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Favorite Books



Pete the Cat I Love My White Socks
by Eric Litwin

Pete the cat has a new pair of white shoes. He enjoys wearing his shoes and stepping in different things that changes the color of his new white shoes. As he steps in everything from strawberries to mud puddles, his white shoes change different colors but he doesn't care. He keeps singing his song!! Kids enjoy this story as they predict what color his shoes will turn. You can also go to the author website and listen to the author sing the song that Pete sings in the story. Harper Collins Publishers 2008

This book has a wide range of appeal and provides lots of opportunities for reader participation. You can sing with Pete or guess what color his shoes will turn based on what he steps in. You can visit the publisher's website to hear the story and find out how the author sings Pete's song. Repetition and rhyming makes Pete a favorite. All of Pete’s adventures are a big hit in my house.

Recommended by: Dr. Cari Bernadowski



My Princess Boy
by Cheryl Kilodavis

This nonfiction picture book tells the story of Dyson, a gender non-conforming young boy from a multiracial family. Dyson loves to play dress up. He likes to climb trees in his tiara, likes to wear a dress to his birthday party, and has pink as his favorite color. His friends, older brother, and mom and dad loves it when he dresses up, dances around, and twirls like a ballerina. Dyson if filled with love and acceptance by his family and friends. Simon & Shuster 2009

This nonfiction picture book tells the story of valuing all human beings, a useful lesson for children living in a diverse world. The author wrote the book after her own son wanted to wear a dress to school. Cheryl Kilodavies was concerned about her son being bullied and tormented at school. The book was to be an education tool for her son’s classmates and teachers. Since then the book has appeared on the Amazon bestseller list for children’s picture books. The book serves as an educational tool for educators and families to teach about love and acceptance.

Recommended by: Dr. Nathan Taylor



The Napping House
by Audrey Wood

It is a dreary & rainy outside & Granny is sleeping in a cozy bed. However, the bed is so cozy everyone wants to nap in it! HMH Books for Young Readers 2000

This book uses humor & repetition and will engage even the youngest listeners. Eye catching illustrations accompany the fun text. Sure to please everyone.

Recommended by: Dr. Susan Parker



Brian’s Bird
by Patricia Davis

It is Brian’s eighth birthday, and his family bought him a parakeet. He’s named it Scratchy, because that’s what it feels like when the bird sits on his finger. Brian has been blind since he was four. He can’t see Scratchy, but he can play with him and teach him to talk. Brian’s absent-minded brother leaves the front door open, and Scratchy flies outside. Will Brian be able to get him back? Shen’s Books 2000

Recommended by: Dr. Shellie Hipsky




Pictures of Hollis Woods
by Patricia Reilly-Giff

Twelve year old Hollis Woods was abandoned as a baby and has been in too many foster homes. The defiant and rebellious Hollis is sent to live with the Regan family, but fear of attachment and emotional challenges from her past lead her to run away from them. She finds an eccentric elderly artist who takes her in; however, the spunky artist shows signs of early Alzheimer’s. As the artist’s mental condition worsens, Hollis is faced with complex overwhelming challenges within herself and those around her. Finally, she finds her way back to the Regan family through self-discovery and courage. Yearling 2004

I always liked books that had young teenage girls as the underdog in non-traditional families and situations. I liked books that I could see courage and strength in pre-teen and teen girls. I read Pictures of Hollis Woods as an adult and appreciate the raw realistic emotions Hollis demonstrates throughout her story of self-discovery. It’s not a perfect ending kind of book – just like life.

Recommended by: Dr. Shelly Haser



Out of My Mind
by Sharon Draper

This fiction book is written in first-person narrative, from Melody’s viewpoint. She is a 5th grade girl with cerebral palsy. Melody is very smart, but unable to show it as she is non-verbal. “Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind” until she is introduced to a voice output device. Through some realistic and heart-warming events, we see Melody struggle with her physical difficulties and typical teen challenges. In the end Melody realizes that she is no different than any other middle school student, she faces challenges, wants to fit in, and just wants a friend. Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2010

I absolutely love this book - it will have you laughing, crying, and everything in between. It can be unsettling at times, but thoroughly uplifting as Ms. Draper weaves a story about a young girl finding her voice, both literally (through assistive technology) and figuratively (through advocating for herself). This book illustrates the complexities and challenges of physical inclusion and social inclusion. There is a teacher and student study guide at the author’s website, www.sharondraper.com . Also, this book is on the Accelerated Reader list.

Recommended by: Dr. Vicki Donne



Laughing All the Way
by George Shannon

A wonderful story about duck’s bad day and how duck’s habit of mixing up letter sounds when he talks helps him get out of trouble while……….laughing all the way. Houghton Mifflin 1992

This is a great book that allows children to see the fun to be had with language and word play. Also – the silliness in the book is a lot of fun. Kids will want this book read again and again. r. My daughter and husband read this book over and over and the giggling could be heard throughout the house!

Recommended by: Dr. Mary Ann Rafoth