September 2017

Adventure Books
for Preschool


written/illus. by Marjorie Flack, (Doubleday Books, 1930), 32p, Ages 3-5


written/illus. by Maria van Lieshout, (Philomel Books, 2011), 40p, Ages 3-5


written/illus. by Salina Yoon, (Walker & Co., 2012), 40p, Ages 3-6


written/illus. by Pat Hutchins, (Little Simon, 1968, 2015), 32p, Ages 2-5


Adventure Books for
Ages 4-8


HANK'S BIG DAY: The Story of a Bug
written by Evan Kuhlman, illus. by Chuck Groenink, (Swartz & Wade Books, 2016), 40p, Ages 3-7


THUMP, QUACK, MOO: A Whacky Adventure
written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin, (Atheneum Books, 2008), 36p,Ages 3-7


written/illus. by Brian Lies, (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), 32p, Ages 4-8


written/illus. by Bill Peet, (Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Readers, 1982), 48p, Ages 5-8


written/illus. by Aaron Becker, (Candlewick Press, 2013), 40p, Ages 4-8

Adventure Book for
Ages 8-12

ASTROTWINS: Project Blastoff
written by Mark Kelly, Martha Freeman, (Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster, 2015), 224p, Ages 8-12


written by Elizabeth Winthrop, (Random House, 1985,1993), 192p, Ages 9-12


THE END OF THE BEGINNING: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant)
written by Avi, illus. by Tricia Tusa, (Harcourt Children's Books, 2004), 140p, Ages 8-11


written by Barbara O'Conner, (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-374-36850-0), 176p, Ages 9-12

Adventure Books for
Ages 10-13


written by Matt Myklusch, (Aladdin, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4169-9561-6), 480p, Ages 9-12


THE LAND OF STORIES: The Wishing Spell
written by Chris Colfer, (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012), 464p, Ages 10+


written by Matthew J. Kirby, (Scholastic Press, $17.99, 2013, ISBN 978-0-545-27426-5), 352p, Ages 8-12


MISTER MAX: The Book of Lost Things
written by Cynthia Voigt, illus. by Iacopo Bruno, (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.00, Sept 2013, ISBN 978-0-307-97681-9), 384p, Ages 8-12

Adventure Books for
Ages 12-15


written by Rohan Gavin, (Bloomsbury, 2015), 304p, Ages 12+


THE LOST HERO: The Heroes of Olympus #1
written by Rick Riordan, (Hyperion Books, $18.00, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4231-1339-3), 576p, Ages 10-14


Adventure Books for
Ages 14-18+


written by Veronica Rossi, (Tor Teen, $17.99, Feb. 2016, ISBN 978-0-7653-8254-2), 368p, Ages 17+


THE STORYSPINNER (The Keepers Chronicles)
written by Becky Wallace, (Margaret K. McElderry Books, $17.99, May 2015, ISBN 978-1-4814-0565-2), 432p, Ages 14-18


written by Annabel Monaghan, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $7.99, Jan 2015, ISBN 978-0-544-33620-9), 192p, Ages 14-18


written by Kat Carlton, (Simon & Schuster, $16.99, Sept. 2013, ISBN 978-1-9424-8172-5), 256p, Ages 14-17


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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.

Great Storytellers are magical, unique, and scarce. They write stories that are a perfect balance of humor, heart, and hope. They still have a love of childhood, and like Peter Pan they have never totally grown up. They write the stories readers want to linger over, be a part of, and wish never to leave.

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written/illus. by Kit Chase, (G. P. Putnam's Sons, May 2017, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-399-25702-5), 32p, Ages 2-5

Charlie, Lulu, and Oliver are great friends who love to play together. This third book in the series, (Oliver's Tree, 2014, Lulu's Party, 2015), finds the trio fishing on a nearby river. When Charlie catches sticks instead of fish, he decides to build a boat. His friends join in and decide to race their boats. Unfortunately, Charlie's boat becomes struck on rocks, tangles in branches, and comes in last. "He tried to be happy for his friends, but he didn't feel very happy." Then Oliver comes up with a great idea to build a raft for all to enjoy, and Charlie happily catches his first fish. Capturing the joys and frustrations of childhood, this delightful story teaches creativity, patience, and helpfulness.


written by Paul Kor, translated by Annette Appel, (Dial Books, $16.99, April 2017, ISBN 978-0-735-22746-0), 32p, Ages 3-5

"Once upon a time, deep under the sea, lived a little fish—a silver fish called Flash." Loving adventure, one morning Flash swims far away from his family and encounters a big black something with a great big eye with a tear. Realizing that it's a lost baby whale, Flash vows to find its parents. Enlisting the help of his family, Flash decides to stay with the lost baby until his mama and papa can be found. "Since then, every day, Flash visits the whale, and the two of them play in the sea." Little ones are never too young to learn about compassion and friendship.


written by Candace Fleming, illus. by Eric Rohmann, (Atheneum Books, $17.99, May 2017, ISBN 978-1-4814-58941-8), 40p, Ages 3-6

The little Bulldozer, from Bulldozer's Big Day (2015), returns to help at the busy construction site where Cement Mixer stirs his load, Crane Truck lifts lumber, and Digger Truck scoops dirt. Tough jobs are certainly no place for a small bulldozer, who only wants to help. When Crane suggests Bulldozer clear and flatten an untouched area, Bulldozer immediately charges over and stops. After moving some piles around, "he hunkered down, hushed and watchful. His motor hummed, soft as a lullaby. Hours passed." At first the big trucks are dismayed at Bulldozer's lack of work, but soon realize that he is protecting a family of newborn kittens. They all agree that it's a tough job, but Bulldozer is just the right size for it. This charming story of compassion, friendship, and caring is a good lesson for little ones.


written/illus. by Keith Baker, (Beach Lane Books, $17.99, July 2017, ISBN978-1-4814-5856-6), 40p, Ages 3-7

The popular little green peas return in their fifth book, this time involving unique jobs, exciting hobbies, and unusual activities surrounding the lowercase alphabet. Firefighters on their ladder truck douche a fire atop the letter "f", but spill water onto field hands who think it's raining; X-Peas (superheroes) fight villains; soldiers stand on top of the letter "s", which is strapped to a school bus taking students to school. These busy little peas are architects, botanists, cowpokes, dentists, ichthyologists, pirates, window washers, and even yakkers on phones. "And we're dreamers, too, throughout the abcs. What will we be now? So many possibilipeas!" Kids will love these busy little peas as they look for the ladybug on each double-page spread.

Ages 4-8

written/illus. by Adam F. Watkins, (Price Stern Sloan, $17.99, Mar. 2016, ISBN 978-0-8431-8300-9), 32p, Ages 3-6

Raybot lives alone in a junkyard, until he discovers a torn advertisement for dog bones. "Your puppy deserves the best! Because he's your BEST FRIEND! Bark!" His quest for a thing that goes "Bark" leads him to many nice animals that BAAA, OINK, GROWL, NEIGH, MOO, QUACK, and HONK, but none answer his request for a "BARK?" From farms, to woodlands, to jungles, and oceans, Raybot finds his answer in the form of a rain-forest parrot who repeats his "BARK". But the parrot has a four-legged friend of his own. "With his journey at an end, Raybot realizes that puppies and friends come in all different shapes and sizes. And together they all go home. Friends forever." Kids will love this friendly, persistent, little wrench-carrying robot in his search for a friend.


TAKE YOUR TIME: A Tale of Harriet the Galápagos Tortoise
written by Eva Furrow/Donna Jo Napoli, illus by Laurel Molk, (Henry Holt " Co., April 2017, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-8050-9521-0), 32p, Ages 4-7

"Harriet did everything slowly. She smelled the papayas and swamp hibiscus. She munched cactus pads and apples. All afternoon. She slumbered deep. All night." When the other animals on the island decide that she should pick up the pace of her life, Harriet decides to visit the summer penguin parade on a neighboring island. Leaving in winter, Harriet swims past hammerhead sharks, humpback whales, and giant rays to arrive just in time for the parade. While there, she joins the parade, takes iguanas for a ride on her shell, and builds a pool for the sea lions. Deciding to head home after a year, she meets a few dolphins, who show her the thrill of racing the waves. After a fast, salty, and windy ride, Harriet decides happiness is moving at her own pace and savoring the journey. "But slow or fast, clumsy or graceful, straight or wiggly, everyone had a rhythm that worked." Based on a Galapagos Tortoise who lived in an Australian zoo in the mid 1800s, the Authors' Note describes her tastes, habits, and at the age of 175, she became the oldest animal to live in captivity.


written by Philip C. Stead, illus. by Mtthew Cordell, (Roaring Brook Press, Aug. 2017, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-62672-282-8), 40p, Ages 4-8

Little Amy Scott receives a goldfish for her birthday, declares it to be boring, and throws it into the sea, plastic bag and all. When Sherman shares the information with Sadie, the adventurous heroine from Special Delivery (Roaring Brook, 2015), she immediately devises a plan to rescue newly named Ellsworth. Along with six rambunctious monkeys, they borrow a boat, a net, two fishing poles, twenty-one pink balloons, a bucket of paint, and rain gear (paid for with bananas from the monkeys). After plotting their route, Sadie remarks, "The important thing, Sherman, is that Ellsworth stays hopeful and brave, knowing that we're on our way." Oblivious to the dangers of sharks, sperm whales, and giant squids, they rescue poor Ellsworth, and find him a safe home in the town fountain. Kids will love Sadie's sense of justice, Sherman's silly facial expressions, and giggle at the crazy monkeys.


written by Laura Amy Schlitz, illus. by Brian Floca, (Candlewick Press, $16.99, Mar, 2017, ISBN 978-0-7636-4822-0), 80p, Ages 5-8

In order to inherit the throne, Princess Cora endures endless lessons, obsessive training in the castle gym, and taking baths three times a day. She longs for one day of freedom from her strict nanny and overprotective parents. Denied the companionship of a dog, Cora writes to her fairy godmother: "Nobody listens to me. My mother and father won't let me have a pet and Nanny says I don't even want one. But I do. And I'm sick and tired of everything. Please help me." Help comes in the form of a cream puff-loving, undisciplined crocodile that switches places with her for one day. While Cora is having a wonderful day off climbing trees, eating strawberries, wading in streams, and getting dirty, Crocky dumps the nanny in the bathtub, locks the Queen in the tower, and bites the exercise-obsessed King. When Princess Cora returns, the crocodile is reprimanded, her parents have a change of heart, and she finally gets a fluffy dog. The crocodile? It's strange how the cream puffs she tosses into the lily pond seem to disappear every day.


written by Susanna Isern, illus. by Daniel Montero Galán, (Cuento de Luz, April 2017, $16.95, ISBN 978-84-16147-98-4), 32p, Ages 6-8

"Every night, the old mailman sits down in the flickering candlelight and writes letters. They are the letters he'll be delivering the next day." From sunrise to sunset, an aging, uniformed badger delivers his notes to the animals of the forest stating complaints, resolving misunderstandings, offering apologies, and issuing invitations of reconciliations and friendship between animal neighbors. Hedgehog apologizes to Squirrel for an accidental prick at the market, and Squirrel suggests having dinner together at eight for a nice chat; Dormouse's note to Woodpecker's complains about his noisy pecking, and Woodpecker replies with a promise to find another tree. One day as the mailman finishes his deliveries, he finds a letter addressed to him. "For a long time, your letters have filled our days with love and happiness. But now we've discovered your secret, and we want to thank you." Every child should hear this sweet tribute to the peacemakers and problem-solvers of the world.

Ages 8-12

written by Gigi Priebe, illus. by Daniel Duncan, (Aladdin Books, $16.99, Jan. 2017, ISBN 978-1-4814-6575-5), 160p, Ages: 7-10

At Windsor Castle there resides the magnificent Queen Mary's Dollhouse, built in the 1920's, with four floors, 40 rooms, 2 working elevators, hot and cold running water, and electricity. Never meant for dolls or children to play with, it is only used for exhibition. However, it has been home for 25 generations to the Whisker family, who live in the empty storage drawers built into the base. Exploring is great fun for Henry Whisker and his cousin Jeremy, but they are always careful to avoid detection by the museum staff and Titus, the resident cat. When Henry's little sister disappears, they begin a grand adventure to rescue Isabel. Avoiding the cat, Henry and Jeremy drive a miniature car, escape from the dangerous Rat Alley, rescue a baby rat, make unexpected friends, and avoid humans, who are cleaning the dollhouse for the Queen's royal birthday banquet, which coincides with the Whiskers' Annual Mouse Masquerade. Kids will love this brave, loyal, cheerful, and courageous hero in his first adventure.


written/illus. by Jason Chin, (Roaring Brook Press, $19.99, Feb. 2017, ISBN 978-1-59643-950-4), 56p, Ages 7-12

"Grand Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. It is 277 miles long, as much as 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep, but it's much more than just a big hole in the ground." What begins with a young girl and her father hiking paths and walk ways throughout the Grand Canyon on their way to the South Rim, becomes a trip through time to various periods of the Canyon's creation, present and past, real and imaginative. Descriptions of plants, animals, and landscapes accompany commentaries on geological formations. Gorgeous illustrations provide the amazing diversity of life from California condors, Bighorn sheep, Wild turkeys, Bobcats, Elk, and Mountain lions, to chipmunks, skunks, owls, and birds. Die-cuts, double gatefolds, and intricate maps offer a glimpse into the natural wonders of this rugged but beautiful Canyon. Endnotes offer additional ecological, geological, and anthropological information on this wonderful creation.


MAKING MISTAKES ON PURPOSE #2 (Ms. Rapscott's Girls)
written/illus. by Elise Primavera, (Dial Books for Young Readers, $16.99, Oct. 2016, ISBN 978-0-8037-3824-9), 368p, Ages 8-12

Ms. Rapscott's life lessons continue in this sequel to Miss Rapscott's Girls, (2015). Beatrice Chissel, Mildred A'Lamode, Annabelle Merriweather, and Dahlia Thistle return, shipped in their boxes, to the Great Rapsott School for Girls of Busy Parents and are served birthday cake for breakfast by Ms Rapscott's two assistant corgis, Lewis and Clark. Fay Mandrake's box is accidentally shipped to The Top on her way to the Big White Lighthouse by the Sea. As the semester begins, the girls are informed that hurricanes Bertha, Bessie, Birdie, Bobby, Bunhilda, Bunny, and Buster are on the way, and the seventh floor of the lighthouse is off limits. New lessons include how to celebrate birthdays, make bad days good, share, deal with hurt feelings, and make incredible mistakes on purpose. Along the way, they discover that to reach The Top they must start at the Bottom of the Barrel (literally), and Going Far in Life includes failing and disappointments. There's lots of fun with birthday balloons and top hats for traveling as well as distilled white vinegar to solve problems. As Ms. Rapscott would say, "Life is like a hurricane. It twirls you around, knocks you off our feet and can blow you into unfamiliar territory, but you must always just put on your rain bonnet and enjoy the ride!"

Ages 10-13

written by Allison K. Hymans, (Aladdin, April 2017, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-6342-3), 256p, Ages 9-13

Eleven-year-old Jeremy Wilderson considers himself a "retrieval specialist and crime fighter" and not a thief, as Becca Mills, Scottsville Middle School's aspiring investigator and fellow sixth grader calls him. Returning items, whether stolen by students or confiscated by teachers, to their rightful owners is what Jeremy loves to do. When he is tricked by an aspiring eighth grade crime lord to retrieve a master key to the school lockers and student items go missing, it's up to Jeremy to retrieve the key. In desperation he turns to Becca for help. Hopefully they can find the key and take down the culprit before he winds up in detention by Becca for his unauthorized methods of crime fighting. Kids who enjoy entertaining capers and charming heroes will love this first book of Allison K. Hymas.

Gems from the Past: Ages 10-13

written by Elise Broach, illus. by Kelly Murphy, (Henry Holt and Co., 2008), 320p, Ages 9-13

"A great friendship, was like a great work of art he thought. It took time and attention, and a spark of something that was impossible to describe. It was a happy, lucky accident, finding some kindred part of yourself in a total stranger." From a gifted storyteller comes a powerful tale of an unlikely friendship between an eleven-year-old boy and a small beetle. James lives in a New York apartment with his social climbing mother and her new family. Marvin and his family reside behind the kitchen sink. The two form a bond when James' father gives him a pen and ink set as a birthday gift, and Marvin sketches the landscape outside of James window and presents it to him as a birthday gift. Misunderstandings arise when James' family believes him to be the artist, Matters escalate when James is recruited to help catch a thief by creating a replica of a famous drawing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marvin reproduces the drawing, but the original masterpiece is stolen. Surprises, mystery, intrigue, art history, family dynamics, and an endearing friendship combine to thoroughly entertain the most reluctant reader and listener.


written by Carmen Agra Deedy/Randall Wright, illus. by Barry Moser, (Peachtree Publishers, 2011), 256p, Ages 10+

During Charles Dickens' 19th century London, a street cat skillfully lands a position as mouser at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese tavern. Preferring cheese rather than mice, Skilley bargains with the head mouse to protect the growing mice population from harm in return for an unlimited supply of Cheshire cheese made at the inn. Skilley settles in, pretends to catch mice, befriends their extremely literate leader, Pip, and protects Maldwyn, an injured royal raven, hiding in the tavern's garret. As their friendship grows, Skilley and Pip unite to find a way to return Maldwyn to Queen Victoria's palace, avoid a cruel alley cat, and help Charles Dickens overcome his writer's block. This fast-moving story of an unlikely friendship and alliance, it's intricate word play, colorful characters, and detailed illustrations, all combine to make this British tale an unforgettable and enjoyable read. For those who read aloud, be prepared to explain about Charles Dickens, as well as the glossary of words and definitions. Adventure, danger, and intrigue make this one a fascinating tale that kids will be reluctant to put down.

Gems from the Past: Ages 12-15

written by Ian Baucom, illus. by Justin Gerard, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2013), 400p, Ages 11-14

Stories entwine across centuries and cultures when three modern day siblings struggle to save lives and correct an ancient evil that began three hundred years earlier in Italy. In modern day Venice, while their professor father works at a local university, Jared, Shireen, and Miranda visit an elderly shopkeeper. The bookseller gives them magical gifts and an ancient book which holds the story of Rashid, Francesca, and Maria, who were kidnapped by a diabolical monk three hundred years ago. Little do they realize that their new gifts will bring to life winged lions, talking cats, and mythical fauns, which help them fight corrupt villains, face dangerous circumstances, and give hope to hundreds of children stranded in the twenty-first century. The action, suspense, and exotic creatures will keep kids engrossed in this wonderful European fantasy.


written by Roland Smith, (Scholastic Press, $16.99, 2011, SBN 978-0-545-08175-7), 160p, Ages 10-13

As a category five hurricane, Emily, bears down on Florida, thirteen-year-old Chase and his contractor father head straight for its landfall. Following hurricanes, tornados, and floods provides business for dad who takes advantage of crises. Chase, familiar with constant traveling and changing schools, is glad to reach the farm of friends, where he can settle in at a new school. The farm is also winter headquarters of a circus. When the storm hits, Chase and two friends find themselves on a wrecked school bus as the levee underneath them crumbles. Trying to survive raging waters, darkness, flying debris, near drowning, and alligators, the three make their way to the farm, only to discover a devastated farmhouse, a barn with a pregnant elephant about to give birth, and rising floodwaters. First in a planned trilogy, kids will be anticipating the next installment.

Ages 14-18+

THE MYSTERY OF THE JEWELED MOTH #2 (The Sinclair Mysteries)
written by Katherine Woodfine, illus. by Julia Sardà, (Kane Miller Books, Feb. 2017, $6.99, ISBN 978-1-61067-438-6), 340p, Ages 13+

Sophie and Lil, shop girls at Sinclair's Department store in Edwardian London and part-time detectives, from The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, (Kane Miller, 2016), return in a mystery surrounding the missing Moonbeam Diamond. Stolen from a Chinese temple, it is said to carry a curse upon those who possess it. When a young Chinese girl requests their help in finding the Diamond for her family, who have guarded it for generations, Sophie and Lil use elaborate disguises to infiltrate high society, stop a disastrous engagement, retrieve the Moth, and discover secrets that lead them to London's most infamous crime lord, the Baron. The girls discover that bringing the Baron to justice might just cost them their lives.

Gems from the Past: Ages 14-18+

written by Mechthild Gläser, translated by Romy Fursland, (Fiewel and Friends, $17.99, Jan.2017, ISBN 978-1-250-08666-2), 384p, Ages 13+

When fifteen-year-old Amy Lennox persuades with her single mother to visit her birthplace, a mysterious and magical castle on the island of Stormsay in Scotland, little does she realize that her life and destiny is about to undergo a radical change. Amy's family and another clan on the island, the Macalisters, are keepers of a secret library of books dating back centuries, they have the ability to jump into stories, move from one story to another by staying in the margins, and interact with the characters. In training to become a book jumper, Amy discovers that a thief is stealing ideas from stories and ruining the books. Joining fellow book jumper, Will Macalister, Amy attempts to solve the mysteries and restore the stories, only to realize that someone is trying to kill her. While meeting and interacting with famous book characters (the Jungle Book's Shere Khan and Dickens' Oliver Twist), Amy discovers her unknown father, falls for Will, fights for justice, and finds forgiveness, but at a high cost. Fairy tales, compelling characters, mysteries, and a star-crossed love story make this unusual tale a magical and entertaining read.


written by Robin Benway, (Walker Books, 2013), 320p, Ages 14-18+

Groomed to become a spy from birth, sixteen-year-old Maggie Silver, only daughter of two international spies and an expert at cracking safes and picking locks, is given her first assignment by the Collective. A secret organization of forgers, computer hackers, weapon experts, and assassins, the Collective seeks to expose high-level crime in the world. When her family relocates to New York City, Maggie's job is to infiltrate an exclusive high school and befriend Jesse Oliver, son of a magazine publisher, who could reveal names of agents working for the Collective. Maggie doesn't expect to find a genuine friend in Roux, a crazy social outcast, and strong feelings for Jesse, Drawing her friends into the assignment, Maggie begins to question her destiny as a spy. Colorful characters, humorous dialogue, fast-paced action, family dynamics, a sweet love story, and an engaging plot make this a light, fun, and engaging read.

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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