Overheard in the bookstore:"Let's see if they have The Snowy Day (by Jack Ezra Keats) because if they don't, then it's a yucky place!" We are happy to report that we earned the favor of this father-son duo and are definitely not yucky. In fact, we pride ourselves on having an extensive library of classic children's books as well as new favorites to discover. Profiled here are three of the people that help curate our kid lit section, our dynamic Storytellers! We offer three award-winning story times weekly that are free and don't require registration - just stop in for a themed read-a-loud followed by crafts. All ages welcomed.
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray: Most of us think of the Gingerbread Man during the winter months, but don't forget about him year round! Laura Murray brings this zany little guy to life in her series of Gingerbread Man books including, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo, and The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School. With a silly storyline and catchy cadence even the most wiggly of readers are captivated by the Gingerbread Man's antics! Have fun with silly voices and the underlying story of this little cookie's resilient nature!
Recommended age range: 3-5. Personal opinion: 3-10.
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima: This beautifully illustrated story of Kelp, a unicorn raised by narwhals, is a touching story of a fitting in and standing out. Kelp knows he isn't like the other narwhals in his family and one day he happens upon "his kind". Kiddos become entranced by Kelp's story and what he will decide to do. A touching story and a beautiful gift.
Recommend age range: 4-8. Personal opinion: 3-8.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes: Chrysanthemum loved her name, until she started school. Chrysanthemum knows she is loved and adored by her family, but sometimes kids can be cruel and suddenly her beautiful name which she so appreciated makes her wilt with embarrassment. Soon Chrysanthemum learns it just takes one new friend to remind her that being unique is what makes all of us so lovable. A thoughtful story of the importance of believing in yourself no matter what your differences may be to those around you. This is a wonderful message for any kiddo going through a tough time and feeling a little wilted.
Recommended age range: 4-8. Personal opinion: 4-10.
Favorite Board Books (ages 0-2):
Sandra Boynton collection: She combines comical illustrations with easy, upbeat words. As board books, babies can hold on to them and “pretend” read. All time favorite is Moo, Baa, La La La.
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann: Another great comical story, where the zoo animals outwit the zookeeper. It has few words, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for the grown-up and the child to create the story together.
Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go: Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Richard Scarry’s books are not stories, but merely illustrations with the words. A terrific way for babies to identify the things in their world.
Favorite Toddler/Preschool (ages 3-6)
Curious George by Margret & H.A. Rey: George is kind, lovable and sometimes gets into trouble. But he always learns from his mistakes and he loves making new friends. I like the large collections, such as A Treasury of Curious George, which includes 8 stories in one book.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: The beautiful story of a one-sided friendship between a boy and a tree. Only when the boy becomes an old man does he realize the importance of his very dear friend.
Young Readers (ages 6-8)
Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems: They’re best friends, but they go through their ups and downs. What these books do right is have few words per page, so the early reader can visualize what the words mean through expressive illustrations.
Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamillo: Mercy Watson is the best pig ever! She loves buttered toast, and she loves all the fun she has in her family of humans. Everybody loves Mercy Watson!
National Geographic Early Reader Series: With excellent photography and clearly written text, these books are a natural fit for children who prefer non-fiction. Early levels (1-2) are perfect for reading aloud. Later levels have “chapters,” allowing the child to have a real sense of accomplishment as they move up to more comprehensive skills.
I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont: A fun, fresh board book that teaches even the littlest readers about self-acceptance. Silly illustrations and a musical rhyming style will keep readers’ attention as they snuggle on your lap and build their self-esteem. “Inside, outside, upside down, from head to toe and all around, I like it all! It all is me! And me is all I want to be.” Board Book. Ages 0-3
Non-fic for high school students – The Middle Passage by Tom Feelings. This dark, powerful, and emotional book requires a mature reader but is an essential resource for anyone learning about slavery or the slave trade. There are no words, but evocative illustrations speak volumes while depicting one of the most tragic ordeals in history. Winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. Ages 13+
Frederick by Leo Lionni: A Caldecott Honor for a reason and beloved classic! As a family of mice prepare for the difficult winter months ahead, they begrudge the seemingly disinterested Frederick, a member of the family who just doesn’t seem to grasp the urgency of preparations. However, they soon find out that Frederick’s preparations, while different than the rest of his family, can make all the difference in the long winter months. This beautiful story reminds young readers (and adults too!) that each of us has value and worth, and that all art, poetry, and friendship matter as much as our more practical needs. Read together: ages 3-7; read alone: ages 6-9
Non-Fic for kids: The “Ultimate” Series. Detailed, engaging, and fun series that encourages young readers to learn and discover about their favorite subjects. The typical book will have over 40 flaps, pop-ups, pull-tabs, and more that allow little fingers to have a hands-on experience. The series includes The Ultimate Book of Space, The Ultimate Construction Site Book, The Ultimate Book of Vehicles, The Ultimate Book of Cities, & The Ultimate Book of Airplanes and Airports. Fun for ages 4+
Non-Fic for kids: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli. This is a worthy sequel to the groundbreaking first book. Each page features a different female pioneer who helped shape the world. Some are familiar names, while others many have never heard of. A beautiful addition to any bookshelf. Ages 5+
Barrington Books & Barrington Books Retold are your local independent bookstores AND toy store! All of our staff will contribute to our blog to share our thoughts on books and more. We look forward to hearing from you!