2000 Notable Children's Books

notable seal

2000 Notable Children's Books Committee: Leslie Molnar, Chair, Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH); Toni Bernardi, San Francisco Public Library ; Teffeny Edmondson, Oakland Public Library (CA); Maeve Visser Knoth, (CA); Kathryn McClelland , Perrot Memorial Library (CT); Caroline Parr, Central Rappahannock Regional Library (VA); Martha Parravano, Horn Book, Inc. (MA); Penny Peck, San Leandro Public Library (CA); Janice Smuda, Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH); Helen Cannon Wiley, Katherin Burke School (CA); Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Public Library (MN).

Younger readers

Andersen, Hans Christian.
Ugly Duckling.
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.
Morrow. 068815932X

Panoramic end papers set the scene for the creation of the familiar Anderson tale, "The Ugly Duckling." Pinkney's illustrations make the animals come alive. Caldecott Honor Book.

Bang, Molly.
When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry…
Scholastic/Blue Sky Press. 0590189794.

Sophie's indignation over being required to share a favorite toy with her sister leads her on a lonely internal journey from anger to equilibrium. Caldecott Honor Book.

Best, Cari.
Three Cheers for Catherine the Great!
Illustrated by Giselle Potter.
DK INK. 0789426226.

Sara struggles to find just the right "no present" for her Russian grandmother's birthday. Teaching her English is the perfect solution in this story of family love.

Charlip, Remy.
Sleepytime Rhyme.
Greenwillow. 0688162711.

Soft lavender backgrounds provide the perfect soothing setting to a mother's timeless love song, extolling the grandness of her baby.

Christelow, Eileen.
What Do Illustrators Do?
Clarion. 0395902304.

As two illustrators retell "Jack and the Beanstalk" in their own unique styles, readers will discover the many choices that are important in the creation of a picturebook.

Cowley, Joy.
Red-Eyed Tree Frog.
Photographs by Nic Bishop.
Scholastic. 0590871757.

A playful text and "eye-catching" photographs follow a Central American tree frog on its daily nocturnal adventures and survival in the rain forest.

Daly, Niki.
Jamela's Dress.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 0374336679.

Accidentally ruining her mother's new dress fabric, Queen Jamela's day is saved when prize money from a winning photograph provides the funds to buy fabric for two dresses.

DePaola, Tomie.
26 Fairmount Avenue.
Putnam. 039923246X.

In this book dePaola looks back to 1938 when his family, overcoming fire and flood, builds a new house. That year Tomie "quits" kindergarten, shares "chocolates" with Nana upstairs, critiques a movie, practices mural art, and finally moves to 26 Fairmount Avenue. Newbery Honor Book.

Diakite, Baba Wague.
Hatseller and the Monkeys.
Scholastic. 0590960695.

In the tradition of the storyteller, the tales of BaMusa and his mischievious monkeys is festively embellished with vivid ceramic tile paintings. The "monkey-see, monkey-do" is infectious.

Feiffer, Jules.
Bark, George.
HarperCollins/Michael di Capua Books. 0062051857.

George, the puppy, says only "meow, " "moo" or "quack" until a visit to the veterinarian solves his problem…or does it? Expressive line drawings heighten the hilarity.

George, Kristine O'Connell.
Little Dog Poems.
Illustrated by June Otani.
Clarion. 0395822661.

From morning until night, "puppy-sized" poems follow Little Dog and his loving owner through the day, revealing with humor and insight their happy friendship.

Hush, Little Baby.
Illustrated by Marla Frazee.
Harcourt Brace/Browndeer Press. 0152014292.

Bold, expressive illustrations transform an old lullaby into a rollicking story, as a jealous older sister searches for ways to stop the new baby from crying.

Lester, Helen.
Hooway for Wodney Wat.
Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.
Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books. 0395923921.

Line drawings add hilarious details to the story of Rodney Rat, whose humiliating speech impediment becomes the source of his triumph when he unwittingly foils the class bully.

Lum, Kate.
What! Cried Granny:An Almost Bedtime Story.
Illustrated by Adrian Johnson.
Dial. 0803723822.

Not ready for bed? This bedtime story comes with a new twist, as a purple-haired granny makes everything her grandson needs for his first sleepover at her house.

Marcellino, Fred.
I, Crocodile.
HarperCollins/Michael di Capua Books. 0062051687.

A sly googly-eyed Nile crocodile becomes the toast of Napoleonic Paris in a witty and sophisticated tale enhanced by grand and sumptuously-detailed illustrations.

Mollel, Tololwa M.
My Rows and Piles of Coins.
Illustrated by E.B. Lewis.
Clarion. 0395751861.

Aaruni, a Tanzanian boy wants a bicycle to help carry his mother's daily load to market. Only by saving coin after coin does he come to realize his dream.

Morimoto, Junko.
Two Bullies.
Crown. 0517800616.

Action and humor abound when two bullies, one from Japan and one from China, challenge each other in a comical contest of wit and strength.

Opie, Iona.
Here Comes Mother Goose.
Illustrated by Rosemary Wells.
Candlewick. 0763606839.

A companion volume to My Very First Mother Goose offers sixty more favorite rhymes, whimsically illustrated in bright colors; just perfect for babies and toddlers.

Priceman, Marjorie.
Emeline at the Circus.
Alfred A. Knopf. 0679876855.

Delicious irony abounds as Emeline takes part in thrilling and "death-defying" circus acts, as her teacher recites "circus facts"…oblivious to it all.

Rodowsky, Colby.
Not My Dog.
Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 0374355312.

Ellie wants a puppy, not this full-grown adopted dog. Determined not to accept him, Preston's wonderful personality finally wins her over.

Sierra, Judy.
Tasty Baby Belly Buttons.
Illustrated by Meilo So.
Alfred A. Knopf. 0679893695.

"Belly buttons, belly buttons, tasty baby belly buttons," chant the giant oni of Japanese folklore when they kidnap the village babies, until a tiny heroine comes to the rescue.

Sis, Peter.
Trucks, Trucks, Trucks.
Greenwillow. 0688162762.

Time to clean up! Imagination bulldozes Matt into the driver's seat of the trucks, whose construction-yellow bodies litter the floor of the toddler's room.

Stanley, Diane.
Raising Sweetness.
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas.
Putnam. 0399232257.

Rising and shining with homespun humor, Sweetness finds Pa a wife after he feeds his brood of eight too many servings of his favorite pickle and banana pie.

Taback, Simms.
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat.
Viking. 0670878553.

"Joseph Had a Little Overcoat," is the story of a resourceful and resilient tailor who transforms his worn-out overcoat into smaller and smaller garments. The book is illustrated in watercolor, gouache, pencil, ink, and collage. Caldecott Medal Book.

Updike, John.
A Child's Calendar.
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.
Holiday House.

Twelve seasonal poems spanning the calendar year are accompanied by pen and ink and watercolor paintings that complement and enhance the text in this book of poetry. Caldecott Honor Book.

Ward, Helen.
Hare and the Tortoise.
Millbrook. 0761309888.

Slow and steady still wins the race as humor blends with scientific information and dramatic watercolor perspectives in a favorite Aesop fable.

Wiesner, David.
Sector 7.
Clarion. 0395746566.
"Sector 7" tells the story of a small boy on a class trip to the Empire State Building who is transported by a friendly cloud to Sector 7, a great cloud factory high in the sky. Once there, they conspire with clouds that are bored with their shapes and long for a new way to express their individuality. Caldecott Honor Book.

Zimmerman, Andrea and David Clemesha.
Trashy Town.
Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino.
HarperCollins. 0060271396.

Ride along with Mr. Gilly, sing his lively, tongue-twisting refrain and collect refuse in a town whose bold, geometric design is clutter-free.

Middle readers

Carroll, Lewis.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.
Candlewick. 0763608041.

With fresh exuberance, Oxenbury's full-color illustrations capture Alice's feisty spirit as she cavorts through that topsy-turvy world just down the rabbit hole.

Coy, John.
Strong to the Hoop.
Illustrated by Leslie Jean-Bart.
Lee & Low. 1880000806.

Energetic graphic design and tinted photo collages illustrate the story of young James, who wants to prove his skill in the pick-up basketball game.

Curtis, Christopher Paul.
Bud, Not Buddy.
Delacorte. 0385323069.

Ten-year-old Bud Caldwell runs away from a foster home and begins an unforgettable journey in search of his father. His only clues are old flyers left by his now-deceased mother that point to a legendary jazz bandleader. Newbery Medal Winner.

English, Karen.
Francie.
Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 0374324565.

While waiting to move north, spunky Francie navigates the segregated society of rural "Jim Crow-era" Alabama, helping an African-American boy accused of assault to escape.

Erdrich, Louise.
Birchbark House.
Hyperion. 0786803002.

Eight-year-old Omakayas, an Ojibwa girl living in 1847, survives smallpox, but loses a beloved family member in this richly detailed, sensitive historical novel, illustrated by the author's pencil sketches.

Fleischman, Paul.
Weslandia.
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.
Candlewick . 0763600067.

A strange backyard plant becomes the center of Wesley's newly created civilization. Lush, detailed illustrations zero in on this free-thinker's magical and enviable world.

Hamanaka, Sheila and Ayano Ohmi.
In Search of the Spirit: The Living National Treasures of Japan.
Morrow. 0688146074.

Honored for perpetuating the rich culture and traditions of the Japanese culture, the lives of six men and their crafts are strikingly depicted in an illuminating presentation.

Harris, Robie H.
It's So Amazing: A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families.
Illustrated by Michael Emberley.
Candlewick. 0763600512.

Using bird and bee cartoon characters, straightforward explanations offer an opportunity for children to find answers to their questions in a friendly and sensitive guide to sex and reproduction.

Holm, Jennifer L.
Our Only May Amelia.
HarperCollins.

Growing up as the only girl in a large Finnish-American farming family along Washington's Nasel River in 1899, 12-year-old May Amelia prefers tricks and adventures to being a "Proper Young Lady." Unjustly blamed for tragedy, May must leave home before returning to claim her rightful place.

Hopkinson, Deborah.
Band of Angels.
Illustrated by Raul Colon.
Atheneum/An Anne Schwartz Book. 0689810628.

Awash in sepia tones, a grandchild's reminiscences tell the powerful story of former slave, Ella Sheppard and the Jubilee Singers who are determined to save Fisk College.

Horvath, Polly.
Trolls.
Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 0374377871.

Eccentric Aunt Sally's daily installments of the family's history, full of colorful people and guarded secrets, mesmerize the three Anderson children.

Jenkins, Steve.
Top of the World:Climbing Mount Everest.
Houghton Mifflin. 0395942187.

An informative introduction, remarkably illustrated in cut-paper collage, investigates the history, geography, climate and dangers of the world's tallest mountain.

Karr, Kathleen.
Man of the Family.
Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 0374347646.

Istvan works alongside his father learning about resilience and pride in a rich, heartfelt novel of a Hungarian immigrant family struggling to keep their farm afloat.

Katzen, Mollie.
Honest Pretzels and 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Cooks Ages 8 & Up.
Tricycle Press.1883672880.

Sixty-five, kid-tested vegetarian recipes are illustrated with step-by-step instructions that rate highly on the "scrumptious scale," with ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lewin, Ted & Betsy.
Gorilla Walk.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. 0688165095.

A journal, in text and lush watercolors, chronicles the authors' journey into the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, experiencing the danger, adventure and awe of the mountain gorilla.

Lisle, Janet Taylor.
Lost Flower Children.
Philomel. 0399233938.

Olivia and Nellie find wonder, hope and perhaps even magic in their Great Aunt's garden abounding with endearing characters and tangible emotions.

McGill, Alice.
Molly Bannaky.
Illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet.
Houghton Mifflin. 039572287X.

Aglow in the richness of watercolors, the story of Benjamin Banneker's grandmother is infused with determination, as a dairymaid exiled to America, is indentured and eventually stakes her claim in a new land.

Myers, Christopher.
Black Cat.
Scholastic. 0590033751.

Striking collages and rhymed text journey through city streets following a lean and independent cat on his nightly rambles.

O'Connor, Barbara.
Me and Rupert Goody.
Farrar, Straus, Giroux/ Frances Foster. 0374349045.

With heart and humor, Jennalee describes the evolving relationship between herself, beloved Uncle Beau and his newly discovered son, Rupert.

Rocklin, Joanne.
Strudel Stories.
Delacorte. 0385326025.

Family stories created and passed down by seven generations of a Jewish family, are as richly layered as the apple strudels they bake.

Ryan, Pam Munoz.
Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride.
Illustrated by Brian Selznick.
Scholastic.059096075X.

From a footnote in history, the midnight flight over Washington D.C. of two truly great women and friends of the twentieth century, soars to great heights of authenticity and detail.

Say, Allen.
Tea with Milk.
Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books. 0395904951.

Carefully restrained paintings illuminate the story of Masako, an outsider in her own country, who learns that home is a place she will have to make for herself.

Smith, Charles R. Jr.
Rimshots:Basketball Pix, Rolls and Rhythms.
Dutton. 0525460993.

Poems, personal reflections and photographs bounce and swish across the pages with the energy of a fast pick-up game on the streets or in the gym.

Stevenson, James.
Candy Corn.
Greenwillow. 0688158374.
A much-used screen door, a field of daisies and other everyday objects highlight this playful collection of poetry treats.

Older readers

Almond, David.
Skellig.
Delacorte. 038532653X.

Amidst the turmoil of a new home and a baby sister hovering near death, Michael discovers a mysterious man in the dilapidated garage covered in cobwebs and craving bluebottle flies.

Billingsley, Franny.
Folk Keeper.
Atheneum/Jean Karl. 0689828764.

Shrouded in mystery and adventure, and steeped in ancient Selkie legend, a self-taught orphan girl becomes keeper of the wild and dangerous underground folk.

Calabro, Marian.
Perilous Journey of the Donner Party.
Clarion. 0395866103.

Photographs, diaries, letters and other primary documents vividly recreate a complex scenario of ultimate survival spurred by the excitement of America's westward expansion.

Carter, David A. and James Diaz.
Elements of Pop-Up.
Simon & Schuster. 0689822243.

The basic essentials of moveable and dimensional books; parallel folds, angle folds, wheels and pull-tabs are accurately detailed, verbally and visually for aspiring paper engineers.

Couloumbis, Audrey.
Getting Near to Baby.
Putnam. 039923389X.

"Getting Near to Baby" tells the story of 12-year-old Willa Jo and Little Sister, whose voice is "lost in sadness," as they live with bossy Aunt Patty following the death of their baby sister. It focuses on Willa Jo who finds haven on the roof and from sunrise to sunset recalls recent events and helps her family come to terms with its tragedy.

Freedman, Russell.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias:The Making of a Champion.
Clarion. 0395633672.

Sleek and graceful like the Babe herself, this well-researched biography gives insight into the fierce determination and drive of the greatest female athlete of all time.

Goldin, Barbara Diamond.
Journeys with Elijah: Eight Tales of the Prophet.
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.
Harcourt Brace/Gulliver Books. 0152004459.

Eight vibrant tales of the prophet Elijah, lavishly complemented with watercolor illustrations rich in detail, travel the world capturing the spirit of history and Jewish folklore.

Holt, Kimberly Willis.
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town.
Henry Holt. 0805061169.

Nothing much happened in the sleepy Texas town of Antler, until the fattest boy in the world visits, and changes Toby and Cal's life forever.

Levine, Gail Carson.
Dave at Night.
HarperCollins. 0060281537.

Recently orphaned, Dave is sent to the Hebrew Home for Boys, where he is mistreated and finds a way to sneak out and enjoy the nightlife of the Harlem Renaissance.

Perkins, Lynne Rae.
All Alone in the Universe.
Greenwillow. 0688168817.

Noting that three is a lousy number, Debbie is devastated when she is dumped by her best friend in this sharp and funny exploration of loss and growth.

Reich, Susanna.
Clara Schumann:Piano Virtuoso.
Clarion. 0395891191.

Remarkable pianist and composer Clara Schumann is profiled in this elegantly designed biography, resounding with numerous photographs and quotations from her diaries and letters.

All ages

Aliki.
William Shakespeare & the Globe.
HarperCollins. 006027820X.

In the format of a Shakespearean play, information is interwoven with the bard's own words and illuminated with decorative artwork that sets the stage f or the Globe Theatre.

Bridges, Ruby.
Through My Eyes.
Scholastic. 0590189239.

A collage of sepia-toned photographs becomes the backdrop for a moving, personal account of a young girl and her family crossing the lines of segregation in a quest for equality in education.

Dunbar, Paul Laurence.
Jump Back, Honey.
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan, Carole Byard, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney,Faith Ringgold.
Hyperion/Jump at the Sun. 0786804645.

Six of the most renowned African-American children's illustrators capture the spirit of childhood that is reflected in a noteworthy selection of poems by a distinguished poet.

Lunge-Larsen, Lise.
Troll with No Heart in His Body and Other Tales of Trolls, from Norway.
Illustrated by Betsy Bowen.
Houghton Mifflin. 0395913713.

With a rich knowledge and appreciation of the Norwegian tradition, an extraordinary collection of nine folktales centered on trolls, is illustrated in vigorous woodcuts reminiscent of ancient carvings of Norway.

Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Scholastic. 0439064864.

After a miserable summer with his relatives, Harry returns for a second year of school, where whispers of murder and death emanate from the halls of Hogwarts.

Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Scholastic. 0439136350.

As he makes his way through the third year of Hogwarts, Harry has to cope with feuding friends, old enemies and the mysterious Sirius Black.

Sandburg, Carl.
Huckabuck Family and How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back.
Illustrated by David Small.
Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 0374335117.

Delicate and humorous illustrations expressively reintroduce a timeless story to a new generation, who will revel in the language and sheer nonsense of Sandburg's creation.