Books Each year, a committee of educators, Rotarians and community members carefully choose nine or more books for the Gift of Literacy program. Click here to read the selection criteria. 2017 Book Selections

Finding Winnie, by Lindsay Mattick: Every baby mammal, from a tiny harvest mouse “pinky” to a fierce lion cub, needs food, shelter, love, and a family. Filled with illustrations of some of the most adorable babies in the kingdom, this awww-inspiring book looks at the traits that all baby mammals share and proves that, even though they’re born in the wild, they’re not so very different from us, after all!

Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks, by Corey Rosen Schwartz: 

These ninja chicks are anything but chicken! When Hensel and Gretel’s dad gets snatched by a fox, the sisters put their ninja skills to work to track him down before he can be stir-fried. But are these two little chicks ready to take on a dark tangled forest, a tricky house made of corn bread, and an even trickier fox? This plucky pair isn’t giving up without a fight! Kiya!

Interstella Cinderella, by Deborah Underwood: 

Once upon a planetoid, amid her tools and sprockets, a girl named Cinderella dreamed of fixing fancy rockets. With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince’s ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.

Mother Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins:

Bruce the bear likes to keep to himself. That, and eat eggs. But when his hard-boiled goose eggs turn out to be real, live goslings, he starts to lose his appetite. And even worse, the goslings are convinced he’s their mother. Bruce tries to get the geese to go south, but he can’t seem to rid himself of his new companions. What’s a bear to do?

Nobody Likes a Goblin, by Ben Hatke: 

Goblin, a cheerful little homebody, lives in a cosy, rat-infested dungeon, with his only friend, Skeleton. Every day, Goblin and Skeleton play with the treasure in their dungeon. But one day, a gang of “heroic” adventurers bursts in. These marauders trash the place, steal all the treasure, and make off with Skeleton―leaving Goblin all alone! It’s up to Goblin to save the day. But first he’s going to have to leave the dungeon and find out how the rest of the world feels about goblins.

Olinguito Speaks Up/Olunguito alza la voz by Cecilia Velástegui (bilingual): 

Olinguito is a shy and furry animal that sucks his thumb all day long and hides in the treetops of the Ecuadorian cloud forest. No one in the whole world knows that he exists. Olinguito is too shy to let the other creatures know that he has been listening and watching them, and enjoying the tales told by Tomas, an ancient Galapagos tortoise. Tomas loves to tell fantastic stories about the strange creatures of the Galapagos Islands, from the poisonous longnose stubfoot toad to a Pinta Island tortoise named Lonesome George, who no one in the cloud forest has ever seen. When Olinguito hears the other cloud forest animals ridicule Tomas for making things up, he realizes that these are not tall tales—they are memories of creatures driven to extinction. Shy Olinguito is finally moved to speak up in defense of Tomas. This poignant story addresses respect, both for the environment and for our elderly, and explores universal themes of friendship, memories, and finding the courage to speak up.

Super Happy Magic Forest, by Matty Long: 

Welcome to the Super Happy Magic Forest, a super happy, super magical place filled with picnics, dancing, and fun. That is until the source of all things joyous, the Mystical Crystals of Life, are stolen! Five heroes—a fairy, a unicorn, a faun, a gnome, and a talking mushroom—have been summoned by wise Old Oak to retrieve the Crystals, but the epic quest won’t be easy. They must first battle through frozen lands, navigate past scary dungeons, and encounter terrifying creatures along the way. Will these heroes save the day? It’s hard to say! With so much to laugh at and explore, lovers of silliness, adventure, and all things magical won’t be able to get enough of Super Happy Magic Forest!

The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt: 

I’m not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.

The Forgetful Knight, by Michelle Robinson: 

Mischief! Mishaps! Dragons! Here’s the story of an intrepid knight, only our narrator can’t quite remember the details. Did that knight carry a sandwich, or a sword? Was he supposed to fight a cat, or a dragon? A hilarious and unpredictable adventure ensues, building through laugh-out-loud rhymes until, at last, the narrator remembers his own role at the center of all the marvelous madness. Fans of Jon Scieszka’s The Stinky Cheese Man, David Ezra Stein’s Interrupting Chicken, all of Patrick McDonnell’s and Mac Barnett’s picture books will love this zany read-aloud adventure.

Whale Trails Before and Now, by Lesa Cline-Ransome:

 

Whale-watching is a hugely popular pastime: at least 13 million people take whale-watching trips each year. But in the past, whaling ships hunted these animals to use their blubber for fuel and their bones for fishing hooks. As the whale population thinned, fortunately hunting ceased. Now, whale lovers go out on boats just to get a glimpse of these giant endangered creatures. Narrated by a little girl out on the waves with her father, this is a story of marine history and the differences between then and now.