Best Children's Books of 2005

TIME selects the year's top titles for kids—just in time for your holiday shopping

Carolinda Clatter! By Mordicai Gerstein

If you are wondering what has become of children's books with the sweeping, mythic dimension of classic folktales, here is proof that the genre still has life in it. Gerstein's stirring story covers hundreds of thousands of years and a vast landscape; his illustrations rise to the realm of Chagall-like lyric fantasy. He tells of the earth's last giant, who, exhausted by his unrequited love for the moon, falls asleep and over the centuries becomes a mountain. In a town (Pupickton--from the Yiddish for belly button) built on his belly, the residents live in fear of...

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