Tompkins County Public Library

Welcome to Wild About Reading!

We LOVE chatting about books, authors, illustrators. Here you'll find some of the best books we're currently reading and what we've been sharing at our storytimes.

Tell us about the books you’re reading by writing a book review of your own at: tcpl.org/kids/reading.php. We will post your review to this blog within the week.

Thanks for visiting and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September Staff Picks

Picture Books


Hector the Collector by Emily Been
E Beeny
Summary: “Hector begins collecting acorns of different sizes and shapes and is teased about it when his classmates find out, until their teacher explains about collections and asks who else has one. Includes author's note about various kinds of collections.”Kate’s Thoughts: I love all the comforting details in this book; it feels very homey. I’m not much of a collector myself but I really liked this story. Kids with an eye for detail will especially love this, but it’s also a great lesson for anyone on caring for and appreciating the things we have. It would be a welcome addition to a storytime on mindfulness. There’s some bonus information on museums in the back, making it even better.


Marigold Bakes a Cake by Mike Malbrough
E Malbrough
Summary: "Marigold the cat likes everything just so, but when he sets out to bake a perfect cake one Monday, he is interrupted by one finch, two pigeons, and three loons."
Kate's Thoughts: A cute, solitary, perfectionist cat baking a cake?! I feel like this book was made just for me! I love the colorful illustrations and sumptuous food descriptions. Plus, rigid Marigold the cat juxtaposed with a house full of goofy birds is truly chuckle-worthy. A great book for those who love their routines (and maybe need to break out of them just a little bit). Good choice for foodies as well.


Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus
E Naberhaus
Summary: "A stirring poetic tribute to the beauty and wonder of America's symbols, history, landscape.”
Sarah’s Thoughts:  Kadir Nelson is one of my favorite children’s literature illustrators. His often photo-realistic paintings are always breath-taking.  Pair them with Sarvinder Naberhausspare and powerful prose and this book is a winner.  Comparing the United States flag to our country and its people, the messages of beauty, history,  diversity, and strength are even more powerful when reading the author and illustrator’s notes at the end of the book.  The author having immigrated from India and Nelson’s beautifully diverse illustrations remind us of what our country stands for and what we are constantly striving for.  An inspiring and hopeful book.


Little Plane Learns to Write by Stephen Savage
E Savage
Summary: “Little Plane learns to write by practicing his skywriting.”
Kelly’s Thoughts: If ever there was a book that epitomizes ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) it’s this one. Not only does the book deliver with the "can-do" spirit for struggling readers, but the illustrations of sky-writing just beg to be traced. In the story, your child hears encouragement, and sees what can come of trying hard to get through something challenging, all the while gaining insight into what writing really is. After reading this book with your young child, get out some blue construction paper and white chalk, write their names in pencil, and have the kids trace the lines with the chalk. Then have them rub their fingers on the chalk lines to make them “smoogieand cloud-like. Talk about how real planes write. With Savage's clear, bold and sweet illustrations, this book is a winner for preschoolers and early elementary kids. Toddlers may enjoy the illustrations, too, and you can use lots of plane sounds to make it fun for them!


Raccoon Tune by Nancy Shaw

E Shaw

Summary: A family of raccoons prowls around a neighborhood making a ruckus until they find supper.”

Kelly’s Thoughts: I LOVE Raccoon Tune!! This
one comes in under the oldie-but-goodie category, with hilarious illustrations that show the raccoons characters as both feisty and fun! You won’t find any humility here! They know what they want and they are absolutely determined to get it. Don’t miss it!

Chapter Books

Sam the Man and the Chicken Plan by Frances O'Roark Dowell
J Dowell
Summary: "When seven-year-old Sam Graham, eager for some spending money, volunteers to look after a neighbor's chickens, the experience inspires him to get his own chicken -- a special bird named Helga."
Sarah's Thoughts: This is the beginning of a sweet and funny series for readers just beginning to read chapter books. Although seemingly set in current day, Sam's innocent neighborhood adventures call back to a simpler time, which feels refreshing, especially these days. His loving family and neighbors give him a safe world to explore. I found myself giggling many times throughout the book and the adorable pencil drawings by Amy June Bates add to the nostalgic feel of the story.

Pirate Pig by Cornelia Funke
J Funke
Summary: "On Butterfly Island, sailor Stout Sam and his deckhand Pip must rescue their treasure-sniffing pig from nasty pirate Barracuda Bill."
Cassie's Thoughts: This is a great early chapter book read aloud for young children. It has wonderful illustrations which helped hold my little guy's attention. It's full of adventure without being scary and also gives some good laughs. We loved it! Funke has also written a couple other great read aloud books in the same style, length and tone as this one (Ruffleclaw and Emma and the Blue Genie).

Music CDs

YCD C3 Big
Summary: "It's an 80 minute seafaring adventure full of characters, the sounds of the open sea and foot tapping original music throughout."
Cassie's Thoughts: My 5 year old LOVES this CD. He's listened to it so many times he can nearly recite it. It has some great humor, wonderful music (that even parents will love!) and short stories that will keep the attention of young children. It's a real treat!

YA Books

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
YA Taylor
Regina's Thoughts: The author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy comes forth with a spectacular first novel in a new series. Lazlo Strange, an orphan raised by monks and now a junior librarian, has always been obsessed with the mythical lost city of Weep. His dreams have shown him the beauty and majesty of this city but no living person has ever seen it. When an envoy from Weep, headed up by the infamous Godslayer, shows up, Lazlo's life is flipped upside down. Taylor's worldbuilding is detailed and gorgeous; I loved journeying through all the cities with the characters. The characters are fully realized people with personalities, flaws, dreams, and motivations. At 500+ pages, it's not a short novel but I anxiously await a sequel.

SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
YAGN Tamaki
Regina's Thoughts: Illustrator and co-creator of Skim and This One Summer, Jillian Tamaki has bundled together a series of Tumblr-based web comics that take place in a boarding school for mutants, superheroes, and magic users. Loosely-tied together, the comics are tongue-in-cheek nods to some favorite franchises like the X-Men and Harry Potter but with all the angst of a real-world high school experience. This quick read is fun, quirky, and light. It might not get you thinking too deeply but it'll surely have you snickering and rolling your eyes in the best way possible.