July/August 2021


Stories from the Past to Read,
Share, and Treasure


Most of the following books are located in the public library, where the greatest bargain in America is found today. Usually, the only cost involved is time. Unlike toys books are difficult to break and are ready-made with no assembly or batteries needed. Portable, they can be enjoyed anywhere, any time, and they take up less space than most toys. They never go out of style and are the best source of entertainment for children.


written by Megan McDonald, illus. by Katherine Tillotson, (Atheneum Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 3-6

After library hours, three story time puppets come to life. But one is missing—Hermit Crab. Rabbit decides that the giants have kidnapped her, and along with Lion a map, a flashlight, and food from a trash can, they begin to explore the dark library. They fold the map into a boat, and navigate across the library floor by the light of the moon (library clock). Turns out Hermit Crab wanted to see San Francisco, hear the ocean, and stay up until midnight. The three friends share a late-night snack, “and read themselves to sleep under the stars.”
Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Humor, Toys


Ages 4 - 8

written/illus. Kazuno Kohara, (Roaring Book Press, 2014), 32p, Ages 4-7

“Once there was a library that opened only at night.” From midnight to dawn, a little pig-tailed girl and her three assistant owls help various animal patrons find their perfect books. This one night, the four manage to relocate a band of rehearsing musical squirrels from the reading room to an upstairs activity room and cheer up a wolf weeping over a sad story by reading him one with a happy ending. As dawn approaches the little librarian convinces a slow-reading tortoise to sign up for a library card, rather than trying to finish the 500 remaining pages of his book. After dusting, sweeping, and general cleaning, all that remains is to read to three sleepy assistants. Great library stories are always fun for little ones to hear, especially when accompanied by clever illustrations.
Themes: Animals, Heroes, Values


written by Alison Donald, illus. by Alex Willmore, (Clarion Books, 2018), 32p, Age 4-7

When the librarian fails to show up for story time, the children follow a trail of paw prints “through a galaxy, into an ocean, and down a runway” to the librarian’s sticky desk with spilled honey and torn books. There, they discover a new librarian—a bear wearing a “Librarian” name tag. He is more than happy to read them a story about bears, including growls, stomps, and roars, much to their delight.

When the regular librarian returns, she explains that, “A volcano erupted in the Ancient History section, and there was hot lava everywhere.” As she begins to read from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it seems that Baby Bear is missing from the tale. Kids will love the surprise ending in this cute, magical story.
Themes: Animals, Bears, Humor, Libraries/Literacy


written by Bonny Becker, illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton, (Candlewick Press, 2014), 40p, Ages 4-7

“Bear had never been to the library. He had seven very nice books at home: three about kings and queens, three about honeybees, and one about pickles. Bear was quite sure he had all the books he would every need.” When Mouse reminds him of their visit to the library, Bear has second thoughts. Grumbling, he buckles on his roller skates, grabs a basket, and skates to the library with Mouse. Isolating himself in a corner, Bear insists that too many books are extravagant, books on rocket ships and canoes do not interest him, and only books on pickles do. Dejected, Mouse decides to take him home, until Bear hears the librarian reading “The Very Brave Bear and the Treasure of Pickle Island.” Excellent storytelling and delightful illustrations will endear kids to the latest episode of two opposite friends and their interesting personalities.
Themes: Bears, Friendship, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series: The Sniffles for Bear | A Birthday for Bear | A Bedtime for Bear | A Visitor for Bear | A Christmas for Bear


written by Dotti Enderle, illus. by Colleen M. Madden, (Upstart Books, 2010), 32p, Ages 6-9

This clever retelling of the traditional Gingerbread Man tale finds the little cookie in a book on a library shelf at 398.2. Deciding to escape, the naughty little guy runs past the librarian, a Word Wizard (thesaurus at 423.1), a giraffe (from 599.638), a robot (at 629.892), an origami bird (from 736.982), a jokester (from 818.602,) a crowd from the biography section (at 982), a space alien (from 001.942), a philosopher (at 180), and a Cyclops (from 292.11).

As he is chased through the library, the little cookie shouts, “Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” When he encounters an Arctic Fox (at 989) waiting to eat him, it’s the librarian who knows just what to do because, “It is particularly hard to outsmart a librarian.”

Kids are not only introduced to the Dewey Decimal System, but will enjoy the many humorous titles that the Gingerbread Man runs past, such as How to Build a Doo-Hickie, Rumpled Shirtskin, and My Favorite Earrings by Anna Lobes.
Themes: Adventure, Food, Humor


written by Michelle Knudsen, illus. by Kevin Hawkes, (Candlewick Press, 2006), 48p, Ages 4-7

Rules are very important to the head librarian, Miss Merriweather. When a lion visits her library, there are no rules that apply to large animals. However, his feet are quiet on the floor, he makes a cozy backrest for the children during story time, he never roars, and he loves licking the envelopes for overdue notices. When Miss Merriweather accidentally falls, he roars for help. Thinking that the “quiet” rule has been broken, the lion leaves. All ends well when a new rule is implemented—“No roaring allowed, unless you have a very good reason.”
Themes: Animals, Heroes


A Story of Patience & Fortitude #1

written by Josh Funk, illus. by Stevie Lewis, (Henry Holt & Co., 2018), 40p, Ages 5-7

Patience and Fortitude are two lion statues that guard the entrance to the New York Public Library. One morning just before dawn, Fortitude awakes to find Patience missing. Since they must be in place before the sun rises, steadfast Fortitude abandons his post to search for curious Patience through the library’s labyrinth of halls and rooms, past statues, gossiping portraits, the Astor Hall, and the Rose Main Reading Room. Along the way, he remembers the wonderful stories Patience would share with him. “Patience told stories of ducklings and moons, / Of wardrobes and buttons and fun. / On cold snowy evening or hot afternoons, / Fortitude cherished each one.” Sure enough, he finds Patience in the Children’s Center pouring over children’s books, but will they make it back to the main entrance before the sun rises? Children will enjoy sneaking through this famous library with Fortitude on a quest to find his best friend. Endpapers contain information on Patience, Fortitude, famous rooms featured in the story, paintings of historical figures, the map division, and the Children’s Center.
Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme


WHERE IS OUR LIBRARY?: A Story of Patience & Fortitude #2
written by Josh Funk, illus. by Stevie Lewis, (Henry Holt & Co., 2020), 40p, Ages 5-7

The popular lions from Lost in the Library (Holt, 2018) return for a mystery/adventure as they search for missing books from the Children’s Center of the library. Every night they slip away from their post outside the 42nd Street New York Public Library to read books in the children’s section, but one night they find the Center empty. As they begin a quest to find their books, the two search through Times Square, Central Park, past the zoo, and several branch libraries. “They scoured each library, scanned every stack / And pored through each awesome collection. / The found some new books, but they wanted theirs back! / Where was their old children’s section?” With dawn breaking they return home, only to discover their beloved books in the newly renovated library across the street from their own library.

A note in the back includes the history of Patience & Fortitude, various literary sculptures the two lions encounter, and the sites they visit in New York City. Children will enjoy these two loveable New York City. Children will love these two loveable lions as they persevere to find their beloved lost books.
Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series: Lost in the Library #1


written by Carmen Agra Deedy, illus. by Michael P. White (Peachtree Publishers, 1994), 32p, Ages 6-10

Miss Lotta Scales, the elementary school librarian, takes her job seriously. It’s her responsibility to guard the books, and she is determined not to let any children near them. When little Molly Brickmeyer wanders into the library and begins to read aloud, Miss Lotty realizes that books are meant to be read. The library now is more kid-friendly, and Miss Lotty has changed—almost.
Themes: Fantasy, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series: Return of the Library Dragon


For more information on great children's literature for reading to children and by children, visit us at:


Bringing you
books that:

Touch the Heart,
Color the Imagination, and
Delight the Mind

Welcome to The Storytellers, a monthly newsletter of outstanding children’s literature to read and read aloud from preschoolers to teens.

The best children's books and filled with imagination and fun. Stories that take children into a world of delight and adventure present storytelling at its best. Children need stories for pleasure, laughter and fun; imaginative and nonsensical stories that may not have a scrap of useful information or lesson, but cheerful and delightful lunacy. Give as many as possible to your children, because imagination and fund are essential to life.

Summer is here and what better time to enjoy stories full of laughter, fun, and adventure. For more information on reading to children and great books to read and read aloud, log on to our web site at www.tchliteracy.com.


written/illus. by Dave Mottram, (Chronicle Books, $9.99, March 2021,
ISBN 978-1-4521-7885-1), 14 pages, Ages 2-4

This clever interactive board book, with its built-in handles and rhyming directions, allows children to pretend that they are behind the steering wheel of a fire truck on its way to an emergency fire. “The siren’s on, / time to go fast. / Cars pull aside to / let you pass.” Children are given directions on each page including how to pass cars, turn left and right, honk the horn, park, and extend the ladder. Kids will love the gauges and controls across the bottom of each page which encourage them to push the buttons, take the wheel, and save the day.
        Themes: Adventure, Concept, Machines, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series: Drive the Race Car


written/illus. by Dave Mottram, (Chronicle Books, $9.99, March 2021, ISBN
978-1-4521-7886-8), 14 pages, Ages 2-4

“At the line, / your car is ready. / Helmet on, / hands are steady.” In this cute interactive, rhyming, and steering wheel-shaped board book with built-in handles, little race car enthusiasts will love pretending to drive a race car. They are given instructions to maneuver curves, increase speed, swerve around other race cars, take pit stops, and race toward the checkered flag to the finish line. Kids will love making beep-beep and zoom sounds throughout the race, and shout as, “The checkered flag / comes into view … / The whole crowd cheers. / The winner if YOU!”
        Themes: Adventure, Concept, Machines, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series: Drive the Fire Truck


written by Shirley Parenteau, illus. by David Walker, (Candlewick Press, April 2021, $16.99, ISBN
978-1-5362-0838-2), 32p, Ages 3-6

With pails and shovels, Shirley Parenteau’s lovable bears return for a romp at the beach. The sun is shining and the waves “ebb and flow” while Yellow, Fuzzy, Floppy, and Calico decide to build the best sandcastle to reach the sky, however, each one they create manages to collapse. When the sand is too dry or too wet, Yellow has a solution: “We’ll build in between. / The sand will be damp / and our towers won’t lean.” The next effort, built on top of Big Bear, collapses with too many holes for windows and doors. They begin again, but this time find a perfect solution using seashells for holes. With dedication and persistence these roly-poly bears have loads of fun solving sandcastle problems, all the while having a great romp at the beach.
        Themes: Bears, Families, Rhythm/Rhyme, Seasons, Series
Other Books in the Series: Bears and a Birthday | Bears in a Band | Bears in the Bath | Bears in the Snow | Bears on Chairs | Bears and Boos | Bears in Beds | Bears and Blossoms


written by Peter Stein, illus by Bob Staake, (Viking Books for Young Readers, $17.99, November 2020, ISBN
978-0-593-11420-9), 40p, Ages 3-6

“Tony was a rugged truck who had a lot to haul / He’d load his rig and hit the road / without a hitch or stall.” But this day the 18-wheeler faces disaster after disaster on his way to make a delivery. Tony slips on road slime, bumps over potholes narrowly missing a family of ducks, encounters a gang of tire thieves, and collides with a rocket ship full of aliens. Each mishap results in the loss of wheels, which prompts readers to count the number of lost wheels and remaining ones. Passing castles, houses, tunnels, and a spaceship, Tony sees his destination, hits the gas, leaps through the air, and slides into the city with no wheels.

Kids will enjoy routing for this courageous and determined 18-wheeler with his never-give-up attitude, delightful facial expressions, fun math lesson, and will laugh at the shipment he delivers.
        Themes: Adventure, Concept, Heroes, Humor, Machines


written by David LaRochelle, illus. by Mike Wohnoutka, (Candlewick Press, $16.99, May 2021, ISBN 978-1-5362-0944-0), 32p, Ages 3-7

This comical guide to apologizing for mistakes will have kids laughing out loud at the various scenarios requiring a reply— “I’m sorry.” From a giraffe who borrowed a worm’s socks without permission to a porcupine who popped a squirrel’s balloon, to a penguin wearing goggles who parachuted through the roof of a bathing alligator, helpful tips show kids when, how, and why to apologize because, “Everyone makes mistakes.”

Examples of sincere and insincere apologies are given. Fixing the problem is recommended and sometimes apologizing in a note is okay. Kids will love the funny illustrations for each scenario, especially the note sent by snail apologizing to sloth for running too fast and stepping on his toes.
        Themes: Animals, Concept, Friendship, Values


written/illus. by Andrew Prahin, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, $17.99, ISBN
978-1-9848-1581-1), 32p, Ages 3-7

“Mouse and Cat lived together. But there were problems. Mouse wanted to eat gingersnaps. Cat wanted to eat Mouse.” Mouse only wants gingersnaps, lie in the sun, and dream of a better life with the ship that resides in a bottle on a shelf.

One day Mouse decides to search for a new home. She stuffs the ship with gingersnaps and says goodbye just as cat accidentally tips the ship out the window into a quiet river. On the trip down the river, she encounters grabby seagulls, selfish rabbits who take her gingersnaps, hunger pains, and stormy waters. Reaching the shore of a large city, Mouse discovers a park with new friends, who introduce her to interesting culinary delights (French Fries) and help her and her ship find a new home. “And whenever the sun’s rays warmed the ground, Mouse would find a tidy little spot of her own and stretch out, without a care in the world.” As for the cat, well he’s still at the window waiting.

Kids will love this little heroine’s courage, ingenuity, and strength in overcoming obstacles to find a new life with her charming Ship in a Bottle and wonderful new friends.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendships, Heroes, Humor


written by Sue Lowell Gallion, illus. by Lisa Manuzak, (Aladdin, Sept. 2020, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-5344-4022-7), 48p, Ages 3-6

Axle is brand new, just off the assembly line, clean, and polished for delivery, until he sees Earlene, the transport truck. Nervous and shy, he can’t seem to drive himself onto the truck, but once aboard, Axle is reluctant to leave when it’s time to unload. Earlene takes pity on him, helps him overcome his fears, and takes him to secluded roads to practice left and right turns, drive up and down ramps, and up a large mountain. Complications arise when Earlene blows a tire coming down the mountain and needs Axle’s help.

Kids will love how Axle finds his courage to rescue Earlene and finally face the challenges that come his way.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Machines

Ages 4-8

written by Kathleen Doherty, illus. by Kristyna Litten, (Peachtree Publishing, $17.99, April 2021, ISBN
978-1-56145-959-9), 32p, Ages 4-7

Late one night the woodland animals are all asleep except a little Bear, who wants to play. Wandering into town he makes a marvelous discovery in an alley, (“… a springy thing. / A bouncy thing. / A sit-on-it, hop-on-it, jump-on-it thing”), a worn-out red sofa, which he calls the Thingitiy-Jig. When his friends decide that they are too sleepy to help him bring it home, Bear decides to invent a device, a Rolly-Rumpity, to wheel the large and heavy sofa home. “But Bear found it impossible to lift the Thingity-Jig onto the Rolly-Rumpity,” so he invents a Lifty-Uppity which works marvelously and a Pushy-Poppity when the sofa becomes stuck in the mud.

Kids will love this little enthusiastic and creative little genius, who discovers a treasure, builds devices to haul it home, is undaunted in the face of obstacles, and generously shares it with his friends, Rabbit, Fox, and Raccoon, who jump, bounce, hop, leap, and climb all over it. And Bear? He finally needs his sleep.
Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Heroes, Humor, Inventions


DAKOTA CRUMB: Tiny Treasure Hunter
written by Jamie Michalak, illus. by Kelly Murphy, (Candlewick Press, $17.99, July 2021, ISBN
978-1-5362-0394-3), 32p, Ages 5+

“In the great, big city, in the great, big museum, a clock tick-tocks past midnight. Doors are locked. Guards keep watch. All is still, until . . .a small figure creeps out of the shadows!” Its’s Dakota Crumb, a small but intrepid mouse detective, who lives beneath the museum and enjoys searching for treasures for her own “Mousehole Museum.” This night Miss Crumb searches the city museum with a map and sack seeking the Purple Jewel of Egypt (a gumdrop). Slipping past knights on horses, Greek and Egyptian statues, and mummies, she picks up various discarded items until she spies the treasure.

All will enjoy this brave and daring little treasure hunter, her museum with its Hall of Statues, Vault of Shiny Things, Itty Bitty Gallery, Café, Gift Shop, and the end pages where kids are invited to find more treasures that were missed by the Tiny Treasure Hunter.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Humor, Mysteries & Detectives

Ages 7-10

FRANKLIN ENDICOTT AND THE THIRD KEY #6 (Tales from Deckawoo Drive)
written by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chis Van Dusen, (Candlewick Press, $15.99, June 2021, ISBN
978-1-5362-0818-9), 112p, Ages 6-9

Franklin Endicott is an obsessive worrier, especially about lions, submarines, black holes, leprosy, and armadillos. He classifies all worries in his worry notebook, which is sorted alphabetically, indexed, and cross-referenced. After putting his notebook under his bed, Franklin begins to have nightmares and enlists the help of Mercy Watson, the neighbors pet pig, to stay awake and consume his nightmares, but alas she falls asleep.

After discussing his predicament with neighbor Eugenia Lincoln over warm milk, Eugenia takes him on an errand to obtain a duplicate key at Buddy Lamp’s Used Goods. The darkened store presents Franklin with more worries, especially when left alone to wait for the new key and receiving three keys instead of two. Readers will sympathize with this young worrier on his journey to confront his fears, finding delight in reading stories to his friends and neighbors, and beginning a new notebook of marvels.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Humor, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series: Leroy Ninker Saddles Up #1, Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon #2, Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln #3, Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package #4, Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem #5

Ages 8-12

written by Michelle Schusterman, (Scholastic, Inc., $6.99, January 2021, ISBN 978-1-338-67237-4), 224p, Age 8-11

Evie is the bunny mascot of the Rodriguez family’s bodega in Harlem. Through a series of unfortunate accidents, she is left behind with strangers when her family travels out of town. Determined to find her way back home, Evie escapes into traffic and is rescued by a streetwise stray Shiba Inu named Bart, who agrees to help her in exchange for finding him a collar to keep the dogcatchers away. Together they begin a quest across Central Park, encounter tourists, dog catchers, and dangerous challenges. As people begin to post pictures of the two unlikely friends on social media, Evie’s worried owner, Laura, checks on their progress and even offers tips to followers on how to catch Evie.

Find out how two vastly different animals support each other through challenging times, set aside their differences, and work together to find a way home for both. Even one young, insecure girl discovers she is stronger than she thinks. Readers and listeners from 8 to 98 will enjoy this sweet story of friendship, heroes, and a lost diamond necklace.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Heroes, Pets


ALICE’S FARM: A Rabbit’s Tale
written by Maryrose Wood, (Feiwel and Friends, $17.99, September 2020, ISBN 978-1-250-22455-2), 368p, Ages 8-12

Historically farmers and rabbits have been enemies for centuries, due to their love of vegetables. Farmers grow them to make a living but “no self-respecting rabbit can resist the mouth-watering menu offered by your average vegetable garden.” In this wonderful tale of working together, a brave young Eastern cottontail is determined to save her farmland home by working with natural predators, and secretly helping the incompetent new owners of Prune Street Farm. When Alice overhears a plan by a mean developer to run the family off and bulldoze the farm, she comes up with a plan. Helped by the farmer's 10-year-old son Carl, his baby sister Marie, their dog Foxy, and a majestic bald eagle named John Glenn, Alice recruits a wild fox (named Doggo) to protect the rabbits from predators. The cottontails begin to plow, plant seeds, weed, keep hungry animals away when the plants sprout, and hope to reward all the animals for their contribution. Kids will enjoy this engaging story of one bunny who shares a world with humans and works to make both worlds a better place.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Food, Friendship, Heroes, Humor

Ages 12-15

GOLDEN GATE (City Spies) #2
written by James Ponti, (Aladdin, $17.99, March 2021, ISBN 978-1-5344-1494-5), 432p, Ages 12+

In the second adventure with MI6, Agents Brooklyn, 12, and Sydney, 14 are assigned to protect two daughters of high-ranking British officials on the Sylvia Eearle, a marine research vessel with a biology program for girls only. When the ship is boarded by Norwegian pirates to kidnap the girls for ransom. Brooklyn and Sydney avert the plot. Back home at the F.A.R.M (The Foundation for Atmospheric Research and Monitoring), a covert facility in Scotland, the two girls regroup with the other kids (Paris, 15, Kat, 13, and Rio, 12) and Mother their leader.

At Mother’s request they begin to investigate the murder of a retired agent, who has left clues behind regarding a mole operating in MI6 for years. This takes them eventually to San Francisco where they attempt to discover the identity of Magpie. Meanwhile Mother has a new lead on his missing children taken by his ex-wife, a double agent working for the evil Umbra against MI6.

Twists and turns, adventure, excitement, danger, and a surprise ending will have kids unwilling to leave this unusual family. As in book one, humorous Motherisms are used to help the kids remember key principles of spying. “Anything that you think is wrong, is something that can make you strong.” More adventures to come.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Heroes, Humor, Mysteries, Series, Suspense
Others in the Series: City Spies


written by Stuart Gibbs, (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99, March 2021, ISBN
978-1-5344-4381-5), 384p, Ages 12-15

After discovering Einstein’s last code in Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation (2020), Charlie is ready for a vacation in the Galápagos Islands. There, she is approached by the strange Esmerelda Castle, who is hunting for a legendary treasure and needs Charlie’s help in deciphering and breaking a code.

In 1835, Charles Darwin redirected the HMS Beagle’s journey and began a secret solo expedition in South America. Upon returning to the ship with a treasure, the crew responded with amazement and horror. The treasure vanished but Darwin left a trail of clues behind for others which were brave and clever enough to search for it.

Joined by her brother and friend, Charlie crosses South America to solve Darwin’s nearly two-hundred-year-old mystery, track down the mysterious treasure, and stay ahead of her enemies and CIA agents. NOTE: This is a work of fiction that deals with the theory of evolution.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Heroes, Historical Fiction, Mysteries, Series
Other Book in the Series: Charlie Thorne and the Last Equatoin

Over the years, we have researched thousands of children's books, and can recommend some of the best in outstanding children's literature for parents to read aloud and children to read.

Our recommendations must meet certain criteria: fun, creative and imaginative stories, delightful illustrations, and excellent for age appropriate listening and reading. We hope that you enjoyed our recommendations. If you desire further information some of the best in children's literature, please visit our website, www.tchliteracy.com.

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