The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward

Reviewed by Holly (Library Patron)

As a former educator I highly recommend this seasonal book. It was written in 1939 and has NEVER been out of print. That fact speaks volumes. It is a wonderful tale of never giving up on your dreams. It speaks of good character being rewarded. I recommend it as a read aloud. It is kind of long for a picture book so before you start make sure your audience has the attention span to thoroughly enjoy it.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E HEY)

A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer

Reviewed by Manasi K (Library Patron)

This book is truly magic. With twists and turns that are unpredictable. The main character is Brystal Evergreen. Her life started out as just a girl in a lonely village with no comfort. But as the years passed she and her friends made a big impression on the Northern, she discovered a big secret about Mrs.Weatherberry, and then she was entitled the name of the Fairy
Godmother. Also, she spoke to the Government about the unfair laws about what women can do and what they can’t. Brystal and her friends were just children who were abandoned by their parents but without that cruel act, her greatest achievements could not have been done. Brystal is Solicitous, Brave, and Assertive. She lets nothing get in her way even if she is hurt. Brystal is proud of herself yet has compassion towards others. This story is magnificent and if you like this book you will surely like others of Chris Colfers series. The genre of this book is fiction and has a bit of magic. I rate this book a 10/10 because it has a plot and the feeling you get reading the book is unique.

Available through the Bridges Library System

The Very, Very Far North by Dan Bar-El

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

This is a lovely story about a polar bear named Duane, and his many friends in the very, very far north: C.C., the snowy owl, Major Puff, a military trained puffin, Magic, a lovely white snow fox, Handsome, a very, very vain musk ox, whose primary occupation is staring at his reflection in the water, Twitch, an arctic hare, Boo, a caribou, and Sun Girl, a human girl, whom you might think would be the main character of the story, being the only human, but she isn’t. (Duane is)

As with most children’s books with animal characters, these animals (and one human animal) all get along as friends, and even better, all seem to speak the same language. Don’t let this deter you from reading this wonderful gem of a story, because, from the very beginning, when Duane and Handsome begin their journey, we learn lots of things about these friends, the great white north, and, if we pay attention, to what and who we are, as well. Enough from me. As Duane thinks at the start of this adventure, “Light mood, positive spirit, bouncy steps. These are the ideal things to bring along when exploring.”

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC BAR-EL)

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

Castle Crenshaw (Ghost) is a runner; a very fast runner. Will he be fast enough to compete on the Defenders? Will he always have to run in his rolled up jeans and ratty old high tops? This is a quick read with a lot of depth and heart, and when it comes to finding your way within the difficult life of poverty, anger, and need, the Defenders just may be the key. This is the first book in the series, Track, now complete with Patina, Sunny, and Lu. It’s definitely a series worth reading.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC REYNOLDS BK.1)

Sweet Dreamers by Isabelle Simler

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

I love ordering picture books – it seems the new ones coming out now are getting better and better. The illustrations are beautiful, and their accompanying words fit perfectly. Sweet Dreamers is just such a book. I ordered it based on a very favorable review, but as I read it, I was astounded by its depth. The animal pictures are created digitally, and are lovely lines of orange, white, ocher, green, and more. The short descriptions, of each featured animal are thought provoking and precise in their descriptions of the animals’ sleeping procedures. This is a lovely bedtime book and so much more.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E SIMLER)

Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home by Guojing

Reviewed by Taylor H (Library Staff)

I think what initially drew me to Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home was that the dog looks just like one of my dogs, but I also can’t say enough good things about the story itself. In this wordless picture book, a young woman finds a homeless dog under a park bench. The dog is very timid and runs away. Over the course of the book, the woman tries to gain the dog’s trust. After days of trying, the story culminates in a fierce thunderstorm, and readers see whether or not the woman’s attempts were successful.

The artwork renders this heartwarming story beautifully, following the woman and the dog through a mix of small and large art panels. Not only that, but the wordless nature of the book gives children and parents the opportunity to interpret what the two characters might be thinking and/or feeling. I never thought a picture book could make me so emotional, and it has quickly become one of my all-time favorites. I highly recommend this book!

Available through the Bridges Library System

You Be You! The Kid’s Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family by Jonathan Brafman, illustrated by Julie Benbasset

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

This is a very factual and simply written book for children, discussing all kinds of things about love, attraction, marriage, the decisions about whether to have or not have children, as well as extensive information concerning gender identity. Written for children, it includes lots of colorful pictures, and does a great job of explaining phrases children may not have heard before. The chapters are short, and very easy to follow, and the entire book has a very kid-friendly vibe without being the least bit “cutesy.” I think this will be helpful to kids of all ages and their parents (and teachers.) I highly recommend it as a very good read about subjects that are often daunting to approach, approached in a very calm and informational manner.

Located in Children’s Nonfiction (J 305.3 BRA)

Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon by Suzanne Slade

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

When I was 9 years old I heard the speech that President John F. Kennedy made to announce to the world, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” And I remember my mother and father being amazed at this proclamation, and my dad saying, “If anyone can do it, we can.” I lived through years of reports about the Apollo space missions, being sad about the defeats and happy when their efforts were successful. And then, within that decade NASA and the brave astronauts did what many believed to be impossible; they put not one, but two astronauts on the moon. Until now, I’m not sure there has been an adequate book for children about this feat, but there is now. That book, Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, is one of the finest pieces of nonfiction I have read in my many years as a children’s librarian. Suzanne Slade and Thomas Gonzalez (author and illustrator) have provided a wonderful compilation of all the preparations and flights, from Apollo 1’s tragic beginning to Apollo 11’s triumphant moonwalk by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. This is a magnificent children’s book, written in a way accessible to all children, but definitely not just for children. It is a feast for all.

Located in Children’s Nonfiction (J 629.45 SLA)

Three Books by Torben Kuhlman

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon
Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure
Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse

This marvelous series of books by Torben Kuhlman (in English translation) is a 3 book compilation of stories about mice that learn to fly, help build a vessel, and go to the moon. The stories are factual (well, except for the mouse part,) and certain to be read and reread by children. The many illustrations are extraordinary, the text is uplifting, and the outcome for both the mice and this book series is transcendent.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC KUHLMAN)

Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

I have read nearly everything Raina Telgemeier has ever written and was anxiously awaiting her latest, Guts. I was not disappointed. The semi-autobiographical graphic novel delves into the medical issues she had as a teenager. After going from doctor to doctor, Raina finally receives advice that it might be a mental illness, rather than a physical one. She begins to see a therapist who helps Raina take some control of her myriad fears. Telgemeier’s illustrations leap off the page and will have you devouring the story. At times thoughtful and emotional, at times charming and funny, Guts is a fantastic addition to Telgemeier’s oeuvre.

Available through the Bridges Library System