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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 30, Number 2 February 2020 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Holiday Shelf Science Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Environmental Shelf Picturebook Shelf
Board Book Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Poetry Shelf
Folktale/Fairytale Shelf American History Shelf Judaic Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Biography Shelf Sports Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Books in Series Story Monsters Ink Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Miss Popular Steals the Show: Girls in Wheelchairs Rule!
Jewel Kats, author
Murray Stenton, illustrator
Marvelous Spirit Press
9781615994779, $26.95, HC, 42pp,

"Miss Popular Steals the Show: Girls in Wheelchairs Rule!" is a delightful and humorous diary account from "Bix," a plain Jane from a struggling family trying to outdo and steal the third-grade classroom stage from Valerie, whose mother is a famous author. Miss Popular may be a wheelchair-user, but she knows how to charm the classroom, and her pink bejeweled wheelchair rules. In a pique of frustration, Bix resorts to lies to steal the limelight from Miss Popular. She also announces that she will be having a puppy shower, and everyone except Miss Popular is invited. Can Bix pull it off? Young readers ages 8-10 will Learn the importance of honesty; Discover that being loved and being popular are not the same thing; Find out how even a small act of kindness pays big dividends; Learn how to rise above circumstances to be a better person. While especially recommended for school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Miss Popular Steals the Show: Girls in Wheelchairs Rule!" is also available in a paperback edition (9781615992362, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.20).

All the Ways to be Smart
Davina Bell, author
Allison Colpoys, illustrator
Scribe Publications
c/o Cursor Marketing Services
9781947534964, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

"All the Ways to be Smart" is a tender, funny, entertaining, and inspiring picture book celebrating all the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are. With a heartwarming and rhyming text by Davina Bell that is deftly combined with charming illustrations by Allison Colpoys all about knowing what makes a child special, "All the Ways to Be Smart" is an ideal introduction to conversations about self-esteem for children ages 3-6. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "All the Ways to Be Smart" is also available in a paperback edition (9781911617877, $11.99).

May All People and Pigs Be Happy
Micki Fine Pavlicek, author
John Pavlicek, illustrator
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781623173890, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

"May All People and Pigs Be Happy" follows the adventures of seven-year-old Claire and her stuffed animal Pigalina. From Pigalina, Claire learns a simple meditation that helps her to feel kinder toward herself and spread caring and love to others. The loving-kindness meditation can be practiced by anyone regardless of religion to cultivate loving presence, friendship, tenderness, and love. "May All People and Pigs Be Happy" is perfect for children ages 4-8 with or without a background in the loving-kindness meditation. While a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "May All People and Pigs Be Happy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Oldest Student
Rita Lorraine Hubbard, author
Oge Mora, illustrator
Schwartz & Wade Books
c/o Random House Books for Young Readers
9781524768287 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read is a children's picturebook for young readers ages 4-8, about the true-life story of an African-American woman who learned to read at 116! Mary Walker was born into slavery in the year 1848, and freed at age 15. She spent her life working jobs like cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches. She outlived the rest of her family. The Oldest Student is proof that one is never to old to learn new and exciting things, and an inspirational story for young readers everywhere. Highly recommended, especially for school and public library picturebook collections.

The Holiday Shelf

The Easter Storybook
Laura Richie, author
Ian Dale, illustrator
David C. Cook
9780830778607 $18.99 / $9.99 Kindle

The Easter Storybook: 40 Bible Stories Showing Who Jesus Is features forty biblical stories, each of which is retold on the left page and illustrated with full-color, full-page artwork on the right page of every two-page spread. Written to be accessible to young adults, yet faithful to the spirit of the original Bible passages, The Easter Storybook is highly recommended for Christian family and church library collections. Also highly recommended is "The Advent Storybook: 25 Bible Stories Showing Why Jesus Came" (9780830776085, $13.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle), a previous compilation of biblical stories heralding the birth of Jesus Christ, retold in the same verbal and visual style.

The Science Shelf

I am Allosaurus
Tim Bradley
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781643517490, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

What would it be like to live as a dinosaur? With "I am Allosaurus" by Tim Bradley, young readers ages 5-6 will discover that dinosaur lives had many similarities to present-day animals: they hatched, ran, hunted, hid from predators, and grew to adulthood. However, the world these creatures from the far past inhabited was very different from that of today; a great example is that a simple thing like grass didn't yet exist. Repetitive sight words make this a great story for beginning readers and dinosaur enthusiasts alike. While "I am Allosaurus" is unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of young dinosaur fans that "I am Allosaurus" is also available in a paperback edition (9781643517544, $9.95).

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

We Love Babies!
Jill Esbaum
National Geographic Press
9781426337482 $17.99

We Love Babies! is an utterly adorable children's picturebook, featuring beautiful, full-color photography of a wide variety of animal babies, from penguin chicks to cheetah cubs, a young kangaroo, a newly hatched snail riding on its parent's shell, and many more. The simplistic text is suitable for the littlest beginning readers, and parents will love sharing the pictures of cuddly (and not-so-cuddly) young animals with their children. Highly recommended!

No Dead Fish for Ginger!
Cathy Marine
Eifrig Publishing
PO Box 66, Lemont, PA 16851
9781936172528, $16.99, HC, 48pp,

In "No Dead Fish for Ginger! the Story of a Sarasota Bay Dolphin" by Cathy Marine children ages 3-4 will enjoy meeting Ginger, a young Sarasota Bay dolphin, who was stranded on a beach on Siesta Key in December 2008. Was she sick? Was she injured? Or was she just catching fish and got confused by the extremely low tide that day? Whatever the reason, by the time the animal ambulance arrived, the veterinary staff had determined that Ginger needed to go to the Dolphin and Whale Hospital at Mote Marine Laboratory. At the hospital, Ginger gets blood tests, a hearing test, and swabs of her blowhole. What makes Ginger unique as a patient is her refusal to eat dead fish. She is a picky eater and drives the staff crazy with her food preferences. Fascinating and scientific introduction to marine life studies, "No Dead Fish for Ginger!" is unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "No Dead Fish for Ginger!" is also available in a paperback edition (978-193617244, $12.99).

The Environmental Shelf

Planet SOS
Marie G. Rohde
What on Earth Books
9781912920228 $24.00

Planet SOS: 22 Modern Monsters Threatening Our Environment (and What You Can Do To Defeat Them) is a children's picturebook that characterizes modern environmental problems as monsters - each of which speaks to the reader (in first person) about the havoc it creates, and the changes that can tame it. From "The Degradotaur" (representing topsoil erosion from clear- cutting) to "Smogosaurus" (representing air pollution) to "The Glare Worm" (representing light pollution) and more, Planet SOS is a creative, lively, and brilliantly illustrated introduction to some of the greatest threats facing the Earth today! Highly recommended.

Little Turtle and the Changing Sea
Becky Davis, author
Jennie Poh, illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781680101997, $17.99, HC, 32p,

Little Turtle loves the ocean with her whole heart. As the years pass, she repeats an incredible journey across the world to the beautiful coral reefs. But one day she finds that plastic has invaded her beloved ocean. Could Turtle's journey be over forever? A collaborative and beautifully crafted picture book by author Becky Davis and illustrator Jennie Poh, "Little Turtle and the Changing Sea" is a deftly crafted and lyrical story which explores the problem of plastic in the ocean, and the challenges facing marine life for children ages 3-7 and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library environmental issues picture book collections.

Ripples and Waves: Walking Lake Huron
Carol Trembath, author
David W. Craig, illustrator
Lakeside Publishing Mi
9780990744658, $22.95, HC, 54pp,

A part of author Carol Trembath's Water Walkers series, "Ripples and Waves: Walking Lake Huron" (enhanced with new and original illustrations by a Native American artist David W. Craig) is the story of an Ojibway girl named Mai. Her family members are walking around Lake Huron to raise awareness about the harm being done to the Great Lakes. As Mai walks along the lakeside path, she tries to find ways to help. On the journey Mai and her new friend Kaiya, make dreamcatchers as gifts of friendship for other children around the lake. However when their gifts are not accepted, they seek the advice of their elders. Will the messages they receive help them to bring a community together? Can they send out ripples and waves of friendship? Included are common core state standards, web and print resources, cross-curriculum activities, a glossary of environmental terms, how to make a dreamcatcher, and ten ways for children to protect the Earth. Especially and highly recommended for family, school, and community library collections for young readers ages 6-11, "Ripples and Waves" is an informative and entertaining tribute to all the Native American women and men who in today's world have courageously walked over 19,500 miles to draw environmental awareness and attention to the condition of our water resources.

The Picturebook Shelf

The Paper Kingdom
Helena Ku Rhee, author
Pascal Campion, illustrator
Random House Books for Young Readers
9780525644613 $17.99 hc
9780525644637 $10.99 ebook

The Paper Kingdom is a children's picturebook based on author Helena Ku Rhee's own memories growing up. When young Daniel's babysitter cancels, his parents take him along for their jobs as nighttime office cleaners. To entertain his imagination while they work, they tell him stories about the "paper kingdom", its hardworking rulers, and its hidden dragons. Charming illustrations add the perfect touch to this fanciful story about parental love. Highly recommended, especially for public library picturebook collections.

Watership Down
Retold by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Based on the original story by Richard Adams
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
9781534457065 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Inspired by the animated Netflix television miniseries, Watership Down is a children's picturebook adaptation of Richard Adams' classic novel about a small group of rabbits forced to evacuate their old home. In their search for a new place to live, they confront dangerous predators, as well as threats from other territorial rabbits! Splendidly illustrated with a realistic art style, Watership Down captures the spirit of the original novel, making the rabbits' struggle to survive accessible to younger readers. Highly recommended, especially for public library picturebook collections.

Buckaroo Chuck: Cowboy For Reals
Lexi Kinney, author
Marinella Aguirre, illustrator
Bublish, Inc.
9781948543521, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

In the pages of "Buckaroo Chuck: Cowboy For Reals", children ages 3 to 8 can ride along with Buckaroo Chuck as he goes from hopeful youngster to accomplished bull rider. An action-filled picture book story by author Lexi Kinney and illustrator Marinella Aguirre takes the a young reader through the motions, tumbles and falls of a young buckaroo as he becomes a confident rodeo man. No matter how many times Chuck falls off, he never loses sight of his dream. Of special note is the underlying message promoting the use of helmets and vests when riding in the arena, and inspiring children to never give up on their goals. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should also be noted that "Buckaroo Chuck: Cowboy For Reals" is also available in a paperback edition (9781948543514, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Little Rosie Rodeo: Cowgirl For Reals
Lexi Kinney, author
Marinella Aguirre, illustrator
Bublish, Inc.
9781948543552, $17.99, HC, 34pp,

Little Rosie Rodeo loves to race as fast as she can to win the prize, those sparkly buckles. She couldn't do this without the help of her horse B-Bar, who's also her best friend. Together they race for those buckles that twinkle like stars. A collaboratively produced picture book by author Lexi Kinney and illustrator Marinella Aguirre, "Little Rosie Rodeo: Cowgirl For Reals" is a thoroughly entertaining delightful scripted rhyming story about the rodeo and the bonds of friendship. While very highly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections for children ages 3 to 8, it should be noted that "Little Rosie Rodeo" is also available in a paperback edition (9781948543545, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

My Big Red Monster
Lois Wickstrom, author
Nicolas Milano, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
9780916176525, $24.99, HC, 32pp,

What is a little girl to do when there's a monster under her bed, and her brother won't believe her? What if the monster wants to work for her? In fact, he's so hungry for work, that if she doesn't give him jobs, he'll eat her! He'll straighten her room. He'll wash the dishes. He'll wash the dog, until he's all clean and fluffy. It's up to her imagination to keep that monster busy! The collaborative work of author Lois Wickstrom and illustrator Nicolas Milano, "My Big Red Monster" is a delightful and modern adaptation of a Hindu Teaching Tale. While "My Big Red Monster" is especially and unreservedly 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 "My Big Red Monster" is also available in a paperback edition (9780916176518, $11.99).

The Best Kind of Bear
Greg Gormley, author
David Barrow, illustrator
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536208238, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

When Nelly asks Bear what kind of bear he is, he isn't entirely sure how to answer. So off he goes to find out. But none of the different bears he meets on his travels are like him. Grizzly bears don't have stitching; polar bears don't have tags attached to their bottoms; spectacled bears are not as soft and bouncy as Bear is; and sun bears never wear bow ties. Disheartened, he returns to Nelly... only to discover what kind of bear he is - her own special bear! A thoroughly charming and fun picture book for children ages 2-5, "The Best Kind of Bear" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Caveboy Crush
Bethy Ferry, author
Joseph Kuefler, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419736568, $17.99, HC, 48pp,

Neander is a young caveboy. He spends his days doodling on cave walls, chasing mammoth butterflies, and playing with his pet rock, Rock. But one day, he meets Neanne -- and he's CRUSHED! She's short, she's hairy, she's perfect! Neander does everything he can think of to get Neanne's attention. He picks a bouquet for her from the Field of the Bees. He fetches a conch shell for her from the Waves of Salt. As Neander's gestures get grander and grander, Neanne remains unimpressed. But then Neander hatches the grandest gesture of all, and it's Neanne's turn to do some crushing. From Beth Ferry and Joseph Kuefler comes this sweet celebration of first love. An original and thoroughly charming picture book for children ages 4-8, "Caveboy Crush by the team of author Bethy Ferry and illustrator Joseph Kuefler is perfect for Valentine's Day and read-alouds all year long -- and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Caveboy Crush" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Evie's Field Day: More than One Way to Win
Claire Annette Noland, author
Alicia Teba, illustrator
Cardinal Rule Press
9781733035903, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Evie loves to run, jump, hop, and win. She even has ribbons and trophies to prove it. So, when the school's field day comes around, she is sure she will add to her winning collection. When Evie finds herself ahead of the pack, she is faced with an important decision. Does she choose the chance at a trophy or the chance to be a good friend? Children ages 5-7 will be delighted to join Evie as she navigates the playground and learns about sportsmanship and the challenge of losing in "Evie's Field Day: More than One Way to Win". While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Evie's Field Day: More than One Way to Win" is also available in a paperback edition (9781733035910, $10.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

Miss Money Honey and the Riddle
Becky Page, author
James Balkovek, illustrator
Brown Books Kids
c/o Brown Books Publishing Group
16250 Knoll Trail Drive, Suite 205, Dallas, TX 75248
9781612543192, $16.99, HC, 28pp,

Jimmy can't believe the summer is over and it's already the first day of school, but he's still excited to see all his friends and start the new year! But when he gets to class, he notices his friend Benny being bullied by some of the other kids. He wants to help, but he just doesn't know how. And then his teacher tells the class their homework for the day: think of a riddle to bring to the class tomorrow, one that'll stump everyone. With so much to think about after a long day, Jimmy falls asleep and has a crazy dream, where he meets Miss Money Honey, her flying piggy bank, and Lenny Penny, a shy but important coin who comes out of the piggy bank. The dream is strange, but may have everything Jimmy needs to solve all his problems from his first day of school. Children ages 5-6 will enjoy joining Jimmy as he learns not only the value and importance of a penny, but most importantly how to stand up to bullies, for himself and for his friends. An original and thoroughly entertaining picture book with an important underlying message about dealing with bullies, "Miss Money Honey and the Riddle" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.

The Magic Hour
Ian Beck
Tate Publishing
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781849766241, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

One long, hot summer, Lily and Rose are playing in the garden of a large country house when they spot a strange light. It must be fairies! Determined to catch them, they sneak out at sunset to find the fairies. However, things aren't always what they seem. Will Lily and Rose be disappointed or will they find something that's magic in its own way? Based on the world-famous John Singer Sargent painting Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, author and illustrator Ian Beck brings the subjects to life and reveals an inspirational world behind the painting. An elegantly entertaining picture book for children ages 3-8, "The Magic Hour" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Matchy Matchy
Erin McGill
Cameron & Company
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781944903725, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Thanks to Mom, everything about Maria matches -- her clothes, her socks, her underwear, her backpack, and her lunchbox. Maria even matches the dog, the duvet, and the doilies. But Maria doesn't want to be so matchy matchy. She wants to mix it up! Feathers and fringe! Pom-poms and plaid! Spikes and spots! Leopard and lace! Tie-dye and tutus! One day she does just that and asserts her very own unique style! An original and throughly charming picture book for children ages 5-7, "Matchy Match" by author and artist Erin McGill is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

At the Stroke of Goodnight
Clay Rice
1254 Commerce Way, Sanger, CA 93657
9781641701440, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

In "At the Stroke of Goodnight", world-renowned paper-cut artist Clay Rice weaves a poetic scene of what happens around a small farmhouse as night falls. A dreaming dog. A purring cat. A bird on a limb. A mouse on a mat. The evening glows in the twilight. And all falls quiet at the stroke of goodnight. A baby coos; a mommy sighs. Little ones tucked in, with dreams in their eyes. A gentle hand turns out the light. And all is quiet at the stroke of goodnight. "At the Stroke of Goodnight" is a perfect bedtime story for children ages 3-5 that gently and beautifully depicts a busy world settling in for a warm night's sleep. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "At the Stroke of Goodnight" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Adventures of Moose & Mr. Brown
Paul Smith, author
Sam Usher, illustrator
Pavilion Children's Books
9781843654285, $17.95, HC, 40pp,

Inspired by toys that children's author Paul Smith has owned for many years, the main characters in "The Adventures of Moose & Mr. Brown" are Moose, who is a moose, and Mr. Brown, who is a monkey who lives in Sir Paul's office in London. Mr. Brown is an international fashion designer, who meets Moose on a plane travelling to London. Moose is distraught as he has lost his twin brother Monty -who got on the wrong plane! Mr. Brown agrees to help Moose track Monty down, and in return, Moose helps bring even more inspiration to Mr Brown's business. They travel around the world, helping other animals with their designs (slippers for sloths, parkas for penguins, scarves for giraffes, and more) and looking for Monty. Will Mr. Brown and Moose find Monty before Mr Brown's big catwalk show? An original and thoroughly entertaining story by the team of Paul Smith artist/illustrator Sam Usher, "The Adventures of Moose & Mr. Brown" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8.

Grandma Mable, Are You Able?
Willie Etta Wright, author
Blueberry Illustrations
Independently Published
9780970355157, $21.99, HC, 64pp,

Deftly written in a first person narrative style, "Grandma Mable, Are You Able?" is a warmly entertaining picture book for children ages 7-8 with a positive underlying message about a child's adaptation to having to live with a grandparent. While a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Grandma Mable, Are You Able?" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781791354480, $13.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

The Sand Elephant
Rinna Hermann, author
Sanne Dufft, illustrator
Floris Books
9781782506157, $17.95, HC, 28pp,

Paul is a young boy who has no one to play with. The sandbox is empty -- or is it? As he digs and pats the sand, a shape appears: an elephant. Curling up under the elephant's warm, sandy trunk, Paul drifts off to sleep. But then something amazing happens. The sand elephant stands up, and lifts Paul onto its back! The sand elephant takes Paul to a wonderful land where incredible sand animals and their children are laughing and playing together. But what will happen when the wind starts to blow and the rain starts to fall? "The Sand Elephant" is delightful and entertaining celebration of the power of childhood imagination in which Rinna Hermann's story deftly combines with pictures full of vibrancy and charm by illustrator Sanne Dufft. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "The Sand Elephant" is a gentle story that reassures children ages 3-6 that friends from our imagination stay with us forever, so we need never feel alone!

Roly Poly
Mem Fox, author
Jane Dyer, illustrator
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481445566, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Roly Poly the polar bear loves being an only child. His bed is only his. The fish he catches are only his. And he doesn't have to share his toy walrus tooth with anyone. But then along comes baby Monty. Roly Poly did not ask for a little brother and he certainly does not want one now! What is Roly Poly to do when Monty starts making him share his bed and fish and walrus tooth? A delightfully entertaining picture book (and with a positive underlying message promoting sibling sharing) for children ages 4-8, "Roly Poly" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Roly Poly" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Lola Dutch I Love You So Much
Kenneth Wright, author
Sarah Jane Wright, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781547601172, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Lola Dutch is a delightfully creative young girl who loves her friends SO much. When they're having a bad day, Lola knows just what to do to make each of them feel better: She sews cozy pajamas for Gator, constructs the perfect reading nook for Crane, and takes Pig to the park! Lola loves showing her friends how much she loves them! But there's one special friend she's forgotten -- Bear! Can Lola decide on the perfect way to express how much he means to her? Enhanced for children ages 3-6 with the inclusion of paper dolls and a note card, "Lola Dutch: I Love You So Much" is a wonderfully entertaining and unreservedly recommended picture book that is also available in a paperback edition (9781526605948, $10.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Frankie's Scared of Everything
Mathew Franklin
Building Block Press
9781944201227, $19.95, HC, 32pp,

The world can be a dark place. You would be scared too if your own brain was out to get you! More and more our children feeling overwhelmed by the unknown and the pressures of society. Deftly written and impressively illustrated by Mathew Franklin, ""Frankie's Scared of Everything" is a unique and entertaining picture book for children ages 4-8 that will help instill the fact that our fears can be our greatest strengths. Especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, kids will enjoy following Frankie as his imagination runs wild creating robots, beasts, sea creatures, and even a mole man in a technicolor adventure. -- Being afraid has never looked so fun!

Will's Adventure to the Candy Mountain
Gerry Haller, author
YM Cho, illustrator
Westwood Books Publishing
9781643618821, $19.50, HC, 60pp,

Will's grandmother has told Will about the Candy Mountain since he was a small child. One night, Will is awakened by the conductor of a train. He is told to hurry to catch the train -- the train to the Candy Mountain! On the train, Will meets a boy named Quinn, and they decide to go on the adventure together. Will can hardly believe he is going to the Candy Mountain. Together, there are many decisions to make. Each one is more mysterious than the last. What will they find? What decisions will they have to make? A collaborative, unique, and thoroughly entertaining picture book co-created by educator Gerry Haller and illustrator/artist YM Cho, "Will's Adventure to the Candy Mountain" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Will's Adventure to the Candy Mountain" is also available in a paperback edition (9781643618814, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez
Christiane Duchesne, author
Francois Thisdale, illustrator
Pajama Press
9781772780895, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

Every afternoon at four o'clock, Mister Rodriguez steps out of a narrow laneway and strolls through the street. The village children watch him go, ever more curious about the enigmatic old man with the bushy white mustache. Some say they've seen him float above the ground. Others say he played a piano without touching a single key. The truth, though, is more beautiful than any of the children could have imagined. A beautifully crafted and charmingly entertaining picture book for children ages 5-8 by the team of author/storyteller Christiane Duchesne and illustrator/artist Francois Thisdale, "Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

With All My Heart
Stephanie Stansbie & Richard Smythe
Silver Dolphin Books
10350 Barnes Canyon Road, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92121
9781684129102, $15.99, HC, 32pp,

"With All My Heart" by the team of Stephanie Stansbie and Richard Smythe is a beautifully illustrated picture book that showcases the lifelong love a parent has for their child. Each page features sweet text paired with shaped die cuts for a unique reading experience for children ages 3-5. "With All My Heart" is the perfect picture book to cuddle up with and to express the endless love between a parent and child making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library collections.

What's So Wonderful About Webster?
Stephen & Alex Kendrick, authors
Daniel Fernandez, illustrator
B&H Kids
c/o B&H Publishing Group
1 LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234
9781535949866, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

It's almost field day, and Webster is worried. He can't run fast, he trips on the jump rope, and his Frisbee always lands in a tree. How will he help his class get the medal? Webster is sure that God forgot to make anything special about him. Children ages 4-8 will enjoy joining Webster and his class as the whistle blows and he discovers a few God-given skills that just might save field day. Especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, "What's So Wonderful About Webster?" is a whimsical and charmingly illustrated picture book that will remind children that they were each wonderfully made by God! It should be noted for personal reading lists that "What's So Wonderful About Webster?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.55).

Diggy the Dog Explores Friendship
Adam Loveless, author
Elena Kochetova, illustrator
Loveless Letters
9780578595818, $19.95, HC, 44pp,

With catchy rhymes and beautiful illustrations, "Diggy the Dog Explores Friendship" will have young children delightfully following Diggy the Dog as he explores the unknown forest and meets several new friends. Very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, the colorful pages and unique characters comprising this adventurous picture book story will bring a smile to any child and will hopefully spread the idea that the uniqueness of friends banding together can accomplish nearly all.

Good Night, Little Blue Truck
Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
9781328852137, $17.99

Good Night, Little Blue Truck tells of a little blue truck and his good friend Toad, who head home for cover when a storm threatens. They aren't the only ones who seek shelter during a storm, though, and soon Cow, Goose, and other farm animals join them. Is there room for everyone? A fun story of friendship, storms, and shelter evolves.

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

The Wolf Will Not Come represents an inviting exploration of childhood nighttime terrors as it considers a frightened young rabbit who has nightmares of a wolf coming when he's asleep. At first his mother claims there are no wolves, then admits that only a few still exist, then maintains that wolves actually hide in the mountains far from them. As the astute little bunny keeps catching his mother fibbing, he begins questioning both her wisdom and his safety. Kids with good reading skills will relish this fun story of exactly why the wolf will not come to eat a frightened little rabbit.

A Good Day
Daniel Nesquens and Miren Asiain Lora
Eerdmans Books
9780802853505, $16.99

The cat and the tiger are best friends, even though the cat runs free and the tiger's in a zoo. They talk about everything, but when they begin to compare their different circumstances, they discover a big surprise: each envies the other's life and strengths. The tiger has a plan to make his dreams real. All he needs is the help of a little cat. Kids with good reading skills will find this a fine adventure.

Tundra Books

Three fine picture book stories are highly recommended for young readers. Anne Hunter's Where's Baby? (9780735264984, $17.99) tells of Papa Fox, who is looking for Baby Fox. Baby is hidden and there are many possibilities as to his location. Can readers see what Papa Fox cannot? Kids ages 3-7 will delight in a very simple 'find Baby' story that has kids viewing what Papa cannot! Sally Nicholls and Bethan Woollvin's The Button Book (9780735267152, $16.99) presents a group of animal friends who experiment with a collection of mysterious buttons that do different things when pressed. As the animals press a different button on each page, with unexpected results, kids receive a whimsical survey of sounds and surprising experiment results. Ben Clanton's Vote for ME! (9780735267589, $17.99) provides a fun political satire about voting, elections, and candidates who just can't stop insulting one another as they contend for leadership. Each presents a solid case as to why they deserve the vote, but as accusations and contentions get out of hand, kids receive a whimsical and fun story that goes out on a limb of fantasy during an outrageous confrontation. All are fine stories.

Simon and Schuster

These two picture books will appeal to young audiences and offer intriguing stories with excellent-quality illustrations. Mem Fox works with illustrator Jane Dyer to create Roly Poly (9781481445566, $17.99), a polar bear story that tells of an only child who enjoys everything around him until baby Monty enters his life. He never asked for a little brother, and doesn't know or accept the concept of sharing. Needle felt art enhances a warm story powered by dolls and the idea of family and togetherness. Parker Curry and Jessica Curry's Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment (9781534451865, $17.99) benefits from fine drawings by Brittany Jackson as it tells of a youngster who encounters Michelle Obama's portrait at the National Portrait Gallery and sees in that picture the strength and dynamic personality of a strong leader. When someone snapped a photo of author Parker's fascination, her image went viral. This provides the background story of her involvement not just with art and a woman's image, but her own possibilities for influencing a different world.

Candlewick Press

Three picture book winners provide excellent-quality artistic stories that will delight librarians and parents seeking something different. Bob Graham's The Underhills: A Tooth Fairy Story (9781536211122, $16.99) tells of tooth fairy sisters April and Esme, who are ready to enjoy a night at their grandparents' teapot house when they parents are called away on a molar pickup mission. When another job arrives, however, the two sisters decide to step up and take on the tooth fairy tradition. Readers of April and Esme, Tooth Fairies, as well as newcomers to the two, will find this a delightfully whimsical story of magic and tooth dilemmas. Good reading skills or parental assistance are required. Terry Milne's Anxious Charlie to the Rescue (9781536209167, $16.99) tells of a dog that follows the same routine daily. If there's any deviation to his schedule, worry sets in. When an emergency leads him to abandon his well-established routine, he begins to fret that something bad is certain to happen. Charlie's obsession with control and managing change will resonate in many a young reader and creates a story with an important message about flexibility and friendship. Lucy Rowland's The Knight Who Said "No!" (9781536208139, $16.99) is illustrated by Kate Hindley, who provides a set of intriguing and hilarious drawings to enhance the dilemma of a knight who begins to say 'no' on a regular basis, to everything. He's always been the only polite child in his village, but when he tries out his new world on a night dragon, he learns something new about the power of 'no' and 'yes'. A warm tale emerges about friendship, rebellion, and lessons learned by accepting new possibilities.

Disney Hyperion

These new books for young readers each offer a story and compelling, fun approach that discriminating parents and librarians will find refreshingly different and worthy of acquisition. Mo Willems produces Volume 2 of An Elephant & Piggie Biggie-Biggie! (9781368045704, $16.99), which packs five Elephant and Piggie pal adventures under one cover. Readers who have no prior familiarity with these zany friends (or who have some of the books but not the series) will welcome this very simple reader which features two-color drawings of best friends who face dilemmas together.

Kids learn some basic math, from counting book pages to the problem of a best friend's broken trunk from weight-lifting antics. The tales are very simple, the drawings oversized and fun, and children with basic reading skills and their read-aloud parents will find this a whimsical set of adventures. Tara Lazar's The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City (9781368027656, $17.99) receives fun drawings by Ross MacDonald, who presents a puzzling case that Private I must crack when Question Mark storms into his office to report all the uppercase letters are M-I-S-S-I-N-G. -- But, they can't be truly gone. This is Capital City, after all!

A fun story of letters gone awry teaches the basics of upper and lowercase letters within the structure of an investigative puzzler. Lynn Plourde's If I Could Give You Christmas (9781368002677, $17.99) arrived too late for holiday feature, but deserves to be on the shelves of any seasonal picture book collection for years to come. Jennifer L. Meyer's gorgeous, warm drawings capture the warmth and togetherness of the holiday season as animals share affection, love, games, and seasonal delights with one another. The bundled-up birds and other animals are beautifully depicted, complimenting a message of togetherness and holiday rituals. Tami Lewis Brown & Debbie Loren Dunn's Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future (9781368011051, $17.99) is illustrated by Chelsea Beck, who provides fun drawings to accompany the story of how three women (Betty Snyder, Jean Jennings, and Kay McNulty) used mathematics and basic engineering savvy to work with the (then) largest computer in the world during World War II. ENIAC came with no guidelines or rules, but a team effort led to new inventions, calculations, and success fostered by a rare team of women who achieved the impossible. Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay's Blue Spot (9781368024594, $16.99) tells of cat Daisy, who sports a blue spot on her new white dress after an art class mishap. But that isn't the complete story of the blue spot. Daisy's propensity for utilizing blue materials for various purposes leads to all kinds of scenarios that could have created the blue stain. As a coloring mishap expands to include blueberry rain and other impossible blue scenarios, Daisy's story gets wilder and wilder. Parents and kids will find this easy reader hilarious.

The Board Book Shelf

I Am Violet
Tania Duprey Stehlik, author
Vanja Vuleta Jovanovic, illustrator
Second Story Press
9781772601312, $10.95, Board Book, 18pp,

People come in a rainbow of beautiful colors. A little girl looks around her and sees that some people are blue, some are green, some are red? The world is a rainbow and Violet herself is a wonderful mixture of her mom and dad. Her mom is red, her dad is blue, and the little girl proudly announces: I am proud to be violet? I am proud to be me? I am Violet! A book for all babies and toddlers to celebrate the skin they are in, "I Am Violet" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections for children ages 5-6.

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
Penny Parker Klostermann, author
Ben Mantle, illustrator
Random House Books for Young Readers
9781984892423 $8.99 board book
9780385390811 $9.99 ebook

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight is a riotous board book featuring an original take on the classic children's rhyme "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". As gargantuan red dragon swallows more and more people and things, he begins to wonder - should he have stopped with just swallowing the knight? The wacky, off-the-wall illustrations (including insider's views of the increasingly crowded living space within the dragon's stomach) add the perfect touch to this hysterically funny, read-aloud board book!

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

You Are My Friend
Aimee Reid, author
Matt Phelan, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419736179, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved television personalities, but before he was the man who brought us Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he was just little Freddie Rogers. Though he was often sick and had trouble making friends as a child, his mom and grandfather encouraged him to ask for help and explore the world. With their support, he learned how to better say what he was feeling and see the beauty around him. As he grew up, he realized he could spread the message of compassion, equality, and kindness through television. A work of picture book fiction, "You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood" is a gentle homage to Fred Rogers by author Aimee Reid and illustrator/artist Matt Phelan and shows how his simple message still resonates with children today. Of special note is the inclusion a short biography of Fred's life and a bibliography. "You Are My Friend" is not associated with or endorsed by The Fred Rogers Company. While highly recommended for elementary school and community library collections for children 5-8, it should be noted that "You Are My Friend" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.84) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781974957675, $14.99, CD).

The Poetry Shelf

I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage
Lee Bennett Hopkins, compiler
Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781620143117, $19.95, HC, 56pp,

From the joyous to the poignant, poems by award-winning, diverse poets are paired with images by celebrated illustrators from similar backgrounds to pay homage to what is both unique and universal about growing up in the United States in "I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage" specifically compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins for children ages 9-12. Collectively these heartfelt poems and captivating illustrations shine a light on the rich diversity of people in our nation as well as the timeless human connections and experiences we all share. Unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library children's poetry collections, young readers of any age and background will find much that sparks their memories and opens their eyes.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

The Generous Fish
Jacqueline Jules, author
Frances Tyrrell, illustrator
Wisdom Tales Press
9781937786793 $16.95

The Generous Fish inspired by Jewish folktales, The Generous Fish is a children's picturebook story about a talking fish with golden scales, who befriends a young boy. Seemingly everyone in the boy's village needs the fish's golden scales for something - but doesn't the fish need its scales too? Can the protect his fishy friend from the village before its last scale is taken? A heartwarming parable, The Generous Fish is highly recommended especially for school and public library picturebook collections.

The Walrus and the Caribou
Maika Harper, author
Marcus Cutler, illustrator
Inhabit Media
9781772272567, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

When the earth was new, words had the power to breathe life into the world. But when creating animals from breath, sometimes one does not get everything right on the first try! Based on a traditional Inuit story passed forward orally for generations in the South Baffin region of Nunavut, "The Walrus and the Caribou" is a delightful and entertaining picture book by author Maika Harper and illustrator Marcus Cutler that shares with young readers ages 5-7 the origin of the caribou and the walrus -- and tells of how very different these animals looked when they were first conceived! Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, "The Walrus and the Caribou" is especially and unreservedly recommended!

The American History Shelf

Your Bridge To History
Portia Love, author
Preston Love Jr., author
Regina Jeanpierre, illustrator
Preston Publishing
9780996446495, $19.95, HC, 34pp,

The collaborative work of authors Portia and Preston Love, "Your Bridge to History" is ideal for taking children ages 6-9 along with the Black Votes Matter Tour across the American South. The characters tour sites where individuals and organizations focus on Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Black History in the United States. Beautiful illustrations by Regina Jeanpierre depict the pictures the tour participants experienced along the way. Of special note are the QR codes included in important locations to take young readers to websites that are important to further learning. An ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, school and community library African-American collections and Black History Month special events, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Your Bridge To History" is also available in a paperback edition (9780996446402, $12.95).

The Judaic Shelf

Asteroid Goldberg: Passover in Outer Space
Brianna Caplan Sayres, author
Merrill Rainey, illustrator
Intergalactic Afikoman
9781951365004 $18.95

Asteroid Goldberg: Passover in Outer Space is a children's picturebook about a space-traveling Jewish family, the Goldbergs, who celebrate the Passover holiday while flying home from Pluto! Although the rhyming story is science fiction, it is deliberately in keeping with traditions of the seder, and features a glossary of terms related to the Passover celebration. Asteroid Goldberg: Passover in Outer Space is a delightful picturebook, and a choice pick for Jewish families to read aloud and share with their children. Highly recommended.

Here Comes the Mitzvah Team - A Story about Zrizus
Naomi Lieberman, author
Tova Leff, illustrator
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781945560194, $12.95, HC, 26pp,

Rollicking rhymes and action-packed illustrations show what zrizus really looks like! With a combination of speed and boundless enthusiasm for the mitzvos all around them, a family "mitzvah team" rushes to the rescue on their little riding toys. "Lights flash, sirens scream Zooming past, Fast, fast, fast, Here comes the Mitzvah Team!" How quickly they move to help Bubby with her many bags, Little Sara Gittel who got a scratch while playing catch, and a boy named Lipa who lost his kipa! A thoroughly charming and entertaining picture book, "Here Comes the Mitzvah Team - A Story about Zrizus" is great way to inspire young children ages 4-6 with zrizus for their own mitzvah opportunities -- and is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Night Country
Melissa Albert, author
Rebecca Soler, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781250246240, $34.99, CD,

In The Night Country is the complete and unabridged audio book sequel to author Melissa Albert's novel "The Hazel Wood" in which Alice Proserpine once again dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors. Young listeners ages 12-18 will enjoy following her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang. With Finch's help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother's dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland's survivors and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and (if he can find it) a way back home! Expertly narrated by Rebecca Soler, "The Night Country" is unreservedly recommended for both school and community library audio book collections for teens and young adults.

The Music CD Shelf

Wild Life
Justin Roberts
Carpet Square Records
$13.59 CD / $9.49 MP3

The latest family-friendly music album by three-time Grammy nominee Justin Roberts, Wild Life features upbeat, original compositions inspired by the birth of Roberts' first child. A medley of instruments ranging from finger-plucked ukulele to flutes, moving bass lines, and pizzicato cello enliven these charming songs brimming with wondrous delight. Wild Life is a choice pick for family or public library children's music CD collections. The tracks are "Heart Like a Door", "Curly", "World for You", "Glad You're Here", "You Grew", "First Let Go", "Ain't No Way", "Be Not Afraid", "Hide and Seek", and "Wild Life".

The Self-Help Shelf

Be Your Best Self: Life Skills For Unstoppable Kids
Danielle Brown & Nathan Kai
Button Books
9781787080386, $17.99, HC, 120pp,

Children can have big dreams. Maybe they would like to be a successful scientist, an award-winning journalist, play in a rock band, swim in the Olympic Games, groom dogs, own a bakery or even help to run the country? We all have different dreams, that's what makes us unique. But whatever it is that a child wants to do, the skills they will need to achieve their goals are the same. "Be Your Best Self: Life Skills For Unstoppable Kids" is exciting new book helps children and young people to practice these core skills and provides a survival kit for them to dip into when they need extra help or motivation. Some of the themes explored are: goal setting, growth mindset, perseverance, getting organized and learning to fail well. Looking after yourself is another important theme -- whether that be eating healthy food and exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, being kind to oneself or knowing how to deal with bullies. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "Be Your Best Self: Life Skills For Unstoppable Kids" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to family, school and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections for young readers.

The Biography Shelf

The Slave Who Went to Congress
Marti Rosner and Frye Gaillard, authors
Jordana Haggard, illustrator
NewSouth Books
9781588383563 $18.95

The Slave Who Went to Congress is a children's picturebook biography of Benjamin Turner (1825-1894), an African-American who spent the first 40 years of his life as a slave, taught himself to read at a young age, and became the first black Congressman from Alabama and among the first black Congressmen to serve after Emancipation. Striking artwork adds a beautiful touch to this inspirational true story about perseverance, high ideals, and forging history. The Slave Who Went to Congress is a choice pick for personal, school, and public library picturebook collections, highly recommended.

The Sports Shelf

Breaking Through
Sue Macy
National Geographic Press
9781426336768 $18.99

Award-winning author Sue Macy presents Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties, a nonfiction children's book about the rise of women's sports in the era after World War I. Here are true stories of brave, talented, physically fit women who permanently changed the athletic world. Vintage photographs illustrate the in-depth text. Breaking Through is ideal for young adults with confidence in their reading skills, and highly recommended for school and public library nonfiction collections.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Wings of Fire Legends: Dragonslayer
Tui T. Sutherland
9781338214604 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Wings of Fire Legends: Dragonslayer is a brand new YA fantasy novel in the Wings of Fire saga, set in a land where various species of intelligent dragons reign supreme, and humans scramble to hide lest they become the dragons' slaves, pets, or food. In Wings of Fire Legends: Dragonslayer, Wren is a human who feels bitterness toward her village for attempting to sacrifice her to dragons; she befriends an infant mountain dragon named Sky, raising it in isolation. Her brother Leaf believes Wren to be dead, and has dedicated himself to becoming a dragonslayer. And Ivy doesn't trust her own father; though he is a beloved ruler and a successful dragonslayer, she knows that he hides a perilous secret from the sand dragon he killed twenty years ago. Each of these three humans is destined to cross paths with dragons; could their choices light the way to a future where dragons and humans are more than just predator and prey? Wings of Fire Legends: Dragonslayer is a choice pick for school and public library collections, highly recommended.

Wings of Fire: The Lost Continent
Tui T. Sutherland
9781338214444 $7.99 pbk / $10.99 Kindle

Now available in paperback, Wings of Fire: The Lost Continent is the eleventh novel in the Wings of Fire YA fantasy series, set in a world where different species of dragons rule over all dominion. Set in the faraway land of Pantala, The Lost Continent follows Blue and Luna, two adolescent SilkWing dragons on the cusp of their metamorphosis. They expect to grow wings, gain the ability to produce silk, and move to another Hive, but Luna's unexpected changes thrust Blue into the complex and dangerous world lurking outside his own Hive. Pantala is brimming with unexpected threats, and Blue must struggle for survival! An enthralling adventure from cover to cover, Wings of Fire: The Lost Continent is highly recommended especially for young dragon fans, as well as public and school library YA fantasy collections.

Books in Series

353 3rd Avenue, Suite 255, New York, NY 10010

There is a new six title addition to the uniquely informative and thoroughly 'kid friendly' People In The News biography series from Greenhaven Publishing. This newest to the series includes: Beyonce: The Reign of Queen Bey; Gal Gadoot: A New Kind of Action Hero; Mark Zuckerberg: Shaping Social Media; Michelle Obama: First Lady, Author, and Activist; Prince Harry: Royal Rule-Breaker; Robert Downey Jr.: Superhero Superstar. Certain to be immediate and enduringly popular additions to both school and community library collections for young readers, each individual title is available in a library binding print edition and in a digital ebook format. Each volume features annotated quotations, a balanced text and objective tone, and will have a very special appeal for reluctant readers based on their being high-interest subjects. Although available individual, it is recommended for school and community libraries that they acquire all six of these new additions to the People In The News series (9781534568068, $119.94 List/$101.94 List).

PowerKids Press
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

Ultimate Fantasy Art is a unique and impressively 'kid friendly' series of DIY books for aspiring young artists in grades 3-6. Comprised of six profusely illustrated and instructive 32 page titles (Epic Adventure; Fantastic Monsters; Gothic Horror; Heroes of History and Myth; Steampunk World; Urban Magic), each books features activities, step-by-step instructions, a detailed table of contents, a Further Information section, a glossary, and an index. Ideal as elementary and middle school art class supplemental studies curriculum textbooks, the entire series (9781725303887, $165.00 List/$124.20 S&L) will prove to be immediate and enduringly popular additions to both school and community library Art instructional reference collections.

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

Coding Your Passion has a new six volume jobs/careers addition to their computer skills based series for students in grades 7-12. The titles (and subjects) covered by this six title addition to the series includes Using Computer Science in Eduction Careers; Using Computer Science in High- Tech Security Careers; Using Computer in Hospitality Careers; Using Computer Science in Marketing Careers; Using Computer Science in Media Careers; Using Computer Science in the Food Industry. Each 80 page titles includes full color photography, a detailed Table of Contents, a Further Information Section, a Bibliography, a Glossary, Sidebars, Web Sites, and an Index. Young readers will learn how they can acquire coding and programming skills through academic and professional opportunities such as classes, camps, and internships -- and how to take and apply those skills to their job or career. While individually available ($35.75 List/$26.85 S&L), school and community libraries would be well advised to acquire the complete six volume set for their young students and patrons (9781508187578, $214.50 List/$161.10 S&L).

Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003

The School Rules is a simply outstanding series that is especially recommended and thoroughly 'kids friendly' addition to elementary school library collections for students in grades K-5. The six comprising the 26-page titles of "The School Rules" collection include Rules at Lunch; Rules in the Classroom, Rules in the Gym, Rules in the Library, Rules on the Bus, Rules on the Playground. Profusely illustrated and featuring an ATOS text reading level of 1.0, each title includes a table of contents and an index. While each titles in available individually ($22.60 List/$16.95 S&L), school libraries would be best advised to acquire the entire set (9781482425413, $135.60 List/101.70 S&L).

Crabtree Publishers

Two series additions are fine books for elementary-level picture book collections. Rachel Eagen's Abandoned and Escaped Animals (9780778766865, $27.60) illustrates its series theme of Wildlife in the City by exploring populations of abandoned animals in urban environments. From different problems of wild and semi-wild animals that roam yards and parks to human spaces that face challenges over their presence, this provides a fine survey of problems, solutions, and ecology. Simon Rose's Earthquake Readiness (9780778765042, $31.32) adds to the Natural Disasters Meeting the Challenge series and explores the science of earthquake prediction and how individuals can prepare for a disaster. Case studies show how scientists and engineers modify structures to make them safer during a quake, while discussions of preparedness blend science with social issues and individual readiness. Both are excellent series additions.

Cavendish Square
243 5th Avenue, Suite 136, New York, NY 10016

Politics Today is an outstandingly informative and thoroughly 'kid friendly' series five books specifically written for middle school ages students. This informative and expertly presented series consists of Who Are Conservatives; Who Are Libertarians; Who Are Nationalists; Who Are Populists; and Who Are Progressives. Each 64 page titles is profusely illustrated with full color photography, and features Fact Boxes, a Further Information Section, a Glossary, Sidebars, Web Sites, and an Index. This series is ideal for teaching students about different political philosophies, as well as how to map trends in history, politics, and culture. Offering lessons in civics and the responsibilities of citizenship and introducing basic economics and the effects of government and regulations on the economy, this Politics Today series is an especially recommended addition to middle school and community library Political Science collections. While each of these five books is available individually ($34.21/$23.95), school and community libraries would be best advised to acquire the complete set intact (9781502647627, $171.05/$119.75).

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

The eight volume 'Learn About' series from The Child's World is an extraordinary and fun 'Glass Jar Science' books that include Learn About Seeds; Learn About Clouds, Learn About Volcanoes, Learn About Ocean Zones, Learn About Tornadoes, Learn About Snowstorms, and Learn About The Galaxy. Each individual 24 page title includes a hands-on, science oriented craft project that can be made in a glass jar to demonstrate each topic and encourage further learning in the subject. Each title also features informative sidebars, a table of contents, a phonetic glossary, an index, an introduction to the author, and sources for further learning. Especially recommended as supplement curriculum textbooks for students K-3 grade, this thoroughly 'kid friendly' series is unreservedly recommended for elementary school, family home schooling, and community library collections. While each title in this outstanding series is available individually ($19.95), schools and libraries should acquire the entire set for the benefit of their young students and patrons (9781503840010, $159.60).

The Story Monsters Ink Shelf

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

The Boy and the Bear
Tracey Corderoy and Sarah Massini
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
9781536208146, $16.99, hc,

Christine Irvin

A lonely boy needs a friend to play with. It's difficult to play hide-and-seek or be on a see-saw by yourself. One day, while sitting on the edge of the water, a paper boat floats by with an invitation to play. Thinking he might have found a real friend at last, the little boy is excited to meet his new playmate, only to find that his playmate is a big bear, and not a little boy like him. The two have nothing in common. Will they be able to find a way to play together and be friends? (Ages 2-5)

Max and Marla are Flying Together
Alexander Boiger
Philomel Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
9780525515661, $17.99, hc, $10.99, Kindle,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Fun and friendship go hand in hand. And, in this sweet tale, Marla finds that friendship is also the best way to overcome fear! Max's creativity opens to them a much higher level of enjoyment to share together. Having a good friend can broaden our lives, take us beyond our personal limitations, and let us truly fly! (Ages 3-5)

Polar Bear's Story
Harriet Blackford, author
Manja Stojic, illustrator
Sterling Publishing Company
9781912757107, $16.95, hc,

Christine Irvin

Author Harriet Blackford introduces young readers to polar bears by chronicling the life of one of these magnificent creatures, starting with the cub's birth. As she grows, she plays with her brother, learns to hunt, and eventually goes out on her own. The simple text and kid-friendly illustrations work well together. The author's note at the end of the book provides more information about polar bears and how they are being impacted by the changing environment. (Ages 3-6)

The Space Walk
Brian Biggs
Dial Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
9780525553373, $17.99, hc, $10.99, Kindle,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Astronaut Randolph Witherspoon wants to take a walk - a spacewalk, that is! But Ground Control has other ideas. Randolph must eat some lunch, get some exercise, and then he can go outside, provided he dresses warmly and doesn't talk to strangers. But Randolph's mission doesn't exactly go as planned, leading to an unexpected new friend. This is a cute story that shares the joy of friendship, and a sure reminder that whether we are bored at home, or in outer space, if our hearts are open, good things will find their way to us. (Ages 3-7)

Gigantosaurus: Don't Cave In
Cyber Group Studios
c/o Candlewick Press
9781536212075, $12.99, hc,

Darleen Wohlfeil

This book is based on the TV series Gigantosaurus on Disney Jr. The four young dinosaur friends are based on characters created by Jonny Duddle. Each book leads the foursome into new adventures in discovery. Children will enjoy spending time with their favorite characters away from the TV screen. In the story Don't Cave In, we find the four young dinosaur friends caught in a dark and scary place. Can they find their way out together? What incredible things might they discover as they press their way through the frightening unknown? (Ages 3-7)

Fearless Mirabelle & Meg
Katie Haworth and Nila Aye
c/o Penguin Group USA
9781536208115, $16.99, hc,

Darleen Wohlfeil

It's hard to live in someone's shadow. Hard to meet the expectations of others. It can be exceptionally hard if you happen to be twins! When you look alike, people can expect you to act alike as well. These two sisters are nothing alike, and Meg begins to get concerned. But, together they learn that their differences add to a much fuller experience for everybody. Everyone has their own uniqueness to add to every situation. Learn to enjoy yours! (Ages 3-7)

Great Job, Dad!
Holman Wang
Tundra Books
9780735264106, $16.99,

Larissa Juliano

Great Job, Dad! and Great Job, Mom! are a fantastic book duo that celebrates moms and dads and all the hats they wear! The illustrations are not really illustrations, but in fact wool felt dolls that are staged on different sets and photographed for the book. So fun and different! Very cute and relatable for both parent and child. This book is a fantastic mentor and inspirational text for teachers and art teachers to kick off a writing and art project. Children and adults can create their own stories using tangible and 3-D mediums/dolls, furniture, props, and more as they celebrate the love of their parents and all the jobs they (happily) do. (Ages 3-7)

The Underhills: A Tooth Fairy Story
Bob Graham
Candlewick Press
9781536211122, $16.99, hc,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Graham creates magic with a cute peek into an ethereal world. A world of family and community where an extra helping hand is readily extended. A place where the young come into those same familiar moments of childhood independence. A great story of the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities, and the finding of our place in the whole of things! (Ages 3-7)

Being Small (Isn't So Bad After All)
Lori Orlinski, author
Vanessa Alexandre, illustrator
Mascot Books
9781643071275, $14.95, hc, $6.99, Kindle

Darleen Wohlfeil

Self-acceptance is a hard place to reach. Feeling comfortable with ourselves seems to take us on quite a journey. It's great when we get an early start. This story of a little girl falling into those all too familiar patterns of avoidance, withdrawal, and self-depreciation is met with loving and tender wisdom from her mom. Without denying our feelings, if we can help each other find the positives, the negatives may just diminish. Kindness and acceptance are very compatible friends. (Ages 3-9)

Anxious Charlie to the Rescue
Terry Milne
Candlewick Press
9781536209167, $16.99, hc,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Charlie is a fearful pup. Careful to do everything just right, he assures himself stable days. Until one particular day when a call for help comes his way. Would responding unravel his well-maintained routine? Charlie discovers that helping others can take our minds off of our demanding duties, and still produce assurance and stability. A great lesson to learn. (Ages 4-6)

Doodle and Peck
Marla F. Jones
Doodle and Peck Publishing
9781733346214, $19.99, hc,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Doodle and Peck are each making a special gift for their friend Camelia's birthday. In the rush to get to the party, they collide, and so do their gifts! While they can't see past their unfortunate situation and the urge to blame each other, onlookers see a whole different story. The collision and it's shuffling seemed to bring about one very nice new gift! Can they look past their own disappointment and present their new gift together? It brings to mind an old saying, "Sometimes, two heads are better than one!" (Ages 4-6)

There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Book
Jomike Tejido
Jimmy Patterson
c/o Little, Brown Children's Books
9780316493055, $17.99, hc, $9.99, Kindle,

Christine Irvin

Instead of living in a shoe, this old woman lives in a book. When her children don't come home on time, she goes out looking for them. She stops by to ask for help from Jack (of the beanstalk fame), Humpty Dumpty, the Three Bears, and other well-known fairy tale characters. Author Jomike Tejido cleverly incorporates all these characters for a
different take on the beloved childhood favorites. (Ages 4-7)

Good Night, Little Blue Truck
Alice Schertle, author
Jill McElmurry, illustrator
HMH Books for Young Readers
9781328852137, $17.99, hc, $12.99,

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a sweet, rhythmic story that is sure to be a childhood favorite. On a stormy night, friends find warmth and comfort together. Little Blue truck and his friends discover that scary things never seem as frightening when we have someone to snuggle up and ride it through with. (Ages 4-7)

Lupita Nyong'o, author
Vashti Harrison, illustrator
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
9781534425361, $17.99, hc, $10.99, Kindle,

Christine Irvin

Sulwe was born with skin the color of midnight. The rest of the members of her family all have lighter skin, as does everyone in her school. Because of her darker skin, her classmates make fun of her and keep away from her. This inevitably leads to pain and heartbreak on her part. All she wants is to be like everyone else, especially like her mother and her sister, as she considers both of them to be beautiful. One night, after she goes on a magical journey through the dark sky, her perception of dark and light is changed forever. (Ages 4-8)

Mother Goose of Pudding Lane (Small Tall Tales)
Told by Chris Raschka
Pictures by Vladimir Radunsky
Candlewick Press
9780763675233, $17.99, hc,

Larissa Juliano

I love Mother Goose tales and rhymes and this homage to her has quite an interesting spin on the usual rhyme books and narrative nonfiction biographies (which are gaining in popularity). Who was she really? What do we know about her history, background, and personal life? She was a creative and remarkable woman and this book showcases a special and fun side to her with an extra spotlight on her poetic prowess and talent. This is a fantastic addition to learning nursery rhymes, reading biographies with a twist, diving into poetry unit, and of course, just for pure entertainment. (Ages 4-8)

Wild Honey from the Moon
Kenneth Kraegel
Candlewick Press
9780763681692, $17.99, hc,

Darleen Wohlfeil

This delightful tale is a shining example of the joy and memories that thrive in storytime. A moment nestled together, sharing in heart the adventures pressed upon its characters. The love, the necessity that drives us beyond our ability, beyond our comfort, to reach our very best for another. This is a tender story of a mother's love and determination, and the success it brings. (Ages 4-8)

Cookie & Milk: A Scientifically Stunt-Tastic Sisterhood
Michele McAvoy, Jessica Gibson
Cardinal Rule Press
9780997608595, $16.95, hc, $1.99, Kindle,

Christine Irvin

Cookie and Milk are best friends, even though they don't have much in common. Cookie is a genius who loves math and science. Milk is a daredevil who lives for adventure and adrenaline. But the two make a great pair. Cookie invents wonderful things and Milk tries them out. Written in a cartoon-type format with great illustrations, this book is sure to capture your child's imagination. (Ages 5-7)

Betty Builds It
Julie Hampton
West Margin Press
9781513262321, $17.99, hc, $8.69, Kindle,

Darleen Wohlfeil

This cute story brings home two major life truths. Necessity is the mother of invention! Need has a way of pressing us into remedies. And, often what we need is right in front of us all the time! Little Betty is a lonely little bot. She can build just about anything. One day she sets herself to building a friend that can run fast, jump high, and talk, just like her. When things begin to go wrong, Betty realizes what she longs for has been right in front of her all along! (Ages 5-8)

Crocodile's Crossing: A Search for Home
Yoeri Slegers
Flyaway Books
9781947888210, $17.00, hc,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Children are often frightened and confused when they remain in the background catching bits and pieces of adult conversations. There are many hot topics in the air today, and as parents and caregivers, we need to help our children understand them. This story gives a sensitive look from the immigrant's point of view. Difficult conditions dislodge them from their families and homes, driving them in directions they aren't familiar with, only to find they are unwanted when they arrive. Crocodile's story portrays the challenges faced by many refugees today. (Ages 5-8)

Suffragette: The Battle for Equality
David Roberts
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
9781536208412, $25.00, hc, $14.75, Kindle,

Darleen Wohlfeil

History connects time and people to the feats of glory that brought us to this very moment and place in our day. No one ever stands alone in the great cry of victory, but rests their laurels on the shoulders of all those who came before them. Those who suffered and fought for the open doors through which we walk. This beautifully crafted book should don our shelves as reminders of all those who paved the way for our liberties. (Ages 7-10)

The Boy at the Back of the Class
Onjali Q. Rauf
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
c/o Random House
9781984850782, $16.99, hc, $9.99, Kindle,

Diana Perry

There used to be an empty chair at the back of Mrs. Khan's classroom, but on the third Tuesday of the school year, a new kid fills it: 9-year-old Ahmet, a Syrian refugee. The whole class is curious about this new boy - he doesn't seem to smile, and he doesn't talk much. But after learning that Ahmet fled a very real war and was separated from his family along the way, a determined group of his classmates bands together to concoct the greatest idea in the world: a magnificent plan to reunite Ahmet with his loved ones. This is a very educational story about the plight of refugees. A book every student should read. (Ages 8-12)

Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball
Laura Ellen Anderson
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
c/o Random House
9781984848390, $12.99, hc, $7.99, Kindle,

Diana Perry

Amelia Fang would much rather hang out with her pet pumpkin Squashy and her friends Florence the yeti and Grimaldi the reaper than dance at her parents' annual Barbaric Ball. When the King's spoiled son Tangine captures Squashy, Amelia and her friends must escape the party to plan a daring rescue! In their race against time, they begin to realize things in Nocturnia may not be quite what they seem ....With comedy, action, new vampire facts, and more troubles than one can count, young readers will laugh their way through this story that ends with a great moral lesson. (Ages 7-10)

Martin McLean, Middle School Queen
Alyssa Zaczek
Sterling Children's Books
9781454935704, $16.95, hc, $8.49, Kindle,

Diana Perry

Seventh-grader Martin McLean has always been surrounded by people who can express themselves. He can only find the right words when he's answering a problem at a Mathletes competition - until his friend introduces him to the world of drag. In a swirl of sequins and stilettos, Martin creates his fabulous drag queen alter ego, Lottie León. As Lottie, he is braver than he's ever been; but as Martin, he doesn't have the guts to tell anyone outside of his family about her. Young adults will find this story intense as the decisions Martin makes changes his life forever. (Ages 8-12)

The Magical Land of Birthdays
Amirah Kassem, author
Elisa Chavarri, illustrator
Amulet Books
c/o Harry N. Abrams
9781419737435, $14.99, hc, $8.41, Kindle,

Diana Perry

After receiving a magical cookbook and baking her special birthday cake, 11-year-old Amirah is transported to the Magical Land of Birthdays, where she meets three of her birthday buddies from different corners of the world - kids who share her exact birthday and are also about to turn 11. In the Magical Land of Birthdays, a place filled with wonder and whimsy (and plenty of cake!), you can celebrate your birthday every moment of every day. As they explore the land, Amirah and her new friends learn about each other and the special bond they share, and discover exciting and wonderful birthday traditions from around the world. This uplifting book teaches to treasure each birthday and keep the memories forever. (Ages 8-12)

The Perfect Star
Rob Buyea
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
c/o Random House
9781524764630, $16.99, hc, $9.99, Kindle,

Diana Perry

Eighth-graders Gavin, Natalie, Trevor, Randi, and Scott go on a field trip to the Nature's Learning Lab for a five-day scientific adventure. The five friends are excited. They all go to the beach, but as much fun as they're having, things start to go wrong... This is a coming-of-age story about the emotional highs and lows in the daily lives of teenagers struggling to become adults. Young readers will find themselves relating to almost all of it. While I can't reveal why, the title fits this story perfectly! (Ages 9-12)

I, Cosmo
Carlie Sorosiak
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
9781536207699, $16.99, hc, $9.00, Kindle,

Diana Perry

Ever since Cosmo became a big brother to Max ten years ago, he's known what his job was: to protect his boy and make him happy. Through many good years marked by tennis balls and pilfered turkey, torn-up toilet paper and fragrant goose poop, Cosmo has doggedly kept his vow. Until recently, his biggest problems were the evil tutu-wearing sheepdog he met on Halloween and the arthritis in his own joints. But now, with Dadscented blankets appearing on the couch and arguing voices getting louder, Cosmo senses a tougher challenge ahead. Cosmo goes through every emotion that he senses from Max, making me wonder if dogs really do feel what we do. A truly great book. (Ages 8-12)

Pony on the Twelfth Floor
Polly Faber, author
Sarah Jennings, illustrator
Candlewick Press
9781536209303, $16.99, hc, $16.99, Kindle,

Diana Fisher

Kizzy is a young girl with a big dream - to have a pony of her own. It seems impossible, living in the city in an apartment, but Kizzy's wish comes miraculously, absurdly true in the most unlikely of places. A mischievous pony has wandered into a grocery store sniffing out goodies to munch on while Kizzy is there on an errand. She takes charge if the wandering pony, whom she dubs Donut, and there begins a delightful, messy, bumbling adventure for the two of them. But the inevitable search for the Donut's real home looms in the background. Whimsical illustrations add to the fun. For young readers, this novel is an amusing, heartwarming page-turner. Incorrigible, lovable Donut will steal your heart. (Ages 8-12)

Bouncing Back
Scott Ostler
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
c/o Hachette Book Group USA
9780316524742, $16.36, hc, $9.99, Kindle,

Diana Perry

Back in his old basketball league, Carlos Cooper owned the court, sprinting and jumping and lighting up the scoreboard as opponents (and teammates) watched in awe. Now 13-year-old "Cooper the Hooper" is out of his league, new to life in a wheelchair, and struggling to pull his weight with his wheelchair basketball team, the Rollin' Rats. Just when Carlos starts to get the hang of the game, the city shuts down the Rollin' Rats' gym. Without the gym, the team can't practice, and if they can't practice, they might as well kiss their state tournament dreams goodbye. Carlos will need to fully embrace his new friends and his new role in the sport he loves in order to truly become part of the team - and help save their season. I believe young readers will be able to see through Carlos' eyes how life can change during a disaster and yet the important things remain. (Ages 9-12)

Who Put This Song On?
Morgan Parker
Delacorte Press
c/o Random House
9780525707516, $18.99, hc, $10.99, Kindle,

Diana Perry

Trapped in sunny, stifling, smalltown suburbia, 17-year-old Morgan knows why she's in therapy. She can't count the number of times she's been the only non-white person at the sleepover, been teased for her "weird" outfits, and been told she's not "really" black. Also, she's spent most of her summer crying in bed. So there's that, too. Lately, it feels like the whole world is listening to the same terrible track on repeat - and it's telling them how to feel, who to vote for, what to believe. Morgan wonders when can she turn this song off and begin living for herself. This book will open eyes and minds. Read it. (Ages 13+)

The Infinite Noise
Lauren Shippen
Tor Teen
9781250297518, $17.99, hc, $9.99, Kindle,

Diana Perry

Caleb is an Atypical, an individual with enhanced abilities. Which sounds pretty cool, except Caleb's ability is extreme empathy he feels the emotions of everyone around him. Being an empath in high school would be hard enough, but Caleb's life becomes even more complicated when he keeps getting pulled into the emotional orbit of one of his classmates, Adam. Adam's feelings are big and all-consuming, but they fit together with Caleb's feelings in a way that he can't quite understand. This is a story that is informative, intense, and complex. It will keep young adults reading until the very end. (Ages 14+)

103 Fundraising Ideas for Parent Volunteers with Schools and Teams
Cathy McGough
Stratford Living Publishing Inc.
9781988201405, $14.95, pbk, $4.95, Kindle,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Wow! What a resource. Anyone connected to fundraising of any kind needs this book on their shelf. It is packed with everything you need to know for running a perfect event. Many clever and fun ideas are laid out in detail. There are so many things to do and consider, and Cathy has addressed them all! As a young woman, I ran a fair share of events, and I would have loved to have had such a resource at hand. Moms, you need this book to survive the many activities and committees it will take to get your kids through school. And sports Moms are sure to succeed in getting new equipment and uniforms with this handy guide. (14+)

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