One Beautiful Baby

December 27th, 2008
by Martine Oborne, illustrated by Ingrid Godon
A simply written and heart-felt tribute to the wonder of babyhood. Godon’s illustrations are sweet without being cutsie and capture the charm of a young child’s life. Recommended for ages 0-2.

Dog Food

December 23rd, 2008
written and illustrated by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers
This is a hilarious book in which the illustrations are 100% edible. Children will delight in naming the different fruits and vegetables used and in discovering the uniqueness of even the most common food item. And if your older children have a creative turn of mind, set them loose in trying to re-create some of the images. Recommended for all ages.

The Bobbin Girl

December 20th, 2008
written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully
At age ten, Rebecca is the youngest worker at a cotton mill in the 1830s. When the mill owners decide to lower wages, the women who work there do something unprecedented –they walk out in protest. Though their heroic stand costs them their jobs, Rebecca learns an important lesson in standing up for what is right. Based on actual events. Recommended for ages 6-10.

Mabela the Clever

December 16th, 2008
by Margaret Read MacDonald, illustrated by Tim Coffey
“In the early times, some were clever and some were foolish. The Cat was one of the clever ones. The mice were mostly foolish.” But one little mouse, Mabela, had been taught by her father to be clever. By listening, looking, speaking carefully, and moving quickly, she even outwits the clever cat and thus saves her whole mouse village. MacDonald’s delightful re-telling of a traditional Limba story teaches children the importance of learning from one’s elders. Coffey’s vivid illustrations perfectly support the upbeat storyline. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Fiesta Fiasco

December 9th, 2008
by Ann Whitford Paul, illustrated by Ethan Long
Conejo, Iguana, and Tortuga go shopping for birthday presents for Culebra. Guided by Conejo’s advice, they each purchase an item that Culebra will have little use for. They are, however, exactly what Conejo wants! This funny story is perfectly matched by Long’s farcical illustrations. The text includes Spanish vocabulary words that are easily deciphered from the story’s context. Recommended for ages 4-8.

The Ant and the Elephant

December 6th, 2008
written and illustrated by Bill Peet
When an ant falls into the river, his plea for help goes unheeded by the old turtle who was passing by. But soon enough the turtle is in need of help too –and so are all of the other selfish animals in the jungle. Lucky for them the kind-hearted elephant comes to the rescue. But when the elephant suddenly finds himself in need of some help, who among them will show his gratitude? Recommended for ages 3-8.

Song of the Gargoyle

December 3rd, 2008
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The son of an honored court jester, Tymmon has led a comfortable, though humble existance. But that life is suddenly snatched from him when mysterious knights storm his home and drag awat his beloved father. In fear of his life, Tymmon flees into an enchanted forest where he meets a huge dog-like gargoyle. With his new friend, Tymmon sets off on an adventure of self-discovery and unlikely heroism. Recommended for ages 9-12.

The Ugly Vegetables

November 27th, 2008
written and illustrated by Grace Lin
A young Chinese-American girl helps her mother plant seeds in their garden. But unlike all of her neighbors with beautiful flower gardens, their garden produces only ugly vegetables. When harvest time arrives, however, she comes to realize her crop’s real value. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Children: the Challenge

November 24th, 2008
by Rudolph Dreikurs
Dreikurs work has become a classic within the field of child psychology. Written from the premise that American families have become a microcosm of democratic society, he uses step-by-step guidelines and practical examples of how to deal with children’s misbehavior by building cooperation, trust, and respect. He also includes suggestions for building strong relationships among family members so as to avoid behavior pitfalls. This is a must-read for every new parent!

Bridge to Terabithia

November 20th, 2008
by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Donna Diamond
A masterpiece among juvenile fiction, the story invites us into the life of young Jess Aarons as he discovers a new friend in Leslie Burke. Together, he and Leslie transform a secret place in the woods behind their homes into the enchanted land of Terabithia, where they reign as king and queen. As the story unfolds, Leslie helps Jess discover not only the magic of friendship, but also the magic within himself. Winner of the Newbery Medal, 1978. Recommended for ages 9-12.