- The Bear in My Family, written and illustrated by Maya Tatsukawa and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House
- Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom! written by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Nina Mata and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers
- What About Worms!? written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group
- Where’s Baby? written and illustrated by Anne Hunter and published by Tundra Books of Northern New York, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, a Penguin Random House Company.
Monday, January 25, 2021
Thursday, January 21, 2021
As the Youth Media Awards (YMAs) announcement draws near we've been thinking about all the wonderful books for developing readers published in 2020. We didn't have time to blog about as many as we'd hoped, but that doesn't mean we can celebrate them! So we're using this last post before the YMAs to present you with a list of eligible contenders. And to wrap it up we'll include some of our favorite ineligible titles at the end.
While we've done our best to include as many eligible contenders as we could find, this list is in no way comprehensive. There's also no way to know what the real committee read or discussed. Perhaps this year's winner and honor titles are on this list. Perhaps none of these titles will be announced on Monday! We'll just have to wait and see.
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
Beginning ReadersBumble and Bee (series) by Ross Burach
Charlie & Mouse Outdoors by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes*Dog Meets Dog by Bernice Myers
Duck and Cat's Rainy Day by Carin Bramsen
Come In, Zip! and For Otto by David Milgrim*
Fox Tails (series) by Tina Kügler
Fox Versus Winter by Corey R. Tabor*
Frog & Dog (series) by Janee TraslerHorse & Buggy Plant a Seed! by Ethan Long*
Go, Go, Go by Bob Barner
Jack Books (series) by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli*
King & Kayla and the Case of the Unhappy Neighbor by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers*
Layla and the Bots (series) by Vicky Fang, illustrated by Christine Nishiyama
Lunch Box Bully by Hans Wilhelm
A Pig, a Fox and a Fox by Jonathan Fenske*Princess Truly: I Can Build It! by Kelly Greenawalt, illustrated by Amariah Rasucher
The Really Rotten Princess and the Awful, Icky Election by Lady Cecily Snodgrass, illustrated by Mike Lester
Score One More by Marilyn Janovitz
See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Shark Report (series) by Derek AndersonSnow is Fun by Steve Henry
Testing the Waters by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mike Moran
Unlimited Squirrels: I Want to Sleep Under the Stars! by Mo Willems*
What About Worms!? by Ryan T. Higgins
Who Ate My Book? by Tina KüglerWho Needs a Checkup? by Norm Feuti
Black is a Color Rainbow by Angela Joy, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Blue Table by Chris Raschka
The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann
Round by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Lisa Congdon
Sun Flower Lion by Kevin Henkes*
Turtle Walk by Matt Phelan
Up on Bob by Mary Sullivan*
Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli*
Chick and Brain: Egg or Eyeball? by Cece Bell*
Cookie and Broccoli: Ready for School! by Bob McMahon
Noodleheads Lucky Day by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton & Mitch Weiss, illustrated by Tedd Arnold*
Pizza and Taco: Who's the Best? by Stephen Shaskan
Puppy Problems by Paige Braddock
Being Frog by April Pulley Sayre
Early Chapter Books
- All the Dear Little Animals by Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Eva Eriksson - Swedish author and illustrator
- Ana & Andrew (series) by Chrstine Platt, illustrated by Anuki Lopez - Illustrator born and currently living in Spain
- Beach Day! by Candice Ransom, illustrated by Erika Meza - Illustrator born in Mexico and currently living in the UK
- Big Shark, Little Shark, Baby Shark by Anna Membrino, illustrated by Tim Budgen - Illustrator born and currently living in the UK
- Bug Dipping, Bug Sipping by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Lucy Semple - Illustrator born and currently living in the UK
- Cat has a Plan by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Fred Blunt - Illustrator born and currently living in the UK
- Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song - Exceeds the 96 page limit
- Fairylight Friends (series) by Jessica Young, illustrated by Marie Vanderbemden - Illustrator born and currently living in Belgium
- Fox & Rabbit by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Gergely Dudás - Illustrator born and currently lives in Hungary
- Hound Won't Go by Lisa Rogers, illustrated by Meg Ishihara - Illustrator born and currently living in Japan
- Houndsley and Catina at the Library by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay - Illustrator born and currently living in Canada
- If You Love Books, You Could Be...by Elizabeth Dennis, illustrated by Natalie Kwee - Illustrator born and currently living in Singapore
- Interrupting Cow by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy - Illustrator born and currently living in France
- It Is a Tree by Susan Batori - Author born and currently living in Hungary
- King of the Birds by Elise Gravel - Author born and currently living in Canada
- Sea Sheep by Eric Selzter, illustrated by Tom Disbury - Illustrator born and currently living in the UK
- Shadow in the Woods and Other Scary Stories by Max Brallier, illustrated by Letizia Rubegni
- Tip and Tucker Paw Painters by Ann Ingalls & Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Andre Ceolin - Illustrator born and currently lives in Brazil
- You Can Do It, Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly - Egyptian born illustrator currently living in Canada
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
- “New words should be added slowly enough to make learning them a positive experience”
- “Words should be repeated to ensure knowledge retention”
- “Sentences must be simple and straightforward”
- “The illustrations must demonstrate the story being told”
“The book must also contain illustrations, which function as keys or clues to the text.”
- The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System—And How to Fix It by Natalie Wexler. 2019.
- Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can't and What Can Be Done About It by Mark Seidenberg. 2017.
- Reading Levels Unfairly Label Learners, Say Critics. And Then There's the Research by Wayne D’Orio. School Library Journal, 2020.
- Science of Reading: The Podcast, Amplify Education.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
It's January and you might have noticed we haven't posted anything about a Mock Geisel. In fact, you might have noticed we haven't posted nearly as much this entire mock season. This has been a challenging year and as we four co-hosts struggled to maintain personal and professional balance we determined that the best thing we could do was and is to give ourselves some grace. We love running this blog, but it takes a lot of work to coordinate, communicate, write, and edit, in addition to our full-time jobs and lives. Additionally, much of our content is usually created by guest bloggers. We felt that it was important to do what we could to give time and space to our colleagues who might be dealing with their own personal and professional challenges. So we decided not to reach out to our usual roster of guest bloggers this year.
So what can you expect from Guessing Geisel as we count down to the Youth Media Awards (YMAs) announcement on January, 25h at 8 a.m. CT? We'll post a bit more about contenders and Geisel-related topic, however we won't post a shortlist or host a mock via an online survey. We know this is disappointing, so we want to share some other opportunities to participate in mocks and celebrate the YMAs.
Participate in a mock held by one of our sibling mock blogs across the interwebs.
What will this coming mock season look like for Guessing Geisel? Our current plan is to return to more robust content this summer/fall and to host a mock in January, 2022. We hope that you'll be there with us when we do!
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
The end of the year is a great time if you’re a list lover, especially in a year when it was more difficult to get ahold of new titles. There's a lot of joy to be found browsing through best of lists, award nomination lists, mock title lists, etc. There are always titles we’ve missed along the way and it’s thrilling to discover more great books for new readers!
Here are some of the lists we've been browsing this year. Note: We’ve included some lists that combine beginning readers and early chapter books, however we’ve avoided lists that lump all children’s books together.
- 100 Scope Notes: 2020 Books by Geisel Winners
- Chicago Public Library: Best Fiction for Younger Readers of 2020
- Cybils Awards: 2020 Nominations: Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books
- Denver Public Library: Best & Brightest Beginning Readers of 2020
- Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2020: Easy Books and Early Chapter Books
- A Fuse #8 Production: 31 Days, 31 Lists: 2020 Easy Books and Early Chapter Books
- Nerdy Book Club: The 2020 Nerdies: Early Readers and Chapter Books
Have we missed any great lists? Let us know in the comments!
Friday, December 18, 2020
|Book covers for Bumble and Bee series titles: Let's Play Make BEE-lieve; Don't Worry, BEE Happy; Let's BEE Thankful|
|Book cover for Who Needs a Check Up?|
|Book cover for Princess Truly: I Can Build It!|
|Book covers for Frog Meets Dog, Hog on a Log, Goat in a Boat|
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
This book is a delight. Readers can tell right from the cover the sort of humor they are going to encounter here and this book does not disappoint. With three short chapters where the conflict between the invisible narrator and Max the dog resolves in a fresh way each time it’s the perfect length for slightly more confident young readers.
David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka manage to infuse this story with originality as the long-suffering Max – who opens Story Number Two with “Here we go again.” – engages with the narration in a new way with each tale, finding increasing agency until concluding the final story with a triumphant and contented nap. Teachers may particularly enjoy the way Max uses the power of writing to change the direction of the second story.
Is this one a strong Geisel contender? The use of word bubbles, plenty of white space, and clear cartoon style illustrations are all strengths we’ve seen in previous Geisel titles. The repetition of color and animal words speaks to context readers are likely to have, leaving them better prepared to appreciate the humorous moments. The relationship between the text and the pictures is more conversational than “the illustrations providing a clue to decode the text”, but with its original take on the narrator/protagonist conflict this one is certainly worth a look by the committee.