Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Staff Picks

Parent Category of Picks

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

The Bad Guys  by Aaron Blabey

The Bad GuysThe Bad Guys, by Aaron Blabey, is a story about an unexpected bond between some of the baddest animal guys on the face of the planet, a shark, a snake, a piranha, and their gang leader, a big bad wolf. Mr. Wolf wants this group to stop being known as the bad guys, and to turn their awful reputation around to be good unto others. For instance, like by rescuing animals instead of eating them. It’s a fun book to read, filled with silly jokes and and quirky dialog between these guys. It’s definitely a laugh out loud both bad guys and good.

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services 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

Zenobia by Morten Dürr

Zenobia Book CoverAmina is fleeing Syria in a boat with a lot of other people. The boat capsizes, and the people fall into the Mediterranean Sea. As Amina sinks in the water, she remembers her family and the ancient hero Zenobia, Queen of ancient Syria. Zenobia gives her courage not to panic in the water.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant