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Picture Books and Easy Books

It wasn't just Cozbi Cabrera's beautiful illustrations that captured my heart the first time I read Me and Mama. The prose that filled the pages was so sweet and specific, and sounded just like something that could have come from a child's mouth. After reading several of her other works, I was amazed at Cabrera's level of artistry and sincerity. This post shines a light on Cozbi Cabrera's masterfully created picture books. 

Fractured fairy tales are classic fairy tales with a new spin. Children LOVE funny books and books with surprises, which are pretty much a given in these types of stories! Read on to discover some of our favorite fractured fairy tales!

Snuggle up with some of the coziest picture books published in 2023! Each of these wintery stories centers around nature, family, and a spirit of giving. As the days get shorter and the air gets chillier, shared read-alouds are such a fun way to relax and enjoy time with loved ones. 

Image contains a Santa in a red suit, white beard, and cap waving

In the now 200 years since it was first published, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" has become a beloved staple of many a holiday celebration. You and your family can experience this classic poem in picture books, in oh so many ways! 

Discover some brilliantly beautiful picture books by native authors that have recently come under the fire of book bans & challenges in the United States. These books were thoughtfully created for children and do not, in the least, contain ANY explicit content. Exposing our children to a variety of worldviews, cosmologies, and perspectives can be an enlightening and expansive experience for all involved. Check out these excellent reads and more here at NPL!

Book Cover of "Let's Play Gonggi." Image contains two children, a boy and a girl,  playing with plastic game pieces; boy uses game pieces to simulate goggles.

Many of us adults now look back on our decidedly low-tech childhood pastimes with fondness. Tap into this nostalgia with  Let's Play Gonggi, a picture book from Korea! 

 

 

Hubo una multitud de libros fantásticos escritos por autores latines para niños publicados en 2023. ¡Aquí están mis favoritos, y una lista comprehensiva de unos más, para celebrar el Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispánica! There were a multitude of great children's books written by Latine authors published in 2023. Here are my favorites, and a comprehensive list of more books, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

The Fourth of July is a fitting day to reflect upon our country's history. These picture books help tell a honest, nuanced, and sensitive story of what the Fourth of July means to different people. 

Beatrix Potter was not only a brilliant author/illustrator of Children's books, but also a conservationist, natural scientist, and a downright fascinating woman. On display at the Frist Art Museum in downtown Nashville until September 17th, "Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature" is an incredibly rich and engaging celebration of Potter's life and work. Both children and adults alike will enjoy this timeless collection, a beautifully curated and re-imagined collage of nature drawings, children's book illustrations, photography, and interactive activities!

Pride month is upon us! Discussing LGBTQIA+ issues with kids can be a challenge, especially if you don't identify as a part of this community. Here are some tips for starting a conversation around gender identity and sexual preference! It is never too early to open a child's heart and mind, and doing so can foster empathy and compassion, for themselves and for others.

Not all of us are gifted with a green thumb. However, getting our hands dirty in the garden (or with whatever space you have) can be a fantastic opportunity for you and your child to learn about the natural world. Here are a few books and resources to inspire a love of plants this spring! 

Diwali, or Deepawali, is a 5-day holiday celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. Beginning on the new moon in October, popular festivities include the lighting of diyas, beautiful clay candles, a great cleaning of the living space, honoring of deities such as Lakshmi and Ganesh, and creating rangoli, decorations from colored sand, inside each room in the house. Check out some books from Nashville Public Library that shine a light on these radiant celebrations!

Cover of Bravo!: Poems About Brave Hispanics by Margarite Engle

During Hispanic Heritage Month we intentionally recognize the many contributions made by persons of Latin American, Hispanic, and Latina/o descent to every part of U.S. American life. Check out these picture book biographies about Hispanic and Latino trailblazers, strivers, and justice seekers. 

Globe of wold made up of stacks and different formations of books

Add some picture books in translation to your reading routine! Picture books by international creators offer different perspectives, and feature groundbreaking art and narratives.

The whole family can celebrate Pride Month with two fantastic children's books about same sex couples and their families' lives. Bathe the Cat is a hysterical tale about a feline friend who causes all kinds of mayhem in efforts to avoid his bath. Dad and Daddy and the whole family are thrown out of sorts trying to prepare for Grandma to arrive! Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle is an endearing story of a child and her Mama who spend a whole week together while Mommy is travelling for work. 

Nashville Public Library has a number of resources that help provide support and reassurance to children and adults with Diabetes I.

Holidays bring opportunities for making memories.  One long-ago Halloween was especially memorable.

October is pumpkin time!  This ancient food source of indigenous peoples all across the Americas continues to be an important part of our lives and is celebrated both nutritionally and aesthetically.

Explore other fun bedtime stories inspired by Margaret Wise Brown's classic Goodnight, MoonGoodnight, Ganesha by Nadia Saloman and Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann mirror the soothingly sweet tone and format of Goodnight, Moon, offering new and playful perspectives to the theme of nighttime rituals and unwinding before bed. 

Popcorn

Popcorn has been celebrated as both a food and a decoration for at least 9,000 years.  Any time is the right time for popcorn but fall and winter are made extra special when served up with the treat. 

Children can learn the basic rules of social engagement from an early age.  Nashville Public Library's catalog has the resources for teaching and learning social skills.

Fall brings with it a new crop of apples ready to be enjoyed.  Many elementary school students are learning about apples and the folk hero known as Johnny Appleseed. 

The halcyon days of late summer, 1963, brought about one of the most significant actions of the era.  It brought attention to the problems of inequality and the demands of a people who were willing to stand together and say, "no more."  Congress heard and acted. 

As children begin to understand that they are growing and will one day grow up they think about what they want to become--what kind of work they want to do.  Books help them learn about the possibilities.

Summertime fun times almost always include ice cream!  Celebrate summer with your family by creating your own icy cold treats at home.  It's easy and we have resources!

Elephant and Piggie star in Mo Willems' twenty-five volume award winning series for early readers that will delight both children and adults.

Fairy tales teach important life lessons.  They teach us to be the hero and to have hope as well as taking responsibility for our own actions.  Fairy tales teach us what true beauty is all about.

whoever you are

Looking for new favorites that support early reading skills like rhyme, repetition, colors, and numbers? Here is a list of books with diverse representation and inclusive themes for a young audience. 

The Memory Box: a Book About Grief by Joanna Rowland, is based upon the author's experience of creating a memory box so she might never forget a dear friend who died.  The closing pages of the book lists several ways to support a child who is experiencing grief and makes suggestions for the creation of a memory box.

Just as it takes many varied pieces of cloth to make a beautiful whole quilt, it takes a diverse group of people to make a beautiful community of many faces.  Nashville Public Library has a number of resources celebrating diversity.

Everybody bakes bread in one form or another.  Bread, the staff of life, is our past, our present and our future.

Road through trees

Everyone knows what it feels like to be hungry and what to do about it but some people are not able to get enough food to eat.  Without enough food, we cannot become who we were meant to be.  We can help others who are in need of good food.

The Trail of Tears is a part of the American story that is often ignored. This blog lists some of the children's books that are available as well as short day trips to significant places in the life of one Uchi girl.

The Oldest Student Book Cover Image

To all of you out there "adulting" - spending time reading a children's picture book can be a delightful way to focus your thoughts while you appreciate some art and gain unexpected nuggets of wisdom.

hair love

It is up to Zuri's father to give his daughter an extra-special hairstyle.

author chris haughton in studio

Books that can grow with a child as they do are special. Authors who write them immediately end up on my “must own” list. Chris Haughton is one of those authors for me.

During these times of sheltering at home, patrons and staff alike are missing regular in-person library programming. Here at NPL in 2020, we also had to postpone special in-person library events for the year's Nashville Reads title, Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. While that is sad, the good news is that you can still enjoy books and activities inspired by the marvelous Yuyi Morales's works while you're at home! 

In my opinion, there's not much more that can raise my spirits than reading an amazing, uplifting picture book with a child I love in my lap reading along. Todd Parr is an author I highly suggest for these treasured moments.

December and January present a rich opportunity to explore how different cultural traditions celebrate the winter holidays. Branch out from snowmen, reindeer, and candy canes by learning about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day.

Do you ever feel like you're going to be sick if you have to read one more overly sweet children's book to your kids this holiday season? Well these books about dinosaurs, pirates, and bug-eyed pugs are the perfect remedy for you! 

Blockbuster titles by some of the stars of the children's writing world are coming out during this last quarter of 2019. Get out your library card and prepare to place holds!

Although she is perhaps best known as the writer of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood has also written several books for children. Take an opportunity to introduce your child to one of the giants of modern literature by reading some books written especially for them.

It’s no secret that libraries love reading! But last year, when Nashville Public Library launched Read to Rise, we wanted the entire city of Nashville to know how critical reading to children from birth is to a child’s success in school. Over the past year, we’ve spread the word to nearly 1,000 children who’ve registered for Read to Rise.  All told, those kids, parents, and caregivers have read together for more than 12,000 days!

This blog post is part of a series examining classic children’s literature titles that have been deemed racist. Whether or not you choose to share classic books such as these with the children in your life, we encourage you to have open conversations with them on the topic of race.

The news of Toni Morrison's passing on August 5 was met with tributes and gratitude for a life well lived. While she is best known as the author of such novels as The Bluest Eye and Beloved, Morrison also wrote several books for children. It is not yet too early to introduce the children in your life to the work of this incomparable writer.

When it's super hot outside (feels like 105!), I like to take my mind off of the searing heat by reading some fun books about penguins. Don't you?

I'm going on a trip with my family this weekend-the entire crew. My mom and dad, my brother and sister, and all of our significant others. Plus, all the kids.

Do you have a picky young eater at home? You are not alone! Bread and Jam for Frances is the story of a winsome little badger who decides that only bread and jam will satisfy her appetite.  

When we think of raising children to be the best that they can be, we think of teaching them every single thing we can stretch into our time. Oftentimes, when we talk about teaching them the things they need to know, we think of popular mainstream subjects such as math, reading, science, and history. But, we also need to be encouraging them to be what they want to be, growing up and finding what makes them happy too.

Writer Pat Mora is a poet, an educator, an activist, and a storyteller who often borrows from her Chicana background to tell stories of family, heritage, and the joy that reading can bring.

Something that happens quite frequently in my house is bringing up the newest science information about dinosaurs. My husband has been obsessed since he was born, which means he can tell you about pretty much any kind of dinosaur and different facts to describe it.

Born in rural Kenya and educated in the United States, Wangari Maathai was the first woman in East Africa to earn a doctoral degree, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and is the founder of the Green Belt Movement. Her incredible story is the subject of several picture book biographies for children.

The 28 days of February will never be enough to highlight the full depth and breadth of black history in the United States and around the world. Picture books are an ideal (and beautiful) way, however, to address the gaps in our knowledge of the contributions of African Americans to History writ large.

Have you ever read a book that you just want to hug when you finish? And maybe not let anyone else touch it until you’re ready to let it go? Maybe that's just a children's librarian thing? Anyway, I had that experience with Sealed with a Kiss by Beth Ferry.

The announcement of the Caldecott, Newbery, and other recipients of the American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards is a cause for celebration! Did your favorites win? Or what books will now be on your reading list? Check out our round-up (with links to our collection) below

Using stories as the basis for coding games encourages children to explore early computer programming principles in a fun and interactive way.

2018 was definitely a wonderful year for picture books! Some books were thoughtful, while others were hilarious. Altogether, they made for a good year.

Born in Mexico City, author and illustrator Angela Dominguez grew up in Texas. Named several times as a Pura Belpré Honor for illustration, she now lives on the East Coast. Her friendly and open artwork invites the reader into a world where they can truly see themselves and others.

 

 

One of the most marvelous writers and illustrators of children's literature today, Yuyi Morales mines her Mexican childhood for the magical words and riotous colors that inform her beautiful books. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the prestigious Pura Belpré Medal.

Expanding your family is a crazy yet wonderful time. Luckily, there are picture books for almost every situation that can help ease the transition for your little ones.

Summer is a great time for getting outside and exploring all the tiny creatures that surround us. Check out these activities and books to help you and your kids learn more about all the creepy crawlies hiding in plain sight!

Published on March 13, Junot Díaz´s long awaited first book for children is a love letter to the children-both young and old- who carry in themselves the memories of the places that have shaped them and their communities.

Active kids love to run and explore the world around them. But how can you read a story when your kid is always on the move? 

It's especially important  in our current cultural climate that children not only see themselves in the books they read, but also that they read about children different from them. Below are some examples of books in NPL's collection in which biracial and multiracial children take center stage.

The sun is out and it's getting warmer so that can only mean one thing: spring is on its way! Here are a few activities and books you and your little one can enjoy to get you out and into the garden.

The Winter Olympics may be happening in South Korea, but you can have your own olympics right in your living room!

Now that it's officially December, we can bring out the Christmas music! These beautifully illustrated versions of Christmas songs and carols bring traditional music to life in a whole new way.

Do you have a little one that loves construction? or cats? or anything cute at all? This is one of those winning books that will appeal to most toddlers and preschoolers! 

Reading aloud to your young child is a great way to promote early literacy skills. But, did you know that it’s also an amazing opportunity to expose your little one to numbers and counting? In this article, we’ll talk about how children developmentally prepare to become mathematicians, and how you as a parent and/or caregiver can help facilitate their learning. One, two, three, let’s begin!

Research shows that up to 80% of a child's brain development takes place before age three, making the earliest years the most essential in regards to creating a lifelong reader and learner. Here are some facts about your baby's brain development and some suggested shared reading. 

Reading stories before bed is a great way to engage with your child and ensure their lifelong love of books and stories. It is also a key opportunity to bond with your child and show them how much you enjoy reading and books too.

We all know that reading to your child is an important part of their development. But did you know it can also be hilarious? There are lots of children's books out there that will have you and your child both laughing out loud!

In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, and as a show of support for the families and friends of those killed in the Orlando Massacre, I've put together a list of books about LGBT people, important historical events, and books written to provide information and support to anyone who is questioning their sexual or gender identity. 

Check out these art-inspired books to help celebrate this month of the arts!