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January Book Chat with the Youth Services Team

Posted about 11 months ago by Louis Maranski

Happy New Year, Readers! Welcome to the next installment in our series of blog posts featuring children’s books we’re currently loving! “Book Chat with the Youth Services Team” features one book recommendation from each of our Youth Services team members. We cover a variety of books from fiction to non-fiction, picture books to chapter books, graphic novels and more! We hope that this month’s reading recommendations get you excited about some awesome new books we’ve added to our collection as well as some oldies but goodies. Enjoy!


April recommends: Duck on a Bike by David Shannon (ages 2 – 5)

Every time that I’ve read this book to my toddler group they’ve gotten so excited. The story follows Duck, who goes out riding a bike one morning and ends up seeing all his wonderful and interesting farm animal friends. The story is so engaging for young readers because of the way that the pictures pop out and grab your attention. Any book that can be acted out as much as read aloud is my kind of book as a children’s librarian. David Shannon’s “Duck On A Bike” is definitely one of my all-time favorite children’s book and is absolutely a must add for your child’s book collection.


Ashley recommends: Not a Box by Antoinette Portis (ages 2 – 5)

A box is just a box, except for when it’s not.  With your imagination, a box becomes so much more!  This book shows off the fun in flexing your imagination as a rabbit shows off all the things his cardboard box can turn in to.  From a race car to a mountain to a rocket ship, readers will love seeing what the rabbit will turn the box in to and get a chance to use their own imagination as they guess what the rabbit will create next.


Beth recommends: Winter is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer (ages 4 – 7)

Have you ever thought that winter is the warmest season? This lovely book shows us how spring and summer clothing and food change with the seasons. Our cold jelly sandwiches turn to gooey grilled cheese, our clothes and blankets get warmer, and our house starts making strange sounds of the furnace. This book allows children and parents alike to have the discussion of what else changes? What happens to the animals in winter and so forth. What a fantastic way to spark a conversation as you try to think of what else changes and makes our cold winter the warmest season of all.


Heather recommends: Martin and the River by Jon-Erik Lappano, Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon (ages 3 – 6)

Moving is difficult for everyone, and can be even more so when moving to an entirely new environment. Such is the case for nature-loving Martin, whose family is moving from a calm, serene country home to the loud and bustling city. Martin’s primary concern is missing the beloved river he plays in every day. What will Martin do for fun in the city? How will he handle leaving his river behind? With bright, detailed illustrations that highlight the best parts of both nature and the busy city, Martin and the River is a wonderful story for families preparing for a move, or who simply share Martin’s love of nature.


Joan recommends: Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin (ages 8 – 12)

“Snow and Rose didn’t know they were living in a fairy tale — people never do.” Snow and Rose had once lived carefree lives in a fancy house with a father and mother who loved them more than the moon. But all that changed when their father went into the forest and didn’t return. This is where the story begins. Snow, Rose, and their grief-stricken mother must move to a small cottage deep in those very woods. The girls do their best to adapt to their new situation, but Snow is determined to find out the truth about their father’s disappearance. Rose is not as brave as Snow but wants to keep her younger sister safe, so she follows her into the forest, which turns out to hold a sinister secret. You may have heard the classic Grimm fairytale “Snow White and Rose Red,” upon which this book is loosely based. I loved that fairytale as a child, but I loved this book more. The writing is lyrical, and the illustrations really add to the enchanted feel of the story. This story is full of fantasy, magic, mystery, and adventure. It’s also a story of family & friendship. Recommended for anyone who enjoys fairytales, folklore, or fantasy of any sort.


Louis recommends: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (ages 9 – 12)

Aru spends much of her free time helping her mother at an Ancient Indian Museum of Art and Culture, expertly describing the various artifacts to tourists. She feels that there is a certain magic in the place, but always just out of reach. That is, until one day when she learns that magic is all too real. Fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series will feel right at home in this fun, funny, and exciting first book in a series. With the final book just releasing in 2022, now is the perfect time to start this magical collection!


Mirissa recommends: Snow by Uri Shulevitz (ages 2 – 5)

The radio says that it won’t snow, and so do all the grown-ups in this gray city. But snowflakes don’t listen to the radio, and one by one they start to fall. Soon, the city is full of swirling flakes until the city is no longer gray but a beautiful, dazzling white. Through simple text and muted illustrations, the nostalgia of waiting for that first flake awakens in the reader from the first page as the quiet magic of a snow day takes over. You may even see a few familiar fairytale characters dancing with the main character in the snow-covered streets.


Nicole recommends: Pokémon Sun & Moon: the Series by Hidenori Kusaka (ages 8 – 12)

This widely popular Pokémon series is the perfect opportunity to introduce your littles to the endlessly imaginative world of manga! Follow Sun and Moon as they battle Team Skull, compete in the Full Power Tournament, and strengthen their bonds with their partner Pokémon through flashy, intense battles. This manga series is perfect for Pokémon fans and newcomers alike, with a coming-of-age tale full of perseverance, triumph, and learning how to do the right thing even when life’s challenges might seem too difficult to conquer.


Summer recommends: Nieve en la Jungla / Snow in the Jungle by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar (ages 4 – 9)

Snow, a polar bear, has to leave her home at the North Pole when her mom gets a new job. She says goodbye to her beloved friends and then arrives in her new, very foreign home – the jungle. It’s hot and Snow doesn’t understand the language of her new classmates. She doesn’t like the taste of the new foods around her. She feels isolated, so her peers throw her a North Pole Party to remind her of home! Snow realizes that while it’s tough to be far from everything familiar, she can still make new friends and have great times – sun or snow.


Well young readers, that’s a wrap. Check back again next month for some more fabulous reading recommendations. Until then, happy reading!

Louis Maranski

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