Children's Department Blog

STEM Books with Diverse Protagonists

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are all around us, all the time! Check out our latest & greatest STEM books featuring a protagonist of color. All books are available for checkout from the Cape May County Library system.

Rox’s Secret Code by Archambault: “Rox does not want to clean up her room, so she creates a robot to do her chores for her, but Chorebot gets out of control.”

Georgia’s Terrific, Colorific Experiment by Persico: “Georgia wants to become a famous scientist, but she does not think her family of artists can be of any help to her.”

Two Problems for Sophia by Averbeck: “Sophia is happy to have Noodle, her One True Desire, yet her new pet comes with two giraffe-sized problems."

Fairy Science by Spires: “All the fairies in Pixieville believe in magic--except Esther. She believes in science. When a forest tree stops growing, all the fairies are stumped--including Esther. But not for long! Esther knows that science can get to the root of the problem--and its solution!”

Astronaut Annie by Slade: “When Annie has a career day at her school, each member of her family wonders if she will choose their career path--her grandfather the news photographer, her father the mountain climber or her mother the basketball player--until she reveals a dream that is all her own.”

How to Code a Roller Coaster by Funk: “"Pearl and her trusty rust-proof robot, Pascal, are enjoying a day out at the amusement park and learning more about coding.” 

The Little Red Fort by Maier: “In this adaptation of the Little Red Hen fable, Ruby wants to build a fort, but her three brothers refuse to help, so when the fort is finished Ruby will not let them join her--until the boys come up with a few embellishments for the fort, like a mailbox, a garden, and a fresh coat of paint.”

Oh No! or, How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Barnett: “After winning the science fair with the giant robot she has builAda Twist is a very curious girl who shows perseverance by asking questions and performing experiments to find things out and understand the world.t, a little girl realizes that there is a major problem.”

Ada Twist, Scientist by Beaty: “Ada Twist is a very curious girl who shows perseverance by asking questions and performing experiments to find things out and understand the world.”

Be a Maker by Howes: “Illustrations and simple, rhyming text invite the reader to make everything from a tower to a charitable donation, alone or with neighbors.”

Rocket Says Look Up! by Bryon: “Aspiring astronaut Rocket draws her community together to see a rare appearance of the Phoenix Meteor Showers, hoping especially that her big brother, Jamal, will look up from his phone.”

Cece Loves Science and Adventure by Beaty: “When Cece and her Adventure Girls troop face a sudden thunderstorm, they use science, technology, engineering, and math to solve problems and make their way safely back to camp.”

Most Popular Books: 2019

The checkouts are in, and we officially have our most popular children’s books of 2019! Here are the titles, according to collection:


Picture Books:

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

I’m a Shark! by Bob Shea

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! by Mo Willems

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Disney Princess Bedtime Stories

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

How to Catch a Unicorn by Adam Wallace

Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey

The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! by Mo Willems

Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman

The Petes Go Marching by James Dean

You Don’t Want a Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman

Aqualicious by Victoria Kann

Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds



Minecraft: Construction Handbook by Matthew Needler

Minecraft: Redstone Handbook by Nick Farwell

Minecraft Combat Handbook by Stephanie Milton

The LEGO Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination by Daniel Lipkowitz

Minecraft: Essential Handbook by Stephanie Milton

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Weird but True! Food: 300 Bite-Size Facts about Incredible Edibles!

The Disney Princess Cookbook by Cindy Littlefield

Guinness World Records: 2019

Roblox Character Encyclopedia by Alexander Cox

The Ultimate Book of Sharks by Brian Skerry

Look and Find: Disney Moana by Emily Skwish

Look and Find: The Mighty Avengers 

Big Book of Animals: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World

Fly Guy Presents: Sharks by Tedd Arnold


Juvenile Fiction

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Kiss and Spell by Suzanne Selfors

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

Once Upon a Pet: A Collection of Little Pet Stories by Suzanne Selfors

Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday by Rachel Russell

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown


Graphic Novels

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man Unleashed by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey

Gravity Falls: Lost Legends by Alex Hirsch

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Drama by Raina Telgemeier 

Kristy’s Big Day by Ann. M. Martin

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

Narwhal’s Otter Friend by Ben Clanton



Halloween Action Cards

Click here to view and print our Halloween themed action cards!

Messy Masterpieces: Gravity Painting

Tot Time: Tips & Tricks

Interested in starting a Tot Time at your library? Click here for our recommendations and suggestions!

Books about Books: Picture Books that Celebrate Reading

While there are countless ways to celebrate a love of books and reading, these titles help children & families be a part of the celebration as well! Enjoy this selection of books about books, all available from the Cape May County Library.

Abner and Ian Get Right-Side Up by Dave Eggers: Abner and Ian are stuck sideways on the pages of their debut picture book. They can't start the story like this! Ian is trying to be brave, despite his dizziness and fear of heights. But don't worry, because Abner has a plan: Readers will shake and turn the book until they get right side up! Sounds easy, right? Think again, because the real solution may be the opposite of what you'd expect. With the odd couple wit of Elephant & Piggie, the interactive appeal of Press Here, and a timeless charm all their own, Abner & Ian offer readers of all ages 80 pages of fast-paced fun.

Just Read! by Lori Degman: Learning to read is a big accomplishment, and this exuberant picture book celebrates reading in its many forms. In lively rhyme, it follows a diverse group of word-loving children who grab the opportunity to read wherever and whenever they can. They read while waiting and while sliding or swinging; they read music and in Braille and the signs on the road. And, sometimes, they even read together, in a special fort they've built. The colorful, fanciful art and rollicking text will get every child more excited about reading!

This Book is Spineless by Lindsay Leslie: A wary and unadventurous book uses its different parts, such as the jacket, gutters, and endpapers, to try and get a sense of what kind of story might be on its pages. By navigating the book's contents together, the reader and the book become friends and the book becomes braver.

The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli: The Book Hog loves books - the way they look, the way they feel, the way they smell - and he'll grab whatever he can find. There's only one problem: he can't read! But when a kind librarian invites him to join for storytime, this literature-loving pig discovers the treasure that books really are.

Night Library by David Zeltser: After a young boy goes to sleep upset that he's getting a book for his birthday, he's visited in the night by Patience and Fortitude, the two stone lions who guard the New York Public Library. Soon, he's magically whisked away from his cozy home in the Bronx, and the two mighty lions show him the wonder of the library. There, the inquisitive Latino boy discovers the power of books and their role not only in his own life, but also in the lives of the people he loves. Raul Colon's gorgeous, rich art creates an immersive world in this book about books, which is sure to capture the imaginations of kids and adults and inspire them to grab their library cards and dive into the worlds of stories.

Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian by Jacob Sager Weinstein: When an evil genius has a diabolical plan to destroy every book on the planet, who has the tome-toting page power to thwart his dastardly scheme? Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian! She's got the gadgets. She's got the disguises. And she's always got the right book at the right time. It's a good thing, too, because Lyric McKerrigan is the world's last hope! Jacob Sager Weinstein and Vera Brosgol introduce a smart and crafty heroine who is part comic-book hero, part reader extraordinaire, and wholly awesome.

Lost in the Library by Josh Funk: Steadfast Fortitude and curious Patience are waiting every morning to greet visitors of the Library. That is until, one early morning, when Fortitude finds Patience is missing. The city is about to awake, and the lions absolutely must be in their places before the sun rises. Now, Fortitude must abandon his own post to find his best friend in the Library's labyrinthine halls. With Josh Funk's clever rhymes and Steview Lewis' vibrant art, Lost in the Library introduces young readers to a pair of unforgettable lions, as well as the famed New York Public Library, and includes bonus material loaded with facts about Patience, Fortitude, and the NYPL's history.

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein: Surprise! The little red chicken is back -- and as endearingly silly as ever. It's homework time for the little red chicken, who has just learned about something every good story should have: an elephant of surprise. Or could it be an element of surprise (as her amused papa explains)? As they dive in to story after story, looking for the part that makes a reader say "Whoa! I didn't know that was going to happen," Papa is sure he can convince Chicken he's right. After all, there are definitely no elephants in "The Ugly Duckling," "Rapunzel," or "The Little Mermaid" -- or are there? Elephant or element, something unexpected awaits Papa in every story, but a surprise may be in store for the little red chicken as well. Full of the same boisterous charm that made Interrupting Chicken so beloved by readers, this gleeful follow-up is sure to delight fans of stories, surprises, and elephants alike.

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara: There is a little library that only opens at night. In the library there is a little librarian--and her three assistant owls--who helps everyone find the perfect book. The library is always peaceful and quiet . . . until one night when some of the animals stir up a little trouble (and a little fun!) in the Midnight Library. From Kazuno Kohara, creator of the New York Times Best Illustrated book Ghosts in the House! comes a beautiful book brimming with cozy charm.

Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora: Whether we are collecting words, reading favorite books in the library, celebrating holidays, writing poems, sharing secrets, or singing a jazzy duet, words and books can take us on wonderful adventures and bring us joy. Poet Pat Mora has brought together a collection of her poems that celebrates engaging with words and books in all these ways and more. Vivid illustrations by Raúl Colón bring the poems to life and interpret the magic of the language with captivating images in a style influenced by Mexican muralists. Together the poems and illustrations are sure to inspire creative wordplay in readers of all ages.

How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read? by Jane Yolen: Children sometimes feel the task of learning to read is overwhelming, but the winning combination of rhyme and illustrations here provide a perfect way to present the subject in a comical, engaging, and nonjudgmental way. The contrast of enormous dinosaurs in kid-sized bedrooms (with human parents) adds irresistible humor as families explore the do's and don'ts of reading. Both practical and engaging, this book shows dinosaurs getting into all sorts of reading-related trouble! But of course, in the end, the dinosaurs learn how to carefully handle their books, read out loud, and read a lot!

Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn: Lola has a big smile on her face. Why? Because it's Tuesday--and on Tuesdays, Lola and her mommy go to the library. Join Lola in this cozy celebration of books and the people who love them.

Picture Books about Being Yourself

One of the most important and difficult lessons children can learn is how to be comfortable and confident in themselves. Thankfully, picture books exist that help children on that journey! Check out some of our favorite titles here. All selections are available for checkout from the Cape May County Library. 

Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins: Most marshmallows like to watch television and lead normal lives--but some marshmallows dream of greater things.

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal: When Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela asks her father why she has so many names, she hears the story of her name and learns about her grandparents.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson: Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

Ogilvy by Deborah Underwood: When Ogilvy moves to a new town, he discovers that bunnies who wear dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks, and Ogilvy must figure out a way to do it all.

Petra by Marianna Coppo: Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain... until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird's nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility.

Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival: Norman is thrilled to discover he grew a pair of wings overnight, but his excitement turns to doubt when he realizes he is now different from everyone else, causing him to question whether there is such thing as perfectly normal.

I’m Fun, Too! by Jonathan Fenske:  What happens when an ordinary LEGO® minifigure of the past meets the extraordinary minifigures of today, with their elaborate vehicles, colourful clothes and wild accessories? He thinks he's no fun at all! But after feeling down about being ordinary, he and his new friends piece together just how special he truly is.

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Mendez: When a young girl is asked where she's from--where she's really from--she's no longer as she was. She decides to turn to her dear abuelo for some help with this ever-persistent question. But he doesn't quite give her the answer she expects.

What If… by Samantha Berger: A child who likes to draw and write stories imagines what would happen if there were no pencils, paper, or other tools for being creative.

Eraser by Anna Kang: Eraser is always cleaning up everyone else's mistakes. They all love how sharp Pencil is and how Tape and Glue help everyone stick together. Eraser wants to create so that she can shine like the others. She decides to give it a try, but it's not until the rubber meets the road that Eraser begins to understand a whole lot about herself.

Giraffe Problems by Jory John: Can you guess what's making this giraffe self-conscious? Could it be . . . HIS ENORMOUS NECK?? Yes, it's exactly that--how on earth did you figure it out? Edward the giraffe can't understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. Just when he has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.

Robyn Boid: Architect by Maree Coote: Robyn Boid studied architecture at the National University and dreamed of becoming a famous architect. There's a lot more to architecture than nest-building, as this busy little bird soon discovers. Join Robyn Boid as she learns the most important principles of architecture by studying the great buildings of the world.


Best Wordless Picture Books

Wordless picture books (or, just picture books!) make up some of the best content of our collection. These books are incredibly important for young readers as they are actively engaged in thinking about the story and what the illustrations are communicating. Here is a list of our favorite new picture books from 2019. All are available for checkout from the Cape May County Library system!

Sign Off by Stephen Savage: From award-winning author-illustrator Stephen Savage comes a playful wordless picture book about what the figures on road signs do when no one is around! What do the figures on signs do when no one is watching? Under cover of night, they leave their signs to play and collaborate in this imaginative story by celebrated author-illustrator Stephen Savage.

Red by Jed Alexander: Red is on her way through the woods to visit Grandmother when she meets the Big Bad Wolf. What are that Wolf and all of those woodland creatures up to? This version of the classic folktale ends a bit differently. A delightful surprise awaits Red and readers in this wordless picture book featuring newcomer Jed Alexander's exquisite two-color illustrations.

Dust Bunny Wants a Friend by Amy Hevron: A lonely dust bunny tries to make friends with passing creatures with no success, until a broom sweeps him under the bed and he finds more friends like him.

Another by Christian Robinson: In his eagerly anticipated debut as author-illustrator, Caldecott and Coretta Scott King honoree Christian Robinson brings young readers on a playful, imaginative journey into another world.  What if you...encountered another perspective? Discovered another world? Met another you? What might you do?

Imagine! by Raul Colon: When a boy visits an art museum and one of the paintings comes to life, he has an afternoon of adventure and discovery that changes how he sees the world ever after.

Found by Jeff Newman: A wordless picture book about what we lose, what we find, and what we give back. Jenn's beloved dog was lost sometime ago. Long enough that she has given up the search. But she still misses her friend. One day she finds a lost dog. She takes him in and despite a rocky start, she grows to love him. Until she spots his picture on a missing poster. His name is Roscoe, and he's someone else's best friend. Jenn knows she should return Roscoe, but she really doesn't want to. Will Jenn do the right thing? Or will she keep this new dog she's grown to love so much?

Once Upon a Snowstorm by Richard Johnson: The Snowman meets the Polar Express in this dazzling picture book, sure to be a new holiday classic. The story of a father and his son who live by themselves in a cosy cabin in the woods. But, one day they are separated out in the beautifully falling snow. The boy is lost and falls asleep. When he wakes up he is surrounded by blinking eyes, a rabbit, a fox, an owl and all manner of other creatures have surrounded him! But with a bear hug he and the woodland animals become best of friends! But soon he misses his dad and so the animals bring him back home. The father opens up his heart and home, and lets nature and love envelop their previously lonely existence.

Pip & Pup by Eugene Yelchin: Across the barnyard, Pip the chick spots a new friend to play with - Pup! But Pup isn't sure he likes how Pip plays - too rough. These two friends will weather the storm though. A bright, fun celebration of friendship!

Dog on a Digger by Kate Prendergast: Two perennial favorites -- canines and heavy machinery - come together in a charming wordless book sure to please readers of all ages. Dog likes to ride along while his human companion works the big excavator at the construction site. But today, when they stop at the snack bar for something to eat, Dog's little puppy friend goes missing. Luckily, Dog has a brave and ingenious idea for coming to the rescue -- with the help of the excavator, of course! Incorporating bright yellow accents, Kate Prendergast's wonderfully detailed pencil drawings tell a satisfying story of a loyal, resourceful, and clever pup.

Wallpaper by Thao Lam: A wordless picture book about an imaginary world behind the walls in Thao Lam's signature paper collage style. It tells the story of a young girl whose family moves into a new house. Outside, she can hear other kids playing, but she's too shy to say hello. So she picks at the old wallpaper in her room - revealing an entryway to a fantastic imaginary adventure world behind the walls. There, she runs between the vibrant and varied environments as she finds herself chased by a monster. He is frightening at first, until it becomes clear he simply wants to be her friend. When it comes time to go back to reality, the girl feels inspired with the courage to approach the other kids and say hello.

Aquarium by Cynthia Alonso: In this wordless picture book, a little girl learns about love, nature, and the transformative power of letting go when a little fish leaps into her life.

A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker: A young girl, still reeling from her dog's death, finds solace while picking up stones on the beach during her family's vacation.


Princess Wore Her Red Crown

We love fairy tales and fantasy! Check out our new rhyme for the magnet board. This familiar tune is easy for kids to sing along to and helps identify colors. Click here to view and print our "Princess Wore Her Red Crown" template. We printed, laminated, and added magnets for use during storytime!

Read Display


We used our favorite picture & chapter books to create our newest display in the children’s room! Check out the titles that make up each letter here. Also, print the PDFs here: display one, display two, display three, and display four.


Crunch the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

The Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey

Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

I Need a Hug by Aaron Blabey

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

After the Fall by Dan Santat

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast: Mission Defrostable by Josh Funk

Neon Leon by Jane Clark


We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Giraffe Problems by Jory John

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman

Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas

The Hueys in the New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Princess Puffybottom and Darryl by Susin Nielsen-Fernlund

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora


Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

How to Feed Your Parents by Ryan Miller

I Want My Hat Back Jon Klassen

The Bad Seed by Jory John

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds

Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein


Goosebumps: How I Learned to Fly by R.L. Stine

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

Lola Goes to School by Anna McQuinn

Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians by Jarrett Krosoczka

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Dandy by Ame Dyckman

The Rough Patch by Brian Lies

Under My Hijab by Hena Khan

Pretty Kitty by Karen Beaumont

Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan

Be a Maker by Katey Howes


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