Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Children's Bookwatch

Children's Bookwatch

Volume 30, Number 6 June 2020 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Science Shelf American History Shelf
Political Science Shelf Christian Shelf Judaic Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Native American Shelf Picturebook Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Poetry Shelf
Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Self-Help Shelf Music CD Shelf
LGBT Shelf Books in Series Story Monsters Ink Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

My Body Belongs to Me
Jill Starishevsky, author
Angela Padron, illustrator
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674
9781575424613, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

The collaborative project of author Jill Starishevsky and illustrator Angela Padron, "My Body Belongs to Me: A Book About Body Safety" is an ideal and thoroughly 'kid friendly' introduction for children ages 3-8 to the subject of physical and/or sexual abuse -- and know what do to if it occurs to them. Sensitively presented, "My Body Belongs to Me" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. Of special note are the suggestions for sharing this book with children and resources for adults.

Me and You and the Universe
Bernardo Marcolla
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674
9781631985225, $16.99 HC, 36pp,

Bringing together the worlds of SEL and STEM, "Me and You and the Universe" is calming and colorful picture book that reveals how we are all connected. By taking the reader on a journey from the minuscule (cells, the building blocks of nature) to the massive (a universe that is infinite), "Me and You and the Universe" teaches children ages 3-8 about universality and connectedness and fosters an appreciation for nature and our world's ecology. Author and illustrator Bernardo Marcolla beautifully articulates the importance of learning at an early age to look up to the sky and, as we see the stars, to know that we are part of them. The world will remain the same, but if we open our eyes and our hearts, our experience will be completely different with the underlying message that: "Although we seem different from each other, all of us, deep down inside, are very similar." "Me and You and the Universe" is thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers.

The King and I
Sorel Kaire
Lulu Publishing
3101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607-5436
9781684702978, $16.00, PB, 34pp,

When the king is told his wife has given birth to a daughter, he cannot help but feel disappointed. He had been hoping for a boy. Now whom will he teach to be wise and to rule in his place? Who will follow in his footsteps? Disappointed, the king heads to his chamber to meet his child for the first time. The wise queen knows her husband's heart and guides him to his daughter. The king discovers something that changes everything. Engagingly written and charmingly illustrated by Sorel Kaire, "The King and I" is a gentle and entertaining tale about a king who is struggling to accept his newborn girl, and along the way learns an important lesson about the power of love and the magic of having a daughter. While highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers, it should be noted by librarians that "The King and I" is also available in a hardcover edition (9781684702961, $18.90).

Someday We Will
Pam Webb, author
Wendy Leach, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506454009, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

"Someday We Will" is a collaboratively developed picture books that is specifically designed for grandparents and grandchildren who are separated by miles, while the wait until the next delightful visit can seem endless. In "Someday We Will", kids ages 3-6 and their grandparents can mark the time by dreaming of all the wonderful things they'll do together someday, from bicycling down a hill to whiling away the hours on a beach. Before they know it, someday is here! With lyrical text by author/storyteller Pam Webb and the winsome illustration style of artist Wendy Leach, "Someday We Will" is the perfect gift for grandparents and grandchildren who look at the calendar with impatience and longing for the next fun-filled time with their loved ones. While especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Someday We Will" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Alex Asks Grandpa About the Olden Days: A 1940s Story
Gary L. Wilhelm, author
Pieter Els, illustrator
Carolyn Wilhelm, editor
Independently Published
9781729375280, $12.00, PB, 72pp,

"Alex Asks Grandpa About the Olden Days: A 1940s Story" is a picture book story about a young child who is wondering about the "olden days" when his grandpa was young like him. His mother takes the child to Grandpa's house so he can ask some questions about life long ago.

Grandpa had lived in a small house with a metal roof in South Dakota. Coal was burned to provide heat in the winter. In those days, there was no air conditioning, and people opened windows instead. The backyard had a vegetable garden. Three generations lived in the house. The wooden party-line phone on the wall had no apps. There was no television, but radio shows told stories such as the Lone Ranger. Books such as the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries were popular.

Grandpa's other grandparents lived on a farm and would sometimes burn corncobs. The farm had animals such as workhorses who were named Tom and Jerry. Chicks could be ordered through the mail, and the post office was full of chirping when they arrived each spring. Harvest time was special with the use of a threshing machine.

Around the neighborhood, kids would pass the blacksmith on their bikes. Sometimes the blacksmith helped fix bicycles for the children. Financial times were still difficult after World War Two.

One of the stories involves a skunk that became dinner for someone Grandpa's father did some work for and tried to collect payment. Needless to say, no money changed hands that day.

Grandpa's mother taught in a one-room schoolhouse. His father had a construction company. Fishing was a popular pastime.

Critique: Charmingly illustrated, informative, and entertaining, "Alex Asks Grandpa About the Olden Days: A 1940s Story" is a unique and extraordinary picture book story for children ages 5- 10 that is especially appropriate and recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Alex Asks Grandpa About the Olden Days: A 1940s Story" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Science Shelf

This Is How I Grow
Dia L. Michels, author
Wesley Davies, illustrator
Science, Naturally!
9781938492105, $14.95, HC, 52pp,

How do baby mammals grow? Food! And with a lot of help from their mothers. "This Is How I Grow" shares the life cycle story of eight different mammal babies from habitats across the globe. Readers learn essential facts about each animal's birth, nursing, weaning, hunting or foraging skills, and other techniques that they must learn from their mother (and community) before they can be "all grown up."

As they page through the expansive panoramic illustrations, young readers ages 7-10 will explore the vast diversity of the mammal world and learn about those things that unite all mammals. The written text foregrounds the importance of mother's milk in infancy and learning to find food as each animal matures; the lifelike visual text provides more information about each species, including their habitat, family group, and relative size. The animals in the book are drawn from habitats across the globe and are arranged from shortest to longest childhoods.

"This Is How I Grow" by the team of author Dia L. Michels and illustrator Wesley Davies is particularly recommended, especially for family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "This Is How I Grow" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781938492082, $12.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.42).

Editorial Note: Of special note is the inclusion of an extensive free Teacher's Guide provides further information and hands-on activities to expand opportunities for learning. "This Is How I Grow" is specifically designed for use with students in grades 2-5. The content aligns with the NGSS (detailed articulation is outlined in the Teacher's Guide).

The American History Shelf

Mayflower: The Ship that Started a Nation
Rebecca Siegal, author
Michael Lauritano, illustrator
Mike Love, illustrator
Words & Pictures
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780711248250, $19.95 HC, 64pp,

In the pages of "Mayflower: The Ship that Started a Nation", children ages 7-11 will learn about the perilous journey, the crew and passengers, the cargo on board, and what happened when they finally dropped anchor in Cape Cod. "Mayflower" introduces the Wampanoag people and kids will learn about how the Pilgrims' arrival changed their way of life. Atmospheric artwork and detailed scenes by the team of illustrators Michael Lauritano and Mike Love will spark children's imagination as they discover the amazing true story behind the birth of a nation. "Mayflower" answers the questions of: Who were the Pilgrims?; Why did they want to leave England?; Why was the journey so perilous?; What was the Mayflower Compact?; Who are the Wampanoag?; How did the Pilgrims interact with the Wampanoag?; What happened at the first Thanksgiving?; What became of the Mayflower? Very highly recommended for school and community library American History collections, "Mayflower" is fact-packed children's picture book that includes a comprehensive timeline of events, an author's note, plus a glossary and ideas for further learning.

The Political Science Shelf

We Are Power
Todd Hasak-Lowy
Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419741111, $18.99 HC, 320pp,

"We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World" by Todd Hasak-Lowy brings to light the incredible individuals who have used nonviolent activism to change the world. "We Are Power" explores questions such as what is nonviolent resistance and how does it work? In an age when armies are stronger than ever before, when guns seem to be everywhere, how can people confront their adversaries without resorting to violence themselves? Through key international movements as well as people such as Gandhi, Alice Paul, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Vaclav Havel, "We Are Power" discusses the components of nonviolent resistance. It answers the question "Why nonviolence?" by showing how nonviolent movements have succeeded again and again in a variety of ways, in all sorts of places, and always in the face of overwhelming odds. Enhanced with the inclusion of endnotes, a bibliography, and an index, "We Are Power" would well serve as a curriculum textbook and is unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, highschool, and community library Contemporary Political Science collections. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, it should be noted for young readers ages 10-14 that "We Are Power" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Christian Shelf

As It Is in Heaven
Eric Puybaret
Eerdmans Books
9780802855381 $17.99

As It Is in Heaven: A Collection of Prayers for All Ages takes classic Christian prayers from thousands of years of faith and writings and pairs them with art designed to invite young readers to discover new meanings in prayers which will likely already be familiar to them. Take "Our Father'. This prayer receives a facing page of a man and child on a cliff overlooking the water, with cloudy skies above them. The impression of weather, nature, and the man and boy who entreat God to keep them safe makes for an inviting review of the words of this most basic of prayers. Prayers come from various sources, as in the 'Prayer for Peace' attributed to saint Francis of Assisi. The gorgeous images and prayer combinations make for an inviting collection especially recommended for adult/child spiritual discussions.

The Judaic Shelf

Sweet Tamales for Purim
Barbara Bietz, author
John Kanzler, illustrator
August House
3500 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 310, Atlanta, GA 30305
9781947301610, $8.95 PB, 32pp,

Many Jewish families helped settle, diverse communities in the desolate, desert terrain of the Wild West. Although "Sweet Tamales for Purim" is a fictional paperback picture book story, it is inspired by a true event. In 1886, the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society of Tucson planned a Purim Ball for the entire community. Author/storyteller Barbara Bietz tells this entertaining story from the perspective of a young girl, who along with her new friend, Luis plan to create a Purim festival for their town. Their plans for the celebration were well underway until the family goat, Kitzel, ate all of the traditional holiday pastries, Hamantashen. Fortunately, they find another way to celebrate Purim and the family is able to share their cultural traditions with their new neighbors! Charming, entertaining, and with an important social/cultural message that will have special value for young Jewish readers ages 5-7, "Sweet Tamales for Purim" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Tribbs: The Very Handsome Cat
Faye Rapoport DesPres, author
Laurel McKinstry Petersen, illustrator
Writer's Coffee Bar Press
9781941523209, $18.99 HC, 42pp,

"Tribbs: The Very Handsome Cat" is the story of a kitten whose his human family abandoned him. Tribbs' mom did her best to her best to find food and shelter for the two of them, but the streets are no place for a kitten! Finding their way into foster care, the two are soon separated when his mom is adopted. The little kitten is growing up fast, will Tribbs ever find his forever home? His happy ending arrives when his foster mom takes him to a pet adoption event and he finds a family of his own. He settles in and soon becomes a welcoming committee of one for each new cat, for Tribbs has learned that "handsome is as handsome does". Original, charming, and with a positive, compassionate message about the plight of stray and feral cats, "Tribbs: The Very Handsome Cat" is a very special picture book story for children ages 2-8 that is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book Pets/Wildlife collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tribbs: The Very Handsome Cat" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781941523193, $9.9) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.75).

The Native American Shelf

Falling Rock: A High Plains Native Legend
Rachel Salgado, author
Deandra Eubanks, illustrator
Homestead House Publishing
9780578614236, $29.95 HC, 32pp,

"Falling Rock: A High Plains Native Legend" is a rich and vibrant picture book by the team of author/storyteller Rachel Salgado and artist/illustrator that shares cultural traditions and historical settings against the backdrop of a fictitious legend and depicts the culture and traditions of the High Plains Native Americans during the mid-1800's in the High Plains and Rocky Mountain region of Colorado and Wyoming. The main character Falling Rock, a man of great honor within his tribe, sets out on a challenging journey to gather and deliver a great heard of ponies to complete the traditional courtship rituals of the High Plains Native Americans. Will Falling Rock return to his beloved She Sings and assume his position in the tribe or will he become legend? Inherently fascinating, informative and entertaining from beginning to end, "Falling Rock: A High Plains Native Legend" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Native American picture book collections for young readers ages 5-9. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Falling Rock: A High Plains Native Legend" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781674265032, $12.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Picturebook Shelf

The Little Blue Cottage
Kelly Jordan, author
Jessica Courtney-Tickle, illustrator
Page Street Kids
c/o Page Street Publishing
9781624149238, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

The little blue cottage waits each year for summer to arrive -- and with it, the girl. Through sunny days and stormy weather, the cottage and the girl keep each other company and wile away the long days and nights together. Until one year, and then another, the cottage is left waiting and empty season after season. "The Little Blue Cottage" is a particularly heartfelt picture book story about change with author Kelly Jordan's lilting text being wonderfully framed with illustrator Jessica Courtney-Tickle's lush art in a perfect blend of words and images that wonderfully captures the essence of cherishing a favorite place. "The Little Blue Cottage" is fully and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8.

Feast of Peas
Kashmira Sheth, author
Jeffrey Ebbeler, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781682631355, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Every morning, Jiva works in his garden until the sun turns as red as a bride's sari. He plants peas and beans, potatoes and tomatoes, eggplants and okra in his vegetable patch. When his friend Ruvji admires his plants Jiva sings, "Plump peas, sweet peas, Lined- up-in-the-shell peas. Peas to munch, peas to crunch. A feast of peas for lunch. But each time Jiva is ready to pick the peas for his feast, they're already gone. What has happened? Hard-working Jiva might not be the only one anticipating a delicious feast of peas from his garden! Set in India and featuring a deliciously amusing mystery about gardening, anticipation, hard work, "Feast of Peas" by the team of author/storyteller Kashmira Sheth and artist/illustrator Jeffrey Ebbeler is an original and wonderfully entertaining picture book story for children ages 4-8 and ideal for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Cat Ladies
Susi Schaefer
Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419740824, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Princess has four ladies. Some cats say that's too many, but there's no such thing! Taking care of all these ladies can be a lot of work, but Princess doesn't mind. She knows how to keep them happy with grooming, cuddling, and all the treats they want. Princess has everything under control until, one day, a mysterious stray appears. There's a little girl in Princess's favorite napping spot, surrounded by her ladies! Princess is overwhelmed with jealousy, and she leaves the house in a huff. But when Princess runs into trouble, the stray comes to her rescue. Maybe the stray can fit in with Princess and her ladies after all. Of course, she'll need proper training first! While especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, children ages 4-8, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cat Ladies" by children's book author and artist/illustrator Susi Schaefer is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Blue Giant
Katie Cottle
Pavilion Children's Books
9781843654452, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Coral and her mom are enjoying a break at the seaside. Until a creature emerges from the waves! It's a giant. A blue giant. It is made of water, fish, and sea plants and has a stirring plea to help clean up the ocean. Coral and her mom agree to help, donning their scuba-diving outfits and setting off to sea. But they can't do it alone...can they? "The Blue Giant" by author/artist Katie Cottle is an ideal picture book introduction to children ages 3-6 to the subject of ocean pollution, waste management, and cleaning up oceans and seas -- including practical DIY and group activities and ideas to help the world become a better, cleaner place. Informative, entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone and commentary, "The Blue Giant" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library environmental issues, marine life, and recycling/green living picture book collections.

Inside Suzie
Ginny Pettit, author
Joey Pettit, illustrator
Christian Faith Publishing
9781644583388, $12.95, PB, 28pp,

The collaborative work of author/storyteller Ginny Pettit and artist/illustrator Joey Pettit, "Inside Suzie" is an imaginative, entertaining and inspiring story about the inner feelings of a beautiful, severely disabled little girl named Suzie. Although communication is difficult for her, Suzie has been given a very special gift. Her spirit is filled with love, patience, and joy. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone, commentary, and presentation, "Inside Suzie" is an especially recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, church and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-10. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Inside Suzie" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.27).

The Big Buna Bash
Sara C. Arnold, author
Roberta Malasomma, illustrator
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781951565015, $22.95, HC, 36pp,

When a little girl by the name of Almaz makes a mistake in school, she's really embarrassed! Other kids tease her because they don't understand her Ethiopian culture. How can she use her family's traditions to make friends? She needs to host a BIG BUNA BASH! Also available in a paperback edition (9781951565022, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99), "The Big Buna Bash: One Little Girl's Story About Being Different and the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony" by the team of author/storyteller Sara Arnold and artist/illustrator Roberta Malasomma is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-8.

A Space for Me
Cathryn Falwell
Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781620149638, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

An original picture book for children ages 4-6 by author and illustrator Cathryn Falwell, "A Space for Me" is the colorfully entertaining story of a young man named Max who desperately wants some space for himself away from his younger brother who takes his things and makes noise. But eventually Max finds a way to make space for his brother too! "A Space for Me" is strongly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Le Mouse Caper
Marilyn Seigle, author
Maegan Penley, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781951565107, $21.75, HC, 32pp,

Allo, mon cheri! In "Le Mouse Caper" by author/storyteller Marilyn Seigle and artist/illustrator Maegan Penley, children ages 5-7 will join Chloe, a mouse from Paris, and Philippe, her American cousin, as they explore a little house on Maine's coast. Together, the two little mice scurry from the top of the attic to the basement floor. But they'll have to watch out! The humans are home and cats lurk about! A delightfully entertaining and original picture book, "Le Mouse Caper" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers.

An Armadillo on My Pillow
Deborah Stevenson, author
Morgan Spicer, illustrator
Krista Hill, editor
Pigs Fly Books
9781732541054, $18.95, HC, 34pp,

The school bus is on the way and Miranda needs to get moving! But how can she when her room has suddenly become the wildest menagerie ever? Chinchillas in the sink! An owl with her towel! A platypus in the tub! Something most unusual is happening -- or is it just her imagination? A wonderfully whimsical, kid friendly, and entertaining picture book for children ages 2-9, "An Armadillo on My Pillow" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "An Armadillo on My Pillow" is readily available in a paperback edition (Frog Prince Books, 9781732541061, $12.95, 32pp) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

The Cockatoo from Timbuktu
William A. E. Ford, author
Ramile M. Imac, illustrator
Independently Published
9788269157055, $23.99, HC, 34pp,

In "The Cockatoo from Timbuktu" by the team of author/storyteller William A. E. Ford and artist/illustrator Ramile M. Imac, children ages 2-8 will thoroughly enjoy reading about Kian the cockatoo and his adventures around the world. From the Great Barrier Reef to the Great Wall of China to New York City, wonders of the world are explored delightfully in an epic journey -- but can a childhood song about a shining star help Kian find his way home? An original and wonderfully entertaining addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Cockatoo from Timbuktu" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9788269157048, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Mac & Madi Get Sporty
Linda Herron, author
Marie Delon, illustrator
Big Little Press
9781733321730, $18.99, HC, 38pp,

Mac and Madi are identical twins who do everything together. Everything! But life is about to change. Mac is a tennis prodigy, while Madi loves to score goals on the soccer field. Faced with some tough decisions, Mac and Madi agree to go their separate ways and focus on their respective sports. But will the choice to do things differently make or break their seemingly unbreakable bond? "Mac & Madi Get Sporty" is n engaging and entertaining read for children ages 1-8 in general -- and all twins in particular! Focusing on supporting and cheering each other on as twins and teaching kids about embracing their differences, "Mac & Madi Get Sporty" is a unique and especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mac & Madi Get Sporty) is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781733321723, $13.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

Dinosaur Derby
Derek Taylor Kent, author
Bright Jungle Studios, illustrator
Whimsical World
9781949213072, $24.95 HC, 28pp,

"Dinosaur Derby" is a picture book for children ages 4-8 who love dinosaurs, cars, trucks, planes, trains, go-karts, scooters, tractors and jetpacks. Original, informative, and whimsically fun from cover to cover, "Dinosaur Derby"also teaches young fun and scientific facts about dinosaurs -- making it an ideal and unreservedly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections in general, and dinosaur fans in particular!

Daddy Loves You!
Helen Foster James, author
Petra Brown, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781534110595, $15.99 HC, 32pp,

"Daddy Loves You!" by the collaborative team of author/storyteller Helen Foster James and artist/illustrator Petra Brown is a thoroughly charming picture book story for children ages 2-5. Told in charming verse with signature bunny characters, "Daddy Loves You!" wonderfully celebrates the unique relationship a father has with his child and the deep love they share. Especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, the adventures and tender moments shared in the pages of "Daddy Loves You!" will warm the heart. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Daddy Loves You!" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.19).

Double Trouble
Dawn Marie Thompson
Mascot Books
620 Herndon Parkway, #320, Herndon, VA 20170
9781631776144, $14.95, HC, 38pp,

Dawn Marie Thompson is a writer, speaker, and ordained minister. She currently works at a child welfare agency, which helps children throughout the world. She has given birth to three children and has been a mentor to many others. Her heart for children is to help them have as wonderful of a childhood as she has experienced. She enjoys teaching kids life skills necessary to live a full, abundant life. Dawn has served on several boards and committees to better the communities in which she has lived. She has helped to organize and operate teen centers and has developed mentoring programs and training programs for volunteers. In "Double Trouble" she has created a picture book story about two lively Labrador puppies who are a little bit of trouble wherever they go. Their world is soon confused when they try to figure out what a family looks like. Who makes up a family? Children ages 5-8 will enjoy coming along with these two active dogs as they discover that families may look quite different than they imagined! While especially appropriate and recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Double Trouble" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Rover Throws a Party
Kristin L. Gray
9780525646468 $17.99

It's Rover's five-year anniversary on Mars and he's celebrating by throwing a big party. Rover hands out invitations, then wonders if anyone will come. He seems to be all alone. Inspired by the anecdote of the 2013 NASA rover vehicle's first year on Mars, this fun story captures Martian atmosphere and events as it covers Rover's anniversary and various discovers in a blend of fiction and nonfiction that kids will appreciate. The color images of Mars drawn by Scott Magoon are excellent embellishments to the story.

The Seedling That Didn't Want to Grow
Britta Teckentrup
Prestel Junior
c/o Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791374291, $14.95, HC, 40pp,

It's early spring and below the earth's surface seeds are just starting to sprout. One by one they stretch through the dirt and towards the sun, extending their shoots and leaves and growing tall. All except for one seedling, who isn't quite ready.

As most of the seeds transform into strong flowers, they block out the sun from the one left behind. But the little seedling persists, twisting and turning until, with the help of bird and insect friends, it finds its own place to grow and blossom. In the end, this little seed turns into a flower that's just as beautiful and healthy as all the others.

Britta Teckentrup's inviting and softly colored illustrations provide the perfect backdrop for an entertaining, thoughtful, and moving tale about being unique while subtly teaching kids ages 3-7 about the life cycle of plants.

Each carefully crafted and beautifully illustrated page of "The Seedling That Didn't Want to Grow" contributes to a gentle but powerfully evocative picture book by author and artist Britta Teckentrup, and demonstrates the value of being different. Simply stated, "The Seedling That Didn't Want to Grow" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly appreciated addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

I Dreamed You
Justine Avery and Ema Tepic
Suteki Creative
9781948124508, $14.95 hardcover/$7.95 paper/$1.99 Kindle

I Dreamed You is the gentle love poem of a mother who, before she became pregnant, felt she was missing something from her life...someone who would assume the form of a child in the future. She writes this poem for that child, and it is presented in an evocative combination of gentle rhyme and images that will best be enjoyed by mothers who read it aloud to the very young. Justine Avery tackles a difficult subject for a young picture book reader: that of bringing a child into the world and how life changes because of it. Her account isn't just for mothers, but any adult who would welcome a child into their lives, whether it be parents, grandparents, or adoptive parents. The rhymes are compelling and crafted to draw readers into this story: "In quiet times and busy times/when everything seemed just fine,/something was missing./It was you, meant to be mine."

The words reinforce the sense of love, belonging, connection, and change that a child brings to a family. They encourage discussions between adults and children in a warm, supportive story packed with lovely drawings reinforcing I Dreamed You's encouraging messages.

Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144

These four new picture books each offer young readers a combination of gorgeous drawings and involving plots and themes designed to capture the eye, attention, and interest of a wide age range. Mary Murphy's What I Like Most (9781536209402 $16.99) holds lovely drawings by Zhu Cheng-Liang as it explores a little girl's view from her window and the things inside and outside her home that bring her joy. From apricot jam on toast to shoes with bright lights that flash, she observes these daily delights and acknowledges that things change. Things will disappear and priorities will shift, but right now "it is what I like most in the world." This story about appreciating the present holds an important message for all ages. David Elliott's In the Woods (9780763697839, $17.99) receives gorgeous drawings by Rob Dunlavey and provides a companion volume to In the Sea, In the Wild, and On the Farm. It pairs Elliott's lovely poems with beautiful colorful art of forest animals in a celebration of nature that invites the young to look and observe its signs. From 'The Scarlet Tanager' which captures the flash of red that heralds spring's arrival to the threatening hornet who actually is intent on avoiding people rather than stinging them, these poems both capture the creatures under observation and provide natural history insights. Kids will be attracted by the compelling drawings and will learn from the observational, light poems. Julies Howard's Bones: An Inside Look at the Animal Kingdom (9781536210415, $19.99) also enjoys gorgeous illustrations. Chervelle Fryer provides lovely visual embellishments which include animals and their skeleton figures to accompany information about different skeletal makeups and how the different animals move through their environments. From discussions of how bones hold weight and are flexible to bones used in flight, in tree-dwelling animals, and in running on the plains, young readers with good reading skills will find this 'inside look' at the animal kingdom to be compelling and fun. Christine Dorion's Darwin's Rival: Alfred Russel Wallace and the Search for Evolution (9781536209327, $24.99) is an oversized, lovely picture book biography of Alfred Russel Wallace's world travels and naturalist discoveries, which happened before his friend and rival simultaneously evolved his theory of natural selection. Maps, drawings of boats, descriptions of explorations in the rain forest and other environments, and how information was disseminated all require good reading skills, but the lively tone and information will especially delight both kids and adults with some prior familiarity with Darwin and none about Wallace. All four books are highly recommended picks for discriminating collections.

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112

Four lovely new books will attract young readers with captivating illustrations and unique stories. Jim Helmore's Paper Planes (9781682631614, $17.99) will reach kids ages 4-8 with a fine story of best friends Mia and Ben, who share a love for making paper planes. Both dream of making one that will fly across the lake they both life on. But when Ben discovers his family is moving, how can he stay friends with Mia, much less fulfill their shared dream? A lovely story of long-distance friendships receives fine illustrations by Richard Jones. Cathryn Sill's Curious About Birds (9781682631904, $6.99) receives exceptionally lovely illustrations by John Sill as it provides ages 2-6 with a board book from a wildlife illustrator who explores very basic bird facts. The very young will be captivated by these gorgeous drawings, which power the natural history exploration. Leslie Bulion's Amphibian Acrobats (9781682630983, $15.99) for ages 8-12 receives zany drawings by Robert Meganck which enhance a science survey of various amphibians and their special abilities. While the drawings are fun and designed to attract attention, the science is solid and educational, adding humor to specific focuses on creatures such as the Strawberry Poison Frog of central America, 'living statues' like the Rough-Skinned Newt and Yellow-Eyed Ensatina, and the Australian Desert Spadefoot Toad. Kashmira Sheth's Feast of Peas (9781682631355, $17.99) enjoys attractive, fun illustrations by Jeffrey Ebbeler which bring to life a mystery set in India that revolves around food, friendship, and gardening efforts. Vanishing peas and clever thieves make for a whimsical creation that holds some unexpected fun. All are outstanding picture books that kids and read-aloud parents will appreciate.

Penguin Putnam
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group

Three new picture books provide youngsters with fine reads that will also appeal to read-aloud parents looking for superior drawings and interesting new story lines. Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G) and Noar Lee Naggan's Lilah Tov Good Night (9781524740665, $17.99) follows a family's journey to a new home. Their little girl observes nature along the lay, says 'lilah tov' (good night) to creatures and different worlds, and wishes everything well, even the bats in their caves. Gorgeous full-page drawings lend to a bedtime story that celebrates nature and a lovely journey towards sleep. Gianna Marino's Night Animals Need Sleep Too (9780425290651, $17.99) tells of a sleepy possum who can't go to bed because it's too bright, and he can't find his usual dark and quiet place to sleep. He tries various places (a cave, a tree, a wolf den) but finds none of them acceptable despite the help of his friends. A fun story of adversity and creative thinking evolves. Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story by Maria Gianferrari (9780399548420, $16.99) receives lovely drawings by Jonathan Voss who brings to life these gorgeous owl haiku poems. One might not expect action and adventure from haiku, nor an exploration of owl natural history, but these are all features of a lovely survey highly recommended for young poetry and natural history readers alike.

Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Four new titles from Sleeping Bear Press are outstanding leisure readers that read-aloud parents and young new readers can equally enjoy. Fly, Firefly! by Shana Keller (9781534110335, $16.99) will reach ages 4-8 and is inspired by naturalist Rachel Carlson. It follows a little firefly's journey when the wind carries him out to see and he confuses the bioluminescence in the water for other fireflies. Carson experienced this real observation and this story provides a lovely take-off on her encounter from the perspective of a young girl who rescues the little firefly. Barbara Joosse's Lulu & Rocky in Nashville (9781534110656, $16.99) is illustrated by Renee Graef and provides the third book in the Our City Adventures series. The fox duo and their penguin chaperone Pufferson provide a new adventure as they explore country music in Nashville and the various cultural attractions the city has to offer. Lively, humorous descriptions ("At the tippy-end of the day, we do barbecue chicken wings and bowling at Pinewood Social. Pufferson falls in love with a bowling pin.") keep the story jolly and fun as Nashville facts evolve. Denise Brennan-Nelson's Mae the Mayfly (9781534110519, $16.99) is illustrated by Florence Weiser and advocates making the most of one's life, however long or short. Mayflies live their lives in a single day. How can Mae cram in so much in so short a period of time? Kids learn not just about the life cycle of a mayfly, but basics about mindfulness and meaningful lives as they absorb a blend of natural history and fun rhyme. Parents who read this book aloud with the very young will find it holds much opportunity for discussion and enlightenment. Travel Guide for Monsters by Lori Degman (9781534110373, $16.99) is a fun guide to traveling with monster friends through the nation's parks, monuments, and attractions. It's written in verse and paired with fun drawings by Dave Szalay which capture the ironies and intrigue of a road trip through the country, filled with 'cautions' about taking a monster along for a whirlwind car trip.

The General Fiction Shelf

Peter Polo and the Snow Beast of Hunza
Craig Bradley, author
Laurie A. Conley, illustrator
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860964, $21.95, HC, 108pp,

Peter Polo has been waiting his whole life for this: The Great Khan has sent him on a dangerous quest to the far-off valley of Hunza. Peter finally has a chance to step out of his famous brother's shadow and into the light of his own adventure. But the path to greatness is treacherous. Someone (or something) is causing the sacred snow leopards to disappear, and the people of Hunza fear the return of a legendary monster known as the Snow Beast. It's going to take great courage for Peter and his friends to uncover the truth and save the people of Hunza before it's too late! Enhanced for young readers with illustrator Laurie Conley's black-and-white artwork, "Peter Polo and the Snow Beast of Hunza" is an original and fully entertaining adventure novel and unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library fiction collections for ages 9-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Peter Polo and the Snow Beast of Hunza" is also readily available in a paperback edition (Belle Isle Books, 9781947860971, $12.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Bud: My Adventure Across America
Arthur Brood
Class Act Productions
9780979485145, $7.50, PB, 120pp,

Based on the real event of the first automobile crossing of America in 1903, Bud is an English Bulldog who suddenly finds himself on a historic journey across America. He had never seen a car before, but when one comes splashing down the muddy street of his Idaho town he finds his life is changed forever. The driver is trying to be the first to drive a car across America and Bud joins the adventure. The poor condition of the few roads in the American west made travel difficult. As Bud shares the challenges and adventures of their journey, he's left wondering why people do the things they do. This new life brings adventure, excitement, fame and new friends as Bud becomes the first dog to cross the country by car. "Bud: My Adventure Across America" by Arhtur Brood is an historical fiction book written by Arthur Brood specifically for children ages 8-12. A fully entertaining novella that will have special appeal for reluctant readers, "Bud: My Adventure Across America" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as elementary school and community library General Fiction collections.

One Last Shot
John David Anderson
Walden Pond Press
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062643926, $16.99, HC, 336pp,

For as long as he can remember, Malcolm has never felt like he was good enough. Not for his parents, who have always seemed at odds with each other, with Malcolm caught in between. And especially not for his dad, whose competitive drive and love for sports Malcolm has never shared.

That is, until Malcolm discovers miniature golf, the one sport he actually enjoys. Maybe it's the way in which every hole is a puzzle to be solved. Or the whimsy of the windmills and waterfalls that decorate the course. Or maybe it's the slushies at the snack bar. But whatever the reason, something about mini golf just clicks for Malcolm. And best of all, it's a sport his dad can't possibly obsess over.

Or so Malcolm thinks.

Soon he is signed up for lessons and entered in tournaments. And yet, even as he becomes a better golfer and finds unexpected friends at the local course, be wonders if he might not always be a disappointment. But as the final match of the year draws closer, the tension between Malcolm's parents reaches a breaking point, and it's up to him to put the puzzle of his family back together again.

A thoroughly entertaining and original novel for young readers ages 8-12, "One Last Shot" by John David Anderson is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "One Last Shot" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094157283, $34.99, CD).

Race to the Sun
Rebecca Roanhorse
Disney Hyperion
9781368024662 $16.99

Written for middle grade readers, Race to the Sun tells of a seventh grader, Nizhoni Begay, who is able to detect monsters masquerading as ordinary people. Her latest insight: her dad's new boss, who is uncommonly interested in their family and Navajo heritage.

When her father vanishes after admonishing them to run, the siblings and their friend embark on a rescue mission which tests their heritage, special abilities, and friendships in a journey that faces more than monsters. As the story moves through family interactions and struggles to a rescue mission that seems impossible, it provides engrossing insights to readers interested in fantasy adventures with underlying social and family messages. The story is refreshingly original, unexpected, and hard to put down.

Penguin Putnam
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group

Two books for advanced elementary to middle grade readers offer fun stories that leisure readers will appreciate. Brian McCann's Wannabe Farms (9781524793005, $18.99) provides a fun visual collection of poems and animal adventures that pairs rhyme with fanciful discussions of animals who aspire to be more than just barnyard residents,. A whimsical, fun approach to comedy and fun will appeal to advanced elementary to early middle grades as it explores a world in which pigs try to live like humans, sheep desire to become barbers, and cows build their own car. Two-color drawings by Meghan Lands enhance the zany circumstances described by McCann. Sally Gardner's Mr. Tiger, Betsy, and the Blue Moon (9780593095164, $16.99) tells of a secret island, a little girl who meets a mysterious tiger, and a quest that involves them both. Nick Maland provides lovely drawings following blue text descriptions of their journey and evolving relationship in a fun read kids will find captivating.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Welcome to Superhero School
Gracie Dix
Toast Industries
9781734510614, $13.99, PB, 296pp,

Welcome to Superhero School! Young readers ages 8-12 will enjoy joining Oliver, Jess, and all their friends on a mission to destroy the power-hungry, evil villains of Vork. From subterranean sewers to lush jungle, from dinosaurs to dragons, our heroes will be pushed to their limits in ways they'd never imagined. Will their collective Powers (Flight, Morphing, Invisibility, Mind Reading, and more!) be enough for them to overcome the malevolence of Vork? Or will they stumble over their own doubts and painful histories? "Welcome to Superhero School" is action-packed journey of friendship, hardship, and humor will take our young heroes to thrilling new heights and a deeper understanding of their own place in the world. But will that be enough - - or will Vork always be one step ahead? All the more impressive when considering that this impressively original and entertaining novel is authored by high school student Gracie Dix! While especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated science fiction and action/adventure fans that "Welcome to Superhero School" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Thomas Taylor
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536208597, $16.99, HC, 352pp,

There's a storm brewing over Eerie-on-Sea, and the fisherfolk say a monster is the cause. Someone has woken the ancient Gargantis, who sleeps in the watery caves beneath this spooky seaside town where legends have a habit of coming to life. It seems the Gargantis is looking for something: a treasure stolen from her underwater lair. And it just might be in the Lost-and-Foundery at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, in the care of one Lost-and-Founder by the name of Herbert Lemon,. With the help of the daring Violet Parma, ever-reliable Herbie will do his best to figure out what the Gargantis wants and who stole her treasure in the first place. In a town full of suspicious, secretive characters, it could be anyone!

Impressively original and delightfully entertaining throughout, "Gargantis" by Thomas Taylor will prove to be an enormously popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists of young readers ages 8-12 that "Gargantis" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.32) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799730972, $14.99, CD).

The Poetry Shelf

Morning, Sunshine!
Keely Parrack, author
John Bajet, illustrator
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781623173852, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Featuring a series of haiku, "Morning, Sunshine!" takes children ages 4-8 on a closeup, observational look at the amazing abundance of nature right outside their homes. Each stanza focuses on an aspect of the natural world or a creature going about their daily activities as the sun begins to rise. Alongside the haiku, informative text goes into depth about each subject -- from how much honey a bee can make, to the size of a hummingbird's egg. Of special note is the inclusion of instructions to help kids create their own haiku poems, a unique form of poetry from Japan, as well as a glossary add value for a STEAM and Core Curriculum book that can be enjoyed both in the classroom and at home. A collaborative, entertaining, and informative project of author Keely Parrack and illustrator John Bajet, "Morning, Sunshine!" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

How the Stars Came To Be
Poonam Mistry
Tate Publishing
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781849766630, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

The fisherman's daughter loved to dance in the sunlight, and bathe in the glow of the moon. But when the moon disappeared for a few nights each month, she worried about her father and how he would find his way home from the sea in the deep darkness. When the sun finds her sobbing one night, he takes one of his rays and shatters it onto the ground, creating the stars and giving the girl the task of putting them into the dark night sky.

Poonam Mistry is an illustrator living in the UK. Her style incorporates her love of nature and her Indian roots, and also explores the relationships between pattern, shapes, and color. In "How The Stars Came To Be" she has created a beautifully illustrated story gives children ages 5-10 a new and wonderfully entertaining folk tale -- as well as a new way to look up at the night sky! "How The Stars Came To Be" will prove to be a welcome and appreciated addition to family, elementary school, and community library Folklore & Mythology collections for young readers.

The Self-Help Shelf

Pause Power
Jennifer Law, author
Brian Martin, illustrator
Boys Town Press
13603 Flanagan Blvd., Boys Town, NE 68010
9781944882495, $10.95, PB, 32pp,

Uh-oh! Gabe is losing it again. See all those big, bright buttons popping up all over his body? They come out whenever someone or some situation gets under his skin. And they pop up ALL. THE. TIME.

Push this button and Gabe starts fighting. Push that button and Gabe starts yelling. Push any button, and Gabe overreacts, gets mad, makes poor choices and lands in trouble. What he really needs is a reset button!

"Pause Power: Learning to Stay Calm When Your Buttons Get Pushed" is clever picture tale from school counselor and debut author Jennifer Law in which young readers ages 5-9 learn how to use PAUSE POWER to reset their mindset, calm down and stop losing control when others push their buttons.

Of special note is the inclusion of tips and advice for parents, counselors and teachers on how to help kids manage their emotions so they can stay calm and in control -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Pause Power: Learning to Stay Calm When Your Buttons Get Pushed" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.31).

Yoga Animals: A Wild Introduction to Kid-Friendly Poses
Paige Towler
National Geographic Children's Books
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426337529, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Many yoga poses are inspired by animals. "Yoga Animals: A Wild Introduction to Kid-Friendly Poses" will inspire children ages 4-8 to get moving, practice mindfulness, or calm down after a long day as the learn to roar like a lion, arch like a kitten, and stretch like a cobra! Simple step-by-step instructions explain these and other kid-friendly yoga moves. Kids will get a kick out of the accompanying photos of animals that mimic each pose, and the inclusion of a fun poem is sure to delight the kids.

The foreword by Tara Stiles (founder of Strala Yoga), reminds us that we're never too young to start enjoying the health benefits of yoga and mindfulness. "Animal Yoga" is the perfect and thoroughly 'kid friendly' introduction to this ancient practice -- and great for engaging (and quieting!) a class, reading aloud one-on-one, or helping restless little ones fall asleep at bedtime or naptime.

"Yoga Animals: A Wild Introduction to Kid-Friendly Poses" is unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Children's Fitness & Exercise picture book collections.

Roar like a lion! Arch like a kitten! Stretch like a cobra!

The Music CD Shelf

A Place to Call Home
Dana Cohenour
Produced by E. J. Ouellette
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $7.00 digital

A Place to Call Home is a children's music album inspired by the immigration crisis at the US- Mexican border. Music artist Dana Cohenour performs emotional, original songs revolving about how both people and animals need a safe place to live with their families. A Place to Call Home is thought-provoking, heartwarming, and highly recommended. The tracks are "A Place to Call Home", "Underground Traffic Jam", "Migration", "Let's Build a Dam", "Rainforest Symphony", "Honey Bee Bee Bop", "Bluebird", "Dog on My Head", "Movin' Day", "Animal Hide and Seek", and "Home".

Dinosaurs and Metaphors
Danny Weinkauf
Red Pants Music
$13.99 CD / $9.49 MP3

Dinosaurs and Metaphors is the fifth album for children and families by longtime They Might Be Giants bassist Danny Weinkauf. The lively, catchy, original songs feature carefree, whimsical lyrics sure to draw a chuckle out of listeners of all ages. A treat for rainy-day fun, family car trips, or children's parties, Dinosaurs and Metaphors is highly recommended for both personal and public library children's music collections. The tracks are "Dinosaurs on Roller Skates", "Your Love is a Metaphor", "Hiccups All Day", "Perfect Day", "Lovely Lazy Saturday Morn'", "Boy with a Hole in his Heart", "Hooray it's Monday!", "Hairy Little Bug (dancing on my toilet)", "Song that Makes Us Happy", "Don't Want a Haircut", "My Nose Knows", "Halloween (the night I love)", "Homer, Danny, and Alf", "Cut the Cheese", and "Superstar".

The LGBT Shelf

Who's Your Real Mom?
Bernadette Green, author
Anna Zobel, illustrator
Scribble US
9781950354245, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Elvi has two moms at her house, but when her friend Nicholas wants to know which one is her real mom, Elvi has a lot of clues for him: she's the one with dark hair, the one who can do a handstand on two fingers, who is a pirate in disguise. "Who's Your Real Mom?" is beautifully illustrated and entertaining picture book story by the team of author/storyteller Bernadette Green and artist/illustrator Anna Zoel that celebrates nontraditional families and captures exactly what lies at the heart of family life -- love. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone and presentation, "Who's Your Real Mom?" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 2-6.

Books in Series

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

For more than three decades, Gareth Stevens Publishing has focused on high-interest nonfiction titles aligned to meet curriculum objectives for grades Pre-K through 8. From an exciting line of nonfiction books designed for early-emergent to fluent readers, to engaging, on-level nonfiction books supporting the curriculum at the elementary grades, and curriculum-related topics for middle school students, their titles lead children to a lifetime of learning through high-quality, high-interest materials. One of their simply outstanding wildlife oriented series is "In My Backyard". In addition to the original six volumes that launched the series (I See a Deer; I See a Snake; I See a Toad; I See a Worm; I See an ant; I See an Owl) Gareth Stevens Publishing has newly added six more titles: I See a Bird; I See A Butterfly; I See a Chipmunk; I See a Frog; I See a Ladybug; I See a Squirrel. The complete 'In My Backyard' twelve volume series (9781538229422, $277.20 List/$207.90 S&L, Library Binding, 24pp) is unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library Pets/Wildlife collections for young readers. It should be noted that each individual title features color photography in support of a thoroughly 'kid friendly' and informative text.

Red Chair Press
PO Box 333, South Egremont, MA 01258

Launched in 2009, Red Chair Press has been dedicated to publishing books that will engage children's thoughtful attention while providing role models for strong character and good behavior. By working with only the highest-quality artists from around the world, Red Chair Press ensures that their books will appeal to a wide range of young readers. One of their new series is the 'Beginner Biography' series offering biographical introductions to four outstanding role models: Ruby Bridges: A Brave Child Who Made History; Wilma Rudolph: Fastest Woman On Earth; Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Fighter For Women's Rights; Sojourner Truth: Fighting For Freedom. Ideal for children ages 5-8, this four book set (9781541598737, $101.28 List/$75.96 S&L, Library Binding, 24pp) is especially recommended for elementary school and community library Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that each volume is also available in a paperback edition ($6.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $38.65 List/$28.99 S&L).

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

Greenhaven Publishing titles offer young readers unique perspectives and thought-provoking texts that students in grades K-12 with respect to a multiplicity of viewpoints on a wide variety of subjects. Their series 'Fueling The Future' ($44.60 List/$35.68 S&L, Grades 10-12, Library Binding, 112-144pp) is comprised of Coal; Nuclear Power; Natural Gas; Oil; Solar Power; Water; Wind; Biomass: Energy frm Plants and Animals. Each individual title features a single energy source and traces the development of the technology of that particular energy source including any environmental controversies in a pro/con format, as well as an informative exploration of that source with respect to meeting future energy needs. 'Fueling The Future' should be considered a core and staple part of every middle school, high school, and community library Science & Technology collection for young readers.

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

Rosen Publishing is an independent educational publishing house that was established in 1950 to serve the needs of students in grades Pre-K -12 with high interest, curriculum-correlated materials. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library collections is their new "Paranormal Seekers" (8 Book Set, 9781499467574, $275.60 List/$206.80 S&L, Library Binding, 64pp) series for young readers in grades 5-8. Each individual title in this outstanding series features full color photography, a bibliography, a glossary, informative sidebars, thematically relevant web sites, and an index. Comprised of Tracking Alien Encounters; Tracking Atlantis; Tracking Bigfoot; Tracking Ghosts and Hauntings; Tracking the Bermuda Triangle; Tracking the Loch Ness Monster; Tracking the Yeti; Tracking UFOs, this fun and informative series is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format ($34.25 List/$25.85 S&L).

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

Rosen Publishing is an independent educational publishing house that was established in 1950 to serve the needs of students in grades Pre-K -12 with high interest, curriculum-correlated materials. Featuring a 3rd grade reading level and interest level that will appeal to students in grades 2-4, one of their newest science and technology theme series is 'Tech Troubleshooters' (6 Book Set, 9781538332108, 141.60 List/$106.20 S&L, 24pp, Library Binding). Comprised of Computers Are for Everyone; Connecting a Computer System; Handling Hardware Problems; Protecting Personal Information; Solving Software Problems; What is Data Mining?, this series will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both elementary, middle school, and community library Computer Science collections. It should be noted for home schooling parents that each book in this outstanding series is also readily available in a digital book format ($23.60 List/$17.70 S&L).

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

Cavendish Square publishes a robust and diverse list of library-bound circulating nonfiction series and early readers that range in grade level from kindergarten to college. Their readers are perfect for emergent through fluent grade 2 readers. Their circulating reference and nonfiction series support the science, social studies, and health curricula, covering everything from Cultures of the World to It's My State to the Backyard Safari. Their digital program features more than 750 titles available as eBooks and more than 50 digital databases on our enhanced user-friendly platforms. One of the new and outstanding series is 'America's Story' (8 Book Set, 9781502642509, Library Binding, $365.12 List/$255.60 S&L, 144pp). Enhanced for young readers ages 12-18, each volume includes informative sidebars, excerpts from historical documents, a glossary, an index, and thematically relevant images and illustrations. 'America's Story' is comprised of Historical Sources on Colonial Life; Historical Sources on Immigration to the United States 1820-1924; Historical Sources on Reconstruction; Historical Sources on Slavery; Historical Sources on the Civil Rights Movement; Historical Sources on the Civil War; Historical Sources on the Great Depression; Historical Sources on Women's Suffrage. Unreservedly recommended for school and community library American History collections and supplemental curriculum textbook studies lists, this outstanding series is now being expanded with four additional titles (9781502652980, $168.99 PB, Historical Sources on the New Republic 1783-1830; Historical Sources on the Revolutionary War; Historical Sources on the Westward Expansion; Historical Sources on World War I.

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

The Child's World is an independent, family-owned company that has been publishing books for schools and libraries since 1968. The goal of The Child's World is simple -- they want all young children to enjoy reading educational books. To bolster and reinforce basic literacy they have launched a new series for aspiring young readers in Grade 1. 'Learning Sight Words' (12 Book Set, 9781503845268, HC, $227.40, 24pp) features those words which cannot be sounded out but must be memorized. Using fun stories. each page repeats sight words from Dolch sight word lists. Bright pictures help with visual cues and additional features include a word list, an introduction to the author, and a note to teachers and caregivers. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, and unreservedly recommended for elementary school collections, the Learning Sight Words series is comprised of At A Party; The Good Farmer; Her Pretty Garden; Here Comes Snow; I See Yellow; Little Dog; My House; One Day In School; Our New Boat; Red Bird; This Morning; We Play. It should be noted for home schooling parents that the individual titles comprising the 'Learning Sight Words' series are also available individually ($18.95 each).

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

Three fine new nature titles are recommended for elementary-level readers and classroom study. Ruth Daly's Bringing Back the Blue Iguana (9780778768104, $27.60) will reach readers in Grade 4, adding to the 'Bringing Back' series and exploring the Grand Cayman blue iguana, the largest reptile on the island which flourished until people arrived. Habitat loss, invasive species, and what can be done to help spread the word offer essential insights into species and habitat preservation issues. Izzi Howell's Animal Athletes (9780778769156, $27.60) joins others in the 'Astonishing Animals' series for grade 4 and explores the Amazing records of animals with athletic skills that make them standouts. Kids receive lovely color photos and natural history details that focus on facts known about cheetah, impalas, and even fleas. Linda Barghoorn's Surviving the Earthquake: Hear My Story (9780778769880, $27.60) joins others in the 'Disaster Diaries' series for grades 4-5 and offers a fictional story based on the experiences of many earthquake victims. Readers follow Viola and her family as they survive the quake, then return to what remains of their Indonesian village to rebuild their home in earthquake country. Facts and case studies supplement the fictional diary and provide kids with solid information. All are excellent recommendations for elementary-level libraries.

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.

Pearl Goes to Preschool
Julie Fortenberry
9781536207439 $16.99

Christine Irvin

Pearl loves to dance. Even though Pearl is the youngest and smallest ballerina, she knows how to count her poses and follow along. Her mother teaches a ballet class at a dance school. When her mother suggests that she try going to preschool, Pearl is not sure that is such a good idea. What would she do there? What would she learn? Will she be able to dance there? (Ages 2-5)

Bears and Boos
Shirley Parenteau, author
David Walker, illustrator
9781536208375 $16.99

Christine Irvin

Big Brown Bear and his four little friends, Floppy, Fuzzy, Yellow, and Calico, find a box of dress-up clothes. It's almost Halloween time and each of them wants a costume. In a rush to grab what they can, Floppy gets pushed out of the way. By the time she makes it to the box, it is empty. How will Floppy get a costume? Gentle rhymes teach a lesson. (Ages 2-5)

Daddy Loves You!
Helen Foster James, author
Petra Brown, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
9781534110595 $15.99

Dr. Dawn Menge

"Daddy loves you, bunny-bear, much more than words can say. You are your daddy's sunshine. I'll love you every day." This delightful book is great for little readers. Daddy and bunny-bear spend an adventurous day together enjoying the beautiful sunshine. They hop, twirl, and spin around until they fall down. "We'll build a fix together. I'll show you how it's done. We'll play games, my lovey-bug, and fill our days with fun!" This book is a cuddle-up book to be read at bedtime. It encourages a strong and loving relationship between child and father. It's a must read for the child's home library. (Ages 3-5)

If I Had a Sleepy Sloth
Gabby Dawnay and Alex Barrow
Thames & Hudson
9780500651940 $14.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

This delightfully whimsical tale of a young girl's enthusiastic contemplation of a very satisfying life shared with a sleepy sloth is sure to please its readers. Whatever your idea of a perfect pet may be, you are sure to enjoy the easy flow of this story as you consider a sleepy sloth. (Ages 3-5)

I'm Afraid Your Teddy Is in the Principal's Office
Jancee Dunn, author
Scott Nash, illustrator
9781536201987 $16.99

Christine Irvin

If your teddy bear hides in your backpack and you unknowingly take him with you to school, you might have a problem - especially if he convinces all his stuffed friends to come with him. They might get into all types of mischief and then you will be notified that your teddy is in the principal's office. What will happen then? What will the principal do? (Ages 3-7)

Kevin the Unicorn: It's Not All Rainbows
Jessika von Innerebner
Dial Books
c/o Penguin
9781984814302 $17.58

Darleen Wohlfeil

This story presents a couple of directions one can take while reading. Good heart lessons that can carry them well through life. Such things as expectation! False ideas that the sun should always shine and bad weather never interrupt my day. Unrealistic goals that can never be attained. Comparison can be a dangerous companion as well. Always eager to point out what others "appear" to have going their way. It's good to learn early that it's OK when things don't go our way. We might just discover a broader side of life. (Ages 3-7)

What's Up, Maloo?
Genevieve Godbout
Tundra Books
c/o Penguin
9780735266643 $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

What do you do when a special friend known for their pep somehow loses their step? Maloo could hop better than any kangaroo, until one day she just didn't want to! Her friends were all at a loss of what to do. (Ages 3-7)

Surgery on Sunday
Kat Harrison, author
Shane Crampton, illustrator
Warren Publishing
9781734707502 $17.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

This delightful book captures, wrestles into order, and releases those intimidating thoughts of the unknown. Little Sunday is having surgery, and she shares her way through it. Maybe our jitters will settle some in our own situation as we walk through it with Sunday. Helpful content for any little one facing similar feelings of the scary unknown. The illustrations by Crampton are very warmhearted and comforting. (Ages 3-8)

Loretta's Caterpillar
Lois Wickstrom, author
Francie Mion, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
9780916176471 $24.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Loretta sees Nature's beauty up close in the migration of monarch butterflies. One May morning, she sees the milkweed fields shimmering with orange and silver butterfly wings. They paused on their journey to lay eggs among the milkweed. Loretta discovers the tiny deposits and follows their amazing growth patterns. Learn many interesting facts with Loretta as she protects and experiences the wonder of the circle of life! (Ages 3-8)

Molly's Moon Mission
Duncan Beedie
Templar Publishing
c/o Penguin Random House
9781787413405 $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is the sweetest story of determination and its rewards. Molly is an adorable little moth reaching for the moon! Literally, she is on a quest to reach the greatest light there is. Sometimes, you have to start with small steps. Molly encounters other great lights before arriving at the greatest light of all! The reward is so much sweeter for the journey. (Ages 4-6)

This is a Dog
Ross Collins
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick
9781788005159 $29.40

Dr. Dawn Menge

The cover is titled, My First Animal Book, but a cute little dog scratched it out and wrote, "This is a Dog." The book continues with introducing various animals from an elephant, a giraffe, a gorilla, a monkey, a bear, a rabbit, and a squirrel. Uh, oh, now all of the animals are chasing the dog. How does he hide? Don't forget to read the back cover to your child. This very precious dog even took over the ending. A fun book to read to your young child. (Ages 4-8)

Gracie (Spanish/English): A Bilingual Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Kathryn Leslie, author
Anita Morra, illustrator
Aunt Katie's Place
9781732248021 $14.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This sweet tale of a happy dog trying to find her own special place comes with a free audio download in French, German, and Spanish. It also has a seek-and-find section that introduces us to the beautiful foliage of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Set out with Gracie, and discover your own special happy place! (Ages 5+)

Anxious Ellie
Danielle Marie Price, author
Nana Gonzales, illustrator
Warren Publishing
9781734707526 $15.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

Fear doesn't always make much sense. Sometimes, it doesn't make any sense at all. Yet, it can still lock down the emotion and arrest all action. Ellie knows it's silly, but knowing doesn't always change those frustrating feelings. Ellie's fears lead her to sadness, and sometimes pushes on into anger. Luckily, there is hope! Ellie and her friend Phillip are able to find good ways to work through their problem together. Because, sometimes it's good just to know someone understands. Troubles shared are only half the load to bear! (Ages 5-8)

Saltwater Sillies: 300+ Jokes for Buoys and Gulls
Natasha Wing, author
Stan Yan, illustrator
Wing Books
9780975871942 $7.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Kids love to tell jokes, and here are 300 fun- and pun-loving ones for buoys and gulls from coast to coast. Knockknocks, tongue twisters, one-liners, and puns will keep them laughing all the way to the beach. Includes fun facts plus kooky caricatures for kids to color. (Ages 5-10)

Luna, The Mare with the Sky Blue Eyes
Dora Dillistone, author
Jonathan Warm Day Coming, illustrator
Desert Moon
9780578580883 $19.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

The heart longs for a place to call home forever, whether it's in a dog, cat, person, or horse. This warmhearted, true story captures the longing and satisfaction of such desire. Luna is a special little mare with a big heart who finds her forever home. (Ages 8+)

Breena Bard
c/o Scholastic
9781338264210 $14.99

Matthew Voils, age 11

Amazing book! I enjoyed the blend of mystery and comedy. I think that this is an example of a great style of graphic novel writing. I was hooked all the way through, dying to see what was next. (Ages 8-12)

96 Miles
J.L. Esplin
c/o TOR
9781250192301 $16.99

Jennifer L. Grybowski

After John and his younger brother Stew are robbed at gunpoint of the supplies they need to survive a nationwide blackout while their father is away on business, they decide walking 96 miles through the desert to the nearest ranch is their only hope. They have barely enough food and water to get them through the trip, but before they even get started, they run into two more kids on their own who need help. Will they make it to their destination alive? (Ages 8-12)

The Mystery of the Masked Medalist (Kudo Kids)
Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani, and Michelle Schusterman, authors
Yaoyao Ma Van As, illustrator
c/o Penguin
9780593113738 $16.99

Emily P. Cary

This is the first book of a proposed mystery series by the sibling bronze medal champions, Maia and Alex Shibutani. They utilize their knowledge of the games and social media prowess to create a book bound to appeal to today's tech-savvy middle-grade readers. The fast-paced plot flies siblings Mika and Andy from Los Angeles to Tokyo and Olympic events covered by their parents, who are employed by media companies. Readers will scurry to keep pace with the siblings in their search to learn the identity of the Masked Medalist and accumulate enough points to qualify for a Bronze, Silver, or Gold award, perhaps even the Secret Grand Prize. (Ages 8-12)

Nikki Tesla and the Fellowship of the Bling (Elements of Genius)
Jess Keating, author
Lissy Marli, illustrator
9781338295252 $16.99

Katelyn Heinlein, age 10

Nikki Tesla, a tween genius, is going with her friends from Genius Academy to the Galapagos Islands to find a small ring hidden in a cave with immense powers. They struggle to get in but Nikki finds the solution after thinking for a while. Then she becomes suspicious. She had been having problems with her father lately. He was supposedly dead but lately she had been thinking that he wasn't. The cave had responded to her and her thought pattern... Will Nikki find her answer with the ring in her possession or is she just being too worrisome? (Ages 8-12)

Donut the Destroyer
Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins
c/o Scholastic
9781338541939 $26.99

Matthew Voils, age 11

This book wasn't much my style, but I think that the humorous angle of the somewhat serious situation of a villain wanting to be a hero is a cool concept. The book was great in showing the struggle with humor. (Ages 8-12)

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World
Karen Rivers
Algonquin Young Readers
9781616207243 $16.95

Katelyn Heinlein, age 10

Kit has a best friend named Clementine. Clem and her family, the Garcias, went on a show called The Most Talented Family In America to show their acrobatic tricks. When Clem was doing a flip, she missed her brother's grasp and fell to the ground. When Kit saw this, she was stressing. She had stressed so much, she fainted and turned into a naked mole rat! When Clem came back from the hospital, she had a full personality change. Will Kit get her old best friend back? Will her new powers make her mom worry and make her less anxious? Or will it worry her even more? (Ages 8-12)

The Canyon's Edge
Dusti Bowling
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316494694 $16.99

Kerri Lukasavitz

I haven't cried during a book since reading The Book Thief several years ago. Dusti Bowling's The Canyon's Edge changed that. The book is beautifully written. Bowling is a master storyteller. I was immediately drawn in when I read the first short chapter and was introduced to the main character, Nora, and her dad, who are about to go climbing in a desert canyon. Bowling weaves in snippets of a past terrifying experience shared by Nora and her dad, mixing it throughout the main story of their survival in the canyon, which keeps the story fresh and moving forward. Through the use of a few short prose-only chapters to start the book, then a hybrid mix of prose-poetry within the middle, and back to a single prose-only final chapter, Bowling keeps her reader turning pages - the tempo is incredible. This book will definitely appeal to young readers who have gone through a traumatic episode in their lives and need inspiration to keep them moving past the pain they hold onto. (Ages 8-12)

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices
S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed, editors
Sara Alfageeh, illustrator
Amulet Books
9781419740831 $17.99

Jennifer L. Grybowski

This collection of short stories all based on Eid, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long, dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan, are a heartwarming look into the lives of older children and young teenagers as they approach this holy time of year with their families. The stories, including one graphic (comic book-style) story and one in poetry format, focus on very different characters, but the themes are consistent: family, love, community, tradition, and celebration. (Ages 8-12)

Wrong Way Summer
Heidi Lang
Harry N. Abrams
9781419736933 $16.99

Kerri Lukasavitz

Lang's story is an adventure in the unpredictability of life. Claire and Patrick's lives are uprooted when their unemployed father arrives home with an old van to fix up. He announces they will set off for a #vanlife adventure, which is Claire's worst nightmare. They first head out for the East Coast and end up zigzagging across the West toward California. What Claire isn't aware of are the destination points along the way her father uses to meet up with his old friends who are trying to help him find work. He spins tales to protect his children from the realities of life. Lang's dialogue and the emotions of her characters are spot on. Each character has a distinct personality. The banter between an older sibling having to live in close quarters with a younger sibling is so well done. The story will be enjoyed by young readers. (Ages 8-12)

A Wish in the Dark
Christina Soontornvat
9781536204940 $17.99

Diana Perry

All light in Chattana is created by one man: the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong's prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free. Young readers will be taken out of their own comfortable worlds as they try to figure out how Pong will survive from day to day. An intense story that will bond readers to the believable characters in an exotic setting. (Ages 8-12)

To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel (Special Edition)
Siena Cherson Siegel, author
Mark Siegel, illustrator
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
c/o Simon and Schuster
9781481486637 $19.99

Diana Perry

Ballerinas are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six - and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance classes at the School of American Ballet, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet while working with ballet legend George Balanchine. Part family history, part backstage drama, this beautifully updated graphic memoir - which features a refreshed design and a brand-new scrapbook of Siena's mementoes - is an original, firsthand look at a young dancer's beginnings. Young readers will have so much fun reading this story that depicts how anyone can achieve their goals with courage, determination, and a refusal to give up. (Ages 8-14)

Into the Tall, Tall Grass
Loriel Ryon
Margaret K. McElderry Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
9781534449671 $17.99

Diana Fisher

Into the Tall, Tall Grass is a story about being different, dealing with death, and healing families and friendships - with a little magic thrown in. Yolanda's family has secrets, one being inexplicable "gifts" some of the family members have. These "gifts" frighten the town's people - so they must be hidden. When social services steps in to take Yolanda and her sister away, Yolanda is determined to save her ailing grandmother so they can stay together in their home. This begins a magical adventure that uncovers an important story from the past, and a new "gift" revealed. A bonus in this book is the blending of cultures, along with simple lessons in other languages and customs. (Ages 10+)

Trowbridge Road
Marcella Pixley
9781536207507 $17.99

Diana Perry

It's the summer of '83 on Trowbridge Road, and June Bug Jordan is hungry. Months after her father's death from complications from AIDS, her mother has stopped cooking and refuses to leave the house, instead locking herself away to scour at the germs she believes are everywhere. June Bug threatens this precarious existence by going out into the neighborhood, gradually befriending Ziggy, an imaginative boy who is living with his Nana Jean after experiencing troubles of his own. But as June Bug's connection to the world grows stronger, her mother's grows more insistent - even dangerous - pushing June Bug to choose between truth and healing and the only home she has ever known. This is a heartwarming tale of children who get caught up in the failures and bad choices of their parents. Young adults need to read this story that will help them recognize and help with the needs of kids who slip through the cracks. (Ages 10+)

The Next Great Jane
K. L. Going
Dial Books
c/o Penguin
9780803734753 $16.99

Emily P. Cary

With a nod to Jane Austen, writer K. L. Going incorporates the distinctive Down East environment in a story about a preteen trying to balance her fractured family, new friendships, and her determination to become a famous writer. Jane has lived happily with her father, an easygoing oceanographer, until her mother, who works in California, arrives with a current boyfriend to file for custody. That happens the day a hurricane threatens, a strange boy mocks her beloved library, and a celebrated author she is dying to meet comes to town. The visiting author offers wise advice: Write about what you know. Before her return to California, Jane's mother realizes that her daughter is happiest in Maine and needs to stay with her father for the time being, perhaps to write more about life by the sea. (Ages 10-14)

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design