Monday, April 25, 2016

Choo! Choo! Books about Trains

Lots of kids love trains. If your little one is fascinated by trains, then try some of these books!

Board Books
Train! by Judi Abbot
Trains by Byron Barton
Steam Train, Dream Train: 123 by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Steam Train, Dream Train: Colors by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Madagascar: The Color Train by Michele Boyd
Here Come Trainmice by Herbert Yee Wong
1, 2, 3, to the Zoo by Eric Carle
The Little Engine that Could by Piper Watty
Picture Books
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Freight Train by Donald Crews
How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton
The Little Engine that Could by Piper Watty
Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing! by Patricia Hubbell
All Aboard the Dinotrain by Deb Lund
I Love Trains! by Philemon Sturges
Train by Elisha Cooper
Locomotive by Brian Floca

Easy Readers
Trouble in the Tunnel by W. Awdry (Thomas & Friends Series)
The Long Train Ride by Melinda Melton Crow
Mr. Putter & Tabby Take the Train by Cynthia Rylant
All Aboard! by Sonia Sander (LEGO Series)
Huff and Puff by Tish Rabe
Pete the Cat's Train Trip by James Dean
Circus Train and the Clowns by Adria F. Klein

Steam Locomotives: Whistling, Chugging, Smoking Iron Horses of the Past by Karl Zimmermann
The Big Book of Real Trains by Water Retan
Train Rides by Pam Walker
Seymour Simon's Book of Trains by Seymour Simon
You Wouldn't Want to Work on the Railroad!: A Track You'd Rather Not Go Down by Ian Graham
C is for Caboose: Riding the Rails from A to Z

Monday, April 18, 2016

Celebrate Earth Day!

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year. It's a day to celebrate and raise awareness about our planet. The books listed here build an appreciation for the natural world, spark curiosity at the way the world works, and foster understanding of our planet and our place on it.

For Young Readers
The Earth Book by Todd Parr
In My World by Lois Ehlert
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
Underground by Denise Fleming
10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh
Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow by Linda Glaser
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston

For Middle Grade Readers
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Judy Moody Saves the World by Megan McDonald
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yacarrino
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Flush by Carl Hiaasen

For Teens
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Trash by Andy Mulligan
An Inconvenient Truth: the Crisis of Global Warming by Al Gore
50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth by John Javna
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
Endangered by Eloit Schrefer
The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd

Monday, April 11, 2016

Novels in Verse for Kids & Teens

April is National Poetry Month! In honor of poetry, this week we are highlighting novels in verse, which is a type of narrative poetry, for children and teens. These novels often make for quick reads that pack a lot of depth. It's a way to tell deep and sometimes difficult stories in a lyrical, beautiful way. Because of this, novels in verse seem to be becoming more and more popular, especially with reluctant readers. If you or a young person you know is interested in trying one out or already loves the genre, try some of the recommendations below.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
This book won the 2015 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award Honor. It's a story written in hip hop verse about two young twin brothers who love basketball. Life is changing for them, though, as they deal with competition on and off the court, budding romances, and the challenging news of their dad's illness. Watch for Kwame Alexander's newest title, Booked, coming out later this year!

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
This book won the 2014 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Young Adult Fiction, and was a Newbery Honor Book. It is well deserving of all of the accolades. Woodson expertly writes of her childhood growing up in the 1960s and 70s in South Carolina and New York.

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
Margarita Engle has written many wonderful book for children. Her most recent book, Enchanted Air, is a winner of the Pura Belpre Award. The book looks back at Margarita's childhood and the time she spent in the United States and in Cuba. She tries to make sense of the tension between these two countries, both of which she calls home.

If you enjoy this one you might also like her other books in verse. Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal won the Americas Award and has received many other accolades. In a variety of poetic voices Engle tells the stores of the "silver people" who did the difficult work of building the Panama Canal.

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
This book in verse tells the coming of age story of Amira, a young girl living in Sudan. Her life is uprooted when the Janjaweed militants arrive and her family is forced to leave their home. Amira focuses on her dream of attending school as her family deals with the turmoil around them.

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
This book won the National Book Award and is a Newbery Honor Book. Inspired by the author's experience growing up, it tells the story of a young girl and her family fleeing Vietnam and moving to Alabama.

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Jake isn't too sure how he feels about writing poetry for school, but he is sure of one thing - that he loved his dog, Sky. Told in poems written by Jake, we learn about the loss of his pet. Many wonderful poets are introduced in the book as well. Jake is inspired by them to write his own poems. The follow up book, Hate That Cat, continues with Jake's story through his next year in school.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring Time Picture Books for Kids

It's officially spring! Are you reading for flowers, green grass, and warmer days? Even if the weather doesn't feel like spring, you can enjoy some springtime stories with your little ones!

And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano
This book really captures what spring is like in Wisconsin. The snow melts and it seems like all you can see is brown, brown, brown. A little boy and his dog patiently wait for the green signs of spring to appear. The simple, sweet text is accompanied by peaceful illustrations.

Mud by Mary Lyn Ray
This is another book that captures the feeling of the Earth as we move from winter to spring. The illustrations in this book nearly jump off the page. You'll want nothing more than to sink your feet into some cool, squishy mud after you read this one!

Raindrops Roll by Apruil Sayre Pulley
They say "April showers bring May flowers", so April is the perfect time to take a deeper look at rain and the water cycle. The photographs in this book are stunning and the poetic text is quite a joy to read.

Wake Up, It's Spring! by Lisa Campbell Ernst
News of springtime travels from the Earth to the plants, animals, and people who happily celebrate it's arrival. Preschoolers will enjoy the repetition in the story.

Spring by Sian Smith
This non-fiction text has great photographs for kids to appreciate. You'll find facts, great vocabulary, and hopefully learn something new about spring!

Handsprings: Poems & Paintings by Douglas Florian
April is also National Poetry Month, so you can really enjoy the celebrations with these spring time poems. They take you through saying goodbye to winter to glorious spring days.

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson
This series has a great book for every season, including spring. When Bear wakes up from sleeping all winter he is very hungry and wants more to eat! The whole gang is back again for this adorable springtime tale.

Maple Syrup Season by Ann Prumell
This is a very unique book about a family tapping maple trees to make syrup. The art captures many small details.

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
The newest from a local  author. This book does a great job of describing Wisconsin's spring. My favorite line is that spring "changes it's mind a lot." But when it's here to stay you'll know it!

Enjoy your spring!

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