2016 HCPL Children's Staff Picks

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With 2016 drawing to a close, we asked our children's library staff to share their favorite books of the year. The response we got was phenomenal. Our library staff love to read nearly as much as they love helping families find the perfect book!

Sharing is also a favorite activity of ours, so here is every single title that made us do the happy dance this year, starting with the books that received multiple recommendations:

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Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
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Recommended by:
Chris, Mobile Library Service
Courtney, North Park Library

Picture Book. A family car trip takes a turn for the interesting in this gorgeous picture book. Perfect for every child who has asked "Are we there yet?" (Preschool-Grade 3)

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Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
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Recommended by:
Courtney, North Park Library
Stacey, Twin Hickory Library

Graphic Novel. Cat and her family move to the Northern California coast because the air will help her little sister who has cystic fibrosis. 

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I am a Story by Dan Yaccarino
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Recommended by:
Carolyn, Tuckahoe Library
Kathy, Varina Library

Picture Book. A story tells its own story, celebrating the power of storytelling. (Preschool-Grade 3)

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Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith
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Recommended by:
Barbara, North Park Library
Bunny, Twin Hickory Library

Picture Book. Retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" set in Africa, with the wolf becoming a lion. (Preschool-K)

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Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell (Illus. by Rafael L√≥pez)
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Recommended by:
Trisha, Twin Hickory Library
Kathy, Varina Library

Picture Book. A young girl shares her art with neighbors, bringing brightness and color to her previously dreary neighborhood. (Preschool-Grade 2)

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Nanette's Baguette by Mo Willems
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Recommended by:
Meghan, Libbie Mill Library
Leslie, Sandston Library

Picture Book. Mother is letting Nanette get the baguette from the bakery today. Will she succeed? (Preschool-Grade 2)

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Pax by Sara Pennypacker (Illus. by Jon Klassen)
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Recommended by:
Pam, Collection Management Librarian
Bunny, Twin Hickory Library
Kathy, Varina Library

Middle Grade Fiction. As war looms, a boy and his pet fox struggle to become reunited after they are forced apart. (Grades 4-6)

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Real Cowboys by Kate Hoefler (Illus. by Jonathan Bean)
Find this book at your library

Recommended by:
Katy & Kelly, Fairfield Library

Picture Book. A reflective look at the day-to-day life of real cowboys, coupled with stunning pictures that capture the beauty of life on the range. (Preschool-Grade 3)

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Stowaway in a Sleigh by C. Roger Mader
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Recommended by:
Linda, Gayton Library
Bunny, Twin Hickory Library

Picture Book. Slippers the curious cat crawls into a visitor's bag and ends up taking a magical sleigh ride! (Preschool-Grade 2)

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They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
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Recommended by:
Courtney, North Park Library
Kathleen, Gayton Library

Picture Books. Different observers all see a cat in different ways in this artistic celebration of the variety of perception. (Preschool-Grade 2)

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Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie (Illus. by Yuyi Morales)
Find this book at your library

Recommended by:
Chris, Mobile Library Service
Courtney, North Park Library
Bunny, Twin Hickory Library

Picture Book. Named after his father, Thunder Boy Jr. longs for his own name. (Preschool-Grade 3)

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The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Find this book at your library

Recommended by:
Pam, Collection Management Librarian
Bunny & Gay Lynn, Twin Hickory Library
Rick, Youth Services Coordinator

Middle Grade Fiction. A robot washes up on a forested island after a storm at sea and is accidentally powered up by otters. (Grades 4-6)

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Find this book at your library

Recommended by:
Erin, Varina Library
Laurie, Tuckahoe Library

Middle Grade Fiction. Set in rural Pennsylvania during World War II, a young girl's world is turned upside down when a bully moves to town. (Grades 4-7)

Additional staff picks, by library:

Administrative Offices

Pam, Collection Management Librarian

Picks: Flying Frogs and Walking Fish by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page / A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards (Illus. by G. Brian Karas)

Rick, Youth Services Coordinator

Picks: Animals By the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics by Steve Jenkins / Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli / Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill (Illus. by Francis Vallejo)

Fairfield Library

Diane

Picks: Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin (Ills. by Rob Dunlavey)

Kelly

Picks: What's for Lunch by Sarah L. Thomson (Ills. by Nila Aye) / I am Martin Luther King Jr. by Brad Meltzer (Ills. by Christopher Elipoulos) / I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy (Ills. by Elizabeth Baddeley)

Gayton Library

Linda

Picks: Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole / Sam and Jump by Jennifer K. Mann

Kathleen

Picks: Rules of the House by Mac Barnett (Ills. by Matt Myers) / Hare and Tortoise Alison Murray / Miles of Smiles by Karen Orloff (Ills. by Luciano Lozano)

Glen Allen Library

Robb

Picks: Dog Man by Dav Pilkey / The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat and Mo Willems / The Cow Said Meow by John Himmelman / The Bear Who Wasn't There by LeUyen Pham

Libbie Mill Library

Awnali

Picks: A Blind Guide to Normal by Beth Vrabel / The Water Princess by Susan Verde (Ills. by Peter H. Reynolds)

Jet

Picks: Ida Always by Caron Levis (Ills. by Charles Santoso) / Come Home Angus by Patrick Downes (Ills. by Boris Kulikov) / Big Bear, Small Mouse by Karma Wilson (Ills. by Jane Chapman) / We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen  

Tracey

Picks: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo / Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre

Barbara

Picks: The Lines on Nana's Face by Simona Ciraolo

Mobile Library Services

Chris

Picks: Be a Friend by Salina Yoon

North Park

Robert

Picks: The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing

Courtney

Picks: This is Our Baby, Born Today by Varsha Bajaj (Ills. by Eliza Wheeler) / When Green Becomes Tomatoes Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano (Ills. by Julie Morstad) / A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

Barbara

Picks: Wonderfall by Michael Hall

Tuckahoe

Aimee

Picks: Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke

Amy

Picks: The Moon's Almost Here by Patricia MacLachlan (Ills. by Tomie dePalola)

Cammy

Picks: Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects by Jack Challoner

Laurie

Picks: Penguin Problems by Jory John (Ills. by Lane Smith) / Threads by Ami Polonsky

Sue

Picks: Waylon by Sara Pennypacker (Ills. by Marla Frazee) / Soar by Joan Bauer / Make Way for Readers by Judy Sierra (Ills. by G. Brian Karas) / Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey by Margriet Ruurs (Ills. by Nizar Badr)

Mary

Picks: Bunjitsu Bunny Jumps to the Moon by John Himmelman / The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau (Ills. by Matt Myers)

Carolyn

Picks: Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan

Twin Hickory

Bunny

Picks: Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt & Alison McGhee / Wolf's Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn / Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties by Tom Watson / Very Fluffy Kitty Papillon by A. N. Kang / How to Find a Fox by Nilah Magruder / The Mouse and the Moon by Gabriel Alborozo

Kathi

Picks: A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of the Snowy Day by Andrea Pinkney (Ills. by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher)

Gay Lynn

Picks: The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones by Wendelin Van Draanen / The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Varina

Kathy

Picks: Some Writer! : The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet / Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell