In El Deafo, author Cece Bell loses her hearing at age four. Despite this sudden tragedy, Bell's graphic novel memoir is an inspiring and even entertaining look at her childhood. Most importantly, it clearly explains navigating life in ways that would not occur to hearing people.
A Hug Machine is on the loose, and everyone is fair game. Scott Campbell's picture book follows an unstoppable force in the form of an eager-to-squeeze kid who claims to be the best at hugging.
He starts with the members of his family but extends the generosity to police officers, gardeners, and even inanimate objects. "No one escapes the hug machine."
How could a cephalopod and a buckaroo be best friends? Cowboy & Octopus follows the unlikely pair through several adventures involving seesaws, knock-knock jokes, and a whole mess o' baked beans.
The top of the food chain has some serious self-esteem issues in Aaron Reynold's Carnivores. Lion, Great White Shark, and Timber Wolf are majestic and fearsome predators. This meat-eating crew might look tough, but deep down they are dealing with some major insecurities.
To Dare Mighty Things, by Doreen Rappaport, brings Theodore Roosevelt to rough-riding, "Bully!"-shouting life, showing what made America's 26th president such a captivating figure.
The Book With No Pictures might sound boring to children. I mean, no pictures means no fun, right? Balderdash! B.J. Novak's first children's book may lack illustrations, but it makes up for it by being one of the silliest read-alouds ever.