AWB (Award-Winning-Books) 2015 Books GB Challenges It's Monday What Are You Reading Picture Books Reading Themes Throwback Reads and Hot for Cybils!

[Monday Reading] Finalists and Winner of the CYBILS 2014 Fiction Picture Book Category


Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (brainchild of Sheila at BookJourney). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts

We’re also inviting everyone to join our Award Winning Books Reading Challenge for 2015 (#AWBRead2015)! It’s that time of the year to set new reading goals for the coming year.


Here is the sign up page and the January-February linky if you already have reviews up. One randomly-selected participant would receive a copy of Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly, courtesy of Pansing books. Click here to view my announcement post to learn more details.

Widget courtesy of the talented Iphigene.
Widget courtesy of the talented Iphigene.

Part of our current reading theme includes giving love to CYBILS (Hot for Cybils!). I am also very privileged to be among the second round judges for the Fiction Picture Book category along with other fellow kidlit enthusiasts.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 4.52.17 pm

Second Round Judges for Fiction Picture Books 2014

Julie Larios
Books Around the Table

Dawn Mooney
5 Minutes for Books

Jennifer Reed

Julie Rowan-Zoch
Julie Rowan-Zoch

CYBILS has just announced the winners for 2014, and allow me to give a bit of love to this year’s finalists and winner.

IMG_9394Shh! We Have A Plan – WINNER of the CYBILS 2014 Fiction Picture Book Category

Written and Illustrated byChris Haughton
Published byWalker Books, Ltd. 2014
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This is a book that would resonate with a lot of young children with its conspiratorial quality of doing something sneaky sneaky and failing and its ending where it began – contributing to the cyclical nature of a book, with the ending essentially an invitation to start the book all over again. It’s a book that champions the wisdom of the littlest ones in a group and how even the most intricately-detailed plans can bring about the most surprising results.


Brimsby’s HatsIMG_9413

Written and Illustrated by: Andrew Prahin
Published bySimon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This is a quiet story with muted-pastel illustrations that deal sensitively with friendship, its sudden and unexpected loss, the eventual sense of isolation, and the everyday challenges of adjusting to changes and new friends.


IMG_9400Here Comes the Easter Cat

Written by: Deborah Underwood Pictures by: Claudia Rueda
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014
Borrowed through Interlibrary Loan. Book photos taken by me.

In this fun and engaging book, the reader gets introduced to Easter Cat who is mischievous and well-meaning, crafty and playful, oft-grumpy yet borderline-adorable. As the title suggests, this cat with the untrustworthy smile wants to replace the Easter Bunny, as he feels jealous of all the attention the latter gets!


I enjoyed the interactive quality of the narrative with the reader virtually doing all the storytelling as packaged in an ongoing conversation with the cat-protagonist.


Written and Illustrated by: Lori Nichols
Published by: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

A story about family love, growth, siblings, and making space for young selves to grow. I enjoyed the parallels between Maple and her tree, as in more ways than one, they are indeed twin spirits. This is a quiet, sweet story that can not help but grow on the reader. The illustrations can be quite awe-inspiring too.


IMG_6499The Girl And The Bicycle

Written and Illustrated by: Mark Pett
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I have done a review of this book even before it was shortlisted for the CYBILS last year. So allow me to quote from my review then:

I like picturebooks that depict children with a strong sense of agency, and this wordless book, so deceptively-simple yet so moving, portrays such a stout-hearted protagonist. This young girl made lemonade, sold a few of her favourite things, and offered her services to her neighbors just so she can earn enough money to buy the green bike. 


She did not feel entitled to the bike, she did not ask the adults in her life to buy it for her, nor did she give up easily. I love how the story portrays resilience, resolve, and determination – all very important values, with no text whatsoever. How Mark Pett accomplished this, I shall leave for you to discover. Find this book and savor it. It is an absolute delight.

Knock Knock My Dad’s Dream For MeIMG_9407

Written byDaniel Beaty Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Published by: Little Brown and Company, 2014
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This book is a lyrical and beautiful exploration of issues that most children in the fringes may be intimately familiar with, yet are not that adequately shown or depicted or even celebrated because it’s too big of a theme, or because there is the belief that we must protect the very young ones with the darker shades of life and such.


Yet it is stories like these that have the greatest potential for a young reader to see the world a bit differently and to grow not only as readers but also as compassionate, sensitive, caring human beings. A heartfelt story that I will definitely be sharing with my higher-degree students.

IMG_9426This Is A Moose (Or Is It?)

Written byRichard T. Morris Illustrated by: Tom Lichtenheld
Published by: Little Brown and Company, 2014
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Once in awhile, a reader comes across a story that genuinely brings about real laughter and fun. This is one such story filled with unexpected twists that seem to fly out of nowhere, yet they work precisely because of their absurdity and their ability to not take itself too seriously.


Quite similar to last year’s CYBILS winner, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown, this is a tale that celebrates being true to one’s self presented in such an ingenious, fun, and wild-wacky manner marked by excellent typography and equally well-thought-of endpapers. A rollickin-fun read.

Currently Reading…

I am glad to share that I finished reading Sally Gardner’s I, Coriander last week. After reading it, I immediately started Sally Gardner’s Tinder with stunning illustrations by David Roberts.


I am halfway through The Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman.


And I also intend to read these books as I will be traveling to Istanbul this week to conduct a teacher-training workshop/seminar.


Istanbul – Memories of A City by Orhan Pamuk and My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk.


And since I am ambitious, I thought I’d bring this one too for good measure: The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak.


Shh! We Have a Plan: Winner of Cybils 2014 for Fiction Picture Book, Winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award 2014, Winner of the Irish Book Award

#AWBRead2015 Update: 14 of 35

18 comments on “[Monday Reading] Finalists and Winner of the CYBILS 2014 Fiction Picture Book Category

  1. Wow! Some interesting reading there. I don’t have kids so am not at all exposed to kids’ books / children’s literature nowadays but it’s great to see so much on offer!



  2. Great reads! I love the awards!


  3. Can’t wait to read Shh! We have a plan…


  4. kaymcgriff

    So many good books!


  5. Sorry to share that I keep forgetting to share my award-winning books! All the finalists and the winner of the picture books are wonderful, as you lovingly wrote, Myra. I like the surprises that the authors put into the stories, and the satisfying endings, and of course, the illustrations are terrific, too. Thanks for all, & happy travels to Istanbul!


  6. I love so many of those picture books! I have Moose, but haven’t read it. I need to do that soon! And to see the BSC and SVH covers…. brings back A LOT of memories!!


  7. I have never even heard of Tinder before. I must see if my library has it!


  8. So many wonderful PBs! I love that the Cybils highlight books that might be overlooked by other awards. I still need to read I, Coriander. Love the cover of Tinder!


  9. Istanbul was such a marvelous book – it made me want to travel there right away. Love the selection of charming picture books, too, Myra – always a delight to see the books you’ve managed to find.


  10. Wow! These titles are amazing we loved Shhh! We have a Plan, Knock Knock My Dad’s Dream for Me and This is a Moose. We can’t wait to read Here Comes the Easter Cat. It looks hysterical


  11. I’ve been using Knock Knock with Lee Heffernan’s strategy, “six sessions for working with a picture book” with a group of grade 5/6/7 students at our school. I’m impressed with the quality of their thinking around it. Today we watched Daniel Beaty reciting the poem. They were in awe of him and thought it took the story to a whole other level. Tomorrow we have our last conversations about it. I’m looking forward to hearing more about how it changed the way they see the book.


  12. Wow, Myra, so many of these picture books are favorites of mine 🙂


  13. Pingback: [Hot for Cybils] A Whirlwind of Grudges and Sleet of Snow in “The Grudge Keeper” and “Blizzard” | Gathering Books

  14. Wow, that Tinder cover looks amazing. I haven’t read Easter Cat yet but with April fast approaching, I may end up doing so!


  15. I love the cover of SshhL


  16. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] At Home in the Water: Four Picturebooks About Finding Refuge in the Seas and Non-traditional Families | Gathering Books

  17. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] Six Overlooked Fiction Picturebooks by Author-Illustrators (..or Could Have Received More Love) in 2015 (Part One of Two) | Gathering Books

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