Too wet to go outside? Need a gift idea? Here are ten hand-picked titles about families, holidays, or just plain fun, available from any Whatcom County Library System location. Grab your library card and go online to wcls.org (or bellinghampubliclibrary.org within Bellingham city limits), and put a few on hold today.
“Classes Are CANCELLED!” by Jack Chabert
Evil genius Orson Eerie designed a school almost 100 years ago that would allow him to live forever. In every book in the Eerie Elementary series hall monitors Sam, Antonio and Lucy use their bravery and wits to keep their fellow students safe. In this particular title (book seven in the series) the school is destroying itself with a goal of taking over the whole town. Heavily illustrated with lots of action these books would be perfect for kids not quite ready for Harry Potter. For grades 2-4.
“Wonderland” by Barbara O’Conner
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When Mavis’s mama accepts a job as a maid for Rose’s family two girls from different backgrounds with very different personalities become best friends. They unite in an effort to cheer up Mr. Duffy, a senior citizen who operates the gate in their gated community. There is also a dog who needs a new home. A wonderful friendship story that explores issues of class and privilege through the eyes of believable young characters. For grades 3-6.
“Hello, Universe” by Erin Entrada Kelly
This Newbery Award-winning novel is narrated by four different tweens on a quest to find their voices and their places in the world. Virgil is a timid child trying to overcome his fears and connect with other people his age. Kaori is a psychic who prefers to talk to her peers as “clients.” Valencia is independent but because of her deafness, she feels restrained by other people’s limits on her. Chet likes to feel better and more powerful than other kids his age. When their paths cross during the first week of summer break a series of events lead to life changing experiences for all of them. For grades 5-7.
“Wedgie and Gizmo” by Susan Selfors
Wedgie the dog and Gizmo the guinea pig are pets whose families are blending. Wedgie is pleased to have the new “furry potato” as a playmate, but Gizmo the Evil Genius finds this new family to be a hindrance to his plan for world domination. You’ll laugh out loud as Wedgie, Gizmo, and their human servants adjust to their new surroundings and somehow you’ll wind up rooting for every single character in this adorable, comic-book inspired tale. For Grades 2-4.
“Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar” by Emily MacKenzie
Some rabbits crave carrots and lettuce, but Ralfy craves books! He can’t get enough of them. When he starts stealing books, one of his victims decides to spare him a life of crime by letting him know about this really cool place called the public library where you can get all the books you want for free. Talk about happy endings! For Preschool through grade 3.
“Peter & Ernesto: a Tale of Two Sloths” by Graham Annable (graphic novel)
Peter and Ernesto are best friends with very different personalities. Peter is a homebody and afraid of many things. Ernesto wants to see the world. When Ernesto leaves on an adventure, Peter is so worried that he decides to go after Ernesto and bring him back. Can Peter work through his fear and find his friend? For grades 1-5.
“Out of the Box: 25 Cardboard Engineering Projects for Makers” by Jemma Westing
Turn old, used cardboard into awesome creations. Make box robots, an adventure castle, a Cardville City, a pirate ship, and more! Some activities may require adult help and supervision. For grades 2-5.
“Stinkiest! 20 Smelly Animals” by Steve Jenkins
Meet 20 unusual animals and find out why they are the smelliest animals in the world. You may be surprised! For grades 1-4.
“Can I Be Your Dog?” by Troy Cummings
Arfy needs a home, so he writes letters to everyone on Butternut Street, explaining how he’d make a wonderful pet. He’s potty trained, he loves to play, and he has his own squeaky bone! Just when it looks like nobody wants him, someone surprising steps in to make Arfy’s dream a reality. For preschool-grade 2.
“Ultimate Slime” by Alyssa Jagan
More than 100 amazing slime recipes, and they’re totally borax free. From beginner slimes to advanced slimes, you’re sure to find one that satisfies. Glitter bomb slime, cotton candy slime, bubblegum slime, iceberg slime, and more. For grades K-7.
Theresa Morrison is the early learning coordinator and Tammy LaPlante is the children’s services coordinator for Whatcom County Library System.