Category Archives: Staff Picks

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