picture books

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Read/Talk/Sing With Your Kids

This summer, we are challenging parents to Read/Talk/Sing with their pre-readers for 20 minutes everyday to develop their literacy skills and promote their brain development during these early years.


Reading and talking may seem pretty easy, but what do you sing with a young child? Check out these great books of illustrated songs to get you started:


The Seals on the Bus coverRow Row Row Your Boat coverOld MacDonald had a Farm coverLittle White Duck coverThe More We Get Together cover

Fantastic Flying Books!

The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore - book coverSilicon Valley Reads 2014, a program designed to get the whole community reading together in the months of January through March, has selected a few children's books at different reading levels as companions to the adult program. For 2014, the book recommended for ages 4-8 is The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce and illustrated by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm. The San Jose Public Library also has the Spanish version, Los fantásticos libros voladores del Sr. Morris Lessmore.


The story of Mr. Morris Lessmore and his flying books started life as a short animated film that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short of 2011. Since then, both the book and an iPad app have been adapted from the film.

SJPL's event calendar features a variety of events centered around the book and its theme at the King Library and several different branches. Check out what we've got on for the rest of February and March.  


Here's a couple of events that look especially fun to me:


Flying Book Story and Craft
After listening to the story, kids 4 and up will get to make their own books!
See when a branch near you is having the story and craft event.

Meet the Illustrator
The book's illustrator, Joe Bluhm, will be at the King Library on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm and the Evergreen branch on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm to talk about the book, the film and the iPad app with the whole family.  

Pink Me UP

cover of "Pink Me Up"

Young Violet is so looking forward to attending the "PINK" picnic for mothers and daughters.  Everyone will be wearing lots of PINK! Alas! Something unexpected happens.  What to do next becomes quite a plight for Violet. What about the "Pink-nic"? Will this be the worst day of her life? With the help of a surprise guest, Violet is able to face the challenges ahead of her.


Violet learns a valuable lesson: A temporary setback does not equal failure nor does it mean something is impossible to achieve. Violet and her parent have a "Perfectly-Pink" time at the "Pink-nic".


A delightfully "pink story" by Charise Mericle Harper.

Gobble Gobble - Books for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. Here are some great picture books to help get the little ones in your life ready for the holiday.


  1. Bear Says Thanks coverBear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2012) - Bear thanks his friends for bringing food dishes to his dinner party and finds a way of sharing something of his own.
  2. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson, illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner (Puffin, 1997) - This book provides a fun Thanksgiving twist on an old song by throwing in Thanksgiving food from pie to squash to cider.
  3. I’m a Turkey! by Jim Arnosky (Scholastic, 2009) - This nonfiction book features the life of a wild turkey in a spokenw word song with rhyming text.
  4. My First Thanksgiving by Tomie DePaola (Putnam Juvenile, 1992)- This simple board book explains the origins of Thanksgiving for the youngest of readers.
  5. ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic, 1990) - This fun parody mimicks the Night Before Christmas poem. School children on a trip to a farm save the lives of eight turkeys. 

Celebrate Children!

All the Colors of the Earth book coverAll the Colors of the Earth, written and illustrated by Sheila Hamanaka
This book shows paintings of happy children with a variety of skin and hair colors.  This book is also available in eAudiobook format through Overdrive.


Bein' with You This Way book coverBein' With You This Way, written by W. Nikola-Lisa, and illustrated by Michael Bryant
Several children from different backgrounds have a fun time at the park.    This book is also available in Spanish book format and Spanish Kit CD format.


Being Friends Book CoverBeing Friends, written by Karen Beaumont, and illustrated by Joy Allen
Two young girls have some similar interests and some different interests.  They are very good friends, and love to spend time together.


The Colors of Us book coverThe Colors of Us, written and illustrated by Karen Katz
Lena, the young daughter of an artist, has many friends and neighbors, each with differen skin and hair colors.


The Colors of UsI Love My Hair!, written by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, and illustrated by E.B. Lewis
A young girl named Keyana loves her hair, because she can wear it in a variety of styles created by her skillful and loving Mom.


This is the Way We Eat Our Lunch, written by Edith Baer, and illustrated by Steve Björkman     
Children all over the world enjoy a variety of foods for lunch with their families and friends.   This book includes three recipes as well as a glossary of different types of food.  


Whoever You Are book coverWhoever You Are, written by Mem Fox, and illustrated by Leslie Staub  
This book shows that children all over the world have many similarities, including loving their families, having emotions, and thinking about the future.    This book is also available in Spanish


Yo! Yes? book coverYo! Yes?, written and illustrated by Chris Raschka
Two boys meet and have a conversation using one word at a time.   This is a fun book for all children, including children learning how to read.   This is a Caldecott Honor book.

April is National Jazz Month

April is National Jazz Month.   Here are some books children and their loved ones may enjoy reading together:

The Candystore Man book coverThe Candystore Man, written by Jonathan London, and illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
In the 1950's, the Candystore Man plays saxophone and sells candy and other treats to the neighborhood children and teens.  If you look closely, you will see a newspaper with the heading "Charlie 'Bird' Parker Dead at Age 35."

Jazz Baby Book CoverJazz Baby, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, and illustrated by Laura Freeman
Young children play a variety of musical instruments, dance, and have fun.

Jazzmatazz! book coverJazzmatazz!, written by Stephanie Calmenson, and illustrated by Bruce Degen
A baby notices a mouse start to play jazz music on the piano.  Dog soon starts to accompany Mouse with his dog bones and bowl.  Who else will join the jam session?

Jazzy Miz Mozetta Book CoverJazzy Miz Mozetta, written by Brenda C. Roberts, and illustrated by Frank Morrison
One evening, Miz Mozetta dresses up in a snazzy red outfit and takes a walk.   While walking, she thinks about dancing again.  What will happen next?

Lookin' For Bird in the Big City book coverLookin' for Bird in the Big City, written by Robert Burleigh, and illustrated by Marek Los
A teenage trumpet player looks for Charlie "Bird" Parker, a famous saxophonist.   This story is inspired by the famous trumpet player Miles Davis.

Rent Party JazzRent Party Jazz, written by William Miller, and illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb
Sonny goes to school, works part time, lives in New Orleans in the 1930's.   When Sonny's mom loses her job, Sonny learns about a special way to help out.

Rum-a-Tum-Tum, written by Angela Shelf Medearis, and illustrated by James Ransome
A girl who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans in the early 1900's observes street vendors selling their goods with poetic and jazzy words.  Whom will she see next?