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Picture Books

Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari’s back! After conquering the diving board, Jabari focuses on flight next. The art is fun and expressive as it chronicles each attempt through which he learns something new and builds on his knowledge. My favorite part, however, is Jabari’s supportive family as he struggles: a great reminder that success comes with mishaps and the loving belief of those around us. This is the perfect book for fans of Rosie Revere and anyone looking for a little inspiration. —Ivy

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By Gaia Cornwall, Gaia Cornwall (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536207163
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - September 8th, 2020

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story By Tina Cho

The line work! The colors! While the drawings in this story would be enough, we are also gifted an inspiring story of a young girl facing her fears. She begins learning from her grandmother, a haenyeo, which translates from Korean to English as “sea women”: a tradition of iron-willed women who deep-sea dive for a living in the Jeju province in Korea. This book is perfect for sea lovers or anyone looking for courage in their own lives. —MJ

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By Tina Cho, Jess X. Snow (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781984814869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kokila - August 4th, 2020

Sometimes People March By Tessa Allen

“Sometimes ants march./Sometimes bands march./ Sometimes people march.” These opening lines lead readers into an understanding of why people march. The fine line ink and watercolor illustrations are lovely and key, providing examples of protests as disparate (and similar!) as suffragettes, water protectors, racial justice and LGBTQ advocates, and more. I loved the diversity of the reasons people resist, the ways they resist, and among the people themselves. A timely introduction to the importance of protest (with useful backmatter to boot!). —Stephanie

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By Tessa Allen, Tessa Allen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062991188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - September 1st, 2020

Down Under the Pier Written by Nell Cross Beckerman Illustrated by Rachell Sumpter

Such a beautiful book! I felt the delight of the children exploring the enchanted watery world below the pier. Both the pastel color palette and the perfectly used gold accent highlight the magic of the sea and the natural world. Perfect for Santa Cruzans and sea lovers (like me).

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ISBN: 9781944903862
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cameron Kids - April 7th, 2020

Lift Written by Minh Lê Illustrated by Dan Santat

Poor harangued older sister Iris always finds joy in pushing elevator buttons, until one dark day when her role as elevator-button enthusiast is usurped by her toddler sibling. When the word “BETRAYAL” appears above Iris’s head in the illustration, I laughed out loud. And that wasn’t the last time I did so as I read this hilarious, fantastical story that highlights both the creativity of the illustrator/author team and the love/frustration of the sibling bond. A great choice for creative-minded readers who enjoy a good laugh.

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By Minh Lê, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781368036924
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2020

Swashby and the Sea Written by Beth Ferry Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Retired Captain Swashby lives quietly by the sea with his trusty boat El Recluso for company. That is, until a bright-eyed girl and her granny arrive with a bucketful of beach fun. Swashby knows in his bones that “the sea provide[s] exactly the right thing at exactly the right time” and that’s just how this tale unfolds, one “fiddled-with” gift after another. Sink into the velvety, ocean-colored pastels but don’t be lulled into thinking you already know this story!

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By Beth Ferry, Juana Martinez-Neal (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780544707375
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2020

This Way, Charlie Written by Caron Levis Illustrated by Charles Santoso

I love most things with farm animals—and if they feature an odd-couple animal relationship, I’m completely sold. This book fits the bill! The pastoral illustrations capture the personality of grumpy, aloof goat, Jack, and the gentle giant of a horse, Charlie. Their friendship shows that anyone can be friends, regardless of differing abilities, and also highlights how friendship, animal and otherwise, enriches our lives. A heartwarming read for animal lovers.

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By Caron Levis, Charles Santoso (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419742064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - April 21st, 2020

The Three Little Yogis and the Wolf Who Lost His Breath: A Fairy Tale to Help You Feel Better Written by Susan Verde Illustrated by Jay Fleck

I loved Susan Verde’s I Am Love (illustrated by Peter Reynolds), so I took a chance on this book, even though I’m not always a fan of picture book fairy tale retellings. I’m so glad I did! The Three Little Pigs framework is perfect for examining emotions, mindfulness, meditation, and breath. The poor angry little wolf is such a sympathetic character, and the three little pigs’ kindness in helping guide him to making peace with his emotions made me smile.

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The Three Little Yogis and the Wolf Who Lost His Breath: A Fairy Tale to Help You Feel Better (Feel-Good Fairy Tales) Cover Image
By Susan Verde, Jay Fleck (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419741036
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2020

Miriam at the River by Jane Yolen

A young girl sets her baby brother, Moses, in a basket to float down the Nile River to an uncertain future. Not everyone thinks about Miriam and how she felt losing her brother, but this book does. Every page is worthy of a frame—the art is that good, it gave me goosebumps, and the beautiful poetic text brought tears to my eyes. While religious in origin, this story touches on universal fears, hopes, and dreams.

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By Jane Yolen, Khoa Le (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9781541544000
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Kar-Ben Publishing (R) - February 4th, 2020

A Story about Afiya by James Berry

At the beginning of every day, Afiya’s dress is white. As she experiences new things, the dress takes on the imagery of her experiences, the fabric making visible all the beauty that can be seen as a child walks through the world. Award-winning writer Berry’s poetic text is brought to life by illustrator Cunha, whose delicate paint strokes create a sense of movement that flows from page to page. A whimsical story for the creative child.


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By James Berry, Anna Cunha (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781911373339
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lantana Publishing - April 7th, 2020


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