Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Youngest Reader

The holiday shopping season is almost over as we begin counting down the few days left. But no fear, last-minute shoppers! Books make great presents for young readers, and this year we’ve shared several round-ups highlighting ideas for every kind of reader on your gift list. Cross off the last  people on your gift list and stock up on books that the children in your life will enjoy exploring again and again.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

To: The Youngest Reader
Board books are wonderful gifts to surprise and excite the youngest reader in your life this holiday season. Reading to the very young helps introduce early concepts and vocabulary to set a foundation for early learning skills. Durable, easy to hold, beautifully illustrated, and exceptionally fun, these board books are ideal stocking stuffers and perfect for exploring with a little one!



Whether or not your little one is experiencing snow for the first time this season, share this story about the magic of a snowy day and the outdoor activities in brings!

In this gently rhyming board book by Elizabeth Spurr, a young girl and her pet dog make a snowman, sled down the hill, and have other wintery fun! With vibrant and joyful illustrations by Manelle Oliphant, this board book is a perfect sit-in-your-lap reading experience for toddlers. This celebration of winter is sure to delight the little reader on your gift list.

Read an excerpt here.


“What a lot of friends! How many can you count?”

William Bee is at it again with another addition of Stanley’s fun adventures. What is Stanley up to this time? This busy little hamster has learned about shapes, colors, and opposites, and he is back to explore numbers! In order to plan a party with his friend Little Woo, Stanley must gather the right number of snacks and decorations for their picnic. Jell-O salad, picnic rugs, balloons, and much more are perfect for the party. So, help Stanley and Little Woo count out their supplies.

Avid fans of Stanley and friends will surely enjoy the continued journey of everyone’s favorite little hamster!



Looking for the best bedtime book to read to your little one? Well, look no further! John Butler’s board book introduces an array of baby animals being put to bed by their mothers and fathers. From tiny birds to young whales, from nests to the deep blue sea, the noisy animal kingdom settles down for a good night’s sleep.

This gentle bedtime story features an easy, rhyming text and beautifully evocative, detailed art that will soothe your sleepy loved one as you share with them the nightly routine of all living creatures.




Little Rabbit and his red balloon lead the way as the family heads to the amusement park for Little Rabbit’s birthday. So excited by the people, place, and sounds of the park, Little Rabbit claims he is a big rabbit now and wonders off from his parents. But when he suddenly finds himself all alone, he doesn’t feel quite so grown up anymore. What should Little Rabbit do?

Harry Horse’s colorful illustrations depict Little Rabbit’s growing excitement and bring to life the infectious atmosphere of the amusement park. Young readers will identify easily with the young character’s conflicting desire for independence and his need of loving supervision, and will cheer Little Rabbit’s triumphant reunion with his beloved family.


Find these titles and more at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble. Still looking for more great ideas? Our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide has even more gift recommendations for your little readers this holiday season!

Monday, December 4, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Winter/Holiday Enthusiast

The holiday season is moving quickly, and the time for gift giving is almost here! Books make great presents for young readers, and this year we’ll be sharing several round-ups highlighting ideas for every kind of reader on your gift list. To avoid the ever-dreaded holiday rush, stock up on books that the children in your life will enjoy exploring again and again.

To: The Winter/Holiday Enthusiast
The holiday season brings out a greatly anticipated enthusiasm for winter weather, family gatherings, the exchanging of gifts, holiday decorations, and even the most embarrassing, intricate outfits (ugly Christmas sweater for the win!). So, get in the mood this holiday season by not only enjoying old family traditions, but by also starting a new ones, like nestling close to the fire and sharing a good book. Snow days, songs, schemes, and skis are just a page-turn away!



Bradley Bartleby is bad. Very bad. Fed up with receiving socks for Christmas every year, the beastly Bradley decided enough was enough! If Santa won’t give him the gifts he wants, Bradley will just have to steal them. Bradley rigs his house as a trap for Santa Claus, sticking dynamite in the chimney, stealing tigers from the zoo, placing guillotines over the doors and windows, and even hiding trapdoors. Santa doesn’t stand a chance! Or does he? 

Johnathan Emmett’s exceptionally witty and quirky humor is sure to delight those kids that have a hankering for an unexpected holiday treat! Coupled with fantastic bold illustrations by Poly Bernatene, readers will enjoy this twisted Christmas tale told from a new and devious perspective. Make this hilarious read aloud a new tradition for the family!

Read an excerpt here and check out the fun activity sheets!



“Did the weatherman just say what I thought he did? Did he say…SNOW? Oh, please, let it snow. Lots and lots of snow.”

Have you ever experienced the anticipation and excitement of a snow day (or—for those who do not get snow—wished for one)? This narrator has and he is jumping for joy at the idea of no morning alarm and no rush to school; staying in PJs all day and watching the snow fall in white heaps; playing outside, reading a book, and watching TV. But in the morning when there is no snow to be found and everyone rushes to get to school, this family experiences an unexpected twist!

Young readers won’t be the only ones who delight in Lester Laminack’s fun spin on a familiar childhood scenario. Get lost in Adam Gustavson’s beautiful illustrations and charm the young reader in your life with a wonderfully imagined day of snow!

Read an excerpt here.


Meet Claude. He’s no ordinary dog—he leads an extraordinary life! What will he do next? This holiday season join Claude as he and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock go to the Snowy Mountains to swish down the powdery slopes. They throw snowballs, learn to ski, and enter a snow-sculpture contest. But when an avalanche threatens their winter wonderland, Claude must come to the rescue!

Written and Illustrated by Alex Latimer, Claude on the Slopes is a perfect addition to any young reader’s early chapter book collection. With a hilarious plot and well-crafted illustrations, Latimer brings Claude’s extraordinary world to life! Share this future favorite with your adventure-hungry reader and join them as they laugh out loud at the exciting story of this winter-happy pup!

Read an excerpt here.


Based on true events from the Christmas Truce of World War I, Christmas in the Trenches commemorates the story of Francis Tolliver and his fellow British soldiers in the muddy trenches along the Western Front. Their German enemies lie in wait just across a field known as “No Man’s Land.” As both armies exchange carols back and forth, a figure emerges, carrying a small Christmas tree with lighted candles. Soon the British and the German armies leave the war behind and gather in the open field to ring in the holiday together. 

Adapted by award-winning songwriter John McCutcheon from his song of the same name, and reinforced by Henri Sørensen’s traditional, full-color oil paintings, Christmas in the Trenches will be a new classic for the family to enjoy. With a CD featuring readings of the story and recordings of “Silent Night” and “Christmas in the Trenches,” this title is sure to satisfy the historian and the winter enthusiast in your family!


Find these titles and more at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble. Still looking for more great ideas? Our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide has even more gift recommendations for your little readers this holiday season!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Highlights of 2017: Stars, Awards, and Best Books

2017 has been a great year so far! We had some amazing books come out this past spring and fall, and it looks like others agree! Here are some of our titles that have received high praise and been included on best books lists as 2017 heads to a close.



êPublishers Weekly
êSchool Library Journal
êKirkus Reviews
êBooklist

School Library Journal Best Nonfiction Books of 2017
Publishers Weekly Best Middle Grade Books of 2017
Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Nonfiction Books of 2017 
Booklist Editors' Choice Best of Youth Titles of 2017
Junior Library Guild Best Books of 2017
Orbis Pictus Recommended Book 




Monday, November 27, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Promising Poet

The holiday season is moving quickly with shopping season officially in full swing, and the time for gift giving is almost here! Books make great presents for young readers, and this year we’ll be sharing several round-ups highlighting ideas for every kind of reader on your gift list. To avoid the ever-dreaded holiday rush, stock up on books that the children in your life will enjoy exploring again and again.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

To: The Promising Poet

Have a child that is a big lover of words and maybe even poetry? This poetic roundup will give you some gift ideas for that quickly approaching holiday deadline! Riddles, rhymes, and poetic inspiration can be found on every page, with captivating illustrations to keep readers engaged. No matter the subject, pick up a lively, lyrical story that will delight the promising poet in your young reader!



Jill Nogales’s rhythmic prose features a fierce Lion and quick-footed Zebra. After a slight misstep, Zebra is on the go, with Lion in hot pursuit! What will happen next?

Lorraine Rocha’s bright illustrations bring the big top to life (she’s even hidden some monkeys in each spread for readers to find), crafting a brilliant stage for such an exciting read. Who said the circus can’t be festive? With fun vocabulary and a rollicking chase through nearby streets, Zebra on the Go is a lively read aloud and a sure winner with any fun-loving child!

Read an excerpt here and check out the fun activity kit!


With messages of determination and hope, Don Tate's Poet is a remarkable ode to George Moses Horton’s journey from learning how to read to becoming the first southern, African American man to be published, all while still enslaved. After he is given his first book, a book of hymns, George’s curiosity for learning grows, transforming into a passion for writing poetry.

Any reader with a love for words will be captivated by this poet’s powerful story. Share a picture book that will inspire your young bibliophile this holiday season!

Download a free poster and check out the poetry workshop here.



Raúl Colón’s whimsical and imaginative illustrations cast readers into the childhood of young Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra—the writer of Don Quixote, the first modern novel. This fictionalized first-person biography, written in verse by award winning Young People's Poet Laureate Margarita Engle, describes how young Miguel found refuge from his difficult childhood by imagining the adventures of a brave but clumsy knight, which ultimately influenced his writing of Don Quixote.

Each poem is skillfully rendered in Colón's stunning illustrations that will captivate children with each turn of the page. Inspire a young reader’s imagination and love of poetry by adding this title to your gift list this year!

Read an excerpt here and download a free poster!



Never has learning about the body been more fun! Written by Leslie Bulion and illustrated by Mike Lowery, Random Body Parts takes readers on an exploration of the human body by using laugh-out-loud riddles. With anatomical, poetic, and visual clues, readers have to figure out the riddle to guess which body part is featured in each poem, then they can read the science notes to check their powers of riddle reasoning. There are even hints from the greatest poet of them all—William Shakespeare!

For both right- and left-brained readers alike, Random Body Parts finds the perfect sweet spot between science and poetry. The varying poetry forms and interesting facts make this book entertaining as well as educational.


Find these titles and more at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble. Still looking for more great ideas? Our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide has even more gift recommendations for your little readers this holiday season!

Monday, November 20, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Animal Aficionado

The holiday season is moving quickly and the time for gift giving is just around the corner! Books make great presents for young readers, and this year we’ll be sharing several round-ups highlighting ideas for every kind of reader on your gift list. To avoid the ever-dreaded holiday rush, stock up on books that the children in your life will enjoy exploring again and again.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

To: The Animal Aficionado

Is the little one in your life asking for a pet this holiday? Give your animal enthusiast the next best thing—a book featuring animals! These books will surely make it easier to check one more person off of your holiday gift list this year.


Captured in beautifully soft illustrations and well-crafted words, Jo Weaver’s Little One, invites you on a journey with a mother bear and her new cub, discovering the seasons side by side. Together they eat, swim, fish, and play, until winter arrives and it is time to head home to hibernate.

Perfect as a bedtime read aloud, the gentle text and stunning black and white illustrations reveal the wonder of nature, the first steps of independence, and the strength of parental love. Give this special book to the little one in your life this holiday and enjoy it together through every season.

Read an excerpt here.



Written and illustrated by dynamic duo Cathryn and John Sill, About Birds is a nonfiction beginner’s guide for any young readers who love nature and birds. The simple text, paired with the beautifully detailed illustrations, introduces young readers to the diverse and natural world of birds and their basic characteristics. 

Also available with bilingual text, give this book to the budding naturalist in your life, and you’ll find them inspired to look skyward. 

Read an excerpt here


Madeline Finn does not like reading. But to get a gold star from her teacher, Madeline Finn has to understand the words she reads and be able to read them out loud. That’s where Bonnie comes in! Bonnie is a library dog that helps Madeline Finn take her time shows her that reading can be fun. When she fumbles on words, Bonnie listens patiently.

Snuggle up this holiday season with your child and the family pet (or favorite stuffed animal), and relish in the magic of this sweet friendship.

Read an excerpt here



Cat-lovers rejoice: Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright’s collaborative work brings to life a story of an unlikely friendship between an alley cat and an inn-keeping mouse. Skilley and Pip strike a deal that will have Skilley, the cat, off the streets and provide Pip, the mouse, with protection from bigger prey. What will happen to their friendship when a big challenge has been thrown their way?

This playful homage to Charles Dickens, with masterful illustrations by Barry Moser, will delight any animal-obsessed child with a fondness in historical settings. Give the gift of adventure in a book that will transport your children to a new time and place, while they explore the meaning of friendship and loyalty—all with animals!

Read an excerpt here.

Find these titles and more at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble. Still looking for more great ideas? Our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide has even more gift recommendations for your little readers this holiday season!

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Budding Activist

The holiday season is moving quickly and the time for gift giving is upon us! Books make great presents for young readers, and this year we’ll be sharing several round-ups highlighting ideas for every kind of reader on your gift list. To avoid the ever-dreaded holiday rush, stock up on books that the children in your life will enjoy exploring again and again.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

To: The Budding Activist

Books inspire so many different things in young readers: creativity, kindness, curiosity. Foster your child's passion for community, the environment, and making a difference in the world! Give a special gift to the “budding activist” in your life and alleviate the shopping stress by checking off one of these titles on that holiday list! From offering kindness and lending a helping hand to protecting wildlife, these stories are sure to encourage the incredible power of activism in young readers.



Drasko is happy to help his father with his flower stand in the Sarajevo marketplace. But war is encroaching, and Drasko must run the stand alone. One morning, a nearby bakery is bombed and twenty-two people are killed. The next day Drasko witnesses a cellist walk to the bombsite and play the most heartbreaking music anyone can imagine. The cellist returns for twenty-two days, one day for each victim of the bombing. Inspired by the cellist's actions, Drasko also seeks a way to help restore beauty in his city in the face of violence.

Based on true events of the Bosnian War, John McCutcheon delivers a powerful and uplifting tale of a young boy who acts to affect change. There is always a way to be a hero, no matter how big or small! In addition, enjoy the included CD in which cellist Vedran Smailovic accompanies McCutcheon and performs the song he played in 1992 to honor those who died in the Sarajevo mortar blast. This hopeful story will surely inspire the  social activist on your gift list this holiday season. 

Read an excerpt here and listen to a sample clip of John McCutcheon's original song "Streets of Sarajevo."



Jane's heart always ached for those who are less fortunate and knew she wanted to help somehow. “So Jane promised herselfwhen she grew up, she would buy a big house to share with people in need.” And she did! In Chicago, Jane established the Hull House, where people could come and receive schooling, childcare, work, friendship, and hope. But with the threat of World War I in Europe looming, what could Jane do to stop a war?

Read all about Jane Addams's inspiring actions in Suzanne Slade's energetic and heartening picture book biography. While Jane's world efforts for peace won her the title "Most Dangerous Woman in America" by the FBI, she eventually became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This read will truly change the way the young reader in your life thinks about the impact of generosity and kindness!

Read an excerpt here and download a free poster!



When his father takes a new job in Massachusetts, Ben must leave behind his best friend Tony, a western banded gecko named Lenny, and worst of all, the Arizona desert home he has loved and explored. Having trouble finding his place in a new school, Ben enters into an unlikely friendship with his eccentric fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Tibbets, who owns land that is home to the rare and elusive Eastern spadefoot toads. When Ben learns developers have bought the property, he realizes he must do something to save the toads. Even the smallest efforts can make a difference. 

This environmentally minded middle grade novel, a recipient of the Green Earth Book Award, comes from renowned storyteller and two-time Grammy Award winner Bill Harley. Harley’s delightful story explores the powerful impact of our actions on the world around us. What a wonderful way to satisfy and motivate the aspiring environmentalist on your holiday list!

Read an excerpt here.



This thorough and thought-provoking book tells the little-known story of the 4,000 black elementary, middle, and high school students who voluntarily went to jail between May 2 and May 11, 1963 as part of the 1963 Birmingham Children's March. These children had succeeded—where adults had failedin desegregating one the most violent cities in America. Though it seemed all odds were against them, these children were able to cause major change!

Author Cynthia Levinson's extensive research and in-depth one-on-one interviews come together to offer a personal perspective of the Birmingham Children’s March. Levinson skillfully recreates the inspirational tale of four young people by shedding light on an lesser-known view of one of the most powerful moments during the civil rights movement. This book is perfect for budding activists looking for inspiration from actions of real children who made a difference in history.

Read an excerpt here and download a free poster!


Find these titles and more at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble. Still looking for more great ideas? Our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide has even more gift recommendations for your little readers this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Educators and Students: Meet Fault Lines in the Constitution

Fault Lines in the Constitution has been a big hit this season! With 4 starred reviews, and inclusion in Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2017 list, it's clear that readers are enjoying this "timely and thought-provoking" look at the Constitution. After her various presentations to educators and their students, author Cynthia Levinson agreed to provide more insight into how these readers were using this book in the classroom.



Since it was published in September 2017, Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today has gotten quite a lot of attention from teachers, librarians, and even students. My favorite question-from-a-kid was lobbed at us (“us” consists of my co-author/husband Sandy Levinson and me) at a bookstore event. Even before we spoke, she asked, “How do you know enough about the Constitution to write a book?” In other words, “Why should I believe you?”

I love that she was questioning authority from the outset. Her teachers have probably taught her to check her sources and make sure they’re credible. Great! Fortunately, she was convinced we’re legit when I told her that Sandy teaches Constitutional Law at the University of Texas and Harvard Law Schools and has written multiple books on the subject.





Amy Shine Jones, a high school Civics and History teacher in Haverhill, Massachusetts, pointed out that many teens have a facility for spotting deception and that Chapter 5 of Fault Lines would especially appeal to them. Not because it’s fake! Rather, this chapter, titled “How to Cherry-pick Voters,” shows how politicians “gerrymander” the shapes, sizes, and constituents of Congressional districts so their party will win as many seats in the House of Representatives as possible.

“It’s good for discussing fairness,” Jones said, adding that teens love to debate. “The book has lots of areas that are hotly contested.”

We witnessed just such a disagreement among teachers while they talked about the book at a gathering for law students and community members. Dan Carpenter, a professor at Harvard, supported the idea of national-level referendums—the ability of citizens to adopt or veto laws without going through Congress—which is discussed in Chapter 7. If the State of Ohio allows it, he asked, why not the federal government?

Shep Melnick, on the other hand, a professor at Boston College, argued that the Constitution should not allow for referendums. Direct democracy “takes power away from elected politicians, who are supposed to balance” the views of their constituents, he said.

These two profs spontaneously demonstrated that Fault Lines promotes what Melnick called “civil political discourse,” which is not common these days. Carpenter said the book is filled with such “teachable moments.” 



Jones predicted that students would get into meaningful arguments about the Preamble—how well do we “establish justice,” for example?—if they were asked to grade the Constitution both before they read Fault Lines and then again afterward. We give the Constitution a grade at the end of the book, based on how well we think it meets the goals set out in the Preamble. Teachers often give pre-tests and post-tests. What do you think: Would the Constitution get a better or worse grade after it’s taught?



Leezia Dhalla
Jones also appreciated the stories that open each chapter. Pointing to the one about a Dreamer—an undocumented young woman named Leezia Dhalla who desperately wishes to become a legal resident—she said they “give teens someone to identify with.” The problems aren’t abstract; they affect real people, like the students themselves.

Above all, Jones said, kids want to make a difference. In Fault Lines, they can see, she said, that “average citizens have helped shape the Constitution and the government. It shows that teens can become agents of change.” That is our highest hope for this book.



Teachers can use these and other ideas by looking at Peachtree’s Discussion Guide.

Teachers, librarians, and students can join the conversation right now by registering for our blog at https://faultlinesintheconstitution.com/. One of our posts focuses on three teenagers who are running for governor in Kansas and a thirteen-year-old who is running for the same office in Vermont.




They can also enter our Blog-a-Fault-Line Contest
Here’s how:

First, students should read Fault Lines in the Constitution (Peachtree Publishers/Listening Library) and the authors’ blog (www.faultlinesintheconstitution.com). Then, they write a blog post relating a current event or issue to a topic in the book or to a flaw they see in the US Constitution.

Entries can take a stand, propose alternatives, or raise questions for discussion. They should not be politically partisan.

Two winning blog posts will be featured on www.faultlinesintheconstitution.com, and each winner’s school will receive a free 20-minute Skype visit with co-authors Cynthia and Sanford Levinson!


How to enter

Guidelines
  • Contest is open to students ages 10-18.
  • Each blog post should be a maximum of 550 words.
  • Winning entries may be edited by Cynthia and Sanford Levinson and by Peachtree Publishers, with edits approved by the student, before publication.

Prizes
  • Two sets of prizes will be awarded—one for students ages 10-13 and one for students ages 14-18.
  • Each winner’s school will receive a free 20-minute Skype visit with the book’s co-authors.
  • The winners’ blogs will be posted on www.faultlinesintheconstitution.com.
And, when they’re done, they can proudly wear a sticker that says, “I Am Constitutionally Literate.”


Get your copy of Fault Lines in the Constitution at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble! And check out our website for great resources, including an excerpt, a discussion guide, a Q&A with authors Cynthia and Sanford Levinson, and more!

Monday, November 6, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Fairytale Fanatic

The holiday season is moving quickly and the time for gift giving is upon us! Books make great presents for young readers, and this year we’ll be sharing several round-ups highlighting ideas for every kind of reader on your gift list. To avoid the ever-dreaded holiday rush, stock up on books that the children in your life will enjoy exploring again and again.


To: The Fairytale Fanatic
We’re kicking off our gift guide round-ups with some of our “fractured fairytale” titles that any young fairytale fanatic will love. Regardless if your reader knows the classics, these picture books are sure to delight even the biggest fairytale fan. Quirky characters, enchanted tales, and wickedly good fun await!



A fun new spin on the traditional tale of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” author-illustrator Alex Latimer brings us this fun and quirky twist. Tim is the only one who sees the strange things going on in the house. And no one believes him! To prove his parents wrong—and lighten his chore load—Tim plans to uncover the stealthy perpetrator.

This picture book will have your children giggling at the zany fun. There are even time-traveling monkeys involved! Share the gift of this outrageous tale and inspire your kids to concoct their own adventure this holiday season.

Read an excerpt here.


Fairy tales are just stories—or so Princess Martha believes. But when her sisters meet a talking frog, they’re convinced that giving him the royal treatment will turn him into Prince Charming. Smart and spunky Martha sets out to expose the talking amphibian for what he really is—a cunning, but ordinary, frog. As Martha tries to convince her sisters that “just because it’s in a book doesn’t mean it’s true,” she might end up learning that lesson for herself! Charming good fun, Johnathan Emmett’s story of uncovering the truth is beautifully crafted with bright, quirky illustrations by Poly Bernatene. 

Kids will love learning what it means to double check the facts and trust others in this fantastical spin on the classic “The Frog Prince!” 

Check out the activity sheets to continue the fun!





“Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn’t know coffee beans about love and marriage.”


When Martina the cockroach is ready to choose a husband, her grandmother gives her some shocking and unexpected advice. After watching potential suitors fail her abuela’s Coffee Test, Martina wonders if she will ever find true love. But what happens when she offers the last suitor some café Cubano? Illustrator Michael Austin captures this fantastic Cuban folktale in gorgeous fashion, making the pictures as enjoyable as the words on the page. 

Get lost in the richness of Carmen Agra Deedy’s take on the classic Cuban tale during the holidays with a copy of this unique rendition, available in English, Spanish, and audio. You may look at cockroaches differently when you’re done!

Read an excerpt here.

Rapunzel isn’t like the others. She’s may be small but she’s curious, exceptionally clever, and definitely not easily frightened. Join daring Rapunzel on her quest to outsmart the witch and free herself (no males rescuers needed here)! Bethan Woollvin’s captivating twist on a classic fairytale, with eye-popping and fun illustrations, is perfect for any fearless reader. 

Make the holiday season memorable by fueling their love of strong, spunky, and independent characters. Treat your kids to this wickedly good story! Read an excerpt here.

If you love the empowering twist in Rapunzel, be sure to check out Woollvin’s equally feisty Little Red, a 2016 New York Times best-illustrated children's book! Read an excerpt here.


Find these titles and more at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & NobleStill looking for more great ideas? Our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide has even more gift recommendations for your little readers this holiday season!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

National Cat Day Round-up: Best Children's Books for Cat Lovers

October 29 marks National Cat Day and gives you the purr-fect excuse to curl up with a furry friend and a new book. Nap-loving felines are ideal reading companions, can be attentive listeners as you read aloud, or just stay in your lap while you finish one more chapter. We have a wide range of cat books, from pictures books about cats in trees, to middle readers about cats in England. So, find a cat, grab a book, and celebrate National Cat Day! (P.S. we tried to keep the puns to a minimum, but we can't make any paw­­-misses.)

If You See a Kitten
by John Butler
An ideal read-aloud for very young children, this book cues a variety of reactions after the discovery of each new animal. Opening with the question of what you say “If you see a cuddly kitten…” kids will quickly become engaged with the gentle illustrations and interactive format of this picture book.

My G-r-r-r-reat Uncle Tiger
by James Riordan
illustrated by Alex Ayliffe
Once Marmaduke the tabby cat sees a picture of a tiger, he decides they must be related. Accompanied by his other feline friends, Marmaduke travels to the zoo to find meet many of his relatives, including his “Grrreat Uncle Tiger.” This book puts a purr-sonal twist on adventure, prompting readers to think about who our families are.

Where is Catkin?
by Janet Lord
illustrated by Julie Paschkis
Join mischievous Catkin as he explores the great outdoors and follows animal sounds, until he gets stuck in a tree and needs someone to hear him! The story’s seek-and-and element complements the vivid illustrations created from patterns and shapes found in nature. This a-mew­­-sing story about a curious cat will entertain readers of all ages.

Three Scoops and a Fig
by Sara Laux Akin
illustrated by Sara Kathleen Hartung
When all of Sophia’s family tells her she is too little to help prepare food for dinner, she finds comfort sitting in the fig tree and snuggling with her kitty, Figaro (named after the author’s parent’s cat). A gust of wind comes by and sparks Sophia’s inspiration, helping her create the perfect dessert to share with her grandparents! Sophia’s determination to help and the friendship of her trusty Figaro make a seemingly im-paw-ssible situation fun again.

I Am Tama, Lucky Cat
by Wendy Henrichs
illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi
A gentle monk takes in a stray cat and names him Tama, Lucky Cat. While Tama watches as his owner teaches Buddha’s way and show great generosity, he learns his own kindness. When a thunderstorm comes, Tama’s kindness and luck combine to save the life of a passing warlord. Beautiful water colors help retell this Japanese legend for today’s audiences, highlighting the regality and compassionate nature of cats. Enjoy with the furry (or hairless) feline companions in your life. Author Wendy Henrichs even has two cats of her own!

Old Tom's Holiday
by Leigh Hobbs
After winning an all-expense paid vacation, Angela leaves her pet cat, Old Tom, at home, but she can’t help but think of him at every moment. When the two friends are suddenly reunited, they are able to fully enjoy the trip, together. This book’s humorous description of a furry friendship is great choice for pet owners of all ages to share with their four-legged friends (even though the author is actually allergic to cats!), revealing the excitements and difficulties of owning a cat.

Old Tom, Man of Mystery
by Leigh Hobbs
Angela and Old Tom are back! When Angela starts to get overworked, she decides her pet cat Old Tom should start helping clean up around the house. But instead of sweeping and washing, Old Tom—with all his cat-itude—disguises himself as the Man of Mystery, starting an adventure that even Angela can’t ignore. Readers will love following Old Tom on his adventures and being reminded of all the fun cats add to our lives.

Tiger in My Soup
by Kashmira Sheth
illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
While their mom is away, a younger brother pleads for his older sister to read to him. She refuses and keeps her nose in her own book. But when he conjures up a sinister tiger in his soup and still can’t get his sister’s attention, he must fight it alone. Leaping into the wilder and bigger side of the cat family with bright images and fun perspectives on each page, this book is sure to excite!

Cats Vanish Slowly
by Ruth Tiller
illustrated by Laura Seeley
There are many different types of cats on Grandma’s farm. Discover each of their purr-sonalities through these twelve concise yet engaging poems. Watch the cats nap and meow and vanish into the shadows around them. Using poetry, Tiller provides a gentler, more artful glance at the cats we may see every day. The book’s description of the many dif-fur-ent types and manners of cats make this a great choice when you’re looking for a true feline-fix.

The Cheshire Cheese Cat
by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright
illustrated by Barry Moser
“It was the best of toms. It was the worst of toms.”

Skilley, an alley cat, strikes up a deal to protect Pip, a mouse, in return for a job at the Cheshire Cheese Inn. But, when cat and mouse are drawn into a crisis that could end in cat-astrophe, the Inn, the British monarchy, and their friendship is at stake. Set in Victorian England, The Cheshire Cheese Cat pays homage to Charles Dickens, who was once quoted saying, “What greater gift than the love of a cat.” This middle reader chapter book’s themes of felines and friendship make it a great reader for any animal lover.