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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 29, Number 7 July 2019 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Pets/Wildlife Shelf Military Shelf
Science Shelf Biography Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Board Book Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Bilingual Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Christian Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Language Studies Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Books in Series
Story Monsters Ink Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

The Young Adventurer's Guide to (Almost) Everything
Ben Hewitt, author
Penny Hewitt, author
Luke Boushee, illustrator
Roost Books
c/o Shambhala Publications
9781611805949, $16.95, HC, 208pp,

Calling all adventurers ages 8-12! Want to know how to build a fort from nothing but sticks? Or find your way through the forest? "The Young Adventurer's Guide to (Almost) Everything: Build a Fort, Camp Like a Champ, Poop in the Woods-45 Action-Packed Outdoor Activities" is a thoroughly 'user friendly', step-by-step, 'how to' survival guide to getting down and dirty in nature and learning to make the coolest things with your own two hands. "The Young Adventurer's Guide to (Almost) Everything" shows how to: Use a knife without bleeding; Sleep in the woods without freezing; Escape a bear without getting eaten; Poop in the woods without falling down; Find your way home without a GPS; Eat bugs without throwing up -- and so much more! Profusely illustrated, "The Young Adventurer's Guide to (Almost) Everything" is an especially recommended instructional guide and manual for personal and community library Sports & Recreation, Camping & Outdoor Activities reference collections.

The Wall: A Timeless Tale
Giancarol Macri, author
Carolina Anotti, author
Maura Sacco, illustrator
Elisa Vallarino, illustrator
Happy Fox Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781641240383, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

"The Wall: A Timeless Tale" is poignant and timely picture book story about a king who banishes anyone who is different from him and has a wall built to keep them out of his kingdom. Soon, he sees that without people with various types of talents and expertise, his realm can no longer flourish! Realizing his mistake, he orders the wall to be knocked down so he can meet and thank all the talented people that make his community beautiful. With engaging illustrations packed with fun thumbprint faces, a pop-up wall, and an important lesson about diversity that's relevant to the world today, "The Wall: A Timeless Tale" will help children ages 7-9 see just how a society can be harmed when barriers are built, but thrive when everyone works together. A beautifully presented and entertaining story with a timely underlying message that is particularly relevant today, "The Wall: A Timeless Tale" is unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library collections.

Casey the Container And her first day in port
Kristina Bowden, author
Marcia Verkaik, illustrator
Twin 20 Publishing
9781732401419 $8.99

"Casey the Container" is an exciting children's book about cargo container operations, which move 85 percent internationally traded goods and commodities. Filled with expressive illustrations of rectangular, brightly colored containers being unloaded from ships and moved, "Casey the Container" encourages a child to identify with the new experiences of Casey, the young container. The rhyming narrative is reassuring and gentle, while telling the story with style. Important values discussed include teamwork, and family shared goals. "The truth is rather simple and very plain to say: We're a family and we move cargo everyday. A little lost or bit unclear, We'll make sure you're okay because we always help each other in a teamwork kind of way." The handy glossary reviews the terms used to describe the working world of the waterfront where Casey the container spent her first day in port. Each term has a mini portrait or picture to its left, while the definition is explained to the right of the term. "Casey the Container" is a wonderful introduction to the world of marine terminal operations and safety concepts. Exciting and realistic details communicate how goods get from their place of origin to stores for purchase in a journey that is described as "operationally accurate." Thus reading "Casey the Container" supports STEM learning initiatives in addition to educating and entertaining readers age 5 years and up.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Big Book of Birds
Yuval Zommer
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500651513, $19.95, HC, 64pp,

"The Big Book of Birds" is a fact-filled tour of the world's most wonderful winged creatures enhanced with Yuval Zommer's distinctive illustrations showing off some of the most colorful, flamboyant, impressive, and wacky birds of the sky. This oversized picture book deftly pairs informative nonfiction to make a beautiful, large-format title for parents to share with young children and for older children to read by themselves. "The Big Book of Birds" draws in children and parents alike with captivating information about and charming illustrations of hummingbirds, peacocks, flamingos, bald eagles, secretary birds, puffins, red-crowned cranes, and more. The book also invites young bird-watchers to protect birds where they live and make their gardens bird-friendly. The text is chatty, funny, and full of remarkable facts. "The Big Book of Birds" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections for children ages 6-8.

Home for a Penguin, Home for a Whale
Brenda Williams, author
Annalisa Beghelli, illustrator
Barefoot Books
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
9781782857433, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

In "Home for a Penguin, Home for a Whale" by author Brenda Williams and illustrator Annalisa Beghelli, young readers ages 8-12 can dive under the sea to explore the ocean homes of 23 different marine animals! With a sea snail hidden on each page and 8 pages of fact-packed educational notes at the end making it unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library oceanic wildlife picture book collections, "Home for a Penguin, Home for a Whale" is impressively enhanced with Annalisa Beghelli's dynamic ocean scenes that bring a refreshing new style to Barefoot's collection of STEM books.

Wings In The Water, second edition
Cathy Marine
Eifrig Publishing
9781632331397, $16.99, HC, 42pp,

With this newly revised second edition of "Wings In The Water" by Cathy Marine, young readers can join the crew of the Ono V and Mote Marine Lab Senior Biologist Kim Bassos-Hull as she cruises the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico looking for spotted eagle rays. Popular in public aquariums, and found in warm and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the spotted eagle ray is an amazingly beautiful animal. Sometimes referred to as "flat sharks," these elasmobranchs are easily identified by spot patterns on their dorsal side. Photos and a fast-paced text show how Kim and other scientists investigate the behaviors and habitats of these rays from pups to mature adults in order to develop a conservation plan for this near-threatened species. Impressively well written and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography, "Wings In The Water" is very highly recommended for both school and community library Marine Wildlife collections.

Fantastic Features of Peculiar Creatures
Amy Solaro
Mascot Publishing
9781643074153, $14.95, HC, 38pp,

In "Fantastic Features of Peculiar Creatures" by artist and children's book author Amy Solaro, children will learn that vampire bats love to share and proboscis monkeys have beautiful hair! That vultures keep our planet clean and dung beetles are far from mean -- and so much more including blobfish, slugs, star-nosed moles, and tarantulas! A delightful rhyming text is nicely enhanced by charming full color illustrations. It should be noted that there is a listing of websites that young readers can learn more about each of these unusual animals, as well as 'kid friendly' coloring pages to be filled in. "Fantastic Features of Peculiar Creatures" is especially and unreservedly recommended for families with imaginative children!

Wilderness: Earth's Amazing Habitats
Mia Cassany, author
Marcos Navarro, illustrator
Prestel Jr.
c/o Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791373720, $19.95, HC, 48pp,

"Wilderness: Earth's Amazing Habitats" features beautifully colored and intricately detailed illustrations by Marcos Navarro that depict places as exotic and wide-ranging as Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park, Russia's Sikhote-Alin mountain range, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka, Daintree National Park in Australia, the Mexican desert, and China's bamboo forests. The animals that live in these remote places, cleverly hidden in the trees, plants, and flowers, create a marvelous challenge for young readers to find and identify. Each spread contains more than twenty different species including birds, snakes, frogs, iguanas, leopards, tigers, gorillas, pandas, and wolves. The back of "Wilderness: Earth's Amazing Habitats" is filled with additional information about the animals and their habitats by author Mia Cassany. Young readers ages 6-9 will find much to discover, explore, and learn in this absorbing celebration of our planet and the amazing creatures we share it with. Both fun and informative, "Wilderness: Earth's Amazing Habitats" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Rosie the Ribeter: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Darcy Pattison, author
Nathaniel Gold, illustrator
Mims House
9781629440743 $8.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle

Telling the story of a female bullfrog who set a world triple-jump record in May, 1986, "Rosie the Ribeter" names the celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County, who won the Preliminary Round and the Championship Round of the Jumping Frog Jubilee of 1986 in Calaveras County, California. Rosie was found by a team of three men who called themselves the World Champion Frog Jumping Team. Their names were Lee Giudici, Bill Guzules, and Dennis Mastasci. After they found and tested Rosie and about 60 other straight-jumping frogs, they began to train her to jump. School children suggested her name be Rosie the Ribeter. finally the day of the Championship Jump arrived and Rosie arrived at the starting pad for her jump. Her trainer, Lee encouraged her by jumping at her with his mouth wide open. Rosie jumped straight ahead and stopped. Then Lee jumped again and Rosie made one enormous leap. Officials recorded her leap distance of 21 feet 5 and 3/4 inches. She made a world record that still has not been broken, 30 years later. Everyone was happy. The team celebrated. Then the team took Rosie the Ribeter back to the deep water under her tree and let her go. Rosie was born wild and died wild, just as nature intended. But she had earned the title of Rosie the Ribeter, the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. This extraordinary story of a man and a frog is embellished with beautiful ink and water color portraits of Rosie and the men who coached her. Further information of the North American Bullfrog, Mark Twain, American Author, and How Far Can a Bullfrog Jump? is provided at the end of "Rosie the Ribeter."

The Military Shelf

Women Heroes of the US Army
Ann McCallum Staats
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9780914091240, $19.99, HC, 240pp,

Though early laws prohibited women from becoming soldiers, they still found ways to serve, even disguising themselves as men in order to participate in active battle. In "Women Heroes of the US Army", Ann McCallum Staats informatively chronicles the critical role women have played in strengthening the US Army from the birth of the nation to today. These smart, brave, and determined women led the way for their sisters to enter, grow and prosper in the forces defending the United States. Through the profiles highlighting the achievements of these trailblazers throughout history, young women today can envision an equitable future and career in the American military. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Women Heroes of the US Army" is an exceptional and highly recommended addition to school and community library collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Women Heroes of the US Army" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.83).

The Science Shelf

A Brief History of Life on Earth
Clemence Dupont
Prestel Jr.
c/o Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791373737, $24.95, HC, 76pp,

It can be difficult for children to grasp the enormous changes life on Earth has undergone since it first came into existence, but this marvelously illustrated book makes learning about our planet's fascinating history easy and entertaining for young readers ages 6-9. In an accordion style, the series of pages take readers through every major geological period, with bright artwork and detailed drawings. Opening on lava-filled oceans and smoking volcanoes, "A Brief History of Life on Earth" unfolds, era by era, to show how life evolved from tiny protozoa and crustaceans to dinosaurs and mammals. Fully expanded to 8 meters (26 feet), this spectacular visual timeline is a very impressive panorama that reveals evolution in all its glory. Each page is brimming with illustrations that readers will turn to again and again. A celebration of life, this extraordinary and beautiful book illuminates the history of Earth for young readers in an unforgettable and delightful way, making "A Brief History of Life on Earth" an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Dinosaurs: The Myth-Busting Guide to Prehistoric Beasts
BBC Focus
Happy Fox Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781641240451, $14.99, HC, 96pp,

"Dinosaurs: The Myth-Busting Guide to Prehistoric Beasts" is a fun and fascinating book in which children ages 11-14 will find out how the real dinosaurs lived their lives, what they looked like, how they sounded, and how we know all that! Rather than being slow, lumbering, and a bit stupid, dinosaurs were smart and nimble-brained -- according to the paleontologists who are peering deep inside the fossilized skulls of these prehistoric animals. Anyone who is fascinated by dinosaurs will learn how these prehistoric beasts conquered the world, what would have happened if the asteroid hadn't hit Mexico, where the most fossils have been found, what T. rex really looked (and sounded) like, and the modern-day dinosaurs living in your backyard! Experts even weigh in on how we might build our own "Jurassic World" using the latest science. Loaded with in-depth articles and beautiful color illustrations, including stunning two-page spreads of favorite species, and accessibly providing the latest dinosaur research, "Dinosaurs: The Myth-Busting Guide to Prehistoric Beasts" is very highly recommended for school and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dinosaurs: The Myth-Busting Guide to Prehistoric Beasts" is also available in a paperback edition (9781641240314, $9.99).

Amazing Evolution: The Journey of Life
Anna Claybourne, author
Wesley Robins, illustrator
Ivy Kids
c/o Quarto Group Children's Books
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781782407379, $19.99, HC, 80pp,

The Darwinian concept of evolution can be a difficult idea as it deals with random, unlikely events, combined with vast lengths of time too enormous to comprehend. But the evidence is all around us in the fossils of long-dead creatures, and in our genes, and in the relationships between all living beings. The collaborative work of author Anna Claybourne and illustrator Wesley Robins, "Amazing Evolution: The Journey of Life" reveals this incredible biological process, from the beginnings of life around 3.8 billion years ago, to the millions of different species alive today, including the moon-walking, talking apes with super-powerful brains -- human beings! Filled with clear explanations, beautiful illustrations and fascinating facts about the planet's strangest and most spectacular creatures, "Amazing Evolution" will keep children ages 9-12 enthralled for hours as they delve into its pages and learn what makes a fish a fish, why giraffes have such long necks and how all living things, from cabbages to tigers, are related! As entertaining as it is informative, "Amazing Evolution: The Journey of Life" is unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library Science & Evolution collections.

The Apollo Missions for Kids
Jerome Pohlen
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9780912777177, $18.99, PB, 160pp,

In "The Apollo Missions for Kids", author Jerome Pohlen tells the story of this an American era in space exploration from the perspective of those who lived it -- the astronauts and their families, the controllers and engineers, and the technicians and politicians who made the impossible possible. Included is a time line, resources for further study, and places to visit to see Apollo mission artifacts, along with 21 hands-on activities to better understand the missions and the science behind them. Kids ages 9-14 will: Determine what they would weigh on the moon; Learn to identify the moon's features; Demonstrate orbital mechanics with a marble and a shallow bowl; Calculate how far away the moon is using sports equipment; Recreate the shape and size of the command module; Eat like an astronaut and make "space food"; Design a mission patch and more! While very highly recommended for all young space enthusiasts, it should be noted that "The Apollo Mission for Kids" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.14).

The Book of Space Rockets
Neil Clark
QEB Publishing
c/o Quarto Group Children's Books
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781786036339, $14.95, HC, 24pp,

In "The Book of Space Rockets", young readers ages 5-8 can join Cogz the Robot Dog and discover all about how space machines work in this bright and fun STEM title by Neil Clark. Cogz and his mice sidekicks, Nutty and Bolt, guide the reader through the workings of a rocket, looking closely at all the different parts and discovering information about real space missions and the spacecraft involved, including the Mars Rover and Apollo missions. Covering key STEM themes of engineering, physics, and inventions, and with a fun quiz to test young readers' knowledge, "The Book of Space Rockets" will get kids engaged and hands-on with learning. Fun, informative, and nicely illustrated throughout, "The Book of Space Rockets" will be an enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library Science & Rocketry collections for young readers.

Moth: An Evolution Story
Isabel Thomas, author
Daniel Egneus, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781547600205 $18.99

Moth: An Evolution Story is an educational children's picturebook about how a species of "peppered moth" effectively demonstrates the scientific concepts of evolution and natural selection. When pollution from the Industrial Revolution turned the trees of the moth's habitat dark with a layer of soot, the moths themselves changed in color from light to dark. How? Light- colored moths resting against sooty trees were easier for predators to see, more likely to be eaten, and therefore less likely to pass on the genes for light-colored wings to their children. Moth: An Evolution Story is a welcome addition to public and school library picturebook collections, highly recommended.

The Biography Shelf

Anita Silvey
National Geographic Kids
9781426333569 $18.99

Featuring full-color photography throughout, Undaunted: The Wild Life of Birute Mary Galdikas and Her Fearless Quest to Save Orangutans is a nonfiction book accessible to young adults, about a woman who devoted her life to researching and studying endangered orangutans. She also combated poachers, organizing and leading police patrols to make arrests. When she started to receive death threats, the Indonesian government provided round-the-clock armed police guards to protect her, until the danger lessened. Readers of all ages will be amazed by the fascinating facts about orangutans, and the brave, dedicated woman who not only studied them, but made every effort she could to protect them. Undaunted is highly recommended, especially for public and school library collections.

The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance
Lyn Curlee
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580898003, $19.99, HC, 120pp,

With one grand leap off the stage at the 1909 premiere of the Ballets Russes's inaugural season, Nijinsky became an overnight sensation and the century's first superstar, in the days before moving pictures brought popular culture to the masses. Perhaps the greatest dancer of the twentieth century, Nijinsky captured audiences with his sheer animal magnetism and incredible skill. He was also half of the most famous (and openly gay) couple of the Edwardian era: his relationship with Serge Diaghilev, artistic director and architect of the Ballets Russes, pushed boundaries in a time when homosexuality and bisexuality were rarely discussed. Nijinsky's life was tumultuous -- after marrying a female groupie he hardly knew, he was kicked out of the Ballets Russes and placed under house arrest during World War I. Unable to work as he once did, his mental health deteriorated, and he spent three decades in and out of institutions. Biographical narrative is interspersed with spotlights on the ballets the dancer popularized: classic masterworks such as Afternoon of a Faun, The Firebird, and of course, the shockingly original Rite of Spring, which caused the audience to riot at its premiere. Illustrated with elegant, intimate portraits as well as archival art and photographs, "The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance" is unreservedly recommended for school and community biography collections for young readers ages 12-17. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Nikola Tesla for Kids
Amy M. O'Quinn
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9780912777214, $16.99, PB, 144pp,

Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 - 7 January 1943) was a physicist, scientist, electrical engineer, and world-renowned inventor whose accomplishments faded into oblivion after his death in 1943. Tesla was undeniably eccentric and compulsive; some considered him to be somewhat of a "mad" scientist. But in reality, he was a visionary. Many of his ideas and inventions that were deemed impossible during his lifetime have since become reality. He was the first to successfully use rotating magnetic fields to create an AC (alternating current) electrical power supply system and induction motor. He is now acknowledged to have invented the radio ahead of Marconi. Among other things, he developed the Tesla coil, an oscillator, generators, fluorescent tubes, neon lights, and a small remote-controlled boat. He helped design the world's first hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls. "Nikola Tesla for Kids" by Amy M. O'Quinn is the story of Nikola Tesla's life and ideas, -- and features a time line, 21 hands-on activities, and additional resources to better understand his many accomplishments. While very highly recommended for children ages 9-16, it should be noted that "Nikola Tesla for Kids" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.01).

Super Scientists: 40 Inspiring Icons
Anne Blanchard, author
Tino, illustrator
Wide Eyed Editions
c/o Quarto Group Children's Books
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781786034748, $14.99, HC, 96pp,

From Galileo Galilei's terrific telescope discoveries, to Louis Pasteur's victorious vaccinations, to Ada Lovelace's cracking computer codes, in the pages of "Super Scientists: 40 Inspiring Icons", children ages 7-10 will discover how each of the forty showcased scientists spent their lives asking questions and making leaps and bounds in the world of science and technology. Beginning with the Ancient Greek philosopher Thales, who discovered geometry and astronomy, right up to the modern astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has popularized complex scientific theories through the use of simple language, these are the 40 super scientists to be learned about by all and include: Thales; Pythagoras; Aristotle; Euclid; Archimedes; Zhang Heng; Hypatia of Alexandria; Brahmagupta; Avicenna; Alhazen; Roger Bacon; Nicolaus Copernicus; Galileo Galilei; Johannes Kepler; Isaac Newton; William Harvey; Rene Descartes; Antoine Lavoisier; Mary Anning; Michael Faraday; James Clerk Maxwell; Charles Darwin; Gregor Mendel; Louis Pasteur; Dmitri Ivanovich Medeleev; Ada Lovelace; David Hilbert; Marie Curie; Ernest Rutherford; Albert Einstein; Niels Bohr; Alfred Wegener; Alan Turing; Rosalind Franklin; HGP and the Human Genome; Vera Rubin; Francoise Barre-Sinoussi; Tim Berners-Lee; Stephen Hawking; Neil Degrasse Tyson. Each spread presents a single scientist, highlighting key facts about their life, the scientific advances they made, the applications for their discoveries, and the surrounding historical and social context, along with a fun, illustrated depiction of them that calls out elements of life and the observational instruments they used. "Super Scientists: 40 Inspiring Icons" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly valued addition to school and community library biography and science collections for young readers.

The Fiction Shelf

Night Buddies Go Sky High
Sands Hetherington, author
Jessica Love, illustrator
Dune Buggy Press
9780984741731, $7.99, PB, 144pp,

Young John Degraffenreidt and his red crocodile buddy, Crosley, show up at the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory and find Big Foot Mae lying on the floor, staring up at her Great Star Puzzle on the ceiling. Crosley only wants a new supply of pineapple cheesecakes, but what Mae points to on her ceiling will start the Night Buddies on a totally new fantasy adventure. A suspicious white dot has passed through the Corkscrew Constellation and is now moving underneath the Hound Dog Stars. Across the Borough, Crosley's brother Crenwinkle sees the same curious speck in the sky. It looks to be a long night for sleepyhead John, but thanks to the time spreader dingus with its sleep retardant setting, he gets right into their next escapade. In "Night Buddies Go Sky High", young readers ages 8-12 can join the Night Buddies as they embark on another Program, this time taking them all the way into the stratosphere in their racing blimp. While very highly recommended for both school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Night Buddies Go Sky High" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Tomb of Ancients
Madeleine Roux
Harper Teen
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062498731, $17.99, HC, 384pp,

Fleeing the nightmares of Coldthistle House, Louisa and her friends have taken up in a posh new London residence. But religious zealots from the shepherd's army are flocking to the city in droves, and ominous warnings are being left on Louisa's very doorstep. With the evil influence of her father's spirit growing stronger, Louisa knows she'll have to pick a side in the coming war between the old gods, whether she'd like to or not. Louisa will do whatever it takes to save herself -- even if it means returning to Coldthistle House. And when she strikes another devil's bargain with Mr. Morningside, she's forced to join his supernatural staff on a journey to a gateway between worlds, a place of legend: the Tomb of Ancients. But as always, Louisa knows there's a catch! The latest novel in author Madeleine Roux's outstanding 'A House of Furies' series, "Tomb of Ancients" is a riveting great read and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tomb of Ancients" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Heath Cousins and the Kingsgate Bridge
Eileen Hobbs
Palmetto Publishing Group
9781641112505, $10.99, PB, 164pp,

In "The Heath Cousins and the Kingsgate Bridge", Addie B. and her cousins are back in the second book of author Eileen Hobbs' simply outstanding Heath Cousins series as Addie B. and her cousins, Jack, Bodie, and Beanie traveled back once again to the otherworldly Garden of Choice and encountered new friends and adventures. This time, it's to help their friend Gemma when Addie B. receives a mysterious note from a girl in China named Mai Li. Gemma, the kind woman from the Garden of Choice, is in trouble, and she needs Addie and her cousins to come back to her world to help. Will Addie B. and her cousins be able to find their way back to the Garden of Choice -- and to help Gemma before it's too late? A fun and thoroughly entertaining story for children ages 7-11, "The Heath Cousins and the Kingsgate Bridge" is especially recommended for both school and community library Fantasy Fiction collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Heath Cousins and the Kingsgate Bridge" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

City on Strike
Harriet Zaidman
Red Deer Press
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
195 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario, Canada, L3R 4T8
9780889955745, $14.95, PB, 202pp,

The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike was a key moment in Canadian history, when demands of workers and returning soldiers all played out in the bloody streets of Winnipeg. The governing elite condemned the strike organizers as "Bolsheviks" and unleashed waves of violence. Canada hasn't fully healed since. Highly recommended for both school and community library General Fiction collections for young readers ages 10-18, "City on Strike" by Harriet Zaidman is a riveting middle grade novel focusing on a 13-year-old boy and his younger sister, part of a poor but hardworking immigrant family in Winnipeg's North End. And like so many others, it's a family that gets drawn into the chaos that terrible spring.

Mya's Strategy to Save the World
Tanya Lloyd Kyi
9780735265257, $15.99,

Mya's Strategy to Save the World tells of a precocious twelve-year-old who runs a school social justice club with her best friend Cleo. Her ultimate goal is to change the world, but her immediate one is to get a cell phone. Her campaign to prove herself to her doubting parents involves all kinds of mishaps as she seeks recognition on more than one level. With its vivid story of perseverance and spunky confrontations, Mya is a delightful characters advanced elementary to early middle graders will find compelling.

Scholastic, Inc.

Alex Gino's You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! (9780545956246, $16.99) tells of Jilly, who thinks she's figured out life until her sister Emma is born deaf. Jilly is white and hearing; Emma is not. As Jilly seeks easy solutions for complex matters of the heart, she joins forces with fellow fantasy fan Derek, who is also deaf, and from him she begins to learn about the deaf community, racial attitudes, and her own evolving abilities. A fine story of multicultural understanding, change, and self examination will attract teens with very different themes. James Nicol's A Witch Alone (9781338188516, $17.99) tells of Arianwyn's mission: to face dark creatures in the wood to uncover the hiding place of the Book of Quiet Glyphs. A hex plagues the woods, however, and growing tensions lead to dangerous journeys and associations and a confrontation with long-held secrets that tests Arianwyn's courage and everything she believes in. Young adult fantasy readers will find this an engrossing quest story.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Mystery of the Lost Map
Jim Rhoden, author
Mickey Goodman, editor
Lanier Press
9781631833533, $12.99, PB, 110pp,

Cowboy Little and Cowboy Small like adventures even more than Sunday dinner with fried chicken and Mama's blue-ribbon apple pie. Every chance they get, they climb on their horses Ned and Ted, round up their dogs Red and Fred, their fleas Itch and Scratch, and their cattle Brawny Bull and Helen Heifer, and head out beyond the fences of Circle R Ranch. When they find old saddlebags filled with gold coins and a strange map, they set out to solve the mystery. On the way, they face bandits, Indians, and bats. A thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last, "The Mystery of the Lost Map" by Jim Rhoden is an especially recommended addition to school and community library fiction collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Mystery of the Lost Map" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Party: A Mystery
Jamaica Kincaid, author
Ricardo Cortes, illustrator
Black Sheep
c/o Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781617757167, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Pam, Beth, and Sue are three little girls who attend a party to celebrate the publication of the first of the Nancy Drew mystery books. There are many distractions at the fancy affair: flower arrangements, partygoers, refreshments, and lots and lots of marble. Suddenly, the oldest girl, Pam, sees what can only be described as something truly...bilious...not good! Beth sees it too. The youngest, Sue, does not, and as usual she has a hard time getting anyone to tell her anything. "Party: A Mystery" is a beautifully drawn picture book adventure story that promises questions that will grab children ages 3-7 -- but does not guarantee an answer! Unique, uncommon, entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly', "Party: A Mystery" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections!

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Berry Face
Bob Jenkins
Independently Published
9780997996081, $14.99 Print / $2.99 Kindle
9780997996098, eBook

Berry Face adds the second volume to the 'Sharp Teeth/Flat Teeth' animal fantasy series, pairing color illustrations by Deg Philip with a fine story of California Fur Clans that have evolved to interact with their environment and each other. (Think Watership Down, but with a focus and presentation that elementary-level children just past the chapter book stage will appreciate.) Berry Face is particularly recommended for prior fans who enjoyed the setting and approach of Three Paws. This young audience will note that Berry Face dovetails nicely with the setting and characters created in the first book. The focus on an aging bear's value to her community creates a thought-provoking animal fantasy adventure that can also be utilized by adults to foster discussions of community, elder value, and personal growth.

Silent Lee and the Adventure of the Side Door Key
Alex Hiam
Webster Press
9781635580112, $6.99, PB, 136pp,

As if life isn't already complicated when you have to sneak out a magical side door and enter a different century just to get to school each morning. And now Silent Lee has to figure out what happened to her beloved Aunt Generous, the woman who raised her -- which would be complicated enough even if CIA agents in black SUVs weren't chasing her. But they definitely are! Launching the new Silent Lee fantasy series for young readers ages 6-12, "Silent Lee and the Adventure of the Side Door Key" is an original and delightfully entertaining read from first page to last. While highly recommended for school and community library Fantasy Fiction collections for young readers, it should be noted that "Silent Lee and the Adventure of the Side Door Key" is also available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).

The Goblin's Winter
Alex Norton
Independently Published
9781718091306, $13.99, PB, 364pp,

Danny Hallow accepts his life, such as it is. He has no friends. His mother is gone, running away after his father's murder. His three Keepers, his mother's best childhood friends, are the only other people aware of Danny's erratic and not-very-impressive psychic powers. When an uncle he didn't know he had dies under mysterious circumstances, Danny and his Keepers are called to the town of Eddystone for the reading of the man's will and everything begins to change for Danny. Arriving at the crumbling estate of Gnomewood Home, he falls into the bizarre web of his ancestor's secrets and begins to question everything he thought he knew. Disturbing memories come to him in dreams. The local bully, an outcast boy with troubles of his own, seems familiar but Danny doesn't remember why. His abilities begin to grow stronger. Weirdest of all, a horde of dangerous creatures is plaguing the town of Eddystone, seemingly drawn out by the spell of an unusually cold winter. Toothy little goblins that are sneaky, vicious and hungry. Goblins that take an interest in Danny. Will the emergence of the alien, and potentially deadly, traits he's inherited from his peculiar family tree help Danny survive the goblin's winter? Only if he learns to control them before they put him and everyone around him in danger. Before they convince some people he should never have been allowed to exist. Before he becomes just another twisted tale in his family's cryptic history, kept hidden for centuries within the walls of Gnomewood Home. A riveting great read and the first volume of author Alex Norton's new 'Witchbone' series, "The Goblin's Winter" showcases a master of the fantasy action/adventure novel who has a genuine flair for originality and a thoroughly reader engaging narrative storytelling style. While unreservedly recommended for school and community library YA Fiction and General Fantasy Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Goblin's Winter" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

The Memory Thief
Lauren Mansy
c/o HarperCollins
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780310767657, $18.99, HC, 368pp,

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please. Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city's asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a "criminal's" memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier. To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world. As evidenced by "The Memory Thief", author Lauren Mansy has a genuine talent for narrative storytelling and an authentic flair for originality. A riveting great read with more plot twists and turns than a Disney Land roller coaster, "The Memory Thief" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction & Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Memory Thief" is also available in a paperback edition (9780310767565, $10.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The New Self-Reliance
G. V. Loewen
Austin Macauley Publishers
9781528925846, $15.95, Paperback
9781528964463 $TBA ePub e-book

The New Self-Reliance, the second book in the Kristen-Seraphim saga, continues the story of a high school student who has lost her family and friends in a struggle documented in previous novel Forgetting the Dreamtime, retaining only her soul mate Mike as her connection to life. The New Self-Reliance is a mature young adult study in independence and romance, among other things. As the characters recover from their wounds and explore their newfound connections, they review choices good and bad made in the previous adventure and come to realize that their own alternate images of themselves is part of what threatens their safety and lives today. On many levels, The New Self-Reliance is a demanding yet exciting read that expands the characters created in Forgetting the Dreamtime, adding moral, ethical and spiritual conundrums alike into a vivid story that rests on the actions of young adults who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Or, is it the right place?) Mature teens, particularly those who have a foundation to begin with from Kristen's previous adventure, will find The New Self-Reliance complex, compelling, and hard to put down.

The Board Book Shelf

100 First Words for Little Artists
Kyle Kershner
1254 Commerce Way, Sanger, CA 93657
9781641701280, $9.99, Board Book, 20pp,

"100 First Words for Little Artists" is an artistic primer for kids ages 1-5 who are learning their first words associated with art! Forget apple and dog. Little artists are ready for CMYK, caricature, and ceramics. With terms from across the spectrum of visual arts, Kyle Kershner's "100 First Words for Little Artists" is an unreservedly recommended board book collection of words every budding artist needs in their vocabulary that is packed with fun illustrations and 100 words every young prodigy should know. Highly recommended for daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, "100 First Words for Little Artists" is the perfect board book for artistic families everywhere!

Lola Goes to Work
Marcia Goldman
Creston Books
PO Box 9369, Berkeley, CA 94709
9781939547606, $12.99, Board Book, 24pp,

In "Lola Goes to Work", children ages 1-6 will meet Lola, a little terrier with a big job. The children will identify with the feisty Lola as she struggles going to school, passing tests, and finally achieving her Big Dog dream. If Lola can make it in a world of Great Danes and Labradors, so can anybody who's feeling like a runt! "Lola Goes to Work" is the third title in the Lola board book series by Marcia Goldman and is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

Cat & Mouse
Britta Teckentrup
Prestel Jr.
c/o Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791373744, $14.95, Board Book, 24pp,

The perfect place for a mouse is inside a cozy, warm house, but a cat lives there too, and once the cat sees the mouse, a chase ensues. As the cat and mouse scurry about (on top of a chair, inside a box, outside a window, through a hole) children ages 1-3 will learn about important prepositions that help them understand where one object is in relation to another. At the end of this colorful chase, the cat and mouse curl up together and nap until they're ready to start the whole thing again. Britta Teckentrup's eye-catching, simple illustrations are cleverly enhanced with cut-outs that help reinforce the words, providing a unique and fun interactive experience that teaches children about basic prepositions. Charmingly entertaining from beginning to end, "Cat & Mouse" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections.

Number Circus
Sylvie Misslin, author
Steffie Brocoli, illustrator
Lisa Rosinsky, translator
Barefoot Books
9781782857655, $19.99, Board Book, 22pp,

A sturdy coffee table sized lift-the-flap board book, "Number Circus" features colorful, smile-inducing spreads depicting lively circus performances in a mathematical primer designed to reinforce early counting, recognition, relative size and vocabulary skills for children ages 3-5. An ideal and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library collections, "Number Circus" is a fun and entertaining as it is thoroughly 'kid friendly learning' in organization and presentation.

I Love You, World
Aleksandra Szmidt
Flowerpot Press
9781486716722, $7.99, Board Book, 22pp,

Spread the love with "I Love You, World" by Aleksandra Szmidt is an adorable board book that teaches children ages 5-8 how to say "I love you" in thirteen different languages including French, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Setswana, Chinese, Swahili, and more! Simple pronunciation guides will help young readers master each phrase and encourage them to broaden their language skills, all while the adorable animal illustrations keep little ones entertained read after read. A unique and utterly charming little board book, "I Love You, World" is unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, kindergarten, and community library collections.

Ryan T. Higgins
Disney Hyperion
9781368028578, $7.99, Board Book, 24pp,

Bruce's goslings want to play with him. But where could that bear be? "Peek-A-Bruce" by Ryan Higgins is an original board book in the best-selling Mother Bruce series will delight young fans ages 3-6 with seek-and-find activities as they hunt for Bruce on every spread. Just right for our littlest readers, "Peek-A-Bruce" is sure to bring a smile to even the grumpiest face and is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library collections.

Flowerpot Press
142 2nd Ave. North, Franklin, TN 37064

Flowerpot Press has a simply outstanding new series of nursery rhyme themed board books by Hazel Quintanilla for children ages 4-7. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library board book collections for children, this new Hazel Q Nursery Rhymes series is comprised of: "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (9781486716678, $7.99, 14pp); "Pat-a-Cake" (9781486716708, $7.99, 14pp); "Jack and Jill" (9781486716685, $7.99, 14pp); and "Humpty Dumpty" (9781486716692, $7.99, 14pp). Each little board book showcasing its rhyming words with child appealing illustrations and will help to boost language development and social skills. These sturdy board books are specifically designed to withstand lots of love and learning, making them a simply wonderful addition to a child's first reading experience!

The Picturebook Shelf

Unicorn Is Maybe Not So Great After All
Bob Shea
Disney Hyperion
9781368009447 $17.99

Unicorn Is Maybe Not So Great After All is a delightful children's picturebook about a young unicorn with magical powers - but perhaps, Unicorn doesn't have the best sense for when to use his magic! When the other children at school seem more interested in rubber bands than in Unicorn, he decides to make himself the center of attention - with disastrous results. Oh, no! Has Unicorn ruined everything? A simple, charming story featuring whimsical creatures, Unicorn Is Maybe Not So Great After All is an excellent read-aloud book to share with children at storytime or bedtime.

What Are You Doing, Benny?
Cary Fagan, author
Kady MacDonald Denton, illustrator
Tundra Books
350 Front Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 3B6
9781770498570, $17.99, HC, 36pp,

Benny's little brother is really good at a lot of things -- making potions and paper airplanes, building forts, putting on puppet shows, even petting the neighbor's cat (he has a special way of scratching her just behind the ears). But whenever he tries to join in Benny's activities, all Benny ever says is "No!". Maybe his little brother can watch him do cool stuff, if he's lucky. What is a little fox to do, except give Benny a taste of his own medicine? Totally familiar yet fresh and original, tenderly told and consistently funny, and especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, "What Are You Doing, Benny?" by author Cary Fagan and illustrator Kady MacDonald Denton is delightful picture book story perfectly captures the joys (and annoyances!) of sibling relationships for children ages 3- 7.

Amber's Seeing Heart
Joseph Drumheller, author
Nataly Simmons, illustrator
Drumheller Publishing
9781721085293, $12.99 PB, $2.99 Kindle, 24 pages,

"Amber's Seeing Heart" is a beautiful children's story about a girl who is taught by her partially sighted Grandmother the gift of seeing with her heart. One day Amber was excited to hear from her father that they are going to visit her grandmother, something they had not done often since Amber's Mother had died, two years earlier. She hurried to pack and thoroughly enjoyed the long journey to the most magical island on the Emerald Island Chain, a two-hour ferry ride away. This time the ferry ride was even more magical than usual, with sightings of a pod of Orcas on the way. Arriving at Granny's island, Amber's father took her to see Mini World a miniature museum with scenes from Cowboy Town, Logging Camp, African Wilderness, and more. After that they visited the Golden Garden where Amber's favorite flowers were in bloom. Then they drove to Artist's View at the top of the island to see the Emerald Isles, Mt. Marvel, and the sea. Finally they came to Granny's house, where her father explained to Amber that her Granny had had an operation that had changed her a little. She was all right, but there would be some change. When they entered Granny's home, Amber smelled fresh cookies and petted Granny's cat, Whiskers, telling her of all the marvelous things she had seen on the island that day. Then she noticed her Granny was wearing dark glasses, something different which she asked about. Granny told her she had an operation and she couldn't see very much any more. This saddened Amber, who burst into tears. Then her Granny taught Amber something wonderful that she would never forget. "My Princess, there are so many wonderful things for your young eyes to see. I hope you get to see them all. But the most important things, you cannot see with your eyes. Because you can only see them with your heart. Would you like to try?" Then Granny helped Amber feel a big warm love hug like a glow in her heart which spread to her feelings about others, like Whiskers, her father, and her mother, who had died. That night when Amber was home with her father reading stories to her and seeing beautiful pictures of the things they had seen on Granny's island home, she closed her eyes and fel the love she had for her whole family through the warm glow of her heart. "Amber's Seeing Heart" is filled with warm pictures of magical scenes on the trip to the island, plus warm portraits of Amber, her Granny, and her father together in Granny's home. On the journey to the island, swirling waters suggest a smiling face we recognize as Amber's mother. These and many other tender, touches of rainbow and golden kissed feelings of love help children to picture exactly the beauty of "Amber's Seeing Heart."

Owen at the Park
Scot Ritchie
Groundwood Books
c/o House of Anansi Press
110 Spadina Ave., Suite 801, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5V 2K4
9781773061672, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

It's a busy morning in the park. All along the boulevard, families are picnicking and people are napping, playing checkers and reading on the grass. But Owen and his dad are hard at work, raking and mowing the grass. And today, Owen gets to do the best job all on his own. With his dad's encouragement, Owen gathers his courage and goes around to everyone in the park. He tells the families, the checkers players and the readers what he has to do, and they rush off. Finally, when the park is empty, it is the moment Owen has been waiting for. He turns the tap for the sprinkler system, and water cascades over the trees and flower beds. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7, Scot Ritchie's "Owen at the Park" is a sweet story and entertaining little story that charmingly illuminates the small pleasures to be found in everyday life -- and the excitement of a child taking on new responsibilities.

Stay Through the Storm
Joanna Rowland, author
Lorian Tu, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506450582, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

When dark clouds gather in the distance, two friends come together to comfort each other through the storm. They shield each other through the rain, make a fort inside, and play games between claps of thunder. Through it all, they come back to a consistent plea: Stay. Stay through the storm. With a lyrical text by Joanna Rowland and comforting illustrations by Lorian Tu, "Stay Through the Storm" is a deeply moving picture book meditation on the power of friendship to carry us through difficult times. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8, "Stay Through the Storm" is story to bring hope in times of trouble and is a moving reminder that we're never alone even when things seem darkest.

Antonino's Impossible Dream
Tim McGlen, author
Sophia Touliatou, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506449333, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Antonino is a young artist who dreams of painting a masterpiece, an impossible dream he calls Friend. When he gets stuck, inspiration comes from an unexpected place. A dreamlike fable about the power of friendship and imagination, "Antonino's Impossible Dream" is a children's picture book story told in timeless style by author Tim McGlen, with captivating illustrations by Sophia Touliatou. "Antonino's Impossible Dream" is very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8.

Chip and Curly
Cathy Breisacher, author
Joshua Heinsz, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585364084, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Chip the potato chip is sure he has the annual Spud City Festival sack race in the bag -- he's been practicing all year. The Home Fries (local baseball team) and Sweet Potatoes (cheer squad) are all rooting for him. The French Fries even bring their tots over for an autograph. But when Curly the springy curly fry shows up, Chip knows he's in trouble. "Chip and Curly" is totally funny story is filled with clever potato puns -- and subtle themes of sportsmanship and persistence. The collaborative work of author Cathy Breisacher and illustrator Joshua Heinsz, "Chip and Curly" is a delightfully charming and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Chip and Curly" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.53).

Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog
Lisa Papp
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781682630754, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Madeline Finn is a little girl who asks her mother for a puppy every single day. Finally, Mom says yes, and Madeline Finn chooses Star, one of the puppies born to Mrs. Dimple's dog Bonnie. Then Mrs. Dimple tells Madeline Finn about animal shelters -- a place many other pets come from. After a visit to their local shelter, Madeline Finn has some questions. Does anyone play with the shelter dogs, or snuggle with them, or read to them? Questions lead to answers, and ideas, and soon Madeline Finn and her human and animal community discover that there are lots of ways for small people to make a big difference. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, in "Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog", author and illustrator Lisa Papp offers a heartwarming exploration of life in an animal shelter in this inspiring and endearing picture book for young readers ages 4-8 who are eager to help their communities.

King Leonard's Teddy
Phoebe Swan
Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
9781786281845, $16.99, HC, 36pp,

King Leonard is so rich that he can buy whatever he wants. Anything old or broken is thrown onto the growing pile of trash outside his castle. But one day something breaks that can't be easily replaced. And what's worse, King Leonard can't find anyone who knows how to fix it. Phoebe Swan's striking illustrations grace her powerful picture story for children ages 4-6 with a strong environmental message. A thoroughly charming story with an important underlying value message, "King Leonard's Teddy" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections.

Timothy Young
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764357084, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

A coatimundi and a capybara (or is it a porcupine?) take the lead in "Untitled", a silly story by author and illustrator Timothy Young that has an unexpected twist ending! Young lets his characters tell the story with scenes readers ages 5-8 will likely recognize and brainstorming ideas for Tim's next book. Will we see these characters again? When he first thought up this book he immediately had a title: "Another Stupid Book By Timothy Young." But, when someone thought it was a sequel, he didn't want to use it. After thinking of a bunch of other titles that didn't quite capture the correct feeling, he started calling it "Untitled." The more he thought about it the more that title seemed perfect for this strange tale. A unique, imaginative and utterly charming picture book, "Untitled" is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Violette Around the World: A New World Symphony!
Teresa Radice, author
Stefano Turconi
IDW Publishing
2765 Truxton Road, San Diego, CA 92106
9781684054312, $12.99, HC, 40pp,

In "Violette Around the World: A New World Symphony!", young readers ages 9-12 are welcomed back to the wonderful world of the Circus of the Moon as it crosses the Atlantic to perform in the "New World"! Your guide? Clever Violette Vermeer, daughter of the stuntwoman and the insect trainer. Violette is little girl with a big heart who meets two people when she arrives in America -- Hiawatha, a young Native American girl, and the famous composer Antonin Dvor…k. These two new friends will help her achieve a long-held dream in this second volume of Violette's adventures around the world. An utterly charming and delightfully entertaining picture book, "Violette Around the World: A New World Symphony!" is unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library collections.

Night Train: A Journey from Dusk to Dawn
Annie Cronin Romano, author
Ileana Soon, illustrator
Page Street Kids
c/o Page Street Publishing
9781624146572, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

The collaborative work of author Annie Cronin Romano and illustrator Ileana Soon, "Night Train: A Journey from Dusk to Dawn" is cinematic picture book takes children ages 4-8 along on a steam engine's journey through the night, from a city to a small town. Varied landscapes as well as color shifts show the passage of time from dusk to night to dawn. The rhythmic text is perfect for bedtime reading, and train lovers young and old will appreciate the various railway details incorporated in the text and art. Bringing warmth and wonder to the night, "Night Train: A Journey from Dusk to Dawn" will send young readers off to sleep dreaming of the steady train journeying through the night and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Grandpa's Noises
Gareth St. John Thomas, author
Colin Rowe, illustrator
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
9781925335989, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Young children love laughing about body noises. In "Grandpa's Noises", a range of sounds and words coming from body and mouth are explained in a warm and funny intergenerational romp. Children look at life with open, honest eyes but sometimes it takes a bit of thinking and code-breaking to work out what's really going on. Fortunately, for this particular grandchild, while Grandpa's noises might be a mystery to many, he knows just what they mean! For example, "Eyenolessgofurawark" is obviously Grandpa-speak for "I know, let's go for a walk". "Aaaahhh" means the cup of tea is just perfect, and "Pissphusshawertt" is that sinking sound Grandpa makes when he needs a rest in his chair. And once you know that "Eeeawoscreech!" is actually the sound of a misbehaving hearing aid, Grandpa becomes a lot less scary and even more lovable. Of course some sounds - like the "Fffffffft" that sometimes escapes Grandpa's bottom, and Dad's - need no explanation! From the collaborative team of author Gareth Thomas and illustrator Colin Rowe, "Grandpa's Noises" is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-6.

When I Was Little
Diane Puckett, author
Janice Ryan, illustrator
9781525543579, $14.99, HC, 44pp,

Charli and her grandmother walk through a state park where they encounter many Pacific Northwest animals. The little girl imagines that she has actually become each of these creatures in her past. Grandma is doubtful but ultimately she is able to confirm one of Charli's memories as she tucks her into bed. An ideal read aloud book for young children that introduces them to the region's animals and reminds them of the special relationship between grandchildren and grandparents, author Diane Puckett's "When I Was Little" is wonderfully enhanced with artist Janice Ryan's enchanting watercolor illustrations. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "When I Was Little" is also available in a paperback edition (9781525543586, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Zombies Don't Eat Veggies!
Megan Lacera & Jorge Lacera
Children's Book Press
c/o Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781620147948, $18.95, HC, 40pp,

Mo Romero is a zombie with a deep, dark secret...he loves vegetables! Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-6, "Zombies Don't Eat Veggies!" is the storytelling debut of Megan and Jorge Lacera. Jorge's lively colorful illustrations are particularly and thoroughly 'kid friendly'.

Ann Patchett, author
Robin Preiss Glasser, illustrator
HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062883384, $18.99, HC, 32pp,

Nicolette Farmer is running for class president, and the rest of the Farmer family tells her she'll win by a landslide. A pack of overconfident lambs mistakenly hear lambslide and can't believe there's a slide made just for them. But when they can't find one on the farm, there's only one thing left to do: take a vote! They campaign. They bargain. They ask all the other animals if they, too, would like a lambslide. Will the lambs ever get their special slide? "Lambslide" will prove to be an enduringly popular and classic picture book for children ages 4-8 by the world class storytelling team of author Ann Patchett and illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser. Simply stated, "Lambslide" unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Harbor Bound
Catherine Bailey, author
Ellen Shi, illustrator
Disney Hyperion
9781484799529, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

Daylight is fading, so it's time for boats of all kinds to wrap up their work and navigate back to harbor. As a tugboat and its crew of father and child steer toward home, it's a race to get there before the storm does! "Harbor Bound" traces their energetic journey, finally culminating with a gentle lullaby as they reach the shore. This delightfully charming picture book by author Catherine Bailey and illustrator Ellen Shi is a natural choice for children ages 4-8 who love vehicle stories, and its steady, lilting rhythm makes it perfect for bedtime reading. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Harbor Bound" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Up to Something
Katrina McKelvy, author
Kirrili Lonergan, illustrator
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
9781925335705, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

One day, his Dad invites Billy into his shed to build something, but Billy soon finds out that he is only allowed to watch. As Dad becomes engrossed in his project, Billy takes Dad's off-cuts and other items from around the yard and shed and starts to copy what his Dad is building. Dad remains blissfully unaware! At the end of the day, they reveal their creations (two very different racing carts) and Dad discovers that Billy has more skills and abilities than his dad had ever imagined! Joining forces, Dad and Billy set out as a team to build a cart together (the best one yet) and enter the upcoming local cart race. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, "Up to Something" is a picture book for children ages 4-7 that beautifully explores the father - son relationship, and how they can bond while doing things together that they both love, as well as touching on the power of imagination and creativity, and the satisfaction to be gained from recycling and making things ourselves.

My Name Is Curly
Andi C. Kryszak, author
G. C. Schlea, illustrator
Wisdom House Books
9781732954601, $23.99, HC, 42pp,

Curly the dog is born in a barn, surrounded by his parents and siblings. But when a day of boredom prompts him to explore the nearby woods, he soon finds himself lost. Alone and scared, Curly attracts the attention of a sympathetic raccoon, who decides to help Curly find his way. What other friends will Curly make on his adventure? Can he find a forever home? Brought to life by Grace C. Schlea's expressive, cheerful illustrations as author Andi C. Kryszak imagines her own rescue dog's early life in this hopeful, charming, and thoroughly entertaining picture book story for children ages 3-10 and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches
Julie Fulton, author
Rachel Suzanne, illustrator
Maverick Arts Publishing
9781848862838, $17.99 HC, $10.71 PB, 32 pages,

For children ages 4-9, "Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches" is a child's version of how to deal politely with scary bears inviting themselves to lunch. Filled with quirky illustrations, lots of humor, and just the correct amount of anticipatory apprehension, "Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches" offers a truly magical approach to the conundrum of what to offer a scary bear who invites himself to lunch: It involves never failing (vegetarian) courtesy. Jack was preparing himself a delicious egg salad sandwich for lunch when a loud knock came at the door. There stood a bear, who was hungry! Jack immediately offered the bear an egg sandwich, which the bear loudly and rudely refused! Growing intimidating threats from the bear led Jack to cooperate with a placement of a very large plate and a very large spoon, and finally himself upon the plate for the bear. Finally the bear told Jack what he liked for lunch.....little boys! Not afraid, Jack replied, as he was almost swallowed, "But I'll taste of frog spawn and grass stains and snot.... I'll taste of dirty socks and bits of string and mud.... I'll taste of egg sandwiches!" the bear coughed and sputtered and spit Jack out, saying, "Bears don't eat egg sandwiches!" Nonplussed, Jack offered, "Shall I make you a cheese sandwich instead?" "Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches" is an example of using humor to defuse fear, and manners to make all situations manageable. Children will be delighted by the scary parts and the bravery, creative imagination, and chivalry of Jack.

New York Day & Night
Aurelie Pollett, author
Vincent Bergier, illustrator
Prestel Jr.
c/o Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791373782, $16.95, HC, 30pp,

Sometimes our eyes can play tricks on use -- especially in the dark! "New York Day & Night" is enchanting picture book by author Aurelie Pollett that shows how New York City can look quite peculiar at night. Each brightly colored spread by illustrator Vincent Bergier is deftly overlaid with a sheet of translucent blue paper and when lifted -- a space ship and Martian become The Guggenheim, a giant serpent is actually the subway, King Kong's jungle turns into Central Park, and a superhero takes on the shape of a construction worker. Exhilarating and captivating, all the scenes are easily switched between day and night and will take children ages 3-6 on a unique journey that lets their imaginations run wild while revealing that some things at night aren't as scary as they seem! Original, entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly', "New York Day & Night" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

A Year Around the Great Oak
Gerda Muller
Floris Books
9780863159466, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Benjamin and Anna love staying with their cousin Robin in his house near the forest. In the fall, Robin takes them to see his favorite tree -- a giant oak that is 300 years old. The children build a den under the oak tree's giant branches and watch the squirrels hide acorns in its wide trunk. In the winter they ski through the forest and meet the foresters who chose which trees will become firewood this year -- but not their beautiful oak tree! In the spring the children go searching for badgers and see many animals that live in the forest -- nesting birds, gentle deer and shy rabbits. One night, the tree helps Benjamin when he discovers a creature he didn't expect. How can the children say thank you? Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-6, "A Year Around the Great Oak" is a beautifully and elegantly detailed seasonal story from author and artist Gerda Muller that includes the animals and birds that live in the great oak's forest.

Welcome to Morningtown
Blake Liliane Hellman, author
Steven Henry, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781681198736, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

In Morningtown, animal families of all shapes and sizes are waking up to a shiny new day. They get up out of fluffy beds, hard beds, and secret beds. They hop, splash, and flutter through their morning routines, getting ready for whatever the day holds. One thing is certain -- every day is a beautiful day in Morningtown! "Welcome to Morningtown" by author Blake Liliane Hellman and illustrator Steven Henry is a thoroughly charming children's picture book for ages 5-8. While especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Welcome to Morningtown" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.11).

Hair, it's a Family Affair
Mylo Freeman
Cassava Republic Press
9781911115687, $16.95, HC, 28pp,

Written and illustrated by Mylo Freeman, "Hair, it's a Family Affair" is a joyful celebration of natural hair as reflected through the vibrant and varied hairstyles found in a single family. With Mylo's trademark colorful artwork, "Hair, it's a Family Affair" is delightfully charming book will show young black children ages 3-7 the joys that can be found through their natural hair. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hair, it's a Family Affair" is also available in a paperback edition (9781911115670, $10.65).

Before You Were Born
Deborah Kerbel, author
Suzanne Del Rizzo, illustrator
Pajama Press
9781772780826, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Told from the perspective of new parents welcoming their baby to the world, "Before You Were Born" is touching love letter to young children by Governor General's Literary Award - nominated author Deborah Kerbel who describes with a very special lyrical grace all of the promise held by new life. As the seasons change from fall through winter and into spring, the expectant parents' anticipation over the baby's arrival is mirrored in the animals around the family's seaside home, marrying the natural world to the family's experience. A unique and charmingly presented picture book story for children ages 4-7, "Before You Were Born" will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris
Steven Joseph, author
Andy Case, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
9781643071572, $14.95, HC, 38pp,

Many people grew up believing that dinosaurs became extinct when the Dark Ages arrived, but that's only partly true. Yes, the Dark Ages did come, but one cranky dinosaur survived and became mankind's oldest ancestor: the TyrantoCrankaTsuris. "The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris" is a playful, imaginative picture book tale that draws inspiration from Jewish culture as author Steven Joseph reminds children and adults alike that we all have a little TyrantoCrankaTsuris in us and encourages young readers to balance their woes with the positive things in life in pursuit of a happier world. A charming, entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book story, "The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris" is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Celia and the Glue Man
Maggy Williams, author
Elisabeth Hasegawa Agresta, illustrator
Loving Healing Press
145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
9781615993901, $15.95, 32pp,

Based upon the author's experience with learning to live with Celiac disease, "Celia and the Glue Man: A Girl's Journey to Becoming Gluten- Free and Happy" is a revealing story about a difficult journey towards self acceptance and love. Celia is a young girl with gluten sensitivity, or Celiac disease. She hates having to be different from other kids her age, and not being able to eat foods with gluten because they make her sick. Pretending that she is not gluten sensitive, she eats two frosted cupcakes at a school birthday celebration. This makes her very ill indeed! She ends up missing three days of school. The text, which is written in verse, explains her decision afterwards: "Celia was sick for three days and three long nights, regretting each one of those frosted cupcake bites. And, when she finally got better, she realized deep in her core that there could be no eating gluten. Not anymore." Celia dreads and hates the Glue Man, but she has learned what she must do to live well with her gluten intolerance. But when Celia finally went back to school, a very cool thing happened. She met a new student, a friend named Skippy. They played happily outside together until lunch time. Celia shared with Skippy that she dreaded lunch, and couldn't wait until it was over. Then Skippy cried and said "I can't eat gluten, peanuts, or milk. And forget anything fried." Celia realized she had something to offer her new friend, and that she was done feeling bad about what she could and couldn't eat. So Celia invited Skippy to lunch, and decided to be a good friend and support her by staying away from gluten, nuts and dairy too. "Celia and the Glue Man" is a simple story feelingly told in verse, with gentle, soft colored portraits of characters and tempting foods. The whole story invites the reader to celebrate her own vulnerability, and seek happiness and love while supporting her Celiac disease with healthy diet choices.

Indy and Spot Come to Earth
Valee Sewell Penn, author/illustrator
Mountain Arbor Press
c/o BookLogix
9781631834370 $16.99

"Indy and Spot Come to Earth" is an enlightened mystery tour into the world of two not so regular cats who came to earth from another world and stayed to explore and map the terrain for other curious creatures. The story is told relying equally on paintings and illustrations and condensed, whimsical text, sprinkled with pungent quotations, real and imaginary. The effect is a very worldly wise narration, by two very different cats. Landing in the same animal shelter, Indy and Spot, a black kitty boy and a beautiful orange Tortie girl, were adopted by the same (smitten) owner. At first they did not exactly get on. Cars will be cats after all. But they were destined to an intense bonding experience due to a night of unusual spring weather in Atlanta, 1993, culminating in Thundersnow. After this, Indy and Spot were inseparable. Individualized portraits of Indy and Spot highlight their contrasting personalities and unique traits, with a common characteristic of loving to pamper each other. Indy and Spot discovered they were both on the same mission on Planet Earth. They agreed to take a road trip west, in honor of the snow that brought them together. Their wise owner, divining their not so usual natures, said "Be safe and let me know what you're up to." There follows a magical mystery tour of beautiful places, incredible natural scenes, fabulous food and wine, and exotic, exciting locales from snowboarding in Colorado to coastal cafes with fresh shrimp and catnip wine ("If you combine wine and dinner, the outcome is winner!"). They even go to Paris and listen to Jazz, returning home to their favorite window after a night of beautiful dreams. "Indy and Spot Come To Earth" is a fascinating peek at what exploring our beautiful planet might be like in the eyes of two very special, pampered felines from another place entirely. All the detailed, imaginative drawings and portraits and whimsical narrative create a parallel universe usually accessible only to very special cats, or the humans who love them. "Indy and Spot Come to Earth" are clearly a beginning that invites readers' curiosity about the next chapter of their amazing mission of exploration. "They're so cat!"

Finn the Little Seal
Sandra Klaassen, author/illustrator
Floris Books
9781782505549 $9.95 24 pages

"Finn the Little Seal" is a stunningly illustrated story of a small white seal born on one of the Scottish Hebrides islands in the North Sea. Finn is a small white seal whose mother reassured him that soon he would be able to swim in the sea with her when she left to look for food. But Finn was not so sure. He thought, "The big sea is far too big for me." On the rocky shore, Finn was happy on his bed of seaweed looking at starfish, seaweed, limpets, periwinkles, and hermit crabs. Finn liked the rock pool because it was still and clear, not deep like the sea. One day Finn met a new little friend, a young seal named Sula. Although she invited Finn to come play with her in the water, Finn was afraid to go. Gradually Finn's baby white coat of fur fell away, and he had a smooth grey coat beneath. His mother again invited him to join her in the water. "You'll love it! We are seals; we belong to the sea." But Finn was still too afraid of the big sea. But then, a big wave swept him in to the waves! At first Finn tumbled and fumbled and rolled under the waves. But then he saw familiar starfish, seaweed, oysters, anemones, limpets and periwinkles, and hermit crabs! Finn wasn't scared any more. He found that although the sea was big, it was also full and exciting, and with his mother and his friend Sula, he belonged. "Finn the Little Seal" is told in both descriptive words and delicate, exquisite art works that depict wonderful things in the northern sea world of Finn, seal of the Hebrides.

You're Strong With Me
Chitra Sounder, author
Poonam Mistry, illustrator
Lantana Publishing
9781911373759, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

The rain clouds are long gone and the dry season scorches the land. Everything is new for the baby giraffe. As she bounds ahead and lags behind, her mother patiently explains the ways of the grasslands. And until she grows a little taller, older, and wiser, her mother reminds her: "You're strong with me." Impressively written by author Chitra Sounder and beautifully illustrated by Poonam Mistry, "You're Strong With Me" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-8.

My Forest Is Green
Darren Lebeauf, author
Ashley Barron, illustrator
Kids Can Press
25 Dockside Drive, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5A 0B5
9781771389303, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

With art supplies in tow, a young boy explores the urban forest near his home, then interprets what he sees with his art. The boy is a keen observer who uses poetic, rhythmic language to describe the diversity he finds through all four seasons. While his forest is fluffy, prickly, dense, sparse, crispy, soft, scattered, soggy, spotted and foggy, it is also made up of many colors --- but those colors are mostly green! Each aspect of the forest inspires the boy to create a different kind of art: charcoal rubbing, rock art, photography, sponge painting, snow sculpture, cut-paper collage. To this artist, there's always something new to discover, and to capture! With it's lyrical, read-aloud friendly text enhanced with charming illustrations throughout, "My Forest Is Green" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Forest Is Green" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Chris Saunders
Words & Pictures
c/o Quarto Group Children's Books
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781786033468, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Rabbit cannot decide what to wish for, so he asks his friends Mouse, Fox, and Bear what they would do if they had a wish. Being selfless and kind, Rabbit grants all three wishes to his friends. They are so grateful for his kindness and generosity, they share their wishes with him! With its charmingly rhyming text and lovely images by children's author and illustrator Chris Saunders, "Wish" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7.

Dinosaur Farm!
Penny Dale
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763699369, $15.99, HC, 32pp,

They've built, they've zoomed, they've rescued, they've flown into space, and they've even fought off pirates, and now in Penny Dale's "Dinosaur Farm!" picture book, our dynamic team of dinosaurs is working hard on the farm! Children ages 2-5 can join them as they plow the stony soil, feed the sheep, harvest the wheat, and much more! But what are they preparing all their animals and crops for? And where are they traveling to in their tractor? Why, it's a farm show! But will they win the grand prize? "Dinosaur Farm!" is a wonderfully cheery and entertaining picture book that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library collections.

The Cheese Song: All Aboard the Orphan Train!
Lisa Gammon Olson, author
Lauren Rutledge, illustrator
Eifrig Publishing
9781632331670, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

The two girls watch each other across the crowded train car with intense interest. One holds tight to her little brother and the other clutches a mysterious basket. An unexpected secret will bind the two girls together, but dare they hope to find an adoptive family that will keep them together? Young readers will join Libby and Josie as they journey on one of the infamous orphan trains in 1896 from New York City to the Midwest in search of a forever family and a piece of the American dream in "The Cheese Song: All Aboard the Orphan Train!". Part of the 'Tales from American HerStory' series featuring female protagonists, "The Cheese Song" shares the story of one little girl, who, like a quarter million young American orphans at the end of the 19th century, traveled west in hopes of finding a new family and is unreservedly recommended for school and community library picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Cheese Song" is also available in a paperback edition (9781632331663, $9.99).

How To Have a Habit
S. Todd Stolp, Robin Voss, and Neil Shulman, authors
S. Todd Stolp, illustrator
9781732908215 $12.65

"How to Have a Habit" is a very funny teaching tale in verse for kids between 7 and 13 years. Filled with truly hysterical illustrations, this mind-numbing, toe-tapping tale of a train of bad habits acquired by Cabot because he ran out of things to do is quite inspirational. By taking the acquired habits to a foolish, and dangerous extreme, Cabot finally succeeds in actually scaring himself into remission of bad habits, after a thorough peek into the mirror of a pond . Each foolish, silly, or dangerous habit is suggested by another animal "friend" in succession as a remedy for the previous annoying or even harmful habit. So Cabot progresses from eating grass, to chewing toenails, to putting clothespins on his body, to even smoking, and wearing dirty dishes on his head. Finally, after madly fleeing from the terrifying vision of a monster that is actually himself glimpsed in the water, Cabot comes to the realization that "What I do from now on .... is all up to ME!" A magical mating of comic verse and ridiculous exaggerated illustrations make "How To Have a Habit" the most memorable teaching tale in a long, long time.

Now? Not Yet!
Gina Perry
9781101919521, $17.99,

Now? Not Yet! returns Peanut and Moe to a new adventure: this time, involving camping. Peanut wants to swim NOW. Moe suggests all kinds of alternatives, but Peanut stands his ground - and so does Moe. Can two friends overcome their different interests and stubborn insistence on getting their way to actually enjoy the day? A simple story of work, play, and compromise evolves, perfect for young picture book readers.

A Father's Love
Hannah Holt
9780525514206, $17.99,

It's almost Father's Day, and ages 3-7 receive a fun picture book survey illustrated by Yee Von Chan as it covers the many ways fathers express love for their children. Different animal characters demonstrate these different forms of affection in a story that provides a rollicking, colorful rhyme to accompany this tale of various fathers who use different methods to explore and present their love.

Eerdmans Books

Two excellent new picture book titles offer lovely drawings and stories kids and their read-aloud parents will relish. Isabelle Simler's Sweet Dreamers (9780802855176, $19.00) covers the very different ways animals sleep and dream and excels in large-size drawings that are both vivid and true to each animal. The sloth, for example, is like a dreaming hammock as it dreams of "spring-loaded sprinters,/of rockets blasting off" even as it could not be further from the action, while the swallow dreams in full flight, dozing on the wafts of breeze and airflow around her. A lovely story evolves. Ronojoy Ghosh's No Place Like Home (9780802855220, $17.00) tells of George the polar bear, who discovers that an urban environment is not his cup of tea. George is homesick and very grumpy because of it; especially since he has no clue where his home is, and what it will look like when it finds it. His quest leads him to consider different environments and kids will relish his journeys as he attempts to find where home really lies. Both are fine stories recommended for library and leisure readers alike.

The Bilingual Shelf

Ten Oni Drummers
Matthew Gollub, author
Kazuko G. Stone, illustrator
Tortuga Press
9781889910512, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

"Ten Oni Drummers" is playful, rhyming, picture book in which a child learns to see monsters as his friends who chase away spooky dreams. Alone on a beach, in Japan, the boy sees a tiny oni creeping up from the sand. Soon there are two, then three of the colorful goblins, each with its own number written in kanji on its back. The cumulative counting chant begins: "Ichi, ni, san-tun-tun. One, two, three, around they run!" As they beat their taiko drums they grow bigger -- and more numerous! They carry on wildly, devour their dinner, smiling with crooked fangs and red eyes. What will they do with their very largest drum once all ten towering oni are assembled? With bright watercolor paintings, Kazuko G. Stone draws on the folk culture of her native Japan to portray the monsters as both frightening and funny. Author Matthew Gollub further introduces Japanese taiko, oni, and kanji. A chart at the end shows how to draw and pronounce the Japanese numbers one through ten, symbols understood not just in Japan but in China and Korea too! Also available in a Spanish-English bilingual edition ("Ten Oni Drummers / Diez tamborileros oni") 9781889910536, 17.95), this original and thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book is highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Sofi Paints Her Dreams /Sofi pinta sus suenos
Raquel M. Ortiz, author
Roberta Collier-Morales, illustrator
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558858831, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Young Sofi enters a New York City community garden and finds a half-painted mural. It's full of big, leafy plants in blue and yellow, and a vibrant emerald green color appears where the two colors meet. As Sofi runs her fingers over the image, she is suddenly transported to a beautiful place with plants just like the ones on the wall! Sofi finds herself in the Dominican Republic, where she meets a young boy named Juan Luis. He is writing a song, but he's stuck on the lyrics and needs her help. After they finish the song, the pair flies over the river that separates San Pedro de Macoris from Haiti. There, Juan Luis introduces her to his friend, Guerlande, a young metal artist. She also needs Sofi's help. Can she make just the right shade of purple to paint Guerlande's huge mermaid sculpture? "Sofi Paints Her Dreams /Sofi pinta sus suenos" is bilingual (English/Spanish) picture book about an imaginative girl and an enchanted mural is an engaging exploration of the cultural traditions of the Caribbean. Kids ages 5-8 will be encouraged to explore their own artistic talents after reading about internationally acclaimed Dominican musician, Juan Luis Guerra, and Haitian artist, Guerlande Balan. "Sofi Paints Her Dreams /Sofi pinta sus suenos" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library bilingual picture book collections.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Iron Magicians: The Search for the Magic Crystals
Written by Cetrix
Illustrated by Yuio
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781683691297 $9.99 pbk / $5.99 Kindle

Created especially for middle-grade readers, Iron Magicians: The Search for the Magic Crystals is the latest volume in the "Comic Quests" series of interactive, full-color graphic novels where the reader decides how the adventure unfolds, like a solo role-playing game. The reader chooses to play either as a boy or a girl (each has their unique strengths) and attempts a mission from the famous 19th-century architect Gustave Eiffel: find enough magic crystals to power the Eiffel Tower in time for the forthcoming World's Fair! The reader uses numbers in every art panel to determine what page to flip to next, depending on their choices and how they solve puzzles, cast spells, and defeat enemies. If the mission fails, the reader can always start again from the beginning and make different choices, or play as the other character. An exciting and adventurous way to encourage young people to read, as well as hone their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, Iron Magicians: The Search for the Magic Crystals is highly recommended for school and public library collections, and also makes an excellent gift!

Queen of the Sea
Dylan Meconis
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536204988, $24.99, HC, 400pp,

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island's sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor's life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself. In a hybrid story of fictionalized history, graphic novelist Dylan Meconis deftly paints Margaret's world in soft greens, grays, and reds, transporting readers ages 10-14 to a quiet, windswept island at the heart of a treasonous royal plot. "Queen of the Sea" is an extraordinary, original, and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, school, and community library Graphic Novel collections.

The Mystic Island
Binah Moon, author/illustrator
Jack Lake Productions Inc.

"The Mystic Island" is a first installment graphic novel about a boy fairy named Ira who is seeking his lost mother, having survived his childhood with the aid of a special guardian of the flute. Ira grew up alone in the forest with his flute guardian's guidance and protection. He has many adventures and meets several mystic beings, including the eldest mountain. His flute playing encouraged flowers and trees to grow, but his guardian of the flute had to leave him when he was old enough to fend for himself. Meanwhile a girl named Amber in the nearby town of Closeby had encountered a terrible gas monster that threatened the safety of the entire village. Amber learned that a friend's father heard a fairy playing a flute in the forest nearby before the gas monster arrived. Amber is determined to seek out the fairy flute playing boy to see if he can help the town defeat the mysterious gas monster. On that cliffhanger, "The Mystic Island" ends, promising more exciting developments in the next title of the series. The art of " Mystic Island" is in mostly pastel colors, delicate, intricate, and manga-like, very attractive in all its portrayals. Kids up to age 14 will be enchanted with "The Mystic Island" and will look forward to its sequel.

Marcel Dalton
Bob De Groot, author
Morris, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849184328, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

Marcel Dalton is the Dalton Brothers' Swiss uncle. He is not only honest, but a banker to boot. Having purchased a small bank in the US, he decides to hire his nephews to force them to make a honest living. Although he's assisted by Lucky Luke, they have their work cut out for them. Especially since - as if the ingrained instincts of the four dumbest bandits in the West weren't enough - there's also the small matter of the competition: a very unscrupulous banker! The 72nd volume in the De Groot/Morris Lucky Luke series of graphic novels, "Marcel Dalton" is an hilarious and thoroughly 'kid friendly' read that will be enjoyed by readers ages 8 to 88 and unreservedly recommended for personal and community library collections.

The Music CD Shelf

Which One Am I?
Howie D
Privately Published
$12.19 CD / $9.49 MP3

Which One Am I? is the debut family album of Backstreet Boy Howie D. The songs evoke memories of childhood, and are about overcoming insecurities as well as learning to cherish one's unique qualities. These songs are the inspirational genesis of a forthcoming family musical theater production, "Howie D: Back in the Day", which will have its world premiere in early 2020 at the Rose Theater in Omaha, Nebraska. Adventurous yet thought-provoking, Which One Am I? is a joy for listeners of all ages to experience, highly recommended. The tracks are "Which One Am I", "Back in the Day", "Monsters in my Head", "Shy", "Worry", "Pollyanna's Shadow", "School Bell Tango", "Small Time Blues", "No Hablo Espanol", "The Me I'm Meant To Be", "Back in the Day Reprise", and "Lean On Me".

Backstroke Raptor
The Story Pirates
Gimlet Media
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3

Backstroke Raptor is the second, family-friendly music album from The Story Pirates, an award- winning group that transforms imaginative children's stories from around the world into sketch comedy, books, a top-rated podcast, and more. The original songs in Backstroke Raptor first aired on seasons 1 and 2 of "The Story Pirates Podcast". Here are weird, wild, and wonderful ideas transformed into delightful music. Backstroke Raptor is a choice pick for family car trips, children's parties, or anytime fun, and highly recommended! The tracks are "Backstroke Raptor", "Samantha", "The Wizard Who Could Just Go Poof", "The Great Wallaby Adventure", "Cement Dude", "A Girl With Superpowers", "The Person Who Could Not Spin", "A Hamster's Workday", "Barry and the Big Climbing Tree", "The Giraffe Didn't Know", and "Dreaming Sheep".

Children on Parade
Bay Song
Keenan Literacy & Learning

Ideal for young people in preschool and elementary school, Children on Parade is an original, family-friendly music album that encourages listeners to move along to the music. Featuring a wide variety of musical styles including folk, R&B, rock, reggae, country, and blues, Children on Parade is a joy to experience, and makes a superb pick-me-up antidote to a bad day! Highly recommended. The tracks are "Let's Sing a Song", "Children on Parade", "Cookin' Up a Song", "You Can Move", "Blueberry Blues", "Einstein Squirrel", "Mac 'n' Cheese Overture", "Boo Boo's Birthday", "Have to Have a Hat", "Kids Wanna Have Fun", "My Air Guitar", and "One Mornin'". 27:04 min.

The Robot EP
Ants Ants Ants
Pinwheel Records
$TBA CD / $3.99 MP3

The Robot EP is an EP album of four electrifying, robot-themed songs by kids' pop perforamce band Ants Ants Ants. Delightfully catchy and exciting, the joyful songs make a perfect pick-me- up to add a dash of spice into the family's day, or enliven a children's party. Highly recommended, especially for young robot fans! The tracks are "Robot, Robot" (2:27), "Dance Robot, Dance" (2:11), "The Robot Suite" (4:18), and "Robot Reprise" (1:59).

Canta las Letras
123 Andres
Salsana Records
$15.00 CD / $8.99 MP3

Latin GRAMMY winners 123 Andres present Canta las Letras, an educational, Spanish-language children's music CD, featuring a brief, lively song for every letter of the Spanish alphabet including soft and hard letter sounds for letters C and G, as well as digraphs and consonant blends. A total of 38 musical tracks help make learning Spanish fun and exciting! Created in collaboration with Benchmark Education Company, Canta las Letras is a welcome addition to school and public library collections, and especially ideal for Spanish language class. Highly recommended.

The DVD Shelf

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
Written by Sherri Daskey Rinker
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Narrated by Dion Graham
Music by Jon Carroll
Animation by duple
Weston Woods
9781338531930 $59.95

Intended for young viewers ages 2-5, Mighty, Mighty Construction Site is the DVD adaptation of a charming picturebook about construction trucks using the power of teamwork and friendship to tackle a big task. A read-along option and descriptive video features are included in this delightful story with a valuable, character-building lesson. Mighty, Mighty Construction Site is highly recommended, especially for kindergarten school library collections and homeroom viewing. 10 min.

The Christian Shelf

The Journey Continues
Avril Rowlands
Lion Hudson
9780745978116, $10.00, PB, 144pp,

In "The Journey Continues: Adventures Through the Bible with Caravan Bear and Friends", Caravan Bear once again hitches up Hector the horse to the brightly painted gypsy-style caravan and, with Whitby the dog and Christopher Rabbit, set off in search of new adventures. Children ages 6-10 will enjoy Rabbit's storytelling from the Old Testament along the way, interrupted with frequent questions from the travellers and other animals they meet. The traveling life of the caravan and its occupants provide the opportunity for Rabbit to share these tales with other animals they meet and they join Caravan Bear, Whitby and Hector in listening (and learning from) the stories. He is frequently interrupted by questions from his listeners, the kind of questions any child might ask. The real and often humorous events that happen to Rabbit and his friends are mirrored by the stories from the Bible enabling children to realize that the stories have relevance and meaning today. Absorbing, entertaining, enlightening, inspiring, "The Journey Continues: Adventures Through the Bible with Caravan Bear and Friends" will prove a welcome addition to Family Christian Values collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Journey Continues: Adventures Through the Bible with Caravan Bear and Friends" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

God's Big Plan
Elizabeth F. Caldwell, author
Theodore Hiebert, author
Katie Yamasaki, illustrator
Flyaway Books
100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396
9781947888067, $17.00, HC, 40pp,

The world is full of so many different things: animals, plants, foods, languages, people. But it might not have been that way if it weren't for God's big plan! This vibrant picture book for children ages 3-7 wonderfully illuminates a new understanding of the story of Babel in Genesis, revealing God's plan for wonderful diversity throughout the world. "God's Big Plan" also includes a note for parents and educators. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, Sunday School, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "God's Big Plan" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.76).

The Language Studies Shelf

Sign Language for Kids
Tony R. Smith, author
Smith Show Publishing
9781793964724 $10.99

"Sign Language for Kids" is a black and white illustrated juvenile manual for signs for letters A-Z, numbers 0-10, generally accepted emergency room expressions, medical procedures, remedies, and basic words including bathroom, book, goodbye, hello, help, internet, no, please, sorry, stop, thanks, thanks/good/welcome, what, when, where, why, and yes. Illustrations are simply drawn in black and white with arrows showing accompanying hand motions . "Sign Language for Kids" helps give a child basic concepts needed to start learning sign language.

The Story of AND
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, author
Joani Keller Rothenberg, illustrator
Carrie Newcomer, songwriter
Flyaway Books
100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396
9781947888050, $18.00, HC, 40pp,

Poor AND -- it's the word everyone takes for granted. So tiny, so common, so easily overlooked. Yet if it weren't for and, so much would fall apart! Who knew such a little word could make such a big difference? When an array of opinionated shapes just can't find common ground, AND comes to the rescue. AND is the link that helps each pair of shapes overcome their differences, teaming up to create something entirely new. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.450), the bouncy rhyming text by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and colorful paintings by Joani Keller Rothenberg come together in a fable that will prompt children to look for the unexpected connections all around them. Singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer has recorded an original song based on the story that is readily available to readers as a bonus download at Very highly recommended for children ages 3-7, "The Story of AND" will prove to be a unique and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Self-Help Shelf

Crocodile, You're Beautiful!
Ruth K. Westheimer, author
Dena Neusner, author
C. B. Decker, illustrator
Apples & Honey Press
c/o Behrman House Inc.
241 Millburn Avenue, Millburn, NJ 07041
9781681155517 $17.95

I have a body. You have a body. But your body is different from mine. Why? Because it is all yours. You are in charge of your body. So says the wise Dr. Ruth in "Crocodile, You're Beautiful: Embracing Our Strengths and Ourselves" as she helps out animals who each need her sage advice. Ruth helps an octopus learn to assert itself, a crocodile feel more comfortable with its bumpy body, and a rabbit, turtle, and ant discover and appreciate their strengths. Full of humor and warmth, Ruth's lessons about body image, confidence and standing-up for yourself shine through in this relatable, age appropriate tale. Fun activities are included after each story, and will delight young readers ages 4-8 as they stretch, draw and dance their way through these important ideas. They will feel empowered to connect to their own strengths! "Crocodile, You're Beautiful" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

An Illustrated Treasury of Swedish Folk and Fairy Tales
John Bauer
Floris Books
9780863154577, $24.95, HC, 239pp,

John Albert Bauer (4 June 1882 - 20 November 1918) was a Swedish painter and illustrator. His primary work was concerned with landscape and mythology. He is best known for his illustrations of early editions of Bland tomtar och troll (Among Gnomes and Trolls), an anthology of Swedish folklore and fairy tales. Now brought back for a new generation of appreciative young readers, "An Illustrated Treasury of Swedish Folk and Fairy Tales" for Floris Books is an wonderfully entertaining collection that is comprised of 29 stories, including Elsa Beskow's When Mother Troll Took in the King's Washing; The Magician's Cape by Anna Wahlenberg; The Seven Wishes by Alfred Smedberg; The Ring by Helena Nyblom; Stalo and Kauras by P. A. Lindholm; The Maiden in the Castle of Rosy Clouds by Harald Ostenson. "An Illustrated Treasury of Swedish Folk and Fairy Tales" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library International Folklore/Mythology/Fairytale collections for children ages 7-10.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

A Caterpillar at the Dentist
Dr. Shweta Ujaoney, author
Kelly O'Neill, illustrator
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860315, $21.95, HC, 32pp,

She's never had a filling before. When Ira meets Zack, a talking caterpillar, in the dentist's waiting room, Zack knows just how to make her feel better. Zack will explain that the dentist's tools are simple, harmless objects used in everyday life. Through their imagination, Ira will learn to understand the nature and importance of getting a filling. A unique, informative, entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book explanation and introduction to what happens when going to the dentist, "A Caterpillar at the Dentist" by Dr. Shweta Ujaoney and charmingly illustrated by Kelly O'Neill is unreservedly recommended for elementary school, community library, and dentist office waiting room collections! It should be noted for young children ages 2- 8 that "A Caterpillar at the Dentist" is also available in a paperback edition (9781947860322, $13.95).

Joanna Banana
Megan Mears, author
Walter Policelli, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
9781643070322, $14.95, HC, 32pp,

Joanna Banana's best friend develops a food intolerance, so Joanna sets off on a quest to find the perfect baking ingredients. She meets some friends along the way with a variety of food allergies, and learns how to get creative in the kitchen. "Joanna Banana" by the team of author Megan Mears and illustrator Walter Policelli is a delightfully entertaining and rhyming picture book about food allergies for children ages 4-8 -- making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Books in Series

The Attack On Pearl Harbor
Valerie Bodden, author
Creative Education
c/o The Creative Company
9781640260016 $28.95, HC, 48pp,

Part of the four volume series, Disasters for All Time, "The Attack on Pearl Harbor" presents a detailed, succinct account of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, part of Hawaii, an American territory. Orchestrated with black and white period photographs and also clearly detailed maps, graphs, and sidebars, "The Attack on Pearl Harbor" presents all information in restrained colors of black, white, gray and rust/sepia backgrounds. Contents cover a background of the U. S. refusal to engage in the European front of world War II up until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Japanese preparation and plan for attack are summarized dramatically. An interesting black and white chart lists symbols representing all the marine craft of the Pacific fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, including in descending size order, 3 aircraft carriers (biggest ships), 9 battleships, 21 cruisers, 53 destroyers, and 23 submarines. The terror of the day is relived in Chapter III, Not A Drill, which includes an Attack on Pearl Harbor Timeline from 3:00 AM to 10:00 AM. The last chapter IV, Infamous Date, includes historic information about the American relocation by force of over 100,000 Japanese American citizens in cramped, isolated internment camps with horribly inadequate facilities. Other American response to Pearl Harbor included a declaration of war and the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and later another bomb on Nagasake. Modern reactions to the war between the U. S. and Japan was illustrated in the joint visit of Shinzo Abe and President Obama to the Arizona Memorial in 2016, to illustrate the spirit of reconciliation between the U. S. and Japan. "The Attack on Pearl Harbor" serves to recount the history of "that infamous date" for young readers today.

Dreams of Space Before Apollo
David Jefferis, author
Crabtree Publishing Company
9780778754084 $27.60, 32 pages

"Dreams of Space Before Apollo" is an introduction to some of the important precedents and scientists' work that preceded the Apollo moon landings of 1969-1972. Early dreams of space travel involved the moon because it was the closest visible foreign body in space. Science fiction writers Jules Verne and H. G. Wells envisioned the reality of traveling from Earth to the Moon. Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky designed the first proper spaceship. Rocket pioneers included Robert Goddard and Wehrner von Braun, designer of the V-2 rocket. An early space rocket flight was the Project Bumper, a converted V-2 with a WAC Corporal added, which flew to a height of 244 miles above ground in 1949. Sputnik 1 and following satellites in 1957 were the beginning of the Space Race, involving challenges between Russia and the United States and other countries regarding the race to space dominion. Famous quotation from Nikita Kruschev, leader of the Soviet Union, was: "The United States now sleeps under a Soviet moon." Yuri Gagarin was the first human to travel in space in 1961, a triumph for the Soviet Union. Early space researchers also sent Ham the chimpanzee and other animals on space flights in 1961. Basic space rocket design ideas included wings or capsule designs. john Glenn flew in a Mercury Space capsule in 1962. Alan Shepherd was the first American to fly to the edge of space in 1961, but he did not reach orbit, flying in space about 15 minutes. John Glenn achieved orbit in space on February 20, 1961. Bigger spacecraft capsule design was seen in the Gemini two seat spacecraft, designed by Jim Chamberlin, a Canadian, and used in 12 Gemini space missions from 1964-1966. Gemini mission work proved that humans could survive in space long enough to make the trip to the Moon and back. Pickup of the splashdown landed astronauts was carefully planned and executed in further testing for Apollo. Robot explorers gave valuable closeup pictures of the Moon's surface, along with other robot missions such as a Lunar orbiter. Soviet Luna probes also collected information, but the Soviet Union was secretive about results unless proven successful missions. Seven Surveyor craft probes were launched from the United States to gather enough information to be sure the Moon's surface was firm enough to take the landing of the heavy Apollo Lunar Module. Excitement rose as the projected Moon flights came closer to reality and planned takeoff times. Launch control details were filled with detailed preflight checks which preceded launches or lift off. Vital information to the Moon Launch was contained in the Moon mapping efforts collected over the years from the 1600's to the late 1960's. Some of the Moon's visible features include land forms, seas and oceans of lava, and craters, formed when space rocks collided with the Moon's surface. A summary Timeline of moon flight facts begins in 1609 (Galileo studied the moon through the first telescope), to 1967, when the first test flight of the Apollo Saturn V was made. "Dreams of Space" is enhanced with myriad color and black and white photos, and also information-laden sidebars. A Glossary and Webfinder section complete this exciting Moon Flight Atlas volume of space exploration dreams before Apollo. At guided reading level w, "Dreams of Space " is accessible to readers in middle grades, age 9 and up.
Also highly recommended are the following titles from the Moon Flight Atlas Series: "The Astronauts (9780778754114)," "Project Apollo: The Race To the Moon (9780778754107)," and "Exploring the Moon (9780778754091)," all by David Jefferis.

The Adventures of Hollywood Hens: The First Escape
Helaine Fiedler, author
Joshua Allen, illustrator
Archway Publishing
9781480855625 $20.45

"The First Escape" is a creative story about a much loved and cared for flock of hens called the Hollywood Hens, or the Girlz for short. Every chicken is different in the flock, and every chicken has her job. Breadcrumb is a Buff Orpington, Head Chicken, always first out in the morning and last in at night. Red is the new Hampshire Red, the Scout, who checks out new adventures. Goldy, a Golden Laced Wyandot, is the Enforcer, who keeps the rest of the brood in line. Browny, a Partridge Plymouth Rock is the Assistant, or everyone's friend. Snowflake, a white Delaware is a diva, who holds a wing up whenever she lays an egg. Sylvie, an Aracauna, is at the bottom of the pecking order, always last out in the morning and last in at night. One day after Grandpa had raked the leaves, mowed the lawn, and pulled some weeds, he took a nap. All the Holly wood Hens were out pecking in the yard. The suddenly, KaBoom! Boom! Boom! He was awakened by a thunderstorm! He put on his rain hat, rain jacket, and boots and went out into the storm. Taking worms for the chickens, he called them in the rain. Breadcrumb, Red, and Snowflake came. He put them in the henhouse and fed them their worms. Then her found Goldy too and put her in the henhouse, feeding her worms. Grandpa needed help from Dylan to find Browny and put her away, but finally they got the scared hen and tucked her safely in the coop with the other Hollywood Hens. finally Grandpa and Dylan came in from the thunderstorm and took off their rain gear and dried off their eyelashes. Grandpa made cocoa and Dylan made cookies, and then they went to bed. "The First Escape" is beautifully illustrated in realistic pages whose dark colors convey the sense of an impending thunderstorm. It is also an inspiring story about the practice of raising backyard chickens, about which more information can be found at and The Hollywood Hens series is a great starter for earth conscious young readers age 4-9. Colored photo portraits of the real Hollywood Hens and their descriptions are found at the end of the story.

Carrie's Flight
Lois Wickstrom, author
Francie Mion, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
c/o Gripper Products
9780916176358, $12.00, PB,

"Carrie's Flight" is a beautiful exploration of a child's loving relationship with her Grandma and her dreams about flying. Carrie's Grandma had moved from her house across town, but she left 4 boxes marked KEEP in Carrie's closet. They were labeled Wandas, Fascinator, Dowse, and Feathers. perhaps because the starlings were migrating, Carrie chose to open the box labeled Feathers. What follows is magically conveyed through both story narrative and sensitive pastel illustrations. Even the text changes mysteriously to reflect its subject, like the word MurMurAtioN (all wavy like air moving), for a flock of starlings, which pulsated across the glowing afternoon sky. Listening to Grandma's responses through her computer, Carrie opens the Feathers box and discovers beautiful, purple, silver, and peacock colored wings that Grandma said had been in the family for a long time. After many false starts and much encouragement from Grandma, Carrie fitted the wings to her arms and began to fly like the starlings, whom she now understood. Carrie flew to see her Grandma in her house across town, and after she told Carrie, "The sky is ready," Carrie took off into the night. There are different levels of magic and belief in these pages. There are also many interesting facts about starlings. The delicate spell of these pages comes from a lovely weaving and interlacing of image and written word. Children who read "Carrie's Flight" will love the experience and dream of finding more in the other three forthcoming titles.

Olyvianna the Incontinent Octopus
Cindy Graves, author
Mark Ruben Abacajan, illustrator
9781543463682 $21.99

"Olyvianna the Incontinent Octopus" tells the touching story of an embarrassed young girl octopus who could not control her ink, which would squirt out when she was playing or laughing with her friends in the ocean. All this ink incontinence was terribly embarrassing to Olyvianna until one day when she and her friends were approached and threatened by a hungry shark, who started to say, "I want to eat you!" Olyvianna did her thing and inked copiously all over the shark right in his toothy face, saving all her friends and herself! When Olyvianna went with her friends to tell her parents the whole story, she did not leak ink at all. In the verse narrative of the complete story of "Olyvianna the Incontinent Octopus," "Letting it out as it is needed helps control inkage until really needed." Beautiful, expressive undersea scenes of Olyvianna and her friends depict a world of sea creatures with very human-like feelings. Young readers may look forward to more Stories for Children and Their Adults in this unique, creative series.

PECK: A Little Lovebird in a Big Land
Remi Nicole, author
Mabel Chong, illustrator
Remstar Publishing
9780998879130, $12.95, PB, 32pp,

The third title in an award-winning series, "PECK: A Little Lovebird in a Big Land" follows the brave, round- the- world voyage of lovebird Peck from Australia. His latest friend, a sea eagle named Henry, from Madagascar, gave him a ride to Africa, where he hoped to find his heart's true love. Peck had met many friends along his way, and he was grateful for them all. But he still hoped to find that special lovebird whom he could love with his whole heart. First, Henry introduced him to Zoltan, the zebra, who took him for a touring ride across the African plains to the edge of a forest, instructing him to keep moving through the trees and "Know that whatever path you are on is the right one for you, little pal." Peck chirped on, first meeting a scary lion, and then a monkey named Marky, who took Peck swinging through the trees to meet some new bird friends. Finally Peck came to trees where many little birds were singing, some of whom looked like lovebirds! Although they were slightly differently colored, two new lovebirds introduced themselves to Peck as Penelope and Priscilla. Peck was so excited to think he finally found other lovebirds to chirp with, but Penelope and Priscilla teasingly flew away. Peck chirped a sad tune, "Chirpity Boo, I'm alone again." Then he was truly surprised by a sweet little chirping voice telling him, "Peck don't worry about them. They are always tough on new birds......I'm Piper, their little sister." The two new friends chirped away, telling each other stories of hope and happiness and home. "Chirpity Chirp, we have love in our hearts. Chirpity Chirp, we have love for our friends. Chirpity Chirp, we have love for our loves." Peck had found his love, and he stopped looking for new places to go unless he was going with Piper. "PECK: A Little Lovebird in a Big Land" is filled with bright cheery illustrations and lilting song-like rhymes that appeal to young readers ages 3-7. This gentle, prize-winning series teaches positivity on many levels while it charms and entertains.

The Story Monsters Ink Shelf

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

Carl and the Meaning of Life
Deborah Freedman
Viking Books for Young Readers
9780451474988, $17.99

Christine Irvin

Carl is an earthworm. As such, he spends his days underground, constantly moving, burrowing, tunneling, eating, and casting, making hard dirt in soft soil. But when a friendly field mouse asks Carl why he does what he does, Carl doesn't have the answer. So, he sets off to find it. In the process, Carl discovers that from the fox to the squirrel to the mouse to the beetle and to the worm, every creature has a job to do and every job is important. Engaging illustrations, child-friendly repetitions, and lyrical prose make this a delightful and informative book for all. (Ages 3-5)

My Tree and Me: A Book of Seasons
Jo Witek, author
Christine Roussey, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
9781419735035, $16.99

Dawn Menge

This little girl's best friend is her 100-year-old tree that's in the backyard. This adorable board book explains how nature and your imagination can create hours of fun. She learns how her best friend changes with the four seasons and how her activities adapt with the changes. She has magic tea parties, picnics with the creatures that live in her backyard such as ants, squirrels, bees, and butterflies. Her tree is her perfect friend who she can tell all her secrets to. This is a fun book to teach children about the four seasons and how to use their imaginations. (Ages 2-4)

What Does An Anteater Eat?
Ross Collins
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
9781536205916, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This silly anteater has a hungry tummy, but he seems to have forgotten what anteaters like to eat. He quickly sets out on a quest to see if anyone can help him remember. I'm sure your little ones will be shouting out their answers to help as you read. (Ages 2-5)

Colors to Learn: Lift-the-Flap Book
Ekaterina Guscha
Clever Publishing
9781948418478, $12.99

Larissa Juliano

Readers of our Teaching Toolbox column know that I love lift-the-flap books, and my students adore them as well. This is something that Clever Publishing and its team of writers does exceptionally well. Colors to Learn was so engaging and fun as we learned about different creatures, habitats, transportation vehicles, and more, as each spread features hilarious and interactive flaps that reveal so many surprising things! Clever Publishing has the perfect name for their stories, because their books are incredibly clever! (Ages 1-3)

Vacation for Dexter!
Lindsay Ward
Two Lions
9781542043205, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Our buddy Dexter T. Rexter is back! You can't help but love this guy. Whether he's at school or at the doctor's office, he's always lots of fun. And now, he and Jack are ready for vacation! Dexter is continual proof that everything is better with a friend! (Ages 3-7)

Cars, Kids, and Fun: Activities for All Ages
Deborah Dolan Hunt
Waldorf Publishing
9781642557749, $10.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

Hate the thought of kids cooped up in the car for those long hauls? Well, this book just may come in handy. With just a little planning, those long car rides can be turned into memories of sing-alongs, puzzles, and games that keep their eyes peeled to the cars passing by. Traveling doesn't have to be dreaded. Turn it into great family fun. (Ages 3-12)

Yara's Tawari Tree
Yossi Lapid, author
Joanna Pasek, illustrator
Privately Published
9780997389951 $9.99 pbk / $0.99 Kindle

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a true story of heart! It makes for a great "green" tale, as well as a moving lesson in reciprocity. Both serve us well with the deep insight of the benefits of learning to live in harmony with our surroundings. It is our responsibility to pass on a love and respect for our environment and this book is a great beginning. (Ages 3-8)

This Beach is Loud!
Samantha Cotterill
Dial Books
c/o Penguin
9780525553458, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Cotterill's Little Senses series is packed with love and helpful consideration for children who may feel anxious and overwhelmed by their surroundings. Sensory issues can override natural conditions, leaving children frustrated and confused. These gentle approaches may be just what you've been looking for to help your children find enjoyment even in these pressing moments. (Ages 3-7)

Saying Goodbye to Barkley
Devon Sillett and Nicky Johnston
EK Books
9781925335965, $17.99

Christine Irvin

Olivia and her dog, Barkley, have been best friends and partners her whole life. They go everywhere together. Barkley helps Olivia fight crime and keep everyone in line. But, Barkley got sick and died and left Olivia without her crime-fighting pal. Broken-hearted Olivia must now find a way to say good-bye. Endearing illustrations make this story about loss all the more powerful, one that any child who has ever lost a furry friend will be able to relate to. (Ages 4-7)

Cozmo's Wish
Janet Tlachac-Toonen
Stay Toon'd Publishing
9781943163298, $12.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This sweet, artistic tale captures the imagination with its lighthearted theme of wishes and dreams. The artistry of poetry combined with color and whimsy create characters easy to embrace and follow as they lead. This is truly an enjoyable reading experience for the young, and young at heart. (Ages 3-8)

Swarm of Bees
Lemony Snicket and Rilla Alexander
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316392822, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Impulse control is not an easy task, and can be a difficult lesson to learn. Not everything we can do means we should do. It's not an automatic quality, but more of an infused one. From animals to children, and many adults, it can take a good deal of training. Readers will learn that we will always have emotions. We will get angry, but with it comes options for handling it. This is a simple, early introduction to wise choices and impulse control. (Ages 4-7)

How I Learned to Fall Out of Trees
Vincent X. Kirsch
Harry N. Abrams
9781419734137, $16.99

Christine Irvin

When Adelia is preparing to move away from the neighborhood, she tells her best friend, "Roger, before I go away, I'm going to teach you how to climb a tree." He asks, "What if I fall?" She responds, "Then I'll teach you how to fall." First she shows him the best way to climb a tree. Then she gathers up all sorts of soft things for him to land on. She tells him, "Falling is easy. Letting go is the hard part." After she leaves, Roger climbs the tree. Sure enough, climbing it is easy. So is falling, once he is brave enough to let go. A poignant, touching story about friendship and change. (Ages 4-8)

Christian Robinson
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
9781534421677, $17.99

Christine Irvin

One night, when she is in bed, a young girl wakes up to find a portal. She follows her two cats through the opening where she finds another place, another world, where everything is the same yet it is different. The whole story is told through illustrations in this wordless picture book. (Ages 4-8)

Zen Shorts
Jon J. Muth
9780439339117, $17.99

Dawn Menge

A Caldecott Honor winner, this beautifully illustrated book retells three Zen stories as told by a giant Panda Bear by the name of Stillwater. He follows his umbrella to the backyard of a young family and proceeds to tell the children about the poor man who paid the robber, the farmer who can't judge luck, and the monk who has the responsibility of the past. (Ages 4-9)

Please Don't Eat Me
Liz Climo
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316315258, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a great tale of reluctant friendship. What happens when opposites attract? It can make for some fun reading. Sweet Bunny burrowed into Big Bear's land, and an issue is immediately evident. Predator and prey stand face to face. Bunny and Bear work out their differences satisfactorily, but not without some good chuckles for the reader. (Ages 4-8)

Moldilocks and the Three Scares: A Zombie Tale
Lynne Marie, David Rodriguez Lorenzo
Sterling Children's Books
9781454930617, $16.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

A ghoulishly new look to an old classic. Late one spooky night a zombie tale comes to light, when sleepwalking Moldilocks wanders into the home of the three Scares. A cute tale for the wee ones on Halloween night. (Ages 4-8)

Our Animal Friends (Look & Find)
Created by Eugeniya Popova and Lilu Rami
Illustrated by Margarita Kukhtina
Clever Publishing
9781948418324 $9.99

Larissa Juliano

Our Animal Friends engaged my kids from start to finish as they noticed different expressions on the animal faces, found their favorite creatures, and then loved seeking the specific animals the author asks us to look for. So unique and impressive. Books that allow us to interact with them, and each other, becomes an instant favorite for my little story monsters. (Ages 5-6)

Little Lunch: Triple Treats
Danny Katz, author
Mitch Vane, illustrator
9780763694715 $15.99

Olivia Amiri, age 12

Little Lunch is a silly, cute book with whimsical illustrations. This book looks at what happens at school between kids during their lunch/snack time. And being a student, I agree that every day there is something new, and yes, a lot happens! (Ages 6-9)

Marty's Mission: An Apollo 11 Story
Judy Young, author
David Miles, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
9781534110144, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Everyone, including me, sat glued to the edge of their seats with excitement as NASA launched its first space mission to put a man on the moon. This story invites us to remember actual events of the historical event of Apollo 11 in 1969. We relive this amazing feat through the eyes and excitement of a young boy, bringing the anticipation and victory of man taking his first step on the moon to a whole new generation. (Ages 6-9)

Good Dog McTavish
Meg Rosoff, author
Grace Easton, illustrator
9781536200584, $15.99

Olivia Amiri, age 12

Good Dog McTavish is a cute book with sweet illustrations. McTavish the rescue dog, along with Betty (one of the Peachey kids), comes up with a plan to help the Peachey family from falling apart. One of the lessons I took away from this book is to always be grateful. (Ages 7-10)

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon
Joyce Lapin, author
Simona Ceccarelli, illustrator
Sterling Children's Books
9781454929703, $16.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

Imagining a birthday party on the moon makes learning about it tons of fun. I mean, who wouldn't want to take a rocket ride, or party for a month instead of one earth day? There is so much to learn and enjoy in this story. The illustrations are great and make it a truly enjoyable educational experience. (Ages 7+)

Mr. Posey's New Glasses
Ted Kooser, author
Daniel Duncan, illustrator
9780763696092, $16.99

Christine Irvin

When Mr. Posey finds that things look dull, he thinks he might need a new pair of glasses. He takes a trip to the Cheer Up Thrift Shop, along with his young neighbor, Andy, who asks to tag along. Mr. Posey tries on several pairs of glasses, but none improves his vision. One makes the world look dark, another makes everything look pink. When he is about to give up, Andy takes a look at Mr. Posey's old glasses and notices something that changes his perspective on
everything. (Ages 6-9)

Sam Wu is NOT afraid of Sharks
Katie Tsang, Kevin Tsang, Nathan Reed
Sterling Children's Books
9781454932567, $12.95

Diana Perry

On a class trip to the aquarium, certified ghost hunter Sam Wu encounters something even scarier than ghosts: Crazy Charlie, a giant shark, who totally tries to eat him. Sam has no intentions of taking any more chances with these people-eating creatures. But then his classmates Regina and Ralph announce they're having a birthday bash ... on the beach! Can Sam overcome his terror of becoming shark bait? The mishaps and adventures that Sam encounters in his daily life are a great example of the experiences that kids go through as they enjoy and struggle through early grades. Young readers will laugh and bond with Sam. (Ages 7-12)

Miranda and Maude: Banana Pants
Emma Wunsch, author
Jessika von Innerebner, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
9781419731808, $12.99

Diana Perry

Fed up with nonstop testing, Miranda and Maude's teacher makes a surprise announcement: They are going to put on a school play! And, the class decides it will be called Banana Pants! School is finally a joy, and the project inspires the girls to fight for more positive change. Maude decides to wage a campaign against Styrofoam lunch trays, and she thinks she has the perfect powerful ally in Miranda. But, much to Maude's frustration, Miranda would rather focus on her own good cause: Love! The girls can't seem to see eye to eye, which results in the friendship's first-ever fight. This book teaches not only how friendships get tested, but also how young readers should not give up when their plans go all wrong. (Ages 7-10)

A Zombie Ate My Homework (Project Z)
Tommy Greenwald
9781338305920, $6.99

Diana Perry

Arnold Z. Ombee has escaped a secret government lab that's developing zombies. Young, scared, and alone, he is found by the Kinders, a warmhearted couple who take him in. The Kinders decide Arnold will become part of their family. They help him disguise his undead appearance and teach him how to act like a human boy. After a lot of practice, he's ready for the ultimate test: fifth grade! Boys and girls will love this book to pieces. (Ages 8-12)

Flights of Fancy: Creative Inspiration from Ten Award-Winning Authors and Illustrators
Malorie Blackman, Quentin Blake, Anthony Browne, Lauren Child, Julia Donaldson, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Chris Riddell, Michael Rosen, and Jacqueline Wilson
Walker Books
9781536205367, $19.99

Dawn Menge

A compilation to increase and promote creative inspiration. If you have an emerging illustrator or writer in your midst, this would be a great book to help them learn where and how various accomplished artists find their inspiration. (Ages 8-12)

Our Castle by the Sea
Lucy Strange
Chicken House
c/o Scholastic
9781338353853, $17.99

Diana Perry

Growing up in a lighthouse, 11-year-old Pet's world has been one of storms, secret tunnels, and stories about sea monsters. But now the country is at war and the clifftops are a terrifying battleground. Pet will need to muster all her bravery to uncover why her family is being torn apart. This is the story of a girl who is afraid and unnoticed. A girl who freezes with fear at the enemy planes ripping through the skies overheard. A girl who is somehow destined to become part of the strange, ancient legend of the Daughters of Stone. A great book to give young readers an inside view of what life was like for many young people in England during this time. (Ages 8-12)

How High the Moon
Karyn Parsons
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316484008, $16.99

Diana Perry

In the small town of Alcolu, South Carolina, in 1944, 12-year-old Ella spends her days fishing and running around with her best friend Henry and cousin Myrna. But life is not always so sunny for Ella, who gets bullied for her light skin tone, and whose mother is away pursuing a jazz singer dream in Boston. So Ella is ecstatic when her mother invites her to visit for Christmas. Little does she expect the truths she will discover about her mother, the father she never knew, and her family's most unlikely history. This enlightening story teaches young readers to follow their dreams and yet be happy with what they have, not what they can never have. (Ages 9-12)

Cedar Dance
Monica Nawrocki
Yellow Dog
9781773370163 $8.95

Diana Perry

Charles Cedar Dance has little in common with his "hippie" mother. At the annual school camp, Charles has a chance encounter with the father he has never known and while spying on him at a nearby anti-logging protest camp, Charles finds himself at the center of a mystery involving a saboteur-turned-kidnapper. When Charles decides he wants to get to know his dad, he learns the truth about his parents and must re-evaluate his view of his family. This heartwarming, multi-layered story will serve to teach children that life doesn't always turn out the way you hoped, but if you count your blessings, you never know where they'll lead you. (Ages 9-12)

Writing to Respond to Text and Tests
Martha Joseph Watts Ed.D
9781503576018, $19.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Diana Perry

I just loved this wonderful book that teaches young readers how to respond to messages, questions, and texts and how to prolifically write reports and essays. Not "teachy-preachy," it actually made it fun while teaching kids from middle grade through young adults. They'll learn the meanings of more-adult words and how to use them. It takes the project of "writing on a higher level" from difficult to easy and fun. A must-read for all students. (Ages 12+)

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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