Little Green Peas: a Big Book of Color by Keith Baker

While I truly enjoyed the first two books of this series-  LMNO Peas, and 1-2-3 peas, I find this one so charming!  The peas are truly adorable!  I have read this to one child and to a classroom of children and both groups enjoyed it immensely!  They liked the illustrations and pointing out all the items on each page (and thinking of other things that are the color that aren’t featured in the book!).   I highly recommend this book for reading to the 3-5 year olds in your life. 



A passel of playful peas keeps it green as they experience the colorful world around them, from red kites to yellow buses to purple mountains and more! Bright and bold illustrations fill the pages of this delightful exploration of color.

Ladder to the Moon by Maya Setoro-Ng

Ladder to the Moon is a beautifully written children's story about a young girl wanting to know more about a grandmother she never met.  The young girl and her grandmother go on compassionate adventures in her dreams. Illustrator, Yuyi Morales takes Maya Soetoro-Ng's words and brings them to life.

I enjoyed this book because of the artwork and the diversity of characters.  The way the story is told and illustrated, it transcends race.  It is difficult to pinpoint the ethinc background of each character.  As the world becomes more blended, I think it is important for children's literature to have characters that a variety of readers can look at and see themselves.

A side note about the author, Maya Soetoro-Ng is President Barack Obama's sister.



Little Suhaila wishes she could have known her grandma, who would wrap her arms around the whole world if she could, Mama says. And one night, Suhaila gets her wish when a golden ladder appears at her window, and Grandma Annie invites the girl to come along with her on a magical journey. In a rich and deeply personal narrative, Maya Soetoro-Ng draws inspiration from her mother’s love for family, her empathy for others, and her ethic of service to imagine this remarkable meeting. Evoking fantasy and folklore, the story touches on events that have affected people across the world in our time and reaffirms our common humanity. Yuyi Morales’s breathtaking artwork illuminates the dreamlike tale, reminding us that loved ones lost are always with us, and that sometimes we need only look at the moon and remember.

One Gorilla: a Counting Book by Anthony Browne

This is one of the most beautiful picture books I have ever had the pleasure to read.  One Gorilla succeeds on so many levels.  As a counting book it is delightful.  As an introduction to primates it offers stunning illustrations of gibbons, mandrills, spider monkeys and many more.  And as a early introduction to the world of evolutionary biology and conservation it does a remarkable job of showing the great diversity of human and non-human primates, while simultaneously illustrating how alike we all are.  A truly great picture book for readers of all ages.



 What better attention-getter for small children than primates in all their variety? And who better to render them than Anthony Browne? In this elegant counting book, the author-illustrator outdoes himself with a vivid presentation of primates from gorillas to gibbons, macaques to mandrills, ring-tailed lemurs to spider monkeys. With his striking palette, exquisite attention to detail, and quirky flair for facial expressions, Anthony Browne slyly extends the basic number concept into a look at similarities and differences — portraying an extended family we can count ourselves part of. 

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for all the Letters by Oliver Jeffers

Jeffers' latest book, Once Upon an Alphabet, features a cast of colorful characters, including Edmund the Astronaut, whose climb into space is hindered by his fear of heights, Leopold Picard (who is a really great guard), and my personal favorite, owl and octopus - a talented problem solving duo who pop up unexpectedly to help out a host of other characters. Jeffers' signature illustrations and absurd short stories for each letter create an alphabet experience unlike any other. A definite favorite for anyone learning the alphabet, or for parents who could use an extra laugh during story time. 



The most inventive and irresistible book of the year spans a mere 26 letters (don't they all!) and 112 pages. From an Astronaut who's afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, Once Upon an Alphabet is a creative tour de force from A through Z. Slyly funny in a way kids can't resist, and gorgeously illustrated in a way readers of all ages will pour over, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet in a way that will forever raise the bar.
In Once Upon an Alphabet, #1 New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers has created a stunning collection of words and artwork that is a story book, alphabet book, and gorgeously designed art book all in one.

I Love You As Much by Laura Krauss, illustrated by Henri Sorensen

This is the first book I remember my mother reading to me! It's a perfect book for parents and their young kids, especially new mommas. The illustrations are mother and baby animal pairs - and they are gorgeous.



Celebrate Mother's Day every day. This celebration of the bond between mothers and their babies can be shared at naptime or bedtime or whenever it is time to say "I love you."

Wilford Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

This title is older, however, it is a wonderful story of a young boy and his relationship with older people. It gives children a glimpse into aging people and dementia. And the name of the title character is terrific.  We have this title in eAudio from Hoopla for children and adults who love to listen to stories.



Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next door to a nursing home in which several of his good friends reside. Of course, his favorite is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because she has four names just as he does. The only problem is Miss Nancy, who is 96, has "lost" her memory. Undaunted, Wilfred sets out to "find" Miss Nancy's memory for her. Full-color illustrations. 


Books & Bagels November 2014

November's group will read and talk about Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time by Lisa Yee. Stanford is an all-star basketball player and the youngest student to make the A-Team. Unfortunately he isn't seeing any A's in the classroom, much to the displeasure of his school-obsessed father. When Stanford finds out he flunked English and can't go to Basketball Camp during the summer he feels like his life is over. Especially when he has to make sure his friends don't find out, while being tutored by the super-smart Millicent Min--the girl his father wishes he could be more like. In this funny and heartfelt novel, find out about the true power of friends, family, and yourself.

The first 15 participants to register will receive a free copy of Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time.

As always, Books & Bagels is for children in grades 4-6.  Thank you to Panera Bread of Frandor for providing the bagels, and many thanks to a generous, anonymous donor for providing copies of Books & Bagels titles to program participants.

Introducing the ELPL Maker Studios

Three years ago I started talking about makerspaces and how libraries were developing creative spaces in their communities.  At that time, I hoped that, one day, the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) would be able to have a maker space.  Well, I am thrilled to say, that day is today!  ELPL opened the ELPL Maker Studio in the library on September 20.  We are opening the second space,

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh


Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

The Maker Studio is open!

3D prints - September 2014

The ELPL Maker Studio is officially open to the public!  Patrons wishing to use the maker studio can request a session online, by phone, or in person at the library.  After placing your request you will be contacted by a library staff member to schedule your session.  Tools available in the maker studio include:

  • Two MakerBot 3D printers
  • Two 27 inch Core i5 3.4 GHz iMacs
  • Two Adobe Creative Cloud seats, full suite
  • Two Final Cut Pro seats
  • Two Logic Pro X seats
  • 3D scanner
  • Flatbed scanner
  • Music recording and production equipment, including a MIDI keyboard, studio monitors, mics and more
  • Graphics tablet

Books & Bagels October 2014

Program Full
Registration Closed

In October the group will be reading and discussing Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.  Touching and powerful, this book chronicles Woodson's life as she searches for her place in the world.  Raised in South Carolina and New York, she always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.  This program is part of MSU Project 60/50, a yearlong community conversation on human and civil rights and carries on the theme of our One Book, One Community reads.

The first 15 participants to register will receive a free copy of Brown Girl Dreaming.

This session of Books & Bagels will be held at the library's new popup makerspace in downtown East Lansing.  Located on the second floor of the Marriott at University Place, the ELPL 2.0 Maker Studio offers a unique programming location for library and community events.  

Join us October 4 at 2pm for this unique Books & Bagels event!  As always, Books & Bagels is for children in grades 4-6.  Thank you to Panera Bread of Frandor for providing the bagels, and many thanks to a generous, anonymous donor for providing copies of Books & Bagels titles to program participants.