Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! This is the celebration and recognition of the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

The month of May was officially designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by the U.S. Congress in 1992. Learn more at asianpacificheritage.gov.

Scroll through the titles below to explore a booklist compiled by our staff that honors AAPI characters, authors, history, and culture! There’s something for all age groups — picture books, graphic novels, fiction, and non-fiction.

Fiction | Adult

Non-Fiction | Adult

Picture Books | Kids

Graphic Novels | Youth and Teens

Fiction | Teens

Fiction | Youth

You can find all of the titles above available in either our collection via the online catalog, or through our digital resources, OverDrive and Axis360.

Picture Books for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9! Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. 

Celebrate mom and all things motherhood with this list of our favorite Mother’s Day picture books, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff! 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?

by Eric Carle

Meet the little joey bouncing in mother kangaroo’s pouch. Watch little cubs prance around mother lion. Swim with a baby dolphin calf in the deep blue sea. Eric Carle’s classic, colorful collages of baby animals and their mothers will delight and comfort young readers. 

Just Like Mama

by Lesléa Newman

A young girl enumerates all the things that her mother does in inimitable fashion, from scooping her up in a hug in the morning to tucking her in at night.

Mommy Hugs

by Karen Katz

A loving mother counts the hugs she gives her baby throughout the day.

My Mama is a Mechanic

by Doug Cenko

View a mother through the eyes of her son as they play, cook, and imagine together. 

Bedtime for Mommy

by Amy Rosenthal

In a reversal of the classic bedtime story, a child helps her mommy get ready for bed, enduring pleas for one more book, five more minutes of play time, and a glass of water before the lights go out.

My Mother's Sari

by Sandhya Rao

A little girl is fascinated by her mother’s sari and finds many uses for it. 

Mother's Day

by Anne F. Rockwell

The students in Mrs. Madoff’s class share how they will celebrate Mother’s Day with their families.

I Love You With All My Heart

by Jane Chapman

Little Bear has broken Mommy’s favorite sunflower plant. What if her mom won’t love her anymore? Luckily, Mommy knows just what to do… “Put your paw on your heart,” she smiles, “and you’ll feel my love going on and on forever!” 

I Love Mom with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle

Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he honors Mother’s Day and celebrates incredible parents everywhere. 

Everything is Mama

by Jimmy Fallon

A lot of babies’ first words were Dada. However, everything after that was Mama. Readers take a look from a baby’s point of view as different animals try to teach their children that there are other words in addition to Mama for familiar objects and activities. 

Runaway Bunny

by Margaret Wise Brown

A little rabbit who wants to run away tells his mother how he will escape, but she is always right behind him. 

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

National Poetry Month | A Booklist for Kids & Teens

Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives. 

Our Youth Services Department put together a wide selection of diverse books, from a range of voices and on a range of topics, to help introduce kids and teens to the world of poetry!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Out of Wonder

by Kwame Alexander — ALL AGES

Newbery Medalist and a Caldecott Honoree offer a glorious, lyrical ode to poets who have sparked a sense of wonder. Out of gratitude for the poet’s art form, Newbery Award-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

And the People Stayed Home

by Kitty O'Meara — ALL AGES

Kitty O’Meara has been called the ‘poet laureate of the pandemic’ by O, The Oprah Magazine. This illustrated and beautifully produced children’s book will also appeal to readers of all ages. O’Meara’s prose poem, with its hopeful and timeless message about healing of people and the Earth, written in March 2020, quickly went viral on a global level. O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain, clearly captured an important aspect of the pandemic experience’s zeitgeist while offering a thoughtful and optimistic view of the future.

The Village Blacksmith

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — ALL AGES

The neighborhood blacksmith is a quiet and unassuming presence, tucked in his smithy under the chestnut tree. Sturdy, generous, and with sadness of his own, he toils through the day, passing on the tools of his trade, and come evening, takes a well-deserved rest. Longfellow’s timeless poem is enhanced by G. Brian Karas’s thoughtful and contemporary art in this modern retelling of the tender tale of a humble craftsman. An afterword about the tools and the trade of blacksmithing will draw readers curious about this age-honored endeavor, which has seen renewed interest in developed countries and continues to be plied around the world.

Guess Again!

by Mac Barnett — ALL AGES

For each round of guessing, readers are presented with a page of illustrations opposite a rhyming quatrain. The unexpected conclusion of the verse’s final line is revealed on the next page.

Old Mother Hubbard

by Jane Cabrera

Light-hearted illustrations accompany this version of the familiar nursery rhyme about an old woman and her playful dog.

Octopus, Oyster, Hermit Crab, Snail: A Poem of the Sea

by Sara Anderson — ALL AGES

A journey through the ocean is imaginatively plumbed in words and pictures. Informative, clear, and graphically lovely, readers of all ages who dive into this book will never look at the sea in quite the same way.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Shel Silverstein — ALL AGES

A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author’s own drawings. Come in – for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Zen Shorts

by Jon J. Muth — ALL AGES

“Michael,” said Karl. “There’s a really big bear in the backyard.” This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth — and Stillwater the bear — present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons

by Laura Purdie Salas — ALL AGES

Haiku meet riddles in this wonderful collection from Laura Purdie Salas. The poems celebrate the seasons and describe everything from an earthworm to a baseball to an apple to snow angels, alongside full-color illustrations.

Big, Bad, and a Little Bit Scary: Poems That Bite Back!

by Wade Zahares — ALL AGES

Bristling with sly humor and just a hint of danger, this irresistible collection of poems pays homage to everyone’s favorite member of the animal kingdom–the villains!

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers — ALL AGES

Through songs, puppets, and honest conversations, Mister Rogers instilled the values of kindness, patience, self-awareness, and self-esteem in his young viewers. But most of all, he taught children that they were loved, just by being who they were. With classics such as “It’s You I Like” and “Many Ways to Say I Love You” as well as dozens of others that range from funny to sweet, silly to sincere, the 75 songs in this collection deal with such universal topics as difficult feelings, new siblings, everyday routines, imagination, and more. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time alone, this beautiful book of meaningful poetry is the perfect gift for every child-including the child in every one of us.

Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry — ALL AGES

A collection of poems for children with the various themes of self, family, going outside, and when it is time for bed. This exuberant celebration of poetry is an essential book for every young one’s library and a gorgeous gift to be both shared and treasured. Sit back and savor a superb collection of more than sixty poems by a wide range of talented writers, from Margaret Wise Brown to Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes to A. A. Milne. Greeting the morning, enjoying the adventures of the day, cuddling up to a cozy bedtime – these are poems that highlight the moments of a toddler’s world from dawn to dusk. 

The Skin You Live In

by Michael Tyler — ALL AGES

Rhyming text and illustrations celebrate being content with the skin in which one lives, whatever that skin might be.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Sesame Street

by Lillian Jaine — ALL AGES

It’s the night before Christmas, and Cookie Monster is dozing peacefully, until a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer land on Sesame Street. Cookie Monster is delighted to have a visit from Santa, but there’s just one problem, he’s already eaten all of Santa’s cookies! Luckily, Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street friends are ready to help! Includes reading tips for parents and guided prompts to help extend story time and make reading together a more interactive experience.

Writing a Poem

by Cecilia Minden and Kate Roth — SCHOOL AGE

Writing is an important skill that kids use almost every day. The goal of the Write it Right series is to make kids writing experts. Writing a Poem is full of tips and tricks to help kids channel their creativity, from distinguishing rhyme from rhythm to organizing stanzas.

Write Your Own Haiku for Kids

by Patricia Donegan — SCHOOL AGE

In this fun Japanese children’s book, kids will learn to create haiku– elegant and simplistic Japanese poems. Haiku is a uniquely Japanese form of poetry that uses vivid words and imagery to capture a feeling or a moment in just three lines. Short but powerful, haiku poems are easy and fun to write and share with your friends. Haiku has become increasingly popular in school curriculums around the world, particularly among teachers introducing students to the art of poetry as well as Asian history and heritage. The activities in this haiku-for-kids book will show you how to create haiku and will help you to think up meaningful words and images with which you can write beautiful poetry.

Punching the Air

by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam — TEENS

From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both.

Shout: A Poetry Memoir

by Laurie Halse Anderson —TEENS

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

Crank

by Ellen Hopkins — TEENS

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter, gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul – her life.

For Every One

by Jason Reynolds —TEENS

Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the young dreamers of the world.

For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

YA Books Coming to Netflix in 2021

Love book to movie adaptations? There are a handful of great YA films based on books coming to Netflix in 2021! Read them before they come out!

All of the books and movies featured here we have in our collection! To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or the “Find it!” button under each book or movie.

Book: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Movie coming soon to Netflix — starring Jordan Fisher

High school sweethearts Clare and Aidan spend the night before they leave for college reminiscing about their relationship and deciding whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. As the clock winds down and morning approaches, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Book: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

TV series coming to Netflix April 23, 2021

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Book: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Movie now streaming on Netflix!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Book: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Movie coming to Netflix in 2021

It’s been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother and she’s still adjusting to her new life in rural Nebraska. Then, one by one, students at her high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair.

As the body count rises and the terror grows closer, can Makani survive the killer’s twisted plan?

Book: Fear Street by R. L. Stine

3 movies coming to Netflix in the summer of 2021

Despite her friend’s warning, Rachel is excited to attend Brendan Fear’s birthday party at his family’s estate on mysterious Fear Island, but soon someone introduces a game of murder and all of the guests are in danger.

Book: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Movie coming soon to Netflix

The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Book: Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Movie release to Netflix TBA

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Women’s History Month | Picture Books

Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society! Celebrate all month long with picture books about some of the most iconic women in history!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

by Debbie Levy

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Malala’s Magic Pencil

by Malala Yousafzai

Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas Who Made U.S. History / ¡Sé audaz, Sé valiente! 11 Latinas Que Hicieron Historia en los Estados Unidos

Available in English and Spanish, this bilingual book highlights 11 Latinas who excelled in their professions and made U.S. History by accomplishing something that hadn’t been done before in various fields including medicine, science, sports, art and politics. By presenting the true biographical stories of these outstanding Latinas in rhyming verses, young readers will easily follow their journey to success. Some of the women highlighted include Antonia Novello (first female Surgeon General in the U.S.), Ellen Ochoa (first Latina to go to space), Sonia Sotomayor (first Latina Supreme Court Justice,) Rita Moreno (first Latina to win an Oscar), and Pura Belpre (first Latina to incorporate and promote bilingual literacy in Public Libraries).

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

by Margot Lee Shutterly

Explores the previously uncelebrated but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African American women mathematicians to America’s space program, describing how Jim Crow laws segregated them despite their groundbreaking successes. Includes biographies on Dorothy Jackson Vaughan (1910-2008), Mary Winston Jackson (1921-2005), Katherine Colman Goble Johnson (1918-), Dr. Christine Mann Darden (1942-).

Through Georgia’s Eyes

by Rachel Rodríguez

Georgia O’Keeffe saw the world differently from most people. As a child she roamed the prairie with a sketch pad in her hand, struggling to capture on paper what she saw all around her. At art school she learned to speak in paint on canvas. But Georgia felt confined by city life. She longed for vast expanses of space, and she found it in the red hills and silent deserts of New Mexico. Lyrical and vivid, this is a portrait of an exceptional artist, a woman whose eyes were open to the wideness and wonder of the world.

I Am Jane Goodall

by Brad Meltzer

Features Jane Goodall, the scientist and conservationist who is famous for her work with chimpanzees. After receiving a stuffed animal chimpanzee for her first birthday, Jane Goodall’s love of animals only grew. She saw what humans and animals had in common, not what makes us different, and used that to advocate for animal rights everywhere.

Shark Lady, the true Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist

by Jess Keating

At 9 years old, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks after a visit to the Battery Park Aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as mindless killing machines, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Despite many obstacles in her path, Eugenie was able to study the creatures she loved so much. From her many discoveries to the shark-related myths she dispelled, Eugenie’s wide scientific contributions led to the well-earned nickname “Shark Lady”.

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement

by Stephanie Roth Sisson

As a child, Rachel Carson lived by the rhythms of the natural world. Spring after spring, year after year, she observed how all living things are connected. And as an adult, Rachel watched and listened as the natural world she loved so much began to fall silent. Spring After Spring traces Rachel’s journey as scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement.

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still

by Karlin Gray

Nadia Comaneci was a feisty and fearless little girl who went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games, where she received an unprecedented seven perfect scores in gymnastics. In this first-ever illustrated picture book about Nadia’s journey to Olympic gold, the road from small-town girl to world-class athlete was full of many imperfect moments. 

Fossil Huntress: Mary Leaky, Paleontologist

by Andi Diehn

What was the world like millions of years ago? Did early humans walk on all fours? Did giant sloths lie in trees? Did dinosaurs have feathers? Even as a young girl, Mary Leakey was fascinated by questions like these! Meet Mary as a girl growing up in France and visiting the site of archeological wonders, such as Pech Merle, Fond de Gaume, and La Mouthe. As an adult, Mary leaps at the chance to travel to Africa, where she spends much of her life working in the field in Tanzania, making discoveries that change the face of paleontology forever. True grit, passion, and high standards for scientific rigor made Mary a pioneer in the field of paleontology!

Here Come the Girl Scouts!

by Shana Corey

Juliette Gordon Low–Daisy to her friends and family–was not like most girls of the Victorian era. Prim and proper? BOSH! Dainty and delicate? HOW BORING! She loved the outdoors, and she yearned for adventure! Born into a family of pathfinders and pioneers, she too wanted to make a difference in the world–and nothing would stop her. Combining her ancestors’ passion for service with her own adventurous spirit and her belief that girls could do anything, she founded the Girl Scouts. One hundred years later, they continue to have adventures, do good deeds, and make a difference!

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Chinese (Lunar) New Year | Picture Books

The Lunar New Year falls on February 12th, and it’s the Year of the Ox!

Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the holiday was traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. Check out this list picture books all about Chinese (Lunar) New Year, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff! 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese New Year Colors

by Rich Lo

This bilingual color concept book celebrates a rainbow of traditional objects seen during the Chinese New Year. Hóng is the color of explosive firecrackers! Jīn is the hue of lucky coins. Zŏng is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors. This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world.

Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon

by Virginia Loh-Hagan

An illustrated retelling for young readers of the Chinese folktale about a dragon that threatens a village each spring and Mei, the young girl who is destined to defeat him.

Mulan’s Lunar New Year

by Natasha Yim

It’s the Lunar New Year, which just happens to be Mulan’s favorite festival! There is a lot to do to prepare for this important celebration, and for the first time, Mulan is old enough to help out. But everthing Mulan does seems to turn out wrong.

Maisy’s Chinese New Year

by Lucy Cousins

Spending Chinese New Year with her friend Tiger, Maisy learns about traditional symbols, shares a delicious cultural feast and exchanges lucky red hongbao envelopes before listening to a story about the holiday and staying up late to watch a fireworks display.

Ruby’s Chinese New Year

by Vickie Lee

As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.

The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac

by Christopher Corr

Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation.

Curious George Dragon Dance

by Adah Nuchi

George, Marco, and their new friend Lily get to dance in the dragon costume during the Chinese New Year parade.

Bringing in the New Year

by Grace Lin

A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year. End notes discuss the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year.

This Next New Year

by Janet S. Wong

A family prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year and looks forward to the good luck they hope it will bring.

It’s Chinese New Year

by Richard Sebra

Presents an introduction to the Chinese New Year holiday and discusses its traditions, including family meals, remembering loved ones, decorating with the color red, and giving gifts.

How to Catch a Dragon

by Adam Wallace

A real, wily dragon winds through streets in China, eluding the traps set by a group of children during the Chinese New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year

by Hannah Eliot

Introduces lunar new year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

In Honor of Black History Month: 15 Picture Books about Black Heroes and Icons for Kids!

Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.

Take a look at this list, compiled by our Youth Services Department, that highlights picture books on black heroes and icons!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Brave, Black, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World

by Cheryl Willis Hudson

An illustrated biographical compilation of over fifty African American women from the 1700s through to the present day.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father’s Detroit church. Aretha sang with a soaring voice that spanned more than three octaves. Her incredible talent and string of hit songs earned her the title “the Queen of Soul.” This Queen was a multi-Grammy winner and the first female inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And there was even more to Aretha than being a singer, songwriter, and pianist: she was an activist, too. Her song “Respect” was an anthem for people fighting for civil rights and women’s rights. With words that sing and art that shines, this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

by Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

by Bethany Hegedus

A biography of African American writer, performer, and activist Maya Angelou, who turned a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of our lifetime.

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

by Sandra Neil Wallace

Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes, a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation with this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Sisters: Venus and Serena Williams

by Jeanette Winter

Before they were famous tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams were sisters with big dreams growing up in Compton, California. In the early mornings, they head to the tennis courts, clean up debris, and practice. They compete in their first tournament and they both win. From there, the girls’ trophy collection grows and grows. Despite adversity and health challenges, the sisters become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. This inspiring story of sisterhood, hard work, and determination is perfect for budding athletes or any young reader with a big dream.

Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer

by Andi Diehn

When Mary Jackson was growing up, she thought being an engineer was impossible for her. Why? After all, she was fantastic at math and science. She worked really hard to learn all she could in school. Why did this smart little girl think she couldn’t be an engineer?

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold

by Deloris Jordan

From the age of nine years Michael dreams of playing basketball for the United States in the Olympics, and with hard work and his mother’s encouragement, he realizes his dream.

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

by Chris Barton

A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

Muhammad Ali: Champion of the World

by Jonah Winter

Provides a profile of this legendary and flamboyant boxer and the complicated life he led, from changing his religion and his name to dodging the draft during the Vietnam era and fighting his way to regain a stripped title.

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice

by Nikki Grimes

Discover the incredible story of a young daughter of immigrants who would grow up to be the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American ever elected Vice President of the United States in this moving picture book biography of Kamala Harris.

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope

by Nikki Grimes

Ever since Barack Obama was young, Hope has lived inside him. From the beaches of Hawaii to the streets of Chicago, from the jungles of Indonesia to the plains of Kenya, he has held on to Hope. Even as a boy, Barack knew he wasn’t quite like anybody else, but through his journeys he found the ability to listen to Hope and become what he was meant to be: a bridge to bring people together.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Describes Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation

by Barry Wittenstein

The true story behind the writing of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

When Rosa Parks Went Fishing

by Rachel Ruiz

No discussion of the Civil Rights Movement is complete without the story of Rosa Parks. But what was this activist like as a child? Following young Rosa from a fishing creek to a one-room schoolhouse, from her wearing homemade clothes to wondering what “white” water tastes like, readers will be inspired by the experiences that shaped one of the most famous African-Americans in history.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Parish’s Staff Picks: Movies & TV Series

Hey hey… You know Parish from the Youth Services Department! He’s put together a list of some of his favorite movies and TV series — some for the whole family, teens, and even adults!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Little Nemo

Nemo is a young boy whose dreams transcend reality. He is sucked into his own fantasy, which is everything he has dreamed of. He journeys into the realm of Slumberland, where the King grants him a magical key that opens the door to the Nightmare World. In doing so he unleashes a century old secret that may not only destroy this perfect dream world but reality itself. Now, its up to him to banish nightmares forever.

From Parish: A movie from my childhood! Little Nemo is one of my favorite go to movies when I’m needing that blast from the past. Full of magic, colorful characters, and a flying bed! This is a must watch! All ages

Promare

Thirty years have passed since the appearance of the Burnish, a race of flame-wielding mutant beings,
who destroyed half of the world with fire. When a new group of aggressive mutants calling themselves
Mad Burnish appears, the epic battle between Galo Thymos, a new member of the anti-Burnish rescue
team Burning Rescue, and Lio Fotia, the leader of Mad Burnish begins.

From Parish: One of my all time favorite newly released movies! I highly recommend everyone to watch this movie! I’m a big fan of anime. One of the reasons why I love it is because the art style is beautiful; I love seeing how amazing the animation is. Promare delivers on the beauty and great storytelling! Teen

Spirited Away

When a young girl gets trapped in a strange new world of spirits, she must call upon the courage she
never knew she had to free herself and rescue her parents.

From Parish: YES! You can’t have a favorite movie list without adding a Studio Ghibli movie! Spirited Away is my favorite Studio Ghibli film and yes, it’s a must-watch movie! Everything about this movie is good; the story, the visuals and the music! I watch this movie at least once every month. Teen

Ok K.O.! Lets Be Heroes TKO

In the video game inspired world, K.O. works at Gar’s Bodega in Lakewood Plaza, a one-stop shop for all your hero needs. Whether he is mopping the floor with Lord Boxman’s evil robots or literally mopping the floor, K.O. tackles everything with his cheery, endless enthusiasm. Every person is a hero to look up to, every challenge is a chance to grow stronger and every success or failure is just another stepping-stone to becoming the ultimate hero.

From Parish: A show that used to air on Cartoon Network! This is a super family friendly show that has tons of funny jokes and puns. New and old gamers will enjoy! It’s one of my favorite series that I wished still aired! All ages

Avatar: The Last Airbender

After a lapse of 100 years, the Avatar-spiritual master of the elements -has returned. And just in the nick of time. The Four nations (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) have become unbalanced. The Fire Nation wants to rule the world, and its first conquest will be the Northern Water Tribe. It’s up to a 12-year-old Airbender named Aang to find a way to stop it. Join Aang, Katara, Sokka, Momo, and Appa as they head north on the adventure of a lifetime. The Chosen One who can restore the world order. This adventure, set in a fantastical Asian-influenced world, follows the story of Aang, the Chosen One, who must forgo his selfish wandering to learn to master his latent powers over the four elements.

From Parish: You may have already seen this show! But if not, it’s one you MUST watch! Trust me it speaks for itself why I like it! Teen

Kidnap

A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mom Karla Dyson when her son suddenly disappears. Without a cell phone and knowing she has no time to wait for police help, Karla jumps in her own car and sets off in pursuit of the kidnappers. Karla will stop at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.

From Parish: Who doesn’t love a good thriller with Halle Berry in it! This movie will not only get your heart racing, it’ll also leave you speechless with what this mother will do to get her son back!

Rated R

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim. A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-
old has just met the girl of his dreams, literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues’ gallery from her past, from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsome identical twins. If he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all.

From Parish: If you love the graphic novel, you’ll love this movie! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie! Michael Cera is one of my favorite actors and the gaming puns and effects are the best!

Rated PG-13

Ghost Whisperer

Ever since she was a young girl, Melinda Gordon has been able to see and talk to dead people. Earth-bound
spirits who have yet to cross over to the other side seek her help in communicating and resolving unfinished business with the living.

From Parish: YES! I’m serious this is one of my favorite shows! It’s so good! You wouldn’t think it would hook you, but it does!

Teen/Adult

Infinity Train

Join Tulip on a mind-bending journey aboard the mysterious Infinity Train, alongside her companions Atticus, the canine king of Corginia, and One-One, a robot with dueling personalities. With puzzles and perils awaiting them in every car, and the relentless Steward on their trail, will Tulip ever find a way off the train and return home?

From Parish: In my opinion one of Cartoon Networks best shows next to “ Ok. K.O”. Infinity Train is a unique Sci-fi cartoon that will leave you on the edge of your seat!

Teen

Over the Garden Wall

From creator Patrick McHale, one of the minds behind Adventure Time. Cartoon Network’s first every animated mini-series. It follows the story of two brothers, Greg and Wirt, who find themselves in a strange forest. Along the way, they meet a bluebird named Beatrice who helps them navigate the strange land in the hopes of making their way home.

From Parish: I LOVE THIS SHOW! It’s a great binge worthy show that you can finish in a couple of hours! I love watching this in October, for its spooky theme.

Teen

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Read It, Then Watch It! | YA Edition | Part 2

Did you know that these YA reads are based on books? We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite YA books with movie adaptations. Then the ultimate question… Which was better: the book or the movie?

All of the books and movies featured here we have in our collection! To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or the “Find it!” button under each book or movie.

Book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Movie: "The Fault in Our Stars"

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Book: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Movie: "Before I Fall"

After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.

Book: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Movie: "Flipped"

Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

Book: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Movie: "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"

During their first summer apart, four teenage girls, best friends since earliest childhood, stay in touch through a shared pair of secondhand jeans that magically adapts to each of their figures and affects their attitudes to their different summer experiences.

Book: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Movie: "The Outsiders"

Ponyboy Curtis struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

Book: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Movie: "The DUFF"

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

Book: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Movie: "Beautiful Creatures"

In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

Mindfulness and Yoga Books for Kids!

Looking to start the new year on a calmer note? Check out this list of yoga and mindfulness books for kids, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff!

Yoga and mindfulness for children promotes resilience, positive perceptions, good health habits and mindful awareness, empowering children to excel at school, at home, and in life.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Sloth at the Zoom

by Helaine Becker

Sloth is a sloooooow creature. She’s supposed to be going to the Zzzzzoo, but is mistakenly delivered to the ZOOM! She wants to make friends in her new home, but it seems like all the animals here are always busy, late, and in a rush. Finally, the sloth meets someone more to her speed: a tiny snail who invites the sloth down for a cup of tea. The friendship of these two animals is surprising and delightful enough to stop all the other animals in their tracks. And as day became night, and night became day, the animals at the ZOOM! slowed down–j̥ust long enough, that is, to all become fast friends. A lovely story of mindfulness in an over-stimulated world! Kids will relate to being rushed around and longing for the undivided attention of the people around them.

Meddy Teddy: A Mindful Yoga Journey

by Apple Jordan

Meddy encourages readers to try yoga poses as he comes out of hibernation, greets the springtime, and teaches his forest friends how to mindfully get through a variety of situations. On each page, Meddy shows how to execute a pose, including downward-facing dog, tree pose, the Warrior, and more.

Hurry up!: A Book About Slowing Down

by Kate Dopirak

For one busy boy, life is all hurry up, hurry down, hurry round and round and round! That is until he takes a big breath…and a big break…and slows down to see all the wonderful things in the world around him.

Straw

by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

A bendy drinking straw loves to speed through life, but he learns to appreciate taking it slow with the help of a friend.

Already A Butterfly: A Meditation Story

by Julia Alvarez

A too busy butterfly who spends her day hurrying and worrying finds her own “quiet place” after learning about meditation and mindfulness from a flower bud.

Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake-up Story

by Mariam Gates

Yoga helps children learn how to focus, relax, and both self-monitor and self-soothe. [This book] instills these four skills and more, enabling children to jumpstart the day with excitement and meet the adventures that come with mindfulness and perspective. Gates presents both a wake-up story and a series of simple poses for welcoming the natural world as day begins. It’s practice for kids and parents to begin the day in a calming, mindful way.

Good Night Yoga: Relaxing Bedtime Poses for Children

by Lorena Pajalunga

The perfect book to play yoga with your children and to encourage concentration, calmness and self-confidence. Twenty yoga positions inside inspired by animals and accompanied by step-by-step instructions.

I am! : Affirmations for Resilience

by Bela Barbosa

Ten relatable emotions are each followed by a centering exercise and a positive affirmation to be recited, as a practice in mindfulness. Young readers are encouraged to find their inner strength by recognizing and addressing their emotions, instilling a sense of power and self-confidence.

Yoga Animals: A Wild Introduction to Kid-Friendly Poses

by Paige Towler

Roar like a lion! Arch like a kitten! Stretch like a cobra! Did you know that many yoga poses were inspired by animals? Let these creatures inspire your young ones to get moving, practice mindfulness, or calm down after a long day. Simple step-by-step instructions explain the kid-friendly moves.

Yoga for Kids

by Susannah Hoffman

Teach your kids about yoga and mindfulness with this mindful yoga activity book with more than 50 poses and activities. Yoga is a great way to teach children about relaxation, meditation, and peace – while having fun at the same time. This book is packed with yoga activities for kids and mindful games – they can stretch into tree pose, bend into butterfly pose, learn how to make a mindfulness jar, and find out why and how we should stretch through a series of fun yoga poses and sequences.

Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, and Families

by Susan Kaiser Greenland

Encourages parents to use mindful play to help their children develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion.

Llamaste & Friends: Being Kind Through Yoga

by Annabel Tempest

Meet Llamaste, a llama who loves yoga! Join her in this funny, sweet story as she helps Tiger calm down and Koala be brave by showing them simple, practical yoga poses. The easy-to-use text also encourages children to explore their emotions and develop empathy skills. All of Llamaste’s poses are designed to help parents and children to begin their own yoga practice at home!

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!