New at Peter White Public Library

Children’s books to encourage discoveries

How do we know what we know? Picture books can be a great tool for modeling discoveries for children. By offering insight into the process of learning something new and encouraging exploration, these titles share ‘aha’ moments that can make the leap from the page to the outside world.

Bears Are Best! by Joan Holub

In this rambunctious picture book with a graphic novel format, all eight types of bears are crowding the pages attempting to settle who are the bears in the book. After each bear makes a case for why they are unique, they realize they also need to understand what they share in common as bears. While readers are sure to pick up facts about bears, they also might be motivated to learn more about classification systems that can be applied to other categories of wildlife, spurring their own investigations.

When Moon Became the Moon by Rob Hodgson

In this friendly guide to the moon, early readers are introduced to a smiley-faced Moon, who is very happy with all of her jobs helping Earth. This picture book, broken into bite-sized chapters, takes a chronological approach, beginning with Moon’s formation, before progressing to “Moon Today” and “The Future”. Scientific concepts are interwoven in an accessible and engaging manner (e.g. a solar eclipse is a neat trick that Moon does with friends Sun and Earth). Notably, “Visitors” is one of the final chapters of the book, displaying how recently within the span of history this human accomplishment occurred.

Maybe a Whale by Kirsten Pendreigh

For a gentler, contemplative story, try Maybe a Whale, where a young girl embarks on a kayaking trip with her mother to try to spot some whales – something that she had planned to do with her grandfather before he passed. On their journey, they pause to observe moon jellies, a seal, bioluminescence, and stars. They only realize they are in the presence of whales, when they notice a unique sound (“pushhh”), which the duo is able to identify as the sounds of the whales’ breath. The title stands out for its ability to convey competing emotions simultaneously – grief alongside wonder. Sometimes discoveries occur at unexpected moments.

Tomfoolery! by Michelle Markel

In this picture book biography of Randolph Caldecott, readers meet a young boy who loves spending time outdoors and enjoys transforming the energy of those observations into artwork. As Randolph grows up and tries out a variety of artistic pursuits, the story’s text and illustrations maintain a rollicking spirit. The tone is fitting for a story paying tribute to the man whose name would eventually grace an award for outstanding picture books.

By Meghan LeBoeuf

Youth Services


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