Favorite Children’s Books of KCPL Children’s Staff
History Smashers: Women's Right to Vote
Myths Lies Secrets Smash the stories behind famous moments in history and expose the hidden truth. Perfect for fans of I Survived and Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales.
In 1920, Susan B. Anthony passed a law that gave voting rights to women in the United States. RIGHT?
WRONG Susan B. Anthony wasn't even alive when the Nineteeth Amendment was ratified. Plus, it takes a lot more than one person to amend the constitution.
Did you know that when women's rights activists picketed President Wilson to get his support for voting rights, some men beat them up, tore down their banners, and stole from them? And then it was the women who got arrested No joke.
Through illustrations, graphic panels, photographs, sidebars, and more, acclaimed author Kate Messner smashes history by exploring the little-known details behind the fight for women's suffrage.
Don't miss History Smashers: The Mayflower
The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.
Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.
Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
With every step, the Tomb Guards pay homage to America's fallen. Discover their story, and that of the unknown soldiers they honor, through resonant words and illustrations.
Keeping vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery, are the sentinel guards, whose every step, every turn, honors and remembers America's fallen. They protect fellow soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, making sure they are never alone. To stand there--with absolute precision, in every type of weather, at every moment of the day, one in a line uninterrupted since midnight July 2, 1937--is the ultimate privilege and the most difficult post to earn in the army. Everything these men and women do is in service to the Unknowns. Their standard is perfection.
Exactly how the unnamed men came to be entombed at Arlington, and exactly how their fellow soldiers have come to keep vigil over them, is a sobering and powerful tale, told by Jeff Gottesfeld and luminously illustrated by Matt Tavares--a tale that honors the soldiers who honor the fallen.
An exciting and deeply moving story of survival, courage, and friendship on the Appalachian Trail.
Toby has to finish the final thing on The List.
It's a list of brave, daring, totally awesome things that he and his best friend, Lucas, planned to do together, and the only item left is to hike the Appalachian Trail. But now Lucas isn't there to do it with him.
Toby's determined to hike the trail alone and fulfill their pact, which means dealing with the little things -- the blisters, the heat, the hunger -- and the big things -- the bears, the loneliness, and the memories.
When a storm comes, Toby finds himself tangled up in someone else's mess: Two boys desperately need his help. But does Toby have any help to give?
The Trail is a remarkable story of physical survival and true friendship, about a boy who's determined to forge his own path -- and to survive.
Parker Looks Up
A New York Times bestseller!
A visit to Washington, DC’s National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait.
When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book.
Parker Looks Up follows Parker, along with her baby sister and her mother, and her best friend Gia and Gia’s mother, as they walk the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops...and looks up!
Parker saw the possibility and promise, the hopes and dreams of herself in this powerful painting of Michelle Obama. An everyday moment became an extraordinary one…that continues to resonate its power, inspiration, and indelible impact. Because, as Jessica Curry said, “anything is possible regardless of race, class, or gender.”
**FOREWORD BY ARTIST AMY SHERALD**
Our Skin: A First Conversation about Race
Based on the research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with toddlers on up, this read-aloud board book series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way.
Developed by experts in the fields of early childhood and activism against injustice, this topic-driven board book offers clear, concrete language and beautiful imagery that young children can grasp and adults can leverage for further discussion.
While young children are avid observers and questioners of their world, adults often shut down or postpone conversations on complicated topics because it's hard to know where to begin. Research shows that talking about issues like race and gender from the age of two not only helps children understand what they see, but also increases self-awareness, self-esteem, and allows them to recognize and confront things that are unfair, like discrimination and prejudice.
This first book in the series begins the conversation on race, with a supportive approach that considers both the child and the adult. Stunning art accompanies the simple and interactive text, and the backmatter offers additional resources and ideas for extending this discussion.
★ "An accessible, important addition to any anti-racist bookshelf." --- starred review, Kirkus Reviews
★ "The book lives up to its promise by opening the door to rich conversations with explanations that are age-appropriate... This timely book is essential for all collections." --- starred review, School Library Connection
My Grandfather's Coat
A rollicking, rhyming, fun rendition of a favorite folksong about a many-times recycled coat -- by the award-winning, bestselling team of Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock.
Sydney Taylor Award WinnerA moving tale of love and regeneration. --The New York TimesWhen my grandfather came to America he made himself a handsome coat!Then he wore it and he wore it and he wore it--until it was all worn out!So what did he do? He snipped and he clipped-- and he stitched and he sewed. . . and out of the still-good cloth of his coat--he made himself a smart jacket!How many things can Grandfather makeout of that old frayed coat? Jim Aylesworth's satisfying retelling and Barbara McClintock's heart-warming pictures celebrate the clever recycling of a beloved coat that lasts four generations -- until it becomes this story!
From bestselling author Ame Dyckman and illustrator Scott Magoon comes the laugh-out-loud story about a Misunderstood Shark who just wants to show the world who he really is...
Every beachgoer knows that there's nothing more terrifying than a... SHARRRK! But this shark is just misunderstood, or is he? In a wholly original, sidesplittingly funny story, New York Times bestselling author Ame Dyckman and illustrator Scott Magoon take this perennial theme and turn it on its (hammer)head with a brand-new cheeky character. The filming of an underwater TV show goes awry when the crew gets interrupted by a... SHARRRK! Poor Shark, he wasn't trying to scare them, he's just misunderstood! Then he's accused of trying to eat a fish. Will Shark ever catch a break? After all, he wasn't going to eat the fish, he was just showing it his new tooth! Or was he? Explosively funny, extraordinarily clever, and even full of fun shark facts, this surprisingly endearing story gets to the heart of what it feels like to be misunderstood by the people around you. With a surprise twist ending, our Misunderstood Shark will have kids rolling with laughter!
Award-winning author and NASA rocket engineer Suzanne Slade (Countdown, A Computer Called Katherine) explores the diverse magnificence of Mars in this photo-packed extravaganza.
For young readers eagerly following NASA's Mars Exploration Program!
For centuries, people have been intrigued by Mars, and over time, scientists have made exciting discoveries, such as the planet's Earth-like weather and seasons. But curious earthlings want to know more about the Red Planet. Does Mars have deserts? Volcanos? Or signs of life? Could people live there someday?
Scientists decided to take a closer look. They built a powerful camera called the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and loaded it onto a rocket. The rocket blasted off on August 12, 2005, and seven months later, the camera began orbiting Mars. It sent back surprising, revealing photos showing the world what Mars really is. Now, the world's space community and NASA have renewed their exploration efforts, and interest in the Red Planet is in high gear.
With elegant, spare prose, award-winning nonfiction author and rocket engineer Suzanne Slade leads readers through some of the stunning photos taken by the most advanced camera ever sent to another planet. A visual feast for space enthusiasts and STEAM fans. Features remarkable full-color photography throughout.
Also by Suzanne Slade:
Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon
I Walk with Vanessa
Named by Parents Magazine as the Best Book that Champions Kindness!
This simple yet powerful picture book--from a New York Times bestselling husband-and-wife team--tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.
A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year
This beautifully illustrated story shows young readers how to become caring and supportive upstanders. Love it! --Trudy Ludwig, bestselling author of The Invisible Boy
Thank You, Teacher from the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Show friends and family how much you appreciate them with the Very Hungry Caterpillar's colorful book of thanks.
Perfect for Thanksgiving or any day of the year, this charming book of pictures is the colorful way to tell loved ones thanks! Featuring art from the World of Eric Carle, this joyful book follows The Very Hungry Caterpillar and celebrates all that makes us most thankful.
We Give Thanks
From acclaimed and beloved creators Cynthia Rylant and Sergio Ruzzier comes a cozy and quirky picture book that reminds us of all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for.
We give thanks for apple trees
and bushes filled with roses.
We give thanks for nice warm soup
and fires to warm our toeses.
Follow two sweet friends as they zip around town talking to all their pals about the things they love. The pair may even have a plan cooking to show everyone their gratitude! With its themes of thankfulness and inclusion, this playfully illustrated story is the perfect read for Thanksgiving—or for any day of the year.
Thank You, Earth
Acclaimed children’s book author and photographer April Pulley Sayre’s love letter to Earth is a stunning exploration of the beauty and complexity of the world around us. Remarkable photographs and a rich, layered text introduce concepts of science, nature, geography, biology, poetry, and community.
April Pulley Sayre, award-winning photographer and acclaimed author of more than sixty-five books, introduces concepts of science, nature, and language arts through stunning photographs and a poetic text structured as a simple thank-you note.
Touching on subjects from life cycles to weather, colors, shapes, and patterns, this is an ideal resource for science and language art curriculums and a terrific book for bedtime sharing. Thank You, Earth is a great choice for Earth Day celebrations, as well as family and group read-alouds.
Includes backmatter with kid-friendly ideas for conservation projects information about the photographs, and additional resources.
Around the Table That Grandad Built
A beautifully illustrated celebration of bounty and gratitude, family and friendship, perfect for the holidays and every day.
This is the table that Grandad built.
These are the sunflowers picked by my cousins,
set on the table that Grandad built.
In a unique take on the cumulative classic "This Is the House That Jack Built," a family gathers with friends and neighbors to share a meal around a table that brims with associations: napkins sewn by Mom, glasses from Mom and Dad's wedding, silverware gifted to Dad by his grandma long ago. Not to mention the squash from the garden, the bread baked by Gran, and the pies made by the young narrator (with a little help). Serving up a diverse array of dishes and faces, this warm and welcoming story is poised to become a savored part of Thanksgiving traditions to come.
Chock full of familiar situations and helpful hints, Thankfulness: A Gratitude Attitude gives readers the tools they need to develop this important character strength.
Recognizing and appreciating the good things in our lives makes us happier people. And it makes us more apt to be generous to others.
Mental Health Awareness Month Reads for Children
The Big Test
Are Mrs. Hartwell's students ready to show what they know?
Mrs. Hartwell is preparing her class to take the Big Test. Knowing they have studied and are well-prepared, she helps the students practice how to sit quietly, fill in the bubbles, and follow the directions. She even instructs them on proper morning-of-the-test nutrition.
As her students grow increasingly anxious about the Big Test, Mrs. Hartwell realizes she has to teach the most valuable test-taking skill of all: learning to relax!
Calm with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
This beautiful little gift book featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar provides an easy-to-follow journey to relaxation and mindfulness, perfect for teaching kids and their families about self-care.
Just stop and breathe . . . How do you feel?
Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a soothing story featuring classic art from the World of Eric Carle. Simple coping mechanisms and peaceful illustrations offer an introduction to processing emotions, all through the power of mindful breathing. Little ones can learn how to handle confusing feelings, regain focus, and be happy. This book is an excellent reminder to take a moment, breathe deep, and smile!
A touching and reassuring story about the jitters associated with first experiences -- and the satisfaction that comes with conquering your fears.
Jack loves playing the trumpet, and for weeks he's been looking forward to taking part in his first concert. But on the morning of the big day, Jack finds he has a Worry. And his Worry starts to grow. Even when Jack's mother calls him for a special breakfast, even when he hides under the bed or runs around the yard, his Worry follows him. Suddenly, when it's almost time to leave for the concert, Jack finds it's all too much. For anyone who's ever been afraid of failing at something new, this book offers just what's needed to shrink a Worry down to size.
Mindfulness is a powerful practice to help kids find calm in the midst of everyday stress--but how to make it accessible and fun?
In Crafting Calm: Art and Activities for Mindful Kids, kids engage in and practice mindfulness through fun and easy exercises, quizzes, crafts, and activities, with the goal of learning a deeper sense of calm, peace, joy, and connection to the world around them, all while improving emotional intelligence, boosting self-esteem, and reducing anxiety. Perfect for kids to do alone or with the help of an adult, the activities in Crafting Calm will have kids playing, tinkering, creating, and doodling their way to peaceful, balanced minds.
All about Anxiety
Anxiety. It's an emotion that rears its head almost every day, from the normal worries and concerns that most of us experience, to outright fear when something scary happens, to the anxiety disorders that many kids live with daily. But what causes anxiety? And what can we do about it?
All About Anxiety tackles these questions from every possible angle. Readers will learn what's going on in their brain and central nervous system when they feel anxious. They'll learn about the evolutionary reasons for fear and anxiety and that anxiety isn't always a bad thing--except for when it is! Most importantly, kids will discover new strategies to manage their anxiety so they can live and thrive with anxiety.