BookKids April Staff Spotlight: Ellen!

my april spotlight display

~post by Ellen, BookKids Inventory Manager

A new feature in BookKids is the Staff Spotlight display. Each month, a staff member will have complete control over one of the full displays in the children’s department. The books in this display are completely the choice of the featured staff member. So far, the displays have included a mix of books from picture books to teen fiction. I know a few staff members are going to change this up for their displays later this year, but the thread that runs through all our choices is that we each absolutely love the books we pick to feature.

The idea for a staff-centric display came about in January, and most of us have been thinking about what books to include on our display since then. The first spotlight display was in February with books selected by Helen, and last month was Consuelo’s turn. I got April.

I spent way too much time agonizing over which books to include and which ones to cut. I could have easily recommended 100 books, but I was limited by the size of the bookcase. Curses! I went over my book list many times. Should I have a theme or not? Books from my childhood or only classics? Books with stunning artwork? Or perhaps only recent books from 2013-14, or maybe even books only by debut authors & artists? The possibilities were endless and I changed my mind on nearly a daily basis. For every book I finally decided upon, there are at least three more that I could have picked instead. My favorite possible theme was books with awesome animal characters such as Frances, Mrs. Frisby, or Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go. (I might keep this idea for later.) Instead, when it was time to make a decision, I mashed all my ideas together and came up with a group of books that sort of incorporates everything. Many of the books I chose are favorites from childhood. There is a memory tied to each – a teacher gave me a copy, I remember the illustrations, my friend and I read these in 3rd grade to escape the insanity that was our class, my brother and I listened to this on car trips, and so on. The more recent books on the list just struck a chord with me and I think they would have been books I would have loved growing up. What nearly all these books have in common is great writing and/or artwork, fantastic characters, and a sense of fun or whimsy.

Without further ado, here are my recommended books:

*Not pictured in dispaly photo. The Animal Family has sold out and The Legend of the Bluebonnet was up there before I took this picture but it got moved to our spring display. Fantastic Mr. Fox audio arrived after I took this picture, but it’s up there now!

Here are some pictures of my childhood copies. I think the “new” cover on It’s Like This Cat is not so great. I like the vintage cover of my personal copy much better. The old copy also has line drawings on the inside. Also shown is my much loved and reread copy of The Animal Family, a gift from dad in 1985.

My copy - The Animal Family My copy - It's Like This, Cat It's Like This Cat interior

Yes, my copy of Superfudge has long been held together with tape. I received it in that condition. And finally, the first signed book I ever received was The Legend of the Bluebonnet for my sixth birthday.

Superfudge et al Legend of the Bluebonnet inscription


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