Themed Bookshelves

Happy Picture Book Month!

Since 1938, the Caldecott Medal has been awarded every year by the American Library Association to the “artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.” We Are Water Protectors, illustrated by Michaela Goade and written by Carole Lindstrom, was the Caldecott winner in 2021. The entire Caldecott collection can be found here. The Caldecott Medal is named for English illustrator Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886). Caldecott is credited with originating the modern picture book by using his colorful illustrations to help tell the story rather than simply reflect the written words. Created by Rene Paul Chambellan in 1937, the bronze medal’s design is based on one of Randolph Caldecott's illustrations for The Diverting History of John Gilpin. It features the image of a man riding a runaway horse surrounded by geese, dogs and children.  To celebrate Picture Book Month, enjoy some of these gorgeous nonfiction picture books illustrated by Christian Robinson, Josh Cochran, Shane W. Evans, Floyd Cooper, Peter Sís, Yuval Zommer, Sylvia Long, Frané Lessac, Evan Turk, Luisa Uribe, Teresa Martinez, Kadir Nelson, Marta Álvarez Miguéns, Chris Sasaki, and Sarah S. Brannen.  Read More

Native American Heritage Month

The Navajo People, or Diné, welcome a baby into their community by celebrating the baby’s first laugh. As part of the celebration, the baby often receives a special gift of turquoise, and the meal might include rock salt, symbolizing a connection with the earth. Who gets to host this celebration? The person who first made the baby laugh!  You can read more about the Navajo People’s first laugh celebration, and the traditions and experiences of other Indigenous Americans, in the books below.  Read More

Trick? Or Treat?

Each year, lots of families carve jack-o’-lanterns to celebrate Halloween. But did you know that the first jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips, not pumpkins? In Ireland and Scotland people hollowed out turnips and gave them creepy faces to celebrate the feast of All Hallows’ Eve. Many years later, when immigrants from the UK arrived in North America, they discovered that the native pumpkin made a much better jack-o’-lantern, because it was larger and softer than a turnip.  Trick-or-treating would look quite different today, without those familiar orange faces glowing in the dark! Here are some wonderful, Halloween-themed books that will help get you ready to trick or treat: Read More

National Cat Day

Cats sleep a lot. In fact, some cats sleep as much as 20 hours per day! But that doesn’t mean that cats spend all that time sound asleep. Most of the time, cats are just dozing and ready to jump up at a moment’s notice. Which is why we say that a person enjoying a quick, light sleep is taking a “cat nap.” :) To Celebrate National Cat Day, learn more about cats and spend time with some of your favorite cat characters, by exploring these great cat books, below. Read More

National Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month

In honor of National Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month, learn more about Frida Kahlo, the brilliant Mexican artist who painted her animal friends at Casa Azul in Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos, and explore other wonderful books that celebrate Hispanic and Latinx heritage. Read More

Pirate Lore

Pirates may not have buried much treasure on deserted islands, cried “argh” when displeased, or forced their captives to walk the plank. (Argh!) But some pirate lore seems to be based on fact. Pirates actually had parrots for pets, wore eye patches, and flew the Jolly Roger. (Blimey!) To celebrate… Read More

Books About Ice Cream

Ice cream has been a favorite food in the United States at least since the 1740s, which is probably why July is National Ice Cream Month! In the 19th Century, an ice cream maker was invented that allowed you to hand-crank the ice cream inside a bucket of ice,… Read More

Books featuring LGBTQ history

  Learn about the meaning behind the other colors of the Pride flag in Our Rainbow by Little Bee Books, and celebrate Pride Month with these great titles about important moments and people in LGBTQ history. Read More