I Can Read

Young Cora is queen-in-training and her parents are diligent. Dull academic exercises followed by dull physical exercises and three baths a day leave Cora fervently wishing for a dog and a day off (to roam and ponder). Her fairy godmother grants her a crocodile instead. When the princess and the crocodile swap places, the crocodile behaves wholly inappropriately and the princess learns wisdom (and how to assert herself) in this sly, well-written, amusing, and very inviting early chapter book. Grades 1–3. - Ga

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Princess Cora and the Crocodile Cover Image
By Laura Amy Schlitz, Brian Floca (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763648220
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 28th, 2017

Sometimes we need something sweet and earnest. I highly recommend the gentle mischief and hijinks of two young brothers, Charlie and Mouse, in this charming early chapter book. With the irrepressible logic of childhood, they draw out the neighborhood for an unplanned block party and evade bedtime with their semi-clever wiles. And for a read-aloud for visiting grandparents, the sequel Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy pokes gentle fun at intergenerational friendship. Ages 6–8. - Tera

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Charlie & Mouse Cover Image
By Laurel Snyder, Emily Hughes (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781452131535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - April 11th, 2017

The Caldecott Honor Book Interrupting Chicken perfectly captures the lively imagination of a toddler while hearing stories at bedtime. Interrupting his father’s best efforts to read books, Little Red Chicken dramatically inserts himself into the stories until he himself is interrupted in a most unusual way. The back and forth between father and son will be a familiar and endearing scene for any father with young children.  -Casey

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Interrupting Chicken Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763641689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - August 10th, 2010

“My name is Alvin Ho. I was born scared and am still scared.” In this series of hilarious chapter books, Asian-American second grader Alvin Ho is a boy who’s afraid of everything—including girls, school, camping, science projects, and birthday parties (“They are scary and unpredictable and way too many things could go wrong.”). His many fears dissipate when he’s at home, though, where he likes to be loud and take on a superhero persona. School Library Journal says, “Whether they are fearful or brave, kids will smile at Alvin's scrapes and empathize with his concerns.” These books are just right for beginning and reluctant readers.  --S.B.

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Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things Cover Image
By Lenore Look, LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9780375849305
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yearling Books - May 12th, 2009

Sheila Rae is not afraid of anything. She walks backwards with her eyes closed, steps on every crack, growls at stray dogs, and bares her teeth at stray cats. But when Sheila Rae becomes lost on the way home from school, it is her "scaredy cat" sister, Louise, who shows her a thing or two about bravery and sibling love. Kevin Henkes’ picture books are favorites at our house. His characters’ strength and sweetness really resonate with my kids, who also adore his detailed illustrations.  --S.B.

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Sheila Rae, the Brave Cover Image
By Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9780688147389
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - April 25th, 1996

Maggie has been cautioned not to fall for the first horse she sees. Bramble (a horse) is fed up with giving riding lessons and bored with walking very slowly in a circle. She needs a change of pace. Maggie sees the “Horse for Free” sign while out driving with her mom and dad and, even though Bramble “has her little ways,” Maggie does fall in love. Maggie and Bramble take challenges in stride as they grow to understand each other a bit more each day. Lively watercolor illustrations accompany each short chapter in this inviting easy-reader series. Grades K–2.  --Michelle

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Bramble and Maggie: Horse Meets Girl (Candlewick Sparks) Cover Image
By Jessie Haas, Alison Friend (Illustrator)
$3.99
ISBN: 9780763662516
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - April 9th, 2013

I have previously recommended Bunnicula, the first book in James Howe’s series, but these just books are just so perfect for Halloween that I can’t help but recommend another. In Howliday Inn, Harold the dog and Chester the cat are off to the kennels when their family goes on vacation, and Chester become suspicious about their temporary home. A bit spooky and a lot funny, I absolutely adore these books! Ages 8+

--Flannery

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Howliday Inn (Bunnicula) Cover Image
By James Howe, Lynn Munsinger (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781416928157
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - August 1st, 2006

"With very few words and bright, double-page watercolor illustrations on extra-thick paper, this beautiful counting book about subtraction is also a dramatic nature story about how plants grow and spread their seeds…. As always, Brown’s warm, realistic close-up pictures will pull children right in. Kids will almost feel the gritty soil, the squishy slug, the furry cat, the astonishing flower." —Booklist. Ages 2–5.

Ten Seeds Cover Image
By Ruth Brown, Ruth Brown (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9781849392518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Andersen Press - December 1st, 2010

Pint-sized luchador Niño, clad in a bright red mask and tighty whities, bests foes from Mexican folklore. Ultimately, he’s done in by his tiniest (and real) competitors: las hermanitas. Morales packs a mighty punch with her high-energy text (sprinkled with Spanish words and sound effects) and her vivid digital collage illustrations. —Horn Book Fanfare.
Preschool.

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Nino Wrestles the World Cover Image
By Yuyi Morales, Yuyi Morales (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9781250062703
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - August 25th, 2015

This is a powerhouse of a picture book not unlike Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. There are inexplicable, eponymous Rules of Summer, dictated by an older brother to his younger sibling. The rules are simple, straightforward, and, as in familiar sibling territory, arbitrary. The art is magnificent. Thickly textured paint creates haunting, luminous landscapes that the younger brother must navigate until the older boy suddenly, impulsively, forgives all (all what?) and forgets his dictatorial edicts. In the final scenes, he lovingly rescues and befriends his brother. Here, the colors of joy in the double-page spread are palpable. Shaun Tan, author of The Arrival—my favorite wordless book and a Hugo Award winner—is superb again.
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Rules of Summer Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780545639125
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - April 29th, 2014

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