2018-2019 SC Picture Book Award Nominees

A Bike Like Sergio's

Ruben feels like he is the only kid without a bike. His friend Sergio reminds him that his birthday is coming, but Ruben knows that the kinds of birthday gifts he and Sergio receive are not the same. After all, when Ruben’s mom sends him to Sonny’s corner store for groceries, sometimes she doesn’t have enough money for everything on the list. So when Ruben sees a dollar bill fall out of someone’s purse, he picks it up and puts it in his pocket. But when he gets home, he discovers it’s not one dollar or even five or ten—it’s a hundred-dollar bill, more than enough for a new bike just like Sergio’s! But what about the crossed-off groceries? And what about the woman who lost her money?


A Piece of Home

When Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates’, and he can’t understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at him. As he lies in bed at night, the sky seems smaller and darker. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. And one day he is invited to a classmate’s house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea — mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him — and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a “piece of home” in their new garden.


Be a Friend

Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree . . . But being a mime can be lonely. It isn't until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship--and how special he truly is!


Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Bob was an average-looking collie puppy in every way, except for his bobbed tail . . . and maybe that’s why the Brazier family named him Bob, or Bobbie. But he was average in no other way. In 1923, Bobbie joined Frank and Elizabeth Brazier for a cross-country drive from Silverton, Oregon, to Indiana, Frank’s home state, where they planned to visit family. During a stop in Indiana, Bobbie was chased off by loose dogs, and after a week of searching and placing newspaper ads, the broken-hearted Braziers had to give up and start the drive home. Six months to the day after he was lost in Indiana, a very thin Bobbie was spotted on a Silverton sidewalk, his coat matted, his paws raw from wear. Unbelievable as it seemed, the three-year-old dog had WALKED almost 2,800 miles to get back home.


Chicken Lily

Chicken Lily may be a lot of things--a careful colorer, a patient puzzler, and a quiet hide-and-seeker (she never made a peep!)--but brave has never been one of them. That's why, when a school-wide poetry jam is announced in class, Lily is terrified. Will she sound like a bird brain? Although Lily's friends Baabette and Pigsley try to encourage her, Lily feels like a rotten egg. Finally, Lily realizes that she must put her best claw forward and prove that even chickens aren't chicken all the time.


Excellent Ed

Everyone in the Ellis family is excellent–except Ed. Ed wonders if this is why he isn’t allowed to eat at the table or sit on the couch with the other children. So he’s determined to find his own thing to be excellent at–only to be (inadvertently) outdone by a family member every time. Now Ed is really nervous–what if he’s not excellent enough to belong in this family? This funny and endearing story offers a subtle look at sibling rivalry and self-esteem, and will reassure kids that everyone is excellent at something, and that your family loves you, just as you are.


Follow the Moon Home

Viv has a new home and a new school by the sea. Follow her as she finds her way in a new place and helps bring together a whole community to save the sea turtles of the South Carolina coast. A triumphant story of environmental activism, community, and friendship.


Horrible Bear!

Bear didn't mean to break a little girl's kite, but she's upset anyway—upset enough to shout “HORRIBLE BEAR!” Bear is indignant. He doesn't think he’s horrible! Then Bear gets a truly Horrible Bear idea. What will he do next? As Bear prepares to live up to his formerly undeserved reputation, the girl makes a mistake of her own, and realizes that maybe—just maybe—Bear isn't as horrible as she had thought.


Lion Lessons

There are seven steps to becoming a proper lion, including Looking Fierce, Roaring, Prowling Around, and Pouncing. Our young hero, a rather meek and scrawny human boy, does his best to learn the necessary skills during his training with a master instructor (who just happens to be a real lion). After a grueling set of lessons, the boy discovers that that the final step—Looking Out for Your Friends—is the most important of all. That’s how any kid can earn his lion diploma (not to mention the affection of every cat in town).


Marta! Big and Small

Marta is una niña, an ordinary girl . . . with some extraordinary animal friends! As Marta explores the jungle, she knows she's bigger than a bug, smaller than an elephant, and faster than a turtle. But then she meets the snake, who thinks Marta is sabrosa—tasty, very tasty! But Marta is ingeniosa, a very clever girl, and she outsmarts the snake with hilarious results. With simple Spanish and a glossary at the end, this fun read-aloud picture book, Marta! Big and Small, teaches little ones to identify opposites and animals and learn new words.


My Dog's a Chicken

Lula Mae wants a puppy, but times are hard and she’ll just have to make do. Her family has plenty of chickens, so she decides maybe a chicken can be a dog. Pookie, as Lula Mae names her, is an ordinary chicken, but Lula Mae thinks she is very doglike indeed. With a bow in Pookie’s hair, Lula Mae declares her a show dog. When she runs circles around the other chickens, Pookie is a shepherd dog. And when Cousin Tater sneaks up with a snake and Pookie starts bawk, bawk, bawking, well, she’s a guard dog, too. Then Lula Mae’s brother, Baby Berry, wanders away, and who do you think comes to the rescue?


Quit Calling Me a Monster!

Floyd Peterson is so much more than shaggy purple fur and pointy monster teeth— why can’t people just see him for him? Jory John and Bob Shea have struck gold in creating a knee-slapping, read-it-again story that will start a valuable discussion about how we treat others and how it feels to be seen as “different.”


School's First Day of School

It's the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone's just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him? The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he's not the only one going through first-day jitters.


The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

It's the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She'll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn't matter that Alta's shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid?


The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read

Nick loves to read books—and he loves to play with his cats, Verne and Stevenson. So naturally Nick decides it’s a great idea to teach his cats to read. But Verne and Stevenson don’t appreciate when Nick wakes them up with a flashcard that says NAP. Nick finally piques Verne’s interest with words like MOUSE and FISH. But not Stevenson’s. While Nick and Verne go to the library, Stevenson hides under the porch. Will Nick ever find a way to share his love of reading with his feline friends?


Thunder Boy Jr.

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that’s all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.


Who Wants a Tortoise?

When the spunky, loveable narrator receives a tortoise for her birthday, instead of the cuddly puppy she’s longed for her entire life, she’s more than a little disappointed. But while her new lump of a pet isn’t what she dreamed of, it doesn’t take long—between tortoise-on-skateboard walks, sparkly shell makeovers, and a lemonade stand selling chances to hold a real life tortoise—for the little girl to change her mind—sort of. But when her pet goes missing, all she wants is to be reunited with her new best friend.


Whoosh!

You know the Super Soaker. It's one of the top twenty toys of all time. And it was an accidental discovery that brought it into being. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy.

A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity were present in Lonnie Johnson's early life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, Lonnie demonstrated persistence and a passion for problem solving that became the cornerstone of his career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is Lonnie's invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made the most memorable splash in popular culture.