Sunday, February 16, 2014

CYBILS - The Finalists with My Hits and Misses!

The CYBILS winners and finalists were announced on Friday. I was fortunate to serve as a round two judge for Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books, the best part - getting to read some of the new books from 2013! I definitely have recommendations for my lower grade teachers and librarian BBFs. (The winners and finalists in all the other categories are on the CYBILS website.)

I blogged about the winners on Friday. My committee chose one Easy Reader and one Early Chapter book.  (Very difficult to pick the top one! We had several great books from which to pick.)

The runner-ups for Easy Readers: (Recommend all of these for Kindergarten or First Grade readers!!!)

A Big Guy Took My Ball! Mo Willems

Love Mo Willems! Another great piggy and elephant adventure. This time Gerald and Piggy have a possible bullying issue. Of course it ends with friendship. 5 stars

Joe and Sparky Go To School by Jamie Michalak

I had never read a Joe and Sparky book until January. It was terrific. I'm going to be adding more of Michalak's titles to our school library. From the illustrations to the great lines, a wonderful read for your beginners. Cute! Cute! Cute! 5 stars

Love is in the Air by Jonathan Fenske

Who would imagine a balloon falling in love with a kite? Only Jonathan Fenske! Adorable. Perfect for beginners. 4 stars

Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes

Who doesn't like Kevin Henkes? Not one in my world. Penny finds a marble and keeps it but then worries it might belong to someone else? If you love the adventures of Penny, you will love this one!
5 stars

The Meanest Birthday Girl by Josh Schneider

I'll be honest at first I didn't like this one, but then I reread it. Totally enjoyed it the second time around. It's a cute little story about happens to those mean little girls. Sometimes we can be mean. Dana likes to pinch and take things that are not hers! A perfect birthday present helps Dana overcome her "little" problems. 4 stars

Finalists for Early Chapter Books:

This category was a little easier to chose from.  I definitely had my favorites!

Dragonbreath # 9 Case of Toxic Mutants by Ursula Vernon

If your young readers enjoy graphic novels, they will love the Dragonbreath series. Its vocabulary and the length will challenge the younger readers. I can see my upper grade reluctant readers grabbing this one. Danny dons the role of detective to find Grandpa's missing dentures. Going to have to find some more Dragonbreath books for my students. Predict they will be a huge it with the third and fourth graders. 5 stars

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen by Claudia Mills

Kelsey's school hosts a little reading contest. Of course Kelsey wants her class to win. (Not sure I liked the format of the reading contest. I want my students to read for the love of it not to put numbers/titles on a reading log.) Kelsey read books below her ability just to count as another title read. She did help a fellow student with a book. Think my girls will like this one more than the guys. Wasn't my favorite but still 4 stars.

Lulu and the Dog From the Sea by Hilary McKay

If you students read the Judy Moody series, they will enjoy Lulu. Cute, great storyline, will highly interest your girls. Lulu loves animals. When her family rents a cottage on the beach, the landlord warns them about a stray beach dog. Lulu decides to befriend the dog and try to teach it to behave. Cute will give this one 4 and 1/2 stars.

Life of Ty: Penguin Problems by Lauren Myracle

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I felt like the storyline was lacking or underdeveloped.  The whole idea of a good kid "accidently" taking home a baby penguin from the aquarium during a school field trip was ridiculous. Could have been so much more... I'm going to pass on this one for my library. Do I have to give it stars?

Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitats by Anna Branford

Another one for my girls who read Judy Moody! Violet loves small things. After finding a ladybug in her backyard, she tries to create a home for it with disastrous results. Violet ends up helping her older sister with a science project and learning a lot about ladybugs. 4 stars

Other members of my panel were:
Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy
Travis Jonker from 100 Scope Notes
Freya Hooper from One Great Book
Niki Barnes from Day Dream Reader

Tons of fun, maybe next January?

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