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Staff Favorites of 2013: Children

The staff of the County of Los Angeles Public Library read some great books in 2013. We asked them for their favorites and here they are!

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff, 2013

Constantinople, 1807. Daring adventurer Delilah Dirk saves the life of cautious, tea-drinking officer Erdemoglu Selim. Determined to repay the debt, he joins Delilah on her world-traveling and death-defying adventures. This graphic novel is hilarious, suspenseful, and fantastically drawn. I can’t wait to read more of this duo’s exploits!

Genre: Graphic Novel

Recommended by Karen from Hawaiian Gardens Library

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein, 2013

If you're a fan of games or puzzles or libraries, this book is for you! Famous game designer Luigi Lemoncello has built the library of every bookworm's dream and chosen twelve kids to participate in a lock-in where they play games and compete to be the first one to escape the library. A fun, kid-friendly romp full of charming library & book references as well puzzles readers can try to solve too.
Downloadable eBook.

Genre: Fiction

Recommended by Iris & Kristi from La Canada Flintridge Library & Library Headquarters

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Locomotive by Brian Floca, 2013

Start with a simple story vignette - two children and their mother traveling west on a steam locomotive to unite with their father. Add stunning watercolor art. Layer in historical details, engineering principles, and geographic wonders. Top with commotion, bustle, and NOISE! My vote for the best children's nonfiction book of the year.

Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book

Recommended by Darcy from North Region

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The Bear's Song by Benjamin Chaud, 2013

Beautiful illustrations draw the reader in to this sweet story about a Little Bear in search of honey, and a Papa Bear in search of his Little Bear. Fun and interesting attention to detail makes the seek-and-find element of the story a treat for both children and adults as Little Bear moves through his adventure from the woods to the big city.

Genre: Picture Book

Recommended by Jennifer from Library Headquarters

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Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner, 2013

Mr. Wuffles is a cat who is bored with all his toys, until he finds a miniature spaceship. What makes this toy so fun? It is piloted by aliens! This wordless picture book is funny and imaginative. You will find something new each time you read it.

Genre: Picture Book

Recommended by Katherine from Paramount Library

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The House of Hades by Rick Riordan, 2013

If you only read one children's book this year, like me, make it The House of Hades, the exciting 4th entry in the Heroes of Olympus series. Can Percy and Annabeth survive in Tartarus long enough for their friends to rescue them? Can they prevent a war between Greek and Roman demigods? Can they stop Gaea from reviving? A breezy, exciting read!

Genre: Fantasy

Recommended by Josh from Library Headquarters

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Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson, 2013

The beloved South African politican and world leader is presented in a magnificent and moving picture book by celebrated African-American author/illustrator Kadir Nelson. The outlines of Mandela's life are all here, from his boyhood to his election as president. A book for young and old alike, and an excellent introduction for children.

Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book

Recommended by Margo from Hacienda Heights Library

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Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown, 2013

Mr. Tiger tires of his prim and proper life and decides to let his wild side out. Enchanting illustrations in shades of green and brown with pops of orange (my favorite is a full-page spread of Mr. Tiger reveling in a lush, wild paradise) combine with text that is perfect for reading aloud to create an absolutely delightful picture book.

Genre: Picture Book

Recommended by Kristi from Library Headquarters

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The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth, 2013

Nate moves to a new house and discovers an old reel-to-reel tape recorder under the floor boards. He plays the recording and then becomes involved in a mystery that blurs the line between our world and a hidden one that is close by. Creepy, scary, wry and very, very compelling. The art is emersive, cinematic, haunting, and beautiful.

Genre: Graphic Novel

Recommended by Darcy from North Region

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Navigating Early by Claire Vanderpool, 2013

This journey of two friends right after World War II is so rich with beautiful, unusual characters, all of which need healing. It is a journey of hope and ultimately redemption. I loved being part of this friendship and the journey that cements it.
Downloadable eBook.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Recommended by Melissa from Manhattan Beach Library

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Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett, 2013

My boys (2 & 4) loved this book! It isn't just a counting book--it is full of humor and interactive participation. The colors are bright and captivating, making it easy for the child to get engaged into the story.

Genre: Picture Book

Recommended by Hilda from Chet Holifield Library

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Mr. & Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath, 2012

Madeline's parents are missing, so Mr. & Mrs. Bunny help her discover who kidnapped them, find them, and get to grade-school graduation on time. Despicable foxes, irritating marmots, and platform disco shoes! Humor for kids, satire for parents - the perfect listen. Sometimes I was laughing so hard, I had to back up and listen again.
Downloadable eBook.

Genre: Fiction/Audiobook

Recommended by Darcy from North Region

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Knit Your Bit by Deborah Hopkinson, 2013

Mikey wants to help in the war effort, but he’s only a little kid. When a big knitting competition for the troops comes up, Mikey is challenged to join. Isn't knitting only for girls? Will Mikey learn to knit in time? Find out the answers and see how Mikey does in the Knitting Bee when you read this wonderful story of giving.

Genre: Picture Book

Recommended by Victoria from Quartz Hill Library