2017 Monarch Award

The Adventures of Beekle: An Unimaginary Friend

by Dan Santat. Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

This story begins on an imaginary island where imaginary creatures are created. All of them excitedly wait for a child to pick them and be given a name. One in particular waited and waited… until one day he decided he would wait no longer. He went on an adventure to the real world. He searched and searched for a child that would think of him and give him a name. After climbing a tall tree, his wildest dreams come true. Beekle is the name is his given by Alice, and together they “did the unimaginable.”

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

By Lynn Cox; illustrated by Brian Floca, Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014.

This is the real-life story of an elephant seal who made her home in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. When Elizabeth puts her life in danger by stretching across a two-lane road, a group of volunteers tow her out to sea. But Elizabeth swims all the way back to Christchurch. After many attempts to take the elephant seal farther and farther out to sea, Elizabeth always finds a way back to the city.

Gaston

by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by Christian Robinson. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014.

Gaston tries hard to be graceful like his poodle sisters, but sometimes he blunders despite his efforts. Nevertheless Gaston remains to walk gracefully and sip his water. One day at the park, Mrs. Poodle and Mrs. Bulldog take their puppies to play. Everyone notices that Gaston is a bulldog, and Antoinette is a poodle. Somehow the two puppies had been switched at birth, and Mrs. Bulldog takes Gaston while Mrs. Poodle takes Antoinette. Neither the puppies nor the mothers are happy with the switch though. Returning to the park, Gaston returns to his poodle family and Antoinette to her bulldog family. In the end, Gaston and Antoinette marry and teach their puppies that they can be whoever they want to be.

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

by Natasha Yim; illustrated by Grace Zong, Charlesbridge, 2014.

A Chinese telling of the classic story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This time, Goldy Luck ventures over to the Chan household to deliver turnip cakes. Upon her arrival, the family is not home, so Goldy Luck waits for them by testing for just the right bowl of congee, just the right chair, and just the right bed. Goldy learns to take responsibility for her actions and returns to the panda’s house to fix what she messed up. In the end, Goldy ends up making a new friend just in time for the Chinese New Year.

Rosie Revere, Engineer

by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013.

Rosie Revere is a bright second grader who loves building and tinkering with things. She wants to be an engineer one day. However, she is discouraged after some engineering failures, and hides her engineering under her bed. When Rosie’s great-great aunt Rosie comes to visit, she gives Rosie the encouragement she needs to keep trying and never give up, even after failure.

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