National Read Across America Day was started in 1997 in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, to encourage parents and children to read more books.
Studies have shown that children who read books do better in school. In honor of this event — held on or near March 2 — Patch has asked local librarians their favorite picks of good books for children or adults.
Maryann Ferro, who works in the Youth Services Department at the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, picked out 5 children’s books that she believes are good choices.
- The Monkey and the Crocodile: A Jataka Tale from India, by Paul Galdone. This story is a retelling of one of the Indian fables. A monkey manages to outwit a crocodile who decided to capture him. This is a favorite of Ferro’s, who said, “This book is for children ages 4 and older, as many children don’t know the story and is a great way to introduce folktales.”
- Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel. When their eldest son falls into a well and most of the time was spent on how to pronounce the name of the child in trouble, legend has it that the Chinese decide that they will shorten children’s names. Ferro said this is her all-time favorite book. “I remember being read this as a child and the enthusiasm of the reader," she said. "I try to relay the same enthusiasm of the Chang as he desperately tries to get his brother out of the well.”
- Let’s Go Froggy, by Jonathan London. Froggy and his dad search for items they need to go on a bike trip. Ferro said, “I love this entire series! It’s so fun to read and the kids get a kick out of me yelling out the words.”
- Jamberry, by Bruce Degen. A little boy walking in a forest meets a lovable bear and takes him on a delicious berry-picking adventure. Ferro said, “This very simple story-in-rhyme is a classic for the younger children.”
- Wild About Books, by Judy Sierra. A librarian named Mavis introduces animals in the zoo to the joy of reading when she drives her bookmobile to the zoo by mistake. Ferro said of the book, “Again another favorite for first grade or older. The Seuss-like story mentions favorite book titles and characters, the children really enjoy it.”
Jessica Koenig, the Assistant Director at the Long Beach Public Library, picked out five adult books she said are her favorites. Koenig loves to read thrillers for fun and particularly enjoys series featuring ongoing characters.
- J.D. Robb’s "In Death" series. Koenig said, “This exciting and romantic series features Eve Dallas, a New York City cop in the future (circa 2085). Fun fact: J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for author Nora Roberts!”
- John Sandford’s “Prey” series. Koenig said, “John Sandford’s well-written page-turners feature tough, experienced Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a law enforcement agent with surfer-guy good looks.”
- Harlan Coben’s “Myron Bolitar” series. Koenig said “Myron Bolitar was a professional basketball player who, after a knee injury, becomes a sports management agent. Backed up by his rich, martial-arts practicing buddy Win Lockwood, Bolitar gets into some hairy situations while defending his client’s interests.
- Robin Cooks “Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery” series. Koenig said, “Stapleton and Montgomery, both medical examiners in New York City, are involved in terrifying medical mysteries involving murder, HMOs, hospitals, toxins, and more!”
- Peter Robinson’s “Alan Bank” series. Koenig said, “These police procedural novels take place in England. The melancholy, introspective Detective Chief inspector Alan Banks is a fascinating character, as are the cases he solves along with his team.”
Patch would like to thank Maryann Ferro and Jessica Koenig, for taking their time to help choose good books to read on this special day.