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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 29, Number 12 December 2019 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Christmas Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Science Shelf Math Shelf
Psychology Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Board Book Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Bilingual Shelf Easy Reader Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Multimedia Shelf
Christian Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Biography Shelf LGBT Shelf World History Shelf
Technology Shelf Art Shelf Metaphysical Shelf
Native American Shelf Books in Series Story Monsters Ink Shelf


Reviewer's Choice

Code Cracking for Kids
Jean Daigneau
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
www.chicagoreviewpress.com
9781641601382, $16.99, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

People throughout history have written messages in code and ciphers to pass along closely held, secret information. Today, countries around the world enlist cryptanalysts to intercept and crack messages to keep our world safe. "Code Cracking for Kids: Secret Communications Throughout History, with 21 Codes and Ciphers" by Jean Daigneau explores many aspects of cryptology, including famous people who used and invented codes and ciphers, such as Julius Caesar and Thomas Jefferson; codes used during wars, including the Enigma machine, whose cracking helped the Allies gather critical information on German intelligence in World War II; and work currently being done by the government, such as in the National Security Agency. Young readers ages 9-12 will also will learn about unsolved codes and ciphers throughout history, little-known codes used today, and devices used over the years by governments and their spies to conceal information. "Code Cracking for Kids" includes hands-on activities that allow kids to replicate early code devices, learn several different codes and ciphers to encode and decode messages, and hide a secret message inside a hollow egg. While especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Code Cracking for Kids" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Maria Patia: Away We Go!
Lisa Grant
Book Baby Publishers
www.bookbaby.com
9781543973563, $23.99 pbk / $1.99 Kindle, 60pp, amazon.com

Ten-year-old Maria and her family are moving from Columbus, Ohio to Charleston, South Carolina. Maria has a lot of friends in school in Ohio including Adam, Jania, Sara, Noah, and Emma -- and they do a lot of things together. Their favorite pastime after school is to go exploring in parks, where they find different types of plants and animals. But now Maria is panicking because she's moving to Charleston. Oh no! What will she do without her friends? Whom will she go with to the park? "Maria Patia: Away We Go!" by author and illustrator Lisa Grant is a gently charming picture book story will take children ages 6-8 inside the mind of little Maria and how she faces the challenges of moving. While unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Maria Patia: Away We Go!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians
Carla Morris, author
Brad Sneed, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
www.peachtree-online.com
9781561453917, $16.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Every day after school Melvin goes to the library. His favorite people (Marge, Betty, and Leola) are always there behind the reference desk. When something interests Melvin, his librarian friends help him find lots and lots of books on the subject. When he collects creepy bugs in a jar, they help him identify, classify, and catalog the insects. As the years pass, Melvin can always find the answers to his questions (and a lot of fun) in the library. Then one day he goes off to college to learn new things and read new books. Will he leave the library and his friends behind forever? This humorous tale of a curious young boy and his single-minded quest for knowledge is a heartfelt and affectionate tribute to librarians everywhere and young readers ages 4-8 will enjoy Brad Sneed's delightful illustrations that colorfully capture the fun-loving spirit of Carla Morris's story about the contagious enthusiasm of learning. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians" is also available in a paperback edition (9781682631232, $7.95).

A Garden of Emotions
Brad Yates, author
Deborah O'Connor, illustrator
Eifrig Publishing
PO Box 66, Lemont, PA 16851
www.eifrigpublishing.com
9781632331908, $19.99, HC, 34pp, www.amazon.com

Now, more than ever in these troubled and troubling times, kids need tools to deal with a wide range of emotions they experience day to day: fear, anxiety, shame, anger, sadness, grief, worry -- and they need tools to help them feel good about themselves, too! "A Garden of Emotions: Cultivating Peace through EFT Tapping" by the team of author Brad Yates and illustrator Deborah O'Connor is specifically intended and effective in serving that specific purpose for children ages 3-12. While unreservedly endorsed and recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Garden of Emotions" is also available in a paperback edition (9781632331892, $14.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Christmas Shelf

Merry Christmas, World
Aleksandra Szmidt, author/illustrator
Flowerpot Press
142 2nd Ave. North, Franklin, TN 37064
www.FlowerpotPress.com
9781486716715, $7.99, Board Book, 22pp, www.amazon.com

Tis the season to wish the world a merry Christmas with "Merry Christmas, World", a simply adorable and fun board book that teaches little readers ages 5-8 to say "Merry Christmas" in fourteen different languages including: French, Spanish, Icelandic, German, Amharic, Vietnamese, and more! Very highly recommended for family, elementary school and community library holiday board book collections, "Merry Christmas, World" also includes thoroughly 'kid friendly' pronunciation guides will help young readers learn each phrase and encourage them to broaden their language skills, all while the adorable animal illustrations throughout keep little ones entertained read after read.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Clement C. Moore, author
David A. Cutting, illustrator
Flowerpot Press
142 2nd Ave. North, Franklin, TN 37064
www.FlowerpotPress.com
9781486704521, $7.99, Board Book, 20pp, www.amazon.com

Charmingly illustrated with the full colored artwork of David A. Cutting, this Flowerpot Press board book edition of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is a festive twist on a classic story poem by Clement C. Moore and is perfect for young children ages 3-6 during the Christmas holiday season! Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library Christmas themed board book collections.

Christmas Is Awesome!
Sabrina Moyle, author
Eunice Moyle, illustrator
Abrams Appleseed
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
www.abramsyoungreaders.com
9781419734274, $7.99, Board Book, 24pp, www.amazon.com

A collaborative board book for children ages 2-4 by author Sabrina Moyle and illustrator Eunice Moyle, "Christmas Is Awesome!" is a whimsically entertaining Christmas themed holiday romp, where everyone is getting in on the festive fun -- including a grumpy but adorable lump of coal. A fun celebration of all of the things that make Christmas special as the trees are trimmed, the stockings are hung, and the ugly sweater contest gives out the grand prize, "Christmas Is Awesome!" will prove to be a welcome and delightful addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections!

Santa's Special Delivery
Bonita Hanson
Archway Publishing
www.archwaypublishing.com
9781480881143, $26.95, HC, 28pp, www.amazon.com

The day after Christmas Santa and the elves begin making toys for next year's holiday. The first toy they finish is a pika which they name Percy. He sits in a special place and watches as Santa and the elves create other goodies. When Christmas arrives, the elves load Santa's sleigh, placing Percy Pika right on top. Meanwhile near the North Pole scientist Bob Nelson, his wife Susan, and son Jimmy are moving to a new workstation. They start out early hoping to arrive before dark on Christmas Eve. Difficulties cause them to lose their way but soon they see a house lit with holiday lights. They knock on the door and are greeted by a pleasant woman who invites them in to warm up and enjoy some nourishment. She offers to let them spend the night and continue their journey safely the next day. Jimmy is afraid Santa won't find him when he's not in his new home. But Jimmy is in for a wonderful surprise! A timely and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Christmas picture book collections for young readers ages 5-6, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Santa's Special Delivery: A Christmas Surprise for Jimmy" is also available in a paperback edition (9781480881136, $16.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

The Little Shepherd
Elizabeth Jaeger, author
Irene Montano, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
https://www.beamingbooks.com
9781506448732, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

When a little shepherd boy is awakened by the brightness of angels one unexpected night, he is delighted to learn that a baby boy has come to save the world. "The Little Shepherd" by author Elizabeth Jaeger and illustrator Irene Montano is gently charming Christmas story told from the perspective of a young shepherd. Children ages 3-5 will be immersed in the wonder and joy of Jesus's birth. The exuberance of the little shepherd will inspire young children to go and tell the story of this special baby and the love God showed that night. "The Little Shepherd" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, Sunday School, and community library Christmas themed picture book collections!

Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas
Buck Boylan
Page Publishing Inc.
www.pagepublishing.com
http://buckboyland.com
9781641389143, $22.95, HC, 46pp, www.amazon.com

In "Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas" by author and illustrator Buck Boylan, the North Pole Toy Factory burns down just fifteen days before Christmas! That's when a Dalmatian fire dog named Bruce and all the residents of the North Pole must work out a plan to get all the toys made and delivered on time! To help solve this crisis are the other eleven famous reindeer who talk and fly. They are owned by Santa's neighbor, Bob, the Scottish elf. With Bob's help, Santa and the eleven reindeer help deliver toys all over the world on the greatest day of love and compassion the North Pole has ever seen. An original and thoroughly delightful Christmas season picture book for children, "Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas" is also available in a paperback edition (9781683485582, $12.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Bruce the Fire Dog and His North Pole Friends Say Hello
Buck Boylan
Page Publishing Inc.
www.pagepublishing.com
http://buckboyland.com
9781643505572, $29.95, HC, 96pp, www.amazon.com

A sequel to "Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas", Buck Boylan's newest Christmas season picture book, "Bruce the Fire Dog and His North Pole Friends Say Hello" once again introduces all the beloved characters as well as the Santa Claus family of Papa Claus; Moma Maria Claus; Santa's wife, Helen Claus; Santa's brother, Harold Claus; and his sister, Barbara Jean Claus. Papa Claus tells us of the sparkling, magical miracle of how he started the North Pole Village with just some trees, an ax, and three lily-white angels. Moma Claus tells the story of how she and Papa Claus fell in love and together lived in the new village with all those elf helpers. Harold Claus, the scientists, tells us about his new inventions that Papa and Santa needed. Barbara Jean Claus describes how the North Pole Toy Factory functions on the business side of things. Santa tells us of how he grew up at the North Pole and the extortionary measures Papa Claus went through to get him his new job. Bob the Scottish Elf says hello. Bob's now famed, flying, talking, and multicultural reindeer present themselves to you. They talk about how they each got a job at Bob's sleigh factory as well as giving some heartwarming social advice to children. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library Chistmas themed picture book collections, "Bruce the Fire Dog and His North Pole Friends Say Hello" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1643505565, $20.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

...But Little Things: A First Christmas Story
Sandra Harmon
Sandy's Shelf Books
9780998038728, $18.95, HC, 34pp, www.amazon.com

Charmingly written and beautifully illustrated by Sandra Harmon, "...But Little Things: A First Christmas Story" is an original Christmas story for children ages 2-7. This warm and beautiful retelling of the first Christmas fully captures and illuminates the hope and anticipation of everyone who witnessed the Christ child's birth. The angels rejoiced as they shared story with the whole world with even the littlest of angels joined in the chorus! While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, Sunday School, and community library Christmas holiday season collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "...But Little Things: A First Christmas Story" is also available in a paperback edition (9780998038711, $10.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Oh No! Reindeer Flu!
Valerie L. Egar, author
Tamara Campeau, illustrator
Whistle Oak Publishing
www.whistleoakpublishing.com
9781733593304, $17.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

When the reindeer fall ill on Christmas Eve, an adorable team of enthusiastic huskies helps Santa Claus by volunteering to pull the sleigh. An eager puppy, Frost, also volunteers and ends up riding next to Santa, but almost tips the sleigh trying to catch a falling star. The collaborative work of author Valerie L. Egar and artist/illustrator Tamara Campeau, "Oh No! Reindeer Flu!" is a wonderfully charming and original Christmas holiday season picture book for children ages 2- 7. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Oh No! Reindeer Flu!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Selfie the Elfie
Savage Steve Holland, author
Andrea Tripke, illustrator
Ripple Grove Press
PO Box 910, Shelburne, VT 05482
www.ripplegrovepress.com
9780999024973, $18.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Santa's workshop is a very busy place -- even for Sophie, who is in charge of tying bows on every present. But when she starts taking selfies with her handy-dandy camera phone, everyone in the workshop easily gets distracted... Until Santa's Big Night Delivery Suit goes missing! The collaborative work of author Savage Steve Holland and artist/illustrator Andrea Tripke, "Selfie the Elfie" is an original, fun, and whimsical Christmas picture story that invites children ages 5-7 to find the trail to Santa's suit and hope that Will Sophie's selfies will save the day! While unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Christmas holiday season picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Selfie the Elfie" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

A Christmas Carol
Norman Whaler, author
Bianca Milacic, illustrator
Beneath Another Sky Books
www.normanwhaler.com
9781948131261, $19.99, HC, 36pp, www.amazon.com

Author Norman Whaler takes Charles Dickens' beloved Christmas holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol", and deftly retells this timely and timeless story in verse -- which is beautifully illustrated throughout by the artwork of Bianca Milacic. This is a beautifully crafted story to remind us all of the real meaning of Christmas with its underlying message that a changed heart can change the world! While very highly recommended for family, school, and community library Christmas Holiday Season picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Christmas Carol" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

If I Could Give You Christmas
Lynn Plourde, author
Jennifer L. Meyer, illustrator
Disney Hyperion
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781368002677, $17.99, HC, 32pp, Ages 3-6, www.amazon.com

Skating on a frozen pond, decorating the fanciest gingerbread house ever, re-reading a favorite story -- these activities and more are brought to life through a variety of animal pairs in the pages of "If I Could Give You Christmas", a delightful children's picture book by author Lynn Plourde and illustrator Jennifer L. Meyer. The tastes, smells, sights, and sounds of the holiday are evoked in universal scenes showing special moments being shared by parent and child. Adults will appreciate the theme of passing on traditions and the message that it doesn't take a lot of stuff to celebrate Christmas. Kids will enjoy the playful, loving scenes. Sharing "If I Could Give You Christmas" could become a brand new family Christmas season holiday tradition! "If I Could Give You Christmas" is a fun and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Christmas themed picture book collections. It should be noted that "If I Could Give You Christmas" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Little Camel for Baby Jesus
Maria Gianola, author/illustrator
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
www.pauline.org
9780819846013, $9.95, PB, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Joel is seven years old and is the son of the Kings' stableman. With his Dad, he is traveling with the Magi as they follow the star to Bethlehem, to meet the newborn King. All of them are bringing very special gifts, such as gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But Joel is the only one in the caravan who isn't carrying a gift for the new King. Since he knows how to whittle wood, Joel decides to carve a little camel for the baby. Soon he discovers that his humble gift is more special than all the others. With its underlying message for children ages 4-8 that no gift is too small for Jesus when it is given with humility and love, "Little Camel for Baby Jesus" by author and illustrator Maria Gianola is wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Christmas holiday season picture book collections.

How the Candy Cane Got Its Stripes
Scott Casperson, author
JiHyun Kim, illustrator
Mixed Messages
9780997836202, $12.95, HC, 28pp, www.amazon.com

Cane, with his frosty pal Snoey, discovers what his purpose is to Christmas to remind everyone that the only holiday gift that matters is friendship. "How The Candy Cane Got Its Stripes" by the team of author Scott Casperson and illustrator JiHyn Kim is an original and delightful children's Christamas holiday season picture book tale for children ages 5-6 about self-discovery featuring the iconic candy cane as the hero. While highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How The Candy Cane Got Its Stripes" is also available in a paperback edition (978-0997836219, $9.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

How Winston Delivered Christmas
Alex T. Smith
Silver Dolphin Books
www.silverdolphinbooks.com
9781684129836, $17.99, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com

When a young mouse named Winston finds a lost letter addressed to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, he sets off an unforgettable journey to personally deliver the letter to Santa! "How Winston Delivered Christmas" is a heart-warming story by Alex T. Smith that is deftly organized into twenty-four-and-a-half chapters -- to be shared during the calendar countdown to Christmas. Starting on December 1st, children ages 6-8 can read a chapter a day, and each chapter is followed by a fun and festive holiday activity to complete. Very highly recommended, "How Winston Delivered Christmas" is an illustrated advent story tells of the adventures of an adorable mouse and how a good deed can lead to a very happy ending. It should be noted that "How Winston Delivered Christmas" is also available in a paperback edition (Macmillan Children's Books, 9781529010862, $13.54, www.amazon.com) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Santa's Secret
Denise Brennan-Nelson, author
Deborah Melmon, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
www.sleepingbearpress.com
9781534110380, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Everyone knows that when Christmas rolls around Santa employs a legion of helpers to ensure the season goes off without a hitch. But between the Santas on parade, the Santas at the malls, and the Santas ringing bells in front of busy department stores -- one young and intrepid investigator wants to know exactly WHO the real Santa is. Armed with a notebook, pencil, and a barrage of questions, can this young girl detective get to the bottom of Santa's secret? A charmingly original and utterly entertaining picture book for children ages 5-7, "Santa's Secret" by the team of author Denise Brennan-Nelson and illustrator Deborah Melmon is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Christmas holiday season collections.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book
Nill
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com
9781406384512, $9.99, PB, 32pp, www.amazon.com

with "We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book" there is so much for children ages 3-7 to make, to do, and to discover in the countdown to Christmas! Whether kids like staying indoors to make crafts or stepping outside to explore, they will find plenty of ideas in this gem of a DIY activities book ranging from creating a wreath, designing Christmas cards, or making a special cake for the birds. From learning some seasonal jokes, to looking for winter creatures, or simply completing a Christmas tree calendar with stickers, "We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book" features easy-to-follow instructions, charming illustrations, and plenty of holiday spirit in a thoroughly 'kid friendly' and hands-on guide to making the most of the season will keep children entertained and inspired. Inspired by the animated special based on a beloved classic, this treasure trove of activities, fun facts, and more than a hundred stickers is the perfect gift for a magical time of year. "We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book" is an ideal and highly recommended pre-Christmas gift for the holiday season.

Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever
Matt Tavares, author/illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com
9781536201376, $17.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life -- one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It's not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh -- a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same. A uniquely original Christmas story for children ages 4-8, "Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever" is impressively enhanced with the museum quality artwork of Matt Tavares, making this an unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book Christmas holiday season collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dasher" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.17) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781974972746, $14.99, CD).

Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com
9781536209488, $12.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Everyone in Peppa's class is excited about the Christmas play. Wendy Wolf is going to be an elf, Peppa will be a Christmas fairy, and Suzy Sheep is going to be the Christmas nurse -- just in case someone gets sick. Peppa knows Santa is very busy, but she still hopes he'll come to watch the play. He said he would! Could a Christmas surprise be in store for Peppa and her friends? Especially recommended for children ages 2-5, "Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, Kindergarten, and community library picture book collections for the Christmas holiday season!

The Night Baafore Christmas
Dawn Young, author
Pablo Pino, illustrator
Worthy Kids
c/o Worthy Publishing
www.worthypublishing.com
9781546014584, $17.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

It's Christmas Eve and Bo can't sleep, so he starts counting sheep. But when the sheep get bored, they scatter, wreaking holiday mayhem all over the house. "Sheep number 4 gnaws the stockings and leaves holes in the toes; Number 5 swallows some garland, and tinsel, and bows!" Children ages 3-6 can count along with Bo as he finds the 10 mischievous sheep misbehaving throughout the house. With a house full of sheep and a mess to clean, will Bo get to sleep before Santa comes? Find out in this hilarious story of a night before Christmas gone wrong. With exuberant verse by Dawn Young and comical illustrations by Pablo Pino, "The Night Baafore Christmas" is very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library holiday season collections -- will have children begging for repeat readings!

The Most Wonderful Gift in the World
Mark Sperring, author
Lucy Fleming, illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
www.tigertalesbooks.com
9781680101737, $17.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

On Christmas morning, Esme and Bear wake up to find a gift under the tree that's not for either of them. So the two set out to find the present's recipient, Little Bunny Boo-Boo. They travel on the Treacherous Path through the snow, encounter the Howling Gale, and push their way through deep, deep snowdrifts to Little Bunny Boo-Boo's house. Little do they know that the gift they are bringing is the greatest gift in the world. Especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7, "The Most Wonderful Gift in the World" by author Mark Sperring and illustrator Lucy Fleming is a heartwarming and endearing Christmas tale about the magic of friendship.

Little Robin's Christmas
Jan Fearnley
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com
9781536208252, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

One frosty evening, a week before Christmas, Little Robin prepares for the chilly nights to come by washing his seven warm knit vests. But as the days go by, he comes across lots of shivering animals and kindly offers them his vests to wear. By Christmas Eve, Little Robin is cold and alone with no vests left. That is, until a special someone arrives to reward his kindness in this heartwarming holiday tale about the gift of sharing. "Little Robin's Christmas" is a thoroughly charming and wonderfully entertaining picture book by author and artist Jan Fearnley that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library holiday season collections for children ages 2-5.

The Worst Christmas Ever
Kathleen Long Bostrom, author
Guy Porfirio, illustrator
Flyaway Books
www.flyawaybooks.com
9781947888098, $17.00, HC, 48pp, www.amazon.com

Now that his family has moved to California, Matthew has doubts as the holiday season approaches. Palm trees? No snow? It's all wrong. Little sister Lucy thinks everything is wonderful, but Matthew knows better. And to top it off, the sudden disappearance of his beloved dog, Jasper, settles it. This will be the worst Christmas ever. Or will it? Surprising events on Christmas Eve just might change everything -- and maybe this new place can feel like home to Matthew after all! A wonderfully entertaining picture book story for children ages 3-7, "The Worst Christmas Ever" by the team of author Kathleen Long Bostrom and illustrator Guy Porfirio is an especially welcome and recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for the holiday season.

The Night of His Birth
Katherine Paterson, author
Lisa Aisato, illustrator
Flyaway Books
www.flyawaybooks.com
9781947888128, $18.00, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Mary's baby has arrived, and she can't contain her joy! As Joseph sleeps, she examines her newborn's tiny mouth, his wild hair, his little hands. Yet what's most wondrous is that this child is not just Mary's own but a gift that God has shared with everyone. Poetic text by Newbery Medalist Katherine Paterson and striking images by Norwegian artist Lisa Aisato deftly reveal the intimacy of that unforgettable night long ago, when the mother of Jesus was the first to welcome him into a world he would change forever. A wonderfully inspiring story of the nativity, "The Night of His Birth" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, Sunday School, and community library picture book collections for children ages 6-10. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Night of His Birth" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.10).

The Lobsters' Night Before Christmas
Christina Laurie, author
Elizabeth Moisan, illustrator
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
www.schifferbooks.com
9780764358265, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Creatures of the ocean celebrate Christmas Eve in an undersea retelling by author Christina Laurie and illustrated Elizabeth Moi8san of the classic Christmas poem, "A Visit by St. Nicholas" by Rev. Clement C. Moore. Under the waves and surrounded by swaying ocean eel grass, Sea Santa makes his yearly Christmas journey. Pulled in his clamshell sleigh by his eight faithful minnows, beautiful watercolor paintings illustrate his visit to a family of lobsters. Told in sweet and clever rhyme, "The Lobsters' Night Before Christmas" combines a holiday classic with delightful newness. After the poem, children ages 4-6 can learn fun facts about lobsters, such as what they look like, what they eat, and how they molt -- see if they can find the lobster hiding in the eel grass throughout the book! Whimsically entertaining, "The Lobsters' Night Before Christmas" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Nutcracker Night
Mireille Messier, author
Gabrielle Grimard, illustrator
Pajama Press
http://pajamapress.ca
9781772780918, $19.95, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Beep! Beep! go the taxis. Voof! go the velvet curtains. The Nutcracker ballet and New York City's David H. Koch Theater come to life in the pages of "Nutcracker Night", an onomatopoeic picture book representation of a little girl's experience at the ballet. From the swish of her dress and the tick-tick-tick of the conductor's baton to the twelve bongs of the clock and the pitter-patter of dancers' feet, this special evening is filled with sensory treats for the eyes and especially the ears. And did she enjoy the ballet? The answer is a big smooch on her father's cheek. Written by Mireille Messier, "Nutcracker Night" is a celebration of a Christmas classic that is often a child's first experience of the ballet. Award-winning illustrator Gabrielle Grimard infuses each scene with warm holiday colors and a richness that will make young readers feel they are really there. An author's note enriches the text with further information and a brief summary of the famous ballet, making it an unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-7.

Guess Who's in the Manger?: A Christmas Story
Vicki Howie, author
Julia Seal, illustrator
Paline Kids
c/o Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
www.pauline.org
9780819831569, $14.95, HC, 28pp, www.amazon.com

Told from the perspective of a barn owl, "Guess Who's in the Manger?" is a beautiful told and illustrated Christmas story that sure to delight young children four to seven years old -- and their parents as well! "Guess Who's in the Manger?" is perfect for reading aloud (what child doesn't enjoy the gentle "hoo" of an owl, reflected here in the sound of "who's in the manger?"). "Guess Who's in the Manger?: A Christmas Story" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, church, and community library Christmas themed picture book collections.

The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, author
Ellen Beier, illustrator
Holiday House
425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
www.holidayhouse.com
9781941813256, $9.95, PB, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Virginia's old coat is too small. The cold South Dakota wind blows across the Rosebud Indian Reservation, making her shiver as she walks to school. Virginia dreams of a new coat arriving in the Theast boxes -- parcels of clothing from churches in The East. But, she knows she may not have a chance for a coat this year. Her father is the village Episcopal priest, so her family chooses last, and as Mama always says, The others need it more than we do. Generosity and unexpected joy remind Virginia of the importance of community within this story from the author's childhood. Charmingly illustrated throughout with the artwork of Ellen Beier, "The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood" by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve is an extraordinary and inspiring picture book that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4-8.

Ted the Friendly Frog and Santa Frog
Scott McCall, author
Autumn Brook, illustrator
Brown Books Kids
c/o Brown Books Publishing Group
www.BrownBooks.com
9781612543147, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Ted the frog and his brother Brad are snuggled up by the fire on Christmas Eve, waiting to hear the story of Santa Frog. Their father tells them an incredible tale of the time he met Santa Frog, many years ago, and was gifted a coat to use to stay warm in the winter. When the story is done, Ted and Brad can't wait to see if Santa Frog comes again that night, in a sleigh pulled by nine birds with a sack full of toys for every frog family! Children ages 5-6 will enjoy seeing if Ted gets to meet this very special frog in this third book of Scott McCall's 'Ted the Friendly Frog series'. "Ted the Friendly Frog and Santa Frog" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school and community library collections!

A Christmas Gift for Santa: A Bedtime Book
John T. Elkins, author
Ag Jatkowska, illustrator
Zonderkidz
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
www.harpercollinschildrens.com
9780310729617, $17.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Has Mrs. Claus forgotten Santa on Christmas Eve? He searches and searches their cozy North Pole home until ... he finds homemade gifts waiting for him next to a beautiful handwritten note. But what does it say? "A Christmas Gift for Santa: A Bedtime Book" by author John T. Elkins and illustrator Ag Jatkowska is sweet Christmas book that is destined to become a Christmas holiday favorite as children ages 4-8 cuddle up with their parents to read a wonderfully entertaining story of love and gratitude before they close their eyes to go to sleep."A Christmas Gift for Santa: A Bedtime Book" is an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Christmas book collections.

The First Christmas Sweater
Ryan Tubridy, author
Chris Judge, illustrator
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com
9781536211320, $14.99, HC, 144pp, www.amazon.com

There are two things everyone knows about Hillary the sheep. One is that, unlike her typically hued friends, Hillary's wool is all the colors of the rainbow. The other is that she adores everything about Christmas, especially Santa. So when word gets out that Mr. Claus is traveling across Ireland seeking the perfect sheep's wool for a sweater to keep his belly warm, Hillary's head begins to spin. Could her wool-dest dreams be about to come true? Featuring a news-loving starling named Didya, a jelly-bean-obsessed farmer, and a choir of Elvish Presley - singing elves, "The First Christmas Sweater" by author Ryan Tubridy and illustrator Chris Judge is a sweetly comical tribute to the season will find its place among kid-pleasing holiday traditions. Offering a welcome humorous spin on the holidays and a strong female protagonist, "The First Christmas Sweater" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library holiday collections for young readers ages 7-10. It should be noted that "The First Christmas Sweater" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781974972852, $29.99, CD).


The Social Issues Shelf

Gun Violence: Fighting for Our Lives and Our Rights
Matt Doeden
Twenty-First Century Books
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
www.lernerbooks.com
9781541555549, $37.32, Library Binding, 112pp, www.amazon.com

In early 2018, teen-led March for Our lives events across the United States protested gun violence, demanded change to save lives, and registered voters toward that end. "Gun Violence: Fighting for Our Lives and Our Rights" by Matt Doeden is an authoritative exploration of guns, gun violence, and gun control as it explores the Second Amendment, the history of guns and gun laws in the United States, legal restrictions to gun ownership, and the devastation of mass shootings. Through an objective look at individual versus collective rights, young readers will be able to offer well-informed answers to questions such as should young people own assault rifles? What about terrorists and the mentally ill? While strongly recommended for middle school, high school, and community library Contemporary Social Issues collections in general, and Gun Rights/Violence curriculum supplemental studies, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students that "Gun Violence: Fighting for Our Lives and Our Rights" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Mama Bird Lost an Egg
Evelyne Fournier, author
Chlolula, illustrator
Nathaniel Penn, translator
CrackBoom! Books
c/o Chouette Publishing
http://crackboombooks.com
9782898020827, $15.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Mama Bird is sad today. A little egg she was keeping warm has broken. With tenderness and
compassion, her son, Gabriel, helps comfort her. The collaborative work of author Evelyne Fournier, illustrator Chloloula, and translator Nathaniel Penn, "Mama Bird Lost an Egg" is a thoughtful and thoroughly 'child friendly' picture book that explores the theme of miscarriage, using a subtle metaphor. It provides families who are living a similar experience a resource to talk about grief and loss with young children ages 3-6. A deftly crafted picture book, "Mama Bird Lost an Egg" is a unique, very ably presented, and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

A Family of One
Kenneth M. Brenneman, author
Rachaele Taylor, illustrator
Independently Published
9781688400894, $12.00, PB, 40pp, www.amazon.com

The collaborative work of author Kenneth M. Brenneman and illustrator Rachaele Taylor, "A Family of One" is a picture book about a curious young boy named Sammy who realizes that he belongs to a family not like any other. Sammy's family is made of people from different races, religions, and social identities. Furthermore, Sammy was adopted, and that really makes him feel much more different from the rest of his family. Sammy now begins to wonder, "If he were part of a more traditional family, would that be better?" Young readers will join Sammy as he discovers how his particularly unconventional family is no different from others. Along the way, Sammy learns that his family's diversity offers special advantages. In Sammy's case, his blended family instills strong values of acceptance and inclusion. Share with Sammy the joy in realizing that unique families are very special and really not so different after all. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Family of One" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Bird Count
Susan Edwards Richmond, author
Stephanie Fizer Coleman, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
www.peachtree-online.com
9781561459544, $17.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Young Ava and her mother prepare to participate as "citizen scientists" in the Christmas Bird Count. She is excited when Big Al, the leader of their team, asks her to record the tally this year. Using her most important tools (her eyes and ears) and the birding ID techniques she's learned, Ava eagerly identifies and counts the birds they observe on their assigned route around the town. At the end of the day, they meet up with the other teams in the area for a Christmas Bird Count party, where they combine their totals and share stories about their observations. This informative picture book story by author Susan Edwards Richmond, coupled with Stephanie Fizer Coleman's charming depictions of birds in their winter habitats, is the perfect introduction for young readers ages 4-8 to birdwatching. The text offers simple explanations of the identification methods used by birdwatchers and clear descriptions of bird habitats, and a section in the back provides more information about the birds featured in the book and the Christmas Bird Count. As informative as it is entertaining, "Bird Count" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Hip-Pocket Papa
Sandra Markle, author
Alan Marks, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
www.charlesbridge.com
9781570917097, $7.99, PB, 32pp, www.amazon.com

The male Australian hip-pocket frog, no bigger than an adult human's thumbnail, cares for his children as they grow from tadpoles to young froglets inside the pouches on his legs. In the pages of "Hip-Pocket Papa", author Sandra Markle and illustrator Alan Marks, (co-creators of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Award-winning A Mother's Journey), offer an up-close look at the miniature world of the hip-pocket frog for young readers ages 4-8. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hip-Pocket Papa" is also now available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Animal Skins
Mary Holland
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
www.arbordalepublishing.com
9781643513393, $17.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Fur, feathers and scales are all animal coverings or skins. Animals use their skin to stay warm and dry, protect themselves or hide or even to warn other animals to stay away. Following Animal Noses, Animal Tails, Animal Eyes, Animal Mouths (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Science Award), and Animal Legs, Mary Holland continues her photographic Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series by the many different ways that animals use and rely on their skin covering adaptations to survive in their habitats with the publication of "Animal Skins". Beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photography and fully endorsed for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections for children ages 4-8, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Animal Skins" is also available in a paperback edition (9781643513409, $8.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.95).


The Science Shelf

Glacier on the Move
Elizabeth Rusch, author
Alice Brereton, illustrator
West Margin Press
https://www.westmarginpress.com
9781513262307, $17.99, HC / $9.99 Kindle 32pp, www.amazon.com

Glaciers exist on every continent on earth, growing, spreading, and shrinking over thousands of years. But what are they, and how are they formed? Written by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Alice Brereton, "Glacier on the Move" tells the story of a glacier named Flo and her slow-motion race to the sea, from the edge of an ice field and down steep cliffs, to muscling her way around mountains, and stretching into a valley. With the help of some iceworms in the margins, Flo reveals how glaciers move, change shape, and provide for the surrounding world and animals. Blending fascinating facts with dynamic illustrations, "Glacier on the Move" is a wonderfully and entertainingly explanatory introduction for young readers ages 6-9 to glacial history and science. While unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Glacier on the Move" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Math Shelf

Junk Drawer Algebra
Bobby Mercer
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
www.chicagoreviewpress.com
9781641600989, $14.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Algebra as a hands-on subject? "Junk Drawer Algebra: 50 Awesome Activities That Don't Cost a Thing" by Bobby Mercer is helpful resource that will enable children ages 9-12 to create coordinate graphs with candy, simplify algebraic equations with pennies and nickels, use aluminum foil to multiply polynomials (perfect for the FOIL method), examine exponential decay functions with a bouncy ball, and much more. "Junk Drawer Algebra" proves that high-tech equipment to comprehend math concepts is not necessary -- just what can be found around the house or in a recycling bin. Each of this book's 50 creative algebra projects includes a materials list and detailed, step-by-step instructions with illustrations. The projects also include ideas on how to modify the lessons for different age and skill levels, allowing anyone teaching children to use this book to excite students. Educators and parents will find this title a handy guide to teach problem-solving skills and algebraic equations, all while having a lot of fun, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to homeschoolers, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections. It should be noted that "Junk Drawer Algebra" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).


The Psychology Shelf

Beneath the Surface
Kristi Hugstad
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608686353, $15.95, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com

Kristi Hugstad is a certified grief recovery specialist, speaker, credentialed health educator, and grief and loss facilitator for recovering addicts. She frequently speaks at high schools and is the host of The Grief Girl podcast and talk radio show. Her principle message in the pages of "Beneath the Surface: A Teen's Guide to Reaching Out When You or Your Friend Is in Crisis" and meant especially for young readers ages 12-18 is that depression and mental illness don't discriminate. Even in the most picture-perfect life, confusion and turmoil are often lurking beneath the surface. For a teenager in a world where anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses are commonplace, life can sometimes feel impossible. Whether or not you or someone you love is suffering from any of these issues, it's important to be able to recognize the warning signs of mental illness and know where to turn for help. "Beneath the Surface" is a thoroughly 'kid friendly' and comprehensive guide that provides the information, encouragement, and tactical guidance you need to help yourself or others experiencing: Depression; Academic or parental pressures; Eating disorders; Bullying; Self-harm; PTSD; Peer pressure; Anxiety; Substance abuse; Technology addiction; Suicidal thoughts or actions. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Beneath the Surface" is especially recommended for middle family, school, highschool, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Beneath the Surface" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

The Phoenix of Persia
Sally Pomme Clayton, author
Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif, illustrator
Tin Owl
9781910328439, $17.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Retold for a modern audience of young readers ages 5-7, the story of The Phoenix of Persia is one of the ancient epic stories of Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) by the 10th century poet Ferdowsi, reminiscent of the classic fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. In this ancient Persian folktale, a king awaits the birth of his son but when the child is born with white hair and skin, he is banished to the forest. The young babe is brought up by the phoenix Simorgh until his father realizes the love he has lost and seeks his return. A QR code is included to download Iranian music to accompany the text. Beautifully illustrated by Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif, "The Phoenix of Persia" by Sally Pomme Clayton is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school and community library Folktale/Fairytale picture book collections.

Goldilocks and the Six Simple Machines
Lois Wickstrom, author
Nicole Hehn, illustrator
Independently Published
c/o Gripper Productions
www.LookUnderRocks.com
9780916176464, $24.99, HC, 36pp, www.amazon.com

If Goldilocks had known about the six simple machines (these are taught in every basic earth science class) she would have had a much better time at the Three Bears' house. In "Goldilocks and the Six Simple Machines" by author Lois Wickstrom and illustrator Nicole Hehn, Goldilocks does know how to use these simple machines and she leaves the Three Bears' house better than she found it! While very highly recommended for 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 "Goldilocks and the Six Simple Machines" is also available in a paperback edition (9780916176457, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).


The Board Book Shelf

This Little Dreamer: An Inspirational Primer
Joan Holub, author
Daniel Roode, illustrator
Little Simon
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534442917, $7.99, Board Book, 26pp, www.amazon.com

Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated over 140 children's books, including the Goddess Girls series, the Heroes in Training series. Daniel Roode is an illustrator and designer who draws inspiration from his French heritage, mid-century modern design, pop art, and nature. Daniel creates the bulk of his art digitally, an appropriate medium for his clean yet tactile aesthetic that has a distinct joie de vivre. Together they collaborate in "This Little Dreamer: An Inspirational Primer", the sixth book in the This Little series, so that children ages 3-5 can learn all about important people in history who dared to dream big for a better future! Highlighting ten memorable dreamers who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this inspirational primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations. "This Little Dreamer: An Inspirational Primer" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

Look!: Babies Head to Toe
Robie H. Harris, author
Anoosha Syed, illustrator
Abrams Appleseed
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
www.abramsyoungreaders.com
9781419732034, $7.99, Board Book, 20pp, www.amazon.com

"Look!: Babies Head to Toe" is a board book for children ages 2-4 by author Robie H. Harris and illustrator Anoosha Syed. An exuberant introduction to the parts of the body and the senses, "Look!: Babies Head to Toe" is filled from cover to cover with fun, repetitive sounds and a melodic voice that will fully captivate and entertain babies and toddlers. A fun and charming addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections, "Look!: Babies Head to Toe" is unreservedly recommended.

Apple
Nikki McClure
Abrams Appleseed
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
www.abramsyoungreaders.com
9781419736315, $8.99, Board Book, 30pp, www.amazon.com

In the opening spread, a ripe, red apple falls from a tree, and a man gathers it to take home. His daughter takes the apple to school for lunch, but mistakenly drops it after taking a bite. Left on the ground, we see the apple buried as the seasons change and children come and go on the playground above. On the final spread, the buried apple has produced an apple tree sprout. A single word complements each illustration, urging early readers to reflect on each stage in the apple's life. An ideal addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library collections, "Apple" is an unreservedly recommended board book for children ages 3-5 that features author and illustrator Nikki McClure's signature papercuts that follows the journey of a bright red apple (the only splash of color in the otherwise black-and-white illustrations) as it travels from tree to harvest to snack to compost and, finally, to sprout.

Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida
Ashley Marie Mireles, author
Edith Valle, illustrator
Familius
1254 Commerce Way, Sanger, CA 93657
www.familius.com
9781641701549, $12.99, Board Book, 20pp, www.amazon.com

Latino culture spans Southern and Central America as well as the Caribbean, but often when we think of Latino foods, we think tacos, burritos, and other common Mexican dishes. "Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida" is a colorful, informative, bilingual board book that teaches children ages 3-5 how different Latino countries use similar ingredients to create unique regional dishes. The dishes and their descriptions are given in both English and Spanish, and parents will enjoy the sidebars with additional fun facts about Latino food and culture. This unique bilingual board book takes a child beyond a basic language primer and dives deep into the heart of Latino culture -- which is the food, of course! "Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida" by author Ashley Marie Mireles and illustrator Edith Valle is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school board book collections. It should be noted that 'Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Waiting Is Not Forever
Elizabeth Verdick, author
Marieka Heinlen, illustrator
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674
www.freespirit.com
9781631984662, $8.99, Board Book, 24pp, www.amazon.com

Toddlers live in the moment. When they want something, they want it now. But learning self-control and delayed gratification will set up young children for success in school and in social settings. Practicing patience is the key. With her trademark mix of empathy and encouragement, author Elizabeth Verdick acknowledges that waiting can be frustrating and offers toddlers simple ideas to make waiting easier. Little ones can use waiting time to watch the world around them, listen to music, tell stories, sing songs, whisper, play games, build with Legos, draw pictures, move or stretch, and more. Children learn, "I can wait a while. I can do it with a smile." A thoroughly charming and entertaining board book with an important underlying message for children ages 1-4, "Waiting Is Not Forever" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections.

I Help
Cheri J. Meiners, author
Penny Weber, illustrator
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674
www.freespirit.com
9781631984532, $8.99, Board Book, 24pp, www.amazon.com

Even very young children often respond naturally to the needs of others and want to give comfort and help. As they see family, teachers, and community members helping them, they may want to do helpful things as well. "I'm a helper too. I want to show that I care." Positive and friendly, "I Help" by author Cheri J. Meiners and illustrator Penny Weber is a delightfully entertaining board book encourages toddlers ages 2-4 to notice the ways others help them and recognize some of the many ways they can help others. From simple gestures like offering the baby a pacifier or giving comfort to a friend, to bigger tasks that involve working with others to wash the dog, pick up toys, or plant a seedling, children see that they can make an important contribution. "'I'm big enough now to help in a big way." Of special note is that "I Help" also features access to a digital download with ideas for opportunities for toddlers to help in their community.

Yossi & Laibel Make a Friend
Dina Rosenfeld, author
Norman Nodel, illustrator
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
www.hachai.com
9781945560187, $9.99, Board Book, 12pp, www.amazon.com

Perfect for babies 6 months and up, "Yossi and Laibel Make a Friend" is a sturdy board book deftly adapted from a full length story by children's author Dina Rosenfeld. Featuring shorter, simpler rhymes and the same remarkable illustrations by Norman Nodel tell a story of friendship and inclusion that very young children will want to look at and listen to again and again! A perfect Chanukah gift for the littlest children in your life, "Yossi & Laibel Make a Friend" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections.


The Picturebook Shelf

Hey Grandude!
Paul McCartney, author
Kathryn Durst, illustrator
Random House
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
www.randomhouse.com/kids
9780525648673, $17.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Grandude is a super-cool grandfather who is also an intrepid explorer with some amazing tricks up his sleeve. Grandude is a one-of-a-kind adventurer! With his magic compass, he whisks his four grandkids off on whirlwind adventures, taking them all around the globe. Young readers ages 4-6 will have a fun time by seeing them as they ride flying fish, dodge stampedes, and escape avalanches! Brought to life with gloriously colorful illustrations from talented artist Kathryn Durst, and written Paul McArtney (of The Beatles fame), "Hey Grandude! is the perfect bedtime story for little explorers. While especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for young readers that "Hey Grandude!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Three Lost Seeds: Stories of Becoming
Stephie Morton, author
Nicole Wong, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
www.tilburyhouse.com
9780884487647, $17.95, HC, 36pp, www.amazon.com

Each of the three seeds in this picture book story by author Stephie Morton and illustrator Nicole Wong (a cherry seed in the Middle East, an acacia seed in Australia, and a lotus seed in Asia) survives a difficult journey through flood, fire, or drought, then sprouts (in the case of the lotus seed, a hundred years later) and flourishes. Nature's powerful forces are a metaphor for the hardships faced by displaced children in "Three Lost Seeds: Stories of Becoming". The underlying message of this beautifully crafted picture book is that kids, like seeds, thrive when given a chance. While especially recommended for elementary school and community library picture book collections for children ages 6-8, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Three Lost Seeds: Stories of Becoming" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.05).

A Stone Sat Still
Brendan Wenzel
Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
www.chroniclebooks.com
9781452173184, $17.99, HC, 56pp, www.amazon.com

"A Stone Sat Still" by author and illustrator Brendan Wenzel tells the story of a seemingly ordinary rock -- but to the animals that use it, it is a resting place, a kitchen, a safe haven...even an entire world. A gorgeously illustrated exploration of perspective, perception, and the passage of time, with an underlying environmental message that is timely and poignant, "A Stone Sat Still" is filled from cover to cover with stunning illustrations in cut paper, pencil, collage, and paint. There are soothing rhythms invite reading aloud and bedtime snuggles. Plus, "A Stone Sat Still" introduces concepts like color, size, function, and time in a way that is made easily understandable and teachable for children ages 3-5. A unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted that "A Stone Sat Still" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Steve and Stevie: The Tire Swing
James Burd Brewster, author
Sergio Drumond, illustrator
J2B Publishing, LLC
https://www.j2bllc.com
9781948747233, $10.00, PB, 36pp, www.amazon.com

In the children's picture book, "Steve and Stevie: The Tire Swing", young readers ages 5-8 will meet Stevie Walker. He is seven and is named after his dad, Steve, but everyone calls him Stevie. Stevie is excited because he and his dad are going to hang a tire swing from the big branch sticking out of the oak tree by the driveway. Together, Stevie, Sam (his older brother), and their father find or buy the swing's materials. Then the boys realize the branch is way off the ground and they can't get the rope over it. Their discouragement doesn't last long as advice and help from dad, milk and cookies from mom, and a tip from Heather (their 10 year old sister), does the trick and the swing is completed. Steve and Stevie is the newest picture book series from J2B Publishing. The main characters, Steve and Stevie, enjoy a very close father-son relationship and are members of a loving family that does things together. This series continues J2B's promise to publish "Good Books for Young Boys and Girls" and is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Traveler's Gift
Danielle Davison, author
Anne Lambelet, illustrator
https://www.danielledavison.com
Page Street Publishing
www.pagestreetpublishing.com
9781624147654, $17.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Liam is a young boy who loved his father's stories of life at sea. But one day, his father's ship doesn't return, and Liam's love of stories fades. Then the Traveler, a mysterious old man who spins stories with a magical beard like a tapestry, arrives, reminding Liam of his father. They embark on the Traveler's final voyage together, and before the journey ends, the Traveler passes on his magical gift to Liam. Woven with themes of loss, discovery, and friendship, "The Traveler's Gift: A Story of Loss and Hope" is a beautifully illustrated and original picture book story for children ages 4-8 that fully invokes and showcases the unexpected magic of shared stories and rediscovered hope. "The Traveler's Gift" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Grossest Picture Book Ever
Derek Taylor Kent, author
Lynx Studios, illustrator
Whimsical World Books
www.WhimsicalWorldBooks.com
9780999555477, $24.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

In the pages of Derek Taylor Kent's "The Grossest Picture Book Ever", children ages 4-10 are introduced to the town of Gross! Here, grossness is just a way of life and everyone loves trying to out gross one another. Along with the laughter children will be picking up on important environmental messages. Of special note are the challenge to be found at the end of "The Grossest Picture Book Ever". Unique, irreverent, funny, memorably illustrated, and thoroughly 'kid friendly', "The Grossest Picture Book Ever" is recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8.

Croc & Turtle: Snow Fun!
Mike Wohnoutka
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
www.bloomsburyusa.com
9781681196374, $17.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Croc & Turtle may be different, but they're the best of friends! It's a wintry day, so Croc and Turtle are ready for snow fun! But Croc likes outside activities and Turtle likes inside activities. What happens when best friends have very different ideas of fun? "Croc & Turtle: Snow Fun! " by author and illustrator Mike Wohnoutka is a wonderfully humorous and heartwarming picture book adventure in which Croc and Turtle navigate the ups and downs of friendship. While especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-6, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Croc & Turtle: Snow Fun!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.09).

The Pepperoni Palm Tree
Jason Killian Meath & Aidan Patrick Meath, authors
Kirk Parrish, illustrator
Fuze Publishing
https://fuzepublishing.com
9780984990887, $21.99, HC, 50pp, www.amazon.com

A Pepperoni Palm Tree! Frederick is a pint sized explorer who finds one on a far away island way out to sea. But the problem? Frederick can't find evidence of any more pepperoni bearing palm trees, and this makes The Pepperoni Palm Tree a little uneasy. After all, in the wild jungle all around him, the other trees can be downright mean to things that don't quite belong. The collaborative effort of father and son co-authors Jason and Aidan Meath, and the charmingly engaging illustrations of Kirk Parrish, "The Pepperoni Palm Tree" is a whimsically entertaining picture book story for children portraying the challenge of being true to oneself and celebrates the uniqueness that enables each of us to shine, and thus enlighten the world. While very highly recommended for family, school, and community library picture book collections it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Pepperoni Palm Tree" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Gabby and the Dark
Carrie Bolin, author
Jessica Firpi, author
John Graziano, illustrator
Ripley Publishing
c/o Ripley Entertainment Inc.
https://www.ripleys.com/publishing
9781609912567, $16.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Gabby's not afraid of the dark! Well, maybe just a little. Children ages 4-8 will enjoy joining Gabby the sea turtle as she explores the deep, dark ocean. Told from Gabby's point of view, kids will relate to how scary the dark can feel but, like Gabby, will be assured that they, too, can conquer their fear and maybe even make a new friend in the process! "Gabby and the Dark" is new picture book by the collaborative team of authors Carrie Bolin, Jessica Firpi, and illustrator John Graziano. Drawn from Ripley's feature fun and engaging stories around more Ripley's Aquarium mascots, "Gabby and the Dark" features Gabby the sea turtle and Norman the penguin. Filled with expressive illustrations, silly situations, and lovable characters, kids and parents alike will be enchanted by each of these charming "tails"! Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "Gabby and the Dark" is especially recommended.

Norman and the Flight
Carrie Bolin & Jessica Firpi, authors
John Graziano, illustrator
Ripley Publishing
c/o Ripley Entertainment Inc.
https://www.ripleys.com/publishing
9781609912574, $16.99, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Who says penguins can't fly? Children ages 4-8 will join the adorable Norman the Penguin as he searches for a way to accomplish the impossible in "Norman and the Flight" by authors Carrie Bolin and Jessica Firpi. Told from Norman's point of view, young readers will giggle at Norman's silly attempts and relate to his disappointment at his failures. Will Norman ultimately find a way to fly? There's only one way to find out! Charmingly illustrated by John Graziano, "Norman and the Flight" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Ariba: An Old Tale About New Shoes
Masha Manapov
Enchanted Lion Books
67 West Street, Studio 317A, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11222
www.enchantedlion.com
9781592703005, $17.95, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Marcus' joy over his new pair of shoes reminds his grandfather of an old story about a boy named Ariba who has the most unusual relationship with an extraordinary pair of shoes. Because no matter how many times Ariba tries to get rid of his shoes, they always seem to find their way back to him. After all, why would shoes caked, baked and layered with stories ever want to find a new owner? For in life, just as we claim a few precious things as our own, there are also those rare things that claim us! Engagingly written and charmingly illustrated by Masha Manapov, "Ariba: An Old Tale About New Shoes" is a unique, original, and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers ages 6-10.

Arno and the MiniMachine
Seymour Chwast
Triangle Square
c/o Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013
www.sevenstories.com
9781609808792, $17.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Two hundred years in the future, Arno's pre-programmed, machine-controlled day takes an unexpected turn when nature intercedes. Arno wakes each morning when his personalized "MiniMachine" tells him it's time. The MiniMachine squawks at him all day: "Eat your Instant Mealtime," "Wait for the school jet," "Go to your electric tuba lesson," "Do not step off the Power Path". But Arno's curiosity and a little yellow bird lead Arno off his pre-programmed track. "Go Back to Your Class!" squawks the MiniMachine with increasing alarm. Arno's mischievousness will delight young readers ages 4-8. And Seymour Chwast's illustrations fully enhancing his original story include his Seuss-like mechanical inventions which are a delightful blend of the charmingly old-fashioned and presciently futuristic. A gentle corrective to our infatuation with electronics, "Arno and the MiniMachine" is a sweet reminder of the joy of nature and following one's own path. 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 "Arno and the MiniMachine" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Adventures of Abella and Her Magic Wand
Zane Carson Carruth
Carson Marketing LLC
www.worldsfirsttoothfairy.com
9781532390104, $14.95, HC, 36pp, www.amazon.com

Engagingly written and charmingly illustrated by Zane Carson Carruth, "The Adventures of Abella and Her Magic Wand" is a wonderfully delightful, impressively original, and thoroughly entertaining picture book for children about facing challenges and accepting responsibility -- even when mistakes are made! Luckily for Abella, her best friend Darcie is with her every step of the way -- doing what best friends do best! "The Adventures of Abella and Her Magic Wand" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library children's picture book collections.

Arabella and the Magic Pencil
Stephanie Ward, author
Shanie Hyde, illustrator
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
www.exislepublishing.com.au
9781925820010, $17.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Arabella is a beloved only child who has everything a little girl could want. That is, until her brother, Avery, the master of mayhem, comes along. While she certainly loves him, she finds that it's sometimes very hard to like him. So she spends her days creating marvelous, magnificent things with her magic pencil, and trying to ignore him. But when he spoils her perfectly proper tea party, she decides drastic action is required and she erases him from her life. Oops! But things aren't the same without him -- can she get him back? "Arabella and the Magic Pencil" is a charming story deftly written by Stephanie Ward and charmingly illustrated by Shanie Hye. This is a beautifully crafted picture book that will have a very special appeal to any child ages 4 - 8 having to come to terms with a new sibling and to their parents who are supporting changing family dynamics -- as well as to anyone who loves fantasy and engaging, alliterative language. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Arabella and the Magic Pencil" is also available in a paperback edition (9781925820553, $15.99).

The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted
Anthony DeStefano, author
Erwin Madrid, illustrator
Sophia Institute Press
www.sophiainstitute.com
9781622828289, $16.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

"The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted" is a beautifully crafted children's rhyming picture book by the team of author Anthony DeStefano and illustrator Erwin Madrid that tells the story of a seed who lives in fear of being removed from the drawer where he lives happily with other seeds. One fateful day his worst fears come true and he is buried in the ground outside. To his amazement he soon realizes that he is destined to grow into a magnificent tree overlooking a beautiful sunlit shore. "The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted" is a unique and inspiring story is one that any child ages 4-8 can relate to, since it deals with being afraid of new experiences and change. "The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted" will also help young readers to cultivate the courage to face all their fears and to understand that good can come of any frightening situation " as long as they have faith. Most importantly, "The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted" contains a profoundly biblical message about the transformative power of God's grace. Christ told several famous parables involving seeds and grains that have to "fall to the ground and die" in order to "bear fruit."

Black Bear Goes to San Francisco
Denise Lawson
Brown & Lowe Books
www.brownlowebooks.com
9781732230323, $18.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

First introduced in author/illustrator Denise Lawson's picture book "Black Bear Goes To Washington", Black Bear (a retired Alaskan sled dog), continues her adventures in "Black Bear Goes to San Francisco", the second book in the Black Bear Sled Dog Adventure series for children ages 4-8. Young readers will see San Francisco through Black Bear's eyes as she sets sail on the bay and explores area landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Chinatown, and Pier 39. They will fly a kite with her on Marina Green then follow her beyond the city to the redwood forests and the Pacific coast. "Black Bear" and her readers will also learn that California, like Alaska, also had a gold rush and grizzly bears! A thoroughly charming, engagingly entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone and tenor, "Black Bear Goes to San Francisco" will prove to be a welcome addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Black Bear Goes to San Francisco" is also available in a paperback edition (9781732230354, $11.99).

Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes
Jef Aerts, author
Sanne Loo, illustrator
Floris Books
www.florisbooks.co.uk
9781782505617, $17.95, HC, 48pp, www.amazon.com

Adin and Dina are best friends. They live in the beautiful countryside surrounded by cherry trees. Their favorite game is to plant cherry pits around their little village - in the cracks in the sidewalk and in the flowerbeds outside the post office. Then one day Adin and his family move away to the city. Will Adin and Dina's friendship survive the new distance between them? In this beautifully lyrical picture book by author Jef Aerts and illustrator Sanne Loo, one story fractures into two when the friends are parted. But their lives continue to be linked as Adin finds a way to feel connected to his friend - throwing paper planes filled with cherry pits from the balcony of his apartment building. Held together by their love of cherry blossom and paper planes, Adin and Dina's roads finally lead back to one another. Unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7, "Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes" is an inherently touching and wonderfully entertaining story of true friendship, resilience, belief -- and a little bit of magic!

She Loves Me All The Same
Alisha Gaddis, author
Mireia Morantee, illustrator
Red Sky Presents
c/o Red Sky Entertainment
http://redskypresents.com/about-us.html
9781941015438, $16.99, HC, 28pp, www.amazon.com

Adventures are abundant with a stepmom and stepdaughter dynamic duo in the new picture bok "She Loves Me All The Same". From playing dress up, to yoga class, lemonade stands to bike rides, fun is had by all. However, the many exciting people the two meet, often think Miranda is Zoey's mom, not her stepmom- leading to laughter, confusion and sometimes, guilt. But with love swirling around her, Zoey knows that while her family is different, they love her all the same. Getting a new stepparent can be both an exciting and emotionally trying time in a child's life. Modern families come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors, and "She Loves Me All The Same" celebrates the circle of love that surrounds a growing child, while recognizing the emotional challenges. An entertaining picture book with an important and unique underlying message for children ages 4-8 that is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "She Loves Me All The Same" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Li'l Booger Buddies Inventors Build a Dream Car
Heather Konet
CreateSpace
www.stemshorts.com
9781986337342, $9.99, PB, 25pp, www.amazon.com

The planet of Boogie Woogie is a pretty green planet and home to the Li'l Booger Buddies who are clever little aliens that make inventions using junk that they find in outer space. The Li'l Booger Buddies also share the planet with their pink, bunny-like friends the Rabbie-dabbies. Their little friends have always dreamed of joining the Li'l Booger Buddies on their fun spaceship travel adventures, but there is one problem - the Rabbie-dabbies are afraid to fly! In "Li'l Booger Buddies Inventors Build a Dream Car" by author and illustrator Heather Konet children will follow a group of young Li'l Booger Buddies in their efforts to build a special vehicle that enables their small pink friends to have travel adventures of their own. The "Li'l Booger Buddies Inventors Build a Dram Car" is a fun read for kids ages 5-7 years old that introduces the basic steps of creating and building an invention. Kids will laugh and have fun while being encouraged to creatively reuse materials and make inventions of their own. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Li'l Booger Buddies Inventors Build a Dream Car" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Gorillas' Night Out
Faith Goldstein, author
Elizabeth Brawley, illustrator
Indigo River Publishing
https://www.indigoriverpublishing.com
9781948080606, $14.99, PB, 60pp, www.amazon.com

A gregarious gorilla named Pete and his gorilla companions who live in the zoo are bored and tired of doing the same old thing night after night, so they sneak out in search of an adventure that is sure to excite. Mischief and "monkey business" ensue on the gorillas' unforgettable midnight escapade through the city. On their quest for fun they go shopping at the most lavish clothing store in town, followed by a visit to an old-fashioned ice cream where they feast on every flavor of the finest ice cream. But, the gorillas' adventure is cut short when they are discovered monkeying around in a gymnasium by the night watchman. Will the gorillas find a way to get back to the zoo before morning? "Gorillas' Night Out" by author Faith Goldstein and artist/illustrator Elizabeth Brawley is a humorous and fun tale about just how far a gorilla will go in pursuit of the ultimate night on the town. While very highly recommended, especially for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-6, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Gorillas' Night Out" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Happy Hair
Mechal Renee Roe
Doubleday
www.rhcbooks.com
9781984895547 $16.99

Ages 3-7 will be delighted by Happy Hair, which celebrates the diversity and different styles of black hair and black girls. Pictures of different hairdos from Afros to curls and long hair accompany a message of self-acceptance and love. Parents will find this an easy read-aloud with a positive, affirming message that begins with hairdos and expands to embrace the whole person.

Eerdmans
www.eerdmans.com

Three fine new picture books are recommended picks for young picture book fans and adults seeking good-quality, lasting books. Isabelle Simier's My Wild Cat (9780802855251, $17.99) may be written for ages 5-9, but many an adult cat fan will appreciate this fun celebration of the feline. As the domestic cat under consideration reflects its wild nature in somewhat incongruity, readers will delight in this celebration of the cat and its wilder connections. Adolfo Serra's A Different Story (9780802855275, $16.99) will reach ages 4-7 with its fun story of a rhino and a beetle who are both unique, as are other creatures. More than the story of a friendship, as might be anticipated, this links different species and their experiences and actually celebrates these shared insights into and interactions with nature. Thierry Dedieu's Snowmen Live Forever (9780802855268, $17.99) excels in absolutely stunning, colorful drawings about creatures who don't want to miss their appointment with the Snowman. They all have a lot of fun listening to stories of his travels and playing in the snow until one day something terrible is found in the show. Does the Snowman know spring is on its way? The cover art doesn't hint at the gorgeous drawings within, which are simply outstanding.


The Bilingual Shelf

Fuego, Fuegito / Fire, Little Fire
Jorge Argueta, author
Felipe Ugalde Alcantara, illustrator
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
www.artepublicopress.com
9781558858879, $17.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

With stunningly beautiful illustrations by Felipe Ugalde Alcantara that depict the natural world, "Fuego, Fuegito / Fire, Little Fire" is bilingual poem by Jorge Argueta about the importance of fire and deftly reflects Argueta's indigenous roots and his appreciation for nature. Containing the English and Spanish text on each page, the entire poem appears at the end in Nahuat, the language of Argueta's Pipil-Nahua ancestors. The sequel to "Agua, Aguita / Water, Little Water", this is an excellent choice to encourage children to write their own poems about the environment. "Fuego, Fuegito / Fire, Little Fire" is especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-8.

The Discovery of Anime & Manga
Phil Amara and Oliver Chin, authors
Juan Calle, illustrator
Immedium
PO Box 31846, San Francisco, CA 94131
www.immedium.com
9781597021463 $16.95 hc / $9.95 Kindle amazon.com

Brimming with colorful, dynamic illustrations, The Discovery of Anime & Manga is a bilingual English/Japanese picturebook that teaches young readers about the history of Japanese comics and animation, also known as manga and anime. From the "storytelling scrolls" crafted in the 12th century, to celebrated creators such as "godfather of manga" Osamu Tezuka in the 20th century, to the modern era, The Discovery of Anime & Manga is an eye-opening tour. A brief glossary rounds out this choice pick for young manga/anime fans. Also highly recommended for school or public library picturebook collections are the previous titles in "The Asian Hall of Fame" series, "The Discovery of Fireworks and Gunpowder" and "The Discovery of Ramen".

Let's Work
Cynthia Weill, author
Illustrated by The Master Artisans of Chigmecatitlan
Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas, El Paso, Texas 79901
www.cincopuntos.com
9781947627154, $14.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Uniquely illustrated by The Master Artisans of Chigmecatitlan, "Let's Work: Mexican Folk Art Trabajos in English and Spanish" by Cynthia Weill is an ideal introduction to Mexican folk art for children ages 3-8. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.48), the simple line story in "Let's Work" is presented in both English and Spanish -- making it an ideal and unreservedly endorsed acquisition selection for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library bilingual book collections for children.

The Water Walker / Nibi Emosaawdang
Joanne Robertson, author
Shirley Williams, translator
Isadore Toulouse, translator
Second Story Press
http://secondstorypress.ca
9781772600384, $16.95, HC, 36pp, www.amazon.com

A dual-language edition in English & Anishinaabemowin, "The Water Walker / Nibi Emosaawdang" is the picture book story of the determined Ojibwe Nokomis (grandmother) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (water). Nokomis walks to raise awareness of our need to protect water for future generations and for all life on the planet. She, along with other women, men and youth, have walked the perimeter of the Great Lakes and along the banks of numerous rivers and lakes. The walks are full of challenges, and by her example Josephine invites us all to take up our responsibility to protect our water, the giver of life, and to protect our planet for all generations. While especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library bilingual collections for young readers ages 6-9, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Water Walker / Nibi Emosaawdang" is also available in a paperback edition (9781772601008, $14.95).

Stolen Words / kimotinaniwiw itwewina
Melanie Florence, author
Gabrielle Grimard, translator
Dolores Sand, translator
Gayle Weenie, translator
Second Story Press
http://secondstorypress.ca
9781772601015, $14.95, PB, 24pp, www.amazon.com

Presented as a dual-language picture book told in both English and Cree, "Stolen Words / kimotinaniwiw itwewina" is the thoroughly charming and fully engaging story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language, Cree, he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book for young readers ages 5-8 deftly and sensitively explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. "Stolen Words / kimotinaniwiw itwewina" recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, and reveals how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared -- making it a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library bilingual picture book collections for children.


The Easy Reader Shelf

There's A Dragon in my Boot!
Tom Nicoll, author
Sarah Horne, illustrator
Tiger Tales
www.tigertalesbooks.com
9781680101805 $22.99 library binding
9781680104547 $6.99 pbk amazon.com

A delightful story written with simple sentences accessible to young readers ages 7-9, There's A Dragon in my Boot! is a novel about the boy Eric and Pan the Mini-Dragon. Eric and Pan have an incredible camping trip lined up, but then Eric's nemesis Toby arrives! Eric suggests a series of outdoor challenges, but when Toby starts bending the rules, it's up to Pan to even the odds! There's A Dragon in my Boot! is a wonderful way to encourage children to read, especially boys, and a choice pick for grade school and public library children's collections. Also highly recommended are the other novels in the series, "There's A Dragon in my Dinner!", "There's A Dragon in my Backpack!" and "There's A Dragon in my Toilet!".

There's A Dragon in my Toilet!
Tom Nicoll, author
Sarah Horne, illustrator
Tiger Tales
www.tigertalesbooks.com
9781680101812 $22.99 library binding
9781680104554 $6.99 pbk amazon.com

There's A Dragon in my Toilet! is an easy reader novel written to be accessible to young readers ages 7-9. Young Eric is good friends with Pan the Mini-Dragon, but just as Pan is getting acclimated to Eric's home, Pan's grumpy aunt and uncle turn up to "rescue" him! How can Pan persuade his relatives that he's fine where he is? A charming, lighthearted read, There's A Dragon in my Toilet! makes an excellent addition to grade school and public library children's collections. Also highly recommended are the other novels in the series, "There's A Dragon in my Dinner!", "There's A Dragon in my Backpack!" and "There's A Dragon in my Boot!"


The General Fiction Shelf

Sprinkles
Kate Stempel
FriesenPress
https://www.friesenpress.com
9781525535543, $24.99, HC, 56pp, www.amazon.com

Sky, a young baker extraordinaire, is selling her famous cupcakes to raise money for the local animal shelter where she found her beloved dog, Cocoa. Everyone is crazy about Sky's cupcakes. Everyone, that is, except Mr. Conway. Can Sky and Cocoa help a lonely elderly man find a reason to smile again? Join Sky and Cocoa as they explore how the smallest gestures in life can sometimes have the greatest impact and how friendship comes in all shapes and sizes. Mini cupcakes, mini trees, and mini moments combine to form the perfect recipe for life lessons as Sky and Cocoa learn about the power of friendship, responsibility, and what it means to give back to the community. "Sprinkles" will delight girls and boys ages 7-11 by teaching them to imagine, smile, and show compassion. While very highly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sprinkles" is also available in a paperback edition (9781525535550, $14.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

The Prophetess
Evonne Marzouk
Bancroft Press
PO Box 65360, Baltimore, MD 21209
www.bancroftpress.com
9781610885041, $25.95, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

The Prophetess tells a modern story about Rachel, an American teenage girl called to join a secret community of Jewish prophets. The story weaves Jewish tradition, mysticism, modern Jewish American life, and discovery of Israel into a coming-of-age story of a girl discovering her power and purpose in life. A deftly crafted, unique and thoroughly entertaining novel by an author with a genuine flair for a distinctive and reader engaging narrative storytelling style, "The Prophetess" is very highly recommended, especially for school and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Prophetess" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Means That Make Us Strangers
Christine Kindberg
Independently Published
www.ChristineKindberg.com
9781797761350, $16.99, PB, 282pp, www.amazon.com

Adelaide is a young woman who has lived her whole life in rural Ethiopia as the white American daughter of an anthropologist. Then her family moves to South Carolina, in 1964. Adelaide vows to find her way back to Ethiopia, marry Maicaah, and become part of the village for real. But until she turns eighteen, Adelaide must adjust to this strange, white place that everyone tells her is home. Then Adelaide becomes friends with the five African-American students who sued for admission into the white high school. Even as she navigates her family's expectations and her mother's depression, Adelaide starts to enjoy her new friendships, the chance to learn new things, and the time she spends with a blond football player. Life in Greenville becomes interesting, and home becomes a much more complex equation. Adelaide must finally choose where she belongs: the Ethiopian village where she grew up, to which she promised to return? Or this place where she's become part of something bigger than herself? "The Means That Make Us Strangers" is an extraordinary and original novel by an author with a genuine flair for a distinctive and reader engaging narrative storytelling style. A deftly crafted and impressively entertaining story from first page to last, "The Means That Make Us Strangers" is unreservedly recommended for highschool and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Means That Make Us Strangers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Where the World Ends
Geraldine McCaughrean
Flatiron Books
c/o Macmillan
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.macmillan.com
9781250225498, $18.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Every summer Quill and his friends are put ashore on a remote sea stack to hunt birds. But this summer, no one arrives to take them home. Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they've been abandoned -- cold, starving and clinging to life, in the grip of a murderous ocean. How will they survive such a forsaken place of stone and sea? "Where the World Ends" by Geraldine McCaughrean is an extraordinary story of fortitude, endurance, tragedy and survival, set against an unforgettable backdrop of savage beauty. While especially recommended for middle school, highschool, and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Where the World Ends" is also available in a paperback edition (Usborne Publishing, 9781474943437, $10.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Hank Zipzer: The Pizza Party
Theo Baker
Candlewick Entertainment
9781536207651, $6.99, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Hank Zipzer has a few tips for hosting an epic pizza party. No parents at home? Check. Pizza and ice cream galore? Accomplished. Friends invited? Check. History homework finished? Er, not quite. And Hank may have forgotten his vow never to pet-sit a lizard -- especially a live-locusts-and-mealworms-eating one. Can Hank get his big project done before tomorrow, or will one disaster lead to another? Well, if history is any guide, the answer is pretty obvious. Hank Zipzer is an amiable young boy -- a character that originated by the actor Henry Winkler and was inspired by his own childhood. In "The Pizza Part" Hank once again returns in a comical adventure set in a font designed to boost readability for kids with dyslexia. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library fiction collections for children ages 7-10, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hank Zipzer: The Pizza Party" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.38).

Just A Kid
Rie Charles
Red Deer Press
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
www.reddeerpress.com
9780889955820, $12.95, PB, www.amazon.com

One morning, Meerin Hoy looks out her window to Carson's Field. There to her shock stand two big development signs -- spelling the end to her community's most beloved park. But nine-year-old Meerin is no ordinary girl. She is determined to act. When she confronts the mayor in person he quickly dismisses her as "just a kid." It's time for Meerin to take on the tools of a local activist and save an important community asset from the powers that be. "Just A Kid" by Rie Charles is a timely and entertaining novel for young readers with the underlying message that they can influence the adult world, even when it seems no one wants to listen. Appropriate for children ages 9-12, "Just A Kid" is recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library General Fiction collections.

Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully
Darlene Beck-Jacobson
Creston Books
www.crestonbooks.co
9781939547620, $17.99, HC, 275pp, www.amazon.com

Jack is a young boy who is worried about his father, missing in action in Vietnam. His family, new best friend, and a bully unexpectedly all help Jack find the courage to do the right thing, not the easy thing. "Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully" by Darlene Beck-Jacobson (who has worked as a Speech Language Specialist for 20 year) is a poignant novel told entirely in verse. Uniquely original and with an important underlying social message for children ages 8-12, "Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully" is especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library General Fiction collections.

My Real Name is Hanna
Tara Lynn Masih
Mandel Vilar Press
www.mvpress.org
9781942134510, $16.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler's army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in "free of Jews." Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele -- and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits. Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna's father disappears, suddenly it's up to Hanna to find him--and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive. Sparse, resonant, and lyrical, weaving in tales of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, "My Real Name Is Hanna" celebrates the sustaining bonds of family, the beauty of a helping hand, and the tenacity of the human spirit. While unreservedly recommended, especially for middle school, highschool, and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Real Name Is Hanna" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackston Audio, 9781982573379, $29.95, MP3 CD).

The Grey Sisters
Jo Treggiari
Penguin
www.penguinrandomhouse.ca
9780735262980, $17.99

The Grey Sisters provides teens ages 14 and older with an engrossing story of best friends who both lost siblings in the same plane crash two years earlier. D hopes that her sister might have survived the mountain crash, and when a photo clue seems to support that hope, DF, Spider, and their friend embark on a road trip to find out the truth. Ariel lives on that mountain in an isolated survivalist community, but her encounter with these three searchers will change everything in this engrossing thriller about adversity and change.

Scholastic, Inc.
www.scholastic.com

Lucy Strange's Our Castle By the Sea (9781338353853, $17.99) tells of preteen Pet, who has grown up in a lighthouse with the sea and its myths at her doorstep. Everything changes when her country goes to war and her isolated clifftop home becomes one of the strategic places of battle. Can Pet save her family and tackle an odd legend at the same time? A compelling story weaves various elements into an unpredictable, engrossing plot. Kasie West's Maybe This Time (9781338210088, $17.99) tells of Sophie, who works for a local florist and discovers that flowers are the centerpiece of her town's drama. Sophie is required to attend all these events, but so is spoiled Andrew, son of a fancy new chef who comes with an attitude that she just can't see as charming. As the story follows Sophie's evolution over a year's time, it explores an unfolding romance and crafts a tale of not just tolerance but attraction. Both are fine reads.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Hex: The Apprentice
Fran Hodgkins
Brattle Publishing
www.brattlepublishing.com
9780990587217, $9.99, PB, 253pp, www.amazon.com

Robin West is a normal teenager living in a normal town, but when she finds out that Gram Madder makes hexes, her life gets far more complicated than she ever expected. What is a hex? It's a painting that has the power to make things happen -- or to stop things from happening. At least that's what some people in town believe. Targeted by intolerant neighbors, Robin must protect herself and her loved ones from a force greater than she could have ever imagined! A young adult fantasy novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and a distinctively reader engaging and inherently entertaining narrative storytelling style, "Hex: The Apprentice" by Fran Hodgkins is unreservedly recommended for both school and community library YA Fiction collections in general, and the personal reading lists of dedicated young fantasy fans in particular. It should be noted that "Hex: The Apprentice" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

A Raccoon's Tale: Seven Saves the Notch
Fran Hodgkins, author
Donnachada Daly, illustrator
Brattle Publishing
www.brattlepublishing.com
9780997290202, $9.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Chased from their home in the city, Seven Rings Moon and her sister Arnica set out to find the mythical raccoon homeland, the Notch. On their journey, the two raccoon sisters face dangers including deadly coyotes, evil raccoon rulers, and the destruction of humanity's urban sprawl. But Seven Rings Moon is a clever raccoon who is destined to save the forest! Graced with the occasional black/white illustrations of Donnachada Daly, "A Raccoon's Tale: Seven Saves the Notch" by children's author Fran Hodgkins is a delightfully entertaining story of family loyalty that will raise the awareness of young readers ages 9-13 of forest animals and their struggle with humanity's expanding presence and the consequential erosion of habitat. While very highly recommended, especially for elementary school and community library fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Raccoon's Tale: Seven Saves the Notch" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Zuiker Press
www.zuikerpress.com

Two new graphic novel reads include parent take-aways on social issues and are designed to both encourage visual readers and educate kids about compelling problems. Lauren Elizabeth Hogg's Activist: A Story of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Shooting (9781947378216, $12.99) comes from a teen artist and author who lost her two best friends in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It pairs a biography of her life with her activist involvements and the awareness and grief that blossomed after the shooting, providing a powerful memoir that entwines personal and political growth. Carlton Hudgens illustrates Brother: A Story of Autism (9781947378087, $12.99), and comes from an artist who was diagnosed with autism at four years old. His story, as told by sister Bridget Hudgens, adds the seventh book to a series of graphic novels written by young adults for their peers, and consider Bridget's growing awareness of her brother, their relationship, and her responsibilities in his life. It's the perfect answer to those who wonder what it is like to have a sibling on the spectrum. Both are extraordinary stories not just because they come from young artists and authors, but because they offer astute inspections of lives changed and even, surprisingly, redirected to positive avenues by adversity and struggle.

PowerKids Press
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
www.rosenpublishing.com

Three new graphic novel classics from PowerKids Press will prove to be immediate and enduringly popular additions to elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young readers: Dracula; Frankenstein; The Hound of the Baskervilles. Each of these outstanding titles offers an entertaining, achievable text from the original works that gives the children opportunities to expand their vocabulary. While each is individually available ($19.70), and in a digital book format (Kindle $19.70), the three book print set is unreservedly recommended (9781725306394, $59.10).


The Music CD Shelf

I'm An Optimist
Dog on Fleas
www.dogonfleas.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

I'm An Optimist is an upbeat, family-friendly album of twelve original songs by Dog on Fleas, a children's indie music group led by GRAMMY-winning producer Dean Jones. The music ranges across an eclectic variety of instruments and styles, but all of the songs share a positive message about working to make oneself healthier and happier. I'm An Optimist is a refreshing joy to experience, highly recommended for family, school, and public library children's music collections.

Awesome!
Jesse Jukebox
www.jessejukebox.com
Privately Published
$10.00 CD / $5.00 digital amazon.com

Awesome! is a lively, upbeat children's music CD. Music artist, music teacher, and former primary school teacher Jesse Jukebox (a.k.a. Jesse Friedberg) has infused the positive-minded songs with lyrics inspired by his own adolescence. Jesse grew up with ADHD, and had to struggle with learning how to pay attention and comprehend school lessons. In between vocals, Jesse talks candidly or shouts, sharing an invaluable message that everyone has their own "awesome" inside - exceptional qualities that are worth going on a "treasure hunt" to find. A can- do affirmation of the joy of learning, Awesome! is highly recommended, especially for school and public library children's music collections. The tracks are "Awesome!", "Listen to Your Gut", "Incredible Shoes", "Complicated Kid", "I Wanna Learn!", and "Where You Belong". 17 min.

All of Us: Bible Songs for Everyone
Parker & Alexander
www.parkerandalexander.com
Bootjack Productions, LLC
$9.99 CD / $9.99 digital amazon.com

All of Us: Bible Songs for Everyone is a family-friendly musical presentation of beloved bible stories, including the story of Creation, Noah's Ark, Jonah and the Whale, Moses and the Ten Commandments, and much more. An expression of faith as well as a lively song-storytelling experience, All of Us is a treasure for Christian families to share, and highly recommended for Sunday School music collections. The tracks are "Celebration of Creation", "In the Beginning...", "Noah", "Jonah", "Ten Commandments", "Good Samaritan", "All of Us", "Humble Beginning", "The Lord's Prayer", and "Three Dark Days". 29 min.


The DVD Shelf

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!
Mo Willems
Weston Woods
www.scholastic.com/westonwoods
9781338572636 $59.95

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! (8 min.) is the DVD adaptation of a delightful children's picturebook designed for young people ages 4-6, in grades PreK-1. Pigeon frets about having to go to school - what if he doesn't like it? What if his teacher doesn't like him? What if he learns TOO MUCH? Charmingly animated and read aloud by author Mo Willems, The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! directly addresses anxiety among young school students, and is a treat ideal for homeroom viewing and preschool, kindergarten, or grade school DVD collections. Highly recommended! It should also be noted for personal and school library collections that The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! is also available in hardcover picturebook (9781368046459, $17.95), audio CD (9781338572520, $12.95) and hardcover book-and-CD (9781338573299, $29.95) formats.


The Multimedia Shelf

Five Little Mermaids
Sunny Scribens, author
Barbara Vagnozzi, illustrator
Audra Mariel, singer
Barefoot Books
www.barefootbooks.com
9781782858317, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Five adorable mermaids guide children on a whimsical sing-along journey through the world's oceans while counting down from five to zero, in a STEM-supporting tale complemented by additional notes about mermaid legends and marine animals. The thoroughly kid friendly artwork of illustrator Barbara Vagnozzi is a perfect framework for author Sunny Scribens' original and fun picture book for children ages 4-7. Of special note is the inclusion of a CD featuring singer Audra Mariel. While highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Five Little Mermaids" is also available in a paperback edition (9781782858324, $9.99).


The Christian Shelf

The Not-So-Very Lost Lamb
Antonia Woodward, author/illustrator
Lion Hudson Limited
www.lionhudson.com
9780745976808, $9.99, PB, 32pp, www.amazon.com

"The Not-So-Very Lost Lamb" is a child's story based upon a parable told by Jesus, found in Luke 15, verses four to seven: "If any of you has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, what will you do?" There was once a loving shepherd who had a flock of 100 sheep, every one of which he knew by name. One day a little lamb from his flock wandered away following a butterfly, following a wonderful trail of beautiful experiences smelling flowers, drinking water, frolicking with goats, and trailing butterflies. But later darkness fell and all the bright experiences began to fall away. The little lamb was frightened and all alone, and he was afraid his shepherd would not notice, perhaps, that he was gone. He gave a sad little bleat of despair. To the lamb's amazement, the lamb saw a light shining and heard a familiar voice calling his name! He joyfully rejoined his Master, who reassured him: "You can never get so lost that I can't find you, and you can never wander so far away that you can't come back." The lamb snuggled in the shepherd's arms, deeply loved and reassured. "The Not-So-Very Lost Lamb" is a beautiful retelling of the parable of Jesus especially for children. It's ageless message transcends the gentle story and sensitive portraits of the lamb and shepherd and friends.


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers
Erin Twamley and Joshua Sneideman, authors
A Collective, illustrators
www.erinedu.org
Wiseink Creative Publishing
www.wiseink.com
9781634891981, $17.95 HC, $3.99 Kindle, 79pp, www.amazon.com

Who are Everyday STEM Superheroes? What are STEM Superpowers? Where can we find Everyday STEM Superheroes? "Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers" sets out to answer these questions and more particularly for young girls and women of color. Considering that data has shown that women make up half of the total educated workforce in the U. S., but only 30 % of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce are women, this enterprising book is badly needed for its target audience of students age 8-14 years. Using pithy definitions and colorful icons and symbols to convey basic concepts, "Everyday Superheroes" answers the first three questions succinctly and completely in the first 15 pages. This is followed by a wonderful alphabet of STEM occupations with living examples of female superheroes employed as STEM workers. Some of these examples include Wanda Diaz Merced, astronomer, Vanessa Galvez, civil engineer, Britney Shipp, meteorologist, Dr. Eugenie Clark, marine biologist, Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal, microbiologist, Dr. Georgia M. Dunston, geneticist, Dr. Fei-Fei Li, machine learning engineer, and Cissy Kou, zoologist, and many more (18, alphabetically by occupation). Cartoon portraits of each STEM professional highlight the diverse backgrounds and races of the female scientists. The beginning definitions of STEM superpowers of observation, imagination and curiosity, problem solving, collaboration, data collection and analysis, and communication are key to the twenty six biographical examples. "Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers" is further enriched by a how to self portrait page, a list of Steps to Become an Everyday STEM Superhero, list of recommended books, related book reviews, and glossary. "Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers" is a valuable contribution that belongs in every middle/elementary school library and public library.


The Self-Help Shelf

Positive Thinking for Piglets
Chantal Bourgonje & David Hoskins
Hubble & Hattie
Veloce House
www.hubbleandhattie.com
9781787115163, $9.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

When cool cousin Reg tells Kay that she can have anything she wants, if she wants it badly enough, Kay is not totally convinced, but she gives it a try. Sure enough, getting her heart's desire (a freshly-baked acorn pie) proves more than a little frustrating. Kay learns that you don't always get what you work hard for, but smiling through the disappointment can produce surprisingly good results! And having really good friends helps, too! A beautifully illustrated story book for young children ages 5-6, "Positive Thinking for Piglets" features woodland characters drawn from Chantal Bourgonje's Horace & Nim series. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99), "Positive Thinking for Piglets" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school and community library collections for young readers.


The Biography Shelf

The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan
Joan DiCicco, author
Ebony Glenn, illustrator
Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
www.leeandlow.com
9781620145647, $19.95, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

"If a man puts something to block your way, the first time you go around it, the second time you go over it, and the third time you go through it." Living by these words made inventor and entrepreneur Garrett Morgan unstoppable! Growing up in Claysville, Kentucky, the son of freed slaves, young and curious Garrett was eager for life beyond his family's farm. At age fourteen, he moved north to Cleveland, where his creative mind took flight amidst the city's booming clothing-manufacturing industry. Using his ingenuity and tenacity, Garrett overcame racial barriers and forged a career as a successful businessman and inventor. But when a tunnel collapsed, trapping twenty men, the rescue would test both Garrett's invention -- and his courage. Told in compelling prose by debut picture-book author Joan DiCicco and dynamic illustrations from artist Ebony Glenn, "The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan" is a an informative and inspiring biography for young readers ages 7-10 of an extraordinary man who dedicated his life to improving the lives of others. "The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan" is an especially recommended addition to elementary school and community library American Biography picture book collections.


The LGBT Shelf

The Stone Rainbow
Liane Shaw
Second Story Press
http://secondstorypress.ca
9781772601084, $13.95, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Jack Pedersen is finding life complicated ever since he came out to his mom. Even though she's been doing her best to be understanding, it's obvious to Jack that his mom still wants to cry every time she says the word gay. Complications go into overdrive when a new student named Benjamin arrives at his high school, and Jack starts experiencing feelings he's never allowed himself before. When a near tragedy turns life upside down, Jack realizes it's time to stop hiding and to stand up -- for Pride, for Benjamin, and for himself. A deftly crafted novel with a strong social message, "The Stone Rainbow" is fully endorsed and unreservedly recommended for highschool and community library LBGTQ fiction and YA general fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Stone Rainbow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The World History Shelf

Child of St Kilda
Beth Waters
Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
www.childs-play.com
9781786281876, $19.99, HC, 64pp, www.amazon.com

For over two thousand years, the inhabitants of St Kilda maintained a thriving, tightly-knit community on one of the most inhospitable places on Earth that was aptly described as 'the island at the edge of the world'. Theirs was an isolated lifestyle completely dependent on the seasons and the elements for its survival. A lifestyle out of which developed a culture based on subsistence, resilience, mutual trust and caring. A culture that knew no crime, had no need of cash, and took care of its weakest members without question. This unique way of life came abruptly to an end in August 1930, when the now-depleted community of only thirty-six men, women and children begged the British Government to evacuate them to the mainland. Told through the eyes of Norman John Gillies, one of the last children born on St Kilda, "Child of St Kilda" is the remarkable story of a unique society and the harsh yet beautiful environment in which it evolved -- and answering the questions of why did the islanders leave, where did they go, and what ultimately became of them. A unique and charmingly illustrated children's picture book by Beth Waters, "Child of St. Kilda" is unreservedly endorsed and recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections for young readers ages 4-9.


The Technology Shelf

Using VR in Engineering
Cavendish Square
https://cavendishsq.com
Ebook $35.64 List, $24.95 S&L
9781502645647, $35.64 List, $24.95 S&L, 80pp

In the 1960s, electrical engineer and computer scientist Ivan Sutherland's work at the University of Utah resulted in a head-mounted 3D computer display. It was one of the earliest virtual reality-associated technologies. The tech has since progressed to offer everything from headsets to smart glasses to fully immersive virtual reality experiences, all of which aid engineers in efficiently modeling prototypes, streamlining design technology, and approaching other initiatives with increased ease and capability. With "Using VR in Engineering", young readers will learn about the history of virtual and augmented reality in engineering, related career paths, and the development and expansion of practical applications in recent years. "Using VR in Engineering" is unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library technology collections.


The Art Shelf

The Illustrated Alphabet of Art
Eve Heidi Bine-Stock, author
Various artists/illustrators
Eve Heidi Bine-Stock, publisher
9781072229384, $9.99 pbk / $3.49 Kindle amazon.com

"The Illustrated Alphabet of Art" presents the 26 letter alphabet in terms of artworks of many different styles. For example, A is for abstract art, B is for balance, C is for collage, D is for drip painting, and so on, to X is for X-ray art, Y is for Youth Art Month, and Z is for Zoomorphic. Each letter is paired with an art style or movement, with a representative illustration of an artwork as well as a verse narrative description of the art style. Additional color highlighted sidebars give interesting information about the art style or artwork. Some examples of artists whose work is included are Jackson Pollock, Mondrian, Renoir, Monet, Rousseau, Rubens, Millet, Cezanne, Klimt, Pissarro, and more. "The Illustrated Alphabet of Art" offers a unique doubly educational package of art, verse, and language symbols, to a young preliterate audience. It is a beautiful alphabet interpretation.


The Metaphysical Shelf

Wee Witches
Beth Roth, author
Ted Enki, author & illustrator
Red Feather
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
www.schifferbooks.com
9780764357985, $14.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

The collaborative work of Beth Roth and Ted Enki, "Wee Witches" is an ABC primer for young children that is a playful and richly symbolic introduction to the world of Wicca and the magic of Nature. Illustrated poems bring to light the Pagan Path, with each letter featuring a Wee Witch learning about the wheel of the year, tools of the Craft, rites of passage, faerie friends, and meaningful colors. This is a helpful and affirming tool for Pagan families, as well as an appealing collection of subtle, educational light verse for their budding Wee Witches, including A for Acorn, M for Maypole, and S for Spiderweb. Accurate symbols of Witches' worldview are woven throughout the magical artwork, as well as hidden clues to a secret "Witch Name" revealed at the end of the book. A very special, informatively unique, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book style introduction to Wicca within the format of an effective ABC primer, "Wee Witches" is an especially recommended addition to family, school, and community library collections.


The Native American Shelf

Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture
Cynthia O'Brien
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426334535, $24.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

More than 160 tribes are featured in "Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture: Stories, Time Lines, Maps, and More". This outstanding new and profusely illustrated encyclopedia presents and showcases a comprehensive and detailed overview of the history of North America's Native peoples. From the Apache to the Zuni, young readers ages 8-12 will learn about each tribe's history, traditions, and culture, including the impact of European expansion across the land and how tribes live today. Features include maps of ancestral lands; timelines of important dates and events; fact boxes for each tribe; bios of influential American Indians such as Sitting Bull; sidebars on daily life, homes, food, clothing, jewelry, and games; Did You Know facts with photographs; and traditional Native stories. The design is compelling and colorful, packed with full-color photographs. To help give kids the lay of the land, this reference is deftly arranged by region, and all federally recognized tribes are included. Tribal members representing each region and experts at the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution were involved in its creation. With nothing comparable available, it is sure to be a valuable resource for kids, students, librarians, and families -- making it an unreservedly recommended and enduringly popular addition to both school and community library Native American history and culture collections for young readers.


Books in Series

Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003
www.garethstevens.com

"All About Opposites" is a new six volume series for children ages 4-6 from Gareth Stevens Publishing. The 24 page, color photography illustrated titles include Fast or Slow?; Front or Back?; Heavy or Light?; In or Out?; Near of Far?; Ups or Down?. Each individual titles will help children hone their observation skills, complete sentences that help develop fluency in reading, and provide learning opportunities connected to both foundational and informational reader standards. Thoroughly fun and 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, the "All About Opposites" series (9781538241523, $135.60 List / $101.70 S&L) is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
www.rosenpublishing.com

Top Video Gamers in the World is a unique new series from The Rosen Publishing Group will have a very special and enduring attraction for elementary school and middle school children. This four volume series is comprised of German Garmendia: Star Chilean Gamer with 10 Billion+ Viewers; Mark 'Markiplier' Fischbach: Star YouTuber Gamer with 10 Billion+ Viewers; Reuben Gundersen: Star Spanish Gamer with 6 Billion+ Viewers; Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins: Twitch's TopStreamer with 11 Million+ Followers. Each volume presents time lines that showcase each gamer's rise to stardom from their humble beginnings to their crowning achievements. While especially recommended for school and community library collections (4-Book Hardcover Print Set, 9781725346307, $127.00 List / $95.40 S&L), it should be noted for personal reading lists that each of these four outstanding biographies is also available individually in a digital book format (Kindle, $31.75 List / $23.85 S&L).

Greenhaven Publishing
353 3rd Avenue, Suite 255, New York, NY 10010
www.greenhavenpublishing.com

One of the very best contemporary social issues series for young students in grades 10-12, five new titles have now been added to Opposing Viewpoints: Automation of Labor (9781534505063, $49.23 Library Binding, 9781534505070, $34.04 Paperback); "The Blockade of the Gaza Strip (9781534505087, $48.80, Library Binding, 9781534505094, $30.96, Paperback); Development, Land Use, and Environmental Impact (9781534505100, $49.76, Library Binding, 9781534505117, $34.04, Paperback); DNA Testing and Privacy (9781534505001, $49.16, Library Binding, 9781534505018, $34.04); The Future of Space Exploration (9781534505025, $48.80, Library Binding, 9781534505032, Paperback); and Toxic Masculinity (9781534505049, $49.81, Library Binding, 9781534505056, $43.13). Each individual volume includes guided reading questions to enhance comprehensive, brief text sidebars, charts, maps, graphs, editorial cartoons, discussion questions to foster critical thinking, an annotated list of organizations to contact, a periodical bibliography for each chapter, a bibliography of books, and a subject index.

Crabtree Publishers
www.crabtreebooks.com

Four new series titles are recommended picks for elementary-grade collections seeking bright contemporary books suitable for browsing or research. Rachel Stuckey's Bringing Back the Black-Footed Ferret (9780778763123, $27.60) adds to the 'Animals Back from the Brink' series for grade 4 and covers a creature once listed as extinct in North America. From its rediscovery in 1981 to the efforts of a captive breeding program to bring it back to the prairies, this book pairs a natural history with broader considerations of animal preservation and threats. Heather C. Hudak's Pathways Through Africa (9780778765998, $27.60) joins others in the 'Human Path Across the Continents' series for grade 5, providing 32 pages of detail about different continents. The African book draws important connections between Africa's environments and human activities, showing how humans affect and are affected by nature around the country. Large-size maps, bright contemporary color photos, and sidebars of information add to an inviting and lively presentation. Natalie Hyde's Epic Migrations By Air (9780778763673, $27.60) will reach into grades 4-5 and joins others in the 'Epic Animal Journeys' series which supports CCSS Reading Information Text Grades 4 and 5 as it draws connections between human and animal actions. Various animal migrations by air, from butterflies to birds, accompany sidebars of facts about the specific migration, patterns, and how humans affect each. Bobbie Kalman's Be Mindful! Be Here Now (9780778767060, $27.60) is one of four books in the new series 'Be Your Best Self: Building Social-Emotional Skills', and will reach Grade 3 with a primer on the concepts of mindfulness. From reviewing the benefits of mindfulness and its connection to happiness and gratitude to exercises that encourage young readers to explore mindful thinking, this encouraging introduction will reach beyond its intended age range with concrete insights about the benefits of mindful approaches to life.


The Story Monsters Ink Shelf

www.storymonsters.com


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.

Little Robin's Christmas
Jan Fearnley
Nosy Crow
nosycrow.com
c/o Candlewick Press
www.candlewick.com
9781536208252, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

The joy of giving has a life of its own. A mutual exchange can often lead to a greater reward for the giver. Little Robin has a fine wardrobe of beautifully colored vests to keep him warm during the Christmas season. Every day he delightfully puts one on and ventures into his day. And each day, Robin meets someone not as prepared for the chilly days, and gladly offers his vest. By Christmas Eve, Little Robin is cold and alone with no vests left. That is, until a special someone arrives to reward his kindness in this heartwarming holiday tale about the gift of sharing.
(Ages 2-5)

Have You Seen My Blankie?
Lucy Rowland, author
Paula Metcalf, illustrator
Nosy Crow
nosycrow.com
c/o Candlewick Press
www.candlewick.com
9781536208191, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This truly enjoyable rhyming tale starts off in a personal quest of determination, but evolves into one of selfless sympathy and genuine desire to help another in their need. Encourages kindness, community, and friendship. (Ages 2-5)

The Star in the Forest
Helen Kellock
Thames & Hudson
thamesandhudson.com
9780500651902, $17.95

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

Oh, the joy of this tale! Its illustrations are just soft and vague enough to let our faces reflect in them, and the excitement strong enough to stir the heart of remembrance. These two sisters are sweet and opposite, yet flow together with the perfect blending to make the very best of their adventure! The wonder of imagination captures expectation, and creates the enchanting adventures of childhood. (Ages 3-5)

How Do You Feel?
Lizzy Rockwell
Holiday House
holidayhouse.com
9780823440511, $18.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

Just like adults, children experience a whole range of emotions - happiness, anger, fear, etc. All these emotions and more are exhibited by the children pictured on a playground in this book. Children will relate to all the scenes in this book, and it provides a good background for children to discuss how they feel in different circumstances. (Ages 3-5)

A Hug is For Holding Me
Lisa Wheeler, author
Lisk Feng, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
www.abramsbooks.com
9781419728266, $14.99

Larissa Juliano
Reviewer

A little girl and her daddy are going for a walk through nature and are amazed at all the connections between natural elements and hugs. An egg tucked tightly in its' nest, a cocoon wrapped around an emerging butterfly. Illustrator Lisk Feng captures the soft tone of the author's words in her pictures and depicts the little girl's wonder and joy as she imagines hugs tucked into seashells and flowers, and of course, the best hug of all - in her daddy's arms. (Ages 3-5)

The Luckiest Snowball
Elliot Kreloff
Holiday House
holidayhouse.com
9780823441051, $17.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

A boy rescues a snowball again and again in this funny story about a snowball that gets to see all four seasons. The book is interactive, encouraging children to shout along with the snowball, the book jacket has glitter on it, which creates a tactile experience, and the back matter includes information about the four seasons of the year and the three states of water, making it a very kid-friendly book. (Ages 3-7)

You're in Good Paws
Maureen Fergus, author
Kathryn Durst, illustrator
Tundra Books
tundrabooks.com
9780735264663, $17.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

Leo's parents take him to the hospital to get his tonsils out. His parents are a bit distracted and they accidentally take him to a veterinary hospital for the procedure. Although Leo is surprised to find animals in charge of a hospital, the animals don't seem surprised to be taking care of him. There's a chicken at the admissions desk, a bear that is an orderly, and the surgeon is a mouse. This amusing take on what it's like for a child to be in the hospital offers a positive spin on the experience. (Ages 3-7)

The Favorite Book
Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536204469, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

The pleasant artistry of this book let's you contemplatively stroll through the many and varied options that surround us daily. How does one settle upon just one? Or are we amply permitted to collect several favored delights? Discover whether you are a methodical sorter, or an emotional embracer. I think I am drawn to my preference by a feeling of delight, and when that delight repeatedly works its charm, I've found my favorite! This book has a calm contemplative flow with just enough titillation of self-discovery to make it a treasure. (Ages 3-7)

Mama's Work Shoes
Caron Levis, author
Vanessa Brantley-Newton, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
www.abramsbooks.com
9781419725548, $16.99

Dr. Dawn Menge
Reviewer

There's the saying that we wear different hats during our day. This little girl focuses on the sounds that different shoes make and their purpose. She keeps a close eye on her mother and knows what activities will come next by the shoes she's wearing. Cuddle time brings the swish-swush slippers, flap-flip is for sunny days, and stomp-stomp is for the snowflake times. One day Mama puts on a new pair of shoes that sound like click-clack. Where is Mama going? This is a sweet book discussing the anxieties children might feel when their mother returns to work. A great conversation starter for the working parent. (Ages 3-7)

Peanut Butter & Santa Claus
Joe McGee, author
Charles Santoso, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
www.abramsbooks.com
9781419736346, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

Reginald (the zombie), Zarfon (the alien), and Abigail Zink (the human) are all preparing for Christmas in Quirkville when the terrible news breaks: Christmas is canceled! Santa is snowed in at the North Pole. Whatever will they do? Through this funny tale, readers will learn that life does not always run smoothly, and sometimes teamwork, sacrifice, and ingenuity can surely save the day. (Ages 3-7)

Babbit & Joan, A Rabbit and a Phone
Denise Turu
Flyaway Books
www.flyawaybooks.com
9781947888203, $17.00

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This age of technology is amazing. With all its inventive supply, we are never left with down time. While it is great for bringing a whole wider world into close-up view, it has also widened the blurred focus of those things that were actually close. This cute story takes up this obsessive love affair with our phones. Babbit realizes his thoughtless use of his phone, and he finds new adventures and friends he had not imagined. (Ages 3-7)

Skyla and the Snowflake Fairy
Reina Bonici-Mompalao-Lee
Honeypot Hill Publishing
www.honeypothill.co.uk
9781999918101, $10.59

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This is a delightful combination of wishing and hoping, with a dash of imagination! The artist captures the splendor of fresh fallen snow and the pure joy it brings. The wonder of snow days fills all the wintery wonderland with giggles and activities that hold their sparkle for a lifetime. (Ages 3-8)

Hi, Jack!
Mac Barnett, author
Greg Pizzoli, illustrator
Viking Books
www.penguin.com/publishers/vikingbooks
9780593113790, $9.99

Diana Perry
Reviewer

Jack and his friend Rex love to have fun. The only problem is that Jack can't seem to stop getting into trouble. He doesn't mean to, but he just can't help himself. This is a wonderful Early Reader Level 2 book with a story that little ones will relate to and will make them laugh out loud as it encourages them to read. It also brings out little artists with drawing lessons in the back of the book, making it not only a lesson in how to stop getting into trouble, but also how to stay out of it. (Ages 4-8)

The Secret Woodland Activity Book
Mia Underwood
Button Books
www.buttonbooks.co.uk
9781787080270, $14.99

Diana Fisher
Reviewer

Whimsical illustrations depict a magical world of secret "woodfolk" in this diverse activity book for kids. Full of wonder and playfulness - mazes, projects, crafts, puzzles, and more promote imagination, awareness of the natural world, critical thinking, visual acuity, and math and drawing skills. Adorable creatures populate the woodland, and fun facts introduce kids to mythology and nature. An answer key and over 150 stickers included. (Ages 4-8)

Goldilocks for Dinner: A Funny Book About Manners
Susan Montanari, author
Jake Parker, illustrator
Schwartz & Wade
www.penguinrandomhouse.com
9780399552359, $17.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

Goblin and Troll don't like children. They think they are wretched and smelly and rude. Goblin suggests the two of them find the rudest child they can and "have it for dinner" to teach the child some manners. This takes them to the home of several familiar storytime characters, including Goldilocks, who broke into a home, broke a chair, ate some food and went to sleep on a bed that wasn't even hers! Goblin and Troll invite her to come to their home for a "surprise." The funny ending is sure to please all readers. (Ages 4-8)

The Big Book of Counting to 100
Ekaterina Ladatko
Clever Publishing
clever-publishing.com
9781948418553, $10.99

Larissa Juliano
Reviewer

I love to start almost all of my math lessons with a math book to "warm up our counting and number-learning brains" and this book will be a repeated favorite in my classroom. This large-size board book will be enjoyed by littles and older kids as well. What makes this book, fun, engaging, and cool are the illustrations and the groups of objects readers get to count and the different settings represented. Parents and teachers will find fabulous leading questions and lessons embedded within the pages. (Ages 5-6)

Try
Joseph S. DiMare, author
John Wilson, illustrator
Schiffer
www.schifferbooks.com
9780764358814, $9.99

Dr. Dawn Menge
Reviewer

We need to teach our children that failure is part of life and sometimes we have to try and try again to get something right. This brightly animated book does just that. It even includes a page in the back to write down all of the new things that your child wants to try next. This is a great book to teach children to chase their dreams and work hard to achieve them, even if it takes a million times to be successful. (Ages 5-6)

Can U Save the Day?
Shannon Stocker, author
Tom Disbury, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
sleepingbearpress.com
9781585364046, $16.99

Dr. Dawn Menge
Reviewer

This is an adorable book that teaches how vowels and consonants have to work together to form words. But what happens when they don't? "B" is a boastful bloke and when he and the rest of the alphabet get together, he can't help but tease the vowels about their small numbers. So the vowels begin to take off, one by one. With disaster looming, can "U" save the day? (Ages 5-7)

Santa's Secret
Denise Brennan-Nelson, author
Deborah Melmon, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
sleepingbearpress.com
9781534110380, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

Faced with questions, this curious little investigator is determined to uncover the great mystery of Santa. So many different shapes and sizes, all found in so many different locations, which one could possibly be the REAL Santa? Sleuthing her way through, asking questions and taking notes in every Santa meeting, until that one unexpected encounter fills her with wonder, and the power to believe is set free. This is a delightful tale with a rhythmic warmth that will satisfy every inquisitive heart. (Ages 5-7)

Bad Book Undercover: How Books Are Made
Jessica R. Herrera
https://jessicarherrera.com
Independently Published
9781949915051, $12.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

They say every good story has a protagonist and an antagonist. But, what do you have when your protagonist is your antagonist? You have one silly story! In spite of Bad Book's villainous ways, we are still able to learn a lot about how a book is made. Chuckle along as you read and learn. (Ages 5-9)

Ghoulia and the Mysterious Visitor
Barbara Cantini
Harry N. Abrams
www.abramsbooks.com
9781419736902, $9.99

Diana Perry
Reviewer

One dark and stormy night, Ghoulia's cousin Dilbert comes to visit her at Crumbling Manor. She's confused - she didn't invite him, and it turns out that Dilbert's a real grouch. He complains about everything! When Ghoulia tries to track down Auntie Departed to find out why she invited Dilbert, she finds that Auntie has vanished. And the doorbell won't stop ringing. One after another, Ghoulia's friends arrive - all with the same mysterious invitation in hand.... This book has scary recipes, a how-to on growing a garden, and other fun activities. A perfect rainy-day read. (Ages 6-8)

Dear Justice League
Michael Northrop, author
Gustavo Duarte, illustrator
DC Zoom
www.dccomics.com
9781401284138, $9.99

Diana Perry
Reviewer

Does Superman ever make mistakes? Does Wonder Woman have to listen to her parents? Does Aquaman smell like fish? The greatest heroes in the DC Comics Universe - the Justice League - answer mail from their biggest fans: kids! It shows that our heroes as just like us. They can be clumsy, forgetful, and sometimes find themselves in all kinds of trouble just like everyone else. A super graphic novel with a mixture of comedy, adventure, and danger on every page. (Ages 7-11)

The Year We Fell From Space
Amy Sarig King
Arthur A. Levine Books
www.arthuralevinebooks.com
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
www.scholastic.com
9781338236361, $16.99

Diana Perry
Reviewer

Liberty Johansen is going to change the way we see the night sky. Most people see the old constellations, the things they've been told to see. But Liberty sees new patterns, pictures, and possibilities. She's an exception. But she isn't the only one: her dad, who moved out months ago and hasn't talked to her since. Her mom, who's happier since he left. And her sister, who won't go outside their house. Liberty feels like her whole world is falling from space. Can she map a new life for herself and her family before they spin too far out of reach? This was a great read and is laced with a lot of educational material on astronomy. (Ages 8-12)

Black Canary Ignite
Meg Cabot, author
Cara McGee, illustrator
DC Zoom
www.dccomics.com
9781401286200, $9.99

Diana Perry
Reviewer

Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance has two goals in life: First, she'll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she'll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of her goals and threatens her friends and family, she'll learn more about herself, her mother's secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life. This graphic novel has a lot of action, suspense, and mystery. Young readers won't be able to put this one down. (Ages 8-12)

Sky Chasers
Emma Carroll
Chicken House
www.chickenhousebooks.com
9781338285277, $17.99

Diana Perry
Reviewer

The race is on to be the first to discover the secret of flight! Magpie is soon caught up in a world of science, spies, and unruly animals to be the first to passenger in a hot air balloon. Young readers will bond with Magpie and enjoy uncovering secrets about almost every character - especially the evil ones. (Ages 8-12)

The Next Great Paulie Fink
Ali Benjamin
Little, Brown
www.littlebrown.com
9780316530767, $16.99

Diana Perry
Reviewer

When Caitlyn Breen begins her disorienting new life at Mitchell School, where the students take care of real live goats, study long-dead philosophers, and where there are only 10 other students in the entire seventh grade, it seems like nobody can stop talking about some kid named Paulie Fink. Depending on whom you ask, Paulie was either a hilarious class clown, a hapless klutz, or an evil genius. Now he's disappeared, and Caitlyn finds herself leading a reality-show-style competition to find the school's next great Paulie Fink. With each challenge, it's what she discovers about herself that most surprises her. The story has great twists and turns with a surprising ending I couldn't see coming. A wonderful read. (Ages 8-12)

Gemmy: An Epic Adventure
Edward R. Holzman
Covenant Books
covenantbooks.com
9781644717585, $14.95

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This fast-paced adventure in imagination is a great way to introduce kids to a fuller, more complex storyline. Branching beyond short stories into novels often creates a lifelong reader. While presenting flights of fantasy along with relatable issues, the author has created a story that will engage young minds. The pages are filled with gems of friendship, self-discovery, bullying, and the care of our ecosystem, all relevant to the day. Older readers may pick up deeper issues such as selfishness, greed, and corruption. There is much fun, excitement, and humor to temper the whole. Reading is at its best when it enlightens, and entertains. (Ages 9-12)

The Bee Maker
Mobi Warren
BookBaby
www.bookbaby.com
9781543959628, $10.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This is quite a story! It is so packed with interesting topics that lovers of many genres will be captivated. Are you fascinated by history, mythology, time travel? It's in there! Is science, etymology, or mathematics your thing? It's in there! The triumph of the human heart? The power of faith and determination? It's all in there. You would think with so many levels and directions, the story would be fragmented, an exhaustible pace to follow, but the author weaves this tale like a master. We float captivated like a gentle breeze, unfolding each genre as creatively as the Bee Maker's intricate folds of origami. Truly a great read! (Ages 10-14)


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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