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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 29, Number 4 April 2019 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Jobs/Careers Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Biography Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Board Book Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Bilingual Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Christian Shelf
Judaic Shelf Islamic Shelf Activity Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Music CD Shelf Poetry Shelf
Science Shelf American History Shelf LGBT Shelf
Books in Series Story Monsters Ink Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Daring Dozen
Suzanne Slade, author
Alan Marks, illustrator
Alan Bean, afterword
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580897730 $17.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle

Daring Dozen: The Twelve Who Walked on the Moon is a children's picturebook about the extraordinary Apollo missions that took twelve astronauts, six lunar modules, and three rovers to moon. Daring Dozen celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing with an imagination-firing summary of the astronauts' brave journey, recreated with inspirational art. A brief afterword by Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon, as well as a lunar space travel timeline and additional pages with fascinating facts and color photographs. Highly recommended, especially for public and school library children's collections.

Fipa's World: Australian Children's Classic
Fiona Rossiter, author
Kaye Partridge, illustrator
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781504308830 $26.99

"Fipa's World" is a fresh beginning in an innovative Australian children's series centered on themes of green living such as conservation of resources, sustainable living, and permaculture. it begins with the relationship between a boy, Tristan, and a frog, Fipa, a yellow spotted bell frog, considered to be an endangered species native to southeastern Australia. "Fipa's World" is decorated with beautiful hand painted pictures of flora and fauna of southeastern Australia around Cargo, and Orange, in southeastern Australia. The whimsical illustrations set a vibrant tone that complements and enforces the theme of conservation and permaculture, which is defined as a way of life in which everything is used or recycled, with no waste thrown out. Tristan befriends Fipa by saving him and his lily pad from a dangerous plunge into a fast running dam. Tristan used his lunchbox to protect and carry Fipa safely. As Fipa and Tristan shared stories about nature, they became friends. Fipa asked Tristan if he could visit him in the city where he lived. After careful planning for seeking cool, water habitat for Fipa near his city home, Tristan agreed to transport Fipa to Orange. There Tristan introduced Fipa to a lovely cafe owned by his parents, in a garden, with a pond and fish. Once there, Fipa decided to stay in the pond at the cafe garden. The cafe used practices of permaculture to grow, find, and make healthy food for people with no waste thrown out. Tristan and Fipa learned about composting in the garden, making waste for the garden to thrive on. Fipa and Tristan learned that permaculture was like magic,"a big revolving process that includes all parts of life." Fipa bonded with his friend and his new family, playing games in the garden like a treasure hunt with clues in nature to find. Fipa lived a happy life in the pond and the garden, enjoying digging, pruning, watering, and watching out for animals. Tristan and Fipa celebrated their bond with the magic of friendship and love for all life. "Fipa's World" teaches young readers about valuable concepts in a pleasant, familiar fashion. Charming portraits of the yellow spotted bell frog and fellow flowers, creatures and birds attract, mystify, and nourish the spirit of young conservationists, practitioners of permaculture.

My Special Brother Bo
Britt E. Collins, author
Brittany Bone-Roth, illustrator
Future Horizons, Inc.
721 West Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76013
9781941765920, $9.95, PB, 20pp,

Written by Britt E. Collins (a pediatric occupational therapist who has worked over thirteen years with children with special needs) and charming illustrated by Brittany Bone-Roth, "My Special Brother Bo is a sweet story of love and the acceptance of siblings that children with special needs will hear -- that they are loved and hold a unique place within their family. Through Lucy's voice, children will gain a better understanding of how important and loved they are. A unique, entertaining, emotionally moving picture book specifically designed for children ages 3-7, "My Special Brother Bo" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Special Brother Bo" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.01).

Adi Sorts with Variables
Caroline Karanja, author
Ben Whitehouse, illustrator
Picture Window Books
c/o Capstone Press
1710 Roe Crest Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003
9781515834427, $14.95, HC, 24pp,

It's time to clean Adi's room. If only a computer could do it for her! That gives Adi and her best friend Gabi an idea -- think like a coder! These two little girls then put on their computer coding caps and make cleaning up a snap by sorting with variables! "Adi Sorts with Variables" by author Caroline Karanja and illustrator Ben Whitehouse is original, charmingly entertaining, and certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and public library picture book collections for young readers ages 6-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Adi Sorts with Variables" is also available in a paperback edition (9781515827504, $7.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.55).

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Jeanne Marie Ford
Cavendish Square
243 5th Avenue, Suite 136, New York, NY 10016
9781502641472, $42.79, Library Binding, 96pp,

"Screenwriting" by Jeanne Marie Ford is about the job of screenwriting and assures aspiring young screenwriters ages 12-17 that they can begin chasing their dreams while still in high school. With colorful photographs depicting experiences of screenwriters and others working in TV and film today, as well as firsthand accounts from those involved in the industry, "Screenwriting" deftly explores the skills needed and coursework recommended to help students wishing to enter the TV and film industry. Young readers will learn about the different types of scriptwriting, from Hollywood movies and TV to local news and video games. They will discover how the film- and TV-writing processes work, what types of jobs are available and what they entail, how to deal with inevitable setbacks, and how screenwriters' skill sets can be applied to other careers. While very highly recommended for highschool and community library Jobs/Careers collections in general, and the profession of Screenwriting for film and television specifically, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Screenwriting" is also available in a paperback edition (9781502641465, $19.99).

The Social Issues Shelf

I Didn't Stand Up
Lucy Falcone, author
Jacqueline Hudon, illustrator
Clockwise Press
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside
9781988347066, $19.95, HC, 32pp,

A picture book on bullying that was inspired by the iconic poem "First They Came for the Socialists" written by Pastor Martin Niemoller in opposition to the oppression from the Nazi regime, "I Didn't Stand Up" looks at common circumstances of oppression that children encounter through the eyes of the bystander -- until he or she becomes a victim. Of special note is backmatter that includes a history of the original poem and Pastor Martin Niemoller. Written by Lucy Falcone and illustrated by Jacqueline Hudon, "I Didn't Stand Up" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Social Issues picture book collections for young readers ages 6-9.

Parkland Speaks
Sarah Lerner, editor
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9781984850003, $20.99, Library Binding, 192pp,

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their emotional journeys that began on February 14, 2018, and continue today. Compiled and edited by Sarah Lerner (an English teacher, Journalism teacher, and yearbook adviser at MSD in Parkland, Florid), "Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories" provides a revealing and unfiltered look at teens living in the wake of tragedy is a poignant representation of grief, anger, determination, healing, and hope. This intimate collection includes poetry, eyewitness accounts, letters, speeches, journal entries, drawings, and photographs from the events of February 14 and its aftermath. Full of heartbreaking loss, a rally cry for change, and hope for a safe future, these artistic pieces will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and the importance of valuing and protecting the ones you love. Simply stated, "Parkland Speaks" needs to be a part of every highschool and community library collection in every community in the country. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Parkland Speaks" is also available in a paperback edition (9781984849991, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Biography Shelf

George Washington Carver for Kids
Peggy Thomas, author
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60610
9780915864003 $16.99 144 pages

Written for readers age 9 years and up, "George Washington Carver for Kids" recounts the famous black botanist's life and contributions through five detailed chapters filled with 60 black and white photos and enriched by guided instructions for 21 related activities, including making a gourd bowl, starting a rock collection, making ginger tea, make your own herbarium, draw nature, plant a window box, grow your own sweet potato, pickled watermelon rinds, and making a spore print, plus more. Pale violet shaded sidebars give detailed background notes to the life history of George Washington Carver. As an African American ex-slave, the botanist overcame amazing obstacles to pursue his advanced education at Simpson College, Iowa Agricultural College, and Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. A helpful Time Line begins the biography, spanning a life from 1864-5 through January 5, 1943. George Washington Carver was famous for his drawings and paintings of plants, and his many contributions to agriculture and the cultivation and use of sweet potatoes and peanuts and other plants. The recipient of many honors and awards (15 are listed in a sidebar on P. 112), George Washington Carver is quoted as saying: "I am a blazer of trails.... Others must take up the various trails of truth and carry them on." A teacher, inventor, scientist, botanist and artist, George Washington Carver is a great hero and contributor to the quality of life of all Americans today. An added list of resources to explore complete this hearty biography of a multi-talented man who carved his contribution in spite of many daunting obstacles such as poverty, intolerance, and ignorance.

Struttin' with Some Barbecue
Patricia Hruby Powell
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580897402, $18.99, HC, 96pp,

Featuring black-and-white illustrations by Rachel Hines, "Struttin' with Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz" by Patricia Hruby Powell is is the true story of Lil Hardin Armstrong who was a pianist, a composer, and a bandleader in the early days of jazz. Ahead of her time, Lil made a career for herself -- and for Louis Armstrong, her modest, unassuming husband. Louis might never have become the groundbreaking jazz player he was, if it hadn't been for Lil. Scat-inspired verse celebrates how Lil overcame race and gender barriers to become the first lady of the Chicago jazz scene. While enthusiastically recommended for school and community library American Biography collections for young readers ages 9-12, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Struttin' with Some Barbecue" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words
Karen Leggett Abouraya, author
Susan L. Roth, illustrator
Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781620148389, $19.95, HC, 40pp,

Colorfully illustrated by Susan L. Roth's collages, "Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words" is the inspiring and true story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani girl who stands up and speaks out for every child's right to education. Though she and two of her schoolmates were targeted by a Taliban gunman, a life-threatening injury only strengthened her resolve. A life story that is both inspired and inspiring that was specifically written by author Karen Leggett Abouraya for children ages 4-8, "Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words" should be a part of every family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Contemporary Biography collection. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words" is also available in a paperback edition (9781620147993, $11.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.57).

Hildegard of Bingen
Wisdom Tales Press
1501 E. Hillside Dr., Bloomington, IN 47401
9781937786779 $17.95

Intended for children ages 4-8, Hildegard of Bingen: Scientist, Composer, Healer & Saint is a picturebook about the life of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), an extraordinary, multitalented woman who was a mystic, abbess, scientist, doctor, composer, author, linguist, and artist. Her influence was astonishing, to the extent that bishops, popes, kings, and peasants asked her for counsel. Illustrated with colorful pictures inspired by classic medieval artwork, Hildegard of Bingan is highly recommended especially for school and public library children's picturebook collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Birds of Every Color
Sneed B. Collard III
Bucking Horse Books
PO Box 8507, Missoula, Montana, 59807
9781732875302, $17.00, HC, 36pp,

From cardinal reds to bluebird blues, the colors of birds delight children with their brilliant and variety. But for birds, colors serve important purposes. They send messages, they attract mates. They answer questions and much, much more. In "Birds of Every Color", renowned science, ornithologist and author Sneed B. Collard III paints a dazzling introduction to bird colors and their roles in our world. Illustrated on every pages with full color photography, "Birds of Every Color" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library wildlife picture book collections for young readers ages 5-10.

Butterflies Up Close
Sindy McKay, author
Treasure Bay
P.O. Box 119, Novato, CA 94948
9781601153562 $4.99, paperback,

"Butterflies Up Close" is a new We Both Read book featuring a study of butterflies, including their life cycle, a day in the life of a butterfly, their modes of self protection, differences from moths, unusual butterflies, and suggested ways to help butterflies. Written for kids at grade levels 1 and 2, "Butterflies Up Close" features page pairs, one for the child, one for the adult, to encourage independent reading skills. both pages deal with the same subject, but the child's page has shorter sentences and larger illustrations/photos, while the adult's page has more complex text and smaller illustrations. The illustrations of the life cycle of a monarch butterfly features a clear and compelling picture of five connected portraits circles showing the stages of the butterfly from egg to adult butterfly. Readers are encouraged to help butterflies by planting flowers that butterflies need in their gardens. As in all We Both Read titles, "Butterflies Up Close" includes helpful parents' Introduction pages, an illustrated glossary of words, and Questions to Ask after Reading. "Butterflies Up Close" is a great new We Both Read text that kids and adults will love to explore.

Bea's Bees
Katherine Pryor, author
Ellie Peterson, illustrator
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764356995, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Beatrix discovers a wild bumblebee nest on her way home from school and finds herself drawn to their busy world. When her bees mysteriously disappear, Bea hatches a plan to bring them back. Can Bea inspire her school and community to save the bees? Bees provide us with valuable resources, and some types of bees are in danger of disappearing forever. But ordinary people (and kids!) can help save them. Filled with fascinating facts about bumblebees and ideas to help preserve their environment, "Bea's Bees" encourages kids ages 5-6 to help protect bees and other pollinators. Charmingly illustrated by Ellie Peterson, this entertaining and informative story by Katherine Pryor is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections.

River Rescue
Jennifer Keats Curtis, author
Tammy Yee, illustrator
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781607188230, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

When oil spills, workers hurry to clean the land and water. But oil spills can also affect every animal that lives in the area. Who helps these wild animals? "River Rescue" is the story of how on the East Coast, a team from Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research rushes to the scene to save as many oil spill affected animals as possible. Children ages 6-9 will follow along to learn how these experts capture oiled animals and treat them quickly and safely so that they may be returned to the wild. This illustrated nonfiction story by author Jennifer Keats Curtis and illustrator Tammy Yee is based on the extensive experience of the Oiled Wildlife Response Team at Tri-State. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Wildlife picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "River Rescue" is also available in a paperback edition (9781607188353, $9.95).

Coral Reef Animals Book 1: Invertebrates
Eve Heidi Bine-Stock
Independently Published
9781726706315, $9.99, PB, 30pp,

Launching Eve Heidi Bine-Stock's "Coral Reef Animals" series for young readers, "Invertebrates" is the only children's book to focus on the fascinating world of coral reef invertebrates. Each animal profile is a poem that teaches entertaining facts while delighting the listener with rhythm and rhyme. Unlike the dry prose of other nature books, these charming poems make the information easy to remember. Features stunning illustrations, "Invertebrates" is very highly recommended for both school and community library collections.

Saying Goodbye to Barkley
Devon Sillett, author
Nicky Johnston, illustrator
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
9781925335965, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Olivia and her dog Barkley are inseparable. He's her sidekick, her partner in crime-fighting - they're the perfect pair. But then, Barkley dies and Olivia is heartbroken. She dreads falling asleep because waking up without Barkley is just too sad. Gradually, however, she realizes that Barkley wouldn't want her to be unhappy for the rest of her life. So she thinks of a way that she can not only get her own happiness back, but also give happiness to another animal: by adopting a new dog from an animal shelter. And so Spud joins the family. Spud is a terrible sidekick and crime-fighter - she wants to play with the bad guys not catch them! In fact, Spud couldn't be less like Barkley, but Olivia grows to love her very much because she's just as special in her own way. An original and thoroughly entertaining picture book for children ages 4-7, "Saying Goodbye to Barkley" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Pepe Marquez, author
Natalia Colombo, illustrator
StarBerry Books
c/o Kane Press, Inc.
225 East 46th St., #4D, New York, NY 10017-2924
9781635921267, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Every bird's nest is unique! There are big nests and small nests. There are nests in high spots and nests in low spots. But no matter what, each bird family can call its nest "home." Charmingly illustrated by Natalia Colombo, "Nests" is a deftly presented picture book story and a beautiful reminder that home is where you make it. With a gorgeous palette featuring bold colors and quirky artwork, Pepe Marquez's "Nests" will be a standout on the shelves. And the sweet yet subtle message that home is where you make it will resonate with readers of all ages, but especially children ages 4-9. "Nests" is unreservedly and wholeheartedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Hair!: Animal Fur, Wool, and More
Marilyn Singer, author
Julie Colombet, illustrator
Millbrook Press
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781512449150, $26.65, HC Library Binding, 40pp,

Why are humans and other mammals covered in hair, and why are there so many different types of it? Vivid photographs paired with a duo of quirky, illustrated hair guides serve to illuminate the fascinating facts about mammal hair: why it exists, what it's good for, and more. Young readers ages 7-11 will learn about different types of animal coats, such as fur and down, and explore the many different forms guard hairs take, such as the quills on a porcupine. A unique and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections, "Hair!: Animal Fur, Wool, and More" is as fun as it is informative.

The Board Book Shelf

Animals in the Bible
Rebekah Moredock, author
Lisa Reed, illustrator
Worthy Kids
c/o Worthy Publishing
One Franklin Park, 6100 Tower Circle, Suite 210, Franklin, TN 37067
9780824916961, $8.99, Board Book, 20pp,

The collaborative work of author Rebekah Moredock and illustrator Lisa Reed, "Animals in the Bible is an energetic board book in which children age 5-6 are taken on an animal-filled tour of beloved Bible stories. Little ones will learn about animals and be introduced to the world of the Bible as they read about the lions in the den with Daniel, the sheep in Rachel's flock, and the quail in the Israelite camp. Created with fresh, modern illustrations, this animals primer is sure to captivate curious toddlers and is unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

Where Is My House?
Laurent Richard
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764356971, $12.99, Board Book, 24pp,

Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, Laurent Richard's board book of beautifully drawn collections of similar houses invite young children ages 5-6 to explore shapes, colors, and details until they can put their finger on the exact house shown on the previous page. Farmhouse, igloo, skyscraper, teepee, hut, pagoda -- there is a house type for everyone! As a bonus, children can play the game with friends to see who will find the house first, play with the book upside-down, or search for the stray object that doesn't belong on each page.

Who is Afraid of Little Wolf?
Yayo Kawamura
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791373812, $12.95, Board Book, 24pp,

Little Wolf is bored, and so he asks some other animals to play. But no one wants to join him -- not the squirrel, nor the bunny, nor the fox. Their parents have told them not to play with wolves. But when Little Wolf meets a bee, she is brave enough to play and the two have a great time. The other animals see there's nothing to be afraid of and decide to join in. With bold colors and appealing characters author and illustrator Yayo Kawamura packs a powerful lesson about overcoming prejudices and not judging someone before you know them in this delightful board book for children ages 2-5, "Who is Afraid of Little Wolf?" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210

A new and award winning series of four board books from Child's Play and charmingly illustrated by Annie Kubler has been specifically designed for little ones ages 2-5. A great introduction to books through well-known nursery rhymes and interactive text. Each 12 page board book features songs and rhymes that are the perfect way for parents to bond with their babies and share quality time. These board books also effective aid in language development by introducing the babies to the natural sounds and patterns of speech. Combining these with actions also stimulates the brain and helps muscle development. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections, this simply outstanding series of board books included "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom (9781786281999, $4.99); The Wheel on the Bus" (9781786281968, $4.99); "Round and Round the Garden" (9781786281975, $4.99); "Sleeping Bunnies" (9781786281982, $4.99).

The Picturebook Shelf

Scampers Thinks Like A Scientist
Mike Allegra, author
Elizabeth Zechel, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Way, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584696421, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Scampers is no ordinary mouse. She's curious. She asks questions. And she experiments. In short, she thinks like a scientist! Her friend Nibbles, reluctantly joins her as they set out to discover the truth about the owl in the garden. Children ages 4-7 will enjoy the jaunty dialogue by author Mike Allegra and the whimsical illustrations by Elizabeth Zechel, -- and along the way they'll learn how think like a scientist, too! "Scampers Thinks Like A Scientist " is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library children's picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Scampers Thinks Like A Scientist" is also available in a paperback edition (9781584696438, $8.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

New York Day & Night
Aurelie Pollet, author
Vincent Bergier, illustrator
Prestel Junior
c/o Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791373782, $16.95, HC, 30pp,

Sometimes your eyes can play tricks on you, especially in the dark. The collaborative work of author Aurelie Pollet and illustrator Vincent Bergier, "New York Day & Night" is an enchanting picture book for children ages 3-6 that shows how New York City can look quite peculiar at night. Each brightly colored spread is overlaid with a sheet of translucent blue paper and when lifted, voila! A space ship and Martian become The Guggenheim, a giant serpent is actually the subway, King Kong's jungle turns into Central Park, and a superhero takes on the shape of a construction worker. Exhilarating and captivating, all the scenes are easily switched between day and night and will take children on a unique journey that lets their imaginations run wild while revealing that some things at night aren't as scary as they seem! A unique and fully entertaining picture book, "New York Day & Night" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

A Colorful Tail: Finding Monet at Giverny
Joan Waites, author/illustrator
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764357053, $16.99, 40pp,

A young red fox living in Monet's garden in Giverny, France, admires the collage of colors in the landscape that surrounds him. More than anything, he wants to make the colors last as the seasons pass and the winter turns cold and bleak. Try as he might, his creations are blown away, flooded, and even eaten by a deer, until the sight of Monet at his easel and an unexpected encounter with a bumble bee show the gentle fox how he can make the colors last all year long. "A Colorful Tail: Finding Monet at Giverny" by Joan Waites is brightly illustrated picture book tale is a delightful and entertaining introduction to Claude Monet for children ages 5-6 and an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Miss Pinkeltink's Purse
Patty Brozo, author
Ana Ochoa, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
9780884486268, $17.95, HC, 36pp,

Generous and eccentric, Miss Pinkeltink fills her huge purse with everything from a toilet plunger to roller skates, and then gives it all away. She offers tape to fix a flat tire and a bone to a kitty: Miss Pinkeltink's gifts never quite hit the mark, but she gave what she had, and she gave from the heart. And then, with nothing left to give or to shelter herself, she huddles on a park bench, trying to sleep in the rain. And that's where a young girl named Zoey sees her from her bedroom window and knows that something must be done. A wonderfully charming and fully entertaining picture book for children ages 5-9 by author Patty Brozo and illustrator Ana Ochoa, "Miss Pinkeltink's Purse" is especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Miss Pinkeltink's Purse" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.18).

Mo Willems, author
Amber Ren, illustrator
Hyperion Books for Children
9781368019019, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Unique, engaging, and entertaining from first page to last making it especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-6, "Because" is the collaborative effort of Mo Willems, who has 'composed' a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in a moving and imaginative tale of a young girl's journey to center stage. The artwork of gifted illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems' music to life, conducting a stunningly visual presentation.

The Song of Spring
Hendrik Jonas
Prestel Junior
c/o Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791373799, $12.95, HC, 52pp,

It's spring and everywhere birds are calling out to each other. But one bird has forgotten which sound to make. He tries "Woof," and meets a dog, who encourages him to try "Oink," with the expected result. Moo, Hee-Haw, Baa, Meow -- each successive call adds still another animal friend to the page. Will the young bird find another bird friend? As children ages 2-5 are introduced to each type of animal and their sounds, author Hendrik Jonas's clever illustrations grow increasingly crowded. The result is a beautiful celebration of friendship that will delight young children everywhere, making "The Song of Spring" an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library picture book collections.

The Chestnut Challenge: The Nocturnals
Tracey Hecht, author
Jesie Yee, illustrator
Fabled Films
9781944020224, $9.99, HC, 64pp,

Written by Tracey Hecht and illustrated Jesie Yee, "The Chestnut Challenge" is the story of Tobin, a sweet pangolin, Bismark, a loud-mouthed sugar glider, and Dawn, a serious fox, who are engaged in playing a game of Chestnuts when Chandler, a conniving chinchilla, challenges Tobin for the title of Chestnut Champion. However, after a series of strange distractions occur, the Brigade begins to suspect that something is not quite right. Chandler is a competitive chinchilla...but could he also be a cheater? Young readers ages 6-8 will delight in this entertaining animal adventure while learning about the themes of playing games for fun and displaying good sportsmanship. Of special note is the inclusion of bonus Nocturnals fun facts and animal glossary. Kids, parents, teachers, and librarians should also note that the Nocturnals World online has download printable activities that include makerspace crafts, sight word games, The Nocturnals kindness game, language arts educator guides, and more! While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Chestnut Challenge: The Nocturnals" is also available in a paperback edition (9781944020231, $5.99).

Why Should I Walk? I Can Fly!
Ann Ingalls, author
Rebecca Evans, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Way, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584696384, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

"Why Should I Walk? I Can Fly!" is a picture book story about a little bird, a big sky, and the first time out of the nest! A robin's first flight is a gentle reminder about what we can accomplish if we just keep trying. Ann Ingalls' entertaining and rhyming text is perfectly supported by illustrator Rebecca Evans winsomely charming water color illustrations to give children ages 4-8 a a memorable story with a positively underlying message about growing up and trying new things. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Why Should I Walk? I Can Fly!" is also available in a paperback edition (9781584696391, $8.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

B for Baxter
Ted Simonin
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860209, $21.95, HC, 36pp,

Baxter the dog is full of surprises -- you never know what fun gadget he's going to pull out next! When his bird buddies, Marcus and Fiona, begin their annual journey to their Family Tree, Baxter must find a way to fly with his feathery friends! In "B for Baxter" by author and illustrator Ted Simonin, children ages 5-9 will follow Baxter, Marcus, and Fiona across the United States as they find new twists on old traditions and learn what it really means to be a family. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "B for Baxter" is also available in a paperback edition (9781947860285, $13.95).

The Day Henry Met A Dog
The O'Brien Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781847179999, $14.00, PB, 32pp,

One day Henry meets a dog. Dog is sad because she doesn't have a best friend. But this gives Henry a great idea! The two of them head off together to find Dog a best friend, racing into the jungle, diving under the sea, even blasting off into outer space. Will Tiger be her best friend? Or Whale? Or Moon? Join Henry and Dog as they embark on their adventures to find a best friend for Dog! Maybe they don't need to look that far! A lively, brightly colored, and utterly charming picture book story for children ages 5-6, "The Day Henry Met A Dog" is a very highly recommended entertainment and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Little Bella's Nighttime Wonderland
Joy Fernandez, author
Brianna Baker, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860124, $20.95, HC, 32pp,

As Little Bella snuggles down for bed, she looks out her window and can't believe what she sees! Fireflies illuminate a nighttime wonderland that unfolds right before her eyes, revealing the many woodland creatures that live just outside her home. Beautifully and elegantly illustrated by the artwork of Brianna Baker, "Little Bella's Nighttime Wonderland" is an original and deftly crafted picture book story by author Joy Fernandez that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 5-8.

Otters, Snails and Tadpole Tails
Eric Ode, author
Ruth Harper, illustrator
Kane Miller
c/o EDC Publishing
4901 Morena Blvd, Suite 213, San Diego, CA 92117
9781610677479, $12.99, HC, 32pp

In "Otters, Snails and Tadpole Tails: Poems From The Wetlands", singer/songwriter/poet Eric Ode joins forces with illustrator Ruth Harper to create a gentle, stunningly beautiful homage to all things wetland. From raccoons to muskrats, frogs to heron, "Otters, Snails and Tadpole Tails" is a wonderful celebration of biodiversity, art, poetry, and healthy ecosystems for young children. A unique and certain to be enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "Otters, Snails and Tadpole Tails" is very highly recommended.

It's Just a Bunnypalooza
Brenda Faatz, author
Peter Trimarco, illustrator
Notable Kids Publishing
9780997085174, $16.95, HC, 40pp,

"It's Just a Bunnypalooza" for Lizzy. Ever rambunctious and creative, Lizzy is learning new dance moves from her furry bunny friends just in time for the school talent show. When she tells her classmates that she's learning hip-hoppity moves from bunnies, Lizzy becomes embarrassed and self-conscious as the children giggle at her over-active imagination. From there, Lizzy is decidedly in complete denial that animals communicate with her. She becomes an avid "non-believer". Naturally, the bunnies organize an intervention. Not only will these furry little creatures not allow Lizzy to attempt 'hip-hop' without them, they do not want to lose their friend. Word travels fast and before long, where once there were two bunnies there are now three -- and soon four and then dozens more. All the while, Lizzy remains steadfast in her denial right up until the "Rabbit-a-Raucous Recital". Featuring a rhyming text by Brenda Faatz that includes fun and funny made-up words visually supported by the artwork illustrations of Peter Trimarco, "It's Just a Bunnypalooza" is an original and exceptionally charming picture book story for children ages 3-7 that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Moon Watched It All
Shelley A. Leedahl, author
Aino Anto, illustrator
Red Deer Press
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
9780889955370, $19.95, HC, 32pp,

In a time before this time, when the world moved at a pony's pace, a woman rocked by her window and turned, every evening, to the moon... The woman was neither young nor old, neither happy nor particularly sad. She was known as Mirada, for she was always gazing. Like the moon, she was what she was. So begins "The Moon Watched It All", the poignant story of pensive Mirada, a solitary woman who lives in a bygone village far, far away. One day she sees a shy orphan boy who has been cast out of his village. She opens her door to him and as time passes they become a necessary part of each other's lives -- as the moon watched it all. Stirring detailed illustrations by Toronto-based illustrator Aino Anto provide the moody and moving visuals for this part fairy tale, part modern allegory, so expertly told by Shelley A. Leedahl. A unique, original, and lovely picture book story for children ages 5-9, "The Moon Watched It All" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches
Julie Fulton, author
Rachel Suzanne, illustrator
Maverick Children's Books
9781848863583, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Jack has a rather grizzly visitor arrive for lunch but they don't want to eat any of Jack's egg sandwiches. So what do bears eat for lunch? Through quirky illustrations by Rachel Suzanne and funny dialogue by Julie Fulton, the bear tells Jack all about his lunchtime plans -- until they're unexpectedly foiled! An original and wonderfully entertaining picture book for children ages 4-9, "Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches" is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches" is also available in a paperback edition (9781848862838, $7.99).

The Amazing Idea of You
Charlotte Sullivan Wild, author
Mary Lundquist, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781681191836, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Hidden inside every living thing is an idea. That idea can sprout, sing, wriggle, take wing . . . into something amazing! Exploring beginnings both small and great, "The Amazing Idea of You" is a wonderfully entertaining picture book by the team of author Charlotte Sullivan Wilde and illustrator Mary Lundquist specifically for children ages 3-6 that bonds the human and natural worlds in a lyrical burst of celebration. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Amazing Idea of You" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Tide
Clare Helen Welsh, author
Ashling Lindsay, illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781680101416, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

A young girl loves her grandpa so much! When they spend the day at the beach, she holds his hand as they go for a walk, and they build sand castles together. But sometimes, it is difficult, because Grandpa has become forgetful. Grandpa's memories are like the tide, Mommy explains. Sometimes, they are near and full of life. Other times, they are distant and quiet. Very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, "The Tide" by author Clare Helen Welsh and illustrator Ashling Lindsay is a poignant and deftly presented picture book story for children ages 8-12 about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well.

A Jar Full of Kisses
Heather Bennett, author
Amanda Taylor Spiers, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860162, $21.95, HC, 40pp,

Prickles is the happiest little hedgehog -- except when she has to say goodbye. She loves her mom and dad more than anything, so one whole night without them seems like forever. In "A Jar Full of Kisses", children ages 5-8 will stick with Prickles to learn how to make their own goodbyes so much easier! A charmingly crafted and thoroughly entertaining picture book with a valuable underlying message, "A Jar Full of Kisses" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Right This Very Minute
Lisl H. Detlefsen, author
Renee Kurilla, illustrator
Feeding Minds Press
9781948898003, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

What's that you say? You're hungry? Right this very minute? Then you need a farmer. You have the stories of so many right here on your table! A table-to-farm book about food and farming, "Right This Very Minute" by author Lisl H. Detlefsen and featuring Renee Kurilla's delightful artwork in service of a delicious celebration of food and farming is sure to inspire young readers of all ages, but especially those 5-7 to learn more about where their food comes from -- and is unreservedly recommended as an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Be a Maker
Katey Howes, author
Elizabet Vukovic, illustrator
Carolrhoda Books
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781512498028, $17.99, HC Library Binding, 32pp,

How many things can you make in a day? A tower, a friend, a change? In "Be A Maker", rhyme, repetition, and a few seemingly straightforward questions engage children ages 4-9 in a discussion about the many things we make -- and the ways we can make a difference in the world. This simple, layered picture book story by the team of author Katey Howes and illustrator Elizabet Vukovic celebrates creativity through beautiful rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations with a timely and enduring message. While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Be A Maker" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

A Scarf for Keiko
Ann Malaspina, author
Merrilee Liddiard, illustrator
Kar-Ben Publishing, Inc.
9781541521643, $17.99, HC Library Binding, 32pp,

It's 1942 and America is at war with the Empire of Japan. Sam's elementary school class is knitting socks for soldiers and Sam is a terrible knitter. Keiko is a good knitter, but some kids at school don't want anything to do with her because the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and her family is Japanese American. When Keiko's family is forced to move to a camp for Japanese Americans, can Sam find a way to demonstrate his friendship? A deftly crafted picture book for children ages 5-10 drawing upon one of America's most egregious examples of racial discrimination in a time of war, "A Scarf for Keido" is unreservedly recommended for its ultimately inspiring message of overcoming that discrimination. Of special note is the Author's Note on the subject of what happened to Japanese Americans in World War II. While very highly and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Scarf for Keiko" is also available in a paperback edition (9781541521650, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.59).

Queenie Quail Can't Keep Up
Jane Whittingham, author
Emma Pedersen, illustrator
Pajama Press
9781772780673, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

No matter how hard she tries, little Queenie Quail can't keep up with her Mama and her Papa and her nine bobbing, tapping siblings. "Hurry, hurry, hurry!" they exclaim as Queenie lags behind. But how can Queenie hurry when there are so many interesting things to look at? One day when she stops to admire a fascinating feather, a flash of orange catches Queenie's eye. Spotting danger among the greenery, Queenie springs into action, hurry, hurry, hurrying to warn her family just in the nick of time! A well crafted picture book story for children ages 3-7 in which author Jane Whittingham's original tale is deftly supported by illustrator Emma Pedersen thoroughly charming artwork, "Queenie Quail Can't Keep Up" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

Katharine Holabird, author
Sarah Warburton, illustrator
Little Simon
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534429154, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Twinkle is just starting to learn her spells in fairy school, and she can't seem to understand that what comes naturally for all the other fairies-in-training is a bit of a struggle for her. With spells going sideways and frustration running high, "Twinkle" by the team of author Kartharine Holabird and illustrator Sarah Warburton is sweet, triumphant story for children ages 3-7 about persistence and is perfect for parents to share with their little ones who are learning new social and personal skills. While very highly recommended as an addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Twinkle" is also available in a paperback edition (Hodder Children's Books, 9781444913392, $10.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

What If...
Thierry Lenain, author
Olivier Tallec, illustrator
Claudia Zoe Bedrick, translator
Enchanted Lion Books
67 West Street, Studio 317A, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11222
9781592702817, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

What if it was the child who decided to be born? Here, from the belly of his mother, now round like an island, the child looks out at the world. Despite all of the trouble and heartache, he decides to be born, strong in his belief that he can help make the world a better place. Stunningly illustrated by Olivier Tallec with strong colors and sketchy lines, "What If..." is a picture book written by Thierry Lenain and translated into English by Claudia Zoe Bedrick that gives children ages 6-9 a sense of purpose in being born, reminding us that our task is caring for the world and for each other. "What If..." is a unique, thoughtful, entertaining, and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections with a strongly positive message.

Mario and the Aliens
Carolina Zanotti, author
Tamypu, illustrator
Happy Fox Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781641240277, $14.99, HC, 40pp,

Little Mario is a computer geek who is on the computer day and night. He will not leave his computer. Suddenly he hears a commotion in the back yard -- the aliens have landed! These creatures have heard about all the cool things that earth kids do to play, and they want to have fun too. Since the aliens are tired of computers and electronic stuff, Mario must show them how to play with traditional toys. Even though Mario doesn't usually ride his bike or play ball, he soon learns how much fun it is, along with his alien friends. Satisfied at having discovered the secrets of earth children, the aliens return to their planet, while Mario learns the joys of playing outside. The perfect picture book story for the screen-obsessed kids ages 5-7, "Mario and the Aliens" will have everyone wanting to get outside and play! A thoroughly charming picture book with a strong and positive message about having traditional outdoor fun, "Mario and the Aliens" is especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Monkey Time
Michael Hall
Greenwillow Books
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062383020, $17.99, HC, 48pp,

Monkey is very curious about the brightly colored (and very tasty-looking) minutes on the minute tree in his forest. But can he catch one before it disappears? Playful, educational, and entertaining, this brightly illustrated picture book by Michael Hall reinforces simple counting skills while introducing children ages 4-8 to basic concepts about time, how time passes, and how time is measured. With illustrations full of engaging animals and a call-and-response text, and loads of rhythm, repetition, and humor, this is a great choice for family and story-time sharing. Of special note are three pages of facts reinforcing the math concepts and describing the rainforest friends introduced in the story. Fun and informative, "Monkey Time" is a unique and especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Sleep, Sheep!
Kerry Lyn Sparrow, author
Guillaume Perreault, illustrator
Kids Can Press
9781771387965, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

There are lots of things Duncan likes about bedtime --- the stories, the pajamas, the bubblegum-flavored toothpaste. The only thing he doesn't like is going to sleep. And he'll do anything he can to avoid it. Until one day, Duncan's mom has had enough of his stalling. "Try counting sheep," she tells him. So, he does. At first, it's kind of fun. As he counts, each sheep appears, wearing its number like a race car, and leaps over the bed. But then comes Sheep #68, who hesitates. He needs a drink of water before he can jump. Then he has to go to the bathroom. Then he wants to put on running shoes. Will Sheep #68 ever do what he's supposed to? The collaborative work of author Kerry Lyn Sparrow and illustrator Guillaume Perreault, "Sleep, Sheep!" is a delightfully original and entertaining picture book story for children ages 3-7. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sleep, Sheep!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Secret Cat
Katarina Stromgard
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
9780802855114, $17.00,

The Secret Cat is recommended for young readers with good reading skills and follows the musings of a narrator who is not allowed to have pets. Her mother has all kinds of excuses, from a lack of space to a grandmother's allergies; but Lucy wants a pet (with fur; not fins!) more than anything. One night she hears something behind the wallpaper. Some kind of ghostly animal promises to be her pet if she can only think of its secret name. Her new friend Silvring is truly magical in more ways than one, and Lucy begins to wonder if everyone has a secret pet in this warm story of discovery and magic.

Sophie Johnson, Unicorn Expert
Morag Hood
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534431614, $17.99,

Sophie Johnson, Unicorn Expert is illustrated by Ella Okstad and will reach ages 4-8 with the whimsical, fun story of a young 'unicorn expert' who can't resist seeing unicorns in everything she dresses up: even her baby brother. It can be hard work looking after so many budding magical creatures; but Sophie has a plan firmly in mind: she begins with magic teachings as she tries to keep her unicorns on track. This fun story will appeal to any child who loves magic and mystical creatures.


Princess Puffybottom and Darryl by Susin Nielsen and Olivia Chin Mueller (9781101919255, $17.99) tells of a spoiled cat who leads a perfect life: she has subjects to serve her delicious meals, they clean her cat box, and she even permits them to pet her. Life couldn't be better, until an interloper enters the picture: a real animal. The Princess tries everything to banish him from her kingdom; but nothing works. This funny story of warring pets will entertain young audiences who enjoy cats, dogs, and a big attitude about entitlement and friendship. Holman Wang's Great Job, Dad! (9780735264108, $16.99) and Great Job, Mom! (9780735264083, $16.99) celebrates a mother and father's many jobs by combining rhymes with humorous images of family life using needle-felted images. This offers an original and fun celebration perfect for read-alouds, which adds an intriguing note about the definition of jobs, work, and a mother and father's roles in the household and a small child's life. The whimsical portraits are clever illustrations of a different way of thinking about parental responsibilities and the value of work.

Scholastic, Inc.

Henry Cole's Try a Little Kindness (9781338256413, $17.99) tells of funny animal friends who demonstrate kindness towards one another. From polite actions and good deeds to how to be a good friend, this fun story is filled with examples of not only what to do but how to incorporate acts of kindness into daily living. Parents will find this a fine educational tool as well as a fun read-aloud. Andy Rash's Unstinky (9780439368803, $17.99) tells of a stinkbug who is happy with everything except constantly losing stinking contests. It seems that everyone has a stronger smell than he. But if living up to his name isn't a strength, then what is? A funny story of a stinkbug's trials will educate even as it entertains young readers and offers a lesson in creative problem-solving and self-esteem. Hector and Louie (and also Stephanie Watson) provide a fun illustrated graphic novel-style picture book with Best Friends in the Universe (9780545659888, $17.99), which includes drawings by LeVyen Pham as tells of two best friends who want to make a book to celebrate their friendship. When a secret is revealed by each, that friendship faces changes in this hilarious story of new discoveries and revised friendships. Nick Seluk's the Sun is Kind of a Big Deal (9781338166972, $17.99) couches nonfiction astronomy facts into a lively presentation that gives the solar system personalities and fun commentary. The usual surveys of facts receive cartoon-like graphics and chatty, fun discussions as facts are presented in such a way as to invite young leisure reader attention and interest. Marcie Colleen's Penguinaut! (9780545848848, $17.99) is illustrated by Emma Yarlett and tells of Orville, who lives at the zoo surrounded by animal pets who have adventures he can't join in on. He always struggles to be with them, until one day he decides to make his own goal: to fly to the moon. Can a small penguin really dream that big, despite his limitations? A fun story evolves, which will encourage young dreamers to expand their ambitions and strengths.

The Bilingual Shelf

How Chile Came to New Mexico
Rudolfo Anaya, author
Nicholas Otero, illustrator
Nasario Garcia, translator
Rio Grande Books
925 Salamanca NW, Los Ranchos, NM 87107
9781936744206, $24.98, HC, 48pp,

"How Chile Came to New Mexico" is the exciting bilingual (Spanish/English) tale of how New Mexico's premier crop came to the Land of Enchantment. "How Chile Came to New Mexico" shows children ages 4-8 the importance of Native Americans who helped bring chile to New Mexico through a long journey with many dangers. Intertwined in this history is love and romance and the story of the influence of many cultures in New Mexico's past. Charmingly illustrated by Nicholas Otero and aptly translated into English by Nasario Garcia, "How Chile Came to New Mexico" by Rudolfo Anaya is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "How Chile Came to New Mexico" is also available in a paperback edition (9781943681266, $17.95).

The Fiction Shelf

Wyatt's Woods
Harold William Thorpe, author
Aaron Boyd, illustrator
Little Creek Press
9780989643139, $16.95, PB, 136pp,

Three-hundred-and-fifty-years ago, a Potawatomi Indian boy named Red Eagle carved a small bear out of limestone. It was lost during a legendary battle at Fort Mechingan, somewhere deep in the woods of what is now Door County, Wisconsin. Although searchers have tried, no sign of the fort has ever been found. While spending the summer in Door County, a boy named Wyatt decides to look for it. Meanwhile, a Potawatomi boy named Robert listens to the story of his ancestor, Red Eagle. Robert wonders, too, what happened to the fort and the carving. Finding them will unforgettably connect Wyatt, Robert and Red Eagle. But as the summer draws to an end Wyatt has still not found the fort, despite lots of help from woodland animal friends and his loyal yellow lab, Bailey. Will Fort Mechingan (and the carved bear) remain buried forever in Wisconsin's Northwoods? An original, delightfully entertaining, and deftly crafted story for young readers in grades 4-6, "Wyatt's Woods" by Harold William Thorpe is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Raider
Suzanne Werkema
Privately Published
9780999594537, $8.99, PB, 214pp,

Sixth-grader Micah Harrington Hess is fed up. The kids in middle school stare straight through him. Despite his natural friendliness and elementary-school successes, he's invisible now. When he discovers that his ancestor Micah Harrington fought and raided with Jessup's Loyal Rangers during the U.S. Revolution, Micah decides to imitate his risk-taking ancestor -- to raid the unjust and help the helpless. Micah is ill-informed about the Revolution, but he's positive no one ignores raiders. His mom says, "God sees you and likes what he sees." Micah wants the kids at school to see him and like what they see, too. For the rest of the school year, Micah (with some help from his friends Luke and Mazi and his sister Jodie) perpetrates twelve raids against family, friends, neighbors, classmates, a deli, a car thief, and a mysterious backpack. Some of the raids bring triumph, others turmoil, and one brings near-tragedy. Can Micah figure out why half his raids backfire? Will he ever stop being a nobody? Does God see him at all? A deftly crafted and unfailingly entertaining novel for young readers ages 8-14, "The Raider" by Suzanne Werkema is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to middle school and community library General Fiction collections.

The Garden
Meghan Ferrari
Red Deer Press
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
9780889955684, $14.95, PB, 112pp,

Fifteen-year-old Elias and his family are caught in the middle of an international conflict -- the deadly crossfire between the Syrian Army and government-opposed Rebels. Dangers mount, conditions worsen, and after witnessing the tragedy of war and the indignities of a refugee camp, Elias finds himself a newcomer in North America where he comes face to face with completely new battles -- culture shock, racism, and bullying. Inspired by the stories of her newcomer students and their families, "The Garden" is a poignant yet inspiring young adult novel by Meghan Ferrari that sheds light on the social impact of modern military conflict and the plight of innocent victims displaced by it. It will also provide young readers ages 12-17 with empathy, respect, and a new understanding of our new neighbors who have been uprooted by war. A deftly written, entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking novel, "The Garden" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections.

The Secret Of Delphi
Craig Sodaro
Royal Fireworks Press
First Avenue, PO Box 399, Unionville, NY 10988
9780898243222, $14.99, PB, 230pp,

In 468 B.C.E. in Athens, the young Sophocles entered the theater competition at the City Dionysia against the established favorite, Aeschylus. Victory in this competition was so important that even 2,500 years later it is known who won and who lost. The competition was intense, and the stakes were high. In "The Secret Of Delphi", author Craig Sodaro weaves an exciting narrative about a conspiracy to ensure Aeschylus's victory by sabotaging the productions of Sophocles and the other contestant. The kidnapping of the lead actor of Sophocles's company inspires his two young daughters to defy the normal conventions that circumscribed the behavior of girls and to take a leading part in attempting to save their father and to restore fair play to the competition. A deftly crafted and solidly entertaining novel for young readers ages 9-13, "The Secret Of Delphi" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both school and community library Historical Fiction collections.

The Field
Tracy Richardson
Brown Books Publishing Group
16250 Knoll Trail Drive, Suite 205, Dallas, TX 75248
9781612543017, $11.99 pbk.

Eric Horton finds himself plagued by terrible nightmares of explosions, fire, and someone screaming. The more they occur, the more real they seem, causing him to question whether they're just harmless dreams or foreshadowing of a dark and devastating future. And that's not the only strange thing happening. On the soccer field, he's been in the zone, saving shot after shot with what feels like a supernatural awareness of where the ball is going to go next. Then there's the connection he feels with Renee, the hot new student from France. It's as if he's known her forever. Still, all these wild visions and synchronicities pale in comparison to the strange experiments Renee's dad is cooking up in the University physics lab. When he asks Eric to serve as a test subject, Eric must again question whether what he's seeing and hearing is reality--or something far beyond it. When his best friend Will starts drinking way too much and Renee has eyes for other guys, Eric loses the edge he's always had in the goal, and confidence in himself. If he's going to pull it together, Eric must tap into a part of himself that he never knew existed, and that might just be the part that connects us all. A deftly written and thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last, "The Field" by Tracy Richardson will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections for young readers ages 12-18.

Crow Flight
Susan Cunningham
Amberjack Publishing
PO Box 4668, #89611, New York, NY 10163-4668
9781948705165, $12.99, PB, 352pp,

Gin trusts logic a little too much. She even designs programs to decide what to eat and how to spend her time. All that changes when she's paired with a new transfer student, Felix, on a computer modeling assignment to explain certain anomalies in the behavior of crows. Speaking of anomalies, why is Gin so disappointed that Felix isn't a match for her in the dating app she's designing with local gamers? As she enters Felix's world and digs further into the data behind crow behavior, Gin uncovers a terrible secret. And the wrong decision could equal disaster squared. A deftly crafted, impressively original, and thoroughly entertaining novel for young readers ages 12-18, "Crow Flight" by Susan Cunningham is an especially recommended addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Crow Flight" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.74) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982626662, $29.95, MP3 CD).

The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly
Rebecca K. S. Ansari
Walden Pond Press
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062679666, $16.99, HC, 400pp,

Charlie O'Reilly is an only child. Which is why it makes everyone uncomfortable when he talks about his brother. Liam. His eight-year-old kid brother, who, up until a year ago, slept in the bunk above Charlie, took pride in being as annoying as possible, and was the only person who could make Charlie laugh until it hurt. Then came the morning when the bunk, and Liam, disappeared forever. No one even remembers him -- not Charlie's mother, who has been lost in her own troubles; and not Charlie's father, who is gone frequently on business trips. The only person who believes Charlie is his best friend, Ana -- even if she has no memory of Liam, she is as determined as Charlie is to figure out what happened to him. The search seems hopeless until Charlie receives a mysterious note, written in Liam's handwriting. The note leads Charlie and Ana to make some profound discoveries about a magic they didn't know existed, and they soon realize that if they're going to save Liam, they may need to risk being forgotten themselves, forever. A deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and an especially entertaining narrative storytelling style, Rebecca Ansari's "The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly" is especially recommended for school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections for young readers ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

This Heart of Mine
C. C. Hunter
Wednesday Books
c/o St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250131652, $18.99, HC, 384pp,

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. Literally! An artificial heart in a backpack is what is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn't likely. Living like you are dying isn't all it's cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she's given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was (a boy from her school) and they're saying he killed himself! Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened. Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he's certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother's final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don't come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying? An original and skillfully crafted novel that is an entertaining and riveting read from beginning to end, "This Heart of Mine" will prove to be an extraordinarily popular addition to highschool and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "This Heart of Mine" is also available in a paperback edition (9781250035905, $10.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.80).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Children Of Jubilee
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781442450097, $17.99, HC, 320pp,

Since the Enforcers raided Refuge City, Rosi, Edwy, and the others are captured and forced to work as slave labor on an alien planet, digging up strange pearls. Weak and hungry, none of them are certain they will make it out of this alive. But Edwy's tech-savvy sister, Kiandra, has always been the one with all the answers, and so they turn to her. But Kiandra realizes that she can't find her way out of this one on her own, and they all might need to rely on young Cana and her alien friend if they are going to survive. Book 3 of Margaret Peterson Haddix's 'Children of Exile' science fiction series for young readers ages 10-16, "Children Of Jubilee" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to school and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Children Of Jubilee" is also available in a paperback edition (9781442450103, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Transparency Tonic
Frank L. Cole
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
9781629724881, $17.99, HC, 304pp,

It has been nine months since Gordy and his friends, Max and Adilene, saved B.R.E.W. (the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide) and the Vessel the power source for the secret society of potion masters. Now, Gordy is starting the eighth grade, and has been trying new potion brewing techniques, but when he starts zoning out during practice, he knows something is wrong. Gordy and his friends continue to work on their potions, but when Gordy chooses Max as his lab partner, Adilene starts to wonder if she still has a place with her old friends. She turns to a new friend, Cadence, who might know a way to help Adilene become a potion master on her own. And in Greenland, Mezzarix has a chance to escape his Forbidden Zone as long as he agrees to work with the mysterious Ms. Bimini and replicate an unusual solution known as Silt. It could be just the weapon Mezzarix needs to destroy B.R.E.W. forever. With both B.R.E.W and the Vessel in danger, and with the potion world in chaos, it's up to Gordy, Max, and Adilene to rally the remaining Potion Masters before it's too late. A part of author Frank L. Cole's outstanding "Potion Masters" fantasy series for young readers ages 9-12, "The Transparency Tonic" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Transparency Tonic" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.75) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982575670, $34.95, CD).

Moon Tracks
Travis S. Taylor & Jody Lynn Nye
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781481483834, $24.00, HC, 256pp,

Barbara Winton and the rest of the Bright Sparks, Dr. Keegan Bright's team of young scientists, find themselves facing a challenge that will test all of their scientific skills and personal courage. They are competing in the first ever race to completely circle the Moon. The Sparks, and twenty-five other teams, have to count on one another as they face thousands of kilometers of unknown dangers, where even a simple accident can have fatal consequences. They form close friendships with racers from all over Earth, but also have to deal with former Spark, Pam, a mysterious and threatening figure whose departure from the Sparks program is shrouded in mystery. While the Sparks compete in the race, Dr. Bright himself is part of a groundbreaking project to seek out rare minerals underneath a crater. On the far side of the Moon, in the airless, frozen depths beneath the lunar surface, disaster strikes. On the thinly settled Moon only the Bright Sparks may be close enough help him. The young scientist find themselves not only racing for victory, but to save their beloved mentor. A deftly crafted, exceptionally entertaining, and impressively original novel by the team of Travis S. Taylor and Jody Lynn Nye, "Moon Tracks" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to highschool and community library Young Adult Science Fiction collections for readers ages 12-17. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Moon Tracks" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Devil's Pact
V. S. McGrath
Brain Mill Press
9781948559256, $16.95, PB, 363pp,

If Hettie Alabama could do what she was told and stand down she might not anyway! Especially when the letters her sister sends from her place of hiding don't seem quite right, and Hettie's posse is tying her hands tighter by the day. She's itching to take the safety off her cursed mage gun, the Devil's Revolver, and walk through the fire to end the reign of evil that's choking the magic out of the West -- not to mention save her sister once and for all. The only problem? Hettie's name is in the headlines and on every wanted poster in the nation -- but she's not the one robbing banks and killing innocents, even if the pictures look just like her. She's up to her chin in high-necked gowns and beauty glamors, charged with fulfilling her word to the influential Favreau family of New Orleans, even as it becomes increasingly clear that they want only to consolidate the world's waning magic in the hands of the rich and powerful. The politics get more personal as the most loyal of Hettie's gang uncover the threat of an immoderate technology that steals magic from the unwitting innocent and transfers it to the nefarious elite. Hettie has no choice but to go rogue, and when she drops a black hat over her brow, the Devil's Revolver's trigger glows hot. An evil twin, deep magic, zombies, menacing grand balls, a train heist, hand-to-hand high-stakes battles, and two sisters who have grown in their power to face and fight the end of the Weird West, "The Devil's Pact" is author V. S. McGrath's third title in her simply outstanding, deftly crafted and original 'The Devil's Revolver' fantasy fiction series. While especially recommended for community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Devil's Pact" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Padraig Kenny
Chicken House
c/o Scholastic
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338277555, $16.99, HC, 288pp,

In an alternative England of the 1930s where the laws of mechanics govern even the most talented engineers, a mismatched group of mechanicals want nothing more than to feel human. Under the guardianship of the devious and unlicensed Gregory Absalom, an engineer who creates mechanical children, they have no choice but to help him in his unlawful practice. But through his unethical work, Absalom winds up creating a loyal and lively group of friends who will go to the ends of the Earth for one another. When the story's protagonist, Christopher, discovers a devastating secret about himself and the friends are torn apart, it's up to his friends to find him. What they'll discover is the secret about the dark experiment that ended in disaster many years before. "Tin" by Padraig Kenny is an adventure story about friendship, courage, and loyalty, and what it means to be human. While very highly recommended for both school and community library collections for young readers ages 8-12, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tin" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Devouring Gray
Christine Lynn Herman
9781368024969, $18.99, HC, 368pp,

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn't: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods. Justin Hawthorne's bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray - a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family's powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can't let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect. Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny - to what extent, even she doesn't yet know. The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families' abilities... before the Gray devours them all. All the more impressive when considering that "The Devouring Gray" is author Christine Lynn Herman's debut as a novelist, this deftly written and inherently riveting read is unreservedly recommended for both highschool and community library YA Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Devouring Gray" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781974931231, $29.99, CD).

The Christian Shelf

When I Pray for You
Matthew Paul Turner, author
Kimberley Barnes, illustrator
WaterBrook Press
c/o WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
9780525650584, $11.99, HC, 48pp,

With lyricism, whimsy, and heartfelt emotion, author Matthew Paul Turner reveals the tender emotions connected with watching a beloved child grow up and experience the world in "When I Pray for You". Deftly paired with Kimberley Barnes's vivid and playful illustrations, "When I Pray for You" is a beautifully affirming book, in which children and parents will see their own stories come to life. "When I Pray for You" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99) and unreservedly recommended.

The Judaic Shelf

Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel
Jordan B. Gorfinkel and Erez Zadok
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9789657760031 $19.95

Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel was created especially to make the Biblical story of Passover, the unabridged Seder service text, and "how to" instructions for proper rituals thoroughly accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds. The colorful graphic novel pages depict the harsh lives of the Jews who were slaves in ancient Egypt, and how the intercession of God saved them, with references to how modern-day Jewish families remember, celebrate, and persevere. Interspersed between the English-language graphic novel pages is the traditional Seder service text, in Hebrew and transliteration, as well as cartoons with step-by-step instructions for correctly enacting rituals, hosted by charming anthropomorphic goats. Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel is an invaluable, accurate, and reader-friendly teaching tool, highly recommended especially for Jewish families, synagogue libraries, and anyone seeking to learn more about Passover and its traditional observance.

Esther's Gragger
Martha Seif Simpson
Wisdom Tales
c/o World Wisdom
1501 East Hillside Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401
9781937786755, $16.95,

Esther's Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim is illustrated by D. Yael Bernhard and tells of Esther's dilemma when she earns a special whirling noisemaker (a "gragger") from delivering charitable gifts on Purim. She's ready to carry her treasure in the Purim parade; but first she must face a bully who seeks to steal her prize. Kids with good reading skills will appreciate a close inspection of Purim celebrations, challenges to peace and wellbeing, and a warm story of overcoming adversity.

The Islamic Shelf

Under My Hijab
Hena Khan, author
Aaliya Jaleel, illustrator
Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781620147924, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

Usually covering the head and chest, a hijab is a veil worn by some Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family. Grandma wears it clasped under her chin. Aunty pins hers up with a beautiful brooch. Jenna puts it under a sun hat when she hikes. Zara styles hers to match her outfit. As a young girl observes six very different women in her life who each wear the hijab in a unique way, she also dreams of the rich possibilities of her own future, and how she will express her own personality through her hijab. Written in sprightly rhyme by Hena Khan and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, "Under My Hijab" honors the diverse lives of contemporary Muslim women and girls, their love for each other, and their pride in their culture and faith. A very special addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "Under My Hijab" is especially and unreservedly recommended reading for children ages 4-7.

The Activity Shelf

Jane Austen for Kids: Her Life, Writings, and World with 21 Activities
Nancy Sanders, author
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610
9781613738535, $16.99, HC, 144 pages,

Written for an audience of children ages 9 years and up, "Jane Austen for Kids" introduces a world famous English female author from the Revolutionary influenced era of 1775 through 1817. Beginning with a brief, illuminated timeline, "Jane Austen for Kids" continues with chapters on the Austen family's distinguished ancestors. Frequent black and white photographs and illustrations portray Jane Austen at different times in her life. Many quotations from her works are offered in sidebars, plus photographs and illustrations of historic places she was familiar with. Ms. Austen's early writings, or juvenilia are introduced and later mature works are also traced and described along with her process of writing. A remarkable woman and powerful literary force, Jane achieved a rare impact on conventions of writing both novels and other art forms including theater. Although Jane herself was not wealthy, she and her family were part of the gentry in Georgian England. As an author, Jane wrote passionately and profusely about themes such as morality and marriage, sense and sensibility, pride and prejudice, and much more. She is credited with redefining classic literature and crafting new forays in the novel form. "Jane Austen for Kids" includes 21 hands on activities to familiarize young readers with details of Jane's daily life and activities. Some of these include making a top hat, curling hair with rags, making a Regency style turban, performing a theatrical, decorating a candle, and learning to play a game of whist. Many historical sidebars add depth to the turbulent times and background in which Jane lived. Jane was an accomplished pianist as well as a writer, and she loved music. "Jane Austen for Kids" is a fabulous multi-sensory approach to the beguiling biography of a preeminent feminist author removed form us by 3 centuries, but still in vivid relief as a portrait of a literary giant. Part of a creative juvenile biography series, "Jane Austen for Kids" is a gateway to greatness book which encourages young readers to write and publish works, plays, and books of their own. Added resources include websites, books for study, selected bibliography, and Notes. "Jane Austen for Kids" has highest recommendations for encouraging interest in English literature, writing and history.

Myra Makes: Journey to Cloud City
Myra Makes team, author
Eliot Kersgaard,co-founder
Myra Makes Publisher
9780692902325 $14.00, PB, 64pp

"Journey to Cloud City" is a spiral -bound, black and white and color illustrated Create-Your-Own Adventure Book with Activities for Problem Solving and Teamwork by Myra Makes. Created for kids age 6 years and up, this fantastic book encourages kids to use creativity, tackle problems, and use art and creativity to build their own story adventure. Praised for its integrated learning goals such as literacy, STEAM, Social emotional learning, and creative problem solving, "Journey to Cloud City" invites readers to become the heroes of their own story. Many craft and artistic activities are embedded, and all are fun for kids and adults as well. Pages of the book fold out flat for kids to work on, doing math with squirrels and acorns, following mazes, drawing new scenes to be envisioned, learning about different animals through cutouts and profiles, and creating their own characters to help tell the story. many extra crafts or art activities are suggested or incorporated, using common materials. "Journey to Cloud City" is embraced as a learning packet that nourishes the child within each of us, encouraging cooperation, innovation, imagination, and problem solving skills. At the end are bonus pages that invite the reader to draw their own Cloud City and describe what animals and friends they would share it with. Then they are invited to build their own Cloud City, first listing features to include and materials available, connecting the two, and bringing their vision to life! "Journey to Cloud City" is more than a fun activity book; it helps kids learn and grow into empowered adults ready to tackle anything.

Garden Party Sticker Book
Frederick Warne
F. Warne & Company
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
9781524790971, $7.99,

Garden Party Sticker Book is a fun sticker story book for ages 3-5. While not suitable for library lending, it's the perfect item of choice for readers who enjoy fairies and stories surrounding their activities. The Flower Fairies books have sold millions of copies around the world, but this sticker book will attract new young audiences, staying true to the original art while including two sheets of stickers to help in the introduction and fun.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

German Calendar No December
Sylvia Ofili, author
Birgit Weyhe, illustrator
Cassava Republic Press
9781911115618, $24.95, HC, 192pp,

Olivia Evezi's childhood is a happy one; her days spent listening to highlife records with her father and poring over the colorful postcards her mother receives from Germany. But Olivia is a dreamer and longs for more, leaving her hometown of Warri behind to live out her Enid Blyton fantasies in boarding school in Lagos. Instead of adventure and lacrosse, however, she is met with punishments, endless chores and hazing rituals, as she struggles to overcome the terror and disdain of the seniors. Olivia's restlessness takes her to Germany, her mother's homeland, where she is thrown into a hidden world of workers and migrants; a world of constant vigilance, where a piece of paper can hold the key to survival. Sylvia Ofili is a writer and teacher currently based in Stockholm. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria of Nigerian/Hungarian parents and her writing has appeared in the Guardian Nigeria and Brittle Paper. She is also known as "The Waffarian" and has been writing on her blog for over ten years. Illustrated by Birgit Weyhe, "German Calendar No December" is Sylvia's first full length graphic novel for young readers ages 14-18, and an especially recommended addition to highschool and community library YA Fiction and Graphic Novels collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "German Calendar No December" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.69).

The Music CD Shelf

Quiet Night
Angela James
Privately Published
$10.00 CD / $10.00 digital

Quiet Night: A Collection of Lullabies is an original music CD created to soothe both parents and children in preparation for naptime or bedtime. Angela James performs the dulcet vocals and captivating guitar, assisted by Charles Rumback on vibraphone, Jason Stein on bass clarinet and Katherine Young on bassoon. Gentle and wistful, these songs linger in the drifting mind and are perfect for winding down as a family after a busy day. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Hummingbird", "Goodnight, My Honey", "Sun and Moon", "You're Always At Home", "Sweetest Bird", "Quiet Night", "Sailing", and "Hattie's Dream".

Buenos Diaz
The Lucky Band
Rainy Day Dime Music
$13.99 CD / $9.49

Emmy Award-winning duo Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis present Buenos Diaz, a bilingual English/Spanish album celebrating family life. A treat for parents and children to share, Buenos Diaz mixes English and Spanish lyrics to energetic music from electric guitars, drums, horns, even kazoos and toy pianos. Buenos Diaz is a joy to listen to, and perfect for enlivening a dreary day! The tracks are "Buenos Diaz - Presentando Nathalia", "Wake Up", "Nacho Song - Lucky Diaz, con Andrew y Polly", "Pan Dulce", "Como Se Dice?" "Zapatitos", "Taco Tuesday", "Mix It Up", "El Corazon - Presentando Bolsillos", "Estrellita - Presentando Nathalia", and "El Sol Te Siga".

The Poetry Shelf

They Call Me Guero: A Border Kid's Poems
David Bowles
Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas, El Paso, Texas 79901
9781947627079, $12.95, PB, 160pp,

Twelve-year-old Guero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He's starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. In Spanish, "Guero" is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican boxer. Guero is also a nerd (reader, gamer, musician) who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She's tough as nails. But trusting in his family's traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Guero has figured out how to cope -- He writes poetry! "They Call Me Guero: A Border Kid's Poems" by David Bowles (a native of the South Texas borderlands, where he teaches at the University of Texas Ro Grande Valley) is a compendium of poetry for young readers ages 8-12 and will prove to be a prized and welcome addition to school and community library collections.

The Science Shelf

Finding the Speed of Light
Mark Weston, author
Rebecca Evans, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
9780884485452 $17.95 hc / $11.68 Kindle

Finding the Speed of Light: The 1676 Discovery that Dazzled the World is a children's picturebook about a momentous event in the history of science - when Ole Romer deduced that light traveled at a speed (and wasn't simply instantaneous) using little more than a home-built telescope and an ordinary clock. Breathtakingly illustrated, Finding the Speed of Light is an inspirational joy to read aloud and share. Highly recommended, especially for school and public library children's picturebook collections.

Hey There, Earth Dweller!
Marc ter Horst, author
Wendy Panders, illustrator
Laura Watkinson, translator
Beyond Words
9781582706566, $19.99, HC, 176pp,

Ably translated into English by Laura Watkinson, "Hey There, Earth Dweller!" is the collaborative project of author Marc Ter Horst and illustrator Wendy Panders. "Hey There, Earth Dweller!" is a fun, educational journey into everything children ages 8-12 would want to know about our planet Earth. The kids are invited to learn about large-scale topics ranging from what makes up the many layers of the Earth (from the core to exosphere) to the many neighboring planets and moons that comprise our Solar System. Presented in a vibrant mixed medium design that cleverly and humorously combines original illustrations with photographs of everyday items, this creative take on an institutional topic allows kids to engage and grasp scientific concepts covered, while encouraging them to inquisitively uncover the answers to all of their planetary questions. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "Hey There, Earth Dweller!" is an especially recommended addition to family, school, and community library collections.

The American History Shelf

Biddy Mason Speaks Up
Arisa White and Laura Atkins, authors
Laura Freeman, illustrator
Heyday Books
9781597144032 $18.00 hc / $9.99 Kindle

Part of the "Fighting for Justice" series written especially for young adults ages 10 and older, Biddy Mason Speaks Up is more than just a biography of Biddy Mason (1818-1891), an African- American woman born into slavery who successfully petitioned a California court for her freedom. There are pages of lyrical verse describing Biddy's life, but the majority of Biddy Mason Speaks Up teaches young adults about how slavery was once legal in the United States, the harsh conditions that slaves once endured, how escaped slaves or free black people in the United states were at risk for being kidnapped and enslaved, and the difficulties and injustice that persisted for former slaves long after the Civil War. Illustrated throughout with color artwork, historical photographs, maps, and more, Biddy Mason Speaks Up is a "must-have" for public school and community library children's collections, highly recommended.

The LGBT Shelf

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived
Daniel Errico, author
Shiloh Penfield, illustrator
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764356902 $16.99

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived is a rhyming children's picturebook that re-imagines classic fairy tale tropes from an LGBT perspective. The story follows young Cedric's journey from pumpkin farmer to squire to knight. He ingeniously defies a fearsome dragon to rescue a prince and princess. The princess offers to wed Cedric, but his feelings are different! Cedric says, "There's someone else I love, and I believe we're meant to be. I'd like to wed the prince if he does feel the same for me." After the wedding and a happily-ever-after conclusion is a brief message from the United Nations Human Rights Office. The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived is a tool that parents can read and share with children as a starting point to discuss LGBT social issues such as same-sex marriage.

Books in Series

I'll Be A Police Officer
Connie Colwell Miller, author
Silvia Baroncelli, illustrator
Amicus Inc.
PO Box 1329, Mankata, MN 56002
9781681523187, $20.95, Library Binding; $8.99 PB, 24pp,

Part of the outstanding 'When I Grow Up' series for children ages 6-8, "I'll Be A Police Officer" presents a typical day in the life of a police officer as a young girl pretends to be a law enforcement officer while on a walk with her dad. Included is a glossary and a thematically and age appropriate activity. Very highly recommended for school and community library collections, the other titles comprising this fun and informative series include: "I'll Be A Carpenter" (9781681513966, Library Binding, $20.95; $8.99 PB); "I'll Be An Engineer" (9781681514017, Library Binding, $20.95; $8.99 PB); "I'll Be A Librarian" (9781681513973, Library Binding, $20.95; $8.99 PB); "I'll Be A Teacher" (9781681513997, Library Binding, $20.95; $8.99 PB); "I'll Be A Truck Driver" (9781681514000, Library Binding, $20.95; $8.99 PB).

Heroes of Light and Sound
Joy Lin, author
Alan Brown, illustrator
B. E. S. Publishing
9781438012667 $8.99

"Heroes of Light and Sound" is one of a series of four Superpower Science texts that uses graphic art plus science principles to investigate the theory behind comic book superhero powers if they were real and manifested within human experience and observable limitations. The book, in comic book format, begins with the supposition: "Let's see what happens when you apply the laws of science to superpowers......." The reader is then introduced to Mr. Invisible, X-ray Iris, Supersonic, and the Screaming Beam, superhero characters who illustrate superpowers of senses of sight and hearing, vocal production, and capacity for invisibility. The exciting format presents scientific principles as applied to biological entities to investigate how they work and what would happen if a person had heightened abilities in certain areas. The results are sometimes surprising and always interesting. Results are sometimes extreme and sometimes comic, but always riveting to an audience of readers age 9 and up. This creative series has major educational potential and also acts as a carrot for reluctant readers. The full color comic style illustrations are both accurate and appealing and the dramatic narrative is both educational and exciting. Further titles in this series that are also highly recommended include the following: "Masters of Matter (9781438012674, $8.99)," by Joy Lin, illustrated by Alan Brown, "Fantastic Forces and Motion (9781438012650, $8.99)," by Joy Lin, illustrated by Alan Brown, and "The Superhuman Body (9781438012681, $8.99)," also by Joy Lin and illustrated by Alan Brown.

Animals Have Classes Too!: Amphibians
Jodie Mangor
Rourke Educational Media
P.O. Box 820, Vero Beach, FL 32961
9781643690308, $29.93 HC, 24pp,

In "Animals Have Classes Too!: Amphibians" author Jodie Mangor introduces children ages 6-9 to animal classifications by explaining how amphibians are grouped. Through photos, text, and sidebars, young readers will explores the differences and similarities between several classes, families, genera, and species of amphibians, and how animal classification works. Young readers will also find out how amphibians are classified and what makes them unique. This simply outstanding animal science series also includes "Animals Have Classes Too!: Anthropods" (9781643690636); "Animals Have Classes Too!: Birds" (9781643690292); "Animals Have Classes Too!: Fish" (9781643690315); "Animals Have Classes Too!: Mammals" (9781643690285); "Animals Have Classes Too!: Reptiles" (9781643690773). While unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted that each of the six titles comprising the Animals Have Classes Too! series are also available in a paperback edition ($8.95) and in a digital Kindle book format ($1.99).

Dealing With... When People Die
Jane Lacey, author
Venetia Dean, illustrator
PowerKids Press
c/o Rosen Publishing Group
29 East 21st. St., New York, NY 10010
9781538339145 $26.25 list $19.70 S & L 32 pages hardcover

"When People Die" is a title from the "Dealing With...." series for readers at grade levels 3-6. Using different children's specific experiences with reactions to the death of a beloved person, the book's eleven chapters help kids begin to process complex reactions and questions about death, such as, What is death? What happens at a funeral? I'm angry at (my brother) for leaving me. I miss (grandpa). I'm afraid I will die too. Will I ever stop feeling sad? I don't want to say goodbye! and more. Suggestions for ways to work through acceptance of death are made in chapter titled How can I remember someone special? and also, When our friend died: playscript. Each chapter start's with the example of who the person was to the young mourner, then there are three following sections titled (child's name)'s story, What can (child's name) do? and What (child's name) did. Cheerfully colored portraits of individual's with expressive faces trace different feelings, reactions and emotions shared by the grieving child. Some of the special memorial suggestions are quite helpful and creative, such as remembering special experiences you shared with the person, making a photo album or a memory box, or planting a tree for the person where they can watch it grow. With an overall tone of calm, factual acceptance, "When People Die" is a powerful tool that can help children from age 7-8 and up to deal with the difficult experience of having someone close to you die. At the end is a helpful glossary of terms, and suggested books and sources of further information about children dealing with grief and loss, or death and dying. In this same "Dealing With....." series are the following titles by the same author and illustrator, which are also very highly recommended: "Dealing With... Divorce (9781538339022, $19.70 S & L)," "Dealing With... A New Baby (9781538338940, $19.70 S & L)," "Dealing With Stepfamily (9781538339107, $19.70 S & L)," "Dealing With..... Racism (9781538339060, $19.70 S & L)," and "Dealing With... Bullying (9781538338988, $19.70 S & L)."

Muslim Immigrants: In Their Shoes
Amy C. Rea, author
c/o Child's World
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003
9781503828001 $28.50 32 pages library binding

From the Immigrant Experiences series, "Muslim Immigrant: In Their Shoes" traces the earliest Muslim immigrants to the United States, their reasons for immigrating here, countries of origin for Muslim immigrants, and more information about 21st century Muslim immigrants to the U. S. The story begins with two pages of Fast Facts about Islam in the U. S. and the history of Muslim immigration and a timeline tracing Muslim immigration and related key events, and four chapters titled The First Muslim Immigrants to Arrive, Looking for a Better Life, Muslims From All Over the World, and Twenty-First Century Muslim Immigrants. One interesting fact from the Fast Facts section is; "The first large group of Muslims came to the United States in the 1600s. They were from Africa and were forced into slavery (p. 4)." Another interesting notation from the Timeline is "2007: The first Muslim American is elected to Congress: Keith Ellison. Ellison uses Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Quran to swear his oath of office (p. 5)." Beginning from 1878-1924, Muslim immigrants from the Middle East arrived in the U. S., settling mostly in Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and the Dakotas. One Muslim man who settled in Cedar Rapids, where the first Muslim Mosque of America was built in 1934, representing 'freedom, respect, integrity and hard work.' many Muslims came to America fleeing chaotic living conditions at the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, in 1922. A young Muslim man from Syria came to Detroit and worked in the Henry Ford plant making model T cars. Although he was not literate, he wished to be able to understand and practice his religion, so he studied Arabic to learn to read the Quran. Working hard to learn after long hours of Ford plant work, the young Muslim man succeeded in learning Arabic and began to offer full Islamic services to other Muslim neighbors, including weddings, funerals, and Islamic education for children. In the 1920s he became the imam, or worship leader in his community. he worked providing worship services for Muslims for nearly 50 years. In 1965, the Hart-Celler Act made it illegal to prohibit immigration by someone based on race, gender, nationality, or place of birth. Muslims from India, and many other countries began to arrive in the U. S. seeking opportunities to use their degrees and skills, or to obtain more education. The Muslim immigrants found many cultural differences in the U. S., but they often chose to stay in their adopted country. Twenty first century Muslim immigrants face special prejudice and even hatred especially since September 11, 2001, because of the fear of Muslim terrorism such as that which inspired the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Their source was a terrorist group from Central Asia, and all other Muslims who were immigrants or becoming immigrant to the U. S. were not to blame for their actions. Even so, it has been difficult for Muslim Americans since that time. Everyone needs to work to make life peaceful and safe for everyone every day. Overcoming racism is a difficult process that affects the daily lives of American Muslims and others. "Muslim Immigrants: In Their Shoes" ends with a glossary, source notes, and a list of related books and web sites to learn more about Muslim immigration to the United States. Clear, expository narrative prose and colored and black and white photos enrich this succinct guide to Muslim immigration to the United States. Also highly recommended are the following titles from the Immigrant Experiences series: "Central American Immigrants: In Their Shoes (9781503627950)," by Patricia Hutchison, "Catholic Immigrants: In Their Shoes (9781503827943)," by Jeanne Marie Ford, "Chinese Immigrants: In Their Shoes (9781503827967)," by Janie Havemeyer, "Filipino Immigrants In Their Shoes (9781503827974)," by Gretchen Maurer, "Indian Immigrants In Their Shoes (9781503827981)," by Jeanne Marie Ford, "Jewish Immigrants In Their Shoes (9781503827998)," by Barbara Krasner, and "Russian Immigrants In Their Shoes (9781503828018)," by Barbara Krasner.

The Lost and Found Weekend
Kiki Thorpe, author
Barbara Bongini, illustrator
Kane Press, Inc.
225 East 46th St., #4D, New York, NY 10017-2924
9781635921168, $5.99, PB, 32pp, www.kanepress

From the STEAM initiative based Makers Make It Work series, "The Lost and Found Weekend" features Gia's new found talent of sewing as a tool to help her forgetful Dad remember needed items for their camping trip. Gia and her Dad planned to climb Mount Baldy, the highest mountain they had yet attempted. Gia's favorite hobby is sewing. She sewed her Dad a special hat for the trip. She packed her organized sewing kit along for the trip. At the last minute, Gia and her Dad checked their trip list and found they had everything, except the key! Somehow it was found in the cooler. When they got to the campsite, ready to set up camp, it rained, and the tarp tore in a gust of wind. With her sewing kit, Gia was able to patch the tent with fishing line. Later Gia went fishing with her Dad and tore her shirt with her hook! Back at the campsite, she mended her shirt with her handy dandy sewing kit. The next day they set off to hike Mt. Baldy. Gia decided to pack a needle and thread in her backpack just in case. After seeing her first moose on the hiking trail, the two had a sandwich lunch in a mountain meadow. Then Dad's backpack trap tore, but he was able to fix it with Gia's needle and thread. The pair hiked all the way to the top of the mountain and took pictures of the view. One more hike down to the campsite, and one more night camping found the pair ready to pack up to go home. However, Gia's Dad couldn't find his glasses or his phone. Then the phone rang with Grandma calling and it was found in the front seat of the car. Grandma suggested they look on top of Dad's head for his glasses, guess what that check revealed? On the way back, Gia thought of her father's tendency to lose important things and decided to make a special vest to help him be organized. With her Grandma's help, she chose a vest from a thrift shop and planned to add four sturdy colored fabric pockets to hold Dad's cell phone, glasses, keys, and other items. Grandma helped Gia to mark the pockets' position on the vest with fabric marker, then prep and sew the pockets on with a sewing machine. Gia's final touch was a patch that said "Baldy," a token of their hiking trip. Gia called it his life vest, to help him with everyday living! "The Lost and Found Weekend" features many special sidebars about sewing skills, written on small white patches stitched at the edge with red thread. At the end of the story, there are learning tips, look back reminders, a suggestion about upcycling, and another sewing project for making an old T-shirt into a handy bookbag. The jaunty colored illustrations and peppy narrative keep interest and reading humming along just like your favorite sewing machine. An interesting side note features a bi-racial family, with Gia as an African American girl while her Dad and Grandmother are Anglo- American. "The Lost and Found Weekend" is a wonderful exploration of the creative use of sewing skills to meet a variety of challenges on an outdoor camping trip. The message is empowerment through making and creativity, encouraging kids to learn and use their many interests and special skills. Also highly recommended are the following titles from the Makers Make It Work series: "Rocket Rivals (9781635921199, $5.95)," by Lisa Harkrader, illustrated by Tammie Lyon, "Slime King (9781635921229, $5.95)," by Catherine Daly and illustrated by Maine Diaz, and "The Broken Bees' Nest (9781635921137, $5.95)," by Lydia Lukidis, illustrated by Andre Ceolin.

The Story Monsters Ink Shelf

Story Monsters LLC is dedicated to helping authors of all genres strive for excellence through our marketing and publicity services, Dragonfly Book Awards contests, Story Monsters Approved! awards program, opportunities for connecting with schools, and the award-winning Story Monsters Ink(R) magazine.

Where's Buddha
Marisa Aragon Ware
9781611805871, $16.95

Diana Fisher

Where's Buddha is a wonderful picture book for families seeking to introduce their children to Buddhism. The beautiful illustrations perfectly complement the simple - yet deeply meaningful - prose. Each page of the story shows that Buddha is everywhere, while also imparting aspects of awareness, such as oneness with the natural world, cultural diversity, and unity. (Ages 1-3)

A Green Place To Be: The Creation Of Central Park
Ashley Benham Yazdani
9780763696955, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

I love history! All the mysteries and wonders that connect then to now, and there to here. We walk about our surroundings with barely a thought of the hows and whys and whos that brought about how we live. In 1858, two men created a monumental landscape that still thrives today, New York's famed Central Park. An interesting story and delightful awakening to its efforts, structure, and beauty. (Ages 2-5)

The Mouse Who Wasn't Scared
Petr Horacek
Candlewick Press
9780763698812, $15.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Fear can be a very natural and common response to an intimidating situation for everybody. But, what actually intimidates someone is more personal and unique to each person. What scares me may never scare you. Bunny warns Little Mouse to stay out of the woods and away from the big, scary animals, but Mouse isn't afraid. Until, she encounters a cute, fluffy kitten.... (Ages 2-5)

Thunder Pug
Kim Norman, author
Keika Yamaguchi, illustrator
Sterling Children's Books
9781454923589, $16.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a delightful tale of friendship. The little pug and pig have a life of many great times together. But, when success and praise comes to pig, her life takes on a new dimension and Pug begins to feel left out. Sometimes, it's hard to be happy when our friends find success. They suddenly may be pulled in new directions with new interests, and even new friends. Pug tries to fill his empty time with a cause of his own, only to discover that what makes any venture truly successful is who we share it with! This sweet story gives us much to consider. (Ages 3+)

The Purple Frog
Angela Jeffreys, author
Mike Motz, illustrator
OC Publishing
9780995284180, $12.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This cute story carries a full load of wisdom. Hubert is a smart purple frog. And though he is smart, he's not happy. You see, he doesn't fit in, because all the other frogs are green and he is different. He is picked on at school and harassed by his siblings at home. This adorable story takes us on Hubert's journey of self-discovery and shares the joys of being who we are truly meant to be. (Ages 3-7)

Noah Builds an Ark
Kate Banks, author
John Rocco, illustrator
Candlewick Press
9780763674847, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

The wonder of an old tale is shared in the experience of a young boy. A storm is coming! Noah watches his father preparing his family for safety, and decides he, too, needs to protect his creature friends of the garden. Following the love and wisdom of his parents, he knows just what to do. Noah builds his modern-day ark to house and protect his little friends. A delightful way to strengthen lasting truths. Fabulous artwork. (Ages 3-7)

Tyler the Fish Visits the Lorain Lighthouse
Meaghan Fisher, author
Tim Rowe, illustrator
Gypsy Publications
9781938768750, $6.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Our favorite little bass from Lake Erie is back to share with us another great adventure! Tyler and his friends are going on a field trip to the Lorain Lighthouse. They will learn many new and interesting facts about the wonderful things they share with the sea. Tyler also learns that knowing the history around us makes us appreciate our connection to it all the more. (Ages 4-9)

Ninja Camp
Sue Fliess, author
Jen Taylor, illustrator
Running Press Kids
9780762463312, $17.99

Diana Fisher

For children interested in martial arts, Ninja Camp is the entertaining adventure of multicultural ninja students training, learning the ninja creed, and testing their abilities by retrieving - ninja style - the stolen "shadow blade." This rhyming story reads well and the stylized illustrations are colorful and fun. (Ages 4-8)

Born to Ride: A Story About Bicycle Face
Larissa Theule, author
Kelsey Garrity-Riley, illustrator
Abrams Books
9781419734120, $17.99

Diana Fisher

Set in the year 1896 when girls were not allowed to wear pants or ride bicycles, Louisa Belinda decides she can do anything she sets her mind to. She dons pants and tries to ride her brother's bicycle (with his help), despite scary warnings about developing "bicycle face," and after some difficulty, joyously succeeds. In addition to the delightfully written story and whimsical illustrations, a brief history of the 1890s bicycle craze and women's suffrage movement are included. (Ages 4-8)

Diamond's Kindergarten Madness
Nicole M. Stevenson
9781979352581, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a cheery approach to those first day of school jitters. As Diamond's apprehension gets away from her, she imagines all sorts of scary things that await her. How relieved she is when she arrives! The illustrations are as sweet as Diamond herself. The author has included a helpful list of ways to prevent those first day jitters. (Ages 5-6)

Change the World Before Bedtime, second edition
Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Hillard Good
9780764342387, $16.99

Larissa Juliano

The cover of this beautiful book engages you before you even start reading. Rhyming text, delightful and unique illustrations, speech bubbles, and cute animal characters - little ones will love reading about kind and caring deeds we can do every day. As a mom and teacher, I simply love the wonderful and heartfelt message this book delivers to our most precious readers. The illustrations are adorable with pen and paper cut outs and other interesting media. Bonus: Special pages in the back of the book to write your own good deeds or acts of kindness and additional examples of helping out from the writing and drawing team. (Ages 5-8)

The Real Boat
Marina Aromshtam, author
Victoria Semykina, illustrator
9781536202779, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

A little paper boat floats happily in the safe confines of a little pond, unaware of the wild journey that lies ahead of him. Much like life, we all stir from our peaceful surroundings eager to find what lies ahead. Many experiences lead us along our way, some hard, some dangerous, and some strong and defining. Little boat discovers there are many different boats beyond his small bond, and comes to find his own personal identity. (Ages 5-8)

A Stone for Sascha
Aaron Becker
9780763665968, $17.99

Larissa Juliano

Author and illustrator Aaron Becker truly is one-of-a-kind in the children's book industry and readers of all ages will relish this incredibly unique and special wordless picture book. Becker's stories always encompass a journey and A Stone for Sasha is no exception. The story begins with a little girl mourning the loss of her beloved pet dog. When the family goes on a vacation, the little girl notices another child playing with a dog. Naturally, this evokes emotions in the girl and she decides to throw a stone very far in the water. What happens next can be interpreted differently by each reader. Truly fascinating. As soon as the majestically illustrated story finishes, readers will flip right back to the beginning to revel in this stone's journey again. (Ages 5-9)

Mommy Do My Hair
Yesenia Hernandez, author
Levar J. Reese, illustrator
Warren Publishing
9781943258673, $9.95

Diana Fisher

Styling hair can be a special, loving, and fun activity, as illustrated in Mommy Do My Hair. This joyful story skips along happily through different situations where hairstyle possibilities are endless - especially for girls with curly hair - encouraging originality and confidence, while highlighting the bond between mothers and daughters. (Ages 5-9)

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Birds
Candlewick Entertainment
9781536200690, $9.99

Diana Fisher

This jam-packed book is a kid's guide to exploring the world of birds with activities, stickers, crafts, facts, and tips for recognizing different kinds of feathered friends. It covers safety guidelines - for both the exploring child and birds and their habitats - and how to find different species. The illustrations are attractive and the information is well presented. (Ages 5-8)

Clackety Track: Poems About Trains
Skila Brown, author
Jamey Christoph, illustrator
9780763690472, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Rows of grooves, cables, and bars. Graffiti rockin' out the cars. A badge of rust. A proud oil stain. There's nothin' plain about a train. This fun rhythm carries a mounting excitement as you experience the vast line of trains throughout the book. It's fun. It's memorable, and it's educational, too! (Ages 5-8)

Rusty and the Circus of Doubt
G. Russell Reynolds
Vegas Publisher, LLC
9780996843775, $11.99

Diana Fisher

Rusty is a circus elephant with big dreams, who feels bullied and trapped. He discovers what is holding him back with the help of a wise - and funny - circus monkey. This inspirational story is suspenseful enough to keep the reader engaged to the end. It's amusing, sometimes a little sad, and imparts wisdom about believing in one's self and compassion for others. (Ages 6-9)

Mr. Wolf's Class: Mystery Club
Aron Nels Steinke
9781338047738, $9.99

Diana Perry

Another well-plotted graphic novel about Mr. Wolf's class. Randy, Aziza, and Margot have too many mysteries to solve in this middle-grade novel. Their teacher from last year, Mr. Green, has not returned to teach this year - it's like he just disappeared. Aziza's frisbee has also disappeared, along with many footballs, baseballs, and other sports items. To answer these questions, the three friends start a mystery club! What could be more fun? Young readers will relate to the events that these three students try to deal with. It's never boring in Mr. Wolf's classroom! (Ages 7-10)

President of Poplar Lane
Margaret Mincks
Viking Books
9780425290934, $16.99

Olivia Amiri, age 12

President of Poplar Lane is a smart book with lots of lessons dealing with middle school kids. The presidential election for 7th grade is coming up and Mike Strange and Clover O'Reilly are competing. This is a book not only about competition, but about lessons in ethics, honesty, and politics, much like in our world today. Sometimes winning by all costs doesn't pay off. Read the book and find out who wins the election! (Ages 8-12)

Game of Stars
Sayantani DasGupta
Scholastic Press
9781338185737, $17.99

Diana Perry

When the Demon Queen shows up in her bedroom, smelling of acid and surrounded by evil-looking bees, 12-year-old Kiranmala is uninterested. After all, it's been weeks since she last heard from her friends in the Kingdom Beyond, the alternate dimension where she was born as an Indian princess. But after a call to action over an interdimensional television station and a visit with some all-seeing birds, Kiran decides that she has to once again return to her homeland, where society is fraying, a terrible game show reigns supreme, and friends and foes alike are in danger. Kiran must once again solve riddles and battle her evil Serpent King father - all while discovering what it really means to be a hero. This is an engaging, action-adventure with riddles that young readers will have so much fun trying to solve. The ultimate bedtime story. (Ages 8-12)

Oscar Goes to School
Meaghan Fisher and Emma Rose Fisher-Rowe
Gypsy Publications
9781938768804, $6.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This cute story of a very smart and curious kitty who wants to go to school is the product of 7-year-old Emma Rose. Capturing on paper the details of a dream she had of her much loved orange tabby cat, Emma wanted to make it into a book for others to enjoy. Her desire moves beyond entertaining us with her kitty's silly antics - a sweet story that proves no matter how old you are, you can be an author! (Ages 8-12)

Ruff vs. Fluff (A Queenie and Arthur Novel)
Spencer Quinn
Scholastic Press
9781338091397, $17.99

Diana Perry

Queenie the cat and Arthur the dog appear to have a lot in common. Both pets live in the charming Blackberry Hill Inn. They both love their humans, twins Harmony and Bro. They both have a fondness for sausage. But that doesn't change the fact that they are mortal enemies. But when the twins' beloved cousin is framed for murder, Queenie and Arthur must work together to clear his name ... something Queenie finds even more distasteful than inexpensive caviar. This is the perfect early reader. Kids will love following the clues to solve the mystery. (Ages 8-12)

Secondhand Wishes
Anna Staniszewski
Scholastic Press
9781338280173, $16.99

Diana Perry

Lexi has to keep the universe in balance. If she does enough good things, like being on time, then the bad things, like her little brother needing more surgery, won't happen. It doesn't always work, but she has to keep trying. Just in case. On an extra bad day, Lexi finds a bag of four wishing stones in the antique shop in town, and wishes that her BFF Cassa and the new girl would stop talking to each other. That night, Cassa calls Lexi, crying over the end of her friendship with Marina. The wishes work ... sort of. Young readers will thrill over the many mysteries to solve in this book; they unravel one at a time like the petals opening on a rose. This story is a good moral lesson as Lexi learns how to find her true self. (Ages 8-12)

George Washington Carver for Kids
Peggy Thomas
Chicago Review Press
9780915864003, $16.99

Diana Perry

The inspiring story of a remarkable American. It includes a timeline, resources for further research, and 21 hands-on activities to help better appreciate Carver's genius. This book should be in classrooms everywhere! I loved learning about his many important accomplishments. This is a fun-to-read historical book and kids will enjoy doing the activities over and over and learning more about how their grandparents and great-grandparents lived. (Ages 9+)

Tree of Dreams
Laura Resau
Scholastic Press
9780545800884, $17.99

Diana Perry

This urgent, beautiful novel takes readers into the ugly realities that surround the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and its people. Acclaimed author Laura Resau shows us that love is more powerful than hatred, and that by working together, hope can be magically restored, root and branch. Young readers will feel like they are actually in the Amazon by the detailed descriptions and illustrations. (Ages 9-12)

Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books
c/o Random House
9780553521412, $16.99

Diana Perry

Mikayla is a wrestler. When you grow up in a house full of brothers who wrestle, it's inevitable. It's also a way to stay connected to her oldest brother, Evan, who moved in with their dad. Some people object to having a girl on the team. But that's not stopping Mikayla. She's determined to work harder than ever, and win. This book brilliantly touches on a controversial subject and will surely start conversations with young readers and get them thinking. (Ages 9-12)

Where the Heart is
Jo Knowles
9781536200034, $16.99

Olivia Amiri, age 12

This is a book that dives into the crises that teenagers go through, such as confusion, change, family, friendships, and other issues. Thirteen-year-old Rachel is on summer break. Her summer is not exactly what she expected. Her new job is not so fun, her family is having financial problems, her parents are arguing, and she's confused about her sexual orientation ... that's a lot for a 13-year-old to process. It's a good story with a lot of heart. (Ages 10-14)

Behind These Hands
Linda Vigen Philips
Light Messages Publishing
9781611532593, $16.99

Diana Fisher

When her life is turned upside down from life-changing news that affects her entire family, high school music student Claire is thrust into a transformational journey dealing with difficult challenges. Behind These Hands is a beautifully written story about the power of love and friendship. It's relatable, inspirational, and relevant for any teen. Uniquely told in verse, this compelling story will keep the reader turning pages. (Ages 12+)

The Girl with the Broken Heart
Lurlene McDaniel
Delacorte Press
c/o Random House
9781524719487, $17.99

Diana Perry

Kenzie Caine is enrolled at Vanderbilt University, with the goal of becoming a veterinarian. When she lands a summer job caring for and helping to rehabilitate abused horses at the Bellmeade Estate stables, she is over-the-moon happy. One place she does not want to be is at home with her parents. Since the tragic death of Kenzie's younger sister, her mother has unraveled and her father has lost Kenzie's trust. This book has young love, life's tribulations to overcome, rediscovering one's self, and gives an in-depth view of how horses are treated and mistreated. I'd love to read more books by this author. (Ages 12+)

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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phone: 1-608-835-7937

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