Sweet (as candy) Halloween Reads

Are the little monsters in your library looking for not-so-spooky reads this season? Whether they want witches, ghosts, or some trick-or-treating fun—there’s a book for that! And check out Gustavo for a sweet Dia De Los Muertos ghost story.

Board Books:

Brooms Are for Flying
Michael Rex
Henry Holt/Godwin Books
July 2020

In this board book adaptation, follow a little witch and her trick-or-treating friends as they dance through this introduction to traditional Halloween characters and symbols. A sweet treat.

Trick-or-Treat with Tow Truck Joe
June Sobel, illustrated by Patrick Corrigan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
July 2020

Tow Truck Joe and his buddies are all dressed up for Halloween and ready to trick-or-treat, bob for apples, and have a frightfully-fun night on the town. Surprises under each flap are more friendly than scary, showing that even pirates and dragons can help a friend in need. A sweet treat.

Picture Books:

Monsters 101
Cale Atkinson
Random House/Doubleday
August 2020

Everything you ever wanted to know about monsters and more! You’ll learn from top monster professors about monster names, habits, diet, history, and even their biggest fears—humans! A silly and spooky trick.

Gustavo the Shy Ghost
Flavia Z. Drago
Candlewick
July 2020
Available in Spanish as Gustavo el Fantasmita Timido

Gustavo is shy and has a hard time making friends. In fact, the other ghosts and monsters see right through him. But he is also brave and invites them all to a Day of the Dead party to hear him play the violin. By sharing his talent he makes friends just by being himself. A sweet treat.

Bears and Boos
Shirley Parenteau, illustrated by David Walker
Candlewick
July 2020

The bears are back and ready to create the perfect Halloween costumes. Chaos at the costume box ensues as the bears scramble for the perfect costumes. With one left out, the bears show their trademark kindness to outfit their friend just in time for the Halloween parade. A sweet treat.

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf, we’re reaching for The Suitcase, a new picture book by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. In The Suitcase, a stranger arrives with just a suitcase, and everyone wants to know: why is the stranger here and where has the stranger come from, and what is in that suitcase? A story about kindness and perception, this picture book offers hope and empathy. For more great reads, check out the list below!

The Belonging Tree
Written by Maryann Cocca-Leffler and illustrated by Kristine A. Lombardi
Published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Catalyst
Written by Sarah Beth Durst
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

What Do You Do If You Work At The Zoo?
Written by Steve Jenkins and Robert Page
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

First Prize for the Worst Witch
Written and illustrated by Jill Murphy
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

The Suitcase
Written and illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

The Con Code
Written by Shana Silver
Published by Swoon Reads
Available now!

A Reading List for Hispanic Heritage Month

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15), here at the Butler Center, we’d like to highlight several publications from 2020 that we think are compelling, poignant, or dazzling stories about different Hispanic experiences! Our list is by no means all that has been published this year, nor could it ever encapsulate the many different Hispanic experiences. Instead, it is a sampling of several stories–from reimagined folk tales to navigating athletic ambitions to budding youth activists.

Federico and the Wolf
Written by Rebecca J. Gomez and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books
Available now!
Ages 3-8
This joyful Mexican-American retelling of Little Red Riding Hood features vibrant artwork and a playful rhyming scheme. This tale features Federico, outfitted with a red hoodie and bicycle basket full of goodies, on his way to his Abuelo’s when he comes across el lobo. As Federico outwits the wolf, illustrator Elissa Chavarri’s artwork leaps off the page, with action and detail-work alike. Author Rebecca J. Gomez features food heavily in the story, with Spanish throughout. Gomez ends the picture book with a recipe for pico de gallo and a glossary of Spanish words.

Queen of Tejano Music: Selena
Written by Silvia López and illustrated by Paola Escobar 
Published by little bee books
Available now!
Ages 5-9
In this picture book biography, Silvia López honors the late singer Selena in a descriptive account of the singer’s childhood and immersion in the music world. Starting at age nine, Selena Quintanilla began singing in her family’s band. The Tejano music world was dominated by men–not women or girls. Through hard work and talent, Selena became a superstar on the Tejano scene and later crossed over into mainstream American music. Illustrator  Paola Escobar charts Selena’s rise with expressive artwork. While Selena’s career was tragically cut short, López focuses on her life. End matter explores Tejano music further, as well as provides a timeline for Selena’s life.

Stella Díaz Never Gives Up
Written by Angela Dominguez
Published by Macmillan/Roaring Brook
Available now!
Ages 7-10
The second in the Stella Díaz series, author and illustrator Angela Dominguez’s chapter book gets deeper into Stella’s development as a young environmental activist. Set during the summer, Stella is excited about her family trip to Mexico, where she’ll see the ocean, and eager to begin camp at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. But soon Stella learns how the ocean is threatened by pollution–and she wants to do something about it! As Stella leans into her community and inspires friends and family alike to care about the ocean, readers will latch onto Stella’s enthusiasm. Dominguez’s note at the end offers more resources for helping with ocean conservation, as well as explains her choice to italicize the Spanish phrases throughout the book.

Ghost Squad
Written by Claribel Ortega
Published by Scholastic Press
Available now!
Ages 8-12
In this middle-grade fantasy, Dominican-American Lucely Luna and her family know ghosts–and they should! Lucely’s ancestors are part of their lives, appearing to them as fireflies or cucuyos. In the days leading up to Halloween, one of Lucely’s cucuyos fades. Worried and desperate, Lucely and her best friend Syd cast a spell to awaken the spirit–however, instead, they awaken evil spirits. As the evil spirits set on the city of St Augustine, Florida. To fight back and protect the city against the evil spirits, Lucely and Syd turn to Syd’s grandmother Babette.  This action-packed read is filled with Dominican culture. The supernatural spookiness is juxtaposed with family love and warmth, making for a ghost story with heart.

Furia
Written by Yamile Saied Méndez
Published by Workman Publishing/Algonquin Young Readers
Available now!
Ages 14-18
Seventeen-year-old Camila Hassan has a secret. To her parents, she is a respectful daughter living under her family’s rules and her father’s hard temper. What her parents do not know is that Camila is also “la Furia,” a talented fútbol player who has just won their local league championship. Instead of playing in Rosario, Argentina, Camila and her team have qualified for a South American tournament. Before this, Camila has not let herself dream–but now she is thinking about what the future could hold, including a sports scholarship to a North American university. But for that dream to become a reality, she needs her parents’ permission to play. And now, her old love Diego–now a famous international futboler–has moved back home. This coming of age story has Camila balancing her own desires as an athlete with her feelings of love, all against the backdrop of an abusive family. 

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf, we’re transported back to World War II with Kiku Hughes’ latest graphic novel. In Displacement, a contemporary teenager finds herself pulled back in time to the Japanese-American internment camp her grandmother was forcibly relocated to. The time travels keep recurring until she becomes stuck in the past, learning about a history she was never taught in school. For more great reads, check out the list below!

Displacement
Written and illustrated by Kiku Hughes
Published by First Second
Available now!

Mad About Plaid
Written and illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

We Were Restless Things
Written by Cole Nagamatsu
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Available now!

Even If We Break
Written by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Available now!

The Big One: The Cascadia Earthquakes and the Science of Saving Lives 
Written by Elizabeth Rusch
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Test This Book!: A laugh-out-loud picture book about experiments and science!
Written and illustrated by Louie Zong
Published by Imprint
Available now!

Dr. Janice Del Negro named Illinois Library Luminary

The Butler Children’s Literature Center is celebrating the recognition of Dr. Janice Del Negro as a 2020 Library Luminary.

The ILA Executive Board approved Del Negro as a new Illinois Library Luminary on September 24, 2020. The “Illinois Library Luminary” title honors those who have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries and whose nomination is approved by the ILA Board. Subsequently, supporters of the nomination raise at least $2,000 for the ILA endowment for excellence in library service in Illinois. As an award-winning storyteller, author, educator, and coach, Del Negro’s nomination from late spring quickly raised the requisite funds in her name in support of her nomination. Library Luminaries named in 2020 will be recognized at the 2020 virtual ILA Awards Ceremony on Thursday evening, October 22, 5:30 p.m. Attendance is free, although registration is required.

Congratulations, Janice, on this well-deserved honor! Your dedication to your students, IL libraries, and BCLC is a gift.

It’s not too late to make a donation in her name to support the ILA Endowment and all the valuable work the organization does to support IL libraries. https://www.ila.org/support-ila/illinois-library-luminaries

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf, we’re excited to read Amy Tintera’s new YA novel, All These Monsters. Tintera’s heroine is Clara, a teenage girl who joins an international monster-fighting squad. As Clara goes through training, she discovers the less glamorous side of monster fighting–and learns that sometimes monsters are not who you think. For more great reads, check out the list below!

A Place At The Table
Written by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

A Pinch of Magic
Written by Michelle Harrison
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Splinters of Scarlet
Written by Emily Bain Murphy
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Secrets of the Silver Lion (Carmen Sandiego)
Written by Emma Otheguy
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

When Villains Rise (Market of Monsters Book 3) 
Written by Rebecca Schaeffer
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

All These Monsters
Written by Amy Tintera
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Available now!

See You Tomorrow: A Review of Mañanaland

Mañanaland
Written by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Published by Scholastic Press
Ages 8-12
Available now!

Every night, Maximiliano’s Buelo weaves him stories of mystical bridges and a magical gatekeeper who aids travelers on their journey into tomorrow. During the day, Max’s head is full of his father’s rules, his bridge-building apprenticeship, and fútbol. Now that he is eleven, he is eligible to try out for Santa Maria’s village team. Maybe he can play professionally, just like his Papá and his Buelo. But when a new policy mandates a birth certificate for eligibility to join the team, Max’s hopes fade. His birth certificate vanished years ago, just like his mother. Max’s mother left the family when he was a baby. No one speaks of her; there are not even any photographs to remember her by. When Max’s Papá leaves to request a new birth certificate from a nearby city, Max sets out to find the truth about his mother. What he discovers is that the stories his Buelo told him are based in reality: Max’s comes from a line of guardians who help those fleeing the dictatorship of a neighboring country, Abismo. Those who fled the terror of their homeland are called the hidden ones. They sought refuge in La Reina Gigante, a tower set amidst the ruins near his home. What’s more Max’s mother was one of them. As Max seeks his mother, he joins his family in the guardian tradition when he is called on to ferry a girl only a few years younger than him to safety. Pam Muñoz Ryan immerses the reader into Santa Maria life: the village council, the local gossip, and the meddlesome families. Ryan blends typical middle grade woes such as jealousy over a best friend’s wandering attention or being too young to do anything fun with heightened stakes. The mystery of Mañanaland and where Max’s mother has vanished are the same, and their answer is inconclusive. Mañanaland is hope, a dream to keep the weary pressing onwards to tomorrow. Mañanaland’s exploration of morality, self-knowledge, and family make this a worthy addition to a children’s or middle grade collection.

Butler Bookshelf

For this week’s Butler Bookshelf, J. Albert Mann’s new historical novel The Degenerates has captured our attention. Mann portrays four young women in the early twentieth century whose lives intersect when they are locked up by a world that took the poor, the disabled, the marginalized-and institutionalized them for life. For more great reads, check out the list below!

The Mysterious Messenger
Written by Gilbert Ford
Published by Henry Holt and Co. Books For Young Readers
Available now!

Backward Science
Written by Clive Gifford and illustrated by Anne Wilson
Published by QEB Publishing
Available now!

The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Chemistry for Kids
Written by Liz Lee Heinecke
Published by Quarry Books
Available now!

Joy
Written by Yasmeen Ismail and illustrated by Jenni Desmond
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

The Degenerates
Written by J. Albert Mann
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Wheels
Written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

All Around Us: A Review of The Environment: Explore, Create and Investigate!

The Environment: Explore, Create and Investigate! (What On Earth series)
Written by Jonathan Litton and illustrated by Pau Morgan
Published by Quarto Publishing
Available September 22, 2020
Ages 6-12 years

This introduction to the earth’s environment blends foundational information on biodiversity and the ozone layer, with how humans play a part in the planet’s safekeeping. Jonathan Litton divides the nonfiction picture book into different learning-focused pages (ExploreInvestigate, and Create) with themed pages that go deep into topics  such as carbon dioxide and its role in global warming. Explore pages impart fact-based information against colorful, educational illustrations. Pau Morgan prominently features humans in their artwork, reinforcing humanity’s effects on the world around them. Color-coded topic tagging, factoid bubbles, and illustration-based puzzles draw readers into the surprisingly dense subject matter. Investigate pages offer observation-based science activities, such as recreating an oil spill with common kitchen ingredients or tracking animals that frequent a bird feeder. Create pages invite readers to put what they have learned into action, such as making a personal microhabitat; some of the Create activities are more labor intensive and require adult supervision. The Environment: Explore, Create and Investigate! features a glossary, index, and templates for activities featured in the book.

Butler Bookshelf

This week on the Butler Bookshelf, we turn to a new picture book written by Farhana Zia and illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman, Lali’s Feather. In this story, Lali finds a feather in a field–but is the feather lost? Lali sets out to return the feather to its owner, but no bird accepts it. Soon, Lali makes use of the feather for herself and the birds see its usefulness. For more great reads, check out the list below!

Be Amazing: A History of Pride
Written by Desmond is Amazing and illustrated by Dylan Glynn
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Noodle Bear
Written and illustrated by Mark Gravas
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention
Written by Pip Jones and illustrated by Sarah Ogilvie
Published by Simon & Schuster
Available now!

Secrets of the Witch: An Initiation Into Our History and Our Wisdom
Written by  Julie Légère and Elsa Whyte, illustrated by Laura Pérez
Published by Wide Eyed Editions
Available now!

Not An Alphabet Book The Case of the Missing Cake
Written by Eoin McLaughlin and illustrated by Marc Boutavant
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

Lali’s Feather
Written by Farhana Zia and illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Published by Peachtree Publishing Company
Available now!