May 2017


Concept Books


written/illus. by Juana Medina, (Viking Children's Books, 2016), 32p, Ages 3-6


written by Karma Wilson, illus. by Joan Rankin, (Little Simon, 2015), 34p, Ages 3-5


Ages 4-8



written by Julia Sarcone-Roach, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015), 40p, Ages 4-7


written by Rosemary Wells, illus. by Marc Brown, (Little, Brown and Co., 2007), 40p, Ages 4-7


written/illus. by Paul Brett Johnson, lyrics by Tom Glazer, (Scholastic Press, 2006), 32p, Ages 4-8


written/illus. by Rex Barron, (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2004), 32p, Ages 6+

Ages 8-12

Countries & Cultures

BALARAMA: A Royal Elephant
written/illus. by Ted/Betsy Lewin, (Lee & Low Books, 2009), 56p, Ages 6-11


KUBLA KHAN: The Emperor of Everything
written by Kathleen Krull, illus. by Robert Byrd, (Viking, 2010), 48p, Ages 8-12


written by Robert Bateman/Rick Archbold, llus. by Robert Bateman, (Little, Brown & Co., 1998), 32p, Ages 7-12

Ages 10-13


written by Patrick Carman, (Scholastic Press, 2011), 272p, Ages 9-12

Ages 12-15

Science Fiction

written by Robert Lipsyte, (Clarion Books, 2012), 272p, Ages 11-14


written by Madeleine L'Engle, (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1961, 2011), 280p, Ages 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 teens.

The great storytellers of children's literature never lost their love of childhood. Their distinctive styles and personalities are woven into their writing in special and unique ways that enchant children from generation to generation. We hope you will enjoy our choices of outstanding stories for the month of May.

The books featured represent some of the best of imagination and fun in children's literature and are presented for reading and listening enjoyment. May children never lose their appetite for fun and imagination, and hopefully pass it on to the next generation.

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


written/illus. by Olivier Dunrea, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar. 2017, $8.99,
ISBN 978-0-544-91503-9), 18p, Ages 2+

"Everyone on Old Farm is getting ready for bed. Everyone, except Ollie." As he watches Gossie, Gertie, Peedie, and BooBoo prepare for the night he asks each one, "What are you doing?" They reply that before going to bed in a nest, behind a tree, on top of straw, and on a hay stack, that they sip water, stretch legs, eat a snack, and say "Good Night." Now yawning, Ollie climbs into his flower pot with his stuffed kitty and says "Good Night" to everyone. Little ones will enjoy this touch-and-feel bedtime book with textures of soft blankets, tree bark, sticky noodles, and sparkly butterflies.


written by Julia Donaldson, illus. by Helen Oxenbury, (Dial Books, Apr. 2017, $17.99,
ISBN 978-0-7352-2797-2), 32p, Ages 3-5

Something or someone is occupying Rabbit's burrow, and a mysterious voice claims, "I'm the Giant Jumperee and I'm scary as can be!" When Rabbit's friends try to help, Bear is told a different threat, "… and I'll sting you like a bee!" Cat retreats when told, "… and I'll squash you like a flea!" When Elephant offers to wrap his trunk around it, he hears a loud voice say, "… and I'm taller than a tree!" Only a don't-mess-with-me Mama Frog knows just what to do, and gives the Giant Jumperee a count of three. Out pops Baby Frog, who goes home with Mama for tea. The others have a good laugh at being fooled by fun-loving child.

Ages 4-8

written/illus. by Simon James, (Candlewick Press, July 2016, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-7636-7294-2), 40p, Ages 4-6

A mighty tree-uprooting, boulder-smashing, dinosaur-scaring Tyrannosaurus Rex awakes one morning in what he thinks is an empty cave only to find an abandoned cracked egg and a baby dinosaur calling him "Dada!" Disavowing the relationship, Dad stomps off to scare the neighborhood Diplodocus, Trigonosaurus, Triceratops, Iguanodon, and Ankylosaurus. Little Rex follows and begins to imitate Dad by pounding rocks and tearing out miniature trees of his own. Bonding begins, until Dad explains, "You know, I'm not really your dad. You found me in a cave," and Little Rex begins to search for his real family. Realizing that the woods are terrifying with huge dinosaurs ready to eat him, Little Rex runs and hides, only to awake in the morning to the sounds of the ground quaking and the deafening roars of Dad searching for him. After a tender reunion Little Rex states, "I hope I'm as terrifying as you when I grow up, Dad." "I'll make sure of it," replies big Rex. "That's what dads are for!" Readers will enjoy this unusual tale of abandonment, adoption, and the discovery of how love can make a difference in the most unlikely of families.


written/illus. by Gerald Kelley, (Albert Whitman & Co., $16.99, April 2017, ISBN 978-0-8075-5183-7). 32p, Ages 4-8

Benedict loves honey. Each morning the bees leave him three jars of honey, which he uses on toast and in tea for breakfast. In between errands, knitting, and practicing the violin, he bakes a honey cake, and has honey tea before bed. Life is very sweet, until one morning the bees revolt carrying tiny "On Strike" signs. When they desire to negotiate, Benedict refuses. "I let you all live in my yard. All I ask is for a few jars of honey. You should be grateful." The astonished bees reply, "Buddy, we deliver three jars of honey to you every day. Every month! Every year! Do the math, Einstein!" They list their grievances, from lousy working conditions to a weedy yard, and fly off. With a change of heart, Benedict realizes that he could be a better beekeeper, makes the needed changes, learns not to take the bees for granted, and finds that life is sweeter for everyone.


written/illus. by William Joyce, (HarperCollins, 1988, Atheneum, Apr. 2017, $17.99,
ISBN 978- 978-1-4814-8947-8 ), 48p, Ages 4-8

While vacationing in Africa, the Lizardo family meets a dinosaur and brings him home as a family pet. His back is perfect for conga dancing. he makes an excellent ship, has a fondness for the trumpet, and he even plays a decent game of baseball, until he begins chasing cars and is arrested. Any misgivings soon change, when Bob helps the Pimlico Pirates win their first game. End papers contain sheet music of "The Ballad of Dinosaur Bob" to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.


written by Stephen Krensky, illus. by Lynn Munsinger, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov. 2016, $17.99,
ISBN 978-0-544047271-6), 32p, Ages 4-7

"What if the dinosaurs never really went extinct? What if they've just been in hiding for 65 million years?" In this entertaining what-if story, a little boy claims that dinosaurs never became extinct but went into hiding, blended into their environment, and masqueraded as the sphinx and pyramids in Egypt, pilgrims, the Statue of Liberty, and even Santa Claus. The little fellow decides to show the dinosaurs an easier way to hunt for dinner, to travel, and enjoy life involving TV, cell phones, and computers. However, letting dinosaurs loose in grocery stores, tearing around town in vehicles, and getting sick on junk creates problems, so the boy decides to keep their secret. Far-fetched and silly, kids will enjoy giggling at the humorous illustrations, and adults will find the subtle message of conservation and stewardship satisfying in delightful read aloud.


RICKIE & HENRI: A True Story
written by Jane Goodall, illus. by Alan Marks, (minedition, 2004, 2007, May 2017, $12.00,
ISBN 978-988-8341-35-1), 32p, Ages 5+

Taken from her mother in the rain forest of Central Africa and put up for sale at a Congolese market, an infant chimpanzee is rescued by a kind man, who knows it is illegal to sell wild animals. Rickie is nursed back to health but is lonely, until she makes friends with the family dog. "She rode on his back, clinging on tight with arms and legs. Just as if she was riding on her mother. And at night she snuggled close beside him, holding his fur even when she was asleep." Jane Goodall, well known for her efforts in chimpanzee research and rescue for over forty years, writes the afterword.

Ages 8-12

THE SEA LION (The Lighthouse Family)
written by Ciynthia Rylant, illus. by Preston McDaniels, (Beach Lane Books, Mar. 2017, $15.99,
ISBN 978-1-4814-6025-5), 48p, Ages 7-10

The seventh installment in the Lighthouse Family series finds the family caring for a baby sea lion, which they found asleep one morning in Seabold's chair. It seems that Topper's mama told him to wait for her at the lighthouse. He is adored by the children and taught to swim by the family. News finally arrives via a loud flock of geese shouting that Topper's mother was returning. "Her name was Mary. From the sea Mary had watched the lighthouse family for a long time. And when she needed suddenly to help her puffin friend home, she knew that her baby would be safe at the lighthouse. Which, of course, he was." Children need to understand that caring for others, whether short term or long, is a privilege and divine appointment.


written by Ann M. Martin & Annie Parnell, illus. by Ben Hatke, (Feiwell & Friends, Sept. 2016, $16.99,
ISBN 978-1-250-07169-9), 256p, Ages 7-10

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, from the delightful series begun 70 years ago by Annie Parnell's great-grandmother Betty MacDonald, has taken leave of her beloved Upside Down House and animals to search for her missing pirate husband. Called to take care of the house and pets while her great aunt is away, Missy Piggle-Wiggle begins to change the town's problematic children in a most unusual way. Having spent time with her aunt as a child, Missy is well versed in magic and inventive cures as well as her aunt's approach to child psychology. The families of Little Spring Valley, the Goodenoughs, Freeforalls, Pepperpots, and Earwigs soon realize that Missy's cures for greediness, tardiness, procrastination, shyness, rudeness, lying, selfishness and whatever, change their children's misbehavior with wacky cures (magic gumdrops, noisy watches, Just-a-Minute cure, Whatever cure, Bubble of Apology cure, How –Are-You-Doing pill, etc.) Hopefully the charming Missy Piggle-Wiggle will continue delighting children with wonder, wackiness, and whatever for generations to come.


BASIL IN THE WILD WEST #4 (The Great Mouse Detective)
written by Eve Titus, illus. by Paul Galdone, (Aladdin Books, 1982/Feb. 2017, $16.99, 978-1-4814-6411-6), 112p, Ages 7-9

Basil of Baker Street, the Sherlock Holmes of the Mouse World, and his companion, Dr. David Q. Dawson, head for New Mexico. Riding CLOPS ponies (Cheese Lovers Official Pony Service) they are on the trail of the notorious Smiling Smugglers gang and their leader J. J., who receives valuable pre-Columbian relics from Mexico and resells them at high prices to dishonest collectors. Next the intrepid duo head to the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the "Thing" that is terrorizing the guests at the Hathaway Hotel. Find out who is captured and who escapes in this fourth adventure/mystery series that was the inspiration for the hit Disney film, "The Great Mouse Detective."

Ages 10-13

YOURS TRULY #2 (A Pumpkin Falls Mystery)
written by Heather Vogel Frederick, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.99, Jan. 2017,
ISBN 978-1-4424-7186-3), 336p, Ages 9-12

It's Maple Syrup Season in Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, and 13-year-old Truly Lovejoy from Absolutely Truly (2014) is again involved in solving mysteries. Along with a visiting cousin from Texas and friends from the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes, Truly investigates the sabotage of two rival maple sugar farms, discovers a hidden diary that connects her family to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, and searches for her missing younger sister. In addition to swim team workouts and difficult knitting classes (a birthday present from mom), Truly's life is complicated by a crush on a classmate, unfounded jealousy of her cousin, and irritation with a pesky sister. Readers will enjoy Truly's world, filled with eccentric characters, historical mysteries, boy worries, and family dynamics.

Ages 12-15

written by Trisha White Priebe/Jerry B. Jenkins, (Shiloh Run Press, April 2017, $14.99,
ISBN 978-1-68322-178-4), 240p, Ages 13+

In this conclusion to the Thirteen series, Avery sees a chance to speak with the king, but instead is thrown into the dungeon where she expects to die. Slipping a note under the door, Avery is brought before the King, only to discover an offer of a lifetime. With all the political intrigue of castle life, Avery must decide between a life of ease with a royal family or continuing her search for the family she left behind. Intrigue, adventure, and mystery will keep readers royally entertained in this finale to a great series.


written by Katherine Woodfine, illus. by Julia Sardà, (Kane Miller Books, Sept. 2016, $6.99,
ISBN 978-1-61067-437-9).

"NEW YORK TYCOON TO TAKE LONDON BY STORM! New York millionaire Mr. Edward Sinclair is set to throw open the doors of London's largest department store this week. The new Piccadilly store, which has been a year in construction, stands an impressive eight storeys high, with six acres of floor space, nine state-of-the-art lifts, and over one hundred different departments." During the Edwardian era of England, fourteen-year-old Sophie Taylor, orphaned after her father's death, is considered too old for an orphanage but old enough to support herself. Hired by Sinclair's as a shopgirl in the Millinery Department, Sophie is impressed with Mr. Sinclair's special exhibition of jewels, including the Clockwork Sparrow, a musical box in the shape of a bird from the Russian Imperial Court. The Sparrow is considered priceless as it contains valuable gems and has a unique ability to play a different tune whenever wound. When a burglary occurs and the Sparrow is taken, Sophie is fired due to accusations by the store manager. With the help of new friends, Billy Parker, an apprentice porter and mystery-lover, Lilian Rose, a friendly store model and aspiring actress, and Joe, a homeless boy, who was involved with the crime lord known as the Baron, they band together to solve the mystery. Readers will enjoy these0 intrepid heroes as they foil kidnappers, solve messages coded in ciphers, uncover police corruption, discover explosive devices, and devour iced buns, while attempting to bring the villainous Baron to justice.

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,

The Children's Hour
10 N. Santa Anita Ave., #300
Arcadia, CA 91006



Copyright © 2017 The Children's HourAll rights reserved.
150 N. Santa Anita Ave., #300,Arcadia, CA 91006
Tel: 626-791-4848 | Email: