Kirkus has completed their best of 2018 lists with their Best Indie list. In this list, they have two categories for youth books. Kirkus is one of the only review journals to really look at independently published titles, some from very small publishers, so this will be a list that has books you may not have discovered yet. Here are their picks for best indie youth books of the year:
All Is Assuredly Well by Professor Gore, Maestro Wilson, illustrated by Angela F.M. Trotter
Everyone Is Asleep but Me by Diana Yacobi, Lily Safrani, illustrated by Philip L. Wohlrab
Go to Sleep by Marion Adams, illustrated by Sarah-Leigh Wills
Gusto & Gecko Travel to China by Longy Han, illustrated by Elinor Hägg
I Love You This Much, Nonna by James Doti, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
If You Look Up to the Sky by Angela Dalton, illustrated by Margarita Sikorskaia
One Hundred Thousand Somethings by Ryan Forbes
MIDDLE GRADE and YOUNG ADULT
By a Charm & a Curse by Jaime Questell
Matthew Patterson and the Wish Defenders by Michael R. Holm and Rick Foster
The Puddle Club by Michael McGruther and Gregg Russell
Ray vs. the Meaning of Life by Michael F. Stewart
Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps by A. J. Massey
A Web by Isabelle Simler (9781441328434)
A spider takes a look at the things around her and then demonstrates her skill as a webmaker and an artist. The book features all sorts of items from the spider’s world. There are twigs, feathers, pebbles, insects, leaves, flowers, and more. With each spread of a variety of different kinds of these items, each item is labeled and the pages are filled with details worth exploring. Sharp-eyed readers will notice a spider lurking nearby. At first this is subtle, but soon the black legs of the spider are impossible to miss. When her art is unveiled at the end, readers will realize the care with which she has chosen from the wide array of different pieces for her work.
Simler’s text is minimal, offering basically the category that the items fall into and then labels for each item. The splendor of this title are the finely detailed illustrations that invite readers in. Children who love to categorize items or enjoy nature will love to pore over the pages here. The addition of the art at the end is a splendid surprise for readers who thought they were in a more serious nonfiction book.
Expect children to want to hold this on their laps and really look at the illustrations. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.