Staff Picks 4 Kids

Staff Picks 4 Kids Blog

I am not a chair! by Ross Burach

Cover image for I am not a chair!Here’s a super funny story about giraffe’s first day in the jungle, when all the other animals think he’s a chair! After a full day of being sat on, giraffe has had it. He’s just about to tell the next animal he sees that he is not a chair, when along comes lion and boy is lion hungry! Read the book to see what happens after that! Hint: It’s hilarious! Try reading this to preschoolers or kindergarteners  and see if they can spot the turtle at the end of the book.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Absolutely Alfie and the Furry Purry Secret by Sally Warner

Cover image for Absolutely Alfie and the furry purry secretAbsolutely Alfie and the Furry Purry Secret by Sally Warner is the first book about Alfie, who is the younger sister to EllRay Jakes, which is another series for young chapter book readers. Alfie is a little nervous about starting 2nd grade, and not looking forward to her forced playdates with a neighbor girl, Hanni, who she has heard can be a bit bossy. The girls actually have fun together. Then Hanni’s family gets a bunch of kittens and they’re just giving them away! For free! Alfie can’t resist, even though there’s a family rule: no pets allowed. That’s because Alfie is allergic. But Alfie thinks the rule is wrong and she just knows she can handle taking care of a kitten on her own. She just has to keep it a secret. What could possibly go wrong?

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder

Charlie & MouseCover image for Charlie & Mouse is a fun early reader book about two brothers who also happen to be great friends. They go to a neighborhood party that has a surprise twist, come up with a plan to make money, and invent a new bedtime ritual that just might get better with time. They are good at detecting “lumps” and waking them up early in the morning. If you enjoy Charlie & Mouse, there’s another book, too. Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy is all about the weekend of fun the brothers spend with their grandpa.

Book reviewed by Dana F., Assistant Head of Youth Services

River Runs Deep by Jennifer Bradbury

Cover image for River runs deep : a novelFollow Elias, who at the ripe young age of twelve contracts consumption and is sent to a doctor who specializes in experimental treatment of the disease. What is the catch? The doctor only treats people deep inside a cave! Once Elias is in his tiny hut underground, he struggles to adjust to the darkness and his quirky fellow patients. He thinks he is hearing voices and that the slaves who assist the doctor may be hiding something. What could they be hiding? This historical fiction tale is especially fascinating since it takes place within Kentucky’s world-famous Mammoth Cave and several of the characters are based on real people.

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant

Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Cover image for LifeHow could you go wrong with writing by Cynthia Rylant and illustrations by Caldecott honor winner Brendan Wenzel? And really, the text and art are both winners here. The artwork, full of vibrant animals and the beauty of nature, accompanies an uplifting text about everything there is to love in life and all of life’s changes. This would be a great gift at graduations! Also, it’s recommended for anyone facing a major transition in their life, as well as those who enjoy sharing a sentimental book with a loved one.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley

Cover image for The Harlem charadeHow do a painting, a goat, a feather, and the neighborhood Harlem in New York City all go together? That is exactly what Jin, Alex, and Elvin are trying to figure out. It all started when this young boy finds a famous piece of artwork from an obscure Harlem Renaissance artist in a garden. Then, Elvin’s grandfather is attacked in that same garden and is in the hospital. Soon, they are working together to figure out what happened to Elvin’s grandfather while also trying to learn more about the found painting and the artist. Somehow they all seem to be linked and maybe that means there is more artwork to find. However, they aren’t the only ones that have thought of this. There are some adults also looking for it. If the wrong people get their hands on it, it could mean the end of Harlem as a neighborhood.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Cover image for Beyond the bright seaThe Newbery honor author of Wolf Hollow has come out with another stunningly poignant novel with a unique historical setting. In Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk, 12-year-old Crow was a baby when she washed up on an island off the New England coast. It was Osh who found her and he has cared for her ever since. But Crow does not look like everyone else on the tiny island, and has always wondered where she came from. In her search for answers, she triggers a dangerous chain of events that brings conflict to the island and to her home with Osh. This beautifully written book explores themes of identity and belonging and what it means to be a family.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

My Pet Humanby Yasmine Surovec

Cover image for My pet humanGet inside the mind of a street-smart cat in this fun, beginning chapter book filled with black and white cartoon drawings. The cat, later named Oliver, knows the best places to find food and how to avoid getting caught by animal control. Oliver has friends—a rat, a dog, and another cat—but they all go home to their humans every night. Oliver is pretty sure he’s OK with this; anyway, he likes being “Mr. Independent.” However, when he smells something tasty coming from the house that a family has just moved into, Oliver decides to drop by…just for a little while. The “little human” girl falls immediately in love with him, so Oliver decides that if this arrangement is going to work, he will need to train the humans in the house. Does it work? Fans of funny animal stories like Stick Dog, Bad Kitty, and Diva and Flea will enjoy this book. For more, follow up with the sequel, My Pet Human Takes Center Stage.

 

Book reviewed by Dana F. Assistant Head of Youth Services

Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Cover image for Town is by the seaTown is by the Sea is an absolutely beautiful picture book.  This beautiful story takes us through a summer day in the life of a young boy in Nova Scotia. As the boy goes about his day in a Canadian mining town,  we see the sharp contrast of his sun filled days and his father’s dark says underground as a coal miner.  The illustrations are stunning and although this sweet story takes place at a different time, the universal feelings of family and love are timeless.  This is a quiet picture book ideal for sharing one on one.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

Purloining of Prince Oleomargerine by Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead

Cover image for The purloining of Prince OleomargarineHooray Mark Twain has a new book out! Well sort of, Mark Twain used to make up bedtime stories for his children and this story is based on the recently found notes he left for one of those stories. Those notes made it into the hands of Phillip Stead to turn into a completed story and Stead does a remarkable job of capturing Twain’s humor and voice.  Phillip’s wife, Caldecott winner Erin Stead, adds the perfect illustrations to bring the story to life in her classic style. This book is not like anything else out there right now and don’t miss reading it!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian