STAFF PICKS

Here are some favorite books of the Children's staff
at the Downtown Library and Indian Creek Library from the past year.

 



PICTURE BOOKS

ABSOLUTELY ONE THING by Lauren Child

While curious and lively Lola tries to negotiate time and question number quantities, her big brother Charlie attempts to illustrate simple mathematic and number sense operations to her. His patient and creative explanations entertain and educate in a humorous and delightful story.  (E Fiction)

BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman

“Let the sky fill with flurry and flight.” A child’s wish for a snowy day spent with family is shared in this beautiful book. The illustrations are the star of the show, telling the story behind the simple and poetical text. Perfect for any child longing for a snow day, or missing a working parent.  (E Fiction)

BERNICE GETS CARRIED AWAY by Hannah E. Harrison

Bernice the cat has a “horrible, dreary day.” She misses out on the pretty frosted roses on top of the birthday cake and finds only one small gumdrop on the ground from the open piñata. But her day begins to turn around when she grabs not only one, but the entire bunch of balloons, before they are handed out. Beautifully detailed illustrations emphasize the emotions of not only Bernice but also her other animal friends as her “horrible, dreary day” becomes something better.  (E Fiction)

BUDDY AND EARL by Maureen Fergus

Buddy the dog meets a new and unusual creature. But what is it? A race car? A giraffe? A talking hairbrush?? Come along with Buddy and Earl on their imaginative adventures as they learn what it means to have and be a friend. 
(E Fiction)

FANCY NANCY: EXPLORER EXTRAORDINAIRE! by Jane O’Connor

For the fanciest girl around, the outdoors are out of this world! Fancy Nancy and her best friend, Bree, set out to explore the fascinating world of wildflowers, trees, leaves, birds, and, of course, butterflies in their exclusively glamorous Explorers' Club. With recipes for pinecone bird feeders and extra-fancy lemonade, an official club bird, and an exclusive map of the territory, Fancy Nancy is one Explorer Extraordinaire!  (E Fiction)

HOW THIS BOOK WAS MADE by Mac Barnett

Author Mac Barnett and illustrator Adam Rex combine their considerable talents to provide a rib-tickling account of the sometimes lengthy, occasionally frustrating, but ultimately rewarding process of publishing a book.  (E Fiction)

MIGHTY TRUCK by Chris Barton

Clarence is a fun-loving truck who gets “wheely” dirty. While at the truck wash, lightning strikes, and Clarence is transformed into Mighty Truck. He performs good deeds throughout Axleberg unrecognized until. . . What fun to discover that Clarence is the Clark Kent of trucks!  (E Fiction)

PENGUIN PROBLEMS by Jory John

A penguin life can be rough! A salty ocean, freezing temperatures, and lots of squawking can sure bring this penguin down. However, no matter how empty you feel your glass jar may be, it is important to always look on the bright side. A hilarious read that will bring a smile to every grump!  (E Fiction)

RAGWEED’S FARM DOG HANDBOOK by Anne Kennedy

Ragweed explains how to be a good farm dog . . . and how to collect a plethora of yummy dog biscuits along the way. This ornery but loveable mutt will have you laughing all around the farm.  (E Fiction)

SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL by Adam Rex

In a new take on the theme of starting school, Rex writes about a school building itself that is nervous to open up to students. This humorous and emotional story can open up many great discussions about the feelings involved in doing something new.  (E Fiction)

STUCK by Oliver Jeffers

Floyd’s kite gets stuck up in a tree. He does the only logical thing he can think of and throws his shoe to knock down the kite, but wouldn’t you know it, the shoe gets stuck too! The sticky situation of stuck stuff just continues to escalate in this humorous and fun book for kids.  (E Fiction)

THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A SHOE by Jane Cabrera

Jane Cabrera celebrates loving families with her fun-filled adaptation of the classic nursery rhyme. The Old Woman, who dotes lovingly on all her many children and animals, uses her problem solving skills and hard work to overcome all obstacles. As with all of Cabrera’s retellings, the new rhymes are bouncy and fun, while the vibrant acrylic paint illustrations invite readers to enjoy the charming story again and again. Sure to be a cuddle-time favorite!  (E Fiction)

WE FOUND A HAT by Jon Klassen

First there was I Want My Hat Back. Then there was This Is Not My Hat. Now Caldecott Award-winning author/illustrator Jon Klassen is back with another round of comical hat-centered brilliance, this time featuring two companionable turtles and one good-looking hat. Another masterpiece of deadpan humor!  (E Fiction)

WHERE DID THEY GO? by Emily Bornoff

Children who like search-and-find books will enjoy reading the prose and then examining each illustration for the hidden endangered animals from Addax to Zebra. The book contains brief text throughout, and in the back there is a helpful picture of each animal along with a brief explanation of its habitat and reasons why it is endangered.  (E Fiction)

WHOOPS by Suzi Moore

The cat can’t meow, the dog can’t bark, and the mouse can’t squeak. These three animal friends go into the forest to find the little old lady in the woods to work her magic and fix them, but they end up getting more than they bargained for.  (E Fiction)
 

EASY READERS

MR. PUTTER AND TABBY HIT THE SLOPE by Cynthia Rylant

Mr. Putter and Tabby really like winter, but sometimes it can be a little slow. Find out what Mr. Putter and Tabby do one fine snowy day to entertain themselves.  (ER Reader)

A PIG, A FOX, AND A BOX by Jonathan Fenske

Fox likes to play and he especially likes to trick Pig, but Fox’s tricks always backfire. This hilarious book couples great illustrations with sight words and repetition that are just right for beginning readers.  (VER Reader)

POPPLETON IN WINTER by Cynthia Rylant

Poppleton loves winter. He spends lots of wintry days inside doing art projects. However, this winter day Poppleton’s friends have a surprise for him.  (ER Reader)

PUG by Ethan Long

It is a snowy winter day, and Pug has only one thing in mind. He wants to see Peg! Will Pug convince his owners to wander outside in the cold so he can see her? Author and illustrator Ethan Long creates an adorable, expressive Pug in this short, simple story, ideal for beginning readers.  (ER Reader)

SNAIL & WORM by Tina Kügler

These three short stories of two invertebrate best friends will tickle the funny bones of very beginning readers. Simple, clever, and laugh-out-loud funny!  (VER Reader)

THE THANK YOU BOOK by Mo Willems

Our friends, Gerald and Piggie, say good-bye and thanks in this lovely end to a favorite series. Piggie spends the whole book saying thank you to everyone important in her life, but Gerald is worried that she is forgetting someone. Who is Piggie leaving out?  (VER Reader)
 

CHAPTER BOOKS

FANTASTIC BEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM by Newt Scamander [J.K. Rowling].

A movie version comes out in November 2016, so kids will enjoy reading the original short book published back in 2001. Special note – it is not a story, but made to look like a Hogwarts textbook, it is a humorous listing of magical creatures from the magical world of the Harry Potter novels.  (J SciFi)

THE GALLERY by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

New York City. 1928. Having been expelled from school, thirteen-year-old Martha goes to work as a kitchen maid in the Sewell Mansion. She quickly realizes that all is not what it seems. Why does Mrs. Sewell never leave her room? Is there a message in the paintings? Who is Alphonse really? Find out in this intriguing mystery, based on real-life events.  (J Mystery)

THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of Protectorate sacrifice a baby to the evil witch in the forest to keep their town safe. Only, the witch isn’t evil. She rescues the children, feeds them starlight to give them strength, and gives them to families on the other side of the forest who want children. One year the witch accidently feeds the child moonlight, which gives her spectacular magical powers! The witch keeps the child as her own and the story is centered on the child’s magic coming to fruition and a young man from the Protectorate determined to slay the witch and stop the sacrifices. Read the book to find out how it all ends!  (J SciFi)

MAKE WAY FOR DYAMONDE DANIEL by Nikki Grimes

Readers of beginning chapter books will enjoy the spunk and smarts of third-grader Dyamonde – pronounced just like the gem – Daniel. In this first book of the series, Dyamonde has just moved from Brooklyn to Washington Heights with her mother. Being new doesn’t keep Dyamonde from getting to know her neighbors and classmates, but the same can’t be said about Free, the new boy in class. Why is he always so grumpy and rude? Dyamonde is determined to find out!
(J Fiction)

MARCH OF THE MINI BEASTS by Ada Hopper

If you are looking for a new series of easy chapter books, look no further. With a bonus of encouraging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), this series features smart boys and girls in second grade who have adventures with robots, dinosaurs, aliens, clones and more!  (J SciFi)

MISSY PIGGLE-WIGGLE AND THE WHATEVER CURE by Ann M. Martin

Our beloved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is off to find her pirate husband, but who will watch over the upside-down house? Enter her niece Missy Piggle-Wiggle with more ingenious treatments for bad behaviors! Bestselling Babysitter’s Club author Ann Martin joins Annie Parnell, Betty MacDonald’s great granddaughter, for this fresh take on an old favorite.
(J Fiction)

WILD BORN by Brandon Mull

Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers. Four flashes of light erupt, and from them emerge the unmistakable shapes of incredible beasts -- a wolf, a leopard, a panda, and a falcon. Suddenly the paths of these children -- and the world -- have been changed forever.  (J SciFi)
 

GRAPHIC NOVELS

MIGHTY JACK by Ben Hatke

Jack in the Beanstalk meets Little Shop of Horrors in this engaging spin on a fairy tale. Jack hates summer because that’s when he must watch his nonverbal sister Maddy. One day she speaks, and that’s when the adventures begins. A magical garden springs up full of strange vegetables . . . and a dragon. Will Jack, Maddy, and his new friend prevail? 
(J Graphic)

SNOW WHITE by Matt Phelan

This graphic novel puts a new spin on a classic. Set in Depression-era Manhattan, this novel is in the style of a dark noir. The characters connections and backgrounds are interesting and new. The illustrations are phenomenal. Although it is a graphic novel, it is not told in a typical comic book style. The pictures do more talking than the characters.  (J Graphic)

WONDER WOMAN: THE STORY OF THE AMAZON PRINCESS by Ralph Cosentino

Wonder Woman has been a star on television and, of course, in comic books. But this is her first ever jacketed hardcover picture book. Written in a simple, engaging manner perfect for a very young audience and illustrated with bright, bold artwork inspired by the original comic book art, Wonder Woman is the ideal introduction to this legendary super hero. Children will find out how the daughter of an Amazon queen grew up to become a protector of mankind, with a mission to teach peace and kindness to all.  (J Graphic)
 

NONFICTION

AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES by Helen Frost

Lightning bugs are captured up close in gorgeous photographs that accompany a poem about their amazing capacity to find one another. This book will fascinate youngsters who love those summer beetles. An afterword provides information about fireflies.  (J 811.54)

CAN I EAT THAT? by Joshua David Stein

For the child who’s always asking, “Why?” Can I Eat That? answers some of life’s difficult questions about food. Do chickens have fingers? Can we go pickle picking? In turns informational and silly, this book’s sure to be a hit.  (J 641.3)

CARROTS LIKE PEAS: AND OTHER FUN FACTS by Hannah Eliot

Cooking at home with your family can be lots of fun.  Give it a try with the recipes in Chop Chop. You’ll love making healthy food that tastes great.  (J 641.3)

CODING PROJECTS IN SCRATCH by Jon Woodcock

Scratch is a popular free coding language. For children familiar with Scratch, or those who are just getting started, this book provides an introduction to Scratch with step-by-step instructions for creating fun animations, games and other programs.  (J 005.133)

GAME CHANGER: JOHN MCLENDON AND THE SECRET GAME by John Coy

This movingly illustrated book recounts how one spring Sunday afternoon in 1944, two basketball teams came together to change the history of the game. The Duke University Medical School basketball team met secretly to play against the North Carolina College of Negros, coached by John McLendon, in the first ever integrated basketball game. McLendon, who studied directly under James Naismith at the University of Kansas, is credited with revolutionizing the game by introducing his fast-break style of attacking the basket. Those interested in history as well as basketball will pore over this true story of the impact of sports during a time of widespread racism and segregation.  (J 796.323)

THE NITTY-GRITTY GARDENING BOOK by Kari Cornell

Winter, spring, summer or fall – no matter the season, there is gardening fun to be had! This book provides project ideas for each season throughout the year. Perfect for the young gardener who wants to enjoy a green thumb all year long.  (J 635.083)

THE SECRET OF THE KELPIE by Lari Don

Beware the kelpie! As a group of children are out playing one day, a beautiful white horse appears. The children decide to go for a ride, not realizing that the horse is actually a shape-shifting kelpie intent on dragging them down into the loch. Based on traditional Scottish tales.  (J 398.2)

SNIFFER & TINNI by Berit Helberg

Beautiful photographs help tell a true story of a pet German Shepherd who meets a baby fox in a Norwegian forest, and the two become animal friends.  (J 591.56)

WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES by Julie Fogliano

The seasons come to life through brief, descriptive poems written by Julie Fogliano in When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons. Soft, muted illustrations by Julie Morstad accompany the poems, divided by seasons and titled by month and date. This gentle book of poetry begins and ends with the same poem, showing that while the seasons change, each will return in time.  (J 811.6)

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein

This classic will make a wonderful gift for any child. Each poem is smart and funny, but comprehensible to a young mind. The drawings that accompany most of the poems are sure to get a laugh out of everyone. There is a reason that this book is still on the best sellers list after over 40 years of being published!  (J 811.54)

WHOOSH!: LONNIE JOHNSON’S SUPER-SOAKING STREAM OF INVENTIONS by Chris Barton

As a kid growing up in Alabama, Lonnie Johnson loved to take apart, design, and build new inventions. Throughout his life he continue to research and create a variety of projects, including a design for a power backup system on the NASA orbiter and probe called Galileo. While working on a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, this rocket scientist was inspired to design the prototype for a new squirt gun that would become the very popular Super Soaker. His inspirational story continues as he confronts engineering puzzles and encourages the young scientists of today.  (J Bio Johnson L.)

WOMEN IN SCIENCE: 50 FEARLESS PIONEERS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD by Rachel Ignotofsky  

Bold and bright illustrations are paired with short biographies of some of the most accomplished female scientists the world has ever seen. These women fought for education, respect, and their dreams on the path of search for knowledge. The women featured in this book are sure to inspire a new generation of trailblazers.  (J 920.72)

YOU’RE PULLING MY LEG!: 400 HUMAN-BODY SAYINGS FROM HEAD TO TOE by Pat Street and Eric Brace

This book is a humorous look at body-related idioms, like “crying his eyes out”, “keep a still upper lip”, “play it by ear”, and hundreds more. Quirky little illustrations by Eric Brace will have kids pouring over this book and “laughing their heads off” at the many hilarious details.  (J 428.1)

Updated 11/18/2016