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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 27, Number 5 May 2017 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Health Shelf American History Shelf
Biography Shelf Holiday Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Autism Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Board Book Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Judaic Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Psychology Shelf Literary Shelf Holocaust Studies Shelf
Books in Series    


Reviewer's Choice

Far Apart, Close in Heart
Becky Birtha, author
Maja Kastelic, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320, Park Ridge, IL 60068
www.albertwhitman.com
9780807512753, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Children can experience many emotions when a parent is in jail or prison. They may be angry, sad, lonely, or scared. Sometimes friends act differently toward them. Sometimes the children begin acting differently too. Deftly written by Becky Birtha and gently illustrated by Maja Kastelic, "Far Apart, Close in Heart: Being a Family when a Loved One is Incarcerated" is a unique and important picture book for young readers age 4 to 8 who will learn that even when it feels like nothing can get better again, there are ways they can improve their circumstances. Sending letters, talking to a trusted grown-up about their feelings, and even visiting a parent in jail or prison can help keep a parent close in their hearts. Especially and unreservedly recommended as a critically important addition to preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, "Far Apart, Close in Heart: Being a Family when a Loved One is Incarcerated" will prove to be an informative and a helpful tool to start a conversation with any child in this situation and to remind them they are not alone.

Mapping My Day
Julie Dillemuth, author
Laura Wood, illustrated
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
www.maginationpress.com
9781433823336, $15.95, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Flora loves drawing maps and uses them to tell us about her life! "Mapping My Day" (who was mystified by maps until she figured out how to read them and make them, and it was a particularly difficult map that inspired her to become a spatial cognition geographer) and accomplished illustrator Laura Wood is a distinctively original picture book by the team of author Julie Dillemuth and introduces children ages 4 to 8 to spatial relationships and representation: where things and places are in relation to other things. "Mapping My Day" was specifically written show children how maps can convey information, inspire those children to draw their own maps, as well as introducing basic map concepts and vocabulary. Spatial thinking is how we use concepts of space for problem solving and is shown to be a key skill in science, technology, engineering, and math. Enhanced with the inclusion of a "Note to Parents and Caregivers" with extra mapping activities, "Mapping My Day" is an original and very highly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums
Martha Heineman Pieper, author
Jo Gershman, illustrator
Smart Love Press
400 East Randolph Street, Suite 205, Chicago, IL 60601
www.smartlovepress.com
9780983866411, $12.99, Library Binding, 32pp, www.amazon.com

When Jilly, a happy little kangaroo, has a series of Terrible Temper Tantrums, her parents lovingly help her through them. Children will be very familiar with the frustrations that trigger Jilly's upset feelings, and will applaud her dawning understanding that seeking help and a hug is far superior to the misery of a temper tantrum. An impressive blend of original and entertaining storytelling with colorfully charming illustrations, "Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums: And How She Outgrew Them" is very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular, 'kid friendly' addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted that "Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums: And How She Outgrew Them" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.98).

Summer Vacation With The Grizzbears
Aviva Hermelin
Mazo Publishers
PO Box 10474, Jacksonville, FL 32247
www.mazopublishers.com
9781946124074, $18.95, HC, 50pp, www.amazon.com

"Summer Vacation With The Grizzbears" is the fifth and newest volume in author/illustrator Aviva Hermelin's 'Animals Build Character' series of illustrated stories that are deliberately structured upon thoughtful and respectful ways to live life through the eyes of a group of unique animals sure to captivate young children. The lovable Grizzbear family joins Giveret Deer, the McDucks, Buster the Horse, Mister Moose and their animal friends to create heartwarming stories with a message. At the end of each chapter, there are questions to initiate conversation with children, focused on the importance of living a life based on positive values and good character traits. Whether these stories are read aloud to a child, or if a child is reading them directly, these stories will create an ideal atmosphere to introduce themes and concepts for personal growth and development. Exceptionally entertaining and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "Summer Vacation With The Grizzbears" is very highly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Summer Vacation With The Grizzbears" is also available in a paperback edition (9781946124067, $12.44).


The Health Shelf

No, No, No Nuts for Me
Carol Florio
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
http://mascotbooks.com
9781631779770, $14.95, HC, 34pp, www.amazon.com

A food allergy in children is a serious threat to their health -- and even their lives. One of the most common of food allergies are nut allergies. "No, No, No Nuts for Me " by Carol Florio (a registered nurse and after forty-five years working in hospitals, emergency rooms, schools, and home car) is a much-needed help for parents and their children having to deal with nut allergies. Geared for the younger children ages 4 to 8, a teddy bear learns about and manages his nut allergy in a non-threatening way and stresses the avoidance of nuts for full protection against a serious allergic reaction. "No, No, No Nuts for Me" starts the learning process for the child and can be a useful tool for families, health practitioners, schools, and all caregivers. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "No, No, No Nuts for Me" is an especially recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library Health/Medicine collections. If you as a parent ever have to explain to a nut allergic and your preschool through third grade child why they can't have a peanut butter sandwich like all their friends, the "No, No, No Nuts for Me" is an absolutely vital and effective means of explanation.


The American History Shelf

Double Victory
Cheryl Mullenbach
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
www.chicagoreviewpress.com
9781613735237 $12.99 pbk / $8.77 Kindle amazon.com

Written to be accessible to young adults and adults alike, Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II chronicles the contributions of African-American women during World War II. They worked in factories; raised troop morale; provided medical assistance; and more. A handful of black-and-white photographs, a bibliography, and an index round out this excellent, educational and fascinating chronicle of groundbreaking women, highly recommended for high school and public library collections.


The Biography Shelf

Unsung Heroes
Toby Reynolds & Paul Calver
Barron's
250 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, NY 11788
www.barronseduc.com
9780764168871, $8.99, HC, 64pp, www.amazon.com

Compiled and written by the team of Toby Reynolds and Paul Calver, each succinct biographical entry in "Unsung Heroes: Fearless Men and Women who Changed the World" explores the many ways that these men and women had an extraordinary impact on life on our planet, and came from all four corners of the globe, all walks of life, and across many different disciplines. In "Unsung Heroes", elementary school children will find the stories of people who made incredible contributions to mankind. "Unsung Heroes" features Alan Turing, Asa Philip Randolph, Clara Barton, Nikola Tesla, Sojourner Truth, Patrick Steptoe, Robert Edwards, Wangari Maathai, Henrietta Lacks, Harvey Milk, and others. There are men and women of science and medicine, war and peace, politicians and peacemakers, social activists and resistance fighters, and more. Exceptionally informative and impressively enhanced for young readers with bold color schemes and a stylized photographs or illustrations, "Unsung Heroes" is especially recommended for elementary school and community library biography collections for children. Also very highly recommended by the writing team of Toby Reynolds & Paul Calver is their companion volume: "Fearless Women: Courageous Females who Refused to be Denied" ( 9780764168864, $8.98, HC, 64pp).

Josef, the Indy Car Driver
Chris Workman, author/illustrator
In collaboration with Josef Newgarden
Leigh Diffey, foreword
Apex Legends
c/o Apex Communications Group
9780996286930 $19.99 www.apexlegends.com

"Josef, the Indy Car Driver" is an exciting juvenile biographical sketch of a day at the races with Josef Newgarden. Written and illustrated by Chris Workman, this fast moving book details exciting events in a race at the famous Road America track, with its challenges of tight corners, long sweeping turns and flat-out straights. To begin, Josef meets young fans Avery and Cooper along with their Grandpa Jamie, a friend of Josef's. Josef introduces Cooper and Avery to the racing details of his Indy car, describes the challenges of the Road America track, and even highlights his favorite 'push-to-pass' feature on the car, which can only be used 10 times in a race. Josef also shares how his love of racing began when he was young, racing on a motorized scooter and later on a go-kart. The thrilling story continues with a lap by lap description of the Road America race the next day, with Josef starting as 9th qualifying racer. An important factor in a racer's speed is his pit team's support. Pit teams are so skilled and fast that they can add fuel and change tires in under 8 seconds. In racing, teamwork is essential to achieving your goal. After many thrilling race moments and ups and downs, Josef is able to take the checkered race flag and win, putting himself in third place in the Championship for the Verizon Indy Car Series season. Cooper and Avery cheered for Josef, and later sent him a letter. Josef gave a list of good health tips to future Indy Car Drivers, including eat right and exercise, study hard, try driving to see if you really like it, and stay positive! With its fast moving narrative, and bright against dark comic book style illustrations, "Josef the Indy Car Driver" rivets attention and encourages young readers to work hard to follow their dreams. Also highly recommended for young racing fan readers is the following title from Apex Legends which is also by Chris Workman: "The Spectacle: Celebrating the History of the Indianapolis 500 (9780996286954, $19.99)".


The Holiday Shelf

Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg
Terri DeGezelle, author
Gabhor Utomo, illustrator
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
0819890707 $13.95 www.pauline.org

Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg is a children's picturebook about Simon of Cyrene, a figure in the New Testament who helped Jesus Christ carry his cross, and whose life changed forever after he met Jesus face-to-face. An old German legend about how eggs changed color in a miracle parallel to Christ's resurrection is incorporated into Simon's story. A simple prayer for courage and compassion rounds out this heartwarming, beautifully illustrated picturebook, ideal for sharing the Christian meaning of the Easter celebration with young children.

God's Easter Miracles
Lee Ann Mancini, author
Dan Sharp, illustrator
GLM Publishing
PO Box 812633, Boca Raton, Florida 33481-2633
9780997332513 $12.99 GLMpublishing.net

Part of the award-winning "Adventures of the Sea Kids" Christian picturebook series, God's Easter Miracles is set during the Easter holiday and follows anthropomorphic sea creatures as they grapple with challenges. On Easter, a manatee's little brother is seriously hurt by a boat propeller, and a separate squabble over who gets to keep an Easter egg painted with a cross threatens to destroy a friendship. "'Daddy, do I have to share my egg with Paul because he is autistic?' asked Jimmy. 'No, son, you don't have to share your egg with Paul because he is autistic. Paul is special to God, just like you are. If you want to share your egg with Paul, do it because you want to be kind to your friend,' answered his father.'" Bright, cartoon-like illustrations bring this heart-touching story to life. God's Easter Miracles is especially recommended for Christian children and church library picturebook collections.


The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

The Rock Maiden
Natasha Yim
Wisdom Tales Press
1501 E. Hillside Dr., Bloomington, IN 47401
www.wisdomtalespress.com
9781937786656 $17.95, amazon.com

The Rock Maiden: A Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty will reach ages 4 and older with the lovely story of a woman whose husband is lost at sea, prompting her to steadfastly await his return, which catches the eye of the Goddess of the Heavens who turns her into stone to stop her intense mourning. Trouble emerges when her lost husband does return against all odds, to find his wife and child rocks. Good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance will lend appreciation to this Chinese folk story, especially recommended for picture book collections strong in ethnic tales.

Princess Sophie and the Six Swans
Kim Jacobs, author & illustrator
Wisdom Tales Press
1501 E. Hillside Dr., Bloomington, IN 47401
www.wisdomtalespress.com
9781937786670, $16.95, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Princess Sophie finds herself faced with an incredible challenge and some lessons to learn. She had forgotten her departed mother's warning to temper loyalty and strength with a compassionate heart. Antagonized by Sophie's resentful words, her powerful new stepmother turns Sophie's six brothers into swans and sets her the task of saving them. Will Sophie succeed in helping her brothers? Can she spin six shirts made from the thorny thistle, while never speaking a word, even in her defense? And what will happen when King Yoren captures Sophie and takes her prisoner? Featuring stunning artwork by renowned illustrator Kim Jacobs, her retelling of this classic Brothers Grimm fairytale also contains an author's note with fascinating details on family heraldry and mute swans. An extraordinarily beautiful and very highly recommended retelling of a classic fairy tale, "Princess Sophie and the Six Swans" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8.

The Monkey King
David Seow, author
L. K. Tay-Audouard, illustrator
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9780804848404, $9.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

This extraordinary picture book edition of "The Monkey King: A Classic Chinese Tale for Children" is inspired by Chinese folktales and legends about Monkey, King of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, Great Sage Equal to Heaven. But his friends just call him Monkey! Hilariously mischievous and full of energy, Monkey has uniquely amazing magical powers. Long ago, the Jade Emperor, the ruler of the Heavens, was so unhappy that China was in great turmoil that he even considered destroying its people. The Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin, suggested another way. Find Lord Buddha's scriptures in India and bring them back to China. This would help the Chinese to become peaceful and kind. "The Monkey King" is a beautifully illustrated and memorable Chinese children's story for young readers ages 3 to 9 that is about the beginnings of this epic journey, and how Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy join this quest. Wonderfully entertaining from beginning to end, "The Monkey King" is an especially recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted that "The Monkey King" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.46).

Ming's Adventure in the Mogao Caves
Li Jian, author & illustrator
Yijin Wert, translator
Shanghai Press
c/o Better Link Press
www.chinabooks.ch/catalog/index.php?manufacturers_id=110
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781602209978, $16.95, HC, 42pp, www.amazon.com

The sandstorm was blowing hard over the Gobi Desert. Xiao Ming got separated from his parents on their way to the Mogao Caves. As it was getting dark. Xiao Ming along with the other travelers who were separated from the group were huddling in the sand helplessly. In the darkness of the Gobi Desert, Xiao Ming vaguely saw a little light flashing in the dust. The light got closer and closer and finally he saw a deer with nine shades of color in his fur. His antlers were as white as snow and his body was wrapped with a touch of bright light. The nine-colored deer told Xiao Ming to follow him. The story unfolds with Ming being guided to the caves where ancient paintings and come to life! This bilingual (English/Chinese) edition of "Ming's Adventure in the Mogao Caves" is an unusually impressive and beautifully rendered multicultural picture book for young children ages 4 to 8. Original, engaging, and exceptionally entertaining from cover to cover, "Ming's Adventure in the Mogao Caves" will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.


The Autism Shelf

The ASD and Me Picture Book
Joel Shaul
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
www.jkp.com
9781785927232 $24.95, amazon.com

The ASD and Me Picture Book provides young readers with a visual guide to understanding the autism spectrum, and encourages kids to understand challenges, the process of gaining insights about autism, and how to use common resources to develop understanding and encourage self-assessment. Parental assistance will help in this process since it requires a good degree of comprehension and reading skills; but the result is a powerful survey that is highly recommended for any picture book reader looking to better understand their own strengths and weaknesses in the face of autism.

I Have a Question about Death
Arlen Grad Gaines, author
Meredith Englander Polsky, author
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
www.jkp.com
9781785927508, $14.95, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Death is a difficult topic for any parent or educator to explain to a child, perhaps even more so when the child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other Special Needs. Collaboratively written by Arlen Grad Gaines (a licensed clinical social worker with a decade of professional experience in hospice work) and Meredith Englander Polsky, (who has been a social worker and worked in the field of special education for more than 15 years), "I Have a Question about Death: A Book for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Other Special Needs"is specifically designed to help children ages 5 to 11 with these additional needs to understand what happens when someone dies. The first book of its kind, "I Have a Question about Death" uses a straightforward text and images to walk young children through what it means when someone dies, as well as ways they might want to react or to think about the person. Using clear illustrations throughout and with information for parents and guardians, "I Have a Question about Death" is essential tool for counselors and families needing to assist a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other special needs to understand and deal with the loss of a friend or family member. Simply stated, "I Have a Question about Death" should be a part of every family counseling clinic, elementary and community library collection.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

125 Pet Rescues
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426327360 $12.99 amazon.com

Featuring full-color pet photography on every page, 125 Pet Rescues is an anthology of true stories about pets fortunate enough to be rescued and adopted. From pet dogs and cats to rabbits, pigs, horses, and even goats, these heartwarming stories will appeal to animal lovers of all ages. 125 Pet Rescues is especially recommended for junior high, high school, and public library children's collections. "Bubba loved his new family, but he was not a happy indoor cat... Soon he was exploring - first in his backyard, then his neighbors' yards, and finally at school! These days Bubba follows his human brother to the neighborhood high school every day."

The Skydiving Beavers
Susan Wood, author
Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
www.sleepingbearpress.com
9781585369942, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Just after World War II, the people of McCall, Idaho, found themselves with a problem on their hands. McCall was a lovely resort community in Idaho's backcountry with mountain views, a sparkling lake, and plenty of forests. People rushed to build roads and homes there to enjoy the year-round outdoor activities. It was a beautiful place to live. And not just for humans. For centuries, beavers had made the region their home. But what's good for beavers is not necessarily good for humans, and vice versa. So in a unique conservation effort, in 1948 a team from the Idaho Fish and Game Department decided to relocate the McCall beaver colony. In a daring experiment, the team airdropped seventy-six live beavers to a new location. One beaver, playfully named Geronimo, endured countless practice drops, seeming to enjoy the skydives, and led the way as all the beavers parachuted into their new home. Readers and nature enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy this true story of ingenuity and determination. Colorfully illustrated and consistently engaging from cover to cover, "The Skydiving Beavers: A True Tale" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections for young readers ages 6 to 9. It should be noted that "The Skydiving Beavers: A True Tale" is also available in a Kindle format ($15.30).

Being Brave for Bailey
Corey Gut, author
Jaime Myers, illustrator
Archway Publishing
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
www.archwaypublishing.com
9781480807204, $25.95, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Bailey is a wonderful dog who has been a great companion to his family, including the littlest members. But as Bailey grows old and sick, his tail barely wags, he refuses to play, and he seems sad. Bailey's veterinarian tells the family that since he is suffering, it's time to do what is best for him, and now they must say goodbye. As the children learn that it is okay to cry and remember the good times they have had with their pet, they are gently guided through the process of euthanasia and pet loss. Deftly written by veterinarian Corey Gut and gently illustrated by Jaime Myers, "Being Brave for Bailey provides loving guidance, gentle support, and practical tools that help young children understand and accept the death of a beloved pet. Inspired, original, compassionate, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone, organization and presentation, "Being Brave for Bailey" is strongly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Being Brave for Bailey" is also available in a paperback edition (9781480807198, $16.89) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).

Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com

Martin Brown's Lesser Spotted Animals: The Coolest Creatures You've Never Heard Of (9781338089349, $18.99) requires good reading skills but will appeal to elementary grades interested in unusual animals and many an adult who may not have heard of the Cuban Solenodon, the Long-Tailed Dunnart, or the Banded Linsang. Readers who come to associate such animal books with color close-up photos will find these receive different embellishments in the form of drawings which are nearly cartoon-like in their animal expressions, but which add a sense of fun to the natural history surveys of why each animal is rarely seen. Small maps, quick overviews of where they live and what they eat, and a lively dialogue format makes this a winner. Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm's Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth (9780545805414, $18.99) explores the connections between solar and earth energy cycles as it follows the sun around the planet and its effects on water cycles. Human water use and what would happen if the sun did not move water makes for a lively discussion of possibilities. Nic Bishop's Penguin Day: A Family Story (9780545206365, $16.99) uses full-page color photos and simple text to explore a colony of rockhopper penguins, and is an attractive choice for young readers interested in penguin natural history. From the care and feeding of baby penguins to the habits of the southern rockhopper penguin in particular, this is a lively, appealing coverage the very young can enjoy.


The Board Book Shelf

Seashore Stroll
Jane Sanders, author/illustrator
Whispering Words
Gibbs Smith
P.O. Box 667, Layton, Utah 84041
9781423647126 $9.99 www.gibbs-smith.com

"Seashore Stroll" is a brilliant, brightly illustrated board book about seashore observations for young children. Descriptive three word sentences are perfectly illustrated in bright splashes of color. The hypnotic rhythm of the poetic narrative is exactly countered and enhanced by the colorful sea scenes. "Foam laps shores. Legs dodge swells. Fish lurk deep. ...Seals ride crests...Vast boats sail. Breezes lull slumber." Gradually the pictures in sequence paint a full, lovely day at the seashore, with all the accompanying sights and wonders. "Seashore Stroll" is a multisensory experience for very young readers that enhances awareness and enjoyment of every moment of the day.

The Story of Noah's Ark
Helen Dardik
Running Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
www.runningpress.com
9780762461844, $9.95, Board Book, 24pp, www.amazon.com

Helen Dardik is a professional illustrator and a surface pattern designer based in Canada. With "The Story of Noah's Ark" she turns her storytelling and artistic talents to provide children ages 3 to 6 with one of the best known stories of the Old Testament. It the story of how, a long time ago, the people of the world were not treating each other kindly. God was very sad, and so he decided to send a flood to cover the entire world. However, one man, Noah, and his family were very good people, so God told Noah to build a big boat and to gather two of every kind of animal to be kept safe in the boat when the floor arrived. Noah did as God commanded and soon he, his family, and all the animals were drifting in the flood waters. After many weeks of waiting, the flood went away and Noah, his family, and the animals were able to again return to land. God set a rainbow in the sky, promising Noah that he would never again flood the earth. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Story of Noah's Ark" is very highly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library Children's Board Book collections.

'Tinyville' stories
Brian Biggs
Adams Appleseed
c/o Abrams/Amulet
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
www.abramsyoungreaders.com
Board Books $7.95 each; Kindle $7.55 each

Three new board books for preschoolers provide a fictional focus on careers as they employ a cartoon style of drawing to pair with one to two sentences per page teaching toddlers about the world of work. I'm a Firefighter (9781419721342) surveys the daily work of Charlie the firefighter, whose job entails more than battling flames; I'm a Veterinarian (9781419721359) features a vet who is tasked with taking care of a wide range of animals; and I'm a Librarian (9781419723223) provides not just a review of a librarian's job, but what happens when a book goes missing. Each board book personalizes the job, adds fun insights into sometimes-quirky situations, and allows the very young to understand where an adult may be going to, each day.


The Picturebook Shelf

Lucy Lou's Magical Phone
Jaime Trainor
Warren Publishing
8145 Ardrey Kell Road, Suite 207, Charlotte NC 28277
9781943258314, $16.95, HC, 26pp, www.warrenpublishing.net

Lucy Lou's Magical Phone will reach elementary-level readers and those parents who look for family-oriented read-alouds with its fun story of a girl who has a new red flip phone that she deems 'magical' because it requires a magical phrase to open it. Lucy Lou's phone has been passed down between generations - but it holds the added magic of returning to life the memories of a beloved grandmother whose special form of magic transferred from phone to listeners on both sides of the device. Readers with good reading skills will enjoy reading about Lucy Lou's magical phone; but most of all, they will feel warmed by the story's exploration of close family connections. Kids who expect 'real magic' in the form of witches, brews, or amazing supernatural abilities may be disappointed to find that the phone holds none of these elements; but it actually features something better: the magic of love and compassion between different generations. Adults who want to pass along this legacy to kids will find Lucy Lou's Magical Phone an enchanting, encouraging read.

Beebs Goes Fishing!
Donald W. Kruse, author
Billy Barron, illustrator
Zaccheus Entertainment
P.O. Box 23, Minong, WI 54859
9780996996440, $12.95, PB, 52pp, www.amazon.com

Uh, oh! Now what's Beebs up to? Fishing? You gotta be kidding! Is it safe for the bumbling, fumbling Beebs to be in a boat, out on a lake? What if he falls overboard? Does he know how to swim? Poor Beebs means well, but he just can't seem to get anything right. Instead of catching a fish, he manages to catch a wig and yanks it right off the head of a lady fisherman who is anchored nearby. Not the best way to make friends! And if that's not enough, Beebs does in fact fall overboard and his young grandson has to rescue him with an oar. And when Beebs finally scrambles back into the boat, he discovers two lake creatures still clinging to him. Later, back at the cabin, things aren't much better for Beebs. Somehow a furious bat has entered the cabin at night and it's up to Beebs to save Grandma and their grandson from the low-flying creature. Finally, after tearing up half the house, Beebs manages to rid the cabin of the flying beast, only to have another forest creature sneak in past him. And this creature can make a BIG stink if he's not treated well. Children ages 4 to 10 will join the fun and find out what else happens when Beebs goes fishing in the newest picture book from the team of author Donald W. Kruse and illustrator Billy Barron. Delightfully entertaining from cover to cover and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in story driven, black-and-white illustrations, organization and presentation, "Beebs Goes Fishing!" is unreservedly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Ukaliq and Kalla Go Fishing
Nadia Mike, author
Amanda Sandland, illustrator
Inhabit Media
www.inhabitmedia.com
9781772271355, $16.95, HC, 36pp, www.amazon.com

Ukaliq and Kalla are two friends who could not be more different. Ukaliq is loud, excited and always looking for adventure. Kalla on the other hand, is calm, quiet and knows it's best to be well prepared before traveling out on the land or sea ice. When the two friends head out for a day of fishing, Ukaliq can barely wait to get his line in the water - but his eagerness to catch a fish may just leave him empty handed in the end. There is a lot Kalla could teach Ukaliq about a successful fishing trip, if only Ukaliq would sit still long enough to listen! Author Nadia Mike is an Inuit educator, who has lived in many communities across the North, though she considers Iqaluit, Nunavut her home. Her lively and original picture book story is charmingly illustrated by Canadian artist Amanda Sandland. The result is a wonderfully entertaining children's picture book story for children ages 3 to 5 that is very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Barnyard Bully
Dawn Marie Thompson, author
Anna Benczedi Oana Cochea, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
http://mascotbooks.com
9781631770241, $14.95, HC, 38pp, www.amazon.com

Dawn Thompson is a writer, a speaker, an ordained minister, and currently works at a child welfare agency helping children throughout the world. Featuring the utterly charming artwork of Anna Cochea, "Barnyard Bully" is a thoroughly entertaining picture book story of how barnyard animals cope with differences and bullying. The horses cannot get along with each other, the cats are in a mess, the goats are fighting amongst themselves, and the rooster is the biggest bully of them all. "Barnyard Bully shows children ages 4 to 6 on how to get along and how to stop bullying before it even starts. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in its organization, presentation, and message, "Barnyard Bully" is very highly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Mama's Kisses
Kate McMullan, author
Tao Nyeu, illustrator
Dial Books
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
http://us.penguingroup.com
9780525428329, $16.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

It's bedtime in the jungle, but baby panda, elephant, orangutan, and leopard are nowhere to be found. Their mamas set out to look for their wayward little ones, calling them to bed with a soft lullaby. But look! The baby animals are crawling, creeping, hiding, and giggling, playfully staying just one step ahead of their loving mamas. Kate McMullan's lilting rhymes pair perfectly with Tao Nyeu's rich illustrations, creating a dreamy picture book that is a perfect new baby or mother's day gift. An ideal picture book (especially for bedtime) for children ages 3 to 5, "Mama's Kisses" is an especially recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted that "Mama's Kisses" is also available in a Kindle format ($10.99).

Mr. Tanner
Harry Chapin, author
Bryan Langdo, illustrator
Ripple Grove press
PO Box 86740, Portland, OR 97286
www.RippleGrovePress.com
9780991386680, $17.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Mr. Tanner runs a dry cleaning shop in Dayton, Ohio, where he spends his days greeting his customers with his beautiful baritone voice. His friends and neighbors encourage him to sing professionally instead of cleaning clothes. He eventually takes a chance and travels to New York City to be heard by a concert agent and critics, only to find they weren't hearing what he was feeling. The song Mr. Tanner was released in 1973 off Harry Chapin's Short Stories album. The song was inspired by a mediocre review about a baritone singer in The New York Times. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to help support WhyHunger, a charity championed by Harry Chapin himself. Impressively original, wonderfully entertaining, thoroughly 'kid friendly' for children ages 5 to 7, "Mr. Tanner" is an especially recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

A Symphony of Cowbells
Heather Preusser, author
Eileen Ryan Ewen, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
www.sleepingbearpress.com
9781585369683, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Petra just loves spring in Gimmelwald. Each season she and her family lead their prize dairy cows into the pastures to graze and each cow wears her own jingling, jangling, clanging bell. What a symphony! But when Petra's favorite cow, Elfi, loses her bell the whole herd is out of harmony and refuses to move. Will Petra be able to find Elfi's bell before it's too late? With colorfully charming illustrations by Eileen Ryan Ewen, "A Symphony of Cowbells" is a whimsical and original story by Heather Preusser is sure to delight children ages 5 to 8. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted that "A Symphony of Cowbells" is also available in a Kindle format ($11.03).

Animal Ark
Kwame Alexander, author
Joel Sartore, photographer
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426327674, $15.99, HC, 48pp, www.amazon.com

A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird, "Animal Ark" pairs the stunning photography of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore with the delicate poetry of Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander. "Animal Ark" lush picture book celebrates the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world and features more than 40 unique animal portraits. Children ages 4 to 8 will explore each creature's markings, textures, and attributes in stunning detail. While calling on all of us to help protect each and every one, the three picture-packed gatefolds inside showcase even more familiar and exotic species. These images are part of Sartore's lifelong project to photograph every animal in the world, with special attention given to disappearing and endangered species. Original, informative, entertaining, "Animal Ark" is unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children.

Pirates in the Library
Nadia Ali, author
Jake Tebbit, illustrator
Star Bright Books
13 Landsdowne Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
www.starbrightbooks.com
9781595727657, $16.99, HC, 40pp, www.amazon.com

Children ages 5 to 8 can prepare to set sail for the adventure of a lifetime as the fierce Captain Jake discovers a treasure map that leads him and his pirate crew (and parrot, too) right to the -- library! Ms. Benitez, the librarian, welcomes the pirates to the library-as long as they behave!. And the search is on for the treasure promised to be hidden within the library. It's not too long before all the pirates (and the parrot, too) are captivated by the jewels they find on the bookshelves. Now the dilemma is how to get all the newfound treasure back to the pirate ship? Young readers will be eager to set course for their own libraries after following Captain Jake through his library adventure. The map of the Dread Pirate Dewey decorates the end papers leading library users through the Dewey Decimal system making this colorfully illustrated picture book a valuable learning tool for parents, teachers, and librarians! Simply stated, every elementary school and community library should have a copy of "Pirates in the Library" as a part of their picture book collection. It should be noted for parents that "Pirates in the Library" is also available in a paperback edition (9781595727664, $6.99).

The Gold Leaf
Kirsten Hall, author
Matthew Forsythe, illustrator
Enchanted Lion Books
351 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
www.enchantedlionbooks.com
9781592702145, $17.95, HC, 48pp, www.amazon.com

A gold leaf appears in the forest. As soon as the animals notice it, each wants it more than anything else in the world. But in their struggle for it, the leaf is destroyed. Heartbroken, the animals wonder: Will we ever again see such a leaf? The colorful illustrations by Matthew Forsythe rise to the standard of fine art and wonderfully support the original and engaging story of Kirsten Hall. A truly elegant and consistently entertaining picture book for children ages 4 to 8, "The Gold Leaf" is an unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Princesses of Bread
She Shil Kim, author
Eun Hwa Jung, illustrator
Tantan Math Stories
4005 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019-3258
www.tantanpublishing.com
c/o Independent Publishers Group
9781939248138, $16.95, HC, 38pp, www.amazon.com

The Queen of Bread tries to teach her three daughters how to cook her famous dish. But the three princesses are busy with other things, and they don't want to learn how to bake bread. When the Queen of Bread falls ill, the princesses don't know what to do! Can they learn to bake bread to save the kingdom and heal their mother? Children ages 3 to 5 will learn the importance of measuring in this whimsical picture book story. Activities and questions will engage children as they measure quantities and evaluate the information within this original and charmingly illustrated story. "Princesses of Bread" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Hand Over Hand
Alma Fullerton, author
Renne Benoit, illustrator
Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Suite 401, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2M5
http://secondstorypress.ca
9781772600155, $16.95, HC, 24pp, www.amazon.com

Nina can't convince her lolo to take her fishing on the old banca boat with him. Lolo's reply is the same as always: "A boat is no place for a girl." When Nina promises to bait her own hook and remove her own catch, her grandfather finally relents, "just for today". Much to the amusement of the other fishermen in their Filipino village, Lolo shows Nina how to jig the lines, set the hook and pull in a fish hand over hand. But no one is laughing when Nina brings in the biggest fish of the day! An original and consistently entertaining story by Alma Fullerton that is colorfully and charmingly illustrated by Renne Benoit, "Hand Over Hand" is especially recommended for children ages 5 to 8 and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Brave
Stacy McAnulty, author
Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, illustrator
Running Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
www.runningpress.com
9780762457823, $16.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Superheroes seek adventure, never give up, and stay calm when others are afraid. Superheroes are brave. But they aren't the only ones. Kids are brave every day. When they are told they are too little, but accomplish something big. When they check for monsters under the bed, just in case. When they face something uncertain, whether a thunderstorm or a hospital visit. When they stand up for what's right, even when it means facing consequences. Like superheroes, brave kids can save the world, just by being brave. An especially 'kid friendly' and entertaining picture book for children ages 4 to 8, "Brave" is certain to be an enduringly popular and highly appreciated addition to preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for parents that "Brave" is also available in a Kindle format ($16.99).

Don't Dilly Dally, Silly Sally
Marc Ferrai, author
Felipe Diaz Huarnez, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
www.brandylanepublishers.com
9781939930811, $18.95, PB, www.amazon.com

Sally was always joyful, energetic, carefree -- and chronically late for everything! Despite everyone's prods, nudges, and exasperated pleas, Sally's procrastination always caused delays. Children ages 4 to 8 will find out what happens one momentous day when Sally just could not be late for an important event, and how she overcame her initial disappointment to learn the secret to being on time! Told in playful rhyme by author Marc Ferrai and charmingly illustrated by Felipe Diaz Huarnez, "Don't Dilly Dally, Silly Sally" is an impressively entertaining picture book tribute to all the Silly Sallys of the world who march to the time of their own beat, and to the parents, grandparents and caregivers who love them. This thoroughly entertaining picture book story celebrates uniqueness, shares a valuable lesson, and plants the seed for ultimate success -- making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Leaky Story
Devon Sillett, author
Anil Tortop, illustrator
EK Books
https://ekbooks.org
9781925335392, $17.99, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

A book sits abandoned on a living room shelf. While the Blossburn family happily gets on with other things like watching TV and playing video games, the book aches to be read. The longer it sits abandoned, the more it aches. At last the book can't take it any longer. Slowly it starts to swell. Then it starts to leak! At first it's only a small trickle, but eventually the Blossburns can no longer ignore the octopus, crabs and other marine life that are swirling around their suburban home. And when pirates sail out of the book, the family must band together to reclaim their living room. Can J.J. and his parents find a way to get the characters back in the book? And in the process, will they discover that sometimes books are the best fun of all? "The Leaky Story" is an action-packed picture book adventure into the wonderful world of books, the power of the imagination, the art of storytelling and the importance of family. Original, entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' from cover to cover, "The Leaky Story" is an especially recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 7. It should be noted that "The Leaky Story" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

Bill Bowerbird and the Unbearable Beak-Ache
Tyler Clark Burke, author & illustrator
Owlkids Books Inc.
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
www.owlkidsbooks.com
9781771471541, $16.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Bill has a terrible, unbearable, lousy beak-ache. He also happens to be a bowerbird: a type of bird that collects scraps to create elaborate color-sorted nests. So Bill turns to his friends the zebra, frog, yak, and others for objects that might help alleviate his ache. Nothing works. But as it turns out, the pain is from a new tooth! The ache goes away on its own. "Bill Bowerbird and the Unbearable Beak-Ache " by writer, illustrator, designer, and freelance brainstormer Tyler Clark Burke is a fun, wacky story about teething is told in playful cadence with rhyme and refrain. The vibrantly showcased artwork is deliberately childlike, stylized in bold, energetic colors just like a bowerbird's eccentric nest design. A truly entertaining read from cover to cover, "Bill Bowerbird and the Unbearable Beak-Ache" is a picture story for children ages 3 to 7 that offers some practical wisdom on getting through tough times with patience and a little help from your friends. "Bill Bowerbird and the Unbearable Beak-Ache" is enthusiastically recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Reach for the Moon, Little Lion
Hildegard Muller
Holiday House
425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780823437771 $16.95, www.holidayhouse.com

Reach for the Moon, Little Lion tells of a little lion who finds his hidden strength and tells of how a small animal who is laughed at and teased about his stature becomes big in the eyes of those who would bully him. Good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance will lend to this story of a little lion whose only goal in life is to be big, so that he can touch the moon with his paws and belay teasing from his peers. But is this goal worthy enough, on its own? A crow questions and a little lion learns.

Too Many Things!
Tracy Bryan
http://tracybryan.com
CreateSpace
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
www.createspace.com
9780692830147, HC, $19.99; 9780692816141, PB, $ 9.99
9780692831533, eBook $2.99; Audiobook $3.46, www.amazon.com

Young Jamie loves the weekend. He has many choices on how to spend his time with his family, and the only thing he hates is going shopping. However, this is a problem for him because his parents love to shop - and insist on bringing him along! Illustrator David Barrow provides engaging, fun, and very colorful drawings that capture Jamie's reluctance to shop and the conundrum he faces from parents who "just need a few things" at the store even as Jamie insists that "we already have too many things!" Tracy Bryan offers a fine story that holds a powerful message for ages 4 and older. It's a gentle reminder about life values couched in the realistic story of how a family handles the problem of having too many material goods. Even more fun is the concluding page, which features black and white drawings of the author and illustrator produced by the illustrator himself: a great conclusion to a winning picture book story that should be in every collection!

Harry and Clare's Amazing Staycation
Ted Staunton
Tundra Books
350 Front Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 3B6
9781770498273 $22.99, www.penguinrandonmhouse.ca

Harry and Clare's Amazing Staycation will reach ages 4-8 with lovely story of sibling rivalry when brother and sister are stuck at home together for a week of vacation time that involves no fun plans. Mika Song adds the visual embellishments to a story of siblings who get into nothing but trouble, as a result. The very different approach of a vacation which requires some creative imagination to prove successful provides a satisfying alternative to stories of exotic destinations and expensive travel, and will delight parents looking for a different take on vacations and sibling relationships.

Great, Now We've Got Barbarians!
Jason Carter Eaton
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763668273 $15.99, www.candlewick.com

Great, Now We've Got Barbarians! is illustrated by Mark Fearing, whose oversized and fun drawings accompany the story of a little boy who doesn't think his mother's fixation on cleanliness is anything to pay much attention to. What are a few ants or mice, after all? The messy boy receives a come-uppance when his slovenly habits lead to a problem with barbarians which affects the entire family in this whimsical story of why cleanliness is important even if barbarians are not involved!

When the Rain Comes
Alma Fullerton
Pajama Press
http://pajamapress.ca
9781772780123 $19.95, amazon.com

When the Rain Comes features lovely color drawings by Kim LA Fave, is set in a Sri Lankan community, and tells what happens when a little girl participates in her village's rice crop planting for the first time. There's a lot of responsibility involved in being old enough to plant - but when a monsoon comes, Malini is separated from her family and charged with protecting the precious rice. Free verse captures the sounds, sights, and experiences of Malini's first job.

Dormouse Dreams
Karma Wilson
Disney Hyperion
125 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
www.disneyhyperionbooks.com
9781423178743 $16.99, www.DisneyBooks.com

Dormouse Dreams receives gorgeous illustrations by Renata Liwska and tells of a dormouse who faces winter in the woods, snug and safe in his home, asleep, while winter animals play. Spring's arrival awakens him with a rare gift - or is this just a dream, as well? Very simple text and gorgeous illustrations make this gentle story of winter wonders and dreams a fine, inviting production recommended for parents who look for beautiful color drawings and evocative scenes.

Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
www.childs-play.com

Aurora Cacciapuoti's Baking with Dad (9781846437557, $16.99) will reach ages 3-8 with its simple, fun story of a father/daughter home baking team and their creations. How can they choose the right ingredients, and how do they handle kitchen mishaps? With fun and a healthy dose of disaster, the two attempt the seeming impossible in a different cookbook story on many levels that emphasizes a fun father-daughter relationship. Seb Braun's Mayday Mouse (9781846637595, $12.37 hc / $7.99 pbk) tells of Captain Mouse, who sets sail with a birthday gift for her brother, only to find dangers on the high seas that might keep her from her goals. Fortunately, Captain Mouse is an optimist, and her courage and resourcefulness allow her to navigate even the most treacherous of waves and life obstacles until she spies her ultimate goal. This fun story is highly recommended for any who would use a picture book tale to teach about fortitude and perseverance.

Gecko Press
PO Box 9335, Marion Square, Wellington, 6141, New Zealand
www.geckopress.com

Lee Komako Saki's The Lost Kitten (9781776571260, $16.99) presents gorgeous full-page drawings of Hina and her mother who are asked - by a cat - to take in a kitten. Good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance will lend to this story of a stray lovingly adopted by a mother and child, who despite Hina's initial wish for a cleaner, better cat. Just as Hina is getting accustomed to her new charge, something unexpected happens. This realistic, warm story of a stray kitten's new family will delight any youngster who has longed for a cat of their own. Dorothee de Monfreid's A Day With Dogs (9781776570980, $19.99) is a whimsical survey that packs fun cartoon-like drawings of dogs into the story of what dogs do all day. From dressing up and attending school to learning numbers, participating in sports, and taking field trips afar, this is a fun, whimsical story of anything but a typical dog day, and will delight kids with its numerous small drawings and detail.

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids

Alexandra Pichard's Pen Pals (9781481472470, $17.99) tells of an unlikely friendship that springs up between an octopus and an aunt who are charged with writing letters for a school project for an entire year. At first the assignment to be pen pals is difficult: the two are entirely different in interests, so what do they write about. The fun takes place when they discover that, despite many differences, they actually have much in common. The story will invite kids to seek their own pen pals, and to embrace differences rather than just seeking similarities to form bonds. Jonah Winter and Jeanette Winter's The Secret Project (9781481469135, $17.99) brings a mother/son writing team strengths together for young picture book readers, telling of the atomic bomb project "Gadget" and how it evolved. This secret history is provided in a simple picture book story that provides a short history of the atomic bomb's development using language young picture book readers can easily understand. How a peaceful desert mountain landscape changes young lives is revealed in a story that pairs color images with simple descriptions. While reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance will be required, the story will prove appealing to any adult who wants to explain atomic bomb development to a younger audience than is usual for this topic. Lori Richmond's Pax and Blue (9781481451321, $17.99) tells of Pax, who is always the littlest child anywhere he goes. When Pax befriends a pigeon he names 'Blue', their friendship changes things - he's finally found something smaller than him, who understands his dilemmas. Their friendship leads to some unusual side-benefits in this fine story of a little boy who makes some discoveries about the value of buddies. Jessie Sima's Not Quite Narwhal (9781481469098, $17.99) is also about finding a better place in life and comes from an author and illustrator who tells of Kelp, who has grown up in the ocean long believing he is a narwhal like others in his family. His differences don't lead him to believe he's really that far removed from them, until a current sweeps him to the surface where he finds another creature that looks like him, differences and all. Can he actually be something than what he'd known all his life - and what does this mean for his family and world? A sweet story, this is involving and lovely. Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson's Antoinette (9781481457835, $17.99) return the puppy protagonists of Gaston back to new attention as poodle Antoinette discovers her own special talents. Compared to her boisterous brothers, she doesn't seem to have much to show in the way of abilities; but Antoinette just needs to find out what makes her special. When she's playing in the park with her friend Gaston, a missing sister uncovers this special ability at last in a lovely tale of problem-solving and personal strength.

Scholastic Press
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com

Mary GrandPre's Cleonardo: The Little Inventor (9780439357647, $18.99) presents the fun story of the daughter of Leonardo who has her own great ideas and inventions. But her too-busy father never wants her help, and doesn't consider a girl to be especially talented. How can she prove her worth? An invention contest seems just the ticket, and Cleo builds something amazing, only to find her father is a competitor. Who will win? A creative, fun story evolves, perfect for picture book readers with good reading skills and an affinity for gorgeous, detailed, colorful embellishments. David Shannon's Duck on a Tractor (9780545619417, $16.99) tells of a duck with too much time on his hands and too many wild ideas for a staid farm life. When he spots a new red tractor, the temptation is just too great, and trouble erupts. But it's in the nature of troublemakers to often involve others - and so a barnyard of fun evolves, creating chaos not just on the farm but downtown, as well. Good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance will be required, though the big, bold drawings are beautifully compelling and no adult involved in the read will regret the effort. Mem Fox and Judy Horacek's This & That (9781338037807, $17.99) is a fun, rhyming, easy reader that parents will relish for read-aloud enjoyment as they uncover the adventures of two little boys who "raced down the road with a cat" and the fun worlds that evolve. From giraffes to fat speckled hens, 'this and that' are actually a variety of fun encounters that will keep young listeners giggling and parents entertained with many unexpected twists and turns. Carmen Agra Deedy and Eugene Yelchin's The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! (9780545722889, $17.95) is set in the noisy but happy Latin village of La Paz where there is no peace and quiet. Even a noisy village covets quiet sometimes, and so an ambitious mayor is elected to bring this peace, and goes overboard in his determination to let not a sound escape. Only one dares defy his rigid rules. Good reading skills will enhance the experience of a fun story with a subtle political edge to it.


The Fiction Shelf

Lucky Broken Girl
Ruth Behar
Nancy Paulsen Books
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780399546440, $16.99, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro's Cuba to New York City. Just when she's finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English (and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood's hopscotch queen) a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie's world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times. "Lucky Broken Girl" is a deftly written, multicultural, coming-of-age novel that is based on author's Ruth Behar's own childhood in the 1960s as a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Compelling and ultimately inspiring, "Lucky Broken Girl" is very highly recommended for ages 10 to 16 and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library General Fiction collections young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lucky Broken Girl" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99). Librarians should be aware that "Lucky Broken Girl" is available as a complete and unabridged audio book (Listening Library, 9781524755058, $40.00 Trade, $22.72 Amazon).

The Making of Mollie
Anna Carey
O'Brien Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
www.dufoureditions.com
9781847178473, $12.60, PB, 303pp, www.amazon.com

Mollie Carberry lives a boring life in the Dublin suburbs of 1912. That is, until her older sister Peggy and the family's maid Maggie are discovered with a stash of leaflets demanding suffrage for women. Mollie and her friend Nora gradually become converted to the cause, sneaking into meetings and dispersing leaflets. While Mollie and Nora's youthful activities get them into trouble with their parents and school, Peggy and Maggie face more serious consequences when the grown-up suffrage campaign takes a more serious turn, and Mollie and Nora must face the question of how far a girl should go for her beliefs. In "The Making of Mollie" author Anna Carey has taken great pains to accurately reflect the women's suffrage movement in Ireland and provides young readers ages 10 to 14 with an inherently engaging and consistently entertaining read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended, especially for school and community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Making of Mollie" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.37).

One Brave Summer
Kiersi Burkhart & Amber J. Keyser
Darby Creek Publishing
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
www.lernerbooks.com
9781467792547, $27.27, Library Binding, 217pp, www.amazon.com

Paley Dixon is not excited about six weeks on a horse ranch without access to the virtual world of Dragonfyre. In-game, she's the Blue Elf, strong and powerful. In the real world, she's coming off a bad year after moving from Los Angeles to Denver. At least Prince, the majestic horse she's paired with at Quartz Creek Ranch, makes her feel like royalty. To gain Prince's trust, Paley has to find her own confidence, which isn't easy with jerks like Bryce around. When she makes an exciting discovery near the ranch, life finally seems as interesting as Dragonfyre. But to protect her real-world treasure, she'll have to figure out how to turn courage into action. "One Brave Summer" by the collaborative team of Kiersi Burkhart and Amber J. Keyser is a consistently entertaining and impressively engaging novel that is especially recommended for young readers ages 8 to 12. While very highly recommended for both school and community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of kids in grades 3 to 7 that "One Brave Summer" is also available in a paperback edition (9781512430882, $6.99) and in a Kindle format ($6.64).

Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com

Jay Cooper's The Spy Next Door: Mutant Rat Attack! (9780545932974, $9.99) provides a little under 140 pages of detail with black and white illustrations accenting the fun story of Dexter and his science teacher, whose secret experiment goes awry when a lab rat eats some radioactive broccoli and turns into a dangerous threat. It's up to Dex to save the day - and, perhaps, the world. Zany fun and a action story blend in a chapter book perfect for those past the picture book stage but not quite into the next level. Norman Bridwell's classic Clifford stories return to life for new generations in two books recommended for any collection fond of Clifford's adventures. Clifford's Good Deeds (9781338124279, $8.99) presents classic red/black/white drawings as the story follows a would-be helpful dog who just keeps making situations worse because of his big size. Oblivious to the problem, Clifford and his girl persist in thinking their helpfulness is welcome. Clifford the Small Red Puppy (9781338124248, $8.99) portrays the big red dog's origins as a small red puppy, and will especially attract kids who long for their own dog of any size. Here Emily goes back in time to explore how she got Clifford in a whimsical, fun narrative that will reach from picture book readers to very early chapter book followers.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies!
Bruce Hale
Disney Hyperion
125 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
9781484713242 $14.99, www.disneybooks.com

Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies! pairs humor with adventure and strange scenarios in this second book in the 'Monstertown Mystery' series, which requires no prior familiarity in order to prove compelling. This time the focus is on lunch servers in the school cafeteria, who may initially seem innocuous, but who have the potential of being deadly when suddenly they change. Meals are different, monsters are spied in corners, and the boys uncover a dangerous situation in this zany story recommended for advanced elementary grade levels into early middle school.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Lords of the Plain
Derib and Job
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849183185, $11.95, PB, 48pp, www.amazon.com

After a buffalo hunt that brought the tribe much needed supplies, a little Native American boy named Yakari is visited in his dreams by the female buffalo that was killed the day of his birth, and whose pelt still serves as his blanket. Intrigued, the young Sioux and his pony Little Thunder go see the great herd. From encounter to encounter, and by helping a young mother and her newborn calf against a particularly nasty wolf and his pack, Yakari learns to know those majestic animals so important to his own people's survival. The fourteenth volume in the Yakari graphic novel series (creative team Derib and Job have been writing Yakari stories for over 30 years and have both received lifetime achievement awards for their outstanding work), "Lords of the Plain" is another wonderfully entertaining story with a valued underlying message concerning Native American values for appreciating and valuing all life on Earth. While especially recommended for children ages 6 to 10 and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lords of the Plain" is also available in a Kindle format ($8.99).

Lunazul Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 761, Micaville, North Carolina, 28755
www.heavysketches.com

Author and illustrator Red Rohl has published two outstanding and unique graphic novels for young readers ages 8 to 12. "Heavy Sketches: Among Worldly Distractions" features zombies, pizza, aliens, video games, and the apocalypse as just a few of the worldly distractions that capture Red's wandering mind in an ultimate graphic novel anthology unlike anything seen before. The pages of "Heavy Sketches Among Worldly Distractions" (9780996561198, $13.99 PB, $2.99 Kindle, 111pp) are comprised of engaging stories on Vikings, pirates, Lincoln, Greek Mythology, TV & more. Accompanied by hundreds of captivating sketches, Mini-Comics, Drawing Tips, Facts, and Spoofs. "Heavy Sketches Among Worldly Distractions" features all this and more. "Heavy Sketches Among Worldly Distractions, Volume II" (9780966361150, $13.99 PB, 111pp) continues Red Rohl's graphic novel series with another volume that features french fries, giants, football, ancient Egypt and another roster of worldly distractions for young readers in grades 3 to 6. Wild, wacky, wonderful, both these graphic novels are original, consistently entertaining, and will prove to be enduringly popular additions to personal, elementary school, and community library graphic novel collections. Of special note is Red Rohl's approach will have broad appeal for engaging both avid readers, reluctant readers, comic fans, and art enthusiasts alike.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Evil Speaks
Sandra Woffington
Red Summit Publishers
https://redsummitpublishers.wordpress.com
https://warriorsandwatcherssaga.com
9781944650001, $14.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Original and consistently entertaining from cover to cover, "Evil Speaks" is the story of fifteen year old Benny who is solitary by circumstance more than choice. Benny counts each move to a new town as "a life". He's now on Life Number Seven. His last! He plans to run away from his paranoid mother, who's been on the run since the disappearance of his father when he was three. Benny has no memory of it, except for weird dreams of a firestorm and a hideous dragon. After a fight with his mother, Benny packs his bags. Boom! The house explodes, catapulting Benny into a world he never imagined existed. The trail leads him to a gated Neoclassical building in the woods and to six teens he vaguely remembers: Kami is deaf, Amir is blind, Zuma is overweight, Layla is gorgeous but lazy, Chaz is in a wheelchair and Raj is as angry as the purple dagger-shaped birthmark running down the side of her face. These unlikely heroes share a common thread: Benny lost his father and they lost their mothers on the same day. The only clue to the mystery is Benny's grandfather, Domenico H. Adez, a strange and dangerous man. Author Sandra Woffington is an impressively talented storyteller and "Evil Speaks" is unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Evil Speaks" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

Motley Education
S. A. Larson
Leap Books
PO Box 63, Otego, NY 13825
http://leapbks.net
9781616030773, $16.99, PB, 334pp, www.amazon.com

Forget having a lively after school social life, Ebony Charmed is fighting to keep the entire afterlife alive. Ebony's less-than-average spirit tracking abilities are ruining more than sixth grade at Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically and Celestially Gifted. Her parents argue so much her dad's moved out. And, even though he's scared of his own shadow and insists on bringing his slimy, legless lizard everywhere they go, Ebony wouldn't survive without her best friend, Fleishman. When Ebony's Deadly Creatures & Relics' project goes missing she learns her missing project is one of the keys to saving the spirit world. Now Ebony and Fleishman must battle beasts from Norse mythology to retrieve her project before spirits are lost, the Well of Urd dries up, and Ebony loses all hope of reuniting her family. But someone lies in wait, and he has other plans...including creating a new world of spirits without them in it. A deftly crafted and consistently entertaining read from cover to cover, "Motley Education" has an underlying message regarding the important of friend ship and family and is on of S. A. Larson's best fantasy fictions so far -- and is especially recommended young readers ages 8 to 12. Indeed, "Motley Education" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library collections.

The Far Corners
Elaine Gartner
CreateSpace
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
www.createspace.com
9781534634817, $7.99, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com

In the untamed wilderness of Elderbrook Forest, all manner of creatures enjoy the beautiful simplicity of a natural life. For hundreds of years, birds, squirrels, and animals of all sizes have lived in these woods without any human interference -- but as those who know about the Legend are aware, these days won't last forever. As ancient prophecy predicts, one day the humans will return to nature and must learn to live side by side with their animal friends. And when a human voice rings out over the forest, for the first time in several centuries, it seems the events described in the Legend are about to come to pass. When he learns the truth about his long-lost father, who once set out to jump-start the prophecy, Willoughby the squirrel decides to set out on a quest of his own - with his mother, Mrs. Elmsford, and the wise old snapping turtle, Mrs. Augusten, by his side. Guided by the spirits of a mystical cave to a city of people, the group finds there are plenty of surprises in store -- ones that will forge new connections with human civilization and showcase how the actions of one tiny squirrel can make a difference. "The Far Corners" by Eliane Gartner is an impressively crafted novel for young readers ages 8 to 12 and clearly showcases the author's original and genuine flair for creatively entertaining storytelling with deftly positive underlying message. While very highly recommended for both school and community library Children's Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Far Corners" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).

Pokemon: Talent Showdown
Adapted by Tracey West
Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com
9781338175912 $4.99 amazon.com

Ideal for young readers who are just beginning to read their first chapter books, Pokemon: Talent Showdown adapts an episode from the wildly popular "Pokemon" cartoon, about a world where people of all ages can befriend, collect, and battle with mysterious creatures known as Pokemon. In Talent Showdown, Ash, a dedicated Pokemon trainer, seeks to defeat his rival Gary in a Pokemon Talent Showdown! The competition includes a juggling Exeggutor, a singing Charmander, and a dancing Farfetch'd - but can Ash think of a good Pokemon act in time? Plus, Team Rocket has their own nefarious plans to steal the performing Pokemon! A handful of black-and-white illustrations enliven this charming adventure, ideal for encouraging young Pokemon fans to read. Also highly recommended are other chapter books in the Pokemon series, including "Pokemon: Race to Danger" (9781338175851, $4.99).

Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
www.scholastic.com

Six new books for young adults are top picks that stand out in various ways, providing young adult readers with lively stories that are each hard to put down. Fonda Lee's Exo (9780545933438, $17.99) presents a future peaceful Earth which has happened since the planet become a colony of an alien race. Hardly any defy this arrangement - including Donovan, whose father is the Prime Liaison, elevating his son's social standing. When Donovan is kidnaped by a revolutionary group determined to defy alien control, he's in for an eye-opening awakening experience in the story of a hostage, terrorism, and a newfound threat of war. Sarah Rubin's The Impossible Clue (9780545940252, $17.99) will reach middle school readers with the story of Alice, a crime-busting young lady who is both a math genius and a solver of mysteries. Her latest case revolves around the disappearance of a local scientist from a locked room, and a top secret experiment he'd been working on that could change everything. Jane B. Mason's Without Annette (9780545819954, $18.99) tells of Josie's move cross country to attend a famous boarding school with her girlfriend - a move that goes wry when elitism separates the two former friends, and causes Josie to question her goals and world. Annette moves away from her closeness and Josie becomes involved in her first romance even as Annette embarks on a course that could require Josie to rescue her - if she even cares enough, any longer. David Baldacci's books are well known to adult thriller audiences, but The Width of the World (9780545931964, $17.99) departs from many of his books to provide a solid fantasy read for older teens. Vega is on a mission to uncover the truth in her life and escapes Wormwood, her 'home', to enter a world where people are enslaved by ignorance, where beasts roam freely. Can Vega, Delph, and a dog along with their new friend defy and bring down a repressive order that nobody is even aware of? Many an adult will find this an engrossing read, as well. Garth Nix's Frogkisser! (9781338052084, $18.99) tells of a princess forced to live with an evil stepmother's new husband - who is also evil. Princess Anya can break curses just by kissing, and her power sees new threats by this evil stepfather who is determined to change her realm. Going underground, Anya begins a quest that involves her power, impossible goals, and a confrontation that will require all of her courage. Sharon Cameron's The Forgetting (9780545945219, $18.99) tells of Nadia, who lives in Canaan where life is structured, protected, and secluded. The city's inhabitants have no memory of the past, which helps keep it peaceful - but every twelve years the Forgetting brings chaos and amnesia - unless memories are written down. But what if what is written is false? Nadia's challenges are many when she uses her memories to uncover secrets about Canaan and her life. All are engrossing, memorable leisure choices.


The Judaic Shelf

I Go to Eretz Yisroel
Rikki Benenfeld
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
www.hachai.com
9781929628926, $10.95, HC, 30pp, www.amazon.com

Children ages 4 to 6 can join a young brother and sister as they take their very first airplane trip, all the way to Eretz Yisroel! ("Eretz Yisroel" is Hebrew for "The Land of Israel".) Reading this charmingly illustrated picture book is also a great way to prepare toddlers for what to expect when traveling by air -- from the busy, crowded airport, to waiting in long lines, to checking in their suitcases. Once on the plane, they say Tefillas HaDerech, follow rules and instructions, and enjoy the flight. "When the plane lands, it's sunny and bright, In Eretz Yisroel, my heart feels so light." In "I Go to Eretz Yisroel" the whole family goes to the Kosel, to Kever Rochel, and to Me'aras Hamachpeila. They may be little, but even small children know it's important to daven at these holy places. And of course, they take a break to eat falafel, their most favorite treat! Every aspect of this exciting experience is presented in a perfectly age-appropriate manner. "I Go to Eretz Yisroel" highlights mitzvah opportunities, safety and polite behavior in every situation. Impressively entertaining and informative from cover to cover, "I Go to Eretz Yisroel" is an especially recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.


The Audiobook Shelf

Middle School: Escape to Australia
James Patterson and Martin Chatterton, authors
Read by Michael Crouch
Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781478916796 $18.00 www.HachetteAudio.com

Middle School: Escape to Australia is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of an adventure novel in the popular "Middle School" series for young adults. In Escape to Australia, the gutsy and talented middle schooler Rafe wins a school-wide art competition, earning him a trip to Australia. But Australia is more harrowing than Rafe could have guessed - his host siblings are borderline hostile, the heat is oppressive, and the local wildlife is exceptionally venomous! But Rafe is resilient - with the help of some misfit new friends, he just might turn the land down under upside-down! Middle School: Escape to Australia is highly recommended for school and public library children's audiobook collections. 3 CDs, 3 hours.


The Music CD Shelf

Bubbles
The Salamanders
www.salamandersmusic.com
$12.00 CD / $10.00 download cdbaby.com

Bubbles is a family-friendly rock-'n'-roll album brimming with songs about love, personal growth, tolerance, and just plain silly fun. The delightful original songs are perfect for car trips, children's parties, or everyday entertainment. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Let's Sing a Song" (3:22), "Poppy" (3:02), "Bubbles" (4:44), "Mancub" (3:41), "Skeleton Rag" (3:58), "Golly G. Gus" (2:52), "Matt Damon Magnetized Me" (2:21), "The Cat" (4:26), "Pirate Santa" (3:20), and "Lovely Goodbye" (5:52).

Brooklyn Baby
Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights
www.joanieleeds.com
Limbostar
$15.00 CD / $9.99 download cdbaby.com

Award-winning singer/songwriter Joanie Leeds presents Brooklyn Baby, an energetic music CD especially for children ages 4-9. The songs draw upon a wide variety of genres from folk to southern rock, hip hop, pop, and punk, and embody a love of the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood and people. These upbeat songs will delight parents as well as little ones, and the physical CD includes liner notes with complete song lyrics for sing-along fun! The tracks are "Ferry Nice", "Subway", "By Myself", "Stoop", "Library Book", "Brooklyn Baby", "Pizza", "Rainbow Bagels from Outer Space", "Love is Love", "Shayne Punim", "Hipster in the Making (Remix)", "Apples in My Apples", and "Sunday Morning". 43 min.

Kimbo Educational
PO Box 477, Long Branch, NJ 07740-0477
www.kimboed.com

Two music CDs from Kimbo Educational are an excellent resource to encourage young people to move their bodies and develop their motor skills. "Brain Smart Moves" ($15.95) incorporates actions such as twisting, turning, spinning, drawing figure eights, balancing, and more. The musical activities are "brain smart" strategies, ideal for daily use in the classroom or at home, and prepared with the guidance of early childhood brain development expert Dr. Pam Schiller. "Shake, Wave, & Jingle Rhythm Time: Bean Bags, Scarves, & Rhythm Band Activities" ($15.95) uses inexpensive props to help young children practice gross motor control. The engaging musical tempos and beats lend appeal to this stimulating album! Both music CDs are a choice pick for elementary school library collections, highly recommended for classroom physical activities, or simple rainy-day fun.


The DVD Shelf

Wolfie the Bunny
Written by Ame Dyckman
Illustrated by Zachariah O'Hora
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
www.scholastic.com/westonwoods
9781338161953 $59.95

Ideal for young viewers ages 3-6 (or grades PreK-1), Wolfie the Bunny is the DVD adaptation of an award-honored children's picturebook. When a bunny family adopts a wolf son, only bunny daughter Dot realizes that her new brother Wolfie just might eat the rest of them up! But when Wolfie is in danger, can Dot save the whole family? Wolfie the Bunny is a choice pick for public library children's collections and viewing during homeroom, highly recommended. 8 min., optional English subtitles, closed-captioned.


The Psychology Shelf

Grow Happy
Jon Lasser & Sage Foster-Lasser, authors
Christopher Lyles, illustrator
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
www.maginationpress.com
9781433823312, $15.95, HC, 32pp, www.amazon.com

Kiko is a little girl who gardens. She takes care of her garden with seeds, soil, water, and sunshine. In "Grow Happy", Kiko also demonstrates how she cultivates happiness, just like she does in her garden. Using positive psychology and choice theory, "Grow Happy" by the team of Jon Lasser (a psychologist, school psychologist, professor, and Program Director of the School Psychology Program at Texas State University) and Sage Foster-Lasser (a psychology student at the University of Texas at Austin) shows children ages 4 to 8 that they have the tools to nurture their own happiness and live resiliently. Charmingly illustrated throughout by Christopher Lyles, "Grow Happy" also includes a "Note to Parents and Caregivers" with information on how our choices and paying attention to our bodies and feelings affects happiness. Wonderfully entertaining from beginning to end and with an invaluable life affirming message, "Grow Happy" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.


The Literary Shelf

Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog
Original story by Edgar Allan Poe
Adapted by Jerome Tiller
Illustrated by Marc Johnson-Pencook
ArtWrite Productions
artwriteproductions.com
9781939846129 $8.99 www.adaptedclassics.com

Part of the excellent "Adapted Classics" series, Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog adapts a classic short story by celebrated author Edgar Allan Poe to a format ideal for middle grade readers. The text is lightly modified to be more accessible to young people, and striking black-and-white illustrations intersperse the story of a dwarf jester driven into a vengeful rage by the injustice he sees around him. Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog is an excellent tool to introduce young people to the amazing world of classic literature, and a choice pick for public or school library children's collections. Also highly recommended is the "Adapted Classics" rendition of another timeless yet suspenseful tale, "Edgar Allan Poe's Thou Art the Man" (9781939846044, $8.99).


The Holocaust Studies Shelf

The Hiding Game
Gwen Strauss
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455622658 $17.99, www.pelicanpub.com

The Hiding Game receives lovely, realistic drawings by Herb Leonhard as it tells of Aube and her family who are used to things being secret in their village. The time is Nazi Germany and this is a picture book story of hiding, refugees, and a journey to safety that is based on the author's family story. It requires good reading skills but its involving, moving scenario of a family's journey from hiding to safety is evocative and compelling.


Books in Series

A Refugee's Journey From Afghanistan
Helen Mason, author
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10118
9780778731252 $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB, www.crabtreebooks.com

"A Refugee's Journey From Afghanistan" is a guided reading R level book about an Afghan family with a girl named Sonita. Sonita was born in 2008 in Islamabad, Pakistan, where her parents had gone for refuge during the Afghan conflict. Her story reflects the lives of many Afghan refugees during the period from 2001 to 2014, when the Afghan War ended. Many parts of Afghanistan are still quite dangerous, but Afghans who have left the country as refugees are beginning to return. Sonita's mother, Mora, and father, Baba, first lived in Kabul for a while, in Afghanistan. There Sonita's brother, Izat was born. Because of threats from the Taliban, Baba and Mora and their family moved to Islamabad, Pakistan. Many organizations from the UN provided help during these moves and living in refugee camps. Another group that helps is the HTAC, Help the Afghan Children, which partners with the Afghan government to create healthy, nonviolent-oriented school programs for children. At the age of two, Sonita moved with her family to a refugee camp. her father, Baba, drove a rickshaw to earn money. A letter from Mora's brother came that told of his life being smuggled out of Afghanistan by his mother. He nearly drowned in an overcrowded boat off the coast of Greece. But he was saved and helped by a kind host family in Germany. In 2015, over 88,300 child refugees without parents applied for asylum in Europe, over half of which were Afghan. later, there were repatriation programs to help bring refugees home to Afghanistan from Pakistan and other places. Sonita's family was eventually able to return to Kabul, where they were able to find her grandmother, Anaa. Many steps remain to make Afghanistan a healthy, safe place to live. The UNHCR helps returning refugees by giving them information about staying safe in a war torn land. "A Refugee's Journey From Afghanistan" ends with a list of ways to help, discussion ideas, a glossary, and a list of resources including books and web sites that give more information about Afghanistan. "A Refugee's Journey From Afghanistan" is an excellent resource to educate elementary grade children about the problem of aiding and providing shelter for refugees. Other titles from the Leaving My Homeland Series that are also highly recommended include: "A Refugee's Journey from Iraq" (9780778731278, $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB), by Ellen Rodger, "A Refugee's Journey from the Democratic Republic of the Congo" (9780778731269, $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB), by Ellen Rodger, and "A Refugee's Journey from Syria" (9780778731283, $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB) by Helen Mason.

Looking Inside a 3D Printer
Quenton Oakes, author
Cherry Lake Publishing
c/o Sleeping Bear Press
1750 Northway Drive, Suite 101, North Mankato MN 56003
9781634721899, $28.50 (list), $19.95, S/L, $24pp, www.cherrylakepublishing.com

"Looking Inside a 3D Printer" is a Grade 3 book about the many uses and working of a 3D printer. Pictures of inside parts of the 3D printer help explain how the machine works by drawing very thin layers of melted filament, then stacking the layers on top of each other. to help children understand this process, a sidebar suggests: "Think like a 3D printer. Try drawing yourself like a 3D Printer draws. Start with the bottoms of your feet. Then draw the tops of your feet. Then draw your legs. Keep going all the way to the top of your head. That's how 3D printers print out shapes." There are many fascinating facts and finds about the uses for 3D printers. "Looking Inside a 3D Printer" ends with a glossary and list of related books and web sites to help young readers find out more. "Looking Inside a 3D Printer" is part of a new series called Makers as Innovators Junior. Look for more exciting titles in this series for young readers soon. Also highly recommended from the same publisher is the following title in the 21st Century Junior Library women Innovators series: "Stephanie Kwolek and Bulletproof Material (978163472837, $27.07 list, $18.95, S/L)," by Ellen Labrecque. this exciting nonfiction text tells all about the woman who invented Kevlar, and the amazing protective uses of it.

Crabtree Publishing Company
350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118
www.crabtreebooks.com

Gill Arbuthnott's Your Guide to Electricity and Magnetism (9780778733980, $31.93) joins others in the 'Drawn to Science' series and promotes an interactive approach to learning science that pairs an illustrated guide packed with cartoons and images with discussions of atoms, electric circuits, magnets, and inventions. Kinds in grades 3-5 will relish the discussions of how electricity and magnetism are used and distributed. The 'What Is Entrepreneurship' series offers four titles that focus on various kinds of entrepreneurship. Each provides 48 pages including an index, glossary, and bibliography and each provides a different focus. Margaret Hoovegen's Social Entrepreneurship (9780778727576, $31.93) examines the main goal of social effort to make positive improvements on peoples' lives; Alexander Offord's Environmental Entrepreneurship (9780778727569, $31.93) considers the efforts of 'ecopreneurs' to help solve environmental challenges, Helen Mason's Digital Entrepreneurship (9780778727408, $31.93) considers how digital technology is used to sell products and ideas, and Natalie Hyde's general What is Entrepreneurship? (9780778727583, $31.93) considers what makes a company owner an entrepreneur. The result is an excellent collection that can be used individually but is strongest when read as a unit: a good, basic introduction to business for an elementary age that usually doesn't receive such insights.


James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com


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