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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Picture Books

Oh. We made it, readers. We made it. That was 31 days, all right. 31 days that covered loads of books. Good ones and weird ones, but all of them worth reading in some way. Not a bad book in sight. Nothing to yawn at. And so, as a reward, here are the best beloved. The picture books. The titles closest to the heart of the children’s book community.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Middle Grade Novels

The penultimate list! I’m so excited! This year I did a bit better than in 2017 in terms of reading middle grade fiction. Thanks to a system of following starred reviews, the recommendations of readers I trust, blogs, Twitter, Mock Newbery lists, the whole kerschmozzle, here are the 2018 books that I think are great.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Fiction Reprints

My 7-year-old daughter wondered what precisely constituted a “fiction reprint” when I told her about today’s list. After she asked, I found myself scrambling to make a concise definition. Simply put, these are books (chapter books, mostly) written for older children that either have new editions with new illustrators, or were out-of-print and are now back. Phew! Bit of a mouthful, that.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Nonfiction Chapter Books

I should clarify before we begin that calling these “Chapter Books” is a bit misleading. Think of them, instead, as works of Nonfiction for slightly older children in the 9-12 year-old range. Or, in the case of books like The Faithful Spy, 10 and up. A beautiful bevy of facts.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Nonfiction Picture Books

At last! It’s finally time to list the last Top Five lists of the year. This is the first of the biggies, my friends. These are the picture book nonfiction titles that truly stole my heart in 2018. The cream of the crop. The apples of my eye. The metaphors in my aphorisms.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Unique Biographies

To my mind a “unique biography” is a biography of a person who may never have had a bio about them before. Today I show off to you the books that dared to give love and attention to the lesser known.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Transcendent Holiday Picture Books

Merry Christmas! And what a lovely day it is. But why should we designate today’s list to only a single, solitary holiday when there are so many that had such lovely books out this year? This is one of my favorite lists of the month, so it only seems fitting to post it today. Here are the books based on different holidays that I’d feel perfectly happy reading all year long, they’re so good.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Science and Nature Books

Today we applaud books that have science and nature at their very core. Great books. Important books. Fun books. Beautiful books. Books that deserve your attention. Enjoy!

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 American History

I keep an eye on U.S. History when it crops up, and I count everything! Poetry, comics, fiction, you name it. Here are the books where it cropped up in the most interesting ways. And if you note some absences, please know that I’m saving the Biographies for the December 26th list.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Fictionalized Nonfiction

I like my nonfiction to adhere as closely to the truth as possible, but at the same time I love the creative ways people have come up with to present factual information. What to do? Why a list dedicated to those works of nonfiction with fictional elements (or are they fictional tales with nonfiction elements?). Because creativity deserves to be honored one way or another. This is my way.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Older Funny Books

I’m not telling you anything new when I say that 2018 was not a particularly hilarious year for a lot of us. All the more reason to give our kids something to laugh about. Today’s crop of books is for the 9-12 year old crowd, but that’s flexible. You might know an 8-year-old that finds P.G. Wodehouse sublime or a 16-year-old that sneaks Captain Underpants books at night.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Comics for Kids

This year, ALA established the first Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT). Long gone are the days when we would pooh-pooh anything with a panel or a little sequential art. And so, in celebration of their status, I cast aside the “graphic novel” moniker. Long live, comics! Long live, panels! And long live speech balloons!

31 Days, 31 Books: 2018 Early Chapter Books

Older than easy but not yet novels. The fact of the matter is that while Easy Books are hard to write, Early Chapter Books are hard to categorize. They’re also ideal bedtime books for older children, which means that with the European imports you get a lot of experimentation. American early chapter books are pretty much just written to please. Here then are the books written with 6-9 year olds in mind.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Easy Books

I think you’ve heard me say before that in many ways easy books are the most difficult titles to write. They are most perfect when they are most simple. And they are most simple, when they limit their text complexity. Can you make complex characters and plots with such small words? You can. These did.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Poetry Books

Poems used to be the sole property of April a.k.a. Poetry Month. Now that’s changing. Publishers are rapidly putting more faith into the poetry books they produce. So let’s take a look at what we saw this year, and the wide range of topics that were touched.