Take a look at our current and past "spotlight" materials. These are excellent books, CDs and DVDs that your friends at the library want to be sure you don't miss!
By Misty Copeland
American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author's note about dancers who led her to find her voice.
By April Pulley Sayre
In her latest gorgeously photo-illustrated nonfiction picture book, celebrated author April Pulley Sayre sheds new light on the wonders of rain, from the beauty of a raindrop balanced on a leaf to the amazing, never-ending water cycle that keeps our planet in perfect ecological balance.
By Cathy Camper
Lupe, Flapjack, Elirio customize their car into a low rider for the Universal Car Competition to win the cash prize that will enable them to buy their own garage.
By Matt de la Pena
A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.
By Stephanie Roth Sisson
A biography of Carl Sagan focusing on his childhood and culminating in the Voyager mission and the Golden Record.
By Deirdre Gill
When his brother refuses to come outside, a child plays by himself in the snow and creates an imaginary world.
By Jerdine Nolen
A little girl wishes for her father to be home more, but she never expects her wish to come true the way it does.
By Brandon Stanton
The creator of Humans of New York combines an original narrative with some of his favorite children's photos from the blog, in addition to all-new exclusive portraits.
By Anne-Margot Ramstein & Matthias Aregui
Everyone knows that a tiny acorn grows into a mighty oak and a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. But in this clever, visually enchanting volume, it's also true that a cow can result in both a bottle of milk and a painting of a cow, and an ape in a jungle may become an urban King Kong. Just as day turns into night and back again, a many-tiered cake is both created and eaten down to a single piece. With simple, graphic illustrations sure to appeal to even the youngest of children, this beautiful rumination on the passage of time will please the most discerning adult readers, too.
By Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world.
By Kathryn Otoshi
Zero, dismayed by her big, empty, roundness, tries to force herself into the shape of the much-admired One, but must finally accept that she can only be Zero.
By Julie Saab
After climbing aboard a school bus, a curious cat spends an enjoyable day at school.
By Kim Griswell
Rufus Leroy Williams III wants to go to school to learn to read but the principal at first refuses because Rufus is a pig.
By Alison McGhee
Ten days before the start of kindergarten, a preschooler can not tie her shoes by herself and fears the worst.
By Divya Srinivasan
Octopus leaves her cave in a lively reef because she is shy and the seahorses there find her fascinating, but when she finds a quieter, more peaceful spot she misses her home and friends.
By Tad Hill
Duck wants to go on an adventure. Goose doesn't. He doesn't see the point. After all, why would they go anywhere when they're happy right where they are? But then Goose sees the ocean and loves it. Who doesn't? Well, Duck, for one...
By Heather Vogel Frederick
A mouse baby leads his father on a merry game of hide-and-squeak at bedtime.
By Sam McBratney
Three much-loved baby bears begin to wonder if their parents have a favorite.
By Christopher Paul Curtis
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.
By Renee Watson
A tribute to lesser-known Harlem Renaissance performer Florence Mills includes coverage of her youth as a child of former slaves, her singing and dancing performances that inspired songs and entire plays, and the struggles with racism that prompted her advocacy of all-black theater and musicals.
By Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Christopher Myers
Why shouldn't the Jabberwocky be a fourteen-fingered, slam-dunking beast? Lewis Carroll challenged readers' imaginations with his most famous poem, "Jabberwocky". Here, Christopher Myers takes on that challenge in this fresh take on the classic poem by brilliantly re-imagining it as a face off on the basketball court.
By Will Hillenbrand
Excited that spring has finally arrived, Mole tries--unsuccessfully--to wake up Bear, but then he comes up with the perfect plan.
By Barbara Rosenstock
Introduces the life of stock car racer Louise Smith, from her first ride behind the wheel of her father's Ford to her thrilling stock car races across the country during the 1950s.
By Angela Johnson
A stirring yet jubilant glimpse of the youth involvement that played an invaluable role in the Civil Rights movement.
By Laban Carrick Hill
Before there was hip hop, there was DJ Kool Herc. On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx. Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks, the musical interludes between verses longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc. From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill's book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.
By Shane Evans
Illustrations and brief text portray the events of the 1963 march in Washington, D.C., where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a historic speech.
By Mo Willems
Wilbur, a naked mole rat who likes to wear clothes, is forced to go before the wise community elder, who surprises the other naked mole rats with his prounouncement.
By Frans Vischer
Twas the holiday season of treasures and treats. but Fuddles the cat only wanted to eat....and open his presents, then sit down and play but that's not what happened on one Christmas day
By Jim Arnosky
In spoken-word song with rhyming text, a turkey describes his life in a large flock, always looking out for other creatures that might find him tasty.
By Laura Vaccaro Seeger
A little bull discovers that he has been a big bully.
By Fran Manushkin
Disappointed that her monster costume does not frighten anyone, Katie Woo still finds a way to have a happy Halloween.
By Drew Daywalt
When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.
By David Keane
On his first day at a new school, Norm, a regular boy, has trouble fitting in with his monstrous classmates.
By Herman Parish
Amelia Bedelia helps out at the library with her classmates and wonders what kind of book she should borrow when she receives her first library card.
By Sally Warner
Eight-year-old EllRay's father has promised a family trip to Disneyland if EllRay can stay out of trouble for a week, but not defending himself against Jared, the class bully, proves to be a real challenge.
By Lemony Snicket
Laszlo is afraid of the dark which lives in the same big, creaky house as him, until one night the dark pays him a visit.
By Allen Say
A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.
By Sharon Creech
With the help of her wise old grandmother, twelve-year-old Rosie manages to work out some problems in her relationship with her best friend, Bailey, the boy next door.
By Patrick J. Lewis
Combines photography with lyrical text celebrating the animal world, in a compilation that includes works by such poets as Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Rudyard Kipling.
By Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text explore the many shades of the color green.
By Steve Sheinkin
Recounts the scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries, and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos.
The One and Only Ivan (2013 Newberry Medal Winner)
By Katherine Applegate
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
This is not my hat (2013 Caldecott Medal Winner)
By Jon Klassen
A tiny minnow wearing a pale blue bowler hat has a thing or two up his fins in this underwater light-on-dark chase scene.
By Martin Luther King, Jr.; paintings by Kadir Nelson
An illustrated edition of Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech.
By James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
Resolving to become the world's greatest stand-up comedian despite less-than-funny challenges in his life, wheelchair-bound middle school student Jamie Grimm endures bullying from his mean-spirited cousin and hopes he will be fairly judged when he enters a local comedy contest.
By Rebecca Bond
Maggie visits the Christmas tree man on Liberty Street, then brings her brothers, sister, and finally her parents, as they each dream their own dreams of what it means to have a Christmas tree in the city.
By Deborah Heiligman
In Celebrate Hanukkah Deborah Heiligman welcomes readers to a holiday celebrated by Jewish communities around the world. The vivid photography of National Geographic illustrates the joyous celebrations of Jewish people around the world - including Ghana, Uganda, India, Israel, Peru, the United States and Poland, as they light menorahs, spin dreidels, and make latkes.
By Mo Willems
Presents the wacky story of three dinosaurs, including a visitor from Norway, who insist that they have not tidied up their home and prepared yummy pudding to trap a tasty little girl.
By Margery Cuyler
Little Nell chooses an unusual pumpkin for her Halloween jack-o-lantern, despite her big sisters' criticisms.
By Bruce Goldstone
The author compiles all kinds of sights, sounds, and scents of the autumn season.
By Judy Sierra
Illustrates basic polite behavior that one might need to use while grocery shopping at the same time as a dinosaur.
By David Milgrim
As young Eddie goes through his checklist to get ready for school, his mother does not agree with all of his choices.
By Barbara Joossee
Dogs of all sizes, shapes, and personalities come together with their humans to don costumes and participate in a parade.
By Donna Jo Napoli
Presents illustrated retellings of classic Greek myths, sharing the stories of Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, Athena, Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa, with sidebars for each god, goddess, hero, and monster that link the tales to constellations, history, geography, and culture, and including profiles, a family tree, and other resources.
By Brad Herzog
The letters of the alphabet introduce the facts about the Olympic movement and Olympic sports.
By Margaret Mayo
Rhythmic text depicts astronauts exploring outer space.
By Ashley Wolff
Leaving the den as the weather warms, Baby Bear discovers blue birds, red strawberries, orange butterflies, and other colorful things in nature.
By Herve Tullet
Instructs the reader on how to interact with the illustrations to create imaginative images.
By Polly Horvath
Middle-schooler Madeline's hippy parents have been kidnapped from Hornby Island, Canada, by foxes and Madeline, upon discovering that she can understand animal languages, hires two rabbit detectives to find them. Also available as an audiobook!