All through the year I’ve reviewed books I thought “best,” including Cyndi Sand-Eveland’s “A Tinfoil Sky,” Priscilla Maltbie and Daniel Miyares’s “Bambino and Mr. Twain,” Rachel Vail and Matthew Cordell’s “Justin Case: Shells, Smells and the Horrible Flip-flops of Doom,” and Claire A. Nivola’s “Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle.” Here, at the 11th hour of 2012, are a few I couldn’t bear to leave behind.
A Rock Is Lively
By Diana Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long (Chronicle)
Writer Aston and artist Long have teamed
together to create previous award-winning
science picture books: “An Egg Is Quiet,” “A Seed Is Sleepy,” and “A Butterfly Is Patient.”
All are dazzlingly beautiful, detailed, and
artfully simple. “A Rock Is Lively,” a worthy
successor, introduces the young reader to asteroids and meteorites, granite and gemstones. Each full-color page features a new theme (“A rock is huge,” “A rock is helpful,” “A rock is surprising”) and a new way to look at something we might think of as ordinary. “A Rock Is Lively” proves how wrong that would be. In cave paintings or outer space, rocks tell the history of the universe. “The oldest known rocks on Earth were formed billions of years before the sky turned from green to blue, before dinosaurs thundered across the earth, before humans learned how to make fire.” A visual and verbal feast, this book deserves a place on every library shelf.
Bad Kitty: Litter Boxed Set
By Nick Bruel (Roaring Brook)
Bad Kitty is back, bigger and badder than ever in a handsome new boxed set containing three favorites: “Bad Kitty Gets a Bath,”
“Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty,” and “Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray.” Kids love Bad Kitty because he’s so cranky, cartoony, unpredictable, and adorable. Parents love Bad Kitty because they get all the jokes. The boxed set includes a free poster, but mostly this collection is a good idea because once children gets their hands on one “Bad Kitty” they are going to want them all.
If You Spent a Day with Thoreau
at Walden Pond
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