Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Small Press Bookwatch

Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 12 December 2005 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Business Shelf Metaphysical Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Fiction Shelf Gaming Shelf
Architecture Shelf American History Shelf Jobs/Career Shelf
World History Shelf Cookbook Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Education Shelf Travel Shelf Civil War Shelf
Poetry Shelf Self-Help Shelf Biography Shelf
Parenting Shelf Photography Shelf Music Shelf
Children's Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Fashion, Retailing and a Bygone Era
Isadore Barmash, et. al.
Beard Books
Washington, D.C.
c/o Event Management Services (publicity)
519 Cleveland Street, Suite 205, Clearwater, FL 33755
1587982692 $34.95

Fashion, Retailing and a Bygone Era: Inside Women's Wear Daily is a look back upon the past fifty years of the women's fashion industry, as detailed by seven former editors of the Women's Wear Daily newspaper. Women's Wear Daily lasted nearly 100 years because of its mission - to present readers with the facts to aid their business decisions - and was an upstanding "must-read" for designers, manufacturers, trend makers, and marketers due to its integrity and keen eye for detail. Fashion, Retailing and a Bygone Era is packed cover to cover with fascinating, sometimes hilarious, sometimes perplexing moments in the ever-changing world of what's hot and what's not. Highly entertaining, and especially recommended for anyone interested in learning more about the demands of the fashion industry.

Sea Salt: Memories And Essays
Stan Waterman
New World Publications, Inc.
1861 Cornell Road, Jacksonville, FL 32207
187834840X $30.00

A diver of legendary skill, a filmmaker, an explorer, a poet, and an observer of the world in which he has had both adventure and challenge, Sea Salt: Memories And Essays is a compendium of Stan Waterman's personal stories and experiences ranging from the destruction of his home on the coast of Maine by fire in 1994, through his discoveries of treasures and artifacts from beneath the sea and travels around the world, to his encounters on the Aegean Sea, the Amazon, Polynesia, the Solomon Islands, Aldabra, Cocos Keeling and the Turks. That's just the first half of his memoirs. The second half is a collection of his writings primarily drawn from his contribution to "Ocean Realm" magazine in the 1990s where he encountered whale sharks in Australia, sea creatures in the Caribbean, and stories from his various expeditions around the globe. Part travelogue, part autobiography, Sea Salt: memories And Essays is especially welcome reading for the armchair traveler during those long cold winter nights at home.

Droid Maker
Michael Rubin
Triad Publishing Company
PO Box 13355, Gainesville, FL 32604-1355
0937404675 $34.95 1-800-525-6902

Droid Maker: George Lucas And The Digital Revolution by writer, educator, entrepreneur Michael Rubin (who joined "The Droid Works" at Lucasfilm in 1985 to introduce new sound and film editing technologies to the filmmakers) offers readers the inside story of George Lucas, his intensely private company, and their revolutionary work in filmmaking. Here is the story of how Lucasfilm's Computer Division make film and computer history, as well as Lucas' uneasy role in combining business, filmmaking, and technology. Providing an informed and informative, candid and revealing portrait that cuts through the mythology of George Lucas, here is the chronicled history of his vision made possible by the Star Wars films. Given unprecedented access to company records, personnel files, and photographs, Droid Maker is a definitive biography that is "must reader" for the legions of Lucas fans, as well as a privileged and seminal contribution to cinematic and filmmaking history.

Sailing with Strangers
Charley Hester
WingSpan Press
PO Box 2085, Livermore, CA 94551
1595940189 $15.95

Sailing with Strangers is the true memoir of experienced sailor and fly fisherman Charley Hester who joined forces with five people he never previously met aboard a forty-six-foot sailboat for a six-month, 15,000 mile voyage around South America, en route the Panama Canal, the Galapagos, Easter Island, Cape Horn, and the Falkland Islands. Their experience was one of excitement and fear, battling equipment failures, interpersonal conflicts, the hazards of the ocean, and a near-tragedy rounding Cape Horn. A personal search for will and greater self-understanding against the challenges of the world, and the quest to fulfill an extraordinary dream, Sailing with Strangers is both a skillfully documented nautical voyage and a personal search for understanding. Highly recommended.

Playhouse Publishing
1566 Akron-Peninsula Road, Akron, OH 44313

The "Picture Me 2006 Calendar" (1571515089, $12.99) from Playhouse Publishing is a personalized calendar into which a child's photo can be inserted each month as the face of a cuddly character. Enhanced with cute and seasonal sayings for each month, the "Picture Me 2006 Calendar is an utterly charming way to teach preschool and kindergarten children their days, months, and calendar year orientations. "My Dog" (1571517464, $6.99) and "My Cat" (1571513094, $6.99) are memory books of the family dog and the family cat respectively. Each book uses insert photos and features personalized "fill-in" information. Of special note and value is the area for care-giving instructions and emergency contacts -- ideal for when someone else is house-sitting the family dog or pet cat. "Picture Me Jolly Christmas" (1571515186, $5.99) is an over-sized Christmas tree ornament book. A satin ribbon allows the ornament to be hung safely and securely on the tree. Enhanced with real glitter on the cover, "Picture Me Jolly" with its photo insert of the child make this a quite novel, personalized, and very highly recommended Christmas keepsake for the family.

Consciousness in Action
Andrew Beath
Lantern Books
One Union Square West, Suite 201, New York, NY 10003
1590560795 $17.95

Consciousness in Action: The Power of Beauty, Love and Courage in a Violent Time is a treatise calling for a turn away from the scientific-production-consumption worldview of the previous several centuries and toward an emerging state of consciousness in which Gaia, the living planet, is the central focus. Author Andrew Beath has honed his awareness through decades of social and environmental activism; now he draws insight from the inspirational stories of progressive leaders such as Joanna Macy, Ralph Metzner and many more to offer paths to global transformation. Consciousness in Action especially focuses upon seven attributes that have proven viable in activism and across time and cultures: Nonviolence, Not Knowing, Introspection, Eros, there is No Enemy in a co-created world, Vision, and Being Joyful. An invigorating, passionate, and uplifting positive message.

The Business Shelf

Marketing Playbook
John M. Fox
Venture Marketing
5509 Belmont Road, Floor 2, Downers Grove, IL 60515
0975527800 $37.97

Marketing Playbook: The Manual for Growing Organizations is a compendium of 102 marketing strategies to meet sales goals. A football-style theme and trappings capture the reader's eye, but at its heart Marketing Playbook is all business. Tips, tricks and techniques include the basics for creating a good business card, how to create a series of "thank you" postcards with impact, using web conferencing to give a sales presentation without leaving one's chair, how to break through voicemail, and much more. A surprisingly intense amount of detail on each topic and full-color photographs on every page distinguish Marketing Playbook as a top-quality reference and resource for marketing professionals.

Getting Rich in Your Underwear
Peter Hupalo
HCM Publishing
PO Box 18093, West Saint Paul, MN 55118
0967162483 $17.95

Written by the operator of the website for entrepreneurs, Getting Rich in Your Underwear: How To Start and Run a Profitable Home-Based Business is a no-nonsense guide to the nuts and bolts of starting a home based business. Chapters cover basic home business models, the characteristics that pave one's way for personal success, zoning and insurance issues, why intellectual property is critically important, matters of copyright/trademark/patent, expenses and taxes to be aware of, fifteen basic steps to getting started, state resources for help in getting off the ground, and much more. Written in a no-nonsense, down-to-earth style, Getting Rich in Your Underwear also warns prospective entrepreneurs of all-too-common scams - such as the Internet scam of someone claiming trademark ownership of a word or expression and asking an entrepreneur to pay a royalty to use or license the expression (this isn't how trademarks work and is referred to as 'naked licensing', which can be grounds for the cancellation of a trademark!) Though highly readable, Getting Rich In Your Underwear does not shy away from details or mathematics, and offers sample calculations and forms to get the reader acquainted with necessary accounting matters. An absolute "must-have" for anyone seriously interested in running a business from home.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Ancient Gods and Their Mysteries
Robert Berringer
Cloudrider Books
45 Nelson Maine, Carrollton, VA 23314
0975892738 $20.00

Ancient Gods and Their Mysteries: Will They Return in 2012 A.D.? is a guide to clues that ancient deities have left behind as a "trail of breadcrumbs" to such profound questions as the riddle of creation, and the purpose of life itself. Chapters explore mysteries of the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations; the beliefs of the Dogons, an African tribe with inexplicable knowledge of the Sirius star system; the secrets behind crystal skulls and the ark of the covenant; and much more. Written by a retired engineer of 30 years' experience who struggled to find a scientific understanding of God in a world where human science repudiates the divine and mainstream religions cling to the revelations of a few designated prophets, Ancient Gods and Their Mysteries is a meticulous assembly of divine influences, scrutinized through a scientific lens, which point to periodically recurring interventions.

Tarot Revisioned
Leigh J. McCloskey
Olandar Press
4900 Pine Cone Circle, Middleton, WI 53562
0972950249 $12.95

Now in a much more affordably priced softcover edition, Tarot Revisioned is the reissue of a classic of original writings and artwork exploring the symbols and meaning of Tarot cards. Black-and-white representations of individual cards offer a visual and mystical focus, while the text essays delve into the meanings behind the archtypes. A deeply contemplative discussion, with illustrations that combine the beauty of celestial bodies with that of the human form, Tarot Revisioned is an excellent philosophical springboard for better understanding of Tarot.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Touched by Fire
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D.
Himalayan Institute Press
630 Main Street, Suite 350, Honesdale, PA 18431-1843
0893892394 $16.95

Touched by Fire: The Ongoing Journey of a Spiritual Seeker chronicles the biographical journey of a man from his birthplace in an ancient village in India to his present-day service as the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Touched by Fire is neither a "how-to" guide to achieving spiritual enlightenment nor a summon to any specific religious faith, but rather one man's journey across years of study, the struggle to master emotions, and the guidance of providence in finding his destiny. A message of hope and universal brotherhood rests within this inspirational life story.

The Language of God in the Universe
Helena Lehman
Pillar of Enoch Ministry Books
1708 N. 77th Avenue, Elmwood Park, Illinois 60707-4107
0975913107 $23.95

The Language of God in the Universe is the first in a four-part series by Bible scholar, historian, and astronomer Helena Lehman transcribing how God reveals Himself through creation. From hidden secrets within the ancient 48-constellation Zodiac, to allegorical ties between the Bible and the Zodiac story, to hidden secrets of God in the Earth, Moon, Solar System, and Stars, and much more, The Language of God in the Universe draws spiritual connections through faith, philosophy, science, mysticism and wonder. The Language of God in the Universe is not an astrology book per se - it emphasizes "sacred astronomy", and condemns the unrestrained use of the "false science" astrology to tamper with God's plan by making incorrect predictions or promoting idol worship. A passionate, spiritual culmination of a lifetime's study of both God and the stars.

Soul at Work
Margaret Benefiel
Seabury Books
445 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
1596270136 $20.00

Soul at Work: Spiritual Leadership in Organizations is a guide to spirituality especially for organizational leaders. Written by an expert teacher in the areas of spirituality and organizational leadership, Soul at Work examines the role of individuals in nurturing soul, the organizational means by which soul can be manifest, and procedures for balancing tensions and difficulties between individuals and organizations. Segments discuss the leadership requirements to bring about transformations, how leaders listen, the importance of honoring what really matters in both business and volunteer organizations, the importance of remembering the real cause behind charitable organizations, and much more. Numerous anecdotes and examples vividly illustrate this insightful, practical, and soulful guide.

Power Politics: Primeval, Medieval, and Constant Evil
Leonard Smith
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595338054 $17.95

Power Politics: Primeval, Medieval, and Constant Evil is a profound and ambitious search to understand human history and politics as shaped by the war waged by immortal forces of good and evil. Author Leonard Smith asserts that God and Satan have exerted tremendous force upon humankind, and negative influences have all too often distorted human understanding of history. Drawing upon real-life examples and scriptural quotations that point toward evidence of the war between God and Satan for the souls of humanity, Smith goes on to predict the coming of the Antichrist and God's return that will ultimately plunge all who live into a choice between following the paths of God and the Devil. Though steep in its claims and hypotheses, Power Politics nonetheless raises thought-provoking points about the evolution of human behavior, and reflects at length on what the morality of human actions says about humankind's history and future.

The Fiction Shelf

Prickett's Fort
Bill Hawkins
Woodland Press
118 Woodland Dr., Suite 1103, Chapmanville, WV 25508
0972486771 $19.95

Based on a true story, Prickett's Fort is a novel about two men on the harsh frontier. Following the life of a worldly young man trying to make something of himself and win the love of a beautiful yet fickle girl, and his older, settled mentor struggling between morality and the craving for revenge, Prickett's Fort balances adventure, danger, hardship and courage in a well-crafted and captivating narrative of human struggles within and without. An absorbing read about the determination of ordinary people who helped pioneer a nation.

The Man Who Walked to the Moon
Howard McCord
McPherson & Company
PO Box 1126, Kingston, NY 12401
092970178X $12.00 1-800-613-8219

Written by a Korean War veteran, marathon runner, and university teacher of 43 years' experience, The Man Who Walked to the Moon is the story of an ex-Marine sniper turned professional lone wolf. Set amid the mountains of Nevada, including one particularly imposing peak dubbed "The Moon", it follows the protagonist's tale of a life without illusions yet brought to the brink of a mystic spirituality, and denounces the decadence of civilization and over- reliance upon luxuries. Mystery, threat, and military reminiscence combine in this transcendental work of austere literature.

If Frogs Had Wings
Daniel Joseph Farside
3 Point Land Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 50331, Sparks, NV 89435
0967110815 $21.95

A novel written in the spirit of Orwell's classic 1984, If Frogs Had Wings by Daniel Joseph Farside is the story of an ordinary weatherman befuddled by odd cloud formations colloquially called "chemtrails". He hears a lot of wild conspiracy theories about chemtrails, aliens, and government cover-ups, but scoffs at them... at first. But as he learns more about the hidden nature of chemtrails, he discovers that his own nephews are in potentially grave danger, and the deeper he snoops, the more disturbing things he discovers - what really happened to the victims of September 11, where the true Garden of Eden is, and the diabolical World Builders' plan to create a New World Order in which every person lives a godless existence with no individual thought. A chilling and exiting web of intrigue and one man's struggle to protect what he holds dear.

The Texture Of Dreams
Fasil Yitbarek
Nyala Publishing
1250 West Addison Street, Chicago, IL 60613-3840
0975440918 $15.95

The Texture Of Dreams by the Ethiopian writer Fasil Yitbarek is the first-person perspective novel of a newly arrived immigrant to New York City struggling to make sense of the dramatic differences between two cultures. As he strives to earn a place for himself and a satisfying career as an English teacher, he remembers the richness of his birthplace in sharp contrast to the everyday American world around him. A sophisticated and soulful story of balance, adaptation, and discovery.

Hide & Seek
Clare Sambrook
Canongate U.S.
841 Broadway, NY, NY 10003
1841956538 $21.00

Hide & Seek is a stark, sometimes disturbing novel about a family struggling to cope with the sudden loss of a child. Much of the story is devoted to the perspective of nine-year-old Harry Pickles, an ordinary kid with friends and fantasies, who tries to wrap his head around the evil that caused the disappearance of someone close to him. British author Clare Sambrook presents a profound debut novel that reveals horror, courage, and hard-won understanding through the eyes of a boy.

The Gaming Shelf

100+ Baby Shower Games
Joan Wai
The Brainstorm Company
11684 Ventura Blvd. #970, Studio City, CA 91604
0972835415 $14.00

100+ Baby Shower Games is a collection of fun and simple games especially for commemorating a special delivery in the life of a family member or friend! Ideal for baby showers, a great antidote to baby blues, and sure to liven up parties and gatherings, 100+ Baby Shower Games offers suggestions for both before and after a baby's birth, to cheer up moms who may be close at hand or out-of-town. Sample game suggestions include guessing how many safety pins are tucked inside a baby food jar, an active balloon game in which everyone ties a balloon around his or her ankle and tries to stomp other people's balloons while protecting their own, asking guests to fill an empty wine bottle with messages for the baby's 16th birthday (then give the creation to the baby when he or she turns 16), and more. A family-friendly springboard of wonderful ways to celebrate the start of a new life.

Gail & Bud Gardner
Quizercize Books
PO Box 12, Fairhope, AL 36533
0976187507 $12.95

Quiz-ercize! is a hardcover, spiral-bound consumable book of memory games and mental exercises ideal for road trips, family gatherings, and entertaining friends. Word games in particular abound, from "complete the saying" phrases to a "list all the states in the U.S." section among many other lists to compile, and even a "confused Christmas carols" section that prompts the reader to unscramble sentences like "The only holiday gift I desire is a pair of incisors" to discover a familiar holiday song. An easy-to-use game book for all ages, and a great means to while away hours in a vehicle.

Secrets of Modern Slot Playing, fifth edition
L & M Publications
PO Box 743, Paradise, CA 95967
0966459229 $9.95

Now in an updated fifth edition, Secrets of Modern Slot Playing is an absolute must-read for anyone with a serious interest in slot machine gambling. Written in straightforward prose that emphasizes a realistic view of gambling, Secrets of Modern Slot Playing cover-to-cover with tips, tricks and techniques for not only getting the win but - far more important - not losing one's shirt! Advice given includes an emphatic stress on the importance of playing only with cash, using one's credit card solely for meals or board, as a bucket of quarters will clearly show how much one is winning or losing, and avoiding the temptation to tap into checking or debit accounts is the surest way to know one won't lose more than one can afford. Other tips, tricks and techniques include the importance of strategy, setting a win goal and calling it quits when that goal is reached, the importance of remembering the taxman's due (most casinos won't withhold taxes on winnings unless asked, but the I.D. one submits to the casino ensures the I.R.S. will get its cut!) An absolute "must-have" for all slot players, from casual vacationers to experienced gamblers.

The Architecture Shelf

Religious Architecture in Hispano New Mexico
Thomas L. Lucero and Thomas J. Steele, S.J.
LPD Press
925 Salamanca NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107-5647
1890689408 $15.95

Architect Thomas L. Lucero and scholar Thomas J. Steele, S.J. present Religious Architecture in Hispano New Mexico, a slender yet detailed study of the structure and architecture of churches. Setting forth a classification system that can prove most helpful when comparing distinct types of Hispanic religious architecture in New Mexico, Religious Architecture in Hispano New Mexico is filled with black-and-white diagrams and photographs as well as extensive text description, historical summaries, and more. A thoroughly researched and invaluable guide for architecture students, designers, and scholars seeking to better understand the form, purpose and function of Hispanic New Mexican places of worship.

The American History Shelf

Anthracite Lads
William H. Burke
Erie County Historical Society
419 State Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16501-1106
1883658470 $16.95

Anthracite Lads: A True Story of the Fables Molly Maguires is a unique book that strives to reexamine a facet of American History in a new light. In an era generations gone by, a group of Irish coal miners were dubbed the "Molly Maguires", and labeled "Red-Handed Murderers" by the press for their alleged role in bombings, assassinations, train derailments, arson, and street demonstrations that rocked Pennsylvania coal territory. The popularly perpetuated history is that a lone, heroic detective infiltrated the notorious gang and brought them all to hangman's justice; now, Anthracite Lads sheds the light of modern scrutiny upon long-buried violence to reveal heretofore hidden truths. A gripping narrative, Anthracite Lads is grounded in extensive research yet reads almost like a novel, and features a special section with reproductions of Molly Maguire photos and original documents.

The Jobs/Career Shelf

Get A Job... Now!!!
J. Barry Vanek, PMP
S O A R Publishing
10523 Sagecanyon Dr., Houston, TX 77089
0976788802 $24.95

Get A Job... Now!!! Handbook for the Job Seeker is a go-to-it career guide for the twenty-first century. Chapters describe how to get into the "unadvertised" job market, which offers up to 55% of available jobs; overcome fear of using the phone; how to stand out in a job interview; how to ask questions that make oneself look "smart"; and perhaps most important, the value of building a network to increase job security. Bundled with Get A Job... Now!!! is a CD-ROM with PowerNet software (Windows 98 or greater compatible), a program designed specifically to help the user with networking challenges for career investment. Written in no-nonsense terms especially for lay job-hunters struggling to adapt to the increasingly flexible and globalized market of today, Get A Job... Now!!! lives up to its title in practical tips, tricks, techniques, advice, and need-to-know information.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Good Digestion Guide
Mike Fillon
Woodland Publishing
448 East 800 North, Orem, Utah 84404
1580543642 $16.95 1-800-777-2665

The Good Digestion Guide: A Complete Handbook to Gastrointestinal Happiness is a digestive health that focuses upon the entire GI tract, the many illnesses that can plague it (most individuals suffering from a GI illness have at least one other GI problem), and what lay readers need to know to promote optimum GI health. Chapters discuss GI flora and the danger of food poisoning, common GI symptoms of mild or serious problems, how to reduce the risk of cancer, concerns such as heartburn and Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Syndrome, natural therapies, a journey all the way through the GI tract, and much more. A welcome addition to personal health libraries and a "must-read" for anyone concerned with keeping his or her GI tract in optimum shape.

After the Diagnosis
Donna L. Pikula, D.D.S., M.S.
Books 2 Help You
c/o Midpoint Trade Books (distribution)
27 West 20th Street, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10011
0976897008 $16.95

After the Diagnosis: How to Look Out for Yourself or a Loved One is a straightforward guide to being a smart patient even when confronted with a grave medical problem. Chapters offer no- nonsense practical advice on how to choose a patient advocate, the importance of asking the right questions, how to read test results and prescriptions, how to locate associations with reliable information about health conditions or services, how to find the best hospitals, care centers, and specialists, and much more. After the Diagnosis is a compendium of general advice; it does not cover specific diseases in depth, but rather gives the reader the basic tools to deal with any severe medical issue. A plain-terms, layperson-friendly guide, highly recommended.

Combating Addiction Through Recovery Education
Stephen H.A. Lloyd
We Publish Books
307 San Vicente Circle, Palm Desert, CA 92260
1929841086 $19.95

Combating Addiction Through Recovery Education: The C.A.R.E. Program - Substance Abuse Awareness and Relapse Prevention offers a methodical and informed approach to anyone seeking to free himself or herself from addiction. Written by Stephen Lloyd, a recovered alcoholic and addict trained as a certified substance abuse counselor, Combating Addiction Through Recovery Education discusses causes of addiction, the value of medical help, how to combat "triggers" for cravings, seeking support, goal setting, anger management, dealing with resentment, how to create a solid relapse prevention plan, and much more. Combating Addiction Through Recovery Education is a consumable text, with numerous opportunities for the owner to write down lists of resources, thoughts and feelings, future plans, and more. A highly recommended supplement to a personal addiction treatment and recovery program.

The World History Shelf

Reckless Courage
William Fuller with Jack Haines
Taber Hall Press
PO Box 159, Marion, Massachusetts 02738
0976925206 $13.95

Reckless Courage: The True Story of a Norwegian Boy Under Nazi Rule is a collection of true anecdotes and inspirational true stories about a Norwegian family during the German occupation of World War II. The story focuses upon a young errand boy who worked at a hotel housing German officers, painting a captivating issue of survival under German rule, and the appendices raise thought-provoking questions such as whether Norway was more important in World War II than historically recognized - did Hitler's invasion of Norway ultimately cost him the war? Did one Norwegian colonel, through disobeying orders, save civilization? A welcome and much- appreciated addition to World War II history and narrative shelves.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Guide to Ridiculously Easy Entertaining
Mike Riccetti and Michael Wells
Tempus Fugit Press
PO Box 540306, Houston, Texas 77254
0971404038 $17.95

The Guide to Ridiculously Easy Entertaining: Tips from Marfreless is much more than a compilation of party favorite appetizer, drink, and side dish recipes (such as Bacon & Tomato Tartlets, Super Bowl Punch, or Potatoes & Stilton Gratin). The majority of The Guide to Ridiculously Easy Entertaining lives up to its title in that it walks the reader through exactly how to plan and throw a gala social event. Chapters address how to handle the initial planning, whether to hire help and if so how to go about it, the nuts and bolts of getting supplies and setting up, tips for being a gracious host, specific advice for dinner parties, wine tasting parties, work- related events, and much more. A glossary and extensive selection of references, such as lists of cocktail mixers, mailing guidelines, music suggestions, and many other useful fact sheets round out this all-purpose, easy-to-follow, must-have guide to creating a classy and memorable social gathering with great drink and food.

The Body "Knows" Cookbook
Caroline Sutherland
Atlas Books
30 Amberwood Parkway, Ashland, OH 44805
0968386601 $14.95 1-800-BOOKLOG

A medical intuitive (her father and grandfather were doctors), an author and a health educator, Caroline Sutherland is an expert on weight loss programs, allergies, and preparing truly memorable dishes in the family kitchen. She draws upon her years of experience and expertise in The Body "Knows" Cookbook to compile an impressive collection of recipes, tips, ideas, and thematically appropriate information to complement individual health and diet programs with foods and meal ideas that will be truly enjoyed and satisfyingly appreciated. From Caroline's Famous Turkey Soup; Smoked Salmon Butter; Cherry Tomatoes filled with Hummus and Olive Spread; to Baked Sole with Lemon, Capers and Toasted Pinenuts; to BBQ Chicken with Coconut Cashew Sauce; Wild Rice Pancakes; Keri's Almond Flour Scones; and Rice Flour Bird's Nest Cookies, The Body "Knows" Cookbook will prove an imaginative and popular addition to any kitchen cookbook collection -- especially with its spiral binding that allows the book to be laid out flat on the kitchen table or counter.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Steven Shrewsbury
Behler Publications
22365 El Toro Road, #135, Lake Forest, CA 92630
1933016108 $15.95 1-800-830-2913

A ripping good, 271 page, action/adventure sword-and-sorcery novel by Steven Shrewsbury, Godforsaken is the story of a Celtic warrior fallen in battle to Roman legions, granted a reprieve from death by the war goddess Fey. He receives immense strength, command over wolves, and the ability to see through the eyes of ravens, and embarks on a bloody trek from chieftain to deified ruler of a new barbarian race. The burdens of godhood form a dangerous path, with ultimate goals murky and shrouded by the weight of history. A vibrant and adventurous novel, brimming with tests not only of mettle but also destiny.

Bureau 13
Nick Pollotta
Wildside Press
3040 West 8th Street, #200, Waukegan, IL 60085
0809550970 $17.95

The action-adventure fantasy novel Bureau 13: Damned Nation by Nick Pollotta is an exciting action-adventure fantasy novel set during the American Civil War. Amid the violence and chaos, something hideous is murdering and feeding upon wounded soldiers, leaving behind broken and twisted corpses. President Lincoln orders his trusted U.S. Marshall Joshua Withers to stop the terrible deaths. But what could be behind them? Not a vampire, werewolf or demon - the killer is immune to guns, fire, silver, and Holy Water. Further investigation reveals that killings strike the South as savagely as the North, and President Jefferson Davis also wants the murderer stopped. Something new and horrifically different is on the loose, and battlefield deaths are only the beginning! An entertaining and tongue- in-cheek, if at times gruesome, fantasy murder mystery with plenty of action.

Of Water and Dragons
Kelley Heckart
BookSurge Publishing
3269 Maricopa Ave., Ste. 114-Box 149, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406
1419604570 $15.99

Of Water and Dragons is a blend of historical fiction and fantasy. Set in the first century AD, when the expanding Roman empire swallowed up many civilizations and loomed over Celtic tribes of ancient Scotland. In the midst of an untamed land, a half-human, half-water faery woman Nemu encounters a wounded Roman soldier named Ambiorix. Despite her internal misgivings, she shelters him and heals his wounds. They are drawn together despite their roots in drastically different worlds, yet in a land awash with the fires and slaughter of conquest, is there any hope for them to be together? A poignant tale of love, sacrifice, and tragedy.

Dawn of War: Ascension
C. S. Goto
Black Library Publishing
1525 Hulse Rd., Unit 1, Pt. Pleasant, NJ 08742
1844162850 $7.99

The eagerly anticipated sequel to Dawn of War, Dawn of War: Ascension continues the lightning paced, action-packed adaptation of the best-selling, real-time strategy computer game by THQ, and the long-enjoyed dark science fiction war game Warhammer 40,000. Following the Blood Ravens Space Marines in their struggle to protect their worlds from horrific aliens, Dawn of War: Ascension reveals a shocking twist in the bloody galactic conflict - the true menace is not necessarily the mysterious and ancient Eldar, but rather a horror far more lethal! Violent, gritty, gripping, Dawn of War: Ascension is a raw boost of pure excitement from start to finish.

The Education Shelf

Poems to Learn to Read By
Betty S. Bardige and Marilyn M. Segal
Zero to Three Press
2000 M St., NW, Ste. 200, Washington, DC 20036-3307
094365792X $22.95

Poems to Learn to Read By: Building Literacy with Love is a collection of poems that children from birth to school age will enjoy reading with adults, and it is also a useful resource for instilling a love of reading in young children. Each poem has a brief text follow-up about the verse's origins, or ideas for helping children sound out difficult words, tips on helping the very young adapt to new challenges, and more. Valuable as both a literacy and parenting resource, Poems to Learn to Read By is highly recommended especially for bedtime or naptime reading. For example, the following poem teaches young children about the letter Y as well as about sharing toys. "My Favorite Toy": I have a yellow yo-yo / And I can make it go / Down and up and round the world. / Yes, either fast or slow. // Would you like to use my yo-yo? / You can try to make it sleep. / The yo-yo is yours to use today, / But it is mine to keep.

The Travel Shelf

Caribbean Escapes
Dale Leatherman, editor
Trafford Publishing
2333 Government Street, Suite 6E, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8T 4P4
1412063221 $TBA 1-888-232-4444

Expertly compiled and edited by Dale Leatherman, Caribbean Escapes draws upon more than twenty experienced travel writers who know and have been writing about the Caribbean for years. Enhanced with the photography of Greg Johnston, Caribbean Escapes showcases one hundred of the best resorts to be found in the region, highlighting twenty-five separate destinations in the area. Here are to be found an informed and informative guide to the most luxurious resorts, best dining, greatest golf, spectacular spas, and upscale retailers the Caribbean has to offer. If anyone is planning a business trip or vacation anywhere in the Caribbean, then give a close and careful reading to Caribbean Escapes when planning an itinerary for a truly special life-time experience!

An Enchanting Journey
Joseph M. Callewaert
c/o Buy Books On The Web
1094 New Dehaven Street, #100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
0741424304 $13.95

An Enchanting Journey: From Nice to Auxerre through Central France is a highly descriptive account of Belgian- born author Joseph M. Callewart's journey across provincial France. From the wonder of the Puy de Dome to the majestic mountaintop abbey church of Vezelay to the allegedly haunted hill of Bibracte, An Enchanting Journey takes in the sights and sounds of places with deep roots in history. Written smoothly with an eye for the rapturous beauty of land and architecture alike, An Enchanting Journey is an up close and personal travelogue and surely the next best thing to hiking across France in person.

The Civil War Shelf

Sherman's March to the Sea
John F. Marszalek
McWhiney Foundation Press
McMurry University, Box 637, Abilene, Texas 79697
1893114163 $14.95

John F. Marszalek, Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Mississippi State University, presents Sherman's March to the Sea, a no-nonsense examination of General Sherman and his role in enabling the Union's victory during the American Civil War. Sherman's March to the Sea looks critically at sources that would vilify or sanctify Sherman's actions or personality beyond what the events of history say, and focuses upon what Sherman himself intended his wartime strategy to be: not a "total war" in which civilians are brutally slaughtered en masse, but rather extreme property, city, and supplies destruction designed to force the South to end the war as quickly as possible, therefore saving lives in the long run. Sherman's March to the Sea also analyzes Sherman's tactics, recounts the destructive details of Sherman's march, portrays Sherman through both white and black eyes as well as scrutinizing what positive and negative propaganda had to say about him. Of particular interest are the conclusions drawn about Sherman's racial views - while he was definitely racist enough to believe that black Americans were inferior to whites, neither was he the monstrous, hate-filled demon toward blacks that past and contemporary propaganda would portray him as. An absorbing portrait of a complex man and his unforgettable contribution to both American and world warfare history unfolds.

The Poetry Shelf

The Singers I Prefer
Christian Barter
CavanKerry Press
6 Horizon Road, No. 2901, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
0972304541 $14.00

The Singers I Prefer is the debut collection of original free-verse poetry by Christian Barter, an emerging Maine poet who has been previously published in such journals as The Georgia Review, North American Review, and American Scholar. The brief, emotional verses paint a poignant and sometimes tragic picture of daily life and the struggle to persevere in the face of an uncertain future. A haunting, soft-spoken, sometimes bitterly insightful collection. "There Are No Stars Tonight but Those of Memory": Tonight the real stars seem / just memories // crowding the black above my house // still bright as any city / seen from a hill // where cities seem to be // the things we planned to build.

All The Power Rests With You
Suzanne Stutman
Manor House Publications, Inc.
3501 Newberry Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154
0964826178 $12.95 1-800-343-8464

"All The Power Rests With You" is a collection of poems that Suzanne Stutman has written for children who need the reassurance that they are special and okay just as they are. Stutman drew from the expertise of a team of consultants she assembled from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, social work, and public health to write poems that would serve as a creative resource for children and adolescents. After an informative introduction, "All The Power Rests With You" is divided into five major sections: "Adventures in Writing Poetry", "Feeling Safe", "Feeling Out of Place", "Positive Feelings", and "The Future". There are activities to reinforce the poetry, and more than 50 blank pages upon which the children can craft their own poems, songs, stories, and pictures, allowing "All The Power Rests With You" to serve as a kind of creative diary or workbook documenting their progress and feelings. This is a thoroughly "user friendly" and very highly recommended resource for any parent, teacher, counselor, or care-giver.

The Man Who Lived Among The Cannibals
Laurie Robertson-Lorant
Spinner Publications
164 William Street, New Bedford, MA 02740
093202792X $12.95

An impressive and recommended compendium of thirty-seven poems by academician and author Laurie Robertson- Lorant, The Man Who Lived Among The Cannibals: Poems In The Voice Of Herman Melville showcases the theme of the 19th Century author of Moby Dick in original and deftly written verse. Melville Explains Why He Started Writing Poetry: While foolscap rolled out/lank corpses bled to white/I swam in volcanic seas/and tried to write//quill dipped in brine, a crippled bird/I toiled/the prose was all blubber/the black pots smoked and boiled//exhausted and drained/I spat out lines alone:/cannibal crunching words/of flesh and bone.

Eric Pankey
Ausable Press
1026 Hurricane Road, Keene, NY 12942
1931337128 $14.00 1-800-283-3572

Reliquaries is an anthology of original poetic meditations on the complexity of memory, originally written as a companion volume to "Oracle Figures". The long lines of the poem are fluid yet orderly, with a rhythm and tempo that underscore the reflective meaning. A soulful and contemplative collection that invites rereading and quiet meditation. "Small Confessions": A whole flock of waxwings occupied the holly, feasted on the berries, / And as if a single brush stroke, the flock lifted, banked, settled in the / Bradford pear, / Only to rise, to retrace the curve back to the holly. / Rilke says, "Even / forgetting / Has a shape in the permanent realm of mutation." / Even, I wonder, the forgetting of memory having forgotten?

The Self-Help Shelf

How to Accept Yourself
Dr. Windy Dryden
Sheldon Press
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
0859699420 $12.95 1-800-758-3756

Psychotherapeutic Studies professor Dr. Windy Dryden presents How to Accept Yourself, a realistic and practical- minded guide to embracing oneself, strengths and weaknesses alike, offering tested techniques for overcoming anxiety, self-doubt, and low self-esteem. Topics covered include the importance of unconditional self-acceptance, questioning one's beliefs, acting on healthy beliefs, developing a realistic view of oneself and one's life experiences, specifying one's problems and setting goals, and much more. How to Accept Yourself is a consumable guide, with blank spaces for the reader to fill in answers to thought-provoking questions. Highly recommended as a building block to making positive changes in one's life.

The Savvy Woman's Guide To Testosterone
Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.
HER Place Press
354 Hastings Road, Waitsfield, Vermont, 05673-7117
1933213000 $17.95

The Savvy Woman's Guide To Testosterone: How To Revitalize Your Sexuality, Strength And Stamina by Elizabeth Lee Vliet (a practicing women's health physician and a medical expert on women's hormone issues) offers compendium of sound and practical information completely accessible to the non-specialist general female readers who are experiencing a loss of interest in sex, a loss of sexual sensation, who find themselves easily fatigued, low on energy, experiencing a decreased stamina, feeling emotionally stale, suffering diminished muscle tone and strength, suffering more frequent headaches, dry eyes, thinning hair, even a reduced height. The focus in upon the role of testosterone (usually thought of as a male hormone) in women for optimal health. The reader will learn about revolutionary new options designed specifically for women with respect to testosterone treatments and how to utilize them for renewed sexual vigor and interest, mental and emotional well-being, as well as overall physical health. The Savvy Woman's Guide To Testosterone is a welcome contribution to personal, women's clinics, and community library Health & Medicine reference collections.

Healing The Heart Of The World
Dawson Church, editor
Elite Books
10 Hop Ranch Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
0971088853 $24.95

Compiled, organized and edited by Dawson Church, Healing The Heart Of The World: Harnessing The Power Of Intention To Change Your Life And Your Planet is an anthology of essays by learned authors describing simple ideas and techniques anyone can follow to bring about a marked improvement in the well-being of oneself and the planet. From learning to forgive, to finding value and purpose in oneself rather than looking to the fickle whim of outside society and popular culture, to engaging with and even finding God in nature, to learning from the scientific revolution and minimizing or eliminating the use of damaging or polluting products, Healing The Heart Of The World combines self-help techniques, respect for life, spirituality and can-do action into a single uplifting catalogue of recommendations for a better future. Highly recommended.

Thank You, Brain, For All You Remember
W. R. (Bill) Klemm, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Benecton Press
9001 Grassbur Road, Bryan, TX 77808
0975522507 $24.95

Thank You, Brain, For All You Remember: What You Forgot Was My Fault is a no-nonsense guide to improving memory skills. Written especially for students seeking to improve their grades, workers who need to upgrade their career knowledge, senior citizens losing memory capability, and anyone who wants to enhance their retention ability, Thank You Brain, For All You Remember offers plain facts about memory, the diet and exercise habits that are most beneficial, how to become more aware, how to work with hidden memories, how to rehearse effectively, how to reduce incorrect memories, slow aging of the mind, and much more. Written by a professor of neuroscience, Thank You Brain, For All You Remember is enthusiastically recommended guide to self-improvement and staying young in mind as well as in body.

The Biography Shelf

Memoirs From A Coffee Shop
Nick Kach AQ. Fanas
1663 Liberty Drive Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
1418401153 $17.50 1-800-839-8640

Memoirs From A Coffee Shop: 1996-2001 The Storyteller's Saga by Nick Fanas is an entertaining and personal chronicle of one man's work operating a quaint cafe in a small town on an Atlantic Seaboard island. A true story of friends, families, customers, and the struggles of an ordinary person to earn an honest living. Memoirs From A Coffee Shop reads very much like a novel, alive with small town flavor and interest, and incidents of comedy, tragedy, adversity and triumph abound. Highly entertaining and recommended.

From The Periodic Table To Production
Thomas Midgley IV
Stargazer Publishing Company
PO Box 77002, Corona, CA 92877-0100
0964385309 $24.95 1-800-606-7895

From The Periodic Table To Production: The Life Of Thomas Midgley, Jr. is the compelling biography of the American scientist who invented high-octane ethyl gasoline and freon refrigerants. His accomplishments allowed America to advance its technology in both civilian and military applications; ethyl gasoline enabled carrier-based Army aircraft, and fueled the Enola Gay when it dropped the atomic bomb that ended World War II. Though Midgley was only 55 when he died, his immense contributions to modern chemistry are all the more fascinating considering his background - he was originally trained as an engineer, not a chemist. From the Periodic Table to Production is an amazing read of how one man's hard work, creative genius, and passion for research transformed the modern world.

Sunny Daze
Faith R. Foyil
Llumina Press
PO Box 772246, Coral Springs, FL 33077-2246
1595261508 $13.95

Sunny Daze: The Humorous Misadventures of a Tropical Island Mom is the true, humorously reflective memoir of a mother who moved to the Bahamas in the early 90's and learned the hard way that life on a stunningly beautiful 21- mile long island isn't all surf and sunshine. The insightful essays and witty observations are sure to perk a smile among travelers and mothers alike, as the author reveals the other side of living in the Bahamas - sluggish mail service, cockroach invasions, fresh milk shortages, and of course the all too familiar parenting challenges such as homework help, summer camp selection, and airline travel. Each vignette is brief making Sunny Daze perfect for light or on-the-go reading, but taken as a whole, Sunny Daze is certain to bring a smile.

The Parenting Shelf

The Pumpkin Patch
Margaret L. Schwartz
Chicago Spectrum Press
4824 Brownsboro Center, Louisville, KY 40207
1583741186 $19.95

The Pumpkin Patch: A Single Woman's International Adoption Journey by Margaret L. Schwartz (a marketing consultant and single mother of two adopted children) offers the reader insight into one woman's personal journey from successful businesswoman to a single mother of two children. Her journey navigating through the Ukraine and its adoption bureaucracy for 18 months reveals as much to her, and to us, about both herself and the complex process that allowed her to adopt two very young, abandoned children. Presented in a journal format with dated entries, The Pumpkin Patch is a sparkling and highly readable insight and highly recommended supplemental reading for anyone seriously considering international adoption.

The Photography Shelf

Great Sand Dunes National Park
John B. Weller
John B. Weller Photography
365 - 29th Street, Boulder, CO 80305-
1565795148 $19.95

Great Sand Dunes National Park: Between Light And Shadow is a collection of essays and photographs by Boulder, Colorado-based nature photographer John B. Weller and showcases the landscapes of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The truly breathtaking, full-color images of sand dunes, tracks, and wildlife are perfectly complemented by the brief reflective pieces describing the author's journey and experiences. Great Sand Dunes National Park reveals captivating beauty amid shifting sands and seasons; it is exceptionally easy to lose oneself in the panoramic interplays of light, shadow, sand, and natural life. A "must-have" for nature and environmental photography collections.

Born Into Brothels
Zana Briski
Umbrage Editions
515 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013
1884167454 $35.00 1-212-965-0197

Zana Briski came up with a unique idea. Give the children in Calcutta's red-light district their own cameras and let them take pictures of their lives. The result was a documentary of extraordinary children born into the most wretched of circumstances where the girls were destined to enter their mother's trade of prostitution and the boys would join related criminal enterprises. The award-winning film documentary has now produced a unique and extraordinary coffee-table book of photography showcasing Zana Briski's own work in collaboration with these children's photography over a period of seven years. This is also the story of how Briski began holding photography workshops to instruct these children in the basics of photography from lighting and composition to editing and narrative sequencing. Some of these children became so skilled and adept that their developed and developing photography skills could eventually be the source of their emancipation from the lowest rung of Calcutta social and cultural ladder. Highly recommended reading, "Born Into Brothels" would make a stellar addition to academic and community library Photography collections, Indian Studies reference shelves, and Women's Studies supplemental reading lists.

The Music Shelf

Sounds Of Freedom
John Malkin
Parallax Press
PO Box 7355, Berkeley, CA 94707
1888375477 $18.00 1-800-863-5290

Sounds Of Freedom: Musicians On Spirituality And Social Change is a compilation of interviews by John Malkin with a variety of recording artists ranging from a spectrum of musical backgrounds ranging from folk and classical to punk rock and hip-hop. The purpose was to discuss with them their thoughts on spirituality and social change. Enhanced with a foreword by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, Sounds of Freedom is enhanced with an accompanying CD. This anthology of discussions on spirituality, politics and music is inherently fascinating as we learn of the musicians personal commitments to peace and justice and how they infuse their inspirations and aspirations into their music and their lives. Sounds Of Freedom is extraordinary reading and enthusiastically recommended for readers with an interest in social justice, personal freedom, and the role of music and the musician in fostering those qualities within the lives of their fans and the communities in which the live and work.

The Children's Shelf

John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads
Christopher Canyon
Dawn Publications
12402 Bitney Springs Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
1584690739 $8.95 1-800-545-7475

Illustrated and adapted from the popular song by John Denver by Christopher Canyon, John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads. Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, two of John Denver's friends who were driving through the beautiful rolling hills of Maryland and in the process began composing a song inspired by what they were seeing along the way. With Denver's help (they were all performing at a nightclub together), changing the state to West Virginia and some other tweaks to the lyrics, it became an instant hit as the three sang it together before an audience for the first time. Christopher Canyon's detailed and busy artwork is a perfect page-by-page, lyric line by lyric line showcase for the story of the song. Very highly recommended for family, school, and community library picturebook collections, John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads is also available in a hardcover format with an accompanying CD (1584690720, $19.95).

Ernest And Elston
Laura T. Barnes & Carol A. Canburn
Barnesyard Books
PO Box 254, Sergeantsville, NJ 08557
KSB Promotions (publicity)
55 Honey Creek NE, Ada, MI 49301-9768
0967468167 $15.95 1-800-888-4741

Elston is a barnyard rooster who thinks the other animals don't like him because it's his job to wake them up so early every morning. Ernest the donkey tries to persuade Ernest that he's got it all wrong. But Elston decides to quite being a rooster and become something else instead. An humorous adventure ensues as all Elston and the rest of the barnyard animals find out that it is their differences that make them each both special and useful to all the others. Ideal reading for children ages 4 through 8 (there's even a cute little critter hiding on every page just waiting to be found!) and a popular addition to school and community library picturebook collections, Ernest And Elston is charmingly written "life lesson" by Laura T. Barnes and wonderfully illustrated with 32 watercolor works of art by Carol A. Canburn.

The Tailor's Gift
David M. Stern
Doc's Productions, Inc.
8235 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 306
KSB Promotions (publicity)
55 Honey Creek NE, Ada, MI 49301-9768
0974160709 $17.95 1-800-431-1579

Imaginatively written by screenwriter, journalist, lyricist, and poet David M. Stern, and enhanced with the artwork of Dave Zaboski (an animator for Disney Studios for such films as "Beauty and the Beast", "Aladdin", Pocahontas", "Fantasia 2000", and seven other classic films), The Tailor's Gift: A Holiday Tale For Everyone" is the story of Shimmel Cloth, a tailor who lived high in the mountains and whose flock of sheep gave him the best wool for making warm clothes for the nearby villagers. Disaster suddenly befalls the village, but Shimmel knows just what he must do. He gathers the warm clothes he has made, then with the help of his sheep he brings them to the village. When the villagers tell Shimmel they can't buy the clothes because they have nothing left, he tells them to look around them. Once they realize the still have each other, they all work together until the village is once again thriving. "The Tailor's Gift" is ideal Christmas holiday picturebook reading (as well as all recommended for all year round for its sheer entertainment and originality!) for children ages 5 to 7 with its message about giving and sharing.

Tailey Whaley
Charles Boyle & Everett Davidson
Trident Publishing
1837 Cove Point Road, Annapolis, MD 21401
0965721442 $14.95

Tailey Whaley: A Tale of a Whale With a Whale of a Tail is an original picturebook story imaginatively and entertainingly written by Charles Boyle, and nicely illustrated by Everett Davidson for young readers preschool through second grade. Kailey is a whale whose baby is quite different from the other whales. For one thing Tailey can fly! But this difference leads to problems with the other young whales who tease, torment, and even bully little Tailey. But when human whaler's show up it is Tailey's very difference that enables him to protect the whales -- even those who were mean to him. Enthusiastically recommended for family, preschool, grade school, and community library picturebook collections for children, Tailey Whaley is a delightfully entertaining and thoroughly "kid friendly" story that has the theme of accepting differences and that every friend is different!

You Can't Milk A Dancing Cow
Tom Dunsmuir & Brian T. Jones
Tanglewood Press
PO Box 3009, Terre Haute, IN 47803
0974930334 $14.95

When Mrs. Picket says, "I have an idea", you never know what's coming next! She made the cows raincoats with her new sewing machine and now they won't come into the barn to be milked. The chickens are too busy promenading around the barnyard in their new bonnets and sunglasses to lay eggs. And how is a rooster supposed to wake up early when he's so cozy in his new flannel pajamas and cap! These and other dilemmas Mrs. Picket creates for Farmer Picket when she begins creating animal fashions will leave children laughing out loud! Tom Dunsmuir wrote "You Can't Milk A Dancing Cow" for young readers ages 4 to 8. Enhanced with Brian Jones' energetic and memorable illustrations, this original and highly recommended picturebook story will be read over and over again by generations of new and appreciative young readers.

The Little Blue Lamb
Wayne F. Maxwell, Jr. & Jane M. McCabe
Pegasus Publications
1055 East 16th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11230
097470234X $16.95

Charmingly written by Wayne F. Maxwell Jr., and gently illustrated by Jane M. McCabe, The Little Blue Lamb is a children's book about the true meaning of Christmas in a world saturated with Santa stories. Long ago and far away, a little blue lamb yearned to belong. Young readers follow the story of a little lamb led by the Star of Bethlehem to the manger in which Christ was born. A timeless message of faith and acceptance reverberates as God's love, like the Star over Bethlehem, shines on everyone - even little blue lambs.

Christmas Eve Blizzard
Andrea Vlahakis & Emanuel Schongut
Sylvan Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Boulevard, Suite 3, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
0976494337 $15.95 1-877-958-2600

"Christmas Eve Blizzard" is Andrea Vlahakis' charming story of young Nicholas and his grandfather who put all thoughts of Christmas decorating and preparation aside as they lovingly care for a cardinal whom they find stranded in a snowy blizzard. Responding to their kindness, the cardinal quickly regains its strength and flies off to rejoin its family. A sweet and unexpected reward for Nicholas, Grandpa, and their entire village, brings them all a lifetime of Christmas cheer. In addition to Emanuel Schongut's lovely illustrations, "Christmas Eve Blizzard" is enhanced for young readers with a Spanish/English glossary for the Spanish words that appear in the text of the story, as well as fun facts about birds (and cardinals in particular), information on making a bird-friendly backyard habitat, easy bird feeder crafts for Christmas and year round, information on what to do if the young reader were to find an injured or orphaned baby bird, and even cardinal numbers and math games! With it's timely and timeless Christmas message of caring for animals and other people, and a young boy's relationship with his grandfather, "Christmas Eve Blizzard" is a very special and highly recommended addition to a child's Christmas reading list and for inclusion into both school and community library picturebook collections.

Has Anyone Seen Christmas?
Anne Margaret Lewis & Wendy Popko
Mackinac Island Press
216 East Front Street, Suite 205, Traverse City, MI 49684
0974914576 $18.95

Emit the Elf has been chosen by Santa to help deliver presents on Christmas Eve. All goes well until Emit falls out of Santa's sleigh! The result is a confusion that sends everyone out looking for Christmas! Wendy Popko's colorfully dynamic and energetic illustrations are an integral part of Anne Margaret Lewis' entertaining, lyrically told story that will have young readers totally engaged from first page to last. Highly recommended and thoroughly fun reading for the Christmas holidays!

Once Upon A Christmas Eve
Kathy-Jo Wargin & Bruce Langton
Mitten Press
2500 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
1587262908 $17.95 1-877-722-2264

Kate is a young girl who has heard about a holiday legend that claims that at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, all the animals can speak! Unable to sleep, Kate dresses warmly and goes out to see if the legend is true. The result is a true Christmas adventure that will entertain the minds of imaginations of young readers. This beautifully told story by Kathy-Jo Wargin is memorably illustrated with the museum gallery quality artwork of Bruce Langton whose snowy images provide the perfect showcase for Wargin's imaginative prose. "Once Upon A Christmas Eve" can justifiably be considered as a true Christmas classic to be read and enjoyed by many future generations of young readers.

The Littlest Christmas Kitten
Leona Novy Jackson & Kelly Dupre
Snaptail Press
PO Box 305, Maryville, MO 64468
0930643186 $16.00 1-800-36601695

"The Littlest Christmas Kitten" is a very special picturebook retelling of the Nativity story where youngsters ages 3 through 7 can feel the restless anticipation of the animals and the worried concerns of mother cat for her little lost kitten. The lost is found in the midst of a miracle on a special night when Jesus is born and the first Christmas occurs. Kelly Dupre's superb artwork wonderfully enhanced Leona Novy's original and entertaining story about the love and care mothers have for their little ones -- and the birth of the Baby Jesus. Enhanced for young readers with a short word list about Christmas, "The Littlest Christmas Kitten" is wholeheartedly recommended for parents wanting something seasonal to read to their children, and for any community library's Christmas picturebook collection!

Santa's Christmas Train
Joseph Caro
CNN Publications
PO Box 7486, Long Beach, CA 90807
0962807826 $9.95 1`-714-840-3942

Written for children ages 3 to 9, "Santa's Christmas Train" is a delightful and original story answering the age-old question of why toy and electric trains are to be found under the tree each Christmas morning. Lionel is Santa's smallest helper and in his efforts to help Santa and his reindeer move such a heavy load of toys one Christmas night comes upon a surprising solution -- if only he can convince Santa! "Santa's Christmas Train" is a welcome and highly entertaining addition to any youngster's Christmas morning!

Three Kings And A Star
Fred Crump, Jr.
UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.)
c/o The B&B Media Group Inc.
109 South Main, Corsicana, TN 75110
1932715525 $12.95 1-800-927-0517

Intentionally designed to apple to a young African American readership, Three Kings And A Star, written and illustrated by Fred Crump, Jr. (a public school art teacher for more than 30 years and illustrator of more than 40 children's books, all contextualized for African American children), is a vivid retelling of the wise men's journey to find the baby Jesus. This picturebook retelling features Crump's detailed artwork. From the moment Mary discovers she will have a son, to the arrival of the three wise men laying their gifts before the newborn King, this remarkable and enthusiastically recommended picturebook engages the total attention of young readers in a vibrant and thoroughly entertaining retelling of an ageless and classic Christmas story.

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design