Check out what's new in the Children's Library this spring!
(Children Picture Book VANCA)
Together, Van Camp and Flett have created a beautiful little board book about the love caregivers have for their children. Van Camp’s text is spare and rhythmic, and it reads like poetry, beginning, “We sang you from a wish, we sang you from a prayer, we sang you home, and you sang back.” As in her last illustrated board book, My Heart Fills with Happiness
, Flett employs a variety of textures and rich, soothing hues to render intimate moments in one family’s life.
(Children Picture Book DOI)
With this new picture book, Japanese author-illustrator Kaya Doi offers a whimsical narrative about two sisters bicycling through the forest. On their adventures, Chirri and Chirra stop at a cafe to enjoy acorn coffee, dine on bread and jam at an open air bakery, and view an outdoor concert from the balcony of a hotel—each business is, of course, owned and patronized by various forest creatures. The colored pencil illustrations, reminiscent of Virginia Lee Burton’s work, lend the book a soft, nostalgic quality that make it perfect for sharing at bedtime. It is Doi’s attention to little details, like the bugs with their tiny cups of tea and all different flavors of bread and jam, that make the book a delightful and memorable story.
(Children Picture Book + BROSG)
Brosgol’s hilarious new picture book tells the tale of one old woman’s quest to finish her very important knitting before winter. Her biggest obstacle? All her grandchildren get in the way and treat her precious balls of yarn like toys. Shouting “leave me alone!” the woman packs up her knitting and retreats to the forest, but she is bothered by hungry bears. She treks high up into the mountains, but she is pestered by even hungrier mountain goats. She climbs up to the moon, but she can’t get any peace from the little green moon-men! I won’t spoil the ending, but be assured that the cartoonish illustrations, repetition, and humor make this a story children and their grownups will enjoy.
(Children PZ7.K573 Me 2017)
The thought of worldwide environmental degradation makes Obe anxious—in part because it hits close to home. Growing up, he’s experienced the development—and accompanying destruction—of the land surrounding his home that had been part of his family’s farm for generations. It doesn’t help that the new kids in the neighborhood bully Obe, nor that Obe’s dad continues a more subtle form of bullying at home, in part through demoralizing games of Monopoly. When Obe finds a strange dog-like, pig-like, plastic-eating creature in the woods behind his house, he is hopeful that he’s discovered “the pollution solution.” This creature—whom Obe names Marvin Gardens—may not be all that it seemed at first, but whether or not Marvin proves to be a force for good, Obe is determined to keep him safe from the neighborhood boys. King weaves the real and surreal seamlessly in a characteristically peculiar, distinctly eco-conscious narrative.
(Children PZ7.O37 Fl 2017)
In this collection of short stories, edited by the cofounder of We Need Diverse Books, you’ll find stories about Qing Dynasty girl pirates, a boy whose car-crash concussion gives him the ability to read minds (maybe), basketball, Choctaw Bigfoot, and lots else besides. Contributors are children’s book heavy-hitters Matt de la Pena, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Tim Federle, Kelly J. Baptist, Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson, Soman Chainani, Kwame Alexander, and Walter Dean Myers. There’s something for everyone here, in terms of subject matter—and in terms of representation, there’s the kind of inclusivity we can only hope to see more of in children’s publishing.
(Young Adult PZ7.S594 Hi 2017)
Theo, Griffin’s first love, is dead. At the funeral, Griffin has to face both his grief and Jackson, the guy Theo dated after him whom Griffin blames for the dissolution of their relationship. Narration alternates between the present, where Griffin struggles with painful emotions and worsening OCD, and the past, slowly revealing the complexity of Theo and Griffin’s shared history. Griffin’s unreliable perspective raises heartbreaking questions about what love looks like and who gets hurt along the way.
(Young Adult PZ7.Y79 Su 2016)
A girl and a boy meet in New York City. It’s a simple premise made interesting: rational, scientifically-minded Natasha and romantic, earnest Daniel fall in love over the course of a single day. It’s also a promise of happiness made impossible: Natasha is an undocumented immigrant, and it’s her last day in the city before her family’s impending deportation to Jamaica. Daniel is determined to help—even at the risk of jeopardizing the future his own Korean-American immigrant family has worked to make possible for him. Told from alternating perspectives, The Sun Is Also a Star is a story of two teens managing to find connection, even up against clashing beliefs about fate and love, difficult family dynamics, and unsympathetic government policy.
Biography, History, Poetry
(Children PL832.A598 A6 2016)
For the first time, English-speakers can discover the life and work of Misuzu Kaneko, famed children’s poet whose perceptive verses are read in classrooms across Japan. This biography begins by relating the rediscovery of Kaneko’s writing, largely lost in the firebombing of Tokyo during WWII, by poet Setsuo Yazaki in the 1980s. From there, it details the young Kaneko’s life growing up in a fishing village, working in her family’s bookshop, and taking inspiration from the stories she read and the world around her. Kaneko’s poems reflect an ability to find wonder and empathy in everyday objects and activities, but her personal life ends tragically, as she grows ill and struggles to save her daughter from her husband’s custody. The book offers a commendably honest discussion of an abusive relationship, sexually transmitted infection, and suicide, while keeping the content digestible for elementary school readers. A selection of Kaneko’s poems follow, presented in English and the original Japanese. Throughout, illustrations meticulously depict Japanese small town life in the early 1900s and the natural world that inspired Kaneko’s writing.
(Children PS3557.R489982 A6 2017)
In this brilliant homage to the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, Nikki Grimes combines the old and the new in exciting ways that speak directly to young black teens and are worth the read for everyone. Using a poetic form called the Golden Shovel, Grimes takes existing poems—which appear in their original form—and uses them as springboards for her own verses. The individual words of a line (or two or more) from one poem become the final words of each line in a new poem, running down the right margin. The resulting poems are full of rhythm and resonance, transforming their source material while honing true to its core themes. Artwork from fifteen artists—some of the best in children’s book illustration—accompanies the poems, making this a book to bask in.