Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picture Books

Because by Mo Willems

Because Book CoverBecause, by Mo Willems, is a thoughtful journey that takes the reader back to a small moment in time, that at that time, seems to be very ordinary. It is about a piece of paper, a wee little ticket, a terrible cold. And an opportunity. This wee little ticket, and saying yes to this small opportunity, was an instance that sparked a series of other events, that would change the course of a little girl’s future. I guess you’ll have to take a journey to the Mount Prospect Public Library and read this wonderful book yourself to discover what its really all about.

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist/ ¡Esquivel! Una Artista del Sonido de la Era Espacial by Susan Wood, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist Book CoverJuan García Esquivel grew up in Mexico loving music. He started finding work as a musician when he was just 14 years old, playing piano on a radio station. Later, he made music for a comedy show on the radio, and it was there that he started to experiment with music and sound, making drums sound like a lumbering giant, clarinets like a dog, and having singers make sounds, not words. His music was different from what most people had heard before, sounding like something from outer space. This is a non-fiction story with fantastic illustrations, about a person you might not have heard of before. It’s also fun to listen to his music at the same time. Someone also made silly videos to go along with some of his music, which you can find on the book’s website: http://esquivelbook.com/video.html .

Juan García Esquivel creció en México amando a la música. Empezó trabajando con música cuando solo tenía catorce años, tocando piano para una estación del radio. Después, hizo música para un programa de comedia en el radio. Allí es donde empezó a experimentar con música y sonido, haciendo que los tambores suenan como un hombre torpe, clarinetes como un perro, y tener cantantes haciendo sonidos en vez de palabras. Su música era diferente de lo que personas habían escuchado antes, que suena como algo de espacio. Este es un cuento de no-ficción con ilustraciones fantásticas, sobre un personaje que tal vez no conoces. Es divertido escuchar a la música a la misma vez. Alguien hizo videos chistosos que acompañan a su música, que puedes encontrar en la página del web del libro: http://esquivelbook.com/video.html .

There are English and Spanish copies of this book. The call numbers are: KIT J 780.92 ESQUIVEL, J. or J SPANISH 780.92 ESQUIVEL, J.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds

Poetree Book CoverPoetree, written by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds and illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani is a picture book about a little girl who, at the end of winter, writes a poem about spring and leaves it tied to a birch tree. Much to the girl’s surprise, the tree writes back! The watercolor illustrations and the sweet text create a lovely celebration of both nature and poetry.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming 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