Entries by Christina Matekel-Gibson

Favorite Children’s Books of 2023

I am a lover of lists, so the end of the year is an exciting time for me. I want to see everyone’s favorite media in list form all month long, and I will absolutely not pressure myself to read every book on every top 10 list published by every review site, magazine, and newspaper! […]

“The Night Before Freedom” by Glenda Armand and “Nic Blake and the Remarkables” by Angie Thomas

Summer is here! At the Joplin Public Library, that means the all-ages summer reading challenge has started. Along with that, we have a whole range of events including concerts, magic shows, art programs, STEM workshops, and much more. Our summer reading theme this year is “All Together Now” and we are celebrating kindness, unity, friendship, […]

“Elbert in the Air” and “Babble!”

I want to share about two of my favorite new titles in the Children’s Department. The first is the picture book Elbert in the Air by Monica Wesolowska with illustrations by Jerome Pumphrey. I am not sure what I loved more about this book–the breezy, old-fashioned illustrations or the heartwarming story of acceptance and self-love. […]

Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson and Standing in the Need of Prayer by Carole Boston Weatherford and Frank Morrison

Awards season is here — not the Grammys or the Oscars, but the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards. Every January, the ALA announces the most esteemed books of the previous year published for young readers: • The Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children. • […]

Back to School Picture Books

For most area kids, school starts this week. In light of that, I would like to share a few of my favorite back-to-school picture books. My first two titles feature the unofficial symbol of going back to school: the school bus. Grant Snider’s One Boy Watching takes a quiet approach, following the first bus rider […]

Ocean Books for Summer Reading

It’s June, which means Summer Reading 2022 is in full effect at the Joplin Public Library. This year’s theme is “Oceans of Possibilities,” and we have planned a summer’s worth of fun ocean events and activities for families. Although we live far from any ocean, books featuring the sea and marine animals abound and are […]