Browse Books by Year

In Progress List 2018

This list displays the most recent books nominated for Capitol Choices. You can filter by age group by selecting it from the drop-down box and clicking "select."
Laurel
Snyder
Emily
Hughes
Chronicle
20117
Understatement is the word for this series, full of warmth that comes through in the simplicity of the activities (building a fort, singing a good night song). When their grandfather comes to visit he notices that Charlie has grown bigger but Mouse is just "medium". The antics are true to the characters and universally child like and explanations aren't needed, either among the characters or to the readers. Three cheers for all three. Edie Ching (up to 7)
Cover of: Why Am I Me/
Paige
Britt
Sean
Qualls and Selina Alko
Scholastic Press
2017
As an African American father and son and a light-skinned mother and daughter approach the subway from different directions, the boy asks the titular question. As the children notice one another more—as well as the people participating in sporting and musical activities viewed through the train window—they each ponder related questions. Acrylic, colored pencil, and collage scenes containing many types on diversity invite these thoughts naturally. A clever visual climax brings the children together with intersecting faces at the edges, a trick portraying a common color in the overlap. Much food for conversation. Wendy Lukehart
Cover: This Beautiful Day
Richard
Jackson
Suzy
Lee
Other
2017
Nowhere in the book, does it say that the rain makes it “a beautiful day,” but that is what appears to be so when the oldest of three, bored siblings turns on the radio and a rain dance ensues. The black and white day, rendered in pencil and acrylics, is infused with a blue swirl of music that connects to the rain, pulling them all outside to puddle fun. Jackson’s jazzy verses scan with an occasional bump, but Lee’s scenes are ebullient. By the conclusion it is clear that there are various ways to have a "beautiful" day. Wendy Lukehart
Cover of: Town Is by the Sea
Joanne
Schwartz
Sydney
Smith
Groundwood
2017
Schwartz compares a boy’s daily activities in a shimmering seaside town with those of his father who mines coal underground. His evocative language and strategically repeated phrases combine with Smith’s ink and watercolor scenes to paint a powerful portrait of the life of a coal family and what the boy’s future will likely be. Smith’s strong black lines and shadows speak for themselves in this provocative story. Wendy Lukehart
Candace
Fleming
Eric
Rohmann
Simon & Schuster (Caitlin Dlouhy/Atheneum)
2017
What seems like just another construction site/vehicle story becomes more with the "surprise" that keeps little bulldozer from doing the "big" job he set out to do. Rohman's illustrations give personality to each of the vehicles and Fleming's language is lively and both repetative as well as expanding words (hunkered, clattered, grumbled). And rough tough trucks have soft hearts. Edie Ching (up to 7)
Maria
Gianferrari
Patrice
Barton
Macmillan (Roaring Brook)
2017
Zara is in a wheelchair but this is only noted in the illustrations. Her energetic dog Moose hates goodbyes and keeps creating hellos by showing up at school in the classroom, the library, the cafeteria. What to do, Zara sends Moose to therapy school and we see him where he should be at the end of the book, the class reading dog. The language is active, "goodbye is hide without seek, an itch that can't be scratched" and the illustrations capture the moods of dog and children. A subtle story that might create interest in therapy dogs. Edie Ching (up to 7)
Morag
Hood
HMH (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
April 4, 2017
Lee is a pea, and all his friends are peas, everyone except Colin. Colin is a carrot. He can't do all the same things as peas, but he can do other awesome things. The text and illustrations are sparse but humorous. Each picture is actually a collage composed of recycled plastic bags. While embracing differences is a common theme in picture books, I think the author's humor and illustrations make this one unique and thought-provoking. (M. Crews - Up to Seven).
Camille
Andros
Brianne
Farley
HMH (Clarion)
March 14, 2017
Charlotte wants to be a serious scientist, but her family's rabbit hole is too crowded for her to properly conduct experiments. One of her siblings is always breaking her beakers or contaminating her samples. To find some peace and quiet, she constructs a ship and flies to the moon. However, she finds that even a serious scientist can become lonely. This book is not only funny and charming, it is also a great introduction to the scientific method for young readers. M. Crews (Up to Seven)
Benjamin
Strouse
Jennifer
Phelan
Simon & Schuster (Margaret K. McElderry)
2017
A boy and dog story like no other, thanks in part to Strouse's evocative illustration which move across the page as we move across time. A boy "finds" a dog and then, because of injury, has to give the dog up. He doesn't forget him but he doesn't spend the time with him he maybe should (time intervenes). But even as time passes affection does not. The language is simple but expresses the joys and tribulations of life as well as the hard work involved in growing up. The books is beautifully presented in all respects. Edie Ching (up to 7).
Eric
Veille
Gecko
2017
This book is a series of double-paged spreads, basically "before" and "after." Sometimes very literal, sometimes with a humorous spin, each spread will ask readers to figure out the series of events. Likely, children will be inspired to create their own spreads. Up to 7. Jamie Watson