Monday, February 29, 2016

Silly Picture Books

Happy Leap Day, Everyone!

What to do with an extra day this year? Read, of course!

This post features some silly, giggle inducing books that are sure to have your kids shouting "Again! Again!". Since you've got some extra time this year, why not read it again? Repetition is actually really great for your little ones when it comes to reading. It helps build all those connections in their brains while they read. So, cuddle up with your little ones this Leap Day and enjoy some good reads and good laughs.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
This pesky pigeon begs and pleads for a chance to drive the bus. It's up to the readers to make sure he doesn't!

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
Who knew that dragons loved tacos? Just watch out for some fire if you feed them spicy salsa! This is the story of a special taco party for dragons that has gone awry.

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
Have you ever wondered what happens if you swallowed a watermelon seed? This book has the hilarious answer!

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas
The Brave Cowboy isn't afraid of anything! Except for spiders, and bears, and more! See if you can make it through this book without shrieks of laughter. Check out Jan Thomas's other work Can You Make a Scary Face? too. We've been having a blast acting this one out at Movers & Makers this month.

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
Niño is a young boy who dreams of being a luchador wrestler. He battles the Mummy of Guanajunto, the Alien, and more in his wrestling costume... his underwear. 

Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton writes wonderful board books that are perfect for sharing with your toddler. She has very adorable illustrations and characters that are best described as silly and lovable. In Moo Baa La La La barnyard animals share their musical talents.

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
Dinosaur won't stop roaring around the house! Will anything make little dinosaur go to bed? This book is so fun for kids who love to ROAR!

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
John Klassen has a unique sense of humor that shines through his books. In this one, a big bear has lost his hat... or did a little rabbit steal it?

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Sounds boring, right? Couldn't be farther from it! This book makes for a great read aloud. It's funny of funny word play, silly songs, and is a true delight to share with kids.

Image from

Monday, February 22, 2016

Graphic Novels for Middle School

Graphic Novels are novels that are made up of drawings, most often in comic strip format. Many readers are naturally drawn to this format, and in the past few years there has been a boom of these kids of books being published for younger readers. Here are a few great ones from the past few years:

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
This semi-autobiographical story is the newest book by the beloved author Raina Telgemeier. Telgemeier has a talent for understanding middle school life and in Sisters she perfectly nails the changing relationships between sisters as they grow up. Kids have also loved Telgemeier's other graphic novels including Drama, Smile, and her graphic renditions of Ann M. Martin's classic series The Baby Sitter's Club

Amulet by Kibuishi Kazu
This adventure series follows Emily and Navin who discover a magical amulet that provides them with special powers. They enter the fictional world of Alledia where they build a crew of resistance fighters and battle evil. 

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
This book was a Newbery Honor Book for 2015. It tells the story of Astrid who falls in love with roller derby while navigating the ups and downs of middle school.

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm
Young Sunny is sent by her parents to spend her summer vacation away from her friends in Florida with her grandfather at his retirement home. Sunny discovers the reason her parents sent her to Florida is because they are trying to protect her from and deal with her brother's addiction issues. Sunny learns to cope with this knowledge and the tedium of her summer at the retirement home.

Ms. Marvel by Wilson G. Willow
Kamala Khan is a stunning new superhero in the Marvel universe. She starts out as an ordinary girl from Jersey City, but an unusual experience leaves her with mysterious powers.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians graphic novel adaptations by Robert Venditti
Rick Riordan's popular series is brought to life with excellent art and a great narrative.

This stunning book takes on the tough topic of Hurricane Katrina. It is extremely well researched and provides a multifaceted look at this natural disaster. It was named a Sibert Medal Honor Book of 2015 which recognizes outstanding nonfiction for youth.

El Deafo by Cece Bell
This autobiography shares the author's experience of growing up with hearing loss. She must wear a large hearing aid known as the Phonic Ear, which gives her the ability to hear. She imagines it gives her other super powers as well to help her deal with the struggles of growing up.

You'll find these books in the graphic novel areas of our Children's and YA collections. Stop by and browse for more!

Image from:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Author Spotlight: Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is a Wisconsin native who currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He has had a remarkable career as an author and illustrator of children's picture books and novels. His book Chrysanthemum is one of my all time favorites that I have enjoyed since a was a child.

Most recently, his book Waiting was named a Caldecott Honor Book for its outstanding illustrations and a Geisel Honor Book which recognizes the most distinguished books for beginner readers. Waiting is the sweet story of a group of toys patiently waiting for something to happen. They find joy and peace in their quiet state.

Kevin Henkes has won several other awards in his career including the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2004. This book tells the adorable story of a young kitten who mistakes the full moon in the sky for a full bowl of milk.

Two of his novels have also been recognized as Newbery Medal Honor Books. Olive's Ocean was named an honor book in 2004, and The Year of Billy Miller was named in 2014.

If you just can't get enough of Kevin Henkes, check out some of these other books written by him:

Board Books
Julius's Candy Corn
Owen's Marshmallow Chick
Sheila Rae's Peppermint Stick
Wemberly's Ice-Cream Star

Picture Books
Birds illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Chester's Way
A Good Day
Julius, the Baby of the World
Lilly's Big Day 
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
My Garden

Easy Readers
Penny and her Doll
Penny and her Marble
Penny and her Song

Chapter Books
Bird Lake Moon
Protecting Marie
Sun & Spoon
Words of Stone

Books in Spanish / Libros en Español
El gran dia de Lily traducido por Maria Candelaria Posada
Julius: el rey de la casa traducido por Teresa Mlawer

Picture from:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Picture Books for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! It's the perfect time to cuddle up with your little one and read a story together. Here are some of my favorite stories about love for parents and young children.

My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
This book is just so neat! Each of the illustrations feature a different animal created using heart shapes. You could even try your hand at making your own animal art out of cut out paper hearts.

The Cuddle Book by Guido van Genechten
This adorable book shows how different animals cuddle. Turtles have to cuddle very slowly and those poor porcupines have to cuddle very carefully!

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolen
This series is funny and sweet with greatly detailed illustrations. Kids will get a kick out of the bad behavior the dinosaurs exhibit.

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
This classic story tells the tale of a mother's love with beautiful illustrations and expertly written text. This makes a great bedtime story.

Here Comes the Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood
Cat is NOT a fan of Valentine's Day, but can his silly neighbor Dog change his mind?

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Another classic picture book that tells the great tale of a father's love as his son plays a bed time game to guess how much he loves him. Is it has high as he can hop? As high as the moon?

You Nest Here with Me by Jane Yolen
This sweet story follows a parent and child as they discover many different types of birds in the world. Each of the birds has a home, just like the child has a home with her mother.

I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy
This is the perfect valentine for a family with a new baby. Everyone wants to kiss and hug the new baby! With the high contrast illustrations, the new baby will enjoy the book too!

Hug Machine by Scott Campbell
A young boy is determined to spread love around his neighborhood with hugs for everyone!

Henry in Love by Peter McCarty
This adorably illustrated book tells the story of Henry's first crush. Henry is smitten with his new classmate Chloe and he tries desperately to get her attention.

Picture from:

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Newbery Medal

Last Stop on Market StreetEvery year the Newbery Medal is awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. This past January, the 2016 Medal was awarded to Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña.

This picture books tells the story of young CJ riding the bus through his city with his grandmother. Every page introduces you to a new sight, sound, or person in CJ’s community. He asks his grandmother a lot of tough questions as they ride: Why don’t they have a car like his friends? Why do they always get off the bus in the dirty part of town? His grandmother’s kindness and love shine through her responses as she teaches CJ to see the beauty in his life and his neighborhood. It’s a great book that encourages conversation about kindness, positivity, compassion, and community.

The Newbery Medal committee also selects three Honor Books each year. This year these books are:

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This touching novel tells the story of a young English girl whose difficult life is uprooted by World War One.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
This graphic novel shares the story of Astrid, a young girl who falls in love with Roller Derby. Astrid must deal with her changing friendships, her sense of self, and boys all while to prove herself in the rink.

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Three incredible stories are woven together through music and a little bit of fairytale magic. A seemingly unimportant harmonica takes the reader from a young and bullied young boy in Nazi Germany, to a pair of brothers trying to stay alive and together in Pennsylvania during the Great Depression, all the way to California where a young family is fighting for a place in their new country.

If you haven’t read the winners from this year make sure to check them out!

The Newbery Medal has been awarded to some fantastic books over the years. Here are a few more that you can find at the Eager Free Public Library:

The Crossover by Kwame Amexander (2015 Winner)
Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (2014 Winner)
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (2013 Winner)
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (2012 Winner)
Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (2011  Winner)
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (2010 Winner)
Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (2003 Winner)
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (1995 Winner)
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (1987 Winner)
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (1977 Winner)
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (1961 Winner)

Picture From: