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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 29, Number 10 October 2019 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Holiday Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Health Shelf Picturebook Shelf
Board Book Shelf ABC Shelf Counting Shelf
Bilingual Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf General Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Christian Shelf
Islamic Shelf Science Shelf World History Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Crafts Shelf Music Shelf
Humor Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Music CD Shelf
LGBT Shelf Books in Series Story Monsters Ink Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Instructions Not Included
Tami Lewis Brown and Debbie Loren Dunn, authors
Chelsea Beck, illustrator
9781368011051 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future is a nonfiction children's picturebook about the lesser-known contributions that three women made to computer science during World War II. One of the earliest computers, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was a potential tool to aid the war effort, but how could it be used? Betty, Jean, and Kay used mathematics, electrical engineering, logic, and plain sensibility to figure out how to effectively communicate with and operate the machine. An extensive "Author's Note" at the end of the storybook provides more biographical details about this amazingly intelligent and persistent pioneers. Instructions Not Included is highly recommended, especially for public school and library picturebook collections.

Z Is for Zebra: A Mosaic Menagerie
Judith Caseley
Full Cycle Publications
9780996642293, $15.00, HC, 53pp,

"Z is for Zebra" is a delightful reading romp for children 8-12. With vibrant art and quirky rhymes, this unique picture book uses a child's innate love of animals to move the young reader through the letters of the alphabet. Displaying gorgeous mosaics, rich with colors and details, "Z is for Zebra" presents the alphabet in an easily accessible and entertaining presentation. A delight for the mind and a visual feast for young book lovers and their parents, each page features an alphabet letter and a highly colorful animal mosaic along with quirky, funny memorable phrases. Using glass tile, pebbles, and found materials instead of her usual paints and brushes, author and illustrator Judith Caseley's words and pictures celebrate the imagination of every child, weaving her magic for the youngest would-be zoologist. From jeweled starfish to bright butterflies, comic giraffes to venomous vipers this is a unique picture book that is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections!

Oops! I'm Sorry!
Sara Blau, author
Erin Taylor, illustrator
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781945560200 $10.95

Created with laminated pages that are easy for little hands to turn, Oops! I'm Sorry! is an children's picturebook about what do when one accidentally makes a mistake that causes trouble for another person. The rhyming words walk young readers through the fundamental principle of a sincere apology: "Because, even when it's just a mistake, / The kind of mistake anybody could make, / There are always three steps for people to take: // Saying sorry is first - / Help to fix it, and then - / Find a way to make sure it won't happen again!" Oops! I'm Sorry! features colorful illustrations of Jewish children, and is essentially about the Jewish concept of Teshuva (or "repentance"), yet its presentation about what constitutes a meaningful apology is an invaluable lesson for young people of all religions and backgrounds. Highly recommended.

The Social Issues Shelf

Tyaja Uses the Think Test
Linda Ryden, author
Shearry Malone, illustrator
Tilbury House Publishers
9780884487357, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Ms. Snowden tells the kids that T = True, H = Helpful, N = Necessary, and K = Kind. If what you're about to say isn't any of these things, she tells them, you shouldn't say it. Later that day, when Tyaja is about to criticize her friend Dhavi's new haircut, she is stopped by four little elves sporting the letters T, H, N, and K, who reinforce Ms. Snowden's lesson and remind Tyaja how friends should treat friends. Tyaja learns that she is the "I" in THiNK! With a deftly crafted social message embedded in an original and entertaining picture book story for children ages 6-8, "Tyaja Uses the Think Test" is an original, clever, and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings
Britney Winn Lee, author
Jacob Souva, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506454504, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

In the pages of "The Boy with Big, Big Feelings", children ages 4-8 will learn about a boy with feelings so big that they glow from his cheeks, spill out of his eyes, and jump up and down on his chest. When a loud truck drives by, he cries. When he hears a joke, he bursts with joy. When his loved ones are having a hard day, he feels their emotions as if they were his own. The boy tries to cope by stuffing down his feelings, but with a little help and artistic inspiration, the boy realizes his feelings are something to be celebrated. All the more impressive when considering that "The Boy with Big, Big Feelings" is the debut picture book author Britney Winn Lee (and boldly enhanced with illustrations by Jacob Souva), is impressively relatable for any child, but especially for children experiencing anxiety and extreme emotions, or who have been diagnosed with autism or as a Highly Sensitive Person -- making it a unique and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections.

The Holiday Shelf

Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur Guess Who?
Ariella Stern, author
Patti Argoff, illustrator
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781945560224 $9.95

Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur Guess Who? is a double-sided picturebook designed to teach young children, especially Jewish children, about the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur Guess Who? is a "lift-the-flap" book; young readers can raise flaps to learn the answers to holiday-themed riddles. For example, one page reads "Put on sneakers, / or slip into a slipper, / But I'm the kind of shoe / that's NOT for Yom Kippur!" Lifting the flap shows the answer to the "Who am I?" riddle: Leather shoes (which are expressly not to be worn during Yom Kippur, in accordance with tradition). Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur Guess Who? is an excellent teaching tool that parents can share with their children in order to educate them about these holidays, and highly recommended.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Little Kids First Big Book of Pets
Catherine D. Hughes
National Geographic Kids
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426334702 $14.99 hc / $8.99 Kindle

Featuring beautiful photography of adorable animals, Little Kids First Big Book of Pets is a full- color, hardcover nonfiction book filled with basic facts about popular pets, from dogs and cats to rodents, birds, reptiles, fish and more. The age-appropriate text is thoroughly accessible to beginning and intermediate readers, and touches upon important principles such as distinguishing wild animals from pets, understanding the message behind certain body language or vocalizations from cats and dogs, and basic pet care for a variety of different animals. Little Kids First Big Book of Pets is appealing, educational, and highly recommended especially for school and library children's collections.

Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mountains
Justin Anderson, author
Patrick Benson, illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536205404 $16.99

Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mountains is a beautiful, educational picturebook about snow leopards, great cats that live in the Himalayan mountains. Told from the point of view of a zoologist, the story follows wild snow leopards in their daily lives, enriched with fascinating facts and beautiful, realistic art. A treasure that will especially appeal to young fans of big cats, Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mountains is highly recommended for personal, school, and public library picturebook collections.

Christopher Lloyd, author
Mark Ruffle, illustrator
What on Earth Books
9781912920013 $19.99

Written especially for young people ages 7-12, Humanimals is a nonfiction, full-color picturebook about the many ways in which different animals resemble humans. From ravens that love to roll in the snow purely for fun (as far as we know), to "farmer fish" that cultivates a species of algae like a human gardener protects their garden, to evidence that elephants may feel grief over the death of a family member, Humanimals is filled with fascinating, true-to-life vignettes revealing that animals might not be so different from humans after all. Highly recommended, especially for school and library nonfiction picturebook collections.

Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle
Laura Purdie Salas, author
Claudine Gevry, illustrator
Millbrook Press
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541529007, $19.99, Library Binding, 32pp,

There is more than one way for animals to prepare for winter. Some, such as mice, foxes, and moose, simply tolerate the cold. Of course black bears hibernate, but chipmunks, wood frogs, and garter snakes do too. And then there are the creatures that migrate, including hummingbirds, blue whales, and even earthworms! This rhyming nonfiction picture book by the team of author Laura Purdie Salas and illustrator Claudine Gevry tells children ages 5-9 all about how animals survive chilly weather. While unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready for Winter" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys
Mike Unwin, author
Jenni Desmond, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781547600977, $18.99, HC, 48pp,

Animals of all shapes and sizes make epic journeys across our planet, through harsh weather, avoiding hungry predators, in their efforts to survive. Travel around the globe with some of the world's most incredible animals and discover their unique migration stories. In the beautifully illustrated and informative pages of "Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys" children ages 5-8 will follow the emperor penguin through snow, ice and bitter temperatures; watch as the great white shark swims 10,000 km in search of seals; track huge herds of elephants, on their yearly hunt for water and be amazed at the millions of red crabs, migrating across Christmas Island. Featuring the astonishing migrations of 20 creatures, "Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections.

Lucky's Adventure in Winter Wonderland
Elizabeth Macy, author
Jenn Kocsmiersky, illustrator
Image Press
9781733130011, $17.99, HC, 36pp,

What could be more fun than snow days with friends? Lucky and her doggie friends enjoy a winter wonderland adventure, filled with snowshoeing, skating, skiing and sledding. Inspired by the lucky life she now has, Lucky brings her pals on a surprise visit to a rescue shelter! Through it all, Lucky and her friends realize that making new friends and giving back is the most wonderful adventure they can share. Kids ages (and especially dog lovers!) ages 2-8 will enjoy this beautifully illustrated picture book that introduces them to rescue dogs and the importance of finding their forever homes. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lucky's Adventure in Winter Wonderland" is also available in a paperback edition (9781733130004, $13.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Health Shelf

Do Penguins Have Pediatricians?
Patrick O'Donnell, author
Erik Mehlen, illustrator
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764357770, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

On the way to a doctor checkup, a young child asks an important question: Do animals that live in really cold places ever get sick? From the same author as "Did Dinosaurs Have Dentists?", this new picture book from the team of author Patrick O'Donnell and illustrator Erik Mehlen, "Do Penguins Have Pediatricians?" uses Arctic and Antarctic creatures to lessen anxiety about the doctor. Can penguins catch pneumonia? Can a caribou get chicken pox? By introducing ailments through charmingly drawn animals, this humorous look at common childhood illnesses will ease the fears and worries many kids ages 5-6 can have about visiting the doctor. The colorfully illustrated story contains 14 common terms related to children's health, as well as a glossary of fun, scientific facts about each of the animals featured. While an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Do Penguins Have Pediatricians?" is also available in a paperback edition (9780764358784, $9.99).

Amanda's Fall: A Story for Children About Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Kelly Bouldin Darmofal, author
Bijan Samaddar, illustrator
Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
9781615994502 $26.95 hc / $15.95 pbk / $4.95 Kindle

"Amanda's Fall" is a story for children about traumatic brain injury, with special information for parents, teachers, and caregivers. Written by a survivor of TBI who became an advocate for TBI survivors, "Amanda's Fall" is written in cheerful verse and illustrated with brightly colored cartoons. Amanda is a seven year old girl who suffers a mild TBI in the course of normal play when her head encounters a rock while rolling down a hill. She does not lose consciousness, but loses the ability to speak clearly. Her teacher is able to help her by calling an ambulance and her parents, and she is evaluated at the hospital. She was diagnosed with concussion or mild TBI, and Amanda and her parents received more information about the features of TBI and ways to prevent problems and to work with results of TBI. In addition to the story for kids, there is also information for parents and caregiver on TBI, its causes, signs, and symptoms, related facts to know, and a relevant study of head injuries in young football players at Wake Forest Baptist Health. There is also a list of 12 tips for TBI survivors under A Few Tips for Coping with TBI, plus tips for friends and caregivers and teachers of TBI survivors. A list of resources includes books for parents, teachers, caregivers, and children, and helpful website links. "Amanda's Fall" is an excellent resource for children and adults about dealing with traumatic brain injury.

The Picturebook Shelf

5-Minute Stories
Margaret Wise Brown
Silver Dolphin Books
c/o Printer's Row Publishing Group
9781684128495 $12.99

5-Minute Stories is essentially eight picturebooks under one cover - an assortment of beautifully illustrated stories by Margaret Wise Brown (best-selling author of "Goodnight Moon"), each of which is ideal for parents to read aloud to little ones right before bedtime. The whimsical color illustrations add just the right, fanciful touch to these gentle, heartwarming tales. 5-Minute Stories is a joy for families to share, highly recommended.

The Little Dragon
Sheri Fink, author
Lynx Studios, illustrator
Whimsical World Books
9781949213034 $24.95 hc

The Little Dragon is hardcover picturebook, beautifully illustrated with bright, cartoony artwork, about a young dragon who encounters the overwhelming emotions of fear, embarrassment, and anger. Though he makes mistakes at first, he learns that being open to and making friends with others is better than isolating himself. A simple, charming allegory with an invaluable lesson, The Little Dragon is an excellent read-aloud picturebook, ideal for parents and children to share during storytime or bedtime, and also a choice pick for public library children's collections.

Ninja Boy's Secret
Tina Schneider
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9784805315262, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Ninja Boy has a secret. It's not that he's flunking out of Ninja Academy -- his dad knows that. It's that Ninja Boy doesn't like skulking about quietly in the night, clad in black like a thief, leaving no trace of his existence. He knows he'll never be half the Ninja his father is -- silent as a ghost, ever ready to attack. No, this little Ninja has a different calling. He's a talented musician who expresses himself with a violin. He wants to share that passion with his dad, but is afraid his father will not approve. So what's a misguided maestro to do? Summoning all the courage and passion he has, he plays a loud and beautiful violin sonata for his Ninja dad! In "Ninja Boy's Secret", author and artist Tina Schneider's lively and amusing illustrations bring her character's struggles and ultimate triumph vividly to life. This Japanese-inspired picture book teaches kids ages 3-8 valuable lessons through a fun and inspiring story about being true to yourself and finding your calling in life. 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 "Ninja Boy's Secret" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.24).

Super Sloth
Robert Starling
Andersen Press USA
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541555112, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Super Sloth isn't fast. He can't fly. But he is very, very good at moving slowly and looking just like a greenish bit of tree. When his archenemy Anteater makes off with some prize mangoes, Super Sloth vows to save the day... eventually! An original, charmingly illustrated, and wonderfully entertaining picture book story for children ages 4-9 by author and illustrator Robert Starling, "Super Sloth" is fully endorsed and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen
Beth Mills
Carolrhoda Books
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541528970, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

First grader Ella McKeen is the undisputed kickball queen until a new girl named Riya shows up -- and shows her up at recess. How does Ella handle losing? By throwing herself on the grass and screaming while the rest of the class watches her fall apart. Yikes! "Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen" by author and illustrator Beth Mills presents children ages 5-9 with a pitch-perfect look at recess, friendship, and being a good sport. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

It's Your World Now!
Barry Falls
Pavilion Children's Books
9781843654315, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

"It's Your World Now!" by author and illustrator Barry Falls is a beautiful, lyrical and funny celebration of the world and the potential of every individual within it. This is the perfect picture book to read to children ages 4-8 to help them appreciate the wonderful things that exist in the world, and the wonderful things that they can do, as well as allowing them to understand some of the setbacks that may happen. And in the end, whatever happens, the child is reassured that their parents will always love them. While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "It's Your World Now!" is also available in a paperback edition (9781843654100, $11.95).

Brian the Brave
Paul Stewart, author
Jane Porter, illustrator
Flyaway Books
100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202
9781947888180, $17.00, HC, 32pp,

Every sheep is different. Some white, some black. Some striped, some spotted, some with hats! They re all still sheep, and they can all play together. At least, that's what Brian thinks until the other sheep say they can be friends only with sheep that are just like them. But when danger strikes, can Brian help the sheep come together? Can Brian the ordinary become Brian the Brave? The collaborative work of author Paul Stewart and Jane Porter, "Brian the Brave" is a lively story for children ages 3-12 that impressively enhanced with bright, playful artwork that will prompt conversations about friendship, teamwork, and bias based on race or language -- making it an ideal and recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Blue Spot
Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay
Disney Press
c/o Disney Book Group
1200 Grand Central Avenue, Glendale, CA 91201
9781368024594, $16.99, HC, 48pp,

Daisy the kitten has gotten a blue spot on her new white dress. How did this happen, asks her mama. Daisy has an answer, which is anything but simple. Instead, she responds with a wonderful fantastical story that includes a blue monster and plenty of blue treats. Mama encourages Daisy to tell the truth in the end, which she does, but even Mama loves the creativity in Daisy's first answer -- and kids will, too. The author/illustrator for "Blue Spot" is Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay who is a visual development artist for Walt Disney Animation Studios. In addition to many animated film projects, she worked on Moana and she's currently working on Frozen 2. She is also the illustrator of the Moana Little Golden Book. "Blue Spot" is unreservedly endorsed and recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8.

On Your Way
John Coy, author
Talitha Shipman, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506452586, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

A mother recounts for her child "that day on the porch" when they first tried to walk. As the child totters, stumbles, and flops, young animals nearby gallop, jump, waddle, and hop. Kids ages 3-5 will delight in the child's progress and think of the ways they themselves are still learning to grow and move every single day now that they're on their way. A perfect picture book for looking back at how far kids have come (and how far they'll go), "On Your Way" is a joyous and entertaining celebration of growth, movement, and the importance of slowing down to observe life's milestones both big and small. "On Your Way" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

Alison Donald, author
Alex Willmore, illustrator
Maverick Children's Books
9781848864122, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Alfred is a bull, and bulls are reliable and dependable. When his best friend Tom wants to bring home a new, adorable pet, Alfred realizes he may need to up his game if he wants to stay number one in Tom's heart. But can bulls be adorable too? A wonderfully charming, entertaining and original story by Alison Donald that is enhanced with the amiably appealing illustrations of Alex Willmore, "AdoraBULL" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-9.

Back Roads, Country Toads
Devin Scillian, author
Tim Bowers, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781534110397, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

When country toads, Hank and Buckeroo, hear some folks talking about going "fly-fishing," they know they have to tag along. What could be better than fishing for flies?! So they stow away in a picnic basket and prepare for the feast of their lives. But what will happen when they realize fly-fishing isn't exactly what they expected? "Back Roads, Country Toads" is a knee-slapping funny and original picture story by the team of author Devin Scillian and illustrator Tim Bowers that is unreservedly endorsed and especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-7. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Back Roads, Country Toads" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).

Little Smokey
Robert Neubecker
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9781984851048, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

When forest fires blaze, the airplanes at Nif-C spring into action! Some swoop low to spray water on the flames. Others drop bright red fire retardant. Little Smokey hasn't quite figured out her job yet, but she wants to help! And when a fire like no other flares up (a fire that none of the other planes can control) it's Smokey's turn to show what she's made of. An original and thoroughly entertaining picture book for children ages 3-6 and featuring the bold, eye-catching illustrations by Robert Neubecker, "Little Smokey" is a tale of courage and teamwork in the face of disaster. While very highly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Little Smokey" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese
Regan W. H. Macaulay, author
Alex Zgud, illustrator
Mirror World Publishing
9781987976526, $15.95 PB, $4.99 Kindle, 48pp,

A Best Book Awards finalist, "Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese" is an exciting adventure story about a highly imaginative, brown Burmese cat who longs for fresh adventures. Filled with exotic, colorful illustrations of Beverlee's brilliant fantasy transformations of her everyday outside observations, this charming story takes readers on an Iliad rife with entrapments of wonder. On a beautiful sunny day, Beverlee leaves her serene home for an adventure outside. At first she encounters a meadow, hills, trees a splashing river, and Monarch butterflies. Then her fevered imagination takes over and transforms the orange Monarch butterfly to a fiery orange parrot from the Amazon rainforest. This experience continues as she imagines a rabbit to be a jumping kangaroo, and a frog transforms to a deadly Komodo dragon. A nest of bees she jostles changes to a flock of hungry Pterodactyls that pursue Beverlee until she hides in the woods. Then Beverlee encounters the most mystical transformed beast of all, a white unicorn. Frightened, Beverlee retreats and runs until she falls into a hole, hissing and swatting at the unicorn to scare him away. Then another amazing transformation happens - The unicorn tells Beverlee not to be afraid and rescues her from the hole by lowering his horn for her to grab onto, and pulling her out. After that, Beverlee recognized the white unicorn as a white stallion who lived on a farm that was neighbor to hers. She apologized to her rescuer, blaming her overactive imagination. Then the white horse laughed and gave Beverlee a ride on his back all the way home. "Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese" is an exciting tale of adventure and fantasy that children will love and identify with. It helps them explore two sides two sides of the beauty and power of imagination and more, the grounding value of friendship.

Karsyn's Path: The Land of Enigami
John Graham, author
Getty Images, illustrations
LifeRich Publishing
9781489720634 $16.99

"Karsyn's Path" is an inspiring story about finding your core and life direction, allowing your imagination to show you the way. Although written as a children's tale, it also speaks directly to older readers, glowing with universal appeal. Karsyn is an 8 year old girl who believes her grandfather's tale about finding a path through the woods to cross a mystical brook to the land of Enigami, where everything, even insects and animals, has a voice. Karsyn draws a map to the brook and Enigami based on her Grandfather's tale and invites her older sister, Kelbie, to accompany her. Kelbie ridicules Karsyn for her belief in their grandfather's tale of the land of Enigami. Karsyn decides to go alone. Her mother gives permission for her to make the journey on their land, with the instruction that she return by an hour later. Karsyn sets off through the woods to find the path according to her grandfather's directions. In her journey she encounters a busy squirrel who makes her laugh at his acorn gathering efforts that seem very playful and busy. Despite doubts, Karsyn is able to find the mystical brook and to cross it to the other side. There, to her surprise, Karsyn has conversations with a bee, a squirrel, an ant, a turtle, and an owl named Hal. Hal helps Karsyn condense and summarize all her lessons in the land of Enigame as follows: "I think the lesson is to set your goals high, but make sure that your work is your pla and your play is you work, and, no matter what you do, it takes a team with different talents to make your dream come true. Remember, it doesn't do any good just to dream... you have to take action steps like the bees going from flower to flower, and then working together at the hive to create the honey. Appreciate all the steps of your journey. SO, set your dreams high, do what you love to do, have a good team around you, and do it for the right reason." "Karsyn's Path" is a tangible blending of fantasy and truth, filled with glowing imagery. Young readers age 6 and up will embrace its positive imagery and ideas about using imagination to find your way.

The Adventures of Mr. Fuzzy Ears: Searching for a Furry Friend
Donna Carr Roberts, author/illustrator
Mr. Fuzzy Ears LLC
9780692184219, $16.95 HC, $11.95 PB, 36pp, Ages 6-9,

"The Adventures of Mr. Fuzzy Ears" is the exciting first title of what promises to be a delightful series. Based on the life experiences of a real little dog named Scamp, "The Adventures of Mr. Fuzzy Ears" recounts Scamp's efforts to find a real friend. He tries to become friends with a mouse, a chipmunk, a squirrel, unsuccessfully. Finally he communicates with his human Mom and Dad and they propose a visit to the Humane Society shelter for animals who need new forever homes. Scamp knows this place because he was found there by his forever humans. After visiting with a cat, a rat, and fluffy rabbit, Scamp met a sad little dog named Izzy. Izzy wanted to be friends with Scamp and the family decided to take her home with them. Izzy also asked if they would take with her a friend named Sofie, a friendly dog who is very shy and sweet. The family and Scamp decided to adopt Sofie too so all three dogs and the two humans left for home. On the way home, they found a small furry puppy named Teddy who was lost. They picked up Teddy too and tried very hard to find Teddy's owners, but were unsuccessful. So Teddy also joined the family which now included Mr. Fuzzy Ears, Izzy, Sofie, and Teddy, and the author, Donna Carr Roberts, and her husband. All the pages of "The Adventures of My. Fuzzy" are filled with beautiful paintings, portraits of different furry friends in different settings. "The Adventures of Mr. Fuzzy Ears" tells a positive story of a dog who finds three new friends with the help of his owners on one very good day . Both the portrait and the prose of this tender story persuasively convey the need for humane treatment, and responsible care and love for animals.

The Spacesuit
Alison Donald, author
Ariel Landy, illustrator
Maverick Children's Books
9781848864153, $17.99, HC, 36pp,

There is a competition to make the spacesuit for the first moon landing! Ellie, an ordinary woman, is asked to lead a team of other talented seamstresses. No one believes they can win, but they are determined to try. Based on the incredible true story behind the spacesuit that astronauts wore on the first moon walk and the team of women who sewed it together, "The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-9. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Spacesuit" is also available in a paperback edition (9781848864283, $11.19).

The Lost Property Office
Emily Rand
Tate Publishing
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781849765954, $18.99, HC, 32pp,

A little girl and her mother are on the train, going to visit Grandpa. It's very busy -- but hold on tight! But when they arrive at their destination and get off the train they realize something is wrong: the little girl's beloved teddy bear has gone missing! Just when it looks like she'll never see Teddy again, Grandpa has an idea! And suddenly the little girl is off on a magical journey to rescue her favorite stuffed friend. "The Lost Property Office" is especially for children ages 3-5 who have ever wondered where lost objects go! With charming and stylish illustrations by author and artist Emily Rand, "The Lost Property Office" is perfect for curious young minds and is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library picture book collections.

Jazzy and Kettle
Rick Quinn, author
Sefira Lightstone, illustrator
Archway Publishing
9781480869363, $25.95, HC, 38pp,

Jazzy and Kettle are two children who are both new to the neighborhood. Early one morning, each of them goes outside to play before any of the adults are awake. There they meet and become friends and then decide to go on an adventure together. Jazzy and Kettle set off for a morning jaunt into the woods near their houses. There they find flowers and birds and bugs and animals, all with their own springtime jobs. They face a little bit of trouble and then learn some valuable lessons. Together the children come to understand a bit more about friendship, respect, the fun of exploration, and ways to overcome their fears. They share how they see life and discover the power of courage and the thrill of curiosity. Celebrating racial and gender equality, "Jazzy and Kettle" by the team of author Rick Quinn and illustrator Sefira Lightstone is children's picture book for young readers ages 6-8 and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Jazzy and Kettle" is also available in a paperback edition (9781480869370, $16.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.49).

Up Down Inside Out
JooHee Yoon
Enchanted Lion Books
67 West Street, Studio 317A, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11222
9781592702800, $18.95, HC, 64pp,

JooHee Yoon is an illustrator and printmaker committed to the art of bookmaking. She enjoys combining illustration with design whenever possible and using both traditional and industrial printing techniques for her projects. Rather than a single approach, she tries to match the tone of each project. She strives to create picture books that work on many levels and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. In "Up Down Inside Out" she takes up aphorisms and gives them wit and playfulness through visual explanation. Graphically gorgeous and mentally stimulating, and highly recommended for family, school, and community library collections, "Up Down inside Out" is a unique book for all ages!

I Love You Brighter Than the Stars
Owen Hart, author
Sean Julian, illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781680101515, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

In the beautifully illustrated picture book pages of "I Love You Brighter Than the Stars", Bear and Cub explore the woods in the early evening as the stars are just beginning to appear in the sky. As the two travel through the trees, alongside a stream, and up the mountain, Bear reassures Cub that the love they share will continue to shine just as brightly as each star that lights up the night sky. A joyful celebration of the love between parent and child, "I Love You Brighter Than the Stars" is unequivocally endorsed and recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3-6.

Snow Globe Wishes
Erin Dealey, author
Claire Shorrock, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781534110311, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

As the worst snow storm of the year rolls in, one family hunkers down together in a cozy blanket fort for the night. A little girl makes a wish on a snow globe and, in the morning, the sun rises on a winter wonderland -- beckoning all outside. And what if, on this snow-filled day, families shake their busy lives and everyone goes out to play? "Snow Globe Wishes" by the team of author Erin Dealey and illustrator Claire Shorrock is a delightfully lyrical holiday picture book story about wishes and community and snow -- lots and lots of snow! While unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-7, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Snow Globe Wishes" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).

Angelina Ballerina
Katharine Holabird, author
Helen Craig, illustrator
Little Simon
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534451513, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Angelina is a pretty little mouse who wants nothing more than to be a ballerina. She dances all the time -- at home, at school, even in her dreams! In fact, she's so busy dancing that she forgets all about the other things she's supposed to do, like cleaning her room and joining her family for breakfast! Her parents don't know what to do -- especially after her arabesques in the kitchen knock over the milk! Then one day they come up with an idea that will change Angelina's life forever. A delightfully entertaining picture book story for children ages 4-8, "Angelina Ballerina is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Angelina Ballerina" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City
Tara Lazar, author
Ross MacDonald, illustrator
Disney Hyperion
9781368027656, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Just when Private I thinks all is calm (now that he's cracked the case of 7 Ate 9) Question Mark storms into the office. Mark is worried. All the uppercase letters are M-I-S-S-I-N-G! But that's absurd. This is CAPITAL City! Private I is the last letter standing. Will he solve his BIGGEST mystery yet, the UPPER CASE, before it's too late?! Filled with the same humor, wit, and quirkiness of the hit "7 Ate 9: The Untold Story", comes "The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City", another laugh-out-loud whodunit from the team of author Tara Lazar and illustrator Ross MacDonald. An engagingly entertaining picture book for children ages 5-6, "The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Simonie and the Dance Contest
Gail Matthews, author
Ali Hinch, illustrator
Inhabit Media
9781772272246, $10.95, PB, 36pp,

"Simonie and the Dance Contest" is the inspiring story of a boy named Simonie who loved to dance. Living in Nunavut, Canada's Arctic region, Simonie was excited to practice his dancing for the annual dance contest that was celebrated in the pre-Christmas season. With the encouragement of his parents and friends, he danced and danced, practicing for the dance contest. His mother told him to try to feel the music when he danced, and this was difficult for Simonie, but he continued practicing his dancing, working hard with two special friends, Dana and David. when the day of the dance contest finally arrived, Simonie was nervous and afraid his dancing would not be good enough. his friend David, an excellent dancer, told him to just pretend he was practicing. So Simonie danced with his partner Dana, allowing the music to inspire his jigging feet. His body spun and his arms flew out as through he might take flight. Simonie really felt the music and let it inspire and shape his dance. When all the dancers were finished and the judges announced the winners, Simonie was amazed to find he and Dana had won first place! His Anaana and Ataata were so proud of him! He had learned to feel the music, and he had danced his best! "Simonie and the Dance Contest" is simply told and colorfully illustrated to picture the life of a dancing boy in Nunavut. The story is excellent inspirational reading for readers age 5-7 years.

Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?
Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author
Jacob Souva, illustrator
West Margin Press
9781513262406, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

This little pirate's got to go potty! He wanders around sandy beaches and dark caves, discovering where the sea lion, the pelican, and even the octopus go potty. But where in the seven seas can a pirate go?! A hilarious adventure filled with playful anticipation and fun, "Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?" guarantees a good time and laughter. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5-8, it should be noted that "Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?" is the companion to author Dawn Babb Prochovnic and illustrator Jacob Souva's "Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?" (9781513262383, $16.99 HC, $9.99 Kindle).

Pumpus Has a Growing Idea!
9781733005906 (Hardbound) $14.99
9781733005913 (Paperback) $12.99
9781733005920 (E-Book) $9.99

Pumpus Has a Growing Idea! offers a sequel to the prior Pumpus adventure with the picture book adventures of a budding young scientist who, in addition to his two best friends Filbin and Filberta, enjoys experimenting and making discoveries. Here Pumpus and his friends plant a garden, but the tap has very little water flowing out. How can Pumpus fix this dilemma? By putting together a "trickler sprinkler" that doesn't produce more pressure, but slowly applies what is there directly to the plant's roots, making for a better watering experience. No sooner does Pumpus solve one gardening dilemma than another emerges; this time around the lack of mulch. Young picture book readers with good reading skills receive a step-by-step survey of a garden's needs and how to address them; but more importantly, the problem-solving skills employed by Pumpus gives them tools for not just addressing gardening needs, but thinking about the world and science in new ways.

Scholastic, Inc.

Two excellent picture books hold appeal for all ages as they explore facts and present them in colorful packages that will appeal to kids. Dean Robbins covers the true story of Alan Bean in The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon (9781338259527, $17.99), which receives colorful drawings by Sean Rubin as it tells of an astronaut on the Apollo 12 mission who began to paint what he'd seen on the Moon. Bean's name won't be as familiar as some others, but he was the fourth person to walk on the moon and the first to use his artistic skills to capture the magic and wonder of the moon landing and environment. Elementary school to adult readers alike will find much to enjoy in Horses: The Definitive Catalog of Horse and Pony Breeds (9781338360813, $19.99). Over a hundred breeds of horses and ponies are covered in this world-wide tour of equine habits, history, and characteristics. Each page is packed with beautiful color photos which pair well with the horse facts throughout, making for a fine blend of natural history, photographic excellence, and facts about human and horse relationships.

Scholastic, Inc.

Two fine new picture books are top recommendations young readers and read-aloud parents. Max Amato's Perfect (9780545829311, $16.99) helps kids understand that the idea of perfection can change, depending on perspective. In this case, an eraser is consumed with wanting book pages to be spotless, but for a pencil, "perfect" is defined quite differently. This wordless picture book story may take some interpreting for the very young, but excels in a thought-provoking early treatise on perfection. Peter H. Reynolds's Say Something! (9780545865036, $17.99) maintains that the world needs the reader's voice, no matter what form of talent the young reader has. But the story goes beyond expression and talent to maintain that one should speak up in the face of loneliness, people being hurt, and anger. The result is a fine story of social and artistic responsibility that parents will want to use to teach their children well.

The Board Book Shelf

Dig, Dump, Roll
Sally Sutton, author
Brian Lovelock, illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536209020, $7.99, Board Book, 28pp,

Diggers, dump trucks, rollers, and more - it takes a lot of big, noisy machines to build a school! Every young child who has ever gawked at a building site will gravitate to this exciting new entry in the kid-pleasing, charmingly illustrated board book edition in the author Sally Sutton and artist Brian Lovelock's 'Construction Crew' series for children ages 2-5. No family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, or community library board book collection would be complete without a copy of "Dig, Dump, Roll"!

Colors with Little Fish
Lucy Cousins
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536206111, $7.99, Board Book, 24pp,

Little Fish is off on a fun, rhyming adventure underwater, spotting colors along the way: blue fish, yellow coral, maybe even a pink seahorse. The bright orange star of Hooray for Fish! loves swimming in the sea, and little ones will love looking at and learning colors in this sturdy, original, and charmingly illustrated board book from Lucy Cousins. "Colors with Little Fish" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library board book collections for children ages 2-5.

Yum Yummy Yuck
Cree Lane & Amanda Jane Jones
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791374055, $9.95, Board Book, 30pp,

In their hip and often humorous Instagram accounts, Amanda and Cree Jones invite the world into their life with two young kids. Now, the Joneses are sharing another experience -- the struggle to keep their kids from putting everything they see into their mouths. Using simple, bright illustrations, irresistible colors, gentle repetition, and a lighthearted tone, "Yum Yummy Yuck" is an elegantly stylish board book that teaches babies and toddlers ages 1-3 what they should and shouldn't put in their mouths. Delectable treats like an ice cream cone, a pear, and a donut are interspersed with not-so-yummy things kids find irresistible -- like coins, boogers, and sand! Facing pages display the correct use of these items. That boogers go in tissues, coins in a piggy bank, and sand in a bucket. Designed to appeal to modern parents, this durable and attractive board book will have kids and their parents going back to it and sharing in the fun of all the delicious and disgusting things kids. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center and preschool board book collections, "Yum Yummy Yuck" is unreservedly endorsed and highly recommended.

Silly Lullaby
Sandra Boynton
Little Simon
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534452824, $5.99, Board Book, 16pp,

"Silly Lullaby" starts with the big bear observing to the little bear in the red footie pajamas: "Your pajamas are on. / There's a duck on your head. / I think that this means / you are ready for bed." A charmingly unpredictable go-to-sleep board book, "Silly Lullaby" provides a perfect bonding time for the parents and children ages 1-5, making it an ideal addition to family, daycare, preschool, and community library collections.

Go, Go, Pirate Boat
Katrina Charman, author
Nick Sharratt, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781547603190, $7.99, Board Book, 24pp,

Little pirates ages 2-5 will have endless fun with "Go, Go, Pirate Boat", vibrant board book by author Katrina Charman and illustrator Nick Sharratt with an entertaining and original text that is set to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat! Children will join two seafaring pirates and their captain on a nautical adventure to find a treasure chest in a fun little board book that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library collections.

Ripley Publishing
c/o Ripley Entertainment Inc.

Known for their legendary publications showcases the weird and wonderful of the world, Ripley Publishing has now produced two fully entertaining board books for children ages 2-5. "Ripley's Believe It or Not! Funny Feelings" (9781609912833, $6.99, 26pp) is a fun and silly illustrated guide to feelings. Happy? Nervous? Curious? Kids will love seeing their own varied emotions in the silly situations and faces of these delightfully illustrated characters. "Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odd Opposites" (9781609912840, $6.99, 26pp) is a fun and silly illustrated guide to opposites. Kids will enjoy seeing silly characters illustrating everyday opposites like day and night, as well as some sillier ones, like clean and dirty. Both of these unique, colorfully illustrated and thoroughly 'kid friendly' board books are unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

The ABC Shelf

ABCs at the Haunted House
Jennifer Marino Walters, author
Nathan Y. Jarvis, illustrator
Red Chair Press
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781634408769, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

The collaborative work of author Jennifer Marino Walters and illustrator Nathan Y. Jarvis, "ABCs at the Haunted House" invites children ages 4-8 to come along to the haunted house and see just how many letters of the alphabet they spot along the way -- But beware of the cobwebs! While unreservedly and especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "ABCs at the Haunted House" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Counting Shelf

One Dark Bird
Liz Garton Scanlon, author
Frann Preston-Gannon, illustrator
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534404434, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

One dark bird is perched up high, with a view of the town and a taste of the sky. Then she's joined by two more, then three, then four. Before long, there are hundreds of starlings dancing across the sky -- and avoiding a hunting hawk with one of the most spectacular tricks in the animal kingdom. Then, when night comes, the starlings begin to depart, until finally there is just one dark bird perched way up high, with a view of the town and a taste of the sky. Beautifully illustrated throughout, "One Dark Bird" is a lyrical counting picture book that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections for children aged 2-8.

The Bilingual Shelf

Code 7/Codigo 7
Bryan R. Johnson
Candy Wrapper Inc.
9781940556024, $12.99, PB, 240pp,

Life at Flint Hill Elementary School may seem normal, but seven friends soon find themselves on a path to crack the code for an epic life. Whether they're chasing their dreams on stage, searching for an elusive monster fish, or running a makeshift business out of a tree house, can these heroes find a way to work together to change their community? A bilingual (Spanish/English) book, "Code 7: Cracking the Code for an Epic Life" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Code 7" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Play / Jugar
Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674
9781575424262, $6.99, Board Book, 22pp,

Pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo. You see me and I see you! Parents and caregivers can celebrate baby's busy day with "Play / Jugar", a fun and playful board book. Babies ages will enjoy and respond to the happy sounds, joyful movements, and vivid black-and-white photos of babies depicted. Gurgle, babble, grunt, and coo. Watch how Daddy waves to you! A rollicking playtime book to delight babies, parents, and caregivers. This bilingual (English/Spanish) board book is very highly recommended for family, daycare center, and community library collections. Also unreservedly recommended is Elizabeth Verdick and Majorie Lisovskis other bilingual board book for babies "Cuddle / Abrazos y mimos" (9781631984488, $6.99, 22pp).

Todos Iguales / All Equal
Christy Hale
Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780892394272, $19.95, HC, 40pp,

Ten-year-old Roberto Alvarez loved school. He, his siblings, and neighbors attended the Lemon Grove School along with the white children from nearby homes. The children studied and played together as equals. In the summer of 1930, the Lemon Grove School Board decided to segregate the Mexican American students. The board claimed the children had a "language handicap" and needed to be "Americanized." When the Mexican families learned of this plan, they refused to let their children enter the new, inferior school that had been erected. They formed a neighborhood committee and sought legal help. Roberto, a bright boy who spoke English well, became the plaintiff in a suit filed by the Mexican families. On March 12, 1931, the case of Roberto Alvarez v. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District was decided. The judge ruled in favor of the children's right to equal education, ordering that Roberto and all the other Mexican American students be immediately reinstated in the Lemon Grove School. "Todos Iguales / All Equal: Un Corrido De Lemon Grove/A Ballad of Lemon Grove" is nonfiction bilingual picture book, written in both English and Spanish, that tells the empowering story of The Lemon Grove Incident which was a major victory in the battle against school segregation, and a testament to the tenacity of an immigrant community and its fight for equal rights. "Todos Iguales / All Equal" is unreservedly endorsed and especially recommended for elementary school and community library collections for young readers ages 8-11.

No More Bullies! / No Mas Bullies!
Rudolfo Anaya, author
El Moises, illustrator
Museum of New Mexico Press
PO Box 2087, Santa Fe, NM 87504-2087
9780890136423, $16.95, HC, 36pp,

"No More Bullies!/No Mas Bullies!" is a bilingual (English/Spanish) picture book for children ages 4-8 that tackles the subject of bullying of classmates for being different. Jackie Jackalope is missing from school and the teacher (Ollie Tecolote's grandmother) gets to the bottom of it. The kids have been teasing Jackie about her horns and she has run away to her parents in Pot of Gold Land. A contrite Ollie along with Uno the Unicorn (both guilty of teasing) volunteer to find and bring Jackie back to school. Their journey to Jackie's home leads to encounters with three guardians of the Dark Forest (NM monsters/legends): La Llorona, El Kookooee, and Skeleton Woman; and the Golden Carp who allows them to cross Rainbow Bridge. They reach Jackie and apologize and take her back to Wisdom School. Highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, Rudolfo Anaya's magical characters are brought to life by illustrator El Moises.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Arnica, the Duck Princess
Ervin Lazar, author
Jaqueline Molar, illustrator
Anna Bentley, translator
Pushkin's Children's Books
c/o Pushkin Press
9781782692201, $16.95, HC, 96pp,

Princess Arnica is so sweet and gentle that when she smiles even wolves and bears forget their fierceness. Everyone loves her, but she loves only Poor Johnny. Luckily, he loves her too, and even more luckily she has a very sensible king for a father, who is happy for her to marry whomever her heart desires. So, no problems then? Well, maybe just one -- The Witch with a Hundred Faces has cast a spell on Arnica and Johnny which means that one of them, at any one time, must always be a duck, and the other human! Who can help them? Only the Seven-headed Fairy. Will they be able to find her? Children ages 7-10 will enjoy finding out! Ably translated from Hungarian into English, and uniquely enhanced with the original artwork of Jacqueline Molar, this delightfully entertaining retelling of an Hungarian folk tale by author Ervin Lazar is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Arnica the Duck Princess" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Lois Wickstrom, author
Francie Mion, illustrator
Gripper Products / Look Under Rocks
9780916176396, $24.99, HC, 24pp,

In "Huff...Puff...Grind!: The 3 Little Pigs Get Smart", the 3 Little Pigs have gone to architecture school and learned not only how to build wolf-proof houses, but how to think in a scientific manner. If something looks like a problem from one point of view, try looking at it differently. The problem may contain its own best solution! A clever new twist to a classic fairytale subject, this charmingly entertaining picture book for children ages 3-8 is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Huff...Puff...Grind!" is also available in a paperback edition (9780916176402, $15.99).

The General Fiction Shelf

Cate Carlyle
Common Deer Press
9781988761398, $11.95, PB, 128pp,

Ginny's life suddenly comes to a screeching halt one fateful Monday when a shooter shows up at Southwestern High School during first period. In lockdown with both the homeroom sub and her secret crush Owen badly wounded, Ginny finds herself teamed up with Kayla, one of the "Barbies." Together, they must try to keep their classmates alive amid terror and pain. As the chaos continues, Ginny is plagued with questions. Has she judged Kayla too harshly? Will she ever have the chance to ask Own to prom? Will the fight she had with her mom before school be their last interaction ever? With the uncertainty of everyone making it out alive growing with every minute, there's only one thing Ginny knows for sure: no one is making it out unchanged! A deftly crafted and absorbing read from cover to cover, "#NotReadyToDie" is a riveting novel that could well have been taken from today's headlines about school-based active shooters that have become an all too common occurrence in today's America. While recommended for highschool and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "#NotReadyToDie" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Campout
Pete Leriget
Mister Mitchell, LLC
9781733312240, $11.95, PB, 101pp,

"Hi, it's Blitz here again, did you miss me? Anyway, once again, Uncle Drake and I find ourselves in a bit of a pickle. But this time we have help. Her name is Cleo, she's something else, but you'll get a chance to meet her when you get into the book. We find ourselves chasing an illegal trapper and things get a little dicey. We travel to Alturas lake in the Sawtooth Mountains when Uncle Drake gets a whiff in the air of some trouble coming. Okay, I'm not going to give it all away so read, read, read, you're going to have fun. Oh yeah, Pete gets a new friend in his life too, gag, really Hope turns out to be pretty cool too!" "The Campout" is the sequel to author Pete Leriget's "The Beginning" and part of his 'The Adventures of Blitz and Uncle Drake' series for children ages 5-11. While very highly recommended for family, elementary school and community library general fiction collections for young readers, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Campout" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Scholastic, Inc.

Six new young adult leisure reads from Scholastic are strong recommendations for collections that look for eye-catching books solid in their writing, presentation, and appeal. Sarah Kohn's I Love You So Much (9781338302882, $17.99) tells of Kimi Nakamura, who is obsessed with fashion and likes to create bold outfits for her and her friends. Her passion puts her at odds with her mother, so when an invitation arrives from Kimi's estranged parents, she takes the opportunity to flee...and enters a new world that additionally challenges her thinking and trajectory in life. Laura Resau's Tree of Dreams (9780545800884, $17.99) tells of Coco, who helps her mother run a chocolate shop, yet faces a struggling store and her best friend's alienation. She needs answers, but when she visits the local Amazon rain forest in search of something that will save the shop, she faces bigger questions of environmental and cultural threats to the forest and peoples who live there. A fine story of struggle and social issues emerges from what begins as a story of personal angst. Cynthia Lord's Because of the Rabbit (9780545914246, $17.99) will appeal to elementary-level and lower middle school grades alike with its fun story of a wild rabbit rescue that results in a pet bunny. Emma wants a best friend from her new public school experience, but when she and Jack, who loves animals, bond over her new rescue rabbit, she faces some hard questions about different kinds of people and the meaning of friendship. Nafiza Azad's The Candle and the Flame (9781338306040, $18.99) tells of Fatyima, who lives in Noor off the Silk Road. It's a magical city affected by a slaughter that killed everyone except for Fatima and two others in the past. Now Fatima faces more troubles not only on a magical level, but in political and social challenges that sweep her into an ongoing struggle for survival. Jennifer Donnelly's Stepsister (9781338268461, $17.99) tells of lucky Isabelle, who is about to gain the prince she's always wanted. But Isabelle isn't Cinderella: she's a wicked stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe. Her intense desire to be her sister results in her hacking at everything that makes her mean; but can an evil stepsister really change? Mature readers will relish this somewhat gruesome story of the other side of goodness. Kat Falls' Undaunted (9780545371025, $17.99) tells of Lane McEvoy, whose journey into the Feral Zone, an area abandoned by all after a virus ravages the country, reveals survivors. These events were recounted in Inhuman, but this sequel follows up six months later, when Lane must go back into the Feral Zone and discover new truths about the virus, its effects, and the one she loves who has made her promise something she doesn't want to do. These are engrossing reads highly recommended for young adults looking for something different.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster
Cary Fagan
Tundra Books
9780735266216 $16.99

The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster tells of Hartley, nearly drone with middle school, who faces trouble at home when his older brother runs away. His attempts to cope with his brother's absence leads him to search out postcards in his small town, and uncover the clues about who G.O., their writer, is and what is really happening with the cards. Ages 10-14 will find this a fascinating blend of mystery and psychological inspection.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones
J.P. Coman, author
Mailys Pitcher, illustrator
Crimson Dragon Publishing
9781944644055, $8.95, PB, 188pp,

Their dad's decision to go camping late in the season leaves Winnie and Jerry with nothing to do but bicker and annoy each other. But when Winnie storms off in anger, she accidentally rescues a real live troll! All their moonstones were stolen, and they need Winnie's help to get their magic back! Winnie and Jerry start off on a whirling adventure with their new friends, Oola and Humphry, and encounter new dangers with each step of their journey. Even if they find the treasure, how will they get home? An original, entertaining, and thoroughly charming fantasy story for young readers ages 8-12, "Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones" is unreservedly endorsed and recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black
Marcus Sedgwick, author
Julian Sedgwick, author
Alexis Deacon, illustrator
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536204377, $17.99, HC, 320pp,

Harry Black, a conscientious objector, artist, and firefighter battling the blazes of German bombing in London in 1944, wakes in the hospital to news that his soldier brother, Ellis, has been killed. In the delirium of his wounded state, Harry's mind begins to blur the distinctions between the reality of war-torn London, the fiction of his unpublished sci-fi novel, and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Driven by visions of Ellis still alive and a sense of poetic inevitability, Harry sets off on a search for his brother that will lead him deep into the city's Underworld. With otherworldly paintings by Alexis Deacon depicting Harry's surreal descent further into the depths of hell, "Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black" by co-authors Marcus and Julian Sedgwick is an eerily beautiful blend of prose, verse, and illustrations that delves into the themes of love, loyalty, and the unbreakable bonds of brotherhood as it builds to a fierce indictment of mechanized warfare. A unique and impressively entertaining read from cover to cover, "Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young readers ages 9 - 14. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Christian Shelf

My Bible God's Word For Me
Mary Martha Moss, FSP, author
Augusta Currell, illustrator
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
9780819850041, $19.95, HC, 232pp,

"My Bible God's Word For Me" is an inspired and inspiring compendium of illustrated bible stories combined with basic prayers and emphasizing a distinctly Catholic understanding of scripture and Christian tradition. Teaching young children how prayer and scripture go together, "My Bible God's Word For Me" is unreservedly recommended for family, Catholic Sunday School, and Catholic Elementary School collections.

Joseph: Guardian of the Holy Family
Marlyn Evangelina Monge FSP
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
9780819840271, $12.95, Board Book, 14pp,

"Joseph: Guardian of the Holy Family" is a beautiful board book for children ages 1-5 that provides a charming and memorable way for babies and toddlers to become familiar with Saint Joseph and his role in the earthly life of Jesus and is unreservedly endorsed -- especially for Catholic families and Catholic preschool collections.

God Made Me
Stephen R. Blandino, author/illustrator
Independently Published
9781793435361, $10.00, PB, 24pp,

"God Made Me" is described by its author as "a labor of love." Beautiful rainbow speckled illustrations blend seamlessly with gentle verse narrative of a creation story told by God, the first storyteller. After creating all the animals, fish and birds, God wondered what might be missing. "He saw his reflection in the deep blue sea and realized in an instant, 'I'll make an image like me.'" Beautiful, smiling images of a beneficent God beam through the rays of the sun. "So from out of the Love that was placed on the earth, GOD blessed the planet with the birth... of a beautiful baby, so precious and new. A baby that grew to be me and to be you." "God Made Me" is a vibrant, faith-infused gift to children and parents everywhere.

Picturing God
Ruth Goring
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506449395, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

With poetic language and gorgeous handcrafted mixed-media collages and mosaics, "Picturing God" by poet, visual artist, and book editor Ruth Goring brings to life for children ages 5-8 the many metaphors for God found in the Bible. God is the light, living water, a father, a mother, clothing, a rock, wind, comforter, a door, the Good Shepherd, and more. "Picturing God" invites children and adults alike to revisit the beautiful imagery found in Scripture and provides an opportunity for children to develop their imagination about who God is. Of special note is that at the end of the book, a list of Bible references is provided for the images depicted, making "Picturing God" an especially recommended addition to family, Sunday School, elementary school, and community library Christian themed picture book collections.

A Place Called Heaven for Kids
Dr. Robert Jeffress
Baker Books
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780801094286, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Children ask a lot of questions. When a death occurs in their family or circle of friends, those questions inevitably turn toward heaven. Is heaven real? Where is it? What will we do there? How do we get there? And more. Parents and grandparents often find themselves at a loss to explain a place that they suddenly may realize they don't know much about either. Colorfully illustrated and using simple concepts and language that children ages 4-7 can understand, "A Place Called Heaven for Kids" by Pastor Robert Jeffress provides answers to 10 of these common questions. In doing so, it gives children peace of mind about their lost loved one as well as a comforting, biblical picture of their forever home. For parents, grandparents, and caregivers, "A Place Called Heaven for Kids" offers a positive, constructive way to grieve, hope, and grow with the children in their lives, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to family and Sunday School library collections. It should be noted that "A Place Called Heaven for Kids" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Islamic Shelf

Tales Of The Last Messenger
Kisa Kids Publications
c/o Al-Kisa Foundation
9781683121237, $14.95, HC, 146pp,

Very nicely illustrated throughout, "Tales Of The Last Messenger" is a collection of informative and entertaining short stories for young readers which are drawn from the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. "Tales of the Last Messenger" features 65 stories that are categorized into the following chapters: Kindness is Part of Faith; Remembering Allah & His Lessons; Developing Good Character Treating Others Fairly & Justly; Respecting the Rights of Children. A unique volume that teaches children about Muhammad and the Islamic faith, "Tales Of The Last Messenger" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections for both Islamic and non-Islamic students -- most especially in these currently troubled times when there is so much misunderstanding and misinformation about the Islamic faith.

Hakima and Hadi Explore the World!
Kisa Kids Publications
c/o Al-Kisa Foundation
9781683121268, $6.00, Board Book, 14pp,

Kisa Kids Publications, under the guidance of Moulana Nabi R. Mir (Abidi) has produced a thoroughly charming, entertaining, and informative series of board books for young children ages 2-5 featuring Islamic values and practices that include going to a mosque, praying, the Quran, playing, homelife, and honoring religious leaders from the past, and more! Beginning with "Hakima and Hadi Explore the World!", this simply outstanding and unreservedly recommended board book series includes Hakima and Hadi Say Bismilla; Hakima and Hadi Remember Allah is Everywehre; Hakima and Hadi Read the Quran; Hakima and Hadi See Allah's Creation; Hakima and Hadi Pray Salaah!; Hakima and Hadi Remember Imam Husain; Hakima and Hadi Say Alhamdulillah!; and Hakima and Hadi Go to Jum'ah!.

The Science Shelf

Barefoot Books Solar System
Anne Jankeliowitch, author
Annabelle Buxton, illustrator
Barefoot Books
9781782858232 $19.99

Barefoot Books Solar System is an educational children's book featuring stylized artwork, amazing true facts, interactive flaps, and a glow-in-the-dark poster of the solar system. These features make Barefoot Books Solar System a fun, hands-on treat, ideal for gift-giving to young people ages 8-12 who are curious about what lies beyond the Earth. Highly recommended!

Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, author
Julius Csotonyi, illustrator
What on Earth Books
9781912920051 $18.99 hc

Prehistoric: Dinosaurs, Megalodons, and Other Fascinating Creatures of the Deep Past is an educational book for young adults, about amazing animals that lived in prehistory. Some became extinct; others were the ancestors of modern-day species. The moderately detailed text is filled with fascinating facts about the natural world during prehistoric eras, and enriched with striking, realistic color artwork. A brief glossary and index round out this treasure for public and school library science collections. Highly recommended!

Tracey Turner, author
Fatti Burke, illustrator
Kingfisher Children's Books
c/o Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
9780753475317, $16.99, HC, 48pp,

"Wheels" by the team of author Tracey Turner and illustrator/artist Fatti Burke takes young readers ages 6-9 on a fact-packed journey through the subject of wheels, from bicycles to driverless cars, via wheeled toys, Ferris wheels, potter's wheels, and chariots along the way. Information is presented by Fatti Burke's stylish illustrations combined with creatively presented text, including speech bubbles -- the result is an impressively informative and charmingly presented picture book that is an especially recommended addition to elementary school and community library collections.

The World History Shelf

1,000 Facts About Ancient Egypt
Nancy Honovich
National Geographic Children's Books
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426332739, $14.99, HC, 96pp,

From the Great Pyramid and the Valley of the Kings to the Nile River and Cleopatra, children ages 8-12 will discover all they have ever wanted to know about this ancient civilization in the beautifully and profusely illustrated pages of "1,000 Facts About Egypt". Kids will enjoy unearthing ancient hieroglyphs and their meanings; finding out what was in King Tut's tomb; and getting insights about the science of mummification. Young readers will learn about ancient Egyptian gods and famous pharaohs, and follow Egypt's battles for power in the world. After this deep dive into Egyptology, the young reader will be able to dazzle friends and family with your newfound knowledge about the history and culture of Ancient Egypt -- making it an ideal and recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Ancient History collections in general, and Egyptology supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The World of the Old Testament
Marc Olson, author
Jemima Maybank, illustrator
Beaming Books
9781506450599 $19.99 hc

Intended for young readers ages 9-14, The World of the Old Testament draws upon the latest archaeology and research to portray what life was like in biblical times. Created especially to provide authentic, historical context to stories of the Bible, in a format thoroughly accessible to young adults, The World of the Old Testament is utterly fascinating from cover to cover and a "must" for personal, public, school, and church library collections. Highly recommended!

The Self-Help Shelf

Big Breath
William Meyer, author
Brittany R. Jacobs, illustrator
New World Library
9781608686339 $16.95 32 pages

"Big Breath" is a guided meditation and relaxation book for kids. Focusing on breathing, a gentle relaxation practice is colorfully illustrated and described. Readers are encouraged to use their breath to guide them into a deeper, calmer awareness of themselves in their bodies, building a positive connection to the physical realities of existence. The author's words help suggest a way to deepen inner connectedness: "Can you remember all the places you have been today? Imagine all the invisible footprints you have left behind. then take another big breath, and let them all go, like footprints washed away by the waves. let go of the day. Let go of the coulds, the woulds, and the shoulds, the goods and the bads. And for a moment, just breathe. Breathe in the blue sky of your mind. Breathe in the light of your heart. Breathe in the tingling of your toes and the warmth of your hands. breathe in all you are and all you will be. Breathe in everywhere you've been and everywhere you'll go. And then, when you are ready, but only when you are ready, take one last breath and open your eyes. How do you feel on the inside? How do you feel on the outside? Do you feel lighter, more relaxed, maybe a little calmer? May you carry this feeling with you through your day and your dreams. And may you share it with everyone you meet!" This breath meditation can be used to calm worries, build strength, or just to relax or wind down before bedtime. "Big Breath: A Guided Meditation for Kids" is a wonderful self help resource for both kids and adults.

Try: Building Confidence for Children
Joseph S. DiMare, author
John Wilson, illustrator
Schiffer Kids
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764357787, $16.99, HC, 48pp,

"Try: Building Confidence for Children" is a fun, uplifting, feel-good read by author Joseph S. DiMare that is enhanced for young readers ages 5-6 with captivating illustrations by John Wilson that presents them with a positive message about trying new things. From tying a tie to climbing the highest mountain, kids are encouraged to try their best, no matter how big or small their dreams may be. Playful suggestions teach children to believe in themselves and help encourage curiosity without fear of failure. At the end of "Try" are special pages for children to brainstorm and draw things they'd like to try, as well as what they're proud of having already done. It also includes simple, step-by-step directions for some activities named in the book, such as baking a pie and catching fireflies. "Try" builds children's confidence, feeds their curiosity, and expands what they imagine they can do, making it unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Wizard's Wish
Brad Yates
Eifrig Publishing
PO Box 66, Lemont, PA 16851
9781632332004, $19.99, HC, 34pp,

After a terrible storm, the people of a normally peaceful village find themselves unusually out of sorts. They feel more angry, sad, and scared (and find life more difficult) even in school and sports! But a kindly wizard discovers a secret that helps them feel even better than before, one they can use themselves -- and so can children ages 2-11 (along with their parents/teachers) can learn a safe, simple way to deal with uncomfortable emotions in the brightly illustrated picture book "The Wizard's Wish" by author and illustrator Brad Yates. The solution is right at our fingertips! By tapping points on our body (a process done in the clinically proven Emotion Freedom Technique), together with guided responses, the wizard demonstrates how we can feel better in minutes! EFT practitioner Brad Yates has created a book that is both fun and incredibly helpful! Of special note is that using QR code technology, you can download instructional and sample videos by Brad for instant access to the magical tool of EFT, making it an unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Wizard's Wish" is also available in a paperback edition (9781451570908, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.00).

The Crafts Shelf

Easy Paper Projects
Maggy Woodley
Page Street Publishing
9781624148507, $19.99, PB, 192pp,

Maggy Woodley is the creator of the crafts blog Red Ted Art. Her crafts have been featured in Good Housekeeping, Reader's Digest and Brit + Co. In "Easy Paper Projects: 60 Crafts You Can Wear, Gift, Use and Admire" she shows children ages 6-11 just how versatile paper can be when creating fun, colorful crafts. Whether using plain printer paper, a rainbow array of cardstock or just a few scraps of construction paper, children will be able to create inventive paper crafts that require only a few materials that are readily available, making them a thrifty and accessible alternative to more complicated projects. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "Easy Paper Projects" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Crafts/Hobbies collections.

The Music Shelf

The History of Rock
Rita Nabais, author
Joana Raimundo, illustrator
Triumph Books
9781629377339, $19.95, HC, 112pp,

The collaborative work of author Rita Nabais and illustrator Joana Raimundo, "The History of Rock: For Big Fans and Little Punks" offers young readers ages 9-12 an impressively informative tour through popular music history, featuring trailblazing acts from the 1950s to the present day. Colorful, stylish illustrations bring to life artists like Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Joan Jett, and Madonna, plus bands such as The Beatles, The Clash, Beastie Boys, and Pearl Jam, all of whom have inspired countless boys and girls to become musicians over the past 70 years. As fun as it is informative, "The History of Rock: For Big Fans and Little Punks" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of young rock music fans, as well as elementary school and community library Popular Music collections.

The Humor Shelf

The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids
Carole P. Roman
Rockridge Press
9781641526371, $9.99, PB, 160pp,

Compiled by Carole P. Roman, "The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids" is illustrated collection of more than 800 jokes for kids ages 6-12. This laugh-out-loud compendium of knock-knock jokes, riddles, and tongue twisters, and more is inclusive and family-friendly, with knee-slappers that kids will be bursting to tell every chance they get. The jokes also get more challenging with each chapter, so "The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids" will tickle funny bones of all ages. Offering hours and hours of fun, "The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Uleyli: The Princess and the Pirate
G. C. Daniels, story and art
Rebourne Communications
9780977418947 $19.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle

Uleyli: The Princess and the Pirate is a historical fiction graphic novel based on true events in the life of a Native American princess who lived in Florida, in the year 1528 - the era of first contact between native populations and Spanish explorers. Drawing upon historical record and folklore, the story is from the perspective of Uleyli (based on the real Princess Ulele, also known as "Florida's Pocahontas"), who saves the life of a Spanish captive. Uleyli feels trapped by an arranged marriage to the ruler of a neighboring tribe, but her own artist talents, sense of compassion, and ability to inspire others just might be the key to taking control of her destiny! Uleyli: The Princess and the Pirate is a welcome addition to personal and public library children's graphic novel collections, highly recommended. It should be noted that "Uleyli: The Princess and the Pirate" is also available as an illustrated chapter book, and future titles in the series are forthcoming.

The Music CD Shelf

Ageless: Songs for the Child Archetype
Jon Samson
Co Creative Music
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

Music therapist and songwriter Jon Samson presents Ageless: Songs for the Child Archetype, a music album crafted to appeal to the child in everyone. Kids and adults will both enjoy these lighthearted songs about dealing with everyday challenges. Heartwarming and upbeat, Ageless is highly recommended for both family and public library music collections. The tracks are "Predicament", "Anxiety", "Video Game", "Focus on What You Want", "Magic Potion Ocean", "Focus on ADD", "Am I Awake", "Focus on This Moment", "Love Is Not A Race", "Bubble Earth", "Bye, Polar Bear", and "Only Love".

Kith & Kin
Duke Otherwise
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3

Kith & Kin is a family-centric album of songs featuring a diversity of instruments, a quirky sense of humor, and inspiration from around the globe. Exulting in the joys of family, friends, and everyday life, Kith & Kin is so delightfully charming one can't help but smile. Kith & Kin is highly recommended for personal, public, and school library children's music collections. The tracks are "Everybody Spin", "So Full", "Joy's aGrump", "Yodeling Lament", "Atticus", "Billy, Put Your Sister Down", "Eats Like You", "Elementary Crush", "There's a Lion in My Room", "Still Counting...", "Slow Monster", "Gavin", "Zane", "Twins", "And Finally...", "Golden Wheel Spider", and "Always Home".

Waiting For The Elevator
The Laurie Berkner Band
Two Tomatoes Records
$11.98 CD / $9.99 digital

Children's musician Laurie Berkner and The Laurie Berkner Band present Waiting For The Elevator, a wonderful album of original songs brimming with zest and whimsy. The songs are crafted to naturally lead into one another; the smooth transitions make Waiting For The Elevator feel like a family-friendly concert performance. Waiting For The Elevator is thoroughly delightful, and highly recommended for both personal and public library children's music collections. The tracks are "Waiting For The Elevator", "A Dollar", "Did You Go To Ohio?", "Look At All The Letters", "12 Months", "Do You Hear The Bells?", "Chipmunk At The Gas Pump", "I Missed You", "I Know How That Works", "I Love You Daddy", "A Hug From My Mama", "Piggyback Ride", "A Mermaid's Song", "Big Blue Box", "Come Out Come Out", "I Am Angry (Yes I Am)", "Purple Bricks In The Sky", "This Mountain", and "Somos Los Dinosaurios". 47 min., 24 sec.

Listen. Love. Repeat
Again, Again
Privately Published
$12.00 CD / $8.99 digital

Listen. Love. Repeat is a family-friendly album of original songs by the delightful duo of Jennifer Cook and Anne Montone, a.k.a. "Again, Again". The high-spirited songs celebrate exciting challenges such as the first day of school, and the joy of simple things such as helping others out or sharing a hug with family. Listen. Love. Repeat is a choice pick for children and parents to share together! Also highly recommended is the separately sold "Listen. Love. Repeat. Lyric and Coloring Book for Kids and Their Adults" ($4.99 digital/$6.99 softbound); a book/CD bundle is available from Brandcamp ($12.00). The tracks of "Listen. Love. Repeat" are "ABCs in Spanish and English", "The Kids Are Here (First Day of School)", "Families Come in Blended Ways", "Get Dressed March", "Bubble Gum and Cheese", "Wrap You Arms Around Your Family", "Be Well", "Dinosaur Party", "Helping Out", and "Camping Song (Lullaby)".

A Cheerful Little Earful
Diana Panton
Little Things
$12.99 CD / $9.99 download

Two-time JUNO Award winner Diana Panton presents A Cheerful Little Earful, a family-friendly album of classic songs, including beloved Americana tunes as well hits from Disney and Sesame Street. Panton's stylish, jazzy performance is a joy to experience, creating a wonderful album that both adults and little ones will treasure hearing again and again. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Happy Talk", "It's a Most Unusual Day", "'A' You're Adorable", "Red Red Robin", "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon", "Cheerful Little Earful", "If You Feel Like Singing, Sing", "Music and Me", "Pocketful of Miracles", "Look to the Rainbow", "All in the Golden Afternoon", "Experiment", "Aren't You Glad You're You?", "Sing a Rainbow", and "Hush-a-bye Island". 53 min. 47 sec.

Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Holidays
Katherine Dines
Privately Published
$15.99 CD / $12.00 digital

Grammy-nominated independent family music artist Katherine Dines presents Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Holidays, a family-friendly music album of 13 songs as well as fascinating stories and facts about how cultures around the world cherish their favorite holidays. In addition to celebrating well- known holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, songs rejoice in less-familiar holidays such as Chinese New Year, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan. Brief stories about each holiday enrich this educational, multicultural treasure highly recommended for personal, public, and school library children's music collections. The tracks are "Somewhere in this World", "A Long Time Ago", "Thanks to the Sun", "Nian", "Light Rises Over Darkness", "Stars", "Eight Little Candles", "The Friendly Beasts", "The Forever Evergreen", "The Sun Will Rise", "Ramadan", "Kwanzaa", and "Joy". 43 min.

Ditto Kiddo
Stephen Michael Schwartz
S-Team Productions
$12.98 CD / $8.91 MP3

Created especially for young listeners, Ditto Kiddo is the fourth solo album by Stephen Michael Schwartz, about life from a child's perspective. The catchy, upbeat vocals and Schwartz's guitar playing make these energetic tunes a jubilant delight. Ditto Kiddo is a choice pick for family car trips, children's parties, or rainy day fun! The tracks are "Alphabet Soup", "Bubble Gum Friend", "Grandma and Grandpa", "That's What Love Can Do", "Ditty Kiddo", "No, No, No, No, No", "Little Fingers, Tiny Toes", "Hopscotch", and "Hello Gymbo".

The LGBT Shelf

Ho'Onani Hula Warrior
Heather Gale
9780735264496 $17.99

Ho'Onani Hula Warrior receives fine drawings by Mika Song and tells of a girl who doesn't see herself as either female or male. She's happy to be in the middle, but Hawaiian culture demands that she makes a choice. And when she wants to lead the boys-only hula troupe at her school, trouble begins. This is based on a true story and offers many insights on Hawaiian culture as it explore gender identity and fluidity in an accepting manner.

The GayBCs
M. L. Webb
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781683691624 $14.99 hc / $8.99 Kindle

Intended for parents to share with children ages 4-8, The GayBCs is an alphabet picturebook and teaching tool about LGBTQ+ vocabulary, issues, and rights. Each letter is paired with a simple rhyme. The page for B reads "B is for Bi. / You can shout it out loud: / 'I like boys and girls, / and that makes me proud!'", and the page for Q reads "Q is for Queer. / An inclusive term. / It's used to show pride, / unite, and affirm!". Since The GayBCs is meant to educate young people about social issues, including LGBTQ rights, tolerance, gender, and sexuality, it works well as a read- aloud "discussion starter" for parents to share with their children, while answering any questions that their children ask.

Books in Series

Making a Book
Meg Gaertner, author
The Child's World
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003
9781503835092, $28.34, Library Binding, 24pp,

"Making a Book" is a grade level 1 how -to book from the series, Sequencing Stories. It describes the process of creating a book from a child author's viewpoint. It outlines the process of writing a book, including imagining and creating a story, plus specifics about characters, setting, and plot. Green highlighted sidebars detail various fun facts related to the process of making a book. The process of making a book is broken down into multiple steps, including imagining, writing, revising, drawing illustrations, and finishing. For additional help, "Making a Book" has a glossary of terms, a resource section titled To Learn More, and an index. "Making a Book" is an inspiring workbook for early elementary students to use for help in creating their own stories.
Also highly recommended are these additional titles by author Meg Gaertner in the series, Sequencing Stories: "Building a Snowman (9781503835061)," "Building with Blocks (9781503835122)," "Carrying a Jack-O'-Lantern (9781503835078)," "Making Cookies (9781503835108)," "Making a Valentine (9781503835139)," "Making Lemonade (9781503835085)," and "Planting a Garden (9781503835115)."

Things Up Close
Alice Boynton, author
Red Chair Press
Lerner Publishing Services (distributor)
9781634406697, $18.99 S & L, 24pp,

"Things Up Close," from the Red Chair Press nonfiction series, Look Closely!, is a fascinating resource text about examining common objects closely to determine unusual facts or features about each object. Some of the everyday objects under scrutiny include a toothbrush, a sponge, a pencil, a seashell, and more. Filled with color photographs of object closeups, "Things Up close" is written using a riddle format to appeal to children age 5 to 8 years . Green fact boxes labeled "Good To Know" and "Now You Know" provide additional highlighted information about each object. There is also a vocabulary list, index, and a resource list labeled Learn More at the Library. "Things Up Close" is a creative approach to the examination of common objects for further analysis and knowledge. Children will be stimulated to learn more about other everyday objects in their daily lives. Other titles in this series that are also highly recommended for audiences ages 4-7 years include: "Structures Up Close (9781634406673, $18.99)," by Wiley Blevins, "People Up Close (9781634406680, $18.99)," by Wiley Blevins, and "Nature Up Close (9781634406666, $18.99)," by Alice Boynton.

Scratch Code Smart Homes
Max Wainwright, author
John Haslam, illustrator
Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118
9780778765400 $27.60 hc / $8.95 pbk

"Scratch Code Smart Homes," from the series Scratch Code Challenge, is a code manual for kids (age 8 and up) using Scratch 3, a code website, to help create a modern smart home using computer coding technology. Students use their web browser to type to create their projects for smart homes. Detailed illustrations show crucial screen components used in Scratch 3, and step by step instructions show how to create an appropriate setting and backdrop for the house being coded. Then students are shown how to draw a house, set rooms, start coding, use sensor codes for lighting or automatic music. Additional coding instruction is provided to help create an intercom and camera for the automatic doorbell. Voice Control 1 and 2 show how to use voice control technology to turn lights on or turn heat up. Next the Scratch 3 site is used to code home improvement robots such as vacuum cleaners to do their job efficiently. Further home improvements are coded using burglar alarms and audio and video burglar alarms. A chapter page on bugs and debugging helps work through problems when your code isn't working as expected. This includes several special tips to reduce bugs. One suggestion is to practice debugging, and to draw a diagram of your program and plan it before starting. "Scratch Code Smart Homes" is completed by a Glossary and helpful index. "Scratch Code Smart Homes" is an excellent guidebook for kids and adults learning to use computer technology to improve homes and home security. Also highly recommended are the following titles by max Wainwright from the Scratch Code Challenge Series: "Scratch Code Space Tech (9780778765417)," "Scratch Code Transportation (9780778765424)," and "Scratch Code Robots (9780778765325),"

The Tasty Treat: The Nocturnals
Tracey Hecht, author
Josie Yee, illustrator
Fabled Films Press
9781944020293, $12.99 HC, 40pp,

In "The Tasty Treat" (a part of the Fabled Films Press 'Grow & Read' series 'Nocturnals'), Dawn the fox wakes up and goes looking for her friends, Tobin the pangolin and Bismark the sugar glider, to share a tasty treat -- a pomelo! Using basic language, emerging readers ages 4-6 are introduced to the Nocturnal Brigade. Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, "The Tasty Treat" also includes bonus pronunciation guide and is also available in a paperback edition (9781944020309, $5.99). Other titles in this simply outstanding series include "The Moonlight Meeting"; "The Peculiar Possum"; "The Kooky Kinkajou": "The Mysterious Abductions"; "The Ominous Eye"; and "The Slithery Shakedown".

Ruby Finds a Worry
Tom Percival
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781547602377, $17.99 HC, $11.09 Kindle, 32pp,

In "Ruby Finds a Worry", children ages 3-6 will meet Ruby -- a happy, curious, imaginative girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry. It's not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . And a little bigger . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about. But when Ruby befriends a young boy, she discovers that everyone has worries, and not only that, there's a great way to get rid of them too! A perceptive and poignant picture book story is the perfect springboard for talking to children about emotional intelligence and sharing hidden anxieties, "Ruby Finds a Worry" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted that two other titles in this outstanding Big Bright Feelings picture book series for children about mental and emotional health, positive self-image, building self-confidence, and managing feelings include "Perfectly Norman" and "Ravi's Roar".

Athena: Goddess of Wisdom, War, and Crafts
Teri Temple, author
Robert Squier, illustrator
The Child's World
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003
9781503832558 $29.93 List/ $20.95 Library

Written at a Grade 3 reading level with interest for grades 3-6, "Athena: Goddess of Wisdom, War, and Crafts" is a title from the twelve volume series, Greek Gods and Goddesses. Filled with colorful full page illustrations and organized with thumbnail portraits of the major Greek gods, goddesses, and other important personages, "Athena" opens with a map of Greece showing major characters and places. The story of Athena's birth/creation is told, along with her devotion to her friend and practice mate, Pallas, whose name she added to her own when she accidentally killed Pallas during battle training. Athena was goddess of not only battle but also the goddess of crafts, such as literature, poetry, music, weaving, and the arts. Many traditional stories of Athena and other gods an mortals are recounted. Athena is the patron goddess of Athens, Greece. Their famous temple, the Parthenon was built to honor Athena. Athena also gifted Athens and all Greece with the olive tree, a very useful gift. "Athena" finishes with an illustrated family tree of the principal gods of Greek mythology in a family tree, and also a list of the Roman gods and goddesses, who mostly changed the names of the Greek gods and goddesses. A section on further information lists books and websites for related interest. "Athena" is an excellent resource for elementary students grades 3 and up. Additional highly recommended titles by the same author and illustrator in the Greek Gods and Goddesses series include the following: "Eros: God of Love (9781503832565, $20.95 Library)," "Hades: God of the Underworld (9781503832589, $20.95 Library)," "Hephaestus: God of Fire, Metalwork, and Building (9781503832572, $20.95 Library)," Hera, Queen of the Gods, Goddess of Marriage (9781503832596, $20.95 Library)," "Hermes: God of Travels and Trade (9781503832602, $20.95 Library)," "Apollo: God of the Sun, Healing, Music, and Poetry (9781503832527, $20.95 Library)," "Ares: God of War (9781503832534, $20.95 Library)," "Artemis: Goddess of Hunting and Protector of Animals (9781503832541, $20.95 Library)," "Aphrodite: Goddess of Love and Beauty (9781503832510, $20.95 Library)," "Poseidon: God of the Sea and Earthquakes (9781503832619, $20.95 Library)," and "Zeus: King of the Gods, God of Sky and Storms (9781503832626, $20.95 Library)."

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.

Are You My Monster?
Amanda Noll, author
Howard McWilliam, illustrator
Flashlight Press
9781947277328, $8.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

I've come to love the illustrations of Howard McWilliam. They are so colorful and captivating. They add an extra level of wonder and creativity to every story. This early educational concept of matching and awareness will engage children with delight. While they try to help search out just the right monster, they are learning important classification skills that help them to identify same or similar objects based on common properties. This earliest concept prepares and develops logical thinking, and basic early math skills while having fun. (Ages 2-5)

I Love My Dragon
Jodi Moore, author
Howard McWilliam, illustrator
Flashlight Press
9781947277304, $7.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

I enjoyed this early reader board book. It is bright and colorful, with illustrations that are sure to capture a young imagination (and some old ones as well). Relationship has many faces, and friendship is surely her most attractive side. It often begins in those awkward early years when sorting imagination and reality is still a bit blurred. When young hearts are open and fluid, and magical thoughts are as lucid as the rising sun. Imaginary friends often set the stage, guiding the heart, while setting a lifelong understanding of the power of friendship. (Ages 2-5)

Happy Halloween Pirates! (Lift-the-Flap Book)
W. Harry Kirn, author
Inna Chernyak, illustrator
Clever Publishing
c/o Quarto (distribution)
9781948418881, $12.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This fun peek-a-boo board book is sure to tickle some funny bones. It's filled with the excitement and creativity of planning for a costume party, and is sure to delight. Finding hidden little visuals under tabs on each page is an added bonus. (Ages 2-5)

Dinosaur Farm!
Penny Dale
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
9780763699369, $15.99

Christine Irvin

This is the newest installment in author Penny Dale's series of dinosaur books. The team of dinosaurs have been in outer space and fought pirates. Now they are on the farm plowing the soil, feeding the sheep, harvesting the wheat, and doing all the work that needs to be done on a farm. Everyone's working hard to get ready for the upcoming farm show. (Ages 2-5)

Why Not?
Amanda Huneke, author
Claudia Tenorio Pearl, illustrator
Warren Publishing, Inc
9781943258482, $17.95

Larissa Juliano

What a sweet story with our cute protagonist Peyton Pep! She will remind lots of families and teachers of their imaginative and spirited children and students. Peyton's zest for life and adventurous spirit sparks different ideas or outings and activities each day of the week. Illustrations have a classic feel with our little brunette and her various outfits, fun backgrounds that illuminate Peyton's big ideas and dream vacation spots. A perfect story for children who dream big, and also a great mentor text to talk about the days of the week, habitats, and dreams that stretch beyond our own backyard. (Ages 2-7)

Mr. Pumpkin's Tea Party
Erin Barker
Blue Manatee Press
c/o Independent Publishers Group (distribution)
9781936669776, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This Halloween counting book is just spooky enough for little ones, and makes the countdown just ghoulish enough for lots of fun and giggles. The clock strikes thirteen with an echoing chime, and everyone is sure to have had a frightful good time! (Ages 3-5)

High Five
Adam Rubin, author
Daniel Salmieri, illustrator
Dial Books
9780525428893, $19.99

Christine Irvin

The annual high five contest is being held, and you are invited to participate. Test your skills against a gigantic bear, a kangaroo, a lizard, an elephant and an octopus. Who will win? Will it be you? (Ages 3-5)

Pick a Pumpkin
Patricia Toht, author
Jarvis, illustrator
9781536207644, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This cute, rhyming description reminds us all of the fun to be shared in the fall. The joy in combing the pumpkin patch for that perfect one! Halloween brings everyone so much fun. Community, family, sharing, and imagination all make for good reading, and good times. (Ages 3-7)

Maya and the Lost Cat
Caroline Magerl
9781536204230, $16.99

Christine Irvin

When Maya discovers a lost cat, it takes her several tries to coax the cat to come to her. Then Maya goes looking for the cat's owner. What happens next is a pleasant surprise. Author Caroline Magerl writes in a beautiful, flowing prose that adds so much to this short but sweet story. (Ages 3-7)

One Red Sock
Jennifer Sattler
Sleeping Bear Press
9781534110267, $14.99

Christine Irvin

A little purple hippo has a problem. She only has one red sock and she can't find the mate to it. She keeps looking and looking for a sock that will work, but because she is fashion conscious, not just any sock will do. The text is interactive and engaging and the illustrations are delightful. (Ages 4-5)

The Truth About Grandparents
Elina Ellis
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316424721, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

The illustrations in this story will bring a warmth and a giggle as a young boy sorts out the truth about "old people." He's heard many things that just don't prove to be true when he measures it against his very own favorite old people. The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is one truly made of magic. Some may ponder the hows and the whys of it all, but it is past finding out. It just seems to be a gift life whispers to the heart. (Ages 4-7)

Hibernate with Me
Benjamin Scheuer, author
Jemima Williams, illustrator
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
9781534432178, $17.99

Christine Irvin

This book is based on a song by the same name, written by Benjamin Scheuer. Jemima Williams turned the song into a picture book, adding warm illustrations to the text. The story is about a small bear that needs a place to hibernate for the winter. Mama Bear invites him to hibernate with her so she can keep her cub safe. A copy of the song is
printed as the back matter for the book. (Ages 4-8)

Give Me Back My Bones!
Kim Norman, author
Bob Kolar, illustrator
9780763688417, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

I so enjoyed this book! It's educational, but so much fun you don't know it. Its clever rhyming paints clear visuals easy to remember, making big words manageable. This is a great way to learn our skeletal structure. Truly early education at its finest! (Ages 4-8)

How I Met My Monster
Amanda Noll, author
Howard McWilliam, illustrator
Flashlight Press
9781947277090, $17.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

The amazing illustrations in this story will surely bring the fun of imagination to every page! Bedtime can sometimes be anything but a quiet experience, and parents have exhaustingly sought for the perfect overcoming win. In this fun-loving tale, Ethan meets his match as Gabe the toe-loving monster takes up residence under his bed. Proving to be the perfect monster to keep this little guy in his bed, it's sure to bring some giggles and chuckles along the way. (Ages 5-7)

Milo Does Not Like Mornings: A Tiny Ninja Book
Sasha Graham, author
Angelina Valieva, illustrator
Gatekeeper Press
9781642374674, $19.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

My adult granddaughter casually glanced at the title on a stack of books awaiting my attention, and with a chuckle she said, "Be sure to read THAT one to my daughter!" I then realized the ordeal of mornings for Milo and his mother was a real reality mothers face every day. Milo is a loving active boy, just NOT in the morning. This story is part of the Tiny Ninja series. It addresses the real-time necessity, and provides fun search-and-find ninja pages along the way to keep readers engaged. Find out if Milo can overcome his morning dilemma by listening to his own tiny ninja. (Ages 5-7)

Georgia's Terrific, Colorific Experiment
Zoe Persico
Running Press Kids
9780762465248, $17.99

Christine Irvin

Georgia is a scientist. She's into measuring and observing things. The rest of her family members - mom, dad, and brothers - are artists. They are into color and being creative. Even the dog is creative! When Georgia is trying to come up with a unique science experiment, her family members want to help. But, she is determined to do something herself. After all, science and art really don't go together. Do they? (Ages 5-8)

Peek-a-Boo at the Zoo
Kimberly Dixon, author
Claudia Tenorio-Pearl, illustrator
Warren Publishing, Inc
9781943258659, $7.99

Larissa Juliano

Sweet rhyming stories with children and their families always tug at my heartstrings. And this one will capture reader's hearts as they go on a zoo journey with a baby and his daddy! Readers will definitely join in the animals' chorus and dialogue as they respond to the baby's fun and games. Lots to point out on each page, and a fun inspiration for budding artists to create their own map of a favorite place. Great book for little animal lovers. (Ages 5-8)

Ollie on Stage
Keith Brockett
Sleeping Bear Press
9781585364015, $16.99

Christine Irvin

Ollie the ogre wants to be on stage. When he sees a sign at the local theatre advertising a talent show, he's ready to perform. But, he has a problem: He can't sing, he can't dance, and he has no obvious talents. Will he be able to compete? (Ages 5-8)

Sylvia Liang
Thames & Hudson
9780500651612, $13.95

Christine Irvin

Norman, who likes to be called Norm, is just a "normal" kid living in a "normal" town where everyone and everything is the same and is "normal." Norm and the other people in his town carry rulers everywhere they go so they can measure everything, to see how things "measure up" and to make sure that nothing is "unruly." This way of life is normal for Norm and he is content and happy... until he meets a young girl named Jess. Jess doesn't fit Norm's measure of being normal. A story that shows the world is a richer and fuller place when you can go beyond the "normal limits" and use your imagination to express your individuality. (Ages 6-8)

The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids
Carole P. Roman
Rockridge Press
9781641526371, $9.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

They say laughter is the best medicine. Life is not always easy, and can hurl some pretty bad things our way. As parents, we try to instill strong and healthy coping skills to our children. A good sense of humor is vital to life. It's a good dose of protection from the world's emotional contagions. I think we all should have this fun-loving book at arm's length, ready to apply a liberal dose of its 800 plus jokes, riddles, and tongue twisters to the nasty scrapes and bruises of childhood. Who doesn't remember the thrill of telling a Knock Knock joke? Education is vital, and we should teach our children how to laugh! Even at themselves. (Ages 6-12)

The Dog Who Lost his Bark
Eoin Colfer, author
P.J. Lynch, illustrator
9781536204421, $16.99

Diana Perry

Patrick has been desperate for a dog of his own for as long as he can remember, and this summer, with his father away, he longs for a canine friend more than ever. Meanwhile, in his short doggy life, Oz has suffered at the hands of bad people. Somewhere out there, he believes, is an awesome boy - his boy. And maybe, when they find each other, Oz will learn to bark again. A beautiful story that all children should read. (Ages 7-10)

A Creative Approach to Managing Emotions series
Maria Merce Conangla and Jaume Soler
$16.99 each

Larissa Juliano

Innovative, different, clever. These words describe the trio of books in this series - Relationship Navigators (9780764355554), Emotional Explorers (9780764355530), and Feelings Forecasters (9780764356247). The idea behind these "teaching guides" is to connect nature and its elements to the feelings and experiences children face in their everyday lives. More and more, the expectations and pressures on children, emotionally and academically, can feel stifling and confusing and these books can be a wonderful resource to healthily sift and push through conflicts, discomforts, and new experiences to become our best selves. (Ages 8-12)

Sunnyside Plaza
Scott Simon
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316531207, $16.99

Diana Perry

Sally Miyake can't read, but she learns lots of things. She is happy working in the kitchen at Sunnyside Plaza, the community center she lives in with other adults with developmental disabilities. For Sally and her friends, Sunnyside is the only home they've ever known. Everything changes the day a resident unexpectedly dies. After a series of tragic events, detectives Esther Rivas and Lon Bridges begin asking questions. Are the incidents accidents? Or is something more disturbing happening? While this is a tale of adventure for the characters, the story gives young readers an insight and empathy into the lives of people young and old who live in group homes. A must-read. (Ages 8-12)

Sandapalooza Shake-Up
Chris Grabenstein
Dell Yearling
c/o Random House
9781524717599, $7.99

Diana Perry

Life's a vacation when you live in the world's wackiest motel! P.T. and his best friend, Gloria, are getting ready for St. Pete Beach's first-ever Sandapalooza! The Wonderland's biggest rival, the Conch Reef Resort, is doing everything it can to win the sand sculpture contest, but P.T. has bigger problems: The Wonderland has opened a new restaurant - the Banana Shack - and running a restaurant is harder than it looks! And to make matters worse, a royal guest's priceless tiara has gone missing, and the prime suspect is the Wonderland's beloved housekeeper! Can P.T. and Gloria win the contest, keep the restaurant going, and clear Clara's name? I can't wait to read the next P.T. Wallace story. They just get better and better. (Ages 8-12)

The Absence of Sparrows
Kurt Kirchmeier
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316450928, $16.99

Diana Perry

In the small town of Griever's Mill, 11-year-old Ben Cameron is expecting to finish off his summer of relaxing and bird-watching without a hitch. But everything goes wrong when dark clouds roll in. Old Man Crandall is the first to change--human one minute and a glass statue the next. Soon it's happening across the world. Dark clouds fill the sky and, at random, people are turned into frozen versions of themselves. There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no one knows how to stop it. Ben must hold out hope that his town's missing sparrows will return with everyone's souls before the glass plague takes them away forever. Readers of all ages will be truly entertained with this most unique story. (Ages 9-12)

The Crystal Navigator
Nancy Kunhardt Lodge
Wilwahren Press
9780996088527, $14.99

Diana Perry

Eleven-year-old Lucy Nightingale is a special little girl. She can make things with her thoughts. However, she lost her confidence when her mind went blank during an oral report. Then a dazzling new teacher assigns another report about five paintings. Convinced that the only way to get an A on this assignment is to actually talk to the artists, Lucy summons a Wise One to help her with time travel. This is the beginning of a great adventure where young readers will learn much about the world-famous classic artists and their paintings. A fun and very educational read for children. (Ages 11-14)

Playing Dead
Anne Colledge
9781916497504 $10.27 pbk / $2.99 Kindle

Diana Perry

Everyone can be caught up by War. Stories about how people survived help us today. The historical facts educate us but the characters help us to cope ourselves. Davy and Stan are Blood Brothers but Stan plays a dirty trick when they go to sign up underage. Can Davy forgive him? Will he survive to get back to Hilda, his sweetheart? This book is the testament to courage, friendship, and forgiveness and offers a realist in-depth view of life far away from home for our heroes in World War ll. Young Adult readers will learn many life lessons from this book. (Ages 14+)

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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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