Books for Your Summer Shelf

Whether you’re looking for bookshelf beautification or a story to read while lying in the sun, these books are perfect for your summer shelf!

 

Beautiful Classics

This gorgeous Penguin edition of The Secret Garden. The sunny yellow and bright turquoise practically begs to be read on a float in your swimming pool or a bench in your garden.

 
Secret Garden.jpg
 
 

….and their edition of The Adventures of Robin Hood. Just looking at this cover makes me feel like I’m building a fort in the woods! (Er, I mean, that my kids are? Yeah, that.)

 
Robin Hood.jpg
 
 

…AND their edition of The Wind in the Willows. The cover itself will cool you off on a hot day. This whole series is full of bright, colorful classics, and we just can’t get over how beautiful they are!

 
Wind in the Willows.jpg
 
 

One more Penguin edition for you, this time from their clothbound series: Alice in Wonderland. The crisp white and vibrant flamingos remind us of lemonade stands and lawn games!

alice in wonderland.jpg
 

Picture Books

(Hover over the covers for the summary!)

Run Wild by David Covell

"Hey, you! Sky's blue!" a girl shouts as she runs by the window of a boy bent over his digital device. Intrigued, the boy runs out after her, leaving his shoes (and phone) behind, and into a world of sunshine, dewey grass, and warm sand. Filled with the pleasures of being alive in the natural world,  Run Wild  is an exquisite and kid-friendly reminder of how wonderful life can be beyond doors and screens.

"Hey, you! Sky's blue!" a girl shouts as she runs by the window of a boy bent over his digital device. Intrigued, the boy runs out after her, leaving his shoes (and phone) behind, and into a world of sunshine, dewey grass, and warm sand. Filled with the pleasures of being alive in the natural world, Run Wild is an exquisite and kid-friendly reminder of how wonderful life can be beyond doors and screens.

 

Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson

 
When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true–she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make . . .

When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true–she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make . . .

 
 

Ocean Meets Sky by the Fan Brothers

It’s a good day for sailing.   Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float.  Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself!  And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

It’s a good day for sailing.

Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float.

Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself!

And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

 

Middle Readers

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

 
Five years.  That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.  It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.  Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished—the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box—she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it.  Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys...  Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”

Five years.

That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.

It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished—the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box—she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it.

Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys...

Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”

 
 

Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway

When Cady Bennett is sent to live with the aunt she didn’t even know she had in the quaint mountain town of Julian, she isn’t sure what to expect. Cady isn’t used to stability, after growing up homeless in San Diego with her dad.  Now she’s staying in her mother’s old room, exploring the countryside filled with apple orchards and pie shops, making friends, and working in Aunt Shell’s own pie shop—and soon, Cady starts to feel like she belongs.  Then she finds out that Aunt Shell’s shop is failing. Saving the business and protecting the first place she’s ever really felt safe will take everything she's learned and the help of all her new friends. But are there some things even the perfect pie just can’t fix?

When Cady Bennett is sent to live with the aunt she didn’t even know she had in the quaint mountain town of Julian, she isn’t sure what to expect. Cady isn’t used to stability, after growing up homeless in San Diego with her dad.

Now she’s staying in her mother’s old room, exploring the countryside filled with apple orchards and pie shops, making friends, and working in Aunt Shell’s own pie shop—and soon, Cady starts to feel like she belongs.

Then she finds out that Aunt Shell’s shop is failing. Saving the business and protecting the first place she’s ever really felt safe will take everything she's learned and the help of all her new friends. But are there some things even the perfect pie just can’t fix?

 

The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechnie

Guinevere St. Clair is going to be a lawyer. She was the fastest girl in New York City. She knows everything there is to know about the brain. And now that she’s living in Crow, Iowa, she wants to ride into her first day of school on a cow named Willowdale Princess Deon Dawn.  But Gwyn isn’t in Crow, Iowa, just for royal cows. Her family has moved there, where her parents grew up, in the hopes of jogging her mother Vienna’s memory. Vienna has been suffering from memory loss since Gwyn was four. She can no longer remember anything past the age of thirteen, not even that she has two young daughters. Gwyn’s father is obsessed with finding out everything he can to help his wife, but Gwyn’s focused on problems that seem a little more within her reach. Like proving that the very strange Gaysie Cutter who lives next door is behind the disappearance of her only friend, Wilbur Truesdale.  Gwyn is sure she can crack the case, but when she does she finds that not all of her investigations lead her to the places she would have expected. In fact they might just lead her to learn about the mother she’s been doing her best to forget.

Guinevere St. Clair is going to be a lawyer. She was the fastest girl in New York City. She knows everything there is to know about the brain. And now that she’s living in Crow, Iowa, she wants to ride into her first day of school on a cow named Willowdale Princess Deon Dawn.

But Gwyn isn’t in Crow, Iowa, just for royal cows. Her family has moved there, where her parents grew up, in the hopes of jogging her mother Vienna’s memory. Vienna has been suffering from memory loss since Gwyn was four. She can no longer remember anything past the age of thirteen, not even that she has two young daughters. Gwyn’s father is obsessed with finding out everything he can to help his wife, but Gwyn’s focused on problems that seem a little more within her reach. Like proving that the very strange Gaysie Cutter who lives next door is behind the disappearance of her only friend, Wilbur Truesdale.

Gwyn is sure she can crack the case, but when she does she finds that not all of her investigations lead her to the places she would have expected. In fact they might just lead her to learn about the mother she’s been doing her best to forget.

 

Young Adult

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the  Mors Navis , with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.   But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the  Mors Navis  have worked for?

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

 

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

 
Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.  With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.

Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.

 
 

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron. Growing up in Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her. While some are born with a talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she chose knowledge. However, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true: she is left without a patron.  Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, she reluctantly accepts. But there is much more to his story, for there is a dangerous plot to overthrow the king of Maevana—the rival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the throne.

Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron. Growing up in Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her. While some are born with a talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she chose knowledge. However, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true: she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, she reluctantly accepts. But there is much more to his story, for there is a dangerous plot to overthrow the king of Maevana—the rival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the throne.

 

Chalice by Robin McKinley

As the newly appointed Chalice, Mirasol is the most important member of the Master’s Circle. It is her duty to bind the Circle, the land and its people together with their new Master. But the new Master of Willowlands is a Priest of Fire, only drawn back into the human world by the sudden death of his brother. No one knows if it is even possible for him to live amongst his people. Mirasol wants the Master to have his chance, but her only training is as a beekeeper. How can she help settle their demesne during these troubled times and bind it to a Priest of Fire, the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone?

As the newly appointed Chalice, Mirasol is the most important member of the Master’s Circle. It is her duty to bind the Circle, the land and its people together with their new Master. But the new Master of Willowlands is a Priest of Fire, only drawn back into the human world by the sudden death of his brother. No one knows if it is even possible for him to live amongst his people. Mirasol wants the Master to have his chance, but her only training is as a beekeeper. How can she help settle their demesne during these troubled times and bind it to a Priest of Fire, the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone?

 

We hope you find something new to love in our summer recommendations. And as always, happy reading!

Untitled design (1).jpg

How Children's Literature Makes Us Better Americans

Sometimes we feel as though we can match a person to a book at first glance. But people are endlessly surprising, especially in the books that they read. (Check anyone’s Goodreads.) I imagine this is true everywhere, but it feels especially true as a children’s bookseller in small-town America. 

 
Harbor Me.jpg
 

KidLit and Americans

I want to talk about the importance of children’s literature in America today, and to give you some recommendations for books I think make us all better Americans.

In a way, the element of surprise I experience daily as a bookseller feels like a microcosm of the American experience: someone somewhere is always surprising you, in part because of the diversity inherent in our national makeup.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence, then, that this experience is especially vivid in a children’s bookstore. 

In so many ways, children’s literature is vital to us as citizens. Learning to read and love books at a young age encourages a hunger for knowledge in a climate that is often hostile to such things.

Children’s literature also teaches and fosters empathy, which is a necessary skill if we want to fill our country with kind and thoughtful citizens who are concerned, as Americans have always claimed to be, with the good of the people.

When a child reaches for a book, it is these things they are reaching for - empathy, knowledge, and thoughtfulness. 

Children’s literature, perhaps most of all, is a place where voices that have historically been silenced, overlooked, or forgotten find their way into the light. This is not because children’s literature is less sophisticated than adult literature, but just the opposite.

Children’s books provide a unique and sophisticated storytelling medium that is often lacking in grown-up books. Here, stories can be brought to life in playful ways via interactive books, or in multiple ways via illustrations and picture book design. Authors can convey different parts of their story they couldn’t in other forms of media.

Maybe the most important part of children’s literature as a unique storytelling medium is that it brings stories to those who would rarely hear them otherwise - at least, not for many years. As adults, we often take for granted our exposure to different people and places without realizing that children don’t often have access to these experiences. They can, however, get a good start through books.

Recommended Reading

In a time where isolation and fear are constantly present in the American consciousness, the mixture of stories and young minds is a recipe for hope. Children’s literature can show us how to resist these hard things, and in turn, how to be better Americans. 

Here are a few books that do just that, all available in The Story Shop’s online store.

Click the titles for a link to order.

Picture Books

Beginning Readers & Middle Grade

Young Adult

  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

  • Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge

    Note: Fly by Night is based on 18th century England, but it’s smart and thoughtful and the ideas are quite fitting.

Classics

  • To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

    Note: These are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only American classics that fit this list. However, I do want to make a case for including both of these titles and not just To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus’s characterization in Go Set a Watchman, especially when contrasted with Scout’s, is a crucial reminder of our tendency to idealize parts of our history. In Watchman, Lee casts American history in a revealing light rather than black-and-white shadow, and this context is, I think, an important companion to To Kill a Mockingbird, which is one of my very favorites.

I hope this list inspires you this Independence Day. Happy Fourth, and as always, happy reading!

Untitled design (1).jpg

Festival Visiting Picture Book Authors

PICTURE BOOK AUTHOR REVIEW

Gabrielle Balkan: Balkan’s playful and fun nonfiction style will keep young readers engaged while also teaching them incredible facts they won’t forget!

Also by Gabrielle: 50 Cities of the USA, Book of Bones, Book of Flight (forthcoming), The 50 States Fun Facts, The 50 States Activity Book

50 states.jpg
brave.jpg

Jonathan D. Voss: Jonathan’s lovable characters are full of whimsy and imagination. His books are perfect for lovers of friendship and adventure.

Also by Jonathan: Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, Imagine That: A Hoot & Olive Story (forthcoming).

LK James: An illustrator & designer, LK’s debut picture book is sneakily reflective in a whimsical package. The colorful but muted tones set the stage for a thoughtful story time.

house.jpg
narwhal.jpg

Jessie Sima: Most recent winner of the GA Picture Book Award! Her books are cheerful, colorful, and hilarious.

Also by Jessie: Harriet Gets Carried Away; Love, Z

Illustrated by Jessie: Snow Pony & the Seven Miniature Ponies

Shelli R. Johannes: The Cece books encourage curiosity and determination. Perfect for tiny scientists!

Also by Shelli: Cece Loves Science & Adventure (forthcoming)

cece.jpg
dolle.jpg

Shanda McCloskey: Shanda’s writing is adorable and hilarious. Robots, missions, and dogs, oh my! Perfect for children of the technological age.

Also by Shanda: T-Bone the Drone (forthcoming)

Crystal Swain-Bates: Crystal’s books are confident and bold! Perfect for young ones with big personalities or those in need of encouragement.

Also by Crystal: I’m a Pretty Princess; Big Hair, Don’t Care

naturally.jpg
bedtime.jpg

Bart King & Jacob Wenzka: This author & illustrator team knows how to engage their audience, whether it’s a sneaky sleepy-time book or encouraging the power of imagination.

Also by Bart & Jacob: Juniper Gets Wet, The Girl Who Kept Night in Her Closet

Join Us for the First Annual Monroe Children's Book Festival

The Monroe Children’s Book Festival is a city-wide celebration of stories, imagination, and the community that blooms out of both.

 
MCBF_Final (1).jpg
 

This FREE EVENT will take place on Saturday, May 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. We’ll have family-friendly activities and events for bookworms of all ages.

The Lineup

 
1.jpg
 
 
 
2.jpg
 
 
3.jpg
 
 
Authors and Illustrators Ann Braden, Bo Burnette, Gabrielle Balkan, Jessie Sima, Joanna Ruth Meyer, Jonathan D. Voss, Karen Strong, Laura Weymouth, LK James, Lisa Lewis Tyre, Rebecca Ross, Shanda McCloskey, Ginger Johnson, Crystal Swain-Bates, Bart King, Jacob Wenzka, and Shelli R. Johannes will be joining us for this year’s festival.

Authors and Illustrators Ann Braden, Bo Burnette, Gabrielle Balkan, Jessie Sima, Joanna Ruth Meyer, Jonathan D. Voss, Karen Strong, Laura Weymouth, LK James, Lisa Lewis Tyre, Rebecca Ross, Shanda McCloskey, Ginger Johnson, Crystal Swain-Bates, Bart King, Jacob Wenzka, and Shelli R. Johannes will be joining us for this year’s festival.

 

Events

BOOK SIGNINGS:

  • Guests will get the opportunity to meet the authors in the Celebration Room or the Wardrobe at The Story Shop.

  • We will have the authors’ books on sale in the room at the time of the signing, as well as in our online shop.

  • In order to reserve a space in the signing line, guests must purchase the author’s book(s) from The Story Shop.

  • Pre-orders encouraged to guarantee a spot in the signing line. Pre-orders also get a privileged spot in line.

PRESENTATIONS & PANELS:

  • Many of our authors will give fun, interactive presentations at the Wayfarer Music Hall.

  • Author panels will be in the Wayfarer Sunroom, where authors will discuss their books and their writing process.

  • We will have two additional community panels involving the students of the Georgia Writer’s Project, as well as local teachers and librarians!

  • Story times will be in the Wardrobe at The Story Shop,

Don’t miss Indie Author Alley near the Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts. Many great indie authors will be set up there - stop by and meet them!

At noon, the Storybook 5K & fun run will begin at Childers Park followed by a costume contest at 2pm at the Historic Courthouse.

There will be plenty more fun events, such as puppet story time at the library at 11am, the Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts writing contest participants on display, photo ops with On Stage’s Peter Pan characters at the MWCA from 10am-12pm, opening day for the farmer’s market, the cow train, food trucks, bouncy houses, and more!

We can’t wait to see you there!

Untitled design (9).jpg

Book Review: What Is Given from the Heart

Patricia C. McKissack’s final book is a harmony of thoughtfulness and feeling that speaks to the resilience of children.

 
what is given from the heart.jpg
 

Here is the publisher’s summary:

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving. 

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service– the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack–with stunning illustrations by Harrison–delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

I was first struck by the illustrations of this book. Harrison’s use of collage works brilliantly. Each page is filled with bittersweet texture that not only appeals to kids, but also nods to nostalgia. Fabrics, papers, and photograph snippets all serve as vehicles back in time for older readers and sources of wonder for younger readers. Harrison’s colors and patterns beg us to turn the page, if only to see what the next visual will convey. The diversity of media used in the illustrations also serves McKissack’s story - give to those in a variety of situations, with a variety of backgrounds. Give to those who are trying to piece together a world from scraps.

McKissack is unflinching from the first page. A note to parents: this book contains some heavy material, but McKissack handles it with grace and nuance while maintaining accessibility. While this is a story about some pretty painful things that happen in the life of a child, this isn’t one of those books that are about-kids-but-for-adults. No, this is a story for children, and James Otis’s intelligent, matter-of-fact voice allows it to move seamlessly from childlike curiosity to tough truths of life and back again.

The story also breaks down what it means to give “from the heart,” a phrase adults often present to children and then leave floating in their brains as a complete abstraction. The reader follows James Otis as he tries to think of anything he might give to a girl who lost her home in a fire. We see his careful choosing process and his doubling back, his excitement and his second guessing. We see him learn from Mama’s actions and explanations that to give from the heart is to give thoughtfully and sincerely.

What is Given from the Heart is a story that trusts its child readers to accompany James Otis on his quest for a heartfelt gift. It trusts kids to match its intelligence. How fantastic, to teach children that both emotion and logic exist side by side in the act of giving!

As always, happy reading!

Untitled design (1).jpg

Book Review: Lola Dutch: When I Grow Up

The newest Lola Dutch book, out January 15, 2019, celebrates the sincere grandeur of a child’s imagination with charming characters and lovely illustrations.

 
Lola Dutch.jpeg
 
 

Here is a summary from the publisher:

Lola Dutch is always bursting with grand plans--so of course she has many ideas for what she wants to be when she grows up!

She could be a magnificent performer . . . 
or a daring inventor . . . 
or a brilliant botanist . . . 
there are exciting ideas all around! But Lola is too excited--she wants to try EVERYTHING. How will she ever decide what she is destined to become?

The curious and creative Lola Dutch is inspired to imagine every way to explore the wonder of her world. And she doesn't have to wait until she grows up!

Just like the Wright’s first Lola book, Lola Dutch: When I Grow Up is bursting with energy and imagination. The characters readers fell in love with in book one are back, and while the enthusiasm is the same, book two avoids feeling redundant or monotonous. The Wrights manage to create a fresh adventure without losing any of their signature charm.

Much like Lola herself, Sarah Jane Wright’s illustrations don’t shy away from being colorful and grandiose. She mixes minimalism and maximalism with expert fluidity. The important parts of Lola’s imagination are highlighted with bright, eclectic patterns and fearless detail, while the backgrounds remain gracefully airy, a canvas for everything Lola can dream up.

This brings me to perhaps the best thing about both the Lola Dutch books: they provide a space to celebrate the sincerity and grandeur of a child’s imagination. Lola Dutch may be a little bit much, but the story never tries to reign her in, and her friends - Bear, Gator, Pig, and Crane - are up for whatever adventures Lola comes up with next, loving her all the while.

If this book sounds as adorable to you as it does to us, good news! Author and illustrator team Kenneth and Sarah Jane Wright will be at The Story Shop on January 16 at 6:00 p.m. for a fantastic party and book signing in honor of the release of Lola Dutch: When I Grow Up! You won’t want to miss it - join in the fun by registering here:

And as always, happy reading!

Untitled design (1).jpg