Just in time for Thanksgiving, when family and friends gather round the table to share a meal and make memories, Our Table gently shows the value and importance of gathering. Violet longs for the days her family gathered around to share meals and company; before everyone went their own way to pursue their interests, and the table shrank from loneliness. She finds a way to use each person’s skills to rebuild the table and the love and sharing it enables.
Only Ants for Andy by the author of the hit book, What a Lucky Day, tells the story of Andy, a VERY particular anteater. He likes toys…as long as they’re trucks. Music is great, but only the song, “Daddy Longlegs.” Of course, his favorite, and only, food is ants. When his best friend Sam invites him to a sleepover, he learns that having favorites is fine, but a willingness to try new things opens up a new, exciting world to explore.
The time has come for fans of Tara Lazar's Private I punny picture book mysteries (7 Ate 9 and The Upper Case) to check out Time Flies...Down to the Last Minute before it's too late. All the timepieces in Capital City are disappearing and it's up to Private I, and the observant reader, to catch the culprit before time becomes a thing of the past. Once again, Ross MacDonald's illustrations give personalities to all the letters and provide clues to the identity of the time thief for the sharp-eyed observer.
Avi's latest book is set in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. After witnessing his father's murder by rebel vigalantes,13 year old Noah and his family escape to Boston, where he finds himself at many of the key events that eventually led to war. Bent on avenging his father's murder, he becomes a British spy, but as he witnesses the hypocrisy, lies, and distortions of the facts by both Loyalists and rebels, he begins to question his path. An unexpected friendship with Jolla, a young free Black, teaches him to think for himself as he decides where his loyalty belongs.
If you love language and collect wacky words to flabbergast friends with your prodigious vocabulary, skedaddle right over to the Otto Bookstore and check out HORNSWOGGLED! by word master Josh Crute, with illustrations by the clever Jenn Harney. Someone is swapping out the animals' important assets with ridiculous, useless replacements! Will they find the culprit and retrieve their valuables, or be outfoxed by the clever trickster? Check it out and spice up your conversations with these wacky words.,
Lim’s debut novel is powerful, timely, and uplifting. Angelo and his Filipino immigrant parents have recently moved from San Diego to ‘Nowhere’ to reopen a local diner. He’s far from the ocean, his girlfriend, and his skateboarding world; an outcast as the only Asian in his all white school. When he connects with other kids on the fringe, they find their voice and the power to facedown the bullies.
This beautifully innovative picture book takes us to six very different landscapes, from our own familiar seasons, to the Arctic, Alaska, Australia, China, and Kenya where we see how beautifully varied nature is. The vibrant illustrations have flaps of varying widths that present text to enhance the pictures. Come check out the book and be inspired by the beauty and diversity of Mother Nature.
I, for one, am eggstatic that former children’s book editor Eric Geron decided to go to the other side of the desk and write a book. If, like me, you like the playfulness of language and can’t resist a ‘bad’ pun, you will love this book that eggsplains what happened when the chicken crossed the road. Pete Oswald’s illustrations ‘shell’ leave you chuckling as he brings the spirit of the tale to life.
I am always excited to find a good book by a new author. For YA readers interested in how climate change is changing their world, THE LAST BEAR by Hannah Gold is a true gift. Nine-year-old April and her dad will be spending the summer at a weather station on the remote Bear Island, between Norway and the North Pole. When she stumbles across a half-starved polar bear, she decides to rescue him. She builds a relationship with him, sharing food, exploring the island, and finding her "roar!" Before the summer is over, she will find a way to get him back to his home on Svalbard, reconnect with her distant dad, and find a new purpose for her life. Gold has done her research and shares those resources with readers who may be inspired to make their own difference in the world.
HOLD BACK THE TIDE by Melinda Salisbury is an engrossing YA tale full of the dark atmosphere of a Scottish folktale. Alva lives an isolated life with her father, guardian of the loch that powers the paper mill that provides employment for the village of Ormscala. As the lake loses water and Alva's father refuses to warn the town, strange creatures are seen, animal carcusses are found, and people disappear. You'll be on the edge of your seat as Alva confronts the demons of the loch that hold the secrets of her past.
This clever book goes way beyond the alphabet to tell a story of how the smallest among us can change the world and how one act of friendship can bring down walls and build a community. Pair it with Mixed by Arree Chung, which used color to start a conversation about diversity to facilitate some interesting conversations
I’m a big fan of alphabet books, and have always been amazed at how unique, clever, and diverse this genre is. This one takes humorously gives stories and pictures to invisible words.
On the Horizon by Lois Lowry (ISBN 0358129400) is a slim, but powerful story in verse. Lowry was born in Hawaii in 1937, and after the war, spent part of her childhood in Japan. While watching old home movies of playing on the beach with her Nonny in 1940, a friend noticed the distinctive shape of the USS Arizona gliding in the background. The seed was planted. Focusing on stories of the victims of these devastating events that bookended our involvement in the war, she uses research into the lives of real victims of both man-made disasters and her incredible gift for finding the humanity, encouraging empathy, and exposing the threads that connect us to remind us that we are all in this together and every soul counts.
If you are planning a road trip sometime soon and need something to keep the younger travelers engaged, try the new audiobook of Charlotte's Web by E B White. At 4 hours in length, this classic tale, preformed by Meryl Streep and a full cast of stellar readers will keep even the most restless travel engaged as they spend the seasons Spring through Fall in the Zuckerman barnyard getting to know the animals who live there and seeing (or hearing) real friendship in action.
Because a young girl gets an unexpected trip to the Symphony, and because the music captures her with its magic, a dream is born and blooms. Mo Willems composed the story of a young girl's journey from dream to reality on center stage. Amber Ren's exquisite art performs magic bringing this true story of contemporary composer Hilary Purrington to vibrant life.
Just when I think there's nothing new in the world of alphabet books, P IS FOR PTERODACTYL shows up! It introduces youngsters, in a fun way, to those idiosyncratic letters that don't follow the rules; letters that become shy when they have to stand at the front of some words and letters that pretend to be something else as they mimic the sounds of other letters. All 26 letters have their quirks, and this clever book, with charming illustrations by Maria Tina Beddia highlighting the clever captions by Raj Halder & Chris Carpenter, shines a light on all their mischievous little quirks...from A to Z. And, as a bonus, the glossary in the back of the book unlocks the mystery of pronunciation and meaning for all the words...from the familiar to the not-so-familiar.
Ketch Secor, a founder of Old Crow Medicine Show, has penned LORRAINE, a charming picture book about a young girl and her Pa Paw who make music with a pennywhistle and harmonica to lift their spirits - "on good days or bad it was JOYFUL to hear it." All of a sudden, a powerful twister sweeps in and their instruments are nowhere to be found! Can they find a way to set free the music in their hearts and get them through the scary storm? The illustrations, by the wonderfully talented Higgins Bond, are warm, cozy, and colorful. Even the lettering becomes a vibrant voice in the story, using color, size, and a variety of fonts to enhance the story. This book is a winner!
Mixed: A Colorful Story is timely picture book is for all ages. On the surface, a clever introduction to color theory, but in reality, so much more. The loud Reds, bright Yellows, and cool Blues live in harmony until a Red creates a kerfuffle by proclaiming the superiority of Reds. (You just have to love a book that uses the word kerfuffle!) Segregation ensues as the city divides into Redville, Blue Town, and Yellow Heights. Then, one day, a Yellow spots a Blue and something magical happens. Once again, I'm blown away by the ability of a picture book to remind us our diversity is what adds color and spice to our lives.
When Steph Jagger's mother, Shelia, is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Steph proposes a road trip for the two of them to reconnect. With her father's blessing, she and her mom set off to explore three western National Parks. Amid hikes, rafting, horseback riding, and starry nights sleeping in a tent, Nature gives time and space to recognize the value of stories to enrich our lives and relationships.