Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Erin E.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

A Big Mooncake for Little StarAward-winning author and illustrator Grace Lin’s newest picture book is a delicious way to learn about the phases of the moon. Mama makes a mooncake but instructs Little Star not to touch it until Mama tells her to. Little Star remembers for a while… but then she falls asleep, and when she wakes up in the middle of the night she wants to peek at the mooncake. And boy does it look delicious! Mama won’t notice if she takes a tiny nibble, will she?

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

I Am a Cat by Galia Bernstein

I Am A Cat book coverA house cat named Simon declares to lion, tiger, and panther that he is also a cat, just like them. And well, the big cats don’t exactly agree. As the big cats explain what makes a cat a cat– having long whiskers and tails, sharp teeth and claws, and eyes that can see in the dark, Simon helpfully points out that he actually does have all those things… they’re just smaller. This book’s simple story structure and expressive artwork make it perfect for storytime!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Grump: The (Fairly) True Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff

Grump: The (fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl ShurtliffIn Grump: The (Fairly) True Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff, a grumpy dwarf gets caught up in the feud between Snow White and the wicked queen. Borlen, aka “Grump,” is not like other dwarves. He dreams of visiting The Surface, while most dwarves are terrified of it. Borlen is devastated when he is assigned as the undesirable “Seventh” on a deep underground mining crew. But when the crew unexpectedly digs close to The Surface, Borlen makes his escape aboveground, and finds things are even more wonderful than he imagined. He meets Queen Elfrieda, who spoils him with delicious gemstones… but demands magic in return. Grump ends up stuck in the middle when he discovers the queen’s evil intentions towards Snow White. How can he be magically sworn to serve the queen AND to protect Snow White? And what if the other dwarfs discover what he’s done?

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton

Cover image for Dazzle ships : World War I and the art of confusionHow do you camouflage a huge cargo ship, traveling in the middle of the ocean? You can find out in Chris Barton’s new book, which explains how Britain used an unusual and colorful idea to help them win a war. Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion begins by setting the scene. It was 1917 amid World War I and people on the island of Britain were starving. They relied on ships to bring food and supplies, but Germany’s U-boats kept sneaking up and torpedoing the ships. Then Lieutenant-commander Norman Wilkinson presented a wild idea. Because ships could not be painted in a way that would make them invisible to submarines, he proposed the extreme opposite: paint them with colorful patterns. This would break up the form and confuse the submarine as to which direction the ship is heading and at what speed, making the ships more difficult targets. Amazingly, it worked! Britain went on to paint over 2,000 dazzle ships during World War I, with many different patterns. This book brings the dazzle ships to life in a way that even photographs can’t, since photos of the time were in black and white. You will enjoy the vibrant illustrations while learning a piece of fascinating history.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator