I finally finished it. The bibliography of high-interest, exceptional-quality books I compiled for a principal of a new elementary school is complete. At nearly four hundred books strong, it is (in my humble opinion) a representation of the best of the best. Several weeks of sifting through my library shelves, the Recommended Reading List I prepare annually, bookstores, and other librarians’ suggestions–and winnowing out any that do not fit the type of school and students–are at an end.
But the search for new, important, interesting, valuable, and/or timeless books goes on. As I compile my own orders for the school libraries in my care, every title that comes to my attention receives scrutiny. If it is good enough, it goes on the list. Then comes the painful part: determining which books to eliminate from the final total. I have not yet arrived at this step. While it is not a task I relish, when it is done, what remains is a selection of books (and a few DVDs) that are worthy additions to the collections. The feeling of satisfaction that comes when the list is sent on makes the weeks of searching, evaluating, and choosing worthwhile. And when the books arrive, it’s time to happily reap the fruits of my labors.
Here’s a partial list of the books on the above-mentioned labor of love.
Arnosky, Jim. Slow Down for Manatees.
Bang, Molly. When Sophie Gets Angry: Really, Really Angry.
Burns, Marilyn. The Greedy Triangle.
Crum, Shutta. All on a Sleepy Night.
Dowdney, Anna. Llama Llama series.
French, Jackie. Diary of a Baby Wombat and Diary of a Wombat.
Hatkoff, Juliana, et.al. Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again.
Jenkins, Martin. The Emperor’s Egg.
Keller, Holly. Farfallina and Marcel.
Knudson, Michelle. The Library Lion.
Koller, Jackie French. No Such Thing.
Krasnesky, Thad. That Cat Can’t Stay.
Lyon, George Ella. The Pirate of Kindergarten.
Moore, Jody. When a Dragon Moves In.
Nolan, Lucy. Down Girl and Sit series.
O’Neill, Catharine. Annie and Simon.
Roza, Greg and others. Our Solar System series.
Sanderson, Ruth. Cinderella.
Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are.
Stein, David Ezra. Interrupting Chicken.
Sunshine, Lori. I’m Really Not Tired.
Willey, Margaret. Thanksgiving with Me.
Wilson, Karma. Bear Snores On.
Yee, Wong Herbert. Mouse and Mole stories.
Check out http://bookandagarden.com for reviews and recommendations of phenomenal books.