Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Marti's Song for Freedom


I heard of Jose Marti when I read The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya. Arturo's grandparents loved Marti's poetry and his place in Cuban history. The excerpts that Arturo read within the story made me curious, so when I saw a picture book biography of Marti, I had to read it. The bilingual nature of the text makes sense, since Marti lived in the United States for years during his exile from Cuba, and he helped to make the U.S. and other countries around the world aware of conditions in Cuba and the struggle for independence taking place there. The gouache illustrations depict key scenes from Marti's life - seeing the treatment of slaves in the cane fields, working in the quarry after his arrest, giving speeches, walking in the Catskills during his time in New York, and Battle of Two Rivers where he was killed. But the pictures also show the things about Cuba that he loved so much. The palmas reales, the diversity of Cuba's population, even the iconic metal grill-work decorations on windows and pastel colors on the buildings provide a look at the country he held dear. Readers can also see the beauty of the Catskill Mountains, the street scenes of New York, and Marti writing at his desk. The illustration that Marti himself would treasure most is the crowd celebrating Cuba's independence; there are people waving their hats in the air, playing guitar and drums, even a couple dancing. It is a party he would have been proud to join.

The text works in pieces from Marti's poetry, as well as using images from his poems to bring his passion to life. An afterword and author's note provide additional information, and an excerpt from his Versos Sencillos is included. After finishing this biography, many readers will want to find a full length copy of his poems to read. This is a solid addition to school libraries and could be used in history lessons as well as language arts classes.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

Summer Reading 2017 Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!


James VanDerZee is a perfect subject for a picture book, since his love of art and creation of photographic portraits defined his life. The acrylic on canvas illustrations show key scenes from his life in warm colors and also capture samples of his iconic style of photography. In an era when few people owned a camera, James understood its power to tell a story and preserve a memory that would be treasured for a lifetime. The methods James used, such as taking the time to get his subjects to relax and smile naturally for the camera, retouching photos to bring out the best and minimize flaws, and even using photomontage to layer images, set him apart from other photographers. But what made him of special interest to history was his interest in picturing the life of middle class people in Harlem. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Harlem on My Mind" exhibit showcased the best of his 75,000 photos and 40 years of the history of Harlem, as well as portraits of celebrities such as Florence Mills and Joe Louis. Historians are fortunate that VanDerZee was present during the Harlem Renaissance to preserve the era on film.

The text and illustrations work well together to show the passion James felt for his art and to explain what set him apart from other photographers of his time. The changing times can be seen in the clothing, setting, and even the aging of VanDerZee himself. The book also includes a bibliography, suggestions for further reading, reproductions of a few of his iconic photos, and even a list of which photos some of the illustrations were based on. This is a wonderful example of a picture book biography and perfect for units on the Harlem Renaissance, artists, or Black History Month.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sip Tea with Mad Hatter Tour


Enter to win an autographed copy of Sip Tea with Mad Hatter: At KAMP®, by award-winning author Loretta Neff; plus a $25 Visa gift card to buy supplies for your own tea party!
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
  • A copy of Sip Tea with Mad Hatter: At KAMP®, autographed by Loretta Neff
  • A $25 Visa gift card
Two (2) winners receive:
  • A copy of Sip Tea with Mad Hatter: At KAMP®, autographed by Loretta Neff
Giveaway begins June 21, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 21, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to US and international mailing addresses.

Prizes provided by EW Foundation, Inc.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Laura Neff has created a kid-friendly guide to etiquette and manners, based on the setting and characters of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Each character offers different advice about being a guest or host at tea parties and other events. For instance, Absolem the caterpillar encourages guests to read their invitation carefully and be sure to dress for the occasion and arrive and leave on time. Alice models how to introduce yourself with confidence, while the Mad Hatter makes guests feel welcome by drawing them into conversations and including them in games. Once readers have finished the book, they will know all about table manners, accepting gifts graciously, and treating others kindly.

The illustrations are full of bold, vibrant colors that transport readers to Wonderland and a realm where a talking Dormouse or Cheshire Cat seem perfectly believable. Signature details such as Alice's blue dress and the Red Queen's grumpy pout make the characters easy to identify for even the youngest readers. At the end of the book there is a final list of all the life skills, as well as definitions of EWF Core Values, a glossary, and even a brief history of the afternoon tea tradition. All of those features should be very helpful to parents and teachers using the book. And everyone should refer to the "Magical Phrases and Words" that are listed - you can never have too many reminders to say please and thank you. For family members giving this book as a gift, there is a pledge for children to sign, promising to "Do well by doing good deeds."

Overall, this is an amusing and innovative way to introduce youngsters to social etiquette, good behavior, and graciousness in any setting. Young readers will be drawn to the colorful Wonderland characters and adults will appreciate the simple advice on being a polite host or guest.

Written by Loretta Neff
Illustrated by Anirban Mitra

Publisher’s Synopsis: Sip Tea with Mad Hatter  makes learning afternoon tea manners fun, meaningful, and most important, memorable. Any adult or child who reads this book will delight in the clever illustrations and correlations of Alice in Wonderland’s characters to the manners advice.

Phrases like Be as cool as a Cheshire cat, Don’t be a mean Red Queen, and My teacup runneth over with gratitude are easy-to-grasp concepts for children.

With the demanding schedules of parents, caregivers, and teachers, the importance of social skills is often overlooked. Learning social skills early, especially during childhood, can shape a child’s character and greatly impact his or her life for the better.
The EW Foundation® (EWF) vision is to teach, inspire, and motivate children to perform spontaneous acts of kindness and consideration. The benefits they receive from simple, good behavior will be both tangible and intangible. Our belief is that children can “do well by doing good deeds.“

The topics covered in this book are part of the EWF KAMP® curriculum – 2015 Promising Practices National Award Recipient by

“Once again, thank you, Loretta Neff, for another well-written and entertaining resource that teaches important life skills.”—The Children’s Book Review

Ages 6-12 | Publisher: EW Publishing | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0998555904


Loretta Neff is an award-winning children s book author and the founder of the EW Foundation®, a nonprofit provider of character education programs. Loretta has specialized in character and etiquette education since 1994 with clients ranging from children to Fortune 500 companies.

Loretta’s books are inspired by her love of humanity and desire to share her resources with children who need them most. Through her books and charitable efforts, she hopes to engage young minds and instill the values that can shape and transform their lives in a meaningful and measurable way.

Her first book, award-winning Tame Your Manners, released March 2014, received coveted reviews and has become a bestseller in its genre. Described as Madagascar meets manners, the book continues to charm the hearts of critics and readers alike.

Her second book, Sip Tea with Mad Hatter, is another delightful concept for introducing children to good character and tea manners. The book was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and will challenge kids to be creative and Think outside the rabbit hole.

Based on EW Foundation s KAMP® curriculum, a 2015 and 2016 Promising Practices national award winner, her books emphasize good character and core values while offering an affordable and comprehensive learning solution. Children can enjoy the series at their own pace or share it as a family or class. (For ages 5 12.) Loretta received a BA degree in 1989 with honors and had her sights on the legal profession. But after being accepted to law school at Michigan State University, she never attended, having found her real passion for philanthropic work and the teaching of business and social etiquette. Loretta remains committed to the advancement of numerous charities, societies, and educational foundations.



The Children's Book Review
Crafty Moms Share
Kori at Home
Lille Punkin'
icefairy's Treasure Chest
The Fairview Review
Word Spelunking
Mommy Ramblings
To Read, or Not To Read
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

The Fairview Review is working in  partnership with The Children’s Book Review and the EW Foundation, Inc. to promote this tour.

Summer Reading 2017 It's Hard to Swim (Ellie the Wienerdog #2)


Ellie, our favorite dachshund, is back in her second book. This time around she tells us that it is hard to swim because she is meant to be on dry land. The first page shows her underwater with her cheeks puffed out from holding her breath. She lists all the things she doesn't have such as fins and scales, and we see her being sent aloft on the plume of water from a whale's blowhole. But all of this is just to let us know what is coming. Her human approaches with a doggie life vest and Ellie leans against the dock with her paw to her forehead like a classic damsel in distress. She imagine that she might simply sink and no one will ever be able to find her. The creatures she pictures in this calm little body of water include fierce looking fish, a seahorse with fangs, a shark with a dinner table and napkin just waiting for a meal, even a fish with a fork. As her human lowers her toward the water she holds her paws to her chattering teeth, then calls out, "GOODBYE! I'm going in !" (Talk about drama.) Soon she is trying out different strokes across and even under the water and having a good time, while smiling fish watch.

Even though Ellie is a dog and not a child, it is still easy to learn from her example. She builds up so many possible dangers in her imagination, then finds out how much fun swimming can be. At the end of the day she is wagging her tail and saying that "if you give it a try, you can do anything you wish!" Those fish that she was so afraid would eat her are now smiling and holding up score cards like Olympic judges to praise her swimming. She even decides that since she learned to swim, maybe she can teach the fish to sit. The scene of Miss Ellie's classroom with the puffer fish upside down, the shark with a bite missing from its desk, and the goldfish beaming as it perches on a chair in its fishbowl helps young readers imagine what would happen if the fish could come onto land to learn a new skill.

Although this story shows Ellie learning to swim, the lesson could easily apply to any new situation that is making someone nervous. She shows that things are not nearly as bad as we imagine them to be, and that once you give something a try you usually find it to be much easier than you thought.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Summer Reading 2017 It's Hard to Be Good (Ellie the Wienerdog #1)


Dachshund Ellie with her big brown eyes and wiggly body is trying to be good. In a scene reminiscent of vintage Looney Tunes characters, she has her good and bad selves both trying to influence her. Both halves of her conscience appear in dream bubbles, the naughty side appears among flames and tugs on Ellie's ear to get her attention with a wicked grin. In contrast, the good side is floating among clouds and barking to try and call Ellie away from the bad influence. Ellie says she's only a hound and thinks with her nose. As much as she longs for those words, "What a good dog!" it is hard to resist with "a freshly made sandwich calling." The illustration turns the letters of the word "calling" into slices of bread, ham, lettuce, and mustard, emphasizing the allure of that sandwich. When her "mind starts to spin," we see Ellie's eyes filled with spirals and her ears floating around her head in a psychedelic swirl. Will she be able to fight her way through the haze of fresh ham and earn a treat for being a good girl?

Young readers will find Ellie adorable with her expressive face and dramatic description of how her hound's nose leads her into temptation. It is easy to identify with her and the urge to give in when surrounded by tempting items. When she says that earning praise makes her heart grin, we can actually see a pale purple heart on her chest with a small smile on it. And when she imagines grabbing the sandwich and running off with it, her thought bubble shows an image of herself with the sandwich clasped in her front paws and her back legs running so fast they are a blur. This is a story sure to entertain adults as they help youngsters read and enjoy it. 

Perfect for parents and teachers of young children who are working on learning right from wrong and choosing to do what they know is right. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Spring Reading 2017 DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus


Diana and her friends at Super Hero High are ready for summer break, and everyone has fun plans for their time off. For young Wonder Woman, there is an invitation to spend time with her father's side of the family in Olympus. So Diana and her pal Bumblebee are hanging out with the Olympian gods and demigods when Batgirl, Beast Boy, and Katana come across a mysterious thief who is stealing classic artifacts from museums across Europe. But eventually these story lines will have to merge, because the stolen items all belong to Diana's half-siblings from her father Zeus.

Summer Olympus is a mix of school story, super hero action, and summer adventure. It also features the half-goddess side of Wonder Woman's background. This could be an introduction to mythology, or for readers who already have an interest, it can be a different view of these ancient literary figures. Perhaps the most important theme in the story is friendship. We see different groupings of the characters who choose to spend their vacation together, and interactions between the characters through phone calls and social media. But the power of their "sisterhood" may not be enough to overcome the villains.

Whether you are already interested in the characters, or this is an introduction to them, these stories show these young women (and a few of their male friends), learning to handle their powers and becoming the figures we are more familiar with in their adult personas.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 egg


Kevin Henkes is a favorite author/illustrator for a reason. His 50th book is more of his signature style. A blue, a pink, and a yellow egg hatch, but one egg is "waiting." The little birds from the other eggs come and "listen" to the last egg. Then they "peck-peck-peck" (repeat about 20 times). And when the green egg cracks open, "surprise!" The birds fly away, startled, and the newly hatched baby is sad and alone. Will they come back?

This would be a great book to pair with a story like "The Ugly Duckling" and talk about expectations and how authors can surprise us by having something unexpected happen. It would also be good for talking about making friends, accepting others despite their differences, etc. The way that many of the pages are broken into panels would make it perfect for introducing how to read comics and graphic novels; how one moves from panel to panel and where to start on the page could be easily demonstrated.

Summer Reading 2017 Hug This Book


In a rhythm reminiscent of Green Eggs and Ham, the author reels off all the things you can do with a book. Everything from "You can read this book to a hippo," to "You can kiss and hug and smell this book" is suggested. The ink and paper illustrations are digitally colored and show scenes that look like they are drawn on a chalkboard or cityscapes with faces peeking out of windows. Young readers are liable to laugh out loud at scenes of two kids in the same sweater, or someone asleep under a tented book. My favorite is the final page that suggests, "You can start at the beginning and read it to a friend!"

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 You May Already Be a Winner


Olivia is a character that is full of life, which is a funny thing since she begins her story with, "One day I sunk to the bottom of the pool and died." It turns out that she did not die, but she does have very vivid daydreams. The daydreams are a way to escape from the unpleasant parts of her life, things like having to stay home from school and watch Berk, cleaning the trailer and fixing dinner because her mom comes home too tired to do it, or writing emails to her father that are never answered. Olivia, her mother, and her sister Berkeley live in Sunny Pines, "a trailer park attached to a KOA." Olivia becomes determined to offer Berk something better, so she enters online contests, as many as she can find. The sweepstakes entries are another coping mechanism to deal with missing her father, the loss of her best friend, having to stay home from school, and all the other negative circumstances in her life.

Along with Olivia, we see her neighbors and learn their stories, too. We also meet her eccentric friend, Bart. Can he really be an agent for the FBI doing surveillance in Sunny Pines? That is only one question we try to find the answer to as the story unfolds. We also wonder if her father is really off helping the rangers in Bryce Canyon and when child & family services will intervene in their lives. Sixth graders can't just stop coming to school without local agencies getting involved. And we wonder, just as Olivia does, what will happen when their situation is discovered.

The setting and characters are full of realistic details, and we can recognize how easily a family could wind up in the same condition as Olivia's. We laugh at her daydreams of heroically fighting fires or receiving the kiss of life from the life guard, but we also understand that we are laughing to keep from crying over her life. This is a strong piece of realistic fiction that showcases a memorable character. Fans of See You in the Cosmos might enjoy Olivia's tale.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Max and Bird


Rejoice - Max is back! This time Max has a new friend, Bird. They have a problem, because Max is a kitten and kittens chase and eat birds. Max thinks this sounds like a good plan, but Bird points out that "friends don't eat each other up!" This prompts Max to think things over. After some thought, they agree to help each other, because that is what friends do. I love the way Max and Bird head to the library when they have a question. Bird tells Max, "Libraries know everything." The scenes of the friends looking at the shelves and reading together in a cozy armchair surrounded by books will make you want to rush to the nearest library and collect a stack of your own reading material.

As I've mentioned before, the illustrations of Max in his books are wonderful. So much personality is packed into such a tiny body that it nearly bursts off the page. Bird with his little wings on his feathery hips lectures Max on being a friend and we can feel the force of his argument. The images of both friends flapping their arms/wings as hard as they can, eyes squeezed tight in concentration and a result of "Zilch" will have everyone laughing. But my favorite would have to be the two friends curled up asleep together and both dreaming of flying - Bird winging across the sky with Max right beside him in a superhero cape.

If you are looking for friendship stories (unlikely friends), stories of learning a new skill, or stories of perseverance, then you need a copy of Max and Bird. Of course, all those of us who are already fans of Max need one, too. Highly recommended.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Summer Reading 2017 Castle in the Stars

Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869- Book 1 (Castle in the Stars, #1)

A motherless boy. An accidental journey. An isolated king with a hobby others don't understand. All of these elements have played a part in other stories, but they combine to form the basis of Castle in the Stars

Seraphin's mother, Claire, was determined to uncover the secret of aether. She went aloft in a balloon an incredible 11,000 meters into the atmosphere, but never returned. Now a year has passed, and her logbook has been found by none other than King Ludwig of Bavaria, who is also interested in the possibilities of aether. Before they even reach Bavaria Seraphin and his father realize there is some sort of plot going on. As the story unfolds the reader learns that someone plans to sabotage the king, his experiments, or both. 

The book is done in gorgeous watercolor illustrations with the feel of a Jules Verne adventure. The setting is obviously our world in 1869, but an alternate history with a bit of steampunk vibe. The characters are easy to distinguish by their appearance and their personalities. Seraphin is a fair-haired young boy, idealistic, and still devoted to his mother. His father is a balding, austere engineer who is a strict taskmaster. And the individuals they meet in Bavaria are either loyal to the king or plotting against him, but it takes time to figure out whose side everyone is on.

The action is full of dangerous balloon ascents, explosions, chases, near escapes, and humorous accidents. And the ending will leave everyone eagerly waiting the next volume to see what happens next. 

If you enjoy steampunk, alternate history, or adventures like the writings of Jules Verne, then you need to pick up a copy of Castle in the Stars. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Goodnight, Lab: A Scientific Parody


Chris Ferrie, author of the Baby University series, now takes on a classic. Goodnight Moon gets an update with a scientific twist. A young female scientist is in the lab surrounded by items like a thermometer, a laser, and a portrait of Einstein. Slowly, more items are named and then as we reach the halfway point of the book, we begin to tell all the objects "goodnight." Like the original, the setting has green walls and a red floor, but there are no bears or chairs, n mittens or kittens. Instead of a lady whispering "hush," we have a grumpy old professor shouting "publish." The book follows the pattern of Goodnight Moon in its wording. It also limits the objects to what would be found in a lab, just as the original included objects from a child's bedroom or nursery. That is why we see things like tanks of liquid nitrogen or lab coats in the illustrations.

With the current awareness of the need for more diverse characters in books, having a young African American female as the protagonist is a welcome sight. From the perspective of STEM teachers, it is also great to see someone from such underrepresented groups happily working in a science lab. No attention is drawn to the gender or racial/ethnic background of the character, but the visual representation in that setting speaks loud and clear to those of us looking for such things.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

Summer Reading 2017 From Ant to Eagle


This book is an excellent work of realistic fiction. It portrays the relationship between siblings very well, capturing the push and pull of having a brother to play with, yet also wanting time to hang out with friends of one's own. Calvin, the older brother, is eleven and bored over summer break. His younger brother Sammy is only six and can't do many of the things Calvin can. But Calvin has created a game with challenges that he makes up and Sammy has to complete to gain a level. Sammy started at Ant level, but wants to attain Eagle just like Calvin. Even with such entertainment available, it's understandable that when Calvin makes friends with a new girl from church, he wants to have fun without Sammy around all the time. When the family realizes Sammy is very ill, then Calvin begins to feel guilty over ignoring him all summer when he wasn't busy sending him on missions like spraying a bees nest to earn another level. And Cal's friend Aleta has her own guilty feelings to deal with over something from her family's past.

The characters really come to life in this story - the older brother annoyed by a younger tag-along; the new girl who captures the boy's attention; the younger brother with a case of hero worship for his sibling; the parents stressed by their child's illness. Readers can easily picture people they know in similar situations. Who hasn't hear siblings whine, "Do I have to play with him?" And many readers have probably has the experience of meeting a new kid at school, or in the neighborhood and being intrigued by the novelty of making a new friend. The saddest part is that some readers may also have firsthand knowledge of being in the hospital with a family member who is undergoing extensive tests. The portrayal of how each person within Calvin's family deals with the stress of the medical situation is heartrendingly real and may cause some tears among readers.

Recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction centered around family and friendship, and who don't mind some sadness and scenes that will bring out intense emotions. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dover Books Summer Reading Giveaway Tour


    Timeless Stories, Everyday Value, Summer Reading with Dover!
    Everyone can be a winner with special code WHCP, because Dover Books is offering 25% off until September 1, 2017. Plus, you can enter to win this awesome summer reading prize pack . . .
    One (1) grand prize winner receives:

    • Hardcover, 20th Anniversary Editions of the Dinotopia series
      • Dinotopia, A Land Apart from Time
      • Dinotopia, The World Beneath
      • Dinotopia, First Flight
    • A hardcover copy of The Girl in the White Hat
    • A paperback copy of Too Many Mittens
    • A paperback copy of The Golden Basket
    • A paperback copy of Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
    • A hardcover copy of Sam and Emma
    • A paperback copy of I Need a New Butt

Two (2) winners receive:
  • A hardcover copy of The Girl in the White Hat
  • A paperback copy of Too Many Mittens
  • A paperback copy of The Golden Basket
  • A paperback copy of Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
  • A hardcover copy of Sam and Emma
  • A paperback copy of I Need a New Butt
Giveaway begins June 1, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 30, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to US and Canadian addresses only.

Prizes provided by Dover Books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Girl in the White Hat
Written by W. T. Cummings 

Publisher's Synopsis: While Grandmother's asleep, Annabelle creeps out of her room and up the stairs to the dark and mysterious attic. Among the jumble of curious items packed away in the gloom is a big white hat with a floppy brim. Annabelle can't resist trying it on and thinks, "If I were a bird and this hat were my wings, I could fly. I wish I could fly!" And she does! New hardcover edition.

About the Author: W. T. Cummings (1933–2009) wrote and illustrated four remarkable picture books, of which The Girl in the White Hat was the first. A painter of note, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in 1962. Lauded by The New York Times as one of the ten best children's books of 1959, this now-rare volume is available in a lovely new hardcover edition, ready to charm a new generation of readers and imaginative hat-wearers.

Too Many Mittens
By Louis Slobodkin and Florence Slobodkin

Publisher's Synopsis: A beautifully illustrated single-volume edition of three classic children's tales: A wintertime tale of lost and found, Too Many Mittens finds the twins Ned and Donny in Grandma's care while Mother and Father are off on a trip. Word gets around when Donny loses a mitten, and soon everyone — teacher, postman, milkman, grocer — is finding lost mittens and delivering them to the twins' house, until Grandma has a great idea. In A Good Place to Hide, Susan wants to get away from her persistent brothers, who are determined to show her the spider they've trapped in a jar. But everywhere she goes, from the tool shed to Rover's doghouse, someone finds her — until she finds a secret place where she finally can be alone. Everyone knows that mermaids have long golden hair and sweet singing voices — except when they don't! In The Little Mermaid Who Could Not Sing, red-haired Cynthia can swim and ride seahorses but she cannot sing a note. Cynthia's terribly discouraged until she discovers that she has a hidden talent of her very own.

About Louis Slobodkin and Florence Slobodkin: At the age of 15, Louis Slobodkin (1903–75) entered the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, where he studied drawing, composition, and sculpture. In the course of his six-year studies, he won more than 20 medals and was awarded the Louis Tiffany Fellowship. Slobodkin illustrated nearly 90 books, 50 of which he wrote, and in 1944 he received the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations for James Thurber's Many Moons
Poet and author of children's books Florence Slobodkin (1905–94) collaborated with her husband on five books, including the classic Too Many Mittens.

The Golden Basket

Publisher's Synopsis: On a cobblestoned street in the ancient city of Bruges, a hotel with a golden basket on its roof admits a trio of weary travelers: a father and two little girls, Celeste and Melisande. The next morning, the sisters awake to the thrill of discovering a new country and meeting new friends, including Jan, the innkeeper's son, and Monsieur Carnewal, the hardworking, warmhearted maître d'hôtel. The girls discover a world of imaginative fun within the hotel itself as well as in the picturesque city of medieval buildings and towers, where graceful swans swim in the canals and a lamplighter makes his daily rounds. Inspired by a trip to Belgium, author Ludwig Bemelmans drew upon his youthful experiences at his family's Austrian inn to perfectly recapture the setting of an Old World hotel. A brief cameo by a mischievous French schoolgirl — the first appearance of the author's iconic character, Madeline—offers a hint of the joys to come.

About Ludwig Bemelmans: The recipient of both the Caldecott and Newbery awards, Ludwig Bemelmans (1898–1962) is best remembered as the creator of the Madeline books. He grew up in Austria, emigrated to America in his youth, and became a U.S. citizen after serving in World War I. In addition to dozens of books for adults as well as children, Bemelmans wrote movie scripts and was an internationally renowned gourmet.

Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
By Edward McLachlan

Publisher's Synopsis: Simon enters the Land of Chalk Drawings, where his doodles spring to colorful life and join him in adventures that challenge his wits as well as his imagination. This exclusive collection comprises all four of author Edward McLachlan's Chalk stories, which served as the inspiration for the popular PBS and Nickelodeon animated shorts. In the Land of Chalk Drawings: An unfinished stick figure asks to be completed and introduces Simon to a host of other drawings that need his attention. Simon and the Chalk Drawing Army: Some soldiers have invaded the Land of Chalk Drawings and are making everyone drill to the point of exhaustion. With quick thinking, Simon finds a way to keep the soldiers busy, and the other drawings get a treat. Simon and the Moon Rocket: Simon flies to the moon, where he's forced to solve a mountain of sums. How can he finish them all and get away? Simon and the Dinosaur: All the children and animals have disappeared from the Land of Chalk Drawings ― they've been eaten by a dinosaur! Simon must rescue them and help the hungry dinosaur, too.
About Edward McLachlan: Hailed as "the cartoonist's cartoonist," Edward McLachlan has contributed cartoons to Punch, Private Eye, the London Evening Standard, New Statesman, Playboy, and many other periodicals. He has also worked for several book publishers, has drawn advertisements, and has designed and written more than 300 commercial advertising films for clients including Renault and Alka-Seltzer.
Sam and Emma
By Donald Nelsen and Edward Gorey

Publisher's Synopsis: A kind hound and a critical cat venture beyond their garden gate for a look at how other animals live in this winsome tale, which is charmingly illustrated by Edward Gorey. Emma the cat scorns the lunch offered by a trio of friendly beavers and laughs in the faces of a pair of porcupines, much to Sam the dog's consternation. Along come a couple of raccoons. Emma allows that they resemble cats, so they're not ugly, but decries their nocturnal habits. "Not even a dog would live like that," she declares — and now she's insulted long-suffering Sam, too. She didn't mean him, of course. Sam offers his feline friend a more balanced perspective and a gently irresistible appeal for tolerance, bringing this thought-provoking fable of friendship to a warm conclusion. Hardcover edition.

About Donald Nelsen and Edward Gorey: Indiana native Donald Nelsen has lived and worked in New York City for more than 50 years. In 1959 he was awarded a Fulbright grant to study painting in Paris, and upon his return to the United States he joined a design studio and began creating textile and wallpaper designs as well as painted wood carvings of everyday objects. Several of his oil paintings are on display at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
American author and artist Edward Gorey (1925–2000) combined whimsy and dark humor in such illustrated books as The Doubtful Guest, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and four Amphigorey anthologies. His distinctive style, featuring characters in Victorian dress in surrealistic settings, achieved wide recognition with his opening-sequence animation for the PBS Mystery! series.

I Need a New Butt
By Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird

Publisher's Synopsis: A young boy suddenly notices a big problem — his butt has a huge crack! So he sets off to find a new one. Will he choose an armor-plated butt? A rocket butt? A robot butt? Find out in this quirky tale of a tail, which features hilarious rhymes and delightful illustrations. Children and parents will love this book — no ifs, ands, or butts about it! "I can assure you right now that your kids will love this book. They will giggle, they will laugh, and they will want this book to be read over and over again because it is just plain silly and funny … the perfect kid-combo." — Storywraps

About Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird: Dawn McMillan writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and storybooks for children. She is also the author of Woolly Wally and Holy Socks. She lives in Waiomu, New Zealand.
Ross Kinnaird has illustrated such children's books as 50 Body Questions and the animated poem "Smaller," winner of the People's Choice Award at the World Parkinson's Congress. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


Dover Books (please use this tracking link when linking to Dover Books)


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