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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 18, Number 7 July 2008 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Pets/Wildlife Shelf Preschool Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Gardening Shelf Bilingual Shelf American History Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf World History Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
Music Shelf Audiobook Shelf DVD Shelf
Fiction Shelf Money/Finance Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Books in Series    

Reviewer's Choice

Two Homes, Two Worlds
Barbara K. Caruso
Vantage Press Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, 18th floor, New York, NY 10016
9780533158195 $7.95 1-212-736-1767

Written by elementary educator Barbara K. Caruso, Two Homes, Two Worlds is a simple children's book about the realities of growing up in a divorced family - hence the title. Told from the point of view of a young girl, Two Homes, Two Worlds deals frankly with the realities of a child who has to move between homes to spend time with the families of both parents. "Christmas is almost here and I get to choose where to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I wish my daddy and mom could be with my mamas and then I could be in one place. But, I live in two homes, two worlds." The black-and-white drawings of a little girl caught in a crossroads between families add just the right touch to this simple tale, which ends on a high note: "When I grow up I want to live in One Home, One World. But for right now... I live in Two Homes, Two Worlds and I am loved." Highly recommended.

The Sock Fairy
Bobbie Hinman, author
Kristi Bridgeman, illustrator
Best Fairy Books
1241 Chateau Green Ct., Bel Air, MD 21015
9780978679118, $15.95

The Sock Fairy is a combination picturebook and audio CD that brings to life the magical world of fairies. The whimsically illustrated story about a mischievous little fairy who is responsible for lost, mismatched, or fraying socks (he uses them to decorate his home) is warmly narrated on the CD. Also on the CD are a fairy song to the tune of "Eensy Weensy Spider", and "The Sock Fairy has taken my socks!" An exuberant, joyful children's book especially recommended for young people who believe in fairies.

As Good As Anybody
Richard Michelson
Alfred Knopf
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780375833359, $16.99

A Baptist preacher from Atlanta and a rabbi born in Poland join forces in the name of justice and share a personal knowledge of oppression and a dream of civil rights which turns into a positive movement for change. AS GOOD AS ANYBODY provides a powerful story of how two men's experiences with discrimination changed their lives, and makes for an uplifting and different kinds of civil rights story.

The Tale of Sir Dragon
Jean E. Pendziwol, author
Martine Gourbault, illustrator
Kids Can Press
2250 Military Road, Tonawanda, NY 14150
9781554531356, $17.95 1-800-265-0884

The Tale of Sir Dragon: Dealing with Bullies for Kids and Dragons is a children's picturebook that informally deals with the common modern problem of bullying, offering solutions that children can readily understand. The rhyming text and gentle illustrations portray a story about a knight bully who interrupts the playtime of a girl and her dragon friend. Though the girl stands up for the dragon, no other bystanders do, so the time has come for a petition to the king. At the roundtable discussion, the bully learns that everyone has a right to play, no matter what they look like or what species they are. A "Dragon's Decree" checklist to reinforce the message rounds out this excellent book for parents to share with children when preparing them to deal with bullies, particularly while at school or other communal activities.

Silver Dolphin Books
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710 1-800-788-3123

Author Samantha Chagollan presents the first two installments in Silver Dolphin Books' "Pretend Dress Up" series. These are more than just books - each kit includes fun costume pieces perfect for rainy day fun and stimulating the imaginations of young people ages 3 and up. In "Pretend Dress Up: I'm a Dragon Knight" (9781592238088, $12.95), young boys or girls can read the story about Gavin's quest to rescue Guinevere the dragon from an evil princess (!) and put on a knight's cape, shield, and helmet. In "Pretend Dress Up: I'm a Movie Star" (9781592238071, $12.95), young girls can embrace a taste of movie magic with the feather boa, star-shaped sunglasses, and faux pearl necklace that accompany the storybook about Amanda's movie-worthy adventures. Both kits make great gift and play sets for little ones.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Tiniest Tiger
Joanne L. McGonagle
Booksurge LLC
7290-B Investment Drive, Charleston, SC 29418
9781419684678, $15.00

The Tiniest Tiger is a softcover picturebook about a kitten who becomes lost in a zoo, and befriends a number of her big cat distant relatives. Young readers get to learn about endangered cat species such as tigers, lions, ocelots, jaguars and more. At last the "tiniest tiger" kitten is adopted by the family of the zookeeper and befriends the domestic cat in their home. The gentle color illustrations and message of conservation make The Tiniest Tiger a wonderful giftbook for young cat lovers everywhere.

Sarah C. Campbell, author
Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell, photographers
Boyds Mills Press
815 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431
9781590785546, $16.95 1-877-512-8366

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator is a children's picturebook about the fascinating wolfsnail, a carnivorous mollusk that hunts and eats snails and slugs. Striking, full-color photographs of an actual wolfsnail on the hunt illustrate this amazing and educational story. The final three pages include more snail facts (including the tragic tale of how the wolfsnail was imported to Hawaii to combat another invading snail, but ate native Hawaiian snails instead) and a glossary of snail words. An excellent introduction to the wonders of natural life that can be found in an ordinary backyard.

Who Pooped in the Northwoods?
Gary D. Robson, author
Robert Rath, illustrator
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560374343, $9.95 1-800-821-3874

Part of the "Who Pooped in the Park?" series ideal for young readers ages 6 to 8, Who Pooped in the Northwoods? Scat and Tracks for Kids is an educational picturebook following the adventures of two children, Michael and Emily, who learn how to read the evidence of wild creatures in the northwoods of Minnesota and Wisconsin. From telling the difference between bobcat tracks and wolf tracks, to recognizing owl pellets, to learning how to recognize what animal a given scat came from, Who Pooped in the Northwoods? is as lively, forthright, and downright fascinating as the rest of the popular series. Especially recommended for young people about to go on a camping trip in the northwoods!

Baby Pig
Laura Gates Galvin
Sound Prints
c/o Trudy Corporation
353 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851
9781592497874, $6.95,

Children are often fascinated with animals, and what better way to indulge their curiosity than with "Baby Pig: Time to Play". A charming, easy to read story ideal for readers just starting to learn how, "Baby Pig: Time to Play" is packed with full color photographs of cute baby piglets on every page illustrating the simpel prose. "Baby Pig: Time to Play" is sure to be a treat for young readers, and for community library children's picturebook collections. Also of interest from Sound Prints and Laura Gates Galvin is "Baby Dolphin's Busy Day" (9781592497454, $6.95), following a day in the life of a young porpoise as she learns life lessons from her mother, in a style very similar to "Baby Pig: Time to Play".

Friendly Feathers
Dr. Fran Smith, author
Deon Matzen, illustrator
c/o BookMasters, Inc.
30 Amberwood Parkway, P.O. Box 388, Ashland, OH 44805
9780615222325, $9.99 1-800-247-6553

Written by Pierre's owner Dr. Fran Smith, Friendly Feathers: Life with Pierre, an African Grey Parrot is a charming, true-life softcover picturebook about a family's day-to-day routine with Pierre, a talkative African Grey Parrot. Pierre is a surprisingly intelligent bird who has learned to use many human words and phrases appropriately - from telling the family poodle "How you doing, good girl? SIT!" to commenting "You're right, Pierre. It's raining!" when he sees a downpour to "That's hard work!" when he sees meatball and spaghetti prepared. The only thing Pierre never says is "Good night" when it's time for lights out. The simple color illustrations bring Pierre to life, and the very last page features a photograph of Dr. Smith and Pierre. A joy for young bird lovers to read. (It should be noted that African Grey Parrots require a hefty amount of time and energy to properly care for, live for up to 60 years, and should not be purchased as pets unless the owner is up to the challenge!)

The World of Mammals series
Sophie Lockwood
The Child's World, Inc.
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003 1-800-599-7323
9781602531086, $29.93 each, $239.44 set,

Recommended for young readers in grades 3-8, The World of Mammals series is a set of educational children's books by author Sophie Lockwood offering a fascinating introduction to various mammalian species that share our planet, complete with full-color photography, maps, a glossary, sources for further research, and an index. The latest eight-book set in the series profiles Bats (9781592969265), Chimpanzees (9781592969272), Elephants (9781592969289), Foxes (9781592969326), Lions (9781592969333), Skunks (9781592969296), Whales (9781592969302), and Zebras (9781592969319). A wonderful way for young people to discover more about these animals, many of which are threatened or endangered by humans, and a welcome addition to public library children's collections.

The Preschool Shelf

Thumbuddy You
Mark Arens, author
Kelly Frankenberg, illustrator
ThumbPeople Books, Inc.
14400 West Burnsville Parkway, Burnsville, MN 55306
9780980160642, $8.95

The first in the "Thumbuddy" series, Thumbuddy You is a board book for little people with a positive message: just like a thumbprint, every child is unique and special. "Thumbuddy is a miracle / ...and so are you! // Thumbuddy is incredible / ...and so are you! // Thumbuddy is gentle / ...and so are you! // Thumbuddy is beautiful / ...and so are you!" A delightful and durable book with watercolor illustrations of the anthropomorphic Thumbuddy brimming with enthusiasm, perfect for parents to read aloud to babies and very young children.

Alphabet of Ocean Animals
Laura Gates Galvin
353 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851-1552
9781592496907, $15.95 1-800-228-7839

Alphabet of Ocean Animals is more than just an ABC book; it also features a delightful read-aloud rhyme and amazing facts about sea creatures, such as how dolphins breathe and the true nature of coral reefs. An accompanying audio CD enhances this excellent and educational book ideal for young people ages 4 to 8. Highly recommended, especially for budding marine lovers!

Number 1 Teacher
Steven L. Layne and Deborah Dover Layne, authors
Doris Ettlinger, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
c/o Thomson Gale
27500 Drake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535
9781585363070, $17.95 1-800-231-5163

Written by professional educators Steven L. Layne and Deborah Dover Layne, Number 1 Teacher: A School Counting Book is more than just a counting picturebook. Each number (1-20 followed by 30, 40, 50... up to 100) is accompanied by a simple rhyming verse for read-aloud fun, and a much more in-depth passage about that number's use in math or education. For example, part of the entry for the number 90 reads "An angle is a wedge-shaped piece formed between two crossing lines. In math class students measure angles with a tool called a protractor which is marked off in a measure called degrees. Angles that make square corners and measure 90 degrees are called right angles." The perfect counting book for unusually bright, gifted, or numerically inclined children, Number 1 Teacher is highly recommended.

"R" is for Research
Toni Buzzeo, author
Nicole Wong, illustrator
Upstart Books
c/o Highsmith Inc.
PO Box 800, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0800
9781602130326, $17.95, 1-800-448-4887

Library media specialist and former English teacher Toni Buzzeo presents "R" is for Research, a different kind of ABC picturebook for young people. Each letter of the alphabet is associated with a different aspect of the public library's many resources. "I is for Internet, online places to hunt. / J is for journals that arrive every month. / K is for knowledge on the pages we turn. / L is for librarian who helps each of us learn." The gentle color illustrations enhance this wonderful picturebook for helping kids learn library basics - not to mention just how much fun learning can be!

The Picturebook Shelf

The Monster Missed Again Today
Deborah Allen, author
Gary McDaniels, illustrator
Llumina Press
7915 W. McNab Road, Tamarac, FL 33321
9781595269706, $12.95

The Monster Missed Again Today is a rhyming, soft cover children's picturebook about Herman the fish, who decides to explore the world outside his home despite his mother's wishes. Other sea creatures warn Herman that "the monster missed a meal today", but Herman's curiosity compels him to explore further - until he swims dangerously close to the monster's hungry jaws! Herman must swim and hide to escape home with his life. "He had learned an important lesson that day and announced it to all in just this way, / I'm at home where I should be. The meal the monster missed was me!!!" A charming undersea tale, brought to life with crayon-style color illustrations.

Coppernickel: The Invention
Wouter van Reek
Enchanted Lion Books
201 Richards Street, Suite #4, Brooklyn, NY 11231
9781592701001, $14.95 1-888-330-8477

Coppernickel: The Invention is a children's picturebook about Coppernickel, an intrepid anthropomorphic bird, and his loyal best friend the dog Tungsten. Coppernickel is determined to come up with a new invention - something that no one has ever thought of before. He designs an "extending elderberry gripper", but the machine he works on becomes so overblown and overdone that it quickly breaks down. Meanwhile, Tungsten comes up with a simple stick with a fork on the end - perfect for the job! A simple and charming tale about not losing the crux of a bright idea amid excessive details, and a secondary message about how much fun it is to experience the outdoors.

The Hidden Swan
AnnaMarie Squailia
Successful Kids Publishing
PO Box 34025, Reno, NV 89533
9780980043143, $24.99

The Hidden Swan: A Tale of an Ugly Duckling's Journey to Learn his True Identity and Ways You Can Too!!! is a children's picturebook rendition of the classic story of the ugly duckling, who has difficulty fitting in until he grows up to become a beautiful swan. Featuring a strong, positive message for young people, a handful of black-and-white pages for children to color amid the beautiful color illustrations, and an extensive discussion questions with recommended character-building activities, The Hidden Swan is ideal not only for young people's bookshelves but also classroom storytime sharing. A portion of each copy of The Hidden Swan sold is donated to Dreams for Kids, an international youth empowerment and children's rights organization.

Miss Llewellyn-Jones
Elaine Forrestal, author
Moira Court, illustrator
Fremantle Press
c/o International Specialized Book Services (distributor)
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213
9781921361173, $16.95 1-800-944-6190

Miss Llewellyn-Jones is a charming children's picturebook about a middle-aged woman who has the worst luck when she hangs her laundry out to dry. A strong wind blows each article away with a flip-flap, and her clothes land in faraway and often unreachable places. But when the wind tries to blow away her teddy bear, Teddy is prepared! The colorful, stylized illustrations add a humorous touch to this simple, read-aloud story excellent for reading aloud to young ones.

AmeriTales Presents Amelia Earhart and the Haunted Winds of Kansas
T.D. Carter, author
Randy Jennings, illustrator
AmeriTales Entertainment
3525 Del Mar Heights Road, Suite 623, San Diego, CA 92130
9780979873911, $14.95

AmeriTales Presents Amelia Earhart and the Haunted Winds of Kansas is an engaging blend of history and fiction, sure to get young people excited about the legend of real-life aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. Cartoony illustrations enhance this adventure in which young Amelia is so fascinated by the roller coaster she sees at the World's Fair in Saint Louis that, with help from her friends, she elects to build a roller coaster in her backyard. Her grandmother forces her to tear it down, but not before she gets to experience a taste of the wild ride! Based on a true incident from Amelia Earhart's childhood (although the "Haunted Winds" are a fictional embellishment), Amelia Earhart and the Haunted Winds of Kansas is a most enjoyable tale, heightened by the clean, cartoon style illustration.

There's a Barnyard in My Bedroom
David Suzuki, author
Eugenie Fernandes, illustrator
Greystone Books
c/o Douglas & McIntyre Publishing Group
2323 Quebec Street, Suite 201, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 4S7
9781553653295, $19.95 1-800-367-9692

There's a Barnyard in My Bedroom is a children's picturebook with a surprisingly involved story about a boy and a girl who harness the power of imagination to go on incredible adventures. At home, they discover an ocean in the bathroom and a forest in the living room; in their backyard, they find rocks that have existed for millions of years. "'What is a smell, anyway?' 'Actually, what we smell are tiny pieces of something. The pieces are so tiny we can't see them. Dogs can even smell pieces left behind from a person or animal that was here yesterday. Some animals leave smells to mark their territory. And some of those smells smell pretty bad to us." A blend of education, adventure, and wonder, There's a Barnyard in My Bedroom is an enjoyable storybook detailed enough to be suitable for young readers who are almost ready to start chapter books.

Little Polka Sock
Karen Sinclair
Privately Published
PO Box 206, South Orange, NJ 07079
9780981450506, $14.99

The debut children's book of African-American business analyst Karen Sinclair, Little Polka Sock is a rhyming children's picturebook that helps teach young kids about the basics of putting on their socks and shoes, as well as offering some carefree, read-aloud fun. Upbeat digital-art graphics enhance this delightful and practical tale perfect for parents and children to share. "Little Shoe stumbled laughing: 'There's something you must know'... // 'Shoes can only stand Big Toe to Big Toe.' // 'Big Toe to Big Toe, Match Left and Right so.' // 'If Big Toe is on the out Switch Little Shoe about."

The Great Willow
Michael Starr, author
Nancy Parczyk, illustrator
Homunculi Artists
11135 Weddington Street, #465, North Hollywood, CA 91601
9780980177404, $15.95

The Great Willow is a children's picturebook about a wolf pup who defies his mother's admonition against visiting the local farm. Sneaking in, Wolf Pup befriends Duckling, and the two become best buds despite their differences. But when they explore too far, a menacing snake threatens them both! Told in a long, rhyming poem and illustrated with soft, cartoon style colors, The Great Willow is a charming tale with an underlying themes of friendship - not to mention the importance of listening to one's mother!

Howard B. Wigglebottom Listens to His Heart
Howard Binkow, author
Susan F. Cornelison, illustrator
We Do Listen Foundation
4314 Marina City Drive #320, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
9780971539020, $15.00

Howard B. Wigglebottom Listens to His Heart is a children's picturebook that embodies several invaluable messages for young people. When young rabbit Howard B. Wigglebottom is mocked by his peers for dancing, he decides he will never dance again. But when he confides his sadness to his grandfather, his grandfather reminds him that he comes from a long line of Wigglebottoms who love to dance. Howard's grandfather teaches him that he should dance because it's fun and he loves it first and foremost! A list of suggestions for lessons or reflection and the end of the book go over the central themes of feeling something one's heart, the value of confiding in a trusted older person, issues that can affect self-esteem, the value of trying something different for the fun of it, and the benefit of connecting with one's roots and family legacy. Perhaps the most important message is to "Be proud of who you are!" Highly recommended for public library collections as well as for children's bookshelves.

Ralphina, the Roly-Poly
Claudia Chandler
Leathers Publishing
4500 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66211
9781585974627, $24.95 1-888-888-7696

Written and illustrated by elementary school teacher Claudia Chandler Ralphina, the Roly-Poly is a cheery children's picturebook about a roly-poly (also known as "potato bug", "sow bug" or "pillbug") who befriends a young boy. She teaches him amazing things about roly-polys, such as how they roll up into a ball to protect themselves, and how they're related to crustaceans such as crabs. The whimsical, brightly colored illustrations add an upbeat touch to this enjoyable picturebook for any child who has ever noticed a curious, rolled-up bug and wanted to learn more.

Because You Matter
Jan Carmen Liles, author
Patricia Jerde, illustrator
Beaver's Pond Press
7104 Ohms Lane, Suite 101, Edina, MN 55439
9781592982219, $19.95 1-952-829-8818

Written by personal life coach Jan Carmen Liles, Because You Matter is a children's picturebook that deals with a problematic issue for young people - bullying and hurtful teasing. When Harriet Hummingbird's friends at Countryside Zoo feel depressed after a group of weasels tease them mercilessly, Harriet takes action. She reminds each of her friends about their unique talents and beauty, and the value of their friendship; then she confronts the weasels and makes them think about what they did. "She looked into the eyes of each weasel and asked in turn, 'How do you feel when you get teased?' The weasels looked at each other, speechless. No one had ever asked them how they felt about anything before. Was it possible this tiny gorgeous bird truly cared about how they felt?"

Buddy's Bedtime
Pauleen O'Shea, author
Jason Dohanish, illustrator
Idlehour Entertainment
PO Box 12048, Glendale, AZ 85318
9780977806300, $14.95

Buddy's Bedtime is a rhyming children's picturebook that uses the story of a playful puppy's evening routine to help teach young children good life habits. At the end of the day Buddy listens to his mama call him in, eats his supper, goes potty, brushes his teeth (with help), listens to his bedtime story, and goes to sleep. "Buddy climbed onto his bed, as Mama began to read. / But as soon as his head hit the pillow, he began snoring. / So Mama leaned down and whispered in his ear, / 'Rest now baby boy, we'll see you in the morning." An excellent read-aloud bedtime story for parents to share with young children.

Really Truly Bingo
Laura McGee Kvasnosky
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763632106, $15.99 1-800-526-0275

Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader award-winning author Laura McGee Kvasnosky presents Really Truly Bingo, a children's picturebook about a young girl's friendship with Bingo the talking dog. Making the most of summer, they run and jump through a water sprinkler spray, slide in the mud, and craft a daisy chain. The girl's mother is not amused by the muddy mess, but on Bingo's advice the girl offers the daisy chain as a gift, saving the day! A delightful storybook about summer fun.

Sweet Dreams
Jonathan Koshar, author
Donna Trent, illustrator
Broad Reach Publishing
117 East Louisa Street, Suite 378, Seattle, WA 98102
9780979457708, $14.95

Intended to be shared by parents and children at bedtime, Sweet Dreams is a picturebook about a young child and his father at bedtime, told from the child's point of view. The father asks what the child dreams about; the child mentions some of his more adventurous dreams, but his favorite dream is the one in which he gets to play with Mommy, Daddy, and the dog. Best of all, his favorite dream is the one that comes true! The gentle, lightly sketched color illustrations add the perfect touch to this wonderful nighttime story.

Rainbow Sheep
Kim Chatel
Guardian Angel Publishing
12430 Tesson Ferry Road #186, Saint Louis, MO 63128
9781933090849, $10.95

Featuring eleven wonderful "fiber art" illustrations (photographs of three-dimensional artworks sculpted from colored wool), Rainbow Sheep is a charming, flat-spined picturebook about a little shepherdess who cheers up a sad rainbow by telling him funny stories. When the rainbow's colors return along with its joy, its tears of happiness turn the shepherdess' flock into "rainbow sheep". A delightful story for young readers ages 4-10, Rainbow Sheep includes a brief glossary and instructions for basic felting and fiber art, so that children can partake in the joy of crafting things with wool for themselves. "Most craft stores don't stock wool roving or felting supplies, but there are many stores on the Internet for spinners and fiber artists. If you live in a rural area, you might find roving and felting supplies at local sheep farms. Stores that specialize in spinning will have roving and possibly felting needles too."

The Most Valuable Treasure
Sally H. Taylor
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432718213, $23.95 1-888-672-6657

Award-nominated author Sally H. Taylor presents The Most Valuable Treasure, a softcover children's picturebook with an enduring emotional and moral lesson. An old woman lives in seclusion at the edge of an impoverished village; there are fearful whispers about her, but she rarely shows herself. Yet when one village boy falls in the well by her house, someone rescues him - it must be the mysterious old woman! Out of gratitude, the boy's mother leaves the old woman her best gifts: bread, then blueberry jam, then apple pie. At last she organizes the villagers to come together to help clean the old woman's house. Experiencing the warmth of friendship, the old woman freely distributes the valuable treasure she had been hoarding for so long; she learns that love, compassion, and connection with one's fellow humans are truly the most valuable treasures of all. Highly recommended.

Scholastic/Orchard Books
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

Trudie Trewin and Nick Bland's I LOST MY KISSES (0545055571, $14.99) tells of Matilda, who has lost her kisses and must find them before her father comes home. But how do you search for lost kisses: what do they look like? Engaging drawings contribute to a very simple story of searching. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's THE FISH WHO CRIED WOLF (0439928257, $15.99) tells of the smallest ocean fish who tells the tallest tales to explain his tardiness until one day he really is caught by a fisherman. Can he use his storytelling abilities to escape? Hilarious fish drawings add personality and zest to the funny story of an unusual talent. Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley's MAYBE A BEAR ATE IT! (043992961X, $15.99) tells of a favorite book gone missing, and all the possibilities of where it could be. A child's imagination runs wild when his favorite book vanishes in MAYBE A BEAR ATE IT!, a very simple story of loss. Kaethe Zemach's MS. MCCAW LEARNS TO DRAW (0439829143, $16.99) tells of Dudley, who doodles when he finds school hard which is most of the time. Ms. McCaw never loses her patience though and she's supportive and seems to know everything, until one days she tries to draw and finds she can't. Can Dudley teach her something new? These are fine stories for discriminating picturebook collections.

Dump Dog
Garvin Morris
Red Cygnet Press
11858 Stoney Peak Dr. #525, San Diego, CA 92128
9781601080127, $15.95

Dump Dog is a charming children's picturebook starring a most unlikely hero. Rags is stray dog who makes his home in the town dump; no one thinks much of him. But when a terrifying monster threatens the town, only the wiry little mixed-breed pooch knows what to do! Giving up his most prized possession to save everyone, Rags proves that heroes can arise in the least likely of places. A heartwarming story especially recommended for young dog lovers.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Angela's Answer
Pat Matuszak
Living Ink Books
6815 Shallowford Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37421
9780899578750, $12.99,

Her friends changed her parents changed is there anything that stays the same? "Angela's Answer" is the first book in Pat Matuszak's Angel Light series of fantasy novels with strong Christian influence and morality. Encouraging children to find and keep their faith in God, "Angela's Answer" is a deftly written story, highly recommended for community library Christian and young adult fiction collections.

The Visit of the Wise Men
Martha Jander, author
Lin Wang, illustrator
Concordia Publishing House
3558 South Jefferson Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63118-3968
9780758613455, $14.99 1-800-325-3040

Written for young people ages five and up, The Visit of the Wise Men is a picturebook for Christian children that gives the true story of the Magi, countering the popular myth that claims "three Wise Men" were present at Jesus' birthplace. The Visit of the Wise Men explains that the Magi were educated men who recognized the divine signs of the Messiah's birth. Furthermore, The Visit of the Wise Men teaches young Christians that Jesus was sent by God to die for humanity's sins, thus enabling mankind to be forgiven. An excellent addition to church and Christian youth libraries, gloriously illustrated by Lin Wang in a striking watercolor and colored pencil style she has dubbed "ethereal Realism".

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Christmas Dragon
Mary C. Ryan
19020 Brookfield Drive, Auburn Twp. OH 44023
Dragonseed Press
PO Box 23266, Chagrin Falls, OH 44203
9780967811512, $5.95

Many things can spoil a Christmas dinner; a dragon threatening to destroy the entire kingdom is one of them. "The Christmas Dragon" is a charming children's story follows Margaretta, a woodcutter's daughter who yearns for something more, as she faces off against the giant lizard about to ruin her holiday. But does her childish charm hold the keys to saving the kingdom and making a new friend? A delightful story, "The Christmas Dragon" is an ideal bridge between young adult novels and picture books, and highly recommended for community library young adult fantasy collections.

Julie & The Lost Fairy Tale
Janie Lancaster
Star Publish
1932993606, $10.95,

First published as a serial story in the newspapers, "Julie & The Lost Fairy Tale" is now compiled into the form of a novel for children and young adults. An original and captivating tale, "Julie & The Lost Fairy Tale" follows the relationship between Julie, her grandmother, and a mysterious travel chest. Highly recommended for community library young adult fiction collections.

Quest for the Other Kingdom
Linda Settles
Edict House Publishing
PO Box 1304, Rustburg, VA 24588
9780979023804, $14.95,

New and progressive ideas never have an easy start. "Quest for the Other Kingdom: The First Book of Journeys" is the story of a kingdom that widely uses slavery, and the culture shock of a free woman who visits it. She tries to spread her message of a morally better way, but does not receive a warm reception. Meanwhile, a runaway slave wants to escape his bonds by reaching the shores of the nation that would not treat him as property but the journey he attempts is one that is often fatal. A intriguing tale for young adult fantasy fans, "Quest for the Other Kingdom: The First Book of Journeys" is highly recommended for community library young adult fiction collections.

The Dragon's Child
Jenny Nimmo, author
Alan Marks, illustrator
Orchard Books
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9780545064682, $5.99 1-800-242-7737

The Dragon's Child is paperback fantasy story (with a cover cut in the shape of a dragon) for young readers about a flightless dragon child, separated from his mother, and the human children he befriends. Little Dando was hatched late in the season, and his wings haven't formed well enough to fly. His dragon clan is leaving the area forever to find their homeland, and when he falls off his mother's back, he's stranded, all alone except for a friendly bird. When a strange tribe of people comes to colonize the island, Dando befriends a young slave girl among their number - but the irascible son of the chieftain spots Dando and decides to capture him! The terrible humans aren't the only threat though - a pack of vicious animals called Doggins roam the woods, posing a deadly threat to bird, dragon, and humans alike! Little Dando must find the strength within himself to be worthy of his noble dragon name, and save his friends as well as himself - fortunately, he just might get some help from a former enemy's unexpected change of heart! A handful of simple black-and-white illustrations enhance this wonderful storybook for young dragon lovers who are ready to move on from picture books to more involved fare.

The Gardening Shelf

Hope's Garden
Sarah Jane, author
Angela Ferrigno, illustrator
Tri Valley Children's Publishing
4435 First Street, #320, Livermore, CA 94551
9780979096204, $16.95

Hope's Garden is the story of a girl who uses the seeds her father gave her to turn an old mud puddle into a beautiful garden. It takes a lot of hard work to weed the garden and keep it free from pests, but her efforts pay off - the garden becomes a beautiful spot worthy of being her favorite place. When she grows up and has children of her own, she introduces them to the joy of gardening too! Vibrant color illustrations add a wonderful touch to this delightful children's picturebook about the joy of gardening, and an included packet of seeds encourages young readers to try raising plants for themselves!

The Bilingual Shelf

The Stone Cutter & the Navajo Maiden
Vee F. Browne, author
Johnson Yazzie, illustrator
Salina Bookshelf
3120 N. Caden Court, Suite 4, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
9781893354920, $17.95 1-877-527-0070

Written by award-winning author and Navajo Nation member Vee F. Browne, The Stone Cutter & the Navajo Maiden is a bilingual English/Navajo picturebook story steeped in traditional Navajo culture. A Navajo maiden named Cinnibah looks after her widowed father and uses a metate (grinding stone) to make bread. The stone has been passed down in her family for generations; when she accidentally breaks it, she must set out on a quest to have it restored. Grinding stones, which transform hard corn kernels into the flour that nourishes life, are held in sacred regard among the Navajo, and so Cinnabah's quest is of paramount importance. Beautifully illustrated by Navajo painter Johnson Yazzie, The Stone Cutter & the Navajo Maiden has text complex enough to be ideal for young readers ages 7-11, who are almost ready to progress from picture books to more involved fare. A welcome addition to public library collections and children's picturebook shelves.

Stony and Goliath / Piedrin y Goliat
David P. Alcorta, author
Jill M. Schmidt, illustrator
Book Publishers Network
PO Box 2256, Bothell, WA 98041
9781887542722, $17.95

Stony and Goliath: The True Hero / Piedrin y Goliat: El Verdadero Heroe is a bilingual English/Spanish picturebook offering a twist on the story of David and Goliath from the Bible. Told from the perspective of Stony, an anthropomorphic stone told "God has a special place for you," by his father, Stony and Goliath reveals the long journey by which Stony became the stone that David hurled from a sling to strike down the dangerous giant Goliath. "Today no one remembers Stony. All anyone remembers is the story about David and Goliath." A thoughtful picturebook for young Christians, enhanced with warm color illustrations and sidebars featuring English/Spanish vocabulary words.

The American History Shelf

Lessons on Liberty
Peter A. Lillback & Judy Mitchell
The Providence Forum
1 Tower Bridge, 100 Front Street, Suite 1415, West Conshohocken, PA 19428
9780978605285, $24.95,

One is never too young to learn about our nation's history. "Lessons on Liberty: A Primer for Young Patriots" is a guide full of fun facts and ideas covering the history of the country. Using an alphabet book format for an assortment of topics, "Lessons on Liberty" focuses on the early history of the nation and the American Revolution. Enhanced with full color artwork by Judy Mitchell, "Lessons on Liberty" is an ideal gift for any youngster who has that spark of patriotism within. "Lessons on Liberty: A Primer for Young Patriots" is highly recommended for community library children's and American history collections.

King George: What Was His Problem?
Steve Sheinkin, author
Tim Robinson, illustrator
Roaring Brook Press
33 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003
9781596433199, $19.95 1-800-462-4703

Though written for young adults, King George: What Was His Problem? is a take on the history of the American Revolutionary War sure to fascinate readers of all ages. King George: What Was His Problem? mentions details about the war that are often left out of textbooks, but all the anecdotes are entirely true! From the real reason why Benedict Arnold turned traitor (he felt underappreciated and needed money), to the battle of Eutaw Springs where patriot soldiers fought "naked as they day they were born", to the story of a woman who fought with American troops while dressed as a man, to the straight scoop on the founding fathers and much more. Cartoony black-and-white illustrations and a final thumbnail biography section about the rest of the lives of the Revolutionary War's major players round out this extremely readable introduction to America's struggle for independence. Very highly recommended especially for public and grade school children's' library collections.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

50 Ways to Save the Earth
Anne Jankeliowitch, author
Philippe Bourseiller, photographer
Abrams Books for Young Readers
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9780810972391, $17.95 1-800-759-0190

Though written for young adults, 50 Ways to Save the Earth is packed with environment-friendly tips that readers of all ages can appreciate and adapt into their daily lives. From "Take Back Unused Medicines" that recommends returning unneeded medicine to the pharmacist so that it may treat other sick people, to "Let's Save the Tropical Forests" which encourages purchasing only furniture labeled "FSC" (Forest Stewardship Council, which certifies that the wood involved has come from sustainably managed forests) to "Leave Shore Life Alone" which reminds one that and empty shells in tide pools are the homes of natural creatures and should be left alone, 50 Ways to Save the Earth fosters conservation, global thinking, and respect for nature as well as for fellow human beings. Enthusiastically recommended especially for public and school library collections.

The World History Shelf

Desperate Glory
John Wilson
Napoleon & Company
178 Willowdale Avenue, Suite 201, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M2N 4Y8
9781894917421, $20.95 1-877-730-9052

Desperate Glory: the Story of WW I is a surprisingly detailed accounting of World War I for young adults in grade school and high school. Each page of Desperate Glory spotlights a different aspect of The Great War, from Canada's and Australia's participation to the fall of the Russian monarchy to the rise of the tank (a.k.a. "The Devil's Chariots") and much more. Vintage black-and-white photography and other illustrations, a list of recommended resources for further reading, a World War I timeline, and an index round out this highly accessible chronicle that neither glamorizes nor softens the terrible impact of this violent global conflict. Highly recommended for grade school library and children's library collections.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Four Friends
Donatella Cardillo-Young
Author House
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781434374325, $8.30 1-800-280-7715

Four Friends is a flat-spined children's picturebook that brings to life one of the Buddhist Jataka stories - ancient morality tales similar to Aesop's classic fables. A young boy, the son of an impoverished gardener, works on the palace grounds of a rich, unhappy, and selfish king. One day the king notices that even though the boy is shabbily dressed, he is happy and smiling. When the king demands to know the secret of the boy's happiness, the boy tells the king about the wisdom of four animal friends (elephant, monkey, rabbit, and bird). When the boy leads the king to the four friends, they give him important rules to live by, such as "Have compassion for one another" and "Do not argue or take what does not belong to you." Their sagacity transforms the king, in this profound and memorable tale as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.

The Music Shelf

Dawnie's Dancing in the Schoolyard
Dawnie and Joe Morgano, producers
Schoolhouse Records
201 South Second Avenue, Suite 22, Highland Park, New Jersey 08904
MVD Entertainment Group (distributor)
H-840 North Circle Drive, Oaks, PA 19456
CD, $11.98,

Dawnie's Dancing in the Schoolyard is a music CD packed with energetic and enthusiastic original songs especially for young adult listeners. Elements of punk rock, jazz, country, and folk influences expose young people to a broad spectrum of musical traditions, and the upbeat, high-energy rhythms are sure to get toes a-tapping for listeners of all ages. A welcome addition to children's library music CD collections. The tracks are Snyder the Snuggly Spider (2:17), Dancing in the School Yard (2:32), Silly Willy Freeze Dance (2:35), Imagination Train Station (2:55), Dancing in the USA (2:24), Gooey Gooey Gum Drop (2:56), The Kangaroo Hop (2:29), We're Peanut Butter-n-Jammin' (2:20), The Fishing Song (1:16), and The Great Big Castle (circle game) (4:19).

Universal Music Enterprises
2220 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Andrea Blain Public Relations, Inc. (publicity)
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076

Two music CDs in the "Universal Music Family" series are sure to captivate young listeners ages two and up. "Songs for the Car" ($11.98) lives up to its title with wonderful sing-along tunes like "I Got Ants In My Pants (And I Want To Dance", "Manana Iguana", and "Route 66", performed by a variety of different artists. A delight for amusing children on car trips, though adult drivers or passengers may find themselves humming along to the music as well! "Motown for Kids" ($11.98) introduces listeners of all ages to classic motown hits such as Stevie Wonder's "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", The Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love", and Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)". Both groovin' collections make for excellent family-friendly gifts to parents or children.

The Audiobook Shelf

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll, author
Jim Dale, narrator
Listening Library, Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780739367384, $25.00, 1-800-726-0600

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an unabridged audiobook production of Lewis Carroll's classic children's storybook of a young girl lost in a magical land of fantasy. Read aloud by Grammy and Audie Award-winning performer Jim Dale, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a delightful performance that adroitly captures this whimsical spirit of the story. Highly recommended as a giftbook to listeners of all ages, as well as for public library audiobook collections. 3 CDs, 2 hours 57 minutes.

The DVD Shelf

Fielding Drills & Techniques
Marty Schupak
Youth Sports Club, Inc.
9 Florence Court, Valley Cottage, NY 10989
9780978945152, $24.95,

Part of expert physical educator and youth coach Marty Schupak's stellar line of sports drill DVDs, Fielding Drills & Techniques: Excellent Defensive Drills & Techniques for Youth Baseball Players lives up to its title. Offering tips on practicing for ground balls, fly balls, improving communication and teamwork, correcting common fielding mistakes, and much more, Fielding Drills & Techniques clearly explains each drill or technique with expert video demonstration. An extraordinarily useful DVD for players as well as coaches, highly recommended. 34 minutes.

Good Things First! The Way to Wellness
Joan O'Keefe
PO Box 8082, Shawnee Mission, KS 66208
9781559425438, $79.95, 1-800-821-3303

Good Things First! The Way to Wellness is a brief yet energetic DVD about the basics of taking proper care of one's body, especially suitable for viewing in public school classrooms. Hosted by Joan O'Keefe, who has years of experience offering counseling in schools and for the wider community, Good Things First! The Way to Wellness covers such invaluable topics as the importance of getting enough physical activity and sleep, nutritious and non-fattening options for after-school snacks, drinking enough fluids, and much more. Available in both English and Spanish, The Way to Wellness is highly recommended for grade school and public library DVD collections. 20 minutes, closed captioned.

The Super Fun Show
Shawn Brown
Role Model Productions
PO Box 2255, Suwanee, GA 30024
DVD, $14.98,

Hosted by Air Force veteran, musician, rapper, and stand-up comic Shawn Brown, The Super Fun Show is an educational DVD for young viewers brimming with enthusiasm and enjoyable activities. Stories about dinosaurs are the main theme, along with songs that encourage young people to get moving and burn calories. A counting-to-100 song helps drill knowledge of basic numbers in an entertaining way. The Super Fun Show consists of "The Super Fun Show" (4:46), On the Rug (3:38), Count to 100 (3:25), Dino Song (3:08), The Story (6:15), and a tutorial for teachers about using the Count to 100 song. A wonderfully child-friendly program.

Meet the Sight Words 1
Preschool Prep Company
PO Box 1159, Danville, CA 94526
0977021564, $14.95, 1-866-451-5600

Meet the Sight Words 1 begins this delightful, educational DVD series for young children. Ideal for little people ages 15 months to 6 years, Meet the Sight Words 1 helps children learn to read basic words such as "of", "play", "it", "he", "you", "in", "I", "to", "have", "and", "a", "said", "is", "the", "for", and "that" through anthropomorphic graphics that bring the letters to life, followed by a transition to printed text. For example, the word "play" is brought to life with a smiling letter p holding the letter "l" as a baseball bat, while the letter "a" is made up as a baseball glove and a happy letter "y" sits like a game spectator. A charming and helpful tool to help little kids get started on the joy of reading, great for preschool DVD libraries as well as for parents' homes. 40 minutes.

Fireman Sam To The Rescue!
Hit Entertainment
Lionsgate (distribution)
c/o Andrea Blain Public Relations, Inc. (publicity)
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076
DVD, $14.98,

Fireman Sam To The Rescue! is a collection of brand new "Fireman Sam" episodes on DVD. A charming, child-friendly anthology following the brave Fireman Sam and his fire brigade in their heroic efforts to protect the residents of Pontypandy village, Fireman Sam To The Rescue! includes both funny and suspenseful situations. The individual episodes are "Neighborhood Watchout", "Bathtime for Dusty", "Fun Run", "Trouble & Squeak", and "Beast of Pontypandy". English, Spanish, and French language tracks are available on this upbeat and energetic DVD, highly recommended for young people. 45 minutes, closed-captioned.

The Fiction Shelf

Hobart, Screen Extra
Marilyn Schanzer
Vantage Press
419 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10016
9780533158256, $8.95,

The showbiz career of a budding canine star and all of the problems of a human star with it. "Hobart, Screen Extra" follows Hobart, an extra dog in the movies but with serious issues. After he attacks another dog, his problems get worse and he faces all of the dilemmas of any human in show business faces, in this hilarious tale of a dog overcoming the odds to become the top dog. "Hobart, Screen Extra" is a top pick for community library fiction collections searching for an attraction to young adults.

The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, author
Nadema Agard, illustrator
University of Nebraska Press
1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630
9780803217454, $9.95,

An old fort ends up doing more than serving as a playground it ultimately changes three lives. "The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman" follows three Native American girls as they encounter a white stranger and bestow upon him the titular nickname. They watch him from afar, but when they are chased by the man, their lives at home begin to change with unexplained consequences. A deftly written portrayal of the modern Native American family, enhanced with illustrations from Nadema Agard, "The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman" is highly recommended for community library children's fiction collections.

Watching July
Christine Hart
Sumach Press
1415 Bathurst Street #202, Toronto, ON, Canada
9781894549714, $12.95,

The roller coaster ride that is one's teenage life is the setting of "Watching July", which reveals the rural youth culture of British Columbia through the eyes of sixteen year old July. With the death of her mother, July barely escapes depression as she finds herself immersed with new friends and boyfriends, but as a roller coaster goes down, then up... it goes down again as well. Her world turns weird and her dreams get weirder, in this riveting young adult novel. "Watching July" is highly recommended for community library young adult fiction collections.

Katie Be Quiet
Darcy Tamayose
Coteau Books
2517 Victoria Ave., Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, S4P OT2
9781550503906, $8.95

Teenage life is enough of a pain in the neck without outside things making it more difficult. "Katie Be Quiet" follows Katie, a transplant into southern Alberta, Canada after her father's sudden death. Her relationship with her mother grows more strained, and problems in school begin to drive her mad. She looks to the sheet music that her father composed, and is shocked to find that the words seem to change day to day. An intriguing tale sure to please young adult readers, "Katie Be Quiet" is a top pick for community library Juvenile Fiction collections.

Lili's Gift
Phyllis Hall Haislip
White Mane Publishing Company
PO Box 152, Shippenburg, PA 17257
9781572493926, $8.95 1-888-948-6263

Lili's Gift: A Civil War Healer's Story is a chapter book for young adults about a twelve-year-old girl with a mysterious healing ability. Her gift gets her into trouble, and her mother can't support her on the wages of a seamstress; so Lili and her brother are sent to a Philadelphia orphanage. Together, they escape, and follow the trail of their father, who has been missing and presumed dead since the Civil War Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. At Clara Barton's "flying hospital" on the battlefield at Petersburg, Virginia, and the besieged city itself, Lili must accept the power and responsibility of her healing gift once and for all. An exciting yet thoughtful story, and a welcome addition to young adult fiction shelves and library collections.

Anna Smudge
Toasted Coconut Media
200 Second Avenue, 4th Floor, Suite 40, New York, NY 10003
9781934906002, $9.99,

Most eleven-year-olds are trying to deal with starting middle school. Anna Smudge is Manhattan's top psychiatrist. "Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink" follows Anna as she gets her start as a child psychiatrist not a psychiatrist specializing in children, but a psychiatrist that is a child. She finds in her sessions that all is not easy for life as a prodigy, confronting blackmailers, difficult patients, covered-up government conspiracies, and way too much homework for any child to handle. Fortunately, she has her friends to support her! "Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink" is deftly written and highly recommended for community library young adult fiction collections.

Gracie Gannon
Mary Elizabeth Anderson
Rayve Productions
PO Box 726, Windsor, CA 95492
9781877810732, $10.95,

Middle School is where life begins to drastically change for children, and Gracie Gannon is no different. "Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero" is Gracie's story of adapting to the harsh world of Junior High, where she seems to be at the bottom of the totem pole and even her former best friend ignores her. She finds hope and happiness with people she'd never expect. A well written coming of age novel, "Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero" is highly recommended for community library young adult fiction collections.

Wish You Were Here
Barbara Shoup
2143 Wooddale Drive, Dept. 9780738713557, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
9780738713557, $9.95,

Moving on to adulthood is a tough enough endeavor as is let alone when your world radically changes. "Wish You Were Here" follows Jackson Watt in his senior year, as he's ripped from the school he attended for most of his high school career and plopped down elsewhere. One disaster after another happens to him, leaving him with little hope for the future. When faced with a road trip, he starts to learn what it means to be an adult. "Wish You Were Here" is a deftly composed coming of age tale, sure to please young adult readers.

The Wordsmith, The Kid, and the Electrolux
Clifford Leigh
Capstone Fiction
PO Box 8, Waterford, VA 20197
9781602900493, $15.95,

The simplest of things can go and turn one's life completely upside down. "The Wordsmith, the Kid, and the Electrolux" follows Corian Griffin as he embarks on the adventure of his life and it all started because his father wouldn't give him a cup of coffee. A strange path of dragons, ice cream, and closets doesn't seem to be making things any better! A finely written piece of fantasy, "The Wordsmith, the Kid, and the Electrolux" is highly recommended for community library young adult fiction collections.

Scholastic Press
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

Susan Campbell Bartoletti's THE BOY WHO DARED (0439680131, $16.99) tells of one Helmuth Hubener, a German schoolboy caught up in the bravado of the new Nazis who offer hope to his world. His patriotic spirit is stirred until he sees the rights of Germans diminishing, the persecution of Jews, and a dangerous world created. A series of flashbacks brings his world and its conflicts to terrifying life. David Almond and 9 other notable authors join to create CLICK (0439411386, $16.99), a novel co-authorized by a group and centering around the mystery of a camera, some photos, and a box of seven shells. The puzzle slowly comes together and changes the lives of Maggie and Jason who inherited more than a camera from their famed photojournalist grandfather. Gordon Korman's SWINDLE (0439903440, $16.99) tells of Griffin's plans for spooky sleepover in a haunted house, where he discovers a rare Babe Ruth baseball card which could mean millions until a swindler tricks him out of the card. Can he return the favor and get it back? Elvira Woodruff's FEARLESS (0439677033, $16.99) tells of a pre-teen who is stranded when his father's boat goes down in a storm. He must walk across the wilds of Cornwall with no guide, no money and facing his own nightmares of drowning and a possibly dead father. A chance encounter will change his course forever in this thriller. Blue Balliett's THE CALDER GAME (0439852072, $17.99) tells of two missing Calders: one a sculpture, one a boy. A remote village in England produces mystery and danger and when Calder vanishes, it's up to his friends to help his father find him in an adventure packed with twists and turns of plot.

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

Esther Friesner's NOBODY'S PRIZE (9780375875311, $16.99) is a sequel to NOBODY'S PRINCESS yet stands alone well: young Helen of Sparta refuses to be left behind when her brothers embark on an exciting quest for the Golden Fleece, and disguises herself as a boy to join the crew of the Argo, where she faces danger and adventures and even falls in love. Jerry Spinelli's LOVE, STARGIRL (9780375813757, $16.99) tells what happens when Stargirl moves from Arizona and leaves her boyfriend beyond for a new home in Pennsylvania, where she faces a new school and possible new friendships. Fans of STARGIRL will find it a moving story of change, told in Stargirl's own 'voice'. Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell's The Edge Chronicles 9: Clash of the Sky Galleons (9780375837425, $12.99) presents yet another Edge adventure: this revolving around the return of Turbot Smeal and the encounters of a knight academic, Quint, who finds himself involved in his father's search for vengeance. A ship and its crew find themselves spearheaded by an insane agenda in this involving fantasy adventure. Philip Pullman's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH (9780375845109, $12.99) provides another strong fantasy from His Dark Materials and is set in the frozen Arctic, where a series of clues and a board game becomes a dangerous quest for knowledge. A cargo balloon, an election and dangerous encounters mark a gripping fantasy perfect for older readers.

Claire Dean
Houghton Mifflin Company
222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116
9780618883905, $16.00

Only three people see and understand the power in a grove of larch trees called Girlwood: the power that holds fairies, and that gives Polly the ability to protect her reckless teen sister Bree, who runs away from home. Can Girlwood protect against developers who want to cut down the forest? A fine story of magic and fantasy evolves in a fine read for young adults who want uplifting adventure.

Atherton: The House of Power
Patrick Carman
Little, Brown
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0316166707, $16.99

Three worlds are colliding, power is shifting, and a gifted climber is the only one who can climb the cliffs that separate three mysterious worlds. His search for treasure will unlock keys to a coming catastrophe and the clues to a dangerous world that very few even know exist. ATHERTON is a riveting fantasy adventure hard to put down.

Mistik Lake
Martha Brooks
Farrar Straus Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003
0374349851, $16.00

Teen Odella is haunted by too many family secrets, including a mother's alcoholism, a great-aunt who no longer visits, and a car accident. When her mother runs away, Odella becomes confused about love and trust. When she meets Jimmy, whose dreams seem to have led him to her, she comes to realize the depth of family issues affecting all their lives in this gentle story, recommended for older teens.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Money for Minors
Marie Bussing-Burks
Greenwood Press
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
9780313347573, $55.00,

Economics is more than supply and demand, and a thorough understanding is a cornerstone to good personal finance skills. "Money for Minors: A Student's Guide to Economics" is an expertly compiled guide for those students who are just becoming active participants in the economy. Serving a dual purpose as a practical financial training course and an education in economics, "Money for Minors" delivers both intentions superbly with subjects on banking, credit cards, the national economy and more. Enhanced with glossaries, bibliographies, and indexes, "Money for Minors: A Student's Guide to Economics" is a top pick for community library economics collections as well as high school (and college!) libraries.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Safe Dieting for Teens
Linda Ojeda
Hunter House
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley CA 94710
9780897935029, $14.95,

The teenage years are when many teens' bodies begin to radically change, and also when they start to be harshly criticized for their appearance. "Safe Dieting for Teens" is a guide for teenagers who feel the pressure of their classmates and want to shrug it off by proving them wrong. Advising against practices that lead teens down the slippery road to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, "Safe Dieting for Teens" gives sensible, wise advice effective for young adults' developing bodies. Enhanced with a calorie counting chart, "Safe Dieting for Teens" is highly recommended for community library health collections.

Books in Series

What's That Got To Do With Me?
Antony Lishak
Black Rabbit Books
PO Box 3263, Mankato, MN 56002
$27.10 each /, $162.60 set,

Recommended for young people in grades 4 to 7, the "What's That Got To Do With Me?" series is a set of children's picturebooks explaining important modern-day social issues, complete with full-color photography, discussion questions, websites for further research, a glossary, and an index. Topics are addressed in a mature manner, without talking down to adolescent readers. Individual topics address critical modern-day matters such as "Animal Welfare" (9781599200347), "Drugs" (9781599200354), "Elections and Voting" (9781599200361), "Global Warming" (9781599200378), "Racism" (9781599200385), and "War and Conflict" (9781599200392). In today's increasingly globalized world, it's more important than ever for young readers to know exactly what each of these issues has to do with them. Highly recommended, especially for public and grade school library children's collections.

Picture Window Books
5115 Excelsior Blvd., Suite 232, Minneapolis, MN 55416
9781404835306, $23.95 each /, $239.30 set, 1-877-371-1536

Four new volumes in the "American Symbols" series are designed to educate young people ages 5-7 about the things that represent the cornerstone of American democracy. "The Bald Eagle" (9781404826427) explains how this majestic raptor was named the national bird (instead of the turkey, like Ben Franklin wanted!); "The Bill of Rights" (9781404822139) examines how the constitution was first amended, establishing it as a living document that could change as America needed it to change; "The Liberty Bell" (9781404831018) summarizes the history of this famous architectural artifact; and "The Pledge of Allegiance" (9781404826441) teaches young people about the origin and meaning of the words they commonly recite before the flag in elementary school. All four are welcome addition to American school and public children's library collections.

Crabtree Publishers
350 5th Avenue #3308, New York NY 10118

Leighton Noyes and Karen Radford illustrate the 'Stories of Great People' series, a fun and unusual blend of history and fiction which adds adventure and excitement to the usual history coverage. COLUMBUS' CHART (0778736865, $29.27) surveys an antiques find by schoolchildren who study up on Columbus. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR'S MICROPHONE (077873689X, $29.27) surveys the objects surrounding King and the history of his speeches, MARCO POLO'S SILK PURSE (0778736881, $29.27) tells of a purse found relating to Marco Polo's journeys, SHAKESPEARE'S QUILL (0778736911, $29.27) tells of an antique pen which leads to discoveries about Shakespeare, CLEOPATRA'S COIN tells of a rare coin's connections to Cleopatra's times, LEONARDO'S PALETTE (0778736873, $29.27) tells of an antique painter's palette lending historical value to Leonardo Da Vinci's drawings; THE WRIGHT BROTHERS' GLIDER (0778736938, $29.27) surveys the inventor brothers' achievements; MOTHER TERESA'S ALMS BOWL (0778736903, $29.27) tells of how Mother Teresa changed lives, ARMSTRONG'S MOON ROCK (0778736849, $29.27) reveals Armstrong's amazing moon walk, and SITTING BULL'S TOMAHAWK (077873692X, $29.27) reviews Native American history. All use an adventure-oriented approach to history which is similar to the Magic School bus approach to teach historical facts in a more exciting manner.

Crabtree Publishers
350 5th Avenue #3308, New York NY 10118

Four brand new titles in Crabtree's "Looking at Earth" series teach young readers ages 5-8 amazing facts about our beloved planet. "Earth's Oceans" (9780778732143, $7.95) explains which kinds of plants and animals live in the oceans, how bodies of ocean animals are built, why some oceans are warm or cold, and much more. "Earth and the Sun" (9780778732129, $7.95) reveals the amazing process by which light and heat from the sun affect all of Earth, making life possible. Day and night as well as seasonal cycles, the miraculous process of photosynthesis, what really takes place during a solar eclipse and more fill this engaging volume. "Introducing Landforms" (9780778732136, $7.95) explains why the land upon Earth comes in such a wide variety of distinct shapes. Young readers will learn how lava flows create landforms, the roles that rain, wind, and weather play in sculpting everything from sand dunes to buttes and canyons. "Volcanoes on Earth" (9780778732150, $7.95) covers the varied types of volcanoes and lava formations, the origins of tsunami waves, how volcanoes are studies in the modern day to predict and prepare for eruptions, and much more. All four books are beautifully illustrated with high-quality photography, and make excellent additions to any public or private children's library collection.

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