Category Archives: Picture Book

Elections for Kids

Even young children can begin to understand the basic concept of voting as a method for making a group decision. The resources are below may help you begin talking with your children about the upcoming election. Duck for President is a funny, simple place to begin. The PBS Kids website You Choose 2016 has some especially great resources for children: videos, infographics & printables.

Watch right now! A video story about elections:


Indiana Websites:

Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis:

Voting Machine

Thousands of Marion County, Indiana residents voted at this machine between the 1930s and the 1980 election. During this time, many African Americans struggled to gain the civil rights Caucasian men and women enjoyed. Even though the 15th Amendment granted all American citizens the right to vote regardless of “race, color or previous condition of servitude,” African Americans still struggled for the right to vote particularly in the southern United States. In Indiana, African Americans continued to Voting Machine 2work for equal rights welcoming two significant federal laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voter Rights Act of 1965, helped to ensure African Americans the right to vote. Artifacts at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis 

See More Elections Artifacts from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Collection

Picture Books about Elections:

Elizabeth Leads the Way Susan B. Anthony Does My Vote Count Vote A Call for a New Alphabet Amelia Bedelias First Vote Duck for President I Could Do That Monster Needs Your Vote Vote for Me Woodrow for President

The Best Days Are Dog Days

The Best Days are Dog Days

The story of a best friend from the point of view of a dog. The dog and the little girl sleep, eat and play together from the time they get up in the morning until they are tucked in together at night. Favotie illustration: the two of them brushing their teeth! A best friend story of puppy love. Author: Aaron Meshon

indyPL Children’s Librarians: Favorite Books for Starting Kindergarten

Going to Kindergarten for the first time is exciting…and maybe a little scary! IndyPL Children’s Librarians have put together this list of their favorites to put even the most reluctant student in the mood for school. Start a reading tradition in your family like this one from Shellie Rich, Public Services Librarian at Central Library:

“I love that book so much. With quotes like, “Alligator is for fancy. For school, stripes are nice,” I am pretty sure it is the best kindergarten book ever. And we still call my twelve-year-old’s school uniform her schooliform because of that book.”

Also, you can read FREE books online, play online games & find FREE printables at: IndyPL Read Right Now! Starting School

New York Public Library: The Top 3 Books to Read Before Starting Kindergarten

More Recommendations:

Chicka Chicka Boom BoomClick Clack Moo Cows That TypeCorduroyFoxyGreen Eggs and HamI Like MeI Like MyselfThe Kissing HandLeaf ManMonkey Not Ready For KindergartenThe Pigeon Wants a PuppyPlease Baby PleaseTell Me a DragonThe Very Hungry CaterpillarZ is for Moose

A Scare-Free Halloween


“It can be fun to be scared, as many of us will recall from Halloweens past. But if we think back, we’ll probably agree that there were two things that made it possible for that scariness to be fun. First, that we knew we were safe because someone we loved was nearby. Second, we knew that whatever was scaring us was only pretend.” ~Fred Rogers

Smart words from Mr. Rogers! Many small children don’t find Halloween fun at all!…the masks, the jumping out surprises and all the ghosts & vampires & scary looking pumpkins. Below are several stories that can help kids turn their Halloween fears into Halloween fun. If Arthur & Scaredy Squirrel can do it, so can your child!

CursedCastleVertical4C_ONBAlso consider a trip to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Haunted Housebut go during lights ON hours. The volunteers go out of their way to be extra friendly as your child walks through.




Scare-Free Stories:

HalSquaredySquirrel Read Scaredy Squirrels Prepares for Halloween – Scaredy Squirrel puts together a collection of helpful safety tips and step-by-step instructions to guide you through common Halloween obstacles such as carnivorous plants, haunted houses and encountering the infamous Frankenstein.

HalDragonScared Read Me and My Dragon Scared of Halloween – A boy tries to find the perfect Halloween costume for his pet dragon, so they can go trick-or-treating together.

HalBooBunny Read Boo Bunny – Two small bunnies face their fears while trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

HalGoAway Read Go Away Big Green Monster – A scary green monster begins to disappear, piece by piece and page by page, in a die-cut picture book that lets youngsters take control of the monsters in their lives.

HalOldLady Read The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything – A brave little old lady who was not afraid of anything receives the scare of her life and comes up with an ingenious solution to conquer her fears.

HalArthur Read Arthur’s Halloween – Arthur finds everything about Halloween scary, including his little sister’s costume, his morning snack, and the big house on the corner.

HalNeverBoo Read Never Say Boo – When Gordon, a ghost, moves to a new school, everyone is afraid of him until they learn that he is not as scary as they thought he was.

HalGeorgie Read Georgie – Georgie the friendly ghost is happy living with the Whittakers, but then things change and he decides to find a new place to haunt.

HalWinifred Read One Wish for Winifred Witch – In this rhyming story, little Winifred Witch is excited about enjoying Halloween night with the big witches, but she has one small problem–she is afraid of the dark. Her secret wish is never to be scared of the dark again. She asks her Aunt Broomhilda, who owns a shop of spells, to help. When magic fails, Broomhilda shows her another solution to her fears.

HalVunce Read Vunce Upon a Time – A fearful, young vampire, who prefers candy to blood, bravely ventures into the human world on Halloween night to satisfy his sweet too.

HalHumbugWitch Read Humbug Witch – A little girl tries unsuccessfully to do all the tricks of a witch.

Staff Pick: Poo in the Zoo

Poo in the Zoo

Bob McGrew, the head keeper at the zoo, loves his job, except when he has to clean up after the animals! One day, after escaping his cage, the iguana leaves behind something that catches the attention of the entire town, and a poo museum owner, that ends up making Bob’s messy job a lot easier!

“A children’s picture book about the everyday responsibilities of the zoo keeper, including the not so desirable task of cleaning up the poo!
As soon as I saw the title for this book, I knew it was going to be good. Poo in the Zoo is a laugh out loud tale of Bob McGrew, the zoo keeper.

Poor Bob has lots to do each day including cleaning up after all the zoo animals. In a rhyming tale of descriptive poo proportions, Bob starts out a normal day only to have it end extraordinarily different. There’s an escaped iguana, glow in the dark poo and a poo museum! In the end, Bob finds a solution to his problems and he and the animals are able to enjoy their days a little easier and a little less smelly.

This story is great to engage a large group of kids. They laugh and ‘eww’ at all the mentions of poo. It catches their attention from the beginning and keeps them watching and listening till the very end. Smallman spins a great tale for the imagination and Ada Grey’s illustrations are ‘illuminating’ and engaging for any young reader’s eye.
I’d recommend this book for anyone with a sense of humor and who’s not too squeamish!”

Recommended by Maggie Ward – Warren Branch

Staff Pick: Runaway Tomato

Runaway Tomato

After dodging an enormous, rolling tomato, townsfolk hold a festival to honor the red fruit.

“The Runaway Tomato is an action packed story of what happens when a giant tomato grows on a hill above the town. The town comes together to save the city from the huge tomato and even turns the giant mess into a fun time for all. The quirky story and vivid illustrations make this a fun story to read aloud and share the pictures with a small group. There are so many fun things to find in the illustrations it can keep a family occupied for an afternoon. With a nod to the classic “cloudy with a chance of meatballs”, this book brings the tomato into the realm of fun food.”

Recommended by Catherine Scheib – Wayne Branch

Staff Pick: My Family is a Zoo

My Family Is a Zoo

Everyone in my family has a special animal friend! My daddy has an elephant. My grandma has a bunny. My cousin has a kangaroo. And me? I have a bear! Pile in with the whole family–and more than a few of their favorite animals–for a special car ride.

“My Family is a Zoo is the story of a family and their animals taking a trip. Everyone has an animal even the dog has his own puppy. How many people will fit in the car; how many animals; where are they going? Read the book to find out about the special ending.”

Recommended by Judy Gray – Garfield Park Branch

June is LGBT Pride Month

Here are 12 picture books that celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and families:

And Tango Makes ThreeDonovans Big DayHeather Has Two MommiesI Am JazzIn Our Mothers HouseJacobs New DressMorris Micklewhite and the Tangerine DressMy Princess BoyRed A Crayon's StoryStella Brings the FamilyThis Day in JuneWorm Loves Worm

Selections by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services Area

Superman Day! 75th Anniversary

June 12this Superman Day! What better day to remember your own imaginary adventures being the Man of Steel than by reading a Superman adventure and then putting together a costume for your own little Superboy or Supergirl! You can use an old towel or try one of the more involved costumes below – either way, the imagination will take over.

Picture Books

DC Super Heroes Story Book CollectionSuperman: Attack of the ToymanSuperman: Darkseid’s RevengeSuperman: Parasite CitySuperman: The Story of the Man of SteelSuperman and the Mayhem of MetalloSuperman: The Incredible Shrinking Super Hero!

Early Readers

Bizarro Day!Crime Wave!Superman: Escape from the Phantom ZoneSuperman: Superman versus MongulBrain Freeze!Superman: Superman versus BizarroI am Superman

Selected by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services