Staff Picks

Librarian Assistant
The Last Christmas Tree
Krensky, Stephen
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014

The Last Christmas Tree by Stephen Krensky, is a heartwarming story of a little tree with a big wish. The tree isn’t very big or fancy and it isn’t one that gets much notice. But it doesn’t give up hope for someone to take it home. The ending is a joyful surprise! A good one to share with the family.

Youth Services Librarian
Heidi Heckelbeck and the Christmas Surprise
Coven, Wanda
Little Simon, 2013

Heidi Heckelbeck is very excited about Christmas. She even writes to Santa and asks him for a new book. She knows she has been good this year and has hardly gotten into any trouble. A day after that, her mother shows Heidi her charm bracelet from when she was a young girl. Heidi wants to keep it, but her mother says her she needs to wait a few years, as her arm isn’t big enough yet. Her mom tells her to always ask before trying it on.

When Heidi’s friend Lucy comes over, they begin playing dress up and Heidi borrows the charm bracelet without permission. When the girls come in from playing outside in the snow, Heidi realizes the charm bracelet has fallen off outside. She finds it a couple days later, but only after a snowplow has driven over it. Will Heidi be able to fix it before Christmas or will telling her mom ruin her hopes of a Merry Christmas?

Youth Services Librarian
Sometimes You Barf.
Carlson, Nancy
Carolrhoda Books, 2014.

I’m a fan of author Nancy Carlson. I love her picture book about self-confidence, I Like Me!  And her advice book about elementary-school friendship, How to Lose All Your Friends, is a winner. But her newest book really takes the cake (or loses it) as indicated by the title, Sometimes You Barf. Carlson’s hilarious picture book takes a practical approach to throwing up – sometimes it just happens. And it happens to everyone, even animals. It might even happen to you at school. About the school situation Carlson writes: “When you barf at school, be prepared, because everyone will go nuts!” Sometimes You Barf is illustrated in Carlson’s familiar colored-pencil style, with plenty of green mixed in.

This book will be a great addition to my “Ick…I’m Sick” storytime theme, and I think kids will be both reassured and grossed out by it. Perfect for elementary–aged school kids.