Youth Services Staff Picks
Another by Christian Robinson — E ROB
For Grades: PreK — 2; Published 2019
Synopsis: In his eagerly anticipated debut as author-illustrator, Caldecott and Coretta Scott King honoree Christian Robinson brings young readers on a playful, imaginative journey into another world.
What if you...
encountered another perspective?
Discovered another world?
Met another you?
What might you do?
Andrea says: I love this wordless picture book! Christian Robinson’s brilliant illustrations tell the story without the need for words.
Andrea also suggests:
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio — E DIP
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena — E DEL
Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian - E SCI
For Grades: Pre-k — 2nd; Published 2010
Synopsis: A goldfish gives a personal account of his experiences while swimming around his bowl as it slowly fills with fish and other accessories, only to realize when he is relocated for a cleaning how much he misses them.
Debbie says: You don’t know what you’ve got til it's gone!
Debbie also suggests:
Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket- E SNI
Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones - E LLO
Vanderbeekers Series by Karina Yan Glaser — J SER VAN
For Grades: 3 — 7;Published 2017
Synopsis: The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It's practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.
Hannah says: This series is charming. It’s about a family with lots of kids and even more pets. The mysteries involved may seem simple, but they might surprise you!
Hannah also suggests:
the entire Vanderbeekers of 141st Street series
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz — J SER SCA
For Grades: 3 — 7; Published 1981
Synopsis: A classic collection of chillingly scary tales, collected and retold by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by renowned artist Brett Helquist. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark contains some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time. Walking corpses, dancing bones, knife-wielding madmen, and narrow escapes from death--they're all here in this chilling collection of ghost stories. Make sure you read these books with the light ON!
Kelsey says: I didn’t used to like creepy stories when I was younger, but as an adult I can’t get enough of scary stories and movies! These are classic creepy tales for older kids, and are perfect for retelling around campfires and at sleepovers!
Kelsey also suggests:
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series by Alvin Schwartz (J SER SCA)
Books by Mary Downing Hahn (J Scary/Spooky HAH)
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – J F CER (Classics)
For Grades: 5th — 9th; Published: 2009
Synopsis: One of the funniest and most touching novels ever written, Don Quixote has forever memorialized the story of a Spanish gentleman who reads so many books about :chivalric knighthood that he is convinced his own destiny is to become a knight-errant. And so he embarks upon a series of fantastical adventures across sixteenth-century Spain, accompanied by his faithful and philosophical squire, Sancho Panza. Superbly retold by Martin Jenkins and illustrated with great wit and humor by Chris Riddell, this is surely the ultimate edition of a book that takes its place among the best loved in the world.
Josue says: Don Quixote believes everything he reads. He’s not a land owner anymore. He is a knight. The inns he visits aren’t inns anymore. They’re castles where he is to be spoiled. Herds of sheep become mighty armies, windmills are now giants that defy him. Garlic-smelling maids, sweet-scented princesses. Would you like to know how imagination affects the way we act?
Josue also suggests:
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain – J F TWA (Classic)
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery – J F SAI (Classic)
Enzo and the Fourth of July Races by Garth Stein — JHOL E STE (Juv Holiday)
For grades; Pre-K — 3rd; Published 2017
Synopsis: For Enzo, the Fourth of July means three things: fireworks, family, and car races! This year Zoë is finally old enough to compete in the Kids' Kart Challenge. But when one of the boys at the track says that girls aren't fast drivers, Zoë gets nervous and backs out of the race. Enzo knows it's up to him to help his family regain the confidence to compete on the big day.
Priscilla says: This is a story about needing to believe in yourself in order to accomplish your goals. Enzo must help Zoe and Zoe’s dad, Denny, find the strength to believe in themselves so they can regain their confidence so they can compete on the big day.
Priscilla also suggests:
Firefly July: a Year of Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janezcko — J 811.008 FIR
Fourth of July Mice by Bethany Roberts — JHOL E ROB
Princess Tiana and the Royal Ball by Natasha Tarpley — E DIS (Princess)
For Grades: Preschool — 3; Published 2009
Synopsis: It's time for Tiana's first royal ball--and her first appearance as a princess. Her friend Charlotte has all kinds of advice on how to act. All Tiana has to do is figure out whether to listen.
Regina says: Discover the Princess inside of you!
Regina also suggests:
The princess and the pea by Rachel Isadora — E ISA (Princess)
Not quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin — E FRA
Consent (for kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of You! by Rachel Brian — J 177.1 BRI
For Grades: 1st — 5th; Published 2020
Synopsis: This is a guide to consent and bodily autonomy, packed with bright, energetic illustrations. Readers will learn about boundaries and how to set them; ways to respect themselves and others; what to do if someone makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe; and much more. Along the way, they'll be encouraged to reflect on (and improve!) their own behavior and to practice consent in their daily lives.
Stephanie says: It is so important to teach children about boundaries and body autonomy when it comes to their person.
Stephanie also suggests:
Let’s Talk About Boundaries, Consent, and Respect: A book to teach children about body ownership, respectful relationships, feelings and emotions, choices and recognizing bullying behaviors by Jayneen Sanders — J 158.2 SAN
My Body! What I Say Goes!: A book to empower and teach children about personal body safety, feelings, safe and unsafe touch, private parts, secrets and surprises, consent, and respectful relationships by Jayneen Sanders — J 362.76 SAN
Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders — J 306.461 SAN
The Republic of Birds by Jessica Miller — J F MIL (Fantasy)
For Grades: 5th — 8th; Published 2021
Synopsis: In the land of Tsaretsvo, civil war has divided the human kingdom from the Republic of Birds. Magic is outlawed, and young witches are sent to a mysterious boarding school, from which no one has returned. Olga and her family live a life of dull privilege in the capital until her father displeases the tyrannical tsarina. The family is sent off into exile at the Imperial Center for Avian Observation, an isolated shack near the Republic of Birds. Unlike the rest of her family, Olga doesn't particularly mind their strange new life. She never fit into aristocratic society as well as her perfect younger sister, Mira. What does worry Olga is her blossoming magical abilities. If anyone found out, they'd send her away. But then Mira is kidnapped by the birds, and Olga has no choice but to enter the forbidden Republic, a dangerous world full of iagas, talking birds, and living dreams. To navigate the Republic and save her sister, she'll need her wits, her cunning--and even her magic.
Veronica says: I loved the mixture of Russin folklore as well as the re-imagined yet very similar setting of Russia. Olga is a unique character because she has an ability with maps that many girls in her age group and during this time period do not have nor are encouraged to have an interest in that particular subject. I loved her adventurous spirit and her willingness to do anything she could for her sister.
Veronica also suggests:
Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave by Marianna Mayer- J NF 398.21 MAY
Unsinkable: from Russian orphan to paralympic swimming world champion by Jessica Long — J B LON
Living in Russia by Jesse Burton — R LIV (GREEN)
Sheepish: (Wolf Under Cover) by Helen Yoon — E YOO
For Grades: K — 3rd Grade; Published 2021
Synopsis: Wolf dreams of tasty sheep--sheep sandwiches, sheep sushi, sheep tacos! In his clever sheep costume, he infiltrates the friendly neighborhood herd, blending in by helping with chores, reading bedtime stories to the lambs, and working up a sweat in sheep aerobics class. Wolf's sneaky plan works so well, he becomes part of the family. And suddenly, the sheep don't seem quite as tasty...
Yentl says: This was such a cute and funny book about a wolf trying to eat some sheep. Things don’t go as planned and the wolf starts to become a part of the sheep family. Read this and get ready to laugh!
Yentl also suggests:
Sheep In a Jeep by Nancy Shaw - E SHA
Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep by Eric Barclay - E BAR