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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 30, Number 3 March 2020 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Environmental Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Science Shelf General Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Board Book Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Bilingual Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Christian Shelf Judaic Shelf Buddhist Shelf
Math Shelf Social Issues Shelf Biography Shelf
Sports Shelf American History Shelf Crafts Shelf
Multimedia Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Books in Series
Story Monsters Ink Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Super Kena
Becky Cymbaluk, author
Zuzana Svobodova, illustrator
Aspen's Grace LLC
9781733325905, $14.95, HC, 32pp,

Kena's classmates make fun of her for wearing hearing aids, but what they don't know is that her hearing aids give her ears super powers, turning her into Super Kena! Super Kena is assembling one fierce team to make a difference and help her classmates realize that each of them have their own super powers which make them more alike than different. A delightfully entertaining picture book for children ages 4-8, "Super Kena: A Girl Made Fierce With Hearing Aids" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collection in general, and Children's Special Needs Books in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Super Kena" also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99,

Indy's Spot of Bother
Lisa Domeny, author
Pet Publishing Plus
9780994323989, $12.95 PB, $4.95 Kindle, 32pp,

"Indy's Spot of Bother" is a new title in the Team Golden Oldies series, whose profits all go to a charity of the same name for the adoption and rehabilitation of senior dogs. Filled with gorgeous color photos of Indy, a grown Dalmatian dog, and her many adopted brother and sister dogs, "Indy's Spot of Bother" is an engaging story about having the courage to be yourself, to glory in your differences. When Indy's Mum and Dad first decided to adopt another dog, she was scared of losing their love and undivided attention. This proved to be a needless worry, far outweighed by the extra fun of having another doggy friend to play games with. When Mum and Dad went on to adopt six more adult canines, Indy began to notice there was something about her that was different from all her siblings. She was the only one with spots! In an effort to blend in and not be noticed, Indy tried many ways to erase her spots, all unsuccessful. Finally Mum asked Indy why she was trying to erase her differences and she reassured her: "What makes you different also makes you special. You should never be afraid of being different. You should be proud to be you." Indy had a moment of self acceptance and realization. " Sometimes the hardest thing is just to be yourself, even if that means you are a little bit different." Indy is a reassuring example to all kids who have fears and doubts about being different, or not being accepted for their differences. Book nine of the award winning Team Golden Oldies children's books, "Indy's Spot of Bother" is chock full of simple, encouraging messages for young readers and others.

Living on the Veg
Clive Gifford, author
Jacqueline Meldrum, illustrator
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674
9781631984297, $18.99, HC, 80pp,

Clive Gifford is the author of more than 150 children's books including Eye Benders, winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize, and the Royal Society nominated Out of This World and Cool Technology, which won the School Library Association Information Book Award. He lives in Manchester, England. Living in Scotland, Jacqueline Meldrum is a food blogger who shares easy vegetarian and vegan recipes on her blog She also writes for various online and print magazines including Vegan Life magazine and BabyCentre UK. Together they have developed "Living on the Veg: A Kids' Guide To Life Without Meat", offering an impressively informative and throughly 'kid friendly' exploration of the key reasons why people go vegetarian -- from reducing animal cruelty to improving their health to protecting the environment and others. Various eating styles such as vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian, and vegan are also explained, making "Living on the Veg" a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers ages 8-13.

Flower Power: The Magic of Nature's Healers
Christine Paxmann, author
Olaf Hajek, illustrator
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791373997, $19.95, HC, 40pp,

"Flower Power: The Magic of Nature's Healers" is oversized coffee-table style volume showcasing the fascinating health benefits of flowers that children ages 8-12 can encounter every day. Artist Olaf Hajek's paintings spring to life, populated by insects, birds, fruit, and fairytales that illustrate the drama of the natural world. Accompanying each painting are engagingly informative texts by Christine Paxmann that explore various cultural and medicinal aspects of the flowers as well as their importance to artists, writers, and healers. As young readers learn how iris roots were used to alleviate teething pain in babies and how poppy plants led to the invention of the salt shaker, they will also get to know a garden's worth of blooms -- from wild roses to carnations and peonies to marigolds. Unreservedly recommended as a vary special addition to family, school and community library collections, kids will look at flowers in a whole new light and will delight in this beautiful keepsake of botanical illustrations.

The Environmental Shelf

The Mess That We Made
Michelle Lord, author
Julia Blattman, illustrator
Flash Light Press
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781947277144, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

"The Mess That We Made" by author Michelle Lord and illustrator Julia Blattman is a picture book that explores the environmental impact of trash and plastic on the ocean and marine life, and it inspires kids ages 5-7 to do their part to combat pollution. Simple, rhythmic wording builds to a crescendo ("This is the mess that we made. These are the fish that swim in the mess that we made.") and the vibrant digital artwork captures the disaster that is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Young readers can easily imagine themselves as one of the four multi-ethnic occupants of the little boat surrounded by swirling plastic in the middle of the ocean, witnessing the cycle of destruction and the harm it causes to plants, animals, and humans. The first half of "The Mess We Made" portrays the growing magnitude of the issue, and the second half rallies children (and their parents!) to make the necessary changes to save our oceans. Facts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, ocean pollution, and how kids can help are included in the back matter. Also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99), "The Mess That We Made" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Environmental Issues picture book collections for young readers.

The Cookbook Shelf

Niam! Cooking with Kids
Kerry McCluskey
Inhabit Media
9781772272550 $19.95

Featuring full-color photography throughout, Niam! Cooking with Kids: Inspired by the Mamatuq Nanook Cooking Club is a cookbook designed to help teach children the basics of preparing healthy recipes. In addition, there are suggestions for using cooking to give back to the local community, passages of traditional Inuit culinary and cultural knowledge, and guidelines to basic cooking skills that kids can learn, suggestions for starting a cooking club, and more. It should be noted that the recipes in Niam! Cooking with Kids do not require exotic or hard-to- find ingredients. Sample dishes include "Jerk Chicken", "Love Muffins", "Sugar Cookies" and much more. Highly recommended.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Encyclopedia of Animals
Jules Howard, author
Jarom Vogel, illustrator
Wide Eyed Editions
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781786034625, $22.99, HC, 192pp,

In the profusely illustrated pages of this impressively informative, expertly organized, and featuring thoroughly 'kid friendly' details for each creature by a natural history expert Jules Howard, "Encyclopedia of Animals" is simply packed from cover to cover with over 500 creatures. From the tiniest sponge to the largest elephant, all entries are gloriously portrayed in a spectacular celebration of the diversity of life on Earth. While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections for young readers ages 6-9, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Encyclopedia of Animals" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Cloud's Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns
Ginger Kathrens
CompanionHouse Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781620082423, $19.99, PB, 160pp,

Originally published as a companion volume for Cloud: The Wild Stallion of the Rockies, public television's Nature series, "Cloud's Legacy" is a newly revised edition for young readers ages 9- 12 by documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens is a retelling of her years following the wild horse she named Cloud. Beautifully designed and profusely illustrated, "Cloud's Legacy" is elaborately photographed and divided into seventeen chapters that follow the life of a wild stallion, just one of hundreds of horses that have roamed wild in the Rocky Mountains for two hundred years. "Cloud's Legacy" follows Cloud over the course of five years, taking note of his physical and behavioral development, as his begins to take on more of a leadership role in the band of wild bachelors he's joined, to become a fighter, a survivor, and a father. Kathrens's emotional involvement in Cloud's story is palpable, such as when she tearfully watches the young stallion get captured by trappers. Due to his unusual coloration, he is set free, though the other members of his band and sisters are removed and sold. Returning to the mountains every season, the author continues to look for Cloud in the vast wild habitat, always relieved to find him still living, despite fights, predators, and encounters with trappers. She is later is touched to see how Cloud, the five-year-old mare, grazes with his yearling son, the first of his new family. Kathrens's gripping observations of wild horses of the Arrowheads, their fights, struggles, and alliances, give young readers a great deal of insight into the fascinating behavior of these wild horses. Now published in paperback for the first time, this updated and fully redesigned volume coincides with the one year anniversary of the last sighting of Cloud. While unreservedly recommended for school and community library Pets/Wildlife collections for young readers, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cloud's Legacy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.19).

Creek Critters
Jennifer Keats Curtis, author
Phyllis Saroff, illustrator
Arbordale Publishing
9781643517483, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

How do you tell if creek water is clean and healthy? In "Creek Critters", children ages 7-11 will join Lucas and his sister as they act like scientists looking for certain kinds of stream bugs (aquatic macroinvertebrates) that need clean, unpolluted water to survive. What will they find as they turn over rocks, pick up leaves and sort through the mud? Kids will enjoy reading along to find out if and how a creek can get a passing grade! Beautifully illustrated by the artwork of Phyllis Saroff, and deftly written by Jennifer Keats Curtis in collaboration with the Stroud Water Research Center, "Creek Critters" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Creek Critters" is also available in a paperback edition (9781643517537, $9.95).

Whose Footprint Is That?
Darrin Lunde, author
Kelsey Oseid, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580898348, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Darrin Lunde has worked as a mammalogist at the American Museum of Natural History and at the Smithsonian Institute. His work has brought him into contact with all kinds of animals, big and small, throughout the remote forests of South America, Africa, and Asia where he camped for months at a time to survey species diversity and to discover new species. With "Whose Footprint Is That?" and as a mammalogist at the Smithsonian, children ages 3-7 will enjoy learning how the pairs seven tracks provide information about diverse animals' locomotion, being asked to guess which animal left which tracks behind. Impressively illustrated by Kelsey Oseid, "Whose Footprint Is That?" reveals the animals, ranging from flamingos to kangaroos, in their own habitats. While especially and highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections for children ages 3-7, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Whose Footprint Is That?" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Turtle Dove's Journey: A Story of Migration
Madeleine Dunphy, author
Marlo Garnsworthy, illustrator
Web of Life Children's Books
9781970039016, $17.95, 32pp,

Starting in the prim hedges of Suffolk, England, instinct drives the dove high into the night skies for a 4,000 mile trip to the savannahs of Mali, in West Africa. Along the way there are lonely, moonlit flights above the sea, a cozy hideout in the bushes of Bordeaux, France, a meeting of the birds at Gibraltar, the fountains of Casablanca, winds flowing "like a river" down canyons of the Atlas Mountains, and a Sahara sandstorm churning below. A combination of hero's journey and guided tour, "The Turtle Dove's Journey: A Story of Migration" is picture account of the turtle dove's annual migration that will carry children's imaginations into unexplored territories. With carefully researched prose by author Madeleine Dunphy and showcasing beautifully luminous paintings by artist/illustrator Marlo Garnsworth, "The Turtle Dove's Journey: A Story of Migration" is especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections as being perfect for any young reader ages 5-9 who has ever wondered about the mysterious journeys of the Turtle Dove.

You Are Mine, Porcupine
Helen L. Wilbur, author
Stephanie Fizer Coleman, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781534110038, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Porcupine is a French name that means "spiny pig" and wearing a coat containing needle-sharp quills, the porcupine is usually not thought of as a cuddly mammal. Unless, of course, one is a porcupine's mother. And who better than mama porcupine to remind her little one of all the wonderful physical characteristics that make him unique, as she helps him explore his world. Rhyme and witty wordplay by author Helen L. Wilbur, combined with the charming artwork of illustrator Stephanie Fizer Coleman take young readers ages 5-7 through a night in the life of a young porcupine, relaying facts about its environment, eating habits, and physical attributes. Budding naturalists will particularly enjoy learning about the not-often-seen but mighty fine porcupine. STEM-based back matter includes photos and additional information, making "You Are Mine, Porcupine " an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school and community library picture book wildlife collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "You Are Mine, Porcupine " is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).

Happy Tails
Joy Metzer
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860995, $16.95, PB, 220pp,

The little dog Jitterbug lives in a modest cabin in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The runt of a litter of dachshunds, she's hopelessly at odds with her surroundings and can't help but dream of making a name for herself in the big city. When opportunity knocks, Jitterbug escapes her pet carrier and lands herself in show business. Her impromptu adventure takes her across the country, acting on stage, on TV, and in commercials. But how fabulous is a life of work, work, work? And how long before she starts to miss home? A delightfully entertaining story that will have very special appeal to young dog lovers ages 8-12, "Happy Tails" by Joy Metzer is an especially recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Happy Tails" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

The Science Shelf

The Book of Big Science Ideas
Freya Hardy, author
Sara Mulvanny, illustrator
Ivy Kids
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781782409168, $14.95, HC, 80pp,

Ideas are important. They change things. A single idea can start a war, save billions of lives, even rearrange whole planetary systems, or simply make a person giggle until they pee a little bit. They can be totally wrong but widely believed, or undoubtedly right and completely ignored. What's more, they're free, and anyone can have one! "The Book of Big Science Ideas" looks at 15 brilliant science ideas and more than 50 ingenious thinkers who have helped shape our understanding of the world -- whether they were right or wrong! The thinkers showcased in "The Book of Big Science Ideas" include, Wang Zhenyi, Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie, James Joule, Rosalind Franklin, Charles Darwin, Aristotle, Edith Clarke, Isaac Newton, Grace Hopper, Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace and many, many more! From established ideas like atoms, electricity and the solar system, and ideas that are still evolving such as gravity, energy and classification, right up to recent discoveries like AI and genetics -- this jam-packed book takes a fresh approach to science and is unreservedly recommended for the family, school, and community library Science collections for young readers ages 8-12.

Fee, Fi, Fo, Grow!
Lois Wickstrom, author
Francie Mion, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
9780916176501, $24.99, HC, 28pp,

Jacqueline finds herself with two hungry families to feed. Her own and the giant's. Only her knowledge of science can save them. The challenge is to think clearly when someone is about to eat you. "Fee, Fi, Fo, Grow!: The Real Magic of the Beans" is a science based picture book adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk by author Lois Wickstrom and artist/illustrator Francie Mion. Thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end, "Fee, Fi, Fo, Grow!" is a unique and especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book science collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of children ages 4-9 that "Fee, Fi, Fo, Grow!" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780916176495, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Firefly Books

Two new Firefly productions provide picture book audiences and elementary-grade readers with appealing stories. Rachel Salt's The Plastic Problem (9780228102311, $9.95) discusses the issue of plastic pollution and its causes and solutions, and comes from the head writer and producer of the award-winning YouTube show AsapSCIENCE. This picture book surveys the global issues of plastic production and use, considering its role in various economies around the world, what makes it harmful to the environment, and how to deal with the problem on various levels, at home and globally. Mary Batten's Spit: What's Cool About Drool (9780228102328, $9.95) comes from a children's science writer who offers physiological insights on the source of saliva in human and animal worlds. From spit tests and spit's healing properties to various cultural meanings of saliva, this book surveys science, physiology, and natural and human history alike, compiling fun facts and pairing them with modern visuals kids will enjoy. Both are educational, fun reads that can serve as leisure choices as well as introductory study guides.

The General Fiction Shelf

Roosevelt Banks, Good-Kid-in-Training
Laurie Calkhoven, author
Debbie Palen, illustrator
One Elm Books
c/o Red Chair Press
PO Box 333, South Egremont, MA 01258
9781947159181, $14.99, HC, 128pp,

When ten-year-old Roosevelt Banks discovers that his two best friends are planning a bike and camping trip, he wants more than anything to go along. There's just one problem -- he doesn't have a bike! Roosevelt's parents agree to buy him a bike if he can manage to be good for two whole weeks. How can Roosevelt be good and be the same fun guy his friends want on the camping trip? Trying to be good leads to more trouble than expected -- and to the discovery that being a good friend is more important than any bicycle! A charmingly entertaining story with an important underlying message about friendship and peer pressure, "Roosevelt Banks, Good-Kid-in-Training" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 7-11. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Roosevelt Banks, Good-Kid-in-Training" is also available in a paperback edition (9781947159198, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

No True Believers
Rabiah York Lumbard
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780525644255, $17.99, HC, 304pp,

Salma Bakkioui has always loved living in her suburban cul-de-sac, with her best friend Mariam next door, and her boyfriend Amir nearby. Then things start to change. Friends start to distance themselves. Mariam's family moves when her father's patients no longer want a Muslim chiropractor. Even trusted teachers look the other way when hostile students threaten Salma at school. After a terrorist bombing nearby, Islamaphobia tightens its grip around Salma and her family. Shockingly, she and Amir find themselves with few allies as they come under suspicion for the bombing. As Salma starts to investigate who is framing them, she uncovers a deadly secret conspiracy with suspicious ties to her new neighbors -- but no one believes her. Salma must use her coding talent, wits, and faith to expose the truth and protect the only home she's ever known before it's too late! Made all the more believable as a premise, "No True Believers" is a riveting read, a true thriller based on the rise of anti-Islam and pro-white supremacy in the country today. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99), it should be noted for highschool and community library Contemporary YA Fiction collections.

Gabriel Arquilevich
Fitzroy Books
c/o Regal House Publishing
9781947548619, $25.95, HC, 185pp,

Grape is in trouble again! He punched Miss Roof in the arm! Now he's suspended from school for two weeks, and Principal Clarkson has threatened to send him to Riverwash, a school for problem kids. But he has one last chance. Grape must spend an hour a day writing about his history of trouble, and there's a lot of trouble to choose from! Grape's best friend Lou is by his side, and even though Grape drives his parents crazy, they're pulling for him all the way. But will Grape make sense of it all? Will it be enough to keep him out of Riverwash? A deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for young reader involvement from beginning to end, "Grape!" by Gabriel Arquilevich is an especially recommended addition to school and community General Fiction collections for children ages 9-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Grape!" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781947548596, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Too Far From Home
Naomi Shmuel, author
Avi Katz, illustrator
Kar-Ben Publishing, Inc.
9781541546714, $15.99, HC, 96pp,

Meskerem was born in a small town in the Golan Heights of Israel, to an Ethiopian mother and an American father. Soon after Operation Solomon, when several thousand Ethiopian immigrants were brought to Israel, Meskerem's parents decided to move to the center of the country, to the town of Herzelia. Meskerem comes face-to-face with the ignorance and prejudices of her new classmates, many of whom are meeting someone dark-skinned for the first time. With the help of her Ethiopian grandmother, who remained in Kazerin, Meskerem comes to terms with who she is and finds strength in belonging to three different cultures. A deftly written and thoroughly entertaining story with an important underlying message about the value of tolerance and cultural differences, "Too Far From Home" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young readers ages 8-13. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Too Far From Home" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781541546738, $8.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind
Eduard Shyfrin, author
Tomislav Tomic, illustrator
White Raven Publishing
9781912892150, $19.99, HC, 190pp,

Aaron and Stella spend every summer at their grandparents' house, playing on the beach in the day, and eating sushi at night. One evening, the children try some special sushi which transports them to an alternate universe - The Land of the Mind, a place traditionally governed by maths and quantum physics, which is being taken over by evil and chaos. With the many different areas in the Land of the Mind being ruled over by the Dark Lords of Intolerance, Fear, Pride, Indifference, Betrayal and Despair, the children are tasked with rescuing the Book of Understanding, which contains all the rules on how to live a good life. Chosen because of their relationship to the Golden Ratio known as Phi (1.618), Aaron and Stella travel on a Phi-Flyer and are guided by a wise raven called Sophie (who is both a particle and a wave). The children must learn how to navigate the infinite dimensions of quantum physics to save the Land of the Mind from falling into the hands of chaos. A deftly written and unique novel by Eduard Shyfrin and enhanced with the exquisite artwork of Tomislav Tomic, "Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young readers ages 9-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.63).

The Story That Cannot Be Told
J. Kasper Kramer
Simon and Schuster
9781534430686, $17.99

The Story That Cannot Be Told provides middle grade readers with a fine story set in the final months of Communist rule in Romania in 1989. Ileana is a story collector and gathers history and cultural heritage tales and folklore, but those which are politically volatile can get you in trouble. She learned that early, when her Uncle Andrei vanished after criticizing the government. Now she faces her own challenges when her parents send her away to live with her grandparents and dangers follows her into her new home. Romanian life and history contribute to a warm and engrossing story of freedom and persecution that will educate readers about the country as it follows the efforts of a spunky heroine who struggles to cope with her world.

Something is Bugging Samantha Hansen
Nancy Viau
Schiffer Kids
9780764357763, $16.99

Something is Bugging Samantha Hansen tells of ten-year-old Samantha, who is entering 4th grade with a love for science. At first it was all about rocks. Now she loves insects, and is becoming involved in the plight of honey bees. As Samantha learns about bees, gathers lists of insect facts, and becomes involved in community efforts to change the bee populations and forces decimating them, readers will enjoy a story that is filled with nature insights as well as the revealing explorations of a girl who loves science.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries: The Scarlet Phantom
Robert J. Harris
9781782506089, $9.95, PB, 240pp,

One day Arthur Conan Doyle will create the greatest detective of all -- Sherlock Holmes. But right now, Artie Conan Doyle is a twelve-year-old Edinburgh schoolboy with a mystery of his own to solve. Artie and his best friend Ham are investigating the strange case of the Scarlet Phantom, a jewel thief who seems to walk through walls and disappear at will. But there's a rival detective on the case, a paranormal investigator who claims that only he can capture this phantom thief. With the help of their new friend, scientist Peril Abernethy, Artie and Ham follow a trail of baffling clues and impossible dangers, but can they catch the Phantom before the invisible fiend pulls off the greatest robbery in history? A deftly written and thoroughly entertaining mystery story in the tradition of deductive investigations so justifiably identified with the Sherlock Holmes tradition, "The Scarlet Phantom" is the third title in the simply outstanding 'Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries series by author Robert J. Harris -- and very highly recommended for both school and community library collections for young readers ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Scarlet Phantom" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Thief Knot
Kate Milford
Clarion Books
9781328466891, $17.99

Middle school grades on up will find Kate Milford's latest Greenglass House story a thoroughly engrossing tale that mixes a ghost story with a tale of young detectives and family secrets. Some might think this requires prior familiarity with the other books in the series, but this is a satisfying stand-alone mystery that excels in a story that needs no introduction to prove accessible and involving. Marzana and her best friend are looking for adventure, which finds them when her parents are tapped to help solve a senseless kidnapping. As two best friends become involved and recruit a group of other kid detectives to join them, adventure more than fills the pages and imagination with satisfying twists and turns to delight leisure readers.

I Know When You're Going To Die
Michael J. Bowler
Independently Published
9781733329002, $9.99, Paperback
9781733329019, $2.99, eBook
9780990306313, $12.95, Audiobook 152

Teen Leonardo is terribly shy, but this doesn't prevent him from volunteering at a homeless shelter and helping others. When an old man forces eye contact and passes on the power of being able to see another's death, Leonardo's life changes. Life changes yet again when he sees his best friend's future murder and the two decide to defy and change what seems like destiny. They are joined by feisty new girl Laura. As the friends sift through the few clues offered in the vision to try to locate to stop a future murderer, readers are treated to a fine blend of psychological growth and investigative prowess which tests the abilities of the three teens. The characters are well-drawn and nicely balance the intrigue, offering many interpersonal insights and moments that will teach young readers about the undercurrents of relationships and their changes. I Know When You're Going To Die is a riveting story because of this marriage between psychological depth and a pre-murder investigation, featuring engrossing twists and turns right up to its unexpected conclusion which embraces hard decisions and new opportunities.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Wings of Fire: The Poison Jungle
Tui T. Sutherland
Scholastic Press
9781338214512 $16.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Part of the "Wings of Fire" series of fantasy novels, set in a world ruled by intelligent dragons, Wings of Fire: The Poison Jungle follows the dragon Sundew of the LeafWings, who recently suffered a crushing defeat in their war with the HiveWings. The HiveWings have destroyed all trees in Pantala, except for the Poison Jungle, the last refuge of the surviving LeafWings. The poison jungle is a horrific place, with deadly carnivorous plants, but on the eve of a renewed war, Sundew and her friends must find the Poison Jungle's deadliest secret! The Poison Jungle is an enthralling fantasy-adventure that will appeal to dragon fans of all ages, and is highly recommended for both personal and public library collections.

The Unicorn Quest: Fire in the Star
Kamilla Benko
9781681192499 $16.99 hc / $9.51 Kindle

The conclusion to "The Unicorn Quest" series, Fire in the Star is a high fantasy for young adults, following two sisters in the efforts to protect the last unicorn from a ruthless queen. Claire Martinson, the younger sister, finally steps forward to lead, even experimenting with a dangerous new type of magic - that of the disguised thief. Learning that "only a queen can defeat a queen", Claire resolves to steal and reforge the ancient Crown of Arden. Fire in the Stars is an inspirational fantasy-adventure that will especially appeal to young girls. Fire in the Stars is highly recommended and public or school library YA fantasy collections, as are the first two books in the series: "The Unicorn Quest" and "The Unicorn Quest: Secret in the Stone".

The Conference of the Birds
Ransom Riggs
9780735231504, $22.99

Middle grade to young adult readers will relish the fifth novel to add to Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series, The Conference of the Birds. Familiarity with the prior books will foster appreciation for this latest scenario in which Jacob goes on a mission to contact a strange operative who is being hunted for her role in a prophecy that predicts an apocalypse for the peculiar world. Jacob must not only find her, but must take clues from the prophecy to save his world. An outstanding story evolves, perfect for prior fans of the setting and series.

City of Beasts
Corrie Wang
Freeform Books
9781368026628, $17.99

City of Beasts is set in a world where the sexes are divided and Glori grows up as a 'fee', savvy about who to kill beasts and live safely in her post-nuclear hometown that holds the remnants of times past, such as abandoned Costcos. When her mother secretly gives birth to a baby beast, Glori finds her concepts of them radically changed, especially when he's taken away in a raid and sent to live in the forbidden City of Beasts. Powered by love and a determination to get him back, Glori enters a forbidden world with a group of friends, only to discover their actions hold the possibility of confronting something far greater than the divisions in their personal lives. Teens who choose this post-apocalyptic dystopian novel for its setting will be delighted with its action and underlying social commentary.

The Board Book Shelf

The Wolf and the Fly
Antje Damm
Gecko Press
9781776572809, $9.99, Board Book, 22pp,

Gulp, gulp, gulp: one toy after another disappears into the mouth of the hungry wolf. Now he's almost full, just a last little fly for dessert -- uh-oh! "The Wolf and the Fly" is a delightful board book that combines a story with a guessing game. Together children ages 2-4 can guess which object on the shelf will be eaten next, then, when everything re-emerges, the game starts anew. This is an original and delightful guessing, memory, observation and naming game by author and illustrator Antje Damm is an especially recommended and fun addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections for young children.

Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom
Sarah Aroeste, author
Ayesha L. Rubio, illustrator
Kar-Ben Publishing, Inc.
9781541542464, $6.99, Board Book, 12pp,

Shabbat is Judaism's day of rest and seventh day of the week. On this day religious Jews, remember the biblical creation of the heavens and the earth in six days and look forward to a future Messianic Age. A board book specifically designed for children ages 1-4, "Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom" features a Ladino word introduced on each page as it tells the story of a Sephardic Jewish family as they prepare to celebrate to celebrate the high holy Jewish celebration of Shabbat.

Wake Up, Let's Play!
Marit Tornovist
Floris Books
9781782506263, $8.95, Board Book, 22pp,

With "Wake Up, Let's Play!" young children ages 1-3 can join two friends who love playing together wherever they are. They play restaurants and boats, castles and baking, snowmen and parties. And when the day is over and it's time for bed, they can't wait to play together again tomorrow. With gorgeous, detailed scenes of children playing, this simple board book by Marit Tornovist has very few words, encouraging children to interact with the beautiful artwork in their own way. A sturdy board book for young hands about the endless possibilities of imaginative play, "Wake Up, Let's Play!" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections.

God's Big Plan
Elizabeth F. Caldwell, author
Theodore Hiebert, author
Katie Yamasaki, illustrator
Flyaway Books
100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396
9781947888234, $10.00, Board Book, 16pp,

Why is everyone in the world so different? It's all because of God's big plan! Adapted from the picture book version of "God's Big Plan", this sturdy board book edition is the perfect introduction for children ages 1-3 to the wonderful and inspiring diversity of the world God created. "God's Big Plan" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and Sunday School children's board book collections.

The Picturebook Shelf

Yvette Cragun, author
Myra Romano, illustrator
Pink Umbrella Books
9781949598148, $25.99, HC, 32pp,

Flip-flops for the beach, sassy flats for shopping or black heels for a night out on the town -- Mom's closet has the perfect pair of shoes for any occasion. Playing dress-up for a while can be fun, but at the end of the day, one little girl learns that she doesn't need to be in a hurry to fill her mom's shoes! An original and wonderfully entertaining picture book by author Yvette Cragun and illustrator Myra Romano, "Shoes" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 5-7. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Shoes" is also available in a paperback edition (9781949598063, $15.99).

Faye Alison Gilbert, author
Allie Daigle, illustrator
Mirror Publishing
9781612254272, $12.99, PB, 26pp,

"POP!" is a fun story about Ethan K., a boy who blows big pink bubbles when he chews gum. When the bubbles popped, they were so large and loud and messy that his neighbors begged him to stop. This was not enough to stop Ethan K. from chewing his gum and blowing big bubbles. What did finally stop Ethan K. from chewing bubble gum was his fateful trip to the dentist. Ethan K. got a mouthful of braces and a new life without chewing bubble gum. However, the story ends with an introduction to Robbie G. Ethan K.'s little brother, who apprently has learned to POP! from his big brother. "POP!" is written in humorous couplets and illustrated with hilarious sketched characters against frequently pink backgrounds. It will be immensely entertaining to its targeted audience of children age 5 years and up.

Buck the Chuck: The Fight for Freedom
Lynn & Jeff Yelton, authors/illustrators
FreedomBlossom Press
9781733641302, $12.95, PB, 44pp,

"Buck the Chuck: The Fight for Freedom" is a story about Buck the Chuck, a fat, fuzzy fluffball woodchuck known for chewing and digging and predicting the weather. Buck lived in Chucksville with other freedom loving chucks. One day Buck read an upsetting newspaper article claiming that Chucksville's dastardly neighbors, the BoozleBoops of the swampy forest were planning to steal the freedom of the residents of Chucksville. The BoozleBoops, good fish gone bad, were invading! At the last moment, Buck heard a crash and met the amazing Thor, his guardian whistle pig (seeker of truth, righter of wrongs, and protector of scaredy-cats). At first Buck was polite bu skeptical. But Thor told him he must fight for his freedom! Thor flew Buck to oversee the thieving ways of the BoozleBoops, stealing RED from the robin and Orange from the orange, leaving empty promises that they would make the colors brighter for the poor Chucksville residents. When the BoozleBoops stole LIME from Leonard, Buck realized that he was taking freedom for granted. He learned that every time anyone loses some of their freedom, they also lost some of their color, until the only color left was gray. Buck knew he had to do something, but his guardian Thor had disappeared! So Buck bared his whoppers for choppers front teeth and attacked the thieving BoozleBoops with terrifying sounds! The BoozleBoops were scared into flight by Buck's choppers for whoppers, oops whoppers for choppers, and hightailed it back into the swampy forest! After that all the other chucks surprised Buck with a very colorful costume party to celebrate! Huge, colorful, hilarious characters and scenes help make this freedom fighting fantasy top entertainment, amplified by the bombastic, fantastic, descriptive prose. This is a series for lovers of very tall tales. Young readers will stay tuned for further adventures of Buck the Chuck and his freedom fighting friends, Thor the guardian whistle pig, Maggie the reporter, Jumbo Shrimp, Maggie's festy, trusty steed, and the Boozleboops, good fish gone bad.

Li'l Booger Buddies Inventors: Discover the Joy of Givemas
Heather Konet, author/illustrator
9781790142439, $9.99 PB, $3.99 Kindle, 30pp.

Fifth title in the popular and innovative Li'l Booger Buddies series, "Li'l Booger Buddies Inventors...... Discover the Joy of Givemas" is the story of how the residents of the planet Boogie Woogie were introduced to the holiday of Givemas by the wise inventor, Oogie, who found a snowglobe in his planetary junk which he dispensed to be recrafted and used in inventions. The tiny figure in red and presents covered with falling snowflakes inspired Oogie to invent a whole new midwinter holiday for li'l Booger Buddies involving handcrafted gifts delivered via Oogie's Booger Blaster 4 spaceship. With the help of his little friends the Rabbie-dabbies, Oogie was able to use Boogie Woogie into this story similar to other Li'l booger Buddies stories. Amusing color illustrations show the transformation from Boogie Woogie junk into charming and intriguing children's toys. Everyone proceeds to a happy conclusion in the exciting new holiday of Givemas, and cheer and happiness is spread among Booger families all over Boogie Woogie. Kids age 5 years and up will love this latest title in a fun series that pairs education and creativity with whimsical imagery and language.

Curlee Girlee
Atara Twersky, author
Karen Wolcott, illustrator
Sandbox Publishing
9780996843812, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Curlee Girlee's hair makes her mad! She wants it to grow down her back like spaghetti, not sideways and all curly-whirly. Curlee Girlee wants to look like everybody else- and she'll try anything to solve her problem. Then one day she discovers that her curly hair is perfect just the way it is. Curlee Girlee doesn't need to look like everyone else to be beautiful! With it's powerful and positive underlying message, "Curlee Girlee" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Curlee Girlee" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

And the Trees Began to Move
Lisa Gammon Olson, author
Lauren Rutledge, illustrator
Eifrig Publishing
PO Box 66, Lemont, PA 16851
9781632332035, $16.99, HC, 22pp,

The Spirit of the Pond, a vain and selfish entity, wants to preserve his beauty by denying the ancient Tree Spirits his life-giving water in a time of drought. He discovers that in trying to save himself, he will lose everything he holds dear. He learns that in the circle of life, we are all dependent upon the actions and kindness of others. The collaborative work of author and storyteller Lisa Gammon Olson and illustrator/artist Lauren Rutledge, "And the Trees Began to Move" is a simply beautiful and entertaining picture book about the interdependence of all things! While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers ages 4-10, it should be noted that "And the Trees Began to Move" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Mystery of the Naga at Night
Lisa Travis
Pack-N-Go Girls Adventures
9781936376698, $15.99, HC, 126pp,

Rustle. Crunch. Rustle. Crunch. Something creeps by Jess' window in a Thai hill tribe village. Whatever it is sounds close enough to touch. The wind blows. Pebbles scatter. A shadow slithers though the moonlight. What is this mysterious creature doing slipping into the jungle every night? Jess and Nong May are determined to find out in "Mystery of the Naga at Night", an original and thoroughly entertaining 'pack-and-go' adventure story for children ages 6-9. While especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mystery of the Naga at Night" is also available in a paperback edition (9781936376681, $5.99).

Always Be a Unicorn
Pearl E. Horne, author
Kendra Spanjer, illustrator
Bailiwick Press
9781934649794, $16.95,

Created by the talented author/illustrator team who wrote "Goodnight Unicorn," "Always Be A Unicorn" is an inspirational fantasy book for young readers age 4 years and up. This unusual children's book embodies a combination of brightly colored illustrations and calm but inspiring prose poetry delivers a never failing message of hope, self forgiveness and encouragement to become your own best self. Comic relief shines through every page and irradiates the message of hope. The basic idea is being a unicorn is equivalent to being your very best, magical, remarkable, miraculous self, even if you are not perfect and if you do make mistakes. If you do make mistakes (which even unicorns do), you are encouraged and empowered to "say you're sorry, put things right, and sparkle on!" Unicorns come in all shapes and sizes, and since it is what is inside that makes a unicorn, anyone can be a unicorn! So the reader is encouraged to "frolic in every forest, slide down every rainbow, swim in every glittery sea... and even FLY!" "Be pure of heart and fleet of foot and charge fearlessly in the direction of your most outlandish dreams!" And thus, you are able to become the unicorn you in fact are, and were ever born to be. "Always Be A Unicorn" is a wonderful celebration of unique individual spirit and gifts for children and even adults.

When the Earth Shook
Lisa Lucas, author
Laurie Stein, illustrator
Tilbury House Publishers
9780884488088, $17.95, HC, 36pp,

Alya and Atik are stars. Their job is to twinkle in the night sky over Earth, and for billions of years they do it well. Plants stretch toward them. Animals look up at them. And, eventually, humans gaze up at them and marvel. But then humans invent powerplants, factories, and cars, and smog pours into Earth's atmosphere. It becomes harder and harder for Alya and Atik to do their jobs - until, finally, the stars yell at Earth, and Earth feels sick and begins to shake, and things look pretty dire. The clueless king's response is to command Earth to stop shaking. But a little girl named Axiom tells the king to hush, then tells humans what they must do to make the Earth feel better. "When the Earth Shook" provides a mythical framing for kids to understand that it will be their job to help save the Earth. Axiom's list of instructions to humans (some well-known and others new but critically important) appears in the back of the book. With its underlying eco-friendly message by author Lisa Lucas, and its full color illustrations by artist Laurie Stein, "When the Earth Shook" is an especially recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 6-8.

Chester Chipmunk Will Not Sleep
Kathleen George, author
Louisa Mae, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860773, $21.95, HC, 32pp,

It's bedtime in the nook of Cherry Hill, but Chester Chipmunk just can't sleep! He's had too much fun playing today, and he isn't ready to stop now. Good thing Mom knows a trick or two to help change his mind! Children ages 4-8 will enjoy joining Mama Chipmunk and Chester on a whimsical picture book journey to discover all the many adventures that await in his dreams! A thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book entertainment and an ideal selection for bedtime reading, "Chester Chipmunk Will Not Sleep" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted that "Chester Chipmunk Will Not Sleep" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

A Good Day
Daniel Nesquens, author
Miren Asiain Lora, illustrator
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
9780802855305, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

The cat and the tiger are best friends. Every day, the cat enters the zoo and visits the tiger's cage. They talk about everything, but when the cat confesses that he'd like to be big and strong like the tiger, he's shocked to learn that the tiger envies him for being free to go wherever he wants. The tiger has a plan to escape from the zoo and find his real home -- and all he needs is some help from his best friend! Young animal lovers ages 4-8 will fall fully enjoy this picture book story about friendship and freedom. "A Good Day" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Silly Mr. Wolf
Tony Ross
Andersen Press
c/o Trafalgar Square Publishing
814 N. Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
c/o Independent Publishers Group
9781783447817, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Years ago, Mr. Wolf would dress up as a sheep and try to be their worst friend but now, the sheep's clothing is far too small for him, so he'll have to find new ways to get his dinner. A hilarious herd of sheep are constantly one step behind Mr. Wolf, until he takes one step too far. A stranger-danger picture book story by author/artist Tony Ross, "Silly Mr. Wolf" has a classic comical tone and a laugh-out-loud ending that will fully entertain appreciative young readers ages 3-5, making it especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Yvette Likes School
Dale A. Joyner
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
9781642141030, $21.95, HC, 42pp,

"Yvette Likes School" by Dale A. Joyner is the picture book story of a little girl named Yvette who is a talented and gifted third-grade student who likes to read and learn. Her parents instilled in her the importance of getting an education and how it will impact her life when she becomes an adult. Told from Yvette's perspective on the various issues that she encounters in school as she plays and learns with her friends, children will be thoroughly entertained and benefit from the underlying message about the value of doing their best in school. While very highly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Yvette Likes School" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Piper & Mabel
Melanie Shankle, author
Laura Watkins, illustrator
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780310760863, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

"Piper & Mabel: Two Very Wild but Very Good Dogs" is a picture book showcasing the adventures of author Melanie Shankle's two very wild but very good dogs, Piper and Mabel. When the family plans a vacation to the beach, Piper and Mabel are shocked to discover they won't be joining their people. Instead, they're headed to doggie day care at the Happy Tails Ranch where they create all kinds of mischief when they discover the accommodations are not exactly what they were expecting. Dog-lovers everywhere will enjoy the adventures of Piper and Mabel. Charmingly illustrated by illustrator and artist Laura Watkins, and all the more impressive considering that this is Melanie's debut as a children's picture book author, "Piper & Mabel" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4-8.

The Adventures of Lucy the Cow Dog
Christine M. B. Smith, author
Nidhom, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
9781645430070, $14.95, HC, 38pp,

Lucy is a little dog that has the wiggles and it keeps getting her into trouble! Can the Wise Old Beagle help her learn to be calm and quiet? Lucy becomes homesick until she encounters Sam, a proud cattle dog. As friendship becomes family, Lucy realizes that with patience, there is joy to be found in the journey, not just the destination! Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, in "The Adventures of Lucy the Cow Dog: The Journey Begins" children ages 4-8 will enjoy joining Lucy as she sets off on an adventure to find out!

Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday
Alysson Foti Bourque, author
Chiara Civati, illustrator
AlyCat Series
Mascot Publishing (distributor)
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
9781645431084, $14.95, HC, 38pp,

Can alycat's brother, Bugsy, win his golf tournament without his lucky ball? "Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday" is the fourth title in author Alysson Foti Bourque's simply outstanding picture book series for children ages 5-8. Featuring the charming illustrations of artist Chiara Civati, "Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday" is very highly recommended and certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers.

From My Window
Otavio Junior, author
Vanina Starkoff, illustrator
Beatriz C. Dias, translator
Barefoot Books
9781782859772 $17.99 hc

From My Window is a picturebook inspired by author Otavio Junior's childhood growing up in a favela in Brazil. The simple text reflects on the diversity and activities of the local community. "From my window I talk to my friends - talking that starts a game. / Our Telephone Game turns into funk, turns into rhyme, turns into poetry. / From my window, I hear sounds that make me very sad. Sometimes I can't go to school or play ball outside." The vibrant, colorful illustrations add the perfect touch to this unforgettable, read-aloud picturebook, highly recommended especially for public library children's collections.

Almost Time
Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney
Clarion Books
9780544785816, $17.99

Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney's Almost Time receives fun illustrations by G. Brian Karas as it surveys a child's puzzles about time perception in a picture book story that covers everything from loose teeth to the uncertainties of maple sugaring time. The delightful exploration of this process will reach kids with some familiarity with maple sugar and those who have no idea it comes from a tree.

Just Like Me
Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Random House
9780525582090, $17.99

Just Like Me will reach ages 4-8 with a fine poetry collection that features short pieces about all kinds of girls, from different ethnicities to urban and rural inhabits, girls who have different social and family concerns, and more. Lovely bright illustrations capture the sentiments of the narrators with full-page, good-sized drawings, while the poems themselves excel in free verse explorations in the first person which require some good reading skills and an interest in girls' viewpoints about their lives. Youngsters will find it a lively, astute set of observations that are fun and psychologically revealing.

Story Boat
Kyo Maclear
9780735263598, $17.99

Story Boat features fine drawings by Rashin Kheiriyeh and provides the very young with the story of a little girl and her younger brother who are forced to flee their home, with their family. As they learn about making her homes and finding new pleasures in the world while being refugees, readers receive a surprisingly positive story of hope and dreams as they learn not just how refugees struggle, but how they make new homes for themselves. A fine story of hope and change evolves, taking a difficult subject and making it accessible to a younger audience than such a topic usually reaches.


Three books provide lively, unusual leisure readers for young picture book enthusiasts and their read-aloud parents. Zoe Foster Blake's No One Likes a Fart (9781524791896, $9.99) illustrates the dilemma faced by a little fart who is rejected by would-be best friends, from a boy and his dog to a mother with a baby. Adam Nickel provides bright, lovely drawings of the fart and illustrates his dilemma in finding a best friend who will accept him for what he is in this hilarious story of loneliness and resolve. Jonathan London's Froggy Builds a Snowman (9781984836366, $16.99) is illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz and tells of Froggy's enthusiasm for the snowiest season of the year, when all kinds of new play opportunities arrive. His preparations for the Winter Carnival and his determination to have fun are the central features of a whimsical series of snow adventures which require good reading skills or parental assistance, rewarding this attention with a hilarious story of Froggy's latest fun. Andre Rodrigues, Larissa Ribeiro, Paula DeSgualdo and Pedro Markun's The President of the Jungle (9781984814746, $17.99) is translated from the Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann and provides a story about Lion, King of the Jungle, who is self-centered enough that his subjects are sick of him. It's obviously time to elect a new King. But who will take over? There are many animal candidates, but when Lion decides to run against them, trouble ensues. Who will make the best president? Election savvy blends with a fun story kids will appreciate.


Three new Disney titles are recommendations for young picture book readers seeking whimsical stories and appealing drawings. Marilyn Singer's Who Named Their Pony Macaroni? Poems About White House Pets (9781484789995, $17.99) is illustrated by Ryan McAmis and documents the various creatures who, along with their presidents and First Family humans, called the White House home. Singer's poems offer fun insights into the animals and their humans, and will involve young readers in rhymes which are revealing and delightfully whimsical. Minh Lą and Gus Gordon's The Perfect Seat (9781368020046, $16.99) tells of a moose who can't read a book until he finds the perfect seat to share with his young charge. But, what constitutes perfection? As various seats are tried and found wanting, the moose consider the roots of satisfaction in this zany tale. Ryan T. Higgins' Bruce's Big Storm (9781368026221, $17.99) tells of a home already too crowded when a storm hits and sends other woodland animals to his doorstep seeking refuge. Bruce is a bear who does not like neighbors, so this causes many problems because they live all around him, and always seem to need something from him during the best of times. Can grumpy Bruce who does not want visitors handle this influx of unwanted company? A fine story evolves about storms, helping others, and solitary plans.

Candlewick Press

Kenneth Kraegel's Wild Honey from the Moon (9780763681692, $17.99) tells of a shrew mother concerned about her baby's illness. She knows there's only one cure for his particular ailment: wild honey from the moon. Good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance will enhance enjoyment of this story of a determined mother who travels beyond everything familiar for the sake of her son's health. The wordy descriptions make for fine detail suitable for a bedtime read spread out over several nights. Timothy Knapman's What's Next? (9781536209891, $16.99) receives lovely drawings by Jane McGuinness as it explores a baby badger who at first is content to sleep all day in his burrow. It's only when he grows older that he begins to wonder if there's more to his life, and Daddy leads him into the world for his first adventure and the exploration of a magical realm outside his burrow. As the little badger comes to understand more of the world, it visually moves from black and white to full color in this inviting story of growth. Helen Cooper's The Hippo at the End of the Hall (9781536204483, $17.99) will appeal to advanced elementary to middle grade readers who are fans of fantasy adventures and presents a debut novel that opens with an odd invitation to the Gee Museum which is delivered by bees. Ben knows the invitation was meant for him because it causes him to recall memories of his father who was lost at sea a long time ago. When the museum reveals a host of talking animals who deem him their savior, Ben finds his mission embraces his life and the world in an adventure kids will relish. All are top-notch reads.

The Bilingual Shelf

We Both Read About Dinosaurs, second edition
Sindy McKay, author
Yanitzia Canetti, translator
Treasure Bay
9781601150509 $4.99

We Both Read About Dinosaurs is part of the "We Both Read" series of books designed for parents and children to read aloud together. On the left page of each two-page spread is a more detailed paragraph of text for the parent to read; on the right page is a simpler paragraph of text for the child to read (this text is considered to be "reading level 1-2"). This edition of We Both Read About Dinosaurs is also bilingual in English and Spanish, so all the read-aloud text on each page is presented in both languages. Combined with fascinating facts about dinosaurs and striking, full-color artwork, We Both Read About Dinosaurs is a superb way parents can encourage their children to practice reading in English, Spanish, or both! Also highly recommended is We Both Read: The Ocean / El Oceano (9781601150820, $4.99, "reading level 1-2") which is packed with educational information about the ocean and uses all the "We Both Read" features to promote parent/child reading in either English or Spanish.

The Self-Help Shelf

Jesse Bennett, author/illustrator
Archway Publishing
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781480877979, $15.00 PB, $3.49 Kindle
9781480877986, $22.95 HC, 26pp, Ages 4-7,

Following author and illustrator Jesse Bennet's first title of positive meditation and self affirmations for children, "Sunshine" is a unique story of a fearful owlet who is not reassured by the many encouraging, happy statements of his parents and siblings. In playful verse, he answers them: "What if a rain cloud pours down on just me? What if I fall playing ball and scrape up my right knee? What if my lunch pail ups out of my bag, and my left sock starts to sag?" Mama's answer to the fearful owlet paves the way to a special Sunshine Affirmation, Sunshine Meditation, and Feel Better Tool Kit, and finally a list of Journal questions to encourage kids to seek out their inner sunshine especially on days when they doubt it. The ideas of lead with your heart, love who you are, be the good, the happy, and the free, all help young readers to refine their best life skills edged with kindness and gratitude.

The Christian Shelf

ABC Book of Bible Verses: Lessons for Little Ones
Shelley A. Ritchie, author
Zoe Ballam, illustrator
Westbow Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington IN 47403
9781512782974, $23.95 PB, $3.99 Kindle, 58pp,

"ABC Book of Bible Verses" is a collection of 26 Bible verses (one beginning with each letter of the alphabet) interpreted and illustrated for children. For example, A is "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)." This is accompanied by a colorful illustration of children planting a tree in their yard, while forest animals look on. It is suggested that a way to serve the Lord is to take care of the earth, by cleaning up trash in your yard. Many more favorite Bible verses follow, accompanied by kid-friendly interpretations of ways the verse applies to them. Another favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 20:11: "Even a child is known by his doings." The interpretation suggests that even a child is known by what he does, and every day a child can do a good deed such as helping mom or dad set the table. "ABC Book of Bible Verses" is a Christian interpretation of many Bible verses for children ages 4-7 to follow in their daily lives. It is lovingly presented and most accessible to young children preschool through second grade.

When God Made the World
Matthew Paul Turner, author
Gillian Gamble, illustrator
Convergent Books
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780525650669, $12.99, HC, 48pp,

For spiritual parents who are looking for a different kind of creation book, Matthew Paul Turner's "When God Made the World" focuses on the complex way that God created our vast and scientifically operating universe, including the biodiversity of life on our planet and the intricacies of a vast solar system. Scottish illustrator Gillian Gamble brings the natural world to vibrant life with rich colors and poignant detail certain to stretch young minds and engage imaginations. A rhythmic, whimsical, thought-provoking and entertaining journey through creation for children ages 3-7 who love science and wonder and the beginnings of all things, "When God Made the World" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Christian picture book collections.

The Judaic Shelf

The Amazing Adventures of Super Dreidel
Howard Eisenberg, author
Mark Brayer, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
9781684015511, $14.95, HC, 38pp,

Rachel and her brother Randy did not know that when they built a Super Dreidel for Hanukkah that it would fly them thousands of years back in time and into the middle of a war. They did not know it would help the Maccabees win it. But then Super Dreidel crashed, and suddenly there was something else they didn't know: how in the world they could ever get home to Mom, Dad, and their dog Spot. A Write-Your-Own-Ending Book!, young readers ages 8-12 can be their very own author with "The Amazing Adventures of Super Dreidel: A Hanukkah Space Odyssey in Eight Parts" by author Howard Eisenberg and illustrator Mark Brayer including blank pages perfect for children to write out how they would end the story. "The Amazing Adventures of Super Dreidel" is very highly recommended for family picture book collections celebrating Hanukkah in a very special and entertaining way.

The Buddhist Shelf

Buddhism for Kids
Emily Griffith Burke
Rockridge Press
9781641523974, $9.99, PB, 122pp,

With a busy schedule of school, sports, and time with family and friends, growing up can be stressful and confusing -- but that confusion can transform into curiosity and excitement about the world and your place in it. Buddhism for Kids shows children ages 2-8 how Dharma, or Buddhist principles, can help them find their center and feel more aware of the world around them. Using easy-to-follow meditations for kids, interactive projects, and illustrated versions of classic Buddhist stories, "Buddhism for Kids" makes learning Dharma easy and fun, categorizing each activity by Morning, Day, or Night so children can practice at their own pace. A unique and thoroughly kid friendly introduction to basic Buddhist principles and practices, "Buddhism for Kids" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Buddhism Studies collections for children. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Buddhism for Kids" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Math Shelf

Morgan and the Forty Thieves
Addie Abacus
Phantom Hill Press
9781732881310, $8.99 PB, $2.99 Kindle, 126pp,

Nine-year-old Morgan is the daughter of an explorer and an adventurer at heart. When her father is lost on an expedition, Morgan and her mother are forced to sell their home and move in with a mysterious family they've never met. Morgan soon discovers that the family is hiding a great secret -- and that a world of magic and enchantments might actually be real. Set in Massachusetts at the turn of the last century, "Morgan and the Forty Thieves: A Magic Math Adventure" by Addie Abacus is an original and captivating adventure story that has problem-solving and mathematical concepts woven into the narrative. Math is presented as a language of the universe that helps us understand the beautiful patterns and symmetries found in nature making "Morgan and the Forty Thieves" an unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers. Also very highly recommended for young readers is "Morgan and the Monster of the Deep" (9781732881372, $8.99 PB, $2.99 Kindle, 138pp) which is the second book in author Addie Abacus' A Magic Math Adventure series.

The Social Issues Shelf

The Big, Bad Bully
Jack Canfield, author
Miriam Laundry, author
Eva Morales, illustrator
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757323089, $12.95, HC, 48pp,

Words have power. The words others say to us can either lift us as high as the clouds, or drop us down like a crashing plane. But what about the words we tell ourselves? What about that constantly running inner voice? In truth, what we say to ourselves impacts us even more than what others say to us. "The Big Bad Bully is a the story of a young girl who grows up with a voice that ridicules and demeans her. In the end, young readers ages 9-12 will discover that her tormentor is staring back at her every day in the mirror. Featuring stunning artwork by Eva Morales, "The Big Bad Bully" by Jack Canfield and Miriam Laundry is small yet profound little book that is an ideal tool for engaging children, young adolescents, parents, and caring adults about the impressions they make on themselves with their thoughts and self-talk. Included are powerful workbook are exercises and resources for implementing healthy self-esteem habits that can last a lifetime. Very highly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, self-Esteem expert Jack Canfield and noted educational speaker Miriam Laundry reveal that the biggest bully in a little girl's world is not lurking around the corner but living inside her head. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Big Bad Bully" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Biography Shelf

The Maid: The Story of Joan of Arc
L. R. Hitchcock
Pelican Publishing Company
9781455625079, $18.99, HC, 40pp,

Written and illustrated by L. R. Hitchcock, "The Maid: The Story of Joan of Arc" is a picture book biography. It is the story of Joan of Arc told in rhyme for young readers ages 12-17. "The Maid" begins with Joan's humble beginnings in Domremy, to her martyred end at the pyre at the hands of the English. Her tale is told in its entirety and is an especially recommended addition to family, school, and community library collections.

The Sports Shelf

Drop the Puck
Jayne J. Jones, author
Katrina G. Dohm, illustrator
Wise Ink Creative Publishing
807 Broadway St. NE, Suite 46, Minneapolis, MN 55413
9781634892766, $17.95, HC, 80pp,

"Drop the Puck: Hockey Every Day, Every Way" by author Jayne J. Jones and illustrator Katrina G. Dohm is part of the The Official Adventures series from Wise Ink Creative Publishing and showcases a laugh-out-loud fun read that includes playful hockey traditions and long-lasting friendships among teammates with disabilities but enjoy playing the game -- and each other! This sweet and inspiring tale of Lila's move to Hockeytown, USA will have all young readers ages 8- 12 cheering for victories big and small, on and off the ice! A wonderfully entertaining and thoroughly 'kid friendly' read throughout, "Drop the Puck" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, school, and community library Sports Fiction collections and is a must for all young hockey fans!

The American History Shelf

America's Outlaws and the Treasures They Left Behind
W. C. James
August House
9781947301634, $16.95, PB, 252pp,

By combining the allure of outlaws from the Wild West with the mystery of lost treasure, renowned treasure hunter, in "America's Outlaws and the Treasures They Left Behind" author W.C. Jameson has created a blockbuster collection of over two-dozen outlaw tales that will thrill young readers ages 9-13 and is unreservedly recommended for both school and community library collections. Kids are fascinated by the outlaws of the Old West. They are attracted to their daring and adventurous escapades. Kids cheer them on as they break the rules and even when they escape from their pursuers. The stories in this new collection, feature an eccentric cast of misfits, bandits and adventurers like the infamous Frank and Jesse James, treacherous Dalton Gang, notorious Doolin Gang, Black Jack Ketchum, daring Texan Sam Bass, glamorous Belle Starr, bloodthirsty John J. Glanton, Mexican bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, the Apache warrior, Chief Victorio, legendary Montana outlaw Henry Plummer, Curly Bill Brocius, deadly Ella Watson, along with the pirate Jean Lafitte and more.

The Crafts Shelf

Cloth: 5 Step Handicrafts for Kids
Anna Llimos, author
Schiffer Publishing
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764356452, $9.99, hardcover, 32 pages,

"Cloth: 5 Step Handicrafts for Kids" is a collection of fourteen cloth craft projects for kids age 5-8 years. Craft projects are clearly illuminated with color photos of materials and instructions are broken down into simple consecutive steps. Lists of materials are posted at the head of the project page, and projects are color coded and graded from one to four stars according to difficulty. Instructions and examples of the following cloth projects are included: Little Fishes, Tray, Turtle, Clown, Flower, Purse, Necklace and Bracelet, Puppy, Marionette, Owl, Felt Doll, Pompom Keychain, Gull, and Textile collage. The content index of projects features a tiny color photo of each project along side its title and page number. An example of a three star project (moderate difficulty) is the Puppy, on page 18 and 19. Color photos illustrate who to cut and shape the materials of brown, black and pink felt, PVA glue and scissors, into a charming adorable puppy. Simple steps (limited to five) and easy directions result in a small, charmingly realistic brown puppy. If children are unable to read the written instructions, they can follow the color photo illustrations and end up with a little felt puppy to be proud of. "Cloth: 5 Step Handicrafts for Kids" is an excellent craft reference book for kids, parents and teachers, providing hours of satisfying craft activities for quiet winter days. Also highly recommended are the following titles from the same series, all by the same author, Anna Llimos: "Clay: 5-Step Handicrafts for Kids (9780764356445, $9.99)," "Plastic: 5-Step Handicrafts for Kids (9780764358708, $9.99)," and "Wood: 5-Step Handicrafts for Kids (9780764358715, $9.99)."

The Multimedia Shelf

Bad Love Strikes
Kevin L. Schewe, MD. FACRO
Broken Crow Ridge Publishing
9781950895106, $19.95, paper, $35.95, hardcover, $9.99, ebook

Bad Love Strikes follows a romp through time and history by teens who discover a time travel machine created by Roosevelt. They decide to use it to change World War II history, to save individuals from the Holocaust. There are several unusual facets to this story which would seem to lend to a future audiobook production even more than the hard copy and ebook versions currently available. One is the author's recommendation that a 21-song soundtrack be downloaded and played at appropriate moments in the story (delineated throughout the novel) to reinforce its atmosphere and times (but, possibly copyright challenges prevent this direct translation into audio). The story is set in 1974 and 1944, but the soundtrack musical selections are from the 1960s and 70s. They will provide teens with more accessible (albeit retro) sounds than if music from the 1940s had been chosen for some of the background. While Bad Love Strikes will reach teen audiences, the World War II history and experiment to change it is well-done and nicely detailed, and will attract many an older reader interested in time travel tales. Revelations are filled with ongoing implications not just for the past, present and future, but their own relationships. All these facets coalesce to make Bad Love Strikes more than a cut above the ordinary time travel story. It's highly recommended for anyone who enjoys strong historical references, humor, cultural insights, and unexpected twists and turns in their plots.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

The Generous Fish
Jacqueline Jules and Frances Tyrrell
World Wisdom
9781937786793, $16.95

The Generous Fish comes from Jewish folklore and tells of a giant talking fish whose scales are made of gold. Villagers covet these rich scales and each have a special need that can be filled by wealth, but the generous fish grows weak as he gives them all away. Can his young friend Reuven tackle too much generosity and save his fish? This story about resource allocation, generosity, and friendship requires good reading skills or parental assistance but rewards with many rich discussion points suitable for classrooms or a child's education.

High-Five to the Hero
Vita Murrow, author
Julia Bereciartu, illustrator
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781786037824, $19.99, HC, 96pp,

Written by Vita Murrow and charmingly illustrated by Julia Bereciartu, "High-Five to the Hero: 15 Favorite Fairytales Retold With Boy Power" engagingly celebrates classic fairytales have been retold for a new generation of young readers. In these pages kids 7-10 will meet fairytale heroes like King Arthur, who rules by listening to others, and Prince Charming, who really wishes people wouldn't typecast him. Focused on issues that include self-image, confidence, LGBTQ, friendship, advocacy, and disability, these thoroughly entertaining stories with an underlying message are perfect for sharing between parents and children, or for older heroes and heroines to read by themselves. In addition to King Arthur and Prince charming, the caring, considerate, and responsible heroes of these collected stories include: Tom Thumb; Sinbad; The Emperor's New Clothes; Jack and the Beanstalk; Rumpelstiltskin; Pinocchio; Hercules; King Midas; The Pied Piper; Quasimodo; The Snow Man; The Elves and the Shoemaker; and Anansi. While especially recommended for family, school, and community library Fairytale/Folklore/Mythology collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "High-Five to the Hero" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.84).

The Uncomfortable Glass Slippers
Michele Clark McConnochie
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781642796872, $16.95, PB, 224pp,

"The Uncomfortable Glass Slippers" is the sequel to author Michele McConnochie's "The Uncooperative Flying Carpet" and shows Sabrina Summers as Prince Charming, her brother, Rory, is Baby Bear, and her friends, Persis and Olive, are Sleeping Beauty and Goldilocks. They learn that they need to find the magic glass slippers and take them and Ruggy, the uncooperative flying carpet, to the Island of Merthyr. Before that can happen, the friends encounter more goblins, a very smelly shoe museum, a terrifying were-dragon, and make unlikely friends with a pair of sisters desperate to marry any prince. Once again, they use the skills that are unique to their fairytale characters and Sabrina's courage and resourcefulness are pushed to the limit. To add to the drama, they discover that the real Cinderella has been imprisoned by the Beast with Eight Fingers in a case of seriously-mistaken identity, so they need to rescue her as well - all within three short days. By the end of "The Uncomfortable Glass Slippers", Sabrina knows who she can trust, who has betrayed her, and what she needs to do next! While highly recommended for community, school, and community library collections for young readers ages 8-12, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Uncomfortable Glass Slippers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Another Dreadful Fairy Book
Quentin Q. Quacksworth & Jon Etter
Amberjack Publishing
c/o Chicago Review Press
PO Box 4668, #89611, New York, NY 10163-4668
9781948705622, $16.99, HC, 352pp,

The magical Grand Library of Elfame is in danger! The fearsome bugbear Norwell Drabbery, Grand Scrutinizer for the Ministry of Ordinariness, Averageness, and Normalcy (M.O.A.N.), wants to remove books he deems "damaging," and even threatens to close the library altogether. But the heroic junior librarian and bibliophile Shade won't let censorship and suspicion ruin her dream to instill a love of books into the community of Elfame. With her friends the fast-talking Ginch and the silent but resourceful Professor, she sets out in search of help from a secret society charged with saving rare books. Book 2 of Jon Etter's 'Those Dreadful Fairy Books' series (and a sequel to "A Dreadful Fairy Book", the first book in this award winning series), A fun read from cover to cover, "Another Dreadful Fairy Book" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to school and community library collections for young readers ages 9-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Another Dreadful Fairy Book" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Books in Series

Cybersecurity Survival Strategies
The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

Cyber crime today is ubiquitous and all students need to become as cyber threat aware as they are computer literate. Two new and very timely books for students in grades 7-12 on the subject of computer and interset security issues are now available from the Rosen Publishing Group. "Tips for Your Personal Cybersecurity" and "Tips for Local and Global Security" by Nick Selby and Heather Vescent. Each of these 96 page, library bound, fully illustrated volumes include a detailed Table of Contents, a Glossary, an Index, Sidebars, 'Further Information' sections, and thematically appropriate websites. These two simply outstanding and throughly 'kid friendly' titles (9781508166427, List $74.20/S&L $55.70) are unreservedly and emphatically recommended for both school and community library collections for young readers.

Gold Medal Games
Red Chair Press
PO Box 333, South Egremont, MA 01258
9781541598768, List $159.95/S&L $119.95, Library Binding

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are showcases for the world's best athletes. These events feature the best of individual competition and team sports for athletes of all abilities. The five book series, "Gold Medal Games" provides historical context fr the ancient and modern versions of these important global events, while inspiring future elite athletes. Writte for children ages 7 to10, each 48 page volume is profusely illustrated throughout. Also available in a digital book format (List $7.99/S&L $35.95), and very highly recommended for both elementary school and community library collections, this outstanding series consists of Individual Sports of the Summer Games; Individual Sports of the Winter Games; Sports of the Paralympic Games; Team Sports of the Summer Games; Team Sports of the Winter Games.

War Machines
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor., New York, NY 10118
A0533, List $161.70/S&L $129.36, Library Binding

War Machines is a six volume series of illustrated, 32 page books that give young readers ages 9-12 a brief history of the vehicles, weapons and devices that have been developed for warfare. Enhanced with the inclusion of a glossary and unreservedly recommended for both school and community library collections, the thoroughly 'kid friendly' and informative individual titles comprising this outstanding series include Combat Helicopters; Combat Planes; Rockets & Missiles; Submarines; Tanks; Warships.

We Play!
Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003
9781538229446, List $135.60/S&L $101.70, Library Binding

Six new titles have now been added to the outstanding We Play! series from Gareth Stevens Publishing for elementary school children. Featuring full color photography illustrations supporting a thoroughly 'kid friendly' and engaging text, the new 24 page additions to the We Play! series that is especially recommended for preschool, elementary school and community library collections for children 5-7 include We Play Cleanup!; We Play House; We Play Kitchen; We Play Outside!; We Play School; and We Play Superheroes!.

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

There are six new additions to the groundbreaking Greenhaven Publishing At Issues series for high school students in grades 10-12. Key features of each volume continue to be quotes to highlight the main issues of the text; annotated lists of thematically appropriate organizations to contact; a bibliography and an index. Informative and impressively reader engaging, and especially recommended for highschool and community library collections, the new additions to the At Issues series (available in both a hardcover and a paperback edition) include America's Infrastructure; Ethical Pet Ownership, Puppy Mills, Rescue Pets, and Exotic Animal Trade; Political Corruption; Presentism, Re-examining Historical Figures Through Today's Lens; The Role of Religion in Public Policy; Troll Factories, Russia's Web Brigades.

Let's Find Out! Sports
PowerKids Press
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

Every community and school library should have introductory books on major team sports for elementary and middle school students. Now PowerKids Press offers an impressively informative four volume series that is thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation. This unreservedly recommended series (9781538304853, List $97.80/S&L $83.20) for both school and community library collections includes What Is Baseball?; What Is Basketball?; What Is Football?; What Is Soccer?. Also available in a digital book format (List $24.45/S&L $20.80), each individual book features a library binding for extended shelf life, full color photography, a detailed Table of Contents, Fact Boxes, a Further Information Section, a Glossary, thematically relevant websites, and an Index.

Greek Gods and Goddesses
The Child's World, Inc.
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003

A perennially fascinating subject for young readers, a new twelve volume, impressively informative series about the gods and goddesses of the Greeks from The Child's World is especially and unreservedly recommended for both elementary school and community library collections. The books comprising this remarkably outstanding and beautifully illustrated series (9781503840058, List $359.16/S&L $251.40) include Aphrodite: Goddess of Love and Beauty; Apollo: God of the Sun, Healing, Music, and Poetry; Ares: God of War; Artemis: Goddess of Hunting and Protector of Animals; Eros: God of Love; Hades: God of the Underworld; Hephaestus: God of Fire, Metalwork, and Building; Hera: Queen of the Gods, Goddess of Marriage; Hermes: God of Travel and Trade; Poseidon: God of the Sea and Earthquakes; Zeus: King of the Gods, God of Sky and Storms. Each individual, 32 page title features a library binding for extended shelf life, as well as detailed maps, information sidebars, a listing of equivalent Roman Gods, a section on the Greek God family Tree, sources for further research, thematically appropriate web sites, a table of contents and an index.

Cultures of the World
Cavendish Square
243 5th Avenue, Suite 136, New York, NY 10016

Cavendish Square has now published six more titles for it's outstanding 'Cultures of the World' series. The newly featured countries include Bahrain; Cameroon; Croatia; Grenada; Maldives; and Scotland. Each photographically illustrated, library bound, 144 page, title includes up-to-date statistics, representatives recipes, timelines, thematically appropriate internet links, informative side bars, glossary, bibliography, maps, facts, figures, and an index. This new six volume addition to the 'Cultures of the World' series (9781502653130, List $197.70/S&L $177.96) are unreservedly recommended for both school and community library collections for young readers.

Kisa Kids Publications

"Animals in the Quran" is a ten book series that draws from the Quran to teaches children ages 6- 10 life lessons through beautiful stories taken from history. "Animals in the Quran" focuses on ten of these stories featuring animals that include a whale, birds, ants, locusts, frogs, sheep, and even a dragon! Children love stories with animals, so these ten individual stories will capture their attention and help them learn important lessons. Each individual book tells stories about the different animals that are mentioned in the Quran and how we can learn lessons from them! Very highly recommended for family, school, and community library collections for young readers, children will enjoy these stories while simultaneously learning important lessons from the Holy Quran! The ten volume set in hardcover is $50.00, in a paperback edition is $29.99. Each volume is also available individually for $3.99 each.

Treasure Bay $4.99 each

The "We Both Read" series of colorful children's picturbooks designed for parents and children to read aloud together. On each two-page spread, the left page has a more complex passage for the parent to read, and the right page has a simpler passage for the child to read. D.J. Panec's "Dragons Do NOT Go to School!" (9781601153623) is a delightful story about a little dragon who discovers that attending school can be fun and exciting; it's level reading level PK-K, so that the child's read-aloud passages consist of one or two words. Sindy McKay's "Frogs" (9781601153586) is reading level K-1, featuring very short sentences for the child's section, and packed with full-color photographs and amazing facts about frogs. Sindy McKay's "Ben and Becky on an African Safari (9781601153647) is reading level 2, and the child's read-aloud section is only slightly less complex than the adult section. The story, illustrated with a mixture of gorgeous color photographs of safari wildlife and hand-drawn sketches of people, is sure to delight young animal lovers. All of these titles are highly recommended as teaching tools for families and school library collections.

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.

Paci Boy and the Ooey Gooey Slime Monster
Frank Johns, author
Spike Macquire, illustrator
Warren Publishing
9781734126235, $8.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Most parents have faced that dreaded removal of the pacifier. The battles our children fight are as big and overwhelming to them as our own. Only, they don't have history behind them to comfort them that all will be well. Their greatest comfort besides us in this big new world, is that pacifier they clutch in their mouths! And, trying to rid it quickly becomes our uncomfortable battle. Paci Boy finds his inner strength and is able to conquer his first battle of life, preparing him for greater feats yet to come! (Ages 1-8)

Stretchy McHandsome
Judy Schachner
Dial Books
9780803741218, $17.99

Christine Irvin

Stretchy McHandsome is a street cat that shares a box with a number of other street cats. He considers himself a handsome fellow. One day, he decides to wander away from the other cats and set out on his own. A young girl finds him and the two hit it off right from the start. Stretchy McHandsome finds himself a new home, but what will happen to his companions if he goes off to a new life? (Ages 3-5)

How About a Night Out?
Sam Williams, author
Matt Hunt, illustrator
Sterling Publishing
9781912757145, $17.95

Christine Irvin

This delightful picture book by author Sam Williams stars an adventurous kitty that invites his friends to go with him for a walk about the city at night. Readers can go along as the friends walk and creep and sneak and prowl around town under streetlights, through the moonlight, down the streets, and up the walls. Matt Hunt's illustrations are the perfect backdrop for the fun, rollicking, rhyming text. (Ages 3-6)

Oh No! Look What the Cat Dragged In
Joy H. Davidson, author
Jenny Cooper, illustrator
Sterling Children's Books
9781912904600, $16.95

Christine Irvin

Grandma's kitty sneaks out of the house every night, and every morning she finds what the cat dragged in the night before. It could be a snake or a weasel or even a pile of dirty laundry. When the grandkids spend a week with Grandma, the cat drags in an increasingly zany array of things. It's driving Grandma crazy. What can she do to stop the cat? The repetitive phrasing will delight young audiences as they chant along and try to guess what the cat dragged in! (Ages 3-6)

Sunny's Tow Truck Saves the Day!
Anne Marie Pace, author
Christopher Lee, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
9781419731914, $14.99

Larissa Juliano

Oh, how I love books about things that go! And this one checks off all the criteria for a fabulous and fresh transportation book. Short and sweet rhyming text, bright illustrations, a big problem that needs a big solution, and a sweet and hard-working character named Sunny. I love sharing career kinds of stories with my students that highlight hands-on jobs that are so important for everyday life. Sunny comes to a family's rescue and her crew quickly gets to work on patching a flat tire. Sunny even has a sweet surprise for the grateful family that will make readers smile. (Ages 3-6)

Naughty Ninja Takes a Bath
Todd Tarpley, author
Vin Vogel, illustrator
Two Lions
9781542094337, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

What happens when imagination clashes headlong into reality? A mess is sure to ensue! This stealth little ninja is entrapped by daily routine, and hold your hats folks, it's about to get messy. (Ages 3-7)

Teddy Bear of the Year
Vikki VanSickle, author
Sydney Hanson, illustrator
Tundra Books
9780735263925, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This story is sure to delight every child's heart who secretly believes as the night quiets and the house is motionless, our favorite toys magically have the very best time of their day. On just such an occasion, Ollie, a loving and kind little teddy bear, experiences his greatest wonder of all when he attends The Teddy Bear Picnic! Oh what joys await him in this exciting adventure! (Ages 3-7)

The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder: A Gumboot Kids Nature Mystery
Eric Hogan and Tara Hungerford
Firefly Books
9780228101901, $6.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

The Gumboot Kids are at it again. Grab your notebooks and join these incredible detectives as they teach us to discover the mysteries of nature. The perfect union of systematic knowledge of our material world through observation, and the excitement of discovery that makes science fun! Truly a fun way to educate and stimulate learning beyond a formal classroom. Each book encourages research and productivity with facts and projects. Another great Gumboot adventure to discover is The Case of the Vanishing Caterpillar! Your kids will want to collect them all. Whether as a family time adventure with your young ones or as a peer-based experience among older children, these are great books to have on hand! (Ages 4-7)

Musical Mac
Brendan Kearney
Sterling Children's Books
9781454933700, $16.95

Christine Irvin

Poor Mac! He's a millipede with an abundance of arms and legs and an abundance of talent when it comes to making music. He can play the violin and the trumpet and the guitar and the drums and the flute. He wants to join a band so he can play music with others, but he's too big for one group, and too small for another. He just can't seem to fit in anywhere. How will he be able to make music if he can't join a band? (Ages 4-7)

Astro Girl
Ken Wilson-Max
9781536209464, $16.99

Larissa Juliano

Astrid loves space and stars! She has a telescope that she peers through and has lots of questions and intrigue about what lies above in the starry sky. This sweet story highlights the wonders of space, the curiosity of a little girl, and the sweet relief when a family is reunited. Illustrations are painted in acrylic with bold lines and fun details of space-related objects. Bonus: Cool facts about space and extraordinary women astronauts on the last few pages of the book are fascinating! A perfect book for little readers with big dreams. (Ages 4-8)

Roly Poly
Mem Fox, Jane Dyer, and Jeanne Birdsall
Beach Lane Books
9781481445566, $17.99

Christine Irvin

Roly Poly is a polar bear. He had no sister and no brother, and he liked it that way. He liked having his parents' undivided attention and a bed all to himself. But, one day, he wakes up to find another little bear, Monty, sharing his bed. Roly Poly is not happy that he now has a brother. He didn't want one and he doesn't want one. But, when Monty gets into trouble, will Roly Poly just turn his back on him, or will he come to the rescue? Illustrator Jane Dyer uses photographs of hand-made stuffed, felted bears (that she created) to make this sweet story come alive.
(Ages 4-8)

C Jumped over Three Pots and a Pan and Landed Smack in the Garbage Can
Pamela Jane, author
Hina Imtiaz, illustrator
9780764358777, $9.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This fun alphabet book is a great way to bring each letter to life, as well as teach needful lessons on teamwork, friendship, and ingenuity. These friendly characters think quick when A, B, and C are out playing and C lands himself smack into trouble. The whole alphabet gets involved to help their friend. I loved the order. Not so rote. The liveliness of the letters makes memory easy through association, which I believe is a great way to learn. (Ages 5-6)

Arthur Garber: The Harbor Barber
Joe Frank
Firefly Books
9780228102083, $6.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

Arthur Garber was the hit of the harbor! His barber skills he honed to perfection, and long lines awaited his masterful dedication. This fun, rhyming tale is sure to delight its readers. Arthur's masterful talent led him to a challenge that led him to his greatest reward: friendship! (Ages 5-7)

Sammy's Day at the Fair: The Digestive System
Jerome Tiller, author
Paul Tiller, illustrator
ArtWrite Productions
9780977769391 $17.95 pbk / $3.99 Kindle

Darleen Wohlfeil

Who doesn't look forward to a day at the fair? Count me in with Sammy, as we hit the corn dog booth. This is a clever way to engage and educate. We come face-to-face with our gut reactions to all those heavenly, greasy delights we look forward to. In this entertaining introduction to the human digestive system, we follow that corn dog as it passes through Sammy's digestive tract. (Ages 6-12)

How I Made A Friend (My Crazy Stories)
Daniel Georges
Independently Published
9781088442432, $15.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

We often hear that there is someone for everyone. Whether it's love or just friendship, it is always true. Will likes being alone, and is often irritated when others intrude on his space. That is until a tiny kid moves into the neighborhood. No matter how different we may feel, it's great when we find a special friend that actually shares the same interests with us. Will and Oliver soon discover a very special friendship. (Ages 5-8)

If You Played Hide-and-Seek with a Chameleon
Bill Wise, author
Rebecca Evans, illustrator
Dawn Publications
9781584696513, $8.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

What a fun way to learn about animals! Picture a day filled with carnival activities. Games set to prove the best in 12 outrageous competitions. Among you and some pretty amazing contestants, who do you think would win? You'll chuckle and laugh while you learn who's best at what, and why. More helpful tips are also provided to explore, making it the best possible learning experience. (Ages 5-11)

A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Joy McCullough
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
9781534438491, $17.99

Diana Fisher

Sutton loves logic, science, and robots. Luis lives in his imagination creating stories of heroic protagonists on courageous adventures. Both kids are missing a parent - Sutton's mother is off working in Antarctica, and Luis's father died when Luis was very young. They both have their challenges, and they deal with life in very different ways. When their families appear to be merging, Sutton and Luis must learn to open up to unforeseen possibilities, and experience the adventure of life in new ways. (Ages 8+)

Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments
Kate Biberdorf
Philomel Books
9780593116166, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

Dr. Kate makes learning fun in her 25 full-color, step-by-step experiments. Each exciting challenge comes with a full list of supplies and a handy messiness level for mom and dad. Kate explains how each experiment works, and provides questions to discover what each reader and aspiring young scientist thinks. Pick your favorites, or systematically work your way through the pages. You're sure to have fun! (Ages 8-12)

Blue Skies
Anne Bustard
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
9781534446069, $17.99

Diana Fisher

Glory Bea's father has not come home from the war. Miracles happen, and Glory Bea knows her daddy is still out there - in spite of what she has been told. Glory Bea lives in a small town in Texas, and while the whole town is anticipating the arrival of the Merci Train, she is trying to thwart her mother's relationship with a new man. This beautiful story of family, love, and acceptance, is told around a true event - an exchange of friendly gifts with France post WWII. The author captures the charm and nostalgic detail of a small town circa 1949, and cleverly sprinkles in simple French lessons that fit perfectly into the narrative. Coming to terms with hard truths in a setting of kindness and community is engagingly woven into this touching tale. (Ages 8-12)

Hooray for Women!
Marcia Williams
9781536201116, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This fresh and fun format will capture even the reluctant reader. In a matter of moments, we pass through time and history. Visiting the lives of more than 70 amazing women, we travel the world over and gather their historic accomplishments without long, tedious reading. I must tip my hat to the talent who can make learning fun! (Ages 8-12)

The Wonder of Wildflowers
Anna Staniszewski
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
9781534442788, $17.99

Diana Fisher

Mira has immigrated with her parents to a new town with something magical. She desperately wants to fit in and be accepted by her classmates, but Mira faces the challenges of being from "somewhere else," and she consequently struggles with her own identity. Her status as an outsider is complicated by the community struggle over its coveted magical resource. Torn between family and peers, community politics and standing up for what is right, Mira eventually learns who she is in spite of the pressure to conform. The Wonder of Wildflowers mirrors the very real struggles and joys of school-age children in a fictional setting. This coming-of-age story will entertain as well as raise important questions for young minds - without being preachy or one-sided. (Ages 8-12)

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee
Beth Vrabel
Running Press Kids
9780762493395, $16.99

Diana Perry

The first eight years of Penelope McGee's education have been a curriculum in humiliation. Now she is on a quest for redemption, and a little bit of revenge. From her kindergarten self-portrait as a bacon with boobs, to fourth grade when she peed her pants in the library thanks to a stuck zipper, to seventh grade where ... well, she doesn't talk about seventh grade. Ever. After hearing the guidance counselor lecturing them on how high school will be a clean slate for everyone, Pipi decides to use her last year in middle school to right the wrongs of her early education and save other innocents from the same picked-on, laughed-at fate. Young readers will relate to this story which also teaches the dangers of revenge. There are many teens with lives similar to Pipi and they will bond to her and relate to her circumstances. (Ages 8-12)

The Hero Next Door
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Crown Books for Young Readers
9780525646303, $16.99

Christine Irvin

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, in all colors and ethnicities, and in all ages. Most of them don't wear capes or have lots of money. They exhibit their own brand of heroism by helping those who need help. Even the smallest good deed can pay huge dividends for the recipients. This anthology of 13 stories, each by a different acclaimed author (William Alexander, Hena Khan, and Linda Sue Park, to name a few), highlights the actions of everyday heroes who helped their neighbors in little ways that meant a lot. (Ages 8-12)

The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School
Kristin Mahoney
Knopf Books for Young Readers
9781524765132, $16.99

Diana Perry

Getting ready to start middle school? Well, you'll need to know what to expect. Get to know every person you'll meet and how they can help (and who to stay away from!). Discover the ins and outs of middle school in this guide from an older sister to her younger sister. From tackling a new building to meeting new people like the assistant principal, the class pet, the Huggers, the renegade, the tomato kid, your old best friend's new best friend, this is a must-read for everyone starting middle school. I have never read a more suited book for middle-schoolers. (Ages 8-12)

Rose Coffin
M.P. Kozlowsky
9781338310474, $17.99

Diana Perry

Rose Coffin can't win. She's teased all the time, especially for slipping into song at inopportune moments, though that's the only thing that keeps her panic at bay. After a particularly mortifying incident, Rose escapes to the woods where she's captured by a group of otherworldly creatures. They take her to Eppersett - a magical, eerily beautiful place, and tell her that she's "the one who's going to save them." An evil force called the Abomination is on the loose, and there's only one thing powerful enough to stop it: her voice. There's just one catch. Rose hasn't been brought to Eppersett to fight the Abomination. She's going to be sacrificed to it. This is a well-written story that sucks you in and, just like Rose, you can't seem to escape. Well done! (Ages 8-12)

The Whispering Wars
Jaclyn Moriarty
Arthur A. Levine Books
9781338255874, $18.99

Diana Perry

The town of Spindrift is also home to the Orphanage School, where Finlay lives with Glim, Taya, and Eli. Just outside town is the painfully posh Brathelthwaite Boarding School, home to Honey Bee, Hamish, and Victor, Duke of Ainsley. When the two schools compete at the Spindrift Tournament, the stakes are high, tensions are higher, and some people are out to win at any cost. And then the Whispering Wars break out, and Spindrift is thrust onto the front lines. Children are being stolen; witches, sirens, and a deadly magical flu invade the town; and all attempts to fight back are met with defeat. The kids must join forces to rescue the stolen children and turn the tide of the war. But how can one bickering troupe outwit the insidious power of the Whisperers? A great read! (Ages 8-12)

The Word Dancer
Maxine Rose Schur
White Bird Publications
9781633633889, $16.99

Diana Perry

When the Ugsome traitors take over the kingdom of Wisland, the orphan, Wynnfrith must flee the court with Oliver, the 5-year-old crown prince. Their flight becomes a treacherous journey that pits Wynnfrith against the cruel, grotesque Ugsome family. To win against her enemies, Wynnfrith is aided by both the love and secret incantations of Mistress Plummety Peache. But perhaps above all, it is the presence of the magical Word Dancer who inspires her to use not just her head, but also her heart to ignite the full power of words. Can Wynnfrith find within herself the way to unleash this power? If she can, she will not only realize her true bravery, she might also crush the enemies of Wisland. A terrific book filled with delightful and unique characters and visual settings. This is a real fairy tale and I feel the best character is the Word Dancer himself! (Ages 8-12)

Legends of the Sky
Liz Flanagan
David Fickling Books
9781338349665, $18.99

Diana Perry

On the island of Arcosi, dragons and their riders used to rule the skies. But now they are only legends, found in bedtime stories, and on beautiful murals and ancient jewelry. When servant girl Milla witnesses a murder and finds herself caring for the last four dragon eggs, she is forced to keep them secret amidst the growing tensions in the city. But how can Milla and her friends keep the eggs safe when it means endangering everything she's ever loved? Fiery friendships, forgotten family, and the struggle for power collide as Milla's fight to save the dragons leads her to discover her own hidden past. I found this story to be a magical fairy tale that young readers will really love. (Ages 8-12)

Awesome Dog 5000
Justin Dean
Random House Books for Young Readers
9780525644811, $13.99

Diana Perry

Marty, Ralph, and Skyler might make the ultimate secret combo when battling alien-slime ninjas in their favorite video game, but in real life they're just regular kids. That is, until the three best friends discover Awesome Dog 5000, a robotic dog with very real power-ups. Awesome Dog can "bark" a sonic boom, "walk" at speeds over three hundred miles per hour, and "fetch" with an atomic cannon. Life for Marty, Ralph, and Skyler just got a major turbo-boost! Youngsters will practice their reading while being entertained by this exciting and funny story. The ending leads brilliantly into the next book in this series and it also includes some awesome activity pages.
(Ages 8-12)

Miss Communication (Babymouse Tales from the Locker)
Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Random House Books for Young Readers
9780399554414, $13.99

Diana Perry

Ping! Ping! The sound of texting is in the air. Everyone at middle school has a cell phone. Babymouse just has to get one, too. But having a phone is a lot of work! Building up a following on SoFamous, learning text lingo, keeping up with all the important koala videos ... Babymouse is ready to tear her whiskers out. Why does it suddenly feel like she has no friends? Somehow, Babymouse needs to figure out how to stop worrying and love her smartphone ... if Locker doesn't eat it first. #Typical. Early readers will love this book. (Ages 8-12)

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