Children's Bookshelf - Archives

October 2020: Frightening Fiction

by Jane Manners, The Pequot Library, Southport

Autumn brings not just a full palette of fabulous fall colors, but a thrilling reminder that Halloween is right around the corner. As a way to celebrate, Southport’s Pequot Library invites children of all ages to take part in a spooky, safe and socially distanced scavenger hunt.   Registration for Pequot Library’s Halloween Scavenger Hunt begins October 1 and runs through October 30. Registration is required. You will be sent instructions on how to play, along with a spooktacular list of things to photograph. When you’re done, just email those photos as attachments to and you will receive confirmation of your submission. Those who successfully complete the challenge will be notified to pick up their treats at the library on Saturday, October 31 — Halloween! To get in the right mood for Halloween, we recommend some frightening fiction. Read if you dare.

September 2020: Go On an Adventure Without Leaving Home

by Alexandra Holley, Bristol Public Library, Bristol

As summer draws to a close, we reflect on all the fun we’ve had and the adventures we’ve gone on. This summer was certainly a unique one for children, parents and libraries. But despite all the changes we faced, libraries did their best to adapt. An adventure doesn’t have to be a grand journey. It can be learning a new skill, trying something different, or exploring close to home. For those of us missing a more traditional adventure, books still offer us the opportunity to travel to far off places and times. Here are some great adventure chapter book series to start off fall.

August 2020: Graphic Novels Galore

by Emily Mills, Cromwell Belden Public Library, Cromwell
In the past, graphic novels have often been given a bad rap with many not seeing them as “real books.” This couldn’t be further from the truth! Yes, graphic novels are full of pictures, but those images serve to teach children critical thinking, grab the attention of reluctant readers, bring the story to life and so much more. Graphic novels are excellent tools for teaching visual literacy in our increasingly visual society and, most importantly, they attract young readers like bees to honey. Below are some recently released graphic novels, sure to appeal to children of all ages.

June/July 2020: Imagine Your Story This Summer

by Deirdre Sullivan, Greenwich Library, Greenwich

Imagine your library. Some see the children’s room where their child took their first steps at story time, amidst rows of books, singing and laughter. Others see the learning lab where their child attended STEAM workshops and learned to code, knitted a scarf, or made their own paper-bag puppet. Maybe your family visited the library for book club discussions, homework help and music performances, or your child looked forward to sharing their favorite books with librarians and listen to their advice on what to read next.


May/June 2020: Emergent, Beginning & Early Readers: What Does It All Mean?

by Carly Lemire, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford

Do you have an emergent, beginning or early reader? All of these terms feel interchangeable and can make your head spin when school reading levels are thrown into the mix. Plus, publishers have produced their own ways to measure with MY FIRST READ, I CAN READ and more. It’s no surprise that we might not know where to begin.

April 2020: Buffet of Books

by Ashley Donecker, Manchester Public Library, Manchester

Who doesn’t love talking about food? From salads to donuts, these scrumptious stories have something for everyone!

March 2020: Turning Story Time into Art Class

by Audrey Heneage, New Canaan Library, New Canaan

One of my favorite things to do is to use the illustrations in a picture book to engage children’s creativity. Children’s book illustrators are incredible artists whose various techniques can be used to expose children to a range of artistic expression. By carefully choosing the level of the book and preparing materials appropriate for the age of the child, a successful experience can be had at most any age.

February 2020: Why Do We Read?

by Margaret Girgis, New Haven Free Public Library, New Haven

I think it is really important to consider this question when we are introducing children to books and to reading. Children, as we all know, are the masters of “Why?”; so before any lesson or experience, we should be ready with an answer to this very valid question. 

January 2020: Mystery at the Library

by Shana Shea, Windsor Public Library, Windsor

Suspense in literature, yes even children’s literature, is about capturing interest and creating anticipation. It’s important that the reader feels connected to the characters and what happens to them, whether the character is a dog, a girl, or a squirrel. What follows is a selection of varied, fun and suspenseful books for children of all ages.

December 2019: Warm Reads for a Snowy Day

by Debbie Brooks, The Brookfield Library, Brookfield

Along with holidays, celebrations and family traditions, December also brings snow to Connecticut! Families across the state get ready for snuggles, hot cocoa and good books to get them through the sometimes long, cold season. I hope you enjoy reading this selection of very special picture books that highlight the wonder and excitement of winter, as you keep warm with someone special.

November 2019: Small Acts of Kindness 

by Martha Simpson, Stratford Library, Stratford
Sometimes the world can be an unfriendly place. Reading books that demonstrate small acts of kindness can be comforting to children and the people who read with them. The following books feature diverse characters conducting simple acts of kindness throughout the year. Hopefully, these picture books will inspire readers to do good deeds for others, as well.

October 2019: Middle Reads from Another World 

by Suzanne Harrison-Thomas, Milford Public Library, Milford
Kids are naturally curious problem-solvers. They have an innate sense of justice. Friendships can be powerful, and growing up isn’t always easy. Reality can be confusing enough to navigate, but in these modern middle-grade fantasies full of adventure and intrigue, mistaken identities and parallel universes, our characters show us just what they’re made of as they deal with their own other-worldly circumstances. 

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