Our Picks For Little & Big Kids Alike!
Logan's Staff Pick (July 2014): A metafictional children’s book might not seem like a brilliant idea, but as he did with Press Here, Henri Tullet really pulls it off. The characters, simply drawn, truly jump off the page, interacting directly with the reader and involving us in the writing process. This break of the fourth wall can make the book appealing to both adults and the little ones, and the guest appearance of Tullet himself adds a good bit of humor to the mix.
Chris's Staff Pick (July 2014): Everyone knows that the first day of anything can be hard. A new place, new people, and new things to see and do. So when it’s Chu’s first day of school, he doesn’t know what to expect. This is a great book for kids on their way to any first thing.
Dagny's Staff Pick (July 2014): This children’s book would also make a wonderful gift for anyone starting a new job or trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Beautiful illustrations combine with text that explores ideas, how people react to them and what can happen if we nurture our ideas, feed them, give them attention and let them grow. We can….. (you have to read the book to find out!)
Virgie's Staff Pick's (July 2014): Geoffrey the giraffe is awkward, can’t seem to do anything right, and wants friends more than anything! Once he becomes more comfortable in his own skin, Geoffrey finally finds an abundance of friends, waiting for him high above the African savannah. This story is a vocabulary delight! The illustrations are so beautiful that I just had to peruse the book several more times after my first reading! Loved it!
Virgie's Staff Pick's (July 2014): This is a fun book for those little summertime entrepreneurs! Caterina wants to buy a scooter, but realizes that “money doesn’t grow on trees.” But wait … lemons do! From this point on, Caterina created her own lemonade stand, making it unique so it will “stand out” from all the other lemonade stands. The story and illustrations are the perfect celebration of summer!
Virgie's Staff Pick's (July 2014): I’ve spent a lot of time with my 2 year old grandson, watching those stars appear in the summer sky, while singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. This adaptation of the song is creative, fun and actually thought provoking. I loved it … and so does my grandson! Now we have a few new versions to sing while we watch the stars!
Kim's Staff Pick (July 2014): A terrific follow up to I Want My Hat Back. This beautifully illustrated engaging picture book has a great sense of humor and a moral!
Kim's Staff Pick (June 2014): Love her picture books! The illustrations are so engaging. The text is simple and not too verbose. Some picture books have to much text for the intended audience. Divya’s books are perfect!
Logan's Staff Pick (June 2014): Filled with gorgeous illustrations of an urban environment, The Promise is the story of an impoverished young girl who has resorted to snatching purses to feed herself. When she tries to rob an innocent old lady, the victim only allows her to take the bag in exchange for a mysterious promise that will change her life forever. A beautiful story for any age, I could revisit this one again and again.
Dagny's Staff Pick (June 2014): This children’s book looks at what life on earth encompasses from the joys to the sorrows, the fears to the excitement of living on this unique planet we call earth. Sent down as star, the baby grows, learns his body, lives his life and then returns at the end of human life as a star. A lovely book.
Chris's Staff Pick (June 2014): This book is so much fun to read, especially aloud. Neigh Neigh Baa Baa Moo Moo Tweet Honk Honk Oink Oink Arf Cheep Eek All the animals sneak out for a day of fun, but have to make it home before the farmer does. The illustrations are wonderful and bright.
Chris's Staff Pick (June 2014): What happens when two people each bring home and new pet and they have to share the only room available? And as we all know dogs and cats have a long history of not liking each other. This is their story of how to become friends.
View all of Chris's Picks... The illustrations are so colorful and help tell the story so well.
Claire's Staff Pick (May 2014): When school is out and you have all day to play – who makes the rules? Is it mom, or dad? NO! It is your older brother. Maybe you get into trouble, maybe you get left behind… and only he can save you. The incredible pictures bring feelings of anxiety, happiness, sorrow and delight. I love the emotion of the images paired with a single sentence. Shaun Tan pulls you in to the magical freedom of summer while tugging at heartstrings. “Rules of Summer” might not be so appropriate for young children, but more a memoir for adults.
Claire's Staff Pick (May 2014): When the rain starts to fall, and you run inside to hide, don’t you wonder where the animals go? Do they head to the library or their living room and hunker down with a book? Not a chance! But animals have instinct and cleverness to help stay warm and dry. Different landscapes – wetlands, desert, meadows, forests- have unique challenges that make for unique solutions. Children will delight in learning the lifestyles found in nature, and can imagine what it might be like to hide under a leaf!
Claire's Staff Pick (May 2014): Who plants the seeds in a meadow? Where do wildflowers come from? In a wild garden, nature works together with plants and animals to ensure seeds find a home. Sometimes, animals do it on purpose, like the squirrels burying acorns. And sometimes, animals (and people!) carry seeds without knowing it, like the cockleburs sticking to furry bellies. Halperin’s illustrations are soft and warm, but detailed to show off the intricate patterns of seeds. I love how this book connects the wild world to our every day life.
Claire's Staff Pick (May 2014): A farm needs more than a farmer to work – and Old MacDonald has a very helpful hen! Starting with poop, some worms and seeds – the magic begins. It doesn’t take long for the neighbors to get curious, and soon enough a little farm market springs up! Colourful and bright, this tale shines on the power of TEAMWORK!
Claire's Staff Pick (May 2014): Stella lives in a trailer, filled with hiding places and special buttons – but she is embarrassed! Her friends tease her that she must be poor, but a little adventure helps Stella see how special her tiny home really is. This book hits close to the heart as my husband and I are currently living in an airstream just like Stella! We too are learning the joy of a simple and mobile life.
Claire's Staff Pick (April 2014): Just like people have different houses, so do birds! Some birds build new nests, some birds use old ones, some steal nests, some build them out of spit! Each page tells a little story of how different birds live in nature. Illustrated by the Caldecott winner Steve Jenkins, this is a fun and educational picture book sure to turn on your curiosity!
Virgie's Staff Pick (March 2014): In my opinion, reading historical fiction is a great way to learn about important events in history. August 2014 will mark the nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which is the subject of this gripping novel. Twelve year old Zane Dupree happens to be in the worst place at the very worst time. He has traveled alone from New Hampshire to New Orleans to meet the great grandmother he didn’t know existed just a short while ago, Miss Trissy. During the hurricane he becomes separated from his great grandmother, but is taken under the wing of a jazz musician and a young girl, Melvina. Within the safety of a canoe these three characters manage to save themselves not only from the hurricane, but also from the rising floodwaters. In addition to the story, this book includes a Katrina Timeline, map and interesting facts about New Orleans and the Great Flood. I highly recommend this action=packed novel for kids!
Chris's Staff Pick (March 2014): Young Rendi has seen many things change in his home of Village of Clear Sky, so he runs away to try and find the answers to the changes. He finds guidance from an elderly lady who is a storyteller. Starry River of the Sky is so heartfelt and wonderful that it is a must read not only for young readers, but is a great read a loud book for adults and children to share. Included are wonderful pictures that help tell the story.
Claire's Staff Pick (March 2014): First published in 2002 as a limited edition press, this modern fairy tale is sure to blow your socks off. Sarah-Jane and her dog Root adventure into the Tanglewoods where they meet Aunt Lillian, a old homesteading woman thought to be a witch! But, as Sarah-Jane soon finds out, Aunt Lillian is anything but a witch. She takes Sarah-Jane under her wing, teaching about the magical fairies and plant spirits that live in the forest. I think this story is suitable to any age – it sparks imagination and curiosity about those shadowy places in the forest. The illustrations are AMAZING! Reading this made me wish I was Sarah-Jane learning the old ways of living!
Claire's Staff Pick (March 2014): Do you love bugs? Have you ever been curious about the amazing world of bugs? This bright coloured and beautifully illustrated book shows the crazy wild world of creepy crawlies. There is even a bug ID list to learn their names! What a wonderful way to learn about the world on a smaller scale – I think this book is perfect for kids to get curious and get outside!
Claire's Staff Pick (February 2014): When Duncan’s box of crayons get fed up with their jobs, they quit! Mr. Red Crayon is tired and works way more than all the other colours, and Purple demands that Duncan colour within the lines! I love the perspective of these crazyons… this charming picture book took me back to the days of colouring, where beige is not brown, and the white crayon gets no use. What a wonderful story.
Virgie's Staff Pick (February 2014): The 2014 Newbery Award winner, identifying the book with the “most outstanding contribution to children’s literature” has been announced! … and the winner is: Oh how i love this book! Flora & Ulysses is a refreshing story about an unexpected superhero, a squirrel. After ten year old flora rescues the squirrel, ulysses, from a vacuum cleaner incident, the squirrel suddenly has amazing talents and powers. Flora befriends the squirrel and helps him with his newfound powers. This book features an exciting format — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations. The story is full of laugh-out-loud scenes. I recommend this book for mid-elementary children, or as a read-a-loud to younger children. Kate Dicamillo, one of my favorite children’s authors, wrote Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux.
Virgie's Staff Pick (February 2014): This 2014 Newbery Honor Book by Kevin Henkes is a delightful story about Billy, a second grader who is spunky, but also worries a lot! In this story you get to meet Billy’s family, his best friend and his new 2nd grade teacher. Watch Billy as he learns how to become more mature, deal with pushy classmates, and find his own special talents during 2nd grade. There are many times throughout the book that I think you will laugh out-loud! This is the perfect book for beginning readers who want to read a good chapter book. Try it! I don’t think you will be disappointed!
ATTENTION! This has just been named the 2013 Newbery Award Winner for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature!
This touching book, based on a true story, is told through the voice of Ivan, a silverback gorilla. I just loved every character—both animal and human; Ivan the artistic gorilla, Stella the stoic mother elephant, Bob the tough on the outside but not so tough on the inside dog, and of course Ruby the baby elephant who just wants to be loved. And the humans: George the sympathetic caretaker and his daughter Julie, a bit like Fern in Charlotte’s web because she can almost understand Ivan—or at least understand his art.
The book makes the reader both sad and happy at the same time and has a fantastic ending. It teaches compassion towards animals in the same way that Wilbur did in Charlotte’s web.
By the same authors that brought you Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Steam Train, Dream Train is about all the fun things that you can find on a train when you put your imagination to in. The illustrations are the other part that make this story so great. This is must a have for every little kid.
This book is SO much fun. Douglas is going to a sleepover at rabbit and brings some friends. IT is a great discussion book for kids. What would you bring to a sleep over page, counting and how to solve a problem. What a great follow up to Hugless Douglas. Hope this helps you Katy. And thanks for taking this on.
Emily K's Staff Pick December 2012: This steampunk faery tale/murder mystery/coming-of-age story takes place in a dark, fantastical Victorian England, where faeries make up the underclass and changelings (aka “peculiars”)—the offspring of humans and faeries—are the most scorned of all. Changelings have been mysteriously disappearing from their homes, and Bartholomew, a thirteen-year-old changeling, finds himself on an unlikely adventure to save the changelings, and the world. A great crossover novel, adults will enjoy this story just as much as young teens. I’m especially excited about The Peculiar because it is the debut novel of Colorado-born, 18-year-old Stefan Bachman, who is already being compared to Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, and Brian Selznick.
Virgie's Staff Pick (December 2013): Think for a minute! How many reasons can you give for WINTER being the absolutely BEST time of the year? In this picture book, an enthusiastic boy works hard to persuade his younger sister that winter truly IS the most wonderful time of the year. The younger sister, thinking the opposite of her brother, doesn’t “buy” his thinking until the end of the story. I love the energy and fun contained in this story. It would be a book you’d want to keep for a long time, to bring out when the winter season begins!
June 2013 Pick by Emily K: This sweet little octopus lives in a coral reef full of dazzling colors and speedy fish. Octopus is shy and wants desperately not to be seen by the other creatures on the reef, until an adventure in the deep ocean changes everything…
Beautiful illustrations; perfect for summer.
Claire's Staff Pick (December 2013): Sprout has spent her entire life as an egg-laying hen, and just can’t lay another. Determined to escape the coop and hatch her own chick, Sprout challenges the hierarchy of the barnyard and sets out to fulfill her dreams. This is a delightful tale of a mother’s loyalty, courage and perseverance against the “way things are.” I loved thinking about life from the perspective of a tired old hen looking to awaken her true life’s purpose.
June 2013 Pick by Chris: Otis has another great adventure. And this time with a new friend. And when the puppy goes missing Otis takes it upon himself to go find his new friend. Otis is so caring that is just rubs off on everyone else. Even your kids.
July 2013 Pick from Chris: This a great kids story of how far friendship will go. The wonderful illustrations fill each page with such color and warm feelings that you just have to finish the story. Deborah is also the author/illustrator of Blue Chicken.
June 2013 Pick by Chris: This is a great story for those kids that don’t like the dark. Laszlo is given the best gift all by the one thing that he doesn’t like. The illustrations by Jon Klassen are wonderful.