Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Samantha D’Acunto

Children’s Books Encourage a Healthy Dose of Nature

Posted in From the Library on August 15 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Cover of the Hugging TreeThe newest titles to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library circulating children’s collection share the many ways in which exposure to nature can be beneficial to your health. Nature can be healing to both the mind and the body and one is never too young to experience its benefits. Advanced readers interested in this topic may want to consider titles such as Last Child in the Woods and Nature Fix. The titles featured below are stories that encourage young readers to be socially aware of their surroundings as well as their mental and physical health.

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Children’s Books Explore the Power of Community

Posted in From the Library on August 4 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


The LuEsther T. Mertz Library will like to share the newest titles to our circulating children’s collection. The featured titles below are extraordinary examples of community efforts and what can truly be accomplished when we work together. Communities can take shape in a variety of ways so whatever your community looks like and wherever it is located, these titles will surely inspire you to build upon the strengths of your friends and neighbors to help make a difference in your community. From our community to yours, we hope you enjoy these titles the next time you visit us in the library!

The Flower Man by Mark LudyThe Flower Man by Mark Ludy

The Flower Man is a wordless picture book that invites readers to follow a small elderly man as he travels from town to town bringing color and happiness to everyone he encounters. A simple garden or a single flower can bring joy to all; The Flower Man does just that! Author Mark Ludy is sending a clear message: investing in the beautification of your neighborhood with color, flowers and greenery will directly benefit the residence and visitors, leading to a friendlier and healthier environment.

As each page begins to fill with color readers may find a smile is hard to contain. Ludy’s intentional use of color is meant to elicit emotion and it is certainly successful! From monochrome to a full color palette readers will experience a transformation like no other. Look carefully as you turn each page as the intricate details of the town should not be overlooked. The neighborhood pictured is home to many nameless characters that offer themselves to the imagination of an observant reader. The Flower Man was an instant favorite amongst the LuEsther T. Mertz Library staff and I believe it will continue to be for many years to come. We’re inviting all readers of all reading levels to experience the colorful world of The Flower Man! This title is available for check out for library cardholders. Hope to see you in the library!

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Spotlights from the Shelf: Bees

Posted in From the Library on June 26 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of Bee & MeHere at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library we consider bees our friends, and you should too! If you’re a bit unsure of having a friendship with a bee, let us try to convince you with the newest titles in our circulating children’s collection. In the titles featured below, you’ll be able to read about all the wonderful things bees have to offer to us and our environment, making them the most generous friends!

Bee & Me by Alison Jay (2016)

Bee & Me is a delightful story of friendship, environment and the plight of the honeybee. This wordless picture book captures the relationship between a girl and a bee in a series of delicately illustrated pages. A disoriented bee finds itself in the center of a city and flies into the room of a little girl. After their chaotic encounter, the little girl befriends the bee. The two spend time sharing food, playing games, and exploring the city together. When Bee is reminded of the home he no longer has, he is suddenly struck with melancholy. In an attempt to cheer Bee up, the little girl takes Bee to visit a park where there are plenty of trees, flowers, and open space! Overjoyed by this discovery, Bee thanks the little girl by helping her plant a window garden of his favorite flowers so when they bloom, he’ll be there to visit.

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Anna Botsford Comstock: Trailblazer in Nature Education

Posted in From the Library on June 16 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Anna ComstockOn September 1, 1854 in Cattaraugua County, New York, a girl by the name of Anna Botsford was born. It wouldn’t be until many years later that her name would be recognized and respected. Anna was fascinated with nature ever since she was a child, and her interest in the subject followed her as she entered the newly established Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

As she studied and attended lectures, Anna found herself particularly enthralled with a young entomology professor named John Henry Comstock. Encouraging Anna to cultivate her already strong understanding and interest in nature, John recruited her to assist him with his research. Anna was a skilled illustrator. Her ink and pen illustrations of insects were detailed and accurate, making them some of the most authoritative images for insect identification at the time. As the two worked closely and intimately on various projects, a spark of romance developed; by 1878 the two were married. Anna continued her studies at Cornell University and by 1885 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree.

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Spotlights from the Shelf: Veggie Appreciation

Posted in From the Library on June 12 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of Pattan's PumpkinVegetables are at the center of the longest battle ever fought between parent and child. Fighting the good fight for the veggie kingdom, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library aims to equip parents everywhere with titles that highlight veggie appreciation. The titles featured below are new to our children’s circulating collection and offer positive tales of why eating your veggies is important. So next time you say “Eat your vegetables!” it might just work!

Pattan’s Pumpkin: A Traditional Flood Story from Southern India by Chitra Soundar / Illustrated by Frane Lessac (2016)

Pattan and his wife Kanni live near the river caring for their garden and their animals. The goats, bulls, and elephants help Pattan tend to his chores, and in return, he shares his harvest. After his walk through the land, Pattan finds a plant that is need of help, so he replants it in his garden to care for it. Not too long after being replanted, the plant grows into a pumpkin. The pumpkin quickly grows larger than the goat, then larger than the bull, then larger than the elephant, and soon enough it’s bigger than a mountain! When a rainstorm causes terrible flooding, Pattan must quickly devise a plan that will carry his family, animals, and grain to safety. Based on a traditional South Indian tale, Pattan’s Pumpkin is exciting and rewarding to read! Its vibrantly colored illustrations and friendly narrative transport the reader into the story.

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Spotlights from the Shelf: Classics Old & New

Posted in From the Library on May 23 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of book coverThe circulating children’s collection at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library has titles that support the creative imaginations of our young readers! The fantastical illustrations and lyrical narratives offered in many of our books invite readers to experience a world beyond the surface all while digging deep to learn about the environment around them. The titles featured below are new to our shelves and are perfect examples of fun and educational reads. We hope to see you in the library soon!

You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Dirt! By Ian Graham / Illustrated by Mark Bergin (2016)

In another installment of the You Wouldn’t Want to series, You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Dirt provides insight on dirt with the familiar elements the other titles in this series offer. Weather you use dirt or soil, this book encourages all readers to view it from every angle. The interactive You Can Do It boxes sprinkled throughout the book encourage readers to explore the components of soil by conducting hands-on experiments. The book answers essential questions like “What is dirt?” and challenges the reader to consider the future of soil. The narrative offers information and new vocabulary throughout. You will not be able to turn a page without learning something new about dirt. Like its sister titles, You Wouldn’t Want To Live Without Dirt is a wonderful read for children being introduced to the topic or those who are starting an elementary grade science project.

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Spotlights from the Shelf: Arbor Day

Posted in From the Library on April 24 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of Arbor Day SquareThis Arbor Day the LuEsther T. Mertz Library is hoping you find friends, family, and neighbors to plant with! Today we are featuring some titles from our Children’s Collection that will help the youngest of readers understand the importance of trees and the celebration of Arbor Day. To learn more about Arbor Day celebrations near you, check out Arborday.org.

Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith (2010)

The townsfolk of this newly erected prairie town try to establish community, friendship, and home. Their plan for the town square is only missing one thing: trees! This story follows Katie and her father as they work together with friends and neighbors to plant trees throughout the town. After a successful Arbor Day, the townsfolk pledge to return each year to plant more trees. As the trees grow, so do the families. Katie celebrates Arbor Day each year with her father, her daughter, her husband, and the town. As more trees are planted and the others grow, the town has plenty of branches to climb, fruit to eat, and shade to find. Cyd Moore’s illustrations allow readers to experience the town coming to life as they turn each page. Arbor Day Square is a wonderful way to connect with family and friends before planting your own special tree.

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Spotlights from the Shelf: Earth Day

Posted in From the Library on April 17 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of the book 'Anywhere Farm'This year Earth Day falls on Friday, which means there is a whole weekend of Earth Day festivities around New York City and here at NYBG! The LuEsther T. Mertz Library is inviting you to check out some of our favorite books that will be perfect reads to tie into your Earth Day plans. Young and advanced readers alike will get into the spirit of the holiday with these titles from our Children’s Collection. We hope you visit us and enjoy your Earth Day celebrations!

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root/Illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2017)

Farms are everywhere! You just have to look! A box, a shoe, a lot… anywhere can be a farm because all you need is sunshine, soil, water, and a seed. The rhythmic narrative of Anywhere Farm drives home the idea that gardening, farming, and planting can take many forms. Examples of this are easy to find in the colorful illustrations that grace each page. This is the perfect book to offer to new and experienced readers as it simply inspires all to get creative and just plant!

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Spotlights from the Shelf: Celebrating Culture and Nature with Books

Posted in From the Library on March 13 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of book, Call Me TreeThe LuEsther T. Mertz Library is pleased to welcome Lee & Low Books to the Children’s Collection. The titles below celebrate diversity and all reading levels through fun and colorful stories. Come by and check them out for yourself!

Call Me Tree / Llàmame arbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez (2014)

The bilingual poetry of Maya Christina Gonzalez in Call Me Tree / Llàmame arbol flows beautifully. She invites the reader to experience what it means to be a tree—from seed to leaves. From curling up very small like a seed in the ground to reaching high into the sky, this story will make young readers want to get up and be a tree! This a perfect book to read aloud as its language and illustrations are a treat for all to experience.

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Spotlights from the Shelf: The LuEsther T. Mertz Library Children’s Collection

Posted in From the Library on March 1 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


We Dig WormsThe LuEsther T. Mertz Library is happy to share with you some of our newest additions to our Children’s Collection! We’re delighted to feature a range of reading levels and genres for this post. We hope to see you in the library soon!

We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey (2015)

In We Dig Worms Kevin McCloskey demands the reader’s attention by celebrating one of nature’s smallest creatures, the worm! Through a series of hand-painted illustrations, all of which are depicted on recycled paper bags, the reader is able to observe the work of an earthworm. The importance of a worm’s work is explained with simple vocabulary making this book great for new readers.

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