Smithsonian Notable Books for Children 2008

Surprising, inspiring and outstanding titles for youngsters and the grownups that read to them

Yertle the Turtle, Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley and The Order of Odd Fish were among those selected as Smithsonian Notable Books for Children 2008. (Random House / Boyds Mills Press / Random House)

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Dr. Seuss (Random House, $24.99) A 50th anniversary edition, paying tribute to one plain turtle, Mack, who takes on the extravagantly egomaniacal Yertle.

Simon and Schuster, $16.99) An inventive, large-hearted variation on the theme of country mouse and city mouse. Chalk is a fearless sophisticate, a New York City dog. Cheese is an English country mouse. When Cheese makes his way to the Big Apple, adventure ensues.

Laurie Krebs, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty (Barefoot Books, $16.99) To Cusco, to Cusco, a child travels across Peru to the legendary Inti Raymi, the majestic Inca festival held each year to honor the Sun God.

Yoshiko Jaeggi (Peachtree, $16.95) The author evokes magical world of her childhood in India, when the rains come and the world is transformed.

Paula Deen with Martha Nesbit, illustrated by Susan Mitchell (Simon & Schuster, $21.99) The Food Network doyenne introduces kid-friendly fare, from campfire stew to cinnamon rolls, accompanied by admirably easy-to-follow instructions. For the aspiring chefs on your list.

For Middle Readers (Ages 6-10)

Mary Beth Owens (Down East, $15.95) In a small town in Maine, Mr. Pottle, who oversees the town dump, resolves that he will save any and all discarded books. Along the way, his village finds that friendship is its own reward.

Jonathan Bean (Henry Holt, $17.95) Ten-and-a-half year-old Emmy can talk to rodents and they talk back. That singular talent sets the stage for a series of unexpected occurrences and a chance to set things straight.

Bryan Collier (Henry Holt, &16.95) The distinguished poet turns her talents to prose in an eloquent testament to two towering figures in the abolitionist movement.

When I Grow Up: A Young Person's Guide to Interesting & Unusual Occupations by Jessica Loy (Henry Holt, $16.95) Calling all dreamers. From research scientist to guitar maker, archaeologist to alpaca farmer, the wide world beckons.


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