Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city


Emily’s Picks: A deeply moving tale, plus a dreamy, wordless one

September book picks from a librarian and mother of two.

When fellow parents ask how I find time to read with a newborn and toddler at home, I tell them I read what I love! Here’s a peek at what I’m enjoying and what my children and I are reading together, because finding books they love will help your kids read more too. Both of these titles, and many more, are available as eBooks or audiobooks in KCLS’ digital collection.

What I’m Reading: “Raising a Rare Girl” by Heather Lanier

bookWhen Heather Lanier’s daughter Fiona was born, she was full term but weighed under 5 pounds. Before she was three months old, doctors diagnosed Fiona with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic anomaly that leads to severe developmental delays. In this astonishing memoir, Lanier recounts Fiona’s early childhood, writing with clarity and precision about motherhood. She encounters doctors whose casual cruelty took my breath away (one suggests that it would reasonable for Lanier and her husband to consider “euthanizing” their child). But she also meets providers who challenge Lanier to rethink her own understanding of disability and the value of “normal.” It’s a deeply moving book — I cried through much of it — and a deeply joyful one too.

What We’re Reading: “Dandelion’s Dream” by Yoko Tanaka

bookIn this wordless book, a dandelion dreams that it becomes a real lion who ventures out into the world. The little dandelion-sized lion catches a train and sails on a ship to a big city before finding its way back home. Tanaka’s illustrations, done entirely in shades of gray with pops of vivid yellow, are minimalist but engaging. The lion’s tiny size lets Tanaka play with perspective, giving the reader lots of chances to guess where he’s headed next. A beautiful story that invites rereading.

About the Author

Emily Calkins

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 family.