I know you must be already planning what you can do to make next Sunday a very special Father’s Day! Maybe you’re thinking about a scrumptious breakfast, or going fishing, or grilling out. Just make sure that you save a little bit of time for kids, Dads and Grandfathers to curl up together to share a picture book. We have plenty of choices that will make you smile (or giggle) and that will help you think about all the ways you can show your love to that special Dad or Granddad.
As kids and teachers prepare to get back to the classroom, I’d like to recommend a group of picture books featuring witty and wise writing implements. In addition to just being fun books to read, I can also see these as great springboards to “What If?” questions. What if a school bus could tell stories? What if the chalkboard giggled every time a teacher wrote on it? What if your writing paper refused to sit still?
Have you ever wondered how your crayons feel about the things you color? Does the blue crayon enjoy being used down to a nub coloring all that sky? Who knew it was so hard to be only used at Halloween? The “Day the Crayons” books take you into the inner world of the crayon box!
The Little Red Pen by award-winning author Janet Stevens is a story of the dramatic rescue of a pen from a wastebasket. In a clever twist on Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red Writing is trying to write an exciting story, but has to face the ravenous pencil sharpener, the Wolf 3000.
All of these books celebrate creativity, empathy, and cooperation. Read a few with your children or students, and then put pencil to paper to create your own story and illustrations.
We have added some amazing picture books to our collection in the last few months! Many of these are from authors and illustrators who are the superstars of children’s literature – well-loved by parents and librarians everywhere. Others were created by authors who may be new to you, but whose work you’ll certainly want to start following. Here are some of my favorites, but you’ll want to come to the library and explore all the other great items on the “New” shelf.
How can you keep from smiling when you see this adorable baby? Have you ever wondered what babies do when everyone else is asleep? If you are not familiar with Richard Jackson, I also recommend his books All Ears, All Eyes and This Beautiful Day.
A Parade of Elephants is every bit as charming as the rest of Kevin Henkes’ picture books. You may know him as the author of Lilly’s Purple, Plastic Purse, but he’s written a long list of both picture books and chapter books for kids. For your older kids, check out Junonia and The Year of Billy Miller.
Jan Brett is another author whose books are always popular. The Snowy Nap reintroduces the title character from Hedgie’s Surprise (written in 2000) and is a perfect book to snuggle up with on a cold day. Brett continues her practice of using border illustrations to give a hint of what’s coming on the next page.
I loved I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony, so I was delighted to see another book about Mr. Panda. Who can resist another cute bedtime story?
The creative team that brought us Penguin Problems in 2016 is back with a story of a giraffe who can’t figure out what to do with his long neck!
Chomp Goes the Alligator is sure to become a favorite of preschoolers. It features counting, rhymes, and a movable alligator jaw!
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson is perfect to share with any child who has ever experienced being different or outside of a group. Woodson’s words are always affirming and the illustrations by Rafael Lopez are vibrant and expressive.
The “Interrupting Chicken” is back! In this follow-up book, the young chicken is enjoying books with an “elephant of surprise”! This is one of those great picture books for kids who may be old enough to read independently, but who can really enjoy the humor caused by this misunderstanding.
I know it’s crazy to even write the year 2018, but it will soon be upon us! Are you looking for your next reading challenge? Here are some suggestions that might help you get started!
Read a book recommended to you by a librarian. (This is easy because we LOVE to recommend books to you here at the Aurora Public Library District! Or you can always check the blog to see what books we’ve been writing and raving about.)
Read a book that’s been in your “To Be Read” pile for way too long. Or read a book that you own but you haven’t gotten around to reading yet.
Listen to an audiobook. (This is easy for people who love audiobooks, but for those who have a hard time letting go of the words on the page, it can be a real challenge! You can do it!)
Read a book where the main character or the author is different than you; this could be ethnicity, religion, culture, ability, etc. Try to see the world through someone else’s eyes. You could also read a book from a nonhuman perspective.
Read a book written by multiple authors. (See if you can pick out the different writing styles of each author as you go along.)
Read a book written by someone you admire.
Read a classic. Or you could read a book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t. (I won’t tell.) You could even read a children’s book you never got to read when you were small.
Read a book by an author who uses a pseudonym.
Read a bestseller from a genre you wouldn’t usually read.
Read the first book in a series you’ve never read before.
Read a book that was published in 2018 or that is becoming a movie that year.
Read a book that was published the year you were born.
Read a book set in more than one time period.
Read a book based on a true story.
Read a book you love so much, it always makes you smile. This could even be a beloved children’s book.
Read a book that someone close to you loves more than any other book that you’ve never read before.
Read a book set somewhere drastic, like during a war, in the wilderness, or the characters are trying to survive, etc. Read something to get your heart pumping.
Read a book solely based on the cover; literally judge a book by its cover without reading the summary of what it’s about.
Read a book that will make you smarter.
Read a book that everyone but you has read. This could be that book everyone was raving about last year that was made into a movie.
Read a book with an unreliable narrator.
Read a book with pictures! (How fun would this be?!)
Read a book that’s a story within a story.
Red a book that’s won a prestigious award.
I know that our lives are busy and that it can be hard to even find time to sit down, let alone read a book. But even if you cross just a few of these off the list, you’ll come out of the challenge as a better, more well-rounded person than you were last year. But who am I to dictate what you should and shouldn’t read? Create your own reading challenge for 2018 and let us know how you do! I’d love to be inspired by you!
We have a truly awesome selection of new pictures books in our collection. Where can you find them? Just look on the long wall outside the children’s room at the Aurora Public Library. The new picture books will have a pink label on the front cover. At the Dillsboro Public Library, Patty has the new books in a display on top of the children’s early literacy computer. At the end of this post, I’ll let you know how to find the “new stuff” in the online catalog.
These first highlighted books are like a stroll through the Hall of Fame of Children’s Literature. They were written and illustrated by some of the best in the business. They are by authors I watch for on the lists of “coming releases’, because I know the books will be entertaining and high quality.
The rest of these titles are great in their own right, although the authors and illustrators may not be as widely known. As I select books for our collections, I read many, many professional book reviews. I follow book blogs by other librarians and work hard to select books that will appeal to all of our kids, keeping in mind special topics that are needed at our library. I love to get suggestions from the community, so please feel free to suggest books at the circulation desk or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you can click on any of these book covers to learn more about the book.
To find our new titles in the on-line catalog, just follow the steps below. In a book is shown as being “In Processing”, that just means the book is not quite ready to be checked out. However, you can place a hold for these books by logging into your library account or by calling the library.
- Go to the website at www.eapld.org
- In the search frame, select the Online Catalog.
- Leave the search box blank and click “Go”.
- New titles will be shown on the carousel.
If you want to go further back in time for “new” books, try using the Classic Catalog.
- In the search frame on our home page, click “Looking for the Classic Catalog.”
- Under Classic Catalog, leave the Search box blank and click Submit.
- On the next page, click the Search icon.
- Clicking the orange “New Items” tab will allow you to select a time period as well as allowing you to search only for books in a specific category like “Easy Books” or “Adult Fiction”.
Occasionally, you will see a book that has an extended due date. It might be that I am planning to use that book in a program or it might be checked out to a teacher. Just put your name on the waiting list and we’ll call you when the title is available.
Do you ever get started reading a new series only to find that you’re eager to switch gears after a few books? Trilogies may be the answer for you! Trilogies allow the author plenty of space to create a sweeping story, but they also keep the author from being forever locked into the same characters. No matter what your age and interests are, there are great possibilities just waiting for you on our library shelves! The trilogies that I am going to highlight have the advantage of being complete, because there is nothing worse than waiting for years for the author to finish the story.
For adult readers, I chose a variety of genres to highlight. One of my favorites from many years ago is the Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart. This is one of the most enduring sagas of Merlin and King Arthur, and the copy on our shelf at the Dillsboro Public Library has the advantage of containing all 3 novels in one binding.
My son can’t stop raving about the The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. Set in the future on a colonized Mars, the trilogy follows lowborn miner Darrow as he infiltrates the ranks of the elite Golds. A movie adaptation is currently in development.
For historical fiction, I can recommend the Last Hundred Years Trilogy by Jane Smiley. Beginning with Some Luck, these books cover the time period from 1920 to 2019 and focus on societal changes, particularly to farming communities. For an in-depth summary of the trilogy, read this review by Heller McAlpin, written for the L.A. Times.
Our Teen area has many trilogies that are popular with teens and adults. Some examples of YA books with adult appeal are the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Matched books. The Looking Glass Wars, although several years old, is part of an ongoing trend of revisiting characters from classic literature. The Graceling books by Kristin Cashore are not, strictly speaking. a trilogy; they were written as companion books.
The Jenna Fox Chronicles explore questions of identity and medical ethics.
There are also lots of trilogy choices in the juvenile fiction area. For all lovers of superheroes, check out the Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy by William Boniface.
Can you imagine a world where characters hop in and out of books? Try these three books by Cornelia Funke!
If historical fiction is your favorite way to learn, the Seeds of America trilogy by Laurie Halse Anderson brings the American Revolution to life through the perspective of American slaves. These books have been critically acclaimed, but due to the subject matter, are probably best for upper elementary students or older.
Trilogies are very rare among picture books, but here are a couple outstanding exceptions. Notice the shiny medals on the covers of the first two by Jon Klassen!
This trio of books by Aaron Becker illustrates everything that is magical and thought-provoking about wordless picture books. Writing for School Library Journal, Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova wrote: “Becker’s stunning watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations depict a breathtaking world that captivates without a written narrative.”