All Ages Book Talk

All books are available to order for curbside pick up and some are available in digital formats. Call (440) 871-2600 or visit us at westlakelibrary.org for details.

Chad’s Picks:

The Women With Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck. This book tells the true story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who fulfilled the role of transporting planes around the country and the world during WWII.

If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen. Here is a link to more of Chris Van Dusen’s books in our catalog. Children will love the story as well as the vibrant and colorful illustrations throughout the book.

Trina’s Picks:

Sleeping Bags to S’mores by Heather and William Rochfort. For families brand new to camping, Sleeping Bags to S’mores appeals to both kids and adults and contains plenty of fun illustrations and activities to help you enjoy camping with your kids, nieces, or nephews.  This title has all the basics for how to go camping, including planning for your trip and choosing a campsite.  It has sections on backyard camping and camping responsibly, including explanations of wildlife you might encounter, as well as a section on navigation and games to play.  Families will also enjoy the section on campfire etiquette and suggested recipes.   

Family Camping  by Charlie and Cheryl Ess has plenty of photographs to guide you in improving your family camping experience.  This title includes help on choosing campsites, personal gear, cooking utensils, and coolers.  Includes information on backyard camping as well as outdoor games and rainy day games and activities.  Family Camping also has a section on being Weather Wise, Cleaning Up, and Planning your next camping trip.  Also includes helpful recipes for food to bring along camping or to create at the campsite.  

This new edition of the Survival Handbook by Colin Towell is for the serious camper or hiker.  This popular handbook  gives advice on planning your trip, choosing the best campsite and more.  Learn navigation and first aid techniques, building a shelter, and first aid skills.  Learn about working with fire and water and how to catch and cook your own dinner.  Survival Handbook teaches you the survival skills you need for the wilderness.  

Erin’s Picks:

I love manga (Japanese comics)! So, the four titles I’m recommending are all manga.

Nichijou, which translates as “My Ordinary Life”, follows the adventures of four girls whose lives are anything but ordinary. Yukko is a slacker who will do anything to get out of work. Miyo is secretly drawing romance manga that she doesn’t want anyone to know about. Mai is just bizarre (read it–you’ll see!) and Nano, the new girl, desperately hopes no one will notice that she’s a robot, even though there’s a giant key sticking out of her back. We’ve got talking cats, superheroes, a principal who fights a deer, and even a child mad scientist!

Tiger and Bunny is the story of an unlikely pair. In the city of Sternbild, people with super powers often become professional heroes, sponsored by big companies to track down bad guys and provide advertising. Kotetsu is a hero known as Wild Tiger, who fights with his “Hundred Power” which amplifies his abilities 100x over. But, he’s getting older, so his boss decides to replace him with the younger and flashier Barnaby Brooks Jr., a new hero with the same powers. Kotetsu manages to negotiate himself into being a sidekick, but hates playing assistant to the stuck-up Barnaby. Will the two of them be able to put their differences aside in order to keep their jobs?

Kamisama Kiss is a fun dose of supernatural romance. Nanami Momozono is poor and everyone knows it. But, her luck takes a turn for the worse when her deadbeat father abandons her. Homeless and deeply in debt, a desperate Nanami accepts a very strange deal from a strange man. He offers her his house because he doesn’t need it anymore. But, it turns out that the man was a land god, and the house was actually a shrine, meaning that Nanami, in accepting, has become the new land god. Now, she’s got a whole host of new responsibilities, including answering prayers, caring for the shrine, and dealing with her very attractive familiar, Tomoe, who wants nothing to do with her. And to make matters worse, the monsters have discovered that the new land god is a tasty human, and they’re eager to sink their teeth into her and take her god powers for themselves.

So, this last one has some spoilers for Dragon Ball Fans. Many of us dream about being in our favorite book series. How many times do you hear someone say they’re still waiting for their Hogwarts letter, or to find the door to Narnia in an old wardrobe? Well, for our protagonist, his dream is to be in the Dragon Ball series, hanging out with Goku and his friends. After a fall down the stairs, he wakes up in the body of Yamcha, one of the characters. Which is a problem because spoiler alert…Yamcha dies. So, our hero decides to take his fate into his own hands, and do whatever he has to do to make himself the strongest human in the Dragon Ball universe, and avoid the fate in store for him in That Time I got Reincarnated as Yamcha.

Natalie’s Picks:

Hungry Hearts Row, where all 13 interwoven stories take place in the Young Adult book Hungry Hearts is home to several restaurants, cafes, and food carts. The stories are written by different authors and feature characters from cultures as diverse as the foods they prepare, sell and eat. Gritty reality is the special of the day in some stories, such as “Kings and Queens” which is about a Chinese-American family indebted to a gang or in “Moments to Return” about a tourist from Montenegro crippled with anxiety about death. However, magic and the supernatural lurks in this book, at the forefront and in the shadows of its stories, which feature Filipino witches who serve aphrodisiacs and a Muslim superhero who frequents a Halal cart. This book is a reminder that food connects us all and nourishes more than our bodies. 

If interconnected short stories interest you, check out Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street. Many consider it a modern classic. All the stories feature the urban Chicago barrio Esperanza Cortero, her friends and family live in. Some stories are as short as two simple paragraphs. However long the stories, we see Esperanza’s world through her eyes, with all its violence and its beauty. She is a child throughout, not always understanding the implications of Mango Street, but is its faithful reporter nonetheless. Don’t let Esperanza’s age fool you – she lives in a world in which children grow up fast and she has dreams that take her far away from Mango Street.  

Goodnight, Veggies is a tribute to community gardens, Goodnight Moon, and growing children everywhere. In this colorful and clever rhyming tale by Diana Murray and Zachariah Ohora, we follow a cute worm through the garden as all the vegetables get ready for bed. Why are the vegetable so tired? Because as the book says, “Nothing is more exhausting than growing day and night!” This is a fun, short bedtime story – or an easy way to introduce lesser-known veggies to your kids, like eggplant and rhubarb. 

Speaking of lesser known vegetables, Grace Lin’s The Ugly Vegetables is a charming story about a little girl and her mother who plant a garden of traditional Chinese vegetables. The little girl is embarrassed that her garden is nothing like her neighbors’ beautiful flower gardens. This shame is wholly internal – the neighbors make no attempt to bully the Chinese family. When it’s harvest time, in fact, they can’t contain their curiosity. They even exchange their lovely bouquets for bowls of delicious Ugly Vegetable Soup, the recipe for which in included, as well as a Chinese glossary. This book is suitable for children through elementary school with its gorgeous illustrations and poignant moral. 

What do you do if you child thinks his vegetables are not just ugly, but also bumpy, lumpy, scratchy and ouchy? You get them to become a TRY-ceratops and TRY them. The protagonist in Sarah Cotterill’s Nope, Never, Not For Me! is sensitive to broccoli’s look and touch. The mother doesn’t punish him but instead encourages him to try. Does he like broccoli by the end of the story? He doesn’t, but that isn’t the point. The point is that by trying new foods he is helping himself without overwhelming himself. This is in the Little Senses series which tackles topics pertaining to Sensory Processing Disorder. The books in this series are available in the library’s Juvenile Special Needs section. The author’s website has extras that may be useful for parents to download.

Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.