children. Here you will find books that will thrill, tickle, stimulate, soothe and enlighten kids from the very youngest to early teens. There are heartfelt explorations of the natural world and loving celebrations of the closeness of family, ruminative picture books and adventures to get the blood pounding. And three, count them, three novels featuring talking mice.


ALL THE WAY TO AMERICA by Dan Yaccarino
by Dan Yaccarino
AMELIA LOST by Candace Fleming
by Candace Fleming
AROUND THE WORLD by Matt Phelan
by Matt Phelan
BLACKOUT by John Rocco
by John Rocco
BLIZZARD OF GLASS by Sally M. Walker
by Sally M. Walker

BLUE CHICKEN by Deborah Freedman
by Deborah Freedman
CAMO GIRL by Kekla Magoon
by Kekla Magoon
CAN WE SAVE THE TIGER? by Martin Jenkins
by Martin Jenkins
THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT by Carmen Agra Deedy
by Carmen Agra Deedy

COOKIEBOT! by Katie Van Camp
by Katie Van Camp
CORAL REEFS by Jason Chin
by Jason Chin
DEAD END IN NORVELT by Jack Gantos
by Jack Gantos
DIEGO RIVERA by Duncan Tonatiuh
by Duncan Tonatiuh
DRAGON CASTLE by Joseph Bruchac
by Joseph Bruchac

DRAWING FROM MEMORY by Allen Say
by Allen Say
EDDIE'S WAR by Carol Fisher Saller
by Carol Fisher Saller
A FEW BLOCKS by Cybèle  Young
by Cybèle Young
THE FIRES BENEATH THE SEA by Lydia Millet
by Lydia Millet
THE FLOATING ISLANDS by Rachel Neumeier
by Rachel Neumeier

THE FREEDOM MAZE by Delia Sherman
by Delia Sherman
HEART AND SOUL by Kadir Nelson
by Kadir Nelson
HIDDEN by Helen Frost
by Helen Frost
HOUND DOG TRUE by Linda Urban
by Linda Urban

THE INQUISITOR'S APPRENTICE by Chris Moriarty
by Chris Moriarty
JEFFERSON'S SONS by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
LIESL & PO by Lauren Oliver
by Lauren Oliver
LOVE, MOUSERELLA by David Ezra Stein
by David Ezra Stein

THE MANATEE SCIENTISTS by Peter Lourie
by Peter Lourie
ME...JANE by Patrick McDonnell
by Patrick McDonnell
MOON PIE by Simon Mason
by Simon Mason
MOUSE & LION by Rand  Burkert
by Rand Burkert

NAAMAH AND THE ARK AT NIGHT by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
OKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt
by Gary D. Schmidt
ORANI by Claire A. Nivola
by Claire A. Nivola
FRIENDS ALL AFLUTTER! by Andy Runton
by Andy Runton
PABLO NERUDA by Monica Brown
by Monica Brown

PIG KAHUNA by Jennifer Sattler
by Jennifer Sattler
PRESS HERE by Hervé Tullet
by Hervé Tullet
RAH, RAH, RADISHES!   by April Pulley Sayre
by April Pulley Sayre
RED SLED by Lita Judge
by Lita Judge
ROOTS AND BLUES by Arnold Adoff
by Arnold Adoff

THE SECRET BOX by Barbara Lehman
by Barbara Lehman
SECRETS AT SEA by Richard Peck
by Richard Peck
SIDEKICKS by Jack D. Ferraiolo
by Jack D. Ferraiolo
SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS by Ellen Booraem
by Ellen Booraem

SPINSTER GOOSE by Lisa Wheeler
by Lisa Wheeler
SQUISH, SUPER AMOEBA by Jennifer L. Holm
by Jennifer L. Holm
THE SUNDOWN RULE by Wendy Townsend
by Wendy Townsend
TEN BIRDS by Cybèle  Young
by Cybéle Young
<i>TITANIC</i> SINKS! by Barry Denenberg
by Barry Denenberg

UNDERGROUND by Shane W.  Evans
by Shane W. Evans
THE UNFORGOTTEN COAT by Frank Cottrell Boyce
by Frank Cottrell Boyce
THE WATCHER by Jeanette Winter
by Jeanette Winter
WE ARE AMERICA by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers

WHAT'S NEW AT THE ZOO? by Adolph Green
by Betty Comden
WHERE'S WALRUS? by Stephen  Savage
by Stephen Savage
WILD WINGS by Gill Lewis
by Gill Lewis
WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick
by Brian Selznick
YOUNG FREDLE by Cynthia Voigt
by Cynthia Voigt

ZITA THE SPACEGIRL by Ben Hatke
by Ben Hatke