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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 28, Number 1 January 2018 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Holiday Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Sports Shelf
Art Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Science Shelf
Crafts Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Multimedia Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Board Book Shelf Picturebook Shelf Bilingual Shelf
Math Shelf Political Science Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Books in Series  

Reviewer's Choice

Let the Children March
Monica Clark-Robinson, author
Frank Morrison, illustrator
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9780544704527 $17.99

Let the Children March is a children's picturebook about the May 1963 gathering in Birmingham, Alabama. African-American families came to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak, and to mobilize a rally against the discriminatory Jim Crow laws that enforced segregation by race. Thousands of children and teens volunteered to march in place of their parents, who feared losing their jobs. Hundreds of nonviolent children and teen protesters were arrested and jailed. Yet their fearlessness helped the nation transform into something better than it used to be. Striking color illustrations enhance this powerful and emotional picturebook about a pivotal time in American history. Let the Children March is a "must-have" for school and public library picturebook collections, highly recommended.

Alice Briere-Haquet, author
Bruno Liance, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580898270 $16.99

Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone is a picturebook celebrating 20th century performer and civil rights activist Nina Simone, a gifted and courageous African- American woman. The black-and-white illustrations complement this story about racism, activism, and standing up for what one believes in. Martin Luther King Jr. is cited as a source of inspiration for a better, fairer nation. Nina is highly recommended for persona, school, and public library children's picturebook collections, and an excellent starting point for parents and educators to open a discussion with young people about American history, and the long, ongoing struggle to end racial discrimination. Highly recommended.

When Sophie Thinks She Can't...
Molly Bang
Blue Sky Press
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338152982, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

When Sophie can't solve a math puzzle, she feels upset and inadequate. "I CAN'T DO IT!" she shouts, expressing the frustration all of us feel when we try and fail. Will she ever be "smart" like her sister? Maybe she isn't smart at all. Luckily Sophie's teacher steps in. What does it mean to be smart? Using current, popular "mindset" techniques, Sophie's class is taught that we get smarter when we exercise our brains, such as when we work harder at solving a puzzle. Struggling to solve a problem doesn't mean "I can't do it!" Sophie and her classmates just can't do it... yet! Children ages 4 to 8 will cheer when Sophie finally prevails, and at the end of the day, she's confident and optimistic. At home, Sophie uses her new technique to help her dad solve a carpentry puzzle. "When Sophie Thinks She Can't..." is the perfect picture book for young children for when they think, "I can't!" While highly and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted that "When Sophie Thinks She Can't..." is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

So Many Smarts!
Michael Genhart, author
Holly Clifton-Brown, illustrator
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433827228, $15.95, HC, 32pp,

"So Many Smarts!" introduces kids ages 4 to 8 to a variety of "smarts" and teaches that them there is more than one way to be smart. This charmingly entertaining picture book encourages young readers to look at their own combination of brain power and skills to determine how they might learn best, excel, and be themselves. Based on the theory of multiple intelligences, "So Many Smarts!" shows kids that all of the different skills they have require various types of smarts as well as how they can celebrate their differences. A "Note to Parents, Caregivers, and Educators" offers more information about the different smarts outlined in the book and ways to support children exploring their unique strengths, making "So Many Smarts!" an ideal and highly recommended addition to preschool, elementary school, family, and community library collections.

Lily And Andrew Are Moving
Julie Etter
JT Publications LLC
9780975515341, HC, $14.95, 48pp,

"Lily and Andrew Are Moving" is a genuine and heartfelt story of a family moving from one home to another and how parents can help their children emotionally prepare and adjust to a new home. Beautifully illustrated and complete with children's stickers, "Lily And Andrew Are Moving" also contains examples of how to make a family move as stress-free as possible for the children. Exceptionally appropriate and highly recommended for families with young children who must move their homes to another neighborhood or another city, it should be noted that "Lily And Andrew Are Moving" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and that it can also be customized for real estate professionals by JT Publications (a.k.a. Tree House Buddies).

The Holiday Shelf

Groundhug Day
Anne Marie Pace, author
Christopher Denise, illustrator
Disney Hyperion
125 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
9781484753569 $17.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle

Groundhug Day is a charming picturebook with a tongue-in-cheek take on the Groundhog Day holiday. Moose and his fellow anthropomorphic animal friends want to have a Valentine's Day party, but if Groundhog sees his shadow on Groundhog Day (February 2nd) then he'll retreat to his burrow for six weeks and miss out on the fun! But why does seeing his own shadow make Groundhog hide? The whimsical, colorful illustrations add the perfect touch to this delightful read-aloud storybook. Highly recommended.

The Bunny Who Found Easter
Charlotte Zolotow, author
Helen Craig, illustrator
Houghton Mifflin Company
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9781328694676, $8.99, HC, 32pp,

A classic of the holiday season, Charlotte Zolotow's "The Bunny Who Found Easter" has delighted generations of young readers. it is the picture book story of a lonely bunny who goes hunting for Easter, where he hopes to find other bunnies. His search takes him through the seasons, but only in the spring does he find the true meaning of Easter. To this heartwarming story illustrator and artist Helen Craig has lent her own original interpretation. As multiple stories unfold in each piece of art, viewer and reader are drawn into the poetic, song-filled text. This new rendition of "The Bunny Who Found Easter" is certain to charm children ages 4 to 7 and is unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library Easter Holiday picture book collections.

Happy Easter, Country Bunny
Du Bose Heyward, author
Marjorie Flack, illustrator
Houghton Mifflin Company
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9781328683946, $8.99, Board Book, 18pp,

Mother Cottontail must leave home for one night to deliver Easter eggs, but her twenty-one little boy and girl bunnies are up to the challenge! Two by two, they cook, clean, and care for each other, and when Mother Cottontail returns with a big basket of Easter eggs for them, she is pleased (but not surprised) that all was well while she was away. Author Du Bose Heyward (1885-1940) and illustrator Marjorie Flack's "The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes", is a classic story of determination and love, has been an Easter favorite since 1939. This egg-shaped board book adaptation is an opportunity to introduce the youngest children ages 3 to 5 to a gorgeous vignette deftly drawn from this popular holiday story. An utterly charming, timely and timeless board book for children, "Happy Easter, Country Bunny" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library board book collections.

The Social Issues Shelf

Did You Hear?: A Story About Gossip
Frank J. Sileo, author
Jennifer Zivoin, illustrator
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433827204, $15.95, HC, 32pp,

The collaborative work of author Frank J. Sileo and illustrator Jennifer Zivoin, "Did You Hear?: A Story About Gossip" uses serious and silly rumors to illustrate the concept of gossip and how it spreads and transforms to children ages 4 to 8. While gossiping is a natural human behavior, "Did You Hear?" also describes what hurtful gossip feels like, how can be like bullying, and what to do to stop it. Illustrations take readers through a day in a little girl's life and the gossip around her as the kids around her ask "did you hear?" A "Note to Parents and Caregivers" is included that describes how gossip can have negative effects, whether intended or not, and what can be done to prevent it. As entertaining as it is informative, "Did You Hear?" is a unique, effective, and very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Social Issues for Children picture book collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Smiley: A Journey of Love
Joanne George
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
195 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 4T8
9781554554126, $18.95, HC, 56pp,

While working as a veterinary technician, Joanne George heard about a puppy mill not far from the clinic and embarked on a rescue mission with her co-workers. On that special day, Joanne met Smiley for the first time. He had been born without eyes and with dwarfism; and because of his time in the puppy mill, Smiley was suffering from serious anxiety. While the other dogs rescued that day were found loving homes, Smiley was going to need some extra special care. Nothing happens without practice and patience and Joanne and Smiley learned both those traits together. Gradually Smiley was able to walk off-leash and started greeting Joanne at the back door. She gave Smiley a loving home and he taught her patience, understanding and acceptance. It soon became evident that Smiley would become a wonderful therapy dog. "Smiley: A Journey of Love" is an extraordinary and profusely illustrated story featuring full color photography throughout that will engage, entertain, and inspire young readers ages 9 to 18, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to school and community library Pets/Wildlife collections.

Animal Tails
Mary Holland, author/photographer
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781628559767 $17.95 32 pages

"Animal Tails" is a collection of beautiful photo-portraits of animals, insects and birds with tails, using their tails in many ingenious ways. Narrative descriptions explain how different creatures' tails can work to move on land or water, to steer while flying, to hold onto things, swim, warn others, balance, keep warm, attract a mate, and defend themselves. Amazing detailed photo-portraits show a snake, a frog and tadpole, a white-tailed deer, a beaver, a skunk, a Virginia opossum, a fox, a bald eagle, a muskrat, a woodpecker, a porcupine, a honey bee, and a tortoise beetle. At the end of the portraits and narratives is an educational section called For Creative Minds, including How Animals Use Their Tails, a Match the Tail game, and a section on Tail Adaptations. This fascinating natural science text is especially appealing to young readers ages 4-9.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant
Songju Ma Daenicke, author
Christina Wald, illustrator
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781628559033 17.95 32 pages

"Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant" is a beautiful retelling of ancient Chinese tale about a boy genius, a child prodigy named Cao Chong who lived nearly two thousand years ago in China. he was a curious boy, the son of Cao, the Prime Minister of Han, excited to see a huge animal for the first time, an elephant, which was a birthday present to his father. Chong was delighted by the calm beast, feeding him nuts for a treat. Discussion and curiosity arose about the weight of the elephant. No one knew its weight because an elephant was too big to be weighed on any scale. When the Prime Minister was determined to find out the weight of the elephant. Everyone had different ideas about how the weight might be determined. some methods suggested even involved killing and dismembering the elephant, a method soundly rejected by Cao Chong, who told his father he had a better idea. Cao Chong then persuaded the elephant to step onto a boat and set afloat in a lake. The servant were directed to mark the level on the side of the boat which it sank to with the elephant's weight. Then, after the elephant walked out of the boat to the lakeshore, the boat was filled with rocks until the water came up to the marks on its side from when the elephant stood in it in the water. Later, the rocks were taken out and weighed one by one on a scale. Every stone's weight was called out in a number of jins, or a Chinese weight measurement. Since Chong himself was also on the boat with the elephant, he also was weighed, at 49 jins. Finally, Chong added up all the stone weights and subtracted his own weight, coming up with the elephant's weight of 9,398 jin. Chong's father was very proud of his ingenious solution to the riddle of the elephant's weight, proving the intelligence of their proud nation to the whole world. Written for students ages 4-8, "Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant" continues the tale's lessons with a section For Creative Minds on Sink or Float: Understanding Buoyancy, Using Scales, Cao Chong in History, and Geography: China Then and Now. An ancient history records the life and achievements of Cao Chong, who was born in 196 AD. The colored illustrations help bring the events of long ago Han to life for contemporary readers.

The Sports Shelf

Bicycling Rules of the Road: the Adventures of Devin Van Dyke
Kelly Pulley, author/illustrator
Schiffer Publishing
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764353284 $16.99

"Bicycling Rules of the Road" is the second cycling safety rules title by artist /author/cyclist Kelly Pulley, following "The Cycling Wangdoos (9780764354069)." Bike enthusiast and cyclist Devin Van Dyke knows all the bicycling rules because his mother and father have taught him well. Also, he knows his mother worries about him. So he tries to follow the rules of cycling such as wear your helmet, follow traffic rules, no passengers allowed on the bike, ride on the right, use signals, etc. However, Devin was so happy and eager to share his lovely lively bike ride that he forgot one of the rules when Betsy LaBelle asked him if he could give her a ride. One things leads to another, and soon Devin is forgetting even more bicycle safety rules and practicing very unsafe bicycle riding habits indeed. Humorous, action filled bright colored illustrations express all the excitement and danger of Devin's extremely daring and unconventional bike ride, carrying not only Betsy, but the whole basketball team, a cat, and a goat besides! Needless to say the rule breaking ride ends in disaster, but fortunately not serious injury to anyone but the 408 boxes of worms for Bubba's Fish Bait that fell off the truck Devin ran into, cushioning everyone's fall with gooey worm slime......Euuuuuuuuu. But Devin learned his lesson. From then on he followed all the bicycling rules. Just to be sure, they are written twice in the book, first in the front in verse, and second in clear narrative prose on the last page, Bicycling Rules of the Road. "Bicycling Rules of the Road" uses verse, dashing color illustrations, charm and humor to deliver a memorable safety message for young readers age 5 and up.

The Art Shelf

Mr. Owliver's Magic at the Museum
Carolyn Bracken, author/illustrator
Schiffer Publishing
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764354274 $16.99

"Mr. Owliver's Magic at the Museum" is a masterpiece of an art lover's story. Mr. Owliver is a dedicated night watchman at the Animaltown Art Museum, where he spends each night protecting and admiring the beautiful masterpieces of art he loves. Mr. Owliver stays after the day patrons and the cleaning crew all go home and visits each of his favorite paintings, all of which are shown in loving detail. he liked to eat his lunch at one special painting called "The Loge" by Auguste Wrenoir. He never felt lonely with his paintings, and he always felt that they were happy to see him. On the night of his birthday, Mr. Owliver brought a special treat to eat with his masterpiece friends. Imagine his distress when he began to notice that there were beloved figures missing from his paintings! What could have happened? Where were they all? When Mr. Owliver opens the last gallery door, a wonderful surprise is waiting for him. Children will love the animal patrons and art subjects that replace human figures in the masterpieces, with admiration and apologies to the original artists and their masterpieces. A final key lists each painting in miniature with information about it and where it can be seen, followed by a fascinating Art History Timeline that places each painting in its consecutive period, from Renaissance (1500-1600 AD) to Cubism (1910 A.D). and Modernism (1930 AD). Children will love Mr. Owliver and his masterpiece friends, learning that great art is meant to be loved, experienced, and treasured by all. As might be expected, the illustrations are both adorable and masterful.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

World of Warcraft Traveler: The Spiral Path
Greg Weisman
Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338029376 $7.99

The "World of Warcraft Traveler" series is a saga of fantasy novels written especially for young adults, and set in the realm of the popular massively-multiplayer online role-playing computer game World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft Traveler: The Spiral Path is the second book in the series, and follows twelve-year-old Aramar Thorne on a fantastic and dangerous journey. Attacked at sea by ferocious raiders called the Hidden, Aram becomes shipwrecked and stranded in the lush wilds of Feralas, along with Second Mate Makasa Flintwill. Together, the unlikely pair must search for answers, evade monsters, fend off swarms of undead, and confront the mysterious and capricious gods of the trolls. Excitement abounds from cover to cover, in this high-spirited adventure! Also highly recommended is the first novel in the series, "World of Warcraft: Traveler" (9780545906678, $14.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle).

Dragon Masters: Chill of the Ice Dragon
Tracey West
Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338169867 $4.99

The ninth title in the "Dragon Masters" series of fantasy chapter books for young readers in 1st- 3rd grades, Dragon Masters: Chill of the Ice Dragon takes place in the Far North Lands. Mina is a dragon master whose fortress was frozen by a ferocious Ice Giant, and only a Fire Dragon can unfreeze it. Since Rori and Volcan are away, it's up to Drake and his new friends to lend their aid! Black-and-white illustrations on almost every page make this fantasy-adventure about helping others and building camaraderie come to life. Chill of the Ice Dragon is a complete and self-contained adventure; familiarity with other books in the Dragon Masters series is not needed to fully enjoy the story. Highly recommended, especially for public and elementary school library children's collections

Mercedes Lackey
114 Fifth Avenue, 14th floor, New York, NY 10011
9781484707869 $18.99

Apex is a Hunter novel that tells of Joy, who is a member of the Elite Hunter Command, and who finds herself battling for the continued safety of Apex City after the Hunters are nearly wiped out by the monsters. The facts at odds with one another in this environment include the powerful PsiCorps, the defending group of Hunters, and one girl who stands in the middle between political games and strife. When Josh comes to Joy for help, fleeing a scheme that's killed many fellow Psimons, Joy finds there is no clear side to her journey in this involving fantasy recommended for mature teen readers.

Seriously Hexed
Tina Connolly
TOR Teen
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780765383778 $17.99

Seriously Hexed continues the story of teen witch Cam in a stand-alone novel that blends a coming-of-age saga with the story of how Camellia faces spells, demons, and handling having a wicked witch for a mother and a future that tends to learn towards her involvement in something she hates. The prior book, Seriously Shifted, continued magical adventures begun in Seriously Wicked, but here Cam is beginning to learn magic even as she resists the thought that magical abilities should be part of her direction in life. When a coven meeting results in a hex that's slowly attacking individual members, it may be up to Cam's new abilities to solve the issue - along with her enemy, a proponent and top student of magic. An engrossing story emerges, perfect for readers of supernatural fiction.

Mona Lisa's Ghost
Nancy Kunhardt Lodge
Wilwahren Press
PO Box 1930, Pasadena, MD 21123-1930
9780996088541, $9.99, PB, 272pp,

In 1503, Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint a young woman's portrait, but he never gave it to her. That woman was Lisa Gherardini, the real Mona Lisa. Now after five hundred years she has come back to get her portrait. the sequel to "The Crystal Navigator", "Mona Lisa's Ghost" finds that one of Lucy Nightingale's middle school classmates claims to be the reincarnation of Lisa and she is going to steal her painting. When the Mona Lisa vanishes, Lucy and her genius friend Sam Winter set out to solve a mystery that would stun the world if it were ever made public. During a class video about the Mona Lisa, Lucy and Sam notice that the painting seems to be melting. Sam thinks it has been attacked by a molecule-destroying syndrome called Zoom Seizure. On winter vacation, Lucy and her parents go to Paris where she can investigate. In the Mona Lisa Gallery of the Louvre Museum, Lucy bumps into Melissa Blackwood, a classmate from home. Melissa shocks Lucy telling her that she is the reincarnation of Mona Lisa and that she has come back to steal the painting. That night, the painting is mysteriously stolen and Lucy must find it before Zoom Seizure destroys it. "Mona Lisa's Ghost" is an adventure that takes Lucy through the ghost-infested Catacombs of Paris, down underground rivers, and back to sixteenth-century France. A deftly crafted and unfailingly entertaining read that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mona Lisa's Ghost" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Warriors of the Light: Terrified Tourist
C. E. Johnson
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781512780932, $30.95, HC, 184pp,

Karah and her comrades can conjure up God's tangible power: They are the kind children right here on planet Earth needed slay real-world dragons. After all, how many kids can find an ancient book in a library of magic that will teach them how to boil the eye of a newt? God is the biggest thing in their valleys. He is how they get things done. In "Warriors of the Light: Terrified Tourist" there are lessons to be learned as Karah attends spiritual warfare boot camp alongside two boys, and has Jesus teach her how to brilliantly thwart evil. An original novel blending fantasy with religious fiction, "Warriors of the Light: Terrified Tourist" is a deftly crafted, thoroughly entertaining, and ultimately inspiring read especially recommended for children ages 8 to 14. While highly recommended for school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Warriors of the Light: Terrified Tourist" is also available in a paperback edition (9781512780925, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Science Shelf

Global Warming
Lyn Coutts
Barron's Educational Series
c/o Barron's
250 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, NY 11788
9781438010823, $6.99, PB, 32pp,

Like all of the books in the Visual Explorers reference series, "Global Warming" by Lyn Coutts features a wealth of incredible photographs on every page that will engage, inspire, and enlighten young readers ages 8 to 11. Inside, the kids can get an up-close look at climate change, including the ravages of extreme weather, record-breaking temperatures, dying coral reefs, and shrinking glaciers. They will also learn the facts about global warming and the steps we can take to correct it. Featuring an engaging and informative text offering detailed facts and impressive statistics give children exciting scientific insight into the world around them and the universe beyond. A glossary at the end of "Global Warming" helps reinforce the information. "Global Warming" should be a part of every elementary school and community library Climate Change instructional reference collections, and is ideal for home schooling parents.

The Crafts Shelf

Doll Crafts
Laurie Carlson
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781613737781, $14.99, PB, 144pp,

Specifically developed and written for children ages 7 and older, "Doll Crafts: A Kid's Guide to Making Simple Dolls, Clothing, Accessories, and Houses" by veteran non-fiction children's author Laurie Carlson is an easy-to-follow activity book on the wonderful and creative world of doll arts and crafts. Packed from cover to cover with more than 50 projects and a dozen patterns, using inexpensive, everyday, even recycled materials. Following the thoroughly clear, illustrated, 'kid friendly' instructions, children will be able to make clever paper dolls, simple folk art dolls, soft cuddle pals, or 18-inch felt dolls, as well as cute and easy doll clothing, accessories, and basic houses. "Doll Crafts" covers: making and painting a cloth doll, recycling and refreshing an old doll; make simple, silly dolls from spoons, yarn, sticks, and more; make a dollhouse that can be folded up and tucked under a bed; and much more! "Doll Crafts" also includes fascinating doll facts and history, such as dolls' roles in various cultures and religions, the history of action figures, and the tradition behind scarecrows. A 'consumable' do-it-yourself instruction manual that is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.35), "Doll Crafts" is enthusiastically and unreservedly recommended.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Star Wars: Rogue One
Alessandro Ferrari
IDW Publishing
2765 Truxton Road, San Diego, CA 92106
9781684052202, $9.99, PB, 80pp,

The Galactic Empire's ultimate weapon known only as The Death Star is nearing completion, and the Rebel Alliance may be doomed. Enter Jyn Erso, daughter of the Death Star's reluctant creator, Galen Erso, who desperately seeks to save her father from Imperial control. On her quest, she'll join forces with Rebel spy Cassian Andor, reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO, and other supporters of the Rebel cause, only to discover that their goals may differ crucially from her own. It all culminates in a saga-defining showdown on the tropical planet Scarif, with Jyn and her friends attempting to steal the Death Star's plans and keep hope for the Rebellion alive, leading directly into the iconic opening scene of Star Wars: Episode IV. A graphic novel illustrated in that distinctive Disney style, "Star Wars: Rogue One" is specifically written for young readers ages 9 to 12 and unreservedly recommended for personal, elementary school, and community library Graphic Novel collections. But it should be noted that while "Star Wars: Rogue One" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.03) and is a 'must read' adventure for the legions of Star Wars fans of all ages!

The Multimedia Shelf

Alphabet Safari: A Song about Drawing with Letters
Blake Hoena, author
Tim Palin, illustrator
Emily Arrow, music
Cantata Learning
1710 Roe Crest Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003
9781684100095, $33.99, Library Binding, 24pp,

Drawing your favorite animals is easy when you start with letters! "Alphabet Safari: A Song about Drawing with Letters" pairs lively music and an instructional guide where children will learn to draw different animals. Using letters as a basis, kids ages 3 to 9 are provided simple, step-by-step instructions to create their masterpieces. This hardcover book comes with CD and online music access. A fun, innovative, and effective approach that combines physical learning with cognitive learning, "Alphabet Safari: A Song about Drawing with Letters" is wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommended for home schooling families, elementary school curriculums, and community library collections.

If My Moon Was Your Sun
Andreas Steinhofel, author
Nele Palmtag, illustrator
Plough Publishing House
151 Bowne Drive, PO Box 398, Walden, NY 12586 USA
9780874860795, $19.00, HC, 80pp,

"If My Moon Was Your Sun" is the story of Max, the little boy who allegedly kidnapped his grandfather from a nursing home. Max lives in a very small town. His grandpa is losing his memory, but still remembers quite a bit. As Max and his grandpa left the nursing home, they were followed by old Miss Schneider, who insisted on coming along. Max and his grandpa were in a hurry because everyone was after them. Max had skipped school to rescue his grandpa, and they were just starting out on what promised to be one of the best days of their entire lives. "If My Moon Was Your Sun" is a touching story for children ages 6 to 12 about dementia and the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Deftly written by Andreas Steinhofel, "If My Moon Was Your Sun" is enhanced with the full-color illustrations of Nele Palmtag, and includes a read-along CD audiobook featuring twelve classical pieces for children by Georges Bizet and Sergei Prokofiev. "If My Moon Was Your Sun" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library General Fiction collections for young readers.

The Audiobook Shelf

Worzel Gummidge Again
Barbara Euphan Todd, author
Jessica Martin, narrator
Naxos of America, Inc.
1810 Columbia Avenue, Suite 28, Franklin, TN 37064
9781781980903, $34.98, CD,

With his turnip head and broomstick legs Worzel Gummidge (who is now married to Earthy Mangold), is back for another series of adventures in "Worzel Gummidge Again". In his own inimitable way, Worzel takes on roles as a schoolteacher, handyman and policeman, each with a chaotic outcome. The second of the Barbara Euphan Todd's 'Worzel' novels, "Worzel Gummidge Again" was first published in 1937. The Worzel Gummidge stories were broadcast on the popular Children's Hour on British radio and two of them were featured in TVs Jackanory. 1979 saw the birth of a successful television series based on Worzel Gummidge and other characters from the books, with Jon Pertwee playing the eponymous scarecrow, which still has a dedicated following to this day. This complete and unabridged Naxos audio book is deftly narrated by Jessica Martin making listening to it a true 'theatre of the mind' experience for children of all ages and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, school, and community library audio book collections. (5 CDs, 5 Hours, 45 minutes).

The Music CD Shelf

Further Around the Bend
Bill Harley
Privately Published
$15.00 CD / $8.00 MP3

The twenty-sixth family-friendly album of stories and songs by Bill Harley, Further Around the Bend: More News from the Town Around the Bend is the successor to Harley's delightful Town Around the Bend album, a singing tour of quirky and colorful local characters. No familiarity with Town Around the Bend is needed for parents and children to thoroughly enjoy the whimsical, wacky, and just plain fun antics in Further Around the Bend! Highly recommended. The tracks are "Nighty Noodels" (2:41), "Further and Farther Around the Bend" (4:09), "Noodles Interlude" (0:37), "Skeezy Boofer's Wonderful Ears" (11:42), "Noodles Interlude 2" (0:27), "Why Slipper Stream Sings" (5:51), "How Is that Scrape on Your Knee?" (2:15), "Swing the Gate and the Worm Brigade" (13:56), "Noodles Interlude 3" (0:37), "Melody Rimshot and the Tub of Pickles Band" (11:28), "Pages of a Book are Like Leaves on a Tree" (2:17), "Carmela Cellar Door and Her Bedtime Song" (10:35), "Carmela's Song" (2:33) and "Nighty Noodles - Reprise" (0:48). Total run time: 1 hour, 9 min. 56 sec.

The DVD Shelf

Stories for Presidents' Day
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
9781338162073 $59.95

Stories for Presidents' Day is a DVD compilation adapting two children's picturebooks with themes perfect for commemorating Presidents' Day. They are "Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln" (22 min.) written by Jean Fritz and illustrated by Charles Robinson; and "George Washington's Mother" (24 min.) written by Jean Fritz and illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. "Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln" is about Lincoln's Gettysburg address, a brief but moving speech he gave in honor of fallen soldiers in the Civil War, and "George Washington's Mother" is a true story about Mary Washington, who was known for meddling in George's business, baking gingerbread, and pipe smoking. A choice pick for family viewing, homeroom viewing, or public and school library children's DVD collections, Stories for Presidents' Day is highly recommended especially for young people ages 5-12.

Stories for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816

Stories for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a DVD collection of two adapted picturebooks that honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The first one is "March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World" (20 min.), written by Dr. Christine King Farris and illustrated by London Ladd, and narrated by Lynn Whitfield, in which Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sister offers her personal perspective of the monumental day that Dr. King delivered his unforgettable "I Have a Dream" speech. The second one is "Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." (10 min.), written by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier, and narrated by Michael Clarke Duncan, a biography about Dr. King's beliefs and visions for America as a true land of equality and opportunity. A bonus interview with Dr. Christine King Farris rounds out this excellent and educational DVD, ideal for young viewers ages 5-12, grade school DVD collections, and homeroom viewing.

They All Saw A Cat
Adapted from the book by Brendan Wenzel
Narrated by John Lithgow
Music by David Mansfield
Animation by Cha-Pow
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
9781338230390 $59.95

Intended for young viewers ages 3-6, They All Saw A Cat is the DVD adaptation of Brendan Wenzel's children's picturebook about observation, curiosity, and imagination. One cat has many lives, and our perspective directly affects how we see it! A bonus interview with Brendan Wenzel rounds out this choice pick for children's school and public library DVD collections, ideal for viewing during homeroom. 6 minutes, optional English subtitles, closed-captioned.

The Board Book Shelf

Foods with Moods: A First Book of Feelings
Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers, authors
Photographs from "How Are You Feeling? Foods with Moods"
Cartwheel Books, imprint of Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
9781338194418 $7.99

"Foods with Moods" is a colorful, cheery board book with expressive photo-pictures of fruits and vegetables paired with descriptive narrative of powerful or amusing feelings clearly expressed by faces on the happy produce. There is an angry looking, bruised orange/grapefruit, a sad, crying little onion, a shy cantaloupe turtle, and a happy little mushroom photo portrait, against bright primary colored backgrounds. Every item asks the young reader about experiencing different feelings, with reassurances of love, friendship, and support. The final two page spread shows a panoply of 8 food feelings portraits, with the question, "How are YOU peeling?" It is a funny, nonthreatening way to invite children to explore what they are feeling, and to become comfortable with expressing it.

Joe Fitzpatrick, author
Paul Nicholls, illustrator
Flowerpot Press
142 2nd Ave. North, Franklin, TN 37064
9781486713851, $12.99, Board Book, 20pp,

Ducks will be ducks in "Quack!", a silly, entertaining board book story that encourages little ones ages 5 to 6 to march to their own beat and be true to themselves. Children will love to giggle and count along as our little duck friend encounters a growing number of silly animals in this hilarious read. An utterly charming collaboration between author Joe Fitzpatrick and illustrator Paul Nicholls, "Quack" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Phoebe's Five Little Fairies
Robert J. Barnhart, author
Sandy Coronado, illustrator
Mascot Publishing
560 Herndon Parkway, #120, Herndon, VA 20170
9781684012824, $9.95, Board Book, 16pp,

A simple board book delight for ages 5 to 6, "Phoebe's Five Little Fairies" by the team of author Roert J. Barnhart and illustrator Sandy Coronado is ideal for parents seeking to lull their children to sleep through the wonders of five fantastic fairies and their tale that practices the important values of love and positivity. "Phoebe's Five Little Fairies" is a perfect richly illustrated bedtime read accompanied by a soothing lullaby, making it very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library board book collections.

Go to Sleep, Little Farm
Mary Lyn Ray, author
Christopher Silas Neal, illustrator
Houghton Mifflin Company
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9780544579163, $8.99, Board Book, 38pp,

Nighttime blankets a little farm. An owl who-hoots. A bear curls up in a log. A mother fox calls her pups home to the den. But animals aren't the only ones preparing to rest. In the tradition of Margaret Wise Brown, with classically styled picture book illustrations and fresh, childlike imagery, author Mary Lyn Ray and illustrator Christopher Silas Neall effectively collaborate to produce "Go to Sleep, Little Farm", a poetic bedtime board book, as peaceful as it is warm, will wrap young ones ages 4 to 6 in the comforts of routine. Soft covers, rounded corners, and sturdy board book pages make this padded edition of "Go to Sleep, Little Farm" the perfect bedtime companion and very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library board book collections for babies and toddlers.

Fiona's Feelings
Cincinnati Zoo a& Botanical Garden, photographers
Blue Manatee Press
3094 Madison Road, #2A, Cincinnati, OH 45209
9781936669653 $7.99 14 pages

"Fiona's Feelings" is an incredible board book photo-poem portrait of a baby hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo, born January 24, 2017. Fiona has an expressive face and body, and like all juveniles, she has a variety of feelings which she clearly expresses. Young children will love tracing her explorations of feeling happy, sad, silly, mad, scared, proud, sleepy, loud, shy, fun, lazy, hungry, strong, and loved. The rhyming narrative encourages young readers to identify with Fiona's expression of different feelings, creating ever essential building blocks of language, communication, and other socio-emotional skills. "Fiona's Feelings" is a joyous board book that small children will treasure. Other popular board books from this publisher that are also very highly recommended include: "In Summer..... En Verano.... (9781936669646, $7.99)," by Susana Madinabeltia Manso, photo-illustrated by Emily Hanako, and "What Is Soft? (9781936669639, $7.99), by Susan Kantor, illustrated by Erin Barker.

Flowerpot Press
142 2nd Ave. North, Franklin, TN 37064

Flowerpot Press is a premiere publisher of board books for babies and toddlers. Three of there latest board book titles are especially fun! "My Cat Needs Me" (9781486713097, $7.99, 20pp) by author Jane Cottrell and illustrator Jordan Wray teaches children ages 2 to 4 about the importance of caring for their cuddly kitties when they needs food, water, or want to play. Two new board books written and illustrated by Katie Wilson have a strong educational as well as entertainment value. "Numbers" (9781486713042, $9.99, 20pp) applies the tactile features of Montessori teaching in a truly innovative board book that uses interactive enhancements and unique colorful illustrations to teach little ones ages 2 to 4 numbers one through ten. Katie Wilson's "Animals" (9781486712038, $8.99, 20pp) also applies the tactile features of Montessori teaching in a board book that uses enhanced spot UV treatments to teach young children ages 5 to 6 about the different animals that live on each continent. One-of-a-kind colorful illustrations, sturdy board pages, and no moveable parts make all three of these simply outstanding new titles board books from Flowerpot Press unique and very highly recommendations for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Picturebook Shelf

Good Night Sleep Tight: Eleven-and-a-half Good Night Stories with Fox and Rabbit
Kristina Andres, author/illustrator
Gecko Press
9781776571437 $17.99

"Good Night Sleep Tight" is a delightful, delicately illustrated series of eleven and a half bedtime stories of Fox and Rabbit. These funny tales are filled with little surprises and amusing misinterpretations that children will love. Fox and Rabbit are extremely humorous in their understanding of the world and each other, but one quality shines through all their silly adventures, their affection for each other. A favorite is the very short Second Story, which begins with Rabbit and Fox wishing each other a very good night. They must be getting sleepy, because Rabbit begins to imagine that others are wishing him good night, including the moon, the rose, the pear trees, even the fleas on Fox's tail, the stars and the raspberries. '"Fox!" Rabbit's eyes were wide. "I think it's time we went to bed."' This amusing, unexpected collection of bedtime stories is filled with whimsical humor, charming illustrations, and subtle wit. Children will react to the love the is laced throughout each story of Fox and Rabbit and their good nights to each other.

Waltz of the Snowflakes
Elly Mackay, author/illustrator
Running Press
2300 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
9780762453382 $16.99

"Waltz of the Snowflakes" is an utterly enchanting story of a young girl's first experience of the ballet, "The Nutcracker Suite," told entirely in sensitive, contrasting themed artwork pieces. The background colors tend to match, enhance, or express the mixed feelings of the girl in the story. In the beginning, she is daunted by the dark, rainy night, the uncomfortable dressed up clothes she is wearing, and the total unfamiliarity of the experience. These pictures express her feelings in tones of brown, sepia, dark backgrounds with washes of blue white, which add to a feeling of chill, cold, and wet discouragement. However, the girl's grandmother has brought her tickets to see the ballet "The Nutcracker," so off they go into the rainy night despite the girl's trepidations. As they enter the theater and find their balcony seats, she sees a friend there with his father, while the dark tones become warmer, and the blue white background tones fade. Bright ribbons of color rise as the orchestra plays the prelude, and the curtain lifts for Act One. The stage is transformed with bright lights, a tall Christmas tree, and dancers dressed for a Victorian Christmas Eve celebration. The contrasting light sepia tones surround the lit stage, with a thumbnail portrait of the girl and boy watching the scene unfolding with increasing anticipation on their faces. The story continues on two lines, with bright colors enhancing the story of the Nutcracker Suite dances, alternating with sepia strips of the boy and girl sharing different reactions to the exciting development of the ballet narrative. A growing enjoyment is shared quietly but the two friends as they become immersed in the ballet experience. Then it is time for intermission and Act Two, with pictures of shy exchanges between the two friends, shared treats and shared experiences of the great ballet. Act Two enters with beautiful spectacle backdrops, colorful dancers and swan boat sailing Clara and the Nutcracker prince in a magical candy Christmas fantasy land. The girl and boy clearly are entranced with the magical experience, while their father and Grandmother look on with quiet enjoyment. The Nutcracker Suite ballet dances its wondrous way to finale, and the girl and boy applaud enthusiastically and say goodbye to each other as they depart the balcony of the theater. Walking down the theater's steps, the girl cannot resist dancing into the starry night in fantastic memory of the beautiful dances and music of the Nutcracker Suite. She carries some of the magic and starlight inside her heart as she dances.

The Winter Fox
Timothy Knappman, author
Rebecca Harry, illustrator
Nosy Crow, imprint of Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144
9780763696313 $14.99

"The Winter Fox" is a tender animal story about a little fox who enjoyed his summer days without thought of repairing for the cold winter ahead. His friends, Owl, Squirrel, and Rabbit tried to help him by suggesting ways to store food, find a warm nest, and make preparations for colder days. But Fox just preferred to play all day every day throughout autumn, while the other animals worked. Then when winter came, the snow fell, the wind blew, and Fox was freezing in the long dark nights. Fox shivered and wished he had listened to his friends, who were now snug in their winter homes, with food stores for the cold weather. Fox wished and wished on a bright star, and next thing he knew, a box of bright shiny presents, of toys, foods, and bright things fell on his head! Now Fox realized he could keep all these gifts for himself, but he decided to do something quite different. he delivered wonderful gifts to each of his friends, and invited them to a winter feast of nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. How surprised all Fox's friends were! how they enjoyed their feast with Fox, and playing the snow with him afterwards. When it was time to go home, Owl, Rabbit and Squirrel said to Fox: "it's nearly time for bed... Why don't you come back with us?" They helped him carry all the leftover food in a box to a hole in the base of the oak tree, and helped him use the paper to make a warm snug den home, with plenty of supplies, to last until the snow melted in the spring. Fox was grateful for friends who helped him to fix everything he needed to keep him safe, warm and comfortable for the winter. "And he was never cold, or hungry, or lonely ever again." Bright blue and white backgrounds, with silvery birches and snowdrifts make up the woods home of Fox and friends, in delicate, expressive illustrations. This fable of winter sharing and cheer will warm the hearts of children and adults as we enter the season of cold and snow with good cheer.

Story Worlds: A Moment in Time: A Perpetual Picture Atlas
Created by Thomas Hegbrook
360 Degrees
c/o Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781944530075 $24.99

The unusual format of this hardcover picture book - a double hardcover binding with a centerfold of illustrations - supports its equally unusual premise: it can be used to see what every part of the world is doing at exactly the same moment, every hour of the day. Wordless pictures encourage kids to explore the world using a format that contains no standard beginning or end. Kids can open the book at any point to view what is happening at any given time in such diverse places as the Rothera Research Station in Antarctica, Rio de Janero in Brazil, and Montevideo in Uruguay. The result is an important visual example of time and cultural differences around the world which makes its point in an effective manner that no other book can equal.

Leah Wachsler, author
Renate Lohmann, illustrator
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781945560033, $12.95, HC, 28pp,

Clunk. Thunk. Brumm. Vrumm. Clang. Clong. The big empty lot near Nosson's house is full of excavators, trucks, front loaders and bulldozers. How Nosson loves all the action! Every day, he watches the workers and tries to copy what they do. When they fill the dump truck with earth, Nosson goes home and fills his toy box to the top. When the workers help each other, Nosson helps his friends. When the workers wait for cement to dry, Nosson practices being patient and waiting for his turn. The collaborative work of author Leah Wachsler and illustrator Renate Lohmann, "Building" is a delightfully charming picture book that is especially recommended for children ages 3 to 6 -- and an ideal addition to daycare center, preschool, elementary school, family, and community library collections.

Winter Dance
Marion Dane Bauer, author
Richard Jones, illustrator
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016
9780544313347 $16.99

"Winter Dance" is a celebration of the entrance of winter as experienced by a curious fox. "Winter Dance" is told in sensitive poetic narrative, with song-like cadences, delicately illustrated by the finest, sparest brush of colors of whites, greens and browns, and fiery red fox colors. The fox sees and feels the coming of winter in snowflakes, and he wonders what he should do to prepare for the season. He encounters a succession of wise creatures who advise him of their successful ways of preparing for winter. First he meets a woolly caterpillar, a turtle, a bat, a squirrel, a flying goose, a snowshoe hare, and a great black bear. Each of these creatures in turn describes their best tactics for enduring and celebrating winter, but none of them are quite right for the fox. Finally, slipping among the dark trees with snowflakes falling and wind whispering, the fox meets.... another fox, a fine red one. She can tell the fox what to do to celebrate winter. "When a million snowflakes fill the air, twirling, tumbling, spinning, waltzing, you and I join them." And the foxes begin their winter dance.

The Wolf Who Wanted to Fall in Love
Orianne Lallemand, author
Eleonore Thuillier, illustrator
Auzou Publishing
9782733852446, $14.95, HC, 32pp,

Once upon a time, a wolf lived in a forest all by himself. All the other animals lived in pairs, and, as spring approached, the Wolf started to despair -- and decided to go looking for love. The collaborative work of Orianne Lallemand (who lives in the West of France by the sea with her four children and is a well-known French children's fiction writer) and Eleonore Thuillier (who started as a fashion designer before turning to illustrating children's books), "The Wolf Who Wanted to Fall in Love" is a unique, lively, charming, and entertaining picture book for children ages 3 to 6 -- and will prove to be a popular and appreciated addition to daycare center, preschool, elementary school, family, and community library collections.

Peppa Pig and the Library Visit
Candlewick Entertainment
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763697884, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

Peppa and George are tired of all their regular bedtime stories. The only book they haven't read is Daddy's library book, The Wonderful World of Concrete -- what a snooze! It's overdue anyway, so the family sets out for Peppa's very first visit to a library. With so many books to choose from, how will Peppa ever decide which ones to borrow? Bedtime will never be boring again! The latest addition to the outstanding 'Peppa Pig' series from Candlewick Entertainment, "Peppa Pig and the Library Visit" is an especially recommended and utterly charming picture book for children ages 3 to 7. "Peppa Pig and the Library Visit" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to daycare center, preschool, elementary school, family, and community library collections.

Princess Snowbelle
Libby Frost
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781681196909, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Princess Snowbelle spends her days practicing her singing in the grand halls of the Opaline Palace alongside her cat, Sparks, and pony, Icetail. But ever since her parents, the king and queen, asked her to sing at the Snow Ball, she's been nervous because she has never sung in front of a big audience before! At least she'll have her best friend, Sparkleshine, at her side during the performance. But when a big blizzard hits Frostovia, covering the kingdom in a thick swirl of snow, Princess Snowbelle worries her friend will be lost -- so she sets off with Icetail to find her. Will Princess Snowbelle discover the magic within herself to see through the storm, save her friend, and make it back in time for a sparkling performance at the Snow Ball? Frostovia's glittering world is the perfect place to meet Princess Snowbelle and experience the magic of friendship. An original and charming picture book story that is both written and illustrated by Libby Frost, "Princess Snowbelle" will prove to be an enduringly cherished and popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3 to 6.

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

An effective, engaging, and entertaining collaboration between author Diane Lange and illustrator Andrea Gabriel, "Daytime Nighttime, All Through the Year" features engaging rhymes and evocative artwork to introduce the busy diurnal and nocturnal activities of the animal kingdom, from eagles that dive for fish and tortoises that dine on cactus flowers to bats that catch moths and cougars that prowl in the dark. As educational as it is recreational, "Daytime Nighttime, All Through the Year" also features a 'Match Game', 'More About the Animals', 'Teachable Moments', and a bibliographic listing of other 'Nature Awareness' titles from Dawn Publications. Simply stated, "Daytime Nighttime, All Through the Year" will prove to be a unique and appreciated addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Daytime Nighttime, All Through the Year" is also available in a paperback edition (9781584696070, $8.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Cinderella Battistella
Bob Bruce & David Cuthbert, authors
Herb Leonard, illustrator
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455621750, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

With a wave of Mother LeRoux's gris-gris stick, New Orleans culture and Cajun characters bring new life to the familiar Cinderella fairy tale. Down in the Marigny, Cinderella Battistella is left alone while her wicked stepmama and hideous stepsisters rush off to the Twelfth Night Ball to steal the prince's heart. It's a good thing Cinderella has her Ferry Godmother and a few crustacean companions to offer up some laughs, spice, and hocus-pocus! With lively illustrations by Herb Leonhard and witty dialogue by playwrights Bob Bruce and David Cuthbert, this Southern reimagining will have you reading and re-reading long after the clock strikes twelve! A cheerfully entertaining picture book that is especially recommended for children ages 5 to 6, "Cinderella Battistella" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

I Wanna Be a Cowgirl
Angela DiTerlizzi, author
Elizabet Vukovic, illustrator
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481452991, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

With the delightful rhyming text of Angela DiTerlizzi enhanced with the charming artwork of Elizabet Vukovic, "I Wanna Be a Cowgirl" tells the picture book story of a little girl who pretends to be a cowgirl as she pulls on her (rain) boots, saddles up her (stick) horse, and gallops off through the (backyard) hills. Filled with humor and imaginative play, this sweet story and entertaining story for children ages 4 to 8 wonderfully captures the dream of zillions of little girls everywhere -- the dream of being a cowgirl! While "I Wanna Be a Cowgirl" is wholeheartedly commended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.00).

Marielle in Paris
Maxine Rose Schur, author
Jeanne B. de Sainte Marie, illustrator
Pomegranate Communications, Inc.
19018 NE Portal Way, Portland, OR 97230
9780764979354, $17.95, HC, 40pp,

Marielle the mouse has worked her dressmaking magic for nine days and nine nights to create nine beautiful dresses for Madame Sooree's nine daughters. Finished at last, Marielle goes to bed, but when she wakes up, the dresses are gone! With no time to lose, Marielle must overcome her fear of heights to take a wild ride with her friend Pierre the pigeon to recover the missing party dresses, which have been scattered across Paris. "Marielle in Paris" is a simply delightful picture book for children ages 5 to 8. The collaborative work of children's author Maxine Rose Schur and impressively skilled illustrator Jeanne B. de Sainte Marie, "Marielle in Paris" is decidedly and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections where it is certain to become an enduringly popular addition.

It's Only the Wind
Mindy Dwyer
WestWinds Press
c/o Graphic Arts Books
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781513260747, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Charmingly written and beautifully illustrated by Mindy Dwyer, "It's Only the Wind" is a picture book set in the foothills of the mountains. It is that time of night when young kids have a hard time transitioning to sleep and call out to mom from bed with one request after another. "It's Only the Wind" is a engagingly fascinating story that playfully hops back and forth between real and imagined, fact and fantasy, from soft, shadowy quiet to bright and colorful action. "It's Only the Wind" celebrates children's heightened imagination with imagery that takes the children from their cozy beds into the sky, away from their room as they envision the meaning of their mother's explanations. Wind words lyrically wind through the double spreads as the kids fly, sweep, sing, and sail always with their eyes closed, as mom has asked them to do so they can be ready for sleep. Sprawled among their bed sheets, the children's curiosity is finally satisfied, as you will see in the end. Of special note are the wind facts that are included on the last page. Thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end, "It's Only the Wind" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5 to 8.

No Playing Frisbee Today
Tanja Huston
Mindstir Media
9780997357516, $19.99, HC, 34pp,

Written and illustrated by Tanja Huston, "No Playing Frisbee Today" centers on a little boy named Juju whose mommy has been diagnosed with cancer. Juju realizes that what happens in life can be scary and not always easy to understand. Through the eyes of children, life's challenges are not always easy to understand. But, through the picture book story of "No Playing Frisbee Today", children ages 5 to 10 can find hope for a better tomorrow with a little help from family and friends. Tanja Huston is a wife, mother, speaker, author and cancer survivor who has a renewed look on life. Tanja makes a difference in the lives of children by sharing hope and faith through storytelling and "No Playing Frisbee Today" is a perfect example of that. Simply stated, "No Playing Frisbee Today" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.

The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain
Carolyn Huizinga Mills, author
Brooks Kerrigan, illustrator
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
195 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 4T8
9781554553952, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

Sally loved taking baths. It wasn't because the water was full of bubbles, or because she had the bathroom all to herself. and it was not because she always came out squeaky clean. Sally loved taking baths because it was the only time she could talk to the little boy who lived down the drain. Sally found out about him when her mother sang to Sally's baby brother about Baa Baa Black Sheep and his three bags of wool -- one of which went to the little boy who lived down the drain. And thus a friendship was born. Every bath that Sally took was devoted to finding more out about her new friend. An original, lively, and impressively entertaining story for children ages 4 to 7, "The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain" is charmingly illustrated by Brooks Kerrigan from first page to last. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone, "The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain" is wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Derrick Barnes, author
Gordon C. James, illustrator
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572842243, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

In the African-American community, the barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother's hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices. A fresh cut makes boys fly. Engagingly written by Derrick Barnes and impressively illustrated with the artwork of Gordon C. James, "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" is a rhythmic, read-aloud picture book title that is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger African-American boys feel when they leave the barber's chair -- a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That's where it all begins. "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for both elementary school and community library picture book collections for young readers ages 5 to 8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.68).

Grace and Katie
Susanne Merritt, author
Liz Anelli, illustrator
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
9781925335545, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Grace and Katie are twins who love to draw. Grace loves everything to be organized and neat, while Katie loves everything to be bright, bold and messy. When they want to draw a map of their home and street, the girls can't agree on how it should be done so they each decide to create their own map. But that doesn't work out quite as well as they'd planned. Perhaps working together might be more fun after all! "The collaborative work of author Susanne Merritt and illustrator Liz Anelli, "Grace and Katie"" is an imaginative exploration of individuality, sisterhood, creativity and appreciating each other's strengths that will hold a very special interest for young girls ages 4 to 8. Charmingly entertaining with an important underlying message, "Grace and Katie" is unreservedly recommended, especially for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Can't Catch Me!
Timothy Knapman, author
Simona Ciraolo, illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763694968, $15.99, HC, 32pp,

"I'm the fastest mouse in the world!" Jake claims. "I'm like the wind. I am faster than lightning!" But will speed alone keep boastful Jake from being caught by a cat, a fox, a wolf, or a bear? "Can't catch me!" he shouts. Well, clever Old Tom Cat will just have to see about that. Expressive and energetic illustrations by Simona Ciraolo nicely pair with author Timothy Knapman's fun text in a mischievous picture book story of a Cat and a Mouse that begs to be read aloud to children ages 2 to 5. "Can't Catch Me!" is unreservedly and wholeheartedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Story Hour lists and general picture book collections.

Elephants Walk Together
Cheryl Lawton Malone, author
Bistra Masseva, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320, Park Ridge, IL 60068
9780807519608, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

As calves, Asian elephants Precious and Baba roam the wild together, curious and proud. But when they get captured and are split up, their time together seems like a distant memory. Still, separated by many miles and over many years, their friendship remains, and there's hope they will once again roam wide open spaces together. Charmingly illustrated by Bistra Masseva, "Elephants Walk Together" is an especially recommended picture book story by Cheryl Lawton Malone for children ages 5 to 7. "Elephants Walk Together" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Book or Bell?
Chris Barton, author
Ashley Spires, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
978168119729, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

Entertainingly written by Chris Barton and charming illustrated by Ashley Spires, "Book or Bell?" is the story of a little boy named Henry who has just begun to read an especially interesting book when suddenly the school bell rings out meaning class is over and he has to stop reading! That is, unless Henry ignores the bell, stays put, and keeps on reading the most awesome book. By not springing up with the ringing of the bell, Henry sets off a chain reaction unlike anything his school or town has ever seen. Luckily, Mayor Wise, Governor Bright, and Senator Brilliant know exactly what the situation calls for: A louder bell. A much louder bell! Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, "Book or Bell?" is ideal for children aged 4 to 8. It should be noted that "Book or Bell?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Wanda's Humpback Hula Show
Marian Parks, author
Tammy Yee, illustrator
Nature Tale Books Inc.
4300 Black Avenue, #695, Pleasanton, CA 94586
9781943172023, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

When Wanda the Whale's new baby brother arrives, she feels left out and miserable -- until she cleverly hulas her way to humpback fame. Wanda delights in her newfound stardom, but one day a careless mistake ruins everything. How will Wanda fix this mess? Children ages 5 to 8 will enjoy Wanda's entertaining antics, but they will also learn about the North Pacific humpback whale migration -- and that sometimes, they need to say, I'm sorry. A charmingly entertaining picture book story with a genuinely important underlying message, "Wanda's Humpback Hula Show" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Bees in the City
Andrea Cheng, author
Sarah McMenemy, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
9780884485209, $17.95, HC, 36pp,

Lionel lives in a Paris apartment building but loves keeping bees with his Aunt Celine at her farm outside the city. But when her bees start dying, how can he help? The solution, he realizes, is in the rooftop gardens and window boxes of his apartment neighbors, representing a varied and continuously blooming array of flowers that the bees will love. Aunt Celine must bring her bees to Paris! But first he and his friends Alice and Samir must convince their skeptical neighbors and landlord, Mr. Dubi, that this is a good idea. "Bees in the City" is a wonderfully charming picture book for children ages 4 to 7 that combines the late author Andrea Cheng (1958-2015) original story with the charmingly illustrative artwork of Sarah McMenemy. While very highly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted that "Bees in the City" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

What's That Smell?
Donald W. Kruse, author
Stephanie Bukala, illustrator
Zaccheus Entertainment
9780998519128, $14.95, PB, 52pp,

Petunia is a young skunk who discovers that she and her family were created with an odor issue! She finds the odor offensive and decides she absolutely refuses to go through life as a skunk. She would rather be pig. So her family suggests she move in with the pigs. But after living with the pigs for a day, she discovers that they, too, lack perfection. Petunia complains that she would rather be a cow. So the pigs tell her to go live with the cows. But after living with the cows for a day, she discovers that the cows also are not perfect. Petunia whines that she would rather be a chicken. But after living with the chickens for a day, she discovers that chickens aren't perfect either. She complains to the chickens that she would rather be horse. Certainly the magnificent and dignified horses are without flaw. So the chickens suggest that she go live with the horses. All goes well -- for a day. But the next morning, Petunia discovers that even the beautiful, stately horses have issues and are less than perfect. In fact, the imperfection is so great, it causes Petunia to faint! Finally Petunia learns that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence, and there's no place like home. She accepts the fact that we all have flaws -- just the way God made us! Featuring an inspirational Foreword by child actress Beverly Washburn, "What's That Smell?" is another charming story with an underlying message deftly crafted into the narrative specifically designed for young children ages 4 to 10 by Donald W. Kruse, fully supported throughout with beautiful, full-color, amiable illustrations by 15-year-old Stephanie Bukala. Perfect for storytime events, "What's That Smell?" is very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Benjamin Birdie's First Flight
Michael Dotsikas, author
Morgan Spicer, illustrator
Brown Books Publishing Group
16250 Knoll Trail Drive, Suite 205, Dallas, TX 75248-2871
9781612549606, $17.99, HC, 52pp,

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

Ralphie, Always Loved
Andrea Yerramilli
About Something Good LLC
9780998760100, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Rambunctious and hyperactive, Ralphie is a young dog that had already been returned to the animal shelter three times. But when Andrea and her husband adopted him and gave him a loving home where he was understood, accepted, and taught, Ralphie learned fast. As Ralphie's human family grew, so did his capacity for love and the ways he could express it. He remained a loving and beloved family member who touched the hearts of the whole neighborhood until he was ready to say goodbye at the grand-old age of sixteen. Ideal for children ages 5 to 6, "Ralphie, Always Loved" will remind them of all that is good, and reaffirm a belief in love's power to uplift and transform. While decidedly and unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ralphie, Always Loved" is also available in a paperback edition (9780998760155, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Warts and All: A Book of Unconditional Love
Lori Haskins Houran, author
Sydney Hanson, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320, Park Ridge, IL 60068
9780807586587, $15.99, HC, 32pp,

Love isn't just for the cute, the sweet, and the cuddly. Whether you're awkward as a baby ostrich, prickly as a tiny hedgehog, or drool like a puppy pug, someone loves you no matter what! "Warts and All: A Book of Unconditional Love" by author Lori Haskins Houran and illustrator Sydney Hanson, is new and utterly charming picture book story for children ages 3 to 5 from the team that features an irresistible array of adorably stinky, grouchy, burpy, and warty animals to drive the point home. Unique, original, fun, "Warts and All: A Book of Unconditional Love" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Hibernation Hotel
John Kelly
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781680100730 $16.99

Hibernation Hotel is illustrated by Laura Brenlla and tells of Bear, who wants to sleep, but who harbors too many sleepy friends in his cave. Raccoon snores, Beaver fidgets, and partiers keep him awake. And then, the bed's too soft. There are many reasons why Bear can't go to sleep, and kids will relish the fun and familiar dilemma of these reasons as they face their own bedtime with a read-aloud book parents will find inviting and fun, as well.

Waiting for Goliath
Antje Damm
Gecko Press
9781776571413 $16.99

Waiting for Goliath is also a story about Bear, who has been waiting for Goliath since dawn. His best friend is on his way, but when the bus finally pulls up, Goliath is not on it. Still, Bear has faith - his best friend won't let him down. This child's eye story of patience and time, spiced with a title akin to the adult philosophical piece Waiting for Godot, will delight picture book readers and parents with vivid, bright color drawings embellishing a story of hope, patience, and friendship.

Odd One Out
Danielle Chaperon
9782733850664 $12.95

Odd One Out receives small, fun drawings by Iris as it follows best friends whose relationship changes for the worse when a new girl becomes Annabelle's best friend, leaving the narrator the 'odd one out' in the relationship. Ages 4 and older will appreciate the dilemma faced by the first-person narrator as she finds her love for the beautiful, talented best friend seems superseded by a stranger. How can she get her 'soul sister' back? By a serious of diabolical plans! Parents will find this exploration makes for a fine read-aloud while kids with good reading skills will find much to like in a realistic story of changing friendships.

Grump Groan Growl
Bell Hooks
Disney Hyperion
125 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
9781368007825 $12.99

Grump Groan Growl is illustrated by Caldecott Award winner Chris Raschka, who provides dark and appropriate drawings to this story of a dark mood on the prowl. Very simple, large-sized single words chart the progress of this bad mood on a rampage, and the appropriate way to handle it. Parents will want to read this story aloud because discussion of the bad mood and its taming is one that will evolve from a seemingly simple picture book treatment, making for a fine introduction to handling negative emotions.

Nile Crossing
Katy Beebe
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802854254 $18.00

Nile Crossing is illustrated by Sally Wern Comport and offers a fine story of Khepri, who lives in ancient Egypt and fishes the Nile with his father. Now it's time for him to begin school, and his carefree fishing life will change. This first person account of Khepri's world brings ancient Egypt to life against the familiar backdrop of a young boy's first school encounter, offering a fine story for young picture book readers with beginning reading skills and an interest in ancient Egyptian daily culture as seen through a youngster's familiar worries.

Les & Ronnie Step Out
Andrew Kolb
Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780399546198 $16.99

Les & Ronnie Step Out tells of a left and a right foot who are opposites, and the quintessential odd couple. Despite their differences, they have to get along, and must learn to cooperate in order to get anywhere in life. Nonetheless, they struggle with many differences until an accident forces them to see the world from each other's perspective. A fine lesson is presented on understanding, cooperation, and friendship between very different individuals.

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

Two fine picture books are recommended picks for young readers, featuring stories that linger in the mind and which will be re-read several times. Kyo Maclear's Yak and Dove (9781770494947, $18.99) holds pictures by Esme Shapiro as it tells of friends who are complete opposites. Dove has fathers, Yak has fur. Tak is polite and Dove is rude. They don't even enjoy the same things - so maybe they aren't meant to be friends. Yak decides to hold auditions for a new friend; but a surprising result leads him to think that even though they've never held much in common, there may be other things that are important in their relationship. Cale Atkinson's Where Oliver Fits (9781101919071, $17.99) tells of Oliver, a puzzle piece who has always wondered what kind of picture he'll fit into. Being himself is getting him nowhere - but can a puzzle piece change his colors to better fit into some bigger picture? Kids and parents receive a warm story about a little puzzle piece on a journey to find his place in the world.

Andersen Press
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group (dist.)
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607

Three lovely picture book stories offer bright, compelling stories and illustrations and make for fun picks for parents seeking something different. Angela McAllister and Nathan Reed's Samson the Mighty Flea! (9781512481235, $17.99) tells of a star of the Fleabag Circus - a super-strong flea who can even lift a match. But he's not satisfied being the star of his flea circus, and so Samson sets out to prove his worth in a new environment, despite the tears of his friend, who doesn't want him to leave, and there he learns some important lessons about being a star. Ciara Flood's There's a Walrus in My Bed! (9781512481228, $17.99) tells of Flynn, who is about to sleep in his first 'big boy' bed. The problem lies not in his fears of sleeping alone, but in a walrus which apparently occupies the bed. Can Mom and Dad get him to sleep despite a cranky, hot walrus's many problems with bedtime? Kathryn White and Adrian Reynolds' The Tickle Test (9781512481265, $17.99) tells of a Tickle Squad and a test to become a member. One brave mouse is willing to tickle a variety of denizens in order to become a Tickle Squad member - but is he brave enough to tackle and tickle something with teeth? An engaging, rollicking story makes for a fine read.

Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999

Five new picture book titles offer diverse themes and especially appealing blends of writing and illustration. Samantha Berger's Monster's New Undies (9780545870736, $16.99) receives fun monster drawings by Tad Carpenter as it explores the dilemma of a little green monster who needs new underwear. The monster loves to feel of his old undies, and doesn't think he needs anything new - but when they completely fall apart, he begins to realize that nothing but better underwear will adequately replace them. Samantha Berger works with Martha Brockenbrough in Back to School with Bigfoot (9780545859738, $16.99), a story illustrated by Dave Pressler that explores a big monster's dilemmas as he tries to fit into a classroom's routines. This monster is simply too big for most activities - and he rejects others. From shoes to big haircuts, poor Bigfoot discovers his greatest school challenge is his size. Kate Messner's Rolling Thunder (9780545470124, $17.99) receives fine drawings by Greg Ruth and is especially recommended reading for kids who like motorcycles and memorials. This lyrical story covers the Memorial Day Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom demonstration that honors veterans, and provides a very easy read that captures its atmosphere and purposes. Peter Sis' Robinson (9780545731669, $17.99) tells of an adventure-seeking boy who embarks on an ocean journey to a remote island. Beautiful, nicely detailed drawings accompany a gentle story of celebration, new encounters, and how he makes the island his home. Jon J. Muth's Mama Lion Wins the Race (9780545852821, $17.99) tells of Mama Lion and Tigey who are off racing in their fine sports car. It's a race where teams are gathering from far and wide - but a host of other animals have their own plans to win. Do Mama Lion and Tigey have a chance? A fun story of competition and friendship evolves, recommended for kids with good reading skills or parents who will appreciate a nicely detailed, fun read-aloud.

The Bilingual Shelf

The Apple Tree
Sandy Tharp -Thee, author
Marlena Campbell Hodson, illustrator
The RoadRunner Press
9781937054038 $17.95

"The Apple Tree" is a beautiful Cherokee story about a boy and an apple tree, told in Cherokee and English, and filled with warm, touching illustrations filled with warmth, color and joy. The story tells of a young Cherokee boy who once planted an apple seed in his backyard. He carefully watered the seed and kept weeds away. When a tiny seedling appeared, he said, "Look at you! Once you were just a seed, now you are an apple tree." he even put up a sign to protect the little tree so no one would step on it. The tree grew leaves, the boy encouraged it, telling it how beautiful it was. But he could tell it was sad because it had no apples. the boy told the tree, "When we are big, we will both be able to do lots of things!" then, just to cheer and encourage the little tree, he carefully tied a red apple to one of its branches. Visiting the tree the next morning, he said, "Look at you! You have a big red apple." The little tree decided to give its first apple to the boy, who said thank you. His first bite was delicious! Seasons passed and both the boy and the apple tree grew and grew. once again the boy went to the tree and said "Look at you! once just a tiny seed, now you are an apple tree. You are beautiful!" And the apple tree was beautiful, first covered with pink blossoms and then later, filled with yellow apples where the blossoms were. Finally the apple tree replied to the boy's compliment: "Yes, I am a big apple tree now and these yellow apples are very grand, but I will never forget the my first apple, the one the Creator made red....... just to show how much I am loved." "The Apple Tree" has a Cherokee syllabary and history in the introduction page, with an explanation of how the syllabary works. "The Apple Tree" has won multiple awards since its publication in 2015, all very well-deserved.

Mayanito's New Friends/ Los Nuevos Amigos De Mayanito
Tato Laviera, author
Gabhor Utomo, illustrator
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558858558, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

From his perch high up on a mountaintop, a young Mayan prince watched as raindrops formed in the clouds below him. Suddenly, within each drop, there was a child! The raindrop children landed gently on the ground and Mayanito raced down the mountainside to play with them. They were from Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica and other countries in the Americas, but as the sun warmed the land, they evaporated and turned into flowers! Mayanito was sad to lose his friends, so he decided to go find them. Thankfully, the animals of the jungle including Pablito the snake, Teresa the crocodile and Rafael the jaguar helped him. In this adventurous romp through the rainforest, monkeys pulled him from quicksand and carried him over a waterfall in a hammock made of vines! Riding on a flamingo's back, he landed in the village far below his mountaintop home and finally found his new friends. Together, they rode an inchworm train back up the mountain. And when Mayanito was named king, he declared all the children of the hemisphere members of his tribe! Gabhor Utomo's gorgeous illustrations of the lush rainforest, its flora and fauna complement the boy's fantastical journey in this bilingual picture book for children ages 5-10. Parents and teachers will find this bilingual (English/Spanish) beautiful picture book provides a good introduction to basic concepts of jungle creatures, geography and even musical instruments from different regions. While decidedly recommended, especially for family, elementary school, and community library bilingual picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mayanito's New Friends/ Los Nuevos Amigos De Mayanito" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

I Have a Little Lantern
Gan Dayong
Shanghai Press
c/o Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9781602204508, $16.95, HC, 36pp,

The little girl left for school at dawn. On her way to school, she met a little spider, a little squirrel, a little hedgehog and a little panda. They were all afraid of the darkness and wondering if monsters were hiding in every corner. Only the little girl was not scared, because she had a little magic lantern. They held hand-in-hand so that nobody would be scared. A bilingual (English/Chinese) picture book for children ages 4 to 8, "I Have a Little Lantern" wonderfully showcases the storytelling skills and artistic talents of Gan Dayong. Unreservedly recommended, "I Have a Little Lantern" will prove to be an enduringly popular and entertaining addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library bilingual picture book collections.

Family Poems for Every Day of the Week: Poemas Familiares Para Cada Dia de la Semana
Francisco X. Alarcon, poet
Maya Christina Gonzalez, illustrator
Children's Book Press
c/o Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780892392759, $18.95, HC, 40pp,

The collaborative effort of the late Francsco X. Alarcon poetry supported by the unique illustrative artwork of Maya Christina Gonzalez, "Family Poems for Every Day of the Week: Poemas Familiares Para Cada Dia de la Semana " is a bilingual (English/Spanish) collection of poems that takes young readers ages 7 to 12 through the week day by day. Children spend Sunday visiting their grandparents, play with school friends on Monday, daydream on Tuesday, eat popcorn at the local market on Wednesday, and more, until we arrive at Saturday, when they get to play nonstop all day. Along the way, young readers also learn how the names of the seven days came to be. Partly based on the real life experiences of Alarcon's own family, this festive, celebratory collection of poems highlights the daily life of children while also honoring the experiences of the poet's Latino family in the United States. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library bilingual picture book collections, "Family Poems for Every Day of the Week: Poemas Familiares Para Cada Dia de la Semana " is an unreservedly recommended and uncommon acquisition that will have special and abiding appeal .

Muskrat and Skunk / Sinkpe Na Maka
Donald F. Montileaux, author/illustrator
Agnes Gay, Lakota translator
South Dakota Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SC 57501-2217
9781941813164, $19.95, HC, 32pp,

A new sound is in the forest. The beat vibrates through the trees and across the meadows. What is it? Where is it coming from? Muskrat and Skunk thump on a hollow log BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Birds begin to dance. Buffalo and Antelope join in. There is a rustle in the bushes; a large shape emerges. The animals scatter. Muskrat and Skunk drum on. The story of the drum connects the instrument's sound to the heartbeat of Mother Earth a beat inside all of us. For the Lakota people, the drum is more than something to be played. Its rhythm is felt, and it is central to many ceremonies. In "Muskrat and Skunk / Sinkpe Na Maka: A Lakota Drum Story", Donald F. Montileaux (an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, presenter, and consultant on Lakota culture) retells the origins of the drum, using traditional stories that Lakota people still tell today. His colorful images breathe life into Muskrat and Skunk, enhancing our understanding of the Lakota culture. Of special note is the translation from Lakota to English by Agnes Gay (Assistant Archivist at Ogalala Lakota Collge, Kyle, South Dakota). A wonderfully charming entertainment from cover to cover, "Muskrat and Skunk / Sinkpe Na Maka: A Lakota Drum Story" is unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library bilingual picture book collections for children ages 5 to 6.

Yoruba Culture: Proverbs Vol 1
Sisi Tosin, compiler
Tehan Jones, illustrator
Da Readers House
PO Box 3794, Lisle, IL 60532
9780998159058, $12.99, HC, 26pp,

Yoruba is a language spoken in West Africa. Proverbs are wise sayings passed from the old to young. "Yoruba Culture Proverbs" is a compilation of common Yoruba Proverbs. The goals of introducing Yoruba Culture to children ages 5 to 10 through proverbs are to improve their self-image and to assist in building and strengthening their moral codes. Compiled by Sisi Tosin (who spent her early years living in Nigeria and enjoyed the African culture of storytelling while passing on morals) and illustrated throughout by Tehan Jones, this first volume of "Yoruba Culture: Proverbs" will leave readers looking eagerly toward the next volume and any subsequent titles in this unique bilingual (Yoruba/English) series. While very highly and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library bilingual children's books collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Yoruba Culture: Proverbs" is also available in a paperback edition (9780998159003, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

The Math Shelf

Coco's Number Nightmare
Georgie Hanlin, author
Maegan Penley, illustrator
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781939930903, $20.95, HC, 36pp,

Coco is a little girl who loves almost everything about third grade -- except math! Coco's friends adore playing multiplication games, which only makes her feel worse about math. After struggling with homework and losing a game in front of her whole class, Coco feels humiliated and has a terrible nightmare! In her dream, the Multiplication Monster laughs an evil laugh and attacks her in front of her classmates when she answers a problem wrong. In "Coco's Number Nightmare" children ages 6 to 8 will find out how Coco overcomes her fear of math, gets rid of the malicious Multiplication Monster, and learns the value of a teacher who believes in her! The collaborative effort of author Georie Hanlin and illustrator Maegan Penley, "Coco's Number Nightmare" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.

The Political Science Shelf

This is Our Constitution
Khizr Khan
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9781524770914 $16.99

This is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father is for ages 10 and up, and provides middle grade readers with a survey of the American Constitution from a Pakistani author who is passionate about covering the American Constitution's rights and protections for all. His survey blends a history with a personal set of insights on the Bill of Rights and why these documents are so important to basic American freedoms, contributing to a key acquisition especially recommended for classroom debate and American history reader discussion.

The Fiction Shelf

Piper Houdini Apprentice of Coney Island
Glenn Herdling
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504349741, $35.95, HC, 282pp,

When she wasn't being shunted from one foster home to the next, Piper Weiss spent the first twelve years of her life in an orphanage. But everything changes when a dark stranger shows up claiming to be her father. Things get even weirder when Piper is taken to live with her uncle, who happens to be the world-famous magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini. And Houdini is not at all pleased about having a curious twelve-year-old running around his home. Piper attends school, gets detention on her first day, and meets some friends who will help her unravel the clues to her mysterious past. But something sinister and powerful has been unleashed in New York, an evil force hell-bent on bringing about the apocalypse. Sideshow freaks are being murdered, and it all seems to be leading to a dark ritual started twelve years earlier-the day Piper was born. How can Piper defeat this malevolent entity when she may be the reason for its very existence? A young adult novel set in the era of the Roaring Twenties, "Piper Houdini Apprentice of Coney Island" against the hustling and bustling background of New York's Coney Island and populated with a cast of actual historical figures-including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dion Fortune, and Aleister Crowley in a spine-tingling tale will appeal to readers ages 14 to 18 who enjoy urban fantasy and paranormal historical fiction. While decidedly and unreservedly recommended for school and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Piper Houdini Apprentice of Coney Island" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504349727, $18.99) and in digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Shivaun Plozza
Flatiron Books
c/o Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250142993, $17.99, HC, 352pp,

Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend, or her aunt who's tired of giving second chances. When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie's half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn't want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes, a criminal record, and secrets of his own. Frankie's search for the truth could change her life, or cost her everything. The debut novel of author Shivaun Plozza, "Frankie" is a deftly crafted, darkly humorous, inherently compelling read from cover to cover, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Frankie" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Emerson Page and Where The Light Enters
Christa Avampato
Thumbkin Press
c/o Possibilities Publishing Company
9781947486003, $11.99, PB, 260pp,

Thirteen-year-old Emerson Page wants to know what happened to her mother, Nora, a world-renowned anthropologist well-known for her research on ancient cultures and languages. Five years ago, Nora was found on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "We've never seen anything like it," said the NYPD. "It's as if she just fell asleep on the steps of the museum and never woke up." Eventually, the police gave up their search for answers. But Emerson didn't. Her journey to discover the answers about her mother's mysterious death takes her deep below the streets of New York City on a dangerous adventure into a magical world of books. There, she learns the stunning truth about her mother and her own destiny to continue her mother's legacy. Time is running out. An alarming threat looms large and too close to home. With the very existence of human imagination at stake, can Emerson find the strength to fulfill her mother's final wish before it's too late? A deftly written and unfailingly entertaining novel for teen readers, "Emerson Page and Where The Light Enters" showcases author Christa Avampato's impressive flair for originality and master of the storytelling arts. While unreservedly recommended for both school and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Emerson Page and Where The Light Enters" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Yark
Bertrand Santini, author
Laurent Capaillard, illustrator
Gecko Press
9781776571727, $16.99, HC, 80pp,

A chapter book for young readers, "The Yark" is the story of a monster who is on the hunt for the most well-behaved children for his dinner -- because naughty children upset his delicate stomach! When the Yark accidently eats a very nasty boy, the kindness of a girl named Madeleine just might change his outlook for good. This original and consistently entertaining children's story by Bertrand Santini is impressively augmented by the truly stunning black-and-white Victorian Goth style artwork of Laurent Capaillard. "The Yark" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as elementary school and community library fiction collections for young readers.

Saturdays with Hitchcock
Ellen Wittlinger
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580897754, $16.99, HC, 272pp,

Twelve-year-old movie-loving Maisie is in need of a distraction from her current romantic dilemma when her Uncle Walt comes to stay with her family after being hurt on the set of the movie he's filming in Hollywood. Maisie's best friend, Cyrus, has been hanging out a lot with Gary Hackett, whose last-name sounds to Maisie like a cat barfing up a hairball. When it seems as if Hackett might like Maisie romantically, she's none too pleased, and Cyrus is even less impressed. Uncle Walt has a way of pointing Maisie in the right direction, and Maisie's love of movies also keeps her centered. Heading to the local independent theater on Saturdays to see old movies helps Maisie stay grounded as she struggles with growing up, family tensions, a grandma who seems to be losing her memory, and a love triangle she never expected. Simply stated, "Saturdays with Hitchcock" is another literary gem of a novel for young readers ages 10 to 15 by successful author Ellen Wittlinger. While unreservedly recommended for both community and school library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Saturdays with Hitchcock" is also available in a paperback edition (Scholastic, 9781338257120, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race
Chris Grabenstein
Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780553536065 $16.99

Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race comes from the best-selling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and tells of a new game based on finding facts about famous Americans. The teams that search out these facts will win amazing prices; but when the truth about Mr. Lemoncello emerges, trouble begins. Puzzles, games, and an intriguing mystery will involve ages 8-12 in a vivid, memorable story filled with adventure and fun.

Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999

Five new titles are top recommendations for young adult leisure readers looking for something different. Sharon Cameron's The Knowing (9780545845240, $18.99) tells of Samara, who is one of the Knowing who never forget anything. Hidden in an underground city, Samara creates a memory so terrible she must flee her refuge to the lost city of her ancestors to find out how to forget. Meanwhile, Beckett has journeyed through space to find this dream from Earth's past - and his encounter with Samara will change both of them. Michael Northrop's Polaris (9780545297165, $16.99) tells of the sailing ship Polaris, charged with exploring new lands and returning home with their discoveries. When half the landing party vanishes after an Amazon landing, mutiny occurs and the remaining adults abandon ship, leaving a ragged band of children behind. These long mariners are newly charged with survival under impossible odds in this engrossing nautical adventure saga. Gordon Korman's Restart (9781338053777, $16.99) tells of Chase, who falls off the roof, hits his head, and wakes up with amnesia. Suddenly his life is a puzzle, and he has to learn it all over again - including why his classmates react to him in totally different ways when he returns to school. His quest to uncover truths about his past and either accept or change them contribute to an engrossing start of starting over. Garth Nix and Sean Williams collaborate with Have Sword, Will Travel (9780545259026, $17.99), a powerful story of Odo and Eleanor who have stumbled upon a sword that actually can talk. The Biter is a famous weapon from old times, and his discovery of it instantly results in Odo's knighthood and a journey that involves both of them in a discovery of who they are. A fine and funny quest tale emerges that blends epic disasters and adventures with the winning story of two children who cope with an unexpected power. Lucy Strange's The Secret of Nightingale Wood (9781338157475, $16.99) tells of friendship and family secrets and is set in 1919, when Henrietta finds herself alone as her mother lies ill and her father is working abroad after they move to a new home, Hope House. Henry is stumbling upon ghosts, secrets, and mysteries; but there's nobody to tell - or is there? An excellent story involves readers from the start in a delightfully winding tale.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Mystery of the Bear Cub
Tamra Wight, author
Carl DiRocco, illustrator
Islandport Press
PO Box 10, Yarmouth, ME 04096
9781944762254, $16.95, HC, 176pp,

Someone is dumping trash on the Wilder Family Campground's property. It's bad for the campground, and bad for the wildlife there, too. When Cooper Wilder and his friends, Packrat and Roy, find a fox in the woods with its head stuck in a jar, they know it's time to investigate. But when the boys start digging, they stumble headlong into the path of a garbage truck, an abandoned cellar hole, and a black bear looking for its cub. The fourth volume in author Tamra Wight's popular Packrat series for young readers ages 8 to 12, "Mystery of the Bear Cub" is an impressively crafted and consistently entertaining read from first page to last -- making it unreservedly recommended, especially for elementary school and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Books in Series

My Day Learning Health and Safety
Kerry Dinmont
The Child's World, Inc.
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003
9781503822795, $27.07 each / $216.56 set of 8 HC
9781503822955, $342.32 set 8 ebook

Health and safety are key components in the education of children ages 7 to 8. Another simply outstanding eight volume series from The Child's World, features a library binding for extended shelf life, and covers thematically relevant subjects ranging from bullying, to understanding different emotions, to the importance of kindness, to fire safety, and more. A simple text is accompanied with full color photographic illustrations makes each title of particular interest and accessability for young readers. Each title also includes a phonetic glossary, extended learning activities, sources for further research, and suggested websites. The individual, 24 page long titles comprising the "My Day Learning Health and Safety" series bu Kerry Dinmont include: "Alex Eats the Rainbow: A Book About Healthy Eating"; "Amanda's Fire Drill: A Book about Fire Safety"; "Dan's First Day of School: A Book About Emotions"; "Clara Is Left Out: A Book About Bullying and Kindness"; "Emily Goes to the Park: A Book About Healthy Habits"; "Pearl's New Tooth: A Book About Caring for Your Teeth"; "Peter's Bus Ride: A Book About Bus Safety"; "David's New Bike: A Book About Being Active". Although elementary school and community library's should acquire the entire set for the benefit of students and young patrons, it should be noted that each individual title is also available in a multi-users eBook format.

The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

Today's teenagers must deal with many sources of stress that were the same as faced by their parents and grandparents, but also some problems that are relatively unknown to previous generations. The Rosen Publishing Group has published a series of 'how to cope' titles specifically written for teen readers ages 12 to 17. Each individual title in this simply outstanding and social issues relevant series includes a Glossary, a Bibliography, a listing of information resources, a listing of suggested titles for further reading, and an Index. The individual volumes comprising Rosen's 'Coping' series includes: "Coping With Cyberbullying" (9781508173939, $37.10 List / $27.85 S&L, HC, 112pp); "Coping When A Parent Has PTSD" (9781508173861, $37.10 List / $27.85 S&L, HC, 112pp); Coping With Breakups And Jealousy" (9781508173885, $37.10 List / $27.85 S&L, HC, 112pp); "Coping With Gender Dysphoria" (9781508173915, $37.10 List / $27.85 S&L, HC, 112pp); "Coping With Opioid Abuse" (9781508173946, $37.10 List / $27.85 S&L, HC, 112pp); "Coping With Racial Inequality" (9781508173960, $37.10 List / $27.85 S&L, HC, 112pp). Although they are available individually, school and community libraries should acquire the entire six volume set for their students and young patrons.

Crabtree Publishing Company
350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118

Three new series are top recommendations for elementary-level readers and libraries seeking lasting value from their acquisitions. All are tied to curriculum standards and each cover important subjects, pairing facts with contemporary color photos and bright, inviting covers. The 'Cultural Traditions' volumes each offer 32 pages of detail, including an index, glossary, and bright, contemporary illustrations throughout to accompany large-print discussions of each country. Joan Marie Galat's Ghana (9780778780953) and Turkey (9780778781004), Rebecca Sjonger's Honduras (9780778780960), Cynthia O'Brien's Iceland (9780778780977) and Sri Lanka (9780778780991), Linda Barghoorn's Poland (9780778780984), Julia Labrie's Vietnam (9780778781011) and Kylie Burns' Cuba (9780778780946) discuss each nation's celebrations, history, anniversaries, and seasonal observances and provide kids with lively texts and discussions. The 'Research Journal' series also offers 32 pages in each book, which focuses on various ecosystems around the world and how they are studied. Robin Johnson's Everglades Research Journal (9780778734697) and Sonoran Desert (9780778734918), Natalie Hyde's Amazon Rainforest (9780778734673), Great Barrier Reef (9780778734703) and Rocky Mountains (9780778734710), and Ellen Rodger's Arctic (9780778734680) all contain activities, glossaries and indexes, a bibliography, and approaches that pair first-person encounters with each area in the form of 'field journal day' entries with discussions of various natural history observations. Each offers vivid color photos depicting the variety to be found in each world. Clive Gifford's 'Get Connected to Digital Literacy' series ($27.60 each) reaches ages 8-11 with 32 pages each in a fun approach introducing kids to digital languages and communication processes. His Web Page Design (9780778736316), Great Game Design (9780778736226), Computing and Coding in the Real World (9780778736219), and Super Social Media and Awesome Online Safety (9780778736301). All offer outstanding insights into beginning digital literary for kids new to the digital environment, and serve as solid primers for safe and efficient online explorations.

Ick and Crud : Going to the Vet
Wiley Blevins, author
Jim Paillot, illustrator
Red Chair Press LLC
PO Box 333. South Egremont, MA 01258
9781634401906 $4.99

An exciting title from Funny Bone Books First Chapters for young readers, "Ick and Crud: Going to the Vet" addresses animal health care from the dogs' viewpoint, in fully illustrated pages of 1,000-1,500 words in 3-4 chapters for beginning readers ages 6 to 9. The story begins with a cast of characters' comic portraits (Ick, Crud, Miss Puffy, and Bob) and the use of a trick bone to tempt Ick and Crud into their carry cages to make a trip to the vet. finally the dogs are caged and carried on a not fun ride to the vet. There in the vet's waiting room they met Miss Puffy, a snooty Siamese cat who warned them that they were probably there to get shots. The canine friends put up a good avoidance effort when the vet came to treat them with a long needle, but in the end, both Ick and Crud had received their shots and a treat bone to eat all the way home in their cages. Kids will enjoy the comic dialogue of the two dogs and the zany illustrations contrasting the two active dogs with the supercilious Siamese cat. Beginning readers will love this book and this series. Additional titles in this series that are also highly recommended include: "Ick and Crud: The Big Crunch (9781634402071,$4.99)." "Ick and Crud: Mystery in the Barn (9781634401890, $4.99)," and "Ick and Crud: Ick's Blah Day (9781634401883,$4.99)," all by Wiley Blevins and illustrated by Jim Paillot.

Bulldozers Push!
Beth Bence Reinke, author
Bumba Books
c/o Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781512433586 $24.25 hc / $6.99 pbk / $4.99 Kindle

"Bulldozers Push!" is a fun, fact-filled book about buldozers from a series of books about construction, Bumba Books. The series is written for young readers, ages 4-10, in grades K-3. Large print narrative and bright color photos of bulldozers in action make "Bulldozers Push!" an appealing action of machinery at work. It also features yellow spotlights around suggested questions for kids to explore about working bulldozers. Excellent color photos show details on a bulldozer's construction such as rippers, a blade and tracks. A final section shows parts of a bulldozer and a picture glossary, plus suggestions for reading more about bulldozers. Also highly recommended is another title in this series, "Cranes Lift! (9781512433562)," by Beth Bence Reinke, plus four additional titles in the Bumba Books Construction Zone series.

Feeling Sad!
Kay Barnham, author
Mike Gordon, illustrator
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427
9781631982538 $12.99

"Feeling Sad!" is a sensitive book to help kids to identify and deal with grief or sad feelings. Written at grade 2 reading level, "Feeling Sad!" will appeal to kids ages 5-9. Expressive, gentle illustrations show kids and adults of different races discussing their feelings of sadness, and remembering what they were able to do to feel a bit better. A boy named Rio is particularly attentive to several of his classmates who appear to be sad for different reasons. Markus is sad because he is moving away. Ella is sad because her dog died. Jordan is sad because he didn't make the soccer team. In each case, Rio helped the child to discover a way to work on feeling better and coming through the sadness. but after cheering everyone else up, Rio went home and realized he felt sad too, because his dad was gone working on construction for fourteen more days. Finally, Rio realized if he could find ways to cheer up his friends, maybe he could find ways to keep busy and pass the time of fourteen days until his Dad came home. " So he swam, he ran, he read, he hung out with friends, and he played the guitar,.... and he visited his great-grandma, who told him how his great-grandpa went away during the war." Before Rio knew it, his dad was home again! "Feeling Sad!" is enriched by a section of Notes for Parents and Teachers which is filled with more suggestions about helping kids to identify and find ways to work through sad feelings. An additional resource is the free Everyday Feelings leader's Guide at Also highly recommended is the following title from the Everyday Feelings series: "Feeling Angry! (9781631982514, $12.99)," by Katie Douglass, illustrated by Mike Gordon.

Melowy series
Danielle Star
Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
$6.99 pbk / $3.99 Kindle each

The Melowy series is a set of four fantasy chapter books written especially for young girls. The main characters are Melowies, young pegasuses born with a symbol on their wings and magical power within. They attend school to learn more about their powers, and other skills as well. In "Melowy: Dreams Come True" (9781338151749, book 1) the Melowies Cleo, Cora, Maya, Selena, and Electra each begin their journey of learning and friendship. In "Melowy: The Song of the Moon" (9781338151763, book 2) the Melowies are required to perform a musical in front of all of Destino - can Selena muster the courage to audition, with help from her friends? In "Melowy: The Night of Courage" (9781338151787, book 3) the Melowies face a test of bravery and resourcefulness from their teacher - they must survive a night in the Neon Forest using only the tools in their backpacks! And in "Melowy: The Ice Enchantment" (9781338151800, book 4) a rival Melowy named Eris has decided to use any nefarious means to ensure that Cleo and Cora will not reach the top of their class. Can Eris' corrupt plan be stopped? All four books are an excellent tool to encourage young children in 2nd and 3rd grade to read, especially girls, and make excellent additions to public and elementary school library children's collections.

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

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