South End Scoop: Books & More From KCLS — April 2023

The King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald are teaming up to bring you the “South End Scoop.” Dig into this community-centered column each month for great book, music, movie, and event recommendations from your local librarians.

(Photo courtesy of the King County Library System)

Celebrate the arrival of spring, and the promise of longer days and warmer weather, with these uplifting and adventurous recommendations below.


Kids (Ages 3 to 7) 

A Land of Books: Dreams of Young Mexihcah Word Painters by Duncan Tonatiuh

A Mexihcah girl tells her younger brother about the importance of the amoxtin — wordless, painted books — that document Mexihcah history, religion, warfare, and calendaring in this powerful picture book. Mexican American author-illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh’s distinctive illustration style immediately draws the reader in for an enlightening trip through Mesoamerican bookmaking. 

“A Land of Books” by Duncan Tonatiuh

Kids and Tweens (Ages 8 to 13) 

The Bookwanderers by Anna James     

Ever since her mother disappeared, Tilly Pages has lived with her grandparents above their bookstore. One day, Tilly finds Alice from Alice in Wonderland roaming the aisles. The next day, she’s visited by Anne from Anne of Green Gables. Tilly soon learns that she can visit the characters in their stories, just as easily as they can come to her. Her grandparents explain that she is a Bookwanderer, just as her mother was. Tilly convinces herself that she can find her mother in the world of books, setting the stage for the adventurous Pages & Co. book series. 

“The Bookwanderers” by Anna James

Teens (Ages 14-17)

Discovering the Ancient Colors of Yucatan, directed by Pietro Pellizzieri

Let this streaming video about the Yucatan Peninsula be the inspiration for your next getaway, or simply take a virtual trip from home. While towns like Cancun and Cozumel are brightly decorated, you’ll see the truly breathtaking views that can be found in the natural beauty of the land and wildlife. Take in the lush green mangroves that are home to crocodiles, iguanas, and leopards. See white sandy beaches nestled against bright-blue water, and imagine swimming through coral reefs with colorful marine life. Safe travels!

“Discovering the Ancient Colors of Yucatan” directed by Pietro Pellizzieri

Adults (Ages 18 and older) 

By the Shore: Explore the Pacific Northwest Coast Like a Local by Nancy Blakey  

Explore the Pacific Northwest coastline this spring with Bainbridge Island author Nancy Blakey. Embark on a multitude of adventures, from Oregon to British Columbia and Vancouver Island, with pit stops for tide pools, whale and kite festivals, and great places to make a driftwood fort. The book includes maps, recipes, and craft projects, and lists important resources, such as tide tables, shellfish biotoxin information, burn bans, and how to get a fishing license.   

“By the Shore” by Nancy Blakey

Recommendations courtesy of KCLS children’s services librarian, Lydia. Lydia works at the Burien Library, and her favorite types of books are narrative nonfiction and memoirs. She also enjoys the theater, trips to Canada, and cuddling with her cat, Max.


KCLS offers a variety of in-person and online events and activities for all ages! All events are free. Find one that interests you on the King County Library System website.  

College Credits for High School Students

Tuesday, April 18, 6 to 7 p.m. 

Did you know you can earn free college credits while in high school? Renton Technical College staff will share details about Dual Credit programs, including Running Start, CTE Dual Credit, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and more. Save money on college while completing high school and college courses simultaneously! 

Kaleidoscope Play and Learn 

Thursday, April 20, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
Skyway Library

Have fun singing songs, sharing books, creating art, and playing together! Trained and caring facilitators from Childhaven host structured groups for families and their young children to learn life skills through play. 

Tinker Lab for Adults and Seniors 

Friday, April 21, 10 to 11 a.m. 
Federal Way Library

Tinker around with electronics, crafts, puzzles, and more at the Federal Way Library Makerspace. Learn at your own pace and have fun!

Renton Civic Gatherings: Community Resilience

Tuesday, April 25, 6 to 7:30 p.m. 
Renton Library

Enjoy music, poetry, snacks, and meaningful conversations at the Renton Library’s civic gatherings. This event series is designed to nurture a spirit of shared purpose through respectful discussion and one-on-one dialogue. Led by a facilitator from Citizen University

Author Voices: David George Gordon, Samantha Larson, and MaryAnn Barron Wagner

Wednesday, April 26, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. 

Authors Gordon, Larson, and Wagner will share “oysterabilia,” from their book Heaven on the Half Shell: The Story of the Oyster in the Pacific Northwest. Learn about the rich history of our region’s beloved bivalve industry, and get a few oyster recipes to try from top chefs.

Celebrate Día: Children’s Day/Book Day

Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Renton Library

Día is a nationally recognized initiative that connects children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures. Celebrate Día at KCLS with interactive Story Times in multiple languages, music from around the world, fun arts and crafts activities, and more. Visit for more information.

What’s Age Got to Do with It? 

Monday, May 1, 12 to 1 p.m. 

Learn how to be positive and proud of every age at this uplifting author event. Join speaker, writer, and storyteller Dori Gillam to take a lighter look at aging while seeing how ingrained ageism is in our society, from birthday cards to advertising. 


Tax Help at KCLS 

Taxes are almost due! Pick up or print tax forms at any KCLS library, and get free one-on-one help filing your taxes at a number of Tax Help events that we’re holding in April. Get more information at


Residents in the KCLS service area (in King County, outside the city of Seattle) can sign up instantly for a physical card to access our full collection, or a digital eCard to access our digital collection. Visit to get started. Contact Ask KCLS at if you need assistance with your account, or call 425-462-9600 or 800-462-9600. 

📸 Featured Image: South Seattle Emerald and the King County Library System (KCLS) are teaming up to give you book, media, and event recommendations each month via the South End Scoop.

Before you move on to the next story …
The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. 
If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. 
We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!