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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 21, Number 7 July 2011 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Photography Shelf Education Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Nature/Environment Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Art Shelf American History Shelf Health Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Fiction Shelf Christian Shelf Sports Shelf
Easy Reader/Chapter Book Shelf Picturebook Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Books in Series    

Reviewer's Choice

Addie Slaughter: The Girl Who Met Geronimo
Susan Krueger
Five Star Publications
PO Box 6698, Chandler, AZ 85246-6698
9781589851979, $15.95,

The nineteenth century was no picnic, even for children. "Addie Slaughter: The Girl Who Met Geronimo" is a stroll through a tumultuous time in American history, a first person narrative composed by Susan Krueger who tells Addie's story of rolling through the old West, facing the tragedy of loss before meeting a legendary American Indian warrior in Geronimo. "Addie Slaughter" is a fun story of the old west aimed at children, sure to get them to enjoy a bit of history, highly recommended.

Bruce and the Road to Courage
Gale Leach
Two Cats Press
17608 W. Columbine Drive
Surprise, AZ 85388-5623
9781937083007, $7.99 print / $5.99 kindle,

The role of the dissenter is trying; it takes courage to stand up for one's beliefs. "Bruce and the Road to Courage" is a charming novel following caterpillar Bruce who rejects his destiny as a butterfly partly out of a fear of heights and partly out of the desire to forge his own path. A moving story of standing up for oneself even under mocking, "Bruce and the Road to Courage" has a strong message for young readers who are just about to embrace novel-style books.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll & George A. Walker
Porcupine's Quill
68 Main St., PO Box 160
Erin, ON Canada N0B 1T0
9780889843394, $18.95,

The classic Alice in Wonderland is known by all, but the story is off the wall enough that one's interpretation may be different from another's. "Alice Adventure's in Wonderland: Wood Engravings" is George A. Walker's own take with woodcuts as he illustrates Carroll's famed story. Showing a unique skill in his interpretation, he captures a charm that's been lost with the decline of woodcuts, and makes for a unique journey. "Alice's Adventure in Wonderland" is a must for any fan of the story and unique art styles.

Pomelo Begins to Grow
Ramona Badescu, author
Benjamin Chaud, illustrator
Enchanted Lion Books
20 Jay Street, Studio M-18
Brooklyn, NY 11201
9781592701117, $16.95

"Pomelo Begins to Grow" is a gentle philosophical book about the implications of a little pink garden elephant's experience of growing. Existential musings of the growing pink elephant combine with highly amusing pictographs to provide the perfect medium for (pre-school and older) self-conscious maturation, or the examined growing life. Many resonating questions are quite simply asked and illustrated, and in good time, Pomelo feels ready to grow into his next big adventure. "Pomelo Begins to Grow" is a wonderful tool for encouraging imaginative. creative questions about the important issues. "Pomelo Begins to Grow" is part of a French children's book series about the same delightful pink garden elephant and his experiences.

The Photography Shelf

Photography for Kids!
Michael Ebert & Sandra Abend
Rocky Nook
26 West Mission Street, Suite 3
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
9781933952765, $24.95,

Photography for Kids: A Fun Guide for Digital Photography is for kids from 8-14 and offers easy keys to understanding the technical concepts of digital photography that will involve many an adult, as well. Keys to capturing exciting images range from advice on how to take photos of small things such as insects to self-portraits and pictures that can be taken on any trip. Kid-friendly instructions and photo shoot ideas make this a fine basic guide that displays the basics of what makes a photo composition great.

The Education Shelf

The Insider's Guide for High School Students
Tim Healey & Alex Carter
Vandamere Press
PO Box 149, St. Petersburg, FL 33731
9780918339751, $11.95,

Ninth grade is a massive change in anyone's life. "The Insider's Guide for High School Students: A Handbook for the Ninth Grade Year" is aimed at those students entering some of the most important years in their academic life. Throwing a lot at students as they try to figure out what they want they want to do with your lives, Tim Healey & Alex Carter provide plenty of wisdom to help this rough going be a bit easier to swallow. "The Insider's Guide for High School Students" is a fine gift to anyone entering this rough period of one's life.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Seabird in the Forest
Joan Dunning, author/illustrator
Boyds Mills Press
815 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431
9781590787151, $17.95

"Seabird in the Forest: The Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet" is a beautifully illustrated nature book about the nesting patterns and life cycle of a marbled murrelet, a tiny seabird of the Northwest American coast whose nesting habitat was first discovered in 1974. Delicate paintings bring the seacoast and habitat of the murrelet to life and the story of its spring nest building and rearing of a murrelet chick. Both murrelet parents help keep the egg warm and when it is hatched, they bring sea fish to the baby chick for food. This entails many long flights back and forth inland from the sea. The amazing habitat of the murrelet with the high canopy of the redwoods on the Northwest coastline can be as far inland as 50 miles. Truly remarkable paintings and illustrations of the growing fledgling murrelet enhance the text. "Seabird in the Forest" is high class, excellent nature education reading for children ages 5-9.

Fluffy the Apartment Cat
Anita Sutherland Millmann
Vantage Press Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, 18th floor
New York, NY 10016
9780533160570 $7.95

Fluffy the Apartment Cat is a brief storybook based on true-life events, accessible to young readers but sure to entertain cat lovers of all ages and backgrounds. It's the captivating true story of an apartment cat left behind when his original owners moved away; he learned to fend for himself and even befriended raccoons. The author was impressed by Fluffy's independence and courage; she chose to adopt him, and he led her to take in and look after other fellow cats - his older "cat sister" Orange, his sister "Kitty", and his baby brothers "Blacky" and "Nelly". Black-and-white-photographs of this wonderful feline family enhance this heartwarming short story.

The Nature/Environment Shelf

The Glaciers Are Melting!
Donna Love, author
Shennen Bersani, illustrator
Sylvan Dell Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A-2
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781607181262, $16.95

"The Glaciers Are Melting!" is an illustrated animal-nature tale for children age 4-9 with serious, real implications. Told by creatures who live in glacial areas such as Peter Pika, Tammy Ptarmigan, Sally Squirrel, Mandy Marmot, Harry Hare, and the Mountain Monarch, a fine, bighorn sheep, the plot of "The Glaciers Are Melting!" thickens and reaches a crisis when the Mountain Monarch tells the animals there are too few of them, so there is nothing they can do. So Peter Pika asked, "Then who?" This leads directly into the educational section of the book, with facts about the rate of glaciers melting, a true/false glacier quiz, animal matching activity, Alpine and Arctic animal adaptations, and food for thought. Additional resources are available through "The Glaciers Are Melting!" homepage at "The Glaciers Are Melting!" is an excellent teaching tool for elementary students learning about global warming and climate change.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Forest Secrets, a Fairy Houses Mystery
Tracy Kane & Kelly Sanders
Light-Beams Publishing
10 Toon Lane, Lee, NH 03861
9780976628927, $8.95

"Forest Secrets, A Fairy House Mystery" is a Nautilus Silver Award Winner from the Fairy House series. Kate discovers a tiny fairy house hidden in the trunk of a tree in an enchanted forest with her nature-loving friend, Luke Carver. It holds a mysterious clue. They wonder what secrets it holds? many thrilling adventures await the two friends in their quest to solve the mystery and save the enchanted forest and its creatures. Short chapters, fast action, and poetic imagery help propel appeal of this middle graders chapter book. Black and white illustrations add further charm. "Forest Secrets" is sure to thrill young readers with a feel for the exotic, natural and "green."

The Art Shelf

Following My Paint Brush
Dulari Devi, artist
Gita Wolf, author
Tara Books Pvt. Ltd. of India and Tara Publishing Ltd (UK)
Consortium Book Sales & Distribution
34-13th Avenue NE, Suite 101, Minneapolis, MN 55413
9789380340111, $17.50

"Following My Paint Brush" is a beautiful children's art book which tells the story of Mithila artist Dulari Devi, who began as a domestic helper in a poor community of fisher folk in Bihar, eastern India. The artist began life as a hard working domestic helper who labored to help feed her family. She always loved arranging pictures and objects in her mind, and she was encouraged to begin learning to draw and paint when the family who employed her (who were artists) allowed her to begin to study painting. Dulan Devi worked as hard at learning to create art and paint as she had at washing dishes and feeding her family. Her colorful art, in black and white and primary colors, is in the Mithila style of folk painting. "Following My Paint Brush" is a treasure trove of exotic pictures of fish, children playing games, and other fascinating scenes. Some ornate two-page works are simply titled "Children," "The Ice Cream Man," and "My Childhood." For a truly inspiring story of how to follow your bliss (in the words of the late Joseph Campbell), "Following My Paint Brush" sets the mark.

The American History Shelf

The Many Faces of George Washington
Carla Killough McClafferty
Carolrhoda Books
c/o Lerner Publications
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780761356080, $20.95

"The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon" traces the completion of a project creating series of 3 life-size figures of George Washington at ages 19, 45, and 57, at the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. Experts from the fields of anthropology, science, art history, technology, history, and textiles worked together to complete the project. Because previous visitors to Mount Vernon may have only seen older images of Washington, they tended to imagine him only as a somewhat grumpy looking old man. Completion of the three figures has reshaped and reinvigorated the image of Washington, so people can understand and identify with the younger man, the active man, as well as the heroic, philosophical older man so many are familiar with. Many illustrations of famous paintings of Washington are included in "The Many Faces of Washington," as might be expected. In addition, there is a timeline for Washington's life (1732-1799), source notes, a selected bibliography, and further reading suggestions, including complimentary educational material from "The Many Faces of George Washington" is a beautifully presented book that takes the reader through an incredible voyage of rediscovery of the most famous figure in the history of the United States.

The Health Shelf

Oliver McCoy, The Boy Who Loved Onions
Richard B. Joelson, author
Annette C. Shumay, illustrator
SLM Book Publishing
21204 Pontiac Trail #16
South Lyon, MI 48178
9780983003908, $19.95

"Oliver McCoy, The Boy Who Loved Onions" is the first book in a series of children's books which encourage children to eat healthy fruits and vegetables. Written in verse, with humorous color illustrations, "Oliver McCoy, the Boy who Loved Onions" is an archetype for kid hero veggie eaters. Oliver is an unusual boy whose favorite and only food is onions in every shape and form of preparation, from raw to cooked in soup. Of course there are some problem areas to be overcome, such as Oliver's bad breath, but eventually Oliver runs out of onions and tries a variety of other delicious sounding foods. However, his first love is still onions, so the happy ending consists of a return to even more onions for Oliver, until the next vegetable eating adventure! The goal of "Oliver McCoy, The Boy Who Loved Onions" is to tempt children to eat more vegetables and improve their health. Humor and spontaneity and spunk help deliver the special health message of Oliver to young readers.

The Music CD Shelf

Tap Those Toes
Rachel Sumner
Rachel's Records
217 Silo Court, Nashville, TN 37221
9781886673168 $14.98

Tap Those Toes is a children's music CD featuring award-winning music and stories from Rachel Sumner. Educational as well as entertaining, Tap Those Toes features catchy, exuberant songs brimming with vigor and love. Putting the CD in one's computer yields bonus material: song lyrics, activities, pictures, and more. Highly recommended, especially for children's library collections. The tracks are "Tap Those Toes" (2:16), "The New Itsy Bitsy Spider" (2:59), "Baa Baa Black Sheep" (2:47), "I'd've Baked a Cake" (3:04), "Catch the Reading Bug" (3:33), "Imani's Trick (story)" (10:02), "Funga Alafia" (3:20), "It's a Pirate's Life for Me" (3:59), "Cookin' in the Kitchen" (2:44), "All Around the World" (3:09), "Doctor Knickerbocker" (3:59), "Chester's Surprise (story)" (9:57), "La Mariposa" (3:34), "Make a Splash - Read!" (3:46), "Goldilocks" (2:37), and "Dry Bones" (3:15). 65 min., 10 sec.

The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
6910 Yellowstone Blvd., #211, Forest Hills, NY 11375
c/o Waldmania! (publicity)
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127

Intended for young listeners ages 2-8, Sock-a-Delic is a polyphonic music CD emphasizing sharp timing, solid rhythms, and all-around-fun. Comedy is an integral part of the upbeat singing and dancing, in this high-energy, Dixieland-style album great for long car trips or rainy-day fun. The tracks are "Dirty Sock Theme Song - Come Join The Band", "Baby Spies", "Ernesto's", "DinoSoaring", "Treasure", "Rage Against The Time Machine", "Table Manners", "Half Rock Angel", "Dream Of The Clown", "Donut Sketch", "Donut Brain Aliens", "Music Everywhere", "Bad Habit Boy", "Good Job", "I Love It!" and "No Good Reason Party". 39 min. Also highly recommended is the "The Dirty Sock Funtime Band" DVD ($15.00).

The DVD Shelf

The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
The Dirty Sock Funtime Band, Inc.
1 Penn Plaza, Suite 2107
New York, NY 10119
c/o Waldmania!
130 Maywood Drive
San Francisco, CA 94127

The Dirty Sock Funtime Band is a creative, upbeat children's DVD of music videos by the colorful and internationally known band that blends rock 'n' roll, clowning, and just plain fun into a jam-packed musical extravaganza. A bonus seven-song CD album "Missing Socks" complements the lively DVD; both are perfect for birthday gift-giving, children's parties, or rainy-day fun. The music videos are "Baby Spies", "Dino Soaring", "Treasure", "Donut Brain Aliens", "Music Everywhere", "Good Job", "I Love It!" and "No Good Reason Party".

Timmy Time: Picture Day
Hit Entertainment
Lionsgate (distribution)
c/o Andrea Blain Public Relations
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076

The Oscar-winning creators of "Wallace and Gromit" and "Shaun the Sheep" present Timmy Time: Picture Day, a wonderful DVD for young children ages 2-5 featuring five short videos about a lamb named Timmy and his nursery friends. In "Snapshot Timmy", Timmy just can't keep himself clean even though it's school photo day; in "Timmy Wants The Blues" Timmy is focuses on the color blue for his toys and cushions - until he has to paint a picture, when he soon realizes he'll also need the other colors; in "Timmy Wants the Drum", Timmy is given a triangle to play while his rival Yabba gets the drum, and Timmy schemes for a chance to play the drum himself; in 'Timmy's Puppet", Timmy's homemade sock puppet falls out of his backpack, but when his search is unsuccessful, Harriet offers to help him craft a new one; and in "Timmy the Builder", Timmy's class sets to work building dens - but Timmy's pride gets the better of him as he tries to make a den without any help, until he is forced to admit that he might be able to learn from and work better with another person. A "Timmy Time" sing-along bonus features rounds out this playful children's video of friendly animal antics, highly recommended for wholesome, family-friendly fun. 45 min.

Bob the Builder: The Big Dino Dig The Movie
Keith Chapman
Lionsgate: HIT Entertainment Limited
H181588, $9.98

"The Big Dino Dig: The Movie" is a fun-filled DVD featuring Bob the Builder for children age 2-5. Featuring an animated cast of Bob, Scoop, Dizzy, and new character, Rubble, the team tackles the task of preparing and planning and building a huge new amusement park. Imagine their surprise when digging machines uncover dinosaur bones in their construction! Members of the team work together in solving unusual puzzles and problems presented in this creative builders' production. Kids will enjoy familiar characters while learning new methods of cooperation and problem solving skills. The DVD includes a free child's ticket to any LEGOLAND attraction when accompanied by a paid adult ticket. Also recommended in this series from Lionsgate for young children are the following DVDs: "Roary the Racing Car (H180453, $14.98)," and "Angelina Ballerina: Pop Star Girls (H181587, $14.98)."

Weston Woods Studios
143 Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06851
$59.95 each

Three new DVDs from Weston Woods Studios adapt classic children's picturebooks into DVD format with a read-along option, offering new ways for parents and young children to enjoy these storytelling treasures together. "Stone Soup" by Jon J. Muth (0545327148, 12 min.) brings a new twist on a timeless story of making much from little, and includes an interview with the author. "Robot Zot!" (0545326206, 8 min.) by Jon Scieszka and David Shannon is the bestselling adventure of a lively robot out to conquer the earth - until he encounters a princess toy cell phone, and changes his mission to one of achieving true love. "Scaredy Squirrel" by Melanie Watt (0545327121, 7 min.) is an award-winning story about a little squirrel who has long been too frightened to leave his tree - until one day a shocking surprises forces him to discover something amazing about himself. An interview with the author rounds out this confidence-building tale. All three are highly recommended especially for public and elementary school children's libraries.

Shalom Sesame series
SISU Home Entertainment Inc.
340 W. 39th St., 6th fl., New York, NY 10018
$14.95 each

Two more installments in the Shalom Sesame DVD series co-produced by the nonprofit organization Sesame Workshop continue this excellent introduction to Jewish culture and Israeli daily life for children. Sesame Street muppets such as the lovable Grover add a kid-friendly touch to this upbeat and educational series. Volume 10, "The Sticky Shofar" (1560867108, 27 min. with 25 min. extras) is all about the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah; Avigail discovers that honey is sweet and exceptionally sticky, while Grover, Avigail and Brosh learn all about friendship and forgiveness just in time to kick off the new year. Volume 11, "Monsters in the Sukkah" (1560867116, 26 min. with 24 min. extras) features Anneliese van der Pol, and is all about Sukkot - when Avigail's and Brosh's plans to welcome their guests fall through along with their sukkah, they scramble to rebuild it in time for Sukkot with help from their good friends! The entire Shalom Sesame series is a superb way to introduce young viewers to Jewish and Israeli culture, and highly recommended.

The Self-Help Shelf

Max Archer Kid Detective: The Case of the Wet Bed
Howard J. Bennett, author
Spike Gerrell, illustrator
American Psychological Association
c/o Magination Press
P.O. Box 92984, Washington, D.C. 20090
9781433809538, $14.95

"Max Archer Kid Detective: The Case of the Wet Bed" is a fantastic kids' self help manual to deal with the problem of bedwetting. Max the detective is a former bedwetter himself, so he understands what his clients are going through. In careful steps and clear, easy- to- follow instructions, Max helps an 8-year old boy named Billy Parker to learn to stay dry at night while he is sleeping. Fun illustrations and positive messages like going on Poop Patrol, joining the Stream Team, positive self-programming affirmations all help the program take hold effectively. For the last, the child repeats to himself, "If I need to go at night my bladder will hold all of my pee till morning. But if I can't hold all of my pee I will wake myself up and go to the bathroom (p. 35)." At the end of the book are extra resources like How to Become a Super Dooper Pooper, a Word Search, and Make Your Own Badges, plus Q & A About Bedwetting (Just For Parents). "The Case of the Wet Bed" is a great tool to assist kids who want to learn to stay dry sooner rather than later. "The Case of the Wet Bed" is also available in softcover (9781433809545, $9.95).

The Tale of the Teeny, Tiny Black Ant
Teresa R. Allen, MSW, LISW, author
Tea Seroya, illustrator
New Horizon Press
P.O. Box 669, Far Hills, NJ 07931
9780882823515, $9.95

"The Tale of the Teeny, Tiny Black Ant: Helping Children Learn Persistence" is an illustrated fable about persistence for children age 4-7. Ace is a tiny black ant who wants to carry a fine blue bird's feather to his Queen, but to do that he must climb a very difficult wall, carrying the feather. Though his ant friends have teased him, his new friend, a caterpillar named Kota, is all encouragement. With a huge, persistent, magnificent effort, Ace climbs to the top of the wall with the feather, but just when he is being applauded by friends and family and supporters, the feather blows away before he can present it to the Queen! There is a good surprise ending, and children of all ages will cheer for the teeny, tiny black ant named Ace who is so courageous and persistent. At the end of the book are helpful tips for children and for parents and guardians for fostering positive goals and strengths and values in a child. Luscious full color illustrations help bring the world of Ace and friends to life as the tale unfolds. Another recommended title in this series (a Lets Talk Book) is "Joni and the Fallen Star, Helping Children Learn Teamwork," by Cindy Jett Pilon, illustrated by John Hazard (ISBN 9780882823539, $9.95)".

Adam Montierth, author
Adam Devaney, illustrator
Sortis Publishing
2193 E. Claxton Ave., Gilbert, AZ 85297
9780982798638, $14,95

"Dream" is a bright color illustrated manual that encourages children to dream their very biggest and best dreams, and to have confidence that amazing things actually do happen every day! Filled with fun facts and funny illustrations and playful rhyming verse, "Dream" simply poses a number of known unlikely miracles in the natural kingdom (and also the technological world, where man walked on the moon), underlining the wonder that is each child's gateway to higher aspirations. "Dream" is both concrete and metaphysical, appealing to young children's minds on several levels at once. "For nothing in life is impossible, As long as you set your MIND to it. All you really have to do, Is get off your rump and DO IT!"

The Fiction Shelf

The Monster in the Hollows
Andrew Peterson
Rabbit Room Press
523 Heather Place, Nashville, TN 37204
9780982621431, $13.99,

The changes that come with coming in adulthood are something we all face, but for Janner Wingfeather, his brother's progress into adulthood is cause for concern. "The Monster in the Hollows" is the third entry into the Wingfeather Saga, following the Wingfeathers as they retreat into the Green Hollows. But the crown prince to the Annieran throne, his brother, is going to the dogs, becoming gradually more monstrous. Janner doesn't believe he is as monstrous as he appears, but could he be wrong? "The Monster in the Hollows" is a fast paced and fun work of young adult fiction, highly recommended.

Countess Nobody
Lynn Kiele Bonasia
Egmont USA
443 Park Avenue South, Suite 806
New York, NY 10016
9781606842072, $8.99,

Fantasy is fun, when kept controlled. Some people are bad at keeping them controlled. "Countess Nobody" is the story of sixteen year old Sophie as she discovers her noble French heritage. Despite learning the title of Count is a male only one, she has fun with it, as she starts a blog about Count S, writing her own story about one particular Count arriving in America. But the blog gains popularity and scrutiny, and the truth about Sophie and her dreams will soon become a reality. "Countess Nobody" is a strong pick for teenage young adult fiction readers, highly recommended.

Leap of Faith
Anne Schraff
3120 Pullman Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
9781616515881, $8.95

"Leap of Faith" is a teen novelette for struggling learners in the Urban Underground series, designed to engage interest of young adults with 3.5 grade reading ability. The series targets a group of teenagers dealing with routine problems at Cesar Chavez High - including peer pressure, trust, drugs, urban issues, drugs etc., self esteem and more. Latino senior Ernesto Sandoval is thinking of running for class president, but many obstacles stand in his way. He is challenged when an associate named Clay Aguirre is threatened by Ernesto's leadership and ability, and begins to spread devastating lies and innuendos about Ernesto. Many twists and turns take the reader on a trail of trials and the leap of faith becomes the theme required for all who endure to see the final truth unveiled. "Leap of Faith" is teen fiction at its most inspirational and realistic, grabbing the hearts and minds of young readers. Also recommended in this same series by the same author are the following titles: "The Unforgiven (ISBN 9781616515867, $8.95)," "The Water's Edge (ISBN 9781616515898, 48.95)," "The Lost (ISBN 9781656515850, $8.95)," and "Deliverance (ISBN 9781616515874, $8.95)."

TOR Teen
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010

Harry Turtledove's THE DISUNITED STATES OF AMERICA (9780765328243, $9.99) is the perfect pick for any collection strong in alternate history and tells of Justin and his mother, Time Traders traveling undercover to different Earth realities so they can bring valuable resources back to their timeline. Their journey to a small-town Virginia which is on the verge of war with Ohio brings Justin into contact with Californian Beckie, who shares a horror of evolving events with Justin. The two join forces to fight a biological plague in this riveting, fast-paced story. Dom Testa's THE DARK ZONE (9780765321107, $16.99) provides the fourth installment of a series that began with THE COMET'S CURSE, and is a recommended pick for teen collections seeing popularity with its predecessors. 251 teens have been sent to a new home in a distant solar system when Earth is doomed: here they encounter dangerous organisms that could shorten their journey or lead to disaster. A fine addition to the ongoing saga!

Random House/Delacorte/Knopf
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Lauren Henderson's KISS OF DEATH (9780385737791, $16.99) provides the last, final book in the Scarlett Wakefield murder mystery series for ages 12 and older, and tells of a murder returning to haunt protagonist Scarlett, who finds old friends and enemies re-uniting during a weeklong field trip. A series of attacks threatens Scarlett's life and leads to conflicting feelings of fear and attraction in this involving romance/murder mystery for older tens. Roderick Townley's THE DOOR IN THE FOREST (9780375856013, $16.99) tells of a mysterious island at the heart of a forest circled by quicksand and vines. Daniel's determined to get there along with his mysterious friend Emily - especially since soldiers have entered his town with an unusual interest in his life. Magic and secrets join for a fine, involving tale. Alyssa B. Sheinmel's THE LUCKY KIND (9780375867859, $16.99) tells of a high school junior who has always felt lucky in his parents, friends and life - until he discover his parents have been keeping a big secret from him, and his attraction to a complicated girl promises to change his life. A fine story of conflicting interests and options evolves. Jeanne Birdsall's THE PENDERWICKS AT POINT MOUETTE (9780375858512, $16.99) tells of a summer in which Skye is left as the oldest available Penderwick sister, and provides a third story to a series that has proved very popular. Freedom and outdoor adventures blend in a fine account of changes, possible romance, and fiery family interactions. Adele Griffin's TIGHTER (9780375866456, $16.99) tells of teen Jamie, who arrives in a lovely new England island to work as a summer au pair - only to find she's involved in a tragic past and that she looks strikingly like a dead girl - and, can see her ghost. Jamie's perception of the paranormal involves her in strange new worlds in this gripping saga packed with unexpected twists and turns.

Alyson Noel
St. Martin's Press
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
9780312642075, $17.99

EVERLASTING joins others in Alyson Noel's IMMORTALS series for young adult readers and provides an engrossing, riveting continuation of the story of high school student Ever and her immortal soul mate Damen. Fans of TWILIGHT will relish this addition to a best-selling series, continuing the epic love story between them and providing another account where Ever is forced to leave behind her family, friends and love to journey through the Shadowland alone. Her trek will bring romance and heartbreak to her life in this epic story, perfect for middle to high school readers.

The Christian Shelf

Great People of the Bible
Lee Danesco
Saint Mary's Press
702 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987-1318
9780884896906, $6.95,

The Bible is filled with memorable characters and important lessons. "Great People of the Bible" is a simple workbook aimed at younger Christians explaining the major figures throughout the Bible, why they are well known, their role in legend, as well as accompanying activities, covering both the Old and New Testaments. Useful for both Sunday School teachers and as a gift to the curious youth, "Great People of the Bible" is a worthwhile selection in any case with plenty of illustrations that kids will love.

The Book of Names
D. Barkley Briggs
Living Ink Books
6815 Shallowford Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37421
9780899578637, $12.99,

The power to change the world can rest heavily on the least likely of shoulders. "The Book of Names" is an epic fantasy with a strong Christian element woven in, telling the story of two teenage brothers who are offered unique power to change their world. In searching for the strength to make it so, they find that no matter what power they hold, it won't be easy and only the strength they find in themselves and in their faith to succeed. "The Book of Names" is a fine read for young Christian fantasy readers, highly recommended.

The Sports Shelf

Odd Ball
Timothy Tocher
Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591
9780761458135, $15.99,

ODD BALL: HILARIOUS, UNUSUAL AND BIZARRE BASEBALL MOMENTS receives funny drawings by Stacy Curtis and over sixty pages of detail as it provides fun baseball black and white cartoons paired with baseball history and events. From notable ball oddities and ironies to plays, this is a lively pick for any picturebook sports history holding.

The Easy Reader/Chapter Book Shelf

Lucky Cap
Patrick Jennings
443 Park Avenue South, Suite 806, NY, NY 10016
9781606840542, $15.99

"Lucky Cap" is a humorous chapter book for 8-12 year-olds. Enzo, the hero, has acquired a lucky cap during a fabulous road trip with his father. The special cap is signed by many famous athletes and Enzo believes it has brought him luck in all his undertakings back at school. However, disaster strikes when someone steals the cap and Enzo faces the problem of finding the cap and finding himself in charge of a life without the cap. The many funny twists and turns of Enzo's advent rues and relationships with his friends make for great middle school adventure reading, with a nice pinch of attainable maturity goals built right in. Kids will enjoy "Lucky Cap" while inching along the road to adulthood one juvenile crisis at a time. As always, humor wraps and absolves all tragedies, mistakes, and misadventures, while gently prodding the reader along to higher moral outlooks.

Meet Monster
Ellen Blance and Ann Cook
Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591
9780761456483, $15.99

Quentin Blake's black and white drawings enhance MEET MONSTER: SIX STORIES ABOUT THE WORLD'S FRIENDLIEST MONSTER, a fine pick for ages 5-9 that tells of a tall, skinny, not-ugly monster who moves to the city and unearths special talents. First published in 1973 with the input of children, this provides a fine resource to kids just learning to read chapter books.

The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book
Jeff Kinney
Amulet Books
c/o Abrams
115 West 18th St., New York NY 10011
9780810989955, $12.95

The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book offers an inspirational pick for any who would create stories and offers plenty of visual encouragement, from blank journal pages with sections packed with word balloons, mini-quizzes, unfinished comics, lists and more. Kids learn how to create a vivid journal that might lend to writing prowess in this fun pick recommended as a gift for any elementary would-be writer.

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything
Uma Krishnaswami
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
9781416995890, $16.99

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything receives a peppering of fine black and white drawings by Abigail Halpin and tells of pre-teen Dini, who loves movies in general and Bollywood in particular. When her mother tells her the family is moving to India, to a tiny village she can't even find on the map, Dini must work at new life goals and in a new world. India culture and a girl's dreams of Bollywood fame permeate a fine, fun story of a middle school girl facing big changes.

Alice-Miranda at School
Jacqueline Harvey
Delacorte Press
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
9780385739931, $14.99

Alice-Miranda at School is also a recommended pick for middle grade readers, and provides the first in a series for ages 7-10 telling of Alice-Miranda, a spunky girl with a big personality who can't wait to start boarding school. But a strange boarding school it is, and Alice-Miranda finds herself encountering mean, spoiled girls and a mysterious stranger in this fun story of a school secret and a determined girl's investigations.

Findhorn Press
$8.95 each

Two fine easy readers by Diana Cooper for 5-9 year olds are recommended picks for kids who like magic and fun light adventure. Kate Shannon provides black and white drawings to accompany these fun readers. In THE MAGICAL ADVENTURES OF TARA AND THE TALKING KITTEN (9781844095506), which introduces their meeting, Tara is presented as a naughty and willful schoolgirl whose home and school life is difficult because she's rude and self-centered. When she's given a gray kitten, it changes her life -especially as the kitten is a wise, magical talking cat who teaches her about social situations. TARA AND THE TALKING KITTEN MEET ANGELS AND FAIRIES (9781844095513) provides the second book in the series in which Tara and talking at ash-Ting meet angels, fairies, elves and imps. An uncle invades their privacy, Tara's sister nearly drowns, and other adventures rely on healing angels and empowerment to get Tara through many difficult situations.

The Picturebook Shelf

Baby Badger's Wonderful Night
Karen Saunders, author
Dubravka Kolanovic, illustrator
443 Park Avenue South, Suite 806, NY, NY 10016
9781606841723, $16.99

"Baby Badger's Wonderful Night" is a deliciously illustrated children's bedtime story book, presenting textured, pale to dark colors that paint the night scenes in nature on each page. As daylight fades, Baby Badger is afraid of the darkness of the night, so Papa Badger gently shows him the many quiet colors and sights of the night. Finally he also teaches him how to orient himself at night by the bright North star which shines in the sky. Finally Baby Badger murmurs, "The night is magical,...It's full of stars and colors and wishes." "Baby Badger's Wonderful Night" is a magical bedtime story for children age 2 and up.

The Yellow House
Blake Morrison, author
Helen Craig, illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763649593, $15.99

A girl and her mother and little sister pass a large old yellow house and a neglected garden on their walk to the park every day. The house looks old and sad. The yard has a lawn, a goldfish pond, a greenhouse, an apple tree, a trash can and a garden gnome, but never any people, or children. The girl sees all this as her mother lifts her up over the gate to see the house and yard, but doesn't let her go into the yard to explore. Intrigued by the house's mystery, one day the girl climbs over the gate alone and has a series of mysterious discoveries, enticed by a boy in overalls and a pom-pom hat. The fey charm of "The Yellow House" is underlined by the delicate, detailed illustrations, with muted colors and occasional bright flashes of red. Does the girl really see a boy and does he really take her to see a tiger and cubs, playing in the grass, a white dolphin playing in the fountain's lily pads, and a green snake winding its body around a tomato plant's stake? Perhaps the girl's imagination is playing tricks on her, but if so, they are very convincing tricks! The story ends with the return of mother and sister, reclaiming the girl outside the yard of the yellow house. But she knows that one day she will see the boy who waved to her again. "The Yellow House" is a wonderful tale of imagination that will appeal to children of all ages.

Harvey the Child Mime
Loryn Brantz, author/illustrator
Hometown 520 Press
PO Box 1041, Darien, CT 06820
9780982220580, $16.95

"Harvey the Child Mime" is a fantastic illustrated story about the power of imagination, mime, and what makes a contented heart. Harvey is a child mime from a family of mimes who enjoys performing amazing mime tricks for his audience down on the docks each day. Harvey pretends to pull a bus full of rhinos with a single rope, and much more .Harvey is very convincing. One day he was so convincing in his pretending to be trapped in a box that he was picked up and loaded onto a ship by dock workers in his imaginary box. A magical adventure unfolds. Harvey is taken to the pink island home of a spoiled princess who doe not appreciate any of her birthday presents (one of which is Harvey). When he finds (from her screaming) she wanted a pony instead of a boy, he quickly pretends to be riding an imaginary horse. More confusion follows, but eventually the princess discovers, through Harvey's mime, that even she has the power to imagine an invisible horse. This opens the door to wonderful, soul-and heart-satisfying adventures. The princess forgets to have tantrums and demands. All ends well and satisfyingly, as Harvey is returned to the ship and to his home with his mime parents, to his room which is empty except for one poster, to make room for his mime-ing. The moral: "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." (the Dalai Lama). Fabulous black and white and color illustrations help tell the story of "Harvey the Child Mime," with unforgettable grace and style. Appeals to all ages.

A Pet For Miss Wright
Judy Young, author
Andrea Wesson, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press, imprint of Cengage
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585365098, $15.95

"A Pet For Miss Wright" is a delightful story about a writer, Miss Wright, who is lonely and decides to get a pet to fill the quiet. A hilarious succession of not-quite-suitable pets (for a writer) are tried and returned to the pet shop. Finally Miss Wright gives up, after trying a cat, but the pet store owner persuades her to take home a dog to try. Oddly enough, this particular dog, who happens to be a most discerning Beagle, turns out to be a keeper for Miss Wright. He fits into her life in all the little ways. Most important of all, he believes in her and gives her ideas about how to improve her work! "A Pet For Miss Wright" has pastel, quirky illustrations that keep the pages turning and the plot thickening, plus overall charisma. Kids age 6-10 will love the interactions between Miss Wright and her possible pets, especially the dog.

Little Croc's Purse
Lizzie Finlay, author/illustrator
Eerdman's Books for Young Readers
2140 Oak Industrial Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802853929, $14.99

"Little Croc's Purse" is a delightful illustrated story about making tough choices and finding the strength to do the right thing, and discovering what really matters. While playing hide-and-seek, Little Croc stumbles across a very special pink purse. It has money and also something else very special inside. Little Croc is tempted by all his friends to keep the purse and its contents, but he resolves to do the right thing and take it to the police to be returned to its rightful owner. He achieves this goal after many temptations and distractions. What happens next is a revelation, both for Little Croc and later his friends. Children age 3-7 will enjoy the charming, feisty little crocodile illustrations and the moral will not be lost in the story's charming details. "Little Croc's Purse" encourages the growth of personal responsibility and integrity as well as thoughtfulness of others and a belief that the Universe shall provide with bounty plus general good Karma.

Flea Circus
Monica Carretero, author/ illustrator
Cuento de Luz
c/o Independent Publishers Group
814 North Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
9788493824006, $14.95,

"Flea Circus" is an amazing illustrated children's book from the Mini-Animalist series, originally written in Spanish, translated into English by Jon Brokenbrow. The book is a charming tribute to a marvelous flea circus, made spectacularly real by the precise, dark tinted, fantastic, wacky, detailed artworks that adorn each page. A bit reminiscent of the Dr. Seuss tales of the Who's, "Flea Circus" enchants with the sure creation of a tiny world of traveling flea circus performers like Hopping Henrietta and the amazing Balinka, who is shot out of a cannon to the moon, where she lives quite happily until the next show. "Flea Circus" is a great aid to the development of young imaginations, and will be an unforgettable experience for all the lucky children who read it or have it read to them.

Pig Kahuna
Jennifer Sattler
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
9781599906355, $14.99

Fergus and his little brother Dink LOVE the beach, with its intriguing waves and treasures that wash up on the beach. From seaweed to pebbles and shells, they are fascinated - until the waves leave behind an unusual gift indeed. Any child who loves the ocean will love this whimsical, appealing story of the ocean's many gifts, paired with large-sized color illustrations of two pigs who have fun.

Marshall Cavendish Books
99 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591

Georgette Noullet's BED HOG (9780761458234, $12.99) receives David Slonim's fun drawing as it tells of Bailey, who can't find a comfortable place to sleep because everyone in the house accuses him of being a Bed Hog, and makes him move. What's a Bed Hog Dog to do? A fun solution enhances a very easy picturebook read for beginners. Maryann MacDonald's THE PINK PARTY (9780761458142, $16.99) will reach ages 4-8 with a fine story of two friends who both love pink - and who are experiencing a subtle competition to get the pinkest things into their lives. When Valentina gives the pinkest party ever, Rose can't stay quiet - and trouble emerges in this fun frolic, illustrated - in full pink - by Judy Stead. Maryann MacDonald's HOW TO HUG (9780761458043, $16.99) receives Jana Christy's fun drawings and will appeal to ages 3-8 with its gentle story of how to give a hug that's not to tight, not too specific, and just right. From different types of huggers to people who don't want hugs, this is packed with fun. Steven Kroll's SUPER-DRAGON (9780761458197, $16.99) receives Douglas Holgate's fiery drawings and will reach ages 4-8 with its rollicking story of a dragon contest and Drago's participation in the event. Drago is deemed too little to learn tricks, but he asks for help, practices in secret, and pulls off a winning approach. Erica Pelton Villnave's SOPHIE'S LOVELY LOCKS (9780761458203, $16.99) will reach ages 5-8 with its fun story of a girl who loves her long hair - until it becomes too snarly to manage. A surprise ending advocates the Locks for Love program and provides families with information for donation. All are fine recommendations for picture book collections.

Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap's HOW TO GET A JOB BY ME THE BOSS (9780375866647, $17.99) provides kids with the ultimate job-search beginner's guide, offering such insights as tips on not bringing a pet to a job interview - and is written by The Boss herself. Tips range from identifying something you love to cultivating talent then marketing it - and provide hilarious examples of some unusual kid talents and their applications. Bethanie Deeney Murguia's BUGLETTE THE MESSY SLEEPER (9781582463759, $15.99) tells of a clean little bug whose big dreams cause her to be the messiest sleeper in the family, awakening to twisted blankets and tossed pillows. Will her habits cause harm to her family - or save the day? From being different to holding on to big dreams, this is a warm easy reader kids will find delightfully different. Nadia Krilanovich's CHICKEN, CHICKEN, DUCK! (9781582463858, $14.99) tells of Duck and his barnyard friends who are up to something secret. A host of animal noises is invited from the young reader as kids try to guess what the animals will do in a pick perfect for parent/child read-alouds. Kevin Hawkes' THE WICKED BIG TODDLAH GOES TO NEW YORK (9780375861888, $16.99) tells of an average family visiting New York City when Toddie gets separated from his parents and ends up lost. Fans of the prior THE WICKED BIG TODDLAH will find this ongoing story of a too-big child hilarious, while parents will find plenty of read-aloud potential. It reads like fiction but THE WATCHER: JANE GOODALL'S LIFE WITH THE CHIMPS by Jeanette Winter (9780375867743, $17.99) is based on facts about the chimp-loving scientist's life, and will reach beyond the usual nonfiction crowd into fiction readers. At five years old Jane was already a 'watcher' and loved to watch all the animals in her world. She followed her dream as an adult and traveled to Africa to study chimps, and this biography of Jane Goodall captures the drama and action of her decisions. All are fine picks for any picturebook collection.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

A Donkey Reads, Adapted from a Turkish Folktale
Moriel Mandell, author
Andre Letria, artist
Star Bright Books
30-19 48th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101
9781595722553, $16.95

"A Donkey Reads" is colorful illustrated children's book adaptation of a Turkish folktale about Nasreddin Hoca, a wise 13th century teacher, judge and imam in Anatolia whose memory is greatly revered in many tales and stories. A Mongol tyrant has conquered a small village in Anatolia and demands tribute from each villager, even the poorest, Mustafo. Mustafo and his family are only able to spare a poor, old donkey for the tribute, and he fears his tribute will be scorned and he may be beaten or worse. Nasreddin plays a curious role when Mustafo attempts to present his donkey to the Mongol, who is very displeased and threatening. Nasreddin declares it is a special, clever donkey, and he can teach him to read. The rest of the tale unfolds, showing the particular cleverness and kind wisdom of Nasreddin, and the use of subtle humor to hopefully poke a little fun even at the cruel Mongol. Although the outcome of the tale is unclear, the intervention is spectacularly successful, and many children will cheer for the clever little donkey who is taught to read. Charming color illustrations bring the tale to vibrant life on the pages, helping to make "A Donkey Reads" an award-winning children's book and a Junior Library Guild selection.

Books in Series

Dragons and Serpents
Geri McCall and Lisa Regan
Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003
9781433949975, $31.95

"Dragons and Serpents" is an illustrated book about famous dragons and serpents from myth and lore around the globe. Twenty specific dragons are featured, with artistic impressions, full stories and characteristics, and a small map feature showing where in the world the dragon's habitation is traditionally said to be. Each featured dragon has a full page illuminated illustration plus a list of associated interesting facts under the side bar heading, Did You Know? (in addition to the Where in the World map feature, also outlined and explained in a special square on the lower left of the right hand page. At the end is a glossary and a guide to dragons and serpents, and a section titled For More Information, which lists related books and web sites. From the Nidhogg of Scandinavia and Germany to the Wyvern of England, there are many dragons and serpents and stories relating of them from around the world. "Dragons and Serpents" is a fascinating sampling of dragon lore that will attract the attention of middle grade students. Also recommended in this outstanding series are the following titles: "Ferocious Giants," by McCall and Regan (ISBN 9781433950001, $31.95), "Movie Monsters" by McCall and McNab (ISBN 9781433950063, $31.95), "Half Man, Half Monster" by McCall and Regan (ISBN 9781433950032, $31.95), "Classical Myths" by McCall and Regan (ISBN 9781433949944, $31.95), "Bloodsucking Beasts" by Regan (ISBN 9781433949913, $31.95), and "Ancient Legends" by McCall and Regan (ISBN 9781433949883, $31.95).

Marshall Cavendish Books
99 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591
$29.95 each

New additions to the 'Cultures of the World' series each provide well over 100 pages of facts about different cultures, and are high recommendations for collections owning previous titles, seeing popularity in their use, and who wish to keep up the trend by adding books for lesser-covered areas. Each book includes an eye-catching color photo cover featuring a native in full local costume, inviting kids to look at chapters packed with history, geography, cultural insights, discussions of religion and politics, and more. Each book is suitable for reports, packing in facts and information. The new additions: MALDIVES (9781608702176), CAMEROON (9781608702145), BAHRAIN (9781608702138), GRENADA (9781608702169), CROATIA (9781608702152), ERITREA (9781608704545), BHUTAN (9781608704538), BELIZE (9781608704521), TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (9781608704569), SCOTLAND (9781608702183), KAZAKHSTAN (9781608704552), and WALES (9781608704576). All are top picks!

350 - 5th Ave, 59th Floor, New York NY 10118

Crabtree's 'Spotlight On' series ($26.60 each) by Bobbie Kalman offers 32 pages each, including an index, glossary and contents, of basic geography details on different countries, providing eye-catching overviews that include geography, animals and people, culture and basic insights. BRAZIL (9780778734611), ITALY (9780778734628), SOUTH AFRICA (9780778734642) and PHILIPPINES (9780778734635) each use photos of kids and unique locales and colorful maps and charts to make for a fine introduction. Kids will find these perfect general introductions! The 'Alert!' series ($26.60 each) provides 32 pages each of focus on different kinds of natural disasters and provides revised, updated editions to focus on headline events and their effects on people. Revised, updated editions of classics in the series provide examples of contemporary disaster mixed with weather science. Rachel Eagen's FLOOD AND MONSOON ALERT! (9780778715917), Wendy Scavuzzo's TORNADO ALERT! (9780778715948), Paul Challen's VOLCANO ALERT! (9780778715955) and Shilpa Mehta-Jones' EARTHQUAKE ALERT! (9780778715900) all provide outstanding surveys even leisure readers will appreciate. Bobbie Kalman's 'Baby Animals' series ($21.27 each) is for grades 1-3, holding 24 pages each of large-sized print, eye-catching cover and inside color photos of baby animals, and basic natural history information on each. IN WETLANDS HABITATS (9780778777304), IN FOREST HABITATS (9780778777267), IN OCEAN HABITATS (9780778777298), IN MOUNTAIN HABITATS (9780778777281), IN GRASSLAND HABITATS (9780778777274) and IN DESERT HABITATS (9780778777250) each discuss what makes up each habitat and how the animal survives in it. Bobbie Kalman's 'A Visual Dictionary' series ($26.60 each) provides 32 pages of dictionary-like drawings and attractive color on each page to bring past history to life. VICTORIAN LIFE (9780778735076) and CHRISTMAS LONG AGO (9780778735069) each cover traditions and activities perfect for grades 3-4. All are top picks for elementary picturebook nonfiction collections!

Morgan Reynolds
620 South Elm St #387
Greensboro, NC 27406

Four new additions to the fine 'World Religions and Beliefs' titles ($28.95 each) are top picks for any collection seeking to represent world religions. Each book holds a little over a hundred pages discussing basic beliefs, religious history, divisions, and more. Don Nardo's THE BIRTH OF ISLAM (1599351463) surveys Islam's rise and controversies, his THE BIRTH OF CHRISTIANITY (1599351455) surveys Christianity's evolution and turning points, Joan A. Price's FOUNDERS OF FAITH (1599351471) surveys the origins and teachings of founders of seven major world religions from Christianity to Hinduism, and Joanne Mattern's MYSTICS AND PSYCHICS (159935148X) surveys religious figures who believed their powers came directly from god, or who were able to read 'signs'. All are top picks for any spirituality collection!

Vaccines and Vaccinations, Teen Life
Christine Petersen
Rosen Publishing
29 East 21st St., New York, NY 10010
9781448813285, $28.25

"Vaccines and Vaccinations" is a definitive book on inoculations against diseases in the Teen Life Series. Chapters on Why vaccines were developed, the effectiveness of vaccines, the number of vaccines, the risk/benefit ratio for vaccines, and the debate over whether or not vaccines should be mandatory are presented, along with a glossary, added resource lists, and bibliography. "Vaccines and Vaccination" presents both sides of a complex public health topic that affects every child in a direct, clear style that is easy to understand. The Teen Life series is aimed at the older student age 12 and up. Also recommended in this series are the following titles: "Plagiarism," by Liz Sonneborn (ISBN 978148813308, $28.25), "Financial Literacy," by Mary-Lane Kamberg (ISBN 9781448813278, $28.25), "Social Networking," by Colleen Ryckert Cook (ISBN 9781448813292, $28.25), "Gangs and Urban Violence," by Ann Byers (ISBN 9781448813254, $28.25), and "Cancer Decisions for You and Your Family," by Colleen Ryckert Cook (ISBN 978144881326, $28.25).

Founders of Faith
Joan A. Price
Morgan Reynolds
620 South Elm Street, Suite 387, Greensboro, NC 27406
9781599351476, $28.95

"Founders of Faith" from the World Religions and Beliefs series for students age 11 and up presents information on seven of the world's foremost religions' founders: Krishna, Abraham, the Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, Jesus, and Muhammad. Religions covered include Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Muslim faiths. Clear, simple yet sophisticated narratives tell the stories of the world's great religions' founders' lives. Color photos and illustrations add interest to the text, which is further enriched by a timeline, sources list, bibliography and web sites recommended for further information. "Founders of Faith" is an excellent resource to the growing student of the great religions of the world. Also recommended in the World Religions and Beliefs series are the following titles: "Mystics and Psychics," by Joanne Mattern (ISBN 9781599351483, $28.95), "The Birth of Christianity," by Don Nardo (ISBN 9781599351452, $28.95), and "The Birth of Islam," by Don Nardo (ISBN 9781599351469, $28.95).

Sammy Skunk's Super Sniffer
Barbara deRubertis, author
R. W. Alley, illustrator
Kane Press
350 5th ave., Ste. 7206, New York, NY 10118
9781575653440, $7.95

"Sammy Skunk's Super Sniffer" is the "S" volume of the Animal Antics A to Z series. Each book presents an adventurous tale featuring a single letter sound of the alphabet (phoneme) and is designed for children ages 3-8. Older children will enjoy reading "Sammy Skunk's Super Sniffer" aloud to younger children, encouraging all to listen for the "S" sound at the beginning, middle, and end of words. In addition to the entertaining story of "Sammy Skunk's Super Sniffer" there are added fun facts and related activities at the end of the book. Kids can go to Sammy Skunk's website for additional activities and a recipe for Sammy Skunk's Squash Soup. Delightful, expressive illustrations enhance the narrative of "Sammy Skunk's Squash Soup" and all other volumes of Alpha Betty. Also recommended and recently released in this series are the following titles: "Tessa Tiger's Temper Tantrums (ISBN 9781575653457)," "Umma Ungka's Unusual Umbrella (ISBN 9781575653464)," "Victor Vicuna's Volcano Vacation (ISBN 9781575653471)," "Walter Warthog's Wonderful Wagon (ISBN 9781575653488)," "Xavier Ox's Xylophone Experiment (ISBN 978157653495)," "Yoko Yak's Yakety Yakking (ISBN 978157653501)," and "Zachary Zebra's Zippity Zooming (ISBN 978157653518)," all by the same author and illustrator team.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Kate Canino
Rosen Publishing Group
29 East 21st St., New York, NY 10010
9781435894396, $29.95

"Maintaining a Healthy Weight" is a juvenile weight loss guidebook from the Healthy Habits series. Written in clear, no-nonsense style that does not "talk down" to teens and tweens, "Maintaining a Healthy Weight" outlines the factors that make it important to control weight, lists healthy eating suggestions, has a chapter on how exercise can help, and offers other healthy habits to help control weight. Color photographs that kids will recognize and identify with help promote the package, and a glossary, bibliography, and For More Information section at the end add further resources. An emphasis on positive self image and self esteem are helpful to tweens and teens facing weight control issues. Recommended additional titles from the Healthy Habits series are the following: "Understanding Cholesterol" by Judy Monroe Peterson (ISBN 9781435894402, $29.95), "Vitamins and Minerals: Getting the Nutrients Your Body Needs" by Stephanie Watson (ISBN 9781435894433, $29.95), "Your Immune System, Protecting Yourself Against Infection and Illness" by Linda Bickerstaff (ISBN 9781435894426, $29.95), "Living A Heart-Healthy Life" by Michael R. Wilson (ISBN 9781435894389, $29.95), and "Blood Pressure Basics" by Laura La Bella (ISBN 9781435894419, $29.95).

USA Today Health Reports: Diseases and Disorders: AIDS
Carol Sonenklar
Twenty-First Century Books
c/o Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780822585817, $34.60

"AIDS" is the latest publication in the USA Today Health Reports: Diseases and Disorders, a series written for young adults age 11 and up. "AIDS " is divided into seven chapters covering introduction, definition of AIDS, the HIV virus, effects of HIV on the body, AIDS around the world, living with AIDS, treatment for HIV and AIDS, and AIDS funding and research. Recent statistics and graphs of AIDS-related data are carefully and clearly presented. Since present treatment modalities are not sustainable and ineffective (AIDS has no known cure), focus is on prevention, teaching awareness and training, and seeking a cure. Additional information is presented in the glossary, source notes, resources, selected bibliography, and further reading and websites. "AIDS" is an excellent initial comprehensive resource for young adult readers. Other titles recommended in this series include "ADHD," "Anorexia and Bulimia," Asthma," "Autism Spectrum Disorders," "Depression," "Food Poisoning and Foodborne Diseases," "Hepatitis," "Influenza," "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder," "Skin Cancer," and "STDS."

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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