Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features recently released and coming soon titles! These include The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan. This debut middle grade novel explores the troubled friendship of Sam and Asha, both autistic middle schoolers. As Sam is accepted into a prestigious school and Asha is not, their friendship is put at risk. In addition to being told from the perspectives of both Sam and Asha, the very best house in town also has its own perspective in this story.

Fossil Hunter: How Mary Anning Changed the Science of Prehistoric Life
Written by Cheryl Blackford
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

Ready for the Spotlight!
Written and Illustrated by Jaime Kim
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

Wayward Creatures
Written by Dayna Lorentz
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

The Monarchs
Written by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

On the Move: Home Is Where You Find It
Written by Michael Rosen and Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Published by Candlewick
Available February 8, 2022

The View from the Very Best House in Town
Written by Meera Trehan
Published by Walker Books US
Available February 8, 2022

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features some recent arrivals to the BCLC! These include Lawless Spaces, a novel in verse by Corey Ann Haydu that tells of Mimi’s coming of age through her own journaling and the discoveries she makes looking through the journals of the women in her family line. Check out more new and coming soon titles below!

The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess
Written by Shannon and Dean Hale and Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Published by Candlewick
Available February 1, 2022

Lawless Spaces
Written by Corey Ann Haydu
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Ear Worm!
Written by Jo Knowles and Illustrated by Galia Bernstein
Published by Candlewick
Available January 25, 2022

Not That Pet!
Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Published by Candlewick
Available February 1, 2022

Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution
Written by Diane Stanley and Illustrated by Jessie Hartland
Published by Paula Wiseman Books
Available now!

Even Robots Aren’t Perfect!
Written and Illustrated by Jan Thomas
Published by Beach Lane Books
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf includes Sometimes Cake by Edwina Wyatt and Jasmin Ainslie, which shows the importance of celebrating even the little things. Best friends Audrey and Lion celebrate everything ranging from birthdays to days of the week to colors. Yet one day, Audrey sees Lion looking down and must remind him that even ordinary days can be a cause for celebration.

Freddie vs. The Family Curse
Written by Tracy Badua
Published by Clarion Books
Available May 3, 2022

The Burning Swift
Written by Joseph Elliott
Published by Walker Books US
Available now!

Every Line of You
Written by Naomi Gibson
Published by Chicken House
Available March 1, 2022

Wutaryoo
Written and Illustrated by Nilah Magruder
Published by Versify
Available January 25, 2022

Sloth Sleuth
Written and Illustrated by Cyndi Marko
Published by Etch
Available June 7, 2022

Sometimes Cake
Written by Edwina Wyatt and Illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features new arrivals to the Butler Center for all ages! Among them is the upcoming Wild by Sam Usher which depicts a boy and his grandad trying to figure out how to appease a cat they are taking care of who eventually leads them into the wild. Check out the following variety of recently arrived titles!

Graceling: The Graphic Novel
Written by Kristin Cashore and Adapted & Illustrated by Gareth Hinds
Published by Etch
Available now!

The Last Chance for Logan County: A Legendary Alston Boys Adventure
Written by Lamar Giles and Illustrated by Derick Brooks
Published by Versify
Available now!

Ace Takes Flight: B.E.S.T. World
Written by Cory McCarthy
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Available now!

The Forgotten Memories of Vera Glass
Written by Anna Priemaza
Published by Amulet Books
Available now!

Princess Unlimited
Written by Jacob Sager Weinstein and Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

Wild
Written and Illustrated by Sam Usher
Published by Templar Books
Available December 14, 2021

We Can Do Hard Things: A Review of The Struggle Bus

The Struggle Bus
Julie Koon
Kind World Publishing
March 8, 2022
Ages 4-8

Sometimes, when life gets really hard, the Struggle Bus shows up at the door. It grumbles and rumbles and seems completely hopeless. Lost in the fog and frozen by indecision and on its way up the mountain, the Struggle Bus breaks down. It is only with the help of friends that it can be set back on its way. And even then, it’s a hard and bumpy journey, but eventually, it finds the path, and arrives at the top of the mountain.

The Struggle Bus is a gentle rhyming story acknowledging big feelings and encouraging readers to never give up. Koon’s illustrations, a mixture of simple line drawings and watercolor, are rendered in soft, soothing colors that complement the supportive message of the text. Even amidst fog and uncertainty, the struggle bus continues on, reminding readers to feel their feelings but not let those feelings stop them from moving forward. With rhythmic text and onomatopoeia sprinkled throughout, this book is ideal for young people who need a little help to understand big emotions. At the end of the book, there are reflection questions and ideas for calming behaviors to utilize when “your bus breaks down” (p. 37). A diverse cast of characters and buses of all shapes, sizes, and colors let readers know that everyone rides the Struggle Bus sometimes, and that even the tallest, foggiest mountains are not insurmountable.

Butler Bookshelf

With the holiday season incoming, this week’s Butler Bookshelf showcases books about food! The selection includes both fiction and nonfiction as well as books about families and communities of various types. In A Feast for Joseph, Joseph must adjust to his new lifestyle as he was used to eating with many people when he lived in a refugee camp in East Africa. Now, he is only accompanied by his mother and his neighbor. He must learn that a feast can still be enjoyed, even on a smaller scale. Check out this week’s titles for more food related readings, including inspirational, informational, and humorous selections!

Bake, Make, & Learn to Cook: Fun & Healthy Recipes for Young Cooks
Written by David Atherton and Illustrated by Rachel Stubbs
Published by Candlewick Press
Available December 7, 2021

A Feast for Joseph
Written by Terry Farish & OD Bonny and Illustrated by Ken Daley
Published by House of Anansi Press
Available now!

Feast Your Eyes on Food: An Encyclopedia of More than 1,000 Delicious Things to Eat
Written by Laura Gladwin and Illustrated by Zoë Barker
Published by Magic Cat Publishing
Available now!

The Cookie Maker of Mavin Road
Written by Sue Lawson and Illustrated by Liz Anelli
Published by Candlewick Press
Available December 7, 2021

Our Table
Written and Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Published by Orchard Books
Available now!

Interrupting Chicken: Cookies for Breakfast
Written and Illustrated by David Ezra Stein
Published by Candlewick Press
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

November is a busy month! It is Picture Book Month as well as Nonfiction November. In celebration of both of these, this week’s Butler Bookshelf features nonfiction picture books. These include the upcoming ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines by Dean Robbins with illustrations by Eric Velasquez. This books tells the true story of how the fusion of Jazz and Latin music created mambo, popularized by a multiracial band led by Machito. The music’s popularity despite continued segregation in dance halls at the time led Palladium Ballroom to open its doors to all, truly showing how music has the power to transcend boundaries. Check out more nonfiction picture book titles below!

¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines
Written by Dean Robbins and Illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Published by Candlewick Press
Available November 23, 2021

The Message: The Extraordinary Journey of an Ordinary Text Message
Written and Illustrated by Michael Emberley
Published by Atheneum
Available now!

Penguin Journey
Written by Angele Burke Kunkel and Illustrated by Catherine Odell
Published by Abrams Appleseed
Available now!

What’s in Your Pocket?: Collecting Nature’s Treasures
Written by Heather L. Montgomery and Illustrated by Maribel Lechuga
Published by Charlesbridge
Available now!

Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories
Written by Annette Bay Pimentel and Illustrated by Magaly Morales
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Where Do Creatures Sleep at Night?
Written by Steven J. Simmons and Illustrated by Ruth Harper
Published by Charlesbridge
Available now!

 

When Creativity Meets Office Supplies: A Review of Off-Limits

Off-Limits
by Helen Yoon
Candlewick
Available November 9, 2021
Ages 3-7

No “OFF-LIMITS” sign can stop a curious child from exploring the shadowy world of Daddy’s office and the excitement of discovering—oh joy!—office supplies. But what starts as an “I’m just looking” visit quickly escalates to an extravaganza of scotch tape and sticky notes. With delight that dances off the page, the child gets carried away with song, dance, and crafting galore until reality sets in—uh oh—and she sneaks back to her room only to discover that mischievousness and joyful abandon must run in the family. Yoon’s mixed media illustrations and color choices move deftly from the muted organization of Daddy’s office to the vibrant personality and exuberant creativity of a child lost in her imagination. Well-paced text and dramatic page turns add depth to this light and hilarious story, making it a brilliant choice for both storytimes and on-on-one reads. The child’s self-talk, both silly and insightful, follows her on the slippery slope from curiosity to joy to regret. And a last wordless page models forgiveness as parent and child sit down to a costumed tea party while wearing each other’s imaginative finery. Off-Limits is a love letter to office supplies and a celebration of indulging our curiosity and living in the moment.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Highlighting Hispanic/Latinx Titles for All Ages

Yesterday marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage month, which begins on September 15th, as it is the independence anniversary for several Latin American countries. This week, we highlight a variety of titles for all ages by Hispanic/Latinx writers that each, in turn, celebrate different parts of their cultural experience.

Picture Books

Mi Casa is My Home
Laurenne Sala, illustrated by Zara González Hoang
Candlewick Press
August 19, 2021

This bilingual book celebrates the family as Lucía shows the reader around, explaining her surroundings and introducing her various family members in Spanglish. The large and diverse family is depicted in soft watercolor and colored pencil art. Sala shows the cozy and welcoming aspects of the home of a Hispanic family, where extended family and neighbors are always welcome.

A Thousand White Butterflies
Jessica Betancourt-Perez & Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Gina Maldonado
Charlesbridge
January 19, 2021

Isabella has recently arrived in the US from Colombia with her mother and grandmother, having to leave her father behind. She is lonely and looking forward to her first day of school and making new friends. A storm and snow-day leave Isabella heartbroken, missing the warm climates and friends she left behind in Colombia. While looking out the window, she spots Katie playing in the snow. A playdate and new friend improve Isabella’s perspective on her new situation. Back matter includes authors’ notes which delve into the real-life inspiration for the story, general information about immigrants, and a glossary translating the Spanish terms used throughout the story.

Your Mama
NoNieqa Ramos, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Versify
April 6, 2021

Ramos celebrates mothers in this twist on the classic “yo’ mama” joke, with each phrase celebrating motherhood. Banners that resemble old school “mom” tattoos are used to start each lyrical phrase, with vibrant art mixing markers and pastels depicting a brown-skinned mother and daughter. Including Spanish in some of the text drives home both the author’s and illustrator’s stated commitments to promote inclusiveness and diversity in children’s literature.

Children’s Fiction

Fearless
Mandy Gonzalez
Simon & Schuster/Aladdin
April 6, 2021

Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez weaves her knowledge of theater into her debut novel. Twelve-year-old Monica Garcia arrives in New York City after being chosen as an understudy in a new show at a famed, but now struggling, theater. Rumors of a curse plague the building and strange and terrible things start to happen, threatening the chances of a successful opening night. Monica and her castmates must figure out how to reverse the curse, using a mixture of mystery solving and supernatural magic. This book, along with its just announced sequel, is sure to appeal to readers looking for drama or a fright.

Time Villains
Victor Piñeiro
Sourcebooks Young Readers
July 6, 2021

This debut novel from Piñeiro combines magic, imagination, and adventure in this first entry to a new series. Javi is working on a school assignment that involves “inviting historical figures to dinner” when he finds out that his family’s mysterious antique table can actually bring the historical guests into the present time. Unfortunately, one of his guests is Blackbeard, the infamous pirate, and he escapes the party, determined to summon the rest of his pirate crew. This leads Javi, his best friend, and his sister to work together to return Blackbeard to his own time, but they might have to invite other historical figures in order to do so. Back matter includes notes about all historical figures featured in the book.

Wild Survival #1: Crocodile Rescue
Melissa Cristina Márquez
Scholastic
February 2, 2021

Twelve-year-old Adrianna Villalobos travels the world with her family as her parents host Wild Survival!, a nature show featuring animal rescues. Adrianna is determined to prove that she deserves a spot-on camera as the show is poised to move from YouTube to a TV network. This is all put in jeopardy when her brother is injured in an accident that is partially Adrianna’s fault. To avoid being sent home, Adrianna must prove herself, even if it means confronting a legendary Mega Croc rumored to inhabit the waters around the family’s base camp. Back matter includes an author’s note where Márquez, a marine biologist and wildlife educator, recounts the real-life inspiration for the book, crocodile facts, and translations of Spanish terms used in the family’s dialogue.

Teen Fiction

Fire with Fire
Destiny Soria
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
June 8, 2021

Sisters Dani and Eden Rivera have been raised as dragon slayers. While they have different life priorities, they agree about the importance of their dragon slaying duty. That is, until Dani gets to know a dragon and realizes that what they were taught was wrong. Eden turns to mysterious magic to save her sister, believing her to be lost to the dragons. As the two dabble in new and dangerous magic, there is a more powerful enemy lurking in the shadows.

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
August 10, 2021

Moon is used to living in the shadow of her twin sister, a social media star. That is, until one fateful summer when she takes a job as the merch girl on a tour bus full of influencers. She starts off with nothing but hatred for her bunkmate, Santiago Phillips, but this feeling shifts as the two continue to cross paths, along with Moon’s acceptance of her role in relation to her sister. This romance focuses not only on the connection between its two primary characters, but also on Moon finding herself and her place in the universe.

On the Hook
Francisco X. Stork
Scholastic Press
May 18, 2021

Hector has always kept his head down, taking steps towards a better life. Then, he is forced into a violent confrontation when his brother gets into a fight with the head of the DiscÍpulos gang. The consequences are many, including being sent to a reform school where he must live side by side with his enemy Joey, who had already previously promised to kill him. Hector must ultimately choose between revenge and working his way back to the path towards the life he dreamed of.

Nonfiction

It’s All Love: Reflections for Your Heart & Soul
Jenna Ortega
Random House Children’s Books
January 5, 2021

This debut by actress Jenna Ortega focuses on uplifting quotes and affirmations. Ortega’s personal stories about growing up Latina in Hollywood, working through depression, and more are accompanied by relevant quotes framed by illustrations. The range of experiences and emotions described within the collection is sure to resonate with a large variety of readers.

Looking Towards Fall: A Review of The Leaf Thief

The Leaf Thief 
Alice Hemming 
Illustrated by Nicola Slater 
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 
August 3, 2021 
Ages 4-8 

Squirrel wakes up one day to find that some of the leaves on his tree are missing. He concludes that there is a Leaf Thief on the loose and accuses other animals of having stolen his leaves. Over time, more leaves disappear, and Squirrel continues to panic, prompting Bird to show him the true Leaf Thief. Bird explains that the wind is taking the leaves, that this happens every year in autumn, and that the leaves will grow back in the spring, finally putting Squirrel at ease. 

Hemming primarily uses dialogue to tell the story, with different fonts used for each character. The text is laid out differently on each page, with large text used to accentuate Squirrel’s rising panic. He reacts dramatically to the situation, turning to his friend Bird for guidance. Despite the humorous nature of the situation, Bird takes Squirrel seriously, aptly explaining why the leaves are disappearing. Slater’s illustrations depict rich and vivid environments through a mixture of two-page spreads, single page spreads, and pages split into panels that make the storyline more dynamic. The colors of the autumn leaves are a focal point, though even the pages that do not depict leaves are full of vibrant colors. Paint and graphite textures scanned over the digital art give it a unique feel. Back matter further explains the changes that autumn brings. The Leaf Thief is a humorous story that will leave young readers amused while also providing information about a change they see around them in a straightforward and fun way.