Hannah is Avid's manager of children's books--she gets to buy all of the kids' books for both shops, do storytimes, and bring books and authors into local schools. A librarian at heart (and in training), she loves magical, immersive stories for all ages and from all corners of the world!
Equal parts Odd Couple and Frog and Toad, this gem of a book is a hilariously heartfelt tale of an opposites-attract friendship. Ideally this book should be read aloud, bringing to life Timberlake's delightful turns of phrase ("Skunk tip-clawed away," etc.) and cozy brownstone setting, with a Moon Room, a candle-lit breakfast table (the nicest meal!), and LOTS of chickens. Klassen's atmospheric illustrations heighten the deadpan, Lobel-esque mood, evoking classic kids' books but with a wholly modern vibe.
Both clausterphobic and expansive, Piranesi echoes with lonelieness, lost memories, and cruelty. Lest that make this book sound depressing, it is anything but—it plunges the reader into the depths of human resilience, the ability to remember what we have forgotten. For fans of Le Guin, Borges, Calvino, and anyone who already loves Clarke's mesmerizing world-building.
With sensitivity and wonder, Parry immerses readers in the underwater world of orcas—incredible creatures with strong family ties and matriarchal leadership. Seeing the world from the eyes of young Vega and her brother Deneb is both astonishing and sobering—readers are plunged into a fight for survival as the two killer whales endure shortages of food, a natural disaster, and the ever-present environmental damages wrought by humans. The plot moves seamlessly even as the book educates readers on the lives of orcas and the need for a balanced ecosystem. Highly recommended to anyone who loves adventure stories or who has a deep curiosity about the world!
In one of the essays in this stunning book, the author refers to a scientist who as a child "had a talent for connecting things that were not obvious to others"—this phrase just as easily describes what Macdonald does with her writing. She weaves toegether seemingly disparate topics—Brexit and bird migration; migraines and climate change—reminding the reader that there are relationships everywhere, if only we look for them. Reading Vesper Flights is like putting on a pair of glasses that completely transforms your vision—everything goes from blurry smudges to crisp, clear beauty.
This love song to the universe is pure magic. Spanning geologic time in just a few spreads, the refrain of “you matter” applies not just to the earth itself but to the asteroid crashing into it (“if you fall down”). As the scope narrows humanward, the poignancy of Robinson’s message hits home—all life is interconnected and valuable, from the smallest to the largest and the youngest to the oldest. A perfect gift for a new baby or for anyone who just needs to hear: You Matter.
The Moon Keeper is Emile, who takes his job very seriously—he shoos away the clouds and bats and keeps the moon company. But what is he to do when the moon starts getting smaller? This gentle lunar tale works well as a quiet bedtime story and as an introduction to the phases of the moon. Patience, readers will find, can be very rewarding.
Okay, as Avid's resident bird nerd, I'm a little biased on my love for this book. BUT it truly is a perfect introduction to birding for all ages. Ward instructs readers to not only look all around (and not just up!), but to get quiet and still and listen — you'll find more birds with your ears than with your eyes! Sudkya's expressive illustrations are delightful, turning an instructive book into a seek-and-find game as birds swoop and perch and hide all over the spreads. Sure to inspire kids (and adults!) to get outside and find some feathered friends.
This is the first in a series that is dear to my heart. Though technically it is the second book--the first, The Moomins and the Great Flood, was intially only published in the UK--it is still a wonderful introduction to the myriad inhabitants of Moominvalley. On the surface, this is an apocalyptic adventure, but at its heart it's a celebration of community and friendship. The entire Moomintroll series is something to be savored--I come back to it time and time again to find the whimsy, inclusiveness, and magic that the real world lacks.
The Pushcart War is a little book of metafictional genius--a deadpan journalistic take on a "war" between puschcart peddlers and truck drivers in New York City glorifies the beauty of small mischiefs and peaceful resistance in overcoming powerful bullies. Fun and silly and simultaneously deadly serious, Merrill's novel provides readers with a creative blueprint for social justice that is just as relevant today as it was in the 1960s.
Read Braiding Sweetgrass and let it hold your heart, singing a truth from deep within the earth, from the soil and roots and the gifts they give us. Kimmerer's prose is pure poetry and is devastating and beautiful in equal measure, and with it she reminds us that we humans are inextricably bound to the fate of all living things, giving reasons both scientific and sacred.
Don't let the title fool you--this book is a call to action. It is not a delete-your-account, throw-your-phone-away, go-live-in-the-woods kind of disengagement Odell is calling for. It is one in which we refuse to engage in a for-profit, attention-sapping game and instead turn to one another and to the places we inhabit to ground ourselves and open to an attention that sees us as beings who are inextricably bound to the fate of everyone and and everything around us.
Immersive and deftly-written, A Stranger in Olondria is a love song to books and the lives (and souls) contained within them. With delicious turns of phrase and world-building on par with Ursula Le Guin, readers won't want this story to end. I know I didn't!