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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 27, Number 10 October 2017 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Halloween Shelf Psychology Shelf
Biography Shelf Picturebook Shelf Board Book Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf ABC Shelf Counting Shelf
Business Shelf Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Music Shelf Christian Shelf
Literary Shelf Activity Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Hobby Shelf
Science Shelf American History Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
LGBT Shelf Books in Series  

Reviewer's Choice

No Head Fred Said: Stay Safe
Stephanie Keegan, author
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
9781684095629, $12.95 PB, $9.99 Kindle, 22pp,

"No Heed Fred Said: Stay Safe" is a vivid safety instruction manual for young children age 4 and up written in memorable verse and illustrated in bright clear rainbow colors. The story offers brief scenes to children that pose danger or possible threat, and asks or offers two possible choices for the best way to react. Some examples are: "No Head Fred Said: if strangers offer you a ride do this instead: Jump inside? Or Run to a friendly adult and hide? (Turn page) Run to a friendly adult and hide!!" There are five separate scenarios offered with clear choices recommended by No Head Fred. Although some of the situations are potentially dangerous and scary, the reassuring patterns of rhyme, color cued illustrations showing best choices, and empowered child figures making wise choices and staying safe all help to send the message of safety first. At the end, five different children who have encountered the five scary, potentially dangerous situations are shown cheering, "You did it !! Yay!!" Racial and cultural diversity are reinforced, as are gender free strengths and survival skills practice. "No Head Fred Said: Stay Safe" is part of an excellent safety series for young children.

Tummy Rumble Quake
Heather L. Beal, author
Jubayda Sagor, illustrator
Train 4 Safety Press
9780998791258, $18.95, HC,
9780998791227, $10.99, PB, $4.99 Kindle,

Second title in a successful juvenile safety series, "Tummy Rumble Quake" is a child's safety procedures manual for earthquakes drills. Written for children ages 4-8 by a military veteran with over 20 years of crisis management and operational planning experience, "Tummy Rumble Quake" sets up a children's classroom for adorable animal children students as a laboratory for teaching accepted standard safety procedures to practice during earthquakes. Along with a class full of eager students, Lily and Niko Rabbit learn to "drop, cover, and hold on," when caught indoors during an earthquake. The also learn similar safety steps to take if caught outside during an earthquake, or even in a car. Procedures are taught in simple statements such as "drop, cover, and hold on," and also in song. "If the room starts to rock, stop what you're doing and drop. Get under cover on the floor; hold on till it's safe once more." Bright colored, cheery illustrations show animal students practicing Great ShakeOut moves and safety procedures with their teacher, Ms Mandy. A calm, non-frightening tone and approach is emphasized throughout the story, which is helpful for kids in dealing with the scary issue of earthquake drills and procedures. At the end of "Tummy Rumble Quake" there are learning questions and activities from Lily and Niko Rabbit, plus safety resources at, to print out a certificate of training completion and more reference information about earthquake safety. Like the first title in this series, "Elephant Wind," "Tummy Rumble Quake" addresses its audience of readers ages 4-8 directly, with gentleness, warmth and caring. Watch for more disaster preparedness titles for tots by this author at Train 4 Safety Press.

Grandma Forgets
Paul Russell, author
Nicky Johnston, illustrator
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
9781925335477, $17.99, HC, 24pp,

When your grandmother can't remember your name it should be sad, but maybe it is just an opportunity to tell her more often how much you love her. The collaborative effort of author Paul Russell and illustrator Nick Johnson, "Grandma Forgets' is the heart-warming picture book story of a family bound by love as they cope with their grandma's dementia. Over the years, the little girl has built up a treasure trove of memories of time spent with Grandma: sausages for Sunday lunch, driving in her sky-blue car to the beach, climbing her apple trees while she baked a delicious apple pie, and her comforting hugs during wild storms. But now, Grandma can't remember those memories. She makes up new rules for old games and often hides Dad's keys. Sometimes Dad is sad because he has to hold onto the memories for both him and his mother now, but fortunately his daughter is only too happy to help him make new memories to share. She might not remember any of their names but she will always know how much she is loved. A warm, hopeful, charming story about a family who sometimes needs to remind their grandmother a little more often than they used to about how much they care, "Grandma Forgets" is unreservedly recommended and a critically important addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8. It should be noted that "Grandma Forgets" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Girl Who Said Sorry
Hayoung Yim, author
Marta M., illustrator
Rhyming Reason Books
9780993717482, $9.99 PB, $2.99 Kindle,

"The Girl Who Said Sorry" is an appealing story in verse about sorting through confusing or conflicting gender expectations, especially for girls. It is a story to inspire girls and help them feel confident and empowered. The examples given reveal a girl trying to understand a complex series of strong double messages frequently encountered by girls as they grow up. Speak your mind, but don't be bossy. Be a winner, but don't make anyone else feel bad. Be yourself, but be a lady... On and on the versed descriptions go, with one response, "So I said sorry..." The turning point comes when the girl realizes it is silly to be apologizing all of the time. She says instead: "If something is my fault, If it was within my power, I will own up to my mistakes Without ever being sour. But for my words and choices That don't hurt anybody else, I will not say 'Sorry' - They're an expression of myself. While I want everyone around me To certainly be happy, All I can do is be myself Without apology!" Whimsical black and white drawings with single colors per page touches of pink, red, yellow, and orange draw the reader into the world of "The Girl Who Said Sorry." This powerful book delivers its message clearly with grace and style, an excellent addition to reading shelves of kids and grownups everywhere.

The Halloween Shelf

Allan Morey, author
Doreen Mulryan, illustrator
Mark Oblinger, music composer
Capstone Publishers
1905 Lookout Drive, N. Mankato, MN 56003
9781684100316, $33.99, Library Binding,

"Halloween" is an imaginative book and CD combo from the Cantata Learning juvenile series that explains and celebrates the holiday of Halloween in verse, song, and appropriately spooky illustrations. The exciting, jaunty song story exemplifies a philosophy of learning that combines music with reading to teach children through physical learning, cognitive learning, and social and emotional learning channels simultaneously. "Halloween" explores unforgettable holiday history and customs while inviting children to celebrate with song, dance and mummery. The poem and song story finishes with a page of printed song lyrics, the written song notation, a glossary, and suggested guided reading activities. Reference to other resources for information on how children celebrate Halloween is included under the To Learn More section. "Pirates dance and witches laugh, "It's time to trick-or-treat!" Vampires prowl and werewolves howl, "Tonight is Halloween!" (Boo) It's time to trick-or-treat! Tonight is Halloween!" For additional Cantata Learning book CD combo titles which are also very highly recommended, please explore the following titles with young readers/singers: "Stop, Drop, and Roll!" (9781684100514, $33.99), by Charles Ghigna, illustrated by Glenn Thomas, music composed by Drew Temperante, "Staying Safe Online" (9781684100491, $33.99), by Shannon McClintock Miller, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, music composed by Emily Arrow, "Making New Friends!" (978163907783, $33.99), by Vita Jimenez, illustrated by Janet Cheeseman, music composed by Drew Temperante, "Birds Can Fly and A Fly Goes Buzz: Tricky, Sticky Words" (9781632907950, $33.99), by Stephen O'Connor, illustrated by Annabel Tempest, music composed by Mark Oblinger, "Alphabet Safari: A Song About Drawing with Letters" (9781684100095, $33.99), by Blake Hoena, illustrated by Tim Palin, music composed by Emily Arrow, "Hop On the Water Cycle" (9781684100354, $33.99), by Nadia Higgins, illustrated by Sara Infante, music composed by Drew Temperante, and "Count by 10 to 100" (9781684100170, $33.99), by Charles Ghigna, illustrated by Misa Saburi, music composed by Mark Oblinger. All titles with accompanying CDs are highly recommended for children between the ages of three and nine years.

The Psychology Shelf

A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers
Holly Brochmann & Leah Bowen, authors
Shirley Ng-Benitez, illustrator
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433827181, $15.95, HC, 32pp,

The collaborative work of authors Holly Brochman, Leah Bowen, and illustrator Shirely Ng-Benitez, "A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers" is a gentle rhyming picture book for children ages 3 to 6 who may be developing anxious feelings but are too young to comprehend the implications. Whether as a family counseling tool or as an aid for parents, "A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers" is easy to use, appealing, and effective for parents to use with their stressed out little ones, and includes calming tools based on science-based strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness principles. The "Note to Caregivers" gives information about recognizing and distinguishing worries and managing anxiety. Unique, special, thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone, organization and presentation, "A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers" is highly and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

My Incredible Talking Body
Rebecca Bowen, author
Lauren Bowen, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
9780997196207, $18.95, HC, 46pp,

The collaborative work of author Rebecca Bowen and artist Lauren Bowen, "My Incredible Talking Body: Learning to Be Calm" is a beautifully illustrated picture book specifically created to help young children understand their emotions and how to manage them. The primary focus of "My Incredible Talking Body" is on cultivating mindfulness of the body's signals about feelings, encouraging acceptance of all types of emotions, and developing strategies for calming strong or uncomfortable feelings. Included in "My Incredible Talking Body" is a learning guide designed especially for parents, educators, counselors, and other adults that are supporting children as they build skills to manage their emotions. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organized and presentation, "My Incredible Talking Body" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, school, and community library collections.

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief
Joanna Rowland, author
Thea Baker, illustrator
Sparkhouse Family
510 Marquette Ave. 7th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402
9781506426723, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

"The Memory Box: A Book About Grief" is told from the perspective of a young child by Joanna Rowland and artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, "The Memory Box" is beautifully illustrated by Thea Baker and will help adults talk about this very difficult topic with children ages 4 to 8. The unique point of view allows the children to imagine the loss of any they have loved, be it a friend, family member, or even a pet. Of special note is a parent guide in the back of this outstanding picture4book that includes information on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box. "The Memory Box: A Book About Grief" is unreservedly and strongly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Biography Shelf

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library
Carole Boston Weatherford, author
Eric Velasquez, illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763680466 $16.99

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library is a full-color children's picturebook about Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (1874-1938), an Afro-Puerto Rican man who devoted his life to collecting books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora. His goal was to shine light on the accomplishments of people of African descent, and their contributions to history. His collection became so large that he turned to the New York Public library, and became curator of the new Division of Negro History Literature and Prints. Today, his legacy is the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library is a true-life story about the importance of preserving and sharing history, and highly recommended especially for school and public library children's collections.

Michael Mahin, author
Evan Turk, illustrator
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481443494, $17.99, HC, 48pp,

Muddy Waters was an African-American blues musician whose fierce and electric sound laid the groundwork for what would become rock and roll. But Muddy Waters was never good at doing what he was told. When Grandma Della said the blues wouldn't put food on the table, Muddy didn't listen. And when record producers told him no one wanted to listen to a country boy playing country blues, Muddy ignored them as well. This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of Mississippi to the smoky juke joints of Chicago and finally to a recording studio where a landmark record was made. Soon the world fell in love with the tough spirit of Muddy Waters. In blues-infused prose by Michael Mahin and soulful illustrations by evan Turk, "Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters" fascinating and inspiring picture book story of struggle, determination, and hope. While unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8, it should be noted that "Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Picturebook Shelf

The Adventures of Alexander T. Frog
Michael Brian O'Hara, author
Thinkstock, illustrations
Archway Publishing
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781480844582, $13.95 PB, $3.99 Kindle, 26pp,

"The Adventures of Alexander T. Frog" is a delightful children's animal fable that encourages self acceptance, self esteem, and celebration of differences and diversity. Alexander was an extremely smart frog, who also became bored easily with his life. Although Alexander could outswim, outjump, and outcatch flies better than any other frog, this was no longer enough for him. He began to wish he could float like a butterfly, fly like a bird, swim underwater like a fish, hop like a bunny rabbit, and run fast like a horse. However, as Alexander T. Frog spoke with each of these creatures, he began to change his mind. Each of them told him he had many special gifts already, and that he was really so much better off than they were. Finally Alexander T. Frog believed his friends, and was convinced that he really was better off being exactly who he was. The bright colored illustrations make pleasant page turning in this contemporary fable of cultivating gratitude and finding contentment with one's lot.

There's A Dragon in my Closet
Dorothea Taylor, author
Charly Palmer, illustrator
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572842274 $17.95

There's A Dragon in my Closet is a charming picturebook about a young boy and the great green dragon that lives in his closet. The dragon always seems to be stirring up messes and making trouble, despite the boy's parents' insistence that dragons are imaginary! Beautiful color artwork adds just the right touch to this delightful read-aloud story that will especially appeal to young dragon fans.

Chicken in the Kitchen
Nnedi Okorafor, author
Mehrdokht Amini, illustrator
Lantana Publishing Ltd
9781911373155, $17.99 HC, $8.99 PB, 32pp,

"Chicken in the Kitchen" is a fascinating, fantastic glimpse of the brilliant, colorful pageantry of a West African, Nigerian Yam Festival holiday through the wide brown eyes of a brave girl named Anyaugo. One night Anyaugo was startled awake by the sounds of a gigantic chicken in her kitchen. Although the size and overwhelming colors and noise of the mega-chicken were frightening, Anyaugo bravely chose to ask the strange Wood Wit who dwelled in all things made of wood to help her make the giant chicken leave the kitchen. Anyaugo was fearful that the giant chicken might eat some of the fantastic yam dishes prepared in the fridge for the New Yam Festival, when all families danced, sang, and celebrated with joy and thankfulness for the harvest. The obscure Wood Wit advised Anyaugo to speak to the chicken in Chickenese, whatever that might sound like. In a brilliant two page painting, small brown Anyauga (wearing a green print dress) and her cat look up at the huge, red, orange, and crimson giant chicken and said, bedazzled, "Hello!" Guess what happened next? The chicken smiled, "the sunniest, shiniest, sweetest smile Anyaugo had ever seen!" Then the Wood Wit began to hum with a drumbeat sound and the chicken signaled to Anyaugo a desire to dance! Anyauga instinctively understood then that the great, brilliant chicken was a powerful masquerade spirit who came to dance and have a midnight snack at the great New Yam Festival. Such visitants are like spirits of the land or water, or ancestors returning to the dance, confirming that death is simply a natural part of life. "Chicken in the Kitchen" ends with a visual riddle, even a cliffhanger that will delight and intrigue young readers ages 4-8. The combination of expert storytelling and fantastic, vivid art make "Chicken in the Kitchen" a powerful and magical experience that enriches the spirits of all who read it.

Little Rosa
Mr. E., author
Colette Alexandratos, illustrator
Perky Penguin Press
9780578180465, $13.95 PB, $20.95, HC,

"Little Rosa" is a charming modern day fable based on the life of the black woman, Rosa Parks, who began the Civil Rights Movement in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, by refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. Delicately illustrated with delightful, humorous colored pencil drawings of Rosa on the bus with various exotic animals, "Little Rosa" tells a perfectly believable story about a little girl who rode the bus to school each day. Monday, when she got on the bus there was a bus full of dirty, pudgy pigs, who shouted at her, "You are not dirty and pudgy like us!...To the back of the bus!" Grudgingly, irritated by the rudeness of the pigs, Rosa walked to the back of the bus. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, it was the same story when Rosa got on the bus, except the bus was filled with rude zebras, seals, and monkeys, all of whom made Rosa sit at the back of the bus because she was not like them. Rosa became more and more annoyed at the animals' rude behavior. On Friday, Rosa confronted a pride of ferocious lions on the bus who began to roar rudely at her "You cannot roar like us!" This time she responded loudly, immediately: "OH YES I CAN! NOW STEP ASIDE AND GIVE ME MY FRONT SEAT!" Amazed, the lions let her sit. From then on little Rosa, who later became big Rosa, knew she could handle anything. The wonderful fable of "Little Rosa" is appealing and funny for young children to read. It also lays the ground work for important dialogues and discussions about differences, discrimination, racial oppression, and equal rights. It is a wonderful teaching opportunity as well as a fun modern fable for kids of all ages.

Please Turn Green!
Donald W. Kruse, author
Mattea and Sajen Grandaw, illustrators
Zaccheus Entertainment
9780998519111, $14.95, PB, 45 pages,

"Please Turn Green!" is a fun, exciting story about practicing courtesy even with mechanical servants. Written in humorous narrative verse, "Please Turn Green!" chronicles a long story about a stubborn traffic light which resisted all attempts to force it to change from red to green. A little girl who wants to ride her tricycle across the street to the drugstore to buy gum asked the stoplight, "Why are you different ... from other lights I've seen?" "Because I'm stubborn," said the light, "and I'm feeling mean!" A cavalcade of mechanics, policemen, light fixers and engineers arrive in succession, attempting to fix the stubborn traffic light, but to no avail. Cars, trucks, and a school bus pile up waiting impatiently for the light to turn green. Hours go by and frustration mounts. Finally, the little girl remembers a lesson in manners taught to her by her mother. She asks the traffic light, "Will you turn green, please?" "Suddenly the light hummed and whirred/ and it shook, it seemed./ And then that light/ turned bright green!" The best part comes when the little girl remembers to say "Thank you," to the light. In fact, she says it twice for emphasis. "Please Turn Green!" is filled with charming, expressive crayola portraits of cars, pedestrians, drivers, and cranky stoplights. All art was created by sisters Mattea (age 6) and Sajen (age 8) Grandaw, the younger of whom has an upper limb difference of missing three fingers. "Please Turn Green!" is a fantastic new title by a beloved and prolific children's book author.

Elliot and the Impossible Fish
Rebecca North, author
Laurel Keating, illustrator
Tuckamore Books
c/o Creative Publishers
9781771031028, $12.95, PB, 32pp,

"Elliot and the Impossible Fish" is a tall tale of the Northern Atlantic, involving a boy's dream of going fishing with his father on the ocean. Elliot's father was a fisherman, but when Elliot asked him to take him ocean fishing, he said "No, Elliot. You can come when you are older. Right now you are too little." But Elliot did not want to go fishing on a lake. He wanted to go on the ocean where he could catch a GIGANTIC fish. So Elliot drifted off to sleep without realizing it and had an incredible fishing adventure! His bed became a boat, his friends became sea creatures and birds, like a puffin, a jaeger, a seal, and even a whale. Elliot had wonderful conversations with each creature about his dream of catching the biggest fish. Just when Elliot thought he was catching the biggest fish ever in his boat, ...... he woke up. A fantastic two page illustration shows an amazed little boy sitting in his bed, which is dripping with seaweed, littered with crabs, feathers, shells, stones, and his stuffed puffin and whale toys. Young readers will marvel at the power of a boy's dreams, while they enjoy Elliot's dream adventures on the high seas.

Moose's Roof
Jennifer Maruno, author
Laurel Keating, illustrator
Tuckamore Books
c/o Creative Publishers
9781771031004, $12.95, PB, 32pp,

"Moose's Roof" is a humorous children's story about a moose who wished for a roof, only to discover that having a permanent roof fixture attached to his antlers was to become an uncomfortable burden. Moose had kind friends, including Bear, Squirrel, and Beaver. they kindly assisted Moose by building a roof of sticks, branches, leaves, earth, and grass. However, Moose discovered living with a permanent roof fixture on his antlers became a serious handicap in the comfort department. "Moose's Roof" is illustrated with comic, expressive animal friends who care almost too much about each other. Children' will enjoy the ridiculous situations Moose encounters with his friend-made roof, only to agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion: "The sky over my head is roof enough for me!"

Night Creepers
Linda Stanek, author
Shennen Bersani, illustrator
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781607183228, $17.95,

"Night Creepers" is a beautifully illustrated, natural nocturnal animals litany presented in a sleepy succession of poetry -illuminated portraits with additional animal facts in sidebars on each page. Children will love being prepared for their sleeping time while learning about these species of nocturnal animals. Animals included in "Night Creepers" include red fox, wolf, bat, flying squirrel, skunk, opossum, bullfrog, firefly, racoon, owl, bobcat, and white-tailed deer. Like all titles of this natural educational series, "Night Creepers" ends with a section called For Creative Minds which offers further teaching activities for use in a classroom or at home, including sorting, diurnal, crepuscular and nocturnal animal activities, animal activities, and a matching game called Match the Eyes. Additional educational resources are available online at, "Night Creepers" is highly recommended for children age 3 and up.

Goodnight Spaceman
Michelle Robinson, author
Nick East, illustrator
Cady Coleman, forward
Barron's Educational Series
250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppage, NY 11788
9781438010861, $7.99 pb,

"Goodnight Spaceman" is a bedtime story from an educational series with a payload of space age information and education, in addition to glamorous space related skills, knowledge, and activities. An inspiring forward written by Colonel Cady Coleman, PH.D. and former NASA astronaut invites children to imagine themselves as explorers on the crew of Spaceship Earth, with abilities to do many fun jobs that explorers must do. Written in daring, descriptive verse and illustrated in a splash of starry, night-colored skies of space with travelers featured, "Goodnight Spaceman" is the perfect bedtime story for kids who dream of space and other exploration. The image of a goodnight space trip on a rocket ship pervades this bedtime adventure, with featured illustrations of genuine space shuttles, personnel, and equipment. Inclusive in its message, encouraging both sexes to follow their dreams of space exploration, "Goodnight Spaceman" promises to help young readers "blast off to dreamland " with this unique space lullaby story. "Goodnight shuttle, Goodnight base,/ Goodnight deepest, darkest space./ Zooming through the Milky Way...../ Goodnight spaceman, far away."

Prisoner #147
Diane S. Mautner, author
Nazar Horokhivskyi, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
9781631778544, $14.95, HC, 38pp,

Engagingly written by Diane S. Mautner and charmingly illustrated by Nazar Horokhivskyi, "Prisoner #147" is the original and 'kid friendly' story of how a raccoon got and arrested for stealing food, and ended up being held in a dark cell. Will he ever be released? Impressively original and consistently entertaining from beginning to end, "Prisoner #147" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.

Zelda's Big Adventure
Marie Alafaci, author
Shane McG, illustrator
Clarion Books
c/o Houghton Mifflin
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9781328660817, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Zelda has big plans -- she wants to be the first chicken in space. She leaves nothing to chance as she builds her spaceship, plans her experiments, and packs for the journey. All she needs now is a little help from her friends, and if they won't step up, Zelda will just have to manage on her own! Eye-popping art by Shane McG showcases an original picture book story by Marie Alafaci of perseverance and ingenuity proving that for a plucky hen like Zelda, the sky is never the limit! An absolutely charming and unfailingly entertaining read for children ages 4 to 7, "Zelda's Big Adventure" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Hooray for Books!
Brian Won
Houghton Mifflin Company
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9780544748026, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

Turtle has looked everywhere for his favorite book, but it's nowhere to be found! Maybe his book was borrowed by Zebra, Owl, Giraffe, Elephant, or Lion. As Turtle searches, his friends offer to share their own favorite stories, but other books just won't do. Or is it time for Turtle to try something different? Charmingly written and illustrated by Brian Won, "Hooray for Books!" is a simply wonderful picture book tribute for children ages 4 to 7 to books, reading, and the enjoyment of sharing stories with others. Original, entertaining, thoroughly 'kid friendly', "Hooray for Books!" is enthusiastically and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hooray for Books!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Learning to Fly: By Mebo
Agatha Bobblesbee
Sophie's Tale Publishing
9780998962801, $16.95, HC, 24pp,

In this colorful and endearing read-to-me children's picture book, Mebo the blue panda looks, thinks, and dreams a little different than the average bear. Independent little Mebo doesn't see limitations in the world around him, or in the sky. When Mebo sees other animals and insects flying, the curious little blue bear wonders, "Why can't I fly?" . Agatha Bobblesbee is an author, illustrator, conservationist and world renown expert in the study of the elusive blue panda bear. With "Learning to Fly: By Mebo" she shares with children ages 1 to 6 the story of Mebo, a young panda who wants to join the butterflies, birds, and balloons in the sky. But, first Mebo has to learn how to fly. With a wink from the moon, Mebo finds a way to soar through the skies. An enthusiastically recommended and charmingly original picture book story, "Learning to Fly: By Mebo" will prove to be an enduringly popular and entertaining addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Learning to Fly: By Mebo" is available in a paperback edition (9780998962818, $11.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Edmond, The Thing
Astrid Desbordes, author
Marc Boutavant, illustrator
Enchanted Lion Books
67 West Street, Studio 317A, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11222
9781592702176, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Edmond and George Owl encounter a mysterious Thing while out walking. Terrified, they run to take cover in Edmond's house. But with the help of some fortifying green cookies and an excellent disguise, they come to understand that the Thing is not so terrifying after all. An impressively original and wonderfully entertaining picture book tale for children ages 4 to 8, "Edmond, The Thing" is the collaborative effort of author Astrid Desbordes and illustrator Marc Boutavant. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "Edmond, The Thing" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended!

When a Wolf Is Hungry
Christine Naumann-Villemin, author
Kris Di Glacomo, illustrator
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802854827, $16.00, HC, 34pp,

Edmond Bigsnout, lone wolf that he is, loves his solitary cabin in the woods. But lately he's been craving urban rabbit for dinner, so he travels into the city to catch one. Unfortunately, the rabbit has a lot of neighbors -- some of whom mistake Edmond for a kind and helpful resident! Perhaps Edmond can become a good neighbor, despite his bad intentions! "When a Wolf Is Hungry" is a darkly humorous and original tale with a clever twist ending. The collaborative storytelling effort of author Christine Naumann-Villemin, supported by the unique art of illustrator Kris Di Glacomo, "When a Wolf Is Hungry" is appropriate and recommended for children ages 4 to 8. Family, school, and community library picture book collections will appreciated the addition of "When a Wolf Is Hungry" for young children who will devour this original story about a wolf who decides that if you can't eat them, join them!

Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation
David Barrow
250 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, NY 11788
9781438050096, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

Fergus Barnaby is so excited! Mom, Dad, and Fergus are about to go away on vacation for a few days of fun in the sun. But first his Dad tells him to pack everything he needs, and now Fergus has a problem. Fred has his bucket and shovel, Emily Rose has his swimming goggles, and Teddy has his kite. Fergus lives on the first floor, but his friends -- and the toys he let them borrow are all upstairs! So many stairs, so little time! Will Fergus and Daddy remember to pack everything they need to bring? It is interesting to note that author/illustrator David Barrow has an MA in Children's Book Illustration from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University. He won the prestigious Sebastian Walker Award for most promising new illustrator in his final year at Cambridge. That helps explain the bold illustrations that bring to life an enchanting picture book story for children ages 2 to 5 about friendship and life in the city. "Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation" is fully and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library children's picture book collections.

Mackenzie Goes Adventuring
J. L. Bauman, author
Gabriel Roman, illustrator
Post Mortem Publications
9781941880166, $24.95, PB, 92pp,

"Snookton was a happy town, full of Snookies, snooking all around. There were Snookie shops full of Snookie toys for all the Snookie girls and boys." But was this enough for a young girl named Mackenzie who one day decided that after being let out of school she would not take her usual path home? After convincing another friend to adventure with her through the enchanted woods they soon find out why the teacher had told them "to stay on the right path". From the dangers of the Snarfling Snarfle to the delights of the Snookberry jelly roll at the Snookie Exchange, they encounter a whole new world out there, but, even after having met a whole new set of friends and learned the value of paying attention, they still had to find their way home. An original and wonderfully entertain picture book story by author J. L. Bauman and illustrator Gabriel Roman, "Mackenzie Goes Adventuring" will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 12. It should be noted that "Mackenzie Goes Adventuring" is also available in a paperback edition (9781941880159, $19.95).

Chippy Chipmunk Feels Empathy
Kathy M. Miller
Celtic Sunrise
PO Box 174, New Ringgold, PA 17960
9780984089338, $19.95, HC, 48pp,

In Chippy's first encounter with Harriet, she explains that a flood destroyed her burrow, so she is searching for a new place to dig. She asks for help, but Chippy refuses and chases her away. He is preoccupied with his goal of having a record-setting day collecting acorns, and he is skeptical that the newcomer is a chipmunk since she has no stripes. Chippy's friends show him that there is diversity in every species. "Diversity makes the world more beautiful," a blue peacock tells Chippy. "My friend and I may look different on the outside, but inside we are the same," adds a peacock that is an all-white variety. Chippy's friends help him to understand empathy and the need to show compassion. Chippy imagines what it would be like to be other wildlife. He thoughtfully observes other creatures. He pretends to be like them and echoes their calls as a way to develop empathy. He pictures himself in Harriet's situation. The light of a new day gives Chippy a fresh beginning. Feeling empathy changes his heart. He helps Harriet build a new burrow and shares his acorns with her. The two become friends. Written and illustrated with full color photography by Kathy M. Miller, "Chippy Chipmunk Feels Empathy" includes fun facts and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8.

When the Wind Blew
Petra Brown
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585369690, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

While Big Bear and Little Bear are snuggled up for the night, a wild storm rages. The bears wake up to find that the wind has knocked down all of the trees in their forest, they'll have to move. Little Bear is distraught. He loves their home! But Big Bear helps him understand that home isn't where you are, but who you're with. Author and illustrator Petra Brown's sweet, superbly rendered characters and tender story are perfect for helping little ones deal with a move or change. Certain to be enduringly popular with children ages 5 to 8, "When The Wind Blew" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted that "When The Wind Blew" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.53).

Take Ted Instead
Cassandra Webb, author
Amanda Francey, illustrator
Kane/Miller Book Publishers
4901 Morena Blvd, Suite 213, San Diego, CA 92117
9781610676182, $11.99, HC, 32pp

It's bedtime for one tired little boy, but why should he go to bed when everyone else in the house is still awake? He has a plan -- and it involves his teddy bear, his baby brother, his next door neighbor, and some toys. Great to read aloud and filled with Cassandra Webb's narrative rhymes, repetition, and Amanda Francey's bright illustrations packed with details, "Take Ted Instead" is a unique approach to bedtime picture book storytelling. Very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, "Take Ted Instead" is one that will resonate with both tired parents and their wide-awake children ages 4 to 6.

Stolen Words
Melanie Florence, author
Gabrielle Grimard, illustrator
Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Suite 401, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2M5
9781772600377, $17.95, HC, 24pp,

"Stolen Words" by Melanie Florence is the captivating picture book story of the beautiful relationship between a little Native American girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language, Cree, he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive, beautifully illustrated picture book for children ages 4 to 8 features the artwork of Gabrielle Grimard as it deftly explores the inter-generational impact of Canada's residential school system, which separated young Indigenous children from their families. "Stolen Words" is unreservedly and emphatically recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

All About Cats
Monika Filipina
Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
9781846439346, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Cats spend the whole day asleep in a chair. Or do they? Charmingly written illustrated by Monika Filipina, "All About Cats" is hilarious look at what felines might get up to when we leave the house is full of humorous and wild possibilities. You'll never look at cats in quite the same way again! Certain to be an enduringly fun and popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3 to 7, "All About Cats" is enthusiastically and unreservedly recommended. It should be noted that "All About Cats" is also available in a paperback edition (9781846439339, $7.99).

The Book of Gold
Bob Staake
Schwartz & Wade
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780553510775, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Young Isaac Gutenberg isn't a particularly curious boy until he meets an old shopkeeper who tells him about The Book of Gold. This special book, hidden somewhere in the world, holds all the answers to every question and turns to solid gold when opened. Isaac is determined to find the book because it will make him rich! He opens many books in his search, but quickly closes them when they don't turn to gold. That changes one day when he opens a book, looks at the page, and a question pops into his mind. From then on, he reads every word. Time passes and Isaac ages, but he still scours dusty attics and flea markets, crisscrossing the world, searching for The Book of Gold. Artfully written and charmingly illustrated by Bob Staake, this sweeping picture book asks important questions: Is searching for knowledge better than having it? How important is curiosity? And what makes a life meaningful? A beautifully crafted picture book for children ages 4 to 8, "The Book of Gold" is very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted that "The Book of Gold" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Little Mouse's Sweet Treat
Shana Hollowell, author
Jennifer Finch, illustrator
Privately Published
9780997878516, $18.99, HC, 30pp,

Little Mouse goes on an adventure in search of something sweet. He meets lots of friends along the way that share treats with him, but none are quite right. He is disappointed until he arrives home and realizes his Mommy baked the sweetest treat just for him - cookies! The collaboration of author Shana Hollowell and illustrator Jennifer Finch, "Little Mouse's Sweet Treat" is an original and charmingly delightful children's picture book for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. While unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 6, it should be noted that "Little Mouse's Sweet Treat" is also available in a paperback edition (9780997878509, $8.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

My Love Is with You Wherever You Go
Debra Buchanan, author
Nataly Vits, illustrator
Dancing Pen Publishers
9780692851371, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

From spotting monkeys at the zoo and picnicking at the beach, to whispering sweet prayers at night, "My Love Is with You Wherever You Go" is told in the style of a lyrical poem and tenderly assures unconditional love for a little one wherever he or she may go. Comforting as a hug, with delightful verse by Debra Buchanan and charming illustrations by Nataly Vits, "My Love Is with You" is a warm and cozy love letter to every child. A very special and original picture book for children ages 4 to 6, "My Love Is with You" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Peanut Butter & Aliens
Joe McGee, author
Charles Santoso, illustrator
c/o Henry R. Abrams
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9781419725302, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

All is peaceful between the zombies and the humans of Quirkville until an unexpected alien invasion causes widespread panic and chaos! As the aliens run rampant, demanding something mysterious in their alien language and coating the town in cosmic grape jelly when they're not understood, the mayor declares a state of emergency. Once again, Reginald the zombie comes to the rescue, bravely suggesting that the seemingly evil aliens try pairing their jelly with some of his favorite peanut butter. Despite their differences, the residents of Quirkville, the zombies, and the aliens work together to create the greatest sandwich in the universe! Full of lots of humor and heart, "Peanut Butter & Aliens" is entertaining sequel to author Joe McGee and illustrator Charles Santoso's "Peanut Butter & Brains" will satisfy young readers ages 3 to 7 who are craving more of their Zombie picture book stories. While highly recommended, especially for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted that "Peanut Butter & Aliens" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Counterfeit Country Queen Dreams
Cheryl K. Warner, author
Ashley Teets, illustrator
Privately Published
9780998197708, $17.99, HC,

"Counterfeit Country Queen Dreams" is a beautifully illustrated children's book suitable for children of all ages. It is an inspiring story based on Cheryl K. Warner's recent "Top Ten" self-penned, hit single on Pop and Country Radio, "Counterfeit Country Queen", a picture book story that demonstrates that following your dreams with faith, family, friends, belief and perseverance can lead to amazing results. A CD of the hit single is included with the hard cover edition of this unique and outstanding picture book. While very highly recommended, especially for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted that "Counterfeit Country Queen Dreams" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99) and that the CD song is availably individually (MP3, $0.99).

Monkey: Not Ready for Bedtime
Marc Brown
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9781101937624, $19.99 library binding
9781101937617, $16.99 hc, 32pp,

Every night at bedtime, it's the same problem. Monkey puts on his pajamas. He brushes his teeth. He makes sure his favorite stuffed toy is safely tucked in. He says "good night!" to Mom and Dad. But no matter what, Monkey is NOT ready to go to sleep. Finally, though, with the help of his big brother, a little imagination, and a few friendly dinosaurs, Monkey might just get ready for bed. An original and thoroughly entertaining picture book story that is engagingly written and charmingly illustrated by Marc Brown, "Monkey: Not Ready for Bedtime" is wholeheartedly and enthusiastically recommended as an enduringly popular and entertaining addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3 to 7. It should be noted that "Monkey: Not Ready for Bedtime" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Nu Dang and His Kite
Jacqueline Ayer
Enchanted Lion Books
67 West Street, Studio 317A, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11222
9781592702312, $16.95, HC, 40pp,

More than anything, Nu Dang is a little boy in Siam who loves to fly his kite. But on one particularly windy day the string slips and his kite disappears. Charmingly written and elegantly illustrated by Jacqueline Ayer, "Nu Dang and His Kite" is an engaging and entertainingly original picture book story that follows Nu Dang as he searches for his kite. In his small boat he paddles down the long brown river asking the sweet-cakes vendor, the cloth merchant, the butcher and others if they've seen his kite, but no one has. At last he sadly makes his way home, where a joyous surprise awaits him. "Nu Dang and His Kite" is very highly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young children ages 4 to 8.

The Board Book Shelf

Beep, Beep, Maisy!
Lucy Cousins, author/illustrator
Candlewick Press
94 Dover St., Somerville, Massachusetts 02149
9780763694074, $12.99, Board Book,

Over 50 lifting flaps provide interactive reading fun for children ages 2-5 years in this bright, colorful board book about Maisy the little white mouse discovering different modes of transportation. There are tractors, bikes, trains, boats, helicopters, fire engines, buses, even airplanes and more modes of transport to be explored by little fingers lifting tempting door flaps to trace the exciting story of "Beep, Beep, Maisy!" Followers of this beloved preschool series will love the bright, action pictures of Maisy and pals exploring all the wonderful ways to get from here to there. Little readers learn skills of tracing illustrations, story lines, finding and peeking underneath flaps, remembering hidden secrets, and enjoying a board page- turning festival all their own in their very own Maisy story book. "Beep, Beep, Maisy!" is an exciting early readers' book for young children to explore, encouraging their developing reading skills with a fun story and disguised, delightful doors to open and explore the world of transpiration and reading.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Mad Scientist Academy: The Space Disaster
Matthew McElligott
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780553523829, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

When Dr. Cosmic's class meets Commander Nova, the school astronomer, they know their next lesson will be out of this world! With the help of Dr. Cosmic's latest invention (a planetarium) the class must complete four challenges. Each time the planetarium shifts and the atmosphere changes, the students find themselves floating from planet to planet. They put their new magnetic antigravity belts and trusted handbooks to the test to figure out where in the solar system Dr. Cosmic's invention has "sent" them -- and how to land safely back on Earth. The newest volume in author/illustrator Matthew McElligott's outstanding graphic novel like 'Mad Scientist Academy' series, "Mad Scientist Academy: The Space Disaster" is an especially recommended addition to family, school, and community libraries picture book collections for children ages 5 to 8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mad Scientist Academy: The Space Disaster" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True
Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author
Brigette Barrager, illustrator
Random House
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9781101936597, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

The Land of Unicorns is in trouble -- it has been raining and raining for what seems like forever. This is a big problem because there are only three ways that unicorns can get their magic: from the golden sun, from magnificent rainbows, and from the sparkle of believing. Luckily, Uni the Unicorn has always, always, always believed that little girls are REAL. In "Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True", children ages 3 to 7 will join this very special unicorn and the little girl who believes right back as they finally meet and work together to save a magical land and all who live there! A wonderfully charming, unfailingly entertaining, deftly crafted picture book by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrator Brigette Barrager, "Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted that "Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The ABC Shelf

F is for Florida
Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida
WestWinds Press
c/o Graphic Arts Books
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781513260495, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Written by kids for kids, "F is for Florida" ranges from manatees to mermaids, to Florida's Indigenous peoples, to the Daytona 500, in a state-themed ABC book for children ages 4 to 8. Featuring captivating color photographs, each lively page highlights a unique aspect of the state's beauty and culture. For each letter, a short poem describes the pictured word. This picture book's vivid design and educational content will hold the child's interest throughout countless readings, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Counting Shelf

Counting on Fall
Lizann Flatt, author
Ashley Barron, illustrator
Owlkids Books Inc.
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781771473101, $7.95, PB,

"Counting on Fall" is a Math in Nature series teaching book for children in grades K-2. This suggestive semi verse-narrated story is filled with stunning, colorful collage creations depicting countable and uncountable animals, leaves and objects commonly found in nature. Little pikas pack away stacks of wildflower hay, bears gobble berries, grackles flock on trees, pronghorns parade and prance across the prairie by twos, geese fill the skies in formations of ten, whales swim, flowers and seeds and fruits fall, and acorns are stashed by busy squirrels. Young readers are asked to guess without counting how many leaves fall or blow from a tree and pile on the ground. Every fall image is drawn from nature, and math skills are sharpened in observation of the bounty. Further lessons are suggested in the Nature Notes about trees and animals shown in illustrations on the last three to four pages, with miniature image reminders by each note. "Counting on Fall" is a beautiful resource for K-2 cross curricular fall learning activities involving number sense and numeration.

Jump, Leap, Count Sheep!
Garaldo Valerio
Owlkids Books Inc.
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781771472890, $16.95, HC, 24pp,

Written and illustrated by Garaldo Valerio, "Jump, Leap, Count Sheep!: A Canadian Wildlife 123" features one bighorn sheep jumping, two grebes dancing, three mantids hunting, and a great many more Canadian critters for children ages 2 to 5 to count! Each page spread presents a number from 1 to 10, along with a playful depiction of the corresponding amount of Canadian wildlife. Each number is shown as a figure and a word, to support comprehension. Every spread also includes a lively phrase with an action verb and one other element to count. Featured wildlife includes mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and fish creatures from diverse environments across Canada. Valerio's signature paper collage illustrations make counting fun: they are simple yet sophisticated, full of color and movement. An informational spread at the end includes spot art and facts about the featured wildlife. Original, unique, fun and factual, "Jump, Leap, Count Sheep!: A Canadian Wildlife 123" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Business Shelf

I Can Start a Business!
Ruth Owens
Windmill Books
c/o The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
9781499483482, $28.50 List / $21.45 Library, HC, 32pp,

Behind every business is a passionate person with a big idea. Anyone of any age can turn their interest into a product or service with a good work ethic and some guidance! Ambitious young readers ages 7 to 10 will gravitate to this awesome guide to business building when they read "I Can Start a Business!" by entrepreneur Ruth Owens. Step-by-step instructions accompanied by photographs give young entrepreneurs the basic skills that go into any successful business. Incredible ideas and tips are springboards for readers creativity. They will learn how to create a unique business while also learning valuable life skills, such as communication, money management, organization, and commitment. Accessible, fun, and rewarding, and thoroughly 'kid friendly in organization and presentation, "I Can Start a Business!" is the perfect guide to becoming a business success for young entrepreneurs in grades 2 to 5. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "I Can Start a Business!" is also available in a paperback edition (9781499483543, $11.75).

The Fiction Shelf

Veronica and the Volcano
Geoffrey Cook, author
Gabrielle Shamsey, illustrator
Violet Moon
9780692894484 $7.99 pbk / $1.99 Kindle

Veronica and the Volcano is a novel for young adults about a young girl who happens to live on a volcano. Veronica's adventures include a trip to search for pearls on the far side of the majestic Mount Mystery. Occasional black-and-white illustrations intersperse this adventure, which takes Veronica on a dangerous journey past geysers, mud pots, smoking stones, leading to a discovery that could potentially change the world! High-spirited and exciting, Veronica and the Volcano is a choice pick for personal and public library children's collections.

The Adventures of Sigi: A Day on Safari
Candace Carson, author/illustrator
Sigi and Lulu Productions
9781937339166, $11.99,

"The Adventures of Sigi: A Day on Safari" is the latest title about a little brave dog who travels with human friends on an African Safari in Tanzania. Written in humorous verse, with different color type for each important animal character, "A Day on Safari" follows Sigi in a chase after his safari hat, stolen by a mischievous Vervet monkey, on a mini safari in which he meets a succession of African plains animals and eventually returns to his guide, Sarwar. Some of the animals Sigi meets are helpful and kind, some are mischievous and some are hungry to eat him for dinner. The animals encountered include: Vervet monkeys, zebras, an ostrich, a cheetah, an elephant, a rhinoceros, a giraffe, a leopard, a hippopotamus, and a lion. At the end of the story, a list of fauna gives additional background and facts about each species, plus an additional list of all flora fauna shown in background photos by page number. Like all title in The Adventures of Sigi series, "A Day on Safari" is written in verse, with color type to match animal characters speaking, shown against a photoshopped color background showing actual scenes of Tanzanian flora and fauna. Kids of all ages will love reading "A Day on Safari," while they learn more about the diverse species of flora and fauna that still thrive on the African plains.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Mystery at Hilton Head Island
Carole Marsh
PO Box 2779, Peachtree City, GA 30269
9780635127747 $7.99 pbk / $7.99 Kindle

Intended for young adult readers ages 5-14, The Mystery at Hilton Head Island is the fifty-first title of the "Real Kids, Real Places" mystery series, where each title is a self-contained story set in an accurately described, real-world location. In The Mystery at Hilton Head Island, Mimi and four friends visit Hilton Head Island in South Carolina and wonder if the Harbour Town Lighthouse is really haunted... but that's only the beginning of their adventures, culminating in a scavenger hunt to solve a mystery by the light of the full moon! The Mystery at Hilton Head Island is a delightful blend of adventurous storytelling and fascinating facts, highly recommended for school and public library children's collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Tamara Turtle's Life So Far
Regan W. H. Macaulay, author
Javier Duarte, illustrator
Mirror Publishing
4062 Plains Ave S.W. Fort Payne, AL 35967
9781612253688, $12.99, PB,

Written for children ages 4-7, "Tamara Turtle's Life So Far" describes a rough beginning of the life of a Red-eared Slider turtle. Tamara is adopted as a baby turtle from a large group of similar baby Red-eared Sliders in a pet store. At first her family's boy took care of her and kept her water clean. Then she outgrew her aquarium, and her owner lost interest in caring for her, so her water became dirty and her shell felt funny, and she was hungry. One day, the boy's mother took Tamara to a creek nearby and dumped her in, saying she was sorry but she didn't know what else to do. Tamara was scared and hungry, and she met many Painted Turtles who told her she did not belong in that creek in that place. finally, Tamara left the creek and crept to a sidewalk, where she was eventually found by a kind man who took her to a Humane Society, where she was well cared for, fed, and given clean water to swim in. She also met many other Red-eared Turtles like herself. One day, a kind lady came to adopt her and take her home, along with her friend, Apple. This time she was going to a good home, with a large 500 gallon set-up with full spectrum UV lighting and a basking lamp. Her new owner was a herpetologist, who knew exactly how to care for Red-eared Sliders. "Tamara's Life So Far" was written to help teach children the importance of providing care and proper maintenance of pet turtles or other animals for their life span, a question of ongoing responsibility. Further information and resources about turtle care are included, as well as turtle rescue resources.

Tracey Turner, author
Harriet Russell, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781681195445 $14.99

Animalsaurus is a children's book that spotlights extinct dinosaurs and animals of the past, and compares them to related species alive in the modern day. Simple artwork of the bygone creatures alongside full-color photography of the living species makes every two-page spread of Animalsaurus stand out. Highly recommended, especially for school and public library nonfiction picturebook collections.

Worzel Says Hello!
Catherine Pickles, author
Chantai Bourgonje, illustrator
Hubble & Hattie
9781787111608, $9.99, HC, 32pp,

Children and dogs are often best friends. Many adults will fondly remember a childhood dog who helped them through a hard time simply by being a companion, or curling up with them when they needed comfort. Sadly, though, dogs are often misunderstood by both adults and children; their behavior being misread. It is important to remember that dogs and children should always be supervised when together, so that everyone stays happy and safe. In "Worzel Says Hello!: Will you be my friend?", Catherine and her Lurcher, Worzel, take children ages 4 to 7 on a journey, where they will gain an understanding of how dogs think and feel, so that all kids can have a wonderful relationship with the dogs in their lives, and all dogs can feel happy, safe, and loved. Deftly written by Catherine Pickles in an engagingly rhythmic poetry that is charmingly illustrated by Chantai Bourgonje, "Worzel Says Hello!: Will you be my friend?" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Picture Book collections for children.

Seven Songs for Seven Dogs
L. Meredith Averitt, DVM, author
Maegan Penley, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 S. 1st St., Richmond, VA 23219
9781939930927, $19.95, HC, 31 pages,

"Seven Songs for Seven Dogs" is a heartwarming tribute in portraits, prose, and melody to seven beloved dogs, adopted by DVM/author L. Meredith Averitt. Each dog has its own story and special little song with adapted lyrics and familiar tune. First there is Lady Alexis of Cadbury, or Lexi, mother of five little dachshunds (song "Lexi's a Momma" sung to "Laughter in the Rain" by Neil Sedaka). Then there are Topher, Caddie and Carly (Cadbury and Charlotte), Sera (Sienna Seguin), Chester (Lord Chesterfield), Stevie (Lord Stefan), and Grady (Here Comes Grady), the rescued apricot poodle who joined a family of dachshunds. Every dog has its own personality and traits, which are reflected in both its biography and its special song. Beautiful full color portraits of each dog and the full family of dogs enhance this delightful collection, which invites kids and adults to consider the joys and responsibilities of adopting and owning a pet, dog or cat.

Dogs, A Kid's Book of Dog Breeds
Eve Heidi Bine-Stock, author
Jean Batzell Fitzgerald, illustrator
Eve Heidi Bine Stock, publisher
P.O. Box 3346, Omaha, Nebraska 68103
9780983149934, $15.95, PB, 49pp,

"Dogs, A Kid's Book of Dog Breeds" is a very informative, factual, entertaining dog breed book for young readers age 9 and up. 20 of the most popular dog breeds are catalogued, described, and celebrated in brief dog history tales. Dog breeds and their background, history, geographical origins, and popular culture referents are described in brief, entertaining chapters. Some of the breeds covered include Beagles, Bloodhounds, Chihuahuas, Collies, Dachshunds, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernards, West Highland White Terrier, and Yorkshire Terriers. Other important features of each breed of dog described include behavior, size, whether or not they are good with children, how the breed has helped people, heroic deeds of various breeds, famous people who owned the breed, and the origin of each breed. An interesting section at the end covers Jobs with Dogs, suggesting different types of employment for people who like being with dogs. "Dogs, A Kid's Book of Dog Breeds" invites readers to browse, sample, dip, or read cover to cover the fascinating stories and historical facts about 20 popular breeds of man's best friend.

Daytime Nighttime, All Through the Year
Diane Lang, author
Andrea Gabriel, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Way, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584696063, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Animals are so busy! In daytime eagles dive for fish, lizards gobble insects, and tortoises dine on cactus flowers. When night falls, bats catch moths, crickets sing, and cougars prowl. Engaging rhymes describe the action through the cycle of every day and night, as well as through each month of the year. Of special note is the inclusion of an "Explore More" section that provides teachers and parents with lots of ideas to expand on the seasonal and nocturnal themes. Informatively engaging, impressively informative, while thoroughly entertaining from cover to cover, "Daytime Nighttime, All Through the Year" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition for young children ages 4 to 8. While certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library wildlife picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Daytime Nighttime, All Through the Year" is also available in a paperback edition (9781584696070, $8.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

The Music Shelf

What Is Hip-Hop?
Eric Morse, author
Anny Yi, illustrator
Nelson George, producer
Black Sheep
c/o Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781617755842, $15.95, HC, 40pp,

Hip-Hop is a subculture and art movement developed in South Bronx in New York City during the late 1970s. While people unfamiliar with Hip Hop culture often use the expression "hip hop" to refer exclusively to hip hop music (also called "rap"), Hip Hop is characterized by nine distinct elements or expressive realms, of which Hip Hop music is only four elements (rapping, djaying, beatboxing and breaking). In "What Is Hip-Hop?" author Eric Morse and artist Anny Yi celebrate the music that changed their lives and the voices that achieved iconic status along the way. See Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Salt-N-Pepa, Biggie and Tupac, Eminem, and even Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar, as they have never been seen before! An ideal picture book for children ages 3 to 7, "What Is Hip-Hop?" is as entertaining as it is informative and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "What Is Hip-Hop?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Christian Shelf

Metamorphosis: An Invitation to Fly
Michael G. Booth, author
Thinkstock, images/illustrations
WestBow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781512768497, $16.95, PB,

"Metamorphosis: An Invitation to Fly" is a warm inspiring comparison between the life of a caterpillar- becoming- a butterfly to the promise of eternal life in the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. Written in appealing and humorous verse, "Metamorphosis" has a friendly, casual tone that comfortably explores the magic of a choice to lead a transformed life. This choice is offered to a caterpillar who is weary of the torment of his existence by a magical, flying butterfly, who promises: "Oh no, it's within you brother/ For you to fly like me./ Just taste the fruit of the tree of life,/ and believe what you will see." His promise continues: "A promised life of liberty/ Free of tears and woe,/ Bondage of earthbound life/ From you will have to go... You'll join the ranks of freeborn flight/ And leave your dust behind/ To adopt a new perspective/ With others of your kind." The lovely transformation poem continues with the caterpillar describing all he experiences in his journey to become a free, flying being. "Metamorphosis" ends with a personalized invitation, with a blank for the reader to add his name: "Just like the caterpillar that became a butterfly I, ___ accept the invitation to 'fly.' I believe that through the power of God's love in my life I will become and achieve all that He has in store for me, that I too will 'fly.' And when I do I will inspire others to accept the invitation to 'fly' also. "Metamorphosis" has a redemptive faith message that is further enhanced by the clear, colorful, creative illustrations of caterpillars and butterflies on their journeys through life and change. "Metamorphosis" is a beautiful faith based story that will appeal to children of all ages.

The Literary Shelf

Mark Twain's The Diaries of Eve and Adam
Adapted by Jerome Tiller
Illustrated by Marc Johnson-Pencook
Art Write Productions
9781939846150 $16.99 hc

Part of the Adapted Classics series of timeless stories adapted for young readers in middle school, Mark Twain's The Diaries of Eve and Adam retells Mark Twain's timeless take on the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden from Adam's and Eve's perspectives. Full-page, black-and- white illustrations enhance this accessible rendition that stays true to the spirit of the original. "She says the snake advises her to try the fruit of the tree, and says the result will be a great and fine and noble education. I told her there would be another result, too - it would introduce death inot the world." Mark Twain's The Diaries of Eve and Adam is highly recommended for public and school library middle grade collections. Other excellent titles in the "Adapted Classics" series include, "Nathaniel Hawthorne's Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", "Edlar Allan Poe's Thou Art the Man", "Nathaniel Hawthorne's Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe", "Mark Twain's The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut", and "Edgar Allan Poe's Hop- Frog".

The Activity Shelf

The Awful Air Travel Activity Book
Andy Robbins, author/illustrator
Farcountry Press
P.O. Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560377085, $8.95, PB, 32pp,

"The Awful Air Travel Activity Book" is a far from awful collection of black and white illustrated puzzles, mazes, bizarre air travel scenes (Security Nightmare!), connect the dots, and other creative coloring and interactive activities that should provide quiet, unplugged entertainment for children ages 10 and up. A kid's sense of humor pervades all illustrations and activities, such as finding the 20 hidden snakes in all the pages of black and white illustrations. Everything relates to air travel and some of the related frustrations. Some of the humor is grim. In fact, this may be an adult air travel activity book. Of course, that will make it all the more attractive to kids. There are airport scavenger hunts, color by number, subtly hidden Fun Facts ("Fun Fact: Food tastes different on an airplane because the change in air pressure numbs about a third of your taste buds!") There is even a passenger quiz and a color by number airplane scene that has two suggested coloring schemes: The Worst -Case Scenario and the Ack No Way! Happy Ending Scenario. "The Awful Air Travel Activity Book" is delightful, witty, amusing, and possibly true on many exaggerated points. It is surely worth the investment of its price of, $8.95 to ensure some happy (or at least smiling) down time for travelers of various ages (10 and above).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Cucumber Quest 1: The Doughnut Kingdom
Gigi D.G.
First Second
175 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781626728325 $14.99 / $9.99

Cucumber Quest 1: The Doughnut Kingdom is the first full-color graphic novel compilation of the popular and heartwarming Cucumber Quest webcomic. Drawing inspiration from fairy tales (and role-playing games), the story follows the practical-minded, aspiring wizard Cucumber and his far more heroic little sister Almond as they are swept into a grand quest to save the seven kingdoms (Cucumber quite reluctantly, Almond much more enthusiastically). Cucumber Quest features tongue-in-cheek humor, as time and again Almond questions exactly why his heroic quest has to play out just so; after all, his brave little sister is so much better at wielding a sword than he is, and if the ultimate menace can be awakened with the Disaster Stones, then wouldn't it be more prudent to just destroy them? Although Cucumber Quest is a choice pick for young adults ages 9-12, its delightful wit and swashbuckling action will appeal to readers of all ages! Highly recommended, especially for public library collections and fantasy graphic novel connoisseurs.

The Witch Boy
Molly Knox Ostertag
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338089516 $12.99 pbk / $7.99 Kindle

The Witch Boy is a full-color fantasy graphic novel about the difficulties caused by culturally imposed gender barriers. Aster is a young man born into a family of magic-users. In his family, it is an absolute rule that boys grow up to be shapeshifters and girls grow up to be witches. But Aster has no talent for communicating with animal spirits; instead, he has an innate knack for casting witch spells and wants to learn more. Time and again he is told "this magic isn't for you." The other boys treat him with suspicion, and the only person he can confide in is Charlie, an African-American tomboy from a completely non-magical family. But when a mysterious enemy starts kidnapping Aster's cousins, neither the male shapeshifters nor the female witches can find the culprit. Aster, a boy with the powers of a witch, may be the only one who can save them! A thoughtful coming-of-age story that encourages the reader to question gender-based restrictions on what a person can or cannot do, The Witch Boy is highly recommended for school and public library collections, as well as fantasy graphic novel connoisseurs of all ages.

Musnet the Mouse of Monet
Kickliy, author/illustrator
ODOD Books
c/o Uncivilized Books
P.O. Box 6534, Minneapolis, MN 55406
9781941250099, $19.95, HC, 54pp,

"Musnet the Mouse of Monet" is the beginning volume of the exciting life of an artistic mouse named Musnet who begins his art apprenticeship with a master mouse artist on the estate of Giverny, the home of Monet. Exciting, amusing, gawky Musnet meets a friend, the spunky, impetuous Mya, a schoolgirl mouse who introduces him to his grumpy Master artist, Remi. Follow Musnet through the twisted secret passages and gardens and ghostly cavernous studio rooms of Giverny as he learns the underpinnings of Rodent Art first hand. Musnet learns first hand about details of the daily life of an artist, like cleaning brushes, arranging a studio with northern light, preparing paints, and finding canvas and art supplies. There are dangers, such as wild predators, and a large black cat, but there are also jaunty friends to help Musnet travel a mysterious, protected path through his quest for learning to paint. Dark -toned background art examples echo and refresh the painting styles of Monet, while the mouse adventure of learning the ways of Rodent Art production (and the ways of mouse love) intrigue readers of all ages. "Musnet the Mouse of Monet" is sure to be a popular underground hit with middle grade readers and up. Nominated for the 2017 prix Angouleme in the Youth Category, the "Musnet" series is a sure success. Also highly recommended are the following titles of this series: "Musnet The Impressions of the Master" (9781941250136, $19.95), and "Musnet The Flames of the Limelight" (9781941250150, $19.95), both also by Kickliy.

Musnet: The Tears of the Painter
Odod Books
9781941250198 $19.95

Musnet: The Tears of the Painter is the fourth and final graphic novel in an all-ages series set in 19th century France, following the anthropomorphic Mus Musculous (his name is from the Latin term for a field mouse) in his quest to become the greatest mouse painter of all. Musnet cares for a squirrel master artist who is dying of old age; Musnet's best friend Mya has her own adventure (including an encounter with a carnivorous split-personality owl); and the Japanese spider Chiby gets in a scrap with a muscular rat. A dreamlike story about the perils and joys of being an artist (as well as the hardships of being prey in a predator's world), Musnet: The Tears of the Painter is highly recommended.

Ghost Hunt: Lucky Luke #65
Lo Hartog Van Banda, author
Morris, artist
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183536, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

This time Lucky Luke finds himself teamed up with the infamous Calamity Jane as they go off in search of a missing stagecoach and Calamity Jane's brand new rifle that was being delivered to her by that same mysteriously missing coach in "Ghost Hunt", the latest graphic novel presenting the adventures of that sharp-shooting, fast draw cowboy who 'shoots faster than his shadow'. A terrifically entertaining read from cover to cover, "Ghost Hunt" is an absolute 'must' for the legions of Luck Luke fans and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Graphic Novel collections for readers of all ages.

The Music CD Shelf

Walking Around with Giants
The Dilly Dallies
Privately Published
$12.98 CD / $9.99 download

Walking Around with Giants is a children's music album of 13 original songs from The Dilly Dallies, featuring ukulele, glockenspiel, and vocal harmonies. Peppy, comedic, and perfectly accented by the interplay between baritone ukulele and bass ukulele (with highlights from vibraphone, marimba, vibraslap, shakers, finger cymbals, wood block, kazoo, and more), Walking Around with Giants is a delight for families to share, especially during car trips or rainy day fun time. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Superhero", "Little Tiny Toes", "Walking Around With Giants", "I Get Up", "Share The Sun", "School Day", "Rainy Day", "Dreams Await", "Closet Monster", "We Could Be", "Taken Over By Robots", "One Big Heart", and "You Are Me and I Am You."

Songs of Peace & Love for Kids & Parents Around the World
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Privately Published

Four-time Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo (a talented and popular South African singing group) present Songs of Peace & Love for Kids & Parents Around the World, an all-ages, family-friendly album brimming with positive, feel-good music and thoughtful civic messages. Promoting tolerance and compassion, Songs of Peace & Love for Kids & Parents Around the World is a joy to listen to and share, and makes an excellent gift. Highly recommended. The tracks are "We are LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO from South Africa!", "Everything's So Stupid!", "Different Colors Mean Nothing To Me", "All Women Are Beautiful", "Because I Love You", "Sit Down And Make Peace", "Love Your Neighbor", "Long Walk To Freedom", "Homeless", "Old MacDonald", and "Go Well And Peace Be With You".

Songs from the Monkey House
Jack Forman
Privately Published
$12.99 CD / $8.99 MP3

Jack Forman (lead singer of the Grammy- nominated Seattle band Recess Monkey) presents Songs from the Monkey House, his first solo album featuring 12 original songs inspired by kid- calls on the "Live from the Monkey House" show, the live-show Monkeynauts, and Jack's own children. Upbeat, lively, and playful, Songs from the Monkey House is brimming with energy, imagination, and pure fun. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Dog Park", "Yodeling Yoda", "A Little Cheese", "No Name", "Watermelon", "Candy Tour", "Not a Cloud", "Stand-in", "Blue Cheese", "I Lost My Lunch", "Sportball Anthem", and "This Is The End".

The DVD Shelf

School's First Day of School
Story by Adam Rex
Pictures by Christian Robinson
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
9781338201574 $59.95

School's First Day of School (10 min.) is the animated DVD adaptation of a picturebook for children ages 4-8 (grades PreK-3). The story is about the first day of school - from the perspective of the school itself! Frederick Douglass Elementary is quite nervous - will the children like their new school? Will they be nice? The school has a hard time at first, but soon it realizes that's not the only one worried about the first day! Warmly narrated by Erin Bennett, Ron Butler and Pierce Cravens, and enhanced with music by Ernest Troost, School's First Day of School is a choice pick for public school library collections or homeroom viewing. Highly recommended! It should be noted that School's First Day of School is also available as a hardcover book and CD (9781338201598, $29.95), an audio CD (9781338201598, $12.95), or a hardcover picturebook (9781596439641, $17.95).

Peter H. Reynolds' "Creatrilogy"
Peter H. Reynolds, author
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
9781338200478 $59.95

Intended for young viewers ages 4-9, Peter H. Reynolds' "Creatrilogy" is a DVD anthology adapting three children's picturebooks by award-winning author Peter H. Reynolds. The titles are "The Dot" (7 min.), about a young girl's journey of discovery to reveal her hidden artistic talent; "Ish" (8 min.), about a boy who, with encouragement from his sister, learns to develop his creativity instead of worrying about getting things "just right"; and "Sky Color" (6 min.), about a girl who realizes the color blue is missing from her paint when she is about to create a sky scene for her class mural. An interview with Peter Reynolds rounds out this delightful anthology about broadening one's horizons as an artist and creative person. Peter H. Reynolds' "Creatrilogy" is highly recommended especially for grade school library DVD shelves or homeroom viewing.

The Hobby Shelf

The LEGO Trains Book
Holger Matthes
No Starch Press
245 - 8th Street, San Francisco, CO 94103-3910
9781593278199, $24.95, HC, 248pp,

Holger Matthes is a hobbyist who has been building with LEGO since 2000. He was involved in the creation of various official LEGO projects such as the Hobby Train set #10183 and frequently presents his models and gives workshops at LEGO exhibitions worldwide. With "The LEGO Trains Book" he draws upon his years of experience and expertise to help LEGO enthusiasts from ages 10 and up learn the model-making process from start to finish, including the best ways to choose scale, wheels, motors, and track layout. Readers will be able to take advantage of the professional insights and advice for building steam engines, locomotives, and passenger cars, and discover fresh ideas and inspiration for your own LEGO train designs. Profusely illustrated throughout with color photography, "The LEGO Train Books" presents: An historical tour of LEGO trains; Step-by-step building instructions for models of the German Inter-City Express (ICE), the Swiss "Crocodile," and a vintage passenger car; Tips for controlling your trains with transformers, receivers, and motors; Advice on advanced building techniques like SNOT (studs not on top), micro-striping, creating textures, and making offset connections; Case studies of the design process; Ways to use older LEGO pieces in modern designs. While very highly recommended for school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The LEGO Trains Book" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

The Science Shelf

Ultimate Space Atlas
Carolyn DeCristofano, author
National Geographic Kids
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426328022, $12.99, PB, 160 pages,

Filled with maps, games, activities, and fun facts about space and related topics, the "Ultimate Space Atlas" is a fantastic kids guide to the exploration and mapping of the solar system, our galaxy, and space beyond. The book is filled with helpful color illustrations of space and many informative sidebars and commentaries. It is filled with double page spreads with headings and subheadings to inform the reader of the content of each article. A section in the beginning on How To Use This Atlas is very helpful. The reading level appears to be about grade 4 and above. Good guidelines include Aunt Bertha's Important Safety Information, which advises that a trustworthy adult supervise the student's quest for related information online etc. or also outside. Topics covered include the planets of our solar system, our galaxy, patterns in the sky, mapped and subdivided into the Northern Sky, and Southern Sky, mapping the universe, stars and their life cycle, nebulas, star clusters, galaxies, and more. Further pages cover scanning the skies and backyard observation for amateur astronomers. There are even two pages on the signs of the zodiac. The "Ultimate Space Atlas" ends with a Galaxy Quest map game, two pages of fabulous space facts, a game of Lost In Space, and a glossary, index, and answer key. "Ultimate Space Atlas" has unlimited appeal for elementary and middle school readers who have an interest in exploring space.

The American History Shelf

The Great Space Race: The Story of How America Put a Man On the Moon
Jeff Attinella, author
David Capalungan, illustrator
It Had to Be Told! Publishers
9780998944029, $17.99, PB,

"The Great Space Race" is an imaginative retelling of the story of how America put a man on the moon for young readers. Written in galloping verse and dramatically illustrated with exciting rockets and smiling moon images against a dark space background, "The Great Space Race" begins in 1955 when the United States and Russia were at the start of continuing a race to put a man on the moon. First, Russia launched Sputnik One, a satellite in 1957. One year later, the U. S. launched Explorer 1 to match this feat. Then the Russian scientists put the first human astronaut into space, followed by the U.S. launch containing John Glenn into space. President John F. Kennedy gave an encouraging speech in 1962, determined that the U. S. should be the first country to land a man on the moon. This effort began with Apollo 1, but it did not make it to the launch pad. There was a successful launch of Apollo 7 in 1968, but it was on July 16 of 1969 that the U. S. successfully launched Apollo 11, which landed on the moon on July 24, with astronaut Neil Armstrong taking the first stride onto the lunar surface. His historic words were "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." An American flag was placed on the surface of the moon. Later on Russia and the U.S. worked together on space exploration missions. Here is the final quotation from "The Great Space Race:" "The Race to the moon taught everyone/ to think big and reach for the stars./ Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon -/ maybe YOU could be the first person on Mars!" Final pages are dedicated to Did You Know? interesting facts about the lunar flights, a diagram of the Apollo Saturn 5 rocket, the Apollo Command Service Module, and the Apollo Lunar (Moon) Module.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Based on the film written by Melissa Mathison
Based on the film directed by Steven Spielberg
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781683690108 $18.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Featuring charming, cartoony artwork, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a modern-day picturebook adaptation of the classic all-ages movie, directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1982. When a young boy encounters a strange yet adorable alien in his family's tool shed, he befriends the visitor from another world, and tries to help him "phone home" before government scientists close in! Heartwarming and beautiful, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is highly recommended for gift- giving, storytime, and children's public library picturebook collections.

The LGBT Shelf

Dracula Marries Frankenstein!
Susan Schade and Jon Buller
160 Broadway, Suite 700E, New York, NY 10038
9781629918150 $12.99 pbk / $9.22 Kindle

Dracula Marries Frankenstein! An Anne of Green Bagels Story is a hybrid text and graphic novel story, periodically shifting from black-and-white comic panels to paragraphs and back again. Anne and her friends have an idea for an off-the-wall horror movie - what if Dracula married Frankenstein? They make a deal with Augusta Herringbone to film the movie at her creepy castle. But when Augusta realizes that the movie about two monstrous *men* getting married, she flips out in a severe case of homophobia, and a sudden outbreak of fire turns matters from bad to worse. Dracula Marries Frankenstein candidly addresses the hot-button topic of marriage equality and does not talk down to young adults; readers of all ages will enjoy both the wacky humor and the contemplation of social issues. Also highly recommended is the first book featuring the plucky Anne and her friends, "Anne of Green Bagels" (9781629914657 $14.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle).

Books in Series

The Cold War Chronicles
Cavendish Square
243 - 5th Avenue, Suite 136, New York, NY 10016
9781502628787, $342.32 List / $239.60 Library, HC, 112pp

Spanning decades, the Cold War shaped politics in the United States, spurred technological development in America and the Soviet Union, and led to proxy wars in places like Vietnam and Korea. "The Cold War Chronicles" is a seven volume set that provides young readers an in-depth look at each component of the conflict, including the role of nuclear weapons, the advent of the space race, specific diplomatic actions and policy shifts in both nations, and the clash between political ideologies. The series explores how tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union had a profound effect on people's lives around the world, a legacy that continues to influence international relations today. Each individual volume comprising this outstanding set includes: Biographies of the military leaders, diplomats, presidents/party leaders, and inventors who played key roles in the conflict; Explanations of the technology used to wage war and to make scientific discoveries; Maps, photographs, and primary source information; Context for modern relationships and tensions between nations; Curriculum Connections; Encourages critical thinking about how large-scale wars (like World War II) can lead to subsequent conflicts; Includes content that aligns with US history curriculum; Challenges students to draw connections between the Cold War and US/Russia relations today. The volumes comprising "The Cold War Chronicles" include: "NATO, the Warsaw Pact, and the Iron Curtain" (9781502627216); "The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missel Crisis" (9781502628633); "Sputnik and the Space Race" (9781502627322); "The Collapse of Communism and the Breakup of the Soviet Union" (9781502627285); "Nuclear Proliferation, the Military-Industrial Complex, and the Arms Race" (9781502627308); "The Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine" (9781502627230); and "Superpower Rivalries and Proxy Warfare" (9781502627254).

Understanding the Brain
Joanne Randolph, editor
Enslow Publishing LLC
101 West 23rd Street, Suite #240, New York, NY 10011
9780766090033, $25.27/$18.95, HC, 48pp,

The brain is the most complex and amazing organ of the human body. It is the command center that keeps the body functioning properly with respect to both the voluntary and involuntary systems. Exceptionally informative and specifically written for children ages 10 to 13, "Understanding the Brain" is part of the outstanding 'The Amazing Human Body" series from Enslow Publishers intended for students in grades 5 to 8. Also highly recommended for both school and community library collections are the other titles in this extraordinary series: "Learning About the Nervous System" (9780766041608, $25.27/$18.95); "Growth and Aging" (9780766089839, $25.27, $18.95); "Microbes: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" (9780766089990, $25.27/$18.95); "Taste and Digestion" (9780766089914, $25.27, $18.95). It should be noted that all four volumes in this exceptional and unreservedly recommended series feature library binding for an extended shelf life.

Making Maps
Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003
9781482464276, $22.60 List / $16.95 Library, HC, 24pp,

Part of the outstanding "Where On Earth?: Mapping Parts of the World" series from Gareth Stevens Publishing, "Making Maps" Is a fun and effective way for children ages 5 to 8 in developing spatial awareness skills. Students in grades K-3 will engage in and expand their understanding of the world around them through a creative, rewarding map-making activity developed with learning and fun in mind! Step-by-step instructions guide them through this rewarding exercise, while a simple history and explanation of cartography allows them to feel a part of something both fascinating and epic. Other highly recommended companion titles for both school and community libraries in this thoroughly 'kid friendly' series include Todd Bluthenthal's "Earth's Continents" (9781482464153, $16.95 Library/$22.60 List); "Earth's Hemispheres" (9781482464191, $16.95 Library/$22.60 List); "The South Pole" (9781482464351, $16.95 Library/$22.60 List); "The Equator" (9781482464238, $16.95 Library/$22.60 List); "The North Pole" (9781482464313, $16.95 Library/$22.60 List).

All About Money
Maddie Spalding
The Child's World, Inc.
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003
9781503822825, 12 Volume Set., HC, $237.40

Understanding the basic concept of money is essential for young children of elementary school age. "All About Money" is an impressive twelve volume informative series in which young readers ages 5 to 8 will learn about the coins and bills that Americans use every day. Children will discover the fundamental facts of familiar pieces of money, learn about the history of each commonplace coin and bill, and study the various physical aspects of U.S. currency. Each spread contains colorful photos that highlight features of each bill and coin. Additional features to aid comprehension include informative sidebars, a section on fast facts, a timeline, a map of U.S. Mint locations, a phonetic glossary, sources for further research, and an index. The individual titles comprising this truly outstanding and thoroughly 'kid friendly' series include: Dimes; Fifty-Cent Pieces; Five-Dollar Bills; Nickels: One Hundred-Dollar Bills; One-Dollar Bills; Pennies; Quarters; Silver Dollars; Ten-Dollar Bills; Twenty-Dollar Bills; and Two-Dollar Bills. Although each title can be obtained individually ($18.95 each), school and community libraries will want to obtain the entire series intact. It should be noted for homeschoolers that the "All About Money" series is also available in a digital book format (Multi-user eBook: $29.95 individual titles, $359.40 for the complete set).

Making Friends
Steffi Cavell-Clarke, author
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118
9780778737209, $25.58 HC /, $7.95 PB, 24pp,

Written especially to appeal to readers ages 8-11 years, "Making Friends" is an exploration of the significance or making and keeping friends for all children. From the series Our Values, "Making Friends" uses multi-colored paragraph/caption backgrounds plus picture portraits of children of diverse backgrounds interacting respectfully and supportively with each other to underline a message of kindness towards all. how can you make new friends? How can you be a good friend? Why are friends important? How can you make a difference by listening to others? How should you respond to peer pressure? What are important friendship values? All these and other questions about pro social behaviors in children are addressed in this easy to read book. An anti bullying message is also featured prominently. A Glossary of terms and index complete this positive, helpful juvenile health series title, "Making Friends". Also highly recommended are the following titles from the Our Values series: "Helping Others" (9789780778737032, $25.58 HC /, $7.95 PB), by Steffi Cavell-Clarke, "My Choices" (9780778737018, $25.58 HC /, $7.95 PB), by Grace Jones, and "My Community" (9780778737025, $25.58 HC /, $7.95 PB), by Grace Jones.

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

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