Staff Picks for Children

When you're in the Library, be sure to browse the "Staff Picks" display for additional staff suggestions.

I Am The Wolf And Here I Come!

(2015)
I Am The Wolf And Here I Come!

 

 

This small board book, first published in French in 1998, has finally been translated into English and published in the United States. Held vertically, each two page spread shows a gray wolf with big pointy teeth who introduces himself as "the big bad wolf". The wolf begins with no clothes, and each turn of the page adds a new article of clothing, starting with pink hearted underpants, t-shirt, socks, and so on until he adds a big black trenchcoat. On the last page he announces with an evil grin "I'm coming to get you!" The back of the book tells the reader to "snap the book shut to keep the wolf inside". It's too bad the book is only available as a tiny board book--this would be a great book to share in storytime. I loved it, and highly recommend it for use with kids as young as toddlers and as old as school-age.

For a classic story about getting dressed, read Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London,

 

 

 

 

 

or for a funny story about individuality in choosing clothing try Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems 

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My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay (2015)

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay

 

This picture book tells of Zulay and her three sighted, best friends. Together they link arms, skip through the hallways and line up for school. Together they hang up their bags, take their chairs down and get ready for class. Together they draw shapes, practice math and learn how to type on Zulay’s Brailler. When it is time for Zulay to practice using her cane, she has to practice by herself with Ms. Turner. Zulay doesn’t like being singled out, and she doesn’t like having to use a cane when no one else does. One day, Zulay and her friends learn that they are going to have a Field Day. Everyone wants to compete in different events, and Zulay would like to run the race in her brand new, pink shoes. Together, Ms. Turner and Zulay begin practicing.

 Based upon the author’s encounter with a real, little girl, this brilliant and touching tale is the story of four best friends “who help each other” and “who help themselves.”  Children will enjoy the story, and adults may need a tissue or two.

 

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Sydney & Simon

Full STEAM Ahead! (2014)
Sydney & Simon

 

 

Sydney & Simon are twin mice starring in a new series written and illustrated by twin brothers. (Peter Reynolds is well known for books such as The Dot and Ish). This early chapter book introduces STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) concepts to readers by walking through Sydney and Simon's problems with their entry for the flower show--they can't get the window open in order to water the plants. The twins record their ideas, Sydney using a standard notebook and Simon using a tablet computer, conduct science experiments, and ultimately find a way to get water to the flowers in time for the show.  The book carefully explains in short, illustrated chapters how STEAM concepts solve the twins’ problems.  A glossary at the back of the book helps define any unfamiliar words. Recommended for new chapter book readers, younger for reading aloud.

To do your own experiments with water, check out Explore Water! by Anita Yasuda.

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Chloe By Design

Making the Cut (2015)
Chloe By Design

 

Sixteen year old Chloe is a huge fan of the reality show for fashion designers, Design Diva (think Project Runway), so when a spinoff for teens is announced Chloe knows she has to compete.  Chloe is talented, sometimes doubts herself, but perseveres to make it past the casting challenges to be among the final fifteen designers cast in the first ever Teen Design Diva (as does her hometown nemesis Nina).  The tasks are not easy, and sometimes Chloe is perplexed, yet as she makes it past each stage of the competition her confidence grows and she remains a likable character throughout the book.  Tweens who love fashion would enjoy reading this book with just the text alone, however, Brooke Hagel's fantastic color illustrations bring the book to another level. The drawings, which show not only Chloe's designs but also her competitors', bring life to the fashion.  They also offer definition--what's a pleated back vent or a fascinator?  They're illustrated for you.  An entertaining, fast read for fashion fans.

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One, Two, Where's My Shoe?

(2014)
One, Two, Where's My Shoe?

 

This mostly wordless, brightly illustrated picture book was originally published in German in 1973.  It asks the question, "One, two, where's my shoe?", and every spread thereafter features shoes hidden in unlikely places. The footwear generally isn't too difficult to spot, making this more appropriate for younger readers, although it may give older students ideas for hiding objects in their own drawings. 

For a look at the traditional Mother Goose rhyme, check out Anna Hines’ 1, 2, Buckle My Shoe.

 

 

 

 

Or, check out Keith Baker’s Big Fat Hen.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bear Takes a Trip /Oso se va de viaje

(2013)

 

Ésta historia bilingue nos describe el recorrido de un oso y su amigo a diferentes horas del día hasta llegar a su destino final.

 

Durante la aventura relata lo que va sucediendo desde que se levanta, se encuentra con su amigo y todo lo que hacen antes de llegar al lugar deseado.

 

Incorpora diferentes métodos visuales de medios de transportación, el cúal sería una buena estrategia para practicar nuevas palabras con los niños y a la vez expandir su vocabulario. Es un libro colorido y simple que le puede animar a practicar también las horas del día de una manera divertida.

 

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Hunters of the Great Forest

(2014)
Hunters of the Great Forest

 

Dennis Nolan's wordless picture book using pen, ink, and watercolor tells the story of a village that is sending off seven brave hunters into a dangerous forest.  What I didn't realize right away, is that these hunters are very, very small when compared to other forest creatures such as snails, insects, and mushrooms.  They escape perilous situations several times, but they do reach their final destination: a campsite where people are roasting marshmallows.  They take a marshmallow (it takes four of them to carry it), they ward off ants on the way back, but ultimately make it back to their village where everyone enjoys roasting little pieces of the marshmallow.  Use this story with preschoolers and 4K students to work on narrative skills and share it with elementary age students who will enjoy the story itself.

 

 Have you ever thought about making marshmallows at home?  This cookbook from the adult non-fiction section, Marshmallow Madness!: Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes, will give you lots of ideas on where to start.

 

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Cats Are Cats

(2014)
Cats are Cats

Miss Bell goes to pet store buys a cute kitten that has stripes, a tail and a smile so like a tiger, that she names him—what else?—“Tiger.”  But Tiger soon grows out of kitten-hood; as a matter of fact, he is soon as big as a tiger, and even roars, moves and plays like a tiger!  Although it’s obvious to others that this is no ordinary cat, bespectacled Miss Bell still sees Tiger as her beloved baby pet. “Cats are Cats,” she says.” Miss Bell knows that cats love to watch fish, so she returns to the pet store to buy Tiger some of the little critters. But, will they stay little?  With charming watercolor illustrations, this is a funny, fantastical tale of unconditional love.

Storytime tested and approved, (I hid the cover to keep the plot a bit more of a surprise!)  Cats are Cats is recommended for ages 3-7. 

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Bear Sees Colors (2014)

Bear Sees Colors

 

From Bear Snores On, which I re-read every fall, to Bear Says Thanks, Bear Feels Scared and many others, this author/illustrator duo produces absolutely lovely books. In this adventure, Bear and Mouse set off on a walk when suddenly they are overcome by the color blue and all of the blue things they see around them. As they continue their walk, they meet Hare and the trio halts by a berry patch to exclaim over the color red. As the story continues, more friends join the party and more and more colors are discovered. At each pause, readers are invited to find the colorful items along with Bear. Many of these items can also be counted and then later found and discussed on real nature walks. This is a book for learning colors, learning new words and enjoying the joys of nature.

 

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Before After

(2013)
Before After

 

This digitally illustrated, wordless picture book explores multiple nuances of the terms “before” and “after.” Some examples show growth:  before there is a bud, and after there is a flower. Other examples show decay: before there is an apple, and after there is a worm, a rotten apple and nibbled leaves. Some show the passage of time: before there is a quill and a bottle of ink, and after there is a typewriter. Some sequences connect to other sequences: before there was a quill and a bottle of ink, there was a squid and a bottle of ink, and a pigeon and a feather. This book even tackles the perennial question: did the chicken cause the egg, or did the egg cause the chicken. The pictures are striking; the examples are numerous and thought-provoking. This conversation starter is a fascinating book to ponder.

 

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Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan

Two Stories of Bravery (2014)
Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan

 

Jeanette Winter writes excellent picture book biographies for early grade elementary students, and this book is no exception.  Malala Yosafzai is a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner, despite being only 17 years old.  When she was eleven, she spoke up about the importance of education for girls, despite the fact that she lived in Pakistan and received threats from the Taliban.  Eventually, a Taliban fighter shoots her, but Malala lives after being transported across the ocean to be treated.  And Malala continues to speak up.

Turn the book over to read about Iqbal Masih's story.  Iqbal also lived in Pakistan, although he was born in 1982.  Iqbal's parents were poor and borrowed twelve dollars from a carpet factory owner.  Even though Iqbal was only four years old, he became bonded to the factory until the debt was paid. He is chained to his loom so he can't get away.  Iqbal is walking home one night and learns that child bond labor has been outlawed, and he is free.  Iqbal is ten years old, and travels to carpet factories throughout Pakistan telling children they are free.  He too, like Malala, receives threats, but he continues to speak up.  When Iqbal is 12, he is shot, however unlike Malala, he does not survive.  

Winter has included author's notes for both Malala and Iqbal.  Look carefully at the page where Malala's and Iqbal's stories intersect--inspect the kites and the features of the two subjects.  I knew nothing about Iqbal Masih until I read this book, but I am glad to know him. 

For more extensive information about Malala Yousafzai, read I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World.

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