So long, 2005! You've been an unexpectedly good year, so I'm reluctant to give you up. I hope your new sibling is just as kind.
Looking back (inspired by Susan at Chicken Spaghetti), I find my favorite children's books of 2005 have been entertaining, snappy reads. Nothing too philosophical here—just good clean fun.
In the middle-grade category, my top six are:
Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Sue Halpern, Introducing Sasha Abramowitz
Judy Goldschmidt, The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriguez
Linda Sue Park, Project Mulberry
Greg Leitich Smith, Tofu and T. Rex
Three picture books especially impressed me this year, two for younger kids and one for older children. For the youngest youngsters, I loved:
Mo Willems, Leonardo the Terrible Monster
Mo Willems, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale (okay, this one is from 2004 and by the same author, but it was new to us in 2005)
For older kids, check out Alison Lester's Are We There Yet?, a wonderful picture book about a family's six month journey around Australia.
Finally, I have to mention Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart's Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs. This is a book of genius. Gorgeous, complex, and detailed, buy it for anyone who appreciates beautiful things. The dinosaurs are almost beside the point.
Happy New Year, everyone!