Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: That’s Not a Hippopotamus!

That’s Not a Hippopotamus!

On a visit to Don’s Safari, the students in class 2B attempt to find a missing hippopotamus.

“Ms. Wiskersniff’s class is on a field trip at Don’s Safari. The kids really want to see a hippopotamus, but can’t find it. The class identifies every new animal as a hippopotamus, until they take a closer look and find it isn’t a hippo- instead it might be a snake, an elephant or a skunk. Kids diving into pools and getting wrapped up by snakes keep Ms. Wiskersniff on her toes. Vibrant illustrations add to the book’s gentle humor while rhyming text moves the story along. This a great book to read aloud to kids in preschool through first grade.”

Recommended by Erin Murphy – Irvington Library

Staff Pick: Let’s Meet a Police Officer

Let's Meet a Police OfficerOfficer Gabby visits a class and discusses her job as a police officer.

“This is a great book to learn more about all the different things a police officer does. Officer Gabby visits a school and tells the children about her job of being a police officer. She talks about making children safe at school, and warns them about strangers. She tells them about her training to do her job and about other jobs like State Police and the FBI. The illustrator uses diverse characters in brightly colored cartoons.
This is a fast easy read that will be loved by young readers.”

This is a Cloverleaf book, Community Helpers. Other books you may be interested in:
Let’s Meet a Construction Worker
Let’s Meet a Dentist
Let’s Meet a Doctor
Let’s Meet a Firefighter
Let’s Meet a Librarian
Let’s Meet a Teacher
Let’s Meet a Veterinarian

~ Recommended by Tamera Coolman, Fountain Square Library

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

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

Staff Pick: Ida, Always

Ida, Always

A polar bear grieves over the loss of his companion, based on the real-life Gus and Ida of New York’s Central Park Zoo.

“Based on real story, “Ida, Always” is a short and beautiful picture book about two polar bears, Ida and Gus, beloved by many and remembered for their loss. When Ida falls ill and is only expected to live a while longer, both friends find ways to mourn and eventually cope with this eventuality. Though it is difficult to move past loss, “Ida, Always” reminds us that even the little things that surround our daily lives can help us overcome the low points in life. For Gus, the busy sounds and fantastic smells that surround New York City’s Central Park Zoo, the place Ida was happy to call home, are enough to bring him peace.

Facing the topic death and the fear that comes with it is never easy, but Caron Levis and Charles Santoso bring a work of art to a world of literature often filled with minced words and abstract art. Rather than solemn, sullen, and aggressively thoughtful, Santoso paints a world so colorful and awe inspiring that it seems to stand in opposition to Levis’s heart wrenching story. This contrast only brings more impact to the overall story; rather than feuding, these two aspects help strike home the book’s moral and conclusion—so long as you remember to look for it, there is a beauty in the world that can make our darkest days bearable. For old and young alike, this title is a must and a boon for those struggling with their own losses.”

Recommended by Joseph Lutholtz – infoZone Library

Staff Pick: Everybody Loves Bacon

Everybody Loves Bacon

Everyone loves Bacon but letting his fame go to his head may prove more dangerous than he thought

“Everyone loves Bacon. And Bacon knows it. He’s got the fame and fans. What else does he need? The other meats feel left out. He forgets his old friends, leaving them behind for the fame. Bacon has it good until… Everyone loves bacon. This is just a down right fun and silly story. Kids will enjoy the fun story and pictures. Adults will laugh out loud at the subtle humor. (My favorite line is when the Canadian Bacon says “What about me, eh?!”) A great family read-aloud!”

Recommended by Mary Luzader – Eagle Library


Staff Pick: I’m a Little Black Girl

I'm a Little Black Girl


I’m a Little Black Girl! introduces adorable Mia, who wakes with her hair “just-a-going every which-a-ways!” With her abundant energy and joy leading the way, readers follow Mia as she plays with her friends who are all shades, shapes and sizes. There’s tall Kia, Keisha the reader, Charlotte her best friend, Dina Rose-Marie the artist, Imani the dancer, Anna who loves sports, Ruby the singer, and honey-haired Tracy. Mia finds that “Pretty” is within herself and her friends, and being pretty is way beyond what the mirror shows.

“Mia loves everything about herself, from the way her hair stands all over her head first thing in the morning, to the crazy dances she does on the way to breakfast. She’s a pretty little black girl and she loves it. She enjoys her friends who come in all shapes, sizes and shades of brown. Together they are a group of girls who like having fun but they’re also kind to each other by always using good manners and spreading love all around. They have big dreams and will one day show the world what they’re made of.”

Recommended by Claudine Polley – Fountain Square Library

Staff Pick: Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast

Lady Pancakes & Sir French Toast

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship–until they discover that there’s only one drop of maple syrup left. Off they go, racing past the Orange Juice Fountain, skiing through Sauerkraut Peak, and reeling down the linguini. But who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory? And could working together be better than tearing each other apart? The action-packed rhyme makes for an adrenaline-filled breakfast!

A children’s picture book chronicling the hilarious and bumbling competition between Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast as they race each other through the fridge to reach the last of the maple syrup. This picture book has everything needed for a fun story time for parents and kids of all ages. In this rhyming and comical tale, two leftover foods find their competitive spirit when they race through the fridge on their way to secure that last drop of maple syrup. Along the way, they run into various food related obstacles and fellow friend (and some foe) foods as they make their way through the terrain of the fridge. This story is a great lesson in friendship while also showcasing food groups and words for children to become familiar with. Josh Funk weaves an imaginative tale using food as props and scenery to create a realistic world for his two main characters. Children’s sense of imagination will love all of his little details such as the Broccoli Forest and Potato Mash Mountain. Kearney’s illustrations make the fridge world all that more fun for readers to enjoy. This story will make you laugh and want to read it again and again. I recommend this title for anyone who enjoys such stories as ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and ‘The Book with No Pictures’. Keep an eye out for Funk’s next stories; I’m sure they will be just as wonderful as this one!

Recommended by Maggie – Warren Library

Staff Pick: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

When a sandwich goes missing, it seems that a bear is the unlikely culprit.

Every thief needs a scapegoat. In The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, the thief constructs an elaborate tale that explains what happened to the missing sandwich. The actual klepto, a little dog, is revealed as the narrator at the end of the book. The dog spins an elaborate tale of a wondrous journey from the forest to the city park where he stumbles upon this irresistible treat. This story is sure to win the hearts of adults and children. It has beautiful illustrations that depict the fantastic tale spun by the dog. It definitely is an irresistible tale, just like its subject, the prized sandwich. If you have ever had a dog steal your food you will definitely get a good chuckle at this story.

Recommended by Lindsay Haddix – Nora Branch Library