Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picture Books

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

The Forever Tree by Tereasa Surratt

The Forever Tree by Tereasa Surratt book coverThe Forever Tree is a true tale about the importance of a special tree, a specific tree, one that has captivated wilderness critters and children alike. It is a story about the fondness for the wonderful things around us, and the beauty of pulling community together.

 So here we find ourselves, in the middle of story, in the quiet of the forest…. And we can see that many of the surrounding woodland animals built their homes inside this magnificent tree, and children play around the tree for fun. They all made this tree a part of their special community. However, as many years passed by, the tree became unhealthy.  

Nobody wanted to see the tree go away, so the wilderness animals and families from all around got together and helped to save their beloved tree. They promised each other that their tree would “stand forever, strong and tall and proud”. See what happens when community shares a  belief  that something beautiful is always worth saving. From simple acts of love, something new and wonderful can always grow.

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

Mister Yes by Carmen Gil 

Mister Yes by Carmen GilAre you like Mister Yes, who says “Yes” to everything? Maybe the word “No” is not even part of your vocabulary? Like Mister Yes, will you eat a bowl of hummingbird poop and slug slime? When a sneaky salesman knocks on your door, do you say yes and  buy from him a tennis racket without any strings, or a broken telephone  you could use to talk only to yourself? Read this book to see if you are like Mister Yes, who had to learn the hard way that it’s not very nice to do mean things to others, just because he doesn’t want to use the word No. This could be a life-changing book for those of you who always say yes to those who ask you for a something. Maybe it’s time to learn it’s ok to sometimes say the small, yet powerful  word,  “No”.

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back? By Jory John

Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back?Obviously, when you’re an elephant, scratching your own back can be difficult. In this story, an elephant goes to many different animals to try to find someone to scratch his back. He talks to a turtle, a crocodile, a hippo, a sloth, and other animals too. Some of them say they’ll help, but it’s hard to find the perfect animal to help scratch his back. There are some really funny twists and turns along the way. This would be a great story to read with preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Book reviewed by Katharin D., Youth Outreach Liaison

Vincent Comes Home by Jessixa Bagley and Aaron Bagley

Cover image for Vincent comes homeVincent is a cat who lives on a cargo ship and his paws have never touched land.  He has a happy life aboard ship and travels all over the world. Vincent  overhears a ship’s crewman speaking of Home,  and decides to follow the man Home and see just why Home is so wonderful.  This beautifully illustrated book explores the meaning of Home with such sweetness and charm you will want to read it again and again.

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

Remembering Vera by Patricia Polacco

Cover image for Remembering VeraWhen a young Coast Guard serviceman finds a dog while sweeping the dock, he can’t help but adopt the dog despite the strict rules of the coast guard’s Commander “Ol’ Man.”  The serviceman names the lovable dog Vera and she quickly becomes a treasured member of the Coast Guard team.  The men, however, continue to hide her from the Commander.   One day during an emergency rescue, the Ol’ Man spots Vera!  What Vera does next is both inspiring and courageous.  This book is a true story about Vera and her heroic actions.  If you enjoy reading books about brave animals, check this one out!

 

I am not a chair! by Ross Burach

Cover image for I am not a chair!Here’s a super funny story about giraffe’s first day in the jungle, when all the other animals think he’s a chair! After a full day of being sat on, giraffe has had it. He’s just about to tell the next animal he sees that he is not a chair, when along comes lion and boy is lion hungry! Read the book to see what happens after that! Hint: It’s hilarious! Try reading this to preschoolers or kindergarteners  and see if they can spot the turtle at the end of the book.

 

Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Cover image for LifeHow could you go wrong with writing by Cynthia Rylant and illustrations by Caldecott honor winner Brendan Wenzel? And really, the text and art are both winners here. The artwork, full of vibrant animals and the beauty of nature, accompanies an uplifting text about everything there is to love in life and all of life’s changes. This would be a great gift at graduations! Also, it’s recommended for anyone facing a major transition in their life, as well as those who enjoy sharing a sentimental book with a loved one.

 

Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Cover image for Town is by the seaTown is by the Sea is an absolutely beautiful picture book.  This beautiful story takes us through a summer day in the life of a young boy in Nova Scotia. As the boy goes about his day in a Canadian mining town,  we see the sharp contrast of his sun filled days and his father’s dark says underground as a coal miner.  The illustrations are stunning and although this sweet story takes place at a different time, the universal feelings of family and love are timeless.  This is a quiet picture book ideal for sharing one on one.

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

Around the World in a Bathtub by Wade Bradford

Cover image for Around the world in a bathtub : bathing all over the globeThe book Around the World in a Bathtub by Wade Bradford shows different ways that people bathe around the world. Some illustrations show modern tubs and showers, while others demonstrate historic traditions or ceremonies, such as people in India bathing in the Ganges River. In every example there is an adult trying to get a child into the bath and a child who doesn’t want to go. The adult is shown saying “yes, yes” and the child saying “no, no” in many different languages. This book provides a window for the very young to see how people do things differently in different parts of the world, but also a mirror into their own lives. We are all different, but we all bathe!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator