Rebecca Thrasher Burchfield has been the Library Supervisor for Children’s Services at the Pelham Public Library for the past seven years. She loves art–both creating things herself and seeing what other artists have made, too. She also enjoys nature, so she is thankful to live in Shelby County because of all of the beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. Rebecca doesn’t think anyone is ever too old for a good story, especially one with great pictures! The library’s theme for this year’s summer reading program is “All Together Now/Todos Juntos Ahora,” which is all about kindness, friendship and unity. Here, Rebecca provides some of her favorite titles that fit with this year’s theme, along with the ideas of working together and helping others.

“Me and the Boss”

By Michelle Edwards & April Harrison | Picture book for preschool–second grade

Lee’s older sister Zora, a.k.a. “The Boss,” keeps him in line and makes sure he always follows the rules. When Zora takes Lee to the library, they watch as the librarian, Mrs. C, shows them how to use a needle and thread to embroider. “The Boss” easily creates a beautiful flower, all while reminding Lee to stop squirming and take his time. At home, Zora shows off her flower to mom and dad, and Lee keeps his work in progress hidden. Readers will cheer on Lee as he works toward his goal and maybe even a bigger surprise in the end.

“¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat”

By Raúl the Third | Picture book for preschool–second grade

With its blend of Spanish and English dialogue, the VAMOS series features Little Lobo as he explores his community, helping others as he goes. In “Let’s Go Eat,” Lobo visits a range of food trucks to bring lunch for a group of hungry luchadores before the big match. It is such a fun way to introduce readers to a variety of tasty foods they may not have ever tried. The bilingual glossary at the end lists all the tasty foods Lobo finds. The detailed pictures have so much to see that every time one looks, there is more to discover!

Narwhal & Jelly” series

By Ben Clanton | Fantasy graphic novel for grades 1-4

Lighthearted Narwhal loves to be playful and silly. Down-to-Earth Jelly is the voice of reason who prefers to be cautious. This duo may have opposite personalities, but they both love waffles, parties and going on exciting adventures. They always have the best time when they are both using their imaginations as a team. Readers will enjoy learning some cool facts about ocean animals, while watching these two find ways to work together and have the most fun in the process.

“Locker 37” series

By Aaron Starmer & Courtney La Forest | Fantasy chapter book for grades 3-7

If reluctant readers need something to hold their attention, look no further! In book one, “The Magic Eraser,” new fourth grader Carson Cooper discovers a note under his desk from last year’s students about the mysterious “Locker 37.” It may look normal, but if any fourth grader ever has a problem, “Locker 37” will provide the solution because it can do anything! When Carson gets a sudden stain on his clothes, he puts “Locker 37” to the test. The solution a person needs is not always the one he expects, so Carson and his friends must work together while on a zany adventure all because of “Locker 37.”

“When Stars Are Scattered”

By Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed | Biography graphic novel for grades 4 and up

Dreams and hope take center stage in the true story of brothers Omar and Hassan, who have lived most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp. Using dynamic illustrations along with honesty and a bit of humor, this graphic novel brings to life the experiences of many people who live at the camp. Omar soon has an opportunity to go to school and work to make things different for himself and Hassan. As they go on this journey with Omar, readers will see how, no matter one’s circumstances, concepts such as family, community and working together truly are universal.