Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Children's Bookwatch

Children's Bookwatch

Volume 20, Number 1 January 2010 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice American History Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Bilingual Shelf Fiction Shelf Holiday Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Young Adult Shelf Biography Shelf
World History Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Easy Reader Shelf
Audiobook Shelf DVD Shelf Music CD Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Books in Series  

Reviewer's Choice

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll, author
Oleg Lipchenko, artist
Tundra Books
75 Sherbourne Street, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5A 2P9 1-800-788-1074
9780887769320, $22.95,

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is a scrumptious new large-format imaging of a favorite classic for children. The text of the story is familiar and vivid, but the paintings and illustrations are like a forgotten dream of the original intentions of the Alice editions' illustrations. Oleg Lipchenko's fabulous art work is both nostalgic and fresh, imaginative, and familiar. Suitable for all ages, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" makes a beautiful gift to share with any beloved child.

How the Waif Bunny Saved the Boy
Donny Velvetears, author
John Crowther, illustrator
Big Tent Books
115 Bluebill Drive, Savannah, GA 31419
9781601310477, $37.95

"How The Waif Bunny Saved The Boy" is a sensitive children's book and CD about the healing powers of a much loved Waif Bunny who helps a chronically ill boy through different stages of his illness. Readers familiar with "The Velveteen Rabbit" will see similarities and differences in the two tales. The illness which the Waif Bunny's boy suffers is AIDS, while his predecessor in "The Velveteen Rabbit" struggled with scarlet fever. Dealing with pain and hospitals and life support mechanisms and systems plus the exhausting business of fighting chronic illness can be soul-eroding to the young, or to any age for that matter. "How The Waif Bunny Saved the Boy" is a wonderful resource to children and adults who care for them because it opens up a new perspective on the enlightening aspect of suffering and illness. There is potential for growth in even death-directed illnesses. For children especially, "How The Waif Bunny Saved The Boy" is a touch of gentle comfort and kindness that does not avoid the challenge of the experience for all. Accompanied by a CD recording of the author reading the book with additional Music to Heal By viola improvisations by the author, "How The Waif Bunny Saved The Boy" is a wonderful gift of hope and healing to any who deal with illness and pain.

Kate, Ghost Dog
Wayne L. Wilson, author
Soud, illustrator
Magination Press
American Psychological Association
P.O. Box 92984, Washington, D.C. 20090
9781433805547, $14.95,

"Kate, Ghost Dog: Coping With the Death of a Pet" is a children's book specially aimed at helping kids age 8-13 learn to deal with the grief of losing s beloved pet to death. Aleta cannot just accept it when her beloved dog Kate dies of natural causes. She feels angry, sad, confused, and lost. How she finds her way through the tangle of emotions and experiences of grieving makes a solid story. "Kate, Ghost Dog" is filled with love, vivid color, and feeling. "Kate, Ghost Dog" also blends a message of multi-racial acceptance in with the work of learning to grieve a death. Highly recommended for both school and community library collections, "Kate, The Ghost Dog" is also available in a paperback edition (9781433805554, $9.95).

The Legend of Thompson the Gazelle
Mister Wilson, author/illustrator
A Story Plus
P.O. Box 1174, Pine Lake, Georgia 30072
0977847748, $15.00,

"The Legend of Thompson the Gazelle" is a recent release in the A Story Plus series that entertains, educates and inspires elementary age children and others. The beautifully illustrated story about Thompson the Gazelle is completed by the Plus content of a listing of morals of excellence, bio-geo section about science and history, puzzles, coloring page, fun facts, tests, inspiration, certificate, song lyrics, and more. "The Legend of Thompson the Gazelle" is a fantastic tool to educate, entertain, and inspire children who in turn will develop an appetite for more fun learning experiences.

More Healthy Food, Please!
LaVeda Curtis, author
Oladele Dickerson, illustrator
Silverspoon Publishing Co.
2431 Milan, Suite 100, Philadelphia, PA 19153
9780982392324, $19.95,

"More Healthy Food Please!" is a nutritional/educational adventure of the Get Ready Teddys, a group of 18 teddy bears on a mission to educate, inspire, and entertain young children, In "More Healthy Food Please!" Nurse Teddy and Teddy MD watch Chef Teddy prepare and explain nutritional values of fresh, healthy food. Then they decide to navigate through the court and system of laws to make it possible to have more fresh, healthy food in the hospital cafeteria. Charming illustrations of a full cast of accomplished teddy bears make "More Healthy Food Please!" a big hit with children ages 4-8.

From My Side: Being a Child
Sylvia C. Chard and Yvonne Kogan
P.O. Box 67, Lewisville, NC 27023
9780876590744, $29.95,

"From My Side: Being a Child" is a beautiful, illuminated photographic essay on children from many lands interacting with their environment and learning each day. The reader is encouraged to consider each idea presented from the child's viewpoint. The engaging photographs are grouped into six sections that merge and grow out of one another. The are Section one, "I am here," children Where They are," Section two, "What's that?" Noticing and Wondering, Section three, "How does that work? Investigating and Recording, Section Four, "Let's make one!" Representing, Making and Doing, Section Five, "Can you help me?" Consulting, Collaborating and Sharing, and Section Six, "Where next?" Reflecting, disengaging, and moving on. At the end of the book is a six page photo index of all the photos in the collection and the country where they were taken. "From My Side: Being a Child" is a moving experience and a successful plea for all children to have "time and space to live fully within their childhood, without the concerns and worries of adults - who have experienced so much more, who know so much more, and who fear the future so much more." In "From My Side," the pictures speak (volumes) for themselves.

Children Map the World
Bandrova, Nunez, Konecny, Atwal, eds.
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373
9781589482463, $29.95,

"Children Map the World: Selections from the Barbara Petchenik Children's World Map Competition, Volume 2" is showcases artistic creations of maps created by children ages 44-15 drawn and selected from around the world, resulting from a memorial competition held in honor of Barbara Petchenik, a cartographer who studied how children understand maps and mapmaking. "Children Map the World" is a fresh and vibrant collection of children's windows to reality, with emphasis on themes of peace and universal cooperation. There are many interpretations of the children's views of global reality that are expressed in their colorful maps. "Children Map the World" is a vision suffused with hope and hopefulness for the future. It has a place in school libraries and public document collections around the world.

By Here
Dianne Elizabeth Nelson, author/illustrator
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403 1-800-839-8640
9781449003661, $14.99,

"By Here" is a poignant, versed painted story of the transformation of an abandoned railroad to a pleasant path for hiking, reclaimed by the flora and fauna of nature. What some might have experienced as a sad goodbye, artist/author Dianne presents as an experience of rebirth. "By Here" is a beautiful interpretation of reverse progress that sings its own song of joy. "By Here" will be cherished by children of all ages.

Scratch & Sketch: Naruto
Masashi Kishimoto
Peter Pauper Press, Inc.
202 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601
9781593598464, $14.99,

Part of the Peter Pauper Press 'Scratch & Sketch" activity books specifically designed to appeal to children ages 8 through 14, "Scratch & Sketch: Naruto" takes for its theme a character that has emerged as one of the most popular of the Japanese manga comic heroes. So popular that it became a weekly television show her in America. Upon opening each page is a picture of Naruto and other ninja characters on what pages that the reader can then sketch onto the black-coated pages using the included wooden stylus. The result is 64-pages of do-it-yourself artwork that includes 20 scratch-off and 20 sketch pages. Also very highly recommended is the whole line of Peter Pauper Press 'Scratch & Sketch' with such diverse themes as dinosaurs, knights, Christmas, pirates, rain forests, and more!

Nicio and Cedar Fire
Gina Aguilera, author
Rosario Aguilera Lewis, illustrator
Jennie's Music Room Books
4241 Filmore Street, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336
9780984239207, $13.00,

"Nicio and Cedar Fire" is a modern Native American fable based on actual events and experiences relating to the October, 2003 wildfire in the San Diego county area called the Cedar Fire. Nicio lives in the fire-threatened area and decides to stay to fight the fire when orders for evacuation come. His sisters and brother on the east coast are very worried about him, for news is unable to cover all the danger and devastation of the fires. As danger from the raging fire flames rises, Nicio prepares to do battle calmly, wearing his firefighter's uniform and attaching two eagle feathers to his protective hat. He burns sage and prays for rain in a sacred ceremony. On the east coast, his siblings also pray for rain and for his safety. Nicio experiences a strange series of visions of old, Mesoamerican deities, beings of immense and ancient power. Finally, his prayers for rain are answered by the Thunderbird, who brings the prayed-for rain. "Nicio and Cedar Fire" is beautifully told and hauntingly illustrated by the sisters of the fire-warrior Nicio. "Nicio and Cedar Fire" is a treasure trove of pre-Columbian religious figures of myth and mystery. It is also a fascinating example of a courageous man weaving his life from a fabric enriched by ancient memories in dangerous modern times. "Nicio and Cedar Fire" is appropriate for children ages 6 and up.

For Faithful Friends
Marilyn E. Randall, artist and author
Personal Touch II Designs, Lulu Publishing
Whidbey Island, Washington 98253
9780557100415, $18.95,

"For Faithful Friends" is a charming book in verse about the friendship of a frightened, withdrawn turtle and his faithful, outgoing companion, mouse. Colorful and expressive illustrations help complete the story's details. Helping turtle to overcome his fear of life's experiences, mouse discovers the double value of having a faithful friend, and turtle discovers his own courageous heart. "For Faithful Friends" is a strong yet sensitive fable for modern times. It is sure to appeal to children ages 6-10.

Stop It!
Sally O. Lee, author/illustrator
Lee Publishing
35 Locust St., Unit 5, Danvers, MA 01923
9781439261149, $17.99,

"Stop It!" is an artistic creation by accomplished artist/author Sally Lee about how a child named Annabel learns to deal with bullying behavior from her brother George. When he picks up her cat Lulubell by her tail, Annabel takes charge and yells at George, "Stop it!" All ends well in this modern fable of self defense, as George learns that bullying is not fun for the bully-er and there are better ways to play together. Wonderful, fanciful paintings with childlike clarity tell the story along with the sparse, specially chosen script. "Stop It!" is a child's how-to book about relationships with fully helpful instructive pictures. It will appeal to children ages preschool to 8.

On A Canadian Day
Rona Arato, author
Peter Ferguson, illustrator
Maple Tree Press
c/o Owlkids Books, Inc.
10 Lower Spadina Avenue, Suite 400, Toronto, Ontario M5V 2Z2
9781897349519, $19.95,

"On A Canadian Day: Nine Story Voyages Through History" is a groundbreaking nonfiction collection of nine voyage stories of nine fictional children at pivotal points in Canadian and world history. Little Wolf is the twelve year old aboriginal boy who participates in his first buffalo hunt with his father and tribe around the year 1620 on the Great Plains of Canada. Henri Bernier is a twelve year old French boy whose mother came to Quebec from Marseilles as a 'filles du roi', one of the King's Daughters. The year is 1685 and Henri is bound for Quebec City where he will apprentice as a carpenter to his uncle. Henri is a habitant son, a child of early French settlers who settled the land of New France, which later became in part, Quebec. Seven more children's stories are told of different immigrant and settling experiences in parts of Canada. "On A Canadian Day" is a wonderful assortment of pre-adolescent's life experiences that are vividly described and illustrated in this authentically framed and researched collection. Each chapter has a special historical background summary at the end of the story, with further photos and illustrations and details. "On A Canadian Day" is appropriate for children age 9-14.

The American History Shelf

No Girls Allowed
Alan N. Kay
WM Kids
c/o White Mane Publishing Company
PO Box 708, 73 West Burd Street, Shippensburg, PA 17257
1572493240, $6.95,

Fighting isn't a boys club only. Set during the American Civil War, "No Girls Allowed" tells the story of Mary Adams and Lynn Rhodes, two young women who, barred from society from fighting, dare to do their part anyway. Mary goes onto the field as a war nurse, while Lynn puts on the uniform of a soldier, her true gender unbeknownst to her fellow soldiers or her superiors. A fun and historically educational read that will empower many young girls, "No Girls Allowed" is very highly recommended.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Bartholomew's Passage
Arnold Ytreeide
Kregel Publications
P.O. Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
9780825441738, $13.99,

"Bartholomew's Passage" is a family Advent story meant to be read together along with a lighting of the Advent candle wreath in the 4 weeks before Christmas. Designed to appeal to children age 7 and over, "Bartholomew's Passage" reveals the old Advent story afresh from a boy's viewpoint. Read and considered thoughtfully together, "Bartholomew's Passage" can help children and parents build a better relationship with God through faith and prayer. "Bartholomew's Passage" is realistically designed, with a real boy hero who encounters real obstacles and dangers in his advocacy for the holy family. "Bartholomew's Passage" is a mindful gift for Christian families to give their children.

The Bilingual Shelf

The Stone Cutter & the Navajo Maiden
Vee F. Browne, author
Johnson Yazzie, illustrator
Salina Bookshelf
3120 N. Calden Court, Suite 4, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
9781893354920, $17.95,

"The Stone Cutter & the Navajo Maiden/Tse Yitsidi doo Ch'ikeeh Bitsedaashjee" is a beautiful bilingual book about a Navajo girl named Cinnibah who seeks the help of the Stone Cutter to replace her broken grinding stone, or metate, which she uses to grind corn and make cakes. She has the help of the Pottery Maker to find the Stone Maker and she trades her precious turquoise bracelet and the beautiful pot offered by the Pottery Maker for her new metate. She also meets the Mocassin Maker and has other adventures including some scraped knees in her search for the Stone Cutter and the new metate. All exchanges are voiced with traditional forms of respectful address in Navajo and each page is divided in half with the story told in English and in Navajo, opposite the beautiful paintings and illustrations. A great deal of valuable cultural background information is seamlessly presented in "The Stone Cutter & the Navajo Maiden, including the Author's Note at the end which tells of the Kinaalda, or puberty ceremony that is held to celebrate a girl's transition into womanhood among the Navajo. "The Stone Cutter & the Navajo Maiden" is a beautiful, reverent book that will strike a chord with readers age 6 and up.

The Fiction Shelf

An African Tale
Emma Neru
Outskirts Press
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432723484, $14.95,

With the word falling apart, it may be up to two young children to see the day through. "An African Tale" is a children's story telling of two descendants of a weather god. When water becomes an issue, it is up to them, despite their radical differences, to come to the world's aid. A fun read in a folktale style, "An African Tale" is a worthwhile pick for young readers.

Spring Break with Paddy O'Rourke
Patti B. Pruitt
Dorrance Publishing Co.
701 Smithfield Street, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
9781434901637, $9.00,

"Spring Break with Paddy O'Rourke: Book Two" is a funny continuation of the adventures of nine-year-old Jason and his secret leprechaun trickster, Paddy, whom he has inherited from his Irish grandfather. First sequel to "Meeting Paddy O'Rourke," "Spring Break with Paddy O'Rourke" provides more of the fast-moving trickster action and jokes, mostly at Jason's expense, that keep readers holding their sides while turning pages. Readers young and old will continue to savor the delight of experiencing the unpredictability of dealing with your own secret leprechaun. This is a lovely light fiction book for children and open minded adults to savor and treasure.

Tsubame the Ninja
Mayumi Ichikawa, author
Takashi Yamamoto, illustrator
Prinny Books
NIS America
1221 E. Dyer Road, Suite 210, Santa Ana, CA 92705
9780982441121, $11.99,

"Tsubame the Ninja" is a fabulous story about an ordinary boy in an ordinary home who lives as a ninja during the night, a normal human boy during the day. His secret life includes all the members of his family and he excitedly prepares for the special secret Ninja Olympics, held in the crater at the top of Mt. Fuji. Amazing events are displayed, but Tsubame the Ninja learns his finest lesson not from winning a competition, but from overcoming his fear of heights and inventing a spectacular new move that becomes known as "Flying Bird." "Tsubame the Ninja" is a fast moving, action packed book filled with adventure and challenge, enfolded into everyday disguises in regular living. The secret is out, Tsubame the Ninja is the greatest! Filled with inspiration, surprise and a lacing of humor and fun, "Tsubame the Ninja" will appeal to ages 4-8.

The Holiday Shelf

Cinco de Mayo
L. L. Owens, author
Holli Conger, illustrator
ABDO Publishing Co.
Magic Wagon
800 W. 78th Street, Edina, Minnesota 55439
9781602706026, $27.07,

"Cinco de Mayo" is a nonfiction picture book for children preK-8 ages, part of Magic Wagon's 'Cultural Holidays' series for young readers. Containing colorful illustrations and historical background information on this important Mexican Independence celebration day, "Cinco de Mayo" rounds out its appealing pages with recipes, activities, songs, and a handy glossary. Other books in this series include "Christmas" and "Hanukkah."

The Judaic Studies Shelf

I Love Jewish Faces
Debra B. Darvick
URJ Press
P.O. Box 933364, Atlanta, GA 31193
9780807411087, $8.95,

"I Love Jewish Faces" contains over 30 photographs of current Jewish faces of many races and places that will appeal to children ages 4-8. The varied look of modern Judaism shines forth in every page. To celebrate Jewish identity and embrace diversity, read "I Love Jewish Faces" with your child.

The Young Adult Shelf

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

Christopher Paolini's The BRISINGR DELUXE EDITION (9780375854811, $29.99) precedes the publication of Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia and offers a fine keepsake gift edition including the complete text of Brisingr along with special features; deleted scenes, a tear-out poster, a guide to dwarvish runes and more. Young adult and adult fantasy fans who appreciate a complex, fun read will find this a 'must'. Matthew Cody's POWERLESS (9780375855955, $15.99) tells of Daniel's move to a new town, the new friends who are nice but odd, and his discovery that each have a superpower. His new friends are watching over the town - but when they turn thirteen their magical abilities vanish along with their memories. Who is stealing their powers? It's up to Daniel to find out.

c/o Penguin Publishing Group
345 Hudson St., New York NY 10014

Peg Kehret's RUNAWAY TWIN (9780525421771, $16.99) tells of Sunny, who longs to be reunited with her twin sister Starr. Separated at age three and with only a photo to guide her, Sunny crosses the country in search of the sister she's lost, rescuing an abandoned dog, handling bullies and bus drivers, and finding that when she locates her twin, life still isn't perfect. Nina LaCour's HOLD STILL (9780525421559, $17.99) tells of a best friend's suicide and how it affects Caitlin, who loses the laughter and joy she shared with her best friend. Ingrid has also left behind a journal for Caitlin - a farewell that leads Caitlin to battle her own depression. Both are fine picks for any leisure reader.

Jungle Crossing
Sydney Salter
c/o Harcourt Children's Books
525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495
9780152064341, $16.00

JUNGLE CROSSING tells of Kat, who can think of dozens of good reasons not to go on a boring family vacation to hot Mexico - including missing her friend Fiona's min-camp. When a young Mayan guide befriends her and tells her of the legend of Muluc, a girl who lived a dramatic life in ancient times, Kat discovers new friends and re-considers her old friendships in this dramatic tale.

Alyson Noel
St. Martins Press
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
9780312590444, $17.99

This new 'Immortals' series novel adds to a series with a huge teen following and provides paranormal novel fans with a new story of high school student Ever and her immortal soul mate Damen. Here the first hardcover edition in the Immortals series tells of Ever's quest for an antidote to Damen's troubles which results in an unusual bookstore job, new friendships, and Ever's draw to proprietor Jude. A powerful story blends romance and fantasy and is hard to put down.

Delacorte Press/Razorbill
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

David Williams' THE BOY IN THE DRESS (9781595142993, $15.99) provides the powerful story of Dennis, who lives in a boring down in a boring house and has a passion for soccer - and fashion. When his friend Lisa discovers his stash of Vogue magazines and convinces him to wear a dress to school, trouble begins. A compelling, unusual story offers black and white drawings by Quentin Blake throughout. Rosemary Clemente-Moore's THE SPLENDOR FALLS (9780385736909, $17.99) offers older young adult readers a blend of mystery, romance, fantasy and high drama. A broken leg has halted Sylvie's ballet career and her mother's remarriage sets her back further. A summer in a relative's old house and interactions with two competing suitors further complicate her summer in this fine saga. David Almond's RAVEN SUMMER (9780385738064, $16.99) tells of two boys who find an abandoned baby. Her removal to a foster family introduces discoverer Liam to a whole new world of civil war, danger, and challenging interactions in this fine story of discovery and drama. Annika Thor's A FARAWAY ISLAND (9780385736176, $16.99) is set in the summer of 1939 and tells of two Jewish sisters from Vienna sent to Sweden to escape the Nazis. What is anticipated as a short stay becomes a dangerous world for Stephie, who finds it hard to adapt to Sweden or a foster mother who is cold and remote. Will they ever see their family again? Matt De La Pena's WE WERE HERE (9780385736671, $17.99) tells of Miguel, sent to a group home in juvenile hall and who ultimately escapes to try to get across the border to Mexico where he can forget his family issues and start over. His journey is as much one of self-discovery and forgiveness as it is of escape. Joshua Doder's GRK SMELLS A RAT (9780385737227, $15.99) tells of Tim, his family and friends, and his dog Grk, who have arrived on a tour of India. His discovery of a group that enslaves children and Krishnan's struggle to rescue his sister from a life of forced labor leads Tim, Grk and Natascha on a dangerous journey. Iain Lawrence's THE GIANT-SLAYER (9780385733762, $16.99) is set in 1955 when Laurie's friend Dickie contracts polio and is confined to an iron lung, where she meets other kids trapped inside the breathing machines. Her abilities to spin fantastic stories will set them free and transport them into happier worlds in this fine story of shared friendships and power. Thomas E. Sniegoski's LEGACY (9780385737142, $15.99) tells of a deadbeat father who is a superhero and the discovery of a teen who has to choose between a father who's never been a part of his life and his comfortable life as a high school dropout and auto mechanic. His involvement in his father's 'heroic' behaviors will change his life and cause him to re-examine differences between good intentions and evil deeds in this winner.

The Biography Shelf

Albert Einstein
Kathleen Krull
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
345 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
9780670063321, $15.99

ALBERT EINSTEIN is illustrated with black and white drawings by Boris Kulikov and explores a genius who was not actually a scientist in the ordinary sense of the word. Einstein didn't like to work in a lab, rarely did experiments to back up his theories, and had trouble working on math proofs - but he was a thinker whose 'thought experiments' changed the world of physics. ALBERT EINSTEIN provides a lively 140-page biography perfect for any young adult interested in producing reports of famous people.

Kingfisher Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Clive Gifford's TEN INVENTORS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD (9780753462591, $14.99) is a pick for advanced elementary readers and grades 5-7, and provides a fine set of biographies of Archimedes, Galileo, Thomas Edison, Tesla, Marie Curie and others who changed their worlds. Innovative tests connect each story and show the timeline of how these pioneers were inspired by or reacted to those before them in a fine blend of vivid cartoon-style artwork by David Cousens and lively reading. Philip Steele's THE MIDDLE EAST (9780753463130, $8.99) includes web sites, book lists, and places to explore as it offers an illustrated and detailed look at Middle East art, culture, and concerns. Steve Augarde's LEONARDO DA VINCI (9780753461747, $16.99) tells of ten-year-old Paolo who becomes an apprentice to Leonardo da Vinci. His diary tells of Renaissance Italy and offers a young boy's insights not only into the art world of da Vinci, but into the flavor of his times. It's a fine survey of Renaissance European life perfect for grades 4-6.

The World History Shelf

Mysterious Messages: A History of Codes and Ciphers
Gary Blackwood
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
9780525479604, $16.99

Mysterious Messages: A History of Codes and Ciphers offers a fine survey of history's most dangerous secrets and ciphers that readers can use themselves. Any interested in espionage and codes will find this packs in both a history of ciphers and their use and keys to the codes themselves in a lively series of sidebars and explorations.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Skeleton Key: The Graphic Novel
Anthony Horowitz,
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
9780399254185, $14.99

Skeleton Key: The Graphic Novel provides a vivid Alex Rider action story in full color where the teen superspy is sent to Skeleton Key - an island near Cuba - to thwart an insane Russian. Intrigue and manga-style art contribute to this third Alex Rider adventure for all ages.

The Easy Reader Shelf

Sly the Sleuth and the Code Mysteries
Donna Jo Napoli and Robert Furrow
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
345 Hudson, New York NY 10014
9780803733459, $16.99

Sly the Sleuth and the Code Mysteries receives Heather Maione's drawings and tells the story of Sylvia a.k.a. Sly, whose detective agency Sleuth for Hire presents many cases and new mysteries to solve. Here they all involve figuring out codes - and a host of mysteries keep Sly hopping in a fine set of cases.

Nate the Great and the Hungry Book Club
Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Mitchell Sharmat
Delacorte Press
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780385736954, $12.99

Nate the Great and the Hungry Book Club provides another fine chapter book telling of Nate's investigations. Here an evil page monster is on the loose and threatens the cookbook Rosamond uses to make treats for the club. It's up to Nate and his dog Sludge to become undercover detectives to discover the source of missing and ripped pages in this fun 64-page reader.

Just Grace and the Snack Attack
Charise Mericle Harper
Houghton Mifflin Company
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9780547152233, $15.00

Just Grace and the Snack Attack covers all the bases in the context of its fun story, from doing fancy hairstyles for a cat and making a flower garden in one's room to creating a zine from only one piece of paper and understanding food origins in a 'snack attack'. Advanced elementary to middle school readers will find this a fun survey.

The Audiobook Shelf

William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and The Story of Rome
As told by Jim Weiss
Greathall Productions, Inc.
PO Box 5061, Charlottesville, VA 22905-5061
9781882513611 $14.95 1-800-477-6234

Part of Greathall Production's excellent and award-winning line of audiobook adaptations, William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and The Story of Rome is an engaging retelling of Shakespeare's classic drama about Caesar's murder and its terrible repercussions. Superbly narrated by Jim Weiss, who dramatically brings the cast of historical characters to life, William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and The Story of Rome is an enthralling rendition of a classic saga of betrayal and struggle, ideal for public library collections. Highly recommended. 76 minutes.

In the Belly of the Bloodhound
L.A. Meyer, author
Katherine Kellgren, narrator
Listen & Live Audio
PO Box 817, Roseland, NJ 07068
9781593161422 $29.95

A "Bloody Jack Adventure", In the Belly of the Bloodhound is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a thrilling and empowering novel for young adults, especially young girls! Jacky Faber has been named a pirate by the King of England, and a price has been put on her head. She sought to hide amid the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston, but during a class field trip to Boston Harbor, the ruthless crew of the slaver ship called the "Bloodhound" abducted the girls for auction into Arab harems. Jacky is ready to fight her captors, but the Lawson Peabody girls are out of their element - and in need of Jacky to show them the importance of finding one's courage! Only by relinquishing rigid adherence to propriety can they become their own rescuers from a desperate situation, in this enthralling saga of rising past societal expectations to meet a dire challenge. 13 CDs, 15 hours. Also highly recommended, especially for public library children's audiobook collections, is "My Bonny Light Horseman" (9781593164461, $29.95).

The DVD Shelf

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
Katherine Kellgren, narrator
John Jennings, music
Julia Rawlinson, author
Tiphanie Beeke, illustrator
Weston Woods Studios
143 Main Street, Norwalk, CT 06851
$59.95 1-800-290-7531

Intended for young people ages 3 to 7 (guided reading level 1), Fletcher and the Falling Leaves is the DVD adaptation of the children's picturebook by Julia Rawlinson (beautifully illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke), featuring limited animation and a read-along option for parents and children to share. The story is about a little fox named Fletcher, who is worried because autumn has come and his favorite tree is losing its leaves - but when winter arrives, his tree is transformed. Gently narrated by Katherine Kellgren and enhanced with music by John Jennings, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves brings a wonderful story to vivid life, and is highly recommended especially for public library children's collections. 11 minutes, color, closed-captioned.

Thomas & Friends: Splish, Splash, Splosh!
HiT Entertainment
c/o Lionsgate
2700 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Thomas & Friends: Splish, Splash, Splosh! is the latest children's DVD in the widely beloved Thomas the Tank Engine series, in which Thomas and his friends embark on rainy-day adventures. A collection of short, computer-animated stories with common theme of adapting to difficult weather, Thomas & Friends: Splish, Splash, Splosh! is a cheery and upbeat video sure to delight young people. Bonus features include "Counting with Thomas" and a "Lift & Load Crane Game". 46 min., closed-captioned, full-screen, English/Spanish/French language options.

The Music CD Shelf

Ribbons & Rhythms
Michael Plunkett
Kimbo Educational
PO Box 477, Long Branch, NJ 07740-0477
$15.95 1-800-631-2187

Ribbons & Rhythms: Movement Activities for Learning is a music CD for young people meant to reinforce motor skills, teamwork, listening skills, and even more academic concepts such as the calendar, numbers, and colors. Expensive equipment is not required; simple ribbons, streamers, or even scarves work for the movement routines to catchy rhythms. A comprehensive guide (adaptable for special needs students) written to aid parents and teachers rounds out this great way to help children exercise the bodies and their minds. The tracks are "Shake Your Ribbons", "Got the Wiggles", "Days of the Week", "Long Ribbons", "Ribbon Dance", "The Alphabet Months", "When I Grow Up", "Who's Got the Beat", "You've Got the Rhythm", "Chickasaw Chicken", "Count With Me", "Feels Good", "The Numbers Rap", and "Goodbye Song". Also highly recommended for parents, babysitters, and educators to share with children is "Multicultural Bean Bag Fun" ($15.95).

Rock and Roll Garden
Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Waldmania! (publicity)
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127

Educator and recording artist Bari Koral presents Rock and Roll Garden, an album of family-friendly songs on CD designed to appeal to both children and adults. Catchy pop/rock tunes, songs that tell stories, and encouragement to get moving by dancing and singing along pepper this delightful collection. An excellent gift for little ones (and great for playing at children's parties), Rock and Roll Garden is a musical treat that parents just might inadvertently find themselves tapping or humming to! The tracks are "Hey Ducky", "The Backpack Song", "Pop", "Boom Boom", "Best Friends", "Colors", "Clap It!", "Big Sounds", "Dance All Day", "Subway", and "Uh Oh". 26 minutes.

Circle Time Songs & Games
Laura Johnson
Kimbo Educational
PO Box 477, Long Branch, NJ 07740-0477
$15.95 1-800-631-2187

Created by expert early childhood educator Laura Johnson, Circle Time Songs & Games is a music CD for young people that can be used to help them develop listening skills, motor skills, patterning skills, rhythm awareness, and reading awareness. Simple activities using inexpensive "on hand" materials (as simple as a sheet of newspaper crumpled into a ball, a paper bag, or dried beans) pepper this educational resource, which includes an accompanying guide of teaching suggestions and recommended book titles for developing lesson plans that synergize with the songs and games. Highly recommended, especially for classroom teachers and home schoolers responsible for instructing young children. The tracks are "Hello My Friend (Puppet Pals)", "When Pigs Get Up in the Morning", "Paper Ball Toss", "Peter Hammers", "Color Squares", "The Alphabet Rag", "Old MacDonald's Rhythm Sticks", "Rooty-Toot-Toot", "Come On In & Join the Game", "Five Little Ducks", "The More We Are Together", "If All the Raindrops", "The Alphabet Rag (instrumental)", "Paper Ball Toss (instrumental)", and "Rooty-Toot-Toot" (instrumental).

A Cow Says Moock
Alastair Moock

Alastair Moock, now the proud father of twin daughters, presents A Cow Says Moock, his first music album for children. Consisting of four covers (tributes to Woody Guthrie, Huddie Ledbetter, Mississippi John Hurt, and Taj Mahal) and seven originals, the songs are a blend of silly fun and wholehearted love for America's wondrous musical heritage. A joyful music CD great for car trips, children's parties, or just plain fun, enthusiastically recommended especially for parents, babysitters and day care providers. The tracks are "A Cow Says Moo" (3:28), "Belly Buttons" (3:01), "Fishin' Blues" (3:09), "Twins Are Twice As Fun" (4:13), "Two Mommies" (2:30), "Ship in the Sky" (4:15), "Rock Island Line" (2:59), "Chicken" (3:13), "Spaghetti In My Shoe" (3:39), "Two Little Babies (Dance Around)" (3:38), and Yllabul (4:02).

Why Does Gray Matter?
Roger Day
Roger Day Productions, LLC
PO Box 981, Franklin, TN 37065
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier (publicity)
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127

Parent's Choice Gold Award winner Roger Day presents Why Does Gray Matter?, a music CD for young people ages 5-11 with a strong positive message: that using their heads to think and reason is very important! The educational songs include fun facts about the functions of different parts of the brain. A catchy way to let young people know that their brains have value and it's OK to be smart, Why Does Gray Matter? is highly recommended especially for public and school library children's collections. The tracks are "Why Does Gray Matter?", "Sara Bellum, the Brainy Girl", "Inside My Cranium", "The Left Brain/Right Brain Song, Brain Freeze!", "Get Your Brain in Gear", "It's a No Brainer", "The Brain Train", "Brain Food - Eat It Up!", "Concentration (Turn On Your Brain)", "Use Your Noodle", "Build a Better World", "Monkey Brains", and the live bonus track "Shake Up Your Brain". 39 minutes.

Little Ditties for Itty Bitties
Michele Valeri
Beth Blenz-Clucas Publicity
5505 SW Illinois Street, Portland, OR 97221
9780965103626 $12.00

Little Ditties for Itty Bitties: Songs for Infants and Toddlers is a music CD by Grammy-nominated performer Michele Valeri, featuring fifteen original songs perfect for sharing with the littlest of music lovers during play and learning. Meant for use in classrooms or at home, Little Ditties for Itty Bitties has several activity-based songs (from bouncing to peekaboo to moving about on the floor). An accompanying PDF file has the full lyrics and suggested activities for each song. An excellent choice for babysitters and child care providers as well as parents and preschool teachers, Little Ditties for Itty Bitties is highly recommended. The tracks are "Bouncy Bouncy" (1:20), "Hurray For My Face!" (2:23), "Busy Day" (2:27), "Walking/Caminando" (4:08), "Peekaboo" (3:11), "My Dog George" (1:36), "Knock Knock Knock" (2:53), "Toc Toc Toc" (2:53), "Monkey Talk" (2:19), "Vroom Vroom Vroom" (1:35), "Who Lives in the Zoo?" (4:05), "A Dinosaur I Am" (3:06), "Fishies in the Water" (2:31), "Night Night to the Animals" (4:03), and "The Ocean" (2:25).

The Picturebook Shelf

Bear And A Bucket
JoAnn Jackson
Suite 200, 1663, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781441561817, $13.99,

"Bear And A Bucket" by author and illustrator JoAnn Jackson is a charming tale of a bear who is determined to take a bath in a bucket. He does not let the fact that the bucket has a hole in it that quickly drains out the water poured in deter him from his goal. New creative solutions to the problem occur to him partly through the assistance of friends, and Bear manages to achieve his unusual goal in an entirely unique way. Chock -full of childlike paintings of Bear and his companions and their bucket dreams, "Bear And A Bucket" is a first rate fable set to teach children creativity, patience, and determination.

The Little General and the Giant Snowflake
Matthea Harvey, author
Elizabeth Zechel, illustrator
Tin House Books
2617 NW Thurman Street, Portland, Oregon 97210
9780982053911, $10.95,

"The Little General and the Giant Snowflake" is an imaginative parable of peace in a war-defined world, appealing to children of all ages. The dialogue between the armies of the Realists and the Dreamers is enlarged to envelope the private epiphany experience of the Little General and his Snowflake. In a humorous mini'-world perfectly captured in the shaded pencil drawings of Elizabeth Zechel, the Little General confronts and addresses his demon, or rather, his Snowflake and finds, much to his surprise, that the differences between the Realists and the Dreamers is not so great after all. "The Little General and the Giant Snowflake" is a delightful book that will resonate warmly for children of all ages.

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

Barney Saltzberg's I WANT A DOG! (9780375857836, $11.99) is not a library pick but is perfect for home readers who will appreciate the lift-up flaps and pull tabs. The young protagonist explains in rhyme why other animals won't do - including hippos and pigs - and provides a rollicking account. Barbara Jean Hicks' MONSTERS DON'T EAT BROCCOLI (9780375856860, $16.99) follows monsters who insist they don't like broccoli, and who'd rather eat tractors or a rocket ship. Kids will find hilarious the types of snacks these monsters prefer over regular food. Laura Joy Rennert's BUYING, TRAINING & CARING FOR YOUR DINOSAUR (9780375836794, $16.00) tells of the fun to be had with a dinosaur - and what kind of dino that one can choose. From feeding and exercising a dino to taking him to the vet and training him, kids get a feel for what dino ownership entails. Leo Lionni's LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW (9780375860133, $15.99) appears in its 50th anniversary edition to tell of best friends who lose each other one day - and who hug until they become green. How can they find themselves again? A fine classic reissued.

c/o Penguin Publishing Group
345 Hudson, New York NY 10014

Dean Koontz's I, TRIXIE WHO IS DOG (9780399251962, $16.99) receives Janet Cleland's fine drawings as it tells of dog Trixie, who gets to be a dog and appreciate the charms of a dog's life. Author Dean Koontz reveals the joys of doghood through the eyes of his golden retriever Trixie in this delightfully fun story. Dave Horowitz's DUCK DUCK MOOSE (9780399247828, $16.99) tells of Moose, who loves the Great North Woods where weather is cool and there's Bear as a friend. Why would he want to leave? But when Bear is hibernating and the Pancake Hut will close for the season, moose decides he might as well journey to Florida in this fun tale of discovery. Patricia Polacco's JANUARY'S SPARROW (9780399250774, $22.99) tells of the Crosswhites who flee the Kentucky plantation they slave on leaving everything behind to journey on the Underground Railroad to freedom in Michigan. But are they really free? Slave catchers threaten their liberty in this recommendation for picturebook readers with good reading skills.

Brave Charlotte and the Wolves
Anu Stohner and Henrike Wilson
Bloomsbury Press
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
9781599904245, $16.99

Charlotte has always stood out from the herd for her courage and sense of adventure, even when it comes to standing up to other sheep bullies - but can she stand up to a mysterious force lurking in the woods? A feisty little sheep has some clever ideas to save the day in this fine story for picturebook readers.

Scholastic Press
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

Judi Barrett's THE MARSHMALLOW INCIDENT (054504653X, $16.99) comes from the author of CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS and receives Ron Barrett's warm drawings as it tells of the town of Left and Right, separated by a dotted yellow line that must never be crossed. When a citizen crosses the line, trouble ensues and the Order of the Ambidextrous Knights spring into action. Molly Bang's ALL OF ME! A BOOK OF THANKS (0545044243, $16.99) uses colorful collages to tell of kids and their self-discoveries and discoveries of the world around them. Crayons, sketches and paints accompany a simple survey parents and teachers will find involving.

My Abuelita
Tony Johnston
Harcourt Children's Books
525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495
9780152163303, $16.00

MY ABUELITA receives Yuyi Morales' warm drawings and tells of Abuelita's hair, the color of salt, who is wild and loud. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother - but what could her special job be? Spanish and English celebrate family ties and a special grandmother's skills.

The Adventure, a Rip Squeak Book
Susan Yost-Filgate, author
Leonard Filgate, illustrator
Raven Tree Press
1400 Miller Parkway, McHenry, IL 60050
Rip Squeak Press
23 South Tassajara Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
9780967242293, $16.95,

"The Adventure, Rip Squeak and Friends" is a wonderful, swashbuckling tale of mouse pirate Rip Squeak and friends, sister Jesse, her doll Bunny, Abbey the kitten and Euripides the frog. Aboard the pond ship the Adventure, Rip and crew encounter a scary, slimy pond monster. However, Rip climbs up a rope to view the submerged monster and manages to fall in the water, only to be note eaten, but rescued by the scary pond monster. It turns out his name is Salvadore and he is not really so scary after all, thanks to a brave discovery by the bold Rip Squeak. The Adventure and her crew are eventually reconciled with their captain and introduced to Salvadore, who becomes their new friend. "The Adventure, Rip Squeak and Friends" is beautifully illustrated with paintings of ship, crew, and monster/friend Salvadore. Children ages 6 and up will love this colorful ship story.

The Girl Who Tamed Her Wonder Worm
Rose Brenda Lavis, author
Susan Anderson, illustrator
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403 1-800-839-8640
9781438993232, $16.99,

"The Girl Who Tamed Her Wonder Worm" is a brightly illuminated story about a four-year old girl named Jill who faces her doubts and worries about attending a new playschool and "tames her wonder worm." It is a true story, written by the girl's mother, who provides support to her daughter in facing her challenge. "The Girl Who Tamed Her Wonder Worm" is a loving, practical guide to parents and children who deal with fear of new experiences. It is told in simple, yet sophisticated prose that is accessible for most four-year-olds and other preschool-age children. The warm, colorful realistic illustrations add to the charm and appeal of Jill's story.

Percy The Perfectly Imperfect Chicken
Rick Rieser, author
Daniel Seward, illustrator
FastPencil, Inc.
3131 Bascom Avenue, Suite 150, Campbell, CA 95008
9781607469995, $12.95,

"Percy The Perfectly Imperfect Chicken" is a wonderful children's fable about using patience and imagination to combat intolerance and prejudice. It is also about learning to discern and move beyond impossible or inhumane standards, such as perfection. Beautifully told in rhyme and illustrated in huge, brilliant moving murals, "Percy the Perfectly Imperfect Chicken" is more than a recast story of the ugly duckling, it showcases the pervasive need for acceptance and celebration of differences . "Percy the Perfectly Imperfect Chicken" will appeal to children age 4 and up.

Elena's Big Move
Sarah M. Olivieri, author
Joaquin L. Zarate, illustrator
Synergy Books
P.O. Box 80107, Austin, Texas 78758
9780982314043, $16.95,

"Elena's Big Move" is a creative book about a nine year old girl named Elena who moves from the island of Puerto Rico to the midwestern Great Lakes state of Indiana, U. S. A. Fearful of the journey, Elena is encouraged by her mother to take pictures of her favorite places and people in Puerto Rico, to carry a scrapbook of precious memories with her to her new home. When she gets to her new home, she takes her treasured album with her to school on her first day. Her new teacher encourages her to share her pictures and memories of Puerto Rico with her new classmates, and in turn they decide to collect new pictures of Indiana for Elena to help share favorite places and people of her new home with her. Although Elena finds many of the changes scary and hard to understand, she learns she can keep her memories and go forward with her life after her big move. "Elena's Big Move" ends with tips for children, parents and teachers to help in preparing for and adjusting to their own big moves in life. There is also a fun word search puzzle at the end of "Elena's Big Move" with locations discussed in both Indiana and and Puerto Rico. "Elena's Big Move" is filled with shaded paintings that illustrate the feelings Elena is having with both dark tones and light colors.

The Octonauts & the Great Ghost Reef
Meomi, authors and artists
P.O. Box 31846, San Francisco, CA 94127
9781597020190, $15.95,

"The Octonauts & the Great Ghost Reef" is a daring, imaginative children's picture book about a team of eight animal explorers who rescue a sea turtle and tackle the task of helping to bring an endangered coral reef and the sea life it supports back to health. Charming, colorful illustrations help tell this story to 4-8 year-olds in unforgettable style. Designers of the mascots for 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, Meomi presents its educational message with incredible visual pizzaz and punch. Join Captain Barnacles Bear, Peso Penguin Tweak Bunny, Dr. Shellington, Tunip the Vegimal, Sauci Dog, Kwazii Kitten, and Professor Inkling the octopus in their undersea adventure and learn about how to help coral reefs survive and thrive.

Rose's Garden
Peter H. Reynolds,
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763646417, $15.99,

Imaginatively written and beautifully illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, "Rose's Garden" is a lovely story inspired by and dedicated to a very special lady named Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother of Senator Ted Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy. Like its inspiration, "Rose's Garden" celebrates the sharing of natural beauty and the true spirit of community. Faith to overcome disappointment and endless obstacles is the true strength that builds communities, nations, and beautiful flower gardens such as Rose's greenway. Although Rose's teapot collection of beautiful flower seeds from her travels around the world are depleted by hungry birds before she can plant them, she still manages to plant a few. Joined with the beautiful paper flowers that are gradually given to her for her beautiful garden by children from many corners of the globe, her flowerbed eventually produces its first real blooms after many setbacks and delays. The charming watercolor and ink illustrations beautifully illuminate the gradual transition from Rose's gray everyday city world to the colorful, blooming reality of her perfumed garden. "Rose's Garden" is a must to share with children of all ages.

A Royal Little Pest: Mine!
Anita Reynolds MacArthur, author
Karen Roy, illustrator
Pollywog Bog Books
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
311 Washington Street, Brighton, MA 02135
9780981057507, $17.95,

"A Royal Little Pest: Mine!" is a recent release, second in the MacCheeky series that teaches a simple life lesson, in this case, about sharing graciously with others. Prince Hayden discovers on a visit to his cousin Princess Ella that not everyone is thrilled to allow him to play with their toys. His eventual enlightenment leads him to the core observation, "You're not sharing and that's not fun!" But even more important, Prince Hayden realizes that this wonderful insight applies to him as well as others, and he benefits from truly taking it to heart. "A Royal Little Pest: Mine" is written to appeal to children ages 4-8, grades pre k -2. Its charm and punch is enhanced by delightful whimsical illustrations and capitalized outbursts that brim from every page.

Splitting the Herd
Trudy Harris, author
Russell Julian, illustrator
Millbrook Press
c/o Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780822574668, $16.95,

"Splitting the Herd: A Corral of Odds and Evens" is a rollicking read about the cunning cows of Cowboy Kirby and Miss Emma, two hapless ranchers whose cattle herds seem determined to mingle and confuse their owners. Settling the differences by counting odds and evens, dividing by two, and eating a piece of cake together to further discuss the idea seems the best solution to the fence-eluding cows. Humorous, whimsical illustrations of sneaky cows moving back and forth in the moonlight provide lots of extra giggles. In the end, "Splitting the Herd" provides the perfect solution to a comical number problem, with lots of entertainment on the way. "Splitting the Herd" is well aimed for elementary ages.

First Pooch: The Obamas Pick a Pet
Carole Boston Weatherford, author
Amy Bates, illustrator
Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, New York 10591
9780761456360, $16.99,

"First Pooch" is the charmingly illustrated story of President Obama's momentous decision to buy his daughters, Malia and Sasha, a dog. After many considerations and qualifications, the First Family arrive at their momentous choice, a Portuguese water dog they decide to name Bo. The First Dog is a gift to the First Family from Senator and Mrs. Edward Kennedy, and he takes his place with the first Family on Easter morning, after a long time of waiting and preparation. "First Pooch" ends with a list of many fascinating facts about other White House pets in history. "First Pooch" is designed to appeal to children ages 4-8.

The Year of the Tiger
Oliver Chin, author
Justin Roth, illustrator
Immedium Inc.
PO Box 31846, San Francisco, CA 94131
9781597020206, $15.95,

"The Year of the Tiger: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac" is the fifth in a series of children's picture books on the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, following The Year of the Ox (2009), The Year of the Rat (2008), The Year of the Pig (2007), and The Year of the Dog (2006). Teddy the tiger cub makes friends with a human girl named Su, against his royal parents recommendations. Can tigers and humans coexist peacefully? Young readers find out this and more about the traits of persons who are born in the Year of the Tiger, 2010.

Our Walk in the Woods
Charity Nebbe, author
Jeffrey Ebbeler, illustrator
Mitten Press
Ann Arbor Media Group
2500 State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
9781587264375, $17.95,

"Our Walk in the Woods" is a special picture book about a young girl named Abby and her dog, Kirby, who enjoy taking an early walk in the woods in the spring. The experience of the walk is told from both the girl's and the dog's viewpoints, with different print to show whose eyes we are looking through. Fabulous, vibrant illustrations take the reader directly into the experiences of Abby and Kirby. From underwater to in the tunnel, the pictures' perspectives continually change and challenge the imaginations of young readers. "Our Walk in the Woods" is a wonderful experience for young readers, especially those who have or want to have a pet.

Leonardo Da Vinci
Steve Augarde, author
Leo Brown, illustrator
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780753461747, $16.99,

"Leonardo Da Vinci" is a fine viewing of the many talents and works of the famous Renaissance artist/inventor from the viewpoint of his new apprentice, Paolo. Descriptions of common studio tasks and activities, working and living and conditions, and specific joys and challenges of life in 1490's Milan fill this imaginative and accurately researched book. "Leonardo Da Vinci" is also enriched by many reproductions of drawings and artworks in progress attributed to the artist, in addition to many other illustrations of Paolo's daily life as his apprentice. "Leonard Da Vinci" will appeal to children ages 8-13.

The Leaf that Wouldn't Leave
Trish Trinco, author
Bryan Langdo, illustrator
Tristan Publishing, Inc.
2355 Louisiana Avenue North, Golden Valley, MN 55427
9780931674907, $16.95,

"The Leaf that Wouldn't Leave" is the story of Luigi, the leaf that wouldn't leave, told with the assistance of Evelyn, the evergreen tree. Luigi doesn't want to leave his branch when autumn comes. He envies the safety and security of Evelyn's evergreen branches which stay always green. But Evelyn points out to Luigi that he is destined for more exciting experiences and transformations as a leaf that changes color and finally blows with the wind to many new destinations. The journey and transformation of Luigi is described in conversational verse and illustrated with warm, personal paintings of surprising poignancy. "The Leaf that Wouldn't Leave" is a story with more than one hidden gem, or moral, that will appeal to an audience of children ages 4-8.

Books in Series

Morgan Reynolds Publishing
620 S. Elm St. Suite 387, Greensboro, SC 27406

Two new additions to the 'Diminishing Resources' series each offer a little over 100 pages of facts, from analysis of problems affecting each resource to warning signs of past and present, potential outcomes, and factors influencing environmental change. Middle Schools strong in resource studies will find these excellent starting points for reports. James G. Workman's WATER (1599351153, $28.95) considers water demands and climate change, and Allen Stenstrup's FORESTS (1599351161, $28.95) surveys world forests and influences on their use. Added to the 'Profiles in Economics series is Wolfgang Rossig's KARL MARX (9781599351322, $28.95), telling of the influential economist's effect on the world for nearly two centuries, and Harry LeVine III's THE GREAT EXPLAINER; THE STORY OF RICHARD FEYNMAN (9781599351131, $28.95), packing in a survey of a particle physicist who used his visionary insights to expand science.

Black Rabbit Books
PO Box 3263, Mankato, MN 56002

Under their BRB Kids imprint, Black Rabbit Books has published 'Earth SOS', a simply outstanding 8 volume series of environmental issues oriented titles for young readers. Written at a fourth grade reading level, profusely illustrated with full color photography and informative diagrams, this series of 24-page books are specifically intended to appeal to young readers in grades 3 through 5. Enhanced with 'Fact Files' and thematically appropriate web sites, the individual environmental issue oriented titles include "Acid Rain"; "Climate Change"; "Food for Everyone"; "Ozone Hole"; "Rain Forests in Danger"; "Saving Wildlife"; "Waste Disposal"; and "Water for Everyone". Of special note are the recommendations provided young readers as to how the environment could be improved. 'Earth SOS" is a strongly recommended addition to both school and community library collections, as well as ideal for home schooling curriculum supplements.

The Child's World, Inc.
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003 1-800-599-7323

Beatrix Potter books have been enduringly popular with young readers and their parents for some five generations. Now a new edition of six iconic titles have been published by The Child's World in their 'Classic Tales by Beatrix Potter' series. With a text written at a second grade reading level and storylines that will thoroughly engage young readers from kindergarten through third grade, each 24-page book is published with a reinforced library binding making it ideal for school and community library collections. Featuring full-color reproductions of Potter's lovely artwork, this series includes "The Tale of Benjamin Bunny"; "The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse"; "The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse"; "The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin"; "The Tale of the Flopsy bunnies", and, of course, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". Of special note is a listing of the complete works of Beatrix Potter. Although each title is available separately ($24.21 List/$16.95 Library), both school and community libraries should acquire the entire series ($145.26 List/$101.70) for both the savings and the benefit to their young patrons.

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

History comes alive within the superbly illustrated pages of 'Ancient Art and Cultures', the newest six volume series from the Rosen Publishing Group. Each of the individual 40-page volumes provides a general overview of the culture addressed includes a glossary, resources for obtaining further information, a thematically appropriate bibliography for further studies, and a 'user friendly' index. The individual titles comprising this outstanding and highly recommended series written for young readers ages 9 through 12 includes: "Art and Culture of the Prehistoric World" (9781435835887, $26.50); "Art and Culture of Ancient Egypt" (9781435835894, $26.50); "Art and Culture of Ancient Greece" (9781435835900, $26.50); "Art and Culture of Ancient Rome" (9781435835917, $26.50); "Art and Culture of the Medieval World" (9781435835924, $26.50); and "Art and Culture of the Renaissance World" (9781435835931, $26.50). While school and community libraries should acquire the hardcover library bound editions, it should also be noted that each of these titles is also available in a paperback format for $11.75 each.

Enslow Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 398, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922-0398 1-800-398-2504

Enslow Publishers is a premier publisher of non-fiction books-in-series for young readers. One of their newest publishing projects is 'Amazing Decades in Photos' (9780766031388, individual volumes; $27.95 Trade/$20.95 Library), an eleven volume photographic history of the world by Jim Corrigan. Each volume, beginning with the decade of the 1900s and concluding with the decade of the 2000s, photographically showcases 16 major developments in national and world issues ranging from the politics, history, science, and medicine, to the arts, sports, entertainments, lifestyles, fashions, and fads associated with their particular decade. Featuring illustrations in color as well as black-and-white, each 64-page book in this outstanding series features an informed and informative accompanying text written for children ages 10 and older. An ideal curriculum supplement for grades 5 and up, 'Amazing Decades in Photos' is strongly recommended for both school and community library collections.

Marshall Cavendish Corporation
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591 1-800-831-9881

These new 'cultural atlas' guides offer middle to high school readers powerful 192-page references, each packing in completely revised editions offering texts of insights on cultural affairs, a chronological table of events, a glossary, updated bibliography and more. EGYPT edited by Leon Gray (9780761478775, $69.95), ISLAMIC WORLD edited by Sally MacEachern (9780761478799, $69.95), CHINA edited by Tim Cooke (9780761478751, $69.95), and THE GREEK WORLD (9780761478782, $69.95), also edited by Cooke, are packed with contemporary color photos, maps, lots of historical and cultural articles, and everything needed to produce a fine report.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design