The 2018 Orange Marmalade Juicy Book Awards!

It’s time once again for those coveted awards, The Juicies, to be handed out!

It’s my Third Annual Orange Marmalade Juicy Book Awards.  After an agonizing process of whittling down my long list of 2017 favorites I’ve arrived at a selection of books that best illuminate six core Orange Marmalade values. (I sneak ten more titles in via my Extra Categories awards!) All are linked to my reviews.

Thanks a million, authors, illustrators, and publishing teams, for the gift of your outstanding work!


The Juiciest: Chirri and Chirra: In the Tall Grass and The Snowy Day
Kaya Doi/Enchanted Lion Books

Magical, enchanted, curious worlds explored by two tiny girls on bikes. Every impeccable detail refracts charm and delight. Dring! Dring! It’s a world you might create if every wish could be fulfilled. Exquisitely imaginative.

Oh-So-Juicy: The Only Fish in the Sea
Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell/Roaring Brook Press

Oh-So-Juicy: Professional Crocodile
Giovanna Zoboli and Mariachiara Di Giorgio/Chronicle Books


The Juiciest: Wolf in the Snow
Matthew Cordell/Feiwel & Friends

Matthew Cordell whooshes us straight into this frozen world, and knits our hearts to the fates of one small girl and one wolf pup… without a single word. Wow. I love how he shines a beacon on brave, self-sacrificial kindness, without a whiff of didacticism. Brilliant.

Oh-So-Juicy: King of the Sky
Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin/Candlewick

Oh-So-Juicy: You Hold Me Up
Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel/Orca Book Publishers

Cultural Diversity

The Juiciest: This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World
Matt Lamothe/Chronicle Books

Eminently welcoming illustration work hooks us into these fascinating, real, seven children simply telling us about their lives, melting boundaries, captivating us with how differently we do things yet how much we have in common. Masterful.

Oh-So-Juicy: Her Right Foot
Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris/Chronicle Books

Oh-So-Juicy: Bravo: Poems About Amazing Hispanics
Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez/Henry Holt & Co Books for Young Readers

Outdoor Play

The Juiciest: Fort-Building Time
Megan Wagner Lloyd and Abigail Halpin/Knopf Books for Young Readers

Imagination meets outdoor play in this joyous, creative array of forts the year round. It makes me so happy to see a racially diverse cast of children playing out of doors. Way too many outdoorsy books have only White characters. Thanks, Abigail.

Oh-So-Juicy: When the Moon Comes
Paul Harbridge and Matt James/Tundra Books

Oh-So-Juicy: This Beautiful Day
Richard Jackson and Suzy Lee/Atheneum – Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Quiet Books

The Juiciest: The Way Home in the Night
Akiko Miyakoshi/Kids Can Press

Miyakoshi’s flannel-soft illustration work accentuates the quietness of this bedtime stroll, the tenderness of mama bunny, the warmth of ordinary lives, the peace of bedtime, the hush of curious thoughts tickling the fancy of one child as he drifts to sleep. Exquisite.

Oh-So-Juicy: City Moon
Rachael Cole and Blanca Gomez/Schwartz & Wade

Oh-So-Juicy: Round
Joyce Sidman and Taeeun Yoo/HMH Books for Young Readers

Love for the Earth

The Juiciest: Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth
Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton/Candlewick

I haven’t reviewed this on my blog yet as I’ve just got my hands on it. As anticipated, it is visually stunning, an explosive celebration of the gobsmacking breadth of glories in our world. Davies is thrifty and respectful with her words, simply guiding us to more wonder, appreciation, and awareness of the critical importance of protecting these treasures.

Oh-So-Juicy: A Walk in the Forest
Maria Dek/Princeton Architectural Press

Oh-So-Juicy: The Blue Hour
Isabelle Simler/Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Ten Extras for Good Measure

Favorite new Black History read:

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life
Ashley Bryan/Atheneum – Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Most rad book for girls:

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo/Timbuktu Labs

Best biography of a hero every child ought to know:

Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books
Michelle Markel and Nancy Carpenter/Chronicle Books

Dearest fox and most enchanting woodland:

Little Fox in the Forest
Stephanie Graegin/Schwartz & Wade

Best snacks:

Captain Pug: The Dog who Sailed the Seas
Laura James and Eglantine Ceulemans/Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Best old book that was new to me:

Elsie Piddock Skips in her Sleep
Eleanor Farjeon and Charlotte Voake/Candlewick

Most stupendously long fold-out pages:

The Street Beneath My Feet
Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer/words & pictures

Most eloquent slice of history:

Town is By the Sea
Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith/Groundwood Books

Snazziest race cars:

Mama Lion Wins the Race
Jon J. Muth/Scholastic

Sweetest dog: It’s a tie between…

My Dog Mouse
Eva Lindstrom/Gecko Press

There Might Be Lobsters
Carolyn Crimi and Laurel Molk/Candlewick

Find the 2016 Juicies here and the 2015 Juicies here.

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