Here are some favorite selections from Terry McDougal, Head of Children’s Services at Kanawha County Public Library
Pre-kindergarten to first grade
Henry Wants MORE! by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes
Whether spending time with Papa, singing songs with Grandma, playing games with Lucy, or racing with Charlie, toddler Henry wears his family out until bedtime, when Mama is the one who wants more.
My Bike by Byron Barton
Tom tells about his bicycle and riding by trucks, cars, even elephants, and his work as a circus performer.
Bee Dance by Rick Chrustowski
A honeybee searches for nectar, then returns to the hive to tell the other bees. She does a waggle dance, moving in a special pattern to share the location of the food. Vivid and active images bring these amazing bees to life!
Froggy Goes to the Library by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
When Froggy, Mom and Pollywogilina set out for the library, Froggy brings a wheelbarrow to hold all the books he plans to borrow, but he is so excited that he forgets to use his indoor voice.
One Big Family by Marc Harshman, illustrated by Sarah Palacios
A family reunion brings summer fun and adventures in this cheerful celebration of family ties and the joys of summer.
First and second grades
Max’s Math by Kate Banks, illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Max and his brothers drive to Shapeville and Count Town searching for problems, and are able to use their skills in arithmetic and sleuthing to prepare for a rocket launch.
Bike on, Bear! by Cynthia Liu, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
Bear is an extraordinary genius who can do anything except ride a bike. Can he get on two wheels?
Clark the Shark Afraid of the Dark by Bruce Hale, illustrated by Guy Francis
At a sleepover, Clark the Shark braves his fear of the dark with the help of music and friends.
Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale
A collection of concrete poetry, illustrations and photographs that shows how young children’s constructions, created as they play, are reflected in notable works of architecture from around the world.
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Frank Morrison
Growing up in the segregated town of Clarksville, Tennessee in the 1960s, Alta’s family cannot afford to buy her new sneakers—but she still plans to attend the parade celebrating her hero Wilma Rudolph’s three Olympic gold medals.
Mid to upper elementary
Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King award winner. Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. Along with illustrator Bryan Collier, Andrews has created a lively picture book autobiography about how he followed his dream of becoming a musician, despite the odds. The book is a celebration of the history of New Orleans and the power of music.
One Today by Richard Blanco, illustrated by Dav Pilkey
A lyrical, patriotic commemoration of America from dawn to dusk and coast to coast.
Ira’s Shakespeare Dream by Glenda Armand, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
A biography of Ira Aldridge, an African American actor who is considered one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century.
Fourth to sixth grades
Treasure of Way Down Deep by Ruth White
In 1954, when mine closings bring an economic crisis to Way Down Deep, West Virginia, Ruby Jolene Hurley makes a thirteenth-birthday wish to find the treasure rumored to have been buried by one of the town’s founders.
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent, and not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, outspoken and imaginary. He’s been gone for four years, but has come back into Jackson’s life to help him.