PJ Library Staff Picks (Part 2): Simchat Torah Special

Mother and daughter reading together

Are there books that get read over and over in your house? Jewish traditions are right in line with what’s happening at home. At Simchat Torah we conclude the annual reading of the Torah, and we start right back at the beginning.

Every time we read the Torah, the words are the same, but our world has changed; we’re always able to glean new meaning when we come back to the text. And reading a favorite book again and again is like that as well.

In keeping with the theme of Simchat Torah, PJ Library staff share their favorite books to read again and again. What might you learn from a favorite book this year?

Children's Books

Be Who You Are

by Todd Parr
Recommended by Sarah, Project Manager

Who better than Todd Parr to remind kids that their unique traits are what make them so special? With his signature silly and accessible style, Parr encourages readers to embrace all their unique qualities.

Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat

by Jean Davies Okimoto
Recommended by Duncan, Social Media Editor

Crusty Horace P. Blumpoe has little interest in adopting a cat for the night during his stay in a charming old Minnesota inn, whose reserve-a-cat policy has become enormously popular with most guests. However when he meets Arnold, a most unlikely friendship begins to grow.

Diary of a Wombat

by Jackie French
Recommended by various PJ Library staff

Wombats are cuddly-looking, slow-moving Australian animals. Their favorite activities are eating, sleeping, and digging holes. Here, in the words of one unusually articulate wombat, is the tongue-in-cheek account of a busy week; eating, sleeping, digging holes . . . and training its new neighbors, a family of humans, to produce treats on demand.

The Kissing Hand

by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
Recommended by Jane, Engagement Officer

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.

The Little Prince

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Recommended by various PJ Library staff

The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. The young prince travels planet to planet, sharing his stories with the narrator.

The Monster at the End of this Book

by Jon Stone
Recommended by Brittany, Data Management Associate

Lovable, furry old Grover is distressed to learn that there's a monster at the end of this book! He begs readers not to turn the pages, but of course kids feel they just have to see this monster for themselves. Grover is astonished--and toddlers will be delighted--to discover who is really the monster at the end of the book!.

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

by Mo Willems
Recommended by Amy, Professional Learning Lead

Wilbur is different from the other naked mole rats in the colony: he wears clothes (and he likes it!). But what will happen when Grand-pah, the oldest, wisest, and most naked mole rat ever, discovers Wilbur's secret?

The Snail and the Whale

by Julia Donaldson
Recommended by Michelle, Counsel

When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It's a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

Where the Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak
Recommended by Jessica, Engagement Officer

Max has a tantrum and in a flight of fancy visits his wild side, but he is pulled back by a belief in parental love to a supper 'still hot." Generations have shared this beautiful picture book, and children of all ages will want to return to it again and again.