My reign ends soon.

It’s almost time to disrobe (hey, watch where your mind travels) and turn in my gavel. My duties as a Cybils judge are coming to a close. It’s been a revealing and satisfying experience. If you write for children (and blog about kidlit), I recommend you consider volunteering for this task next year.

Along with other books in various categories, 224 fiction picture books were in the competition. The next step will be to join the other six judges in deciding which books will go on to be finalists. As a group, we need to select fewer than ten. Ten! From more than 200. There are a few books I think we’ll all agree on, but others — well, I’m looking forward to the discussion as each of us champions our favorites.

Speaking of favorites, here are mine from the 86 picture books I read in November:

  • DIGBY DIFFERS by Miriam Koch, 2013, Peter Pauper Press
  • THE GIRL WITH THE BRAVE HEART, A TALE FROM TEHRAN by Rita Jahanforuz, illustrated by Vali Mintzi, 2013, Barefoot Books
  • GOBBLE YOU UP! by Gita Wolf, illustrated by Sunita, 2013, Tara Books Pvt. Ltd.
  • IT’S USEFUL TO HAVE A DUCK / IT’S USEFUL TO HAVE A BOY by Isol, 2009, Groundwood Books (House of Anansi Press)
  • THE KING OF LITTLE THINGS by Bil Lepp, ill Davit T. Wenzel, 2013, Peachtree Publishers
  • MY BLUE IS HAPPY by Jessica Young, illustrated by Catia Chien, 2013, Candlewick Press
  • ONE FROZEN LAKE by Deborah Jo Larson, illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher, 2012, Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • SNOWFLAKES FALL by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated byl Steven Kellogg, 2013, Random House CB (Random House)
  • TAP THE MAGIC TREE by Christie Matheson, 2013, Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins Children’s Books (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • THE TORTOISE & THE HARE by Jerry Pinkney, 2013, Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Books)
  • THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS FOLLOWS HER HEART by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton, illustrated by Christine Davenier, 2013, Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Books)

Check them out, picture book lovers.


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6 responses to “My reign ends soon.

  1. Wow! Great job, Carol! I don’t think I can read 224 and choose 10. Heck, I don’t think I can read 224 PBs in a year.

    Thanks for your list! I’ll look them up (except for It’s Useful to Have a Duck, which I already own).

  2. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    What did you think about the DIGBY DIFFERS format? Although eye-catching, I saw little kids really struggling to physically HOLD the thing!

    • You could do it, Teresa. You won’t have time for planting, harvesting, or anything in between, let alone putting anything up. Or cooking and eating, carrying on conversations with loved one. And those chickens would die of old age. Or neglect. LOL Seriously, though, you could do it.

    • I imagine it would be a problem for kids. It was a bit of trouble for me, trying so carefully to not damage the pages. I also imagine few libraries will order the book, unfortunately, because of shelving difficulties. That said, I still LOVED the size of the book. As a piece of art, the book worked. Those wide open pages put me right out there, roaming the land with Digby. I also love the idea of reading with a kid on each side of me, the book sharing all of our laps, the kids helping to turn the pages. But kids reading it on their own? R-r-r-r-rip! There goes Digby, straying off his path.

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