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'easy fiction'

Nov 18

Break the 4th Wall by Genesis Gaule

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on November 18, 2022 at 10:50 AM by Genesis Gaule

12 Interactive Picture Books

Do you remember the last time a book spoke to you? Now, I’m not talking about the one that deeply touched your heart. Rather, a book where the characters leap from the page and speak directly to you, the reader–otherwise known as “breaking the fourth wall.”

Perhaps yours was The Book with No Pictures or Harold and the Purple Crayon? The one that imprinted most clearly on me is the classic Sesame Street picture book “The Monster at the End of this Book” by Jon Stone. As you turn each page, cute furry Grover, afraid there is a monster at the end of the book, (rather adorably) begs you NOT to finish the book and constructs elaborate obstacles to thwart your progress. Of course, that only builds your own curiosity as to what exactly is at the end.

Breaking the fourth wall adds an interactive–often comedic–quality to picture books. Done right, the author reaches out and immerses you directly in the book's struggles, antics, and in some cases, even allows you to help the characters solve their problems. You are no longer simply a spectator of these storiesyou are an active participant!

Are you and your little one ready to become part of the story? Check out these delightful, wall-breaking reads:

Reader Participation:

When your actions influence the story/book or contain call-and-response actions

High Five

by Adam Rubin & Daniel Salmieri

From the author of kid favorite Dragons Love Tacos! Animals present their hand slapping skills to the reader, just in time for the annual high five contest.


This Book Just Ate My Dog!

by Richard Byrne

When her dog disappears into the gutter of the book, Bella calls for help. But when the helpers disappear too, Bella realizes it will take more than a tug on the leash to put things right.


Can You Make a Scary Face?

by Jan Thomas

What kind of a face would you make if a tickly green bug were sitting on your nose? Or eek! inside your shirt? Could you make a scary face to frighten it away? Yes? Then better get to it!


Press Here

by Herve Tullet

Each page of this imaginative touch book instructs the reader to push the button, shake it up, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next!


From Head to Toe

by Eric Carle

This energetic book will have young readers clapping their hands, stomping their feet, and wiggling their toes along with its colorful assortment of animals.


Characters Talk to the Reader:

First person perspective (ex: "I walked to the store") with a twist!

Life on Mars

by Jon Agee

In this sneaky, silly picture book, an intrepid—but not so clever—space explorer is certain he’s found the only living thing on Mars. Readers will love being in on a secret that is unbeknownst to the explorer.


Reader as Narrator:

A variation of character and reader interaction, where you become the narrator of the story

The Panda Problem

by Deborah Underwood & Hannah Marks

Every story needs a problem. But Panda doesn't have a problem. Lose control of the narrative in this delightful, funny, and adventurous ode to what makes a story—and what makes a story great.


Counting to Bananas

by Carrie Tillotson & Estrela Lourenço

A banana wants to be the star of this rhyming counting book, but the narrator has other plans.


The Book is Part of the Story:

Where the book itself becomes a character or story element

i cannot draw a horse

I Cannot Draw a Horse

by Charise Mericle Harper

This book can draw a shape. It is a "nothing shape" that can be used to draw a cat, beaver, bunny, dog, turtle, and bear...but what about a horse? The cat really wants a horse. But the book cannot draw a horse. Can the quick-draw book appease the horse-obsessed cat with an impressive collection of “nothing shape” alternatives?


We are in a Book!

by Mo Willems

Gerald and Piggie discover the joy of being read. But what will happen when the book ends? Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie books usually have at least one fourth wall breaking moment per book but this one does away with the wall entirely!


Breaking Out of Character:

Characters who go in and out of character or make asides to the reader during the story--almost like getting a backstage pass to the action "on set"

Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)

by Julie Falatko & Tim J. Miller

Snappsy the alligator is having a perfectly normal day when a pesky narrator steps in to spice up the story.


See the Cat: Three stories about a dog

by David LaRochelle & Mike Wohnoutka

What happens when the book gets it wrong? Max is not a cat--Max is a dog! But much to his dismay, this book keeps instructing readers to "see the cat." How can Max get through to the book that he is a dog? // Also check out the sequel: See the Dog: Three stories about a cat



Mar 23

2022 ALA Award Winners by Genesis Gaule

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on March 23, 2022 at 11:53 AM by Genesis Gaule

The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced their 2022 Youth Media Awards which honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Here are this year's winners and honorees we have in our catalog!

Looking for past award winners? Check out our post about the 2021 ALA Award Winners.


watercress

Watercress

by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin

Simple text and beautiful illustrations pack a strong emotional punch in this autobiographical picture book about gathering wild watercress that brings a daughter of immigrants closer to her family's Chinese heritage. An author's note in the back shares Andrea's childhood experience with her parents. // Easy // Ages 4 - 8

Check out these children's cultural picks:

nicky vera


fox at night

Fox at Night

by written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor

Fox overcomes his fear of monsters when he meets real nocturnal animals. With repeating text bolstered by whimsical illustrations that provide cues to the story’s humorous plot, Tabor deftly uses sensory stimuli of sight, sound and smell to immerse young readers into the perils of the night. // Easy Reader Yellow // Ages 4 - 8

More award winning kids books:

beak ally

  • Beak & Ally #1: Unlikely Friends written and illustrated by Norm Feuti
    Theodor Seuss Geisel Award (2022 Honor) // Junior Graphic Novel // Ages 6 - 10 years
  • Mel Fell written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
    Caldecott Medal (2022 Honor) // Easy // Ages 4 - 8 
  • Wonder Walkers written and by Micha Archer
    Caldecott Medal (2022 Honor) // Easy // Ages 3 - 7

firekeepers

Firekeeper's Daughter

by Angeline Boulley
[Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians]

When University of Michigan student Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source of a new drug. It's a page-turning YA thriller with gorgeous insight into Anishinaabe culture and a healthy dose of romance thrown in. // Junior (also in e-book and e-audiobook) // Ages 14+

More Native American award winners:


telegraph club

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

by Malinda Lo

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day. // Junior // Ages 14+

More award winning books for teens:

  • We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
    Asian/Pacific American Award for Youth Literature (2022 Honor) // Michael L. Printz Award (2021 Honor) // Junior // Ages 12+
  • Temple Alley Summer written by Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Miho Satake, translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa
    Mildred L. Batchelder Award (2022 Winner) // Junior // Ages 8 - 13
  • Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
    John Steptoe New Talent Award (2022 Winner) // William C. Morris Award (2022 Honor) //  ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2022 Top 10) // Junior // Ages 14+
  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
    William C. Morris Award (2022 Honor) // Junior (also in e-audiobook) // Ages 14+
  • Starfish by Lisa Fipps
    Michael L. Printz Award (2022 Honor) // Junior // Ages 10+
  • Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
    Michael L. Printz Award (2022 Honor) // ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2022 Top 10) // Junior (also in e-book) // Ages 14+
  • Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
    Alex Award (2022 Winner) for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences // Science Fiction
  • The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
    Alex Award (2022 Winner) // Science Fiction
  • Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwel
    Alex Award (2022 Winner) // Science Fiction
  • The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
    Alex Award (2022 Winner) // Fiction (also in e-book)
  • Lore Olympus, Vol. 1 by Rachel Smythe
    Alex Award (2022 Winner) // Graphic Novel
Dec 17

A Cup of Tea by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on December 17, 2021 at 10:48 AM by Genesis Gaule

A lovely cup of hot tea and a good book: Perfection, especially on a cold day as winter moves through our area!

I don’t recommend eating peanut butter and jelly toast while reading. Certainly, don’t try Cheetos and a library book. Please, never eat mashed potatoes and gravy while enjoying your favorite story. But a cup of tea can be managed nicely.

There are so many kinds of teas and ways to enjoy them. I have a cupboard full and I’m always ready to try a flavor that is unfamiliar. If I’m reading something that requires some concentration, I’ll go with either a nettle tea (yes, stinging nettle) or Turkey Tail Astragalus made with the Turkey Tail mushroom and the root of astragalus. It’s thick enough to be a robust coffee but without the caffeine. Just right, for focusing in the evening.

If the day is stressful, chamomile cannot be beaten. It is a weaker tea, but with a longer steep time it is delicious. A lovely cup of green tea after lunch hits the spot to continue a work day.

The library has a few titles with some nummy tea recipes: The Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman, The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing and our newest, Vibrant by Dr. Stacie Stephenson.

cloud-tea-monkeysThe history of tea includes like Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet. One of my favorite stories. I read it many times. It tells of a little girl who tries to harvest tea leaves in her mother’s place when she became sick. She was too tiny to do it, but the monkeys helped. Oops, already told you too much but the story gets even better from there.

Teas are intertwined with communities in many parts of the world. Sharing a cup with family or in a special ceremony is part of tradition and a memory-making event. Tea has had great value throughout history in the social aspect and the economic world. Remember the Boston Tea Party? It was an initial act of defiance by American colonists.

Traditionally, oolong is drunk with someone who you want to share an extended period of time. You steep it for only a minute and then enjoy. Steep the same leaves for a minute and a half, pour the second cup and visit a little more. Again the same leaves are steeped for 2 minutes while visiting with your dear friend.

Kids enjoy tea, too or at least the tea party. There are many children’s books where tea is central to the story. Even a song, remember I’m a Little Teapot? We have a book with that same name by Iza Trapani. While you’re looking for good tea books in the Easy Section, be sure to check out Tea with Grandpa by Barney Saltzberg.

I do believe it’s time for me to fill my cup again.