Our literary picks for April.

FOR AGES 0 TO 3

BESOS FOR BABY: A LITTLE BOOK OF KISSES by Jen Arena, illustrations by Blanca Gomez

Sunny illustrations of butterfly kisses, bumblebees and colorful flowers mixed with English and Spanish words are brought together in this cheerful board book that will fast become a family favorite. The playful cadence, rhyming and fresh vocabulary of Besos for Baby make a perfect recipe for developing future readers. This book encourages engagement between little ones and adults with plenty of opportunity for language practice that extends beyond the pages and into everyday conversation.


FOR AGES 4 TO 8

BEAUTIFUL MOON by Tonya Bolden, illustrations by Eric Velasquez

Under the soft glow of a beautiful harvest moon, a young boy gazes out his window and onto the streets below. As the moon travels slowly through the night sky, illuminating all the inhabitants of the city, the boy prays for peace in the lives of all the neighbors he has never met, many experiencing deep heartache. This is a soft, sincere and poetic story that touches on the quiet grace and strength of compassion. Stunning illustrations complement the vocabulary-building text. A story best shared between adult and child, Beautiful Moon will spark conversations on delicate topics of the human condition and the magnificence of altruism.


FOR AGES 9 TO 12

THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER by Dana Alison Levy

A light, modern spin on the classic family story, adopted brothers Sam, Jax, Eli and Frog (not his real name), their two Dads, cat and dog tumble through a new school year full of life lessons. Fans of The Penderwicks and Beverly Cleary will find another fictional family to hold dear in this upbeat novel. Written in a set of episodic vignettes, the tales of the Family Fletcher blend together into a witty and realistic portrait of unconditional family love.


FOR AGES 10 AND UP

VOICES FROM THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON by J. Patrick Lewis and George Ella Lyon

This thoroughly researched novel-in-verse captures the astonishing emotional experience of Aug. 28, 1963 through a kaleidoscope of perspectives. Six fictional characters' voices are woven together to honor the March on Washington and the significance of ordinary people coming together to create extraordinary change. Voices from the March on Washington is a conversation starter best read slowly with thought and reflection. This story based on real events is full of resources for further exploration and will pull on the attention of reluctant readers.

-Morgan Routson, Homework Help Center Specialist, Hilltop Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library

FAMILY APP

TEACH YOUR MONSTER TO READ

An interactive literacy game developed especially for new and beginning readers, Teach Your Monster to Read sends children and their very own kid-friendly, kooky monsters on exciting, otherworldly reading adventures. Young users will lose themselves in the dazzle of magic, space travel and underwater exploration as they master key reading skills. Full of bright colors, sparkly sounds and contemporary design, Teach Your Monster to Read uses auditory and visual cues that strengthen phonetic awareness. This well-crafted and creative game offers hours of high-quality learning and play. Free to play at teachyourmonstertoread.com; $4.99 from iTunes.

-Morgan Routson