Notable Children's Books

About the Notable Children's Books
Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best of children's books on the Notable Children's Books list.

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Younger Readers

2004 Selection(s)

Diary of a Wombat

Written by Jackie French. Illus. by Bruce Whatley. Published by Clarion.

An endearing hilarious tale about Australia’s most endangered mammal. A wombat keeps a diary of her daily activities, often no more than ‘slept’ or ‘ate grass’. When human neighbors arrive, she sets about training them to care for her demands.


Ella Sarah Gets Dressed

Written by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Illus. by the author. Published by Harcourt.

In "Ella Sarah Gets Dressed" a young girl stands in front of her wardrobe to select her attire and makes her OWN fashion statement. Elegant in its simplicity, this perfect picture book uses a "variety of printmaking techniques." Cheerful, bold colors outlined in white emphasize Ella Sarah's freedom and confidence. A 2004 Caldecott Honor Book.


How I Became a Pirate

Written by Melinda Long. Illus. by David Shannon. Published by Harcount, Inc.

In this rollicking pirate tale young Jeremy joins a pirate crew and happily finds that no baths or vegetables are required, but sadly learns that there is no one to tuck you in or read a good night story. Shannon's illustrations and Longs story team to make this a great read aloud for the younger set.


I Face the Wind

Written by Vicki Cobb, Vicki. Illus. by Julia Gorton. Published by HarperCollins.

A Vicki Cobb Science Play book, I Face the Wind asks the young to think like scientists as it leads them through experiments and observations about wind. Cobb's simple text and Gorton's dynamic illustrations invite participation. A 2004 Sibert Honor Book.


Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book

Written by Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Published by Chronicle Books.

Morales' energetic and playful illustrations capture the essence of Mexican culture with bold and humorous motifs that illuminate Grandma Beetle's vitality and Señor Calavera's expressiveness. The 2004 Belpré Illustrator Medal Book.


Little One Step

Written by Simon James. Published by Candlewick.

Three ducklings lost in the woods encourage the smallest to take "one step" until they find mama. The soft golden hued illustrations clearly enhance the feelings expressed in the text.


My Name is Yoon

Written by Helen Recorvits. Illus. by Gabi Swiatkowska. Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux.

Unusual perspectives and amusing detail, captures Yoon's transition from a shy newcomer to a happy schoolgirl who is willing, at last, to write the American version of her beloved Korean name.


The Racecar Alphabet

Written by Brian Floca. Published by Atheneum.

A compelling alliterative text and large exuberant watercolors capture the excitement of racecar driving beginning with a 1901 Ford and continuing through the alphabet to a 2001 Ferrari.


Surprising Sharks

Written by Nicola Davies. Illus. by James Croft. Published by Candlewick.

Bright colors, big print, and breezy writing distinguish this brief introduction to the great white, dwarf lantern, sand tiger, and other amazing creatures.


What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?

Written by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page. Illus. by the author. Published by Houghton Mifflin.

What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? is an innovative guessing book that delivers a fun and playful science lesson on 30 animals' body parts: ears, eyes, mouths, noses, feet and tails. The artist uses exquisite cut-paper collage to detail basic forms combined with clever placement of the spare text to create an interactive visual display. A 2004 Caldecott Honor Book.


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