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Emily's Picks: a must-read for young animal lovers, a surreal look at parenting


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 we’re reading: "Hello Hello" by Brendan Wenzel. “Hello Hello Black and White,” begins this deceptively simple book. Wenzel introduces big ideas with few words, connecting a parade of animals through similarities like color, pattern and sound. Joyful illustrations accompany a rhythmic, but never boring, text. A must-read for young animal lovers, and a great source of inspiration for Halloween costumes!


What I’m reading: "The Need" by Helen Phillips. Phillips’ novel is a deeply unsettling and surreal look at the all-consuming intensity of parenting small children. Her evocative writing earned “The Need” a nomination for this year's National Book Award. It's best to go into this one without knowing too much — except that it's terrifying, moving and very, very strange.


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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