“I don’t remember what it was called, but I know it was green!” This vague descriptor often is all a librarian has to go on when helping to find a beloved book for a patron. In that spirit, here are some of our favorite books with green covers.Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013 For ages: 13 and upCath has a rich social life. Just one problem — it’s all online. When she starts college, she struggles with maintaining her online presence while still experiencing all college has to offer. In addition, she’s determined to finish her magnum opus, a novel-length fan fiction based on the fictional Simon Snow series of books. When her creative writing teacher says fan-fic is plagiarism and shows a lack of imagination, Cath’s world is rocked. Throw in confusing interactions with boys, a twin sister who only wants to drink and party, and a father with mental health problems, and Cath must realize what’s really important to her … before she loses everything.This book is smart, fun and genuine. Anyone who has struggled with finding his or her own voice will identify with Cath’s quest to discover who she really is.Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith Dutton Juvenile, 2014 For ages: 13 and upAustin and his best friend Robby pass their days in small-town Iowa by smoking cigarettes, skateboarding and thinking about sex. When they accidentally release a virus that produces a fleet of unstoppable 6-foot praying mantis soldiers, it seems like the end of the world. But equally devastating is Austin’s realization that he’s in love with two people — his girlfriend Shann, and Robby. What does this mean? Does it even matter?This story is both creepy and hilarious, and the characters feel like immediate friends. Written in Andrew Smith’s signature style, this story explores the nuances of relationships while never shying away from real experiences. Grasshopper Jungle will suck you in and hold you there for the duration of this wild, uniquely-crafted, and very satisfying, ride.Matched by Ally Condie Dutton Juvenile, 2010 For ages: 13 and upCassia lives in a place where The Society makes all the choices for its citizens; it’s better for everyone that way. When Cassia is momentarily matched to two different suitors, she struggles to figure out which she’s truly meant to be with. This opens the door to questioning the structure around her — why can’t she make her own choices?This story is sold in the details. Citizens don’t know how to write by hand. They only use computers so that all communications can be monitored. When Cassia learns to form letters by drawing with a stick in the dirt, this small, illicit talent allows her to communicate without repercussions … and to explore some truly dangerous ideas, without the government knowing. Soon, she is on her way to rebelling against her predetermined life. The cost for this choice is high.This is the first book in a trilogy.A Book of Babies by Il Sung Na Alfred A Knopf, 2014 For ages: 3-5Gorgeous texture-filled illustrations and lyrical text introduce readers to spring, “when the flowers begin to bloom and the world starts turning green, animals everywhere are born...” The main character in this book is the duck that is included in each page spread. Duck visits different animals and observes how they are different and alike. For example, the zebra can walk fairly quickly after birth, but a lion cub is carried around by mama. Polar bears have soft warm fur, yet lizards are born with smooth scales. At the end of the book, readers see Duck watching over a nest of sleeping baby ducklings and are told that at the end of their very first day on Earth, all babies need their rest.Look for another Il Sung Na favorite, A Book Of Sleep, where an owl says good night to all the animals before going to sleep in the early morning.The Earth Book by Todd Parr Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010 For ages: 3-5Kid favorite Todd Parr uses his fun cartoonlike illustrations to tell kids why it is important to take care of the Earth. Simple, doable ideas and how they help the planet’s resources are given. For example, illustrations of colorful people depict drawing on both sides of the paper instead of on one side, and bringing reusable bags to the grocery store because that helps to preserve the trees used to make paper bags.Kids also learn why it is important to conserve water, use bikes or public transportation, and not waste food. This is a fun and nonjudgmental introduction for little ones to learn about the Earth and how to respect its resources. A great choice for Earth Day next month.Peek! A Thai Hide and Seek by Minfong Ho and illustrated by Holly Meade Candlewick Press, 2004 For ages: 3-5Meet the native animals as a little girl plays Jut-Ay (pronounced “Shut” and “A”) or peekaboo with her father around their Thai home. Children will love the lush pictures of the Thai home in the jungle, and how the monkeys live in the trees outside the house and elephants roam in the yard.Children will recognize differences from their American house, too, such as netting over the bed and sliding Asian-style doors.Check out the award winning Hush! A Thai Lullaby by the same author and illustrator, which is about a mother asking the animals to stay quiet while her baby is sleeping.Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes Greenwillow Books, 2011 For ages: 3-5An imaginative white rabbit wonders what it would be like to be different: What would it be like to be tall like the trees or still like the rocks? Readers can visualize Bunny’s ideas as we see the rabbit imagine himself turning green like a turtle and flying like a butterfly.Simple pencil and acrylic sketches create Bunny’s world in whites, yellows, pinks and greens. When he hops home, readers see Bunny nuzzling with his family. He still wonders about lots of things but he doesn’t wonder who loves him. Kids who love to draw may especially like this book, which may inspire young artists to draw things in different ways. With the bunnies and springtime colors, this is a perfect book to share this season.
Lisa Smant is senior librarian at Fort Worth Library Youth Center.