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Staff Picks

The Other Ellis Island

Between 1910 and 1940 generations of Asian immigrants, mostly Chinese, were detained at Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay.  After weeks, or even months of detention, those who passed the interrogation and examination were allowed to continue on to San Francisco and the country that many Chinese knew as Gold Mountain.  The less fortunate were sent back home, Read More..


Who Says Reading is a Quiet Activity (Part II – everyday)

Today, we revel in the noise of everyday.  Your kids will love reading a-“loud” with you.

Trucks Go  by Steve Light

Your throat will be hoarse after you rumble, walump, screech, crunch, and honk your way through this book.  Read More..


Bob Books

When asked by patrons for a suggestion on a good beginning reader book, I always recommend Bob Books.  From the feedback I’ve received from parents, children love them.  Bob Books are designed to provide the path for children ready to take their first steps into reading. The stories are simple enough that children feel very successful and say with delight, “I read the whole book!” Read More..


Mo Willems, We Love You

Have you spent a lot of time with Mo Willems?

Is one of your favorite picture books Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus?  What about Knuffle Bunny?  After years reading those, did you graduate to Elephant and Piggie and Cat the Cat?  Are you the kind of hard core fan who’s even read the non-series titles like Read More..


Don’t Tell Me I’m Too Young!

I’ve been collecting books for my daughter since before she was born (thank you, Friends of the Library book sales!).  She has a big bookcase full of them arranged by what I considered age-appropriateness.  Turns out I know nothing about what is age-appropriate for a one-year-old.  Read More..


An Alternate History

ship sailing in the air, suspended from huge brass spheres, menaced from below by a ravening furry bear-like animal…. This is the cover of The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby. Incongruously, the main characters are John Bartram and his son William, important naturalists of the 1700s. I had recently read  Read More..


Something Different

An artist looking for peace and quiet finds just the opposite in a rural community overrun by leprechaun hunters.  A modern-day boy becomes an exterminator extraordinaire in prehistoric Sweden.  And a lonely worker finds his heart’s desire in the dizzying heights of a state-run factory.  This is just a sampling of the well-crafted and refreshingly low-key stories of magic Read More..


So You Want to be a Wildlife Photographer?

The best wildlife photographers in the world aren’t always adults.  Get inspired by award-winning child photographers in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 20.  If you like animals or photography, check out the stunning images taken by kids in three categories: 15-17 years old, 11-14 years old, and under 10 years old (as well as adults).  It will make you wonder Read More..


Discovering a Favorite Author

Who is your favorite author or do you have several on that list?  You know, the ones you just can’t wait for their next book to be published.  Quickly becoming one of my favorite authors is Helen Frost.  I simply love her books, especially since most are written in my favorite style – novels in verse (I actually wrote about this in one of my previous posts).  The first title I read was Diamond Willow, Read More..


Get Moving (Part II – Picture Books)


Last time we talked about board books to take advantage of your toddler’s energy.  For those with children who are slightly older, but still energetic, try these picture books to get them (and you) moving. Read More..