December 28


The 2019 Nerdies: Early Readers and Chapter Books, Announced by Alyson Beecher


Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate books for the Early Readers and Early Chapter Book category. This year, we are celebrating 12 books that cover a range of topics from reuniting a lost dog with his family to dealing with very real family issues including a birthday celebration gone awry, a parent getting remarried, and a grandparent’s recovery from a stroke. Over the past eight years, this category has probably seen the most growth in racially diverse characters and families including several mixed race families.  Beyond the typical friendship and humor books that dominate this category, we have our first scary early chapter book winner. Whether you love returning favorites, or excited to meet new characters and series, there is a little something here for everyone. 


Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2019 Nerdy Book Awards for Early Readers and Chapter Books.

hello crabby


Hello, Crabby! By Jonathan Fenske (Scholastic Inc.) – Crabby is…well, he is crabby. Barnacle (from Barnacle is Bored) and Plankton (from Plankton is Pushy) both make guest appearances in the book. This full color early reader will be a hit for young readers. 


smell my foot


Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot by Cece Bell, (Candlewick Press) – This new graphic reader features an unlikely friendship between chick and brain,who happens to be mostly a brain with really large feet. Through misunderstandings and miscommunication, readers will enjoy this new duo. 


harold & hog pretend for real


Harold & Hog Pretend For Real by Dan Santat & Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children) – If anyone could pull off a spoof on Elephant & Piggie, it is certainly Dan Santat. Harold and Hog attempt to imitate the fabulous team of Elephant & Piggie but it is harder than it seems. 


king & kayla found fred


King & Kayla and the Case of Found Fred by Dori Hillestad Butler, Illustrated by Nancy Meyers(Peachtree Publishers) – This early reader mystery finds King & Kayla searching for clues to reunite a lost dog with his family. 


the quiet boat ride


Fox & Chick: The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier (Chronicle Books) – Fox & Chick are back. Their odd couple friendship balances humor and understanding that is necessary in all relationships. 


charlie and mouse even better


Charlie & Mouse Even Better by Laurel Snyder, Illustrated by Emily Hughes (Chronicle Books) – What can go wrong when trying to plan a surprise birthday party for mom? Well Charlie & Mouse learn that everything can go wrong and also that things can still work out for the best. 


juana and lucas big problemas


Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina (Candlewick Press) – In this second Juana and Lucas book, Juana must adjust to her mother’s pending marriage and a move to a new home. 


yasmin in charge


Yasmin in Charge by Saadia Faruqi, Illustrated by Hatem Aly (Picture Window Books) – Yasmin is back. In this full color, early chapter book, readers will follow Yasmin in her adventures as a teacher, chef, zookeeper, and super hero. 


dory fantasmagory tiny tough


Dory Fantasmagory: Tiny Tough by Abby Hanlon (Dial Books) – Dory is back and tackling the challenges of how relationships and friendships change and evolve. Of course, there are also pirates and Mrs. Gobble Gracker because it wouldn’t be a Dory book without her wonderful imagination.


diary of an ice princess snow place like home


Diary of an Ice Princess: Snow Place Like Home by Christina Soontornvat, Illustrated by Barbara Szepesi Szucs (Scholastic Paperbacks) – This early chapter book explores the common theme of wanting to fit in while accepting who you are. 


beneath the bed and other scary stories


Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories by Max Brallier, Illustrated by Letizia Rubegni (Scholastic Inc.) – This full color early reader features five stories that you probably don’t want to read right before bed. 


cilla lee jenkins the epic story


Cilla Lee-Jenkins: The Epic Story by Susan Tan, Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte (Roaring Brook Press) – The third and possibly final book in the Cilla Lee-Jenkins series deals with very real issues of preparing for middle school, caring for younger siblings and aging grandparents, and dealing with bullies. 


Once again, congratulations to all the winners! 


Alyson Beecher is an educator in Southern California.  She has a serious book addiction and hosts the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge on Wednesdays. You can find her on Twitter as @alysonbeecher and on her blog: Kid Lit Frenzy