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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 21, Number 4 April 2011 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Science Shelf American History Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Fiction Shelf Poetry Shelf
ABC Shelf Preschool Shelf Health Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Bilingual Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Biography Shelf Books in Series  

Reviewer's Choice

The Skinny on Bullying
Mike Cassidy
Rand Media Co
265 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06880
9780982439012, $12.95,

You're only their inferior if you allow yourself to be treated as such. "The Skinny on Bullying: The Legend of Gretchen" discusses the impact of bullying and what it can mean in today's school systems and how it was evolved with technology taking shape on the internet. Aimed at younger readers facing bullying themselves, Mike Cassidy gives readers quite the confidence boost they need to face life's challenges. "The Skinny on Bullying" is a choice addition to any self-help reference collection.

The Audiobook Shelf

No Passengers Beyond This Point
Gennifer Choldenko, author
Read by Becca Battoe, Jesse Bernstein, and Tara Sands
Listening Library, Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780307737878 $30.00 1-800-726-0600

No Passengers Beyond This Point is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a fantastic young adult novel by Newbery Honor author Gennifer Choldenko. Each of the Tompkins children has their own talent - Finn is quiet and attentive, India is skilled at dazzling others with her charm, and Mouse is a literal genius. When the three Tompkins kids suddenly find themselves trapped in a bizarre, otherworldy city known as Falling Bird, which seems bereft of all rationality, they must figure out how to survive, solve the mystery, and find their way home... or do they really want to go back to their not-so-perfect ordinary lives? An absorbing adventure, wonderfully performed by three talented voice actors ensues. 5 CDs, 6 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Planting Seeds
Maria Sangiolo and Alastair Moock
Raging River Records/Long Night Moon Music
PO Box 285, Pomfret, CT 06258

Planting Seeds is a family-friendly music CD extolling the value of sustainable agriculture. Performer Maria Sangiolo and a gathering of her friends perform brief, upbeat songs to the acoustic and electric guitar, dobro, mandolin, piano, fiddle, and more. An upbeat, joyful listening experience all the way through, Planting Seeds is the perfect music to play while gardening as a family! The tracks are "Dancin' in the Breeze" (3:20), "Brown Spaghetti" (2:14), "Garden Slug" (2:56), "Eggs, Milk and Butter" (2:30), "Farmer's Market A to Z" (2:41), "Baa Baa Bamba" (3:54), "Plant a Seed" (5:00), "Didn't Know What I Was Missing" (3:34), "Strawberry Moon" (2:46), "Compost Heap" (3:17), "Bill Grogan's Goat" (1:16), "More Wood" (3:21), "Purple Tree" (3:36), "Maple Sweet" (2:32), "The Fox" (2:43), "Noisy Cricket" (2:20), "Flashlights and Flyswatters" (3:45), "Bee Song" (2:49), and "Apple Picker's Reel" (2:08). A portion of the proceeds from Planting Seeds are donated to the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

Grandkid Rock
John Boydston, a.k.a. Daddy A Go Go
Boyd's Tone Records
c/o Waldmania!
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127

Award-winning children's rock 'n' roll artist John Boydston (also known as "Daddy A Go Go"), presents Grandkid Rock, a "greatest hits" album of sixteen remixed tunes from his previous six albums. Wholeheartedly wild and crazy musical fun ensues; from mix-it-up guitar riffs to thunderous pop rock raves. Grandkid Rock is a family-friendly album for young ones, but rock 'n' roll lovers of all ages will enjoy the high-energy tunes that perfectly complement the silly antic lyrics. The tracks are "I Wanna Be an Action Figure" (2:24), "The Sports Song" (2:54), "It's Hard to Be a Kid" (2:36), "Eat Every Bean and Pea on Your Plate" (2:41), "Big Rock Rooster" (1:59), "Ants in My Pants" (2:45), "Way to Go, Idaho!" (2:39), "What a Wonderful World (featuring Erin Dangar)" (2:59), "I Caught My Grandad Watching Cartoons" (2:05), "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" (2:18), "For Those about to Walk, We Salute You" (3:54), "I Got My PF Flyers Workin' (instrumental)" (2:14), "You're Not the Bossa Nova Me" (2:09), "Adventures in Carpool" (3:23), "Grandpa Says" (1:59), and "The Thang from Planet Twang (instrumental)" (2:12).

Love Me for Who I Am
Brady Rymer
Bumblin' Bee Records
c/o Beth Blenz-Clucas Publicity
5505 SW Illinois Street, Portland, OR 97221

Love Me for Who I Am: Songs Celebrating Children of All Abilities is a family-friendly original album of ten upbeat songs from Grammy nominee Brady Rymer, with guest vocals from Nick Jr. TV celebrity Laurie Berkner and an all-out keyboard performance by Bernie Worrell of Talking Heads. Inspired by his work and time spent with students of Celebrate the Children School, Brady Rymer draws upon themes of common and universal appeal; the playful lyrics blend jokes and the pure exuberant joy into a catchy, upbeat whole. Love Me for Who I Am is a great choice especially for family car trips or children's parties. The tracks are "Love Me for Who I Am", "Picky Eater", "Who Wants to Wear Shoes?", "I Don't Like Change", "So Many Ideas", "Squish Me Squeeze Me", "Keep Your Wiggle Alive", "Soft Things (featuring Laurie Berkner)", "Tune Out (featuring Bernie Worrell)", and "Bein' With You".

The Family Garden
Billy Kelly
YAY Music
c/o Waldmania!
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127

The Family Garden is a lovely music CD for listeners ages 2 and up. Independent recording artist Billy Kelly and his band have put together a wonderful medley of playful songs featuring a wide gamut of genres -rock, ragtime, country, and more. Silly, upbeat lyrics sure to spark a smile in the young and old add just the right touch to The Family Garden. An offbeat album perfect for babysitting or rainy-day parties, The Family Garden is highly recommended as a gift for young children or public library children's collections. The tracks are "Get This Man a Stromboli/Paging Dr. Rock", "The Family Garden", "I'm Thinking of an Animal", "Out of Tune", "Why Is The Moon Following Me?", "Coney Island Washboard", "We Could Be Pen Pals (Duet with Molly Ledford)", "Scootdootdoodlydoo", "It's Close Enough", "The Happy Happy Whistling Song", "That Old American Flag", "Coney Island Rap Jam Thing (I Got Nothin')", "Rock Lobster", "The Invention of the Straw", "It's A Wonderful Life", and "Revenge of the Straw". 37 min.

The DVD Shelf

Little Pim Fun With Languages: Spanish Volume II
Created by Julia Pimsleur Levine
Little Pim Corp.
104 W. 14th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011
9781935515920 $49.95

Mother and award-winning filmmaker Julia Pimsleur Levine presents Little Pim Fun With Languages: Spanish Volume II, a box set of the fourth, fifth, and sixth DVDs in this excellent and educational language series designed especially for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Instructing young viewers in 180 Spanish words and phrases with the aid of child actors and colorful animal characters, Little Pim Fun With Languages: Spanish Volume II makes learning a new language fun. Special features include a free parent guide with useful tips, on-screen phonetic pronunciations and optional subtitles. The DVDs in the set are "Spanish in my Home", "Spanish Happy, Sad and Silly", and "Spanish I Can Count!". A delightful blend of educational value and playful fun, Little Pim Fun With Languages: Spanish Volume II is enthusiastically recommended especially for children's library DVD collections. 3 DVDs, 105 min., widescreen.

Debbie and Friends Story Songs & Sing Alongs
Debbie Cavalier Music
c/o Beth Blenz-Clucas, Sugar Mountain PR
5505 SW Illinois Street, Portland, OR 97221

Debbie and Friends Story Songs & Sing Alongs is a DVD anthology of popular "Debbie and Friends" cartoon music videos, widely beloved both on cable and online. Characters from the award-winning "Story Songs and Sing Alongs" as well as "More Story Songs & Sing Alongs" CDs make an appearance, and a handful of live concert music videos round out this upbeat, cheerful, and family-friendly DVD. The programs are (animated) "Cinderella", "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Three Pigs and a Wolf", "Little Red Riding Hood", "I've Got a Laugh", "Willy Won't", "Home Run Ronnie", "Opposite", "Hangin' Around", "Goldilocks", and (live performance) "So, So Happy", "Simon Says", "Fun Outtakes". 50 min.

Barney Mother Goose Collection
Hit Entertainment
Lionsgate (distribution)
c/o Andrea Blain Public Relations
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076

Intended for youngsters 1-5 years old, Barney Mother Goose Collection consists of three parts: a full-length DVD movie packed with Barney's interpretation of 35 classic nursery rhymes (inlcuding Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, London Bridge is Falling Down, and many more), a music CD, and an educational activity book "Alphabet Fun with Mother Goose". Bonus features on the DVD include a "behind the scenes with cast and crew" segment, a "What Can It Be" read-along, 15 sing-alongs, 17 Mother Goose rhyme-alongs, and more. As always, gentle dinosaur characters and fun-filled singing performances make this latest Barney show a gentle treat for little ones. Highly recommended as a children's birthday gift, or for Easter baskets! 53 min.

What To Do About Alice?
Barbara Kerley, author
Edwin Fotheringham, illustrator
Katherine Kellgren, narrator
Weston Woods Studios
143 Main Street, Norwalk, CT 06851
0545296323 $59.95

What To Do About Alice? is the DVD adaptation of an award honor picturebook intended for young people ages 9-12. Based on real historical personalities, What To Do About Alice? is about the problem that President Theodore Roosevelt had with his rambunctious daughter. Alice longed to travel to places, meet new people, and discover new experiences, but to her father, her adventurous nature was no less than "running riot". What To Do About Alice? brings the colorful story to life through Katherine Kellgren's narration and music composed by Ernest V. Troost. A bonus interview by author Barbara Kerley rounds out this delightful DVD, ideal for public library children's DVD collections. Also highly recommended is Lois Lowry's "Crow Call" (0545296005, $59.95), the DVD adaptation of a somber picturebook about a young girl's connection with her father, who served in World War II.

Shalom Sesame volumes 6-7
Starring Anneliese van der Pol
SISU Home Entertainment, Inc.
340 West 39th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10018
$14.95 each,

The twelve-part educational series designed to teach children ages 3-8 about Israel and Hebrew culture continues in Shalom Sesame volume 6: Be Happy, It's Purim! (156086706X, 34 min. plus 23 min. extras) and Shalom Sesame volume 7: It's Passover, Grover! (1560867078, 26 min. plus 25 min. extras). Featuring the wonderful muppets of Sesame Street, each DVD shines a spotlight on a different Jewish holiday, offering an introduction to traditional Jewish celebrations accessible to viewers of all backgrounds. "Be Happy, It's Purim!" tells the story of Purim, and encourages young viewers to experience the joy of dressing up, having fun, and making other people happy on this special day. "It's Passover, Grover!" blends information about the traditional holiday of passover with a simple present-day story in which Grover, Anneliese and Avigail try to find horseradish for the celebration. All of the DVDs in the Shalom Sesame set are top picks for Judaic children's DVD libraries and educational collections, and worthy of the highest recommendation.

Danny the Dragon "Meets Jimmy"
Imagination Publishing Group
PO Box 1304, Dunedin, FL 34697
$24.95 1-888-701-6481

Danny the Dragon "Meets Jimmy" is the DVD adaptation of the award-winning first children's picturebook in a widely beloved series. The full color images from the story about a child's first encounter with a curious and friendly dragon are enhanced with a sign language interpretation by Carol Downing of Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf, making Danny the Dragon "Meets Jimmy" thoroughly accessible for hearing-impaired children as well. Danny the Dragon "Meets Jimmy" is a delightful, gentle, family-friendly DVD story especially recommended for public library children's collections. 12 min.

Spanish for Kids: Las Estaciones/The Seasons
PO Box 363, Glen Echo, MD 20812
Andrea Blain Public Relations (publicity)
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076

Las Estaciones/The Seasons is part of the award-winning "Spanish for Kids" educational DVDs for young viewers ages 2-7. Live-action footage of playful children as well as simple animation of the Whistlefritz mouse lead viewers on a sing-along, dance-along introduction to basic Spanish words and phrases connected to the four seasons. A parent/teacher translation guide is included, encouraging parents to learn Spanish along with their children in this joyful, family-friendly presentation, highly recommended especially for school and public library children's DVD collections. 30 minutes.

Lionsgate (distributor)
c/o Andrea Blain Public Relations, Inc.
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076

Three new family-friendly DVDs from Hit Entertainment and Lionsgate each make excellent gifts for young children. "Thomas & Friends: Pop Goes Thomas" ($14.98, 50 min.) continues the acclaimed computer-animation show featuring friendly anthropomorphic steam engines as they deliver cargo to a picnic party, enjoy a game of hide and seek, and even cheer the Sodor soccer team. A Roary the Racing Car bonus episode "Roary's First Day" rounds out this warm-hearted and jubilantly playful children's program. "Timmy Time: Timmy Steals the Show" ($14.98, 43 min.) features the new preschool-themed play group of animals brought to life by the Oscar-winning creators of "Wallace & Gromit" and "Shaun the Sheep". Timmy and his young friends learn funky dance moves, the importance of acts of kindness, and the value of saying "I'm sorry". A bonus sing-along segment rounds out the five short episodes of this wholesome DVD. "Angelina Ballerina: Ballet Dreams" ($14.98, 61 min.) is designed especially to share the love of dance with young girls age 2-7; its anthropomorphic mouse heroine learns not only about dance, but about the value of being a good big sister. All three DVDs are choice picks for young children's library or personal DVD collections.

The Science Shelf

Ramps & Pathways
Rheta DeVries & Christina Sales
National Association for the Education of Young Children
1313 L Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005-4101
9781928896692, $16.00,

Physics is everywhere, and it's much easier to teach than one would think. "Ramps & Pathways: A Constructivist Approach to Physics with Young Children" is a guide for educators who want to introduce the finer aspects of physics to younger learners in a way they can understand and with plenty of fun demonstration. With ten principles of the educational method, "Ramps & Pathways" is a strongly recommended read for any elementary school science teacher.

The American History Shelf

Flesh & Blood So Cheap
Albert Marrin
Alfred A. Knopf
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780375868894, $19.99,

Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy provides over 160 pages of information focusing on the destruction of a sweatshop in 1911, and is a fine pick for grades 4-6 studying American history and social issues. Nearly 150 people perished in one of the most lethal workplace fires ever: this account of the disaster adds vintage black and white photos and considers the evolution, downfall, and eventual return of the New York City sweatshop. It may not fit neatly into a library curriculum - but it's outstanding.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs
Master Books
c/o New Leaf Publishing Group
PO Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72638
9780890515587 $17.99

Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs is a gorgeous, full-color, lift-the-flap book about these fantastic creatures intended especially for young readers (but not too young, as some of the book's parts are fragile or removable foldouts). A Christian element is present in the book's references to Bible passages and commentary about dragons, but Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs can be enjoyed by readers of all faiths and backgrounds. Stories of dragons and dragonslayers from around world, brought to life with striking artwork as well as photographs of ancient relics, fill this captivating treasury. Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs is unsuitable for public library collections due to its delicate fold-out pages and many removable parts, but its beautiful illustrations and delightful exploration of mythology make it a choice pick for dragon lovers of all ages.

Dark Goddess
Sarwat Chadda
Hyperion Books for Children
114 Fifth Avenue, 14th floor, New York, NY 10011
9781423127598, $17.99,

DARK GODDESS provides advanced teen fantasy enthusiasts with a fine Devil's Kiss novel telling of Billi, who is thrust into action when the Templars are called to investigate unusual werewolves who represent an ancient order of warrior women hunting for a powerful oracle. Their goal is to wipe out humankind for good - and Billi embarks on a journey through a world running out of time. Mature young adults will find this a winner!

The Fiction Shelf

Cloudberry Castle
Janey Louise Jones
Kelpie -- Floris Books
c/o Myrick Marketing & Media
PMB 248, 455, Sam Ridley Parkway West, Smyrna, TN 37167
9780863157653, $11.99,

"Cloudberry Castle" is a delicious chapter book about an irrepressible, spunky heroine named Katie Mackenzie whose family inherits a Scottish castle (Cloudberry) that needs to be saved. Katie, who loves to dance ballet like her mother, dreams of converting Cloudberry into a fabulous ballet school, but she needs some mysterious help from Dr. Campbell, a previous castle owner and author (and ghost?) who leaves a manuscript of a potentially big selling Egyptian book for Katie to try to sell to save the castle. There are many setbacks and delays to Katie's ideas about saving Cloudberry Castle by converting it to a ballet school, but young girls ages 8-12 will love following the dreams and schemes of Katie through to their satisfying conclusion. "Cloudberry Castle" contains just the right mix of hardships with joy, disappointments with developments, and creative vision spiced with fun, talent and artistry. Author Janey Louse Jones has also written the popular and successful "Princess Poppy" books for young girls.

Miles From Ordinary
Carol Lynch Williams
St. Martin's Griffin
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
9780312555122, $16.99,

Teen Lacey wakes to a lovely summer morning and a new job at the library - but finds the ghosts of her mother's past are affecting her hopeful new future. Her mother's instability is affecting her life in this novel of new beginnings, a haunting past, and a day that ends with a terrifying revelation. Mature teens will find this a real winner.

Sam the Bat
Allyson Beatrice
Conservatory Press
2885 Golden Gate Ave., San Franscisco, CA 94118
9780984436217, $11.95,

If you doubt where your home is, you shouldn't have to look very far. "The Amazing Adventures of Sam the Bat" tells the story of an adventurous young bat who searches the world in search of home. Designed as reading for those bridging the gap between picture books and novels, "The Amazing Adventures of Sam the Bat" is a fun read for any youth.

Can You Catch Me?
Jill Schafer Godberson, author
Estelle Buhr, illustrator
Kids Rock! Books
201 Spruce Drive, Ida Grove, IA 51455
9781427646828, $10.00,

"Can You Catch Me?" is a beginning chapter book for young readers ages 6-10 about a boy named Alex Cooper whose favorite activity is running. Full of energy, Alex loves to run everywhere. it has 12 short chapters and 12 black and white illustrations. What better sport to go out for than Track and Field Day, with the running events and the long jump? But in reading "Can You Catch Me?" children will learn that running as a distance sport can be very demanding and tiring, and the discipline required to stay in shape is awesome. Alex enters the Pine Ridge Kids' 2 K Race, and the excitement mounts. Even more intense, towards the end of the summer, Alex finds a need for his running skills to help save a girl who is trapped in a pond of deep cold water. "Can You Catch Me?" is the fourth book in the Kids rock! Books series of unique children's chapter books. Also recommended in this series by the same author is "Golf - A Game For Life (9781427646811, $10.00)."

The Riddle of Shipwreck Sound
Craig Vroom, author
Linn Trochim, illustrator
Mother's House Publishing
2814 E. Woodmen Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
9781935086802, $14.95

"The Riddle of Shipwreck Sound: An Andrew and Feelo Pirate Adventure" is a delightful fable about the quest of Andrew and his favorite dragon, Feelo, for a treasure buried on Shipwreck Sound. Andrew and Feelo must muster a chip's crew and solve riddles to find this secret buried treasure, however. "The Riddle of Shipwreck Sound" rollicks along in sea-style verse, with colored illustrations of a bold and boisterous pirate's life on the seas. But Andrew and Feelo must use their collective heads to solve the three riddles of the Blackbeard's ghost and find the treasure of Shipwreck Sound. Readers ages 4-8 will thrill to the quest and rise to the challenge of solving the riddles along with Andrew and Feelo, while thoroughly enjoying this swashbuckling tale of the high seas.

Meet Little Lucky
C. J. Dunn, author
Rebecca Riffey, illustrator
Tate Publishing
127 E. Trade Center Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064
9781616639228, $7.99,

First in a series, "Meet Little Lucky" is a charming chapter book full of the mischievous adventures of little Lucky the ferret, beloved pet of Morris, Stu, Chris and Mama. Little Lucky is curious and adventurous, but her escape tactics can land her in a heap of trouble. All the charm and daintiness of the ferret are described in the pages of this small chapter book with delicate tinted illustrations. Will Lucky escape the dangers outside her safe house and yard? Will Mama find out how she escaped? What will happen next? "Meet Little Lucky" is sure to charm and delight young readers with its vivid personality and delightful characters.

Joey and the Ancient Horn
Tesha Watkins
Privately Published
9780976278801, $12.95,

Imagination can create things we would rather it not. "Joey and the Ancient Horn: A Mystery Revealed" tells the story of Joey, who finds a horn and soon finds the world isn't like he thought it'd be. Faced with an evil that wants to rob him of what he has found. A quick adventure for younger readers, "Joey and the Ancient Horn" is a fine pick, recommended.

Knopf Delacorte Dell
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Young adult fiction readers will find these powerful picks filled with intrigue, packing in high drama and strong characterization. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' ALL JUST GLASS (9780385737524, $15.99) takes place in 24 hours and tells of a game-changing battle that will change the Den of Shadows, a world created by the author in previous books. Prior fans will relish the story of Sarah Vida, raised in a family of vampire-hunting witches who was raised to never trust a vampire - until she became a vampire herself. A fine story of change evolves. Kristen Tracy's THE REINVENTION OF BESSICA LEFTER (9780385736886, $15.99) tells of a rift between best friends that begins just before middle school. Bessica feels like a loser and longs for friends - but isn't sure how to make them. The problems and special challenges of middle school make this a powerful pick. Rachel Neumeier's THE FLOATING ISLANDS (9780375847059, $16.99) provides a powerful fantasy for advanced teen readers and tells of stunning floating islands and men who soar on wings. Trei is desperate to become one of them, and only his prickly female cousin understands his passion. Her pursuit of her twin passion, made more difficult because she's a female, makes for a gripping saga of friends and shared interests. R.A. Nelson's THROAT (9780375867002, $16.99) tells of a cursed teen whose epilepsy has cost her friendships and her dreams. Ironically her curse saves her life as she awakens in a hospital to find she's been victim of a vampire attack, his feeding cut short by one of her seizures - and now has the powers of a vampire. A different take on the vampire myth makes this a real winner. Jane Breskin Zalben's FOUR SEASONS (9780375862229, $15.99) tells of four seasons in the life of an aspiring young pianist, where strict practices, music classes, and regular school leave her little time for a personal life. Her professional musician parents don't know she's thinking of quitting piano, and Allegra needs to find out if she really loves the piano and why she plays so avidly. Her intense story springs to life in this engrossing novel.

Scholastic Inc.
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

Roland Smith's STORM RUNNERS (9780545081757, $16.99) tells of Chase and his father, who pursue hurricanes, tornados and floods in search of scientific facts and research about weather. Chase is learning more about weather science on the road than in the classroom - until a huge hurricane brings with it additional lessons on survival in this gripping saga. Angie Frazier's THE MIDNIGHT TUNNEL (9780545208628, $16.99) provides a fine Suzanna Snow mystery and tells of a girl whose uncle is a famous Bostonian detective. Suzanna lives in a sleepy town where nothing happens, and is stuck serving tea and learning to become a 'proper' lady instead of sleuthing and solving mysteries. When a hotel guest goes missing, Zanna has clues that might lead to her rescue - but nobody believes she can solve the case. A fine mystery evolves with plenty of excellent twists and turns of plot! H.N. Kowitt's THE LOSER LIST (9780545240048, $9.99) tells of one Denny Shine, who is obsessed by comics. He ends up on the Loser List in popularity, and his focus on getting off the list lands him in much trouble and humiliation in this easy read, which takes the form of a handwritten diary. Kat Black's THE BOOK OF TORMOD: A TEMPLAR'S GIFTS (9780545056755, $17.99) tells of Tormod, who return home from his Templar journey to struggle even more with disorienting visions. The Knights have promised to train him as an apprentice, but he's tired of waiting and sets off on a journey to enlist their help in curing his visions, encountering a fiery woman with supernatural powers and embarking on a quest in the process of self-discovery. Fantasy readers will find this appealing. Kathryn Lasky's DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA: MAY (9780439783118, $17.99) tells of May, who is forbidden from swimming but feels herself slowly dying on land in a dry, restrictive life. She can't resist the urge to swim and when she does, she discovers she is in fact a mermaid - never meant to be on land. A budding romance with a land-lubber complicates her life further and makes her eventual choice agonizing. Patrick Ryan's GEMINI BITES (9780545221283, $17.99) tells of teen fraternal twins in a big family of nine who are constantly in competition. Kyle has recently come out of the closer to his family, while Judy has her sights set on a religious boyfriend. When their parents announce they're taking in an unusual fellow student for a month - who claims to be a vampire - the twins face intriguing challenges in this moving tale. Kim Harrington's CLARITY (9780545230506, $16.99) tells of Clarity "Clare" Fern, who can see things nobody else can see. Her visions are both a gift and a curse, especially when an ex-boyfriend enlists her help to solve a local murder case where Clare's own brother becomes a suspect. A fine supernatural murder mystery evolves for older teens. Kate Cann's CONSUMED (9780545263887, $16.99) tells of a slowly-growing evil in a countryside mansion which makes Rayne's country escape deadly. From ghosts who warn her of trouble to an ancient evil power, this is a powerful survey of supernatural forces with many twists and turns. Alexandra Bullen's WISHFUL THINKING (9780545139076, $17.99) tells of Hazel, who was adopted as a baby and shuffled from homes - and who has always longed to discover where she comes from. A gift of three magical dresses, each empowered with one wish, grants her a dearest wish - to know her mother. Her journey to another time and place leads her to an alternate life and new revelations in this absorbing read! Sally Nicholls' SEASON OF SECRETS (9780545218252, $16.99) tells of Molly and Hannah, who have just lost their mother and have been sent to stay with their grandparents in a quiet country town. Their encounters with a new home, new school, and even magic make for a transformational season in this winning survey.

The Poetry Shelf

Emma Dilemma, Big Sister Poems
Kristine O'Connell George, author
Nancy Carpenter, illustrator
Clarion Books
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9780618428427, $16.99,

"Emma Dilemma" is a heartwarming collection of poems by an older sister about her 4-year-old little sister whom she calls Emma Dilemma. Delightfully illustrated with colorful, chaotic portraits of daily life with an Emma Dilemma, these Big Sister Poems get straight to the heart of all the tangled feelings that evolve between two sisters of differing ages. Feelings of love, responsibility, and caring war with feelings of resentment, jealousy, and annoyance. But in the end, feelings of love and caring win the day. "Emma Dilemma" is a gift to sisters everywhere.

The ABC Shelf

Irish Alphabet
Rickey E. Pittman, author
Connie McLennan, illustrator
Pelican Publishing Co.
1000 Burmaster St., Gretna, LA 70053
9781589807457, $16.99,

"Irish Alphabet" offers "Ce'ad mi'le fa'ilte." or one hundred thousand welcomes from Ireland through the Irish alphabet. In these beautifully illustrated pages of scenes from the Emerald Isle, every letter of the alphabet is paired with an Irish word, place or object that is miniaturized as a background for the decorated or illuminated printed capital letter. We are reminded of the work centuries old of Irish monks who preserved many beautiful holy manuscripts through the long Dark ages of Europe. Thus A is for Aran Islands, B is for Blarney Stone and Brian Boru, C is for the Celtic Cross, and D is for faerie Dullahan. All letters' stories are written in verse and vividly illustrated. A lot of history is packed into each letter, for example: "K is for County Kerry,/ For Kilpatrick, and Castle Kilkenny/ And for the hated Kilmainham Gaol,/ Where the English imprisoned many." Perhaps my favorite letter is "Y is for W. B. Yeats,/ Who wrote poetry and plays./ He was Ireland's famous bard,/ And we read him still today." Y is accompanied by a sepia portrait of the famous author and a ball of green yarn. Parents and children will love "Irish Alphabet," whether they are Irish or not. At the end of the book is a glossary with more historical information, the thirty-two counties of Ireland, and lyrics to "Molly Malone," for M. A beautiful alphabet book that teaches the love all things Irish.

The Preschool Shelf

My Bedtime Angel
Cat Darens, author
Julia Oliver, illustrator
Ambassador Children's Books
997 Macarthur Boulevard, Mahwah, New Jersey 07430
9780809167456, $7.95,

"My Bedtime Angel" is a lovely pasteboard illustrated verse bedtime prayer book for children. Delicate pastel illustrations guide the dreamy, drifting sleepers through a guardian angel prayer that promises the safety and security of God's love to guard them while they sleep. Full of lilting rhymes and gentle images, "My Bedtime Angel" will be a favorite of children ages 2 and up.

On the Farm
Rosaline Bonnet, illustrated
Laura Hammonds, designer
Usborne Very First Words
c/o EDC Publishing
10302 E. 55th Place, Tulsa, OK 74146
9780794530426, $6.99,

"On The Farm" is a pasteboard illustrated vocabulary book for preschoolers that is filled with charming pictures of farm-related vocabulary words. Young children will delight in finding the details on each page which takes them from in the farmyard to in the fields, to at the henhouse, milking time, the vegetable garden, and the farm at night. Each set of pages has the multiple detailed illustrations of farm animals and objects in bright, cheery colors. "On the Farm" is sturdily constructed to withstand much loving usage, and is an excellent choice for youngsters just beginning to grasp vocabulary and language associated with pictures.

The Health Shelf

Wallie Exercises
Steve Ettlinger, author
Pete Proctor, artist
Active Spud Press
New York, NY 10023
9780984538805, $15.95,

"Wallie Exercises" is an inspirational book for kids ages 4-8 about a couch potato dog named Wallie who has gotten (literally) too big for his britches through lack of physical movement (and oversnacking on unhealthy foods). Wallie's owner decides to enroll Wallie in a pet fitness club and Wallie meets his personal exercise coach, Edwin the Exercise Elephant. Edwin teaches Wallie to hydrate himself while exercising, and to tailor exercises to his own body needs so that they are both fun and challenging to do. In no time at all Wallie is actually having fun while exercising! There are active fitness tips and exercises at the end of "Wallie Exercises," including the Silly Shark Squat, Wallie Wiggle Wag Walks and Relay Race, and Lazy Tag. More exercises are available through,, plus important routine information about warm-ups and hydration and fun ways to exercise. The text of "Wallie Exercises" is all written in humorous verse, and the colorful illustrations add greatly to the laugh component, making "Wallie Exercises" all the more appealing and fun to read. The author clearly believes that exercise should be fun for kids. "Wallie Exercises" seems primed to make a dent in childhood obesity trends in America.

Manny McMoose and His Chubby Caboose
Kevin McMahon, author
Tanya Stewart, illustrator
Vantage Press, Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
9780533163526, $8.95,

"Manny McMoose and His Chubby Caboose: A Parable about Kids' Struggles with Life's Adversity" is a parable in verse about a boy who is bullied and teased about his obesity. A kind teacher offers Manny a new empowering role as student helper to differently abled students. Manny finds other help to deal with his troubles in exercise, eating healthy foods, and making gradual changes that add up to a difference in his life. Most important of all, Manny stands up for the students he assists when they too are teased and bullied. He even manages to convert a bully to his chief supporter and friend, as they tackle their life issues constructively together. Filled with humor and charm, yet also tough and gritty, "Manny McMoose and His Chubby Caboose" is inspirational fodder for middle school mentors-to-be. Black and white pen and ink drawings add drama and punch to the positive, empowering message of "You can do it!"

The Picturebook Shelf

Biffons in Wymo Woods
Bob Schneyer and Jeanne Schneyer Spadaccini, authors
Bonnie J. Murray, illustrator
Universal Human Publishing
W5290 County Road B, La Crosse, WI 54601
9780981999944, $17.95,

"Biffons in Wymo Woods" is a fantastical illustrated book about creatures called biffons that come to live in Wymo Woods. Biffons have fins and feathers, and strange orange fur that glows, and they eat through their noses. Not all the animals of Wymo Woods care to welcome the biffons. Young Peter Possum is their first advocate, however, and the amazing adventure and rescue story that unfolds teaches some interesting lessons about befriending unusual strangers with strange gifts and attributes. "Biffons in Wymo Woods" is ultimately a story about eliminating prejudice and xenophobia and converting is to a celebration of diversity. The ending of the book is extremely curious: "so, if you ever go to Wymo Woods, dear reader, you won't likely see a biffon. The animals of Wymo Woods aren't sure just how humans would act if they saw a biffon." Recommended for children age 6 and up.

A Robin's Nest is Best
A. J. Fallon, author
Privately Published
9781452849751, $11.95

"A Robin's Nest is Best" is a charming illustrated story about Rasputin the raccoon's adventure learning to raise a hatchling baby robin. Rasputin was hungry one fine spring day and decided to help himself to eat some blue baby robin eggs. He stole the last egg out of the nest and took it home with him, intending to eat it later. However, he forgot about it, and later it hatched! Rasputin became a baby robin's parent, trying to feed it worms. He names the robin Ziggy. Ziggy grows and one day he begins to fly. Rasputin is proud but he misses his little fledgling. Rasputin knows that one day Ziggy will fly back in another spring. Rasputin also knows that for a baby robin, a robin's nest is best. Filled with charming, colorful illustrations, "A Robin's Nest is Best" teaches that choices have consequences and life is to be respected on all levels.

The Crows of Pearblossom
Aldous Huxley
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
115 West 18th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10011
9780810997301, $16.95,

The Crows of Pearblossom receives outstanding drawings by Sophie Blackall and provides a charming story of a crow couple that have a problem. Every day Mrs. Crow lays an egg, and by teatime it vanished. Her discovery of an old rattlesnake thief results in a plan to keep the snake out of the nest in this witty story. An edition of this book was published in 1967 as a small format early chapter book illustrated in black and white, so the appearance of a full-color, lovely trade edition is particularly welcome!

Piggies in the Kitchen
Michelle Meadows, author
Ard Hoyt, illustrator
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781416937876, $14.99,

PIGGIES IN THE KITCHEN receives vivid drawings by Ard Hoyt to accompany a lively story of piggies who sneak into a kitchen to make treats. Being pigs, they make a big mess - and also must be on constant alert for the adults who surely will shut down their endeavors. An endearing, simple story of culinary chaos ensues in a recommendation for any picturebook collection.

c/o Hyperion Books for Children
114 Fifth Avenue, 14th floor, New York, NY 10011

Mo Williams' I BROKE MY TRUNK! (9781423133094, $8.99) tells of elephant Gerald and Piggie - two very different friends. Gerald is careful - Piggie is not. Gerald worries - Piggie does not. When Gerald tells Piggie the long story of breaking his trunk, can Piggie compete with his drama and liveliness? Young fans of Dr. Seuss find a very simple format containing just a few words per page in an easy two-color presentation. Lita Judge's STRANGE CREATURES: THE STORY OF WALTER ROTHSCHILD AND HIS MUSEUM (9781423113898, $17.99) tells of an unusual boy. Born into a family of bankers, he's nearly the richest boy in the world - and is so shy his only friends are animals. His early determination to collect animals from around the world and build a museum to house them led to a vibrant, life-long passion and this story captures his life in a storytelling format perfect for kids usually more interested in fiction than nonfiction.

Scholastic Inc.
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

TONY BALONEY by Pam Munoz Ryan and Edwin Fotheringham (9780545231350, $16.99) tells of a macaroni penguin who is the only boy penguin in a family of sisters. With so many girls around him demanding attention, how can Tony keep from being a Bad Penguin? His troubled relationship with older and younger siblings makes for a fun and cute story perfect for any picturebook collection - and for many a large family. Amy Gibson's AROUND THE WORLD ON EIGHTY LEGS (9780439587556, $18.99) surveys animals of the world, features fun drawings by Daniel Salmieri, and provides fun little rhymes to accompany zany drawings of unusual world animals, from the quetzal to the walrus, zebra and lion, and arctic tern. An excellent blend of animal facts and whimsy creates a fun read. Arthur A. Levine's MONDAY IS ONE DAY (9780439789240, $16.99) provides a fun story of a parent's busy work week and how the days are counted down through a series of love notes from a working parent to a child. Each day offers a special opportunity to share time together in this warm story with fine drawings by Julian Hector. Shaun Tan's LOST & FOUND (9780545229241, $21.99) presents a book originally published in Australia to much acclaim holding three stories never widely available in the U.S. Now THE RED TREE, THE LOST THING and THE RABBITS appear under one cover and provide lovely new artwork and author notes to provide a powerful story of discovery and loss. Grades 2-4 will find this thought-provoking and compelling!

The Bilingual Shelf

Ka's Garden/ Kab Lub Vaj
Written in English by Maggie Lee McHugh
Written in Hmong by Dr. Bee Lo
Illustrated by Vong Lao
Universal Human Publishing
W5290 County Road B, La Crosse, WI 54601
9780981999975, $ 18.95,

"Ka's Garden/Kab Lub Vaj" is a Hmong/ English bilingual children's book about the traditional values of creating a garden. This particular garden is the first planted by a young girl named Pa Houa, in Laos. Pa Houa asks her mother, or Niam, "Why do we garden?" Her Niam explains that gardening is part of their culture, bringing them closer to the earth, and a part of their way of life. Then Pa Houa asks, "What is our way of living?" To answer, her mother tells a story. the story is about a little girl named Ka who plants and tends a garden high in the mountains of Laos very long ago. Despite many losses in her seedlings to weather, animals, and other factors, Ka carefully tends her remaining seedlings, watering, weeding and watching them. After tigers trample on most of Ka's vegetables, her mother tells her, "My dear, we cannot control everything that happens in our life. You still have some plants left whose seeds you can use again next year. I will show you how to keep those safe." Ka's mother goes on to teach her words of wisdom, learning about sharing the vegetables from her garden and saving the seeds to plant again next season. At the end of the book, the family words of wisdom are quoted as a prayer. "Ka's Garden/Kab Lub Vaj" is a delightful book about gratitude, patience, interrelatedness of all beings, and the circle of life. Its beautiful, delicate water-color illustrations dreamily underscore the text, which is organically curved in strategic passages. "Ka's Garden" is a beautiful book that belongs on every multicultural program's shelf.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Summer of Shadow
Pat Payne
Trafford Publishing Inc.
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781426949586, $17.25,

The Summer of Shadow offers young readers an appealing true animal rescue story packaged in an affordable paper-sized paperback book, and tells of the author's rescue of an injured fledgling crow. Crows are protected species - and the author's family raised the crow to adulthood and for eventual return to the wild. Lovely color snapshots of the family member's actions and growth contribute to an outstanding story perfect for grades 3-5.

Adopting a Pet
Janice Biniok, author
Eldorado Ink, Publisher
PO Box 100097, Pittsburgh, PA 15233
9781932904734, $34.95/, $27.95,

"Adopting a Pet" is the latest book of the outstanding Our Best Friends series from Eldorado Ink, of which "The German Shepherd Book" was a 2008 finalist by the Dog Writer's Association for Best Single Breed Guide Book. This series is written for young adults ages 14 and up, and is filled with color photos of different pets and pet care procedures. Purple highlighted boxes frame Fast Facts about pets and their needs, while larger green-highlighted sections present more lengthy general information, such as Breed-Group Traits, or Salmonella Warnings, etc. Helpful questions covered in depth are, Which pet is right for you? Seven chapters of information present interesting data on pet adoption, adopting a dog, adopting a cat, adopting a bird, adopting a small mammal, adopting an exotic pet, and responsible pet ownership. Significant attention is paid to the responsibility of planning compassionately ahead for a pet's full life span. There are a list of organizations to contact about pet adoption and suggested resources for further reading, plus internet resources. Valued contributors include Janice Biniok, animal author and advocate, and Gary Korsgaard, DVM. Also recommended in this series are the following titles: "The Boston Terrier," by Robert Grayson (9781923904741, $27.95), "The Chihuahua," by Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz (9781932904758, $27.95), "The Doberman Pinscher," by September Morn (9781923904772, $27.95), "The Cocker Spaniel," by Karen Schweitzer (9781932904765, $27.95), and "The Pomeranian," also by Janice Biniok (9781932904789, $27.95).

The Biography Shelf

Amelia Lost
Candace Fleming
Schwartz & Wade
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780375841989, $18.99,

AMELIA LOST: THE LIFE AND DISAPPEARANCE OF AMELIA EARHART provides ages 8-12 with a fine survey of the life of a famous female pilot. Alternating chapters move between Amelia's life from childhood to her becoming a flier to the search for her missing plane, pairing photos, maps of her route, and handwritten documents to make for an outstanding survey perfect for leisure readers interested in planes and women's biography.

They Dared To Roar
Kathy Neill Herran
Warren Publishing Inc.
17039 Kenton Drive, Suite 101-B, Cornelius, NC 28031
9781886057623, $29.95,

"They Dared To Roar: Women Who Made A Difference in the 1800's" contains 9 mini-biographies of 9 courageous, talented, and unusual American women who were early social and cultural reformers. Illuminated with black and white portrait photographs of their subjects, eight chapters cover the lives and contributions of Sarah and Angelina Grimke, early Southern abolitionists and women's movement leaders, Sarah Childress Polk, quiet wife, advisor, and secretary to pre-Civil War President James K. Polk, famed Abolitionist author Harriet Beecher Stowe, women's movement initiator and leader Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Civil War nurse ad founder of the American Red Cross, architect and inventor Harriet Morrison Irwin, Anne Morrison Jackson, compassionate Civil War humanitarian and wife of General Stonewall Jackson, and finally, Sarah E. Goode, a pioneer compact furniture designer who began life as a slave on a Southern plantation. Each chapter describes details of the early life of the subject plus compact outlines of the major contributions in the subject's later life. "They Dared To Roar" lists 20 sources in its bibliography, bringing life and intimate detail to dry historical documents and letters. A valuable contribution to Feminist movement history, "They Dared To Roar" shines a spotlight on sometimes obscure or retiring subjects who made courageous contributions to the advance of Reform and social awareness in pre and post-Civil War America.

Books in Series

A Book For Black-Eyed Susan
Judy Young, author
Doris Ettlinger, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 E. Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585364633, $16.95,

"A Book For Black-Eyed Susan" is an illustrated children's book about a 10-year old girl named Cora and her settler family who leave Missouri to head west on the Oregon Trail. Cora's mother dies in childbirth on the wagon trip, and the baby sister who survives is given to an aunt to take care of. Cora names her baby sister Susan because she has such black eyes and blonde hair, she reminds Cora of a black eyed Susan prairie flower. They were also her mother's favorite flowers. During the long wagon trip, Coral works on making squares of calico that have pictures of familiar scenes. Eventually the wagon trains split up with some heading towards California and some heading towards Oregon. Cora will lose contact with her baby sister, because her Aunt Alma and family are headed towards the South Pass, while Cora and her Pa are headed towards the north trail. Cora rushes to finish her book of patch pictures which she gives to her Aunt Alma for her baby sister, Susan. The families separate, and Cora and her father move into Oregon Territory where eventually Cora becomes a teacher. Going south with a minister and his wife to start a new school, Cora begins to register the students at her new school. Eventually she comes to a dark-eyed blonde girl holding a fabric book who tells her, "My name is Susan and I have a book." "A Book For Black-Eyed Susan" is a beautiful pioneer tale that will touch the hearts of children and adults alike. It is a part of the Tales of Young Americans series that features historical moments as seen through the eyes of fictional young heroes and heroines.

The Greeks
John Malam
PowerKids Press
c/o Rosen Publishing
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
9781448832842, $18.95,

"The Greeks" is the second volume in a four-book social studies series entitled 'Dig It: History from Objects'. Written for students at reading levels 3-4, or interest levels 3-5, "The Greeks" uses fact boxes to analyze objects surviving from the ancient Greek culture and civilization, presenting the object and asking questions about how or when it might have been used. In addition, inserts, maps, and color photographs embellish the pages of historical and factual information about the Greeks. There are chapters on the city of Athens, farming and food, clothes and crafts, children and schools, gods and temples, the Greeks at war, entertainment, and more. Additionally, there is a handy quiz, timeline, glossary, and reference list for further information, plus an index. "The Greeks" is a valuable tool for historical reference for social studies students at the elementary level. Also recommended in this series by the same author is "The Egyptians (978448832835, $18.95)," "The Romans (9781448832859, $18.95)," and "The Vikings (9781448832866, $18.95)."

Native Americans in Early America: The Story of America
Mark Harasymiw and Therese Harasymiw, authors
Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003
9781433947728, $19.95,

"Native Americans in Early America" is the first title in a social studies series called The Story of America. This series focuses on the development of history in the United States as parallel to reading a fascinating novel. Written in colorfully illustrated pages with frequent contrasting inserts and sidebars of related or additional information, "Native Americans in Early America" presents a compressed brief history of America's First Peoples, including the Northeast tribes, the Southeast tribes, the Plains tribes, the Southwest tribes, the Great Basin Tribes, the California tribes, the Northwest tribes, and the Plateau tribes. Chapters about the beginning of European inroads to the New World, subsequent diseases, often fatal to Native populations, the fight for the West, and more information are succinctly presented. A glossary, timeline, and list of resources are included. Reading level is for grades 4-5; interest level includes grades 4-6. Fast moving pace and frequent illustrations keep interest high. Additional titles in this series include; "The American Revolution (9781433947605, $19.95)," " The British Colonies (9781433947643, $19.95)," "Immigration and Migration (9781433947681, $19.95)," "Slavery in Early America (9781433947766, $19.95)," and "Westward Expansion (9781433947803, $19.95)."

No Easy Race
Katherine Hengel
Saddleback Educational Publishing
9781616512774, $5.50,

"No Easy Race" is a District 13 series inspirational chapter book written specifically to educate and entertain an audience of young Hispanic readers ages 12 and up. Short, action -filled chapters with simple descriptive language and incorporated Spanish vocabulary words keep interest high and pages turning. Victor, the mixed-blood son of a Mexican immigrant father and a white mother, is a very talented, fast runner. Unfortunately, he is also the victim of racist-inspired slurs and cruel jokes by certain classmates. Overcoming poverty, prejudice, and cultural barriers, Victor decides to try to follow his dream and run, ignoring racist taunts and setbacks and looking to his special mentors, his grandmother, his father, and Coach Perez. "No Easy Race" is a realistic book with good ideas that readers will connect with and keep reading to the end. Also recommended in this District 13 series of Hispanic action-inspiration books is "Wings," by Katherine Hengel (about baseball, 9781616512804), "Taking Control," by Katherine Hengel (about basketball, 9781616512767, $5.50), "Fighting the Legend," by Andrew Bacskai (about football, 9781616512781, $5.50), and "Line Up," by Alex Kuskowski (about track, 9781616512798, $5.50).

I Do Not Like Greens!
Paul Orshoski, author
Jeffrey Ebbeler, illustrator
Treasure Bay
P.O. Box 119, Novato, CA 94948
9781601153319, $9.95,

"I Do Not Like Greens!" is a Level 4 We Read Phonics series book about, guess what, greens! Healthy, home-cooked, vitamin-laden, greens, so what's the problem? A girl can only eat so much healthy food, right? Written in bouncy verse, with charming, humorous illustrations, "I Do Not Like Greens!" teaches both dietary education and reading and phonics skills by gently teasing the young reader along. why is junk food ok for Dad's dog but not for his daughter? But look what eating junk food is doing to the dog, and look how healthy his daughter is by comparison? simple phonics games that parents and children can play help improve children's reading and comprehension skills. Also recommended in this innovative series is "Robot Man," by Paul Orshoski, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler (9781601153296, $9.95), and "If I Had A Snake," by Leslie McGuire, illustrated by Meredith Johnson (9781601153333, $9.95).

The Adventures of Sigi
Candace Carson
Sigi and Lulu Productions
7508 Weeping Willow Drive, Sarasota, FL 34241
9780982986479, $14.00,

Some dogs don't simply spend their lives at their owner's feet, but instead face adventures all their own. "The Adventures of Sigi" is a collection of picture books for young readers and dog lovers as author Candace Carson tells the story of Sigi, a Schnauzer with its own aspirations. "A Day as A Portuguese Water Dog" speaks as Sigi pursues his dreams of being a Portuguese water dog. "A Day at the Beach" (9780982986462) follows Sigi to beach and he finds more than sunshine. "Moving Day" (9780982986493) as he finds the joys and perils of moving day. "Wee Lulu" (9780982986486) follows Sigi as he meets with Lulu, and learns the importance of being a good example. "Some Days are Better Than Others" (9780982986455) as Sigi faces the perils of the bad day. With plenty of humor for young readers, "The Adventures of Sigi" is a must for any youthful dog lover.

Crabtree Publishers
350 - 5th Avenue, 59th Floor, New York NY 10118
$19.95 Each,

Chemtastrophe titles are geared to Grade 5 readers and each provide 32 pages packed with color illustrations, photos, and science facts and experiments geared to everyday life. Each book in the series explores a different set of chemistry links to daily life, providing students with methods, discussions of history and models, and rules for developing and testing theories. Rachel Eagen's ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY (9780778752851) and BODY CARE CHEMISTRY (9780778752820) each outline history and process, then offer questions, hypothesis for testing, and sidebars of detail. Erin Knight's CHEMISTRY AROUND THE HOUSE (9780778752837) focuses on methods of cleaning and household chemical reactions. Jon Eben Field's KITCHEN CHEMISTRY (9780778752868), CLEANING CHEMISTRY (9780778752844) and MEDICINE CABINET CHEMISTRY (9780778752875) each provide specific focus on chemistry experiments that can be conducted using common household items. All are top picks young scientists can use to begin an easy exploration of the world of chemistry and experimentation. The eye-catching 'Smithsonian Prehistoric Zone' titles by Gerry Bailey will appeal to grades K-3 and offer 32 pages each of specific information on individual prehistoric animals - perfect for beginning reports. Color illustrations accompany the latest research facts which are presented in a nearly fictional manner, naming a specific prehistoric animal and following his/her lifespan and daily encounters. Even the most reluctant young reader will find the chatty approach lively and fun. New to the series: APATOSAURUS (9780778717980), SPINOSAURUS (9780778718024), STEGOSAURUS (9780778718031), VELOCIRAPTOR (9780778718079), TRICERATOPS (9780778718048), WOOLLY MAMMOTH (9780778718086), ANKYLOSAURUS (9780778717973), TYLOSAURUS (9780778718055), TYRANNOSAURUS REX (9780778718062), SABRE-TOOTH TIGER (9780778718017), PTERANODON (9780778718000) and PARASAUROLOPHUS (9780778717997) are especially recommended for collections catering to reluctant readers who find the usual dry fact-filled approach is difficult. Kids will learn through empathy in this fine presentation.

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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