Brianna’s Books: August Favorites 2022

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2022 by Brianna

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The next time I write to you, school will have already started! So kick back and cherish the last days of summer vacation with some great new books. Remember to put these on hold, so we can place them in your hands as soon as we get them!

Picture Books

Three Little Vikings” by Bethan Woollvin

What do you do when no one is listening to you? Three little Viking girls are playing together when they hear a loud noise outside. They tell the chieftan there might be a monster outside, and he reassures them it was just a thunderstorm. Trees are uprooted, houses destroyed and the village’s treasure hoard stolen — all while the chieftan insists it’s just birds or wind or maybe foxes. Finally, the girls decide to take matters into their own hands. With bold illustrations and an empowering message about questioning authority, this is a fun, updated fairy tale. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: August Favorites 2022”

Brianna’s Books: July Favorites 2022

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2022 by Brianna

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How’s your Summer Reading going? My nine month old son finished his pretty quick, but I still need to catch up. If you need some exciting new books to round out your summer, take a look at these!

Picture Books

Brush! Brush! Brush!” written by Douglas Florian and illustrated by Christiane Engel

I don’t usually highlight board books, but I wanted to bring this one to your attention! This book is perfect for toddlers that are learning how to brush their teeth. The illustrations are bright and exciting but simple enough that it’s easy to follow what’s happening. The text has a wonderful bouncy rhythm, repeating the end of each line. “Toothpaste on the / brush! brush! brush! / Take your time. / Don’t rush! rush! rush!” There’s excellent tooth-brushing advice for every step of the process, delivered with charm and verve. My little boy doesn’t have teeth yet, but we’ll definitely be checking this book out when the time comes! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: July Favorites 2022”

Brianna’s Books: June Favorites 2022

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2022 by Brianna

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It’s June! Summer is just around the corner. In honor of Summer Reading, I’ve got some new releases for you that have absolutely nothing to do with our “Oceans of Possibilities” theme. I figure we have plenty of book lists already that can point you in that direction! So enjoy these new titles that are completely unrelated to oceans (except for one of the chapter books, but it’s not what you think).

Picture Books

Don’t Worry, Murray” by David Ezra Stein

Murray is a little dog with a lot of fears. He worries about going outside in the rain, and meeting big dogs in the park, and fireworks, and falling asleep next to a picture of a cat hung by his bed. Through all his fears, Murray’s owner is always there to offer kind words and solutions. Murray gains confidence wearing his bright yellow raincoat, his owner reassures him that the big dog at the park is nice, and even stays right beside Murray as he’s falling asleep next to the scary cat picture. What I love about this book (other than the adorable art, obviously) is that it shows you don’t have to tackle your fears alone. Murray is supported and loved every step of the way, which provides a great model for dealing with fears and helping others. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: June Favorites 2022”

Best Friends Books

Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2022 by Adam

How do you know when you’ve found a best friend? Maybe when you’ve found someone who makes you laugh more than anyone else. Or someone who you can’t wait to tell when something really great or really terrible has happened. Or someone who you know will be loyal no matter what. However you define it, when you’ve found a best friend you will want to hold on to them and treasure every moment together. June 8 is National Best Friend Day, so, to celebrate, here are a handful of books for kids about the special bond of friendship.

"My Best Friend" book coverThe title characters of Olivier Dunrea’s “Gossie & Gertie” are two ducks, and best friends, who do everything together. Wherever Gossie, the bigger duck, goes, Gertie follows. But eventually, Gertie gets tired of following and starts to do her own thing. This makes Gossie annoyed at first, but then she decides that she’s okay with following Gertie for a while, and the two friends continue having fun together! Continue reading “Best Friends Books”

Feeling the Love: Picture Books About Weddings

Posted on Monday, April 18, 2022 by Laura

April is a BIG month for me: after six years together, my partner and I are finally getting married! *Cue the confetti!*

As we were creating our guest list months ago, we were tasked with making two big decisions: do we want children present for our wedding day and how will they be involved in the festivities? It’s certainly understandable that not every couple wants to throw a kid-friendly soirée. But as a proud member of DBRL’s youth services team, I just couldn’t bear the idea of leaving our littlest loved ones off the guest list. When one of my best friends expressed hesitation at bringing her toddler along, I assured her that we would do everything we could to make sure she and her kiddo felt safe and welcome at our big day. And of course, I went in search of picture books all about weddings!

A young flower girl in a white dress stands in front of a line of bridesmaids in yellow dresses. The flower girl holds a basket of petals. Continue reading “Feeling the Love: Picture Books About Weddings”

Brianna’s Books: April Favorites 2022

Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2022 by Brianna

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It’s time for my top April picks! I’ve got a nice mix of titles this month, with something for everyone to enjoy. If you’ve got a kid aging out of chapter books and getting ready for YA, make sure to check out my “Selector’s Selections” posts on the Teen Blog too. Or, you know, if you want some YA recommendations for yourself!

Picture Books

Kick Push” written and illustrated by Frank Morrison

Ivan, nicknamed Epic for his incredible skateboarding skills, has just moved to a new neighborhood. Missing his old skateboarding friends, Epic tries to fit in by playing the sports the other kids are playing. He’s not successful at any of these attempts, and his parents send him to the nearby bodega after some encouraging words. Epic skates there of course, and his moves attract a crowd of future friends. The idea of making friends by being yourself is a classic, but the author tells this story with so much joy and energy. With fascinating angles and onomatopoeia showing Epic’s skateboarding, this is an exciting call to authenticity. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: April Favorites 2022”

Siblings

Posted on Thursday, April 7, 2022 by Adam

Did you know that approximately 80 percent of Americans have at least one sibling? I have one younger sister, and though it sometimes seems like we are opposites, we’ve always had fun together and made each other laugh;  we’ve done our best to support each other through the ups and downs of 37 years together. In honor of Siblings Day, which is celebrated on April 10th, here’s a selection of books about both the complex feelings around having a new brother or sister and the many ways in which siblings work together, play together, fight, reconcile and help each other learn and grow.


Having a new baby brother or sister can be both exciting and a little scary — it’s a big change for older kids to make room for a new sibling. In “The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby,” by Stan and Jan Berenstain, Small Bear makes room for his new sister by giving up his old, small bed and helping Papa Bear make a new one. Lola, in “Lola Reads to Leo,” by Anna McQuinn, loves being read to, and when her new sister comes she shares the gift of reading with her. And in “Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble,” by Rosemary Wells, Max and Ruby have to make room for not one but two new siblings — so they spend some time preparing by practicing on Ruby’s dolls, and by the time the babies arrive Max has become an expert at getting the twins to sleep!


Sometimes, when our siblings get on our nerves, or we feel like our parents aren’t giving us the same attention we once received, we may want to run away.  That’s what Cassie in “The Big Sibling Getaway,” Mia in “Mia Moves Out,” and Peter in “Peter’s Chair” do: Cassie wants to escape the nonstop crying of her new baby brother, so she climbs into an empty box to drive, sail and soar until she finally finds quiet; Mia is fed up with her younger brother’s messes, and as she searches for a replacement space, she tries the bathroom, the basement and finally the pantry; and when Peter discovers his blue furniture is being painted pink for a new baby sister, he rescues the last unpainted item, a chair, and runs away. But of course they all discover that it’s lonely without their family and they return with a new appreciation for their younger siblings.


And when siblings work together, in spite of their differences, there’s so much they can accomplish. The Alden children, in Gertrude Chandler Warner’s “The Boxcar Children” series, are four orphaned siblings who make a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar and end up becoming amateur sleuths, each drawing on their own unique skills and qualities to solve mysteries and help each other out. In “From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” by E.L. Konigsburg, precocious twelve-year-old Claudia and her younger brother, Jamie, run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and end up solving the mystery of a new statue at the museum by an unknown artist. And finally, when Gideon, in Tom Booth’s “Day at the Beach,” decides that he is going to build an amazing sandcastle without the help of his little sister Audrey, his day at the beach becomes a lesson in sibling bonding.

Brianna’s Books: Early 2022 Favorites

Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 by Brianna

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I’m baaaack! I missed writing for you all! I’ve recently returned from maternity leave, so I’ve got so many fun books from January and February to share with you. I promise that next month we’ll be back to our regular brand new releases, but in the meantime please enjoy these titles from the beginning of the year. Read to the end for a picture of my sweet little bibliophile!

Picture Books

Mina” by Matthew Forsythe

This cover might look familiar for those of you that enjoyed “Pokko and the Drum.” Forsythe is back with another beautifully illustrated forest tale, this time starring a mouse. Mina is a quiet mouse, content in her cozy house with her books, but her enthusiastic and optimistic father is always bringing home surprises. When he brings home an enormous “squirrel” that looks an awful lot like a cat, Mina starts to worry. This book is filled with delicious tension as the two mice try to live in their small home with their very large pet “squirrel,” all while Mina attempts to convince her father of the danger. The author said he got the idea for this story at the start of the pandemic, when he was thinking about who we allow into our bubbles. This could be a great conversation starter for little ones who can handle some suspense! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: Early 2022 Favorites”

Expressions of Love for Little Ones

Posted on Monday, February 14, 2022 by Laura

Today is Valentine’s Day, and, love it or hate, this holiday is bound to inspire some questions from the kids in your life. For these little humans just beginning to understand how our world works, sometimes big feelings surrounding love and affection can be tricky to navigate. Sharing a book with a trusted loved one is a great way to sort out some of these complicated emotions.


Some children may begin to blush at the mention of Valentine’s Day as they make their first awkward attempts at young love. “This Is Not a Valentine” by Carter Higgins is a sweet look at age-appropriate ways to interact with a crush. In adorably childlike crayon and marker drawings, two little ones express their burgeoning affection in some less-than-conventional ways. Rest assured that this gentle story focuses on warm words and quiet acts of kindness rather than grand gestures or potentially unwanted contact. Continue reading “Expressions of Love for Little Ones”