I was a little surprised when the Parent Organization (ESPO) took me up on my offer to briefly speak about some good books at their meeting this past week. Time was of the essence, both for me to gather books and for the meeting to end at a reasonable time. Life was wild last week, but I had several good new books that I had just finished reading, so I grabbed them along with a couple of other favorites. Then I edited my growing pile. (Word to the wise: Never ask a librarian to talk about a few good books. Librarians have trouble picking out just a few favorites. We love to talk about good books almost as much as we love to read them.)
Here are the books that I showed at the ESPO meeting. All are well worth your time.
The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez--I can not say enough good thinks about this wordless and wonderful book. The pictures are detailed and the surprise ending is just exactly what I would have wanted to have happen if I had thought about it clearly.
Olive Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer--The amazing pig's latest adventure takes her to Venice where she learns to love gelato. This is not my favorite Olivia book but that is simply because the others are so good.
Art and Max by David Wiesner--Two friendly lizards share an appreciation of art which leads to a demonstration of many art media. There is a solid mix here of humor and art.
LOWER SCHOOL READING: Grades 1-3
Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee--These two girls seem like opposites but that does not stop them from being great friends. The firendly and engaging illustrations show the girls' visible differences--one is quite tall and the other is short--and the differences in what interests them. This is a wonderful example of how best friends come in all sizes.
Tumtum and Nutmeg: The Rose Cottage Tales by Emily Bearn--More beautifully told tales of two mice with just the right about of adventure. and a hefty dose of charm. If you loved the first book, you will love this one, too, but you don't need to read them in order.
UPPER ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL--Grades 5-8
Scumble by Ingrid Law--This is the sequel to Savvy. Both books are about a family which gains unexpected magical powers on their 13th birthday. Magic is not always easy for those who get to handle or understand.
Toby and the Secrets of the Tree by Timothee de Fombelle--This sequel to Toby Alone continues Toby's quest to save the tree that is his entire world, people with good people and those who would rather destroy the tree than lose their power. The environmental moral is strong and the story is even stronger.
Bibiloburro: A True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter--This simple picture book tells a powerful story of a man who takes books by burro to children in the mountains of Colombia. Google "biblioburro" to see videos and read some inspiring articles.
Marsupials by Nic Bishop--Bishop takes the most astounding wildlife photos I have ever seen. Check out all of his other books as well--Frogs, Butterflies, Spiders, and Lizards. One of my favorite parts of each book is the end piece where Bishop explains how he gets his photos. Many take hours and hours of waiting and hoping.
I will soon be putting up more lists as we prepare for our annual book fair. Keep checking back for those suggestions.