The 2012 Picture Book Nerdies Go To…

The day after Christmas is always a little sad. The presents are unwrapped.  Empty bottles of eggnog are in the recycling bin. You know that in the very near future you’ll have to take down your beautiful Christmas tree.

I have the perfect thing to put you back in a festive mood: THE 2012 PICTURE BOOK NERDIES. The votes have been counted and verified.

Without further ado, the 2012 PICTURE BOOK NERDIES  go to…

Boy + Bot. Written by Ame Dyckman; illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Knopf, 2012.

Boy + Bot and Ame Dyckman (@AmeDyckman) dominated Twitter in 2012. Fine folks expressed their love for this hilarious and sweet friendship story using the hashtags #Bookaday , #Kidlit, #SharpSchu, #tlchat, #nerdybookclub, #titletalk, #Bookaday , and once a hardcore hashtagger used #AmeDyckmanDeservesAnAwardForBeingTheMostPostivePersonOnTwitterAndAnAwardForWritinganEndearingFriendshipStoryThatKidsBegtoHearAgainandAgain.

This Is Not My Hat. Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Candlewick Press, 2012.

This marks author-illustrator Jon Klassen’s second Nerdy. As you’ll recall, he received one for the most discussed book of 2011, I Want My Hat Back.

This Is Not My Hat introduces young readers to one of the most honest fish in the history of children’s books. On the first page, he declares, “This hat is not mine. I just stole it.”  Uh-oh! We know all too well what happened to that sticky-pawed rabbit.  What’s going to happen to the little fish when the BIG FISH discovers his bowler hat is missing? Will he find the little fish hiding where the plants grow big and tall and close together? Will the crab tell which way he went?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you better run to your local independent bookshop to find out.


Extra Yarn. Written by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen. Brazer + Bray, 2012.

It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s weird. And there’s magic. And an archduke from distant lands. And a pickup truck wearing a sweater. But once the story starts, you don’t think about any of those seemingly incongruous things. Barnett and Klassen use everything but the kitchen sink, but it doesn’t feel gaudy – it feels classic. –Travis Jonker 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Written and illustrated by William Joyce. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012.

What a year for Mr. Morris Lessmore! First an Academy Award, now a Nerdy Award. I cannot think of a more deserving bibliophile. Congratulations!


Each KindnessWritten by Jacqueline Woodson; illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012.

Are you looking for a thought-provoking picture book to pair with R.J. Palacio’s Wonder? If yes, Each Kindness is the perfect book for you.

Read what six Nerdy Book Club members posted on Goodreads:

*”A beautifully-rendered story that explores the little ways we exclude people and the regret that comes when we can’t apologize.” –Donalyn 

*”I had a lump in my throat towards the end of this book. You truly feel the emotion of this book as you read it and the regret that the main character feels for not having reached out in kindness and friendship.” –Alyson 

*”A book that goes straight to your heart. Must-read. Gorgeous illustrations.” –Mary Lee

*”Don’t miss this one during October and Bullying Awareness Month.” –Paul

*”This is a book that will speak to a wide range of students. No easy answers, but questions to raise.” –Mary Ann 

 *”Read it, discuss it, and recommend it to every teacher in your building.”  -Me


John Schumacher (aka Mr. Schu) is a teacher-librarian at Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook, Illinois.  He is a proud member of the Nerdy Book Club. 

Twitter: @MrSchuReads

Blog: Watch. Connect. Read.