Kids books are always a huge part of BEA. We recommend that you check out these 10 below:

It's Raining, It's Pouring

Christine Davenier

In 1961, Peter, Paul and Mary made an extremely engaging piece combining the title ditty, a game of hide-and-seek and snatches of nursery rhymes; Davenier takes it a visual step further to make an absolutely engaging picture book. Fluid colors and vivacious line define the images, which not only show a wonderful old house with a warm kitchen and a fine old stairway, but a huge apple tree outside. Populating this cozy locale are a gaggle of children visiting grandma and grandpa. It’s grandpa who is in bed with an ice pack on his head (“the old man is snoring. / Bumped his head…”) The children, driven indoors by the rain, start a game of hide-and-seek…A note about the song from the performers, Davenier’s note about being at her grandmother’s with all of her cousins and an enclosed three-song CD round out a near-perfect whole. The original song with its three-part counterpoint is deliciously imagined on these pages. (Picture book. 4-8)

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bostontea The Boston Tea Party

Russell Freedman

It might be said that the American Revolution began with the Boston Tea Party on Dec. 16, 1773. Crowds of protestors filled Boston’s Old South Church. “Boston Harbor a teapot tonight!” someone yelled. And sure enough, that evening, thousands of pounds of tea from three merchant ships were dumped into the harbor. A wide range of Boston society—well-known citizens, carpenters, printers, blacksmiths and shipwrights, young and old—dressed up to resemble Mohawk Indians, their faces smeared with grease and lampblack or soot, turned out to protest the British government’s tyranny. As always, Freedman demonstrates his skill at telling the story behind the facts, weaving a lively narrative out of the details and voices that shaped one episode of history...This slim volume brings to you-are-there life a historical episode often relegated to a sidebar. (afterword, bibliographic essay, note on tea, timeline, sources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

achilles The Adventures of Achilles

Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden

Two veteran storytellers give one of mythology’s greatest warriors his due in a narrative rich in drama, tragedy, intense emotion and heroic feats of arms. Thoroughly recast from an award-winning audio version (2004; included with the hardcover edition), this companion to the authors’ Adventures of Odysseus (illustrated by Christina Balit, 2006) retells the classic tale of Achilles’ meteoric career in staccato, muscular prose…Stylized border and panel paintings of gods and mortals seen in profile or posed groups are reminiscent of figures on ancient Greek vases. The profound attachment between Achilles and Patroclus (begun during the former’s five-year stint disguised as a woman and ending with their ashes mingled in the same funerary urn) forms the emotional centerpiece of the tale…Despite its particular focus on Achilles, this compelling narrative delivers a reasonably complete picture of the Trojan War’s causes, course and violent end. Epic in deed and scope and a-bustle with larger-than-life characters, this retelling of the Iliad will rivet both readers and listening audiences. (bibliography) (Folktale/mythology. 11-14)

goodnews Good News Bad News

Jeff Mack

Working from a text composed solely of the titular phrases (plus one final qualifier) in an ongoing call and response, Mack depicts a day among friends whose dispositions couldn’t be more extreme. Rabbit is an optimist; framed by a soft, white cloud, he exhibits an overflowing picnic basket joyfully to his buddy. An ominous, grey formation shades Mouse’s skeptical reaction. When the storm begins, the fun-lover produces an umbrella; the frowner is blown into a tree. Happily, it’s an apple tree. Unhappily, the fruit descends forcefully on the fallen rodent. So it proceeds in a fashion reminiscent of Remy Charlip’s Fortunately (1964). The difference here is that viewers see the events through two distinct lenses, and the pair are not only experiencing the same situations, they are mindful of one another’s reactions. The artist manipulates body language and facial features to register a range of emotions through caricatures with personality to spare…An instructive and entertaining primer on the art of friendship and the complexity of joy. (Picture book. 3-7) 

lilwhiteduck Little White Duck

Andrés Vera Martínez and Na Liu

A striking glimpse into Chinese girlhood during the 1970s and ’80s. Beginning with a breathtaking dream of riding a golden crane over the city of Wuhan, China, Liu Na, recounts her subsequent waking only to discover that Chairman Mao has passed away. The 3-year-old finds this difficult to process and understand, although she is soon caught up in the somber mood of the event. From there, her life unfolds in short sketches. With this intimate look at her childhood memories, Liu skillfully weaves factual tidbits into the rich tapestry of her life…Extraordinary and visually haunting, there will be easy comparisons to Allen Say’s Drawing from Memory; think of this as the female counterpart to that work. Beautifully drawn and quietly evocative. (glossary, timeline, author biography, translations of Chinese characters, maps) (Graphic memoir. 9-12)

deliasdullday Delia's Dull Day

Andy Myer

An amusing visual riff on the frequent refrain “nothing ever happens to me.” Delia recounts the details of her incredibly dull yesterday. While her words describe a pedestrian day from breakfast to bedtime, the illustrations tell a completely different story. While Delia’s eyes are either trained down on her cereal or a handheld device or looking straight ahead, lots of interesting things are happening around her. Delia complains, “NOTHING happened during my breakfast, except I spilled some milk.” As she struggles with the milk, two elephants parade unseen down her hallway. Later, wildly shaped hot-air balloons float by while she checks her phone and waits for the bus. A pirate rides to school with her, and an astronaut floats by her math-class window while Delia doodles. The droll, first-person point of view carries the sarcastic, bored tone to its humorous extreme. The message could not be clearer: Look up and see the interesting world around you!...Young readers will chuckle at Delia’s cluelessness—and maybe think twice about their own assumptions. (Picture book. 4-9)

spindlers The Spindlers

Lauren Oliver

Liza must venture Below to rescue her little brother's soul, stolen by evil, power-hungry spider people called spindlers, in this refreshingly creepy, intricately woven tale. A concealed hole in the wall behind a narrow bookcase in her family's basement is her entry, and amid loud scratching noises, Liza trips, falling down into the darkness Below. Mirabella, a giant rat who wears newspaper for a skirt, becomes her trusted guide to the spindlers' nests, which Liza must reach before the Feast of the Souls. But things are never what they seem in Oliver's vividly imagined world. ... An arduous, dangerous and fantastical journey ensues …In the course of her episodic quest, Liza discovers she is resourceful and brave; she sees things differently than before. Richly detailed, at times poetic, ultimately moving; a book to be puzzled over, enjoyed and, ideally, read aloud. (Final illustrations not seen.) (Fantasy. 8-12)

beyond courage Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

Doreen Rappaport

In a book that is the very model of excellence in nonfiction, Rappaport dispels the old canard that the Jews entered the houses of death as lambs led to the slaughter. Although "[t]he scope and extent of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust cannot possibly be contained in one book," Rappaport offers an astonishing and inspiring survey. By shining a spotlight on individuals and their involvement in given situations—Kristallnacht, deportations, guerrilla resistance, among others—throughout Europe, she creates intimate personal snapshots of the years of the Nazi occupation. She tells of people who committed acts of destruction as well as those whose resistance was in the simple act of celebrating and maintaining their faith in impossible conditions...Thorough, deeply researched and stylistically clear, this is a necessary, exemplary book. (pronunciation guide, chronology, notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)

creepyvar Creepy Carrots

Aaron Reynolds

Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field. Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page…The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach. Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

five funny Five Funny Bunnies: Three Bouncing Tales

Jean Van Leeuwen
Three interlinked short stories about a big rabbit family add up to a satisfying whole with humorous plots, witty text and utterly charming illustrations. In the first story, Mrs. Rabbit and her five children bake a berry pie for their grandmother, but the pie flips over onto the children in a slapstick sequence as they take it to grandma’s house. Next, the bunnies play outside with a scooter and pogo sticks, trying to outdo one another, until Baby Sadie outdoes them all when she learns to hop by herself. In the final and funniest story, Flossie the bossy older sister pretends she is the mother putting the children to bed…This fresh and funny look at family life will have both children and adults chuckling. (Picture book. 3-6)