Tag Archives: “children’s books”

Moon books


We have a lot of great new books about the moon landing! Check out our display in the Children’s Services Department!

Did you know that a 10-year-old helped solve a problem during the mission’s return to Earth? Follow the link to hear the true story on StoryCorps, or check out the picture book Marty’s Mission.



Walt Whitman is turning 200

Walt Whitman was born 200 years ago on May 31, 1819. Robert Burleigh, who has written poetry and a number of historical biographies, has a new book to mark the occasion:

O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, And the Civil War words by Robert Burleigh; illustrations by Sterling Hundley
Nonfiction picture book recounts how President Abraham Lincoln inspired the poet Walt Whitman during the Civil War.

Most of my memories of Walt Whitman come from high school. When we studied American Literature, our teacher had us all purchase copies of Leaves of Grass. I was surprised to see the poet mentioned on an episode of Beverly Hills 90210, and my dad explained to me that the show’s writers were probably using the reference to hint that a character might be gay.

“I sing the body electric” and “I am large, I contain multitudes” are two familiar phrases that come from Whitman’s poetry. For my generation, the words “O Captain, my Captain” will probably bring to mind this scene from the movie Dead Poets Society.

Several years ago I had a chance to attend the ALSC National Institute, which featured Brian Selznick as a special guest. He spoke very movingly about what it was like for him, as a gay man, to illustrate a biography about this gay icon.

We no longer have that beautiful book at this library, but here are a couple of biographies we do own:

Walt Whitman / by Catherine Reef
Illustrated with old photographs, this biography includes intriguing details like Whitman’s leaving school at age 11 and the time he spent as a Civil War nurse. 0395687055

Walt Whitman : a biography / Milton Meltzer.
A biography of the nineteenth-century poet, which presents his life in the context of his times, and includes samples of his writing. 0761322728

For an introduction to his poetry, this is an appealing choice for younger listeners:

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman; illustrated by Loren Long

You can find more of his writing in these collections:

American Poetry

Americans Who Tell the Truth

Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems

A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out

Books for Peace

The recent sad news out of Sri Lanka–following after the attacks on the mosques in Christchurch and on the synagogue in Squirrel Hill–has made me want to share some of the books we have that feature people of different faiths making peace, building friendships and looking out for one another. Here are some titles that touch on those themes, as well as a few additional books about peace:

The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix
During the Nazi occupation of Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation to a concentration camp. Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place, the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Not just a place of worship but also a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, including children.

Grandpa Stops a War: A Paul Robeson Story by Susan Robeson; illustrated by Rod Brown.
“Daddy always said it takes a man of peace to stop a war.” Based on the true story of Paul Robeson’s visit to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, comes this recollection of his bravery and activism by his granddaughter, Susan Robeson, with her debut book.

Growing Peace: A Story of Farming, Music and Religious Harmony by Richard Sobol
J. J. Keki, a Ugandan musician and coffee farmer, witnessed the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Back home in his village, he was determined to find a way for people who held different religious beliefs to work together.

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson; pictures by David Shannon
Includes a CD featuring an original song written and performed by Robbie Robertson.
Hiawatha, a Mohawk, is plotting revenge for the murder of his wife and daughters by the evil Onondaga Chief, Tadodaho, when he meets the Great Peacemaker, who enlists his help in bringing the nations together to share his vision of a new way of life marked by peace, love, and unity rather than war, hate, and fear.

Imagine by John Lennon; illustrated by Jean Jullien
Illustrates, through the eyes of a little pigeon, John Lennon’s song about imagining a world at peace, in which people of all sorts live as one. Includes afterword about peace, freedom, and Amnesty International. This title is also available in Spanish.

Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow; illustrated by Ebony Glenn
A young Muslim girl’s family includes people practicing different religions, but she says “We are a family and we love each other just the same.”

Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain by Jacqueline Jules; illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard
When Samuel’s father, the grand vizier, hears Hamza call Samuel names and tells his son to make sure Hamza never speaks an unkind word to him again, Samuel knows he must obey but has a hard time finding the right means to do so. Includes information about Jewish poet Samuel Ha-Nagid and the legend which inspired the story.

Peace and Me by Ali Winter; illustrated by Mickaël El Fathi
An illustrated collection of inspirational ideas about peace based on the lives of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox; pictures by Stephanie Graegin
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text show different ways that peace can be found, made, and shared.

Salam Alaikum by Harris J; pictures by Ward Jenkins
An illustrated song celebrating life and encouraging readers to spread peace on earth. Salam Alaikum or Assalamu Alaikum, means “Peace be upon you.” It is the greeting that Muslims around the world use to say “hello” and “good-bye.” International music sensation Harris J has taken that greeting and created a call to action. Using the lyrics to the hit song of the same name, and accompanied by heartwarming illustrations that depict the power of paying it forward, this sweet and charming picture book celebrates kindness and community.

Sharing Our Homeland: Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp by Trish Marx; photographs by Cindy Karp
Photo-essay focusing on two Israeli children, one Jewish and one Palestinian, who, in spite of their differences and the longstanding conflicts in the region, learn to play, work, and share ideas together at Summer Peace Camp, a day camp located in Israel.

World Pizza by Cece Meng; illustrated by Ellen Shi
Mama wished for world peace–and sneezed–and then a pizza fell from the sky and landed gently on her lap.

Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams; illustrated by Chiara Fedele
Yaffa and Fatima live on neighboring date farms. When very little rain leads to a poor harvest, both women go to extra measures to make sure that their neighbor doesn’t go hungry.

100 years of Grand Canyon National Park

February 26 will mark 100 years since Grand Canyon National Park was established. Want to read more about it?

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the Grand Canyon, a cavernous wonder that₂s home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals. This book was awarded a Caldecott Honor for the illustrations and a Sibert Honor as a distinguished informational book.

National Parks of the U.S.A. written by Kate Siber; illustrated by Chris Turnham
Take a tour of America’s great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of its most iconic and majestic national parks. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each park, this fully-illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places–and shows why they should be preserved for future generations.

New books in Vietnamese

Xướng xe đạp by Thanh Nam

Mẹ kẻ̂ con nghe compiled by Thùy Linh
Vietnamese Fairy Tales

88 Câu chuyện vè̂ các con vật đáng yêu by Ping Deng
88 stories about adorable animals

New books in Gugarati

Cālo jhāḍa ropīe by Vinodalāla Hīrā Ishwara
Let’s plant trees

booBūḍabima by Alankrita Jain
Boodabim floats in the sky, he swims in the ocean and he simply glows in stripes! Boodabim can be anything he wants to be.

Basa ūḍiyā karūṃ lekhana, Saumyā Rājendrana; citrāṅkana, Arūṇa Kauśika, anuvāda, Rekhā Bhīmāṇī
Little Malathi wants to run after hens and chicks, and catch the ripe yellow mangoes as they fall – but how can she, on a wheelchair? She grows up to show that she can do much, much more! Moments and experiences from the remarkable life of disabled athlete Malathi Holla.

Bakor Patel: Harkhane badale! by Hariprasad Vyas
Adventures of Bakor Patel

New in Arabic

al-Ḥaqībah al-ʻajībah taʼlīf, Amīmah ʻIzz al-Dīn; rusūm, Tīnā Makhlūf
A story about wanting a new backpack for the first day of school

Yawm fī ḥayāt ummī, muʻallimat al-lughah al-ʻArabīyah naṣṣ Nabīhah Muḥaydlī; rusūm Rīmā Kūsā
A day in the life of my mother: A teacher of Arabic