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The Library Bus
Bahram Rahman, author
Gabrielle Grimard, illustrator
9781772781014, $18.95, HC, 32pp
It is still dark in Kabul, Afghanistan when the library bus rumbles out of the city. There are no bus seats -- instead there
are chairs and tables and shelves of books. And there are no passengers -- instead there is Pari, who is nervously starting
her first day as Mama's library helper. Pari stands tall to hand out notebooks and pencils at the villages and the refugee
camp, but she feels intimidated. The girls they visit are learning to write English from Mama. Pari can't even read or
write in Farsi yet. But next year she will go to school and learn all there is to know. And she is so lucky. Not long ago,
Mama tells her, girls were not allowed to read at all!
Drawing upon very real conditions confronting Afghanistan girls wanting an education, "The Library Bus" by the
collaborative team of author/storyteller Bahram Rahman and artist/illustrator Gabrielle Grimard is an extraordinary,
original, thoroughly 'kid friendly', and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community
library picture book collections for children ages 5-8.
The Coolest Stuff on Earth
National Geographic Kids
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426338588, $19.99, HC, 192pp
National Geographic Kids publish books that inspires young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning
magazines, books, website, apps, games, toys, television series, and events, and it's the only kids brand with a
world-class scientific organization at its core.
Just a sampling drawn from the pages of "The Coolest Stuff on Earth: A Closer Look at the Weird, Wild, and
Wonderful": Did you know that dogs can shake off a pound of water in less than a second? That some sand dunes
whistle and sing? That the U.S. dollar bill is full of hidden symbols related to the number 13? Our world is filled with
strange, bizarre, and weird happenings. But what do they mean? WHY are they important? And what secrets are behind
These secrets and so much more are revealed in "The Coolest Stuff on Earth: A Closer Look at the Weird, Wild, and
Wonderful" through cool stories, action-packed photos, fantastic infographics, and exciting Q&As with in-the-field
experts. Profusely illustrated throughout, young readers will delight in discovering the secrets of sharkskin, the
mysteries behind incredible island animals, the power behind lightning, how a rare gemstone changes color, and more.
Especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library
collections, kids ages 8-12 will be captivated by this fresh way of looking at our amazing planet.
David Long, author
What on Earth Books
9781912920501, $24.00, HC, 64pp
Giant gemstones, precious artworks, architectural wonders, intriguing ruins, moon rocks, and more! Treasures both
natural and man-made make an appearance in "Amazing Treasures: 100+ Objects and Places That Will Boggle Your
Mind", a picture book tour which stretches across thousands of years and all around the globe. Young readers ages 7-11
will thoroughly enjoy discovering sunken wrecks loaded with pirate gold, the abandoned tombs of the world's most
powerful rulers, and even meteorites, and even treasures from outer space!
A central foldout map reveals the locations of all the treasures featured in the Muti illustrated pages of "Amazing
Treasures, while author David Long also addresses contemporary topics such as our threatened natural wonders and the
ownership of cultural treasures -- making "Amazing Treasures" certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family,
elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young readers.
Diamond Rattle Loves to Tattle
Ashley Bartley, author
Brian Martin, illustrator
Boys Town Press
13603 Flanagan Blvd., Boys Town, NE 68010
9781944882570, $10.95, PB, 31pp
Diamond Rattle loves to tattle, she's been telling on others for years.
She's quick to glide up to her teacher's desk and tattle on all of her peers!
A thoroughly charming picture book with a critically important social message, "Diamond Rattle Loves to Tattle" by
author/storyteller Ashley Bartley and artist/illustrator Brian Martin is an adorable tale about an elementary-aged
rattlesnake amongst a classroom full of other elementary-aged animals. The problem? Diamond LOVES to tattle. And
when she tattles, her rattles glow and grow!
Her tattling tendencies are affecting her friendships so much so that people are avoiding her and she finds herself eating
lunch alone. Fortunately for Diamond, her caring teacher Miss Crow is there to teach her more about problem-solving,
staying out of others business, and the difference between a report and a tattle.
Also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.76) and especially recommended for family, daycare center,
preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7, it should be noted
that "Diamond Rattle Loves to Tattle" includes practical tips for parents, counselors and educators.
It's Brave to Cry
Rebecca Robinson, author
Emanuela Ntamack, illustrator
Rebecca Robinson Publisher
9781736058107, $16.99, HC, 34pp
Clay is a seven year old Black boy who has trouble expressing his emotions. After a hard day at school, Clay's father is
encouraging him to feel empowered to share his feelings and that it is brave to do so. Unconvinced, Clay finds himself
asking the bravest people he can think of to see if they ever cry and if so, why. He walks to his local firefighter station,
finds a high-rise window-washer in the city, he reaches out to his favorite teacher and more!
After speaking with all of these brave African-American men and women in very brave professions, he discovers that
everyone cries for many different reasons, that it is important to express yourself, and that it is okay to reach out for
help when you need to. He finally understands that hiding your feelings isn't actually brave -- but letting them out
Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone, commentary, presentation, and compelling message for young readers, "It's Brave to
Cry" by the team of author/storyteller Rebecca Robinson and artist/illustrator Emanuela Ntamack is especially and
unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections
for children ages 4-8.
The Social Issues Shelf
We Are All Equal
P. Crumble, author
Jonathan Bentley, illustrator
c/o Penguin Group USA
9780593202555, $17.99, HC, 24pp
These animals may all be different from one another, but they know that doesn't matter. They have different lifestyles,
different places of origin, different abilities, different types of families, and more. But big or small, weak or strong,
native or new to their land, these animals are all equal, with no one better, more important, or more worthy than the
With vivid, vibrant art by gifted illustrator Jonathan Bentley and a resounding message of tolerance conveyed with a
sweet and playful rhyme by author/storyteller P. Crumble, "We Are All Equal" is a joyful and inspiring celebration of
the many different ways to be, all of which are good, welcome, and equal.
While also readily available in a paperback edition (9780702302442, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
$10.99), "We Are All Equal" is especially and candidly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary
school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8.
Hannah Marie Povroznik, author/illustrator
Dorrance Publishing Co.
585 Alpha Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
9781647020194, $23.00 HC, $9.99 Kindle, 32pp
"Mella's Box" is an inspiring children's story with a vision and a mission to fight chronic hunger. Teenage author
Hannah Povroznik wrote it to promote her charity, Boxing It Up To Give Thanks, begun in 2017 to deliver 2,044
Thanksgiving boxed meals for 12,200 individuals using 34 food pantries across 34 food pantries in West Virginia.
The story features a charming elephant girl named Mella who suffers from hunger, or food insecurity. Mella has to
attend school with no breakfast, but her mother encourages her to remember they will have dinner at a soup kitchen that
night. At school Mella is so hungry she cannot focus on learning and she asks two of her classmates if they would share
their lunch with her. Both Oliver penguin and Willow rabbit refuse to share their carrots and crackers with Mella. When
Mella and her mom get to the shelter for their warm dinner, both Oliver and Willow are serving the food, to Mella's
Mella is embarrassed to have her friends see that she is there for the free dinner. Both her friends greet her and say they
are sorry because they didn't know she was really hungry when she asked them to share their food. They invite her to
return and sit and eat with her mother. After Mella gladly returned and accepted their invitation, Oliver invited Mella to
come accept a box of food for Thanksgiving dinner the following week. Mella is so excited she can hardly wait for the
box of good food to be delivered. Finally the day of delivery arrived and Mella was so happy, this day was the best y to
greet Oliver with the box. Opening it she found a turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pie and more! Mella felt grateful and
Charming water color illustrations by the author portray Mella and her mom and friends with warmth and hope.
"Mella's Box" is a wonderful children's book with a profound message of caring for others. Also available in a digital
book format, "Mella's Box" is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture
book collections for young readers.
Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter
Shani Mahiri King, author
Bobby C. Martin Jr, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
9780884488897, $17.95, HC, 80pp
Black lives matter. That message would be self-evident in a just world, but in this world and in this America, all
children need to hear it again and again, and not just to hear it but to feel and know it.
In "Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter", author Shani Mahiri King affirms the message repeatedly, tenderly,
with cumulative power and shared pride. Celebrating Black accomplishments in music, art, literature, journalism,
politics, law, science, medicine, entertainment, and sports, King summons a magnificent historical and contemporary
context for honoring the fortitude of Black role models, women and men, who have achieved greatness despite the
grinding political and social constraints on Black life.
Frederick Douglass, Toni Morrison, Sojourner Truth, John Lewis, Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Maya Angelou,
Aretha Franklin, and many more pass through these pages. An America without their struggles, aspirations, and
contributions would be a shadow of the country we know. A hundred life sketches augment the narrative, opening a
hundred doors to lives and thinking that aren't included in many history books.
"Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter" tells Black children that they are, indisputably, worthy of having a voice.
Indeed, "Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter?" is both timely and timeless with its declaration for all children to
live and breathe the certainty that Black lives matter.
Critique: Effectively and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "Have I Ever Told You Black Lives
Matter" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school,
and community library Contemporary Social Issues collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Have I
Ever Told You Black Lives Matter" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.05).
Editorial Note #1: Shani Mahiri King is a law professor at the University of Florida, where he is the Director of the
Center on Children and Families and an Associate Director of the Center on Race and Race Relations.
Editorial Note #2: Bobby C. Martin Jr is the co-founder of Champions Design, a branding and design agency
headquartered in New York City, where he has worked with a wide range of clients including Dartmouth College, For
Freedoms, the Girl Scouts, MTV, the NBA, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
The New Baby and Me
Christine Kidney, author
Hoda Haddadi, illustrator
9781910328187, $16.99, HC, 24pp
A new baby is on the way! What will he be like? This family of five children all have their own ideas about the new
baby -- will he be a pirate or painter? A scientist or a dreamer? But there's one thing they haven't thought of!
Beautifully illustrated by Hoda Haddadi, "The New Baby and Me" is an original and entertaining picture book by
author/storyteller Christine Kidney that follows a family of five siblings as they imagine what their new baby brother
will be like. Each child projects their own ideas and fantasies onto the new baby. All they know is that he'll be just like
them! But they are in for a bit of a surprise.
A simply beautiful produced picture book that celebrates individuality and imagination, with additional ideas for art and
collage activities included to help prepare for a new sibling, "The New Baby and Me" is an ideal and unreservedly
recommended for families with children expecting a new addition a new sibling, as well as daycare center, preschool,
elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3-6. It should be noted for personal reading lists
that "The New Baby and Me" is readily available in a paperback edition (9781910328347, $18.10).
Tani's New Home
Tanitoluwa Adewumi, author
Courtney Dawson, illustrator
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781400218288, $17.99, HC, 32pp
Tani was just six years old when he and his family fled persecution in Nigeria and became refugees in New York City.
Tani was amazed, and a little overwhelmed, by all the new things in America. But one new experience turned out to be
the most wonderful discovery -- chess! With joy and determination, Tani studied hard, practicing chess for hours on the
floor of his room in the homeless shelter. Less than a year later, he won the New York State Chess Championship, and
through one act of kindness after another, found a new home.
A superbly crafted and presented picture book biography for children ages 5 to 10, "Tani's New Home: A Refugee
Finds Hope and Kindness in America" tells the captivating real-life story of a young chess champion; celebrates the
power of hope and hard work; reminds us that we can each make the world a more welcoming place; encourages
empathy and compassion; and is perfect for children reading alone; story time for families, classrooms, and libraries;
and celebrations of World Refugee Day
Reminds us all that home is a place where you can follow your dreams, "Tani's New Home: A Refugee Finds Hope and
Kindness in America" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community
library Contemporary Social Issues picture book collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Tani's New Home: A Refugee Finds Hope and Kindness in America" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Maya N. Johnson, author/illustrator
9781735817705, $13.00, HC, 36pp
"It's Okay" is a children's picture book by author/illustrator Maya Johnson about a young girl who experiences
depression for the time. She loves talking about all of the fun activities she loves to do. One morning she wakes up
feeling down, noticing that she does not feel happy. She thinks about why she does not enjoy doing the activities she
loves to do, and she thinks about how she is feeling. She wonders if she is the only one who experiences these feelings
and thoughts. After thinking about how to feel happy again, she begins to feel stuck.
Her parents help her to become comfortable about talking to them about how she is feeling and what she is thinking.
Her dad tells her a story from his childhood helping her understand that she is not the only one who experiences feeling
sad. They create a way to help their beautiful daughter talk about how she is feeling and teach her a phrase to say when
she is experiencing these feelings: It's Okay.
The girl now knows that it's okay to feel down, and it's okay to cry. She also loves that it is okay to talk about how she
is feeling and what she is thinking. After talking to her parents, everyday she talks to her parents about how she is
feeling and what she is thinking while remembering the phrase her parents taught her: It's Okay.
Taking a thoroughly 'kid friendly' approach to the subject of childhood depression, "It's Okay" is especially and
unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young
Collette in Kindergarten
Collette Divitto, author
Katie Mazeika, illustrator
5 South 1st Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860643, $22.95, HC, 36pp
When Collette, a young girl with Down syndrome, begins her first year of school, her bubbly personality helps her
make friends right away. Soon, Collette notices these new friends are not inviting her to playdates -- but it's not because
they don't want to invite her. Collette comes up with a great idea to show her classmates' parents a new way of
Based on the real-life experiences of entrepreneur and activist Collette Divitto, "Collette in Kindergarten" shows us
how important it is to practice acceptance throughout our lives, just as children do so freely every day. Taking a
thoroughly 'kid friendly' approach to the subject of Down syndrome, "Collette in Kindergarten" is an unreservedly
recommended addition to daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections
for children ages 4-6.
Kindness is a Kite String
Michelle Schaub, author
Claire LaForte, illustrator
Cardinal Rule Press
9781733035989, $16.95, HC, 32pp
The deftly crafted message throughout "Kindness is a Kite String" for children ages 5-7 is that cultivating kindness is
easy when you try. Spread a little kindness and watch empathy ripple through the community. That spreading happiness
like sunshine, connecting diverse groups like a footbridge and lifting hope like a kite string.
This compelling picture book by the team of author/storyteller Michelle Schaub and artist Claire LaForte illustrates
simple, yet impactful ways, to spread kindness and brighten the lives of others. Through poetry, the inspiring words
uplift young readers, planting seeds of empathy, kindness and community support. It is an ideal picture boo approach
for positively teaching kindness.
Highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Social Issues picture book collections for
young readers, and also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99), "Kindness is a Kite
String" comes with a free Reader's Guide for children. The guide is available for free download from the publisher
website. Lesson plans, activities and discussion questions to allow parents, teachers and caregivers to explore the topic
further and deepen comprehension.
Hapy New Year
Payam Ebrahimi, author
Roser Matas Nadal, illustrator
Magink Publishing House
9783966560368, $11.99 PB / $7.99 Kindle 38pp
"Hapy New Year" by author/storyteller Payam Ebrahimi and artist/illustrator Roser Matas Nadal, is the story of how
instead of talking their disagreement out, two young boys, Lucas and Ryan, start fighting at school over a simple
problem -- and by adults' interference, the confrontation changes to a worldwide conflict. At the end of the day, when
everything is ruined, the problem remains unsolved! With its underlying message that communication and negotiation
are two major skills that children need to develop for successful social life, "Hapy New Year" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to family, school, and community library Contemporary Social Issues and Anger
Management collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hapy New Year" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Holiday Shelf
McKinley and the Present Pixies
Dirk & Debbie Kagerbauer, authors
Kelly Lane, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South 1st Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781951565985, $22.95, HC, 36pp
It's finally Christmas Day, and McKinley can't wait to open his presents. In fact, he's so excited that he doesn't care
about anything else. He wants to open his presents NOW! That's when Papa Dirk tells McKinley about the Present
Pixies, Santa's magical helpers who make sure you're good even after Santa leaves your gifts under the tree. If you're not
good on Christmas Day, they make your gifts just go away! Can the Present Pixies help McKinley remember to be
good? Will McKinley save his presents and his family's Christmas?
An original and especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and
community library Christmas Holiday picture book collections for children ages 3-7, "McKinley and the Present Pixies"
is also readily available as a year round fun read in a paperback edition (9781951565992, $12.95) and in a digital book
format (Kindle, $2.99).
My Creepy Valentine
Beach Lane Books
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481458405, $17.99, HC, 32pp
Mitzi the witch and her kitten Hoodwink love all of the holidays except one: Valentine's Day. It's lovely-dovey, and
witches only like things that are creepy-crawly. Then Mitzi meets Spencer. Spencer can wiggle his ears! He plays on the
monkey bars upside down! And when he shoots milk out of his nose, Mitzi can't look away. For the first time, she
wants to make a valentine for a special someone. But what message will spell success and get her a valentine in
Cheerfully hilarious and an impressively original picture book story by author/illustrator Arthur Howard, "My Creepy
Valentine" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool,
elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists
that "My Creepy Valentine" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Such a Library!
Jill Ross Nadler, author
Esther Van Den Berg, illustrator
9781951365028, $18.95, HC, 40pp
"Such a Library!" is a picture book retelling of an old Yiddish folktale set in a modern-day library -- that has a magical
librarian! A young boy named Stevie craves quiet until Miss Understood, a magical librarian, wreaks havoc in this
modern-day twist on an authentic Yiddish folktale. The collaborative effort of author/storyteller Jill Ross Nadler and
artist/illustrator Esther Ven Den Berg, "Such a Library!" is an extraordinarily entertaining and unreservedly
recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book
collections for children ages 4-8.
The Picturebook Shelf
Norman: One Amazing Goldfish!
Kelly Bennett, author
Noah Z. Jones, illustrator
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536206715, $16.99, HC, 32pp
Norman is one amazing goldfish! His owner knows Norman is sure to dazzle the crowd at Pet-O-Rama with his circles,
bubbles, and flips -- even though some kids don't think a goldfish is a good pet. But when Norman is finally on stage,
he freezes up and hides behind his plant. Poor Norman! Luckily, his owner plays a familiar song on the tuba, helping
Norman to relax and show the crowd how amazing he really is. The popular stars of Not Norman return in "Norman:
One Amazing Goldfish!", a warm and wryly funny new picture book story by author/storyteller Kelly Bennett and
artist/illustrator Noah Z. Jones about being there for your fishy friend when he needs you most. Simply stated,
"Norman: One Amazing Goldfish!" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool,
elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections for children ages 4-8.
Best Friends, Busy Friends
Susan Rollings, author
Nichola Cowdery, illustrator
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
9781786284662, $17.99, HC, 32pp
The collaborative work of author/storyteller Susan Rollings and artist/illustrator Nichola Cowdery, "Best Friends, Busy
Friends" is a charming read-aloud storybook that celebrates all types of friendship at home, at school, and at play.
Friends who share in the fun of everyday life, and who are there when needed. With rhyming text, lively illustrations,
and an inclusive collection of diverse characters, the underlying message is just how important it is to have friends --
and to be a friend. Also readily available in a paperback edition (9781786284655, $8.99), "Best Friends, Busy Friends"
is a welcome and recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community
library collections for children ages 3-6.
The Tiny Baker
Hayley Barrett, author
Alison Jay, illustrator
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
9781646860708, $17.99, HC, 32pp
Every day, insect customers line up to dine at the tiny baker's tearoom, but when her ladybug cooks fly away, upending
the pristine kitchen, the baker learns an important lesson about friendship. Especially and enthusiastically recommended
for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, children ages
4-8 will thoroughly enjoy "The Tiny Baker" by author/storyteller Hayley Barrett and artist/illustrator Alison Jay.
Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534462380, $17.99, HC, 40pp
Bear is sad. All the other animals think he's mean because he's so big. But his human friend, Coco, offers to help him.
Coco shares her grandmother's advice: "When life gets dark as winter's night, share some kindness, bring some light."
So they decide to bake cookies to "share some kindness" and make lanterns to "bring some light". But when the cookies
and lanterns don't work, they must look for another way to win over the other animals. And while they're at it, Coco and
Bear just might discover that kindness is a gift that only comes from the heart!
Charming, original, entertaining, and with a critically important message deftly embedded in a picture book story by
Apryl Stott, "Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light" is especially and enthusiastically recommended for family,
daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4-8. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $10.99).
The Song for Everyone
Lucy Morris, author
Alice Carter, illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books
9781547602865, $18.99, HC, 40pp
A cat, a boy, an elderly woman, and a line of students may appear to have little in common, but when they pass under
the same window, each are swept up and transformed in different ways by the magical music that streams toward them
and buoys their weary spirits. But one day, the music stops, and the town must work together to save the music that they
grew to love.
"The Song for Everyone" is a stunning picture book allegory for children ages 3-6 by author/storyteller Lucy Morris and
artist/illustrator Alice Carter for the emotional complexities we carry within us, the universally soothing effects of
music, and the importance of community.
Also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.29), "The Song for Everyone" is timely, timeless,
comforting, inspiring, entertaining, and a welcome addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and
community library children's picture book collections.
Yussuf the Ostrich
Emery Kelen, author/illustrator
Jack Zipes, adaptor
Little Mole & Honey Bear
9781733223225, $19.00, HC, 56pp
What can a young ostrich called Yussuf teach young children 5-10 about war and friendship? Yussfu is an extraordinary
animal who helps defeat the Nazis in northern Africa during World War II to save his friends. He places loyalty and
honor above everything to resist the fascist forces that would tear his community apart. In this republishing of the
original work by the famous political caricaturist, Emery Kelen, (a man who was devoted to peace), "Yussuf the
Ostrich" offers pertinent, timely and timeless lessons on hope and resistance that continue to be needed in this current
era of pandemic, social unrest, economic stress, and politically motivated violence. Simply stated, "Yussuf the Ostrich"
is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book
collections for young readers.
Everybody Deserves a Hug
Doug Snelson, author
Renee Snelson, illustrator
9780977781126, $17.95, HC, 32pp
"Everybody Deserves a Hug" delivers a timeless, universal message in a rhyming picture book for children
ages 4-8. In the tradition of Dr. Seuss, the author/storyteller Doug Snelson, embraces love, kindness, inclusion and
understanding just when the world needs it most. Doug collaborated with his artist/illustrator/designer daughter, Renee
Snelson, who created the colorful, whimsical characters exuding sweetness, joy, and hope. The engaging rhyming
couplets amplify the vivid and striking color illustrations that will undoubtedly delight children, parents, and
grandparents alike. Especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community
library picture book collections, "Everybody Deserves a Hug" is also an excellent classroom teaching tool for primary
school grades and home schooling parents for improving children's reading skills from repetitive rhyming patterns and
The Mouse's Apples
Francis Stickley, author
Kristyna Litten, illustrator
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781728415802, $17.99, HC, 32pp
Mouse is having a wonderful day: she's foraged four plump apples for her tea, the most she's ever found! But here
comes Bear, and he's feeling especially greedy and mean. He wants every apple for himself. Mouse might have to think
up a clever trick to teach Bear a lesson! Children ages 4-9 will enjoy learning how selfishness can be replaced by
sharing with "The Mouse's Apples", a charming, entertaining, picture book with an impressively rhyming storytelling
approach. While highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library
picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Mouse's Apples" is also readily available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off!
Chris Monroe, author/illustrator
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541577572, $17.99, HC, 32pp
Oh no, the Moon Malt machine at the Superstar Space Station and Snack Bar is broken! The ever-resourceful Chico
Bon Bon and his trusty sidekick Clark the elephant ZOOM to the rescue. While working on the malfunctioning Moon
Malt machine, they discover myriad other things in need of fixing, including a hatch and a latch and a droid's
underwear. And then FWHOOSH! KA-BOING! -- what was that? It's the cutest alien in the universe, and she's stranded
at the space station due to a broken down spaceship! Thanks to Chico's know-how and his extensive tool collection
there's a fix for every problem under the sun -- and beyond!
Based on a popular Netflix original series, "Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off!" by artist and storyteller Chris Monroe
will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool,
elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-8. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off!" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Surprise in the Desk
Carol Ungar, author
Mira Simon, illustrator
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781945560330, $10.95, HC, 24pp
Rabbi Noach Muroff needed a comfortable desk where he could study. When he bought a used desk and took it home,
he discovered a surprise hidden inside -- something that belonged to the previous owner. Rabbi Muroff knew exactly
what he must do next. "The Surprise in the Desk" by the team of author/storyteller Carol Ungar and artist/illustrator
Mira Simon is a contemporary picture story for young readers that is taken straight from real life events and highlights
the value of honesty and doing what is right. Children will enjoy the suspense of the tale, the adorable illustrations, and
the lovely message, making it a particularly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community
I Am An Outer Space Alien
Lois Wickstrom, author
Nicholas Milano, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
c/o Gripper Products
9780916176839, $24.99, HC, 30pp
They named me Shirley. But I hate the letter 'y.' It droops down like a sad dog's tail. I renamed myself Shirl. That's a
much better name for an outer space alien like me. Shirl is sure she's not from Earth. She's not like other people. She
likes to spend her time working on a radio to talk to people in outer space. They answer. Her new friend is looking for
her true home, too. They decide to make their home on Earth together.
"I Am An Outer Space Alien" is a delightfully charming and original picture book story of a little girl who feels like an
alien. Resonating with children ages 5-10, this large print edition of "I Am An Outer Space Alien" by author/storyteller
Lois Wickstrom and artist/illustrator Nicholas Milano will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular
addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.
It should be noted for personal reading lists that "I Am An Outer Space Alien" is also readily available in a paperback
edition (9780916176846, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
I'm Going to Give You a Polar Bear Hug!
Caroline B. Cooney, author
Tini Warnes, illustrator
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780310768708, $17.99, HC, 32pp
A picture book celebration by the team of author/storyteller Caroline B. Cooney and artist/illustrator Tini Warnes of the
winter season for children ages 4-8, "I'm Going to Give You a Polar Bear Hug!" imagines just who might stomp, sled,
and swish through the snow in order to give a warm hug!
With its whimsically entertaining rhymes and sweet, playful, cheerful illustrations, "I'm Going to Give You a Polar Bear
Hug!" is highly recommended, especially for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community
library picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "I'm Going to Give You a Polar Bear
Hug!" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), as well as in a board book edition
The Best-Ever Adventure
Eric Artisan Books
9780578614410, $16.95, HC, 64pp
In the adventure of a lifetime, a young prince and princess travel to another land, where they can experience everything,
both the good and the bad. However, their journey is much more than they could have ever imagined. "The Best-Ever
Adventure" by Eric Artisan (who is a contemporary artist, writer, and book lover) is beautifully illustrated children's
book that as entertaining as it is a wonderful way for kids to explore the meaning of life. Also available for personal
reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "The Best-Ever Adventure" fully lives up to the promise of its
title and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for
children ages 5-8.
There Must Be More Than That!
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781452183220, $18.99, HC, 32pp
"There Must Be More Than That!" by children's book author and illustrator Shinsuke Yoshitake is all about perspective,
and wading past the bad to embrace the possibility of good. It is a thoughtful and laugh-out-loud exploration into an
uncertain ever after and enable young readers ages 5-8 to choose their own future. A powerful antidote to anxiety for
kids unsure about current events and what comes next, and asking what does the future hold, "There Must Be More
Than That!" will prove to be a source of solace in these particularly troubled times. While unreservedly recommended
for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "There Must Be More Than That!" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Abella Starts a Tooth Fairy School
Zane Carson Carruth
Carson Marketing, LLC
9780692132814, $19.99, HC, 34pp
After the world's first tooth fairy, Abella, returned to Tulip Hollow with the first pearly white tooth, all the fairies were
frantic to have one. Overwhelmed by her friends' requests, Abella realized she must start a tooth fairy school.
In "Abella Starts a Tooth Fairy School" by children's author and illustrator Zane Carson Carruth, children ages 3-8 will
enjoy following along on this roller-coaster picture book adventure as Abella and her best friend, Darcie, overcome
difficult situations on their first day as professional tooth fairies. In true form, the little fairies show bravery and
confidence as they overcome the challenges.
Highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book
collections, "Abella Starts a Tooth Fairy School" is an exciting, original, and cheerfully entertaining story about taking
charge and solving problems! It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Abella Starts a Tooth Fairy School" is
also readily available in a paperback edition (9781087914510, $14.99).
When Winter Comes
Aimee M. Bissonette, author
Erin Hourigan, illustrated
c/o Sasquatch Books
1904 Third Ave, Suite 710, Seattle, WA 98101
9781632172730, $17.99, HC, 32pp
Though a forest may be blanketed in snow or a lake frozen over, families who enjoy the outdoors in winter, happily
bundled up to play in the energizing weather, know that wildlife is still teeming there. The fallen log that is used to hide
behind in a snowball fight is a shelter for tree frogs, caterpillars, ladybugs, and slugs. The drifts of fallen snow that
families snowshoe across have winding tunnels made by meadow mice in search of seeds and bark. The towering trees
families ski among shield birds from winter winds.
The collaborative work of author/storyteller Aimee M. Bissonette and artist/illustrator Erin Hourigan, "When Winter
Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods" celebrates the joy of playing and exploring in the outdoors during
the winter months -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool,
elementary school, and community library picture book collections.
Dreaming of California
Grant Collier, author
Stephanie Lowman, illustrator
Collier Publishing LLC
9781935694502, $14.95, HC, 40pp
"Dreaming of California" tells the story of Pandora the Pelican, who does not want to go to sleep. But when she does
doze off, she dreams that she can travel back in time. Pandora goes on exciting journeys and sees ancient sea creatures,
saber-toothed cats, giant sloths, and Native Americans. Each of Pandora's adventures is based on real events that
occurred in California.
In his picture book for children ages 5-10, "Dreaming of California", author/storyteller Collier Grant has deft blended in
a kind of photoshop process Stephanie Lowman's superbly presented illustrations with his own full color photographs
in order to create life-like scenes. Uniquely informative and impressively entertaining, "Dreaming of California" is
especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book
collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dreaming of California" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
The Perfect Pointe
Victoria Coniglio, author
Lintang Panda Pratiwi, illustrated
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860902, $12.95, PB, 32pp
Poppy loves ballet, and her dad loves to see her dance. When Poppy finds out her class will be performing the
Nutcracker, she works harder than ever to get the role of Clara. But Poppy's dad is in the US Army and away on
deployment. If Poppy gets the part, will he even be able to attend the performance? Day after day, Poppy rehearses her
Delightfully entertaining and highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and
community library picture book collections, it should be noted for librarians that "The Perfect Pointe" is also available
in a hardcover edition ($27.00, POD).
Edie's Little White Lie: A Horace & Nim Story
Chantal Bourgonje, author
David Hoskins, illustrator
Hubble & Hattie
9781787116993, $9.99, HC, 32pp
When Edie tells her best friend Kay that she loves her singing voice and how special it is, she isn't expecting Kay to run
off and enter a talent show that she hasn't a hope of winning. Edie was only trying to cheer her up after Polecat Mac
said how terrible Kay's voice was (and it's not good). Talent judges can be pretty cruel, and the audiences even worse.
Will Kay blame Edie for her humiliation? Will their friendship even survive? Horace and Nim try to help out, but
things look pretty grim for the well-meaning duck!
"Edie's Little White Lie" is latest book in author Chantal Bourgonje's Horace & Nim series and another storyteller's
gem, beautifully illustrated by Chantal Bourgonje. A heart-warming and charmingly entertaining story of friendship that
children and parents alike will enjoy, "Edie's Little White Lie" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center,
preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3-5.
How Big Is Love?
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536215441, $14.99, HC, 24pp
"Before you came I did not know just how big love can be. Love's wider than the ocean, it's deeper than the sea." Does
love have a size? In author/illustrator Emma Dodd's picture book story for children ages 2-5, a family of ducks
celebrates the boundless affection between them in Emma Dodd's gentle rhyming ode to unconditional love. A
thoroughly charming and original story with a welcome and positive message, "How Big Is Love?" is an especially
recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.
I Don't Want to go to Preschool
Cynthia Kern OBrien, author
Rosemarie Gillen, illustrator
Pickles House Publications
9781734507560, $18.95, HC, 48pp
Granny is summoned to the throne of the Fairy Queen herself! With a little help and POOF! -- Granny becomes Lula
Pix, the Fairy and once again flies to the rescue. Magic fills the air, as the Tooth Fairy joins in the adventure! Together,
they help preschoolers discover the fun that awaits them if they are willing to try new things.
Collaboratively written and artfully illustrated by the team of storyteller Cynthia Kern OBrien and artist Rosemarie
Gillen, and published by Pickles House Publications, "I Don't Want to go to Preschool The Fairy Queen Calls" is third
installment of the "True Stories by Granny" series for children ages 3-12 and ideal for parents that have a little boy or
girl who is reluctant to start Preschool. Of special note is the inclusion of a "Get-to-do List" that is applicable to a child
at bedtime or any other time that anxiety about attending preschool might emerge. While especially recommended for
family, daycare center, preschool, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "I Don't Want to go to Preschool The Fairy Queen Calls" is also readily available in a paperback
edition (9781734507577, $9.95).
The Night Walk
9781782506393, $17.95, HC, 32pp
Mama opened our bedroom door. "Wake up, you two," she whispered. "Let's go, so we get there on time." Excited, the
sleepy family step outside into a beautiful summer night. The world is quiet and shadowy, filled with fresh smells and
amazing sights. Is this what they miss when they're asleep? Together, they walk out of their sleeping village. What will
they find in the dark landscape?
Especially appropriate and recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community
library collections, "The Night Walk" by author and illustrator Marie Dorleans is a beautiful and evocative picture book
for children ages 3-7 that movingly recalls family trips and the excitement of unknown adventure, while celebrating the
awe-inspiring joy of the natural world.
Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill
Barbara Bella, author
Amber Rae Malott
9781087896489, $19.99, HC, 32pp
The collaborative work of author/storyteller Barbara Bella and watercolor artist/illustrator Amber Rae Malott,
"Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill: Tales of Love and Laughter" is a delightfully entertaining children's picture
book for children ages 3-10.
In rhyming verse, Bella recalls all the fun and magic of simple, spontaneous days spent with her daughter exploring
their neighborhood of Russian Hill, San Francisco. Together, they explore, sell Girl Scout cookies, make the most of
rainy days, and more. Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill speaks to the special bond of love and trust between
mother and child that comes from taking the time to play and be together.
Entirely hand-drawn and painted, "Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill: Tales of Love and Laughter" also includes
an interactive section for recording the reader's mother/daughter favorite activities, adventures, and memories. Highly
recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be
noted that all proceeds will be donated to support children's literacy.
I Love My Teacher
Giles Andreae, author
Emma Dodd, illustrator
9781368027304, $16.99, HC, 32pp
The newest edition to the popular Disney-Hyperion 'I Love My . . ." sweet picture book series, "I Love My Teacher" by
the team of author/storyteller Giles Andreae and artist/illustrator Emma Dodd focuses on the special bond between a
student and teacher.
Quick, let's go! It's time for school!
My teachers there are pretty cool.
Children ages 3-6 will race inside for a joy-filled day! School is full of fun, all thanks to a teacher who makes every
school day the best. Full of energy and enthusiasm, "I Love My Teacher" is a picture book all children will want to
share with their favorite teacher.
While especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture
book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "I Love My Teacher" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9781408345610, $10.99) and as a board book (9781368053082, $7.99).
Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure
Patti Carpenter, author
Tracy Hill, illustrator
Baby Rocks Publishing
9781087858869, $18.99, HC, 32pp
Life with a dog named Cosmo is always an adventure, but what does it mean to be cosmic?
Adopted from a shelter as a tender puppy, Cosmo wraps his paws around Patti's arm and won't let her go. For the next
sixteen years, he and Patti are bound together by a love higher than the heavens. But what will happen when that bond
is broken? What will Cosmo do now?
Illustrated with colorful and humorous drawings by artist Tracy Hill that beautifully presents author/storyteller Patti
Carpenter's, "Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure" is Cosmo's picture book story of the bond dogs share with their loving
owners from the beginning of their lives to the very end -- and beyond!
While an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school,
middle school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-12. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781087862941, $6.99)
and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Five on the Bed
West Margin Press
9781513264288, $16.99, HC, 32pp
How many are on the bed? How many are below? "Five on the Bed" by Addie Boswell counts to five with young
readers as they follow the clever yet simple story of a family getting ready for bed. Colorfully illustrated in paper cut
art, "Five on the Bed" teaches simple concepts in a fun and engaging way. Ideal for bedtime or anytime, and also readily
available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49), "Five on the Bed" is thoroughly fun and
unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture
book collections for children ages 3-6.
Daddy, Teach me How to Ride my Bike
Harmel Deanne Codi, author
Jewel Mason, illustrator
9781736077771, $23.99, HC, 48pp
"Daddy, Teach me How to Ride my Bike" is a children's storybook created by artist/illustrator Jewel Mason with bright
colors and fun characters that aim to boost curiosity and the joy of reading in the heart of younger readers and their
families with this original story by author/storyteller Harmel Deanne Codi. Ideal for children ages 4-8, this picture book
story is an offers an easy to read text that brings to life the exciting and delightful journey of precocious twins boy and
girl- Marcus and Nina as they navigate their way into their childhood with their family -- this time with the aid of their
father in learning how to ride a bicycle. While especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool,
elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
'Daddy, Teach me How to Ride my Bike" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781736077764,
The Bilingual Shelf
Pepito Has A Doll / Pepito tiene una muneca
Jesus Canchola Sanchez, author
Armando Minjarez Monarrez, illustrator
Book Baby Publishers
9781098328696, $14.99, PB, 36pp
"Pepito Has A Doll / Pepito tiene una muneca" by the collaborative team of author/storyteller Jesus Canchola Sanchez
and artist/illustrator Armando Minjarez Monarrez is a picture book story centered on the experience of a shy young boy
who lives with his grandmother. He has only one friend, his doll Lola, until Miguel appears and they begin a joyful
Pepito loves his doll Lola. She's his only friend. He takes her to school in secret because his schoolmates will make fun
of him. He's shy. The other kids at school don't play with him. Every night he prays to find a friend at school. One day a
new student arrives at Pepito's school, Miguel. Find out if Pepito and Miguel become friends in this charming story of a
boy and his doll!
With a charmingly entertaining and timely social message about differences and acceptances, "Pepito Has A Doll /
Pepito tiene una muneca" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and
community library bilingual picture book and LGBTQ collections for young readers ages 5-8.
The Coloring Book Shelf
Fairy Village Coloring Book
Calico Barn Books
Remember paper dolls? They were popular in the 1950s and 60s, and most girls from that era well recall their allure.
Today, the item of choice is coloring books. In the last 5 years, the coloring book format has blossomed into a whole
new market for adults and kids alike. Cathy Witbeck is on the cresting wave of book trends with a difference: Fairy
Village Coloring Book adds some paper dolls into the mix for cut-out play and additional enjoyment. Each page's black
and white line drawings offers images that will appeal to different levels of coloring expertise, from simple images of
whimsical interior and exterior homes and businesses to complexly patterned rugs and decor. The idea is that this
coloring book, when completed by a young user, will create an entire fairy village via thirty pages of different abodes
and displays and the four already-colored fairies (a boy, two girls and a fairy grandma) who will inhabit it. The fun fairy
grandma actually sports a track suit and maple leaf wings, reflecting her Canadian roots. Now, unlike traditional paper
dolls, these do not come with outfits. One is meant to play with them by placing them in the colored pages, not dress
them in cutout clothes. The approach will delight kids who like to color, who want an integrated whimsical fairy theme
and village, and who will enjoy the paper dolls when coloring is complete.
Pysanky Easter Egg Coloring Book
Calico Barn Books
Parents seeking a different approach to activities celebrating Easter will find just the ticket in the Pysanky Easter Egg
Coloring Book, an educational collection of images that celebrate both traditional and nontraditional subjects and the
symbols surrounding the pysanka. This is a coloring book best enjoyed as a family-unifying craft. It's suitable for adult
and child colorers alike. Parents can use the information about the pysanka tradition to educate the very young, and will
find the blend of easy and complex coloring projects lend to different ages with different artistic talents. Pysanky are
Ukrainian Easter eggs. Cathy Witbeck learned to make them at age 12. An introductory section covering the symbols of
pysanky and their meaning leads nicely into the large-sized, full-page eggs that will prove inviting coloring subjects.
The range of pattern ideas and the challenge to choose colors and symbols with specific meaning for the young artist or
someone they care about creates an activity that should be a mainstay in the Easter basket, along with colored pencils or
crayons and the candy associated with the holiday.
The Graphic Novel Shelf
The Wall of Fire
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
9781849185912, $11.95, PB, 48pp
In the middle of the night, a daring thief from another Indian tribe makes off with the horses of Yakari's people. Only
Little Thunder managed to escape him by fleeing into the forest. While the warriors hurry after their precious mounts,
Yakari goes in search of his friend who is himself trailing the thief! Once the two groups converge near a huge camp,
Yakari will have to display extraordinary cleverness to help his folk and recover their horses.
The eighteenth volume in the long running graphic novel series by author/storyteller Job and artist/illustrator Derib,
"The Wall of Fire" is an inherently engaging and fully entertaining story that will be especially welcomed by young
readers ages 6-10. While certain to be an enduringly popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and
community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Wall of Fire" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $4.61).
Andre Franquin, author
Yann & Batem, illustrators
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
9781849185424, $11.95, PB, 48pp
In Chiquito, capital of Palombia, the old Marsupilami in the municipal zoo feels his end coming, and would like to die
free, in the legendary Marsupilami graveyard. Warned by an escaped parrot, our Marsu sets off towards the city, along
with Bip and Sarah, the two jungle orphans, to free his elder. There's a problem, though: Chiquito is in the middle of a
revolution against its latest dictator, Baby Prinz. And in Palombia, revolution is a national sport!
The fifth volume in the graphic novel series starring everyone's favorite long tailed, yellow with black dots furry
marsupial, "Marsupliami: Baby Prinz" is another original and comedic tour-de-force that will delight young readers
ages 8-14. While unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library graphic
novel collections for young readers, it should be noted for their personal reading lists that "Marsupliami: Baby Prinz" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $5.99).
The Music CD Shelf
Make it Happen!
$9.99 CD / $7.99 digital
Make it Happen! is a children's music album of original songs by parent, teacher, and performer Stacey Peasley.
Exuberantly upbeat, Make it Happen! carries a strong positive message and is highly recommended for car trips or stay-
at-home fun. the tracks are "Make it Happen", "Boo Boo", "What Girls Do", "Choo Choo", "At the Parade", "Play the
Game", "Goodie Bag", "Happy Tears", "Swimming Pool", and "Soapy Bubbles". 29 min.
The Multimedia Shelf
A Story of Surfing
Carla Golembe, author/illustrator
The Bess Press
3565 Harding Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816
9781573062435, $16.95, HC, 32pp
"A Story of Surfing" is about how a young girl learning to surf dreams that she is part of the great span of surfing
history that includes ancient kings and queens of Hawai'i and more modern surfing greats like Duke Kahanamoku and
In a palette that reflects the rich colors of Hawai'i's skies and sea, author and artist Carla Golembe paints and tells a
story whose rhythm and rhyme capture the feel of riding a board on Waikiki's fabled waves. The accompanying
read-along CD further adds the sounds of Hawai'i.
Delightfully unique and impressively entertaining, the "A Story of Surfing" picture book and CD is unreservedly
recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 6-8.
Editorial Note: Carla Golembe is the author of numerous books for children, including The Story of Hula, which in
2004 won the Benjamin Franklin Award, presented by the Pubishers Marketing Association.
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Life in a Frozen World: Wildlife of Antarctica
Mary Batten, author
Thomas Gonzalez, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781682631515, $18.99, HC, 40pp
In one of the most extreme environments on Earth, for over millions of years organisms in Antarctica have evolved in
amazing ways that enable them to thrive on the ice, in the ice, and under the ice. How is climate change affecting the
creatures that live in this frozen world?
Even in the intensely cold, windy, and dry environment of Antarctica, a wide variety of wildlife (from the massive
swarms of krill in the Southern Ocean to the throngs of penguins on its icy shores) finds ways to thrive. Some species
of Antarctic fishes make a natural antifreeze that prevents their blood from freezing solid, and although no trees grow
on Antarctica, a forest of giant seaweed flourishes under the sea.
Antarctica's creatures are exquisitely adapted to their extreme habitat, but can they survive warmer waters and
atmosphere? Scientists are racing to find out. Climate change is already affecting the frozen continent. Though it seems
very far away from us at the bottom of the world, we need to remember that Antarctica affects weather, ocean currents,
and sea levels all over the planet. Antarctica's creatures depend on the ice. And in the long run, so do we.
Critique: An impressively informative picture book showcasing life in one of the most hostile environments on Earth,
"Life in a Frozen World: Wildlife of Antarctica" is an ideal informational resource for young science lovers ages 6-10
and elementary school teachers wanting to discuss the effects of climate change. While also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Life in a Frozen World: Wildlife of Antarctica" is an invaluable and unreservedly
recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections.
Eye by Eye: Comparing How Animals See
Sara Levine, author
T. S. Spookytooth, illustrator
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541538382, $26.64, HC, 32pp
What kind of animal would you be if you had eight eyes? Or if your pupils were the shape of the letter W? Keep an eye
out for weird and surprising facts in this playful picture book, which brings together comparative anatomy with a
guessing game format. See how your animal eyes are like (and unlike) those of starfish, spiders, goats, cuttlefish, owls,
and slugs. Author/storyteller Sara Levine and artist/illustrator T.S Spookytooth present an insightful view of all eyes
can do in a picture book perfectly created for children ages 5-10. While especially recommended and appropriate for
family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Eye by Eye: Comparing How Animals See" is also readily available in a digital book format
And That's the Tooth
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781643518183, $17.95, HC, 32pp
Teeth come in all shapes and sizes, just like their animal hosts. Some teeth are sharp to grab prey and tear apart the
meat. Other teeth are flat to chew plants and some animals have both kinds to eat plants and animals. "And That's the
Tooth" by Terri Fields delivers unique and fun facts about animal and human teeth through engaging riddles. With hints
to help solve each riddle, children ages 8-12 will be actively involved as they giggle, guess, and learn! While
unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "And That's the Tooth" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9781643518251, $9.95).
When Elephants Listen With Their Feet
Emmanuelle Grundmann, author
Clemence Dupont, illustrator
9781772781236, $19.95, HC, 40pp
Humans experience the world through sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. But what if you had the compound eyes of
a fly, the whiskers of a cat, or a whale's ability to sense magnetic north? There's a whole world of surprising senses out
there, and fascinating adaptations that have allowed animals to make use of them. We can't interpret the faint vibration
of an elephant's faraway stomp, but learning how they keep in touch with family across the wide savannah helps us
understand that we are more alike than different.
Featuring accessible text from author Emmanuelle Grundmann, inviting art from illustrator Clemence Dupont, and
enhanced with the inclusion of a table of contents, glossary, and index, "When Elephants Listen With Their Feet:
Discover Extraordinary Animal Senses" is a lively nonfiction book that encourages curiosity about (and respect for) the
animals with which we share our planet. Exceptionally 'kid friendly' in tone, commentary and presentation, "When
Elephants Listen With Their Feet: Discover Extraordinary Animal Senses" is especially recommended for family,
elementary school, middle school, and community library Wildlife picture book collections for young readers ages 8-
Raven, Rabbit, Deer
Sue Farrell Holler, author
Jennifer Faria, illustrator
9781772781366, $17.95, HC, 32pp
A young boy shows his Grandpa how to jump in the snow and how to make it splash into the creek. Then Grandpa
shows the boy rabbit tracks and deer hiding among the trees. They greet their animal neighbors by name: Raven,
Rabbit, Deer, Sparrow. Back home, the little boy sets the table with cookies while Grandpa pours the milk. It has been a
glorious afternoon, and soon there will be books and blankets and the big armchair by the fire.
A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining picture book introduction to the subject of animal tracks to children ages 4-7,
"Raven, Rabbit, Deer" by the team of author Sue Farrell Holler and illustrator Jennifer Faria is an extraordinary and
forthrightly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library
Hold On!: Saving the Spotted Handfish
Gina M. Newton, author
Rachel Tribout, illustrator
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781486311842, $16.95, HC, 32pp
"Hold On!: Saving the Spotted Handfish" by the team of author Gina M. Newton and illustrator Rachel Tribout is the
picture book story of a quirky and primitive little fish that is famous for two things: walking on its "hands" (pectoral
fins), and being the first marine fish anywhere in the world to be listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The Spotted Handfish has survived since the time of the dinosaurs -- until now. Invasive seastars, human based
pollution and climate change mean that this unique Australian is in real trouble.
"Hold On!: Saving the Spotted Handfish" is a Marine environment story, narrated by a handfish, and showcasing
handfish biology and ecology, including to environmental threats and their conservation plight, as well as how science
is stepping in to save the day. Of special note is the inclusion of a Fact File section and a Glossary, making "Hold On!:
Saving the Spotted Handfish" especially recommended for elementary school and community library collections for
children ages 8-12.
The Very Impatient Caterpillar
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338289411, $17.99, HC, 32pp
With comedic illustrations by artist and storyteller Ross Burach, "The Very Impatient Caterpillar" is an hilarious,
tongue-in-cheek exploration of metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly that will make children 4-8 simply flutter
with glee -- all while also providing real facts about how caterpillars transform into butterflies. Fun and informative,
"The Very Impatient Caterpillar" will prove to be a welcome addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary
school, and community library Wildlife picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The
Very Impatient Caterpillar" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781338532234, $9.95) and in a digital
book format (Kindle, $1.99).
Do Animals Fall in Love?
Katharina von der Gathen, author
Anke Kuhl, illustrator
9781776572915, $18.99, HC, 144pp
Beavers stay loyal for life. Scorpions attract their partners with a romantic dance. Male humpback whales sing together
for days at a time to bring females from many miles away.
The collaborative work of author Katharina von der Gathen and illustrator Anke Kuhl, "Do Animals Fall in Love?" is
an illustrated compendium is based on questions asked by children in sexuality education classes. It is frank, humorous,
and with something to amaze on every page, including seduction methods, physiology and mating, the most devoted
fathers in the animal kingdom, and the sweetest animal babies on Earth.
Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in content organization and presentation, "Do Animals Fall in Love?" is an especially
recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, community library Pets/Wildlife collections for
young readers ages 8-12.
Wildlife on Paper: Animals at Risk Around the Globe
West Margin Press
9781513264356, $18.99, HC, 40pp
From the Peary caribou in Northwest Canada to the Galapagos Penguin in Ecuador, the Royal Bengal Tiger in India to
the Hawksbill Sea Turtle in Australia, "Wildlife on Paper: Animals at Risk Around the Globe" by Kunal Kundu
celebrates the rich diversity of wildlife on almost every continent.
Each of the sixteen exquisitely handcrafted paper sculptures come with interesting trivia and facts about where the
animal lives and how it survives in its habitat and interacts with nature. Also included is a map of where each creature
lives on the globe, plus a list of helpful resources and the author's favorite nature conservation organizations.
Sure to be a favorite for kids and adults alike, "Wildlife on Paper" opens the world wide as you marvel at the gorgeous
crumpled paper art journey through the ocean, forest, desert, and more to learn about the diversity of animals and their
incredible characteristics. It should be noted that as an artist, Kunal Kundu created his sculptures from eco-friendly
paper companies that plant a tree for every ream of paper sold.
Beautifully illustrated throughout, fund and informative, "Wildlife on Paper: Animals at Risk Around the Globe" is a
unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library
Pets/Wildlife collections for children ages 6-9.
Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires
Emma Bland Smith, author
Carrie Salazar, illustrator
West Margin Press
9781513262949, $16.99, HC, 32pp
One October night in 2017, when wildfire raged in Sonoma and Napa counties, the Hendel family was suddenly
evacuated from their homes and farms to escape to safety and forced to leave behind their Pyrenees dog, Odin. Odin
refused to leave his nightly post of guarding the family's eight young goats, despite the family's desperate attempts to
lead him away. Brokenhearted, the Hendels were sure they would never see their dog again.
But when the fire calmed and the family returned home, to their shock they found Odin singed yet safe, along with all
the goats and several orphaned deer the dog had protected as well. "Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires" is a touching and
inspirational true picture book story by the team of author/storyteller Emma BlandSmith and artist/illustrator Carrie
Salazar that honors the bravery and strength of Odin as well as commemorates the stories of those affected by the
Memorably entertaining and impressively inspiring, "Odin, Dog Hero Of The Fires" is an extraordinary and
unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book Pets/Wildlife
collections for children ages 5-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Odin, Dog Hero Of The Fires" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).
The Middle Grade Fiction Shelf
Tales by Moons-light
B08D5HB732, $4.99 Kindle
Tales by Moons-light: Stories from Before the Great Melt provides advanced elementary to middle-grade readers with
seven short fantasy stories from two-mooned planet Urth (featured in the previous story Frankie and the Gift of
Fantasy). It dovetails perfectly with that story because it represents the children's book Frankie read to Iktae in the
rowboat on Krog Pad Island, but also operates as a solid stand-alone read for newcomers unfamiliar with Frankie's tale.
In each story, children face a diverse set of challenges that encourage them to find their inner power, whether it be
courage, a voice, problem-solving abilities, or the rescue of another.
Each story provides a very different scenario that is as compellingly written as the last. Take the opening story, 'The
Moons-lings', for example. Margie and her younger brother Hal are kidnapped from their beds one night by an evil
sorceress who brings them to her castle. She keeps children as slaves to clean her castle and care for her. But Margie
doesn't let threats and misery quash her determination to find a way back home, even though the sorceress has informed
them their parents no longer want them. The sorceress has made herself out to be all-powerful. How can a child defeat a
harbinger of magic who claims she can "...control the sun. I've made the days longer, and the nights longer, too. And I
rule Urth's two moons."? Or, consider the plight of a quiet boy who becomes a hero in 'The Poison Well'. Bai is a good
listener who puts his powers to unexpectedly good use when his village, Curimicu, is threatened. There is only one
problem - will anyone listen to his words when he's cultivated a reputation for being silent?
Each story holds a powerful moral and lesson about choice, action, and consequences. Each is steeped in the Urth world
and brings it to life in a different way, and each will captivate young readers. Black and white drawings throughout
bring each tale to life in a collection of fantasy stories where young people are heroes, heroines, and are called upon to
rise above their fears and limitations to become powerful forces in their worlds. Tales by Moons-light is highly
recommended for readers who enjoy engaging stories about quests, new possibilities, and courage.
Geronimo Stilton: The Sewer Rat Stink
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012
Geronimo Stilton: The Sewer Rat Stink is a graphic novel that will reach kids looking for colorful drawings and
action-packed adventure, and is interpreted by Stilton fan Tom Angleberger, based on Elizabeth Dami's story. From
stinky cheese to cat pee, a host of bad smells accompanies Geronimo Stilton's investigations, bringing smiles to young
faces as the private detective and his best friend Hercule try to save Mouse Island from sewer stench. Their forays
deeper into the sewer lead to shocking discoveries designed to delight readers who look for plenty of colorful graphics
and whimsical adventure.
The YA Fiction Shelf
Shine Until Tomorrow
Rare Bird Books
453 S. Spring Street, Suite 302, Los Angels, CA 90013
9781644281420, $20.00 Hardcover/$11.49 Kindle
In Shine Until Tomorrow, Mari Caldwell is fixated on going to college and escaping the many situations that cause her
anxiety. From nightmares about having to drive a car someday to her poor outlook about life today and in the future,
teen Mari is stuck. The only way out is Yale and the camera she uses to capture the disappointing world around her.
Carla Malden employs fun, contemporary language and allusions to add insights into Mari's view of herself and her
place in the world: "My general physiognomy is a study in mismatchedness, facial Mad Libs." This may ask a reader to
hold a contemporary familiarity with modern cultural references, but adds elements of humor and realistic modern
insights into Mari's world. The first-person story succeeds in capturing the past and present. Then it delves into Mari's
future with an astute eye to considering her limitations and achievements, and her own ability to self-analyze her
psyche. Given her objectives and perspective, the last thing readers expect is that Mari will discover a secret about her
parents and react in a manner that flings her into their past world of the 1960s and hippies during the Summer of
Mari's encounters force her to open up to her deepest fears and the elements in life which are holding her back. This
leads to viewing San Francisco and the people she meets (from the world of her parents' past, although not her parents
themselves) in a whole new light. Love changes everything. But does it really change what is important to the future of
Mari's goals? Time travel stories usually focus on worldly objectives, but Carla Malden here provides an encounter
which is rooted in Mari's changes at a pivotal point of her entry into adulthood. This creates a sage and compelling
vision of Mari's life and its changes as she meets people whose lives mirror her father's experiences and decisions, and
grows to better understand them. It's fascinating to view Mari's evolution as she connects the dots between the past and
her world to explore new avenues of acceptance, growth, and revised visions of opportunities and what they mean.
Shine Until Tomorrow is a powerful story that embraces elements of growth, 1960s history, and coming of age that
goes beyond introducing Mari to her parents' world, but continues that journey into her choices for her future and how
she changes her psyche. Young adult as well as adult audiences looking for a powerful psychological discussion of
transformation and understanding will find the adventure here lies not just in discovering love and newfound
connections, but using both to change trajectories and tackle fears of the future. Mari will remain connected to these
days and their impact for the rest of her life, and readers will be captivated by her positive and unexpected
Skunk and Badger
Amy Timberlake, author
Jon Klassen, illustrator
Algonquin Young Readers
9781643750057, $18.95 HC, $8.61 Kndle, $18.20Audio CD, 124pp
"Skunk and Badger" is a delightful, witty tale about two very different animals who become roommates and later
friends. Badger lives in a brownstone owned by his Aunt Lulu rent free, enabled to do his Important Rock Work by her
support. The cheerful Skunk arrives at his door one day to claim his invitation to become Badger's roommate, issued by
Aunt Lulu. Badger is a distinctly reluctant host at first, although is definitely a better cook than Badger.
Discord arrives over the hosting and protection of Skunk's chicken friends and other habits. Badger does learn to play
the ukelele while Skunk if there and they both enjoy this. After disagreements, the two roommates part ways and
Badger comes to realize that he misses his friend Skunk and his chickens, and that he values their friendship. A tiny
orange chicken who had adopted Badger, then disappeared, returns to him in reaffirmed love and friendship.
Humorous sepia and black and white illustrations by award winning artist Jon Klassen add to the tone and delicacy of
the tale of two unlikely friends. Middle grade readers will be enthralled by the funny, precise portrait of two distinct
personalities coming together in an unlikely but durable bond of friendship.
This Is Not the Jess Show
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781683691976, $18.99, HC, 304pp
The year is 1998: Titanic just won 6 Oscars, boy bands are dominating MTV's airwaves, and like any other teenager,
Jess Flynn is just trying to survive high school. Between a crush on her childhood best friend, overprotective parents,
and her sister's worsening health, the only constant is her hometown of Swickley, which feels smaller by the day.
Jess is resigned to her small-town life, until the day she discovers a mysterious device with an apple logo, causing her to
question everything and everyone she's ever known. As more cracks appear in Jess's world, she faces a choice: can she
live the rest of her life knowing it's a lie or should she risk everything for the truth?
Critique: A fast-paced, deftly crafted, mind-bending YA suspense thriller replete with '90s pop culture references and
with special appeal for fans of Black Mirror, "This Is Not the Jess Show" by author Anna Carey is an inherently
entertaining and compelling read that will keep young readers ages 14-17 fully engaged from first page to last. While
highly recommended for middle school, high school, and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "This Is Not the Jess Show" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094032498, $29.95).
Pudge & Prejudice
A. K. Pittman
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781496442826, $24.99, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: After moving to Northfield with her family, Elyse Nebbit faces the challenge of finding her place in a new
school, one dominated by social status and Friday night football. When Elyse's effortlessly beautiful older sister Jayne
starts dating Charlie Bingley, the captain of the school football team, Elyse finds herself curious about Charlie's popular
and brooding best friend, Billy Fitz. Elyse's body insecurities eventually complicate her relationship with Billy, leaving
Jayne and Elyse's exceedingly blunt friend, Lottie, to step in and help Elyse accept herself for who she is, pant size and
Critique: In her deftly crafted and impressively original novel, "Pudge & Prejudice", author A. K. Pittman pays homage
to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", transporting her young readers ages 13-18 to the fictitious Northfield Texas
High School in the year 1984. A thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, "Pudge & Prejudice" is an especially
recommended addition to middle school, high school, and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Pudge & Prejudice" is also readily available in a paperback edition
(9781496442833, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Kids of Widney Junior High Take Over the World!
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764360183, $12.99, HC, 144pp
"The Kids of Widney Junior High Take Over the World!" is a fun-filled novel by Matthew Klickstein specifically
written for middle grade readers ages 8 to 12 and was inspired by the real-life Kids of Widney High -- a rock band made
of members with developmental disabilities. Offering young readers fresh thoughts on how to better interact with
classmates and friends living with disabilities, "The Kids of Widney Junior High Take Over the World!" is a unique and
unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library socially aware fiction
collections for young readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Kids of Widney Junior High Take
Over the World!" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.50).
Explorer Academy: The Tiger's Nest
National Geographic Kids
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426338625, $16.99, HC, 216pp
On an island nation in the Indian Ocean, the explorers venture through a vast underwater world and take part in a
friendly robotics competition. But the tides of good fortune change quickly. Suddenly, Team Cousteau jumps into
action to rescue a faculty member from the brink of death. Meanwhile, the team follows the Cruz''s mother''s clues to a
magnificent tomb and center of spirituality precariously perched on the side of a cliff. There, Cruz is confronted by a
familiar foe who is determined to stop him from completing his most important mission of all: Retrieving the final
pieces of his mother''s cipher. In this life-or-death showdown, Cruz witnesses the ultimate sacrifice and uncovers a
hidden message that makes him question his own mortality.
A simply riveting read from first page to last, Trudi Truett's "Explorer Academy: The Tiger's Nest" is an extraordinary
action/adventure novel for young readers ages 8-12 by novelist with an enviable flair for originality and an effective,
seamless, and narrative driven storytelling style. While especially recommended for elementary school, middle school,
and community library general fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Explorer Academy:
The Tiger's Nest" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Red, White, and Whole
Quill Tree Books
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
195 Broadway, New York, N Y, 10007
9780063047426, $16.99, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she's the only Indian American student, and home, with
her family's traditions and holidays. But Reha's parents don't understand why she's conflicted -- they only notice when
Reha doesn't meet their strict expectations. Reha feels disconnected from her mother, or Amma, although their names
are linked (Reha means "star" and Punam means "moon") but they are a universe apart.
Then Reha finds out that her Amma is sick. Really sick. Reha, who dreams of becoming a doctor even though she can't
stomach the sight of blood, is determined to make her Amma well again. She'll be the perfect daughter, if it means
saving her Amma's life.
Critique: A heartbreakingly hopeful story told in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down
when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia, "Red, White, and Whole" by Rajani LaRocca is an extraordinary novel
and highly recommended, especially for elementary school, middle school, and community library contemporary fiction
collections for young readers ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Red, White, and Whole" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Blackstone Audio, 9781799948483, $22.99, CD).
557 Broadway, New York NY 10012
Three young adult books are highly recommended picks, standing out from a host of leisure choices with exceptional
plots, writing styles, and premises.
Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott's Can You See Me? (9781338608915, $17.99), a story of Tally's fears of sixth grade
and how her autism will affect her school experiences. Autism complicates life and relationships, but only her best
friend Layla knows about it. Layla has been her main supporter, but all this changes in sixth grade as Tally is challenged
to present a vision of normalcy to her peers to hide her real self. A fine story of adjustment and friendship evolves.
Ann Clare LeZotte's Show Me a Sign (9781338255812, $18.99) presents the unique situation of Mary Lambert, who
lives on Martha's Vineyard as the great-great-granddaughter of its first deaf settler. Many people on the island are deaf
and communicate via sign language, but when her brother dies and land disputes erupt, tensions mount between the
English settlers and the native Wampanoag people. A young scientist's probe of the island's deaf community is also
changing everything as Mary finds the foundations of her heritage in question. The story proves a winning, close
examination of what it means to be normal in a changing world.
Leah Johnson's You Should See Me in a Crown (9781338503265, $17.99) tells of Liz Lightly, a black girl who lives in
a rich small Midwestern town and who dreams of moving somewhere else so her lofty goals can be better accepted. All
this depends on financial aid; but when that falls through, Liz has little choice but to pursue a scholarship normally
given to prom winners. Can she handle her peers and the media to achieve her dreams when she is forced to compete
with another school outsider, new girl Mack? A fine story of growth and ambition evolves.
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Wild Open Faces
Bad Apple Books
9781733514019, $16.95 PB, $4.99 Kindle, 351pp
Wild Open Faces is Book Two in the 'Wild and Ruin' series, complimenting its predecessor by continuing the story of
Ruby Brooks, who is in love with Ezra, a disfigured recluse who has found new opportunities thanks to Ruby's probe of
New Mexico legends and his role in them. Ruby has made a home in La Luna and has successfully forged new
friendships, support systems, and romance while continuing to shy away from the meaning the local ruins hold to her
When an archeological dig unearths these connections and a hidden truth about her real role in this world, everything
changes once again. Readers might think familiarity with the prior book is a requirement (and, certainly, it helps), but
newcomers will find it easy to enter Ruby's world at this point to continue the saga of her friendships, abilities, and her
more-than-casual relationship to New Mexico's legends and folklore. The first-person narrative is steeped in a sense of
place and purpose, capturing not only La Luna but Ruby's perceptions of friends and New Mexico's culture.
Descriptions of these encounters are vivid and compelling.
From Aztec gods and animal counterparts to differing belief systems and Lee's controlling bid for Ruby's love, Jennifer
Edelson adds new elements of angst and struggle to the ongoing story, building on the introduction in a satisfyingly
complex manner. The result is a powerful book which both stands nicely alone and compliments Between Wild and
Ruin with a new adventure that pits Ruby against the potential for catastrophe, testing her abilities in new ways and
concluding in a cliffhanger that promises the third book will be just as compelling. Young adults who enjoy stories of
fantasy, growth, and love will find Wild Open Faces absolutely enthralling reading.
Greg's Fifth Adventure in Time
C. M. Huddleston
Interpreting Time's Past Press
9781732833357, $9.99 Print/$4.99 ebook
Greg's Fifth Adventure in Time is the fifth book in the 'Adventures in Time' series, reaching readers ages 9-16 who
relish sci-fi time travel and historical fiction with its delightful adventure mystery. Greg and Rose are now sixteen years
old, but their time-travel adventures haven't stopped. Rose observes that Greg "constantly strives to prove himself better
than anyone at every challenge we are given", a habit she both admires and finds annoying. She provides the
introductory chapters to their latest time travel adventure, insisting on being the first to chart their path. Greg's point of
view begins in the fourth chapter, when the story is well on its way to proving captivating. He admires Rose's abilities,
which seem far beyond the capabilities of most girls.
As young readers gain insights on Greg and Rose through their own actions as well as their friendship, they receive the
foundations of connection that power their time-traveling mishaps and encounters with elements of history and mystery
alike. Some of the characters in the prior time travel encounters return, here; but no prior familiarity with the series is
necessary in order to quickly absorb the concept of this time-traveling duo, their family relationship with parents who
also travel into history, and their latest mission. From 1898 Skagway to a plot which could change Western Canada's
history, readers receive a vivid story that centers not just on the time-hopping experience, but the circumstances that
Greg and Rose struggle to change. As the search for pivotal characters Nick, Nate, and Jesse heats up, young readers
will appreciate the twists and turns which blend mystery with history. The history is injected throughout the story as
background information Greg and Rose must learn.
Greg's Fifth Adventure in Time is a vivid time travel adventure that educates and entertains simultaneously. It's highly
recommended for new readers and prior series fans, especially those who enjoy historical fiction and time-traveling
9781484778203, $18.99, HC, 576pp
Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as
mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family's sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her
back on the hunt's promises of eternal glory. For years she's pushed away any thought of revenge against the man (who
is now a god) responsible for their deaths.
Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore
believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.
The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever.
But Lore's decision to bind her fate to Athena's and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost -- and still may not be
enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
Critique: Original, inherently fascinating, and a compelling page turner of an action/adventure fantasy, "Lore" by
Alexandra Bracken is an especially recommended addition to middle school, highschool, and community library
Fantasy Fiction collections for young readers ages 9-18. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated
fantasy fans that "Lore" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
H. B. Reneau
9781953729019, $12.99, PB, 308pp
For centuries, the Legion of Pneumos has lurked behind the seat of power in Loren. To preserve order across worlds,
they are charged with battling chaos in all its forms, no matter the cost.
Keira Altman, the newest Legionnaire, has spent years perfecting the art of wielding pneuma and channeling order out
of chaos. Ripped from her own world and into one she barely understands, the only thing Keira knows for certain is that
she has a purpose. Now, if only she knew what it was.
Yet when word arrives that the Regio lies on his deathbed, Keira's new world begins to crumble around her. As the
specter of a peasant uprising looms large, and political maneuvering threatens to unravel the fabric of society, Keira
realizes that her only hope of avoiding the coming turmoil may lie in the very institutions she's fought so hard against.
But can she master the forces of chaos without losing herself to the chaos within? And what if the price of order proves
too high to pay?
"Chaos Looming" is the first book in fantasy author H. B. Reneau's new series, 'Legion of Pneumos'. A deftly crafted
and impressively original historical fantasy action/adventure novel, "Chaos Looming" is especially recommended for
highschool and community library YA Fiction collections for young readers ages 15-18. It should be noted for the
personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction and fantasy fans that "Chaos Looming" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
The Christian Shelf
Jesus Came for Me: The True Story of Christmas
Jared Kennedy, author
Trish Mahoney, illustrated
New Growth Press
1301 Carolina Street, #L101, Greensboro, NC 27401
9781645070498, $11.99, Board Book, 20pp
A new board book from author/storyteller Jared Kennedy and artist/illustrator Trish Mahoney, "Jesus Came for Me" is
part of The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible series. For children ages three to seven, this beautifully illustrated, Christian,
children's book begins with the announcement of John the Baptist's birth to Zechariah and ends with the visit of the
wise men. Jesus Christ, our great God, was born as a little baby, and his birth is good news and great joy for all people
including your child! In a conversational style, "Jesus came for Me" simply tells the story of the gospel and invites
children to respond. "Jesus Came for Me" will also help toddlers and preschoolers celebrate the true meaning of
Christmas -- making it highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community
library board book collections.
Brilliant: 25 Catholic Scientists, Mathematicians, and Supersmart People
David Michael Warren, author
Jaclyn Warren, illustrator
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
9780819812483, $24.95, PB, 112pp
The Daughters of Saint Paul through Pauline Books & Media have partnered with The Word on Fire Institute to present
an exciting new book for young readers throughout the Roman Catholic community. "Brilliant! 25 Catholic Scientists,
Mathematicians, and Supersmart People" by author David Michael Warren and illustrator Jaclyn Warren introduces
children to twenty-five of Catholics who were behind groundbreaking discoveries in both science and math. Children
will enjoy embarking on an adventure through history and meeting faith-filled pioneers in every field from anatomy to
astrophysics. They will also learn how brilliant they themselves can be when they unite faith and science! "Brilliant: 25
Catholic Scientists, Mathematicians, and Supersmart People" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family,
middle school, highschool, parochial school, and community library collections.
The Buddhist Shelf
Snow Covered Peaks
Bhikshuni Jin Rou, author
Gwo He Shi, illustrator
Instilling Goodness Books
c/o Buddhist Text Translation Society
4951 Bodhi Way, Ukiah, CA 95482
9781601030771, $8.00, PB, 40pp
The collaborative work of author/storyteller Bhikshuni Jin Rou and artist/illustrator Gwo He Shi, "Snow Covered Peaks"
is an inspiring picture book for children ages 6-10. Beautiful artwork is combined with simple text, introducing young
readers to the most significant values of Buddhism, such as kindness, giving and courage. They will meet a Bodhisattva
on each page and learn what's special about him or her. At the end is a message of how children can bring peace in the
world by being a Bodhisattva too. Informative, entertaining, inspired and inspiring, "Snow Covered Peaks" is especially
and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Buddhist Studies collections for
The Poetry Shelf
Fireflies at 3 am
9789390267309, $9.99, PB, 182pp
'Shoetry' is an unusual term that is germane and applicable to describing Danni Thomas' poetry for children (and the
child in every adult) where the reader will experience the flow of poetry intermingled with the ebb of stories as blended,
combined, and compiled into "Fireflies at 3 am" Eloquent, erudite, and the work of a master wordsmith with a flair for
originality, Danni Thomas' "Fireflies at 3 am" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
family, school, and community library Children's Poetry collections for young readers.
The Environmental Shelf
Kids vs. Plastic
National Geographic Kids
c/o National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426339110, $24.90, Library Binding, 128pp
Synopsis: It's every thing in a toothbrush, your clothes, your earbuds, and more. The chances are, that while reading
"Kids vs. Plastic: Ditch the straw and find the pollution solution to bottles, bags, and other single-use plastics" young
readers ages 8-12 touching something plastic.
Plastic is absolutely everywhere and in practically everything children touch, from pens to water bottles to sports
equipment. And a lot of it is used once and then thrown away. Unfortunately, it takes a really long time for plastic to
break down and it can be harmful to our environment, especially wildlife. It is the single most polluting substance
contaminating the oceans today. But why and when did we start using it in so much stuff? And how do we stop?
Children will discover shocking stats and surprising facts; inspirational interviews with National Geographic explorers
and leading researchers who are working tirelessly to protect the planet; tons of simple suggestions for sustainable
swaps; and more eco-friendly choices and smart action steps. "Kids vs. Plastic" answers all of the relevant questions
about plastic and offers tangible, practical, effective ways to get involved, reduce plastic use, and create a more
Critique: Profusely illustrated from first page to last, "Kids vs. Plastic: Ditch the straw and find the pollution solution to
bottles, bags, and other single-use plastics" is thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an
important and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library
Environmental Studies collections. It should also be noted for personal reading lists that "Kids vs. Plastic" is readily
available in a paperback edition (9781426339103, $14.99).
Geraldine and the Space Bees
Sol Regwan, author
Denise Muzzio, illustrator
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764359941, $16.99, HC, 32pp
Geraldine is an energetic, spirited second-grader with a passion for inventing. When she observes a decline in the bee
population, Geraldine decides to find a way to help. A field trip to the space museum and a challenging homework
assignment prompt her to sort through her parents' old gadgets and gizmos to create an invention that may one day save
the bees. Can she produce something truly remarkable; something that might help the environment and change the
The collaborative work of author/storyteller Sol Regwan and artist/illustrator Denise Muzzio, "Geraldine and the Space
Bees" is an ideal picture book introduction to children ages 5-8 with respect to the environmental impact on bees and
other living creatures. Fun and informative, "Geraldine and the Space Bees" is an especially recommended addition to
family, elementary school, and community library Environmental Issues picture book collections.
The American History Shelf
Past Times Press
9780990940838, $19.99, PB, 64pp
Synopsis: Inspired by the Broadway hit, HAMILTON, and by Longfellow's "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," author
Dorothea Jensen wrote "Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How 'America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman' Helped Win Our
Independence", a short rhyming narrative about the Marquis de Lafayette and his crucial role in our Revolutionary
A glossary and extensive endnotes supply further information about the historical figures and events mentioned in the
poem. This playful historical account is aimed at middle schoolers, as well as young and older adults. It would be
entertaining and educational to perform in a classroom or other settings, such as events celebrating the upcoming
bicentennial of Lafayette's 1824-5 Farewell Tour of America.
"Liberty-Loving Lafayette" reveals: Who the unlikely person was who inspired Lafayette to help America; How
Lafayette's powerful father-in-law tried to discourage his plan; Why such a high rank was given to an inexperienced
19-year-old; How Lafayette helped strengthen the crucial French Alliance; What Lafayette's key successes were as a
military commander in America.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How 'America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman'
Helped Win Our Independence" is a unique, informative, and unreservedly recommended addition to middle school,
high school, and community library American Revolution history collections for young readers ages 13-18 in general,
and Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Liberty-Loving Lafayette" is also readily available in a paperback edition
(9780990940814, $10.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Editorial Note: Dorothea Jensen has previously written "A Buss from Lafayette" and "The Riddle of Penncroft Farm",
two award-winning historical novels for young readers (middle graders and young adults) about Lafayette and about the
The World History Shelf
Mexique: A Refugee Story from the Spanish Civil War
Maria Jose Ferrada, author
Ana Penyas, illustrator
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
9780802855459, $17.99, HC, 40pp
On May 27, 1937, over four hundred children sailed for Morelia, Mexico, fleeing the violence of the Spanish Civil
War. Home was no longer safe, and Mexico was welcoming refugees by the thousands. Each child packed a suitcase
and boarded the Mexique, expecting to return home in a few months. This was just a short trip, an extra-long summer
vacation, they thought. But the war did not end in a few months, and the children stayed, waiting and wondering, in
Mexico. When the war finally ended, a dictator (the Fascist Francisco Franco) ruled Spain. Home was even more
dangerous than before.
The collaborative work of author/storyteller Maria Jose Ferrada and artist/illustrator Ana Penyas, "Mexique: A Refugee
Story from the Spanish Civil War" is moving and informative picture book that invites young readers ages 7-10 onto
the Mexique with the "children of Morelia," many of whom never returned to Spain during Franco's almost forty-year
regime. Poignant and poetically told, Mexique opens important conversations about hope, resilience, and the lives of
displaced people in the past and today. "Mexique: A Refugee Story from the Spanish Civil War" is appropriate and
recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections.
The Health Shelf
The Big P
9780692155202, $12.99, PB, 43pp
Synopsis: "The Big P: A Girl's Journey Through Puberty" by Toyna Chin is the first of a planned series of books based
on the tanner scale and helping girls traverse the sometimes rocky pathway from girlhood to womanhood. It begins with
the onset of puberty, which can start anywhere between the ages of eight and eleven. Those initial body changes lead to
the first bra and the first menstrual period as well as the difficult emotional changes that accompany the hormonal shifts
of passing from childhood to womanhood.
The puberty based drive for independence from the family, spending more time with friends than at home and all the
issues of social interactions including peer pressure, are also part of it. In "The Big P", author Toyna Chin draws upon
her years of experience raising a daughter of her own and seeing hundreds of young girls as patients -- which has only
reinforced how important education and open communication is during puberty.
Critique: Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in commentary, organization and presentation, "The Big P: A Girl's Journey Through
Puberty" also includes an informative Foreword by Dr. Mary Lake Polan and is especially recommended for family,
elementary school, middle school, and community library Children's Personal Health & Hygiene instructional reference
collections for kids ages 8-11. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Big P" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).
Marissa Moss, author
April Chu, illustrator
PO Box 9369, Berkeley, CA 94709
9781939547668, $18.99, HC, 40pp
In the late 19th century, there wasn't much hope for premature babies -- until Dr. Couney developed the incubator. The
device was so new and strange, hospitals rejected it. So Dr. Couney set up a sideshow at Coney Island, taking care of
the tiniest newborns as part of a display to convince the public that incubators worked. Thousands of babies grew into
healthy children that were popularly known as Boardwalk Babies -- including Dr. Couney's own premature daughter.
Many of those babies came back as adults to thank the doctor for his miracle cures. Science meets magic show in this
fascinating, true and informative picture book story by the team of author/storyteller Marissa Moss and artist/illustrator
April Chu. Taking a thoroughly 'kid friendly' approach to the subject of premature babies, "Boardwalk Babies" is
especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library picture book collections for
young readers ages 7-11.
The Travel Shelf
The World Around Me
Charlotte Guillain, author
Oliver Averil, illustrator
Words & Pictures
Quarto Group Children's Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780711258174, $24.95, HC, 20pp
With so much to explore on this globetrotting adventure, it's a good thing that "The World Around Me" stretches out to
an incredible length of over eight feet! Stretch out the book's concertina pages and take in the wonders of the world's
cities and landmarks by traveling its pages through more than 60 countries. Then turn it over and explore the amazing
diversity of creatures and landscapes on planet Earth. Unique, informative, entertaining, "The World Around Me" is
especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 5-7.
The Autism Shelf
Sara Leach, author
Rebecca Bender, illustrator
9781772781489, $17.99, HC, 104pp
Irma is Lauren's best friend. Irma knows all the strategies Lauren uses when her Autism Spectrum Disorder makes it
hard to "go with the flow". Lauren helps Irma learn English words and understand unfamiliar customs. So why does
Irma suddenly want to introduce Lauren to her mountain-biking, litter-dropping neighbor Jonas? Why is Irma calling
Jonas her friend?
As if sharing Irma weren't bad enough, Lauren also has an alarming new problem at school. Their teacher has
announced a mountain biking day when the students will learn to ride their bikes on an obstacle course. But Lauren still
uses training wheels. She just can't face the teasing she will get when her classmates see them. She isn't brave like Irma.
She can't go with the flow like Dad. How can she possibly face this challenge?
The collaborative work author/storyteller Sara Leach and artist/illustrator Rebecca Bender, "Duck Days" is an honest
and warm-hearted successor to their critically acclaimed "Slug Days" and "Penguin Days". With its straightforward text
and frequent black-and-white illustrations, "Duck Days" is a thoroughly 'kid friendly' and accessible chapter book
suitable for young readers ages 7-10 -- especially those with mountains of their own to climb! While wholeheartedly
recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Duck Days" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.95).
The LGBT Shelf
Love is Love: The Journey Continues
Fleur Pierets, author
Fatinha Ramos, illustrator
Six Foot Press
9781644420263, $18.95, HC, 40pp
Fleur Pierets and Julian P. Boom are two women in love. They live together, eat together, sleep together, and work
together. When Fleur asks Julian to marry her, Julian says "Yes!" But in most countries, a man cannot marry a man and
a woman cannot marry a woman. There are 195 countries in the world, but they can only get married in 28 of them.
They think this is unfair! So they decide to get married in all 28 countries that allow same-sex marriage.
Inspired by a true story, "Love Around the World" (9781644420058, $18.95 HC, $9.99 Kindle), was the first in this
two-volume children's book series about Julian and Fleur's adventures from Six Foot Press. In "Love Is Love: The
Journey Continues", they pick up where they left off, exploring the marriage traditions of fourteen countries: Argentina,
Austria, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden,
Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
Informative, entertaining, unique, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in content and presentation, "Love Is Love: The Journey
Continues" is very highly and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library
LGBTQ picture book collections for children ages 6-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Love Is Love:
The Journey Continues" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Story Monsters Ink
Story Monsters LLC is dedicated to helping authors of all genres strive for excellence through our marketing and
publicity services, Dragonfly Book Awards contests, Story Monsters Approved! awards program, opportunities for
connecting with schools, and the award-winning Story Monsters Ink(R) magazine.
Lionel and the Lion's Share
Lou Peacock, author
Lisa Sheehan, illustrator
c/o Candlewick Press
9781536205923 $16.99 amazon.com
Lionel has seemed to translate the clutching sensation of "mine" into a reasonable idea that he deserves the best and
most of every occasion. He is a lion after all, and everybody knows, a lion gets the best share. The illustrations and
approach of this basic and most necessary lesson, holds a winning reception. Being thoughtful and sharing is an early
concept necessary to building satisfying relationships, from the playground all the way to the office. (Ages 2-5)
How to Cure a Whiny Werewolf
Brittany Plumeri, author
Genevieve Viel-Taschereau, illustrator
Once Upon A Page Press
9781734657371 $17.95 amazon.com
This adorably illustrated story will capture the hearts and interest of every young helper. They are sure to quickly spot
and overturn those whiny moments into feel-good manners for all. A fun engaging tale to better us all! (Ages 2-6)
Lola Koala's Travel Adventures
Dr. Tinita Ortega Kearney, author
Jasmine T. Mills, illustrator
Dr. Dawn Menge
This is an excellent resource for speech and language development in learning to answer "Wh" questions. Who, where,
and what are the beginnings of comprehension skills in young readers. It also enriches adventure and educational
knowledge of other countries. Lola Koala travels to an unknown destination and the reader has to guess where she is. I
love this concept and will be using it in my classroom. (Ages 2-6)
Yummy Yoga: Playful Poses and Tasty Treats
Joy Bauer, author
Bonnie Stephens, photographer
Harry N. Abrams
9781419738241 $14.99 amazon.com
Have you ever seen an avocado do the Triangle Pose or a banana do the Plank Pose? Health expert Joy Bauer shares
some easy yoga poses, as well as some kid-friendly recipes as an introduction to practicing yoga and eating healthy
food. Photographer Bonnie Stephens has brought even more fun to the mix by putting fruits and vegetables into yoga
poses. The result is a visual delight. There are also instructions at the back of the book for how to do each pose
illustrated in the book. (Ages 3-5)
Just in Case You Want to Fly
Julie Fogliano, author
Christian Robinson, illustrator
Neal Porter Books
c/o Holiday House
9780823443444, $18.99 www.bn.com
Funny and sweet, told with lyrical text and bright, unexpected illustrations, Just in Case You Want to Fly is a
celebration of heading off on new adventures - and of knowing your loved ones will always have your back when you
need them. The simple text and kid-friendly illustrations make this a perfect book for the younger set. (Ages 3-7)
Two Brothers, One Tail
Richard T. Morris, author
Jay Fleck, illustrator
9781524740856 $17.99 amazon.com
Friendship indeed is often a mirrored experience. This simple rhyme paints the sweet bond between a boy and his dog.
One heart, one joy is genuinely shared by two. (Ages 3-7)
Nana Says I Will Be Famous One Day
Ann Stott, author
Andrew Joyner, illustrator
9780763695606 $16.99 amazon.com
Nana cheers the loudest at her grandson's basketball game. She dances in the aisles at the spring concert. She yells at the
umpire that he needs to get his eyes checked when he doesn't call the strikes her grandson pitches. But when this
go-go-go grandmother takes a tumble trying to get a front-row seat at the basketball game, it's her grandson who roots
her on in her recovery. Delightful illustrations and a story young children can relate to makes this book a winner for
everyone. (Ages 3-7)
The Jolly Bupbup
Ann P. Borrmann
9780228828303 $5.59 amazon.com
The Bupbup is small and jolly and has lived all her life in the wood field. But a dreadful thing happens in the wood
field and the jolly Bupbup goes on an unexpected adventure. A simple yet engaging story for little ones with fun words
like "jelly middles!" Great as a stand-alone, but I think it would also make a terrific series. Children and reclusive
tea-drinkers alike will love it! (Ages 3-8)
Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday
Alysson Foti Bourque, author
Chiara Civati, illustrator
9781645431084 $14.95 amazon.com
Lucky charms and talismans make for fun and exciting reading, but Alycat helps her brother realize that his success was
in him all along! His lucky ball didn't make him the athlete he is; it was his dedication and hard work! These adorable
cats bring home a valuable lesson that is sure to strengthen and encourage young readers as they find their focus in life.
The Boy and the Gorilla
Jackie Azua Kramer, author
Cindy Derby, illustrator
0763698326 $16.99 amazon.com
Grief can be a heavy burden. When a little boy loses his mother, he feels the weight like a gorilla that is always there,
always around. Slowly, the boy is able to open up and share his grief. The book combines text that tackles the many
questions young children ask when dealing with the loss of a loved one with emotionally engaging illustrations. (Ages
See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog
David LaRochelle, author
Mike Wohnoutka, illustrator
9781536204278 $8.99 amazon.com
This funny book will encourage your young reader with its easy format. They will identify, recognize, and easily sound
out the words with confidence. All the while, snickering and chuckling at a poor dog's plight. The book has somehow
confused him with a cat. Can he clear up the confusion before the story ends? A fun confidence-booster! (Ages
The Rhythm of the Rain
c/o Penguin Random House
9781536205756 $17.99 amazon.com
As a young boy plays in his favorite mountainside pool, he is awakened to the cycles of life. He follows the raindrops as
they mingle and flow with the sparkling stream. Thirsty animals drink their fill. Lands and crops are nourished as the
waters pass through, finally, merging with the ocean. On warm sunny days the droplets rise up in steam and form into
clouds, happy to start all over again. A story about the details that keep our beautiful world alive. (Ages 4-8)
Meg McKinlay, author
Nathaniel Eckstrom, illustrator
9781536204223 $15.99 amazon.com
I love this book. Its appearance is bright and colorful, and entices me in for more. Communication is the strongest tool
in our life equipment box! It can open many doors for us, or seal them shut. Duck has great intentions and heartfelt
motivations, but all are lost for lack of communication. All too late, he learns a more effective way he could have gotten
his intentions across to his companions. This is a perfect reminder and opportunity to teach our children early the art of
communication. (Ages 4-8)
Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure
Brigitte Brulz, author
Alyssa Brulz, illustrator
9781087877174 $17.99 amazon.com
Young children will become familiar with the alphabet as they read the easy flow of this book. The quick and few
words on each page keep the young reader engaged, and learning becomes easy. A website is also provided to find free
helpful resources and fun activities to go along with the reading experience. (Ages 4-8)
A Girl Like You
Frank Murphy and Carla Murphy, authors
Kayla Harren, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
9781534110960 $16.99 amazon.com
No matter your age, no matter your ethnicity, no matter your abilities, you are unique. This book provides a uplifting,
positive view of girls, with a message of hope and inspiration for all. (Ages 5-7)
Think Smart, Be Fearless: A Biography of Bill Gates
Sharon Mentyka, author
Vivien Mildenberger, illustrator
c/o Sasquatch Books
9781632171764 $18.99 amazon.com
How do fearless ideas begin? Travel along with young Bill Gates on his life's journey full of curiosity, discovery, hard
work, and most important, fearlessness - the inability to see limits. The book invites young readers to pursue their
passions and awaken a sense of ambition and responsibility for others as they grow. The author includes a timeline of
events in Bill's life as well as a glossary of terms used throughout the text. (Ages 5-9)
Northbound: A Train Ride Out of Segregation
Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein, authors
James E. Ransome, illustrator
9780763696504 $17.99 amazon.com
Based on author Michael Bandy's own recollections of taking the train as a boy during the segregation era, this story of
a child's magical first experience is intercut with a sense of baffling injustice, offering both a hopeful tale of friendship
and a window into a dark period of history that still resonates today. A must-have for the home library and classroom.
A Fist for Joe Louis and Me
Trinka Hakes Noble, author
Nicole Tadgell, illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press
9781534110168 $17.99 amazon.com
This is a great story of hope, unity, and friendship that lifts us through our darkest times. Times when people come
together and find their strength in the success of others. In the backdrop of Hitler's Nazi Germany taking over Europe,
Joe Louis's amazing first round knockout of his greatest opponent German boxer Max Schmeling gave hope to all
Americans facing such a dark hour in history. Louis struck a blow for mankind, and little Gordy learned the meaning of
standing up for a friend. (Ages 6-9)
Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
Suzanne Slade, author
Cozbi A. Cabrera, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
This picture book biography explores the intersections of race, gender, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Great
Depression - all with a lyrical touch worthy of the subject. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black person to win the
Pulitzer Prize, receiving the award for poetry in 1950. The author uses lyrical phrases and occasional rhyme schemes to
tell this inspiring story. Included in the end matter of the book are a timeline of events in Brooks' life, as well as sources
used for her story. (Ages 6-9)
Noodleheads Fortress of Doom
Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss, authors
Tedd Arnold, illustrator
9780823440016 $15.99 amazon.com
Brothers Mac and Mac are noodles, made of hollow pasta. As such, they are empty-headed, but they still have some big
ideas. After a trip to the library, where they checked out a joke book and a fantasy novel, they have decided to build a
Fortress of Doom. They manage to get the job done, despite their constant bickering. The book is filled with humor and
insight, and is the fourth book in this easy-to-read series of graphic novels featuring these two funny characters. (Ages
Ase Omavuaye Otite
9781733544511 $15.99 amazon.com
Happystarville is a magical village deep in the forest filled with wonder and surprise. Until one boy decides to disobey
the King - will his actions change Happystarville forever? This book teaches great morals to young children; allowing
them to see how the consequences of their actions don't just affect them - but also everyone around them. (Ages
Bruno the Beekeeper: A Honey Primer
Aneta Frantiska Holasova
9781536214611 $19.99 amazon.com
This kid-friendly story about a bear that keeps honeybees gives young readers a glimpse into where honey comes from,
how it is produced, etc. The abundance of hand-drawn illustrations all have a warm, golden, honey-like color, and are
sure to please any young reader. (Ages 7-10)
Colton's Time Machine: Betsy Ross, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty
9781948000598 $19.99 amazon.com
Dr. Dawn Menge
This chapter book in the Colton's series takes Colton and his dragon friends on a history tour through three very famous
monuments in the U.S. I highly recommend this series to young readers of chapter books. Colton and his dragon series
encourage imagination and curiosity in their adventures. (Ages 8-11)
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
Karina Yan Glaser
9780544876392 $16.99 amazon.com
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It's practically another member of the family.
So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have 11 days to do
whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And
all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home. Very uplifting and a good lesson on the morals of
kindness. (Ages 8-12)
Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners
Sky Pony Press
c/o Skyhorse Publishing
9781510717718 $15.99 amazon.com
Most kids would dread the start of middle school and the year-long Explorations project that comes with it, but Ana
knows that her + her best friend Lily + their plan to write and sell their own cookbook is a recipe for success. Lily's not
just the perfect partner in culinary crime - she's also the only person in the world who understands Ana's need to wash
her hands five times before picking up a spatula, and would never make fun of her for it. But Ana and Lily's plan turns
into one big baking disaster when they're assigned to different partners for their projects. Young readers will love this
story and get a valuable lesson on friendships. (Ages 8-12)
Thames & Hudson
9780500652213 $19.95 amazon.com
Dr. Dawn Menge
A great magician never reveals their secrets, but reveals the names of eight groundbreaking illusionists, both famous
and lesser-known, who shaped modern magic. Through a magical blend of biography, history, and illustration, this
book spotlights an array of magicians, including one of the first female magicians, Adelaide Herrmann; African
American illusionist Richard Potter, "The Handcuff King" Harry Houdini, and more. (Ages 9-12)
101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
9781641702911 $12.99 amazon.com
Who knew? Nancy Chen knew! And passed on to us a wealth of knowledge! History, facts that will amaze, increase,
and enlighten the home cook, beauty lover, health enthusiast, and home improvement master in us all! As a long time
user of cinnamon, I was impressed at how much more there was to still learn about this wonderful spice. It is packed to
overflowing with great tips, uses, and recipes. A resource book you will forage through, endlessly gathering delightful
morsels to enjoy. (All Ages)
Jeff Kubiak, author
Briannah Altpeter, illustrator
9781953852083 $26.99 amazon.com
It's Me is dedicated to every person who has ever felt less about who they are or want to be because of someone else's
opinion, feelings, or prejudice. Let's ditch the prejudiced labeling, and embrace our human race for the diversity,
inclusivity, equity, and individuality we all deserve. This book is a poetical relay passing to us the emotional
understanding that can thrust us all forward to a great win. A grabbing of the baton and finishing the race with cheers of
victory instead. (Ages 13-18)
Geese Are Never Swans
Eva Clark, author
Created by Kobe Bryant
9781949520057 $18.99 amazon.com
Gus's life is about one thing: swimming. And he knows that the only coach in town who can get him to the Olympics is
Coach Marks. So it seems like a simple plan: convince Coach Marks to train him, and everything from there on in is
just hard work. Gus has never been afraid of hard work. But there are a few complications... A very emotional story of
how a younger brother strives to cope in his brother's shadow. (Ages 14-18)
Body Positive: A Guide To Loving Your Body
Emily Lauren Dick
9781641702676 $19.99 amazon.com
Let's all stand an applaud! Every young girl, and some older ones that missed this message, should receive this book
from someone who loves them. My thanks to every brave woman and youthful beauty that willing stood bold and free
to welcome us into a sisterhood of acceptance and self-appreciation. Leading in example, they undress the insecurities
and intimidations of female development. They open and enlighten our understanding, lead us into conscious thought,
and realization of false ideals and hidden agendas that break down the beauty of womanhood. Place for thoughtful
reflection and discovery is provided among its pages. Truly a journaling of the greatest adventure girls will embark
upon. Well done ladies! (Ages 12-17)
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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