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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 18, Number 8 August 2008 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Graphic Novel Shelf American History Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Education Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Genealogy Shelf
Literary Shelf Music Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Poetry Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Science Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Bilingual Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Fiction Shelf Books in Series

Reviewer's Choice

Ten Rubber Duckies
Dawn Bentley
Random House
9780375840432, $10.99,

What's better than one rubber duckie? Ten! A fun counting rhyme accompanies ten rubber duckies in a counting game in which one small duckie disappears as the page is turned. Counting and colors alike are taught in a fun board book kids will relish – based on a familiar figure. Perfect for home use.

Abrams Books
115 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011

From lionfish to devil rays and tiger sharks, POP-UP SEA CREATURES (0810958775, $14.95) provides an excellent survey of deep sea animals from giant squid to viperfish and sharks. Each pop-up features a weird, wonderful fish and a lovely set of facts, making this suitable not for library lending but for gifting or home use. Milivoj Ceran, Keith Moseley and Skip Skwarek's DRAGON WORLD (0810994569, $15.95) presents a pop-up exploration to dragon types found around the world. Different fantasies and facts accompany the latest information based on fossil finds and studies, making for five lovely pop-ups from a North American flying serpent to a frightening European dragon.

The Sneakiest Pirates
Dalton James
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
102 Danbury Lane, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
9781432724771, $10.95,, 1-888-672-6657

What makes "The Sneakiest Pirates" unique is that Dalton James, its author and illustrator, is a bright, active, and precocious seven year old boy. Dalton has created the lively and entertaining story of a young boy named Pirate Pete and his dad, Scurvy James, who set sail on the high seas in pursuit of adventure as they seek to find the King's loot which was stolen by Peg Leg Chuck. This whimsical tale is ideal for small children and provides a model of illustrated storytelling that could very well inspire other children to write and draw stories of their own! Very highly recommended for family, school, and community library collections.

I'm Thankful
Sue Lundquist
Halo Publishing International
MEX 39026, PO Box 025385, Miami, FL 33102-5385
9780979742958, $17.95,

Being thankful for what one has is an invaluable virtue. "I'm Thankful: A Collection of Thoughts for Bedtime, for a Lifetime" is a children's book enhanced with photographs aiming to teach children the importance of being thankful, gracious, and happy for what they have. An inspiring guide that should help young people learn to read as well as put a smile across their faces, "I'm Thankful" is a strong choice for any child's personal library.

Crissy The Cow Pot
Nina Anderson & Scott Johnstone
Safe Goods Publishing
561 Shunpike Road, Sheffield, MA 01257
1884820891, $9.95

A delightful little story for young readers, "Crissy The Cow Pot" is an engaging and informative 40-age storybook by Nina Anderson and featuring the cheerful, colorful artwork of Scot Johnstone. It's the story of how a little flowerpot named Crissy who lived on a farm was able to help the farmer turn his farm into an organic 'green' agricultural environment for the benefit of everyone. Enhanced with activity pages, "Crissy The Cow Pot" is an ideal little book to help children learn about sustainable gardening and what they can do in their own gardens as a wholesome and renewable resource to grow healthier plants in a non-toxic, odor-free, and nutrient rich growing environment. Children will also learn about reducing the use of non-recyclable plastics, municipal wastes, and being 'wetlands friendly'. Fun and informative, "Crissy The Cow Pot" is the second title in the Safe Goods Publishing 'Edu-Enviro/health" series. Also very highly recommended is the first children's book in this outstanding series for young readers, "The Smart Brain Train".

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Eye Witness: Rise of the Apostle
Robert James Luedke
Head Press Publishing
2201 Long Prairie Road, Suite 107-770, Flower Mound, TX 75022
9780975892435, $13.99

The third book of the "Eye Witness Tetralogy" by award-winning author and illustrator Robert James Luedke, Eye Witness: Rise of the Apostle is a striking, full-color graphic novel that presents the biblical Book of Acts in terms readers of all ages can readily absorb. Framed by a story narrative in which forensic archaeologist Dr. Terry Harper evades assassination attempts and succumbs to blackout-induced visions that give him eyewitness testimony of the first century and the birth of the Christian faith, Eye Witness: Rise of the Apostle's core narrative is that of the historical transformation of Saul the Persecutor into the legendary Apostle Paul. A singularly absorbing presentation, Eye Witness: Rise of the Apostle carries the highest recommendation especially for church youth libraries and as a giftbook for Christian young adults. Also worthy of praise are Luedke's previous graphic novels in the Eye Witness series, "A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth" (9780975892404, $13.99) and "Acts of the Spirit" (9780975892428, $13.99).

The American History Shelf

Two Miserable Presidents
Steve Sheinkin
Roaring Brook Press
33 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003
9781596433205, $19.95

The American Civil War was a huge conflict that is quite well documented in history textbooks. But what was left out? "Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the Civil War" is an amusing and intriguing look at the facts less commonly known about the war between the states. Filled with tales of knife wielding senators, warring homesteaders, and the titular agonized presidents of James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln, "Two Miserable Presidents" is an ideal gift for young readers and for anyone with an interest in the off-the-radar events of the civil war. Enthusiastically recommended for community library American history collections.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Fairy Foals
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
c/o Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781402211669, $19.95 1-800-432-7444

Though at first glance Fairy Foals: The Journal of a Magical Garden might appear to be a picturebook, it is in fact a much more lengthy and sophisticated work of fantasy, sure to appeal to adult fantasy lovers as well as to children with reading skills sufficiently accomplished to enjoy the next step beyond picturebook reading. Illustrated on every page with gorgeous, colorful artwork of tiny, butterfly-winged "fairy foals" that are said to appear in the author's garden, Fairy Foals tells a simple tale of friendship, frolicking, and wonder as these magical creatures explore their marvelous world of greenery, flowers, and sometimes even danger from natural predators like spiders or lizards. Highly recommended as a visually entrancing giftbook for fantasy lovers and equine aficionados of all ages, Fairy Foals would grace any personal or community library collection.

Dugald A. Steer, editor
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763639402, $19.99 1-800-526-0275

The latest in the popular "ology" series, Monsterology: The Complete Book of Monstrous Beasts is as beautiful and elaborate as its many companion volumes. Featuring writings on fantastic beasts from griffons and hippogriffs to phoenixes, the pegasus, unicorns, kraken, sphinx, and much more (but not dragons - they're covered in a different book!), Monsterology reads a bit like a nineteenth century naturalist treatise. Numerous delicate pop-up flaps, textured "hide samples" or other special tidbits adorn the pages - most notably the so-called "ashes from the nest of a phoenix". "Ashes from a phoenix's nest [like those above] are said to give long life. They should never be ingested, as this could prove disastrous. Instead, the ashes are so potent that simply keeping this book on a nearby shelf will have a noticeably beneficial effect in fifty years or so." The colorful artwork adds the perfect touch to this "must-have" for any fantasy buff's private collection. Also highly recommended are the rest of the "Ology" series, including "Dragonology", "Egyptology" and "Wizardology".

The Education Shelf

Fun, Fitness, and Skills
Howie Weiss
Human Kinetics
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61825-5076
9780736068291, $20.00,

With today's rising rates of obesity, good fitness ethics have to be instilled at a young age. "Fun, Fitness, and Skills: The Powerful Original Games Approach" is a manual for parents and teachers who want to ensure that children get the exercise they need, and that will teach them valuable life skills as well. The games vary far and wide, but all are sure to appeal to youngsters, making "Fun Fitness, and Skills" especially recommendation to gym teachers and other recreation professionals in charge of children ages 5-10.

Grammar Wars
Tom Ready
Meriwether Publishing
885 Elkton Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80907-3557
1566080630, $16.95,

In today's world of text communication and the internet, good grammar is a sign of education and intelligence. "Grammar Wars: 179 Games and Improvs for Learning Language Arts" is a book of games and activities that will entertain children as well as educate them about the rules and eccentricities of grammar, alongside other essential language arts skills. "Grammar Wars: 179 and Improvs for Learning Language Arts" is highly recommended for community library education collections and educators everywhere.

The Christian Studies Shelf

The Cave Book
Emil Silvestru
Master Books
PO Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72638
9780890514962, $15.99,

Many children are enthralled by the existence of caves. "The Cave Book" is an educational book for young people that explores the place of caves in Christian history. Written by Creation scientist Emil Silvestru, "The Cave Book" seeks to answer how caves form, how they have been used by humanity, their place in mythology, and much more. Enhanced with a free poster book, "The Cave Book" is sure to excite children and encourage them to learn. Highly recommended for every Christian child who has looked toward caverns in wonder.

A Little Bit of Faith
Cindy Kenny
Precious Moments
2850 West Golf Road, Suite 250, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
BSM Media (publicity)
1904 Schulle Avenue, Austin, TX 78703
9780981715902, $6.99,

It's not unusual for children to have friends no one else can see. Katie's is an angel. "A Little Bit of Faith" is a charming children's story following young Katie Bennett as she goes to her new elementary school and tries to make friends. She attempts to start her own club, the Precious Girls Club, in this debut of a new series that Christian girls are sure to love. Highly recommended for church library children's fiction collections.

Marry a Pregnant Virgin
Frank G. Honeycutt
Augsburg Books
PO Box 59304, Minneapolis, MN 55459-0304
9780806680361, $15.99,

The idea of a "pregnant virgin" is just one of the unusual tales found in the Holy Bible. "Marry A Pregnant Virgin: Unusual Bible Stories for New and Curious Christians" is a examination of such initially perplexing tales. A guide to understanding and interpreting these Biblical stories, "Marry a Pregnant Virgin" is ideal for young Christians seeking more precise understanding of what the Bible is meant to teach. A fine gift to any curious religious teen.

Chloe's Prayer
Leasa Brouillard, author
Tyrrie Solheim, illustrator
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781434364210, $12.99,

Children have a tough time interpreting God, and don't necessarily understand why they don't get what they pray for. "Chloe's Prayer" is the story of a young girl and her grandfather, who is afflicted with cancer. Chloe is confused when her prayers don't make him better; she finds out why things are the way they are as the story progresses. With a charming art style, "Chloe's Prayer" is a good gift for any young Christian child and church library collections for children.

Floating Zoo and the Whale Motel
Danice E. Sweet
Pearson Publishing Company
555 S. Shoreline Blvd. Suite 104, Corpus Christi, TX 78401
0976808382, $26.95,

Two charming children's picturebooks for the price of one can be found in "Floating Zoo and the Whale Motel". The prose is lyrical in nature, sure to please child readers. Written with a strong Christian influence, "Floating Zoo and the Whale Motel" is a must for young Christian children and church library collections catering to them.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Capitol Ghost Mystery
Michelle M. Barone
Purple Sky Publishing
PO Box 12013, Parkville, MO 64152
9780976901778, $16.95,

Everyone has fantasized about being a detective at one time or another; "The Capitol Ghost Mystery" Silvie takes that fantasy a bit further. When the portrait of Abraham Lincoln is stolen from the Colorado State Capitol, a young girl on her fifth grade field trip breaks from her class mates and searches for answers to the mystery of the stolen painting, along with several other mysteries about herself, her friends, and her family. A riveting adventure aimed at young people, "The Capitol Ghost Mystery" is highly recommended to elementary school library collections as an easy reader novel.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Explorer's Bible Volume 2
Scott E. Blumenthal
Behrman House Publishers
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
0874417937, $12.95,

A helpful introduction to the Old Testament, "The Explorer's Bible Volume 2: From Sinai to the Nation of Israel" is a walk through biblical history aimed at children, to help them understand Biblical stories and why they are relevant to modern times. An excellent choice for parents who want to help their children learn more about Judeo-Christian faith. Also highly recommended is "The Explorer's Bible Volume 1: From Creation to Exodus".

The Genealogy Shelf

Roots for Kids, second edition
Susan Provost Beller
Genealogical Publishing Company
3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-19453
9780806317779, $19.95

Where do we come from? The answer is more than a story about birds and bees. "Roots for Kids: A Genealogy Guide for Young People" is a guide for children who want to trace their family histories through the centuries. Encouraging children to learn everything they can about their history, "Roots for Kids" is tailored to elementary school age children and formatted in a manner suitable for adaptation into classroom lessons. Featuring a focus on internet research, "Roots for Kids" is a great pick for any parent with an inquisitive child.

The Literary Shelf

Aesop's Fables
Chandra Dorai, author
Vignesh, illustrator
Ram Publications
105, North Hall Drive, Sugar Land, TX, 77478
9788190587969, $7.00

"Aesop's Fables" are simple stories with important morals to live by. In this collection, each story is retold in simplistic terms for children to understand, with the moral outlined. Accompanied by fine drawings sure to please the eyes as well as the mind, "Aesop's Fables" is a solid addition to community library children's collections.

Dilan MacHardy
Phakespeare Productions
PO Box 14287, San Francisco, CA 94114-0287
9780978523701, $15.00,

Being able to speak in "thees" and "thous" is not required to understand the art of Shakespeare's literature. "Mothello" is part of a series created to simplify the works of one of the greatest writers of the millennium by casting the parts as creatures of the animal kingdom, so that young readers will better understand these writings without needing to be told what certain words mean every step of the way. Though simplified, "Mothello" keeps the core of Shakespeare's play "Othello" intact. Sure to delight and entertain readers, "Mothello" is a great choice for anyone seeking to introduce children to literary classics.

Shakespeare with Children
Elizabeth Weinstein
Smith and Kraus Publishers
76 Ayer Road, North Stratford, NH 03590
9781575255736, $19.95,

It's never too early to introduce children to the greatness that is Shakespeare's theatre. "Shakespeare with Children: Six Scripts for Young Players" is a collection of six scripts adapted and abridged for children between the ages of eight and thirteen; each can be executed in roughly forty minutes of stage time, while retaining the heart and soul of the stories as well as the bard's original poetic language. "Shakespeare with Children" is a must for any drama teacher looking to impart something special.

The Music Shelf

Moo Juice
Krista Eyler
Funky Mama Music
c/o Waldmania!
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127
CD, $12.00,

Independent recording artist Krista Eyler, known to her legions of young fans as 'Funky Mama', has now released "Moo Juice", her third CD collection featuring a combination of seventeen originals and arrangements showcasing her distinctive singing talent and musical performance flair. A technically flawless recording, the numbers comprising this outstanding and inexpensive listening experience for kids include Sippy; Pop n' Hop; Potty Train; Freeze Dance; Down, Down, Baby; Ooo, Ahh, Oww!; The Grandparent Song; My Dad Rocks; No Sleep Tonight; Let's Drive; Hot Time In the Old Town; Multi-Taskin' Mama; Stuck Inside; Can you Hear Me?/1-2; Sambalele; Hush Baby, Hush Child; and the title piece Moo Juice. Featuring lively vocals that range from up-tempo rock 'n' roll, to a minor key samba, to an a capella performance rhythmically backed up by kids, "Moo Juice" has a total running time of 36:30 and is especially recommended and appropriate for family and community library CD music collections for young children.

Two Flowers
Danielle Sansone
Azalea Street Records
c/o Waldmania!
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127
CD, $14.00,,

Danielle Sansone is an Atlanta-based singer-songwriter who has now entered the competitive field of children's music with the release of her debut collection "Two Flowers". The origins of this remarkable and flawlessly recorded album of children's music had its beginnings with songs that Danielle composed for her own two daughters. Her vocal delivery is reminiscent of the kind of American folk country genre as exemplified by such iconic performers as the Carter family, and deftly combines bluegrass with intricate symphonic flourishes of the domestic ballad. A gifted musician and performer, "Two Flowers" showcases a range of musical experiences from energetic dance numbers to reflective complex melodies. This unique and highly recommended collection for family and community library CD music collections has a total running time of 38:02 and includes Bed of Roses; Too Much Coffee; Like an Angel; Sleep So Sweetly; Whisper; Blanket; The Sleepy Mile; Sometimes; I'd Love to Go; There is You; One More Shimmering; So Many Ways, and the title piece, Two Flowers.

The Audiobook Shelf

Ulysses Moore: The Isle of Masks
Edizioni Piemme, author
Michael Page, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781423313427, $24.95 1-800-854-7859

Featuring the highest technical recording standards in the audio book industry, the Brilliance Corporation's production of "Ulysses Moore: The Isle of Masks is the unabridged audiobook rendition of an outstanding young adult adventure novel following three children hot on the trail of famous inventor, Peter Dedalus. He is a man who possesses the mysterious key to the Doors to Time. Following clues and codes to eighteenth-century Venice, where Dedalus' inventions are transforming the city, the three young adventurers search for their reclusive quarry - but they are not the only ones pursuing him! A rollicking good adventure deftly written by Edizioni Piemme and superbly narrated by Michael Page, "Ulysses Moore: The Isle of Masks" is perfect for entertaining young people during long car trips. 4 CDs, approximately 4 hours.

The Poetry Shelf

A Voweller's Bestiary
Jon Arno Lawson
The Porcupine's Quill
c/o Timinkster, RGD
68 Main St., Erin Ontario N0B IT0
9780889843004, $14.95,

Award winning poet Jon Arno Lawson presents his second anthology of poetry, "A Voweller's Bestiary: from Aardvark to Guineafowl (and H)". Crafting exquisite verse for children using the themes of the alphabet and the animal kingdom, "A Voweller's Bestiary" is sure to entertain, educate, and please child readers. Highly recommended for community library poetry collections. "Fly, Lynx": Lynx: 'Fly, Fly'/ Fly: 'Why, lynx?'/ Lynx: 'Try.'/ Fly: 'Why Try?'/ Lynx: 'Shy, fly?'/ Fly: 'Shy??!! Bzzzzzz! Zm! Zm! Zm!'/ Lynx: 'Tsk Tsk! My my!'

The Judaic Studies Shelf

I Go to a Wedding
Rikki Benenfeld
Hachai Publishing
527 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781929628407, $10.95,

Seeing something through the eyes of a child reveals a whole smorgasbord of new experiences. "I Go to a Wedding" follows a pair of children who attend a Jewish wedding and recount their experiences of the event, educating young readers about the events that come with a traditional Jewish wedding. The art is excellent and fits the theme of the book well, making "I Go to a Wedding" an ideal gift for Jewish children.

The Science Shelf

Gail Gibbons
Holiday House
425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780823421435, $16.95,

Massive in size, lizard-like, and armed with horns and teeth; it's no wonder dinosaurs capture children's imaginations. "Dinosaurs!" is a book to educate young readers about these massive lizards from millions of years ago, filled with full color illustrations and fun facts. Sure to please any young dinosaur lover, "Dinosaurs!" should be in the science shelves of every community library's children's collection.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Veggie Friends and Fruits Too!
Anne Legge
BookSurge Publishing
9781419697067, $16.99, (928) 925-2385

Healthy eating habits are a vital thing to teach one's children at ages 4-10. "Veggie Friends and Fruits Too! A Children's Cookbook on Creating Healthy Snacks" is a recipe book that teaches children how to create healthy and delicious snacks, rather than obesity-causing sugary and fatty foods. Featuring ways to create cute critters from nutritious foods, "Veggie Friends and Fruits Too!" is a wonderful giftbook for young people and a top pick for community library children's collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Our Three Bears
Ron Hirschi, author
Thomas D. Mangelsen, photographer
Boyds Mills Press
815 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431
9781590780152, $16.95,

Bears are more than just soft plush objects for children – they are intriguing creatures in their own right. "Our Three Bears" looks at three major species of bears in black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears. Packed with more than enough information to keep children who love bears glued to the book, "Our Three Bears" is further enhanced with full color photography. A must have for community library collections with a focus on children's books.

The Bilingual Shelf

Animal Poems of the Iguazu
Francisco X. Alarcon, author
Maya Christina Gonzalez, illustrator
Children's Book Press
965 Mission St., Suite 425, San Francisco, CA 94103
9780892392254, $16.95,

Award winning poet Francisco X. Alarcon is accompanied by the eye-pleasing paintings of Maya Christina Gonzalez in "Animal Poems of the Iguazu". A bilingual book presenting its poems in both Spanish and English, "Animal Poems of the Iguazu" is sure to delight children trying to learn both languages, Highly recommended for community library children's poetry collections. "Blue Job": A common belief/ of the Guarani/ people/ is that God/ painted the sky/ an inspiring blue/ with the extract/ from the tiny/ nangapiri seed.

The Picturebook Shelf

Flamingo Sunset
Jonathan London, author
Kristina Rodanas, illustrator
Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
99 White Plaines Road, Tarrytown, New York, 10591
9780761453840, $16.99,

With its distinctive pink plumage, the flamingo is one of nature's most striking creatures. "Flamingo Sunset" is a children's picturebook dedicated to these birds, sure to educate as well as entertain readers of a young age. With magnificent, realistic drawings throughout, "Flamingo Sunset" deserves to find itself among community library children's picturebook collections, especially those with a focus on wildlife.

Noah Didn't It Rain
William Lee Golden, author
Bill Looney, illustrator
New Leaf Press
PO Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72638
PLA Media
1303 16th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212
9780892216833, $13.99,

The world is filled with unusual animals; Noah had to build an ark to contain them all. "Noah Didn't It Rain" is a retelling of the classic biblical story, with fun drawings accompanying the text. Featuring a bonus music CD from the Oak Ridge boys, "Noah Didn't It Rain" is a treat sure to please Sunday school age children. A good choice for any community library children's Christian picturebook collections.

Jadyn and the Magic Bubble
Brigitte Benchimol, author
Mark W. Adams, illustrator
East West Discovery Press
PO Box 3585, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
9780979933974, $24.95,

A boy and his magic bubble visit one of the most important individuals of the twentieth century in "Jadyn and the Magic Bubble: I Met Gandhi", a tale of meeting with the legendary patron of nonviolence, and learning about India's move toward freedom after World War II. Filled with charming full color pencil drawings and enhanced with a poster, game, activities, and a bonus CD-ROM, "Jadyn and the Magic Bubble" is highly recommended for community library children's picturebook collections.

Whistling Wings
Laura Goering, author
Laura Jacques, illustrator
Sylvan Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Suite 3, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781934359129, $16.95,

One thousand miles isn't an easy trip for Marcel, a young swan. "Whistling Wings" is his story of staying north for the winter, and being forced to adapt to the frigid winter months. An educational book about swan's lives, featuring beautiful oil painting illustrations by Laura Jacques, "Whistling Wings" is a grand pick for any community library children's picturebook collection.

Can't Catch a Butterfly
Michelle Zimmerman
Rainbow Star Books
PO Box 422, Centereach, NY 11720
9780980236309, $16.95,

There's a point where you can't get any more, which a young boy learns in "Can't Catch a Butterfly". A light-hearted rhyming story accompanied by beautiful crayon-style art, "Can't Catch a Butterfly" is sure to please young readers. A delightful addition to community library picturebook collections.

North Star
Dorrie Papademetriou
St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Crestwood, NY 10707
0881412236, $17.00,

To cross the Bering Strait and spread the word of Christianity – that's what a small group of Russian missionaries set out to do. "North Star: St Herman of Alaska" is the powerful story of Father Herman, the only one who survived the strenuous journey. He lived with the Aleut people for over forty years, gaining and imparting much wisdom. Featuring beautiful illustrations, "North Star" is a moving tale, highly recommended for community library picturebook collections.

Mommy, Do You Love Me?
Teres Lambert, author
Cindy Coleman, illustrator
Publish America
P.O. Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705
1604419113, $16.95,

In order to love, one needs to be loved. "Mommy, Do You Love Me?" is a children's picturebook focusing on building compassion and affection in young children, both for oneself and for others. Showing that love can be expressed in countless forms outside of just saying it, and enhanced with charming illustrations by Cindy Coleman, "Mommy, Do You Love Me?" is a great picturebook for slightly advanced child readers.

Boy in Motion
Ainslie Manson, author
Renne Benoit, illustrator
Greystone Books
c/o Douglas & McIntyre Publishing Group
2323 Quebec Street, Suite 201 Vancouver, BC V5T 4S7
9781553652526, $16.95,

Must one's dreams die when the use of one's legs is taken away? "Boy in Motion: Rick Hansen's Story" is the story of a child who adapted to being paraplegic and did everything he could to continue his love of baseball and fishing. Illustrated with a great watercolor based style, "Boy in Motion" is an inspiring story to give to any wheel-chair bound child, and an excellent pick for community library children's collections.

Shine Moon Shine
David Conway, author
Dubravka Kolanovic, illustrator
Tiger Tales
202 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT 06897
9781589250734, $15.95

What if the moon stopped shining over the night sky? "Shine Moon Shine" is the story of young Owen and his quest to restore the moon. A heartwarming fable accompanied by a gorgeous art style, "Shine Moon Shine" is a picturebook sure to please children. Enthusiastically recommended for community library collections aimed at children.

Grandpa, What's That Sound in the Middle of the Night?
Naomi Singlehurst, author
Victoria Jamieson, illustrator
Trellis Publishing
PO Box 16141, Duluth, MN 55816
9781930650244, $14.95,

Things that go bump in the night are the primal fear of many a childhood. "Grandpa, What's That Sound in the Middle of the Night?" is a story about two young kids facing their fears on their grandfather's old farm. They hunt to see what the nighttime disturbance could be, in this fun picture book with a fantastic art style, ideal for young readers. "Grandpa, What's That Sound in the Middle of the Night?" is a excellent choice for community library picturebook collections.

How Cleaning My Room Changed My Life
Huma Gruaz & Mark Rosenzweig, authors
Timothy Young, illustrator
Alpaytac Inc.
415 North LaSalle Street, Suite 504, Chicago, IL 60654
9780981788500, $19.75,

Organizational skills are something everyone should strive to teach their children. "How Cleaning My Room Changed My Life" is a guide for preschool age children to learning these invaluable skills, and forming good habits that will stay with them from the rest of their lives. Touching on many aspects of keeping one's room neat and tidy, and illustrated with a fun style of artwork, "How Cleaning My Room Changed My Life" is highly recommended for community library children's picturebook collections.

c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019

John Stadler's THE BALLAD OF WILBUR AND THE MOOSE (9780375841743, $14.99) provides an outrageous cowboy lullaby ballad which tells of one Wilbur Little, a pint-sized, lime-juice-drinking, pig-herding cowboy who herds pigs for a living. Wilbur outsmarts villains and pig-rustlers; his antics are hilarious and fun in this rollicking rhyme. Meghan McCarthy's ASTRONAUT HANDBOOK (9780375844591, $16.99) is a tongue-in-cheek, hilarious survey of what it takes to become an astronaut – and how kids can begin. From working in tight quarters to handling stomach upsets, it's a fun story of coping and adaptation that will intrigue any young potential astronaut. Brie Spangler's PEG LEG PEKE (9780375848889, $15.99) tells of a fun Pekinese pup with a missing leg who imagines he's a pirate with a peg leg. His thirst for adventure embellishes a funny story of coping and imaginary action. All will pleasure picturebook purchasers.

Harry Abrams/Amulet
115 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011

Babar the Elephant books by Laurent de Brunhoff have captured a wide imagination and these new reprints of classics promise librarians the ability to replace or acquire aging classics with nice new hardcovers. Zephir's photos compliment BABAR'S USA (9780810970960, $17.95), telling of Babar and Celeste invited by friends in New York to tour the city – and an expanded tour of the country too. The sightseeing journey which emerges traverses the country in this fun survey. De Brunhoff's BABAR COMES TO AMERICA (9780810972445, $17.95) tells of an invitation to meet with the President of the United States: another good excuse for a family vacation. Their first visit to America is captured in a fine reprint of the 1965 classic which appears for the first time in many years.

Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Frankie Stein comes into the world different from his parents: they are scary, he's cute – and they can't change him. Can Frankie ever become the scary monster they envision? This appeared in 2007 but deserves ongoing mention for a vivid plot which will appeal time and again, especially during the Fall Halloween season. Daniel Pinkwater's SLEEPOVER LARRY (9780761453147, $16.99) tells of a polar bear who likes blueberry muffins, ballet, and his lifeguard job. And he loves his home in a hotel – until he invites his bear friends at the zoo for a sleepover and trouble begins. A hilarious tale, this deserves ongoing recommendation.

Scholastic Inc.
557 Broadway, New York New York 10012

Jesus was born in a stable, grew up in a village, and performed many miracles not to mention harboring a love which changed his world. Katherine Paterson works with illustrator Francois Roca in THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: THE LIFE OF JESUS FOR CHILDREN (0545011728, $17.99), a simple story of Jesus perfect for picturebook readers and Sunday School collections. Viviane Schwarz's TIMOTHY AND THE STRONG PAJAMAS (0545033292, $16.99) tells of small Timothy Smallbeast, who is not very big, not very strong, and has wonderfully strong pajamas which give him superpowers. He uses his powers for good – but who can he turn to when he needs help? A fine, light story kids will appreciate.

The Fiction Shelf

Frunk the Skunk
Samia Mounts
4N Publishing
44-73 21st St. D6, Long Island City, NY 11101
9780979884108, $9.95,

Moving to a new school is never easy to adapt to. "Frunk the Skunk" follows Tarryn Frunk as she's faced with the despair of being the most hated kid in school – at least in her opinion. The move to a new school doesn't seem to help things, but little does Tarryn Frunk know that life can change for the better when one least expects it. "Frunk the Skunk" is a touching story of an outcast, and a great pick for community library children's fiction collections.

The Chinese Fortune Cookie
John E. Carson & Marlene R. Carson
Aspirations Media
7755 Lakeview Lane, Spring Lake Park, MN 55432
9780980003413, $8.99,

Every story has some root in reality, no matter how out there it may seem. "The Chinese Fortune Cookie" is a novel about young tween Ramblin' Rose who looks up to her grandfather as the ultimate source of wisdom. She and her family are after an art thief, a pursuit which takes them around the world. A touching story, "The Chinese Fortune Cookie" is great for young people just getting started on chapter books. Also highly recommended is "The Secret in the Arctic Ice" (9780980003406, $8.99), another tale sure to entertain fans of the Ramblin' Rose series.

What the Storyteller Brings
Robyn Y. Demby
Privately Published
108 Woodcroft Dr., Goldsboro, NC 27534
9781601452054, $16.95, www.myspace/demby6

Scary stories around the fire are nothing new, but what if it was more than that? In the novel "What the Storyteller Brings", Rosaline gathers her girlfriends every week for chit chat and a story. She uses her friends and people she knows as real characters in her stories, just for kicks. She tells a story of suspense about a kidnapper... but then it starts to become true. Can Rosaline give her story a happy ending before it becomes a real life tragedy? "What the Storyteller Brings" is a gripping suspense, sure to please young adult readers.

Becoming a Superhero
William D. Smith
Outskirts Press
10940 S. Parker Rd – 515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432720711, $13.95,

Every child has at one point or another grabbed a bath towel and pretended to be a superhero. "Becoming a Superhero: Adventures of An American Superhero" is the semi-autobiographical tale of William D. Smith's childhood, and the harsh realties he faced as he grew up. A tale of morality, virtue, and looking up to one's elders, "Becoming a Superhero" is an entertainingly crafted tale, sure to delight readers, and is a worthy consideration for community library children's fiction collections.

Buggy Crenshaw & The Bungler's Paradox
RM Wilburn
Gabby Cat Publishing
9780981736501, $14.95,

The great warrior for the forces of good is never expected to be an eleven year old girl. "Buggy Crenshaw & The Bungler's Paradox" follows young Buggy Crenshaw as she and her family are thrust into another world, where imagination is the power that controls all. The welcome is short as evil forces view her as an obstacle to its plots for world domination. A charming novel of good vs. evil in a unique sense, "Buggy Crenshaw & The Bungler's Paradox" is highly recommended to tween readers and junior high school library collections.

Fashion Fighter
Deborah O' Dowd
2021 Pine Lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512
9780595442676, $11.95,

A seven year old bears the weight of the world, in her own way. "Fashion Fighter: Cheeks-a-Saurus-Rex-A-Maxamus" follows young Kylie Acosta, also called Cheeks, as she learns that her father lost his legs in the Iraq war. She attempts to educate her classmates and other peoples about the terrible and sad things that are taking place so far away. Ultimately an uplifting story, "Fashion Fighter" is highly recommended for please young readers ready to make the transition to more involved young adult novels.

Libba Bray
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Libba Bray's conclusion to Libba Bray's 'Gemma Doyle' trilogy The Sweet Far Thing (9780385730303 $17.99) requires familiarity with the other weighty books in series, but any who have acquired and enjoyed the others won't want to miss this, begin in A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY and continued in REBEL ANGELS. Here the Spence Academy for Girls is preparing for its London debut season, but with Gemma and gang dreading it. Magic, change, and initiation abound in a stunning conclusion to a weighty but involving trilogy highly recommended for advanced YA readers. Ron King's THE QUANTUM JULY (9780385734189, $15.99) tells of dreamer Danny Parsons, who loves to close his eyes and dream of anything in the world but his life. But his sister suspects he has a special power, and when she gives him an equation to carry in his back pocket to test her theory, reality begins to change in this story of family interactions and approaching chaos: perfect for mature teen readers. Lurlene McDaniel's PREY (9780385734530, $10.99) tells of an affair between a high school student and his history teacher. Teen Ryan can't wait to get his driver's license and begin living – but he's lonely without his parents. So when new history teacher Lori begins to get close to him, an intense emotional relationship develops which will ensnare them in this moving story of romance. Dana Reinhardt's HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE (9780375844539, $15.99) tells of the effects of divorce upon a teen when her father and beloved stepmother separate – and also separate Harper from her stepsister Tess. Harper joins a volunteer program to build a house for a family devastated by a tornado – and learns more than power tools in this story of survival and recovery. Tammar Stein's HIGH DIVE (97803757830242, $15.99) tells of Arden, whose father's sudden death and mother's deployment to Iraq leaves her alone. She makes a journey to Sardenia where she meets a group of carefree friends on their summer break – there to explore Europe with them and find a way to choose between safety, insecurity and adventure. Chris Grabenstein's THE CROSSROADS (9780375846977, $16.99) tells of average kid Zack Jennings, who has a hardworking father, new home and stepmother, and even a new job: joys which are thwarted by a nasty killer ghost in his new home. A fine story of changes and courage evolves. Pamela F. Service's YESTERDAY'S MAGIC (9780375855771, $16.99) presents a sequel to TOMORROW'S MAGIC and tells of one Heather, kidnapped by the sorceress Morgan LeFay during the wedding of King Arthur and Queen Margaret of Scotland. Arthur is still busy reuniting the country, so it's up to Heather's friend Welly and wizard Merlin to rescue her in a search for Morgan. And Heather's new magic is growing stronger, too, in this involving sequel. Christina Meldrum's MADAPPLE (9780375851766, $16.99) tells of one Aslung, who disappears shortly after her mother's death, to find herself newly isolated in a world of religious devotion and controversial ideas. Add a murder to the mix and you have a fine, complex story older teens will relish.

Scholastic Inc.
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

Guillaume Prevost's THE BOOK OF TIME (043988375X, $16.99) tells of Sam's discovery of a hidden room ten days after his father vanishes – a room which holds the key to travel through time. A fine blend of mystery and timeslip intrigue evolves for any interested in the boundaries of science and fantasy. Emily Rodda's THE KEY TO RONDO (054593535X, $16.99) tells of an old, painted music box inherited from a great-aunt, four solid rules which accompany them, and one Leo, who discovers both the music box and the dangers of a witch. A mystery revolving around a hidden world evolves with plenty of tension and action. Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams' TUNNELS (0439871778, $17.99) tells of teen Will Burrows, who has little in common with his family other than a hared obsession with his father over archaeological digs. When they discover an abandoned mine underneath London, they think they are on to something big – until Dad vanishes and Will is left alone to investigate a dangerous underground world. An excellent story of intrigue, mystery and danger that older teens will find riveting.

Matt Whyman
Atheneum Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
1416949070 $16.99

Carl Hobbes is not your usual criminal mastermind: he's a teen British computer hacker who penetrated Fort Knox security for a laugh – and since his efforts, gold has been flowing into terrorist groups around the world. Carl is in a military prison caged alongside notorious terrorists – and is in one of the most secure prisons in the world. How can he escape a prison buried in the nice? ICECORE is a fine mystery advanced teens will relish.

Turn Up the Heat
Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant
Berkeley Prime Crime
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
9780425219478 $23.95

Recommended for older teens who love complex mysteries and are moving into adult mystery circles is TURN UP THE HEAT, a fine blend of suspense and culinary insights centering around Chloe, who is facing grad school exams, a hysterical, pregnant friend, and a boyfriend with a new trendy restaurant in town. Add a dead body found in the fish truck of Adrianna's fiancιe and you have a fine mystery perfect for both adult and young adult audiences.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Gabrielle Zevin
Farrar Straus Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003
0374349460 $17.00

If Naomi had picked tails she wouldn't have had the accident which lead to her amnesia – but she didn't make the different choice. And now she doesn't remember her boyfriend, doesn't understand the jokes of her friends, and doesn't even know her family. MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC is a fine story of discovery and change and will intrigue many teen readers.

Books in Series

Crabtree Publishing Company
350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3308, New York, NY 10118 1-800-387-7650

The Crabtree Publishing Company is a premier publisher of non-fiction 'books in series' titles for school and community libraries. Among their newest series is 'Everybody Feels...', four outstanding 24-page, color illustrated titles specifically written and presented for young inquisitive children ages five to seven and in grades K-1. Each of the four paperback titles, authored by Jane Bingham and illustrated by Helen Turner, are designed to help children understand and cope with new and common-place feels and the situations in which they are apt to arise. "Everybody Feels Scared" (9780778740674, $6.95) is the story of what Ben, Maya and Jack did when they felt scared of the dark, of the first day of school, of getting lost. "Everybody Feels Angry" (9780778740643, $6.95) is about Kate, Tom, and Jessie when they became angry having had something taken away, when things go wrong, when not allowed to do something. "Everybody Feels Sad" (9780778740667, $6.95) features Sam, Omar and Amy having to deal with a broken toy, being teased, experiencing other kids being mean. "Everybody Feels Happy" (9780778740650, $6.95) Is about Ellie, Holly and Joey when finding something once lost, having a birthday, enjoying a terrific day. The 'Everybody Feel...' series will prove a popular and positive addition for the reading list of kindergarteners and first graders, as well as young children being homeschooled.

Chelsea House
132 West 31st Street, 17th Floor, New York NY 10011

Two fine book sets provide colorful examinations, presenting geography through the topics of world costumes and culinary traditions. The 'Costumes Around the World' series ($28.00 each) provides an excellent country-by-country survey, with ten volumes in hardcover (9780791098721, $280.00) coming from authors ranging from Jane Bingham, who specializes in history and art, to Kathy Elgin, educated in London, Liz Gogerly, who writes children's history books, Anne Rooney, who has written over 70 books for kids, and Cath Senker, who has produced geography books for kids. Each book packs in color photos, sidebars of detail, a glossary and bibliography, and information for grades 4-6. 32 pages of information are offered in each volume. The 'Festive Foods!' series of 8 books (978-0-7910-98738, $224.00; $28.00 each) comes from Sylvia Goulding, who has published for nearly thirty years and has collected recipes from different cultures. Grades 4-6 will appreciate books packing in color photos, appendixes, an index and more, with maps, recipes and geography blending in an outstanding collection. These sets offer attractive, fun covers certain to attract young readers.

Enslow Publishers
Box 398, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922-0398

Grades 5 and up will appreciate Robert Gardner's EASY GENIUS SCIENCE PROJECTS WITH THE HUMAN BODY: GREAT EXPERIMENTS AND IDEAS (0766029271, $31.93), which shows how the human body is a virtual science laboratory which provides ideas useful for successful science fair projects. The author has written many science books for young people and is a retired high school teacher of physics and chemistry: his title packs in color illustrations, sidebars of detail and more. Richard and Louise Spilsbury's WHAT IS ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM? EXPLORING SCIENCE WITH HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES (0766030962, $22.60) offers 32 pages of facts and adds to the 'In Touch With Basic Science' series for grades 3-4. The activity-based book packs in science principles paired with supportive hands-on projects. Wendy Mead's TOP 10 BIRDS FOR KIDS (0766030725, $23.93) for grades 3-4 packs in details about different birds, tells how to choose an appropriate pet, and discusses different behaviors of different birds. Kids receive a good, basic discussion of why birds differ in habits and how these affect their desirability as a pet. New to the 'America's National Parks' series is David Aretha's YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (1598450875, $33.27), a survey of the wilderness area and how it became a park. Chapters focus on its wildlife, flora, fauna and use patterns and offer over 120 pages of facts on the park's natural history and evolution. All are excellent surveys for elementary school collections.

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

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