Curating Children's Books

By reviewing high-quality, culturally-sustaining (and enjoyable) books that affirm and value all children, I hope to encourage children and those young at heart to read more. 

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Pigeon & Cat

Pigeon & Cat: The Power of Friendship

Pigeon & Cat (Little, Brown, 2022) by Edward Hemingway. Meet Pigeon & Cat Cat is an anti-social stray. He lives in a box located on a vacant lot and only leaves to search for food. Things change when Cat rescues an unbroken egg (“to pretty to eat”) from a nest that was blown out of the tree. When Pigeon hatches, they become fast friends. Through speech bubbles, Cat speaks in words, and Pigeon “tweets” in emojis. As their caring friendship blossoms, Cat’s heart starts to open up. Adventurous

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Hi Jack! by Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli

Hi Jack! (The 1st Book in the Jack Book Series)

Fans of the Frog & Toad series by Arnold Lobel and the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems will love Hi Jack! (Viking, 2019), the first book in the Jack Book series written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. While Hi Jack! is not the recipient of any awards, it will be a winner with new readers! Meet Jack Meet Jack (a mischievous rabbit), the Lady (an elderly white woman), and Rex (a farm dog) in this laugh-out-loud early reader. When Jack meets the Lady, he promptly steals her purse

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Caterpillar Summer

Caterpillar Summer – A Heartwarming Novel

Caterpillar Summer (Bloomsbury, 2019) by Gillian McDunn. Caterpillar & Chicken When summer plans change, 11-year-old Cat and her 7-year-old brother, Chicken (who appears to be on the autism spectrum), are taken to stay on Gingerbread Island with maternal grandparents, Macon and Lily, who they’ve never heard of before. Cat and Chicken are the namesakes of characters in their mother’s picturebook series, Caterpillar & Chicken. In the books, Caterpillar does everything in her power to keep Chicken happy, and the same is true in real life. Ever since her

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Plasticus Maritimus

Plasticus Maritimus: A Dangerous & Invasive Species

Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species (Greystone Kids, 2020) by Ana Pêgo with Isabel Minhós Martins, illustrated by Bernardo P. Cavalho, translated by Jane Springer. Learn about Plasticus Maritimus Pêgo, a marine biologist and artist, has committed her life to the collection and study of ocean plastics. She even gave it a Latin name, Plasticus Maritimus, as a way to warn people about its dangers to the oceans and ultimately our planet. Presented in narrative form, this book is a comprehensive introduction to the plastic problem. After a short

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Stuntboy: The Greatest Hero You’ve Never Heard Of

Stuntboy, In the Meantime, (Atheneum, 2021) written by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Raúl the Third, and color by Elaine Bay. Meet Portico “Stuntboy” Reeves His parents know him as Portico Reeves, but his super not so secret identity is “Stuntboy.” When Portico is himself, he sometimes gets the “frets.” How could he not? Portico has to deal with bullying from Herbert Singletary the Worst and with his parents’ escalating fights as they move to separate apartments. Stuntboy doesn’t have time for the “frets” because he’s busy performing wacky

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Premeditated Myrtle

Premeditated Myrtle (A Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery)

Premeditated Myrtle (A Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery) (Recorded Books, 2020) by Elizabeth C. Bunce, read by Bethan Rose Young. Meet H.M. Hardcastle, Author of the “Principles of Detection” Living in Victorian England (the village of Swinburne, to be exact), Myrtle Hardcastle is not like other Young Ladies of Quality. Instead, she is a precocious twelve-year-old with a passion for justice and an unconventional obsession with criminal science. When her next-door neighbor, Miss Wodehouse (a wealthy and eccentric breeder of rare lilies) dies under mysterious circumstances, Myrtle seizes the chance to

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Anorak Magazine

Anorak Magazine – Sure to Put a Smile on Every Kid’s Face

Welcome to Anorak, the Happy Magazine for Kids Anorak magazine, for children ages 6+, is published by Studio Anorak, an independent children’s publishing house established in 2006. Studio Anorak also publishes DOT, a magazine for children 5 and under. Both are published quarterly, both print and digital, and shipped worldwide. The publishing house’s ethos is to put creativity and joy at the heart of childhood. With vibrant color throughout, Anorak magazine is filled with beautifully illustrated stories, games, and other fun activities. Each issue has a theme, all of which

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Children's Library Lady

Children’s Library Lady: It’s a Wonderful Blog for That!

Children’s Library Lady: There’s a Book for That! The Children’s Library Lady: There’s a Book for That! blog focuses on high-quality, inclusive picturebooks for classrooms and school libraries. The Children’s Library Lady says it best, she loves “picture books that send a positive message integrated into the story rather than being forced or too obvious; are exciting, diverse and inclusive for all ages; and are inspiring for children and the adults who read them!” Who is the Children’s Library Lady? The “real” Children’s Library Lady is named Kirsten, who

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Tel4u: A Universe of Free Resources

Welcome to TEL4U TEL4U is an amazing resource for kids from Pre-K through Grade 5. Administered by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, this website provides a safe “online galaxy” for kids, including homework help, state history, ebooks, games, and even a coding club to practice and learn about computers and coding. More importantly, its FREE! to Tennessee residents. What You’ll Love About TEL4U As more students are learning on electronic devices, whether at the library, school, or home, having a collection of safe and reliable internet resources

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King and the Dragonflies

King and the Dragonflies

King and the Dragonflies: A contemporary story of King, a gay Black boy in a small Louisiana town, dealing with his gender identity and the death of his older brother.

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