June/July 2018

Gems from the Past


written/illus. by Stacey Previn, (Viking Children’s Books, 2016), 40p, Ages 2-5


A Tale of First Flight

written/illus. by Drew Sheneman, (Viking, 2017), 40p, Ages 3-5


OOPS, POUNCE, QUICK, RUN!: An Alphabet Caper
written/illus. by Mike Twohy, (Balzer + Bray, 2016), 32p, Ages 3-5


written by Alison Jackson, illus. by Karla Firehammer, Henry Holt, 2001), 32p, Ages 3-7


Ages 4-8
Gems from the Past


written/illus. by Adam F. Watkins, (Price Stern Sloan, 2016), 32p, Ages 3-6


7 ATE 9: The Untold Story
written by Tara Lazar, illus. by Ross MacDonald, (Disney-Hyperion, 2017), 32p, Ages 4-7


written/illus. by Dean Morrissey (Harry N. Abrams, 1997), 40p, Ages 5-8


BAD BEARS IN THE BIG CITY: An Irving & Muktuk Story
written by Daniel Pinkwater, illus. by Jill Pinkwater, (Houghton Mifflin & Co., 2003), 32p, Ages 4-8


written/illus. by Patricia Polacco, (Philomel Books, 2007), 40p, Ages 5-8

Ages 8-12
Gems from the Past

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


written by M. G. Leonard, (Chicken House, 2016), 288p, Ages 9-12


written/illus. by Cornelia Funke, translated by Anthea Bell, (Scholastic Books, 2007), 224p, Ages 9-12

Ages 10-13
Gems from the Past


written by Ben Mezrich, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,2014), 336p, Ages 10+


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

Ages 12-15
Gems from the Past


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


written by Richard Peck, illus. by Brandon Dorman, (Dial Books,. 2009), 176p, Ages 11+


Ages 14-18
Gems from the Past


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


written by Kathleen Karr, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998), 208p, Ages 14+


written by Bree Despain, (Carolrhoda Lab, Oct. 2016), 344p, Ages 16+


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 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, great books should be enjoyable, contain heart, humor, hope, and a happy ending,

Summer is here, and what a perfect time to relax with stories full of laughter, mystery, fun, and adventure. 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.


written/illus. by David Ezra Stein, (Nancy Paulsen Books, $16.99, March 2018,
ISBN 978-1-5247-3786-3), 32p, Ages 2-5

When Bear wakes up from his long winter nap, he’s ravenous, and all he can think of is honey. “Warm, golden, sweet, / clear, slowly flowing, / spicy, aromatic, sparkling with sunlight— / Honey!” When Bear realizes that it’s too early for the summer bee season, he passes the time enjoying the rain, bothering the bees (until he is stung), and splashing in a waterfall. When he hears a buzz, he rushes to the hive where the honey is as good as he remembered. That memory lasts into fall where, “A sleepy bear sat and remember the summer, and thought how good it had been.” In this follow up to David Ezra Stein’s award-winning Leaves, kids will love this eager, impatient, adventurous Bear, and his insatiable love of honey.


written by Kate Dopirak, illus. by Mary Peterson, (Beach Lane Books, $17.99, Feb. 2018,
ISBN 978-1-4814-8803-7), 40p, Ages 3-6

“Twinkle, twinkle, little car, / how you love to travel far! / Now it’s time to go to bed / But you want to drive instead.” Leaving his little garage at bedtime, Little Car cruises around town with his headlights shining, and goodnight beeps to the tractors, trucks, taxis, buses, fire engines, police cars, cranes, and diggers. The vehicles respond back with “Zing!” “Ah-Ooh-ga!” “Blooop! Bwoop!” and “Bee-Booo!” Now sleepy, Little Car is ferried back to his comfortable garage, more than ready to let his “beep-beep dreams begin.” This fun spin (hopefully sung) to the familiar Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is a perfect read-aloud for all the little revved-up engines out there to enjoy at bedtime.


written/illus. by Will Hillenbrand, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999, ISBN 978-0152018047), 40p, Ages 3-7

“Down by the station early in the morning” an industrious train engineer pulls into the Zebra Station and picks up a safari-clad traveler with her own toy trains (puffer-bellies). The busy train chugs merrily along picking up various baby animals, each dropped off by their mom and dad, on the way to the Children’s Zoo before opening hours. At the first stop a baby elephant calf is picked up, then flamingo chick, panda cub, tiger cub, seal pup, and a joey kangaroo. As each baby animal joins the train, their own sounds are added to the cumulative refrain. “See the engine driver / pull his little lever … Puff, puff, / Toot, toot, / Thrump, thrump, / Peep, peep, / Grump, grump, / Mew, mew, / Flip, flop / Bump, bump, / Off we go!” Along the way danger occurs when the seal pup and baby penguin jump off the train into a pond full of crocodiles. Children can search for a runaway red balloon on each page and watch a yellow school bus wind its way to the zoo carrying children to play with the animals. Children will enjoy the music on the last page in this charming and clever romp to the zoo.

Ages 4-8

written by Dashka Slater, illus. by Sydney Hanson, (Farrar Straus Giroux, $16.99, April 2017, ISBN 978-0-374-30281-8), 40p, Ages 4-6

Escargot, a French snail, is on a journey to the end of the book to reach, “a beautiful salad, with croutons and a light vinaigrette.” He encourages readers to share the experience by giving him a gentle push. Conversation along with way involves asking the reader to choose him as their favorite pet, informing them that his trails are “shimmery” not slimy, that snails dislike carrots in salads, and that he is quite fast and fierce when needed. Upon reaching the salad, Escargot discovers a dreaded carrot in it, and makes a deal with the reader. “On the count of three we will take a very, very, very small bite of the carrot,” and declares the reader to be his favorite animal. Try reading aloud this cute snail tale with a French accent. It will be even more delightful and c’est magnifique!


written by Laura Gehl, llus. by Christopher Weyant, (Penguin Young Readers, $17.99, Jan. 2018, ISBN 978-0-425-28824-5), 40p, Ages 4-8

A cute, little, stray dog searches for a warm, loving home, and devises a clever plan to obtain one. When a lonely, nearsighted man shops at The Pillow Place, The Furniture Barn, and the Jacket Emporium, he mistakenly purchases the puppy believing it to be a pillow, a footstool, and a jacket. However, the pillow keeps moving, the footstool is noisy, and the jacket burps. Returning the items yields no satisfaction from unscrupulous salesmen, who insist that the items are fluffy comfy, and cozy. He finally realizes his mistake, names the pup Jackie, and decides to buy a new hat at the Hat Factory, where Jackie winks at a lonely orange cat that has been lurking in each scene. Silly and appealing, readers will enjoy the cartoons, action, and details which add to the fun.


written by Anna Staniszewski, illus. by Kevin Hawkes, (Henry Holt & Co., $17.99, 2017,
ISBN 978-0-8050-9706-1), 40p, Ages 4-8

On a trip to the shelter with his mom, Ben finds, “cute dogs and funny dogs and loud dogs and smelly dogs,” but when he sees Sadie in a corner cage, he instantly knows she is a very special dog. Problems arise with feeding, bathing, pooping, and training. Sadie learns sitting, rolling over, and fetching, but the police disapprove of the smashed cars, fruit stands, and mail trucks. Redemption arrives when she catches a runaway thief, and the town finds jobs for her rescuing cats from trees, delivering mail, and helping farmers. “Soon Sadie was the most popular dog in town. And Ben knew he’d be able to keep her forever.” This one is a winner for dinosaur lovers young and old.


written/illus. by Jessixa and Aaron Bagley, Roaring Brook Press, $17.99, Feb. 2018,
ISBN 978-1-62672-780-9, 32p, Ages 4-7

“Vincent lived on a cargo ship. His paws had never touched land.” He enjoys life with plenty to eat, seagulls to chase, the captain’s cheerful cabin, nighttime stars to watch, and a ship that sails the world’s oceans, stopping at interesting destinations. “They’d load up with chocolate from Zanzibar and deliver it to Norway, oranges from Florida ended in up Iceland.” When he overhears the sailors longing for home, Vincent wonders where home is, and decides to follow one of the crewmen off the ship at the next port. Wandering around the town, watching families reunite, Vincent realizes that, “Home is where the people who love you are. I guess I don’t have a Home.” When he hears the captain’s familiar whistling, is scooped up, given a belly rub, and returned to the ship, Vincent finally understands that although homes don’t always look alike, they are all valuable.


written by Lauri Fortino, illus. by Bong Redila, (Ripple Grove Press, $16.00, 2015,
ISBN 978-0-9913866-3-5). 40p, Ages 6-9

As a poor old man works in his garden with his dog for company, he hears a peddler’s cart as it squeaks down the road toward his house. He admires the fine bed on top of the cart, and the peddler informs him that it was so sturdy that it would never squeak, but with no money, the old man was unable to purchase it. “The peddler paused for a moment, and then said, ‘I’ll make you a deal, sir. If you can think of a way to make my oak bed squeak by sunset, it will be yours.” The old man invites the peddler to share a humble soup dinner from vegetables in his garden, a few scraps of meat, and water from his well. The old man never is able to make the bed squeak, but through the peddler’s trickery, the old man will always rest peacefully on his new bed. Kindness, hospitality, and sharing are great lessons for children in our busy world.


written/illus. by Terry and Eric Fan, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99. May 2018, ISBN 978-1-4814-7037-7), 48p, Ages 5-8

“Finn lived by the sea, and the sea lived by him. ‘It’s a good day for sailing,’ his grandfather would have said.” Remembering the stories his grandfather told him about where the ocean meets the sky, Finn decides, on what would have been his grandfather’s 90th birthday, to build a boat for the journey they always planned. Crawling inside for a short nap, Finn dreams of a huge golden mustachioed fish which leads him to Library Island, “where a hundred bookish birds were roosting,” past a giant sea shell island, and through a sea of jellyfish. Reaching his destination, Finn sails through a cloudy sky filled with floating schooners, hot-air balloons, submarines, dirigibles, castles, and a blue whale to find a moon with the smiling face of his grandfather. As he begins to say goodbye, Finn hears his mother calling, awakes, remembers his journey, and realizes that “It had been a good day for sailing.” Magical, mystical, and marvelous, kids are in for a visual treat.

Ages 8-11

written by Jeanne Birdsall, (Alfred A. Knopf, $16.99, March 2018, ISBN 978-0-385-75566-5), 304p, Ages 9-13)

“Lydia believed in dancing wherever she could—on sidewalks, in supermarket aisles, libraries, swimming pools, parking lots. Today her stage was a bench at the bus stop.” The final episode of the award-winning Penderwick series finds the youngest Penderwick sibling, eleven-year-old Lydia, waiting for the arrival of her older sister, Batty, from college for their eldest sister Rosalind’s upcoming wedding at Arundel, the magnificent estate in the beginning series (The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, 2005). As the family comes together at Arundel, Lydia finds a best friend, older brother Ben uses his talents as a film director, Jeffrey flies in from Germany, Batty may find her destiny, Jane puts her sewing machine to good use, a double wedding arises, beloved dogs and a stair-climbing chicken cause mischief, and the estate’s former owner intrudes. Readers will again welcome old-fashioned humor, warm family relationships, and charming characters. Although sad to leave their beloved Penderwicks, most fans will hope for an encore.


written by Robert J. Harris, (Kelpies, $9.95, March 2018, ISBN 978-178250-483-2), 192p, Ages 8-12

This second book in a great detective series finds 12-year-old Artie Conan Doyle and his friend Ham investigating a series of accidents surrounding a world famous magician’s new production featuring a spectacular new illusion—a gigantic, mechanical, fire-breathing dragon. After a thorough investigation, many suspects emerge—“The Psychic Marvel,” “The Dancing Nymph,” “Kairos,” and “The Theatrical Phenomenon,”—but the deadly culprit will surprise even the two competent detectives. With a nod to the great man himself, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, kids will enjoy the humor, puzzles, conspiracies, and history in this fascinating detective mystery set in Victorian Edinburgh.

Ages 10-13

written by Bobbie Peers, translated from Norwegian by Tara Chace, (Aladdin Books, $16.99, May 2017, ISBN 978-1-4814-7825-0), 272p, Ages 10-13

Twelve-year-old William Wenton is a gifted code-breaker, who uses vibrations inside him to understand and solve complex puzzles. William and his family live in Norway with secrets. An event eight years ago which sent the family into hiding under an assumed name, left his father in a wheelchair, and his grandfather’s mysterious disappearance, are kept from him. When a special exhibit of the Impossible Puzzle comes to Oslo’s History of Science Museum, William’s class takes a field trip on the last day of the exhibit. Slipping away to see the exhibit triggers an unusual series of events that take William on a journey to secret societies, advanced science, futuristic research, amazing robots, killer robotic plants, wild chases, saving his grandfather, and perhaps the world. Brilliant but not perfect, William makes mistakes in judgment that often test his resilience and leave him with serious trust issues. Readers will enjoy the action, mystery, and crazy inventions in this first novel translated from Norwegian.


written by Lisa Kessler, (Candlewick Press, $15.99, 2015, ISBN 978-0-7636-7060-3), 288p, Ages 10-13

Eighth grade is fairly normal for Jessica, until her arm begins to disappear in Geography class. With the help of best friend Izzy, they investigate the why’s and how’s of this superpower. Realizing a connection between a recent birthday present and a friend of her moms, Jessica uses her invisibility to unravel this mysterious ability. Sneaking into a scientific laboratory while Izzy distracts a doctor, an interesting connection is discovered. When other students come forward with their newly discovered superpowers, they decide to apply their unusual talents of invisibility, stopping time, walking through walls, reading minds, and flying to thwart an unscrupulous millionaire and foil a kidnapping. Fascinating abilities, adventure, experimental science, unlikely friendships, questionable medical ethics, and courageous heroes make this scientific superhero mystery worth reading.

Ages 12-15

PROJEKT 1065: A Novel of World War II
written by Alan Gratz, (Scholastic Press, $16.99, Oct. 2016, ISBN 978-0-545-88016-9), 320p, Ages 13+

In 1943 Michael O’Shaunessey, 13-year-old son of the Irish ambassador to Germany, is a spy for the Allies during World War II. With his flawless German and photographic memory, Michael joins the Hitler Youth to infiltrate Nazi hierarchy and access information that will assist his parents in spying for the Allies. When Michael rescues a downed British pilot, he is alerted to the existence of Projekt 1065, a new Nazi warplane with no propellers. Upon discovering that his classmate’s father is the designer of the plane, Michael is given access to the blueprints. In a complex coming-of-age drama of friendship, loyalty, espionage, and betrayal, Michael experiences tough choices and moral dilemmas. The author’s note gives background information on the Hitler Youth organization, Nazi’s use of children to fight the war, their rehabilitation after the war, the real Projekt 1065, Operation Paperclip, the Manhattan Project, and Ireland’s neutrality. Kids will find themselves on the edge of their seats in this action-packed adventure.


written by Josh Lacey, (Houghton Mifflin, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-547-76327-9), 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.

Ages 14-18+

DOUBLE DOWN #2 (Lois Lane series)
written by Gwenda Bond, (Switch Press, 2016, ISBN 978-1-63079-038-7), 384p, Ages 14-18

Having settled into a new school in Metropolis and part time job at a local newspaper as junior reporter, Lois is more than ready for another challenging assignment. When she is sent to Suicide Slum to interview another student painting a mural in his neighborhood, she finds more than she bargained for when her best friend Maddy’s twin sister shows up in a cab and collapses. Her nose for news and seeking out the truth leads Lois to a secret scientific program involving the twins, proving the innocence of a disgraced mayor fresh out of prison, trapping a crime lord, and helping her friend SmallvilleGuy stop top-level forces from exposing the Flying Man. Readers will love this big-hearted teen trying to juggle school, work, curfew, friendships, while battling the bad guys.


written by Mechthild Gläser, translated by Romy Fursland, (Feiwel & Friends, Jan. 2018, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-250-14679-3), 336p, Ages 14-18+

16-year-old Emma Magdalena Morgenroth is looking forward to her 11th year at Stolzenberg Academy in Germany where her father is headmaster. When Emma and two friends decide to start a book club in the old west wing library of the castle, she discovers an ancient book hidden in a secret compartment of an old chest. The book chronicles events in the castle, written by many students over the centuries, but after unleashing a lion on the school grounds, Emma realizes that whatever is written in the book comes true. When an arrogant former student, Darcy de Winter arrives at the academy to investigate his twin sister’s disappearance from the school four years prior, they join forces to find her. It seems that the book has secrets that may be valuable in finding the missing girl. With a nod to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, readers who love fantasy, mystery, romance, and heroism will enjoy this unusual tale of a magical book that holds power to do good or evil.

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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