Staff Selections Kids

Carol

Higgledy Piggledy Chicks
Barbara Joose

A great read-aloud for the youngest audience, Higgledy-Piggledy Chicks is a counting book, a guessing game, and an opportunity for the reader to show off vocal effects.  Best of all, it balances apprehension and reassurance as the chicks encounter the hazards of their barnyard world.

Mary

The Most Magnificent Thing
Ashley Spires

A creative little girl has a great new vision.  She knows just what this inspiration will look like, and how it will work.  With the help of her dog/best friend, she begins to make the most magnificent thing.   Trials and misses multiply,  and frustration drives her to the breaking point: she’s had it!  Abandoning her work, she takes her dog for a walk.   A fresh perspective seems to be the missing ingredient for success.  With distance and calm, she reviews her project, tackles it again, and voila!  She’s done it! Spires’  crisp cartoons layer comment through the telling of  this little parable,  showing how she is unwittingly assisted by her dog with his own preoccupations, and how the driven inventor is appreciated by everyone on her block.  An encouraging story for tinkering types and their assistants.

Tim

Knightley & Son
Rohan Gavin

Alan Knightley, private detective, has been in a coma for 4 years.  In order to remain close to his father, Darkus (aka "Doc") has read all his dad's case files and now goes over the particulars by his father's bedside.  When his father suddenly awakens and urgently begins to resume his last case, Doc wants to help -- but his dad says it's too dangerous.  However, when Knightley's case files go missing, he has to rely on Doc's photographic memory to help crack the mystery.  This exciting story is very much in the vein of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes -- but with a Sherlock Jr. -- and has lots of thrills balanced with deductive reasoning, all leading to an exciting climax in the WWII bunker of Winston Churchill.  But the heart of this book is the wonderful reunion of a too-busy father reconnecting with a son that loves his dad above all else.  (PS:  Knightley & Son's second adventure, K-9, is available in hardcover.)

Victoria

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

Barb

Minette's Feast
Susanna Reich, illus. by Amy Bates

 

This enchanting picture book biography of Julia Child’s cat will delight readers who love anything Julia, anything French, cats and cooking. It relates Julia’s career after she moves to Paris with her husband Paul, who is on assignment in the Foreign Service in the 1948. As they set up their household, they determine that “Une maison sans chat, c’est la vie soleil.” (“A house without a cat is like life without sunshine.”) Hence they adopt Minette, a mischievous cat with a speckled coat.  “And day and night she could smell the delicious smells of mayonnaise, hollandaise, cassoulets, cheese soufflés, and duck pates wafting from the pots and pans of her owner, Julia Child of Julie’s she still prefers mouse and bird.  OOH--la-la! Magnifique!

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!