Staff Picks

Sara
Librarian Assistant
Henry and Beezus
Cleary, Beverly
J CLE
HarperCollins, Re-illustrated, 2014.

Beverly Cleary’s series has been republished with updated illustrations for this classic story.
Henry has a dream of owning his very own bicycle and riding it in the town parade. He finds different ways to make money and some complications that crop on the way to having his own bike. Things start looking up when Henry finds a treasure that he can sell; then his dog, Ribsy, learns a new trick that endangers his chances for a paying job. His friend, Beezus, tries to help him at the town auction with a bid for a bike. Through it all, Henry, remains a good natured boy with many funny predicaments to solve in his quest for a bike in this second book of the Henry Huggins series.

Amy
Youth Services Librarian
Ol Mama Squirrel
Stein, David Ezra
E STE
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013

I’m always on the lookout for a good picture book about squirrels. Squirrels and their quirky behavior can make a wonderful autumn storytime theme. I’ve always loved the classic Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert and the newer Acorns Everywhere by David Sherry, but I found a title last year that stands out: Ol’ Mama Squirrel. The Mama Squirrel in the story is very protective of her babies.  She makes a strong “chook, chook, chook” sound at anyone who bothers her family, and scares the offenders away including owls, cats, dogs, and the tree cutter.  But when a grizzly bear comes into town, Ol’ Mama Squirrel meets her match. Will nuts pelted at his head shoo the bear away, or will Ol’ Mama Squirrel lose her precious babies?  Clue: Don’t underestimate squirrels.  

Amanda
Youth Services Librarian
Ungifted
Korman, Gordon.
J KOR
Balzer + Bray, 2012

Donovan Curtis has never been known around school for being smart.  He is best known for getting in trouble and pulling all sorts of pranks.  One day, he pulls the worst prank ever:  he hits a statue at his school from behind and suddenly the giant orb the statue is holding is rolling down the hill toward the school gym, packed with students at a basketball game!

The Superintendent takes his name to tell him the consequences at a later time, but his secretary accidentally puts the note with his name on it in with the list of students to attend school at the gifted academy.  After a while at the gifted academy, both the students and teachers realize Donovan is not gifted.  Even though Donovan isn’t gifted, he does know about one thing the other genius kids don’t:  being a regular kid. Find out what happens to Donovan and the rest of his friends at the gifted academy in Ungifted