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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 20, Number 11 November 2010 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Health Shelf American History Shelf
Music Shelf DVD Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Sports Shelf Science Shelf Holiday Shelf
Folklore/Mythology/Fairytale Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Crafts Shelf
Preschool Shelf Bilingual Shelf Native American Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf The Chapter Book/Easy Reader Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Books in Series

Reviewer's Choice

A Puppy for the White House
Kathleen Smith, author
Laurie Hansen, illustrator
Lollipop Publishing
10710 Moore Cir., Westminster, CO 80021
9780615301655, $16.99,

"A Puppy for the White House" is an unusual tribute to the First Family's search for a perfect dog for the whole family to enjoy while living in the White House, after President Obama was elected (November, 2008). The story is presented as a class project for Mrs. Smith's fifth grade class, who are assigned the task of writing the tale of the First Family's search for the perfect puppy. The young writers are directed to use facts they have learned from the news coverage, and to show respect, love and esteem for the value of education. Stressing traditional family values, sticking to the known events and facts of the First Family's journey to the White House, and showing respect for the First Family members privacy by using pronouns instead of their real names are some of the suggested approaches to the writing project. The class members' efforts will be combined and edited and entered in a national writing contest. Thus the framing for "A Puppy for the White House" is complete, and it meets and exceeds all the special goals of their teacher. "A Puppy for the White House" is an excellent teaching-tribute story that contains many essential elements needed to help children learn how to be good family members and future good citizens.

Look Now: The World in Facts, Stats, and Graphics
Joe Fullman, Ian Graham, Sally Regan, and Isabel Thomas
DK Publishing, Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780756662868 $24.99

Intended for readers age 8 and up, Look Now: The World in Facts, Stats, and Graphics is an extraordinary compendium of fascinating facts about the world around us, presented side-by-side with vivid color photographs on virtually every page. Each two-page spread illustrates a different statistical aspect of the world, from how its land is used by percentage, to the proportions of different nations that are connected to the Internet, to the different types of political systems governing nations of the world, to different types of families and marriage or divorce rates, and more. A broadening glimpse of the multifaceted world we live in, backed up with hard data yet presented in a highly accessible manner, Look Now is enthusiastically recommended especially for public library children's collections.

Starabella at School
Sharon, Tara & Dana Fialco, authors
Anton Petrov, illustrator
Fialco Productions, Inc.
c/o S. J. Miller Communications
10 Turning Mill Lane, Randolph, MA 02368
9780971588028, $19.99,

"Starabella At School," Book Three of "Starabella Welcome to a Bright New World" is an illustrated book CD voyage for children ages 3 and up and adults who care for them. Created by the joint efforts of parent and two daughters, the "Starabella" series is based on biographical experiences of Tara Fialco, talented musician and child educator who was diagnosed as autistic at age 21. The "Starabella" series is a masterful effort to communicate in song the need for understanding and inclusion especially in educational settings. Starabella is a specially gifted child who learns and communicates best through music and song. Her educational experiences are at times challenging and painful, but she overcomes her difficulties and encourages others to do the same, by discovering and expressing her talents and gifts. The songs of "Starabella at School" are a delightful way to enrich educational curriculum to encourage sensitivity and inclusiveness and also a new way to approach bullying issues and problems. Song composed and performed by the authors are both enchanting and inspirational, and the cheerful but descriptive illustrations and story convey some of the feelings that Starabella expresses so well in song. CD recording produced by Joe Vulpis, AP Music Inc.

Diana Cohn, author
Amy Cordova, illustrator
Steiner Books
PO Box 58, Hudson, NY 12534
9780880106252 $17.95

Namaste! is a children's picturebook that follows a young girl, Nima Sherpa, during her daily routine in Nepal. She takes a long walk to school, passing caravans, travelers, and monks on the way to the monastery; after school, she meets her friend Tenzing the Tibetan trader at the marketplace. "Namaste" - "the light in me meets the light in you" - is how she greets people, while brining her hands together and bowing her head slightly. A charming story about respecting the sacred even as one goes through the day's mundane tasks, Namaste! features an educational afterword on Nepal, the Himalayas, and the Sherpa people by Ang Rita Sherpa of The Mountain Institute. Highly recommended, especially for children's public library collections.

Young Masters: Heart of Lion
Bunny Hull, author/composer/performer
Kye Fleming, illustrator
Dream A World
256 So. Robertson Blvd., Suite 2288, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
9780982627808, $16.95,

"Young Masters: Heart of Lion" is an illustrated hard cover children's book and CD (complete with 10 original songs, audio story, and bonus media files for classroom or home computer use) from the Young Masters Little Wisdom Series, designed for children ages 4-8. Delicate little drops of color enliven black and white whimsical drawings of Butaan, Phylos, and EEtha in their search for courage, or the heart of a lion. The three friends would like to cross a stream to visit a lovely garden on the other side, but some of them have doubts or fears about crossing. They discover that courage is all about believing in themselves, like the sun melting their fears away like snowflakes on a hot day. Being brave and courageous is like having the heart of a lion, "You know you're perfect just the way you are (p. 15)." Courage is also smart, and believes in unseen things, like a tree that can blossom. Empowered by their dialogue and learning about courage, the three friends decide to cross the stream, their final act is to ask the reader, "Who are you and how did you show your courage today (p. 24)?" "Heart of Lion" is an inspirational collection of songs and story that is sure to appeal to children who are the real Little Masters. The music by award-winning songwriter Bunny Hull is lush, bright, imaginative, and entrancing. Also recommended in this series is "Young Masters: The Invisible Power," (9780982627822, $16.95), and "Young Masters: This Little Light," (9780982627815, $16.95).

The Day the Cow Sneezed
James Flora, author/illustrator
Enchanted Lion Books
20 Jay Street, Studio M-18, Brooklyn, NY 11201
9781592700974, $16.95,

"The Day the Cow Sneezed" is a reissued children's classic illustrated tall tale/fable. Originally published by Margaret McElderry in 1957 "The Day the Cow Sneezed" is a rollicking humorous tale with a moral or two, filled with flip, cool, cutting edge vintage illustrations that will put all adult readers in a slightly jazzy mood, maybe children readers too. One of the possible reasons for this is the style of illustration, full of ridiculous angles, exaggerations, spoofs, jagged edges and visible "riffs," but another possible reason is the illustrator, who was a devoted fan of jazz and classical music, sustained a long, successful career as an illustrator for Columbia and RCA Victor records in the 1940's and 50's. The art of James Flora is truly a pleasure to behold whether the eyes of the beholder are young or old. The story moves through more and more layers of ridiculous outcomes and runny reaction at breakneck speed, but all outcomes can be traced to a simple act of negligence on the part of "my brother" Fletcher, the real hero of the piece. There are a number of hints and clues that "The Day the Cow Sneezed" was written at least a generation ago, but none of these "dating" clues detracts from the solid, imaginative impact of the book. Perhaps today's children will benefit from the experience of a bit of old fashioned unpredictability, in a more rural time, in a simpler era. Certainly they will be entertained, and they may also get a flavor of the childhoods of their grandparents. "The Day the Cow Sneezed" is a classic ideal for generations to share together, still fresh for children ages 4 and up.

How It Works: Car
Nicholas Harris, author
Tim Hutchinson, illustrator
Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppage, NY 11788
9780764163296, $12.99,

"How It Works: Car" is a lift-the-flaps illustrated educational book that details history, types, parts, engines, and more on cars. More than 30 flaps encourage children to explore the workings and illustrations of carworks and history. An excellent chapter on parts of an engine and another on moving forward present excellent clear detailed instructions and descriptions of how the car's engine works. There is even a chapter on Formula 1 Racing Car with a steering wheel display, for racing fans and aficionados. "How It Works: Car" is an excellent resource for middle school aged students who are interested in cars and how they work. It is also a valuable reading enrichment resource.

The Dreamz Friendz and the Magic Well
Michael King, author
Kornelia Rybitwa - DesignChicklet & Company, layout
Dreamstorm Design LLC
4700 Sheridan, Suite J, Hollywood, FL 33021
9780982699904, $14.99,

"The Dreamz Friendz and the Magic Well" is a kid-friendly, creative framing of concepts of the Law of Attraction, positive thinking, imagination, sharing and appreciation. Colorfully illustrated and told in story verse, "The Dreamz Friendsz and the Magic Well" presents a quartet of magical children named Scion, Dante, Opal, and Lotus, in addition to a pet dragon named Cragon. The team discovers a secret golden scroll in the Magic Well and decide to share its five great secrets to help make all good dreamz come true. The five secrets have to do with appreciation, imagining, sharing, believing, and having fun, as ways to achieve the best of dreamz. "The Dreamz Friendz and the Magic Well" is a great contribution to youth consciousness training and raising, and will also provide entertainment and excitement to a bedtime story audience of kids age 4 and up.

When Life Gets Tough...
Karen Fishman and Debbie Thompson, LCSW, authors
Franfou Studio, illustrators
Privately Published
978061529268, $9.95,

"When Life Gets Tough" is a large soft cover colorfully illustrated book about a boy named Eric who is assisted in recovering from an accident by a therapy dog named Bo. Bo cheers up Eric in the hospital when he is too ill, tired, and traumatized to keep trying. When nothing else seems successful, Eric's Grandmother comforts him by telling him," You see, Eric? When Life Gets Tough, don't give up. Bo didn't give up on you. Look! Bo came back to visit you and he brought you a picture!" "When Life Gets Tough" is planned to be the first in a series of books intended to inspire and educate children about close connections between people and animals. "When Life Gets Tough" is meant to accompany a plush stuffed dog like Bo, and would make a dynamite therapy-assistance gift for any child recovering or suffering from health setbacks or trauma.

Headbands & Hairstyles
Eva Steele-Saccio
450 Lambert Avenue, Palo, Alto, CA 94306
9781591748649, $19.99,

"Headbands & Hairstyles" is a creative crafts book for girls age 8 and up with fabulous ideas for designing personalized headbands of many styles. Including supplies for starting the headband creations (two plastic headbands, an elastic headband, sequins and beads, glue and ribbon), the instructions list additional supplies that may be found at home, or in a craft store or fabric store. In making chic headbands, imagination knows no bounds and the sky is the limit! Plus there are many helpful tips such as getting the most out of your ribbon, polishing and layering. Step by step instructions and perky, colorful illustrations make headband crafting easy to follow for excited fans. Additional tips on adjusting the headband and styling hair with different headbands are found towards the end. "Headbands & Hairstyles" is the perfect craft activity for girls and friends, whether for a birthday party, sleep-over, or just creative down time together.

Sock 'n Boots Share
D. K. Smith
9780557526147, $12.00

"Sock 'n Boots Share" begins with a question like all stories of the Sock 'n Boots series. The question is why should you share? Sock 'n Boots set off with two packed lunches to have a day of play at the park. After hours of summer fun in the sun, the hungry pair turn to find their lunch boxes on the picnic table where they left them. Surprise! Sock's lunch has been finished off by birds, so only Boots' lunch is left in his lunch box. In response to Socks' tears, Boots says cheerfully, "Don't worry ... I have a bunch, we can both share my lunch." But the best part is, sharing makes both friends happy. Written in playful verse and illustrated with bright, perky, animated characters, "Sock 'n Boots Share" is a great morality fable to share and add to bonding between parent and child. "Sock 'n Boots Share" is perfect for young children ages 1-4. Upcoming titles by the same author include "Sock 'n Boots Afraid of the Dark" and "Sock 'n Boots Play It Safe."

Yafi's Family
Linda Pettitt with Sharon Darrow, authors
Jan Spivey Gilchrist, illustrator
Amharic Kids Press
7201 88th Ave. North, Brooklyn park, MN 55445
9780979748141, $17.95,

"Yafi's Family: An Ethiopian Boy's Journey of Love, Loss, and Adoption" is a children's picture book about the early life story of a six -year-old Ethiopian boy who was adopted by a Midwestern family. Filled with tender, vivid illustrations of the many different places and people who filled Yafi's beginning years, "Yafi's Family" projects a powerful message of acceptance that infuses its heart and core. A foreword by Melissa Faye Greene contains the following quotation: "The message we relay to the children who are ours by adoption needs to be: You came from somewhere. You came from good people. You came from this spot on the globe. This is your birth-country. It is a country filled with people who look like you. Do you remember living there? Maybe you were too little to remember. But it's right there, your country, and it can be part of your life." This is the burden of "Yafi's Family," to deliver a message of acceptance and love, the value of wholeness in discovering one's beginning life story. "Yafis' Family" is also unique as a first mainstream children's picture book for African/Ethiopian adoption.

The Health Shelf

Take Control of OCD
Bonnie Zucker, Psy.D.
Prufrock Press
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
9781593634292 $16.95

OCD can prove to be a very annoying thing to live with. "Take Control of OCD: The Ultimate Guide for Kids with OCD" is a kids and parents guide for dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder, something that if dealt with now is easier done than later in life. With plenty of information and practices to help assist with combating OCD practices, "Take Control of OCD" is a fine pick for any parent with a child who has OCD tendencies.

Watch Me Do Yoga
Bobby Clennell, author/illustrator
Rodmell Press
2147 Blake Street, Berkeley, CA 97404
9781930485266, $15.95,

"Watch Me Do Yoga" traces a child's yoga practices and poses through her day, illustrated with exquisite pastel sketches that bring life to yoga poses or vice versa. She practices with her parents, her dog, and alone on her mat or outside with a tree. She always finds the connection to the natural world though her yoga practice. She enjoys celebrating this special connection and showing off to her loving parents. "Watch Me Do Yoga" is both vivid and instructional, providing stimulus and encouragement to parents and children for yoga practice together.

The Sex Education Dictionary
Linda Picone
Fairview Press
2450 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454
9781577492313, $9.95,

Written especially for teens and pre-teens, "The Sex Education Dictionary: The A's through the Z's of the Birds and the Bees" is a thorough, informative, well-researched resource for curious teens. Complete with black and white clinical illustrations and accurate formal terminology for body parts and functions and reactions that pertain to sexuality, "The Sex Education Dictionary" provides accurate clinical language for the mystery of sexuality. Neutral and non-judgmental in tone, it can be adapted for supplementary use in either comprehensive or abstinence-based sex education curriculum for young people. In addition to black and white illustrations and definitions, there are pronunciation guides, a word search, puzzles, quizzes, and games to test readers on their knowledge. "The Sex Education Dictionary" includes definitions of birth control and contraceptive methods. In the foreword titled For Parents and Guardians, the following is written: "No book can substitute for parental guidance on moral, religious, and philosophical values about relationships, sexuality, families, and what it means to be a person in our culture...We hope you'll use this dictionary as a way to start some of the important conversations you need to have with your children (p.3)."

The American History Shelf

Memories of a Farm Kitchen
Bob Artley and Rob Artley, authors
Bob Artley, illustrator
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781589801509 $22.95

Memories of a Farm Kitchen is not merely a picturebook - it is an extraordinary, lengthy, and in-depth history lesson about how the kitchens of 1920s and 1930s Midwestern farms used to be. Nostalgia-tinged drawings (and the occasional cartoon!) illustrate the facts of food preparation and household economics nearly a century ago, when homemakers had notably less access to modern technological contrivances. From how the kitchen might double as a nursery for at-risk baby farm animals, to old-fashioned canning processes, to how the kitchen often served a social role as well as its practical food-preparation function, Memories of a Farm Kitchen is an absorbing blend of history and memoir, especially recommended to give readers young and old a taste of country life nearly a century gone by. A surprisingly rich collection of recipes rounds out this delightful and highly recommended treasury.

The Music Shelf

It's Santa Claus
Ben Rudnick & friends
Bartlett Ave. Productions, Inc.

It's Santa Claus is a high-spirited children's music CD brimming with fun and holiday cheer. Especially ideal for children's Christmas or holiday parties, It's Santa Claus features timeless holiday classics performed with heart and seasonal love. The tracks are "It's Santa Claus!" (2:16), "Jingle Bells" (3:16), "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (2:47), "Let It Snow" (2:01), "Frosty the Snowman" (2:54), "Here Comes Santa Claus" (1:58), "Auld Lang Syne" (2:46), and "Greensleeves" (3:40).

The Candy Machine
Zak Morgan and David LaBruyere
Grunge Monkey Music

Grammy nominated children's musician Zak Morgan and David "Dela" LaBruyere present The Candy Machine, a children's music CD album cheerfully recounting the adventures of Suzy and her nervous younger brother Joe in their self-absorbed search for the Island of Sugar. Instead of endless candy, the two discover something infinitely more valuable: the Golden Rule. An upbeat, fast-paced, musical adventure sure to entertain and delight, The Candy Machine is highly recommended.

Didi Pop Goes to Hawaii
Treetop Records
c/o Waldmania! (publicity)
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127

Didi Pop Goes to Hawaii is a lively music CD especially for young listeners ages 2-8, brimming with Hawaiian-themed music. The family-friendly tunes pulse with energy, and even have some educational content about the Hawaiian alphabet, mangos, and the hula! Didi Pop Goes to Hawaii is delightful enhancement for children's parties or family vacations. The tracks are "Wowie Gazowie (Goin' to Maui)", "Coconut Candy", "Kapalua Bay", "Way Up High", "Mango", "The Hawaiian Alphabet Song", "The Keiki Hula", "Hop-a-loo", "I Like Pigs", "Sugar Cane Train", "Isabella Is", "Cowabunga", and "Going Home". 33 minutes.

Keller Williams
KW Enterprises
Waldmania! (publicity)
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127

A delightful music CD especially for young people ages 3-7, Keller Williams' Kids (featuring a pair of irrepressible baby goats on the cover) is a riotous collection of upbeat, enthusiastic songs. Children are encouraged to sing and dance along with the infectiously catchy music, sure to lift spirits and widen smiles. Kids, a treat for little ones, and an excellent addition to children's music collections. The tracks are "My Neighbor is Happy Again" (1:52), "Car Seat" (2:18), "Because I Said So" (3:54), "Hulahoop to da Loop" (3:30), "Horse Back Rider" (0:46), "Taking a Bath" (1:59), "Good Advice" (1:16), "Keep It On The Paper" (3:01), "Hey Little Baby" (1:05), "Mama Tooted" (3:30), "Soakie Von Soakerman" (1:56), "Lucy Lawcy" (2:57), "Grandma's Feather Bed" (2:18), and "The Fastest Song in the World" (0:56).

The DVD Shelf

Master Communications, Inc.
4480 Lake Forest Drive, Suite 302, Cincinnati, OH 45242

Two new installments in the 100+ award-winning "Families of the World" DVD series (which consists of 25 titles and growing) make great additions to children's library video collections. "Families of Kenya" (9781604800487, $29.95, 30 min.) follows a sixth grade boy who lives in Nairobi, rides bikes, goes to school, attends church, and has fun at a local festival with tribal dances - and also an 11-year-old boy who lives on a farm, and has to get up at 5 a.m. to tend to the many animals! A breathtaking safari rounds out this excellent look at daily life in another nation - which may seem exotic at times but also has many elements (especially school and homework!) that children everywhere can relate to. "Families of Afghanistan" (9781604801118, $29.95, 25 min.) looks at children and their families living in a land recovering from the effects of recent wars. A rural village girl helps care for her uncle, who suffered injury from a landmine; she also cares for the livestock, cards cotton, and goes to religion class. Another girl from Kabul has returned along with her parents after ten years of exile in Pakistan; she tutors her fellow students in using a computer, and enjoys chess and snowball fights. "Families of Afghanistan" is an emotional and powerful look at the ups and downs of daily life in a country which has suffered grievously from strife and civil war. A Teacher's Guide in PDF format is included with both of these superb DVDs. Highly recommended. English subtitles, closed-captioned.

This is Daniel Cook: Creating - Food
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547
1594582998 $TBA

This is Daniel Cook: Creating - Food is the third DVD in the thirteen-part documentary series "This is Daniel Cook", designed for pre-kindergarten through first grade viewers. Creating - Food follows six-year-old Daniel Cook as he learns how chocolate, ice cream, apple pie, cookies, and pizza are made. He visits professional food creators for each treat learns how to mix a variety of just the right ingredients for each dish. As enjoyable as it is educational, This is Daniel Cook: Creating - Food is an excellent addition to public library children's DVD collections, whether by itself or along with the rest of the captivating This is Daniel Cook series. 30 minutes. Also highly recommended is the equally educational thirteen-part documentary series This is Emily Yeung.

Welcome to Israel
SISU Home Entertainment
340 West 39th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10018
c/o Andrea Blain Public Relations
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076
1560867019 $14.98

Welcome to Israel is the initial title of a new 12-DVD series "Shalom Sesame", by the creators of the widely beloved educational program Sesame Street. "Shalom Sesame" is meant to introduce viewers to Jewish customs, holidays, traditions, and culture. In Welcome to Israel, furry muppet friends and Anneliese van der Pol explore and learn about the beautiful country of Israel. Though especially ideal for youngsters age 3-8, Welcome to Israel is enjoyable for the whole family, featuring pleasing songs, breathtaking photography, and amazing fun facts. 28 minutes plus 22 minutes extras. Also highly recommended is volume two of the "Shalom Sesame" series, Chanukah: The Missing Menorah (1560867027, $14.98, 28 minutes plus 22 minutes extras).

John Deere Fun on the Farm
TM Books & Video
PO Box 279, New Buffalo, MI 49117
9781932291988 $14.95

John Deere Fun on the Farm is an educational DVD intended for children ages 2-6. Taking the viewer on a visit to the Farm in the Zoo at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, as well as the John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline where John Deere manufactures combines, John Deere Fun on the Farm reveals fun facts about where food comes from, how tractors and combines do their work, and features plenty of farm animals! Doodle the Rooster is a cheery mascot for this delightful, entertaining and enriching program. 35 minutes.

Best Fairy Tales
Hit Entertainment
c/o Lionsgate (distributor)
c/o Andrea Blain Public Relations
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076

Best Fairy Tales is the latest children's DVD featuring the beloved purple dinosaur Barney and his fun-loving friends. Together, Barney, B.J., and Baby Bop re-enact classic favorite fairy tales in this Emmy-award winning series ideal for preschoolers 1-5 years old. The fairy tales featured include "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Goldilocks and the Three Bear", "Three Billy Goats Gruff", "Shoemaker & Elves", "The Sharing Hen", "Little Boy Blue", "Three Little Kittens", "Tortoise and the Hare", and "Girl Who Cried Wolf". A bonus "Super-Dee-Duper Shape" interactive game rounds out this playful children's DVD. 49 minutes, full screen, English and Spanish audio, closed captioned in English.

Monkey Monkey Music the Videos
Meredith LeVande
c/o Waldmania! (publicity)
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127

Monkey Monkey Music the Videos is a DVD of fifteen Monkey Monkey Music videos, based on the popular CD by children's performer Meredith LeVande. The lively and jubilant songs are a blast to listen to, perfect for young children ages 2-5, and enhanced with colorful animated segments as well as scenes of real-life children interacting with the cartoony world. Monkey Monkey Music the Videos is a delight to view, and especially recommended as a birthday gift, or to play during children's parties. The tracks are "Hello", "Chinatown", "Jump High", "Where Is It?", "My Eyes, Your Eyes", "Opposites," "Uh, Uh, Uh, Uh, Uh", "Keep On Truckin'", "Mirror", "Can You Paint A Rainbow?", "Hop On My Bike", "Let's Fly", "I Love You", "Goodnight To You", and "Goodbye". 36 minutes.

The Audiobook Shelf

Sonya Hartnett, author
Rebecca Macauley, narrator
Bolinda Publishing
186 S Long Swamp Rd, Jackson, ME 04921
9781742141541 $77.95

Butterfly the audiobook rendition of Sonya Hartnett's coming-of-age novel of a 1980s suburban Australian girl. As Plum Coyle approaches her fourteenth birthday, she fears the disapproval of her peer group, and hates the accelerating changes in her body. When Maureen, the glamorous next-door-neighbor, wife, and mother befriends Plum, Plum feels lifted and transformed. But Maureen has her own motives for being Plum's mentor, motives that have little concern for Plum's welfare. Brought to life by award-winning children's narrator Rebecca Macauley, Butterfly is highly recommended especially for young adult girls. 6 CDs, 6 hours 40 minutes.

The Sports Shelf

Kevin the Star Striker
Joachim Masannek, author
Sole Books
P.O. Box 10445, Beverly Hills, CA 90213
9780984425709, $16.95,

"Kevin the Star Striker: The Wild Soccer Bunch, Book 1" is a world wide hit among soccer youth and their supporters! Here's why: soccer coach and dad Joachim Masannek set out to write 13 volumes giving 13 different viewpoints of a soccer team from each different member of the team. Because he believes that soccer is a very inclusive team sport, Masannek set out to write about the experiences of soccer playing as perceived by 13 very differently gifted young soccer players/individuals. No one could predict the hit this first volume, a chapter book appealing to kids ages 8-14, has made. If your child is a soccer fan, give him/her "The Wild Soccer Bunch" to read. If your child needs to hear more about teamwork, diversity celebration, and self-acceptance, overcoming handicaps and obstacles and staying strong, give her/him "The Wild Soccer Bunch." It is a very human, extremely entertaining, enlightening book for kids and adults. Who knew soccer could be a medium for world peace and universal, joyous participation in humanity's highest aspirations? Well to keep up, read "The Wild Soccer Bunch Book 1" and hope for a sequel soon. There is a facebook website at with additional information including contests, games and prizes, even giveaways. But seriously, read the book. Have your kids read the book. You won't be sorry.

The Science Shelf

My Body
Brian Enslow
Enslow Publishers, Inc.
40 Industrial Road, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
9780766038110, $21.26

"My Body" is an illustrated owner's manual for children age 3-6 from the All About My Body Series. Introducing young readers to parts of the human body by comparing them with similar body parts from different animals such as mammals, birds, reptiles amphibians, and fish. Complemented with a Words to Know section and a Read More and Web Sites sections, "My Body" packs solid basic information into a kid-friendly format. The vibrant color photos of children and creatures add to the vivid presentation of "My Body." Also recommended in this series by the same author is "My Eyes" (9780766038134, $21.26), and "My Nose" (9780766038141, $21.26).

The Blues Go Birding At Wild America's Shores
Carol L. Mainor and Sandy F. Fuller, authors
Louise Schroeder, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Springs Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584691310, $16.95,

"The Blues Go Birding at Wild America's Shores" is an imaginative illustrated story of five comical bluebird characters named Bing, Lulu, Uno, Eggbert, and Sammi who go birdwatching following in the footsteps of famous birder Roger Tory Peterson from Newfoundland, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and across the Pacific and north to Alaska. In their travels the Blues see snowy egrets, great blue herons, laughing gulls, roseate terns, Atlantic puffins, American oystercatchers, magnificent frigate birds, sandpipers, Brandt's cormorant, brown pelicans, winter wrens, thick-billed immures, and common loons. The Blues make funny comments about their sightings and send newsy postcards home, while displaying bird notes and field guides with additional details about each type of bird. Many more learning activities and bird-related resources are listed at the book's end, and beautiful bird illustrations stud the pages of "The Blues Go Birding at Wild America's Shores." This book is ideal for natural science study, appealing to children ages 5-9.

The Holiday Shelf

How To Trick Or Treat In the Enchanted Forest And Not Get Eaten by a Monster
Dahn Lee, author, illustrations
Black Rose Writings
PO Box 1540, Castroville, TX 78009
9781935605515, $14.95,

"How To Trick Or Treat In the Enchanted Forest And Not Get Eaten by a Monster" is a lurid Halloween fantasy adventure chapter book perfectly planned to spook middle -school age children, ages 9 and up. The adventure unfolds with Shaun and Madelyn, a determined pair of siblings who brave the haunts and tricks of the enchanted forest along with their dog in an effort to experience extra Halloween magic, including extra Halloween treats. The fantastic characters and features they encounter will both scare and teach them many strange things. Always displaying a slightly quirky sense of humor that will enchant a middle-school audience, "How to Trick or Treat in the Enchanted Forest..." is a masterfully disguised morality fable. Filled with unexpected twists and turns and Halloween staples re imagined and recast with full insouciance, "How to Trick or Treat..." is bound to become a Halloween classic. Black and white ink illustrations add just the right touch of the macabre. Run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore and order this for your beloved tween-aged trick or treater today!

Gingerbread from the Heart
Janice K. Mineer, author
Misty Z. Danyo, illustrator
Blue Meadow Books
PO Box 58, Lolo, MT 59847
9781591520641 $9.95

Gingerbread from the Heart is a lovely holiday picturebook about two siblings who want to bring cheer to their ailing grandmother by presenting her with two creative and yummy gingerbread houses. With a little shopping and cooking help from their mother, their creations come to delicious life, and presenting the houses leads to Christmas joy and smiles all around. As an extra example of holiday goodwill, a portion of the proceeds from Gingerbread from the Heart benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities. An uplifting and warmly illustrated picturebook.

Santa Christina and Her Sled Dogs
George William Kelly
McRoy & Blackburn Publishers
PO Box 276, Ester, AK 99725
9780982031940, $14.95,

No one can do the wonder of Christmas alone. "Santa Christina and Her Sled Dogs" is a children's picture book telling the story of the wife of Santa Claus and her own driven passion of dog mushing, the state sport of Alaska. With a blend of Christmas tale as well as a cultural story of dog mushing, and beautiful watercolor illustrations from Amy Cameron, "Santa Christina and Her Sled Dogs" will do much to teach children about dog mushing and why Alaska favors it, a top pick for first and second grade readers.

A Chanukah Noel
Sharon Jennings, author
Gillian Newland, illustrator
Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Ste. 401, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 2M5
9781897187746, $15.95,

"A Chanukah Noel: A True Story" is a child's experience of winter holidays in a strange land, based on a true story of a real young Jewish girl, Charlotte Teeple. Beautiful dark-tinged color illustrations convey an aura of uncertainty and festivity combined Charlotte has moved to a small village in France with her parents, from Canada. Many things are strange and difficult to adjust to in her new life, but one thing she longs to experience more closely is the joy of Christmas . Her parents explain to her that since they are Jewish, they do not celebrate the Christian holiday, but instead will celebrate Chanukah. Charlotte discovers that a girl named Colette, who has teased her and made her adjustment difficult, is too poor to have gifts or special foods to celebrate the Christmas holiday her friends will enjoy. A wonderful idea comes to Charlotte. She will ask her father if they can give the gift of celebrating Christmas, complete with special foods and gifts to Colette and her family. But Charlotte's father warns her that they must find a way to offer the gift that will not embarrass Monsieur Levert and his family. The fathers meet and talk, and it is agreed upon. Charlotte spends some of her Chanukah gift coins to get Colette a doll. gifts are wrapped and special foods are bought and cooked, though Charlotte's mother has to ask for help in cooking some of the strange French Christmas delicacies. The day arrives and Charlotte is excited beyond belief. What finally occurs is heartwarming in a very special way. "A Chanukah Noel" is an unforgettable tale of reaching across differing cultures, religions, geographies and classes to find the best truth of all: The gift of love is from the heart in any language.

Sara Claus and the Flying Christmas Pigs
Dr. Robert Spalding, author
Anirban Ghosh, illustrator
Chattanooga Fu Factory
9780971106857, $15.95,

"Sara Claus and the Flying Christmas Pigs" is a delightful chapter book with a new twist on Christmas tales. Santa is ill with the flu and it's time for the presents to be delivered. Luckily Santa's faithful wife and helper, Sara Claus, is poised to come to the rescue. With the help of her secret delivery system, which doesn't use reindeer, but flying pigs with white wings, Sara Claus delegates delivery tasks to the elves and provides a "whole flying circus of squealing pigs - what a sight (p. 88)!" charmingly illustrated with pungent little black and white drawings, "Sara Claus and the Flying Christmas Pigs" is sure to appeal to readers ages 7-8 and up.

The Zombie Night Before Christmas
Clement C. Moore & H. Parker Kelley
Cider Mill Press Books
12 Port Farm Road, Kennebunkport, ME 04046
9781604332025, $12.95,

Who says the living dead don't deserve a Christmas too? "The Zombie Night Before Christmas" tells the story of the Night Before Christmas and adds Santa to a world where the craving for sugar plums has been replaced with brains. With humor and complete with slightly grotesque illustrations, "The Zombie Night Before Christmas" is a fine read, and a fine addition to any Christmas collection.

Have an Abominably Good Day
Eric T. Krackow, author/illustrator
Schiffer Publishing
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764334962, $16.99,

"Have and Abominably Good Day" is a great little story about a brother and sister (Hannah and Billy) who get into a snowball fight on Christmas eve, only to end up with hurt feelings and a lost little sister (Hannah runs away into the woods because she wants to be alone with her hurt feelings). Instead of a disaster, this turns into a fabulous adventure for both children. Hannah meets a scary but wonderful giant creature named Abe, the Abominable Snowman. Instead of hurting Hannah, Abe comforts her by listening to her and then carrying her to find her brother. Many adventures later, Hannah and Billy discover the Abominable Snowman is far gentler and kind than they believed, and they learn to show consideration for each other's feelings as well. "Have an Abominably Good Day" is a gentle Christmas fable with a sacred, snowy twist. It helps children understand that 'doing unto others as you would have them do unto you' applies to all sorts of wonderful species and interactions. The incredible color illustrations are joyous and filled with action and fun, to better illustrate the story. "Have an Abominably Good Day" is suitable for children of school ages pre-kindergarten to grade 3.

The Folklore/Mythology/Fairytale Shelf

Saviour Pirotta, author
Catherine Hyde, illustrator
Templar Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763650766 $18.99

Firebird is a wondrous picturebook retelling of the classic Russian folktale that inspired the world-famous ballet. A mysterious bird with feathers like flames has been eating King Vaslav's golden-skinned apples each night; young prince Ivan sets out to bring the thief to justice. Fortunately, Ivan befriends the strong, magical, and mysterious Grey Wolf; in the course of his quest, Ivan sometimes behaves foolishly but nevertheless falls deeply in love with a princess from a faraway land. A fairytale ultimately ending in an act of pure compassion, Firebird is heartwarmingly brought to life by the evocative paintings of Catherine Hyde, and highly recommended especially for children's library picturebook collections.

A Book of Tricksters
retold by Jon C. Stott
Theo Dombrowski, illustrator
Grenfell Featherstone, editor
Heritage House
#340 - 1105 Pandora Ave. Victoria, BC, Canada, V8V 3P9
9781926613697, $12.95,

"A Book of Tricksters: Tales From Many Lands" is a collection of trickster tales from 14 diverse backgrounds. Drawing tales from traditions of European and Norse fairy tales, a variety of Native American tale sources, and even American Negro folk tales, this collection presents the Trickster in many of his most famous disguises. From "How Gretel Made Things Better" to "How Raven Freed the Sun," these are timeless tales of glorious trickery and triumphant survival with humor intact. From Hawaii to the Outback of Australia, every land and culture has its clown, its trickster tales. Collected with careful attention and completed with a glossary and a closing section called Trail of the Tales, "A Book of Tricksters..." is a wink and a nod at the traditions of tricksters in many different cultural settings. From Coyote to Billy Goat Gruff, from Kancil and his crocodile bridge to Hodja, the Turkish trickster, this Trickster collection pays homage to each entity and also continues the tradition of trickster tale-telling, the way to wisdom.

Starfish, Seashells, Coral and Gems
Barbara Bryan, author
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road -515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432760090, $21.95,

"Starfish, Seashells, Coral and Gems" is a touching story about a girl named Terry and her rescue of and subsequent relationship with a mermaid named Nicolee. The exotically beautiful Nicolee shows her gratitude and friendship with Terry by giving her precious gifts of jewelry made from things found in the sea. Terry accepts each gift graciously, promising to wear each item always. But she finds that this has practical complications. The starfish earrings smell and catch in her hair. The shell bracelet gets broken when she is playing ball. Finally she gathers up the mermaid-gifted trinkets and keeps them in a special box in her room. When Nicolee says goodbye to Terry, leaving to return to her mother and sister far away, she gives her one last special gift: a conch shell so she will always be able to hear the ocean. Terry treasures the conch shell most of all the mermaid's gifts, and she learns, gradually over her life's days, that the most important treasure is found in friendships and family. Delicate crayoned illustrations carefully illustrate this exceptional modern fable that will appeal to children age 7 and up.

The Enchanted Buffalo
L. Frank Baum, author
Donald F. Montileaux, illustrator
South Dakota State Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501
9780982274934, $14.95,

"The Enchanted Buffalo: A Prairie Tale" is a new release of a 1905 story by L. Frank Baum originally published in the periodical, the Delineator. Beautifully illustrated with primary color- prairie images of the buffalo, "The Enchanted Buffalo" tells the tale of a greedy buffalo usurper bull named Barrag who takes control of a leaderless tribe of mighty buffalo. A hero buffalo named Oknu challenges Barrag, but danger and trickery and magic play a part in the tale of the enchanted buffalo. A morality tale, "The Enchanted Buffalo" is a children's story book whose time has returned, presented afresh with new hints of glory and imagination.

The Wicked Watermelon
Linda Suarez, author
Izbela Ciesinska, illustrator
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781450031424, $21.99,

"The Wicked Watermelon" is a children's fable retold based on an original tale by the author's grandmother, Florence Squicciarini. The wicked watermelon is a greedy, grasping character who plots and schemes and lies to trick innocent plums, peaches, and cherries to jumping to the ground so he can gobble them up. Two brave cherries and a lemon manage to evade the wicked watermelon, however, and the cherries enlist the help of the wise old coconut, who realizes the wicked watermelon must be stopped. Through bravery, cooperation, planning, and cooperation, the cherries and the coconut trick the watermelon with some of his own medicine, and in the process they free the consumed fruits from the orchard trees. Then peace and harmony are restored to the little fruit orchard. "The Wicked Watermelon" is filled with partly scary colored illustrations which make the eventual victory even sweeter. "The Wicked Watermelon" is recommended for children ages 7 and up.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Big Red Tractor and the Little Village
Francis Chan, author
Matt Daniels, illustrator
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9780781404198, $12.99,

"The Big Red Tractor and The Little Village" is a children's version of "Forgotten God" (by the same author), a 'modern day parable using an uncooperative tractor as a parallel for profound truth.' Written and illustrated to appeal to children ages 4-8, "The Big Red Tractor and the Little Village" teaches one unforgettable idea to kids about God: God made us to be givers, and with the help of God and God's instruction manual, (the Bible), all of us can be like the big red tractor. We can indeed achieve our true potential with God's help! This simple, uplifting children's tale can be put to excellent use by religious teachers, parents, and anyone who is interested in doing good and teaching that to children.

The Crafts Shelf

Light Your Way - Make a Candle
Carla Mooney
Norwood House Press
P.O. Box 316598, Chicago, IL 60631
9781599533872, $25.27,

"Light Your Way: Make a Candle" is a juvenile crafts and history book from the Creative Adventure Guides series. Suitable for an audience age 11 and up, "Light Your Way: Make a Candle" presents a brief history and functional analysis of candle-making as well as chapters with specific instructions fro making your own rolled beeswax candle and making your own milk carton candle. Children under age 11 can do these candle crafts with adult supervision, and children over age 11 should also have adult supervision. Beautiful color photographs illustrate many candle creations, and additional information about candles and candle making is presented in the glossary and extra resources in the for more information section. "Light Your Way: Make a Candle" is an aesthetic, practical crafts/history manual for young candle makers and their parents and teachers. Also recommended from this series are the following titles: "Starting a Business: Have Fun and Make Money (9781599533872, $25.27)" by Carla Mooney, "Get Connected: Make a Friendship Bracelet (9781599533865, $25.27)" by Dana Meachen Rau, "Get All Tied Up: Tying Knots (9781599533841, $25.27)" by Carla Mooney, and "Become An Explorer: Make and Use a Compass (9781599533834, $25.27)" by Dana Meachen Rau.

The Preschool Shelf

D is for Down Under
Devin Scillian, author
Geoff Cook, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585364459 $17.95

D is for Down Under: An Australia Alphabet lives up to its title as an alphabet book featuring all manner of Australian creatures and things. Whimsical color illustrations and amazing, fact-filled text sidebars enhance entries such as "It'll be quite the job, our letter J. / You'll be tending sheep on a long, hot day. / You'll raise them up and shear them, too. / For that's the job of a jackaroo!" A charming and fun ABC book celebrating all things Australian, highly recommended.

When the World is Ready for Bed
Gillian Shields, author
Anna Currey, illustrator
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781599905334, $7.99,

"When the World is Ready for Bed" is a charming bedtime pasteboard primer for young children ages 2 and up. Filled with delicate water-color tinted detailed sketches and paintings of a young bunny family getting children ready to sleep, "When the World is Ready for Bed" contains a reassuring combination of soft ritual, quiet preparation, and gentle thoughts and blessings to lead the tired toddler to a happy, refreshing slumber. The text and pictures sing a gentle lullaby that charm and enchant as little eyelids droop towards dreamland. Somewhat reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, but with a fresh take, "When the World is Ready for Bed" is a treasure for parents and children today.

Bedtime in the Forest
Kazuo Iwamura, author/artist
North -South books Inc.
c/o Myrick Marketing & Media
PMB 248, 455 Sam Ridley Parkway West, Smyrna, TN 37167
9780735823105, $16.95,

"Bedtime in The Forest" is a delicately illustrated squirrel children's fable that deals with the prickly question "Why do we have to go to bed at night?" Mick, Mack, and Molly are three squirrel children living in their forest tree home with their mother and father. In the morning they are awakened and fed by their mother and they play in the treetops all day. They see the home of the little owls who are asleep and they want to wake them up to play with them. Then they learn that the owls are awake at night and must sleep during the day. Anyone can predict the next development of the squirrel children's nighttime adventure. They sneak out of their window when they are supposed to be asleep and they run off to play with the owl children. Fortunately Mama and Father Squirrel are wise to their children's ways, and they find them where they have fallen asleep while playing with the owl children in the night. Next day getting up is late and difficult for the squirrel children, but they find a pleasant pastime. They write a daytime letter to their friends the owls who they know will be able to read their letter in the night. "Bedtime in the Forest" is magically told and illustrated, a lovely bedtime story for children age 3 and up.

Dear Baby, It's A Colorful World
Carol Casey, author
Jason Oransky, illustrator
Dear Baby Books
c/o National Book Network
4270 Boston Way, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9780982097229, $14.95,

"Dear Baby, It's A Colorful World" is a multi-hued preschool child's book of colors that also teaches acceptance and celebration of the rainbow of human ethnicity, or racial diversity. Third in the "Dear Baby" series, "It's A Colorful World" uses color-matched illustrations and rhyming text to introduce common items to demonstrate several basic colors, including red, yellow, blue, pink, brown, white. purple, orange, and green. In addition, the many hues of human skin tones are suggested, part of "the color of ME!" A friendly green frog acts as guide through rainbow pages, and even an alternative color-free world of shades of gray is portrayed for contrast. "Dear Baby, It's A Colorful World" is an excellent color primer for children ages 2-6 with an inclusive message for all.

Willie Whale, Where Are You?
Annette Payne, author
Megan Payne, illustrator
me+math=magic, LLC
4438 Redwood Drive, Cedar Hills, UT 84062
9781616580414, $8.95,

"Willie Whale Where Are You?" is a colorful paperback book for children ages 2-6 about position words. A boy and his favorite stuffed toy whale are the tale tellers that feature position words such as "inside," "above," "on," "below," "between," and other prepositions. The clever graphic illustrations clearly illustrate the color-coded position word on each pair of pages. Willie Whale is a position marker and a good teacher! In addition to reading the book with the child, additional learning activities are suggested at the end of the book under "More Fun with Willie the Whale, Where Are You?" These include book talk, reading activities, around the house ideas, and filed trip plans. "Willie Whale, Where Are You?" is a fun book and an imaginative teaching tool created by a talented family team with credentials in education and graphic design. Also recommended in this series by the same talented team is "Can Polly's Pattern Win the Prize?" (1616580421, $8.95).

The Bilingual Shelf

Los Chilitos: A Bi-Lingual Children's Story
Viola Pena, author
Jerry Montoya, illustrator
Rio Grande Books
925 Salamanca NW, Los Ranchos, NM 87107
9781890689681, $16.95,

"Los Chilitos: A Bi-Lingual Children's Story" is a fabulous bi-lingual children's picture book about a family of chili peppers who grow and ripen in new Mexico. Colorfully illustrated with humorous expressions, the individual characters of "Los Chilitos" are unforgettable. Salcita wants to become a delicious salsa, Chilito wants to be a chile relleno for the Grand Chili Festival, and Mona thinks she'd make a great enchilada smothered with cheese, onions, and fresh tomatoes. Some of the chilis are harvested in gunny sacks and taken to roadside stands or sold at market. But some fall by the wayside and are disappointed. However, they later experience the miracle of growth and rebirth through the power of their tiny seeds, just as Grandfather Chili told them. More wisdom from Grandfather: "All your wishes will come true. This will happen in a very strange and wonderful way. Because your seeds are the best, they will be used to grow the next generation of chiles. From those seeds there will be many chiles which will become all you wished to be (p. 41)." Thus "Los Chilitos" presents a fine message for children, both about healthful chili peppers and about believing in the power of life. "Los Chilitos" is perfect for children ages 3-8.

Beautiful Moon/ Bella Luna
Dawn Jeffers, author
Bonnie Leick, illustrator
Delta Publishing Company
c/o Raven Tree Press
1400 Miller Parkway, McHenry, IL 60050
9781932748871, $16.95,

"Beautiful Moon/ Bella Luna" is a bilingual child's bedtime fantasy poem with haunting, gorgeous illustrations. Each page of text is presented in both English and Spanish, with a vocabulary list at the end. A little girl sees the beautiful moon in the cool of the night and she makes a wish - to have a day that never ends! The moon winks and grants her wish and she discovers that she, like all living things, needs both day and night, both rest and play, both cool and warm moments in her life. She shares this secret with the moon also, enjoying her quiet moment of moon solitude and rapture. "Beautiful Moon/ Bella Luna" is a lovely book to be enjoyed by children age 3 and up. In addition to the beautiful book itself, there are free activities related to the book at,

The Native American Shelf

Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones
David L. Harrison, author
Richard Hilliard, illustrator
Boyds Mills Press
815 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431
9781590785614, $18.95,

"Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones: the Mystery of North America's First People" is a fine middle school ages 9-11 teaching book about the search for early North American human settlers and ancestors and their origins. Illustrated with fine paintings of researched scenes and also archaeological photographs from a variety of research sources, "Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones" creates the scene for the mystery of North America's very first people. Who were they, and where did they come from? Why is it so difficult to find traces of them? What questions must be asked about the evidence that is uncovered? Children have a first rate opportunity to learn the basics of scientific scrutiny of a theory about human history and prehistory. Excellent references, photo sources and a glossary are provided to assist in understanding relevant terms. Maps and photos help reinforce the questions being asked and indeed, one of the final conclusions is that there are perhaps more questions than answers in the field of North American human prehistory at this time.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Remarkable Park
Bracha Goetz, author
Patti Argoff, illustrator
Feldheim Publishers
208 Airport Executive Park, Nanuet, NY 10954
9781598264951, $12.95,

"Remarkable Park" is a children's picture book about two Hebrew children who discover many friends among the animals at Remarkable Park. Filled with colorful illustrations that include Hebrew letters and names for some of the animals, such as Kel-lev, the puppy dog, "Remarkable Park" is a celebratory book written in musical verse for children ages 4 and up. The presence of Hashem is always underlined among the creatures of Remarkable Park, and its ending is an opening of inspiration: "Remarkable parks - they're everywhere!/ All you have to do is LOOK./ Hashem made this world to talk to us,/ Just like an open book (p. 26)!"

The Miracle of the Golden Dove and Other Stories
Genendel Krohn, author
Tova Katz, illustrator
Feldheim Publishers
208 Airport Executive Park, Nanuet, NY 10954
9781598265231, $15.99,

"The Miracle of the Golden Dove and Other Stories" is a collection of Timeless Tales from the Lives of Our Sages, lovingly retold for children ages 4 and up. these are classic stories from Chazal, of Tzadikim, of combined Yiddish-Hebrew traditions. Each story teaches a special lesson or reinforces a precious value. Stories are filled with Hebrew or Yiddish words that are sometimes clearly explained in context and sometimes listed in the glossary in the back of the book. A wonderful example is the story titled "The Power of Tzedakah," on page 22. The child learns that Tzedakah, or alms/money to be given to the poor, has a power to protect and return to the giver, under the guidance of Hashem. The story of The Miracle of The Golden Dove teaches the needs to bentsch, or give blessings and thanks for each meal where it is consumed. There are many references to mitzvos, or Torah commandments, and their importance. Each tale in the collection is colorfully illustrated in a slightly humorous style that will appeal to children. "The Miracle of the Golden Dove" is a precious resource both to Hebrew child educators and parents and others who wish to benefit from their wisdom.

The Orphan Rescue
Anne Dublin, author
Qin Leng, illustrator
Second Story Press
20 Maud Ste 401, Toronto, ON MV5 2M5
9781897187814, $8.95,

"The Orphan Rescue" is a chapter book written for young readers ages 7-10 that tells the story of a brave Jewish girl named Miriam and her brother David who lived in Sosnowiec, Poland with their grandparents in 1937. Because of extreme poverty, the grandparents decide they must send the younger brother, David, to an orphanage. Miriam learns David has been forced to work in a factory by the unscrupulous orphanage director. Help comes from an unlikely character, the orphanage bully, Benji. Thanks to Miriam's resourcefulness and determination, the scandal of child labor exploitation is revealed, and the grandparents are able to take David home again to reunite the family. Based on a true story in the author's family history, "The Orphan Rescue" is an excellent true life adventure that will lead readers to many startling facts about the history of Jews in Europe in pre-WWII times.

The Fiction Shelf

The Monkey King's Daughter
T. A. DeBonis
Privately Published
0967809452, $9.95,

You can't change the past... or can you? "The Monkey King's Daughter" is the third entry in the Many Adventures of Meilin series for younger readers, following Meilin as she travels back to her father's time and tries to save a life that she is told cannot be saved. Faced with an array of elements from Chinese mythology, "The Monkey King's Daughter" is an excellent pick for younger readers.

There's a Monster in My Lunchbox
Elizabeth Lange Cannella
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781441543691, $16.99,

The appeal of a good lunch is dampened when you can never eat it. "There's a Monster in My Lunchbox" tells the story of Billy and his lunch that seems to vanish. He launches a plot to catch what he believes to be a monster stealing his lunch and finds something else in his search. "There's a Monster in my Lunchbox" comes with charming illustrations from Liz Ritenour, and will prove to be a fine read for first and second grade readers.

Mitzvah the Mutt
Sylvia Rouss
Yaldah Pubishing
PO Box 18662, St. Paul, MN 55118
9781592871803, $8.95,

Dogs charm everyone, no matter the faith. "Mitzvah the Mutt" tells the story of this curious mutt, as authors Sylvia Rouss and Martha Rast use Mitzvah to show readers the finer things about American Jewish family life. Thoughtful, entertaining, and cute, "Mitzvah the Mutt" is a fine read with great drawings throughout that will educate young readers on Judaism.

Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil and Other Stories
Xavier Garza
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
452 Cullen Performance Hall, Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558855991, $10.95,

The most bold of claims may end up being challenged. "Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil and Other Stories" tells the story of Luchadore Kid Cyclone and his nephew and niece Vincent and Maya as a lucha libre match soon escalates into something far more, a battle against the real devil. Presented in both English and Spanish, "Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil" is an exciting read that young readers of any language will come to cherish and enjoy.

Riddle Me a Mystery
Hank Racer
High-Pitched Hum Publishing Company
321 15th Street North, Jacksonville, FL 32250
9781934666661, $9.99,

The brutality of the civil war left many things lost to history. "Riddle me a Mystery" is a story of the River Rats, a collection of six boys faced with a mystery drawing back to the civil war and the riddle left by a dead solider. Drawn to an abandoned cave with the promise of treasure, "Riddle Me a Mystery" is a fun read that younger mystery readers will relish.

The Enemy
Charlie Higson
114 Fifth Avenue, 14th fl., NY, NY 10011
9781423131755, $16.99,

THE ENEMY tells of a disease that has struck everyone over the age of sixteen, killing most and turning the rest into cannibal zombies. Young survivors have barricaded themselves in buildings to fight them - and a group of especially determined survivors is running out of food. Offered a safe haven in Buckingham Palace, can they cross dangerous lands to reach it - then survive what it holds? A fine story of survival will reach mature teens seeking vivid leisure reads.

Random House/Knopf
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Dan Poblocki's THE NIGHTMARYS (9780375842566, $16.99) provides the vivid story of Timothy, who has been having nightmares about all his friends. It's one thing to have nightmares; it's another thing when they begin coming true. A vivid story of monsters and haunted dreams offers a fine gothic mystery packed with unpredictable twists and turns. Sandra Neil Wallace's LITTLE JOE (9780375860973, $15.99) tells of a skittish new calf and a boy who dreams of winning the blue ribbon at the County fair. His determination to win and carry on a family tradition gets in the way of blossoming affection for an animal friend in this fine story of a young boy's choices. Lesley M. M. Blume's MODERN FAIRIES, DWARVES, GOBLINS & OTHER NASTIES: A PRACTICAL GUIDE BY MISS EDYTHE MCFATE (9780375862038, $16.99) comes from a 'fairy expert' who shares knowledge of the modern fairy world and includes practical advice, such as how to tell a good fairy from a bad one. Eight tales of fairies in the modern world - including the Big Apple - make for a whimsical fun survey ages 8-12 will relish.

Random House/Knopf
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Graham Salisbury's CALVIN COCONUT: ZOO BREATH (9780385737043, $12.99) receives Jacqueline Rogers' fun black and white drawings as it provides another Calvin Coconut adventure for ages 7-10. Here Calvin finally has a dog of his own from the shelter, but his mother thinks the dog's breath stinks. A school discovery project seems the perfect way to investigate - and solve - his dog's breath problem before his mother makes him return it, in this fun new Calvin dilemma. Tony Davis' ROLAND WRIGHT: BRAND-NEW PAGE (9780385738026, $12.99) will reach ages 6-10 with a fun story of Roland, who is joining a royal household as a new page and facing his big chance to impress the King and his knights. But Roland's problems range from a queen who hates his mouse pet to an older bully page - and these are only a few of the challenges he faces in this whimsical story. Sue Stauffacher's ANIMAL RESCUE TEAM: HIDE AND SEEK (9780375858499, $12.99) is for ages 8-10 and tells of Keisha and her friends who prepare for Halloween. When a deer with a pumpkin on his head is spotted, it's up to her Animal Rescue Team to consider how to catch and cure the wild animal in this fun survey. Another Magic Tree House title - #44 - by Mary Pope Osborne provides a satisfying holiday title in A GHOST TALE FOR CHRISTMAS TIME (9780375856525, $12.99). Here Jack and Annie find their next task is to help famous writer Charles Dickens, and they are taken back in time to Victorian England London where they discover Dickens doesn't really need their help. Their discovery of his hidden sadness leads to adventure, magic and ghostly encounters in this latest fine addition to the popular series.

The Chapter Book/Easy Reader Shelf

FingerTip Island
Ned Rauch-Mannino, author
Scott Ferguson, graphic art
Better Karma Publishing
6018 Goldenrod Court, Alexandria, VA 22310
9780982432990, $10.99,

"FingerTip Island: The Vincenzo Adventure" is a fantasy adventure chapter book about an imaginative 11 year old boy named Rudoph Vincenzo, and his fantasy escape, FingerTip Island. Living in a dull gray world and a dull life, Rudoph creates a tropical paradise island where tigers can talk, and most important, dreams can become real, even alarmingly so. Written to appeal to middle school children (ages 7-12), FingerTip Island is the perfect antidote to dullness, boredom, and even danger. However danger also abounds in FingerTip Island, and Rudolph takes both his sister and his brother to his fantasy island, revealing to them the tiger tour guides, surprising dangers, and exciting adventures. It is up to Rudolph to find a way to use his imagination to solve the family's real dilemma of encroaching Permafrost. "FingerTip Island" is a great adventure read for kids in need of creativity unlocking.

The Picturebook Shelf

The Lost Sea Cat
Phoenix Chiu
Sincerity Press
PO Box 2323, Renton, Washington 98059
9780982826409 $15.95

Intended for young readers ages 9-12 (due to the reading comprehension level required for the text - parents are encouraged to read it aloud to children under 9), The Lost Sea Cat is a children's picturebook with a strong positive message about the importance of family love. The story follows a young prince of the sea cat kingdom, who braves great distance and many hardships to find and rescue his younger sister. In the process he befriends a young girl who helps him on his quest for a heartwarming reunion. The warm and gentle bring the beautiful sea cats to life, in this wonderful storybook adventure especially recommended for young cat lovers!

Emma's Journey
Claire Frossard, author
Etienne Frossard, photographer
Enchanted Lion Books
20 Jay Street, Studio M-18, Brooklyn, NY 11201
9781592700998 $17.95

Emma's Journey is a children's picturebook that blends a charming story about a little New York sparrow named Emma who dreams of seeing Paris for herself. The illustrative two-page spreads feature vivid photographs of New York - with the hand-drawn cartoons of little Emma and her friends blending in. The result is a captivating children's book with breathtaking illustrations that will make any reader look twice! Highly recommended.

The Giving Meadow
Stephanie Burkhart, author
Stephen Macquignon, illustrator
4RV Publishing
PO Box 6482, Edmond, OK 73083
9780982588697 $12.95

The Giving Meadow is a simple, softcover picturebook about a little caterpillar, hungry and alone, who befriends the generous creatures of a meadow. One by one they help him, and as a result of their kindness, he is able to transform into a beautiful butterfly. Colorful illustrations add just the right touch to this gentle heartwarming story about the transformative power of sharing.

Destiny's Purpose
Shannon Cassidy-Rouleau
Big Tent Books
115 Bluebill Drive, Savannah, GA 31419
9781601310644, $19.95,

What everyone else has picked for you may not be your ultimate destiny. "Destiny's Purpose" tells the tale of an alpaca called Destiny, who is slated by his owners to be a major figure in the show ring. But something else seems to be in the future for Destiny, in this book designed to help readers learn that they are the masters of their own destiny. "Destiny's Purpose" has unique art from Dennis Auth, making for a fine pick for grades 2 and 3 readers, or parents looking for read-aloud books.

V is for von Trapp
William Anderson
Sleeping Bear Press
c/o Gale Cengage Learning
316 East Eisenhower, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585365319, $16.95,

Through music, the family bonded strongly together. "V is for von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet" tells the story of the von Trapp family through an alphabet book format. There story brought them to America from the invasion of Nazi Germany in the 1930s where they served as the inspiration for the famed sound of Music. "V is for von Trapp" is beautifully illustrated by Linda Graves, making for a delightful picturebook with a moving story and history.

The Good Fun Book
Karen Duncan & Kate Hannigan Issa
Blue Marlin Publications
823 Aberdeen Rd, W Bay Shore NY 11706
9780979291852, $15.95

A party is a celebration and there's always something worth celebrating. "The Good Fun Book: 12 Months of Parties That Celebrate Service" is a guide for young readers about the countless parties they can experience throughout the year and what the can do to help towards a good cause through their parties and other activities. "The Good Fun Book" has gorgeous illustrations from Anthony Alex LeTourneau and plenty of ideas, making it a solid pick for any elementary school reader and do'er.

ABC Animal Jamboree
Giles Andreae, author
David Wojtowycz, illustrator
Tiger Tales
202 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT 06897
9781589250925, $16.95

Understanding the alphabet is a fundamental for young readers to get a better grasp of reading. "ABC Animal Jamboree" goes through the alphabet and gives an animal, a fun poem that gives facts on the animal, along with simple charming illustrations by David Wojtowycz. "ABC Animal Jamboree" is highly recommended for grade 1 readers.

I Can Do It
Dana Lehman
Lehman Publishing
PO Box 115, Allenton, MI 48002
9780979268694, $16.95,

Saying you can't is admitting defeat before even trying. "I Can Do It" is a children's picturebook following Sammy and his friends as they journey through the Whispering Willows and experience a fascinating assortment of challenges which they overcome through determination. With fine watercolor painting illustrations from Judy Lehman, "I Can Do It" will prove an inspiration to young elementary school readers who are gaining a better grasp of reading.

In the Indian Night Sky
Reshma Sapre
Hathi Chiti
c/o ACC Distrubution
6 West 18th Street, Fourth Floor, new York, NY 10011
9780615370729, $16.95,

Up above, the cosmos have their own story, that affects our night time sky. "In the Indian Night Sky" is drawn from Indian folklore, telling the story of the darkest nights and the forces that invoke the weather and other elements of the sky. With a unique art style that intrigues the eye done by Jayme Robinson, "In the Indian Night Sky" is a charming children's picturebook for elementary students who want to taste India's rich mythology.

Bedtime Hullabaloo
David Conway
Walker & Company
c/o Bloomsbury Publishing
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780802721709, $16.99,

A rude awakening is a great way to lose sleep. "Bedtime Hullabaloo" follows the story of an increasing pack of animals who awaken to search for the noise that awakens them and continues to as more join their entourage, growing more tired as they go. A fine read on the importance of sleep, "Bedtime Hullabaloo" is enhanced by beautiful illustrations from Charles Fuge, making for a very highly recommended read.

The Scariest Dream Ever
Maria T. DiVencenzo, author
Alixandra Martin, illustrator
Winterlake Press
PO Box 1274, Buffalo, NY 14231
9780981600321, $16.99,

"The Scariest Dream Ever" is a wonderful children's spooky fantasy about imagined fearful creatures and creations and how to respond to them, especially when it is time to go to sleep. Laced with quirky, kooky features and odd little hobgoblin twists, a child's darkest nighttime imaginings are brought trembling to the attention of Mom, who always has the perfect distracting job description for the designated monster. Then the child imagines the monster doing the ridiculous task and, of course, eventual hilarity results. "The Scariest Dream Ever" is daringly illustrated in dark, slashing splashes, but the scariness of each vision or monster is always ripe to dissolve in giggles of the preposterousness of it all. "The Scariest Dream Ever" is the perfect book for youngsters of a certain age who have beginning bedtime fears as a stall to bedtime. It could have been subtitled "How to Get a Handle on Your Horrors and Put Your Fears to work!" This book is a hoot from start to finish. The sing-song delivery of each episode/monster is another part of the bedtime ritual, aptly disguised as a toddler's spooky tale.

Looking for Lucy
Emrys Current, author
Leo Verrett and Lydia Anderson, illustrators
Beaver's Pond Press
7104 Ohms Lane, Suite 101, Edina, MN 55439
9781592983452, $15.95,

"Looking for Lucy" is a quietly warm children's picture book about a special cat named Lucy who lives with Grandma on her farm. When the grandchildren come to visit, they want to play with Lucy, but she is "skitterish' and elusive. Unless they are very patient, gentle and quiet, she does not show herself to them. You have to play very politely with Lucy. So the children spend much of their day at Grandma's looking for Lucy in all her favorite hiding spots. Kids will enjoy looking carefully at each delicate tinted picture to find where Lucy is hiding. Dark as smoke and shadowy, Lucy's fur, personality, and purring contentment can be felt through the descriptions and illustrations. Finally after a long day of play and searching for Lucy everywhere, the children cuddle up to go to sleep and who is found purring at their feet on the bed spread? You guessed right, Lucy! "Looking for Lucy" is based on a real cat, loved and owned by the author for many years (or possibly the reverse of that thought). "Looking for Lucy" will appeal to animal and cat lovers and it gently teaches some needed lessons about kind treatment of and proper behavior towards animals.

Pobble's Way
Simon Van Booy, author
Wendy Edelson, illustrator
Flash Light Press
c/o Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60610
9780979974663, $16.95,

"Pobble's Way" is a beautifully illustrated story about a little girl's evening walk with her father in the winter woods. Beautifully written and tenderly illustrated, "Pobble's Way" eavesdrops on an imaginative dialogue just before bedtime between a loving father and daughter in a still winter woods setting that has many hidden animal friends. "Pobble's Way" is a great bedtime story book, especially matched to fathers and daughters. The wise, imaginative comments of the animals about Pobble's lost pink mitten will linger sleepily in the dreamings of many children. Perfect for ages 4-8.

Rhemy the Rhino Learns Patience
Andy McGuire, author/illustrator
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North
Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
9780736927734, $12.99,

"Rhemy the Rhino Learns Patience" is a marvelous, entrancing story about a furiously impatient young rhino who discovers a lesson in patience and consideration that arises from the impact of his own thoughtless behavior. Beautifully illustrated with delicately tinted action scenes that present the passionate moments of Rhemy's action in freeze- frames, "Rhemy the Rhino Learns Patience" is a succinct, memorable manners fable for the young reader. Particularly enjoyable are the humorous scenes endured by Rhemy, forced to wait patiently with his horn stuck in a tree trunk while patient termites chew him free of the wood. He waits patiently through "leopards' absurd decorations," "gawkers from faraway nations," and more, all because he charged the anteater who annoyed him by tripping on his toes while hunting insects for food. "Rhemy the Rhino" will appeal to children age 2 and up and is especially valuable for those who need to learn more about manners, patience, sharing, and showing consideration from others.

Two Little Boys From Toolittle Toys
Vincent X. Kirsch, author/illustrator
Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781599904283, $17.99,

"Two Little Boys from Toolittle Toys" is a vivid, quirky, fun and vibrant picture book about Rudy and Riley Toolittle and their wonderful work with Toolittle toy laboratories. These brothers help put together and try out new toys each weekend to make sure they are playing perfectly by Monday morning. It is a kid's dream job, but the older brother begins to wonder if he is too old to play with toys, and he gives Ridley his favorite toy to play with alone. This does not lead to a happy situation for either the toys or the brothers, for all the toys want to be played with. Fortunately there is a happy solution in the making, aided by the fantastic Toolittle Zigzagging Giggle-Wiggler. The zany, colorful illustrations complement the teasing text and wordplay, and whole new categories of toys will be invented just to keep up with the Toolittle Toy Company Catalog. "Two Little Boys from Toolittle Toys" is perfect for ages 4 and up, especially delightful and perfect for two different brothers who play together!

City Dog, Country Frog
Mo Willems
114 Fifth Avenue, 14th fl., NY, NY 10011
9781423103004, $17.99,

City Dog, Country Frog offers fine drawings by Jon J. Muth and tells of City Dog, who runs free in the country for the first time, where he spots Country Frog waiting for a friend. They play frog games, and in summer they play City Dog games. Seasonal changes affect their friendship in this warm, whimsical story of friendship's transitions.

Random House/Knopf/Crown
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

J. Patrick Lewis & Valorie Fisher's THE FANTASTIC 5&10 CENTS STORE (9780375958786, $20.99) blends a funny rhyming rebus poem with art by Valorie Fisher to make for a fun picture book story. Benny Penny is the only one brave enough to go to the new structure at the edge of town - there to find a unique 5 & 10 cents store with magical contents inside. Early learners will find the rebus tradition an easy way to break into reading in this fun, zany tale. David Small's IMOGENE'S ANTLERS (9780375810480, $16.99) first appeared in 1985 and is reprinted again twenty-five years later for new audiences. A little girl wakes up to discover she's grown antlers - and nobody can help her with her new horns. A series of fun dilemmas evolves. Leo Lionni's SIX CROWS (9780375845505, $16.99) tells of a farmer who tends his field of wheat while six hungry crowds watch from a tree. A scarecrow is used to keep them away - but the clever crows aren't easily intimidated in this fun fable paired with lovely simple drawings by Leo Lionni. Hilaire Belloc and Mini Grey's JIM: A CAUTIONARY TALE (9780375859700, $19.99) provides a series of pull-outs, pop-ups and fold-out fun to spice the story of a disobedient boy. Parents and kids especially will relish this picture book about a boy who leads a boring life - until he is loosed at the zoo to find freedom and danger. Anita Lobel's NINI LOST AND FOUND (9780375858802, $17.99) provides lovely, fun drawings to spice the story of Nini the house cat, who escapes from her house one day to explore first the safe garden, then the nearby woods. Nightfall brings on problems in this warm story of danger and discovery.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Learning to Care For a Cat
Felicia Lowenstein Niven
Enslow Publishers, Inc.
Box 398, 40 Industrial Road, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
9780766031913, $23.93,

"Learning to Care For A Cat" is part of a series titled Beginning Pet Care With American Humane, specifically oriented towards children ages 8-9 at grade levels 3-4. An expert from the American Humane Association has read and approved each title in this series. Written in simple language and illustrated with colorful photos, "Learning to Care for a Cat" gives basic information about the history of cats and their companionship with humans, animal rescue and adoption procedures, and providing adequate medical care and a safe, pleasant and healthy environment for your cat. Additional information is provided in the glossary and Further Reading sections. "Learning to Care for a Cat" is an excellent beginners manual for giving responsible pet care to a cat for the animal's lifetime. Also recommended in this series are the following titles by the same author: "Learning to Care for a Bird (9780766031920, $23.93)," "Learning to Care for a Dog (9780766031913, $23.93)," "Learning to Care for a Horse (9780766031968, $23.93)," "Learning to Care for a Fish (9780766031937, $23.93)," "Learning to Care for Reptiles and Amphibians (9780766031944, $23.93)," and "Learning to Care for Small Mammals (9780766031951, $23.93)." It should be noted that there is a 25% discount for schools and libraries.

Glacier Babies
Wendi Shattil and Bob Rozinski, photographers
Farcountry Press
P.O. Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560374985, $8.95,

"Glacier Babies" is a small child's pasteboard book of beautiful photographs of baby animals that live in the area of Glacier Park, Montana. Included are detailed photos of babies from the following species: mountain goat, black bear, lynx, otter weasel, goose, mountain lion, grizzly bear, wolf, moose, skunk, elk, and owl. Cheerful versed text help introduce the babies to young children, while a clear warning (addressed to adults and children) is written at the book's end: "Never approach wild animals. It can endanger them and you." "Glacier Babies" is a beautiful mini collection of endearing portraits of young wild animals in their natural habitat.

Zoo Borns!
Andrew Bleiman & Chris Eastland
Beach Lane
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
9781442412729, $12.99,

ZOO BORNS! ZOO BABIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD offers seventeen new baby animals from zoo collections all over the globe, and centers on more unusual creatures not typically presented in 'animal babies' titles. From an okapi and a banded mongoose to a pygmy hippo, this offers a very easy read perfect for grades 2-3.

Stella and Tulip
Willa Gold, author
Howie Green, illustrator
Black Heron Press
P.O. Box 13396, Mill Creek, WA 98082
9780930773953, $17.99,

"Stella and Tulip: A Home for Us" is a heartwarming story about a mother and daughter pair of dachshunds who become lost, meet new friends, and finally meet a dog rescue lady who helps find them a good new home. Along the Way, Tulip meets a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who does not know how to play because she was kept in a cage in a puppy mill. A nice lady named Shona runs the Dog Rescue home where Stella and Tulip are taken by their friend, Cooper, a helpful bulldog. Stella and Tulip also meet Sammy, an Irish wolfhound who is abandoned by his family because they had to move to an apartment that would not accept dogs. All ends well when Stella and Tulip are adopted by a new family, but there is significant educating about the issues of pet abandonment and homelessness for dogs in "Stella and Tulip: A Home For Us." Charming, colorful illustrations make "Stella and Tulip" a great choice for young readers ages 3-8.

Books in Series

Goosebottom Books LLC
710 Portofino Lane, Foster, CA 94404

Throughout history, there have been plenty of young women who used their power to make quite the difference. "The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses" is a series of picturebooks engaging written by Shrin Yim Bridges and superbly illustrated by Albert Nguyen, covering the history of various princesses throughout history, with insight into their culture and their deeds. "Hatshepsut of Egypt" (9780984509805, $18.95) is the story of an Egyptian Princess during the era of King Tut, credited with much success often attributed to Tut. "Sorghaghtani of Mongolia" (9780984509829, $18.95) tells of the woman who ruled over a section of the famed Genghis Khan's empire after his death. "Artemisia of Caria" (9780984509812, $18.95) tells of a woman who became an admiral and leader of men into battle during the time of antiquity. "Isabella of Castile" (9780984509843, $18.95) explains how one Spanish princess dared to stand against a male-dominated marriage that was the norm of the time. "Nur Jahan of India" (9780984509850, $18.95) is how one woman ruled over almost all of India, becoming one of the most powerful people in the world and finding her own touching story of love. "Qutlugh Terkan Katun of Kirman" (9780984509836, $18.95) is a true life fairy tale of a woman who married to become a princess, and even after her husband's death, she continued to rule over his lands for decades. This series is aimed at girls in later elementary grades and holds much encouragement that girls can make quite the difference in the world.

Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Marshall Cavendish's science book sets are outstanding picks for libraries seeking lasting lending materials. Each subject set provides numerous volumes pairing eye-catching color covers with contemporary photos and plenty of detail perfect for reports. The 'Cool Science' series ($19.95 Each) excels with nearly fifty pages each packed with science facts. Michael C. Harris' ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (9781608700769), SPARE PARTS FOR PEOPLE (9781608700806), and UNUSUAL DISEASES (9781608700776) and John Perritano's SCIENCE BEATS CRIME (9781608700783), SCIENCE OF EMOTIONS (9781608700790) and SPORTS SCIENCE (9781608700813) each blend real-world examples with links between science and daily life. The 'Science Secrets' series ($19.95 each) will appeal to a slightly younger audience, each holding some 32 pages of easy science facts and introductory detail. All pair contemporary color photos, eye-catching color covers, and chapters based on 'how and why' questions. SECRETS OF LIGHT (9781608701391), SECRETS OF HABITATS (9781608701377), SECRETS OF ANIMAL LIFE CYCLES (9781608701353), SECRETS OF POLLUTION AND CONSERVATION (9781608701407), and SECRETS OF HEAT AND COLD (9781608701384) each hold answers to science questions and offer topics keyed to high interest. Cheryl Jakab's 'Environment In Focus' series ($19.95 each) each provide some 32 pages of detail with each book in the series providing readers with information about major environmental problems. Each book takes a problem and examines it through five related issues, making for a well-rounded discussion. WASTE MANAGEMENT (9781608700936), NATURAL WONDERS (9781608700929), FOOD SUPPLIES (9781608700905), ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTS (9781608700882) and GREENHOUSE GASES (9781608700912) each tackle and discuss the science and social issues involved in an environmental obstacle. The 'Health Alert' series ($21.95 each) holds some 60 pages per book and will reach grades 5-7 with clear discussions of health concerns and issues. L.H Colligan's DRUG DEPENDENCE (9780761448181), and MEASLES AND MUMPS (9780761448198), Henry Wouk's HEARING DISORDERS (9780761448174), George Capaccio's DIGESTIVE DISORDERS (9780761448228), and Ruth Bjorklund's SICKLE CELL ANEMIA (9780761448211) and CHOLERA (9780761448204) all combine historical overviews with surveys of special health challenges and pairs historic and modern photos throughout in health titles perfect for reports. The 'Tell Me Why/Tell Me How' series ($20.95 each) will reach grades 2-4 with easy readers covering basic science and nature. Renee C. Rebman's HOW DO TORNADOES FORM? (9780761448280), Terry Allan Hicks' WHY DO LEAVES CHANGE COLOR? (9780761448273), Darice Bailer's HOW DO TADPOLES BECOME FROGS? (9780761448242) and her WHY DOES IT THUNDER AND LIGHTNING? (9780761448259) and Wil Mara's WHY DO EARTHQUAKES HAPPEN? (9780761448266) and HOW DO WAVES FORM? (9780761448297) each provide all the basics for understanding natural forces. All are fine picks for any elementary collection.

Crabtree Publishing
350 - 5th Ave, 59th Floor, NY, NY 10118

Bobbie Kalman writes many fine series titles and the books in 'My World' are no exception. Of special note: MY CULTURE (9780778795186, $21.27), BODY TALK (9780778795117, $21.27) and TODAY IS A GREAT DAY! (9780778795063, $21.27) all offer leveled readers of some 15 pages each to explore basic world concepts. Each features quite simple language, large print, and large-size, contemporary photos to illustrate basic concepts, and each will reach grades K-12 with outstanding introductions. John Townsend's IS OUR WEATHER GETTING WORSE? (9780778799573, $21.27) provides grades 2-4 with a basic survey of weather history, with 22 pages discussing different weather conditions and offering quick insights into changing trends. Alison Hawes' LANDSCAPE DETECTIVE: TRACKING CHANGES IN YOUR SURROUNDINGS (9780778799481, $21.27) provides a set of fine keys to using maps and GPS systems. From understanding map symbols to using measuring tools, this is packed with insights. Rufus Bellamy's BACKYARD ENCYCLOPEDIA (9780778799450) and Rob Rees' BACKYARD COOKBOOK (9780778799399, $15.95 each) will each reach grades K-3 with 24 pages each of easy introductory writing designed to excite kids about discoveries in their own back yard. Bobbie Kalman's 'Spotlight On' series ($19.95 each) provides grades 2-5 with 32 pages each of world geography introductions. INDONESIA (9780778734581, $26.60), EGYPT (9780778734574, $26.60) and JAPAN (9780778734598, $26.60) each provide contemporary color photos and cultural insights designed to spark interest and serve as foundations for reports. The baby animal titles by Kalman provide grades K-3 with easy and inviting readers pairing funny photos of real baby animals with natural history facts. BABY WOLVES (9780778748953, $15.95), BABY CHIPMUNKS (9780778748922, $15.95) and BABY LEMURS (9780778748939, $15.95) add to an expanding series of baby animal portraits and offer 24 easy reading pages packed with cute, high-interest photos. The 'My Path to Math' series will reach grades K-3 with introductions to basic math concepts, and add to an existing series with more specific focus titles. ROUNDING (9780778767862, $15.95), DECIMALS (9780778767817, $15.95), 3-D SHAPES (9780778767794, $15.95) and MONEY PROBLEMS (9780778767824, $15.95) each pair full-sized color photos with easy math concepts and 24 pages of supporting detail. Many a child won't be able to resist leisure browsing when it comes to the 'Creepy Crawlies' series. Each book holds a captivating color cover paired with 32 pages of detail on rats, bugs, and common home invaders. Rachel Egan's BUZZ OFF, FLIES! (9780778724995, $26.60) and RATS AROUND US (9780778725015, $26.60), Jon Eben Field's SCURRYING COCKROACHES (9780778725022, $26.60), Ellen Rodger's BLOODSUCKING LICE AND FLEAS (9780778724988, $26.60), Marguerite Rodger's TERMITES AND OTHER HOME WRECKERS (9780778725039, $26.60) and Carrie Gleason's FEASTING BEDBUGS, MITES, AND TICKS (9780778725008, $26.60) are all top picks for any science collection seeking high-interest titles about common home denizens. Crabtree Connections offers 18 books in its new series, using a differentiated content-area approach to reading developed by literary experts and writers. The series teaches essential nonfiction reading skills in geography, science and world history alike. Special recommendations from this series ($15.95 each) include Jim Laidlaw's VISIT EGYPT! (9780778799566, $21.27) and ROMAN CITY GUIDEBOOK (9780778799498, $21.27) and Alison Hawes WHAT THE ROMANS DID FOR THE WORLD (9780778799436, $21.27) and A ROMAN SOLDIER'S HANDBOOK (9780778799528, $21.27). All are top picks recommended for elementary-level collections!

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

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