Every month, librarians from Denver Public Library branches get together to talk about new books for school-aged kids. If you're looking for some new titles to keep you reading until school begins, here are some that we recommend.
Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems. Have you met Elephant and Piggie? They are the stars of a whole series of early readers that we all love! The newest book in the series is perfect for summer. Gerald, the elephant, has just purchased some delicious ice cream and while he really wants to eat it by himself, he struggles with all of the reasons why he should share it with his best friend. Readers might feel the tension building, knowing that you can't wait too long to eat ice cream in the hot sun! Like all of the books in the series this one is full of heart and humor conveyed mainly through the facial expressions and body language of the characters, even as the well-chosen, simple text teaches new readers.
Bless this Mouse by Lois Lowry. Hildegarde is the Mouse Mistress at St. Bartholomew's Church and it's a big job looking out for more than 200 mice! When some mice are spotted by the human churchgoers, Hildegarde must keep the mice safe as they avoid the tricks and traps set by an exterminator and learn to live outdoors. This sweet story is also full of excitement. Recommended by Chufo from the Children's Library.
Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob Raczka. Find the perfect poem for a hot summer's day in this collection of poems and puzzles all created by breaking up a really long word. Wake up your lazy summer brain cells by trying your hand at guessing what the poem might be and then create your own. Recommended by Kristi from the Children's Library.
EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken by Salley Warner. EllRay is the smallest kid in his class - smaller even than the girls - and he gets picked on all the time by bigger and meaner boys. Unfortunately, he also gets in trouble for fighting all the time - even if it isn't his fault! Finally, EllRay's dad makes a deal with him that they will go to Disneyland if Ellray can stay out of trouble for one week. This is the story of EllRay trying his hardest to stay out of trouble. Recommended by Ann from the Children's Library.
Storm Runners by Roland Smith. Ever since Chase's dad was struck by lightning, he has always had a sense of when there is going to be a big storm. He makes the most of it by scamming people with free pre-storm construction help and then charging lots of money after the storm. Chase goes with his dad from place to place, always on the road chasing storms. When a big hurricane is predicted in Florida, the two go to stay with a circus family who have a whole menagerie of animals on their property. Chase really likes this spot, but as the storm nears, he realizes that his dad's prediction of where the storm will hit is off. Chase and a schoolbusload of kids are caught in the path of the storm and he's the only one who knows how to react. This exicting read is part of a three-part series and ends with a real cliffhanger! Good thing the second book, The Surge, is coming this fall! Recommended by Sarah from the Children's Library.
The Quest of the Warrior Sheep by Christine & Christopher Russell. Some sheep are hanging out in the pasture when a silver object falls from the sky. Believing it to be the mystical baaaton of Aries, the sheep embark on a quest to protect the object from evil forces and return it to the god. In the meantime, a bank robber who dropped his silver cell phone from a hot air balloon is desperately trying to recover it and a farmer who is convinced his sheep were abducted by aliens gets involved with a journalist looking for a good story. This ridiculous and silly read is lots of fun. The sequel, Warrior Sheep Go West is on order now and will be released in August. Recommended by Amy from the Eugene Field branch.
Dreadful Fates: What a Shocking Way to Go! by Tracey Turner. This gross, but entertaining, book of non-fiction tells about the gruesome deaths of people throughout history. Have you heard of Isadora Duncan, the dancer who choked to death when her long scarf was caught in the wheel of her convertible? Perfect for those who like to read horror and a great jumping off point for further historical investigations, this book can be read in one sitting or in gory snippets. Recommended by Mollie from the Early Literacy Department.
Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Jack's mom has always been different; loving and fun one week, and then manic and scary other times. When the two go on a camping trip at Acadia National Park, Jack wakes up to find his mom gone. Now he has to find his way home and survive in the wilderness by himself. He can't ask for help because the DSS might find out what happened and Jack is sure things will be okay if he can just get home. With just his small toy elephant for company, this is the story of brave Jack's journey. Recommended by Becker from the Schlessman Family branch.
Aliens on Vacation by Clete Smith. Scrub is not excited that he has to go spend the whole summer with his kooky grandma, who runs the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast, a weird hotel with spaceships on the outside. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that his grandma is actually running an Earth travel business for vacationing aliens from other planets and his summer job is to disguise them as humans! If this doesn't sound funny enough, watch out for a nosy sheriff who wants to catch the aliens and a cute girl who Scrub might get to kiss. Recommended by Gwen, the Children's Collection Specialist.
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. Magic used to be very powerful in our world, but it has been fading. Now, magicians are relegated to being electricians and other small jobs, still handy, but not as glorious as they once were. Jennifer Strange is just a young girl and just takes messages for a magician employment agency. When a scary prophecy comes to light that the last dragon is going to be slain and all of the magic eradicated, Jennifer is horrified to find out that SHE is the dragonslayer. This exciting adventure is full of great language and magical twists. Recommended by Tara from the Schlessman Family branch.