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Notes From a Children's Librarian: Valentine’s Day Picture Books

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.


Kiss Kiss, by Jennifer Couelle, with fun illustrations by Jacques Laplante, is the perfect book for a Kindergarten or Grade One classroom. The rhyming text covers kisses for every occasion: “Kisses that say ‘hi’ look just like those that say ‘goodbye… A morning kiss can feel so right—like sunshine after a rainy night.”

Kids could contribute a page to a class Kiss, Kiss book after brainstorming the kinds of kisses in their lives. What sounds do kisses make? “Big ones like…smooch! And little ones like…peck!” might spark an onomatopoeia (sound words) lesson. How about a lesson on counting by twos? “A kiss is sweet, when 4 lips meet.” Or the plural form: “If you have lots of love to send, add ‘es’ at the end.”


Book Cover The Secret Life of Squirrels a Love Story

Kids will be mesmerized by the illustrations of The Secret Life of Squirrels: A Love Story, by nature photographer, Nancy Rose. It’s one in a series of books featuring photos of squirrels in miniature sets const …

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Lesley Buxton: "Are You Still Married?"

Book Cover Love Me True

Love is hearts and roses, but life is complicated, and to share a life with someone else requires a bond and commitment far stronger than any verse ever penned on a Valentine. In the new anthology Love Me True, edited by Fiona Tinwei Lam and Jane Silcott, 27 creative nonfiction writers and 16 poets explore how marriage and committed relationships have challenged, shaped, supported and changed them, delving deep into the mysteries of long-term bonds. 

Lesley Buxton's essay from the collection, "Are You Still Married?" is devastating, sad, glorious and beautiful, and we're so glad to be able to share it with you. 

Please note that Love Me True is on our giveaways page until February 18.


“Are you still married?” the customer asks.

I look up from her bill and glance towards my section on the patio, hoping to find an excuse to leave. Nobody needs me. I’m stuck.

This customer and I share an unwanted and one-sided intimacy. For the last months of my sixteen-year-old daughter India’s life, this customer was our social worker. Her job was to navigate us through the medical system. She was neither exceptionally good at her job nor bad. This is the first time I’ve seen her since my daughter died ten months ago and I can’t remember her name.

Finally I say, “Yes, …

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