News – Best Books of 2013 Winners

2014 .


Here are a few things going on at Kid Lit Reviews. KLR is involved in at least two challenges: The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014 sponsored by Kid Lit Frenzy and the Small Fry Safari Readers Challenge  from The Bookshelf Gargoyle..  Both of these will be long-running but you won’t see anything different because of them. Both are review oriented and a notation will be at the end of a review involved in these, or any other challenge, with links to the completed challenge.  If you would like to get involved in either challenge, a website is not a requirement, check out the links above. You are welcome to post your reviews here at Kid Lit Reviews as a guest reviewer.

KLR is also looking for guest posts. The topic must be about children’s books, literature that can be tied to children, or writing in general. Shoot me an email if you are interested. Guest reviews are also welcome.

If anyone has any ideas about a challenge KLR can sponsor, or one you would like to sponsor but need somewhere to host it, I might be open to the idea. Please email me or use the contact form (link in navigation bar, far right).

Lastly, if there is something you would like to see here, or a special book you want reviewed, (do not need to be the author or illustrator), let’s talk . . . by email. I hope this is the best year yet.

As of March, it will be 4 years reviewing here at Kid Lit Reviews. Wow, that means I have been reviewing kid’s books for nearly eight years. Time just flies by, way too fast.  Thank you for sticking around or joining in the fun with your comments. I appreciate you all. Now let’s see what these two challenges are all about.


The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014

earthkidswborder2014 nonfiction challnge

This is the third nonfiction challenge from Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy. This is not really a challenge as we know it. The challenge is up to the participant. The first thing to do, after signing up, decide on the number of nonfiction picture books to read and review in 2014. What would be a good number for KLR?

This is a fun challenge, no stress allowed. Reviews can be posted to a link board every Wednesday. The board is at Kid Lit Frenzy.  It is also a nice gesture to read a few of the other’s reviews. Could be a nonfiction book you were dying to read, but didn’t know it until you read the review, waiting for you at one of the links.

Step 1.  # NF to review in 2014 will be: 4 per month for 48

Step 2. Link review on Wednesdays.

Step 3. Win Giveaways!

Step 4. Twitter hashtag  #nfpb2014


2014 Small Fry Safari KidLit Readers Challenge 

small-fry challenge 2014 logo 1.

The Small Fry Safari is headed by The Bookshelf Gargoyle. This is a simple yearlong safari that has the participants hunting down books with titles with specific words or categories in the title. Then the reviews are linked to a linky at The Gargoyle’s site.  To join, click on the title above and leave a comment saying you are in. Be careful when you comment. Mine disappeared, somehow taken hostage or simply stolen.  I had to write a new comment letting the Bookshelf Gargoyle know I was “in” (a safari term for ‘me too’). Here are the steps.

Step 1. Join by leaving a comment saying you are in.

Step 2. Announce your safari trip on your blog or website.

Step 3. Read at least one book from each of the categories (below).

Step 4. Must read a different book for each category, even though many may overlap.

step. 5 Link the review of the book(s) at the relevant Linky on tripadvisor’s website (above).

FYI – The categories listed are a loose guide and creative interpretation of the categories is not only encouraged, but applauded. Loudly.

FYI #2 -Challengers should link their reviews/progress under the relevant Linky lists on The Bookshelf Gargoyle’s webpage.  If you don’t have a blog, you could link to your Goodreads shelf/reviews, or simply comment HERE.

FYI #3 – The Challenge will run from January 1st to December 31, 2014.


1. A book with something related to Safari in the title    eg: Rumble in the Jungle

2. A book with a piece of furniture in the title     eg: 100 Cupboards

3. A book with a specific time in the title     eg: Grim Tuesday

4. A book with someone’s name in the title     eg: Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair

5.A book with something that comes in pairs in the title     eg: Shoes From Grandpa

6. A book with something precious in the title     eg: Where’s the Gold?

7. A book with something unsightly in the title    eg: Scarface Claw

8. A book with some form of wordplay in the title     eg: Dark Lord: A Fiend in Need .

Now, I think we need one category per month. So, can you think of 4 great categories? Do you know any picture books that fit these categories? The picture book must be published this year or last. That is just  KLR rule. Don’t hold your tongues. Speak Up!


This is it for 2014 so far. I might again try the A-Z Challenge again in April.

I hope to have time to get involved with Susanna Leonard Hill‘s Perfect Picture Book Fridays.

In November will be the PiBoIdMo challenge. Picture Book Idea of the Month. It runs every November. The idea is to develop one picture book idea each day of the month. This will leave picture book authors with enough material for the next year and beyond. This challenge has tons of guest bloggers from the picture book world, many with giveaways.

The giveaways alone are worth signing up, even if you do not have time to develop a full month of picture book ideas. And if that doesn’t get you moving to the sign-up sheet (wait until November), then maybe the fact that this challenge is run by Tara Lazar, author of The Monstore,will intrigue you to join. .


AND NOW . . .

The Winners of the First Kid Lit Reviews “Top Book of the Year”


PICTURE BOOKS –  How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton & John Rocco – Candlewick Press

how to train a train






MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS – House of Secrets by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini – Balzer + Bray

house of secrets






NONFICTION BOOKS  Ann and Nan are Anagrams by Mark Shulman & Adam McCauley – Chronicle Kids

ann and nan are anagrams






POETRY  –  The Bubble Collector  by  Vikram Madan



Congratulations to all the Best Books if 2013!

ONE LAST NOTE:  I had  hoped to have gold stickers for the winners, but the number that must be purchased at one time made that unattainable. If anyone has any ideas, any at all, that would honor these winners, PLEASE let me know ASAP.

When I planned this mid-year I had no idea stickers would be a problem. I put them on every book donated to the library or a school. But those are not gold or even interesting.  Yes, for those of you thinking it, I am a procrastinator. I keep thinking I will learn, but then I find myself in a spot once more.  Any illustrator willing to design something?  (will pay you.)

Well, that is all the news for the start of the year.  Ideas welcome. Guest Posts welcome. Reviews welcome.  Aw, heck! You are all welcome here at Kid Lit Reviews.




Reviews –  Mon., Tues., Weds., Fri., and Sat.   Guest Posts (when available) – Weds. & Sun.

13 thoughts on “News – Best Books of 2013 Winners

  1. Congratulations to the Best Books 2013 winners. Great books! I just ordered House of Secrets, so looking forward to reading it. Glad it won. I’ll try to get reading all of the winners. Thanks, Sue.


    • So sad about House of Secrets. It is a series and book 2 is not yet out. Since one of the authors is no longer with us, I wonder what will happen with the series. It was also to become a movie. Must wait and see. In the meantime, you will enjoy House of Secrets. It is a wild fantasy with other literature worked in (but they may be made up titles, I never checked it out).


  2. Wowie zowie, Sue! Big things are happening here. I can’t keep up. Congrats to the best book of 2013 winners! There’s so many glorious books for kids. I like to keep a pulse on what’s going on. Glad to see you are a one stop blog for all of that. My favorite books continue to be fiction about animals. What can I say? I know what I like and I live in a bubble….um….…forest.


  3. I think 100 nonfiction books is a nice round number for the first challenge. Mom and I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, so 50 would also be a nice round number if you’re like us. For the second challenge, books with one word titles, and books with food in the title would be fun. I hope a book with Cupcake in the title (Mom read a couple, but they may be older than last year – we’re not sure.) makes the list – for a name, or something precious (of course). Have fun!

    Love and licks,


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