Staff Picks

Sara
Librarian Assistant
Fly Away
MacLachlan, Patricia
J MAC
Simon and Schuster, Inc. 2014

The author of Sarah Plain and Tall, gives us another beautifully story of family. Each character is developed with a unique personality, gifts and mystery sketched into this beginning chapter book. Lucy, who is the oldest, tells the story of her family coming out to South Dakota to help their Aunt Frankie, who lives near the river. Lucy dreams of being a poet. Her father loves opera, her mother loves country music. Lucy’s little brother has a secret that only Lucy knows. When problems arise during their visit to the old family home, it is how they handle them that brings out their strengths and some surprises too! 
I really enjoyed this book with the gentle way the story unfolds that reveals the love and commitment of a family.

Amanda
Youth Services Librarian
Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis
Pilky, Dav
E PIL
Blue Sky Press, 1994

Hally Tosis is a wonderful dog, but she has one problem: she has horrible breath!  Her breath is so bad, it causes wallpaper to peel off the wall, goldfish to die, and leaves to fall off a tree.  Even the skunks stayed away from Hally Tosis.  It didn’t bother her family too much, until one day when Grandma Tosis stopped by and Hally said hello.  Her breath was so bad, it knocked grandma back in her chair. Mr. and Mrs Tosis decided it was time to find a new home for Hally. The children tried their hardest to get rid of Hally’s bad breath, but none of their plans worked. When Hally stops two burglars who break into the Tosis home, the family decides they will keep Hally despite her bad breath. 

This humorous picture book, written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey, the author of the Captain Underpants series is a sure hit with children of all ages. 

Amy
Youth Services Librarian
Edward Hopper Paints His World
Burleigh, Robert
J 759.13 H798 B961
Candlewick Press, 2015

Nighthawks is one of the world’s most recognizable paintings. You have probably seen a picture of it, or some version of it (It’s found a lot in popular culture). But do you know story behind this famous painting and its artist? The story is revealed in a new picture book called Edward Hopper Paints his World by Robert Burleigh.

Edward Hopper was destined to be an artist. From childhood he painted and drew constantly. After high school, Hopper went to New York to study illustration and painting. He spent time In Paris as well, honing his skills painting buildings, landscapes, and people.  A job in New York illustrating for magazines came next, but Hopper wasn’t inspired by the work he was assigned.  Not yet famous, Hopper worked hard on his paintings, works that usually depicted the sea coast, rural towns, empty roads, and lonely city scenes.  Nighthawks, a painting of customers at a lonely city diner, is one of the desolate city scenes Hopper painted. Hopper married a fellow artist named Jo Nivison and they painted together.   

Finally, after years of painting, Hopper’s work gained a following.  Museums and collectors saw something unique in his paintings and Edward Hopper gained the recognition he deserved.   You can see Hopper’s most notable painting, Nighthawks, in Chicago at The Art Institute of Chicago. 
The wonderful illustrations in this book by Wendell Minor (a personal favorite of mine) capture the beauty and bittersweet loneliness of Edward Hopper’s world.   
If you want to acquaint yourself with a great American artist, check out Edward Hopper Paints His World.  For children ages 8 on up.

Mary Poppins & Page Turner
Youth Services Pet Frogs
I'm a frog
Willems, Mo
E WIL
Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group, 2013

Our esteemed frog reviewer, Page Turner says, “Everyone was saying this author writes funny books so I took a look. But as soon as I saw the cover I began to have doubts. What does a pig know about being a beautiful, green, hoppy frog? So I was SO surprised to find myself laughing at Piggy who discovered how great it is to hop! 
“Well, I too, liked this book even though there is no picture of a frog!” croaks Mary Hoppins. “It is great to be a frog! And I hope that everyone tries using their imagination, ribbit!”
 Two frog thumbs up for this book.