Smidgen of Vermont Children’s Lit

From BOB by Tracey Campbell Pearson (Square Fish)

From BOB by Tracey Campbell Pearson (Square Fish)

Thinking of my hometown this morning as it prepares for the Brattleboro Literary Festival. Curious City spoke with Chris Lenois on WKVT’s Live & Local about A Smidgen of Vermont Children’s Literature.  Listen here!

There are SO many great children’s book creators in the Green Mountains, but we have SO little time on the show.

What did I miss?

What Vermont Kids Lit do you love?


9780670012336_p0_v1_s260x420Llama Llama Time to Share
By Anna Dewdney
Published by Penguin Group USA
Ages 1-4
Locate a copy at Local BookstoreAmazon | Library

Llama has a sharing drama!

Build a tower. Make a moat.

Nelly’s dolly sails a boat.

What can Llama Llama add?

Maybe sharing’s not so bad.
Llama Llama has new neighbors! Nelly Gnu and her mama stop by for a play date, but Llama’s not so sure it’s time to share all his toys. Maybe just his blocks? It could be fun to make a castle with Nelly . . . But wait—Nelly has Llama’s little Fuzzy Llama! The fun turns to tears when Fuzzy Llama is ripped in two, “all because of Nelly Gnu!” Mama comes to the rescue and fixes Fuzzy, but she makes it clear: “I’ll put Fuzzy on the stairs, until you’re sure that you can share.”


By Tracey Campbell Pearson
Published by Square Fish
Ages 3-6
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore | Amazon | Library

Inspired by a pep talk from a cat, a rooster named Bob who’s been spending his days merely clucking and never crowing flies the coop to find his true voice. Along the way, he meets many animals who teach him their sounds – but unfortunately not the one he’s looking for.

Away from the farm all night long, Bob is greeted early in the morning by just the right noise. It’s dark by the time he gets back to the henhouse, and when a dangerous fox intrudes, Bob has an urgent reason to try his new crow before daybreak – but “cock-a-doodle-do” alone may not be enough to do the trick.

The tongue-in-cheek text and lively pictures will make this book a perfect story-time selection.


9780060292454Dinosaur Train
By John Steven Gurney
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
Ages 4-7
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore | Amazon | Library

“Jesse takes a fanciful ride on a train full of dinosaurs in a daydream inspired by his favorite interests: ‘Trains and dinosaurs. Dinosaurs and trains.’

Jesse climbs aboard the train on a huge, spiked tail (the tail belongs to a giant purple engineer, appropriately clad in overalls and cap). The passengers on the train would be right at home on Amtrak (the little old lady, the conductor in uniform and spectacles, business folk reading the paper, and travelers in jeans and T-shirts), except for the fact that they happen to be dinosaurs of all sizes and colors, their long necks and tails poking from every open window. When the train goes through a tunnel, they all must duck, and when they rush to one side to check out a volcano, they tip over the train. The Day-Glo bright colors, very simple text and the dinos’ hilariously goofy facial expressions will attract many young train and dinosaur aficionados; they’ll appeal to plenty of other picture-book fans, too.” —Booklist


9780395918241_p1_v2_s600Possum’s Harvest Moon
By Anne Hunter
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Ages 4-7
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore | Amazon | Library

When Possum sees the biggest, brightest, yellowest moon shining down one autumn night, he decorates the grass with lanterns and berries and heads out to invite the mice, the crickets, Racoon, Rabbit and other friends to his “Harvest Soiree”.
Possum awakes one autumn evening and decides to invite his animal friends to a party to celebrate the beautiful harvest moon one last time before the long winter.


9780763637842Not a Vermont creator, but featured at the Brattleboro Literary Festival…

Library Lion
By Michelle Knudsen & Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Published by Candlewick Press
Ages 4-7
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore | Amazon | Library

Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren’t any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. Michelle Knudsen’s disarming story, illustrated by the matchless Kevin Hawkes in an expressive timeless style, will win over even the most ardent of rule keepers.


9780385753876_p0_v1_s260x420Not a Vermont creator, but featured at the Brattleboro Literary Festival…

As Good as Anybody
By Richard Michelson and Illustrated by Raul Colon
Published by Random House Children’s Books
Ages 6-9
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore | Amazon | Library

MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel. Their names stand for the quest for justice and equality.Martin grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. He aimed to put a stop to it. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause.Abraham grew up in a loving family many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he became a respected rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance.Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.


9780375851230Return to Sender
By Julia Alvarez
Published by Random House Children’s Books
Ages 8-12
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore | Amazon | Library

After his family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure, eleven-year-old Tyler befriends the oldest daughter, but when he discovers they may not be in the country legally, he realizes that real friendship knows no borders.  Winner of the 2010 Pura Belpre Award for Narrative.


9780763664558See You at Harry’s
By Jo Knowles
Published by Candlewick Press
Ages 10-14
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore | Amazon | Library

Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when she’s not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high school; and Holden pretends that Mom and Dad and everyone else doesn’t know he’s gay, even as he fends off bullies at school. Then there’s Charlie: three years old, a “surprise” baby, the center of everyone’s world. He’s devoted to Fern, but he’s annoying, too, always getting his way, always dirty, always commanding attention. If it wasn’t for Ran, Fern’s calm and positive best friend, there’d be nowhere to turn. Ran’s mantra, “All will be well,” is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe it’s true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same.


9780763665487_p0_v2_s260x420Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the
Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers
By Tanya Lee Stone
Published by Candlewick Press
Ages 10-Adult
Locate a copy at Local Bookstore | Amazon | Library

World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Tanya Lee Stone examines the little-known history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers, who fought in an attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of First Sergeant Walter Morris, “proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability.”


VIEW & PRINT a list of Vermont Authors & Illustrators (State of Vermont Department of Libraries)
VISIT the Brattleboro Literary Festival


  1. Bob and Possum’s Harvest Moon are two of my all time favorite picture books! I love seeing VT Children’s book people getting attention..

    • Who doesn’t love a Possum? Will be doing a show on book-themed parties featuring TIGHTROPE POPPY. Cannot wait!

  2. Kristen,
    You certainly are the best when it comes to children’s books and great yesterday items. How do I get copies of all your book reviews.
    Send my best to hubby. Hope you find a great new place to live,

    • Judith! Hello! You can make sure you get my posts by scrolling down to the very bottom of the page and “Subscribing by Email.” Mark says a hearty hello back. This is what HE is up to: