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Stanislaus County Library
SCL: Kids Picks


Chloe and the Lion, written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex. XE Bar

Mac, the author, fires Adam, the illustrator, over their artistic differences about Chloe, the main character of their book, until Mac realizes both of their talents are needed and they must work together or their story about Chloe will never be finished.

Sophie’s Fish, written by A. E. Cannon, illustrated by Lee White. XE Can

Jake starts to worry about everything that could go wrong when he agrees to take care of his friend Sophie's fish for the weekend.

Just Ducks, written by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino. XE Dav

A young girl shares her observations about the mallards near her house in an engaging, informative story sure to make a splash with duck lovers.

Surfer Chick, written by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Henry Cole. XE Dem

Through lyrical text and colorful illustrations, Dempsey and Cole tell the story of a little chick and her dad who take to the beach where he teaches her how to surf.

The Obstinate Pen, by Frank W. Dormer. XE Dor

The story of a pen that has a mind of its own. Who knows what to do with a pen that has a free will? Young Horace has an idea.

In the Sea, written by David Elliott, illustrated by Holly Meade. XE Ell

In this companion volume to "On the Farm" and "In the Wild, New York Times"-bestselling author Elliott and Caldecott Honor artist Meade explore the depths of the ocean in a collection of poems sure to thrill budding oceanographers and landlubbers alike.

Two Little Monkeys, by Mem Fox. XE Fox

From two bestselling picture book giants comes a delightfully rhyming story about two clever monkeys who outwit a hungry leopard who's on the prowl for a tasty lunch..

Hannah's Way, by Linda Glaser. XE Gla

After Papa loses his job during the Depression, Hannahs family moves to rural Minnesota, where she is the only Jewish child in her class. When her teacher tries to arrange carpools for a Saturday class picnic, Hannah is upset. Her Jewish family is observant, and she knows she cannot ride on the Sabbath. What will she do? A lovely story of friendship and community.

Magritte’s Marvelous Hat, by D. B. Johnson. XE Joh

Masterful artist Johnson captures the famous surrealist painter Rene Magritte by telling the story of his mischievous hat! In this playful and innovative romp, readers can alter the artwork with four transparent pages, adding to the surrealism and whimsy of the experience.

Library Mouse: a Museum Adventure, by Daniel Kirk. XE Kir

This third installment starring Sam the library mouse explores how to research a subject and how to overcome one's fears.

House Held Up By Trees, by Ted Kooser. XE Koo

"Not far from here, I have seen a house help up by the hands of trees. This is its story."

The Family Tree, by David McPhail. XE McP

In the 1800s, a man clearing land in a beautiful forest to build a home leaves one special tree, but many years later the tree is in trouble, and the man's great-great grandson enlists a host of animal friends to try to save it.

The Cat and the Fiddle: a Treasury of Nursery Rhymes, by Jackie Morris. XE Mor

Included are familiar favorites such as: Hickory Dickory Dock, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Lavender's Blue, Ride a Cock Horse, Pop Goes the Weasel, To market, To market.

Green, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. XE See

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text explore the many shades of the color green.

Big Boy Now, by Eileen Spinelli. XE Spi

When a young rabbit takes the training wheels off his bike, he learns something surprising about his dad.

Demolition, by Sally Sutton. XE Sut

This picture book follows the demolition of a building as well as the construction of something entirely different in its place.

Migrant, by Maxine Trottier. XE Trottier

Anna is the child of Mennonites from Mexico, who have come north to harvest fruit and vegetables. Sometimes she feels like a bird, flying north in the spring and south in the fall, sometimes like a jackrabbit in an abandoned burrow, since her family occupies an empty farmhouse near the fields, sometimes like a kitten, as she shares a bed with her sisters . . . But above all Anna wonders what it would be like to be a tree rooted deeply in the earth, watching the seasons come and go, instead of being like a "feather in the wind."



Crazy Case of Missing Thunder, by Tony Abbott. X Abbott

Longtime friends and fellow sleuths Jeff Bunter, Brian Rooney, Mara Lubin, and Kelly Smitts, collectively known as the Goofballs, investigate the disappearance of Thunder the pony in their town of Badger Point.

Goblin Secrets, by William Alexander. X Alexander

Hoping to find his lost brother, Rownie escapes the home of the witch Graba and joins a troupe of goblins who perform in Zombay, a city where humans are forbidden to wear masks and act in plays.

Anna Hibiscus, by Atinuke. X Atinuke

Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. She lives with her whole family in a wonderful house. There is always somebody to laugh or play with. She loves to splash in the sea with her cousins and have parties with her aunties. But more than anything else in the world, Anna Hibiscus would love to see snow.

Little Dog, Lost, by Marion Dane Bauer. X Bauer

A boy, a dog, and an old man are lonely before the boy plans a rally, the dog looks for a boy, and all the townspeople run to the old man's aid when lightning strikes his home and something miraculous happens.

Bad Kitty for President, by Nick Bruel. X Bruel

The votes are in--it's a Bad Kitty landslide! It's time to elect a new president of the Neighborhood Cat Coalition! Who will win the election? The candidate chosen by the kitties on the right side of the street or the candidate chosen by the kitties on the left side of the street?

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe, by Lutricia Clifton. X Clifton

Eleven-year-old Frankie Joe Huckaby, forced to live with the father he never knew, a stepmother, and four stepbrothers in Illinois, starts a delivery service to finance his escape back to his mother in Texas, not realizing he is making a better life for himself than he ever had with her.

Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms, by Lissa Evans. X Evans

As if being small and having S. Horten as his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends. But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart's swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony--a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth--and Tony's marvelous, long-lost workshop.

Remarkable, by Lizzie K. Foley. X Foley

Ten-year-old Jane Doe, the only student average enough to be excluded from the town of Remarkable's School for the Remarkably Gifted, is joined by the trouble-making Grimlet twins, who lead her on a series of adventures involving an out-of-control science fair project and a pirate captain on the run from a mutinous crew.

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen, by Donna Gephart. X Gephart

Olivia Bean knows trivia. She watches "Jeopardy!" every night. If she were better at geography, she would try out for the show's kids' week. Not only could she win money, she'd get to go to the taping in California, where her dad, who left two years ago and who Olivia misses like crazy, lives with his new family

The Other Felix, by Keir Graff.  X Graff

Worrying about his father losing his job and the bully at school, fourth-grader Felix has terrifying dreams of the same monster-filled place every night until he meets someone there who looks and sounds strangely familiar.

Tua and the Elephant, by R. P. Haris. X Harris

In Chiang Mai, Thailand, nine-year-old Tua releases an abused elephant from its chains. Can she complete the rescue by getting it to an elephant refuge without being caught herself?

Letters to Leo, by Amy Hest. X Hest

Annie Rossi never, ever thought her father would let her have a dog. But now that he's finally given in, she's found the perfect ear for the stories of her day. Genuine and funny, Hest's first-person narration revisits a winning young character as she takes on a new year - and a new dog - with humor, honesty, and resiliency.

Warriors of the Black Shroud, by Peter Howe. X Howe

A shy, bookish boy is pulled into an underground land called Nebula and asked to lead a kingdom in its fight against darkness.

The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr., AKA Houdini, by Peter Johnson. X Johnson

Thirteen-year-old John "Houdini" Smith tries to write a book about what is happening in his life, from his parents' worries about money and his brother in Iraq, to his new understandings of people while he and his friends rake lawns in their East Side Providence, Rhode Island neighborhood.

Case of the Deadly Desperados, by Caroline Lawrence. X Lawrence

In 1862 Nevada Territory, after finding his foster parents murdered and scalped, 12-year-old Pinky Pinkerton, son of a railroad detective and a Sioux Indian, inherits a valuable deed and must hide from dangerous Whittlin Walt and his gang of desperados.

Oddfellow's Orphange, by Emily Winfield Martin. X Martin

Although mute, Delia quickly becomes part of the "family" at a most unusual orphanage, where classes include Fairy Tale Studies, a field trip may result in a monster sighting, and classmates include a hedgehog and a boy whose head is an onion.

I Don't Believe It, Archie!, by Andrew Norriss. X Norriss

Odd things happen to Archie every day. Some very odd things. But as he soon discovers, if odd things have to happen to him, it's a lot better if they happen when his new friend Cyd's around. Join Archie and Cyd for a whole week's worth of completely surprising and outrageously funny escapades.

Serpent's Shadow, by Rick Riordan. X Riordan

He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with having to destroy him once and for all.



Jonah's Whale, by Eileen Spinelli. X 224.92 Spi

A contented whale one day sees a ship tossed on the waves by a storm and obeys God's command to save a drowning man by swallowing him.

Eiffel Tower, by Bryan Pezzi. X 725.97 Pez

Take a tour of some of the worlds most famous structures without leaving your seat. The Virtual Field Trip series showcases some of the worlds best-known structures, exploring their history, the people responsible for their creation, and the science behind their construction.

Those Rebels John and Tom, by Barbara Kerley. X 973.4 Ker

A brilliant portrait of two American heroes from the award-winning creators of "The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)." John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very different. But these two gentlemen did have two things in common: They both cared deeply about the American colonies, and neither cared much for the British tyrant, King George.

Irena's Jars of Secrets, by Marcia Vaughan. X 940.53 Vau

The story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker who helped rescue nearly 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.

Charles Dickens: Scenes From an Extraordinary Life, by Mick Manning and Brita Grantrom. XB Dickens, C.

Published to celebrate the bi-centenary of Dickens' birth, this beautifully and entertainingly illustrated 48 page picture book vividly dramatizes his life, beginning with his birth in Portsmouth and early childhood near the docks in Chatham, and follows the young Charles through the hardship of working in a blacking factory at the age of 10 to his years at school and his early career as a reporter. Key incidents that inspired the later novels are described, and his marriage, family life, dramatic readings and tours of the USA are included.
What emerges is touching portrait of a writer with amazing observational skills, a social conscience and a strong sense of drama.
Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom specialise in fun, lively non-fiction picture books. They share the illustrations between them and mix up words and pictures in inventive and delightful ways.


The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Fishy Business, by Maxwell Eaton III. X 740 Eat

Beavers Bub and Ace battle the Fish Stix corporation in an attempt to save their island's trees.

Zeke Meeks vs the Putrid Puppet Pals, by D.L. Green. X 740 Green, D.

Instead of playing at recess, Zeke Meeks' classmates have been sitting around, staring at their boring Puppet Pals. Will Zeke join them, even though he has no interest in this playground craze?

The Shark King, by R. Kikuo Johnson. X 740 Joh

"The Shark King" retells the Hawaiian story of Nanaue, born of a human mother and shark father, who struggles to find his place in a village of humans.

Dragon Boogie, by Erick Craddock. X 740 Sto

When a storm cuts off the electricity, Stone Rabbit, Henri, and Andy start playing a board game using strange dice that Henri "found," and soon they are trapped in the game and must defeat an evil Dark Lord in order to get home.


I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus, by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Mackie Urbanovic. X 811.54 Pre

A collection of more than one hundred children's poems by Jack Prelutksy, accompanied by black-and-white illustrations.

What to read next?



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Revised: May 31, 2012

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