Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picture Books

The Numberlys by William Joyce

Cover image for The NumberlysOnce upon a time, there was no alphabet. Only numbers. Everyone liked numbers, but there weren’t any books or colors or jellybeans or pizza. Then five friends started wondering if they could so something… MORE. In The Numberlys, most of the book is read sideways, and the illustrations (though mostly in only gray tones) are vibrant and almost 3-dimensional. The author William Joyce is the creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore, which is a book, an app, and an Oscar-winning short film. 

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Mix it Up by Herve Tullet

Cover image for Mix it up!This French author first got my attention with Press Here, which came out in the U.S. a few years ago. He has several interactive books. They look very simple…and yet are so ingenious! Tullet takes the idea of a touch screen and puts it in a book. Readers are invited to push, rub, tilt, and otherwise interact with the books. To see the results of your actions just turn the page.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Cover image for Each kindnessMaya is new to school and Chloe notices she doesn’t dress as nicely as the rest of the kids and stays away from her even though Maya tries to be her friend. The teacher brings in a bowl of water and some small stones and gives each student one. She tells them to watch as she tosses a stone in the water and the water ripples out. She goes on to remind the student that each kindness, each little nice thing done, goes out like a ripple. Chloe wants to talk to Maya and be kind to her but she hasn’t been to school. Will she ever get the chance?

 

Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman by Marc Tyler Nobleman

Cover image for Bill the boy wonder : the secret co-creator of BatmanBatman the superhero was a pretty secretive guy. If you’re a Batman fan, you probably already know this. But did you know that Batman’s creators had their own secrets? The story of Bill the Boy Wonder begins in the 1930s with a man named Bill Finger. Even though his parents wanted him to become a doctor, Bill’s true passion was in literature. One night Bill shared his story ideas with a Bob Kane, a cartoonist. Bob sketched the character of Batman and then went to Bill for suggestions. Bob took these new ideas to his boss, who agreed to publish Batman—but no credit was given to Bill, the person who had contributed the most to the story.

Batman grew in popularity, and Bill continued to write Batman stories in secret without being recognized. He worked long hours and earned the respect of his colleagues, but his name still was absent as a Batman writer. Did Bill ever get any credit—or money—for his role in Batman’s creation?

Bill the Boy Wonder is an interesting story even if you’re not a big Batman fan because it presents a viewpoint different from one many people have known. Maybe you can even relate to Bill’s story: Have you had someone take credit for work you’ve done or ideas you’ve shared? Did you stand up for yourself? What would you have done if you were Bill?