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Cozy Up to a Book Great Winter Reads for Your Little Reader

The holiday break is over, the snow days aren’t coming (yet), and you’ve got bored kids on your hands. Here’s a list of books that are just plain fun for busting the winter blahs.

Board/Toddlers:
‘My First I See You’
by Eric Carle
This interactive book features colorful artwork, rhyming text and shiny mirrors. From a silly monkey to a shining sun, little ones will enjoy seeing themselves in all the mirrors.

‘Trains Chug’
by Rebecca Glaser

Chugga, chugga, choo, choo! Hop aboard as a variety of trains travel the countryside. Just right for toddlers who love to watch and listen to trains rumbling down the tracks.

Picture Books:
‘Big Bunny’
by Rowboat Watkins

‘Once upon a time, there was a BIG BUNNY’ opens this story within a story. With use of different fonts and silly illustrations, parent and child go back and forth telling their story of the big bunny who is scary to the child narrator. In the end, you find out why the bunny is so scary. This entertaining book will stand up to many reads and is fun for all ages, young and old.

‘We Don’t Eat Our Classmates’
by Ryan Higgins

It is Penelope’s first day of school, and she is having a difficult time making friends. It is hard to make friends when you find your classmates are delicious children. Penelope is a Tyrannosaurus rex who thinks with her stomach and changes her tune when the tables are turned on her. No children were harmed in the making of this story.

Young Readers:
‘Piglets vs. Pugs’
by Julie Beer

What could be cuter than pugs and piglets? How about piglets and pugs dressed in costume? Kids and adults will love this interactive and whimsical book that matches these cute critters in 23 quirky challenges, including Biggest Smarty-Pants, Best Dressed and Biggest Foodie. The reader follows the action and will make the decision as to the ultimate winner. Who will win? (Don’t tell, but we’re rooting for the Pugs!)

‘The Itchy Book’
by LeUyen Pham

The big rule for dinosaurs is DINOSAURS DO NOT SCRATCH, and Dino Mo is policing all of the other dinosaurs to ensure the rule sticks. Triceratops, Pterodactyl, Brontosaurus and T-Rex all have itches but can’t convince Mo that it’s OK to break the rule. Not even a scratchy wool sweater can break Mo’s resolve. Children will love the brightly colored dinosaurs and word-bubble dialogue. Parents looking for appealing titles for newly independent readers will appreciate the humor and satire in this engaging story.

Middle Readers:
‘Sanity & Tallulah’
by Molly Brooks

Tween girls Sanity and Tallulah are best friends who live on a space station. Sanity is a science whiz, and she and Tallulah engage in an unauthorized secret experiment that results in the creation of a three-headed kitten that they name Princess Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds. Soon after the kitty escapes, problems arise on the space station and clues point toward the feline. Space shenanigans ensue. Fast paced and fun, this graphic novel is sure to please.

‘Weird But True!’
National Geographic Kids

Filled with strange but true facts on a range of topics, including science, space, food, pop culture and more.

Teens:
‘Check, Please,’
Vol. 1: #Hockey
by Ngozi Ukazu

Eric Little is a pint-sized, pie-baking, blogging Southerner — and also an accomplished ice skater who has transitioned his skills to his collegiate New England hockey team. His teammates get Eric over his fear of being checked into the boards on the rink, and these fraternity bros become fast friends.

The only thing is, Eric may be developing feelings for hunky captain Jack. Compiled from a popular web comic by a first-generation Nigerian-American author who fell in love with hockey as soon as she encountered it, she describes the raunchy, competitive and profane mayhem of this sport superbly. A hilarious romp
for older teens.

‘Love, à la Mode’
by Stephanie Kate Strohm

In this frothy confection, two very different teens leave Chicago for Paris to study at Chef Denis Laurent’s culinary school. Henry and Rosie meet-cute on their flight overseas and realize that they are going to become competitors. A cast of schoolmates from around the world, all vying for the chef’s attention and accolades (and one competing for Rosie’s heart), round out this surprisingly well-developed rom-com. The descriptions of the food and of Paris itself will make readers want to hop on a plane and experience the City of Light themselves.

Jamie L. Watson is collection development manager with Baltimore County Public Library.

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