Animals

Beep and Bah by James Burks

Beep and Bah by James Burks

Beep and Bah is the story of a robot and a goat on an adventure for the ages. A sock is missing its match, and it's up to this pair of unlikely friends to get it back. Daring Beep is game to search the entire world for the sock's "sole" mate while the more cautionary Bah follows behind.

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon

Theodora is an Odd Duck, but she doesn't realize it yet. She does all the normal chores that ducks do: swimming; buying mango salsa; and checking out library books. She knows what she wants in life, preferring to stay home in the winter with a nice cup of tea while all of the other ducks fly south.

A Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories by Joan Aiken

Cover to A Necklace of Raindrops

A birthday gift from the North Wind. A pie so feathery-light it carries people away. A cat on a mat that grants wishes to a poor girl and her grandmother. Elves in the shelves, mermaids in the bathtub and a tiger that’s faster than the wind. Joan Aiken’s A Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories is a magical book that is probably one of the best read-alouds out there for kindergarten and early elementary grades.

That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

In That is Not a Good Idea! Mo Willems takes the art of silent films and applies it to picture books. A dapper fox has spied a beautiful goose walking the city streets. Each image is devoid of text, we only see what they are saying on black pages in between the action.

"Excuse me. Would you care to go for a stroll?" inquires the fox as he tips his hat. Suddenly, the film is interrupted. "That is NOT a good idea!" exclaims a baby goose.

Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri

Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri

If there is one universal truth in life, it's that everyone loves pizza, even raccoons. One raccoon in particular is obsessed with pizza. All he wants is a Secret Pizza Party.

He stands outside the pizza parlor, eyes locked on the gooey, cheesy slices. Nothing can break him away from that desire, except for the owner, who chases him with a broom. A secret pizza party would be oh-so-much better. 

Dreamer, Inspired by a True Story

Dreamer, Inspired by a True Story

Dreamer, Inspired by a True Story, is one of those uplifting horse films that is good for the whole family. It features a stellar cast. Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) is the dad who barely makes a living training other people’s--rich people’s--horses. Kris Kristofferson plays his father, a gruff man who lost almost all the family’s land along with their money and their stock during his hard times as a racehorse owner. Father and son are shy with each other, bitter, and stubborn. The lightness comes from young Cale Crane (Dakota Fanning) who, without being cloyingly sweet, wants to follow in her family’s footsteps, much against her father’s wishes.

The Tales of Olga da Polga by Michael Bond

The Tales of Olga da Polga by Michael Bond

The Tales of Olga da Polga, by Michael Bond—creator of the Paddington Bear books, features a feisty, queenly, and imaginative guinea pig who leaves the dull life of an English pet shop to go live with her own “Sawdust People” in “a house with legs” in their garden. For another guinea pig, it would be just a sensible, comfortable life change, but Olga is not just another guinea pig.

Going Through the Gate by Janet S. Anderson

Going Through the Gate by Janet S. Anderson

Sixth-grade graduation is not just about the punch and cookies in Janet Anderson’s Going Through the Gate. In an incredibly small town with a one-room schoolhouse, only a handful of students graduate every June. They know their lives will change completely—but not for the reasons you’d think. Sure, they’ll be taking the bus to the big city middle school and join a grade with hundreds of kids in it instead of just five.  There’s more to it than that though. The graduation itself can be dangerous.

One-Dog Canoe by Mary Casanova with pictures by Ard Hoyt

One-Dog Canoe by Mary Casanova with pictures by Ard Hoyt

I set off one morning in my little red canoe.

My dog wagged his tail.

“Can I come, too?”

It’s a perfect day to explore the lake for a young girl and her dog. They’ve got snacks, paddles, and life jackets--everything a One-Dog Canoe needs. The only problem is, they’re having such a good time that soon all the critters in the lake want to join them.

Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Adam Rex

Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Adam Rex

Chu's Day, the new picture book by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Adam Rex, must have found some of its inspiration from the YouTube video in which a baby panda sneezes so explosively that its poor mother is absolutely shocked.

Chu is a young panda who has bad things happen when he sneezes. With this fact begins the suspenseful build towards the big event. Just how destructively massive will Chu's sneeze be? We go to a library with dusty books. Chu is able to restrain himself. We go to a diner with pepper in the air. Chu manages to hold back, but trouble begins to brew at the circus.