February 2018

Best of 2017


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


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


Ages 4-8
Best of 2017


written by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Mike Austin, (Beach Lane Books, Sept. 2017,
ISBN 978-1-4814-4523-8), 40p, Ages 3-8


7 ATE 9: The Untold Story
written by Tara Lazar, illus. by Ross MacDonald, (Disney-Hyperion, May 2017,
ISBN 978-1-4847-1779-0), 32p, Ages 4-7


written by Jackie Azúa Kramer, illus. by Maral Sassouni, (NorthSouth, Jan. 2017,
ISBN 978-0-7358-4218-2), 32p, Ages 4-7


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

Ages 8-11
Best of 2017

written by Linda Bailey, illus. by Victoria Jamieson, (Greenwillow Books, June 2017, ISBN 978-0-06-244093-8), 336p, Ages 8-12


THE CHICKEN SQUAD #4: DARK SHADOWS: Yes, Another Misadventure
written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Stephen Gilpin, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, March 2017,
ISBN 978-1-4814-5049-2), 128p, Ages 7-10

Ages 10-13
Best of 2017


written by Kier Graff, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Jan. 2017, ISBN 978-1-101-99622-5), 288p, Ages 10+


written by Carol Goodman, (Viking Children’s Books, March 2017,
ISBN 978-1-101-99766-6), 368p, Ages 10-14

Ages 14-18+
Best of 2017


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


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 in children's literature never lost their love of childhood. Their distinctive styles and personalities are woven into their writing in a special way that enchants children of every generation. We hope you will enjoy our choices reading and reading aloud stories.

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.


written by written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin, (Atheneum Books, $17.99, Dec 2017, ISBN 978-1-4814-4496-5), 40p, Ages 3-7

Valentine’s Day is approaching and Farmer Brown is busy cleaning the pigpen, stocking hay for the donkey, and mending broken fences, while Little Duck is decorating the barn for the party. “Little Duck worked hard, too. She tied balloons to… everything. She strung sparkling lights between…everything. She made hearts out of anything she could find.” When the party begins, Little Duck gives each animal guest a handmade valentine and they supply the food, except for the cows that went to the Divine Bovine Ball. When the music begins, everyone begins dancing, until an uninvited guest appears and the animals wonder if he will join them or eat them. Unafraid, Little Duck gives him her last valentine, and everyone dances until the cows literally come home. Kids will enjoy this fun filled celebration, especially the mice hustle.


written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by Jan Cordce, (Chronicle Books, $14.99, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8118-6655-2), 36p, Ages 3-6

Little Oink is a clean, tidy, and compulsively neat little pig, despite his parents objections. “If you want to grow up to be a respectable pig, you must learn how to make a proper mess.” In order to go outside and play Little Oink must unmake his bed, unfold his clothes, throw his towel on the floor, don a stained T-shirt, and throw all his toys on the floor. What does play consist of? Sweeping, scouring, and scrubbing his tree house. Kids will have fun with this humorous twist on childhood chores, as well as the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Little Pea (2005) and Little Hoot (2008).

Ages 4-8

written by Anne Marie Pace, illus. by Christopher Denise, (Disney-Hyperion Books, $17.99, Dec. 2017, ISBN 978-148475356-9), 48p, Ages 4-7

Moose is busy planning a Valentine’s party, until Bunny reminds him that tomorrow is Groundhog Day. “If Groundhog sees his shadow, he’ll go back into his hole for six more weeks. He won’t be awake on February 14th.” All through the night Moose, Bunny, Squirrel, and Porcupine try many solutions involving calendars, blindfolds, tents, and hole-sitting, until they realize that Groundhog has already seen his shadow and returned home for six more weeks. Realizing that Groundhog is shadow challenged, they propose funny ways to ease his fears. Settling for hugs, Groundhog returns six weeks later just in time for a St. Patrick’s Day, except why is Bunny is missing? Kids will love the chalkboard drawings and puppet charades in this clever holiday mix-up tale.


written by Alison Donald, illus. by Alex Willmore, (Clarion Books, $16.99, Jan. 2018, ISBN 978-0-544-97365-7), 32p, Age 4-7

When the librarian fails to show up for story time, the children follow a trail of paw prints “through a galaxy, into an ocean, and down a runway” to the librarian’s sticky desk with spilled honey and torn books. There, they discover a new librarian—a bear wearing a “Librarian” name tag. He is more than happy to read them a story about bears, including growls, stomps, and roars, much to their delight. When the regular librarian returns, she explains that, “A volcano erupted in the Ancient History section, and there was hot lava everywhere.” As she begins to read from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it seems that Baby Bear is missing from the tale. Kids will love the surprise ending in this cute, magical story.


written by Dashka Slater, illus. by The Fan Brothers, (Beach Lane Books, $17.99, Sept. 2017, ISBN 978-1-4814-5160-4), 48p, Ages 4-8

When a lost ship arrives looking for a seaworthy crew, Marco, a very inquisitive fox, sees an opportunity to find answers to his many questions about life (“How deep does the sun go when it sinks into the sea?” “Why don’t trees talk?” What’s the best way to find a friend you can talk to?“) Along with a flock of pigeons, Marco joins up to set sail for Sweet Tree Island. It’s a difficult journey with stormy seas, fierce pirates, sharp rocks, seasickness, and questionable food. Once they arrive, Marco finds sweet grass and short sweet trees, but no answers to his questions, until he realizes that new friends and further adventures are more than enough, as they agree to set sail for the Island of Scrumptious Shrubbery. Detailed maps of the journey are included in the book’s endpapers in this wonderful story of friendship and curiosity.

Ages 8-11

DAZZLE SHIPS: World War I and the Art of Confusion
written by Chris Barton, illus. by Victo Ngai, (Millbrook Press, Sept. 2017, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-5124-1014-3), 36p, Ages 7-11

According to Webster’s dictionary, Dazzle means “to impress deeply, overpower, or confuse with brilliance.” In early 1917 during World War I, the British were in danger of losing many of their food-carrying merchant ships to German submarine attacks. Britain was threatened with starvation until Norman Wilkinson of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve discovered a way to camouflage ships with crazy designs (Dazzle) to confuse the enemy about the speed and direction of the ships. After the United States joined the war, “1,256 American ships had been painted in dazzle designs along with close to 3,000 British ships.” Readers will enjoy with this little known history of military strategy, creativity, and improbable solutions. Endpapers include Author’s Note, Illustrator’s Note, Timeline, and suggestions for further reading.


written by A. H. Richardson, (Serano Press, $14.95, 2014, ISBN 978-0-692-35892-4), 268p, Ages 8-12

9-year-old Marjorie Beatrice Weaver (Jorie) could never have imagined an adventure with dragons, enchanted stones, and a cave of fire, until she is sent to live with her great aunt. After meeting Rufus, an insecure boy, who lives with his grandfather next door, an unlikely friendship develops between them. When Jorie discovers an ancient book about dragons containing four strange words, she speaks them aloud and the two kids begin an exciting adventure to a magical land beneath the backyard pond (the Tarn). There, they meet a good dragon, the Great Grootmonya, who enlists their help in finding three magic stones that belong to his land. In a battle of good versus evil, Jorie and Rufus discover loyalty, courage, friendship, and responsibility as they meet delightful inhabitants of mysterious lands, bond with a baby dragon, and fight an evil dragon, a poisonous butterfly, and a greedy professor. Filled with exciting adventure, magical characters, and mysterious powers, readers will look forward to the next installment in this fun-filled series.


written/illus. by Rebecca Bond, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, HC 2015, PB 2017-, ISBN 978-0-544-33217-1), 256p, Ages 8-11

When the barn cat, Burdick, overhears a sinister plot by Farmer Baxter to burn down the barn for insurance money, he notifies the group of barn animals, who band together to hatch a plan of escape. With teamwork, cooperation, and persistence Burdick the one-eyed cat, Figgy the pig, Mrs. Brown the jersey milk cow, Nanny the goat and her kid Tick, Pull & Tug the Shire draft horses, Fluff the sheep, and Noctua, the barn owl work together to escape and find a new home. As logistic problems arise, different animals provide solutions to each obstacle. The delightful illustrations by the late Rebecca Bond add to the enjoyment of the clever story.

Ages 10-13

WEBSTER: Tale of an Outlaw
written by Ellen Emerson White, (Aladdin, $16.99, Nov. 2015, ISBN 978-1-4814-2201-7), 256p, Ages 10-13

Cool, indifferent, and a loner, Webster arrives at the Green Meadows Rescue Group after three failed adoptions. Determined to remain aloof in spite of lovely accommodations, home-made treats, a soft bed, and new friends, he renames himself the Bad Hat. When Webster sees his chance to escape, he roams around town envisioning himself as a cowboy or outlaw, returning to the shelter for kibble and nightly TV episodes of Masterpiece Classics on PBS. Florence, the shelter's bossy resident cat, decides to create a buddy system and assigns other dogs to join him. His roamings become adventures when he rescues a drowning man, saves a toddler from being run over by the family car, herds lost sheep home, rescues six abandoned kittens, locates the kitten's abused mother, and captures media attention and his own Facebook page. Over the course of this heart-warming tale, Webster realizes his purpose in life, begins to trust again, and finds his forever family.


written by Jason Hightman, (Eos/HarperCollins, $16.99), 304p, Ages 10+

Simon St. George, raised at the Lighthouse School for Boys, realizes that he is descended from a family of medieval dragonslayers, when a father that he has never known shows up and decides that he should enter the family business. The last Knight of the Order of Dragonhunters, Aldric St. George, is determined to find the last dragon and save the world from its fearful hold. In order to do this, Aldric seeks out the son he had to abandon over 11 years ago.

Ages 14-18+

THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB #1 (A Stocker & Holmes Novel)
written by Colleen Gleason, (Chronicle Books, 2013, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4521-1070-7), 356p, Ages 14+

In 1889 London, Princess Alexandra, sister-in-law to Queen Victoria, requests the services of Alvermina Holmes (niece of Sherlock) and Evaline Stoker (sister of Bram) to investigate the disappearance of young society women and several recent murders. Forming a partnership has its challenges, as Evaline, a vampire hunter, hates blood, and Mina has insecurity problems. Their investigation leads them to the mysterious Society of Sekhmet whose leader, Ankh, is sacrificing young women to bring back the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. To solve the case, they join the cult. With the help of a young time traveler from 2016, a young street thief, and an irritating Inspector, the two puzzle out an expanding mystery before they become targets. Set in steampunk London, this action-packed murder/mystery with its alternate history, time travel, Egyptian mythology, and compelling characters will have readers yearning for the next title in the series.

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.

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

Email: info@tchliteracy.com


Copyright © 2018 The Children's HourAll rights reserved.
150 N. Santa Anita Ave., #300,Arcadia, CA 91006
Tel: 626-791-4848 | Email: info@tchliteracy.com