I’ve been reading a lot of ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) on NetGalley lately. Want to know which ones I’m looking forward to seeing on bookstore and library shelves? Click the links to see my reviews.

When Daddy Tucks Me In
Sacha Cotter
available February 2023 (originally published as KEYS in NZ)

Alphabreaths, Too
Christopher Willard & Daniel Rechtschaffen
available September 2022

Human Town
Alan Durant
Available Now!

Dinos Driving
Lynn Leitch
Available August 2022

Just to See
Morgan de Cadier
Available Now!

A Perfect Wonderful Day With Friends
Philip Waechter
Available August 2022

Little Echo
Al Rodin
Available October 2022

If You Cry Like a Fountain
Noemi Vola
Available August 2022

The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism
Tiffany Jewell
Available September 2022
this one’s for middle grades and awesome 🙂

If you end up reading any of these books, would you let me know? I’d love to discuss them with you!

Books I Love: Human Town

Title: Human Town
Author: Alan Durant, illustrated by Anna Doherty
My Recommendation: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read-Aloud: Yes (followed by discussion/activities)
Tags: elephants, extinction, Anthropocene
Available in the Lending Library!

This thoughtful tale by Alan Durant flips the discussion of elephant extinction to that of human extinction, exploring reasons the humans are dying out, such as pollution, consumerism, and infighting (and poaching by big cats). Anna Doherty’s beguiling illustrations include many depictions of human and animal diversity. 

“Human Town” would be great for a read-aloud as part of a larger storytime on the theme of conservation, complete with activities. The text is simple to follow and contains multiple voices that would be of interest to both younger and older kids. Also rife with possibilities for one-on-one discussion. 

Books I Love: Just to See

Title: Just to See
Author: Morgan de Cadier, illustrated by Florian Pigé
My Recommendation ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This charming tale from Morgan de Cadier and illustrator Florian Pigé is both informative about male deer antler growth and draws the reader into a whole world of curiosities. “Just to See” is full of opportunities for laughter for kids and caregivers. 

The amount of text bubbles and details on each page would make for a challenging read-aloud with a group, but I think it’s great for one-on-ones.

The book is printed on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council with vegetable-based inks! I’ll definitely be adding this one to the Lightbulb Heart Lending Library in the future.

Topics: curiosity, nature, animals, deer, mice

ARC provided by NetGalley

KidLit & Nature

I took 110 books to St. Olaf for the students to check out!

Last Tuesday, had the honor of guest lecturing at St. Olaf College in an ecology class taught by my friend, Kiara Jorgenson. The ecology topics class, “Biophilia,” is about the human attraction to and affection for other living things. One of their units is on children’s literature and nature and Prof. Jorgenson invited me to both collaborate with her on their children’s literature project, and share with them some kidlit history and demonstrate portions of their assignment (read-alouds, book selection, citations, activities, etc.). I brought 110 books from my personal collection that weren’t duplicates of St. Olaf’s pretty wonderful collection of board, picture, and chapter books. I was also able to read aloud three of my favorite books: May We Have Enough to Share (Richard Van Camp), The Girl and the Wolf (Katherena Vermette, pictures by Julie Flett), and Nibi’s Water Song (Sunshine Tenasco, pictures by Chief Lady Bird).

If you’d like to see the presentation I shared with the class, it is available online and downloadable PDF format.

On Thursday, I had the marvelous privilege of going with Prof. Jorgenson and her students to Dodge Nature Preschool and observing their 3-5 year olds in (very) muddy outdoor play. I got to taste some maple tree sap they collected and read two picture books with a small group at their teacher’s request! (In the Woods: Who’s been here? by Lindsay Barrett George, and Frog on a Log by Kes Gray with pictures by Jim Field)

Many thanks to Prof. Jorgenson, her students, and Preschool Director Amy Warzybok for a truly spectacular week!

Barcode Love!

I added personalized barcode labels to my entire children’s collection today! This will make checking books out to patrons so much faster. In related news, my back hurts and I need a nap!

If you want your own book barcodes: I ordered these from LibraryThing and added my website to the barcode to make it easier for patrons to tell who the books belong to. The barcode assignment took just a few clicks in my settings. Matching the physical labels to the books took a while, but it will be so worth it!