Books by Theme

Prized Books for the New Year

Each year at the annual meeting of the American Library Association, the best known children's book awards are announced. Each highlights books that will continue to resonate with young readers long after the celebrations end.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Story, A Story

By: Gail Haley
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

How did the world come to have stories? It's all because Ananse the Spider Man was able to perform three amazing feats — and send stories from Nyame throughout the world of people. Strong woodcuts illustrate this traditional tale which explains how stories came to earth.

Action Jackson

By: Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jordan
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The artist Jackson Pollack’s style and energy in his piece Number 1 1950 earned him the nickname Action Jackson. Fascinating details emerge as the art, environment, and inspiration of Jackson Pollack are presented in a carefully crafted, well-told, and vivaciously illustrated picture book biography.  


By: Arnold Lobel
Illustrated by: Arnold Lobel
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Fables are short tales of animals with an explicit (though gentle) moral. Lobel has written original fables which are sure to delight young readers. Each tale is accompanied by a large illustration to create humor, character, place, and pleasure.

Ginger Pye

By: Eleanor Estes
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Visit the town of Cranbury, nestled between Boston and New York, where the very talented Pye family lives. The Pyes have recently acquired an intellectual dog named Ginger Pye — that is until someone steals this captivating hound!

Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale & Counting Book

By: Yuyi Morales
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

What's an old woman to do when a skeleton comes to visit? Keep him waiting, of course, while busy doing things from 1 to 10, culminating in a festive birthday celebration. Lively language and illustrations make this original tale memorable.


By: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Eleven year old Marty must decide whether or not to return an abused beagle to its rightful owner, an unkind man. His dilemma includes hiding the dog, Shiloh, telling his parents the truth, and more in this riveting, award-winning novel which is ideal to read aloud with slightly sophisticated listeners. It was adapted into a live action film in 2000.

Song and Dance Man

By: Karen Ackerman, Steven Gammell
Illustrated by: Steven Gammell
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Grandpa regales his visiting grandchildren when he revisits his days as a song and dance man — complete with banjo and jokes. Illustrations sparkle, showing Grandpa once again young and the delight his revisited youth creates.

The Bossy Gallito: A Traditional Cuban Folktale

By: Lucía González
Illustrated by: Lulu Delacre
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Travel with Bossy Rooster to his uncle's wedding. Of course the road is not entirely smooth in this cumulative, handsomely illustrated tale from Cuba — and that's when the fun begins!

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

By: Paul Goble
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The girl who tended horses loved them so much that she joined them, literally! The carefully crafted, handsomely rendered illustrations echo the Native tradition studied by the reteller/illustrator.

The Patchwork Quilt

By: Valerie Flournoy
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When Tanya's much loved grandmother becomes ill, Tanya inspires the entire family to help her finish the quilt — and the family history it reveals. This warm story is lovingly told with sensitive, beautiful watercolor illustrations.


By: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Join a boy as he takes you uptown to introduce his Harlem home, filled with excitement, sounds, and verve. Illustrations use watercolor and collage to present a vibrant, music-filled place sure to please.

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"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney