“The Power of a Dream”
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to African American History Books
African American History Month, or Black History Month, as it is often referred to, is observed every February in the United States. There are so many wonderful books that were published this past year. Narrowing down our list has been difficult at best.
Just a few weeks ago, the American Library Association announced all of the children’s literature awards for 2015. Several of the books that we decided to feature for African American History Month are among those awards:
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson
This book actually won several accolades, including a Caldecott Honor (the Caldecott Award is given for illustration), a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and perhaps the most coveted award of all, the Newbery Award, which is awarded to the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature for the year. This is also the first time that a Latino author has won the Newbery Award. The idea of a picture book winning the Newbery medal has caused quite a lot of discussion in the library world, but, it has actually happened a few times in the past. A Visit to William Blake’s Inn by Nancy Willard, illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen won the Newbery medal in 1982. It was also named a Caldecott Honor book that same year. Newbery Honors have also gone to Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman (2011), Doctor De Soto by William Steig (1983), and Wanda Gág’s Millions of Cats (1929). In Last Stop, a young African American boy learns about the beauty of urban life while riding the bus across […]
A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Winter and Snow
When the weather outside is frightful…reading is so delightful! Reading can be snow much fun, and there are lots of new snowy and wintry titles from which to choose. We’ve reviewed several, so why not grab a few and cuddle up for a good read.
New Books about Winter and Snow
The Bear Report by Thyra Heder
As homework, Sophie must compile three facts about polar bears. She isn’t interested in doing the assignment and would rather watch TV. As she settles in, a polar bear appears in her living room and takes her on an Arctic journey to complete her report. Even though this is a fictional story, lots of factual information is woven throughout.
Dear Yeti by James Kwan
Two young hikers set out to look for Yeti one day. Their journey is chronicled in a series of letters trying to coax the shy creature out of hiding. When they meet a grizzly bear, Yeti appears when they most need him.
First Snow by Peter McCarty
This is the newest picture book from Caldecott Honor winning author-illustrator Peter McCarty. Pedro arrives in the big city to visit his cousins and experiences his first snowfall. The illustrations are done in muted pastel watercolors and ink.
Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle
A follow-up to the Caldecott Honor book, Flora and the Penguin, Flora takes up figure skating in a chillier climate. This is a wordless picture book with clever flaps throughout.
It Snows by Tamra B. Orr
Part of the Tell Me Why series, this non-fiction book answers children’s questions about winter weather with age appropriate explanations and visually appealing photographs.
The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler, illus. by Jake Parker
The littlest […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Holidays
Sharing stories is what the holidays are all about. Buy (from your favorite retailer) or borrow (from the Library) these wonderful children’s books during this holiday season. List compiled by Kenton County Public Library children’s librarians Terri Deibel and Cecilia Horn. Visit the catalog to search for seasonal books, movies, music and more. All the books listed below can be found on the Library’s Pinterest Board.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, retold by Adam McKeown, illus. by Gerald Kelley
This is a picture book version of the classic tale adapted for young readers. It makes for a great family read-aloud. The lovely watercolor illustrations enhance the retelling.
Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin
This slapstick story finds Farmer Brown getting ready for Christmas. Duck tries to play Santa but gets stuck in the chimney along with all the other animals who try to help. In the end, Santa saves the day.
Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer, illus. by Christine Davenier
The fact that Rachel is Jewish doesn’t deter her from wanting to celebrate Christmas so she writes a letter to Santa explaining her plight. This story is also good for introducing children to other cultural celebrations.
The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray, illus. by Mike Lowery
This is a jolly addition to the other two tales, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School and The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck. Here, the Gingerbread Man and his classmates make a trip into town to deliver goodies to community helpers.
How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan, illus. by Lee Wildish
The creators of the best-selling How to […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Native Americans
November is Native American Heritage Month. It’s a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month also provides an opportunity to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges
Books about Native Americans
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
This novel tells the story of a seven year old Native American girl from the Ojibwa tribe. The story is set on an island in Lake Superior in 1847 and includes many fascinating details of traditional Ojibwa life.
Buffalo Bird Girl by S.D. Nelson
This picture book biography tells the childhood story of a Hidatsa Indian woman born around 1839. The illustrations are a mix of acrylic paintings, pencil drawings, and photographs, and together they round out an exquisitely designed picture book. The author/illustrator is actually a member of the Standing Rock Sioux/Lakota tribe of the Dakotas.
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson, illus. by David Shannon
Robertson tells the story of Hiawatha, the legendary historical figure who helped form the Great Iroquois Nation. The message about uniting the tribes inspired the authors of the U.S. Constitution. The author is of Mohawk and Cayuga heritage. Shannon’s oil paintings are handsome and expressive. A cd featuring an original song written and performed by the author is included with the book.
The Hunter’s Promise: An Abenaki Tale by Joseph Bruchac, illus. by Bill Farnsworth
Bruchac, a Native American author and storyteller, has written more than 120 books for both children and […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Library
“Gotta Love Libraries!”
A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about the Library
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month – a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that the most important school supply of all is a library card. This fall Snoopy comes to the big screen in The Peanuts Movie, and in September he serves as Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month. In support of this national campaign, we decided to feature some of our favorite books, both new and old, about libraries and the treasures within.
Books about Libraries
Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
In this episode (part of the Bats at the … series of books), these book-loving bats find an open window at the local public library and discover fun things to do such as using the copier, playing with pop-up books, and bathing in the water fountain.
The Book Boat’s In by Cynthia Cotton, illus. by Frané Lessac
Set on a book boat on the Erie Canal in the 1800’s, a young boy saves his money in order to buy a tattered copy of Swiss Family Robinson. Illustrator, Frané Lessac will be visiting our library in September.
Books for Me! by Sue Fliess, illus. by Mike Laughead
This story about Hippo pays tribute to the many types of books available at the library. The sing-song text and adorable illustrations create a fun story about finding just the right book.
Check it Out!: Reading, Finding ,Helping by Patricia Hubbell, illus. by Nancy Speir
The rhyming text describes how librarians instill in children a love for books and reading.
Construction by Sally Sutton, illus. by Brian Lovelock
A construction project is revealed in […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Beach
Have a Ball at the Beach
In our eyes, summer isn’t complete without a trip to the beach. Splashing in the waves, feeding seagulls, building sandcastles, collecting shells … creating memories. Prepare for that trip to the beach by sifting through some of the many new gems that you can dig up at the library.
New Books about the Beach
This big, colorful board book—developed with the American Museum of Natural History—features fun facts about twenty-six creatures of the ocean, with each one representing a letter of the alphabet.
Aqualicious by Victoria Kann
This is a splashy addition to the ever popular Pinkalicious series. Sharing a fun-filled day at the beach with her family, Pinkalicious befriends a miniature mermaid. Pinkalicious and her brother Peter promise to help the mermaid find her way home, after they show her all of the fun things to do at the seashore, from building sand castles to surfing in the ocean.
Beach Bummer by Michele Jakubowski, illus. by Erica-Jane Waters
This is another in the Perfectly Poppy beginning reader series. Poppy and her best friend Millie are at the beach, but Poppy is not having much fun because she finds the water too cold, the wind too strong, and the sand too itchy.
Beach House by Deanna Caswell, illus. by Amy June Bates
The author and artist convey the joy of a day spent at the ocean.
Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore by Jim Arnosky
Friendly notes and detailed illustrations give kids the knowledge they need to become avid beachcombers! This is a helpful resource for young students.
Ben & Zip: Two Short Friends by Joanne Linden, illus. by Tom Goldsmith
A tribute to friendship, boardwalks, and summer at the beach, […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Books, Libraries, and Reading
Children’s Book Week is an annual celebration of children’s books and the joy of reading. Established in 1919 at the urging of Franklin K. Mathiews, Librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, Children’s Book Week is the longest running national literacy initiative in the country. Its original intent was to focus attention on the need for quality children’s books and the importance of childhood literacy. The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919. The celebration is the first full week in May and this year runs from May 4-10. There are lots of great children’s books that are about books, reading, and libraries. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity to showcase those titles, both new and old.
Any Questions? by Marie-Louise Gay
Gay answers the question, “Where does a story start?” She provides information on how a book is made, and her illustrations, full of splotches of color, bits of collage, scribbles, and scratched-out words, make each spread look like a delightfully disordered work in progress.
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
In this book with no pictures, the reader has to say every silly word, no matter what. This is great kid-friendly comedy, perfect for a crowd or one-on-one sharing!
Books for Me! by Sue Fliess, illus. by Mike Laughead
This third story in the series pays tribute to the many types of books available at the library. The sing-song text and adorable illustrations create a fun story about finding just the right book.
The Boy and the Book by David Michael Slater, illus. by Bob Kolar
In this nearly wordless picture book, a young boy carelessly mishandles a library […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Spring
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. There are many new books about spring and spring holidays that offer a welcome respite from the gloom of winter. So, while anticipating spring’s arrival, why not check out what’s blooming at the library.
New Books about Spring
And Then Another Sheep Turned Up by Laura Gehl, illus. by Amy Adele
Preparation and plans for a small family Passover seder are altered when the Sheep family of four is continually interrupted by unexpected guests. Kids will stay engaged with this rhyming, cumulative tale.
Bug Detective: Amazing Facts, Myths, and Quirks of Nature by Maggie Li
From butterflies to beetles to bees, this fact-filled guide encourages children to take a closer look at the insect world.
A Butterfly Called Hope by Mary Alice Monroe, photographs by Barbara J. Bergwerf
This book provides an excellent introduction to the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Beautiful, full-color, up-close photographs accompany the text. Four pages of learning activities are also included. Free online resources are available from the publisher as well.
Butterfly Counting by Jerry Pallotta, illus. by Shennen Bersani
This unusual butterfly book introduces facts about the insects, portrays 24 different species, gives the word for “butterfly” in 27 languages other than English, and counts from zero to 25.
Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin
After a baby duck is born on the farm, the entire farm is disrupted as all the animals try to get the baby to sleep. This is another installment from the duo who gave us Click, Clack, Moo and Giggle, Giggle, Quack.
Crinkle, Crackle, Crack: It’s Spring! by Marion Dane Bauer, illus. by John Shelley
The charming watercolor illustrations bring this “arrival of […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Love and Valentine’s Day
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Books about love
Are waiting for you!
Children love Valentine’s Day, from making cards to giving kisses to eating sweets to planning a surprise or two. Many of our selected titles focus on friendship and affection as well as the holiday itself, so why not include a few books in your holiday celebration.
Giveaway: The Library has a Valentine themed basket to giveaway to one lucky reader. You have three chances to win. Be sure to do each entry separately for more chances to win. The deadline to enter is January 30 at noon. The winner will be announced on the Library Facebook page and have 24 hours to respond. How to enter:
1. Comment on the blog saying who you would share this basket with and why.
2. Tweet this post including @kentonlibrary and comment here that you did.
3. Share on Facebook tagging the Library Facebook page and comment here that you did.
Note: Library employees and those living in their household are not eligible to enter.
New Books about Love and Valentine’s Day
A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger, illus. by Dan Santat
An ordinary boy becomes a grumbling Crankenstein on the mushiest, yuckiest day of the year … until he meets someone just like him! The humorous illustrations include exaggerated expressions which match the size of Crankenstein’s emotions.
Did You Know that I Love You? by Christa Pierce
Little Bird expresses her love for Fox in this sweet picture book. The minimal rhyming text makes it a good choice for one-on-one sharing. This is the author/illustrator’s debut children’s book.
Foxy in Love by Emma Dodd
Foxy uses his magic to help Emily create the perfect card for the one she loves. Children […]
A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books Suitable for Holiday Gift-Giving
The holidays are right around the corner, and chances are you’re looking for great gift ideas. You’ve come to the right place. There’s nothing like a classic book, and this year there’s a bumper crop of beautiful new anniversary editions sure to make adults nostalgic and kids engaged.
Reissued Classics and Anniversary Editions
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Robinson’s classic story of the Herdman children first appeared in 1971. A picture book version is also available.
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Originally published in 1964, The Book of Three is the first book in the Newbery Award winning fantasy series.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illus. by Quentin Blake
Can Charlie Bucket really be fifty years old? Yes he is, and everyone can celebrate by reading this 50th anniversary edition printed on candy colored pages.
The Christmas Alphabet: Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition by Robert Sabuda
This book launched Sabuda’s career in 1994. The anniversary edition of this famous pop-up classic is a joy to open.
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Included in this 25th anniversary edition is a free audio download, a “How to Draw a Monkey” activity, and music and lyrics for the much-loved song.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illus. by Anita Jeram
First published in the United Kingdom in 1994, this cherished tale now celebrates twenty years.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
This 50th anniversary edition features a map of Harriet’s spy route and a section in which grown-ups, including many writers, share their feelings about the book.
James Herriot’s Treasury for Children by James Herriot, illus. by Ruth Brown and Peter Barrett
Originally published in […]