Staff Picks: Beginning Readers

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Can I Play Too?-An Elephant and Piggie Book By Mo Willems Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781423119913
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Hyperion Books for Children - June 8th, 2010

Elephant and Piggy is an amazing book series. The books are very funny. They are a perfect fit for young readers. The books are based on a friendship between a pig and elephant. A great read!

Claire, age 10


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Newbie Fairy (Oona Bramblegoop's Sideways Magic #1) By Kate Korsh, Marta Altés (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kate Korsh, Marta Altés (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9780593533642
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - January 2nd, 2024

Calling all fairy-lovers and jokesters alike! This beginner book is a perfect blend of a cutesy fairy world and just the right amount of potty humor (I'm talking magic wedgie-inducing underwear LOL). Join Oona on her Newbie Fairy quests to impress the regal Tooth Fairy and get her spells to come out just right. Complete with sweet pink text and whimsical illustrations to help you envision the world of Oona Bramblegoop.

Tori


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The Apartment House on Poppy Hill: Book 1 By Nina LaCour, Sònia Albert (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Nina LaCour, Sònia Albert (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781797213736
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Chronicle Books - November 7th, 2023

From beloved author Nina LaCour comes a whimsical novel for early readers. Perfect for fans of Dory Fantasmagory, the classic Eloise books, and for anyone who loves roaming around a big cozy house! Join 9-year-old Ella as she helps new neighbors settle into their quirky San Francisco apartment building, all while she works to solve a mystery that’s stumped her for her whole life! (BONUS: This is the first book in a series!)

Heather


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Who Will Make the Snow? By Taras Prokhasko, Marjana Prokhasko (Illustrator), Marjana Prokhasko, Jennifer Croft (Translated by), Boris Dralyuk (Translated by) Cover Image
By Taras Prokhasko, Marjana Prokhasko (Illustrator), Marjana Prokhasko, Jennifer Croft (Translated by), Boris Dralyuk (Translated by)
$22.00
ISBN: 9781953861740
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Elsewhere Editions - December 12th, 2023

Beech Forest has the same Utopian charm of the Hundred Acre Wood and Moominvalley, and like those settings I would very much liketo settle down, read the news in The Daily Mole, and visit friends at Under the Oak Cafe. It’s not that nothing bad happens here, it’s just that life’s movements follow the seasons and all challenges are faced bravely and in community. Taras’s story has the feel of a classic with a contemporary generosity, especially thanks to a lift from Dralyuk and Croft’s superb translation, and Marjana’s textured illustrations are expressive, gorgeous, and full of delightful details.

Timothy


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The Story of Gumluck the Wizard: Book One By Adam Rex Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781797213231
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Chronicle Books - August 15th, 2023

Silly Little Guy alert! Silly Little Guy alert!!! Join Gumluck, the little wizard who lives in a big hill, as he uses magic to help the unappreciative townsfolk, gets a ghost stuck in his hair, bothers a raven named Helvetica, is visited by a fairy who’s a real bummer, eats ice cream, and dreams of being a hero! Hilarious and surprisingly tender, I can’t wait for the next book in this brand new series!

Bo


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Crimson Twill: Witch in the City By Kallie George, Birgitta Sif (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kallie George, Birgitta Sif (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9781536230352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - September 12th, 2023

Twigs and toads! Crimson Twill is the sweetest witch EVER. The Twill witches fly out of the Cackle County countryside for a midnight shopping spree at Broomingdale's in New Wart City. With gold coins to spend, Crimson wanders the Cat, Broom, and Hat Floors, when she accidentally stumbles into Vera Fang's fashion show! Impressed with her unique style, Crimson reminds the city witches that being yourself is the latest trend. Don't forget to grab a piece of frog-eye pie before cozying up with this little gem!

Beth


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Sejal Sinha Battles Superstorms By Maya Prasad, Abira Das (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Maya Prasad, Abira Das (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9781665911771
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Aladdin - May 2nd, 2023

This new beginner reader series is packed with science, adventure, and imagination. Sejal wants to stop Hurricane Ruin-Everything from messing up her family’s Diwali festivities, so she and Professor Cheetah (her trusty side-kick) hop in their plane to learn some facts about hurricanes. The book is absolutely perfect for fans of Zoey & Sassafrass and The Questioneers.

Anna


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Bear and Bird: The Picnic and Other Stories By Jarvis, Jarvis (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jarvis, Jarvis (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9781536228328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - May 9th, 2023

Frog and Toad fans... this one’s for you. This funny yet delightful beginner chapter book is sure to be your next favorite read. Follow Bear and Bird along on four different adventures through Jarvis’ beautifully crafted world. The illustrations filled with muted colors and the wit that this duo has is sure to make any reader giggle with joy and join in on the fun!

Jess


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Henry, Like Always: Book 1 By Jenn Bailey, Mika Song (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jenn Bailey, Mika Song (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781797213897
Availability: Backordered
Published: Chronicle Books - March 21st, 2023

After the popularity of picture book A Friend for Henry, Henry is back in his very own beginner chapter book. Henry, a boy with ASD, like routines and schedules - a lot. When his teacher announces a class parade during their usual Share Time, he has a difficult time handling the change. He learns how to roll with the punches, and even participate in the parade, with a little bit of patience.

Anna


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Spooky Sleuths #1: The Ghost Tree By Natasha Deen, Lissy Marlin (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Natasha Deen, Lissy Marlin (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9780593488874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - August 30th, 2022

Asim’s got some concerns about his new town…there’s this seemingly evil tree that grows creepily fast, weird noises during the night, and even strange lights. Asim is pretty sure something supernatural–and bad–is going on. Rokshar, Asim’s friend, swears this can all be explained by science, until their teacher is possessed by an evil spirit straight out of Guyanese folklore! Asim and his friends will have to stage a daring rescue if they’re going to save their teacher and the town from the ghost tree…

Jenna


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Sir Ladybug By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780063069060
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Balzer + Bray - March 29th, 2022

Hark! A tale of bravery and friendship! The first book in Corey R. Tabor’s Sir Ladybug series is a silly twist on classic tales of knights and dragons, with insects and birds in those roles. Sir Ladybug defeats the “dragon” (a hangry chickadee) with an unexpected weapon, crafted inside a snail shell that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Tabor’s illustrations are lively, colorful, and expressive. You’ll laugh through this charming tale of derring-do!

Timothy


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The Flower Garden: A Graphic Novel By Renée Kurilla Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781419750205
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Amulet Books - March 15th, 2022

When Anna and Tess start planting flowers for the bees, they didn’t expect to be shrunk down to gnome size and set on a zany adventure! Leap into a botanical bonanza as these two friends encounter blueberries, burrows, bumblebees, and more, all while learning how to be good friends. This Alice in Wonderland style beginner graphic novel is a perfect summery read.

Claire


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Out in the Wild!: A Graphix Chapters Book (Bug Scouts #1) By Mike Lowery, Mike Lowery (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mike Lowery, Mike Lowery (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781338726329
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Graphix - April 19th, 2022

Join four bug friends for a hiking, scavenging adventure! With fun facts about bugs and nature, this graphic novel is sure to entertain your outdoorsy beginning reader. Mike Lowery brings silly and engaging dialogue to life with colorful illustrations. Follow the Bug Scouts as they collect plants and learn what you can and can’t eat in the forest. Watch out for the sneaky frog at the end!

Anastasia


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The Inflatables in Bad Air Day (The Inflatables #1) By Beth Garrod, Jess Hitchman, Chris Danger (Illustrator) Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9781338748970
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - May 3rd, 2022

Get ready to dip your toes into this fun, adventurous beginner book with The Inflatables! Follow Cactus, Flamingo, Watermelon, Donut, and Lynn as they travel through the waterpark and help Flamingo reach his stardom! Filled with humor and puns, this book is sure to be a hit while lounging by the pool all summer long.

Jess


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Word Travelers and the Taj Mahal Mystery By Raj Haldar, Neha Rawat (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Raj Haldar, Neha Rawat (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9781728222059
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Sourcebooks Explore - October 5th, 2021

Mystery and etymology go hand in hand in the first book of an adventurous new series perfect for fans of Magic Tree House. Eddie and MJ are having a perfectly normal, fun, sleepover when they get to wondering—where did the word “pajama” come from, anyway? Their curiosity leads them to the Awesome Enchanted Book, and before they know it, they are transported across the world and into the middle of a treasure-hunting mystery!

Claire


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Book Buddies: Ivy Lost and Found By Cynthia Lord, Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Cynthia Lord, Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9781536226058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - March 15th, 2022

After years of being left in Anne the librarian’s box, Ivy is reluctant to be borrowed and becoming the newest member of the book buddies where kids can borrow a toy for two weeks. But when Fern is pushed to bring ivy home she learns that being borrowed isn’t so bad after all. In this charming new series, readers learn how Ivy and Fern can lean on one another and adapt to their changing worlds.

Jess


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Too Small Tola By Atinuke, Onyinye Iwu (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Atinuke, Onyinye Iwu (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9781536230376
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - April 4th, 2023

Tola is small but mighty! This series of three stories about Tola’s life in the megacity of Lagos, Nigeria with her brother, sister, and Grandmommy are utterly adorable. Is she too small to carry home the shopping with her Grandmommy? What will Tola do when the water and electricity go out again before she needs to go to school? How will Tola’s impeccable measuring skills come in handy when her neighbor has an accident right before Eid? Iwu’s illustrations and Atinuke’s uncomplicated language make this an accessible and engaging book for emerging readers.

Kara


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Donut Feed the Squirrels: (A Graphic Novel) (Norma and Belly #1) By Mika Song Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781984895837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Random House Graphic - September 29th, 2020

Perfect for fans of Elephant & Piggie and Narwhal & Jellyfish, this action-packed graphic early reader is charming and hilarious from cover to cover. Squirrels Belly and Norma devise a plan to steal a fresh donut from a local food truck. Song’s watercolor illustrations are silly and perfectly express the squirrels’ abundant mishaps and culinary detours.

Kara


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Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables Book #1) By Jonathan Auxier, Olga Demidova (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jonathan Auxier, Olga Demidova (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781419742712
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Amulet Paperbacks - April 12th, 2022

As a kid, I devoured any book about caring for animals, especially mythical ones, and I know child-me would have loved The Fabled Stables. Full of humor and adventure, the first book in this series has Auggie, the stable caretaker, rushing headlong into a swamp to rescue a new creature. Auxier has brought to life a cast of endearing characters, and I can’t wait to see what new animal calls the stables home.

Anna


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See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog By David LaRochelle, Mike Wohnoutka (Illustrator) Cover Image
By David LaRochelle, Mike Wohnoutka (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9781536204278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - September 8th, 2020

For children and their grown-ups, beginner books often seem boring, but not this romp of a reader. When the book (actually a character) attempts to tell a cat story, the dog that is pictured (there is no cat) feels offended. It learns the power of words by inserting its own to change the outcome of the story with hilarious effect. See the cat? No! See the fully engaged little reader.

Carmelle


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Pea, Bee, & Jay #1: Stuck Together By Brian "Smitty" Smith, Brian "Smitty" Smith (Illustrator) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780062981165
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperAlley - September 1st, 2020

Pea, Bee, and Jay are three unlikely friends living on a farm. Although the trio often gets into trouble (who knew raspberries could be rude?), they always get through it if they stick together. Smith combines running gags and clever wordplay with his bright illustrations to create a new series that will leave you wanting more, bee-lieve me!

Anna


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Dragons and Marshmallows: Zoey and Sassafras #1 By Asia Citro, Marion Lindsay (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Asia Citro, Marion Lindsay (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9781943147090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Innovation Press - March 14th, 2017

Until now, Zoey had no idea she could see magical creatures or that her scientist mother could see them too; not only this, the barn in their backyard is where these creatures come to when they need a helping hand. Zoey and Sassafras are witty, critical thinkers who encourage curiosity, compassion and problem-solving, spreading wonder for the natural and scientific worlds right from their own backyard.

Beth


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Snail and Worm All Day: Three Stories About Two Friends By Tina Kügler, Tina Kügler (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tina Kügler, Tina Kügler (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780358561873
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Clarion Books - July 4th, 2023

Spare, simple language makes this book perfect for newly independent readers, without skimping on quality content. These three stories follow Snail and Worm throughout the course of a day, with dialogue characterized by delightfully droll humor. Together, Snail and Worm celebrate their friends' successes, save a turtle from itself, and write their own bedtime story. Kügler’s illustrations perfectly complement each hilarious story and establish Snail and Worm as genuinely genial and kind creatures.

Kara


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Douglas By Randy Cecil, Randy Cecil (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Randy Cecil, Randy Cecil (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780763633974
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - September 10th, 2019

Prepare yourself for an adventure story to rival any action movie out there. Join Douglas, our daring hero, on her journey across town to the movie theater she calls home. Watch as she leaps through open windows. Gasp when she narrowly avoids a swinging broom. Hold your breath while she swings perilously from a clothesline. Douglas will keep you on the edge of your seat. And leave you wanting popcorn.

Anna


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Lucy By Randy Cecil, Randy Cecil (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Randy Cecil, Randy Cecil (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780763668082
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - August 2nd, 2016

A little white dog (Lucy) roams the streets, always in search of food and shelter, revisiting her former life only in dreams. A little girl (Eleanor) notices the dog and dreams of befriending her. The girl’s father (Sam) juggles brilliantly at home, but cannot get past his stage fright to complete a public performance. Told in four ‘acts’, the story unfolds gracefully and ends with all parties getting their fondest wish in a perfect storm of magic and memory.

Collette