Kids Article

Kid's Summer Reading Guide 2020!

As summertime comes into full swing we’re looking forward to some amazing new reads! Check out our Summer Reading Guide for 2020 to discover our picks for each age group and genre below – and be sure to look for the Treehouse stamp of approval noting our favorite books in each section! 

Kids Bookmark Contest 2020 Winners!

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this year's bookmark contest! It was so difficult to choose between all your lovely entries as they were all so full of talent and passion. Please see the winners below and check out their amazing artwork!

We will be printing and using their bookmarks all summer long, so order some books and check out the amazing art!


Kindergarten Winner: Navomi 

1st & 2nd Grade Winner: Claudia

Joy Interviews Brandy Colbert, author of THE ONLY BLACK GIRLS IN TOWN

One of the many sadnesses of the pandemic and stay at home order was having to cancel our entire wonderful Spring schedule. Not only are we always excited to bring authors to the store for our customers, but we are also excited about helping spread the word about their amazing books! Brandy Colbert, author of numerous YA favorites, was supposed to be here in late March for her debut middle grade novel, THE ONLY BLACK GIRLS IN TOWN. She would have been in conversation with friend of store and phenomenal Houston author, Liara Tamani.

The Only Black Girls in Town Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316456388
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 10th, 2020

The Voting Booth Cover Image
ISBN: 9781368053297
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - July 7th, 2020

French Snail Adventures: Joy and Laura G Interview Dashka Slater

ESCARGOT, the story of a fabulous French snail, is one of our favorite picture books here at Brazos. So of course, Laura and I were totally over the moon with excitement when Macmillan told us that they’d accepted our pitch for events and school visits for its fabulous author, Dashka Slater, for the sequel, A BOOK FOR ESCARGOT. And then came the spread of COVID-19 and events began to cancel one by one. 

Staff Pick Badge
A Book for Escargot Cover Image
By Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780374312862
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - April 7th, 2020

Escargot Cover Image
By Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780374302818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - April 11th, 2017

Joy Interviews Samantha Mabry, author of TIGERS NOT DAUGHTERS

I’ve been a huge fan of author Samantha Mabry since her first novel, A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON, which is a reimagining of Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter. Her writing is fierce and original, sitting on the cusp of both commercial and literary and always playing with some aspect of ‘other.’ She’s a Texas-based writer as well, so I’ve been privileged to do events with her including a workshop at Austin’s wonderful Writing Barn, and Samantha is always fascinating, always digging deep.

Tigers, Not Daughters Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616208967
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - March 24th, 2020

Kid's Bookmark Contest 2020

We give out a LOT of bookmarks here at Brazos, and we are always looking for new ideas for their design. This spring we’re asking kids to lend their artistic expertise to our annual Bookmark Contest! Download the official entry form here and return it to the store by Wednesday, April 29, 2020. We’ll announce the winners at our Summer Reading Kick Off Party!


Kids Spring Break 2020

We are so excited for Spring Break at the Brazos Treehouse! Check out our events listed below and join us for an awesome Spring Break!


SPRING BREAK KICK-OFF STORY TIME WITH BUNNY BUDDIES : Join us for a special story time with Bunny Buddies, brought to you by our friends over at the Bellaire Nature Discovery Center. Snacks will be provided.


Brazos Staff Share Their Favorite Books from Childhood

Look at these photos! We were all undeniably adorable and we were also all incredible bookworms! Here are some of our all-time favorite books from when we were kids. Take a look, relive those golden days of childhood, and check out our picks in-store on the green cube outside the kid's room! Feeling nostalgic? Come on in and tell us about your most beloved stories!

Redwall: A Tale from Redwall Cover Image
By Brian Jacques, Gary Chalk (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780142302378
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Firebird - September 30th, 2002


High fantasy and talking animals? Yes, please! The once and future Sonia will always have a soft spot for the lovely little critters that populate Brian Jacques's Redwall series. The first book in particular, propelled by the threat posed to the picturesque Redwall Abbey by Cluny the Scourge and the unlikely heroism of the mouse Matthias, holds a special place in my heart. A great read for adventurers of all sizes and species!

Hitty Her First Hundred Years Cover Image
By Rachel Field, Dorothy P. Lathrop (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780689822841
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin - September 1st, 1998


1. This is an almost forgotten children's book written long before my actual childhood, but it was one of my favorites growing up. In the vein of Edward Tulane, this is the tale of a little wooden doll and her many adventures, from her first home in a small New England town to her voyage across the ocean all the way to India. Loved the gorgeous woodcut illustrations and imagining the secret lives of my own toys.

The Fledgling Cover Image
ISBN: 9780064401210
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: HarperCollins - January 22nd, 2002

2. This book and the movie Fly Away Home inspired my OBSESSION with geese as a kid. This is the charming story of a girl growing up on the shores of Walden Pond, who one night is visited by a Canada goose who teaches her how to fly. A beautiful, poignant book about the power of imagination, generosity, and the quiet kind of strength.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia #2) Cover Image
By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780064404990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - January 2nd, 2008


*note: Mark did not provide a baby photo, so this was chosen for him. It is still an accurate depiction of him as a child.

A Picture of Freedom (Dear America) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545242530
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - January 1st, 2011


I compulsively read and re-read the Dear America books when I was in middle school in 2001. At the time there were dozens, now there are only 5 available to order. You should be able to find the rest at your local library, as I did all those years ago. I recently revisited A PICTURE OF FREEDOM, and it handled difficult, complex subjects beautifully, while remaining true to historical reality. The series were just some of the many books that instilled in me a love of reading and writing and imagining!

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142408810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - April 5th, 2007


*note: This is the photo Keaton provided. Any issues with accuracy must be taken up with Keaton.

I don't know what is was about this book. Maybe it just found me at the right time, but TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING is the first book I ever read that really resonated with me as a reader--even if I didn't know what that meant at the time! The feelings of being overlooked and overwhelmed as a child trying to build a sense of individuality, the horrors of a younger sibling, the earliest twinge of social awkwardness developing at school. What can I say? Judy Blume just GOT 9-10 year old Keaton! It's one of my earliest memories of feeling seen in a work of fiction, and I still love TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING to this day.

The First Horror (Fear Street #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780671885625
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - August 1st, 1994


Fear Street. I specifically remember checking out The Prom Queen. The girl on the cover was wearing a very 80s/early 90s puffy sleeved dress and her reflection in the window/mirror WAS A SKULL. Trippy. So someone is murdering all the prom queen candidates at Shadyside High. Teen hijinks and murder ensue. I'm not sure why 11 year old Alana liked reading spooky things, but here we are.

Catwings Cover Image
ISBN: 9780439551892
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Orchard Books - May 1st, 2003


This book is all about a group of kittens who were born with wings. They decide to escape the danger of city life and fly away. Country life, however, is not as easy as they expect. I remember being completely spellbound by the illustrations, and my mom could get me to read anything if it was about a cat.

Half Magic (Tales of Magic #1) Cover Image
By Edward Eager, Alice Hoffman (Introduction by), N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780544671720
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - May 24th, 2016


When I was eight I discovered Edward Eager's HALF MAGIC, which is about British siblings who, one boring summer, find a magic amulet on the ground which allows all sorts of amazing wishes to come true... but only half way. I adored this book. I read it over and over, scouring our Chicago neighborhood, hoping to stumble on a magic amulet and make my own boring summer with my younger brother become magical. I mean, who doesn't want to transform into a quippy British kid who finds magic? I'm still waiting, only slightly bitter.

Feelings Cover Image
By Aliki, Aliki (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780688065188
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 21st, 2019


I've always had a lot of them. Feelings. 

The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (The Secrets of Droon #1): The Hidden Stairs And The Magic Carpet Cover Image
By Tony Abbott, Tim Jessell (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780590108393
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - June 1st, 1999


1. I have never once met anyone else who's read THE SECRETS OF DROON, but everyone should know about it! This chapter book series has magic, adventure, llamas with six legs, and talking pillows called Lumpys! If that doesn't strike your fancy I don't know what will!

The Girl Who Could Fly (Piper McCloud #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250072467
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - October 27th, 2015

2. Piper McCloud can fly. Just like that. Easy as pie! This is a soaring tale of a farm girl who's just a little bit different. It's odd, it's sweet, it's one of my all-time favorites! Just read the first page and tell me you're not in love! You just can't keep a good girl down!

Joy Interviews Elizabeth Rose Stanton, Author and Illustrator of COWIE

I met picture book author/illustrator Elizabeth Rose Stanton a few years ago at a weekend writer’s event at the fabulous Writing Barn in Austin. I fell in love with the quirky fun of her picture book HENNY, about this chicken with arms. Yes, arms! ERS has a gentle style - whimsical yet thoughtful. Her books speak to our need to be ourselves, to have the world accept us for who we are… even if we’re a chicken with arms!

Cowie Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534421745
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - January 7th, 2020

Joy Interviews Janet Gurtler, editor of You Too?

One of the greatest things about being both an author of numerous books for young people as well as being the Children’s Programming Director here at Brazos is being able to help support amazing authors whose careers I’ve followed for a while. I’ve known Janet Gurtler for over a decade now, and I’m a huge fan of her work, particularly her contemporary YA novels such as I’M NOT HER. Now, she’s stepping into an editor/author role with the YOU TOO? anthology, out this week from Harper.

You Too?: 25 Voices Share Their #metoo Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335929082
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Inkyard Press - January 7th, 2020

I'm Not Her Cover Image
ISBN: 9781402256363
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - May 1st, 2011