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OUP staff pick the best kids books of 2012

Oxford University Press staff love to read, but we were kids once too, so we’ve gathered together a few recommendations from our staff to keep the little ones entertained through the long winter. (Books we’ve read, but may not have been published this year.)

Benny’s Brigade by Arthur Bradford
“Arthur Bradford is the co-director of Camp Jabberwocky, a summer camp for people with disabilities; he’s also the author of the unfairly neglected short story collection Dogwalker, along with a slew of cheerfully bizarre and wonderful fiction in magazines. Benny’s Brigade ties together these two threads, presenting an endearingly absurd tale about a courtly miniature walrus named Benny, fleshed out by Lisa Hanawalt’s lavish illustrations. I enjoy it every bit as much as I’m hoping my little half-siblings will (it’s their Christmas gift — don’t tell).”
Owen Keiter, Publicity Assistant

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
“Great book about finding adventure in an unlikely place when a brother and a sister are trapped in a museum.” 
Jeremy Wang-Iverson, Senior Publicist

Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman
The Happy Hocky Family by Lane Smith

“One book I recommend for cold-averse, snowbound readers this winter is Struwwelpeter, a classic collection of cautionary tales for readers of any age and humor. The original is written in German by Heinrich Hoffman, but the English translation is just as delightful and sure to make young, obstreperous children sit up and fly right. Another favorite children’s book that I think contains insightful lessons for the mature and miniature reader alike is The Happy Hocky Family by Lane Smith. The art and sentiment within is simple and exquisite.  he tale of the red balloon reminds me there are riches and joys to be thankful for and shared in the aftermath of adversity.”
Purdy, Director of Publicity

A Stranger Came Ashore by Mollie Hunter
“This book has it all: shipwrecks, magic, and a villain who may or may not be a Selkie (a seal in human form). If there’s any justice for Mollie Hunter, Selkies will become the new vampires.”
Jonathan Kroberger, Associate Publicist

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

“Harriet the Spy: For aspiring writers. The Phantom Tollbooth: Bored? So was Milo… The Hero and the Crown: A beautiful, short, surprisingly sexy coming-of-age girl’s adventure story.”
Anonymous editorial submission

We Are In A Book by Mo Willems
It’s a Book by Lane Smith

“What’s better than holding a book? Perhaps being in one! Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series always delivers a good laugh, but We Are In A Book takes a unique, meta approach to literature that will educate and delight children. For the mature sense of humor or technology-obsessed friend, check out Lane Smith’s It’s a Book.” 
Alana Podolsky, Publicity Assistant

Oxford University Press staff like to spend their holidays reading.

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