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Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-6500

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Open Everyday 10am-5pm
Friday: 10am-9pm

Family Reading 2018

Books for Kids | Books for Grown-ups


The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
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Dr. Seuss creates another timeless picture-book classic with The Sneetches and Other Stories. Are you a Star-Belly Sneetch or a Plain-Belly Sneetch? This delightful book contains four tales with deliciously subtle takes on how silly it is to be, well, silly. “The Sneetches,” “The Zax,” “Too Many Daves,” and “What Was I Scared Of?” make this energetic compilation a must-have for every library.

Recommended by Kacy Hughes, Senior Manager of Community Engagement.
“I think these messages are timeless and timely given the climate in our country currently. The Sneetches is a particularly favorites story but it comes in a compilation with other excellent stories about acceptance and judgement. I read these as a child then read them to my son when he was little. They’re fun because they rhyme but also the messages make sense to kids.”

The Dot by Peter H Reynolds (co-founder of Fablevision right in our building!)
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Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw - she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. "There!" she says. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery.

Recommended by Kacy Hughes, Senior Manager of Community Engagement.
“How many times have I heard kids say that they can’t draw or they can’t do “that”, whatever it is?! It’s all about the process and starting small with one dot. It’s about trying, making that first move and turning naming/owning your own creation.”

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
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Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.

Recommended by Melissa Higgins, Senior Director, STEAM.
“Other than all of the amazing young scientists we see who visit Boston Children’s Museum on a daily basis, Ada is one of my favorite science detectives!”

A Black Hole is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano
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Budding astronomers and scientists will love this humorous introduction to the extremely complex concept of black holes. With space facts and answers about the galaxies (ours, and others) A Black Hole is NOT a Hole takes readers on a ride that will stretch their minds around the phenomenon known as a black hole.

Recommended by Melissa Higgins, Senior Director, STEAM.
“Kids are fascinated by black holes, but, let’s be honest, most adults are, too! This book makes black holes understandable and, oddly enough, kind of fun.”

Eric & Julieta: Desastre en la cocina / A Mess in the Kitchen by Isabel Muñoz
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Julieta has a playdate with her friend Lupe and won't even look at her brother Eric. When he tries to get their attention, he succeeds, but not in the way he first intended, and it's a mess!

Recommended by Jessie Kravette, Early Learning Program Developer.
“This is a lively, wonderful bi-lingual book that I’ve used for both STEM and Messy Play curriculum.”

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
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One evening Harold decides to go for a walk in the moonlight. Armed only with an oversize purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Harold and his trusty crayon travel through woods and across seas and past dragons before returning to bed, safe and sound.

Recommended by Science Program Manager, Alissa Daniels.
“This book was published in 1955 and is just as wonderful now as it ever was. I love Harold’s imagination and the world that he builds for himself using only a crayon. Also, purple has always been my favorite color, so I have a special affinity for this book.”

Here I Am by Patti Kim
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Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy American city in this dazzling wordless picture book. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games, and gestures are puzzling. They boy clings tightly to his special keepsake from home and wonders how he will find his way. How will he once again become the happy, confident kid he used to be? Walk in his shoes as he takes the first tentative steps toward discovering joy in his new world. A poignant and affirming view of the immigrant experience.

Recommended by Robin Meisner, Director, Child Development Team.
“I love this wordless book because it encourages children and adults to have conversations together about the immigrant experience. And, though his individual experience was of a different time and place, it connects me to the stories my grandfather told about coming to the States at age 16.”

The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito; illustrated by Julia Kuo
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"Do you have a favorite sound?" little Yoshio asks. The musician answers, "The most beautiful sound is the sound of ma, of silence."

But Yoshio lives in Tokyo, Japan: a giant, noisy, busy city. He hears shoes squishing through puddles, trains whooshing, cars beeping, and families laughing. Tokyo is like a symphony hall!

Where is silence?
Join Yoshio on his journey through the hustle and bustle of the city to find the most beautiful sound of all.

Recommended by Akemi Chayama, Japanese Program Manager.

“In this book, Yoshio asks “do you have favorite sounds?” A Boston native author Katrina sets this story in Japan and invites you to explores “the most beautiful sound is the sound of ma, of silence” through her book. Come to Boston Children’s Museum and read this book in the Japanese House on the 3rd floor!“

Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
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Tomás is a son of migrant workers. Every summer he and his family follow the crops north from Texas to Iowa, spending long, arduous days in the fields. At night they gather around to hear Grandfather's wonderful stories. But before long, Tomás knows all the stories by heart. "There are more stories in the library,"Papa Grande tells him. The very next day, Tomás meets the library lady and a whole new world opens up for him.

Recommended by Jessie Kravette, Early Learning Program Developer.

“This is an older classic that delves into a child from a farmworker family that is always moving, being introduced to libraries. The librarian makes a real connection with him and it really demonstrates the power of caring adults in a child’s life. Also a great library-connection book.”

Visiting Feelings by Shelly Hehenberger
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Beautifully descriptive prose and delightful illustrations cultivate a message of mindfulness and emotional awareness to help children fully experience the present moment. Rather than labeling or defining specific emotions and feelings, Visiting Feelings invites children to sense, explore, and befriend any feeling with acceptance and equanimity.

Recommended by Saki Iwamoto, Health & Wellness Educator.
“I recommend this book because it gently navigates readers to recognize and accept their own feelings. This book doesn’t differentiate positive feelings and negative feelings, and the interpretation of the feelings is up to each reader.”


How to Fossilize Your Hamster by Mick O’Hare
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How can you measure the speed of light with chocolate and a microwave? Why do yo-yos yo-yo? Why does urine smell so peculiar after eating asparagus? How long does it take to digest different types of food? What is going on when you drop mentos in cola? 100 wonderful, intriguing and entertaining scientific experiments which show scientific principles first hand - this is science at its most popular.

Recommended by Science Program Manager, Alissa Daniels.

“The book is on an adult reading level, but it’s lots of fun. Many of the experiments can be done with items that you have around. The explanations are more detailed, but still easy to understand. Be the hit of the next party when you can explain the science around a shaken vs stirred martini!”

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
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Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. What Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Recommended by Kacy Hughes, Senior Manager of Community Engagement.

“Heartbreaking and relevant. Much of what I read these days is to get a different perspective and to learn how to be an ally to people of color. This book illustrates some experiences I was probably close to but never realized because I was friends with kids of color who were bused into my suburban elementary school. They must have felt between 2 worlds as the character in this book felt. I’m sure as my white son navigates middle and high school in Boston he will have friends dealing with similar issues. It’s my responsibility to be aware and to make him aware at the very least and the very best to make him an advocate for equity and inclusion.”

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