Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Frances in the Country by Liz Garton Scanlon and Sean Qualls - OPTIONAL

Frances in the Country by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Sean Qualls
. PICTURE BOOK. Neal Porter Books (Holiday House), 2022. $19. 9780823443321



Frances, a child from the city, goes to visit her country cousins. During her stay, she gets to do those things she can't do in the city because of the city's unwritten rules. She seems to enjoy her short visit. She also notes the difference in sounds from the city compared to sounds in the country.

I didn't like the oversimplified picture of country living and of city life. It's told in third person and the text doesn't have a good flow; it seems pretty superficial. The pictures are okay, but not fantastic.

Wendi Smart, Librarian 

The Winter Bird by Kate Banks and Suzie Mason - ESSENTIAL

The Winter Bird by Kate Banks, illustrated by Suzie Mason
. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2022. $19. 9781536215687



A young nightingale is unable to fly south for the winter because of a broken wing. Concerned for itself, as nightingales are spring birds, the wise owl promises that the winter animals will help teach her.

Kate Banks' descriptions of fall turning to winter, the preparations for a blizzard and the rest of the beautiful text perfectly accompany Suzie Mason's magnificent illustrations - absolutely breathtaking! I was moved by the plight of the poor little bird, and look forward to sharing this with my granddaughter. A marvelous read aloud - especially for a snowy day. I anticipate a great conversation about being resourceful and taking care of each other.

Lisa Librarian 

Tree Hole Homes by Melissa Stewart and Amy Hevron - ESSENTIAL

Tree Hole Homes: Day Time Dens and Nighttime Nooks by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Amy Hevron.
NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Random House Studio, 2022. $19. 9780593373309



What kinds of animals live within holes in trees? A child finds a hole in the tree and imagines what it would be like to live in a tree. The simple text flows through different tree holes and the animals that live there. The first end papers drew me in. I wanted to experience living in a tree hole. The artwork is simple but amazing. I liked the simple text and then the specific information about real animals that live in tree holes. The back matter gives more information about each of the animals and the author's sources.

Dee- District Media Specialist 

How to Party Like a Snail by Naseem Hrab and Kelly Collier - ESSENTIAL

How to Party Like a Snail by Naseem Hrab, illustrated by Kelly Collier
. PICTURE BOOK, OwlKid Books, Inc., 2022. $19. 9781771474177



Snail likes to party, but his version of party differs from the other animals in the forest. Loud noisy parties are not what he enjoys. Quiet, cozy, comfortable parties with warm milk, a soft shell and lullabies are his favorite. Will he be able to have a party like this that his friends will enjoy as well?

Such a cute book! It speaks to my quiet soul and there are students who will also relate. The main character is a snail, other characters include forest animals, a skunk, bear, rabbit, fox and raccoon. A stump appears in the background of each page spread, keep an eye on the action there. Illustrations are wonderful. Character expressions add to the story and there is much going on in the background for readers to look at. The cover wrap is different from the book jacket, end papers are covered with party hats. Hrab shares a positive message and highlights the fact that while noisy can be fun, quiet can be enjoyable as well.

Denise, District Elementary Library Media Specialist 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Fire Chief Fran by Linda Ashman and Nancy Carpenter - ESSENTIAL

Fire Chief Fran by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
. PICTURE BOOK. Astra Young Readers, 2022. $18. 9781635924268



Fire Chief Fran and her firefighters are going about their day when - CLANG - the bell goes off and their are off to rescue and help their community.

So much fun! Ashman does a great job with the rhyming text to keep it from being sing-songy - varying the different stanzas and adding a great shout out portion to keep young students engaged. Carpenter's illustrations show us all of the action, and includes a variety of skin tones and genders. There is a little bit of back matter about firefighters and includes statistics about female firefighters in particular.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

Be a Bridge by Irene Latham, Charles Waters, and Nabila Adani - ADVISABLE

Be a Bridge by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Nabila Adani
. PICTURE BOOK, Carolhoda Books (Lerner), 2022. $20. 9781728423388



Told in rhymed verse, this book explores a diverse elementary classroom as they go about their day. The students experience struggles of art projects gone wrong, or being left to play alone, etc. The book encourages the students / reader to reach out and support each other. The book ends with the students displaying their collaborative art project exclaiming "Be a Bridge!"

I like the message of this book, and how many people from different walks of life are portrayed. The message is good, and the pictures are adorable.

Xela Culletto, School Librarian 

Valentine's Guest House by Sam Sharland - ESSENTIAL

Valentine's Guest House by Sam Sharland
. PICTURE BOOK. Child's Play International, 2022. $10. 9781786285638



When a tiger comes to stay at Valentine's Guest House, the human visitors all check-out in a rush. But the hotel soon starts to fill-up again with a very different collection of visitors. 

A beautiful picture book about diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment. Bright, vibrant illustrations include multicultural characters & families; end pages are illustrated.

Audrey Haight - West Hills Middle School Teacher Librarian 

A Kit Story by Kristen Tracy and Alison Farrell - OPTIONAL

A Kit Story by Kristen Tracy, illustrated by Alison Farrell
. BOARD BOOK. Chronicle Books LLC, 2022. $10. 9781452174594



A fox named Kit lives in a forest and he comes of age through the different seasons. He compares himself to different animals.

Tracy has a way to express different things a little fox does. I like how she compares the fox to different animals. Some of the words she uses are a little above a board book toddler level for example gambols and slinks. As a parent I would have to explain what she means. The illustrations were ok but the medium didn't match. Some weird pencil areas and watercolor throughout. Overall it's fun to point to different animals in the story and talk to a toddler about them.

Emilee-School Librarian 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Peep! by Meg McLaren - ESSENTIAL

Peep! by Meg McLaren
. PICTURE BOOK. Andersen Press USA (Lerner), 2021. $18. 9781728467719



Dot the dog thinks she is different. Rather than going out, Dot prefers to stay home with her stuffed elephant, Peep. One day, while Dot is sleeping, Peep disappears. Dot finds Peep in the park next door, but when she tries to take her back, she becomes involved in a game of keep away with other dogs. While at first, this scares Dot, eventually she realizes that she is having fun and is more like other dogs than she originally thought.

McLaren has a great message about the importance of expanding our boundaries and pushing ourselves to do things outside of our comfort zone. Dot realizes that she actually enjoyed interacting with the other dogs at the park even though she was nervous about it at first. If we try new things, sometimes we learn about ourselves as well.

Paula Butterfield, middle school librarian 

A Tale of Two Dragons by Geraldine McCaughrean and Peter Malone - ADVISABLE

A Tale of Two Dragons by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Peter Malone
. PICTURE BOOK. Andersen Press (Lerner), 2021. $18. 9781728467740



Two adjacent medieval kingdoms had different sets of resources. In order to equalize the needed resources, children would steal from the other kingdom in the night, so their kings each obtained a dragon to destroy the other kingdom. The dragons, however, fought with each other only enough to show the inhabitants of each kingdom that violence is futile and counterproductive. In the end, the villagers dismissed their feuding kings and decided to live in peace and share their resources. From then on, all of them celebrated Dragons Day each year with dancing and feasting.

The illustrations were stunning. They were colorful, attractive, and engaging. The story conveyed an important message about sharing resources, and that violence is not a solution to our problems.

Norman Emerson, Instructional Support Services Consultant 

Fiona the Fruit Bat by Dan Riskin and Rachel Quigi - ADVISABLE

Fiona the Fruit Bat by Dan Riskin, illustrated by Rachel Quigi
. PICTURE BOOK. Greystone Books, 2022. $2. 9781771647854



Fiona is a young fruit bat that is learning to take a first flight on her own. The cave is dark and Fiona can't see where she would be flying, which scares her. With clues from her mama, Fiona discovers that listening will help her see so she can fly.

A young reader may not understand how hearing helps Fiona fly during the story, but the back matter at the end gives an opportunity to learn about echolocation. I liked the simple illustrations and story. It will be a good read aloud. The book was a heartwarming demonstration of the courage that it takes to face our fears. The echolocation education is a bonus. 

BCoates, MS Librarian 

Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Saint-Marie and Julie Flett - ADVISABLE

Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Saint-Marie, illustrated by Julie Flett
. PICTURE BOOK. Greystone Kids, 2022. $19. 9781771648073



A young Indigenous girl in Alberta Canada expresses her feelings in a love song for the seasons, animals, places, and traditions that are in her community.

Still This Love Goes On is a gentle, enjoyable story/song that pulled at my heart. The love and hope Buffy Saint-Marie has for her indigenous people and land is portrayed beautifully. Stunning illustrations create emotional vistas that share her heart. 


Sunday, November 27, 2022

Yuck, You Suck by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple and Eugenia Nobati - OPTIONAL

Yuck, You Suck by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple, illustrated by Eugenia Nobati
. NON FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Millbrook Press (Lerner), 2022. $21. 9781728415666



Yuck, You Suck is a book of poems about animals that are suckers, such as mosquitos. Each poem is about a different animal and the poems are in a variety of styles and include facts about the animals. The end of the book has back matter about each animal and a glossary of scientific terms.

Nobati's illustrations are a colorful, engaging style that will definitely draw in readers. For the most part, the poems rhyme and rhythm worked, with a few exceptions. I found some of the poems to be less engaging and difficult to understand without already knowing the scientific terms; it might have been helpful to have the back matter on the necessary page, instead. I did enjoy Yolen and Stemple’s voice and playful style.

Marinda, school librarian 

My Brother is Away by Sara Greenwood, illustrated by Luisa Uribe - ADVISABLE

My Brother is Away by Sara Greenwood, illustrated by Luisa Uribe
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House Studio, 2022. $19. 9780593127162



A young girl shows what it is like to miss a close family member who is incarcerated.

A heartwarming book that helps people sympathize with others who may have family members that are incarcerated. Illustrations are beautiful and show the emotions of the characters very well.

H.L., High School Librarian 

A Grandma's Magic by Charlotte Offsay and Asa Gilland - ESSENTIAL

A Grandma's Magic by Charlotte Offsay, illustrated by Asa Gilland
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House Kids, 2022. $18. 9780593376003



Offsay has captured the perfection and the magic of Grandma's in this charming book. She represents all the fun things that good Grandma's do with their grandchildren from exploring and adventures to baking, gardening, and most of all snuggles. The diversity of the cast is truly inspiring, representing all races and abilities. There is even a grandma in a wheelchair. 

Offsay's word choice creates such a fun visual accompanying the illustrations which are vibrant and fun. The illustrator does an amazing job filling the page with wonderful things to look at and portraying Grandmas in all different ways. I had a close relationship with my grandma and this book does a beautiful job portraying the magic of Grandmas. I absolutely adore this book. 

 Emilee-School Librarian 

Martin and the River by Jon-Erik Lappano and Josée Bisaillon - ESSENTIAL

Martin and the River by Jon-Erik Lappano, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
. PICTURE BOOK. Groundwood Books, 2022. $19. 9781773064444



Martin is a young boy that loves the river by his house. He spends as much time as he can exploring the area around his river and the animals that live there. When Martin's family must move to the city, he is devastated to leave his river. He finds a similar stream within the city, but knows nothing is exactly the same as his river. Lappano writes about finding hope when circumstances change and also about treasuring the things you love. Sophie (age 6) is a librarian's daughter and is familiar with many books.

When asked, ""Sophie, what is your favorite book?"" she pondered for a while, then said ""Martin and the River"". She loves the feeling this book evokes and how much Martin just loves his river. Bisaillon's colorful illustrations are gorgeous and pair beautifully with the words in the story. This is a calm and peaceful children's book that makes one think deeply about Martin and how he must be feeling. The book is a great read aloud that can introduce nature, belonging, and the difficulties children might face when they or their friends must move away.

Mariah Gerlach, MLS & Sophie, age 6 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Big Bear and Little Fish by Sandra Nickel and Il Sung Na - ADVISABLE

Big Bear and Little Fish by Sandra Nickel, illustrated by Il Sung Na
. PICTURE BOOK. Carolrhoda Books (Lerner), 2022. $ 19. 9781728417172



The bear is at a carnival game and really wants the big, big Teddy bear. However, she gets a fish. She feels she doesn't have anything in common with a fish. They don't eat the same things, they are not the same size, they live in different environments, and they don't "amble and bramble" the same way. But, the fish points out all the things they do have in common. The story ends with the bear and the fish appreciating each other's differences and "ambling and "brambling" together, the bear with fish bowl atop her head. I loved that the author handles the concept of diversity by showing the progression of observing differences, sharing similarities and finding friendship. The illustrations were beautiful, but not overwhelming - in pastel watercolors, giving center-stage to the story.

Belinda Gambrino 

Three Little Vikings by Bethan Woollvin - OPTIONAL

Three Little Vikings by Bethan Woollvin
. PICTURE BOOK. Peachtree Publishing Company, 2021. $18. 9781682634561



The Viking folk are celebrating their latest haul of treasure when three young friends hear strange noises outside of the village. They talk to their Chieftain who doesn’t believe them. They continue to bring him evidence of a monstrous creature nearby, but the Chieftain discounts all their evidence. They decide to go searching for the creature themselves.

Three Little Vikings is a cute story about getting leaders to realize the worth of young people, but I do feel that there are problems with the content for young children. I felt like the Chieftain was a dumb and unbelievable character, and I wondered if some of the underlying agenda was to discount authority. I also did not like the fact that in the beginning of the book the Vikings were celebrating plundering treasure from another town. Also, the illustrations are a bit confusing and take time to sort out what’s happening on each page.


Every Dog in the Neighborhood by Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell - ESSENTIAL

Every Dog in the Neighborhood by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Matthew Cordell
. PICTURE BOOK. Neal Porter Books (Holiday House), 2022. $19. 9780823444274



Louis and his Grandma go on walks every day in an urban neighborhood. Grandma sees something on her walk that she is upset by. She writes a letter to city hall. She encourages Louis to do the same. Louis asks, "How many dogs are in our neighborhood?" City Hall responds and says they don't know. Louis takes matters into his own hands and knocks on every door in the neighborhood. He enjoys getting to know his neighborhoods and especially the dogs writing down their names as he goes.

Stead writes a perfect story for an animal lover. I am a dog lover and had a very close relationship with my grandma and so naturally I loved this book. The names of the dogs are very unique and creative. I like the grandma's example of being involved in civic affairs and how to create change. I can see this book being checked out in a library constantly. It's incredibly charming. The diversity of the cast is many different races. It looks as though Louis and his Grandma are of Hispanic ethnicity.

Emilee-School Librarian 

Emily and the Field by Kevin Young and Chioma Ebinama - ESSENTIAL

Emile and the Field by Kevin Young, illustrated by Chioma Ebinama
. PICTURE BOOK. Make Me a World, 2022. $18. 9781984850423



Emile is a young boy who delights in the nature and a field close by. He loves having to himself and marvels at the beauty, the plants, the bees and the peace in nature.

When I was growing up, I lived by the edge of the forests that surround Oslo. I spent countless hours in the forests, enjoying the peace, the solitude and beauty of nature. If I was not exploring and enjoying the forest, I was exploring and enjoying the tundra, on Hardanger Vidda. I loved going alone and enjoyed nature by myself. A lot of children living in big cities never have a chance to enjoy wide open spaces. I loved reading this book, and I thought how important it is to expose children to nature. I highly recommend this book. The illustrations and beautiful and dreamlike. Such a treat to read this book. I will treasure it for a long time.

Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Friday, November 25, 2022

What Will I Be? by Frances Stickley and Lucy Fleming - ESSENTIAL

What Will I Be? by Frances Stickley, illustrated by Lucy Fleming
. PICTURE BOOK. Andersen Press Ltd. (Lerner), 2022. $18. 9781728467726



Children explore possible careers and use their imaginations during playtime and bedtime activities.

I liked this book because the characters are diverse and happily using their imagination to explore what they want to be when they grow up. The artwork is bright and cheerful and characters are not bound by career stereotypes.

Harrison Beckett, Librarian 

Tell the Truth, Pangolin by Melinda Beatty and Paola Escobar - ADVISABLE

Tell the Truth, Pangolin by Melinda Beatty, illustrated by Paola Escobar
. PICTURE BOOK. Anne Schwartz Books (Random House Children's Books), 2022. $19. 9780593180136



Set in the middle ages, Pangolin asks his friends around the castle what he should tell the queen about the royal swing that he broke.

The cover and end papers are bright and colorful. Be sure to read the "Note about Pangolins", so you learn about an endangered animal. Pangolin sends the same call to each friend, while the responses are varied and interesting. It could be interesting to continue the story be having listeners predict what other animals would reply. 

 J Stuart, High School Media 

Seed by Maggie Li - HIGH

Seed by Maggie Li
. BOARD BOOK. Templar Books, 2022. $10.00. 9781536223873 



Pip is a seed in an apple. He is eaten by a bird and carried by wind and water until he is planted in good soil. Watch Pip grow into the tree he is meant to be. 

Li teaches the science of the growing plants in a fun way with Seed. The illustrations are plain but understandable. 


Something About Grandma by Tania de Regil - ADVISABLE

Something About Grandma by Tania de Regil
. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2022. $25. 9781536201949



Julia is an elementary aged girl who is going to visit her grandmother's house in Mexico for the first time. Julia is Hispanic. She gets to know her grandmother during this time. Julia is also able to learn about her Hispanic culture. When Julia's parents come to take her home, they have a wonderful surprise for her! 

De Regil has written a simple but touching book. Anyone who reads it can relate because they will remember pleasant memories of their own grandmothers. Tania de Regil is the author and illustrator for this book. It was especially meaningful because she used her grandfather's poems written in her grandmother's hand for the background of some of the illustrations.

 Tracie, Elementary School Librarian 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Where We Come From by Diane Wilson, et al and Dion MBD - ESSENTIAL

Where We Come From
by Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy, illustrated by Dion MBD
. PICTURE BOOK. Carolrhoda Books, 2022. $19. 9781541596122



Four authors, of different ethnicities and backgrounds, describe where they and their ancestors come from. They start with a general description of their ancestors and move to a more specific description of themselves. They use figurative and descriptive language to describe themselves and their familys' history with a focus on storytelling. 

If you don't read the book summary, you may not realize that the book focuses on four specific people and not the world in general. This is made more clear at the end, but it's a good perspective to have at the beginning. The art is beautiful and detailed. I especially liked the images of the four authors (portrayed as children) with their bodies a reflection of their different family stories. This would be a great book to use for older grades as a way to introduce personal narrative. There is additional information in the back about the 4 authors and their histories. Most students would find they have something in common with one of the four. 

S. Graf, Librarian 

Mi Casa is my Home by Laurenne Sala and Zara Gonzalez Hoang - ADVISABLE

Mi Casa is my Home by Laurenne Sala, illustrated by Zara Gonzalez Hoang
. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2021. $17. 9781536209433



An elementary aged girl, Lucia, shows you around her happy, family filled home. Lucia uses English to describe the Spanish phrases she uses to tell about the fun holiday events and day to day happenings within her home. As Lucia walks through different parts of her house on each page, she introduces family members from different places that she is excited to get to spend time with.

I enjoyed reading this book. As someone who is not fluent in Spanish, I enjoyed the way new Spanish words were introduced in a subtle and easy manner. The characters are light and the events are happy, represented well by the artwork in the book. I liked the mood of the book and think that children reading this book would be able to relate to at least portions of the ideas presented and be left with a positive feeling about either learning something new or seeing pieces of their family represented. The artwork in this book seems to imply that the family and friends presented are of mixed ethnicity, with the main family being from Puerto Rico and Spain. 

Hannah Lee, Middle School Librarian 

Darryl's Dream by Darryl "DMC" McDaniels and Tristan Tait - ESSENTIAL

Darryl's Dream by Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, illustrated by Tristan Tait
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2022. $13. 9780593487747



Darryl loves school and plans to go to college some day. He writes a poem and his teacher tells him the poem is great and that he should enter it in the school talent show. When he does, other kids tease him and bully him. Darryl feels bad and takes his name off the talent show list. During the night Darryl has a dream. In the dream he can be anything he wants. At the end he just wants to be the best that he can be. At school he enters the talent show again. Everybody loves his poem! 

What an awesome story! This is the story of Darryl McDaniel, famous rapper. The poem in the back of his book is his third grade poem. The illustrations are fantastic, colorful and bright. I love the story and this book would help a lot of students not feeling good enough, students that are teased and bullied. It teaches how to deal with that and I love the character of his mother and how supportive and helpful she was to her son. You can do anything if you just put your mind to it. Be the best you that you can be.

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Marley and the Family Band by Cedilla Marley, Tracey Baptiste, and Tiffany Rose - ESSENTIAL

Marley and the Family Band by Cedilla Marley and Tracey Baptiste, illustrated by Tiffany Rose
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2022. $18. 9780593301111



Marley has planned a concert in the park for her new neighborhood. Marley and her family just moved from Jamaica to Delaware. A bad storm has settled in the day of the concert. Marley knows all about bad storms from living in Jamaica. However, the storm is not dampening her enthusiasm for the concert. She decides they can cover the stage with umbrellas hung from the lights. She and her brother and sister go around and tell the neighbors their plan. they help the neighbors with things they need help with and pretty soon they have a lot of umbrellas and a big tarp. One neighbor said they could use his greenhouse for the concert.

I loved this book, too. It has wonderful, bright, happy and expressive illustrations. I like it shows a map of Delaware and of Jamaica, too. Marley is a happy kid, and she wants to do something nice for their new neighborhood and their new friends and neighbors. She and her sibling help other and then other people help her instead. What a delightful, wonderful book. I highly recommend this book. It will quickly become a new favorite.

 Ellen-Anita. Librarian 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

What are Words, Really? by Alexi Lubomirski, illustrated by Carlos Aponte - ADVISABLE

What are Words, Really? by Alexi Lubomirski, illustrated by Carlos Aponte. PICTURE BOOK Candlewick. 2022. $18. 9781536219807 



Words are powerful things. They can be funny, but they can also hurt, and make you feel unhappy. Some words, like love, make you feel better, other can make you cry. Consider the words you say and the affect they produce. 

Lubomirski's text is poetic, and Aponte's primary color pictures are whimsical and incorporated into the text. AJ thought the pictures were funny, and liked the message. She tried the activities (like saying "I can" 10 times), she even left me a note that said "I am Kind." A great practice in mindfulness and being nice. 

 Lisa Librarian and AJ (age 7)  

The Long Ride Home by Stephanie Graegin - ADVISABLE

The Long Ride Home
by Stephanie Graegin
. PICTURE BOOK Random House. 2022. $18. 9780593426029 



Koala is on a long ride home and is thinking about all the things they miss about their best friend who has moved away. 

Nostalgic and heartwarming, I loved the sweet memories it invokes of time spent with special friends. Oh the illustrations! Occasional 2 page spreads without words, but the pictures say so much. A wonderful story about missing someone - would make a great "going away" gift.

Lisa Librarian and AJ (Age 7)

The Year We Learned To Fly by Jaqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez - HIGH

The Year We Learned To Fly by Jaqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
. PICTURE BOOK. Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), 2022. $19. 9780399545535



Two black children, brother and sister, are bored. Grandma teaches them how to believe in one thing and soar. they go outside and use their newfound ideas and soar. When the argue and bicker, their wise grandmother repeats the advice from before and the children use their imagination and soar again. When they move and others aren't kind to them, they use the new skills again. Soon other children join them in their imaginative play and they all soar above boring, arguing and unkind things and situations that are hard. They learn they can do hard things and make the world a better place for them, their family and friends.

I loved this book and its beautiful, vibrant illustrations. I loved the repeating poem grandma told them, and how they learned to lift themselves and others out of misery and arguing and boredom. The children also learn about their history and how the people used to get through hard things. I think this book would be great for any age. It is just delightful, beautiful and educational. There are so many things to talk about and discuss. 

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Return of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman and Pete Oswald - ADVISABLE

Return of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman, illustrated by Pete Oswald
. PICTURE BOOK. Random House Studio, 2021. $18. 9780593119921 



Sir Cole needs to hire an assistant knight. He sends out a letter to his whole kingdom. Long lines of people line up to be interviewed. When Sir Cole sees the long line of applicants, he feels overwhelmed, so he goes for a walk instead. At the beach he finds signs saying things like: "No dragons allowed." That made him think of the Underwear Dragon. sir Cole realized the Dragon tried to destroy the kingdom, because he did not know how to read. Sir Cole decides to teach him. But, how do you teach a fire-breathing dragon to read if he always breathes fire and lights all the books and papers on fire? Will he succeed? 

The story is told in rhyme, with fun and creative rhymes. The illustrations are delightful. The rhymes made me giggle and I loved the cute story of Sir Cole teaching the Underwear Dragon to read. The book is just full of surprises! Young children would love this book and want to have it read to them over and over.

 Ellen-Anita, Librarian 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

You Are Loved: A Book About Families by Margaret O'Hair and Sofia Cardoso - ADVISABLE

You Are Loved: A Book About Familie
s by Margaret O'Hair, illustrated by Sofia Cardoso
. PICTURE BOOK Scholastic. 2023. $19. 9781338850079 



Not everyone's family looks the same, and family is more than just the people you live with. Your friends and your teachers, even your neighbors love you, but no one loves you like your family. Sometimes you are born into a family, and sometimes your family chooses you. There is no right or wrong way to be a family. 

Such a touching book. AJ said it made her cry (it even mentions missing someone who dies) I loved all the different representations of family, and all the things families say and do that make them special. A great choice for an elementary library.

Lisa Librarian and AJ (7yo)

When Things Aren't Going Right GO LEFT by Marc Colagiovanni and Peter H Reynolds - ADVISABLE

When Things Aren't Going Right GO LEFT
by Marc Colagiovanni, art by Peter H Reynolds.  
PICTURE BOOK Orchard Books (Scholastic). 2023. $19. 9781338831184 



When a young boy leaves his worries behind, and then soon, left his doubts behind as well. When he comes across a challenge his had failed before, he decides to leave his fears behind and try again, but he finds he carrying one more load - frustration. We have a choice to not carry these burdens.

Wow, I loved the message so much. It was a bit alarming when the boy splatted after a dive into a pool (he appeared to be ok). AJ and I had a nice discussion while reading this story, and the darling illustrations, which personify the burdens, make the concepts easy to explain and talk about.

Lisa Librarian and AJ (age7)

Library Girl by Karen Henry Clark and Sheryl Murray - ADVISABLE

Library Girl: How Nancy Pearl Became America's Most Celebrated Librarian
by Karen Henry Clark, illustrated by Sheryl Murray
PICTURE BOOK, BIOGRAPHY little bigfoot (sasquatch books) 2022. $19. 9781632173188 



Nancy loved the library so much, she would talk books with the school librarian and spent Saturdays in the public library. The librarians asked her to give a talk about horse books to other kids, but Nancy turned them down. The kids at school made fun of her for liking books so much. They called her "library girl". How can Nancy get the courage to talk to the kids? 

Alright - I love Nancy Pearl - I have all her action figures, and so I was thrilled to see this darling biography! And, I discovered, it's not just for the bookish kids, Library Girl is for any child who needs a boost of self confidence. With sweet, magical illustrations, Library Girl could easily become a favorite. AJ liked the fun illustrations (Nancy calls her bicycle Charger and imagines it is a horse).

Lisa Librarian and AJ (Age 7) 

Noah McNichol and the Backstage Ghost by Martha Freeman - ADVISABLE

Noah McNichol and the Backstage Ghost
by Martha Freeman
260 pages. Simon and Schuster. 2021. $18. 

Content: G. 



11yo Noah is a theater kid. His drama teacher, Miss Magnus, actually breaks her leg just before rehearsals begin for the 6th grade play Hamlet. Coach Fig is put in charge, but rather than directing, he only sort of supervises - he has a side job as a wedding planner. When a strange old man named Mike, who seems to have theater experience, the show might just be saved. But, who is Mike, and why does he disappear? Maybe Mike is a ghost!

I love 'Let's put on a show" books. Especially when the kids have to pull together and make it happen. I loved that it didn't turn into a free for all farce, and I also loved that it gave a realistic picture of all the moving parts of creating a production, including the stage manager and the tech people. Theater kids are really going to like Noah McNichol and the Backstage Ghost. Noah is white, but he has a diverse set of friends.

Lisa Librarian

Monday, November 21, 2022

Knitting for Dogs by Laurel Molk - ADVISABLE

Knitting for Dogs
by Laurel Molk
PICTURE BOOK Random House. 2022. $19. 9780593434581 



Izzy likes to make things, so when she started knitting it was easy - she made a scarf, and a hat, but when she tried to make a sweater, it just wasn't right. She practiced on 2 more sweaters, but they too were full of mistakes. But one snowy day, with just a few alterations, Izzy was able to make one of the sweaters into a sweater for Max! But what happens when the other dogs at the park see Max in his sweater? 

I am so picky about illustrations of people knitting - and I'm happy to say Molk got it right! Even casting on (I could tell what method she was using). Knitting techniques aside, a great story of resiliency and growth mindset. Even includes an easy scarf pattern.  AJ loved the story - she wanted to learn to knit so she can make something for her dogs, too.

Lisa Librarian and AJ (age 7)

Regina is NOT a little Dinosaur by Andrea Zuill - ESSENTIAL

Regina is NOT a little Dinosaur
by Andrea Zuill
PICTURE BOOK Schwartz & Wade (Random House). 2021. $18. 9780593127285 



Regina is upset at not being allowed to go with the grown up dinosaurs on their hunt. She feels she is just as scary as the grown dinosaurs and is unhappy to be left behind. So, she heads off on her own! But her attempts at hunting do not go well, and she could get herself in real trouble. 

Zuill's illustrations are so cute! I adored Regina, and her spunk and courage. AJ liked anticipating what each adventure might have in store. We did a lot of laughing as we read Regina is NOT a little dinosaur.

Lisa Librarian and AJ (age 7)

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Boobies by Nancy Vo - OPTIONAL

by Nancy Vo
PICTURE BOOK, NON-FICTION Groundwood. 2022 $20. 9781773066929 



Mammals have mammary glands - boobies. Boobies produce milk. Different animals have different numbers of them, humans are mammals, they only have two. It's something everyone has.

I was sure this was a book about Blue Footed Boobies - it had to be, right? Well, Boobies is a celebration of Boobies - the mammal kind, not the bird. Honestly, I think kids would find this funny as well as informative. It's certainly silly, and a great launch for a discussion about breasts, with either a boy or a girl. The illustrations are accurate but not so realistic that it feels inappropriate. However, I don't think I would necessarily recommend Boobies as a purchase for a school library. I shared my copy with our health teacher who LOVES it!

Lisa Librarian

The Longest Journey: An Arctic Tern's Migration by Amy Hevron - ESSENTIAL

The Longest Journey: An Arctic Tern's Migration by Amy Hevron
. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Neal Porter Books (Holiday House), 2022. $19. 9780823447008 



Hevron follows one Arctic Tern on its migration from North to South Pole and back again. 

This reads like a storybook, but the scientific vocabulary and facts keep the book firmly in the non-fiction genre. At the end of the book there is a bibliography and suggested further readings, that I believe will be useful because children will want to know more about the arctic terns after reading this book. I love this book for making nature fascinating to young children. Hevron uses maps and dates in her illustrations that open up the door for discussions that go beyond the text provided. I love her attempt to recreate the bird calls. This book encompasses the natural world the tern inhabits and shows how amazing these little birds are.

J. Smith, Teacher Librarian 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Girls and Boys Come Out to Play (Mother Goose) by Tracey Campbell Pearson - ADVISABLE

Girls and Boys Come Out to Play (Mother Goose) by Tracey Campbell Pearson
. BOARD BOOK. Holiday House, 2021. $19. 9780823447138 



Mother Goose invites children to come out and play. While they are out they meet characters from all kinds of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. 

I enjoyed this book with its colorful and vibrant illustrations with snippets of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes along the way. Inside the cover are nursery rhymes and illustrations. A most delightful book to be read to, and shared with young children. One of my little granddaughters loved looking for nursery rhyme characters in the pictures. 

 Ellen-Anita - Librarian 

The Book That Did NOT Want to Be Read by David Sundin - OPTIONAL

The Book That Did NOT Want to Be Read by David Sundin
. PICTURE BOOK. Simon and Schuster, 2020. $18. 9781665910811 



A book that does not want to be read. It tries to trick you and make reading difficult by missing letters changing vowels, and adding in nonsensical, silly and fun words.

A fun book to read, that would bring out creativity and ingenuity in children and the adults that read the book to them. 

 Ellen-Anita - Librarian 

Friday, November 18, 2022

Betty White by Deborah Hopkinson and Margeaux Lucas - ADVISABLE

Betty White
by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Margeaux Lucas
. PICTURE BOOK, BIOGRAPHY Golden Books Random House. 2022 $11 9780593647684



Betty White wanted to be a zookeeper when she was a little girl, but as those jobs weren't available to women, she decided to become an actress. By 1949, she was working on television, eventually staring in her own shows. She was a frequent guest on game shows, and even hosted Saturday Night Live. Her most famous roles were on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. 

I love Betty White so much, and this Big Little Golden Book biography is wonderful! AJ knew nothing about Betty, but was engaged with the story, and particularly excited when she read that Betty married Allen Ludden! A marvelous celebration of Betty's life! We also loved Margeaux Lucas' illustrations and the fun list of quotes at the end.

Lisa Librarian and AJ (Age 7)

The Many Hats of Louie the Rat by Sakshi Mangal - ADVISABLE

The Many Hats of Louie the Rat
by Sakshi Mangal.
PICTURE BOOK Owl Kids. 2022, $20. 9781771474955 



Louie the rat likes to make useful things (out of other things) Sometimes, though, the inventions aren't so useful after all and the other rats are annoyed. One day, Louie saw the other rats wearing huge hats which they thought made them look stylish. Louie wanted to make hats that were stylish, but also useful! But when he tried to sell them, the other rats weren't interested. They were tired of his silly inventions. Louie throws in the towel and gives away his useful hats - word spreads that they are useful, and his business booms - but when a calamity strikes, Louie may be the only one who can save the town. 

I'm still laughing - the illustrations are so clever, so many fun things to look at on every page. The huge hats were hilarious, and sweet Louie . . . such a darling story. A great example of growth mindset, repurposing, conservation, and being resourceful.

Lisa Librarian

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Lost by Sam Usher - ADVISABLE

Lost by Sam Usher
. PICTURE BOOK Templar (Simon and Schuster). 2022. $18. 9781536226645 



A boy and his granddad spend a cold wintery morning gathering the things they need to build a sled for the boy. Later while they are playing in the snow, and looking for a lost dog, the boy and Granddad get lost in the storm. 

There is texture on the beautiful cover, and so much snow - I loved it. Usher's illustrations are beautiful, the opening picture of the boy with the very large window behind him - I wanted to do nothing but read books in his room and watch the snowfall. I loved the wise granddad who kept the boy interested all morning by keeping the sled a surprise. A fun read for a snowy day.

Lisa Librarian

Carla and the Christmas Cornbread by Carla Hall - ADVISABLE

Carla and the Christmas Cornbread
by Carla Hall
PICTURE BOOK  A Denene Millner Book (Simon and Schuster) 2021. $18. 9781534494695 



Young Carla is so excited to go to Granny's for Christmas Eve dinner. Her favorite dish? Granny's cornbread, made fresh in a cast iron pan. But on their way to bed, Carla sees the perfect sugar cookie on a small plate, after taking a bite her sister tells her it was meant for Santa! Carla is worried she has ruined Christmas - but Granny has an idea. 

This is a great Christmas story, and the celebrity connection made the recipe in the back so exciting! Cute illustrations - a fun holiday read, but the message is fun anytime.

Lisa Librarian

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

What’s Inside a Flower? By Rachel Ignotofsky - ESSENTIAL

What’s Inside a Flower? By Rachel Ignotofsky
. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Random House, 2021. $18. 9780593176474 



Flowers live everywhere and come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Flowers have many parts which perform many functions. Plants receive their energy from the sun by photosynthesis. Flowers need to be pollinated so they attract pollinators. Plants use seeds to reproduce, and seeds are spread many ways. Rachesl Igonotofsky ends her delightfully illustrated book by saying, “Happy flowers mean a happy earth for you and me.” 

This “happy” book of clear illustrations and prose create a simple, yet complete picture of what flowers are and do. Children will enjoy the bright, detailed story not knowing they are learning science principles. 


Drip by Maggie Li - ADVISABLE

Drip by Maggie Li
. BOARD BOOK. Templar Books, 2022. $10.00. 9781536223880 



Drip is a drop of water. He goes on a great adventure across the world as he joins the ocean and is carried across the sky in a cloud, only to return to water the plants where he began. 

Li teaches the science of the water cycle in a fun way with Drip. The illustrations are plain but understandable. 


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Little Seed by Benson Shum - OPTIONAL

Little Seed by Benson Shum
. BOARD BOOK. Little Simon and Schuster, 2022. $9. 9781665902946 



Little Seed travels around the world with mother earth. He learns to love all types of animals. His big question is, “How do you hug the whole world?”. 

While the illustrations for the book are cute, the story is not compelling, even to my grandchildren. 


Noah’s Ark by Piotr Wilkon and Jozef Wilkon - ADVISABLE

Noah’s Ark by Piotr Wilkon and Jozef Wilkon
, English Translation by Rosemary Lenning. PICTURE BOOK. North South Books, Inc.,1992. $18. 9780735844728 



Many animals help Noah build his ark when they hear Noah prophesy the flood. All the animals enter the ark as the rains descend. But, in the cramped quarters, the complain about the situation they find themselves in. When they finally are released, they apologize to Noah for not trusting him. Then watch what they decide to do when they see a rainbow. 

The translation seems choppy at times. But, children will love the cute illustrations. 


Welcome to Kiss the Book Jr.!

Welcome! Kiss the Book Jr. is for board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books.  Also, any novels and non-fiction that we ag...