Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Winter Picture Books

Winter is officially here! Celebrate the season with your little ones with some of these lovely, recently published, wintery picture books.

Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre
A non-fiction picture book with beautiful photographs showcasing the beauty of snow.

No Two Alike by Keith Baker
Two little red birds fly through a wintery scenes discovering unique elements along the way. This book is great for spotting similarities and differences.

Waiting for Snow by Marsha Diane Arnold
Most of us can relate to that feeling of waiting and waiting for the first snow fall. In this book a group of cute forest animals try their best to make it snow.

Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko
A young child plays in the snow in this beautifully illustrated book.

When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge
A gorgeous new book about a group of kids anxiously awaiting the perfect cold night to play hockey on the frozen lake.

Pablo in the Snow by Teri Sloat
A fully white sheep gets lost while out exploring the snow and must find his way home.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Messy Munchkins

This week, on Friday December 22nd, we are hosting a program called Messy Munchkins! This event is a multi-sensory play group for kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers. We'll have fun (and messy!) activities for kids and adults to explore and play with.

We love to offer opportunities for kids to engage in free sensory play. Young ones are busy learning about their world, which they observe through their senses - seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Sensory play is play that stimulates these senses. It's great for kids to engage in this kind of play because it stimulates their brains which builds nerve connections in the brain's pathways, it helps develop fine and gross motor skills, and it's fun! Play is an important part of childhood - and life!

If you're interested in ways to encourage playfulness in your home or want to learn more about sensory play, check out some of these books.

Picture Books to Share with Kids
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
Edward Gets Messy by Rita Meade
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
Mix It Up by Hervé Tullet
A Stick is an Excellent Thing by Marilyn Singer
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis'
I Hear a Pickle and Smell, See, Touch, & Taste it, Too! By Rachel Isadora

Further Reading for Grown-Ups
First Art for Toddlers and Twos: Open-Ended Art Experiences by MaryAnn Kohl
Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children by Lisa Daly
Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers by Miriam Beloglovsky
Raising A Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues by Lindsey Biel, M. A. and Nancy Peske
Time to Create: Hands-on Explorations in Process Art for Young Children by Christie Burnett
The Toddler Brain by Laura A. Jana, M.D.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ms. Alison's Favorites of 2017

So many great books were published this past year. I wish I had time to read them all! It's challenging to narrow down the best books of the year, but here are some of my favorites from 2017.

Picture Books 

Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds
In the follow up to Creepy Carrots, Buster the bunny is back. This time though, instead of carrots creeping there is a strange pair of green glowing underwear. This book is hilarious, goofy, and just weird enough to be perfect.
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
This is a story of a unicorn named Kelp who lives under the sea with a group of narwhals. Something's not quite right, so Kelp goes off searching for a place to fit in. It's a sweet story about belonging, identity, being true to yourself and finding family and love. Plus, kelp is totally adorable.


The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez
Twelve year old Malú moves away from her Dad and everything she's ever known to Chicago where she tries her best to follow the first rule of punk: be yourself. Malú is a lovable character and her struggles with her parents, her identity, and her friends are very real to life. I loved the artistic zines scattered throughout the book, too!


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This book was an absolute joy to read. Dimple and Rishi meet at a tech camp the summer before college they are in very different places. Dimple is avoiding her parents persistence to consider an arranged marriage. Meanwhile, Rishi is a hopeless romantic ready to woo Dimple into falling in love with him. This book is funny, sweet, adorable, and just a delight to read.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Spoiler alert: they both die at the end! Even though you know it going in, it still hurts when you get there. This book covers all the tough stuff: life, love, family, and death as we get to know that characters Mateo and Rufus in just one day.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Wow, what a powerful debut novel by Angie Thomas. This book inspired by the Black Live Matter movement is a must read. Starr Carter lives in two worlds: one her black neighborhood and the other her white school. One night, her life changes forever when she witnesses her childhood friend, Khalil's death at the hands of a police officer.


This year I didn't read a lot of adult fiction books, but I did read a this non-fiction title by Joanna Faber and Julie Adair King. How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen has been very useful in my interactions with young humans at the library and at home. Anyone who has little ones in their life will find this book useful! Joanna and Julie have a very realistic approach to life with young kids. Many of their tips are ways to re-frame challenges and build up communications skills of both the adults and the children.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Wordless (and Nearly Wordless) Picture Books

Have you ever read a picture book with out any words? Wordless picture books are great for developing storytelling skills like narration, description, and sequencing. They are excellent learning tools for pre-readers, beginning readers, and older children alike.

Check out one of these beautiful books to share with a child in your life. Talk about the pictures and what you see in each page. What story to the pictures tell? What moods and feelings do they bring up? Who are the characters and what are they thinking and doing?

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
This book showcases an adorable, charming dancing duo. It has be followed by a series of books featuring Flora and others including Flora and the PenguinFlora and the PeacocksFlora and the OstrichFlora and the Chicks.

Journey, Quest, and Return by Aaron Becker
This trilogy follows a young girl and boy on epic adventures to castles, forests, ancient kingdoms and more. The detailed illustrations build a rich and inviting world for readers to enter.

A Ball for Daisy by Christopher Raschka
Daisy the dog loves playing with her ball. What will she do when her ball is lost? Children will love reading about the adorable Daisy.

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack
Just two works are found in this funny book about a frog. The ups and downs of life as a frog are reflected in each page.

La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim
This beautifully illustrated book has just one work repeated through it: "La". A little girl is alone when she starts to sing. No one calls back to her, but she persists in sharing her song with the world.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Next month we will be reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain for book club.  Mark Twain is the pen name used by Samuel Clemens.  Samuel Clemens was born in 1835 and died in 1910 at the age of 74.  He was a writer of novels, poetry, short stories, essays, and nonfiction.

For more information on Mark Twain, visit https://marktwainhouse.org/.

If you are interested in reading some of his novels, take a look at the list below.

Want to learn more about Mark Twain?  Here are some books that will get you started.

Monday, November 20, 2017


It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here!  Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season for many people.  What does this mean?  It means a lot of family functions, food, and fun.  Whether you are hosting the holidays, volunteering to bring one item, or just looking for new recipe ideas, we have plenty of options for you. 

Cooking Books:
Mad Hungry Family by Lucinda Scala Quinn
Tasty Fall Cooking by Gooseberry Patch
Adventures in Slow Cooking by Sarah Digregorio
Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good

Baking Books:
Holiday Cupcakes by Anne Rigg
One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti
Great Gluten-Free Baking by Louise Blair
How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman
The Harvest Baker by Ken Haedrich
Delicious Dump Cakes by Roxanne Wyss

Monday, November 13, 2017


Hollywood has had an impact on movies since the early 20th century, and since that time, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.  The major studios in Hollywood produce some of the most successful movies in the world.

Whether you are looking for a glimpse into Hollywood or for more information on a favorite actor or actress, biographies are a great place to start.  Check out one of these biographies today!

Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner
By Myself and Then Some by Lauren Bacall
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Bossypants by Tina Fey
What If by Shirley MacLaine
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Unsinkable by Debbie Reynolds
Charlie Chaplin by Peter Ackroyd
Child Star by Shirley Temple Black

Picture from http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9781608195312/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12

Monday, November 6, 2017


November is National Adoption Month.  This is an initiative of the Children's Bureau that seeks to increase awareness and bring attention to the need for families for children and youth in the foster care system.  This year's theme is Teens Need Families, No Matter What.  Oftentimes, teens will age out of the foster care system without a stable support system.

For more information about adoption and this year's initiative, visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/about/ and https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb

Here is a list of some books centering around adoption, foster care, and adopted main characters.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Pictures from http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780141321592/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12 and http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0397321651/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12

Monday, October 30, 2017

Thor & Ragnarok: A Super Book List for Teens

Are you excited for the next installment of the Marvel superhero movies? Thor: Ragnarok comes out next week. This movie pits Thor, the superhero character based on the Norse deity, against the Hulk as he fights to save the world. If you're a fan of these movies, you might enjoy some of these books.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series by Rick Riordan
There are two books out in this series, The Sword of Summer, and The Hammer of Thor, with more to come. Similar to Riordan's other series, this one follows a young man who finds out he is the son of a Norse god.

Thor: Viking God of Thunder by Graeme Davis
A non-fictional account of the legend of Thor and its historical context.

The Blackwell Pages Series by Kelly Armstrong
A trilogy for a slightly younger audience about thirteen year old descendants of the gods who must fight for their survival as Ragnarok approaches

Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge by Donna Jo Napoli
An illustrated collection of Norse myths with art by Christina Balit. For a more in depth telling of these stories, try Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology.

The World According to Thor by Mark Sumerac
An in depth look at Asgard's mighty warrior, Thor, with illustrations by Freddie E. Williams II.

If you can't wait for the new movie, check out one of these other films featuring Thor!

Image from: http://syndetics.com/index.aspx?isbn=9781423160915/summary.html&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12&upc=%&oclc=%

Monday, October 23, 2017


Winnie-the-Pooh has been a beloved character of children for decades. This month our Book Buddies group, a book club for kids in grades K-2, was all about A. A. Milne's characters in the 100 Acre Woods. There are so many Pooh stories by the original author A.A. Milne, lots of Disney adaptations, and books about A. A. Milne and the origin of Winnie the Pooh. Below is a list of some newer books to check out and old classics to read again.

Recently Published Books
The Best Bear in All the World: In Which We Join Winnie-the-Pooh for a Year of Adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis, and Kate Saunders
Published in 2016 in honor of the 90th anniversary of A. A. Milne's original story. This collection of short stories are based on the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne with decorations by Mark Burgess in the style of E. H. Shepard.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick
This book published in 2015 tells the story of the real life Winnie the Pooh, a bear that inspired A. A. Milne's stories.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker
Another book published in 2015 about the real life bear.

The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh; A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood by Kathryn Aalto.
This title, geared towards adults, brings to life the setting and time period of Pooh's creation.

Original Stories by A. A. Milne
The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
The House on Pooh Corner

If you browse our catalog, you'll find many versions of the original stories and of newer adaptations in board books, picture books, and easy readers. There are also many movies about Pooh and his friends!

Image from: http://syndetics.com/index.aspx?isbn=9780525444435/summary.html&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12&upc=%&oclc=%

Monday, October 16, 2017

Children's Books About Bats!

This week we are so excited to host a special guest, a bat biologist from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, for Bats of Wisconsin LIVE! Our guest will teach us about the importance of bats and unearth some mysteries of Wisconsin's bats. She'll also be accompanied by live bat ambassadors, including a fruit bat native to Africa!

To learn more about these amazing animals, check out one of these books today. You can also visit the Wisconsin Bat Program to learn more.

Bat Hospital by Care Hibbert
Information about bats receiving care and re-entering the wild. Image Source

Bats by Martha E. H. Rustad
A short, non-fiction introduction to bats.

Bats: Learning to Fly by Falynn Koch
This non-fictional graphic novel follows a brown bat who is injured by humans on a nature hike to a rehabilitation center where he meets many different species of bats. Image

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
A fictional story about a group of cute and lovable bats exploring their local library! Other titlesin this picture book series are Bats at the Ballgame, Bats at the Beach, and Bats in the Band. Image Source

The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle
A team of scientists investigate why so many little brown bats are dying. Learn about why these bats are important to humans and how you can help protect your local bats.

Nightsong by Ari Berk
An adorable, young bat is afraid to fly on his own. He finds a way to rely on himself to be brave and stay safe.

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
The classic picture book about a baby bat who is raised by a group of birds when it accidentally falls into their nest. Image Source

Monday, October 9, 2017

STEAMpunks Reading List: Balloons

Today is our first STEAMpunks event of the school year! This popular program for kids in grades K-5 occurs on no school days in our district. Each event has fun, educational activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM).

Our activities today are all centered around the theme of balloons! Kids love balloons, and they are full of endless opportunities for play and discovery. Here are a few book titles to pair with any balloon loving kids.

Fiction Stories with Balloons

Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly? By Dan Richard
A King Seen From the Sky by Bruno Gibert
Max and Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith
My Red Balloon by Kazuaki Yamada
Perfectly Percy by Paul Schmid
Please Bring Balloons by Lindsay Ward
Sea Serpants Don't Juggle Water Balloons by Debbie Dadey
Sebastian and The Balloon by Philip C. Stead
Skunk on a String by Thao Lam

Non-Fiction about Balloons

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet
Hot Air Balloons by Mari Schuh
How Do Hot Air Balloons Work? By Buffy Silverman
How To Make Balloon Animals by Megan Atwood
The Kid's Guide to Balloon Twisting by Brad and Cindy Trusty
Super Simple Things To Do With Balloons: Fun and easy Science for Kids by Kelly Doudna

Image from: http://syndetics.com/index.aspx?isbn=9781617146725/summary.html&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12&upc=%&oclc=%

Monday, October 2, 2017

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Books for Kids & Teens

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15-October. This month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

There are so many fantastic books to read in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month! Here are a few of our staff favorites for kids & teens!

Ten Little Puppies / Diez Perritos by Alma Flor Ada
An adaptation of a traditional Spanish nursery rhyme with adorable illustrations by Isabel F. Campoy told in both English and Spanish. (Ages 0-5)

Niño Wrestles the World and Rudas : Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas by Yuyi Morales
Brightly illustrated stories about Niño, a huge Lucha Libre fan, and his imaginative life. (Ages 2-7)

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina
An award winning first chapter book about Juana, a young girl from Colombia, and Lucas her dog and her best friend. (Ages 6-10)

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
This debut novel published in 2017 follows Malu, a punk rocker at heart, as she starts a new school in Chicago while trying to understand her Mexican American identity. (Ages 7-12)

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A wonderfully told story about a young girl and her mother who must leave their comfortable life in Mexico to work as farm laborers in California set in the early 1900s. (Ages 10-14)

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle
A poetic memoir about the author's childhood spent in Cuba and California.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
A new release from the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe about best friends, growing up, family, and figuring it all out.

The Living & The Hunted by Matt De La Peña
Award winning books by a multiple award winning author! In The Living and The Hunted a young man named Sky's world is shaken by massive natural disasters and Sky must fight to survive.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
An award winning story about a teen girl named Piddy Sanchez trying to find her way in a new school and neighborhood.

For more suggestions of great books for kids and teens check out past winners of the Pura Belpré Award. This honor is awarded annually a Latino/Latina author and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Images from: http://syndetics.com/index.aspx?isbn=9781626722408/summary.html&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12&upc=%&oclc=% AND http://syndetics.com/index.aspx?isbn=9780544586505/summary.html&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12&upc=%&oclc=%

Monday, September 25, 2017


It's Banned Books Week!  This is an annual event, usually held during the last week of September, in which we celebrate the freedom to read.  Every year, books are challenged and/or removed from public and school libraries.  The Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most challenged books each year.  The 2016 list is available here: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10#2016

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/ or http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned

Here are a few books that have been challenged and/or banned in the last 25 years.

Children's Books:
George by Alex Gino
Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Young Adult Books:
Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Forever by Judy Blume
The Giver by Lois Lowry

Adult Books:
Make Something Up by Chuck Palahniuk

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Pictures from http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0690013590/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12, http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780545326988/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12, and http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780345514400/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12

Monday, September 18, 2017


Next month, we will be discussing The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.  This novel travels between Syria in the 1910s and New York in the 2010s.  This is a book of parallel stories of Elizabeth Endicott during her time in Syria during the Armenian Genocide and Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in modern day New York.

Chris Bohjalian is the author of over 15 novels.  His newest work, The Flight Attendant, is set to be published in March 2018.

Already finished The Sandcastle Girls and want to know what to read next?  Check out the novels listed below.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - Sage Singer befriends an old man who is beloved in their community.  One day he asks Sage for a favor; he asks her to kill him.  Sage refuses, but then he tells her that he deserves to die.  After he reveals his secret, Sage wonders if he is right.

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian - After Orhan's grandfather is found dead, Orhan inherits the old family business.  However, his grandfather's will brings more questions than answers.  His grandfather left the family estate to a stranger.  Why would he leave his home to an unknown woman rather than his own son or grandson?

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams - This story follows Vivian Schuler in 1964 Manhattan and Violet Schuyler Grant in 1914 Berlin.  One day Vivian receives mail from overseas that contains items that draw her back into her family's past, to the hushed-over crime of an aunt she never knew.

The Last Day of the War by Judith Claire Mitchell - This is the story of a Jewish girl and an Armenia-American solider who enter a maze of politics at the end of World War I.

The Photographer's Wife by Suzanne Johnson - Years after participating in a project to redesign Jerusalem with British parks, William Harrington visits the daughter of his former employer, and his revelations about the past transform her life.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton - During a summer party at her family home, Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house.  While there she sees a stranger approach and speak with her mother.  Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a crime; that crime will challenge everything she knows about her family.

Picture from http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780307990822/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12

Monday, September 11, 2017


School is back in session!  Whether you are starting school for the first time or are a seasoned veteran, this time of year is always full of excitement; you get to meet new people, start new classes, and learn new things along the way.

Here's a list of some school-themed books for kids and teens:

Picture Books and First Chapter Books:
School's First Day of School by Adam Rex
Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman
Rufus Goes to School by Kim Griswell
Puddle's New School by Amber Stewart
Angelina's New School by Katherine Holabird
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
The Class Trip from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
If You Take a Mouse to School by Lara Numeroff
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Middle Grade:
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot
School of the Dead by Avi
Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Amber Brown is not a Crayon by Paula Danziger
Harriet, the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Young Adult:
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl
Surviving High School by Max Doty
Two Roads From Here by Teddy Steinkellner
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Romancing the Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Pictures from http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=145490416X/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12, http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0399225099/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12, and http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780062290137/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12