Saturday, October 11, 2008

What's Missing from the Cybils: Early Readers

Have you nominated a book for the Cybils? Hurry up, there's only a few days left. Nominations close on October 15, 2008. Anybody can nominate one book per category.

I've compiled a list of books in the early reader category that are eligible, but haven't been nominated yet. To the best of my knowledge, all the books I've mentioned below are designed for beginning readers, are 64 pages or less and have a publication date between January 1, 2008- October 15, 2008.

There are three exceptions that don't meet the 64 page limit, and if these books aren't eligible for the Cybils, then they should be eligible for the Geisels and the Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award. They are:
All three books are published by Candlewick. Although they have roughly 72-80 pages, Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig and The Twin Giants in particular have appropriate word choices, white space, and liberal use of illustrations throughout the text. I'd definitely consider them early readers. But, we'll leave that up to the judges.

I'm so glad that the early reader category has been established as part of the Cybils (and I'm honored to have been the one to suggest it). I think this genre is extremely important and I've always felt that these kinds of books go unsung. If you click on the Amazon links I've provided below, you'll notice that almost none of these books have been reviewed yet, even though some of them have been published for nine months. After you put in your nomination, drop by Amazon or Barnes and Noble and leave a quick comment or review.

Last year, while all the Newbery and Caldecott predictions were being posted everywhere... the only books I saw on anybody's Geisel prediction lists were Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books. I love these books, and I'm delighted that There's a Bird on Your Head won the Geisel, and I think it was well deserved. But, Mo Willems just started writing early readers and he's not the only one in the game.

Here's a list of titles that haven't been nominated for a Cybil yet:

Amazing Animal Journeys by Liam O'Donnell

Annie and Snowball and the Teacup Club by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Su├žie Stevenson

Ape Adventures by Catherine E. Chambers

Basketball Bats by Betty Hicks, illustrated by Adam McCauley

Family Vacation by Fiona Lock

Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O’Connor

Flood! by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by John Wallace

Goof Off Goalie by Betty Hicks, illustrated by Adam McCauley

Greek Myths by Caryn Jenner

Journey of a Pioneer by Patricia J. Murphy

Just Five More Minutes by Marcy Brown and Dennis Haley, illustrated by Joe Kulka

Let's Play Soccer by Patricia J. Murphy

Lulu's Wild Party by Paula Blankenship, illustrated by Larry Reinhart

Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig by Kate Dicamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

The Mozart Question by Micheal Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman

My First Ballet Recital by Amy Junor

Pete's Party by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by David Gordon, Loren Long and David Shannon

A Pony Named Peanut by Sindy McKay, illustrated by Meredith Johnson

Quack Shack by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Yukiko Kido

Snow Dogs: Racers of the North by Ian Whitelaw

Snow Trucking by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by David Gordon, Loren Long and David Shannon

The Spy Catcher Gang by John Kelly and Kate Simkins

A Trip to the Theater by Deborah Lock

The Twin Giants by Dick King Smith, illustrated by Mimi Grey

Volcano! by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by John Wallace

Wagon Train Adventure by John Kelly and Kate Simkins

Welcome to China by Caryn Jenner

Wet Pet by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Yukiko Kido

Zoom! Boom! Bully by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by David Gordon, Loren Long and David Shannon

Click here to nominate in the early reader category.

In addition to this list, another great place to look for ideas is the Mock Geisel blog, created by the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Check out the new poll on the sidebar to see if you've nominated a book in every category.


  1. Thanks for this list, Susan! I just nominated Twin Giants--the kids and I both loved that book (a lot of thanks goes to Mini Grey's illustrations--all those buttons on the giants' jackets!).

    I've been struggling with where to put some books, and wondering if there is a limit on the number of categories of Cybil there can be! What about chapter books, which slot nicely between early/easy readers and middle-grade? We read quite a few of those this year (Leo is in third grade). And--wait, i just post this on my own blog. Thanks again for the list!

  2. Great post! Please somebody nominate Mercy Watson!!!

    Go over to the Cybils blog and put a link in the round up for this post Susan. These are some wonderful books!

  3. I haven't read a bunch of these yet. I clearly have some reading to do. :) I found some things to buy for WPL's collection, too....