In the Stacks: Picture books for children

Posted: Friday, July 22, 2005

Make your day a little sunnier - read to a child. Here are a few titles to whet your appetite for picture books at the Juneau Public Libraries.

"Super Grandpa," by David M. Schwartz, illustrated by Bert Dodson. This is based on a true story of a 61-year-old man who loved to bicycle so much that he rode 600 miles just to get to the starting line of a 1,000 mile race. Gustaf wanted to enter the Tour of Sweden, but was told he was too old. But Gustaf was stubborn and raced anyway, getting himself to the starting line, making himself a number to wear and sleeping on park benches. He eventually won the race, upsetting the judges but delighting himself and his many fans (including the king). This book includes an audio CD with the story and a Swedish waltz.

"The Thanksgiving Door," written and illustrated by Debby Atwell. Thanksgiving dinner is burned, and Ed and Ann take a walk to see if the new restaurant down the block is open. When they go on in, they find that the restaurant isn't really open - the family who owns it is having a Thanksgiving party. Will they send Ann and Ed home? Why, yes, but only after filling them up with good food, letting Ann hold the baby, and teaching Ed how to dance.

"Brave, Brave Mouse," by Michaela Morgan and Michelle Cartlidge. Little mouse is not brave - he's scared of all kinds of things. But with his parent's help and encouragement, he begins to feel brave. Brave enough to stay with the babysitter when his parents are out. Brave enough to dip his foot in the swimming pool. But is he brave enough to play on the high swings, shiny slides and the wobbly bridge at the playground? Yes and no!

"Julio's Magic," by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Ann Grifalconi. Julio has learned to carve all kinds of fantastic things from his friend Iluminado, a master carver. He's even ready to enter the big contest this year - everyone thinks he could win first place. His only competition is his master, and Iluminado isn't going to enter. But Iluminado changes his mind and enters the contest because he needs the prize money. Who will win the contest? Strikingly illustrated, this is a wonderful book.

"April Foolishness," by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott. It's the first of April, and everyone knows what that means, especially grandpa. So when his grandkids tell him the goats, sheep, cows and chickens are running around loose on the farm, he calmly continues fixing breakfast. But when grandma comes in to investigate all the noise in the kitchen, grandpa gets a surprise - and Grandma gets the first piece of toast in this charming rhyming story.

"Traction Man is Here!" written and illustrated by Mini Grey. This treasure had many of us here at the library chuckling. The star is Traction Man, a young boy's Christmas gift. Traction Man volunteers for dangerous missions, like rescuing farm animals from evil pillows, but his most difficult mission may be getting over his own Christmas gift, a knitted romper suit in jungle green.

"Hurty Feelings," by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Fragility is a hippopotamus - a really well-built one who is good at all the things hippos are supposed to be good at. But she's too sensitive for her friends. Every time they compliment her, she feels hurt and starts to cry. Eventually, she gets very lonely because everyone is too afraid of hurting her feelings. Then one day, the hippos' soccer game is interrupted by Rudy, who wants to eat their goal for lunch and who knows the power that words have over Fragility. But today's the day that Fragility learns that not all words are meant to hurt, and Rudy learns what it's like to have hurt feelings.

"Good Dog," by Maya Gottfried, illustrated by Robert Rahway Zakanitch. The Chihuahua shows his fierce side, the Pomeranian bemoans his fluffy state, and the bulldog asks for a little affection despite the drool in this short collection of dog poems.

Teens: Come over to the Douglas library from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday for a "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Party." Wear your grubbies and bring jeans to decorate (we provide the decorations, which include bleach, paint, ribbon and more). Call 586-5303 for more information.

• To place holds on our material, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249, or visit our Web site at

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