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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 19, Number 5 May 2009 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice DVD Shelf Music CD Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Language Studies Shelf Pitcturebook Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Sports Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Multicultural Studies Shelf Biography Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Preschool Shelf Folklore/Fairytale Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Bilingual Shelf Science Shelf Easy Reader Shelf
Fiction Shelf Poetry Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Fuzzimal Puppies
Theresa Hutnik & Megan Smith
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, 8th fl., NY, NY 10012-3999
9781591746522, $16.95,

Children can create five adorable shaggy puppies using bending pipe cleaners and the thoroughly 'kid friendly' instructions they will find in "Fuzzimal Puppies", a recreational 'how to' book co-authored by Theresa Hutnik and Megan Smith. By bending the pipe cleaners into shape, then wrapping them with frizzy year, and finishing them with floppy ears and googly eyes, these do-it-yourself creations offer inexpensive fun and fascination. Also included are punch-and-fold dog carriers so the children can take their hand-made puppies with them wherever they choose to go. A complete and enthusiastically recommended activities kit, "Fuzzimal Puppies" comes with pipe cleaners, fuzzy novelty yarn, googly eyes, glue, shiny jewels, and punch-out dog carriers -- making it an ideal project for rainy days or any other time!

Tricky Video
John Cassidy & Nicholas Berger
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, 8th floor, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781591746232, $19.95 1-800-242-7737

Tricky Video: The Complete Guide to Making Movie Magic is an exciting, easy-to-understand compendium of twenty-three tips and tricks young adults can use to create seemingly magical illusions on a home video camera, whether for home videos, YouTube posts, school projects, or anything else. Full color photography illustrate clever ideas from action figure dances (filmed via stop-motion animation) to "snap power" (when a subject on film snaps his fingers, his sister appears to turn into a dog!) to "giant land" (a tiny person stands on top of a giant's head). None of the optical illusions require an excess of expensive equipment beyond an ordinary home video camera - not even movie editing software. A black-and-white, Hollywood-style slate is included in this excellent gift and source of ideas for budding young directors.

A Teen's Guide to Creating Web Pages and Blogs
Benjamin Selfridge, Peter Selfridge, & Jennifer Osburn
Prufrock Press Inc.
5926 Balcones Drive, Suite 220, Austin, TX 78731
9781593633455, $19.95,

The internet has become a new center for expressing oneself. "A Teen's Guide to Creating Web Pages and Blogs" is a guide for teenagers and parents of teens who want to embrace the internet as their link to the whole world. Focusing on social websites like MySpace and Fancebook, the authors seek to give teens advice on creating solid web pages as well as protecting them against the threats one finds on the internet. Written in a style designed to easily be understood by any teenager, "A Teen's Guide to Creating Web Pages and Blogs" is a good pick for any with teenage children who want to embrace the web.

Homer's Home
Bliss E. Wilkie, author
Riley Bancroft, narrator
Homer's Home Press
3020 Issaquah Pine Lake Rd #549, Sammamish, WA 98075
9780981599427 $16.95

First written in 1970, Homer's Home is a children's picturebook with accompanying read-aloud audio CD about a little goldfish in a big pet store tank, who years to be independent from his own home. But when he finally achieves his wish and becomes the pet of a child, he learns that a new home - or any home - isn't truly a home unless shared with a loved one. Simple color illustrations add a cheerful touch to this heartwarming story.

Getting to the Heart of Complimenting
Anne Paluszny, author
Lori McDonough, illustrator
Starbrook Publishing, Inc.
484 E. Carmel Drive, #388, Carmel, Indiana 46032
9780980195842, $16.99

Getting to the Heart of Complimenting is a rhyming, educational picturebook that walks young readers step by step through the basic etiquette of giving and receiving compliments, with emphasis on the importance of cultivating a big heart. Written by mother of four and expert in communications Anne Paluszny, Getting to the Heart of Complimenting is perfect for parents to share with children while teaching them basic social interaction skills. "But there's another way to compliment, so before the day is through / use kind words to let others know that you like the things they do. / 'Grandpa, I like the way you tell stories about your life as a little boy.' / Tell Nana that baking cookies with her is something you really enjoy." Highly recommended.

Scholastic Inc.
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

Ben Hillman's HOW WEIRD IS IT: A FREAKY BOOK ALL ABOUT STRANGENESS (0439918685, $15.99) covers a range of concepts about 'strange', from how different cultures view the concepts of 'strange' and 'weird' differently (as in a dish of scorpions which are a delicacy to China kids, who may not be happy about a slice of pizza) to strange fungus, bacteria, and giant weather jets. Full-page color photos provide vivid accompaniment to the 'world of strange'. Nic Bishop's BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS (0439877571, $17.99) provides a lovely primer on butterfly life cycles, enhanced by Nic Bishop's close-up color photos. From catching them to observing them, kids are treated to a fine journey of discovery. Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm's LIVING SUNLIGHT: HOW PLANTS BRING THE EARTH TO LIFE (0545044227, $16.99) is perfect for libraries teaching life cycles and ecology: it focuses on sunlight's attributes and how it contributes to life on earth, pairing questions and answers with fine insights. Terry Golson's TILLIE LAYS AN EGG (054500537X, $16.99) tells of hens and how they lay eggs, providing a photo shoot of one Tillie the chicken, who lays eggs in unexpected places. Ben Fink's photos are delightful and fun. Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz's ADVENTURES OF RILEY: TIGERS IN TERAI (0545068428, $16.99) enjoys fine drawings by Sarah McIntyre as it tells of Riley, who journeys to a distant region of India and Nepal in search of an elusive Bengal tiger. Fiction and non-fiction blend in a fictional adventure exploring Indian natural history and geography.

The Story of Queen Esther
Jenny Koralek, author
Grizelda Holderness, illustrator
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802853486, $17.50 1-800-253-7521

The Story of Queen Esther is a picturebook retelling of the Biblical story of Queen Esther, a brave, beautiful Jewish girl who became the Queen of Persia and risked her life to save her people from execution. Featuring Grizelda Holderness' beautiful, color illustrations inspired by Persian artwork, The Story of Queen Esther is sure to entrance young readers of all faiths. "When Mordecai heard the terrible news, he quickly sent a message to Esther : 'Only you can save us now! Go to the king and beg him to be merciful.' Esther sent a message back: 'Anyone who goes before the king uninvited will be put to death - even I, the queen.' 'You must go,' Mordecai replied. 'Very well,' said Esther, 'I will go to him. But first, you and I must fast and pray to prepare ourselves.'" Highly recommended.

Oren Village, LLC
c/o Tree Town Promotions, LLC (publicity)
1061 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. #Bs, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Two children's picturebooks in the "The Daydreams Collection" series, illustrated with colorful, cartoon-style illustrations by Libby Carruth Krock, each feature an accompanying audio CD of their story, narrated by author Alan St. Jean. Big Fella (9780977727223, $19.95) features intrepid young Ralphie exploring a jungle of his imagination, and pursuing a gigantic lion. In the process he learns a valuable lesson: "Cooperation, harmony, / Are something to be earned. / Work real hard, listen well, / Don't leave it up to chance." In "Spooky Mooky" (9780977727230, $19.95), Ralphie is afraid of the dark - something mysterious has been tapping on his bedroom window, and eerie sounds are coming from under his bed! Yet Ralphie's six-year-old friend Mooky isn't afraid at all, and even gives Ralphie a special birthday present... with a monster inside! Both are delightful read-aloud tales perfect for parents and children to share.

The Feline Knight
Barbara E. Moss
Polar Bear & Company
PO Box 311, Solon, ME 04979
9781882190034, $15.95,

Some things just can't be explained. "The Feline Knight" follows ordinary in almost every way cat Goblin, who finds himself on adventures throughout medieval Europe. Realistic in tone and writing, as Goblin cannot speak and the settings are designed to be historically accurate, the story provides a lesson in history as well as a charming adventure of a cat who saves lives and earns knighthood. "The Feline Knight" is a unique and highly recommended piece of reading for younger readers.

The DVD Shelf

Berry Big Journeys
20th Century Fox
c/o Andrea Blain Public Relations, Inc.
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076

Berry Big Journeys is a children's DVD featuring popular cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake on a new road trip adventure. Strawberry Shortcake has made a bet with Pie Man that she can travel around the world in 80 days - a daring feat! With the help of her friends, she races against the clock and challenges surprising obstacles in this entertaining adventure that young girls are sure to love. Special features include a character gallery memory book and DVD-ROM printable coloring pages. 44 minutes, English/Spanish audio and subtitles, closed captioned.

Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship
Nikki Giovanni, author
Bryan Collier, illustrator
Weston Woods Studios
143 Main Street, Norwalk, CT 06851
0545134404, $59.95 1-800-290-7531

Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship is the DVD adaptation of a children's picturebook about the extraordinary friendship between President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, a man born into slavery but who escaped to freedom and became a major figure of the abolitionist movement. Douglass was even a guest at Lincoln's 1865 inaugural reception. Featuring a "read-along" option and a bonus interview with author Nikki Giovanni, Lincoln and Douglass is a brief yet engrossing DVD based on a true story, and an excellent contribution to public library children's collections. 12 minutes, subtitles, closed captioned. Also highly recommended is the DVD adaptation of "Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad".

High Speed Adventures
Thomas & Friends
HiT Entertainment
c/o Lionsgate
2700 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404
H180261, $14.98,

Thomas the Tank Engine is an icon of young children's entertainment, and he comes to the next generation of viewers with another set of adventures. "High Speed Adventures" is a collection of six stories for Thomas & Friends as they go about their lives on the island of Sodor. Encouraging sharing, cooperation, and 'steamwork', Thomas tells many stories while doing much to captivate young viewers and giving them much to enjoy as they learn good values. "High Speed Adventures" is a top choice for parents of young children who want to let their children enjoy what they enjoyed as children themselves.

The Music CD Shelf

Field Trip
Recess Monkey
c/o Waldmania!
130 Maywood Dr., San Francisco, CA 94127
No ISBN, $15.00,

The Seattle-based band 'Recess Monkey' is comprised of three elementary school teachers and "Field Trip" is their fifth CD music release consisting of musical numbers performed live in front of a children's audience as part of a Valentine's Day 2008 Seattle show. The individual and original pieces comprises this expertly recorded CD include Fort; Marshmallow Farm; Sack Lunch; Knocktopus; haven't Got a Pet yet; New Shoes; Hot Chocolate; Ice Pack; tiny Telephone; L.I.C.E.; The Teens; Secret Agent Watch; Bubble Factory; Centipede Pirate; and concludes with Firefly Lullaby. A toe-tapping treat for young listeners, "Field Trip" will be enthusiastically received by the band's legions of fans and serve as an excellent introduction for those new to them. "Field Trip" is very highly recommended for family, school, and community library CD music collections for kids.

The Cookbook Shelf

Get Cooking
Sam Stern
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763639266, $17.99,

Chefs don't absolutely have to be old men (or old women). "Sam Stern's Get Cooking: More Than 100 New Recipes from the World-Famous Teenage Cook!" is a compilation of fine recipes for young cooks, or the cook who wants to feel young again, from acclaimed teenage chef Sam Stern. Created by a teenager, for teenagers, these recipes are tailored towards the teenage tongue, but should be a home run with many regardless of their age. "Sam Stern's Get Cooking" is a great gift for the any teenager with an interest in quality cooking.

The Language Studies Shelf

Spanish with Abby and Zak
Tracy Traynor & Maria Perez, authors
Laura Hambleton, illustrator
Milet Publishing
333 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 530, Chicago, IL 60601
9781840595154 $16.95

Spanish with Abby and Zak is a consumable, softcover children's picturebook with an accompanying audio CD designed to introduce young children to the Spanish language. The basic vocabulary building includes the Spanish words for parts of the body and articles of clothing; and review pages challenge children to write down the Spanish words they learned. A few simple phrases are also presented, in this colorful, user-friendly book that makes beginning to study a new language fun.

Teach Me...Everyday Spanish
Judy Mahoney
Teach Me Tapes
6016 Blue Circle Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55343
9781599721026, $19.95,

Other languages are solid learning tools, even if one isn't fluent. "Teach Me...Everyday Spanish" is a foreign language lesson guide aimed at younger children to teach them some fairly basic Spanish language phrases. Each page condenses of a simple phrase in both English and Spanish, as well as a simple song or rhyme in both languages for ease of learning. Enhanced with a CD, "Teach Me...Everyday Spanish" is of interest to anyone trying to give their children a leg up in the Spanish language. Also in the "Teach Me..." series, is "Everyday French"(9781599721019, $19.95) and "Everyday Hebrew" (9781599721057, $19.95), both following a similar format to "Everyday Spanish". Teach Me Tapes also has two volumes on spiritual songs in "Teach Me...French Spiritual Songs" (0934633509, $19.95) and "Teach Me...Spanish Spiritual Songs" (0934633746, $19.95).

Teach Me... Everyday Hebrew Volume 1
Judy Mahoney, author
Patrick Girouard, illustrator
Teach Me Tapes, Inc.
6016 Blue Circle Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55343
9781599721057, $19.95 1-800-456-4656

Part of the "Teach Me... Everyday" language series designed to help young people discover and learn a foreign language, Teach Me... Everyday Hebrew Volume 1 is a picturebook with accompanying CD designed to instruct young people in basic Hebrew expressions, colors, numbers, the alphabet, and more. Printed and meant to be read from right to left, just like actual Hebrew, Teach Me... Everyday Hebrew Volume 1 features catchy songs and colorful cartoon characters designed to help make learning simple and fun. A delightful introduction to the exciting and vibrant language of Israel.

The Picturebook Shelf

Wenda the Wacky Wiggler
Christopher Aslan, author
Emily Mullock, illustrator
Benjamin Brown Books
#121-3495 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4R3
9780978255329 $19.95

Wenda the Wacky Wiggler is a rhyming children's picturebook about a young girl who is constantly dancing and wiggling with joy. The more somber townspeople are discomfited, and take away all the music. At first she despairs, but then she comes to understand that the exuberance that fuels her dancing comes from inside! An infectiously high-spirited story brought to life with extravagantly playful color illustrations.

The Wim Wom from the Mustard Mill
Polly Peters, author
Roberta Angeletti, illustrator
Child's Play
64 Wellington Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052
9781846432538 $7.99 1-800-639-6404

The Wim Wom from the Mustard Mill is a playful, softcover children's picturebook about the skepticism one family's children hold for the stories that adults tell them about the Wim Wom, a capricious creature that causes trouble for kids who misbehave! The children try to piece together clues from their parents and grandparents to figure out what the Wim Wom looks like - but could it actually be real? Maybe it could be real, but maybe everything they're told about it isn't! A charming story, brought to life with humorous, cartoony illustrations.

Moon Man
Tomi Ungerer
Phaidon Press
180 Varick Street, 14th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780714855981 $16.95

Moon Man is a children's picturebook about the adventure of the Man in the Moon, who years to know what it's like to dance. He catches a comet to Earth, but human beings fear and distrust him - a mean-spirited general even sends him to prison! He escapes, finally gets to dance, and takes a spacecraft back to the moon knowing that he can never live peacefully on Earth. A simple, whimsical story brought to life with expressive color illustrations, especially suitable for bedtime reading.

A Friend
Anette Bley
Kane/Miller Book Publishers
PO Box 8515, La Jolla, CA 92038-8515
9781935279006 $14.95 1-800-968-1930

A Friend is a charming children's picturebook about friendship. The thoughtful text and adventurous color illustrations list various qualities and wonderful things that true friends share. "I'm glad I have a friend to play with... / ...on rainy days. / Someone to get in trouble with... / ...when I feel like playing tricks. / Someone to dance and laugh with... / ...when I am happy." A lovely and heartwarming picturebook, highly recommended.

The Laceyville Monkeys: Say the Right Words
Harriett Ruderman, author
Beverly Luria, illustrator
Illusion Press, LLC
8437 Legend Club Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33412
9780615264820 $15.95

The Laceyville Monkeys: Say the Right Words is a rhyming children's picturebook about a troupe of monkeys that can perform the most wonderful dances and acrobatics, if only they are told the right words! There's Eva the ballerina, Sheva the singer, and Keva the gymnast. Their owner, Miss Hepzibah Mott, brings her beloved performing monkeys to the annual Big Talent Contest, where they can compete against rivals like Jake the Snake who does the Cobra dance, and the piano-playing George the Gorilla. A delightful storybook brimming with enthusiasm from cover to cover.

Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party
Sheri Radford, author
Christine Tripp, illustrator
Lobster Press
1620 Sherbrooke Street, West, Montreal, Quebec, H3H 1C9, Canada
9781897550243 $9.95

Continuing the delightful Penelope series of children's picturebooks, Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party continues Penelope's adventures during her birthday party - in which she invites literally everyone! Ballerinas dance, ponies trot, and even an elephant comes home to roost. Her birthday party has gone out of control! Exuberant color illustrations add an extra dash of delight to this playful story. Also highly recommended are "Penelope and the Monsters" and "Penelope and the Humongous Burp".

Starry Night, Sleep Tight
Gail Yerrill, illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781589258440 $12.95 1-888-454-0097

Starry Night, Sleep Tight is a gorgeous picturebook compendium of timeless, classic children's lullabies, beautifully illustrated by Gail Yerrill with images of forest animals preparing for bedtime. The singsong rhymes are perfect for adults to read to children right before bedtime, in this enjoyable collection sure to be a family favorite. Highly recommended.

Where is Simon, Sandy?
Donna Marie Seim, author
Susan Spellman, illustrator
Publishing Works Inc.
60 Winter Street, Exeter, NH 03833
9781933002736, $19.95 1-800-738-6603

Mom's Choice Gold Award winning author Donna Marie Seim presents Where is Simon, Sandy?, a children's picturebook based on the true story of a loyal donkey who kept working even when her master was hurt. Set in the Caribbean island homeland of the Turks & Caicos, where water is as precious as life itself, Where is Simon, Sandy? follows the little donkey as she dutifully delivers pails of water to the men, women, and children who need them. A compassionate story that also introduces young people to a unique culture with its own rich folklore, Where is Simon, Sandy? is highly recommended.

Painting the Town
Denise Minnerly
Crystal Productions
PO Box 2159, Glenview, IL 60025-6159
9781562906160, $15.95 1-800-255-8629

Painting the Town is a children's picturebook inspired by the joy of mixing colors to reveal new shades. The whimsical story about a boy and a girl who toss apples of colorful essence and float hanging from ordinary balloons is expressed with enchanting, minimalist-style illustrations. "The wind swept them over a sky filled with colorful fireworks. The boy and girl were very happy to have made New York City a little more colorful." A charming and playful story, meant to instill amazement at experiencing the joy of color.

Brian Floca
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781416950462, $17.99 1-800-223-2336

Intended for young readers ages 4-7, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 recounts the enthralling true story of the Apollo 11 spacecraft and the men who made history by walking on Earth's moon. The text reads easily, like a simple free-verse poem, and the color illustrations bring to life the nuances of adapting to work and travel in space. "Here where everything floats, / it takes some skill to eat a meal. / That ham salad sandwich? Watch the crumbs! / Soup? It comes in a bag, dry as dust. / Fix the bag to the water gun, fill it, mix it, stir it up. / Cream of chicken - not too bad! / (Better than the peanut cubes.)" Highly recommended for any young reader intrigued by the true story of real-life space travel.

Quincy Finds A New Home
Camille Matthews, author
Michelle Black, illustrator
Pathfinder Equine Publications
1908 Glade Rd, Farmington, NM 87401
9780981924007, $15.95 800-324-1131

The first in a new children's series of "Quincy the Horse Books", Quincy Finds A New Home is a picturebook from the perspective of a little red pony. When Quincy is sold to a new owner, he sees that his owner's other horses such as Beau have long legs, and are good at jumping over tall fences and earning prize ribbons. But can little Quincy make great jumps like that? "Then Beau told Quincy that Quincy's owner was Beau's owner too. Beau said, 'You do not need to jump jumps or win ribbons. She just wants a good horse to ride and love and be her friend.'" A gentle and heartwarming book, sporting realistic color illustrations, perfect for young horse lovers.

Pippo the Fool
Tracey E. Fern, author
Pau Estrada, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781570916557, $15.95 1-800-225-3214

A Junior Library Guild Selection, Pippo the Fool is a children's picturebook based on the true story of the man who designed the dome for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. One of the masters invited to compete for the opportunity to design the dome, Filippo Brunelleschi was also commonly nicknamed Pippo the Fool. But the dramatic design for his dome was beyond anything previously imagined. Could Pippo the Fool truly be Pippo the Genius? A delightful tale about one of Italy's greatest engineers and architects evolves.

Frankie Goes to Fenway
Seneca Clark and Sandy Giardi, authors
Julie Decedue, illustrator
Three Bean Press, LLC
PO Box 301711, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
0976727633, $18.95

Frankie Goes to Fenway: The Tale of the Faithful, Red Sox-Loving Mouse is a charming children's picturebook about a little field mouse who loves the Red Sox baseball team. But when a scheming cat comes into town, the Red Sox start losing - it takes nothing less than ingenuity and hard work to uncover and counter the cat's dastardly plan! But there's more than fair or foul play to the making of a great team. "When it comes to the Red Sox, all you need is faith!" Simple color illustrations enhance this high-spirited storybook, excellent for young Red Sox fans who are almost ready to make the transition to chapter books.

Marco Flamingo
Sheila Jarkins
Raven Tree Press
c/o Delta Publishing Company
1400 Miller Parkway, Mc Henry IL 60050-7030
9781932748574, $7.95 1-800-323-8270

Marco Flamingo is a softcover children's picturebook about an anthropomorphic flamingo who is so curious about a mysterious thing other birds call "snow" that he decides to migrate north for the winter! And when he arrives in a snowy place, he enjoys all the great things one can do with it - making snow angels, skating, skiing, snowballs, ice fishing, and more. He finally sends a postcard to his flamingo friends back home. Marco Flamingo is a simple yet wonderful read-aloud storybook about the joy of winter.

Big Wolf & Little Wolf
Nadine Brun-Cosme, author
Olivier Tallec, illustrator
Enchanted Lion Books
201 Richards Street, Suite #4, Brooklyn, NY 11231
9781592700844, $16.95 1-888-330-8477

Big Wolf & Little Wolf is a simple children's picturebook about the joy and wonder of friendship. Big Wolf has been living all alone by a tree atop a hill for the longest time; one day, a little wolf suddenly appears. Little Wolf is content to simply stay near Big Wolf, and Big Wolf gradually becomes willing to let little wolf share his blanket, or exercise in the tree with him. Big Wolf becomes more accustomed to his new companion for quite a while; then suddenly, Little Wolf is nowhere to be found, and Big Wolf realizes how lonely he is by himself. When Little Wolf returns, Big Wolf knows the value of friendship and how it should be prized. Olivier Tallec's iconic, boldly colorful illustrations in the style of a child's crayon strokes bring this charming story to vivid life.

Theodore and the Talking Mountain
Leo Lionni
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780375845512, $16.99

A little mouse lives with talented friends: the lizard can grow a new tail, the turtle can close up. What can the little mouse do, other than run? Theodore wants to impress his friends so he tells a whopper - and trouble ensues in this believable picturebook tale.

Scholastic Inc.
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

Andy Rash's ARE YOU A HORSE? (0439724171, $16.99) tells of a special birthday gift of a saddle - and its accompanying problem, to find a horse and enjoy the ride. The trouble is - Roy doesn't know what a horse is. His search for truth is hilarious in this picturebook tale. Marion Dane Bauer's ONE BROWN BUNNY (0439680107, $14.99) receives engaging drawings by Ivan Bates and tells of a little bunny who explores the forest in a fun read-aloud counting book backed by a playful rhyme. Mark Teague's FUNNY FARM (043991499X, $16.99) tells of a funny farm where the pigs play practical jokes, sheep brush teeth before grazing, and bugs help plow a field. Edward the bulldog's first trip to the farm is certainly memorable!

Chicken Soup
Jean Van Leeuwen
Abrams Books
115 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011
9780810983267, $16.95

Mrs. Farmer has the big pot out and that means she's making chicken soup - so all the chickens must hide. But Little Chickie has a cold and her sneezing keeps giving her away to Mr. Farmer. Can she escape the cook's pot? A fun farm tour receives zany drawings by David Gavril.

Henry Holt
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010

If Lady Winter has her way the world will always be snowy and Sister Spring will always sleep. So can she really keep Spring from coming alive, or can the animals help Sister Spring awaken? Lovely drawings by Nicoletta Ceccoli enhance a gentle Spring story. Nancy Coffelt's BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST! (0805080899, $16.95) tells of words used to describe large animals. Bright pictures of all kinds of animals accompany a read-aloud rollicking story line designed to introduce young kids to the idea of comparisons and synonyms.

I Love Chocolate
Davide Cali, author
Evelyn Daviddi, illustrator
Tundra Books
75 Sherbourne St, 5th Floor, Toronto ON M5A 2P9, Canada
9780887769122, $12.95

Evelyn Daviddi illustrates this fine picturebook on why a young boy loves chocolate. His various ways of eating and enjoying chocolate is accompanied by cartoon drawings that enhance an appreciation of chocolate in its many appearances.

Little Swan
Jonathan London, author
Kristina Rodanas, illustrator
Marshall Cavendish Corporation
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591
9780761455233, $17.99 1-800-831-9881

Little Swan is a children's picturebook from the point of view of Ko-hoh the swan, from when he first cracks his eggshell to his adolescence, a test of courage against a bear, and the beginning of his first migration. Author Jonathan London's text is simple yet does not talk down to the reader, and former art teacher Kristina Rodanas lends her talent to the captivatingly beautiful illustrations, done in a realistic style befitting the story of wild swans surviving in nature. Highly recommended; adults will enjoy reading Ko-hoh's tale to children as much as children will love to hear it.

The Library Doors
Toni Buzzeo, author
Nadine Bernard Westcott, illustrator
Upstart Books
c/o Highsmith Inc.
PO Box 800, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0800
9781602130371 $17.95 1-800-448-4887

The Library Doors is a children's picturebook that helps to introduce young people to how to use a public library. The singsong text guides the reader through such simple tasks as conducting research, using shelf markers, checking out books, and more. Playfully repetitive text helps to ingrain basic lessons, and the cheery, simple color illustrations add a fun touch to this guide, which comes with a black-and-white "library lessons" section that guides parents, teachers, or librarians in acting out the sing-song instructions. Highly recommended as a useful tool for instilling a love of reading and libraries in little ones."The catalog screen lists / AUTHORS WE LIKE, / TITLES WE KNOW, / SUBJECTS WE WANT. / The catalog screen lists / BOOKS WE LOVE / All through the day!"

Hooray for Spring!
Kazuo Iwamura
North-South Books Inc.
PMB 248, 455 Sam Ridley Parkway West, Smyrna, TN 37167
9780735822283, $15.95

Hooray for Spring! is a heartwarming children's picturebook about a family of anthropomorphic squirrels witnessing the marvels of spring. Then they come across a hungry young baby bird. Caterpillars eat leaves and bees like the nectar from blossoms, but what is a baby bird to eat? It doesn't care for pine cones, raspberries, or mushrooms... suddenly the bird's mother comes with a big, juicy worm and the children learn firsthand what baby birds really eat! The soft, gentle color illustrations add the perfect touch to this delightful story, ideal for reading aloud to young children.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Hold the Cheese Please!
Frank J. Sileo, PhD, author
Martha Gradisher, illustrator
Health Press NA Inc.
PO Box 37470, Albuquerque, NM 87176
9780929173535, $14.95

Hold the Cheese Please! A Story for Children About Lactose Intolerance is a softcover picturebook designed to educate young readers about lactose intolerance - whether they have it themselves, or a family member or friend has it. Simple color illustrations tell a story from a lactose intolerant boy's point of view. "'If you know these foods make you sick, why did you eat them?' 'I was being teased today at lunch by Alex for being lactose intolerant and I just wanted to get back at him.' 'It sounds like you hurt yourself, not Alex,' Nurse Lily said. I knew Nurse Lily was right." Nurse Lily teaches the boy's class about lactose intolerance - that it cannot be transmitted like a disease, and that it does not kill a person, but it means a person cannot consume foods with lactose such as milk, cheese, ice cream, and butter because they lack the enzyme that breaks lactose down. Charming color illustrations enhance this excellent and informative picturebook, highly recommended for school and community children's library collections.

The Sports Shelf

A Glove of Their Own
Debbie Moldovan, et al.
Franklin Mason Press
415 Route 68, Columbus, NJ 08022
9780976046950, $15.95

Co-authored by Debbie Moldovan, Keri Conkling and Lisa Funari-Willever and illustrated by Lauren Lambiase, "A Glove of Their Own" is more than a children's picturebook; it's part of a movement to help raise awareness, spread the joy of playing a game for its own sake, and raise funds and equipment for children in sports. The rhyming story follows a young boy on a makeshift baseball team with boys and girls, as he puts his all into swinging at the baseball, trying to reach home plate, and playing the field as short stop even though he can't yet afford a glove of his own. Then an old man whose kids are grown helps by donating their old sports equipment. "'You kids keep on playing, / but remember this game / is more than a score,' / said the man with no name." The last few pages include additional information on sports charities like "Good Sports", "Pitch in for Baseball", and "Sports Gift", followed by a handful of short (three paragraphs or less) stories by guest young authors. A lovely storybook for budding baseball fans, especially recommended for its reminder that baseball is about more than just winning or losing.

The Social Issues Shelf

Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug
Ellie Bethel, author
Alexandra Colombo, illustrator
Worthwhile Books
c/o IDW Publishing
5080 Santa Fe Street, San Diego, CA 92109
9781600103926, $15.99

The whimsical adventures of Michael Recycle continue in Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug, a rhyming children's picturebook contrasting pro-Earth green-caped crusader Michael Recycle against his nemesis, the slovenly Litterbug Doug who leaves stinky garbage wherever he goes. How can Michael Recycle show Litterbug Doug the error of his ways? "But Doug, don't you care / that the litter you've hurled / is rotting and reeking, / polluting our world? // It's hard to believe, / but I guess it depends: / do you really want rats / and not people as friends?" The whimsical color illustrations add the perfect touch to this enthralling adventure with a positive, pro-recycling environmental message. Also highly recommended is the previous book in the series, "Michael Recycle".

Sarah's Waterfall
Ellery Akers, author
Angelique Benicio, illustrator
Safer Society Press
PO Box 340, Brandon, Vermont 05733
9781884444791, $16.95 802-247-3132

Sarah's Waterfall: A Healing Story is an illustrated storybook written for young readers, especially girls age seven to twelve, who are recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse. Featuring somatic exercises developed by psychologists Peter A. Levine and Julie Henderson, Sarah's Waterfall tells a story about Sarah's year-long journey of healing, beginning as she joins a survivor's group at her new school. Though Sarah's Waterfall is designed to be accessible to younger readers, its healing message resonates to readers of all ages; adult women in search of a positive healing message for the child within are also well advised to take a look. Highly recommended.

The Multicultural Studies Shelf

Sherry Shahan, author
Paula Barragan, illustrator
August House Inc.
3500 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 310, Atlanta, GA 30305
9780874838619, $16.95 1-800-284-8784

Award-winning children's book team Sherry Shahan and illustrator Paula Barragan present Fiesta! A Celebration of Latino Festivals, a picturebook introducing young readers to the colorful cultural holidays observed and enjoyed by Latino people. A two-page spread is devoted to a holiday from each month, ranging from the well-known Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos to the lesser known Day of St. Anthony and the Corn-Planting Ceremony undertaken in March. The last few pages offer a paragraph or two of more detailed information about each holiday, and the stylized color illustrations add the perfect touch to this wonderful glimpse into the festive fun of another culture.

Soul Name
Naana Kyereboah, author
Lonnie Carmon, illustrator
Nabina Publications
PO Box 4091, Midlothian, VA 23112
9780974425993, $19.95

Soul Name is a story that introduces young people to the culture of the African nation of Ghana. When a Ghanaian family welcomes their newest member, a name has to be chosen for the child according to African customs. An introduction explains the importance of one's name; the narrative story from the perspective of a child witnessing the naming tradition follows, with almost every other page brought to life through simple, colorful illustrations. The reading level and educational cultural concepts are ideal for young people who are just about ready to make the transition to chapter books. Soul Name is a wonderful glimpse not only into another culture, but also into the universal idea that it is important to respect one's name and one's family, and is especially recommended for parents to share with children before telling them the story of how their own names were chosen!

The Biography Shelf

Working for Freedom
Rona Arato
Napoleon & Company
178 Willowdale Avenue, Suite 201, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M2N 4Y8
9781894917506, $18.95 1-877-730-9052

Part of the multicultural "Stories of Canada" series, Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson is a hardcover biography for young adults age nine and up, about a former slave who became an antislavery advocate, became a conductor on the Underground Railroad and helped lead 118 slaves to freedom. Josiah Henson spoke out tirelessly against the evils of slavery, and built a sawmill and vocational school to help former slaves learn skills to earn an honest living as free men and women. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white drawings as well as vintage photographs Working for Freedom is ultimately a triumphant story of morality and commitment to do the right thing, and very highly recommended for public library children's collections.

Keep On!
Deborah Hopkinson, author
Stephen Alcorn, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781561454730, $17.95 1-800-241-0113

Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of the North Pole is a picturebook biography of intrepid African-American explorer Matthew Henson, who is often overlooked even though he discovered the North Pole along with the more famous Admiral Robert Peary. Matthew Henson was the most valuable member of Peary's team; he repaired equipment, hunted, traded with and learned from the Inuit. After an eighteen year odyssey he and Peary were the first to stand at the top of the world; yet due to the racial climate of the era, only Peary was widely remembered and credited for the achievement. Award-winning artist Deborah Hopkinson brings to life this stirring, little-known saga of a born explorer.

Genghis Khan
Marshall Cavendish Corporation
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591
9780761455479, $19.99 1-800-831-9881

Award-winning children's book author and artist Demi presents Genghis Khan, a picturebook rendition of the famous conqueror's life accompanied by stylized color illustrations. Geared toward a young audience, Genghis Khan does not dwell excessively upon the violence of the Mongol conquest, instead focusing upon the leadership, genius, and personal prowess of the man who made it possible - indeed, who led his people from the edge of survival to lordship over an empire. "His sons and grandsons Ogodei, Kuyuk, Mangu, and Kublai followed him as akhan and his great-grandnephew, Babur and Tamerlane, conquered India and Asia in the tradition of the mighty Genghis Khan. Then the power of the Mongols faded and vanished - as a star at dawn, as a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, as a phantom, as a dream, and as an illusion that is mistaken for the real thing!" The minimalist-style artwork is the perfect complement to this thoughtful portrait of a historical legend.

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau
Dan Yaccarino
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780375855733, $16.99

There are adult coverages of explorer Jacques Cousteau's life, so it's refreshing to find a child's picturebook version that covers Cousteau and his team's inventions, pursuits, and contributions. Oversized, artistic drawings accompany the simple survey of Cousteau's life and motivation for exploring the sea, making for a perfect choice for newcomers to biography.

A Young Dancer: The Life of An Ailey Student
Valerie Gladstone
Henry Holt
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
0805082336, $18.95

Iman Bright is a teen student at the Ailey School in New York and is passionate about dance. But she also likes drawing and playing music, and has a social life outside the dance studio. A YOUNG DANCER invites any young person passionate about dance to follow Iman as she attends school and does activities outside of her dance world, too. Photos follow her life and encourage kids to develop balanced interests.

Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust
Elly Berkovits Gross
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012
0545074940, $14.99

When author Elly as fifteen she and her family were taken to the Auschwitz-II concentration camp, where she was separated from them and never saw them alive again. She managed to survive Auschwitz and now lives in America; her life story offers teens a vivid lesson in survival in Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust.

The Christian Studies Shelf

The Littlest Fish
Sylvia Rouss, author
Carlos Avalone, illustrator
Pitspopany Press
c/o Stuart Schnee
9781934440537 $12.95 1-800-232-2931

The Littlest Fish a rhyming picturebook for Christian children about a little fish who only wants to make friends. But other see creatures perceive him as a tasty meal instead of a friend! Then the Littlest Fish meets a Giant Fish with a terrible stomach ache - because he's swallowed Jonah, the prophet who said "No" to God. The Littlest Fish finds Jonah and tells him, "If you'll do God's command, then I'm sure I can get you onto dry land." The Littlest Fish helps and befriends Jonah, whose destiny is to save the people of Ninveh. Vibrant color illustrations bring this enchanting story with a strong positive message to life.

The 10 Commandments: Bible Stories Told by Our Little Lamb
Ms. Vivica
Prazeup Inc.
13337 South Street #190, Cerritos, CA 90703
0972485228, $11.95

The 10 Commandments: Bible Stories Told by Our Little Lamb is a flat-spined children's picturebook (in the shape of a stone tablet, for good measure) that explains the ten commandments of Judeo-Christian belief in plain terms for young people. Simple color illustrations of Bmally the lamb enhance the basic concepts communicated in plain terms. For example, commandment 7 "You shall not commit adultery" is further elucidated with "Husbands are to stay with their own wives, and wives are to stay with their own husbands. Anything else breaks God's heart." An excellent resource for Christian parents seeking to instill basic values in their children. Also highly recommended are the other books items in the series - "The 10 Commandments CD" (0972485244, $14.95); "The 10 Commandments Coloring Fun Book" (0972485236, $7.95); "The 10 Commandments Curriculum" (0972485201, $24.95); and "The 10 Commandments Big Book" (097248521X, $44.95), which is identical to The 10 Commandments: Bible Stories Told by Our Little Lamb, except that it's physically much larger.

Lady Flatterly
Linda Wagner, author
Pearl L. Ollie, illustrator
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Rd, #515, Parker, CO 80134
Linda L. Wagner (publicity)
9781432732332, $22.95

Lady Flatterly is a rhyming, softcover children's picturebook featuring simple, joyful color illustrations and a positive Christian message. Lady Flatterly begins as a caterpillar; when the time comes, she must create a cocoon to transform into a butterfly. "God wanted Flatterly / to learn how to thrive, / So He gave her instincts / on how to survive. // God knew if a butterfly she wanted to be, / She must break her cocoon that hung in that tree." A delightful parable for children, with a strong underlying theme concerning God's love and wisdom.

The Donkey's Easter Tale
Adele Colvin, author
Peyton Carmichael, illustrator
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781589805934, $15.95 1-800-843-1724

The Donkey's Easter Tale is a Christian picturebook from the perspective of the humble donkey who carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and stayed by his side during the Last Supper, and even his crucifixion. The story continues with the donkey's witness of the miracle of Christ's resurrection on Easter Sunday, and concludes with the donkey's wish for all Christian children to spread the good news of Jesus' compassion to all who will listen. Simple color illustrations complement this profound retelling of Christianity's most defining moments; the text is sufficiently advanced that it is best suited for young people who are just about ready to move on to chapter books - or for parents to read aloud. An excellent contribution to Christian children's bookshelves.

The Preschool Shelf

C is for Ciao
Elissa D. Grodin & Mario M. Cuomo
Marco Ventura, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
c/o Thomson Gale
27500 Drake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535
9781585363612, $17.95,

Governor of New York Mario M. Cuomo adds a personal message to C is for Ciao: An Italy Alphabet, an ABC picturebook designed to introduce young people to the wonders and great figures of Italy. Each entry features beautiful, full-color art, a brief stanza that younger readers can follow fairly easily, and a sidebar consisting of multiple paragraphs of extensive text concerning the topic of discussion, more suited for adults to read aloud to young children. For example, the Z stanza is "Z is for Zabaglione, / a delightful Italian treat. / Made with sugar and eggs, / cooked 'til it's ready to eat." Meanwhile, the descriptive paragraphs include the passage "Dessert is perhaps the least important part of an Italian meal. It is common practice in many restaurants to offer nothing fancier than a savory piece of locally made cheese and some fresh fruit at the end of a meal. Traditionally, sweet desserts are associated with special occasions such as holidays and family celebrations". The combined whole is an excellent introduction to the richness of Italian history and culture.

The Twelve Days of Springtime
Deborah Lee Rose, author
Carey Armstrong-Ellis, illustrator
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9780810983304, $15.95,

The Twelve Days of Springtime: A School Counting Book features its own take on the popular song "The Twelve Days of Christmas", only with a spring theme! The rhyming text will help young people become familiar with the numbers one through twelve, while the color illustrations overflow with seasonal enthusiasm. The Twelve Days of Springtime is a treat to read (or sing!) aloud to young children. "On the second day of springtime / my teacher gave to me / TWO turtle ponds / and a garden to water carefully."

The Folklore/Fairytale Shelf

Folktales: Animal Legends from Around the World
Jan Thornhill
Maple Tree Press
51 Front Street East, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario M5E 1B3
9781897066751, $15.95

Folktales: Animal Legends from Around the World is a collection of brief animal-related stories from cultures around the world. Distinctively illustrated in stylized full color, Folktales: Animal Legends from Around the World includes "Fox and Bear", a story from Northern Europe; "Mouse and Tapir", a story from South America; "Tortoise and Crane", a story from China; and many more. Though each tale is only a couple pages in length, the text is sufficiently advanced to be suitable for young readers almost ready to move on to chapter books. Folktales: Animal Legends from Around the World is a wonderful introduction to international myths and legends, and recommended to young animal lovers everywhere.

Sally Pomme Clayton, author
Virginia Lee, illustrator
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Dr, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802853493, $18.00 1-800-253-7521

Featuring sweeping and beautiful color illustrations, Persephone is a picutrebook retelling of the classic myth of Persephone, daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter. When Hades, King of the Underworld, crossed paths with Persephone, he found her so beautiful that he kidnaped her and took her to his Underworld kingdom. Demeter grieved over the loss of her daughter, and the earth turned ice cold and barren of food. To save Demeter's breaking heart and stop famine from destroying the land, Hermes traveled to Hades and persuaded him to let Persephone go - but not before she had eaten three pomegranate seeds. Thus, Persephone must return to the Underworld for three months each year; during this time, Demeter grieves, the snows come, and food grows scarce. A two-page postscript about the story remarks on how the pomegranate is perceived as connected to both death and life in Greek culture today. An excellent and enthusiastically recommended rendition, highly recommended especially for public library children's collections.

The Orphan Boy
Tololwa M. Mollel, author
Paul Morin, illustrator
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
311 Washington St, Brighton, MA 02135
9781550050820, $21.95

Now available in a beautiful new edition, The Orphan Boy is a children's picturebook retelling of a legend of the Maasai people about the origin of the planet Venus (which shines so brightly it can easily be seen in the night sky with the naked eye). The Maasai call Venus Kileken, "the orphan boy". The text of The Orphan Boy recounts the legend in detail, at a reading level suitable for young people who are just about ready for chapter books, and ten additional paintings have been added to the captivating color artwork. An enthralling folktale that respects and honors the traditions of the Maasai people, The Orphan Boy is highly recommended, especially for children's public library collections.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Torah Tigers
Dr. Miriam Adahan, author
Menahem Halberstadt, illustrator
English adaptation by Dr. Shmeuss
Feldheim Publishers
c/o Stuart Schnee PR
9781598263084, $17.99

Torah Tigers is a rhyming picturebook intended for Jewish parents to share with their children, as it emphasizes the valuable role that Judaic spiritual beliefs can play in fostering a good parent-child relationship, and in raising young people to be responsible and productive citizens. Above all, faith holds the power to keep one calm, steady, and prepared to make the best decisions amid trying or frustrating obstacles. Witnessing one's parents remain rock-solid models of discipline is the best way to pass on discipline to the next generation, and the power of faith is the key. Thus do parents and children become "Torah Tigers", examples of positive behavior. "When Mommy informed me she needed a hand - / And I couldn't play with my friend as I'd planned... / At first I was sad - I did NOT want this chore! / I NEED my free time (like my friend from next door)! // But deep down I knew that my Mommy comes first, / And old Mr. Yetzer was up to his worst. / I DID do the chore. I did NOT go to play. / My ruchnius muscles got stronger that day!" Highly recommended.

The Bilingual Shelf

It's Bedtime, Cucuy! / A la cama, Cucuy!
Claudia Galindo, author
Jonathan Coombs, illustrator
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston, 452 Cullen Performance Hall, Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558854918 $15.95 1-800-633-2783

It's Bedtime, Cucuy! is a bilingual English/Spanish picturebook about a little, blue-furred monster who hates going to bed. He just wants to jump around and play, and raises the biggest fuss of every kind to put off bedtime. "'But why do I have to go to bed?' asks Cucuy as his face turns red. 'Because you need to rest,' Mama whispers in his ear. 'Tomorrow you will have a whole new day to jump around and play.'" A gentle bedtime storybook featuring Jonathan Coombs' fantastic color illustrations, highly recommended.

Dance, Nana, Dance
Retold by Joe Hayes
Mauricio Trenard Sayago, illustrator
Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas, El Paso, Texas 79901
9781933693170, $20.95

Award-winning storyteller Joe Hayes presents Dance, Nana, Dance, a bilingual collection of traditional Cuban Folktales. The stories are told with each page in English facing a translation of that page in Spanish, and the lively color illustrations by Cuban-born artist Mauricio Trenard Sayago add a vibrant touch. Folktales include "Yams Don't Talk", "The Lazy Old Crows", "Born To Be Poor", "The Hairy Old Devil Man", "You Can't Dance" and many more. At 128 pages including the notes to readers and storytellers, Dance, Nana, Dance is a surprisingly lengthy anthology suitable for advanced young readers ready to make the transition to chapter books. Dance, Nana, Dance is a wonderful sampling of Cuban lore and highly recommended especially for public library children's collections; it's also a treat for anyone, young or old, who is learning to read Spanish and looking for a good bilingual storybook to practice on.

The Science Shelf

Gail Gibbons
Holiday House
425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780823422166, $16.95

Tornadoes! is a hardcover picturebook that teaches young readers all about tornadoes - swirling funnel-shaped clouds spun by violent winds, that can cause extreme destruction when they connect with the ground. Yet most tornadoes dissipate in less than ten minutes. Tornadoes! tells young people how tornadoes come to be, how they are classified, and perhaps most important, what to do when one learns a tornado is approaching. "If you are in a car, get out immediately! Try to find a low spot, such as a ditch, to lie in. Lie flat on your stomach and cover your head with your hands." An excellent, informative picturebook with simple color illustrations, highly recommended for public library children's collections.

Let's Meet a Marine Educator!
Tasha Jacobson
Windward Publishing
c/o Finney Company
8075 - 215th Street West, Lakeville, MN 55044
9780893170660 $12.95 1-800-846-7027

Let's Meet a Marine Educator! is a softcover book teaching children about the possibility of a career in marine science education. Marine educator Tammy Rach, who has worked at Dolphin Quest in Hawaii, explains the many things she does for a living - from training seals and sea lions to organizing special learning events and summer camps to participating in conservation projects. High-quality color photographs of Tammy at work, often accompanied by creatures ranging from sea turtles to dolphins, illustrate this enjoyable picturebook, especially recommended to young fans of sea life and aspiring young marine scientists.

The Easy Reader Shelf

Moonlight on the Magic Flute
Mary Pope Osborne
Random House
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780375856464, $11.99

Jack and Annie have a new mission: to bring happiness to millions of people. When the magic tree house brings them to 18th century Austria for a big party, they wear crazy clothes, must learn new rules, and need to figure out how to make everyone happy without bringing trouble! #41 of the series provides fun to new audiences.

Tales from Outer Suburbia
Shaun Tan
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012
0545055873, $19.99

Everyday suburban life is presented in a highly illustrated collection of tales injecting magic into suburban living. Lovely color illustrations pack in a series of neighborhood stories and lore perfect for kids who have mastered easier chapter books but aren't quite up to speed with full-length novels yet.

Hamlet and the Tales of Sniggery Woods
Maggie Kneen
Henry Holt & Company
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
9780805077018, $16.95

Young Hamlet the pig loves to cook but when he inherits a cafe from his uncle, set in Sniggery Woods, he's more than in his element in the kitchen - and outside of it. Gorgeous color drawings throughout invite kids to the compelling world of Hamlet and his food passions.

The Fiction Shelf

Guinevere: On The Eve Of Legend
Cheryl Carpinello
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432737047, $10.95,

Most people are familiar with the story of King Arthur, his Lady Guinevere, and her Knight Lancelot. What author Cheryl Carpinello has done in "Guinevere: On The Eve Of Legend" is spin a fascinating story of the child Guinevere who on the advent of her thirteenth birth day is being presented with the responsibilities of becoming betrothed in marriage. Having to give up playing with her friend Cedwyn, playing on the grounds of the castle, and engaging in the usual childhood pastimes and pursuits is something young Guinevere is loathed to do. But with the aide of her teacher and friend Merlyn the Wizard, Guinevere embarks upon her destiny whether she wants to or not! Also available in an ebook edition, "Guinevere: On The Eve Of Legend" is a deftly written and thoroughly entertaining story that will delight and engage young readers from beginning to end, making it a highly recommended addition to school and community library collections.

The Great Scarab Scam
Valerie Storey
Privately Published
9780964328914, $12.95,

Sometimes the solutions lie in the minds of the young. "The Great Scarab Scam" follows Lydia Hartley as she embarks on her dream of following her archeologist father onto the field during a trip to Egypt. But her dream turns into something else as she and her father are faced with a dilemma involving false artifacts; the answer to this mystery may elude Lydia's father, but Lydia might have an idea of her own. A charming read for pre-teens, "The Great Scarab Scam" is highly recommended.

Deborah Whitney of Shady Flat
Katie Willmarth Green
Pineneedle Press
E4720 Rolling Ridge Rd., Spring Green, WI 53588
9780615251028, $20.00

Some girls always want to get their way, and will go out of their way to make that happen. "Deborah Whitney of Shady Flat: A Dauntless Girl of the Golden West" is the story of a starry-eyed daughter of gold rush pioneers. Looking at the American West's high society during the end of the nineteenth century through the eyes of a rebellious tomboy (who has her own set of severe weaknesses), "Deborah Whitney of Shady Flat" is an intriguing story of historical adventure for teens, and is highly recommended.

Arnold Rudnick
Paraphrase LLC
PO Box 56508, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
9780981587905, $6.99

Super powers are not all they're cracked up to be. "ESPete: Sixth Grade Sense" is the story of young psychic Pete as he deals with all of the problems of sixth grade. Reading the minds of one's teachers isn't all it's cracked up to be, and sometimes being burdened with the contents of a mind is not what a sixth grader wants. "ESPete" is a fun read for young readers, sure to be relished by many.

557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

The '29 Clues' books offer a game/book format which involves reading the books and playing the game to win prizes. The game cards in the front covers may make library lending difficult, but these are recommended winners for private collections seeking to stimulate kids at home. Book 2, ONE FALSE NOTE by Gordon Korman (0543060427, $12.99) offers siblings in the lead in the game, who go to Vienna to locate the next clue in a series of mishaps. Peter Lerangis presents Book 3, THE SWORD THIEF (0545060431, $12.99), telling of the children's choice to ally with an unreliable uncle to locate yet another clue in the game. Coleen Murtagh Paratore's SUNNY HOLIDAY (0545075793, $15.99) tells of Sunny, who loves holidays so much she decides to make up one of her own. Her funny escapades will delight advanced elementary to early middle school readers. Meg Cabot's ALLIE FINKEL'S RULES FOR GIRLS, BEST FRIENDS AND DRAMA QUEENS (0545040434, $15.99) tells of Allie, newly excited by the arrival of a new girl which will mean she won't be the latest new girl in school. When Cheyenne begins telling everyone what to do, Allie finds herself in the middle of a big problem involving a maturity level she isn't ready for. Rodman Philbrick's THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG (0439668122, $16.99) tells of an underage brother illegally sold into the Union Army by his guardian. Homer must run away form home to find his brother and save him from the war in this adventure. Sharon M. Draper's SASSY: LITTLE SISTER IS NOT MY NAME! (0545071518, $14.99) tells of a precocious nine-year-old named Sassy who is youngest in her family - and tired of being called Little Sister because she's small. Her positive outlook on life is sometimes tempered by reality - but that's not stopping Sassy, in this fine story suitable for advanced elementary grade levels. All are fine picks for leisure readers.

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

Timothy Mason's THE LAST SYNAPSID (9780385735810, $16.99) tells of a quiet Colorado mountain town which bores two pre-teens - until the snows melt when a pet's disappearance results in a dinosaur's appearance. Suddenly the two find themselves in an astonishing encounter with a talking dinosaur that only seeks to get home - and who is pursuing a violent, carnivorous Gorgon also displaced in time. Saundra Mitchell's SHADOWED SUMMER (9780385735711, $15.99) tells of a Louisiana summer where Iris is fourteen and discovers a ghost is haunting her. What really happened to Elijah - and how can she thwart his haunting ways? A fine, spirited story evolves. Graham Salisbury's CALVIN COCONUT: TROUBLE MAGNET (9780385737012, $12.99) receives black and white drawings by Jacqueline Rogers as it tells of a boy who lives near a Hawaiian beach, and tries to be responsible at home and school - even when a live-in babysitter enters the picture and tries to take over. A fun, light read evolves. Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell's BARNABY GRIMES; RETURN OF THE EMERALD SKULL (9780385751285, $15.99) tells of a boy on a mission: to collect a parcel from the docks and deliver it, despite dark forces that have been released at the school. The gripping supernatural story of a school caught up in a supernatural curse makes for a vivid account.

The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp
Jim Arnosky
G.P. Putnam's Sons
345 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
9780399250682, $15.99

Kidnaped far from home, Sandy and Jack escape into Crocodile Swamp and must survive snakes, crocodiles and sharks - and their own past. A fine adventure revolves around new friendships and challenges in this gripping saga of survival against unlikely odds.

The Poetry Shelf

Ivy in Bloom
Vanita Oelschlager
Kristin Blackwood, illustrator
Vanita Books
3875 Embassy Parkway, Suite 250, Akron, Ohio 44333
9780980016277, $17.95

Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers of the Past is a children's picturebook following a young girl, Ivy, as she celebrates the arrival of spring. After Ivy's introduction to the reader, the verses recount her adventures and joy through quoting selected passages from great poets and writers such as Dickinson, Whittier, Whitman and Milne. More detailed reproductions of their classic poems are present in the back of the book. Ivy in Bloom is distinguished by its striking original artwork, created through a blend of traditional block printing, flatbed scanning, and digital watercolor. A wonderful picturebook for parents and children to share during the advent of the spring season.

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

Mary O'Neill's HAILSTONES AND HALIBUT BONES (9780385244848, $16.99) provides colorful verses in poetry and color, with drawings by John Wallner and a reprint of a classic 1961 poetry centering around the colors of the spectrum. The 12 poems cover how colors can be touched, smelled and seen in the world and offer a contemporary, updated look to a classic. Jack Prelutsky's THE SWAMPS OF SLEETHE; POEMS FROM BEYOND THE SOLAR SYSTEM (9780375846748, $16.99) provides a vivid collection of dark, funny verses about the universe. Imagine you're on a spaceship traveling beyond the solar system: what is found there appears in fun verses.

Punctuation Celebration
Elsa Knight Bruno
Henry Holt
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
0805079734, $17.95

Punctuation marks come to life in a series of fourteen fun poems in which punctuation marks take a lively role in stopping trains, sentences, and telling people what to do. A fun way of learning punctuation, this provides examples in lively, rollicking rhyme.

c/o Hyperion Books for Children
114 Fifth Avenue, 14th fl., New York, NY 10011

Jon Agee's ORANGUTAN TONGS: POEMS TO TANGLE YOUR TONGUE (9781423103158, $16.99) provides tricky, challenging poems perfect for speech students or those interested in unusual poetry. Some are easy to read and some hard, but all share the feature of having at least one tongue-twister! Funny drawings enhance the hilarious presentations. Robert Weinstock's FOOD HATES YOU, TOO AND OTHER POEMS (9781423113911, $15.99) pairs a lively poetry format with a survey of food that really hates to be eaten. From a 'Cheese Sonnet' to an ode to Toast, hilarious drawings make these winners.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Caribou Crossing
Andrea Helman, author
Art Wolfe, illustrator
Sasquatch Books
119 South Main St, #400, Seattle, WA 98104
9781570615771, $16.95 1-800-775-0817

Illustrated with spectacularly beautiful nature photography in full color, Caribou Crossing: Animals of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a breathtaking tour of different wild animal species, from polar bears to a moose, the North American beaver, the snowy owl, and even a glimpse of the brilliant aurora borealis. Each animal has one to two pages of photography and a paragraph of text filled with fun facts about it. A delightful tour designed to stimulate appreciation for nature's wonders in young minds, Caribou Crossing is highly recommended.

One Wolf Howls
Scotti Cohn, author
Susan Detwiler, illustrator
Sylvan Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Suite 3, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
9781934359921, $16.95 1-877-958-2600

One Wolf Howls is a gorgeous, rhyming picturebook that introduces young readers to the majesty of wolves in their natural environment. Though told in the style of a counting rhyme, One Wolf Howls is first and foremost about wolves - author Scotti Cohn consulted with the staff at the Wolf Park and the International Wolf Sanctuary as well as Gina Schrader, Conservation Associate at Defenders of Wildlife, to ensure that all the information presented about wolves is completely accurate. The captivating, realistic color illustrations of a mother wolf and her pups by Susan Detwiler add the perfect touch to this enthralling and highly recommended gift to young fans of these amazing animals. "Six wolves nap in a warm June meadow - / snuffling, snorting, lost in their dreams. / Six wolves nap in a warm June meadow / deep in the woods by the bubbling streams."

Life-Size Zoo
Teruyuki Komiya, author
Makiko Oku, translator
Kristin Earhart, English language adaptation
Seven Footer Kids
c/o Seven Footer Press
9781934734209, $17.95,

Life-Size Zoo is an oversized hardcover children's picturebook featuring color photography of various zoo animals - all at their actual life size! Naturally, this means that the gigantic two-page spread of large animals like the Camel shows only a close up of its face. Some pages have fold-out flaps to stretch even larger and give an accurate portrayal of just how big certain animals really are! The simple text and an accompanying sidebar offers fun facts about each animal, in this photographic treasury sure to excite young animal lovers. Indeed, Life-Size Zoo is the next best thing to an actual trip to the zoo!

La Primera: The Story of Wild Mustangs
Ian Tyson
Tundra Books
75 Sherbourne St, 5th Floor, Toronto ON M5A 2P9, Canada
9780887768637, $20.95

Adeline Halvorson's lovely horse paintings accompany LA PRIMERA, the story of a small herd of wild mustangs living in Montana. Their history and drama is recounted in a gorgeous first-person survey perfect for collections catering to young horse enthusiasts.

Nico & Lola
Meggan Hill, author
Susan M. Graunke, photography
Genuine Prints, LLC
PO Box 238, Carpentersville, IL 60110
9780615230405, $16.95 1-888-853-0001

Nico & Lola: Kindness Shared Between a Boy and a Dog a children's picturebook about a young boy who learns to better embody the virtue of kindness while temporarily taking care of his aunt's black, pug-nosed dog Lola. Young Nico has fun playing with Lola, and learns to look after her, but most important of all, he thinks of ways he can show kindness to the friendly animal. "Lola sat very still while Nico removed a small pebble stuck between her toes. He asked, 'Want me to kiss it and make it all better?' Lola snorted and danced in circles on her mended paw. Nico giggled." Gorgeous, full-color photography of the titular duo fill this charming storybook with a positive message.

Focus on Flies
Norma Dixon
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
311 Washington St, Brighton, MA 02135-3303
9781550051285, $18.95

Full color photography illustrates Focus on Flies, a hardcover picturebook introducing young readers to the fascinating world of flies. There's more to these insects than annoying buzzing sounds and deadly diseases; they're a vital part of the ecosystem that scavenges and consumes waste, and they help pollinate plants just like bees and wasps. Flies are capable of amazing feats of acrobatics. There's even a trick to catching a fly with one's bare hands - they leap backwards before flapping their wings and flying away! A fascinating, scientific book covering everything from fly anatomy and behavior to fly habits and life cycles, and even touching on mosquitoes, Focus on Flies is an excellent addition to any nonfiction children's library.

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

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