Top Ten Contest

ALSC Blog Top Ten Contest


ALSC members love lists! The ALSC Blog is holding a contest to find out which members have the best lists. And they don’t just have to be book lists. Keep in mind your audience: ALSC Blog readers are world travelers, children’s literature enthusiasts, pillars of knowledge, youth librarians, and community engagement specialists. Send us your top 10 and we’ll hold a vote for the top ten list of top ten lists!

Help us spread the contest by tweeting about is using the hashtag #toptencontest

Rules and Regulations

  • Participants must be personal members of ALSC
  • Your list must not have been previously published
  • Hard copies will not be accepted
  • The ALSC Blog reserves the non-exclusive right to use lists at its discretion
  • Lists must contain ten items – it is a top TEN list after all!
  • Lists must be submitted by Friday, May 13, 2016 at 5pm Eastern/4pm Central
  • Voting will take place Monday, May 16-Friday, May 20
  • Anyone can vote in the final round
  • The top ten winners will win the prize of their choosing
  • Winners will be notified and announced on Monday, May 23, 2016.


Prizes include:

  • Eight (8) individual tickets to the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet on Sunday, June 26 in Orlando, Fla.
  • Two (2) ALSC Prize Packs – including one online course registration, ALSC gear, and ALSC award-winning books!

Prizes are non-refundable. No full refunds will be offered for those who have already purchased banquet tickets. ALA offers refunds for a $25 processing fee. Banquet tickets awarded in the top ten contest can only be redeemed by ALSC members. Prizes are not transferable and no substitutions or cash equivalents are permitted


Below are the entries for the 2016 ALSC Blog Top Ten Contest. Entries are listed in the order that they were received. Please review these lists and vote below. Any ALSC Blog reader may vote. Voting ends Friday, May 20, 2016.

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Heidi’s Top Ten Juvenile Fiction Books to Booktalk!
By Heidi Colom

All the books I enjoy booktalking feature a hook that will engage the listeners and want to read more.

10) Samantha Learns A Lesson by Susan S. Adler. – Samantha Parkington has been teaching her neighbor Nellie how to read. Samantha wants to win first prize in a speech contest about progress. But are factories good for everyone? Good social message.

9) Holes by Louis Sachar. – Stanley Yelnats got into trouble and got sent to Camp Green Lake. In order for the boys to “build character”, they have to dig holes. But…why? What secret is the camp warden hiding?

8) Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol – Leroy Brown is Idaville’s top detective- even though he is only 10 years old. Nothing escapes him! No mystery goes unsolved!

7) Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – Princess Isi is the heiress to the throne. She can talk to animals- including her horse. When her handmaid betrays her, Isi uses her powers to let the truth be known!

6) Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson – Sixteen year old Hattie receives a letter from her deceased uncle saying she has inherited his property…in Montana! How will she homestead in the new state?

5) Theodore Boone: The Activist by John Grisham – Eight grader Theodore Boone wants to be a lawyer. So when a new overpass is proposed for his city, Theodore can tell this will do the environment no good! But how will he convince the adults of this?

4) From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Koningsburg – Claudia and her little brother run away…to the Metropolitan Museum of Art! Why? And how?

3) Hatchet by Gary Paulsen – Brian survives a plane crash. How will he use his hatched to survive in the woods?

2) Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan – Esperanza is a rich girl living in Mexico. When she loses her father, she and her immediate family and best friend have to move to the United States and work in the farms. Mexico is a diverse country…but not as diverse as the USA.

1 ) Eva by Peter Dickinson – Eva was your typical 13 year old girl who liked ice skating, TV, the beach, and her chimpanzee friends at the research facility. When she wakes up from a coma after a car accident, she asks for a mirror to see her face- but all she sees is that of her chimpanzee friend Kellie. A girl’s mind has been transplanted in to a chimpanzee’s body!!!

Top Ten Harry Potter Crossover Titles
By Allison McLean

10. Harry Potter and the Cheese Touch

9. Harry Potter and the Country of Aslan

8. Harry Potter and the Time Traveling Siblings

7. Harry Potter and the Family of Pioneers

6. Harry Potter and the Pig and Pachyderm Friends

5. Harry Potter and the Child of Poseidon

4. Harry Potter and the Scared Little Llama

3. Harry Potter and the Groovy Blue Cat

2. Harry Potter and the Baudelaire Orphans

1. Harry Potter and the Cyborg Cinderella

Top 10 Reasons to Join ALSC
By Angela Reynolds

(Of course, this should be read Dave Letterman style) Now, the Top Ten reasons to become an ALSC member:

10. It sure looks good on the resume

9. You support ALSC; ALSC supports you.

8. Caldecott. Newbery. Ra, ra, ra!

7. The blog

6. You can find your tribe

5. Continuing Education that fits your needs

4. Pride. Lots of it.

3. Networking!

2. If you work hard and get lucky, someday you could be on an awesome committee

1. You might find your Library BFF through ALSC

Top 10 Qualities of a Storytime Ninja
By Julie Crabb

10. Is constantly striving to do more: more bouncing, more woof-woofs, more talking, more playing, more collaborating, and more butt kicking

9. Always knows which house the little mouse is hiding behind

8. Can delicately squeeze early literacy factoids into every conversation

7. Delights/annoys loved ones with Storytime tunes at family functions

6. Owns at least one article of clothing covered in dinosaurs, camels, or cats

5. Has egg shakers in their desk drawer, car trunk, living room, shower, and pocket

4. Can get Chuck Norris to shake his sillies out

3. Is able to recite Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by heart

2. Has perfected the side-eye in response to talking caregivers

1. Can practically shoot bubbles out of their fingertips

Diverse Poetry Books about Mothers
By Sylvia Vardell

What better tribute for a mother, aunt or grandmother than a well-chosen poem? Poets have given us words with which to honor the women in our lives in many poetry books in picture book form or in novels in verse or in anthologies of poems by many poets from many cultures and backgrounds.

10. Yolen, Jane and Heidi E.Y. Stemple. 2001. Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems for Young People. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.

9. Wong. Janet S. 1999. The Rainbow Hand: Poems about Mothers and Children. New York: McElderry.

8. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2001. A Mother’s Love: Poems for us to Share. New York: Joanna Cotler.

7. Smith, Hope Anita. 2009. Mother: Poems. New York: Henry Holt.

6. Mora, Pat. 2001. Ed. Love to Mamá: a Tribute to Mothers. New York: Lee & Low Books.

5. McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. 2011. Under the Mesquite. New York: Lee & Low.

4. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women. Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.

3. Holt, K. A. 2015. House Arrest. San Francisco: Chronicle.

2. Grimes, Nikki. 2015. Poems in the Attic. Ill. by Elizabeth Zunon. New York: Lee & Low.

1. Atkins, Jeannine. 2010. Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters. Henry Holt.

Top Ten Books for a Children’s Librarian’s Wedding Reception
By Susan Person

When I got married, I decided I wanted the theme of my wedding to be children’s books and authors. Perfect for a Children’s Librarian, right?! My mother read to us all the time when we were little, and I had so many fond memories of these books from growing up. At such a transitional moment in my life I wanted to memorialize the child I’d once been and the reader I had become.

At the reception each table was named after a character or author, so people sat at the Anatole table or the Virginia Lee Burton table. Each table had a centerpiece made of stacked paperback and/or board book versions of my favorites, and a small stuffed animal or other prop when I could find one. The theme was a big hit! Many of the guests enjoyed going from table to table and revisiting old literary friends, and by the end of the night quite a few of the books ended up going home as favors. My husband-to-be thought my idea was kind of dorky, but by the end of the night he had to admit that he’d been wrong!

I had way more than 10 tables that night, but since ALSC is forcing me to limit myself, here are my top ten (in no particular order):

10. Lyle Lyle Crocodile

9. Babar

8. Frances stories by Russell and Lillian Hoban

7. Anatole books by Eve Titus

6. Virginia Lee Burton (ditto The Little House)

5. William Steig (loved, loved, loved Sylvester)

4. Don Freeman (I unfortunately had hair just like Mop Top as a child)

3. Robert McCloskey (to this day I want to visit Maine because of him)

2. Snip Snap Snurr & Flicka Ricka Dicka

1. Edith the Lonely Doll

Top Ten Funniest Notes Found in Our Writing Center Mailbox
By Heather Thompson

Our department has a writing center where young patrons can write and “send” a letter to us through a toy mailbox. We get a lot of sweet sentiments and adorable drawings…but I thought I would share the often hilarious side of this treasure trove.

10. “You suck.” A good reminder, lest we become too full of ourselves.

9. “I like animals. I eat them.” That did NOT turn out the way I expected it to.

8. “I love roses they smell like poop—just like you.” Awww! Stop! I’m blushing!

7. “Go home, Packers!” Being situated near the Wisconsin-Illinois border can make for a pretty contentious environment come football season.

6. “Dear Santa Claus, I have been a very good girl this year. I want $500 and I DO NOT want a pony! For the last time, I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING PONY. Jeez. Bye Santa. P.S. NO PONY. THANKS.” Yeah! Get it together, Santa!

5. “I like soccer, swimming, and ice cream cookie dough and money.” Those ARE all the best things. Especially the last part.

4. “Sh sh sh sh sh sh” accompanied by a drawing of a lady. Probably a librarian. Just a hunch.

3. “Dear librarian, I am thankful for my family. Do you agree? Yes No.” I’m gonna go ahead and circle yes.

2. “I need more MONEY!!!” You and me both, kiddo.

1. “I like nothing. I am allergic to snow.” Oh, the ennui!

Top Ten Out-of-Print Books Storytime Providers REALLY Would Like to Have Back In Print (Based on a Highly Unscientific Facebook and Twitter Poll)
By Mary Kuehner

This list was compiled from responses to a question I posed on twitter and facebook (the Storytime Underground page, specifically) asking: What are your favorite out-of-print storytime books that you REALLY REALLY want to come back into print? Votes were a combination of titles suggested and the number of “likes” that title received. Hence, it is very unscientific and inexact but still informative. The top two, at least, were not at all surprising to me. Now, which publishers can we talk to about getting some of these back in print?

10. (Tie – 4 votes each): Peanut by Linus Alsenas, If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera, Don’t Squish the Sasquatch by Kent Redecker, Monkey Face by Frank Asch, and Splash! (Picture book, not board book size) by Flora McDonnell

9. (Tie – 5 votes each): Snappy Little…Pop Up Books, Beware of the Frog by William Bee, Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut, and Minerva Louise (hardcover) by Janet Stoeke.

8. (Tie – 6 votes each): I’m The Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry, Round Robin and Little Peep by Jack Kent, and Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash.

7. (8 votes) If You’re Happy and You Know It by David Carter

6. (11 votes) Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems

5. (12 votes) Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley

4. (13 votes) Little White Duck by Walt Whippo

3. (Tie – 19 votes each) Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt and Duckie’s Rainbow by Frances Berry

2. (21 votes) Hi, Pizza Man by Virginia Walter

1. (27 votes) Tanka, Tanka, Skunk by Steve Webb

Say it with me, everyone: Skunka tanka, skunka tanka, tanka tanka SKUNK!

Top Ten Treats inspired by favorite children’s books
By Barbara Moon

10. Watermelon Limeade Float
Recipe found in A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff

9. Cherries in the Snow
Recipe found in The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh

8. Gingerbread boys and girls
Inspired by Gingerbread for Liberty by Mara Rockliff

7. Party cupcakes
Inspired by Bake Sale by Sara Varon

6. Homemade ice cream treats
Inspired by Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis

5. Cinnamon Apple Pie
Inspired by The Good-Pie Party by Liz Garton Scanlon

4.Strawberry jam
Inspired by Bread and Jam for Francis by

3.Molasses Sugar Cookies
Inspired by If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

2.Apple Tart
Inspired by The Apple Tart of Hope by

1. Caramel Corn
Inspired by Popcorn by Frank Asch

Note: I have read and loved each of these books and have made each of these treats several times. Photos of the treats and books pairings will be posted on my blog at a future date.

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