Best Children's Books of 2013


AKISSI by Marguerite Abouet
Released: May 14, 2013

"Strong stomachs are a prerequisite. Even the strongest will be left both queasy and sore from laughter. (Graphic short stories. 7-10)"
Ivory Coast-born Abouet (Aya, 2007, for adults) dishes out bursts of simultaneous hilarity and horror in African vignettes aimed at a younger audience. Read full book review >
LEFT BEHIND by Caroline Adderson
Released: March 1, 2013

"Early chapter book or read-aloud, this effort will leave its audience with lots of smiles, too. (Fiction. 5-8)"
After Jasper John Dooley's beloved Nan goes on vacation without him, he goes pththth. Read full book review >

THE TWISTROSE KEY by Tone Almhjell
Released: Oct. 22, 2013

"Fantasy that evokes the classics of yore and stands proudly among them. (Fantasy. 9-13)"
Skillfully blending facets of classic high fantasy, this debut novel will captivate readers with its rich plot and detailed worldbuilding. Read full book review >
Released: July 23, 2013

"A rollicking, ripping tall tale with ecological subtext. (art not seen) (Fantasy. 10-14)"
When rogue feral hogs and a greedy developer threaten to wipe out Sugar Man Swamp, two raccoons know it's time to rouse the legendary Sugar Man. Read full book review >
POMELO'S OPPOSITES by Ramona Badescu
Released: July 15, 2013

"Simple, sunny, silly illustrations brilliantly convey the complexities and joys one can unearth when tilling a garden of language. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Pomelo, a diminutive, round-eyed, pink elephant child, discovers opposites in his garden world. Read full book review >

BUILDING OUR HOUSE by Jonathan Bean
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"Raise the roof for this picture book. It's something special. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Bean sets aside the urban setting of his Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, At Night (2007), in this homage to his back-to-the-land parents, who built his childhood home in the 1970s. Read full book review >
JOURNEY by Aaron Becker
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"An imaginative adventure story whose elaborate illustrations inspire wonder, careful examination and multiple reads. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Ignored by her digitally distracted family, a girl draws a red door on her bedroom wall and steps through. Read full book review >
ON A BEAM OF LIGHT by Jennifer Berne
Released: May 1, 2013

"For today's curious children, this intriguing and accessible blend of words and pictures will provide a splendid introduction to a man who never stopped questioning. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)"
A boy who asked too many questions becomes iconic physicist Albert Einstein, whose questions changed the world. Read full book review >