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The best kids' books of 2018

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It's been a good year for kids' books. Guest host Marianne Combs talked with two passionate experts in children's literature about the best books of 2018, including diverse books, graphic novels, books to lure in teens and board books for the little ones. 

Holly Weinkauf, owner, Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul
Lisa Von Drasek, Curator, Children's Literature Research Collection at the University of Minnesota Libraries. 


Holiday books:
"All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah" by Emily Jenkins, Paul O Zelinsky
"Santa Bruce" by Ryan T. Higgins

Graphic novels:
"Squirrel Girl" by Ryan North
"Lumberjanes" by Noelle Stevenson

Cookbooks for kids:
"A World of Cookies for Santa" by M.E. Furman
"The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs" by America's Test Kitchen Kids
"The Great Minnesota Cookie Book: Award-Winning Recipes from the Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest" by Lee Svitak Dean and Rick Nelson

Diverse books:
"Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales
Multilingual and multicultural board books by Cynthia Weill
"Frida" by Summer Morrison
"Global Babies" board books by the Global Fund for Children
  "One Crazy Summer" by Rita Williams-Garcia

Books for younger kids:
"Small Walt and Mo the Tow" by Minnesota author Elizabeth Verdick
"Hush Hush Forest" by Minnesota author Mary Casanova, woodcuts by Nick Wroblewski
"Red: A Crayon's Story" by Michael Hall

Books for elementary-aged kids:
"Louisiana's Way Home" by Minnesota author Kate DiCamillo
"All-Of-A-Kind Family" book series by Sydney Taylor
"The Unicorn Rescue Society" series by Adam Gidwitz
"The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog" by Adam Gidwitz
"A Tale Dark and Grimm" by Adam Gidwitz

Science/STEM books:
"Fly With Me: A Celebration of Birds Through Pictures, Poems and Stories" by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple
"Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid" by Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco
"National Parks of the USA" by Kate Siber
"Mapping Sam" by Joyce Hesselberth
"Frank Einstein" by Jon Scieszka
"Professor Astro Cat" by Dr. Dominic Walliman
"Street Beneath my Feet" by Charlotte Guillain

Books for teens:
"Dry" by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
"Hey Kiddo" by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
"Illegal" by Eoin Colfer
"Gmorning, Gnight: Little Pep Talks for Me & You" by Lin-Manuel Miranda
"What If It's Us" by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
"Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes Too): The Ultimate Puberty Book for Girls" by Sonya Renee Taylor

Sci-fi/fantasy for teens:
"Gregor the Overlander" by Suzanne Collins
"Keeper of the Lost Cities" series by Shannon Messenger
"The Dragonriders of Pern" by Anne McCaffrey
"Aru Shah and the End of Time" by Roshani Chokshi (introduced by Rick Riordan)
"Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi
"Dactyl Hill Squad" series by Daniel Jose Older

Books with disabled protagonists:
"The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle" by Leslie Connor
"El Deafo" by Cece BelL
"Some Kids Use Wheelchairs" by Lola M. Schaefer (Pebble Plus: Understanding Differences) 

Gift books for adults who care for kids:
"Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today" by Jane Isay
"The Poetry of US: More than 200 poems that celebrate the people, places and passions of the United States" edited by J. Patrick Lewis
"We Rise, We Resist, We Raise our Voices" by Wade Hudson
"The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter" by Leonard Marcus
  "Little Prince 70th Anniversary Gift Set" by Antoine-de-Saint-Exupery

Blue Ox Review, the blog currated by Lisa Von Drasek

To listen to the full discussion you can use the audio player above.