Valerie Kohler, owner of the Blue Willow Bookshop, hand picks books to foster the love of reading in children of all ages. For more of her faves, visit www.BlueWillowBookshop.com.
Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan
(Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux, February 2018)
When a little girl refuses to sleep in her own bed, she concocts an idea that Daddy should sleep on the cot while she sleeps with Mommy. In this gentle but humorous book, readers deal with an all too familiar toddler situation.
Digger And Flower by Joseph Kueffler
(Balzer & Bray January 2018)
Digger is part of a construction crew building a sprawling city. When he finds a lone flower, he cares for it daily, watering it, shielding it, and singing it to sleep, but eventually Digger’s flower is cut down to make way for yet another skyscraper. Dismayed, Digger collects the seeds to find a new home where he nurtures them anew. Spare text and illustrations add to the power of this hopeful story from the author of Beyond the Pond.
Jungle Crew by Madeleine Rogers
(Button Books, August 2017)
Young readers will delight in the engaging rhyming text as they spot jungle creatures in the bold illustrations of this board book that includes fun facts about each animal, all on the endangered species list.
All The World by Liz Garton Scanlon
(Beach Lane Books, September 2009)
Follow a family and their friends throughout one day as they appreciate our great wide world from beach to meadow to town to home in sunshine, wind, rain, and dark. Scanlon’s verse and Frazee’s pastels illustrate the yin-yang and powerful beauty of nature and affirm that we humans are a part of it.
On The Nature Trail by the editors of Storey Publishing (March 2018)
From art projects to fun animal facts, this handy book will be perfect for your young explorer. It includes a small magnifying glass and a create-your-own pull-out map. Take this along on a hike on one or more of Houston’s many trails.
Wild World by Angela McAllister
(Wide Eyed Editions March 2018)
The poetic language will entrance both the adult reader and the emerging reader as they learn about wild lands, all of which are in peril of disappearing. Science and language combined with beautiful illustrations will make you want to read it again and again.
Skunked! Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet by Jacqueline Kelly
(Square Fish, October 2016)
When her younger brother and animal lover Travis finds and brings home an abandoned baby skunk he’s named Stinky, Calpurnia is willing to help. But then Travis discovers Stinky’s littermate, who, as runt of the litter, needs special care. One skunk is trouble enough, but two are bound to cause a ruckus! A new early reader series set in 1900s Texas sure to charm animal lovers ages 7 and up.
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
(Harper Collins, November 2017)
Red is an oak tree who has been around for years. She’s also a wishing tree, so each May 1, neighbors tie their wishes — some silly, some heartfelt, some selfish — on Red’s branches in the hopes that they will come true. When a new family moves in, not everyone welcomes them, and Red’s role as a wishtree
becomes more important than ever. A beautiful, timely and timeless story. We know we reviewed this before but it’s perfect for our “Green” books!
Hour of The Bees by Lindsay Eager
(Candlewick, September 2017)
A magical book about family and change. Carol and her family have arrived at the home of her grandfather whom she has never met. Serge has dementia and the family has arrived to pack up the ranch, despite the fact that Carol’s father and Serge have been estranged. She immediately connects to the land in a magical way. There is a lot to learn in this story about our land and how we treat it.
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
(Yearling, December 2005)
When Roy Eberhardt, the new kid in Coconut Grove, witnesses something at a local construction site, he goes all out as an eco-warrior to right the wrong. It’s funny in a subversive way that tweens will enjoy while gaining insight into the ecology movement of today.
Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
(Harper Collins, April 2014)
Ava is the “so girl” of the interstellar merchant ship Perestrella.
She has lived her life in space, unaffected by the tug of Earth, obedient (mostly) to the demands of her culture and preparing to be a good worker, wife, and child-bearer. She is sixteen, of age to be wed, and excited when her father announces she’ll be given to the ship and merchant clan of her friend Soli. But when a justifiable misunderstanding leads to a serious transgression, Ava is sentenced to death. She is unexpectedly rescued and must flee everything she knows to land on Gyre, a floating island of refuse where people have made new homes on the flood-ravaged Earth.
The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
(Puffin, January 2016)
When 14-year-old William Kamkwamba’s Malawi village was hit by a drought in 2001, everyone’s crops began to fail. His family didn’t have enough money for food, let alone school, so William spent his days in the library. He came across a book on windmills and figured out how to build a windmill that could bring electricity to his village.
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
(Houghton Mifflin, May 2008)
Things are going very wrong when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth and Miranda must learn how to deal with a changed landscape. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintery in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove. While it’s a great science fiction novel, the ecological ramifications can be related to changes on our earth and how we deal with them.