Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Samantha D’Acunto

New Year, New Children’s Books!

Posted in From the Library on January 11 2018, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


Temple GrandinAs we embark on 2018, consider revising your reading lists to incorporate these new and exciting titles from the circulating Children’s collection at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library! The National Science Teachers Association recently listed two of the titles in this post on Outstanding Science Trade Books 2018. The library will continue to feature more titles from this list in future posts.

Innovation Press celebrates innovative authors and illustrators, and the Library has welcomed three of their new titles into our collection. Kicking off this post is The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca, which introduces extraordinary visual thinker Dr. Temple Grandin, who harnessed her autism to visualize modern farming techniques that have been implemented by farms across the globe. This book has received high praise from both critics and readers! The illustrations by Daniel Rieley help readers see what Dr. Grandin was thinking. The combination of text and detailed visuals will excite readers of all needs, and Dr. Temple Grandin is an inspiration to innovators of all ages.

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Nature in the City: Good Reads to Help You Explore Your Natural Surroundings

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

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


It's a JungleLiving in a city can pose various challenges for families who are looking for educational opportunities that balance city and nature. When most of our day is spent commuting shoulder to shoulder in a vastly overpopulated city, who has time to create well-balanced activities that invite exploration and nurture education? The LuEsther T. Mertz Library is here to help. Below you will find our new favorite titles for the entire family from Roost Books, exploring nature and environmental awareness in cities!

It’s a Jungle Out There! 52 nature Adventure for City Kids by Jennifer Ward invites parents and children to explore the nature behind and below all the traffic and the noise. The 52 fun and educational activities listed in the book are conveniently categorized by season. Ward makes it easy for families to hunt for worms in the spring, observe colonies of sidewalk ants during the summer, identify trees by their bark in the fall, and locate birds’ nests in the winter. There are even indoor activities to enjoy during inclement weather! Invite your child to a window and spend time observing what you see from it, or plant something together indoors. At the end of each activity, Ward provides an explanation of the lessons being taught during the activity. Sprinkled throughout the book are Plant the Seed prompts which encourage additional reading or actions that will enhance the activity’s lesson. The narrative throughout the book assumes an adult reader is the target audience but the context is simply written so that a reader of any age can enjoy Ward’s book. The book itself is thin and compact, making it easy to bring along as you discover parts of your city.

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The Works of Joyce Sidman Come to the Mertz Library Children’s Collection

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

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


SongNow circulating from The LuEsther T. Mertz Library children’s collection are the exciting and imaginative works by award-winning children’s book author Joyce Sidman. I invite you to explore shapes, seasons, wildlife, plants, and soil with the lyrical poetry and whimsical illustrations by Sidman and her peers. Her most notable work The Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, illustrated by Beckie Prange, is the winner of the Caldecott Honors and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Its riddle-like poetry encourages readers to use the images on the pages as clues.

Sidman continued to dazzle critics and readers by winning another Caldecott Honors and the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award for Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. Experience the changing of the seasons with the bursts of color and the flowing verse throughout.

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New Children’s Titles at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library from Barefoot Books!

Posted in From the Library on December 5 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


Grandpa's GardenWe’re happy to share our newest titles from Barefoot Books. These charming stories will invite you to bring your storytime outdoors! All titles featured below are available for checkout for library cardholders. We hope to see you in the library soon!

Grandpa’s Garden by Stella Fry / Illustrated by Shelia Moxley (2012)

Billy and Grandpa begin to garden at the very first sign of spring. This will be Billy’s first year gardening with Grandpa, so there will be much to learn! After churning the soil and planting many seeds, Billy is finding it hard to wait patiently for results, so garden chores and exploring the wildlife around the garden keep him busy. Before you know it, Billy and Grandpa’s garden is bursting with lush green leaves and many vegetables. Grandpa’s Garden offers readers a realistic perspective on the seasonal chores necessary to achieve a successful garden. Throughout the book you will find plenty of new garden vocabulary, and at the end of the book there are seasonal chore tips and even a diagram of a suggested garden plot design. Grandpa’s Garden is inspirational and informative—you shouldn’t be surprised if even the youngest of readers are ready to start planting after reading this delightful story.

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Environmentally Conscious Children’s Books by Miranda Paul

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

Miranda PaulWisconsin-based children’s book author Miranda Paul has made her debut in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library circulating children’s collection. She’s won numerous awards and has received glowing reviews for the titles featured below. Paul’s passion, personality, and voice echo from the pages of each of her books. Her collaboration with various illustrators allow for unique experiences with all of her characters and environments. To learn more about Miranda Paul and her other titles, visit her website. We hope you find your way to the library to check out one of these titles for yourself!

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Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants

Posted in From the Library on November 6 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 Common AntsIn the bustling streets of New York City, there are small details that are often drowned out by the sensory overload of the environment. One of the smallest of those details would be the ants of the five boroughs. At only a little over 100 pages, Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of New York City is a rich resource that will satisfy curiosities about these small communities. Authors Eleanor Spicer Rice and Rob Dunn aim to highlight the remarkable strengths of these small animals and the large impact they have on our city.

Organized in fourteen chapters titled after individual ant species, each chapter offers a concise narrative packed with information. Before exploring the chapters, pay close attention to the preface and the introduction as they provide a base of information that will be useful as you read further. Each chapter begins with species name (scientific name), AKA (common name), size (mm), where the species lives, and what the species eats. The narrative is accompanied by the brilliant macro photography of Alex Wild, allowing the readers to experience the intricate visual details of the ants and their environments.

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New Children’s Titles from Candied Plums

Posted in From the Library on October 25 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 Picking TurnipsThe LuEsther T. Mertz Library is very happy to feature our newest titles! Candied Plums is a start-up independent publisher that aims to create contemporary Chinese children’s books. Their books are offered in simplified Chinese, English, and Pinyin. Candied Plums achieves carefully illustrated and visually engaging stories for children of all ages and languages to enjoy. All titles listed below can be found in our circulating children’s collection and are available for check-out to library card holders. See you in the library!­

Picking Turnips by Xu Zhou / Translation by Adam Lanphier (2017)

Picking Turnips reimagines Tolstoy’s The Gigantic Turnip in a surprising way! The tale is told from the perspective of a mouse. Of course, living among piles of books, the young mouse is familiar with the tale but he quickly admits that he prefers his uncle’s version much better. Each page reveals a split scene of the struggle to remove the turnip above ground and the efforts to pull the turnip underground. Both farmers above and the mice below want the turnip for themselves. So who will succeed in pulling the turnip?

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Channeling Your Inner Child: Exploring Nature with Children’s Book Author Phyllis Root

Posted in From the Library on September 21 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


Plant a Pocket PrairieIt was earlier this year we received Anywhere Farm into the LuEsther T. Mertz library children’s circulating collection and instantly visitors and staff alike fell for Phyllis Root. Roots writing style is both familiar and refreshing. Collaborations with illustrators like Betsy Bowen bring to life Root’s rhythmic narrative of life, nature, and the unknown. Root and Bowen effortlessly capture the whimsical curiosities of child exploration, using imagery and language to invite the reader to discover the wonders of the environments around them. In the two titles featured below, the readers are asked to explore areas that often are over looked: a prairie and a bog.

Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root / Illustrated by Betsy Bowen

If you look beyond the tall grasses of the prairie, you will reveal a unique and endangered ecosystem. In Plant a Pocket of Prairie readers explore beyond the grasses to reveal the flora and fauna that once covered 40 percent of the United States. Sprinkled throughout the pages you will find delicate watercolors capturing snapshots of prairie landscape. Root and Bowen work together to introduce the reader to specific plant and animal species that are endangered, threatened, and extinct. Bursts of butterfly weed, silky asters, and big prairie sunflowers appear as the pages advance. Bison, American goldfinches, and monarch butterflies peak through the foliage. The race to restore the prairie is up to each one of us, and we can help if we plant a pocket prairie! But how? Root instructs readers to find the native prairie elements of your region and plant them wherever you can, both large and small spaces. We’ll never be able to bring back the species we lost but in planting a small pocket prairie we can support the species that remain.

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New to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Children’s Collection

Posted in From the Library on September 7 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 just received new additions to our circulating children’s collection! The titles featured below are available for check out to NYBG members with library cards. Hope to see you in the library!

Timo’s Garden and Timo’s Party are wonderful options for young readers who are transitioning into chapter books. Each chapter is accompanied by colorful and detailed illustrations helping readers follow character and plot. Both of these titles provide just the right amount of excitement and suspense to keep readers engaged. Timo and his friends are sure to become favorites!

Timo’s Garden by Victoria Allenby/Illustrated by Dean Griffiths (2015)The cover of "Timo's Garden."

Timo decides to enter his garden into the Green Garden Tour schedule. With little time to complete his chores and changes, Timo cancels all of his plans to focus on making his garden great! As he hits obstacles along the way, Timo does not believe he’s prepared for the Green Garden Tour as much as he would like to be. Just when his moral is at its lowest, Timo’s friends show up unexpectedly to offer help! Together they achieve the great garden that Timo had envisioned.

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Departing Summer with an Ode to Insects in New Children’s Books

Posted in From the Library on August 31 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


Bugs for LunchBefore summer fades into autumn, we should take a moment and appreciate the insects that become visible during this time of year. The titles featured below encourage readers to explore, observe, and identify the insects around them. Each book has pages with bright illustrations, while fun facts offer plenty of room for imagination. The LuEsther T. Mertz Library invites you to read about our six-legged neighbors with a new appreciation before we bid them farewell until next season.

Bugs for Lunch by Margery Facklam/Illustrated by Sylvia Long

Insectos Para el Almuerzo por Margery Facklam / Illustrado por Sylvia Long

Who would eat bugs for lunch? Plenty of animals, as you will learn, enjoy insects as a meal. From birds to humans, explore the world of insects through this rhythmic bilingual narrative by Margery Facklam accompanied by Sylvia Long’s thrilling illustrations. Bugs for Lunch is perfect for readers interested in exploring the predator/prey aspect of the food chain. The bilingual narrative continues in the detailed glossary offering up more information of the insects, plants, and animals mentioned throughout the book. Bugs for Lunch is fun, informative, and memorable!

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