Welcome to the latest 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: The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling (ages 10 – 14)
What a freaking amazing book, I love J.K. Rowling’s stories. The Christmas Pig was beautifully written and so magical, I cried during some parts of the book. There are many lessons that can be learned deep inside the pages for both children and adults. The Christmas Pig was one of the most emotional and interesting stories that I have read this year. While the story made me laugh a ton, it also has many thought provoking and relatable moments as well. This is a book I could not put down that made me wish Christmas would come today. I would definitely recommended this awesome book for tweens and teens.
Ashley recommends: Welcome Home, Bear by Il Sung Na (ages 0 – 3)
Bear is tired of his home and wants something new. So, he goes on an adventure to visit all of his friends to find a new place to live. Bear journeys all over the world and sees all sorts of new places, but none of them are quite right until he ends up right back where he started. This book is perfect for introducing animal habitats to young readers, and offers a heartwarming story about how important finding a place to call home is.
Beth recommends: The Power of One by Trudy Ludwig (ages 5 – 12)
Are you ever amazed how one small nice gesture can make you feel? Do you ever imagine how one small gesture from you can change someone’s life? This is the message behind The Power of One. This is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book that all ages can learn from. It starts with one child seeing a classmate sad and lonely and she offers friendship. Then one more person does something nice and so on. At the end of the story a whole community comes together to show how powerful one act of kindness can be.
Heather recommends: Crunch the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli (ages 2 – 5)
Celebrate Dinovember with your little one by taking a few minutes getting to know Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur! In this quirky and interactive book, readers will practice their singing, shouting, and whispering, all in the name of luring Crunch out of hiding so that they can make his acquaintance. Crunch’s wide-eyed, startled expression, as well as his ill-fated attempts at hiding will make readers giggle, and the interactive element will keep everyone interested from start to finish!
Joan recommends: Hello, Baby! I’m Your Mom by Eve Bunting (ages 0 – 5)
This is a beautifully illustrated and tender story about the love between mothers and their babies. Through rhyming text, human and animal mothers tell their babies why they love them, each sharing something special and unique about their offspring. On the back pages, you’ll find photos and facts about each of the animals featured.
Louis recommends: Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman (ages 2 – 5)
This sweet story about a bear and his friends sharing their company and their food is both heartwarming and impactful. Karma Wilson’s rhymes and simple story are engaging and fun, while Jane Chapman’s gorgeous illustrations easily hold the reader’s attention. Perfect for children of any age, this colorful and cute story is a great addition to any Thanksgiving tradition and is a must read for parents who want to teach their children the power of that simple word: “Thanks!”
Mirissa recommends: We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade (ages 5 – 12)
We are Water Protectors is a beautiful and powerful own-voices story written and illustrated by two Indigenous women. It describes the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in an easy-to-understand way but also links this fight to the Ojibwe people where women traditionally act as water protectors. It also alludes to the Seven Fires Prophecy that three tribes—the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa—believe refers to oil pipelines that damage ecosystems. A simple refrain reappears throughout the story, reminding the reader that the Native voice has not been lost: “We stand with our songs and our drums. We are still here.” The illustrations are colorful and layered, linking the main character to the world around her and back through time to generations of her ancestry, but the illustrations also show that non-Natives have a place in the activism as well.
Nicole recommends: Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman (ages 12 – 14)
In the mood for something cute and wholesome? Then follow fellow classmates Nick and Charlie as they navigate their British all-boys grammar school — and start to fall for each other. Growing up can be an awkward time, not to mention sometimes scary, but Nick and Charlie can always count on their circle of friends to help them deal with bullies and give them advice on how to come out to family members. So get ready to feel all the good feels as this book grabs your heart and doesn’t let go — until you’re on to the next volume!
Summer recommends: Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost by Betina Birkjær (ages 5 – 7)
Full disclosure: this book did make me cry; but don’t be deterred from this beautiful story. This picture book is a poignant tale of a granddaughter whose grandfather one day starts to forget his words… and follows her journey as his dementia progresses. Dementia is a difficult topic for adults to discuss, let alone children, so this book gives young folks and their families going through this struggle something they can relate to. The art is also gorgeously inspired by the author’s Nordic background.
Well young readers, that’s a wrap. Check back again next month for some more fabulous reading recommendations. Until then, happy reading!