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The Best and Brightest Books of 2016

Children And Teen Books Include Novels, Nonfiction, Biographies and Poetry

By Becky Corning

Librarian, Pauline Robinson Branch

Every year, Denver Public Library librarians put together a list of the “Best and Brightest” books that were published that year for children and teens. Released last month, 2016’s “Best and Brightest” includes board books, picture books, beginning readers, chapter books, graphic novels, nonfiction, biographies and poetry.

You can find the complete list at The following are a few of my personal “Best and Brightest” favorites:

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer. (Preschool – 2nd grade) What is poetry? Daniel reads a sign posted in the park about an upcoming poetry gathering. So he sets off to question the animal inhabitants in the park about what they think makes a poem. Finally, he turns their words into a poem that he recites at the gathering.

Everyone is Yawning by Anita Bijsterbosch. (Birth – Preschool) In this sweet lift-the-flap book, children help each of the animals yawn before they go to sleep. Friendly flaps engage young readers and the abundance of yawns will surely help children transition to dreamland.

They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel. (Preschool – 2nd grade) Readers get a glimpse of what a cat looks like from the perspectives of a variety of other critters. Fun illustrations will help kids grasp that other creatures might not see things exactly the way we do.

Pugs of the Frozen North: A Not-So-Impossible Tale by Philipi Reeve, illustrated by Sarah McIntyre. (2nd – 4th grade) True Winter is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Madcap illustrations are integral to the story and make this a wonderful recommendation for graphic novel fans.

Pauline Robinson Branch – January Events

Tech Help One-on-One | Mondays and Wednesdays, 12-1p.m.

Get technology assistance from one of our in-house experts on your own device or a public computer. Learn the basics, such as email, social networking, word processing and eMedia. Call the library at 720-865-0290 to schedule an appointment for Monday or Wednesday.

Bendy Ninja Kid Craft | Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2 p.m.

Join us as we make a super powered ninja. For kids grades K-5.

Preschool Storytime | Wednesdays Jan. 4, 11, 18, 25, 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for 3-5 year olds and their parents or caregivers.

Anime Club | Saturday, Jan. 14, 3 p.m.

Join us the second Saturday of the month to watch, read, talk, act, eat and breathe Anime. For teens grades 6-12.

The Pauline Robinson Book Club | Saturday, Jan. 28, 12 p.m.

This month’s selection: I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan.  Drop-ins are welcome.

Park Hill Branch – January Events

Tuesday Tech Hour | Tuesdays at 4 p.m.

All Ages Storytime | Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for children of all ages and their caregivers. Craft activity immediately follows the program.

Baby Storytime | Thursdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for babies ages 0-18 months and their caregivers. Play and social time immediately follow the program.

Toddler Storytime | Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for toddlers ages 18-36 months and their caregivers.

Magic Club | Monday, January 9 and Monday, Jan. 23, 4:30 p.m.

Are you a teen in grades 6-12? Do you already play Magic: the Gathering, or are interested in learning? Join us two Mondays a month to play and meet other Teens who are also Magic-Minded.

Teen Advisory Board (TAB) | Tuesday, Jan. 10 and Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6 p.m.

Teens ages 13 and up are invited to join the Park Hill TAB. Help plan library events and projects at the Park Hill Library, talk about your favorite books, and make your opinion count. Join us for twice monthly meetings.

Early Childhood Book Share | Wednesday, Jan. 11, 6:30 p.m.

An adult book club celebrating books for preschool and early elementary aged children. Come and share your favorite books on monthly topics. This month’s topic is: Best New Children’s Books from 2016.

All Ages Play and Explore | Thursday, Jan. 12 and Friday, Jan. 13, 10:30 a.m. – noon

Enjoy unstructured play and social time for children of all ages and their caregivers. Enjoy books, music, and a variety of developmentally appropriate toys in our warm and inviting play space. This is a great opportunity to introduce your little one to the library, make new friends, and learn through play. This play session takes the place of our storytimes for this week only.

No Strings Attached Book Discussion Group | Saturday, Jan. 14, 11 a.m.

Read whatever you want and attend whenever you can. Share a recent read, an old favorite, or anything in between.

Genre Chat 2nd/3rd Grade Book Club | Tuesday, Jan. 17, 3:30 p.m.

The Littles by John Peterson (read any in the series)

Activity: Tiny crafts – make fun “little” stuff for the Littles.

A Conversation About Grief | Wednesday, Jan. 18, 4 p.m.

When a loss occurs, it is common for people to feel lost and left wondering if they are losing their sanity. Join bereavement counselors Whitney Haney and Lauren Mininger from the Denver Hospice as they dispel myths about the grief journey and give you hands-on experience that may help you better understand and cope with your grief.

Blooming Readers 4th/5th Grade Book Club | Thursday, Jan. 19, 3:30 p.m.

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville

Activity: Chinese dragon puppets

Coloring For Grown Ups | Saturday, Jan. 21, 2:30 p.m.

Come for a nostalgic hour of coloring, in or outside the lines. Use our supplies to unplug and color your way to serenity.

Best Worst Family Moments with StoryCenter | Wednesday, Jan. 25, 6:30 p.m.

Guided by StoryCenter, we will write, be inspired and, if you want, share our stories. Preserve those cherished and awkward family moments by capturing your story. Bring a personal photo (electronic or paper) as a prompt. We’ll teach you how to tell it and maybe even record it for an online collection that you can send to your friends and family … if you dare.

Miracles We Have Seen, with Author Harley Rotbart | Saturday, Jan. 28, 2:30 p.m.

Do you believe in miracles? Join physician Harley Rotbart as he shares stories from his book Miracles We Have Seen. This book includes firsthand accounts by some of America’s leading physicians who witnessed incredible medical recoveries. As you will hear in this program, sometimes ill fortune leads to amazing and transformative experiences. Books will be available for sale and signing.

Early Learning Exploration Centers | Monday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m.

Engage your child in play that helps strengthen motor skills, social skills and encourages early literacy. This drop-in play session is recommended for children 12 months – preschool with their adult caregivers.

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