Summer crop: the ALA's best of the best to feed youthful imaginations throughout the season.

Author:Jeter, Chrystal Carr
Position:Children's bookshelf

The Coretta Scott King Book Award Committee of The American Library Association (ALA) each summer prepares a list of recommendations for BIBR's young readers that is chosen from recently published books. Here are the selections, by age group, to keep youth entertained and learning throughout the season:

Birth-Age 2

Please, Puppy, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, November 2005 $16.95, ISBN 0-689-86804-9 Ages 2 to 5

Dramatic yet adorable illustrations of two toddlers and their energetic new pet and a lilting text with a great catchphrase capture the excitement and adventure of caring for a new puppy with an agenda all his own. (Companion volume to the authors' Please, Baby, Please, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2002.)


Hush, Little Baby by Brian Pinkney Greenwillow Books, January 2006 $15.99, ISBN 0-060-55993-4 Ages 2 to 5

Using his signature scratchboard-illustration style, Pinkney presents his version of the traditional folk song in which a father promises the world to his restless baby daughter. Set in the early 1900s, Pinkney's version begins with Mom departing for the day, leaving Dad in charge of the children.

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson Dial Books for Young Readers, September 2005, $16.99, ISBN 0-803-72850-6 Ages 4 to 8

Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Nelson has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation of a beloved song that rejoices in the connection between people and nature.

Oscar's Half Birthday by Bob Graham Candlewick Press, June 2005 $16.99, ISBN 0-763-62699-6 Ages 2 to 6

To celebrate his half birthday, Oscar goes on a picnic with his parents and his sister.

A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, January 2005 $16.95, ISBN 0-689-83252-4 Ages 5 to 8

Warm, lyrical text and powerful charcoal art, highlighted only by small dramatic touches of red, depict two young girls participating in a freedom march in this eloquent tribute to children's involvement of the Civil Rights Movement.

Precious and the Boo Hag by Patricia C. McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss Illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker Atheneum Books for Young Readers January 2005, $16.95, ISBN 0-689-85194-4 Ages 4 to 8

Home alone with a stomachache while her family works in the fields, a young girl must outwit the smart, ill-mannered, mean and...

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