Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: For Grades 2-4

Saraí and the Meaning of Awesome/Saraí y el significado de lo genial by Saraí Gonzalez and Monica Brown

Sarai and The Meaning of Awesome Book CoverEvery morning, Saraí sees “you’re awesome” above her bed. Her life is pretty awesome: she has a business selling cupcakes, she knows how to dance, and her family and best friend live close enough to visit all the time. One day, her grandparents announce that they have to move. Saraí doesn’t know what to do…if they move really far away, it will be hard to see them. Their house is important to her, so she decides to save it. Can she do it, with help from her sisters and cousin/best friend? If you like realistic stories and beginning chapter books, try this one. It was written by Monica Brown, and Saraí, a girl who became famous through a music video of the Columbian group, Bomba Estéreo. Now she’s an activist that encourages kids to be true to themselves.

Cada mañana, Saraí ve “eres genial” arriba de su cama. Su vida es bastante genial: tiene su negocio de magdalenas, sabe bailar, y su familia y mejor amiga viven cerca para muchas visitas. Un día, sus abuelos anuncian que tienen que mudar. Saraí no sabe qué hacer… si mudan muy lejos, sería difícil de verles. Su casa es importante para ella, así que Saraí decide salvarla. ¿Puede lograrlo, con la ayuda de sus hermanas y prima/mejor amiga? Si te gustan cuentos realísticos y libros de capítulos cortos, intenta este. Fue escrito por Monica Brown, y Saraí, una niña que se hizo famoso en un video musical del grupo colombiano, Bomba Estéreo. Ahora es activista que motiva a los niños y niñas a ser fiel a uno mismo.

There are English and Spanish copies of this book. The call numbers are: JF GONZALEZ, S. or JF SPANISH GONZALEZ, S.

 

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

The Bad Guys  by Aaron Blabey

The Bad GuysThe Bad Guys, by Aaron Blabey, is a story about an unexpected bond between some of the baddest animal guys on the face of the planet, a shark, a snake, a piranha, and their gang leader, a big bad wolf. Mr. Wolf wants this group to stop being known as the bad guys, and to turn their awful reputation around to be good unto others. For instance, like by rescuing animals instead of eating them. It’s a fun book to read, filled with silly jokes and and quirky dialog between these guys. It’s definitely a laugh out loud both bad guys and good.

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville

Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire Book CoverHave you ever wondered what it takes to be an artist? In Pocket Full of Colors by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville, we learn about a little girl named Mary who loved to collect all the different colors she saw in the world around her.  As Mary grew up, she sketched and continued to collect colors in every new place she visited. When Mary got a bit older, she attended art school where she met her husband Lee. She and Lee loved to draw and paint together, but they realized not many people wanted to pay for the colorful things they were making during the Great Depression. Eventually, she applied for a job at Walt Disney Studios and became one of the first women to ever work there! She quickly noticed that none of the men she worked with were as interested in colors as she was. Mary believed they should make magenta horses that could fly; everyone else believed they should be brown and stay in a stable. No one knew what to do with her art, but Walt Disney himself loved it. Mary Blair’s love of colors gave her many opportunities, but you’ll need to read Pocket Full of Colors to find out about some of the most exciting things she was able to do.

Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison

Saving Fiona: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Baby Hippo by Thayne Maynard

Saving Fiona: The World's Most Famous Baby Hippo Book CoverHippos Bibi and Henry were living at the Cincinnati Zoo when they were expecting their first baby. The little hippo arrived two months early, making her very small and weak, and even unable to be with her parents in their big pool. A team of human caregivers monitored and cared for the hippo, naming her Fiona, after the princess from the movie Shrek. The team decided to share Fiona’s struggles with the world on social media, and Fiona earned fans around the world. This book is written by the director of the Cincinnati Zoo and contains tons of adorable pictures of Fiona and interesting facts about hippos. You can look up #TeamFiona to see how she’s doing now!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre

Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our PlanetThe author of Raindrops Roll and Best in Snow has come out with another celebration of nature and its wonders. This book is full of stunning photographs and rich descriptive words. The back matter gives information on how to turn your “thank you” into actions—skipping straws, for example. Sayre also gives location and species detail for all of the photographs, in case you’re wondering WHAT or WHERE some of the amazing pictures are. Thank You, Earth is biology, ecology, math, and life lessons wrapped in a gorgeous package.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator