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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 31, Number 4 April 2021 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Environmental Shelf
Holiday Shelf Gardening Shelf Board Book Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Middle Grade Fiction Shelf YA Fiction Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Music CD Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Sports Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Biography Shelf Christian Shelf Native American Studies Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Psychology Shelf Science Shelf
American History Shelf Bilingual Shelf Crafts Shelf
Art Shelf Poetry Shelf Story Monsters Ink Shelf


Reviewer's Choice

Love Around The World
Alli Brydon, author
Wazza Pink, illustrator
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781788684941, $15.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Around-World-Family-Friendship/dp/178868494X

"Love Around The World: Family and Friendship Around the World" by author/storyteller Alli Brydon and artist/illustrator Wazza Pink is a picture book introduction for children ages 3-5 to the wonderful ways love is expressed in different cultures and countries across the globe.

From gifting lunch boxes in Japan to adorning brides with beautiful henna designs in India, writing someone a loving poem on Sinterklaas in the Netherlands or lighting a lantern on the Chinese New Year, Love Around The World shows the ways family and friendship are celebrated around the world.

This colorful, 32-page picture book is a fully entertaining exploration of the themes of family and friendship drawn from all around the world and discover that from Wales to Iran to Japan, love is truly a universal language!

While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Love Around The World: Family and Friendship Around the World" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781788684934, $18.71, Amazon).

Zonia's Rain Forest
Juana Martinez-Neal, author/illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781536208450, $17.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Zonias-Rain-Forest-Juana-Martinez-Neal/dp/1536208450

Zonia's home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning, she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer?

Acclaimed author-illustrator and Peruvian-born daughter and granddaughter of painters, Juana Martinez-Neal, explores the wonders of the rain forest with Zonia, an Ashaninka girl, in her joyful outdoor adventures. The engaging text emphasizes Zonia's empowering bond with her home, while the illustrations (created on paper made from banana bark) burst with luxuriant greens and delicate details. Illuminating back matter includes a translation of the story in Ashaninka, information on the Ashaninka community, and resources on the Amazon rain forest and its wildlife.

Beautifully presented, informatively entertaining, "Zonia's Rain Forest" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that 'Zonia's Rain Forest" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666500158, $14.99, CD).

A Kid's Guide to Fandom
Amy Ratcliffe, author
Dave Perillo, illustrator
Running Press Kids
c/o Running Press / Perseus Book Group
www.runningpress.com
9780762498758, $17.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kids-Guide-Fandom-Exploring-Podcasting/dp/0762498757

For the young (and the young at heart) being a fan is a big deal. Whether it's comics, video games, podcasts, cosplay, books, films, or something else, there are so many ways to share and celebrate with the things that kids love.

So author Amy Ratcliffe and illustrator Dave Perillo teamed up to create "A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!", a DIY 'how to' guide to help young fans navigate the world of fandom and its many flourishing communities -- ranging from fan works to cosplay, gaming, podcasting, and more!

Packed from cover to cover with history, trivia, tips, advice to getting started, and insights from creators and artists from across pop culture and specializing in a wide variety of mediums, "A Kid's Guide to Fandom" is the perfect geeky primer for young fans ages 8-12.

Organized by type of fandom medium, each chapter offers a brief introduction, facts, history sidebars, and easy to digest information on how to: Create Fan Fic or Fan Art; Design and Create a Cosplay; Start a Podcast; Design and Create Games (video games, tabletop, and other role playing games); Find and Create Supportive Communities; Find and Attend Conventions.

"A Kid's Guide to Fandom" also features informative interviews with popular creatives like Alan Gratz, Erin Lefler, Jen Bartel, Daniel Jose Older, Rose Eveleth, Kat Kruger, Jordan Dene Ellis, Liz Crowder, and more.

Fun and informative, "A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Kid's Guide to Fandom" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Adventures with Divot & Swish in Costa Rica
Beth Brown, author
Charlotte Strickland, illustrator
Divot & Swish Publishing
www.divotandswish.com
9781735170008, $17.95, HC, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Divot-Swish-Costa-Rica/dp/1735170003

The summer sun is shining bright as Divot & Swish adventure in Costa Rica! Their new friend Sammy the Surfer takes the duo to the beach to teach them how to surf for the first time. Nervous and afraid, Divot & Swish follow Sammy's lead, trying to paddle, balance and stand on their surf boards. Will Divot & Swish find the superpower of courage it takes to have an incredible adventure surfing with the fish?

A delightfully original, impressively entertaining, and utterly charming picture book by the team of author/storyteller Beth Brown and artist/illustrator Charlotte Strickland for children ages 5-8, and with an important subtext message about the value of new experiences and outdoor activity, "Adventures with Divot & Swish in Costa Rica" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school and community library picture book collections.


The Social Issues Shelf

A New Alphabet for Humanity
Leesa McGregor, author
Daniela Sosa, illustrator
Impact Humanity Publishing
www.alphabetforhumanity.com
9781775141327, $19.95, HC, 34pp

https://www.amazon.com/New-Alphabet-Humanity-Compassion-Positivity/dp/1775141322

The collaborative work of author Leesa McGregor and artist/illustrator Daniela Sosa, "A New Alphabet for Humanity: A Children's Book of Alphabet Words to Inspire Compassion, Kindness and Positivity" is a picture book for kids ages 3-7 and contains 26 empowering alphabet lessons that are specifically and effectively designed to nurture social and emotional intelligence, activate the potential of our children and create a bright future for humanity.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, "A New Alphabet for Humanity" teaches children how to embody the values and qualities we all desire to live by, develop empathy and social skills, make meaningful connections, and more.

While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that 'A New Alphabet for Humanity" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.49).

Freeda the Frog and Her New Blue Family
Nadine Haruni, author
Mascot Books
620 Herndon Parkway, #320, Herndon, VA 20170
http://mascotbooks.com
9781684011322, $14.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Freeda-Family-Choice-Award-Winner/dp/1684011329

In the latest 'Freeda the Frog' picture book by author/storyteller Nadine Haruni and artist/illustrator Tina Moduno, "Freeda the Frog and Her New Blue Family", Freeda and her family get used to life after the divorce. They have a new routine in place, but things change when Freeda meets a new blue frog. This change brings new topics into the family discussion such as, "How do you handle a parent remarrying"; and "Does the color on the outside of a frog matter".

"Freeda the Frog and Her New Blue Family" will help to foster children's understanding that blended families with mixed ethnicities, religions, and races are all a family just the same, and all that matters is what is inside a frog (or person).

Very strongly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-11, "Freeda the Frog and Her New Blue Family" is the second book in the Freeda the Frog series and is a follow up to "Freeda the Frog Gets a Divorce" (9781631775147, $14.95 HC, $6.99 Kindle).

Tell Tail
C. K. Smouha, author
Katie Brosnan, illustrator
Cicada Books
9781908714862, $16.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tell-Tail/dp/1908714867

Dex is a dog with an unruly tail. All the other members of Dex's family are tough as nails, but Dex is cut from a different cloth. He likes to chat and play, and when he does, his tail wags wildly. When he's sad, his tail tucks under. Everyone can see exactly how he's feeling. The rest of Dex's family find it very embarrassing, so Dex tries to rein his tail in -- but to no avail.

One day at the park, Dex is doing his best to control his tail when a big red dog called Bailey bounds up to him. Bailey has the waggiest, most ridiculous tail Dex has ever seen. They have a marvelous time playing, until Dex catches sight of his dad's disapproving face.

Dex runs and runs and runs, until he stops caring about his tail -- or about anything else! When Dad finds him, his tail is completely still. It doesn't wag, it doesn't tuck under. It's just there. After a couple weeks, Dad starts to feel uncomfortable. What could be wrong with Dex? With a little bit of help from Bailey, Dex and Dad go on a journey to rediscover the joys of self expression.

Critique: With its cleverly presented underlying themes of peer pressure and self-esteem for children ages 3-6, "Tell Tail" by the team of author/storyteller C. K. Smouha and artist/illustrator Katie Brosnan will prove to be a wonderfully entertaining and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library Social Issues picture book collections.

The World Needs More Purple People
Kristen Bell, author
Benjamin Hart, author
Daniel Wiseman, illustrator
Random House Children's Books
www.randomhouse.com/kids
9780593121962, $17.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/World-Needs-More-Purple-People/dp/0593121961

What is a purple person? Great question. I mean, really great! Because purple people always ask really great questions. They bring their family, friends, and communities together, and they speak up for what's right. They are kind and hardworking, and they love to laugh (especially at Grandpa's funny noises)! A purple person is an everyday superhero! How do you become one? That's the fun part! Penny Purple will lead you through the steps. Get ready to be silly, exercise your curiosity, use your voice, and be inspired.

Looking to reach beyond the political divide of red and blue, co-authors Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart have created a hilarious and joyous read-aloud picture book for children ages 3-7 that offers a wonderful message about embracing the things that bring us together as humans. Charmingly illustrated by Daniel Wiesman, "The World Needs More Purple People" will inspire a whole new generation of children to paint the world purple! While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99), "The World Needs More Purple People" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book Contemporary Social Issues & Emotional Self-Esteem collections.

Great As A Button
Masoud Malekyari, author
Sebastiao Peixoto, illustrator
Magink Publishing House
https://maginkbooks.com
9783966560023, $11.99, PB, 34pp

https://www.amazon.com/Great-As-Button-Masoud-Malekyari/dp/396656002X

Have you ever questioned your creation and identity? What are we really good for?! The black plastic button of this story wants to know the answer to this question and tries many different places and positions, but fits nowhere; finally, he is placed as an eye of a snowman, and yes he looks great there. Great as a button tells us there has been a purpose for our creation and whatever we look like and how simple and ordinary we may be, we can look great if we find our own place.

An ideal picture book for parents needing a way to cope with their children's self-esteem and self-confidence,, "Great As A Button" by the team of author/storyteller Masoud Malekyari and artist/illustrator Sebastiao Peixoto is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 5-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Great As A Button" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

My Name's Sammy, and I'm No Snitch
Jeff Tucker, author
Miranda Morrissey, illustrator
Boys Town Press
13603 Flanagan Blvd., Boys Town, NE 68010
www.boystownpress.org
9781944882617, $10.95, PB, 31pp

https://www.amazon.com/My-Names-Sammy-Im-Snitch/dp/1944882618

Sammy wants you to know he's no blabbermouth. He's no tattletale. No squealer or rat. And he most definitely is no snitch!

No matter what he sees, Sammy stays silent. When his best bud sticks a wad of gooey gum under a desk, Sammy doesn't spill the beans. When someone sneaks off with a cupcake, he doesn't tattle. After all, he's no snitch and proud of it. But will Sammy stay tight-lipped when a good friend is bullied and targeted for a beatdown after school?

"My Name's Sammy, and I'm No Snitch" is a realistic, riveting, and powerful picture book style tale that teaches young readers ages 5-8 the difference between snitching and reporting, and helps them understand why the slogan "see something, say something" is meant to keep everyone safe.

Of special note are the tips for parents and educators included at the end of the story to help teach children how to communicate and put their decision-making skills to use when it comes to distinguishing snitching and reporting potentially dangerous situations.

While a very strongly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Social Issues/Personal Responsibility collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Name's Sammy, and I'm No Snitch" by the team of author/storyteller Jeff Tucker and artist/illustrator Miranda Morrissey is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.76).


The Environmental Shelf

Water Water
Jessica Bromley Bartram
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
www.fitzhenry.ca
9781554555567, $19.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Water-Jessica-Bromley-Bartram/dp/1554555566

In the thoroughly charming and 'kid friendly' picture book for children ages 5-7, "Water Water" is the story of a young girl who is spending a summer at the lake and experiencing the worlds she finds (and imagines) both under the water and above. From striped rocks under the surface to water snails, crayfish to gulls, loons and swallows flying overhead she sees all the life around the watery habitat. And who knows what creatures can be found in the deepest waters. A beautifully illustrated, thoroughly entertaining, and environmentally themed story by author/illustrator Jessica Bromley Bartram, "Water Water" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as elementary school and community library collections.

Busy Spring: Nature Wakes Up
Sean Taylor, author
Alex Morss, author
Cinyee Chiu, illustrator
Words & Pictures
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711255395, $18.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Busy-Spring-Nature-Wakes-Up/dp/0711255393

After a long sleepy winter, the trees, flowers, and animals are getting ready for a busy spring. Children ages 3-6 will enjoy discovering all the different ways nature wakes up when spring arrives in this fresh and fun story of a family exploring their garden in the pages of "Busy Spring: Nature Wakes Up", by authors Sean Taylor and Alex Morss in collaboration with artist/illustrator Cinyee Chiu. With further non-fiction information about animals and plants at the back, this charming and informative picture book is the perfect introduction for young children to the science behind spring.

While also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Busy Spring: Nature Wakes Up" is very highly recommended -- especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Environmental & Seasonal picture book collections.

Kids vs. Plastic
Julie Beer
National Geographic Kids
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426339110, $24.99, HC, Library Binding, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kids-vs-Plastic-pollution-single-use/dp/1426339119

Plastic is ubiquitous. It's in your toothbrush, it's in your clothes, it's in your earbuds. Chances are, you're touching it right now. Plastic is absolutely everywhere and in practically everything we touch, from pens to water bottles to sports equipment. And a lot of it is used once and then thrown away. Unfortunately, it takes a REALLY long time for plastic to break down and it can be harmful to our environment, especially wildlife. But why and when did we start using it in so much stuff? And how do we stop?

"Kids vs. Plastic: Ditch the straw and find the pollution solution to bottles, bags, and other single-use plastics" by Julie Beer reveals shocking stats and surprising facts; is also includes inspirational interviews with National Geographic explorers and leading researchers who are working tirelessly to protect the planet; as well as tons of simple, practical suggestions for sustainable swaps; along with more eco-friendly choices and smart action steps.

Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "Kids vs Plastic" is profusely illustrated throughout and answers all of the pressing questions about plastic and offers tangible ways to get involved, reduce plastic use, and create a more plastic-free future -- making it a vitally important and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Environmental Issues collections for children ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Kids vs Plastic" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781426339103, $14.99).

Displaced
Ronnie Swire Siegel
Independently Published
www.swiresiegel.com
9781735921921, $18.00, PB, 50pp

https://www.amazon.com/Displaced-Story-Climate-Change-Animals/dp/1735921920

What would happen to animals around the world when climate change threatens the habitat that they know and depend on? "Displaced: A Story About Climate Change and How Displaced Animals Ring the Alarm" by environmental artist, photographer, and author Ronnie Swire Siegel is comprised of beautiful photomontages and brief stories about fourteen animals that become displaced due to climate change will intrigue and inform children ages 6-12

In "Displaced", each individual story begins with a very short description of the animal's habitat and illuminates why their current home is at risk. Environmental issues resulting from climate change particular to their habitat cause major havoc in different ways making "Displaced" an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Environmental Issues collections for young readers.

The Last Straw
Zoe Matthiessen
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
www.northatlanticbooks.com
9781623174637, $17.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Straw-Zoe-Matthiessen/dp/1623174635

Sippy, a plastic straw who was used once and then discarded, worries what will happen to him when he realizes he can't be recycled. As he flies, floats, and flutters around the planet, he meets animals who are struggling with the plastic problem. He chats with a raccoon with a six-pack ring around his neck, a cardinal whose nest is made entirely of junk, turtles who confuse grocery bags with food, a hermit crab forced to live in a plastic cap, and a startled duck who runs around with a chip bag on her head. Finally, Sippy is swallowed by a hungry whale who is dining on ocean trash! Just when all hope seems lost, he skyrockets to freedom and calls out "Together we can fix this! Let's clean our world--let's try!"

Parents and teachers of children 7 to 10 years old can use Sippy's colorful adventure (based on real examples of animals in our environment) in "The Last Straw" by author and illustrator Zoe Matthiessen to raise awareness about the impacts of plastics on nature and to teach children about alternatives to single-use plastics. Simply stated, While "The Last Straw" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99), it is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Environmental Issues picture book collections for young readers.


The Holiday Shelf

A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals
Compiled by Christopher Corr and Claire Grace
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
c/o Quarto Group Children's Books
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711245433, $22.99, HC, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Year-Full-Celebrations-Festivals/dp/0711245436

Countless different festivals are celebrated all over the world throughout the year. Some are national holidays, celebrated for religious and cultural reasons, or to mark an important date in history, while others are just for fun.

From giving thanks and tucking into a delicious meal with friends and family at Thanksgiving, to getting caught up in a messy tomato fight in Spain at La Tomatina, to adding a splash of color to a day at the Holi festival of colors, to celebrating the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and so much more, "A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals" showcases more than 90 fun and fabulous festivals from around the world.

With a fact-filled text accompanied by beautifully bright illustrations from author and artist Christopher Corr, children ages 6-9 will enjoy a picture book journey around the world celebrating and uncovering a visual feast of so many different cultures. While highly recommended, especially for family, elementary school, and community library religious and non-religious holiday picture book collections, it should be noted that "A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.95).


The Gardening Shelf

Harlem Grown
Tony Hillery, author
Jessie Hartland, illustrator
Paula Wiseman Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534402317, $17.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Harlem-Grown-Idea-Transformed-Neighborhood/dp/1534402314

A collaborative picture book by the team of author/storyteller Tony Hiller and artist/illustrator Jessie Hartland, "Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood" tells the inspiring and true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood.

After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration.

Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. Young readers ages 4-7 will want to pore over its pages in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again.

While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99), "Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Gardening, Green Living, and Recycling themed picture book collections.

Editorial Note: Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The Tony Hillery's author share of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go directly to the Harlem Grown organization.

Stanley Jr. Gardening is Awesome!
Chris Peterson
Cool Springs Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780760368428, $19.99, PB, 112pp

https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Jr-Gardening-Awesome-Gardeners/dp/0760368422

With "Stanley Jr. Gardening is Awesome!: Projects, Advice, and Insight for Young Gardeners", kids ages 8-12 can jump right in with an introduction to gardening. It offers a complete basics section on growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees, and shrubs kicks things off. Kids will also learn how to make super soil and keep plants happy with the right amount of sunlight and water. A complete garden gear guide gets kids ready for growing -- while the rest of the book is all about things to do.

Chapters and projects include: Gardening How-Tos shows you how to test soil drainage and start plants in an egg carton; Great Bed Gardens sets you up for success when planting a row garden, a colorful summer flower garden, and more; Container Gardening shows you how to grow strawberries in a 5-Gallon bucket and create a beautiful bulb box; Raised Bed Plots feature a square foot garden, uplifted herb garden, and even a vertical garden!

With clearly written steps and helpful photographs, the aim is for kids to lead, "Stanley Jr. Gardening is Awesome!: Projects, Advice, and Insight for Young Gardeners" features STEAM/STEM based learning opportunities as part of the fun as well! Fun facts and explorations accompany the projects throughout the book, highlighting everything from composting chemistry to the math behind a square foot garden. Kids are encouraged to develop a "maker" mentality, fostering creative problem-solving and open-ended exploration. Build and explore in the garden!

Critique: Profusely illustrated and with step-by-step instructions throughout, "Stanley Jr. Gardening is Awesome!: Projects, Advice, and Insight for Young Gardeners" is the ideal and thoroughly 'kid friendly' introduction to the fun and science of gardening. While particularly and specifically recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Gardening collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists and references that "Stanley Jr. Gardening is Awesome!: Projects, Advice, and Insight for Young Gardeners" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).


The Board Book Shelf

I Could Eat You Up
Jesse Levison
POW! Kids Books
https://powkidsbooks.com
9781576879658, $12.99, Board Book, 24pp

https://www.amazon.com/I-Could-Eat-You-Up/dp/1576879658

Hasn't every parent looked at their adorable, chubby baby and thought: I Could Eat You Up? A delightful, silly, and heartfelt board book, "I Could Eat You Up" by author/artist Jesse Levison is comprised of wonderfully humorous food puns that tell a baby just how much they are treasured. Jesse Levison's stylish and impactful handmade silkscreen illustrations teach young children ages 1-3 the names of different foods, while grown-ups bring on the giggles reading aloud: "You've got a pizza my heart / Life with you is egg-cellent". A especially delicious gift for expectant and new parents, "I Could Eat You Up" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, and community library board book collections.

Hush Little Keiki
Kim Vukovich, author
Mariko Merritt, illustrator
The Bess Press
3565 Harding Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816
www.besspress.com
9781573065139, $14.95, Board Book, 14pp

https://www.besspress.com/childrens-books-products/hush-little-keiki

A beautifully designed and presented board book for children ages 1-4, "Hush Little Keiki" is a playful lullaby to be shared between mothers and children. The melodic text reminds readers of the ever-present gentle and soothing nature escapes experienced around the islands. Watch Mynah bird fly against the setting sun, humpbacks dance across the ocean stage, and evening rains reveal the starry night. Hush Little Keiki expands on the traditional children's lullaby, Hush Little Baby . This utterly charming story written by Kim Vukovich and illustrated by Mariko Merritt emphasizes the relationship between a child and their environment by highlighting the natural wonders of the Hawaiian islands -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, and community library board book collections.

Ollie Feels Fine
Toni Yuly, author/illustrator
Little Bigfoot
c/o Sasquatch Books
1904 Third Ave, Suite 710, Seattle, WA 98101
www.sasquatchbooks.com
9781632173010, $9.99, Board Book, 22pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ollie-Feels-Fine-Toni-Yuly/dp/1632173018

Ollie the octopus has a lot of feelings and he struggles to understand them. One especially busy, emotional day, Ollie becomes overwhelmed by all of his feelings. But with the help of his good friend, Stella the starfish, Ollie is reassured and able to feel that he is ok, and that it is fine to have so many feelings.

"Ollie Feels Fine" is endearing board book that explores the range of emotions we all can feel and opens up the potential for a conversation with a caring adult where kids can discover their feelings are natural and normal, and that others feel the same way they do.

A visually fun detail included is how Ollie changes his color with his changing emotions to emphasize and make it easy for even the very youngest readers to see Ollie's feelings. Especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, and community library board book collections for children ages 1-4, "Ollie Feels Fine" helps parents and care givers support a child's emotional intelligence.

Beautiful Eggs
Alice Lindstrom, illustrator
Scribble US
www.thinkcursor.com
9781950354436, $12.99, Board Book, 20pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Eggs-Alice-Lindstrom/dp/1950354431

Decorated eggs are found all over the world in many different countries. They are a wonderful celebration of family, culture and tradition.

"Beautiful Eggs" by artist/illustrator Alice Lindstrom is large-format board book for Easter that celebrates traditions of egg-decorating from around the world in exquisite cut-paper illustration, children ages 2-7 will fully enjoy discovering a world of egg decorating traditions featuring beautiful patterns and colors!

Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library board book collections, "Beautiful Eggs" comes complete with a stencil incorporated into the design that will encourage children to create their own beautiful eggs.


The Picturebook Shelf

Treemendous
Bridget Heos, author
Mike Ciccotello, illustrator
Crown/Random House
www.rhcbooks.com
9780525579366, $17.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Treemendous-Diary-Not-Yet-Mighty/dp/0525579362

Treemendous: Diary of a Not Yet Mighty Oak receives fun illustrations by Mike Ciccotello to compliment the first-person story of a little acorn's growth through the years. "They say that from the smallest acorn, the mightiest oak tree grows. I hope that's true." The acorn opens this story with a reflection on his future potential, and as years pass, adds a whimsical series of insights on other forest trees, from walnuts (who are a little nutty) to pines ("that one family who always goes overboard with Christmas decorations."). Kids thus learn natural history facts about various trees and their different places in the ecological system as the little acorn evolves and changes. What a delightful primer on tree ecology! Its inviting tone and approach is truly "tremendous".

Just Beyond the Very Very Far North
Dan Bar-El
Simon and Schuster
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534433441, $16.99 HC, $7.99 PB, $10.99 Kindle, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Beyond-Very-Far-North/dp/1534433449

Just Beyond the Very Very Far North provides advanced elementary to early middle grade readers with the ongoing adventures of Duane the polar bear and his arctic friends in a fine sequel to The Very, Very Far North. Newcomers to Duane's antics will find just as much to enjoy about this new collection of animal friends as prior fans. Kelly Pousette's black and white illustrations accent a warm story with far north references as the tale probes a lively friendship between the animals and a new series of dilemmas in which they must confront not only problems, but their own emotional makeups in solving them. From a clever snowy owl who can see the meaning under the words that are chosen to Duane's rejection of learning a secret, a fun series of escapades keeps middle grades engaged in a story reminiscent of Wind in the Willows or the animal friendships in Winnie-the-Pooh.

Bruno the Beekeeper
Aneta Frantiska Holasova
Candlewick Press
99 Dover St, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewickpress.com
9781536214611, $19.99, HC, 80pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bruno-Beekeeper-Aneta-Frantiska-Holasov%C3%A1/dp/1536214612

Bruno the Beekeeper: A Honey Primer is translated by Andrew Lass and is recommended for advanced elementary-level to early middle grade readers as a basic primer on bees, honey, and natural history. Bruno the Bear's job as a beekeeper necessitates that he know a lot about bees, from the differences between a drone and a queen to how beeswax is made and used, how to listen to bees over the seasons to gauge their health, how to feed and maintain them through the seasons, and the different work that occurs for a beekeeper in the summer, spring, winter, and fall. These lively, specific insights on the work of being a beekeeper goes far beyond most natural history approaches to bees for young readers, making Bruno the Beekeeper: A Honey Primer an exceptionally well-detailed pick that young readers will enjoy.

Little Dandelion Seeds the World
Julia Richardson, author
Kristen Howdeshell, illustrator
Kevin Howdeshell, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
www.sleepingbearpress.com
9781534110533, $16.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Dandelion-Seeds-World-Richardson/dp/1534110534

The dandelions is a plant that thrives on all seven continents. The cheery blooms of the dandelion are among the most resilient and adaptable in the world. Beautifully illustrated throughout by the team of artists Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell, "Little Dandelion Seeds the World" is lyrical picture book by author/storyteller Julia Richardson. Children ages 5-8 will thoroughly enjoy learning how this crafty plant travels on the wind and hitches rides in all manner of ways in order to spread far and wide. Of special note is the inclusion of a map and information on dandelions. While highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Little Dandelion Seeds the World" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).

A Mother Is a House
Aurore Petit, author/illustrator
Gecko Press
www.geckopress.com
9781776573233, $18.99, HC, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mother-House-Aurore-Petit/dp/1776573234

A mother is a nest, a mirror, a moon. The baby sees their mother in every aspect of their day. As the pages go by, the child grows. The mother who was a refuge becomes a road, a story, and a show. On the final page, the child is ready to take their first steps. Shown through the use of bright, contemporary illustrations and special inks, "A Mother Is a House" by author and illustrator Aurore Petit is a unique, thoughtful, and entertaining picture book story for children ages 4-6 that looks through the baby's eyes for an unexpected and affecting picture of parents and home. While highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Mother Is a House" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Have I Ever Told You?
Shani King, author
Anna Horvath, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
www.tilburyhouse.com
9780884487197, $14.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Have-I-Ever-Told-You/dp/0884487199

Author/storyteller Shani King wrote "Have I Ever Told You?" as a note to his children, to remind them that they are amazing in their individuality and that they have the power to choose who they want to be in this world. The illustrations by artist Anna Horvath combine with King's text to create a masterful visual narrative: warm, witty, simple, profound, and as ferociously empowering as a children's picture book can be. With its profound message of the specialness of a child in the eyes of a parent, "Have I Ever Told You?" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Have I Ever Told You?" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.22).

It's So Quiet: A Not-Quite-Going-to-Bed Book
Sherri Duskey Rinker, author
Tony Fucile, illustrator
Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
www.chroniclebooks.com
9781452145440, $17.99, HC, 56pp

https://www.amazon.com/Its-So-Quiet-Not-Quite-Going-Bed/dp/145214544X

It's time for bed, but one little mouse just can't get to sleep simply because it's just too Quiet! However, the night is actually full of sounds, from the croak of the bullfrog to the howl of a coyote on a distant hill. As the rhythmic symphony of nighttime noises build in this rollicking read-aloud picture book for children ages 3-5 by author/storyteller Sherri Duskey Rinker and artist/illustrator Tony Fucile, the little mouse starts to wonder whether he wouldn't like a little more quiet! A wonderfully charming and fun read-aloud picture book that is ideal for bedtime, nap time, or story time, "It's So Quiet: A Not-Quite-Going-to-Bed Book" is very highly recommended as an addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Sam Can't Sleep
Davide Cali, author
Anna Aparicio Catala, illustrator
NubeOcho
9788418133060, $15.95, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Cant-Sleep-Davide-Cali/dp/8418133066

When a little bat named Sam can't sleep, he decides to ask all the other animals in the jungle if they know why. But Elephant, Snake, Monkey, Tiger and Crocodile aren't very happy about being woken up in the middle of the night. Will Sam ever find out why he can't sleep? With a colorful palette that is exciting yet impeccable for nighttime, "Sam Can't Sleep" by author/storyteller Davide Cali and artist/illustrator Anna Aparicio Catala is the perfect "can't-get-to-sleep" bedtime picture book story for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4-8.

Invisible Magic Wand to the Rescue
Rafael Jacimin, author
Nicolas Milano, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
c/o Gripper Products
www.lookunderrocks.com
9780916176914, $24.99, HC, 26pp

https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Magic-Rescue-Rafael-Jacimin/dp/0916176916

Caspian and his cousin Belinda are visiting Grandpa's house. Belinda wants an Invisible Magic Wand, just like Caspian has. The magic wand allows the children to speed up time, or slow it down. While Grandpa is getting the wand, an earthquake shakes the house. But thanks to the wands, all three escape, unscathed in the pages of "Invisible Magic Wand to the Rescue", author/storyteller Rafael Jacimin and artist/illustrator Nicolas Milano's new picture book for children ages 4- 8. While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Invisible Magic Wand to the Rescue" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780916176921, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

I Miss You Most
Cassie Hoyt, author
Stefanie St. Denis, illustrator
www.cassiehoyt.com
Tellwell Talent
9780228836070, $16.99, HC, 28pp

https://www.amazon.com/Miss-You-Most-Cassie-Hoyt/dp/0228836077

Love knows no distance. "I Miss You Most" by the team of author/storyteller Cassie Hoyt and artist/illustrator Stefanie St. Denis is a picture book that helps children ages 4-8 through the heartache of distance by showing them how to hold their loved ones near. Whether exploring the seas as pirates or twirling like ballerinas, imagination can bridge even the greatest distance. Because time with those you love is the most magical thing of all! While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "I Miss You Most" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780228836063, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Most Days
Michael Leannah, author
Megan Elizabeth Baratta, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
www.tilburyhouse.com
9780884487272, $17.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Most-Days-Michael-Leannah/dp/088448727X

The collaborative work of author/storyteller Michael Leannah and artist/illustrator Megan Elizabeth Baratta, "Most Days" is a picture book for children ages 3-5 about mindfulness. "Most Days" is also about relishing the magic of the here and now. It's about enjoying the extraordinary unfoldings of an ordinary day. Moving from morning to night, the narrator becomes, by turns, boy or girl, of ever-changing ethnicity and ability, inhabiting city, country, or suburb. They are all children everywhere, opening themselves to the gift of time. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.48), "Most Days" is an especially recommended and welcome addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

A Rainy Day Story
Ruth Calderon, author
Noa Kelner, illustrator
Kar-Ben Publishing, Inc.
241 First Ave. N, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
https://www.karben.com
9781541560383, $17.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rainy-Day-Story-Ruth-Calderon/dp/1541560388

Rabbi Hanina feels sorry for himself when he becomes wet, cold and muddy from the rain. But when he goes inside his house (where he is warm, dry and happy) he feels selfish, knowing the parched earth needs the rain, and he learns a lesson about his place in the world. An inherently charming and original picture book story for children ages 4-8 by the team of author/storyteller Ruth Calderon and artist/illustrator Noa Kelner, "A Rainy Day Story" will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Rainy Day Story" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781541560390, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.59).

Elmer and the Lost Treasure
David McKee
Anderson Press USA
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
www.lernerbooks.com
9781728424101, $17.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Elmer-Lost-Treasure-Books/dp/1728424100

Elmer, Wilbur, and a brave troop of elephants set out on a quest to find the famous Lost Treasure of the jungle. When they stumble across a beautiful forgotten temple, Elmer's friends rush inside, eager to find the Lost Treasure before them, but Elmer appears to have stopped searching! "Elmer and the Lost Treasure" is new Elmer tale from artist/illustrator and master storyteller David McKee that delivers just as much pathos as the very first making it a welcome and recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-9. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Elmer and the Lost Treasure" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Two Can Play
Margaret Sturton
Andersen Press
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
www.lernerbooks.com
9781728424132, $17.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Two-Can-Play-Margaret-Sturton/dp/1728424135

Cat likes to work in the garden digging, planting seeds and growing vegetables. Puss doesn't appear to see the point in gardening -- she likes to be in the house sitting around drinking tea. But Puss really likes to eat delicious food, so when Cat makes a feast with her harvest, Puss wants to share. "Two Can Play" wry picture book tale for children ages 4-9 about hard work and its rewards by author and illustrator Margaret Sturton. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99, "Two Can Play" is an impressively entertaining and thoroughly 'kid friendly' story that is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Secret of the Cat Lady
Michael Garland, author/illustrator
Marc Goldner, editor
Robert Gross, editor
Golden Bell Studios
www.goldenbellstudios.com
9781946185075, $16.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.goldenbellstudios.com/the-cat-lady

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Cat-Lady-Michael-Garland-ebook/dp/B08V4XCFL8

Glenda Weezor led a quiet life until she traded one obsession for another. When one little kitty appeared on her back porch, she thought she had found love in the cute pet. Then one more cat arrived, then one more and one more. Glenda learned too late that too much is never enough. Beautifully showcases the superb artwork of author and storyteller Michael Garland, "The Secret of the Cat Lady" is a thoroughly charming and fully entertaining picture book story for children ages 3-8. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95, Amazon.com), "The Secret of the Cat Lady" is especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

In My Life
John Lennon, author
Paul McCartney, author
Genevieve Santos, illustrator
Little Simon
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534465855, $17.99, HC, 40pp

One gift with a bright bow starts a young girl on a path -- one her mother follows with her as she explores, grows, and rides off on her own, only to return again with her own daughter in tow. Visually enhanced with the artwork of illustrator Genevieve Santos, "In My Life" is a hauntingly beautiful book that shares the small moments of that journey that are meant to be remembered and savored in the lyrics of this classic Beatles song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99), "In My Life" is an extraordinary picture book experience for children ages 4-8 and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

My Mom is a Superhero
Porscha Chambers, author
Nazia Obaid, illustrator
Mommy and Me Swag
https://mommyandmeswag.com
9781736313824, $16.99, HC, 46pp

https://www.amazon.com/My-Mom-Superhero-Porscha-Chambers/dp/1736313827

"My Mom is a Superhero" is a very special picture book by the team of author/storyteller Porscha Chambers and artist/illustrator Nazia Obaid. Providing children ages 4-8 with a unique and fully entertaining perspective on the superhero title, all as viewed from the perspective of a little girl who recalls an ordinary day she spent with her Mom, "My Mom is a Superhero" will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Mom is a Superhero" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

A Friend Is...
Lisa Thiesing
Aladdin
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534465725, $17.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Friend-Lisa-Thiesing/dp/1534465723

The underlying message of "A Friend Is..", a new picture book from artist and storyteller Lisa Thiesing is that for many reasons and through many seasons, all children are in need of having friends in their lives. Whether sniffing a sweet flower or star gazing, building a snowman or jumping into a pile of leaves, ice skating or playing hide and seek -- who better to share everything with than a friend? Charmingly illustrated throughout, "A Friend Is..." is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Friend Is..." is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Porcupine Cupid
Jason June, author
Lori Richmond, illustrator
Margaret K. McElderry Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781481481014, $17.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Porcupine-Cupid-Jason-June/dp/1481481010

Love is in the air this Valentine's Day -- or it will be if Porcupine has any say. He uses his quills like Cupid's arrows, hoping to bring the sweet and sentimental spirit of the holiday to all his forest friends. But with every poke! that Porcupine gives, he gets a hey!, ouch!, or yowser! in return. It seems Porcupine's mission isn't turning out quite like he planned, but with some quick thinking he might just be able to save the day -- and maybe find a valentine of his very own.

A simply charming and impressively original Valentine's holiday picture book for children ages 4-8, "Porcupine Cupid" by author/storyteller Jason June and artist/illustrator Lori Richmond will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Porcupine Cupid" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

My First Day
Phung Nguyen Quang, author/illustrator
Huynh Kim Lien, author/illustrator
Make Me a World
c/o Random House Children's Books
www.randomhouse.com/kids
9780593306260, $17.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/First-Day-Phung-Nguyen-Quang/dp/0593306260

The rainy season has come to the Mekong Delta, and An, a young Vietnamese boy, sets out alone in a wooden boat wearing a little backpack and armed only with a single oar. This is no ordinary first journey. On the way, he is confronted by giant crested waves, heavy rainfall and eerie forests where fear takes hold of him. Although daunted by the dark unknown, An realizes that he is not alone and continues to paddle. He knows it will all be worth it when he reaches his destination -- one familiar to children all over the world!

Beautifully illustrated with museum quality artwork throughout by the author/artist team of Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien, "My First Day" is an extraordinary, fully entertaining, and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "My First Day" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

This Small Blue Dot
Zeno Sworder
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9781760761110, $17.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/This-Small-Blue-Zeno-Sworder/dp/1760761117

With a strong, timely and timeless message of hope, interconnectedness, and empowerment, "This Small Blue Dot" features a little girl explaining the world to her baby sister. She hits on small wonders, big lessons, and everything in between, from sharing the joy of silly dances to contemplating the nature of this "small blue dot" we all live on.

Author and illustrator Zeno Sworder (who hails from a multicultural background), created this picture book story when his daughter was unable to find any picture books with characters who looked like her. His precocious young narrator has opinions on plenty of things: nature and the environment, embracing difference, the power of imagination -- and the trouble with broccoli.

Rich pencil and crayon illustrations conjure up memories of childhood in this celebration of who we are, where we come from, and where our dreams may take us. In the pages of "This Small Blue Dot", Sworder captures not only life lessons but also the fun, often strange experience of being a member of the human family on planet Earth -- making "This Small Blue Dot" a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library New Baby, Environmental, and Social Values picture book collections for children ages 3-5.

The Best Place in the World
Petr Horacek
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com
9781536212853, $16.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Place-World-Petr-Horacek/dp/1536212857

Hare's meadow is a beautiful place, but he can't tell whether it's the best place in the world. His friends all say it is. The rabbits love to run and play together in the fields, the birds love to sing to Hare from high up in the trees, and Bear loves the bees and the honey they share with everyone. But Hare still isn't certain, so he sets off to explore the world and find out for himself. He discovers green fields, gushing rivers, and starlit deserts. His friends would surely love these places, too, but they're all back in the meadow without him -- which leads Hare to realize something important.

With its thoughtful and thought-provoking message about what makes a home, "The Best Place in the World" is a gorgeously written and beautifully illustrated story by author and artist Petr Horacek that is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-7.

Lilliana and the Frogs
Scot Ritchie
Harbour Publishing
www.harbourpublishing.com
9781550179347, $16.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lilliana-Frogs-Scot-Ritchie/dp/1550179349

Lilliana is a young nature lover who simply adores chorus frogs. Her room is already full of frog posters and toys but one night as she listens to frogs singing, she decides to bring home some real, live frogs. Chorus frogs are hard to find and catch, but that won't stop Lilliana! But oh dear! Chorus frogs are very small and very fast and very loud. The frogs have escaped! But Lilliana, with a little inspiration, knows just what to do.

While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, and based on author/illustrator Scot Ritchie's fond personal memories of exploring Camosun Bog as a child (he once really did bring home a box full of frogs), "Lilliana and the Frogs" is a wonderfully entertaining and humorously charming story with playful illustrations that will inspire children ages 3-5 to explore nature -- but to leave it outside!!

In a Pickle
Martinko, author
Maggie Mailer
Hat & Beard Press
www.hatandbeard.com
9780998723952, $18.99, HC, 56pp

https://hatandbeard.com/products/in-a-pickle-by-martinko

A collaborative picture by the team of author/storyteller Martinko and artist/illustrator Maggie Mailer, "In a Pickle: is the warmly told children's tale about a precocious little boy and his schoolyard predicament. It is delightful in its simplicity yet enchanting in the way it mischievously unfolds. The quandary facing the little boy involves a classic case of bullying, yet the conflict is resolved with a clever solution and ends on a touching bon mot.

Highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, the bright and warmly charming watercolor illustrations are a visual treat throughout -- making "In a Pickle" on par with vintage children's books of an earlier era. Simply stated, "In a Pickle" is both a classic and modern tale which will be appreciated by young readers 5-8 who will be thoroughly enchanted by the story of a plucky little boy and his clever dad.

Editorial Note: A portion of the proceeds from the sale of "In A Pickle" will be donated to Horizons National, whose mission is to close gaps of opportunity and access for students in under-resourced communities and empower choice-filled lives.

Unicorn, Don't Do That!
Lois Wickstrom, author
Ada Konewki, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
www.lookunderrocks.com
9780916176952, $19.99, HC, 26pp

https://www.amazon.com/Unicorn-Dont-That-Lois-Wickstrom/dp/0916176959

Stega picks a bowl of berries as a gift for Benny. But on the way to his house, she eats them. Right in front of his door, she gets the tummy rumbles. Right there! Right now! Fortunately, Stega is half-unicorn.

When you invite a unicorn to your party, the unexpected happens. She tries to bring a present, but eats it on the way. And that's a good thing. When she gets the tummy rumbles, she poops rainbows. You can't do that. When you play water limbo, she can't bend backwards. But she can hold the hose while you get a turn. Unicorns are different, in lots of fun ways!

An original and thoroughly charming picture book story for children ages 4-8, "Unicorn, Don't Do That!" is an especially entertaining and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Let's Eat Snails!
Barbara Barcellona Smith, author
Karen Lewis, illustrator
NewSouth Books
105 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
www.newsouthbooks.com
9781588384034, $18.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Snails-Barbara-Barcellona-Smith/dp/1588384039

When Margie visits the Barcellona family home, she isn't ready for what the Sicilian family is bringing to the table: snails! Margie embarks on a culinary adventure in harvesting, purifying, and cooking snails to find that they are, in fact, delizioso! "Let's Eat Snails!" recognizes our cultural culinary differences while showing that what sets us apart can also brings us together.

An original, 'kid friendly', and entertaining picture book for children ages 7-12, "Let's Eat Snails!" celebrates Italian-American culture through a story that introduces kids to its familial and culinary traditions, making it very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.

Love
Corrinne Averiss, author
Kirsti Beautyman, illustrator
words & pictures
c/o Quarto Group Children's Books
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711255470, $18.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/LOVE-Corrinne-Averiss/dp/0711255474

Everyone loves everyone in Tess's house, but when Tess has to leave for school for the very first time, she is worried that her family's love might not stretch that far. Mom explains that love is like a string, it connects people together even when they are far away. At school Tess notices that all the children have strings! Some are new, some are old, some stretch a long way, and some even stretch right up into the sky. But what happens when a string breaks?

"Love", which is beautifully illustrated by artist Kirsti Beautyman, is the third in a trio of feel-good picture books from author/storyteller Corrinne Averiss. The other previous titles in this simply outstanding picture book series for children ages 4-6 include "Joy" (2018) and "Hope" (2019). "Love" is a truly wonderful, uplifting, and entertaining story that subtly and deftly tackles difficult topics of death, grief, separation, and overcoming anxiety.

While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Love" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.67).

We Belong to Each Other
Liz Marie, author
Jose Galvan, author
Katie Rewse, illustrator
Tommy Nelson
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.thomasnelson.com
9781400224746, $18.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Belong-Each-Other-Marie-Galvan/dp/1400224748

At first, Grace feels as if she doesn't belong because she is the only sheep at White Cottage Farm. But as she experiences the love of the other animals and of the kind man and woman and their baby, she begins to feel safe in her new home and recognizes that God provided her with a loving family.

With delightful rhyming text by the storytelling team of Liz Marie and Jose Galvan, and supported by the cozy farm illustrations of Katie Rewse, "We Belong to Each Other" is a fully entertaining picture book in which children ages 4-8 will learn: The affirming message that home is any place filled with love; Families come in all shapes and sizes; How to embrace acceptance with love and patience.

Also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "We Belong to Each Other" is an especially an unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, Sunday School, and community library picture book collections.

The Pocket Chaotic
Ziggy Hanaor, author
Daniel Gray-Barnett, illustrator
Cicada Books
https://www.cicadabooks.co.uk
9781908714800, $16.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/The-Pocket-Chaotic/dp/1908714808

Alexander loves his kangaroo mum because she's loads of fun -- but there's there's one thing that drives him nuts; she's always putting stuff in her pocket. And her pocket is where Alexander spends most of his time. Alexander tries to keep things neat, but the more he tidies, the more stuff pours in, until one day he's had enough!

"The Pocket Chaotic" by the team of author/storyteller Ziggy Hanaor and artist/illustrator Daniel Gray-Barnett is an original, funny and heartwarming picture book tale about a connection between a mother and son (and his journey towards independence), that will ring true for many children especially in these uncertain times. A thoroughly 'kid friendly' and entertaining read, "The Pocket Chaotic" is a very highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-6.

Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light
Apryl Scott, author/illustrator
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534462380, $17.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Share-Some-Kindness-Bring-Light/dp/1534462384

Bear is sad. All the other animals think he's mean because he's so big. But his human friend, Coco, offers to help him. Coco shares her grandmother's advice: "When life gets dark as winter's night, share some kindness, bring some light." They decide to bake cookies to "share some kindness" and make lanterns to "bring some light." But when the cookies and lanterns don't work, they must look for another way to win over the other animals. And while they're at it, Coco and Bear just might discover that kindness is a gift that only comes from the heart!

With its underlying message about the true meaning and value of selfless kindness "Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light" by author and illustrator Apryl Scott will prove to be an especially welcome and entertaining addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

You Matter
Christian Robinson, author/illustrator
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534421691, $17.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/You-Matter-Christian-Robinson/dp/1534421696

"You Matter" by author and illustrator Christian Robinson is a full, bright, and beautiful picture book that showcases many different perspectives around the world in deftly presented and empathetically explored presentation that range from a pair of bird-watchers to the pigeons they're feeding. Young readers ages 8-10 will be drawn into the luminous illustrations inviting them to perceive and engage with the world in a new way and see how everyone is connected, and that everyone matters.

While highly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Values, Nature, and Self-Esteem oriented picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "You Matter" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Bear and the Duck
May Angeli
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
www.eerdmans.com/youngreaders
978080285555, $17.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bear-Duck-May-Angeli/dp/0802855555

One late winter day, a strange noise startles Bear out of his slumber. Grumpily searching for the source, he finds Duck, trapped in the thicket -- but not for long. Bear frees Duck with a few scoops of his big paws, and their friendship begins. The more time the two spend swimming, exploring, and telling stories, the less Bear wants to go back to his lonely old life. As spring turns to summer, and summer turns to fall, what else will change?

Stunning woodcut engravings illustrate this gentle picture book story by author/illustrator May Angeli about kindness, the four seasons, and the joy of an unexpected friend -- making "The Bear and the Duck" certain to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8.

Home: A Story of Resilience and Healing
Carrie Barnes, author
Lyn Meredith, illustrator
Roundtree Press
http://www.roundtreepress.com
9781949480092, $16.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Home-Resilience-Healing-Carrie-Barnes/dp/1949480097

A child's home is their center, their nest, and where they feel the most comfortable in the world. "Home: A Story of Resilience and Healing" by the team of author/storyteller Carrie Barnes and artist/illustrator Lyn Meredith is an original picture book story of one boy's account of an abrupt and devastating loss of his house and his emotional journey in discovering what truly makes a home.

Based on the tragic events of the Santa Rosa, California, Tubbs Fire, "Home" is an uplifting story of resilience and healing in the face of a national disaster -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3-7.

The Rescue Rabbits
Eric Seltzer, author
Roland Garrigue, illustrator
Two Lions
c/o Amazon Publishing
www.apub.com
9781542042635, $17.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Rabbits-Eric-Seltzer/dp/1542042631

Four zany Rescue Rabbits invite children ages 4-8 to race along with them as they save their fellow animal friends both big and small in "The Rescue Rabbits", a new picture book by the team of author/storyteller Eric Seltzer and artist/illustrator Roland Garrigue.

From limping elephants to seasick kangaroos, it seems there is no problem these rabbits can't handle. But when the Rescue Rabbits meet a rhino prince with a very unique problem, they will have to put their heads together (in a Rescue Rabbits huddle, of course!) and find a special solution in order to save the day. And that's just what they will do, because they are THE RESCUE RABBITS!

While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Rescue Rabbits" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Bea by the Sea
Jo Byatt
Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
www.childs-play.com
9781786284709, $17.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bea-Sea-Childs-Play-Library/dp/1786284707

Bea is a little girl who loves lions and knows everything there is to know about them. She lives by the beach, but she doesn't like sand one little bit! One day, her mother persuades her to visit the beach, where she meets a sand sculpture of a lion who is afraid of water. Their developing friendship helps each of them to overcome their anxieties, but the next day the lion has disappeared! How will Bea cope?

Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3-7, "Bea by the Sea" is a funny and tender picture book by author/illustrator Jo Byatt about the mutual support of friendship, the acceptance of loss, and the resilience needed to accept change. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bea by the Sea" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781786284693, $6.99).

Goodnight, Astronaut
Scott Kelly, author/astronaut
Izzy Burton, illustrator
Crown
c/o Random House Children's Books
www.randomhouse.com/kids
9781524764289, $17.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Goodnight-Astronaut-Scott-Kelly/dp/1524764280

American astronaut Scott Kelly was born for adventure. But exploring takes a lot of energy -- and sleep is the super fuel to turbocharge dreams. Luckily, sleeping can be exciting if you're drifting off in the right place. Scott has fallen asleep at the bottom of the ocean, in the cockpit of an F-14 fighter jet, in a yurt on Mount Everest, and of course in space! Children ages 3-7 will thoroughly enjoy joining Scott on his many adventures that are so nicely illustrated by artist Izzy Burton -- maybe they'll inspire dreams of their own!

This sweet and adventurous story is the perfect bedtime tale for future astronauts and adventurers -- making it certain to be a popular and welcome addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Action/Adventure & Science themed picture book collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of little astronauts everywhere that "Goodnight, Astronaut" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Dial/Penguin
www.penguin.com/kids

https://www.amazon.com/Counting-Creatures-Julia-Donaldson/dp/0593324536

https://www.amazon.com/Wreck-This-Picture-Book-Smith/dp/0593111028

Adults looking for fold-out picture books for home education and leisure reading with their children will find Julia Donaldson and Sharon King-Chai's Counting Creatures (9780593324530, $20.99, HC, 58pp) a gorgeous survey that pairs natural history with counting. A bat has a lift-the-wing flap with one baby under it. Turn the page to find a cut-out wild dog with four pops 'nosing and nestling'; and part the seas to find that a duck has 9 ducklings "swimming and snacking, practicing quacking." As the story questions what creature has more babies, it builds a math foundation which is fun and revealing.

Keri Smith's Wreck This Picture Book (9780593111024, $17.99, HC, 64pp) offers a relatively complex concept to young picture book audiences -- that a book only becomes alive when it is explored; and that what some people call wrecking, others might call living. Books are meant to leave the shelf and enter the hearts and minds of the reader. And this book, in particular, invites young eyes to absorb possibilities which may go against adult rules such as not throwing a book, folding its pages, or drawing on it. An interactive discussion invites the young to wake up their senses and analytic skills, challenging the concept of what a book is and does. Again, adult assistance will be required for the very young, to explain some of the wide-ranging ideas this book fosters about imagination and reading.

Both are fine titles kids that read-aloud parents will appreciate.

Sleeping Bear Press
www.sleepingbearpress.com

https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Pop-Popcorn-Cynthia-Schumerth/dp/1534110429

https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Library-Angie-Karcher/dp/1534111026

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Call-Fuzzybutt-Robin-Newman/dp/1534110739

Ages 4-8 will appreciate Cynthis Schumerth's lively picture book celebration of popcorn in Let's Pop, Pop, Popcorn! (9781534110427, $16.99 HC, $16.14 Kindle, 32pp), which offers a kernel-by-kernel discussion of how popcorn is grown, harvested, and prepared before it lands in the eater's bowl. A fun rhyme leads young picture book readers through the snack and its evolutionary process, adhering to STEM educational requirements as it moves through science and nature and adds hands-on activities kids can learn from. Mary Reaves Uhles provides large-sized, fun drawings to complete the attraction of this poppin' fun expose.

Angie Karcher's The Lady of the Library (9781534111028, $16.99 HC, $16.14 Kindle, 40pp) is illustrated by Rachel Sanson and tells of a ghost who haunts a public library. She's faced with a dilemma when the building is slated for demolition. Where can she go? Obviously, books need to be involved. And so a book-loving girl becomes her partner in saving the library so the ghost can keep her home. This saga is based on the true story of the "haunted" Willard Public Library in Evansville, Indiana, but provides a broader perspective on books, literary, and urban preservation than young readers might anticipate from its ghostly foundations.

Discussions of libraries noted for being "haunted" will satisfy this audience, even as they absorb the library history that's the foundation of this story. Don't Call Me Fuzzybutt! by Robin Newman (9781534110731, $16.99 HC, $16.14 Kindle, 32pp) receives whimsical, fun drawings by Susan Batori as it tells of a sleepy bear who is a light sleeper, easily disturbed by the animals around him. His friend Woodpecker is involved in a home construction project, and the two once-friends become enemies as their different purposes are at odds. Can "featherbutt" and "fuzzybutt" overcome this great obstacle to return to being friends? A fun story of adversity and problem-solving evolves.

Scholastic Inc.
www.scholastic.com

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Bunk-Bed-Battle-Acorn/dp/1338561685

https://www.amazon.com/All-Because-Matter-Tami-Charles/dp/133857485X

Tina Kugler's addition to Fox Tails, The Great Bunk Bed Battle (9781338561685, $24.99 HC, $4.99 PB, $2.99 Kindle, 48pp) provides new readers with a lively story of two foxes whose bedtime is challenged by a bunk bed situation. Fritz and Franny share the bunk bed and each thinks their position is the best, until they decide to switch it up. Trouble then ensues.

Tami Charles's All Because You Matter (9781338574852, $17.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, 40pp) receives excellent drawings by Caldecott Honor Winner Bryan Collier as it provides a lyrical tribute that celebrates the importance of every human being. The reader is informed that their lives matter, both historically and to those around them, imparting a lovely message about inheritance, legacy, and love.

These two fine books provide early readers and picture book fans with intriguing stories.


The Middle Grade Fiction Shelf

ResQ Takes On The Takhi
Eva J. Pell
Tumblehome Learning
https://tumblehomebooks.org
9781943431564, $13.95, PB, 190pp

https://www.amazon.com/ResQ-Takes-Takhi-Saving-Animal/dp/1943431566

ResQ Takes On The Takhi is a new Wheaton adventure for ages 9-12 and takes place on the Mongolian frontier, where he and cousin Stowe undertake another rescue mission - this time, to rescue wild horses in Mongolia. Alexa Lindauer provides lovely black and white animal drawings that bring to life not just the wild horses but the eagles and other creatures that live in Mongolia. As the rescue mission evolves, tensions rise. Eva J. Pell captures these efforts in fine detail. From dangerous snow-driven storms that threaten not just their efforts but their lives to the plight of the wild horses if they can't succeed in their mission, the action and dilemma are vivid. Pell takes the time to capture the natural environment of Mongolia in exquisite detail, down to the chervil plant that might calm a skittish foal. The nature history embedded into the action brings this tale to life and nicely supplements its adventure component, teaching all ages about the backdrop of Mongolia as well as the struggles facing wild horses who are protected in national parks. ResQ Takes On The Takhi is a natural history adventure that achieves the dual goal of entertainment and education with a rollicking good story about interactions between animals and people in a far-distant country. It encourages young conservationists and animal lovers to better understand relationships between man, nature, and animals.

Why Can't Relationships Be Like Pizza?
Andy V. Roamer
Nine Star Press/SunFire
http://thepizzachronicles.com
9781648901713, $14.99 paperback, $4.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Relationships-Like-Pizza-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B08Y8M7V7N

Book 3 of 'The Pizza Chronicles' for teen and young adult readers continues the story of RV, who is now in his sophomore year of high school. RV finds high school holds good and bad facets. He feels sad about his growing distance from his good friend Bobby, who is busy enough that their friendship seems to be taking second place; and his friend Carole, who seems smitten with a summer romance that occurred in Paris. Although his parents have gotten their citizenship, they too seem distant and involved in other matters. At least he can always count on the steady Joe's Pizza, a major force in his life. But in this third book, all of RV's reliable support systems appear to be under fire.

As in the other books, RV's coming of age is explored from different angles, from his emerging sexuality and mercurial relationships to his immigrant parents and their desires for his future. When a crisis surrounding Bobby takes precedence over most other concerns in his life, RV faces revised decisions and perspectives on what is important as he tries to support his friends in new ways while making his way through sophomore year's other challenges. Fans of the prior Pizza Chronicles series titles will be the best audience for this story because it adds to the ongoing coming of age process that continues to move RV from his singular world to greater concerns. These readers will find much to like in RV's latest story, which takes some unexpected turns as he faces some of the biggest challenges of his young life, continuing to expand his relationships and their quality.


The YA Fiction Shelf

Snowflake
Arthur Jeon
Global Animal
www.GlobalAnimal.org
9781734093506, $14.99, PB, 412pp

https://www.amazon.com/Snowflake-Novel-Arthur-Jeon/dp/1734093501

When 18 year old Ben becomes outraged by the president's climate change lies, attacks on climate science, and destruction of the natural world. He decides there is only one solution -- a desperate, but necessary act of environmental activism and social justice to protect his generation from environmental extinction. -- Ben must kill POTUS.

At his exclusive private school, Ben becomes a loner, self-isolated from the other students who appear (on Instagram anyway) not to have a care in the world. Not a single student seems to notice the planet is burning. It's all too much denial and lies -- he's got to act! Skipping his meds and therapist to prepare for his mission, the actions of this teenage vegan stress-tests the line between madness and morality.

During the six weeks leading up to his assassination of the President of the United States, Ben realizes he'll never get close enough to kill the president with a gun. Instead, he hatches a realistic hi-tech strategy, meticulously prepping for the daunting challenge he faces to assassinate a president.

Throughout this controversial climate change novel, Ben grapples with the philosophical, practical, and moral reasons that make his radical actions necessary. Mr. Hale, Ben's STEM teacher, and a former Navy Seal sees that his best student is struggling and attempts to take Ben under his wing. But Hale makes a fateful mistake by ignoring the signs of Ben's unraveling.

With a narrative structure that springs from Ben's brief journal entries, a ritual that helps him process his overactive mind into a singular confessional voice, the events tighten into a gripping suspense thriller racing to a shocking conclusion. For those who feel like its young protagonist, angry and helpless as we blow past irreversible tipping points, the novel is an urgent battle cry -- if not to take up arms, then to become a climate change activist fighting against humankind's extinction.

Made all too believable as a storyteller premise by the example of Donald Trump and his presidential administration with respect to environmental issues, "Snowflake" by Arthur Jeon is a simply riveting novel from first page to last -- and certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to middle school, highschool, and community library YA Fiction collections for young readers ages 13-18. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Snowflake" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Sky Above Us
Natalie Lund
Philomel
c/o Penguin Group USA
https://www.penguin.com
9780525518037, $18.99, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Above-Us-Natalie-Lund/dp/0525518037

The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally recovered, they are identified as Izzy's twin brother, Israel, Cass's ex-boyfriend, Shane, and Janie's best friend, Nate. But Izzy can feel when her brother is in pain, and she knows he's not really dead. So she, Cass, and Janie set out to discover what actually happened that day -- and why the boys were on the plane.

Told in alternating timelines and points of view, "The Sky Above Us" by Natalie Lund is a powerfully crafted and captivating novel follows the three boys in the weeks leading up to that fateful flight, and the girls they left behind as they try to piece together the truth about the boys they loved and thought they knew. A deftly written and simply spellbinding story about the ripple effects of tragedy, the questions we leave unanswered, and the enduring power of friendship, "The Sky Above Us" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to middle school, highschool, and community library YA Fiction collections for young readers ages 12-18. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sky Above Us" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Secret Life of Kitty Granger
G. D. Falksen
Carolrhoda Lab
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
www.lernerbooks.com
9781541597969, $18.99 HC, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Life-Kitty-Granger/dp/1541597966

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Granger has always known that others consider her peculiar. She hates noise and crowds, tends to fixate on patterns, and often feels acutely aware of her surroundings even as she struggles to interpret the behavior of people around her. As a working-class girl in London's East End, she's spent her whole life learning to hide these traits. Until the day when she notices the mysterious man on the bus and finds herself following him, driven to know why he seems so out of place -- only to accidentally uncover the location of a Russian spy ring.

When Kitty's keen observation and quick thinking help her survive a dangerous encounter, two secret agents working for Her Majesty's government offer her a job in their espionage operation. Kitty's first mission pits her against a conspiracy led by a prominent politician -- who's also a secret fascist. With help from an unusual team of fellow spies, Kitty must use her wits, training, and instincts to get out alive. And she might as well save the country while she's at it!

A deftly crafted and inherently riveting read from cover to cover, "The Secret Life of Kitty Granger" by G. D. Falksen will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to middle school, highschool, and community library YA Fiction collections for young readers ages 11-18. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Secret Life of Kitty Granger" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Wilma's Magic Hat
Philippa Rae, author
Ashleigh James, illustrator
Chapeltown
9781910542538, $8.00, PB, 42pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wilmas-Magic-Hat-Philippa-Rae/dp/1910542539

Wilma's efforts often end in disaster. Her spells come out all wrong. The other witches laugh at her. She has to watch them performing fantastic tricks. However, one spell that goes wrong has surprising consequences and Wilma gains a valuable ally. "Wilma's Magic Hat" by author/storyteller Philippa Rae's is a delightful and original children's story that is impressively enriched by a series of colorful images by artist/illustrator Ashleigh James. "Wilma's Magic Hat" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library storybook collections for children ages 3-6.

Ghost Hunters: Pirates' Curse
Susan McCauley
Celtic Sea Publishing
https://feedyourfictionaddiction.com/reviews/publishers/celtic-sea-publishing
9781951069100, $27.99, HC, 178pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Hunters-Pirates-Susan-McCauley/dp/1951069102

Ghosts are commonplace in this dark and exciting world, and the psychics who deal with "the Problem" are rare. Apprentice psychic investigator Alex and his two best friends embark on their first solo case to discover who's haunting an old New Orleans pub. They battle ferocious winds, driving rain, and raging spirits to put a pirates' curse to rest.

"Ghost Hunters: Pirates' Curse" by Susan McCauley is a ghostly and fast-paced adventure in which twelve-year-old Alex must use his psychic gifts to speak with pirate ghosts to solve the curse of an old pirate hangout-if he fails, his best friends could be trapped there forever.

The second book the Ghost Hunters series, "Ghost Hunters: Pirates' Curse" features rich characters, spooky moments, and lots of action-packed fun making it very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library fantasy fiction collections for young readers ages 9-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ghost Hunters: Pirates' Curse" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781951069094, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Oddity
Eli Brown, author
Karin Rytter, illustrator
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
www.candlewick.com
9781536208511, $18.99, HC, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Oddity-Eli-Brown/dp/1536208515

Set in the early 1800s, "Oddity" is the story of a girl named Clover who travels the impoverished borderlands of the Unified States with her father, a physician. See to the body before you, he teaches her, but Clover can't help becoming distracted by bigger things, including the coming war between the US and France, ignited by a failed Louisiana Purchase, and the terrifying vermin, cobbled together from dead animals and spare parts, who patrol the woods.

Most of all, she is consumed with interest for Oddities, ordinary objects with extraordinary abilities, such as a Teapot that makes endless amounts of tea and an Ice Hook that freezes everything it touches. Clover's father has always disapproved of Oddities, but when he is murdered, Clover embarks on a perilous mission to protect the one secret Oddity he left behind. And as she uncovers the truth about her parents and her past, Clover emerges as a powerful agent of history.

An action-filled American fantasy of alternate history to rival the great British fantasies in ideas and scope, "Oddities" by author/storyteller Eli Brown and artist/illustrator Karin Rytter is an inherently fascinating, impressively original, and fully entertaining 'alternate history' fantasy novel that is unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library Fantasy Fiction collections for young readers ages 10-14. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Oddities" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel
Andrea Grosso Ciponte, author/illustrator
Plough Publishing House
151 Bowne Drive, PO Box 398, Walden, NY 12586
www.plough.com
9780874863444, $24.00, HC, 112pp

https://www.amazon.com/Freiheit-White-Rose-Graphic-Novel/dp/0874863449

"Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel" is the dramatic and true story of a handful of students who resisted the Nazis and paid for that resistance with their lives.

With the entire German nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could cost them their lives. But some things are worth dying for.

The White Rose printed and distributed leaflets to expose Nazi atrocities and wake up their fellow citizens. The Gestapo caught and executed them. Sophie Scholl was twenty-one; her brother Hans, twenty-four; Christoph Probst, twenty-three; Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, twenty-five.

But the White Rose was not silenced. Their heroism continues to inspire new generations of resisters. Now, for the first time, their story that has previously been celebrated in print and film can now be experienced as a graphic novel. Italian artist Andrea Grosso Ciponte's haunting imagery will resonate with today's students and activists. The challenges they face may vary, but the need for young people to stand up against evil, whatever the cost, will remain.

An inherently absorbing, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from cover to cover, "Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel" is especially appropriate and unreservedly recommended addition to middle school, highschool, and community library graphic novel collections for young readers ages 11-18. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The Secret Animal Kingdom
Piet Wijn, author
Thom Roep, illustrator
Creston Books
PO Box 9369, Berkeley, CA 94709
www.crestonbooks.co
9781939547774, $18.99, HC, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Animal-Kingdom-Adventures-Dabbert/dp/1939547776

The latest addition to the 'Dusty Dabbert' graphic novel series, "The Secret Animal Kingdom" by author/storyteller Piet Wijn and artist/illustrator Thom Roep, Dusty stumbles into a hidden world where animals live in harmony, ruled by a wise frog. Dusty travels through the countryside, helping all those he meets with his magical knapsack, which mysteriously contains exactly what he needs for any circumstance. When human intruders try to turn the animals into a circus act, Dusty has to figure out a way to bring back the kingdom's peace.

Humor and lively details bring this original fairy tale world to life. The Dutch equivalent of Asterix, these beloved popular graphic novels are available in the US for the first time ever and are especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library Graphic Novel collections for young readers ages 8-12.

Editorial Note: Piet Wijn was a prolific and beloved Dutch comics creator. He passed away in 2010 after a long, successful career. Thom Roep is an illustrator for comics and was the editor for the weekly comic, "Donald Duck," in the Netherlands for decades.


The Music CD Shelf

Young Maestros Vol. 1
Tracy Bonham & Melodeon Music House
Melodeon Music House Records
www.MelodeonMusicHouse.com
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Young-Maestros-Tracy-Bonham-Melodeon/dp/B08QZ4VX7D

Rock singer-songwriter Tracy Bonham presents her debut children's album Young Maestros Vol. 1, created to teach basic musical concepts in a fun and engaging way. The lively songs are a delight to move or dance to! As entertaining as it is educational, Young Maestros Vol. 1 is highly recommended especially for grade school or public library children's music collections, and also makes an excellent gift. The tracks are "Me Symphony", "Beats To A Measure", "All The Blackbirds", "Let's Take The Subway", "Lines And Spaces", "I Like Big Beats", "Shake Like A Rattlesnake", "I Am A Movable Do", "Background Singers", "Feelin' Pretty Major", and "A Song Without An Ending".

Let's Put On a Show
Beth Jean
bethjean.com
Privately Published
$9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Put-Show-Beth-Jean/dp/B08SHG31GR

Award-winning children's performer Beth Jean, whose videos have been featured on the children's show "The Friday Zone", presents Let's Put On a Show, a children's album that encourages young listeners to imagine their own stories as they listen to music. Lighthearted, magical, and just plain fun, Let's Put On a Show is a joy to experience, and highly recommended for both personal and public library children's music collections. The tracks are "Let's Put On a Show", "You Are Magic!", "Waddlin' We Go (The Penguin Song)", "No Gravity", "Never Give Up", "I Am a Hamster, Yes I Am Sir!", "The Best Mustache in Michigan", "Garden Gnome", "Whoopsie Daisy", "Tweet a Little Tweet Tweet".

Under the Pepper Tree
Sara Watkins
www.SaraWatkins.com
New West Records
www.NewWestRecords.com
$13.99 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Pepper-Tree-Sara-Watkins/dp/B08V6JS8NW

Under the Pepper Tree is a family-friendly album by Sara Watkins, of the Grammy-winning groups Nickel Creek and I'm With Her. Under the Pepper Tree features nostalgic music inspired by the comfort of everyday routines, encouraging imagination through quiet contemplation. A treasure ideal for families to share when bedtime is approaching, Under the Pepper Tree is highly recommended. The tracks are "Pure Imagination", "The Second Star to the Right", "blue Shadows on the Trail (featuring Nickel Creek)", "Edelweiss", "Moon River", "Under the Pepper Tree", "When You Wish Upon A Star", "Night Singing", "La La Lu", "Tumbling Tumbleweeds (featuring I'm With Her)", "Blanket for a Sail", "Beautiful Dreamer", "Stay Awake", "You'll Never Walk Alone", and "Good Night".


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Story of Baldomera
Ismael F. Arias, author
Enrique G. Ballesteros, author
Ayesha Rubio, illustrator
NubeOcho
9788418133695, $15.95, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Story-Baldomera-Ismael-F-Arias/dp/8418133694

Baldomera, the donkey, became famous worldwide when a video of her reunion with her owner after three months of confinement due to COVID-19 went viral. The colorful illustrations by artist Ayesha Rubio perfectly complement the simple yet playful text by collaborative authors Ismael Arias and Enrique Ballesteros make "The Story of Baldomera" a perfect read-aloud for story time and would prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections for children ages 3-8.

Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me A Story
Aviaq Johnston, author
Tamara Campeau, illustrator
Inhabit Media
9781772272970, $16.95, HC, 28pp

https://www.amazon.com/Grandfather-Bowhead-Tell-Me-Story/dp/1772272973

Bowhead whales are the longest-living mammals on the planet, living over 200 years. "Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me A Story" by author/storyteller Aviaq Johnston and artist/illustrator Tamara Campeau is heartwarming picture book story for children ages 3-6, a grandfather bowhead recounts to his young grandchild calf all the beautiful, amazing, and surprising things he has seen in his lifetime, all while assuring the little calf that there is nothing more wondrous than the love a grandfather has for his grandchild. "Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me A Story" is a thoroughly charming and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library wildlife picture book collections.

Beneath the Waves
Stephanie Warren Drimmer
National Geographic Kids
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426339165, $24.99, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Waves-Celebrating-Through-Pictures/dp/142633916X

"Beneath the Waves: Celebrating the Ocean Through Pictures, Poems, and Stories" by Stephanie Warren Drimmer is comprised of amazing animal profiles, whimsical poetry, stunning photography, plus fascinating information about the wondrous creatures that call the ocean home.

Starting with the seashore and journeying through the ocean's zones, young readers ages 8-15 will enjoy learning about mangrove forests, coral reefs, and the deepest ocean depths. On this journey they will discover some of the extraordinary animals that live on shore and under the sea. Along the way, readers will enjoy poems, stories, fun facts, photo galleries, and more.

Highlights include a foreword from explorer and renowned photojournalist Brian Skerry; an interview with National Geographic Explorer and marine conservationist Jess Cramp; a poem by former children's poet laureate J. Patrick Lewis; the work of Explorer-in-Residence and ocean ecologist Enric Sala; and an afterword by renowned ocean conservationist Sylvia Earle. This keepsake treasure is sure to wow readers while also serving as an important reminder to protect this precious and wonderful resource.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Beneath the Waves: Celebrating the Ocean Through Pictures, Poems, and Stories" is a unique, thoroughly 'reader friendly', and an unreservedly recommended addition to family, school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections in general, and Oceanographic Studies supplemental curriculum lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Stephanie Warren Drimmer is a science writer based in Los Angeles, California. She writes books and magazine features for kids about everything from the strangest places in space, to the chemistry of cookies, to the mysteries of the human brain. She has a degree in science journalism from New York University -- but she thinks she likes writing for kids because she's secretly still one herself.

Champ and Major: First Dogs
Joy McCullough, author
Sheyda Abvabi Best, illustrator
Dial Books for Young Readers
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
https://www.penguin.com
9780593407141, $17.99, HC, 24pp

https://www.amazon.com/Champ-Major-First-Joy-McCullough/dp/0593407148

Champ and Major's dad, Joe Biden, just got a really important job: He's going to be the new president of the United States! Champ is excited to go back to the White House -- he got to visit it when his dad was the vice president, before the family adopted Major, and he knows about all the important work that happens there. Major is going to be one of the first rescue dogs to live in the White House, and Champ can't wait to show his little brother around. Soon, Champ and Major will be in their new home, and they're going to bring a lot of fun with them!

A delightfully charming and currently topical picture book for children ages 2-5, "Champ and Major: First Dogs" by author/storyteller Joy McCullough and artist/illustrator Sheyda Abvabi Best will prove to be an impressively entertaining and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Famous Pets picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Champ and Major: First Dogs" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Kaleidoscope of Creatures
Cath Ard, author
Greer Stothers, illustrator
Wide Eyed Editions
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711258754, $24.99, HC, 64pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kaleidoscope-Creatures-colors-nature-explained/dp/0711258759

Children ages 5-8 will thorough enjoy finding out why are animals so amazingly colorful in "Kaleidoscope of Creatures" by author Cath Ard and illustrator Greer Stothers. Providing a kaleidoscopic style look at the technicolor world of animals, kids will be entertainingly introduced to animals of every color of the rainbow and find out why they are the colors and patterns they are -- as well as the reason why some animals are stripy and others are spotty.

"Kaleidoscope of Creatures" covers: Why do some creatures deliberately pop out while others strive to blend in; Why are some bright to warn off others while some only pretend to look toxic; Why are some male animals so much more flamboyant than their female counterparts; Why do some babies look so different from the grown-ups in their families.

The animal kingdom is explored like never before in this richly detailed natural history book, bursting with life and color providing young readers with a beautifully illustrated first look at the colorful and kaleidoscopic world of animals -- making "Kaleidoscope of Creatures" a unique, informative, unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections.

Atlas of Dogs
Stepanka Sekaninova, author
Ester Dobiasova, author
Jana Sedlackova, author
Marcel Kralik, illustrator
Albatros Media
9788000059358, $16.95, HC, 104pp

https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Dogs-Stepanka-Sekaninova/dp/8000059355

A unique picture book collection for children ages 6-10 showcasing more than 200 breeds of dogs, along with fun facts and witty illustrations, accompanied by heroic stories from the exclusive Dogs' Post Daily newspaper, the "Atlas of Dogs" is an impressively informative and well-arranged atlas, where young dog lovers can find them every canine ranging from the smallest Chihuahua to the hairiest Komondor. Kids will enjoy learning basic information about differing dog natures and find their own dream dog.

Each breed is playfully introduced, and young readers will have the opportunity to find out which dogs are among the bravest and most devoted, who is the biggest barker, or who snores loudly when dreaming of a juicy bone. Use a useful dog to human years converter, kids can discover how old their own particular dog actually is. And, last but not least, if for those who appreciate good bedtime stories, there is the Dogs' Post Daily -- a spectacular dog newspaper with a lot of stories, interviews, and reports from the lives of famous dog heroes and heroines!

Fun and informative, "Atlas of Dogs" will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists of young readers with their own canine companion, as well as family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections.

Chase the Moon, Tiny Turtle
Kelly Jordan, author
Sally Walker, illustrator
Page Street Kids
c/o Page Street Publishing
www.pagestreetpublishing.com
9781645671527, $18.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Chase-Moon-Tiny-Turtle-Hatchlings/dp/1645671526

In the new picture book "Chase the Moon, Tiny Turtle: A Hatchling's Daring Race to the Sea" by author/storyteller Kelly Jordan and artist/illustrator Sally Walker, children ages 4-8 will enjoy reading about a rare and extraordinary natural event as a baby loggerhead hatches from its shell.

With nothing but the light of the moon to act as a guide, "Chase the Moon, Tiny Turtle: A Hatchling's Daring Race to the Sea " follows the newborn turtles' harrowing attempts to outpace a series of predators on their march toward the glistening shore. After only narrowly avoiding hungry crabs, owls, and foxes, the turtle rides ocean waves to a calm clearing.

Following a moment of peace in the still ocean water, the turtle joins the rest of its pack on a dive into the moonlit sea to continue the voyage home.

Told with a beautiful, lyrical rhyming sequence, "Chase the Moon, Tiny Turtle: A Hatchling's Daring Race to the Sea " introduces children to the birth cycle of a loggerhead sea turtle. Through the newborn turtle's eyes, they will marvel at the majestic (and sometimes dangerous) seaside landscape from a perspective rarely seen before -- making "Chase the Moon, Tiny Turtle: A Hatchling's Daring Race to the Sea" an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Wildlife picture book collections.

Waiting for a Warbler
Sneed B. Collard III, author
Thomas Brooks, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
www.tilburyhouse.com
9780884488521, $18.95, HC, 36pp

https://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Warbler-Sneed-Collard-III/dp/0884488527

In early April, as Owen and his sister search the hickories, oaks, and dogwoods for returning birds, a huge group of birds leaves the misty mountain slopes of the Yucatan peninsula for the 600-mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico to their summer nesting grounds.

One of them is a Cerulean warbler. He will lose more than half his body weight even if the journey goes well. Aloft over the vast ocean, the birds encourage each other with squeaky chirps that say, "We are still alive. We can do this."

Owen's family watches televised reports of a great storm over the Gulf of Mexico, fearing what it may mean for migrating songbirds. In alternating spreads, we wait and hope with Owen, then struggle through the storm with the warbler.

"Waiting for a Warbler" by author/storyteller Sneed Collard and artist/illustrator Thomas Brooks is moving picture book story with its hopeful ending appeals to children ages 6-8 to preserve the things they love. The back matter includes a North American bird migration map, birding information for kids, and guidance for how native plantings can transform yards into bird and wildlife habitat, making "Waiting for a Warbler" an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Avian Wildlife picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Waiting for a Warbler" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.48).

Four Paws, Two Feet, One Team
Connor Quinn, author
Mary Cortani, author
Susan Szecsi, illustrator
Mascot Books
620 Herndon Parkway, #320, Herndon, VA 20170
http://mascotbooks.com
9781645434795, $15.95, HC, 38pp

https://www.amazon.com/Four-Paws-Two-Feet-Team/dp/1645434796

"Four Paws, Two Feet, One Team" by the team of authors Connor Quinn and Mary Cortani, and artist/illustrator Susan Szecsi is an utterly charming picture book about a rescue puppy named Dakota that grows up to become a service dog.

Dakota is found in a field with his brothers and sisters and taken in by a woman named Mary Cortani who runs an organization called Operation Freedom Paws. As Dakota grows up and dreams of becoming a service dog, he is eventually matched with a combat veteran suffering from PTSD. As they train together and bond, Dakota goes from being rescued to being the rescuer.

A wonderfully inspiring story, "Four Paws, Two Feet, One Team" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections for young readers ages 6-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Four Paws, Two Feet, One Team" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).


The Sports Shelf

Adventures with Divot & Swish in Costa Rica
Beth Brown, author
Charlotte Strickland, illustrator
Divot & Swish Publishing
https://adventureswithdivotandswish.com
9781735170008, $17.95, HC, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Divot-Swish-Costa-Rica/dp/1735170003

The summer sun is shining bright as Divot & Swish seek new adventures in the country of Costa Rica! Their new friend Sammy the Surfer takes the duo to the beach to teach them how to surf for the first time. Nervous and afraid, Divot & Swish follow Sammy's lead, trying to paddle, balance and stand on their surf boards. Will Divot & Swish find the superpower of courage it takes to have an incredible adventure surfing with the fish?

Featuring a charmingly engaging story-by-verse format by author Beth Brown that is visually supported by artist Charlotte Strickland's illustrations, "Adventures with Divot & Swish in Costa Rica: The Superpower of Courage" is an especially entertaining and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 5-8.


The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Come Back, O Tiger!: A Jataka Tale
Bhikshuni Jin Rou, author
Christy Whitworth, illustrator
Instilling Goodness Books
c/o Buddhist Text Translation Society
4951 Bodhi Way, Ukiah, CA 95482
www.buddhisttexts.org
9781642170443, $6.95, HC, 28pp

https://www.amazon.com/Come-Back-Tiger-Jataka-Hardcover/dp/1642170445

Rich illustrations by Christy Whitworth breathe life into the retelling of this Jataka tale by Bhikshuni Jin Rou, in which the Buddha appears as a wise tree spirit to teach that every being has its place in nature. Children will enjoy being introduced to two whimsical tree spirits, one wise and the other foolish.

They played happily together until one night a tiger sat under the tree of the foolish spirit, growling and gnawing on a stinking bone. The foolish tree spirit said, I m getting rid of that tiger! He's polluting the forest with his noise and stench! Please don't! said the wise tree spirit. The life of the forest depends on the tiger. But the foolish tree spirit didn't listen.

Can the forest be saved? With its critically important environmental message, "Come Back, O Tiger!: A Jataka Tale" also includes activities to help children connect with nature and lessen their carbon imprint -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Folklore/Fairytale picture book collections for young readers.

Spirit of the Cheetah: A Somali Tale
Karen Lynn Williams, author
Khadra Mohammed, author
Julia Cairns, illustrator
World Wisdom
1501 East Hillside Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401
www.worldwisdom.com
9781937786854, $16.95, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Cheetah-Karen-Lynn-Williams/dp/1937786854

Young Roblay runs through his Somali village practicing for the big race, where only the fastest runners will be declared men. He turns for advice to his grandfather, who tells Roblay of the mighty Shabelle River, which is strong and swift like a cheetah. Roblay must capture that spirit if he is to finish among the winners of the race and become a man.

Inspired by her father's storytelling, Khadra Mohammed joins Karen Lynn Williams in retelling "Spirit of the Cheetah", a Somali coming-of-age folk tale that beautifully illustrated throughout by artist Julia Cairns. This is the charmingly entertaining story of a proud people who once lived together peacefully and drew wisdom from the animals. An appendix provides further information on the cheetah -- the fastest land animal on earth and now an endangered species.

"Spirit of the Cheetah: A Somali Tale" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book Folktale collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Spirit of the Cheetah" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Biography Shelf

RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul
Carole Boston Weatherford, author
Frank Morrison, illustrator
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534452282, $18.99, HC, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/RESPECT-Aretha-Franklin-Queen-Soul/dp/1534452281

Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 - August 16, 2018) was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father's Detroit church where her soaring voice spanned more than three octaves. Her string of hit songs earned her the title "the Queen of Soul," multiple Grammy Awards, and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But Aretha didn't just raise her voice in song, she also spoke out against injustice and fought for civil rights. "RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul" by biographer and storyteller Carole Boston Weatherford and artist illustrator Frank Morrison is an authoritative, rhythmic, Coretta Scott King Illustration Award - winning picture book biography will truly captivate young readers ages 4-8 with Aretha's inspiring story. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99), "RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul" is an exceptional and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book biography collections.

Classified
Traci Sorell, author
Natasha Donovan, illustrator
Millbrook Press
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
www.lernerbooks.com
9781541579149, $19.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Classified-Secret-Cherokee-Aerospace-Engineer/dp/1541579143

Mary Golda Ross designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's first female engineer. In a picture book specifically designed for children ages 7-11, Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Metis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross's journey from being the only girl in a high school math class to becoming a teacher to pursuing an engineering degree, joining the top-secret Skunk Works division of Lockheed, and being a mentor for Native Americans and young women interested in engineering. In addition, the narrative highlights Cherokee values including education, working cooperatively, remaining humble, and helping ensure equal opportunity and education for all. Also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book biography collections, young readers will thoroughly enjoy finding out how Ross's passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.

June Almeida, Virus Detective!
Suzanne Slade, author
Elisa Paganelli, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
www.sleepingbearpress.com
9781534111325, $16.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/June-Almeida-Virus-Detective-Coronavirus/dp/1534111328

From an early age in Glasgow, Scotland, June Almeida loved learning about science and nature. A good student, she was especially interested in biology and won the top science prize at her school. Creative and observant, June noticed details that others often missed. She dreamed of attending university but economic hardships caused her to leave school at age 16. Still, June was determined to pursue her passion for science.

She was hired by a local hospital to work in its lab, using a microscope to magnify and examine cells. Her work helped doctors treat patients. June later worked in labs in London and in Toronto. Her skill in using the electron microscope to examine cells and help identify viruses earned her promotion and respect in the science community. When June was 34 years old, she discovered the first human coronavirus. Her groundbreaking work continues to help researchers today in the fight against illnesses caused by viruses, including COVID-19.

The collaborative work of author/storyteller Suzanne Slade and artist/illustrator Elisa Paganelli, "June Almeida, Virus Detective!: The Woman Who Discovered the First Human Coronavirus" is an extraordinary and timely picture book biography of an outstanding woman whose life and career are nothing short of inspirational. While an unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "June Almeida, Virus Detective!: The Woman Who Discovered the First Human Coronavirus" is also readily available for young readers ages 6-9 in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.43).

Jump at the Sun
Alicia D. Williams, author
Jacqueline Alcantara, illustrator
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com/kids
9781534419131, $17.99, HC, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Jump-Sun-Unstoppable-Storycatcher-Hurston/dp/1534419136

When Zora Neale Hurston was a girl she longed for stories and tales. Her mama always told her that if she wanted something, "to jump at de sun", because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you'd get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn't been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales of a whole culture of literature that was being overlooked and under appreciated -- until Zora jumped!

A delightfully charming picture book biography for children ages 4-8 by biographer storyteller Alicia D. Williams and artist/illustrator Jacqueline Alcantara, "Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston" offers an impressively presented, thoroughly 'kid friendly', and informative portrait of the early life and career of Black American writer Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 - January 28, 1960) who was an African-American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. While a very highly recommended and timely addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library African-American picture book biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Jump at the Sun" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Nicky & Vera
Peter Sis
Norton Young Readers
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9781324015741, $19.95, HC, 64pp

https://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Vera-Holocaust-Children-Rescued/dp/1324015748

In December 1938, a young Englishman canceled a ski vacation and went instead to Prague to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Nazis who were crowded into the city. Setting up a makeshift headquarters in his hotel room, Nicholas Winton took names and photographs from parents desperate to get their children out of danger. He raised money, found foster families in England, arranged travel and visas, and, when necessary, bribed officials and forged documents.

In the frantic spring and summer of 1939, as the Nazi shadow fell over Europe, he organized the transportation of almost 700 children to safety. Then, when the war began and no more children could be rescued, he put away his records and told no one. It was only fifty years later that a chance discovery and a famous television appearance brought Winton's actions to light.

In a picture book format for children ages 6-8, author and illustrator Peter Sís deftly weaves Nicholas Winton's experiences and the story of one of the children he saved, Vera Gissing. Nicky & Vera is a tale of decency, action, and courage told in luminous, poetic images by an internationally renowned artist and an unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Nicky Vera" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Billie Eilish, The Unofficial Biography
Adrian Besley
Zest Books
www.zestbooks.net
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781728424163, $37.32, Library Binding, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Billie-Eilish-Unofficial-Biography-Girl/dp/172842416X

With number one albums in multiple countries and five Grammys under her belt, Billie Eilish has become a pop sensation. Billie was a promising young dancer until musical success came literally overnight in 2015. A song she uploaded to SoundCloud received a thousand plays in twenty-four hours. The thirteen-year-old's voice intoxicated listeners and the track went viral. Billie and her brother, Finneas, produced a series of eclectic but equally bewitching tracks, which drew fans from around the world.

"Billie Eilish, The Unofficial Biography: From E-Girl to Icon" by Adrian Besley follows her journey from singing in her bedroom to performing at huge arenas, and young readers ages 13-18 will fully enjoy finding out what makes Billie Eilish the most extraordinary teenage star in the world today.

Simply stated, "Billie Eilish, The Unofficial Biography: From E-Girl to Icon" will prove to be an immediately popular addition to middle school, highschool, and community library YA biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Billie Eilish fans that "Billie Eilish, The Unofficial Biography: From E-Girl to Icon" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781728424170, $14.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662036231, $22.99, CD).


The Christian Shelf

A Tale of Two Kings: God's Story of Redemption
Gloria Furman, author
Natalia Moore, illustrator
Harvest House Publishers
PO Box 41210, Eugene, OR 97404-0322
www.harvesthousepublishers.com
9780736980227, $18.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tale-Two-Kings-Story-Redemption/dp/0736980229

The underlying message in "A Tale of Two Kings: God's Story of Redemption" by author/storyteller Gloria Furman and artist/illustrator Natalia Moore's picture book for children ages 3-8 is that from the very beginning, the Bible tells a story of redemption. God made the first man to rule as king over all He created, only to see Adam's reign end before it had barely begun. God knew all this and that's why He sent the One True King, Jesus, to dwell with us and reclaim what Adam had lost, saving mankind from the penalty of sin.

"A Tale of Two Kings: God's Story of Redemption" makes this concept come alive for kids in a colorful, creative, and entertaining picture book format that compares Adam, the archetype, with Christ, "the last Adam". Children will learn that while Adam's sin sentenced all of us to death, Jesus's crucifixion and glorious resurrection restored the promise of eternal life for all those who believe in Him.

Very highly recommended for family and Sunday School picture book collections for young readers, kids will be reassured that because Jesus is still on the throne, they can trust him whenever they feel sad or scared. There's nothing that Christ their King can't do for them!

God Cares for Me
Scott James, author
Trish Mahoney, illustrator
New Growth Press
1301 Carolina Street, #L101, Greensboro, NC 27401
www.newgrowthpress.com
9781645071921, $15.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/God-Cares-Me-Helping-Children/dp/1645071928

Why do we have to wear a mask? Why can't we see Grandma and Grandpa today? And what if I get sick? During this current pandemic, children have lots of hard-to-answer questions, and Dr. Scott James uses the true-to-life story of Lucas to help with the answers. As children follow Lucas through his sick day, they will discover how God cares for them and how they can care for others when they are sick.

When Lucas wakes up with a sore throat, his parents show that God is always caring for him even when he doesn't feel well. They remind Lucas that Jesus is with him even during difficult days, and he can always go to Jesus and ask for help. When he visits the doctor, Lucas also learns how important it is to care for those around him and to make sure that everyone does their best to not let others get sick.

"God Cares for Me: Helping Children Trust God When They're Sick" is a timely book that will help parents and caregivers talk with children about illness from a Christian perspective -- and how to keep themselves and others safe when sick. Children will learn that although anyone can get sick, that God is caring for them and will be with them through whatever they face. They will also learn how they can show God's love to their friends and family by helping to keep them safe.

Highly recommended for family picture book collections for children ages 4-8, "God Cares for Me" is part of the God Made Me Series from New Growth Press which equips parents to have important, impactful conversations with their children, helping them to grow in understanding of God, themselves, and others. Each book in the series contains a special section just for parents and caregivers that provides biblical guidance and offers additional information and resources for talking about the topic addressed in the story.

Jesus Saves: The Gospel for Toddlers
Sarah Reju, author
Phil Schorr, illustrator
New Growth Press
1301 Carolina Street, #L101, Greensboro, NC 27401
www.newgrowthpress.com
9781645071327, $11.99, Board Book, 20pp

https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Saves-Toddlers-Sarah-Reju/dp/1645071324

Toddlers are not too young to learn the gospel! With "Jesus Saves: The Gospel for Toddlers" by author Sarah Reju and artist Phil Schorr, parents, grandparents and care givers, can help them discover how and why Jesus saves in a hopeful and beautifully illustrated board book. Using easy-to-understand, simple concepts, this children's board book offers a way to teach the good news to children ages one to four.

Every generation needs to hear and believe the good news. Even the youngest children need to know, from the time they are in diapers, that there is a God who made them, loves them, and is calling them to turn from their sins and trust in him. The rhythmic, repetitive style of the story will make the content memorable for toddlers.

Each bright page, illustrated by Phil Schorr, includes a short Bible verse that helps your child to understand the gospel and love Jesus. Also included for parents is a short explanation of how to explain the gospel to young children. Helping to build a foundation of faith for years to come, "Jesus Saves: The Gospel for Toddlers" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, Sunday School, and community library board book collections.


The Native American Studies Shelf

It's a Mitig!
Bridget George
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
www.douglas-mcintyre.com
9781771622738, $16.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Its-Mitig-Bridget-George/dp/1771622733

"It's a Mitig!" by Bridget George is an fascinating and informative picture book guide for children ages 3-5 that introduces them to Ojibwe words describing the natural world. Featuring vibrant and playful artwork, an illustrated Ojibwe-to-English glossary and a simple introduction to the double-vowel pronunciation system, plus accompanying online recordings, "It's a Mitig!" is one of the first books of its kind.

From sunup to sundown, children will encounter an amik playing with sticks and swimming in the river, a prickly gaag hiding in the bushes and a big, bark-covered mitig. Using rhyme to help readers predict the Ojibwe pronunciation, "It's a Mitig!" makes learning new words fun.

Anishinaabe author-illustrator Bridget George created this unique book for young children and their families with the heartfelt desire to spark a lifelong interest in learning language. Whether connecting with one's Ojibwe ancestry or simply opening children's eyes and ears to the cornucopia of North American dialects, "It's a Mitig!" is a useful tool for exploring language -- and an especially prized and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Native American /Canadian Aboriginal picture book collections.


The Self-Help Shelf

Be You, Only Better
Kristi Hugstad
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608687381, $15.95, PB, 168pp

https://www.amazon.com/You-Only-Better-Real-Life-Self-Care/dp/1608687384

Along with all the perks of becoming an adult come challenges and the need to learn skills that help you self-regulate as children ages 14-18 venture into new life experiences. Highlighting five key areas of life (physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial) "Be You, Only Better: Real-Life Self-Care for Young Adults" by credentialed health educator and counselor Kristi Hugstad offers science-backed and experience-backed tools, as well as easy-to-implement techniques for success.

Skill-building and self-care practices (such as journaling, getting enough sleep and exercise, embracing nature, managing time and money, and practicing gratitude, mindfulness, and optimism) are presented, and each is illustrated with the story of a real young person. These practices will help kids to create a resilient foundation for a personally powerful future while discovering a wonderfully accessible lifeline and a realistically inspiring guide to leading (and loving) whatever is their version of the best possible life.

A life changing, life enhancing, life skill building read, "Be You, Only Better: Real-Life Self-Care for Young Adults" is highly recommended for family, middle school, high school, and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Be You, Only Better: Real-Life Self-Care for Young Adults" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Psychology Shelf

An Emotional Menagerie: Feelings from A to Z
Alain de Bottom, editor
Rachel Sanders, illustrator
The School of Life
https://www.theschooloflife.com
9781912891245, $19.99, HC, 60pp

https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Menagerie-Feelings-Z/dp/1912891247

Children experience all sorts of emotions: sometimes going through several very different ones during the course of a single day. Yet they can often struggle to put these feelings into words. An inability to understand and communicate their moods can lead to bad behavior, deep frustration, and a whole host of difficulties further down the line. Like adults, they need help to recognize and verbalize their inner state. The greater their emotional vocabulary, the more likely they are to grow into happy, healthy, and fulfilled adults.

"An Emotional Menagerie" is a kind of picture book emotional glossary for children ages 5-11. A book of 26 rhyming poems, arranged alphabetically, that bring our feelings to life -- Anger, Boredom, Curiosity, Dreaminess, Embarrassment, Fear, Guilt, and more. The poems transform each emotion into a different animal to provide a clear and engaging illustration of its character: how it arises; how it makes us behave and how we can learn to manage its effects. Boasting a rich vocabulary, the poems also give children a wide variety of options for describing their feelings to others.

Filled with wise, therapeutic advice, brought to life through musical language and beautiful illustrations, "An Emotional Menagerie" is an imaginative and universally appealing way of increasing emotional literacy.

While an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Poetry, Emotions, and Animals picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "An Emotional Menagerie" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: The School of Life is a global organization helping people lead more fulfilled lives. Through their range of books, gifts and stationery they seek to prompt more thoughtful natures and help everyone to find fulfillment. The School of Life is a resource for exploring self-knowledge, relationships, work, socializing, finding calm, and enjoying culture through content, community, and conversation. The School of Life maintains an informative website at: https://www.theschooloflife.com


The Science Shelf

The Amazing World of STEM
Nataniel A. Turner, author
Naeem K. Turner-Bandele, author
Keva M. Richardson, illustrator
Two Crabs and a Lion
9781735266602, $23.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-World-STEM-Nathaniel-Turner/dp/1735266604

Stuart Tyson Elmo Morgan, or STEM as his friends and family affectionately call him, loves his community, friends, and learning almost as much as he loves his family. So, when STEM's dad suffers an injury during the family game of soccer, STEM sets out to ensure his dad doesn't lose his mail carrier job. What STEM comes up with to help his dad continue working amazes.

In the end, the bourgeoning engineer not only makes his parents proud, but he reminds us all about the power of love, the imaginative spirit of a child, and the universal importance of dreams.

"The Amazing World of STEM" is the perfect book for any child who is intellectually ambitious, globally, and culturally curious, and compassionate. The co-authors, Naeem K. Turner-Bandele and Nathaniel A. Turner, are a son and father team whose impressively crafted picture book is engagingly illustrated by Keva M. Richardson exemplifiing and promoting a message of diversity, the best of humanity, as well as science, technology, engineering, and math. While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-8, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Amazing World of STEM" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

When You Became You
Brooke Stanton and Christiane West
Mascot Books
620 Herndon Parkway, #320, Herndon, VA 20170
http://mascotbooks.com
9781645436102, $18.95, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/When-You-Became-Brooke-Stanton/dp/1645436101

'When You Became You" by the team of Brooke Stanton and Christiane West features a combination of thoroughly 'kid friendly' illustrations and the biological science of human embryology to introduce the continuum of human life. "When You Became You" takes children ages 7-11 on a scientific journey through the stages of a human being's life.

A very highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Human Biology & Science collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "When You Became You" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).


The American History Shelf

The Big Day
Terry Lee Caruthers, author
Robert Casilla, illustrator
Star Bright Books
13 Landsdowne Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
www.starbrightbooks.com
9781595729132, $16.99, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Day-Terry-Lee-Caruthers/dp/1595729135

Big day ahead! Big Mama says as she wakes young Tansy. She hurries Tansy through breakfast and a bath, and dresses in her best clothes. Big Mama even wears her special brooch. What could be so special about this day? Soon enough, Tansy learns the importance: Big Mama is voting for the first time!

"The Big Day" is a celebration of Agnes Sadler, the first Black woman to cast a vote in Knoxville, Tennessee, on September 6, 1919. The elation and pride of Big Mama is captured in brilliant picture book storytelling by Terry Lee Caruthers and gorgeous watercolors by Robert Casilla, bringing this historical moment alive.

Also available in a paperback edition (9781595729149, $6.99) for personal reading lists, "The Big Day" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library American History collections for children ages 4-8.

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
Carole Boston Weatherford, author
Floyd Cooper, illustrator
CarolRhoda Books
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
www.lernerbooks.com
9781541581203, $17.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Unspeakable-Massacre-Carole-Boston-Weatherford/dp/1541581202

With the publication of "Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre", author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper have successfully collaborated to provide children ages 8-12 with a powerful and historically accurate introduction to the infamous Tulsa Race Massacre which was one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history.

"Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre" deftly traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma's Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community.

News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. "Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre" is picture book that sensitively and effectively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future.

Thoroughly appropriate for young readers in grades 3-6, "Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library 20th Century American History in general, and Black History supplemental reading lists in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).


The Bilingual Shelf

That Girl on TV Could Be Me!
Leticia Ordaz, author
Juan Calle, illustrator
Immedium
PO Box 31846, San Francisco, CA 94131
www.immedium.com
9781597021517, $16.95, HC, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/That-Girl-TV-could-Bilingual/dp/1597021512

Growing up near Sacramento, CA, little Leticia dreams of being a TV newscaster. But no one on TV looks like her. This shy, small-town girl overcomes barriers, like her fear of public speaking, to become the first in her hardworking Mexican family to attend college.

Then, starting as an intern, she climbs the ladder, travels to different cities, and reports on a rainbow of stories. Eventually can she land her dream job... to work at her hometown Channel 3? Join Leticia on her exciting journey to become that TV anchor who will encourage the next generation of children to attain their goals.

Children watch television every day but have never read a storybook about making a career in TV news -- until now with the bilingual (English/Spanish) publication of "That Girl on TV Could Be Me!: The Journey of a Latina News Anchor". Kids ages 3-8 will be inspired by Leticia's educational, funny, and poignant experiences. Parents will appreciate the perspective of a working woman and Latinx role model. Teachers and librarians will value the bilingual translation in Spanish and glossary of TV terms.

This picture book autobiography is topical, as immigrants and women continue the struggle to claim their rightful place in America. The dynamic illustrations by Juan Calle go behind the scenes to show how breaking news is covered in a way no other storybook has done before.

A charmingly presented and inspiring picture book, "That Girl on TV Could Be Me!: The Journey of a Latina News Anchor" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library bilingual picture book collections.


The Crafts Shelf

Eco Craft Book
Laura Minter & Tia Williams
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945695, $19.95, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Eco-Craft-Book-Laura-Minter/dp/1784945692

Everyone from 8 to 80 knows that crafting is so much fun -- but did you know that it can sometimes create excess waste that is not good for our planet? "Eco Craft Book: Don't Throw it Away, Recreate & Play" by the team of Laura Minter and Tia Williams is an imaginative collection of DIY projects where most of what you need is already in your recycling box, but for other supplies there is a handy guide on what gets a planet-friendly thumbs up and what to avoid.

Throughout the profusely illustrated pages of "Eco Craft Book" there are a wealth of informative facts, practical tips and handy hints on how to be a crafty eco warrior. There are also special information sections dotted throughout covering tips and ideas for climate activism and an overview of the main climate issues we face.

While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, family, school, and community library Environmental Crafts & Projects collections for the young and young at heart, it should be noted for personal use that "Eco Craft Book: Don't Throw it Away, Recreate & Play" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).


The Art Shelf

Mornings with Monet
Barb Rosenstock
Knopf
www.rhcbooks.com
9780525708179, $17.99 HC, $10.99 Kindle, 40pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mornings-Monet-Barb-Rosenstock/dp/0525708170

Mornings with Monet receives fine illustrations by Mary Grandpre and explores the young artist's choice of drawing what came to be known as impressionist works that changed the art world. How did he produce his amazing drawings?

Picture book readers with good reading skills will relish this survey of Monet's process of observing the world around him and translating it into his paintings. Mary Grandpre's evocative color drawings accent this process as Barb Rosenstock captures Monet's contention that the world of the Seine is his studio, following his work on a studio boat and how he captured the magic of the river he loved. Would-be young artists seeking inspiration and insight will find Mornings with Monet a compelling investigation of how an artist derives vision and inspiration from a blend of the world around him and his interpretation of it.


The Poetry Shelf

Hello, Earth!
Joyce Sidman, author
Miren Asiain Lora, illustrator
Wm B. Eerdmans
4035 Park E. Ct. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
www.eerdmans.com
9780802855282, $18.99, HC, 68pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hello-Earth-Poems-Our-Planet/dp/0802855288

Hello, Earth! Poems to Our Planet receives lovely illustrations by Miren Asiain Lora as it pairs evocative poems about the natural world with insights into Earth's ecosystems and habitats. From earthquakes to mountains and deserts, each Earth environment is applauded in a lovely celebratory series of observations especially recommended for read-aloud and youngsters with a special affinity for poetry and the planet's wonders.


The Story Monsters Ink Shelf

www.storymonsters.com

Story Monsters LLC is dedicated to helping authors of all genres strive for excellence through our marketing and publicity services, Dragonfly Book Awards contests, Story Monsters Approved! awards program, opportunities for connecting with schools, and the award-winning Story Monsters Ink(R) magazine.

A Day with Dad
Katja Reider, author
Sebastien Braun, illustrator
Clever Publishing
http://clever-publishing.com
9781949998931, $5.99

Dr. Dawn Menge
Reviewer

When Little Cub falls, Dad picks her up. He gently blows on her hurt foot. And he carries her on his shoulders. As they travel through their day together, they share many ordinary experiences. But, it's not until they return home and are eating sweet honey cake, that Little Cub realizes that any day spent with Dad is truly the best day. This board book helps young children learn the power of play and love. They will enjoy the story and the brightly colored pages. (Ages baby-3)

Maisy's Moon Mission
Lucy Cousins
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536215083, $9.99

Anita Lock
Reviewer

Maisy is on another adventure, and this time, to the moon. This delightful alliterated-titled book will excite little ones about all things space exploration. Brightly-colored pages and eye-catching scenes mimicking real-life cycle events capture Lucy Cousins' well-loved characters - Maisy (mouse), Tallulah (duck), and Panda (Maisy's toy) blasting off in a rocket, spotting a satellite, working with moon vehicles, and landing safely back home in a parachute. Cyril (crocodile), Charlie (squirrel), and Eddie (elephant) await their friends' arrival. Filled with slides and wheels to create a fun, interactive learning experience. (Ages baby-3)

Two Dogs on a Trike
Gabi Snyder, author
Robin Rosenthal, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
www.abramsyoungreaders.com
9781419738913, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This is a fun, carefree adventure. As each dog and a tenacious cat see and join this traveling band, the reader will count to 10 and back with ease! Oh, and what do I see? Is that a mouse wanting to get in on the party? A fun time of easy reading! (Ages 2-5)

Peep and Ducky Sleepover
David Martin, author
David M. Walker, illustrator
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536204544, $14.99

Anita Lock
Reviewer

It's all fun and frolic for Peep and Ducky for their first-time sleepover. Peep cries after he's dropped off at Ducky's house, but hugs from Ducky and his momma quickly defuse the momentary separation anxiety. Before long, the two friends are playing, and by bedtime, they're too energized to fall asleep. Both parents and youngsters will appreciate the storyline from different perspectives. Warm and playful scenes combine with a rhyming text to display the ups (the friends' fun) and downs (Momma's tiredness) that comes with having a sleepover. (Ages baby-3)

Becca's Bunch: Becca's Big Decision
Jam Media
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9780763692476, $12.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

When Becca wins tickets to see the Firefly Flyby in Uncle Ned's hot air balloon, she can hardly contain her excitement. But, she has three friends and she wants to take all of them with her. How can she decide who gets to go and who doesn't? The story is based on the animated series called Becca's Bunch. (Ages 2-5)

Slow Samson
Bethany Christou
http://www.bethanychristou.com
Templar
9781536215472, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

Samson is a sloth. A very friendly and likable sloth that gets invited to many parties. The problem is, he is so slow, that the party is always over by the time he arrives! Samson's friends all get together to think up a plan so their good friend could actually make it a party on time and share in all the fun. This delightful story will stimulate its reader with successful problem-solving concepts. (Ages 2-6)

Good Guys, Bad Guys
Joanne Rocklin, author
Nancy Carpenter, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
www.abramsyoungreaders.com
9781419734175, $16.99

Dr. Dawn Menge
Reviewer

A brother and sister invite their friends to play good guys and bad guys with them. While playing pretend, this rowdy group of kids dress up as pirates, swimmers, cowboys, and more - imagining a vibrant world where the bad guys cause mischief and the good guys save the day. As the day comes to a close, we see the siblings agree to switch who's "good" and who's "bad" the next day - showing readers that kids can safely try out good and bad personas as they play. I highly recommend to encourage make-believe play and build imaginations. (Ages 3-5)

What Will You Dream of Tonight?
Frances Stickley, author
Anuska Allepuz, illustrator
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536214475, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

Passion is the word I'm left with as I close the final page. The soft, gentle rhyme carries the whisper of delight as it beckons the heart to believe. Every page mounts with wonder till the sleepy dreamer snuggles in anticipation, and imagination takes flight. Truly a bedtime story filled with life! (Ages 3-5)

My Red Hat
Rachel Stubbs
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536212716, $16.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

A hat can do many things. It can keep you warm and dry. It can help you stand out in a crowd, or it can help you blend in. It can hold your dreams or your secrets, and it can hide your fears. When a grandfather passes down his hat to his grandchild, it opens up a whole new range of experiences for the child. Simple text and expressive illustrations make this a perfect book for a grandparent to share with a grandchild. (Ages 3-5)

This Small Blue Dot
Zeno Sworder
Thames & Hudson
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9781760761110, $17.95

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

With a strong message of hope, interconnectedness, and empowerment, This Small Blue Dot features a little girl explaining the world to her baby sister. She hits on small wonders, big lessons, and everything in between, from sharing the joy of silly dances to contemplating the nature of this "small blue dot" we all live on. A warm and touching story. (Ages 3-5)

Keep an Eye on Ivy
Barroux
Thames & Hudson
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500652534, $18.95

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This is a fun story for little ones with just enough suspense to make one wonder. It stimulates curiosity, causing one to think and engage with the story. And then, it bursts forth in sudden surprise and gives one a giggle. (Ages 3-5)

The Blunders: A Counting Catastrophe!
Christina Soontornvat, author
Colin Jack, illustrator
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536201093, $16.99

Dr. Dawn Menge
Reviewer

It's not even lunchtime, and already the 10 Blunder children have messed up the laundry, the bathtub, and taking care of the animals. They are driving their mother up the wall. So she sends them out to play with just two rules: keep track of one another and make sure everyone is home by sunset. As the day draws to an end, each Blunder tries counting the others - forward and backward, in English and Spanish, and even by twos and threes - but comes up with only nine. Uh-oh! This fun-filled book is a great read and encourages outside play with a little mischievousness along the way. (Ages 3-7)

Follow Me, Flo!
Jarvis
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536212709, $16.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

Little Flo is eager to go with Daddy Duck on their outing. Daddy Duck instructs Flo, in no uncertain terms, to follow him or she will get lost. The two of them sing a song together that spells out the directions for how to get where they're going - up, down, in and out. As long as Flo is singing the same song as Daddy Duck, she is fine. But her mind starts to wander and she starts making up her own lyrics. She has soon lost her way and now a fox is following her. Where is Daddy Duck? Can she remember the words to the song so she can outmaneuver the fox and find her way back to safety? (Ages 3-7)

Only a Tree Knows How to Be a Tree
Mary Murphy
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536214703, $16.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

Trees have their place in the world and so do we. Only a tree knows how to be a tree and only you know how to be you. Author Mary Murphy celebrates the uniqueness of the world with all of its creatures, while reminding young readers that they are the only ones who know how to be themselves. (Ages 3-7)

The Boy Who Loved Everyone
Jane Porter, author
Maisie Paradise Shearring, illustrator
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536211238, $16.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

This story about a boy who tells everyone, "I love you," perfectly illustrates the dilemma some children face when they try to make friends with strangers. Not everyone is comfortable with saying the words out loud; some people show their love in other ways. (Ages 3-7)

Dot. Unplugged
The Jim Henson Company
Candlewick
www.candlewick.com
9781536209839, $16.99

Dr. Dawn Menge
Reviewer

It's pouring rain, and the power's gone out at Dot's house. Should they take it as a challenge to honor the National Day of Unplugging? Playing outside is out of the question, and so is using the many devices Dot is accustomed to. But what might the basement hold? Includes a list at the back of the book with great individual or family time activities that are unplugged. A great learning tool in an age of electronics. (Ages 4-6)

Ellie and Her Emotional Dragons: Ellie's First Day of School
Joseph Goodrich, author
Traci Van Wagoner, illustrator
https://www.josephgoodrich.com
Wisdom House Books
www.wisdomhousebooks.com
9781732855328, $19.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

Ellie's First Day of School brings back the delightful characters from Ellie and Her Emotional Dragons whose loving approach to emotional intelligence will teach kids courage, patience, and provide them with positive communication skills in the school setting. Teaching children to be on good speaking terms with their emotions makes not only for happy children, but also sound adults. The book is bright in color and influence, and material relatable to young ones. (Ages 4-7)

We Adopted a Baby Lamb
Lori Joy Smith
Tundra Books
https://tundrabooks.com
9780735266537, $17.99

Anita Lock
Reviewer

Little Ila relays the true story of how her family adopted an orphaned Icelandic sheep they name Albert. A bright yellow backdrop highlights the eye-catching childlike cartoons, complete with text and onomatopoeia captions. The depictions are a perfect complement to this uproariously light narrative as Ila and her family deal with the ups and downs that come with caring for a lovable but very mischievous addition to their family of pets. An unforgettably fun read (and re-read) for the whole family. (Ages 4-7)

It's Brave to Cry
Rebecca Robinson, author
Emanuela Ntamack, illustrator
Independently Published
www.rebeccarobinson.org
9781736058107, $16.99

Raven Howell
Reviewer

When a child comes home from school one day frustrated and mad, his father helps guide him to feel comfortable to express his feelings through tears if necessary. As father and son visit distinguished and admired community members, hearing their stories of bravery which include crying at times, the boy's confidence builds to a happy "aha" moment. Rebecca Robinson does a terrific job relaying this theme and illustrator Emanuela Ntamack age-appropriately captures facial and body expressions, using colors that instigate mood and complement the text page to page. A great book for a special education classroom and library shelf! (Ages 4-8)

CliFF the Failed Troll
Barbara Davis-Pyles, author
Justin Hillgrove, illustrator
Little Bigfoot
https://sasquatchbooks.com/little-bigfoot
9781632172464, $17.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

Cliff has a hard time acting like a troll. At the troll school, he doesn't use the proper greeting, he can't sit still like a "proper troll" and he keeps breaking into song at inappropriate times. Because of this, he gets straight "Fs" on his report card. What Cliff really wants is to be a pirate, so he signs up to go to pirate school. He doesn't really fit into pirate school, either, but he sure tries. When he gets straight "Fs" again on his report card, he thinks that he is a failure. But, is he? (Ages 4-8)

Hello, Little Dreamer
Kathie Lee Gifford, author
Anita Schmidt, illustrator
Thomas Nelson
www.thomasnelson.com
9781400209262, $18.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

Many know the author from her widespread platform of notoriety. Kathie Lee Gifford now brings this tender reminder to children that they are wanted, loved, and filled with purpose. Its gentle flow, along with the soft glow of every illustration breathes confidence, acceptance, and importance to every child! (Ages 4-8)

Geraldine and the Anti-Bullying Shield
Sol Regwan, author
Denise Muzzio, illustrator
Schiffer Kids
www.schifferbooks.com
9780764361135, $16.99

Anita Lock
Reviewer

Second-grader Geraldine takes her love for inventing to another level when her friends complain about Jimmy bullying them. She sets to work, first enlisting her dad's help once she relays the problem to him, then getting her friends involved to create the Anti-Bullying Shield. The cooperative effort empowers Geraldine and her friends as they team up to fearlessly face up to Jimmy. Colorful illustrations with a great mix of multiracial children combine with a proactive and impassioned message to this an inspiring read. Tips and website resources available at the book's close. (Ages 4-8)

Geraldine and the Space Bees
Sol Regwan, author
Denise Muzzio, illustrator
Schiffer Kids
www.schifferbooks.com
9780764359941, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This story is relevant to our day as well as entertaining. We all are becoming aware of the serious decline in our bee population. The connectivity of all living things trembles when even one delicate part starts to wane. The loss of bees will have a wide effect on what remains. Geraldine's energetic nature and love of invention soon sets her to work on a remedy to the bees' plight. A field trip to the museum and a challenging homework assignment sets her spirited mind into motion. This is an interesting, and inspiring story. (Ages 5-8)

Daniel's Dreams: Monster Mountain
Leanne Brown, author
Yogesh Mahajan, illustrator
Independently Published
https://www.dreambelieveread.co.uk
9781527272453, $13.57

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

This is a story everyone can identify with. We have all stood paralyzed in our own minds at some point in our lives. Afraid of limitations, of mishaps and blundering. The message that rings throughout this story is one of unity and acceptance. It lifts the bar of uniqueness, removes the tight pigeonholes we try to force each other into, making the world monochrome. We also discover with Daniel that thinking beyond ourselves and reaching out to help others often brings the very help we need ourselves. Great life lessons are related in gentle compassion children will be able to process. (Ages 5-10)

Hope and Freckles: Fleeing to a Better Forest
Bill Kiley, author
Mary Manning, illustrator
https://www.authorbillkiley.com
Mascot Books
http://mascotbooks.com
9781645432548, $15.95

Darleen Wohlfeil
Reviewer

A story of empathy and understanding. Young children will easily relate to the fear and concerns this sweet deer faces in trying to provide a safe and healthy place to raise her baby. Changing times create changed necessities, and often it takes great strength to uproot what we know and embrace the change. Hope teaches her little fawn to be thankful for their good fortune, and to remember those less fortunate in their prayers. Whether animals or people, it is difficult to leave behind what we know in hopes of finding better. (Ages 6-10)

Clifford the Big Red Dog: Movie Graphic Novel
Adapated by Georgia Ball
Illustrated by Chi Ngo
Scholastic
www.scholastic.com
9781338665109, $8.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

The Big Red Dog is hitting the big screen! It's a race through NYC in this graphic novel based on the new live-action Clifford movie. Both graphic novel and Clifford enthusiasts will enjoy learning about how Clifford came to live with Emily Elizabeth in this new book with original illustrations and exclusive new scenes and stories not seen in the movie. (Ages 7-10)

We Found a Monster
Kirk Scroggs
http://kirkscroggs.com
DC Comics
www.dccomics.com
9781779500526, $9.99

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

There's a reason scary movie fan and master of the macabre Casey Clive looks 10 times paler and more exhausted than the average sixthgrader: MONSTERS! For the last... er...unusual year, monsters have been arriving on Casey's doorstep needing a place to stay, something to eat, and lots and lots of attention. It's getting impossible to keep these haunted houseguests a secret, much less get a good night's sleep. Casey has to find a solution, and fast! Fans of both graphic novels and monsters will enjoy the story of Casey Clive and how he deals with the numerous, needy monsters in his life. (Ages 8-12)

Xenia Navarro and the Magic Ants
Milagros Darling and Lois Wickstrom
Dreaming Big Publications
http://www.dreamingbigpublications.com
9798552999811, $8.00

Christine Irvin
Reviewer

A combination of real-world events (illegal Mexican immigrants trying to hide from authorities) combined with science fiction make for an interesting read. Readers will learn a fair amount of Spanish words from the text, learn more about the problems and issues of immigration and deportation, and discover that a little bit of magic never hurts. (Ages 8-12)


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