BOOKS OF THE WEEK

New in Hardcover

Little Bert is a bright orange bird, teetering on the end of a tree branch. He peers into the sky below, and then takes a few steps back onto more solid footing. Not to worry, according to the book’s friendly and encouraging narration, he’s just getting a running start. But as Bert moves closer and closer to the tree trunk, it starts to look like he might not take the plunge after all. Nonetheless, the cheerful narration overcomes mild frustration to continue insisting, You Can Do It, Bert! (Gecko, $16.99). Author and illustrator Ole Kӧnnecke’s spare text (translated eloquently from the German by Catherine Chidgey) and evocative, cartoony illustrations make this witty book a fun read, perfect for anyone embarking on a new adventure, whether grand or quotidian. Ages 3-6. Eowyn Randall

$16.99
ISBN: 9781927271032
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gecko Press - March 2015

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Blast from the Past

While Calvin’s siblings and cousins practice soaring through the air, he remains grounded, because Calvin Can’t Fly (Sterling Books, $6.95). Instead he lets his imagination soar at the local library. Books take him places wings never could as he reads about pirates and cavemen, volcanoes and rainbows. His family teases him about his literary inclination until his meteorological knowledge saves them from an approaching hurricane during their migration south. Thrilled by finally receiving his family’s acknowledgment and praise Calvin flutters his wings with joy…and finds himself lifting off the ground for the first time! Author Jennifer Berne and illustrator Keith Bendis collaborate on this perennial favorite, finally available in paperback. Booklovers young and old will celebrate Calvin and reading in this “story of a bookworm birdie.” Ages 4-8. Renee Bosco.

By Jennifer Berne, Keith Bendis (Illustrator)
$6.95
ISBN: 9781454915751
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sterling Children's Books - May 5th, 2015

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FEATURED CHILDRENS' BOOKS

$16.95
ISBN: 9781580896047
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Charlesbridge Publishing - April 14th, 2015

$17.99
ISBN: 9780374300371
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - April 7th, 2015

$16.99
ISBN: 9781452142944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - May 5th, 2015

By Molly Idle, Molly Idle (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780670785742
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 26th, 2015

$16.99
ISBN: 9780803741317
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - May 19th, 2015

By Gary Clement, Gary Clement (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781554984497
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Groundwood Books - May 12th, 2015

$17.99
ISBN: 9780545731614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - May 26th, 2015

By Andrew Larsen, Todd Stewart (Illustrator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781926973999
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Owlkids - March 17th, 2015

$17.99
ISBN: 9780670526277
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Published: Viking Press - April 14th, 1952

$18.95
ISBN: 9781419710384
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: ABRAMS - May 13th, 2014

By Atinuke, Lauren Tobia (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781610671736
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kane/Miller Book Publishers - June 2013

By Tad Hills, Tad Hills (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780385372350
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schwartz & Wade Books - April 8th, 2014

$15.99
ISBN: 9780811859240
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books (CA) - April 16th, 2008

$18.99
ISBN: 9780545639125
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - April 29th, 2014

By Emily Jenkins, Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780375870026
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schwartz & Wade Books - May 14th, 2013

Picture Books

Early Readers & Chapter Books

Elementary & Middle Grade Fiction 

Teen Fiction 

Graphic Novels 

Poetry 

The Arts 

Science 

Sports 

Biography & History 

A simple story with a delightful ending, My Bike (Greenwillow, $16.99) takes young readers along on one man’s daily two-wheeled commute. Short, declarative sentences introduce Tom and walk children through the parts of his bike, from the fender to the bell. As Tom rides to work, typical sights like cars and trucks give way to monkeys, tigers, and acrobats. What is Tom’s true occupation? Find out in this sweet, colorful book, written and illustrated by Byron Barton. Ages 1-3. Amy Sands

By Byron Barton, Byron Barton (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062336996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - April 14th, 2015

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For the youngest future readers, Elizabeth McPike’s tender verse will soothe every Little Sleepyhead (Putnam, $16.99) at the end of a busy day. Patrice Barton’s expressive double-page spreads echo the engaging text and depict a cast of babies and family members absorbed in pint-sized activities. This gorgeous blend of words and pictures will prompt conversation—even a pantomime or two—and provide a gentle close to the day. Ages 6 months-2. Mary Alice Garber

$16.99
ISBN: 9780399162404
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - April 14th, 2015

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Inspired by her favorite rhyme, Lola Plants a Garden (Charlesbridge, $15.95) with the help of her mother. After the seeds are all in the ground, Lola makes a string of bells and shells to adorn the garden, and even a quite contrary “Mary Mary” doll. When the flowers have pushed their way into the air and opened to the sun, Lola is finally able to share her creation with her friends. Author Anna McQuinn and illustrator Rosalind Beardshaw collaborate again for the latest in their series about enthusiastic Lola, just in time for the season of planting and growing. Ages 3-6. Allison Witten

By Anna McQuinn, Rosalind Beardshaw (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781580896948
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Charlesbridge - August 5th, 2014

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Families (Holiday House, $17.95) come in all shapes and sizes. A new book by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly celebrates that fact and is a great launching point for talking about diversity. Cheerful and colorful photos adorn every page depicting families with one parent, families with two moms or two dads, families with adopted children, large families that all live together or families with members who live far apart but who like to visit. This joyful book demonstrates that the only thing that really matters when it comes to families is that they love each other. Ages 2-5. Kerri Poore

$17.95
ISBN: 9780823430536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holiday House - January 2015

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Did you hear it this year? Crinkle, Crackle, Crack: It’s Spring! (Holiday House, $16.95). In this delightfully illustrated book about the arrival of spring, a young child walks with a bear through snow that’s beginning to melt into mud and witnesses the change from one season to the next. Follow them as they head off into the woods, around the rabbit’s burrow, over the pond, and past a number of other animal habitats. John Shelley’s warm illustrations perfectly suit Marion Dane Bauer’s charmingly simple story of the arrival of spring. Ages 4-7. Kerri Poore

By Marion Dane Bauer, John Shelley (Illustrator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780823429523
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holiday House - January 2015

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Richard has worked tirelessly on his flat-ground Ollie, determined to impress at Gregory Johnson’s skateboard party. But he hasn’t worked tirelessly on learning how to spell “quotient,” or where the howler monkey lives, and his fourth-grade teacher insists he can do better. When Richard “forgets” to give her note to his parents, the truth and its consequences quickly catch up with him in the second installment of Karen English’s Carver Chronicles: Skateboard Party (Clarion, $14.99). As with the winning, well-meaning Gavin of Dog Days, young readers will empathize with Richard’s (usually) good intentions and laugh at the mischievous interactions among his three brothers. By emphasizing characters’ expressions, Laura Freeman’s accompanying illustrations light-heartedly capture the trials and tribulations of growing up in—and raising—a big family. Ages 6-9. Amy Dickinson

By Karen English, Laura Freeman (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9780544582262
Availability: Not Yet Published—Pre-Order Now
Published: Harcourt Brace and Company - December 1st, 2015

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In her first chapter book in ten years, Cynthia Rylant returns to the world of Gooseberry Park. The residents of this idyllic hamlet are facing a months-long drought, and things are starting to look dire. Luckily, a brilliant crow, a 104-year-old hermit crab, and a tenacious chocolate lab are just a few of the creatures who call the park home, and together they might be able to come up with a solution. Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan (Beach Lane, $16.99) is the sort of gentle and witty story of which Rylant has proved herself a master. Dotted with Arthur Howard’s bold and comical illustrations, this is the perfect book for readers just starting to tackle chapters. Ages 7-10. Eowyn Randall

By Cynthia Rylant, Arthur Howard (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481404495
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beach Lane Books - April 21st, 2015

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Lily, Daisy, and Violet are triplets, but they’d be the first ones to tell you that they’re not identical. Lily likes to read, Daisy is into baseball, and Violet is notorious for losing things—even her homework. When an opportunity for extra credit in science class comes along, Violet accepts the challenge and reports on the similarities and differences among her family members, including the new family dog, Trouble. Author Michelle Poploff and illustrator Victoria Jamieson prove Where Triplets Go, Trouble Follows (Holiday House, $16.95) in this silly, though heartwarming, tale about family, friends, and fun. Ages 7-9. Allison Witten

$16.95
ISBN: 9780823432899
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holiday House - February 2015

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Always fresh and with a soupçon of adventure, Hilary McKay’s series about Lulu and her menagerie of rescued animals is a bright star among early chapter books. In the latest installment, Lulu brings home a neglected hamster just before a planned visit to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday. An escapade awaits Lulu and the Hamster in the Night (Albert Whitman, $13.99) in this comedy of secrets gone awry. Early readers will relate to the warm, winsome characters and believable antics that are hallmarks of the series. Ages 6-9. Mary Alice Garber

By Hilary McKay, Priscilla Lamont (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9780807548240
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Albert Whitman & Company - March 2015

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Princess Magnolia does everything that a princess should. She sleeps in a tower, wears glass slippers, and serves tea to her esteemed guests, but Princess Magnolia has a secret. While entertaining Duchess Wigtower, the Princess’s glitter stone monster alarm goes off and she must become The Princess in Black (Candlewick, $14.99). Since princesses don’t wear black, no one suspects Magnolia’s secret identity, thus allowing her to fight monsters with her signature “twinkle twinkle little SMASH” move. Beloved author Shannon Hale and husband Dean Hale prove that princesses as well as other little girls don’t fit in any box and illustrator LeUyen Pham brings Magnolia’s story to life. This is truly a read for the whole family.  Ages 5-8. ARW

By Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780763665104
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - October 14th, 2014

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When eleven-year-old Stella and her brother sneak out one evening, they discover the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross, the first in a series of increasingly tense events in their small segregated town in the grip of the Jim Crow South. Sharon Draper deftly weaves the story of Stella, a thoughtful student compelled to write but uncertain of her ability, with that of the town’s inequality, whose harsh realities the novel portrays unflinchingly. The courage of Stella’s family and community help her develop her voice and discover wells of bravery within. Beautifully written, threaded with song, Stella by Starlight (Atheneum, $16.99) paints an affecting portrait of both injustice and fortitude that succumbs neither to melodrama nor simple resolutions. Ages 9-12. Amy Dickinson

$16.99
ISBN: 9781442494978
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - January 6th, 2015

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Many people have imaginary friends, but few are as perfect together as Amanda and her best friend, The Imaginary (Bloomsbury, $16.99) Rudger. Only she can see him, until one day a threat arrives in the form of the menacing Mr. Bunting. Mr. Bunting hunts imaginary friends, and Rudger must try to make his escape and survive alone in the world without Amanda, who imagined him in the first place. A.F. Harrold’s novel is a delightful mix of humor and suspense, and his work is perfectly accentuated by gorgeous full color illustrations by Emily Gravett, which bring the unusual yet lovable characters to life. Ages 10-13. Courtney Burtraw

By A. F. Harrold, Emily Gravett (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780802738110
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books - March 3rd, 2015

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Each chapter of Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder’s A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans (Crown, $15.99) begins with a maxim from Miss Drake, such as, “If you value your happiness and sanity, take your time and choose your pet wisely.” However this story puts the lie to her sage adivice. Her new human pet is named Winnie, and through comical training adventures, during which Winnie’s drawings in a magical sketchpad unleash great and terrible beasts on San Francisco, we learn that they’re both dealing with a death in the family. Yep and Ryder demonstrate that farce and fantasy are perfect vehicles for dealing with subjects close to our hearts. Ages 8-12 Sharat Buddhavarapu

$15.99
ISBN: 9780385392280
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - March 10th, 2015

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As a chimney sweep, Grubb has never known anything but his miserable life and his cruel master until the day he hides in the trunk of the mysterious visitor whose hotel room he is cleaning, and stumbles out into Alistair Grim’s Odditorium (Disney-Hyperion $16.99). In the Odditorium Grubb finds magical objects and wonderful people, all misfits as much as he is, and they accept him into their unusual life. All too soon, before Grubb has even gotten his feet under him in this odd new existence, the Odditorium comes under attack and he’s swept up in a quest to save his new home and friends in this fantastical adventure by Gregory Funaro. Ages 10-12. Courtney Burtraw

$16.99
ISBN: 9781484700068
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - January 6th, 2015

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Mai is a typical California beach-loving teenager, so she is rather resentful when called upon to accompany her grandmother to her ancestral home in Vietnam during summer vacation. This resentment gradually turns into appreciation as she is welcomed into her extended family and experiences the vibrant culture of this dynamic country. Thanhhà Lai, author of Listen, Slowly (HarperCollins, $16.99), won the National Book Award for Inside Out and Back Again and continues to use her vivid writing to craft engaging coming-of-age stories in this latest novel. Ages 9-12. Renee Bosco

$16.99
ISBN: 9780062229182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - February 17th, 2015

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Sometimes, nothing can be harder than The Honest Truth (Scholastic, $16.99), but then again, “there’s more than one kind of truth.” Dan Gemeinhart has crafted a touching and emotional novel wrapped inside one young man’s great adventure story. You’ll fall in love with Mark and his dog as they run away from home to climb Mt. Rainier. You’ll commiserate with his best friend Jessie as she struggles to decide what it means to be a good friend. Despite the sad fact that Mark has battled cancer for the last seven years, you’ll rejoice in his triumphs and find yourself cheering him on as he climbs through blizzards to reach his goal. Ages 12-14. Kerri Poore

$16.99
ISBN: 9780545665735
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - January 27th, 2015

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Everybody knows soccer players don’t like knitting. Or at least that’s what Ben Fletcher has to tell himself when he lands in a knitting class and ends up falling in love with it. He’s aided in his quest to keep his enjoyment of the hobby hidden by the fact that the class is a punishment for a night that involved alcohol and a crossing guard. But when he gets himself entangled in a knitting competition things begin to unravel. By the end of T.S. Easton’s fun and witty coming-of-age novel, you might no longer believe that Boys Don’t Knit (Feiwel & Friends, $16.99). Ages 12-14. Sharat Buddhavarapu

$16.99
ISBN: 9781250053312
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - March 24th, 2015

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Eli has never left Serenity, New Mexico. When every house has a pool and there’s no crime, why would you? When Eli and his friend, Randy, bike to the edge of town and a helicopter full of security descends on them, Eli starts to wonder if there’s something lurking underneath Serenity’s idyllic facade. The next day, Randy is gone. In his search for Randy, Eli uncovers more of Serenity’s secrets and learns nothing is as it seems—not even his own parents. It’s going to take Masterminds (Balzer & Bray, $16.99) to figure out what’s going on, but luckily Eli has friends on his side. Gordon Korman’s latest novel is a suspenseful page-turner. Ages 11-14. Eowyn Randall

$16.99
ISBN: 9780062299963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - February 3rd, 2015

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Carson is stuck in Montana helping his mom take care of his dying father, who never really bothered to be a part of Carson’s life. When he meets Aisha, whose father has kicked her out because she’s gay, his summer starts to look up. They have an instant repartee; inventing a deity, The Porcupine of Truth (Arthur A. Levine, $17.99), is just one of their inside jokes. Together, they undertake an investigative road trip when Carson discovers a clue that may lead to finding his grandfather who disappeared over thirty years ago. It’s a journey that will reveal more than they ever expected, and Bill Konigsburg captures it in Carson’s acerbic voice, crafting a hilarious and touching coming-of-age story. Ages 14-18. Eowyn Randall

$17.99
ISBN: 9780545648936
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - May 26th, 2015

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Teo and Eli’s barn-storming mothers perform under the monikers Black Dove, White Raven (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99). After one of them dies in an aviation accident, Eli’s mother moves the three remaining members of their found family to Ethiopia, the only African country never to have been colonized, whose open skies Teo’s mother dreamed of. Teo and Eli grow up there, imagining fantastic adventures for themselves as the next generation Black Dove and White Raven, but when war with Italy looms, their peaceful lives are turned upside down. Aviatrix Elizabeth Wein, Printz Award-Winning author of Code Name Verity, has crafted another riveting historical novel. Ages 12-16. Eowyn Randall

$17.99
ISBN: 9781423183105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - March 31st, 2015

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We Dig Worms (Toon, $12.95), is a fun and clever introduction to all sorts of worms—even the gummy kind—but earth worms in particular. Drawn on recycled grocery bags, author and illustrator (and entomologist!) Kevin McCloskey’s exploration of these creatures reveals their importance to the soil, how many of them can fit in one small park, how they reproduce, and much more. Whether you think worms are gross, cool, or somewhere in between, you’re sure to find something edifying in this slight tome. Ages 4-7. Eowyn Randall

By Kevin McCloskey, Kevin McCloskey (Illustrator)
$12.95
ISBN: 9781935179801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Toon Books - April 14th, 2015

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Liz Prince’s graphic memoir Tomboy (Zest, $15.99) is a validation for any girl who’s ever struggled with traditional gender roles. Though she has always felt secure in her female identity, Liz simply doesn’t like “girlie” things. The graphics are simple and sparse, but perfectly complement the complexity and confusion of growing up as a girl in America, and of trying to figure out what that gender entails. The book is funny and heart-felt, and it’s impossible not to root for the hard-to-define heroine as she makes her way through a culture obsessed with categorizing people. Ages 13-18. Courtney Burtraw

$15.99
ISBN: 9781936976553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Zest Books - September 2nd, 2014

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Victoria Jamieson, aka Winnie the Pow, is a real-life Roller Girl (Dial, $12.99), and she channels her love of the game into her first middle-grade graphic novel. Twelve-year-old Astrid and her best friend Nicole spend most of their time together. When Astrid’s mom introduces them to roller derby, Astrid’s sure they’ve found their new passion. But while Astrid commits herself to the sport, Nicole moves on to other interests. The comic realistically reflects pre-teen life and friendship, and Jamieson’s bright art jumps off the page, vividly capturing both Astrid’s every-day routine and the thrilling action on the roller rink. Ages 10-14. Kerri Poore

$12.99
ISBN: 9780803740167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - March 10th, 2015

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Through Andrea de la Barre de Nanteuil’s loopy, whimsical text and Lovisa Burfitt’s appropriately minimal illustrations, we get to know The Story of Mademoiselle Oiseau (Little Gestalten, $24.95), the mysterious woman who lives on the sixth floor of an apartment on Rue du Temps Perdu, and the girl, Isabella, who lives a floor beneath her. With the persona of an inscrutable movie star, Mademoiselle Oiseau teaches shy, invisible Isabella to believe in herself. An important lesson set beautifully in a graphic novel. Ages 14-18. Sharat Buddhavarapu

$24.95
ISBN: 9783899557343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Gestalten - April 21st, 2015

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Every detective story can use some levity. Celebrated Indian author, Anushka Ravishankar provides plenty with the introduction of affable detective Captain Coconut, who is both Holmes and Clouseau. Captain Coconut and the Case of the Missing Bananas (Tara, $16.95) is a mystery of numbers with a sprinkling of non-sequiturs, songs reminiscent of Bollywood and a generous dose of irreverence. Illustrator Priya Sundram’s brightly colored collage art accents the droll investigation and completes the exceptional design of this unique graphic novel. Ages 7-10. Mary Alice Garber

$16.95
ISBN: 9789383145225
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tara Books - July 7th, 2015

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Travel Over the Hills and Far Away (Candlewick, $21.99) and discover the fascinating ways nursery rhymes have crisscrossed the globe. In this spirited collection of poetry and art, Elizabeth Hammill (critic and founder of Seven Stories, Britain’s Centre for Children’s Books) brings focus to the richness and diversity of intercultural rhymes, maintaining regional spellings and usage. Hammill carefully pairs each rhyme with one of the 77 featured artists whose particular style corresponds to the verse’s temperament or cultural relevance. This peerless treasury of verses and visual interpretations is a must for everyone’s library. Ages 1-8. Mary Alice Garber

By Elizabeth Hammill (Editor), Various (Illustrator)
$21.99
ISBN: 9780763677299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 10th, 2015

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Twenty-eight poems by beloved children’s author and editor, Charlotte Zolotow, are collected in Changes: A Child’s First Poetry Collection (Sourcebooks, $16.99) on the 100th anniversary of her birth. These bright, sweet poems follow the seasons, accompanied by Thipanie Beeke’s colorful illustrations. While each poem appears quite simple in its message, many contain depths to be explored, such as the opening poem, ‘Change,’ which highlights the passage of time and what it implies for all of us. Ages 4-8. Kerri Poore

By Charlotte Zolotow, Tiphanie Beeke (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781492601685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - April 21st, 2015

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Irish poet Brendan Kennelly wrote, “poetry is one of the most vital treasures that humanity possesses; it is a bridge between separated souls.” In The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects (Candlewick, $17.99), Paul B. Janeczko excavates these treasures, curating a chronological selection of poems spanning from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. Some verses are rooted in their historical context, praising palaces, princely swords, and English railway trains. Others transcend the ages, celebrating ageless themes of natural beauty and human emotion. All make for great read-alouds, and are paired with vibrant and imaginative illustrations by Chris Raschka. Ages 7-12. Amy Sands

By Paul B. Janeczko, Chris Raschka (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763669638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 10th, 2015

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JooHee Yoon has created a magical poetry collection, making color-filled and witty woodblock prints for a fine selection of Beastly Verse (Enchanted Lion, $18.95). The menagerie includes an eel, crocodile, snail, yak, hyena, and pelicans. It’s a beautifully made book: large format, cloth spine, printed on thick paper. Yoon’s prints use only teal, pink, and yellow, but wittily combine them to form many layers of secondary colors. Some of the poems have a surprise foldouts, such as Blake’s “The Tiger,” Lawrence’s “Humming-Bird,” and, in Laura Richards’s “Eletelephony,” an entangled elephant. Each delightful page of Beastly Verse is wonderful to savor, to turn, and to read aloud. Ages 6-10. András Goldinger

By Joohee Yoon (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781592701667
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Enchanted Lion Books - April 7th, 2015

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If you want to visit an amazing city, you should join Arlo, An Armadillo in Paris (Tundra Books, $17.99). Using his grandfather Augustin’s journal as a guide, Arlo sets off to explore the city’s art, history, and life, with an eye toward finding his grandfather’s favorite thing in Paris, the Iron Lady. Each place Arlo visits holds a clue about the Iron Lady. Cafe Gustave, where Arlo enjoys a croissant, is named after her architect. The Louvre displays posters from the 1889 World’s Fair where the Iron Lady was the “official greeter.” After spending a day traversing the city, learning about the Iron Lady, Arlo finds himself standing in front of her, gaping up in amazement. Author and illustrator Julie Kraulis notes that Paris is Arlo’s first adventure. Here’s hoping he has many more.  Ages 5-8. HWP

$17.99
ISBN: 9781770495265
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tundra Books - October 14th, 2014

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 “People might say little Mahalia Jackson (Amistad, $17.99) was born with nothing, but she had something all right. A voice that was bigger than she was.” Over the rest of Nina Nolan’s gorgeous picture-book biography, readers learn exactly what Mahalia made of that voice. From singing in her church choir as a child in New Orleans, all the way to performing at the March on Washington, Mahalia spread hope with her gospel music wherever her journey took her. Illustrated with John Holyfield’s warm, vibrant oil paintings, this is a wonderful introduction to this important musical figure. Ages 5-8. Eowyn Randall

By Nina Nolan, John Holyfield (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780060879440
Availability: Not in the store—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amistad Press - January 27th, 2015

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Drum Dream Girl (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99) can’t stop dreaming about drums. “Only boys should play drums,” says her father, and forbids her from playing. Still, she daydreams about beating the bongo and finds rhythm in everyday life. Tapping on chairs and stepping in time to imaginary beats, she floats through her days. Award-winning author Margarita Engle tells a beautiful story of empowerment and ambition, based on the life of Millo Castro Zaldarriage, Cuba’s famous female drummer. Coupled with striking illustrations by Rafael Lopez, this book will have readers wanting to dance, drum, and follow their own dreams. Ages 4-8. Kasie Griffitts

By Margarita Engle, Rafael Lopez (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544102293
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harcourt Brace and Company - March 31st, 2015

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Growing up in the segregated south in the 1930’s, Benny Andrews learned to Draw What You See (Clarion, $16.99). Drawing workers in the fields and at his local Sunday church service, Andrews became determined to finish his education. Kathleen Benson’s new picture book biography, illustrated with paintings by Andrews himself, captures his incredible story. In both his art and his life, Andrews fought for what he believed in, and his work helped to make room for more overlooked artists of color. This gorgeous picture book is an excellent introduction to his life, and an example to all the young artists who might follow his example. Ages 4-8. Courtney Burtraw

By Kathleen Benson, Benny Andrews (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544104877
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - January 6th, 2015

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The big bold colors and the silhouette-like figures of Robbin Gourley’s Talkin’ Guitar (Clarion, $16.99) illustrate the simple but powerful effect that Arthel “Doc” Watson’s music had on people. Gourley shows how the sounds of animals, the work on the farm, and the musical souls who filled Doc’s Appalachian upbringing were the foundations of his sound. In a two-page ink-black spread interrupted only by white, chalk-like words, Gourley reveals that for all the vivacious color in Doc’s life, it was perhaps his blindness that fitted him to the task of expressing the beauty of his world through music. Ages 5-8. Sharat Buddhavarapu

$16.99
ISBN: 9780544129887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - March 10th, 2015

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You’ve got to have either a big head or an amazing talent to claim that you invented an entire musical genre. As author Jonah Winter makes clear, Jelly Roll Morton had both. In How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz (Roaring Brook, $17.99) Winter builds up a story in swinging verse. Illustrator Keith Mallett follows along with a score of hot reds and cool blues that render the colors and moods of jazz with precision. In this picture book, author and illustrator give children a fun look into the history of one of America’s most important musical forms. Ages 6-10. Sharat Buddhavarapu

By Jonah Winter, Keith Mallett (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781596439634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - June 16th, 2015

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What do the slides, flagpoles, and wheels in your life have in common? As David A. Adler explains, they’re all Simple Machines (Holiday House, $17.95). Adler relates these scientific concepts to objects and actions children see and do every day before expanding into more complex applications. The wedge is introduced via the use of teeth in chewing before Adler moves on to show the principle’s use in axes. Anna Raff’s illustrations, which emphasize the shape and movement of the different machines, tie Adler’s explanations into a wonderful package for the future tinkerer in your life. Ages 4-7. Sharat Buddhavarapu

By David A. Adler, Anna Raff (Illustrator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9780823433094
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holiday House - January 2015

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From the gray skies that are the first signs of rain to the moment when the sun dries the last drops, vivid photo-illustrations paired with poetic, often playful, descriptions demonstrate how Raindrops Roll ( Beach Lane, $17.99), cling, magnify, and reflect. Award-winning author, April Sayre invites young readers and budding scientists to wonder and investigate the nature of rain. Well-researched backmatter and sources for further reading complete this impressive “splash of science.” Ages 3-8. Mary Alice Garber

$17.99
ISBN: 9781481420648
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beach Lane Books - January 6th, 2015

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Author Elin Kelsey and artist Soyeon Kim have teamed up to create Wild Ideas (Owlkids, $18.95), a delightful picture book as well as a creative instruction book for dealing with life’s many challenges. The diorama style artwork lets the reader imagine they’re in the story. Cutouts of children riding whales and leaping with orangutans as they turn challenges into opportunities help the reader discover solutions to everyday problems in the natural world. Whimsical and impactful, Wild Ideas is a calming yet empowering picture book for readers young and old. Ages 4-9. Donna Wells

By Elin Kelsey, Soyeon Kim (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781771470629
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Owlkids - April 14th, 2015

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As winter melts away and plants begin to grow, a young child describes what happens Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt (Chronicle, $16.99). Child and grandmother carefully tend the garden, preparing the seeds and nurturing the plants, as under the ground worms and insects do their work. Like Kate Messner’s earlier book, Over and Under the Snow, this picture book is crammed with facts as well as the fiction narrative. Readers learn, guided by Christopher Silas Neal’s clear and beautiful illustrations, about the different aspects of tending and growing a garden, all the way through to fall, when the garden must be readied for winter and put to rest. Ages 4-8. Courtney Burtraw

$16.99
ISBN: 9781452119366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - March 3rd, 2015

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The best nests combine a variety of elements to create the perfect resting place. In A Nest is Noisy (Chronicle, $16.99), author Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrator Sylvia Long weave together scientific trivia, poetic interludes, and fabulously intricate watercolor paintings to offer an ideal burrowing ground for young scientific minds. From flamingos to fishes, learn how nature’s greatest homemakers build and maintain their animal abodes. Ages 5-9. Amy Sands

By Dianna Hutts Aston, Sylvia Long (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781452127132
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - April 14th, 2015

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“You throw like a girl” has notoriously been considered derogatory. Pitcher Mo’ne Davis has turned this perceived insult into the ultimate compliment. Davis played basketball, baseball, and soccer for her neighborhood team in inner-city Philadelphia, where her coach taught his players to value education and respect their teammates and opponents. With author Hilary Beard, Davis chronicles her story—which culminates in the first shutout by a girl in the Little League World Series—in Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name (HarperCollins, $16.99). Davis has handled the resulting attention with humility, and is a role model for all, regardless of gender or athletic prowess. Ages 8-12. Renee Bosco

$16.99
ISBN: 9780062397522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - March 17th, 2015

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The story of an often overlooked athlete, Lizzie Murphy, known as the Queen of the Diamond (Margaret Ferguson, $17.99), is related in this colorful volume. As a child Lizzie was relegated to the ignominious position of “girl batboy” on her brother’s all-boy team. Finally, because of his unfailing support, the team gave her a “try.” The rest is history. Author and illustrator Emily Arnold McCully has crafted Murphy’s inspiring story into a book that anyone, sports fan or not, can enjoy. Supplemental information and a photograph of Lizzie in uniform at the close help bring this illustrious character to life. Ages 5-8. Renee Bosco

$17.99
ISBN: 9780374300074
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - February 17th, 2015

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During the 2014 World Cup, Tim Howard became an overnight soccer sensation, breaking the record for saves in a World Cup game, and gaining name recognition as a top goalkeeper. What is less common knowledge is Howard’s journey to get to those World Cup games. His memoir, The Keeper (Harper $16.99), tells that story, from his childhood in New Jersey, where he was a hyperactive young kid with Tourette’s syndrome, to the world soccer stage. For fans of Howard’s play, and readers who enjoy unconventional success stories, Howard’s memoir is an entertaining and inspiring read, as well as a peek behind the scenes of top-level World Cup play. Ages 9-13. Courtney Burtraw

$16.99
ISBN: 9780062387554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - December 9th, 2014

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Making it to the Big Leagues is a dream for any baseball player. Sharing this thrill with one’s brother is nearly too good to be true. In the Dominican Republic, Growing Up Pedro (Candlewick, $16.99) meant living in the shadow of Pedro Martinez’s bigger, stronger brother, Ramon, who was drafted by the Dodgers. With sheer determination and tenacity, Pedro followed his brother into the major leagues and eventually became a star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. Author and illustrator Matt Tavares adds to his hits in baseball literature with this picture book about a recent legendary southpaw, just elected to the hall of fame. Ages 8-12. Renee Bosco

By Matt Tavares, Matt Tavares (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763668242
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - February 10th, 2015

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Few baseball fans can resist Yankee pinstripes, especially when they cover a new picture book about Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio (Atheneum, $17.99). With casual, folksy prose and James E. Ransome’s detailed illustrations, author Jonah Winter portrays DiMaggio’s early years, living near the San Francisco waterfront. DiMaggio’s baseball prowess led to a meteoric rise to fame as the New York Yankee’s center-fielder. His quiet demeanor added to his mystique, and Joe handled his stardom with great dignity, even after setting a record of hitting safely in 56 consecutive games. This record still endures today, along with the respect for this American legend.  Ages 4-8. RBB

By Jonah Winter, James E. Ransome (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781416940807
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - September 2nd, 2014

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Though Emmanuel was born with only one leg, his mother always encouraged him to fend for himself. He went to school, earned money for the family, even learned to ride a bike. He was determined to show everyone “that being disabled does not mean being unable.” Emmanuel’s Dream (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99) to ride his bicycle around Ghana, calling attention and giving hope to people with disabilities, was realized in 2001. He continues to work on behalf of people with disabilities in his beloved country. Author Laurie Ann Thompson penned this inspiring tribute, which is accompanied by the textured, folksy illustrations of Sean Qualls. Ages 5-8. Renee Bosco

By Laurie Thompson, Sean Qualls (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780449817445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schwartz & Wade Books - January 6th, 2015

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On the eve of Juneteenth, when young Mazie grows tired of always being told no, her father gently embraces the moment to talk with her about history, family, and the holiday’s importance. He explains the significance of June 19, 1865, the date soldiers finally arrived in Galveston, TX, to announce the end of the Civil War and slavery. Floyd Cooper’s rich oil paintings and thoughtful, simple language convey an arc of history that moves from the declaration through 150 years of civil rights struggle, culminating in the inauguration of Barack Obama. Juneteenth for Mazie (Capstone, $15.95) is a nuanced and informative introduction, appropriate for very young readers and a potential entry point for deeper historical discussions with older elementary readers. Ages 4-9. Amy Dickinson

By Floyd Cooper, Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781623701703
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Capstone Young Readers - February 2015

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This picture book biography of Renaissance man Gordon Parks (Albert Whitman, $16.99)—most famous for being the first black director in Hollywood—explores his early artistic career. Parks spent time in DC working for the government, and instead of turning his camera to looming marble monuments, documented the lives of other African-Americans living in the city. By bringing their struggle to the pages of LIFE magazine, Parks was influential in changing the tide of race relations in America. Carole Boston Weatherford crafts an accessible narrative out of Parks’s inspiring life, accompanied by Jamey Christoph’s warm illustrations that reinterpret some of Parks’s most famous photographs, this is a worthy tribute to his legacy. Ages 5-8. Eowyn Randall

$16.99
ISBN: 9780807530177
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Albert Whitman & Company - February 2015

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Ibn Sina wanted to know everything about literature, philosophy and the sciences. His special interest was medicine, and he was one of the first practitioners to administer anesthesia before surgery. In The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina (Groundwood, $17.95), author Fatima Sharafeddine uses first-person narration to portray Ibn Sina’s insatiable love of learning and views on human development. Intelaq Mohammed Ali’s rich illustrations are reminiscent of vibrant fabrics or mosaics and help bring a complicated individual’s impressive story to life. Ages 7-11. Renee Bosco

$17.95
ISBN: 9781554987108
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Groundwood Books - March 17th, 2015

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Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, married in Washington, D.C. where their union was legal, but they returned home to Virginia to live in the country. There, they were arrested under charges of “unlawful cohabitation” and Richard and Mildred began their fight, getting the court involved. After a long journey, The Case for Loving (Arthur A. Levine Books, $18.99) was won in 1967 and the two were able to live happily (and legally) ever after. Husband and wife duo Sean Qualls and Selina Alko tell the story of those who have come before them in a story of the fight for interracial marriage. Ages 5-9 Allison Witten

By Selina Alko (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780545478533
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - January 27th, 2015

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