August 28, 2016


School’s First Day of School

Written by Adam Rex & Illustrated by Christian Robinson (2016)

This is our featured read aloud for the first library class of the year.  It is also on our HMS Mock Caldecott list, which means we’re wondering if it will get a medal in January for best picture book.

Goodreads summary: It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?

The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.



By Barbara O’Connor (2016)

We just LOVE author Barbara O’Connor at HMS.  In fact, she was our visiting fourth grade author for over a decade in Barrington!  All of her books are an incredible fit for our HMS age group.  Her new book, Wish, comes out on Tuesday, August 30th.  Come by the book launch party from 4-6pm at Barrington Books that day to join in the fun!

Goodreads summary: Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets
Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.


Dog Man

By Dav Pilkey (2016)

Dog Man also comes out on Tuesday, August 30th.  It is a graphic novel which is a format that is very popular with the readers at HMS.  I’ve heard from many friends who have gotten a chance to preview this book that say it is incredibly funny.  I know many readers who love books that make them laugh.  This one’s for them!

Goodreads summary: New from the creator of Captain Underpants, it’s Dog Man, the crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!

George and Harold have created a new hero who digs into deception, claws after crooks, and rolls over robbers. When Greg the police dog and his cop companion are injured on the job, a life-saving surgery changes the course of history, and Dog Man is born. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But can he resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?

For the Dog Man book trailer, click here.


Grover Cleveland, Again!: A Treasury of American Presidents 

Written by Ken Burns & Illustrated by Gerald Kelley (2016)

With the election coming in November, it’s fun to learn about the U.S. Presidents.  I have a nephew who I swear could be museum docent he knows so much about them! I am sure we can all think of someone who would enjoy this book.

Goodreads summary: A gorgeous collection of American presidents filled with fun facts and sparkling with personality, from nonfiction master Ken Burns.

This special treasury from America’s beloved documentarian Ken Burns brings the presidents to life for our nation’s children. Each president is given a lushly illustrated spread with curated stories and information to give readers of all ages a comprehensive view of the varied and fascinating characters who have led our nation (with the exception of Grover Cleveland–the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms–who gets two spreads!). A must-have for Ken’s many fans, classrooms, and anyone who wishes to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for our country.


The One and Only Ivan

by Katherine Applegate (2012)

Sometimes I get so excited about new books that I forget about the incredible titles that should not be sitting idly on the library shelves.  There are so many books that should be in the hands of readers!  I want to be sure to point these out too.  The One and Only Ivan won the Newbery in 2013.  It would make a terrific read aloud!

Goodreads summary: Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

For The One and Only Ivan book trailer, click here.

Nonfiction Companion Text:

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

Written by Katherine Applegate & Illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2014)


Featured Author/Illustrator of the Week


Sophie Blackall

Sophie Blackall, illustrator of close to two dozen children’s books, will be at the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books and Authors at Lincoln School in Providence on Saturday, October 15th. She will be speaking about her craft and signing books.  We will be raffling off free admission tickets the week before the event. Click on her name to learn more about her.