Staff Selections Kids


The Rain Train
Elena De Roo, illus. by Brian Lovelock

Elena De Roo's train poem transports a child from the busy activities of the day through a rainy night and into sleep.  The reader of this bedtime adventure will share (and share in) the sights, sounds, and motion of travel.




Chirri & Chirra in the Tall Grass
Kaya Doi, trns. by Yuki Kaneko

Two little girls explore nature together, and find a woodland world that is just made for them in CHIRRI & CHIRRA.  With the ring of their bike bells, the girls are off again, discovering a lively adventure in the tall grass, where they follow busy insects, and help a candy-making lizard. Fireflies light their way home.  Young picturebook audiences will be transported into a serene, luminous nature fantasy with this sweet series. 


Shadow Scale
Rachel Hartman

The sequel to Seraphina has arrived!  The story picks up right where we left it, with the kingdom of Goredd preparing for war with the dragons of the north.  Seraphina has set out for the countryside to find the other half-human, half-dragons from her visions to unite them as part of Goredd's defense.  But building a coalition is not easy for a court musician with little experience in diplomacy or war, and Seraphina is forced to improvise and compromise along the way.  Author Rachel Hartman gives us a stunning conclusion to Seraphina's story, complete with eye-opening revelations about love, betrayal, religion, and allies likely and unlikely, climaxed by a battle scene I guarantee you'll remember long after you've finished the book.  Seraphina and Shadow Scale are a two-volume set of one of the best YA fantasies I've read in a long time.  Wow!


The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Brian Pinkney

Trip trap, trip trap, trip trap! With wit and eventually brawn The Three Billy Goats Gruff prove more than a match for the troll in this new retelling by master storyteller and illustrator Jerry Pinkney. Pinkney breathes lively freshness into the classic Three Billy Goats Gruff. No stone troll at the end of this version but the open-ended possibility of a lesson learned, even as the troll receives his just due. For proof, examine the exquisite end pages that extend the tale. The artist’s note provides additional food for thought


Out of Wonder
Kwame Alexander, Ekua Holmes (Illustrator), Chris Colderley

This beautifully illustrated book of poetry by Kwame Alexander and two co-authors celebrates Kwame's 20 favorite poets of all times and places. The criteria for inclusion is they must be interesting people and they must love their poetry with a passion. The authors write their own poems in the style or theme of their choices.Their hope is that readers will be inspired to discover these poets and write their own poems. The three sections of the book are designed to pay tribute, offer inspiration and give thanks for the poets who have been muses.
They hope your heart will sing and you will use them as a stepping-stone to wonder.
Poets included are Basho, Rumi, Emily Dickinson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Frost, Chief Dan George, Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda, Okot p'Bitek, William Carlos Williams, Judith Wright, Maya Angelou, Sandra Cisneros,  Billy Collins, Nikki Giovanni, Terrance Hayes, Walter Dean Myers, Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver.



Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans
Don Brown

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans is a moving and startling portrayal of Hurricane Katrina in the days after it hit shore, destroying the city. This graphic novel is an incredibly honest telling of the storm’s destruction and the suffering that followed and may in fact be too grim or graphic for younger readers. However, it will certainly lead advanced readers to understand the grave, brutal experience of this contemporary American natural disaster. The careful and affecting drawings magnify the weight of this important book.



The Edge of Everything
Jeff Giles


In The Edge of Everything, Zoe is grieving her father and trying to help her mother make ends meet, while wrangling an extremely ADHD younger brother.  Zoe is a smart, super tough, and a really good caver (the caving scenes are gripping and utterly realistic).  She’s partnered with escapee-from-hell X (not his real name).  All of the secondary characters are three-dimensional, and the plot moves along at a fast pace, making the book impossible to put down.  Despite the heavy-seeming subject matter, the book is funny, especially the dialogue.  If you like your books about epic hell-rescues with a big shot of hilarity, this is the book for you.