Staff Picks for Children
In partnership with
Recommended by Melinda at the Kendale Lakes Branch
Duncan the Story Dragon
By Amanda Driscoll
Duncan the dragon loves to read stories, but when he gets excited by a book, his fiery breath sets the book aflame! Duncan can never get to the end of a book, so he decides to find a friend who can read a book to him. All the other animals think Duncan is scary, except for a little mouse who loves books and reading just as much as Duncan does. The little mouse and Duncan read together without any fiery mishaps and reach the end of the story, and find themselves at the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
Bright and cheerful illustrations enliven this sweet story about making friends and enjoying books together. Readers will root for Duncan as he tries to find a friend and admire his determination to finish a book. Dynamic use of page space in the illustrations is sure to keep readers’ attention. The end pages are worth notice and show just what happens when Duncan loves a book.Check Availability
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog
By Lisa Papp
Madeline Finn does not like to read but cannot avoid it in school, and whenever she reads aloud her classmates giggle at her mistakes. One Saturday, Madeline Finn goes to the library and is invited to participate in a special program, Paws to Read, where children read to dogs. When Madeline Finn reads to Bonnie the dog, she finds a patient listener who doesn’t laugh at errors. After a few weeks, Madeline Finn comes to love reading to Bonnie, but right before her big class read, Bonnie doesn’t come to the library. How can Madeline Finn read to her class without her new friend’s silent support, and where did Bonnie go?
Lisa Papp’s watercolor and pencil illustrations are soft yet expressive. Madeline Finn’s frustration at reading is relatable and any child would love to read to the gentle Bonnie. After reading the book, children may enjoy a visit to one of the Miami‑Dade Public Library System’s locations that host a Paws to Read program.Check Availability
Bunny’s Book Club
By Annie Silvestro; illustrated by Tatjana Mai‑Wyss
Bunny fell in love with books when he heard the lady wearing red glasses reading aloud to children outside the library. As he listened to the stories he imagined climbing mountains, sailing a ship and ruling a kingdom, but when summer ended story time moved back inside. Bunny missed the read aloud program, so one night he slipped through the library book drop and discovered more books than he could ever imagine! Soon Bunny’s friends wanted books of their own, so all the animals snuck into the library at night, until the librarian caught them. The ingenious solution to the book‑loving animals’ dilemma will be sure to inspire readers to demand a library card of their own.
Debut picture book author Annie Silvestro perfectly captures the excitement of finding a great book to read, and the happiness of attending a book club full of friends. The illustrations by Tatjana Mai‑Wyss are simply charming and full of warmth, perfect for a cozy read aloud. The endpapers include an old‑fashioned checkout slip with the signatures of Bunny and his forest friends.Check Availability
The Story Book Knight
By Helen Docherty; illustrated by Thomas Docherty
Leo is a knight who prefers reading to fighting. So, on his first big adventure, he packs a stack of books as well as his wooden sword and shield. During his quest Leo discovers that even the most ferocious of beasts—including griffons, trolls and dragons—love books, particularly if they are about themselves. By sharing their love of a good story, beasts and townspeople alike discover something in common and learn to live in harmony.
Thomas Docherty’s acrylic ink and watercolor illustrations are a perfect match for the fairy tale nature of the story. Humorous details and lively characterizations of Leo and his beastly pals add to the charm of the story. The final scene of Leo and the beasts reading under the trees will make anyone want to go outdoors and read a good book with friends.Check Availability
A Big Surprise for Little Card
By Charise Mericle Harper; illustrated by Anna Raff
Little Card lives in a building with many other cards and everyone has a job to do, except Little Card and his friend Long Card. When Little Card and Long Card finally get their job assignments, there is a mix‑up, and each receives the other’s duty. Little Card ends up at Birthday Card school and learns how to be the life of the party. But before he can start his new job, Little Card finds out that he is actually a library card and his party training just won’t do. A glum Little Card finds the library much too quiet, until a young girl shows him how magical a library can be in the right hands.
Anna Raff’s pen and ink illustrations bring color and life to the story. Little Card shows readers how much joy a trip to the library can bring and that—unlike birthdays—library days can happen more than once a year.Check Availability