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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 29, Number 1 January 2019 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Pets/Wildlife Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf
Board Book Shelf Picturebook Shelf Bilingual Shelf
Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Gaming Shelf Poetry Shelf
Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Books in Series  


Reviewer's Choice

Standing Up Against Hate
Mary Cronk Farrell
Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
www.abramsyoungreaders.com
9781419731600, $17.99, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com

"Standing Up Against Hate: How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII" by journalist Mary Cronk Farrell tells the stories of the African American women who enlisted in the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in World War II. They quickly discovered that they faced as many obstacles in the armed forces as they did in everyday life. However, they refused to back down. They interrupted careers and left family, friends, and loved ones to venture into unknown and sometimes dangerous territory. They survived racial prejudice and discrimination with dignity, succeeded in jobs women had never worked before, and made crucial contributions to the military war effort. "Standing Up Against Hate" centers around Charity Adams, who commanded the only black WAAC battalion sent overseas and became the highest ranking African American woman in the military by the end of the war. Along with Adams's story are those of other black women who played a crucial role in integrating the armed forces. Their tales are both inspiring and heart-wrenching. "Standing Up Against Hate" also includes a timeline, bibliography, and index, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, school, and community library collections for children ages 10- 14.

The Squirrel Manifesto
Rick & Jean Edelman, authors
Dave Zaboski, illustrator
Aladdin
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534441668, $17.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Just as a squirrel gathers nuts to prepare for the winter (eating some now and storing some for later) with "The Squirrel Manifesto" kids ages 4-8 can learn the value of money by spending some of their allowance now and saving the rest for later using animals as examples. Financial habits form early and children learn by observing a parent's behavior and through their own experiences. That's why it's important to make sure children are treating money the right way. From allowances and birthday money to cash they'll one day earn babysitting or mowing lawns, "The Squirrel Manifesto" provides a platform to set your children on the path to a lifetime of fiscal responsibility. Delightfully entertaining while teaching a critically important skill that will benefit children for the rest of their lives, "The Squirrel Manifesto" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Squirrel Manifesto" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Ara the Star Engineer
Komal Singh, author
Ipek Konak, illustrator
Page Two
9781989025055, $15.95, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Ara is a young girl who loves BIG numbers. She wants to count all the stars in the sky -- but how? "Ara the Star Engineer" is an upbeat adventure of Ara and her sidekick droid, DeeDee ("Beep!"). They use smarts and grit to solve a BIG problem and discover an amazing algorithm! A quest that takes them through a whirlwind of intriguing locations at Innovation Plex -- Data Centre, Ideas Lab, Coding Pods, and X-Space. Along the way, they encounter real-life women tech trailblazers of diverse backgrounds, including a Tenacious Troubleshooter, an Intrepid Innovator, a Code Commander, and a Prolific Problem Solver. They tinker-and-tailor, build-and-fail, launch-and-iterate, and in the end discover an amazing algorithm of success -- coding, courage, creativity, and collaboration. The collaborative work of author Komal Singh and illustrator Ipek Konak, "Ara the Star Engineer" showcases an informative, entertaining and inspiring story for children ages 5-7 computers and technology and real-life trailblazers whose scientific and technological contributions have formed the world as we currently know it. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ara the Star Engineer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.95).

Mindfulness for Kids
Carole P. Roman & J. Robin Albertson-Wren
http://www.caroleproman.com
Althea Press
9781641520850 $13.99 pbk / $4.99 Kindle amazon.com

Mindfulness for Kids: 30 Fun Activities to Stay Calm, Happy & In Control lives up to its title as a resource ideal for young people ages 6-12. Offering simple mindfulness exercises such as belly breathing as a counter to panic, to active listening to one's siblings, "counting to calm", yoga poses, and more, Mindfulness for Kids is a reader-friendly compendium of strategies to deal with the stresses and pains of growing up. Mindfulness for Kids is highly recommended for public school and library collections, and also makes an excellent gift!


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Baby Bear's Adoption
Jennifer Keats Curtis, author
Veronica V. Jones, illustrator
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
www.arbordalepublishing.com
9781607187400, $9.95 PB, $6.95 Kindle
9781607187264, $17.95, HC, 32pp, Ages 4-7, www.amazon.com

"Baby Bear's Adoption" is a fiction story about an orphan baby bear cub who was adopted by a mother bear with the help of wildlife biologists in Michigan. It is based on a real program and real incidents. In "Baby Bear's Adoption," Braden and his sister Finley help their father, a wildlife biologist, track and mark a mother bear or sow and her two cubs while they are hibernating. Braden and Finley help by holding the two cubs and keeping them warm while the biologists medicate, mark, measure, and treat the sow mother bear. Then the family is placed back in their den exactly where they were. This allows the biologists to track the mother bear in case they need her to foster, or adopt an orphan bear cub later. Later in the spring, the biologist finds an abandoned bear cub high in a tree, and they use the collar they placed on the mother bear to locate her and her cubs and to persuade her to adopt the newly orphaned baby bear cub. The process is extremely interesting, and does not hurt any of the bears or people. An interesting side story in "Baby Bear's Adoption" is uncovered by observing that Braden, the older brother, is Afro American, while Finley appears to be Asian in descent. So both the siblings would also appear to be adopted, just like the baby bear cub. Like all Arbordale biology education titles, "Baby Bear's Adoption" contains added educational activity pages titled For Creative Minds, Black Bear Life Cycle, Stages of Bear Hibernation, Q & a With Bear Biologist Mark Boersen, and Furry Fun Facts. "Baby Bear's Adoption" is a fascinating bear cub rescue story based on events in a real life program in Michigan.

Running with Wolves
Jim Dutcher & Jamie Dutcher
National Geographic Children's Books
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426333583, $16.99, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com

For more than 20 years, Jim and Jamie Dutcher have been documenting wolf behavior. They spent six years living in a camp near Idaho's Sawtooth Wilderness, intimately observing a three-generation wolf pack. "Running with Wolves: Our Story of Life with the Sawtooth Pack" is a riveting memoir as these two award-winning filmmakers take young readers ages 10 and older through the experience of the years they spent living in the wild with a real-life wolf pack. Jim and Jamie set out to show the world that instead of fearsome beasts, wolves are social, complex, and incredible creatures that deserve our protection. Deep in the mountain wilderness of Idaho, they set up Wolf Camp, where they spent years capturing the emotional, exciting, and sometimes heartbreaking story of their pack. Young readers will meet Kamots, the fearless leader, learn from wise Matsi, explore the forest with shy Lakota, and watch as adorable pups grow from silly siblings to a devoted pack, see how these brave wolves overcome all odds, battling mountain lions and frigid temperatures, and most of all, discover the surprising kindness, compassion, and devotion that Jim and Jamie discovered by living with wolves. While empathically and unreservedly recommended for both school and community library Pets/Wildlife collections for young readers, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Running with Wolves" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

How Tickles Saved Pickles
Maddie Johnson
Simon and Schuster
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534436626, $17.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, Ages 4-8, www.amazon.com

How Tickles Saved Pickles: A True Story tells of Pickles, a miniature pig who is enjoying his new home until one day he falls ill. His only hope for recovery is a blood transfusion from a big sow on a farm too far away to help. How can Pickles receive help in time? And how can a family handle a 650-pound rescued pig? Adorable color photos throughout complement this true-life story of a pet pig's miracle.


The Environmental Studies Shelf

Eco Kids Self-Sufficiency Handbook
Alan Bridgewater & Gill Bridgewater
Happy Fox Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781641240307, $14.99, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com

By cleverly combining creativity with eco-awareness, "Eco Kids Self-Sufficiency Handbook" is timely instructional guide and manual that specifically encourages children aged 7-14 to put down their mobile devices and get involved with 'hands-on' projects that range from building a wind turbine and a go-kart, to creating light, growing vegetables, and making green gifts, "Eco Kids Self Sufficiency Handbook" offers a wide range of illustrated ways to capture the imagination and make a positive contribution to the world around us. Thirty exciting projects support integrated STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). With easy to follow step-by-step instructions and photographs, and adult supervision, no project is too difficult for children to complete! "Eco Kids Self-Sufficiency Handbook" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library Environmental Studies & Projects collections.


The Board Book Shelf

It's A Small World: Shapes!
Disney Hyperion
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781368039307, $7.99, Board Book, 20pp, Ages 2-4, www.amazon.com

Small though it may be, the world of the classic Disney ride It's A Small World is full of exciting and vibrant shapes. Drawing on the beauty of the Disney Parks Presents picture book, It's A Small World: Shapes! brings the thrill of It's A Small World to the littlest Disney fans as they learn about the many shapes that make up our vivid and beautiful world, with the word for each shape called out in the text. Another gem of a Disney inspired board book for very young children, "It's A Small World: Shapes" will prove to be an immediately popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections.

Jungle Cruise: Animals!
Disney Hyperion
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781368039314, $7.99, Board Book, 20pp, Ages 2-4, www.amazon.com

Based off the fan-favorite Disney Parks Presents picture book, this board book is perfect for young kids who want to expand upon their animal vocabulary. "Jungle Cruise: Animals!" by the Disney Book Group serves as the perfect introduction for very young children to the many animals living along the tropical rivers of the world-famous Parks attraction, with each adorable animal having their name written by it. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' as only a Disney title can be, "Jungle Cruise: Animals!" is wholeheartedly endorsed and recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections.

1 Grumpy Bruce
Ryan T. Higgins
Disney Hyperion
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781368023634, $7.99, Board Book, 24pp, Ages 2-5, www.amazon.com

Long-suffering Bruce once again contends with an increasingly crowded household, this time in "1 Grumpy Bruce", an original board book by Ryan T. Higgins where young children can count the never-ending party guests. Full of fun characters and humor, "1 Grumpy Bruce" is just right for our littlest readers and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library number identification and counting board book collections.

Ellie in Color
Mike Wu
Disney Hyperion
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781368012003, $7.99, Board Book, 20pp, Ages 2-5, www.amazon.com

Mike Wu is the author and illustrator of Ellie, which was selected as NPR's best of 2015, as well as its sequel, Ellie in Concert. In "Ellie in Color", Ellie and her signature paintbrush guide the littlest readers through vibrant colors in a simply adorable board book and illustrates how colors come together to create a beautiful picture. Delightfully entertaining, "Ellie in Color" will prove to be an especially welcome addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

Feminist Baby Finds Her Voice!
Loryn Brantz
Disney Hyperion
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781368022798, $9.99, Board Book, 22pp, Ages 1-2, www.amazon.com

Feminist Baby is back for more adventures-with new friends in tow in "Feminist Baby Finds Her Voice!", a refreshing, clever board book by two-time Emmy Award-winning author, illustrator, and BuzzFeed contributor Loryn Brantz. "Feminist Baby Finds Her Voice!" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, and community library board book collections.


The Picturebook Shelf

Spuds and the Spider
Seamus O Conaill, author
Daniele Archimede, illustrator
Gill Books
www.gillbooks.ie
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
www.dufoureditions.com
9780717179954, $16.00, PB 32 pages, Ages 4-7, www.amazon.com

"Spuds and the Spider" is a delicately drawn, poetically illustrated children's story of two leprechauns named Spuds Potsofgold and Rose Goodytwoshoes, their mouse Steve (who thought he was a cat), and their tenant spider, Leggers McWeb. all lived together in Toadstool Cottage, but not peaceably. Despite Rose's poetic counsel, Spuds was determined to squash the spider like a sponge when he caught him. Rose told him, "He means no harm,/ Let him go,/ Just be kind,/ You never know./." So when Spuds finally caught Leggers one day, instead of stomping him with his boot, he tossed Leggers into the garden, asking him to promise to stay outside. This was not the last of Spuds' encounters with Leggers, but he still heeded his wife's compassionate counsel. One fine day, Spuds was leaning over his well making wishes when he accidentally fell in, deep down at the bottom of the well. No one heard his pleas and cries for help, except Leggers the spider. Leggers dropped deep down into the well his strongest, finest thread, and though it was sticky, it was strong enough for Spuds to climb up out of the well! Amazed at his former tenant's compassionate action, Spuds became a great fan and friend of Leggers, and allowed him to spin his webs and eat all the fat juicy bugs and flies he wanted. Rose even made Leggers shamrock pies, though he was too polite to tell her he didn't like them. Once again all was well in Toadstool Cottage. A wonderful delicate series of intricate, pastel green and pale orange hued illustrations bring the Tale of "Spuds and the Spider" to full and fragile life. This whimsical Irish tale will charm readers young and old with its richly embellished moral fable.

Down on the Ranch
Nancy Fowler Pyle, author
David Barrow, illustrator
Doodle and Peck publishing
P.O. Box 852105, Yukon, OK 73085
www.doodleandpeck.com
9781732363724, $10.99, PB
9781732363731, $19.99, HC, 34pp, Ages 3-8, www.amazon.com

"Down On the Ranch" is an unusual counting story, perfect for preschool readers and younger, set on a colorful, comic, western ranch setting, perhaps in the neighborhood of Oklahoma. Pleasant, warmly comic illustrations depict a grandpa, grandma, 10 coal black calves, nine charming chickens, eight greedy goats, seven handsome horses, six pudgy pigs, five gray geese, four dependable dogs, three trusty tractors, and two soft calico cats on one big, beautiful ranch. Children will love repeating the rhythmic counting leading to the final gay scene of all the animals, Grandpa and Grandma, followed by the three trusty tractors and two soft calico cats. "Down On the Ranch" is a young children's classic.

A Tangle of Brungles
Shobha Viswanath and Culpeo S. Fox
Karadi Tales Company Pvt. Ltd.
www.karaditales.com
9788181903600, $15.95, HC, 34pp, Ages 6-8

An old witch aims to marry the dashing but dastardly Brungle, and decides to stir up an appealing stew to capture him. But is the stew appealing to him, or only to other witches? Fun wordplays and whimsical, especially colorful drawings enhance a tale that is narrated in a rollicking rhyme to maximum appeal to kids interested in a refreshingly original tale of love and witchcraft.

If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur
Amy Newbold
Tilbury House Publishers
www.tilburyhouse.com
9780884486671, $17.95 HC, $11.13 Kindle, 40pp, Ages 6-9

Greg Newbold provides fun and especially whimsical dinosaur drawings to accompany a different kind of art survey in If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur: one which questions how dinosaurs would appear if they were painted by Kahlo, Warhol, and others. Kids receive a lively cross-comparison of major artists' styles as they enjoy drawings of Mona Lisa, Mary Cassatt's garden, and other art styles with a distinctive dinosaur touch adding much fun and food for thought. Very highly recommended for its cross between a lively leisure read and a set of art insights.

An Anty-War Story
Tony Ross
Andersen Press
www.andersenpressusa.com
9781541535640, $17.99 HC, $9.99 Kindle, Ages 7-11

An Anty-War Story tells of Antworld, a happy place filled with ants. All is well in this world until one different ant named Douglas enters the picture and eschews the task of being a worker to become a soldier. He questions why the other ants are always so busy working, but they have no answers: they're just used to following routines. As he grows bigger, nobody asks him to do anything. How can he fit in? Kids will appreciate this story of a little ant looking for acceptance.

Polonius the Pit Pony
Richard O'Neill
Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
www.childs-play.com
9781786281869, $16.99 HC, $7.99 PB, Ages 4-7

Polonius the Pit Pony is illustrated by Feronia Parker Thomas and tells of a pony who escapes the coal mine lifestyle to join a family of Travelers. He loves his newfound freedom but now he has no way of repaying his new family for his better life...or, does he? Based on true events, this story captures the Traveler values and offers food for thought about giving back and giving thanks for opportunities and good fortune.

The Peace Dragon
Linda Ragsdale
Flowerpot Press
142 2nd Ave. North, Franklin, TN 37064
www.FlowerpotPress.com
9781486714667, $16.99, HC, Ages 5-8

One day while he's on an expedition, Sherwyn meets a dragon named Omani who is committed to love and peace, and the two of them form a bond that leads to adventures, revelations, and a renewed purpose in life for them both. A perfect day nearly ruined by an encounter with a scary, big dragon turns into something beneficial for both in this winning story which is packed with engaging, large-size drawings.

Outside My Window
Linda Ashman
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.eerdmans.com/youngreaders
9780802854650, $17.00, HC, Ages 4-8

Kids ages 4-8 will relish this fun story of kids around the world who see different landscapes when they look out of their windows. From urban to rural areas and brownstone buildings to huts, these are depicted in a gentle series of rhyming observations and pictures by Jamey Christoph which invite kids to observe what's unique about their window's views and culture. Locations are mentioned in back of the book, which invites children to pair the observation with the area.

Lucy's Birthday Party
Rolynda Tassan
RiverRidge Publishing
9780998331867, $8.99, http://rhtassan.com

Lucy's Birthday Party presents a picture book about a very special day in cat Lucy's life: her first birthday. As birthday preparations are being made, Lucy's curiosity lands her in trouble not just one time, but again and again. Kids receive a gentle, fun story of party preparations gone awry, and a family's relationships and responses to potential disasters. Despite Lucy's penchant for trouble, adversity is treated with gentle acceptance and laughter, teaching kids important lessons about identifying and diffusing issues. Adults seeking picture book stories about lively interactions and acceptance will relish this tale of Lucy's exciting birthday plans.

Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com

Four new books provide exceptional choices for young leisure readers seeking something different. Ben Bailey Smith and Sav Akyuz's Bear Moves (9780763698317, $15.99, HC, Ages 2- 5) tells of a dancing, moving bear who invites young readers to 'get in the groove' with his bear moves. As the bear adopts poses and dance routines, accompanied by a bunny in charge of the music, kids will embrace a fun tale indeed. Steve Light's Builders & Breakers (9780763698720, $16.99, HC, Ages 3-7) tells of a working father who forgets his lunch pail, leading a brother and sister through an urban construction job site as they seek to return it to him. Kids receive a lively story of the job site's work and machines in a simple picture book tale filled with easy words and captivating images. Wade Bradford's There's a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor (9780763686659, $16.99, HC, Ages 4-8) is illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, who brings to life the story of Mr. Snore, who is trying to sleep at the Sharemore Hotel. He's a picky sleeper, however, and just can't seem to find enough peace and quiet to get his sleep. When he arrives at the 13th floor, even more surprises await in this zany story of a search for sleep. John Burningham's Mouse House (9781536200393, $16.99 HC, $5.99 PB, Ages 3-7) tells of a house shared by two families: humans, who go to sleep at night, and a family of mice, who come out to eat and play in the night. When a mouse is spotted one night, humans call a mouse catcher, but their children decide to warn the mice in this fun story of a shared household and interactions between mouse and man.

Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
www.penguinrandomhouse.com

Karina Wolf's I Am Not a Fox (9780399174506, $16.99 HC, $9.99 Kindle) will reach ages 3-7 with a whimsical, fun story of Luca, who is not like other dogs in the dog park. Chuck Groenink provides engaging drawings that enhance the story of a fox who likes to chase cats, yap at mailmen, and more. Is he really a fox, or a dog? A gentle story of looks and actions creates a moving tale of belonging. Ruth Spiro's Made by Maxine (9780399186295, $16.99 HC, $9.99 Kindle, Ages 4-8) is illustrated by Holly Hatam and tells of Maxine, a girl who loves creating new things from old items. Milton is a goldfish who is also her best friend. He'd love to join Maxine in the pet parade at school; but he has no feet and can't leave his bowl. This is no problem for the creative Maxine, who uses her skills to best advantage to embrace her pet friend in this fun story of trial, error, and inventing.

Knopf/Random House
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
www.randomhouse.com/kids

Brianna Caplan Sayers' board book Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night? (9780399554513, $8.99, Board Book) receives bright drawings by Christian Slade, who brings to life the story of little airplanes who must get ready for bed. Parents choosing this as a night-time read-aloud will discover that the gentle rhyme illustrates various types of planes, from helicopters to biplanes and even Air Force One, as they add human attributes to sleepy little planes. Tonya Bolden's No Small Potatoes: Junius C. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas (9780385752763, $17.99 HC, $9.99 Kindle) receives bold, large-size drawings by Don Tate and requires good reading skills of kids ages 4-8, who receive a dramatic retelling of Groves' life and times that blends elements of drama and fiction with a biography, history, and survey of his impact on potato agriculture. The drawings and story are appealing and provide information not just on one man's life and agricultural pursuits; but on the evolution of the potato in this country in general and Kansas in particular.

Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
www.tigertalesbooks.com

Two lovely new books from Tiger Tales offer lively stories and colorful, exceptional illustrations to accompany them. Steve Smallman's Scaredy Bear (9781680101003, $16.99, HC, Ages 5-8) receives large-size, gorgeous drawings by Caroline Pedler as it tells about a brave little bunny and a big, scared bear. Can the two really be friends? Their very different perspectives entwine in a memorable tale. Jenny Lambert illustrates Where in the Wild (9781680101041, $16.99, HC, (Ages 4-8), which pairs a series of fictional animal observers with a nonfiction examination of wilderness habitats and the creatures that inhabit them. From an eagle-eye observer of the skies to a white polar bear who likes his cold home, this uses animal insights to cement the relationship between habits and creatures.

Tundra Books
http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/imprints/tundra-books

Maureen Fergus's The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold (9781770498247, $16.99) features fun pictures by Cale Atkinson and a different kind of Santa tale as Mr. Claus decides to stop believing in the existence of one of his charges. Harold's Christmas list is too neat, while Harold himself is physically not the child he was last year. Is he just a story, a joke, or somebody's scheme to gain more gifts? Good reading skills will lend appreciation to this story of a flummoxed Santa. Hawksley Workman's Almost a Full Moon (9781770498716, $16.99) is illustrated by Jensine Eckwall and tells of a boy and his grandmother who hold a gathering in their small cabin in the dead of winter. Travelers come to visit and the cozy feeling of friendship and hospitality simmer through a welcoming story parents and kids will find perfect leisure reading for a cold winter's day.

Barefoot Books
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
www.barefootbooks.com

Anne-Fleur Drillon and Eric Puybaret's Cloud Chaser (9781782854111, $17.99 HC, $11.33 PB, Ages 4-8) requires good reading skills, but provides a satisfyingly unique story as it tells of a young boy who has always dreamed of flying, but who is advised by elders to quit daydreaming about impossible things and 'get his head out of the clouds.' When a new neighbor moves in and brings new possibilities, the young narrator discovers some amazing new possibilities for fun in this story, which excels in full-page intriguing color pictures that lend new perspectives about the world. Didier Levy and Nathalie Dieterle's Jojo and the Food Fight! (9781782854098, $16.99 HC, $8.99 PB, Ages 4-8) is translated by Lisa Rosinsky and provides a bright, fun story filled with full-page fresh food drawings as it tells of a jungle food fight frenzy that lasts for days. Good reading skills will enhance appreciation of a story of a little elephant who walks into chaos and, having lost his memory, adopts the name of Jojo and challenges the jungle animals with a time-out to the fight as they help Jojo regain what he's missing. A fun story of struggle and achievement evolves.


The Bilingual Shelf

Watch Out for Clever Women! / Cuidado con las mujeres astutas!
Joe Hayes, author
Vicki Trego Hill, illustrator
Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas, El Paso, Texas 79901
9780938317203, $12.95, PB, 80pp, www.cincopuntos.com

Comprised of a bilingual (English/Spanish) collection of Southwestern folktales with some tricky women teaching people simple lessons, storytelling Joe Hayes showcases such traditional Hispanic short stories as: In the Days of King Adobe / En los dias del Rey Adobin; That Will Teach You / Ya aprenderas; The Day It Snowed Tortillas / El dia que nevo tortillas; Just Say Baaaa / Di nomas baaaa; Watch Out! / -Cuidado!; and five more. Of special note is that each one of these entertaining bilingual stories is prefaced by a black-and-white illustration by Vicki Trego Hill. Simply stated, "Watch Out for Clever Women! / Cuidado con las mujeres astutas! Enhanced with the inclusion of "Notes to Readers and Storytellers", "Watch Out for Clever Women! / Cuidado con las mujeres astutas!" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library bilingual folktale collections for young readers ages 7-10.


The Fiction Shelf

Love a la Mode
Stephanie Kate Strohm
Disney Hyperion
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781368019040, $17.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent's school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn't all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes. Henry Yi grew up in his dad's restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent's school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie's growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away. Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs. An original and wonderfully entertaining teen romance novel by Stephanie Kate Strohm, "Love a la Mode" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to highschool and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Love a la Mode" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

If This Were a Story
Beth Turley
Simon & Schuster
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534420618, $16.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, Ages 8-12

If This Were a Story tells of a strong-willed ten-year-old named Hannah who wishes for magic from life, but is the only fifth grade girl to have red bumps on her face, and faces judgment from her peers. Why would anyone be friends with Hannah? Her story, told from different viewpoints, makes for pointed insights about differences, coming of age, and friendship as Hannah faces mental and physical changes, counselors, and the uncertainties of the world around her.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Adventures of Sparky and Rex
Frances McDowall, author
Arwa Ali, illustrator
Blissibooks Ltd.
www.blissibooks.com
9781527216433 $9.99, PB, 26pp, www.amazon.com

"The Adventures of Sparky and Rex" is a first title of a delightful British mystery series with two very different pet dogs as chief sleuths or detectives. Sparky, the smaller dog, is quite proper and well behaved with a Holmes style hat and overcoat plus a monocle, while Rex is a larger, more playful, boisterous dog who was inclined to get into some scrapes because of his enthusiasm and uninhibited joy at detecting. Sparky and Rex are taken from their cottage home deep in the English countryside by their owner Miss Myrtle to visit her cousin, lady Egna in London. What an exciting adventure that turned out to be! Children will enjoy the pastel drawings and illustrations of the two dogs in their explorations, for they decide to help discover a lost jewel belonging to Lady Egna. So while the two elderly cousins enjoy tea in a garden of the townhouse, Sparky and Rex have a field day exploring all the remote corners of the townhouse searching for the lost jewel. Naturally there are a series of small messes and catastrophes in the wake of their enthusiastic explorations of basement, attic, muddy flowerbed, and bedroom. Although quite a creative mess transpired between the two dogs' search efforts, Lady Egna forgave them both and overlooked the )huge) mess they made, because Rex found the lost jewel! All's well that ends well in this canine detective mystery in proper English settings, with a juicy bone apiece and a promise of more canine mystery adventures to come.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Dragon Overnight
Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, & Emily Jenkins
Scholastic
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com
9781338111163 $5.99 amazon.com

Part of the "Upside Down Magic" fantasy series, Dragon Overnight features two young wizards gifted with unusual magic. Nory Horace can turn herself into a kitten (sometimes with a little bit of dragon too). Her friend Andres Padillo is good at flying high, and not so skilled at returning to the ground. In an "Upside-Down Magic" class with other young people who have unusual powers, they embark on an overnight field trip to the mysterious Dragon Haven, where they can visit dragons or even see new dragons being hatched. But there's another group of students visiting too - students who practice "normal" magic. Can two dramatically different groups of young magic users get along? Adventure aplenty is the hallmark of this delightful series, highly recommended especially for library fantasy collections for middle grade and young adult readers.

Megabat
Anna Humphrey
Tundra Books
http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/imprints/tundra-books
9780735262577, $12.99 HC, $7.99 Kindle, Ages 7-10

Megabat receives fine black and white drawings by Kass Reich, who adds a humorous tone to this story of a boy, a fantastic cure for loneliness, and a talking bat. Living in a haunted house is just one of the many things that sets newcomer to town Daniel apart from his peers. Meanwhile, Megabat also finds himself living in the old house, frustrated with the move and his inability to communicate. When boy and bat get together, they come to understand one another and join forces against a common enemy in this lively story of Birdgirl, Megabat, Daniel, and their community.

Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps
A. J. Massey
Independently Published
9781980944393, $9.99, PB, 249pp, www.amazon.com

A normal eighth-grader by day, thirteen-year-old Ben awakens one night in a fantastical dream world where snow burns, the sun disappears and reappears without warning, and magic is addictive. But the mysterious realm of Meridia is disappearing, eaten by a phenomena called the Fading. Joined by Avery, Marcus, and three dog-like dragonwoofs, Ben journeys across monster-infested oceans and sun-scorched mountains to retrieve the sphinx's head, the key to saving the world and every astonishing creature that inhabits it. But not everyone wants them to succeed. Soon, they find themselves pursued by the Sovereign and his generals, whose armies will stop at nothing to perpetuate the Fading and its consumption of the land. A deftly crafted fantasy adventure for young readers ages 10-13, "Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps" showcases author A. J. Massey as a master of the genre and a novelist with a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling. While very highly recommended, especially for school and community library Fantasy Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

The Adventurers Guild: Twilight of the Elves
Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos
Disney Hyperion
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781484788608, $16.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, Ages 8-12

The Adventurers Guild: Twilight of the Elves presents zombies, dragons, elves, monsters and more as best friends Zed and Brock embark on a mission to save their city. Fantasy readers ages 8-12 will relish a fast-paced story of a series of dangerous challenges and battles that leads friends to embark on a covert mission and a quest for magic thought long extinct. Action-packed stories abound in this compelling saga. School and community librarians should note that "The Adventurers Guild: Twilight of the Elves" is also available as a complete and unabridged audio book (Oasis Audio, 9781640910652, $9.99, CD).

Freedom: Crystal Journals 4
G. Rosemary Ludlow
https://grosemaryludlow.com/freedom
Comwave Publishing House
9780973687170, $14.95 Paper/$3.99 Kindle, http://a.co/d/j1rbvby

The fourth volume of G. Rosemary Ludlow's Crystal Journals series will reach young readers in grades 5-7 with a thought-provoking fantasy about Susan, who has always taken the concept of freedom for granted until her crystal transports her to a future world of ecological disaster and the resulting economic hardships. Readers familiar with the Crystal Journals series will find Freedom an outstanding addition that builds upon Susan's evolutionary process and takes her to the next step. Not only is a whole planet suffering ecological failure, but other worlds are affected. Fans of the prior series titles are in for a treat with this latest adventure, which touches on choices, right and wrong, and the foundations of positive, resourceful thinking.

Scholastic Press
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com

Fonda Lee's Crossfire (9781338139099, $17.99 HC, $9.99 PB, $10.99 Kindle, Ages 12-18) will reach older teen sci-fi readers with an absorbing story of Earth's lasting peace as a colony of an alien race: a hundred years of respite shattered by a human terrorist group and the decision of the aliens to withdraw from the too-unstable planet. Earth is not entirely unwanted, however: when word gets out about the withdrawal, others vie for control of the planet and look to plunder its resources. Can Donovan Reyes, a member of the security forces, stop a war and save the planet against all odds? A fine story evolves. A.P. Winter's The Boy Who Went Magic (9781338217148, $17.99 HC, $9.99 PB, $10.99 Kindle, Ages 8-12) is a fantasy that will engage pre-teen through teen readers with a vivid story of mages of bygone years, outlawed and destroyed by the royal family centuries ago. Bert still believes in the hope of magic in the world, but his life is dull until some real magic spins him out of control and into a friendship with Finch, a female adventurer who leads him into worlds he never knew existed. A fine story of courage and fantastic possibilities emerges from this friendship.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

The Lake Monster
Job, author
Derib, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184236, $11.95, PB, 48pp, www.amazon.com

The Beavers are very worried: Linden Tree, Yakari's young and mischievous friend, has lost his appetite for -- well, everything. And his people have no time to devote to him, as they must repair their precious dam, damaged by heavy rains. While the young Sioux attempts to dispel his friend's melancholy, Thousand-Mouths suddenly realizes he is several laborers short of a full work gang. Is something in the lake going after the hard-working beavers? Derib and Job have been writing Yakari stories for over 30 years and have both received lifetime achievement awards for their outstanding work. "The Lake Monster" is the twenty-first volume in their Yakari series and an absolute 'must read' for the legions of young Yakari fans and will prove to be an enduringly favorite addition to elementary school and community library graphic novel collections for children ages 5-7.

Caveboy Dave: Not So Faboo
Aaron Reynolds and Phil McAndrew
Viking
Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com/youngreaders
9780451475480, $20.99 HC, $12.99 PB, $9.99 Kindle

The all-color graphic novel Caveboy Dave: Not So Faboo tells of a cave boy who becomes the boss at the age 12 years, and tells of how the great year of Dave Unga-Bunga evolves after he invents ice cream and summer vacation. When the village shaman, Faboo, goes missing, Dave assumes a leadership role to find him in this second graphic novel in the Caveboy Dave series, highly recommended for ages 8 and older.


The Audiobook Shelf

Dough Mouse
Steven Thomas Oney
Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater
https://ccrmt.com
9780974566863, $99.00, 22 CDs, 8 hours

https://ccrmt.com/product/the-mouse-made-of-dough

A child's first mystery thriller by Steven Thomas Oney (who is the author of the award winning Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater audio series), "Dough Mouse" is the story of an albino church mouse, who is living with his grandfather while awaiting his parents return. The mouse must confront a marauding pirate cat, a stealthy and hungry black snake, three obnoxious cousins, and a greedy and haughty uncle who may in fact be a rat. A great cathedral bell, salvaged by Woods Hole scientists from the bottom of the Atlantic, comes to his rescue. This superbly narrated audio book story is sophisticated enough to be entertaining for adults and yet simply enough to rivet a young listener's attention. Highly recommended for listeners ages 12 and up, "Dough Mouse" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family and community library audio book collections for young listeners.


The Music CD Shelf

Swamp Romp
Johnette Downing with Scott Billington
Wiggle Worm Records
PO Box 13367, New Orleans, LA 70185
$10.00 www.johnettedowning.com

Inspired by the music of New Orleans, Swamp Romp is a jubilant, original children's album, created to encapsulate the spirit of a Louisiana dance party. New Orleans native and award- winning musician Johnette Downing has combined her talent with veteran producer Scott Billington to craft a celebration that kids and adults will both enjoy! Highly recommended. The tracks are "Swamp Romp", "Who Got the Baby in the King Cake?", "Mudbug Boogie", "It Wasn't Me (The Possum Song)", "Poor Worry Anna", "J'ai Vu Le Loup, Le Renard et la Belette", "Mississippi River", "Bamboula Rhythm", "Gather Something Sweet", "Your Best Pair of Shoes", "How to Dress a Po' Boy", "Crawfish Etouffee", "Get Ready, Get Set, Let's Groove", "Our Oxcarts", "Stand Up, Jump Up", and "Star in my Sky".


The DVD Shelf

Sea Bones
Bob Barner, author and illustrator
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
9781338284850 $59.95 www.scholastic.com/westonwoods

Ideal for young viewers ages 5-8 in grades K-3, Sea Bones (9 min.) is the DVD adaptation of Bob Barner's colorful, rhyming picturebook about the sea. Filled with amazing fish facts about vertebrates, invertebrates, endoskeletons and exoskeletons, Sea Bones is educational, eye- opening, and an excellent choice for homeroom viewing. Sea Bones is a choice pick especially for elementary school DVD libraries. Also highly recommended for young people are the bilingual DVDs "Groovy Joe: Party Countdown", a rhythmic story in which Groovy Joe hosts a dance party, and "House for Hermit Crab" a classic tale about a crab who has outgrown his shell and meets many friends in his search for a new home.

Mary McScary
Written by R.L. Stine
Illustrated by Marc Brown
Narrated by Emily Eiden
Music by Ernest Troost
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
9781338284713 $59.9 www.scholastic.com/westonwoods

Mary McScary is the DVD adaptation of a whimsical picturebook intended for young readers in grade 2-5 (ages 7-10). The simple story by celebrated children's author R.L. Stine is about Mary McScary, who loves to scare people for fun - she scares her mom, her dad, her pets, and even a balloon! But she can't scare her cousin, Harry McScary. He isn't afraid of the usual creepy things, like spiders or snakes. How can Mary McScary bring her cousin Harry the scare of a lifetime? Brought to life with Emily Eiden's engaging narration, and enhanced with music by Ernest Troost and a small amount of animation, Mary McScary is a delightful pick for homeroom viewing and elementary or middle school library DVD collections. Bonus materials include a joint interview with R.L. Stine and illustrator Marc Brown. 8 min., closed-captioned.


The Gaming Shelf

The Unofficial Guide to Building Bridges in Minecraft
Ryan Nagelhout, author
PowerKids Press
c/o The Rosen Publishing Group
29 East 21st St., New York, NY 10010
9781538337035 $23.60, Library Binding, 24 pages, www.amazon.com

"The Unofficial Guide to Building Bridges in Minecraft" is a handy color illustrated guide to the sandbox computer game, Minecraft, and the skill of building bridges over obstacles, geographic features, or topography in the game. It is a game that builds engineering and technology skills, while roaming the world at will, inspired by the gamer's imagination above all. Scale color illustrations and pictures demonstrate real-life and created Minecraft bridges, with frequent sidebars titled Minecraft Mania giving extra information and techniques to use building bridges in Minecraft. Concepts and limitations and safety practices are a part of the game, integrated into the chapter on blocks and gravity and where to build, as well as Wide and Tall and Bring the Obstacle to You. An added chapter on making Mods shows ways to use a computer program called ScriptCraft to create new blocks and make your own games. The types of bridges that can be built are truly limited only by the gamer's imagination. "The Unofficial Guide to Building Bridges in Minecraft" is completed by a glossary, index, and suggested websites access link. This Minecraft related how-to-book will appeal to readers age 8 and up, and is part of a series of titles about different building topics in Minecraft.


The Poetry Shelf

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Fred Rogers, author
Luke Flowers, illustrator
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
www.quirkbooks.com
9781683691136, $19.99, HC, 144pp, www.amazon.com

A minister, a musician, a puppeteer, and a friend to generations of children, the late Fred Rogers (March 20, 1928 - February 27, 2003) was everyone's very good neighbor. For over 30 years he created and hosted the groundbreaking educational television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, among other distinguished honors. Compiled in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers" the verse by Mister Rogers ranges from funny to sweet, silly to sincere. The lyrics of Mister Rogers explore such universal topics as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, imagination, and more. Through these songs (as well as endearing puppets and honest conversations) Mister Rogers instilled in his young viewers the values of kindness, self-awareness, and self-esteem. But most of all, he taught children that they are loved, just as they are. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time alone, this beautifully presented volume of meaningful, inspiring, entertaining poetry is nicely illustrated by Luke Flowers, making it unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library poetry collections for children ages 6-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that ""A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).


The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Contest for the Crown
Scholastic
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com
9781338279566 $4.99 amazon.com

Part of "Pokemon the Series Sun & Moon" books adapting television episodes into full-color, illustrated storybooks accessible to young adults, Contest for the Crown is a "Level 2 Reader" (designed to help beginning readers learn new vocabulary and longer sentences). The tale follows pokemon trainer Ash, his faithful companion Pikachu, and his new pokemon friend Litten to the Wela Fire Festival, known for sharing a special crown that make any pokemon who wears it stronger. When an Alolan Marowak tries to claim the Wela Crown for itself alone, can Ash's friends and their pokemon ensure that the festival remains an event for everyone? Contest for the Crown is an excellent easy reader for young pokemon fans in kindergarten through second grade, highly recommended. A bonus page of pokemon sticker is also included.

Legendary and Mythical Guidebook: Deluxe Edition
Scholastic
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com
9781338279368 $8.99 amazon.com

Legendary and Mythical Guidebook: Deluxe Edition is a full-color book showcasing the most powerful and extraordinary creatures from the popular "Pokemon" video games and animated television show. In addition to full-color artwork and a brief description of each fantastic pokemon, Legendary and Mythical Guidebook: Deluxe Edition also briefly summarizes encounters that pokemon trainer Ash has had with these incredible beings over the television show's long run (and the many Pokemon animated movies that have been released). A few of these stories are several pages long instead simply a paragraph, making Legendary and Mythical Guidebook: Deluxe Edition an excellent way to encourage young fans of the games or the show to practice their reading skills! A full-color poster of legendary pokemon from the games "Pokemon Sun" and "Pokemon Moon" is also included.


Books in Series

What Do We Do In Winter
JoAnn Early Macken, author
Red Chair Press
www.redchairpress.com
Lerner Publisher Services
PO Box 333, South Egremont, MA 01258
www.lernerbooks.com
9781634403092, $25.32 Library Binding, $6.99 PB, $4.99 Kindle, 24 pages

From Look! Books at Red Chair Press comes a seasonal series titled Seasons Can Be Fun. Written for children ages 4-8 years, "What We Do In Winter" celebrates common winter activities for children and families in the cold season of the year. Winter covers three months of the year, which are December, January, and February in the Northern Hemisphere and June, July and August in the Southern Hemisphere. Winter brings cold at the time when our part of the earth is far away from the sun. Winter means warm outer clothing like jackets, hats, mittens and boots must be worn to protect us from the cold. Some fun winter activities include sledding, building snowmen, and shoveling snow from sidewalks and driveways. Winter is maple syrup tapping time too, where maple trees grow. Sometimes school is canceled or delayed in winter due to snow or driving conditions. Winter brings shorter days and longer nights. Good to enjoy on winter nights are snuggling in warm pajamas with a good story book at bedtime. "What We Do In Winter" includes multiple brightly colored photos of joyous winter activities, handy, blue- shaded "good to know" sidebars of extra information about winter, and a vocabulary section plus additional resources including both books and web sites. "What We Do In Winter" is a great seasonal description of characteristics and activities of the white season for kids ages 4-8 years. Other titles in this series that are also highly recommended include the following: "What We Do in Spring (9781634403061)," "What We Do in Summer (9781634403078)," and "What We Do in Fall (9781634403085)," all titles by JoAnn Early Macken.

Shapes in Nature
Jennifer Marino Walters, author
Look! Books
c/o Red Chair Press
www.redchairpress.com
Lerner Publisher Services
PO Box 333, South Egremont, MA 01258
www.lernerbooks.com
9781634403559, $6.99 PB, $4.99 Kindle
9781634402996 $25.32 Library Binding, 24pp, Ages 4-9, www.amazon.com

From the early readers' series, nature Is All Around me, "Shapes in Nature" explains and shows examples of shapes in nature, including squares, circles, ovals, crescents, rectangles, triangles, five or more armed stars, diamonds, and hexagons. Color photographs show examples of shapes in nature, including the moon, oranges, a wasp's nest, a diamondback rattlesnake, starfish, sharks, building rocks with straight sides, eggs, and more. "Shapes in Nature" is a delightful early natural science text for young readers age 4 years and up. Additional titles from this series that are also highly recommended include the following: "Colors in Nature (9781634403009)," and"Numbers in Nature (9781634402989)," both by Jennifer Marino Walters.

Miniature Figures: From Model Soldiers to Fantasy Gaming
David Jefferis, author
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118
www.crabtreebooks.com
9780778750161 $26.70 HC, $8.95 PB, 32pp, Ages 7-10, www.amazon.com

"Miniature Figures" is a title from the Model-Making Mindset series for readers age 10 and up. The history and craft of miniature making to illustrate famous battles, real and fictional, is explored with color photo illustrations, gaming and collecting references, and detailed craft tips and techniques for working with miniature creatures, warriors, and machines, as well as formations and landscapes. Chapters included cover topics of the gaming world, large and small scales, researching your subject, planning the workspace, working with figures, creatures, or miniature machines, painting and finishing, setting the scene and massed formations. Finished with a glossary and list of related websites, "Miniature Figures" gives helpful background and instruction on realistic model creation plus tips for improving creation skills for model enthusiasts of a full range of ages. Also highly recommended are the following titles from the Model-Making Mindset series: "Model Trains: Creating Tabletop Railroads (9780778750178)," "Flying Models: From Soaring Flight to Real Rockets (9780778750154)," and "Scale Models: Making a Miniature Masterpiece (9780778750185)," all by David Jefferis.

Explorer series
Nick Forshaw, author
William Exley, illustrator
What on Earth Books Ltd.
www.whatoneearthbooks.com
$14.95 each amazon.com

Known for their ground-breaking wall books, poster books, and sticker books, What on Earth Publishing adds two new additions to their Explorer series they have created in partnership with the Natural History Museum in London. "Explorer: Plants!" (9780995577084, $14.95, HC, 38pp) Children ages 7-11 can stop and smell the roses with Agent Osprey as she works to uncover the beautiful world of plants! "Plants!" includes a six-foot-long timeline, featuring over 100 plants from their first known forms through to their living descendants, and looks into how they have survived and thrived. Kids will join an intrepid explorer on her quest to find out as much as possible about these amazing specimens in her fascinating journal. "Explorer: Mammals!" (9780995577077, $14.95, HC, 38pp) also includes a six-foot-long timeline, featuring over 100 mammals from their first known forms through to their living descendants, and looks into how they have survived and thrived. Young readers 7-11 will join Agent Osprey on her quest to find out as much as possible about these amazing creatures in her fascinating journal. As entertaining as they are informative, both "Explorer: Plants!" and "Explorer: Mammals!" are unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118
www.crabtreebooks.com

Four new books are recommended series additions for elementary-level students, offering titles that support curriculum objectives and exploring science and technology subjects for kids. Adding to be 'Be An Engineer' series is A Dome Stays Strong (9780778751595, $23.60), which explores how domes are designed and the mechanics and physics of how they withstand the elements and weight. The series is designed for grades 3-4. It uses color charts, photos, and tips to explain to children how designs work, including a model-building activity that lends to a child's construction of their own dome. Heather C. Hudak's Climate Change (9780778749592, $31.32) will appeal to grades 5-6 with a discussion adding to the 'Get Informed - Stay Informed' series. This primer introduces different perspectives on the topic, offering material from local, national and global viewpoints that lend to both debate and further research as kids absorb different attitudes and issues surrounding climate change. Simon Rose's Evaluating Arguments About Animals (9780778750758, $31.32) joins others in the 'State Your Case' series and discusses animals and their purposes, management, and the ethical issues surrounding human interactions with them. Readers in grades 5-6 receive the tools needed to understand arguments for and against different uses of animals, and will receive much knowledge suitable for debates. Cynthia O'Brien's Bringing Back the American Alligator (9780778749011, $27.60) tells of how a creature on the brink of extinction is thriving today. It details how a combination of government, citizen, and scientist efforts helped preserve the American alligator's habitats and save its life, and it provides a wealth of science for grades 4 who are researching animals on the edge of extinction and the processes used to save them.


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
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