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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 27, Number 7 July 2017 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Pets/Wildlife Shelf Biography Shelf
Psychology Shelf Agriculture Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Picturebook Shelf Christian Shelf Judaic Shelf
Bilingual Shelf Multicultural Shelf Board Book Shelf
Art Shelf Fiction Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Sports Shelf Literary Shelf Science Shelf
Holocaust Studies Shelf Books in Series  

Reviewer's Choice

Leonardo da Vinci and the Pen That Drew the Future
Luca Novelli
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781613738696, $9.99, PB, 112pp,

Like nobody before or since, Leonardo da Vinci united both the arts and the sciences. He was not only a painter and skilled draftsman, but also an inventor and tireless researcher. His art, including the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, remain classics of Western civilization. And though he lived 500 years ago, many of his futuristic ideas, such as the contact lens and the armored vehicle, are still with us today. Part of the outstanding Chicago Review Press 'Flashes of Genius' series for children ages 7 to 10, "Leonardo da Vinci and the Pen That Drew the Future" tells the story of the greatest thinker of the Renaissance. Exceptionally well written and impressively informative, "Leonardo da Vinci and the Pen That Drew the Future" is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections. Also highly recommended in this same series is Luca Novelli's "Newton and the Antigravity Formula" (9781613738610, $9.99, PB, 112pp).

Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums and How She Outgrew Them
Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D., author
Jo Gershman, illustrator
Smart Love Press
400 East Randolph Street, Suite 205, Chicago, IL 60601
9780983866411 $12.99 hc / $9.98 ebook

Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums and How She Outgrew Them is a children's picturebook by psychotherapist Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D. about how children and parents can learn to resolve temper tantrums without punishing, yelling, isolating, conceding, or bribing. Jilly is an anthropomorphic kangaroo who is disastrously unhappy when she doesn't get her way. Jilly's parents respond to her tantrums in a firm and loving manner - she can't always get her way, but she can always have a smile and a hug. A heartwarming story about dealing with frustrations positively starting very early in life, Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums and How She Outgrew Them is highly recommended for both personal and public library collections.

A Kiss Goodnight
Richard M. Sherman & Brittany Rubiano, authors
Floyd Norman & Adrienne Brown Norman, illustrators
Disney Editions / Disney Hyperion
125 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
9781484782286, $19.99, HC, 48pp,

"A Kiss Goodnight" is a valentine to Walt Disney from the legendary songwriter Richard Sherman. Opening with a touching story about what inspired Richard to write the song, "A Kiss Goodnight" is a picture book for young readers that tells the story of how a young Walt Disney was enchanted by fireworks and how he kept his promise to send all his guests home with a special kiss goodnight. Beautifully illustrated by Disney legend Floyd Norman A Kiss Goodnight will be the must-have picture book for families to enjoy together and for Disney fans to treasure. It should be noted that "A Kiss Goodnight" features a CD with the song sung by Broadway star Ashley Brown along with a download as well. A simply beautiful, engaging, informative, and entertaining read from cover to cover, "A Kiss Goodnight" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Where's Rodney?
Carmen Bogan, author
Floyd Cooper, illustrator
Yosemite Conservancy
101 Montgomery Street, Suite 1700, San Francisco, CA 94104
9781930238732, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Rodney is that kid who just can't sit still. He's inside, but he wants to be outside. Outside is where Rodney always wants to be. Between school and home, there is a park. He knows all about that park. It's that triangle-shaped place with the yellow grass and two benches where grown-ups sit around all day. Besides, his momma said to stay away from that park. When Rodney finally gets a chance to go to a real park, with plenty of room to run and climb and shout, and to just be himself, he will never be the same. Engagingly written by Carmen Bogan, superbly illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published by the Yosemite National Park's Yosemite Conservancy, "Where's Rodney?" is a wonderfully produced picture book celebration of the joy that can be experience when children encounter a national park for the first time. Extraordinary, entertaining, and original, "Where's Rodney?" is very highly recommended for children ages 4 to 8, and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Water's Children
Angele Delaunois, author
Gerard Frischeteau, illustrator
Erin Woods, translator
Pajama Press
9781772780154, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Around the world, water appears in many forms: a snowflake, an oasis, the stream from a faucet, monsoon rain. In Water's Children, twelve young people describe what water means to them. The descriptions are as varied as the landscapes the speakers inhabit, but each of them also expresses, in their own language, a universal truth: Water is life. Accompanied by the glowing illustrations of Gerard Frischeteau, "Water's Children" by Anele Delaunois (and ably translated into English by Erin Woods) is a celebration of our world's most precious resource and will encourage thoughtful discussion among young readers and listeners. A unique and memorable picture book, "Water's Children" offers emotional and sensory details that bring the children's experiences to life. It should be noted that on the final page there is a guide that identifies the languages in which the phrase "water is life" appears in water marks on each spread throughout the book, with thanks to the individuals who provided the translations, helping to craft this truly global story. Unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for children ages 4 to 8, "Water's Children" will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Jabber the Steller's Jay
Sylvester Allred, author
Diane Iverson, illustrator
WestWinds Press
c/o Graphic Arts Books
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781943328895, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Beautifully illustrated by Diane Iverson, and informatively written by Dr. Sylvester Allred (a retired biology professor from Northern Arizona University), "Jabber the Steller's Jay" is a children's picture book takes reader through the first year of life of Jabber, a Steller's jay. She lives in the ponderosa pine forest of the US Southwest, which provides many habitats and foods for the other animals that live there with her. The various life stages of Steller's jays are explored through the four seasons. Includes a pictorial glossary of many of the forest animals that Jabber meets, including a red-tailed hawk, a tassel-eared squirrel, a porcupine, and a mountain lion. Ideal for children ages 4 to 8, "Jabber the Steller's Jay" is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections.

After A While Crocodile: Alexa's Diary
Brady Barr, author
Jennifer Keats Curtis, author
Susan Detwiler, illustrator
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781628558340, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Alexa and the other children at her escuela in Costa Rica have a special project: they are raising American Crocodiles. She names her croc Jefe, which means "boss," because he seems to be in charge of all the other babies. Alexa brings him chicken and frogs to eat, and writes about his progress in her diary. Soon, her little hatchling is as big as a loaf of bread. He has grown into a juvenile and it is time for Alexa to say goodbye and for Jefe to return to the wild. "After A While Crocodile: Alexa's Diary" is nonfiction picture book with a cuddle factor that includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 20-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. "After A While Crocodile: Alexa's Diary" has been vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. Specifically written, organized and presented for children ages 4 to 8, it should be noted that "After A While Crocodile: Alexa's Diary" is also available in a paperback edition (9781628558357, $8.95), as well as a Kindle format ($6.95). The enhanced ebook edition reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension. "After A While Crocodile: Alexa's Diary" is unreservedly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book Pets/Wildlife collections.

Beauty and the Beak
Deborah Lee Rose, author
Jane Veltkamp, author
Persnickety Press
9781943978281, $16.95, HC, 40pp,

The collaborative work of Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp, "Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle" is a new, nonfiction picture book about Beauty, the wild bald eagle that made world news when she was illegally shot, rescued, and received a pioneering, 3D-printed prosthetic beak. "Beauty and the Beak" follows Beauty close up from the moment she uses her baby beak to emerge from her egg, through her hunt when she uses her powerful adult beak to feed herself, to the day her beak is shot off leaving her helpless. This brave and heartlifting story continues through her rescue, into the months of engineering her 3D-printed prosthetic beak and intense hours of her beak surgery, to the moment she takes the first drink of water by herself with her new beak. Of special note for young readers is that "Beauty and the Beak" includes expanded information about bald eagles as a top predator species, their near extinction in most of the U.S., their successful reintroduction back into the wild, and efforts to conserve this critical raptor species today. Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, profusely illustrated, "Beauty and the Beak" is an outstanding choice for both school and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections.

The Big Book of Beasts
Yuval Zommer & Barbara Taylor
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500651063, $19.95, HC, 64pp,

In the pages of "The Big Book of Beasts", Yuval Zommer's wonderful illustrations bring to whimsical life some of the grizzliest, hairiest, bravest, wiliest, and most fearsome beasts in the animal kingdom. Brimming with interesting facts from beast consultant Barbara Taylor, "The Big Book of Beasts" is a unique and charming picture book introduction for young children age 4 - 7 to the animal world. In the first pages children will learn that beasts are wild animals that can't be tamed and that they all defend themselves in different ways. As "The Big Book of Beasts" continues young readers meet specific beasts, including armadillos, bears, tigers, and the Tasmanian devil. "The Big Book of Beasts" also approaches the world of beasts thematically, looking at mythical beasts, Ice Age beasts, beasts on your street, and how to save beasts in danger of extinction. The funny and conversational text featuring amazing facts, and glorious, quirky pictures will draw in young children over and over again. A unique, informative, and consistently entertaining read from cover to cover, "The Big Book of Beasts" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections.

How the Piloses Evolved Skinny Noses
Deborah Kelemen, author
The Child Cognition Lab, author
Tumblehome Learning
201 Newbury Street, Suite 201, Boston, MA 02116
9781943431267, $17.95, HC, 28pp,

The piloses are a busy species, spending their days snuffling up the millibugs that keep them healthy and strong. But as the climate grows hotter, the millibugs disappear into deep underground tunnels. What happens to piloses who can no longer reach the millibugs? And what happens to the pilose species over time? Children ages 5 to 9 will journey with these engaging creatures as author Deborah Kelemen and The Child Cognition Lab collaborate to introduce them to the amazing mechanism of natural selection that is the fundamental foundation of biological evolution. Although Piloses is an imaginary animal created to illustrate the basics of biological adaptation driven by climate change, the underlying science is sound and presented in a thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book format, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Biography Shelf

Manjhi Moves a Mountain
Nancy Churnin, author
Danny Popovici, illustrator
Creston Books
PO Box 9369, Berkeley, CA 94709
9781939547347, $17.99,

"Manjhi Moves a Mountain" is an amazing story of dedication, persistence, vision, and steadfast love. It is a true story about a real man named Dashrath Manjhi, who lived in India from 1934 until 2007. Manjhi lived in a remote, poor mountain village, where a mountain divided his poor village from a sister village with water, fertile land, and access to health care and education. People from Manjhi's village had to walk over 36 difficult miles to get to the sister village for access to crops, food, health care, and education, because of the difficult mountain obstacle between. Manjhi could see the differences between the two villages clearly, and he pondered the question of inequality between people at the top of the mountain. He came to a decision after throwing a stone against the mountainside in frustration, watching it dissolve into powder. This was his revelation! From then on, Manjhi spent every possible resource and effort to obtain a hammer and chisel and to use his full strength every day to work at pounding the stone of the mountain to make a road for the people from the poor village to travel to the rich village more easily. The work was hard, and had to be done in addition to the work of growing food and sustaining himself. Manjhi and his hammer became a common sight on the mountain, where he labored every day, chanting to himself, "Hold. Aim. Swing!" Though people told him he was crazy, that he should give up and accept inequality, he continued throughout his life, making slow progress in carving a pathway through the mountain. After 15 years, villagers could see real progress. People began to leave offerings of food, and new tools, to help him on his gigantic, self imposed task. Finally one day that was 22 years after Manjhi first had his vision, the last hammer blow was swung and the pathway that would become a road for everyone was open. Manjhi looked from one village to the other and saw not two villages, but one, "sharing water, hopes, dreams... and a man who had moved a mountain!" This true life story of an Indian sage who became revered and known as the Mountain Man is inspiring and moving to young readers age 5 and up. Beautiful earth-toned illustrations depict the mighty work of Manjhi and the awe and respect of his village friends. "Manjhi Moves a Mountain" is a true modern treasure and wisdom life story.

The Psychology Shelf

Someone To Talk To: Getting Good At Feeling Better
Paola Conte, PhD., Cheryl Sterling, PhD., and Larissa Labay, PsyD, authors
Claire Keay, illustrator
Magination Press
American Psychological Association
750 first Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
9781433826726, $14.93, PB, 64pp,

"Someone To Talk To" is an excellent interactive guide and instruction manual for kids (and parents/caretakers) who are considering involvement in cognitive behavioral therapy. After an intro for parents/ caretakers and a separate introduction for kids, Eight succinct, illuminated chapters follow describing the therapy process. They are titled Starting Therapy, Getting Going in Therapy, learning About Feelings, Thoughts and Behaviors, Problem Solving, Back to Basics: Focus on Healthy Living, and Finishing Up in Therapy. Each chapter features black and white diagrams, blank pages for thoughts and ideas, helpful questions to consider, plus other helpful tools like a reframing chart/exercise. Goal setting, learning to read one's own mood or feelings, meditation, calming exercise, and other helpful tools are included in this inviting self help book for kids in cognitive therapy. The chapter on Focus on healthy Living encourages kids to self chart their daily sleep, eating, and exercise patterns, plus tracking some of their strategies for living more mindfully. The last chapter, Finishing Up in Therapy, helps kids prepare for this transition and turning point in their relationship with their therapist. It also helps kids recognize their hard work and successes in therapy, with ideas for followup contacts if desired. At the end of "Someone to Talk To" is a list of More Magination Press Resources for kids of varying ages, from 4 to 18. "Someone To Talk To" is a nonthreatening, inviting, interactive self guiding manual to assist kids in getting the most from their cognitive behavioral therapy experience. "Someone To Talk To" seems targeted towards kids between the ages of 8 and 12.

The Agriculture Shelf

Busy On the Farm With Casey & Friends
Holly Dufek, author
Paul E. Nunn & Mike Kasun, illustrators
Octane Press
809 S. Lamar Blvd, Suite H, Austin, TX 78704
9781937747794, $14.97, HC, 32pp,

"Busy On the Farm With Casey & Friends" is the first title of an agricultural educational series based on STEM concepts for children ages 4-8. Produced in cooperation with Case IH for Kids educational series, "Busy On the Farm with Casey & Friends" uses the assistance of narrator Casey, a woman farmer, two IH tractors named Frankie and Fern, and Tillus the worm, all to tell the story of growing and baling hay at Happy Skies Farm. Cheery, colored illustrations show farm scenes, crop details, and even seed packets of information about different types of hay. Illustrations combine cartoon details with actual color photos of real IH farm machinery in action preparing, raking, and baling hay on the farm. Advanced Farming Systems technology is described to enhance hay production and farming productivity ratings. specific photo portraits of IH machines, including a rotary cutter, post hole digger, manure spreader, bale grip, pallet fork and bale spear are included along with other helpful equipment. Also featured are animal management and waste management plans and techniques and thumbnail portraits of ten different types of cattle, plus many informative sidebars about agricultural practices labeled as Tillus Talk. The importance of farm production figures is detailed in Happy Skies Farm in Numbers pages, and a historic photo gallery of Farmall tractor models since 1923 show the lineage of the IH tractor model of the present day. "Busy on the Farm With Casey & Friends" is completed by an illustrated glossary and an intriguing list of Fun Facts! about farming. This innovative agricultural series is highly recommended as it portrays a woman as a farmer, teaches STEM aspects of agriculture production, explains the value of useful agricultural technology, and explains the how technical mechanics of machine equipment such as balers help farmers to bale hay in different ways. Also highly recommended are the other titles in the Case IH for Kids series, including the following: "A Year on the Farm with Casey & Friends" (9781937747565, $14.97), "Planters & Cultivators With Casey & Friends" (9781937747558, ), "Combines with Casey & Friends" (9781937747541, $14.97), and "Big Tractors with Casey & Friends" (9781937747534, $14.97), all by Holly Dufek and illustrated by Paul E. Nunn.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

The People of the Sea
Donald Uluadluak, author
Mike Motz, illustrator
Inhabit Media, Inc.
9781772271386, $10.95,

"The People of the Sea" is a beautifully illustrated traditional Inuit tale retold by an Inuit elder, Donald Uluadluak, based upon his own experience, and published from his memories with the help of his daughter, Elizabeth Issakiark, and editor Neil Christopher. When Donald was a young boy near Arviat, Nunavut, in 1940, he played at the beach with friends looking for sculpins. One said, "Look at that!" pointing to the sea. Donald saw a woman in the water perhaps ten feet away, very beautiful, with long hair like seaweed. She said nothing, but looked at them. The boys soon ran away in fear although the sea woman said nothing, but only looked at them. Strangely, on the long run back to their camp, the three boys forgot what they had seen and why they were afraid and running. A year later, the boys began to remember seeing the strange sea woman, and told their parents and grandparents about it. They called her an arnajuinnaq, one of the people of the sea. Young Donald was told by his elders that in the past the people of the sea had often been seen, but that now they had become rare and were not often seen. Donald always remembered his experience of seeing the beautiful arnajuinnaq, and he recorded his vision in a drawing and his memories in this book for future generations. Beautifully illustrated, "The People of the Sea" is a priceless tribute to passing memories of ancient wisdom, ideal reading for children ages 5-7.

The Picturebook Shelf

T. Veg
Smriti Prasadam-Halls
Harry N. Abrams
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9781419724947, $16.95,

T. Veg: The Story of a Carrot-Crunching Dinosaur celebrates one Reginald the fierce T. Rex dinosaur who would rather eat his greens than meat. Reginald knows he isn't like the other meat-eaters, so it seems the only solution is to leave and join the herbivores. The only problem is, he doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. Reginald is truly unique - and it takes an emergency for he and everyone around him to discover just how special he is. This story of a fierce vegetarian dinosaur will attract kids who love dinosaurs, kids who love vegetables, and those who just don't seem to fit in with a gentle story spiced by lovely color drawings by Katherina Manolessou.

Count Your Chickens
Jo Ellen Bogart and Lori Joy Smith
Tundra Books
350 Front Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 3B6
9781770497924, $16.99,

Count Your Chickens presents a county fair with too much poultry as spring chickens prepare for their annual outing. A rollicking rhyme follows the count as 'Chicken grannies knitting socks./Chicken chicks with chicken pox' get ready for a county fair like none other. A very simple, fun story teaches kids counting basics as they follow a group of boisterous chickens in a fun experience.

The Gumazing Gum Girl! Gum Luck
Rhode Montijo with Luke Reynolds
Hyperion Books
114 Fifth Avenue, 14th floor, New York, NY 10011
9781423161172, $14.99,

The Gumazing Gum Girl! Gum Luck pairs two-color pink and black drawings by Rhode Montijo with the fun continuing story of Gabby Gomez, who faces her first villain in this second book of the Gumazing Gum Girl series. The floral-scented ("gum-scented") cover leads into a fun graphic story with full-page drawings and the story of a girl who has to keep her real heroic identity a secret from her parents. Kids will appreciate a fun, zany story and a different kind of superhero in Gum Girl.

Good Morning, Grumple
Victoria Allenby
Pajama Press
9781772780147, $14.95,

Good Morning, Grumple features illustrations by Manon Gauthier as it considers how one wakes up a Grumple, a creature notoriously hard to awaken. It hates noises, morning cheer, and shiny lights - what's a concerned mother to do? But there is a path to reach the Grumple, a story which is gently told with some fun drawings to enhance the waking-up experience.

Please Please the Bees
Gerald Kelley, author & illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320, Park Ridge, IL 60068
9780807551837, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Benedict has a pretty sweet life for a bear. Every morning the bees leave a jar of honey on his doorstep, and every day he has honey for breakfast and honey in his tea. It's an important part of his day. But all that changes when the bees go on strike. Now it's up to Benedict to listen to the bees, and he realizes there's a lot more he could be doing to help them. So he fixes up the hive and learns to be a better beekeeper. Will the bees be pleased? Artfully written and charmingly illustrated by Gerald Kelly, "Please Please the Bees" is a wonderfully entertaining picture book story for children ages 4 to 8 and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, preschool, daycare center, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Giant Jumperee
Julia Donaldson, author
Helen Oxenbury, illustrator
Dial Books
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780735227972, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Rabbit arrives home one day to hear a loud voice coming from inside his burrow: "I'm the Giant Jumperee and I'm scary as can be!" shouts the stranger. Rabbit's friends Cat, Bear, and Elephant come to help, but they're no match for the mysterious, booming voice. But who is the Giant Jumperee? Children ages 3 to 5 will find out in "The Giant Jumperee", a new read-aloud classic from internationally bestselling author Julia Donaldson, and beautifully brought to life by award-winning illustrator Helen Oxenbury. A modern classic, "The Giant Jumperee" will prove to be an enduringly popular and highly prized addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea
Kate Hosford, author
Gabi Swiatkowska, illustrator
Carolrhoda Books
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781467739047, $18.99, HC, 40pp,

Each day when the Queen wakes up, three maids dress her, two more style her hair, and her butler James makes her tea. But when she grows dissatisfied with her brew, the Queen and James set out in search of the perfect cup. With each stop on their hot-air balloon journey, the Queen encounters new friends who expand her horizons in the kitchen and beyond. An original and utterly charming picture book story for children ages 4 to 8 by the team of author Kate Hosford and illustrator Gabi Swiatkowska, "How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea" is an impressively engaging and unfailingly entertaining read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for parents that "How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Take a Bath---Please!
Donald W. Kruse, author
Donny Crank, illustrator
Zaccheus Entertainment
9780996996402, $14.95, PB, 50pp,

Little Leroy hates taking a bath, so he vows he won't take one until he's 90 years old! Mom and Dad are upset, but what can they do? First, they order Leroy to take a bath. But that doesn't work. Then they try sweet-talking to him. But that doesn't work. Then they plead with him to bathe. But that doesn't work. Then they try bribing him with all kinds of gifts, including a puppy named Spike. But to no avail. Nothing seems to work, and meanwhile little Leroy has grown so ripe, he must now live in the garage with his dog Burt. Soon the entire neighborhood and the mailman are in an uproar because Leroy is growing quite ripe. They go out of their way to avoid him, and even Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny refuse to stop at Leroy's house on Christmas and Easter Day. Things go from bad to worse, and the police are summoned. They arrive on the scene and order Leroy to take a bath. But little Leroy knows his rights and he refuses to obey the police order. Then a news reporter gets whiff of the story (and of Leroy) and arrives on the scene with her TV news team to interview Leroy. But by now Leroy is so ripe, the reporter barely survives the interview without fainting. She calls the fire department who arrive in their fire truck, holding their noses. Their plan is to hose off Leroy right where he stands, but something happens to their fire hose and their plan is foiled. The situation looks hopeless, but then one day an unexpected visitor arrives and finally convinces Leroy to take a bath --- please! Children ages 3 to 10 will join in on the fun as they read along and discover just who was able to convince Leroy to take a bath! Featuring a foreword by comedian Arte Johnson, and written in verse with full-color illustrations by Donny Crank throughout, "Take a Bath --- Please!" is another wonderfully entertaining children's paperback picture book story by Donald W. Kruse that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Henny and Benny Bunyan and the Maple Syrup Adventure
Kitty Donohoe, author
Lori Taylor, illustrator
Gypsie Bird Press
PO Box 3070, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
9780997046007, $14.95, PB, 40pp,

"Henny & Benny Bunyan and the Maple Syrup Adventure" is the debut title in author Kitty Donohoe's new picture book series 'Northwoods Kids'. Henny and Benny are brothers, distant relatives (twice removed and once returned!) of the famous legendary lumberman Paul Bunyan, and they live in the little logging town of Pineville, somewhere near the Great Pasty Mountains. There is a flapjack contest, the Whoopie Howdy Super Supreme Sled, a recipe gone wrong, an unusually hot spring day, and a possible disaster for Pineville. Can Henny and his friends save the town? Featuring the charming and colorful artwork illustrations of Lori Taylor, "Henny and Benny Bunyan and the Maple Syrup Adventure" includes a CD of songs about maple syrup and logging. Especially recommended for children ages 5 to 11, "Henny and Benny Bunyan and the Maple Syrup Adventure" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Most People
Michael Leannah, author
Jennifer E. Morris, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
9780884485544, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

Author Michael Leannah wrote "Most People" as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day. Illustrator Jennifer Morris's emotive, diverting characters provide the perfect complement to Leannah's words, leading young children through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two pairs of siblings (one of color). We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the Goth teenager with piercings and purple Mohawk returning a lost wallet to its owner; and the myriad interactions of daily existence, most of them well intended. "Most People" is a courageous, constructive response to the dystopian world of the news media and very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie
Kimberly Dean & James Dean
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062404343, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Children ages 4 to 8 can join Pete the Cat in a brand-new story from New York Times bestselling author-illustrator team James and Kimberly Dean! Pete is learning a new dance -- the Cool Cat Boogie! When he hears a groovy beat, he's full of happy in his feet. But when Grumpy Toad tells him, "Pete, you dance all wrong!" Pete is determined to become a better dancer. With the help of his friends and some wise words from Owl, Pete learns that he's his grooviest when he's being himself. Includes step-by-step dance moves so readers can dance along with Pete! "Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie" is very highly recommended for family, day care center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. Also strongly recommended are Pete's other picture book adventures, including Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses, Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues and Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes.

Night Night, Groot
Brendan Deneen, author
Cale Atkinson, illustrator
Marvel Press
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781484732823, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

It's been a long day for baby Groot and he's ready to be tucked in for bed. Just as his eyes start to close, Rocket Raccoon bursts onto the scene! Groot can't go to sleep yet, there's a whole galaxy that needs to be defended and they must work together to save the day! Then maybe, just maybe, Groot will finally get the rest he deserves! Based on the popular Marvel "Guardians of the Galaxy" comic book characters, "Night Night, Groot" is great fund for children ages 3 to 6 and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted that "Night Night, Groot" is also available as a Board Book (9781484787656, $7.99) and in a digital book format ($9.99).

The Day I Ran Away
Holly L. Niner, author
Isabella Ongaro, illustrator
Flash Light Press
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781936261895, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day -- which was anything but calm. She had a tantrum (because of some injustices involving a purple shirt and breakfast cereal) and was banished to her bedroom before deciding to run away. Understanding that kids have ups and downs, Grace's mom wisely gave her daughter the space and time she needed to reach her own decision to return home -- to open arms. "The Day I Ran Away" amusingly captures Grace's mutable moods and childlike logic. Warm, humorous digital paintings by Isabella Ongaro offer fun details to keep little listeners busy in perfect complement to author Holly Niner's charmingly engaging and original story. Kids can compare the bedtime and daytime scenes and try to figure out how Grace got that purple paw-print on her cheek -- and when it got washed away. They can mimic Grace's facial expressions or copy her poses for some soothing bedtime yoga. And of course, they can create a safe place to run away to when the injustices of Pre-K existence become too much to bear. A pop-up tent in the yard and the haven beneath the dining room table are excellent run-away destinations -- as long as you come home for dinner! Providing a perfect picture book story experience for children ages 5 - 7, "The Day I Ran Away" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for parents that "The Day I Ran Away" is also available in a digital book format ($7.99).

Where Is Grandma?
Peter Schossow
Gecko Press
9781776571543, $17.99, HC, 64pp,

Written and illustrated by Peter Schossow, "Where Is Grandma?" is especially relevant for young children ages 5 to 7 with family members or friends who are or will be hospitalized. "Where Is Grandma?" is the picture book story of a young boy named Henry who visits his grandmother in the hospital and decides to find her room all by himself. The result is an charming and 'kid friendly' adventure in which Henry finds friends, humor, lots of information, and at last, Grandma. "Where Is Grandma?" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten
Candice Ransom, author
Christine Grove, illustrator
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780399554551, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Amanda Panda has BIG ideas for her first day of school. But when things don't go according to plan, and when a pesky girl in a pink bow decides to be her best friend, she walks out on kindergarten and joins her brother in second grade. It takes an unlikely partner to fix Amanda's terrible day - and to teach her about friendship, tolerance, and how to cope with life's ups and downs. Engagingly written by Candice Ransom and delightfully illustrated by Christine Grove, "Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten" perfectly captures the spirit, motivations, and humor of a headstrong five-year-old girl -- and will be sure to soothe back-to-school jitters of children ages 3 to 7. Original and thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end, "Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten" is especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted for parents that "Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten" is also available in a digital book format ($10.99).

The Secret of Black Rock
Joe Tod-Stanton
Flying Eye Books
c/o Nobrow Press
611 Broadway, Suite 742, New York, NY 10012
9781911171256, $16.95, HC, 40pp,

Erin loves to lie on the jetty, looking for the weirdest fish in the sea -- and the weirder, the better! And she knows the best ones must be further out, where her mum won't let her go. Out there in the deepest sea lies the Black Rock: a huge, dark and spiky mass that is said to destroy any boats that come near it! Can Erin uncover the truth behind this mysterious legend? An original picture book story that is superbly illustrated from cover to cover, Joe Todd-Stanton's "The Secret of Black Rock" is a compelling and entertaining read for children ages 5 to 8, making it an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Will You Help Doug Find His Dog?
Jane Caston, author
Carmen Saldana, contributor
Barefoot Books
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
9781782853206, $14.99, HC, 32pp,

Children ages 8 to 12 and students in grades 3 to 7 can help a young boy named Doug find his dog by patting, tickling, and calling to the correct dogs based on Doug's clues! As the reader selects dogs, the pool narrows until a surprise ending reveals Doug's dog and why he went missing. Featuring a clever and original story enhanced with hilarious illustrations of funny dogs galore, the picture book text is perfect for collaborative story time with beginning and reluctant readers, making it very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

Midnight at the Zoo
Faye Hanson
Templar Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763689087, $16.99, HC, 48pp,

Max and Mia are very excited about their school trip to the zoo. But when they arrive, not much is happening: the zebra is asleep, the lions are hiding, and they can't even see a monkey. Max and Mia make the best of it -- after all, if they look very carefully, there is something to see everywhere. But when they are accidently locked in the zoo at night, they realize that midnight is when the zoo comes alive! Flamingos are doing the flamenco, the lions dance till dawn, and the pandas have a party. Morning comes all too soon and it's time to go home, but Max and Mia will never forget their night in the zoo! An extraordinary picture book experience for children ages 3 to 7, "Midnight at the Zoo" by author/illustrator Faye Hanson is an inherently fascinating, engaging, and entertaining read from beginning to end. "Midnight at the Zoo" is strongly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Shawn Dougherty, author
Leah Busch, illustrator
Blue Manatee Press
3094 Madison Road, #2A, Cincinnati, OH 45209
9781936669608, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Awoken by his friend Owl in the quiet hours of the night, a young boy ventures out to his special place in the forest. Owl is waiting there, along with Oak and Moon, and together they teach the boy about the sacred power of nature to connect all things. Filled with striking watercolor illustrations by Leah Busch that are in full harmony with author Shawn Dougherty's poetic text, "Wake" is a quietly memorable celebration of our bond with the natural world. Especially recommended for children ages 5 to 7, "Wake" is a unique, extraordinary, and unfailingly entertaining from cover to cover -- making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg
Gemma Merino
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320, Park Ridge, IL 60068
9780807573389, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Lola is proud of her amazing wool. After all, everyone on the farm tells her how beautiful she looks. She spends hours brushing her wool to keep it shiny and silky. Until one day when the weather gets hot, and all the sheep have to get haircuts -- including Lola! She's so upset without her wool that she runs away and hides by herself. And when her wool finally grows back, it's tangled, messy... HORRIBLE! But hiding in Lola's wool is a wonderful surprise, one that will help her realize that she doesn't have to be pretty or perfect in order to be a friend -- or to be extraordinary! A charming and thoroughly entertaining picture book by author and illustrator Gemma Merino, "The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg" will prove to be a memorably delightful read for all children ages 4 to 8. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for parents that "The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg" is also available in a digital book format ($7.13).

Milo and Georgie
Bree Galbraith, author
Josee Bisaillon, illustrator
Owlkids Books Inc.
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781771471701, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

When Milo's family moves to a new city, he vows to officially retire from having fun. So he stays inside for days while his little sister, Georgie, yearns to explore the new neighborhood. Finally, Milo ties Georgie to the end of a ball of yarn so she can go out, on one condition: she has to come home when he tugs the string twice. But one day, Georgie isn't at the end of the string. Which means Milo might just have to step outside and discover everything he's been missing. Charming, detailed artwork by Josee Bisaillon superbly illustrates their vibrant new city in this heartwarming and original story by Bree Galbraith about siblings supporting each other, about building community, about adapting to change, and, perhaps most of all, embracing new things. Especially recommended for children ages 3 to 7, "Milo and Georgie" will prove to be a popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Pip and Posy: The New Friend
Axel Scheffler
Nosy Crow
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763693398, $12.99, HC, 32pp,

Pip and Posy are having a lovely day at the beach, collecting shells and digging in the sand. But when Posy takes a nap, Pip makes a new friend named Zac. Zac is very cool: he has lots of fun toys and he's really good at handstands. When Posy wakes up, she finds that Pip is more interested in playing with Zac than with her. "Pip and Posy: The New Friend" is a funny and dramatic picture story for children ages 2 to 5 about discovering that two's company and three can be a party! Consistently entertaining and thoroughly 'kid friendly', "Pip and Posy: The New Friend" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

By the Time You Read This
Jennifer Lanthier, author
Patricia Storms, illustrator
Clockwise Press
9781988347059, $19.95, HC, 32pp,

Oscar is penning the ultimate break-up letter to his former Partner in Adventure and now Sworn Mortal Enemy. No more Time Travel Tower of Ultimate Power. Or Precarious Portal for Intrepid Explorers. Is their friendship doomed to destruction along with the world of imagination that the two have built together? Set in an inner-city apartment complex and filled with humor, "By the Time You Read This" is a story that acknowledges the emotional roller coaster that defines some childhood friendships and the importance of empathy and forgiveness in keeping those friendships strong. An original and engaging picture book story for children ages 4 to 8, and that is engagingly written by Jennifer Lanthier and joyfully illustrated by Patricia Storms, "By the Time You Read This" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Benjamin is an Unusual Duckling
Yann Walcker, editor
Julie Mercier, illustrator
Auzou Publishing
9782733846131, $14.95, HC, 32pp,

Benjamin is one unusual duck: he doesn't quack, he barks! His parents know it's not his fault -- he was born this way! But school is a different story, his schoolmates find him weird and refuse to swim with him. Enough is enough: the duckling decides to go on an adventure! Yann Walcker is a songwriter and children's book author who has won many prizes including the Bologna Ragazzi Prize, which he was awarded twice. Julie Mercier is a French artist who likes working to the sound of music. Together they have collaborated to produce an utterly charming, thoroughly engaging, unfailingly entertaining, original picture book for children ages 3 to 7. Certain to be enduringly popular, "Benjamin is an Unusual Duckling" is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Like a Shooting Star
Rino Alaimo
1254 Commerce Way, Sanger, CA 93657
9781944822804, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

When a young boy's father doesn't return from the war, the lonely boy wishes upon a shooting star -- one that turns out to be a little firefly who, try as she might, just can't fly. Touched by the boy's earnest wish, the firefly undertakes a courageous journey to bring the boy's father home. Hope, love, and the courage of an unlikely hero fill the pages of "Like a Shooting Star" is stunningly illustrated and impressively original picture book by cartoonist and award-winning filmmaker Rino Alaimo. Unique, beautiful, engaging, and entertaining "Like a Shooting Star" is an extraordinary and highly recommended picture book that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5 to 8.

Dustrats: Or, The Adventures of Sir Muffin Muffinsson
Adria Regordosa
9781576878217, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Sir Muffin Muffinsson is a valiant, watchful cat charged with the care and keeping of baby Emma while she sleeps. It's a busy job, and this week Sir Muffin forgot to do the tidying up! Seven days worth of dust springs to life in the form of "Dustrats ", mischievous little imps who run amok through the house. While Sir Muffin chases the critters from room to room with his trusty vacuum, Emma's vivid dreams begin to morph the world around him: An ocean in the bathroom, a magic kingdom in the attic, things are getting out of control! Will Sir Muffin make it back to the nursery before Emma's dreams become a little too wild? An enchanting story full of imagination and adventure, "Dustrats: Or, The Adventures of Sir Muffin Muffinsson"" by Catalan author and illustrator Adria Regordosa will be a bedtime favorite that is ideal for children ages 3 to 7. Original, charming, consistently entertaining from beginning to end, "Dustrats: Or, The Adventures of Sir Muffin Muffinsson" is especially recommended for family, daycare, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Hitchin' Post
Julie Barker, author
Carolyn Altman, illustrator
LifeRich Publishing
9781489708748 (sc), 9781489708755 (hc), $18.99,

"Hitchin' Post" is a fascinating first publication by a talented mother/daughter team, in the delightful form of a tall tale in verse, Southwestern Texas style. The humor, the drawling exaggeration, the tongue in cheek narrative, the vernacular all speak loudly of Texas and a beloved outdoor life there. Unlike other tall tale western heroes, Hitch is a long-eared, cowboy rabbit, of independent thinking. Hitch does some musing about what it means to be rich, and to lead a good life. Hitch lives on a ranch called Six B's, where he helps all the cowboys with the daily work of a big ranch. "Hitchin' Post" traces the highlights of a year on the ranch from Hitch's unique viewpoint. Every season, even the drought time, has its special moments and scenic rewards. Although Hitch was sad to see the water sources dry up and the cattle transported away, seeing the pump jacks drilling for water gives him hope for the future. Sure enough, a very dry summer eventually turned to fall, then winter, and in spring the rains came again and also in the fall. Soon the cattle returned, a sore sight for Hitch's eyes. Now there were barn dances, rodeos, followed by winter work and care for the stock. Spring brings more rain for lakes and streams, helping Hitch and the cattle and cowboys lead the life of their dreams. All the expressive, delicately drawn illustrations portray a dusty cowboy rabbit's ideal life, as Hitch concludes: "It's the big and the small and all the in-between that should make you feel the richest of rich!" "Hitchin' Post" is a tribute to a ranching heritage and way of life that will appeal to young readers age 4 and up.

Wide-Awake Hedgehog
Rosie Wellesley, author/illustrator
Pavilion Children's Books
c/o Trafalgar Square Publishing
388 Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053
9781843653097, $9.99,

"Wide-awake Hedgehog" is a delicately drawn story of a little hedgehog who is not sleepy when the autumn leaves had fallen and it was time for all little hedgehogs to settle down for their winter of hibernation. Isaac, the hedgehog, wanted to play! A squirrel, a swallow and a dormouse try to explain to Isaac that he must go to sleep for his winter's nap during the cold months. No one wants to play with Isaac, except a strange blowing voice, who promises him he will play with him. Isaac finally wonders aloud, "Is that you, North Wind?" Although the other animals were concerned, Isaac had a wonderful time playing catch the leaf and other games with the blowing North Wind. Finally the wind comforted Isaac, saying: "Spiny one, some of the best things can neither be seen nor be held, yet they are real." "Like happiness?" yawned Isaac. "Like happiness," smiled Wind. "And sleepiness too. Come little friend, cold winter is coming." And the Wind whistled a special song to help Isaac sleep warm under a blanket of leaves, waiting for spring. The pages of "Wide-awake Hedgehog" are illuminated with limited autumn palette colors of orange, brown, sand, pale greens, and shades of red and gray. Flying geese against a blue gray sky decorate the front and back pages of this lovely autumn bedtime tale of the definition of true happiness, for hedgehogs and humans.

All Around the Circle
Cara Kansala, author
Cara Kansala & Max Dorey, illustrators
Breakwater Books
P.O. Box 2188, St. John's, NL A1C 6E6
9781550816754, $19.95,

Celebrating the beauty and tapestry of the landscape of Newfoundland, "All Around the Circle" is a bedazzling collection of bright oil paintings and verse stories about the life on Newfoundland's rugged coast. Here is the catchy song of Charlotte and Pip, two little goat friends ("ticky-boo, ticky-la, ticky-day"), the life story of Aunt Bun's Red Dress, the tender love story told by Nan and Poppies, and many more. Each colorful painting illuminates a cheery story in the poem with bright splashes of color and pieces of laughter, sun, and sea in between. The lovely, lilting lines of Itchy's Moonsong contrasts with the gay, energetic humor of Lolly Lundrigan's Tulips, and even French enchantment permeates the humor of Marc Chagull, the dashing gull from France, who paints. "All Around the Circle" ends with "Midnight Dreamers, a lovely dreaming lullaby to end a rollicking gay Grumpy goat Gallery collection of art and song and poetry.

Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play
Claudia Marie Lenart, author/illustrator
Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
9781615993178, $15.95 PB, $26.95 HC,

"Seasons of Joy" is a beautifully illustrated narrative poem celebrating children's joy in the changing seasons. The author of the delicate poetic narrative is a celebrated fiber artist who creates a tapestry of lively figures, children, animals, forests, and lakes, using felted wool and other fibers needle poked into a lifelike sculpture of fantastic animals, flowers, figures and scenes. The textures of her fiber canvas are palable and very lifelike. Her poetry is no less inspiring: "In Spring, we picnic in velvet green meadows, /We pretend to be queens, kings, heroes./ The meadow is an emerald sea filled with pirates./ Our day is long;, the world is fresh and beautiful./ We can dream anything." Young readers will be delighted and intrigued by the poetic descriptions and the amazing artworks, which inspire imaginative nature play for everyone. Aimed at an audience aged 3-5 years, "Seasons of Joy" is a literary and artistic treasure for today's children and future generations. Also highly recommended is "Prince Preemie, A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early (9781615993062, $15.95)," by Jewel kats, illustrated by Claudia Marie Lenart. This delicate tale of a little premature puppy is very sensitively illustrated by felted wool artist Claudia Marie Lenart, and amazingly told by creative author Jewel Kats.

The Crow and the Big Oak Tree
Anne Toole, author
Richa Kinra, illustrator
Outskirts Press
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478776475, $13.95 (PB) 9781478776482, $19.95 (HC),

"The Crow and the Big Oak Tree" tells a fable that has very important teaching messages of justifications for tolerance and celebration of differences for young readers today. With its clean, energetic illustrations and opposite page paragraphs format, "The Crow and the Big Oak Tree" tells the story of a large black crow who chose not to share hi preferred oak tree with other creatures, even birds, who were different from him. He succeeds in driving away a squirrel, a snake, an owl, honeybees, and many other little birds from his oak tree, even though they all pointed out to him it was not his oak tree. Then one day the crow was subjected to an attack by some mean boys who decided to throw stones at him to stun him, then capture him. The crow was hit and stunned, falling to the ground. Imagine the crows amazement when the swarm of bees and their queen came to his rescue! They stung the boys and the queen spoke to the crow: "You are right about one thing. We are different from one another. But we are also alike. We all contribute to this world in one way or another. We don't have to be alike to live peacefully together to survive in the forest. And sometimes in order to survive, we may have to help each other out. We all just need to accept each other as we are and all the different things we do. We also must make an effort to get along with one another." The crow thought long and hard about this and ultimately decided to let the honeybees to return to live in his oak tree. Gradually the crow also decided to allow the other creatures who were not like him to return to live in or near the oak tree. The final note is one of expanded appreciation: "Maybe in time, as the animals get to know one another better, they may find that they may find that they are more alike than different from each other and may elementally begin to like one another. But for the time being, they are all living peacefully in that big oak tree in the middle of the forest." Written to appeal to readers in grades 1 through 3, "The Crow and the Big Oak Tree" carries an important message of tolerance of differences for all beings.

Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover
Josh Schneider, author/illustrator
Houghton Miflin Harcourt
3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016
9780544142282, $7.99,

"Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover" is a fabulous, creative story about a girl named Amelia whose beloved rag doll, Princess Sparkle-Heart is unfortunately ravaged by her jealous pet dog. Despite the doll's being torn to pieces, Amelia's mother assured her that she could give Princess Sparkle- Heart a complete makeover that would make her as good as new. So Amelia helped by picking out just the right buttons for eyes, choosing lots of stuffing for muscle protection, and adding decorative teeth for even more self protection for her dear doll Princess Sparkle-Heart. In the end, she does indeed have a complete makeover. When the jealous dog once again commences growling threateningly, Amelia show him her new Princess Sparkle-Heart, and lo and behold, a moment of enlightenment dawned. The surprise is lovingly portrayed in a final surprise portrait of the made over Princess Sparkle-Heart that will amaze readers everywhere. "Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover" is a fable for the new age female especially, destined to become beloved.

Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014

Three excellent new books are recommended picks for libraries setting something different. Lin Oliver and Tomie de Paola's Steppin' Out: Jaunty Rhymes for Playful Times (9780399174346, $17.99) follows toddlers who are lively participants in their world as they play and explore. From Sunday pancakes experienced by a father and daughter to a rainy day at a grandparent's house and an ambitious day at the beach, kids have a joyful and fun time. Jon Agee's Life on Mars (9780399538520, $17.99) tells of a young astronaut who decides to explore Mars in hopes of finding a real Martian. Unfortunately, the planet seems cold, barren and inhospitable, and surprisingly devoid of life - or, is it? As the young believer wanders around, becomes lost, and searches for evidence, the unlikeliest of events happens. Kate McMullan's Mama's Kisses (9780525428329, $16.99) is illustrated by Tao Nyeu and tells of bedtime in the forest where baby animals have suddenly vanished. Their parents seek them out - but the little ones stay ahead of any calls to bed. How can their parents find them? A gentle bedtime story follows, perfect for bedtime read-aloud

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020

Four delightful new picture book stories provide a range of fun subjects and drawings that lend to both read-aloud pleasure and individual pursuit. Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley's Priscilla Gorilla (9781481458979, $17.99) tells of a young girl who becomes obsessed with gorillas after learning about them. She just can't get enough: she mimics them, wears her gorilla costume, and relishes acting like one - but when the teacher invites everyone to dress up as their favorite animal, Priscilla teaches the class some bad gorilla habits. What's a teacher to do? A playful, fun story evolves. Cynthia Ryland and Linda Davick's We Love You, Rosie! (9781442465114, $17.99) tells of a busy family dog who is always looking for fun. Sometimes she's good and sometimes not - but Rosie's family always loves her, regardless. While this may appear to be a story about a family pet, it's also about opposites as it follows the very different impulses of a beloved dog. Adam Lehrhaupt's I Don't Draw, I Color! (9781481462754, $17.99) is illustrated by Felicita Sala and tells of art and working with crayons. Drawing can be challenging - but coloring is entirely different. A very simple picture book story teaches about colors and the joy of working with them. Laurie Berkner's We Are the Dinosaurs (9781481464635, $17.99) is illustrated by Ben Clanton and provides a fun picture book based on the song, which 20 years ago hit the charts. A fun dinosaur story journeys back in time while simple drawings illustrate the zany dinosaur time travels and what makes the dinosaurs a marching band extraordinaire with the ability (among other things) to make the world flat with their energy.

Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999

Ruth Horowitz's Are We Still Friends? (9780545645218, $16.99) is illustrated by Blanca G˘mez and tells of good friends who enjoy seasonal pleasures outdoors. Beatrice raises bees, and Abel grows apples. Everything seems perfect until one day Abel gets strung by one of Beatrice's bees. A quarrel evolves between them that may take some time to resolve in this gentle story of friendship and life challenges to it. Jane Yolen and Mark Teague's How Do Dinosaurs Choose Their Pets? (9781338032789, $16.99) tells what could happen when some mischievous dinosaur girls and boys choose unusual pets that challenge their parents. What if a dino asked for a pet whale or shark, or a boa constrictor? What could be the harm in that? Plenty, as this zany story tells, offering a fun format to let kids know why some animals are good pets and others are not. Nicholas John Frith's Hello, Mr. Dodo! (9781338089394, $17.99) tells of Martha, who has identified every bird in the woods beyond her house - until she comes upon a puzzle. Can it be an elusive, extinct species? She decides to keep her relationship with the dodo, and their blossoming friendship, a secret; but when it is revealed, everything changes. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's A Squash and a Squeeze (9781338052206, $16.99) tackles the problem of what one can do if a house is too small. The answer may be to increase its size from the inside out - but what happens when a wise man's solution goes awry? Good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance will enhance a fun story of how a too-small house becomes more acceptable just by a change of perspective. All are wonderful picture book reads.

The Christian Shelf

Mrs. B. Goes To The Sea
Kathleen Beining, author
Thinkstock, illustrations
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson & Zondervan
1661 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781512767582, $13.95,

"Mrs. B. Goes To The Sea" is the fifth title in the Mrs. Bumbleberry series for children. Filled with exciting colored pictures of a wonderful visit to an ocean beach home, this Mrs. Bumbleberry story tells the tale of Katy and her mom and Mrs. B. visiting Mrs. B.'s sister, Eunice Mittenborough in her house by the sea. Every day is full of beautiful seaside surprises and adventures for Katy. She learns about shells, and tides, sand bridges, and water safety practices for seashore visitors and swimmers. She also meets a new friend, Lydia, and enjoys building sand castles and finding sea shells with her. One of Katy's most important lessons from Miss Eunice is a way of explaining low tide. Katy was upset because she thought the ocean was being taken away, when she saw her first low tide. But Miss E. reassured her that the ocean had just moved in accordance with the movements of the moon, and that God would always bring the ocean back at high tide. Later, Katy showed kindness in sharing her pail of collected shells with little Lydia, who was crying because her pail of shells got lost in a wave. Katy's final gift from Miss Eunice and the ocean is a beautiful conch shell, which mimics the sound of the ocean when held to the ear. She also attached a note: "So you always remember to look and listen for God's everyday blessings." Ending with a promise of future visits, "Mrs. B. Goes To The Sea" is a delightful seaside vacation story, with lovely life lessons from God to be explored every day by the sea.

The Judaic Shelf

Yosef's Dream
Sylvia Rouss, author
Tamar Blumenfeld, illustrator
Apples & Honey Press
c/o Gefen Publishing House
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
9781681155067, $17.95, HC, 36pp,

Now a young man in Israel, Yosef remembers his past in Ethiopia, and the dream he had as a child, in which he was given a choice. Should he climb mountains with Gazelle, never belonging anywhere? Hide in the shadows, with Hyena? Or grab hold of Eagle's wings and be taken far, far away? Yosef chooses the last, along with his family to fly to Israel, the land of their ancestors fulfilling their long-held dream. Of special note is an author's note that provides background about the Jews of Ethiopia and the 1991 rescue mission, called Operation Solomon, in which 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were flown to Israel. Original, engaging, thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end, this beautifully illustrated and charming picture book is especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Bilingual Shelf

Where Love Begins/ Donde comienza el amor
Helen Nieto Phillips, author
Susan Arena, illustrator
Lectura Books
1107 Fair Oaks Ave., Suite 225, South Pasadena, CA 91030
9781604480399, $8.95 paperback,

"Where Love Begins/ Donde comienza el amor" is a beautiful, tender poetic tribute to the author's grandmother and memories of family life growing up in New Mexico. Narrated in both Spanish and English, "Where Love Begins/ Donde comienza el amor" traces cherished memories, tender recollections, and a growing awareness of the meaning of family love as experienced by the author as she grew up with her siblings, parents, and grandmother in a rich Southwestern culture mix in New Mexico. Bright primary colors glow in the joyous portraits of these treasured experiences and memories. The two translations of the poem are presented side by side on the illustrated page opposing. The theme of love's beginning unfolds and flowers through these pages of poem and warm illustrations until the final page. A beautiful Tree of Life embroidered hanging is the background of embracing black silhouettes of a girl, her dog, and her grandmother, accompanying the words: "I think of grandma all the time/ She gave us Blackie/ And warm dinners/ But most of all/ She gave us love/ And a good laugh? Like she always said/ "Mijita, this is where love begins." the Spanish translation of the poem is also very beautiful and musical. "Where Love Begins" is completed by a Spanish English vocabulary and biographies of the author and artist.

The Multicultural Shelf

Festivals and Celebrations
Sandra Lawrence, author
Jane Newland, illustrator
360 Degrees
c/o Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781944530105, $12.99, HC, 72pp,

A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or traditions. It is often marked as a local or national holiday. Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin of a festival is agricultural. Food is such a vital resource that many festivals are associated with harvest time (such as Thankgiving in the USA). Wherever they are in the world, people love to celebrate in the form of festivals. Informatively written by Sandra Lawrence and vibrantly illustrated by Jane Newland, "Festivals and Celebrations" takes an informative look through the year at some of the brightest, funniest, and most beautiful festivals on the planet. Children ages 7 to 10 will enjoy exploring the ancient and traditional festivals, as well as the modern and highly unusual festivals of today! "Festivals and Celebrations" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections. Also highly recommended for young readers by the team of author Sandra Lawrence and illustrator Emma Trithart is "Myths and Legends" (9781944530112, $12.99) which is a compendium of ancient stories about gods, heroes, and legendary quests.

A Kiwi Year
Tania McCartney, author
Tina Snerling, illustrator
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
9781925335446, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

In "A Kiwi Year: Twelve Months in the Life of New Zealand's Kids" children ages 4 to 8 will meet Charlie, Ruby, Oliver, Mason and Kaia - Kiwi kids representing a multicultural blend of culture and race that typifies our amazing country. "A Kiwi Year" will take young readers through a year in the life of New Zealand's kids, from celebrations, traditions and events, to their everyday way of life and the little things that make childhood so memorable. "A Kiwi Year" is an informative and entertaining picture book bursting with national pride as it offers a snapshot of New Zealanders are. Blending our modern-day culture and lifestyle with past traditions and native heritage, "A Kiwi Year" features meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showcasing five Kiwi kids at play, at school, at home, and enjoying the sights and sites of our great nation. From the Bay of Islands to hot springs and soaring mountains, vibrant cities and quaint country towns, "A Kiwi Year" showcases New Zealand childhoods, making it a unique and highly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. Also very highly recommended from the team of Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling is their picture book "A Canadian Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Canada's Kids" (9781925335439, $17.99, HC, 32pp).

The Board Book Shelf

Dream Sweet Dreams
Kristy Kurjan, author
Tyler Parker, illustrator
KPO Creative LLC
9780986075063, $7.95, Board Book, 14pp,

Featuring the bright illustrations of Tyler Parker combined with a sweet, rhyming text by Kristy Kurjan, "Dream Sweet Dreams is an adorable bedtime story celebrating the joy of creativity through dreams. From penguins eating ice cream to cute cuddle bugs, "Dream Sweet Dreams" is an utterly charming board book that is sure to bring a smile to both young and old. There are endless possibilities for what children ages 3 to 5 can imagine. Also very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library Board Book collections is author Kristy Kurjan and illustrator Tyler Parker's companion book for young children, "The Many Ways To Say I Love You" (9780986075032, $7.95). It should be noted for parents that both "Dream Sweet Dreams" and "The Many Ways To Say I Love You" are also available in a digital book format ($3.99 each).

Pippa and Pelle in the Summer Sun
Daniela Drescher
Floris Books
9781782503798, $9.95,

Pippa and Pelle in the Summer Sun provides a lovely board book about two little elf-like creatures in bright red hats who go outside on a sunny day to enjoy the weather. Their observations of apples, chickens, and other bright, fun daily sights in the sun provide a gentle read perfect for parental read-aloud.

The Art Shelf

The Dreaming Giant
Veronique Massenot, author
Peggy Nille, illustrator
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791372792, $14.95, HC, 32pp,

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky (16 December 1866 - 13 December 1944) was a Russian painter and art theorist. One of Kandinsky's most fantastical and vivid paintings is the foundation for "The Dreaming Giant", Veronique Massenot's picture book about a journey into the heart and mind of a sleeping giant. Illustrator Peggy Nille deftly interprets Kandinsky's abstract characters as the somnolent visions of a giant who stumbles into a village of microscopic townspeople. Though the villagers initially fear the enormous stranger, they soon discover a gentle soul through his beautiful dreams. With its brightly colored palette and playful drawings, this wonderfully imaginative picture book echoes Kandinsky's lively style. As young readers ages 5 to 8 explore the wonders of the miniature villagers' world and the colossal giant's imagination, they will be inspired to find their own way around Kandinsky's enigmatic masterpiece. Unique, unusual, memorable, entertaining, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' from beginning to end, "The Dreaming Giant" is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Fiction Shelf

The Winged Girl of Knossos
Erick Berry
Paul Dry Books
1700 Sansom Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5214
9781589881204 $11.95

The Winged Girl of Knossos reprints a Newbery Honor middle grade novel originally published in 1934. Set on ancient Crete, the story follows Inas, a brave and inquisitive girl, who happens to be the daughter of the legendary inventor Daidalos. Her father has a scientific mind, and has invented gliders that allow her to soar on the wind, but the local people are superstitious, and incapable of distinguishing science from sorcery. Inas shares a friendship with Princess Ariadne, who begs her for help to free Theseus, a young Greek captured and imprisoned in the palace's legendary Labyrinth. But the rescue could expose Inas' secret and put her family at risk! A bold, adventurous story with timeless appeal, The Winged Girl of Knossos is highly recommended especially for school and public library middle grade fiction collections.

Barbara Dee
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781481478489, $16.99 HC, $1.99 Kindle,

Star-Crossed tells of Mattie, a top student who is delighted with the idea that her class will be performing Romeo and Juliet. Mattie is chosen to play Romeo and Gemma is playing Juliet - but when Mattie finds herself attracted to the new girl, she's confused - especially since she's had crushes on boys before. What's going on? A fun story of middle school romance holds a special message about love and different people.

Welcome to Wonderland: Beach Party Surf Monkey
Chris Grabenstein
Random House
c/o Random House Children's Books
1745 Broadway, 10-1, New York, NY 10019
9780553536102, $13.99

Welcome to Wonderland: Beach Party Surf Monkey is the second book in a funny series for ages 8-12 and tells of another wacky adventure revolving around a hot teen idol's Hollywood beach shoot right in P.T. and Gloria's own backyard. They just know the motel they live at would be the perfect location; but when trouble evolves, they find themselves not only trying to convince producers of the value of their home, but face challenges that may keep the movie from happening at all. A zany, fun summer story evolves.

Kid Ghost Hunters at Mammoth Cave
William Haponski
Caves and Kids Books
9781544978178 $14.99 print / $3.99 Kindle,

Kid Ghost Hunters at Mammoth Cave, the 3rd novel in the series Adventures in the Worlds of In and Out, provides another cave adventure centered upon Mammoth Cave, featuring Peggy, Henry (her grandfather), and the magical World of In kids. This time, they're looking for ghosts - and they get more than they bargain for when all of their wishes come true. Indian mummies, a ranger tested by ghosts, shape-shifting challenges as they enter Mammoth Cave's In from Out, and both natural and human history provide satisfying blends of adventure, science, and cultural insights as the kids and the enterprising grandfather expose yet another Mammoth Cave secret. Advanced elementary to middle school readers receive illustrations by Mary Barrows (seventeen fine black and white drawings) peppered throughout the story line. Action and adventure are well done, holding interest while teaching kids about caves and a mysterious other world that pulls Henry and Peggy into a new adventure.

The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean
Lindsay Littleson
c/o Floris Books
9781782503545, $9.95, PB, 192pp,

Lily is a young girl who is hoping to put all the madness of the previous summer behind her. Telling people you hear voices doesn't win you many friends. Especially when you're starting high school. Especially when everyone thinks you're just like your troublemaking big sister. At least Lily's best mates Rowan, David and Aisha will stand up for her. But when she finds nasty messages in her locker, Lily knows someone's out to steal her friends and leave her all alone. Lily hopes a fun trip to the Isle of Arran will bring her friends together, but soon those dramas seem like the least of her problems. Back home, her big sister's in big trouble: She might end up in jail -- or worse. The last thing Lily wants is to start up that weird psychic stuff again, but it might be her only hope! The beautifully written, laugh-out-loud sequel to"Mixed-Up Summer of Lily McLean", author Lindsay Littleson has once again written a consistently entertaining and enjoyable read for children ages 8 to 12 with "The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean". While very highly recommended for both elementary school and community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

Rosie Girl
Julie Shepard
G. P. Putnam's Sons
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780399548642, $17.99, HC, 384pp,

After her father passes away, seventeen-year-old Rosie is forced to live with her abusive stepmom Lucy and her deadbeat boyfriend, Judd, who gives Rosie the sort of looks you shouldn't give your girlfriend's step-daughter. Desperate for a way out, Rosie would do just about anything to escape the life she's been handed. Then she finds a letter her dad wrote years ago, a letter confessing that Rosie's birth mother isn't dead, as she believed, but alive somewhere -- having left them when Rosie was a little girl for reasons he won't reveal. Rosie resolves to find her birth mom, and she'll put everything on the line to make that happen. She hires a PI paid for by her best friend, Mary, who turns tricks for money. Unlike Rosie, Mary's no delicate flower and when she sees the opportunity to make some cash and help out her closest friend, she takes it. Romance blooms when the PI Rosie hires hands the case off to his handsome nephew Mac, but Rosie struggles to keep her illicit activities with Mary a secret. Things begin to unravel when Rosie starts getting creepy anonymous texts from johns looking for Mary. And then there's Mary, the one person Rosie can count on, who's been acting strangely all of a sudden. As Rosie and Mary get closer to finally uncovering the truth about Rosie's mom, Rosie comes face to face with a secret she never saw coming. While very highly recommended for both highschool and community library YA Fiction collections, it is interesting to note that "Rose Girl" is author Julie Shepard's debut as a novelist (who has here own web site at and that this outstanding and inherently engaging read is also available for personal reading lists in a Kindle format ($10.99).

Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999

Three new stories will appeal to young adult readers with different plots and engrossing stories. Emma Donoghue's The Lotterys Plus One (9780545925815, $17.99) tells of Sumac, the fifth of seven kids in her large, chaotic family, who live in an old Victorian house. Sumac finds that one of their grandfathers will be coming to live with them - one who has been estranged from his family for a long time. Sumac is expected to give up her room to this stranger - who seems anything but appreciative of her sacrifice. If he doesn't belong with his family, who does he belong with? A fun story of connections evolves. Scott Westerfeld's Horizon (9780545916776, $14.99) tells of a plane crash in the Arctic where eight young survivors discover that the crash site isn't an icy wilderness, but a hot jungle filled with mysterious predators and dangers. As the young group gathers what they need to survive, questions arise that center around a deeper mystery of not only what happened and where they are, but why, kids receive a gripping story of discovery and innovation. Justin Weinberger's Reformed (9780545902526, $16.99) tells of Ian, who is framed for a prank he didn't do. As a member of bully reform school, where the kids are mean and the teachers even meaner, Ian is trying to blend in - but he and his two friends need more than a quiet countenance if they are to make it from reform school to middle school. A fun story of mishaps and adventure evolves.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Grumpy Cat & Pokey: The Grumpus
Edited by Rich Young & Anthony Marques
9781524102463 $12.99 hc / $6.99 Kindle

Grumpy Cat & Pokey: The Grumpus is a full-color graphic novel anthology of witty stories about the dour Grumpy Cat, his perky brother Pokey, the enthusiastic family dog (called Dog), and their madcap adventures (maybe a little too madcap for Grumpy Cat at times). A fun read for children, yet sure to induce laughter in adults as well, Grumpy Cat & Pokey: The Grumpus is sure to prove a popular pick in public library graphic novel collections! Highly recommended, especially as a gift for cat lovers of all ages.

Powerpuff Girls: Power Up My Mojo
Written by Haley Mancini & Jake Goldman
Art by Derek Charm, Nicoletta Baldari, & Phil Murphy
IDW Publishing
9781631408717 $12.99

Collecting issues #4-6 of the comic book, Powerpuff Girls: Power Up My Mojo is a brightly colored, hardcover graphic novel anthology of three all-new tales written by the authors of the original Powerpuff Girls cartoon show. Created with the same type bold-outlined, stylized art iconic to the television series, Power Up My Mojo follows the youthful superheroines as they negotiate with Penny Farthing so she'll teach them how to ride a bike; participate in the annual soapbox derby; and get hit by a ray that makes them constantly talk sass (whether they want to or not)! A wonderful way to encourage young girls to experience the joy of reading, and a treat for series fans of all ages, Power Up My Mojo is highly recommended as a children's gift or for public library graphic novel collections.

Louis Undercover
Fanny Britt, author
Isabelle Arsenault, illustrator
Groundwood Books
c/o House of Anansi Press
110 Spadina Ave., Suite 801, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5V 2K4
9781554988594, $19.95, HC, 160pp,

"Louis Undercover" is a powerful new graphic novel from the team of author Fanny Britt and illustrator Isabelle Arsenault. Young readers ages 10 to 14 will meet Louis, a young boy who shuttles between his alcoholic dad and his worried mom, and who, with the help of his best friend, tries to summon up the courage to speak to his true love, Billie. Louis's dad cries. Louis knows this because he spies on him. His dad misses the happy times when their family was together, just as Louis does. But as it is, he and his little brother, Truffle, have to travel back and forth between their dad's country house and their mom's city apartment, where she tries to hide her own tears. An engagingly thoughtful and thought-provoking read from beginning to end, "Louis Undercover" is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of kids in grades 5 to 9, as well as school, and community library graphic novel collections.

The Wedding Crashers: Legends of the West
Patrick Normann and Morris
Colors by Studio Leonardo
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183482, $11.95,

"The Wedding Crashers" is the 64th : Lucky Luke adventure by the graphic novel team of Patrick Normann and Morris. A satirical take on the famous Gary Cooper western movie "High Noon", once again the Daltons, a villainous quartet of outlaw brothers, breaks out of prison for the purpose of settling an old score with Sheriff Samuel Parker -- on his wedding day! The old sheriff is adamant that he will confront the brothers alone -- much to the dismay of the townfolk in general, and Lucky Luke in particular -- hilarity ensues with cliff-hanger mishap after mishap. "The Wedding Crashers" is a thoroughly non-stop entertainment that is highly recommended for all graphic novel enthusiasts of every age and would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library collections.

Dog Night at the Story Zoo
Dan Bar-El
Tundra Books
350 Front Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 3B6
9781101918388, $14.99,

Dog Night at the Story Zoo is a graphic novel illustrated in full color by Vicki Nerino and tells of Open Mic Night at the Story Zoo, when dogs of all kinds tell their tales. From yappy dog Emma in 'The Storm Before the Calm' to a dry poetry-reading dog who frustrates the penguin MC, this is a hilarious series of canine encounters which are fun and vivid tales perfect for cartoon fans who love dogs.

The Music CD Shelf

Swing Set
Jazzy Ash
Leaping Lizards Music
$13.99 CD / $9.49 MP3

Multiple award-winning and nationally touring music artist Jazzy Ash presents Swing Set, her fourth music album for all ages. The fourteen tracks feature beloved classic songs and rhymes from the mid-19th century to the early jazz era, arranged and enhanced to appeal to a new generation of listeners. Parents as well as children will find Swing Set a treasure! Highly recommended, especially for both private and public library music collections. The tracks are "Li'l Liza Jane", "Hambone" featuring Uncle Devin, "She'll Be Coming Around The Mountain", "Head and Shoulders, Baby", "When the Saints Go Marching In", "Sister Kate", "Little Sally Walker", "Eh La Bas", "Everybody Loves My Baby", "Ballin' The Jack" featuring Sarah Reich, "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear", "Miss Mary Mack", "All the Pretty Little Horses" and "Down by the Riverside".

Camp Songs
Ella Jenkins & Friends
Smithsonian Folkways
$14.98 CD / $9.99 download

Camp Songs is a children's music album by Ella Jenkins (and friends) created to capture the spirit of summer camp. Featuring classic sing-along songs performed by a group of children, parents, and teachers from the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, as well as Tony and Kate Seeger from Camp Killooleet, Camp Songs is almost as delicious as a plate full of melted s'mores (without the calories)! The tracks are "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" (1:01), "Down by the Riverside" (3:22), "Vive La Compagnie" (2:01), "This Land is Your Land" (3:28), "Tumbalalaika" (1:24), "Shalom Chaverim" (0:57), "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena" (2:21), "Kumbaya" (3:50), "Down the Valley" (2:51), "Union Maid" (2:30), "One Bottle of Pop" (1:48), "Hill Was Steep and Tall (When I Signed Up for This Hike)" (4:03), "Mrs. Murphy's Chowder" (2:48), "Sipping Cider Through a Straw" (1:13), "The Damper Song" (0:59), "To Stop the Train" (0:55), "The Court of King Caractacus" (4:10), "Sweetly Sings the Donkey" (0:59), "The Cuckoo" (0:55), "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" (1:51), "Everybody Loves Saturday Night" (7:53), "I'm On My Way" (2:13), "Sloop John B." (3:27), "This Little Light of Mine" (1:53), and "Goodnight, Irene" (3:07).

The DVD Shelf

Favorite Folk Tales
Weston Woods
90 Old Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816

Favorite Folk Tales adapts three children's picturebooks to DVD format. Each storybook retells a classic fable: "Seven Blind Mice" by Ed Young (8 min.), "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" retold by B.G. Hennessy (9 min.), and "This is the House That Jack Built" by Simmis Taback (7 min.), plus additional bonus interviews. Optional English subtitles and closed-captioning are also present. Charming and colorful, Favorite Folk Tales is a choice pick for homeroom viewing or elementary school library collections.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

After Impact
Nicole Stark
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781512370478, $11.99, PB, 280pp,

Avalon wakes up from a 100 year old cryosleep into a new habitat with few memories and lots of questions. At first, HOPE (Humanity's One Plan for Escape) habitat appears to be a well-oiled machine, preparing 5,000 carefully chosen inhabitants for a new Earth. However, a medical assistant named Ilium reveals that certain members of the habitat have been falling ill from a mysterious virus they were inoculated against. Soon, HOPE habitat's tranquil illusion is shattered as Avalon plays a perplexing message left by her father. If Avalon is to survive this dangerous new environment, she will have to find the strength to navigate a habitat enveloped in secrets. "After Impact" is a riveting read from cover to cover and reveals author Nicole Stark as having a genuine flair for deftly created characters and a memorably entertaining story. While "After Impact" is very highly recommended for both highschool and community library YA Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that this exceptional novel is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).

Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon
Jules Bass and Debbie Harter
Barefoot Books
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
9781905236473 $8.99

Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon is set in a fantasy forest where Meathook and his band of carnivorous dragons relish eating princesses. All but one ... who loves quiet and vegetables, and who likes to cook (just not princesses!). Herb doesn't quite fit in with the dragon agenda; but when he's mistaken for his band of hungry cohorts, trouble ensues. Good reading skills are required for this fun picture book story of a gentle dragon who needs help to prove his innocence to an angry king.

The Sports Shelf

Skyward Bound: Hot-Air Ballooning
Alese & Morton Pechter
Best Publishing Company
9781930536999 $24.95

Beautifully illustrated with full-color photography throughout, Skyward Bound: Hot-Air Ballooning is a 72-page nonfiction picture book for children age 6 and up, all about the sport and passion of hot-air ballooning. Packed cover to cover with fun facts, safety tips, and utterly striking pictures of sky-high balloons and panoramic landscapes, Skyward Bound is a joy for all ages to page through. Highly recommended!

The Curse Ends
Jeff Attinella, author
Mike Pascale, illustrator
It Had To Be Told! Publishing
9780998944005 $19.99 hca

The Curse Ends: The Story of the 2016 Chicago Cubs is a rhyming children's picturebook about how the Chicago Cubs baseball team won the 2016 World Series - the very first time they had done so since 1908. The legendary "curse" on the Chicago Cubs (for allegedly insulting a goat) was finally broken! A whimsical and upbeat capture of a great moment in sports history, The Curse Ends is especially recommended for young baseball fans and public library children's collections.

The Literary Shelf

King Arthur
Sir Thomas Malory, author
Retold by Philip Edwards
Adam Horsepool, illustrator
Flowerpot Press
142 2nd Ave. North, Franklin, TN 37064
9781486712229, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Before Arthur commanded a round table of legendary knights in Camelot, he was simply a young squire with dreams of becoming a great knight himself. Arthur lived during a time when Britain was without a ruler, but fate would quickly draw him into the middle of a grand search for the next king a search that involved a sword famously set in stone. Philip Edwards inspired retelling of Sir Thomas Malory's classic King Arthur saga is distinctively illustrated by Adam Horsepool in this picture book edition of "King Arthur", the newest addition to the outstanding Flowerpot Press '10 Minute Classic' series. Wonderfully entertaining for young readers, "King Arthur" is certain to be an popular and beloved addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Science Shelf

Why It Works... 100 Steps for Science and How It Happened
Lisa Jane Gillespie, author
Yukai Du, illustrator
Wide Eyed Editions
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781847808431 $22.99

Why It Works... 100 Steps for Science and How It Happened is a nonfiction children's picturebook filled with true stories about incredible advances in science, from the invention of the wheel to discoveries in medicine, sound, biology, light, electricity, numbers, and much more. Illustrated in soft colors, Why It Works... is fascinating from cover to cover, and a great way to encourage young people to learn more about the marvels of science. Highly recommended, especially for elementary and public library children's collections.

Fantastic Flowers
Susan Stockdale
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781561459520, $16.95, HC, 32pp,

With a rhythmic, rhyming text and beautifully patterned painting by Susan Stockdale, "Fantastic Flowers" introduces young readers (ages 2 to 6) to seventeen flowers that resemble all kinds of things. Budding botanists will be amazed at how much they look like upside-down pants, wild monkeys and even tiny babies! "Fantastic Flowers" encourages close observation of nature and visual object identification with exuberance and charm. Back matter explains what a flower is and how it is pollinated, and provides photos of each flower along with its common and scientific name, native range and pollinators. Children can compare and contrast the whimsical paintings of the flowers with the photos. Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, memorably presented, and thoroughly engaging from beginning to end, "Fantastic Flowers" will prove to be a unique and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young children.

Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399, Missoula, MT 59806

Two new picture book explorations for ages 6-9 are recommended for any collection strong in natural history and science, and provide a combination of lively formats and subjects that are not usually given their own full-book coverage. The Whizpops' Forest Communities: Living in Harmony with Fire (9780878326744, $14.00) is illustrated by Glory Lawson and presents three very different types of Western forest that benefit from wildfires. This used to be a controversial topic (letting forest fires burn to benefit nature), but here it's explored by The Whizpops, a Montana educational band that created the song 'Forest Communities' to accompany a dance production about the subject. Good reading skills and an interest in trees and natural history make for a specific, involving discussion. Debi Schmid and Lise Hedegaard's Plants in Disguise: Features of Creatures in Flowers and Foliage (9780878426737, $15.00) covers twenty-one native plants with animal names and considers the animal features that inspired them, from the cattail to Hawksbeard and Mousetails. The Latin names for each plant accompany discussions of plant features and animals alike and compliment good-sized, fun drawings of each.

The Holocaust Studies Shelf

Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
Beacon Press
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
9780807067994, $10.99, PB, 200pp,

Born in Vienna in 1905, Viktor E. Frankl published more than thirty books on psychology and served as a visiting professor and lecturer at Harvard, Stanford, and other universities in the United States. Frankl died in 1997. His classic work of Holocaust literature, "Man's Search for Meaning" has now been adapted for young readers in this outstanding Beacon Press edition." Man's Search for Meaning" is a timeless examination of life in the Nazi death camps. At the same time, Frankl's universal lessons for coping with suffering and finding one's purpose in life offer an unforgettable message for readers seeking solace and guidance. This very special young adult edition features the entirety of Frankl's Holocaust memoir and offers an abridged version of his writing on psychology, supplemented with photographs, a map of the concentration camps, a glossary of terms, a selection of Frankl's letters and speeches, and a timeline of his life and of important events in the Holocaust. These supplementary materials vividly bring Frankl's story to life, serving as valuable teaching and learning tools. A foreword by renowned novelist John Boyne provides a stirring testament to the lasting power of Frankl's moral vision. In view of the continuing genocidal threats against minority populations in various places around the world, "Man's Search for Meaning" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to very highschool and community library collections in the country. It should be noted for personal reading lists that this young adult edition of "Man's Search for Meaning" is also available in a Kindle format ($10.99).

Books in Series

Pokemon Classic Collection
Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338193091 $39.92

Pokemon Classic Collection is a box set of eight chapter books for elementary to middle grade readers, adapting classic episodes of the beloved cartoon based on the enormously popular video game series. The adventures of Ash and his Pikachu take center stage in these illustrated titles, which include "The Four-Star Challenge", "Journey to the Orange Islands", "Psyduck Ducks Out", "Race to Danger", "Scyther, Heart of a Champion", "Secret of the Pink Pokemon", "Talent Showdown", and "Thundershock in Pummelo Stadium". Pokemon Classic Collection is a wonderful way to entice young people to read, and highly recommended for gift-giving or public library children's collections.

Bobs and Tweets Perfect Pet Show
Pepper Springfield, author
Kristy Caldwell, illustrator
Scholastic, Inc.
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
9780545870733, $9.99 /, $5.99,

Second title in an illustrated chapter verse tale series for kids age 4-8, "Bobs and Tweets Perfecto Pet Show" is an amusing, quirky comedy verse story about the interaction between two contrasting families, the Bobs and the Tweets. The problem is, the Bobs are slobs, and the Tweets are neat freaks. When the Bonefish School decides to have a pet talent show and all the parents are invited, conflict between the neat Tweets and the slob Bobs seems inevitable. Despite their differences, or perhaps because of them, Dean Bobs, a boy, and Lou Tweets, a girl are good friends. The jokes and the action-packed colored pictures complement the fast moving narrative verse, carrying the reader on a dizzying, rowdy ride. Kids will be ecstatic about the overall action/comedy style and delivery of this series and this book. Excitement builds as the Perfecto Pet Talent Show escalates. Finally Dean Bobs takes the stage with his dog Chopper to do an original boy-dog duet. Dean is nervous and he freezes, unable to sing, while Chopper howls and does his best. Who should come to their rescue but Lou Tweet and her pet Pretty Kitty decide to come to his rescue and play along, making the musical number a hit sing along with audience participation. Dean's banjo strumming, Lou's singing, and Kitty's acrobatics plus Chopper's soulful howls orchestrate the quartet's number. All is well at the end, and friends, even unlikely friends treasure their time together. "So Lou Tweet and Dean Bob and both of their pets/ Walk home, trying out new kid-pet quartets./ "Dean, remember," says Lou, as she hugs her cat tight,' "When we stick together, things work out just right."

Baby University series
Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
$9.99 each

The Baby University board-book series is designed to teach infants about the most fundamental basics of science. This series is entirely age-appropriate and baby-accessible, featuring bright colors and simple sentence structure; it's just that instead of teaching words like "hippopotamus" they teach words like "electron". A wonderful way to help stimulate interest in math and science from an extremely early age, the Baby University series is highly recommended, especially for library collections intended for pre-Kindergarten children. The first four titles are "Quantum Physics for Babies" (9781492656227), "Rocket Science for Babies" (9781492656258), "General Relativity for Babies" (9781492656265), and "Newtonian Physics for Babies" (9781492656203), with more titles forthcoming.

Crabtree Publishing Company
350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118

Crabtree's series titles are fine additions to elementary-grade science collections and blend with curriculum objectives to offer source material for additional study or classroom use. Robin Johnson's 'Catch a Wave' series ($27.60 each) holds two winners: The Science of Light Waves (9780778729440) and The Science of Sound Waves (9780778729419). Each volume holds 32 pages, including an index, glossary, simple experiments and exercises, and discussions accompanied by bright, contemporary photos and illustrations that explore light and sound wave science and the presence of light and sound waves in everyday life. Tim Miller and Rebecca Sjonger's 'Simple Machines in my Makerspace' series ($27.60 each) is a beginning introduction to Makerspace and mechanical concepts for youngsters in grades 3-4, and provides examples of different kinds of machines and how they can be used in different projects. Kids not only learn science, but the basics of communication, working together on projects, problem solving and creative thinking. Books in this series include Levers (9780778733713), Inclined Planes (9780778733706), Wedges (9780778733744), Screws (9780778733737), Wheels and Axles (9780778733751) and Pulleys (9780778733720), and each includes a simple overview of various concepts, examples of the machine in use, materials and directions on how to make a simple machine, and helpful hints for those stuck on problems. Complimenting this series is the 'Be A Maker!' series ($27.60 each) that reaches the next grade level 5 with 32 pages of projects for kids who want to explore their world. STEAM initiatives and 21st-century skills are supported in titles that focus on different subjects that use 'maker' skills. Included in this series are Megan Kopp's Designing Communities (9780778728795), Sports (9780778728771), Printmaking (9780778728894) and Greening Up Spaces (9780778728819). Each blends history and an overview of maker projects with specific focuses that young inventors and creators will appreciate. The 'Get-Into-It Guides' ($27.60 each) adds for new titles to a series for grades 3-4 which is designed to encourage young people to build skills and explore the world around them. Each title includes how-to photos, step-by-step directions, and projects that are easy to replicate and which challenge kids to develop skills. Smoothies by Jaime Winters (9780778734031), Mixed Media by Janice Dyer (9780778734024), Get Into Magic by Vic Kovacs (9780778734017) and Kelly Spence's Get into Claymation (9780778734000) each use step-by-step directions accompanied by 'how-to' photos to help build skills through fun projects. All are highly recommended picks for elementary-level collections.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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