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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



Nov 04

Wellness Wonderland by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on November 4, 2022 at 9:59 AM by Genesis Gaule

As the temperatures start to drop and our daylight hours dwindle down, it is important to take time to add some self care into our routines. It can be easy to slide off our regular exercise routines, go over budget with upcoming holiday plans, and for many people, the winter season can have you feeling blue. The winter season can be tough to get through, but these books from the library can help you feel motivated to maintain a regular, productive routine to keep you feeling your best.

Picture Books for All Ages:

These wholesome picture books are great for introducing the concept of self care to kids of all ages.

Practicing Mindfulness:

Take some time to read up on different ways to self care and incorporate different methods in your life.

Fitness Books and DVDs:

Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mood and relieve stress. The library has a wide variety of fitness books and DVDs to choose from for people of all ages and abilities. Best part--they can all be done in the comfort of your home and neighborhood!

Spiritual Self Care:

  • What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo   
    A memoir of healing from complex trauma
  • Waking Up by Sam Harris
    A guide to spirituality without religion

Money & Budgeting:

  • How to Money by Jean Sherman Chatzky
    Your ultimate visual guide to the basics of finance

Mental Exercise:

  • Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta, MD
    Build a better brain at any age
  • Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory
    A zillion ways to be more creative, no matter how busy you are
Aug 26

Dog Man? AGAIN? by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on August 26, 2022 at 10:47 AM by Genesis Gaule

Dogman comic pages

It is absolutely and completely fine that your child wants to check out Dog Man: Fetch 22 for the nine millionth time. Lots of kids re-read and for lots of different reasons.

We re-read in order to learn

The human brain is not wired for reading. It’s wired for spoken language. When we learn how to read, we are connecting the spoken sounds of language to written letters. When kids first start to read, much of their effort and attention is focused on decoding – connecting letters to sounds and then mushing those sounds all together to form a word! Beginning readers can accurately decode a text, read the words on the page, but they might not be connecting those words with what the sentence actually says. Re-reading can help your child become a more fluent reader – someone who can decode words and comprehend them at the same time.

In Donalyn Miller’s book The Book Whisperer, she says “My most treasured books have been read many times by me and each time I discover something different. Books are multilayered; one reading is not enough.” We base our understanding of books on our background knowledge – when we have a broader vocabulary, more life experience, certain books—even certain words – will mean something different to us.

We re-read for comfort and enjoyment

The Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report found that 41% of kids struggle with finding books they like as they get older. They know what to expect with Dog Man. They know the jokes (and probably think they’re funny), the characters are familiar, the plot is just right. Re-reading Dog Man is like eating your favorite meal. You know what you’re getting and you know you like it. 

If your child is re-reading Brawl of the Wild for the fourth or fifth time, they’re still reading! They’ll glean something new from each re-read, be it new vocabulary, fluency, or just confidence in their reading ability.

Beyond Their Favorite Meal

Just as we know we can’t eat our favorite meal every single day and get all the nutrition that we need, re-reading Dog Man will only take us so far on our reading journey. When your child is ready to branch out, here are some options that should appeal to Dog Man fans.

Catwad: It’s Me

by Jim Benton

Catwad is about two cats, one blue grump named Catwad, and one dim-witted orange tabby named Blurmp. Catwad has the same goofy humor and lively illustrations as Dog Man. // Junior Graphic Novel


The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza

by Mac Barnett & Shawn Harris

Oh no! Rats are eating the moon! The only one who can save all of humanity is……a bioengineered cat who will be jettisoned into space accompanied by a toenail clipping robot and the imperious Moon Queen. Animal science experiments who save the day? JUST LIKE DOG MAN! // Junior Graphic Novel


Lunch Lady

by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

What do your lunch ladies do when they’re not doling out your daily helping of mystery meat? This one serves up JUSTICE! An unlikely hero kicking all kinds of bad guy butt should have a special place in the hearts of Dog Man fans. // Junior Graphic Novel


Honorable Mentions: