Children & Young Adult Staff Picks - March 2024

Welcome to our Children's Librarian Picks, where our passionate children's librarians handpick the most delightful, heartwarming, and engaging books for young readers. Happy reading, little bookworms!

Children's Picture Books

The Great Kiwi School Day by Donovan Bixley

The great Kiwi School Day is a fun and exciting introduction to what happens in your average New Zealand School. It familiarises children and parents with what a New Entrants class looks like, from the moment Grandpa and the main character arrive at school until the end of the day when Grandpa picks him up again.

Sebastian Stands Out by Rory H. Mather

Sebastian Chameleon is always being squished, squashed and stepped on because he blends in. After the gazillionth time, he has had enough! Can Sebastian change his chameleon ways and finally stand out?

Cork on the Ocean by Mark Sommerset

A great read in line with NZ Sea Week (2-10th March 2024) 

Bounce on the ocean, ride over waves, voyage out into the blue. A little brown cork is waiting inside to share an adventure with you.

Suggested level: junior, primary.

Children's Young Fiction

Arlo & Pips. 1, King of the Birds by Elise Gravel

Like most crows, Arlo has a big brain. But Arlo has something else: a little pal who's not afraid to tell him when he's being insufferable! In the first of three episodes, a battle of the brains and bird-to-bird banter soon turns into an unexpected friendship. Arlo and Pips' adventures include a visit the big city and the beach on their hunt for shiny things and French fries. Cool crow facts are included throughout the book.

Children's Fiction

The Way of Dog by Zana Fraillon

A powerful, inventive, sweet and deeply moving novel from the bestselling author of The Bone Sparrow Be strong. Be fierce. Life is more than a concrete floor. Scruffity is born into the harsh, grey world of a puppy farm. Taken from his mamma and locked in a concrete cage, what he yearns for most is Family. To belong is The Way of Dog. But no one wants him. Just as his chances of adoption grow dangerously thin, Scruffity is set free by a boy as unwanted and lonely as he is. Outside, Scruffity learns all about The Way of Dog - it is to run, to dig, to howl and, biggest of all, to love. But when tragedy strikes, Scruffity is suddenly all alone. How does a dog find his way home when he never had one to begin with?

Children's Non-Fiction

Poems Aloud by Joseph Coelho

Poems are for reading out loud! Tackle tongue twisters, confound your classmates with riddles, make your friends laugh, and transform into a ball of slime as you perform these poems and bring them to life. Discover performance and writing techniques to build your confidence. This is the perfect first book about the fun of poetry and spoken word.

The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane

Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book kindred in spirit and tone, continues to re-wild the lives of children and adults. The Lost Spells evokes the wonder of everyday nature, conjuring up red foxes, birch trees, jackdaws, and more in poems and illustrations that flow between the pages and into readers' minds. Robert Macfarlane's spell-poems and Jackie Morris's watercolour illustrations are musical and magical: these are summoning spells, words of recollection, charms of protection. To read The Lost Spells is to see anew the natural world within our grasp and to be reminded of what happens when we allow it to slip away.

Sharks – A Mighty Bite-y History by Miriam Forster

Sharks are some of the oldest creatures on the earth (or, rather, in its waters.) This epic survey follows sharks from their earliest appearance in the Paleozoic era up through the challenges they face today. Along the way, readers will meet many different sharks from different points in history. They will get an up-close evolutionary look at what makes a shark a shark-like their skin, their teeth, their fins, and more. And they will get a crash course in archeological time, as the book mostly covers prehistoric sharks or modern-day sharks who have been around much longer than humans. Like the hammerhead, who has been patrolling tropical coastlines for more than 20 million years! With lush illustrations from Gordy Wright and meticulous research from author Miriam Forster, Sharks! A Mighty, Bite-y History is sure to delight shark lovers, science fans, and any reader who loves to discover new wonders about the world around them.

Children's Graphic Novel

Global by Eoin Colfer

Told in alternating voices, twelve-year-old Sami, from a village along the Bay of Bengal, and fourteen-year-old Yuki, from Northern Canada, strive to protect their homes from the encroaching damage brought on by climate change.

Young Adult Graphic Novel

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

A reminder of the most important things in life. A book of hope for uncertain times. Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most poignant life lessons. Charlie's first book includes his most-loved illustrations and new ones too. The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos.