Books Under the Covers

In the way of grand Children’s Lit conversations, Chris Lenois and I from WKVT Live & Local went from talking  – great picture books to get under the covers with  (or to put under the tree) – to detective boys fiction – to outstanding non-fiction – to audiobook opportunities.  Zig Zag Zoom.

Whatever part of that conversation struck your fancy, here is a list of the books we discussed and here is the Podcast of us sweetly nattering on…


9780544057395Cub’s Big World

By Sarah L. Thomson
Illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Ages 1-3
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

Cub knows all about the familiar world in the snow den where she was born. When she follows Mom out of their den, tumbling into the Arctic wilderness, she finds that the world under the wide blue sky is big, big, BIG! It’s easy to be curious when there’s so much to explore—and when Mom is nearby. But when she thinks she’s all alone, can Cub be brave?

With spare, lyrical words and paintings that are both dramatic and intimate, Cub’s Big World tells a tender story of new experiences, homecoming, and the love between a parent and child.


9780374350581A Moose That Says Moo

By Jennifer Hamburg
Illustrated by Sue Truesdell
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Ages 2-5
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

From jump-roping skunks to book-reading sharks, the animals in this girl’s make-believe zoo will do whatever she wants. Messing with nature is fun at first, until we see how hilariously wrong things go. Oinking otters! Picketing ground hogs! Stage-crashing pigs! What could be next? With deadpan text and eye-popping art, this raucous picture book builds gleefully to a riot of craziness that brings the whole fantasy tumbling down—in a comedic warning against imaginary menageries that kids will find hilarious.


9780316200639Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
By Peter Brown
Illustrated by Peter Brown
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Ages 4-Adult
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

Are you bored with being so proper?

Do you want to have more fun?

Mr. Tiger knows exactly how you feel. So he decides to go wild.

But does he go too far?

From Caldecott Honor artist Peter Brown comes a story that shows there’s a time and place for everything…even going wild.


9781609052522How the Meteorite Got to the Museum

By Jessie Hartland
Illustrated by Jessie Hartland
Published by Blue Apple Books
Ages 6-9
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

This science-as-entertainment book chronicles how a meteorite ended up in the American Museum of Natural History, detailing the steps that brought it from outer space, across the eastern US, to the roof of a car in Peekskill, New York, and thereafter to be verified, tested, and exhibited in the hallowed halls of the AMNH. Hartland describes the space rock’s path by showing how it connected to people–e.g., fans at a football game noticed it, the police attributed its crash to vandals, firefighters cooled it off, etc.

How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum
How the Sphinx Got to the Museum


9781580894067_p0_v1_s260x420Here Come the Humpbacks!

By April Pulley Sayre
Illustrated by Jamie Hogan
Published by Charlesbridge
Ages 5-8
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

“This picture book about a year in the life of a humpback mother and calf is beautifully illustrated in soft charcoal pencil and pastel on sanded paper. A varying perspective-from eye level, below, and above the water level-places the whales in context with their environment and other wildlife. The narrative of the growth and development of the newborn male calf flows on the left side of each spread as he thrives in the warm Caribbean Sea. Brief explanations and information on the recto expand upon the story with factual information. The perils of life and migration are objectively presented, including man-made dangers of pollution and marine traffic and dangers from the humpbacks’ fierce natural enemy, the orca, and even other humpbacks. All ends well for the mother and son as they make their way through the dangers to their summer feeding grounds off the coast of New England. The stunning art and well-presented information make this an attractive addition to any collection.” -School Library Journal


9780375867125_p0_v1_s260x420A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin

By Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Published by Random House
Ages 7-10
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

As a child in the late 1800s, Horace Pippin loved to draw: He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slid across the floor. He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him. He drew pictures for his sisters, his classmates, his co-workers. Even during W.W.I, Horace filled his notebooks with drawings from the trenches . . . until he was shot. Upon his return home, Horace couldn’t lift his right arm, and couldn’t make any art. Slowly, with lots of practice, he regained use of his arm, until once again, he was able to paint–and paint, and paint! Soon, people—including the famous painter N. C. Wyeth—started noticing Horace’s art, and before long, his paintings were displayed in galleries and museums across the country.

Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up once again to share this inspiring story of a self-taught painter from humble beginnings who despite many obstacles, was ultimately able to do what he loved, and be recognized for who he was: an artist.


quest_HCThe Scientists in the Field series shows people immersed in the unpredictable and dynamic natural world, making science more accessible, relevant, and exciting to young readers. Far from the research laboratory, these books show firsthand adventures in the great outdoors—adventures with a purpose. From climbing into a snake den with thousands of slithering snakes to tracking wolves, swimming with hammerhead sharks, and collecting bugs, readers experience the thrill of discovering the unknown.

The Scientists in the Field series has been deemed consistently excellent, imaginative, engaging, and informative. The series provides a broad range of curricular opportunities that will both teach and entertain children.


Give Audiobook Listening
An Audible Gift Membership!


Explore School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2013.

How can you NOT trust a school librarian?



By Carl Hiaasen
Published by Random House Children’s Books
Ages 10-14
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

Bestselling author and columnist Carl Hiaasen returns with another hysterical mystery for kids set in Florida’s Everglades.

Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved.

But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a “family emergency,” Nick and Marta just don’t buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance.

And he does! But not in the way they think. There’s a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they really begin to see the big picture.

That’s life in the swamp, kids.


9780810970670The Big Splash
By Jack D. Ferraiolo
Published by Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Ages 10-14
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

The treacherous, hormone-soaked hallways of Franklin Middle School are the setting for this sharp, funny noir novel about tough guys and even tougher girls. “The Frank”is in the clutches of a crime syndicate run by seventh-grader Vinny “Mr. Biggs” Biggio, who deals in forged hall passes and blackmarket candy. Double-cross him and your number is punched by one of his deadly water gun-toting assassins. One hit in the pants and you are in “the Outs” forever. Matt Stevens is a proud loner with his own code of justice. He’s avoided being pulled into Vinny’s organization until now: Mr. Biggs has offered him a job he can’t resist, even if it means bringing down one of his oldest friends.

Nominated for an Edgar Award in 2009, The Big Splash revitalizes the noir novel while delivering a terrific, addictive mystery that crackles with wit and excitement.

See other Edgar Award Winners & Nominees for Great Kid Mysteries


9781423152217The Tribe: Homeroom Headhunters
By Clay McLeod Chapman
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Ages 10-14
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

All Schools are the same and Spencer Pendleton expects no less from Greenfield Middle. But Spencer hasn’t met them yet-the Tribe, a group of runaway students who secretly own the school. They live off cafeteria food and wield weapons made out of everyday school supplies. Strangely, no one seems to know they exist, except for Spencer. And the group wants him to join their ranks. All he has to do is pass the initiations…and leave his mother and life behind. Can Spencer go through with it? Better yet, what will happen if he says no?


9781423152880Code Name Verity
By Elizabeth Wein
Published by Hyperion Books for Children
Ages 14+
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Winner of the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult
A 2013 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
A 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Fiction Honor Book