New Storytime Treasures: Future Classics Today │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

Looking for new titles to replace storytime favorites? Look no further than these timeless selections from the editors at Junior Library Guild.
Looking for new titles to replace storytime favorites such as Paddington Bear and Harold and the Purple Crayon? Today’s read-aloud treasures feature boys who dig a hole, a mouse who enlightens his friend, and a family of poodles who finally understand that looks aren’t everything. Readers may also learn a lesson from an apple farmer or a tortoise-riding sheriff. Enrich your story hour with the following new and timeless selections from the editors at Junior Library Guild. JLG_BT_4_9_14_Sam-DaveBARNETT, Mac. Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. illus. by Jon Klassen. 40p. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763662295. JLG Level: P : Primary (Grades K–1). Sam and Dave are on a mission. They are determined to find something spectacular before they stop digging, so they dig and dig. They stop for chocolate milk. They dig some more. They stop to eat animal cookies, and then resume their task. They dig until they are deep in the ground and tired enough to sleep through anything—even something spectacular. Learn more about the world of Mac Barnett by visiting his website. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram. Want to know the backstory about his name? Listen to the audio pronunciation on Illustrator Jon Klassen has mostly stopped blogging, choosing to use Tumblr instead. You’ll want to follow him on Twitter. Find out how to say the illustrator’s name and hear an interesting reflection on it at And don’t miss the comical live action book trailer featuring the duo and one on Klassen’s labors in a bookshop window. For storytime resources and activities, check out Candlewick’s website. JLG_BT_4_9_14_Lib-Bk-for-BearBECKER, Bonny. A Library Book for Bear. illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton. 40p. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763649241. JLG Level: P : Primary (Grades K–1). Fans of Mouse and Bear rejoice: the two friends are back for another adventure. “Completely unnecessary,” Bear announced. “I have all the books I need right here.” Bear never has been a fan of change, but Mouse is bound to take him to the library. Because Bear had promised that he would, he dons his red roller skates and off they go. While Mouse offers book after book, the storytelling voice of the librarian drifts to Bear’s stubborn ears. Leaning ever closer, he gets caught in the magic before he even realizes. Maybe there’s more to visiting the library than he had thought. From discussion questions to a reader’s worksheet, Candlewick provides a Story-Hour Kit that includes Becker and Denton’s book. Read about the author on her website. She collaborates with other authors and illustrators in the blog, "Books Around the Table." Illustrator Kady MacDonald’s work goes back to 1986. Read her 2011 interview from “Seven Questions Over Breakfast.” Pair this title with your library card enrollment activities, such as the ones at ALA’s @your library program. JLG_BT_4_9_14_GastonDIPUCCHIO, Kelly. Gaston. illus. by Christian Robinson. 40p. S. & S./Atheneum. 2014. ISBN 9781442451025. JLG Level: P : Primary (Grades K–1). What does family look like? Should everyone look the same? Act the same? Gaston tries to be a proper pooch, but he can’t seem to help slobbering and yapping. When his poodle family meets a bulldog family, they realize that there must have been a mix-up. Trading places seems like the right thing to do, but is it really? DiPucchio’s humor extends to her website, where readers will learn that her favorite food is coffee. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Learn how to say her name by listening to the audio pronunciation on Hot-on-the-heels of his Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award win, Robinson has two multi-starred books in 2014 (Boston Globe Horn Book Award Honor, Josephine; Chronicle,  2014). He posts samples of his illustrations and animation videos on his website. Learn more about his post-award year at the Ezra Jack Keats site. JLG_BT_4_9_14_RASCHKA, Chris. Give and Take. illus. by author. 40p. S. & S./Atheneum. 2014. ISBN 9781442416550. JLG Level: E+ : Easy Reading (Grades 1–3). Everyone has an opinion. Should I take? Should I give? The farmer has a lesson to be learned. Amongst the apples, pumpkins, pig, and flour, he can also be the teacher. Share the story of how the author/illustrator’s name came to be by playing the audio pronunciation at Readers may also want to view the video interview at You can follow Raschka on Tumblr and read more about him on his publisher’s page. JLG_BT_4_9_14_Kid-SheriffSHEA, Bob. Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads. illus. by Lane Smith. 32p. Roaring Brook. 2014. ISBN 9781596439757. JLG Level: HE : Humor Elementary (Grades 2-6). Drywater Gulch had a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches kind of toad. The never-say-thank-you kind of toad. The Toad brothers hooted, hollered, and cussed until Mayor McMuffin didn’t know what to do…Then hope road into town. Slowly. On a tortoise. Not surprisingly, the biography on Shea’s website is as hilarious as his work. You can read the short version, the long absurd, and the long for real. For an entertaining commentary, follow him on Twitter. The team of Smith and Molly Leach can be found on the illustrator’s website. The husband and wife duo often work together, as Leach is the genius behind the book’s design. While you won’t find Smith tweeting and posting in social media, there are accessible interviews, such as a video the couple did for Barnes & Noble on their partnership. Read the article Design Matters at The Horn Book for a behind-the-scenes look at book design. Provide pencils and the activity sheets produced by Macmillan, and your story hour is all set. Additional Resources The resources for the above titles have been organized in a new JLG Booktalks to Go: Fall 2014 LiveBinder. Titles are sorted by interest level, PreK-3, 3-6, 5-8, and YA. Check out our award-winning Spring 2014 LiveBinder which organizes resources for spring releases. All websites are posted within each LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources are added. Everything you need to teach or share brand-new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Booktalks and resources are also included on JLG’s BTG Pinterest board.   For library resources, tips, and ideas, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.   Junior Library Guild (JLG) is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)        

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing