Thursday, April 26, 2018


I honestly can’t believe none of our Children’s staff have reviewed this book yet. Its hilarity is the stuff of legends, and we’ve already shared it with as many storytime families and visiting classes as we possibly could. If you get enough kindergartners in a room while you continually utter the word “underwear” in complete deadpan, the walls might actually tremble from the force of their uproarious laughter.

The premise is simple: Polar Bear, having most embarrassingly misplaced his underwear (oops), searches through the book for the aforementioned garment with the help of his friend Mouse. Spreads featuring Polar Bear and Mouse carefully examining a single pair of brightly patterned underwear and commenting on why it may or may not belong to Polar Bear alternate with spreads of each pair’s true owner donning the piece.

Pretty soon the older kids start catching on, and then come the enthusiastic guesses. Who’s itty-bitty and might like flowers on their underwear? BUTTERFLY! Who loves mice? CAT! Who enjoys carrots? BUNNY! Yes, but why is the underwear upside down? Silence here, but the answer always cracks them up.

Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera, a pseudonym for creative duo Tatsuya Kameyama and Atsuko Nakagawa, is nothing less than a picture book masterpiece in my mind. It just so perfectly captures the (weird) interests and humor of its young target audience. As a caveat I will confess that in my own reading of the book I tend to skip the last page. I’m not sure whether being a Japanese import has any effect on this, but the little ditty at the end has never quite worked for me. Still, a stellar book and not to be missed!

Ages 4+

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Hi grownups.  Are you tired of feeding your baby or toddler the same foods over and over?  Why not explore our new baby and toddler food books in our Parenting Collection?  These simple to use books offer hundreds of baby purees and toddler meals.

Why not try avocado soup or coconut rice with your little one?  Is your baby teething?  Around the World in 80 Purees: Easy Recipes for Global Baby Food by Leena Saini has a Peach Teething “Ice Cream” that you might like to try.

As your little one gets older try some of the toddler recipes in 201 Organic Baby and Toddler Meals: The Healthiest Toddler and Baby Food Recipes You Can Make by Tamika L. Gardner.  Your toddler might enjoy the Cinnamon Watermelon Bowl or the Veggie and Hummus Platter.

You can explore these books and many more in our Parenting Collection.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


When she trips over her toys bumping into and spilling a pitcher of what looks like juice all over the couch, Lola is afraid of what might happen to her so she decides to hide at the library until she's grown. As she makes her way to the library, she encounters others who have also been in accidents and fear the consequences so one by one they all follow Lola to the library to hide.  

Upon entering the library, they encounter chaos inside but all will come to order when  bird helps Lola and the other runaways by explaining that they were accidents. Face them, clean them up and fix the problems.  

This book illustrates the lesson in a hilarious way without beating a child over the head with the message. With clear images and exaggerated expressions Andrea Tsurumi provides humor and understanding in Accident!

For preschoolers and up. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


An amazing book about how diverse we  are. I love the great photographs of all the children in the story.  What's the Difference? by Doyin Richards is for preschoolers and up. 

Thursday, April 05, 2018


Lola has a school assignment to draw a picture of the country she's originally from--but unlike most of the other kids in her class full of immigrants, she was too young to remember anything before her family left to come to America. She is frustrated that she can't remember her birthplace, so she has to rely on the memories of all the people in her neighborhood who also came from the unspecified island. Her cousin tells her about the bats as big as blankets, Mrs. Bernard, who sells her empanadas, tells her there's so much music people are dancing in their sleep, and Jhonathan the barber tells her about mangoes so sweet they make you want to cry. All her friends and family and neighbors are eager to regale her with the vibrant sights and sounds and smells of their native island. All except for Mr. Mir, who is initially hesitant to share his not-so-fond memories. But when he does, Lola learns of the dreadful monster that terrified the island until the brave people banded together to rise up against it. She takes all the combined memories--both sweet and sorrowful--and turns them into a breathtaking drawing that brings the island to life for her and her classmates. 

Pulitzer-prize winning author Junot Diaz infuses Islandborn, his first book for children, with beautifully evocative language that breathes life into each character, not least of which is the island itself. Leo Espinosa's illustrations provide the perfect compliment to the text, both stunning and heartfelt. 

This transporting and life-affirming picture book is filled to the brim with lyrical language, bright and dynamic illustrations, a touch of allegory, and more than a little spot-on humor, and is ideal for more sophisticated picture book readers in kindergarten through sixth grade. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2018


While taking a walk with his dog, a boy can see windows on many dwellings in his urban neighborhood. What is a window? A glance reveals that it’s just an opening in a wall, but a closer look reveals so much more. Looking into one window one can see people dancing, having a nice dinner, or loved ones hugging each other. There’s an endearing happiness in each and every window and home that creates joy that transcends the neighborhood. It’s no wonder the boy appears at ease while going for an evening walk.

Windows by Julia Denos is indeed unique, and illustrator E. B. Goodale’s attention to detail adds depth to this simple picture book story. The illustrations skillfully capture the many different houses in the boy’s diverse neighborhood. He feels quite connected, despite the differences between each home around him. This neighborhood is one to walk through again and again. For ages 3-7.