Best Children's Books of 2013


WILD BERRIES by Julie Flett
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"A sweet commemoration of a shared experience, presented with care and infused with intimacy. (pronunciation guide, wild blueberry jam recipe) (Picture book. 5-7)"
Select words paired to sonorous equivalents in the Swampy Cree dialect highlight this serene picture of a blueberry-picking expedition. Read full book review >
LOCOMOTIVE by Brian Floca
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"Nothing short of spectacular, just like the journey it describes. (Informational picture book. 4-10)"
Floca took readers to the moon with the Apollo 11 mission in Moonshot (2009); now he takes them across the country on an equally historic journey of 100 years earlier. Read full book review >

IF YOU WANT TO SEE A WHALE by Julie Fogliano
Released: May 14, 2013

Fogliano and Stead (And Then It's Spring, 2012) produce another tender, timid story about a boy, his animal friends (a basset hound and a bird) and practicing patience.

Whale watching requires lots of resolve to avoid distractions like birds, roses, pirate ships, clouds, pelicans and so on. Read full book review >

GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT by Mem Fox
Released: Aug. 1, 2013

"Sure to be requested and welcome for lapsits and reciting together any time of day. (Picture book. 1-5)"
Bedtime diversions and traditional rhymes are a winning combination here. Read full book review >
THE STORY OF FISH AND SNAIL by Deborah Freedman
Released: June 13, 2013

"This marvelous metabook shines in both concept and beauty. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Right from the title page, Freedman's latest makes a splash. Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"As Tara learns in this skillful exploration, an important source of her special strengths—questioning spirit, empathy and strong ethical compass—is her mixed heritage. (Hindi-Yiddish glossary) (Fiction. 10-14)"
The latest spunky heroine of South Asian-Jewish heritage to grace middle-grade fiction, Tara Feinstein, 12, charms readers from the get-go in this strong, funny debut. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2013

"A superb addition to Freedman's previous volumes on the Revolutionary period. (timeline, source notes, picture credits, bibliography, index) (Biography. 10 & up)"
An engaging biography of the man who "snatched lightning from the sky and the scepter from tyrants." Read full book review >
Released: July 9, 2013

"Sensitive and smart: a poetic vista for historical insight as well as cultural awareness. (Verse novel. 10-14)"
Frost explores the wide-ranging impact of wartime aggression through the intimate lens of two 12-year-old boys caught in the crossfire of the War of 1812. Read full book review >