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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 28, Number 10 October 2018 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Biography Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Fiction Shelf Psychology Shelf
Bilingual Shelf Picturebook Shelf Counting Shelf
Board Book Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Language Studies Shelf Christian Shelf Judaic Shelf
Aviation Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Music CD Shelf LGBT Shelf
Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Holiday Shelf Books in Series
Story Monsters Ink Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Words by Margaret McNamara
Artwork by Esme Shapiro
Schwartz & Wade Books
c/o Random House Children's Books
9781524765880 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton is a biographical picturebook about philanthropist and preserver Elizabeth "Eliza" Hamilton (1757-1854), wife of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. There is some light artistic license in telling Eliza's story in her own words via first-person perspective, yet the text is faithful to history record. Eliza not only aided the career of her husband, who was the first United States Secretary of the Treasury; she also cofounded New York's first private orphanage (which still exists today), preserved letters and documents from America's early history, and raised money to create the Washington Monument. An afterword by Phillipa Soo (who played Eliza in the original production of "Hamilton: An American Musical"), a page-by-page timeline, a selected bibliography, and more round out this superb contribution to personal and public library picturebook shelves. Highly recommended.

It's Not Fair!
Caryn Rivadernetra, author
Isabel Munoz, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506446806, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Roxy Ramirez has saved up for weeks to buy a chemistry set, and now she's headed to the toy store to buy it! There's only one problem: along the way, she keeps running into friends who are in trouble, and need her to dip into her savings to help. Will she have enough money left over to buy something for herself? Especially designed by author Caryn Rivadernetra in collaboration with illustrator Isabel Munoz for kids 4-6, "It's Not Fair!" is a counting book that teaches children about money, choices, generosity, and what it means to have enough. Part of the Beaming Books's simply outstanding Generous Kids series teaching age-appropriate concepts about money, possessions, generosity, and contentment, "It's Not Fair!" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Grandpa and the Library
C. Ian White
Modern Museum of Art
c/o Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781633450653, $19.95, HC, 40pp,

Charles Wilbert White, Jr. (April 2, 1918 - October 3, 1979) was an American artist known for his chronicling of African American related subjects in paintings and murals. "Grandpa and the Library: How Charles White Learned to Paint" is the true story of how every day, young Charles White's mother took him the Chicago Public Library, where the librarians look after him until she picked him up again after work, at six o'clock. At the library Charles looked carefully at the picture books the librarians gave him and also at the people around him, later drawing what he saw on scraps of paper at home. Charles learned to be patient and observant -- and, by watching art students painting in the park, how to mix and use oil paints. As he grew into an artist, he painted the people he saw and admired. Ultimately, Charles became a great artist whose works now hang in museums throughout the United States. Written and illustrated by White's son, C. Ian White, and featuring full-color reproductions of Charles White's artworks, "Grandpa and the Library: How Charles White Learned to Paint" is a deeply personal story that deftly traces the childhood influences that inspired young Charles to become an artist and a teacher. This is a unique and especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.

Where has the Tiger Gone?
Dhavat Singh Uikey
Tara Books
9789383145997, $19.70, HC, 32pp,

There's a time when tigers and human beings lived close to each other, says Dhavat Singh Uikey, an artist from the Gond tribe in central India. Gond villages were often located close to the forest, where tigers roamed freely. Familiar yet wild, the tiger played a compelling role in people's lives - and in their imagination. Ferocious and magnificent, it was revered as much as it was feared. In "Where has the Tiger Gone?", artist and storyteller Dhavat singh Uikey offers children and adults a glimpse into this forgotten world, through a retelling of traditional Gond tales about the tiger, illustrated with richly symbolic art. In the process, Dhavat captures not only the mythic and iconic status of the great beast, but also a time, place and relationship that is lost to us. Elegant, beautiful, engaging, "Where has the Tiger Gone?" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, school, and community library collections.

The Social Issues Shelf

Martin and Bobby: A Journey Toward Justice
Claire Rudolf Murphy
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781641600101, $17.99, HC, 176pp,

"Martin and Bobby: A Journey Toward Justice" by Claire Murphy follows the lives, words, and final days of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Initially wary of one another, their relationship evolved from challenging and testing each other to finally "arriving in the same place" as allies fighting poverty and racism. The stories of King and Kennedy reveal how life experiences affect a leader's ability to show empathy for all people and how great political figures don't work in a vacuum but are influenced by events and people around them. Martin's courage showed Bobby how to act on one's moral principles, and Bobby's growing awareness of the country's racial and economic divide gave Martin hope that the nation's leaders could truly support justice. Fifty years later, their lives and words still stir people young and old and offer inspiration and insight on how our country can face the historic challenges of economic and racial inequality. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented for young readers ages 10 to 16, "Martin and Bobby: A Journey Toward Justice" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition for school and community library 20th Century American biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Martin and Bobby: A Journey Toward Justice" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Nevertheless We Persisted
Various Authors
Random House Children's Books
9781524771966 $18.99

Nevertheless We Persisted will reach ages 12 and up with an anthology of stories about challenges faced by politicians, actors, athletes, and other successful individuals who managed to thrive by persisting and insisting. These biographical sketches of personal courage and strength tackles those who defied frustrations, changed their lives, and impacted those around them as a result. It's especially good reading for classrooms discussing courage and life-changing decision-making processes.

The Biography Shelf

Turning Pages
Sonia Sotomayor, author
Lulu Delacre, illustrator
Philomel Books
9780525515494, $17.99,

Turning Pages: My Life Story requires good reading skills and provides illustrations by Lulu Delacre as it provides a picture book autobiography of author and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Kids with learn how Sotomayor's love of books lead her to achievements and a future where she achieved her seemingly impossible goals. It should be noted that Turning Pages is also available separately in a Spanish-language edition ("Pasando Paginas", 9780525515494).

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Arctic Wolf
William Flaherty, author
Sean Bigham, illustrator
Inhabit Media
9781772272130 $15.95

Part of the "Animals Illustrated" series, Arctic Wolf is a hardcover book for young adults filled with amazing true facts about these white-furred wolves. "With their white fur, Arctic wolves are able to blend into the ice and snow of the Arctic. They have two layers of fur that are very important for their survival. The inner layer gets thicker in winter to keep them warm. The outer layer is waterproof to keep them dry." Striking, realistic color illustrations add the perfect touch to this educational book ideal for grade-school children, as well as school and public library collections.

The World Never Sleeps
Natalie Rompella, author
Carol Schwartz, illustrator
Tilbury House Publishers
9780884485612 $17.95 hc / $17.95 Kindle

The World Never Sleeps is a children's picturebook that depicts the fascinating lives of insects and other creatures, who remain busy even after the sun sets. From hardworking, web-weaving spiders to skittering cockroaches and mayflies who often live for only one day as an adult, these tiny lives form an intricate part of the environmental balance - and the world never sleeps. Beautiful color illustrations and some supplementary information about common creatures round out this wonderful and educational book, perfect for reading aloud to children right before bedtime.

Dog Science Unleashed
Jodi Wheeler-Toppen, author
Matthew Rakola, photographer
National Geographic Kids
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426331534, $12.99, PB, 80pp,

"Dog Science Unleashed: Fun Activities to do with your Canine Companion" will enable children ages 8 to 12 will have hours and hours of great fun with 22 safe and pup-friendly activities that let them work alongside their dog to discover what makes him tick. Kids will learn to take their dog's pulse and find out how much blood is pumping through his or her body. Kids can find out if their dog hears things they can't by making a dog whistle. "Dog Science Unleashed" covers such subjects as: What colors can your dog see? Is he color-blind? Each activity is paired with illustrated step-by-step instructions, clear and interesting scientific explanations, and cool photographs shot specifically by Matthew Rakola for this instructional guide by Jodi Wheeler-Topen. Hands-on activities and fun information for budding scientists prompt further learning and offer a behind-the-scenes look at current canine research. When children are finished with "Dog Science Unleashed" they will have a vet-worthy profile of the best canine companion on the planet -- their own personal canine companion! It should be noted that "DogScience Unleashed" is part of the National Geographic Kids Hands-on Science line which makes science fun and accessible. While highly recommended for families, it should be noted for school and community library collections that "Dog Science Unleashed" is also available in a library binding for an extended shelf life (9781426331541, $22.90).

Which Animal Is Fastest?
Brian Rock, author
Carolyn Le, illustrator
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781607187394, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

The cheetah is the animal most people would name as being the world's fastest animal. And it's true that the cheetah can reach speeds over 70 miles per hour (mph). But what most people don't know is that there is a species of bird that can fly faster than a race car. And even that is not even the fastest animal there is. "Which Animal Is Fastest?" by author Brian Rock and illustrator Carolyn Le showcases a dozen of nature's speediest species as it examines what animal is the fastest on land, air, and sea. "Which Animal Is Fastest?" is a picture book story for ages 4 to 8 will resonate with children taking standardized tests as it offers the animal world message that one size does not fit all! While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Which Animal Is Fastest?" is also available in a paperback edition (9781607187455, $9.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.95).

He's Your Daddy! Ducklings, Joeys, Kits, and More
Charline Profiri, author
Andrea Gabriel, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Springs Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584696254 $16.95

"He's Your Daddy!" is a beautifully illustrated narrative poem about the juvenile names for twelve different animal species plus human. Beautiful paintings of each creature, juvenile plus father, cover each pair of pages, illuminated by the poetic narrative. Animals portrayed, juvenile plus father, include dogs (pup), sweet sugar glider (joey), swan (cygnet), seahorse (fry), beaver (kit), robin and dinosaur (hatchling), drake (ducklings), giraffe (calf), frog (tadpole), stag deer (fawn), and cat (kitten). The lilting verse of the text describes each species, infant and parent, ending with the last two pages:"But you are a child with a daddy, too. Whatever you call him, he's special to you. He's your daddy!" Like all Dawn nature educational publications, "He's Your Daddy!" ends with several added educational pages, including a matching game with miniature photos of baby animals and daddies, plus more information about each species of animal, plus two more pages of tips and additional educational tips for reading aloud and exploring additional information with children. "He's Your Daddy" is ideal reading for students and children age 4 years and up.

Magnificent Birds
Narisa Togo
Candlewick Studio
9781536201697, $20.00,

Magnificent Birds documents a number of different birds from around the world, using linocut prints in full color to display cranes, flamingos, and more. Young readers who like birds and colorful artistic renditions of them will relish this inviting survey of toucans and others, with each large-sized color drawing accompanied by natural history about each bird. Parents who look for drawings over photographs will find this an educational, compelling survey.

The Fiction Shelf

Friction in Motion
Sy Kadella
Razor's Edge Publishing
9780979156328, $16.95, PB, 298pp,

In this YA novel by Sy Kadella, young readers will hop in the car and ride along on a bizarre and funny cross-country road trip with a highly dysfunctional family and see all the people encountered through the eyes of an autistic teenager. On this trip the main character, an emotionally detached child prodigy who is on the spectrum, encounters a quirky cast of characters including a mobster uncle, a channeling aunt, a Native American healer, and a depressed punker who has read The Bell Jar five times. But none of the characters found on the road are as odd as the protagonist's own immediate family. There are many lessons along the way. The most important being that wherever there is motion, there is bound to be friction, and within this lies the secret to wisdom and the strength to break free. A unique and deftly crafted novel, "Friction in Motion" is unreservedly recommended for highschool and community library YA Fiction collections.

Confessions of a Teenage Leper
Ashley Little
Penguin Teen
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780735262614, $17.99, HC, 304pp,

Abby Furlowe has plans. Big plans. She's hot, she's popular, she's a cheerleader and she's going to break out of her small Texas town and make it big. Fame and fortune, adoration and accolades. It'll all be hers. But then she notices some spots on her skin. She writes them off as a rash, but things only get worse. She's tired all the time, her hands and feet are numb and her face starts to look like day-old pizza. By the time her seventeenth birthday rolls around, she's tried every cream and medication the doctors have thrown at her, but nothing works. When she falls doing a routine cheerleading stunt and slips into a coma, her mystery illness goes into overdrive and finally gets diagnosed: Hansen's Disease, aka leprosy. Abby is sent to a facility to recover and deal with this new reality. Her many misdiagnoses mean that some permanent damage has been done, and all of her plans suddenly come tumbling down. If she can't even wear high heels anymore, what is the point of living? Cheerleading is out the window, and she might not even make it to prom. PROM! But it's during this recovery that Abby has to learn to live with something even more difficult than Hansen's Disease. She's becoming aware of who she really was before and what her behavior was doing to others; now she's on the other side of the fence looking in, and she doesn't like what she sees. A unique, compelling, and deftly scripted novel by Ashley Little, "Confessions of a Teenage Leper" is an extraordinary and inherently riveting read from its opening page to it's unexpected twist ending. While very highly recommended for highschool and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Confessions of a Teenage Leper" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Pam Withers
The Dundurn Group
9781459741911, $12.99, PB, 200pp,

When Owen's parents leave him on his own for a week, the sixteen-year-old gets bored and hatches a crazy idea: sneak onto the yacht that's visiting the sleepy Pacific Coast island where he lives and stow away on an adventure! Once on board the vessel, Owen quickly finds this is anything but innocent fun. The ship is packed with teenagers from Central America, and it looks like Owen has stumbled into a people-smuggling operation. Complications pile up and as things head from bad to worse, a haunting incident from Owen's past tightens its grip on him. There's only one way to break free and make his way home. Owen and the first mate, Arturo (a former street kid) must work together to commandeer the boat and win the trust of those on board. But who's friend and who's foe in the shifting tides? A simply riveting and original adventure written by Pam Withers for young readers ages 12 to 15, "Stowaway" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both school and community library YA Fiction collections.

The Reckless Club
Beth Vrabel
Running Press Kids
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780762490400, $16.99, HC, 256pp,

On the last day of middle school, five kids who couldn't be more different commit separate pranks, each sure they won't be caught and they can't get in trouble. They're wrong. As punishment, they each have to volunteer one beautiful summer day-the last one before school-at Northbrook Retirement and Assisted Living Home, where they'll push creamed carrots into toothless mouths, perform the world's most pathetic skit in front of residents who won't remember it anyway, hold gnarled hands of peach fuzzed old ladies who relentlessly push hard candies, and somehow forge a bond with each other that has nothing to do with what they've done and everything to do with who they're becoming. All the action takes place in the course of this one day, with each individual chapter being one hour of that day, as the five kids reveal what they've done, why they did it, and what they're going to do now. A unique and thoroughly entertaining read by an author with a genuine flair for narrative storytelling, Beth Vrabel's "The Reckless Club" is very highly recommended for school and community library General Fiction collections for young readers ages 10 to 14. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Reckless Club" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Giant Days
Non Pratt
Amulet Books
c/o Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419731266, $18.99, HC, 288pp,

"Giant Days" by Non Pratt showcases the hilarious and heartfelt misadventures of three university first-years: Daisy, the innocent home-schooled girl; Susan, the sardonic wit; and Esther, the vivacious drama queen. While the girls seem very different, they become fast friends during their first week of university. And it's a good thing they do, because in the giant adventure that is college, a friend who has your back is key -- something Daisy discovers when she gets a little too involved in her extracurricular club, the Yogic Brethren of Zoise. When she starts acting strange and life around campus gets even stranger (missing students, secret handshakes, monogrammed robes everywhere), Esther and Susan decide it's up to them to investigate the weirdness and save their friend. An original and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, "Giant Days" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition highschool and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Giant Days" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Scholastic, Inc.

Six excellent new arrivals are recommended leisure readers for young adults from middle to high school who seek memorable stories and strong writing. Victoria Piontek's The Spirit of Cattail County (9781338167054, $16.99) tells of Sparrow Dalton, who lives in an old house near the swamp and who has few friends. Actually, she has one special best friend; but he's a ghost. Sparrow's life changes when her mother dies and she only has a sour aunt to live with, but when she embarks on a journey to discover her mother's ghost as well, Sparrow is forced to team up with outcasts and supernatural influences in this fine story of friendship and change. Julie Falatko's Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School (97812338189513, $9.99) tells of Sassy and Waldo, good dogs who spend their days protecting their home. Their boy Stewart leaves them daily to go to school, and the two dogs need to save him; even if it means putting on a disguise and trying to make people believe they are a new student wearing odd clothes. Stewart sees through them; but will anyone else? Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's The War Below (9781338233025, $17.99) tells of Luka, who has smuggled himself out of a Nazi labor camp after he's taken from his Ukraine home, leaving behind his best friend Lida. His journey involves daily challenges evading Nazis and escaping through the mountains, but when he joins an underground Ukrainian Insurgent Army, he faces raids, rescues, and big challenges to his long-term goal of locating his best friend as well as returning home to his father. Inspired by true events, The War Below adds much detail about Nazi actions and history. Anna Day's The Fandom (97813382332707, $17.99) tells of Violet, who is obsessed with The Gallows Dance, a book and movie franchise. When an accident at comic-Con transports Violet and her friends into the story-turned-real, she must find a way out of the very game she's been so thrilled to play in a fantasy realm. Teens who enjoy cosplay and gaming will relish this vivid story of an adventure that begins where a story leaves off. Lucy Christopher's Storm-Wake (9780545940320, $17.99) tells of Moss, who has grown up on a strange island with a father who plans to control the weather itself. When wild boy Callan appears on her island, prompting shifts in her own climate perceptions, Moss faces many changes, including another stranger from an alien outside world who brings with him a message that will change their lives. A powerful fantasy adventure evolves. Cecilia Galante's Strays Like Us (9781338043006, $16.99) tells of Fred, who wants to rescue a sad-eyed little dog from a mean old man who lives next door. Margery, Fred's foster mother, won't let her even go to his house, and Fred knows her own situation is fluid; but this doesn't prevent her from becoming involved in not only the little dog's fate, but in other misfits in her life, including a new odd friendship. This story of love and family will delight young adults who like moving tales of animal and human connections against all odds.

The Psychology Shelf

Hector's Favorite Place
Jo Rooks
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433828683, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Hector loves his home! It's comfy, snuggly, and safe. But sometimes Hector relies on the safety of his home too much. When he is invited to play outside with his friends, he worries about the potential problems he might encounter. Soon Hector realizes that his worries are keeping him from enjoying himself, so he needs to learn to be brave and try new things. Of special note is the inclusion of a "Note to Parents and Caregivers" about encouraging kids to step outside their comfort zones. Wonderfully entertaining and embedded with a valued message about self- confidence and personal bravery, "Hector's Favorite Place" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8.

The Bilingual Shelf

The Little Pigs and the Sweet Rice Cakes
Li Jian
Shanghai Press
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9781602204539, $16.95, HC, 42pp,

Told in a bilingual Chinese and English edition, "The Little Pigs and the Sweet Rice Cakes" by Li Jian (who was a middle school art teacher and children's books editor, and who currently owns his own illustration studio focusing on children's fairy tales) is the story of three little pigs whose appetites initially get the better of them. In a shared dream, they met an old man who tells them to deliver sweet rice cakes to him a week before New Year's Eve. The next morning, they see some sweet rice cakes on their kitchen table. The three little pigs completely forget the old man and eat every bit of them. When their mother comes home, she is very angry to discover all the cakes gone. Seeing their mother unhappy, the three little pigs help her make more delicious sweet rice cakes. When there is only a week left before Chinese New Year's Eve, their mother lays the sweet rice cakes in front of the portrait of the Kitchen God and prays for the peace for the family. On seeing the portrait, the three little pigs realize that the old man in their dreams is actually the Kitchen God! Unique and simply outstanding, "The Little Pigs and the Sweet Rice Cakes" is very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library bilingual (English/Chinese) picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8.

The Picturebook Shelf

The Book Tree
Paul Czajak and Rashin Kheiriyeh
Barefoot Books
9781782854050 $17.99

The Book Tree is a delightful children's picturebook with a valuable message: words, stories, and books are important! When the mayor bans all the books in town, can one boy return stories to life with the power of imagination? Charming artwork complements this delightful story about inspiring others through dreams and action. Highly recommended, especially for public library children's collections.

Midnight the One-Eyed Cat
Sheree K. Nielsen & Pat Wahler, authors
Janelle Dimmett, illustrator
Treehouse Publishing Group
9780996390194 $16.95

Midnight the One-Eyed Cat is a rhyming picturebook about learning to accept and cherish oneself. Midnight is a black cat with one eye, who is best friends with Starlight, a three-legged rat. One day, Midnight becomes sad because her one eye makes her appear different from other cats, so Starlight and Midnight's other friends come up with a plan to help! But perhaps a hat with a brim to hide Midnight's missing eye isn't the best solution...? The beautiful, stylized color illustrations add the perfect touch to this heartwarming story.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Based on the series created by Joss Whedon
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Quirk Books
9781683690696 $18.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a children's picturebook based on the enormously popular action- fantasy-horror television series created by Joss Wheedon. In this story, ideal for young people ages 4-8, Buffy is an eight-year-old girl - not yet the "Slayer", she is afraid of the dark, and of the spooky noises coming from her closet. She invites her best friends, Willow and Xander, for a sleepover; the frightening noises lead them to seek help from the school librarian, Giles. He teaches them that strength comes from bravery, and armed with this knowledge, young Buffy confronts the noisemakers in her closet once and for all! Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a charming read-aloud bedtime story, and the perfect gift for young Buffy fans.

It's a Firefly Night
Dianne Ochiltree, author
Betsy Snyder, illustrator
Blue Apple Books
9781609056186, $12.00, PB, 32pp,

A little girl engages in the favorite childhood activity of catching fireflies -- and then lets them go one by one. This serves to engage the young reader in counting up and then down from 10. Song-like rhyme pairs with glowing art to capture the magic of a firefly-lit summer night. Engagingly written by Dianne Ochiltree and charmingly illustrated by Betsy Snyder, "It's a Firefly Night" features an abundance of interesting firefly facts and fun new activities. "It's a Firefly Night" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4 to 8.

The Centipede Who Couldn't Tie His Shoes
Karen Dobyns, author
Maria Koch, illustrator
Atlas Publishing
9781945033407, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

Ben is thrilled to start second grade until he discovers he's the only one in his class who doesn't know how to tie his shoes. According to the class bully, Ben is wearing baby shoes. Fifty pairs of new shoes later, Ben realizes that tying shoes isn't so easy, especially because of his visual disability, which even thick glasses can't completely correct. The school's occupational therapist shows Ben how to tie his shoes using dual-colored and no-tie laces. Now Ben must decide if he'd rather have shoelaces that look like everyone else's or get through recess without having to retie his 100 shoes! Engagingly written by pediatric occupational therapist Karen Dobyns and charmingly illustrated by Maria Koch, "The Centipede Who Couldn't Tie His Shoes" promotes awareness and acceptance of children with disabilities and differing needs; includes extra sections with explanations, shoe-tying resources, and discussion points; uses type and formatting that maximize visual ease for readers; and has universal appeal in showing how dual-colored shoelaces can be helpful for all children learning to tie shoes. Simply stated, "The Centipede Who Couldn't Tie His Shoes" is a very highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Night Monster
Sushree Mishra, author
Sanket Pethkar, illustrator
Karadi Tales Picturebooks
9788181903310, $13.95, HC, 30pp,

Engagingly written by educator, storyteller, and reading specialist Sushree Mishra, and strikingly illustrated by artist Sanket Pethkar, "The Night Monster" is hardcover picture book about a child's night-time fears. A memorable and original picture book story for children ages 4 to 9 that's relatable and unforgettable. Of special note are the epistolary elements with a lift-the-flap feature. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "The Night Monster" is unreservedly recommended.

No Swimming for Nelly
Valeri Gorbachev
Holiday House
425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780823437801, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Little Nelly looks simply fabulous in her new swimsuit, so she wears it all the time including while riding her bike, playing basketball, eating at a fancy restaurant, and even while sleeping. But Nelly refuses to wear it for swimming! Grandma who is a swimming champion) has other ideas. Finally Nelly, dipping one toe at a time, learns to float, blow bubbles, kick -- and is on her way to becoming a champion swimmer herself! A wonderfully entertaining and engaging picture book by author and illustrator Valeri Gorbachev, "No Swimming for Nelly" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4 to 8.

Big Box Little Box
Caryl Hart, author
Edward Underwood, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781681197869, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Featuring a rhyming story by author Caryl Hart that fully engages children ages 3 to 6, and is charmingly illustrated on every page by artist and illustrator Edward Underwood, "Big Box Little Box" is the picture book story of one cool cat and lots of fun boxes in this delightful tale of curiosity and friendship. Certain to become an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library picture book collections, "Big Box, Little Box" is unreservedly recommended. It should be noted that "Big Box Little Box" is also available in a paperback edition (9781408872789, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

The Lonely Polar Bear
Koha Le, author/illustrator
Happy Fox Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781641240161, $14.99, HC, 38pp,

"The Lonely Polar Bear" by Vietnamese artist and author Koha Lee is about a little polar bear who wakes up alone after a furious storm. With his mother nowhere in sight, he makes friends with a mysterious little girl and various animal companions. All of the friends come together in the magnificent polar sky. In the end the little bear sits peacefully, enjoying a winter day lit up by beautiful northern lights. Of special note is how "The Lonely Polar Bear" offers an accessible way to introduce children ages 6 to 12 to climate change issues and is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Elephant
Jenni Desmond
Enchanted Lion Books
67 West Street, Studio 317A, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11222
9781592702640, $18.95, HC, 48pp,

From Africa to Asia, the elephant makes its home. Light on their feet, despite their great weight, these magnificent creatures appear light and graceful because they're always walking on their tip-toes. They have excellent hearing and can detect the rumblings of other elephants from six miles away. And, just like humans being right handed or left handed, elephants can be right tusked or left tusked! In "The Elephant" by author and illustrator Jenni Desmond is a thoroughly charming and impressively informative picture book about one of the large, endangered animals of Earth -- the elephant. Throughout "The Elephant", Desmond creates illustrations that are scientifically accurate, strikingly detailed, and beautifully rendered in collage, paint, and colored pencil. The result is an informative and entertaining picture book that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4 to 8.

How I Got My Snow Cone
Richard Otero
Dorrance Publishing Company
585 Alpha Drive, Suite 103, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
9781480956384, $23.00, HC, 30pp,

When a little boy spends the night with his abuelita, a big storm rolls in, and he hears Boom! Rattle! Rattle! Rattle! Thud! on the roof all night long. How scary! But in the morning he finds something not scary at all: fresh, ripe mangoes that fell during the storm! Fresh mangoes that can be made into snow cones! Charmingly written and illustrated by Richard Otero, "How I Got My Snow Cone" is an original and entertaining picture book for children 4 to 8 with a deftly crafted underlying message promoting creativity and courage. While very highly recommended for family, preschool, daycare center, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted that "How I Got My Snow Cone" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Little House that Didn't Have a Home
Neil Sullivan, author
Steve Burke, illustrator
Hubble & Hattie
9781787113077, $10.99, HC, 36pp,

Written with an original flair for rhyming storytelling by Neil Sullivan and charmingly illustrated by Steve Burke, the main character in "The Little House that Didn't Have a Home" is a cheeky and plucky little house that doesn't have a place to live. So he packs his bag and he and Little Bear set off into the big wide world to find themselves their 'forever home.' Along the way they encounter lots of interesting characters, some nice, some sad, some not so nice, and some very rude characters indeed! However, the Little House is no quitter, he never gives up. And just when we think that he and Little Bear will remain forever homeless, something surprising turns up. "The Little House that Didn't Have a Home" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5 to 6.

Norman Whaler, author
Nina Mkhoiani, illustrator
Beneath Another Sky Books
9781948131155, $19.99, HC, 32pp,

Jack had the measles and had to stay home from school. But, his Mom said he needed his rest, so no TV or video games. OH, NOOOOOOOO! Now, what was he going to do? An original and delightfully entertaining picture book story by Norman Whaler that is charmingly illustrated throughout by Nina Mkhoiani, "Jack" delivers an important message about the value and relationship of imagination and books! While highly and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3 to 6, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Jack" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Am I Black or Am I White?
Norman Whaler, author
Jasmine Mills, illustrator
Beneath Another Sky Books
9781948131087, $19.99, HC, 32pp,

Tara's mother was Black and her father was White. But, she didn't look Black or White. Some kids at school didn't like that and made little Tara cry. So, what does God say about it? In "Am I Black or Am I White?", children's author Norman Whaler and children's illustrator Jasmine Mills collaborate to present a picture book story for children ages 4 to 7 on the subjects of racism, being bi-racial, being different, multiculturalism, peer pressure, and bullying. Told from a Christian perspective, "Am I Black or Am I White?" is a unique, compelling, entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking read that is thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone, commentary, and presentation. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Contemporary Social Issues collections, it should be noted that "Am I Black or Am I White?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

It's Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!
Jody Jensen Shaffer, author
Claire Messer, illustrator
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481494670, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Today is the very first day of school! Busy Bus is excited, but he also has some first-day jitters. Will the children like him? Will he be homesick? What if he gets lost?! Luckily, bus driver Ben knows just what to do to make sure that the school year gets off to a great start. Young readers ages 3 to 8 will find out in "It's Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!", a thoroughly charming picture book written by Jody Jensen Shaffer and illustrated by Claire Messer that showcases the excitement and worries little ones experience as they prepare for their first day. "It's Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!" is unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Moon Boy
Carolyn Garcia
Beyond Words Publishing
9781885223814, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

The son of the Man in the Moon has no one to play with, so he goes down to earth to make some friends. Charmingly written and illustrated by Carolyn Garcia, "Moon Boy" is an original and thoroughly entertaining picture book for children ages 4 to 7. Unique and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in presentation, "Moon Boy" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Neon Leon
Jane Clarke, author
Britta Teckentrup, illustrator
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780857638069, $18.00, HC, 24pp,

Everyone knows that chameleons are the best at fitting in. But not Leon. Leon is neon! In fact, he's SO bright that he keeps all the other chameleons awake at night. But poor Leon is lonely, so he goes off in search of somewhere he can blend in. Charmingly written by Jane Clarke and engagingly illustrated "Neon Leon" is simply delightful and thoroughly 'kid friendly' interactive picture book that is filled with vibrant neon artwork. Young children can help Leon on his journey by counting his steps, sending him to sleep and giving him lots of reassurance when he's feeling down. But will he ever find a place he can fit in...? A thoroughly kid friendly entertainment from cover to cover, "Neon Leon" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Also an Animal
Lynn Parrish Sutton, author
Melissa Babcock Saylor, illustrator
Kane Miller
A Division of EDC Publishing
4901 Morena Blvd, Suite 213, San Diego, CA 92117
9781610677462, $11.99, HC, 24pp,

Engagingly written by Lynn Parrish Sutton and charmingly illustrated by Melissa Babcock Saylor, "Also an Animal" is simply, joyful, entertaining, and unique animal ode to the love between a parent and child will have children ages 3 to 6 pretending, imagining, learning and sharing with all the members of the animal kingdom. The gentle rhyming text and gorgeous cut-paper illustrations make this "Also an Animal" to a unique picture book addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Turtle Ship
Helena Ku Rhee, author
Colleen Kong-Savage, illustrator
Shens Books & Supplies
c/o Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781885008909, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Long ago in Korea, a young boy named Sun-sin spent his days playing with his pet turtle Gobugi and dreaming of sailing around the world. As a poor villager, though, his dream to travel seemed impossible. Then one day, the king's court announced a contest to find the best design for a new battleship to defend the land from invaders. The winner would sail the ocean with the royal navy. Determined to win, Sun-sin attempts to build an indestructible battleship with a few found items. Each attempt fails miserably against the powerful sea, and with it Sun-sin's dream also sinks to the bottom. Turning to Gobugi for comfort, Sun-sin notices how his pet turtle is small but mighty, slow but steady, and impossible to sink. Suddenly, Sun-sin has a great idea. Loosely based on the true story of Admiral Yi Sun-sin and his Turtle Ship, this delightful picture book by debut author Helena Ku Rhee and debut illustrator Colleen Kong-Savage introduces young readers ages 6 to 12 to a fascinating episode in Korean history and naval engineering. An engagingly entertaining read from cover to cover, "The Turtle Ship" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children.

The Dinosaur Expert
Margaret McNamara, author
G. Brian Karas, illustrator
Schwartz & Wade
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780553511437, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Mr. Tiffin and his students are back in another picture book, and this time the focus is on dinosaur-loving Kimmy. During a field trip to the natural history museum, Kimmy is thrilled to share what she knows about the Stegosaurus and the Archaeopteryx and even the ginormous Titanosaurus. That changes when one of her classmates questions whether girls can be paleontologists. Kimmy starts to feel shy. What if they can't? What if no one wants to hear what she has to say? It will take some help from Mr. Tiffin--and from a famous scientist--for Kimmy to find her voice again. Young readers ages 4 to 8 will enjoy joining Mr. Tiffin's class as they learn about dinosaurs big and small, feathered and scaly, winged and ocean-dwelling. And root for Kimmy, the dinosaur expert -- who might just learn something about herself! "The Dinosaur Expert" is very highly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8.

The Adventures of Jam and Jelly
Linda Icenhour, author
Amber Icenhour, illustrator
Polar Press
c/o Golden Bell Studios
9781946185044 $14.95

This charming adventure tale of two little Jellycats, written and illustrated by a mother daughter team, exemplifies the maxim of Polar Press that readers of every age deserve and need stories of their own. With firm appeal for younger readers as well as older ones, "The Adventures of Jam and jelly" tells a tale of two mini Jellycats who love to play games but always have time to help their friends in the forest. One day while Jam and Jelly were playing hide and seek in the forest near the pond, they came upon a jellyduckling hiding under a leaf and crying because he had lost his mama. Together jam and Jelly help the little jellyduckling find his Mama Duck swimming in the pond close to shore. Mama Duck scolded the jellyduckling and thanked the Jellycats for their help. The brightly colored paintings and illustrations plus the large print narrative, enhanced by border rows of Jellycats' paw prints, add to the strong appeal of "The Adventures of Jam and Jelly" for young and older readers. "The Adventures of Jam and Jelly" is finished with an illustrated page that traces five important steps in the making of the book, encouraging creativity in young authors and artists.

Bye Bye Pesky Fly
Lysa Mullady, author
Janet McDonnell, illustrator
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
9781433828553 $16.95, HC, 32pp, Ages 4-8,

"Bye Bye Pesky Fly" is a story with hidden morals, a kind of behavioral choices sampler for kids that offers choices for dealing with annoying or frustrating situations. Pig takes a quiet walk in the sunshine on a good day, imagining favorite things like rainbows, sunshine, and cool mudbaths on a hot day, feeling calm, peaceful, and happy. The Pesky Fly arrives out of the blue, buzzing around Pig's nose and ears and generally bothering Pig so that he was thinking about rain, thunder, and prickly sticker bushes. The annoying Pesky Fly made Pig mad, destroying his nice happy day. Pig imagines what he could do to stop or help the situation. He could yell, but that would just make the problem bigger. He could run away and hide in a cave, but that would just leave him feeling upset and lonely, because running away doesn't help. He even thought of swatting the Pesky Fly, but Pig would not do that because he was a Pig of peace, who would not willingly hurt anyone else. Deciding he wanted to be calm and happy, Pig thought of his favorite calming thoughts. Then he walked quietly, and then the Pesky Fly flew too close to his eyes, he asked the fly nicely not to fly so close. surprisingly, the Pesky Fly complied with Pig's request. Even though the Fly had other choices too, he decided he enjoyed Pig's company and that he wanted to keep a cheerful friend like Pig. The two friends continued on together, ending with "Bye bye, Pesky Fly. Hello, Friend!" A helpful section titled Notes to Parents, Caregivers and Professionals gives helpful suggestions for using "Bye Bye Pesky Fly" to help children understand the powerful choice of remaining calm when someone or something is annoying. Tips include modeling coping skills, getting moving, and practicing talking it out. "Bye Bye Pesky Fly" is a great creative resource to help children learn to deal with frustration and to cultivate friendships.

The Dress and the Girl
Camille Andros, author
Julie Morstad, illustrator
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419731617, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

A little girl and her favorite dress dream of an extraordinary life. They enjoy simple pleasures together on a beautiful Greek island. They watch the sunset, do chores, and pick wildflowers on the way home. One day, the dress and the girl must leave the island and immigrate to the United States. Upon arrival, the girl is separated from the trunk carrying her favorite dress, and she fears her dress is lost forever. Many years later, the girl (now all grown up) spots the dress in a thrift store window. As the two are finally reunited, the memories of their times together come flooding back. While the girl can no longer wear the dress, it's now perfect for her own daughter - - and the new journey of a girl and her dress begins. Featuring lush illustrations created by the artistry of Julie Morstad, "The Dress and the Girl" is a simply stunning picture book by Camille Andros about memory and the power of the items we hold most dear. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4 to 8, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Dress and the Girl" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Very Last Castle
Travis Jonker, author
Mark Pett, illustrator
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419725746, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

A curious little girl watches the man who guards the last castle in town. Every time she passes by him, she tries to catch his eye. While the other townspeople fear what may be locked up inside the mysterious castle, the girl finally gets up the courage to knock on the door and find out what's really behind the gate. "The Very Last Castle" by the team of author Travis Jonker and illustrator Mark Pett, "The Very Last Castle" is a picture book story for children ages 4 to 8 about overcoming fear of the unknown, trying new things, and reaching out to make new friends, The Very Last Castle shows that bravery comes in packages both big and small. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Very Last Castle" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Ode to an Onion
Alexandria Giardino, author
Felicita Sala, illustrator
Cameron Kids
c/o Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781944903343, $17.95, HC, 40pp,

Pablo has a lunch date with his friend Matilde, who shows the moody poet her garden. Where Pablo sees conflict and sadness, Matilde sees love and hope. A poetic, beautifully illustrated picture book by the team of author/translator Alexandria Giardino and artist Felicita Sala that was inspired by the poem Ode to the Onion by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904 - 1973). The story of "Ode to an Onion" is less a biography of Neruda and his muse, Matilde Urrutia (1912 - 1985), and more a simple ode to a vegetable that is humble and luminous, dark and light, gloomy and glad, full of grief and full of joy -- just like life. A sophisticated and entertaining picture book for young readers ages 4 to 8, "Ode to an Onion" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Sam Usher
c/o Candlewick Press
9781536202823 $16.99

Storm tells of a boy and his grandfather who decide a stormy day is actually perfect for flying a kite. As the day begins, the grandchild proposes kicking up leaves and experiencing the wind, but Granddad proposes kite-flying, if they can find one, first. A search ensues while the wind howls and memories come to mind in this fun story of outside weather, inside experiences and memories, and the possibilities in a storm. Picture book readers with rudimentary reading skills will find it invitingly fun.

The Little Barbarian
Renato Moriconi
9780802855091, $17.00, HC, 48pp, Ages 4-8,

The Little Barbarian is a fun, oblong, oversized wordless picture book that follows a brave little barbarian as he rides his horse through snakes, attacking birds, Cyclops, devils, and a range of monstrous beings, plants, and animals. Nothing can stop him: neither storms nor beasts nor fire. A surprise ending reveals the truth about the brave little barbarian in a whimsical, delightfully fun picture book story.

Scholastic, Inc.

Four new picture book tales are recommended picks for parents and educators seeking memorable reads for youngsters. Darren Farrell's Letter Town (9781338121070, $17.99) provides a seek-and-find alphabet adventure that covers a host of characters from Buss Driver B to Zookeeper Z. The letters of the alphabet present a rollicking ride through Letter Town with a few surprises along the way. Whimsical, fun drawings abound. Sujean Rim's Zoogie Boogie Fever! (9780545900068, $17.99) provides a fun animal dance story that reveals what zoo animals do at night after the gates close. Various dance moves are revealed through furry feet and wild, colorful movements by pandas, flamingos, camels, peacocks and more in a fun-filled, lively presentation. Rashin's Saffron Ice Cream (9781338150520, $17.99) by Rashin Kheiriyeh tells of Rashin's first visit to the beach in her family's new home. Rashin recalls her native Iran during the beach trip, and the saffron ice cream she shared with her best friend, contrasting this with a visit to an American beach which is quite different, but which holds much allure. Picture book readers receive a joyful celebration of the two cultures in this fun story of a family's outing in two different worlds. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Ugly Five (9781338249538, $17.99) tells of five ugly African animals and their friendship. Rhyming descriptions accompany their adventures while full-page color illustrations are bright, cheery embellishments that bring the Ugly Five's stories and personas to life. All are fun, inviting picture books that stand out from the crowd.

Random House Children's Books

Two new picture book tales are fun acquisitions for parents and kids, each offering a kid-friendly story that is original and appealing. Tracy Ludwig's Quiet Please, Owen McPhee! (9780399557132, $17.99) receives engaging drawings by Patrice Barton and will reach ages 4-8 with the story of a busy classroom and a boy who is hard pressed to listen. Owen loves to talk and will talk at whoever will listen, but when he loses his voice, something surprising lessons in this whimsical story of a boy's biggest lesson at school. Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas's The Dinosaur Expert (9780553511437, $17.99) will reach ages 4-8 with its fun story of a girl who loves dinosaurs, and who shares her knowledge of them on a field trip to a museum. One of her classmates questions whether she can become a paleontologist, and Kimmy begins to wonder about her own ambitions and passion. Science and girls come together in a gentle story of a child's passion for dinosaur and self-discoveries alike.


Three fun new titles offer something quite different from ordinary picture book presentations as they survey different worlds and unique environments. Rafael Ordonez and Laure du Fay's The World's Biggest Fart (9788494597145, $16.95) requires good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance as it tells of an elephant who settles into the water for a good soak, only to face an impossibly large underwater fart by a hippo. As different animals join in the farting fray, an unofficial contest emerges with some surprising conclusions kids will find delightfully funny. Dolores Brown and Sonja Wimmer's The Truly Brave Princesses (9788417123383, $17.95) also requires good reading skills or parental assistance, and tells of the fact that there are many different kinds of princesses, including those who work hard jobs, have braces, designs homes at her architectural job, and is a divorced librarian who loves to go dancing. Whimsical, large drawings of a wide range of ethnicities and different princess possibilities accompany a thought-provoking story of what makes a princess royal. Mar Pavon and Laure du Fay's That's Not Normal! (9788494431883, $15.95) tells of an elephant with an incredibly long trunk, who uses it to help everyone around him. His trunk may not be normal, but is his propensity for kindness something that can become normal? As various animals enter into the bigger picture, kids receive a fun story of normalcy and kindness.

Tundra Books

Two new picture book stories are warm presentations recommended for a wide age range. Inspired by Anne of Green Gables (which is for older readers), Kallie George's Goodnight, Anne (9781770499263, $17.99) is illustrated by Genevieve Godbout and tells of precocious Anne, who can't go to sleep until she says goodnight to everyone and everything she loves. It's a bedtime story that serves as an early introduction to Anne and her Green Gables environment. Linda Bailey's Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein (9781770495593, $17.99) receives dark and compellingly brooding drawings by Julia Sarda and requires good reading skills as it follows a dreaming girl with an active imagination whose biggest nightmare become a literary icon. In telling how Mary Shelly came to realize her dreams and acknowledge her nightmares, the biography assumes the drama and excitement of fiction which kids with good reading skills will relish.

The Counting Shelf

Bunny Bath: A Counting Book
Heather Herzog, author
Cat Eskey, illustrator
Eifrig Publishing
PO Box 66, Lemont, PA 16851
9781632330604, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Young children ages 10 months to 5 years will join the bunny fun as 7 little bunnies get ready for bed in "Bunny Bath: A Counting Book". Little ones while see those 7 little bunnies create counting chaos as they hop in the tub one by one. "Bunny Bath" is filled with whimsical rhymes by Heather Herzog and vivid illustrations by Cat Eskey that bring life to a counting book that is total fun from cover to cover, making it especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Board Book Shelf

It's Nice to Be a Mountain Lion
Molly Woodward, author
Tom & Pat Leeson, photographers
Heyday Books
PO Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709
9781597144292, $8.99, Board Book, 20pp,

Its very nice to be a mountain lion lounging in a tree; going for a little prowl with lots to learn and see! A board book by the team of author Molly Woodward and photographers Tom Leeson and Pat Leeson, "It's Nice to Be a Mountain Lion" introduces babies and toddlers ages 5 to 6 to a very adorable animal. Playful, rhyming text takes children through a day in the life of a cougar, supplemented by fun facts for parents to share with youngsters. With plenty of photographs to coo over, this new addition to the simply outstanding Heyday Books 'It's Nice to Be' board book series will charm children and parents alike. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

Little Simon
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020

There are two new and thoroughly fun additions to the Little Simon line of board books for children ages 1 to 4. "Hello Ninjas" (9781534418691, $8.99, 26pp) is ideal for reading out loud, combining Joan Holub's hilarious text with Chris Dickason's lively illustrations. The result is little ones both learning and laughing as they try to find all the sneaky ninjas hidden on each page. "Hello Knights" (9781534418684, $8.99, 26pp) once again features Joan Holumb's wonderfully entertaining text and Chris Dickason's original and charming illustrations that will have young ones gleefully laughing as the knights and dragons run up and down the castle wall. A clever, interactive approach to first concepts, this 'Hello' board book series from Little Simon also introduces important "next-step" concepts like opposites in a hilariously engaging way. Both "Hello Ninjas" and "Hello Knights" are unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library board book collections.

Chilly Penguin
Constanze von Kitzing
Barefoot Books
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
9781782854067, $7.99, Board Book, 26pp,

"Chilly Penguin" is a delightfully entertaining board book for children ages 5 to 6 about a little penguin with a red scarf who finds that it's cold outside! Can a little penguin with a red scarf get warm all by himself? Charmingly written and illustrated by Constanze von Kitzing, "Chilly Penguin" is very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections!

Me and You: A Book of Opposites
Alice Melvin
Tote Publishing
c/o Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781849765855, $9.99, Board Book, 20pp,

A charmingly written and illustrated board book by Edinburgh based artist and designer Alice Melvin, "Me and You: A Book of Opposites" uses opposites to explore the activities of a young child, from playtime in the park to cuddling up for bed. "Me and You: A Book of Opposites" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections for children ages 3 to 6. Also very highly recommended for such board book collections is Alice Melvin's "My Day: A Book of Actions" (Tote Publishing, 9781849765862, $9.99, 20pp).

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!: A Preschool Story
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, author
Zachariah Ohora, illustrator
Abrams Appleseed
c/o Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419733222, $7.99, Board Book, 32pp,

Entertainingly written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and charmingly illustrated by Zachariah Ohora, "Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!: A Preschool Story" is a picture book for children ages 3 to 6 years and is about a classroom full of young dinosaurs playing with toys, doing art projects, and reading books. But each activity is another opportunity for the over-enthusiastic Tyrannosaurus Rex to wreak havoc. "Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!: A Preschool Story" is very highly recommended and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

Creature vs. Teacher
T. Nat Fuller, author
Alex Eben Meyer, illustrator
Abrams Appleseed
c/o Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419731556, $7.99, Board Book, 16pp,

Playing on the popularity of benign monsters and mad scientists, "Creature vs. Teacher" by the team of author T. Nat Fuller and illustrator Alex Eben Meyer is a gently irreverent board book of rhymes with a deft narrative and a theme that is perfect for Halloween. Delightfully entertaining from cover to cover, "Creature vs. Teacher" is a unique and very highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections for children ages 3 to 6. It should be noted that "Creature vs. Teacher" is also available in a digital book format ($7.19).

Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?
Brianna Caplan Sayres, author
Christian Slade, illustrator
Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780399554513, $8.99, Board Book, 40pp,

"Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?" is perfect for children ages 4 to 6 who have ever wondered what little airplanes do when it's time for bed? Jumbo jets, biplanes, helicopters, even Air Force One! power down, wash up, and listen to stories with mommy and daddy planes beneath a blanket of stars, getting ready to fly to dreamland. Little airplane lovers will be tickled to see how bedtime is the same for their favorite flying vehicles as it is for them, as they come down to earth for sleepy time. "Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?" is unreservedly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112

Peactree Publishers has two newly published board books by author Kathryn O. Galbraith and illustrator Adela Pons for children ages 2 to 6. "Autumn Babies" (9781682630662, $6.95, 20pp) is an endearing board book with adorable babies on the go during the fall season. "Winter Babies" (9781682630679, $6.95, 20pp) features children on the go during the winter season. Each board book features a spirited, rhyming text and colorful, graphic art that reveals an energetic cast of babies having an action-packed day of play in the park. Featuring diverse characters and highlighting early concepts like shapes and repetition, these two board books in the 'Babies in the Park' series encourage an appreciation of nature and outdoor imaginative play, making them unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections.

The American History Shelf

The School's on Fire!
Rebecca C. Jones
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9780912777627, $17.99, HC, 176pp,

Written for the 60th anniversary of the blaze that changed American fire laws, "The School's on Fire!: A True Story of Bravery, Tragedy, and Determination" follows the path of the December 1958 fire that killed 92 kids and 3 teachers at Chicago's Our Lady of the Angels School. Recounted in a fast-paced, blow-by-blow, classroom by classroom narrative, the tragedy is made accessible by focusing on the survivors' stories of courage, quick thinking, and luck. In "The School's on Fire!", author Rebecca C. Jones draws heavily from interviews with those who were there and includes compelling historic photos of the tragedy. "The School's on Fire!" finishes with a useful "What to Do in Case of Fire" appendix with practical information for kids facing dangerous situations. "The School's on Fire!" is enhanced with the inclusion of additional informative sidebars, resources for further learning, and source notes. While specifically recommended for school and community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of children ages 10 to 16 that "The School's on Fire!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The World History Shelf

Absolutely Everything!
Christopher Lloyd
What on Earth Publishing
9781999802837, $21.99, HC, 352pp,

How was our universe made from a tiny speck of energy? Where did the first trees, plants, animals and humans come from? What happened to the dinosaurs? What was so miserable about medieval times? How were railroads and electricity invented? What are the perils of global warming? Specifically written for young readers ages 9 to 12, "Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention" by Christopher Lloyd answers many of big questions about our planet, life and people. Profusely illustrated throughout, "Absolutely Everything!" allows young readers to embark on an entertaining journey across millennia and continents and is a very highly and unreservedly recommended addition to family, school, and community library collections.

The Secrets of Tutankhamun
Patricia Cleveland-Peck, author
Isabel Greenberg, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
9781681197128 $18.99

The Secrets of Tutankhamun: Egypt's Boy King and His Incredible Tomb is a colorful picturebook about the young Egyptian king, and the astounding discovery of his intact tomb, which in turn provided a wealth of knowledge about ancient Egypt. Chronicling Tutankhamun's brief life and sudden death at age nineteen, followed by Howard Carter's groundbreaking archaeological investigation, The Secrets of Tutankhamun is fascinating from cover to cover. Highly recommended, especially for school and library children's collections.

The Language Studies Shelf

The French Collection/La collection francaise
Whistlefritz, LLC
PO Box 363, Glen Echo, MD 20812-0383
UPC: 896052001368, SRP: $89.99,

"The French Collection/La collection francaise" from Whistlefritz is a professionally produced, 4 video, 2CD course of six lively programs that encourage children ages 1 to 7 to speak in French, sing in French, and even dance in French! This multimedia set includes the French immersion videos: Dedans et dehors (Inside and Out); On va jouer (Let's Play); Les saisons (The Seasons); and L'anniversaire de Fritzi (Fritzi's Birthday). Specifically created to be enjoyed again and again, each individual video encourages children to learn basic French vocabulary as they interact with the vivacious host Marie, playful peers and charming animated characters. The fun continues with the lively CDs: Cha, Cha, Cha and Allons danser! (Let's Dance!), that combine catchy original songs and traditional favorites with rollicking world music rhythms. "The French Collection/La collection francaise" is an entertaining and effective language learning tool that proves a thoroughly 'kid friendly', practical, engaging, and fun introduction to the French language making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Language Studies instructional reference collections. It should be noted for French language curriculums that there are free downloadable translation guides and lyrics for at the Whistlefritz website at

Pasando Paginas
Sonia Sotomayor, author
Lulu Delacre, illustrator
Philomel Books
9780525515494, $17.99,

Written entirely and solely in Spanish, Pasando Paginas: La Historia de mi vida requires good reading skills and provides illustrations by Lulu Delacre as it provides a picture book autobiography of author and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Kids with good reading skills in the Spanish language learn how Sotomayor's love of books lead her to achievements and a future where she achieved her seemingly impossible goals. It should be noted that Pasando Paginas is also available separately in an English-language edition ("Turning Pages: My Life Story", 9780525514084).

The Christian Shelf

The Very Best Story Ever Told
Robin Currie, author
David Kurta Williams, illustrated
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506438115, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Engagingly written by Robin Currie and charmingly illustrated by David Kura Williams, "The Very Best Story Ever Told: The Gospel with American Sign Language" shares the Gospel story in a unique and creative way, from God's love for the world to Jesus' life to the Spirit surrounding us today. Each line of this story includes important words reinforced with American Sign Language to engage the whole child. As kids ages 4 to 8 learn the signs and repeat the words, visual learning, auditory learning, and kinesthetic learning are fully engaged to equip them to retell the Gospel story again and again. A Junior Library Guild selection, "The Very Best Story Ever Told: The Gospel with American Sign Language" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, Sunday School, elementary school, and community library collections.

Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs and Symbols
Amy Welborn
Loyola Press
3441 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
9780829446517, $19.95, HC, 192pp,

For centuries when most people were illiterate, they learned about the Christian faith through paintings, sculptures, objects, and gestures. Simple images still convey deep messages if we learn how to see and understand them. In "Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their History and Meaning", children's author Amy Welborn has created a friendly and fascinating sourcebook on the signs and symbols of the Catholic faith. The exquisite illustrations throughout will inspire conversation and prayerful reflection for readers of all ages. Each image appears with a brief, child-friendly explanation coupled with a more detailed description on the opposite page. From the sign of the fish to the Stations of the Cross, from the palm branch to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the "Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs and Symbols" will enable children ages 6 to 12 experience faith with curiosity and wonder, making it very highly recommended, especially for Catholic families.

The Judaic Shelf

Mary Lindeen, author
Norwood House Press
PO Box 316598, Chicago, IL 60631
9781599539072, $26.60 Library Binding, $11.95 PB, 32pp,

Part of the Beginning-To-Read series, "Hanukkah" encourages young readers to read and discover more about important holidays. This enticing hardbound title offers two page color photographs illustrating informative text all about Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Special celebrations including lighting one candle each night on a beautiful menorah to commemorate a Jewish tradition of a Temple miracle long ago when the oil needed to keep lights burning was kept burning for eight days and nights. Special foods such as potato pancakes, jelly filled doughnuts, and chocolate foil wrapped gold coins are exchanged along with gifts. Special games are played and families enjoy celebrating together the holiday of Hanukkah in December. "Hanukkah" also includes suggestions for parents and teachers about reading reinforcement, craft and structures, vocabulary, and more, plus word lists for review. "Hanukkah" is a delightful nonfiction holiday book that can also be paired with a related fiction title from the Read and Discover books series for young readers. Additional titles in this series that are also highly recommended include the following: "Fourth of July (9781599539096)," "Valentine's Day (9781599539089)," and "Easter (9781599539065)," all by Mary Lindeen.

The Aviation Shelf

Skyward: The Story of Female Pilots in WWII
Sally Deng
Flying Eye Books
c/o Nobrow Press
9781911171881, $24.00, HC, 88pp,

The year is 1927, and in America, England and Russia, three young girls share the dream of becoming pilots. Against the odds, these ambitious young trailblazers follow their hearts, enrolling in pilot school (some in secret) and eventually flying for their countries in World War II. In "Skyward: The Story of Female Pilots in WWII" young readers ages 7 to 12 will follow the adventures of these young female pioneers as they battle not only enemies in the skies but sexism and inequality in their own teams, and encounter legends like Jackie "Speed Queen" Cochran. Risking their lives countless times in feats of incredible bravery, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) of the Second World War are honored in this beautifully illustrated and inherently fascinating story based on actual events and real people. "Skyward" is unreservedly recommended for family, school, and community library collections.

How Airports Work
Clive Gifford, author
James Gulliver Hancock, illustrator
Lonely Planet Kids
9781787012936 $18.99

How Airports Work is an educational lift-the-flap book filled with fascinating facts and insights about modern hubs of air travel. Young people can lift flaps to peek at the inside of a bustling terminal building, a jumbo jet, a control tower and much more! (It should be noted that the flaps make How Airports Work unsuited for children younger than 36 months, due to the small parts posing a possible choking hazard.) Amazing true vignettes pepper the entire picturebook. "Named after the type of whale that it resembles, the Airbus Beluga has an ultra-tall body so that it can carry very large items, such as parts used for making planes and spacecraft." How Airports Work is awash with aviation secrets to discover, and just plain fun to page through. Also highly recommended is another Lonely Planet Kids lift-the-flap book, "Ancient Wonders: Then & Now" (9781787013407, $18.99), a stunning tour of some of history's most famous civilizations and their buildings, palaces, and temples.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

J. S. Kirkland
Moonray Press
9780692942505, $16.47, HC, 389pp,

The Nature Keepers, who govern the natural world, are deeply divided in their intentions towards our world and are embroiled in a bitter conflict that threatens the future of all humankind. Six young people, previously unaware of their extraordinary family legacy, discover they have been bestowed with gifts of profound meaning and power -- vital to defending mankind. They accept the call to crossover to the world of the Nature Keepers to join forces in the fight against menacing rivals who were once friends and allies. In this first volume of author J. S. Kirkland's new 'The Nature Keepers' series, young readers will share the heart-breaking defeats and exhilarating triumphs as these valiant young people test their courage against all odds and prevail, having acquired strengths they never knew they had, wisdom beyond their years, and an understanding of true love and individual destiny. One of author J. S. Kirkland's deftly crafted fantasies that will become an immediate and enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fantasy Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bestow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.22).

A Warrior's Path: Rise of a Legend
Gena Ervin
Waldorf Publishing
2140 Hall Johnson Road 102-345, Grapevine, TX 76051
9781641369749, $14.95, PB, 350pp,

The Legend of The Originators, passed down throughout generations, foretells of a chosen few who have been preordained to save the lands from destruction, uniting humans and magical creatures once and for all. Hadrien, a young prince, has accidentally killed his older brother with his budding magic. With the recent death of his mother, he had no one in his corner to protect him from his father's hatred, so he runs away from home. He finds himself deep in a dangerous forest when he is found by Arnolis, one of the magical warriors his father taught him to fear. Upon discovering Hadrien's magical abilities, Arnolis is convinced that the child is one of the chosen ones discussed in the legends. Arnolis takes on the responsibility of raising the child and trains Hadrien in the use of his powers before they become too strong for him to control. Lord Voth believes that he is the only true law. He wants a new order and his arrogance leads him to believe that he is the one spoken of in the legends, the bringer of destruction. He must find those who oppose him and destroy them. An original and deftly crafted novel by a master of the fantasy action/adventure genre, "A Warrior's Path: Rise of a Legend" by Gena Ervin is a simply riveting read from beginning to end and very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans, as well as school and community library YA Fantasy Fiction collections for ages 12 to 18.

The Audiobook Shelf

Unbelievably Boring Bart
James Patterson and Duane Swierczynski
Read by Adam McArthur
Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781478995937 $18.00

Award-winning authors James Patterson and Duane Swierczynski present Unbelievably Boring Bart is the unabridged children's audiobook about Bart Bean, the boring new kid at middle school. No one seems to notice Bart except when he's being bullied, but Bart has a hidden talent - he designed a cool cell phone game that lets the player hunt aliens around town! As the game's popularity rockets sky-high, Bart realizes he could reveal himself as the creator and revel in public adoration... or secretly use the game to get back at bullies once and for all! Superbly performed by Adam McArthur, and including a PDF of its original illustrations, Unbelievably Boring Bart is a gem for school and public library children's audiobook collections, highly recommended. 3 CDs, 2.5 hours.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

The Light of Ixo
Roger Leloup
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
9781849183925, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

On one of the moons of their stellar system, the Vineans have detected a mysterious light source that only appears every five years. Its point of origin matches the location of an ancient depot where every dangerous industrial, chemical and radioactive waste ever produced on Vinea was once stockpiled. Having no idea what the light could be, but worried of the destructive potential present on Ixo, Khany puts together an expedition - and brings along her favourite Human consultants. The eighth volume in Roger LeLoup's graphic novel series 'Yoko Tsuno', "The Light of Ixo will have a very special appeal for young science fiction enthusiasts ages 9 to 12 and is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both school and community library collections.

The Clockmaker and the Comet
Tome, author
Janry, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
9781849184045, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

Spirou and Fantasio are spending a few days at Champignac Castle, keeping an eye on the estate while the Count is away visiting family. One night, as they are preparing to watch a comet pass in the sky, Fantasio's clumsiness causes them to lose consciousness. They awaken to the very noisy arrival of de Champignac aboard one of his strange machines - except that the old man claims to be not the Count himself, but one of his descendants who is back from the future! A lively, original, and thoroughly entertaining time-travel story, "The Clockmaker and the Comet" is very highly recommended for personal, elementary school, and community library graphic novel collections for young readers ages 9 to 12.

The Music CD Shelf

Happy Haunted Halloween
Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies
Crumby Records
$10.00 CD / $10.00 digital

Happy Haunted Halloween is music album for children ages 2-8, brimming with spooky, original songs about monsters, haunted houses, ghosts, trick-or-treating, and much more. A joyful way to kick off the holiday season, Happy Haunted Halloween is perfect for children's Halloween parties, or setting the mood for handing out candy to trick-or-treaters at home. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Happy Halloween", "Gonna Get Me a Monster", "Ain't Scared of Nuthin'", "Crawl Space", "Monster in Me", "Grandpa's Ghost", "Going to a Ghost Town", "Dream of the Bonfire", "How Many Pieces of Candy?", "She Writes Frankenstein", "Insane Scientist Victory Blitz", "Something Sweet for Halloween", "Who U Spoze 2 B?", and "Haunted Halloween". 31 min.

Five Little Oysters
Sukey Molloy
PlayMove&Sing Inc.
$9.99 CD / $9.99 download

Ideal for little ones ages 1-5, Five Litte Oysters is the fifth children's album by Sukey Molloy. Featuring a classic repertoire of beloved favorite songs with updated lyrics that stand tradition on its head, Five Little Oysters is a joy for families to share. Highly recommended! The tracks are "It's Raining, It's Pouring", "Do Your Ears Hang Low", "The Sun Shines on My Body", "The Ants Go Marching", "Five Little Oysters", "If I Were a Cat", "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain", "This Old Man", "Sunny & Tick Tock Went Out One Day", "I've Been Working on the Railroad", "Kitten Dance", "Simple Gifts", and "The Story of Little Flame in the Arctic". 39 min.

Howdy Do!
Hopalong Andrew
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

Howdy Do! Songs of the Urban Cowpoke is the debut album of family-friendly western and folk music from "urban cowboy" Hopalong Andrew. Celebrating both the richness of city life and the timeless traditions of the cowboy, these delightful tweaks on classic favorite tunes appeal to the western enthusiast in all of us! Highly recommended. The tracks are "Howdy Do!", "Back in the City Again", "I've Been Everywhere in New York City", "Tyrannosaurus (Night at the Museum)", "Thank God I'm a City Boy", "The Yodeling Ranger of Central Park", "Outside!", "Broadway was a Native American Trail", "Ice Cream Dude (Jingle, Jangle)", "Buffalo, Buffalo", "Home on the Town", and "Bring Back My Cowgirl to Me".

Night Train 57
Dan Zanes, Claudia Eliaza, & Yuriana Sobrino
Festival Five Records LLC
$9.29 CD / $9.49 MP3

Night Train 57: A Sensory Friendly Comic Folk Opera is an original, family-friendly album featuring husband-and-wife duo Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza along with Mexican percussionist Yuriana Sobrino, in a joyful celebration of music and discovery. The titular Night Train 57 refers to a magical engine powered by music, that can fly into outer space and discover untold wonders. Listeners of all ages will enjoy these imaginative, dreamlike compositions! The tracks are "Songs are Everywhere", "A Seat for One and All", "Can You Sing?", "Shine On", "Night Train 57", "Going Up", "Guitars to the Stars", "On Our Way", "What Kind of Train?", "Hats!", "Sea of Stars", "Reds, Blues, and Greens", "Bloom, Baby, Bloom!", "The Darkest Night" and "Bright Morning Song".

The LGBT Shelf

Phoenix Goes to School
Michelle and Phoenix Finch, authors
Illustrated by Sharon Davey
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
9781785928215 $15.95

Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children is a picturebook written for children ages 5-8 about Phoenix Finch, a transgender seven-year-old girl who was assigned male at birth. "When I was born, the doctor told my parents they had a baby boy. But I know I am really a girl. I've always been this way." Phoenix is about to start school; she is excited, but also frightened of being bullied. With support from parents, teachers, and friends, she is brave enough to talk to other children about her gender. A postscript "For Grown- Ups" discusses societal gender norms and transgender children, along with suggested talking points for explaining to children what it means to be transgender; one example is "The most important thing to remember is that we are all humans, regardless of our gender identity." Phoenix Goes to School is an excellent resource for starting a conversation with young people about gender issues, and is especially recommended as a tool for children's counselors.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Power to the Princess
Written by Vita Murrow
Illustrated by Julia Bereciartu
Lincoln Children's Books
c/o Quarto Kids
9781786032034 $19.99

Power to the Princess: 15 Favorite Fairytales Retold with Girl Power presents a new, more egalitarian spin on classic fables. Here are Sleeping Beauty, a specialist on sleep disorders; Rapunzel, world-famous architect; the Little Mermaid, an activist; and more. Color illustrations intersperse these delightful tales, perfect for family storytime or independent reading by older princesses and princes. Power to the Princess is highly recommended for public library children's collections and for family collections or holiday gift-giving.

The Holiday Shelf

Ethan Long
Bloomsbury Children's Books
9781681198255 $16.99 hc / $11.89 Kindle

Fangsgiving is a laugh-out-loud funny children's picturebook by award-winning author and illustrator Ethan Long that blends holidays into a hilarious mish-mash. What happens when a Vlad's family of vampires drops in unexpectedly to celebrate the fourth Thursday in November? Fangsgiving! But when the traditional meal is made into a mess, is Thanksgiving ruined forever? Or will Vlad and his monster family remember what the holiday season is truly about? The wacky illustrations add the perfect touch to this madcap storybook, highly recommended.

Books in Series

Everything You Need to Know About Confronting Xenophobia
Susan Meyer, author
Rosen Publications Group
29 East 21st St., New York, NY 10010
9781508179177 $29.85 (Schools/Libraries) hardbound, 64 pages,

"Everything You Need to Know About Confronting Xenophobia" is a fact and photo-filled treatise/resource for students grades 6 and above from the Need To Know Library series. Five succinct chapters present the definition of xenophobia as originating in a fear of differences, closely akin to racism and discrimination. The featured pages on contrasting myths and facts on page 16 is an example of the calm, analytical tone of this enlightening book. Investigating and summarizing harmful results from historic xenophobia around the world, "........Confronting Xenophobia" leads naturally to chapter 4, Taking a Stand Against Xenophobia, in which readers are cautioned to consider safety planning when challenging a xenophobic person. It encourages further glances inward in a section titled Understanding Xenophobic Feelings Within Yourself. Finally, chapter 5 discusses methods and approaches for celebrating diversity, and supporting a diverse community, such as is exemplified by the #WorldMosaic project initiated by a University of Alberta student, Jeremiah Ellis and the mayor of the town of Edmonton, in Canada. Filled with thoughtful sidebars and color photos of diverse groups of young persons, "Everything You Need To Know About Xenophobia" concludes with a glossary, and For More Information and Further Reading sections, plus bibliography and index. Investigating the presence, cause, and consequences of xenophobia is crucial to modern civilization and humanity. This incisive study will promote waves of development towards a goal of #WorldMosaic and other celebrations of diversity. Other titles in the Need To Know Library series that are also highly recommended include: "Everything You Need to Know About Voting Rights and Voter Disenfranchisement (9781508179214, $25.85 S & L)," by Julia Quinlan, "Everything You Need To Know About Protests and Public Assembly (9781508179207, $25.85)," by Philip Wolny, "Everything You Need To Know About Cultural Appropriation (9781508179184, $25.85)," by Lisa A. Crayton, "Everything You Need To Know About Confronting Racist Behavior (9781508179153, $25.85)," by Lisa A. Crayton, and "Everything You Need To Know About Free Speech (9781508179191, $25.85)," by Don Rauf.

Finn Goes to the Store: A Book About Counting Money
Charly Haley, author
The Child's World
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003
9781503824898 $27.07, Library Binding, 24 pages,

"Finn Goes to the Store" is a preschool-Grade 2 level photo-illustrated book about learning to count money. Finn needed to go the grocery store to buy bread for $1.94. Finn had one dollar bill and also additional change to make the 94 cents. He found that three quarters, one dime, and one nickel were enough, along with four pennies, to make the 94 cents. Finn went with his mom to the grocery store and bought the bread. The book ends with a direct question, "When have you had to count money?" In addition, the book contains a vocabulary page titled Words to Know, Extended Learning Activities, and lists of resources titled To Learn More, including books and web sites ( "Finn Goes to the Store" is an excellent learning resource for pre-K- second grade students learning to count money. Particularly clear and helpful were the use of large type against a graph paper background, plus many color photographs of actual dollar bills and change, plus other items of interest. Also highly recommended are the following titles by Charley Haley in this outstanding series for children ages 4 to 8: "Hope Packs for a Trip: A Book About Sorting" (9781503824881), "Ella Goes to the Park: A Book About Shapes" (9781503824874), and "Ivy Makes a Craft: A Book About Measuring" (9781503824928).

I Can Be a Librarian
Anthony Ardely
Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003
9781538217603 $16.95, schools and libraries, hardcover 24 pp,

"I Can Be a Librarian" is an exciting 'I Can Be Anything' vocational series title for pre-K-second grade students about becoming a librarian. Filled with colored illustrations of kids of different races/cultures interacting with different library staff, "I Can Be a Librarian" is an inspiration to kids to learn to love books and acquiring information. Short sentences, written in large print, accompany full page photos in this inviting title. Subject titles include What's a Librarian, Hello Mrs. Poe!, borrowing Books, Let's Be Librarians!, and Words to Know (photo illustrated vocabulary page). "I Can Be a Librarian" is a great introduction to the vocation of librarian for preschool and older students from the I Can Be Anything! series. Other titles from this series that are also highly recommended include: "I Can Be an Actor (9781538217764, $16.95)," by Anthony Ardely, "I Can Be a Veterinarian (9781538217726, $16.95)," by Anthony Ardely, and "I Can Be a Pilot (9781538217641, $16.95)," by Miller Slenzak.

Animals of the World
Toby Reynolds
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th floor, New York, NY 10118
9780778750383 $27.60 35 pages hardbound

"Animals of the World" is a well organized, compactly presented junior animal atlas in the series Quick-Reference Atlases for students age 8 and up. Filled with colored maps, keys, and natural photos, "Animals of the World" presents animals and habitats in 23 different locations around the globe, including North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, the Galapagos islands, Africa, Madagascar, the Sahara, Europe, Asia, Siberia, the Himalayas, East Asia, India and Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Tasmania Polar regions, and more. On each one or two page spread, there are numerically sequenced animal photos displayed against a large map with inset number locators for that animal's habitat. A creative use of sidebars introduces additional relevant information, with titles such as "Fact." also there are inset color photographs of different natural settings or habitats. Each layout is calculated to make imaginative, efficient use of page space, with different color backgrounds for each different animal's description and photo. The effect is a vast overview of multiple different exotic species within the context of their preferred habitats and global location. the combination of photo portraits with descriptive text is very illuminating and effortlessly transitional. At the end is a Learning More section with books and websites and a glossary and index. "Animals of the World" is a masterful junior animal atlas and a fine resource for students in elementary grades and up. In the same series of Quick-Reference Atlases, the following titles are also highly recommended: "Continents of the World (9780778750390)," by Toby Reynolds, and "Flags of the World (9780778750475)," by Lynn Coutts.

Get Outdoors: A Mindfulness Guide to Noticing Nature
Paul Christelis, author
Elisa Paganelli, illustrator
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427
9781631983337 $12.99 hardbound

"Get Outdoors" is an exciting new fiction title from the Everyday Mindfulness series for young readers ages 5-9 years. Jada and Michael are presented as ordinary African American children who are encouraged by their father to change their experiences by playing a new game called the Get Outdoors Game. He tells them to take a notebook and pen and write down observations, to win a prize by being the person who notices the most interesting things outside. An interesting feature of the series is the use of the Pause Button symbol, in a circled green sidebar, which encourages the reader to take a deliberate, mindful pause to be curious about what they see, hear, smell, taste or touch. Each Pause Button observation encourages deepened mindfulness in the reader. At first Jada and Michael are unimpressed by what they observe in their back yard. But then they begin to use different senses to explore further. The children are even enticed to listen to the silence between sounds and to tune into it. At last the children are called in from their outdoor experience to taste some delicious sweet chocolate raspberry cake. Michael and Jada are happy to return from their backyard exploration of mindful observations using their senses, to enjoy the delicious cake with their father. "Get Outdoors" is a great introduction to the idea of mindful exploration of the outdoor environment for kids. "Get Outdoors" also has Notes for Parents and Teachers pages with activities or mindfulness toolkits items for readers to expand their awareness. There are also additional book titles under Books to Share about mindfulness and outdoor meditations exercises for children. Additional titles from this series that are also highly recommended include: "Breath by Breath (9781631983313, $12.99)," "Exploring emotions (9781631983320, $12.98)," and "Sleep Easy (9781631983344, $12.99)," all by Paul Christelis, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli.

Jeri Cipriano, author
Look! Books
c/o Red Chair Press
PO Box 333, South Egrement, MA 01258
9781634403689 $6.99, PB, 24 pages,

From the Hello Neighbor series, "Mexico" is aimed at an audience of readers ages 4-8 years, with colorful photographs and vivid descriptions of Mexico's languages, flag, people, special celebrations, capital city, favorite sport, and currency. A map of Mexico reveals its position as directly south the border of the United States. Helpful additions include vocabulary under Words to Keep, references under Learn More at the Library, and more. A stunning photo of a famous Mayan stone pyramid on page 13 is featured, with 365 steps, one for each day of the year. "Mexico" is an excellent cultural/geographical resource for young readers on the United States' famous neighbor to the south. Additional titles from the Hello Neighbors series that are also highly recommended include the following: "Haiti (9781634403719, $6.99)," "Canada (9781634403696, $6.99)," "Cuba (9781634403702, $6.99)," "Dominican Republic (9781634403726, $6.99)," and "Haiti (9781634403719, $6.99), all by Jeri Cipriano. Also included in the Hello Neighbor series is"Guatemala (9781634403870, $6.99)," by Joanne Mattern.

The Story Monsters Ink Shelf

Story Monsters LLC is dedicated to helping authors of all genres strive for excellence through our marketing and publicity services, Dragonfly Book Awards contests, Story Monsters Approved! awards program, opportunities for connecting with schools, and the award-winning Story Monsters Ink(R) magazine.

Mrs. Mole, I'm Home!
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763694951, $14.98 HC, $2.52 PB, 32pp,

Sherry L. Hoffman

Jarvis crafts a humorous tale in Mrs. Mole, I'm Home! After losing his pair of glasses, Mr. Mole cannot seem to find his way home. Time after time, he is mistaken as he burrows his way into some interesting situations. Equipped with a map and brilliant colors, young readers will surely dig this story. Used as a teaching tool, this laugh-out-loud story would be a great read aloud to discuss responsibility, map skills, and problem-solving. (Ages 2-5)

A Typically Random Extraordinary Day
Patrick Enders, author
Barbara Counsil, illustrator
Snowbelt Press
9781732066502 $16.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

Story time will surely take on laughter and a snort when this delightful, rhythmic story comes to an abrupt stop with a typically random silly thought. So often, we fail to keep our thoughts corralled to the end of a conversation, and we begin to jump ahead and anticipate what is to be said. Patrick Enders' humor is light, fun, and very insightful. (Ages 3+)

We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands
Rafael Lopez
9781338177367, $17.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, 40pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

A salute to the lives of all young people with rhythmic verse and repetitive emphasis on "we" and "our" encourages inclusive communities and the celebration of unity and diverse friendships all around the world. I bet you can't read this book without singing! Its positive message and colorful illustrations are sure to delight. (Ages 3-5)

Sammy's Spooktacular Halloween
Mike Petrik
Two Lions
9781503901797, $17.99 HC, $3.99 Kindle,

Julianne Black

Diehard Halloweenies unite! Sammy is ready for next Halloween - starting November 1st! A fun story about a little boy in love with preparing for his family's annual haunted house. Little ghosts and ghouls will love watching Sammy getting ready for next Halloween; that is, if his family can handle a full year of tricks! (Ages 3-7)

What If Everybody Said That?
Ellen Javernick, author
Colleen Madden, illustrator
Two Lions
9781503948952, $14.99 HC, $3.99 Kindle, 24pp,

Julianne Black

This is a great one for bullying awareness and kind campaigns at school or difficult talks at home. Why? Because there are many situations where it makes a bigger impact to see the consequences of one's actions or, in this case, words. In What if Everybody Said That, not only do we see the remarks that are hurtful as examples of what not to say, but they are paired with possible consequences about how they make others feel or what impact negative words have on our surroundings. Javernick and Madden let you experience what it looks like to be on the other side of unkind words and it makes an impact. Powerful but not preachy, it's a wonderful pro-kindness tool. (Ages 3-7)

That Bear Can't Babysit
Ruth Quayle, author
Alison Friend, illustrator
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763699529, $16.99 HC, 32pp,

Sherry L. Hoffman

Ruth Quayle and Alison Friend create a delightful tale about a family of rabbits needing a babysitter for an evening. Bear answers the call to help Mr. and Mrs. Burrow and the rabbit family. The bunnies soon find out that Bear is not quite ready to take on the task of watching seven energetic bunnies. Test after test proves Bear's inexperience, leaving the bunnies questioning his ability to babysit. However, eventually Bear captures their attention with his imaginative ship, much to the bunnies' delight. Children will enjoy the colorful illustrations and humorous situations which are found in this hoppy tale. (Ages 3-7)

The Prince and the Pee
Greg Gormley, author
Chris Mould, illustrator
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763699161, $16.98, HC, 32pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

You never know when those trying predicaments may just lead you to greatness. Prince Freddie is off to conquer a nasty dragon after a leisurely afternoon spent sipping lemonade. He isn't far into his task before jostling upon his faithful steed makes him have to pee! Difficulties along the way make it impossible to relieve himself, until he thinks he will burst. This giggle-worthy tale will keep your little ones wiggling in their seats right to the end. It's sure to be a pleaser. (Ages 3-7)

Big Brown Bear's Cave
Yuval Zommer
c/o Candlewick Press
9780763696467, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Larissa Juliano

This book made me smile from start to finish. What a beautifully clever and fun concept to share the story of a bear looking for fulfillment, discovering lots of 'stuff' that he likes, only to realize that his cave really feels like home when he is with his family and friends. The underlying theme of material goods versus meaningful relationships is powerful, but gently and subtly reflected in the book's sweet story and stunning illustrations. The setting of Bear's cave, human homes, and backdrop of the forest is exquisite. A story that will linger with readers long after it has been shared. (Ages 3-7)

The Treasure of Pirate Frank
Mal Peet, author
Elspeth Graham, author
Jez Tuya, illustrator
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763696443, $15.99, HC, 32pp,

Larissa Juliano

Treasures, pirates, and adventures? The Treasure of Pirate Frank combines these fascinating, engaging, and high interest topics in a colorful, special and unique tale that children will find absolutely enchanting as they follow a curious boy on his quest for gold. Snowy mountains, monkey filled forests, bullfrog packed swamps, and islands filled with spice are no match for this boy and his determination to find Pirate Frank's gold! Readers will giggle as they discover who Pirate Frank really is. A great mentor text for cumulative tales. (Ages 3-7)

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes
Eva Chen, author
Derek Desierto, illustrator
Feiwel & Friends
c/o Macmillan Children's Publishing
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250297266, $18.99, HC, 32pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Trying to fit into someone else's shoes can often be clunky and awkward. Instead of making us feel cooler, it can pinch our own bedazzling flow. Juno Valentine discovers there are some truly amazing shoes out there. But she also learns that she could take something special from each one and make her own perfect fit. Illustrations by Desierto are spunky and fun! This is a great seed planted in the field of individual style. (Ages 4-6)

No Frogs in School
A. LaFaye, author
Eglantine Ceulemans, illustrator
Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810
9781454926986, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is sure to bring a silent smile to every parent who deals with a child who follows very closely to the strict meaning of words used while being instructed them. Bartholomew Botts loves his pets, and while doing his best to follow the teacher's rules, he determines which pets are best to share. I found this story highly enjoyable as a mom and grandma. The illustrations by Ceulemans are truly fun and entertaining. (Ages 4-7)

Mixter Twizzle's Breakfast
Regan W.H. Macaulay, author
Wei Lu, illustrator
Mirror World Publishing
9781987976496, $15.95, HC, 44pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

The eye-catching illustrations will capture and hold the audience, while its text tugs the heart and makes one think. A glimpse into careless, selfish behaviors can be clearly seen, while hope for recovery bursts onto the scene. Love may just be the soft little thing that can turn this mischievous imp from being so mean! This is a great story to build powerful foundations of kindness and empathy, while warding off selfish behavior. (Ages 4-7)

The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael
Bonny Becker, author
Mark Fearing, illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763681500, $16.99 HC, $4.99 Kindle, 32pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

The illustrations in this spooky tale are sure to send delightful shivers up and down every word read. A clever twist unfolds, and is sure to leave its reader howling with laughter. Remember, things are not always as they appear. (Ages 4-8)

This is a Good Story
Adam Lehrhaupt, author
Magali Le Huche, illustrator
Paula Wiseman Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481429351, $17.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, 40pp,

Sherry L. Hoffman

There comes a time in an educator's life when you find a treasure on the bookshelves that will be a definite game-changer in the classroom. This is destined to be that book. This tale teaches children the important parts of a fictional story while they are reading the storyline. What a novel idea! Teachers will appreciate this as a fun, educational read-aloud to introduce and teach literary terms like: hero, heroine, protagonist, antagonist, setting, conflict, plot, and climax. Together the author and illustrator brilliantly teach readers how to take a story from boring to extraordinary by adding depth to the details. A perfect addition to help young writers flourish and build upon their writing skills. (Ages 4-8)

The Very Last Castle
Travis Jonker, author
Mark Pett, illustrator
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419725746, $16.99, HC, $9.99 Kindle, 40pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

The pictures of this story captured me, so the words could work their magic. Bravery comes in packages both big and small. There is so much to digest in this simple story! I encourage you to get hold of it, devour it, and find the satisfaction in life it can avail. If we can look beyond opinions, rise above the fear of the different or unknown, what a treat we may find! (Ages 4-8)

Best Friends in the Universe
Stephanie Watson, author
Le Uyen Pham, illustrator
Orchard Books
c/o Scholastic
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9780545659888, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a delightfully realistic depiction of childhood friendship! Or maybe friendship in general. The illustrations are adorable and lively and bring forth the best of the text's intentions. It's a good learning tool in preparation for beginning friendships, and a perfect reminder of the joys of old ones. (Ages 4-8)

The Greatest Adventure
Tony Piedra
Arthur A. Levine Books
c/o Scholastic
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338134193, $17.99 HC, $10.99, 40pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Eliot won my heart from the first page! His eyes dance with wonder and excitement. Adventure and love fills his enormous heart. That is till the world disrupts its daily routine. The story carries the joy of imagination and childhood while capturing the heart of love and relationship. A grandparent and child seem to find magic in togetherness. Truly a heartwarming tale. (Ages 4-8)

The Peculiar Possum: The Nocturnals
Tracey Hecht, author
Josie Yee, illustrator
Fabled Films Press
9781944020194, $12.99, HC, 64pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

Our three Nocturnal friends encounter strange sounds and smells in the valley. When an unfamiliar animal appears, Bismark is not pleased! He is put off by his new encounter with a possum. She's different, and he tries to find fault in her. But together with his friends, they discover different isn't bad, it's just an opportunity to discover something or someone new! A great book on acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion. (Ages 5-7)

Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters
Rachel Kolar, author
Roland Garrigue, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585363926, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Julianne Black

Is it Halloween yet? Get the kids ready for trick-or-treating with the cleverly adapted fairy tales from Mother Ghost! Here you will find spirited remakes of favorite nursery rhymes told with a ghoulish twist like "What are Little Bats Made of?" Along with "Hey Diddle Diddle, Black Cat with a Fiddle," they are so much fun to read and share! Illustrator Roland Garrigue knocks it out of the park with his creepy visual pairings that give the whole book a wickedly fun appeal. (Ages 5-7)

Mission Defrostable (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast)
Josh Funk, author
Brendan Kearney, illustrator
Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810
9781454928119, $16.95, HC, 40pp,

Darleen Wohlfeil

The brightly-colored cover will grab your attention. The illustrations by Kearney will hold it, and the unique characters are sure to bring a chuckle or two. It's a fun take on problem-solving and teamwork, dusted with understanding and compassion. It's easy to get caught in a trap of misperception, making poor judgements, and missing out on otherwise good things. A cute story that builds lasting foundations. (Ages 5-9)

Soccer School Season 1: Where Soccer Explains (Rules) the World
Alex Bellos, author
Ben Lyttleton, author
Spike Gerrell, illustrator
Walker Books US
c/o Candlewick Press
9781536204353, $15.99 HC, $4.99 Kindle, 208pp,

Olivia Amiri, age 11

I don't play a lot of soccer, but right when I looked at Soccer School, I knew it would be tons of fun. I noticed as I got deeper into the book that there were facts, questions, and quizzes about soccer to keep you on your toes. I learned about all the planning, effort, and hard work that goes into playing the game. I loved the funny illustrations and how the book talks about every aspect of soccer, including what meal everyone eats before a game. I had a blast reading this book and I am now interested in the culture of soccer. This is a great book to bring on a plane or road trip to quiz friends and family. (Ages 7-10)

Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine
Sands Hetherington, author
Jessica Love, illustrator
Dune Buggy Press
9780984741724, $8.99 PB, $5.99 Kindle, 320pp,

Diana Perry

For young John Degraffenreidt, a sleepless night is no reason to fret when tossing and turning brings a bright red crocodile named Crosley out from under his bed. The impostors must be stopped, and Night Buddies John and Crosley are just the guys to stop them! Racing blimp stakeouts high in the sky, impostor traps organized with the help of a friend, and a never-ending supply of pineapple cheesecake frozen yogurt make for one totally super sleepless night. I not only found this book to be completely fun and entertaining to read, but very relatable. Kids will just love this funny and adventurous story. I can't imagine a better bedtime book! (Ages 8-10)

Breaking the Barriers: A Girl's Dream to Play Little League with the Boys
Robbin Miller
Pen It! Publications, LLC
9781948390750, $13.99, PB, 74pp,

Diana Perry

During a summer family picnic in 1974, Robbin observes a little league game being played in a nearby baseball field. Seeing how much fun the game is, she wants to play too, but soon discovers that girls are not allowed to play little league baseball with boys. Refusing to give up her dream, Robbin learns about a famous court case ruled that same year, that girls were to be allowed to play. This is a fun-to-read story of a young girl's pathway to breaking the all-boy barrier of her hometown and showing her community that girls could play the game just as well as the boys. I see both boys and girls rooting for her as they read this delightful story. (Ages 8-11)

Cynthia Rylant
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534412774, $16.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, 160pp,

Olivia Amiri, age 11

Rosetown is about a girl named Flora who is nine years old and already has a lot changing in her life. She has to deal with the loss of her dog, starting 4th grade, and moving back and forth from her mom's house and her dads. This is a lot for anyone to go through, especially a nine-year-old, but luckily Flora has two good friends - one old and one new, which really helps. With her friends she laughs, has fun, goes on adventures, and talks. I can really relate to Flora because she loves to read! (Ages 8-12)

The Memory of Forgotten Things
Kat Zhang
Aladdin Paperbacks
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481478656, $17.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, 288pp,

Olivia Amiri, age 11

The Memory of Forgotten Things is a heartwarming story about a kid named Sophia who lost her mom. Sophia continues to share fond detailed memories of her mom when she was 10 years old and other ages but we learn that these "event memories" never happened, because Sophia's mom died when she was six years old. Everyone can relate to this story of losing someone, and the grief that it can cause. The good news is Sophia finds a someone that she can relate to and who also has memory events like her that never happened. I like how the book has fantasy/science elements to it as well. (Ages 8-12)

Dewey Fairchild: Teacher Problem Solver
Lorri Horn
Amberjack Publishing
9781944995850, $13.99, HC, 286pp,

Diana Perry

In this follow-up to Dewey Fairchild: Parent Problem Solver, our genius problem solver, Dewey takes up the challenge of troublesome teachers. It turns out that tons of kids have problem teachers, so he's soon up to his neck in cases. To make matters worse, the school is rationing toilet paper to one square per student and replacing the vending machines with a garden! This sparks a student protest and Dewey may have his hands full as he tries to come up with a solution that will please both sides. Kids will enjoy all the ways Dewey tries to become the Teacher Problem Solver that everyone needs. What a fun read! (Ages 8-12)

Dilby R. Dixon's The Dilbonary
Tony J. Perri
Book Baby Publishers
9781543906103, $9.12 PB, $1.99 Kindle, 150pp,

Diana Perry

Dilby R. Dixon is no ordinary 10-year-old boy. He is an outcast, the odd kid in school. To occupy his time, he uses his imagination to visit the most unbelievable places and have the most amazing adventures. From these dreams, he creates a secret journal of weird words that he calls the Dilbonary. No one knew about the Dilbonary until the school bully gets a hold of it and sets off a chain of events that will alter Dilby's life forever. Kids who relate to Dilby will find comfort in this book knowing that they are not the only ones with these experiences. Young readers will have fun creating their own secret code words on the back pages and perhaps sharing with new friends. (Ages 8-12)

Secret Scouts and the Lost Leonardo
Mr. & Mrs. Kind
Mokum Media
9789082875607 $16.99 pbk / $11.13 Kindle

Diana Perry

When best friends Tom, Lisa, Sophie, and Jack stumble upon a mysterious sketch that has all the hallmarks of an Old Master, they decide to investigate. Soon they discover an original 15th century codex full of Leonardo da Vinci's sketches, writings, and calculations. Their discovery tests their friendship and their journey brings them closer to the great Leonardo da Vinci than anyone ever before. But their quest comes with risks - including death, or worse, being lost in time. Young readers will get both an adventure and a history lesson in this new fact-fiction series. (Ages 10-16)

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