1998 Notable Children's Books

Notable sealALSC's Notable Children's Book Committee is composed of children's librarians, educators and other professionals. 1998 Members included: Julie Cummins, chair, The New York Public Library; Carolyn S. Brodie, Silver Lake, Ohio; ayo dayo, Woodbridge, Va.; Randall Enos, Ramapo Catskill Library System, Middletown, N.Y.; Susan Faust, San Francisco; Susan M. Knorr, Milwaukee Public Library; Maeve Visser Knoth, Arlington, Mass.; Kernie Nix, Peachtree City, Ga.; Barbara Scotto, Brookline, Mass.; Amy Spaulding, New York; and Kathleen Staerkel, Elgin, Ill.

Picture books

Cowan, Catherine, translator and adaptor. My Life with the Wave. Based on the story by Octavio Paz. Illus. by Mark Buehner. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. 068812660X
A boy brings home a wave from the seashore in this highly imaginative picture book that uses magically realistic art to credibly present the incredible.

Davol, Marguerite W. The Paper Dragon. Illus. by Robert Sabuda. Atheneum. 0689319924
Cut tissue paper art elegantly unfolds across triple page spreads in the dramatic story of a Chinese artist who saves his village from a fearsome dragon.

Diakité, Baba Wagué. The Hunterman and the Crocodile: A West African Folktale. Scholastic. 0590898280
In this traditional West African tale, handsomely illustrated with hand-painted ceramic tiles, a cautious hunter helps some clever crocodiles and learns a lesson about the relationship between a man and nature.

Fleming, Candace. Gabriella's Song. Illus. by Giselle Potter. Atheneum/Anne Schwartz. 0689809735
In this affectionate tribute to Venice and to music, droll watercolors playfully show how a small girl's song inspires a famous composer.

Lasky, Kathryn. Marven of the Great North Woods. Illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Harcourt Brace. 0152001042
During the flu epidemic of 1918, a Jewish boy from Duluth, Minnesota, is sent to live at a frozen logging camp, staffed by French Canadians, in this big-hearted true story about family love and friendship.

Lee, Milly. Nim and the War Effort. Illus. by Yangsook Choi. Farrar Straus & Giroux/Frances Foster. 0374355231
Patriotism, prejudice, and tradition collide in this thought-provoking story about an earnest girl living in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1943.

Melmed, Laura Krauss. Little Oh. Illus. by Jim LaMarche. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. 0688142087
In this sumptuous story within a story set in Japan, a mother tells her son about an origami doll that comes to life.

Miranda, Anne. To Market, To Market. Illus. by Janet Stevens. Harcourt Brace. 0152000356
Caricature exaggerates this Mother Goose take-off, wildly embellished by riotous multimedia art that chronicles one woman's struggle to make lunch.

Raschka, Chris. Mysterious Thelonious. Orchard Books. 0531300579
Inspired by a Thelonious Monk composition, this small, hip book teams the tones of the color wheel and the chromatic musical scale to provide a jazzy experience.

Stanley, Diane. Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. Morrow Junior Books. 068814327X
This tongue-in-cheek sequel has Rumpelstilskin's daughter reenacting the original scenario with a clever twist.

Stewart, Sarah. The Gardener. Illus. by David Small. Farrar Straus & Giroux. 0374325170
Nostalgic watercolors are a perfect backdrop for the chatty letters that follow the big city adventures of a small town girl with a green thumb and a cantankerous uncle. A 1998 Caldecott Honor Book.

Taback, Simms. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Viking. 0670869392
A well-known folk song is funnier than ever thanks to cleverly designed die-cut pages and silly asides. A 1998 Caldecott Honor Book.

Tunnell, Michael O. Mailing May. Illus. by Ted Rand. Greenwillow/Tambourine. 0688128785
Pa finds a clever way to send May to her far-away grandmother in this heartwarming story based on a 1914 incident.

Voake, Charlotte. Ginger. Candlewick Press. 076360108X
A cat's comfortable life changes drastically when a pesky kitten moves in and takes over.


Alexander, Lloyd. The Iron Ring. Dutton. 0525455973
In this novel of high adventure, young Prince Tamar goes on a journey to recover his honor after losing everything in a game of chance.

Fine, Anne. The Tulip Touch. Little Brown. 0316283258
The rise and fall of a destructive friendship between two girls makes this a gripping novel.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Lily's Crossing. Delacorte Press. 0385321422
Two children spend the summer of 1944 in quiet Rockaway Beach, New York, where they share their secrets, lies, and worries about the the war. A 1998 Newbery Honor Book.

Henkes, Kevin. Sun & Spoon. Greenwillow. 0688152325
Spoon and his grandfather work through their grief after Gram's death in this realistic and respectful story.

Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. Scholastic Press. 0590360809
Through a spare poetic narrative, fourteen year old Billie Jo recalls th hard times and the tragedies her family endures in Oklahoma during the 1930's. The 1998 Newbery Award Book.

Holub, Josef. The Robber and Me. Trans. by Elizabeth D. Crawford. Henry Holt. 0805055991
"Here begins the story of Boniface, who lands in a remote corner of the forest, in the godforsaken village of Graab, where he makes the acquaintance of Robber Knapp..." The 1998 Mildred L. Batchelder Award Book.

Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted. HarperCollins. 0060275103
The classic Cinderella story is a springboard for this humorous fantasy about a young girl with a curse that forces her to obey every command. A 1998 Newbery Honor Book.

Napoli, Donna Jo. Stones in Water. Dutton. 0525458425
Kidnapped from a movie theater in Venice, Roberto and Samuele must support and protect each other when forced to labor in Nazi work camps.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Habibi. Simon & Schuster. 0689801491
In this sensitive story, Liyana and her family leave their familiar American surroundings for the cultural richness and political conflict of her Palestinian father's homeland on the West Bank.

Spinelli, Jerry. Wringer. HarperCollins/Joanna Cotler Books. 0060249137
Palmer LaRue dreads his tenth birthday because it means joining the other boys in killing the wounded pigeons shot at the town's annual Family Fest. A 1998 Newbery Honor Book.


Adler, David A. Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man. Illus. by Terry Widener. Harcourt Brace/Gulliver Books. 0152005234
According to this picture biography, a beloved baseball star stricken with a debilitating illness earns respect and admiration for his on-field stamina and off-field courage.

Burleigh, Robert. Hoops. Illus. by Stephen T. Johnson. Harcourt Brace/Silver Whistle. 0152014500
Action portraits in vibrant pastels portray with the poetic rhythms of basketball in this free-verse ode to the sport.

Giblin, James Cross. Charles A. Lindbergh : A Human Hero. Clarion. 0395633893
A multi-dimensional portrait explores the achievements of this famous American aviator as well as the controversies and tragedies that surrounded him.

Janisch, Heinz, adaptor. Noah's Ark. Illus. by Lisbeth Zwerger. North-South Books. 1558587845
Stylish and fanciful illustrations provide a sophisticated interpretation of the story of the Great Flood.

Jiang, Ji-Li. Red Scarf Girl : A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution. HarperCollins. 0060275855
Political terror and personal turmoil shape the lives of a girl and her family in this riveting memoir about growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution.

Lelooska, Chief. Echoes of the Elders. DK Ink. 078942455X
Powerful tales of the human and spirit worlds, drawn from ancient legends of the Northwest Coast's Kwakiutl people, are illustrated with paintings that recall traditional woodcuts. CD included.

Manna, Anthony L. and Christodoula Mitakidou, retellers. Mr. Semolina-Semolinus: A Greek Folktale. Illus. by Giselle Potter. Atheneum. 0689810938
The humorous story of Areti, a Greek princess who makes her own suitor out of almond, sugar and semolina, is enhanced with charming and quirky paintings.

Mochizuki, Ken. Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story. Illus. by Dom Lee. Lee & Low. 1880000490
Sepia-toned art sets a somber mood for this personal history about a Japanese diplomat who in 1940 defied his government to save thousands of Lithuanian Jews.

Myers, Walter Dean. Harlem. Illus. by Christopher Myers. Scholastic Press. 0590543407
Syncopated verses and powerfully evocative collages bring to life the street rhythms and people of Harlem. A 1998 Caldecott Honor Book.

Prelutsky, Jack, selector. The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom. Illus. by Mielo So. Knopf. 067987058X
Lyrical watercolors pull together some 200 poems by twentieth-century poets in this celebration of the animal kingdom.

Pringle, Laurence. An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly. Illus. by Bob Marstall. Orchard Books. 0531300021
The life journey of a Monarch butterfly is mapped out in a scientifically sound story accompanied by meticulous paintings.

Shepard, Aaron, reteller. The Sea King's Daughter: A Russian Legend. Illus. by Gennady Spirin. Atheneum. 0689807597
The legend of a musician who is summoned to play in the Sea King's palace is enriched by romantic paintings and antique script.

Simms, Laura. The Bone Man : A Native American Modoc Tale. Illus. by Michael McCurdy. Hyperion. 0786800895
A small Modoc boy defeats a terrible giant in this unusual tale made more frightening by stark scratchboard illustrations.

Steptoe, Javaka, illustrator. In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers. Lee & Low. 1880000318
Strong collage illustrations and ten emotional poems express the depth and range of the father-child relationship.

Szabo, Corinne. Sky Pioneer: A Photobiography of Ameila Earhart. National Geographic Society. 0792237374
This visually striking biography uses historic photographs and quotes from Earhart's own writing to document the life of a fascinating aviator.

Tillage, Leon Walter. Leon's Story. Illus. by Susan L. Roth. Farrar Straus & Giroux. 0374343799.
A sharecropper's son recalls his life in the Jim Crow South and during the Civil Rights Movement in this understated memoir.

Wick, Walter. A Drop of Water: A Book of Science And Wonder. Scholastic Press. 0590221973
Clear stop-action photographs and fine science writing create a sense of awe while introducing physical properties of water.

Zelinsky, Paul O. Rapunzel. Dutton. 0525456074.
Exquisite Renaissance-style paintings illuminate this sophisticated retelling of a classic tale. The 1998 Caldecott Award Book.