New Books for Growing Readers, Spring 2021
What Ollie Saw by Joukje Akvelo, illustrated by Sieb Posthuma
Ollie is seeing weird things. When his sister sees cows, Ollie sees water buffalos. When his sister sees cars, Ollie sees a circus parade with acrobats and a sea lion. At school, Ollie scoots up as close as he can to the board where he sees birds instead of letters. That’s why, at her recommendation, Ollie gets glasses — which he only needs some of the time. Playful illustrations and an imaginative, lovable main character make this a darling easy reader story about an important topic — getting glasses.
Wildflowers by Liniers (Level 2 Reader)
REALISTIC ish (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
Three sisters explore the deserted island where they discover…a terrible plane crash, a small gorilla in a tiny house, talking exotic flowers, and a ferocious dragon who attacks! But, don’t worry, it’s only the wild adventures of siblings with big imaginations. At first, you might wonder what kind of strange adventure these girls are on…and if you didn’t guess it already, you’ll know at the end when their mother calls them inside for dinner and they leave their toys (gorilla, dragon, tiny house) strewn out on the lawn.
Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly
If your readers like sweet stories about relatable kid topics like fear over climbing a tree, avoiding a school bully, missing her dad who is working far away, having a parent from the Philippines, and noticing the world around you, you’ll enjoy Marisol’s story. Marisol names everything — even the tree in her back yard that she is too scared to climb. She loves playing and riding bikes with her best friend Jada, even if it’s hard to ride past the mean dog. As we get to know Marisol, we can’t help but cheer her on as she eventually faces her fears about climbing the big tree in her backyard (named Peppina).
Sprites Secret Pixie Tricks by Tracey West, illustrated by Xavier Bonet
Violet meets a pixie who needs her help capturing the mischief-making escaped fairies from the Otherworld — and returning them back to the Otherworld before something bad happens… First, they’ll start with a naughty fairy named Pix who wants everyone to play with him all the time — and not do anything else like eat or sleep. Sprite sometimes forgets things (he’s new at the job) but finally, he finds the answer for sending Pix back to where he belongs.
Wish Library by Christine Evans, illustrated by Patrick Corrigan
Raven does NOT want to do her class presentation and so she wishes for a day off from school. Her wish magically transports her to a Wish Library. There, she’s given a tube with details for making her wish come true. And it does — it snows even though it’s spring and school is canceled! BUT, the snow causes all sorts of problems. Raven knows that she needs to stop her wish before the unexpected consequences get out of control. Won’t this be fun to discuss?
Zebra at the Zoo: Mysteries on Zoo Lane by Patricia Reilly Giff, illustrated by Abby Carter
Relatable and lovely, this beginning chapter book is about making mistakes, fixing them, saving animals, and kindness. Alex is having a tough day. Before school, he snuck into the zoo and gets caught. At school, he doesn’t get his favorite animal, the red panda, for his animal report — instead, he gets the wolf. Even worse, his cat Oreo is missing! When he stops to help his friend Callie who is crying, his kindness solves both their problems.
Too Small Tola by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu
Tola lives in Nigeria in an apartment with her sister, brother, and Grandmommy. Even though she is small, she helps her Grandmommy at the market and carries water in from the pump when their building’s water doesn’t work. (The electricity doesn’t work often either.) Readers feel the love in Tola’s close-knit family and experience her life in her Nigerian community with kind-hearted neighbors and diversity of religion (Eid and Easter) and see that even when you’re small, you can make a difference.
Super Detectives Simon and Chester by Cale Atkinson
MYSTERY (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
A new, funny beginning graphic novel! Nic and his ghost friend Simon are bored so they dress up and pretend to be detectives. The friends advertise but no one shows up — except a mysterious pug who doesn’t belong to them. Who is the pug? The detectives ask around and follow clues — and it’s hilarious!
King of the Birds by Elise Gravel
Arlo is a crow who is a self-proclaimed king of the birds. He meets a cute yellow bird named Pip and they become friends. Arlo explains his many talents to his new friend, Pip and together, the friends go on many adventures like visiting the big city and hunting for shiny things. Interspersed in the story are impressive crow facts (big brains, count up to 6 objects, etc.). Readers will find this book both entertaining and informational.
Secret Spy Society The Case of the Missing Cheetah by Veronica Mang
Three friends out that their teacher is a spy…and when she catches them watching her, they meet her spy friends. The female spies, all historically famous from different time periods, ask the friends to help them spy on a neighbor because they think that he kidnapped Josephine Baker’s pet cheetah. Not only do the girls spy on him, but they sneak into his house, find the cheetah, and get caught. Luckily, the Lady Spies come to the rescue! Afterward, the girls decide to emulate their new spy friends and make a spy club of their own.
Little Penguin and the Mysterious Object by Tadgh Bentley
Penguin welcomes you to the book and shows you the thing that he and the other penguins have found but don’t understand. He describes it — it is heavy, not tasty, and not comfy. Another penguin thinks that the thing is a back scratcher — what will you think? The penguins love a mystery and there is lots of playful exploration, some deductive reasoning, and a hilarious ending.