Staff Picks for Children and Teens

June 2019

Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas

Brian's a piranha who loves bananas. What's so wrong with that?

Brian the piranha is an enthusiastic fan of peas and loves a good fruit tray. But he simply cannot get his friends to give them a taste - they like knees and feet. Finally after much convincing, the piranhas give in and give fruit a chance . . . but find they still prefer bums over plums in this "cheeky" and hilarious rhyming story.

Tu Peux

Une fille qui pète ou qui parle fort, c'est possible ? Et un garçon qui pleure, qui fait la cuisine ou qui danse ? Bien sûr ! Dans Tu peux, Elise Gravel s'attarde à déconstruire de façon ludique les stéréotypes de genre afin de permettre aux enfants d'être tout ce qu'ils désirent être, sauf méchants et impolis, évidemment ! Tu peux est la version papier de l'album numérique

A Place to Belong

A Japanese-American family, reeling from their ill treatment in the Japanese internment camps, gives up their American citizenship to move back to Hiroshima, unaware of the devastation wreaked by the atomic bomb in this piercing look at the aftermath of World War II by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata.

World War II has ended, but while America has won the war, twelve-year-old Hanako feels lost. To her, the world, and her world, seems irrevocably broken.

America, the only home she’s ever known, imprisoned then rejected her and her family—and thousands of other innocent Americans—because of their Japanese heritage, because Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Japan, the country they’ve been forced to move to, the country they hope will be the family’s saving grace, where they were supposed to start new and better lives, is in shambles because America dropped bombs of their own—one on Hiroshima unlike any other in history. And Hanako’s grandparents live in a small village just outside the ravaged city.

The country is starving, the black markets run rampant, and countless orphans beg for food on the streets, but how can Hanako help them when there is not even enough food for her own brother?

Hanako feels she could crack under the pressure, but just because something is broken doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. Cracks can make room for gold, her grandfather explains when he tells her about the tradition of kintsukuroi—fixing broken objects with gold lacquer, making them stronger and more beautiful than ever. As she struggles to adjust to find her place in a new world, Hanako will find that the gold can come in many forms, and family may be hers.

The Day the Crayons Quit

Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun.

What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?

Kids will be imagining their own humorous conversations with crayons and coloring a blue streak after sharing laughs with Drew Daywalt and New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers. This story is perfect as a back-to-school gift, for all budding artists, for fans of humorous books such as Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sciezka and Lane Smith, and for fans of Oliver Jeffers' Stuck, The Incredible Book Eating Boy, Lost and Found, and This Moose Belongs to Me.

Stepsister

Isabelle should be blissfully happy - she's about to marry a prince. Except that Isabelle isn't the girl who lost the slipper. And the glass shoe on her foot is filling with blood . . .

Isabelle isn't the beauty who captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fool him. When the prince discovers Isabelle's deception, she's banished. It's no more than Isabelle deserves. She's a plain girl in a world that values beauty. A stubborn girl in a world that wants her to be pliant. Her destiny is a life of misery.

That's what Isabelle believes until she finds herself in the midst of a battle between Fate and Chance. Cruel Fate believes that an "ugly" girl with so much bitterness in her heart can never change her destiny. Roguish Chance believes otherwise. And so, Isabelle is given the opportunity to harness strength she never knew she possessed, and learns that while "pretty" is a noose around your neck, "ugly" is the sword that cuts you free.