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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 28, Number 2 February 2018 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Holiday Shelf Science Shelf
American History Shelf Social Issues Shelf Picturebook Shelf
Board Book Shelf Fiction Shelf Mythology Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Language Studies Shelf Activity Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Biography Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Environmental Shelf
Christian Shelf Bilingual Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Health Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Books in Series

Reviewer's Choice

Write to Me
Cynthia Grady, author
Amiko Hirao, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580896887, $16.99, 32pp,

When Executive Order 9066 is enacted after the attack at Pearl Harbor, children's librarian Clara Breed's young Japanese American patrons are to be sent to prison camp. Before they are moved, Breed asks the children to write her letters and gives them books to take with them. Through the three years of their internment, the children correspond with Miss Breed, sharing their stories, providing feedback on books, and creating a record of their experiences. Using excerpts from children's letters held at the Japanese American National Museum, author Cynthia Grady, supported with the artistry of illustrator Amiko Hirao, presents a difficult subject with honesty and hope. A unique and extraordinary picture book for children ages 4 to 8, "Write to Me" is unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Police in Our School
Deputy Becky Coyle, author
Juanbjuan Oliver, illustrator
Flowerpot Press
142 2nd Ave. North, Franklin, TN 37064
9781486709403, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

A School Resource Officer has a diverse role in the school community and has many duties and responsibilities. "Police In Our School" teaches kids about the important role their school resource officers play to protect them and their school. Author Becky Coyle learned firsthand how children can misunderstand officer's roles in schools through her own work as an elementary school resource officer. That is what inspired her to create an informative and entertaining series of picture books to explain school safety concepts to young children in a fun and engaging way. Of special note, "Police in Our School" also has a section of extension activities and questions for further discussion. While very highly recommended, especially for elementary school and community libraries, it should be noted that "Police in Our School" is also available in a paperback edition (9781486712564, $6.99).

Lily And Andrew Are Moving
Julie Etter, author
Dale Stephenson, contributor
Tim Etter, illustrator
JT Publications LLC
9780975515341, $14.95, HC, 48pp,

Lily and Andrew Are Moving is a genuine and heartfelt story of a family moving from one home to another and how parents can help their children emotionally prepare and adjust to a new home. Beautifully illustrated by Tim Etter and complete with children's stickers, Julie Etter's "Lily And Andrew Are Moving" also contains examples of how to make a move from one home to another as stress-free as possible. Especially and unreservedly recommended for family and community library picture book collections, it is of special note is that "Lily And Andrew Are Moving" can also be customized for real estate professionals to use with their clients who have young children.

Don't Read This Book Before Bed: Thrills, Chills, and Hauntingly True Stories
Anna Claybourne, author
National Geographic Kids
c/o National Geographic Partners
1145 17th Street, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20036
9781426328411 $14.99 144 pages

"Don't Read This Book Before Bed" is a color photo illustrated collection of scary but true odd or mystifying tales and facts. "Don't Read This Book Before Bed" Includes tales of historic ghosts, 'raining' frogs and fish, mysterious monarch butterfly migrations, vanishing lighthouse keepers, jelly from space, zombie flesh-eaters, remembering past lives, Bigfoot, oubliettes (forgotten dungeons in old castles), fish people, lake monsters (Nessie), spooky dolls, creepy catacombs, and more. A helpful feature is a visual fright meter which is posted near the title of each feature, showing a number ranking from 1-10 to help rate the degree of scariness or spookiness of that subject. There is always a component on the second page which discusses possible rational explanations for mystifying phenomena. Midway through the book (p. 66-67) is a wonderful frightful flowchart quiz titled Are you Afraid of the Dark? Depending on the reader's answers to different questions, they can be led to different conclusions about their deepest fears, such as "You have claustrophobia." "Don't Read This Book Before Bed" is an educational but somewhat scary book that has appeal for readers age 12 and up.

Ernst Chaldni's Sound Experiments CLANG
Darcy Pattison, author
Peter Willis, illustrator
Mims House
9781629440941 $10.99 pbk / $23.99 hc

"CLANG" is the story of Ernst Chaldni, the father of acoustics, and his translation of his book, "Treatment of Acoustics" from German into French, with the help of Napoleon Bonaparte, and some kind French scientists. Chaldni was the first scientist to discover and describe the patterns called sound waves which are characteristics of how sound travels. "CLANG" is both witty, factual, and charmingly illustrated with humorous colored illustrations. A number of funny incidents in the career of Chaldni are interwoven into the story of acoustics' properties as discovered and described by Chaldni. Begun in 1809, Chaldni's great "Treatment of Acoustics" is a miraculous true story that involves international cooperation of scientists and diplomats to investigate the truth about sound.

The Holiday Shelf

Lucy's First Christmas
Rolynda Tassan
RiverRidge Publishing
9780998331843, $8.99

Lucy's First Christmas continues the stories of Lucy the adopted cat and centers around Lucy's first Christmas celebration in her new home. As Lucy observes various family members making special preparations, from baking holiday cookies to stringing lights on the tree and making snowmen outside, she decides to join in and help; but her efforts only land her in trouble. Lucy's First Christmas provides elementary-level picture book readers with the realistic, warm story of an adopted kitty's first holiday with family, adopting a cat's-eye perspective on preparations for festivities. As with the other books in the Lucy series, Lucy's First Christmas excels in this point of view, neatly juxtaposing a busy family's efforts with the puzzlement of a young cat who only wants to help and participate in the fun. Lucy's First Christmas is as warm, simple and welcoming as the other books in the series and continues to explore how Lucy integrates with her new animal and human family's routines and rituals. Picture book readers with good reading skills who are just moving into chapter books will relish the easy access and family-oriented message of this new pet's continuing lessons.

Ethan Long
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781619634336, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Something strange is in the air on this dark, cold night. The members of Fright Club are always ready to scare, but tonight Fran K. Stein has something else on his mind. He's busy making something, and the other monsters want to know what it is. Could it be a mask with fangs? A big pink nose? Or maybe a paper butt? No . . . it's a Valentine! That means one thing . . . EEEEK!! Is Fran in love? What could be scarier than falling in love?!? "Valensteins" is an hilariously spooky picture book story by author and illustrator Ethan Long and reveals to children ages 3 to 6 that even the scariest of monsters have true feelings! Unique, unfailingly entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly', "Valensteins" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted for parents that "Valensteins" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.41).

Mila Denton is an April Fool!
Sandra Byrd Lawson, author
David Barrow, illustrator
Doodle and Peck Publishing
PO Box 852105, Yukon, OK 73085
9780999249710, $14.99, 74pp,

April 1 starts off with a bang when Mila's mom and dad play pranks on her. Determined to be the giver of pranks and not the receiver, Mila tries to dream up a way to be the best "prankster" ever. But her friends seem to be way ahead of her. Mila's day gets worse and worse, prank after prank. Will Mila be able to play a successful prank on her friends? Or is she destined to always be the April Fool for her family, friends, and classmates? Deftly written by Sandy Byrd Lawson and nicely illustrated by David Barrow, "Mila Denton is an April Fool!" is an ideal and entertaining story for children ages 5 to 9. While especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mila Denton is an April Fool!" is also available in a paperback edition (9780999249703, $9.99).

The Science Shelf

A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole
Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano, author
Michael Carroll, illustrator
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781570917844 $9.99 74 pages

Full of surprises, amusing, explanatory text, fun illustrations and dramatic space/star photography, "A Black Hole is NOT a Black Hole" is exciting space/time education at its very best. Written to appeal to students ages 9-12, "A Black Hole is NOT a Black Hole" does a fantastic job of describing and explaining what, exactly, a black hole is, if it is not a hole. An exciting example of creative documentation of distance estimates is on pages 6-7, which shows a simulation of our solar system with estimated measurements to indicate how far away the nearest black hole is from Earth (tens of quadrillions of miles or kilometers). Two more interesting facts are the distance across our Milky Way galaxy (hundreds of quadrillions of miles or kilometers), and the distance across the observable universe (which may be much smaller than the whole universe), or sextillions of miles or kilometers. A column of figures show representation for the numbers hundred through nonillion, with ever increasing triple zeros. Eight exciting, informative chapters explain related topics such as the Pulling Power of a Black Hole, Black-Hole Beginnings, the Blackness of Black Holes, Seeking the Invisible, Supersized Surprises, Close Encounters of the Imaginary Kind, and Turning the Universe Upside Down. Fascinating explanations of the existence of black holes can be traced through Newtonian and Einsteinian theories of gravity, enlivened by an imagining by Karl Schwarzschild that if a place in space were extremely distorted, light would follow the hyper bent space, never to emerge. This was the beginnings of predictions of the existence of black holes, to be proven by findings later. "A Black Hole is NOT a Black Hole' is completed by a wonderful timeline (1687 to 5477, the time when a flashlight beam from the present arrives at V616 Monocerotis and crosses the event horizon), a miniature photo -enhanced glossary, and an author's note. Even the back cover of the book contains seven of the most intriguing questions about black holes, a sure invitation to one and all to invest the time to read this fascinating study of same.

The American History Shelf

The Illinois Chronicles
Mark Skipworth, author
Christopher Lloyd, creator
What on Earth Publishing
9780995577015, $14.95, HC, 32pp,

Beautifully-illustrated and hugely engaging, "The Illinois Chronicles" is a 4.5-foot long timeline that features more than 100 stunning images and illuminating captions that take readers young and old on the Prairie State's 200 year remarkable history. "The Illinois Chronicles" also includes more than 40 newspaper articles, written as if they happened yesterday, which capture key moments in Illinois history in a newsy and entertaining way. It all adds up to an exciting story of people and events whose unique legacy can still be felt today in the 21st State of the Union. Uniquely informative and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Illinois Chronicles" is ideal for ages 6 to 14 and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library American History collections in general, and Illinois State History supplemental studies lists in particular.

The Social Issues Shelf

I See You
Michael Genhart, author
Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, illustrator
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433827587, $15.95, HC, 40pp,

"I See You" is a wordless picture book that depicts a homeless woman who is not seen by everyone around her -- except for a little boy. Over the course of a year, the boy is witness to all that she endures. Ultimately, in a gesture of compassion, the boy acknowledges her in an exchange in which he sees her and she experiences being seen. "I See You" opens the door for children ages 4 to 8 and their parents to begin a conversation about homelessness. In a "Note for Parents, Educators, and Neighbors," there are discussion questions and additional resources about helping the homeless. Exceptional, unique, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and providing a thoroughly entertaining story with an underlying and positive message, "I See You" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library social issue themed picture book collections.

The Picturebook Shelf

We All Live on This Planet Together
June Rousso, Ph.D., author
Paige Maska, illustrator
Indigo River Publishing
9780999021033 $9.99

"We all Live on This Planet" is a gentle poem song of inspiration to help children overcome dark fears and doubts. Using impressionistic art to represent the child and amorphous, overwhelming fears, countered by a gentler vision in pastel colors of memories of good feelings and things, the expressive words lead the reader to identify strengths and links to good things, such as "gulls streaming across the sky... sand tickling your toes. The smell of your favorite food under your nose." The story moves gradually towards a positive, empowering vision of joyous thoughts, feelings, and experiences: "The world is filled with such delight. It is only through our fear that we begin to lose sight. So each time a fear comes over you, let it be. Imagine something good in your mind and your fear will soon drift away, you will see."

Not Friends
Rebecca Bender
Pajama Press
9781772780260, $17.95

Not Friends tells of Giraffe and Bird, who are not friends - not even a little bit. They pester and annoy each other both by how they act and look and through purposeful teasing, and so they are always fighting. They are definitely not friends. In fact, each would be better off without the other in his life - or perhaps not. A fun story of a tumultuous and questionable friendship emerges, offering a refreshing and satisfying alternative to the usual child's easy story of uncomplicated relationships.

Little Tails in the Savannah
Frederico Bertolucci
c/o Magnetic Press
9781942367383, $14.99

Little Tails in the Savannah follows a daring puppy and an curious squirrel as they decide to explore a new environment field with animals, and embark on a journey to an African savannah. Bright color drawings of various savannah animals are juxtaposed with cartoon inserts of puppy and squirrel for a fun adventure story.

Soda Pop
Barbro Lindgren, author
Lisen Adbage, illustrator
Gecko Press
9781776570102, $16.99

Soda Pop is illustrated by Lisen Adbage and provides a Swedish classic story for young readers as it provides an inviting fantasy story that begins with a swam of tigers and follows the adventures of a chubby boy named Mazarin and his fat, lazy father named Soda Pop. Advanced elementary to middle school grades - and many an adult - will relish this whimsical series of adventures that delve into animals and trouble, employing a zany perspective that makes the story line unpredictable and the tale hard to put down.

The Only Lonely Panda
Jonny Lambert
Tiger Tales
9781680100655, $16.99

The Only Lonely Panda tells of a lonely panda who wants to make friends, but doesn't know how to do it. Flamingos make friends by dancing - should he dance? Lemurs leap together - should he leap? How can he cultivate the kinds of skills that lead to friendship? A warm story of a clever panda's observations of friendship processes in other animals invites kids to think about their own friendships and efforts.

Ana and the Sea Star
R. Lynne Roelfs
Tilbury House
9780884485223, $17.95

Ana and the Sea Star is illustrated by Jamie Hogan and tells of Ana, who finds a starfish on the beach and faces the problem of whether to keep it for herself or return it to the sea so it can live. How can she achieve both these goals? A creative father and a daughter enjoy nature and each other as the ponder the possibilities and the consequences of her decisions.

William's Winter Nap
Linda Ashman, author
Chuck Groenink, illustrator
Disney Hyperion
9781484722824, $17.99

William's Winter Nap receives lovely drawings by Chuck Groenink as it tells of William, who settles down to sleep in his warm bed on a cold night. Something tapping at his window wakes him up - and as a host of sleepy visitors ask to join him, William faces a dilemma. A fun story evolves around a coveted bed and winter warmth, perfect for read-aloud bedtime enjoyment.

My Tail's Not Tired!
Jana Novotny Hunter, author
Paula Bowles, illustrator
Child's Play
9781846439865 $7.99

My Tail's Not Tired! is illustrated by Paula Bowles, who provides fun and lively monster drawings to accompany the story of Little Monster, who is not tired at all even after a busy day. A clever Mama Monster must figure out how to get this little beast into bed in a whimsical story that offers her creative solution to a hyperactive child who wants to do anything but sleep.

Dogs Don't
Mark Drenth, author
Sergio Vazquez, artist
Sunnyscene LLC
PO Box 7317, Reno, NV 89510
9781880760710, $16.99, 28pp,

The collaborative work of author Mark Drenth and illustrator Sergio Vazquez, "Dogs Don't" is the beautifully illustrated and adorably rhyming story about all the things dogs don't do, and finishes with the most important thing dogs do. An original, superbly crafted, and marvelously entertaining picture book for children ages 5 to 8, "Dogs Don't" is very highly recommended and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Prince of the Prairie
Betty Selakovich Casey
The Roadrunner Press
9781937054724, $20.00, HC, 44pp,

The Great Plains of North America runs from the southern provinces of Canada to northern Mexico. Here the buffalo has long been known as the Prince of the Prairie. But this is a story about a little buffalo who does not know he is a prince and, to make matters worse, is about to lose his home to progress. As people and houses encroach on his home until there is no room for him, Little Buffalo learns one of his best friends has decided to depart for a place where the buffalo still roam and the prairie still stretches as far as the eye can see. Little Buffalo longs to go along, but a fence stands firmly in his way. A great escape is orchestrated, and in the process, Little Buffalo discovers the power of friendship. An absolutely charming and impressively entertaining picture book story deftly written and lovingly illustrated by Betty Selakovich Casey for children ages 5 to 8, "The Prince of the Prairie" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

My Family Four Floors Up
Caroline Stutson, author
Celia Krampien, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
9781585369911, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

The collaborative project of author Caroline Stutson and illustrator Celia Krampien, "My Family Four Floors Up" is the friendly, rhyming story follows of a child and her father (as well as their cute pets, a puppy and a cat) through the day. From morning ritual to bedtime story (and all the fun in between!), life in the fourth floor walk up and on the city streets and parks below is sweet and filled with tender moments between parent and child. An utterly charming and wonderfully entertaining picture book story for children ages 5 to 7, "My Family Four Floors Up" is enthusiastically and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Family Four Floors Up" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).

My Little Small
Ulf Stark, author
Linda Bondestam, illustrator
Annie Prime, translator
Enchanted Lion Books
67 West Street, Studio 317A, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11222
9781592702091, $15.95, HC, 52pp,

"My Little Small" is the story of a creature who tries every night to reach the moon, dreaming of friendship. But one morning, a sun spark comes flying into her cave! What wondrous things she has to say about the vibrancy of life under the sun. Their time together is limited, but the Spark is curious and the Creature realizes she has some stories of her own to share. A unique and charming picture book story for children ages 4 to 8, "My Little Small" is the collaborative work of the late Ulf Stark (who was a much-loved, award-winning Swedish poet, screenwriter, and the author of some 100 books for children and young adults), and Helsinki illustrator Linda Bondestam, and is deftly translated into English for an American readership by Annie Prime. Simply stated, "My Little Small" is wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children.

Luna Loves Library Day
Joseph Coelho, author
Fiona Lumbers, illustrator
Kane/Miller Book Publishers
4901 Morena Blvd, Suite 213, San Diego, CA 92117
9781610676755, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

Luna is a little girl who loves library day because that's the day she spends with her dad. Together they explore the library's shelves and along the way find magic, mystery and even start to mend their own history. "Luna Loves Library Day" is a charming and inspiring story from Joseph Coelho, who is one of the UK's greatest up-and-coming poets for children, captured in all its flights of fancy in the colorful illustrations by newcomer children's book artist Fiona Lumbers. Of special note is the 'book within a book' feature. "Luna Loves Library Day" is highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3 to 5.

The Spirit Trackers
Jan Bourdeau Waboose, author
Francois Thisdale, illustrator
Fifth House Publishers
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside (dist.)
9781927083116, $24.95, HC, 32pp,

Cousins Will and Tom have always wanted to become Trackers just like their uncle. While spending time with Uncle he shares the story of the Windigo with the boys. A story that seems to be coming true when Will and Tom hear strange noises outside of their bedroom window. And then they find the huge tracks in the snow. It has to be the Windigo - the Wandering Night Spirit of Winter! And the boys know what good trackers would do so they follow the trail deep into the dark forest to uncover the mystery. Young readers ages 6 to 9 will be able to improve their tracking skills as they find clues hidden in the illustrations along with Will and Tom. Beautifully illustrated throughout with the remarkable artwork of Francois Thisdale, this original and thoroughly entertaining picture book by Jan Bourdeau Waboose is especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Oy, Elephants!
Deborah Stevenson, author
Morgan Spicer, illustrator
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001
9780999515815, $22.95, HC, 38pp,

There's big fun to be had at Delray Retirement Village! Joel is a bit uncertain when he travels to visit his grandparents in Delray Beach, Florida. He is excited to see them, but afraid he might be bored at their quiet retirement village. Imagine his surprise when he meets his grandparents' new neighbors -- a pair of retired circus elephants who just moved in. They require lots of sunscreen, they're too big for the furniture, and they turn the community pool into a water park! It looks like Joel might end up having an adventure, after all! A delightfully original and wonderfully entertaining picture book for children ages 5 to 12, "Oy, Elephants!" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Oy, Elephants!" is also available in a paperback edition (9780999515822, $14.95).

Goodnight, Mr. Clutterbuck
Mauri Kunnas, author/artist
Jill G. Timbers, translator
Elsewhere Editions
9780914671763, $18.00, HC, 36pp,

Mr. Clutterbuck is blissfully unaware of his reputation as the busiest and loudest sleepwalker in town. Meek and mild-mannered when awake, at night Mr. Clutterbuck seeks thrills and adventures. Often the accidental instigator of chaos, Mr. Clutterbuck soon becomes the lead singer of a rock band, an entrepreneur, a disco king, and, eventually, the hero of his town. Goodnight, Mr. Clutterbuck is sure to captivate readers of all ages as we wonder what kind of situation Mr. Clutterbuck will find himself in next. With a lively tapestry of characters, including a motorcycle gang of cats and crocodiles, a hippo in charge of a sausage factory, and an ill-tempered bull at a theme park, Mauri Kunnas playfully shows what can happen when you step outside your comfort zone. Ably translated from Finnish into English by Jill G. Timbers, "Goodnight, Mr. Clutterbuck" is an original, charming, and thoroughly entertaining picture book for children ages 4 to 8 by children's author and illustrator Mauri Kunnas. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Goodnight, Mr. Clutterbuck" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

The Adventures of Callie the Curious Cat
Cindy A. Solomita, author
Rick Sanders, illustrator
Thewordverve Inc
9780999247945, $19.99, HC, 56pp,

Callie may be cute, but she sure is a very curious cat! Curiosity can be a good thing -- an opportunity to learn about and experience new things. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Is it possible, though, to be TOO inquisitive sometimes? In "The Adventures of Callie the Curious Cat" children ages 3 to 12 will see what happens when Callie's curious nature comes into play during a family vacation to Florida. An original and thoroughly entertaining story by Cindy A. Solomita that is visually supported by the illustrations of Rick Sanders, "The Adventures of Callie the Curious Cat" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Ella Bella Ballerina and The Magic Toyshop
James Mayhew
250 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, NY 11788
9781438050058, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

James Mayhew is an award-winning author and illustrator of many children's books, including the popular Ella Bella Ballerina series. His special love for opera and ballet is reflected in many of his stories and illustrations. Written and illustrated by Mayhew, in this picture book story for children ages 4 to 8, Ella's ballet teacher, Miss Rosa, tells the story of La Boutique Fantasque. The story takes place in a toyshop full of dancing dolls, she explains, as she shows them her own collection of dancing dolls and her magical music box. When Ella stays late to help clean up, she finds herself magically transported to a toyshop filled with magical dancing dolls! Ella is thrilled to meet all of the dancing dolls, but she is especially taken with two can-can dancing dolls that are in love. When two different families come to the shop and decide to each buy one of the dolls, the pair are distraught. Now Ella wonders -- is there some way to keep them together forever? This charming tale is beautifully illuminated by Mayhew's delightful illustrations. Of special note is the page at the end of this outstanding picture book that explains the story behind La Boutique Fantasque for young readers. A wonderfully imaginative and entertaining read from first page to last, "Ella Bella Ballerina and The Magic Toyshop" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Goldilocks and the Just Right Potty
Leigh Hodgkinson
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763697990, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Little Goldilocks wants to wear underwear -- big-girl underwear that's not too silly and not too frilly, but just right. But that means she also needs to find the "just right" potty. Will she know when she needs to go? And will she get to the potty in time? Find out in this lighthearted story by children's author and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson that will have parents and their little ones feeling ready to tackle toilet training. An ideal and charmingly entertaining picture book for children ages 2 to 5 by children's book author and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson, "Goldilocks and the Just Right Potty" is an endearing and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls
Kelly Greenawalt, author
Amariah Rauscher, illustrator
Orchard Books
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338167191, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

The sequel to "Princess Truly in I Am Truly" by the team of author Kelly Greenawalt and illustrator Amariah Rauscher, Princess Truly is back in the second Princess Truly adventure, "Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls". It seems that Princess Truly's curls have the power to transport her to exciting new places like the Egyptian pyramids, the Jurassic period, and even into outer space. With curiosity, bravery, and her signature smarts, Princess Truly once again proves that she can do anything she sets her mind to and reminds girls everywhere to reach for the stars, believe in themselves, and dream big! A wonderfully entertaining picture book that is unreservedly recommended for children ages 3 to 5, "Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls" is also available in a paperback edition (9781338268959, $10.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Retires
Letty Sustrin, author
Thomas H. Bone III, illustrator
Blue Marlin Publications
9780988529571, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

"The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Retires" is the sixth and final title of The Teacher Who Would Not Retire picture book series by author Letty Sustrin and Illustrator Thomas Bone, Mrs. Belle has decided to officially retire. The children and townspeople of Laurelville will truly miss all the wonderful things she has done for them. As a retirement present, all her friends send Mrs. Belle on a Cruise around the world. Kittybelle, Mr. Rivera, and Magic all go with her on this fun trip. The Cruise Ship just happens to be named, The Dancing Lady, and it will stop at many different country ports. Mrs. Belle has taken all her favorite pairs of Ballet Slippers with her as she is going to dance around the world. Mrs. Belle will meet many of her former students in the countries she visits, and she meets a special new friend to bring back with her to Laurelville. Children will be delighted to read about the humorous escapades Mrs. Belle has in this finale to the series. Their chant throughout the book says it all: There she is, our Mrs. Belle. As she retires, we wish her well. The Dancing Lady is her ship. We all know she ll have a great trip! Showcasing the original and impressively entertaining story telling talents of Letty Sustrain and the colorful cartoon style artwork of Thomas Bone, "The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Retires" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

If I Ever Go to the Moon...
Donald W. Kruse, author
Christy M. Johnson, illustrator
Zaccheus Entertainment
PO Box 23, Minong, WI 54859
9780998519142, $14.95, PB, 51pp,

When a teacher asks her class to finish the following sentence: If I ever go to the moon ..., it sparks one little boy's imagination and propels him into a beautiful daydream. Suddenly he finds himself in a spacesuit and helmet, sitting at the controls of a spaceship, heading for the moon. As his ship zooms through space, he marvels at the stars and planets. Soon he's approaching the moon and it's time for a landing. After he lands his ship, he ventures outside of the craft and walks on the moon's surface. He can't believe his eyes as he takes in the moon's incredible landscape. And he can't help but notice the utter peace and quiet. But after a while, it dawns on him that it's a bit too peaceful --- too quiet. Soon he realizes the landscape isn't so great either --- nothing but rocks and dust. Before he knows it, he's ready to go back to earth where it's not nearly so lonely and desolate. He wakes from his daydream, still sitting at his desk in his classroom. The teacher is waiting for him to complete the sentence. But his reply shocks the teacher and the other classmates. And how he completes that sentence may shock the reader as well! Deftly written with a rhyming text by Donald W. Kruse, charmingly illustrated throughout by Christy M. Johnson, and featuring an informative introduction by Gavin MacLeod, "If I Ever Go to the Moon..." is a delightfully entertaining picture book story for children 4 to 10, that will enhance their appreciation for the beautiful planet upon which they live. "If I Ever Go to the Moon..." is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Enough is Enough!
Barney Saltzberg
Creston Books
PO Box 9369, Berkeley, CA 94709
9781939547422, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Every brother and sister has "enough is enough" moments. In the picture book pages of "Enough is Enough!", author and illustrator Barry Saltzberg, offers a creative solution for how to stop a fight by exploring space, time, and the pleasures of a good story read together. Delightfully and charmingly entertaining from beginning to end, "Enough is Enough!" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 7.

I'm Going to Outer Space
Timothy Young
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764353857, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

It's almost time for bed, but Luis is staring out the window at the starry sky. Any minute now, he's expecting a space ship to pick him up and whisk him to outer space. While he waits, he imagines the strange creatures he'll encounter. Will he find a robot friend? Will he get to fly though space with a rocket-pack? Will he meet aliens? Children ages 5 to 8 will lose themselves in outer space as they pore over picture book pages of "I'm Going to Outer Space" which are filled with dozens and dozens of robots and aliens (some new and some that might be familiar). Kids will gleefully join Luis to find out all the incredible things he expects to see and do on his daring journey to a distant planet. Deftly written and charmingly illustrated by Timothy Young, "I'm Going to Outer Space" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Song on the Wind
Caroline Everson, author
Anne Marie Bourgeois, illustrator
Fifth House Publishers
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside (dist.)
9781927083307, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

Deftly written with a poetic flair by Caroline Everson and charmingly illustrated throughout by the artistry of Anne Marie Boureois, "Song on the Wind" is picture book story for children ages 3 to 7 that has a very special and universal appeal and spans time and distance with eloquent simplicity. In fourteen gentle stanzas, sleepy-eyed children throughout history draw comfort from bedtime tales and tender lullabies. Here, their innate curiosity about the world around them is satisfied by timeless music that drifts through centuries on the wind. Loving parents sing of white polar bears, northern lights, sea creatures, and woodland animals that dance under the stars and visit each child on the edge of sleep. Evocative rhyming text and vivid images will call little ones back time and again to hear the song that drifts into their own special dreams and links them to past and future generations. Certain to be an enduringly favorite addition to family picture book collections, "Song on the Wind" is also unreservedly recommended for daycare centers, preschools, elementary schools, and community libraries.

Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market
Chitra Soundar, author
Kanika Nair, illustrator
Karadi Tales Picturebooks
9788181903129, $12.95, HC, 30pp,

Farmer Falgu is on his way to the market with eggs, onions and tomatoes loaded on his cart. During the rickety road ride, unexpected things happen. What does he encounter on the way? An original, delightfully entertaining, and highly recommended picture book for children ages 5 to 7, "Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Iver and Ellsworth
Casey W. Robinson, author
Melissa Larson, illustrator
Ripple Grove Press
PO Box 86740, Portland, OR 97286
9780999024911, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

From a factory rooftop, Iver and his good friend Ellsworth (a rooftop bear) are content to watch the busy world below. "Everyone's going somewhere," Iver says. "We can see the whole world from up here. That's enough somewhere for me." But after Iver retires, the friends must venture out in search of a new somewhere. Of course, the very best views are those you share with an old pal. Imaginatively written by Casey W. Robinson and charmingly illustrated with the artistry of Melissa Larson, "Iver and Ellsworth" is an original and unfailingly entertaining picture book that will prove of very special interest for children ages 5 to 7, as well as an enduringly popular addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Rot, the Cutest in the World!
Ben Clanton
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481467629, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Rot is a mutant potato. Like most mutant potatoes, Rot loves all sorts of games and contests. So when he sees a sign for the "Cutest in the World Contest," he can't wait to enter. But when Rot realizes who he's up against (an itty-bitty baby bunny, a little-wittle cuddly kitten, and an eenie-weenie jolly jellyfish) he loses confidence. Will the judges find room in their hearts for an adorable mutant potato? A unique, funny, and guaranteed kid pleaser of picture book, "Rot, the Cutest in the World!" is written and illustrated by Ben Clanton for children ages 4 to 8 and will prove to be an distinctive and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. Parents should note that "Rot, the Cutest in the World!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

I Am Loved
Nikki Giovanni, author
Ashley Bryan, illustrator
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534404922, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and beautifully illustrated by Ashley Bryan, "I Am Loved" is a gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected Bryan, the artist has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most important message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. As a bonus, one page is mirrored, so children reading the book can see exactly who is loved -- themselves! An ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8, it should be noted by parents that "I Am Loved" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Candle Love
MaryAnn Diorio, author
Valeria Wicker, illustrator
TopNotch Press
PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
9780930037338, $18.95, HC, $18.95, 44pp,

Keisha has a new baby sister. Tamara's arrival has triggered fear and jealousy in Keisha. She fears that Mama will love Tamara more than Mama loves Keisha. But when Mama uses three special candles to demonstrate what love is, Keisha learns that there is always enough love to go around. A gently entertaining picture book for children ages 1 to 6 by author MaryAnn Diorio and illustrator Valeria Wicker, "Candle Love" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for parents that "Candle Love" is also available in a paperback edition (9780930037345, $9.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Good Night, Bunny
Lauren Thompson, author
Stephanie Yue, illustrator
Orchard Books
c/o Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9780545603355, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

In the pages of "Good Night, Bunny" by Lauren Thompson, a Bunny says "good night" to the drowsy world, from the bluebells and pansies to the turtledove and ducklings in a row. Featuring beautiful watercolor illustrations by Stephanie Yue, "Good Night, Bunny" is a sweetly charming good night book for young sleepyheads everywhere -- and a picture book that children ages 3 to 5 will want to engage with again and again. While especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, parents should note that "Good Night, Bunny" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Little Mouse's Big Breakfast
Christine Pym
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763696269, $15.99, HC, 32pp,

Hungry Little Mouse is looking for some breakfast, and he knows just where he can find it. Scampering into the kitchen next door, he finds a perfect bright blueberry. But just before he leaves, he spots a rosy-red apple, and Little Mouse loves rosy-red apples. And as if that's not enough, there are sugary sweets, a chunk of cheese, a plump pickle . . . the list goes on and on. Yum! But as he finally finds something that's his absolute favorite, Little Mouse discovers that he's not the only one looking for breakfast. In this hilarious tale from talented author-illustrator Christine Pym, children ages 3 to 7 will cheer for Little Mouse and his big appetite for the world. While especially and highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library children's picture book collections.

Scholastic, Inc.

Five new books are top recommendations from this publisher and provide picture book readers and their adult read-aloud helpers with innovative, fun reads. Bethanie Deeney Murguia's The Too-Scary Story (9780545732420, $16.99) tells of two children who entreat their father to create a scary bedtime story. But not too scary, not too boring, and not too odd. Can Papa begin a story that intrigues the two savvy kids who know just what they want? A funny story evolves. Aaron Blabey's Pig the Winner (9781336136388, $14.99) tells of Pig, a greedy pug dog who will do anything to win - anything but playing fair, that is. He's quite hard to beat because he's a cheat - and with this rollicking rhyme, Blabey creates a funny and pointed story kids will love. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Fish Who Cried Wolf (9780439928250, $17.99) tells of the smallest fish who tells the biggest stories in the ocean, coming up with many excuses for delays to school and other problems, until he becomes caught in a fisherman's net and must tell the best story of all to save his life. Good reading skills or parental assistance will lend to a fun read with a different kind of message about story-telling. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler also collaborate on Zog and the Flying Doctors (9781338134179, $17.99), a story of amazing Flying Doctors who traverse the countryside tending to lions and unicorns alike. A fun rhyme drives the account of sunburned mermaids, drafty lion caves, and the biggest challenge of all in a sick king who may have an unsolvable illness. Good reading skills or parental help will make this an accessible and fun story. Gris Grimly's Old MacDonald Had a Farm (9781338112436, $17.99) is a light-hearted romp and twist on the traditional theme and tells of Old MacDonald's parade across farm fields as he leads an entourage of farm animals on a song-filled journey. Kids and parents will find the engaging drawings fun, lending a different perspective on Old MacDonald's farm world.

The Little Copper Penny
Stephenie Barker
Brown Books Kids
c/o Brown Books Publishing Group
16250 Knoll Trail Drive, Suite 205, Dallas, TX 75248-2871
9781612549439, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Little Copper Penny is sad because all the other coins say pennies are worthless. Luckily Grandpa Wheat who has been around for a very long time knows just how Little Copper Penny feels and exactly what to say to cheer him up! A charming story about accepting who you are, Stephenie Barker's The Little Copper Penny not only makes counting fun but also reminds children ages 4 to 8 to know their worth, no matter what others say. Kids will enjoy joining Little Copper Penny and Grandpa Wheat for a memorable rhyme that will help them see that no matter who (or what) they are, they have value! Deftly featuring an important underlying message about self-worth, "The Little Copper Penny" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Baby Cakes
Theo Heras, author
Renne Benoit, illustrator
Pajama Press
181 Carlaw Avenue, Suite 207, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4M 2S1
9781772780307, $13.95, HC, 24pp,

"Baby Cakes" is a household adventure of a brother and sister exploring and playing in the kitchen. These little ones know baking is hard work and messy work, but it sure is fun. Put on an apron, gather ingredients, measure the flour -- try to keep kitty off the counter! Wash sticky fingers, and let mommy put the cakes in the oven. Waiting is the hardest part, but time flies for these playmates whose patience is rewarded with more than just baby cakes. Told in simple text by Theo Heras, charmingly illustrated on every page by Renne Benoit, and delivered in a sturdy, padded cover with stronger pages that are perfect for little hands, "Baby Cakes" features two thoroughly 'kid friendly' and fun-to-make recipes for chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting is especially recommended for children ages 1 to 3, making it appropriate for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

The Flying Sewing Machine
Nancy Zieman, author
Philip Ashby, illustrator
19021 120th Ave. NE, Ste 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604689099 $9.99

"The Flying Sewing Machine" is a charming tale in verse that invites readers to use their imagination to voyage to an amazing town called Sewland, where everyone stops working at 2:00 PM every afternoon, to work on sewing projects with the special assistance of uniquely talented, flying sewing machines. Whimsical pastel colored illustrations show all sorts of people going to the Stitching Place to begin their sewing projects. "Moms, dads, grandmas, firemen, and garbage collectors, to list just a few, look forward to one hour when they cut and sew fabric, creating something new." Even a newcomer to Sewland becomes intrigued by the daily custom of sewing with flying sewing machines at 2:00 at the Stitching Place. The fun of choosing colors of thread, fabric, trim, pattern, line and style are all described imaginatively. Most amazing of all, everyone finishes their projects in one hour. "At a quarter to three, Sewland's people went back to work. With smiles they returned to jobs as dentists, mechanics, and store clerks." "The Flying Sewing Machine" is part of "I Sew for Fun," by Nancy Zieman, an experienced sewing arts teacher and writer. This delicate small sewing fable in verse captures the secret creative joy that every tailor and seamstress recognizes in the art of sewing.

The Board Book Shelf

Pippa and Pelle in the Autumn Wind
Daniela Drescher
Floris Books
9781782504429, $9.95

Pippa and Pelle in the Autumn Wind provides a fine board book with gorgeous drawings by Daniela Drescher as it follows Pippa and Pelle in a windy Fall adventure. Parents will find it perfect for read-aloud and discussion while youngsters at the board book age range will find it a simple yet inviting read.

Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite
Nick Bromley, author
Nicola O'Byrne, illustrator
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763696306, $8.99, Board Book, 30pp,

What would you do if you were settling down for a quiet bedtime story and you realized that a crocodile had fallen into your storybook and was (not to put too fine a point on it) wreaking havoc? Would you slam that book shut and cram it back onto the bookshelf? Or would you be brave enough to peek? Clever, charming, and wonderfully entertaining, "Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, and community library Board Book collections for children ages 3 to 5.

Night-Night Calgary
Katherine Sully, author
Helen Poole, illustrator
Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781492655091, $9.99, Board Book, 20pp,

It's bedtime in Calgary! Children ages 1 to 4 can say good night to all their favorite landmarks and landscapes with"Night-Night Calgary" memorable bedtime story by the team of author Katherine Sully and illustrator Helen Poole. Utterly charming and wonderfully entertaining from beginning to end, "Night-Night Calgary" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library Board Book collections. "Goodnight moms and daughters, / Goodnight dads and sons. / The world is calm and quiet. / Sweet dreams to everyone!"

Not So Small at All
Sandra Magsamen
Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781492660811, $7.99, Board Book, 24pp,

Little things are capable of giant accomplishments. Bees, butterflies, and little children too may seem small but are actually full of great strength and incredible potential! Each one is unique, and capable of making big changes in the world. An entertainingly written and charmingly illustrated board book for children ages 2 to 5, Sandra Magsamen's "Not So Small at All" is an unfailing delight and very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library Board Book collections.

The Fiction Shelf

Ellie Anders: The Impossible School Project
Craig Kunce
Windhill Books
9781944734107, $14.00, PB, 128pp,

A warm, humorous story with engaging characters that introduces valuable life lessons to children 5 10 years old. The Ellie Anders book series helps parents and teachers engage children with valuable life lessons including building self-confidence; valuing friendship and family; appreciating a community; not following the crowd, making responsible choices; taking pride in what we do; and doing well in school. Ellie Anders has a good life. She has wonderful parents, a furry dog named Sam, and a pretty-okay little brother. She plays tennis, eats pizza, and swaps toys and games with her best friend Lex. But a new school project is threatening to disrupt it all. Her free-spirited teacher, Miss Parker, has assigned an impossible project. Ellie must choose who is the most important person in her life. A wonderfully entertaining story that will have particular appeal for children ages 5 to 10, "Ellie Anders: The Impossible School Project" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library general fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ellie Anders: The Impossible School Project" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

The Book of Boy
Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Greenwillow Books
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062686206, $16.99, HC, 288pp,

Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a large hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town -- until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy's climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspenseful expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter. Boy quickly realizes this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics and accumulating dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end -- for what if St. Peter can make Boy's hump go away? A masterfully crafted and entertaining novel by a master of the storytelling arts, "The Book of Boy" by Catherine Gilbert Murdock features a map and black-and-white art by Ian Schoenherr throughout, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library collections for young readers ages 8 to 12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Book of Boy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

A Boy's Boat
Bruce Holaday
Prairie Publications
9780997281798, $10.95, PB, 78pp,

Jack is a young boy who has spent previous summers with his grandparents at their little cabin on the cove. This summer, however, is different. It begins with a surprise gift from Jack's grandfather: a small boat he spent the winter making for his grandson, which Jack's grandmother names Petit Bateau (Little Boat). During the summer, Jack learns how to captain Petit Bateau under the wise guidance of his grandparents and his grandfather's friend John. However, this summer he will learn about much more than sailing: he will learn about the sacredness of the earth, the mysteries and beauty of life, and the importance of natural order. Most important, he will learn about unconditional love and trust. A deftly written and entertaining story for young readers, "A Boy's Boat" by Bruce Holaday is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library General Fiction collections.

Ellie, Engineer
Jackson Pearche
Bloomsbury Children's Books
175 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010-7728
9781681195193, $15.99, HC, 192pp,

A young girl named Ellie is also an engineer! With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can't wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. As Kit's birthday nears, Ellie doesn't know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit's mom talking about her present -- the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don't get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet, all while keeping a secret from Kit? Illustrated with Ellie's sketches and plans, and including backmatter with a fun how-to guide to tools, "Ellie, Engineer" is a STEM- and friendship-powered story full of fun and special appeal for young readers ages 8 to 12. While very highly recommended, especially for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ellie, Engineer" is also available in a paperback edition (9781681199481, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.38).

Rafi and Rosi Pirates
Lulu Delacre
Children's Book Press
c/o Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780892393817, $16.95, HC, 64pp,

Rafi and his younger sister, Rosi, are excited to visit El Morro Fort, the four-hundred-year-old fortress that guards the entrance to San Juan harbor. At the fort they pretend to be pirates, engage in a fierce battle, and learn about Roberto Cofresi, Puerto Rico's most famous pirate. As they go deeper into the fort they discover a gleaming, hidden treasure of Spanish gold doubloons and silver pieces of eight which were hidden in the inner reaches of the fort's kitchen. After turning over their discovery to the fort's museum, Rafi is ready to go back to Tia Ana's home, but Rosi wants to play hide-and-seek. And Rosi sees the perfect place to hide -- in the stone sentry box that once housed the fort's lookout guards. Little does she know that the sentry box might be haunted! Lulu Delacre's "Rafi and Rosi Pirates" is latest addition to the popular 'Dive Into Reading: Rafi and Rosi' chapter book series, Engaging and informative, "Rafi and Rosi Pirates" is perfect for independent readers in grades 1 and 2. Children ages 4 to 8 will enjoy joining Rafi and Rosi on their new adventures while they learn about Puerto Rico's history. While especially recommended for elementary school and community library collections, parents should note that "Rafi and Rosi Pirates" is also available in a paperback edition (9780892393831, $8.95).

Misfits and Bandits: The Adventures of Blitz and Uncle Drake
Pete Leriget, author
Dana Erdman and Leah Rowe, illustrators
9781548222697 $6.95 pbk / $3.99 Kindle

"Misfits and Bandits" is the second title in a series, The Adventures of Blitz and Uncle Drake. Uncle Drake and Blitz are two faithful dogs who live with Pete on a farm south of the high mountains. A perfect beginning chapter book, "Misfits and Bandits" is an exciting tale told in four chapters and 33 pages, with small, sensitive black and white drawings of the subjects throughout. Chapter one introduces Uncle Drake and Bandit to some rascally squirrels known as Ricky and Dicky, the Squirrel Brothers. They attract unfavorable attention by bombing acorns on the noses of the sleeping dogs from a high branch. Uncle Drake and Bandit soon sort the scamps out but later chapters reveal the squirrels actually have good hearts, and may be a good source of backup in a fight too. The dogs have good hearts too, and they show true caring to little Laura Beaver, a friend they found crying near her home on the pond. The hilarity of the final chapter four, The Pea Shooter, will have deep appeal for mischievous young readers. It involves a doggy feast of beef stew, dog food, and peas and gravy, and an amusing solution to a problem Uncle Drake has with a pea in his nose. "Misfits and Bandits" is a great chapter books about the real farm life with real dogs and animals, laced with rollicking humor and interspecies love.

Scholastic, Inc.

Two new young adult readers are top recommendations that should be considered for any serious collection. Sarah Moon's Sparrow (9781338032581, $18.99) tells of a shy girl who gets good grades, but has no friends and nobody to talk to. Sometimes she goes up on the roof and flies with the birds - and when she's caught there, she has a hard time convincing authorities that she wasn't about to jump. Sparrow's journey to connection and communication is a quest that many readers will find engrossing, offering an adventure and a revelation about a shy girl's imagination and realties. Denise Gosliner Orenstein's Dirt (9780545925853, $16.99) tells of a eleven-year-old's broken family and isolation. She only has Dirt, the Shetland pony next door, for solace - but Dirt faces his own problems, from a cruel owner to a penchant for trouble. Two lonely creatures come together in an effort that involves theft, adventure, and an escape. Both are absorbing reads for advanced elementary to middle school grades.

The Mythology Shelf

Sukaq and the Raven
Roy Goose, author
Kerry McCluskey, author
Soyeon Kim, illustrator
Inhabit Media
9781772271393, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Sukaq loves to drift off to sleep listening to his mother tell him stories, especially the tale of how a raven created the world. But this time, as his mother begins to tell the story, he is suddenly whisked away on the wings of the raven to ride along as the entire world is formed! This traditional legend from Inuit storyteller Roy Goose is brought to life through co-author Kerry McCluskey's jubilant retelling and beautifully illustrated with the artistry of Soyeon Kim. The result is an impressively presented and thoroughly entertaining picture book for children ages 5 to 7 -- and one that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

World of Warcraft Traveler
Greg Weisman
Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338225679 $7.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Now in an affordable paperback edition, World of Warcraft Traveler is the first book in a fantasy series written especially for young adults, and set in the vibrant and storied realm of the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft. Twelve-year-old Aramar Thorne, a budding artist who brings his sketchbook wherever he goes, hasn't seen his father in years. A surprising reunion becomes even more life-changing when Aram's father whisks him away on a sea voyage. Aram has difficulty getting along with crew, including Second Mate Makasa, the tough-as-nails teenaged girl reluctantly placed in charge of him. Things go from strained to worse when a ruthless band of pirates attacks! Twenty-one illustrations from Aram's sketchbook of wild and wondrous denizens of the world of Azeroth enhance this grand adventure, ideal for young fantasy enthusiasts. Also highly recommended is the second novel in the World of Warcraft Traveler series, "The Spiral Path" (9781338029376, $7.99).

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
9781484758052, $17.99

Unearthed provides teens ages 14-17 with an involving story about a long-extinct alien race that may hold a solution for endangered humanity. The Undying's technology can remedy environmental degradation and change lives, as well as introducing a lovely new planet, Gaia, to the human race. Jules and his fellow scholars can't wait to study this race and their offerings; but scavengers like Amelia may ruin everything. Both are on a race to uncover the Undying messages and discoveries before everything is ruined in this engrossing story of two sides clashing over a technological gold mine.

Good Night, Planet
Toon Books
9781943145201, $12.95

Good Night, Planet is a Level Two easy-to-read comic-style book that tells of a tired little girl who is ready for bed. But her favorite stuffed animal, Planet, is just awakening, and begins an adventure-filled period. Cartoonist Liniers provides exceptional and gorgeous color drawings throughout in a story that is appealing both visually and conceptually, recommended for elementary-level readers and interested parents alike.

Embers of Destruction
J. Scott Savage
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
9781629723396, $17.99, HC, 352pp,

"Embers of Destruction" is the third and final volume of the 'Mysteries of Cove' series by J. Scott Savage, Trenton and Kallista (along with their friends, Plucky, Simoni, Angus, and Clyde) fly their mechanical dragons south toward San Francisco, looking to rescue any survivors from the battle of Seattle. Arriving in San Francisco and investigating the area in secret, the young riders are reunited with Kallista's father, Leo Babbage, who reveals that the humans in the city are working as slaves to the dragons, but that they don't want to be rescued--himself included. He says they are being protected by their new master: a huge, powerful white dragon who lives in an impenetrable tower fortress overlooking the city. Kallista is stunned by the news. Why would her father ever willingly want to work for dragons? Trenton and his friends are confronted by the guards and their mechanical dragons are seized. Evading capture, the young riders escape and begin looking for a way to break the white dragon's hold over the city--and over Leo. Working with the kids from the city, the young riders track down the source of the dragon's power to an underground chamber that is accessible only through an underwater passageway below the tower fortress. With the white dragon watching their every move, Trenton and Kallista will need every bit of creativity and ingenuity they can manage to find a way to retrieve their stolen dragons, enter the tower fortress, and take down the dragons once and for all. Another deftly crafted science fiction action/adventure novel by a master of the genre, "Embers of Destruction" is especially recommended for young readers ages 8 to12 and would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library SF collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Embers of Destruction" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.40) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781538487839, $34.95, CD).

The Language Studies Shelf

Magic Morphing Fairy Tales
David Burke, author
Miguel Sandoval, illustrator
Slangman Publishing
$14.95 each, PB,

The colorfully illustrated "Magic Morphing Fairy Tales" series by David Burke is a remarkably original and effective method for the introductory teaching of foreign languages that is specifically designed for children ages 2 to 5. The kids will learn a new language by reading their favorite fairy tales that 'morph' from one language into another. A word in each story is circled with its foreign language translation in the column. The new word is used throughout the rest of the story. Children will learn 20+ new words from each book. Each level contain all the words from previous levels. Of special note is the availability of a free download code for the audio program in each book. Level one features Cinderella. Level two is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Level three is Beauty and the Beast. In sets of 3, the languages of 'English to' include: Chinese, Italian, French, Japanese, German, Spanish, and Hebrew. Other languages planned for future publication using this unique approach include Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Indonesian, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, Turkish, Vietnamese, and more! All of the 3 volume sets comprising the "Magic Morphing Fairy Tales" are unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Language Studies instructional collections.

The Activity Shelf

BigFoot Goes On Vacation
D. L. Miller
Happy Fox Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781641240000, $14.99, HC, 48pp,

Children ages 3 to 12 can sharpen their search and find skills by locating BigFoot at his favorite vacation retreat in the pages of D. L. Miller's "BigFoot Goes On Vacation" -- but it won't be easy! BigFoot is enjoying his holiday in ten different ways, from deep sea diving and joining a balloon festival to taking a cruise, going to the beach, visiting Yellowstone National Park, and more. This handsome hardcover book presents each getaway as an immense two-page visual puzzle, full of teeming people and creatures. Their task is not only to find BigFoot and his legendary footprint, but also more than 500 other unusual and sometimes unexpected personalities and objects. Fun facts and pictures accompany each scene to help you learn more about vacation activities. Also very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections is author/illustrator D. L. Miller's fun companion book for young children ages 3 to 12, "BigFoot Visits The Big cities Of The World" (9781641240017, $14.99, HC, 48pp).

Follow Finn
Peter Goes
Gecko Press
9781776571857, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Goblins are on the loose so it's up to Finn and his dog to race after them. Children ages 5 to 12 can follow the chase through the pages of "Follow Finn" -- a fantastic Search-and-Find Maze Book journey full of fairytale characters and strange creatures, with a puzzle on every page and a new story in every scene. Each individual image is packed with detail, and the text gives the young reader tasks as it tells the story such as: helping Finn gather his clothes, finding the keys to match each lock, locating the beginning and end of each maze. A world of fund from first page to last, "Follow Finn" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Children's Books collections.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Cucumber Quest 2: The Ripple Kingdom
Gigi D.G.
First Second
175 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781626728332 $14.99

Cucumber Quest 2: The Ripple Kingdom is the second graphic novel in the Cucumber Quest fantasy-adventure saga, originally chronicled as a popular webcomic. Set in a world populated primarily by rabbit-eared people, Cucumber Quest follows aspiring magician Cucumber whose dreams of pursuing higher education have been postponed by his (reluctant) quest to save the world from the terrifying Nightmare Knight and the evildoers that summoned it. Fortunately, Cucumber is not alone on his quest - his ferocious fighter little sister Almond and the noble (if somewhat ineffectual) Sir Carrot are pledged to his cause... until an unexpected calamity separates them! Can Cucumber rescue his friends and save the watery Ripple Kingdom from a gigantic (if somewhat dim-witted) sea monster? The fairy-tale whimsy of Cucumber Quest is brought to life with beautiful, full-color artwork. Although Cucumber Quest is suitable for young adults, fantasy, comedy, and role-playing game connoisseurs of all ages will thoroughly enjoy this series! Also highly recommended for both personal and public library graphic novel collections is the first volume of the series, "Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom" (9781626728325, $14.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle).

The First Gallop
Derib, author
Job, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183697, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

A young native American boy, Yakari learns from the tribe's elder Tranquil Rock that the Sioux haven't always been the magnificent riders they are now -- indeed, that there was a time they didn't even know what a horse was. Shaken, Yakari speaks a little too demandingly to his pony Little Thunder, wounding his four-legged friend who immediately runs away. Devastated, Yakari will have to track down his equine companion and find a way to earn his forgiveness if he ever wants to share a gallop with him again. A delightfully entertaining graphic novel from beginning to end, "The First Gallop" is ideal for children ages 6 to 10 and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, school, and community library graphic novel collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The First Gallop" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

The Promised Land
Jul, author
Achde, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183666, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

When an old hardluck cowboy friend of his asks Luky Luke to escort his Jewish family, freshly arrived from Poland, to their new home in the West, our lonesome hero has no idea what sort of difficulties to expect. If the Sterns are brave and resolute, they are also ignorant of American ways - and bring with them a multitude of baffling customs. And as if that wasn't enough, the extremely valuable Torah that travels with them has caught the eyes of some unsavory characters. The newest graphic novel in the laugh-out-loud funny adventures of Lucky Luck (who can draw faster than his own shadow!), "The Promised Land" is also notable for its 'inside jokes' with respect to background characters (such as the Marx brothers) and translations of Yiddish expressions. A solidly entertaining read from cover to cover for children ages 6 to 10,"The Promised Land" is an especially recommended addition to personal, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Promised Land" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Hilo: Waking the Monsters
Judd Winick
Random House
9781524714932, $13.99

Ages 8-12 will appreciate a full color graphic novel middle-grade read which tells of two very ordinary kids and one Hilo, who is extraordinary. He can do many things - but can he fight robot monsters who are waking up all around him, defying his fighting abilities? Even a superhero needs super-help sometimes, as this story explains. Hilo offers a fun perspective and a mystery kids will relish.

The Music CD Shelf

Library Adventure
Music and Stories by Bay Song
Keenan Literacy & Learning
PO Box 921, East Dennis, MA 02641
$12.97 CD / $9.99 download

Library Adventure is a children's music album of lively songs that celebrate literacy, reading, and learning. Created especially for parents, teachers, and caregivers as a means to get children excited about reading, Library Adventures is just plain fun! Highly recommended, especially for school and public library children's music collections. The tracks are "Library Adventure", "Let's Read a Story", "City Child", "Once Upon a Time", "Words Are Around Us", "Reading in The Summer", "What You Read Today", "All Write!", "Summer Slide Blues", "Rover the Reading Dog", "Readin' to Rosie", "Have to Have a Plan", "Reading with You", "Mirrors, Windows, and Doors", "The Story of Rover the Reading Dog", and "The Story of Readin' to Rosie". 50 min. 5 sec.

Zoom a Little Zoom
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
Community Music

Two-time Grammy-winning folk and children's music duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer present Zoom a Little Zoom, featuring ten new interpretations of educational songs from the classic 1961 album "Ballads for the Age of Science". Zoom a Little Zoom is filled with not only catchy music, but also fascinating facts about rockets, constellations, animal habits, gravity, and more. Zoom a Little Zoom is a choice pick for school and public library children's music collections, highly recommended! The tracks are "Zoom a Little Zoom (Rocket Ship)", "Constellation Jig", "What Makes the Lightning?", "Why Does the Sun Shine?", "Snowflake, Snowflake", "Vibration", "We Know the Air Is There (Hi, Ho, Fiddle Dee Dee)", "Bobo the Bear", "What Is an Insect? (A Cricket in a Thicket)", "What Is Gravity?", and "Zoom a Little Zoom (Rocket Ship, Reprise)".

All That Matters
Mae Robertson
Lyric Partners
9780964916470 $15.00

The fifth album in Mae Robertson's award-winning "Lullaby Lovesong Collection", All That Matters: Lullabies and Lovesongs is a gentle album created to soothe sleepy children, and to inspire both parents and grandparents with the quiet joy that comes from calm. Robertson's beautiful alto performance of traditional lullabies is a true comfort to the soul. Highly recommended. The tracks are "What a Wonderful World", "All That Matters", "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes", "Full Circle", "All the Pretty Little Horses", "Love and Happiness", "Praise Lullaby", "Blue Hearted Mountains", "Little Hands", "LThe Gartan Mother's Lullaby", "The Slumber Boat", "For Baby", "The Golden Day Is Dying", "Moon River", "My Love Goes With You", and "There's a Long, Long Trail".

Lullapop Lullabies
Razor & Tie Enterprises LLC
$7.99 CD / $7.99 download

Lullapop Lullabies transforms 21 chart-topping popular songs into gentle, instrumental lullabies perfect for soothing babies and toddlers. Serene and warmhearted, Lullapop Lullabies is a beautiful gateway into dreamland, highly recommended. The tracks are "Despacito", "Shape of You", "Can't Stop the Feeling!", "Let Me Love You", "That's What I Like", "Cheap Thrills", "Rockabye", "Cake by the Ocean", "Black Beatles", "24K Magic", "Closer", "Hotline Bling", "Sorry", "This Is What You Came For", "Don't Let Me Down", "Stay", "What Do You Mean?", "Hello", "Don't Wanna Know", "Love On The Brain", and "Watch Me (Whip / Nae Nae)". 56 min.

Falu's Bazaar
Privately Published

Falu's Bazaar: A Family Sing-Along Album a family-friendly album of East Indian children's music from international artist Falu, renowned for her talent in blending modern and classical styles. Unique elements of Indian culture and life are a major focus; young listeners will learn about life in South Asia, from the market spices and cooking tools to common words in Hindi, geography, and Indian rhythms as well as melodic notes. As joyful as it is educational, Falu's Bazaar is highly recommended for personal and public library children's mulitcultural music collections. The tracks are "My Name", "Tararum Pumpum", "Shapes", "Hulululu Bus", "Rainbow", "Bazaar", "Masala", "Pots and Pans", "Teddy Bear" and "Nishaad's Lullaby."

The DVD Shelf

Dinosaur Stories
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816
9781338200454 $59.95

Dinosaur Stories is a DVD rendition of three dinosaur-themed picturebooks for children. The adapted stories are "Danny and the Dinosaur" by Syd Hoff (9 min.), about a boy's friendship with a long-necked dinosaur; "T is for Terrible" by Peter McCarty (6 min.), about Tyrannosaurus Rex who wonders why he can't be a vegetarian; and "Dinosaur Bones" by Bob Barner (9 min.), a delightful collection of fun dino-facts. Featuring optional English subtitles, and closed- captioning, Dinosaur Stories is a choice pick for homeroom viewing and elementary school or public library children's DVD collections. Highly recommended!

The Hey Wordy! Movie
Slangman Publishing
$14.99 DVD

Winner of a 2017 Parents' Choice Recommended Award, The Hey Wordy! Movie is a delightful blend of live-action, animation, and fully orchestrated music. Professor Dabblebee Dun is a carefree wizard and inventor who goes on adventures with his animated friends, including a young dictionary named Wordy. Together they travel the world and learn all about new cultures and languages. Their visits to Japan, Italy, China, Egypt, France, and the USA are educational as well as entertaining, and highly recommended for school and public library children's DVD collections! A bonus TV episode is included in this fun-filled production, peppered with engaging original songs. A music CD soundtrack of The Hey Wordy! Movie is also available ($9.99).

The Biography Shelf

All about Madam C. J. Walker
A'Lelia Bundles, author
Kirsten Halvorsen, illustrator
Blue River Press
c/o Cardinal Publishers Group
9781681570938, $5.99, PB, 128pp,

Madam C. J. Walker was beloved within her community for her philanthropy and expanding the local black YMCA, but she couldn't have done that if she weren't the first female self-made millionaire and one of the most successful African American business owners ever. Born Sarah Breedlove, she was the first person born free in her family. She married Charles Joseph Walker and became known as Madam C. J. Walker, the name she would later use on her haircare products. After talking with her brothers, who were barbers, and experiencing problems with hair loss, she developed a formula that healed scalp infections. This inspired her to start her own line of hair care products to do things like reduce dandruff, grow longer hair, smooth hair, or prevent baldness. Her company employed thousands of door-to-door saleswomen from all over the United States and the Caribbean. She supported the African American community by making a $1000 contribution for a new YMCA building in Indianapolis, funding scholarships for Tuskegee Institute and Daytona Normal Institute for Girls, and becoming a patron of the arts in the early years of the Harlem Renaissance. Impressively informative and especially well written for young readers ages 9 to 13, "All about Madam C. J. Walker" is unreservedly recommended for both school and community library American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "All about Madam C. J. Walker" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

The Fox and the Grapes
Blake Hoena, author
Beth Hughes, illustrator
Dean Jones, music
Cantata Learning
1710 Roe Crest Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003
9781684101184, $33.99, Library Binding, 24pp,

The newest addition to Cantata learning's outstanding 'Classic Fable in Rhythm and Rhyme' series, "The Fox and the Grapes" is the story of a hungry fox wants some juicy grapes. But they hang high up on a vine. Will he be able to reach them? Find out when you sing along to The Fox and the Grapes! The collaborative work of author Blake Hoena, illustrator Beth Hues, and featuring the music of Den Jones, "The Fox and the Grapes" is hardcover, library binding, picture book for children ages 5 to 7 that comes with CD and online music access. While very highly recommended, especially for elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Fox and the Grapes" is also available in a print edition (9781684101863, $7.95).

The Trial of Mother Goose
Ricky Kennison, author
Imagery by Thinkstock
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781524693244 $20.99

"The Trial of Mother Goose" is a humorous fable of the justice system peopled with familiar storybook characters. It starts out as a trial of Mother Goose who is accused of pushing Humpty Dumpty. With confusing testimony by a textbook of mythical characters, from the Wizard to three blind mice and Pinocchio, testifying before Justice Scaglia, with a Scarecrow as prosecutor, almost anything can happen, it seems. And it does. Leading to a surprise Thanksgiving ending, "The Trial of Mother Goose" is a hoot and a half for bored young readers who like a new twist in their nursery tales.

The Little Red Wolf
Amelie Flechais
Lion Forge
c/o Magnetic Press
9781941302453, $19.99

The Little Red Wolf represents a beautifully illustrated and complex picture book retelling of the traditional Red Hiding Hood tale and tells of an innocent creature in a red cloak known as "the little red wolf." Always dressed in red, this little wolf and his family live a life of peace in the forest, until one day he's tasked with helping his grandmother, and told to avoid one hunter and his daughter. Good reading skills or parental read-aloud will make this accessible to a wider age range; and those who delight in the Red Riding Hood original will relish this very different perspective.

The Environmental Shelf

Ocean One: Only One Ocean...Only One Chance
Eileen Clancy Biegel, author
Sue Lynn Cotton, illustrator
The Peppertree Press
9781614935322, $14.95, HC, 24pp,

Informatively written by Eileen Clancy Biegel and compellingly illustrated by Suy Lynn Cotton, for children in grades K-6, "Ocean One: Only One Ocean...Only One Chance" addresses such questions as: What happens to plastic items once they have been used? How do abandoned fishing nets, known as ghost nets, float aimlessly in the ocean? Where do balloons go after they have released into the air? "Ocean One" deftly tells the story of a unique place on Earth that is profoundly affected by the impact of marine debris. Young readers will go along with a young boy named Edward as he flies to Kure Atoll, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, where he learns the impact has far-reaching consequences that affects each of us. As informative and thought-provoking as it is original and entertaining, "Ocean One" is a picture book that is especially and very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers.

The Christian Shelf

Our Blessed Mother: The Story of Mary for Children
Marlyn Evangelina Monge, FSP, author/adapter
Julia Mary Darrenkamp, FSP, illustrator
Pauline Books and Media
885 Providence Hwy., Dedham, Massachusetts 02026
9780819855049 $8.95

"Our Blessed Mother" is adapted from "My First Book About Mary," by Christine Virginia Orfeo. It is a color illustrated account of the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, with additional chapters on several different important apparitions of Mary to help lead believers to Jesus, and our Lady of the Rosary and instructions for praying the rosary. "Our Blessed Mother" is simply and clearly written, with faith and belief infusing every page. The illustrations are softly colored and gently luminous. Children age 8 and up will enjoy reading "Our Blessed Mother" to learn about the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

The Bilingual Shelf

The Cloud Artist
Sherri Maret, author
Merisha Sequoia Clark, illustrator
The RoadRunner Press
9781937054748, $17.95, 36pp,

Born with the gift of painting with the clouds, Leona is a little Choctaw girl who uses the sky as her canvas to the delight of her people. When a traveling man learns of her gift and invites her to join the carnival, the Cloud Artist must make a decision about what kind of artist she wants to be. This bilingual (English/Choctaw) picture book story is part historical fiction, part fantasy, and part tall tale. Over thirty follow-up activities are available on author Sherri Maret's website ( Illustrated with the artistry of Merisha Sequoia Clark, "The Cloud Artist" is ideal for children ages 4 to 8 and warmly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Voices Are Not for Yelling/ la voz no es para gritar
Elizabeth Verdick, author
Marieka Heinlen, illustrator
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427
9781631981913 $11.95

Written in Spanish and English for readers ages 4-7 years, "Voices Are Not for Yelling/ La voz no es para gritar" explains clearly how different levels of vocal volume are used. for example, outside, loud volume voices are for playing outside, while quieter, indoor volume voices are for talking in cars, buildings, schools, libraries, or near sleeping persons. Your voice is a powerful instrument that can be used many ways. When you use a very loud outdoor voice to others because you are upset, or mad, or frustrated, this can cause hurt feelings. Voices are not for yelling. A way to calm yourself so you can quiet your voice and speak words quietly that can be understood is described. You can take deep breaths in and out slowly until your body calms down. Then you are ready to use your words to find a solution to the problem with another or others. The book ends with a helpful saying: "Think before your yell... and use your words well:/ Piensa antes de gritar...y utiliza bien tus palabras para hablar!" There are also additional tips and activities for parents and caregivers to discourage yelling and promote polite verbal communication. "Voices Are Not for Yelling: La voz no es para gritar" is an excellent bilingual book filled with pleasing, colorful illustrations to teach positive communication patterns to children.

The Self-Help Shelf

What to Do When You Don't Want to Be Apart
Kristen Lavallee, PhD, and Silvia Schneider, Dr. rer. nat., authors
Janet McDonnell, illustrator
Magination Press
c/o American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
9781433827136 $15.95

"What to Do When You Don't Want to Be Apart: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Separation Anxiety" is an excellent kid's guide to overcoming separation anxiety. Designed to be comfortably read and implemented by kids age 6-13, this self help manual offers a central image of flying your hot air balloon as a guide to seeking growing confidence and acceptance of new independence and life experiences. "What to Do When You Don't Want to Be Apart" offers special instruction to parents and caregivers about the value of practicing being separated for kids. The more practice sessions that are done, the more a child will experience decreasing anxiety and fear, part of a process called habituation. Parents can help children through this process on their own, using many suggested formats and self monitoring tools, or they can request assistance with such exercises from a child psychotherapist. It is important to take the necessary amount of time to complete at least 7-14 practice sessions, lasting from 15 minutes to 2 hours each. prompt beginning of each exercise lessens anticipatory anxiety. Practice sessions should be done at least every few days. Try a variety of situations for practice, starting from the mildest anxiety and progressing to stronger fear situations. parents are encouraged to reinforce brave, independent, courageous behavior in kids, using different special rewards as well for reinforcement. At the same time, parents are encouraged to pay less or little attention to fearfulness or overly anxious behavior, switching subjects, or distracting the child until fear subsides. Parents can also model bravery. What-to-Do series books like this one can be a very helpful tool. Written in kid friendly language, illustrated with positive, uplifting images of kids discovering new experiences and enjoying their rides in a hot air balloon, "What to Do When You Don't Want to Be Apart" offers a series of fun tasks and games and checkpoints for self monitoring exercises over ten chapters. Even the titles of these chapters are inspiring: Flying Your Hot Air Balloon, How Does Anxiety make you Feel?, Check Your Visibility, Turn Up the Heat, Untie the Sandbags, Take Your Time, Create Your Flight Plan, Take Off and Accrue Your Flight Hours!, Enjoy the View and Stay Brave! and You Can Do It! Each chapter has specific practice exercises to help define and limit separation fear and anxiety. Encouraging drawings of confident kids going about their daily routines and enjoying different experiences add to the positive impact. "What to Do When You Don't Want to Be Apart" offers a nonjudgmental approach to getting a handle on kids' separation anxiety with the ultimate goal of leading a richer life.

The Health Shelf

Eat This! How Fast-Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and how to fight back)
Andrea Curtis, author
Peggy Collins, illustrator
Red Deer Press
195 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario, L3R 4T8, Canada
9780889955325 $16.95 pbk

"Eat This!" is aimed towards a youth audience of children age 9-14 in grades 4-8. "Eat This!" is an effective analysis of varied marketing tactics to persuade younger consumers to eat non-nutritious or junk food, with specific suggestions for ways to avoid being overly influenced by media publicity tactics in food choices, and ways to request or encourage food providers to offer a wider range of healthy choices of foods targeted towards kids. A couple of highlighted topic chapters titled Do This! offer specific examples, such as 9 year old Hannah Robertson's talk with McDonald's' executive that questioned the use of toys, mascots, and marketing techniques used to trick kids into eating and wanting unhealthy foods. Although the executive made counterclaims, McDonald's' began to offer more healthy food choices for kids, and media concluded that Hannah was responsible for beginning a meaningful dialogue between kids and fast food marketing. She actually said, "Don't you want ids to be healthy so they can live a long and happy life?... It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time." The conclusion is that kids can be a powerful force for change in the arena of fast food marketing. the final "Do This!" pages offer these among other suggestions: Celebrate diversity. Do price checks and taste tests. Lobby for litterless lunches. Advocate for fast food marketing-free zones. Question media. Watch product placement. Use viral video tactics to spur eating healthy foods. Read nutrition labels. Assess food based fundraisers, including the nutritional value of the foods. Watch fast food mascot use, think critically about this. Consider the Retire Ronald campaign and create similar efforts. "Eat This!" is described as a tool kit to fight fast-food marketing to kids. As such it has plenty of empowerment value and appeal for young readers and others. It could be easily incorporated into any math, sociology, or marketing class.

The Cosmic Carrot: A Journey to Wellness, Clear Vision & Good Nutrition
Robert Grand, author
Ros Webb, illustrator
Cosmic Editions
P.O. 34891, Miami, Florida 33234
9780996722353 $10.95

Written by an eye doctor to teach children the importance of eating a healthy diet and good vision care practices, "The Cosmic Carrot" is an exciting story of reclaiming good health and vision told in rhyme. Max and Mitch are best friends, but their vision and overall health is very different. Max eats and grow organic vegetables and a healthy diet, while Mitch does not. Mitch's vision and grades have been slipping, and his allergies, through diagnosed and treated with medication, have not responded well to treatment. First Mitch had a special treatment program for his vision problems called "Ortho-K." He wore specially prescribed gas permeable corneal molds at night while sleeping to improve clear daytime vision with no corrective lenses. When Max's parents gave suggestions, he followed an organic diet, with organic fruits, veggies, coconut milk and nuts, plus daily juicing of organic fruits and vegetables and drinking green tea. Gradually his allergies and colds improved, along with his ability to focus and do homework each day. Inspiring, bright ink and water color illustrations demonstrate the miraculous path to improved vision, wellness, and good nutrition. "The Cosmic Carrot" is informative, educational, and fun for young readers.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Sights & Sounds of Those Springtime Birds in My Backyard
Karen Yarrish, author
David W. Porter, illustrator
Swingin' Bridge Books
c/o Keystone College Press
9781640427013 $15.95 pb

Written in lilting narrative verse and delicately illustrated in a combination of detailed black and white media with bright colored subjects highlighted, "Springtime Birds in My Backyard" introduces young readers to a cavalcade of bird species commonly seen in the spring. Some of these include the black -capped chickadee, the mourning dove, the red-winged blackbird, the cardinal, the blue jay, the white breasted nuthatch, the tufted titmouse, the American goldfinch, the ruby-throated hummingbird, and of course, the robin. Careful descriptions of the birds' different calls are given, and colored portraits help readers to discern differences between the male and the female of different species. A girl, who happens to be African-American, has her questions about the birds answered by her mother, who happens to be Anglo American, offering another model for celebrating diversity and family differences. Additional information about bird's songs, nesting, and migrating habits is seamlessly offered in this beautiful book. The contrast of black and white detailed ink drawings against brightly colored birds and principal characters delivers further lessons in identity of birds, also implying a profound love of the rich diversity of nature.

Books in Series

Cloud Warrior
Erin Fanning
Saddleback Educational Publishing Inc.
3120-A Pullman Street, Cosa Mesa, CA 92626-4564
9781680214765, $8.95, PB, 92pp,

The Monarch Jungle series of books from Saddleback Educational Publishing is specifically designed for struggling teen readers. The contemporary fiction is written at accessible levels and provides substantive content without being edgy. The relatable plots appeal to teens, especially those who are reluctant to read. Books in this simply outstanding series quickly grab their interest with fast-paced storylines that feature realistic, sometimes larger-than-life teen characters readers can identify with or would like to know. Then there is an unexpected twist. The characters lives are suddenly on the edge of fame, fear, or even sanity. What starts out as fun or routine becomes a nightmare, real or imagined. As characters are tested in mind, body, and spirit, readers have a sense of being there to experience the adventure. One of the latest titles in this simply outstanding series is "Cloud Warrior" by Erin Fanning. It's the story of Raul and Juan who set out for a few hours of kayaking. The weather is in their favor. It should be an easy ride. Raul, who is nicknamed the Cloud Warrior, prides himself on knowing good weather from bad. But once on the river, storm clouds appear. Their only choice is to keep moving and try to beat them. Soon they learn that a storm is the least of their worries. Some unexpected campers are in the area causing trouble. Not only for Raul and Juan. But for a girl Raul likes. Also highly recommended for school and community library collections are the other eight titles in the Monarch Jungle series: Art Seen; Avalanche; Baby Mama; Blurred Reality; Instafamous; Lost in Time; Summer Lake; The Throwaways.

Saddleback Educational Publishing Inc.
3120-A Pullman Street, Cosa Mesa, CA 92626-4564

Saddleback Education Publishing is the premier publisher of Low Vocabulary - High Interest reading materials for junior high and highschool aged students. One of their latest series of non-fiction titles, 'Red Rhino Nonfiction', features five titles by John Perritano, who has written a number of non-fiction books for middle school and high school students, including those for Time for Kids, National Geographic, Scholastic, among others. This outstanding series includes: Wild Weather (9781680210514, $9.95, 60pp) about severe weather and its hazards; Comet Catcher (9781680210477, $9.95, 60pp) which specifically focuses on comets; Little Rock Nine (9781680210552, $9.95, 60pp) about one of the key events of the Civil Rights movement; 3D Printing (9781680210736, $9.95, 60pp) which showcases this amazing new technology; Medial of Honor (9781680210545, $9.95, 60pp) which spotlights the country's highest military award. Each title includes visually appealing full-color photographs and illustrations, fun facts, and short chapters keep emerging readers focused. Each individual title is written at a 1.5-1.9 readability level, and includes pre-reading comprehension questions and a 20-word glossary for comprehension support.

Crabtree Publishing

Two new series additions are highly recommended picks for discriminating elementary-level collections who look for books tied to curriculum standards that offer lasting value and bright, contemporary color photos and information for leisure readers as well as students. The 'Travel With the Great Explorers' series ($27.60 each) provides 32 pages of information for ages 8-11 and supports state social studies standards, Common Core State Standards for Reading Informational Text and Writing Standards for grades 4-5, and more. A magazine-style reporting format paired with bright images throughout includes primary source materials and brings the history to life. Explore with Sir Walter Raleigh (9780778739234), Vasto Nunez de Balboa (9780778739210), Giovanni da Verrazzano (9780778739227), Mary Kingsley (9780778739203), Gertrude Bell (9780778739104), and Ibn Battuta (9780778739081) all provide memoirs of individuals that stand out for their explorations and discoveries, making these picks for history and biography students alike. The 'Techno Planet' series ($27.60 each) will reach reading ages 8-11 with discussions that support STEM Initiatives with captivating images and stories designed to capture young reader attention. Paula Johanson's Tech Industry (9780778736042) and Supercharged Sports (9780778736035), Megan Kopp's Space Tech (9780778736028) and Bionic Bodies (9780778735847), James Bow's Tech to Protect (9780778736066) and Kelly Spence's Tech Living (9780778736059) all discuss technological advancements and how they are changing the world. All are top recommendations for discriminating elementary libraries looking to get the most from their book purchasing budget.

My Dirty Dog: My Informative Essay
Darcy Pattison, author
Ewa O'Neill, illustrator
Mims House
9781629440910 $9.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle

Book 4 of the Read and Write Series, "My Dirty Dog: My Informative Essay" is an example of how to develop a topic into an informative essay. Filled with chunky, stylish color illustrations of kids and dogs having fun, "My Dirty Dog" tells the story of a day spent by two cousins, Dennis and Mellie, with their dogs, Clark and Lois, at a K-9 park festival and parade, ending with a special birthday party for their grandma. Both cousins enjoy their day with the dogs and then do their homework, which is to write informative essays about their day. The examples of their two essays are included as part of the story. Also included is a page explaining about how to write informative essays. For example, informative essays give information, have a clear chosen topic, contain strong details plus good connecting words and phrases, and also feature an introduction and conclusion. "My Dirty Dog" is a humorous example of a fine informative essay written by a conscientious student. Other titles in this fun series include "I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay, Book 1," "I Want a Cat: My Opinion Essay, Book 2," and "My Crazy Dog: My Narrative Essay, Book 3." This innovative juvenile writing series makes teaching and learning to write fun for all.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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