Children Recommendations

Otto The Book Bear

Otto, the bear, lives in a picture book that resides on a bookshelf and is the happiest when his story is shared by the people in the house. When no one is around, Otto comes alive and leaves the book to explore the house. One day the family moves away leaving Otto and the book behind. Feeling very lonely, Otto decides to set out to find a new home. In the big city, Otto feels very small and unhappy around the giant people. Eventually he discovers a public library where he finds a new book, new friends, and new readers.

Homer the Library Cat

Homer, the cat, enjoys living in a quiet house with a quiet lady. One day when the lady is gone, a loud noise scares him so he jumps out the window. Homer sets out to find another quiet place. The post office is too sneezy, the fire station’s bell is too loud, and the railroad station has a locomotive that blows a whistle. When Homer runs into the library, he finally finds a quiet place and the quiet lady. Now Homer becomes the Library cat. This rhyming book will appeal to cat and library lovers and children of all ages.

I'm not a baby

When Leo Leotardi wakes up one day to the sound of his own tummy grumbling and tells Nanny Fanni he is hungry for waffles she replies “Nonsense, you’re just a baby”  and proceeds to feed him oatmeal.

Hello! Hello!

The modern dilemma of too much technology and not enough natural world experience is explored in the nearly wordless picture book Hello! Hello!.

Oh my baby, little one

If you're looking for a book to share with your toddler that helps express how much you love them, even when you have to leave them at preschool, then look no further.  Besides helping a child understand that going to preschool can be an adventure, this expressive picture book also shows how much the mother loves the baby that she leaves behind when she goes to work.  Appelt's captivating illustrations underline the steadfast affection that mother and child have for each other.  You'll want to read this one again and again because every child wants to know their m

Bread and jam for Frances

When my children were small, we read all the Frances books:  Bread and Jam for Frances, Bedtime for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, Best Friends for Frances, A Birthday for Frances and A Bargain for Frances.  Don't forget to check out Frances' songs too--she has a separate book just for those called Egg Thoughts and Other Frances Songs.  Written with humor, imagination and insight, these stories tell about a young badger who experiences all the pangs of growing up, from being replaced in her parents' affections by her baby sister to

The Fairy Rebel

This is a story by the award-winning author of The Indian in the Cupboard.  Imaginative in detail and plot, the tale involves a rebellious, spunky fairy named Tiki, who refuses to obey the strict rules of the Fairy Queen, especially the ridiculous one that require all fairies and elves to wear silly, diaphanous clothing.  Modern Tiki much prefers blue jeans, and although she tries to obey the autocratic Fairy Queen most of the time, she doesn't manage it often enough.  Independent and sassy, she won't buckle under, and as a consequence, she gets involved with

Olive's Ocean

Although this story is about a young girl whose life is cut short by a bicycle accident, her spirit lives on through another girl, a classmate of hers, who might have been her friend, but was not.  Despite their having been in the same class at school, they never became more than acquaintances, but they shared the same secret.  What this secret is and why it haunts Martha is part of the mystery of the story.  This mystery will keep you wondering about the shortness of life and how much can change in just minutes.  Henkes writes with rare insight and thoughtfulness. 

Worst of Friends Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the true story of an American feud

They were the best of friends, they were the worst of friends. Opposites in almost every way, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were nevertheless best friends. They had a remarkable friendship that helped give birth to our nation, and yet they were also political rivals who argued about everything! This fantastic new book for children details some of their disagreements and shows how you can be best friends and still disagree. I think that's at the very heart of what being a democracy is all about, and it's a message that’s good to remember

Finn Throws a Fit

Finn's not having a good day in this devilishly funny book. When Finn throws a fit, the house floods with his tears, when he screams it's an avalanche, kicks it's an earthquake, and so on. This book will strike a note with any fit-throwing kid (and their long-suffering parents/caretakers). I love the scribbly storm cloud above his head! Haven’t you felt like that before? I sure have!

P.S. If you like this book, you might also like "Big Rabbit's Bad Mood" by Ramona Badescu

Edwardo The Horriblest Boy In the Whole Wide World

Edwardo is a normal boy, and like normal boys he sometimes acts up....kicking things, chasing things, etc. All the grown-ups tell him he is the “Horriblest boy in the WORLD!” until one day when he kicks a pot of flowers and it lands in some dirt, and a kind grown-up sees him starting a then, Edwardo becomes good at gardening…and so on, until Edwardo is the nicest boy in the whole world. A fantastic book about the power of positive encouragement!

Hattie the Bad

Hattie is BAD (not really, she's a spirited prankster), and parents tell their kids not to play with her, so she decides to become as good at being good as she is at being “bad”. Soooo good, in fact, that she wins an award for it...but since it is so incredibly boring being good she...well, you'll have to read the book to find out what she does next!

The message here is to be true to matter what!

The Unwanteds

Lisa McMann has written an exceptional novel called  The Unwanteds; on this audiobook, Simon Jones reads an exciting new fantasy story about a world where all children who express themselves creatively either by singing, dancing, painting or drawing become "unwanteds" and at the age of ten are banished from their homes never to see their siblings or parents again.  In the stark, gray city of Quill being creative in anyway is a guarantee that at age ten, you'll be put on a bus and sent to the lake of boiling oil.  Eliminators escort you to this


“I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.”

Children Make Terrible Pets

 How would you like it if a bear found you in the woods and took you home to be it’s pet?  Find out in this hilarious book by Peter Brown.  Melodramatic Lucy Bear is practicing her twirls in the forest one day when she spies a little boy she dubs “Squeaker” since that’s the sound he makes (to her ears).  She takes him home to show her mother who declares “children make terrible pets!” But Lucy begs and pleads and eventually her mother relents.  The following pages show all the fun they have together, but alas, all is not fun and g


The books that appeal to me most are the ones whose plots unfold in an unpredictable way.  Adelaide The Flying Kangaroo is just that sort of book- it takes you on a marvelous adventure you weren’t expecting.

The Lonely Book

When a new book about a girl who lives in the forest arrives at the library, it is popular with the library patrons and is checked out constantly. Once the book becomes old and tattered and is missing the last page, the children no longer remain interested in checking it out. The book becomes lonely and is left in a dark corner until a little girl named Alice finds it. She takes it home and enjoys listening to her father read the book each night. Alice takes the book to a special library event where she leaves it behind when she forgets to renew it.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy and with illustrations by Todd Harris, is a hilarious retelling of classic fairytales.  It is about four princes, known only as Prince Charming in their fairytales, and their true life experiences as they try to protect their kingdoms.  The princes, whose names are Frederic, Gustav, Liam, and Duncan, are known to each other only by their legends as sung by the Bards.  Upon meeting, they team up to save their kingdoms from an evil witch, repair their reputations, and set the story straight.  Alon

Learn Your Facts: Addition + Subtraction

Help your child learn the addition and subtraction facts from 0 to 18. This playaway will teach your child the addition strategies:  “Doubles,” “Doubles Plus One,” and “Two More Than.” It will help children learn to think addition when subtracting, the “Get to Ten” strategy, and how to make “Fact Families.” All addition and subtraction facts are reviewed with and without the answers and the songs restate the facts in order and randomly.

The Fire Ascending

The final book in the Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D'Lacey has arrived, and having just read The Fire Ascending, I am happy to report it's almost as good as the other books in the series but with many surprises.  After reading the previous volume,Fire Work, which places many of our favorite characters into alternative roles in dimensions other than Earth, I'm happy to say that once the history of Gwilanna, Agawin, and Guinevere is told, the author brings us back to the crux of the story:  the battle between the evil IX and the Fain. 

I Know a Wee Piggy

This rhyming book follows the style of “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” In the story the energetic pig escapes from his owner, causes havoc at the country fair, and wins a blue ribbon. Nine colors are introduced when the pig wallows in brown mud, red tomatoes, white milk, pink cotton candy, yellow egg yolks, black paint, green grass, gray and orange clay, a purple scarf, and blue water. Each color is bolded which help make the words and colors easily recognizable. Children will enjoy listening to this read aloud and they will ask to hear it over and over again.

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Clever Jack Takes the Cake is a tribute to the fairy tales we all know and love. It is the original story of young Jack who receives an invitation to the princess’s birthday party, however with no money to buy her a gift he decides to bake her a cake. He trades his possessions to gain the ingredients, and then searches for the rest. Once made Jack must bring the beautiful cake to the birthday party.


“Maybe, thought Ben, we are all cabinets of wonders." 
Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck


Those familiar with Brian Selznick’s work (most notably The Invention of Hugo Cabret) know he is a talented writer and artist. His newest book Wonderstruck is another testament to his incredible talent.  

Imogene's Last Stand

Imogene, an energetic young history buff, discovers the abandoned Historical Society building. After spending time sprucing it up, she opens it as a museum but unfortunately none of the townspeople are interested in visiting it. One day Imogene discovers that Mayor Butz has decided to demolish the structure and replace it with a shoelace factory.

Finding My Place