Outstanding International Books 2011

by Nancy Bo Flood

Celebrating the best of children’s international books of 2011!

Outstanding International Books is a project of the United States chapter of the International Board on Books for the Young. These books reflect excellence in worldwide writing for young readers.

The 2012 Outstanding International Books List* is now available as a Google Map!
Cover art and annotations are included. The pins on the map show the locations of the books’ settings. This map was jointly created by Constance Vidor and Ragina Shearer. Please share with your schools, blogs and communities and add your own comments about favorite books.

Two books on this list, Lost and Foundby Shaun Tan and Beatrice’s Dream, a Story of Kibera Slum by Karen Lynn Williams, photographs by Wendy Stone, were described at thepiratetree.com.

A new favorite of mine is Soldier Bear written by Bibi Dumon Tak, translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson this year. Simple but fanciful illustrations were created by Philip Hopman.

What an incredible and true bear and boy story! During WW II when Germany invaded Poland, two soldiers escaped, heading toward Iran. They then joined the British army to fight against the Nazis as spies. On the way, the soldiers met a boy carrying a bear cub in a bag. A trade was made: a sack of food for a bag of bear. The new owner, Peter, nourished the starving cub back to health. Soldier Bear and Peter become inseparable friends. Together, they saved lives and uncovered secret military information.

The book includes photographs of Soldier Bear and Peter and other soldiers from the troop. This is a page-turning, heart-warming story that shows the long-lasting effects of one act of courage and kindness.

Enjoy a look at the entire book list at Google Maps or peruse descriptions here.

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