PlanetEsme.com's

DON'T MISS LIST 2005

Dear Children's Booklover,

As I look over all of the titles reviewed on PlanetEsme.com over the past year, I see more than a collection of delightful reads; I see a year's worth of great education. Truly, what child wouldn't significantly benefit from being exposed to each and every title in this assortment? What a schooling! What incredible conversations about art, war, nature, work, culture, history, geography, friendship, tolerance, self-actualization, imagination and celebration can take place using these books as catalysts! What qualities of humor, empathy and critical thinking can be fostered in children of all ages, abilities and temperments! Listening to these creative voices bound in book form singing out to their young audiences, it is easy to see the potential to learn shining forth in spite of whatever gloom beaurocrats, politicians and curmudgeons might ascribe to future generations. Whether shared in the classroom or the home, I believe wholeheartedly that these books will elevate all who receive them.

This list is simplified in order to be printer-friendly. To find book descriptions, reviews, covers, age recommendations, please visit the annotated lists by following the links below the headings. You may want to print up these pages as a checklist for visiting the more detailed sites. For the "Don't Miss" recommendations of the current year, visit www.planetesme.com/dontmiss.html.

Thank you so much to those who join in this endeavor to connect great children with great books. Happy reading always!

--Esmé Raji Codell, Site Director

Picture Books
(Click here for extended reviews of these titles and more!)
Angel Coming by Heather Henson, illustrated by Susan Gaber (Atheneum)
Author Day for Room 3T by Robin Pulver, illustrated by Chuck Richards (Clarion)
Baby Brains by Simon James (Candlewick)
Bad Kitty By Nick Bruel (Roaring Brook)
Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs! by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Jane Manning (Greenwillow)
Before You Were Born retold by by Howard Schwartz, illustrated by Kristina Swarner (Roaring Brook)
Bess and Bella byIrene Haas (McElderberry Books)
Big Sister, Little Sister by LeUyen Pham (Hyperion)
Blueberries for the Queen by John and Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Susan Jeffers (HarperCollins)
Bubba and Beau, Best Friends by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Arthur Howard (Harcourt)
Carmine: A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet (Houghton Mifflin)
Carolinda Clatter by Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Brook)
Chickerella by Mary Jane and Herm Auch (Holiday House)
Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Paulette Bogan (Bloomsbury)
Cinderella by Matthew Reinhart (Little Simon)
Cinderella by Barbara McClintock (Scholastic)
Dougal the Garbage Dump Bear by Matt Dray (Kane Miller)
Earth Mother by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Leon and Diane Dillon (Walker)
Fancy Nancy byJane O'Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins)
Four Sides, Eight Nights: A New Spin on Hanukkah by Rebecca Tova Ben-Zvi, illustrated by Susanna Natti (Roaring Brook)
The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown)
Goha, The Wise Fool by Denys Johnson-Davies, illustrated by Hag Hamdy and Hany (Philomel)
The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Ruth Jeyaveeran (Lee and Low)
The Have a Good Day Cafe by Frances and Ginger Park, illustrated by Katherine Potter (Lee & Low)
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster, illustrated by Chris Raschka (Hyperion)
Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by John Manders (Candlewick)
Home to Me, Home to You by Jennifer Ericsson, illustrated by Ashley Wolff (Little, Brown)
Hurry and the Monarch by Antoine O Flatharta, illustratred by Meilo So (Knopf)
Imagine by Norman Messenger (Candlewick)
Jitterbug Jam by Barbara Jean Hicks, illustrated by Alexis Deacon (Farrar Straus Giroux)
Kamishibai Man by Allen Say (Houghton Mifflin)
Kibitzers and Fools: Tales my Zayda Told Me By Simms Taback (Viking)
Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis (Harcourt)
Leonardo the Terrible Monster by the one-in-a-million Mo Willems (Hyperion)
Lights Out by Arthur Geisert (Houghton Mifflin)
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace (Chronicle)
Lizzie Nonsense by Jan Ormerod (Clarion)
Looking After Little Ellie by Dosh and Mike Archer (Bloomsbury)
The Magic Rabbit by Richard Jesse Watson (Scholastic)
Mama Goose : A Latino Nursery Treasury by F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada, illustrated by Maribel Suarez (Hyperion)
Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen (Candlewick)
Miss Suzy by Miriam Young, illustrated by Arnold Lobel (reissue) (Purple House Press)
Mocking Birdies by Annette Simon (Simply Read Books)
Momma, Will You? by Dori Chaconas, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (Viking)
A New House for Mouse by Petr Horacek (Candlewick)
No Haircut Today! by Elivia Savadier (Roaring Brook)
Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joose, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee (Chronicle)
A Play's the Thing by Aliki (HarperCollins)
Ready or Not, Dawdle Duckling by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Margaret Spengler (Dial)
Richard Scarry's The Animals' Merry Christmas by Richard Scarry (reissue) (Golden Books)
Santa Claus, The World's Number One Toy Expert by Marla Frazee (Harcourt)
School Lunch By True Kelley (Holiday House)
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott (Putnam)
Superhero by Marc Tauss (Scholastic)
And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole (Simon and Schuster)
Tiny Tortilla by Arlene Williams, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Dutton)
Traction Man is Here! By Mini Grey (Knopf)
What's Going On In There? by Geoffery Grahn (Orchard)
The Wheels on the Race Car by Alexander Zane, illustrated by James Warhola (Orchard)
Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Julia Durango (Charlesbridge)
Zen Shorts by John Muth (Scholastic)

Fiction
(Click here for extended reviews of these titles and more!)
BabyMouse: Our Hero by Jennifer Holm, illustrated by Matthew Holm (Random House)
Beany and the Meany by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by Susanna Natti (Candlewick)
The Book Without Words : A Fable of Medieval Magic by Avi (Hyperion)
Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J. V. Hart, illustrated by Brett Helquist (HarperCollins)
The Day It Snowed Tortillas / El Dia Que Nevaron Tortillas: Folktales told in Spanish and English by Joe Hayes (Cinco Puntos Press)
Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic)
Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles (Harcourt)
Friends: Stories About New Friends, Old Friends, And Unexpectedly True Friends edited by Ann Martin and David Levithan (Scholastic)
The Giants and the Joneses by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Greg Swearingen (Henry Holt)
Guys Write for Guys Read edited by Jon Scieszka (Viking)
Harry Sue by Sue Stauffacher (Knopf)
Horse Stories edited by June Crebbin, illustrated by Inga Moore (Candlewick)
The Legend of the Wandering King by Laura Gallego Garcia (Scholastic)
Lowji Discovers America by Candace Fleming (Atheneum)
Makeovers by Marcia by Claudia Mills (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
My Big Sister is So Bossy She Says You Can't Read This Book by Mary Hershey (Harcourt)
The Naked Mole-Rat Letters by Mary Amato (Holiday House)
Nicholas by Renˇe Goscinny, Jean-Jacques Sempˇ (Phaidon)
The Old Country by Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Brook)
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park (Clarion)
Postmark Paris: A Story in Stamps by Leslie Jonath (Chronicle)
Scrib by David Ives (HarperCollins)
The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty G. Birney, illustrated by Matt Phelan (Atheneum)
Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan Mcdonald, Peter Reynolds (Candlewick)
The Wedding Planner's Daughter by Coleen Murtagh Paratore (Simon and Schuster)
Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson (Harcourt)
You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah! By Fiona Rosenbloom (Hyperion)
Non-Fiction

(Click here for extended reviews of these titles and more!)
10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War by Philip Caputo (Atheneum)
Alone in the World : Orphans and Orphanages in America by Catherine Reef (Clarion)
Beyond Jupiter by Dr. Fred Bortz (Franklin Watts)
Beyond the Great Mountains by Ed Young (Chronicle)
Children's Miscellany: Useless Information That's Essential To Know by Matthew Morgan, et al (Chronicle)
Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman (Clarion)
Days to Celebrate : A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn (Greenwillow)
Delivering Justice : W.W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights by Jim Haskins, illustrated by Benny Andrews (Candlewick)
Dickens: His Work and His World by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Robert Ingpen (Candlewick)
Elephants Can Paint, Too by Katya Arnold (Atheneum)
Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart (Candlewick)
Fairyopolis (Warne Books)
Fold Me a Poem by Kristine O'Connell George, illustrated by Lauren Stringer (Harcourt)
Fooled You! Fakes and Hoaxes through the Years by Elaine Pascoe, illustrated by Laurie Keller (Holt)
From Rags to Riches: A History of Girls' Clothing in America by Leslie Sills (Holiday House)
Good Brother, Bad Brother : The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth by James Cross Giblin (Clarion)
The Great Brain Book : An Inside Look At The Inside Of Your Head by HP Newquist, Keith Kasnot and Eric Brace (Scholastic)
The Great Graph Contest by Loreen Leedy (Holiday House)
The Greatest Potatoes by Penelope Stowell, illustrated by Sharon Watts (Hyperion)
Hitler Youth: Growing Up In Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Scholastic)
Hook, Line And Seeker : A Beginners Guide To Fishing, Boating, And Watching Water Wildlife by Jim Arnosky (Scholastic)
Hotel Deep: Light Verse from Dark Water by Kurt Cyrus (Harcourt)
I Could Do That! : Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (Farrar Straus Giroux)
If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith Mcnulty, illustrated by Steven Kellogg (Scholastic)
Imperial China by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen (Scholastic)
The Journey That Saved Curious George : The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey by Louise Borden, illustrated by Allan Drummond (Houghton Mifflin)
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms by Paul Janeczko, illustrated by Chris Raschka (Candlewick)
Kid Blink Beats the World by Don Brown (Roaring Brook)
Let Me Play : The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America by Karen Blumenthal (Atheneum)
Little Bear, You're Star! by Jean Marzollo (Little Brown)
Looking for Jaguar and Other Rain Forest Poems by Susan Katz, illustrated by Lee Christiansen (Greenwillow)
Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask (A Bilingual Cuento) by Xavier Garza (Cinco Puntos Press)
Mice, Morals and Monkey Business: Life's Lessons from Aesop's Fables by Chris Wormell (Running Press Kids)
Mural on Second Avenue and Other City Poems by Lilian Moore, illustrated by Roma Karas (Candlewick)
Oh, No! Where Are My Pants? and Other Disaster Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Wolf Elbruch(HarperCollins)
One Red Dot by David A. Carter (Simon and Schuster)
Our Eleanor : A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life by Candace Fleming (Atheneum)
Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Kyle M. Stone (Harcourt)
Poems to Dream Together: Poemas Para Sonar Juntos by Francisco X. Alarcon, illustrated by Paula Barragan (Lee and Low)
Poop: A Natural History of the Unmentionable by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Neal Layton (Candlewick)
Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin)
Quilt of States by Adrienne Yorinks and Librarians Across the Nation (National Geographic)
Read A Rhyme, Write a Rhyme by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Meilo So (Knopf)
Saint Francis Sings to Brother Sun : A Celebration of His Kinship with Nature byKaren Pandell, illustrated by Bijou Le Tord (Candlewick)
Science Verse by Jon Scieszka (Viking)
Sholom's Treasure: How Sholom Aleichem Became a Writer by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein (Farrar Straus Giroux)
Sketches from a Spy Tree by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, illustrated by Andrew Glass (Clarion)
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Becky Prange (Houghton Mifflin)
Space Station Mars by Daniel Sans Souci (Tricycle)
Strong Stuff: Herakles And His Labors by John Harris, illustrated by Gary Baseman (J. Paul Getty Museum)
Sunny Boy: The Life and Times of a Tortoise by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf (Farrar Straus Giroux)
To Be Young in America: Growing up with the Country, 1776-1940 by Sheila Cole (Little, Brown)
The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela : Through Three Continents in the Twelfth Century by Uri Shulevitz (Farrar Straus Giroux)
Welcome to Kit's World: Growing Up During American's Great Depression (Pleasant Company)
Where Willy Went: The Big Story of a Little Sperm by Nicholas Allan (Knopf)
Wizardology: The Book of the Secrets of Merlin (Candlewick)
You Can't Use Your Brain If You're a Jellyfish: A Book About Animal Brains by Fred Ehrlich, illustrated by Amanda Haley (Blue Apple)

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