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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 27, Number 11 November 2017 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf
Biography Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Science Shelf
Computer Shelf Picturebook Shelf Fiction Shelf
Board Book Shelf Autism Shelf Bilingual Shelf
Christian Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Psychology Shelf
Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Multimedia Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf Holocaust Studies Shelf Books in Series

Reviewer's Choice

Lou Knows What To Do Supermarket
Kimberly Tice & Venita Litvack, authors
Andre Kerry, illustrator
Boys Town Press
14100 Crawford Street, Boys Town, Nebraska 68010
9781944882143 $10.95

Lou Knows What To Do: Supermarket is an invaluable "life skills" title for young readers. Lou learns many different skills to use when shopping at a supermarket, including making a list, waiting in line, asking for help to find things, not running up and down the aisles, counting change from the cashier, and remembering to say "Thank you" to the cashier. At the end a list of tips for teachers and parents on how to use the book is provided. Lou Knows What To Do Supermarket is an excellent addition to personal and public library children's collections. Also highly recommended are other titles in the series, "Lou Knows What To Do: Special Diet" (9781944882150, $10.95) and "Lou Knows What To Do: Birthday Party" (9781944882167, $10.95).

School of Awake
Kidada Jones, author
Koa Jones, illustrator
Foreword by Rashida Jones
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608684588, $18.95,

School of Awake: A Girl's Guide to the Universe gives girls inspiration and encouragement, pairing color art by Koa Jones with recipes, arts and crafts, inspirational quotes, discussions of mindfulness, and all kinds of keys to developing a powerful persona. Modern girls who want to be happy and strong will find this filled with discussions of mind, body, and spirit which offers such a basic primer that many an adult new to some of these concepts will find it equally compelling and easy to use.

Jacqueline and the Beanstalk
Susan D. Sweet, author
Brenda S. Miles, author
Valeria Docampo, illustrator
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433826825, $15.95, HC, 32pp,

A princess named Jacqueline is surrounded by overprotective knights at all times. They want to protect her from danger, but they're not even sure if there is any! When Jacqueline climbs up a beanstalk, she meets a giant who is just as afraid of the unknown. "Jacqueline and the Beanstalk: A Tale of Facing Giant Fears" is deftly written, beautifully illustrated, modern retelling of a classic fairy tale aims to help kids face and live with their fears their fears -- so they don't miss out on the fun! Included is a "Note to Parents and Caregivers" providing information about managing worries and facing fears. The newest edition to the outstanding Magination Press 'Classic Tales for Modern Kids' series, "Jacqueline and the Beanstalk: A Tale of Facing Giant Fears" is unreservedly recommended for the family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8.

The Shape of the World
K.L. Going
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781442478213, $17.99,

The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright is illustrated by Lauren Stringer and provides a lovely, lyrical story of a little boy who loves to find shapes in nature, and who uses his passion to become an architect as an adult. His mother envisioned him as becoming an architect, and his early education on shapes gave him visions that would lead to an extraordinary career. Parental read-aloud is recommended for this lovely story of how childhood vision translates to adult achievement.

The Social Issues Shelf

Poverty and Hunger
Louise Spilsbury, author
Hanane Kai, illustrator
250 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, NY 11788
9781438050195, $9.99, HC, 32pp,

Informatively written by Louise Spilsbury and impressively illustrated by Hanane Kai, "Poverty and Hunger" is a picture book for children ages 6 to 10 that discusses the questions: "What is poverty and hunger?; How do they affect people in countries all over the world?". "Poverty and Hunger" helps young children begin to understand the way others struggle with these issues and learn about ways they can be of help. Of special note are the powerful illustrations that help children to visualize the people impacted by poverty, hunger, war, racism, and more. All of the images are sensitively rendered and perfectly suited for younger children. With our 24/7 news cycle and constant access to the latest headlines, the world can be a scary place. "Poverty and Hunger" can help children trying to make sense of it all and understand that children just like them face such dire issues in the world today. Informative, original, thoughtful and thought- provoking, "Poverty and Hunger" is thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Fast Cash: The Young Adult's Guide to Pet Sitting & Walking
Yvonne Bertovich
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781620232347, $34.95, Library Binding, 142pp,

"Fast Cash: The Young Adult's Guide to Pet Sitting & Walking" was written by Yvonne Bertovich specifically for young adults with an interest in animals and considering establishing a pet sitting/walking business of their own. It is a comprehensive instruction manual teaching everything needed to operate a successful pet sitting/walking business. This complete instruction guide includes sample business forms; contracts; worksheets and checklists for planning, opening, and running day-to-day operations; and dozens of other valuable, timesaving tools of the trade that no business should be without. "Fast Cash" also covers how to draw up a winning business plan, how to choose a name, what equipment will be needed, how to get customers, contracts and billing procedures, advertising, the legal side of things, and pricing. "Fast Cash" presents all this and more in a fun and understandable way that perfect for the young entrepreneur. While very highly recommended for highschool and community library Jobs/Careers instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Fast Cash: The Young Adult's Guide to Pet Sitting & Walking" is also available in a paperback edition (978162023168, $19.95).

The Biography Shelf

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
Michael Mahin
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481443494, $17.99,

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters is illustrated by Evan Turk who captures the dark and melancholy atmosphere of the blues musician's life and times. Muddy was never successful at much, whether it be earning a living or conforming to popular music standards of his times. His ability to ignore naysayers and convention to create his own special brand of blues music led to his fame, and Muddy captures this process in a fine picture book story that will be enhanced by parental read-aloud and discussion of Muddy's musical choices and impact.

Amalia Hernandez
El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9781419725326, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

Published in time for the 100th anniversary of Hernandez's birth, "Danza!: Amalia Hernandez and Mexico's Folkloric Ballet" is the first picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer. "Danza!" is a beautifully illustrated picture book celebration of Hernandez's life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernandez traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today. "Danza!" will enthrall and inspire young readers ages 6 to 10 with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer. While unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted that "Danza!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). Librarians should be aware that there is an audio book edition of "Danza!" (Dreamscape Media, 9781520082813, $14.99).

The Shape of the World
K. L. Going, author
Lauren Stringer, illustrator
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781442478213, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

"The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright" is the picture book biography of a little boy who loves to find shapes in nature and grew up to be one of America's greatest architects. When Frank Lloyd Wright was a baby, his mother dreamed that he would become a great architect. She gave him blocks to play with and he learned that shapes are made up of many other shapes. As he grew up, he loved finding shapes in nature. Wright went on to study architecture and create buildings that were one with the natural world around them. He became known as one of the greatest American architects of all time. Lauren Stringer's equisite artwork does full justice to author K. L. Going's account and will prove to be as entertaining as it is informative for children ages 5 to 10. While strongly recommended, especially for elementary school and community library picture book biographies for children, it should be noted for families that "The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Lotta Crabtree: Gold Rush Fairy Star
Lois V. Harris
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455622306, $17.99, HC, 80pp,

During the height of the California Gold Rush, child performers called Fairy Stars kept the miners entertained. The children would dance, sing, and act to raise spirits and money. Lotta Crabtree was the brightest of the Fairy Stars! The precocious girl won hearts across the world with her extraordinary talent for comedy and grew to be one of the wealthiest and most beloved American entertainers of the late 19th century. "Lotta Crabtree: Gold Rush Fairy Star" by Lois V. Harris is unique biography for young readers ages 8 to 12, and follows Lotta's early years, her struggle to support her family, her spectacular journey to fame, and her generous contributions that are still changing lives today. Informative, entertaining, inspiring, "Lotta Crabtree: Gold Rush Fairy Star" is exceptionally well written, illustrated, organized and presented, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library biography collections for young readers.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Cat Pals: Everything You Need to Know About Your Best Pal!
Pat Jacobs, author
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118
9780778735502 $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB, 32pp

Leading title of a series called Pet Pals, "Cat Pals" (guided reading level Q) presents comprehensive feline information for an audience age 6 and up in a compact, attractively presented format with lots of color cat photos, plus handy sidebars stuffed with fun facts such as Cat Facts. Two- page chapters include Your cat from head to tail, Cat breeds, Choosing your cat, Cozy kitty, Settling in, Catering for kitty, Day-to-day care, Health and safety, Cat behavior, Communication, Training, Fun and games, Cat quiz, plus Quiz answers, Learning more (includes related web sites and books), and a Glossary and index. "Cat Pals" helps young readers learn more about the responsibilities and joys of pet ownership early in the process of choosing a pet. Additional titles in the Pet Pals series (also by Pat Jacobs) that are also highly recommended include: "Dog Pals" (9780778735519, $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB), "Hamster Pals" (9780778735601, $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB), "Guinea Pig Pals" (97807787735526, $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB), and "Rabbit Pals" (9780778735618, $27.60 HC, $8.95 PB).

About Fish: A Guide for Children
Cathryn Sill, author
Illustrated by John Sill
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781561459872 $16.95

Intended for beginning readers ages 3-7, About Fish: A Guide for Children is a picturebook that introduces young people to amazing facts about fish. Simple sentences paired with vivid, lifelike, full-color illustrations make About Fish: A Guide for Children excellent educational read-aloud book for parents and young ones to share - or for children to read on their own! "Some baby fish are born alive. Other baby fish hatch from eggs laid by the mother. // Fish keep growing as long as they live." Highly recommended, especially for public library children's collections.

The Science Shelf

Living Things and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book
Kevin Kurtz, author/photography editor
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781628559859 $17.95

"Living Things and Nonliving Things" is a creatively photo-illustrated Compare and Contrast book that challenges young readers to develop criteria for distinguishing living from nonliving things. For example, living things move, but do some nonliving things also move? How about growing and changing? Stunning photographs demonstrate that there are indeed nonliving things that also grow and change, such as volcanoes, icebergs, clouds, and crystals. Gradually, the criteria that emerge from all the compare and contrasting experiments are as follows: "If something does all these things, it is probably a living thing: Breathe. Drink water. Take energy and nutrients from its environment. Reproduce. Grow and change." A concluding section titled For Creative Minds including a Glossary, and Living or Nonliving Checklist. "Living and Nonliving Things" is an excellent teaching text using compare and contrast approaches to detect criteria for living versus things.

The Computer Shelf

Code Your Own Space Adventure: Code with Major Kate and Save Planet Zyskinar
Max Wainewright, author/illustrator
Quarto Library Group, QED Publishing
6 Orchard, Lake Forest, CA 92630
Lerner Publisher Services, distributor
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781682971819 $23.99, HC, 31pp,

"Code Your Own Space Adventure" is the first title of a creative new Little Coders series, written for children age 6 and up with adult supervision. Young readers are asked to use Scratch, a computer language to code these games. (See on your home computer). The first chapter, Using Scratch, teaches readers how to start Scratch, use it, and use code blocks and the drawing area. Subsequent chapters guide the reader through different space adventure episodes with suggested strategies and responses to help Major Kate save Planet Zyskinar. These chapters include creating a rocket (The Superlooper), Blast Off!, Fly Away!, Radiation Field, Asteroid Attack, Space Walk!, Going Bananas, Underground Rescue, and Flight to Bananareeta. Many valuable computer and literacy skills are used in this fun gaming sequence, while jazzy cartoon style colored illustrations keep the adventure exciting and clarify the computer gaming instruction with maximum appeal to kids. "Code Your Own Space Adventure" is completed with a glossary of programming and instructional game terms. Also highly recommended are the following titles from the Little Coders Series, also written and illustrated by Max Wainwright: "Code Your Own Jungle Adventure (9781682971796)," "Code Your Own Knight Adventure (9781682971802)," and "Code Your Own Pirate Adventure (9781682971826).

The Picturebook Shelf

Last Laughs Prehistoric Epitaphs
J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen, authors
Illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580897068 $16.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle

Last Laughs and Prehistoric Epitaphs is a quirky children's books of wacky epitaph poems in honor of extinct species, from dinosaurs to woolly mammoths and more. Brief facts about these prehistoric creatures appear under each poem as well, making Last Laughs Prehistoric Epitaphs educational as well as fun. Highly recommended! "Scat, Old Saber-Toothed Cat": Tiger, tiger, hunting bright / near the tar pits, late at night. / Neither claws nor saber teeth / saved you from what lay beneath. / Stuck like that, you starved to death, / growling with your final breath.

Hello Autumn!
Shelley Rotner
Holiday House
425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780823438693, $16.95,

Hello Autumn! celebrates leaves changing, pumpkins, changing seasons and more, and provides young picture book readers with a fun focus on plants, animals, birds, and how nature responds to autumn. Color photos of nature and children drive this very simple survey of the signs of autumn and how kids can make the most of the season.

Roger is Going Fishing
Koen Van Biesen
Eerdmans Books
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802854919, $16.00,

Roger is Going Fishing tells of Roger and neighbor Emily, who decide to leave the city and go do some fishing. The only problem is, Emily catches a few city things that don't involve fish, and a small mob chases after her too-successful venture. Is everyone going to the lake, after all? A fun story evolves with some unpredictable moments that will keep young picture book readers guessing, and delighted in Emily's mishaps.

Sarabella's Thinking Cap
Judy Schachner
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780525429180, $17.99,

Sarabella's Thinking Cap tells of an imaginative girl who is always daydreaming and creating new worlds in her mind. Unfortunately, she shouldn't be doing this all the time - but when a special school assignment rewards this type of thinking, Sarabella finally gets to do something she loves. Good reading skills or parental assistance will enhance the story of a daydreamer girl who "has daydreams in her DNA" and the understanding parents who relate to her experiences all too well.

Konnichiwa & Hello
Tammy Robertson, author
Brittany Mash, illustrator
Hawaii Way Publishing
9781945384073, $19.99, HC, 40pp,

Valerie believes this day is going to be like any other school day, until, a new girl named Tomoka walks into her classroom. Tomoka has moved to America all the way from Japan. It's her first day of school and she's nervous and a bit scared. When Valerie smiles and offers an outstretched hand to Tomoka, the girls begin a friendship that soars past their outward differences and they become forever friends. They each learn to appreciate everything that makes them unique and special. Valerie and Tomoka also discover that in all the most important ways, they really are the same. Entertainingly written by Tammy Roberston and charmingly illustrated by Brittany Mash, young readers ages 5 to 11 will have fun looking for the heart on every page. "Konnichiwa & Hello" is unique, original, entertaining, and very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

This Is a Good Story
Adam Lehrhaupt, author
Magali Le Huche, illustrator
Paula Wiseman Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481429351, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Deftly written by Adam Lehrhaupt and charmingly illustrated by Magali Le Huche, "This Is A Good Story" is an inspiring new picture book for children ages 4 to 8 that takes apart the pieces of a story (hero, heroine, setting, conflict) and asks young readers to put the story back together again. This is a good story -- or is it? As children take their pencil and begins to draw pictures for a story, the narrator takes the young reader through a rollicking sequence of events in this classic tale of bad guys and townsfolk and dungeons. With simplicity and flair, Adam tells a story and then a meta-story of the parts of the story at once! "This Is a Good Story" is a wonderful primer on the parts of a story and an imaginative way to encourage creative thinking, writing, and storytelling. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "This Is a Good Story" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Old MacDonald Had A Farm
Gris Grimly
Orchard Books
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338112436, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Celebrated author and artist Gris Grimly is widely known for his gothic style illustrations, and in that classic children's rhyme "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" turns over a new creative leaf in his glorious interpretation of this beloved preschool anthem. Inspired by his son's love for Old MacDonald and his own family's farming history, and with stunning, sweeping watercolor illustrations, and a surprise twist ending that kids will relish, Gris brings this beloved song to glorious new life for children age 3 to 5. While unreservedly and wholeheartedly recommended as an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for parents that this edition of Gris Grimly's "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

I Want Snow!
Tony Ross
Andersen Press
The Lerner Publishing Group (distributor)
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781512481259, $17.99, HC,

When the Queen goes on a trip, and sends back a photo of her feeding some penguins, the Little Princess decides she wants snow too. The whole palace tries all kind of things from sandmen instead of snowmen to mudballs instead of snowballs. But this little royal won't be satisfied until she gets what she wants -- and sometimes not even then! "I Want Snow!" is a charming picture book story written and illustrated by Tony Ross for children ages 4 to 9 -- and will prove to be an enduringly popular and enjoyable addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade
Trinka Hakes Noble, author
David C. Gardner, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585369607, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

In 1918 a deadly influenza epidemic was sweeping across America. The pandemic ravaged families, leaving thousands of children as orphans. But in the tenement apartments of New York City's Lower East Side, one young girl is determined to keep her family safe. While her mother is sick with consumption, nine-year-old Loretta (Rettie) Stanowski does all the cleaning, washing, shopping, and cooking for her family. To earn money, she washes rags for the rag picker and cleans the halls and stairways of their apartment building. But Rettie knows the best way to get even more money is to participate in the Ragamuffin Parade that marches down Broadway Avenue on Thanksgiving morning. With the influenza outbreak, quarantines are ordered and large gatherings are banned. Will the parade be cancelled? A deftly written, beautifully illustrated, unique and compelling picture book story for children ages 6 to 9, "Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade: A Thanksgiving Story" is unreservedly recommended, especially for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Henry and the Hidden Treasure
B. C. R. Fegan, author
Lenny Wen, illustrator
TaleBlade Press
9780995359253 $8.99 pbk / $15.99 hc / $4.99 Kindle

"Henry and the Hidden Treasure" is a dramatic children's book about the ups and downs of sibling relationships, from an older brother's point of view. Filled with fantastic, exaggerated scary, grim, comic illustrations of monsters, caves, superheroes, soldiers, dragons, gigantic robots, and one secret ninja baby sister, "Henry and the Hidden Treasure" tells a determined tale of a boy guarding his treasure (money) from his baby sister, named Lucy, despite his parents' wishes that he would try to be nicer to her. The minimal, rhyming text is very understated, perfectly contrasting to the over exaggerated illustration style. Gradually it becomes clear to the reader that Henry's plan to guard his treasure is doomed, and that the real issue is learning to let go and love an adorable little sister, which Henry eventually does. "Henry and the Hidden Treasure" is a great panorama of frequently experienced feelings of fear or threat when a charming younger sibling steps into the family picture. Especially brothers will enjoy reading and experiencing "Henry and the Hidden Treasure," along with their little sisters.

Museum Trip
Barbara Lehman, author/illustrator
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016
9781328740519 $7.99 pbk

An award winning, nonnarrative children's book, "Museum Trip" tells a fascinating story through pictures alone of a boy's exploration of a secret room of fabulous drawings of mazes in a large, dusty museum. The boy accompanies his class on a museum field trip in a bus, but he has his own singular adventure in the museum, finding a hidden door to an amazing room filled with mazes on display and a hidden bull-like minotaur statue in a corner. The boy imagines himself entering into each different maze displayed in a series of drawings, solving each complex puzzle in turn, until the final maze. Here he finds a tower at the center and enters and climbs the tower to be awarded a special medal for his maze solving skills. then he re-enters the rest of the museum, rejoins his class and leaves with them, noticing that the Museum director who says fare well to the group also wears a maze solver's medal like the boy's. This journey into the imagination is thus a bridge to and from another world which invites young readers to explore museums, books, and mazes further. Children will love exploring the series of mysterious mazes and tracking the boy to his amazing finish at the museum. "Museum Trip" is a solid contribution to the world of art, imagination, literature, and culture, which will be understood perfectly by young readers.

Teensy the Littlest Fairy
Claressa Swensen, author
Yogesh Mahajan, illustrator
Privately Published
9780997222630, $11.95, PB, $2.99 Kindle
9780997222616, $19.99, HC, 48pp,

"Teensy the Littlest Fairy" is a story about a tiny fairy who wants to grow enough to be noticed and big and strong like the other fairies in Shimmery Forest. A caterpillar named Cary becomes her friend and confidant. Cary advises Teensy to eat vegetables to grow big and strong, adding that vegetables can taste salty, crunchy, and even sweet. After being persuaded, Teensy tried eating some sweet, crunchy cabbage, then more and more vegetables. "The more vegetables she ate the more she grew. Fairies and butterflies didn't bump into her anymore! And that made Teensy the happiest fairy in the forest!" Kids will love the cheery, animated color illustrations and the feisty spirit of Teensy, the vegetable loving fairy that grew. A positive message is built into this cheery modern fable that is clear to all young readers.

Sippi Sue and the Cool Cat Blues
Beth Greenway, author
Jamie Meckel Tablason, illustrator
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455622672, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Sippi Sue loves the sounds of dripping rain, rattling milk bottles, clanging trash can lids, and especially the instruments played in juke joints of her Mississippi Delta home. Includes historical note about blues music. A unique and deftly crafted picture book for children ages 2 to 5, "Sippi Sue and the Cool Cat Blues" is an impressively entertaining blending of author Beth Greenway's charming story and illustrator Jamie Meckel Tablason's original artwork, making it unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool school, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Superheroes Club
Madeleine Sherak, author
Esther Yee Sol Choi, illustrator
My Bench Productions
Greenleaf Book Group (distributor)
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9780997785807, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Lily is just a regular kid with a huge heart who rallies her friends to form a Superheroes Club to help other kids in school and in their communities. She explains that it's not how you look, but what you do that makes you a superhero. It doesn't have to be hard to help others; opportunities are everywhere you look. So Lily inspires and empowers her friends to find the heroic potential that each of them possesses. Children ages 4 to 8 will discover their superpower with Lily and the Superheroes Club! A values-based picture book that is as fun and entertaining as it is effective in helping young readers to be inspired with respect to building 'sharing and caring' relationships with others, "Superheroes Club" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Tall Tall Tree
Anthony D. Fredericks, author
Chad Wallace, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Way, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584696018, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Complemented by STEM-based activity suggestions, "Tall Tall Tree" is a picture book by Anthony D. Fredericks that provides an informative and entertaining introduction for young children ages 2 to 5 to the amazing natural world of the giant redwood combines rhymes. The gentle artwork of Chad Wallace and the diverse counting prompts that reveal the teeming life that can be found in and around the world's tallest trees makes "Tall Tall Tree" as fun as it is informative. While very highly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, Kindergarten, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted that "Tall Tall Tree" is also available in a paperback format (9781584696025, $8.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

The One Day House
Julia Durango, author
Bianca Diaz, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580897099, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

A young boy named Wilson dreams of all the ways he can help improve his friend Gigi's house so that she'll be warm, comfortable, and happy. One day, friends and neighbors from all over come to help make Wilson's plans come true. Everyone volunteers to pitch in to make Gigi's house safe, clean, and pretty. "The One Day House" was inspired by a friend's volunteerism that motivated author Julia Durango to tell a story of community and togetherness, showing that by helping others we help ourselves. Of special note is the information about Labor of Love, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity that are included at the end of this thoroughly entertaining picture book for children ages 3 to 7. While wholeheartedly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted that "The One Day House" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Big Hid
Roisin Swales, author/illustrator
Flying Eye Books
c/o Nowbrow Ltd.
9781911171300, $16.95, HC, 36pp,

Big and Little are the very best of friends. They do everything together! That is until one day, when Big suddenly hides away inside his shell! Little tries every method to get Big to come out and play again -- he bakes him his favorite cake, he even asks all of his friends for help, but nothing seems to be working! What could possibly be wrong? And how can it be put right? Written and illustrated by Roisin Swales, "Big Hid" is a unique and charmingly entertaining picture book that is especially recommended for children ages 3 to 5, and would be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, Kindergarten, and community library collections.

Alycat and the Monday Blues
Alysson Foti Bourque, author
Chiara Civati, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
9781684012459, $14.95, HC, 38pp,

Alycat wakes up on Monday with the dreaded Monday Blues, certain that nothing will go right. But when a mishap sends her astray, she discovers that helping a friend will help her discover her own hidden talent and cure her Monday Blues! Charmingly illustrated throughout by Chiara Civati, author Alysson Foti Bourque's deftly written picture book for children ages 4 to 7, "Alycat and the Monday Blues" will prove to be a unique and extraordinarily entertaining addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted that "Alycat and the Monday Blues" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Thanksgiving in the Woods
Phyllis Alsdurf, author
Jenny Lovlie, illustrator
Sparkhouse Family
510 Marquette Ave. 7th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402
9781506425085, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

Every year a family and their friends gather in the woods to celebrate They call it Thanksgiving among the trees. Everyone brings something to share and the day becomes a long celebration of family, faith, and friendship. Engagingly written by Phyllis Alsdurf and charmingly illustrated by Jenny Lovlie, "Thanksgiving in the Woods" is an impressively entertaining picture book for children ages 4 to 8 and includes warm illustrations of people gathered around bonfires and long tables adorned with candles and food, singing songs and sharing laughter. "Thanksgiving in the Woods" is based on the true story of a family in Upstate New York who has hosted an outdoor Thanksgiving feast in the woods on their farm for over twenty years and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Thanksgiving Holiday picture book collections.

Reena's Rainbow
Dee White, author
Tracie Grimwood, illustrator
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
9781925335491, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Reena is deaf, and Dog is homeless, but they are also so much more than that. At first Reena and Dog feel like they don't belong, but when they form a unique bond of friendship with the children in the park, they discover that everyone is different in their own special ways. Deftly written by Dee White and charmingly illustrated throughout by Tracie Grimwood, "Reena's Rainbow" is unique and memorable picture book story for children ages 4 to 7 about friendship, diversity, and acceptance. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "Reena's Rainbow" sends the message that true friends will always accept your differences and love you just the way you are. It should be noted that "Reena's Rainbow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Les & Ronnie Step Out
Andrew Kolb
Nancy Paulsen Books
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780399546198, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les (the right foot) likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie (the left foot) is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn't even care about laces. What's a duo to do? In "Les & Ronnie Step Out", young readers ages 5 to 8 will meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences. A original and engagingly entertaining picture book written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb, "Les & Ronnie Step Out" is especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted that "Les & Ronnie Step Out" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Best Pirate
Dean Griffiths, author
Kari-Lynn Winters, illustrator
Pajama Press
9781772780192, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Augusta Garrick has proven that her helpful and gentle-hearted ways don't make her a bad pirate. In fact, she is even a good pirate. But when her clumsiness destroys a treasure map and injures First Mate Scully, she knows she must learn to be even better. Eager to make things right, Augusta sets out alone for Crossbones Island. She may not have a map, but she is nimble and fearless! At least, she is trying to be fearless. But there are strange shadows on Crossbones Island, and the Tuna Lubbers' crew of fierce pirate cats is after the treasure, too. When she finds herself in a dangerous situation with one of the Tuna Lubbers, will Augusta manage to be the better pirate? A whimsically entertaining picture book for children ages 5 to 8, "Best Pirate" by the talented storytelling team of author Dean Griffiths and illustrator Kari-Lyn Winters is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.

Who Will Be My Friend?
Jeanne Styczinski, author/illustrator
JeanneKay Publishing
9780991094677, $14.95, HC, 32pp,

Little Owl races though the forest looking for a friend. The sun is going to sleep and she knows it will be dark soon. Little Owl flies to see Cardinal, then Chickadee, then Robin, and then -- but now all the woodland birds are going to bed! Who will be Little Owl's friend? As darkness falls, she discovers a friendly Firefly wants to be her friend. Little Owl has never played with a Firefly before; this is her chance to make a new friend! Little Owl and Firefly fly off together and a glowing friendship begins, despite their differences. Charmingly written and illustrated with acrylic paint on newspaper/collage, "Who Will Be My Friend?" is a wonderfully entertaining and 'kid friendly' picture book for children ages 3 to 7, making it a truly exceptional and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud
Katie Harnett
Flying Eye Books
c/o Nowbrow Ltd.
9781911171157, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Everyone loves the warm sunshine - except the lonely raincloud. No one wants to be his friend! But one day, he stumbles across a grumpy little florist -- could she be looking for a friend too? "Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud" by Katie Harnet is truly charming tale of a solitary raincloud who finds a way to make a sad little girl happy again -- and by using the very thing that most people dislike about him -- rain! A thoroughly original and thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book entertainment for children ages 3 to 7, "Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Antlered Ship
Dashka Slater, author
Terry & Eric Fan, illustrators
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481451604, $17.99, HC, 48pp,

Marco is an inquisitive fox sets off on a seafaring voyage with a crew of deer and pigeons in this enchanting tale of friendship and adventure. Marco has a lot of questions including: how deep does the sun go when it sinks into the sea? And why do birds have such lizardy feet? But none of the other foxes share his curiosity. So when a magnificent ship adorned with antlers and with a deer for a captain arrives at the dock looking for a crew, Marco volunteers, hoping to find foxes who are as inquisitive as he is that can answer his questions. The crew finds adventure and intrigue on their journey. And, at last, Marco finds the answer to his most important question of all: What's the best way to find a friend you can talk to? Charmingly original, beautifully illustrated, engagingly entertaining from first page to last, "The Antlered Ship" is a simply outstanding picture book for children ages 4 to 8 and especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted that "The Antlered Ship" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Benjamin Birdie's First Flight
Michael Dotsikas, author
Morgan Spicer, illustrator
Brown Books Publishing Group
9781612549606, $17.99, HC, 52pp,

Benjamin Birdie wants to fly like all the other birds, like he was meant to! But his mama tells him he isn't quite ready yet. Benjamin doesn't listen, and tries to give flying a go but falls all the way down from the top of the tree to the forest floor. Now Benjamin Birdie must ask for help from all of the other tree-dwellers to get back to the top of the tree. Charming rhymes by author Michael Dotsikas and colorful illustrations by Morgan Spicer bring this picture book story about friendship to life and teach the importance of coming together to help someone in need. Children ages 4 to 8 will learn about different exotic animals, what makes each of them special and how each of their unique qualities help get Benjamin back home to his nest! "Benjamin Birdie's First Flight" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections as original and thoroughly entertaining from first page to last.

Beth W. Roberts
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781939930880, $19.95, HC, 32pp,

Engagingly written and charmingly illustrated by Beth W. Roberts, "Albert" is the story a mischievous, fun-loving, and very special mouse. This is a picture book story of a mouse who bakes delicious treats with love and sunshine and delivers them to your doorstep all wrapped in red bows. This is a also the story about how Albert came to live with Bob and Franny, and how he learned to share love, kindness, and sweet surprises with everyone, just to make them merry. "Albert" is about loving, baking, and giving. And inside are recipes, labels, and inspiration especially appropriate for children ages 4 to 8. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted that "Albert" is also available in a digital book format ($4.99).

Run Fast Milo!
Julie Sola
Spring House Press
9781940611747, $17.99, HC, 64pp,

"Run Fast Milo!" a true-life picture book tale by artist and author Julie sola of a puppy who loves nothing more than running fast. It's a playful narrative that will quickly fuel an imagination and find a home in the heart. With its simple yet quirky sentences, a relatable tale of gleeful exuberance, and its bright, original illustrations, "Run Fast, Milo!" is that unique children's book for kids 3 to 5 that can be enjoyed by a child while catching the creative eye of a parent. Tapping into an artistic-style honed at Hatch Print, Sola typeset "Run Fast, Milo!" by hand using antique Cheltenham type and hand-carved each of the images out of linoleum before hand-printing it on a 1964 Vandercook proofing press. It's this uncommon artistic approach that lends an appealing Southern and country-music flair to Milo's cheerful tale and one that will surely have it standing out on the bookshelf at home. Run Fast Milo! is a unique and original children's picture book with an adventurous personality and an artistic hand-printed style that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Little House
Virginia Lee Burton
Houghton Mifflin Company
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9781328741943, $17.99, 44pp,

Some seventy-five years ago, author and illustrator Virginia Lee Burton created the Little House, and since then generations of young readers have been enchanted by the story of this happy home and her journey from the pleasures of nature to the bustling city, and back again. In celebration of this beloved classic's seventy-fifth anniversary, this special edition of "The Little House" includes a beautiful set of window cling stickers (perfect for decorating young readers ages 4 to 7 own "Little House"), as well as a free downloadable audio (the access code printed inside the book). A true childhood classic, "This anniversary issue of "The Little House" is unreservedly recommended for both elementary school and community library collections. It should be noted that "The Little House" is also available in a paperback edition (9780395259382, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

But I Don't Eat Ants
Dan Marvin, author
Kelly Fry, illustrator
c/o Powerhouse Packaging & Supply Inc.
9781576878378, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

"Koala Bears aren't called Eucalyptus-eaters. Panda Bears aren't called Bamboo-eaters. Jaguars eat Anteaters, but they aren't called Anteater-eaters!" insists a voracious young Anteater who will gobble up just about every food except for one: ants! This clever take on the picky-eater is full of wry humor and silly puns as the anteater takes us through the food he LOVES to eat, all while repeating the refrain, "but I don't eat ants." That is until dinnertime when his mom presents him with a "fiery" surprise. The final punchline playfully depicts the often illogical rationalizations of young picky eaters in a way that will have kids and their parents laughing. An original and delightfully entertaining picture book for children ages 3 to 7, "But I Don't Eat Ants" is the collaborative work of author Dan Marvin and illustrator Kelly Fry that is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

That Is My Dream!
Langston Hughes, author
Daniel Miyares, illustrator
Schwartz & Wade
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780399550171, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 - May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. Langston Hughes's inspiring and timeless message of pride, joy, and the dream of a better life is brilliantly and beautifully interpreted in Daniel Miyares's gorgeous artwork. in the pages of That Is My Dream!: A Picture Book of Langston Hughes's "Dream Variation", children ages 4 to 8 can follow one African-American boy through the course of his day as the harsh reality of segregation and racial prejudice comes into vivid focus. But the boy dreams of a different life -- one full of freedom, hope, and wild possibility, where he can fling his arms wide in the face of the sun. Hughes's powerful vision, brought joyously to life by Daniel Miyares, is as relevant (and necessary) today as when it was first written. Inspired and inspiring, "That Is My Dream!" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted that "That Is My Dream!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat
Written by Sue Lowell Gallion
Illustrated by Joyce Wan
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481449779 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat is a charming, Halloween-themed children's picturebook about two friends, Pig and Pug, who want to celebrate Halloween together. But even though Pig loves her Halloween costume, Pug hates his and shreds it! Now how can the two of them enjoy trick-or- treating or Halloween parties? Then Pug has a creative idea! A delightfully charming storybook, Pig & Pug is also easy for young people to read aloud.

Holiday House
425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Three fine picture books provide young readers with vivid stories and fun moments. Ethan Long's Snickerdoodle Takes the Cake (9780823437849, $16.95) tells of a rabbit, his dog, and a mother's famous cake. Despite a mother's admonition not to touch the cake, Snickerdoodle decides the rule can't pertain to a small crumb - and one tiny crumb leads to something unexpected in this simple reader with its zany drawings. Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True (9781101936597, $17.99) is illustratede by Brigette Barrager and provides a special, fun story for unicorn lovers ages 3-7, providing a fine sequel to the 2104 Ui the Unicorn. Here the Land of Unicorns is in trouble - there's too much rain, and unicorns who get their magic from the sun are suffering. It takes a special unicorn to be convinced that girls are real, and that his magical home can be saved. Aram Kim's No Kimchi For Me! (9780823437627, $16.95) tells of Yoomi, who hates stinky, hot kimchi even though the dish is an intrinsic part of her Korean family. Only big kids eat kimchi, and Yoomi wants to be big - so therefore, she must come up with a way of eating the hated product in this engrossing tale.

Tundra Books
350 Front Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 3B6

Davide Cali's Cindrella and the Furry Slippers (9781101918982, $17.99) is illustrated by Raphaelle Barbanegre and tells of a downtrodden girl who longs to go to the ball. She decides to take matters into her own hands, finding a wonderful dress, an ad for a Fairy Godmother, and lovely shoes - but nothing turns out right. Everything is different: can she make imminent failure a success? A fun, unusual take on the Cinderella legend shows a young girl determined to take matters into her own hands, even if her efforts at first produce dubious results. Julie Kraulis' A Pattern for Pepper (9781101917561, $16.99) tells of a different kind of dress snafu as a girl gets a dress made for a special occasion, and is faced with the confusing job of choosing a pattern for it. Pepper is demanding, and all the patterns she considers seem to have problems. Will there be any fabric or pattern suitable for her interests? Kids receive an easy primer on fabric and style in a fun story of a girl's search for the ideal pattern

The Fiction Shelf

The Painting
Charis Cotter
Tundra Books
350 Front Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 3B6
9781101918876, $16.99,

The Painting begins with the story of a mother and daughter who are very different, but evolves into a ghost story when Annie finds a lighthouse painting in their attic, and is especially drawn to it given that she, herself, is a budding artist. A car accident leads Annie to discover there's something more going on with the mysterious painting her mother so loathes, and when her mother is threatened, she discovers the painting may hold the only key to recovery. Why can Annie travel through a painting - and what does it have to do with her mother? An engrossing story evolves which will attract middle school students and beyond.

Mosquitoes Don't Bite Me
Pendred Noyce
Tumblehome Learning Inc.
c/o Independent Publishers Group
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781943431304, $16.95,

Mosquitoes Don't Bite Me presents an unusual protagonist in the form of half-Kenyan seventh-grader Nala, whose mother is in a wheelchair. Nala has an unusual condition: mosquitoes don't bite her - ever. This, in and of itself, wouldn't seem to be a big deal; but her friend's father is head of a large drug company, and when he discovers the truth about her during a school project, she becomes involved in a mosquito research effort that brings her to her family homeland, Kenya, to consider mosquito reactions in her father's family. A kidnapping, the plight of peoples affected by deadly mosquitoes that carry malaria, and the quest for a new insect repellant that holds the power to change lives contributes to a book that reaches far beyond the story of one girl's strange condition and into the social and political struggles of an African nation. Mosquitoes Don't Bite Me may sound complicated for a middle-grade read, but its insights are perfectly tailored for ages 9-12; from its discussions of sickle cell anemia and other health challenges to circumstances of poverty, health, and a personal hunt for truth and identity.

Heather Camlot
Red Deer Press
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
195 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario, Canada, L3R 4T8
9780889955486, $12.95, PB, 240pp,

It is 1946 in a poor Jewish neighborhood in Montreal where a few dollars equals a fortune, and no matter where you go you will find the best home cooking anywhere on Earth. It is also a million miles away from the posh mansions on the other side of town. But 12-year-old Joey Grosser can still hope. On the other side of town something incredible is happening. Jackie Robinson is playing for the Montreal Royals. And he's going to change the world. If Jackie can do that, then there is hope that a poor Jewish kid from The Plateau can succeed as well. An original, superbly crafted, and impressively entertaining novel for young readers ages 10 to 18, "Clutch" by Heather Camlot is unreservedly and wholeheartedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as school and community library collections.

Mask of Shadows
Linsey Miller
Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781492647492, $17.99, HC, 352pp,

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class -- and the nobles who destroyed their home. When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand (the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears) Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge. But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive. A consistently riveting and entertaining novel from cover to cover, "Mask of Shadows" reveals author Linsey Miller has having a impressively flair for originality, as well as a gift for deftly crafted, truly memorable characters. While unreservedly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to high school and community library young adult fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mask of Shadows" is also available in a paperback edition (9781492660897, $10.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Keys to Freedom
K. D. Gennaro
Saddleback Educational Publishing Inc.
3120-A Pullman Street, Cosa Mesa, CA 92626-4564
9781680210569, $9.95, PB, 168pp,

"Make just one bad decision and you can ruin your life. That's what I did. I caught my mom using heroin. My boyfriend dumped me. Burning with desperation, I agreed to Genie's plan to steal a car. Ended up at Buckeye Village the Ohio correctional facility for girls." So begins "Keys to Freedom", a riveting, character-driven YA novel by K. D. Gennaro. "Keys to Freedom" remains just as compelling to the final page, and is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to both highschool and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Keys to Freedom" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

The World's Greatest Adventure Machine
Frank L. Cole
Delacorte Books
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780399552823, $16.99, HC, 320pp,

CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World's Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it. There's Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There's Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Internet sensation. Nika's wealthy grandfather isn't too pleased about her participation. And Cameron, he'll be the first to tell you, is a certified genius. The whole world is watching. But as the kids set off on their journey, they begin to realize that there is perhaps more to their fellow contest winners than meets the eye. And the Adventure Machine? It might just have a mind of its own! A deftly written action/adventure novel for young readers ages 9 to 12, "The World's Greatest Adventure Machine" by Frank L. Cole will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to both elementary school and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The World's Greatest Adventure Machine" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Girl with the Red Balloon
Katherine Locke
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320, Park Ridge, IL 60068
9780807529331, $16.99, HC, 288pp,

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she's caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall -- but even to the balloon makers, Ellie's time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything (including her only way home) o stop the process. "The Girl with the Red Balloon" is a simply riveting read from cover to cover and showcases author Katherine Locke's genuine flair for originality, deftly created characters, and consistently gripping storytelling. While very highly recommended, especially for highschool and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Girl with the Red Balloon" is also available in a paperback edition (9780807529379, $9.99) and a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

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

Erika L. Sanchez's I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (9781524700485, $17.99) tells of Julia, a daughter who does not fit the cultural ideal of a perfect daughter, unlike her sister Olga, who stayed home to care for their parents. Everything changes when an accident forces Julia to assume some of Olga's duties - and to face a family secret that could change everything she's thought about immigration, Mexican-American heritage, and the legacy of being a dutiful daughter. There is no better time than now for the acquisition and reading of this thought-provoking book. D.J. MacHale's Black Moon Rising (9781101932575, $16.99) is an unusual blend of humor and adventure as it tells of Marcus, an agent of the Library which is filled with mysteries and stories that go on and on until Marcus and his friends can finish them. Accidents, a school facing a rash of bad luck, and a possible confrontation with witchcraft keep this chronicle eerie, engrossing, and fun.

The Board Book Shelf

Loblolly, Loblolly, You're So Tall
Mommy Moo Moo, a.k.a. Debbie Barbuto, author
Dave Hill, illustrator
Damara Publishing, LLC
9780983158400 $9.99

"Loblolly, Loblolly, You're So Tall" is a lyrical paean to beautiful loblolly pines. As a board book, "Loblolly..." is written in brief, poetic descriptive phrases on detailed illustrations that combine the real and the natural with tiny touches of fantasy, inspired by the subject. Very young children will appreciate the comparisons of the loblolly to candles on a birthday cake, or giant bottle brushes, or even giant cotton candy. Tiny fairies decorate the long trunks and higher branches, while cheery clouds with faces sweep by the grove of loblolly pines. "Gently rocking. Swaying individually or all in unison. Independent and connected. Needles reaching out to catch sunshine, the wind, and nature's music. Pinecones. Little works of art. Prickly. Reminders of fall. Similar to pineapples. A sign of welcome." "Loblolly, Loblolly, You're So Tall" is an exquisite poetic nature board book that has deep appeal for all ages. As promised, this lovely board book and series connects people with people, people with nature, and people with the earth.

The Autism Shelf

We're Amazing 1,2,3!
Leslie Kimmelman
Golden Books
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9781524766214, $10.99,

We're Amazing 1,2,3! A Story About Friendship and Autism introduces the newest Sesame Street character, Julia, who is Elmo's special friend. They share a lot of the same interests, but Julia has autism, and so she interacts with others differently. Elmo explains these differences to Abby, who at first finds Julia hard to understand - and young readers receive a fine introduction in a fun story that will benefit from parental read-aloud or good reading skills. Parents can use it to introduce kids to the idea of autism and how autistic kids interact differently with peers.

The Bilingual Shelf

Agua, Aguita / Water, Little Water
Jorge Tetl Argueta, author
Felipe Ugalde Alcantara, illustrator
Pinata Books
c/o Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558858541, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

"Agua, Aguita/ Water, Little Water" is a beautiful, poetic, trilingual ode to the life-giving force of water, in which author Jorge Argueta presents in English, Spanish and Nahuat as he describes the life cycle of water from the perspective of one drop. From its birth deep in Mother Earth, Little Water climbs to the surface, passing through roots and rocks, light and darkness. Finally, the tiny bead of water makes it to the top and rests, "a sigh of morning dew, hanging on the tips of leaves / on spider webs / or on the petals / of flowers." The droplet becomes a river, a lake, an ocean, ultimately climbing to the sky and turning into a cloud. Then, "drop by drop / I return singing / to our Mother Earth. I am Little Water. / I am life." With stunningly beautiful illustrations by Felipe Ugalde Alcantara that depict the mountains, rocks, vegetation and animals of the natural world, this extended poem about the importance of water reflects Argueta's indigenous roots and his appreciation for nature. Containing the English and Spanish text on each page, the entire poem appears at the end in Nahuat, the language of Argueta's Pipil-Nahua ancestors. Two added benefits of "Agua, Aguita / Water, Little Water" is firstly as an encouragement to young children ages 4 to 7 to create their own poems about the natural world, and secondly to begin conversations about the interconnected web of life. "Agua, Aguita / Water, Little Water" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community collections.

Arturo and the Bienvenido Feast
Anne Broyles, author
K. E. Lewis, illustrator
Maru Cortes, translator
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455622832, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Arturo and his grandmother return in this charming bilingual sequel. Abue Rosa and Arturo are making a welcome dinner for Tia Ines' new fiance using plantains, pollo, and pastel. With a bit of creativity, Arturo takes charge and creates a welcome feast like no other. Charming illustrations infused with the colors of the Southwest bring this touching story to life. A glossary at the end provides explanations and pronunciation for key words. A simply delightful bilingual (English/Spanish) picture book story by Anne Broyles, children ages 3 to 8 will thoroughly enjoy the charming full color illustrations by K. E. Lewis. Impressively entertaining from beginning to end, "Arturo and the Bienvenido Feast" is enthusiastically recommended for family, preschool, daycare center, and community library Bilingual Picture Book collections.

The Christian Shelf

The World Jesus Knew
Mark Olson, author
Jemima Maybank, illustrator
Sparkhouse Family
510 Marquette Ave. 7th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402
9781506425009, $19.99, HC, 64pp,

Jesus often told stories using everyday objects to help his listeners understand life with God. But for most of us, the deep imagery and meaning behind those objects has been lost to history. "The World Jesus Knew: A Curious Kid's Guide to Life in the First Century" helps children ages 8 to 11 to discover the world Jesus lived in through maps, charts, graphs, and other infographic elements. They'll learn about the culture Jesus lived in -- including his Jewish religion, the power of the ruling Roman Empire, the role of fishermen and carpenters and shepherds. "The World Jesus Knew" is an invitation to explore the stories of Jesus in their cultural context, bringing new life to familiar biblical events. While "The World Jesus Knew" is beautifully illustrated book that will be a family favorite that kids and adults will come back to over and over again, it is also highly recommended for both Sunday School and community library picture book collections

Twitch and the Invisible Wind
Thomas Boto & Julie Boto, authors
Andrea Werntz, illustrator
Sparkhouse Family
510 Marquette Avenue, 7th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402
9781506433059, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

"Twitch and the Invisible Wind" is the picture book story of a little owl named Twitch who is trying to learn how to fly. His friends have lots of advice, but they can t seem to help Twitch get off the ground. Finally, they realize he's afraid. How can he trust the air to hold him up when he can t even see it? With help from his friends, Twitch begins to notice that the air is always there, showing up in the soft breeze, the wild wind, even the little gusts that help him get off the ground. The wind reminds Twitch and his friends that God is like the wind always with us and showing up in surprising ways. A thoroughly charming story with a positive underlying value message, "Twitch and the Invisible Wind" is an impressively entertaining and original tale for children ages 2 to 5 that is unreservedly and wholeheartedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. Also very highly recommended by the team of authors Thomas and Julie Boto, in collaboration with illustrator Andrea Werntz is "Joey and the Shining Star" (9781506433042, $12.99, HC, 32pp), another wonderfully entertaining title in their simply outstanding 'Owlegories' picture book series for young children.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Talking to God
Wisdom Tales Press
1501 E. Hillside Dr., Bloomington, IN 47401
97819377896694, $17.95,

Talking to God: Prayers for Children from the World's Religions considers how different faiths pray, and goes far beyond most Western considerations to include Shintaoists, Africans, American Indians, and Buddhists. Lovely drawings with the Demi trademark of color and detail supplement a collection of several short prayers from major world religions and illustrations that lend particularly well to parental read-aloud and discussion.

The Psychology Shelf

Mindset Matters
Bryan Smith, author
Lisa Griffin, illustrator
Boys Town Press
14100 Crawford Street, Boys Town, Nebraska 68010
9781944882129 $10.95

From Without Limits, Boys Town Press series of kid friendly books that teach social skills, "Mindset Matters" is all about overcoming internal obstacles to work for success. Amelia became discouraged while trying to put together a swing set because it was difficult and unfamiliar, a kid resistant task. She said "I quit!" Her Dad encouraged her to exchange her Down-in-the-Dumps attitude, characterized by a negative attitude, excuses, and the statement "I'll never be good at that," for a Gonna-get-it-Done attitude, characterized by a positive attitude, determination, and the statement "I'm not good at that...YET." After consideration, Amelia took her father's advice and worked hard at task streamlining, dividing a big project into small steps, and keeping at the tasks until they were completed. She built the swing set, with her father's good advice and help! Later Amelia discovered the Gonna-get-it-Done attitude could work on difficult math problems, learning new skills like skateboarding, and even fishing! Amelia became an example of inspiration to her brother and even to her Dad. The final page of "Mindset Matters" offers a list of Tips for Parents and Educators that are extremely valuable, plus reference for more parenting information at Bright, cheery illustrations and bold story type keep the action positive and moving for young readers in need of positive attitude adjustment.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales
Hans Christian Andersen, author
Kay Nielsen, illustrator
Racehorse Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781631581335, $19.99, HC, 288pp,

This lovely edition of fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen features color and black and white illustrations by Danish artist Kay Nielsen as well as all new foreword by Joan D. Vinge. There is an otherworldly quality in Nielsen's art-deco styled pieces that provide adventurous and vibrant versions of these sixteen classic fairy tale stories. The art still feels completely fresh and unique in this collection of masterworks featuring including "The Nightingale," "The Red Shoes," "The Snow Queen," and others. These enchanting stories are wonderful for children, and will have great appeal to collectors of fine art. A new generation of children, as well as their parents experiencing these classic stories again, will deeply enjoy this beautiful new edition of Hans Christian Andersen's wonderfully entertaining and enduringly popular fairy tales. Simply stated, "Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales" is unreservedly recommended for family, community and academic library collections.

Sam Gayton
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781561458066, $16.95, HC, 264pp,

There's an island in the world where everything is small! One of its inhabitants is Lily. She is a girl who is three inches tall with eyes like drops of dew. Her clothes are cut from handkerchiefs and stitched with spider silk. But for half her life, Lily has been trapped in a birdcage while her giant kidnapper sits beside her, writing in a leather-bound book the size of a house. But tonight Lily is escaping. She is going home. to her native land of Lilliput. Inspired by Gulliver's Travels, "Lilliput" by Sam Gayton is an exhilarating and original adventure filled with cunning escape plans, evil clock makers, and talkative parrots. Young readers ages 8 to 12 can join Lily as she travels through 18th century London over rooftops, down chimneys, and into chocolate shops on a journey to find the one place in the world where she belongs -- the fabled land of Lilliput from which she had been so careless abducted. While very highly recommended, especially for elementary school and community library Middle Reader Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lilliput" is also available in a paperback edition (9781682630068, $8.95).

Walk, Shepherdess, Walk
Barrett Cobb, illustrator/performer/arranger
Dog Ear Publishing
4011 Vincennes Road, New Augusta, IN 46268-3005
9781457548949 $8.98

Based upon an American folk song titled "A Lamb's Tale," "Walk, Shepherdess, Walk" is a beautiful book of lovely watercolor paintings of scenes from the song lyrics, which tell of a gentle journey of two close friends and a companion lamb in search of four special sheep, the ram with the ebony horn, the gold -footed ewe, the silver fleeced lamb, and the wether with the crystal ball who takes the sheep home at night. The paintings help explore a sub -story, in which the girl's little lamb becomes tired and unhappy and envious of her mistress' attention, which is being given to the shepherdess and all four of the special sheep. Lovely pastel water colors paintings help embellish the story, which is told in song lyrics and in the recorded arrangement of the song, available at The multi talented Barrett Cobb is illustrator, composer, arranger, and music performer on flute, piano, and voice. "Walk, Shepherdess, Walk" is an excursion into beauty which invites children of all ages to follow. The lyrical, sunny, island scenes painted are taken from the artist's experience visiting the Greek island of Paros.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Stitch Camp
Nicole Blum & Catherine Newman
Storey Kids
c/o Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612127507, $19.95, PB, 208pp,

Kids ages 9 to 14 with an interest in handicrafts are hungry for hands-on guidance in creating stylish wearables and practical objects, or hacking and customizing existing ones. In "Stitch Camp: 18 Crafty Projects for Kids & Tweens - Learn 6 All-Time Favorite Skills: Sew, Knit, Crochet, Felt, Embroider & Weave", needlecraft experts Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman get them started with complete instructions for mastering six favorite fiber crafts. Step-by-step photos teach the kids the basics of how to sew, knit, crochet, felt, embroider, and weave, plus how to make three projects for each craft. From woven patches and a knitted backpack to embroidered merit badges and a crocheted bracelet, the fresh, kid-approved projects encourage creative variations and build confidence along with valuable life skills. Profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "Stitch Camp" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Children's Handicraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Stitch Camp" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Invasion of the Scorp-Lions!
Bruce Hale
Disney Hyperion
125 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
9781484713235, $14.99,

Invasion of the Scorp-Lions! will reach elementary to early middle grade readers with its story of young monster hunters who suspect something is awry at the local elementary school - again. This third installment to Bruce Hale's Monstertown Mystery series stands as nicely on its own as it does as part of the series, offering a spooky story not about ghosts, but about monsters. Black and white drawings pepper a story that evolves to be about life changes in additional to monster threats - changes that may mean Carlos and Benny will discover their friendship and connections challenged in the course of solving both a monster issue and the dual challenges of being a hero and a student at the same time.

Michael Okon
Wordfire Press LLC
PO Box 1840, Monument, CO 80132
9781614756316, $27.47, HC, 226pp,

Wyatt Baldwin's senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He's not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He'd much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she's dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn't stand a chance. But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville. With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong? Very highly recommended for high school and community library YA Fiction collections, "Monsterland" showcases author Michael Okon's genuine flair for originality and deftly crafted fantasy fiction for young readers ages 14 to 18. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Monsterland" is also available in a paperback edition (9781614755944, $14.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Last Chance
Gregg Hurwitz
Tor Teens
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780765382696, $17.99, HC, 384pp,

The Rain brothers fight for the survival of humanity in "Last Chance", the thrilling sequel to author Gregg Hurwitz's YA novel "The Rains". In "Last Chance" we return to Creek's Cause to follow the Rains brothers as they fight an alien threat that has transformed everyone over the age of 18 into ferocious, zombie-like beings. Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity's only hope for salvation. While very highly recommended for highschool and community library YA Fiction collections, "Last Chance" once again showcases novelist Gregg Hurwitz's genuine flair for the action/adventure fantasy genre. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Last Chance" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). Librarians should be aware that "Last Chance" is also available as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781501238574, $17.99).

A Throne for Sisters
Morgan Rice
Privately Published
9781640291720, $11.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle

A Throne for Sisters is Book One in a new young adult fantasy series that opens with two teens stuck in a terrible orphanage. Sophia and Kate long to escape, and though they have a mutual goal and the shared experience of being unwanted in the world, each harbors different dreams of how they will find love once they leave the confines of their prison. The story line is reminiscent of Joan Aiken's Wolves of Willoughby Chase, with its brooding world of pain and change and the plight faced by two orphans who challenge both the outer world and themselves; but A Throne for Sisters is less black and white in its presentations of who is the villain and who the victim under such circumstances. Some other stories may sound similar; but in the end it's the evolutionary process of the characters and how they define and direct their positions in the world which makes the tale - and if A Throne for Sisters is any indication, this powerful opener to the series will produce a combination of feisty protagonists and challenging circumstances to thoroughly involve not just young adults, but adult fantasy fans who seek epic stories fueled by powerful friendships and adversaries.

The American History Shelf

Fault Lines in the Constitution
Cynthia Levinson & Sanford Levinson
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781561459452, $19.95, HC, 192pp,

Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the US Constitution. In "Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today", the husband-and-wife team of children's book author Cynthia Levinson and constitutional law scholar Sanford Levinson take young readers ages 11 to 15 back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced -- then they offer possible solutions. Such currently controversial issues as the Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the voting rules of the U. S. Senate came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787 -- and we are still experiencing the ramifications. Each individual chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitution's creation begins with a story (all but one of them true) that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today" is unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library American History collections in general, and U. S. Constitution supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The World History Shelf

Innovation Nation
David Johnston and Tom Jenkins
Tundra Books
350 Front Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 3B6
9780735263017, $19.99,

Innovation Nation: How Canadian Innovators Made the World...Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, Happier is recommended for U.S. audiences for both its discussion of innovative processes and how they can do good in the wider world, and for Canada's contributions to this world. Relatively few books about the innovators and masterminds of other countries are offered to U.S. audiences. Pair illustrations by John Holinaty with a lovely in-depth discussion for ages 8-12 for an exceptional survey.

The Self-Help Shelf

Tessie Tames Her Tongue
Melissa Martin, author
Charles Lehman, illustrator
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674
9781631981333, $14.99, HC, 36pp,

Tessie is bright and eager to share all the stories about her life. She talks to her parents, her little brother, the bus driver, her teacher, and her classmates. But when she gets chatty, she's loud, she talks with her mouth full of food, and she doesn't give anyone else a chance to say what's on their minds. After her little brother complains and her classmates ignore her, Tessie knows it's time to tame her talkative tongue. With help from her school counselor, Tessie learns to talk less and listen more. Deftly written by Melissa Martin and charmingly illustrated by Charles Lehman, and very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "Tessie Tames Her Tongue: A Book About Learning When to Talk and When to Listen" will have a very special appeal for children ages 5 to 9.

Meditate With Me
Mariam Gates
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
03899186615, $17.99,

Meditate With Me: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Journey is illustrated by Margarita Surnaite, who provides a practical step-by-step guide designed with youngsters ages 4-8 in mind. Kids learn how to pay attention to their breathing, their bodies, and what makes for relaxation as the discussion uses five animal friends to support an easy refrain suitable for meditation. Few titles directed to this age group include such basic, easy information, opening new doors for the young.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Science Comics: Dogs - From Predator to Protector
Andy Hirsch
First Second
175 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781626727687 $12.99 pbk / $9.22 Kindle

Although the excellent "Science Comics" graphic novel series is written to be accessible to young adults ages 9-13, readers of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy learning about natural history, scientific discoveries, and much more. Science Comics: Dogs - From Predator to Protector reveals the true story about how dogs were domesticated (to the best of modern scientific knowledge), how genetics and evolution have shaped the species, and why dogs behave the way the do. The guide for this educational journey is an enthusiastic mutt eager to share all he knows about canines - when he's not distracted by a bouncing yellow ball! "We [dogs] don't run the quickest quarter mile... but we've got stamina! Once the miles start racking up... we can't be beat! In fact, for anything over ten miles on land, dogs are maybe the fastest animal in the world!" In addition to being educational, Dogs - from Predator to Protector is just plain fun to browse, and enthusiastically recommended for public and school library collections.

My Little Pony The Movie
Screenplay by Meghan McCarthy, Rita Hsiao, and Michael Vogel
Adaptation by Justin Eisinger
IDW Publishing
2765 Truxton Road, San Diego, CA 92106
9781684051168 $7.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle

My Little Pony The Movie is a pocket-sized, full-color graphic novel adaptation of the theatrical movie featuring beloved anthropomorphic characters from the "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" television series. Although the series is intended for children, its quality writing, catchy music, and beautiful animation give it an all-ages appeal! In My Little Pony The Movie, princess Twilight Sparkle and her friends must work together to free Equestria from a surprise attack by the Storm King, and his ferocious new lieutenant... an Equestrian unicorn? The beautiful art superbly captures the silver screen adventure! My Little Pony The Movie is enthusiastically recommended as a gift to encourage young girls to read, and sure to prove a popular pick for public library children's graphic novel collections.

The Multimedia Shelf

My Mozart Music Book
Natacha Godeau, author
Anne- Kathrin Behl, illustrator
Auzou Books
9782733850671 $14.95

Written and recorded for the enjoyment of children ages 3-7 years, "My Mozart Music Book" contains pastel, whimsical illustrations, descriptions, and recorded 20 second music excerpts for five famous themes from the music of W. A. Mozart. A music box is incorporated into the back cover to be played with each accompanying two board page illustrations. Familiar themes include Bastien and Bastienne, Turkish March, A Little Night Music, Symphony No. 40, and the Magic Flute. Published first in French and then in English, "My Mozart Music Book" is a lovely addition to a juvenile music appreciation board book series for young children. A color cued audio symbol helps differentiate each page's highlighted theme for future replays. "My Mozart Music Book" is an inviting, interactive introduction to enjoying compositions of a famous composer for young children.

Moana: The Beat of Your Heart
Hal Leonard
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing
PO Box 13819, Milwaukee, WI 53213
9781495064791, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Young children will feel the beat inside them when they play along with the Drums of Motunui in "Moana: The Beat of Your Heart", a beautifully illustrated book with online music, video, and drumming allows children to discover beat, rhythm, and the sounds of Motunui's drums through activities and creative play with characters and artwork they'll recognize from the Disney movie Moana. "Moana: The Beat of Your Heart" includes online activities such as: video read-along, audio sing-along, and activities to explore sounds and sound makers. Singing and making music provide important benefits to children as they grown and learn. Very highly recommended for family, school, and community library collections, "Moana: The Beat of Your Heart" will encourage children to be free to explore, play, and develop musical ability at their own pace which can establish a life-long love of music.

Proud Penguin
Story and music by Jamie Purnell
Scruffie Munster Media
9781532328770 $17.99

Proud Penguin is a children's picturebook that comes with a free song download with digital sheet music. Parents and children can sing the rhyming verses together as they read the story of a penguin who wishes he could fly... until he befriends a seagull with an injured wing, and learns the seagull always dreamed of being able to swim like a penguin! A positive story with a message about celebrating one's own strengths and talents, Proud Penguin is highly recommended.

The Audiobook Shelf

Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth
Bill Harley, author and narrator
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781561459421 $16.95

Unabridged and read by award-winning author Bill Harley, Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth is the unabridged audiobook rendition of the sixth book in the Charlie Bumpers series. Young Charlie gets a little too caught up when his classmates brag about their parents' cool jobs, and he claims that his accountant dad is a company bigwig who be the best Career Week speaker ever (possibly by bringing presents for everyone!) Can Charlie persuade his dad to live up to the hype? A rollicking, lively story, Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth is especially recommended for school and public library children's audiobook collections. 2 CDs, 2 hours 25 min.

The Music CD Shelf

It's the Holidays!
Lucy Kalantari and The Jazz Cats
Privately Published
$7.50 CD / $5.00 download

It's the Holidays! is a family-friendly EP album of five original and delightful songs celebrating the end-of-year holidays from Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas. The energetic, upbeat music will appeal to kids and parents alike, and is perfect for getting into the season's spirit. Highly recommended! The tracks are "My Mommy Is a Mummy", "Grateful", "It's Snowing", "It's the Holidays!" and "That's a Wrap".

One Little Song Can Change the World
Kid Pan Alley
Privately Published

One Little Song Can Change the World is a joyous children's music album, featuring original songs co-written by students in ten different schools and Kid Pan Alley founder/artistic director Paul Reisler. A range of vocal and music styles add variety to this delightful and inspiring album, brimming with positive messages and hope for the future. Highly recommended, both for family and public library children's music collections. The tracks are "We Need No Excuse for Dreaming" (4:29), "Skin" (3:26), "I Don't Think So, You're a Bully" (4:09), "Best Friends" (3:31), "One Little Song Can Change the World" (2:22), "Wake Up!" (3:04), "Don't Put Me Down, Or My Dog" (3:00), "No Doubt" (4:00), "I'll Never Change The Way I Feel" (2:46), and "True To Me" (3:41).

The Holocaust Studies Shelf

Music of the Butterfly: A Story of Hope
Ann M. Leis, author
Gail Danziger Klein, author
Patricia Hardwick, illustrator
Bright Sky Press
2365 Rice Blvd., Suite 202, Houston, TX 77005
9781942945567, $19.95, HC, 40pp,

Little Renee is a vibrant eight-year-old Jewish girl living in Hungary when the Nazi army seizes control during World War II. Based on authors Gail Danziger Klein's mother's experience during the Holocaust, "Music of the Butterfly: A Story of Hope" takes young readers ages 9 and older on how one little girl used her imagination and love of music while confined to the ghetto, and eventually, imprisonment in the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp with all its daily atrocities. The colorful illustrations of Patricia Hardwick guide young readers through the metamorphosis of a butterfly as they are simultaneously led through Renee's challenging yet ultimately triumphant journey through otherwise harrowing experiences. Unreservedly recommended, "Music of the Butterfly: A Story of Hope" should be a part of very elementary school and community library picture book collections for children.

Books in Series

Exploring the World of Hummingbirds
Tracy C. Read
Firefly Books Ltd.
9781770859463 $16.95 hc
9781770859432 $6.95 pbk

Exploring the World of Hummingbirds is an educational book written especially for young people ages 8-12. Eye-catching, full-color photographs of these beautiful, tiny, and energetic birds in flight, feeding, or raising their young fill this captivating browse. "The hummingbird uses its tiny feet only for scratching and perching, not for walking or launching into flight." An index rounds out this choice pick for school and public library middle grade collections. Also highly recommended are the other titles in the "Exploring the World" series: "Exploring the World of Alligators and Crocodiles" (9781770859425, $16.95); "Exploring the World of Elephants" (9781770859449, $16.95); and "Exploring the World of Whales" (9781770859487, $16.95).

Be a Document Detective series
Crabtree Publishing Company
350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118

Four new books in this new 'Be a Document Detective' series by Kelly Spence were created to support the C3 Framework for Social Studies state Standards, and introduce young picture book readers in grade 2 to the idea of primary sources and historical research. Kids are encouraged to ask questions and understand the contents, scope, and benefits of primary sources in Be a Speech Detective (9780778730798, $23.60), Be a Photograph Detective (9780778730668, $23.60), Be a Diary Detective (9780778730538, $23.60) and Be an Artifact Detective (9780778730392, $23.60). All the books in this outstanding series feature fun projects, bright, good-size illustrations, and an attention to detail that educate kids on how to assess resources and apply their contents appropriately.

The Time Frame Game
David John, author
Mitee Mite
9780986091902, HC; $9.99
9780986091964 SC; $2.99 / $0.99 Kindle

Available on Google Play and iTunes, "The Time Frame Game" is a fun illustrated book of a game that teaches units of time to young children, ages 3-11. Part of a wonderful educational series titled The Adventures of Mitee Mite, "The Time Frame Game" offers brightly illustrated classic time questions like "How many seconds in a minute?" and "How many days in a year?" with second page illustrated answers. Reading skills may be helpful, but can be minimal. Complimentary apps for each book of the series are available on Google Play and iTunes. Additional titles of the series by the same author and illustrator that are also highly recommended include; "The Shape Game" (9789780986091933, $9.99 HC, $2.99, SC), "The Money Game (9780986091940, $9.99 HC, $2.99, SC)," "The Measuring Game" (9780986091926, $9.99 HC, $2.99, SC), and "The Time Frame Game Advanced" (9780986091957, $9.99 HC, $2.99, SC).

Using Math in Fashion
Christy Mihaly, author
Rosen Publishing Group
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
9781499438628 $31.75 HC, $15.59 PB, 48pp,

"Using Math in Fashion" is an appealing title from the juvenile series, Math You Will Actually Use. There are many examples of practical applications of math in all aspects of fashion. The introduction shows a girl taking measurements with a measuring tape to get an accurate fitting for a garment. Of course, another math application is the cost of fashion, or how to make your fashion dollars go further, covered in chapter 1, Fashion Cents (And Dollars). Getting a perfect fit is covered more thoroughly in chapter 2, The Perfect Fit. Sizing, alterations, and economy measures, such as measure twice and cut once are discussed. Chapter 3 deals with the use of geometry to give shape to fashion ideas. A handy sidebar section highlighted in deep purple is called Try It Yourself. This feature offers practical problems or specific applications of math in fashion, such as how to make a book bag. Make Your Own is the title of chapter 4, which is about fashion conversions, and using commercial sewing patterns to create your own fashion designs at home. This contains a handy illuminated list of steps to follow in making a piece of clothing: "Select your style. Find your size. Gather supplies and materials. Measure and purchase fabric. Follow directions." Chapter 5 describes professional fashion creation in Going Pro With a Prototype. The use of technology, including a computer generated virtual fitting room is explored. chapter 6 deals with the aspect of Making Money in the Fashion Business: Costs, prices, and Profit. Learning to calculate the cost of doing fashion business is essential to success in this aspect of "Using Math in Fashion." In the end pages, explicated answers or keys are found to all the Try it Yourself problems offered, plus a glossary, list of resources for more information, suggestions for further reading, websites, and bibliography. "Using Math in Fashion" will appeal to students of fashion and math age 11-12 and up. Also highly recommended are the following titles from the series Math You Will Actually Use: "Using Math in Cooking" (9781499438666, $31.75 HC, $15.59 PB,) by Richard Barrington, "Using Math in Construction" (9781499438543, $31.75 HC, $15.59 PB), by Colin Wilkinson, and "Using Math in Science" (9781499438703, $31.75 HC, $15.59 PB), by Jeff Mapua.

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