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Children's Bookshelf - December 2018

View Previous Children's Bookshelf Articles

It’s the Season of Giving — and Every Book is a Gift
by Hilary Kennard

This season, we often think of giving. Thanks to winter school breaks and holidays, we can also give the gift of reading wonderful books with our children.

At the Simsbury Public Library, we are busy throughout the year giving book recommendations to children of all ages (and their grownups). We’d like to share some titles that gave us joy, inspiration and hope this year. 

Give Joy

I Like My Car

by Michael Robertson

This is a great new book for vehicle-obsessed toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners. With concept cars driven by popular animals, I Like My Car is a great read-aloud (or a beginning reader) full of repeated phrases and brightly illustrated pictures that are sure to please. (The shark driving a sports car with fins is not to be missed.) (toddler-kindergarten)

If You’re Groovy and You Know It, Hug a Friend
by Eric Litwin

Love the original Pete the Cat songs? Enjoy bestselling author Eric Litwin’s groovy twist to the classic children’s song “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Sing this book and you’ll spread joy, share love and create a great excuse to get groovy (and huggy) with your little ones. (preschool-kindergarten)

I Lost My Tooth!
by Mo Willems


Mo Willems, author of Elephant & Piggie and the infamous bus-driving pigeon, is back with a wonderful beginning-reader series featuring The Unlimited Squirrels. Early readers (and any child with a sense of humor) will giggle at the bonus jokes, quizzes and “nutty facts” that keep pages turning with action and squirrelly silliness. (kindergarten-2nd grade)

Give Inspiration

by Raul Colon


This wordless picture book is a gift to share with children of all ages whose minds can wander freely, and take inspirational leaps into the museums, art and architecture of New York City. Examine the illustrations with a child then ask, “What do you think will happen next?” (kindergarten and up)

Hiking Day
by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell


With first day hikes on New Year’s Day becoming more popular every year, this book is the perfect story to inspire your next family walk. Author Anne Rockwell’s lyrical text and her daughter’s sweet illustrations provide readers with woodland creatures to find, summits to reach and a family adventure with a gentle environmental message. (preschool-2nd grade)

Give Hope

A Boy Called Bat
by Elana K. Arnold


This heartwarming chapter book series is ideal for third or fourth graders and features 9-year-old “Bat” (Bixby Alexander Tam). He is a loving, curious and sometimes frustrating boy who is on the autism spectrum. When Bat’s mom brings home a baby skunk (she’s a veterinarian), he wants it for his own and hatches a hopeful plan. The popular sequel is Bat and the Waiting Game, with a third title to be published this spring. (3rd-4th grade)

Front Desk
by Kelly Yang


This is the story of 10-year-old Mia Tang who manages the front desk of a motel while her immigrant parents clean the rooms and try to scrape out a living. Based on the author’s life, this story presents real-world challenges such as racism, poverty and feeling like an outsider. Upper elementary grade readers will fall in love with Mia’s compassion and gumption.

(4th-6th grade)

Merci Suarez Changes Gears
by Meg Medina


Sixth-grader Merci Suarez knows she isn’t like most kids at her middle school. She’s a scholarship student who also plays a critical role in babysitting her twin cousins and looking out for her ailing grandfather. As Merci struggles to find true friends and be her best self, readers will get swept up in her emotions, her challenges and her loving, extended family. (5th-6th grade)

Give Books!

Every book is a gift whether it is read aloud, listened to on a car ride, or wrapped up as a present. If the Simsbury Public Library is near you, we hope you will visit us and talk with our Children’s Staff about the books that give happiness to the children in your life.


Sign up for our exciting new Raising Readers email, full of age-specific recommendations for reading, learning and exploring what the Simsbury Public Library can offer your family. Visit www.simsburylibrary.info/ raising-readers to become a part of our community of readers. The Simsbury Public Library is located at 725 Hopmeadow Street. For more information, call 860-658-7663.


Hilary Kennard, MLIS is the Children’s Librarian at the Simsbury Public Library.