The New Classics

Recent titles worthy of joining your child’s permanent collection.

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Sure, everyone loves The Wizard of Oz and Winnie the Pooh, but what books or films have come out recently that can be placed on the shelves next to those heavyweights and hold their own? We asked Judith Rovenger, director of youth services for the Westchester Library System, John Sexton, teen services consultant and specialist for the Westchester Library System, and Emily Keating, director of education programs at the Jacob Burns Film Center. Their recommendations follow.

Pre-School, Kindergarten, & Elementary School

Judith Rovenger’s Picks

[Picture Books]

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
By Lauren Child (Candlewick, 2000)
When Lola refuses to eat certain foods, her older brother, Charlie, devises clever ways to change her mind. “The charm of the book is the relationship between Lola and Charlie—his inventiveness and her determination,” Rovenger says.


The Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
By Mo Willems (Hyperion, 2004)
In this Caldecott Honor-winning book, young Trixie loses her beloved stuffed bunny, and somehow needs to communicate this to her father. The book, Rovenger says, “captures the drama and frustration of a toddler trying to make herself understood.” It’s also famous for its inventive mixed-media style, which puts drawn illustrations against photographic backgrounds.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
By Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Brook, 2003)
Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk has been immortalized in legend and in film, but you’ve never seen it like this. The poetic Caldecott Medal winner is, she says, “breathtaking in its beauty and power to inspire.”

No, David!
By David Shannon (Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1998)
“Shannon nails the parental frustration and unconditional love for a child who is always doing something he’s not supposed to,” she says. We’re sure some of you can relate.

By Ian Falconer (Atheneum, 2000)
Who doesn’t love the delightful pig? Says Rovenger, “Olivia is a welcome new addition to the pantheon of picture book characters with personalities that can hardly be contained within the pages of a book.”

 Continue reading for Chapter Books, Films, and our Middle School and Young Adults section



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