Drawn Together by Minh Lê

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Originally published in: 2018

What it’s about: A young boy is forced to spend time with his grandfather, who only speaks Vietnamese, so they cannot communicate and how they find a way around that to build a bond.

What made me pick it up: It was well reviewed.

My favorite parts: It has fantastic illustrations that blend a young child’s imaginative drawings with the work of more classically trained artist. They really show how even if you speak a different drawing “language” you can work together to make interesting worlds. I loved the message that you can always find common ground with someone who seems wildly different from you.

Who it’s great for: Littles who might have a disconnect from their older relatives for one reason or another.

Erica’s rating: four and a half shells

Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Paris Rosenthal

 

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Originally published in: 2017

What it’s about: A story telling young girls it’s ok to be their authentic selves.

What made me pick it up: Rosenthal’s widow’s TED talk as recommended on Twitter by John Green.

My favorite parts: You be you. That’s the message. One I want to tell every young impressionable unsure girl. And also the ones who haven’t yet learned to be unsure. You’re the only you there is. Be that, whatever that looks like.

Who it’s great for: Girls of any age.

Erica’s rating: five shells


Find this book in your local library, or on Amazon (affiliate link).


 

If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don’t! by Elise Parsley

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Originally published in: 2017

What it’s about: A picture book about a child who promises to use her indoor voice and not make a mess if only she can bring her circus into the library.

What made me pick it up: I was looking for new books with faces on them for #bookfacefriday when I saw this and grabbed it off a cart to read because libraries.

My favorite things: This is hilarious! I totally understand the spunk of the main character and all of her sincere, if misguided, attempts to make a circus library friendly. Turns out the library isn’t the best place for a circus, but I loved the message of how reading stories is a good alternative. It also has vibrant illustrations.

Who it’s great for: Fans of libraries or circuses. Children who have great, if ill-advised, ideas.

Erica’s rating: four-shells


Find this title at Amazon(affiliate link) or in your local library.


 

The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah Ohora

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Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: A little boy and his brother visit the library for a quiet Saturday of reading, until a monster turns up.

What made me pick it up: I had placed Chris Hadfield’s children’s book The Darkest Dark on hold and OverDrive recommended this to me instead. It sounded good enough, and it was available, so I checked it out.

My favorite things: As a librarian I am always intrigued by books about libraries, and this picture book was no different. I really enjoyed the little boy helping the monster learn how fun reading and storytime are. Also there are donuts. Who can resist?

Who it’s great for: Library lovers of all ages. Littles who want to see a character who enjoys library visits, reading, and storytime as much as they do.

Erica’s rating: four-shells


Find The Not So Quiet Library and The Darkest Dark at Amazon (affiliate links) or your local library.


 

This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggers

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Originally published in: 2015

What it’s about: How the Golden Gate Bridge came to be painted orange.

What made me pick it up: I saw it on another library’s Instagram. It was by Dave Eggers. It was short.

My favorite things: The bits of humor Eggers weaves through this story. And the unique illustrations.

Who it’s great for: Parents who want to read a longer picture book to a slightly older child. Older children who can read a more in-depth picture book themselves. Anyone interested in bridges, this bridge specifically, or civil discourse. Those looking for a quick, factual, entertaining nonfiction book.

Erica’s rating: four-shells