Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Non-fiction

Reach Higher: An Inspiring Photo Collection of First Lady Michelle Obama by Amanda Lucidon

Reach Higher: An Inspiring Photo Collection of First Lady Michelle Obama Book CoverThis book is a beautiful and inspiring photo collection that takes you on a tour of how the Obama’s lived in the White House and Michelle Obama’s role as the First Lady. Even though the first Lady is not an elected position, the First Lady often serves as a host and spokesperson for the administration and can become an advocate to causes.

Michele Obama’s dignity, grace, and warmth made her the perfect role model to represent our country. Whether you choose to read this book or just enjoy the photos it is a feel good experience.

Book reviewed by Marsha D., 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

Look at Me: How to Attract Attention in the Animal World  by Steve Jenkins

Look at Me: How to Attract Attention in the Animal WorldEveryone loves learning about camouflage in the animal world, and nonfiction books are a great way to learn about it. However, animals don’t only use camouflage. Sometimes it is just as important to stand out! Changing colors, leaping, dancing, odors, inflating like a balloon, or even screaming are quite useful to signal a warning or for territorial defense. Add some fabulous illustrations and you have another successful book by Steve Jenkins.

Recommended for animal lovers in 2nd-4th grade.

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison