This is part 2 of a 2-part blog post. For part 1, click here.


Trust me. As the Children’s Book Buyer at Bear Pond Books I’m right there with kids in the search for the “next great book.”

Lucky for me, poring over publisher sales catalogs and getting advanced reader’s copies of books in the mail whets my appetite­—a wonderful perk to my wonderful job.

Look for some of these standout books on the shelves of your local library or bookstore next time you’re there:

  • That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems: a picture book as homage to silent film dressed up in classic fairy tale-style villainy. Perfect as read aloud, reader’s theater, or read alone, Willems builds the excitement to just the right pitch.
  • The Penny books by Kevin Henkes: these early readers remind me of such classic storytellers as Russell Hoban or Arnold Lobel. Henkes is an author who really understands the minds of small children.
  • The Bink and Gollie books by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee: another series of early readers that take delight in the whimsical and comical side of friendship and adventure.
  • Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo: she is a master storyteller, folks. Her latest novel is infused with screwball comedy and quiet sensitivity: the story of a girl who is obsessed with superhero comics and a poetry-writing squirrel. For ages 8 and up.
  • The Al Capone books by Gennifer Choldenko: these are wonderful novels of a boy growing up on Alcatraz in the 1930’s. They are full of all sorts of true life facts about the island’s infamous inmates and what life was like for the Alcatraz employees. For ages 9 and up.
  • The Templeton Twins series by Ellis Weiner: a new series for middle grade kids who love puzzles and humor a la Lemony Snicket. The wisecracking narrator is the perfect hook. For ages 8 and up.
  • The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud: one of my favorite authors (remember the Bartimaeus Trilogy?) is back with a new series in which three kids operate a supernatural detective agency. Chilling and smart. For ages 9 and up.



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