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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 29, Number 8 August 2019 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Biography Shelf Native American Shelf Science Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Board Book Shelf Picturebook Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Language Studies Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Christian Shelf Political Science Shelf World History Shelf
Civil War Shelf Books in Series Story Monsters Ink Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

What Does A Police Horse Do?
Ellen F. Feld, author
John Cebula, photographer
Willow Bend Publshing
9780983113898, $9.95, PB, 36pp,

If children ages 2-6 have ever wondered what a police horse does, they can now find out with photographs of a real police horse as he performs his duties in "What Does A Police Horse Do?"! They will meet Liam who is a police horse with the Lancaster, PA Mounted Police Unit. Liam is a valued member of the police department with a very important job. Along with his partner, Officer Eric Lukacs, he patrols areas of the city, meets with school children, and even helps with crowd control at big events. Follow along with this very special horse to learn just what a police horse does every day. Liam's story by author Ellen F. Feld includes over 25 beautiful, professional photographs by John Cebula of the real Liam as he goes about his day. A portion of every sale will be donated to the Lancaster City Police Mounted and K-9 Units to help feed and care for Liam and the other horses and dogs of the unit. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "What Does A Police Horse Do?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.95).

Middle School Misfits: The Stained Glass Tree
Leona Lugan, author
Kyle Merriman, illustrator
Boys Town Press
13603 Flanagan Blvd., Boys Town, NE 68010
9781944882358, $8.95, PB, 128pp,

Drama defines middle school, and drama will always find Jilly. With Mom battling depression, and the family's financial struggles, they move frequently. As the family bounces from town to town, Jilly changes schools, a lot! And there is nothing scarier than coming into a new school smack in the middle of the semester. With her country accent, clothes that are far from cool, an odd, funny-to-pronounce family name (that earns her a terrible nickname), Jilly feels like an outcast. A misunderstood misfit. Can she find a way to fit in while still being true to herself? Independent readers and middle school students will relate to the challenges and joys that Jilly and her schoolmates experience in this timeless tale about facing your fears, making new friends (and frenemies), and avoiding, as much as possible, those humiliating middle school screw-ups. Of special note is that throughout "Middle School Misfits: The Stained Glass Tree", author Leona Lugan offers 'Think Critically' points accompanied with a 'Notes to Self" section for young readers to write down their own ideas and comments. "Middle School Misfits: The Stained Glass Tree" is especially recommended for children ages 10-14.

The Pencil
Susan Avingaq, author
Maren Vsetula, author
Charlene Chua, illustrator
Inhabit Media
9781772272161, $16.95, HC, 36pp,

Susan and her sister, Rebecca, love watching their mother write letters to people in other camps. Their mother has one precious pencil, and she keeps it safe in her box for special things. One afternoon, their mother leaves the iglu to help a neighbor, and Susan, Rebecca, and their brother Peter are left with their father. They play all their regular games but are soon out of things to do until their father brings out the pencil! As Susan draws and draws, the pencil grows shorter and shorter. What will their mother think when she comes home? Based on author Susan Avingaq's childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "The Pencil" (co- authored by Maren Vsetula and illustrated by Charlene Chua) is a thoroughly charming and entertaining story that introduces young readers ages 5-7 to the idea of using things wisely.

The Hawk and the Dove
Paul Kor
Kids Can Press
9781525301254, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

The hawk is sad. He is tired of war. So, he changes his face and puts on gloves. Whoosh! He has become a gentle dove. And all around him, the world is at peace. No more canon blasts. No more bombs. Planes turn into butterflies. Soldiers' guns sprout dazzling flowers. Everyone is joyful as a blanket of calm envelops the world. However, though happy now, the dove still worries. Will it last? "The Hawk and the Dove" is a truly extraordinary and thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book for children ages 5-8 and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. Of special note at the end of "The Hawk and the Dove" details the inspiration behind the story and the book's creation, accompanied by photographs.

Editorial Note: The late Paul Kor, an internationally acclaimed Israeli author-illustrator, sought to create a miracle with this children's picture book borne out of his own brutal experiences of war. With its striking illustrations, the simple but powerful story offers a hopeful message of peace in a time of uncertainty.

The Social Issues Shelf

It's My Way or the Highway
Julia Cook, author
Kyle Merriman, illustrator
Boys Town Press
13603 Flanagan Blvd, Boys Town, NE 68010
9781944882372, $10.95, PB, 32pp,

Cora June is bossy little girl who points out her teacher's boring assignments, dictates the games people plays at recess, and even objects to family dinners. If Cora June doesn't get her way in the classroom, on the playground, or at home, she can make life miserable for those around her. Will anyone put the brakes on her outlandish demands? And will Cora June ever realize that she can be a leader, but still be flexible? Or that there's a difference between being assertive and being bossy? In "It's My Way or the Highway" by the team of author Julia Cook and artist Kyle Merriman, children ages 4-8 will see what lessons are learned in eye-opening and entertaining picture book story about the benefits of not always getting your way. "It's My Way or the Highway" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "It's My Way or the Highway" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West
Written by The Gagnon Family
Illustrated by Seth Yoder
JPV Press
9781946389121 $17.95

Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West is an allegorical children's picturebook about bullying. Inspired by the real-life trials young Joel Gagnon, who was born with Goldenhar syndrome, a rare disorder that affected one side of his face and required multiple reconstructive surgeries. Joel had to learn how to deal with the reactions of children his own age, and find his own worth and acceptance in spite of bullies. The Gagnon Family's bearded dragon, adopted from the Phoenix Herpetological Society, also contributes to this heartwarming and uplifting tale about cultivating one's own inner strength. Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West is highly recommended for both personal and public library picturebook collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Anole Invasion
Marta Magellan, author
Mauro Magellan, illustrator
Eifrig Publishing LLC
P.O. Box 66, Lemont, PA 16851
9781632330796 $9.99 31 pages

"Anole Invasion" is a book about the green anole, a lizard whose territory is being invaded by another species of lizard called the Cuban brown anole. The Cuban brown anole probably came to Florida from Cuba via boat. It was not native to the United States. Another larger anole called the knight anole also came from Florida, another invasive species of lizard that eats smaller lizards like the green anole. Later other larger anoles also invaded the U. S., coming from Jamaica and Haiti, making the Florida habitat unsafe and unsupportive for the native species of green anole, and other species too. The invasive species cause displacement of the native species in this situation. Fortunately so far the green anole is not extinct or endangered, but is adapting to the invasive species by climbing higher up in trees. We need green anoles to keep forests and plants and gardens growing and healthy. This fascinating story of the Carolina or green anole's adaptation to invasive species of anole is educational and beautifully enhanced by expert color photographs of each anole species. The end of the book has two pages of excellent portraits of the crested anole, the Cuban anole, the green anole, and the knight anole, plus a full glossary of terms. "Anole Invasion" is an excellent resource for students of life sciences in grades 2 and up.

What Can I Do? A Donkey-Donk Story
Ellen F. Feld, author
John Cebula, photographer
Willow Bend Publishing
9780983113874 $9.95

"What Can I Do? A Donkey-Donk Story" is the color photo-illustrated story of Donk, a miniature donkey, and his move to a new farm. On this farm are many other horses and ponies who each can do something special. Donk wonders what he can do? Rumfire is a show horse, but his ribbons alone are too long for Donk, so he can't do that. Frosty and Skittles can run very fast and Donk tries, but no, he can't do that either. Rerun, a pony, can pull a cart, but that is too hard for little Donk. Rocket can walk over a bridge and Spot can jump obstacles, but Donk can't do those things either. Annie likes to walk over tarps, but Donk just gets lost under a tarp. Wondering what he can do, Donk meets a little girl who asks him for a hug. Can he do that? Yes he is just the right size for a little girl to hug ! "What Can I Do?" is filled with 36 full page photo portraits of Donk and his fellow equine farm residents enjoying their home together. The simple language and short descriptive narrative is easily accessible for young readers ages 4-8 years. "What Can I Do ?" is must read literature for children who love animals. Also highly recommended is "What Does a Police Horse Do? (9780983113898, $9.95)," by Ellen F. Feld, photo-illustrated by John Cebula, another nonfiction horse story by the same publisher and author and photographer.

Four Otters Toboggan
Vivian Kirkfield, author
Mirka Hokkanen, illustrator
Pomegranate Communications, Inc.
19018 NE Portal Way, Portland, OR 97230
9780764984358, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Water wakes. Wildlife greets the day and finds shelter, safety, and fun on the river in this lyrical, ecologically oriented counting book. One willow flycatcher, two dragonflies, three kit foxes, and more thrive in their habitat. As kids count, the day turns from dawn to dusk, and the character of the water changes as quickly as a child's moods. Animals sing, leap, tiptoe, toboggan, hoot, hunt, flit, flutter, and hover. They ride out a storm, bask in waning rays, and tuck in under the silver moon. Filled with modern wood engravings by Mirka Hokkanen, "Four Otters Toboggan" author Vivian Kirkfield celebrates wild beauty, encouraging children ages 5-8 to preserve and cherish our planet. After the story is finished, children can read more about each species in the back of the book, conservation efforts, what causes animals to become endangered, and what people can do to protect wild habitats. As informative as it is entertaining, "Four Otters Toboggan" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections.

The Biography Shelf

Pencils, Pens & Brushes
Mindy Johnson, author
Lorelay Bove, illustrator
Disney Press
9781368028684 $18.99

Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls' Guide to Disney Animation is a children's picturebook based on the critically acclaimed "Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation" (9781484727812, $60.00). This picturebook rendition offers very brief, easy-to-read summaries of the biographies of female writers, story artists, animators, inkers, and painters and more who have worked at Disney over the decades. Vintage photographs of these extraordinary women, alongside colorful artwork representing their efforts to create memorable silver screen stories, illustrate this charming picturebook. Pencils, Pens & Brushes is highly recommended especially as an inspiration for young girls to follow their dreams!

The Native American Shelf

Sharing Our Truths Tapwe
Henry Beaver, Mindy Willett, Eileen Beaver, authors
Tessa Macintosh, photographer
Fifth House Publishers
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside
9781927083529, $19.95, HC, 36pp,

In "Sharing Our Truths Tapwe: This Land is Our Storybook", children ages 8-12 can join Henry Beaver, Mindy Willett, Eileen Beaver as they lead the children through important Cree cultural experiences, tell stories, and share their wisdom and truths with compassion. Young readers will learn the protocols for building a tipi, trapping a beaver, laying the grandfather stones for a fire, smudging, and harvesting salt from the Salt Plains in Wood Buffalo National Park. In Cree, tapwe means "it is so" or "the truth". "Henry Beaver, Mindy Willett, Eileen Beaver" is the ninth book in This Land is Our Storybook series and as author Henry Beaver writes, "We can tell you what to do with the truths we share in this book, but we hope that reading our story will help you get to know us a little better so that together we can make this nation a place we can all be proud of." Profusely illustrated throughout with the photography of Tessa Macintosh, "Sharing Our Truths Tapwe " is unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library Native American collections.

The Science Shelf

Smithsonian Prehistoric
Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, author
Julius Csotonyi, illustrator
What on Earth Publishing
9781912920044, $18.99, HC, 48pp,

In the pages of "Smithsonian Prehistoric: Dinosaurs, Megalodons and Other Fascinating Creatures of the Deep Past", young readers ages 7-11 will travel back in time hundreds of millions of years, stopping in to visit frozen ice ages, lush prehistoric rainforests and ancient oceans along the way. Bold and beautiful illustrations by Julius Csotonyi and informative commentary by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld allow the children to discover fascinating creatures, including hungry dinosaurs and enormous mammoths. Infographics reveal the secrets of Earth's geology and environments, linking ancient creatures and places to our own time and to some of the major issues facing societies right now, such as climate change, deforestation and extinction events. An extraordinary and impressively organized and presented introduction to ancient creatures, "Smithsonian Prehistoric" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, school, and community library collections.

Forgotten Beasts
Matt Sewell
Pavilion Children's Books
9781843653936, $19.95, HC, 96pp,

Artist and illustrator Matt Sewell is renowned for his bird and animal illustrations. He is an avid ornithologist and regular contributor to the Caught by The River website (he also designed their logo). He has illustrated numerous children's books. Sewell's "Forgotten Beasts: Amazing Creatures That Once Roamed The Earth" is his follow-up to "The Colorful World of Dinosaurs" and is a beautifully-illustrated large format look at the amazing beasts that time forgot ranging from the relatively well known, such as the sabre-toothed tiger and woolly mammoth, to the other and more obscure monsters that walked the earth millions of years ago -- many of which are now forgotten. Although less celebrated than the dinosaurs, the range of beasts is equally impressive, every one an amazing or scary creature that actually stalked the planet. Like the dinosaurs, these beasts are awe-inspiring in their variety, in a wide range of furs, feathers and colors, making for a stunning collection of vivid watercolor illustrations. These beasts are arranged chronologically -- from the strange invertebrate Opabinia that lived over 500 million years ago, to the Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, that became extinct in 1936. "Forgotten Beasts" is especially recommended for family, school, and community library collections for young readers ages 7 to 14.

Dr. Jose Luis Carballido & Dr. Diego Pol
Scholastic, Inc.
9781338207392, $18.99

Titanosaur: Discovering the World's Largest Dinosaur is written by the paleontologists who led the dig and requires good reading skills from kids who receive a lively account of events. The drama of the narrative reads like fiction but is based on facts about digs and dinosaurs. Paired with color drawings and photos of artifacts, dinosaur-loving picture book readers will find it a revealing, adventure-driven story that offers not just dinosaur discoveries, but real-life information about the process of scientific investigation.

In Search of Dinosaurs
Dougal Dixon and Daniele Fabri
Words and Pictures
c/o The Quarto Group
9781786035493 $17.95

In Search of Dinosaurs: Find the Fossils: Identify the Dinosaurs is a children's picturebook about paleontology. Colorful illustrations and straightforward text cover the basic tools a fossil hunter uses, and an amazing variety of ancient reptiles that once roamed the earth. In Search of Dinosaurs is sure to delight young dinosaur lovers, and is highly recommended for both personal and public library children's collections.

The Popular Science Inventor's Manual
Sean Michael Ragan
Cavendish Square
243 5th Avenue, Suite 136, New York, NY 10016
9781502644695, $55.00, HC, Library Binding, 256pp,

Not everyone can become a technological genius who starts a multimillion-dollar company, but with "The Popular Science Inventor's Manual " by Sean Michael Ragan everyone from ages 12- 17 can learn to tinker, to use tools, scavenge parts, fix broken items, and maybe even design their own invention. Readers will discover how to transition from brainstorming to testing to a product that's ready to market and sell. Sidebars on the visionaries who invented the digital camera, the Roomba, and more will inspire readers to pursue their own creative dreams. Profusely illustrated, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Popular Science Inventor's Manual" is impressively informative and a unreservedly recommended for personal, family, school, and community library Science instructional reference collections for young readers.

The General Fiction Shelf

Under a Bright Yellow Sun: The Bronze Sword
S. G. Muscarello
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781973622086, $37.95, HC, 292pp,

Orenea is a land shrouded in mystery, beauty, adventure, and peril. Its people are cursed by the ever tedious presence of an enemy tribe intent on their destruction. In such circumstances, they find a little cluster of Puritans from Plymouth Colony, trapped away from their home as a result of a terrible accident. Among which is young Peter Washingsworth. Now, the small group must work together to survive in this mysterious land with some help from the mysterious natives. Who are they? And what does this all have to do with a ship full of people who disappeared at sea over a hundred years ago? All the more impressive when considering that S. G. Muscarello, the author of "Under a Bright Yellow Sun: The Bronze Sword" is a fourteen years old young lady who wrote the manuscript for her full length novel with just pencil and paper, this deftly scripted and fully entertaining saga of a read is very highly recommended for the family, elementary school, and community library General Fiction collections for young readers ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Under a Bright Yellow Sun: The Bronze Sword" is also available in a paperback edition (9781973622079, $22.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.03).

The Sword and the Dagger
Robert Cochran
Tor Teen
c/o Tor/Forge Books
120 Broadway, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10271
9780765383839, $17.99, HC, 400pp,

During the time of the Crusades, an unlikely trio consisting of a Christian princess, her affianced prince, and a Muslim assassin, embarks on a quest to the court of the most fearsome warrior the world has ever known, Genghis Khan. "The Sword and the Dagger" is author Robert Cochran debut as a novelist and presents a simply rousing tale of adventure and romance about three young people who must grapple with fundamental issues of loyalty, friendship, faith, honor, and courage against the backdrop of conflicts that still resonate today. While very highly recommended for both school and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sword and the Dagger" is also available in a paperback edition (9780765383846, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Stealing Home
Becky Wallace
Page Stree Kids
c/o Page Street Publishing
9781624147647, $17.99, HC, 320pp,

Ryan Russell has life perfectly planned. She's going to take over her family's team, the Buckley Beavers, and become one of the only female General Managers in minor league baseball. Then Sawyer Campbell shows up, and Ryan's carefully laid plans are thrown a major curveball. Sawyer is far more charming than the arrogant jocks she usually manages, though fraternizing is against every rule in the Beaver's handbook. But after figuring out the desperate state of the team's finances, Ryan will have to take risks in order to save her future. She teams up with Sawyer, using his star power to draw in sponsors. But the more time she spends with him, the harder it becomes to play by the rules. Is his partnership the key to saving the Beavers, or a distraction she can't afford? A deftly penned and original novel about baseball and young love, "Stealing Home" by Becky Wallace will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Stealing Home" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Scholastic, Inc.

Seven new leisure reads for teens provide a wide variety of subjects and are recommended picks for libraries seeking books which stand out for various reasons. Bill Konigsberg's The Music of What Happens (9781338215502, $17.99) tackles a variety of mature teens, from a crush between a comfortably gay by and an older kid to a mother who would control everything about her son and change the world that only her son feels he can keep together. Set in Arizona, this quirky, winding story about two boys and their lives is very different from most gay literature for teens and provides much food for thought. Sabina Khan's The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali (9781338227017, $17.99) tells of a girl who lives with conservative Muslim parents, and who keeps her girlfriend and sexuality secret from them. She's looking forward to going away for college, where she can be herself, but when her mother catches her with her girlfriend, everything falls apart. Kidnapped to Bangladesh and faced with arranged marriage and repression, Rukhsana must decide how to regain her life and love. Luanne Rice's Pretend She's Here (9781338298505, $18.99) examines grief and the loss of a friend. Emily's best friend died and it's been a year since she's gone, but Emily can't stop grieving. When Lizzie's family return to town to visit, everything changes. Especially when she uncovers a plot that may fill all her dreams and nightmares about her loss. Lisa Thompson's The Light Jar (9781338216301, $17.99) tells of Nate and his mother, who run away to an abandoned cottage in the middle of a forest. One day Nate's mother leaves him alone, but when a strange girl enters his life, new purpose emerges: one that requires courage from him, and involves a mystery from the past. Spencer Quinn's Ruff vs. Fluff (9781338091397, $17.99) provides a Queenie and Arthur novel about pets who live in an inn and manage to share interests despite their inherent adversity. When their human is framed for murder, the two very different creatures must work together to solve the problem and save their shared abode and beloved human. Sarah Enni's Tell Me Everything (9781338139150, $17.99) tells of shy artist Ivy who is almost invisible to everyone she knows at high school. When her sole best friend embarks on activities that leave her alone and behind, she discovers an anonymous art-sharing app that opens the world to her in unexpected ways. How can she contribute her hidden gifts to a world where privacy and being cloaked is not an option? An engrossing story about shyness and giving emerges. Dhonielle Clayton's The Everlasting Rose (9781484728482, $17.99) is a fantasy revolving around an evil queen, a battle for control of the palace and kingdom, and Camille, who is forced to use her powers and wit to overcome Sophia and restore peace to the kingdom. Familiarity with the first book, The Belles, is recommended for smooth appreciation of this ongoing story of a power struggle and its consequences for individuals and countries alike.

The Romantic Fiction Shelf


Two new leisure reads for teens offer stories that are engrossing and more than a cut above the usual. Preston Norton's Where I End & You Begin (9781484798355, $17.99) will appeal to mature teens with its story of Ezra, a neurotic boy who is obsessed with a nerdy girl who is protected by a best friend who has long tormented Ezra. When a total solar eclipse leads the two star-crossed loves to swap bodies not just once but repeatedly, trouble changes their lives and challenges their perceptions. The fantasy touch on what first appears a typical thwarted romance tale leads to fine depth and insights on viewing the world through another's perception. L.D. Crichton's All Our Broken Pieces (9781368023962, $17.99) is also about obsessions and romance, and also will appeal to mature teens with its very different story of Lennon, who is obsessive-compulsive, and Kyler, who witnesses her routines and becomes fascinated by the lonely girl nest door. An involving dance between the two reveals different perspectives changed by their relationship. Both are intriguing stories mature teens will relish.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Galactic Adventures of Hazel: Gurecoa
Austin Macauley
9781641825139 $26.95 hc / $4.95 Kindle

The Galactic Adventures of Hazel: Gurecoa is a science fiction novel written for young adults, yet appealing to genre connoisseurs of all ages and backgrounds. Set in the year 4519 AD, following a young woman who lives in a stratospheric town (along with her friends, one of whom happens to be an alien). The Galactic Adventures of Hazel: Gurecoa is a galaxy-spanning adventure from Mars to Enceladus, offering a visionary take on how technology will transform everyday life millennia in the future. Thoroughly engrossing from cover to cover, The Galactic Adventures of Hazel: Gurecoa is enthusiastically recommended especially for public and school library YA science fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Galactic Adventures of Hazel: Gurecoa is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.95).

The King's Summons
Adam Glendon Sidwell and Zachary James
Future House Publishing
580 S. 100 W Provo, UT 84601
9781944452841 $16.95

The first novel in a brand new YA fantasy series set in the world of the "Super Dungeon" novels, The King's Summons follows a quick-tempered Ember Mage named Blaze, in her quest to find a missing princess, with the fate of all Crystalia in the balance! Blaze's search takes her to the Frostbyte Reach, a horrendously cold mountain range, which has come under siege by a horde of bloodthirsty orcs who are creating a weapon of unimagineable power. Blaze must push her wits as well as her powers to the limit, before all of Crystalia comes under siege! The King's Summons is a grand adventure, sure to encourage young fantasy fans, especially girls, to partake in the joy of reading. Highly recommended, especially for public and school library children's collections.

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying
Kelley Armstrong
Puffin Canada
9780735265356, $16.99, PB, 288pp,

Twelve-year-old Rowan is destined to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the oldest child is always next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. She resigns herself to admiring her monster hunting aunt's glorious sword and joining her queen mother for boring diplomatic teas. But tragedy shatters the longstanding rule, and Rowan finds herself hunting the most dangerous monster of all: a gryphon. Accompanied by a feisty baby jackalope and a giant wolf that barely tolerates her, Rowan sets off on a journey that will see her join other unlikely allies: a boy with monster-hunting ambitions of his own, and a girl hiding dangerous motives. It will take all of Rowan's skills, both physical and diplomatic, to keep this adventure on track. The future of her kingdom depends on it! An imaginative, deftly written, thoroughly entertaining read for children ages 10-14, Kelley Armstrong's fantasy adventure, "A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying" is especially and unreservedly recommended for both school and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Marigold Star
Elise Primavera
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780060569495, $16.99, HC, 240pp,

Marigold Star is destined for greatness. Everyone in Bramblycrumbly thinks so, her parents and pet dragon included. There's just one problem. Marigold can't do magic! Then one day she tries a new spell written in a very old book. It's called the Invis-O-Friend Spell, and it makes Marigold invisible to all but the friend who needs her most. To Marigold's surprise, the spell works! But now there's another problem. The spell sent Marigold to the human world. And to return home, she'll have to befriend a host of human children who are struggling to make friends. Marigold will have to hurry, or the line between her magical world and the human one might crumble until she has no home left to go back to. A delightfully original and wonderfully entertaining fantasy adventure for children ages 8-12, "Marigold Star" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Marigold Star" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Supernatural Hero
Eran Gadot
Beyond Words Publishing
9781582706887, $7.99, PB, 170pp,

Sixth-grader Andy is your average nerd. He is scrawny, wears glasses, is exceptionally good at math, and is in love with the popular girl, Zoe. He is lonely both at school and at home. His parents pay more attention to his older sister, but his best friend and closest confidant, is his grandpa. After his grandpa is tragically diagnosed with cancer and dies, Andy experiences his ability to see and communicate with his grandpa's ghost. With Grandpa's encouraging spirit still by his side, Andy strives to gain the courage to ask Zoe out. But when an evil spirit jeopardizes her safety, Andy must use his newfound gift, as well as abilities he already possesses, to become the hero and save the day. A thoroughly 'kid friendly' and entertaining novel from cover to cover, "Supernatural Hero" by Eran Gadot will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library collections for young readers ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Supernatural Hero" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

The Board Book Shelf

Let's Make Yoga Magic
Heather Leah, author
Sandie Sonke, illustrator
1254 Commerce Way, Sanger, CA 93657
9781641701297, $14.99, Board Book, 14pp,

Make yoga magic with "Let's Make Yoga Magic", arguably the most beautiful and interactive kids yoga book out there! Kids ages 5-6 can pull the levers, turn the wheels, and watch as 13 adorable children come to life to act out 13 yoga poses and create other yoga magic. The kids will delight in seeing the sun rise over the mountain pose, boats float beneath the bridge pose, and branches magnificently blossom when a child makes the tree pose. A perfect tool for instructing and inspiring little yogis of all ages, "Let's Make Yoga Magic" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

Frida Catlo
Courtney Acampora, author
Maggie Fischer, author
Lindsay Dale-Scott, illustrator
Silver Dolphin Books
9781684125586, $7.99, Board Book, 16pp,

In "Frida Catlo", infants and toddlers and preschoolers can meet one of history's greatest figures in this adorable board book with an animal twist! Famous Meowxican painter Frida Catlo was a pioneer for female artists. She always painted from the heart, even in the face of health problems and personal struggles. With hilarious puns and colorful illustrations, this delightful and entertaining board book brings Frida's legacy to life for babies and parents alike and is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, kindergarten, and community library collections! Other highly recommended titles in the Silver Dolphin Books 'Wild Bios' board book series are "William Sheepspeare" (9781684126194, $7.99); "Amelia Harehart" (9781684126545, $7.99); "Neil Armswan" (9781684127146, $7.99); "Yakkie Robinson" (9781684129133, $7.99).

Maria Putri
Simon and Schuster
9781534437654, $9.99

Scratchie is a 'touch and feel' board book adventure that tells of Scratchie the Cat, who likes to scratch things. Young board book adventurers can follow along Scratchie's sharp path with various textures embedded into the board book that allow them to feel and identify graininess, cardboard, rough mats, and more, teaching the very young about textures through Scratchie's exploring eyes.

The Picturebook Shelf

Bunny's Book Club Goes to School
Annie Silvestro, author
Tatjana Mai-Wyss, illustrator
Random House Children's Books
9780525644644 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Bunny's Book Club Goes to School is a heartwarming children's picturebook about friendship and the first day of school. A young girl named Josie is nervous about starting school, and her anthropomorphic friend Bunny offers to help by going with her! Bunny's forest book club friends all decide to show their support as well, turning Josie's school debut into a critter extravaganza! A delight from cover to cover, Bunny's Book Club Goes to School is a treasure for parents to read aloud and share with young children anticipating the school season. Highly recommended.

Where Did You Go Today?
Jenny Duke
Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
9781786282019, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Jenny Duke has always loved books and making pictures, so children's book illustration is her perfect occupation. Since graduating from the MA program in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge University, she has been working on a number of projects, several based in East Anglia where the skies, water and light inspire much of her work. Her books always begin with drawing, but she never knows until later whether she will use paint, print, collage or digital techniques to complete them. Here latest picture book for children ages 5-6 is "Where Did You Go Today?" in which a child visits a play area with her father and uses her imagination to transform the mundane into the extraordinary. A profound exploration of the transformative power of imagination, "Where Did You Go Today?" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Where Did You Go Today?" is also available in a paperback edition (9781786282002, $7.99).

Grandpa Cacao
Elizabeth Zunon
Bloomsbury Children's Books
9781681196404 $17.99 hc
9781681196411 $12.59 ebook

Written for young readers ages 3-6, Grandpa Cacao is a children's picturebook about farming and harvesting cacao beans, the primary ingredient in chocolate. A young girl bakes a chocolate cake with her father, and learns about how her grandfather harvested cacao beans in West Africa. Heartwarming, upbeat, and featuring a valuable lesson about the importance of supporting Fair Trade chocolate in the Author's Note, Grandpa Cacao is highly recommended for both personal and public library children's collections.

Tiger's Roar
Alex Rance, author
Shane McG, illustrator
Trafalgar Square Publishing
c/o Independent Publishers Group (dist.)
9781760523916 $16.99

Tiger's Roar is a charming children's picturebook about the value of cooperation and teamwork. Young Tiger is the champion of the jungle, bold and proud, and he loves to sit on top of the tallest tree. One day, Tiger falls from the tree and bumps his head on a rock. How can Tiger get back to the top of the tree? Other jungle animals have suggestions based on their own strengths, but then Tiger has a flash of insight about something even more powerful than any individual talent! Colorful, cartoon illustrations add a lively touch to this whimsical storybook, ideal for personal and public library children's picturebook collections.

Being Small (Isn't So Bad After All)
Lori Orlinsky
Mascot Books
9781643071275 $14.95 / $6.99 Kindle

Being Small (Isn't So Bad After All) is a rhyming children's picturebook from the perspective of a young girl, who is tired of being small and short. Her mother teaches her that there are quite a few advantages she has only because of her height! A wonderful, read-aloud picturebook especially recommended for sharing with children who have fallen behind their peers on the growth chart, Being Small (Isn't So Bad After All) is highly recommended for personal and public library children's collections.

Back Home
Story by Shaista Kaba Fatehali
Illustrations by Michelle Simpson
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860445 $22.95

Back Home is a children's picturebook about a young Muslim girl adjusting to daily life in a Western country. Today is Asha's first day of school in her new country, and everything is so strange to her - the class is taught in with boys and girls mixed together, the children wear clothing unlike what she's accustomed to, and even the food is different. But as she makes friends and learns exciting new things, she understands that maybe her new school is not so different from home after all! Back Home is a charming and heartwarming story with a positive message of tolerance and respect, highly recommended especially for school and public library picturebook collections.

Duckworth the Difficult Child
Michael Sussman, author
Julia Sarda, illustrator
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
9781534405127 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Written by clincial psychologist Michael Sussman especially for young people ages 4 to 8, Duckworth the Difficult Child is a whimsical picturebook about a young boy who has problems interacting with his parents - they call him "difficult", but they won't take him seriously when he complains about a gigantic snake. Even when the snake swallows Duckworth whole, his parents won't listen, instead chiding him to "take off that costume". It's up to Duckworth to figure out how to deal with his predicament (while stuck inside a snake's belly!) A tongue-in-cheek parable about dealing with difficult parents, Duckworth the Difficult Child is a welcome addition to school and public library children's picturebook collections.

Idriss and His Marble
Rene Gouichoux, author
Zau, illustrator
StarBerry Books
c/o Boyds Miles & Kane
9781635921328, $17.99, HC, 48pp,

When war threatens their home, Idriss and his mother must flee. He clutches his lucky charm (a single marble) throughout their journey, walking over hazardous terrain, crawling under barbed wire, and sailing on a fragile little boat. Will the marble's luck help them avoid capture and bring them to the safety of a new world? A collaborative picture book by author Rene Gouichoux and illustrator Zau, "Idriss and His Marble" is a heartfelt tale exploring the perilous path refugees often walk to find a new home and the hope it takes to get them there. While especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers ages 5-10, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Idriss and His Marble" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Grobblechops: A Tale by Rumi
Elizabeth Laird, author
Jenny Lucander, illustrator
Tiny Owl Publishing
9781910328415, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Amir is worried about the little monster lurking under the bed. What if it tries to eat him up?! And what if that monster has a dad and a mom too? As Amir's dad tucks him in, Amir wonders if the monster might just become a friend instead. "Grobblechops: A Tale by Rumi" is classic story of bedtime fear that is hilariously brought to life by award-winning author Elizabeth Laird and Finnish illustrator Jenny Luncander. A timeless tale of monsters under the bed, based on a story from Masnavi, one of the best-known and most influential works by the thirteenth century poet, philosopher and Sufi mystic Rumi, "Grobblechops" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7.

The Wolf Will Not Come
Myriam Ouyessad, author
Ronan Badel, illustrator
Schiffer Kids
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764357800, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

A small rabbit getting ready for bed questions his mother on how she can be so sure that the wolf will not come to their house. Meanwhile, on the opposite page, children ages 5-6 can follow the progress of the wolf indeed creeping closer and closer to them, foiling the mother's reassurances one by one. In a delightful twist, the rabbit's fears are defused and all ends well. The irresistible drawings and surprise ending put nighttime anxieties in light-hearted perspective. The collaborative work of author Myriam Ouyessad and illustrator Ronan Badel, "The Wolf Will Not Come" is a very clever picture book story that will disarm childhood bedtime anxieties in an unexpected way, making it 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 "The Wolf Will Note Come" is also available in a paperback edition (9780764358760, $9.99).

The Space Train
Maudie Powell-Tuck, author
Karl James Mountford, illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781848699458, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

In a space station many light years from Earth, Jakob lives with Grandma, a robot chicken named Derek, and ToolBot, a robot. One day, Jakob finds an enormous rusty, broken rocket in a hangar. "It's the SPACE TRAIN!" Grandma cries. She tells him that the Space Train used to travel across the universe. Jakob desperately wants to fix the train. Can they do it? Young readers ages 3-7 will thoroughly enjoy this picture book space adventure by author Maudie Powell-Tuck and illustrator Karl James Mountford. "The Space Train" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections!

Unicorn Club
Suzy Senior, author
Leire Martin, illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781788813860, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

The collaborative work of author Suzy Senior and artist/illustrator Leire Martin, "Unicorn Club" is galloping, giggling picture book story is perfect for young unicorn fans! Little readers ages 3-7 will love the idea of a treehouse club with a magical twist, whilst enjoying dazzling illustrations and a heartwarming tale about the joy of new adventures! Thoroughly kid friendly and joyously entertaining from cover to cover, "Unicorn Club" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library contemporary picture book collections.

If You Played Hide-And-Seek with a Chameleon
Bill Wise, author
Rebecca Evans, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Way, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584696506, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Math, science, sports, and games come together to delight young readers ages 6-9 in the pages of "If You Played Hide-And-Seek with a Chameleon" -- a fanciful look at what would happen if kids played games with animals. Would they win a pie-eating contest with a hippo, a wrestling match with an anaconda, or a game of tag with a porcupine? Win or lose, the competitions are hilarious as twelve different animals display their amazing natural abilities. "Fun Facts and Fascinating Feats" complement the fast-paced storyline entertainingly written by Bill Wise and charmingly illustrated by Rebecca Evans. Parents and teachers will especially appreciate the literacy and STEM activities in the back of "If You Played Hide-And-Seek with a Chameleon". While very highly recommended for family, school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "If You Played Hide-And-Seek with a Chameleon" is also available in a paperback edition (9781584696513, $8.95).

My Puppy Patch
Theo Heras, author
Alice Carter, illustrator
Pajama Press
9781772780802, $17.95, HC, 24pp,

It's a big day for Patch the puppy as her girl decides to take her for her first walk outside of the yard. Patch needs to learn her manners, but the playful pup is sometimes too excited to listen! With patience and perseverance, Patch's girl guides her new canine companion through basic commands including "sit," "stay," and "down," making sure to dole out plenty of treats and belly rubs for a job well done along the way. "My Puppy Patch" is a simply delightful story from author, performer, and children's librarian Theo Heras and will prove to be a great introduction for young children about caring for and training a puppy. Complemented by Alice Carter's warm, inviting illustrations and a sturdy format complete with padded cover, "My Puppy Patch" is an exceptional and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-6.

The Ranger
Nancy Vo
Groundwood Books
c/o House of Anansi Press
110 Spadina Ave., Suite 801, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5V 2K4
9781773061283, $17.95, HC, 44pp,

Written and illustrated by Nancy Vo, "The Ranger" is a memorable and beautifully illustrated picture book story in which a ranger comes across a fox caught in a trap. The ranger frees the fox and promises only to tend to its wounds. The fox recovers and remains curiously close to the ranger, and when unexpected twists occur, the fox ends up being the helper. The ranger asks the fox, "Does this make us even?" and almost immediately feels regret -- keeping score has no place in friendship. And so the two continue their journey together. "The Ranger" is the second book in Nancy Vo's Crow Stories trilogy, and explores themes of friendship and how meaningful bonds form when we can give and receive openly. Vo's stunning, spare illustrations are a delight, and complement the journey of these two nuanced characters toward understanding and companionship, making "The Ranger" an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Ranger" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.95).

In the Sky at Nighttime
Laura Deal, author
Tamara Campeau, illustrator
Inhabit Media
9781772272383, $16.95, HC, 28pp,

In the sky at nighttime, the northern lights dance, a mother's song sways on the breeze, and a raven roosts atop a tall building, bathed in the light of the moon. Beautifully scripted by Laura Deal and memorable illustrated by Tamara Campeau, "In the Sky at Nighttime" sends young readers ages 4-8 sailing through the Arctic night sky to see and hear the unique beauty of a Northern night, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Fly Flies
Ziggy Hanaor, author
Alice Bowsher, illustrator
Cicada Books
9781908714619, $14.95, HC, 28pp,

Fly is happily practicing her flying in the park, doing some wibbles and some wobbles and some waveys. Blackbird, Seagull, Starling and Hawk take turns giving Fly advice about the best way to fly; fly in a straight line, glide on the wind, fly in a flock, dive onto your food. Fly tries to take their advice on board, but each time finds that this is not HER way to fly. A uniquely charming picture book by author Ziggy Hanaor and illustrator Alice Bowsher, "Fly Flies" is an especially recommended for family, preschool, daycare center, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-8.

My Friend Moose'r McDan
Sky Danley, author
Alli Coate, illustrator
Sky Danley Productions
9780997345100, $14.95, HC, 24pp,

In "My Friend Moose'r McDan" by author Sky Danley and illustrator Alli Coate is the picture book story of an aggressive hunter bear who meets a gentle moose who is looking for a new friend. The moose is so friendly that the bear decides to drop his gun and stop hunting altogether. Instead, the bear learns that it's more fun to just hang out with a new friend, playing games and enjoying nature. However, after the fall colors change, it's time for the bear to go back home. The gentle moose is sad because he lost his play friend, so he is again looking for a new one. He invites whoever is reading the book to become his new friend! A distinctively original and thoroughly entertaining picture book story for children ages 5-6, "My Friend Moose'r McDan" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Friend Moose'r McDan" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Little Hoo Gets the Wiggles Out
Brenda Ponnay
Xist Publishing
PO Box 61593, Irvine, CA 92602
9781532413261, $9.99, PB, 34pp,

Let's move, Little Hoo! Sometimes Little Hoo just needs to move. In author and illustrator Brenda Ponnay's charming little picture book, "Little Hoo Gets the Wiggles Out" children ages 2- 6 can help Little Hoo get the wiggles (and the worries) out in a fun and active picture book. Perfect for storytime, "Little Hoo Gets the Wiggles Out" is guaranteed to gets toddlers and preschoolers laughing, moving, and learning strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety, making it an ideal addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Little Hoo Gets the Wiggles Out" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

It Wasn't Me!
Daniel Fehr, author
Pauline Reeves, illustrator
9788417123949, $15.95, HC, 40pp,

When a budding artist paints on a wall, each child is quick to claim the credit until they think they will get the blame as well. "It Wasn't Me!" by author Daniel Fehr and artist/illustrator Pauline Reeves is colorful picture book story for children ages 3-7 that points the finger at taking responsibility for your actions in a lighthearted, yet nonetheless clear way that is sure to resonate with kids and their caregivers alike, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Aiko Ikegami
Creston Books
PO Box 9369, Berkeley, CA 94709
9781939547583, $17.99, HC, 34pp,

Some stories don't need words to make their meaning clear -- and some friendships can transcend barriers. "Hello" by artist and author Aiko Ikegami is a wordless picture book for children ages 4- 8 that shows that the power of friendship and communicating can span across the galaxies, making it a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

So Big!
Mike Wohnoutka
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781547600793, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Bear is so big, and he's ready to start school! But even if you're SO BIG, you might feel a little nervous at times. Can Bear brave his first day and find a way to make it feel just right? A clever and charming story, So Big! by author and illustrator Mike Wohnoutka will help children ages 5- 6 through all the important first steps when they are now old enough to go to school! Entertaining and thoroughly 'kid friendly', "So Big!" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, preschool, kindergarten, and community library picture book collections.

Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black
Norman Whaler, author
Mohammad Shayan, illustrator
Ellie Firestone, editor
Beneath Another Sky Books
9781948131384, $19.99, HC, 30pp,

Oink, an adventurous young pig, and Gobble, a cautious turkey, were the best of friends and Gobble would often find herself in some very strange situations because of Oink's overactive imagination. But the two men dressed in black suites visiting the farm couldn't really be Men in Black! Or could they? The collaborative project of author Norman Whaler and illustrator Mohammad Shayan, "Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black" is a thoroughly entertaining and original picture book story for children ages 4-7. While very highly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Where Do Speedboats Sleep at Night?
Brianna Caplan Sayres
Random House
9781524765750, $16.99

Where Do Speedboats Sleep at Night? is illustrated by Christian Slade and provides ages 3-7 with a fine story about boats and sailing. All kinds of boats meet up, have snack, and get prepared to sleep once the tides calm. There are many different kinds of bedtime stories on the market, but kids who love boats will find this a compelling story about different kinds of boats and their properties.


The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems (9781368046459, $16.99) provides simple illustrations of a pigeon who questions why he has to go to school when he already knows everything. Kids may relate to this story of a wise bird who comes up with too many reasons why he doesn't want to go to school. Mo Willems produces the score for Because (9781368019019, $17.99), working with illustrator Amber Ren, who brings his music to visual life. The story revolves around a young girl's rise to fame, a composer's production, and how musicians got together to bring everything to life. Because everyone works together and chance plays a hand, magic happens. Both are outstanding stories kids will relish.

Scholastic Books

Five new arrivals from Scholastic offer discriminating picture book collections and readers excellent leisure reads that stand out from many others. Ame Dyckman's Misunderstood Shark: Friends Don't Eat Friends (9781338113884, $17.99) receives fun drawings by Scott Magoon as it tells of Bob, who has been eaten on Underwater World with Bob. Can Bob escape Shark's stomach, and will they ever be friends again? A fun story of strange friends evolves, perfect for youngsters who like humor and sea creatures. Charlotte Agell's Maybe Tomorrow? (9781338214888, $17.99) is receives fun, simple drawings by Ana Ramirez Gonzalez as it tells of Elba, who has been dragging a big block of sadness behind her for a while, and Norris, who is perpetually happy. Can the two join forces on an adventure? This story of an unusual friendship offers simple insights on moods and how friendship can affect and improve life for all. Shaun Tan's Cicada (9781338298390, $19.99) is a quirky little story about a cicada who "Tell story. Story good. Story simple." While the English may appear odd, the tale is intriguing enough to involve kids and read-aloud parents in a fun little story of an unwanted, unloved cicada who ends every observation with "Tok! Tok! Tok!" Parental involvement will help enlighten the very young. A very simple reader just above the board book level is Jon J. Muth's Zen Happiness (9781338346022, $8.99), a survey that uses pictures and large-size, very simple worlds to explore the idea that "We are born again with each new day." Kids and adults alike will appreciate the lovely artwork by Jon Muth and its accompanying, very simple perspectives on achieving happiness. Hilary Leung's Will Giraffe Laugh? (9781338215618, $7.99) is a fun board book about a grumpy giraffe whose friends try to cheer him up. Giraffe, however, seems committed to misery, and refuses to laugh. What can be done? A warm story evolves about laughter, grumpiness, and the power of creative friends.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Three Korean Fairy Tales
Kim So-un, author
Jeong Kyoung-Sim, illustrator
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804852272, $15.99, HC, 96pp,

"Three Korean Fairy Tales" presents three traditional Korean folk tales that are instantly recognizable to Koreans of all ages. These treasured tales are retold by Kim So-un, an eminent storyteller who is a household name in Korea. The illustrations combine modern and traditional Korean art elements and techniques in telling these classic stories. The stories themselves are: "The Magic Gem" which answers the question why do dogs and cats fight? When the house feline recovers the story's prized title jewel, the family dog bears a grudge that is passed down through the ages.; "The Deer and the Woodcutter" follows a merciful man who saves a deer's life and is rewarded with love and luck. When he's turned into a rooster, he expresses his joy each dawn through his loud crowing.; "The Tigers of the Kumgang Mountains" which is a cautionary tale about overcoming challenges. A hunter's son sets out for revenge but instead learns that things are not always as they appear, and that persistence and sacrifice hold richer rewards. With Three Korean Fairy Tales, kids ages 6-12 (and their parents!) alike will learn about Korean culture by experiencing the country's rich storytelling tradition. "Three Korean Fairy Tales" is unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library Fairytale/Folklore collections for young readers.

Cinderella Liberator
Rebecca Solnit, author
Arthur Rackham, illustrations
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
9781608465965, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

In her debut children's book, Rebecca Solnit re-imagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from the legendary British illustrator Arthur Rackham (1867 - 1939) on each page. In this modern twist on the classic story, Cinderella, who would rather just be Ella, meets her fairy godmother, goes to a ball, and makes friends with a prince. But that is where the familiar story ends. Instead of waiting to be rescued, Cinderella learns that she can save herself and those around her by being true to herself and standing up for what she believes. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, school, and community library picture book collections for young readers, "Cinderella Liberator" is unreservedly recommended!

The Clever Tailor
Srividhya Venkat, author
Nayantara Surendranath, illustrator
Karadi Tales Picturebooks
9788193388907, $13.95, HC, 40pp,

With timeless art by Nayantara Surendranath that swirls through the pages like a traditional Indian turban, Srividhya Venkat's "The Clever Tailor" is a contemporary Indian take on a European folktale about the value of being resourceful and finding creative ways to minimize waste. Accompanied by a glossary, "The Clever Tailor" is an ideal addition to family, daycare canter, preschool, elementary school, and community library multicultural book collections for children ages 4-8.

Kitty Alone
John M. Feierabend, adaptor
Mina Echevarria, illustrator
GIA Publications, Inc.
7404 South Mason Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638
9781622772834, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

The collaborative work of author/adaptor John M. Feierabend and artist Mina Echevarria, "Kitty Alone" is the latest in a series of captivating picture books, each based on a beloved songtale from the great American folk music heritage. This beautifully illustrated version sets the song in the Appalachian Mountains and uses a bobcat, called a "woods ghost" by locals, as the title character. Like the other titles in the First Steps in Music series, "Kitty Alone" includes song history and notation, along with a free download link for the song, sung by Jill Trinka. An extraordinary and visually stunning picture book for children ages 3-5, "Kitty Alone" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Facing the Son
D. C. Faith
Dog Ear Publishing
8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1300, Indianapolis, IN 46240
9781457569708, $15.95, HC, 54pp,

Colton wants to be first in the barnyard, and the fastest colt. But he's a very young colt, and his Grandfather wants Colton to understand more about his purpose in life. When Colton scoffs about talking with lazy Henry, Grandfather decides Colton needs to know more about the tired burro. As Colton learns more about Henry, he also learns about his rich lineage. Colton learns how the burro's ancestors were part of the life of a very important man. This man touches the lives of everyone and changes the world. Ultimately, Colton learns that being first and fast isn't as important as respect and kindness. Deftly written to entertain young readers ages 6-10, "Facing the Son: A Little Fable Inspired By True Events" by D. C. Faith is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Facing The Son" is also available in a paperback edition (9781457569104, $12.95).

The Language Studies Shelf

Carnaval: Spanish Learning Songs
Ileana Perez & Didier Prossaird
Whistlefritz, LLC
896052001429, $14.99, CD,

"Carnaval: Spanish Learning Songs" is a musical celebration in the form of a festive collection of Spanish children's songs from Whistlefritz -- an award-winning producer of language programs for kids. This Spanish-learning journey begins with a tour of the Spanish-speaking world in ĘDe donde eres? (Where are you from?), and continues with irresistible celebration-themed songs - Carnaval, Halloween, Thanksgiving - that teach children Spanish words for celebrations, family, food, camping, feelings, and much more! From calypso and soca to New Orleans second line jazz and country, the CD's diverse musical styles are a carnaval for the ears, with exciting new twists on beloved Spanish folksongs such as A mi burro (My donkey), Debajo un boton (Under a button), Senora Santana, and L'arana pequenita (The itsy, bitsy spider). Kids and adults alike will enjoy listening to the masterful musicianship and catchy melodies performed by Cuban-American vocalist Ileana Perez and musician-composer Didier Prossaird. Lyrics, translations, and a vocabulary guide are available as an easy reference guide for parents and teachers. A thoroughly 'user friendly' CD format makes "Carnaval: Spanish Learning Songs" an ideal and unreservedly recommended for Introductory Spanish Language Learning curriculums, as well as family, elementary school, and community library collections. (1 CD, 40 Minutes)

The Music CD Shelf

All I Do Is Hop
Grin Brigade
Song Wizard Records

All I Do Is Hop is a children's music album packed with 29 original songs spanning funk, blues, pop, rock, country, anthem, and ballad musical styles. The common thread is that each song has its own brand of joyful sunshine, sure to brighten the dreariest day. The physical CD includes a booklet with lyrics and chord charts. All I Do Is Hop is nonstop rollicking fun all the way through, highly recommended for personal and public library children's collections. The tracks are "All I Do Is Hop", "Buttons", "Just Like Magic", "One Fuzzy Caterpillar", "Seaweed Cafe", "All Mixed Up", "Mi Pelota", "Dr. Ticklebone", "High-Paying Job", "Tiptoe", "Dog Alphabet Song", "The Good Life", "Bouncin' on the Bumps", "Halloween Party Tonight", "Go, Go, Go", "What Can't Be", "Gotta Be Mine", "Every Time We Hear a Sound", "I Think I Can", "Keep on Shining", "I Don't Think So", "Otter Facts", "Tookie Tookie", "Safe Here", "Night Light", "Locomotivation", "Let My Colors Flow", "Cool as a Cucumber", and "Look for the Helpers". 77 min., 22 sec.

Turtle Dance Music
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

Space! The Cosmos For Kids is an educational techno-space-dance-party children's music album, brimming with fascinating facts about our solar system delivered with an invigorating beat. Parents and children alike will enjoy the catchy tunes and appreciate learning about the differences between rotation and revolution. Space! is a choice pick for school and public library children's music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are "Big Bang!", "Sun is a Star!", "Revolution!", "Formation of the Earth!", "Constellations!", "Moon Landing!", "Alien Invasion!", "Astronauts!", "Black Hole!", "Solar System!", "Carl Sagan!", and "Scientists!".

Bobby Messano, featuring Bob Malone
Fishhead Records
$12.98 CD / $9.49 MP3

Guitarist and contemporary blues artist Bobby Messano presents Lemonade, his ninth album, also featuring Bob Malone. The songs are inspired by the challenge of balancing personal relationships in the complicated and constantly shifting music industry. A candid album reflecting the hardship and struggle of a musician's life, Lemonade is a soulful contribution to personal and public library Blues/Americana music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are "The Bad Guys", "Heal Me", "Lemonade", "Junk Jam", "It's Just The Money That's Missing", "A Thursday In June", "I Don't Want To Miss You Anymore", "Black & White", "I'm Tired Of Writing The Blues", and "Find The Cost Of Freedom".

Baby on the Subway
Camille Harris
Privately Published
$15.00 CD / $9.99 digital

Award-winning, "silly jazz" singer Camille Harris and a team of sensational jazz players present Baby on the Subway, a family-friendly music album that reinvents traditional children's songs with flair and panache. A bundle of high-energy, joyful fun, Baby on the Subway is a choice pick for personal and public library children's music collections. The tracks are "Jiggly Wiggly", "Chopsticks", "Muffin Man Nursery Rhyme", "Muffin Man", "Procrastination Song (Untitled)", "Wheels on the Bus", "Baby on the Subway", "The Aegean Sea", "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Get Up and Try Again", "Old Macdonald", "The Backwards Alphabet", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/Baa Baa Black Sheep/ABC's Medley", and "Lullaby". 35 min.

The DVD Shelf

Hidden Figures
Written by Margot Lee Shetterly with Winifred Conkling
Illustrated by Laura Freeman
Narrated by Octavia Spencer
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
9781338581041 $59.95

Created especially for young people ages 4-8, Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race is the DVD adaptation of a picturebook about the true story behind four female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA. In spite of gender and racial barriers, each woman succeeded in a challenging career path, and worked to expand human knowledge. Hidden Figures is inspirational, uplifting, and highly recommended especially for grade school library DVD collections and homeroom viewing. 15 min., closed-captioned.

The Christian Shelf

Don't Blame the Mud
Marty Machowski, author
Craig MacIntosh, illustrator
New Growth Press
9781948130967 $15.99

Don't Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean is an allegorical Christian picturebook for children, about the nature of sin and temptation. The story follows a boy who disobeys his parents' instructions to keep his clothing clean, and ventures down a muddy path for fun. When he accidentally gets mud on his clothes, he tries to blame the mud itself instead of his own poor choices. Even after showering and putting on fresh clothes, he still feels the "mud" inside. His parents tell him, "the mud you still feel is guilt because you didn't obey. God says that we all try to go our own way, not God's way. That's what sin is. We think doing what we want will make us happy, but instead we feel sad and bad inside. Only God can wash away the mud in our hearts." Don't Blame the Mud is an ideal picturebook for Christian parents to share and discuss with their children, and a welcome addition to Sunday School picturebook collections.

The Political Science Shelf

How the U.S. Government Works, third edition
Sy Sobel, J. D., author
B. E. S. Publishing
9781438011639 $7.99 48 pages

Now in a newly revised third edition, "How the U. S. Government Works... and how it all comes together to make a nation" is a factual, current description of the working components of the United States Government, explained and presented for an audience of young readers ages 8-10 years. Filled with three colored diagrams and illustrations, black, white and blue, "How the U.S. Government Works" covers the job description of the U. S. Government according to the Constitution: To make laws that apply to all of the states. To perform the many duties that the Constitution and laws of the United States say the national government should do, such as maintaining an army and navy, work with other countries, print paper money and mint coins, building highways and bridges, and enforcing laws about public health and safety, banking, and the environment. the third and final job is to decide disagreements about the law. These three main jobs are performed by three separate branches of the U.S. government: the Legislative branch, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, or Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch. Descriptions of each branch include diagrams of functions, such as the one on page 14 that shows how a bill becomes a law. In the Executive Branch, the President's jobs include spending the government's money according to the budget made by Congress, and also commanding the military and working with leaders of other countries for world peace and other aims. The job of members of the Judicial branch is to interpret and determine the constitutionality of the laws of the United States. Under the Judicial branch are the U. S. Supreme Court, the U. S. Courts of Appeals, and the U. S. District Courts. All the jobs of the government are funded by taxes which are paid by U. S. citizens. As citizens of the U. S., your important jobs include voting to elect the president and members of the House and Senate, paying taxes, serving in the military, and serving on juries to decide court cases. "How the U. S. Government Works is finished by a glossary of terms (pages 38-42), and a resource guide listing books and websites of related interest (page 43). "How the U.S. Government Works" is a practical guide and accurate description of the intricate workings of the government which is believed to be 'by the people, for the people, and of the people' of the United States.

The World History Shelf

Amazing Expeditions
Anita Ganeri, author
Michael Mullan, illustrator
Ivy Kids
c/o The Quarto Group
9781782407478 $19.99

Amazing Expeditions: Journeys That Changed the World is an educational children's picturebook about extraordinary explorers who journeyed into the unknown. Some sought wealth and fame; others pursued knowledge and discovery; and many put their lives at risk! Here are brief yet exciting chronicles of the journeys of Marco Polo, Hernan Cortes, Mary Kingsley, Neil Armstrong, and much more! Filled cover to cover with fascinating facts and vibrant color illustrations, Amazing Expeditions is highly recommended and a welcome contribution to school and public library picturebook collections.

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
Robert M. Edsel
Scholastic Focus
9781338251197, $18.99

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men provides young readers through teen years an amazing true story of eleven men and a woman who, during World War II, made it their mission to preserve churches, libraries, monuments, and works of art from the ravages of battle and war. These volunteers were artists, archivists, curators and educators, and became known (despite the woman's participation) as the 'Monument Men' for their desperate efforts to preserve some of mankind's greatest art achievements. Vintage black and white photos and illustrations accompany an amazing story that many young folk will choose not just for its historical value, but for inspirational leisure reading.

The Civil War Shelf

The Ride of Molly Tynes: A Tale Passed Down
Mary Alice Barksdale and Donna Jessie Fogelsong, authors
Emily Hurst Pritchett, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
an imprint of Brandylane Publishers, Inc.
9781947860353 $14.95

"The Ride of Molly Tynes" tells the exciting true story of young woman in Civil War times who made a dangerous ride from Tazewell to Wytheville, Virginia, over four separate mountains under a crescent moonlit darkness. She rode to warn residents of Wytheville that Union soldiers were coming to stop the railroad lines there and the supply lines to the Confederate Army. The Tyne family knew of the Soldiers' march because some Union soldiers stopped at their farm to get water and told them their plan. Molly knew that she was the only person who could make this dangerous ride in time. All the men were away in the war, and no one else was able to make the danger-filled long ride. Molly, which was the nickname for Mary Alice, was 26 years old and an accomplished rider. Her father Samuel, who could not make the ride because his wife was ill, agreed that she was the only person who could do the ride. He advised her to sing songs loudly in the night to keep off wild bears and wildcats in the dark mountain path. So on July 13, 1863, Molly took her horse, a mare named Fashion, on the long ride over four mountains: Rich Mountain, Garden Mountain, Brushy Mountain, and Walker Mountain to get to Tynesdale and spread the warning. Half the ride was made in daylight, but Molly had to cross part of Garden Mountain and all of Brushy Mountain by the thin light of the moon. Once a dark shadow that was a bear crossed her path. Molly remembered to sing "Skip To My Lou" as loud as she could for the rest of the way, to scare off large wild animals in the dark. Finally Molly galloped into the sleepy town of Wytheville at dawn yelling, "The Yankees are coming! They are going to blow up the railroad!" thanks to Molly's courageous early warning, the people of Wytheville were able to organize and fire upon the Union soldiers who came, killing Colonel Toland and wounding Colonel Powell, and routing the Union soldiers into retreat. The true story of Molly Tynes' ride is told as a family legend, to a great great niece of Molly Tynes, by her grandmother. It is an inspiring story of bravery and courage in a young woman who met the challenges with all her heart. As a footnote to "The Ride of Molly Tynes," there was a commemorative ride in July, 1963, with 21 horseback riders following the Molly Tynes trail to Wytheville, and a monument was placed on Molly's gravesite on July 18, 1968. The Molly Tynes Ride has become an annual event in the area. There is also an illumination of the old song "Skip To My Lou," and the game that was often played to its singing. Throughout "The Ride of Molly Tynes," a hushed mood is created by lovely dark tinted paintings of the young Molly on her horse Fashion, making her midnight ride across the mountains. This is a precious, real tale to share down the generations.

Books in Series

Top Secret Science in Medicine
Ellen Rodger, author
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10118
9780778759942 $31.32 Library Binding, $6.86 PB, 48 pages,

"Top Secret Science in Medicine" is a fascinating exploration of medical research and experimentation that can be unsafe, unethical, or untested, with examples of both positive and negative results from such practices. From the middle to junior high grade series Secrets in Science That Led to Discovery or Disaster, "Top Secret Science in Medicine" presents cutting edge information on medicine and war, experimentation, brain work, and pushing the boundaries by self experimentation of medical scientists. Important data is contained in sidebars such as Dark Science Secrets ( with characteristic green backgrounds) and Tomorrow's Secrets (with characteristic blue backgrounds). Chilling historical and current medical research and its results are featured, including examples such as the damage done by ignorance of the discreditation of research of Andrew Wakefield who suggested there was a link between Measles mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism ( Dark Science Secrets, page 7). The Tomorrow's Secrets sidebars contained an exploration of the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat or diminish tremors for people with Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disease. use of lab animals and human guinea pigs for research, organ harvesting, and fighting modern plagues are all topics of note in the chapters of "Top Secret Science in Medicine." Final chapter headings is Be a Medical Scientist, an experiment which challenges the student to do research on history of disease and write a research plan for studying a new disease, including a description of how to deal with confidential information that patients who are studied would provide. Stem cell research and its surrounding controversy is mentioned. A Glossary of terms is provided and a Learning More section contains information about books and websites on related topics of interest. "Top Secret Science in Medicine" is an excellent overview of medical research practices and its potential harm and benefits. Additional titles in this series that are also highly recommended include: "Top Secret Science in Cybercrime and Espionage (9780778759928)," by Ellen Rodger, "Top Secret Science in Energy (9780778759935), by Megan Kopp, "Top Secret Science in Transportation (9780778759973)," by Megan Kopp, "Top Secret Science in Space (9780778759966)," by Honor Head, and "Top Secret Science in the Military (9780778759959)," by James Bow.

Dealing with Conflicts
Jennifer Moore-Mallinos, author
Gustavo Mazali, illustrator
Windmill Books
c/o The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
9781508197324, $27.25, Library Binding, 32pp,

Handling conflicts with other people can be difficult for anyone, and in the moment, it is sometimes hard to make the right choices. Young readers ages 5-8 of this engaging volume by the team of author Jennifer Moore-Mallinos will learn the importance of dealing with things in a positive way. Colorful, eye-catching illustrations accompany age-appropriate text, making it easy for readers to understand and visualize the story. Relatable characters help readers connect with this thoroughly 'kid friendly' book, while important lessons encourage them to be thoughtful in their own decision-making and choices. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dealing with Conflicts" is also available in a paperback edition (9781538390245, $10.00). Also very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections as part of this outstanding 'Choices' series from Windmill Books are: Internet Safety (9781508197454, $27.25 LB, $10.00 PB); Too Many Video Games! (9781508197461, $27.25 LB, $10.00 PB), and When Competition Goes Too Far (9781508197478 LB, $10.00 PB).

D-Pug in New York
Janie Nugent, author
Terry Pond, illustrator
9781543955392 $12.00 pbk / $4.99 Kindle

"D-Pug in New York" is the second title in the series, A Dog for Michael. In this book Michael and Doug have moved from Florida to New York City, where they met two other new dogs and their owners, Luke and Patty, owned by Scott and Lorrie. The friends like to take their dogs for walks in a nearby beautiful park. here they decide to help their 4-H club build a float for the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and bring their dogs! The three dogs are friends and they have nicknames: D-pug, Lukester, and Pattycake. Michael and friends enjoyed helping their community through 4-H, including planting new flowers and shrubs in the park and helping at the local pet shelter. Luke and Patty were both adopted from the shelter. The 4-H club sponsored a bake sale for raising money for the pet shelter. The friends worked hard on their float for the Macy's parade, taking time out for costumes for Halloween. Thanksgiving came and the float for the parade was ready. Dogs and cats and other animals rode on the float and sought new homes and owners. The float was a huge success. D-Pug even enjoyed the following cold winter being warmed by the love of Michael and his new friends. As in the case of "A Dog for Michael: Doug to the Rescue," Proceeds from the sale of "D-Pug In New York" are also donated to raise funds for animal shelters. "D-Pug in New York" is an exciting book for readers ages 4-8 years, with a positive message about the value of caring for animals and supporting shelter homes for animals.

Shout Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts
Esta Spalding
9780735264519, $16.99

The third book in a plucky middle-grade series, Shout Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts offers ages 8-12 a quirky, fun story of siblings who live on a tropical island, where their roles are reversed from the grown-ups around them. These kids are spunky and talented, so when a mystery evolves around a school history assignment, they are ready to tackle anything-even castles and haunted houses. Grades 3-7 who appreciate fun stories of take-charge kids will find this an engrossing, fast-paced read. Also highly recommended are the previous titles in the series, "Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts" (9780316298575) and "Knock About with the Fitzgerald-Trouts" (9780316298605).

Memoria Press
10901 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243

Best known as an education publisher with an entire college level curriculum for every subject from archaeology to zoology in complete and unabridged courses taught by experts in their respective fields, it should also be noted that Memoria Press offers a superbly written series of 'First Readers' for children ages 5-7 from Sterling Children's Books that are deftly adapted from children's classic literature. This outstanding series includes: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: A Song for Aunt Polly (9781402732874, $3.95, PB, 32pp); "The Jungle Book: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi Moves In" (9781454935179, $3.95, PB, 32); "The Wind in the Willows: The Riverbank" (9781454935278, $3.95, PB, 32pp); "The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Animal Talk" (9781454935216, $3.95, PB, 32pp). Each of these charmingly illustrated and thoroughly 'kid friendly' adaptations taken from the works of Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Kenneth Grahame, and Hugh Lofting are unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library 'First Reader' collections.

'Full Steam Ahead!' titles
$23.60 each

Five new series additions for early readers in Grade 1 support STEAM subjects and blend appropriate literacy levels with exciting images to attract young learners. Each book includes problem-solving puzzles, promotes appropriate Tier Two and Tier Three vocabulary, and has been reviewed by experts to assure quality content. Robin Johnson's Artists Use Tools (9780776762096) examines various tools artists use for different results, from computers to musical instruments and various paints; her Engineering in My Community (9780778762058) surveys how engineering designs result in projects and structures that benefit everyone; Adrianna Morganelli's Building Tens With My Friends (9780778762300) surveys different methods of constructing sets of ten and helps kids better understand and apply counting and numbers systems; Cynthia O'Brien's Parts Work Together (9780778762010) considers how different technologies and parts come together to create systems, such as bicycles or scissors (the bicycle is the main example used throughout, and is something kids will find familiar); and Crystal Sikkens' Day and Night (9780778761877) considers the basics about the sun and moon and their appearance in the sky. All are important explorations of familiar systems and science, which kids will appreciate.

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.

The Pawed Piper
Michelle Robinson, author
Chinlun Lee, illustrator
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536201659, $16.99

Dawn Menge

Cats, cats everywhere. All this little girl wants is her own cat to cuddle. She collects all of the needed things to care for her cat and then waits. Suddenly, her whole world is filled with cats! Cats of all sizes and shapes and sizes. But they do not belong to her and their real families are looking everywhere for them. After giving them all back, she finds a very loveable surprise waiting for her. This is a delightful book to introduce your children to their first pet. (Ages 2-5)

Jeanne Willis, author
Briony May Smith, illustrator
Nosy Crow
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536202656, $16.99

Julianne Black

A perfect snapshot of growing up in an older sibling's shadow, Stardust follows a young girl's dream of being the family star instead of the one who always comes in second place to her older sister. Upon reflection due to some wise advice, she recognizes that we are all made of stardust and are all part of a greatness that extends past family and into the universe itself. Award-winning author Jeanne Willis draws us through the exceptional visual stage set by illustrator Briony May Smith. (Ages 2-5)

Tropical Terry
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536205466, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This storyline never loses its significance, because it never loses the working effects on children trying to find themselves, and their hopeful place among the "beautiful" masses. Every living creature seeks its place, whether in a pack, or a cultured setting. Terry goes to great lengths to be found acceptable, only to discover his real strengths are in who he already is. It's good to keep his simple truth before them. We are all unique and contributable, just as we are! True gems are tucked alongside this main point, and there's much to be gained in its reading. A story we never outgrow. Illustrations are bold and colorful, rounding out a full reading experience. (Ages 2-5)

Daniel's Good Day
Micha Archer
Nancy Paulsen Books
9780399546723, $16.99

Christine Irvin

While Daniel is walking to his grandma's house, the people in his neighborhood tell him to "Have a good day!" That makes Daniel wonder: What makes a day good? The answer to that question depends on whom he asks. Mrs. Sanchez, who paints houses, tells him a good day is when the skies are clear so she can paint. Emma, who wants to fly her kite, says a good day has a steady wind. The gardener says it's a good day for her when there are bees on the flowers. Daniel learns there are many different ways to have a "good day." (Ages 3-6)

Audrey Lost Her Shoe
Felicia Lee, author
Kaviya Pugazhendi, illustrator
Tandem Light Press
9780999263389, $15.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

Life lessons are often learned by observance. And little Audrey teaches us well the importance of everything having a place. Have you ever been late, or missed out completely because you couldn't find something you needed? Almost missing out on a special day taught Audrey to make a place for things, and after using them, to always return them to their place. Children will enjoy learning this lesson as they follow frantic Audrey as she hunts for her shoe. (Ages 3-8)

What Kind of Car Does a T. Rex Drive?
Mark Lee and Brian Biggs
G.P. Putnam's Sons
9781524741235, $17.99

Christine Irvin

Ava and Mickey are helping out at Uncle Otto's car lot. Good thing they are there to help, because Uncle Otto doesn't know what to do when a stegosaurus shows up looking for a car. Ava and Mickey help him pick out the perfect vehicle. Then, other dinosaurs, including a T. Rex, show up. Just what kind of car does a T. Rex drive? Ava and Mickey have lots of ideas. (Ages 3-7)

My Funny Bunny
Christine Roussey
Harry N. Abrams
9781419736186, $16.99

Julianne Black

Confession: I'm a HUGE fan of Roussey's My Stinky Dog, so it's no surprise I fell in love with this one with just one glance at the cover. With the same funny, scribbly, quirkiness on every page turn, My Funny Bunny did not disappoint! Big on friendship and expectation adapting, Roussey's books take on everyday kid dilemmas, stuff them full of giggles and ewwws, and turn them loose again, happy and free. (Ages 3-6)

Nope. Never. Not For Me!
Samantha Cotterill
Dial Books
9780525553441, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

How does one motivate our little ones to venture out and try new things? Parents are always looking for and finding new and clever ways to encourage their children out of obstinate or fearful snags in the growth process. The author here has delicately maneuvered a stubborn stance into a curious advance, by a simple presentation. Handling awkward moments in a typically skillful manner can sometimes elude us, making this book truly a delight. (Ages 3-7)

Raj and the Best Day Ever!
Sebastien Braun
c/o Candlewick
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536205701, $16.99

Dawn Menge

Can you make a boat out of a stick and a leaf? Or pretend to drive a tractor in the pouring rain? Little Raj and his father soon learn how to use their imaginations when dad forgets his wallet on what Raj thinks will be the best day ever. Their day is still filled with wondrous fun without using money. This is an excellent book to encourage the use of creativity with your child. (Ages 3-7)

Jackie the Angel
Patricia Rust and Kathleen Lolley
Independently Published
9781981975273, $12.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

Jackie and her newfound friends learn a heavenly lesson. This is a sweet story about facing your fears. And, a good reminder of all the wonderful things we can miss out on while trying to protect ourselves from some dreaded fear. (Ages 3-8)

Drew Brockington
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316559324, $17.99

Christine Irvin

A hungry little monster goes to a cafe in the city for a hot dog. When he gets there, the place is closed. The monster is hungry and now he is angry, which makes him "hangry." When he throws a fit, the people in the city try to appease him with offers of other food. But nothing will work except for a hot dog. This is a topic that youngsters will definitely relate to. The story layout is like a comic book or a graphic novel, which should appeal to many young readers. (Ages 4-7)

I Am a Wolf
Kelly Leigh Miller
Dial Books
9780525553298, $17.99

Christine Irvin

A dog in a shelter, waiting for adoption, insists she's a wolf, even though she clearly isn't. She knows she's not cute or cuddly, and she's loud and obnoxious because she barks all the time, so she acts like a wolf as a form of self-protection. But she is lonely. Will she find a forever home or will she be alone forever? (Ages 4-8)

Sitting Still Like a Frog Activity Book: 75 Mindfulness Games for Kids
Eline Snel, author
Marc Boutavant, illustrator
Bala Kids
9781611805888, $16.95

Dawn Menge

Our children are more stressed today than ever before. This activity book has 75 activities that help promote a sense of calmness, and to teach children to be empathetic to others and how to be present in the moment and not think of other things. This is an important life lesson that we all must remember. This is a wonderful book for children and adults also. Especially if they forget to stop and smell the roses as they journey through their life. (Ages 4-8)

Tippy Finds a Home
Mary Beth Stevens, author
Susan Spellman, illustrator
Peter E. Randall Publisher
9781942155201, $16.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

This loving story stirs my heart all the more because it is a true story. At a time when society is faced with a surplus of unwanted or abandoned pets in our shelters, we find this happy ending for one such pup that found himself in need of a home. This sweet story is full of patience, adjustments, and a whole lot of love. (Ages 4-8)

Ilaria Guarducci
Amazon Crossing Kids
9781542040433, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

One of the wisest things I was taught was not to believe my own press, good or bad. Wisdom has whispered to us all through the years many a quaint saying like, "Don't judge a book by its cover," trying to keep us from fulfilling the opinions others form about us. This is just the message Spiky learns in a very personal way. Sometimes, we begin to take on stereotypes and false personas because that is what we hear on the outside, but in truth has no reality to our inside. Spiky realizes he doesn't have to live like his sharp prickly outer self, and comes to enjoy his softer inner side. We can, too! (Ages 4-8)

Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves
Lauren H. Kerstein, author
Nate Wragg, illustrator
Two Lions
9781542042925, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Summertime is here! Grab your swimsuits (and don't forget your umbrellas), and head over to the swimming pool for a rollicking good time with Charlie and his pet dragon Rosie. This lighthearted comical tale reminds us of the importance of consideration and following the rules when we are out to have a good time. Illustrations by Nate Wragg will bring great giggles as you read this fun story. (Ages 4-8)

Digger and Daisy Go Camping
Judy Young, author
Dana Sullivan, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781534110229, $9.99

Diana Perry

Daisy is excited to go on a camping trip but Digger is worried about bears. Every noise they hear Digger thinks is a bear. Through the eyes of these two delightful characters, early readers will experience the joys of the great outdoors with hiking, singing with the birds, jumping in a lake, making a fire to roast marshmallows, and gathering nuts to eat. I loved the very funny and befitting ending, and your little ones will, too. (Ages 5-7)

Sid the Sasquatch
Wendy Elliot, author
Joseph Cowman, illustrator
Independently Published
9781507826126, $11.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

The illustrations of this book are as warm and heartfelt as the story itself. A perfect merging of the two into one great effect. In a time when differences are tearing apart, this simple story flows with a soft, rhyming reminder of the joys and treasures that can be found when we choose to come together. Sid is faced with an awkward moment - will he face it with past knowledge and fear, or judge it in its moment and the kindness that appears? We all come to such moments in life. And we can all follow Sid's lead in finding new ways of dealing with them. (Ages 5-6)

Maybe I Can Love My Neighbor Too
Jennifer Grant, author
Benjamin Schipper, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506452012, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a much-needed reminder to all. After discovering the housing growth in her neighborhood, a young girl becomes aware of the meaning of being a neighbor. With great interest and diligence, she observes acts of kindness she can easily embrace to make her a good neighbor too. (Ages 5-8)

How to Draw for Kids! Favorite Animals
Diana Fisher
Salted Peanuts Press
9781732385535, $10.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

What a fun book! We've all heard the phrase, "Every Child is an Artist." Well, this book will surely prove that point. I followed through the pages randomly picking fun projects and followed the easy instructions provided. What a feeling of success emerges as you see your creation come to life with the simple step-by-step leading. An added bonus provides abundant website starter drawings to download that will encourage hesitant beginners, and also provides a colorful Completion Certificate download to commemorate the experience. I must say this was as much fun for this old grandma as it will be for my grandchildren. I anticipate this book holding a place of honor on our family bookshelf for quite some time. (Ages 6+)

Tony T-Rex's Family Album
Mike Benton, author
Rob Hodgson, illustrator
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500651681, $19.95

Christine Irvin

Tony has put together an album about his relatives in the dinosaur world. He traces the lives of dinosaurs up through to the time of extinction. Author Mike Benton includes information about where fossils of all the dinosaurs named in the book can be found in museums around the world. There is also a world map showing where major dinosaur fossils have been found. And there is information on how to find your own fossils, as well as a glossary of Dino Words. This oversized picture book is a delightful edition to any library of kids' books about the fascinating world of dinosaurs. (Ages 6-8)

Cinderella's Other Shoe
Philippa Rae, author
Tevin Hansen, illustrator
Handersen Publishing
9781941429983, $7.99

Diana Perry

This book turns the classic Cinderella story on its head and adds a new twist. Stomp is the left shoe of our modern-day Cinderella; she is a beautiful dressy low heel. Her sister, Buckle, is an unkept tennis shoe and the tomboy of the two. Yes, there is a Prince Charming and a fairy godmother, but that's all there is in common with the original story. Young readers will find this version most appealing. I found myself smiling all the way through the book. (Ages 6-9)

Superpower Dogs
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316453592, $18.99

Sherry L. Hoffman

This nonfiction tale references lovable and super smart breeds of canines that serve and protect individuals. Based on Cosmic Picture's Superpower Dogs, this resource includes over 50 amazing, artistic pictures of the heroes in action. Clear, crisp shots howcase six heroic pooches from around the world. Whether it is a love of nature, animal facts, or fluffy heroes with paws, Superpower Dogs is one for all ages. (Ages 8-12)

Elements of Genius
Jess Keating
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338295214, $16.99

Diana Perry

There are only so many times a kid can invent an instrument of global destruction without getting grounded. So when Nikki's death ray accidentally blows up her bedroom (if you can call a pet ferret with an itchy trigger finger an accident), she's sent to the only place that can handle her. Genius Academy is a school for history's greatest brains. Yet even among her fellow prodigies, Nikki feels like an outsider thanks to a terrible secret she can't let anyone discover. Ever. Young Readers will find this story fun and adventurous and packed with quantum physics, coding, languages, genetics, and so many other science facts and technologies. I hope it inspires young minds toward STEM careers. (Ages 8-12)

The Gift of Goodbye
Louise Cypress
Independently Published
9781983041990, $12.99

Diana Perry

Caleb will do anything to protect the people he loves - and his grandma is top of that list, especially now that she has Alzheimer's disease. After Emma accidentally insults Grams, Caleb lashes out and makes fun of Emma's dyslexia. Emma's best friend Sydney rushes to her defense, starting a girls versus boys cartoon war that involves the whole sixth grade. Pencils ready, students of Whitman Elementary, prepare to battle! A heartwarming and touching story that is a perfect read for any young person who has a family member struggling with Alzheimer's. (Ages 10+)

Stories for Kids who Dare to be Different
Ben Brooks
Running Press Kids
9780762468553, $16.99

Diana Perry

The follow-up to Ben Brooks' New York Times bestselling Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different, this book offers more extraordinary true stories of amazing people who broke the mold and changed the world for the better. The resulting message? Be yourself, and your dreams might come true. This book inspires kids of today to greatness of tomorrow. (Ages 9-12)

Star Man's Son
C.C. Archambeault
Independently Published
9781507683552 $9.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle

Diana Perry

In a world ravaged by plague with few survivors, a starving orphaned boy finds a new beginning with the "Star People," space explorers who had saved his planet. Join the brave boy in his experiences leading up to becoming adopted by an officer of the starship. Continue with his adventures as he leaves his home planet with his new dad to explore other worlds where beauty and danger await! He learns that honor, respect, courage, kindness, and the love of his new family are his greatest adventures of all! Middle-grade and young adult readers will be constantly guessing what happens next in this exciting sci-fi series. Other titles include Star Man's Son: Discovery (9781535032759) and Star Man's Son: Rescue (9781984276179). You won't be able to put them down. (Ages 12+)

Rachel Langley
Palmetto Publishing Group
9781641110778, $12.99

Diana Perry

Laney and Leela are identical twins, except for a birthmark and two very different personalities. Home for the summer after college graduation, they go on a camping trip with their two younger siblings. When they return home, they find the town empty. Everyone is missing, including their parents. When a mysterious man named Curwen arrives, he offers to help the twins on a mission to rescue their parents - a mission that could cost them their lives. Unsure of whether to trust him, the twins realize that he may be their only hope. This is the perfect young adult sci-fi novel full of discoveries. The story unravels one exciting bit after another to a great ending. Readers will be anxious to read the next book in the series! (Ages 14+)

Tangled in Magic
Kim Ellis
Handersen Publishing
9781941429518, $11.95

Diana Perry

When 15-year-old Agatha learns that her twin brother Malcolm may still be alive, she will sacrifice everything to find him. But powerful magic and conjured beasts are soon tracking her every move. The tiny Grassmen and their awful sneezie powder, a mystical Kermode bear, the Fens, a neverending forest, and a deadly panther are just some of the battles she must face. Archer, a wise but arrogant gyrfalcon, is her guide throughout her dangerous quest. Even if Agatha can locate her brother, they will have to battle the evil warlock that plotted against them and murdered their parents. Middle grade to young adult readers will find this a most adventurous tale. A great read! (Ages 14+)

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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