Little Books For Big People

Little Books For Big People is a new book discussion program for parents and caregivers focusing on children’s literature and early literacy development.
Each session will feature a theme and a book but will expand to include many other similar titles touching on the same theme. Up to 15 local participants with a Tupper Lake Public Library card will receive a copy of the main book under discussion. By the end of the 10 session program participants will have an entire small library to “seed” — or add to! — their own home library. Discussion are held at the library and remotely the third Tuesday of every month. The first session is Tuesday April 20th at 8:30 pm. Please register ahead for this program.

To register, scroll down to the bottom of the list of books and fill out the registration form.

Session 1: A Different Perspective
April 20th 8:30

For our first discussion we’ll use Brendan Wenzel’s ingenious They All Saw A Cat to discuss ways in which a simple change of perspective can change the way the whole world looks.

Session 2: Language, Musicality, and Rhythm
May 18th

For our second session we’ll read Herve Tullet’s Say Zoop! A rollicking book that will bend your ears, twist your tongues, and melt your minds (just a bit). From there we’ll explore other books that also ask us to chant, rhyme, and explore the plasticity of language in all its strange and glorious permutations!

Session 3: Friendship & Belonging
June 15th

In this session we’ll revisit (or, visit for the first time!) The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, a classic of children’s literature about a stuffed rabbit who longs to be loved and become real. We’ll also discuss a number of other books that deal with desires for belonging, friendship, and love.

Session 4: Creativity , Drawing, Visual Arts
July 20th

In this session we’ll begin our discussions of creativity with Ish by Peter Reynolds. Participants will also receive copies of other Peter Reynolds books in his Creatrilogy series. Additionally, we’ll dip into the nearly limitless supply of children’s books that deal with our creative sides! Prepare for fun!

Session 5: Self-image, self-esteem, our bodies
August 17th

To focus our discussion of themes surrounding self-esteem and identity we’ll dig in to Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Dear Girl, a terrific book about teaching life lessons to strong little girls. This session we’ll also look to books that discuss boyhood and the attendant issues of self-image that swirl around young boys. We’ll also get a little silly and discuss every kid’s favorite topic: bodily functions 🙂

Session 6: Fear
September 21st

To address fear and how our children respond to scary things we’ll discuss Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson’s lovely book, Leo: A Ghost Story. The tale of a ghost who just wants to be understood, Leo: A Ghost Story will open the door to many more books in our collection that help kids come to terms with fear and even, maybe, learn how to conquer it!

Session 7: The Natural World and Our Relationship to it
October 19th

For our seventh session we’ll be discussing our relationship to nature — from exploration to stewardship — and how to get children interested in the many aspects of the natural world. To center our discussion we’ll look at Carole Lindstrom’s Caldecott winning We Are Water Protectors. From there we’ll look to other books that wear muddy boots, so to speak.

Session 8: Non-traditional books.. or books with surprises!
November 16th

For this session we’ll explore the world of picture books that confound our notions of what a picture book is or can be. To kick off the discussion we’ll talk about B.J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures. This very funny book will get kids (and adults!) thinking about what exactly a book is anyway. And that will be the perfect place for us to begin talking about the many surprising books in the universe of children’s literature!

Session 9: Grief & Loss
December 21st

Very few topics can be so difficult to discuss with a child as that of loss. Beginning with Jackie Azua Kramer’s The Boy and the Gorilla we’ll discuss grief, death, loss, and change and the many books that can help us to discuss and understand it.

Session 10: Board Books
January 18th

For this session we’ll skip thematic discussion in favor of looking at one specific kind of book: the board book. These rugged little beginner books are the perfect way to introduce infants to reading. We’ll begin with the kinetic and goofy Giraffes Can’t Dance and move through a handful of other delightful board books, all the while talking about

Support for this work is from Generous Acts at Adirondack Foundation – a force for good that pools gifts from generous donors who love the Adirondacks and care about our communities. Adirondack Foundation enhances the lives of the people in the Adirondacks through philanthropy. To learn more, visit

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