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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 20, Number 3 March 2010 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Health/Medicine Shelf Military Shelf
DVD Shelf Music Shelf Activities Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Science Shelf American History Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Bilingual Shelf Mathematics Shelf
Preschool Shelf Fiction Shelf Chapter Book/Easy Reader Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Books in Series  

Reviewer's Choice

Sewing A Friendship
Natalie Tinti
9780984262502 $15.99 hardcover w/ dust jacket
9780984262519 $12.95 softcover w/ flaps
9780984262526 $15.95 softcover,

"Sewing a Friendship" is an unusual, inspiring artistic conception/creation about empowering girls to overcome obstacles and use creativity to grow together. Created by 10-year-old author/illustrator Natalie Tinti, "Sewing A Friendship" is a truly unique and life enhancing book. Although the target audience might well be 7-10 year old girls, the positive messages about inclusion and imagination will also appeal to others from teens to adults. "Sewing a Friendship" is brimming with color, imagination, vibrancy, and life. Real problems do occur and can be surmounted with courage and creativity. "Sewing a Friendship" delivers a great jolt of positive thinking wrapped in a tinsel-glitzy setting that will charm the most reluctant of readers.

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Mud and Rainbows
Howard Binkow, author
Susan F. Cornelison, illustrator
We Do Listen Foundation
4314 Marina City Crive #320, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
9780971539051, $15.00

"Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Mud and Rainbows" is the latest in the "Howard B. Wigglebottom" series by the author dedicated to help children find ways to feel good about themselves. Howard is a helpful bunny who likes to fix things. He helps his friend Mertle Turtle move faster (LOTS faster), he helps the frogs in science class stretch their legs (read ESCAPE), and he vacuums up all the stray bunny hair when Mama Bunny complained there was bunny hair in the soup. (Sometimes Howard fixes things a bit too much, but no one dares to complain.) However, his friend Ali alligator feels sad and blue because her parents have been fighting a lot and she thinks it is her fault. Howard listens and listens to Ali, trying to figure out how to fix the problem, but he can't figure out how. Finally he talks to his mom, "the only expert on practically everything in the universe," and she tells him he IS doing what his friend Ali needs, which is listening. She also tells him to tell her it is NEVER the child's fault when parents fight, and she says: "When we find something we can't fix, we can change the way we think and feel about it." Howard races off to tell Ali the good news, and guess what happens next? After explaining to her that it was not her fault, he tripps and falls in a pond, ending up covered with mud! This makes Ali laugh! "Howard learned that sometimes life gives you RAINBOWS and sometimes you get MUD!" Fortunately, Howard and Ali learn to make the best of it! The furry textured, soft paintings that illustrate "Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Mud and Rainbows" add greatly to the gentle, encouraging tone of the story. "Howard P. Wigglebottom Learns About Mud and Rainbows" will appeal to children age 3 and up.

Back to Bed, Ed!
Sebastien Braun, author/illustrator
Peachtree Publishers
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30318
9781561455188, $15.95

"Back to Bed, Ed!" is a charming bedtime storybook ideal for young toddlers (or older children) having difficulty finding the courage to sleep through the night in their own beds. Ed is a brave little mouse who loves everything about getting ready for bed but who HATES staying in his own bed. So every night he tiptoes in to sleep with his mother and father, who then do not get a very good night's sleep. Loving parents try everything, saying "Back to bed, Ed!" but finally they decide to take a different approach. Ed's father mouse tucks him in with his little stuffed bunny and night light on. He reassures Ed, telling him "There's no need to be scared. You're a big mouse now." When Ed tries to tiptoe in to sleep with his parents, he finds their door is closed, and after his father takes him back to his be, again, he gets up and find all his little friends, including his teddy, his frog, his duck, and his squirrel, and even more. Then Ed reassures all his friends saying, "There's no need to be scared, I'm here now." And everybody got a good night's sleep. Well almost everybody. Because what the story's illustrations show, though the words do not mention it, is that Ed has a little baby sister (or brother) who sleeps in a crib in his parents' room and who cries, awakening the parents. "Back to Bed, Ed!" is a great little self-empowerment storybook for kids. The charming, detailed illustrations lend a life and a story of their own to every page.

Kitten's Spring
Eugenie Fernandes, author-illustrator
Kids Can Press
29 Birch Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 1E2
9781554533404, $14.95

"Kitten's Spring" is a lovely bit of colorful freshness filled with eye-popping mixed-media page-filling illustrations and delicately rhyming text that will keep children ages 1-4 turning pages and following the story, both in text and picture. "Kitten's Spring" is the perfect early springtime gift for a young child, even if they are still a bit winter-bound. "Kitten's Spring" helps keep hope alight for the longer, lighter, warmer days of spring that are surely coming, even during the darkest days of winter.

The Butt Book
Artie Bennett
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
9781599903118, $16.99,

THE BUTT BOOK receives fine color illustration by Mike Lester and provides the whimsical story of butts on mummies, mommies, giraffes, fish and more. Fun rhymes and pictures offer a hilarious accompaniment to this celebration, recommended for all picture book readers.

Changing of the Guard: The Yellowstone Chronicles
Ted Rechlin, author illustrator
Outskirts Press
10940 S. Parker Road - 515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432750084, $22.95 1-888-OP Books

"Changing of the Guard, The Yellowstone Chronicles" is an exciting artist's double- faceted visual presentation of life forms in the area of Yellowstone Park of today contrasted with the prehistoric creatures that inhabited the same area 70 million years ago. Thus we see a Columbian Ground Squirrel (today) alongside a representation of Purgatorius, a rodent-like mammal from 70 million years ago. Other comparison pictures show a Triceratops by a Bison, an Elk by an Edmontosaurus, and an Eagle flying beneath a Pteranodon and a Quetzalcoatlus. Illustrations are helpfully labeled with descriptions and comparative sizes of the creatures. Some illustrations are in color and some are in black and white, adding to the feeling creative participation in the intended audience of elementary through middle school age children. While revealing a "clever counterpoint of today's wild mammals against the extinct dinosaurs," the artist/author takes the reader on a splendid historical and geographical tour of the Yellowstone Park area that will leave a deep impression of awe. "Changing of the Guard, The Yellowstone Chronicles" is an authentic, respectful representation of some of the fantastical creatures that existed and continue to exist in the beautiful Yellowstone area, a place the author describes as "a perfect mixture of danger and beauty."

Life of Shouty: Good Habits
P.O. Box 11922, Atlanta, GA 30355
9780984206902, $14.95 888-674-1679

"Life of Shouty: Good Habits" is author NeonSeon's answer to the couch potato syndrome. Shouty is someone we all recognize, a procrastinator. Will he manage to face his inactivity and decisionlessness and begin a positive constructive life with new good habits? Not without a struggle, embellished and emblazoned by the blunt, comic strip art of NeonSeon which does more than poke fun at Shouty. In fact, art (by NeonSeon) mirrors Shouty, and it's both painful and scary. Yes, Shouty can take charge, accept responsibility, and change, and it is worth the effort. "Life of Shouty: Good Habits" is aimed at a juvenile audience age 8 and up, but adults will like it too.

Legends of Two-Legs
Rosario Aguilera Lewis
Independent Book Publishers
Jennie's Music Room Books
4241 Filmore St., Chincoteague Island, VA 23336
9780984239245, $22.00

"Legends of Two-Legs" is author illustrator Rosario Aguilera Lewis' second published book, written about Native American prehistory in the Eastern forests of North America. The stories are told in the form of tales told by the animals of the forest about "Two-Legs." All the stories have underlying truths about early human survival skills that have been historically documented. Told in a way that children will remember and enjoy, "Legends of Two-Legs" delivers a complex message about early human life risks and balances in America's dim past. Two-Legs survival is a miracle that mystifies the animals. Will Two -Legs continue to survive today, along with the animals? Perhaps there is a secret here to be rediscovered about living as part of a vast natural network of life. The tales are enhanced by the detailed black and white woodcut style, primitive-effect illustrations.

Wow! New York City, Imagine a City Built With a Paper Clip
Puck, author
Art by Rey David Rojas
Duo Press
c/o Independent Publishers Group
9780982529508, $14.95 1-800-888-4741

"Wow! New York City" is a fun, creative, contemporary book inviting kids age 4-8 to explore the wonders of New York City. Particularly intriguing are artist Rey David Rojas' "paper clip" created illustrations that feature famous sights of New York City represented in a wire-framed artform that is actually based on copper wire metal sculptures, with assorted bright background colors. The most difficult artwork to create, and perhaps the most striking one is the "Imagine" mosaic tile representation, incorporating wire-replicas of hundreds of tiny tiles in a stunning total effect. The spare but effective text is the perfect New York City tour narrative, delivered to accompany the paper clip wire sculptures artworks that feature icons of New York City such as the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, or even a taxi! "Wow! New York City" is an inviting creation that will score high interest points with young people unfamiliar with the vast variety of artistic, social and cultural offerings of the Big Apple.

Real Life Is No Fairy Tale
Sujan Dass, author
Lord Daniels, illustrator
Two Horizons Press
PO Box 10887, Atlanta, GA 30310
9780981617039, $16.95 404-759-8799

"Real Life Is No Fairy Tale" is a truly inspirational book about a boy named Tony whose life gives him many problems and privations. Tony's response to his difficult life is summed up in his favorite saying: "I focus on the good,/ I laugh away the bad,/ and I never forget/ that it could always be worse." So when Tony's brothers beat him to breakfast, leaving him hungry for the day, or when his mother is too tired to notice his needs are not being met, or when a bully classmate threatens to beat him and makes his daily life even more difficult and miserable, Tony tries his best to keep his spirits up and to find a better way to solve his problems. But the true gold of "Real Life Is No Fairy Tale" comes when Tony's friends team up to help him in his scary confrontation with Gary, the troubled bully. They come to help him because they remembered what he said and did for them: "When there's a chance to help anybody else, I'm there first. I help them focus on the good, laugh away the bad, and never forget that it could always be worse." "Real Life Is No Fairy Tale" is a book to hook at-risk youth, but it also makes a powerful case for those not at risk to pay attention and put some empathy to work to help others less fortunate than themselves. The versed text fits with an African American beat and the hand-drawn illustrations show all the details of Tony's world and life described so well. "Real Life Is No Fairy Tale" makes you feel Tony's hunger, and it makes you want to feed him and give him a good cheer.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Talking About Your Weight
Hazel Edwards and Goldie Alexander
Gareth Stevens
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003
9781433936555, $26.00 1-800-542-2595

"Talking About Your Weight" is a Healthy Living publication that pinpoints basic information about achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight targeted specifically for kids ages 8 and above. "Talking About Your Weight" has practical tips for eating well, definitions of "overweight" and other food related diagnoses such as eating disorders, a good working definition of what it means to eat a balanced diet, and an award-winning, photo finish 15-point plan to stay healthy that is compactly presented in one page. Filled with colored photos and fun illustrations and eye-catching "quick-bites" of good data, "Talking About Your Weight" is a valuable, user-friendly resource for kids who need support in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Cancer Informations for Teens
Lisa Bakewell & Karen Bellenir
PO Box 21-1640, Detroit, MI 48231
9780780810853, $69.00,

Cancer knows no age. "Cancer Information for Teens: Health Tips About Cancer Awareness, Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment" is a guide for educating teenagers with what they need to know about cancer. Certain types of cancer are just as prominent in young life as they are in later life, and some are even more common. The chapters are extensive, discussing hereditary cancers, risks and what increases them, contraceptives, and so much more. Diagnosis, treatments, and coping with the aftereffects. A reference that is an absolute must for any teen health collection, "Cancer Information for Teens" is complete and comprehensive, highly recommended.

The Military Shelf

Bitter Ashes
John Wilson
235-1173 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON M4M 3P1
9781894917902, $20.95,

A world war truly touched almost every place in the globe. "Bitter Ashes: The Story of WWII" is a book aimed at young Canadian children outing Canada's lesser spoke involvement in the second World War, emphasizing that Canada was there behind its allies in Europe. It does not skimp however, on the history surrounding the other areas of the war, such as America's conflict with Japan. "Bitter Ashes" is a fine read for any young reader who wants to learn about World War II.

The DVD Shelf

I Can Make Art
Crystal Productions
PO Box 2159, Glenview, IL 60025-6159
9781562906474 $39.95 1-800-255-8629

I Can Make Art: A Six-Part Series Created and Taught by Artists is a DVD anthology designed to stimulate interest in creating art. Intended especially for young viewers ages 9-12, yet accessible to budding artists of all ages and backgrounds, I Can Make Art includes brief tutorials on creating "found object sculptures" (i.e. turning "junk" into art), abstract art and stained glass (students are invited to create works with cellophane and paint), 3D sculptures, murals, folk art paintings, and self-portrait relief prints. Created by artists, for nascent artists, I Can Make Art is a superb addition to middle school library and public library DVD collections, and highly recommended. 74 minutes, closed captioned.

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?
Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
Weston Woods Studios
143 Main Street, Norwalk, CT 06851
0545196558 $59.95

Intended for children ages 4 to 7, How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? is the DVD adaptation of a charming picturebook written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague, directed by Maciek Albrecht with music by Jon Carroll. Narrated by Jane Yolen herself (and featuring a bonus interview with Jane Yolen), How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? playfully follows dinosaurs enjoying story time, show-and-tell, and recess during a typical school day. A read-along option promotes engaging young people in this playful adventure, perfect for public and preschool library DVD collections. 9 minutes, closed captioned.

Rock 'N Learn
PO Box 3595, Conroe, TX 77305-3595 1-800-348-8445

Three award-winning, computer-animated DVDs from Rock 'N Learn correlate to national Science Education standards, and are an excellent way to get young people interested in the basics of science. "Earth Science" (9781934312056, $19.99, 61 min., for grades 3-8) teaches how the earth's tilt causes the seasons, and about the water cycle, what causes weather, the different types of rocks and fossils, topography and volcanoes, plate tectonics, energy and resources, alternative energy and conservation, and much more. "Life Science" (9781934312063, $19.99, 59 min., for grades 3-8) covers plants and photosynthesis, the parts of a plant, the parts of a flower and pollination, characteristics of animal groups, ecosystems/food chains/food webs, genetic traits and adaptations, an introduction to human body systems and more. "Physical Science" (9781934312049, $19.99, 55 min., for grades 5 & up) covers lab safety, the scientific method, the parts of atoms, molecules and the states of matter, physical and chemical changes, mixtures versus pure substances, the definition of electricity, understanding magnetism, motion and gravity, and more. All three DVDs have a bonus section designed to help young viewers with multiple choice tests, and are a superb pick for public and grade school libraries, home schooling DVD collections, and just plain educational fun. Highly recommended.

The Music Shelf

Son Los Colores de Mi Mundo / These Are the Colors of My World
Anna E. Kravis
Baby Rose Music
PO Box 1449, Melville, NY 11747

Intended for youngsters ages 2-6, Son Los Colores de Mi Mundo / These Are the Colors of My World is a collection of bilingual English and Spanish songs designed to promote learning. Performed by the accomplished teacher and recording artist Anna E. Kravis, Son Los Colores de Mi Mundo includes brief spoken introductions and catchy tunes ranging favorites among Latin American children to cheery original songs, and karaoke tracks. A great tool to help both native English speaking and native Spanish speaking children learn both languages, Son Los Colores de Mi Mundo is as fun as it is educational, and sure to delight.

Character Development Songs for Kids
Kimbo Educational
PO Box 477, Long Branch, NJ 07740-0477
$15.95 1-800-631-2187

Kimbo Educational has produced numerous quality music CDs to stimulate young bodies and minds. Character Development Songs for Kids is a children's music CD that seeks to educate and promote positive social values, using toe-tapping rhythms to underscore its valuable life lessons. From learning how to deal with bullies, to the values of cooperation, tolerance, kindness, respect for cultural diversity and all living things, confidence building, and more, Character Development Songs for Kids is an invaluable resource for reinforcing social virtues. Highly recommended. The tracks are "They're Just Bullies!", "I'm in Control", "Hugga-Dugga", "Let's Cooperate", "I Will Be Your Friend", "D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T", "This Heart, These Hands", "Let's Celebrate the Human Race", "My Brother, the Whale", "I Like Me", "The Hooray March!", "I Wish I Were...", "Risk It!", and "The Best Me". Also top picks for any child's music CD library are Kimbo Educational's "Hoppity Hoppin' for Fun & Fitness" ($15.95) and "Shenanigans!" ($15.95).

Body Bingo
Diane Cantwell
DC Creative Co.
9781563461675 $14.49

A Parent's Choice Gold Award winner developed by Certified Physical Education Teacher Diane Cantwell, Body Bingo is not just a music album - it's an audio CD designed to encourage children to engage in creative movement and healthy exercise. Simple narrated instructions and catchy musical tunes encourage young people to engage in simple activities that improve body identification, locomotor and non-locomotor skills. An insert offers a written transcription of the activity instructions, such as "Can you move like an elephant?" or "Can you float like a feather?" A wonderful, get-moving resource, Body Bingo makes a great gift and is also perfect for children's parties. The tracks are "Body Bingo Theme Song", "Challenges 1-10", "Challenges 11-20", "Scarf 1-10", "Scarf 11-20", "Bean Bag 1-12", "Bean Bag Toss & Catch", "Body Bingo Boogie", "Improv Body Bingo", "Let's Get Creative", "Making Movies", "Body Bingo Song (instrumental)", and "Free Style (instrumental)".

Fiesta Mexicana
Sones de Mexico Ensemble
PO Box 13261, Chicago, IL 60613

Fiesta Mexicana: Mexican Songs & Stories for Ninos & Ninas and their Papas & Mamas lives up to its subtitle with a two-disc, English-Spanish bilingual album - one disc in English and one offering the same songs in Spanish. Both discs offer brief educational narratives in between the songs. An educational as well as enjoyable collection, Fiesta Mexicana strives to instruct young listeners about tempo in music, the value of balance, and more positive social lessons as well as an introduction to Mexican heritage and the Spanish language. A delightful music collection that will have parents and listeners of all ages tapping their feet to the beat, Fiesta Mexicana is a joy to experience and enthusiastically recommended for public library children's collections, gift-giving, and even children's parties! The songs (not counting the many narratives) are "Saludo Jarabeado" (1:08), "La Pasion" (1:15), "Xipe" (3:28), "Torito Coiteco" (3:35), "La Acamaya" (3:16), "Los Enanos" (2:44), "El Raton Vaquero" (2:58), "El Trenecito" (2:36), "Tixtla" (6:57), "La Bamba (rock 'n' roll)" (1:34), and "La Bamba (son jarocho)" (4:57).

The Activities Shelf

"Where Is My Home?"
Nora Gaydos, author
Electric Ink Studio, illustrator
18 Ann Street, Norwalk, CT 06854
9781584768258, $4.99

"Where Is My Home" is a level 2 book from the Read it/Write it/Draw it series by Innovative Kids. This creative teaching story book includes a short, illustrated story to read, pages with double lined blanks in the story to allow word writing practice, black and white partial illustrations to encourage drawing of the story, and 22 stickers for use in the "Draw it " section. "Where is My Home" tells the tale of lost Baby Chick who seeks his home in many strange places until he finally finds his home in a comfortable nest, after many adventures and explorations. Another book by the same author and from the same Read it/Draw it/Write it series is "Milo the Monkey," a level three book illustrated by Sholto Walker with the same patterns of learning and literacy activities included (9781584769699, $4.99).

The Only Coloring Puzzle Game Dot-To-Dot Activity Book You'll Ever Need
The Editors of Klutz
450 Lambert Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306
9781570547676, $14.95

"The Only Coloring Puzzle Game Dot-To-Dot Activity Book You'll Ever Need" is a stupendous package of 120 pages of black and white activity pages for kids age 4 and up with an accompanying set of 5 colored markers that twist up as bright soft wax colored pencils (crayons) in neat plastic tubes. There are unfinished drawings, hidden pictures, fold-ups, games, and dot-to-dots as well as cutting practice projects like paper airplanes. This is a really cool activity book with lots of zany, fun suggestions for bored kids on a rainy or snowy day ideal for indoor activities. Klutz is the answer to a parent's prayer for fun learning activities for kids. The instructions are fun too! ("Do not color outside the lines [just kidding]!") This is the only pencil-pushing, jam-packed, bursting-at-the-seams, fold-in, poke-through, paste-on, cut-out, full spectrum of fun games and activities book you'll ever need! Just add COLOR!" Enough said, Klutz is a must for parents and kids over age 4.

Fingerprint Fabulous:
The Editors of Klutz
100% Klutz Certified
Scholastic (distributor)
450 Lambert Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306
9781591747482, $14.95

"Fingerprint Fabulous: Create Sweet & Sparkly Thumbprint Art" is a great activity book especially attractive to girls age 6 and above that showcases creativity with sparkly pink, purple, and green thumbprint pads. The book-kit includes glitter glue, shiny sequins, 3 ink pads, 1 black marker pen, and tear-out greeting cards (to be decorated with thumbprints). A number of clever suggestion chapters enable kids to create flowers, bugs, treats, poodles puppies and kitties, fish, divas, fairytale characters, and more. "Fingerprints Fabulous" is a great gift to allow kids to create hours of fun activities just using their fingertips. It's meant for a rainy or stormy day craft activity fun time!

The Christian Studies Shelf

A Walk With Papa
Patty Zemanick, author
Sandra Hammack, illustrator
Dragonfly Ministries Publishers
295 Noble Circle, Vernon Hills, IL 60061
9780978828905, $14.95

"A Walk With Papa" is an illustrated, 32-page hardback children's book that tells the story of the salvation offered by Jesus to all. Told in simple verse as the experience of a nature walk shared between father and daughter unfolds, "A Walk With Papa" delivers its message clearly through loving images. Biblical quotations underlying the text are listed at the end of the book, and fragile, delicately toned illustrations convey the meanings that are sometimes hidden in natural or mundane images and words. "A Walk With Papa" is a gentle invitation to children to accept the gift of Christian salvation offered to all by Jesus. "A Walk With Papa" is published by Dragonfly Ministries, "an on-line Bible study resource for spiritually hungry women to study God's word in the comfortable setting of their homes." Find out more about them at

I'm Not Your Friend, Mommy
Toshiba Austin-Smith
Tate Publishing
127 E. Trade Center, Mustang, OK 73064
9781615664320, $9.99

"I'm Not Your Friend, Mommy" is a beautiful child's book about the biblical role of a good mother to her children, especially interpreted as a loving mother-daughter relationship. "I'm Not Your Friend, Mommy" explores the feelings of both child and parent in this sensitive, Bible inspired morality fable, where it is made clear that being a parent is a tough job not to be confused with any casual friend-liaison or imitation. Being a mother is the original model on which all future friendships will be based. Perhaps the message of "I'm Not Your Friend, Mommy" is best summed up by the ending quotation: "Today, my child, I am not your friend./ But I will be your mother until the end./ I will help you learn all you should know./ And as you mature, I will let you go./ When you look back over the years,/ You'll understand my dilemma and share my tears./ Yet know that God was there to see me through,/ He showed me love, and I passed it on to you." "I'm Not Your Friend, Mommy" comes complete with a free audio book download.

Good Friends Are Like Angels, They Add Blessings to Life
artwork by Claire Stoner
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North, Eugene, Oregon 97402
9780736925822, $12.99

"Good Friends Are Like Angels" is a treasure trove of quotations on friendship, from the Bible and many other sources, lovingly illustrated by the delicate pastel angelic fantasies of the talented Claire Stoner. Designed as a lovely gift book, "Good Friends Are Like Angels" presents the recipient with a feast for both the eye and the mind, the eye of the imagination. Filled with whimsy, color, joy, and fantastical frivolity, the artistic creations of Claire Stoner dance around words that continually recreate and affirm the nuances of friendship. "Good Friends Are Like Angels" is a jewel of a book that begs to be given to any good friend the reader is blessed with. Favorite quotation: "A friend is a present you give yourself (Robert Louis Stevenson).

Walk in Peace
Ingrid Hess
Herald Press
616 Walnut Avenue, Scottsdale, PA 15683-1999
9780836194692, $13.99,

"Walk in Peace" is a beautifully illustrated child's verse prayer book, every page of text ending with "God loves you, sweet child. / Walk in peace." Colorful paintings portray children of many different lands and nationalities engaged in tasks, daily exercises, or fun and play. Each child is presented with grace and care, a perfect child of God. "Walk in Peace" is a lovely bedtime book to read to young children, leaving a gentle soothing feeling of being valued, loved and cared for by the highest power.

Lucille Travis
Herald Press
Scottsdale, Pennsylvania, 15683
9780836194845, $9.99 1-800-245-7894

"Timna" is a juvenile chapter book about the wife of Shem, son of Noah, and her fears and struggles with belief in God while floating in the Ark for 40 days and nights. "Timna " will appeal to teenage and tween-age female readers especially, with its explorations of the role of women in Biblical times and early Hebrew culture. The breathless wonder of beholding the promise of God in the rainbow after the terrible Flood is unforgettable, and the reality of attention to daily details in animal husbandry is also well grounded. "Timna" is an excellent resource fiction narrative for juvenile readers of faith literature.

The Science Shelf

A Kids' Guide to Climate Change & Global Warming: How To Take Action!
Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A.
Free Spirit Publishing
217 Fifth Avenue North, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781575423234, $6.95 612-338-2068

"A Kids' Guide to Climate Change and Global Warming" is a recent workbook for kids in grade 6 and up in the How To Take Action! series. It contains a global warming map, carbon footprints explanation, water audits, youth summits, alternative energies, cool foods, green comics and much more to empower kids to take action to reduce or end global warming. Providing step by step suggestions for effective activities, "A Kids' Guide to Climate Change and global Warming" is a fine educational tool for young student environmental activists.

The American History Shelf

The Declaration of Independence from A to Z
Catherine Osornio, author
Layne Johnson, painter
Pelican Publishing Co.
1000 Burmaster St., Gretna, LA 70053
9781589806764, $16.99 1-800-843-1724

"The Declaration of Independence from A to Z" is the perfect Fourth of July primer for preschoolers and elementary age children. It is the easiest way to teach American history since 1776. "A is for America," of course, and "B is for Boston Tea Party, C is for Continental Congress," these are all givens and basics in Revolutionary history. But did you know "T is for Timothy Matlack," the assistant to Secretary Charles Thomson, who carefully copied the Declaration of Independence? How about "G is for grievances," or "O is for oath," or "M is for Majority?" There are a few surprises or well kept secrets even at the heart of America's Revolutionary past that come to light in "The Declaration of Independence from A to Z." the pageantry of history is well portrayed in full color two page paintings throughout this amazing alphabet American history primer. "The Declaration of Independence from A to Z" is bound to make a splash of fireworks wherever it lands, in libraries, schools, and private homes.

Civil War Adventure
Chuck Dixon, author
Gary Kwapisz, illustrator
History Graphics Press
528 Tower Rd., Lebanon, VA 24266
9780982446607, $14.95 276-794-9420

"Civil War Adventure: Real History, Stories of the War That Divided America" is and educational/historical graphic novel written especially to appeal to the teenage or younger literacy-challenged student. "Civil War Adventure" includes 10 stories that relate to many varieties of aspects of the Civil War, plus excerpts from biographies and diaries of first hand accounts, exciting fictional stories set within historical events, a timeline and 10 maps that show the place and time of all the stories, and a fact page following each story that gives additional information. "Civil War Adventure" is both exciting reading and accurately researched valuable Civil War history for its readers.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

La Primera: The Story of Wild Mustangs
Ian Tyson
Tundra Books
75 Sherbourne St., Toronto Ontario Canada M5A 2P9
9780887768637, $22.99,

La Primera: The Story of Wild Mustangs offers insights into a small herd of wild mustangs that roams freely and under protection. Any child interested in horses will love this picturebook history of the wild Spanish mustang, packed with gorgeous color illustrations to accompany a lively history.

My Dog is Too Fat
Cheryl Gress
Avid Readers Publishing Corporation
20802 Belshire Avenue, Lakewood, CA 90715
9781935105435, $7.99

"My Dog is Too Fat" is a teaching book for kids an adults about dog health and nutrition. Told in friendly rhyme with punchy illustrations, "My Dog is Too Fat" will grab kids' attention and deliver the needed message that "People food can make a dog fat or even sick. So only feed dogs dog food if you want them to be healthy and quick." The cute pictures of Bear, the white dog on whom the book is based, add fun and life to the zing of "My Dog is Too Fat." Vets will love this book and pet owners should provide one for their children along with the pet they choose.
Nancy Lorraine

Can an Old Dog Learn New Tricks?
Buffy Silverman, author
Colin W. Thompson, illustrator
Lerner Publications Company
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780822590835, $26.60 trade; $19.95 library,

"Can an Old Dog Learn New Tricks?: And Other Questions About Animals" is a handy fact-filled guide from the "Is That A Fact?" series by Lerner for kids in grades K-6. Seventeen brief, picture-filled sections explore seventeen different old sayings about animals with regard to their factual foundations or lack of them. Topics range from "Is It True that Fish Don't Sleep?" (they don't close their eyes, but they rest in different ways) to "Can a Cat 'Steal' a Baby's Breath?" (no). "Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks?" is just the kind of intriguing bundle of data and suppositions and analysis that kids can understand and explore comfortably. With the addition of a Glossary, Selected Bibliography, and Suggested Further Reading, this latest member of the "Is That a Fact?" series lives up to the standard of expanding understanding through curiosity stimulation and follow-up, all while increasing literacy.

Little Black Ant on Park Street
Janet Halfmann, author
Kathleen Rietz, illustrator
Soundprints, an imprint of Trudy Corpopration
353 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851
9781607270034, $6.95 1-800-228-7839

"Little Black Ant on Park Street" is a beautiful paperback edition from the Smithsonian's Backyard series, which encourages children to explore and discover the world of wildlife in their very own backyards. The series uses interactive storybooks, audiobooks, and stuffed animal toys to entice children to learn and read more about animals' habits and habitats in their own environments. "Little Black Ant on Park Street" traces the underground dwelling places of the little black ant colony and shows the worker ants organizing to transport and deliver food (parts of a large dead caterpillar) to the whole colony. Beautifully illustrated with photographic precision, "Little Black Ant on Park Street" shows many phases of the cycles of the ants lives throughout the seasons of the year. "Little Black Ant on Park Street" also communicates a tone of respect and reverence for life that is at the heart and core of this educational series.

Swimming with Dolphins
Laurence Guillot & Elisabeth Sebaoun, authors
Rocco & Gaetan Doremus, illustrators
Treasure Bay
P.O. Box 119, Novato, CA 94948
9781601152152, $9.95

"Swimming with Dolphins, Half and Half Series: Great Story & Cool Facts (Level 1)" is a Half and Half series book which includes the story of S. O. S. Dolphin plus Facts about dolphins!. As with other books in this series, students read a great story followed by cool facts related to the story. The Half and Half series encourages beginning readers and students to make connections between appealing, interesting stories or fiction and researched non-fiction data that permeates the story. Imaginative and colorful paper cutout style illustrations help drive the interest in the story of "Swimming with Dolphins," while the Facts portion presents both a storyline picture sequence quiz and pages of fascinating information and resources to discover more about some of the dolphin facts referred to in the story. "Swimming with Dolphins" is a great book to interest level one readers in the sea world of dolphins and learning more about marine biology.

Bugs and Bugsicles, Insects in the Winter
Amy S. Hansen, author
Robert C. Kray, illustrator
Boyds Mills Press
815 Church Street, Honesdale, Pennsylvania 18431
9781590782699, $17.95 877-512-8366

"Bugs and Bugsicles" is a nonfiction picturebook encyclopedia of common insects and their habits, written especially for 7-9 year old children. From the Arctic Woolly Bear Caterpillar to the Praying Mantis, Field Cricket, and Dragonfly, all are clearly pictured and described with fascinating accuracy of detail. What do insects do in winter? Where do Pavement Ants hide and why do they need other ants? How do honeybees make honey? Where do ladybugs come from? The answer to all these questions and more is to be found in the pages of "Bugs and Bugsicles," a fascinating compendium of insect lore for kids.

Going Home, The Mystery of Animal Migration
Marianne Berkes, author
Jennifer DiRubbio, illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Springs Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584691266, $16.95 530-274-7775

"Going Home, The Mystery of Animal Migration" is a book of clear and clever poetry that tells all about different animals' migration habits, patterns, and history. Each animal described is illustrated in a two page painting, a memorable descriptive verse, and additional information about the animal is presented in a paragraph at the bottom of the page. At the end of the book is a color coded list of the animals and their migration routes shown on a map of the world to further explain the amazing migratory patterns of the ten animals included. Additional books, websites, and movies are listed along with further information about teach animal species, and further tips from the author give good activity suggestions for further learning about animal migration. Designed to appeal to the elementary student, "Going Home" is a valuable resource for students, parents and teachers interested in learning more about animal migration.

The Bilingual Shelf

Running With the Bats/ Corriendo con los murcielagos
Chris Holaves, author
John Goomas, illustrator
Astakos Publishing
10282 Ray Dr., Roscoe, IL 61073
9780979299117, $15.95

"Running With the Bats" is a bilingual hardback/paperback book in dramatic verse about a boy who met bats on his way home from a baseball practice. The bats were feeding on insects, but the boy was frightened and thought they might want to harm him. The exciting drama of the boy running in the dark from the bats is heightened by the slightly spooky black and white, pen and ink illustrations of bats, bats, and more bats flying around a few baseball-playing boys! Every page of "Running with the Bats" has a verse or several written in English and in Spanish. The unmistakable excitement of the story tempt the reader to explore both languages further. "Running With the Bats/ Corriendo con los murcielagos" is aimed at students in 3rd to 5th grade levels.

The Mathematics Shelf

Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens, A Math Adventure
Cindy Neuschwander, author
Wayne Gechan, illustrator
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02572
9781570917288, $7.95 (617) 926-0329

"Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens" is a Math Adventure book for elementary age children that uses the king's surprise birthday celebration for a chance tl learn to count by tens. Surprise party guest attendance must be counted quickly because Lady Di and Sir Cumference, the host and hostess for the birthday party, need to know how many guests to feed for lunch and dinner. In a comical series of preparation adventures, Sir Cumference and Lady Di count guests by tens, hundreds, and even thousands, using a system known as "place value" for their numbers. How many guests attend in total, and does the gloomy king finally smile and enjoy his birthday party? Inquisitive budding math minds will want to know, so pages will painlessly turn and numbers will effortlessly be learned in "Sir Cumference and All the King's Men," a math masterpiece!

The Preschool Shelf

P is for Please, A Bestiary of Manners
Lisa Tharpe, author
Ali Bahrampour, illustrator
Blueberry Ink Press
c/o 455 Central Park West #12 A, NY, NY 10025
9780982532010, $8.95

"P is for Please, A Bestiary of Manners" is a creative alphabet of courtesy, couched in polite animal form. Imaginatively illustrated in colors ranging from delicate to bright, "P is for Please..." presents some of the most gracious animal behavior in priceless display. Clever alliterative language underlines the alphabet letter being illustrated, as in "Quintana Quokka knows that there are quite a few locations where, without question, one must be quiet such as libraries, lecture halls, and anywhere quokkas gather to listen to quartets." A quokka, by the way, is a stocky Australian pademelon, or wallaby. "P is for Please, A Bestiary of Manners" is the best child's bestiary ever written or read by a parent. It will also be unforgettable for the
child to whom it is read.

The Fiction Shelf

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions
Becca White
Shadow Mountain
P. O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, UT 84130
9781606415962, $8.99

"My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions" is a fresh, funny, intriguing teen novel with lots of warm, funny, embarrassing, and typical teenage moments mixed in with a hefty dose of homespun common sense and healthy self examination. It is exactly what teenaged or tween-aged need to help them get through the trials of being young and in and out of love. There is a plethora of humor, wit, comedy, even suspense and, of course, romance. It is such a well-written chapter book that even reluctant readers will be hooked and turning pages in no time at all. Kudos to an author with compassion for the emerging young woman's trials and tribulations, and with a knack for encouraging them to settle for something more rather than something less than they are worth.

Ponga Boy
Phil Lebherz & Philip Reed
Epic Press Publishing
9780615201849, $22.95

"Ponga Boy: The Greatest Soccer Story Ever Told" is a hot new soccer fiction work about a talented Mexican futbol player named Pichu who is discovered juggling a soccer boll (while living in a Baja fishing village) by American soccer talent scouts. Pichu then follows a complicated path to athletic stardom and makes some very difficult personal choices . Pichu becomes Ponga Boy because of his fantastic ability to "dance" on the "pongas" or "pangas" which are bait fishing boats in the Sea of Cortez. "Ponga Boy" is already heralded for its sensitive treatment of the bicultural challenges faced by an individual such as Pichu, and can be purchased in print, digital, and audio form on the website The appeal of "Ponga Boy" to a wide audience of soccer and futbol fans, Latinos, and young people with big dreams everywhere is certain. What makes "Ponga Boy" special is its integrity; it provides penetrating exploration of the issues of giving up one's cultural identity for fame, fortune and glory vs. living the life you were born to love. "Ponga Boy" will deliver its message to a wide audience and the world will be enriched because of it.

Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice
Nick Sconce
National Writers Press
17011 Lincoln Avenue, #421, Parker, CO 80134
9780881001471, $24.99,

When you're in eighth grade, taking the term death metal literally is never the best idea. "Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice" is the story of Devin Predire, an eighth grader faced with the death of Colin Mulroney, whose blood may be on Devin's hands. There failure as a heavy metal band soon becomes the furthest thing from their concern as eighth graders are not equipped to deal with the problems they face. Grim and endlessly intriguing, "Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice" is a read that is well worth considering for younger mystery fans.

The Sword Maker's Seal
Ezra Thorne
Schmidt Haus Books, Salvo Press
17850 Bryan Way, Beaverton, OR 97007
9781930486997, $7.95

"The Sword Maker's Seal: An Emerson Highsmith Mystery" is a young adult mystery written by a talented recent graduate of Oregon State University, Ezra Thorne. The first of a developing series, "The Sword Maker's Seal" stars 14 year old Emerson Highsmith as teenage sleuth extraordinaire, disguised as your not so average student and friends. Emerson is determined to solve the mystery of the stolen 14th century Japanese sword when he encounters it in a Portland, Oregon museum. Suspense builds, suspects configure confusingly, and Emerson's friends play a part in helping him solve this conundrum. More than a hint of danger must be navigated, and Emerson is taxed to use his very impressive deductive abilities to solve the mystery in time to save one of Japan's priceless national treasures. But the best part of "The Sword Maker's Seal" is the ending: "For each scene he (Emerson) saw on the walk home, he created a mystery in his head, which he had to solve... Everything around him turned into a mystery. Something he needed to solve. He looked to Addie, then to Mason and Roxy. He knew that this was just the beginning. He knew there were countless mysteries left to solve and that he would be there to solve them (p.125)." We all look forward to more Emerson Highsmith mysteries by Ezra Thorne.

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

Gary Paulsen's WOODS RUNNER (9780385738842,$15.99) brings the Revolutionary War to life as it tells of a teen boy caught up in the passions and horror of war. Samuel's peaceful life in the American wilderness changes when war reaches his settlement and murders his neighbors. His search for his family will lead him to track the British who have taken his family prisoner, and will lead him into danger. Young adult libraries strong in historical fiction will find this riveting. Aaron Starmer's DWEEB (9780385737050, $15.99) tells of Ho-Ho-Kus Junior High, where the cafeteria is covered in burger wrappers, bullies aren't bullying, and the walls growl. Enter five detective misfit friends, the smartest kids in the 8th grade, who fight a bad reputation and imprisonment to solve the strange mystery in this riveting middle-school leisure read. Laura Peyton Roberts' GREEN (9780385735582, $16.99) tells of Lily's thirteen birthday, who begins when a present explodes on her porch revealing a trio of leprechauns who appear in her bedroom and whisk her away to their world. She's in line to be keeper for the Clan of Green - IF she can pass their tests. Middle School readers will be a captive audience for this. Roderick Townley's THE BLUE SHOE: A TALE OF THIEVERY, VILLAINY, SORCERY AND SHOES (9780375856006, $16.99) tells of one Hap Barlo, who is in jail for thievery facing banishment. Volcanoes, trolls, and Hap's dreams of rescuing all the villagers banned before him led to danger in this riveting fantasy. Caroline B. Cooney's THEY NEVER CAME BACK (9780385738088,$16.99) provides an engrossing saga revolving around a girl in hiding who is discovered when she goes to a new school. When a student recognizes Cathy as a child who vanished years ago when her parents fled the country, identity, responsibility and issues of secrecy and history invade her life. Can she ever escape the shadow of her parents' actions? Robin Brande's FAT CAT (9780375844492, $16.99) tells of a science experiment with Cat as the guinea pig. For Cat may be smart and fun - but she's not thin - until her self-experiment to eat like early human ancestors has an unexpected side result. Will Cat's dropping weight and soaring self-confidence change her life?

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

Erin Dionne's The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet (9780803732988,$16.99) tells of Hamlet Kennedy, who just wants to be an average eighth grader. But she has a genius younger sister who is attending middle school with her, and Shakespearean scholar parents who have given her an odd name - and when the class project is on Shakespeare, her life appears to be ruined. A fun survey of 8th grade woes evolves. Josh Lieb's I AM A GENIUS OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL AND I WANT TO BE YOUR CLASS PRESIDENT (9781595142405, $15.99) tells of average kid Oliver, who lives in Nebraska and who is a mad evil genius in secret. Nobody can stop him - not even the class bully or his teachers - until he runs for president and discovers the voting process to be a challenge. A fine drama emerges.

Scholastic Press
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012

Emily Rodda's The Wizard of Rondo (0545115167,$16.99) tells of Leo Zifkak, who is afraid of a music box's alluring world that calls to him only when its key is wound four times. Leo and his cousin's visit to Rondo nearly killed them - now they have to go back to save their friends and face a new evil after their very souls in this compelling thriller, perfect for grades 6-8. Avi's MURDER AT MIDNIGHT (0545080908, $17.99) tells of a deadly plot to overthrow King Claudio in Italy, where a magician has been marked as a scapegoat for a traitor and a faithful new servant boy decides to prove his master's innocence. Murder blends with Renaissance history in this story of magic.

Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Cheryl Dellasega's SISTRSIC92(MEG) (9780761454564,$16.99) is a 'Bloggrls' title and will appeal to young texters with a format all in blogging/text abbreviated style. Meg's struggles with mixed messages in life take the form of texts to her blog pals blended with a regular-text solid plot line that will keep youngsters reading and involved with a different, more contemporary format. Judy Cox's THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED PROFESSOR (9780761455448, $16.99) will reach ages 10 and up with a fantasy offering up the second story of two rat brothers who live in a cage in a fifth-grade classroom and escape for adventure once in a while. Frederick is brave, brother Ishbu is hungry - and they enjoy learning and eating in the classroom - until a rat friend's father goes missing. A world journey takes them from San Francisco to Scotland in this fun fantasy adventure.

The Chapter Book/Easy Reader Shelf

Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness
Frank L. Cole
Bonneville Books
c/o Cedar Fort
2373 W. 700 S., Springville, Utah 84663
9781599553788, $8.99

"Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness" is a great little chapter adventure book that stands on its own or can be enjoyed as a funny follow-up to "The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters" by the same author. A zany, patchy humor runs through all of "Hashbrown Winters" that is addictive and not only to elementary age schoolboys. This time the plot revolves around the relationship between Hashbrown and a rival treehouse founder, Hi Mashimoto. As something thickens (whether or not that might be the plot is always disgustingly debatable in a Hashbrown story), Hashbrown and Mashimoto and eccentric friends find a reason to team up and struggle to solve a bigger problem that threatens Pordunce Elementary which, by the way, is a far cry from your typical elementary school. Hashbrown flirts with a prison sentence for his crazy schemes this time, but true to form, he makes friends with the odd inmates and uses their unusual talents and skills to finish cracking his mystery. "Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness" is a wild wonderful read especially enticing for 8-12 year old boys and others who want to be like them.

Abbey's Turn
Dana Lurie, author
Phil Montelone, illustrator
Tomgirlz Enterprises
PO Box 970541, Coconut Creek, FL 33097
9780976801214, $5.95 954-934-6404

"Abbey's Turn" is the sixth book in the Tomgirlz chapter book series appropriate for girls ages 6-10. Dealing with childhood issues of bullying and obesity with charm, humor, style, and imagination, "Abbey's Turn" offers new solutions to tackle old problems experienced by kids. The great thing about the Tomgirlz approach to problems is it encourages and empowers all individuals, even the bullied, to "find a normalcy and comfort with doing the right thing, even in the face of surprising or intimidating confrontations." "Abbey's Turn" is filled with fun situations and happenings as well as painful, confusing events and reactions. Unshrinking from the problems of adolescent interactions, "Abbey's Turn" offers a new "take" on ways to make lemonade from life's lemon-gifts. "Abbey's Turn" is a creative, entertaining, effective tool for preserving and empowering healthy young women.

The Doll Shop Downstairs
Yona Zeldis McDonough, author
Heather Maione, illustrator
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
345 Hudson, New York NY 10014
9780670010912, $14.99,

THE DOLL SHOP DOWNSTAIRS receives fine black and white drawings throughout by Heather Maione as it tells of a doll shop and an awkward middle child who feels special only when she's in her family's doll repair shop with her favorite doll - a repair doll that isn't hers. When war threatens the shop, Anna dreams of saving it - and her doll. Girls will find this a tender, winning tale.

I Barfed on Mrs. Kenly
Jessica Harper
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
345 Hudson, New York NY 10014
9780399246739, $14.99

Cleo always gets carsick but when she eats a batch of pancakes before taking a ride to a party, a terrible thing happens Jon Berkeley provides the fun black and white drawings to accompany this story of a young girl's most embarrassing moment - and how she tries to prevent it, then overcomes it. Grades 2-4 will love this.

Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Jamie Gilson's THIRTEEN WAYS TO SINK A SUB (9780761455875,$15.99) will reach ages 8-12 with a classic story of Hobie and his fourth grade class, who gets a substitute for their regular teacher. They have all kinds of plans for the time - but they never counted on getting the strangest substitute teacher with her own special plans for the classroom! A fun classic comes to life! Terence Blacker's IN CONTROL, MS. WIZ? (9780761455578, $12.99) will reach ages 7-9 with its fun story, the fourth book in the 'Ms. Wiz' series originally published in the U.K. Here Ms. Wiz decides to bring a few books to life through magic to stop the local library's shutdown. Unfortunately a greedy man and a royal couple escape - and challenge the idea that she can really control her magic.

The Picturebook Shelf

The Porch Dream (Every Dog Has a Dream...)
Tiffany Ann Laufer
Bellaboo Books
2340 Bellfield Avenue, Cleveland Hts, OH 44106
9780982008829, $15.99

"The Porch Dream," a popular seller at the Buckeye Book Fair this year, is a dog's (named Bellaboo, Bella for short) poetic dream of saving the earth through recycling adventures. A wonderful fantasy of recycling adventures and dreams of trash-rescuing permeate "The Porch Dream" in all its wonderful colored illustrations. Just how Bella imagines ways to save the world from "packages, parcels and postage, deliveries, drop-offs and more, but dreaming of sheep she also adored..." and including "Egg beaters, buttons, bananas and lamps, cameras, compost, carrots and stamps. Our recycling adventures have made us champs!" Bella's porch dream grows ever more fantastic, and ends with a beautiful bubble vision, Bella awakening to the day on the porch with her friend Colby to find that once again they were indeed saving the day "in various ways." "The Porch Dream" is faithful to its promise and takes dreaming images to a new level in its lovely illustrations and poetry.

Way Out West on My Little Pony
Jan Peck, author
Herb Leonhard, illustrator
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster St., Gretna, LA 70053
9781589806979, $16.99

"Way Out West on My Little Pony" is a colorful western ridescape for a little girl and her pony, encountering many western creatures including a prairie dog, a raccoon, a roadrunner, an armadillo, and even a rattlesnake! Children will love the spunky heroine and her pony as she cheerily greets each creature appropriately, then rides on to the next encounter. Fabulous colorful illustrations dramatize both the Western setting(s) and the girl's encounters with a variety of natural fauna. At the end of the ride, the girl returns home to Grandpa, telling him of her ride out West on her pony (which has transformed from a full-size palomino to a toy hobby horse in profile)." "Way Out West on My Little Pony" is a wonderful exercise in imagination and natural observation for children.

My Favorite Michael
Laura Heiman, author
Sophie Keen, illustrator
Tiger Tales
202 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT 06897
9781589250864, $15.95 203-834-0005

"My Favorite Michael" is a sunny tale about a day in the life of a boy who imagines a life as a pirate, a businessman, a knight, and himself. Although he enjoys many adventures and activities in each role, when it comes to the end of the day, he returns to his mother as "just Michael," himself, and he finds that that is his mother's favorite Michael as well as his own. Charming, colorful illustrations underline the fun in every page in this excellent storybook for children age 2 and up.

Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero
Anne Cottringer, author
Alex T. Smith, illustrator
Tiger Tales
202 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT 06897
9781589250833, $15.95 203-834-0005

"Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero" is a delightful, resilient book for children ages 3-7. Eliot is a quiet, ordinary boy by day, but after midnight, he transforms in to a Superhero who "hangs out of helicopters, skis down glaciers, and returns teddy bears to babies." He even helps the mayor catch and tame lions escaped from the zoo! Eliot is also a champion swimmer, an excellent sleuth, and a daring inventor (also a skilled jet pilot). His most dangerous mission ever comes from the world's most important scientists who plead with him to save the earth from a gigantic meteor. Once again Eliot uses all his amazing skills and after many adventures all around the world, Eliot saves the world from destruction. Naturally the Earth is grateful and the queen gives Eliot a "special award for his courage and ingenuity." However, since being a Midnight Superhero is taxing, Eliot continues quiet by day. Delightful, whimsical illustrations lead the reader through all of Eliot's fantastic adventures and safely back home again in this charming storybook.

The Best of Best Friends
Marilyn E. Randall, author/illustrator
Lulu Publishing
Personal Touch II Design
Whidbey Island, Washington USA
9780557135011, $16.95

"The Best Of Best Friends" is a charming original children's book written in verse and lovingly illustrated by the talented author. The story features an unusual friendship between a lonely piggy and a faithful bunny, who overcome many difficult obstacles to find a way to be free and together. The moral of the fable is: "We should look for the good/ An help others find a way/ To overcome obstacles/ That seem kind of tough/ And like piggy and bunny,/ We should never, ever give up (p. 15)." Also recommended for children age 6 and above is "A Hard Nut to Crack" (9780557158911, $18.95) by the same author.

The Boy Who Wouldn't Sit Still!
Sharon Lester, author
Jeff Smith, illustrator
Privileged Communications
844 25th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403
9780980230208, $15.99

"The Boy Who Wouldn't Sit Still" is a delightful book about a boy whom most of us know already (and love). What makes "The Boy Who Wouldn't Sit Still" so charming and unusual is the innocent literalness of his responses to others in his life. When his sister asks him to pick up his room, he tries to do just that! When Grandma says "go climb in the car" he tries to do exactly that, only to be told "That is not what I meant!" Everyone who has ever been a boy or known a boy will relate to "The Boy Who Wouldn't Sit Still." It is a wonderful book for kids 5 and up and parents, caretakers and teachers of kids age 5 and up. Even girls like it!

Sabu & Me
Maura Lane, author
Hazel Mitchell, illustrator
Alton Road Publishing
450 Alton Road Suite #608, Miami Beach, FL 33139
9780615288086, $14.95 773-404-6225

"Sabu & Me" is a book written by a seven year old girl to benefit the PAWS organization of Chicago which is a No Kill humane organization for animals. The story tells of the relationship between Maura and her dog Sabu, who was rescued by Maura's mother as a puppy before Maura was born. Sabu accompanies Maura on daily life adventures from babyhood to young childhood and school attendance. Sabu is a loyal friend and companion to Maura throughout her days. The delicate illustrations illuminate the text beautifully. "Sabu & Me" is an excellent choice for children age 2 and up, for veterinarian offices, and for children who are adopting a pet. The clear message of compassion and kindness returned a thousandfold is indelible.

Zack the Prairie Dog
S. Charles Decker, author/illustrator
Tate Publishing
127 E. Trade Center Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064
9781606046494, $14.99 1-888-361-9473

"Zack the Prairie Dog" is described as "a prairie tale to promote autism awareness and the acceptance of differences, in yourself and in others." "Zack the Prairie Dog" is a wonderful tale about unlikely heroes, friendship and the gift of precious differences. Written in verse, and brilliantly illustrated with brightly colored paintings of Zack and Cody and all their friends and acquaintances, the spellbinding tale gradually unfolds. Written by the author as a story for his two sons, both diagnosed with autism, "Zack the Prairie Dog" offers a new perspective to kids and adults who encounter differently abled individuals. The author's ending statement is surely bound to come true in part due to the beauty and success of "Zack the Prairie Dog:" "I pray this world will see my boys not just for their autism (p.98)." "Zack the Prairie Dog" also comes with a free audio book download included, so readers can use portable listening music devices to listen on the go.

Shamgar and the Ox Goad
Patti B. Ogden, author
George Almond, illustrator
Capstone Productions
6103 S. Hickory Road, Oregon, IL 61061
9780981678375, $12.95 800-565-2041

"Shamgar and the Ox Goad" is Volume one, Book One of a series titled Untold Heroes of the Bible by Capstone. Written for children ages 4-10, "Shamgar and the Ox Goad" tells the little known Bible story of Shagmar the son of Anath, who according to Judges 3:31 did the following: "And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel." "Shamgar and the Ox Goad" fills in the story of a hard working Israelite farmer with a hungry wife and children who decides to take a stand against 600 bullying Philistines who come to take all his crops and hard labor's results, leaving him and his family to starve. Shamgar takes a stand with Jehovah's blessing and hews a mighty swathe in the Philistine army with his long ox goad as a weapon. "Shamgar and the Ox Goad" teaches children that not all battles that must be fought are easy or even possible, but with belief in the Lord, all things are possible.

Hot Cha Cha
Josephine Nobisso, author
Joan Holub, illustrator
Gingerbread House
602 Montauk Highway, Westhampton Beach, New York 11978
9780940112186, $16.95

"Hot Cha Cha" is a delightful re-released classic of poetic storytelling that answers the "5 W's and How" questions with vivid flair and style. The poetics are impeccable, the story is unforgettable, and the pictures are practically edible! Well, this humble attempt at doggerel does not do justice to the rollicking rhythms of "Hot Cha Cha," of course, but it really does present a fabulous combo of poetry, color, and motion cleverly packaged in a great little story jingle song. Even more intriguing is the hidden or secret message about poetry discussion and reading/learning tips printed on the underside of the book jacket. "Hot Cha Cha" is a great book for kids of all ages and also a great teaching resource for the dreaded poetry unit. Parents, teachers, librarians, and kids will love "Hot Cha Cha" so much they won't even know they are learning and chanting poetry.

Goodnight Baby Bear
Michael Shoulders, author
Teri Weidnre, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 Eisenhower Parkway, Ste. 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585364718, $15.95

"Goodnight Baby Bear" is a gentle bedtime storybook for children of all ages, with repeating messages of love, acceptance, security, warmth, caring, and growth, all whispered affirmations to cradle and cocoon the child into restful sleep and good dreams. The wonderful pastel tones in the full page illustrations lead young minds gently towards a slumbery cave where honey oatmeal raisin cookies are always being freshly baked, and extended members of Baby Bear's family all participate in the loving task of tucking him in, reading him a special bedtime story, and sharing a special honey oatmeal raisin cooky with him. Fortunately the secret recipe is included at the story's ending for future treats! "Goodnight Baby Bear" is just right storybook to share with a wiggly, squirmy youngster who is not at all convinced that it is bedtime. Its quiet lulling rhythms and sweet images and offerings will weave their way into the child's dreaming mind and lead to restful sleep and new growth.

Amy's Light
Robert Nutt, author/illustrator
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Springs Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959
9781584691297, $8.95 800-545-7475

"Amy's Light" is a beautiful children's picture book about an amazing discovery of fireflies and their light by a little girl was previously afraid of the dark. Appropriate for children ages 4-10, "Amy's Light" is a delicate story told in verse and enhanced with "digital illusions" created by the talented author using photos of his daughter, also named Amy. "Amy's Light" contains fascinating additional information about fireflies in addition to the inspirational message in verse and images. Two natural science programs of interest that are mentioned are Firefly Watch, sponsored by the Museum of Science in Boston, and Firefly Files, created by Dr. Marc Branham, a leading entomologist studying fireflies. Included in "Amy's Light" are instructions to download the story narrated by Amy's sister, Christina in Adobe Flash Player format.

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

Keiko Kasza's READY FOR ANYTHING! (9780399252358, $16.99) tells of Duck, who plans a picnic but is affected by Raccoon's many worries about what could go wrong, from b4ees to dragons. Duck convinces Raccoon that none of these things are likely to happen - until a different problem strikes. But Raccoon, as always, is ready for disaster in this story surrounding a positive attitude and problem-solving. Leslie Helakoski's BIG CHICKENS GO TO TOWN (9780525421627, $16.99) receives Henry Cole's fun drawings and tells of four big chickens accidentally dumped off the farmer's truck, and forced to follow a crazy feed trail all day. Their world has changed - how will they find their way home? Another fine addition to the Big Chicken series for newcomers and prior fans alike!

Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591

A VERY BIG BUNNY by Marisabina Russo (9780375844638, $17.99) tells of Amelia, a very big bunny who is too tall to jump rope, get on the seesaw, or play games with the other bunnies. Amelia is very lonely - until a new, small student joins the class - and seems to like Amelia. Can they find things in common despite very different sizes and abilities? Carole Boston Weatherford's FIRST POOCH; THE OBAMAS PICK A PET (9780761456360, $16.99) receives fine illustrations by Amy Bates in a fun picture book for ages 4-8 detailing Presidential children who beg their parents for a pet. The story line reads like fiction although it mirrors the actual events of the Obama family, and make for an easy, winning read. Susan VanHecke retells AN APPLE PIE FOR DINNER (9780761454526, $17.99), and enjoys Carol Baicker-McKee's drawings in a recommendation for ages 5-8. Granny Smith wants to bake an apple pie, but she doesn't have any apples. Her desire to swap plums for apples gains her other things - including the one thing she REALLY wanted when her pie idea ripened. A fun story evolves. Deborah Heiligman's COOL DOG, SCHOOL DOG (9780761455615, $15.99) receives Tim Bowers' fine drawings in a survey for ages 4-8 as it tells of Tinka, a school dog who breaks all the rules when she follows her owner to the first day of school. A zany story evolves. Helen Ketteman's SWAMP SONG (9780761455639, $17.99) receives Ponder Goembel's gorgeous, whimsical color drawings as it tells of Old man gator, who begins tapping his toes in the swamp, creating a beat all the animals move to. Ages 5-9 will love the large-size, zany drawings and whimsical, fun story line. Tim Myers' LOOKING FOR LUNA (9780761455646, $17.99) for ages 4-8 tells of a little girl and her father who look for their favorite cat everywhere. They meet lots of other cats along the way - but not their Luna. Mike Reed's drawings are fine accompaniments to this gentle story of loss and discovery. Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's STARS! STARS! STARS! (9780761456124, $17.99) tells of young stargazer Minna, who loves looking at the sky and wondering about stars. Her friends wonder too - until they all visit Star Space at the Children's Museum and find their questions answered. Fiction and nonfiction blend in this satisfying survey. John Bendall-Brunello's SNORE, DINOSAUR, SNORE! (9780761456261, $12.99) tells of three little dinosaurs who have fun trying to wake up their sleepy mother. All she does is snore - is she just pretending to be asleep? A very easy read and a fun storyline makes this a winner. Patricia Hubbell's TEACHER! SHARING, HELPING, CARING (9780761455745, $16.99) receives Nancy Spier's warm drawings as it tells of students and teachers who learn together.

Books in Series

Marshall Cavendish
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Susan Schafer and Susan M. Meredith's LIONS (9780761443445, $16.95) adds to Benchmark's series for younger readers, offering 24 pages of lion facts pairing photos with illustrations and plenty of lion facts. A fine basic starting point for reports. Jennifer Ward's THE BUSY TREE (9780761455509, $17.99) is illustrated with gorgeous, realistic drawings by Lisa Falkenstern and reaches ages 5-8 as it offers a rhyming text describing the activities that go on in a tree from roots to branches. From chipmunks and spiders to ants, this offers a fine survey of the various animals involved in a tree's life. The 'New Americans' series ($24.95 each) offers 80-page books for grades 3-5, with each book offering narrowed surveys of different immigrant experiences. Gail Weiss' AMERICANS FROM RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE (9780761443100), Alan Wachtel's SOUTHEAST ASIAN AMERICANS (9780761443124), Joseph Gustaitis' CHINESE AMERICANS (9780761443032), Ken Park's AMERICANS FROM INDIA AND OTHER SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES (9780761443056), Jayne Keedle's WEST AFRICAN AMERICANS (9780761443131), AMERICANS AND THE CARIBBEAN AND CENTRAL AMERICA (9780761443025) and MEXICAN AMERICANS (9780761443070) and William David Thomas' KOREAN AMERICANS (9780761443063) all provide fine stories of assimilation and cultural challenges perfect for any elementary-level collection.

Crabtree Publishers
350 5th Ave, 59th Floor, New York NY 10118

Crabtree's books are solid picks for any elementary-grade lending library, offering fine references for students that combine high-interest contemporary color photos with educational titles perfect for reports and study. The 'My Path to Math' series ($15.95 each) for grades 2-3 provides 24 pages each of full-color discussions of different math concepts and is an excellent pick for any school seeking supplemental, specific math readers. LINE, BAR AND CIRCLE GRAPHS (9780778752479), LINES, SEGMENTS, RAYS AND ANGLES (9780778752455), SLIDES, FLIPS AND TURNS (9780778752516), PERCENTAGE (9780778752462), POSITION AND DIRECTION (9780778752486), USING A CALCULATOR (9780778752523), PROBABILITY (9780778752493) and ROMAN NUMERALS AND ORDINALS (9780778752509) all simplify math concepts with colorful illustration and examples. Bobbie Kalman's RODENT RAP (9780778794387) joins others in the 'My World' easy readers series, offering 16 pages of color photos and fun introductions to rodents. Bobbie Kalman's 'Baby' animals series ($15.95 each) expands for grades 1-2 with the addition of new 24-page books, each packing in color photos and basic information. BABY RACCOONS (9780778739630), BABY FOXES (9780778739609), BABY PIGS (9780778739623), BABY ELEPHANTS (9780778739593), BABY GIRAFFES (9780778739616) and BABY BUNNIES (9780778739586) each pack in animal facts and cute photos and plenty of natural history. The 'Protecting Our Planet' series provides 32 pages each of clear insights into threats to environments. Individual books include THREATENED WETLANDS (978077875214) and ENERGY IN CRISIS (9780778752127) by Catherine Chambers, Sarah Levete's TOXINS IN THE FOOD CHAIN (9780778752158), CATASTROPHIC WEATHER (9780778752103), HABITATS AND WILDLIFE IN DANGER (9780778752134) and DESTROYING THE OCEANS (9780778752110). The 'Celebrations in My World' series ($19.95 each) expands for grade 2 readers with each book packed with modern photos and 32 pages of facts. The new additions include NEW YEAR'S DAY (9780778747628), VETERAN'S DAY (9780778747673), PURIM (9780778747642), SUKOT (9780778747666) and COLUMBUS DAY (9780778747604). 'Step Into Science' ($19.95 each) offers six new books reaching young scientists in grade 3 with 32 page instructions on how to conduct basic science. These promise lasting lending value for any science library and include WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN? MAKING YOUR HYPOTHESIS (9780778751571), WHAT'S GOING ON? COLLECTING AND RECORDING YOUR DATA (9780778751557), WHAT'S THE PLAN? DESIGNING YOUR EXPERIMENT (9780778751540), WHAT DO WE KNOW NOW? DRAWING CONCLUSIONS AND ANSWERING THE QUESTION (9780778751533), WHAT JUST HAPPENED? READING RESULTS AND MAKING INFERENCES (9780778751564) and WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? HOW TO START YOUR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION (9780778751588). Four new books in the 'Everybody Digs Soil' series ($19.95 each) provide grades 3-4 with excellent 32-page introductions to soil. DIFFERENT KINDS OF SOIL (9780778754008), HOW IS SOIL MADE? (9780778754015), MICRO LIFE IN SOIL (9780778754022) and SOIL EROSION AND HOW TO PREVENT IT (9780778754039) each help youngsters see how soil works in sustaining life on earth. The new 'Investigating Human Migration & Settlement' series ($21.95 each) provides Grade 6 with 48 pages each of detail on global migration patterns. Paul Challen's MIGRATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY (9780778751816), Natalie Hyde's POPULATION PATTERNS (9780778751823), Ceri Oeppen's HOPES, NEEDS, RIGHTS & LAWS (9780778751809), Marina Cohen's CHANGING CULTURAL LANDSCAPES (9780778751786), Robert Walker's PUSHES AND PULLS (9780778751830), and Sally Morgan's CHANGING PLANET (9780778751946) each examine motivation, experience, and impact of human migration patterns around the world. 'Mysteries Revealed' ($19.95 each) provides 32 pages of reading for grades 3-5 and offers an entertaining series of books using science to explain many mysteries. James Bow's SPACE MYSTERIES REVEALED (9780778774167), his EARTH MYSTERIES REVEALED (9780778774136) and Natalie Hyde's HUMAN BODY MYSTERIES REVEALED (9780778774150) each provide captivating covers and topics for kids. All are top picks for discriminating elementary-level 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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