November 2014

Holiday Books For


written by Karma Wilson, illus. by Jane Chapman, (Margaret K. McElderry Books), 36p, Ages 3-7


written by Tony Johnston, illus. by Rich Deas, (Scholastic Books), 28p, Ages 3-5

Holiday Books for
4-8 Year Olds


written written by Lydia Maria Child, illus. by David Catrow, (Henry Holt & Co., Inc, 1996), 32p, Ages 4-7


written by Peggy Archer, illus. by Thor Wickstron, (Dial Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 4+


written & illus. by Dav Pilkey, (Orchard Books, 1990), 32p, Ages 4-8


TURK AND RUNT: A Thanksgiving Comedy
written by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Frank Ansley, (Aladdin), 32p, Ages 4-7

Holiday Books for
Ages 8-12


adapted by Elizabeth Spurr, illus. by Wendy Anderson Halperin, (Antheneum Books), 32p, Ages 7-10

Series for
Ages 8-12


THE LAND OF STORIES: The Wishing Spell
written by Chris Colfer, (Little Brown Books for Young Readers), 464p, Ages 10+

Series for
Ages 12+


THE LOST HERO: The Heroes of Olympus: Book One
written by Rick Riordan, (Hyperion Books), 576p, Ages 10-14


THE SECRET PRINCE: A Knightley Academy
written by Violet Haberdasher, (Aladdin Books), 512p, Ages 11-13


written by Roland Smith, (Scholastic Press), 160p, Ages 9-12

For more information on great children's literature for reading to children and by children, visit us at:

Bringing you
books that:

Touch the Heart,
Color the Imagination, and
Delight the Mind

Welcome to The Storytellers, a monthly newsletter of outstanding children's literature to read and read aloud from preschoolers to middle graders.

The holidays are before us, and what better way to enjoy it than with a great book. We hope that you enjoy our selections. They offer fun reads into adventure, families, folk literature, famous people, mysteries, humor, fantasy, concept books and science fiction.

For more information on reading to children, great books to read and read aloud, and a summer reading program, log on to our web site at


LITTLE GREEN PEAS: A Big Book of Colors
written/illus. by Keith Baker, (Beach Lane Books, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4424-7660-8), 40p, Ages 3-7

Keith Baker continues his ap-pea-ling presentation from the LMNO Peas series in a delightful concept book exploring nine colors: blue, red, yellow, orange, green, purple, silver, white, and black. "BLUE. Blue boats, blue seas, blue flags, and … little green peas." Busy little peas pilot boats, sun bathe, scuba dive, search for treasure, and build sandcastles. This charming and delightful concept book offers a seek-and-find adventure, featuring a ladybug, paper airplane, and a budding artist (the author's self-portrait?) for each color. The final page implies that peas may not be alone in the Universe. Simple rhymes, color concepts, and peas with abundant personalities and activities will entertain little ones for hours.


written/illus. by Leila Rudge, (Candlewick Press, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-7636-6781-8), 32p, Ages 3-7

"Ted had been at the pet store for as long as he could remember. He was a smart dog with his own sweater, and he did his best to make a good impression. But there were so many other dogs that nobody noticed Ted." Searching for recognition and value, Ted joins the circus (no one notices a sweater-clad dog balancing on a popcorn box), enters a pet contest (poodles are preferred), and becomes a guard dog (unnoticed by the burglars). About to give up, Ted notices a poster seeking a furry friend for a little girl. He applies for the job and thinks he has found his perfect place, until the girl takes him home to a household of over 20 very surprised cats. This sweet and humorous picture book, with its lovable and underappreciated hero, is a keeper.

Ages 4-8

A Written/illus. by William Joyce, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $16.99, ISBN 978-1442473492), 56p, Ages 3-6

In a drought-stricken kingdom, a small bean and a small ordinary boy decide to change their circumstances and help the King with his "stinky pinky" problem. The bean said, "All we need to do is dig hole. Put me in it. Smooth the dirt. Drip one drop of water and repeat some magic words three times." As the vine grows, jack and the pea pod encounter strange water pipes, bubbles, and a giant kid named Don taking an overlong bath to clean his "stinky pinky." Jack assists with the cleaning, the bath visit ends, the water stops, Jack returns home via the drain, the King's "stinky pinky" is scrubbed clean, and the kingdom enjoys water again. Dispensing with the scarier parts of the original fairy tale, kids will enjoy the little pea pod car, stinky toes, and the conclusion where Jack renames the Princess, which hints at the next altered fairy tale.


written by Kathryn Gibbs Davis, illus. by Gilbert Ford, (HMH Books for Young Readers, $17.99,
ISBN 978-0547959221), 40p, Ages 4-8

The 1893 World's Fair was coming to Chicago, and architects from around the country submitted ideas to outdo the previous fair's attraction of the Eiffel Tower. A mechanical engineer, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. won the contest by designing a "structure that would dazzle and move, not just stand still like the Eiffel Tower." Despite lack of financing, quicksand, and mockery, George and his crew persevere to design and build a giant circular steel structure, which would sustain the Chicago winds and become the first Ferris wheel in America. Additional information and facts to support the story are strategically placed in sidebars throughout. "Two steam engines (an extra one in case one broke) made the wheel turn. George had hidden them under the wooden platform where riders boarded." Sources, websites, and bibliography are included. Every child who has ever longed to ride a Ferris Wheel will enjoy this eye-opening story of George Ferris and his incredible mechanical marvel.


written/illus. by Jean-Fran├žois Dumont, (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, $16.00,
ISBN 978-0-8028-5470-4), 34p, Ages 4-8

Tired of being sheared, cold, and receiving shots, the sheep cause havoc on their farm by striking. Ralph, the sheepdog, tries to intervene, but the sheep stampede him claiming police brutality. "After that, he stayed in his doghouse and refused to talk with delegates from the flock." Opinions are divided with the farm animals taking sides (including insects and a snail). The sheep plan a protest, carry banners, and march for justice, while Ralph organizes the other sheepdogs to stop the protest and confrontation. After the fight, the protestors rethink their tactics. How an equitable compromise is reached, the sheep stay warm for the winter, and enjoy their wool make this humorous tale one that kids will thoroughly enjoy.

Ages 8-12

written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Kevin Cornell, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $12.99,
ISBN 978-1-4424-9679-8), 112p, Ages 7-10

The Chicken Squad's flier said: "You lost it. We find it. You broke it? We fix it. In trouble? We'll get you out. Looking for trouble? We'll bring it to you." Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie, the Chicken Squad, are back in their second misadventure, along with J. J. Tully, a retired search-and-rescue dog detective, who keeps an eye on "the four featherballs." When a Blue Jay requests help finding her missing home, the squad hilariously solves the problem with their usual zany logic. As a result, the Blue Jay learns about inches and feet, the squirrel learns to eat fruit, and the Chicken Squad learns to listen to Sweetie. Readers and listeners will love these goofy "featherballs" and their delightful stories.


written by Chris Colfer, illus. by Brandon Dorman, (Little Brown & Co., $18.00, ISBN 978-0-316-40681-9), 480p, Ages 9-12

"Fairies, listen well, / For there is truth in the sights we foretell, / 'Happily ever after' will not last, / When it's greeted by a threat from the past. / One by one, the kingdoms will fall apart, / From battles they'll lose and wars they'll start. / Fairy blood will be split by the gallons, / When you face the army of thousands." In this third installment in The Land of Stories series, the witches' prophesy unites twins Conner and Alex Bailey, their friends, and their enemies to prepare for the coming battle against a powerful two-hundred year old French army, a massive dragon, and the mysterious Masked Man. Magical castles, enchanted statues, Book Huggers, magic mirrors, kidnappings, blue poker chips, and a forgotten army conspire to make this series truly enchanting. A surprise conclusion will have readers eagerly awaiting the next installment.


MISTER MAX: The Book of Secrets
written by Cynthia Voight, illus. by Iacopo Bruno, (Alfred A. Knopf, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-307-97684-0), 370p, Ages 10-15

This second installment in the Mister Max triology finds 12-year-old Max Starling's reputation as a Solutioneer growing. His problem-solving abilities are still directed to finding his missing theatrical parents, but at the request of the mayor Max investigates vandalism and arson occurring around his city, a single dad's problem his son, and a lovely young girl's mysterious background. Using costumes from his parents closed theatre, Max plays various roles required in his solutioneering work. "He had dressed himself in the shabby brown suit of an unsuccessful suitor in The Adorable Arabella and stuffed a pillow under the bright blue waistcoat. With a round pork-pie hat set square on his head, he became Inspector Doddle, the unflappable, unassuming detective from An Impossible Crime." Although a loner and thinker, Max enlists help of family and friends to rescue and rehabilitate two kidnappers. As his maturity and competence grows, so does his independence, setting up the remaining case to rescue his parents from a small South American country.

Ages 12+

written by Robert Lipsyte, (Clarion Books, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-547-97335-7), 272p, Ages 11-14

"Your sons are fine boys, John, but they are only thirteen years old. They're our only chance, Dr. Traun. That's an emotional response, John. Primary People like us are supposed to be rational. The boys are half human. They don't understand why their Earths must be destroyed. Neither do I. That's why you're my prisoner." Thirteen-year-old twins, Tom and Eddie Canty, from The Twinning Project (2012) continue in their effort to rescue their alien dad, who is held prisoner by the evil Dr. Traun. Both Earth One from 2012, where Tom lives, and Earth Two from 1958, where Eddie lives, are set for destruction due to environmental and human negligence. With help from their friends, Tom and Eddie escape government agents, persuade alien councils, develop their unusual powers, rescue friends, and pilot alien space ships. Mark Twain quoting aliens, identity swaps, space and time travel, historical events, and snakes will entertain kids, even reluctant readers.

Over the years, we have researched thousands of children's books, and can recommend some of the best in outstanding children's literature for parents to read aloud and children to read. Our recommendations must meet certain criteria: fun, creative and imaginative stories, delightful illustrations, and excellent for age appropriate listening and reading. We hope that you enjoyed our recommendations. If you desire further information some of the best in children's literature, please visit our website,

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