As you know, I’ve been playing along with Amy and the Armchair Cybils challenge. It’s been really fun for me, even if I didn’t do such a great job of predicting the finalists. Below are links to my reviews on the finalists and some brief thoughts.
Fiction Picture Book Finalists
Black Dog by Levi Pinfold
I was finally able to read this charmingly quirky book and I really liked it. An enormous black dog is seen outside the Hope family house. (It’s the size of a tiger. Or maybe an elephant. Or is that a T. Rex?) One by one the family runs and hides but it takes the smallest Hope to figure out what to do.
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett
I found this one clever but a little lacking in heart. However, I will admit that when I brought it home again this time David saw it, remembered it, said how much he loved it and fought with his sister over it. I asked him why he liked it so much and he said it was really funny and he liked it when the “author guy and the other guy fought”.
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
A Home for Bird by Phillip Stead
Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford
This is the one on the list I was unable to get my hands on, it looks intriguing though so I’m hoping our library gets a copy soon.
One Special Day by Lola Schaefer
My top three are A Home for Bird, One Special Day or Black Dog. I’d be happy if any of those won. If I had to choose just one I think I’d go with One Special Day, because it manages to be excellent and feel fresh but at the same time be somewhat old-fashioned and sweet. I feel like those are qualities lacking in a lot of picture books today.
Non-Fiction Picture Book Finalists:
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet
I never reviewed this one, I think because by the time we read it I’d seen it reviewed many places already. If you haven’t read it, go out and get a copy. It’s one of those great non-fiction books that takes a subject that is familiar and makes you wonder “why didn’t I know that”. I love the story of Tony Sarg, puppeteer and parade mastermind and I love Melissa Sweet’s illustrations.
Dolphin Baby by Nicola Davies
Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be? by Janet Halfmann
This is the one book in this category I haven’t been able to get my hands on yet. It looks really good though so I’m still planning to read it.
Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin
Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman
Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter
Nic Bishop Snakes by Nic Bishop
Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet, mostly because I love that it’s about such a unique topic. It’s also an exceptionally well done book from a fantastic author-illustrator. A close second for me would be Island: The Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin.
Those are my picks, how about you? Have you read any of the Cybils finalists? What were your favorites?