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On the Shelf: Quarantine edition

A new book can fascinate little ones and give parents a much-needed break from the same story (for the 500th time). While you are staying home and reading together, supporting locally owned bookstores is a great way to help small businesses. Find a new favorite at and place an order if you can. And don’t forget that your local library has eBooks and audiobooks available right now at no charge.

“Hurry Up! – A Book About Slowing Down” by Kate Dopirak, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal (Beach Lane Books, ages 4 – 8) 

Available May 19, the timing here is perfect. The school days are usually busy, busy, busy, but this book about slowing down shows some of the things we miss (and really need) in the daily rat race of life. Forced to slow down a bit now, schedules can ease, and we can breathe, count the stars and more.

“All Around Bustletown” series by Rotraut Susanne Berner (Prestel, ages 2 – 5)

This delightful series continues with “Spring” and “Summer” – oversized board books loaded with images to help little pre-readers discover the sights of the seasons. Though these books will engage young children, they can keep older kids interested, too. (And adults might spend, ahem, too much time exploring all the pictures.) These are great for creating stories as well.

“WildLives – 50 Extraordinary Animals that Made History” by Ben Lerwill, illustrated by Sarah Walsh (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ages 8 and older)

Learn the names and stories of animals who did extraordinary things. Many of these stories will open deeper discussions about what happened to many of the animals and the ethics involved. Overall, this is a good starting point for older children to begin exploring those issues. 

“Snail Finds a Home” by Mary Peterson (Aladdin Pix, ages 6 – 9) 

This easy-to-read illustrated chapter book is a great chance for emerging readers to show their stuff. There are plenty of context clues in the funny illustrations to help them along.

“The Adventures of Moose & Mr Brown” (Pavilion, ages 4 – 8) by Paul Smith, illustrated by Sam Usher

This first picture book by celebrated British designer Paul Smith will have kids giggling at some funny animal couture (elephant hankies for blowing trunks?) and at a one-of-a-kind fashion show. 

“When You Need Wings” by Lita Judge (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ages 4 – 8)

This is an encouraging story – especially for anxious children – that reframes the sound of a pounding heart into the sound of wings, giving way to imagination and strength to overcome fear. The rich illustrations lend so much to this short tale. 

“Cuddle Monkey” by Blake Liliane Hellman, illustrated by Chad Otis (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, ages 4 – 8)

When older siblings feel a little pushed out by the needs of a new baby, they can quickly become cuddle monkeys just like Lewis. Parents are busy, but those cuddles can still happen. This book is perfect for some reassuring bedtime reading for little ones. 

Check out these Bonus Books!