Butler Bookshelf

Beth Turley’s This Close to Home is a representation of tweens’ confusing and exciting transitions. Brooke loved softball but when she loses her mother, she loses her connection to her favorite sport. Now she doesn’t spend time with Dad or her older sister, Calla. One day, Brooke and her best friend Derek decide to revive a lost tradition that brought her whole community together at her parents’ lake house. She is determined that Lakefest will bring back joy to her town and her family. This heartwarming story is great for middle grade children. Check it out along with other books we’ve gotten this month below!

Check it out along with other books we’ve gotten this month below!

Happily Ever After (Once Upon Another Time Series #3)
Written by James Riley
Published by Aladdin
Available Now!

Nowhere Special
Written by Matt Wallace
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Available October 4th!

Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels (Onyeka #2)
Written by Tolá Okogwu
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available Now!

The Probability of Everything
Written by Sarah Everett
Published by Clarion Books
Available June 27th!

Talia’s Codebook for Mathletes
Written by Marissa Moss
Published by Walker Books Us
Available Today!

This Close to Home 
Written by Beth Turley
Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Available Now!

Puppy Lovers and Picky Eaters: A Review of Ruffles and the New Green Thing

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.  

Butler Bookshelf

 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!

Adventure to Find the Unknown: A Review of The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish

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.

Butler Bookshelf

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!

The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall
Written by Ali Standish
Published by Harper
Available September 12th!

Application Deadline Extended: Butler Youth Services Scholarship

Does this sound like you (or someone you know)?

  • 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—jclemons@dom.edu.

Applications for Fall 2023 are being accepted until July 7, 2023.

Butler Bookshelf

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!

It’s Almost Here: Summer Books and Resources

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:

Picture Books

Cooler Than Lemonade
By Harshita Jerath
llustrated by Chloe Burgett

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

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.

Middle Grade

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

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.

Young Adult

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

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.

Brookfield Public Library: All Together Now! Kickoff 6/1/23 6:30pm

Oak Park Public Library: Find Your Voice. Runs 6/1-8/15. Open to everyone.

Tools for Everyone:

Reading is Fundamental: Literacy Central — With tools for educators, caregivers, and volunteers, RIF’s site hosts a wealth of resources, tips, activities, and assistance in one free-to-use account.

*Link in the title to each tool.

What’s your favorite summer reading resource?

Butler Bookshelf

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 Memory by 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!

How to Survive Sixth Grade with Glasses: A Review of Four Eyes

Four Eyes
Rex Ogle
Illustrated by Dave Valeza
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.