Monday, December 26, 2016

Beyond "Frozen" - Icy Stories for Kids

Lots of children are enchanted by Disney's Frozen, a movie based on the fairy tale, The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. Now, that we are officially in winter, there is no better time to enjoy the wintery, ice filled story of the Snow Queen. There are videos, books, and audiobooks available to check out based on Disney's version of the story, but all you of fans of Elsa, Anna, and Olaf might enjoy other retellings of the fairy tale.

Picture Books
The Snow Queen: A Retelling of the Fairy Tale by Hans Christian Anderson
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson
The Snow Queen by Natacha Godeau
The Snow Queen retold by Amy Ehrlich
The Snow Queen by Lesley Sims

Audio Books
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson (2015)
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson (2014)

The Snow Queen (Warner Brothers, 2004)
Faerie Tale Theatre: Tales from Hans Christian Anderson (E1 Entertainment, 2009)

Chapter Books
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Cold As Ice by Sarah Mlynowski
The Snow Queen's Surprise by Carolyn Keene

For more wintery books check out our other lists of Winter Picture Books and Books for Snowy Days.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Toddler Humor

If you've ever spent time with a toddler (ages 1-3), chances are you know that they can have a funny sense of humor. Kids at this age are soaking in new knowledge about the world every moment - new words, actions, feelings, and more! As they develop they start to understand what to expect, and often find the unexpected hilarious. So, here are some funny stories with elements that just aren't quite right that are sure to leave the toddlers in your life full of giggles.

Do monsters get ready for bed in cozy pajamas? Do they cuddle up with their teddy bears? No! Of course not! Monsters wear toilet paper pjs and cuddle up with umbrellas! This book goes through a monster's night time routine with many delightful surprises 

Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

This book has short, repetitive pages that make it very enjoyable for young children. Each page shows a group of animals getting dressed, a task your toddler is very familiar with. However, one silly turkey just can't seem to get it right and keeps ending up with pants on its head or a hat on its feet. 

Fall Is Not Easy by Kelly Marty

Children observe the world around them change during fall when the weather gets cooler and leaves change color. In this story, a single tree can't get it's leaves to turn the right color. Instead, the leaves turn into a rainbow or polka dots much to the delight of young children who know that trees turn from green to yellow, red, brown, and orange.

The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort

Most toddlers are familiar with the classic song "The Wheels on the Bus". In this hilarious rendition, seals take over the bus and make many silly sounds.

Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen

Was the the cow? The pig? The sheep or the mouse? Young readers will en joy guessing who sank the boat.

Bark George by Jules Feiffer

George, an adorable dog, keeps mixing up what sound he is supposed to make. Toddlers know that dogs aren't supposed to meow, and will find George to be a very funny friend.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Empowering Books for Kids & Teens

This is a collection of books to build confidence and inspire children to make a difference in their worlds.

I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont

A joyful little girl shares many reasons why she likes herself no matter what. (Preschool-Grade 2)

What Do You Do with An Idea? by Kobi Yamada
This thoughtful book encourages its readers to cherish their ideas even if others think they are silly or strange. (Kindergarten-Grade 3)

Check out Yamada's newest book What Do You Do with a Problem? for a similarly styled story about overcoming obstacles and finding new possibilities.

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Rosie overcomes her fear of failure as she works to make creative inventions. (Preschool - Grade 2)

Beaty has several other books with similar themes including Iggy Peck, Architect and Ada Twist, Scientist.

Drum Dream Girl
A young girl followers her dream of playing the drums. (Grades 1-4)

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Students learn how to practice their teacher's lesson on kindness when a new student arrives. (Grades 2-5)

Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome by Brad Montague
The YouTube sensation shares 100 ideas to make the world more awesome. (Grades 3+)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
A 5th grade student named Auggie struggles to fit in with his new class. (Grades 3-7)

I Am Malala (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai (Grades 6+)
Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, shares her story of growing up under the Taliban's rule in Pakistan.

For more great books to empower the children in your life, check out the Children Cooperative Book Center's list on Civic Engagement: Selected K-5 Books for Reflecting on One's Place in the World and 50 Books about Peace and Social Justice

Monday, December 5, 2016

STEAMpunks Reading List: Food & Nutrition

Today's STEAMpunks session was all about food, nutrition, and the digestive system! This popular hands-on program includes fun science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics activities for kids in grades K-5. Today we measured ingredients, learned about the body's digestive system, and conducted a taste test experiment. For more fun, check out a cookbook to test our a new recipe, learn more about how our bodies digest food, or read a story about a culinary adventure!

Cook Books
Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls by Betty Crocker
Cool Raw Food Recipes by Nancy Tuminelly
It's So Good: 100 Real Food Recipes for Kids!
Mayo Clinic Kids; Cookbook
The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60+ Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and 
Save the Earth by Ruby Roth
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up by Mollie Katzen

Books For Younger Readers (Grades K-2)
The Bake Shop Ghost by Jacqueline K. Ogburn
The Berenstain Bears Cook It! by Stan Berenstain
The Best Chef in Second Grade by Katharine Kenah
Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson
How Did That Get in My Lunch Box: The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth
The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges
Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Maniac Muffins by Chris Monroe
My Food Pyramid by Alisha Neihaus
Olivia Cooks Up a Surprise by Emily Sollinger
Your Food by Claire Llewellyn

Books For Older Readers (Grades 3-5)
All Four Stars by Tara Dairman
The Digestive System by John M. Shea
Digestion and Nutriton: What Happens to the Food We Eat by Eve Hartman
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Food Options: Following Special Diets by Kristin Petrie
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech
Our Food by Grace Lin
Recipe for Adventure Series by Giada De Laurentiis
Your Digestive System by Rebecca L. Johnson

Monday, November 28, 2016


L.M. Montgomery (Lucy Maud) was born November 30, 1874.  In honor of her birthday, we will be showing the 1934 movie Anne of Green Gables on November 30th at 1:00 p.m.  Montgomery is most often remembered as the author of the Anne of Green Gables series, but she was also the author of other novels, short stories, and poems.

For more information on L.M. Montgomery and her work, visit

Anne of Green Gables Series

Looking for a similar read?  Give one of these books a try!

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
Boston Jane by Jennifer L. Holm
Heidi by Joanna Spryi
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

Monday, November 21, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving week!  Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November each year in the United States.  It is a time for thankfulness and reflection.  For many it is a time spent with family and friends.

And, of course, we are celebrating with a book list!

Thanksgiving Reads for Adults
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience by Melanie Kirkpatrick
The Maverick's Thanksgiving Baby by Brenda Harlen
Thanksgiving: How To Cook It Well by Sam Sifton
Thanksgiving Prayer by Debbie Macomber
The Loner's Thanksgiving Wish by Roxanne Rustand
A Catered Thanksgiving by Isis Crawford
Vegan for the Holidays by Zel Allen
A Great and Godly Adventure by Godfrey Hodgson

Thanksgiving Reads for Children
Grace's Thanksgiving by Lisa Bullard
Happy Thanksgiving by Margaret McNamara
Thanksgiving Mice by Bethany Roberts

This Is Thanksgiving by Harriet Ziefert
The Very Stuffed Turkey by Katherine Kenah
Junie B. Jones, First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten by Barbara Park
Dora's Thanksgiving by Sarah Willson

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Monday, November 14, 2016


In December, our book club will meet to discuss Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley.  This novel is considered a literary classic, specifically with regard to dystopias.  Brave New World looks at a futuristic world where all emotion, love, and individuality have been replaced by social stability.  Years later, Huxley reassessed his own work in Brave New World Revisited.

Aldous Huxley wrote novels, short stories, poetry, and essays.  A list of his novels is below.

Crome Yellow
Antic Hay
Those Barren Leaves
Point Counter Point
Brave New World
Eyeless in Gaza
After Many a Summer
Time Must Have a Stop
Ape and Essence
The Genius and the Goddess

Looking for more work like Brave New World?

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
1984 by George Orwell
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin
Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck
Animal Farm by George Orwell
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Monday, November 7, 2016


Robin LaFevers is the author of the His Fair Assassin trilogy.  His Fair Assassin is a young adult series that takes place in medieval France and follows the lives of assassin nuns who serve the god of Death.

Her other novels are published under the name R.L. LaFevers, and they are written for middle grade readers.  For more information on this author and her work, visit and

Young Adult Novels:

His Fair Assassin Trilogy
1. Grave Mercy: Ismae escapes from an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain.  While at the convent, she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts.  If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death.

2. Dark Triumph: Sybella's duty as Death's assassin forces her to return home to a place she had finally escaped.  The skills she learned at the convent are not enough to comfort her in the place that nearly drove her mad.  Can she find something other than vengeance to live for?

3. Mortal Heart: Annith has patiently watched her sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their missions in the name of St. Mortain while waiting her own turn.  But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress - to be kept in the convent.  Feeling betrayed, Annith decides to go out on her own... 

Loved His Fair Assassin?  Try one of these read-alikes today!

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Middle Grade Novels by R.L. LaFevers:

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist
1. Flight of the Phoenix
2. The Basilisk's Lair
3. The Wyverns' Treasure
4. The Unicorn's Treasure

Theodosia Thorckmorton
1. Theodosia Throckmorton and the Serpents of Chaos
2. Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris
3. Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus
4. Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh

Lowthar's Blade
1. The Forging of the Blade
2. The Secrets of Grim Wood
3. The True Blade of Power

Stand Alone Novels
Werewolf Rising
The Falconmaster
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Monday, October 31, 2016

Scary Middle Grade Novels

Happy Halloween!

Celebrate this Halloween by checking out one of these spooky stories recommended for ages 10-14.

Abarat by Clive Barker
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Doll Bones by Holly Black
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auzier
The Riverman by Aaron Starmer
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Horror Stories for Teens

Zombies, vampires, monsters and other creatures make up these chilling tales for teens. Enjoy the Halloween season with a spooky horror story from our collection.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Asylum by Madeleine Roux
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
Daughters unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Defriended by Ruth Baron
Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel by R.L Stine
Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters by Suzanne Weyn
Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
The End Games by Martin T. Michael
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
A Midsummer Night's Scream by R.L. Stine
The Monstrumologist by Richard Yancey
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Scary Out There edited by Jonathan Maberry
Zom-B by Darren Shan

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Costumes, Candy, & Monsters: Halloween Stories for Kids

Halloween is coming up soon, and that means it's time for creepy creatures, costumes, and candy! It's the perfect time to check out one of these great picture books.

Monsters & Creepy Creatures
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Frankencrayon by Michael Hall
Have You Seen My Monster? by Steve Light
If You're a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley
Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Monster Mash by David Catrow
My Monster Maman Loves Me So by Laura Leuck
Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau

 Dress Up & Costumes
Ant and Honey Bee: A Pair of Friends at Halloween by Megan McDonald
Birdie's Happiest Halloween by Jujean Rim
The Costume Copycat by Maryann MacDonald
Crafty Chloe Dress-up Mess-up by Kelly DiPucchio
Curious George Goes to a Costume Party by Margret Rey
Dora's Costume Party by Christine Ricci
Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma by David Soman
Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis

Candy & Treats
Bad Kitty Does Not Like Candy bu Nick Bruel
Beans to Chocolate by Lisa M. Herrington
Fancy Nancy's Candy Bonanza by Jane O'Connor
Five Little Monkeys Trick-or-Treat by Eileen Christelow
Julius's Candy Corn by Kevin Henkes
Hansel and Gretel by Rika Lesser
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Monday, October 10, 2016

STEAMpunks Reading List: Robots!

STEAMpunks is a popular program we host when there is no school for students in grades K-5. We do a variety of hands on activities on the themes of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Find out more at our website: This month our STEAMpunks activities are all about robots! Here are a few books for extended reading on the topic:

Books for Beginning Readers (Grades K-2)
The Adventures of Otto Series by David Milgrim
Beep Beep Go to Sleep by Todd Tarpley
Cookiebot by Katie Van Camp
Helper Robots by Nancy Furstinger
My First Guide to Robots by Kathryn Clay
Real-Life Robots by James Buckley
Robots at Home by Jenny Fretland VanVoorst
Robots in Space by Nancy Furstinger
Robot Rumpus by Sean Taylor
Robot Zot! by Jon Scieszka

Books for Older Readers (Grades 3-5)
Drawing Robots by Carolyn Franklin
Everything Robotics: All the Robot Photos, Facts and Fun! by Jennifer Swanson
High-Tech DIY Projects with Robotics by Maggie Murphy
Little Robot by Ben Hatke
Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage by Bob Pflugfelder
Robots by Melissa Stewart
Robots: From Everyday to Out of This World by the Editors of Yes Magazine
Zoobots: Wild Robots Inspired by Real Animals by Helanie Becker
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Author Spotlight: Lois Ehlert

Lois Ehlert is an award winning author and illustrator from Wisconsin. She was born in Beaver Dam, studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and currently resides in Milwaukee. Many of her books for children are about nature and her artistic style is very distinctive. She uses many found objects in her art to create bright, textured, and interesting collages. You can learn more about her life in her wonderful book The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life.

Several of her books fit in the fall season. Find some inspiration in one of these books, and then go outside to gather your own collection of found objects to create with!

Fall Inspired Stories

Boo to You!
Leaf Man
Nuts to You!
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Other Great Books

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, illustrated by Lois Ehlert
Color Zoo
Eating the Alphabet
Lots of Spots
Planting a Rainbow
Rain Fish
Wag a Tail 
Waiting for Wings

Monday, September 26, 2016


Next month, our book club will read The Golden Prince by Rebecca Dean.  Rebecca Dean is the author of four historical novels, and she has written crime novels under the name Maggie Hudson.  The Golden Prince follows a young Prince Edward in the early 1910s, and you first meet Edward as he begins to feel the burden of his position as next in line for the throne.  Edward's later life is not covered in this novel, but he becomes king after the death of his father, George V.  He rules for less than one year, and abdicates the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, an American.  

Rebecca Dean's Novels:
Enemies of the Heart

Books similar to The Golden Prince:
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford
The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin
Howard's End by E.M. Forster
Abdication by Juliet Nicholson
Gone with the Windsors by Lauren Graham

Monday, September 19, 2016


Football is back!  Both college and professional football have started their regular season games.  The Wisconsin Badgers started off with a big win over LSU, and the Packers won their first game too.  Who knows how the season will continue to go, but right now it is nice being a Wisconsin football fan!

If watching football isn't enough, pick up one of these books today.

Adult Nonfiction:
The Pro Football Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Book by Joe Horrigan and John Thorn
Vince Lombardi on Football by Vince Lombardi
Endzone: the Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football by John U. Bacon
When It Was Just a Game by Harvey Frommer
The Game Before the Money by Jackson Michael
Packers: Green, Gold, and Glory edited by Bill Syken
The National Forgotten League by Dan Daly
Alan Ameche: the Story of "the Horse" by Dan Manoyan
Paterno by Joe Posnanski

Adult Fiction:
The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich
The Last Mile by David Baldacci
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

Children's Nonfiction:
Football Numbers by John Perritano
Rose Bowl by Lauren Diemer
Clay Matthews by Jeff Savage
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl XLV by Michael Sandler
The Story of the Green Bay Packers by Sara Gilbert
Curly Lambeau: Building the Green Bay Packers by Stuart Stotts

Children's Fiction:
Dino Football by Lisa Wheeler
Football Hero by Tim Green
Football Double Threat by Matt Christopher
Don't Throw It To Me! by David A. Adler
Fall Ball by Peter McCarty
Game Changers by Mike Lupica

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