Good news for fans of Elephant & Piggie! This new series of easy readers by Jan Thomas is full of a similar kind of humour and good fun. The first two titles have just been released and they are very entertaining. They feature four friends - a duck, a donkey, a dog, and a sheep. In There's a Pest in the Garden they are joined by a voracious groundhog, who eats its way through the friends’ garden. What is Chasing Duck?, includes a wild, hairy creature with big teeth, who, spoiler-alert, is chasing duck. These are short and peppy, and will attract those reluctant young readers. Watch for more titles to come!
Saturday, June 17 is National Get Your Summer Read On Day. Let’s celebrate! Let’s celebrate summer and reading and books and the library. At the Central Library we will have a special sneak peek at the TD Summer Reading Club, and a one day only early bird registration so you can get a head start on a summer full of fun. The first 50 kids to sign up will receive a special prize! Regular registration, at all locations, begins on June 29.
It will be a fun day with lots going on, including author visits and Erick Traplin! Check out the details below...
Thus far, 2017 has been a great year in cat themed picture books. There has been a steady stream of new cats - black cats, white cats, big cats, feisty cats, cats that just don't care. We have them all! Here are a few of the stand outs…
Big Cat, Little Cat
by Elisha Cooper
Okay, this one feels like it was written for me. I adopted a very feisty white kitten, Popcorn, who grew into a very feisty white cat. He clearly needed a friend, so enter Wolf, a laid back black kitten. Like the cats in this story, Pops showed Wolfie the ropes, and taught him everything he needed to know about being a cat. This is a simple picture book about feline friendships, and the ups and downs of being their family.
Stack the Cats
by Susie Ghahremani
I love this book! The colour! The design! The cheerful, sometimes incredulous cats! The simple text is full of mischief and education. “One cat sleeps. Two cats play. Three
cats? Stack!” As it continues, we
get a simple and effective math lesson, for example, “six cats prefer two stacks of three cats.” The moral: there is more than one way to stack
The Catawampus Cat
by Jason Carter Eaton; illustrated by Gus Gordon
Catawampus cat wanders into town on a Tuesday. He walks a little askew. As people notice him, they tilt their heads to take a look. The tilt leads to magic. They see things they have missed, accidentally create art, and get a new outlook on life. I particularly appreciate this passage: “when town librarian, Miss Reade, saw the catawampus cat, she pulled the wrong book off the shelf. And then quit her job and set out on an adventure!” In a rut? Just look at things in a new way. Thanks catawampus cat. A fun read aloud!
A Cat Named Swan
by Holly Hobbie
Poor cat finds himself suddenly alone. He is a homeless kitten, trying to survive on the streets. Fortunately, he is found, taken to a shelter, and adopted by a family. He goes from scruffy to sleek, hungry to full, lonely to loved. They name him Swan, and his new home and family make him very happy. This is lovely story of cat finding his furr-ever home.
Lola Gets a Cat
by Anna McQuinn; illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Lola, of Lola Plants a Garden and Lola Loves Stories fame, is a cat lover. She loves cats, and she wants one of her very own. Mom, of course, tries to dissuade her, telling her they are a lot of work, but eventually she gives in. Lola gets to adopt a cat. This is a great choice for any young children who are about to get a feline sibling. Lots of tips are included.
Triangle by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen
Triangle lives in a triangle world. He decides to make a trip to play a sneaky trick on Square. It works. He tricks Square, in Square’s square world. Then Square gets his own back, in a solidly ambiguous ending. Barnett and Klassen (Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, 2014) are back with another quietly clever and beautiful picture book. The first of a trio of shape themed books from the pair. Ages 3 - 7
Mr. Postmouse Takes a Trip by Marianne Dubuc
I loved Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds, so I was happy to see that Mr. Postmouse and his family are back. This time they’re travelling the world, vacationing, but of course Mr. Postmouse also delivers the odd package. Fans of Richard Scarry will find lots to love here. The illustrations can pored over and savored, there are lots of cheeky things going on, and insights into lots of different homes and places. Ages 3 - 7
Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins
Rupert the Mouse presents Be Quiet! He envisions a beautiful, wordless book. It will be a work of art. The illustrations will tell the story. No words needed. There is just one big problem, Rupert and his friends can’t stop talking. The more they try to be quiet, the worse it gets, making for a funny picture and a great read aloud. Pair this with Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett, for a roaring good time. Ages 4 - 8
One Minute by Somin Ahn
How do you explain time to a child? This simple picture tackles that question by explaining what one minute means by using things a child will understand. “In one minute you can hug your dog… say hi to your neighbor…or plant seeds.” Ahn deftly shows that a minute can be short or long, nothing at all or extremely important.
Ages 3 - 5
We are sharpening our pencils, stocking up on craft supplies, charging the iPads, and trying to get lots of rest so we are ready for a fun-filled week during March Break. Lots and lots of free programs are planned for children and teens. There is definitely something for everyone, from babytime to Teen Video Competition workshops, daily movies to traditional Irish storytelling.
Check out the quick reference guide below for a complete list of programs happening at all Kitchener libraries. For more information drop by and pick up a copy of In Touch or read it online and register for programs at kpl.org.
Every year, when February comes around, and we are preparing a special display for Black History Month to highlight great children’s books which honor the black experience; one book always comes to my mind first. Brown Angels: an album of pictures and verse by Walter Dean Myers is a book I pull off the shelf every so often when I am browsing the poetry section. I love to just flip through it.
As the Horn Book (1993) review stated: “Myers's collection of antique photographs of African-American children from the turn of the century, sharply reproduced in black and white or sepia, inspired eleven evocative poems that affirm the African-American experience in a lyrical, tender, and sometimes humorous voice. A beautiful, unique album.”
My favourite poem in the collection is Love That Boy, which I have probably read aloud to all of my staff, and more than a few customers. It is the poem which inspired the beautiful free verse novel, Love The Dog by Sharon Creech.
So, in honour of Black History Month, please read Love That Boy, and share it far and wide...
Love That Boy
Love that boy,
like a rabbit loves to run.
I said I love that boy,
like a rabbit loves to run.
Love to call him in the morning,
love to call him,
'Hey there, son!'
He walk like his Grandpa,
Grins like his Uncle Ben.
I said he walk like his Grandpa,
And grins like his Uncle Ben.
Grins when he's happy,
When he sad, he grins again.
His mama like to hold him,
Like to feed him cherry pie.
I said his mama like to hold him.
Like to feed him that cherry pie.
She can have him now,
I'll get him by and by.
He got long roads to walk down
Before the setting sun.
I said he got a long, long road to walk down
Before the setting sun.
He'll be a long stride walker,
And a good man before he done.
Walter Dean Myers (1937 – 2014)
Visit any Kitchener Public Library location for more suggestions of great books to celebrate the month.
Egg is Kevin Henke’s 50th book. He has given us lots of great ones over the years, like Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, Chester’s Way, and Chrysanthemum. Egg shows Henkes’ brilliance, and his ability to connect with children with a simple and engaging story. Here we have four cheerfully coloured eggs.
Three hatch. One doesn't...
Which of course leads to a lot of waiting...
The green egg does hatch, eventually, but the birds get a big surprise. This picture book is understated, and reveals a seemingly simple story that will leave readers with lots to talk about. A perfect read aloud. I sure hope that Kevin Henkes continues to create and add to his stellar list.
Ages 2 and up.
This is it! Our last list for 2016. Our favourite children's non-fiction. The non-fiction list always fun because it covers such a wide range of topics, including a cookbok, science, spooky stories, a folk tale, poetry and more!
Please let us know if you have any questions, or need book recommendations. The Children’s & Teen Services team reads a lot, and we are always happy to share our favourite books. We’re already looking forward to the books of 2017.
And, the lists continue! We read a lot of good children's novels this year, with a wide range of themes and lots of colourful characters. Here are ten favourite...
We also read some really good graphic novels. We haven't had a graphic novel category in past years, but this year three were submitted, so I thought they deserve a special mention.
This is a bittersweet list for us. It is the last time an Elephant & Piggie book will be on the list. There has been an Elephant & Piggie book on this list every year since they debuted in 2007. Starting with There is a Bird on Your Head, we have been huge fans and have put the series into the hands of many young readers. The Thank You Book marks the end of the series, but I am sure Mo Willems will be back with lots of fun books full of new and memorable characters. Fortunately, there are lots of great books to make up our list. Please enjoy our favourite easy readers...
Children's & Teen Services Staff
Sharing information for parents, caregivers and educators.