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12Aug/130

Staff Pick: Chocolate Me

Chocolate Me

Relates the experiences of a dark-skinned, curly-haired child who wishes he could look more like the lighter-skinned children in his community until his mother helps him realize how wonderful he is inside and out.

Actor Taye Diggs uses his own childhood experiences to write Chocolate Me! It’s the story of a boy who’s teased by other kids at school because he looks different. He feels left out and wants to be like everyone else—what little kid wouldn’t? Thanks to his wise and loving mom, the boy learns to love the beautiful, chocolatey skin he’s in. This heartfelt picture book has big, bold, colorful drawings and simple, child-friendly text.

Recommended by: Denise Malone, African American History Committee

 

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12Jun/130

Superman Day! 75th Anniversary

DC Comics has designated June 12thas Superman Day to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the legendary superhero. 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 Collection Superman: Attack of the Toyman Superman: Darkseid’s Revenge Superman: Parasite City Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel
Superman and the Mayhem of Metallo Superman: The Incredible Shrinking Super Hero!

Early Readers

Bizarro Day! Crime Wave! Superman: Escape from the Phantom Zone Superman: Superman versus Mongul Brain Freeze!
Superman: Superman versus Bizarro I am Superman

Selected by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services

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23May/130

Staff Pick: A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Zoo keeper, Amos McGee loved working at the zoo and visiting his friends the elephant, tortoise, penguin, rhinoceros, and owl. Until one day he woke up not feeling well and had to take the day off. Of course his friends wondered where he was and decided to take matters in their own hands to see about their friend. They make a surprise visit to see Amos and cheer him up on his sick day as he would do for them. In this wonderfully illustrated picture book children will learn the lessons of compassion and friendship.

Recommended by: Denyce Malone - Flanner House Library

More books about sick days and the people who show up to help out:

Llama Llama Home With Mama Sick Day Bear Feels Sick Mr. Large in Charge
Rooster Can't Cock-a-Doodle-Doo Dr. Squash the Doll Doctor
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14May/130

Staff Pick: Press Here

In this world of ever changing technology it is nice to come across the simplest style of interactive entertainment in a small book that children of all ages can enjoy.  The book Press Here by Herv’e  Tullet  needs no plugs, no accessories, no “apps” for that.  All it requires is a willing reader.  It will make you smile, it will make you laugh, it will amuse you as you follow along with the instructions printed on every page.

Recommended by: Susan G. Barhan - Southport Branch

Here are some more stories that encourage you to play along as you read:

Open This Little Book The Monster at the End of This Book Can You Make a Scary Face? Is Everyone Ready for Fun?
Go Away Big Green Monster We are in a Book! Huff and Puff Each Peach Pear Plum
Andy and Sam Hide and Seek Follow the Line Perfect Square One
Little Blue and Little Yellow Lots of Dots Hello, red fox Lights out, Nights Out
Leon and the Place Between Look Book Spot It Find the Hidden Creatures I Spy Under the Sea
Color Camouflage I Spy Letters Where's Waldo Hide and Seek Farm
Where Is Curious George? Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?
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29Mar/130

Staff Pick: Five Nice Mice

We can all make friends with someone different than us. Frogs and mice come together over music in this picture book in which mice hear beautiful music rising from the city. They investigate to find out the music is coming from frogs, ribbiting at the moon. When the mice visit, the frogs send them away because they are different. In the end, the two groups unite over song and everyone is friends. Author: Chisato Tashiro

Recommended by: Joe Fox, Wayne Branch

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23Mar/130

Disabilities Awareness

March is Indiana Disability Awareness Month organized by the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. The Indiana Disability Awareness website has a lot of information including a free awareness kit and a recommended reading list for children.

Listed below are some selections from your own IndyPL Children's Librarians of their favorite titles that feature characters with disabilities.

Websites

Looking Out for Sarah Describes a day in the life of a seeing eye dog, from going with his owner to the grocery store and post office, to visiting a class of school children, and playing ball. Also describes their three-hundred mile walk from Boston to New York. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2004-2005, K-3 Nominee.Looking Out for Sarah by Sarah Lean~Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
Helping Sophia For the younger children there is Helping Sophia by Anastasia Suen (j179.9) about a young girl in a wheelchair whose classroom helper has to take time off to have a baby. The other kids in the class take turns and learn to help Sophia get around in her wheelchair. Thy find out it’s not easy, but gain understanding of Sophia’s situation.Helping Sophia by Anastasia SuenWhen Sophia's helper is absent, her fellow third-graders help out by learning how to push her wheelchair.~Linda Tegmeyer, Brightwood Branch Library
Back to Front and Upside Down I really loved this year’s Schneider Family Book Award winner for the younger children category “Back to Front and Upside Down!” While the rest of the class makes birthday cards for the principal, Stanley struggles with his words and letters.Back to Front and Upside Down by Claire Alexander~Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
Wonder Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.Wonder by RJ Palacio~Barb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Cool Midnight Nine-year-old Lila, born with xeroderma pigmentosum, a skin disease that make her sensitive to sunlight, makes secret plans to feel the sun's rays on her tenth birthday. And so, she plays at night with her friends – who might or might not be real.Cool Moonlight by Angela JohnsonBarb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Spider Sparrow Spider, a baby abandoned on an English farm, grows up to be mentally slower than other children but manifests a remarkable talent for communicating with animals as he comes of age during World War II, a slower child whose quiet, calm, kind nature is a gift to everyone.Spider Sparrow by Dick King-Smith~Barb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Wonderstruck Wonderful! Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures.Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick~Erin Moehring, Southport Branch Library and Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
A Dog Called Homeless Fifth-grader Cally Louise Fisher stops talking, partly because her father and brother never speak of her mother who died a year earlier, but visions of her mother, friendships with a homeless man and a disabled boy, and a huge dog ensure that she still communicates.A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean~Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
For the older boys and girls I highly recommend Sharon Draper’s Out Of My Mind( jFIC). It’s also a Young Hoosier Book – very well written and thought provoking. It’s about a young girl who’s body is deformed (wheelchair bound), she can’t speak and her body spasms uncontrollably at the most inopportune times. She is very bright and knows the answers to the questions teachers ask, but has no way to express her knowledge. Everyone, except her family thinks she is retarded or dumb. How frustrating that must be. Finally with the help of a special computer she is able to communicate. I couldn’t wait to read what happened next!Out of My Mind by Sharon DraperConsidered by many to be mentally disabled, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2012-2013, 6-8 Nominee.~Linda Tegmeyer, Brightwood Branch Library
I recommend:The Kaleidoscope Kid by Elaine LarsonPresents a collection of poems pointing out the variety of intellectual strengths and personality traits possessed by children with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.~Joseph Fox, Wayne Branch Library
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28Feb/130

Staff Pick: Out of the Way, Out of the Way

When a boy spots a young tree in the middle of the path that runs through the village, he puts rocks around the base of the tree to protect the tree from being trampled.Author: Uma Krishnaswami

In this wonderfully illustrated Indian picture narrative, the author takes the reader through the growth of a tree, as the tree’s growth into a giant coincides with the growth of the road next to it. The story quietly highlights the perils of modernization- but the tree remains. “but sometimes the drivers of cars and buses and trucks and vans and tractors stop and stay a while… and listen”

This book was worth it just for the beautiful, culturally-aware illustrations but the lessons learned from the story are amazing and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys something more than a colorful picture book.

Submitted by Joe Fox, Children’s Librarian @ Wayne Branch

Here are some more books about the reality of change. Kids are often comforted by routine and patterns. If something is suddenly different it can be a hard adjustment for them. Like Out of the Way! Out of the Way!, these stories might help make accepting change easier - "If Mary Ann the Steam Shovel can do it, so can you!" First three - gems! Who can resist feeling bad for The Lonely Little Phone Booth after cell phones come along?

The Little House Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel The Lonely Phonebooth A Street Through Time
The Little Red Light House and the Great Gray Bridge A House Held Up By Trees Where Once There Was a Wood The Elevator Man
The Window
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14Feb/130

One Love

In this illustrated version of Bob Marley's song, a young girl enlists her friends, family, and community to transform their neighborhood for the better. Author: Bob Marley

One Love celebrates peace, happiness and all that is possible when we take the time to take care of our friends, family and neighbors, our community and the creatures that share our planet.  It’s the story of a little girl who makes a big difference when she enlists everyone she knows to help her change her neighborhood for the better.  Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s cheery artwork beautifully captures the spirit of Bob Marley’s unforgettable lyrics.

Recommended by Denise Smith, College Avenue

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6Dec/120

Staff Pick: Chalk

"It’s a gloomy, rainy day as three young friends head to the playground. The adventure begins when they discover a mysterious bag hanging from the mouth of a bouncy dinosaur on a spring. A peek inside the bag reveals a stash of multi-colored sidewalk chalk.

The first girl draws a picture of the sun and voilá – its blinding light rises into the sky to chase away the dark clouds and the rain. The second girl draws a flock of butterflies that sprout wings and rise from the pavement to fill the sky with color. Then the mischievous boy chooses a green chalk and draws a ferocious T-Rex. What do you think will happen next?

Each of the illustrator’s realistic drawings was painted by hand using acrylic paint and colored pencils. The children’s expressions are so vivid that you too experience the joy, wonder and fear as the story unfolds. The book has no words but still works well for story time. The large, colorful illustrations will stimulate children’s imaginations and inspire creative thinking as they ponder what comes next in the developing story." Young Hoosier Book Award, 2012-2013, K-3 Nominee.

Recommended by: Linda Tegmeyer - Brightwood Library

More books with illustrations that have magical imaginary results:

Jumanji Tuesday Harold and the Purple Crayon
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