Activity Kit: A Little Space for Me

A Little Space for Me by Jennifer Gray Olson

With clever, inventive art and universally relatable themes, A Little Space for Me by Jennifer Gray Olson is a heartwarming picture book about the importance of mindfulness, understanding, and finding a moment of peace within a big, busy world.

Sometimes, when it’s too loud, too crowded, too messy, too smelly, or for no reason at all, you might just need a little bit of space to feel like yourself again.

“Inventive compositions will transport readers into the thoughts and emotions of the protagonist. Both text and art show familiar experiences, but Olson also leaves them open to interpretation, showing people can interact with the world in different ways . . . Ripe for discussion.” —Kirkus

“A thought-provoking rumination on mindfulness . . . Olson’s art is gorgeous . . . An excellent choice for a bedtime book as kids wind down from their chaotic days.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Activity Kit: Let’s Get Sleepy

Let’s Get Sleepy by Tony Cliff

These cats are on an adventure to find that darn mouse named Sleepy.

But Sleepy is a sneaky mouse—he’s hard to find. The cats will have to look everywhere: all over town, out by the beach, up in space, and even back in time with the dinosaurs! Can the cats catch that mouse? Even if they don’t, at the end of the day, they may just get “sleepy” after all.

While seek-and-find elements are at work in the adorable artwork, the rhyming text reminds readers that the journey is more important than the destination—and that the most valuable treasure is a day richly lived with friends.

“Only confirmed ailurophobes will fail to enjoy sharing this kitty’s day.” – Kirkus

Activity Kit: Randy, The Badly Drawn Horse

Randy knows he’s a beautiful horse—everyone says so. From his silky coat to his perfect smile to his very name, reserved only for the most special of creatures, Randy is beyond compare.

This laugh-out-loud picture book plays with expectations and takes you inside a child’s imaginary world, through construction-paper mountains, popsicle-stick forests, and sandpaper deserts. Readers are sure to fall for this maybe-not-so-beautiful but wholly endearing character.

Download the activity kit here →

Stories to share with your community on Juneteenth and beyond

On June 19, 1865 in Galveston, TX, African American slaves were finally informed of their freedom, despite the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior. Juneteenth is also referred to as “Freedom Day”, “Emancipation Day”, and “Juneteenth Independence Day.” The first celebrations of Juneteenth was about honoring former enslaved people. Today celebrations of Juneteenth consist of gathering with family, BBQs, parades, festivals, beauty contests, and other celebratory events to remember the lives of African American slave ancestors.

For those who would like to learn more, we recommend reading “Juneteenth: The Growth of an African-American Holiday” and “So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth?

Tune in to The Juneteenth Book Festival, created by author L.L. McKinney and co-organized by Saraciea Fennell, and featuring authors Angie Thomas, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, Dhonielle Clayton, Alicia D. Williams, Mikki Kendall, Lamar Giles, Leah Johnson, Jay Coles, Kwame Mbalia, Justin A. Reynolds, Bethany C. Morrow, Ashley Woodfolk, Julian Winters, Tracey Deonn, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Kaylnn Bayron, Karama Horne, Karen Strong, Alyssa Cole, Eboni J. Dunbar, Patrice Caldwell, L.D. Lewis, Brent Lambert, Nivia Evans, Nichole Perkins, Farrah Rochon, Beverly Jenkins, Danny Lore, DaVaun Sanders, Roya Marsh, Zakiya Jamal, Claire Kann, and Candice Iloh.

Learn more about these books →

Storytime: Author Emmy Kastner reads Nerdy Babies: Weather

Nerdy Babies is a picture book series that will ignite curiosity in even the youngest readers and encourage them to ask questions and explore the world around them. With bright colorful art and easy-to-read text, the Nerdy Babies series encourages the youngest readers to explore the natural world around them from the depths of the ocean to the farthest reaches of space!

In Emmy Kastner’s newest picture book, Nerdy Babies: Weather follow our intrepid babies into the eye of the storm. Experience sunshine, wind, rain, and other weather patterns. Plus, learn about how we predict the weather in this simple text written in question and answer format. Watch Emmy read from the book below:

Download the Nerdy Babies Activity Kit here, for more STEM-filled fun!

Watch more author storytimes here.