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Nutmeg Books

Nutmeg Nominees 2023


Elementary Nominees 


Bear Goes Sugaring by Maxwell Eaton III
Journey through the forest with the very knowledgeable Bear and her sidekicks, Dog and Squirrel, to find sugar maple trees and to learn every step needed to make MAPLE SYRUP! Hungry yet?

Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals by Katy S. Duffield, art by Mike Orodán
Did you know that there are scientists, city planners, and even children at work to make spaces safer for many different kinds of animals every day? Explore wildlife crossings around the world with creatures going over, under, across, and through areas they couldn't cross before.

Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel, art by Paola Escobar
José Alberto Gutiérrez, a garbage collector in Bogotá, Colombia, started a library with books found on his route. On Saturdays, children run to the library to discover new worlds by reading.

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field by Scott Riley, art by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien
Young Prasit Hemmit and his friends decide to create a soccer field on the island of Koh Panyee, a village built on stilts to keep it out of the water. Working together, they construct a floating platform of scavenged materials where they can play and become good enough to compete.

In a Jar by Deborah Marcero
Llewellyn the collector and his new friend Evelyn learn to gather and save extraordinary magical things in this imagination-sparking tale. Can their friendship survive Evelyn moving away? Will their memories fade or grow?

It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear, art by Julie Morstad
Growing up quiet and lonely as a first-generation Japanese-American, Fujikawa became a rule-breaking visionary artist. Her work at Disney and her fight to change the illustrations of children in books to incorporate everyone will encourage you to follow your own dreams.

J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard, art by Akeem S. Roberts
J.D. gets a truly embarrassing haircut just before the start of third grade. What could go wrong (or right) when J.D. decides to take matters into his own hands?

King of the Birds by Elise Gravel
Arlo the crow thinks he’s amazing and loves French fries. Pips, his new friend, joins him on his adventures and points out when Arlo is bragging too much. This hysterical book is full of interesting facts about crows.

Lift by Minh Lê, art by Dan Santat
Iris is fed up when her little brother pushes the button in her elevator. Then a mysterious button appears with just the lift Iris needs

Maybe Tomorrow? by Charlotte Agell, art by Ana Ramírez González
Elba carries around a large, heavy block wherever she goes. Light-hearted Norris dances into her life, talks to her about her block, and takes her on a trip to the ocean. With their friendship, Elba’s block becomes lighter and easier to carry.

Mr. Summerling’s Secret Code (Treasure Troop series, #1) by Dori Hillestad Butler, art by Tim Budgen
Marley’s neighbor unexpectedly leaves her and two classmates the promise of ‘treasure’ in his will. The catch? They have to work together on a puzzle-solving, code-breaking quest to find it.

Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us by Lauren Castillo
Hedgehog has lost her stuffed dog, Mutty, in a giant storm. She joins forces with six remarkable friends in her quest to find him, and they become a brave and unstoppable team.

The Paper Kingdom by Helena Ku Rhee, art by Pascal Campion
When the babysitter cannot come, Daniel's parents take him along to their jobs as night time office cleaners. Mama and Papa turn the deserted office building into a magical playscape using paper to create an imaginary kingdom of dragons, creatures, and king.

Salma the Syrian Chef by Danny Ramadan, art by Anna Bron
Salma hopes that eating her homemade favorite dish will make her mother smile again. First, Salma must find the recipe and figure out what the Syrian ingredients are called in English. Her new friends at the Immigrant Welcome Center can help.

Shadow Island by Mike and Nancy Deas
Ollie is living with his grandfather in Sueño Bay. His plans to run away from this strange, rainy island in the Pacific Northwest are interrupted by three new friends, some supernatural creatures, and an angry gym teacher.

Intermediate Nominees

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Langston’s life has been upended. His mother died and his father moved them from rural Alabama to the city streets of Chicago. Bullied at school, Langston finds solace in the integrated public library where he discovers the poetry of his mother’s favorite poet, Langston Hughes.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Zoe dreams of becoming a baking star, but her dreams take second place when she receives a letter from her imprisoned father, a man she has never met. The letter sets in motion her quest to find the truth and prove her father’s innocence, while trying to create an original cupcake recipe.

A Galaxy of Sea Stars by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo
Izzy wishes things could go back to normal: her mom would come home, her dad wouldn’t invite refugees from Afghanistan to live with them, and her best friends would never change. It turns out change can be a good thing and new friendships can be found in the most unlikely places!

Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard
Robinson Hart tries to be like the man she is named after, Jackie Robinson, but it is almost impossible to keep it together at home and school. Caring for her Grandpa is becoming more difficult as his memory fades, and now she is stuck with her nemesis in group guidance.

Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue
What was looking to be a boring summer turns into anything but when Katie takes on a job caring for her mysterious neighbor’s cats. Shouldn’t be that hard, right? But, it turns out there are 217 of them—and these are no ordinary cats!

Nightbooks by J. A. White
Alex is obsessed with anything scary. Then he gets trapped in a witch’s world and must entertain her with a scary story every night. Working with another trapped child, they devise a plan to escape, but the house holds many of its own scary secrets.

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech
Louie’s dad brings home an ailing baby donkey and he is determined to save him. Taking care of Winslow keeps his mind off of his brother Gus in the Army. Louie is determined to make
sure this little donkey survives.

The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman
When Katie is surprised on her birthday with a real steam locomotive from her mysterious uncle, she has no idea of the adventures awaiting her and her brother. On a magical journey along with some talking animals, their resourcefulness helps them reach their destination, and might even help save the world!

The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas
Nestor Lopez is a Cuban-American boy who can talk to animals. With his dad overseas, Nestor and his mom move in with his grandma. Animals start disappearing and his grandma is unfairly accused of being a tule vieja -- a witch! Nestor will have to use his powers and stop the real tule vieja before the solar eclipse.

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed
Omar and Hassan live in a refugee camp. Hassan is nonverbal and relies on Omar for everything. When Omar has the chance to attend school, he knows that it will change both of their lives. But to do this, Omar has to leave Hassan, his only remaining family, every day.