Staff Selections Kids

Carol

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
Joyce Sidman, illus. by Rick Allen

Joyce Sidman takes us out after dark, without a flashlight, to examine nocturnal life in the woods.  Her evocative poems are accompanied by factual details at a level suitable for mid- to late-elementary students.
Printmaker Rick Allen provides more moonlit detail on Sidman’s subjects.  Multiple linoleum plates and hand tinting give the illustrations a rich complexity well-suited to the text.
 

Mary

There Is a Tribe of Kids
Lane Smith

When a “tribe of kids” strays off , casually incommoding one of their number, the plucky castaway launches on an expedition on his own.  Through his experiences in  the natural world, he learns the order of things.   Fitting in here, falling out of step there, a series of encounters carry him to his own kind of “kids”.   The humane message inferred throughout  this tongue-in-cheek romp is revealed in the conclusion:  it’s only natural to want to find your tribe.  Lane Smith is just the artist to convince you.

Tim

Mouseheart
Lisa Fiedler

Hopper is a mouse living with his sister and younger brother in a New York pet store.  When he escapes into the subway tunnels, he is completely lost until he's befriended by Prince Zucker, son of the emperor of the rat city of Atlantia.  But there is unrest in this too-good-to-be-true kingdom -- a rebellion is forming in the outlying tunnels, and Hopper is filled with questions:  Why don't the feral cats attack the rat city?  What is Hopper's connection to a strange prophecy the rebels hope for?  Is Zucker really a friend?  And what happened to Hopper's siblings -- did they make it out of the pet store?  This subterranean swashbuckler is an exciting adventure, and carries some important lessons about trust, morals, loyalty, courage and learning how to follow the advice of your own heart.  A very good book.

Victoria

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Michelle Cuevas, illus. by Erin Stead

A quiet book for wishers and dreamers, The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles celebrates friendship, community and the worth of every human being. Expressive, engaging text and Erin Stead’s richly detailed illustrations about the man who opens and delivers messages in ocean bottles beg for repeated readings. The quirky, memorable protagonist finds his way into your heart as he delivers messages from bottles that he finds on the shore.                     

 

Barb

The Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition
Jim Trelease

In the early 80s, Jim Trelease published his first handbook for parents, teachers, and all friends of children and books. Not only was it a smashing success, but it proved to be a read-aloud bible for many families and schools. In this new edition he summarizes the latest research about reading and shows that the place for daily read-aloud time has enormous results for reader’s lives.  This latest and Trelease’s his last edition, we get updated lists of recommended titles, plus the old nuggets he told us about before. This volume is a treasure that belongs in the hands of anyone who loves a good shared read.

Trelease steers you right in every category: wordless picture books, predictable books, early novels, full length novels, poetry and nonfiction.

Sarah

Wolf Camp
Andrea Zuilly

Wolf Camp is the debut picture book from author/illustrator Andrea Zuill.  Homer, a homely, home-loving dog, has big dreams: he wants to be a wolf!  After convincing his “people”, he’s sent to Wolf Camp, where his counselors, Fang and Grrr, teach him and the other dogs all the secrets of wolfdom.  The illustrations are charming, and the story somehow manages to be both sweet and laugh-out-loud hilarious.  Any kid with a dog is going to love this one—and adults will, too.   Also great for any kid excited or anxious about going to summer camp.  SO much fun!