In honor of the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day this week, we asked three librarians from the Bronxville, Tuckahoe and Eastchester libraries to tell us their favorite books for kids. And although it was tough to narrow it down to just a few picks, here’s what they chose:
Ellen Tannenbaum, Youth Services Librarian at the Tuckahoe Public Library
- Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
- Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep by Joyce Dunbar
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
- Gracie's Girl by Ellen Wittlinger
“I like these stories because they all give kids something to think about as well as entertain them,” says Tannenbaum. "From the friendship issues raised by Winnie the Pooh and Gracie's Girl, to the truth about feelings as seen in Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep and Scaredy Squirrel to the environmental issues raised by Dr Seuss, these stories can all lead to a conversation with a child. ‘What was it about’ and ‘what do you think about that’ are conversation starters that make sharing the book even better.”
Mary Feldhaus, Children’s Librarian at the Eastchester Public Library
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. “This classic for very young children can't be surpassed for its vibrant colors, its unique book design, and its wonderful story that is beloved around the world,” says Feldhaus.
- Doctor De Soto by William Steig. Explains Feldhaus: “Steig, a New Yorker cartoonist, turned famous children's illustrator and author, is a personal favorite of mine. What child won't be captivated by this dentist mouse who along with his wife outfoxes the fox with the rotten bicuspid. There is no one like William Steig to tell a story in only 32 pages!”
- Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. “This is an unforgettable contemporary title by an incredibly innovative and creative new author/illustrator,” she says.
- The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl. “Dahl is in a league of his own as a fantasy writer. His titles are best read aloud. The BFG is my favorite Dahl title, and I have such fond memories of reading it to my daughter when she was young. I hope to also read this funny book about the likable giant who collects dreams to my soon-to-be 5-year-old granddaughter,” says Feldhaus.
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare. “Historical fiction at its very best. Independent, spirited Kit, brought up in Barbados, finds herself in Puritan New England during the witch trials. The book deals with prejudice as seen through the eyes of a spunky female protagonist,” explains Feldhaus.
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. “Amazing juxtaposition between illustrations and text,” says Feldhaus.
Erin Schirota, Head of Youth Services, Bronxville Public Library
- The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Schirota calls it, “A fun adventure that blends Greek mythology with modern day heroics.”
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. “Four highly skilled children discover that it's the sharing of their talents that make them truly special,” explains Schirota.
- Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin. “Never let your cow near your typewriter, for if you do, an ever-growing list of demands will be the result!” says Schirota.
- Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester. This is “an endearing tale about dealing with a class bully,” she says.
- Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman. Schirota describes this book as “a short and silly tale about hard-working poultry.”