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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 9 September 2005 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Self-Help Shelf Computer Shelf
Fiction Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Poetry Shelf Education Shelf Biography Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf World History Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Gardening Shelf Parenting Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
Photography Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf Art Shelf
Children's Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Vegetarian Journal's Guide To Natural Foods Restaurants In The U.S. And Canada
The Vegetarian Resource Group
Vegetarian Journal
PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
0931411270 $17.95

Now in an newly expanded and thoroughly updated fourth edition, the 448-page Vegetarian Journal's Guide To Natural Foods Restaurants In The U.S. And Canada includes inns, vacation spots, and travel companies of interest to travelers wanting to frequent vegetarian eateries. Each restaurant listing includes its address, telephone number, a one-paragraph description, a list of payments accepted, what meals are served, whether service is limited or full, and whether there are vegan options. A very useful reference for the vegetarian on the go.

Fine Dining Madness
John Galloway
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595670067 $28.95

Restaurant business expert John Galloway presents Fine Dining Madness: The Rules & Realities of Fine Dining, a tongue-in-cheek rulebook to partaking in sophisticated cuisine, perhaps even under the most extraordinary circumstances. Chapters intersperse true anecdotes with solid general advice, and recount a wealth of most unusual situations involving washed-up celebrities, the mob, the aspirations of crazed chefs, the whims of mega call girls, and much more. Offering an astonishing peek as to what really happens behind a restaurant's swinging doors, Fine Dining Madness is as much a mirth-inducing voyage of the improbable as it is a solid handbook of do's and don'ts when eating like a king, or at least a duke. A singularly unforgettable dining instructional.

Send Me Tulips
Kathe Oleson & Kristin Pluhacek
Prisma Collaborative
2855 Pheasant Drive, Blair, Nebraska, 68008
0970239009 $23.95

Author, educator and consultant Kathe Oleson and artist Kristin Pluhacek combine their considerable talents in Send Me Tulips to provide readers with a tender, sensitive, emotionally rewarding story of living, loving, and loss. Send Me Tulips focuses upon the journey of our living and our dying, embracing concepts of faith, grace, and love. Send Me Tulips is an impressive, memorable, welcome celebration that can bestow upon the reader a true sense of peace and healing when working through issues of grief. This unique 40 page, coffee table picture book for grownups is especially commended to anyone having to deal with end-of-life issues.

The Self-Help Shelf

Free Your Mind
Steven Pashko, Ph.D.
PO Box 627, Lansdale, PA 19446
0974549800 $16.95

Written by licensed psychologist Dr. Steven Pashko, Free Your Mind: It's Not What You Think is a psychological self- help book about improving the quality of one's life and the capacity to achieve one's goals by conditioning oneself to recognize and suppress thought streaming. Thought streaming is the endless mental chatter, distinct from logical thinking, that saps energy and the ability to concentrate while offering nothing in return; it can be speculative, self-depreciating, anxious, but it is always focused upon the self and always a haphazard mishmash that interferes with constructive pursuits. At its most destructive it can lead to terrible depression, or even acts of murder or suicide. Offering techniques such as "notice and stop" for regaining awareness and control of one's thoughts, Free Your Mind is a valuable resource for sharpening mental clarity and releasing the bonds of excessive worry, and highly recommended.

Coffee at Luna's
Chuck Martin
NFI Research
13 Rockrimmon Road, North Hampton, NH 03862
0976327309 $19.95

NFI Research Chairman and CEO Chuck Martin presents Coffee at Luna's: A Business Fable, a self-help guide written in a unique modern parable style. It offers very simple secrets to self-improvement and happiness in one's work life: learning to stop and take a measured assessment of what is going on, observing and listening for information that will help one make decisions, and apply that knowledge to change things for the better. The narrative style follows an ordinary manager who is working as hard as he can to keep his business branch solvent - but the harder he works, and the more hours he sinks into the job, the more remote his financial goals seem. Company morale is in defeat, what is he to do? Meeting with a wise teacher, he accepts the wisdom of learning to disconnect from the pressure of the grind and look around at what is truly going on. An entertaining, enjoyable, and valuable self-help guide offering keen insight to properly balancing work-related responsibilities and relationships for greater happiness both at business and in one's personal life.

The Power To Believe
Susan K. Wehrley
Thomas & Kay
250 North Sunnyslope Road, Suite 300, Brookfield, WI 53005
0972950567 $19.95 1-262-785-8188

The Power To Believe...: 60-Seconds to S.T.O.P. Reacting And Start Choosing The Life Your Want, At Work And At Home by personal and professional development expert and consultant Susan K. Wehrley combines both psychological and spiritual assessment techniques to promote a deeper understanding of oneself and the factors that affect one. Chapters discuss how negative emotions and the need for approval can trap the self; how self-doubt can blind one to the love of God; eighteen spiritual practices to enrich one's life; skills for improved communication with others; and basic steps to choose the life one wants on a daily basis - observe others, observe oneself and one's reaction, claim the power within, beware illusions, take action, stay in tune and affirm oneself daily. A positive, serious-minded self-help guide to structure and nurture oneself both rationally and emotionally.

The New Age Guide To Loving Simply
Rachel Greene Baldino, MSW, LCSW
New Age Dimensions
PO Box 772097, Coral Springs, FL 33077
1596110260 $13.99

The New Age Guide To Loving Simply: Eliminating Drama From Your Intimate Relationships is a straightforward self-help guide offering a "back-to-basics" approach for cultivating and maintaining a satisfactory intimate relationship. "Consider This" and "Panic Button" highlights emphasize key points. Chapters address how to express anger in the least hurtful way, why we cannot change our partners (only ourselves), what to do about causes of drama and insecurity in relationships (such as ex-partners) and much more. Drawing heavily upon the author's personal experience, both positive and negative, as well as other real-life human examples to illustrate its precepts, The New Age Guide To Loving Simply presents practical, no-nonsense wisdom cover to cover and is highly recommended.

The Computer Shelf

The Internet Revolution
J. R. Okin
Ironbound Press
PO Box 250, Winter Harbor, Maine 04693
0976385767 $26.95

The Internet Revolution: The Not-For-Dummies Guide to the History, Technology, and Use of the Internet is both a modern history lesson and a practical how-to guide combined into one exciting exploration of the technological marvel of the Internet. Chapters address how the network was created, etiquette on the net and common jargon, the basics of email, internet mechanics such as packet switching and protocols, and much more. A fascinating tour ideal for closely familiarizing oneself with the digital institution continues to transform the modern world.

VIVO (Voice-In/Voice-Out): The Coming Age of Talking Computers
William Crossman
Regent Press
6020-A Adeline, Oakland, CA 94608
1587901005 $24.95

Philosopher William Crossman foresees radical future changes in VIVO (Voice-In/Voice-Out): The Coming Age of Talking Computers, an upbeat look at how a voice-in voice-out interface with talking computers will revolutionize the world - to the extent of making written language obsolete by 2050! A steep claim indeed, yet the author is prepared to back it up with an in-depth examination of how the technology is used, its benefits especially to sight-impaired or functionally illiterate individuals, current trends in computing, and much more. A question-and-answer section at the end effectively summarizes and delivers radical insights into a burgeoning new field. Whether or not one agrees with the final conclusion, VIVO is an exciting and detailed glimpse of what the mid twenty-first century just might hold.

The Fiction Shelf

Trials in Paradise
Helene d'Arche Smock
Vantage Press Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, 18th floor, New York, NY 10016
0533149231 $8.95 1-212-736-1767

Trials in Paradise is an original novel of love, separation, tragedy, and hope. Opening in France during World War I, and progressing through a French colonial island in the South Pacific followed by war-torn Vietnam and finally ending France, it follows a young teenage couple who are ripped apart, and must survive separate lives. Each marries for convenience or obligation, not love, and follows a blind quest for solace while yearning for the togetherness denied them - until fate intervenes. Emotional, thoughtful, and progressing methodically through the stages of life, Trials in Paradise has almost a fairy-tale quality hidden beneath its settings of conflict and personal loss.

Rand Clifford
Star Chief Press
PO Box 7515, Spokane, WA 99207
0964781786 $25.00

Timing is a novel that blends modern history with aspirations stemming on the surreal. Following the efforts of Jim Ludwig, who spent years and his personal fortune building GAEA, a domed world to create independence, luxury, and self-sustaining survival for a new wave of futurists, Timing takes a drastic turn when the September 11th attacks shatter reality itself. Disruption of space-time transforms Jim Ludwig's beloved project into a defunct crystal mine, and murges Ludwig's own identity with that of one of America's greatest heroes. He must somehow find a way to deal with and properly re-sort reality to have any hope of recapturing his dream. A captivating and thrilling "what-if" saga.

Across the Tides
Mary Jordan Nixon
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595300030 $17.95

Across the Tides is a novel about a titanic battle of wills. Set in the 1920s, it follows the a half-Native American woman with ties to both her Indian grandmother's customs and potlatches, and her father's Indian Christian Shaker church, through which she develops strong bonds with the spirit world and with Jesus. Her enemy is a married timber executive from Germany, hiding a secret past and skillful at obtaining what he wants. Their tangles up truth itself, and resolving it may come at a steep price - for the life of the child born of their love/hate relationship lingers in the balance. An original, emotional, compelling story featuring strong, driven characters.

The Black Bridge
Charlotte McNabb Foster
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595171710 $15.95

Author Charlotte McNabb Foster is no stranger to the difficulties of modern life; she has worked with the homeless and is currently involved in providing a home for female ex-offenders. Shadows on the Peaks is a novel about an almost accidental murder and the threads of fate binding two widows, one self-made. Their strained relationship becomes even more precarious one takes it upon herself to investigate the death of the other's husband. A cautionary tale warning the reader that one moment of unbridled fury can dictate consequences for the rest of one's life. An emotionally suspenseful tale to the last page.

Roaming Spirits
Phyllis Uzelac
Port Town Publishing
5909 Tower Avenue, Superior, WI 54880
1594660409 $10.95

Roaming Spirits is a novel about a woman's bond with a runaway young man named Josh, after finding him hiding in her granddaughter's playhouse one spring morning. Yet she is shocked to discover a few days later that Josh died in an unfortunate accident. Haunted by his spirit, she tries to put his soul to rest with the aid of her husband, her sister, Josh's twin brother, and an old cemetery caretaker with hidden secrets of his own. A thoughtful ghost story about reconciling the past and learning to joyfully anticipate the future.

One Last Dance
Mardo Williams with Kay Williams and Jerri Williams Lawrence
Calliope Press
400 West 43rd St., #34B, New York, NY 10036
0964924145 $22.95

Award-winning author Mardo Williams wrote One Last Dance: It's Never Too Late to Fall in Love as his first novel at age 92. After he finished the rough draft, macular degeneration made it impossible for him to continue and his daughters fulfilled his request to complete the final draft after his death. A sweepingly elegant romance, One Last Dance celebrates the importance of living in the moment and never giving up in the search for love. Emotion and hope surge from the pages, in this novel that leaves the reader feeling invigorated and enthusiastic about life.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter
Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield
Kepler Press
PO Box 400326, Cambridge, MA 02140
0971377030 $25.00

Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter is a fantastic novel with Gothic qualities. Transitioning between the present day story of a young woman and the discovered journal of her ancestor, penned in colonial-era New England, Memoirs of a Shape Shifter follows both the modern woman's struggles with the crises in her life, and her ancestor's struggles. The descendant becomes a Druid magician just like her ancestor, responsible for the knife-edge balance between power and love. Entangled and complex, Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter draws the reader into its webs of conflicting motives and does not let go until the final page.

Marley's Boast
Marv Gold
Privately Published
3901 Ashford Street, San Diego, CA 92111
193031308X $TBA

Marley's Boast by Marv Gold is a "sequel" to the famous work by Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol", and is set on Christmas Eve 1860, some seventeen years after Scrooge underwent his transformation from miser to benefactor because of his experiences with the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future. Now seven years after his own passing, Scrooge's ghost is quite disturbed, something evil is afoot and he vows to confront it. Now Tiny Tim has grown into a bright, healthy, capable young man and has met the young and attractive Annabel. Bob Cratchit (thanks to Scrooge's nephew Fred) now owns Scrooge's loan company. The only problem seems to be the restless, grasping, ever-complaining ghost of Scrooge's old partner, Jacob Marley who seems to want to wreak havoc and revenge among those he deems responsible for his dismal fate of walking the earth wrapped in the chains forged from his own avarice. A highly recommended, 38-page, illustrated chapbook, Marley's Boast is a true literary homage to a timeless classic and wonderfully entertaining reading.

A Vision of Pearls
Morten Revill
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595333141 $11.95

A Vision of Pearls: A Fable of Fame, Fortune & Self-Discovery is a fantastic fable for all ages, adults as surely as children. It is about the mystical Phoenix, who embarks on a journey to find the pearls he had in a vision. Dreams of becoming rich and famous encourage his journey, as he meets other animals and listens to their stories. Yet those who want the pearls for themselves try to trick him, and Phoenix begins to doubt whether the pearls exist. At last, he makes a friend in Edgar who reads from and old book, and inspires Phoenix to renew his quest - understanding that to find the pearls, he must open their greatest secret. A moving parable about finding one's own path and seeking the truth in a complicated and confusing world.

The Tels
Paul Black
Novel Instincts Publishing
501 South 2nd Avenue, Suite A-100, Dallas, TX 75224-1900
0972600701 $14.95 1-214-537-9780

It's 2101 and a revolution has broken out. "Biolution" has unleashed a flood of technologies which have changed almost every aspect of life. Unfortunately that also includes, with the development of the "Bioweapon", a new tool for terrorism. Jonathan Kortel is a man with an unusual ability that is sought after by two rival factions of a secret group called the Tels, each of which approach him out of the shadows of government. Kortel's telekinesis will change his life, and could possibly save the world from itself. A riveting science fiction novel by a gifted author, Paul Black's The Tels is the story of a man's struggle as he comes to terms with his humanity and his destiny in a world that could well be upon us within a generation. Winner of the 2005 Writer's Digest Book Awards (and a finalist in the Independent Publisher's Book Awards", The Tels would prove a popular addition to any community library Science Fiction collection and documents Paul Black as an imaginatively skilled storyteller of the first order. Also very highly recommended is the newly published second volume in the Tels series, Soulware (0972600728, $16.95) which continues the adventures of Jonathan Kortel in the world of tomorrow.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Bear: Heart of a Hero
Captain Scott Shields and Nancy M. West
Hero Dog Publications
980 Broadway, Suite 238, Thornwood, NY 10594
0974365904 $15.95

Bear: Heart of a Hero is the true story of America's most decorated dog, an eleven-year-old Golden Retriever named Bear, a trained search and rescue dog who led the first teams into Ground Zero following the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Towers. For his contribution to saving human lives, Bear has received honors from the United States Army and the "Hero Dog of the Year Award" from the International Cat Association, and even a "fireman's farewell" to mark his passing. Bear: Heart of a Hero tells of Bear's life and the bond he shared with his owner, as well as a discussion of how search and rescue dogs are carefully bred, raised, and trained. Inspirational and especially recommended for dog lovers.

The Poetry Shelf

Goodbye to the Orchard
Steven Cramer
Sarabande Books, Inc.
2234 Dundee Road, Suite 200, Louisville, KY 40205
1932511059 $13.95

Goodbye to the Orchard is the fourth collection of Steven Cramer's poems. The free-verse syncopation delves deeply into memories, and thrives upon presenting familiar icons and situations in a fresh and sometimes skewed viewpoint. The middle section of the book deals directly with the death of Cramer's sister, and "talk straight" in honor of her memory. An emotional and thought-provoking anthology. "Miracle Gro": I was finishing one book about ghosts / and about to start another about ghosts / while she slept. "If life is ordinary, / so is death," our sister (soon my sister) told me // between books, then offered her solution / for my pitiful, languishing garden - / its tomatoes oozing a thin, black blood, / its shrunken peppers, with their stunted heads: // Miracle Gro and water, but not from the tap. / Our sister, our dying one... Looking up, / we watched the March light she was lying in, / unseasonably green, through the hospice window, // warm even for the South - and hatefully so, / to one who's never been much good with soil.

For God, Country, and Family
William W. Adams
Vantage Press Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, 18th floor, New York, NY 10016
0533149339 $11.95 1-212-736-1767

Viet Nam War veteran, former Military Police officer, and current middle school science teacher William W. Adams presents For God, Country, and Family: Poems From My Heart, an anthology of free-verse poetry reflecting upon the values that transcend different cultures, the costly toll of war, the powerful bonds of friendship, and other soul-touching topics. The individual poems, though brief, address subsets of the human condition with an intensely personal poignancy. "In the Arms of an Angel": Close your eyes and rest you easy / As you wait there for the light, / In the soft arms of an angel / As you sleep throughout the night. // Then let the morning sunshine / Fall gently on your face, / And for once let others do for you / As you've done for them with grace. // You've never asked for special things / Far better than rest, / And from your guidance I have learned / To always do my best. // For you have always shown to be / A woman who believes, / That Christ had died with open arms / That others may receive.

Chez Nous
Angie Estes
Oberlin College Press
50 North Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074
0932440991 $14.95

Author Angie Estes' first poetry collection since her prize-winning "Voice Over", Chez Nous is based on the theme that in the postmodern, post-Holocaust world, the only "home" available to people is that of language. The free verse roams between cultures, pivotal moments in history, and frequently intersperse small dashes of the French language to better flavor the English. The result is a swift-moving compilation that reflects upon the complexities of intersecting and ever-changing cultural norms. "Paramour": An adverb by way of / love, what's par for / l'amour is par / for the course. Say / you're out for dinner one evening / with Yves, and you think of / the phrase evening / of life. Who doesn't want / to be called something / other than the name / we're given: the cow we call / boeuf or beef when eaten, the house / when it's lived in, / home, and the one we / go home with, love.

Ken Belford
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
1550173499 $16.95 1-604-883-2730

Published poet Ken Belford presents Ecologue, a collection of free-verse poems that deal with the struggle to reconcile land, language, earth's geological history, and the role humans play. Different poems bring forth different rhythm patterns, underscoring the changeable elements in both nature and human interactions. A thought-provoking, resonant anthology. "Lingua": Trading tongues / by any means, // a rough and ready war / of word of mouth. // There's nothing to write home about. // Memory edit: / language is a dump. / I'm not at home in it. // Nothing's transparent / and resistance is referential.

Evening Chore
Shari Wagner
DreamSeeker Books & Magazine
c/o Cascadia Publishing House
126 Klingerman Road, Telford, PA 18969
1931038295 $12.95

Author Shari Wagner, whose poetry has been previously published in literary magazines such as Southern Poetry Review, Indiana Review, and black Warrior Review, presents her debut poetry collection Evening Chore. An anthology of original free-verse that reminisces upon aspects of pasture, borderland, hard work, and the wonder of nature's everlasting cycles, Evening Chore reads with the pulsing rhythm; some of the poems reflect upon Kenya's land and people. An evocative and soulful anthology that pays respect to the goodness of hard and honest toil. "Evening Chore": My grandfather has climbed into his truck, / a rusty blue ford with a few stray / bales of hay bouncing like children / in the back. He's riding out to the far / pasture where cows have been grazing / twenty-five years in the shade of some elms. / The dog that disappeared in a thunderstorm / and never came back is on the seat / beside him. He's making whiny noises / and thumping his tail like an amplified / heartbeat. Before the door falls shut / behind them, the old man is cupping his hands / to call the cows away from the shadows / and into the field where the last light is / already sinking.

Her Voice Is Blackberries
Joan Marie Wood
Amherst Writers & Artists Press
PO Box 1076, Amherst, MA 01004
0941895289 $14.94

Widely published poet Joan Marie Wood presents Her Voice Is Blackberries, a unique anthology that alternates between poetry and brief, stream-of-consciousness style prose vignettes. Grounded in memories, Her Voice Is Blackberries reflect upon coping with a beloved yet flawed mother who killed herself by hanging. The need to make sense of a seemingly senseless loss, and the struggle to find beauty in the wake of terrible tragedy, give Her Voice Is Blackberries an unforgettable, keenly honed appreciation for the wonders in life despite the grief-stricken pain inside. Highly recommended. "Whatever Path I Take": When I try to get / back to her these days / Ware Catell's elms / creak in the wind, cicadas / buzz, ripe tomatoes are piled on a wire / spool under the maple tree. // Whatever path I take becomes / a dream (her scent of wild / roses fading) / that leads me around / a corner back to / this day's light.

The Education Shelf

Weaving The Literacy Web
Hope Vestergaard
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
192961070X $19.95 1-800-423-8309

Weaving The Literacy Web: Creating Curriculum Based On The Books Children Love by early childhood education consultant and children's books author Hope Vestergaard was specifically produced to provide classroom teachers a framework for engaging preschool children in a developmentally appropriate curriculum based on books that are attractive and engaging for them. Six complete chapters guide the reader through an introduction to book-based webbing and provide ideas for activity planning (including math, science, language, and creative arts), while also offering helpful tips for observing children's interests and evaluating books already present in a classroom library. A superb contribution to curriculum development resources for the preschool program and kindergarten classroom, Weaving The Literacy Web is also very highly recommended for the homeschooler wanting to instill a love of books and the pleasures of reading within their own children.

The Write Way to Read
Dorothy Lockspeiser
DotLock Enterprises
PO Box 8375, Cincinnati, OH 45208-0375
0972092005 $25.00

Volunteer adult literacy and grammar tutor Dorothy Lockspeiser presents The Write Way to Read: The Alternative to Phonics and Whole Language, a guide for educators who help teach illiterate adults. Simplifying phonic methods by emphasizing writing as much as if not more than reading, so that phonics is separated from spelling, The Write Way to Read includes step-by-step instructions divided into topical sections: The Alphabet, Phonography, Spelling, Abridged Grammar, Affixes, and Unabridged Grammar. Plain-terms definitions with example sentences make The Write Way to Read easy-to-use as either a reference or a teaching tool. A glossary and index allow for quick lookup and easy reference in this indispensable guide.

My College Advisor
Anthony Guerra
Turning Point for life, Inc.
234 North Central Avenue, Suite 102, Hartsdale, NY 10530
BBG & G Advertising/Public Relations (publicity/promotion)
633 Route 211 East, Middletown, NY 10941
F8451 $199.50 1-800-628-1630

My College Advisor is a complete-in-one-box introduction and instruction materials for students and their parents who are planning to enroll in a college or university. An assembly of three instruction manuals augmented by CD-Rom, My College Advisor is a three step program of methodically presented, practical, applicable information that begins with "Manual 1: Find My College in 28 Minutes". This directs students on organizing and choosing their preferences for higher education based on the institution's location, type and size, as well as selectivity level. Students are guided through all the steps necessary to narrow down their preliminary list of schools to the one(s) most appealing for their long term interests and successful chances for an enrollment acceptance. In "My College Finder" students are provided with a customized list of more than 900 potential colleges and universities, all of which have been pre-screened for freshman retention rates and graduation rates to ensure that admitted students have the best chances to ultimately graduate. The CD-Rom version of "My College Guidebook for Windows" contains the profiles of each school on various readers' preliminary lists. "Manual II: How to Win The College Admissions Contest" ably demonstrates just how to properly and effectively fill out a winningly competitive application form, write a successful essay, obtain compelling recommendations, and succeed in the college application process interview. "Manual III: How to Pay for College" is especially important with showing students and their families how to qualify and obtain maximum financial aid, as well as effective and creative ways to cut down on the costs of attending college. The "Financial Aid School Code Directory" CD lists both the federal school codes and the CSS school codes. Assembled and organized by Anthony J. Guerra who draws upon his more than twenty years of professional experience as a college professor, university administrator, and admissions process expert, My College Advisor is an ideal resource, especially for those students from school districts with ineffective or limited college guidance personnel or resources of their own.

The Biography Shelf

The Unforeseen Occurrence
J. Lee Gilbert
King and Queen Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 2037, Glen Allen, VA 23068
0971437432 $15.95

The Unforeseen Occurrence: A True Story is tale of a man who became lost in the alluring and all-consuming bustle of the fast life, and then became afflicted with a medically catastrophic event. His life saved by a team of doctors at the Medical College of Virginia, and forced to reassess his own mortality, he must embark on a journey to transform his life and his goals, the importance of fatherhood and family, and what it means to stay true to one's dreams. Written in plain terms, The Unforeseen Occurrence is a highly motivational memoir of personal struggle, change, and growth despite adversity.

Shifting Sands
T. L. McCown
Leathers Publishing
c/o Squire Publishers
4500 College Blvd., Leawood, KS 66211
1585972207 $19.95 1-888-888-7696

Written twelve years after the fact, Shifting Sands: Life in Arabia with a Saudi Princess is the memoir of T.L. McCown, who shared a deep friendship with a princess in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for ten years. The experiences of two women from vastly different backgrounds in a nation divided between centuries old traditions and the ongoing press of modern globalization. Terrorism and pressure from Islamic religious police are ominous shadows over both women's lives, and the dream of bringing more independence in a nation where women are, among other things, legally forbidden to drive, is a difficult one to pursue. The ups and downs of their long journey are recounted in this personal and touching recollection of good times shared, and a sober reflection that what ultimately split true friends apart was not the dictates of world or religion, but rather utterly unforeseen circumstances. A deeply personal viewpoint of the intersection between vastly different cultures and the bridges to be built between both.

Angels In The Wilderness
Amy Racina
Elite Books
10 Hop Ranch Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
0971088896 $25.95

Angles In The Wilderness: The True Story Of One Woman's Survival Agains All Odds is the biographical story of how heroine and author Amy Racina became lost in deep wilderness and faced a truly life-threatening situation. After falling sixty feet onto a granite boulder during a solo hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of Northern California, she kept herself alive through sheer determination. Dragging herself by her hands despite exhaustion and pain, she survived four days until her cries were heard by another hiker and she was airlifted out of the canyon. Angels In The Wilderness was written shortly after her miraculous survival, and includes black-and-white photographs as well as quotes from a journal she kept while hiking the trail. A profound true story of human courage and the will to live.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Alternative Chiropractic
Richard H. Tyler, D.C.
On Target Publications
PO Box 1335, Aptos, CA 95001
1931046719 $69.95 1-888-466-9185

Now in an expanded and updated second edition, Alternative Chiropractic: A Clinician's Manual On Diversified Diagnostic And Therapeutic Applications In Conservative Health Care by Richard H. Tyler (a practicing doctor of chiropractic for more than 35 years), continues to be a core text in the field of chiropractic medicine. Divided into two sections: Diversified Diagnostic Procedures and Diversified Therapeutic Procedures, chapters cover everything from motion palpation, physiotherapy, cranial manipulation, acupuncture, casting of fractures, obstetrics, hypnotherapy and much more. Black-and-white photographs and extensive appendices concerning everything from frequently used abbreviations to standard examination procedures and laboratory tests and definition make Alternative Chiropractic an in-depth, easy-to-use reference resource for medical professionals who may not be entirely familiar with remedies outside the contemporary medical regimen and selection of drugs.

Diagnosis Autism
Lawrence P. Kaplan, Ph.D., author
Jay D. Burstein, M.D., editor
Etham Books
PO Box 761, Draper, UT 84020-0761
0976535661 $15.95 1-866-997-7638

Diagnosis Autism: Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes is a guide written particularly for parents confronted with the unique challenges of raising an autistic child. Each of the ten steps is discussed and supported with the latest research and understanding of the nature of autism and successful means of treating it with the aid of a physician. Diagnosis Autism focuses above all on cultivating a strong family-physician bond in the best interests of an autistic child; thus the steps range from "Monitor and Chart Your Child's Development" and "Organize Information for Physician Interview" to "Formulate Questions for Physician Appointment", "Initiate Treatment and Program Approaches", "Listen and Be Open Minded", and "Review, Negotiate & Follow Through". Diagnosis Autism is not a complete instructional manual on autism and how to treat it, but rather focuses upon the most difficult and challenging issues that parents and physicians have to deal with, and the common situations and misunderstandings that can crop up over sensitive issues Highly recommended for families with an autistic child or adolescent member.

The World History Shelf

Mentors To The Romans
Richard M. Bongiovanni
Good Enterprises of Colorado
10215 W. 79th Way, Arvada, Colorado 80005-3745
0976342707 $19.95

Drawn from the author's ten years of research into archaeological, historical, and linguistic evidence of Etruscan civilization in Europe and the Near East, Mentors To The Romans: The Search for the Etruscans is an in-depth overview of what is known and what can be extrapolated about this ancient and mysterious civilization. Black-and-white diagrams and illustrations enhance chapter discussing how suppositions concerning the Etruscans has been traced through various types of evidence; what is known with some degree of certainty about Etruscan daily life; and much more. As fascinating for the lay reader as it is informative to professional archaeologists and historians, and recommended for library and personal history, archaeology, and ancient civilization reference shelves.

The Cookbook Shelf

Simple, Fresh, Delicious
Lovoni Walker
Fabulous Food Creations Inc.
1506-7 Street , Nisku, Alberta, Canada, T9E 7S1
0973737107 $19.95

Simple, Fresh, Delicious: Recipes for Easy Living and Relaxed Entertaining is a gorgeous, coffee-table sized cookbook of delicious dishes to serve guests, most with a reasonably minimal amount of preparation time, especially ideal for beginning to intermediate chefs. Sumptuous creations include Roasted Sweet Potato and Bacon Frittata, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Chicken, Mushroom and Asparagus Stir-Fry, Baked Lemon Lime Puddings and more. Each recipe explicitly walks the reader through details and is illustrated with a large full-color photograph. An excellent cookbook for trying out basic food creations with fresh, easy-to-find ingredients.

Cooking Among Friends
Mary Tennant & Becki Visser
Cooking Among Friends, LLC
PO Box 84, Allendale, MI 49401-0084
0970156111 $19.99

Cooking Among Friends: Meal Planning & Preparation Delightfully Simplified is a cookbook designed to be used in a labor-saving fashion with a circle of friends. Gather a group, let each individual prepare a large quantity of one or two entrees, freeze it in meal-sized portions, and swap! Done with a food quantity and exchange frequency ideal for the group, this technique allows each individual to enjoy a wide variety of culinary selections with minimal time investment. Thus the recipes in Cooking Among Friends are not only flavorful, relatively simple to prepare, and described thoroughly to make cooking them easy for chefs of all skill and experience levels. The selections also focus upon entrees that are ideal for preparation in large quantities, and that can be frozen and swapped without losing their flavor. Size adjusters are provided so that one can tailor the precise quantity made to one's needs. An extensive introduction walks the reader through the basics of this time-saving cooking style, and recipes cover everything from Beef Burgundy to Chicken and Broccoli Loaf Kits, Vegetable Lasagna with a Red Sauce, Artichoke Squares, Buttermilk Pancake Mix and more. An excellent, easy-to-use cookbook for the hectic twenty-first century.

The Gardening Shelf

Chihuly at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Portland Press
PO Box 70856, Seattle, WA 98127
1576841537 $35.00 1-800-574-7272

Chihuly at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew presents nearly one-hundred full-color photographs capturing Dale Chihuly's botanical garden exhibitions. Chihuly's work, which is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide, includes an extraordinary panoply of bright colors, unusual shapes, stunning accents amid lush greenhouse plants, dazzling water displays, and more. Most of Chihuly at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is devoted entirely to full-page photographs untouched by text other than the photograph's location and date; brief introductory essays preface the main sections. An amazing compilation, ideal for garden designers in search of inspiration or anyone interested in the awe-inspiring limits a dedicated cultivator can reach for.

What Grows Here?: Favorite Plants For Better Yards: Volume 2 - Problems
Jim Hole
Lone Pine Publishing
1808 B Street NW, Suite 140, Auburn, WA 98001
1894728033 $15.95 1-800-518-3541

What Grows Here?: Favorite Plants For Better Yards: Volume 2 - Problems by gardening expert Jim Hole is the sequel to his first volume "Locations" in which he focused on analyzing the wide array of environments and conditions which a homeowner might encounter and have to take into account when planning or developing a garden. Now in the second volume of what is proving to be an outstanding series, Jim Hole focuses on "Problems', those challenges (both mundane and bizarre) that a homeowner faces in establishing and maintaining a garden. Enhanced with more than 400 full-color photographs, tips from other successful gardeners, and advice from one of Canada's most accomplished gardening professionals, "Problems" profiles the best plants to use to overcome each and every type of gardening problem. What Grows Here?: Favorite Plants For Better Yards: Volume 2 - Problems is a welcome and much appreciated addition to any personal or community library gardening reference book collection.

The Parenting Shelf

Doc Pop's 52 Weeks of Active Parenting
Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D.
Active Parenting Publishers
Maryglenn McCombs (publicity)
1955 Vaughn Rd., Suite 108, Kennesaw, GA 30144-7808
1880283824 $12.95

Michael "Doc Pop" Popkin, Ph.D., one of the nation's foremost parenting experts who has appeared on CNN and "The Oprah Winfrey Show", Doc Pop's 52 Weeks of Active Parenting offers week-by-week family activities ideal for parents and children of all ages. Each is designed to promote parenting, family bonds, and just plain fun. Sample activities include learning how to listen actively to one's child, share stories from family history, monitor television and computer time, adopt games that make math and science everyday play, and more. Simple worksheet diagrams will help spur and structure such positive activities. The techniques may seem deceptively simple at first glance, yet have been tested and proven to promote good parenting skills and quality family time. Highly recommended.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Wealth Odyssey
Larry R. Frank Sr., MBA, CFP, author
Peter Sander, editor
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595337201 $16.95

Wealth Odyssey is a guidebook that everyone in the prime of their financial lives should read, as it directly addresses a question that many other money management books ignore - what are the reader's long-term financial goals, and what is the most effective way to attain them? Chapters address components of the wealth odyssey "road map", such as asset modes of transportation, the role of debt (when it is good, bad or necessary, and how to use debt wisely), risk management, why one must never let salespeople make decisions, different types of insurance to consider, how to deal with unexpected happenings such as premature death, and much more. A very solid, basics primer that warns the reader against using emotions as a baseline and emphasizes a combination of prudence and solid determination to achieve one's dream.

The Social Issues Shelf

Nuclear Weapons and the Blue-eyed People
Richard R. Peppe
Glassworks Publishing
15 Glass Street, PO Box 208, Pembroke, NH 03275
0974985309 $25.00

Nuclear Weapons and the Blue-eyed People: A Sociobiological Analysis is a sharp warning about the danger of nuclear weapons and their proliferation. Once nuclear weapons were primarily controlled by "blue-eyed" people; but since any society with a high enough degree of engineering skill can create them, soon more and more economically poor yet scientifically advanced nations such as North Korea will possess such weapons and be able to threaten their use. Stressing that nuclear weapons must be controlled by 2025 or the resulting danger could exterminate the developed world, Nuclear Weapons and the Blue-eyed People is a very sober book written with the chilling understanding that too many people and nations know how to place instruments of atomic death in orbital space.

Will-Yam in the Land of Giants
William E. Stienman
Wesoomi Publishing
PO Box 656, Ortonville, MI 48462
0965373282 $35.00

Philosopher and abuse survivor William Steinman shares his deepest concerns and calls readers to action in Will-Yam in the Land of Giants: Interrupting Child Abuse and Nurturing the Genius, a discussion of the ills afflicting children today and what is needed to stop the maltreatment and nurture children to their fullest potential. At times emotional or sharp-tongued, Will-Yam in the Land of Giants stresses very real social problems including a stifling educational system that focuses too heavily on the kids most in trouble, child sexual abuse, exploitation, the greed of athletic companies in dictating the futures of sports players too young to make life-changing decisions, and much more. The testimony of Steinman's own childhood experiences - mild compared to some yet so severely terrible they left permanent scars on his life - drives home his call for reform. Some of his prospective ideas may be controversial, such as completely eliminating competitive sports and their accompanying elitism or big-company exploitation from schools, and adopting a twelve-month school year as well as a federal-only educational funding plan. Yet the very real need to improve quality of life and opportunity for young people who cannot speak up or vote for themselves is beyond dispute. Highly recommended.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Keys to the Divine Kingdom
Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
Islamic Supreme Council of America
17195 Silver Parkway, #201, Fenton, MI 48430
1930409281 $12.00

Scholar Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, a scholar in the ways of Islamic law, Sufism, and chemistry, and chairman of the Michigan-based educational organization Islamic Supreme Council of America, presents Keys to the Divine Kingdom, an introduction for lay readers to better understand the physical and spiritual worlds. Sufi teachings in particular must be "tasted" and experienced fully, rather than simply read or spoken, to be truly understood. Keys to the Divine Kingdom is specifically written for lay people and other non-Mulsim readers, and to this end Arabic terminology is replaced with English translations save in a few instances where the original Arabic is pivotal to the message. The original source material for Keys to the Divine Kingdom is Kabbani's oral presentations, which were unrehearsed and entirely from the heart and soul. Chapters reflect upon the journey of weary individuals frustrated and confused by conflicting religious messages, degrees of nearness to God, holy figures, the role of science in understanding what is not know to man, and how to "polish the heart", and much more. A deeply spiritual compilation that reaches out to the reader with its message of tolerance, enlightenment, and approaching God through the virtue of humility and improving the self.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Guide To Postproduction For TV And Film
Barbara Clark & Susan Spohr, editors
200 Wheeler Road, 6th floor, Burlington, MA 01803
0240805062 $39.99

Now in a fully updated and expanded second edition, Guide To Postproduction For TV And Film: Managing The Process continues to be a seminal work for aspiring film and television production producers and managers. With extensive new material on high definition as it affects dailies, editing, and delivery, this step-by-step guide to managing the postproduction process is an essential reference. Aspiring producers will learn how to stay on budge and on schedule by utilizing the helpful forms, flowcharts, and checklists provided them. Of special note is the chapter of the film laboratory which has been expanded to include discussions on troubleshooting film damage. Also not to be missed is the latest information on film restoration, maintaining film assets, digital technologies, acquisitions, and the chapter on what's on thee horizon for postproduction technologies and trends. The Guide To Postproduction For TV And Film is a core addition to personal and professional filmmaker instructionals, as well as film school library reference collections.

The Photography Shelf

2*4*6*8: American Cheerleaders And Football Players
Briane Finke, Kathy Ryan, Zev Borow
Umbrage Editions
515 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013
1884167349 $35.00 1-212-965-0197

Featuring an essay by Zev Borow and an interview with Kathy Ryan, 2*4*6*8: American Cheerleaders And Football Players is primarily a serio-comic photographic survey by Brian Finke of the American subculture of megaphones, pom-poms, back-bends, tackles, and touchdowns of football players and cheerleaders. Showcased are the crowd-leasing, stunt-building, skirt-flipping girls and the uniform clad gladiators of adolescent football as played out in almost every highschool in the country. The images were captured by Brian Finke's photography over a two-year period as he went from camp to competition in pursuit of the top teams and the squads of girls who cheer them on. 2*4*6*8: American Cheerleaders And Football Players is a superb pictorial in celebration of an American phenomenon played out on and off the highschool football fields with a passion and intensity that belies our ordinary notions of adolescent youth.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Career Choices And Changes
Mindy Bingham & Sandy Stryker
Academic Innovations
1386 Rio Virgin Drive, Washington, UT 84780
1878787160 $29.95 1-800-967-8016

The collaborative work of Mindy Bingham and Sandy Tryker, Career Choices And Changes: A Workbook For Discovering Who Your Are, What You Want And How To Get It provides the reader with an effective and very highly recommended personalized decision making process that will enable that reader to answer the fundamental questions of Who am I?, What do I want?, and How do I get it? Presented in a journal format, the text is thoroughly accessible, occasionally humorous, and turns a serious quest into a practical, non-intimidating, and fun adventure of self-discovery and short-term/long-term life goal planning for anyone at any time of life from 18 to 68. Career Choices and Changes is especially commended to the attention of anyone seeking to increase their self-knowledge, assess their preferred work style and occupational environment, in need of insight and advice on keeping their life in balance, solving problems, setting goals, making decisions, taking risks, tolerating anxiety, and promoting the skills and attitudes fundamentally necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing and always challenging marketplace.

The Art Shelf

Everett Raymond Kinstler
Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. & Everett Raymond Kinstler
JVJ Publishing
3809 Laguna Avenue, Palo Alto, VA 94306-2629
0972469729 $44.95 1-650-493-3841

Everett Raymond Kinstler: The Artist's Journey Through Popular Culture 1942-1962 showcases the life and work of an American artist who left The High School of Industrial arts at the age of fifteen and twenty years later painted astronaut Scott Carpenter's portrait for NASA. Everett Raymond Kinstler went on to paint the official White House portraits of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and is currently painting the the official mayoral portrait of Rudy Giuliani. Featuring an extensively annotated biography, this seminal work follows Kinstler's personal and artistic development from his first job as an apprentice comic book inker to his decision to leave the commercial art field and devote his life to portraiture. Enhanced with extensive galleries of Kinstler's efforts in comics, pulps, and books, there are a total of 375 images reproduced directly from original drawings and paintings. The remainder of the examples and illustrations are from carefully restored tear sheets and comics from the collections of the author and artist. An engaging read and commended as a superbly written and presented biography, Everett Raymond Kinstler: The Artist's Journey Through Popular Culture 1942-1962 is a welcome and very highly recommended addition to both academic and community library American Art History collections.

The Children's Shelf

Lily and the Imaginary Zoo
Seneca Clark and Sandy Giardi, authors; Julie Decedue, illustrator
Three Bean Press, LLC
PO Box 15386, Boston, MA 02215
0976727617 $15.95

Lily and the Imaginary Zoo is a picturebook following the journey of a peppy young girl through the Boston, and her experiences befriending the city's most famous animal sculptures. Color illustrations similar to what a child can draw and a playful, shout-out-loud narrative style make Lily and the Imaginary Zoo an embodiment of wide-eyed, youthful exploration and creativity. The final page is a simple map allowing young readers to trace the steps of Lily's rollicking adventure, in this playful book that begs to be read aloud.

The Far-Flung Adventures of Homer the Hummer
Cynthia Furlong Reynolds, author; Catherine McClung, illustrator
Mitten Press
c/o Ann Arbor Media Group LLC
2500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
158726269X $17.95

Award-winning journalist Cynthia Reynolds and hummingbird admirer and artist Catherine McClung present The Far- Flung Adventures of Homer the Hummer, a delightful picturebook following the adventures of a ruby-throated hummingbird (no bigger than a person's index finger!) and his long journey from the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica to an artist's garden in Michigan. The moody, expansive color artwork is the perfect complement to the exciting tale, which is based on true stories of hummingbird behavior during their migrations, which can stretch up to 2,500 miles. Highly recommended reading for introducing young people to the bravery and resourcefulness of little feathered friends.

The World According To Rock
Jerry Wermund & Tony Sansevero
Rockon Publishing
219 Hy Road, Buda, TX 78610
0972625518 $16.95 1-512-295-4889

The World According To Rock is a unique picture book-style presentation surveying the many types of rock ranging from dirt rocks, to Sedimentary Rocks, to shale, clay, travertine, chalk, crystalline rocks, igneous rocks, and more. The text by Jerry Wermund is ideal for young readers ages 8 to 14, while the artwork of Tony Sansevero is a perfect enhancement for the sound geological information provided. An enthusiastically recommended addition for both school and community libraries (and ideal for use in supplementing homeschooling curriculums), The World According To Rock is as impressive as it is informative and entertaining.

The Day the Zoo Came to Visit
James D.D. Smith, Ph.D., author; Stina Brown, illustrator
Xenopus Books
PO Box 84114, Canada Post, Market Mall 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3A 0C0
0973114207 $12.95

The Day the Zoo Came to Visit is a flat-spined alphabet picturebook that reads like a storybook, intended increase awareness of the alphabet in 3-5 year olds and encourage vocabulary, awareness recognition of animals, memory ability, and interest in zoos for children ages 6 and older. Following the adventures of two young children who open the door and find their house overwhelmed with animals, from Apes, Baboons, and Crocodiles to Yaks and Zebras. What are two exasperated children to do? As it turns out, "Please" is the magic word. The simplistic and colorful illustrations portray easily recognizable animals in this fun book to read aloud - especially just prior to a zoo field trip!

Carolina's Story
Donna Rathmell & Barbara Bergwerf
Sylvan Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Boulevard, Suite 3, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
0976494302 $15.95 1-877-958-2600

With Donna Rathmell's simple, straightforward text suitable for children grades 1 to 3, and illustrated with the color photography of Barbara Bergwerf, Caronlina's Story: Sea Turtles Get Sick Too! is the true life story of the rehabilitation of a loggerhead turtle. Young readers get to see the inside of a turtle hospital, where sick and injured sea turtles are cared for and then released back into the wild when they are healthy. The final pages offer fun facts and a "make your own sea turtle" cutouts designs for photocopying and rainy day fun. A delightful introduction to one of nature's wondrous sea creatures.

Arctic Airlift
Richard Ross
Blue Fox Press
Pierce Arrow Building, 1685 Elmwood Avenue, Suite 315, Buffalo, NY 14207
0976311909 $17.00 1-716-447-1590

Arctic Airlift is impressively illustrated and entertainingly written by the nationally recognized artist Richard Ross (an Associate Professor of Design, Buffalo State University) whose work has been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators and feature in a number of professional and popular publications. This is a 40-page picturebook Christmas adventure story for children grades 2 through 5 about a young boy with a two-way radio in the Midwest and an airship captain in the arctic north who must team up to rescue Santa and his workshop. Unusually warm sea currents have caused the Polar Ice Pack to crack and flood! An exciting parable that reminds young readers that it's important to never give up, and sometimes one needs a little help from friends. The uniquely styled, heavily shaded color illustrations give this charming Christmas rescue story a distinctly unique feel.

The Adventure
Susan Yost-Filgate & Leonard Filgate
Rip Squeak Press
Raab Associates (publicity)
23 South Tassajara Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
0967242290 $14.99 1-800-251-0654

Featuring the museum quality artwork of Leonard Filgate, The Adventure is a thoroughly entertaining, swashbuckling picturebook engagingly written by Susan Yost-Filgate. Following the maiden voyage of ship crewed by the brave mouse Rip Squeak and his friend - his sister Jenny, her doll Bunny, Abbey the kitten and Euripides the frog. Together they brave unknown waters and even make a most unlikely new friend within the high seas! The art style brings the charming characters perfectly to life. We can only hope that The Adventure is the debut title of a whole series yet to come featuring the thrilling adventures of this plucky little mouse and his companions.

Effie's Image
N. L. Sharp & Dorothia Rohner
Prairieland Press
PO Box 2404, Fremont, NE 68026
0975982958 $17.95 1-800-721-1670

Effie's Image is a 32-page picturebook for young readers written by N. L. Sharp and illustrated by Dorothia Rohner. This is the story of Effie, who turns eighty-two years old. As she traces a framed photograph of herself from her younger days, she feels depressed that she is no longer as beautiful as she used to be. She hides away in her house for so long that the neighbor girl Amanda Jaymes, begins to worry. Amanda comes with presents and advice for Effie - but can lonely Effie find a place for herself in the world? The answer lies not in the hectic grind of a new job, but in the time spent volunteering for a local grade school, where she makes a lasting positive impression on the young students. A tender and uplifting picturebook story about finding meaning in all stages of one's life, very highly recommended.

Nana Star
Elizabeth & Elena, authors; Linda Saker, illustrator
EE Publishing & Productions, Inc.
PO Box 171, Clifton, VA 20124
0975384309 $17.99

Collaboratively written by Elizabeth and Elena for children ages 3 and older, and featuring unusual "stick figure" style drawings combined with detailed artwork (especially the flowers) by Linda Saker, and accompanied by an audio CD reading of the original tale, Nana Star is the picturebook story of a little girl who discovers a lost baby star. The poor baby star needs help to reach the heavens where it belongs! Illustrated in a very distinctive style, portraying Nana Star in her blue dress with line-thin arms and legs and a smiling face amid flowers, trees, and clouds, Nana Star is a charming story about doing a good deed because it is the right thing to do. An accompanying audio CD offers read-aloud narration and the catchy Nana Star Song. A delightful and upbeat picturebook especially for young girls.

Boomer To The Rescue
Peter Parente & A&O Ivanov
Peeper & Friends/Tree of Life Publishing
KSB Promotions (publicity)
PO Box 421004, Summerland Key, FL 33042
19769 Date Palm Drive, Sugarloaf Key, FL 33042
0974505234 $15.95 1-888-276-4468

Computer designed by Ivan Ivanov and featuring lively, colorful illustrations by A&O Ivanov, Boomer To The Rescue by Peter Parente is the story a lavender skunk who is nervous about his first day of school because he is so different. The other children tease him because he has a different smell! But when a grizzly bear corners the other children and threatens to eat them, Boomer uses his gift to turn the tide and save the day. Created to help children relate to everyday situations and understand that being different can be something to be proud of, Boomer To The Rescue combines an involving story with brightly-colored illustrations. A final page offers suggestions for protecting and rescuing America's endangered forests in this enthusiastically recommended storybook.

The Berry-Birds
Barry Temple & Glenda Temple
Jawbone Publishing Corporation
2907 Paddington Way, Kissimmee, FL 34747
0970295901 $13.95 1-407-396-4245

The Berry-Birds combines author and artist Barry Temple's storytelling originality with his wife Glenda's flair for poetry. The result is a delightful 32-page picturebook story for young readers designed to show that very different individuals can indeed cooperate successfully! When Mr. Berry-Bird's nest proves to be too small for his family, he rejects a finch's offer to help build a new one, but when a terrible disaster strikes, Mr. Berry-Bird learns to rethink his knee-jerk reactions and understand the importance of accepting help in times of need. Colorful and whimsical illustrations of the bird families and their travails add the perfect touch to this upbeat storybook.

Alley Oops
Janice Levy & C.B. Decker
Flash Light Press
370 - 13th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11218
0972922547 $15.95 1-718-288-8300

The subject of dealing with bullies is the focus of Alley Oops, an entertaining and superbly written picturebook written by Janice Levy and illustrated by Cynthai Decker for young readers ages 5 to 9. The story follows young Patrick as he repeatedly encounters a name-calling bully at school - J.J. Jax, who labels him "Pig-Pen" and "Porky". When Mr. Jax learns of this, he tells J.J. a story about the days long ago when he was once a bully. Mr. Jax explains that everyone has two dogs inside - one bad and one good - and whichever dog we feed the most will win the battle. Ally Oops demonstrates the negative consequences of bullying, and offers a positive alternative through self-empowerment and esteem, which can be used to build lasting connections of true friendship. Very highly recommended.

Flying Solo
Kristi Stephas & Rachael Smith
Toy Truck Publishing
4602 Lilac Lane North, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
0976498324 $16.95 1-612-716-8383

In Flying Solo, author Kristi Stephas (an elementary school teacher for six years and a flight attendant for seven years) has written a picturebook that is wonderfully illustrated by Rachael Smith resulting in an ideal introduction for young children to what they can expect and experience if they should fly unaccompanied on an aircraft today. Following three children - one on her first solo flight ever, one who is a frequent flyer because her parents are divorced, and one who is traveling to San Diego for surf camp - Flying Solo teaches young people about what it's like to check one's luggage through security, how to make one's ears "pop" at high altitudes (by yawning or chewing gum), what it's like to see the world from high in the sky, and more. The friendly color illustrations are accompanied by a fair amount of text; Flying Solo is written simply but is not an "easy reader" book and very young readers may need a little help from adults sounding out the words or reading the book together. An excellent book to read with young people before undertaking any aircraft flight, whether solo or together.

Reading With Dad
Richard Jorgensen & Warren Hanson
Tristan Publishing, Inc.
2300 Louisiana Avenue North, Suite B, Golden Valley, MN 55427
0931674417 $15.95 1-866-545-1383

Featuring a perfect match-up between the lyrical storytelling style of Richard Jorgensen and the warmly charming illustrations of Warren Hanson, Reading With Dad is a picturebook about the treasured relationship between parent and child. It follows a young girl from her early years when her father would read to her, to adulthood, to much later in her life when she has children of her own, to when she reads the Psalms to her father in his old age. Throughout her life, some of her most treasured moments are reading with her father. The realistic style of artwork uses color highlights to emphasize central figures and themes, while surrounding background details fade into black and white, producing a captivating total effect. A highly recommended giftbook meant to be shared and treasured.

Ellie, The Perfect Dress For Me
C. M. Rubin & Christopher Fowler
School Specialty Publishing
8720 Orion Place, Columbus, OH 43240
0769632998 $15.95 1-800-253-5469

The sequel to "Eleanor, Ellatony, Ellencake, and Me", C.M. Rubin's "Ellie, The Perfect Dress For Me" is very nicely illustrated in a cartoon style by Christopher Fowler and an ideal picturebook for children ages 3 to 8. It follows the story of young Ellie who must find the perfect dress for a very special occasion. Her friends and family have lots of fashion advice and come up with some very improbable dress ideas, but at least Ellie decides to find the perfect dress all her own, imaginative, creative, and uniquely Ellie. The final page is a pull-out revealing Ellie in her very own dress. The sprightly color illustrations give Ellie, The Perfect Dress For Me an imaginative touch. Recommended especially for young girls as a reminder that finding one's own best look doesn't necessarily have to depend on the latest fashions or the demands of others.

Blue Lewis And Sasha The Great
Carol Donsky Newell
Cally Press
PO Box 354, Earlysville, VA 22936-0354
0976619903 $6.95 1-434-974-9422

Superbly written by Carol Donsky Newell and quite nicely enhanced by the illustrations of Betty Grisham, Blue Lewis And Sasha The Great is the story of a young boy born with a small hole in his heart. Since his body doesn't get enough oxygen, his lips and nails are often colored blue. The boy hates having a hole in his heart, as it means he can't do everything that his energetic friends do. He befriends a little white dog, who becomes his close companion as the day of the surgery to close the hole in his heart draws nearer. The color illustrations perfectly match this story about living through difficult and scary times, in this enthusiastically recommend book especially for children who are confronting health problems or hospital stays.

One Big Hug
Shirley Hillard
Mamoo House
Penny C. Sansevieri (publicity)
1626 North Wilcox Avenue, Suite929, Hollywood, CA 90028
1933014202 $15.95 1-323-850-7712

Written and illustrated by Shirley Hillard, One Big Hug is a simple picturebook about the bond between a grandmother and her grandson. "I love you as much as 2 bugs in a rug / I love you as much as 4 doggies standing on a flea / I love you as much as 7 elephants climbing up a tree," the grandmother tells her grandson. "But do you love me as much as one big hug?" "Yes," answers the child. "That's enough," says Granny. The sometimes wild color illustrations involve a wide variety of surprising numerical and animal themes, and the final message about the limitless and unquantifiable nature of love reverberates through the easy-reader language and presentation. Highly recommended.

No One Can Ever Steal Your Rainbow
Barbara Meislin & Helen Webber
Purple Lady Productions
PO Box 1277, Tiburon, CA 94920
0971450609 $19.95 1-415-435-0720

Appropriate for children of all ages, but especially for boys and girls ages 5 to 9, the picturebook, No One Can Ever Steal Your Rainbow, is written by Barbara Meislin and illustrated by Helen Webber, and features an accompanied by a CD that contains the entire story set to music. The song No One Can Ever Steal Your Rainbow comes from the author's own bittersweet life experience, and emphasizes that the joy of love and hope are contained within one's own heart - emotions and values that cannot be taken away. Brilliant, multicolored illustrations broken down into simple shapes and contrasting shades in a manner reminiscent of Picasso make the simple story come alive. No One Can Ever Steal Your Rainbow encourages the priceless value of kindling good cheer, happiness, kindness, and wonder within and without. Highly recommended.

On This Beautiful Island
Edwin Fontanez
Exit Studio
1466 North Quinn Street, Arlington, VA 22209
0964086867 $16.95

A true work of the storyteller's art, On This Beautiful Island is written and beautifully illustrated by Edwin Fontanez. Adapted from his original video "Taino: Guanin's Story" which was in turn inspired by the ancient culture of the Tainos who were the first inhabitants of Puerto Rico. On This Beautiful Island shows young readers what it was like to live in a vibrant natural land five hundred years ago, and experience the wonders of nature from the soft lullaby of the ocean humming inside a shell to the fresh breeze whisking through the treetops to the song of a tiny frog no bigger than a thumb. On This Beautiful Language is filled with bright and ruddy colored illustrations of native Taino individuals going about day-to-day life, and a final page offers some additional information about the Taino culture, and influences that remain with us today through words like "barbecue", "tobacco", "canoe", and "hammock", all of which are derived from the Arawak language.

The Peanut Pickle
Jessica Ureel & Elizabeth Brazeal
First Page Publications
12103 Merriman, Livonia, MI 48150
192862345X $10.95 1-800-343-3034

An estimated 1% of the U.S. population is allergic to peanuts and/or tree nuts. The Peanut Pickle: A Story About Peanut Allergy combines the gifted storytelling of Jessica Ureel (the parent of a child with a severe peanut allergy) with the charming color illustrations of Elizabeth Brazeal. It tells the story of a young boy who is allergic to peanuts. Peanut allergy is a very serious condition; not only must he avoid eating peanuts or any food with peanut ingredients, but he cannot even touch peanuts or he will swell up with hives and become very sick. For this reason he cannot be around other kids if they have sticky peanut butter on their face, or are eating snacks with peanuts. He knows he must not eat food unless it has an ingredient label that adults have checked. It is important for him to speak up and tell others he has a peanut allergy. "My peanut allergy is a part of me. It goes with me wherever I go. And that's okay. People who care about me want me to stay safe and healthy. I care about myself, too." The Peanut Pickle describes many situations in which a potentially life-threatening exposure to peanuts can and must be avoided by speaking up, finding alternative foods, or even alternative activities. A final page offers rules for kids with peanut allergy and their parents to follow, such as "Carry your Epi-Pen with you at all times" and "Do not eat food if you don't know what's in it". An absolute must-have for families with a youngster who is allergic to peanuts, and a useful educational resource for teaching all children about food allergies.

Jackie Winquackey And Her 43 Cats Go To Hollywood
Jessie Lynch Frees & Jarsolav "Jerry" Gebr
Tisbit Books, LLC
304 Route 22 West, Springfield, NJ 07081
0976055309 $14.99 1-973-912-5124

An original and entertaining picturebook story written by Jessie Lynch Frees and illustrated by Jerry Gebr, Jackie Winquackey And Her 43 Cats Go To Hollywood follows a middle-aged women and her fantastic felines as they are discovered and flown on a jet to make an exciting movie. The colorful and whimsical illustrations portray realistic yet mischievous felines of all shapes, sizes, and patterns! Narrated in rhyming verse, Jackie Winquackery And Her 43 Cats Go To Hollywood rolls off the tongue for read-aloud fun, especially with young cat lovers.

Like Me
Dawn Martelli, Ed.D., author
Jennifer Heyd Wharton, illustrator
Our Child Press
PO Box 4379, Philadelphia, PA 19118-8379
1893516016 $16.00

Like Me is a heartwarming picturebook about a young boy named Miquel who has just turned eight, and is old enough to care for a puppy of his own. He works hard doing chores and odd jobs to earn enough money to buy the puppy. But the one puppy he wants is special - it was born with a limp and cannot run or chase as well as the other young dogs. The last page reveals why the lame puppy is so important to Miquel; for Miquel wears a silver metal brace around his leg. The warm color pictures and positive message of responsibility make Like Me an endearing book for young readers.

That Baby Woke Me Up, Again!
Sherry Ellis, author; Don Berry, illustrator
BookSurge, LLC
5341 Dorchester Road, Suite 16, N. Charleston, SC 29418
1419606166 $14.99

That Baby Woke Me Up, Again! is a delightful paperback, flat-spine picturebook. Rhyming verse and friendly illustrations tell the story of a young child who cannot sleep because a cranky baby is always crying! Exasperated, the child goes to her parents, who gently explain why babies cry, and why she should have faith that eventually the baby will sleep fast through the night. "For once you were that noisy babe / who kept us up all night; // We counted sheep, / we tried to sleep, / five, six, seven times; // but every time / it was your whine / that woke us up AGAIN!" An excellent read-aloud book especially for sharing for older siblings having trouble getting used to a new baby in the household.

The Teen Brain Book
Dale Carlson, author; Nancy Teasdale, editor; Carol Nicklaus, illustrator
Bick Publishing House
307 Neck Road, Madison, CT 06443
1884158293 $14.95

Award-winning author Dale Carlson presents The Teen Brain Book, a guide to how the human brain works and how to use this knowledge to change one's own personality and liberate one from suffering. Intended especially for ages twelve and up, The Teen Brain Book covers such topics as how learning and memory work, evolutionary psychology, tools for self-change, and more. In addition to the latest findings in science and psychology, The Teen Brain Book also offers insights into "the self", by claiming that the concept of a "self" is simply a powerful illusion of the brain, and explains the basics of meditation in a manner not unlike Buddhism (though The Teen Brain Book is emphatically not a Buddhist or religious book). Highly recommended for readers of all ages who desire to better understand how their own minds work.

Pro Wrestling Kids' Style
Shawn "Crusher" Crossen
NWF Books
Phenix & Phenix (publicity)
5104 Chadwick Street, Schofield, WI 54476
1879000121 $16.99

Pro Wrestling Kids' Style is the remarkable story of Shawn "Crusher" Crossen, who managed and promoted "The Kids Pro Wrestling Show" which started in 1984 as fun and games but soon spread to thousands of living rooms across the country via cable television and began the National Wrestling Federation, or NWF. For five years, Crossen kept the NWF going with professional poise, and achieved high popularity among kids and adults alike. Yet all good things must come to an end; Pro Wrestling Kids' Style tells of the hard lessons that led to the final NWF bell, and reflects on where the movers and shakers of the NWF are today. A fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of the inner workings of the 80's wrestling world, which reads briskly and is especially recommended for sports fans.

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

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