Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Non-fiction

Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess

Cover image for Enormous smallness : a story of E. E. CummingsThis sweet picture book biography tells the story of poet E.E. Cummings.  Edward Estlin Cummings grew up in Cambridge, MA and had an idyllic childhood, perfect for inspiring creativity and poetry.  Edward saw beauty in his surroundings and with support from his teachers and family, he created poems at a young age and continued creating poetry his whole life. This beautifully illustrated biography takes the reader through the life of E.E. Cummings and intersperses his poems throughout the book.  It is a lovely book to read for anyone looking to see the beauty around them.

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

Robbers: True Stories of the World’s Most Notorious Thieves by Andreas Schroeder

Cover image for Robbers! : true stories of the world's most notorious thievesThis is a great book to read if you are looking for something that you can put down sometimes and then come back to it later, and that is because each chapter is about a different person and there are some great comic style pictures throughout the book. While this is a nonfiction book, it reads more like fiction. Have you ever heard of a thief who stole a painting and then, rather than sell it for money, held onto it or the illustrious career of Arthur Barry, the classiest thief in Manhattan? Well, if you are interested in these characters as well as bank robbers and others, check Robbers out. Warning: Do not attempt these feats in your lifetime, just read about them.

Book reviewed by Laura B. Youth Technology Librarian

Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul

Cover image for Water is water : a book about the water cycleIn Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle, the illustrator, Jason Chin, emphasizes the importance of water and its ever changing and evolving forms using expressive full page illustrations. In these illustrations, we follow children as they experience water in all its forms including snow, rain, fog, running in a stream, and more. These vibrant illustrations include some fun surprises and also are exceptional in their depiction of human emotions. The accompanied text, written by Miranda Paul, adds even more to the book in its lyrical and simplistic poetic form. However, don’t let the simplistic text fool you; this book still contains information on the water cycle. Check out this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book!

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

Cover image for Viva FridaEver wish you could see inside the mind of an artist? Award winning author and illustrator, Yuyi Morales does just that with her book Viva Frida. Photographs and illustrations rich with texture and details take readers into the imagination of Frida Kahlo. Simple text floats on the pages in English and Spanish giving you a glimpse of her creativity and dreams. This book is a fantastic introduction to the artist and will definitely inspire further investigation into the life and art of Frida Kahlo.

Book reviewed by Youth Services Intern.

Earmuffs for Everyone: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs by Megan McCarthy

Cover image for Earmuffs for everyone! : how Chester Greenwood became known as the inventor of earmuffsDo you have creative ideas for a new invention? Maybe you have some thoughts on how to improve an existing invention?  Well that’s exactly what Chester Greenwood did in the book by Meghan McCarthy entitled Earmuffs for Everyone: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs.

But the question surrounding this book is, did he really invent earmuffs? After researching the topic, the author learns that sometimes finding the true inventor of something is trickier than it seems.  There were various forms of ear coverings before Chester Greenwood came along, but when Chester was only 19 years old, he improved on other people’s ideas by adding a wire that goes across the top.  He received a patent for that addition and now on December 21st in Maine, they celebrate Chester Greenwood Day…and of course everyone wears earmuffs.

But did he really “invent” them?  Should he be given credit for these fun accessories?  You decide!  This book is told in a humorous yet informative manner with fun illustrations, giving budding inventors some inspiration and insight on patents.

Recommended for K-2nd grade.

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison