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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 23, Number 4 April 2013 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Art Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Hobby Shelf Social Issues Shelf Health Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Christian Shelf Judaic Shelf
Board Book Shelf Easy Reader Shelf Picturebook Shelf
Civil War Shelf World History Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Environmental Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Activity Shelf
Fiction Shelf Science Shelf Cookbook Shelf
ABC Shelf Counting Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Poetry Shelf Native American Shelf Music Shelf
Books in Series    

Reviewer's Choice

Odd Duck
Cecil Castellucci, author
Sara Varon, illustrator
First Second
175 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781596435575 $15.99

Ideal for young readers who have mastered picturebooks and are ready to tackle slightly longer stories, Odd Duck is an unusual hybrid of picturebook and graphic novel. Colorful pictures tell of Theodora, a prim duck who follows a precise routine every day, including swimming or cycling with a teacup on her head (for balance and posture). Her prim and proper chosen lifestyle is more than a little shaken up when a new duck, Chad, moves in next door. Chad is a disorganized artist who loves to create ineffable modern sculptures, and dyes his feathers with color highlights. Theodora is wary of Chad at first, but soon the two learn that they have a lot in common despite their differences and become fast friends... until they overhear a nasty comment about an "odd duck" and each one thinks it's about the other! A terrible quarrel ensues, leaving Theodora brokenhearted and Chad despondent. Can two very different ducks, each used to following a different drummer, learn that being "odd" isn't necessarily bad? Parents will enjoy sharing Odd Duck with their children; there is a valuable lesson here to be learned and shared, about the qualities in friends that truly matter.

Bully in the Mirror
Shanaya Fastje
Changing Lives Press
50 Public Square #1600
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
9780984304790, $14.95 print / $7.99 Kindle,

Living under fear and hate is no way to live. "Bully in the Mirror: Making Hate Stop When You Don't Think You Can" discusses bullying and what can be done to work through it and make for a better school life for everyone. Encouraging readers to analyze who is bullying, who is bullied, and how to assist in stopping bullying, as well as better managing their emotions, "Bully in the Mirror" is a powerful read for those coping with bullies of any age, written by young star author Shanaya Fastje.

Roll On
Ainslie Manson, author
Ron Lightburn, illustrator
Greystone Books
c/o Douglas & McIntyre Publishing Group
2323 Quebeck Street, Suite 201
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 4S7
9781554655299, $19.95,

If you want to see the world, nothing should be able to stop you. "Roll On: Rick Hansen Wheels Around the World" tells the story of Rick Hansen, a man traveled around the entire world in spite of his inability to work. His journey inspires two young boys to follow his path around the world. A celebration of steadfast determination and the spirit of adventure, "Roll On" is an inspirational and recommended read for children's picturebook collections focusing on people with disabilities.

When Miles Got Mad
Ruby's Studio
The Mother Company
11759 San Vicente Boulevard, #2
Los Angeles, CA 90049
9780615699653, $12.95,

Anger is powerful.. and scary. "When Miles Got Mad" is a children's picturebook following young Miles as he gets very upset with his little brother. Seeing into the mirror and seeking the monster he's become, he learns to speak out his anger. Encouraging children to talk out their feelings, "When Miles Got Mad" is a strong and much recommended addition to any youth's children picturebook collection.

The Art Shelf

Sneaky Art, Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight
Marthe Jocelyn, author
Candlewick Press
99 Dover St., Somerville, MA 02144
9780763656485 $12.99

Full of recommended art activities for kids age 8 and up, "Sneaky Art" is all about discovering and exploring your inner artist using ordinary everyday materials and creating a fun piece of public (impermanent) art that is meant to be playful, surprising, and enjoyable, day brighteners all. Twenty-four Sneaky Art Projects are described, with instructions, suggestions, variations and color photos of finished projects. Some of the favorites are Cork Critters, Tinfoil Fish, Winter Blossoms, and Little Landmarks. The whole concept of Sneaky Art is carefully explained and defined, as well as reminders for what it is NOT ("mean, defacing, ugly, hurtful, messy, or permanent... graffiti or marking up someone else's property, p. vi"). Some of the suggested projects are especially charming, creative, fun and enlightening. All of them are good constructive imagination builders for young artists. Although careful instructions are provided, some adult supervision would be beneficial for younger children. The spiral bound, hard back book is especially practical and durable for multiple applications.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

The Spaceship Saga and Other Stories, Read a Play: Book One, Interactive Stories for Children
Helen Lawson, author
Clair Read, illustrator
Our Street Books/ National Books Network
15200 NBN Way, Bldg B
Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214
9781780993577 $12.95

"The Spaceship Saga and Other Stories" is a collection of five stories that are mini dramas meant to be read aloud by children age 7 and up. Each story play is just long enough to be read in one sitting by a small group of play readers. The first play, story one, is called the Space Ship Saga, and features four characters, Sam, Sassie, Yarg, and Cameron. Sam and Sassie are twins, while Yarg is an alien and Cameron is a director who becomes their friend. Children are encouraged to think about their character's voice and attitude, to develop a character's reality in the story, and to read convincingly. Short plot lines help keep interest high and bold print paragraphs explain differences of scene/setting and off and on stage actions. A truly exciting adventure with a surprise ending helps young actors and play readers achieve pride in production. Additional story plays are titled The Dog Show Dare, Football Madness, Mum's the Word, and the Second World War Sleepover. Black and white whimsical sketches help illustrate the stories' action moments for imaginative young minds. Budding actors can practice emerging skills in "The Spaceship Saga and Other Stories" and emerge curious to experience more drama, reading and acting.

The Hobby Shelf

Abracadabra! Cool Magic Tricks With Cards
Nicholas Einhorn, author
Rosen Central Publishing Group
29 East 21st St., New York, NY 10010
9781448892198 $31.95

Part of the Inside Magic series, "Abracadabra! Cool Magic Tricks with Cards" is a fascinating introduction to magic card tricks for middle school age students. Using color photos and step by step instructions, secrets for reproducing over 50 techniques or components of card tricks are taught to the apprentice magician. Completed with a glossary bibliography, and index, "Abracadabra!..." teaches the classic ins and outs of correct card magician flourishes and techniques. Not an easy set of skills for the unready, "Abracadabra!...." presents a classic approach to documenting sleight of hand skills needed to perform magic card tricks. This series also includes the following highly recommended titles by the same author on performance of magic: "Presto Change-O! Jaw-Dropping Magic With Dinner Table Objects (9781448892204)," and "Alakazam! Sensational Magic Tricks With Silk, Thimbles, Paper, and Money (9781448892211)."

The Social Issues Shelf

Toby Tanner Where Are Your Manners?
Lynda Seminara, author
Jesse Blythe DeFriese, illustrator
Tate Publishing, Children's Division
127 East Trade Center Terrace
Mustang, OK 73064
9781620248386 $8.99 / $7.99 ebook

Presented in color illustration and lively narration, Toby Tanner is an active, sometimes messy boy who needs to find his Manners. he looks in his closet, his sister's room, the bathroom, the garage, in the back yard, with no clue. Finally, Toby imagines Manners as a clean, well dressed, well behaved version of himself, minus holey pants and stinky socks. He imagines inviting himself as Manners to dinner with his family, where he practices eating with his napkin on his lap, sitting up straight and tall, chewing with his mouth closed, and elbows off the table. After eating he will ask to be excused and clean his dishes, thank his guest, and hold the door for Manners. Toby Tanner realizes at least he may have found his Manners! "Toby Tanner Where Are Your Manners" includes an audio digital book download complete entertainment package for kids age 6 and up. Also recommended are additional similar titles from Tate Publishing including "Pick of the Litter (9781621475750)" by Monique Moore-Berggren, and "Beaver's Big Discovery (9781622953752)" by Michelle A. B. McKenzie.

In Lucia's Neighborhood
Pat Shewchuk & Marek Colek
Kids Can Press
25 Dockside Drive
Toronto, ON, Canada, M5A 0B5
9781554534203, $16.95,

What makes a neighborhood truly special? "In Lucia's Neighborhood" is a children's picturebook as young Lucia learns what makes her neighborhood unique and special, and what she can do as a kid to improve it. With a positive image on making a better neighborhood, "In Lucia's Neighborhood" is an inspirational and much recommended addition to children's picturebook with an excellent and charming art style, not to be missed.

The Health Shelf

Creative Yoga for Children
Adrienne Rawlinson
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781583945544, $16.95,

Yoga is a great exercise and practice for any age. "Creative Yoga for Children: 40 Fun Ready-to-Teach Lessons for Ages 4-12" is an advisory for encouraging fun with Yoga practiced for young people to encourage good exercises and education using the exercises of the discipline aimed at elementary school aged children. With photos and diagrams filled with plenty of ideas all throughout, "Creative Yoga for Children" is a must for any teacher who wants to encourage physical education alongside learning.

Let's Eat
Dr. J. Renae Norton
Robert D. Reed Publishers
PO Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411
9781934759615, $17.95,

Eating clean is a good overall direction for better health. "Let's Eat!: Maji Teaches Mongo What It Means to Eat Clean!" is a health-driven children's picturebook encouraging kids to eat healthier by eating clean, and restrict snack foods more effectively in their life, and embrace good habits like drinking lots of water. "Let's Eat!" is a powerful advisory with a good message, not to be missed for young readers struggling with diet issues.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Ferdinand Fox's First Summer
Mary Holland, author
Sylvan Dell Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781607186267 $9.95

"Ferdinand Fox's First Summer" is a fantastic color photo-journal of the first several months of a young red fox's life in North America. Ferdinand is one of three fox kits born in early spring, living in a den with his siblings and being nursed on his mother's milk for the first 5 weeks of life. Gradually he begins to explore outside and learn to use his senses and interactions with his environment to develop and sharpen survival skills. Ferdinand is both funny and heroic in some of his daily adventures. Many fascinating facts about foxes' growth and survival are written into the narrative accompanying the photo journal of Ferdinand's maturation. Written for children age 8 and up, "Ferdinand Fox's First Summer" includes a reference to book links for further cross-curricular teaching activities, quizzes, and more as well as three sections titled Red Fox Fun Facts and Adaptations, Red Fox Life Cycle Sequencing, and What Do Red Foxes Eat? "Ferdinand Fox's First Summer" is available in hardcover, paperback Spanish and English, and eBook Downloadable English and Spanish. It is part of a Sylvan Dell nature educational series of titles.

Jasper's Story
Jill Robinson and Marc Bekoff, authors
Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
Suite 200
315 East Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585367986 $16.99

Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears is a children's picturebook about the real-life troubles suffered by Asian moon bears. For fifteen long years, Jasper was confined and miserable in a cage, held by bear farmers in rural China. The bear farmers removed bile from Jasper's body to sell as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine, a trade that inflicted horrific cruelty to thousands of moon bears. But for Jasper and other moon bears, there is hope in Animals Asia, a non-profit that has established award-winning sanctuaries in China and Vietnam. Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears is ultimate a tale of hope and forgiveness, as well as an awakening to the fact that humans are capable of changing their cruel ways. Highly recommended.

JJ The American Street Dog
Diane Rose-Solomon, author
Rachel Cellinsese, illustrator
Privately Published
9780985769017, $16.99,

A little love makes the world better for everyone. "JJ The American Street Dog: And How He Came to Live in Our House" is an inspirational children's picturebook from Diane Rose-Solomon and illustrator Rachel Cellinese as she presents a story of young Maya, who wants to take in a homeless dog from the street and names it JJ. Teaching a lesson about strays and helping prevent dog overpopulation, "JJ The American Street Dog" is a must for dog loving kids picturebook collections, recommended.

The Christian Shelf

My Identity Christ-Is, Stay In the Game
S. L. Holliday, author
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Rd. - 515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478718277 $12.95

"My Identity Christ-Is, Stay In the Game" is the first book of a tween series based on using scripture and a healthy Christian perspective to pilot young adults through confusing, challenging, everyday circumstances. This story is told through a lineup of chapter mini-play scripts, consisting of dialogues between 13 year old Victoria and her friends, also including Victoria's mom and dad, Pastors Kenneth and Gwyneth, who tend to reflect helpful scripture quotations when dealing with common issues and problems of kids. This exciting book format keeps reader interest high while directing attention to traditional Biblical sources of additional wisdom. Victoria encounters difficult opposition from a peer competitor candidate while running for class president. Underhanded and unfair tactics discourage Victoria and tempt her to hide, give up, or react in anger. Pastors and parents help her to discover she has one more option: She can lean on God. Inspirational and appropriate New Testament scripture quotations are skillfully woven into the narrative of each chapter mystery play. Middle school tweens will definitely "get" the "My Identity Christ-Is" series approach. Nothing is downplayed or ignored in the everyday interactive challenges of a typical young adult, resulting in very convincing, appealing Christian juvenile fiction.

Nora's Ark
Eileen Spinelli, author
Nora Hilb, illustrator
5300 Patterson Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310720065 $14.99

"Nora's Ark" is a delightful retelling of the biblical story of Noah and the Ark from a child's viewpoint. Discovering that rain is coming, Nora decides to build an ark and save her friends and animals just like Noah. Well... not just like Noah. Nora uses a broken attic chair, wooden boxes and fence slats to make a smaller sandbox ark, which comfortably holds her little brother Franky, best friend Lily and favorite animals, two spiders, two goldfish, two cats, and two toy monkeys. This charming children's version of the story of Noah's Ark unfolds with beautiful colored illustrations that draw playful comparisons between Nora's ark, and Noah's Ark. Although Nora's rain only lasts about 40 minutes, at the end she sees a wonderful rainbow that makes her heart sing, just like Noah's. "Nora's Ark" is charming, racially inclusive, imaginative and uplifting, perfect for children age 5 and up and children of all ages.

Totally Catholic!
Mary Kathleen Glavich
Pauline Kids
50 Saint Pauls Avenue
Boston, MA 02130-3491
0819874795, $14.95,

Explaining the gospel to young people can often prove quite difficult. "Totally Catholic!" is a kid's guide to the Catholic faith as Mary Kathleen Glavich presents advice on how to encourage young people to get into faith and teach them about the many aspects of the faith. With plenty of trivia, teachings, scripture, images throughout, there's plenty to help young people get into the Catholic faith and what it all means. "Totally Catholic!" is an enticing and much recommended addition to youth religious collections, recommended.

First Dog
Patricia Quinn Hays
Saint Mary's Press
702 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987-1318
9781599822730, $14.95,

A little dog can be of great help. "First Dog" is a twist of telling of the nativity of Christ introducing a dog called Lucky who guides the rejected Mary and Joseph to the manger where they give birth to their child. A charming story of a dog finding a home against the backdrop of the birth of Jesus, "First Dog" is a charming Christian children's picturebook from Patricia Quinn Hays, much recommended reading.

Nite Nite Soldier
Michael and Beth Hofer, author
Russ Cox, illustrator
Out House Ink Publishing
9780578103730, $18.95,

Getting ready for bed is something every kid fights once in their life. "Nite Nite Soldier" is a Major Manners children's picturebook as the Major seeks to guide readers through the ins and outs of getting ready for bed, with a mild Christian focus . With humor and colorful illustrations all throughout, "Nite Nite Soldier" is an excellent addition to any children's picturebook collection, highly recommended.

The Judaic Shelf

What Did Pinny Do?
Nechama Sittner, author
Tova Leff, illustrator
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781929628728 $12.95

A hardcover children's picturebook with laminated pages designed to be extra-durable for little hands, What Did Pinny Do? An Upsherin Story follows a Jewish boy named Pinny, who is about to reach his third birthday. In keeping with Jewish tradition, Pinny's hair hasn't yet been cut - but with his third birthday comes his upsherin party, celebrating the beginning of his Jewish education! During the upsherin celebration, family and friends each cut a lock of hair, and Pinny starts wearing a yarmulke and tzitzis every day. A final page teaches readers of all ages and backgrounds more detailed information about the upsherin celebration and the Jewish traditions associated with it. What Did Pinny Do? is playful in tone, and an excellent read-aloud book, ideal for Jewish parents to share with their children in order to prepare them for upsherin. "Snip! Snip! Snip! Now what will Pinny do? // Make brachos! Learn aleph-bais! / Give tzedaka! Sing "Torah tziva." // Mazel tov, Pinny! / It's so nice to be three."

On This Night
N. Steiner, author
Wendy Edelson, illustrator
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781929628513, $10.95,

The Seder is a tradition, and learning it is an important part of the Jewish ritual. "On This Night: The Steps of the Seder in Rhyme" presents the custom in an easier follow method for young readers, illustrating the parts of the seder in an easy way for youths to learn and master. "On This Night" is a strong addition to Jewish children's picturebook collections, highly recommended.

This is the Challah
Sue Hepker, author
Amy Wummer, illustrator
Behrman House Inc.
11 Edison Place
Springfield, NJ 07081
9780874419221, $8.95,

Cooking can ultimately prove to be quite the adventure, especially when it's your first attempt."This is the Challah" is a Judaic Childrens picturebook following young Bubbe as she tries to make the Challah for Shabbat for her family. With a very poetic and melodic approach to the story, it includes an easy to follow Challah recipe for parents and their kids to try out. "This is the Challah" is a strong addition for anyone who is looking for culturally Jewish children's picturebooks for their collections. Also from Behrman House is "Melly's Menorah" (9780874418842, $9.95) by Amye Rosenberg, exploring the role young people can play in the Chanukah celebration.

The Longest Night
Laurel Snyder and Catia Chien
Schwartz & Wade Books
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780375869426, $17.99,

THE LONGEST NIGHT: A PASSOVER STORY tells of a young slave girl who works for her master until one day the world begins to change: the river turns to blood, locusts eat the crops, and ten plagues strike the kingdom. The girl and her family must flee and follow Moses through the desert to freedom - but can they successfully build a new and better life? This depiction of the Passover story is a winning survey highly recommended for any Jewish collection strong in Passover stories.

The Board Book Shelf

In Your Dreams
Leslie Jonath, author
Jana Christy, illustrator
Accord Publishing/ Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 641062
9781449403324 $9.99

"In Your Dreams" is an animated window-illustrated bedtime story board book that soothes young children to sleep with dream images of rockets, horses, circus acts, ocean treasures, and sweet candies. A lilting rhyming narrative gently suggests bright, big dreams and wonderful experiences. Acting as a modern day dream catcher, "In Your Dreams" encourages children to take charge of their wonderful capacity to dream and enjoy the ride.

Bella Loves Bunny
David McPhail, author/artist
Abrams Appleseed
115 West 18th St., New York, NY 10011
9781419705434 $8.95

"Bella Loves Bunny" is a sweet board book story about a little girl and her best friend, Bunny. Filled with gentle muted pastel images of Bella and her beloved stuffed bunny sleeping, hopping, skipping, picnicking, and enjoying their day, "Bella Loves Bunny" is the perfect spring celebration gift book for children age 2 and up. The happy pictures and charming minimal story text on each page take a toddler through a delightful roster of pleasant play activities from morning till evening. "Bella Loves Bunny" is a wonderful gift for the spring baskets of young children.

The Easy Reader Shelf

Where Do You Look?
Marthe Jocelyn and Nell Jocelyn
Tundra Books
75 Sherbourne Street, 5th floor
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5A 2P9
9781770493766, $17.99,

WHERE DO YOU LOOK? considers homonyms and provides a fun survey of language, pairs words with meanings, and provides a lively and very simple consideration of language ironies for ages 2-5. From tongues (which can be in shoes or in a face) to matches (which can occur in laundry or on a soccer field), this provides a lively and simple approach any child can readily understand, and is a fun introduction to language.

The Picturebook Shelf

Andrea Skyberg, author/artist
Wooden Nickel Press
6650 W. State St., Unit D #195
Milwaukee, WI 53213
9780988289178 $17.99

"Squircle" is a fantastic representative collaboration between artist/author Andrea Skyberg and students of five Wisconsin schools, creating fabric applique murals and artworks about a central theme of interconnectedness. These completed large murals are woven into a creative story about Evie a girl who carries a ball or red twine, a box and a twig into the forest. At first Evie wants to catch a squirrel, so she makes a trap from her box and then becomes angry when the squirrel eludes her trap. Her first lesson is titled "Duckflap," illustrated by a beautiful fabric mural of a duck who flaps to set anger free. Evie goes on to learn five important lessons in interconnectedness, living in the present, learning to listen to her inner voice, flowing through life without resisting what happens, and finally, "Squircle," an experience of coming full circle by sharing a connection with all beings and things. Each enlightenment is fabulously interpreted by a joint project fabric art mural made, and retained by a different school. The narrative pictures in black and white with red twine help describe the inner journey completed by Evie. A truly unique creative feature of "Squircle" is the creative connecting of two words to make a new joint concept, like "Duckflap," "Fishflow," "Right -Now-A-Pillar Time," "Deerly Listen," and of course, "Squircle." "Squircle" is a truly wonderful children's book that has to be savored, published by Wooden Nickel Press, whose mission is described as "to publish books that exhibit an original & inspired connection between storytelling and fine art. Certainly the quality of art and storytelling displayed in "Squircle" is extremely fine, deserving wide acclaim and deeply educational enjoyment. Although "Squircle" is technically a children's book, easily accessible to those age 6 and up, adults will also find it fascinating and rewarding to read and examine. What a gift to all!

Where's the Gold?
Donald W. Kruse, author
Josie Shipman, illustrator
James A. Rock & Company Publishers
c/o Castle Keep Press
900 South Irby St., #508, Florence, SC 29501
9781596638570 $12.95

"Where's the Gold?" is a rhyming book of fun treasure hunting farm animals led by Buck, the one-eyed pig and friend Tweet, a green parakeet. Led by a courageous worm named Mack, Buck and Tweet search through the fields of Farmer Pete and wife Mabel for fabled but elusive gold. Humorous colored illustrations show the animals having great adventures through their day of searching for the gold, meeting new animal friends and watching animal parents care for their young with love. "Where's the Gold?" ends with a fantastic scene of all the animals, owl, pig, worm, parakeet and lamb, seated around a table with Mabel and Pete enjoying a feast of farm bounty, love and laughter. Guess where and what the gold and treasure on the farm really is? Readers age 5 and up will enjoy this uplifting modern fable of bounty, nurturing, and cross species love.

I Can't Do Anything!
Thierry Robberecht, author
Annick Masson, illustrator
Magination Press
PO Box 92984
Washington, DC 20090-2984
9781433813092 $14.95

I Can't Do Anything is a playful children's picturebook designed not only to entertain children, but also to help open a conversation with them about which behaviors are socially acceptable and which are not. A young girl who is perturbed that she can't openly display the same behaviors that she sees in animals - "Chameleon sticks his tongue out. I cant! / Monkey makes funny faces. I have to smile nicely for the picture!" Eventually she learns that she can be a well-behaved girl around other people, but enjoy her passion for animal antics in front of the mirror in the privacy of her own room. A final page offers tips for parents about how to teach children to behave properly in public. "Children often need to be reminded of family rules when the context changes. For example, a child who has learned to read quietly in the library may not notice that a similar behavior is required during a hospital visit (when this is a new experience)." I Can't Do Anything! is entertaining practical, and highly recommended!

Yes, Let's
Galen Goodwin Longstreth & Maris Wicks
4400 Hulman St., Terre Haute, IN 47804
9781933718873, $15.95,

Getting out and doing things is so very important for having fun. "Yes, Let's" is a children's picturebook following a family as they proceed through their day in the woods, exploring, swimming, and so much more along the way. A fun read for young people about the joys of the outdoors, "Yes, Let's" is a fine addition to picturebook collections.

I Hate Picture Books!
Timothy Young
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road
Atglen, PA 19310
9780764343872, $16.99,

Everyone remembers their picturebooks, but Max wants to be done with them. "I Hate Picture Books!" is a humorous look at picturebooks with parody and love for young readers as Max thinks he outgrows his beloved picturebooks, hating their stories and the advice he finds within them. As he regrets his decision to throw them out, he learns much about imagination. "I Hate Picture Books!" is a fine treasure of knowledge, very much recommended.

Grandma Has Wings
Mary Murray Bosrock, author
Darcy Bell-Myers, illustrator
Beaver's Pond Press
7108 Ohms Lane
Edina, MN 55439
9781592985586, $15.95,

We get older, as does our body. "Grandma Has Wings" is a charming children's picturebook surrounding the love a grandmother has for her children, turning the slight unavoidable flab of age into the embrace of a grandmother's love as she tells the story of her wing's presence of her presence. "Grandma Has Wings" is a warm and recommended addition for young readers learning about the importance of family, much recommended.

Puffin Peter
Petr Horcek
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street
Somerville, MA 02144
9780763665722, $16.99,

Friendship can cause us to search the world. "Puffin Peter" is a children's picturebook following Peter the Puffin as he seeks out his lost friend Paul, finding friendship with a big blue whale in the process as their search takes them all over the oceans of the world. A fun, colorful, and insightful read, "Puffin Peter" is a must for children's picturebook collections, not to be missed.

Six Little Chicks
Jez Alborough
250 Wireless Boulevard
Hauppauge, NY 11788
978143801814, $6.99,

Through teamwork and bravery, you can accomplish anything. "Six Little Chicks" is a fun children's picturebook following five little chicks as they find themselves threatened by the fears of the big bad fox. On the run, and with the help of a stick, they hold off the fox until help can arrive and invite the sixth chick into their family. "Six Little Chicks" is a warm read for very young readers, deftly written and illustrated by Jez Alborough, highly recommended.

Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep
Joyce Dunbar & Debi Gliori
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116
9780547940595, $11.99,

Nice thoughts can keep the bad dreams away from us. "Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep" is a charming children's picturebook as Willoughby seeks to be there and advise his frightened little sister Willa as she is haunted by nightmares. With a happy story, he lets her sleep. "Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep" is a charming story and treasure, highly recommended for more picturebook collections.

Maya Was Grumpy
Courtney Pippin-Mathur
Flash Light Press
c/o Independent Publishers Group
814 North Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
9781936261130, $16.95,

Grumpy people are no fun, and grumpy people ought to realize this. "Maya Was Grumpy" is a children's picturebook following young Maya as she faces the results of her grumpiness, and her grandmother seeks to break her out of the grouch, by reminding her of all the things that grumpy people can't do. "Maya Was Grumpy" is a fun read deftly written and illustrated by Courtney Pippin-Mathur, making for a choice and very much highly recommended read.

Arthur Geisert
Enchanted Lion Books
20 Jay Street, Studio M-18
Brooklyn, NY 11201
9781592701330, $17.95,

A thunderstorm over the Midwest plains can be a serious threat and challenge. "Thunderstorm" is a children's picturebook detailing the ins and outs of what happens when a big thunderstorm hits the great plains, those huge torrents of water pouring down on the Midwest. Visually driven, telling the fears that many people in the Midwest have as these storms hit, with leaks, floods, tornadoes, and much more threatening the region, "Thunderstorm" is an enticing and recommended addition to children's picturebook collections, not to be missed.

Engine Number Ten
Rose Ann Woolpert
9781939341013, $17.99,

The railways of the west were built by hard labor and struggles westward. "Engine Number Ten" presents a moving story of the old west, using a drawing and photographical art style, telling the story of diesel engine number ten, who is driven to still prove she is as good as any of the newer engines. A unique way of telling the story of the railways into California, "Engine Number Ten" is a charming and much recommended addition to children's picturebook collections, highly recommended.

Little Miss Molly
Melissa M. Williams, author
Kelley Ryan, illustrator
Longtale Publishing
6825 Long Drive, Houston, TX 77087
9780985470517, $16.95,

Princessdom is more than lots of pink and pretty. "Little Miss Molly" is a children's picturebook following young lizard Molly as she embraces her love of being a princess and soon learns there is more to being a princess than the fancy stuff around her. A story of friendship and responsibility, "Little Miss Molly" is charming full color picturebook, not to be overlooked.

The Zoo's Annual Piggyback Race
Matt Harrigan, author
Melinda Beavers, illustrator
9780987343703, $6.99,

A race across the zoo brings the animals all together. "The Zoo's Annual Piggyback Race" is a humorous children's picturebook telling of twin pigs as they try to rush through the course and avoid the difficulties the other animals face through steady teamwork. With a charming and pretty art style from Melinda Beavers, Matt Harrigan's "The Zoo's Annual Piggyback Race" is not to be missed, highly recommended.

Mama, Let's Make a Moon
Clay Rice
9781938301063, $16.95,

How do you make a moon? "Mama, Let's Make a Moon" is a charming rhyming children's picturebook with a touching woodcut-inspired art style all throughout. The children gather the ingredients from Mama's recipes and follow her instructions to make their own moon in the sky to replace the one that's missing. Moving and intriguing, "Mama, Let's Make a Moon" is charming and much recommended for picturebook collections seeking something different and new.

Julien Beziat
Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
195 Allstate Parkway
Markham, Ontario Canada L3R 4T8
9781554552757, $9.95,

An artist can use their skills for more than creating trinkets. "Mako" tells the story of an artistic walrus who isn't understood by his friends for his ice sculptures. When his group is hit with tragedy, Mako uses his skills as an artist to save his family and friends with his art, showing that every skill can have a use. "Mako" is a charming read with a powerful message, highly recommended for children's picturebook collections.

Maestro Stu Saves The Zoo
Denise Brennan-Nelson, author
Tim Bowers, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
Suite 200, 315 East Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585368020, $15.95,

To save a zoo, a young boy must unite all the animals who dwell there. "Maestro Stu Saves The Zoo" is a lyrical children's picturebook beautifully illustrated by Tim Bowers, as author Denise Brennan-Nelson tells a story of how young Stu struggles to save his favorite zoo from being plowed over in favor of a shopping mall. A choice pick for young animal fans, "Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo" is a read not to be overlooked, highly recommended.

Red Rose and Blue Butterfly
Sara Sirotzky, author
Andra Weber, illustrator
1050 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781450795944, $17.95,

Good friendship is an invaluable trait. "Red Rose and Blue Butterfly" tells the story of the two titular friends and the power of their friendship, and the despair they face when separated. Charming, uplifting, and sure to delight, "Red Rose and Blue Butterfly" is a strong addition to children's picturebook on a lower level of reading.

The Civil War Shelf

An Overview of the American Civil War Through Primary Sources
Carin T. Ford, author
Enslow Publishers, Inc.
40 Industrial Road, Box 398
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
9780766041240 $ tba

Part of an American Civil War history series for middle school students, "An Overview of the American Civil War Through Primary Sources" presents an illustrated overview of the American Civil War, with information on the causes of conflict, Union vs. Confederacy outlook origins, microcosms of the major battles, strategies and important figures, and brief analysis of the outcome of the Civil War, with foreshadowings of future issues. Throughout the hardbound text, identified primary sources are quoted or shown, including many period illustrations and photographs, in addition to informative sidebars containing pertinent information and study points. Also included are chapter notes, a glossary, further reading (including books and internet addresses) and a timeline. Written at about a 4th -5th grade level, "An Overview of the American civil War Through Primary Sources" encourages students to dig deeper to understand this historic conflict and resolution. Other highly recommended texts in this series by the same author include the following: "The Civil War's African-American Soldiers Through Primary Sources (9780766041257)," "Women of the Civil War Through Primary Sources (9780766041288)," and "The Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln, and Slavery Through Primary Sources (9780766041295)."

The World History Shelf

Three Years and Eight Months
Icy Smith, author
Jennifer Kindert, illustrator
East West Discovery Press
PO Box 3585, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
9780985623784, $20.95,

Empire leads to occupation, and occupation leads to resistance. "Three Years and Eight Months" is a children's picturebook set during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. Seeking to tell the story of the atrocities the Chinese faced at the hands of the Japanese, "Three Years and Eight Months" portrays the resistance efforts a Chinese-American boy, and the courage of the occupied people who had to endure until the Japanese forces were beat back. "Three Years and Eight Months" is an intriguing bit of history for advanced picturebook readers with highly technical art style from Jennifer Kindert. Highly recommended.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Chinese Fables
Shiho S. Nunes
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive
North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804841528, $16.95,

Fables are stories that prove timeless, as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. "Chinese Fables: "The Dragon Slayer and Other Timeless Tales of Wisdom" is a collection of short fables from Chinese folklore, presenting them in short read-along format with charming artwork from Lak-Khee Tay-Audoudard capturing the cultural essence strongly in the process. "Chinese Fables" is a choice addition to those looking for a children's picturebook with a wide array of morality around life and living.

The Peaceable Forest
Kosa Ely, author
Anna Johansson, illustrator
Insight Editions
PO Box 3088
San Rafael, CA 94912
9781608871155, $16.99,

Life is precious, no matter what lives. "The Peaceable Forest: India's Tale of Kindness to Animals" draws from an ancient fable as a hunter is shown by a sage the power of the proverb of do unto others and teaches the hunter much about respect to nature. With a good message about the benefits of compassion, "The Peaceable Forest" has beautiful illustrations from Anna Johansson, making for a treasure of a children's picturebook.

The Environmental Shelf

Cathryn Sill, author, John Sill, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781561456895, $7.95,

The wetlands have lots of curious animals that fill the imagination of children. "Wetlands: About Habitats" is a children's picturebook that seeks to tell children what they can see in the wetlands, the creatures, the plants, the water, and much more. With colorful and detailed artwork from John Sill, "Wetlands" is a choice addition to any children's picturebook collection, highly recommended.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Terra Tempo: The Four Corners of Time
David Shapiro, author
Christopher Herndon, illustrator
Color by Erica Melville
Craigmore Creations
2900 SE Stark Street, Suite 1A
Portland, OR 97214
9780984442263 $17.99

The second, full-color graphic novel in the "Terra Tempo" series, Terra Tempo: The Four Corners of Time continues the time-traveling journeys of Jenna, Caleb, and Ari. When Ari discovers a new time map of the Colorado Plateau, the three friends look forward to embarking on new adventures - but can any amount of preparation protect them from marauding prehistoric predators, eras with low oxygen levels, and greed-driven rogue time travelers obsessed with seizing the map at any price? Grounded firmly in the latest discoveries of science, geology, and natural history, the Terra Tempo series is peppered with amazing educational facts throughout. Terra Tempo is a grand, action-packed adventure, ideal for young adults yet entertaining for all ages. Also highly recommended is the first graphic novel in the series, Terra Tempo: Ice Age Cataclysm (9780984442218, $14.99).

Saint Francis and Brother Duck
Jay Stoeckl, SFO
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568
Orleans, MA 02653
9781612611594 $15.99

Ideal for readers ages eight and up, Saint Francis and Brother Duck is a colorful, graphic novel biography of one of the most famous and beloved Catholic saints of all time. Only one fictional character is incorporated into the story - a little black duck with the gift of speech, whom Francis rescues and befriends. All other characters, and all other events in Saint Francis' life, are from historical testimonies and records. Readers will learn of a man who was born into a wealthy family, yet was touched with visions from a higher power; he forsook a life of comfort to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ in humility. He worked to restore dilapidated churches, founded monastic orders (including one for women), and even put his life on the line in an attempt to end the bloodshed of the Crusades. Above all, he loved and cherished the natural splendor of God's world. Although Saint Francis and Brother Duck is intended for younger readers, Christians of all ages will enjoy this heartfelt portrayal of a truly kind, principled, and spiritual man. Highly recommended, especially for public library and Sunday School collections. "[Young Francis]: 'I have had all that one could ever want. Yet you only have this garden and San Damiano, a decrepit old church. Why do you seem so content?' [Old man]: 'Could it be that the things we think make us happy are sometimes the things that make us unhappy?'"

Big Nate and Friends
Lincoln Peirce
Andrews McMeel
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449420437, $9.99,

Big Nate and Friends provides black and white cartoon images to tell of sixth-grader Nate, whose best friends stick with him despite many adventures and misguided attempts be a 'bad boy'. This Big Nate adventure has him joining with other friends - Gina, the teacher's pet, and more, and brings to life Nate's funny mis-adventures using a black and white cartoon format that will especially lure non-readers. The result is a recommendation for any collection that looks for the cartoon format paired with a series of lively stories accessible to grades 3-4.

The Audiobook Shelf

Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar
James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou, authors
Cassandra Morris, narrator
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
9781619696914 $17.98

Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a young adult novel from the perspective a middle school girl, Georgia Khatchadorian, who has just about had it with her irritating brother Rafe's insults and accusations (well, his claim that she stole a pudding cup might technically be true). Georgia is determined to set the record straight, in this delightfully uproarious sibling rivalry story. A PDF of the original illustrations of the book rounds out this lighthearted audio adventure, highly recommended especially for public and school library children's audiobook collections. 3 CDs, 3.5 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Whatever I Want To Be
Young Avenue Kids
Waldmania! (publicity)
130 Maywood Drive
San Francisco, CA 94127

Intended for young people ages 2-8, Whatever I Want To Be is an award-winning children's music CD that pairs classical music with educational lyrics. Children sing the catchy, freewheeling lyrics about dreams for the future, and multiple bonus tracks are devoted to their comments about the great music composers whose creations inspire listeners of all ages to this day. Whatever I Want To Be is a wonderful gift for young people, and highly recommended especially for elementary school and public library children's music collections. The tracks are "Blast Off With Suppe", "The Orchestra Families", "The Gorgeous Butterfly", "William Tell Is Oh So Swell", "Nighttime In The Toy Store", "Whatever I Want To Be", "Clouds", "Clean Up Time", "That's The Way To Brush Your Teeth", "The Circus", and "The Kids Speak About The Composers". 52 min.

Latin Dreamland
Putumayo Kids
c/o Beth Blenz-Clucas Publicity
5505 SW Illinois Street
Portland, OR 97221

Latin Dreamland is a wonderful music CD of children's lullabies from an assortment of Latin American nations. Though the lyrics are primarily in Spanish, the beautiful, soothing nature of these delightful sleepytime songs transcends the language barrier. Each song is by a different performer, and both original and classic tunes are represented. Latin Dreamland is a sweet serenade, highly recommended for listeners of all ages who enjoy beautiful lullabies. The tracks are "Este era un Conejo", "Cancion de Cuna", "Noite de Lembrar", "A. Jardineira", "Cucurrucucu Paloma", "El Eco", "Cunita de Hielo (por Triste)", "Sorriso de Jequitiba", "Un Vals", and "Cielito Lindo".

The DVD Shelf

Charlie: A Toy Story
Entertainment One
22 Harbor Park Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050
1417239832 $14.98

Charlie: A Toy Story is a live-action movie in which 10-year-old Caden (played by Raymond Ochoa) and his beloved golden retriever Charlie embark on an adventure to counter the plans of the local bullies, who are scheming to break into the "Wonder Toy Shop" owned by Caden's dad. Laugh-out-loud hijinks and larger-than-life adventures ensue! Upbeat and uproarious, Charlie: A Toy Story brings out the inner child in viewers of all ages, and is a wonderful pick for family movie night. 99 min., English SDH subtitles.

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend
Melanie Watt
Weston Woods
c/o Scholastic
557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012-3999
0545478138, $59.95,

Friendship shouldn't be something someone should be afraid of. "Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend" captures Melanie Watt's children's picturebook in video form, following the struggles of young Scaredy Squirrel as he faces the challenges of making a friend. Scaredy soon learns that friends can have surprising returns for him and that he shouldn't afraid of friends anymore. This educational DVD contains the twelve minute book with a read-along option, closed captioning, subtitles and interactive menus. "Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend" is a choice addition to expanding any young reader's repertoire for low level read-alongs and teaching the importance of friendship. 12 minutes. Also from Scholastic is "I'm Fast!" (054547809X, $59.95), granting the same experience following John the train as he tries to keep up his same speed no matter what is put in front in front of him, be it mountain or blizzard. 8 minutes.

The Augustine Story
Vision Video
P.O. Box 540
Worcester, PA 19490

Intended for young Christians ages 8-12, The Augustine Story is an animated children's DVD about a noble figure in early Christianity. Augustine was a talented young man who rebelled against his devout Christian mother. Seeking his fortune in the city of Rome, he earned a position as "The Voice of the Emperor", with money and luxury. When the empire is about to seize the Christian basilica, Augustine must give a pivotal speech against Christianity. At a crossroads in life, he must choose whether he will serve the Empire or the his own faith, and that of his mother. An inspirational tale of standing up for one's convictions, The Augustine Story is a worthy entrant in the "The Torchlighters: Heroes of the Faith" DVD series, highly recommended. Bonus features include a "leader's guide" with lesson plans, reproducible student handouts, and "Augustine: A Voice for All Generations", a 55-minute documentary. English and Spanish audio and subtitle options, 30 min. plus 55 min. bonus.

The Activity Shelf

The Wind At Work, second edition
Gretchen Woelfle
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
9781613741009, $16.95,

From iconic Holland windmills to today's cutting edge wind turbines, humans have tried to harness the power of the wind to produce energy to power machinery. Now in a completely updated, deftly revised, and significantly expanded second edition, "The Wind at Work: An Activity Guide to Windmills" by Gretchen Woelfle is a 160 page compendium of information and some two-dozen do-it-yourself activities to explain and illustrate the history science behind wind power. Informed, informative, and ideal for children ages 9 and up, "The Wind at Work: An Activity Guide to Windmills" is very highly recommended for family, school, and community library reference and study guide collections.

The Fiction Shelf

I Want To Do Yoga Too
Carole P. Roman, author/illustrator
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
9781475015584 $9.25 pbk. / $0.99 Kindle

"I Want To Do Yoga Too" is a charming illustrated book for young children about a girl named Hallie who wants to do yoga like her mom does. At first Hallie is very unhappy when her mom leaves her with Robin and several other children while she goes to her yoga class. But Robin teaches Hallie to stand like a tree, balance on one leg, sit cross legged in a butterfly pose, and finally stretch out on the floor like a cobra. Each time Hallie complains she really wants to do yoga, but in the end, she learns she has been learning yoga poses called the Tree, the Airplane, the Butterfly, and the Cobra. A happy Hallie leaves her yoga babysitter asking if she can come and do yoga again tomorrow.

Night Buddies
Sands Hetherington
Dune Buggy Press
9780984741724, $8.99,

NIGHT BUDDIES: IMPOSTERS AND ONE FAR-OUT FLYING MACHINE is thick for a chapter book, but is a satisfying work of juvenile fiction for those reading at more than a beginner's chapter book level. John Degraffenreidt's night is enlivened by a bright red crocodile named Crosley who craws from under his bed to become friends, and immediately the Night Buddies are formed, with adventure in mind. Crosley may be unique, but look-alikes have begun popping up all around town, committing crimes and causing confusion. It's up to the Night Buddies to stop them - and wild chases and fantastic schemes permeate a powerful story line peppered with black and white illustrations by Jessica Love. Pineapple cheesecakes, salamanders, and monsters abound in a whimsical and fun selection of stories kids will find simply compelling!

Z. Egloff
Bywater Press
PO Box 3671, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
9781612940236, $14.95,

There's a point in our lives where everything just seems to fall apart. "Leap" is a coming of age novel from Z. Egloff, as he tells the story of Rowan, a new adult into the world with high school behind her. But her boyfriend vanishes, her brother is destined for self-destruction and taking the family with him, and everything else just seems to go wrong. How does one cope with everything going astray? "Leap" a riveting young adult read, much recommended.

Truths I Learned From Sam
Kristin Butcher
Dundurn Press
c/o The Dundurn Group
3 Church Street, Suite 500
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5E 1M2
9781459706903, $12.99,

You can make the best out of bad situations but life can still be out to ruin it for you. "Truths I Learned From Sam" is a novel intended for young adults ages twelve and up. The story follows Dani, daughter of chronic marriage junkie who is sent to her unknown uncle in her latest honeymoon. When she starts to find something worth doing at her uncle's place, life seems out to get her and threatens to destroy all good she has found. "Truths I Learned From Sam" is a fine coming of age tale, not to be missed.

M in the Abstract
Douglas Davey
Red Deer Press
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
195 Allstate Parkway
Markham, Ontario L3R 4T8
9780889954878, $12.95,

As teenager status hits, the world seems so much bigger and more confusing. "M in the Abstract" is a coming of age novel from Douglas Davey as he tells the story of young Mary, a girl coping with the secrets she keeps from the world, the shadows within her. Wit a powerful story talking to all of us, "M in the Abstract" is a strong addition to young adult fiction collections, highly recommended.

The Science Shelf

Mystery Files: Impossible Science
James Bow
Crabtree Publishing Co.
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor
New York, NY 10118
9780778780090 $27.60

From an educational juvenile science series "Impossible Science" contains condensed chapters on such unlikely topics as eternal life, creating life, perpetual motion, time travel, alien life, teleportation, thinking automata, black holes, element creation (gold) and the death ray, all presented in with informative sidebars, photographs, and extra current information incorporated. Written to interest students age 11 and up, "Impossible Science" briefly presents and explores a number of fascinating examples of "impossible science" and includes a glossary, web site references, and bibliography. The format is funky and appealing, while the material is intriguing and enticing to middle grade science students. Another juvenile educational title by the same publisher is "United States The People, A Bobbie Kalman Book," from the lands, Peoples and Cultures Series by Bobbie Kalman (9780778798361, $26.60).

Endeavor's Long Journey, Celebrating 19 Years of Space Exploration
John D. Olivas, author
Gayle Garner Roske, artist
East West Discovery Press
9780985623722 $19.95

"Endeavor's Long Journey" is a fascinating fiction-framed account of the space odyssey of space shuttle Endeavor (flight mission 1992-2011). While visiting the science museum, young Jojo finds himself on an imaginary journey with the Endeavor, who explains her mission and purpose in space to him as they float and fly. Jojo learns many exciting details about space travel and the goal of Endeavor's missions. At the end Jojo returns to his Mom and family at the science center, excited to learn more about the fantastic space shuttle his grandfather helped to build. "Endeavor's Long Journey" has several additional learning features, including Endeavor Fun Facts, Endeavor's Famous Firsts (also including the Famous Firsts of Discovery, Atlantis, Columbia, and Challenger, older retired space shuttles), a Space Quiz with answers at the end, and Endeavor's Final Journey to the California Science Center. In addition to the science and space education values of "Endeavor's Long Journey," a sound subtext message about the value of strong cooperation among many different individuals is carefully conveyed. Color illustrations sensitively express these goals and add detail. "Endeavor's Long Journey" is excellent educational material, recommended reading for children age 7 and up.

Stronger Than Steel
Bridget Heos
Houghton Mifflin
215 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003
9780547681269, $18.99,

STRONGER THAN STEEL: SPIDER SILK, DNA AND THE QUEST FOR BETTER BULLETPROOF VESTS, SUTURES, AND PARACHUTE ROPE is a recommended pick for kids with good reading skills in grades 4-5, and provides a fine survey of weaver spiders, their impressive webs, and how spiders' silk-spinning abilities have implications for science and medicine alike. Readers learn about scientist Randy Lewis, who is investigating spider silk and its properties, and receive many color photos illustrating his research and his findings. Spider silk may sometime be used to mend broken bones: this covers different types of silk, the hunt for spider silk genes, and the creation of a transgenetic goat. The publication of such a technical topic structured for elementary-level readers is quite an achievement - and highly recommended for any serious science holding at the elementary school grade level.

The Motorboat Book
Ed Sobey
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
9781613744475 $14.95

The Motorboat Book: Build & Launch 20 Jet Boats, Paddle-Wheelers, Electric Submarines & More is an easy-to-use guide to building the nautical equivalent of model trains. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the instructions for creating twenty different water-worthy, self-propelled boats; in the process, the hobbyist learns about the basic science, technology, engineering, and mathematical principles that keep his or her creations afloat. Although The Motorboat Book is accessible to young people ages 9 and up (with parental guidance, especially when crafting battery-powered water devices), nautically-inclined hobbyists of all ages and backgrounds will thoroughly enjoy the hands-on, how-to projects. Highly recommended, especially as a fun way to kick-start young adults' enthusiasm in science!

Weird Rocks
Michele Corriel, author
Dan Bilyeu, illustrator
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399
Missoula, MT 59806
9780878425976, $12.00,

Rocks are everywhere, in many curious designs and structures. "Weird Rocks" is a children's picturebook exploring the countless types of interesting rocks around the world. With photography, geological information, interesting facts, and illustrations all throughout, "Weird Rocks" is a fun way to introduce science-curious youths into the ideas of geology and encouraging further learning, highly recommended for children's picturebook collections with a focus on science.

The Cookbook Shelf

Cool Kids Cook
Kid Chef Eliana
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street
Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455617623, $14.95,

You don't need to be able to drive to make great food. "Cool Kids Cook: Louisiana" is a cookbook aimed at young people as renown by cooks of every age Kid Chef Eliana as she provides plenty of recipes that young people of any age can follow to encourage them to take up cooking and make good food for themselves and their family, with plenty of trivia alongside it. "Cool Kids Cook" is an enticing and recommended addition to cookbook and children's collection's, not to be missed.

The ABC Shelf

Maine ABC
Susan Ramsay Hoguet
Down East Books
PO Box 679
Camden, ME 04843
9781608931828, $14.99,

The state of Maine has its own quaint history. "Maine ABC" is an alphabet Children's picturebook exploring the features of the states with a little rhyme for each letter of the alphabet. For anyone seeking to teach their young people a little about the state of Maine or just alphabet books in general, "Maine ABC" is a fine pick for children's community library collections, recommended.

The Counting Shelf

Busy Farm: Count to 10
Kane/Miller Book Publishers
c/o EDC Publishing
4901 Morena Blvd., Suite 213
San Diego, CA 92117
9781610671460 $9.99

Part of Kane/Miller's "Books in Action" pop-up series, Busy Farm: Count to 10 is a colorful pop-up book designed to help little people begin counting. The countable, pop-up images of hardworking farm animals interleave between the pages, and there are ten hidden mice to find too! Busy Farm is too delicate for public library collections, but little children are sure to enjoy counting the playful animals, perhaps with a little help from Mom and Dad in managing the extravagant pop-up scenes. Also recommended for stimulating young minds is another volume in the "Books in Action" pop-up series, "Busy Town: Things to Find" (9781610671477, $9.99), featuring a bustling city filled with colorful images, playing children, and a little bird hidden on every page.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy
Tui T. Sutherland
Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012-3999
9780545349239 $6.99

The first book of the "Wings of Fire" series, Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy kicks off an epic saga of intelligent dragons! A terrible war has engulfed the dragon tribes of the world for generations, but a ray of hope lies in the mysterious Prophecy that five special dragonets would bring the brutal fighting to an end. Clay, a MudWing dragonet, is one of those selected to change the world - but he doesn't feel like a great hero, or a legendary peacemaker. Does fulfilling the prophecy have to come at the cost of his freedom? Is it even possible for the many dragon species to change their war-torn world? Young adults will adore this exciting adventure, and dragon lovers of all ages will appreciate Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy as a well-crafted high fantasy.

Little Jane and the Nameless Isle, A Little Jane Silver Adventure
Adira Rotstein
2250 Military Road
Tonawanda, NY 14150
9781459704206 $12.99

"Little Jane and the Nameless Isle" is the swashbuckling sequel to "Little Jane Silver," a series of fantasy adventure chapter books written for middle school age readers interested in a strong female protagonist. Little Jane's parents, Long John Silver and Bonnie Mary Bright are kidnapped by the evil pirate Fetzcaro Madsea and forced to guide him to their hidden treasure through the dangerous terrors of the Nameless Isle. Little Jane and her friends are determined to rescue her parents and thwart the evil Madsea, overcoming multiple exotic novelty dangers on the island, including strange orange birds. Suspense builds and action moves quickly, while poetic passages describe reactions and feelings of the heroine and others. "Little Jane and the Nameless Isle" is part of a series and subtitled "A Little Jane Silver Adventure." It features excellent writing of high interest to juveniles of both sexes, with an emphasis on adventure, analysis, pluck and inner resourcefulness.

Royal Bite
Iliana Pellot
Three Towers Press
c/o HenschelHAUS Publishing
2625 S. Greeley St., Suite 201
Milwaukee, WI 53207
9781595981974 $9.95 pbk.
9781595981998 $4.99 Kindle

The debut novel of 13-year-old author Iliana Pellot, Royal Bite is a young adult fantasy featuring dark creatures, love, and battle to protect a mystic realm. Sapphire is a dazzlingly beautiful and principled champion, fighting her own twin brother for the sake of the land's freedom. She's also a vampire and a werewolf! And she cannot protect the people alone - she must enlist the aid of witches, trolls, pixies, and fierce yet loyal dragon named Anika to secure the Sapphire Stone before all is lost. Told in first person from Sapphire's point of view, Royal Bite is a grand adventure sure to resonate with young fantasy lovers, especially girls.

The Tale of Rebecca The Chased
Paul Vincent Rodriguez
Renaissance Peak
15400 W 64th Avenue Unit, #9C-149
Arvada, CO 80007
9780984328147, $9.97,

A mother's love is something to never be tossed away. "The Tale of Rebecca The Chased" is a young adult novel from Paul Vincent Rodriguez, telling of a mother and daughter of fairies and their eem - their bond. Becca doesn't want to do everything her Mother's way as she ages into a teenager, and tries to shake free of her. But things will happen...and make her appreciate the kindness of a mother. "The Tale of Rebecca The Chased" is a strong pick for young adult readers with a taste for fantasy, recommended.

Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010

J.A. Sounders' RENEGADE (9780765332455, $17.99) provides a psychological thriller fantasy with a powerful female protagonist involved in a thrilling mystery. Romance, intrigue, and fantasy blend wonderfully in a spirited story of teen Evelyn, who lives in an utopian underwater world, Elysium, as an adopted Daughter of the People being groomed to take over her community. She's been selected for her ideal genes and believes in her perfect world - until a dreaded Surface Dweller breaks into her vision and introduces her to the concept that her entire existence may be a lie. Facing the fact that her memories have been altered and her own Mother is a monster, Evelyn plans an escape - only to find she is a time bomb. A gripping saga evolves, packed with unexpected twists and turns. Kristen Simmons' BREAKING POINT (9780765329592, $17.99) tells of Ember and Chase, who have faked their own deaths to escape from prison and are lying low in hopes of evading pursuers. Unfortunately they are discovered - by the Resistance, an underground organization working to bring down the government - and Ember finds she is Most Wanted on more than one list. Peace seems an illusion and she may have only one recourse: fight back; whether she wants to or not! This is a fine saga perfect for any teen reader looking for strong characterization and satisfying twists and turns of plot.

Random House/Delacorte/Knopf
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1
New York, NY 10019

Dale E. Basye's PRECOCIA: THE SIXTH CIRCLE OF HECK (9780375868351, $16.99) tells of Bea Bubb, the Principal of Darkness, who sends Milton and Marlo back to Precocia, the circle of Heck for kids who grow up too fast. There kids are forced to act like adults, school is a job, and the time clock punches any who are late. A top secret program at the school's infirmary involve vice principals Napoleon and Cleopatra in a plot to eliminate childhood altogether in this vivid fantasy for grades 5-6. Kimberly Newton Fusco's BEHOLDING BEE (9780375868368, $16.99) tells of orphan Bee, who lives with a carnival and endures teasing for the birthmark on her face - until an unwanted stray dog enters her life and leads her to realize she must find them both a better home. When she discovers an idyllic house with gingerbread trim and two mysterious women who want to help her, at first she feels at home - and they are helping Bee, too. Can they help her rejoin the world? A powerful story of community evolves. Kirby Larson's HATTIE EVER AFTER (9780385737463, $16.99) is set in 1919 Montana and tells of Hattie, who pays off her uncle's debt and is free at last. But instead of leaving town she decides to spend a year in Montana trying to make a go of a long-lost uncle's homestead claim, rejecting marriage and security for the sake of adventure and time staking out her own claim to life. A fine frontier saga emerges, perfect for any young adult reader in grades 5-6.

The Poetry Shelf

Poems to Learn by Heart
Caroline Kennedy, editor
Jon J. Muth, illustrator
c/o Hyperion Books for Children
114 Fifth Avenue, 14th floor
New York, NY 10011
9781423108054 $19.99

Illustrated throughout with evocative watercolor paintings by Jon J. Muth, Poems to Learn by Heart is a hardcover anthology of poems for children (or adults with the "child-at-heart" quality) to enjoy. Poet Caroline Kennedy has selected classic poems written by a vast diversity of authors and poets throughout human history. Kennedy briefly introduces each thematic group of poems with comments designed to get the reader thinking, but Poems to Learn by Heart is primarily devoted to the joy of experiencing the rhythmic written word. "Ukase by Private First Class C.G. Tiggas: When this is over / And we come home again, / Forget the band / And the cheers from the stand, / Just have the things / Well in hand- / The things we fought for. / Understand?" Poems to Learn by Heart is a true treasury, ideal for gift-giving or public library children's collections.

The Native American Shelf

No Borders
Darla Evyagotailak and Mindy Willett, authors
Tessa Macintosh, photography
Fifth House Publishers
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
195 Allstate Parkway
Markham, Ontario Canada L3R 4T8
9781927083079 $19.95

Part of the "This Land Is Our Storybook" children's series of books about the cultures of Canada's Northwest Territories and Nunavut, No Borders blends full-color photographs and first-person testimonies to give young readers a vivid picture of traditional nomadic life. Author Darla Evyagotailak is a 16-year-old girl who goes to a modern high school and plays soccer, but her maternal great-grandparents grew up in a completely different manner, and they teach her about the long history of their people's traditions. "Roy shows Darla how to feel through the layers of the snow with an unaaq (snow probe). For an iglu to be strong, the snow has to be consistent throughout an entire block. The best snow to use has been blown by the wind. When you walk on top of the snow it should be strong." No Borders is an excellent addition to children's public and school library collections, especially multicultural and Native American shelves.

Be Brave, Tah-hy!: The Journey of Chief Joseph's Daughter
Jack R. Williams, author
Jo Proferes, illustrator
Washington State University Press
Pullman, WA 00164
9780874223132 $29.95

"Be Brave, Tah-hy!: The Journey of Chief Joseph's Daughter" is a young adult narrative of the experience of Chief Joseph's daughter Tah-hy during their eviction, war, and forced flight from inland Northwest homelands in June, 1877. Assisted by living Nez Perce elders and cultural demonstrators, the author reconstructs Tah-hy's voice and story as authentically as possible, finishing a text project begun in the 1970's with multiple subsequent revisions, but never before published. Great hardship and survival challenges are experienced by 12 year old Tah-hy and her father's band as they flee pursued by U.S. Cavalry. The book describes the band's flight to Canada and time spent with Chief Sitting Bull and the Lakota, before their eventual return to Lapwai and a strange new life with missionaries and Agent John Monteith. "Be Brave, Tah-hy!" is further enhanced by many detailed oil paintings and pen and ink drawings by native American artist Jo Proferes, as well as black and white photographs of the people, time and places in the narrative of "Be Brave, Tah-hy!" Many words of the Nez Perce language are incorporated into the story, and a glossary of terms at the end of the book is most helpful. Pertinent customs and details of the Nimiipuu Dreamer culture emerge in the words of Tah-hy, as do many painful recollections of cruelty and betrayal between Soyapo (white) and Nez Perce survivors. The book ends with the illness and death of Tah-hy, who is granted a final heartbreaking deathbed request to see her father once again, a thing denied her by the terms of the treaty Chief Joseph agreed to. "Be Brave, Tah-hy!" is not a typical young adult historical fiction work. It was written for Nez Perce classroom use, but it is now available to all to learn more of this fascinating culture, tribe, and individual.

The Music Shelf

Want to Be in a Band?
Suzzy Roche and Giselle Potter
Schwarz Wade Books
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780375868795, $17.99,

Want to Be in a Band? is a recommendation for kids with good reading skills whose passion in life is music, and comes from a real-life, successful musician, the youngest member of the folk-indie rock trip the Roches. From how to start out making music, locating the right instrument, and practicing at home to forming a band with friends or siblings and starting out, Want to be in a Band? follows the experiences of a musician and goes beyond the 'how to play' piece to examine the entire interactive experience of working on music with others. Highly recommended!

Books in Series

Understanding Mesoamerican Myths
Natalie Hyde, author
Crabtree Publishing Co.
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor
NY, NY 10118
9780778745259, $30.60,

"Understanding Mesoamerican Myths" is one of four new titles in the Myths Understood series for young adults in grades 5-8. Studying a culture's myths and mythologies is a useful way to pursue learning about comprehensive learning particularly about ancient civilizations. "Understanding Mesoamerican Myths" begins with an overview of the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, including Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec cultures based in lands in the Central American area which includes what is now Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula, and also extending further south, into what is now Guatemala and Costa Rica. Detailed colored illustrations orchestrate informative narrative on important figures in Mayan and Aztec myth, including Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec creator god, Huitzilopochtli, supreme war god of Tenochtitlan, and Ixmucane, grandmother of the Maya, plus many more. Current thinking on the Mayan calendar and hieroglyphic writing is explored and summarized, and important parallels and links to modern customs are traced, presenting a richer understanding of modern Mesoamerican cultural identity. Historic cultivation of traditional foods and plants such as cacao, squash, corn and chili peppers, also tobacco and agave and prickly pear are described and analyzed. Beautiful photos of elaborate masks, costumes, and dancers are also represented. As in all books of this series, a time chart, glossary, list of books and website resources, and index is included at the end to aid further study and understanding. Beautiful illustrations of Mesoamerican art creations including statues, hieroglyphics, drawings or paintings, and other objects are effectively displayed for enriched learning. "Understanding Mesoamerican Myths" is an excellent resource on a complex cultural legacy from this most important area of the Americas. Judicious use of maps, timelines, sidebars, and excellent color photography add to the appeal and impact of these hard bound library editions, which are excellent and sturdy additions to juvenile library resources everywhere. Also included and highly recommended are the other three new titles recently added to the Myths Understood! series, which are as follows: "Understanding Native America Myths" by Megan Kopp (9780778745266, $30.60), "Understanding Norse Myths" by Brian Williams (9780778745273, $30.60), and "Understanding Indian Myths" by Colin Hynson (9780778745242, $30.60). All four editions are also available in paperback for, $9.95 each.

Twilla and the Fuzzy Finger, Turning Love Into Energy
Joni McLachlan, author
J. P. McLachlan, illustrator
Ardith Publishing
9780987803528 $15.95

Part of the Children's Transformational Book Series, "Twilla and the Fuzzy Finger" is a book teaching children of all ages about the process of transforming energy into love and compassion in an everyday world. Sensitively illustrated with pastel colors filled with a gentle light humor, "Twilla and the Fuzzy Finger" traces the interaction between Twilla and a beautiful yellow bird she discovers trapped in gardener's netting. After Twilla follows the feeling in her fuzzy finger and frees the yellow bird, she asks her beloved Granny Rosie what this new feeling means. Granny Rosie's answer helps Twilla see the truth of her ability to transform love into energy in a very real way. This gentle book helps to instill wonder and compassion into the hearts of children and adults. Also highly recommended is an additional title in this series by the same author and illustrator, "Twilla and the Bumble Bee, Turning Fear Into Love (9781554838981)." A third title, "Twilla and the Magic Mountain" will complete the series when it is published later this year.

Toy Tally: How Many Toys Are There?
Donna Loughran, author
Norwood House
P.O. Box 316598, Chicago, Illinois 60631
9781599535531 $21.27 (list) or $15.95 (school/library)

Part of the iMath Readers series, level A for Grades K-2, "Toy Tally" is an appealing, imaginative math educational text that teaches concepts of using tally marks, bask addition and subtraction, counting tally marks, and using a tally table. Colorful photos of toys and teddy bears bounce alongside bar graphs and picture graphs, demonstrating how kids use tally skills to help organize a toy sale to help donate funds for a new playroom at the hospital. Simple tally counting techniques are presented and explained, with examples illustrated. A glossary, suggestions for further reading, and additional notes provide answers to simple problems. Like all iMath Readers books, "Toy Tally" introduces a genuine problem that can be solved using math skills, considers different math strategies for the best solution, includes discover activities to strengthen math skills, uses an appealing story line approach to teach math concepts, offers connections to language arts or history as well as career connections, and suggests additional activities to advance related science, technology, math, or engineering interests/skills. A slim, practical, hard bound volume, "Toy Tally" also comes as an eBook, as does the rest of the series. Other Level A texts by the same author in this iMath Readers series that are also highly recommended include: "A Day at Mini-Golf: What's the Length? (9781599535562)," "Look For Them: Where Are the Shapes? (9781599535500)," and "Herding a Hundred: Counting the Sheep (97815995354700)." Other Level B (grades 3-4) texts in this series by John Perritano include "A Toy Store Summer: Finding Area (9781599535654, $22.50 list or $16.95 school/library)," "Space Adventures: Where Does the Time Go? (9781599535623)," and "Ivy Sue Needs a House: Building with Equivalent Fractions (9781599535593)." Highly recommended Level C (grades 5-6) texts in this series by Renata Brunner-Jass include "Field of Play: Measuring Distance, Rate, and Time (9781599535715, $23.94 list, $17.95 school/library)," "Designer Digs: Finding Area and Surface Area (9781599535746)," and "Stir It Up: Mixing Decimals (9781599535685)."

Your Land and My Land, Africa: We Visit Madagascar
Tammy Gagne
Mitchell Lane Publishers
P.O. Box 196, Hockessin, Delaware 19707
9781612283050 $33.95

Also available as an ebook (9781612283791), "We Visit Madagascar" is a book of the juvenile series called "Your Land and My Land, Africa," with 5th grade narrative about features of the African island of Madagascar. Featuring brief chapters on facts, location, history, world role, culture, lifestyle and celebrations, "We Visit Madagascar" presents multifaceted information about an exotic island with many fabulous features. In addition to history and culture, tourism, and current customs, a typical craft and recipe of Madagascar are featured for hands on projects like cooking banana fritters or making raffia placemats. A Timeline from 300 B.C.E. to 2012 is included, plus chapter notes further reading recommendations, and a glossary. Frequent informative sidebars and color photos as well as historic black and white photos add to the impact and appeal of "Madagascar." Much more than a famous fantasy movie location, Madagascar contains a wide variety of flora and fauna, interesting topography, and intricate, complexity of ethnic makeup of many peoples. For an armchair passport of unrivaled vivid detail, read "We Visit Madagascar" with your fourth grade and up students or children. Other titles also included in this series that are highly recommended are: "We Visit Morocco," by Amie Jane Leavitt (9781612283067), "We Visit Nigeria," by Karen Bush Gibson (9781612283098), "We Visit Ethiopia," by John Bankston (9781612283029), "We Visit Egypt," by Kathleen Tracy (9781612283012), "We Visit Ghana," by John Bankston (9781612283036), "We Visit Libya," by Claire O'Neal (9781612283104), "We Visit South Africa," by Tammy Gagne (9781612283081), "We Visit Kenya," by John Bankston (9781612283043), and "We Visit Rwanda," by John Bankston (9781612283074).

World Traditions series
The Child's World, Inc.
1980 Lookout Drive
Mankato, MN 56003

In every culture and in every country around the world, the calendar year is marked by celebrated holidays and traditions. "The Child's World", a premier publisher of 'books in series' for young readers has produced "World Traditions", an eight volume set that showcases these holidays and traditions and is specifically designed to appeal to children with a second grade reading level. Each title is fully illustrated, 32 pages, and includes a table of contents, detailed maps, a glossary, sources for further research, an index, activities to help celebrate at home or in school, and more! This outstanding series is comprised of Birthday Traditions around the World; Christmas Traditions around the World; Easter Traditions around the World; Halloween and Day of the Dead Traditions around the World; National Day Traditions around the World; New Year Traditions around the World; Tooth Traditions around the World; and Wishing Traditions around the World. Although each volume is available individually ($27.07 List / $18.95 Library), school and community libraries are strongly advised to obtain the entire set of 8 volumes ($151.60).

Eldorado Ink
PO Box 100097
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Crime is always a leading item in both local and national news broadcasts. It's always in the cultural background of a child's world in this modern age. Now the publishing firm of Eldorado Ink has produced the 'True Crime Library' series, specifically designed for children in grades 8 through 12 and comprised of eight distinctive volumes: Drug Cartels and Smuggling (9781619000285) ; Infamous Terrorists (9781619000315); Mass Murderers (9781619000346); Modern-Day Pirates (9781619000377); Organized Crime (9781619000407); and Serial Killers (9781619000438). Each of these informed and informative 96 page books are profusely illustrated throughout with color photography and are enhanced with the inclusion of internet resources, a glossary, and an index. It is recommended that teachers and parents read these volumes to insure that they can respond to any questions or concerns a young reader might have. Although each volume can be obtained individually (List $34.95; School/Library $28.95), school and community libraries are recommended to obtain the entire set (List $209.70 : School/Library $173.70).

Crabtree Publishing Company
350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3308
New York, NY 10118

Four new additions to the 'Why Chemistry Matters' series ($19.95 each) bring chemistry to life by linking basic theory to everyday experience, and are recommended picks for readers in Grades 4-5. Each book offers a little over thirty pages which includes an index, glossary of terms, and contemporary color photos throughout. GASES AND THEIR PROPERTIES (9780778742296) by Tom Jackson covers a range of gases, from fizzy sodas and rocket fuel to hot air balloons and more. Each example of gas covers chemical properties but links them to everyday items and experiences kids have. METALS (9780778742319) by Adrienne Montgomerie considers elements that are metals, their properties as conductors, and different types of reactive and transition metals, her NON-METALS (9780778742326) contrasts metals and non-metal properties and surveys oxygen, carbon, oil and more in the process of explaining atomic structure and non-metal uses, and Tom Jackson's INTRODUCING THE PERIODIC TABLE (9780778742302) provides discussions of periods, groups, series and elements as they relate to the table, past and present renditions. The result is a set of fine basic introductions to chemistry, recommended highly for any science library. Readers in grade 5 who want to learn more about engineering will find the 'Engineering in Action' series ($20.70 each), perfect for extended learning, offering a series that explore different aspects of the science of engineering and its applications. ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND THE SCIENCE OF CIRCUITS (9780778774976) examines basic electrical engineering science and how electrical engineers work, considering problem-solving, how electricity and magnetism are connected, and much more. CIVIL ENGINEERING AND THE SCIENCE OF STRUCTURES (9780778774969) considers many aspects of civil engineering, from great structures and their creators to how prototypes are built and evolve into polished structures. MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND SIMPLE MACHINES (9780778774963) covers all aspects of basic mechanical engineering from levers and wheels to advanced mechanical engineering designs, and examines the basics of what mechanical engineers do. AEROSPACE ENGINEERING AND THE PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT (9780778774952) explores how flight works, work in aerospace design and ideas, and more, offering keys to understanding basic forces and how aerospace engineers work with them. All are fine guides, especially for kids considering careers in engineering. New additions to Bobbie Kalman's 'Baby Animals' books ($16.95 each) will appeal to grades 1-2 offering some 24 pages each of very basic baby animal information, pairing natural science with engaging color photos. BABY CARNIVORES (9780778710103) considers the worlds of cat, dog and other types of carnivore families, from weasels and raccoons to mongoose and bears. BABY RODENTS (9780778710097) surveys the lives of squirrels, porcupines, and different kinds of rodents, offering everything from anatomical examination of rodent bodies to different kinds of rodents and baby rodents as pets. BABY PRIMATES (9780778710073) examines different kinds of primates, their habitats, and their interactions with the rest of the world, while BABY MAMMALS (9780778710080) considers mammals as different as elephants, rabbits and marsupials. All are excellent additions to any natural history holding catering to young learners.

Crabtree Publishing Company
350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3308
New York, NY 10118

Four new nursery rhymes add to the Tadpoles series of easy readers for grades K-1, and are recommended picks. The traditional version of well-known nursery rhymes is followed by a second, entirely new rhyme in the same style. Thus the traditional 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat' is followed by Ride, Ride, Ride Your Bike in Wes Magee and Mariana Le Ray's book (9780778711490, $16.95), 'The Wheels on the Bus' receives an update with Magee and Morgan's The Boat on the Waves (9780778711483, $16.95), Magee and Mike Byrne take 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' and add Spaceship, Spaceship, Zooming High (9780778711322, $16.95), and Brian Moses and Mark Chambers take 'Five Little Monkeys' and create something different and fun with a more popular Five Little Penguins (9780778711399, $16.95). All are fun read-alouds and rhyming stories for the very young.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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