Winter weather is creeping in and children are reveling in freshly fallen snow. What better time to get the hot cocoa going and curl up with them and a great book? CRPL has you covered. Below is a list of great reads for elementary aged children from the past year. These books are a perfect way to see you and your family through the season.
Du Iz Tak?– Carson Ellis
This book takes place by an old log with a dead leaf barely hanging on. That’s not the typical place for such a brilliant story. Insects you would ordinarily find just moseying around your backyard are donned with entirely transforming human expressions. Expressions develop into whimsical wonderful characters taking the mundane and projecting it into an entirely different realm. There’s comedy, music, courtship and action. Oh my, where do I start with this diamond? This book is a little masterpiece! A little shoot sprouts from the ground and various bugs build, play, and despair in the events that ensue. The expressions and details of the insects are nothing short of spectacular. The insects all talk in a mysterious pseudo-language. On the one hand this gobbledygook is utterly ridiculous. On the other it’s purely sublime for adults and children to read aloud.
A Child of Books– Oliver Jeffers
If you haven’t heard of Oliver Jeffers, rush out of your house and check out all of his books. ALL OF THEM! He is amazing! A Child of Books is his latest book and it is absolutely stunning. Collaborating with illustrator Sam Winston, Jeffers thrusts you into the magical world of books. This world has something splendid for everyone. Jeffers has made a land that every child dreams about. It’s a place where anything is possible and everyone is welcome for imagination is free. Winston has painstakingly illustrated a backdrop of fantastical word worlds you’ll want to explore again and again. This author captures the friendship, knowledge and reverence books provide in such a delightful way. A real treat for a bibliophiles- the children of books.
The Bear and the Piano– David Litchfield
A bear walks up to a piano in the forest and awkwardly bangs on its keys. In the beginning the noise sounds terrible. After some time with dedication and patience the bear gets better. Humans stumble upon him. They tell him he could be a big star if he goes with them to New York City. He plays to sold-out concerts and revels in everything celebrity could possible offer him. Contrary to his apparent outside success he feels unfulfilled. There is a void in his heart. He decides to return back to the forest and is reunited with his friends and, more importantly his piano. Litchfield illustrates the book in such an atmospherically beautiful way; adeptly highlighting nature’s majesty. Litchfield’s love of music and the forest are woven together effortlessly and you will want to ogle over these pages.
Mervin the Sloth is about to do the best thing in the world– Colleen AF Venable
After Sparky, (by Jenny Offill,) it seemed picture books about sloths could be no more. Not true. Mervin the sloth is loved by all of his friends. It’s difficult to know the real reason why. They think he is about to do the best thing in the world. What is the best thing in the world? Well, that depends on who you ask. The entire book is mainly Marvin’s friends discussing what it is he is going to do. The book has a very sweet ending. This is a funny book that will make a good stocking stuffer for young children.
Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat– Katie Harnett
Archie lives the life. Or I should say Archie, Snufflekins, Oliver, Valentine, Cupcake, Tiberius Cat lives the life. He saunters around Blossom Street like it’s his job; gets fish from Number three, does some gardening at Number Fourteen and swing dances at Number six. He goes to every house, except for number eleven. One day he goes into Number Eleven and everything changes. This is a colorfully illustrated tale. I love glimpsing into different cultures and community member’s lives who all live on the same street. A lovely book about different backgrounds embracing the spirit of community with the help of a little feline friend.