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Previous Staff Picks by the Children's Department

by Wynton Marsalis
If you're nimble of tongue, read this one out loud for a rollicking, frolicking intro to scat.
– Tina Zubak
by Peter Lourie
Three manatee species, their potential extinction, and the scientists who are trying to help them survive provide a compelling look at this vulnerable animal.
– Debbie Priore
by Sy Montgomery
The Kakapo has suffered near extinction through habitat loss and repeated invasions of non-native predators. This book shares the efforts of the New Zealand's Kakapo Recovery Team to save and protect this gentle, flightless bird.
– Debbie Priore
by David FitzSimmons
Examine a wide variety of amazing creatures close up with photography and text written from the animals' point of view.
– Debbie Priore
by Mary Kay Carson
Dr. Merlin Tuttle and fellow scientists at Bat Conservation International not only educate people about these fascinating and misunderstood creatures, but also work to protect them against the mysterious white-nose syndrome that threatens their extinction.
– Debbie Priore
by Olivia Bouler
Eleven-year-old Olivia Bouler is an artist, bird lover, nature advocate, and fundraiser. She gave her drawings of birds to people who donated to recovery efforts after the oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Written and illustrated by Olivia, this book conveys her love of wildlife and her passion to make a difference.
– Debbie Priore
by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Creatures come alive with illustrations by paper artist, Steve Jenkins in this book on the unusual eating habits of animals like the Crucifix Toad who collects insects in the mucus on its skin that it periodically sheds and devours!
– Debbie Priore
by Woop Studios
Have you ever heard of a kaleidoscope of butterflies? What about a pandemonium of parrots or an embarrassment of pandas? This a-to-z collection includes some surprising groups of lively and colorful creatures.
– Debbie Priore
by Elizabeth McCorquodale
This kid-friendly approach to making, caring for, and exploring a wildlife garden provides information, activities, and projects with a touch of humor for a fun-filled learning experience.
– Debbie Priore
by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder
Poetry blends with close-up photography resulting in an intimate look at the miniature world of insects that are within our reach every time we walk outside.
– Debbie Priore
by Anne Lee
Read about Tilly and Hazel camping in the woods and then come into CLP-Main's Children's Department to celebrate Earth Day with the author/illustrator Anne Lee.
by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Aldwyn is an ordinary alley cat when Jack, a young wizard-in-training, picks him as his familiar. But when Jack and two other trainees are captured by an evil queen, Aldwyn and their familiars must rescue them and the kingdom. Danger combined with friendship and rivalry between Aldwyn and familiars Skylar, a blue jay, and Gilbert, a frog, creates an exciting, enjoyable read.
– Tina Zubak
by Jon Katz
Rose has work to do. Izzy has work to do. Frieda has work to do. But what does Lenore do? Maybe the most important job of all.
– Rebecca O'Connell
by Carter Goodrich
Mister Bud has it pretty good until Zorro moves in. They don't get along at all. Until....Mr. Bud finds out Zorro shares his all-important schedule. Spare text and pictures with minimal colors convey a wealth of emotions as the two so-ugly-they're-cute dogs learn to like living together. Pick this book for dog lovers as well as little ones adjusting to a new sibling.
– Tina Zubak
By Anthony Browne
In a poignant retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, set in a gritty city neighborhood and told from the baby bear's perspective, Anthony Browne invites the reader to re-examine the meaning of family.
– Julie Kant
By John Burningham; illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
A young boy imagines, with some trepidation, what life will be like when his new sibling arrives. Helen Oxenbury's drawings depict a generic baby cooking, painting, gardening, sailing a boat, raking leaves, and generally making a mess.
– Julie Kant
by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
It may seem like a great idea, but a parade of pigs is really not practical, no matter how terrific they look in their majorette costumes.
– Rebecca O'Connell
by Mo Willems and Jon Muth
When a dog discovers a frog, mammal and amphibian bond over swimming, fetching and other common interests. But as the seasons change, so does their friendship. Through simple text and illustrations that capture emotions through scenery, Willems and Muth provide a story of friends, change, and hope amid loneliness.
– Amy Robinson
by Marianne Dubuc
This hefty picture book brings a little surprise which each new page. Children and adults will enjoy guessing what is behind trees, above the ocean, under the bed and even inside some bellies! This book has fun illustrations and introduces lots of vocabulary words while offering a little bit of everything: favorite fairy tale characters, zoo animals, fantastic and remote places, silly ol' monsters and more.
– Janina Kvedaras
by Jane Yolen
Young Elsie and her father move from bustling Boston to a homestead on the Nebraska prairie. She's lonely and isolated in an endless sea of grass. When her only companion, her pet canary , escapes from his cage she rushes out into the tall grass and finds that her new home has pleasures all its own.
– Patte Kelley
by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Barry Root
An old yellow grocery bag begins as garbage, but it drifts along the highway and into the village, enriching many lives along the way.
– Rebecca O'Connell
by L. S. (Laura S.) Matthews
As fighting closes in on the village where Tiger's parents have been working, the three of them and a mysterious guide set out on a difficult journey to safety.
– Kathy Maron-Wood
by Donna Jo Napoli
Brilliant illustrations are the best part of this picture-book biography of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmental activist who received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. In succinct, poetic lines that have a fable tone, Donna Jo Napoli describes how "wise Wangari" helped Kenyan village women solve problems by simply planting a tree. Eventually, Maathai's Green Belt movement became a worldwide mission.
– Debbie El
Retold by David Wiesner and Kim Kahng, illustrated by David Wiesner.
A spell was cast on the lovely Princess Margaret by her evil stepmother, turning Margaret into a dragon. Can her brother break the spell in time, or must Margaret spend the rest of her life as the loathsome beast?
– Patte Kelley
by Anne Pelowski
A collection of stories from around the world that are told using string, nesting dolls, sand painting, drawings or musical instruments. Clear, step-by-step instructions accompany each story.
– Kathy Maron-Wood
by Lisa Yee
In the first of a trilogy that relates the same story from three wildly different points of view, Millicent agonizes over having to tutor basketball obsessed Stanford Wong, who gets a chance to tell his side of the story in Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time.
– Patte Kelley
by Kathy Tucker
When a dragon snatches the youngest of seven talented Chinese sisters, the other six come to her rescue.
– Kathy Maron-Wood
by Rob and Amy Spence
A train gets noisier and more crowded as quacking ducks, dancing acrobats, talking yaks, and packs of elephants board.
– Kathy Maron-Wood
by Shelley Pearsall
When thirteen-year-old Josh goes to stay with his father in Chicago for a few months, he discovers -- to his horror -- that his dad has become an Elvis impersonator.
– Kathy Maron-Wood
by Blue Balliet
Puzzle fans, art lovers and mystery buffs will be intrigued by the dual disappearances of 12-year-old Calder Pillay and Alexander Calder's stabile "The Minotaur" and the attempts of Calder Pillay's friends to find both.
by Langston Hughes, photographs by Charles R. Smith
Langston Hughes's eloquent tribute to African American people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer and children's book author Charles R. Smith Jr. uses photographs to interrupt this beloved poem, capturing the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being black in the United States today.
– Debbie El
by Lois Lowry
Mrs. Pidgeon's second grade class studies poetry and her students write haiku, couplets, free verse, and finally, a tribute to Mrs. Pidgeon's mother organized by the irrepressible Gooney Bird Greene.
– Kathy Maron Wood
by Wendy Mass
Three Friends prepare for the event of the summer -- a solar eclipse and the monumental changes it brings. Funny, meaningful, fast-paced. This is a delightful summer read. Aprox ages 11-14.
– Rebecca O'Connell