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Emily's Picks: 2 tales of adventure; one for mom, one for preschooler


When fellow parents ask how I find time to read with a toddler at home, I tell them I read what I love! Here's a peek at what I’m enjoying and what my child and I are reading together, because finding books they love will help your kids read more, too.


What I’m reading: “The Secret Commonwealth” by Philip Pullman. I grew up reading “The Golden Compass” and the other books in Pullman’s remarkable series, “His Dark Materials.” “The Secret Commonwealth” is the second in a companion series that follows Pullman’s indefatigable heroine, Lyra, and I’ve been delighted to revisit that world. In this novel, Lyra is a student at Oxford. When her daemon, Pan, witnesses a murder, the two of them are drawn into another globe-spanning adventure. It’s a sprawling story with lots of threads, so don’t start here, but if you’re a fan of “His Dark Materials,” I think you’ll enjoy returning to Pullman’s rich and unique world as much as I have.


What we’re reading: "Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse” by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Blanca Gómez. A little suitcase-toting mouse goes on a series of adventures in this rhyming picture book. The interactive text introduces basic concepts like counting and colors. Gómez’s clean, colorful illustrations are filled with details that inspire young readers to pour over them again and again—my preschooler loves the hide-and-seek game of finding the mouse on each spread, but there’s much more to see and discuss.

[ More Emily's picks and other book news ]

Emily Calkins is the readers' services program coordinator for the King County Library System, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors and each other. She is also the co-host of the library’s podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s cooking, gardening and spending time with her husband and toddler.


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