Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

books picks for kids

Book Picks: ‘My First Day’ is a beautifully illustrated tale of overcoming fears

Book reviews: A gentle story about new adventures and a compelling short-story collection.

Book picks for kids (and adults):

Looking for some reading inspiration? Here’s a peek at what King County Library System staff and the young readers in their lives are digging into this month!

All KCLS libraries are now open for modified in-building services. Plan your next visit at

Adults: “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” by Deesha Philyaw

This award-winning collection of short stories delves into the lives, desires and choices of women and girls as they negotiate a world full of constraints and societal expectations. As the characters move through vignettes of commonplace daily life, readers get a glimpse into their inner sense of freedom and longing for joy. Philyaw’s debut is sensual and poignant, but never sentimental. Each story is brief, but told with depth and range, and these characters will stay with you for some time after reading.

Kids: “My First Day” by Phúng Nguyên Quang and Huỳnh Kim Liên

Not only is it the first day of school, it’s also the first day that An is getting there on his own — by boat. He’s nervous, but ready for a new adventure. In this tale set on the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam, An sees swelling waves, mangrove forests, colorful schools of fish and beautiful open skies full of storks on his way to school. Panoramic illustrations in rich colors show how An gains confidence as he goes. “My First Day” is a gentle story about trying something for the first time and finding beauty in the journey.

More in Book Corner:

Combine kids’ books and real-life adventures around Seattle

4 stories that remind us we’re all part of something bigger

About the Author

Rekha Kuver

Librarian Rekha Kuver is the youth and family services manager for the King County Library System. As a reader, she likes characters with rich internal lives and settings with a vivid sense of time and place. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s making art or spending time outdoors.