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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 17, Number 4 April 2007 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Mythology/Folktale Shelf Poetry Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Fiction Shelf Judiac Studies Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Easy Reader Shelf Bilingual Shelf
Sports Shelf Science Shelf Native American Shelf
Jobs/Careers Shelf Books in Series Biography Shelf
Music Shelf Audiobook Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
DVD Shelf Cookbook Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

The King's Crown
Jill Lamere
Minikin Press
PO Box 528, Barrington, RI 02806
Independent Publishers Group (dist.)
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
0977232026, $14.95 www.minikinpress.com www.ipgbook.com 1-800-888-4741

To put it simply, "The King's Crown" written and illustrated by Jill Lamere is unique. It is specifically designed to amuse and delight children ages 1 to 6 while they are in a bathtub! This is a waterproof book that also unfolds to make a shiny crown for young heads. The simple and entertaining story has to do with a search for treasure in an enhanced castle a search that concludes with the young reader having their very own crown. This very colorful and unusual activity book comes in a clear plastic protective bag with handy loops at the top serving as a handle to carry it around. Certain to be favorite bath time accessory and an ideal gift selection, "The King's Crown" is enthusiastically recommended for any parent with a preschool child.

Letters to Kegan
Aaron Boe
Brunerfarm
11501 Grace Terrace, Indianapolis, IN 46236
0978500601, $14.00

Written by college campus and youth speaker Aaron Boe, Letters to Kegan: 30 Truths for Life's Journey is a self-help guide written especially for young adults, but valuable for readers of all ages. Presented in the format of letters of wisdom from a recently passed on grandfather to his grandson, the chapters of Letters to Kegan offer sound thoughts of health, welfare, and the pursuit of happiness, from warnings such as "You may have to go against your friends at some point" and "You may hear some criticism for being good at things" to plain talk about drinking, smoking, and sex, to solid advice such as "Only spend time with people who treat you with respect." Letters to Kegan is a consumable book, offering "quick journaling"/"complete the sentences" exercises to help young people better express themselves and understand the positive life-changing concepts discussed. Highly recommended.

Flush! The Scoop on Poop Throughout the Ages
Charise Mericle Harper
Little, Brown
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0316010642 $15.99 www.lb-kids.com

People used to take boat tours of the Paris sewer system, in Medieval times waste was just thrown out of windows onto streets, and chamber pots were for anything but flowers: these are but a few of the fun facts about waste management presented in FLUSH!, which takes all ages on a historical tour punctuated by fun cartoons. If the object is to present a fun view of history, FLUSH is the item of choice.

The Barnyard Read-and-Play Sticker Book
Christina Wald, illustrator
Storey Books
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
1580176402, $7.95 www.storeybooks.com 1-800-827-8673

"The Barnyard Read-and-Play Sticker Book" features fold-out end covers of a farmyard that includes a barn and a fenced pasture. That's where children can place the 80 reusable, heavy-duty, vinyl stickers that depict the people, animals, and equipment commonly found on a typical family farm. Other available backgrounds in this 12 page activity book for young children include a barn interior, a fenced-in pen, and a chicken coop. There's an accompanying text that introduces young readers to all the diverse elements that make up a typical day on the farm, as well as 'fun facts' and general information about the domesticated and wild animals children might encounter on a visit to a family farm. "The Barnyard Read-and-Play Sticker Book" is ideal and especially recommended as a rainy-day activity book, an entertainment when young children must stay in bed to recuperate from an illness, or as a means of entertaining children on long car rides.

Dinosaur Alphabet
Harry S. Robins
Frog Ltd.
c/o North Atlantic Books
1435 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
1583941873, $18.95 www.northatlanticbooks.com 1-800-788-3123

Imaginatively written and expertly illustrated by Harry S. Robins, "Dinosaur Alphabet" is unique among ABC books for preschool and kindergarten children. Instead of 'A' being for Apple, in this lively and informative approach to learning the letters of the alphabet, 'A' stands for: Allosaurus along with a succinct, four-line rhyming description of the dinosaur. Certain to completely engage the interest of young children, each letter of the alphabet is represented by a different animal drawn from the age of dinosaurs. Of special interest and value are the extensive notes at the end of an impressive picturebook format that presents detailed notes on all of the dinosaurs depicted. "The Dinosaur Alphabet" is specially appropriate and enthusiastically recommended for family, preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, and community library ABC book collections. 'Zuniceratops had lost/The group, her family, and her friends./She heard, too late, and to her cost,/A heavy tread the story ends.'


The Mythology/Folktale Shelf

Asian Children's Favorite Stories
David Conger, et. al., retellers
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
0804836698 $24.95 www.tuttlepublishing.com

For thousands of years parents around the world have been telling kids stories: here's an outstanding and enthusiastically recommended specialty collection of some thirteen lovely folktales drawn from eight major countries in Asia: each of which is perfect for both introducing very young kids to Asian favorites and for adding new excitement to the nighttime reading routine. ASIAN CHILDREN'S FAVORITE STORIES holds many fascinating picks, from 'How the Sea Became Salty' from Japan to a Malaysian folk story 'Why the Tapir Has No Tail'. Parents interested in unique read-aloud opportunities will find it inviting, with lovely color drawings by Patrick Yee adding excitement.


The Poetry Shelf

The Usborne Book Of Poems For Little Children
Sam Taplin, compiler; Masumi Furukawa, illustrator
EDC Publishing
PO Box 470663, Tulsa, OK 74146-6515
079451426X, $11.99 www.edcpub.com 1-800-475-4522

Poetry is a part of every child's cultural legacy and to instill a love of poetry within that child is to establish a foundation for a life-long appreciation of what the written word can do. "The Usborne Book Of Poems For Little Children" is an ideal introduction for preschools to the joy and fun of language expressed in simple, entertaining verse. Compiled by Sam Taplin and colorfully illustrated by Masumi Furukawa, here is a compendium of poetry that is perfect for parent-child bonding, rainy-day entertaining, and reading skill development. 'Mud': I like mud./I like it on my clothes./I like it on my fingers./I like it in my toes.//Dirt's pretty ordinary/And dust's a dud./For a really good mess-up/I like mud. John Smith


The Picturebook Shelf

Why Do I Have to Eat Off the Floor?
Chris Hornsey
Walker & Company
104 5th Avenue, New York NY 10001
0802796176 $15.95 www.walkeryoungreaders.com

'Why can't we play all the time? Why can't I drive your car?' These and other queries kids ask parents assume a fun, zany new twist when addressed by a dog to her child owner. Gwyn Perkins' drawings are simple yet fun and capture the zany humor and underlying puzzles of responsibility. A different, fun find picturebook libraries will want.

Tickets to Ride
Mark Rogalski
Running Press
125 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
0762427825 $15.95 www.runningpress.com

TICKETS TO RIDE: AN ALPHABETIC AMUSEMENT provides an artistic, lovely A-Z compendium pairing clever rhymes around fantasy amusements with secret images and numbers hidden within the ride's colorful drawings. Kids of all ages receive a vivid, imaginative menagerie of unique attractions some 26 stunning A-Z rides in a fun book pairing art with a vivid, colorful lesson. TICKETS TO RIDE lends especially well to parent/child read-aloud.

Little Monkey's Big Peeing Circus
T. Veldkamp & K. DeBoer
Amulet Books
c/o Abrams
115 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011
0810939495 $12.95 www.abramsyoungreaders.com

Little Monkey can pee very well and begins his own circus to show off his talents to all. But Mimi can pee well, too in a different way. Differences between boys and girls are covered in a funny message about acrobatic achievements, stunts, and differences. Kids and parents will find it easily answers questions in the process of a zany tale.

Who Is Driving?
Leo Timmers
Bloomsbury USA
104 5th Avenue, New York NY 10011
1599900211 $12.95 www.bloomsburyusa.com

Who is driving the fire engine? Elephant! Kids are presented with a gentle set of picturebook images on driving and animals and are invited to guess which animal will drive the latest vehicle. Colorful, crazy animal drawings enhance a light guessing game perfect for parent/child read-alouds.

I Can Survive
Jennifer May Allen
American Cancer Society
1599 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329
094423576X $14.95 www.cancer.org

The artist/illustrator author Jennifer Allen's I CAN SURVIVE was created to help her find hope during her father's battle with prostate cancer: here the lovely watercolors and inspirational poetic short words will appeal to all ages: "I cartwheel three times,/waving pompoms/when I don't even score."

Too Many Leprechauns
Stephen Krensky
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
068985112X $12.99 www.simonsayskids.com 1-800-223-2336

Dan Andreasen provides whimsical, fun drawings for TOO MANY LEPRECHAUNS, OR HOW THAT POT O' GOLD GOT TO THE END OF THE RAINBOW. Leprechauns may be lucky on St. Patrick's Day, but on every other day they are noisy neighbors and they are causing chaos in the town of Dingle. But Finn has plans for curing the trouble, making TOO MANY LEPRECHAUNS a pick not just for March but for year-round fun leisure reading.

Pretty Salma
Niki Daly
Clarion Books
215 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10003
0618723455 $16.00 www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com

Pretty Salma lives with her grandparents in town and knows the rules about talking to strangers but when Granny asks her to do the marketing Mr. Dog tricks her into talking to him and tricks her out of some other things, too. Suddenly he's on his way to Granny's house in her clothing. Disaster is on the horizon until Salma figures out how to thwart trouble in this fine 'Red Riding Hood' tale from Africa, perfect for picturebook collections seeking multicultural representations of folk stories.

Bella And The Bunny
Andrew Larson & Kate Endle
Kids Can Press
2250 Military Road, Tonawanda, NY 14150
1553379705, $16.95 www.raabassociates.com 1-800-265-0884

Combining the imaginative storytelling expertise of Andrew Larsen and the graphic talent of freelance illustrator and artist Kate Endle, "Bella And The Bunny" is a charming picturebook adventure about Bella, a little girl who loves a birthday sweater made for her by Nonna that is soft, furry, white, and looks just like the bunny at playschool that Bella cherishes. "Bella And The Bunny" is a delightfully entertaining story of little friends, cozy places, and memorable adventures that draws upon the everyday wonders of childhood for its inspiration. Written to amuse preschool and kindergarten children from ages 2 to 5, "Bella And The Bunny" is a very special and entertaining 32-page picturebook that debuts Andrew Larsen's ability and will children and their parents looking eagerly toward his next effort.

Dizzy
Stacy A. Nyikos, author; Kary Lee, illustrator
Stonehorse Publishing
10632 South Memorial Avenue, No. 245, Tulsa, OK 74133
0976419920, $15.95 www.stonehorsepublishing.com

Dizzy is an upbeat children's picturebook about Dizzy, the world's fastest dolphin, so speedy he can leap out of the water and clear a full gainer reversed with a spin. Singsong rhyming verse and wild, flowing color illustrations embellish this amazing sea adventure brimming cover to cover with enthusiasm and zest for life. "Circling around in a victory loop / Dizzy Caught sight of a fast racing sloop. / 'Let's bow surf that ship coming out of the cove!' // He squawked to friends / as he arched... / and then dove." The final page of this enthusiastically recommended picturebook presents young readers with some basic questions and answers about dolphins in general and Pacific white-sided dolphins such as Dizzy in particular.

The Itchy Little Musk Ox
Tricia Brown, author; Debra Dubac, illustrator
Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
PO Box 10306, Portland, OR 97296-0306
0882406140, $8.95 www.gacpc.com 1-800-452-3032

The Itchy Little Musk Ox is a softcover children's picturebook about an unhappy young musk ox. He has an itch he can't scratch from his own soft wool, and his downward-pointing horns won't reach it. When he finds the right tree to scratch his itch, he becomes separated from the herd! On his long journey to rejoin them he discovers all the good things about being a musk ox - his horns and hard head are good for headbutting a hungry wolf, and his soft wool is prized by a gentle human. A two-page summary of fascinating facts about musk oxen closes this delightful adventure, illustrated in full color, recommended for readers age 3 and up.

The Messy Monkey Tea Party
Cheri Bivin Deich, author; Christina Genth, illustrator
Red Cygnet Press
11858 Stoney Peak Dr. #525, San Diego, CA 92128
1601080069, $15.95 www.redcygnet.com

The debut children's book of pediatric nurse Cheri Bivin Deich, The Messy Monkey Tea Party is a humorous picturebook about a young girl who has the exciting idea of inviting all sorts of animals to tea. But each animal encounters its own quirky difficulties at teatime, and the monkeys leave the biggest mess of all! "They swung from the trees and tossed dishes around / And were making a constant, low chattering sound. // They threw their cake and their cookies this way and that / Then plopped in a chair and finally sat. // The monkeys began tying napkins in knots / On their heads they balanced cups and tea pots." The colorful and exaggerated illustrations add the perfect visual touch to this playful children's book.

A Baby Brother! Oh No!
Joann Hakala, author; Kimberly Shaw-Peterson, illustrator
Beaver's Pond Press
7104 Ohms Lane, Suite 216, Edina, MN 55439
1592981526, $10.95 BeaversPondPress.com 1-952-829-8818

Award-winning author Joann Hakala presents A Baby Brother! Oh No! is a charming softcover picturebook about two young sisters adjusting to their growing family. When their mother tells them she's going to have a baby, both of them hope for a baby sister - everyone knows that baby brothers are big trouble! But their mother comes home from the hospital with a little baby brother instead. Oh no! Gradually, the sisters learn that caring for, playing with, and teaching a baby brother can be fun after all. A heartwarming picturebook, with simple but gregariously colorful illustrations, especially recommended for reading aloud and sharing with young children anticipating a brand new sibling.

Aristotle: The Firefly's Message
Elizabeth M. Brown, author; Ramona L. Schuna, illustrator
Outskirts Press
10940 S. Parker Road, - 515, Parker, CO 80134
Bet's Books
PO Box 251338, Woodbury, MN 55125
159800557X, $19.95 www.betsbooksus.com www.outskirtspress.com

Aristotle: The Firefly's Message is a rhyming, softcover picturebook with an underlying moral about the importance of being kind to all living things. Set in ancient Greece, Aristotle: The Firefly's Message tells of a starving lost boy who discovers a firefly with a broken wing, and takes the injured creature into his care, naming it Aristotle. When the firefly's wing mends, the boy is at first loathe to set the firefly free and lose his only friend, but ultimately, he cannot turn down the firefly's heartfelt desire for freedom. One good turn deserves another, and Aristotle leads the boy to a reunion with his beloved parents. "Happiness followed the rest of his days, / His kindness repaid in a hundred ways, / Aristotle's message is now sent to you, / 'Be kind to all creatures your life through!'" Minimalist yet striking color illustrations add the quintessential touch to this heartwarming story.

Priceless Gifts
Martha Hamilton & Mitch Weiss, authors
John Kanzler, illustrator
August House Inc.
PO Box 3223, Little Rock, AR 72203
087483788X, $16.95 www.augusthouse.com 1-800-284-8784

Award-winning collaborative writers Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss present Priceless Gifts, a picturebook set back in the centuries when merchants sailed the seas in pursuit of spices and seasonings, which were so rare that only the wealthiest could afford them. When Italian merchant Antonio sails to the Spice Islands, he meets a king plagued with rodents. Fortunately, Antonio has just the right remedy aboard his ship - a pair of cats! Richly repaid for his gift, Antonio retells his incredulous story, incurring the jealousy of rival merchant Luigi. "'The king of that island gave Antonio all those rare jewels and stones for two worthless cats,' Luigi said to himself. 'Why, the poorest peasant could have given him that gift. Imagine what the king would give me if I brought him something of real value.'" But when Luigi returns to the Spice Islands with riches of every conceivable sort, he fails to keep in mind what is not valuable to him is valuable beyond compare to others! Sweeping color illustrations embellish this story that young cat lovers especially will find delightful.

Princess Justina Albertina
Ellen Dee Davidson, author; Michael Chesworth, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
1570916527, $15.95 www.charlesbridge.com 1-800-225-3214

Princess Justina Albertina: A Cautionary Tale is a whimsical picturebook with an underlying moral - be very careful what you wish for! Princess Justina Albertina, a chubby, bad-tempered child princess used to getting her own way and giving her nanny headaches, wants a pet - but not just any pet will do. She mistreats and finds fault with every rare and exotic pet her nanny brings, and finally throws a tantrum until her nanny gives in and brings back the ultimate pet - a majestic griffon. "As soon as she saw him, Princess Justina Albertina ran over and said, 'He's perfect. He's exactly the pet I want.' The griffon opened his eagle beak and swallowed Princess Justina Albertina in one gulp. Then the griffon burped and flew away." The color illustrations vividly bring a spoiled young girl and her gaggle of amazing animals to life in this zany story with message.

A Strange Day
Iris van der Heide, author
Marijke ten Cate, illustrator
Lemniscaat
c/o Boyds Mills Press
815 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431
1932425942, $16.95 www.boydsmillspress.com 1-877-512-8366

Netherlands author Iris van der Heide presents A Strange Day, an engaging picturebook about a distracted young boy waiting for a very important letter - an envelop that will tell him whether he won the art contest that he entered. He's so wrapped up in his thoughts during the windy day that he doesn't notice the mailman chasing after a windblown letter, and is barely aware of stopping a runaway baby carriage, catching dog thrown clear of a bicycle accident, or other strange occurrences happening all around him. But everyone else is aware of his kindness, even though he is not! Gentle color illustrations add a lovely touch to this charming, read-aloud story.

Wanda and the Frogs
Barbara Azore, author; Georgia Graham, illustrator
Tundra Books
75 Sherbourne Street, 5th floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5A 2P9
0887767613, $18.95 www.tundrabooks.com 1-800-788-1074

The delightful sequel to the highly recommended "Wanda and the Wild Hair", Wanda and the Frogs is the latest picturebook featuring the adventures spunky young Wanda, who is completely enchanted with all the trappings of spring - especially its rain puddles and wriggling black tadpoles! When she brings tadpoles in a sand pail to her teacher, her class is allowed to care for them until they become frogs. But then what will happen to the frogs? Wanting to keep the frogs, Wanda devises a scheme to move them into her own bedroom - with hilarious results! Bright color illustrations add a festive touch to this exuberant story with a touching moral about compassion. "'Now Wanda' he said, taking her by the hand. 'Let's get dressed and take the frogs back to the creek. Frogs don't like living in houses. They'll be much happier at the creek.' 'Okay,' said Wanda. 'But I'll be able to visit them, won't I?'"

Over in the Jungle
Marianne Berkes, author; Jeanette Canyon, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Way, Nevada City, CA 95959
1584690925, $8.95 www.dawnpub.com 1-800-545-7475

Children's librarian and teacher Marianne Berkes presents Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme, a softcover picturebook that teaches young readers the numbers one through ten with an engaging, singsong rhyme about various wild animals of the rainforest. "Over in the jungle / Wearing wings of shiny blue / Lived a morpho butterfly / And her little morphos two. // 'Flit,' said the mother. / 'We flit,' said the two. / So the flitted and they fluttered / Wearing wings of shiny blue." Of particular note are the brilliant color illustrations, created as textured relief sculptures in polymer clay by extraordinarily talented artist Jeanette Canyon. Readers of all ages are sure to enjoy studying the amazing, vividly colorful artworks; the last few pages of Over in the Jungle offer some fun facts about rainforest animals, as well as tips from both the author and the artist about the process used to create the book. Highly recommended.

Billy's Mountain
Steve Richardson, author; Herb Leonhard, illustrator
Impossible Dreams Publishing Co.
4123 Rancho Grande Pl. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120
0978642201, $16.95 www.impossibledreamspub.com

Inspired by the quest for the impossible dream as written in the literary classic Don Quixote, Billy's Mountain is a picturebook about a young boy whose passion is the idea of creating a vast, snow-capped mountain amid Kansas' seemingly endless flat plains. At first he tries to build a mountain with dirt and rocks; he persists long after his friends tell him to give up, and a reporter puts his story in the paper. Amazingly, a wealthy and determined old African-American man named Jim learns of Billy's dream and decides to help make it come true. It takes bulldozers, railroad cars, and an immense amount of labor to create the mountain - but once risen the mountain blends with the landscape as the seasons pass and even attracts wildlife to its slopes. Utterly captivating, full-color illustrations done in a somewhat impressionistic style bring this beautiful and heartfelt picturebook to life. The final page of "Billy's Mountain" offers a simple lesson plan for teachers to use, offering questions to ask students such as, "Building a mountain is an almost impossible task. What are some things from the past that people thought were impossible but turned out not to be impossible?"

This is a Poem That Heals Fish
Jean-Pierre Simeon, author; Olivier Tallec, illustrator
Enchanted Lion Books
45 Main Street, Suite 519, Brooklyn, NY 11201
1592700675, $16.95 1-888-330-8477

Prize-winning poet, novelist and dramatist Jean-Pierre Simeon presents This is a Poem That Heals Fish, a children's picturebook about a despondent young boy whose beloved red fish Leon is sick, possibly even dying, of boredom. The boy's mother tells him to hurry and give his fish a poem - but what is a poem? The boy asks everyone he can find what a poem is, but each answer just seems more confusing than the next. "I'm sorry, Leon, I have not found a poem. All I know is that: / A poem / is when you have the sky in your mouth. / It is hot like fresh bread, / when you eat it, / a little is always left over. // A poem / is when you hear / the heartbeat of a stone, / when words beat their wings. / It is a song sung in a cage. // A poem / is words turned upside down / and suddenly! / the world is new." The stylized, simplified color paintings draw readers of all ages into this mystical and wonderful adventure.

Farmer Ham
Alec Sillifant, author; Mike Spoor, illustrator
North-South Books Inc.
PMB 248, 455 Sam Ridley Parkway West, Smyrna, TN 37167
0735821348, $15.95 www.northsouth.com

Farmer Ham is a children's picturebook about a corn farmer (who also happens to be a pig!) with a problem - crows keep gorging themselves on his corn! At first he tries to drive them away by shouting an waving his arms. When that doesn't work, he begins a new plan, dredging together pieces of slimy clothing from the depths of the lake. The crows laugh at him, calling him "Silly old Farmer Ham!" but Farmer Ham and his newly made scarecrow will get the last laugh of all! The raggedly sketchy color illustrations suit this whimsical story just right.

The Frog Prince
Kathy-Jo Wargin, author; Anne Yvonne Gilbert, illustrated
Mitten Press
2500 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
1587262797, $18.95 www.mittenpress.com 1-877-722-2264

The Frog Prince is a lush retelling of the classic fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, about the princess and her fateful meeting with a frog who is really an enchanted prince. Lavishly illustrated with detailed, museum-quality art, The Frog Prince spins its story in sufficient detail as to be appropriate for young readers who are almost ready to transition from picture books to chapter books. Highly recommended. "As the carriage rolled away, the prince heard a loud cracking noise. He yelled to Faithful Henry that he was afraid something might be breaking. But Faithful Henry answered that it was simply the bands around his heart snapping free, now that the spell was broken and his master was free at last."

The Boy Who Loved Birds
George Carruth, author; Libby Carruth Krock, illustrator
Too Much Fun, LLC
1178 Farnsworth Rd., Waterville, OH 43566
097731670X, $14.95

Written by sculptor and nature lover George Carruth, The Boy Who Loved Birds is an engaging children's picturebook about a young boy who loves wild birds so much, he dreams about life through their eyes - from being fed as a chick to learning how to test his wings and fly, to finding the perfect girl bird to marry and feeding worms and juicy grasshoppers to chicks of his own! The handwriting-style font might be a little difficult for very young readers to follow, but the fabulous color illustrations certainly speak for themselves in this wondrous story.

And the Train Goes...
William Bee
Candlewick Press
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140-1338
0763632481, $15.99 www.candlewick.com 1-800-526-0275

And the Train Goes... is a children's picturebook spotlighting the many noises heard on a rumbling train - and the many things that the train's passengers say! Blocky color illustrations complement the singsong text, which features a wide variety of sound effects and especially lends itself to being read aloud to young people. "Here is the school class off on a trip, / and the children yell, / 'Please, sir, please, ma'am... are we there yet? // and the train goes, / Clickerty-click, clickerty-clack..."

Princess Madison and the Paisley Puppy
Karen Scalf Linamen, author; Phyllis Hornung, illustrator
Revell
c/o Baker Book House
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
0800718410, $12.99 www.bakerbooks.com

Award finalist author Karen Scalf Linamen presents Princess Madison and the Paisley Puppy, a vibrant picturebook featuring a most unorthodox young princess. Princess Madison isn't terribly ladylike at all - she has dirt under her nails, freckles on her nose, and marbles in her pocket. She tries to be good, but sometimes she breaks the rules without meaning to. When she discovers a young puppy and wants to make a home for it at the castle, she quickly learns what a handful puppies can be to take care of! Madison tells her father the king, "'I thought having a secret puppy would be fun,' Madison said. 'But it didn't turn out like I thought it would.' He nodded. 'Secrets are like that.'" The detailed text of Princess Madison and the Paisley Puppy is ideal for young readers who are almost ready to make the transition from picture books to chapter books, and the colorful illustrations boldly display Princess Madison's enthusiasm. Highly recommended.

Mommy Has To Stay In Bed
Annette Rivlin-Gutman, author
Bonnie Lemaire and Shannon Stamey, illustrators
BookSurge, LLC
5341 Dorchester Road Suite 16, Charleston, SC 29418
141964775X, $15.99 www.booksurge.com 1-866-308-6235

Mommy Has To Stay In Bed is a small, simple softcover picturebook written by a mother who personally experienced the dilemma of having to explain being on bed rest during her pregnancy to her then 1 1/2 year old daughter. The simple rhyme and the warm color illustrations complement one another perfectly in this superb book for helping little ones understand a difficult time in a parent's life. "Sometimes I get so angry. / I just want to shout, / 'I don't like having Mom in bed / day in and day out.' // Mommy tells me to scream, / hit a pillow, have a cry. / If I'm angry, she understands / and accepts the reasons why."

Three Little Lambs... Somewhere
Susan Amundson, author; Brenda Geiken, illustrator
Bluedoor, LLC
6595 Edenvale Boulevard, Suite 155, Eden Prairie, MN 55346
1599840022, $15.95 www.bluedoorpublishing.com 1-800-979-1624

Three Little Lambs... Somewhere is a delightful children's picturebook about three sisters who take care of three little lambs. The children love their pets, but one day they return from town to find their lambs gone. What are they to do? To find and win back the hearts of their beloved friends, they are prepared to sacrifice their most cherish possessions - their bicycles! Iconic color illustrations enhance this friendly, rhyming picturebook perfect for reading aloud to little girls.

The Magic Telescope
Will Bergstrom, author; Anne-Marit Bergstrom, illustrator
Bergstrom Books
521 12th Ave NE, Devils Lake, ND 58301
0978764803, $12.95

Written by an extremely talented eighth grade student Will Bergstrom and illustrated with sweeping paintings by his grandmother Anne-Marit Bergstrom, The Magic Telescope is a half-size picturebook meant to celebrate Christmas at any time of the year. At Santa's workshop, one industrious elf has created a marvelous new invention. "Jingleheimer's new toy, an enchanted telescope, would allow children to view the North Pole all year long. They could even watch Santa to make sure he was being nice and not naughty." An exuberantly delightful picturebook that invites children to see and experience Santa's magical world.

No Time to Nap
Mike Madison, author; Mary Peterson, illustrator
Heyday Books
PO Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709
1597140465, $15.95 www.heydaybooks.com 1-510-549-3564

No Time to Nap is a half-size picturebook that lists all the many chores that busy Farmer Mike has to do. "Set the gopher traps in the olive trees. Weed the overgrown ranuculus beds. Bottle 4 cases of homemade olive oil. Start the melons and gourds in the greenhouse. Transplant the sunflower seedlings." Whimsical color illustrations portray hardworking Farmer Mike doing all his many tasks, as young readers can see for themselves just how much effort goes into growing the food they eat. An exuberant and informative guide, fun to read and share, especially with young children who think they have too many chores!

The Farmer in the Dell
Ilse Plume, illustrator
David R. Godine, Publisher
PO Box 450, Jaffrey, NH 03452
1567922708, $17.95 www.godine.com 1-800-344-4771

Caldecott Honor illustrator Ilse Plume presents The Farmer in the Dell, a charming picturebook inspired by the classic children's song and circle-game of the same name. The text is simply the lines of the circle-game song itself, while the cheery illustrations show events on the farm during each of the seasons. The last few pages teach the reader how to play "The Farmer in the Dell" circle game and offer a one-page list of the song lyrics. A highly enjoyable tribute to childhood pastimes that vastly predate modern amusements and video games.

If I Were A Tree
Dar Hosta
Brown Dog Books
PO Box 2196, Flemington, NJ 08822
0972196730, $17.95 www.browndogbooks.com

Printed on 100% recycled paper to help preserve trees, If I Were A Tree is a vertical-shaped children's picturebook featuring simple verse and stunning, colorful collage illustrations. Paying homage to the important role trees serve in daily life, If I Were A Tree encourages young readers to consider what it would be like to actually be a tree. "If I were a tree, / I would wave to you / whenever / the wind blows. // How would it be / if you were a tree?" The final pages of If I Were a tree offer fun facts about trees to inquisitive young minds. Highly recommended.


The Fiction Shelf

The Wright Twist
Josie Daval
Orange Frazer
PO Box 214, 37 1/2 West Main Street, Wilmington, OH 45177
1933197196 $14.95 www.orangefrazer.com

Written by avid outdoorswoman Josie Daval, The Wright Twist is a historical fiction novel for young adults. Set in Dayton, Ohio during the summer of 1905, The Wright Twist follows young Lee Twist and her two older brothers as they come face-to-face with the famous Wright Brothers. But the pioneers of flight are far from the only history makers around! The Wright Twist is an adventure filled with historical detail as well as humor and lighthearted fun, at once both educational and entertaining.

Kristin's Wilderness
Garrett Conover, author
Tanya Thompson, Rod MacIver, and Consie Powell, illustrators
Raven Probuctions, Inc.
PO Box 188, Ely, MN 55731
0976626454 $17.95 www.ravenwords.com

Beautifully illustrated with soft watercolors throughout, Kristin's Wilderness: A Braided Trail is a wondrous chapter book for readers aged eight to eighty. Told in first-person perspective, Kristin's Wilderness follows a young girl's journey into womanhood among wildlife researchers in the northwoods, chapters tell of the diverse characters in her life from the old Finnish ladies who share the sauna to two wolverines who escape their observation pen to the northern native people among whom she spends a winter. The paintings especially capture the mood and majesty of the natural world that surrounds her, in this gentle and heartwarming tribute coming of age amid the changing of the seasons.

Looking for Alaska
John Green
Penguin Young readers Group
345 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014-4502
0142402516 $7.99 www.penguin.com/teens

Winner of the Michael L. Printz award in young adult literature, Looking for Alaska is a novel for adults and older teens that deals with serious topics - suicide, death and dying, and lives spinning out of control. The protagonist, Miles "Pudge" Halter, is a young adult with an obsession over the last words of famous historical figures; fed up with his safe, bland life at home, he dares to venture into the unstable world of Culver Creek Boarding School. There he meets Alaska Young - beautiful, funny, clever, and utterly messed up and self-destructive young woman. She steals his heart, but a stolen heart alone cannot derail her from her spiraling self-harm. A poignant and profound tale of coping with upheaval and drama, adjusting to radical transitions, and reflections upon what lies behind the end of life - the "Great Perhaps".

Quigley McCormick and the Stuperton Conspiracy
David Hollaway
Quackenworth Publishing
PO Box 4747, Los Angeles, CA 90231-4747
1933211563, $15.95 www.quackenworth.com

Written by David Hollaway, Quigley McCormick and the Stuperton Conspiracy is a high-spirited chapter book for young readers. Second in the award-winning Quigley McCormick series, The Stuperton Conspiracy follows the wackiest day in the history of Quackenworth Hotshot Acadamy, a day when the teachers are all on strike and a plague of "substituteitis" has taken over the whole school! What's worse, Quigley's substitute Mr. Snotenbaucher, is in no mood to humor mischievous children! Printed in large type with an inset ribbon for easy bookmarking, Quigley McCormick and the Stuperton Conspiracy is tongue-twistingly funny and sure to encourage young people to pursue the wonderful passion of reading. Highly recommended.

The Treasures of Weatherby
Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
141691398X $15.95 www.simonsayskids.com

Harleigh Weatherby IV is a short pre-teen who has earned the attention of school bullies for years: now he's being home schooled at the Weatherby mansion but life gets no better until he meets one Allegra, who literally flies into his life. From that point on high adventure evolves as a plot to steal the Weatherby treasure unfolds and Harleigh and his new friend become involved in trying to thwart it. Middle school readers will appreciate another moving fantasy/adventure by Snyder.

Knof/Delacorte/Dell
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
www.randomhouse.com/kids

Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell's HUGO PEPPER (0385750927, $14.99) comes from the author of the Edge Chronicles but provides a different adventure in a set of 'far flung' travels of one Hugo Pepper. Magic and adventure blend for advanced elementary to middle school readers, powered by black and white drawings throughout and providing a swift action-packed story based on a flying sled time machine. Young fantasy readers will relish the action. Another Edge Chronicles (#8 in the series) will also reach this same audience with the authors' THE WINTER KNIGHTS (0375837418, $12.99), telling of a giant city home to the Edgeworld's academics and headed by the Knights Academy where the best come to study. Student Quint, son of a sky pirate, faces his first year and the cold of winter: when disaster strikes, a band of friends joins forces to prevent trouble in this riveting adventure. Both will prove popular picks with their eye-catching covers and fantasy-based action. Juliet Marillier's WILDWOOD DANCING (0375833641, $16.99) is another excellent fantasy; this suitable for middle to high school leisure readers. Five sisters, three magical gifts, and an enchanted world of magic will lure any fantasy reader who desires a complex plot and swift action. Barbara Park's JUNIE B. FIRST GRADER: DUMB BUNNY (0375838090, $11.99) provides another excellent first grader tale: this taking place at Easter and telling of an Easter egg hunt with an unusual prize. But Junie B. gets stuck wearing an impossible costume and a series of mishaps might prevent her from her goals in this hilarious tale for grades 4-6. All are excellent leisure choices.

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
Cary D. Schmidt
Clarion Books
215 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10003
0618439293 $15.00 www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com

Turner Buckminster can't find anything good about his move to Maine where everything is different, and dreams of running away until he meets one Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart girl who lives nearby in a poor community founded by former slaves. Lizzy introduces Turner to the appealing side of his new Maine home and when the two uncover a sinister plot, they become friends and then find their world torn by conflict. It's a riveting multi-faceted story teens will find moving and engrossing.

The Phantom Isles
Stephen Alter
Bloomsbury
175 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
1582347387 $16.95 www.bloomsburyusa.com

A strange old book called The Complete Necromancer holds more than magical instruction it holds actual ghosts and powerful passages that can bring up the dead a proposition that intrigues friends Ming, Courtney and Orion. Their quest for knowledge brings the local library's books to life with spooky moving images and unleashes a storm that could overtake the town. A wonderful, spellbinding story suitable for advanced elementary through middle school grade levels evolves.

The Invisible
Mats Wahl
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 300, New York, NY 10010
0374336091, $16.00 www.fsgkidsbooks.com 1-888-330-8477

Just how do you go about solving a murder especially when the victim is supposed to be you? When Hilmer walked into his high school and what seems like a perfectly ordinary day, he finds that he's somehow turned invisible to everyone around him! A police detective arrives at school to investigate a teen's disappearance and in the course of his investigation, turns up undercurrents of bigotry and violence. Hilmer can't remember what happened to him, he can only follow the detective as clues are uncovered and time is of the essence if what began as a missing-persons case turns into a murder investigation. An especially recommended addition to both school and community library fiction collections, "The Invisible" is a superbly crafted mystery that will leave young readers raptly engaged in the unfolding and deftly crafted story.

The Treasure of Muskunk Cove
R. Nichols
Lulu Press
860 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560
No ISBN, $12.01 www.lulu.com

The Treasure of Muskunk Cove is a chapter book for young adults about three clever and resourceful children who discover a mysterious secret that leads them on a grand adventure. A handful of black-and-white, pointilism-style illustrations grace this pleasant, evocative tale written with an eye for realism - kids are kids, adults are adults, and there is no need for outrageous or unbelievable events to stimulate the naturally intriguing plot. Highly recommended.

Eyes of the Calusa
Holly Moulder
White Pelican Press
132 Marcella Avenue, Sharpsburg, GA 30277
0979040507, $8.95

Set at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Eyes of the Calusa is a chapter book for young adults about Mara, a young girl of Florida's native Calusa Indians, who is kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery amid the lowlands of South Carolina. Her gift of ancient power from her Calusa ancestors enable her to calm a potentially deadly ocean storm, and she learns secrets about the infamous pirate Blackbeard; once on the slave plantation, she hears about a slave rebellion and must make a desperate choice. An action-packed novel about the value of freedom, something all too often taken for granted during the modern day. Though fictional, Eyes of the Calusa is firmly grounded in history, and highly recommended.

Moon Shadow
Chris Platt
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
156145382X, $14.95 www.peachtree-online.com 1-800-241-0113

Written by Chris Platt, one of the first women jockeys in the state of Oregon, Moon Shadow is a hardcover chapter book for young adults about the bond between Callie, a thirteen-year-old girl and an orphaned wild filly, Moon Shadow. Without a mother, it's a touch-and-go issue as to whether little Moon Shadow can survive - and even if she does, Callie may not be able to adopt her. A gentle novel of compassion and forming connections, especially recommended for young horse lovers.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

Gifts to Treasure
Tehilla Greenberger, author; Eli Toron, illustrator
Hachai Publishing
762 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY 11216
1929628323, $10.95 www.hachai.com

Part of the "fun-to-read" series of chapter books steeped in Jewish history and culture for young adults, Gifts to Treasure is a novel set in 1897 America. Three Jewish children, newly arrived on American shores, each carry a special gift from their grandparents back in Russia. Gifts to Treasure is a story about overcoming adversity and adapting to a new life in a hard land, while drawing strength from one's heritage and tradition. Highly recommended.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Domestic Dogs
Susan H. Gray
The Child's World, Inc.
PO Box 326, Chanhassen, MN 55317-0326
1592967264, $205.12 List; $143.60 Library; www.childsworld.com 1-800-599-7323

"Domestic Dogs" is a new 8 volume series by Susan H. Gray showcasing popular breeds of dogs. Written on a second grade reading level, profusely illustrated in color, and specifically designed for use with students in grades 1 though 5, each individual, 32-page, large-print title features a reinforced library binding for extended shelf life, a table of contents, informative sidebars, detailed maps, a glossary of key words and phrases, resource lists for further research (including websites), a comprehensive index, and an introduction to the author. The individual titles comprising the "Domestic Dogs" series for school and community library Pets/Wildlife collections include: Basset Hounds (159296771X); Border Collies (1592967728); Chihuahuas (1592967736); Golden Retrievers (1592967744); Labradors (15929677520; Pugs (1592967760); Shih Tzus (1592967779); and Yorkshire Terriers (1592967787) and are available individually as well ($25.64 List; $17.95 Library).

My First Horse and Pony Care Book
Judith Draper
Kingfisher
c/o Houghton Mifflin Company
222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116
0753459892, $9.95 www.hmco.com 1-800-225-3362

My First Horse and Pony Care Book is hardcover primer to basic care for horses, written especially for young people. Photographs on every page illustrate how to feeding and water horses, muck out stables, keep horses groomed, give them baths, keep them healthy, ride them safely using proper gear, and much more. Though My First Horse and Pony Care Books is a primer that sticks to the bare essentials, safety is always put first, and an index allows young readers to quickly locate and refresh their understanding of key information. Highly recommended especially for young horse lovers and any child preparing to care for or simply ride a horse or pony.

Dirty Rotten Bugs?
Gilles Bonotaux
Two-Can Publishing
c/o T&N Children's Publishing
11571 K-Tel Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55343
1587285932, $14.95 www.tnkidsbooks.com 1-888-255-9989

Dirty Rotten Bugs? Arthropods Unite to Tell Their Side of the Story is a compendium of amazing true facts insects and spiders, from ticks to centipedes to bedbugs and much more. Humorous and cartoony color illustrations embellish this jauntily written tribute. Dirty Rotten Bugs? is sure to both educate and entertain young readers about these inordinately fascinating tiny creatures. Highly recommended for personal, school, and public library collections.

Nature's Yucky! 2
Lee Ann Landstrom & Karen I. Schragg, authors
Rachel Rogge, illustrator
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399, Missoula, Montana 59806
0878425292, $12.00 www.mountain-press.com 1-800-234-5308

Nature's Yucky! 2: The Desert Southwest is a softcover picturebook for young readers brimming with amazing - albeit icky! - facts about nature and wildlife of the American Southwest. From the regal horned lizard, which can spit blood from its eyes, to the dung beetles' favorite food (ew!) to the piglike javelina that smells like stinky socks, each animal has its own gross habits or aspects for a reason - for example, javelinas use their musky odor to help keep the herd grouped together. The last few pages offer additional information about the various wild animals mentioned, as well as a recipe for "Raven-Gut Upside Down Cake", a "Nature's Yucky! Blues" song, and a list of further resources. An enlightening book about the ingenuity of nature for children's library collections and inquisitive young people who aren't too easily grossed out. Also highly recommended is the original "Nature's Yucky!"


The Easy Reader Shelf

20 Umbrellas
M. Nathalie Pujari, M.D., author; Chatree Sananmuang, illustrator
Abuzz Books
PO Box 15753, Scottsdale, AZ 85627
0971586500, $8.99 www.20umbrellas.com

20 Umbrellas is a flat-spined, softcover picturebook featuring very simple text for beginning readers, though the words are sometimes dressed up with flowers, colors, or other vivid effects. The simple rhyme about people carrying umbrellas embodies delight in experiencing the rain, matched perfectly by the charming color illustrations. A cheery book especially for rainy-day reading between parents and very young children. "20 umbrellas, four of them red / Skipped in the street in the rain / Several I followed, nodding my head / Bobbing with each down the lane"

Slide and Find Trucks
Priddy Books
c/o St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
0312499094 $6.95 www.priddybooks.com

Slide and Find Trucks is an easy reader board book for very young children with an interactive twist - every other page has four sliding windows over the pictures of trucks that cover images with related words or concepts. For example, the sliding windows on the first page cover (or uncover) a red garbage truck with the word "red", a blue giant excavator with the word "blue", a green delivery truck with the word "green", and a yellow backhoe loader with the word "yellow". Unlike most books with moving parts, Slide and Find Trucks is extremely durable, and sure to provide educational fun for the littlest inquisitive minds.

A Good Day
Kevin Henkes, author and illustrator
Greenwillow Books
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019
006114018X, $16.99 www.harpercollinschildrens.com 1-800-242-7737

2005 Caldecott Medal winner Kevin Henkes presents A Good Day, a children's picturebook featuring vivid, almost woodcut-style color illustrations. A little yellow bird, little white dog, little orange fox, and little brown squirrel each seem to be having a bad day at first - but bad days can easily be turned around into good days with a little luck, ingenuity, and persistence! A charming read-aloud story for the very young, especially novice readers ready to take their first step from the reading the simplest of sentences to slightly (but only slightly) more complex ones.

Calendar
Myra Cohn Livingston, author; Will Hillenbrand, illustrator
Holiday House
425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
0823417255, $16.95 www.holidayhouse.com

Two-time winner of the Texas Institute of Letters Award Myra Cohn Livingston presents Calendar, an easy reader picturebook that introduces young people to the months of the year. Colorful papercut-style illustrations provide a delightful visual complement to the appealing and simple text. Recommended for novice readers just beginning to sound out their first words. "January shivers, / February shines, / March blows off the winter ice, /April makes the mornings nice".

Silly Mommy, Silly Daddy
Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
c/o Publishers Group West
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
1845075471, $15.95 www.pgw.com 1-800-788-3123

Inspired by the crabby niece of award-winning Irish author and illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Silly Mommy, Silly Daddy is an easy reader picturebook that tells its charming story through the simplistic color illustrations as strongly as with words. Little Beth is in a sour mood and won't smile for anyone; her family tries to lift her spirits, but they're all just acting silly. Only Beth's clever big sister knows just the right remedy to turn Beth's frown upside-down! A delightfully funny storybook meant to be shared with the very young.


The Bilingual Shelf

I Wish I Had Freckles Like Abby
Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook, authors
Bonnie Adamson, illustrator
Raven Tree Press
200 South Washington Street, Suite 306, Green Bay, WI 54301
0972497382, $16.95 www.raventreepress.com 1-877-256-0579

Elementary school psychologist Kathryn Heling and kindergarten teacher Deborah Hembrook present I Wish I Had Freckles Like Abby, a bilingual English/Spanish picturebook a young Hispanic girl, Rosa, who wishes she had freckles like her friend Abby. How is Rosa to get freckles of her own? Chocolate pudding, maybe? "When I got chickenpox, I really did have freckles! They were red and itchy. I never want freckles like that again! I still wish I had freckles like Abby! But Abby wishes she had glasses like me!" Gentle color illustrations and an English/Spanish vocabulary on the final page rounds out this warmhearted "grass-is-greener on the other side of the fence" tale.


The Sports Shelf

Balls!
Michael J. Rosen, author; John Margeson, illustrator
Darby Creek Publishing
7858 Industrial Parkway, Plain City, OH 43064
1581960301, $18.95 www.darbycreekpublishing.com 1-800-328-4929

Balls! is more than a picturbook - it is a 72-page compendium of amazing facts about balls used to play all types of popular sports, from handball to soccer balls to tennis balls, golf balls, footballs and much more. Colorful photographs and sketches on every page illustrate this collection crammed full of history, uses, designs, quotes, statistics, and much more. Though designed for inquisitive young adult minds, Balls! is fun (and educational!) for readers of all ages. A list of recommended websites for further reading rounds out this fascinating trivia anthology recommended for school and public library collections as well as the libraries of budding sports fans.


The Science Shelf

Science Play
Jill Frankel Hauser
Williamson Books
c/o Ideals Publications
Suite 250, 535 Metroplex Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37211
1885593201 $12.95 www.idealpublications.com

Kindergarten teacher Jill Frankel Hauser presents Science Play, a compendium of over 65 safe, age-appropriate activities designed to foster creativity and a sense of discovery in children ages 2 to 6. Step-by-step instructions and simple black-and-white illustrations walk readers through activities such as observing earthworms at work, making puddle prints with food coloring, water, and a simple medicine dropper, or gathering and sorting rocks. Young children will most likely need an adult's help with reading the instructions, but the activities themselves are easy to do and highly inexpensive. Enthusiastically recommended for parents, teachers, and caregivers of young children everywhere.

Focus on Minerals
Jerry Wermund, Ph.D., author; Tony Sansevero, illustrator
Rockon Publishing
210 Hy Road, Buda, Texas 78610
0972625526, $17.95

Written by expert geologist Jerry Wermund, Focus on Minerals is a 48-page picturebook for young readers offering a simple introduction to amazing scientific facts about many common minerals and gems. Most pages either describe a specific property used to characterize minerals, such as "hardness" or "dimorphism", or the features of a specific mineral or group of minerals, such as halite, quartz, or turquoise. Many pages have both a poem and more scientific commentary about the topic; all have a stunning color illustration. "Talc: Softest mineral / of them all, crushed to powder, / gives glow to mother's skin; / soothes baby's bottom. // Stir talcum powder / with a finger feeling the / heavenly softness. // Pop a powder puff; / snow clouds arise, drifting in air." An excellent and educational picturebook especially recommended for inquisitive young readers and school and public library collections.


The Native American Shelf

The Shaman and the Water Serpent
Jennifer Owings Dewey, author; Benton Yazzie, illustrator
University of New Mexico Press
MSC04 2820, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
0826342116 www.unmpress.com 1-800-249-7737

The Shaman and the Water Serpent is a picturebook that shows young readers how the ancient Puebloan Native Americans lived their daily lives. A three-page text introduction summarizes what archaeological and narrative history evidence reveals about Puebloan culture. The Shaman and the Water Serpent uses black-and-white illustrations to depict people trying to survive in time of drought and scarce food, while the verse tells of shamanic efforts to communicate their need for life-giving rain to the spirits. "The shamans go to the rocks and pray for rain. / They make images of the water serpent / with their chipping stones. / They sing songs and tell the spirits / what they hunger for, / how thirsty they are." The occasional text-free two-page illustrations are an especial highlight of this welcome introduction to one of the many diverse Native American cultures, especially recommended for the children's section of public and school libraries.


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

A Girl's Guide to Achieving in the Arts
Frances A. Karnes, Ph.D. & Kristen R. Stephen, Ph.D
Royal Fireworks Publishing Company
PO Box 399, Unionville, New York 10988
9780898246766 $19.99 www.royalfireworkspress.com

Written by Frances A. Karnes, Ph.D. & Kristen R. Stephen, Ph.D, A Girl's Guide to Achieving in the Arts is a handy and informative guide to reaching for one's dreams. Written especially for school-age young adult girls, but accessible to readers of all backgrounds, A Girl's Guide to Achieving in the Arts offers a handy overview of how to prepare for and earn success in a broad range of artistic venues, from painting and drawing to dance or music. The bulk of A Girl's Guide to Achieving in the Arts is devoted to true testimonials of young women pursuing their dreams, rounded out with helpful tips, encouragement, pages where a girl can write her own thoughts about becoming an artist, and a list of website resources. An excellent general source of inspiration, especially recommended for grade school library collections, though young women who have firmly decided upon which art they wish to pursue might desire a more specific guide to their chosen field.

The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
www.rosenpub.com 1-800-237-9932

Two new additions to the simply outstanding and unique 'Cool Careers Without College' series from Rosen are Kerry Hinton's "Cool Careers Without College For Music Lovers" (1404208720, $33.25) and Tonya Buell's "Cool Careers Without College For Web Surfers" (1404208712, $33.25). All too often highschool students are tracked into college oriented curriculums when their natural talents, abilities, interests (and perhaps even their family's financial circumstances) would be better served in finding and entering gainful occupations that do not require a college degree. For those with an interest in music, Kerry Hinton shows just how many different jobs there are in the field of music including retail store employee, professional disc jockey, music distribution, audio engineering, professional musician, music broadcaster, instrument technician, booking agent, club manager, instrument maintenance and repair, music journalist, even the career possibilities in starting their own music label. Tonya Buell provides an informed and informative introduction to using a personal computer to create and locate information, making money with a computer through online and global networks, websites, ISPs, and more. Both of these outstanding editions feature a glossary and an index. Every community and school library would be well advised to obtain the entire 'Cool Careers Without College' for their Jobs/Careers reference collections including the earlier titles of this critically important and informative series including: "Cool Careers Without College For Animal Lovers"; "Cool Careers Without College For Film And Television Buffs"; "Cool Careers Without College For Math And Science Wizards"; "Cool Careers Without College For Nature Lovers"; "Cool Careers Without College For People Who Love Movement"; and "Cool Careers Without College For People Who Love To Build Things".


Books in Series

Reference Point Press
PO Box 27779, San Diego, CA 92198
www.ReferencePointPress.com 1-888-479-6436

Reference Point Press is an independent nonfiction publisher committed to providing children with relevant, accessible information and learning tools through 'student friendly' volumes in their "Compact Research" series covering an impressive range of subjects and social issues from illegal immigration, the death penalty, and the world energy crisis, to drug abuse, gun control, and biomedical ethics. Enthusiastically recommended for school and community library collections (and ideal supplements for homeschooling curriculums) each individual book comprising the "Compact Research" series is illustrated in full-color, features a library binding for extended shelf life, and is available separately for $24.95. The first ten titles debuting this new series include Andrea Nakaya's 'Marijuana' (160152000X, 104 pages); Laura Engendorf's 'Heroin' (1601520026, 96 pages); Mark Nesbitt's 'Performance Enhancing Drugs' (1601520034, 96 pages); Emma Bernay's 'Methamphetamine' (1-60152-0042, 104 pages); Clay Farris naff's 'Nicotine & Tobacco' (1601520069, 112 pages); Lauri Friedman's 'The Death Penalty' (1601520085, 112 pages); Debra Miller's 'Illegal Immigration' (160152003, 112 pages); George Milite's 'Gun control' (16011520107, 96 pages); Stuart Kallen's 'World Energy Crisis' (1601520115, 104 pages); and Don Nardo's 'Biomedical Ethics' (1601520131, 104 pages). Informed and informative, thoughtful and though-provoking, with each chapter constituting an objectively written overview and including a section of cited, opinion-based primary source quotes highlighting differing perspectives, and enhanced with colorful facts and illustrations, young readers will be able to consider, evaluate, and balance diverse perspectives on the pressing social issues, concerns, and problems of our day.

Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591
www.amazon.com 1-800-831-9881

Cavendish's fine groups of theme titles are perfect for grades 4-7, providing readers with excellent foundation references with bright, appealing covers and information suitable for reports. The 'Measure Up' titles in Group 1 ($20.95 Each) include AREA, DISTANCE AND VOLUME (9890761423232), TEMPERATURE (9780761423225), TIME (9780761423218), SPEED (9780761423256) and WEIGHT (9780761423249). Each holds 48 pages of detail pairing bright color photos with overview of measurement concepts, experiments easy to conduct at home, and background history. An index, glossary and bibliography round out the facts and provide quick reference for young researchers. The 'Earth's Biomes' series by Tom Warhol ($22.95 each) include WATER (9780761421924), CHAPARRAL AND SCRUB (9780761421955), DESERT (9780761421948), FOREST (9780761421894), GRASSLAND (9780761421962) and TUNDRA (9780761421931). Each holds some 80 pages of information suitable for grades 5-7 and pairs fine color photos with discussions of habitats, different features of similar biome environments, and surveys of management issues and threats. Grades 3-5 will appreciate the bright 'Animals Animals' series ($19.95 each) which hold 48 pages of detail each and represent the 7th group added to a blossoming series. Renee Rebman's TURTLES AND TORTOISES (9780761422396) and ANTEATERS (9780761422341), Judith Jango-Cohen's BEES (9780761422358) and HIPPOPOTAMUSES (9780761422389), and Marc Tyler Nobleman's EAGLES (9780761422365) and FOXES (9780761422372) all pack in lovely color photos and lively facts kids will appreciate. These will all prove popular lends, appealing to both young leisure browsers with their bright, contemporary covers and photos and young researchers.

Enslow Publishers
Box 398, 40 Industrial Road, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922-0398
www.enslow.com 1-800-398-2504

OWLS: HUNTERS OF THE NIGHT by Elaine Landau (0766027686, $22.60) will appeal to grades 2-4 with 32 pages of color photos and facts about owls. Owl history, myths, natural habits and habitats are revealed in a lively easy reader packed with color photos of different kinds of owls. Robert Gardner's SUPER SCIENCE PROJECTS ABOUT EARTH'S SOIL AND WATER (076602735X, $23.93) tells of the water cycle and builds science fair projects around it. Grades 3-4 will have an easy reader joining others in the lively 'Rockin Earth Science Experiments' series packed with colorful and different project ideas. Linda Bozzo's MY FIRST DOG (0766027546, $22.60) joins others in the American Humane Association's 'My First Pet' library, offering grades 1-2 an easy introduction to owning a pet. Each book examines a different pet animal and talks about how to pick and car for each animal. Patricia J. Murphy's COUNTING PUPPIES AND KITTENS (0766027244, $22.60) is perfect for K-2 readers, joining others on the topic in offering 32 pages of simple language linking elementary math skills to something more appealing than math: animals. All are excellent basic library picks promising ongoing interest and lending relevance.

Crabtree Publishing Company
350 5th Avenue Suite 3308, New York NY 01018
www.crabtreebooks.com

Bobbie Kalman's LIFE CYCLE OF A BEAVER (0778706281) is the perfect 32-page primer for elementary graded 2-4: it uses colorful beaver photos throughout and boxed charts and info panels to add spice and lively attention-grabbing detail to its facts, which are perfect for reports. Kids receive a primer on beaver habits, habitats and lifestyles and will have plenty of material to provide a report. David Jefferis' ROBOT VOYAGERS (0778728846) and ROBOT BRAINS (0778727762, $18.90 each) are top picks, adding to the 'Robozones: All About Machines That Think' series but standing well alone. ROBOT BRAINS considers the advancing science of artificial intelligence and robot functions while ROBOT VOYAGERS surveys journeys robots can take into other worlds inaccessible by humans the deep oceans or the stars. Kids fascinated by robots will find many color photos and engrossing science facts lending to both reports and leisure browsing at the 3-4 grade level. Bobbie Kalman's A WETLAND HABITAT (0778729558) will appeal to grades 2-3 with very simple words and vivid photos. Words in bold type are linked to a glossary of terms while pages discuss seasonal fluctuations of a wetland habitat and its residents.

Norwood House Press
PO Box 316598, Chicago, IL 60631
www.norwoodhousepress.com 1-866-565-2900

'Team Spirit' is a six volume series of 'kid friendly' books showcasing some of the best teams in American baseball, along with color photography illustrated highlights from the 2006 World Series. Designed to be accessible and engaging for young readers in grades 3 through 6, each individual book features a sturdy binding for an extended shelf life and multiple readership. The titles comprising this highly recommended series include "The Baltimore Orioles" (1599530929); "The Detroit Tigers" (1599530937); The Houston Astros" (1599530945); "The Lost Angeles Dodgers" (1599530953); "The Saint Louis Cardinals" (1599530961); and "The Seattle Mariners" (159953097X). Each title is available individually ($25.27 List; $18.95 Library). Also very highly recommended are four 'Team Spirit' titles newly available in Spanish: "Los Heat de Miami" (159953102X); "Los Lakers de Los Angeles" (1599531003); "Los Mets de Nueva York" (1599531038); and "Los White Sox de Chicago" (1599531011).

Black Rabbit Books
PO Box 3263, Mankato, MN 56002
$145.50 List; $101.70 Library, 1-507-388-1609

'Healthy Me' is a six volume series by Jill Kalz for young readers in grades 1 through 3 that presents the basics of sound nutrition. The informative text is nicely enhanced with the inclusion of colorful photography and with each individual title explaining the benefits of a balanced diet and includes 'kid friendly', easy-to-follow, do-it-yourself recipes. The books comprising this superbly organized and presented series include "Diary Products" (1583402977); "Fruits" (1583402993); "Grains" (1583403019); "Meats & Protein" (1583402985); "Vegetables" (1583403000); and "Water (1583403027). Each of these 24-page features a glossary and an index. Although available separately ($24.25 List; $16.95 Library), both school and community libraries are recommended to acquire the entries series for the benefit of their students and patrons. Homeschooling parents should also note that this series is an excellent curriculum supplement for science and health related studies.

The Oliver Press, Inc.
Charlotte Square, 5707 West 36th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55416-2510
$22.95 each 1-800-865-4837

'Looking at Europe' is the latest series of non-fiction books for young readers from The Oliver Press. This six volume series provides students ages 11 and older with current information about countries that are now a part of the European Union with each showcased nation being presented in terms of its history, geography, towns and cities, people and culture, education, cuisine, transportation economy, tourism, and natural environment. The titles comprising this outstanding series include Jan Willem Bultje's "Looking at the Czech Republic" (1881508293); Piret Hiisjarv and Ene Hiiepuu's "Looking at Estonia"; Amanda Aizpuriete's "Looking at Latvia"; Jan Willem Bultje's "Looking at Lithuania"; Daniel Kollar's "Looking at Slovakia"; and Danica Veceric's "Looking at Slovenia". Each 48-page titles includes maps, an index, a glossary, color photography, a library binding for extended shelf life, and a list of thematically appropriate websites. This series highlighting former communist countries that became liberated with the fall of the Soviet Union and are now flourish democracies and members of the European Union is strongly recommended for both school and community library collections for young readers.

Chelsea House Publishers
c/o Facts On File, Inc.
132 West 31st Street, 17th floor, New York, NY 10001-2006
www.factsonfile.com 1-800-322-8755

Chelsea House Publishers has taken the 'Seven Wonders of the World' concept and applied it to three different epochs of recorded human history. Each of the hardcover, 32-page, impressively illustrated titles are the collaborative effort of Reg Cox and Neil Morris, and are enhanced with a reinforced binding for extended shelf life, a glossary, and an index. The three books comprising this simply outstanding and informatively impressive series are specifically designed to fully engage students in grades 5 through 8 include: "The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" (9780791060469); "The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World" (9780791060476); and "The Seven Wonders of the Modern World" (9780791060483). While each title is available individually ($21.95 List; $19.75 Library), both school and community library collections for young readers should acquire the entire trilogy ($65.85 List; $55.95 Library).


The Biography Shelf

Compass Point Books
151 Good Counsel Drive, Minneapolis, MN 56002-0669
www.compasspointbooks.com 1-877-371-1536

The 'Signature Lives: Ancient Greece' series from Compass Point Books has four new titles showcasing famous and accomplished lives of ancient Greeks who lived from 1000 BCE to 300 CE. Specifically written and beautifully illustrated for young readers, the men whose personal biographies were selected to be represent the political and cultural 'golden ancient' of Greece include "Alexander the Great: World Conqueror" (9780756518721TK); "Aristotle: Philosopher, Teacher, and Scientist" (9780756518738TK); Socrates: Ancient Greek in Search of Truth" (9780756518745TK); and "Thucydides: Ancient Greek Historian" (9780756518752TK). These were men who impacted not only their own times but influenced future generations down to our own time in the areas of medicine, science, political science and western culture. While the individual titles are available individually ($31.93 List; $23.95 Library), schools and community libraries are strongly recommended to acquire the entire set ($127.72 List; $95.80 Library) for their young students and patrons.


The Music Shelf

Grace's Bell
Ben Rudnick & Friends
PO Box 1426, Arlington, MA 02474-002
Beth Blenz-Clucas Publicity
5505 SW Illinois Street, Portland, OR 97221
BAR-022, $14.99, www.benrudnickandfriends.com

A compilation of original pieces and popular classics, "Grace's Bell" showcases the talented performances of Ben Rudnick, Buddy Cage, Jeff Bird, and the 'Tuba Tune Horn Section'. Music characterized by tremendous energy, the toe-tapping tunes for listeners of all ages include 'My Name is Ben' (2:01); 'Mama Don't 'Low' (3:09); 'Vowels' (3:24); 'Cowgirl Song' (5:04); 'Coming of Spring' (2:26); 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World' (5:18); 'Route 66' (2:03); 'Merry Go Round (3:17); 'Chet's Fabulous Diner' (5:20); 'Hava Nagila' (3:55); 'When the Saints Go Marching In' (3:59); and the title piece, 'Grace's Bell' (3:56). Certain to be a popular addition to any family or community library music CD collection, "Grace's Bell" is especially appropriate for any celebratory occasion or get-together. Also very highly recommended are the three earlier CD albums from Ben Rudnick & Friends: "Emily Songs"; "Fun & Games", and "Blast Off!".

Hunk-Ta-Bunk-TA
c/o Beth Blenz-Clucas Publicity
5505 SW Illinois Street, Portland, OR 97221
www.hunktabunkta.com

Katherine Dines is an award-winning children's songwriter who has compiled two volumes comprised of very special selection of lively songs certain to entertain and engage children from 18 months to 3 years. The first CD volume, "Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta: Wiggle" showcases twelve tunes including: Wave Hi Low (1:42); Funga (1:46); Pat a Cake (1:19); Clickity Clack (1:450; Chomp Chomp Snort Awooo (2:47); Pajarito (1:17); Tug a Wiggle (2:32); Bunny Hop (1:37); Itchy Itchy Owie Boo Boo (3:29); The Ticklebug (3:23); Flea Fly Flow Mosquito (1:29); and Down in Sleepytown (2:13). The second CD volume features twelve more lively tunes: Sooo Big Sooo Small (2:34); Muscle and Bone (2:37); Je Je Coule (2:04); Yummy Yum Yum (2:53); Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Boo (2:05); Five Little Monkeys (1:54); Keemo Kyemo (1:40); Goosebumps (2:18); Very Scary hairy Bear (3:57); Mashed Potatoes (5:12); Huki Lau (1:28); and the children's classic, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (1:52). This two volume CD set for preschoolers is very highly recommended and especially appropriate for family preschool, daycare center, and community library children's music collections.

Bean Bag
Georginiana Stewart
Kimbo Educational
PO Box 477T, Long Branch, NJ 07740-0477
www.kimboed.com 1-800-631-2187

Kimbo Educational is a premiere producer of lively CD music for children specifically designed, performed, and recorded so as to help them grow and develop both physically and mentally. Perfect for families, preschools, kindergartens, and community libraries, is a new and outstanding music CD for young children which is dedicated to providing a musical inspiration and accompaniment for a physical activity program that incorporates the use of a bean bag is "Bean Bag: Activities & Coordination Skills" (KIM 7055) by dance education and special education expert Georginiana Stewart is composed of a series of games, dances, and activities that develop rhythm, coordination, listening skills, and language in an easy, safe, fun, self-instructive format that children can accomplish on their own. The first seven pieces (Who's Got the Bean Bag?; Make Friends with a Bean Bag; Bean Bag Rock; How Many Wats?; Bean Bag Catch; Pass the Bean Bag; and Bean Bag Parade) include both vocals and instrumentals; while the last seven pieces (repeating the same songs as the first seven tunes) are instrumental only. Two more highly recommended activities oriented CDs for children from Kimbo Educational are: "Musical Scarves & Activities" (KIM 9167) and "Circle Time Activities: Theme-Based and Transition Activities" (KIM 9173)


The Audiobook Shelf

Kiddio!
85 Van Reypen Street, N28, Jersey City, NJ 07306
$10.99 each www.kiddioadventures.com

Kiddio! debuts two audiobooks for children that are quite unique in both purpose and production. They are specifically designed to be a commercial free alternative to television, videos, or music entertainment for young children ages 3 to 7. The CD audio format allows children to enjoy a true 'theatre of the mind' experience which allows their imaginations to engage and their listening skills to improve. Both of these new audiobook stories feature the escapades and adventures of Billy Brown, a talking bear, and his friend Emma. Each audiobook story is enhanced for listening enjoyment with a full cast, engaging dialogue, sound effects and music, all utilized to produce the kind of entertainment experience associated with a yesteryear vintage radio drama. The two CD audiobooks include "Billy Brown and the Mystery Package" and "Billy Brown Goes Hiking" are especially appropriate for long car trips or as rainy day entertainments for restless or bored youngsters. Enthusiastically recommended, both of these simply outstanding, quite original, and imaginatively entertaining recordings are appropriate additions to family, preschool, kindergarten, and community library audiobook collections for children.

Ancient Tales: Volume 1
Ellefun Publishers
611 - 421Queen Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
CD $29.95 www.ellefun.com

"Ancient Tales: Volume 1" is a collection of six ancient stories for children featuring mystic wisdom and lore while following the magical adventures of resource heroes. These are tales which have never before been available in English. They include 'Boy and Bear' - the story of an orphan boy who picks mushrooms for his evil stepmother. When he returns without any mushrooms she sends him to wander in the woods until he gets lost in the dark and falls asleep in a cave. That's when.... In the 'King's Left Eye' we learn that a crazy old man is selling his cow for the king's left eye. Fortunately for the kind, a clever young girl comes to put an end to the confusion! In 'The Lazy Man' we find that while laziness won't kill you, it can most assuredly turn your life into a living hell. 'The Fisherman, the Snake and the Fox' exemplifies the lesson that we shouldn't look into our neighbor's plate or wish for somebody else's luck, because we all have our own luck. 'Gift from the Sun' finds that when a brave young shepherd saves the Sun from a terrible monster, the Sun's father quite reluctantly gives the young man a gift. The boy nearly loses his as the servant of a cruel king, but as in most fairy tales finds ultimate happiness with the help of a rather mysterious princess! "Golden Girl' reveals that when we are desperate and betrayed by those closest to us, our good deeds will prevail in the end. Enhanced with an accompanying booklet of these narrated and recorded stories, "Ancient Tales: Volume 1" is a welcome addition to school and community audiobook collections for children, and will leave the young listeners avidly waiting for the Volume 2!

Uncle Sonny's Settee
James Trueman
Privately Published
CD 6.00 Brit. pounds http://homepage.ntlworld.com/silvan www.lulu.com

"Uncle Sonny's Settee" is a two-volume, four disc audiobook compilation of short stories about a kind of magic couch that propels those who sit upon it into wonderful adventures. Ably narrated by the author James Trueman, and enhanced with the inclusion of sound effects and theme music by Mikael Pettersson from a piece entitled 'pantheon Ian Venables - Stourhead Follies, each of the twelve chapters comprising "Uncle Sonny's Settee" is ably narrated and recorded. The stories include: Mrs. Bellispot (22:31); The Green Cat (20:08); Under the Stairs (19:29); Into Another Time (20:05); Another Dimension (24:21); The Chimney Spirit (19:29); Much ado about a Chimney (20:52); A Midsummer Feast (23:44); The Procession of Torches (20:130); The Elriees Revenge (20:23); Fight and Flight (21:36); and A Library of Answers (26:23). "Uncles Sonny's Settee" is highly recommended for school and community library audio book collections and is especially appropriate as an entertainment for children ages 8 to 14.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

MarshMedia
PO Box 8082, Shawnee Mission, KS 66208
$69.95 www.marshmedia.com 1-800-821-3303

Three educational DVDs about growing up, nutrition, health, hygiene, and the development of the male and female reproductive systems are invaluable educational resources for both public and private schools. All have public performance rights included in their price of $69.95 each, and are available in DVD or VHS, Let's Just Talk! For Girls (9781559425308, 19 minutes) uses a sleepover as a setting to cover common questions adolescent girls have about their growth and development, adopting a fact-based and friendly approach. Topics covered include physical and emotional changes that come with adolescence, proper hygiene and its role in maintaining good health, the value of exercise and good nutrition, and the workings of the female reproductive system. Let's Just Talk! For Boys (9781559425315, 16 minutes) is similar in its broad addressing of health and hygiene concerns, but specific in its information concerning the male reproductive system. We're Just Talking! For Boys and Girls (9781559425322, 17 minutes) is addressed toward viewers of both genders. All three films are highly recommended for their focus on good health and taking care of oneself while adjusting to the bodily changes of puberty. These outstanding DVDs are available in English or Spanish versions, but not in a bilingual format.


The DVD Shelf

Thomas & Friends series
George Carlin, narrator
Anchor Bay Entertainment
1699 Stutz Drive, Troy, MI 48084
$12.98 each www.anchorbayentertainment.com

Four DVDs in the "Thomas & Friends" series are sure to delight young viewers ages 2 and up with the exciting adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine and his transportational friends. Each affordably priced DVD features narration by celebrity George Carlin, roughly 40 minutes of short stories, plus another 60 minutes of bonus features such as sing-along songs, DVD games, and character galleries. "A Big Day for Thomas" covers Thomas' adventure when he gets to pull his very own train for the first time; "Trust Thomas & Other Stories" follows Thomas' discovery of a new way to cross a river; "Percy's Ghostly Trick & Other Thomas Stories" is a spooky adventure in which Percy's mischievous trick to make Thomas believe in ghosts backfires when Percy puffs into a big pile of hay. "Thomas & The Special Letter" sets up a conflict with George, a bad-tempered steamroller convinced that roads are more important than rails. Since the many stories on each DVD are so short, they can be shown to young people who have only a few spare minutes, such as right before bedtime, or all at once. All collections are sure to entertain and recommended for public libraries and family collections alike.

Go Potty Go!
Mazzarella Media, LLC
PO Box 86, Bristol, CT 06011
1934119377 $14.95 www.mazz.com

Go Potty Go! Potty Training for Tiny Toddlers is an instructional DVD geared toward little boys and girls who are ready to begin toilet training. Colorful cartoon characters use simple language to teach youngsters how to recognize the body's signs that it is ready to urinate or produce a bowel movement, and how to develop hygienic toilet skills such as proper wiping and hand washing. A gentle, tasteful, and delightfully friendly DVD enthusiastically recommended for parent-child viewing and for reinforcing toilet-training skills. 20 minutes, color.

Making Dinosaurs Out of Clay
Mark Abildgaard
Crystal Productions
PO Box 2159, Glenview, IL 60025-6159
CP-1921 $29.95 www.crystalproductions.com 1-800-255-8629

Making Dinosaurs Out of Clay is a simple crafting DVD especially recommended for young dinosaur enthusiasts, but enjoyable for viewers of all ages and skill levels in the art of clay sculpting. A short "how-to" program covers basic modeling and sculpting techniques, walking the viewer through the process step-by-step with user-friendly instructions and demonstrations. A real treat for parents and children to share while exploring creative possibilities with clay. 34 minutes.

Voy Baby: Discovering Colors
Voy Baby
c/o Andrea Blain Public Relations, Inc. (publicity)
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076
$12.99 www.voybaby.com

Voy Baby: Discovering Colors is a bilingual English/Spanish DVD featuring Latin motifs, music, puppets, and bright colors. Though Voy Baby is created by Latinos, especially for Latino babies, the stimulating and educational benefits of this cultural appreciation program make for quality parent-child viewing in households everywhere. Recommended for little ones from birth to three years of age. 56 minutes, fullscreen, color.

Youth Sports Club
9 Florence Court, Valley Cottage, NY 10989
www.YouthSportsClub.com 1-800-511-2101

Three sports-oriented DVDs by physical-education expert Marty Schupak and the Youth Sports Club are geared toward teenagers, but sure to foster improved performance in players of all ages and experience levels. Backyard Golf (9780978945114, $24.95) includes a wealth of simple drills to practice and tips on everything from the grip, club head speed, angle of approach, and centerednes of contact to chip shots, putting, and enjoyable training games. Strongly recommended for any beginning golfer due to its solid presentation of essential golfing techniques. Baserunning & Bunting Drills (097485171X, $24.95) offers both fundamental training and creative baserunning and bunting techniques for baseball players, including delayed stealing, sliding techniques, running fundamentals, and tips for tagging up. A wealth of solid drills and insights round out this invaluable, though narrowly focused upon bunting and baserunning, guide to fine-tuning one's baseball skills. Soccer Fast Footwork Drills (9780978945107, $24.95) especially focuses upon improving one's speed and ball handling in soccer, with especial attention paid to basic footwork skills, how to efficiently change direction, lateral movements, hesitation dribbles, 1v1 drills, dribbling techniques, offensive strategies, and more. An easy-to-follow guide to improving mastery and physical ability. All are enthusiastically recommended for sports enthusiasts, as well as for high school DVD collections.

My Bedbugs Volume 1
GreeneStuff Incorporated
22675 Morelli, Clinton Township, MI 48036
Andrea Blain Public Relations, Inc. (publicity)
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076
0978612426 $14.98 www.amazon.com

The debut DVD of the award-winning "Bedbugs" series, broadcast on PBS and recommended for children ages 2 to 7, My Bedbugs Volume 1 collects three of the most popular episodes: "Lost Sock Adventure", "Pirates of the Bugabean", and "Rainy Day". Created by two parents who had difficulty coaxing their own children to bed, My Bedbugs Volume 1 introduces young folks to lovable siblings Woozy, Toofy, and Gooby, who sing, dance, play and have adventures all without leaving their bedroom. Each episode uses stories and music to teach young viewers positive behaviors, good habits, and positive lessons for daily life. Highly recommended.

Bees Buzz & Lions Roar
Turtles In Ties
1631 Belfield Place, Lynchburg, Virginia 24503
0978692004 $19.95 www.TurtlesInTies.com

Bees Buzz & Lions Roar: A World of Animals Just for You is a cheerful, bilingual English/Spanish DVD for young viewers ages 2 to 5. More than fifty animals appear in animated shorts and stories, from ants and herons to poodles and fish. Presented in a friendly and humorous tone, Bees Buzz & Lions Roar is sure to appeal to young animal lovers everywhere. Animal sounds, poems, and an educational animal alphabet round out this delightful collection perfect for parent-child viewing and family fun. 30 minutes, color.


The Cookbook Shelf

Abdo Publishing Company
4940 Viking Drive, Edina, MN 55435
$22.78 Each www.abdopublishing.com

Each book in the 32-page 'Cool Cooking' series by Lisa Wagner focuses on a different cooking theme, making it easy for young cooks to hone in on dishes that lend to children. COOL PIZZA TO MAKE & BAKE (9781599287256) begins with color photos of a cook's 'tool box' and cooking terms, then surveys ingredients and how they go together to make pizza. COOL SWEETS (9781599287263) offers up energy bars, fruit pops, cereals and embellished fruits, COOL MEALS TO START YOUR WHEELS (9781599287249) offers ideas for breakfasts, COOL LUNCHES TO MAKE & TAKE (9781599287232) covers wraps, kebabs, trail mix and other easy portable treats, COOL FOODS FOR FUN FIESTAS (9781599287225) surveys tacos, salsa and other easy Mexican party fare, and COOL CUISINE FOR SUPER SLEEPOVERS (9781599289218) covers dips, chili, and other popular sleepover party foods. Bright color photos and easy directions help to get kids cooking.


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
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com


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