Summer is here! And you know what that means… It’s Summer Learning Challenge time! You can find all of our amazing summer programs,  along with how to sign up in Beanstack to get started earning points. We have programming for all ages and interests that ties into our SLC theme of “Tales and Tails”!

And to get you started off right, our library staff have curated four (yes, FOUR) book lists in Beanstack that we feel have not-to-be-missed titles on them. You can find them under Recommendations on your Beanstack dashboard. Selecting “View All” will show all of the 2021 Tales and Tales book lists. 

We will be featuring each of the book lists throughout Summer 2021, so be sure to check back often to see what’s next.  This week, let’s explore the 2021 – Tales and Tails Picture Book List!

(All summaries are from the publishers. Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend!)

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And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell

At New York City’s Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches.

Animals: Here We Grow by Shelly Rotne

Readers follow along as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, a tadpole into a frog, and egg into a chicken. This engaging and accessible look at natural science introduces young children to the stages of growth for a diverse variety of animals.

Ayobami and the Names of Animals by Pilar Lopez Avila

After war comes to an end in her African homeland, Ayobami can finally return to her schoolhouse. But in order to do so, she must take a dangerous path through the jungle, armed only with a piece of paper and a worn-out pencil.

Champ and Major: First Dogs by Joy McCullough

A picture book about Champ and Major, President-elect Joe Biden’s two adorable dogs! Major will be the first shelter dog in the White House, and Champ can’t wait to show him around. Champ and Major’s dad, Joe Biden, just got a really important job: He’s going to be the new president of the United States! Champ is excited to go back to the White House–he got to visit it when his dad was the vice president, before the family adopted Major, and he knows about all the important work that happens there.

Joey: A Baby Koala and His Mother by Nic Bishop

It’s an exciting morning for Joey the baby koala, high above the ground, in the shade of a eucalyptus tree, Joey the baby koala wakes up hungry! Crawling over his sleeping mom, Joey goes exploring … only to find that his mother’s arms is where he’s supposed to be after all. Featuring simple text and stunning photographs of a rare interaction between a koala and her little one. Includes fun facts about koalas and their habitat.

Bird Show by Susan Stockdale

Celebrates the beauty and diversity of some of the world’s most remarkable birds, introducing amateur ornithologists to familiar and exotic species and their vibrant colors, patterns and other feathered features.

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light

In the heart of the city, among the taxis and towers, a small boy travels uptown and down, searching for his friend. Readers will certainly spot the glorious beast, plus an array of big-city icons they can count. Is the dragon taking the crosstown bus, or breathing his fiery breath below a busy street? Maybe he took a taxi to the zoo or is playing with the dogs in the park.

If Animals Went to School by Ann Whitford Paul

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text follow different members of the animal kingdom as they experience a day at school.

Hello, Mandarin Duck! by Bao Phi

On their way to a May Day parade, twins Hue and Hoa spy a confused-looking duck and try to help it reach the pond, while neighbors from many countries offer help and greetings in different languages.

Pearl by Molly Idle

When young Pearl, a mermaid, becomes caretaker of a single grain of sand, she discovers that performing even the smallest task well can transform the world.

I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb

Lyrical text and illustrations of baby animals and their mothers show the love of a parent.

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes-and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, this jubilant story is a radiant celebration of individuality and self-love.

Llama Llama Hide and Seek by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama can’t find his fuzzy llama! Where could he be? Near the blocks? Behind the door? Beneath the bed?

Play in the Wild: How Baby Animals Like to Have Fun by Lita Judge

An adorable nonfiction picture book by Lita Judge about the many ways baby animals engage in play and how play helps them grow.

Some Pets by Angela DiTerlizzi

At the pet show, there are so many different types of pets! With dogs and cats, horses and chickens, hamsters and chinchillas–and many, many more–this book celebrates animal companions of all shapes and sizes.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

Sparky! by Jenny Offill

A child takes a sloth named Sparky as a pet.

The Bookstore Cat by Cylin Busby

The bookstore cat is an adorable… bossy… cuddly cat. He is everything from intelligent and loyal to naughty and vocal! But most of all, the bookstore cat is a well-loved (and well-read) kitty. Follow his funny antics from A to Z through a day in his bustling, book-filled shop. The Bookstore Cat is based on a Victorian parlor game, The Minister’s Cat, in which players try to think of adjectives to describe the cat in alphabetical order. Readers can extend the fun of the book by playing their own version of the game.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

A little girl has a wonderful idea. With the help of her canine assistant, she is going to make the most magnificent thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. But making the most magnificent thing turns out to be harder than she thinks.

The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter by Eric-Shabazz Larkin

Sometimes bees can be a bit rude. They fly in your face and prance on your food. And yet … without bees, we might not have strawberries for shortcakes or avocados for tacos! Shabazz Larkin’s The Thing About Bees is a Norman Rockwell-inspired Sunday in the park, a love poem from a father to his two sons, and a tribute to the bees that pollinate the foods we love to eat. Children are introduced to different kinds of bees, “how not to get stung,” and how the things we fear are often things we don’t fully understand.

Turtle Walk by Matt Phelan

A family of turtles goes for a long, long walk that has an unexpected and very fun ending.

Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman

Shares four stories about rabbits and other animals.

You Don’t Want a Dragon by Ame Dyckman

A boy is thrilled to have a dragon of his own, but quickly discovers that dragons are not appropriate pets.

Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal

Enjoying days spent with animal friends near her home in the Amazon, young Zonia wonders what to do on a day when the rainforest calls out to her for help, in a lushly illustrated story that is complemented by back matter about the Asháninka community.