Staff Selections Kids


In the Wild
David Elliott, illus. by Holly Meade

Author David Elliott and illustrator Holly Meade move from the familiar territory of their previous book On the Farm to a world tour of animals.  Once again the poems and woodcuts are equally engaging.  This is a read-aloud suitable for home or classroom, aimed at four- to  seven-year-olds.  Some children will be aware that most of these animals are, sadly, endangered.  They may recognize the layers of meaning in the last poem.


A Map Into the World
Kao Kalia Yang, illus. by Seo Kim


Paj Ntaub and her Hmong family move into a neighborhood in a Midwest city, and await the birth of their twins.  Across the street live Ruth and Bob, an elderly couple who watch the world around them from their bench.  As the family settles and time passes, Paj Ntaub helps plant garden, hangs a commemorative story cloth, and shyly observes nature and her new neighbors.  The twins are born, Ruth dies, and in the spring Bob assumes his lonely prospect alone.  Paj Ntaub senses his grief and creates for her neighbor a chalk drawing, a “map into the world”, from elements they share, “in case he needs it”.  Besides portraying a wonderfully empathetic relationship, this gentle story creates a rich image of a sensitive young immigrant girl who draws from her heart and her tradition and brightens the world. 



Magic Marks the Spot
Caroline Carlson

Magic Marks the Spot is the first book in The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy, and is the funniest pirate adventure you will ever read.  Ever.  Young Hilary Westfield wants nothing more than to be a pirate, even though her father is Lord Admiral of the Navy and wants nothing more than to rid the seas of pirates forever.  When Hilary's application to TVNHLP is turned down because she's a girl (even though she can tie every knot and can tread water for 37 minutes!), she's forced to attend Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Girls instead.  But hope is not lost when Hilary spies a help wanted sign for crew members on a pirate ship!  Mayhem and hilarity ensues as Hilary, her governess, and a talking gargoyle take to the high seas for treasure, adventure and an even bigger mystery of missing gold and magic.  The perfect book for the young adventuress in your life.


Moth: An Evolution Story
Isabel Thomas

From the extraordinary cover to the last page of Moth, young children through octogenarians are sure to be fascinated by the evolution of the peppered moth throughout the last 200 years. Lots to learn and contemplate about adaptation and natural selection, ideal for budding scientists or anyone looking for an exceptional true story.    


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.



Roller Girl
Victoria Jamieson

Fans of Raina Telgemeier, take note! Roller Girl is the propulsive, fun new addition to a collection of graphic novels with empowered young women as their stars. Twelve-year-old Astrid is an aspiring Roller Derby enthusiast. When she signs up for summer junior Roller Derby camp, however, she has no idea what she’s in for. She’ll have to put in a lot of hard work and bruises if she wants to be like her idol, star Rainbow Brite.  With vivid illustrations and a sense of humor that will delight kids and adults alike, Victoria Jamieson has created a new classic of the genre. This story of growing up and learning how to be yourself and create a community at the same time, offers strong role models for kids 9 and up and adults too.


We Are the Perfect Girl
Ariel Kaplan

A retold Cyrano--big nose included--and by far Kaplan's best book (and I loved Grendel’s Guide to Love and War). It's funny and heartbreaking, with important things to say about girls and their friendships and self perceptions. The main character, Aphra, is absolutely unique--she's so strong and forthright and funny, and yet so vulnerable, too. I adored her, and her best friend Bethany, and the complicated situation they find themselves in. Really excellent book for young adults.