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Youth Services Staff Picks

April 2015 Staff Picks 


Spring has sprung and with it a brand new crop of staff picks! 
Come check them out (literally) at the library!

 Halloween 2014

The Youth Services Team dresses up as Goodnight Moon for Halloween.

Anna's Pick:


Seahorses by Jennifer Keats Curtis – J 597.679 CUR

For grades Pre-K – 2; published 2012

Synopsis: One day, a baby seahorse is born, turning and tumbling as he floats through ocean currents alongside his three hundred brothers and sisters. Like a tiny, mythical dragon, the seahorse is a fascinating creature: he changes color to fit in with the surroundings of his spectacular coral reef and sea grass surroundings; his lizard-like eyes can look in two directions at once; and when he has grown, he - not the female - will give birth to the next batch of whirling seahorses.

Anna says: Seahorses are my favorite! I love that the male carries the children. They are so delicate but full of power. 

Anna also suggests:
Project Seahorse by Pamela S. Turner – J 597.679 TUR
Sea Horse: the Shyest Fish in the Sea by Christine Butterworth – J 597 BUT





Audrey's Pick:

Wild BoyWild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones – J Mystery JON 

For grades 5 – 8; published 2013 

Synopsis: A boy who is covered in hair is raised as a monster, and condemned to life in a traveling freak show; A boy with extraordinary powers of observation and detection; A boy accused of murder, on the run, hungry for the truth. Behold, the savage spectacle of Wild Boy! 

Audrey says: Wild boy, an abandoned child covered with hair is turned in to a sideshow freak by a cruel circus master. Then, there is a murder on the circus grounds and all signs point to “Wild Boy”. A murder that takes place in historical Victorian London, and justice rests in the hands of sideshow “freaks”? Yes, please! 

Audrey also suggests:
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein – J Mystery GRA
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson – J GN WRI


Debbie's Pick:


Frogs Wake Up by Ken Kimura – E KIM 

For grades Pre-K – K; published 2013 

Synopsis: 998 frogs and their big brother hop up out of the dirt and bounce around waking all the other hibernating critters. Turtle, lizard, ladybugs and….SNAKE! Oh no! Don’t wake the snake!

Debbie says: A lovely book about waking up for spring.



Debbie also suggests
In the Small, Small Pong by Denise Fleming – E FLE
Manana Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul - E PAU




Jenn's Pick: 

Kits Wilderness

Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond– J Scary/Spooky ALM 

For grades 7 and up; Published 2001 

Synopsis:  "It was very deep, Kit. Very dark. And every one of us was scared of it. As a lad I'd wake up trembling, knowing that as a Watson born in Stoneygate I'd soon be following my ancestors into the pit," so Kit's grandfather tells him. The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit's recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family had both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him to play a game called Death. As Kit's grandfather provides stories of the mine's past and the history of the Watson family, the boys search the mines to find the childhood ghosts of their long-gone ancestors. 

Jenn says:This was an excellent creepy, and at times surprisingly touching book.  The characters are vivid and very realistic.  The book has a very gothic feel, the tension is a slow burn but David Almond maintains it wonderfully. 

Jenn also suggests:
The Night Gardener by Jonathon Auxier – J Bluebonnet AUX
The Kneebone Boy Military by Ellen Potter – J Adventure POT





Kellie's Pick:    

MidwifeMidwife’s Apprenticeby Karen Cushman – J NEWB CUS

For grades 6 – 9; Published 1995

Synopsis: In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife, and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world. 

Kellie says: What would it be like to be a young girl left with no family in medieval England? The Midwife’s Apprentice is the story of Alyce, who must make her own way to survive in a harsh world.  If you like adventures and learning about what life would be like in another period of time this coming of age story is for you! 

Kellie also suggests:
Crispin the Cross of Lead by Avi – J NEWB AVI
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli – J NEWB DEA



Kelsey's Pick:  


Scraps by Lois Ehlert – J Bluebonnet EHL 

For grades 2 – 5; Published 2014 

Synopsis: Lois Ehlert always knew she was an artist. Her parents encouraged her from a young age by teaching her how to sew and saw wood and pound nails, and by giving her colorful art supplies. They even gave her a special spot to work that was all her own. Today, many years and many books later, Lois takes readers and aspiring artists on a delightful behind-the-scenes tour of her books and her book-making process. Part fascinating retrospective, part moving testament to the value of following your dreams, this richly illustrated picture book is sure to inspire children and adults alike to explore their own creativity.  

Kelsey says: I love all of Lois Ehlert’s books. They’re so tactile, and I love seeing the different materials Ehlert uses to create each book. Plus, as the daughter of a gardener, I very much appreciate that Ehlert takes the time to identify all of the plants and animals in her books. So as soon as we got The Scraps Book in, I snatched it up to read. And I am thrilled it’s a Bluebonnet nominee this year as well!  

Kelsey also suggests:
All of Lois Ehlert’s books!







Lindsay’s Pick:  

Frankenstein cake

Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex – J 811.6 REX 

For grades 1 – 4; Published 2012 

Synopsis: Frankenstein wants to marry his undead bride in peace, but his best man, Dracula, is freaking out about the garlic bread, and the Headless Horseman wishes everyone would stop drooling over his pumpkin head. 


Lindsay says: The whole story is one surprise after another from different characters to different art and poetry styles. The illustrations are inventive and fantastic and the stories you encounter are so clever and humorous. It’s a book like I’ve never read or seen before. It’s such a unique and fun ride from page one to the end! Enjoy! 

Lindsay also suggests:
Monster Mash by David Catrow - E CAT
The Monster's Monster by Patrick McDonnell - E MCD




Lynn’s Pick: 


The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner – J SER BOX 

For grades 2 – 5; Published 1942 

Synopsis: Four orphaned children run away and live in a boxcar, until they are found by their grandfather.  

Lynn says: When I read this book as a child, I wanted to live in a boxcar just like these kids.  It seemed like so much fun!  This book and the many others in the series portray the boxcar children as people with great character and a phenomenal work ethic.  The fact that they solve a mystery in every book is a wonderful bonus!  

Lynn also suggests:
The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner - J SER BOX



Ofilia's Pick:


Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy Tale Voices with a Twist by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich–J 811.54 YOL

For grades 3 – 5; Published 2013

Synopsis:  What were all those fairy-tale characters thinking? Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich answer this question in paired poems, with sometimes startling results. The spectacular paintings that tie the poems together are full of surprise and intrigue. This stunning collection includes end notes that briefly describe the tales and their history and an introduction that invites readers to imagine their own poems from unusual perspectives.

Ofilia says: Celebrate poetry month with this collection based on fairy tales. The verse is clever often told from a different point of view or with a twist. The illustrations are unique (some bordering on creepy) which only serves to draw you in.

Ofilia also suggests:
Mirror Mirror: a book of reversible verse by Marilyn Singer - J 811.54 SIN
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl– J 821.914 DAH 



Veronica’s Pick:    


Again! by Emily Gravett –E GRA 

For grades Pre-K – 3; Published 2013 

Synopsis:  A little dragon and his favorite book make for a combustible combination in this clever picture book with a surprise ending.  

Veronica saysHave you ever had to read “that book” over and over again and can’t wait until your child gets tired of it?? Well this is a story for you. Cedric the dragon loves this one particular book to be read during bedtime and when his persistence starts to wear on mama dragon…let’s just say Cedric might have to find a new book to love. This book is great for dragons everywhere.    

Veronica also suggests:
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin – E RUB
Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-El – E BAR 

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