Lisa’s Picks — Sept

Before I leap into my picks of kids books for September, I wanted to  mention that, while at ALA, Jo Ann Jonas, the woman who inspired me to become a librarian, and I made a recording for StoryCorps. We both enjoyed talking about why we love about our jobs.

Part of what continues to inspire me is discovering new books that kids will love. Below are some of my favorites for next month.

Bedtime Books

A Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton, Candlewick.  Ages 4 and up.

The bear  who likes things in his house to be “just so” and the mouse (small, and gray and bright-eyed of course)  from A Visitor for Bear return to deal with going-to-bed rituals.

A Bedtime for Bear (Bear and Mouse)
Bonny Becker
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Candlewick – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0763641014 / 9780763641016

Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems by Jane Yolen, Andrew Fusek Peters, and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Here is a Little Poem is an essential buy for every children’s room. It is one of my favorite collections for young children. The same team brings together poems, old and new for nighttime reading paired with Karas’s dreamy paintings.

Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems
Retail Price: $21.99
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Candlewick – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0763642495 / 9780763642495

Max and Ruby’s Bedtime Book, by Rosemary Wells, Viking. Ages 3 and up

Very short stories of our favorite sister and brother bunnies are collected in a lavishly illustrated volume perfect for settling our own little ones during the night time read-aloud ritual.

Max and Ruby’s Bedtime Book
Rosemary Wells
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile – (2010-09-21)
ISBN / EAN: 067001141X / 9780670011414

Board Book

The Baby Goes Beep, by Rebecca O’Connell, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max, Albert Whitman. Baby to toddler.

Baby goes beep, Baby goes splash, Baby goes shhhh. Hats off to Whitman for bringing back this rollicking repetitious toddler read aloud in a board book edition.

The Baby Goes Beep
Rebecca O’Connell
Retail Price: $7.99
Board book: 16 pages
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company – (2010-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0807505080 / 9780807505083

Picture Books

I’m Big!, by Kate Mcmullam, illustrated by Jim Mcmullan, Balzar and Bray. Ages 4 and up

The latest from the creative duo of I Stink, I’m Bad, and I’m Mighty bring forth a not-so-little lost sauropod (check out the book trailer).

I’m Big!
Kate Mcmullan
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray – (2010-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061229741 / 9780061229749


Children Make Terrible Pets, Peter Brown, Little Brown.

A very feminine girl bear finds a little boy in the woods and brings him home for a pet.  She names him Squeak for the noise he makes. Domesticating a human turns out to be more than she can handle because children DO make terrible pets.  Brown makes the most of this ludicrous premise with his detailed cartoon drawings and deliberately tongue-in-cheek storytelling.

Children Make Terrible Pets
Peter Brown
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – (2010-09-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0316015482 / 9780316015486

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea, by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, Simon and Schuster. Ages 5+
In a droll serious tone the narrator details why it would be imprudent to stage a parade with a hundred pigs. Hawkes double page spreads of realist paintings not-at-all picture-book-cute (bringing to mind more Jamie Wyeth than David McPhail) instill an understanding of the madness of expecting porcine mammals to dress up in majorette costumes, play band instruments and tether balloons to the earth. Did you know pigs lack of any appreciation for floats except for the root beer kind?

A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea
Michael Ian Black
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing – (2010-09-07)
ISBN / EAN: 1416979220 / 9781416979227

Three Little Kittens, retold and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, Dial. Ages 2 and up.

Caldecott award winning illustrator, Pinkney, presents the sweetest little kittens who lost their mittens.

Three Little Kittens
Jerry Pinkney
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Dial – (2010-09-30)
ISBN / EAN: 0803735332 / 9780803735330


Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier, Little Brown. Ages 8 and up.

Very little is known about Dave the Potter. He could read and write, skills not common during a time when slaves were forced to be illiterate. He created huge well-crafted pots that survive to this day. The author weaves Dave’s own words in lyrical text that supported by Collier’s multi-media collage illustrations In this well-researched picture book biography

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
Laban Carrick Hill
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – (2010-09-07)
ISBN / EAN: 031610731X / 9780316107310

Dust Devil, by Anne Isaacs, illustrated by Paul Zelinsky. Random House

Remember Swamp Angel? The heroine of that tall tale of the greatest Tennesse woodswoman has moved to Montana where she and her trusty steed Dust Devil find themselves up against the meanest bad guy ever.

Dust Devil
Anne Isaacs
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0375867228 / 9780375867224

Easy to Read

Bink and Gollie, By Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile, Candlewick.

Two authors who are friends team up to write an easy-to-read chapter book about two very different best friends. One is tall, one is small. One is deliberate, one is enthusiastic.  The retro-modern, luminous art perfectly matches the authors’ dry absurd humor, imagination and other-worldliness. Can’t wait for number two.

Bink and Gollie
Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee
Retail Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Candlewick – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 076363266X / 9780763632663

Graphic Novel

Babymouse #13: Cupcake Tycoon, Jennifer L. Holm, Random House. Ages 7 and up

This series are  graphic novels in the best sense; compelling, emotionally satisfying with three dimensional characters that we have grown to love. As a series it is remarkable because the most recently published in the is just as engaging as the first. which is not always the case.

Babymouse #13: Cupcake Tycoon
Jennifer L. Holm, Matt Holm
Retail Price: $6.99
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers – (2010-09-28)
ISBN / EAN: 037586573X / 9780375865732


Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophe , by Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham,Schwartz and Wade. Ages 7 and up

I suspect the Alvin Ho series has not been as popular as it could be, so here’s my pitch. A transitional reader (Henry and Mudge but before Fudge) with a reading level similar to Junie B Jones, Judy Moody but with a boy main character who just happens to be Chinese. Alvin is quirky and funny and kids can relate to his trials and tribulations with school, teachers, friends and parents. Did I mention laugh-aloud funny?

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes
Lenore Look
Retail Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade – (2010-09-28)
ISBN / EAN: 0375863354 / 9780375863356

Chapter Book

This Isn’t What It Looks Like (Secret Series) by Pseudonymous Bosch. Little Brown. Ages 8 and up.

I don’t know if these have taken off at your library, but at Bank Street, our kids can’t wait to get their hands on the 4th fourth in the series (the first was The Name of This Book is Secret).

This Isn’t What It Looks Like (Secret Series)
Pseudonymous Bosch
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – (2010-09-21)
ISBN / EAN: 0316076252 / 9780316076258

Upper Middle Grade

Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka, Harper ages 10 and up.

Jon Scieszka IS my hero. The former ambassador of children’s literature tirelessly campaigns for children’s right to read — anything they want. Especially boys’ right to read fun, high-interest, adventurous, and sometimes grossly humourous books that the stereotypical female teacher might raise her eyebrows at as “Not appropriate.” Study after study has shown that self-selection is the magic key to life-long reading. Sieszka has gathered his writer buddies and convinced them to contribute this short story collection. Teachers are often scouring my library for short story collections and this one fits the bill. Kids will recognizer their favorite authors, Jeff (Wimpy Kid) Kinney, Adam (True Meaning of Smek Day) Rex, Mac (Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem) Barnett, Kate (Tale of Desperaux) Dicamillo, Eoin (Artemus Fowl) Colfer are among the contributors. Are some of the stories gross? Duh. Will some of the content make a grown-up squirm? You bet. Do the stories, engage, delight and provoke? Without a doubt. Just what the literacy specialist ordered. Thank you, Mr. Scieszka.

Guys Read: Funny Business
Jon Scieszka
Retail Price: $6.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Walden Pond Press – (2010-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061963739 / 9780061963735


The Search for WondLa, by Tony DiTerlizzi, Simon and Schuster. Ages 10 and up

This IS the big book. DiTerlizzi of Spiderwick fame opens this wide-ranging fantasy novel with a girl who lives underground and is raised by a robot named Mothr.  My 4th and 5th graders couldn’t put it down and were begging for more.

The Search for WondLa
Tony DiTerlizzi
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing – (2010-09-21)
ISBN / EAN: 1416983104 / 9781416983101


What Happened on Fox Street, by Tricia Springstubb, illustrated by Heather Ross, Balzar and Bray. Ages 9 and up

Mo loves her neighborhood and is looking forward to her best friend’s return for the summer. It would have been easy to overlook this sleeper, a seemingly quiet story of two long-time friends on a dead-end street, but Fox Street is much more than that. It is about change that happens even though we resist it. It’s about forces beyond our control. It’s about the pain of growing up as well as the everyday joys of friendship.

What Happened on Fox Street
Tricia Springstubb
Retail Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray – (2010-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061986356 / 9780061986352

Reckless, by Cornelia Funke, Little Brown. Ages 10 and up

Funke, the master of the richly imagined world populated with mystery and danger (Inkheart) presents a new series drawing on the dark side of traditional fairytales.

Cornelia Funke
Retail Price: $19.99
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 031605609X / 9780316056090

Young Adult

Half Brother, by Kenneth Oppel, Scholastic. Ages 12 and up

What if your parents uproot your life and move you to a distant small town where you know no one? What if they bring a baby chimpanzee into the new house and try to raise him as your brother? What if they think they can teach him to speak in sign language , would that be okay with you?

Half Brother
Kenneth Oppel
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press – (2010-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0545229251 / 9780545229258

Comments are closed.