Greetings from Aidan Library, and happy spring and almost-summer!
Lower Elementary students use the Library extensively every year because they do a lot of research and their classrooms are on the same floor as the Library, but this year their use has been even greater. I have noticed them making a lot of peer recommendations of books, which is wonderful. Some of their particular favorites in recent months are the Kondo and Kezumi series, the Bunjitsu Bunny series, and the Zoey and Sassafras series.
Recently in the Magnolia classroom, I read aloud The Runaways by Ulf Stark and students loved the illustrations - colored pencil drawings by the award-winning Kitty Crowther. This is a story about a grouchy but lovable grandfather and Crowther really captures the grandfather’s personality with her outsize, cartoon-like depictions! In Primary distance-learning Library, I recently read an older book that is an appealing story with really nice illustration: Patricia Wolff’s The Toll-Bridge Troll.
There are a few books I recommend for summer reading because you can spend time with them in a leisurely way. One is All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, by Christina Soontornvat. This is an Upper Elementary level book written in a clear, engaging, and detailed way, and there are lots of good photographs supporting the text. Soontornvat is of Thai ancestry and she is a mechanical engineer as well as an award-winning children’s author. I also recommend If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackall, which has a child narrator introducing the reader to Earth as if the reader is an extraterrestrial alien. It is a fun concept for a story, beautifully illustrated in typical Blackall fashion with lots of little details, and the story is playful and thoughtful. It’s a picture book that both Primary and Lower Elementary ages would enjoy.
Audiobooks are wonderful for summer travel and I want to share a few tips from my listening experience! Audiobooks are so expensive to purchase but public libraries have enormous audiobook collections, and a subscription to Audible is not as expensive as purchasing the books. Many lists of recommended audiobooks for children usually focus on older books by familiar authors - Roald Dahl, E.B. White, and others - and these are great, but more and more newer books are also available as audiobooks, so keep this in mind! I recently listened to Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!, and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, both from a public library and having excellent narration. My last tip is that some stories you might think wouldn’t work well as audiobooks actually might work, so give them a try! I thought the Dory Fantasmagory series would lose a lot on audio because the illustrations are such a part of the books, but it doesn’t! - the narration is so full of animation that it brings the stories to life despite missing the pictures.
I hope you all have a wonderful summer! Note that public libraries are now opening up for in-person, into-building visits! Just in time for summer reading.