“Back to School”
A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Back to School for Younger Children
Move over summer, a new school year is coming!
It’s that time of year again … time for new school supplies, uniforms, backpacks and more. Some kids are probably feeling excited, while others are a little sad that summer is coming to an end. Others may feel nervous or even a little scared. New teachers, new friends, maybe even a new school are worrisome. But we all know that these new worries will only stick around for a little while.
We’ve selected several new books, for both younger and older readers, to help with the excitement and concern that a new school year brings.
New Books for Young Readers
Bear’s Big Day by Salina Yoon
This is the third book in Yoon’s Bear and Bunny series. Together, these two face a brand new experience – going to school for the first time. The illustrations are adorable right down to the endpapers, which feature a variety of animal themed backpacks!
Charlie Chick Goes to School by Nick Denchfield, illus. by Ant Parker
This cute pop-up book follows Charlie on his first day of school.
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Rae Perkins
This is the story of a young boy, Frank, and his newly adopted dog, Lucky. They both go to school, Lucky “ten times” and Frank “thousands of times”. Through their relationship with one another and with the world around them, the author is able to introduce school subjects through imagined scenarios between the two of them. This is a very interesting take on the subject, and the watercolor illustrations vary throughout the story, from full-color paintings to small vignettes.
If an Elephant Went to School […]
A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Fathers and Father’s Day
“Dad, Daddy, Pa or Pop …”
No matter what you call him, June is the month in which we celebrate our fathers and fatherhood. Believe it or not, Father’s Day wasn’t made an official holiday until 1972 even though celebrations of fathers date back to the early 1900’s. Its origins may lie in a memorial service held for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907. And in 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington began her campaign for a national Father’s Day after having heard a Mother’s Day sermon at church. Many events honoring fathers were held in the years that followed, but it took a struggle of over five decades for its designation as a national holiday to become a reality. Finally, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
All the Little Fathers by Margaret Wise Brown, illus. by Marilyn Faucher
All the animal fathers are looking after their children in this newly illustrated version written by the author of the classic Goodnight Moon.
Beard in a Box by Bill Cotter
A little boy believes that his dad’s beard is what makes him so awesome. In an effort to be “just like dad,” he orders a beard growing kit and in the end learns a valuable lesson. The humorous illustrations and captions add to the story’s appeal.
Because I’m Your Dad by Ahmet […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is celebrated annually each year in March. As many new books have recently been published recounting the accomplishments of women, we’d like to share some of those with you. Some names will be familiar while others may be unknown. Enjoy learning about women’s history!
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark, illus. by April Chu
Ada Byron Lovelace is considered by many to be the inventor of computer programming. The daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron, she was fascinated by numbers and mathematics as a child. She became a mathematical genius and after meeting Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, she wrote the algorithm, or instructions, that became the world’s first computer program.
Amelia Earhart by Emma E. Haldy, illus. by Jeff Bane
This biography of the infamous aviator is part of the My Itty-Bitty Bio series aimed at the earliest of readers. The books in this series are written in the first person and include photos and illustrations to keep the reader’s attention. Sentences and vocabulary are simple and familiar.
The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany’s Gift of Hope by Daryn Reicherter, illus. by Christy Hale
This work was inspired by the true story of Sophany Bay, a Cambodian dancer, who was forced to flee her homeland when the Khmer Rouge came into power. She became a refugee to the United States. In her new life here she found ways to help heal the Cambodian community in the U.S. In an effort to keep her culture alive, she created a program for teaching Cambodian dance to the children of this community.
Coretta Scott King by Kathleen Krull, illus. by Laura Freeman
This book […]
“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 […]