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: We will post your review to this blog within the week.

Thanks for visiting and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

June Staff Picks

Picture Books

Please Please the Bees by Gerald Kelley
E Kelley
Summary: "When the bees in his yard go on strike, everything goes wrong for Benedict, until he finds a way to bring them back."

Kelly's Thoughts: Want to read a book about bears, honey, bees and social justice? Try this one! Benedict the Bear LOVES his honey but he takes the bees who create and supply that honey for granted. When they up and go on strike, a panicking Gerald has to figure out why and exactly what to do about it before his world completely falls apart! A funny, up-to-the-minute take on respect and gratitude by this awesome writer and illustrator.

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
E Luyken
Summary: "As an artist creatively incorporates her slipups into a drawing, readers see the way in which 'mistakes' can provide inspiration and opportunity, and reveal that both the art and the artist are works-in-progress."
Kate's Thoughts: Such a beautiful, beautiful ode to the creative process and the okay-ness of mistakes. I love his this book encourages readers to create without worry of getting it perfect. I also love the playful and surprising ways the author transforms her mistakes into something so right. I think adults would benefit from this one just as much as kids -- I may need to get a copy for my own home library.

7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar
E Lazar
Summary: "When 7 is accused of eating 9, worried 6 hires a detective to investigate."
Kelly's Thoughts: This is a hilarious book about numbers for the early elementary crowd (AND their grownups!). It's full of the kind of puns that will go right over the heads of toddlers, but are sure to tickle the funny bones of slightly older children. Ross MacDonald's sort of retro illustrations give this book its finishing pizazz, making it a fun pick for the aforementioned age group.

My Valley by Claude Ponti
O-E Ponti
Summary: "A journey through an enchanted world inhabited by 'Twims' (tiny, adorable, monkey-like creatures), secret tree dwellings, flying buildings, and sad giants."
Adelle's Thoughts: This book seems to have been written by a child's very vivid imagination. While the book is narrated by a young twim, there is no narrative arc, but instead features short stories of various twims and their curious and unusual lives in the valley. Children will pore over the beautifully imaginative landscapes, discover the detailed twim dwelling complete with a Theatre of Hissy Fits for angry twims to work out their feelings. They'll also see places like Surprise Island, where a new gift can be found every day. Too much unexpected greatness to mention; my favorite French import to date. A must read for imaginative, cuddly children.

Early Readers

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder
ER Snyder
Summary: "Charlie and Mouse, two young brothers, enjoy a day out together, attending an imaginary party and collecting rocks."
Kate's Thoughts: Oh, how wonderful to find an Early Reader with a good storyline and some decent laughs. Superb illustrations by Emily Hughes and a diverse cast of characters bring this up to just-about-perfect status. The book features four short stories and would be great for kids who are almost ready for early chapter books.

Chapter Books

The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget
J Helget
Summary: "Eleven-year-old Fern helps to take care of her impoverished family by foraging for food in the forest, but when a fracking company rolls into town, she realizes that her peaceful woods and her family's livelihood could be threatened."
Kelly's Thoughts: This is a thoughtful and sensitive book about the fracking industry and its effect on not only the environment, but on the struggling families that live in the beautiful area the industry wants to use for its operations. Told from the perspective of environmentalists, families needing jobs, and our protagonist, Fern, who not only loves the woods but finds sustenance for her family in it, End of the Wild is an eye-opening look at the controversial subject of fracking.

Teddy & Co. by Cynthia Voigt
J Voigt
Summary: "A group of lost toys live on an island, and their community must adapt as new toys come and go."
Cassie's Thoughts: This is a great one to read aloud with young children and especially for those who enjoyed Toys Go Out or Winnie the Pooh. The characters are all very unique and the problems they encounter (such as one of the toys wanting to make all the rules) are ones young children can relate to. In addition, there's a deeper, quiet thread running through these beautiful, simple stories.

Children's Nonfiction

The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre
J 031.02 Sayre
Summary: "Discover surprising facts about anything and everything slow."
Kelly's Thoughts: When I look for inspiration for books for storytimes, I often check out what's new by my favorite authors. That's how I found The Slowest Book Ever, by April Pulley Sayre. It's a juvenile nonfiction book made especially for deep thinkers and lovers of science and quirky facts. Its not for storytimes! (Although, it's a nonfiction possibility for STEAM Book Club!) But it is very funny and it is a factual book that will keep you turning those pages, or flipping back and forth through them, ever so slowly!

YA Books

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long
YA Long
Summary: "Sophie and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five years old, but she's fourteen now and has never been quite sure why they left England in the first place. Then, one day, Sophie makes a startling discovery. Finally Sophie can unlock the mystery of who she really is."
Cassie's Thoughts: Told in Sophie's own made-up language (substituting words for other words here and there), this is a mystery that middle schoolers in particular might enjoy and can relate to. Sophie is searching to find who she is in relation to her parents and as an individual. The story moves quickly as she searches to find out who her parents really are and what they have done. Her bravery and growth throughout the experience are palpable, painful and inspiring.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
YA Saenz
Summary: "Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it's senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing who no longer knows himself. If Sal's not who he thought he was, who is he?"
Kelly's Thoughts: This was one of those books I just didn't want to end. This is a story with such heart, insight and love. A great pick for LGBTQ teens.

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