Monday, October 24, 2016


There’s nothing worse than having someone spoil the ending to the book you’re reading. I mean, unless you’re the type that’s into that sort of thing. Spoiler alert: this reviewer is.

As it happens, the young hero of Minh LĂȘ’s picture book Let Me Finish!, illustrated by Isabel Roxas, most emphatically is not. In fact, there’s nothing he’d like more than to be left in peace to finish reading his books. This proves surprisingly difficult when every animal in the vicinity is clamoring to share very specific thoughts on his reading material.

When a long-awaited, scarlet book arrives in the mail, the exasperated boy is determined to make it to the end on his own. He’ll traverse forests, oceans, and mountains, all the while stalked by bright-eyed, garrulous, book-ruining animals. I won’t ruin the surprise ending, but spoiler alert: it’s a good one.

Ages 6+

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Ah-Choo!  A big brother wants a pet but his little sister is allergic to animals so off they go to find one that won't make her sneeze.  A silly romp through the zoo and the alphabet is what they do until they find an unusual animal from Mrs. Grey's Pet store that has no hair, feathers or fur.  Written by Lana Wayne Koehler Gloria Adams and illustrated by Ken Min.

A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins surprises us all with lion's choices. A fun and unexpected choice for everyone.  

The Sloth Slept On and on and on until he finds himself in an unfamiliar place having slept through everything. Frann Preston-Gannon's story of a "lost" sloth who through many helpful hands makes it back "home", or is it home? 

For ages 4 and up. 


Monday, October 17, 2016


A review by Theresa:

In Elizabeth’ Atkinson’s THE ISLAND OF BEYOND the reader learns immediately how big a disappointment  11-year old Martin is to his father.  So much so that Dad has decided to send Martin off for a month of his summer vacation to visit his, never met before,  great-aunt Lenore who lives on a tiny island in the middle of a remote lake in Maine to do some “boy stuff” and toughen him up.  To say that Martin hates everything about the island and the creepy house would be an understatement. There is no cell reception, no video games and no food he likes. Lacking self- confidence Martin is afraid of everything he encounters, the creaks the house makes, the rustling of the bushes, his great-aunt and most of all the lake. Eventually he meets Solo, a wild child who appears to do as he pleases with no parental supervision. Warned by the aunt’s caregiver to stay away from this boy, Martin admires his new friend’s abilities and is drawn to him even though there are trust issues. Solo does become his guide though and encourages him to try new things which Martin does hesitantly.  

For Martin, this becomes a summer of meeting challenges and self-discovery. Things on the island are not always as they seem, neither is the reason for his being sent to the island. This title is part adventure, a little mystery and a coming of age story all in one. Gary Paulsen’s fans will find much to like here. 

For grades 5-8

Thursday, October 13, 2016


The Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes by Phaidon is presented in the style of the Moosewood Cookbook series, with simple text and illustrated cooking techniques easy enough for the beginning cook to follow.   There are great classic recipes like potato gnocchi, leg of lamb, and stew, just to name a few.  It's a beautiful book with photos of each finished dish so you can see what the dish will or should look like at the end of the cooking process.  It's a slim, large formatted book which will lay flat so that it is easy to read from as you cook, just put plastic over it so the next person can enjoy it stain free.   

For ages 10 and up. 

Monday, October 10, 2016


Henry laughs when he's lifted into the air by his Papa.  He enjoys playing the piano with his Grandma, and he plays fun games with his siblings.  At the end of the day, Henry gets to cuddle up with his Mama and listen to the best stories ever! With all this adventure, it's no wonder why Henry Wants More! He's truly loved by his family.  

Linda Ashman's delightful story about a young child who enjoys a variety of activities, especially with the people he loves the most. Brooke Boynton Hughes adds a sweet touch of color to this very loving family. 

Pre-K- 2nd

Thursday, October 06, 2016


Summer vacation may be drawing to a close, but here in sunny Southern California the heat rages on. It’s the perfect time to head to the pool or to share a lovely pool story with your little one.

Anna McQuinn, author of the lovable Lola series, adds a second picture book to her newest series, illustrated by Ruth Hearson, about Lola’s baby brother, Leo. In Leo Can Swim Leo and Daddy are taking baby swim lessons. The story follows the pair each step of the way as they ready themselves for the pool, from changing into a swim diaper and trunks to taking a well-deserved post-swim nap, with lots of splashy fun along the way.

There are plenty of familiar faces among the diverse group of babies and caregivers returning from Leo’s first outing, Leo Loves Baby Time. As a fun side note, to prepare for swim class Leo and Daddy read what appears to be Eric Carle’s undersea classic, Mister Seahorse; Leo later snuggles and snoozes with his own little board book version. Reading about everyday experiences helps children develop text-to-self connection. Share Leo Can Swim with your child to prepare her for her own pool playtime.

For ages 0 to preschool.

Monday, October 03, 2016


What do a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy have in common? There's at least one thing: a desire for adventure.  Unfortunately, deep within the Galaxy an evil Empire is gaining control over different star systems and killing off the galaxy's great peace keepers- the Jedi Knights.  

What roles will the princess, scoundrel, and farm boy play in this struggle?  Will they find ways to get along after their paths merge? Andrea Brackenberg's junior novelization of Star Wars: A New Hope is a welcome addition to the sci-fi genre.  She provides such interesting insight to each of the key characters' thoughts as they move through key scenes in the story.  Both humorous and memorable, this is best for 4th grade and up, or for budding Star Wars fans.  

For 4th grade and up.

Friday, September 30, 2016


We are excited to announce that just across the street from the Central Library, which is currently closed for renovation, librarians from the Central Children's Room will be offering a Babies, Toddlers & Preschool storytime at the Glendale Presbyterian Church, located at 125 South Louise Street. Join us on Wednesday and Friday mornings from October 5th through November 18th at 10:30-11:00 am for these highly-interactive programs for infants to age 5, including books, songs, movement, and other fun activities! Parking is available in the MarketPlace structure on the corner of Harvard and Maryland and the first 90 minutes are free. We hope to see you there this fall! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Nory Horace is a sweet girl who possesses a special, magical talent. Although she has the ability to turn into an animal, she's unable to maintain its shape for very long.  Instead of turning into just a kitten, she'll turn into a 'bitten (beaver plus kitten) or a 'skunkephant' (skunk plus elephant').  What can be the cause of this?  By her father's request, Nory is sent away from home to attend a new school, one that offers a class to those who have upside-down magic.  Nory is frustrated with her abilities, but she soon finds hope when her teacher Ms. Staff shows her the secret to discovering her true self.

Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins are a great team of writers who show that unusual talents can also be quite special in Upside Down Magic.  

For 3rd-5th grade.

Monday, September 26, 2016


From talented debut author Kathleen Lane comes The Best Worst Thing, an engaging and deeply perceptive novel about what growing up really feels like. Maggie is about to start middle school and is worried about pretty much everything--growing apart from her older sister, not seeing her father as much as she'd like, the fate of the cute little rabbits next door, the threat of the dangerous bully in her neighborhood, and, to top it all off, there's an actual murderer on the loose in her small town. Her helplessness in the face of the chaos of her world drives her to seek control in other ways--saying things twice (saying things twice), only eating an even number of snacks, and holding her breath and counting to 60. It's when she devises a pretty ambitious plan for keeping her and her loved ones safe, though, that things really start get out of hand. Will Maggie ever manage to feel like everything will turn out alright in the end?

Somehow Lane takes her readers into the mind of a preteen with anxiety-driven obsessive-compulsive tendencies and explores some fairly intense topics while managing to keep the tone relatively light and ultimately hopeful. Maggie's voice rings true and will certainly offer assurance to readers trying to find their place in a rapidly-changing world. 

An engrossing read best for 5th to 8th graders. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Little Bitty Friends is filled with natural living things for both children and adults to enjoy.  These small wonders--a small turtle, a parade of ants, gentle snails, and the most delicate flowers--remind the reader to take a moment to discover the smallest wonders of the world, just as a very young child would.  The text is spare but this itty bitty story will bring big, bright smiles. 

Patrice Barton's illustrations nicely complement Elizabeth McPike's sweet story for children.

For ages 3 to Kindergarten.  

Monday, September 19, 2016


Dig In! by Cindy Jenson-Elliott with illustrations by Mary Peterson, is a story to dig your fingers (and toes!) into. A curious child’s hand reaches into a budding garden to discover life and movement beneath the surface. It’s a toddler-friendly tale of exploration in your own backyard that ends in a squishy, muddy, fun time.

Peterson’s illustrations, linoleum block prints on paper with digital touch ups, flawlessly complement Jenson-Elliott’s easy-flowing story. With text simple enough to pass for an early reader and eye-catching, double page spread illustrations, Dig In! is an excellent choice for a young storytime crowd.

Round out the garden theme with more toddler favorites: Lois Ehlert’s Growing Vegetable Soup and Anna McQuinn’s Lola Plants a Garden.

Ages 2+

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Four very young children have different aspects of childhood:catching worms, splashing in puddles, and collecting bouquets of flowers.  When it's time to go home, their mother sees that their bodies are covered with dirt and grime.  Fortunately, she knows that the mess is not as important as the smiles on their faces and the memories they've made together.

Mary McKenna Siddals' Bringing the Outside In gently reminds readers of the importance of exploration, the joys of being 'in the moment', and our need to be truly carefree.  A wonderful "it's good to be a kid" story with a diverse set of characters is a plus. 

PreK- 2nd grade.

Friday, September 09, 2016


The Mixed-Up Truck, written and illustrated by Stephen Savage, tells the the story of a eager cement mixer's first day of on the job. All the other trucks are already working away at their respective tasks and the mixer just wants to know how it can help too. What seems like a simple enough instruction from the other vehicles ("Mix up some powdery white cement!") turns into a preposterous comedy of errors when our ambitious if unobservant protagonist doesn't read the signs and consequently blends a series of mistaken ingredients to entertaining effect. Will the mixed-up truck ever manage to get it right? 

The simple words are complimented by the bright and bold art, making this a perfect fit for toddlers through preschoolers, and will lay the groundwork for a riveting things-that-go or construction-themed storytime. This story also serves as an excellent introduction to print awareness, showing that words have meaning, as well as how important it is to notice the environmental print we see in the world all around us. 

To continue the truck-themed fun from Stephen Savage, be sure to check out the adventures of a snowplow who discovers his versatility in Supertruck. And, while the Central Library is closed for the duration of the renovation, please note that our branches will have expanded hours beginning Monday, September 12th.