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Table of Contents
Dr. Heather L. Beal, author
Jasmine Mills, illustrator
Train 4 Safety Press
9781947690110, $9.99 PB; $2.99 Kindle
9781947690127, $17.99, HC, 36pp, www.amazon.com
Niko and Emma are on vacation with their aunt and uncle and family in a tropical beach area.
When they receive warning of a hurricane watch, the children ask Aunt Sarah and Uncle Brian
many questions. They explain that a hurricane forms over tropical waters and is like a huge
storm, covering hundreds of miles.
The children help Sarah and Brian to prepare for the hurricane. As they get ready to evacuate,
Aunt Sara prepares to help at the hospital during the hurricane. The children learn a song about
hurricane preparedness that they can sing to a familiar tune as they prepare to evacuate to a
Thinking they have packed everything they need, the children discover that Niko has forgotten
his stuffed frog, Dino. Tears begin to flow, but everyone helps search quickly and they find Dino
in time to leave safely for the shelter.
"Hurricane Vacation" ends with a list of questions and activities for children to help them learn
and understand hurricane preparedness. There is also a list of sites for further resources and web
pages that help teach ways to keep children safe during hurricanes.
Laced with cheerful colored illustrations, "Hurricane Vacation" is a calmly informative hurricane
preparedness manual for children age 3-8 years and unreservedly recommended for family,
daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.
Empress of Coils
Lynn Graham, author
Kavion Robinson, illustrator
9780578705026, $21.50, HC, 54pp, www.amazon.com
Kendolyn loved everything about herself except her hair. "It's too coarse, too big, too hard to
comb, too coily." It's just too much! 10-year-old Kendolyn has decided that the perfect birthday
gift would be a relaxer for her hair. Her mother and hair stylist agree, but under one condition,
Kendolyn has to finish reading a book of their choice.
After tossing the book to the side in favor of zoning out in front of the television, Kendolyn
quickly realizes this is no ordinary book. The wordless, pictureless book presents her with a
magic comb, and an unforgettable journey into knowledge, self-discovery, and confidence
In the pages of author and storyteller Lynn Graham's "Empress of Coils", young girls will
particularly enjoy joining Kendolyn on an exciting adventure as she learns that her hair is her
history. Will Kendolyn still decide to perm her hair or not?
As fully entertaining as it is thought-provoking, and deftly enhanced with charming illustrations
by Kavion Robinson, "Empress of Coils" is especially and unreservedly recommended for
elementary school, middle school, and community library collections. An ideal gift for any little
girl of color, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Empress of Coils" is also readily
available in a paperback edition (9798645894047, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Girl and the Cathedral
Nicolas Jeter, author
Sara Ugolotti, illustrator
Bushel & Peck Books
9781733633550, $17.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com
On an island in the Seine, a little girl plants a garden -- but it's not a garden of flowers. It will be
a garden of people, she says: Paris. And in the center of that garden will stand its guardian, a
grand cathedral carved from stone and roofed with light: the majestic Notre Dame de Paris.
Alas, the garden will change, as people must. The girl sees kings and revolutions, empires and
democracies, wars and tragedies. The are the best of times, and there are the worst. Through it
all, the light of Notre Dame keeps hope bright. But when fire strikes Notre Dame itself, the little
girl is grief stricken. It seems all light has gone out -- until her beloved people discover what she
has planted within them all along.
"The Girl and the Cathedral" is a moving story about life, freedom, love, loss, and the glory of
new beginnings. It is a story about Notre Dame, but much deeper, it is a story about all that Notre
Dame stands for. Of special note is the inclusion of a fold-out timeline of Notre Dame's history
with period paintings and photographs. The front cover has built-in plastic windows that shine
when help up to the light!
A stunningly beautiful, wonderfully entertaining, thoroughly heartwarming, and unique tribute to
the cathedral of Notre Dame, "The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris" by
the team of author/storyteller Nicolas Jeter and artist/illustrator Sara Ugolotti is an especially,
unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and
community library picture book collections.
The Story Of Babushka
Catherine Flores, author
Ana Beatriz Marques, illustrator
ACL Creative Studio
9781527260290, $19.99, HC, 120pp, www.catherineflores.ch
The babushka doll, also known as a matryoshka or Russian nesting doll, is a traditional Russian
toy first made over 100 years ago. The doll has come to symbolise Russian folk culture, as well
as the complex and beautiful layers of women. There are some babushka dolls with as many as
fifty dolls nested inside.
"The Story Of Babushka" is the story of one very special babushka doll and her five bodies.
There was the outermost body, Antonia. She was pure beauty. Everyone who saw her admired
her good looks.
Beneath that body of beauty hid Loretta, who was richly adorned. She wore gold ornaments, and
her green robe was decorated with many different gems that glittered like the ocean on a sunny
Hidden within the rich body was Paula, the body that held all Babushka's talents. Whatever Paula
did, she was sure to succeed. She knew how to work and always did so with joy and
Within the talented body was Viola, the body of wisdom. Viola knew a lot about the world and
learned very quickly. She was always full of brilliant ideas and had clever solutions for every
The last body, the smallest of all, was Mary, the embodiment of love. Mary had a warm and
compassionate heart and was very helpful. She could dry tears and mend broken hearts.
Together, these bodies formed the complete Babushka.
A unique, original, and thoroughly entertaining read for children ages 6-12, and featuring
beautifully colorful illustrations by Ana Beatriz Marques, "The Story Of Babushka" by
author/storyteller Catherine Flores will prove to be an extraordinary and enduringly popular
addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young
readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Story Of Babushka" is also readily
available in a paperback edition (9781838022327, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Social Issues Shelf
Parker Plum and the Intergalactic Space Detective
Billie Pavicic, author
Madeline Timm, illustrator
Boys Town Press
13603 Flanagan Blvd., Boys Town, NE 68010
9781944882525, $10.95, PB, 32pp, www.amazon.com
When Parker Plum's favorite comic arrives and as he reads about the adventures of Max
Mayhem, Intergalactic Space Detective, he starts to think about some of the curious behaviors
that he sees at Fish Creek Elementary, and wonders if he can use his own detective skills to
figure out a way to help.
Unfortunately, when Parker starts playing detective, his curiosity gets the best of him. He ends up
snooping into things that are none of his business and misunderstanding the motive and behavior
of others. Fortunately, his comic hero Max comes to life to offer guidance and teach Parker that
sometimes the best way to help others is to understand them, not change them.
Young readers ages 5-8 will enjoy following Parker as he learns a better way to help others and
why he doesn't always need to know everything about everyone. Of special note is the inclusion
of tips for parents, caregivers, counselors and educators that are included in the back of the
picture book to help teach children the social skills of compassion, empathy and kindness.
While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library
collections for young readers, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Parker Plum and
the Intergalactic Space Detective: A Story about Acceptance, Compassion, and Uncommon
Behaviors" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).
The Halloween Shelf
Poopshkin and Nobody's Candy
Iraida Henderson, Kristina Nokes, & Rob Nokes, authors
Liliya Chagay, illustrator
Team Poopshkin Books, producer
Kim Farnell and Paul Virostek, editors
9780999692585, $12.95 PB, $9.99 Kindle, 36pp, www.amazon.com
"Poopshkin and Nobody's Candy" is a creative children's fantasy work based loosely on
Halloween habits and customs. Part of an exciting new series of eleven children's books,
"Poopshkin and Nobody's Candy" traces the daring adventure of Poopshkin and his friends as
they climb scary Santa Monica Mountain to "save Halloween from a scary... evil Witch who has
taken all of the candies except for one, a Purple candy."
Illustrated as comic, adorable animals costumed for Halloween, Poopshkin and his friends,
Pepin, Zaza, and Freddie tackle the scary mission because they wish to save the candies for the
celebration of Halloween for children. However, a troubling truth emerges when the team
confronts the scary witch (who somehow looks rather familiar with her Beagle's face).
In answer to the question, Whose candy is it? Poopshkin remembers he made a mistake. He had
secretly picked up a precious purple candy dropped by his friend Zaza and kept it for himself. he
confesses all to Zaza, who kindly forgives him. Confession of candy theft is followed by a
Hurricandy, a deluge of Halloween candy. All friends return home and next morning, Poopshkin
notices some telltale resemblances between his caretaker/parent, Lori, and the scary evil witch on
the mountain the night before.
Young readers are left draw their own conclusions about the lesson Poopshkin learned about
honest sharing of candy with friends.
"Poopshkin and Nobody's Candy" is filled with vivid, brilliant, touching, bright and dark
illustrations of tender young child-animals going costumed on their Halloween adventure. Look
for more volumes in this children's series exploring festive months and seasons of the year.
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Pets and Their Famous Humans
Ana Gallo, author
Katherine Quinn, illustrator
9783791374253, $17.95, HC, 48pp, www.amazon.com
Did you know that Mozart's pet starling was the inspiration for his Piano Concerto No. 17? Or
that writer Dorothy Parker loved animals so much she let a pair of alligators swim in her
bathtub? These are just a couple of the stories showcased in the pages of "Pets and Their Famous
Humans", a delightful and surprising picture book collection by the team of author Ana Gallo
and illustrator Katherine Quinn that profiles the strong bond between humans and their pets.
Some of these stories are touching: Frida Kahlo memorialized her pet deer Granizo in her
painting The Wounded Deer. Some are a little quirky: Albert Einstein, convinced that his parrot,
Bibo, was sad, told bad jokes to cheer the bird up.
Each of these impressively entertaining and deftly presented stories is made even more appealing
as they fully capture the humor and poignancy of these pet/human relationships -- making "Pets
and Their Famous Humans" an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school,
and community library collections for young readers ages 7-10.
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426337475, $25.99, HC, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "ICK!: Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses" by Melissa
Stewart takes children ages 8-12 on one of the grossest journey through the animal world they
will ever take. From ants to zebras, kids can get ready to discover some seriously strange animal
behaviors including slurping up soupy insides with houseflies, spitting sticky saliva to build nests
with birds, and fending off predators with poop-flinging caterpillars and farting snakes. And
that's just the tip of the dung pile! These yucky habits may seem surprising to us, but they're
totally normal for these animals. In fact, their survival depends on them.
Critique: Featuring a snappy text, incredible photography, and still more cool features, "ICK!:
Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses" is thoroughly 'kid friendly' in
organization and presentation, making it a highly recommended for family, elementary school,
middle school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "ICK!" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781426337468,
See the Sea
Alese & Morton Pechter, authors/photographers
Best Publishing Company
9781947239258, $11.99 PB, $8.99 Kindle, 52pp, www.amazon.com
Featuring 52 pages full color photos, "See the Sea" is an enchanting odyssey of incredible
undersea images. Aimed at an audience of children ages 4-9 years, here are 30 spectacular marine
portraits of sea creatures narrated in descriptive, jaunty verse. The table of contents lists creatures
included by miniature photos, names, and numbers. From tube sponge to damselfish, from star
coral to cowfish, here are definitive pictures of stunning marine life, further described in
white-highlighted narrative verse.
The mission of the photo journalist authors is to inspire reverence for marine environment and
life, and to encourage ocean stewardship and protection. To that end, the final pages of "See the
Sea" include Saving Our Waters & Fish (things you can do to help save our fish and oceans),
Have Some Fun (entertainment ideas plus a warning that plastics harm our fish friends), and The
Ocean is Life, a reminder of what roles the oceans play in protecting all life on earth. "See the
Sea" is a fantastic, entertaining, educational marine exploration book with a mission to train
young readers to become ocean protectors.
The Science Shelf
When Darwin Sailed the Sea
David Long, author
Sam Kalda, illustrator
Wide Eyed Editions
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780711249684, $19.99, HC, 80pp, www.amazon.com
At the age of 22, Charles Darwin clambered up the steps of HMS Beagle armed with enough
notepads to last him for several years and set sail on a journey of exploration that would change
his life and how we view the entire world forever. He later wrote: "The voyage of the Beagle has
been by far the most important event of my life and has determined my whole career."
From his fascination with the natural world that began at an early age, to his love of collecting
new specimens, and his keen eye for observation to his groundbreaking theory of evolution,
"When Darwin Sailed the Sea: Uncover how Darwin's revolutionary ideas helped change the
world" by the team of author David Long and illustrator Sam Kalda uncovers the incredible life
of Charles Darwin in this fascinating picture book story of his life specifically presented for
children ages 8-10.
At the back of "When Darwin Sailed the Sea", young readers can explore a selection of the
amazing species he discovered, concise profiles of some of the incredible people who helped
Darwin on his path to becoming a groundbreaking scientist, a glossary of terms, and a timeline of
Darwin's life and career.
Especially recommended for elementary school and community library picture book Science &
Biography collections for children, "When Darwin Sailed the Sea" an extraordinary, informative
and fun account of one of the most influential and important men of 19th Century science.
The Gardening Shelf
One Little Lot: The 1-2-3s of an Urban Garden
Diane C. Mullen, author
Oriol Vidal, illustrator
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580898898, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com
In the pages of "One Little Lot: The 1-2-3s of an Urban Garden", children ages 3-7 will
thoroughly enjoy counting all the ways (one to ten) that an urban community unites in order to
clean up an abandoned lot. From building planter boxes, to pulling weeds, to planting seeds,
everyone works together to transform the lot into a bountiful vegetable garden. As the garden
grows, strangers become friends, eventually sharing in a special feast with the harvest they grew!
A thoroughly charming, entertaining, and inspiring picture book by the team of author/storyteller
Diane C. Mullen and artist/illustrator Oriol Vidal, "One Little Lot: The 1-2-3s of an Urban
Garden" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community
library picture book gardening collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "One
Little Lot: The 1-2-3s of an Urban Garden" is also readily available in a digital book format
The Board Book Shelf
Amanda Flinn, author
Shane Crampton, illustrator
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506456997, $7.99, Board Book, 26pp, www.amazon.com
Reaching, bending, rocking, and swaying -- these are just a few of the moves a bouncy little baby
tries when her mother practices yoga throughout the day in "Yoga Baby", a board book for
children ages 2-5 by the team of author Amanda Flinn and illustrator Shane Crampton. In the
midst of a busy day, yoga turns out to be a surprising source of connection, fun, and giggles for
mother and child. Surprising and silly, "Yoga Baby" proves that it's never too early for parents
and children to explore together what their bodies can do -- never too early, in short, for the
life-giving practice of yoga! Of special note is a guide in the back of this charmingly entertaining
board book that provides tips and tricks for incorporating yoga practice into daily life with a
young child. While especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and
community library board book collections, it should be noted that "Yoga Baby" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Who Ate My Cakes?
9788418133121, $9.95, Board Book, 16pp, www.amazon.com
Cat has four different cakes and is very hungry! When he goes to eat the first cake, he discovers
one of his friends already ate it! He soon realizes all of his cake is gone. Lift the flaps to find out
who ate all of Cat s cakes. A creative board book to learn numbers and animals, this utterly
charming board book for children ages 2-6 and highly recommended for family, daycare center,
and preschool collections is also readily available in a Spanish language edition ("Quien se
comio mi fruta?", 9788418133091, $9.95, 16pp, Board Book, www.amazon.com).
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
Charmingly illustrated by the team of Annie Kubler and Sarah Dellow, Child's Play has issued
four new board books for children ages 1-3. Each of them is based on a popular children's rhyme.
This new and wonderfully entertaining 12 page board book series is comprised of: "This Little
Piggy" (9781786284051, $5.99); "Pat-A-Cake" (9781786284075, $5.99); "Ten Little Fingers"
(9781786284068, $5.99); "Hey Diddle Diddle" (9781786284082, $5.99). Certain to be an
enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board
book collections, parents and librarians are advised to acquire all four of these throughly 'kid
friendly & fun' board books.
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
Quirk Books has launched an impressive new series of board books for children ages 2-5 that are
based on the popular and long running television series 'Mr. Rogers Neighborhood'. With lyrics
by Fred Rogers and illustrations by Luke Flowers, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
(9781683691990, $9.99, BB, 24pp) is based on the instantly recognizable theme song of the
television series. "It's You I Like" (9781683692010, $9.99, BB, 24pp) is based on Fred Rogers'
heartwarming song that conveys Mister Rogers's singular warmth and belief that every child is
special and loved. Unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool,
kindergarten, and community library board book collections, it should be noted that both books
are also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
The Picturebook Shelf
You Can Do It, Noisy Nora!
Viking Children's Books
c/o Penguin Putnam Inc.
9781101999233, $16.99 HC, $9.99 Kindle, 32pp, www.amazon.com
You Can Do It, Noisy Nora! presents the picture book story of a little mouse who is learning to
play the violin. Nora is enthusiastic about her newfound ability to play a special song. Usually
Nora's tenacity is celebrated, but her newfound fascination with an instrument that only produces
awful sounds has her family covering their ears during the initial weeks of scraping, squeaking,
screeching sounds. A gentle rhyme illustrates the little mouse's persistence and her family's
solution to her grating new passion. Fans of the prior Noisy Nora book will find this gentle story
a fine addition to what will likely be a compelling new series.
Put Yourself in My Shoes
Susanna Isern, author
Mylene Rigaudie, illustrator
9788417673376, $15.95, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com
When Cricket goes for a walk, he finds Ladybug searching for something in her garden. She's
lost one of her spots! Since Cricket doesn't have any spots, he doesn't think they're important.
Bee has a problem too: her wing is all tangled up! Spider is running low on silk and Centipede
doesn't have enough shoes! But Cricket doesn't think any of those things are that important. But
what will Cricket do when he faces a problem? "Put Yourself in My Shoes" is a charmingly
entertaining picture book for children ages 4-8 years on the importance and value of empathy for
others. Extraordinary and original, "Put Yourself in My Shoes" is very highly recommended,
especially for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for
Vote for Me!
Martin Baltscheit and Marc Boutavant
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
9780802855435, $17.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com
Vote for Me! is a fine picture book exploration of the election process that is particularly suitable
to the 2020 year as it explores a lion who loves winning elections - until he confronts a mouse
who decides to be a mighty contender.
At first the lion isn't worried about such a small candidate, but as each animal offers their own
alternate in a big election, too many options muddle the process. How can the animal kingdom
vote on the best animal for the job? Marc Boutavant's lovely drawings accompany a fine, fun
story that excels in both humor and easy, pointed messages about winning, politics, and
Like Best Friends
Bob Raczka, author
Merrilee Liddiard, illustrator
c/o Cameron + Company
149 Kentucky Street, Suite 7, Petaluma, CA 94952
9781944903886, $16.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com
Summer drags, like a book that starts out good, then isn't. The boy is bored, like a frog waiting
for a fly to buzz by. So the boy hops on his bike and heads for the playground, where he finds a
girl on a swing who beckons him to join her. At first, the boy is reluctant, but soon they are
having fun like best friends, like characters in a book with a happy ending.
"Like Best Friends" is a thoroughly charming and impressively entertaining picture book for
children ages 5-7 by the team of author/storyteller Bob Raczka and artist/illustrator Merrilee
Liddiard that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and
community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Like Best
Friends" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.10).
Eva Zimet, author/illustrator
9781578690121, $13.95, PB, 32pp, www.amazon.com
Lucy is an imaginative young girl who loved to run and jump at the beach and pretend to fly,
holding a feather in each hand. Lucy sometimes wanted to fly away from her older sister, who
made fun of her.
When her mother took her to a ballet class for the first time, she was reluctant and refused to
wear the pink tights and pink shoes her mother got for her. Instead she wore black. Lucy was
surprised by ballet, and by Miss Gabriela, her Russian teacher. Ballet was hard. All the words for
the positions were in French. it was hard, sweaty work, but Lucy liked it. She went back.
Gabriela taught her the Russian word for heart, "dusha." She explained, "The arabesque does not
come from the legs,..... It comes from the heart. You must open your heart."
The swirling, leaping images by Eva Zimet portray Lucy's growing skill and excitement as she
learns to dance, always practicing to be better. When Lucy dances, she imagines light coming
from her fingertips. All the young dancers practice very hard for their first performance
When Lucy's sister asks her if she was afraid of falling, she answered, "No.... I felt like I was
flying." "Lucy Dancer" is a fabulous introduction to classical dance, which deserves to be a
cherished addition to every budding artist's shelf.
Highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community
library collections, "Lucy Dancer" is a a beautiful picture book about classic ballet for young
readers age 4-10 years.
Dear Mr. Wasn't Me
Laura Jensen-Kimball, author
Peter Mahr, illustrator
9780996364638, $19.99, HC, 32 pages, www.amazon.com
Colorfully illustrated by artist/illustrator Peter Mahr, "Dear Mr. Wasn't Me" by author/storyteller
Laura Jensen-Kimball is a rollicking, hilarious, picture book tale of family subterfuge that pits
wily children and pets against a beleaguered parent in a mounting pile of chaotic, dirty disordered
A witty, verse narrative is contrasted against pages of illustrations overflowing with spilled toys,
dirty footprints, camouflaged pets, and one captive sibling flanked by two perpetrators, not to
mentions piles of disordered laundry, food, and other distasteful remnants of daily living.
Beginning with a sleepy, overworked mom awakening to mounting evidence of deed after deed
of home cluttering, the narrative traces her reaction to her unconvincing guilty children as a letter
addressed to "Dear Mr. Wasn't Me."
Addressed to an audience of young readers ages 2-10 years and their parents, "Dear Mr. Wasn't
Me" navigates the tricky trail between being tasked with maintaining reasonable order and safety
in a life with kids and surrendering to a reaction of alternating outrage and volcanic laughter at
the daily antics of kids.
"Dear Mr. Wasn't Me" uses hyperbole to bring the reader to helpless laughter, and also a slight
hint of the revenge of the parent in the end. All kids and parents will enjoy reading "Dear Mr.
Wasn't Me," and it should be required reading for all prospective parents with romantic notions
of having and raising children!
While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool,
elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Dear Mr. Wasn't Me" is also readily available in a digital book format
Stop That Lion
Lois Wickstrom, author
Timna Green, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
9780916176648, $TBA, HC, 21pp
The Kingdom of Sher and the Kingdom of Mir were good neighbors. But the Kingdom of Sher
had a lion. And the farmers in the Kingdom of Sher raised sheep. Every night, the lion from the
Kingdom of Sher sneaked into the Kingdom of Mir and ate sheep that belonged to families who
The King proclaimed a contest to Stop the Lion. The servants announced the rules: The winning
solution must be fair!; The winner will be the King's Royal Advisor.; Losers must give the King
their most precious possession.
But nothing the grown-ups try works! Now it's up to a young girl named Wynnie -- but she
always asks too many questions!
A thoroughly charming picture book story for children ages 4-8, "Stop That Lion" is an especially
entertaining and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary
school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Stop
That Lion" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
Three excellent new picture books are highly recommended new arrivals for libraries seeking
lasting lends for elementary-level readers.
Paul Fleischman's Alpha Maniacs: Builders of 26 Wonders of the World (9780763690663,
$19.99 HC, $0.99 Kindle, 160, Ages 12-16) features art by Melissa Sweet and pairs language,
sounds, and words with art, using an adventure focus that encourages kids to appreciate word
obsessives and their connection to the art world. From how artists solve problems and variations
on letters to designers of calligraphy and speed writing with the goal of writing more books than
anyone else, this blend of biographical profiles, art, wordsmiths, and their lasting impact on
language will appeal to advanced elementary to adult readers with its lively, unique celebration
of the language of adventure.
If You Take Away the Otter by Susannah Buhrman-Deever (9780763689346, $16.99, HC, 32pp,
Ages 5-8) receives lovely, large-size drawings by Matthew Trueman as it explores the world of
otters and marine life on the Pacific coast of North America. It traces the history of human
interactions with otters, strategies for their protection, and their natural history in a lively,
beautifully illustrated blend of pictures and word that requires only basic reading skills and an
interest in ocean life to prove inviting.
Tricia Springstubb's Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures (9781536203066,
$16.99, HC, 32pp, Ages 5-8) receives appealing drawings by Elaheh Taherian as it surveys the
very different approaches to life between Khalil, who lives in an upstairs apartment with a big,
noisy family, and Mr. Hagerty, the downstairs resident who is quiet. A hot summer day brings the
two outdoors and encountering each other as Mr. Hagerty gardens and Khalil looks for buried
treasure in the backyard. The roots of a friendship which crosses age barriers and cultures makes
for an engaging story of understanding. All are excellent picture book choices that young readers
The General Fiction Shelf
Quest of the Tibetan Bloodline
Naomi C. Rose
Dancing Dakini Press
9780983633365, $12.25, PB, 173pp, www.amazon.com
"Quest of the Tibetan Bloodline" by Naomi C. Rose is a an original and deftly penned novel for
children ages 8-12 that features a mystical culture, an ancient myth, an angry demoness, and a
young Tibetan-American boy by the name of Pasang who travels back in time to 12th century
Tibet. With great consequences at stake, Pasang faces dangers and his own inner demons in this deftly penned adventure. Along the way, he meets a Tibetan mystic, a yeti, and other
helpers to overcome obstacles in Tibet as well in his own life. Certain to be an immediate and
enduringly popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library
action/adventures collections for young readers, "Quest of the Tibetan Bloodline" is an especially
The Melody of the Mulberries
Tonya Jewel Blessing
9781732753686 $24.99, HC, 248pp, www.amazon.com
"The Melody of the Mulberries" is sequel to author Tonya Jewel Blessing's YA novel "The
Whispering of the Willows" and is set in the late 1920s' Appalachia, where granny witches and
spiritualism often show the path for wanderers to take, especially in matters of the heart.
Coral sat in contemplation under a mulberry tree. It was spring, and the fragrant female blossoms
promised the mid-summer arrival of first white, then pink, then crimson, and finally deep purple
berries. The white berries were hard and tart and enjoyed by the quail, wild turkeys, mocking
birds, and blue jays. The blackish purple berries were soft and sweet - perfect for pies and
When the berries turned white, Coral would thank the good Lord for providing food for the birds,
and when the berries ripened she would thank the good Lord for the sweetness savored in her
mouth and curse the birds for wanting more than their share.
Like the changing mulberries, Appalachian siblings Coral and Ernest Ashby, navigate their lives
and loves through the Spanish Flu epidemic, poverty, and various as sundry prejudices. Coral is
determined to visit the family nemesis, Charlie, who now stews in prison.
When Ernest's previous love interest, Mercy, returns to the holler of Big Creek, she discovers
that Ernest has a new romantic attraction. He is singing a melody for Charlotte, the older Ashby
brother's widow. No matter, Mercy has brought along her own spiritual tools to circumvent the
inconvenience and a special friend who guides her way.
Accompanied by friends and foes, matters of the heart complicate life for Coral and Ernest.
Relationships must be journeyed carefully.
An exceptionally well written and entertaining work of historical romance for young adult
readers that is unreservedly recommended for both highschool and community library
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Melody of the Mulberries" is
also readily available in a paperback edition (9781951084004, $16.99).
All's Happy That Ends Happy
Rose Lagercrantz, author
Eve Eriksson, illustrator
9781776572922, $18.99, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
It's spring and Dani is going to Rome for her father's wedding. But Ella is not invited; Dad said
no. What will Ella think when she learns she hasn't been invited to her best friend's dad's
wedding? The road between Dani and Ella is getting longer and longer. Dani must make sure
their story ends happily! Delightfully entertaining from first page to last, and enhanced with the
inclusion of black-and-white line drawings by artist/illustrator Eve Eriksson, "All's Happy That
Ends Happy" is the concluding book in the acclaimed 'My Happy Life' series by Rose
Lagercrantz. and will prove to be a welcome addition to elementary school and community
library general fiction collections for young readers ages 5-9. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "All's Happy That Ends Happy" is also readily available in a paperback edition
(9781776572939, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Lost City: The Omte Origins
c/o St. Martin's Press
9781250204264, $10.99, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Twenty years ago, a woman sought safety from the spinning ice and darkness that descended
upon a small village. She was given shelter for the night by the local innkeepers but in the
morning, she disappeared - leaving behind an infant. Now nineteen, Ulla Tulin is ready to find
who abandoned her as a baby or why.
Ulla knows the answers to her identity and heritage may be found at the Mimirin where scholars
dedicate themselves to chronicling troll history. Granted an internship translating old documents,
Ulla starts researching her own family lineage with help from her handsome and charming
colleague Pan Soriano.
But then Ulla meets Eliana, a young girl who no memory of who she is but who possesses
otherworldly abilities. When Eliana is pursued and captured by bounty hunters, Ulla and Pan find
themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game where folklore and myth become very real and very
deadly -- but one that could lead Ulla to the answers she's been looking for.
Critique: A deftly crafted and impressively original fantasy novel for young readers ages 12-18,
"The Lost City" by Amanda Hocking will prove to be a particularly welcome and greatly
appreciated addition to middle school, high school, and community library YA Fiction
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans that "The
Lost City" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.80).
Court of Lions
9781250126450, $18.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
On a planet on the brink of revolution, Amani has been forced into isolation. She's been torn
from the boy she loves and has given up contact with her fellow rebels to protect her family. In
taking risks for the rebel cause, Amani may have lost Maram's trust forever. But the princess is
more complex than she seems, and now Amani is once more at her capricious nature. One wrong
move could see her executed for high treason.
On the eve of Maram's marriage to Idris comes an unexpected proposal: in exchange for taking
her place in the festivities, Maram will keep Amani's rebel associations a secret. Alone and
desperate, Amani is thrust into the center of the court, navigating the dangerous factions on the
princess's behalf. But the court is not what she expects. As a risky plan grows in her mind, and
with the rebels poised to make their stand, Amani begins to believe her world might have a
future. But every choice she makes comes with a cost. Can Amani risk the ones she loves the
most for a war she's not sure she can win?
The second volume in author Somaiya Daud's 'Mirage' series, "Court of Lions" is an inherently
entertaining read from first page to last -- and will leave teen and young adult readers looking
eagerly toward the next entry into the 'Mirage' saga. While very highly recommended for high
school and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Court of Lions" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as
a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250220790, $44.99, CD).
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
Two leisure reads for middle grades stand out from the myriad of publications this Spring, and
are recommended picks for discriminating elementary-grade collections.
Alison Hart's Finder: Coal Mine Dog (9781682631638, $12.95 HC; 9781682631638, $7.99 PB;
$6.12 Kindle, 192pp, Ages 7-10) tells of Thomas, who is forced to work in the mines with his
hunting dog Finder. The mines are dangerous and include the threat of fire as well as cave-ins,
and when Thomas and Finder become trapped, they must rely on ingenuity and each other to
survive. Middle grade readers are in for a treat with this historical piece, which combines a dog
story with real-life history.
Alex T. Smith's Mr. Penguin: The Lost Treasure (9781682631201, $16.95 HC; 9781682631706,
$9.99 PB; $8.45 Kindle, 208pp, Ages 8-12) tells of a penguin adventurer who is excited about his
first adventure, which falls into his lap when Boudicca Bones, from the museum, asks for his
help in locating a missing treasure. Advanced elementary to early middle grades will appreciate
the two-color illustrations throughout as Mr. Penguin faces hungry alligators and waterfalls,
secret passages, and certain death, discovering that adventuring may not be all it's cracked up to
Both Finder: Coal Mine Dog and Mr. Penguin: The Lost Treasure are fun leisure choices that
offer strong writing and fun story lines to draw even reluctant readers into action-packed
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Shadow in the Dark
Antony Barone Kolenc
3441 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
9780829448108, $14.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com
An attack by bandits in the middle of the night leaves a young boy with no memory of who he is
or where he is from. Nursed back to health by the devoted monks in a Benedictine abbey, he
takes the name Alexander, or Xan for short. Aided by the kindly Brother Andrew, Xan commits
himself to finding out who he really is. Does he have a family? Are they still alive? And who (or
what) is the shadowy figure creeping around the abbey in the dead of night? An impressively
entertaining read with elements of mystery and suspense that will keep young readers ages 10-13
simply riveted from beginning to end, "Shadow in the Dark" by Antony Barone Kolenc is the
first volume in the author's Harwood Mysteries series and an extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library fiction
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Shadow in the Dark" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Desert Dwellers Earth and Water
John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781785357459, $12.95, PB, 352pp, www.amazon.com
The fire Reaume, beings from New Earth, won the battle. Qeriya, Lahcen and Khalid discovered
the truth about themselves and their powers. They found a family. And now they have a plan.
This plan will take them through dangerous territory where they will meet more Reaume and
encounter more resistance. But as they learn about their history, they also find more questions.
Why does Doctor Michael appear to be a target? Who is this mysterious woman with silver eyes?
Are all Reaume trustworthy? What is the meaning of a prophesy they find along this journey to
save their parents? And which is the greater threat, their battles with the enemy or with each
other? "Desert Dwellers Earth and Water" is the second volume in author and novelist Sarah
Bergstrom's 'Paintbrush Saga' series and explores the depths of their origins as they fight to
survive and maintain their solidarity in the face of forces that seek to divide them. Unreservedly
recommended for all young science fiction and fantasy fans, "Desert Dwellers Earth and Water"
is especially recommended for middle school, highschool, and community library collections for
readers ages 12-17. "Desert Dwellers Earth and Water" is also available for personal reading lists
in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).
Boon On The Moon
Notable Kids Publishing
c/o Independent Publishers Group (dist.)
9780997085181, $16.95, HC, 216pp, www.amazon.com
When ten-year-old Byron "Boon" Barnett boards a rocket-ship for a move to the Moon with his
family (and his irritating robot, Jose Ignacio), he's expecting the time of his life in the lunar
colony of Cosmopolis. What he's not expecting is a stellar disaster that'll demolish Cosmopolis
before lunch. Boon insists he knows how to survive it, but people tend not to believe him about
stuff. His parents have been lecturing him on the dividing line between using his imagination for
fun and using it as an excuse for bad behavior. Suddenly it's the dividing line between life and
death! An original and impressively entertaining science fiction novel for young readers ages 9-
12, "Boon On The Moon" by John Huddles will prove to be an immediate and enduringly
popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library Science Fiction
collections for young readers. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Boon On The
Moon" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Temple of Eternity
R. Scott Boyer
Main Street Reads Publishing
9781499558968, $13.99, PB, 267pp, www.amazon.com
Temple of Eternity is the second book in the Bobby Ether series, and
provides teen fantasy readers with another fine adventure. Seventeen-year-old Bobby Ether has
returned from the Jade Academy, but somehow home is not the same. For one thing, his parents
know the truth about the Core: the secret organization which experimented on the academy's
students in pursuit of increasing human abilities. They also know how Bobby and his friend Jinx
thwarted the devious plot, escaped a secret monastery, and were aided by his grandfather's own
The adventure is over, and his parents just want everything to go back to normal. But how can it
when Bobby still holds connections to the people who helped him escape? Plus, he has natural
abilities that could thwart the ongoing efforts of the Core. He needs to do something to help.
Then he learns about a Mayan temple hidden in the jungle that could provide both the answers to
eternal life, and a threat for those who would use its powers for nefarious purposes.
Think Indiana Jones, but on a level geared to young adult adventure story readers. Add a dash of
cultural intrigue, with warrior descents of the Mayans determined to take action as souls are
claimed by evil forces. Mix in a riddle that evokes the Fountain of Youth, yet seems to negate the
legend behind it. What you end up with is a fast-paced adventure designed to keep young readers
engaged and guessing throughout.
Bobby Ether and his friends face a series of impossible circumstances and family connections to
the Core, which place in jeopardy not just the lives but the minds of those he loves. His
grandparents aren't stay-at-home elders, but active participants in events that swirl around them,
offering a refreshing perspective on family interactions and the involvements of the savvy, active
elders in Bobby's world. As betrayals and sacrifices coalesce on multiple levels, young adults are
treated to a fast-paced series of confrontations which will keep them engaged and engrossed in
Bobby's many dilemmas and challenges.
Prior fans of Bobby's escapades will easily pick up the action that begins a few months from his
previous adventures. Meanwhile, newcomers can plan on quick access to Bobby's world that
requires no familiarity with prior events to prove accessible and inviting. The juxtaposition of a
search for a beloved grandmother and a mission to save the world is nicely done and contrasts
personal with social objectives.
The blend of a circle of strong characters who each contribute to Bobby's strengths and abilities
is another fine feature in a story that revolves around relationships, trials, confrontations, and
spiritual components of Bobby's growth.
Temple of Eternity offers an excellent introduction to the underlying social, cultural, and spiritual
issues involved in an adventure that changes Bobby's perspective. It is a highly
Girl, Serpent, Thorn
9781250196149, $18.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com
There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch.
But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her
gardens, it's not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother's wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she's willing to step
outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge
that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn't afraid of her,
whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.
Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she
never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming -- human or demon,
princess or monster!
An inherently fascinating, impressively original, deftly penned, and engagingly entertaining
novel for young readers ages 12-18, "Girl, Serpent, Thorn" by Melissa Bashardoust will prove to
be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to middle school, high school, and community
library YA Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Girl,
Serpent, Thorn" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Young Listeners, 9781250751713, $44.99,
Thomas Taylor, author
Tom Booth, illustrator
Walker Books US
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536215151, $7.99, PC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
It's winter in the town of Eerie-on-Sea, where the mist is thick and the salt spray is rattling the
windows of the Grand Nautilus Hotel. Inside, young Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder for the
hotel, has an unexpected visitor: Violet Parma, a fearless girl around his age who lost her parents
at the hotel when she was a baby.
Violet is certain that the nervous Herbert is the only person who can help her find her parents.
The trouble is, Violet is being pursued by a strange hook-handed man. And the town legend of
the Malamander (a part-fish, part-human monster whose egg is said to make dreams come true)
is rearing its scaly head.
As various townspeople, some good-hearted, some nefarious, reveal themselves to be monster
hunters on the sly, can Herbert and Violet elude them and discover what happened to Violet's
An original blend of fantasy and mystery, "Malamander" by author/storyteller Thomas Taylor is
nicely enhanced with black-and-white illustrations by artist Tom Booth. The result is a
thoroughly entertaining novel for young readers ages 8-12. While certain to be an immediately
popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Malamander" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $2.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio,
$14.99, MP3 CD).
The Graphic Novel Shelf
160 Broadway, Suite 700E, New York, NY 10038
9781545804124, $19.99, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Eve spends an idyllic childhood of long summer days with her sweetheart Tom, and together they
dream of exploring the world. But that dream is soon shattered as she comes of age. The
mysterious Bluebeard is looking for a new bride and has his sights set on Eve, and rumor has it
that his former wives have all disappeared. What will Eve find in the castle beyond the enchanted
forest? With the publication of their graphic novel "Bluebeard", the talented storytelling duo of
Metaphrog transforms a classic folktale into a feminist fairy tale about the blossoming of a young
child to womanhood and a young girl striving for independence. While especially recommended
for elementary school, middle school, and community library graphic novel collections for
children ages 7-12, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bluebeard" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Inkberg Enigma
9781776572663, $14.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Miro and Zia live in Aurora, a fishing town nestled in the shadow of an ancient castle. Miro lives
in his books; Zia is never without her camera. The day they meet, they uncover a secret. The
fishing works, the castle, and the town council are all linked to an ill-fated 1930s Antarctic
expedition. But the diary of that journey has been hidden, and the sea is stirring up unusual
creatures. Something has a powerful hold over the town. With Zia determined to find out more,
Miro finds himself putting aside his books for a real adventure! Written and illustrated by
Jonathan King, "The Inkberg Enigma" is an original and impressively interesting graphic novel
that will be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to elementary school, middle school,
and community library collections for young readers ages 7-11. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "The Inkberg Enigma" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Michael Adam Lengyel
9781732563216, $22.00, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com
"The Mannamong" by Michael Adam Lengyel is an urban fantasy graphic novel about mythical
guardian spirits who come to life for one little girl in unexpected ways. Set in a fictional version
of earth with its own lists of mythos the mannamong is a frequent topic of ancient folktale
discussing Mother Nature as a deity, the world's natural order, and the conditioning of the
While interpreted as a myth to the common man by most people, Kali Teal learns they are indeed
real after being cured by them of a severe unexplainable illness that has plagued her for a long
time. The source itself came from a mannamong gone rogue with his own mysterious incentives
from getting captured by his own kind.
An unsettling relationship unfolds between Kali and her tormentor while she experiences a new
awareness of the spiritual realm unseen by mankind. What's one little girl suppose to do? Trust
the mannamong or not?
As original as it is fun, "The Mannamong" will prove to be an immediately welcome and
enduringly popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library graphic
novel collections for young readers ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"The Mannamong" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology,
The Music CD Shelf
Rena Strober and friends
Knighthawk Digital Entertainment Group
$14.99 CD / $9.99 digital
Imagine That! The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo & Jeff Moss is a family-friendly album of
iconic songs connected to the award-winning educational television show. A positive, upbeat
classic, Imagine That! is a choice pick for personal, school, and public library children's music
collections. The tracks are "Somebody Come and Play", "Sing", "Imagine That!", "Being Green",
"I'm Pretty/I'm an Aardvark", "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon", "What Makes Music", "Candy
Hearts & Paper Flowers", "Imagination", "What is Braille?", "Believe in Yourself", "To Love a
Child", "High Middle Low", and "One Small Voice". 39 min.
Songs Across the Pond
David Gibb & Brady Rymer
Bumblin' Bee Records
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com
Songs Across the Pond is a cheerful, lively children's music album with happy themes of music,
dance, travel, and friendship. Brimming with lighthearted joy, Songs Across the Pond is a choice
pick especially for car trips, children's parties, or stay-at-home fun. Highly recommended! The
tracks are "Across the Pond", "Two Towns", "Hey There", "Living in a Beatles Song",
"Summertime Soul", "Travelling David", "Roundabouts", "Twisting the Night Away", "You Say
This, I Say That", "Get Up With Me And Dance", "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out", and
"Happy To Be Going Home".
Red Yarn Productions
$13.99 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com
Backyard Bop is a jubilant, family-friendly album of original rockabilly and folk-rock songs
themed around the simple pleasures one can experience in one's own backyard and
neighborhood. Listeners of all ages will enjoy the cheerful, dance-friendly songs perfect for
summertime celebrations and everyday fun. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Backyard
Bop", "Jump for Joy", "Mama Bird", "Neighborhood Park", "Outside My Window", "Lazy
Tonight", "Critters in My Garden", "Around This Town", "Cats & Dogs", "Town Hall Meeting",
"My Own Backyard", and "Someone to Love".
Roger Day Productions, LLC
Invincible! is a charming children's music album with an important message - that one's own
imagination and skills are the key to meeting life's challenges head-on, and that these qualities
are far more powerful than any fictional super hero! An upbeat collection with a powerful,
positive theme, Invincible! is highly recommended for both family and public library children's
music collections. The tracks are "Invincible!", "No Ordinary Super Hero", "Get a Robot First",
"Me & My Jetpack", "I'll Be Your Super Hero", "Little Ants", "Solve the Problem, Save the
Day", "Big Picture", "The Everyday Hero Song", and "Love is My Super Power".
Choo Choo Trains, Propeller Planes & Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car!
$10.99 CD / $11.49 MP3 amazon.com
Choo Choo Trains, Propeller Planes & Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car! is a lighthearted,
family-friendly music album brimming with songs about moving and traveling. From walking
and swimming to surfing, trains, planes, space travel, and more, the jubilant music is a wonderful
way to entertain little ones during car trips! Highly recommended, especially for two songs that
are especially relevant to modern times and the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic: "Social
Distancing" and "Handwashing Song". The tracks are "Trains, Planes and the Big Red Car",
"Trains Rolling Down the Track", "Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car", "Moose in the
Caboose", "Paddlin' Australia", "Big, Big Heart", "Rocket Ship", "Social Distancing", "Old Man
Emu", "Watching the Planes", "Emma's Bowmobile, Beep Beep!", "Are We There Yet?", "Zoo
Be Doo Dee", "Walk", "Do the Propeller!", "We Fly the Plane to the Outback", "How Good is
That?", "Beatrice Bee", "Wiggle at Home", "Wheels on the Wheelchair Go Round and Round",
"The Sun, Whose Rays are All Ablaze", "Roll the Acrobats", and "Handwashing Song".
The Christian Shelf
What Did God Make
Heather Henning, author
Alison Atkins, illustrator
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
9780819882158, $14.95, HC, 24pp, www.amazon.com
Beautifully illustrated throughout by Alison Atkins, and a thoroughly "fun" book with
"Lift-the-Flap" that author Heather Henning deftly uses to teaches toddlers that God made the
world and we are called to care for it, "What Did God Make?" is a delightful and unreservedly
recommended addition to family, Sunday School, daycare center, preschool, and kindergarten
collections for children ages 2-5.
The Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Wisdom Tales Press
1501 E. Hillside Dr., Bloomington, IN 47401
9781937786830, $17.95, HC, 36pp, www.amazon.com
Shiva is the Hindu god of love, righteousness, and more, controlling various forces. Here
illustrator and storyteller Demi presents the life of this Hindu god, reflecting Hindu traditions in
gorgeous paintings as he follows the life, religious meanings, and appearances of Shiva, who is
purported to ride a lovely white bull and fly on a green parrot, among many other fantastic
abilities. This introduction to the Hindu god is highly recommended reading for young picture
book enthusiasts of mythology in general and Hindu figures in particular, and will also make for
an outstanding read-aloud shared experience between adult and child.
Books in Series
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
"Let's Find Out! Religion" (9781538303993, $122.25 List/$104.00 S&L) is a new five volume
series from PowerKids Press specifically designed to introduce children ages 8-12 to the world's
great religions: Buddhism; Christianity; Hinduism; Islam; Judaism. Each 32 page book features a
second to third grade reading level, has a library binding for shelf life durability, is profusely
illustrated with full color photography, and includes a Table of Contents, Fact Boxes, a Further
Information Section, a Glossary, thematically appropriate Web Sites, and an Index. Thoroughly
'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "Let's Find Out! Religion" is an appropriate and
unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library
World Religion collections.
Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003
Zoo Animals is an ideal twelve volume series from Gareth Stevens Publishing that will have a
very special appeal for children ages 4-6. Available in both a Library Binding edition
(9781538241684 $271.20 List/$203.40 S&L), and in an eBook format, this impressively
informative and attractively illustrated series consists of Monkeys at the Zoo; Otters at the Zoo;
Reindeer at the Zoo; Snakes at the Zoo; Tigers at the Zoo; Toucans at the Zoo; Elephants at the
Zoo; Giraffes at the Zoo; Gorillas at the Zoo; Ostriches at the Zoo; Penguins at the Zoo; and
Polar Bears at the Zoo. Each 24 page volume features an index and a table of contents. Certain to
be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library
Pets/Wildlife collections (and the next best thing to an actual visit to a zoo!), the entire Zoo
Animal series is especially and unreservedly recommended.
The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
"The Paranormal Throughout History" (9781725346666, $190.50 List/$143.10 S&L) is a new six
volume series from The Rosen Publishing Group specifically written and designed for children
Inherently fascinating and impressively informative this outstanding series is comprised of Alien
Encounters in History; Demonic Possessions in History; ESP Cases in History; Ghosts and
Poltergeists in History; Mysterious Disappearances in History; Near-Death Experiences and
Reincarnation in History.
Each individual 48 page title is illustrated with full color photography and features a 'Further
Information Section, sidebars, a bibliography, a glossary, a table of contents, and an index --
making them ideal as supplemental curriculum studies. Of special note is the inclusion of
Timelines. This high interest and thoroughly 'kid friendly' series has a fifth grade reading level and
is unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library
Paranormal collections for young readers.
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118
"Hidden History" is a new six volume series (AD571, List $187.92/$140.94 S&L) for young
readers ages 10-14 that showcases important women who are often overlooked or under-reported
in our history books.
"Hidden History" is comprised of Women Explorers; Women Rulers; Women Scientists; Women
Warriors; and Women Writers. Each 48 page book features full color photography and
illustrations, a glossary and an index.
Unique, entertaining, informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, the "Hidden
History" series will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to elementary
school, middle school, and community library World History collections in general, and
Women's History supplemental studies reading lists in particular.
243 5th Avenue, Suite 136, New York, NY 10016
"Today's Debates" (9781502644992, List $547.68/$383.40 S&L) is an original and informative
twelve volume series specifically designed for highschool students and features multiple
viewpoints on social, political, cultural and historical controversial issues.
This outstanding series includes: Church and State: Is a True Separation Possible?; Health Care:
Universal Right or Personal Responsibility?; Identity Theft: Private Battle or Public Crisis?;
Illicit Drug Use: Legalization, Treatment, or Punishment?; Immigration: Welcome of Not?;
Poversty: Public Crisis or Private Struggle; Genocide: When is Intervention Necessary?;
Incarceration: Punishment or Rehabilitation?; Military Might and Global Intervention: Meddling
or Peacemaking?; Reproductive Technology: Indispensable or Problematic?; Same-Sex
Marriage: Cause for Concern or Celebration?; Torture: Justified or Unacceptable?.
Each 144 page volume is in a Library Binding edition and features full color photographs, a
'Further Information Section, a glossary, sidebars and an index. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in
organization and presentation, each volume is impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking,
making them ideal and unreservedly recommended additions to highschool and community
library Contemporary Social Issues collections for young readers.
The Child's World, Inc.
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003
As children grow up surrounded by technology, more and more are learning computer coding at
younger and younger ages. With the "Simple Coding" series for children ages 7-10, computer
coding has never been simpler. Each 24 page book in this seven volume series introduces young
coders in grades 2-5 to a different coding concept, explaining what it is and how it works.
This fun and informative series consists of All About Coding Statements; All About Coding
Variables; All About Coding Functions; All About Coding Selections; All About Debugging
Code; All About Coding Loops; All About Coding Sequences.
Illustrative diagrams and real-world examples will connect readers to these concepts and provide
a foundation for continued learning. Additional features include a table of contents, a phonetic
glossary, a Did You Know section, an index, an introduction to the author, and sources for
Although each individual titles is available separately, elementary schools, community libraries,
and home schooling parents should acquire the entire seven volume set (978-15038-3991,
$159.60, Hard Cover) as it covers every aspect of computer coding specifically tailored to young
Red Chair Press
PO Box 333, South Egremont, MA 01258
Helper Hounds is a new two volume series by author Caryn Rivadeneira and illustrator Priscilla
Alpaugh for young readers ages 6-9 from Red Chair Press that will be especially appreciated by
anyone who has ever had (or wanted to have!) a canine companion of their own.
"Sparky Helps Mary Make Friends" (9781634407748, $12.99 Library Binding, 9781634407779,
$6.99 PB, $4.99 Kindle, 72pp) Mary's new in town. She's worried about starting classes at her
new school. That's why her mom calls the Helper Hounds -- and why Sparkplug, the wildly
handsome, wickedly smart, card-carrying, world-famous Helper Hound is on the scene. Sparky
knows a thing or two about moving. He moved four times as a puppy, and learned to make new
friends along the way. Sparky knows he can teach Mary all his best tricks and help her meet new
friends, too. At least Sparky thought he could until he met Custard, Mary's persnickety cat. Will
Sparky's best tricks be enough to win over Custard and show Mary making friends is nothing to
"Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears" (9781634407755, $12.99 Library Binding, 9781634407786,
$6.99 PB, $4.99 Kindle, 72pp) Portia has overcome a lot in life. Born with Down syndrome,
Portia has been through many surgeries, lots of doctor's appointments, and strange looks from
people who want to limit what she can do. Inside herself, Portia knows she can do anything -
including getting over her fear of dogs. But when Penny shows up at Portia's house, she isn't so
sure. After all, Penny is a pit bull -- the scariest dogs of all, right? Good thing Penny has a few
tricks of her own to win Portia's trust!
Enhanced for children, parents, teachers and caregivers, both "Sparky Helps Mary Make Friends"
and "Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears" feature end-of-book tips for emotional support needs
and Fun Facts about the different breeds. Thoroughly 'kid friendly', informative and entertaining,
the "Helper Hounds" is very highly recommended, especially for elementary school and
community library Pets/Wildlife collections for young readers.
353 3rd Avenue, Suite 255, New York, NY 10010
Six new titles have been added to the simply outstanding 'Current Controversies' series from
Greenhaven Publishing for highschool students in grades 10-12.
"America's Mental Health Crisis" (9781534506145, $46.40 Library Binding, $32.00 PB)
Approximately one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness on an annual
basis, and emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders are just as prevalent among young people.
Issues like homelessness and mass violence have brought mental illness into the spotlight, but
have significant strides been made in addressing mental health issues in recent years or are these
disorders still widely stigmatized? This volume explores the questions of whether mental health
issues stem from uniquely American factors, how accessible treatment is to those who need it,
and whether modern technology plays a role in America's mental health.
"The Dark Web" (9781534506077, Library Binding, $46.40, $32.00 PB) Discussions of the dark
web often have sinister connotations, as its capacity to enable various crimes is the aspect that
most people fixate upon. However, there is nothing fundamentally criminal about the dark web.
It is simply an encrypted part of the internet that allows users to remain anonymous. Nonetheless,
a considerable amount of illegal activity does occur on it, making the questions of how it can be
monitored and the extent to which it should be pressing issues. This volume explores the various
issues related to the dark web, giving readers a better understanding of this enigmatic topic.
"Environmental Catastrophe" (9781534506176, $46.40, Library Binding, $32.00 PB) Unlike
natural disasters, which happen because of the earth's natural geological processes,
environmental catastrophes are devastating events that occur due to humanity's impact on the
environment. These can include nuclear bombings, oil spills, and more recently the extreme
weather events brought about by climate change. Wildfires, heat waves, flooding, droughts, and
numerous other catastrophic scenarios manifest as a result. Use this volume to inform and alert
your readers about this essential topic. With the global impact of environmental catastrophes
becoming increasingly pronounced, scientists and politicians alike question what the best course
of action may be to slow or even reverse the devastation. With this book, readers will form
intelligent opinions that can help shape future action about necessary solutions.
"Fair Trade" (9781534506091, $46.40, Library Binding, $32.00 PB) Fair trade is intended to help
producers in developing countries achieve better working and trading conditions while
maintaining certain environmental standards. This is achieved through arrangements with
distributors around the world. With the influx of fair trade goods on grocery store shelves and
restaurant menus, one would assume an overall positive trend in trade conditions is occurring.
However, numerous concerns continue to surround fair trade, as readers will learn. They will
consider whether it benefits all developing countries and markets equally, and analyze the extent
to which it is effective at protecting the environment. They will develop intelligent opinions on
which conditions will make trade as fair as possible.
"Freedom of the Press" (9781534506053, $46.40 Library Binding, $32.00 PB) The rights
protecting journalists and the press in the United States are a defining aspect of the nation's
democratic nature. What tends to be discussed less frequently is how today's media environment
enables or hinders a free press. Has the internet made the press freer or restricted it in new ways?
How do issues like funding, the role of media conglomerates, and legal actions against journalists
and publications fit into a free media landscape? These questions will be explored from varying
perspectives in this timely volume.
"Medical Use of Illicit Drugs" (9781534506114, $46.40 Library Binding, $32.00 PB) With the
legalization of medical marijuana becoming increasingly common in many states, the medicinal
potential of formerly illicit drugs has caught the public's attention. However, marijuana is not the
only drug being researched and used medicinally: MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine have been
found to have therapeutic qualities, which leads some to question whether the medical use of
these substances may also be legal in the future. This volume helps readers explore issues like
regulation, the ethics of using illicit drugs in medical and scientific research, and its place in the
greater history of drug regulation in the United States.
Each of these anthologies present an impressive array informative and representative viewpoint
and are thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, making them unreservedly
recommended additions to both highschool and community library collections for young
The Story Monsters Ink
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.
ABC Dance! An Animal Alphabet
Sabrina Moyle, author
Eunice Moyle, illustrator
All the animals are dancing, from the aardvarks to the zebras, as they make their way through the
alphabet. You can dance along with them as you slide with the sloths and shake your boots with
the newts. The fun illustrations and the lively text will keep young readers' attention and the
sturdy construction of the book itself makes it perfect for little hands. (Ages infant-4)
Every mama loves her little ones. Mama sings the praises of her little one's nose in this delightful
board book for young readers. The silly rhymes and refrains, and the bright illustrations will
make this board book a favorite for your little one. (Ages infant-4)
Counting Our Blessings
Well-known children's author, Emma Dodd, brings young readers another book that will surely
become a favorite. Two dogs, a big one and a little one, count the things that make them feel
blessed: playing together, blue skies, and most importantly, family. (Ages 2-5)
Just So Willow
Sara F. Shacter, author
Stephanie Laberis, illustrator
Sterling Children's Books
Willow is finicky and particular. Everything in her world has to be "just so." She can't stand
disorder or disarray. She's so particular about everything she even has to iron her underwear!
When it snows and her backyard is covered in a perfect blanket of snow, she wants to keep it
"just so" and not disturb it. But her friends have other ideas. They are making snowballs and
snowmen and sledding through the snow, creating a "lumpy, bumpy mess." If Willow can't find a
way to make them stop, what will she do? (Ages 3-6)
A fun peek into a silly hide-and-seek. Papa Fox looks everywhere for baby - under, over, and all
around, but baby seems to be nowhere to be found. Sometimes, the very thing we're searching for
is much closer than we think. (Ages 3-7)
Dr. Dawn Menge
This is a beautifully illustrated book about the adventures of a Dandelion. There's a meadow
filled with dandelions and one actually blooms into a real lion! This tiny little dandelion lion
ventures into the city on a boat, rides on a sheep, goes to the movies, and rides in an airplane.
Dandelion's Dream encourages your child to build their own story based on the illustrations. This
amazing book will encourage communication and imagination between parent and child. An
inspiring addition to any home library. (Ages 3-7)
Goodnight Songs Treasury: A Collection of Bedtime Poems
Margaret Wise Brown
Sterling Children's Books
Author Margaret Wise Brown was a prolific author who wrote hundreds of stories and poems
that were not published during her lifetime. A stash of them was discovered in her sister's attic,
long after she had died. Twenty-four of those poems make up this collection. These poems center
on the theme of nighttime and bedtime. Each one has been illustrated by a different
award-winning artist, including Sean Qualls, Melissa Sweet, and Peter Brown. A short bio of
each artist is included at the end of the book. Singer/Songwriters Tom Proutt and Emily Gary,
known as "Tom and Emily" put the poems to music. The hardbound versions of the book come
with a bonus CD of all 24 songs. (Ages 3-7)
The Round Box
Lois Wickstrom, author
Francie Mion, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
The power of imagination can transform any sad and lonely day. Boredom and imagination are
best friends, and can play for hours together without tiring. Grandma knows this well. When she
moves away across town, she leaves behind a special box of wonder for such occasions. On just
such a day, Carrie discovered its hidden magic. Can you? (Ages 4-8)
Rosie's Rescue: Rosie the Roseate Spoonbill
Edward Ritts, author
Jan Oliver, illustrator
Rosie is a 6-week-old Roseate Spoonbill. Rousted from her warm nest in a Florida storm, she
finds herself cold and wet, and very alone. After bobbing all night in the water, Rosie is rescued
come morning. Thanks to the efforts of her rescuers, Rosie returns to the mangroves to fill out
her cycle of life! (Ages 5-6)
Stink and the Hairy, Scary Spider
Megan McDonald, author
Peter H. Reynolds, illustrator
Do you have arachnophobia? Stink does. He's terrified of spiders. So when he finds a big, hairy,
pink-toed spider hiding in the weeds in his yard, he freaks out. His friend Web tells him the
spider was probably someone's pet and they should find the spider and its owner. Stink doesn't
want to do that, because he is afraid of spiders. Web used to be afraid of spiders, too, so he gives
Stink some positive steps to take to get over his fears. In the process, Stink, and the reader, learn
lots of fun facts. The author has included instructions for folding an origami spider, the words to
"The Itsy Bitsy Spider" in Spanish, and much more. (Ages 6-9)
Gidget the Surfing Dog: Catching Waves with a Small but Mighty Pug
c/o Sasquatch Books
Dr. Dawn Menge
This is a true story about Gidget the Pug. Gidget is an active dog who was getting into all sorts of
trouble. "I racked my brain about how to manage this little fireball," her owner Alecia says.
Gidget went everywhere with her owner, she learned about ability training, and rode a sled in the
snow. Then she learned how to surf. Gidget became so proficient in surfing that she started
entering contests. This is a wonderful book filled with real pictures of the activities that Gidget
and her friends participated in. (Ages 7-10)
Love Your Body
Jessica Sanders, author
Carol Rossetti, illustrator
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
In a time when young girls are surrounded by a broken norm and Hollywood imagery,
self-appreciation is lost. Somewhere, someone built an illusion and said this is what must be.
And girls trying to become women have been trying to fit into it ever since. Reality became
obsolete with all its fine lines and curves, and artificial became desirable. This book takes a
breath and steps back from the funhouse mirrors, giving permission to look, feel, and simply be
just as we are! (Ages 8-12)
Pages & Co. The Lost Fairy Tales
Anna James, author
Paola Escobar, illustrator
Emily P. Cary
Tilly and her best friend Oskar are bookwanderers: a remarkable group of people who, using the
magical power of books, can travel inside any story they choose. But on a wintry visit to Paris,
the friends wander inside a book of fairy tales to find that peculiar things are happening:
characters are getting lost, stories are all mixed up, and mysterious plot holes are opening without
warning. . . . It's up to Tilly and Oskar to figure out what - or - who is behind the chaos. And after
the friends come face-to-face with an old foe, they realize that villains can exist outside the pages
of books . . . and that sometimes, you don't get to live happily ever after. . . . (Ages 8-12)
The Girl Who Speaks Bear
Sophie Anderson, author
Kathrin Honesta, illustrator
Yanka was found outside a bear cave when she was just a baby. Now 12 years old, Yanka is
forbidden to go into the forest by herself, but her heart keeps telling her that the secrets of her
past can be found in the forest. And one day, when she wakes up after taking a fall, she finds that
she is half human and half bear; she has the body of a girl but the legs of a bear. She decides to
go off on her own and search for answers about who she really is and where she really belongs.
Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses, and dragons, Yanka's journey is a
gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House With Chicken Legs.
Birdie and Me
J. M. M. Nuanez
Kathy Dawson Books
After their mama dies, Jack and Birdie find themselves without a place to call home. And when
Mama's two brothers each try to provide one - first sweet Uncle Carl, then gruff Uncle Patrick -
the results are funny, tender, and tragic. They're also somehow ... spectacular. With voices and
characters that soar off the page, J. M. M. Nuanez's debut novel depicts an unlikely family caught
in a situation none of them would have chosen, and the beautiful ways in which they finally come
to understand one another. (Ages 10-12)
The Guinevere Deception
Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With
magic clawing at the kingdom's borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution - send in
Guinevere to be Arthur's wife... and his protector from those who want to see the young king's
idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere's real name - and her true identity - is a secret. She is a
changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot. Readers of all ages will enjoy
this book. There is magic, danger, betrayals, and surprises as Guinevere must figure out what
side she is on. (Ages 12-17)
The Good Luck Girls
Charlotte Nicole Davis
The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls they know their luck is anything but. Sold to
a "welcome house" as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would
never have chosen. When Clementine accidentally kills a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape
and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have
none of those things. Pursued by Arketta's most vicious and powerful forces, both human and
inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a
story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe. Young adults will find this
book engaging, inspiring, and informative in this fast-paced story that never lulls. (Ages
Mary Cecilia Jackson
Though Savannah Rose ("Sparrow" to her friends and family) - is a gifted ballerina, her real
talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always
believed that her lifelong creed - "I'm not the kind of girl who tells" - will make her just like
everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of an assault by her seemingly perfect
boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or
lose herself forever... (Ages 14+)
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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