July/August 2016



Preschoolers
Great Books from 2015

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LITTLE BIG
written/illus. by Jonathan Bentley, (Eerdmans Books, 2015), 32p, Ages 3-6

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PENGUIN'S BIG ADVENTURE
written/illus. by Salina Yoon, (Bloomsbury Books, 2015), 40p, Ages 3-6

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SOON
written by Timothy Knapman, illus. by Patrick Benson, (Candlewick Press, 2015), 40p,Ages 2-5

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TWO MICE
written/illus. by Sergio Ruzzier, (Clarion Books, 2015), 32p, Ages 3-7



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Ages 4-8
Great Books from 2015

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LITTLE ELLIOT BIG FAMILY
written/illus. by Mike Curato, (Henry Holt, 2015), 40p, Ages 4-7

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AMAZING ANIMALS:
A Nature Adventure

Illus. by Peter David Scott, written by Rachael Williams, (Silver Dolphin Books, 2015), 64p, Ages 4-8

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WINNIE:
The True Story of the
Bear Who Inspired
Winnie-the-Pooh

written by Sally M. Walker, illus. by Jonathan D. Voss, Henry Holt & Co., 2015), 40p, Ages 6-9

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EMU
written by Claire Saxby, illus. by Graham Byrne, (Candlewick Press, 2015), 32p, Ages 5-8





Ages 8-12
Great Books from 2015
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FIREFLY HOLLOW
written by Alison McGhee, illus. by Christopher Denise, (Simon & Schuster, 2015), 304p, Ages 8-12

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MALCOLMN UNDER THE STARS
written by W. H. Beck, illus. by Brian lies, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), 272p, Ages 10+

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MS. RAPSCOTT'S GIRLS
written/illus. by Elise Primavera, (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015), 272p, Ages 8-12

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OLGA DA POLGA
written by Michael Bond, illus. by Catherine Rayner, (Kane Miller, 2015), 176p, Ages 8-10





Ages 10-14
Great Books from 2015
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THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING
written by Jeanne Birdsall, (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2015), 352p, Ages 9-12

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SHADOWS OF SHERWOOD
written by Kekla Magoon, (Bloomsbury Books, 2015), 368p, Ages 10-14





Ages 12-15
Great Books from 2015
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STOLEN MOON
written by Rachel Searles, (Feiwel and Friends, 2015), 368p, Ages 11-14





Ages 14-18
Great Books from 2015
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KNIFE EDGE (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins)
written by Andrew Lane, (Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books, 2015), 320p, Ages 14-18

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ROOK
written by Sharon Cameron, (Scholastic Press, 2015), 464p, Ages 15+



 






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

www.tchliteracy.com

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 teens.

The best children's books contain imaginative stories, memorable characters, beautiful illustrations, and lyrical language. Well-written stories should contain heroes and role models to imitate. Whatever the genre, a great book should be an enjoyable read, and contain heart, humor, hope, and a happy ending, In addition, for older readers the best stories help others and make the world a better place.

The Dog Days of summer are here, and what better time than this to relax with stories full of laughter, mystery, fun, and a little politics for older kids. Books are not a substitute for life, but a greater life can be experienced because of them.

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 www.tchliteracy.com.


Preschool
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1 BIG SALAD
written/illus. by Juana Medina, (Viking Children's Books, $17.99, June 2016,
ISBN 978-1-101-99974-5), 32p, Ages 3-6

Delicious garden vegetables and fruits are transformed into delightful animals in this whimsical counting book. In teaching children about healthy eating, the vegetables and fruits are given arms, legs, ears, heads, antlers, and wings. From one Avocado Deer and two Radish Mice to nine Romaine Dogs and ten Clementine Kittens, the ingredients cavort across the pages to the counting of one to ten. Kids will love the Tomato Turtles, Cucumber Alligators, Flying Walnuts, and Radicchio Lions. The counting finishes with a wooden bowl featuring delicious vegetables and fruits. A recipe for dressing features a pepper shaker bird, lemon pigs, and porcupine bowl of olive oil. All in all, this clever concept book is a nutritious and educational must for all preschoolers.

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I'M A HUNGRY DINOSAUR
written by Janeen Brian, illus. by Ann James, (Kane Miller, $11.99, Jun. 2016, ISBN 978-1-61067-461-4), 22p, Ages 3

After the little dinosaur from I'm a Dirty Dinosaur (2014) cleans up, he's hungry. With flour, cocoa, icing, and sprinkles, he mixes and pours the ingredients for a cake in a pan and slides it into the oven. "I'm a hungry dinosaur, / oh, the cake looks nice. / I'll chomp and chew / a piece or two…maybe one more slice!" The kitchen is a mess and the little is dinosaur filthy, but that doesn't deter him from baking another yummy cake, as he and his little bird friend settle down in front of the oven to wait.

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BEARS IN A BAND
written by Shirley Parenteau, illus. by David Walker, (Candlewick Press, $15.99, Feb. 2016,
ISBN 978-0-7636-8147-0), 32p, Ages 2-5

The four adorable bears, from the "Bears on Chairs" series, decide to take up music. Using cymbals, bells, horn, and drums, they play noisily, but run into problems since they cannot read music. Their fun comes to a halt, when they wake up Big Brown Bear. "The big bear rushes / into the room. / The racket stops / with a small ka-boom." Big Brown Bear joins the group with a ladle baton and sets the beat with guidance and harmony. "A ripple of bells, / a drumroll, and now / the musical bears / share an elegant bow."

 
Ages 4-8
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BLUE & BERTIE
written/illus. by Kristyna Litten, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99. June 2016,
ISBN 978-1-4814-6154-2), 32p, Ages 4-7

Bertie, a yellow giraffe, leads a simple life. He eats leaves, slurps water, and naps with the herd, until one day he awakes and finds himself alone. "Soon big, salty tears were rolling down his cheeks. How was Bertie going to get home?" Then he encounters Blue, a lonely giraffe, who offers to show Bertie the way home. Along the way, Bertie is given a marvelous introduction into the world of rarest flowers, colorful birds, and a galloping herd of zebras. When they reach Bertie's herd, Blue finally finds a home where he is accepted in spite of being different. "From then on, the herd still crunched and sipped and snoozed. But now they saw things a little bit differently each day."

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ME AND ANNIE MC PHEE
written by OIivier Dunrea, illus. by Will Hillenbrand, (Dial Books, $16.99, June 2016,
ISBN 978-0-399-16808-6), 32p, Ages 4-6

"In the middle of the sea, / as far as the eye could see, / there was nothing to see but sea. / Nothing but sea and / one tiny island just big enough for me / Just big enough for me and Annie McPhee, / who was no bigger than me." In this cumulative counting and rhyming tale, a desert island with two curious monkeys quickly becomes more populated, as animals pop out from behind trees, rocks, and a volcano. Adding to the cumulative verse with each turn of a page, kids will find "two wee dogs who thought they were frogs," "three perky pigs all wearing wigs," and "four frumpy hens hunched with their pens." By the time "ten rascally rats skipping in hats" come prancing in, Annie McPhee shouts that the island is too crowded, and they hitch a ride with a passing whale. Kids will love the pink snails, sleep-walking sheep in stripped nightshirts, and baby geese all named Maurice. Funny and fun for all, kids will enjoy this light, repetitious, silliness, which is just perfect for reading aloud.

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A BIG SURPRISE FOR LITTLE CARD
written by Charise Mericle Harper, illus. by Anna Raff, (Candlewick Press, $17.99, Feb. 2016,
ISBN 978-0-7636-7485-4), 40p, Ages 4-7

Little card lives with a variety of other cards, destined to become postcards, price tags, prize tickets, and folders. "Only two cards didn't know what their grown-up jobs would be. Little Card and Long Card were still waiting for their special letters to arrive." When their letters come, there is a mix-up, and Little Card, who loves games, presents, and songs, trains to become a birthday card. The mistake is corrected, and Little Card learns that he is destined to become a library card for a little girl named Alex. And the best part? While birthdays come only once a year, libraries are open all year long, and any day can be "Happy Library Day!" Kids will enjoy this little guy's exuberance and his love of snacks, games, and books.

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THE HOLE STORY OF THE DOUGHNUT
written by Pat Miller, illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, May 2016,
ISBN 978-0-544-31961-5, 40p, Ages 6-9

In 1844 at the age of 13, Hanson Crockett Gregory began a career aboard the schooner, Isaac Achorn as a cabin boy. By 1847 Henry was a cook's assistant and frying cakes for the crew's breakfast. The cakes were called "sinkers." "Their raw centers, heavy with grease, made them drop like cannonballs in the stomach." When Henry cut a hole in the middle of the cake with the lid from a pepper tin, then fried the cake in boiling lard, the doughnut was created. "Sighs of delight rose from above the noisy sea. A new breakfast tradition was born." Ironically Hanson Crockett Gregory will not be remembered for his illustrious sailing skills or bravery in rescuing sailors at sea, but rather the invention of "holey cakes" or doughnuts. Endpapers include information on the many colorful legends surrounding the origin of the doughnut over the years, his missing gravestone for 20 years, a timeline of Captain Henry's life, the Great Doughnut Debate, and honors he received as inventor of the hole in the doughnut. Semaphore flags on the copyright page spell out "eat doughnuts."

 
Ages 8-12
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THE STORYTELLER
written/illus. by Evan Turk, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers), $18.99. June 2016,
ISBN 978-1-4814-3518-5), 48p, Ages 6-9

"Long, long ago, like a pearl around a grain of sand, the fertile Kingdom of Morocco formed near the edge of the great, dry Sahara. It had fountains of cool, delicious water to quench the dangerous thirst of the desert, and storytellers to bring the people together." As the people prospered and the kingdom grew, they forgot the dangers of the desert and the storytellers who brought the people together. Soon the storytellers died out and the fountains dried up, until a young boy arrives in the Great Square in search of water and finds the last storyteller perched on the last fountain. As the storyteller begins to tell a series of tales about the Endless Draught, the Glorious Blue Water Bird, and the Miraculous Yarn, the boy finds his bowl miraculously filled with water. Each part of the tale ends with a cliffhanger, and the boy returns each day to hear the next story, until the fountain is replenished. When a massive sandstorm in the form of a djinn threatens to destroy the city, the boy becomes the storyteller. Tricking the djinn into returning for another tale, the people unite to fill all their fountains, save the city, and defeat the djinn. The art of complex storytelling of a story within a story will hopefully inspire a new generation of storytellers. In the Author's Note, Evan Turk informs readers that Morocco's storytellers are disappearing and in danger of being replaced by TV and the internet. He also reminds readers of an old Moroccan saying, "When a storyteller dies, a library burns."

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INTO THE WILD: Yet Another Adventure
written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Stephen Gilpin, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, May 2016,
ISBN 978-1-4814-5046-1), 112p, Ages 7-10

The Chicken Squad's third adventure finds Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie investigating a mysterious new cage on stilts in their yard. Sugar is positive that their new neighbor is up to no good, but after a short surveillance and Dirt overrules the possibility of a shark, they decide it must be a rabbit. When they find the hatch door open and the bunny is missing, they decide that the bunny can't survive in the wild and begin a search and rescue operation. Donning their spy kits (fake mustaches, marshmallow belts, binoculars, an observation log, headlamps, and plastic baggies for the approaching storm), they begin to search the backyard hoping to rescue Sparkles and avoid the rain, because everyone knows that chickens can't swim. Full of humor, spying, observing, speculation, rain, and other things that sprinkle, kids will love this latest adventure of the Chicken Squad.


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HOW TO CAPTURE AN INVISIBLE CAT
written by Paul Tobin, illus. by Thierry Lafontaine, (Bloomsbury, Mar. 2016, ISBN 978-1-61963-840-2), 272p, Ages 9-12

Sixth grader Nate Bannister is an off-the-charts genius usually, but only on Friday the 13th he tries to accomplish three not-so-smart things. This time he teaches his caterpillar math, mails a love letter, super-sizes Proton the family cat, turns him invisible, reverses the formula, and places sections of it onto seven people or things. When Proton escapes and is determined to destroy the city, Nate enlists the help of his only friend, Delphine. They use every gadget, invention, and theory of Nate's, including his talking Scottie dog, Bosper, and Betsy, his self driving car, to avoid the criminal Red Death Tea Society, turn Proton back to normal, and try to survive until Friday the 14th. Funny, silly, and kooky, kids will love the huge Catnip Incense Burner, Costume Disintegration Ray, Molecular Scanner, String Theory Net, and the Mechanical Hypnotizing Robot Octopuses.



Ages 10-14
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ISABEL FEENEY, STAR REPORTER
written by Beth Fantasky, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar. 2016, ISBN 978-0-544-58249-1), 352p, Ages 10-12

Chicago in the 1920's finds ten-year-old Isabel Feeney selling the Chicago Tribune newspapers to help supplement her single mom's salary. Having dropped out of school, Isabel dreams of becoming a journalist like the famous reporter, Maude Collier. One evening Isabel watches her favorite customer arguing with a small time Chicago mobster, hears a gun shot, and discovers Colette kneeling over the part-time gangster. Believing her friend innocent of murder, Isabel inserts herself into the police investigation, befriends Maude Collier, and is determined to uncover the truth. Gathering clues leads her to several possible suspects and an attempt on her life. Isabel's investigations bring her into contact with guns, gangsters, aspiring actresses, sibling rivalries, polio, bullet proof cars, women in jail, and Beeman's Chewing Gum. Short chapters and fast-paced action will hold the reader's attention. Author's historical note explains the inspiration behind the novel, as well as background information on the real Murderess Row at the Cook County Jail and five real female reporters who wrote for the Chicago Tribune in the 1920's.



Ages 12-15
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3 OF A KIND (Knightley & Son)
written by Rohan Gavin, (Bloomsbury, $16.99, Aug. 2016, ISBN 978-1-61963-830-3), 272p, Ages 12-15

Book three in the Knightley & Son series finds thirteen-year-old Darkus Knightley leaving his detective life behind and trying to live normally, until his father's housekeeper, Bogna, is kidnapped by the Combination, a criminal organization dedicated to destroying the Knightley family. On a rescue mission with his father, Alan, and stepsister, Tilly, they travel from London to America and encounter several brushes with death on their way to Las Vegas. Although their mission is to rescue Bogna and damage the Combination, Darkus secretly desires to reunite his parents and Tilly searches for the truth behind her mother's death. Kidnappings, disguises, catastrophisers, narcoleptic trances, and murder should keep kids glued to this page turner.



Ages 14-18
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THE FORBIDDEN WISH
written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, (Razor Bill, $17.99, Feb. 2016, ISBN 978-1-59514-767-7), 352p, Ages 16+

This version of "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp" finds sixteen-year-old Zahra, a powerful jinni, enslaved in her lamp and doomed to the whims of humans. A jinni for thousands of years, she is released by seventeen-year-old Aladdin, who finds her among the ancient ruins of a dead city, where she was placed for transgressions against the King of the Jinn. When Aladdin takes possession of her lamp, they become allies in an effort to avenge the death of his parents and to release Zahra by freeing a jinn prince before the moon cycles. As feelings between Zahra and Aladdin deepen, their efforts are complicated by sadistic rulers, palace politics, an iron-willed princess and her watchmaidens, and evil jinn. As enemies close in, Zahra must decide whether to claim her freedom and betray Aladdin, or follow her heart. Elaborate descriptions, forbidden love, deadly music, magical potions, and shape shifting jinnis will have readers yearning for a thousand more tales.

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THE FIXER
written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, (Bloomsbury, $17.99, 2015, $9.99 May 2016, ISBN 978-1-61963-594-4), 384p, Ages 16+

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick comes to live with her older sister, Ivy, in Washington D. C. after their grandfather is diagnosed with dementia. Enrolled in one of D. C.'s elite high schools, Tess quickly makes a few friends, who inform her of her sister's job as a political Fixer. As a high powered political consultant, Ivy covers up scandals, manipulates the press, and has the president as a major client. Soon Tess takes on the same title at school, when she helps a freshman (Vice President's daughter) deal with a bully. Life takes a dangerous turn when Tess and her friends become involved in a series of conspiracies and murders, beginning with a Supreme Court Justice. Shocking family revelations, political intrigue, conspiracy theories, risky investigations, kidnappings, and Washington scandals lead Tess to believe she is not unlike her sister, "The Fixer." Young adults should enjoy this whodunit mystery/thriller with its action-packed political intrigue and humorous, fascinating, and interesting characters.


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, www.tchliteracy.com.

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