Staff Book Picks

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Staff Book Picks

November 23, 2021

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We know books!

Keep reading to learn more about some of our favorite children’s books!

We love books at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota. Here’s a list of some of our favorites. You can find them in our gift shop, Play Central Toys & books.

“Wreck This Picture Book,” by Keri Smith

Picked by Play Guide Summer

Summer holding the book Wreck This Picture Book by Keri Smith
Play Guide Summer chose “Wreck This Picture Book” because it is a fun way to inspire your creativity!

I have read quite a few books in our gift shop at the children’s museum. This is one that stuck out to me because it’s unique. You can jump on it, jump with, slap it, fold pages…it’s not like a normal book. It opens your mind to creative and I love that. This is why it’s my favorite.

“A Fine, Fine School,” by Sharon Creech

Picked by Play Guide Esther

Young woman with long black hair in a ponytail holding book called A Fine, Fine School.
Esther chose “A Fine, Fine School” because it has sentimental value to her.

I recommend this book because it has sentimental value. When I was 3 years old, my dad started a new position as principal as previously being a teacher. His staff gave it to him before he started his new position in a different district. He used to read it to us for bedtime stories, so it means a lot to me, and I highly recommend it.

“Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea,” by Meena Harris

Picked by Play Guide Mandy

Mandy holding up a booko called Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, by Meena Harris
Mandy chose “Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea” because it shows how children can make a difference.

“Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea” is a true story about two sisters who work hard for an important goal. They want to have a playground built outside their apartment building. There were many different obstacles and yet they persevered and pushed through. It’s just a great story about how children can make a difference in their community.

“Wonder Walkers,” by Micha Archer

Picked by Play Guide Sarah

Young woman, Sarah, holding book called Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer.
Sarah chose the book Wonder Walkers because it’s inspiring!

I like this book. “Wonder Walkers” explores climbing on rocks, being outside, and wondering about nature. It reminds me of a Gooseberry Falls vacation I went on. It’s a really inspiring book about all of the fun things to go and see in life and outside. 

“Don’t Let Them Disappear,” by Chelsea Clinton

Picked by Play Guide Noah

Young man with beard holding book called Don't Let Them Disappear
Noah chose Don’t Let Them Disappear because it helps you learn more about each animal.

I recommend this book. It’s about a couple of different endangered species across the planet. It talks about giraffes, whales, and lions, and moreIt tells a little bit about each animal and then about why they are going extinct. It gives a couple of recommendations for what you can do to help bring these animals back.  

“My Grandma Mi Abuelita,” by Ginger Foglesong Gibson

Picked by Custodian Dora

Woman sitting in rocking chair holding book called My Grandma Mi Abuelita
Dora picked “My Grandma Mi Abuelita” because she is a new grandmother, too!

I recommend this book because it’s really nice for people who are like me and are a new grandma. I have a little granddaughter. It’s a good opportunity for people who want to introduce children to a new language. You can learn many words in Spanish and English. The color and pictures are beautiful.


“The Circles All Around Us,” by Brad Montague

Picked by Director of Education Carrie

Carrie holding up the book Circles All Around Us by Brad Montague
Carrie chose this book because it helps you reflect upon how you as one person can help spread love, joy, and happiness.

I’m recommending the story “The Circles All Around Us.” This book beautifully illustrates how you start in one circle and then watch your circle grow as you add in family, friends, your school, the community, and even the entire world. It helps you reflect upon how you as one person can help spread love, joy, and happiness through all those different circles.

“Change Sings,” by Amanda Gorman

Picked by Executive Director Kate

Kate holding up the book Change Sings by Amanda Gorman
Kate chose this book because it sends a beautiful message inspiring children to use their personal gifts to be themselves and to impact the lives of others.

This book captures my heart and soul every time I read it. “Change Sings, a Children’s Anthem” has words written by youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman and beautiful illustrations by Loren Long. It takes us on a musical journey reminding young readers that they have the power to make a difference whether that’s big or small.

“I am a chant that rises and rings. There is hope where my change sings.”

I think the book sends a beautiful message inspiring children to use their personal gifts to be themselves and to impact the lives of others.


“Big Feelings,” by Alexandra Penfold

Picked by Director of Marketing Kerrie

Kerrie holding up the book Big Feelings by Alexandra Penfold
Kerrie chose Big Feelings because it helps readers define their feelings, talk about them, to apologize, and to help one other.

“I have big feelings, you have them t0o. How can I help? What can we do?”

This book Big Feelings brings big conversation for children and adults. I love this book because the illustrations are gorgeous and it empowers us to use others’ words to define our feelings, to talk about them, to apologize, and to help each other. It’s just a beautiful story. It’s good for adults and children.