Aaahh!!! Real Spiders!

The story is so often the same: you descend into the basement to get a blanket on a cold winter night, lift it up, and BOOM! There's a spider. You could scream, dance, wiggle, flail, or... you could read this amazing new book by Bethany Barton called I'm Trying to Love Spiders: (It Isn't Easy)! Maybe it won't completely cure your fear of spiders, a.k.a. arachnophobia, but it will give you a new appreciation for all the great things spiders do in our world. Chock full of cool facts, this book informs readers that spiders really aren't that dangerous, and actually help us get rid of annoying insects. It might even make readers laugh with cartoonish drawings that let readers "squish" a spider if they're not convinced.

Coming from a reader who cringes at the mere image of a spider, I found this book both approachable and humorous. Anyone who wants to handle spider sightings with a little more bravery could benefit from reading this friendly book.

Want to learn even more about creepy crawlies of the world? Check out these great materials on Insects and Invertebrates!

Ragweed's Farm Dog Handbook

"I'm Ragweed. I'm a farm dog, and I'm really, really good at it. Most dogs aren't. But don't worry. You'll be great! You have the handbook."

Ragweed's Farm Dog Handbook is a delightful new addition to our picture book collection. Throughout this darling book, Ragweed lists off tasks that a farm dog is not supposed to take part in, such as "don't wake the farmer", "don't lie in the mud" and "don't sit on the chickens' nests", but it's not until the end that Ragweed reveals the true purpose of being a farm dog: getting biscuit treats! With each line of advice, Ragweed is quick to break his rule... but usually receives a biscuit for his efforts anyway!

This adorable new book by Anne Vittur Kennedy features a fun premise and a truly charming pup. The humor is instantly identifiable, and readers of all ages will enjoy reading this goofy book together. The bright and colorful illustrations perfectly showcase Ragweed's enthusiasm and fervor for his perfectly suited profession. This hilarious romp through the tricky task of being the world's best farm dog is a real treat!

New Animal Picture Books

Do you like pretty picture books about animals that are filled with illustrations so gorgeous you can't stop staring? Here are two worth a view.

A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups features simple information on different animals and what they are called while in a group. A scurry of squirrels, a mischief of mice, a romp of otters. The book is beyond beautiful and will delight both adults and children.

In The Bear Report a little girl ponders what there is to say about polar bears, and her answer is “nothing.” She is quickly corrected by a polar bear named Olafur who shows her the light, literally. They go off on an adventure North where he teaches her about where they live and how they spend their time. It’s a small, quiet book perfect for lap time with the little ones, and demonstrates how wonderful it is when you look at something up close to admire it.

Collect Away!

Cabinet of Curiosities: Collecting and Understanding the Wonders of the Natural World, by Gordon Grice, is a great new book that tackles collecting natural treasures. I was thrilled to find this book, because I have a large collection of bones, shells, feathers, and more. This book explains scientific classification and breaks down the chapters in the book using the Linnaeus classification system.

Each page of this book is filled with beautiful photographs and drawings that show off the specimens that you might find in the wild. The book gives clear instructions on how to find animals that are already dead, rather than killing live creatures. It also explains the laws for certain protected shells and species. Instructions are provided for cleaning, caring for, and displaying specimens of all kinds.

Cabinet of Curiosities is a great book for curious readers of all ages who want to learn how to find and display the treasures that the earth has to offer.

New Picture Books to Celebrate Friendship

Two new adorable picture books about friendship have showed up in Youth, and I can’t stop talking about them! Buddy and Earl, written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Carey Sookocheff, is a slight and simple story about the friendship between a dog and a hedgehog. When Earl the hedgehog shows up in Buddy’s life, Buddy doesn’t know what to make of him. Earl tells Buddy that he is a race car, a hairbrush and a giraffe, among other things. Buddy is wonderfully naive and sweet, and Earl is clever and loyal. Fergus’ text is witty and unexpected, and Sookocheff’s illustrations capture their unusual friendship beautifully.

Written by Lisa Mantchev and lavishly illustrated by Taeeun Yoo, Strictly No Elephants is about a little boy who is devastated to find that his tiny elephant is not allowed at the local Pet Club. Rather than wallowing, he teams up with a girl and her pet skunk to start a new club that welcomes everyone. The variety of animals that come to this new club is astonishing, and each one is drawn with beautiful care. Throughout the book, readers are reminded of the kind things that friends do. Never didactic, this book is absolutely adorable and highly recommended!

Please, Open This Book!

Do it. Open it.

You might remember the funny picture book Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt. Well, those animals are back in his follow-up Please, Open This Book! And they’re not too happy. They’ve been trapped in a book! It’s dark in there, and if a book is closed all of the monkey’s bananas get smushed! If you happen to open this book and then close it the animals will be trapped all over again! What will you do? I highly recommend you open the book and find out.

Parent’s Corner: What’s New?

Many great new books have hit the Parent Shelf! The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, where you’ll find all sorts of books on hot parenting topics like behavior, potty training, divorce, and picky eaters.

There are new books on discipline such as Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, When Kids Call the Shots, and for the teen years there’s The Angst of Adolescence: How to Parent Your Teen and Live to Laugh About It.

Or maybe you’re looking for books on how to help your kids succeed. If so, check out Raising kids to Thrive: Balancing Love With Expectations and Protection with Trust and The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.

Perhaps you're looking for guidance working with children with special needs. Parenting Children With ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach is full of helpful tips. And Autistic Logistics: A Parent's Guide to Tackling Bedtime, Toilet Training, Tantrums, Hitting, and Other Everyday Challenges focuses on many aspects of autism and how to help your child in every day life.

Shark Detective

This new picture book is a winner! Shark Detective! tells the story of a shark who lives in a hotel, watches detective shows on TV and eats potato chips. But he was ever so lonely. At night he would dream he was a detective solving mysteries! Then one day he saw a poster for a missing kitty. Oh no! What could do? He had a great idea -- Shark Detective to the rescue!

The book has charming illustrations, is hilarious, and tells a sweet story about how friends are made. This book is recommended if you're a fan of the silly style of Dragons Love Tacos or Weasels.

If You’re a Monster & You Know It!

This week Ms Amanda told stories about monsters at preschool storytime! Not the scary kind, really, but monsters of the cute, funny, silly, and sad variety.

In Glad Monster, Sad Monster: A Book About Feelings by Ed Emberly we explored different emotions. We practiced looking at a monster and guessing how it was feeling by the face it was making. We then got silly and tickled a monster until he went way in Tickle Monster by Édouard Manceau. And to end with, since we’re talking monsters here, we had to get a little scary in Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas. (It wasn’t really that scary, but we all made our best scary face and scared away a lady bug and a giant green frog!)

All in all it was loads of fun, and a grand adventure to be surrounded by cute and silly monsters.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Illustrated Edition

Harry Potter fans rejoice! The brand new illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is now on the shelves!

This edition of the first book in the popular Harry Potter series includes the full original text paired with stunning color illustrations. Each and every page has been filled with visually appealing and intricate artwork. All of the chapter intros are illustrated in addition to many other images throughout the novel. Some illustrations span multiple pages while some are small asides or details. However, each and every page has something visual-- there aren't any white pages in the entire book. In addition, aside from the switch from 'Philosopher's Stone' to 'Sorcerer's Stone', all of the Americanized changes to the first few printings of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone have reverted to their original British roots (for example: substituting motorcycle for motorbike or lemon drop for sherbet lemon).

Jim Kay does a wonderful job of bringing these familiar characters to life in new and sometimes surprising ways. Harry and the gang don't resemble their movie counterparts, but are a more accurate depiction of the characters as they appear in the novels. These otherworldly illustrations are sure to delight fans and newcomers alike.

Author J. K. Rowling has also been busy with the recent release of her latest novel Career of Evil, adding to the collection of novels published under her pen name Robert Galbraith.

Syndicate content