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Always Reading

I love children’s books! I love using them with children and adults – for teaching, reminding, saying things in new ways, dealing with difficult subjects, and more. I’m always looking for great new books and love sharing them with others. If you have a new favorite, please let me know.

Miss Vicki

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Newest Arrivals

Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons

by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Everyone knows cookies taste good, but these cookies also have something good to say. Open this delectable book to any page and you will find out something about life. 

Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons is a new kind of dictionary, one that defines mysteries such as “fair” and “unfair” and what it means to “cooperate.” At every turn this book is clever, honest, inspirational, and whimsical. Go ahead, take a bite!

Perfect for learning concept words.

The Want Monsters

by Chelo Manchego

It’s a scenario that is familiar to all parents: you and your child are in a toy store, or walking past an ice cream truck and instantaneously, your child’s “want monster” kicks into high gear. Often, giving in only leads to more and more wanting. What to do? The Want Monsters takes a unique and humorous look at how one boy learns how to calm Oskar, his “Want Monster.” He says that often Oskar is a fun and lively companion, urging him to push the envelope in all sorts of situations–eating too much ice cream, playing video games until his thumbs fall off, needing to be the center of attention “way too much.” But the boy gets tired of the drama and fallout from it, and, after getting some advice from a wise worm, finds a way to tame Oskar without hurting his feelings–or destroying the good and motivating energy that “wanting” can also generate. This is a warm and relatable story for children ages 4-8, with beautiful, bright drawings that are executed with humor and subtlety.

The Gardener

by Sarah Stewart
art by David Small

Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker. There she initiates a gradual transformation, bit by bit brightening the shop and bringing smiles to customers’ faces with the flowers she grows. But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece — an ambitious rooftop garden — which she hopes will make even Uncle Jim smile. Sarah Stewart introduces readers to an engaging and determined young heroine, whose story is told through letters written home, while David Small’s illustrations beautifully evoke the Depression-era setting.

When God was a Little Girl

by David R. Weiss

”Tell me a story, Daddy . . . about when God was a little girl.” Susanna’s playful request begins a whimsically profound tale woven between father and daughter. This imaginative retelling of creation sparkles with joy, its words and images offering gentle wisdom and genuine insight. You may never think about God, creation, or yourself in quite the same way.

Past Highlights

Only One You

by Linda Kranz

“Always be on the lookout for a new friend. Look for beauty wherever you are, and keep the memory of it with you.” Samples of the wisdom Adri’s parents share with him before sending him out into the world. Before he swam away, Mama kissed him on the top of his head and said, “There’s only one you in this great bid world. Make it a better place.” Only One You is simply stated but can lead to fantastic conversations.

You Be You

by Linda Kranz

Each of Kranz’s books work on a number of different levels. In You Be You. Adri realizes that there are lots of fish in the sea and they are all so different. His mama’s wise words “Life is a grand journey, Adri, you be you” are good words for us all to hear.

Love You When

by Linda Kranz

Reminds us that those we love are always with us. Throughout the day and through all seasons we are reminded of those we love and those who love us as we remember something we’ve done together or something that was said. As with each of Kranz’s books, this may be a children’s book, but the adults in their lives need it, too.

God Made Something Out of Nothing to Do...and So Can You!

by Timothy La Belle

Unique in both message and presentation and appropriate for a wide audience, this playful, funny, and energetic book sparks the creativity and fun in the reader or hearer. Since we’re made in the image of God, who “made something out of nothing to do,” we are created to be creative. La Belle shows how there’s a good time waiting everywhere if you just look inside yourself first.

So Close

by Natalia Colombo

Mr. Duck and Mr. Rabbit hurry past each other every morning and every evening. Their paths always cross, but neither reaches out to bridge the gap. If one of them would just express a simple greeting, their lives could change. They might become friends, instead of strangers. What a difference one little hello could make. In a recent review, one school counselor said noted how they used it as a community builder for the entire school. Taking the time to acknowledge one another in a friendly way is a must in our daily lives.

the dot

by Peter H. Reynolds

“Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” The words of Vashti’s teacher are a gentle invitation to self-expression. This is a simple but inspiring story that recognizes the creativity in everyone and a book for anyone who has ever been told that they can’t by someone. Reynolds encourages us to dream and turn those dreams into reality.

One and Zero

by Kathryn Otoshi

Two amazing books!

The power of One. “When no one takes a stand, things get out of hand. Until ONE comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up and count!” I use One for starting a conversation about bullying.

Zero is a beautiful, easy conversation about self-esteem and finding value in yourself and others.

Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace

by Shelley Moore Thomas
photographs by Eric Futran

Through more photographs than words, Somewhere Today beautifully shows examples of people (predominantly children) being loving and kind. Ordinary children doing ordinary things to help make the world a better place.

Grateful: A Song of Giving Thanks

by John Bucchino
(original recording by Art Garfunkel included)

It’s a loving reminder of the gifts available to us when we approach life with gratitude. ‘Some nights I lie awake counting gifts instead of counting sheep…giving thanks for what I’ve got makes me so much happier than keeping score.” This is a beautiful book for children to read while listening to the CD. Set to music, they’ll take the words and thoughts through the day with them.

Albert the Fix-It Man

by Jane Lord

A simple story about generosity repaid and the value of community. A lead-in to talking about the importance of being a part of a community and how that is lived out in our church.

Making Time For God: Daily Devotions for Children and Families to Share

by Susan R. Garrett and Amy Plantinga Pauw

The authors developed this daily devotional for their own children who gave them excellent feedback. It is thoughtful, well written, simple but not simplistic. It is a great resource for parents wanting to interact with their children, be an intentional part of their faith development and help them develop a strong pattern of daily devotions and prayer.

The Crayon Box that Talked

by Shane DeRolf

 “While walking through a toy store, the day before today, I overheard a crayon box with many things to say…” Once upon a time, Shane DeRolf wrote a poem. It was a deceptively simple poem, a charming little piece that celebrates the creation of harmony through diversity. The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf conveys the sublimely simple message that when we all work together, the results are much more interesting and colorful.


by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

A gift that we can give to children or adults is to help them focus, to see what’s in the world around them. Laura Vaccaro Seeger does just that in Green. Known as the “Queen of the concept book,” Laura’s die cut pages bring surprise after surprise. For me, after reading Green, my trips to Central Park have become a whole new experience.

Moody Cow Meditates

by Kerry Lee MacLean

Do you or your child ever get frustrated, overwhelmed or anxious and need a way to calm down, quiet that inner voice? Kerry Lee MacLean’s Moody Cow Meditates might be able to help. Peter the Cow is having a bad day. He misses the bus, wipes out on his bike, loses his temper and gets in trouble. And, all the other cows are teasing him and calling him “Moody Cow.” Can his Grandpa teach him to calm his mind and let go of his frustration? With the “Moody Cow Mind Jar” Peter is able to become aware of his feelings and calm himself – a technique that could work in numerous situations.

Life Questions and Lessons
  • Old Turtle, by Douglas Wood
    An enchanting fable for children and adults, promotes a deeper understanding of the earth and our relationship with all the beings who inhabit it.
  • Old Turtle and the Broken Truth, by Douglas Wood
    Old Turtle returns in a timeless story about love, acceptance, and the nature of truth.
  • The Three Questions based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, by Jon J. Muth
    When young Nikolai seeks counsel from Leo, the wise old turtle who lives in the mountains, he is sure Leo will know the answers to his three questions.  But it is Nikolai’s own response to a stranger’s cry for help that leads him directly to the answers he is looking for.
  • Stone Soup, by Jon J. Muth
    Three monks journey along a mountain road trying to understand what makes one happy.  They encounter frightened villagers who have been ravaged by harsh times.  When the monks cleverly entice them to make soup from stones, the villagers discover how much they each have to give – and how much more comes back in return.
  • Zen Shorts, by Jon J. Muth
    With vibrant watercolors and elegant ink drawings, Muth imaginatively presents three classic Zen stories that abound with enlightenment and love.
  • Miss Fannie’s Hat, by Jan Karon
    Readers young and old will be enchanted by Miss Fannie.  They’ll also discover wonderful truths about trust and faith and the rewards of unselfish love.
  • Mr. Peabody’s Apples, by Madonna
    Inspired by a Kabbalah story, it is about the power of words and how we must choose them carefully to avoid causing harm to others.
  • Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    Everyone knows cookies taste good, but these cookies also have something good to say. This is a new kind of dictionary, one that defines mysteries such as “fair” and “unfair” and what it really means to “cooperate.” It is by turns clever, honest, inspirational, and whimsical.
  • Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, by Mem Fox
    A small boy tries to discover the meaning of “memory” so he can help an elderly friend who has lost her ability to remember.
  • Because Brian Hugged His Mother, by David L. Rice
    A simple act of kindness may go farther than you think. Brian hugged his mom one morning. No special reason. Brian’s hug set in motion a series of unselfish acts that reached more people — and even animals — than he could ever know.
Books of Thanks, Prayers & Praise
  • Grateful: A Song of Giving Thanks, by John Bucchino (original recording by Art Garfunkel included)
    It’s a loving reminder of the gifts available to us when we approach life with gratitude.
  • Giving Thanks, by Jonathan London
    How can a young boy ever show his gratitude for all the beauty he sees?  In this book he will learn from his father.
  • In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child’s Book of Prayers and Praise, collected by Reeve Lindbergh
    Lindbergh has gathered together treasured words from many cultures and faiths, poems and prayers, a diverse collection of words and images offering young children and families of all beliefs the gifts of deeply felt tradition, abiding comfort, and spiritual strength.
  • Peace on Earth: A Book of Prayers from Around the World, collected and illustrated by Bijou Le Tord
    Le Tord celebrates all of God’s creation.  There are joyous songs and prayers from many religious traditions gathered here.
  • Thank God for Rocks, by Esther Bender
    A long time ago, a poor man bought a small run down farm with a field of rocks.  People thought he was crazy to stay, but eventually he became the richest farmer in the country, all because he was grateful for everything God had given him — especially the rocks.
Giving to and Helping Others
  • Bagels from Benny, by Aubrey Davis
    In this book a child finds out about faith, generosity and the world of hidden possibilities.  A Stewardship must.
  • The Quiltmaker’s Gift, by Jeff Brumbeau
    This charming fable for our times celebrates the joy of giving.  Fabulous for Stewardship.
  • 26 Big Things Small Hands Do, by Coleen Paratore
    This alphabet book is full of ideas for making the world a better place.  Toddler’s stewardship!
  • The Giving Box: Create a Tradition of Giving with Your Children, by Fred Rogers
    “Everyone has something to give,” said Fred Rogers.  The Giving Box offers: ways to talk with children about giving and receiving; multicultural folktales with different perspectives; and, ideas for creating new family traditions of giving and receiving.
Books for Interfaith Conversation
  • O Jerusalem, by Jane Yolen
    In stirring poetry enhanced by evocative paintings images are drawn from all three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and presented side-by-side.
  • A World of Faith, by Peggy Fletcher Stack and Kathleen Peterson
    Young people who have questions about religion will enjoy reading this.  It explains similarities in moral teachings and the unique forms of worship of most American denominations.
  • The Kids Book of World Religions, by Jennifer Glossop
    This overview looks at the history, scriptures, places of worship and festivals that are the foundations of the world’s major religions.
  • The Kingfisher Book of Religions: Festivals, ceremonies, and beliefs from around the world
    This book promotes an understanding and tolerance of all cultures and faiths. There is a special focus throughout on the roles that children play within each religion to give readers a real insight into a host of different beliefs.
Children's Bibles and Bible Story Books
  • Children of God Storybook Bible, by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (published by Zonderkidz)
    Archbishop Desmond Tutu retells over 50 of his favorite Bible stories, highlighting God’s desire for all people to love one another. Each story is introduced with a thought that is at the end summed up in a way that encourages conversation and enhances the teaching moment.
  • The Children’s Illustrated Bible, by DK
    The Family Illustrated Bible by DK  These two Bibles stand apart for their clear text, beautiful illustrations, stunning photographs, background information and maps, that help explain the stories and set them in their historical and geographical context.
  • Miss Lea’s Bible Stories, by Rosemary Lea
    Miss Lea, of St. Bernard’s School fame, has written these Bible stories just as she told them to the St. Bernard’s boys forever. Her Bible scholarship and English wit shine through as she links stories together in a storytelling kind of way. Perfect for reading to your children.
  • Deep Blue Kids Bible (CEB) This engaging, interactive Bible offers four-color icons and illustrations throughout with a wealth of notes, devotionals, Bible trivia, and other interactive elements to capture inquisitive young minds. Plus the CEB Deep Blue Kids Bible will encourage a thirst for God’s timeless message as young readers join three life-like kids in discovering the Bible and what it means to their lives.
  • The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story — for 11 & 12 year olds. The Action Bible is the best! A graphic novel. Comics and Jesus, what could be better? Masterfully illustrated with stunning art from Marvel and DC Comics artist Sergio Cariello, The Action Bible is the perfect Bible for today’s visually focused culture.