Open a Book, Open a Mind - Children's Shelf Suggestions from Sharon

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Ok, every now and then I get nostalgic. This book is a timeless story that once read with your children will stay with them forever. It’s about a peddler who walks up and down the street balancing caps on his head. One fine day when he can’t sell any of his caps, he sits under a big tree to rest. Monkey business begins. We all can appreciate the way the peddler finally-unwittingly-solves his problem. Your “little monkeys” might adore making some banana bread after reading the story!







The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

I normally resist any book that is “over sold”. Best seller lists are a sure fire way for me to ignore a book. This one is an exception. It just might be life changing. Yes, it’s that good.  The story: Ivan is a laid back gorilla who lives in a cage at a strip mall. He has grown used to his “domain” and the humans who visit him. Ivan has his best friends, Stella and Bob, and a passion for making art. When a baby elephant joins the group, Ivan realizes it is up to him to change their lives for the better. Although recommended for ages 8 through 12, The One and Only Ivan is for all ages. Ivan’s voice sucks you into the story right away. The sentences are short and simple, because as Ivan says, gorillas waste less words than humans. Although sad things happen, the story is not at all depressing. All good animal stories leave you teary-eyed. Remember Charlotte’s Webb and the Velveteen Rabbit? Based on a true story, much discussion could be had about animal rights.