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Children's Bookwatch

Volume 30, Number 5 May 2020 Home | CBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Art Shelf Science Shelf
Health Shelf Picturebook Shelf Environmental Shelf
Math Shelf Christian Shelf Islamic Shelf
Cookbook Shelf General Fiction Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Political Science Shelf ABC Shelf Psychology Shelf
Multicultural Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Music CD Shelf
LGBT Studies Shelf Books in Series Story Monsters Ink Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Ned The Nearsighted Butterfly
David Monteith, author
Nikki Dawes, illustrator
Ex Libris Novum
9781733147705, $18.27, HC, 64pp,

Even butterflies have legends. Stories they share while gathered together. Tales they tell to inspire and explain. The story of a butterfly called Ned is among the oldest of the butterfly legends. Like most tales of butterflies, it is a story of change. "Ned The Nearsighted Butterfly" is the story of how butterflies learned their unique flight. An original, nicely illustrated, and thoroughly entertaining story by author David Monteith and artist Nikki Dawes, "Ned The Nearsighted Butterfly" is especially and particularly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young readers ages 8-11.

Bear and Fred: A World War II Story
Iris Argaman, author
Avi Ofer, illustrated
Annette Appel, translator
Amazon Crossing Kids
c/o Brilliance Publishing
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781542018210, $17.99, HC, 48pp,

Based on true events and beautifully illustrated, "Bear and Fred: A World War II Story" is the story of a friendship that will last forever -- as told by Fred's best friend, his beloved teddy bear.

During World War II, Fred must leave his home and live in hiding, apart from the rest of his family, but he always keeps Bear by his side. Bear knows it's his job to take care of Fred and make sure he doesn't feel alone.

After the war, Fred and his family are reunited and leave Holland for the United States. And still Bear is with him. When Fred grows up, he and Bear part for the first time when Bear is sent to Yad Vashem (the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, where this picture book for children ages 6-9 was first published) to show the power of hope, friendship, and love. Unique and charmingly illustrated, "Bear And Fred: A World War II Story" is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.

Felicia and the Rat
Mauro Magellan
Eifrig Publishing
PO Box 66, Lemont, PA 16851
9781632331649, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Louie lives high up on a rooftop. Sometimes he feels lonely. He likes to play the drums, but he doesn't have anybody to play with. Down on the street however, it's a different story. When the moon is high in the sky, the cats come out to play. Louie plays along from his rooftop home. He dreams of one night going down there and playing along with those cats, but they might not want to play with him. You see, Louie, well... he's a rat. Now, this wouldn't be a story if he hadn't gone down and asked Felicia, who sings and plays guitar, if he could play with them...would it?

"Felicia and the Rat" is a story about a rat who finally found some friends to play with and includes 11 original soundtracks for instant listening! Children can just scan the codes and enjoy a musical rendition of the story!

Mauro Magellan is an illustrator, graphic artist, and musician who has written and illustrated adult and children's books. He is a songwriter and drummer, currently traveling all over the world with the popular Nashville-based band, Dan Baird and Homemade Sin.

It's A Great, Big Colorful World
Tom Schamp
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791374246, $19.95, HC, 48pp,

One winter morning, Otto the cat looks out the window and sighs, "Why is everything so gray today?" Luckily his friend Leon the chameleon is around to show him just how many colors there are in the world. "It's A Great, Big Colorful World" is filled to the brim with brilliantly illustrated objects as Leon and Otto identify people, places, and things of every hue.

On pages dedicated to infinite shades of a single color, Tom Schamp's brilliant drawings play with perspective and unexpected pairings. An enormous Bengal tiger lords over an orange-tinted world, while a giant blue whale dwarfs elephants, pairs of jeans, and police officers. Throughout, cleverly inserted puns and allusions will elicit plenty of laughs from parents and children alike.

Parents will enjoy the numerous ways color is depicted and kids will spend hours looking for their friends Otto and Leon as they traverse the busy pages. Best of all, this delightful adventure comes to a perfect end when all the colors come together in one beautiful, joyful rainbow of fun.

Fun for children ages 2-5, "It's A Great, Big Colorful World" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Social Issues Shelf

Crocodile's Crossing: A Search for Home
Yoeri Slegers
Flyaway Books
9781947888210, $17.00, HC, 32pp,

Crocodile is tired, scared, and hopeful as he searches for his new home. Everything will be better where I'm going! he thinks. But where is that? "Crocodile's Crossing: A Search for Home" by author and illustrator Yoeri Slegers introduces children ages 5-8 to the complex topic of immigration. Featuring bright artwork packed with playful details, "Crocodile's Crossing: A Search for Home" is an original and thoughtfully entertaining tale that sensitively portrays the challenges faced by refugees and other newcomers. Of special note for parents and teachers is the inclusion of a downloadable discussion guide at "Crocodile's Crossing: A Search for Home" is a fully endorsed and recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Noah and Big Paws
Dale A. Joyner
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
9781644627969, $21.95, HC, 28pp,

Noah is a child with special needs, and his parents want him to live a normal life as possible. They feel that giving him more responsibilities will help him overcome his challenges. Having a pet with special needs will help Noah strive for success in his own struggles. Noah is loved by his family as they prepare him for the challenges of learning in school and in everyday life.

Having special needs is a reality for many students in our schools. These students endure specific challenges at home as well as at school. "Noah and Big Paws" by author/illustrator Dale Joyner is a very special and highly recommended addition to elementary school and community library picture book collection for children ages 5-8. It should be noted for families and personal reading lists that "Noah and Big Paws" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Follow Those Zebras: Solving a Migration Mystery
Sandra Markle
Millbrook Press
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541538375, $31.99, HC, 40pp,

Every year in Namibia, about two thousand zebras suddenly disappear from their grazing area along the Chobe River. Months later, the herd returns. Where do they go? And why? Thanks to satellite-tracking collars, scientists were able to solve the mystery, but several questions remain. In "Follow Those Zebras: Solving a Migration Mystery" science author Sandra Markle reveals the process scientists used to study the zebras, and she also delves into the science of migration, exploring how animals know where to go, how to get there, and when to leave. An ideal and highly recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections for children ages 9-12, "Follow Those Zebras: Solving a Migration Mystery" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Animal Tracks and Traces
Mary Holland
Arbordale Publishing
612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite A2, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781643517476, $17.95, HC, 32pp,

Animals are all around us. While we may not often see them, we can see signs that they have been there. Some signs might be simple footprints in snow or mud (tracks) and other signs include chewed or scratched bark, homes or even poop and pee (traces). Children will become animal detectives after learning how to read the animal signs left all around. Smart detectives can even figure out what the animals were doing! The perfect sequel to Mary Hollands "Animal Anatomy and Adaptations" series, "Animals Tracks and Traces" is an impressively illustrated and informative picture book for children ages 5-8 that is unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library Pets/Wildlife collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Animals Tracks and Traces" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1643517520, $9.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.95).

Run, Sea Turtle, Run: A Hatchling's Journey
Stephen R. Swinburne, author
Guillaume Feuillet, photographer
Millbrook Press
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541578128, $27.99, Library Binding, 32pp,

Impressively illustrated and informative, in "Run, Sea Turtle, Run: A Hatchling's Journey
children ages 4-9 will follow a hatchling's treacherous journey from nest to sea. Longtime science writer Stephen Swinburne creates an engaging first-person narrative from the sea turtle's perspective. Gorgeous photographs by Guillaume Feuillet fully capture the drama of the hatchlings' race to safety. Of special note is the inclusion of back matter that includes information on the life cycle of leatherback sea turtles, tips for how young readers can assist with sea turtle conservation, and recommended further reading. While unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Run, Sea Turtle, Run" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Animals You'll Learn to Love
Benessa L. Harrison, author
Dindo Contento, illustrator
Xlibris Corporation
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781796012088, $21.99, PB, 34pp,

"Animals You'll Learn to Love" is a love-able and charmingly illustrated children's picture book about pets. An adopted puppy named Bully finds a place he can call home, and an house cat named Thumbelina dreams of outside adventures. These are pet oriented stories that author Benessa Harrison has created that are a blend of both fiction and nonfiction. While "Animals You'll Learn to Love" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Surprising Lives of Animals
Anna Claybourne, author
Stef Murphy, illustrator
Ivy Kids
c/o Quarto Group Children's Books
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781782409236, $16.99, HC, 48pp,

"The Surprising Lives of Animals: How they can laugh, play and misbehave!" by author Anna Claybourne and illustrator Stef Murphy is an inherently fascinating picture book in which children ages 7-11 will learn about the things that humans and animals have in common. From team work, exercise, and self-care to dancing and getting into trouble, they will discover that, actually, animals are a lot like them!

Visiting underground burrows and grassy savannahs, watery realms, and towering tree tops, "The Surprising Lives of Animals" will take young readers around the world on a journey of discovery meeting the monkeys who love to take baths and the penguins who toboggan for fun. They will enjoy stories of escaping honey badgers, sneaky spiders, and clever crows -- and finding out if animals can really talk!

From creepy crawlies to mega mammals, and kids will learn about their lives, habitats, characteristics, and behaviors -- and uncover what makes each of them so surprisingly similar to us humans. Of special note are the 'Scientist Spotlight' boxes featuring some important scientists and conservationists, such as Sir David Attenborough and Dame Jane Goodall.

Fun and informative, "The Surprising Lives of Animals" is an especially recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Surprising Lives of Animals" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.61).

The Self-Help Shelf

The Power in Me
Meaghan Axel, author
Michelle Simpson, illustrator
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860827, $21.95, HC, 32pp,

Are your thoughts in a tizzy? Doubts making you dizzy? Tell those feelings to shoo, with the power in you! Young or old, we all have problems that weigh on our minds. Learn how to keep your cool and control your thoughts on even the toughest days with "The Power in Me", a simply delightful and entertaining picture book for children ages 4-8 about the power of breath by author/storyteller Meaghan Axel and artist/illustrator Michelle Simpson. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Power in Me" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781947860834, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Michelle E. Wilson, author
Angie Penrose, illustrator
Pink Umbrella Books
9781949598087, $12.99, PB, Ages 5-7
9781949598100, $17.99, HC, 34pp,

"Olive" is the appealing story of a charming little ewe (named Olive) who always tried real hard, but found that thing often went askew. "Olive" is told in lilting verse with perky, decorative illustrations of a unique little ewe with a white fleece, red bow, and red and white polka dot boots. The story recounts a trail of Olive's undertakings which had gone a bit wonky, from crumpling flowers she picked for a bouquet, to spilling her cereal on the carpet and turning it blue, and including a mishap of spilling card, glue, and glitter while trying to make a card for her Mom. Every mishap ends with someone yelling, "Olive Ewe!" Which comes perilously close to "All of you!" in kid vernacular. In the end, Olive felt bad about causing so many related mishaps with her adventures, but she felt better when her mother said, "Don't worry dear, ... We still love all of you." Olive joyously responded to this, saying, "It's really true! With all my thumps and lumps and bumps, you all love Olive Ewe!"

At the end of the story, there are three helpful pages titled Stop and Think: Feel, Stop and Think: Fix, and Stop and Think: Forgive. Each pate has instructions, illustrations and listed instruction steps to follow when you have questions about how to identify with feelings of others, how to fix problems you are responsible for, and how to accept an apology from another and find a way to forgive them. "Olive" is a sensible story about a sensitive ewe who had lots to learn about getting along with others.

The Art Shelf

The Hunter and His Dog
Sassafras de Bruyn
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
9780802853343, $17.99,

The Hunter and His Dog: A Fantastical Journey Through the World of Bruegel is a wordless picture book that excels in capturing the nuances of the 1500s artist's landscapes and scenes with great detail and unexpected moments. Kids of all ages as well as their adult readers will benefit from an early introduction into Bruegel's art forms and scenes, capturing a series of his paintings and documenting their evolutionary process in fine detail. The result is a work that is best enjoyed by those who would teach the young about Bruegel's works, art, and meaning. Many an adult relatively new to Bruegel's works will also be engrossed by this accessible, colorful collection of his themes.

The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau
Michelle Markel, author
Amanda Hall, illustrator
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
c/o Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
9780802853646, $18.00, HC, 34pp,

When Henri Rousseau was a young man he wanted to be an artist. But he had no formal training. Instead, he taught himself to paint. He painted until the jungles and animals and distant lands in his head came alive on the space of his canvases. Henri endured the harsh critics of his day and created the brilliant paintings that now hang in museums around the world. In a beautifully rendered picture book, "The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau", author/storyteller Michelle Markel's vivid text is perfectly complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Amanda Hall, and artfully introduces children ages 5-9 to a beloved painter and encourages all young readers to persevere despite all odds. "The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau" is an informative, entertaining, and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Science Shelf

The Acadia Files: Spring Science
Katie Coppens, author
Holly Hatam, illustrator
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
9780884486107, $13.95, HC, 88pp,

Acadia Greene has done science in summer, autumn, and winter. In the fourth and final book of this outstanding series for young readers ages 6-8, she carries her search for answers into the spring, investigating meteors and mass extinctions; germination and pollinators; parasites, ticks, and Lyme disease; and pesticides and malaria. Finally, looking back through her notebooks, Acadia puts together her scientific inquiries from all four seasons into a holistic understanding of the natural world. Acadia is curious, determined, bold, and bright -- and a wonderful STEAM ambassador! Simply stated, "The Acadia Files: Spring Science", as with the previous three books in this thoroughly 'kid friendly' and informative series, is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Contemporary Science collections and personal supplemental studies reading lists.

The Health Shelf

David's ADHD
Sherrill S. Cannon, author
Kalpart, illustrated
Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency
9781950860432, $12.50, PB, 28pp,

David is a young boy who manages his ADHD with the help of classmates in "David's ADHD". David discovers ways to cope with his hyperactive brain, while learning how to calm and soothe his ADHD. Solutions include setting daily schedules and following simple rules that regulate behavior. His teachers and therapists encourage using the computer for academic advancement, and to establish a pattern for study as well as for occasional recreation. David not only learns self-control and communication skills, but is able to fit into the classroom and make friends. Very highly recommended for children ages 6-8, "David's ADHD" is an effective, informative, and charmingly entertaining addition for any family, elementary school, or community library collection. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "David's ADHD" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Picturebook Shelf

I, Cosmo
Carlie Sorosiak
Walker Books
c/o Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536207699, $16.99,

I, Cosmo tells of an old, arthritic dog challenged by his young owner's dream of having him compete in a dance contest. Max is convinced this dance can help keep his conflicted parents together, if he and his canine companion can win the freestyle competition and a prize role in a movie. Such a win would lead his parent to see that Max and Cosmo shouldn't be separated by family strife. A dog training mission evolves in a fun story told from Cosmo's viewpoint, exploring issues of love, loyalty, and togetherness in a humorous, compellingly different manner. Young dog story readers in advanced elementary to middle school grades will find this an involving and fun perspective that uses the dog's-eye view for a different take on family conflict and proactive behaviors.

Blue Skies
Anne Bustard
Simon & Schuster
c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor, New York, NY 10020
9781534446069, $17.99,

Blue Skies is recommended reading for ages 8-12 and tells of ten-year-old Glory Bea, who anticipates a miracle in her father's return from a war that ended three years ago. Glory can't accept the adults' messages that her father died in France on the front. She retains faith that her father is still there. Maybe it's up to her to find him. When she learns that a train will stop in the town he was last seen in, she decides to take matters into her own hands to help her lost father find his way back home. A heartfelt, engrossing story emerges about life, death, faith, and proactive dreaming.

Roosevelt Banks: Good-Kid-in-Training
Laurie Calkhoven, author
Debbie Palen, illustrator
One Elm Books
c/o Red Chair Press
PO Box 333, South Egremont, MA 01258
9781947159181, $14.99, HC, 128pp,

When ten-year-old Roosevelt Banks discovers that his two best friends are planning a bike and camping trip, he wants more than anything to go along. There's just one problem -- he doesn't have a bike. Roosevelt's parents agree to buy him a bike if he can manage to be good for two whole weeks. How can Roosevelt be good and be the same fun guy his friends want on the camping trip? Trying to be good leads to more trouble than expected -- and to the discovery that being a good friend is more important than any bicycle. A thoroughly charming and entertaining story for young readers ages 7-11, "Roosevelt Banks: Good-Kid-in-Training" is an especially recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Roosevelt Banks: Good-Kid-in-Training" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781947159198, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Hurry Home, Harriet
Lucy Barnard, author/illustrator
QEB Publishing
c/o Black Rabbit Books
PO Box 3263, Mankato, MN 56002
9780711251151, $17.95, HC, 24pp,

On a trip to town, Harriet is a little rabbit who gets upset when no one wishes her a happy birthday! She hurries home to celebrate by herself, bumping into friends all too busy to talk to her. When she gets home, she is shocked to see all of her friends there in a surprise birthday party! A charmingly original and entertaining picture book for children ages 4-6, "Hurry Home, Harriet" by author and illustrator Lucy Barnard will prove to be an exceptionally popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Where the Best Stories Hide
Roman Yasiejko, author
Ben Whitehouse, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506454016, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Nicholas has a big box of crayons and an even bigger imagination! One day in school, he doodles his way into trouble when his teacher catches him scribbling and coloring outside the lines of his coloring book. Challenged to explain his stories, Nicholas takes a dash of creativity and a dab of courage to wow the whole class and prove that the best stories sometimes hide outside the lines. Lively, original, engaging, and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone and storyline, "Where the Best Stories Hide" with its underlying message in support of creativity is a unique and especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7.

After the Rain
Rebecca Koehn, author
Simone Kruger, illustrator
Beaming Books
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9781506454511, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Drip, Drop, Plink. The rain stops, and Levi runs outside to play in a stream of rain water. But Polly puts an end to his fun when she doesn't want to share. It's a puddle fight! Until they see that the water is disappearing fast. Truce! They find a way to save the water and discover that it is more fun to play together. An especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 3-6, "After the Rain" by author/storyteller Rebecca Koehn and illustrator/artist Simone Kruger puts a new and entertaining twist on the rainy-day picture book about sharing and learning to work together.

Clem and Crab
Fiona Lumbers
Andersen Press USA
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541596191, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Clem is an explorer, a collector, a protector of the seas! Treasure hunting on her beloved beach, she stumbles across Crab, whose claw is stuck in a plastic bag. Crab will be much safer and happier in the city with Clem, but doesn't he belong on the beach? A stunningly illustrated, timely picture book tale of cleaning up our beaches, with the message that every small action helps, "Clem and Crab" is a charmingly entertaining and unreservedly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 4-9.

A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story
Caren Stelson, author
Akira Kusaka, illustrator
CarolRhoda Books
c/o The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541521483, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Sachiko's family home was about half a mile from where the atomic bomb fell on August 9, 1945. Her family experienced devastating loss. When they returned to the rubble where their home once stood, her father miraculously found their serving bowl fully intact. This delicate, green, leaf-shaped bowl which once held their daily meals now holds memories of the past and serves as a vessel of hope, peace, and new traditions for Sachiko and the surviving members of her family. A beautifully produced and deeply moving nonfiction picture book, by the team of author/storyteller Caren Stelson and illustrator/artist Sachiko Yasui, "A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story" is a thoroughly 'child friendly' story of surviving the atomic bombing of Nagasaki with an engaging message of peace for children ages 6-11. Will especially recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

My Sister Is Sleeping
Devora Busheri, author
Michel Kichka, illustrator
Kar-Ben Publishing, Inc.
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781541542440, $17.99, HC, Library Binding, 24pp,

A big sister in an Israeli family draws pictures as she eagerly anticipates her baby sister waking from her nap. She lovingly describes the baby, imagining all the things she will do when the baby wakes up: holding the baby in her lap, feeding her oatmeal, and taking her for a walk in the stroller. Of special note is that "My Sister Is Sleeping" also includes Hebrew words in the descriptions of the joys of having a new baby in the family. While highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 3-8, "My Sister Is Sleeping" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781541542457, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.59).

I Love You With All My Heart
Jane Chapman, author/illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781680101898, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Little Bear has broken Mommy's favorite sunflower plant. What if her mom won't love her anymore? Luckily, Mommy knows just what to do... "Put your paw on your heart," she smiles, "and you'll feel my love going on and on forever!" Residing in Dorset, England, Jane Chapman has been writing and illustrating for over twenty years and has produced many bestselling and award-winning titles. "I Love You With All My Heart" is her newest and beautifully crafted picture book created especially for children ages 3-7 and is unreservedly recommended for any and all family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Nuff
Veronica Waldrop, author
Cat Elliott, illustrator
Tailwind Publishing
9781733099707, $29.99, HC, 36pp,

Through a series of adventures, a unicorn with a broken horn discovers the truth about herself and what it means to be enough... or a NUFF! Charmingly illustrated by illustrator/artist Cat Elliott, "The Nuff" is author/storyteller Veronica Waldrop's inherently entertaining picture book for children ages 2-7 and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

Einat Tsarfati
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536211436, $17.99, HC, 48pp,

A young girl loves building sandcastles. But not just any sandcastles. She builds one so big and grand and lovely that all the royals of the world come to visit. There are banquets and balls and tournaments, a greenhouse for cacti, a staircase for skateboarding, and ice cream around the clock. Everyone seems to be having fun, until they discover sand in the royal almond strudel, and the fig milk bath, and everywhere! In her picture book "Sandcastle", and with a keen eye for the absurd, author-illustrator Einat Tsarfati invites children ages 4-6 beyond the crocodile moat to explore the intricately detailed, increasingly wild festivities that echo the arc of a day at the beach, from euphoria to gritty discomfort. The diverse cast of regal guests, from a Rapunzel-esque princess in pj's and unicorn slippers to a pair of knights playing badminton, is just as inspired. A visual treat of a tale, Sandcastle opens the doors to a world by the sea where wit and imagination reign, making "Sandcastle" is an extraordinarily fun and entertaining addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Paper Planes
Jim Helmore, author
Richard Jones, illustrator
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
1700 Chattahoochee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30318-2112
9781682631614, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Mia and Ben are the very best of friends. They live side by side at the edge of a great, wide lake. Together they sail, swing, and sing. But what they love doing most of all is making paper planes. They dream of one day being able to make a plane that can fly all the way across the lake! But Ben has terrible news: he and his family are moving far away. How are Mia and Ben going to stay best friends if they're going to be so far apart? And will flying paper planes ever be the same again without Ben? "Paper Planes" is a compassionate, lyrical, and beautifully illustrated picture book story of staying in touch after a friend has moved away. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections for children ages 4-8, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Paper Planes" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Double Trouble
Sarah Dyer, author/illustrator
Tate Publishing
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781849766593, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Ellis and Erin are twins, and they love to draw and climb and play -- but they also love looking for trouble! Will they find trouble in the kitchen or the bathroom? Maybe it's in their bedroom, or outside in their garden? In the charmingly illustrated pages of "Double Trouble", children ages 3-7 will enjoy following the twins on a fun-filled journey through their house, through their backyard, to the attic, and back, as they search for trouble and get into all sorts of mischief on the way. Will they ever find trouble? Or will trouble find them! "Double Trouble" is delightfully unique and entertaining addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Curlee Girlee's Got Talent
Atara Twersky, author
Karen Wolcott, illustrator
Sandbox Publishing
9780996843843, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

The school talent show is coming up and everyone in Curlee Girlee's class has a special skill to present. Everyone but Curlee Girlee. She can't dance ballet like Tai, or sing like Josie, or do magic like Henry. What if she isn't good at anything? Then Curlee Girlee has an idea, she'll surprise everyone with a science experiment! The result impresses her teacher and thrills her friends as Curlee Girlee find herself in the world of Science, teaching girls that they really can be good at all subjects including Science and STEM. Charmingly illustrated throughout with the artwork of Karen Wolcott, "Curlee Girlee's Got Talent" is a delightfully entertaining and inspiring picture book story for children ages 3-8 that was inspired by author Atara Twersky's own young daughter. "Curlee Girlee's Got Talent" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Willow the Armadillo
Marilou Reeder, author
Dave Mottram, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419741050, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Willow the Armadillo loves picture books. More than anything, she wants to be the hero in a picture book of her very own. She knows that achieving her dream will take a lot of work, so she studies hard at Picture Book Academy and signs up for many auditions. But she just can't seem to land a leading role! After one last heartbreaking rejection, she heads to the library for some peace and quiet, and instead finds chaos! And that's when Willow discovers something even better than being a hero in a book! A wonderfully entertaining and charming illustrated picture book for children ages 4-8, "Willow the Armadillo" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Willow the Armadillo" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781690593652, $14.99, CD).

Herman Jiggle, Say Hello!
Julia Cook, author
Michael Garland, illustrator
Boys Town Press
13603 Flanagan Blvd., Boys Town, NE 68010
9781944882518, $10.95, PB, 32pp,

Herman Jiggle is excited to make some new friends! But first he needs to figure out how to stop his tummy from doing flip-flops and his words from getting stuck in his mouth! How will Herman make any friends if he's too shy to even say hello? With Mom eager to help Herman overcome his nerves and learn to make a good first impression, she teaches him some new skills like how to introduce himself, and how to start up a conversation. If Herman can learn these new social skills, he can start to untangle his words, and overcome his social anxiety. "Herman Jiggle, Say Hello! How to talk to people when your words get stuck" is a thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book for young readers ages 8-12 that is unreservedly recommended, especially for elementary school, middle school, and community library collections.

What Do the Plants Say?
Lois Wickstrom, author
Janet King, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
9780916176600, $19.99, HC, 24pp,

Alex is a young girl who hears balloon flower buds popping. She is sure the plants are talking to her -- so she invents a plant translator! It turns out that the plants want to have a party and they want to fly so she next invents a flower inflator. The plants want her to fly with them. It's fun until the plants try to talk to her while flying and when they pop, the helium comes out of their flowers, so they come back to Earth. Now they want Alex to invent a way for them to talk and fly at the same time. -- But Alex has had enough inventing for one day! A collaboratively created picture book for children ages 4-8 by author/storyteller Lois Wickstrom and artist/illustrator Janet King, "What Do the Plants Say?" will prove to be a whimsical and favorite addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "What Do the Plants Say?" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

The Little Red Crane
Cornelius Van Wright, author/illustrator
Star Bright Books
13 Landsdowne Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
9781595728432, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

Dex the Little Red Crane and his very tall operator, Pete, are needed for a BIG project far away! While traveling through cities and across the water to their destination, Dex and Pete meet giant crane friends, all with different jobs. What could this BIG project far away want with a little crane like Dex? In the end, Dex may have the coolest job of all. "The Little Red Crane" by artist and storyteller Cornelius Van Wright is the perfect picture book story for children ages 4-7 who are interested in construction vehicles. Each page comprising "The Little Red Crane" introduces young readers to a new kind of machinery and the job it performs with beautifully detailed illustrations that enhance the enjoyable and informative picture book journey. "The Little Red Crane" is very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Bedtime Book
S. Marendaz, author
Carly Gledhill, illustrator
Tiger Tales
PO Box 70, Iron Ridge, WI 53035
9781680101867, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

It's nighttime but Mouse is not asleep. Mouse cannot find her bedtime book! Where could it be? And how can she possibly sleep without it? A thoroughly charming picture book for children ages 3-7 "The Bedtime Book" by storyteller Marendaz and artist Carly Gledhill will prove to be a welcome and popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Heart of a Whale
Anna Pignataro
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group
9781984836274, $17.99, HC, 40pp,

Whale's beautiful song winds its way through the ocean, reaching the farthest of faraways. His song is one of happiness and hope, magic and wonder -- and Whale's fellow sea creatures are calmed, cheered, and lulled by it. But though Whale sings his tender song day after day, night after night, Whale wonders why he has no song to fill his empty heart. So when he lets out a mournful sigh, the ocean carries it like a wish through its fathoms, bringing it to just the right place. Filled with author and illustrator Anna Pignataro's truly stunning artwork and her genuine flair of poetic language, "The Heart Of A Whale" is an impressively poignant picture book story reminds children ages 3-7 that being kind and helping a friend in need is sometimes the most beautiful thing of all! Very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Heart Of A Whale" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

A Place for Mulan
Marie Chow, author
Jasper Shaw, illustrator
Disney Press
c/o Disney Book Group
1200 Grand Central Avenue, Glendale, CA 91201
9781368023481, $16.99, HC, 40pp,

Written by Marie Chow and illustrated by Jasper Shaw, "A Place for Mulan" is a beautifully stylized picture book for children ages 6-8 that tells an all-new, original story based on the world and characters of the upcoming Walt Disney Studios' live action Mulan film. Charmingly entertaining and thoroughly 'kid friendly', "A Place for Mulan" is a 'must' for all young Mulan fans and is unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Place for Mulan" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Milo and Monty
Roxana De Rond
Child's Play
250 Minot Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
9781786283528, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

Milo and Monty are very different dogs. Monty enjoys hugs and noisy playtimes, but Milo prefers to avoid people and hide in a cosy, quiet space. One day, during a family reunion, Milo finds cousin Henry is hiding in his special space. Like Milo, Henry finds hugs uncomfortable, dislikes loud noises, and has a favorite toy that he takes everywhere. A heartwarming picture book story by author and illustrator Roxana De Rond about family and the small changes we can make to accommodate the needs of others, "Milo and Monty" is a charming and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 5-6. It should be noted that "Milo and Monty" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781786283511, $8.99).

Polly Does NOT Want a Cracker!
Stephanie Thatcher
Upstart Press
c/o Trafalgar Square Publishing
814 N. Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781988516592, $9.99, PB, 32pp,

Polly the parrot is rude and grumpy because she's fed up with people asking, "Does Polly want a cracker?" Then, when she is banned from the zoo and sent to a pet shop, something amazing happens! "Polly Does NOT Want a Cracker!" by New Zealand author and illustrator Stephanie Thatcher is an extraordinarily fun picture book for children ages 5-7 and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.

The Big Buna Bash
Sara C. Arnold, author
Roberta Malasomma, illustrator
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781951565015, $22.95, HC, 36pp,

When a young girl named Almaz makes a mistake in school, she's really embarrassed! The other kids tease her because they don't understand her Ethiopian culture. How can she use her family's traditions to make friends? Simple! She just needs to host a BIG BUNA BASH! A thoroughly charming and entertaining picture book for author/storyteller Sara Arnold and artist/illustrator Roberta Malasomma, "The Big Buna Bash" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for children ages 5-8. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Big Buna Bash" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781951565022, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Thank You, Me
Ellie Oop
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781982219420, $15.95, PB, 36pp,

"Thank You, Me" by author and illustrator Ellie Oop is about a young girl discovering the joy of the wonders of the human body helping in every way forever. Especially appropriate for children ages 4-7, "Thank You, Me" is a unique, charmingly presented, and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Thank You, Me" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Active Cat Around the World
Jay Ablondi, author
Jim Schmaltz, author
Stan Tran, illustrator
Independently Published
9781703707434, $12.95, PB, 40pp,

Some cats like to lie around all day, but not Active Cat! In "Active Cat Around the World" (an original picture book story by authors/storytellers Jay Ablondi and Jim Schmaltz), children ages 4-7 will enjoy traveling along with Active Cat as he meets new animal friends and explores exciting countries around the world as he tries the sports and activities popular with the locals. Charmingly illustrated by Stan Tran, "Active Cat Around the World" is comprised of rhymes and interesting facts that illustrate that no matter where you are, there is a fun activity you can do to keep active and feel your best. While very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should also be noted that "Active Cat Around the World" is a project of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association ( and sponsored by Gympass.

Natalie Nelson
Groundwood Books
c/o House of Anansi Press
9781773062006, $18.95, HC, 32pp,

Early one morning, a strange visitor arrives - a visitor whose name is Holiday. "I'll be taking over for you today!" Holiday tells Monday. And before long, Holiday has met the other days, even Saturday and Sunday, who usually sleep all week.

With each introduction, Monday becomes more and more upset. She is used to starting the week, and she'd like to keep it that way. When Holiday announces how much fun he's having, and that he'd like to stay, Wednesday and Friday admit that they are a little worried, too. Meanwhile, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday are completely smitten by this exciting new day.

Finally, Monday (with Wednesday and Friday in tow), asks Holiday to kindly pack his things and go. Then just in time, Tuesday comes up with a solution that will work for everyone.

Natalie Nelson's ingenious characterizations of the days of the week will delight children ages 3-7, with a appealingly entertaining picture book story that pokes fun at how set in our ways we can be and how we might instead choose to be open to change and embrace the unexpected. Charmingly illustrated throughout, "Holiday!" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Three new titles provide young picture book readers with excellent stories that stand out from the crowd. Elisa Boxer's The Voice That Won the Vote (9781534110496, $16.99) is illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger and helps commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment as it explores the story of Febb Burn, her son Harry, and the letter that resulted in women's voting rights in 1920. Based on real-life experiences, it promotes historical knowledge of women's sufferage as it explores a historical event and one woman's lasting contribution to women's rights. Good reading skills will enhance enjoyment of this story, recommended for readers ages 6-10. Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum's Boats Will Float (9781534110410, $16.99) will reach ages 4-8 with a collection of nautical rhymes exploring different kinds of boats of all shapes and sizes, from fishing boats to sailboats and freighters. Colorful drawings by Brett Curzon pair with a lively adventure that teaches kids about boats in a fun manner, whether it's exploring how a submarine houses "sailors short on space" to how a houseboat "floats and gently rocks/tied up tightly to the docks." Meeg Pincus's Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery (9781534110403, $17.99) receives lovely drawings by Yas Imamura and will reach ages 6-10 with a survey not just about butterflies, like so many already offer, but a specific discussion of the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration that ranges from facts about the butterfly's route and how it was finally tracked to how young readers can help the monarchs. Good reading skills lend to a ready understanding of the studies revolving around the monarchs and their natural history, outlining some of the personalities who contributed insights into butterfly studies and findings. All are exceptional reads for young readers, the latter recommended even for those who might already have basic butterfly facts in hand, but not monarch-specific studies.

Penguin Putnam
c/o Penguin Young Readers Group

Three new releases from Penguin provide young readers with exceptional leisure read picture book tales. Dev Petty's The Bear Must Go On (9781984837479, $17.99) receives exceptionally engaging drawings by Brandon Todd as it follows Bear and his animal friends, who are planning on putting on a show. There's a lot to be done to get ready for a vivid show, and shy Bear is the note-taker and organizer who is very satisfied with not going on stage. As he sings contented songs over his notes, Bear seems to have everything well in paw, until disaster strikes. A zany, fun story evolves into a dilemma that requires Bear move outside his comfort zone. Vanessa Roeder's The Box Turtle (9780735230507, $17.99) tells of a turtle who is just a little different from the other turtles. He loves his box, but when he confronts other turtles with real shells who tease him about his box, Terrence begins to wonder if there's something better in the world, for him. A search begins for the perfect shell in a quest that proves hilarious, results in some colorful but odd choices, and ultimately translates to something quite different for the little box turtle. Madelyn Rosenberg's Cyclops of Central Park (9780525414701, $17.99) is illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov and tells of the shy Cyclops, who rarely leaves his cozy cave in the park and views the world as, ironically, a dangerous place. When his sheep Eugene vanishes, however, Cyclops must venture into the city to find him, discovering that the urban environment may not be as scary as he'd envisioned. Good reading skills will lend enjoyment to this fun tale of discovery and a monster's revelations about the wider world that is his home. All are excellent, creative leisure read choices kids will relish.

The Environmental Shelf

Earth Day and the Environmental Movement
Christy Peterson, author
Twenty First Century Books
c/o Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781541552814, $37.32 HC (Library Binding), $9.99 Kindle, 120pp,

Written for juvenile audiences ages 13-18 years to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Earth Day, "Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth" traces the beginning of the creation of Earth Day, attributed to Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, partially in response to the disastrous oil explosion off of Santa Barbara in 1969, and the lack of organized government communication and response to the natural disaster.

The progression of the creation of Earth Day is traced from teach-in to Earth Day, 1970, with a history highlighting environmental concerns prior to the first Earth Day, covering topics relating to air quality, water quality, waste management, pesticides and chemicals, and endangered species.

Despite wide interest, bipartisan support, and think tank publicity from participating University staff and students, the early birth pangs for the first Earth Day suffered varied challenges. A coalition of interests including those concerned about the environment, racism, and justice emerged. Finally the first Earth Day was launched on April 22, 1970, one of the biggest nationwide event ever undertaken.

A special mention is made of the International Indigenous Youth Council, established in 2017 in response to Standing Rock indigenous youth who objected to the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Even though President Obama established Energy Transfer Partners to prepare a study of impact and study alternate routes, this action was overruled by the Trump administration and the project was completed in May 2017.

Continued patterns of some progress and much obstruction decorate the Earth Day goals and the Environmental Protection Agency, summarized in chapters titled A Framework for Progress, Gone Green, A Changing Climate, and A New Resolve. The inevitable current conclusion as to the status of Earth Day concerns is "Its cultural legacy remained undisputed, but its legislative legacy was increasingly under fire (p. 94)." Nevertheless successes achieved by the environmental movement after the first Earth Day are posted by categories of concern on page 95.

The final chapter, A New Resolve, culminates in an inspiring quotation by Gaylord Nelson, plus specific suggestions for youth activists, including voting, and engaging in the political process. Additional things that can be done to help the earth include buy less, eat less beef, aim for zero waste, and take earth protective, conservation oriented actions in small ways listed under a thousand things.

"Earth Day and the Environmental Movement" is completed by a glossary, extended source notes, and a selected bibliography, plus listed sources of further information. Frequent use of related photographs, sidebars of information, and clarifying action summaries add to the veracity, effectiveness, and appeal of "Earth Day and the Environmental Movement" for this 50th Earth Day celebration.

The Math Shelf

Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind
Eduard Shyfrin
White Raven Publishing
9781912892150, $19.99, HC, 190pp,

Aaron and Stella spend every summer at their grandparents' house, playing on the beach in the day, and eating sushi at night. One evening, the children try some special sushi which transports them to an alternate universe - The Land of the Mind, a place traditionally governed by maths and quantum physics, which is being taken over by evil and chaos.

With the many different areas in the Land of the Mind being ruled over by the Dark Lords of Intolerance, Fear, Pride, Indifference, Betrayal and Despair, the children are tasked with rescuing the Book of Understanding, which contains all the rules on how to live a good life.

Chosen because of their relationship to the Golden Ratio known as Phi (1.618), Aaron and Stella travel on a Phi-Flyer and are guided by a wise raven called Sophie (who is both a particle and a wave). The children must learn how to navigate the infinite dimensions of quantum physics to save the Land of the Mind from falling into the hands of chaos.

Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind is an atmospheric children's novel by Eduard Shyfrin which introduces children to quantum physics and classic morality through an adventure in another universe. D. It is a celebration of the power of words and the role of science, exquisitely illustrated by the talented Tomislav Tomic. Beautifully produced, "Travels with Sushi" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of children ages 9-12 that "Travels With Sushi" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.63).

The Christian Shelf

Don't Forget to Remember
Ellie Holcomb
B&H Kids
c/o B&H Publishing Group
1 LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234
9781535973458, $12.99, Board Book, 24pp,

Sometimes remembering is hard to do for young children! "Don't Forget to Remember", is a lyrical tale for kids 1-4 by Ellie Holcomb that celebrates creation's reminders of God's love, which surrounds us from sunrise to sunset, even on our most forgetful of days. "Don't Forget to Remember" is a charmingly illustrated board book that is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.

The Islamic Shelf

Once Upon an Eid
S. K. Ali & Aisha Saeed
Amulet Books
c/o Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419740831, $17.99, HC, 272pp,

Eid is a short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it's waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it's the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it's the gift giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy.

"Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices" is an impressive anthology of deftly crafted short stories that collectively showcase the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today with each individual story being all about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid!

This unique and outstanding anthology collaborative compiled and co-edited by Aisha Saeed (a founding member of We Need Diverse Books) and S. K. Ali (a teacher whose writing on Muslim culture and life has also appeared in the Toronto Star) also includes a poem, graphic-novel chapter, and spot illustrations, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for children ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Cookbook Shelf

My First Cookbook
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen, Publishers
17 Station Street, Brookline, MA 02445
9781948703222, $19.99,

It's not like there are no other cookbooks for children on the market, but what makes My First Cookbook a standout is its production by a publisher who not only tests all recipes to present the best version, but explores the testing process and why that recipe works better than others. This cookbook differs from adult collections, though, in that it focuses on preparation equipment and methods as much as the recipe itself, walking kids ages 5-8 through the process of each of 60 recipes that encourage math and science knowledge, kitchen skills development, and knowledge about ingredient choices. 'Fun facts' range from a discussion of America's Test Kitchen's review of different kinds of canned pumpkin and what makes one superior over another to culinary insights, such as where molasses comes from. Lovely contemporary color photos of kids in the kitchen make for a collection that is further vetted by thousands of kid testers, making for a 'best of the best' collection that should indeed be the first cookbook a parent gives to a child.

Let's Explore Bread!
Jill Colella
The Lerner Publishing Group
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
9781541562998, $26.95, HC, Library Binding, 24pp,

Based in Minneapolis, Jill Colella is a former teacher and the author of many nutrition-themed books for children, as well as "The Jewish Holidays Cookbook" (DK Children). Happy cook, reformed picky eater, and longtime classroom teacher Jill Colella founded both Ingredient and Butternut, award-winning children's magazines that promote food literacy. Now in "Let's Explore Bread!" she brings to bear her experience and expertise to create an ideal introduction to various forms of bread and how they are made for the benefit of children ages 4-8. Naan, sourdough, rye, pita, "Let's Explore Bread!" explores how bread takes different flavors and forms all around the world. Children can experiment with yeast to learn why it makes breads rise, see how to knead bread, and follow a simple recipe to make their own loaves! While especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Let's Explore Bread!" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781541587427, $7.59) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.21).

The General Fiction Shelf

The Magical Bookshop
Katja Frixe
Rock the Boat
c/o Oneworld Publications/Cursor
9781786078667, $16.99, HC, 176pp,

What do you do when your best friend moves away? Clara takes comfort in her favourite place: Mrs Owl's bookshop. Surrounded by books that spring to life, a rhyming cat and mounds of cinnamon buns, Clara never feels alone. But someone is determined to close the bookshop down. Now it's up to Clara and her new friends to save it! A beautifully crafted and inherently entertaining read from first page to last, "The Magical Bookshop" by Katja Frixe is particularly and especially recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library General Fiction collections for young readers ages 8-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Magical Bookshop" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781786075666, $11.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Flight of the Spark
Evelyn Puerto
Open Water Books
9780990971542, $14.99, PB, 406pp,

Iskra doesn't question the rules. The rules are there to keep her safe from those who are deemed unsafe or unfair. Anyone who breaks the rules is taken, never to be heard from again. But that's the price everyone gladly pays for peace and safety. And no one wants to live like the Riskers -- barbarians who reject order and justice, and could kill or be killed at any moment.

When a friend is taken because of Iskra, the guilt forces her to do the unthinkable: seek out the Riskers. Iskra's quest to save her friend quickly entangles her fate with a cryptic prophecy and a young Risker named Xico, who ensnares her heart and is willing to put it all on the line to win her.

With every risk Iskra takes, the closer she gets to true freedom. But every choice carries a consequence. The choices she makes set events she never imagined into motion, and the price of her freedom could very well be her life and the life of the man she loves.

"Flight of the Spark" is the debut launching of author Evelyn Puerto's 'The Outlawed Myth' dystopian fantasy series for young readers ages 14-19. An impressively original, deftly crafted and inherently entertaining read from cover to cover, "Flight of the Spark" is an unreservedly recommended addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans that "Flight of the Spark" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Don't Call the Wolf
Aleksandra Ross
c/o HarperCollins Children's Books
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062877970, $18.99, HC, 512pp,

A fierce young queen, neither human nor lynx, who fights to protect a forest humans have long abandoned. An exhausted young soldier, last of his name, who searches for the brother who disappeared beneath those trees without a trace. A Golden Dragon, fearsome and vengeful, whose wingbeats haunt their nightmares and their steps. When these three paths cross at the fringes of a war between monsters and men, shapeshifter queen and reluctant hero strike a deal that may finally turn the tide against the rising hordes of darkness. Ren will help Lukasz find his brother... if Lukasz promises to slay the Dragon. But promises are all too easily broken.

All the more impressive when considering that "Don't Call The Wolf" is the debut novel for author Aleksandra Ross, this impressively original, deftly crafted and inherently engaging fantasy is especially and unreservedly recommended for both school and community library YA Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Don't Call The Wolf" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094119724, $39.99, CD).

Marjory Kaptanoglu
Privately Published
9780999449233, $6.99 Ebook
9780999449240, $12.99 Softcover

Gravenwood is Book Two of The Conjurer Fellstone series, and continues to explore the dilemma conjurer Tessa faces in trying to cure her mother of the delusion that she is a bird. It seems wise to consult one with greater powers, but an appeal to the lord of the next realm, Blackgrove, results in further troubles when the lord takes her loved ones hostage and demands Tessa locate and bring him the powerful Gravenwood artifact in exchange for their lives. Now she has multiple, growing problems, including fueling the power of a despot who plots to control everything. If he has the Gravenwood, this will happen. And Tessa is not yet a real conjurer, so must face magic with a different kind of spirited force that requires her to reach beyond her abilities into dangerous new realms.

While prior readers of Dreadmarrow Thief will be the most likely audience for this second book, newcomers should not be deterred by the presence of a predecessor. Gravenwood is designed to be both a stand-alone production and a supportive addition to the series, and achieves both with excellent descriptions and surprising moves. Tessa is captured and has an opportunity to escape - but without her friends. This creates a dilemma that she must overcome for a bigger purpose.

An added complexity is that Tessa is not certain she has conjuring powers. Much of her life involves testing herself, assessing the results, and wondering about any abilities that could be enhanced by a magical object. As she assesses these possibilities, she is also forced to confront moral and ethical questions revolving around using magic to solve problems that include life or death situations. As Tessa grows not just into her abilities but into the realization of what magic will bring to her life in terms of meaning and focus, readers are drawn into her life's many challenges. Her quest becomes far more than a search for ability, but a test of her place in the world and the morals and ethics which define it. As she and her companions search for the elusive Gravenwood and consider the changes it will bring, they encounter family secrets that slowly begin to reveal some of the origins of Tessa's uncle's purpose and drive.

Gravenwood is a young adult fantasy that is full-bodied, engrossing, and hard to put down. It combines the best elements of a quest story with a survey of personal powers, family heritage, and a young woman's evolving place in the world.


Two new books for teens are standout recommendations from Disney/Hyperion's latest releases, and deserve a place in any discriminating library catering to teen leisure readers. London Shah's The Light at the Bottom of the World (9781368036887, $17.99) is set in the last days of the 21st century, when sea creatures invade the ruins of London, threatening human survivors. Teen Leyla McQueen is a submersible racer who participates in the city's annual marathon and plots to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The prime minister has promised to make the winner's dreams come true. But when the race leads Leyla into more truths that lead her to identify and work against corruption in the government, more is at stake than her father's survival. A thought-provoking story of a world in crisis and on the cusp of irreversible changes evolves, with Leyla's family and life at the heart of these transformations. Liz Braswell's Straight On Till Morning (9781484781302, $17.99) is especially recommended for fans of the classic Peter Pan, who here receive a very different take on the traditional Pan focus from the viewpoint of teen Wendy Darling, who is threatened with banishment to Ireland to be a governess. As now-nearly-adult Wendy documents Never Land tales and documents a dream that began four years earlier, she encounters an opportunity to visit Never Land via pirate ship, makes a deadly deal to achieve her dream of encountering Peter, and embarks on a journey that defies her dreams of Peter's promises and involves her on the side of Captain Hook's evil plans. An engrossing spin-off on the fantasy realm evolves to delight Peter Pan fans with a very different take on Wendy's return.

The Political Science Shelf

Work It, Girl: Become A Leader Like Michelle Obama
Caroline Moss, author
Sinem Erkas, illustrator
Francis Lincoln Books
c/o Quarto Group Children's Books
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780711245181, $15.99, HC, 64pp,

Michelle Obama grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a little bungalow with a close-knit family. She loved going to school, and she knew that, one day, she would use her voice to empower other young girls, just like her. Young Michelle was a brilliant student and wonderful daughter. With hard work and talent, she propelled herself into the universities of Princeton and Harvard. She qualified as a lawyer and life was going smoothly. -- Then she met a guy named Barack. Simply stated, Michelle Obama is a national treasure -- especially in these troubled times. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.32), "Work It, Girl: Become A Leader Like Michelle Obama" should be a part of every elementary school, middle school, and community library collection for young readers ages 8-12.

The ABC Shelf

Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book
Jerry Pallotta, author
Shennen Bersani, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580896894, $17.99, HC, 32pp,

In the beautifully illustrated pages of "Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book: It's About Time Moths Had Their Own Book!", children ages 3-7 will meet dozens of moths (and a few bonus creatures) with engaging text and a laugh-out-loud narrative, from A (Atlas Moth) to G (Green Lips Moth -- no kissing allowed!) to J (Jersey Tiger Moth, whose underwings are a completely different color than their upper wings, not to be confused with their underwear) to Z (Zigzag Moth). Unique, fund, and certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, community library picture book collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book: It's About Time Moths Had Their Own Book!" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781580896900, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

The Psychology Shelf

Together Things
Michelle Vasiliu and Gwynneth Jones
EK Books
c/o Exisle Publishing
9781925820294, $18.99,

Together Things is a lively picture book illustrated by Gwynneth Jones and offers a compelling story about adult depression in a book that encourages kids to understand the presence of mental illness in the world around them. Kids living with parents with mental conditions receive a gentle set of insights based on a very young child's experiences of a fun father who used to play with her, but now is too sad to participate in her life with fun and fantasy adventures, like he used to. As the child narrator reflects on his past engagements and present sadness, she admits "...there's lots of things we don't do anymore" and offers basic insights into her father's struggle to get well and her changed role in his life. Parents looking for an introduction to adult depression that will reach and teach the very young will find this compelling picture book the perfect start to a conversation and revised approach to life.

Noah's New Puppy
Richard Rice with Geri Henderson, authors
Vincent G. Rice, Illustrator
MSI Press, LLC
1760 -F Airline Hwy. #203, Hollister, CA 95023
9781933455303, $24.95, PB, 40pp,

"Noah's New Puppy" is a tender story about a boy whose father has returned changed, after a year of armed service abroad, suffering from PTSD. Noah, the boy, had missed his father while he was deployed abroad a long time, and he looked forward to being able to play games with him as they had done before. But Noah's dad was sad and quiet and seemed to want to stay in his room.

Noah thought of an idea to help his father begin to feel better, so he might be able to laugh and play again. He and his mother went out and bought a darling little black puppy. His father began to smile again when he saw the little black puppy, who was filled with joy. Soon the boy and his father were playing games outside with the puppy, who grew into a happy family dog. Because of Noah's thoughtfulness, his father began to rebuild a normal like, celebrating birthdays, holidays, and all the things they missed as a family together.

"Noah's New Puppy" is told in spare narrative style, with bright, empathetic portraits of Noah, his father, and the puppy. Much is expressed in the warm illustrations that is left to imagine between the lines of the story. At the end there is a Parent's Guide that explains ways to encourage conversations with kids about PTSD, post-deployment issues, or parents suffering from depression. It describes the usefulness of being an active listener, and of always reassuring children that traumas (such as PTSD) are not their fault. Another helpful idea is to remember to approach the experience of trauma, or the topic of trauma, through the emotions that are experienced in the process, such as fear, panic, or sadness. Giving children a way to enter into the experience and understand it can develop from sharing a story about your own experiences, like having a nightmare or getting lost.

"Noah's New Puppy" is a masterful story to help kids come to terms with subjects such as PTSD. It affirms the value of kindness, love, and ending any conversation with a hug.

The Multicultural Shelf

Story of the Mongolian Tent House
Dashdondog Jamba & Anne Pellowski
Wisdom Tales Press
1501 E. Hillside Dr., Bloomington, IN 47401
9781937786816, $16.95,

Story of the Mongolian Tent House is illustrated by Beatriz Vidal and is based on an original story by the Mongolian author, retold by Anne Pellowski. A traditional Mongolian tent house becomes a symbol of friendship in this story, which tells of a 'big house called the earth' and what happens when its creatures begin to quarrel, causing animals to go their separate ways on individual paths. Perfect for parental read-aloud or for those who like fables and multicultural stories, Story of the Mongolian Tent House is a lovely reminder of the power of community and love.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

When You Look Up
Decur, author and illustrator
Chloe Garcia Roberts, translator
Enchanted Lion Books
67 West Street, Studio 317A, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11222
9781592702930, $29.95, HC, 184pp,

Lorenzo isn't happy about moving. But in his new room, he finds an old desk with what seems likes hundreds of drawers. Each even has its own smell! Deep inside the desk, he finds a book and begins to read. When he looks up, he sees all kinds of curious things. Has the book come to life? Or is it something else? "When You Look Up" is an impressive graphic novel about observation, imagination, and the many incredible lenses through which everyday experience might be perceived if you read. Visually stunning, tactile, and mesmerizing, this graphic novel by the team of author/illustrator Decur and translator Chloe Garcia Roberts is a debut at the summit from a self-taught Argentinian visionary and an impressively talented artist -- making it an unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young readers ages 7-12.

The Music CD Shelf

All the Ladies
Joanie Leeds
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

The ninth children's music album by Joanie Leeds, All the Ladies is especially geared toward young girls, featuring a selection of songs about empowering girls and women. The original songs include encouragement to reach for one's dreams, celebrations of motherhood, and difficult topics such as ingrained sexism addressed in a child-friendly manner. All the Ladies is a superb gift for young girls, and a choice pick for both school and public library children's music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are If Girls Ruled the World; Anything; RBG; Glass Ceilings; All the Ladies; Lioness; For You; Beautiful; Rosie Darling; Mother Earth; and Half of the World.

Night Life
Sara Lovell
Unbreakable Chord Music
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

Night Life is a children's music album featuring lullabies brimming with wonderment. The songs' primary focus is on bedtime and sleep, but also touch upon the extraordinary power of imagination. Night Life is a treasure for helping both young ones and their parents wind down at the end of a long day, and highly recommended. The tracks are I Don't Want To Go To Bed; Nightlife; Leave The Monkey; Rocket; Sleepwalkers; Scooter And Skeeter; I Don't Sleep In A Bed; Little bug; Bed Oh Bed; Wear Yourself Out; Rock-A-Bye My Baby; How The Jungle Sleeps; and Lullaby For Grownups.

Muevete! Songs for a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body
Jose-Luis Orozco
Smithsonian Folkways
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

Muevete! Songs for a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body is a bilingual music CD for young listeners, featuring nine songs in Spanish, then the same nine songs in English. The lively, catchy tunes include both cherished classics and original works. All songs on Muevete! are created especially to encourage moving one's body to the music, and emphasize healthy lifestyle practices such as good nutrition and exercise. Muevete! Songs for a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body is a choice pick for school and public library children's music collections, highly recommended.

The LGBT Studies Shelf

Who's Your Real Mom?
Bernadette Green, author
Anna Zobel, illustrator
Scribble US
c/o Cursor
9781950354245, $16.99, HC, 32pp,

Elvi is a little girl who has two moms at her house. But when her friend Nicholas wants to know which one is her real mom, Elvi has a lot of clues for him: she's the one with dark hair, the one who can do a handstand on two fingers, who is a pirate in disguise! "Who's Your Real Mom?? is beautifully illustrated picture story by the team of author Bernadette Green and artist Anna Zobel that celebrates nontraditional families and captures exactly what lies at the heart of family life -- love. As engagingly entertaining as it is thoroughly 'kid friendly' in tone and presentation, "Who's Your Real Mom?" is especially recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 2-6.

Books in Series

Cool Kids Changing the World
Laura Hamilton Waxman, author
Lightning Bolt Books
c/o Lerner Publications Group, Inc.
241 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781541589155, $7.99 PB, $7.59 Kindle
9781541577015, $26.65, Library Binding, 24 pp,

Filled with attractive color photos of kids taking action to solve problems, "Cool Kids Change the World" presents many portraits of kids having fun working to make their world a better place. Examples of powerful role models of kids working for change include Malala Yousafzai, Samantha Vance, Marley Dias, Jahkil Jackson, Sophie Cruz, Ryan Hickman, and Joris Hutchison. Some of the great projects created by these kids include advocating for equal rights to education for girls, collecting bottle caps to make buddy benches for kids, collecting books about black girls, making blessing bags for homeless people, speaking up for fair treatment for immigrants, helping the planet by starting a recycling company, and raising money from lemonade stands and garage sales to save cheetahs. Kids who want to help tackle problems can start small by doing something helpful each day, like being kind to a sad classmate, recycling more, or saving money for a worthy cause. Working together on a valuable cause helps everyone. The appeal of "Cool Kids Changing the World" is multi-cultural, and shines across different nationalities and races. This appealing self starter book for kids is further enriched by a glossary and list of resources for further reading. "Cool Kids Change the World" is excellent reading for kids age 4-5 years and up. Also highly recommended from the Kids in Charge! series is "Cool Kid Businesses (9781541577008)," also by Laura Hamilton Waxman.

Did You Know?: Love-Light
Lisa White, author
Stephanie Rosas, illustrations
Book Baby Publishers
9781543985078, $12.95, PB, 32pp,

Did You Know? is the title for a series of children's books that author Lisa White has written about the energy of love. Charmingly illustrated by Stephanie Rosas, "Did You Know?: Love-Light" is the first of the series and focuses on our connection to this universal force and to each other. Because everything is energy and energy is supposed to flow unimpeded to be at its best, "Did You Know?: Love-Light" is a picture book story that teaches children ages 5-6 how we can recognize and respond to what our energy is doing, learning to be proactive with it instead of reactive. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' and inspiring in presentation, "Did You Know?: Love-Light" is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

The Child's World, Inc.
1980 Lookout Drive, Mankato, MN 56003

'Looking at Layers' is a new eight volume set of science books ($159.60 S&L) for young readers ages 7-10. This outstanding set is comprised of: Looking Inside Earth; Looking Inside The Human Body; Looking Into Caves; Looking Into Soil; Looking Into The Grand Canyon; Looking Into The Atmosphere; Looking Into The Ocean; Looking Into The Rain Forest. Each 24 page volume features a table of contents, captioned illustrations, sidebars, a glossary, a fast facts section, sources for further research, and thematically appropriate web sites. Highly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community Library Science collections for young readers, it should be noted that each volume is also readily available individually ($19.95 each).

Cavendish Square
243 5th Avenue, Suite 136, New York, NY 10016

'VR on the Job: Understanding Virtual and Augmented Reality' (Library Binding $142.56 Trade/$99.80 S&L) is a new four volume series from Cavendish Square for students in grades 9-12. Comprised of: VR in Engineering; VR in Gaming; VR in Medicine; VR in the Military, each individual 80 page book is enhanced with the inclusion of a detailed table of contents, full color photography, a bibliography, sidebars, a glossary, a 'Further Information Section', and an index. Expertly written, organized and presented, this simply outstanding series is unreservedly recommended for both highschool and community library collections.

PowerKids Press
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

A new four volume biography series from PowerKids Press will prove to be of very special interest for young readers with an interest in Britain's royal family. Titled 'The Royal Family', this new series includes: The Queen; Prince Charles; Harry and Meghan; William and Kate. Available in a library binding edition, each 32 page book features full color photography and a detail table of contents. Impressively informative and thoroughly 'kid friendly' in both organization and presentation, 'The Royal Family' is an especially recommended addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library Contemporary Biography collections.

The Rosen Publishing Group
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

'In The Headlines' is a new social issues series from The Rosen Publishing Group for young readers. Each individual title (Library Binding $53.26 Trade/$39.95 S&L) comprising this outstanding series that consists of: #MeToo: Women Speak Out Against Sexual Assault; Climate Refugees: How Climate Change Is Displacing Millions; Cyberbullying: A Deadly Trend; Defining Sexual Consent: Where the Law Falls Short; Deportation: Who Goes and Who Stays?; Doping: The Sports World in Crisis; Fake News: Read All About It; The Gender Pay Gap: Equal Work, Unequal Pay; Identity Politics; The Opioid Epidemic: Tracking a Crisis; School Shootings: How Can We Stop Them?; Transgender Rights Striving for Equality. Each 224 page volume features: A table of contents, black/white photographs, a glossary, media literacy terms and questions. Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, and with a 9th grade reading level, this series is very highly recommended, especially for highschool and community library Contemporary Social Issues collections and curriculum supplemental studies lists.

Greenhaven Publishing
353 3rd Avenue, Suite 255, New York, NY 10010

There are six new additions to the outstanding Greenhaven Publishing series 'Opposing Viewpoints'. Each new title features guided reading questions, brief text sidebars, charts, maps, graphs, editorial cartoons, discussion questions, annotated lists of relevant organizations, bibliographies of periodicals and books. The six new titles added include: Athletes, Ethics and Morality; Campaign Finance; Gentrification and the Housing Crisis; Harm Reduction: Public Health Strategies; Pesticides and GMOs; Politics and Journalism in a Post-Truth World. Especially recommended for highschool and community library collections for young readers ages 15-18, each individual title is available in a library binding edition ($48.80 Trade/$39.04 S&L) and in a paperback edition ($33.80 Trade/$27.04 S&L).

Gareth Stevens Publishing
111 East 14th Street, Suite 349, New York, NY 10003

"People Around Town" (9781433996948, $283.20 Trade/$212.40 S&L) is a new 12 volume picture book series for young readers that showcases the jobs of hardworking people who are to be found in every city, town and village. Each individual title includes a picture glossary that helps develop vocabulary skills, comprehensive index guides, and reading level supports for beginning readers. Especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school and community library collections, "People Around Town" is comprised of: Meet The Baker; Meet The Bus Driver; Meet The Construction Worker; Meet The Farmer; Meet The Librarian; Meet The Mayor; Meet The Nurse; Meet The Pilot; Meet The Policeman; Meet The Teacher; Meet The Vet.

Crabtree Publishing Company
PMB 59051, 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor, New York, NY 10118

Five new books expand various Crabtree series and are recommended as lasting picks for elementary-level collections seeking attractive, contemporary books for study and leisure pursuit. Sarah Ridley's Who Ate the Butterfly? A Rainforest Food Chain (9780778771289, $23.60 each) will appeal to grade 2 readers and adds to the 'Follow The Food Chain' series with a simple 24-page survey of a rain forest that follows connections from the sun to plants, animals, and those that eat their way up the chain. Who ate the butterfly? Bright color photos invite youngsters to become savvy investigators into the question. Susie Williams and Hannah Tolson's Ants (9780778773863) holds 32 pages of detail and adds to the 'What Lives in the Dirt?' series as it examines the world of ants and their activities. From how ants digest food in a unique manner to what ants eat and different kinds of ants, this is a fine survey highly recommended for young naturalists. Deborah Chancellor's Don't Waste Your Food (9780778772811) joins the Good to Be Green series, holds bright drawings by Diane Ewen, and encourages kids to cultivate environmental consciousness and awareness of their own choices. This book includes activities, puzzles, and the story of Amara, whose father uses leftovers, puts scraps in a composter, and goes produce shopping with an emphasis on local product choices. Shalini Vallepur's People Did What in Ancient Egypt? (9780778774198) explores the habits of ancient peoples, their games, beliefs, and society, and how they lived their daily lives. Archaeological photos pair with discussions about the practices of ancient life in a lively survey that adds to the 'People Did What' series with a series of illustrated facts. Anna Claybourne's Make a Biosphere and Mini Garden (9780778773528) adds to the 'Make-It Models' series that helps build STEAM skills. It provides 32 pages of detail about designing and building a biosophere and mini-garden model and offers step-by-step projects that support this effort. The models require no special equipment and are made with reused and recycled packaging and basic art supplies, lending to their creation both at home and in school. All are exceptional books perfect for elementary grade collections, designed to attract and maintain attention through bright contemporary illustrations and photos and facts.

The Story Monsters Ink Shelf

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

Go Get 'Em, Tiger!
Sabrina Moyle, author
Eunice Moyle, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419739644, $16.99

Christine Irvin

The first thing that caught my eye when I saw this book was the bright, bold cover: What an attention-grabber! Who could resist reading such an appealing book? And who could resist such appealing text? The text features a fearless tiger, charging happily through life. The text celebrates milestones reached and encourages readers to keep going and never give up. The bright, bold, colorful, expressive illustrations are just delightful. (Ages 2+)

Looking for Yesterday
Alison Jay
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536204216, $16.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

We all can get tangled in the invisible nets of yesterday. Looking back to fuller times with longing can entrap and impede our forward pace. Living in, or chasing after what once was never allows today to bestow her treasures. Providing hopeful expectations and encouraging challenges that will be captured for tomorrow's review. The wise grandfather in this story is able to lovingly bring a new and exciting light to his grandson in his exhausted search to recapture the past. (Ages 2-5)

Tomorrow I'll Be Kind
Jessica Hische
Penguin Workshop
9781524787042, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This colorful reminder to live each day at our best will delight its readers, preparing them for success in how they approach each new day. We all know that being prepared for events, in knowing we have a planned way of escape in any situation, grants a peaceful encounter and makes room for enjoyment. Preparing children in ways to encounter their days with kindness strengthens and empowers their lives. (Ages 3-7)

Choo-Choo School
Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author
Mike Yamada, illustrator
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780763697426, $14.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This fun and lively story will encourage and excite little ones entering the world of education. As they follow these eager and ready-to-learn little trains that experience a day in Choo-Choo School, they will identify with the routine and activities in a positive way. (Ages 3-7)

Binkle's Time to Fly
Sharmila Collins, author
Carolina Rabei, illustrator
Flyaway Books
9781947888227, $17.00

Darleen Wohlfeil

This delicate and tender story weaves a perfect cord of love and compassion. Binkle passes through the cycles of life longing for the finished reward to break through in vibrant colors of wonder. But, something is wrong. He met each stage as necessary, but somehow when he emerges from his cocoon, his wings are not strong and vibrant at all. This amazing story of disappointment and the encouragement and kindness of community that overcome it is simply delightful! (Ages 3-7)

Lion Needs a Haircut
Hyewon Yum
Abrams Books for Young Readers
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419742248, $16.99

Christine Irvin

Lion needs a haircut. His hair has become overgrown, unkempt, and shaggy. He is reluctant to go to the barber for a cut, though. Why? He says he's not scared or worried, he just doesn't want to get his hair cut because he likes it the way it is. His dad needs a haircut, too, but he doesn't want one, either. So, the two of them strike a bargain: Lion will get a haircut as long as his dad gets one, too. The father-son tale and kid-friendly illustrations will resonate with young readers everywhere, especially with young cubs. (Ages 3-7)

Chicken Little Investigates
Lois Wickstrom, author
Francie Mion, illustrator
Look Under Rocks
9780916176389, $12.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This new face on an old tale teaches us a few lessons! A simple defense to all the education naysayers, learning physics proves quite a reward to this curious bunch. Their discovery implements and saves them from an enemy. And, anytime you come across a clever consideration, everyone will have an opinion! Children will enjoy the repetition of the cute names of Chicken Little's friends. (Ages 3-8)

Welcome to Jazz
Carolyn Slone, author
Jessica Gibson, illustrator
Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014-4381
9781523506880, $24.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a fun, interactive introduction to jazz. Every young, music-loving heart will enjoy following these "cool cats" through a brief history of the instruments and sound of jazz. An interactive sound bar lets you experience the magic as you follow along. The illustrations by Gibson are bright and lively, bringing this to a full and
memorable reading experience. (Ages 4-8)

This Way, Charlie
Caron Levis and Charles Santoso
Abrams Books for Young Readers
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419742064, $17.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

This story is inspired by the real animal relationship of a goat and a blind horse. Kindness, compassion, and understanding aren't limited to human behavior, but freely flows between all living things. A goat with a past that rendered him a loner bends gently to a horse with a limited present. Together they find a freedom and a relationship that lasts a lifetime. Sometimes, a reaching hand benefits the extender as much as the receiver. (Ages 4-8)

The Unhuggables
Kena Sosa, author
Alexis Braud, illustrator
River Road Press
9781941879122, $17.99

Christine Irvin

Have you ever been mad at the world and you didn't want anyone to try to hold you or comfort you? That's how Oliver feels when he gets upset. He wants to be left alone. He'll roll up into a ball like an armadillo, or hide like a bobcat, or act like some other "unhuggable" creature. Mom, however, is endlessly patient with Oliver, offering the safety of her arms whenever Oliver is ready for a hug. (Ages 5-9)

Nadine Robert, author
Maja Kastelic, illustrator
Harry N. Abrams
195 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9781419740725, $16.99

Dr. Dawn Menge

Join the Filpot family on their Sunday adventure. Fishing is the family's favorite pastime. This bunny family has seven very active children who are so excited to be going on an outing. What should they bring? Sandwiches, fish hooks, fishing poles, and nets. This is a brightly illustrated, fun story about a bunny family spending the day together. A sweet story that promotes outdoor activities and togetherness as a family. There are adventures to be had by all. (Ages 4-8)

Yoga at the Zoo (Little Mouse Adventures)
Teresa Anne Power, author
Emma Allen, illustrator
Stafford House Books
9780998107097, $16.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

Cute story of putting into action things we have learned. Gathering knowledge bears little fruit unless it finds its way into our living. Little Mouse discovers just how handy the yoga lessons he enjoys watching his neighbors do can be in his adventure at the zoo! This adorable and curious little character comes to life in the illustrations by Allen, making it a fun story. (Ages 4-8)

Under the Milky Way: Traditions and Celebrations Beneath the Stars
Frane Lessac
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536200959, $16.99

Dr. Dawn Menge

This is an amazing book filled with beautifully illustrated pictures of events throughout the United States and Canada. Beneath a blanket of stars, crowds cheer at Little League games, campers share fireside stories, bull-riders old on tight, and sled dogs race through falling snow - all under the Milky Way. This is a fascinating book that takes you on an adventure to learn about unique experiences. (Ages 4-8)

Brothers Grimm: The Most Beloved Fairy Tales
Manuela Adreani
White Star Publishers
c/o Sterling Publishing
9788854415300, $16.95

Christine Irvin

Everyone is familiar with Grimm's fairy tales to some extent, and this collection of eight of "the most beloved" of the fairy tales includes classics like Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, and Snow White, as well as perhaps the lesser-known tales of The Frog Prince, Briar Rose, and The Six Swans. Illustrated by award-winning artist Manuela Adreani, this edition is sure to become a classic in its own right. (Ages 8+)

Half Past Peculiar (Finders Creepers)
Derek Fridolfs, Dustin Nguyen
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338254464, $14.99

Matthew Voils, age 11

This book is amazing, and I can't wait to find out what happens next. Just like the name says, it is very peculiar. The only problem I had was that chapter 4 seemed to interrupt the flow of the book. I was a little confused. Otherwise, the art style is amazing and fits the book well. I really like the way that the pictures are included. (Ages 8-12)

Asha and the Spirit Bird
Jasbinder Bilan
Chicken House
9781338571059, $18.99

Kerri Lukasavitz

Jasbinder Bilan is a great storyteller. She hooks you from the beginning of the book and carries you through right up to the last page. Asha and Jeevan's story is filled with crazy adventure, danger, heartbreak, and heartfelt wonder. The twists and turns of the story keep you reading on to find out what happens. I love that the story takes place in India. It exposes young readers to a different culture but still maintains a contemporary setting. Bilan even raises awareness of the black market trafficking of child labor for trash picking in India - its point woven in near the end of her story. The book has a great main plot but the building of tiny plots will keep you turning pages. This will be a wonderful adventure story for young readers. (Ages 8-12)

A Blueberry Day
Etaine Raphael
Mascot Books
9781645431633, $15.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

The heart of a child is so free. Able to imprint its surroundings without prejudice. This story is a sweet romp through a love-filled day of happy children. Two young girls embrace life as it unfolds in warm simplicity. (Ages 6-8)

Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?
Lily Snowden-Fine, author
Nick Crumpton, illustrator
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500652237, $16.95

Darleen Wohlfeil

This is a book for all those inquiring minds! For all those awkward moments scrambling for answers. Dr. Nick, the dog expert, has rescued us all from those caught-off-guard questions. You know the ones. Why do dogs chase cats? Why do dogs sniff butts? Have you ever watched your dog diligently sniff another dog's poop? What's up with that? Well, he's collecting important information. Dr. Nick will answer all those canine puzzlers for you in this fun and enlightening book. (Ages 6-8)

Thomas Taylor, author
Tom Booth, illustrator
Walker Books
9781536208597, $16.99

Diana Perry

There's a storm brewing over Eerieon Sea, and the fisherfolk say a monster is the cause. Someone has woken the ancient Gargantis, who sleeps in the watery caves beneath his spooky seaside town where legends have a habit of coming to life. It seems that Gargantis is looking for something: a treasure stolen from her underwater lair. With the help of the daring Violet Parma, ever-reliable Herbie will do his best to figure out what the Gargantis wants and who stole her treasure in the first place. I found this book a fast read with lots of action, suspense, and mystery laced with a generous amount of danger. Just like the first book in this series, Malamander, no one will be able to put it down. (Ages 8-12)

Nat Enough
Maria Scrivan
c/o Scholastic
9781338538199, $12.99

Kerri Lukasavitz

It's hard enough to go to a new middle school and make new friends, but to lose your best friend since second grade on the first day? Poor Natalie! She certainly has a tough, confusing time wondering what she did or didn't do to make her best friend, Lily, not like her anymore. A tale most children (and most adults) will relate to more than once during their school years. The illustrations of this graphic novel added visual interest to the story. The story is a twist from the usual challenge of finding new friends to, instead, losing a longtime one and how that might impact someone's young life. A delightful, entertaining read. The story will appeal to children (especially girls) struggling to find their place among their peers and express who they are in the world. (Ages 8-12)

Roosevelt Banks: Good-Kid-in-Training
Laurie Calkhoven, author
Debbie Palen, illustrator
One Elm Books
9781947159181, $14.99

Darleen Wohlfeil

The world of a child is small, and often carries a centered focus. Roosevelt Banks gets locked in that center, and it takes a hard lesson to pull him back onto balanced ground again. Life has its way of teaching us early a value system that lasts a lifetime. A story that allows a great look into self-absorption and the meaning of true friendship. (Ages 7-11)

The Chaos Curse (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #3)
Sayantani DasGupta
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9781338355895, $17.99

Diana Perry

Kiranmala must leave the Kingdom Beyond and travel to her hometown of Parsippany to save Prince Lal, who has been spirited to the unlikeliest of places: a tree in the yard of her best-enemy-for-life. She also faces evil serpents (of course!), plus a frightening prophecy about her role in the coming conflict between good and evil. Most troubling of all, though, is the way reality all around her seems to waver and flicker at odd moments. Could it be that the Anti-Chaos Committee's efforts are causing a dangerous disruption in the multiverse? This book is of magic, fairy tales, action, and many dangers. Such a fun read. (Ages 8-12)

Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen
Anne Nesbet
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9781536206197, $18.99

Diana Perry

Lights! Camera! Kidnapping? It's 1914, and Darleen Darling's film adventures collide with reality when a fake kidnapping set up by her studio becomes all too real. Suddenly Darleen finds herself in the hands of dastardly criminals who have just nabbed Miss Victorine Berryman, the poor-little-rich-girl heiress of one of America's largest fortunes. Soon real life starts to seem like a bona fide adventure serial, complete with dramatic escapes, murderous plots, and a runaway air balloon. Will Darleen and Victorine be able to engineer their own happily-ever-after, or will the villains be victorious? Young readers will enjoy this story that flows with comedy, danger, and chase scenes. I particularly loved the surprising ending. (Ages 8-12)

Katharine Orton
Walker Books
9781536207125, $18.99

Diana Perry

A world of magic is only a whisper away... Born in a Soviet prison camp, Lina has never seen the world outside until the night she escapes with her best friend, Bogdan. As the pair journey across a snowy wilderness, they are pursued by a vengeful sorceress and her pack of shadow wolves. The children will need every ounce of courage, and a whisper of magic, if they are to survive... This book was more like a fairy tale that could be made into a movie. It was fun to read and full of many surprises. (Ages 9-12)

The Mystwick School of Musicraft
Jessica Khoury
HMH Books for Young Readers
9781328625632, $16.99

Diana Perry

Amelia Jones always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world's most promising musicians learn to create magic. So when Amelia botches her audition, she thinks her dream has met an abrupt and humiliating end - until the school agrees to give her a trial period. Amelia is determined to prove herself, vowing to do whatever it takes to become the perfect musician. Even if it means pretending to be someone she isn't ... Young Readers will enjoy this book as Amelia tries to divide her time between trying to practice to stay in school and following the clues to find out who is behind all the mystery. (Ages 10-12)

Deep Light
Frances Hardinge
Amulet Books
c/o Abrams Books
9781419743207, $19.99

Diana Perry

The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the stillbeating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to his friend when he's becoming a monster - and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him? Young readers will nearly get dizzy from all the constant surprises in this action-packed story. A great way to spend a rainy day inside! (Ages 12+)

Marisa Reichardt
Amulet Books
c/o Abrams Books
9781419739170, $18.99

Jennifer L. Grybowski

Have you ever said something in anger and then regretted it? That's what happens to Ruby when she has a fight with her mother and then gets trapped in a laundromat during a massive earthquake in California. She's trapped there with a boy named Charlie, whom she met just moments before the quake. Trapped underneath the rubble, they trade stories, regret, insecurities, and encouragement. As the days drag on, and their situations become more dire, it is unclear if they'll make it out alive. This is a story of resilience, healing, and a bond that can't be broken. (Ages 12+)

Every Reason We Shouldn't
Sara Fujimura
Tor Teen
9781250204073, $17.99

Diana Perry

Sixteen-year-old figure skater Olivia Kennedy's Olympic dreams have ended. She's bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of trying to live up to expectations of being the daughter of Olympians Michael Kennedy and Midori Nakashima ... until Jonah Choi starts training at her family's struggling rink. Jonah's driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying, and totally gorgeous. Between figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia's got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart? I found this book to be inspiring, encouraging, and a wonderful read. (Ages 13+)

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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