Welcome to the online presence of the Butler Children's Literature Center, housed in Dominican's SOIS and generously supported by the Butler Family Foundation. Here, we celebrate the best in books for youth and those who delight in sharing them. For Summer 2023, BCLC will offer collection access to the Dominican community and general public during posted open hours: Tuesday — Thursday 9 am-3 pm and by appointment with the Curator. Contact Jen Clemons at email@example.com to make arrangements or you can still reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruffles and the New Green Thing David Melling Candlewick Press Ages 2 to 5 March 24th, 2022
David Melling returns with Ruffles in Ruffles and the New Green Thing to encourage picky eaters to try new foods. Ruffles enjoys grubby, canine activities like howling, digging, and running. One day, he discovers broccoli, referring to it as “the new green thing,” in his bowl but anxiously ignores it. Ruffles instead plays with his friend, Ralph. The two dogs have similar interests, except Ralph’s curiosity leads him to try broccoli. Ruffles admires Ralph’s bravery and also takes a nibble, discovering his love for the new green thing.
Melling uses adorable illustrations to support the text focused on Ruffles’ journey through social-emotional learning. The neat pencil and digital illustrations enhance the canine’s story through a contrasting color scheme that is eye-catching. The full-spread illustrations represent pivotal moments. The vibrant backgrounds make the characters stand out and accentuate the bright green broccoli in Ruffles’ bowl. They are paired with text revealing the fear of broccoli, Ralph’s introduction, and the first nibble of the new green thing. Ralph is depicted as larger compared to Ruffles by carrying bigger branches and jumping higher fences, highlighting his big brother qualities. The scenes with vignettes portray Ruffles’ emotions throughout his path of fear and courage with Ralph, establishing that Ruffles trusts Ralph. Ruffles’ hesitation disappears when Ralph is by his side, inspiring his friend to challenge himself. Ruffles and the New Green Thing is an entertaining and educational story for children’s social-emotional literacy.
A is for Australian Reefs written and illustrated by Frané Lessac is a vibrant treasure full of captivating facts. Within these rich pages, readers will find underwater reefs on the Australian coastline filled with fascinating sea creatures. Lessac introduces each one, exploring their unique diets, survival threats, and special biology. Readers will find familiar marine life such as dolphins and discover new ones like the leafy sea dragons and zebra seahorses. This intriguing information with beautiful images will amaze young children in kindergarten.
Check it out along with other books we’ve gotten this month below!
A is for Australian Reefs Written and illustrated by Frané Lessac Published by Candlewick Press Available June 13th!
America Redux: Visual Storeis from our Dynamic History Written by Ariel Aberg-Riger Published by Balzer + Bray Available Now!
Great White Sharks Written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Cindy Lane Published by Candlewick Press Available June 6th!
How to Spacewalk: Step-by-Step with Shuttle Astronaunts Written by Kathryn D. Sullivan and Illustrated by Michael J. Rosen Published by mit Kids Available June 6th!
I Have Something to Tell You: Memoir, A ( For Young Readers) Written by Chasten Buttigieg Published by Atheneum Books for young readers Available Now!
Moving the Millers’ Minnie Moore Mine Mansion: A True Story Written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Julia Sarda Published by Candlewick Press Available June 6th!
The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish Chloe Savage Candlewick Press Ages 4 to 8 June 6, 2023
Doctor Morley wants nothing more in life is to find the giant Artic jellyfish. After years of research and preparation, she has finally compiled a team of experts to help her on her long-awaited journey to search the Arctic Circle. Dr. Morley and her crew are motivated but as the harsh cold and the long months of searching start to affect them; they wonder if they may ever catch sight of the mythical Arctic jellyfish on this journey. But has the jellyfish been following them all along?
The watercolor and ink illustrations in a soft white and blue palette reflect the stark beauty of the ocean and the Arctic environment. Savage utilizes a contrasting bright red to separate the humans and boat from the natural colors of the animals, ocean, and sky. Savage’s use of color tone and saturation shows the depth of the ocean and complexity of the night sky to stunning effect, especially when the crew encounters animals that live in the Arctic Circle like polar bears and narwhals. The depth, complexity, and use of color schemes is reinforced by the texture of the glaciers and the complex details of the cross-section of the boat. In some scenes, Savage hides the giant Arctic jellyfish as it follows the crew or shows it playing with the animals, symbolizing its hesitation toward humans but an interest as well. The text focuses more on the adventure and not on the crew members, even Dr. Morley as the main character. The minimal character development and spare text allows more focus on the scientific quest for the Arctic jellyfish and the intricate artwork. This book is geared more toward older children and utilizes sophisticated vocabulary and subtle prose to create a scientific tone to the text. The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish will capture the attention of any young reader interested in the Arctic, the animals that live there, and the worthwhile search for the unknown.
Author Ali Standish’s The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall explores the mind of Sherlock Holmes, secret societies, adventures, and friendships. A young Arthur Conan Doyle attends a school for extraordinarily gifted children and befriends two students, Irene Eagle and Jimmie Moriarty. Together, they start investigating the mysteries of their new school and are invited into a secret society named the Clover. This thrilling story would be great for middle school children.
Check it out along with other books we’ve gotten this month below!
Adia Kelbara and the Circle of Shamans Written by Isi Hendrix Published by Balzer + Bray Available September 19th!
The Cobra’s Song Written by Supriya Kelkar Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Available Now!
Crankosaurus (Cranky Chicken Series #3) Written by Katherine Battersby Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books Available Today!
Deep in the Rain Forest (Isla of Adventure #3) Written by Dela Costa and Illustrated by Ana Sebastian Published by Little Simon Available Now!
Falling Out of Time (Running Out of Time Series #2) Written by Margaret Peterson Haddix Published by Katherine Tegen Books Available May 30th!
TheImprobable Tales of Baskerville Hall Written by Ali Standish Published by Harper Available September 12th!
Have you applied to DU’s School of Information Studies for Fall 2023?
Do you love youth literature?
Can’t wait to work with kids and teens?
Are you interested in becoming part of a diverse and engaged youth-services-focused library community?
Do you identify as part of an underrepresented group in librarianship?
Applications are now being accepted for the 2023-2024 Butler Youth Services Scholarship for Underrepresented Groups in the Field of Library Science. This $15,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student seeking to earn an MLIS with a planned focus on service to children and young adults.
For eligibility requirements and application procedures, please visit our website or contact Butler Children’s Literature Center Curator, Jen Clemons—email@example.com.
Applications for Fall 2023 are being accepted until July 7, 2023.
Bestselling author and long-standing activist Juno Dawson debuts her first picture book, You Need to Chill!: A Story of Love and Family, about a young girl who proves to be an LGBTQ ally when questioned about her missing brother. Told in witty verses and endearing characters, Dawson and Laura Hughes show acceptance of self-identity and family through fun, vivid illustrations.
Check it out along with other books we’ve gotten this month below!
Can You Hug a Forest? Written by Frances Gilbert & Amy Hevron Published by Beach Lane Books Available Now!
Cooler Than Lemonade: A Story About Great Ideas and How They Happen Written by Harshita Jerath & illustrated by Chloe Burgett Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Available Now!
The Firefly Summer Written by Morgan Matson Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Available Now!
My Love For You Written by Lisa Varchol Perron & Illustrated by Sheryl Murray Published by Little Simon Available Now!
School Trip Written & illustrated by Jerry Craft Published by Quill Tree Books Available Now!
You Need to Chill!: A Story of Love and Family Written by June Dawson & illustrated by Laura Hughes Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Available Now!
Are you enjoying spring’s softer weather and blooming flowers or are you, like me, already deep in summer planning mode? Are you thinking about summer activities, events, maybe a weekend at ALA Annual Conference, possibly some time at the beach? Well, thankfully kid lit creators and book industry folks are way ahead of us with some outstanding summer-themed reads and tools to use in your library, summer-school classroom, and at home. Hopefully, the titles and tools on this list give you a bit of time back to dream about a shady porch, and comfy chair, and a fun summer-read of your own. Or is that just me?
Summer Reads Recommendations:
Cooler Than Lemonade By Harshita Jerath llustrated by Chloe Burgett Sourcebooks
When summer heat inspires Eva to open a lemonade stand, she’s prepared for everything but a nearby competitor. Innovation abounds as their rivalry heats up—new flavors, live music, and free samples to bring in the crowds. Jerath weaves problem-solving skills and creativity through this snappy and sizzling story of vibrant young entrepreneurs.
Sari Sari Summer By Lynnor Bontigao Candlewick
Nora spends summers with her Lola in the Philippines, and this summer she is finally old enough to help in the sari-sari convenience store. When a heat wave slows business, Nora’s plan to whip up mango ice candy draws a crowd and saves the day. Gentle language and pacing combines with soft focus digital illustrations bring the fascinating store and sweet intergenerational relationship to life.
Wild Blue By Dashka Slater Illustrated by Laura Hughes Candlewick
Kayla is in for a wild ride when she trades her training-wheeled Pink Pony in for Wild Blue, a brand new big kid bike. But summers are meant for bike rides, and with a lot of practice and Dad’s reassurance, she tames her new mount and rides off into the summer afternoon. Imagination and persistence are key in this sweet tale of overcoming a fear in order to do something new. Charming acrylic ink illustrations capture Kayla’s emotions, the glorious light of summer and the triumph of accomplishment.
The Firefly Summer By Morgan Marson Simon & Schuster
Ryanna is a mystery book lover and when she finds out there is a mystery in her very own life, a cryptic invitation for a summer with grandparents she’s never heard of, she can’t resist finding out more. At Camp Van Camp she discovers unknown cousins, details about the mother that died when she was a toddler, treasure map, and her happy place. Matson blends adventure, uncertainty, and self-discovery in this sweet family drama.
Pack Your Bags, Maggie Diaz By Nina Moreno Illustrated by Courtney Lovett Scholastic
Maggie Diaz is ready for the trip of a lifetime, or at least seventh grade. As her trip gets closer, everyone in her life is distracted by something more important—grades, first loves, family drama. Moreno blends humor and emotion as Maggie finds her place in school, social, and family dynamics. Fun artwork throughout the text brings the diverse and multigenerational cast to vivid life.
Picture Perfect Boyfriend By Becky Dean Delacorte Press
Determined to fit into her proper family of optometrists, Kenzie has dropped her photography dreams for science classes and made up a responsible and respectable boyfriend. When her completely fictional boyfriend suddenly shows up on her family vacation to Hawaii, Kenzie isn’t sure how it all happened, but knows the lie is about to blow up in her face. Time with fake-Jacob reveals just how unsatisfied Kenzie is with her new life-path and how being truly herself is the only way to happiness. Part swoony romance and part heartfelt exploration of balancing family expectations and being true to yourself.
Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute By Sayantani Dasgupta Scholastic
Eila has changed her pre-law plans to accompany her sister to Regency Camp and a potential role in a period drama. Camp drama and uncertainty about her life plans, combined with an unexpected summer romance, lead to conflict for the usually sensible Eila. Dasgupta combines her love for Bengali folktales, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen in this romantic, multicultural retelling combination of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sense and Sensibility.
Tools for Teachers and Librarians:
iRead (from the Illinois Library Association)—Perhaps you’re still looking for a Summer Reading program or need some ideas to help implement yours. The iRead Program website is full of resources to support you and your readers. You can even get a head start on planning summer 2024 programming and, if you dig into the blog, get a sneak peek at the 2025 theme!
Kindly Ever After Adventures—Join Storyologist Page Turner (aka Jill Ross Nadler) for a summer reading program package full of stories, crafts, and videos for in person and/or online events.
Tools for Home-Adults:
ALSC Summer Reading Lists–The Association for Library Service to Children has posted their new reading lists, divided by age, and associated tools, games, and resources. Created by ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, the lists are a fantastic tool for both librarians and home adults.
Scholastic Summer Reading—Home Base—From May 9 through August 19, kids can visit the summer zone in Scholastic Home Base, a completely free digital destination which offers stories, characters, games, and a community of readers. Home Base is moderated for safety 24/7.
And, of course, I highly recommend caregivers get kids involved in their local library’s summer reading program. Youth librarians around the country have been hard at work for months, dreaming up creative ways to connect kids with stories this summer. All you have to do is READ! Check library websites for availability to those outside the particular town.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the tiny moments that enrich life in this poignant story that takes readers through bittersweet celebrations. The last day of school, the pause before blowing out birthday candles, and the closeness of gathering around a campfire are just some of the moments mentioned in How to Make a Memoryby Elaine Vikers and Ana Aranda.
To remember means to keep something in your mind. To hold it safe in your memory, like a small, smooth egg in your hand. How do you make a memory? And how do you remember?
Check it out along with other picture books and nonfiction books we got last week below!
Butt or Face? Written by Kari Lavelle Published by Sourcebooks eXplore Available July 11th!
How To Make a Memory Written by Elaine Vikers & illustrated by Ana Aranda Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Available Now!
The Girl Who Heard the Music: How One Pianist and 85,000 Bottles and Cans Brought New Hope to an Island Written by Mahani Teave and Marni Fogelson & illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens Published by Sourcebooks eXplore Available Now!
Mermaid Day Written by Diana Murray & Illustrated by Luke Flowers Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Available May 2nd!
Into the Deep! (Super Gross) Written by Maria Le & illustrated by Alison Hawkins Published by Simon Spotlight Available Now!
The Glow Show Written & illustrated by Susi Schaefer Published by Sourcebooks eXplore Available Now!
Four Eyes Rex Ogle Illustrated by Dave Valeza Graphix Ages 8 to 12 May 2nd, 2023
Rex thought sixth grade was going to be exciting, with new teachers, a fancy locker, and his best friend by his side. He was going to conquer the year with flying colors. Then his best friend starts hanging out with the popular crowd who don’t like the comics and who start bullying Rex for being short. Rex’s year can’t get any worse—until he finds out he needs glasses. Now, Rex has to deal with wearing glasses and being bullied for it, while navigating sixth grade, having no friends, and a family who don’t understand him.
The pencil-drawn illustrations express detailed features like the emotional facial expressions of each character and objects in the background. The warmer-hued colors distinguish the characters and the scene and give energy to the novel, matching the fast-pace of the story. The author and illustrator express an encouraging tone when themes of growing up and trying to figure out a place in school are brought up in Rex’s life. As Rex matures into his own person, he learns that everyone needs help sometimes, even adults. A major emotional moment in the story explores the difficulty of living in a low-income household, and although his family can’t afford the fancy pair of glasses for him or the nice clothes, Rex learns that having a loving family, a safe place to sleep, and the things you need are more important than what you might want. Middle school may be hard to figure out, but Rex finds his place by making new friends, and with their support, stands up to the bullies that his friend is hanging out with. Eventually, he also understands that becoming your own person means it’s okay to let go of old friends and accepts that glasses don’t change who you are. Four Eyes is a coming-of-age story for readers who are trying to navigate the intricate balance of middle school and what it means to grow up.
Who’s ready for sidekick training, friendship drama, and trying to save the city from giant robots? Katie, her super sidekick BFFs, and 217 super-unusual cats are on it! In this third installment of the Katie the Catsitter graphic novels, Katie must navigate her friendship with Beth, Marie, and Jess so she can successfully get through seventh grade. So get ready for growing up, friendship, heroes, and cats (lots of cats)!
Check it out along with other children’s fiction books we got last week below!
Back to the Bright Before Written by Katherin Notle Published by Random House Children’s Books Available May 30th!
Evil Genius (The Smartest Kid in the Universe #3) Written by Chris Grabenstein Published by Random House Children’s Books Available May 16th!
The Eyes & the Impossible Written by Dave Eggers Published by Alfred A. Knopf Available May 9th!
Lo & Behold Written by Wendy Mass & Illustrated by Gabby Mendez Published by RH Graphic Available May 2nd!
Menacing Manor (Sinister Summer #4) Written by Kiersten White Published by Delacorte Press Available May 2nd!
Secrets and Sidekicks (Katie the Catsitter #3) Written by Colleen AF Venable & Illustrated by Stephanie Yue Published by RH Graphic Available May 2nd!