Hanukkah Picture Books

Looking for some great Hanukkah stories to share with your little ones?  Check out this list of our favorites!

Eight Wild Nights by Brian Cleary

Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf by Greg Wolfe

Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko

On Hanukkah by Cathy Goldberg Fishman

The Hanukkah Mice by Steven Kroll

The Best Hanukkah Ever by Barbara Diamond Goldin

Hanukkah Haiku by Harriet Ziefert

Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel

Hanukkah Moon by Deborah da Costa


Miss Marta


Christmas Reads for the Middle Grades

When my kiddos were little, we would always raid the library around the end of November, gathering all of our favorite Christmas picture books.  It was something we all looked forward too.  We would read each night just before bedtime in front of the Christmas tree.  It was magical for them and for me.

As they have grown older, moving onto chapter books and their own reading tastes, part of this tradition has backed off.  My middle schoolers and upper elementary kiddo no longer think hanging out with mom around the Christmas tree is cool *sigh*.  At least I can say, they still love a good holiday book!  Luckily, there are a lot of great Christmas middle grade reads.  It sometimes takes a little digging to find the right one for your reader, but there are more choices than you may realize.  Here are a few of our favorites!   Just stop by the children’s desk and we will be happy to find the right one for your reader!


When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke

On Christmas Eve by Ann M. Martin

Nancy and Plum by Betty MacDonald

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by Brett Helquist

The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

The Angel Tree by Daphne Benedis-Grab

WinterFrost by Michelle Houts

The Christmas Genie by Dan Gutman

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

Kringle by Tony Abbott

Young Scrooge: A Very Scary Christmas Story by R.L. Stine

Jingle by Dan Gutman

Top Elf by Caleb Zane Huett

Miss Marta

Picture Book Biographies

Picture book biographies.

Did you know such a thing existed?

Many people do not realize that these books do exist. They are wonderful way to introduce the lives of famous and/or important people to young people.

The first picture book biography I read was the Day-Glo Brothers. It is the story of two brothers and how Day-Glo colors were invented. I learned something new and was entertained by the drawings in the book.

We have a list of some of the picture book biographies we own. Just ask at the Children’s Desk and we will be glad to help you find one.

Miss Sarah

Ice Breaker Books for kids

One of my favorite kids’ books is NAKED! by Michael Ian Black.


Naked! is a fun & fast paced story kids really enjoy. I read it with lots of enthusiasm and by the third naked I’m usually not alone saying, “Naked!” The illustrations are wonderful. I find this a good book for breaking the ice with kids that you have just met.  Check below for some other great books for breaking the ice with kids!


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald

The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black

I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

Let’s Go For a Drive! by Mo Willems

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere

Max at Night by Ed Vere

That is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure by Refe and Susan Tuma


What is your favorite book for breaking the ice with new kids?

Miss Sarah


Earth Science Books

New YorkSubway Guide

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything by Theodore Gray

Rocks, Minerals, and Gems by John Farndon

How to Be a Scientist by Steve Mould

Rocks & Minerals by Nancy Honovich

Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook by Michael Geisen

The Elements Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of the Periodic Table by Tom Jackson

Miss Janna

New Space Books Have Landed!


Solar System: A Visual Exploration of the Planets, Moon, and Other Heavenly Bodies That Orbit Our Sun by Marcus Chown

Exploring Space by Martin Jenkins

Many Moons by Remi Courgeon

Go For Liftoff: How to Train Like an Astronaut by Dr. Dave Williams

Space Flights, Spacewalks, Astronaut in Training, and Living in Space by Kathryn Clay

Night Sky Watcher by Raman Prinja

Night Sky by Howard Schneider

Miss Janna

Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Pet

Earlier this month,  I wrote about helping children through grief.  In that post, I mentioned losing several friends, family and acquaintances within the last few years.

Well,  now I’m facing the imminent loss of my dog, Jake. He’s been a special dog – we rescued him from a shelter when he was about 4 years old.  Jake filled up our empty nest after our last child had gone off to college.  He’s been the best behaved and well trained dog we ever had, probably because someone else trained him!  Jake is a black labrador retriever, so if your’e at all familiar with that breed, just looking at their eyes is enough to melt your heart!  He’s been our faithful companion, walking partner,  chief snuggler, and friend.

My husband and I learned this week that he has bone cancer, and that it will most likely spread quickly.  He’s already slowing down, so we’re spending time with him and loving him as much as we can before we have to let him go.

If a child in your life is dealing with the loss of a pet, here are some books that may help them understand and cope with their emotions.

Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas

The Blue House Dog by Deborah Blumenthal

Tulip and Lupin Forever by Mireille Levert

Adios a Goldie by Fran Manushkin

Kate the Ghost Dog: Coping with the Death of a Pet by Wayne Wilson

My Old Pal Oscar by Amy Hest

Good-bye Fish by Judith Koppens

Life and I: A Story About Death by  Elizabeth Helland Larsen

Miss Teresa