February 2017



Preschoolers
Great Books from 2016

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK LEADS THE WAY
written by Alice Schertle, illus. by Jill McElmurry, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar. 2016 Board), 40p, Ages 3-6

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MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE: 20TH Anniversary Ed
edited by Iona Opie, illus. by Rosemary Wells, (Candlewick Press, 1996, Sept. 2016), 108p, Ages 2-8

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THERE'S A BEAR ON MY CHAIR
written/illus by Ross Collins, (Nosy Crow, Aug. 2016), 32p, Ages 2-5



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Ages 4-8
Great Books from 2016

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CAPTAIN JACK AND THE PIRATES
written by Peter Bently, illus. by Helen Oxenbury, (Dial Books, Mar. 2016), 32p, Ages 3-6

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A PROMISE IS A PROMISE
written by Knister, translated by Kathryn Bishop, illus. by Eve Tharlet, (minedition, May 2016), 32p, Ages 4-7

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OCTOPUS ESCAPES AGAIN!
written/illus. by Laurie Ellen Angus, (Dawn Publications, Sept. 2016), 32p, Ages 5-8

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THE WHALE
written by Vita Murrow, illus. by Ethan Murrow, (Templar Books, April 2016), 32p, Ages 4-8





Ages 8-12
Great Books from 2016
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ARMSTRONG: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon
written/illus. by Torben Kuhlmann, (NorthSouth Books, Sept. 2016), 128p, Ages 8-11

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THE LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY: The Otter
written by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Preston McDaniels, (Beach Lane Books, Mar. 2016), 48p, Ages 6-10

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THE SECRETS OF HEXBRIDGE CASTLE
written by Gabrielle Kent, (Scholastic Press, Oct. 2016),336p, Ages 9-12

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THE STORYTELLER
written/illus. by Evan Turk, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, June 2016), 48p, Ages 6-10





Ages 10-14
Great Books from 2016
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THE SECRET KEEPERS
written by Trenton Lee Stewart, illus. by Diana Sudyka, (Little, Brown and Co., Sept. 2016), 512p, Ages 10-14

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THEODORE BOONE: The Scandal
written by John Grisham, (Dutton Children's Books, May 2016), 224p, Ages 10-13

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ISABEL FEENEY, STAR REPORTER
written by Beth Fantasky, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar. 2016), 352p, Ages 10-13





Ages 12-15
Great Books from 2016
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THE GLASS CASTLE
written by Trisha White Priebe/Jerry B. Jenkins, (Shiloh Run Press/Barbour Publishing, March 2016), 256p, Ages 13+

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VALKYRIE
written by Kate O'Hearn, (Aladdin Books, 2016), 352p, Ages 12-15



 






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.

In addition to featuring great stories currently available for reading and reading aloud, this month we are pleased to present stories from the past, memorable little gems that deserve a place of prominence in children's literature, but perhaps have been forgotten. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do.

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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OOPS, POUNCE, QUICK, RUN!: An Alphabet Caper
written/illus. by Mike Twohy, (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, Feb. 2016, ISBN 978-0-06-237700-5), 32p, Ages 3-5

This fun alphabet romp surrounds a dog that accidentally bounces his beloved ball into a mouse's hole and is determined to retrieve it. Told with only one or two words per page, mouse is Asleep in his chair when dog's bouncy Ball lands in his lap. After mouse is forced to Catch it, Dog uses his nose to smell into the hole, his Eye to see into it, his Feet to grab the ball, and Grrrr the chase is on. When mouse devises a clever plan to make peace, dog blows Xoxo, mouse replies Yes!, and they nap together—Zzzzz. Kids will enjoy the energetic, non-stop action, and adults will appreciate the peaceful ending. Give this caper a D for Delightful.

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BUNNY SLOPES
written/illus. by Claudia Rueda, (Chronicle Books, $15.99, Oct. 2016, ISBN 978-1-4521-4197-8), 60p, Ages 3-5

"Oh, do you want to join me for a ski day? But where's all the snow? Maybe we can make some!" An energetic and friendly bunny asks readers for help in obtaining snow by shaking the book, tapping the top of the book to pack it down, tilting, flipping, and turning the book for Bunny to ski downhill, climb out of a tree, and jump over a hole at the bottom, where he finds mom waiting with hot chocolate. Funny and interactive, little ones learn about directions and instructions while giggling at Bunny's antics.

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HAP-PEA ALL YEAR
written/illus. by Keith Baker, (Beach Lane Books, $17.99, Nov. 2016, ISBN 978-1-4814-5854-2), 40p, Ages 3-7

The pea people from LMNO PEAS (2010), 1-2-3 PEAS (2012), and LITTLE GREEN PEAS: A Big Book of Colors (2014) return to teach about the months of the year. Written in rhyme, each month features a special event or activity occurring during the month. "Hap-pea March! Wear a touch of green / and look for leprechauns on day seventeen." Busy little green peas fly kites, dress up as leprechauns, and ride skateboards with sails as the windy MARCH blows through. Kids will love searching out the various little pea adventures each month. Whether chasing fireflies in July or carving pumpkins in October, story time has never been so much fun.

 
Ages 4-8
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GOSSIE & FRIENDS:
Big Book of Adventures

written/illus. by Olivier Dunrea, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jan. 2017, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-544-779/0-8), 288p, Ages 3-7

Nine easy-to-read stories about eight adventurous goslings from Olivier Dunrea's beloved Gossie & Friends series are presented for emerging readers as well as faithful listeners. Featured are stories about Gossie, who loses her favorite red boots, Gertie with her blue boots as she splashes, dives, and plays in the haystacks, and little Ollie, who finally hatches and stomps everywhere. Then there's forgetful Peedie, who can't remember to come in out of the rain, eat, tidy his nest, or take a nap. Of course, there's curious Boo Boo, a blue gosling, who likes to eat everything and loves to burp. With insatiable curiosity and unlimited energy Gideon chases the farm animals and loses his toy octopus, Otto. Last but not least, there's tidy Jasper and messy Joop, who learn to play together out of necessity. This lovable gaggle is sure to charm everyone who reads and listens to these memorable gosling adventures.

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HANK'S BIG DAY:
The Story of a Bug

written by Evan Kuhlman, illus. by Chuck Groenink, (Swartz & Wade Books, $16.99, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-0-553-51151-2), 40p, Ages 3-7

For a pill bug, Hank lives a very busy life. Crawling out from his home under a rock, he shimmies through grass, nibbles on a dead leaves, creeps past a cricket, a worm, an industrious ant carrying a potato chip, and encounters a scary grasshopper. Climbing up a stick, traveling across potholes, inspecting bottle caps, and narrowly missing a skateboarder, Hank meets Amelia. Wearing goggles like her hero, Amelia Earhart, she makes Hank her copilot, and they begin an adventure across her backyard. With Hank perched on her helmet, they soar over the Atlantic Ocean, wave to the Queen of England, barely miss the Eiffel Tower, land for a snack near the Le Velvet Bug café, and return to America. From his vantage point atop her helmet, Hank views Amelia's backyard with a whole new perspective. After a wonderful day with his new friend, Hank crawls back home to happily sleep under his rock. This cute adventure is a wonderful choice for nap or bedtime.

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THE MOUSE AND THE MOON
written/illus. by Gabriel Alborozo, (Henry Holt & Co, $16.99, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-1-62779-224-0), 32p, Ages 4-7

"In a dark and broken tree, in a dark and wild wood, there lived a little mouse. All alone. His only friend was the moon." However, the moon was silent and never replied to the little mouse's hopes, fears, and news. One night while wandering in the woods in search of his friend, he hears a small voice calling out "hello," sees a reflection of the moon in a pond, and assumes it's his friend. Under the pond is a small fish, who also talks to the moon's reflection. The two share stories all night until the sun rises, the moon disappears, and they finally meet. The illustrations are beautiful and lend a magical touch to this quiet story of finding friendship in the most unlikely places.

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LOST AND FOUND: Adèle & Simon in China
written/illus. by Barbara McClintock, (Farrar Straus Giroux, $17.99, Dec. 2016, ISBN 978-0-374-39923-8), 40p, Ages 4-8

This newest book in the adventures of Adèle and Simon find them traveling to Hong Kong to meet their Uncle Sidney, where they prepare for a trip through China. Their uncle buys Adèle a camera for the trip and an abacus, scroll, knapsack, flute, fan, bowl, brush, ink box, and scarf for Simon, who loses an item at each stop along the way. Told through Adèle's post cards to Mama, they stop at a silk farm near Shanghai, walk by the Forbidden City in Peking, visit the Great Wall, ride camels across a desert, make brush painting with monks in Xi'an, hike in a bamboo forest, make friends with a panda, watch fishermen use cormorants to catch fish, and return to Uncle Sidney's to develop Adèle's photographs, which show each location where Simon lost an item. Endnotes contain interesting historical information on each location. From a bustling marketplace in Peking to a monastery in the Wudang Mountains, kids are treated to a wonderful perspective of a vast and historical China at the turn of the 20th century.

 
Ages 8-12
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MICE OF THE ROUND TABLE #1:
A Tail of Camelot

written by Julie Leung, illus. by Lindsey Carr, (HarperCollins, Oct. 2016, ISBN 978-0-06-240399-5), 304p, Ages 9-12

Caleb Christopher, a young mouse page in King Arthur's castle, dreams of becoming a brave knight of the Round Table, preserving his family name, and following in the "pawsteps" of his famous father and grandfather. Before he can participate in the Harvest Tournament, a competition leading to knighthood, his grandfather is murdered, and the Camelot mice suspect the animals from the Darkling Woods. Caleb believes an old enemy plans an invasion of Camelot, and he sets out to unite the rodent population, the forest animals, and the humans (two-leggers), after discovering that the Sword in the Stone, which appears at Camelot's darkest times, has returned. Along the way he befriends 11-year-old Galahad, the son of Sir Lancelot, and the two heroes face parallel battles against the invading Saxon weasels and soldiers. In this first action-packed adventure of the Mice of the Round Table series, readers will root for this small hero in his quest to save the legendary Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table.

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THE WARRIORS OF BRIN-HASK
written by Cerberus Jones, illus. by Hardie Grant Egmont, (Kane Miller, Oct 2016, $5.99, ISBN 978-1-61067-499-7), 140p, Ages 9-12

This second delightful book in The Gateway series finds Amelia and her friend Charlie anxiously awaiting the arrival of special guests to her parents' newly renovated Gateway Hotel. Aptly named, the Gateway receives alien guests from other worlds via worm holes in the galaxy. While awaiting the arrival of the seaweed-loving, small, fuzzy, Warriors of Brin-Hask, Amelia's dad discovers cybertronic red-eyed rats under the kitchen floor. When the warriors arrive, King Hibble decides to battle the vermin. "The kitchen was filled with screams of outrage. It was impossible to know what was going on, as the battle was all below the floor, but Amelia quickly learned to tell the difference between the high-pitched squeals of the rats and the joyous battle cries of the Brin-Hask." Mysteries still remain as to the identity of the Leaf Man, who wanders the grounds, and the sudden appearance of a creepy little creature that Amelia immediately decides to adopt. To be continued …



More Adventures In Storytelling
Ages 8-12
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THE MOUSE WITH THE QUESTION MARK TAIL
written by Richard Peck, illus. by Kelly Murphy, (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013), 240p, Ages 7-10

While preparations for Queen Victoria's 1897 Diamond Jubilee celebration are in full swing at Buckingham Palace, a secret mouse society underneath the Palace is also preparing for a parallel celebration. With schools, military, royalty, and industries, it is a world of the Great Truth: "For every human on earth, there is a mouse doing the same job, and doing it better." This is the world of Mouse Minor, a small foundling born with a special tail in the form of a question mark. Tormented by bullies at the Royal Mews Mouse Academy, he runs away and begins searching for clues to his heritage. From the royal stables to the Queen's chambers, the plucky little hero converses with animals and humans, uncovers royal secrets, and is unaware of spies stalking him. As two worlds collide, readers and listeners will enjoy the adventure, humor, and pluck of a small hero, who finds his purpose in life and a marvelous destiny. Even the bat rhymes are entertaining!

Ages 10-14
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REBELLION OF THIEVES
written by Kekla Magoon, (Bloomsbury, Oct. 2016, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-61963-655-2), 256p, Ages 10-13

This second book in the Robin Hoodlum Adventure series finds twelve-year-old Robyn Loxley, along with her band of misfit kids, continuing their fight against the evil dictator, Ignomus Crown and his oppressive government. Her ultimate goal of rescuing her parents from Crown's castle becomes a possibility as she enters the Iron Teen competition. Finalists are rewarded with a special dinner at the governor's mansion, where Robin believes her mother and other political prisoners are held. With the Crown increasing the reward for her capture and tightening security, Robin and her friends find new ways to execute their heists for the poor citizens of Nott City. Although Robyn is fulfilling her destiny, she struggles with balancing her own selfish desires and those of the rebellion. A memorable heroine and colorful characters continue to entertain readers with courage and daring deeds.

More Adventures In Storytelling
AGES 10-14
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BONGO FISHING
written/illus. by Thacher Hurd, (Henry Holt & Co., 2011), 240p, Ages 10+

"Bongo Fishing: n. 1. To go on an adventurous trip somewhere at least ten light years away. 2. To set off on any unusual expedition, not knowing what its outcome will be. 3. Non-invasive fishing for the colorful bongo fish in the Pleiades. 4. Slang: 'Let's bongo down to Orion, man.'—Zecster's Intergalactic Dictionary (14th Pleiades edition)."

James Jameson's ordinary life takes an exciting turn when he encounters Sam, a friendly blue alien mechanic from the Pleiades, who travels to earth in a lime green 1960 Dodge Dart spaceship and crashes in James' neighborhood. Familiar with American culture from previous visits, Sam, loves American glazed donuts and listens to Count Basie on the interstellar radio. After helping Sam repair the Dart with ketchup, James is introduced to space travel, Bongo Fishing in the South Pleiades, and Sam's Elvis-loving wife, Edna. Subsequent visits become new adventures of manufacturing fuel (a concoction of broccoli, bubblegum, baking soda, and vinegar) in James' kitchen, finding a cure for Sputnik (James' cat), which has the Bleagles (Pleiades blue measles), learning to fly a rocket cycle, and rescuing Sam and Edna from a mysterious and deranged Zimborian therapist in Area 51's restricted area. Short on science fiction, but full of humor and zaniness, James, Sam, and Edna are permanent fixtures in fiction, and hopefully, will return for more adventures.

Ages 12-15
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RYAN QUINN AND THE REBEL'S ESCAPE
written by Ron McGee, illus. by Chris Samnee, (HarperColliins, Oct. 2016, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-06-242164-7), 368p, Ages 11+

Unbeknownst to eighth grader Ryan Quinn, his parents belong to the Emergency Rescue Committee, a secret organization that rescues people around the world from certain death since World War II. Ryan's father has been using his diplomatic assignments from a UN program as a cover for their mission and secretly training Ryan since he was young for this dangerous work. Now living in New York City, Ryan discovers his parents' secret, when his father disappears on a business trip to an Asian country near China. When his mother is abducted and held as ransom for the return of a blogger, who has been exposing sensitive information to the world about the military dictatorship in Andakar, Ryan decides to find his father.
With help from his best friend Danny, a hacker and techno genius, Ryan flies to Andakar on a forged passport and credit cards found in his father's secret office. Along with an experienced ERC operative, they begin a search for the blogger, Myat Kaw. Breaking into a military post, tracking his father to a hidden temple in the jungle, and chased by soldiers, he meets Myat Kaw, a young girl his own age named Lan. With daring rescues, international intrigue, desperate enemies, and death defying stunts, this first installment of an action-packed, adrenaline-fueled trilogy will please fans of adventure, espionage, and heroes.

MORE ADVENTURSES IN STORYTELLING
AGES 12-15
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ISLAND OF THIEVES
written by Josh Lacey, (Houghton Mifflin, 2012), 240p, Ages 11-14

"I didn't mean to burn down our garden shed. But now I'm glad I did. If I hadn't, none of this would have happened. The island. The gold." Sent to stay with his Uncle Harvey, the only one willing to take him in when his parents leave on vacation, Tom Trelawney convinces his uncle to take him along on a supposed business trip to Peru. Tom soon discovers Uncle Harvey's urgent business is hunting for South American treasure rumored to belong to Sir Frances Drake. However, his not-so-honest uncle omitted several important details about the gold and its location. Matters become complicated when Tom and Uncle Harvey escape the clutches of a notorious gangster, find themselves in a Peruvian prison with a crooked warden, decode a priceless journal, and discover treasure beyond their wildest dreams. Intrigue, adventure, and excitement, risk-taking, consequences, and some history await readers, especially reluctant ones.

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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