QCL Book Club April Wrap-Up

In April, Morgan and I read Someone We Know by Shari Lapena to celebrate National Letter Writing Month. Below is a short synopsis of the book and what I thought of it! 

A teenage boy is breaking into neighbors’ homes hacking into their computers and discovering secrets best hidden. When a woman in the neighborhood’s body is discovered in the trunk of her car in the lake, there are many suspicions as to who did it. Was it her husband, a lover, anything could happen.

I have liked every book that I have read by Lapena, she spins a story with so many twists and turns wrapping up each story with a nice little bow. This story, however, left some room for interpretation.  


Morgan and I have a very exciting lineup of book options for May. Below are our 4 options including our winning title! Feel free to check them out from Davenport Public Library! 

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murders by Jessie Q. Sutanto (In Honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month) 

Vera is a woman of a certain age who enjoys sipping her tea and running her teashop. When she finds a dead man in the middle of her shop, Vera begins to launch an investigation. As she searches for the perpetrator, Vera forms unlikely friendships with her customers. The hardest part, one of her new friends might be the killer. — adapted from back cover   

 

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill (In Honor of Mystery Month) 

The beautifully ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is completely silent one weekday morning, until a woman’s terrified scream echoes through the room. Security guards immediately appear and instruct everyone inside to stay put until they determine there is no threat. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers who had been sitting in the reading room get to chatting and quickly become friendly. Harriet, Marigold, Whit, and Caine each have their own reasons for being in the reading room that morning–and it just happens that one of them may turn out to be a murderer. — adapted from back cover 

 

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (In Honor of Brother and Sister Day on May 2nd) 

Merging two multi-generational storylines in Colorado, this is a novel of family love, secrets, and survival. With Fajardo-Anstine’s immense capacity to render characters and paint vivid life, set against the Sange de Cristo mountains, Woman of Light is full of the weight, richness, and complexities of mixed blood and mica clay. It delights like an Old Western, and inspires the hope embedded in histories yet-told. — adapted from back cover 

 

***May QCL Book Club Pick!
Watching You by Lisa Jewell (In honor of National Teachers’ Day on May 7th) 

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you. As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all–including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie–a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5–excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father. One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother–whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years–is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her. Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam… — adapted from back cover 


If you are interested in any of these titles, or have read them, I want to talk about them! Please consider leaving a comment! Want to converse with other QCL Book Club followers? Consider joining our Goodreads Group! 

Celebrate National Library Week with These Great Picture Books!

Every year, the American Library Association and libraries throughout the nation celebrate National Library Week in April. This year, National Library Week will be held  April 7th-13th and the theme this year is “Ready, Set, Library!”. To celebrate with your young people about the importance of books and libraries, I have compiled some fun reads!

Stanley’s Library by William Bee
Our favorite hamster takes you through a day in the life of a Librarian. Help friends find books in the Library and visit the community in the Library’s book van delivering books to people where they are. This book is an adorable and short read!

No T. Rex in the Library by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa 
It is Tuesday morning and Tess is out of control in the library. Mama tells Tess that “bestie behavior is not allowed in the library.” While taking some “quiet time”, Tess knocks over a book cart and out pops a rather rambunctious T. Rex. This is a title that I love to share with young people, it is so fun!

No Cats in the Library by Lauren Emmons
Clarisse is a curious cat with a love for books but only books with pictures, she doesn’t understand them when they just have black squiggly lines. Once she discovers a magic place full of books, she simply must get in! After sneaking into the Library, a child find Clarisse and reads her story to her. The keeper of the books finds Clarisse and offers her a chance of a lifetime. This is such a beautiful and sweet story!

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman and illustrated by Andy Elkerton
When you visit the library, remember to be kind to the books and respect the rules. Most importantly, Do. NOT. BRING. YOUR. DRAGON. TO. THE. LIBRARY! Written in rhyme, this title is an absolute delight for all ages!

 

Library Babies by Puck and illustrated by Violet Lemay
Puck introduces young readers to the library! With adorable illustrations, this board book is a great read for littles!

 

Dinosaur vs. the Library by Bob Shea
Dinosaur faces off with a series of different animals until he meets his ultimate opponent, the library! Will he be a match for the librarian leading storytime? You have to read to find out! This is a very cute book full of roars!

 

Construction by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock
Follow a construction crew as they build a very special place!

 

Library Books are Not for Eating! By Todd Tarpley and illustrated by Tom Booth
Ms. Bronte is a beloved storyteller, one problem, she eats the books!

QCL Book Club March Wrap-up and Introduction to April Reads!

woman with pearls with a salmon background

In March, Morgan and I read The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict to celebrate Women’s History Month. Below is a short synopsis of the book and what I thought of it! 

woman with pearls with a salmon backgroundThe Only Woman in the Room is a fictionalized first-person account of famous actress, Hedy Lamarr. From her time starting out as an aspiring actress in Austria, to a marriage to a powerful gentleman known as The Merchant of Death, Hedy faced many trials pre-war. Leaving acting to be a wife, Hedy spends many evenings hosting dinner parties with her husband and honing in on her acting abilities to hide her true feelings towards her husband and his colleagues. Often the only woman in the room, Hedy found herself learning the horrors of war and the power that her husband’s business acquaintances held. Afraid for her life, Hedy flees to America to find refuge but cannot escape the horrors of her past decisions and the events affecting her loved ones back in Austria.

Once in America, Hedy uses her influence and a key confidant to develop technology to end the war and redeem her for the decisions of her past.

This book had such an interesting premise and was such a great read to celebrate Women’s History Month!

 

_____________________

Morgan and I have a very exciting lineup of book options for April, below are four titles including our winning read! Feel free to check them all out from Davenport Public Library! 

**April Pick!
Someone We Know by Shari Lapeña (In Honor of National Letter Writing Month) 

It’s a quiet suburb in upstate New York, until anonymous letters start to arrive. “My son broke into your home recently while you were out.” Into their homes, and into their computers as well. Learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too. When a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets? — adapted from back cover  

 

Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr (In Honor of National Siblings Day on April 10th) 

 Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other. When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women. Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts. Neither woman knows how to start life over, but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it. — adapted from back cover

 

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle (In Honor of Lovers Day on April 23rd) 

Maybell Parrish prefers living in her own mind than socializing with others. When Maybell inherits a stately old Tennessee manor from her eccentric Great Aunt Violet, she realizes it’s the perfect opportunity to escape. After Maybell arrives at her new home, the manor is practically falling apart around her. Enter the handsome yet reclusive groundskeeper, Wesley Koehler who seems to want nothing to do with her. Beneath Wesley’s brooding exterior lies an anxiety that exceeds her own, she realizes they might have more in common than Maybell ever dreamed. — adapted from back cover 

 

 

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (In Honor of Tell a Story Day on April 27th)

Sage Singer becomes friends with an old man who is particularly beloved in her community after they strike up a conversation at the bakery where she works. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. One day he asks Sage for a favor, to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses, but then he tells her he deserves to die. Once he reveals his secret, Sage wonders if he is right. Can someone who has committed a truly heinous act ever redeem themselves with good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you are not the party who was wronged? And most of all, if Sage even considers his request, is it murder, or justice? What do you do when evil lives next door? — adapted from back cover 

 

If you are interested in any of these titles, or have read them, I want to talk about them! Please consider leaving a comment! Want to converse with other QCL Book Club followers? Consider joining our Goodreads Group! Our next QCL Book Club segment will be held May 6th during Quad Cities Live at 3pm on KWQC TV6!

Try Incorporating Music into Your Storytelling!

March is Music in Our Schools Month officially designated by the National Association for Music Education. To celebrate, I have compiled a list of books that are written in song or have musical components to share with young people.

Wild Symphony by Dan Brown and illustrated by Susan Batori
Travel through the trees and across the seas with Maestro Mouse and his musical friends! Young readers will meet a big blue whale and speedy cheetahs, tiny beetles and graceful swans. Each has a special secret to share. (provided by Goodreads)

If You’re Happy and You Know It! by Jane Cabrera
With the help of adorable animals, sing and dance your way through this beloved children’s song.

 

 

La La La by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Jaime Kim
This nearly wordless graphic story follows a little girl in search of a friend. (provided by Goodreads)

 

 

Clarinet & Trumpet by Melanie Ellsworth and illustrated by John Herzog
A charming and funny picture book featuring the harmonious friendship between Clarinet and Trumpet. (provided by Goodreads)

 


Accordionly 
by Michael Genhart and Illustrated by Priscilla Burris
Abuelo and Opa both play the accordion. This book explores how one instrument can bring people of different backgrounds together.

 

Old MacDonald Had a Boat by Steve Goetz and Illustrated by Eda Kaban
A new take on the beloved children’s song, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and involves power tools and whole lot of noise!

 

The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort and illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Get ready to make animal sounds in this different rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus”! This is fun for all ages!

 

 

Music is in Everything by Ziggy Marley and illustrated by Ag Jatkowska
A picture book based on Ziggy Marley’s popular song celebrating music’s many forms, from the sounds of ocean waves to laughter in the family kitchen. It also includes a cute craft to do with your young person! (provided by Goodreads)

 

 

Music by Jill McDonald
In this board book, learn about the sounds that popular instruments make!

 

 

Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses and illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
This song means so much to me and my family. My mother listened to it on the way to the hospital to have me and then I listened to it on the way to have my daughter. When I found out about Zivion’s publication of this beautiful book, I was quick to preorder. The illustrations are so beautiful and it is a joy to bring back something so special to my family and have it on the bookshelf!

People Don’t Bite People by Lisa Wheeler and Illustrated by Molly Idle
This title is a family favorite in the Peacock house. Written in rhyme, Wheeler teaches children the dos and don’ts of using your teeth! Since this is written in rhyme, I have taken to singing it rather than reading it! Everything is better with song!

 

Play this Book by Jessica Young and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
Congratulations, you are starting a band! Learn how popular instruments such as the guitar, make sound!

 

 

All of the above items are available through your favorite RiverShare Library! Is there a title missing that you enjoy to share with young people? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

TV6 Book Club February Read Wrap-Up and Introduction to March Reads!

red cover silhouette of a woman and a man

In February, Morgan and I read The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory to celebrate Wedding Month. Below is a short synopsis and what I thought of the book! 

Alexa is trapped in an elevator with a sexy stranger who charms his way into her purse (by eating her snacks) and into attending a wedding with him that weekend as his fake girlfriend. When the two attend the wedding, they find that there is nothing fake about the way they feel about one another.

Both Alexa and Drew are afraid to admit their true feelings but still try long distance dating and find it hard to juggle work and their complicated pasts.

I really liked this book; it tackled real issues in a respectful way, and I look forward to reading more in the series! 

After loving our February read, I am so excited to get started with our March TV6 Book Club Pick! Below are our 4 options for March including our winning title! Feel free to check them out from Davenport Public Library! 

woman with pearls with a salmon background***TV6 Book Club Winner!
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict (In Honor of Women’s History Month)
Hedy Kiesler is lucky. Her beauty leads to a starring role in a controversial film and marriage to a powerful Austrian arms dealer, allowing her to evade Nazi persecution despite her Jewish heritage. But Hedy is also intelligent. At lavish Vienna dinner parties, she overhears the Third Reich’s plans. One night in 1937, desperate to escape her controlling husband and the rise of the Nazis, she disguises herself and flees her husband’s castle.

She lands in Hollywood, where she becomes Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But Hedy is keeping a secret even more shocking than her Jewish heritage: she is a scientist. She has an idea that might help the country and that might ease her guilt for escaping alone—if anyone will listen to her. (Synopsis by Goodreads)

Easy chair with ottoman with a book on it.Sew Deadly by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (In Honor of National Quilting Day on March 16th)
Ever since she moved to Sweet Briar, South Carolina, Yankee librarian Tori Sinclair has been the talk of the tiny town. But she’s been so busy at work, winning over the sewing circle, and trying to forget her cheating ex that she hasn’t even had time to baste together a pillow, let alone mind local gossip. Then she finds the hometown sweetheart dead at her back door…

Everyone believes the police investigator, who’s just fixin’ to link Tori to the murder in a love triangle gone bad. To clear her name, Tori will have to rely on her new sewing sisters and stitch together the truth- or be darned. (Synopsis by Goodreads)

Color block text Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (In Honor of Let’s Laugh Day on March 19th)
A comedy writer thinks she’s sworn off love, until a dreamily handsome pop star flips the script on all her assumptions. Romantic Comedy is a hilarious, observant and deeply tender novel from New York Times–bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld. (Synopsis by Goodreads)

Two people leaning in with a town in the background.A Proposal They Can’t Refuse by Natalie Caña (In Honor of National Proposal Day on March 20th)
Natalie Caña turns up the heat, humor and heart in this debut rom-com about a Puerto Rican chef and an Irish American whiskey distiller forced into a fake engagement by their scheming octogenarian grandfathers.

XOXO Children’s Picture Books

a young child hugging a mailbox with a pink background.

February is the month of love! Below is a curated list of titles that are not specifically Valentine’s Day but more focused on the most popular ways to show affection – hugs and kisses! If you have read any of the titles below, I would love to hear what you thought of them!

porcupine on a blue backgroundI Need a Hug by Aaron Blabey
Porcupine wants something simple, a hug. After asking many other animals for a hug, Porcupine is told time after time no. Downtrodden and about to give up, Porcupine finds an unlikely friend.

This story is sweet and written in rhyme! You can share this title to teach empathy and inspire your young poets.

a young child hugging a mailbox with a pink background.The Hug Machine by Scott Campbell
The Hug Machine loves to give hugs, there is nothing that the Hug Machine will not hug. Yes, you can hug the Hug Machine, the Hug Machine is always open for business.

I enjoy sharing this title each year with young people. It is fun to spot the unlikely animals and objects that the Hug Machine hugs.

seal on a rock with a small birdSealed with a Kiss by Beth Ferry
Seal is new to the zoo after arriving from a zoo in France. While sitting in her enclosure, Seal is greeted by a little bird who plants a sweet peck on her cheek. After her snack of sardines, Seal sets out to greet the other zoo animals and give them each a smackeroo. Little does she realize, the sardines that she had for snack gave Seal terrible breath.

This story teaches compassion with a side of silly!

a grumpy cactus in a windowsill Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich
Hank is a cactus who lives in a pot in the windowsill who enjoys his quiet life. Hank’s quiet life is interrupted by a coyote, a tumbleweed named Rosie, a tortoise, and more who cause Hank to get crankier and crankier. Finally, after being chastised for stepping on his lawn, a man tells Hank that he needs a hug. Hank scoffs at first but later decides that maybe a hug is just what he needs. Now who will hugs a cactus?

This is such a sweet book and I hope that you enjoy it as well!

birds hugging outsideDuck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills
Goose is feeling sad. Hoping to cheer up their friend, Goose’s friends perform a series of acts hoping to garner a smile.

Sometimes, all we need to do with our loved ones is to ask them what they need instead of assuming. What they say might surprise you!

Two kitties hugging in a heart. Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell
There once was a kitten who was so full of love who wanted nothing more than to hug the entire world. The dreamer makes a list and embarks on a quest that takes him to Africa to hug the unhuggable.

This book is perfect for the little lovebug in your house!

animals hugging one anotherGroup Hug by Jean Reidy
One little slug causes a series of adorable animal hugs.

Full of gorgeous artwork and adorable characters, this story is a treat!

 

 

dinosaur running Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein
Little Dina hatches from her egg and discovers the magic of the kiss. Trying desperately to kiss everything in sight, Dina struggles because it isn’t easy for a t-rex to give a kiss!

This silly book is sure to delight young readers.

TV6 Book Club December Read Wrap-Up and Introduction to February Reads!

Woman sitting in a windowsill and looking out yonder.

In December, Morgan and I read The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo to celebrate Thank a Soldier week December 24th– 30th. Here is what I have to say about the book:

Told in alternating viewpoints of 2 nurses serving in World War II, “The Fire by Night” tells in vivid detail the horrors of war. Jo stationed on the Western front in a makeshift hospital tent caring for six men alone and Kay, taken prisoner in the Pacific. Trying to survive while keeping others alive, the two women separated by war and bound by duty show the reader what a hero looks like.

I will not lie, there were many scenes in this book that were hard to read. This was very much a war book and not typically something that I would read. In the end, I am so grateful for the opportunity to dive in.

Our January plans were foiled for book club as our region received large amounts of snow. Below are our 4 options for February including our winning title! Feel free to check them out from Davenport Public Library!

a woman sitting in a martini glass

Mickey Chambers Shakes it Up by Charish Reid (in honor of Do a Grouch a Favor Day on February 16th)

Mickey Chambers is an expert at analyzing modern literature. But when it comes to figuring out her own story, she’s feeling a little lost. At thirty-three, she’s an adjunct instructor with a meager summer class schedule and too many medical bills, courtesy of her chronic illness. Picking up a bartending gig seems perfect. Sure, Mickey’s never done this before, but the gorgeous, grumpy bar owner, Diego Acosta, might be the perfect man to teach the teacher…if he wasn’t so stressed. – provided by Goodreads

 

 

pink cover four womenThe Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland (in honor of Galentine’s Day on February 13th)

In 1997, grunge is king, Titanic is a blockbuster (and Blockbuster still exists), and Thursday nights are for Friends. In Bellport, Connecticut, four best friends and high school seniors are ready to light the world on fire. Melissa Levin, Priya Chowdury, Tara Taylor, and Suki Hammer are going places.

Fast forward twenty-five years and nothing has gone according to plan as the women regroup at their dreaded high school reunion. When a forgotten classmate emerges at the reunion with a surprising announcement, the friends dig out the yearbook and rethink their younger selves. Is it too late to make their dreams come true? – provided by Goodreads

 

Man and woman on a fire escape passing a bookThe Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest (in honor of Make a Friend Day on February 11th)

Lily is stuck in life and currently on the subway in 90+ degree heat. In a moment of delirium, she stumbles across a newly created website for the author of one of her favorite books. Before knowing what she is doing, Lily sends an email to the author through the website divulging her life and accidentally hits send before passing out.

Surprised beyond belief, the author writes back and a connection is formed. The pair exchange a series of emails until the author, Strick puts an end to them crushing Lily.

Flash forward, Lily is living with her sister and shares an elevator with her dreamy new neighbor. In hopes of scoring a date to her sister’s wedding, Lily enlists the neighbor to help her find a date. What she doesn’t realize is that she will in turn get so much more. -Brittany

 

red cover silhouette of a woman and a man*** February Pick!
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (In honor of National Wedding Month)

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…
– provided by Goodreads.

Cozy Up with These Picture Books!

small cartoon child under a grey blanket

January to me is always a time to snuggle up with a good book under an ultra-soft blanket. With great amounts of snow currently falling and more forecasted for our region the next few days, I am excited to share some cozy books with you!  Below are some picture books in our collection that celebrate the cozy season!

The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Beedie

Big Jim Hickory begins his day with exercises and a large stack of pancakes before heading out to chop down trees. After a long day of chopping, Jim is home resting when someone begins pecking at his door. Upon opening, Jim discovers that his job has sent some animal neighbors into a flurry of frustration. Ever the problem-solver, Jim is ready for the challenge of creating a safe home for his disgruntled neighbors.

This book is an absolute delight!

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small cartoon child under a grey blanket

Blanket: Journey to Extreme Coziness by Loryn Brantz

You may be wondering how to reach maximum level coziness. Your wait is over my friend, all you need is this book and your favorite blanket to achieve the blanket cocoon – epic level of cozy!

The artwork is delightful as is the content of this title, I hope that you enjoy!

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Narwhal with a yellow blanketBlankie by Ben Clanton

If you have decided to climb out of your blanket cocoon and looking for fun activities with your blanket. This book will give you some suggestions! Will you turn your blanket into a cape or take it on a living room picnic with waffles? The sky is the limit!

This adorable board book is fun for littles and bigs alike!

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Black hairy monster holding a small child

Wilfred by Ryan T. Higgins

Wilfred was a humungous, hairy, monster who only wanted one thing, a friend. One day, Wilfred discovers a peculiar town full of bald townspeople. With hope in his heart, Wilfred hopes to find friendship on a playground but sends most of the children running in fear. One brave child remained and thus began a beautiful friendship until the townspeople came up with a nasty plan.

This story teaches children empathy while making grownups cry. If you read this title, be sure to have your tissues ready. That said, it is one of my favorites and I share it every year when performing storytimes.

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cartoon child pulling a baby in a red sweater across a room.

That’s My Sweater! by Jessika von Innerebner

There are few things that Olivia loves more than her red sweater. This is why when Olivia comes to find that she has grown out of her beloved garment, she has some things to say. To add to her dismay, Olivia’s baby sibling inherits the sweater and is covering it in unspeakable bodily fluids! On a hunt for justice, Olivia makes a discovery, her parents love a hand-me-down.

For all of the older siblings out there, this is the perfect read!

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2 cartoon pirates and o monkey in a boat next to a sea monster

Ned the Knitting Pirate by Diana Murray and Illustrated by Leslie Lammle

Pirates are a fierce and rugged lot. As they sing their pirate song, it is ruined (made better) each time by Ned the knitting pirate.

Written in rhyme, this book is an absolute blast to read aloud! I enjoy singing and donning a Scottish accent as I read aloud. Like Wilfred, this is a yearly read teaches young people to be proud of who they are and that heroes come in all shapes and forms!

Celebrate Humbug Day with Picture Books Featuring Characters with Big Feelings

Blue book with a grumpy expression

December 21st is Humbug Day, a day to feel your feelings and allow yourself to be grumpy. As someone who loves the complexity of moody main characters, I wanted to share some of my favorites! By sharing stories of characters with big feelings, it helps children learn empathy and better understand the world around them.

Below is a short list of titles featuring characters with big feelings for you to share with the young people in your life!

 

Red cover with a character showcasing an angry face

Little Mad by Nadine Brun-Cosme and Marion Cocklico (Illustrator)  

Little One feels so upset that playtime is over that…poof! She becomes Little Mad!

In this reassuring board book about first feelings, little ones will be able to relate and learn from Little Mad as she learns how to calm down after getting upset. The perfect book for parents and little ones to share, this story proves that sometimes, when you’re feeling mad, all you need is a friend to be by your side.– provided by Goodreads.

 

a red panda, narwhal, and monkey all containing different emotions.

 

A Day Full of Feelings: Beginning Baby by Chronicle Books

New in the Beginning Baby board book Join an adorable group of animal friends for a day at school that’s full of feelings! Whether they are sad or glad, shy or excited, the friends know it’s important to express their many emotions.-provided by Goodreads.

 

 

A sad blue fish

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna (Illustrator)  

Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading “dreary wearies” isn’t really his destiny.– provided by Goodreads.

 

 

 

Blue book with a grumpy expression

A Very Cranky Book by Angela DiTerlizzi and Tony DiTerlizzi

Cranky doesn’t want to be read. He just wants you to leave him alone. After all, there are so many other things you can do–ride a bike, play a game, or draw a picture. There’s no reason for you to be bothering him! But when other books show up for story time, will Cranky change his mind?-provided by Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

Bear, bunny, and mouse holding onto an umbrella flying away.


Bruce’s Big Storm
by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce’s home is already a full house.

But when a big storm brings all his woodland neighbors knocking, he’ll have to open his door to a crowd of animals in need of shelter-whether he likes it or not. Readers will love this next installment of the uproarious, award-winning Mother Bruce series.-provided by Goodreads.

a grumpy bear with 3 geese


1 Grumpy Bruce
by Ryan T. Higgins

Long-suffering Bruce once again contends with an increasingly crowded household, this time in an original board book where young ones can count the never-ending party guests. Full of fun characters and humor, 1 Grumpy Bruce is just right for our littlest readers.-provided by Goodreads.

 

 

A blue pigeon

The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems

Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? What if he learns TOO MUCH!?!provided by Goodreads.

 

 

 

Large bear and a small duck.

Goodnight Already! by Jory John and Benji Davies (Illustrator)

Meet Bear. He’s exhausted. All he wants is to go to sleep. Meet Duck, Bear’s persistent next-door neighbor. All he wants is to hang out . . . with Bear.- provided by Goodreads.

TV6 Book Club November Read Wrap-Up

Woman wearing glasses with a book on her head topped with a tiara

Woman wearing glasses with a book on her head topped with a tiaraIn October, Morgan and I read The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson. I presented this book to celebrate National Book Lovers Day on November 4th.

Here is a little bit about the book:

Charlotte only agreed to attend her twin sister’s beauty pageant as an excuse to take a much-needed vacation in Orlando – home of Harry Potter World. The vacation is cut terribly short when her twin develops an allergic reaction. Unable to tell her sister no, Charlotte agrees to impersonate her sister and compete in the Miss American Treasure Pageant until her sister recovers.

There were times when I got annoyed with Charlotte’s self-sacrificing nature but she redeemed herself in the end! This was a fun read and I really enjoyed it!

Each month, I gather 4 options. The titles are below including the winner! Feel free to check them out from Davenport Public Library!

Damaged home with a ladder and cat on the counter with spilled paint.

 

Fatal Fixer-Upper by Jennie Bentley (in honor of National Roof Over Your Head Day on December 3rd)

Avery Baker was once a New York designer, but inheriting her aunt’s old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path-home renovation. Now, with help from hunky handyman Derek Ellis, Avery starts learning the ABCs of DIY. But when the designer-turned-renovator finds clues that lead to a missing professor, she wonders if she can finish the house-without getting finished off in the process.– provided by Goodreads.

 

 

 

the back of a woman standing among palm trees looking at the sky.The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman (in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7th)

 

As war in the Pacific rages on, Isabel Cooper and her codebreaker colleagues huddle in “the dungeon” at Station HYPO in Pearl Harbor, deciphering secrets plucked from the airwaves in a race to bring down the enemy. Isabel has only one wish: to avenge her brother’s death. But she soon finds life has other plans when she meets his best friend, a hotshot pilot with secrets of his own.

1965.Fledgling journalist Lu Freitas comes home to Hawai’i to cover the grand opening of the glamorous Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Rockefeller’s newest and grandest project. When a high-profile guest goes missing, Lu forms an unlikely alliance with an intimidating veteran photographer to unravel the mystery. The two make a shocking discovery that stirs up memories and uncovers an explosive secret from the war days. A secret that only a codebreaker can crack.-provided by Goodreads.

A woman's torso wearing a pink apron and nametag.

The Devine Doughnut Shop by Carolyn Brown (In honor of National Pastry Day on December 9th

Three women are torn between traditions of the past and unexpected new beginnings in a warmhearted novel by Carolyn Brown about family, romance, and the best pastries in Texas. For Grace Dalton, her sister, Sarah, and her cousin Macy, the Devine Doughnut Shop is a sweet family legacy and a landmark in their Texas town. As the fourth generation to run the Double D, they keep their great-grandmother’s recipe secret and uphold the shop’s tradition as a coffee klatch for sharing local gossip, advice, and woes. But drama brews behind the counter, too. Grace is a single mother struggling with an unruly teenage daughter. Heartbroken Sarah has sworn off love. Macy’s impending wedding has an unexpected hitch. And now charming developer Travis Butler has arrived in Devine with a checkbook and a handsome smile. He wants to buy the shop, expand it nationally, and boost the economy of a town divided by the prospect. With the family’s relationships in flux, their beloved heritage up for grabs, and their future in the air, it’s amazing what determination, sass, a promise of romance, and a warm maple doughnut can do to change hearts and minds.– provided by Goodreads

Woman sitting in a windowsill and looking out yonder.

*December Read!! The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo (in honor of Thank a Soldier Week December 24th-30th)

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight—a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.– provided by Goodreads.