Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Non-fiction

The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow 

The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola CrayonsHow many times have you used crayons in your life? The answer is probably a lot, but did you know that before there were crayons, the only way to color was to use special artist type crayons that were expensive, broke easily, and some were even toxic? This is what Edwin Binney, an inventor, learned when his wife asked him to try and create a new type of crayon. Soon, he got to work. There were many writing tools at the time including a gray slate pencil, white chalk, and a black crayon, but how to make crayons with other colors. It was a lot of different experiments, mixing of materials, and using different pigments or colors, but soon he created what we know as Crayola Crayons. This true story is filled with amazing colorful illustrations and some unique facts.  

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian 

Grace Hopper Queen of the Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code Book Cover“If you got a good idea and you know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it.” Grace Hopper 

This picture book biography is about the unknown queen of the computer code. As a young girl Grace’s brilliant mind for math and science led her to tinker with gadgets. It was no wonder that her personnel motto was: “Dare and Do.” She graduated Yale University as the only woman in her class and became a teacher at Vassar College but wanted to do more to help her country. At thirty six, she was too old and too skinny to join the Navy but her excellent math skills landed her a job writing programs for the very first computer ever built. Grace invented the term “computer bug,” and taught computers to recognize words. Hooper was truly, “Amazing Grace,” a female role model . This was a fun and inspiring book to read. 

Book reviewed by Marsha D., Youth Services Assistant 

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America/La Matadragones: Cuentos de Latinoamérica by Jaime Hernández

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America Book CoverHow can a servant defeat a seven-headed dragon? What happens when a woman’s husband, who happens to be a mouse, falls into the soup? What can a lazy man learn from a thousand leaf-cutting ants? This book converts famous Latin American myths into comics. There are tricks, bravery, jokes, magic, and more in this fast and fun read.

¿Cómo se enfrentaría una sirvienta a un dragón de siete cabezas? ¿Qué pasa cuando el esposo una mujer, que resulta ser un ratón, cayó en una hoya de sopa? ¿Qué puede aprender un joven de un millar de hormigas cortadoras de hojas? Este libro convierte famosos mitos de Latino América en cómicos. Hay trucos, coraje, bromas, magia, y más en esta lectura rápida y divertida.

There are English and Spanish copies of this book. The call numbers are: J GRAPH 398.209 LAT HER or J SPANISH 398.209 LAT HER

 

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Caffee

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer's Historic Boston Marathon Book CoverKathrine Switzer grew up in a time when people believed girls were too fragile and weak to participate in sports. So, whenever she would go run and sweat, people found it strange. Eventually, she gained attention of the running coach of a local school. He let her train with the men’s team. When she hears about the Boston Marathon for the first time, Kathrine knew that she had to run the 26.2 miles of the race. Many people doubted her ability to run that far, but Kathrine trained hard to show that women were capable of running a marathon. If you love hearing about people who work hard and have had an impact on the world: this book is for you!

Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison

When the Stars Come Out by Nicola Edwards

When The Stars Come Out Book CoverWhen the Stars Come Out by Nicola Edwards, and illustrated by Lucy Cartwright is a celebration of night time. This fact filled book is full of so much fascinating information. Ever wonder about the history and formation of the night sky? Looking for more information about habitats at night and the nocturnal animals that live in them? Have you ever wondered about what happens when we sleep? This book is a joy to read and will surely satisfy curious minds. The illustrations in this engaging book perfectly capture the magic and stillness of our night time world.

A great book to share or enjoy alone!

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