The Night Gardener, by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.
Shh! We Have A Plan, by Chris Haughton
Four friends creep through the woods, and what do they spot? An exquisite bird high in a tree! “Hello birdie,” waves one. “Shh! We have a plan,” hush the others. They stealthily make their advance, nets in the air. Ready one, ready two, ready three, and go! But as one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion, hand outstretched, has a far better idea. Award-winning author-illustrator Chris Haughton is back with another simple, satisfying story whose visual humor plays out in boldly graphic, vibrantly colorful illustrations.
Pete The Cat and His Magic Sunglasses, by Kimberly Dean and James Dean (illus.)
Pete the Cat wakes up feeling grumpy—nothing seems to be going his way. But with the help of some magic sunglasses, Pete learns that a good mood has been inside him all along.
Fans of Pete the Cat will love watching him take his positive outlook and transform a grumpy day into an awesome day!
Have you Filled a Bucket Today, by Carol McCloud
This heartwarming book encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by “filling buckets.”
Larf, by Ashley Spires, by Ashley Spires
No one believes Larf exists, and he likes it that way. Larf, you see, is a sasquatch, the only sasquatch in the world (or so it seems). He has a very pleasant, and very private, life in the woods, where on any given day he might be found jogging, gardening or walking Eric, his pet bunny. But everything changes one morning when Larf discovers that another sasquatch is scheduled to make an appearance in the nearby city of Hunderfitz. What?! That must mean he’s not the only sasquatch in the world!
Excited by the prospect of having a friend to share hair grooming tips with (and let’s face it, teeter-tottering alone is no fun), Larf disguises himself as a city slicker and heads for Hunderfitz — where he’s in for a couple enormous surprises.
Old Mikamba Had a Farm, by Rachel Isadora
Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers
A Perfectly Messed up Story, by Patrick McDonnell
Night Animals, by Gianna Marino
Something’s out there in the dark!
First Possum hears it. Then Skunk. Then Wolf comes running.
“What could it possibly be?” asks Bat.
“Night Animals!” the animals declare.
“But you are night animals,” Bat informs this not-so-smart crew.
Children will love the oh-so-funny animals in this twist on a cozy bedtime book.
Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Kate DiCamillo
To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig — she’s a porcine wonder. And to the good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons’ bed. BOOM! CRACK!
Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson (illus.)
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires
Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.
Mustache Baby, by Bridget Heos
When Baby Billy is born with a mustache, his family takes it in stride. They are reassured when he nobly saves the day in imaginary-play sessions as a cowboy or cop and his mustache looks good-guy great. But as time passes, their worst fears are confirmed when little Billy’s mustache starts to curl up at the ends in a suspiciously villainous fashion. Sure enough, “Billy’s disreputable mustache led him into a life of dreadful crime.” Plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and cartoonish illustrations make this the perfect baby-shower gift for a mustachioed father-to-be.
Spoon, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Chicken of the Family, by Mary Amato and Delphine Durand (illus.)
Follow The Line To School, by Laura Ljungkvist
Warning: Do Not Open This Book, by Adam Lehrhaupt and Matthew Forsythe (illus.)
Around the World on Eighty Legs, by Amy Gibson and Daniel Salmieri (illus.)
Pack your bags and put on your travelin’ shoes! There’s an animal adventure waiting for you! Awake with the HOWLER MONKEYS, twist into a pretzel like a QUETZAL, hang with a SLOTH, be will-nilly like a CHINCHILLA. Squawk with an AUK, bump your rump like a CAMEL, be silly with a BILBY, and drift off to sleep in the deep of the OUTBACK. Fun-filled and fact-packed, AROUND THE WORLD ON EIGHTY LEGS is the ticket for an unforgettable adventure!
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Ariceman
An apple pie is easy to make…if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. First hop a steamboat to Italy for the finest semolina wheat. Then hitch a ride to England and hijack a cow for the freshest possible milk. And, oh yes! Don’t forget to go apple picking in Vermont! A simple recipe for apple pie is included.
What Do You Do with a Problem, by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom (illus.)
This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.
Triangle, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (illus.)
Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks. . . . With this first tale in a new trilogy, partners in crime Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen will have readers wondering just who they can trust in a richly imagined world of shapes. Visually stunning and full of wry humor, here is a perfectly paced treat that could come only from the minds of two of today’s most irreverent — and talented — picture book creators.
11 Experiments that Failed,by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter (illus.)
Is it possible to eat snowballs doused in ketchup—and nothing else—all winter? Can a washing machine wash dishes? By reading the step-by-step instructions, kids can discover the answers to such all-important questions along with the book’s curious narrator. Here are 12 “hypotheses,” as well as lists of “what you need,” “what to do,” and “what happened” that are sure to make young readers laugh out loud as they learn how to conduct science experiments (really!).
The Recess Queen, by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith (illus.)
Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (illus.)
Bink & Gollie, by Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee, and Tony Fucile (illus.)
Memoirs of a Hamster, by Devin Scillian and Tim Bowers (illus.)
Ten Rules of Being a Superhero, by Deb Pilutti
Inspector Flytrap, by Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell (illus.)
On his first caper, Inspector Flytrap heads to the Art Museum’s Secret Lab to discover what important message lies in a mysterious glob on a recently discovered Da Vinci flower painting. The ingenious solution: Da Vinci was allergic to flowers, and the glob is, er, evidence of that ancient sneeze.
Combining wacky humor and a silly cast of characters with adventure, friendship, and mystery, the powerhouse team of Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell have created a uniquely engaging series that is perfect for newly independent readers and fans of Ricky Ricotta, Captain Underpants, and the Galaxy Zack series.
My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett and Ruth Chrisman Gannett (illus.)
My Father’s Dragon is a children’s novel by Ruth Stiles Gannett about a young boy, Elmer Elevator, who runs away to Wild Island to rescue a baby Dragon.
The narrative mode is unusual, in that the narrator refers to the protagonist only as “my father”, giving the impression that this is a true story that happened long ago.
Guinea Dog, by Patrick Jennings
Rufus has been dreaming of getting a dog. His best friend has one. His worst friend has one. But his dad has a few objections: They whine. They gnaw. They bark. They scratch. They beg. They drool.
Rufus pays no attention when his mom offers her think-outside-the-box suggestion, because she can’t be serious. She can’t be.
She can be. And she actually comes home with a guinea pig. And if Rufus’s dad thinks dogs are a problem, he won’t know what hit him when he meets the Guinea Pig that Thinks She’s a Dog. She barks. She bites. She’ll eat your homework.
I am Jane Goodall, by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos (illus.)
We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer. Learn all about Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee scientist.
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex (illus.)
From acclaimed, bestselling creators Drew Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home, and Adam Rex, author-illustrator of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, comes a laugh-out-loud hilarious picture book about the epic tale of the classic game Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Dog Man, by Dav Pilkey
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? by Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen (illus.)
The Sasquatch Escape, by Suzanne Selfors and Dan Santat
When Ben Silverstein is sent to the rundown town of Buttonville to spend the summer with his grandfather, he’s certain it will be the most boring vacation ever. That is, until his grandfather’s cat brings home what looks like . . . a baby dragon?
Amazed, Ben enlists the help of Pearl Petal, a local girl with an eye for adventure. They take the wounded dragon to the only veterinarian’s office in town — Dr. Woo’s Worm Hospital. But as Ben and Pearl discover once they are inside, Dr. Woo’s isn’t a worm hospital at all — it’s actually a secret hospital for imaginary creatures.
Life with only the sea can be lonely. Just ask Pandora and Seabold. They’ve lived most of their lives with the sea — Pandora in a lighthouse and Seabold on a boat — and they’re each quite used to being alone. Or they were.
But one day, the sea did something extraordinary: It brought Pandora and Seabold together! And even better, the sea gave them the ingredients for an adventure that neither of them had considered before-an adventure called “family.”
A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans, by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder
Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion!
Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late.
El Deafo, by Cece Bell
Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.
Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?
Binky the Space Cat, by Ashley Spires
Binky’s blast-off into outer space (outside) to battle aliens (bugs) is delayed when he realizes he’s left something behind – and it’s not the anti-gravity kitty litter.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones and Katie Kath (illus.) | Click here to access a digital version
My Fox Ate My Homework, by David Blaze
Pax, by Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen (illus.)
Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.
At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.
Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .
When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead
When Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, she doesn’t know what to do.
The notes tell her that she must write a letter, a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone—not even her best friend, Sal.
It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that’s the case, then Miranda has an even bigger problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.
The Witch’s Boy, by Kelly Barnhill
When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. Across the forest that borders Ned’s village, Áine, the daughter of the Bandit King, is haunted by her mother’s last words: “The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his.” When the Bandit King comes to steal the magic Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, Áine and Ned meet. Can they trust each other long enough to cross a dangerous enchanted forest and stop the war about to boil over between their two kingdoms?
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents, by Lemony Snicket and Seth (illus.)
Paintings have been falling off of walls, a loud and loyal dog has gone missing, a specter has been seen walking the pier at midnight — strange things are happening all over the town of Stain’d-By-The-Sea. Called upon to investigate thirteen suspicious incidents, young Lemony Snicket collects clues, questions witnesses, and cracks every case. Join the investigation and tackle the mysteries alongside Snicket, then turn to the back of the book to see the solution revealed.
Holes, by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.
Fort, by Cynthia C. DeFelice
A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park
A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.
In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.
As Brave As You, by Jason Reynolds
When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires—literally—in this piercing middle grade novel by the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Johnson Steptoe Award.
Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.
Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard, by Loree Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz (photog.)
Anyone can get involved in gathering data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count and FrogWatch USA. Just get out into a field, urban park, or your own backyard. You can put your nose to a monarch pupa or listen for raucous frog calls. You can tally woodpeckers or sweep the grass for ladybugs. This book, full of engaging photos and useful tips, will show you how.
Wolf Hollow, by Lauren Welk
We hope these challenges bring you a summer’s worth of reading interests and surprises. Below, you’ll find a list of local libraries that offer such great reading resources.
While we are closed for regular library service over the next two months, do let us know if there is any other support we might offer you and your family. We wish you the best adventures from now until August, and we’re excited to see how your child takes on the 2016 Summer Reading Challenge.
All the best,
Library Media Specialist