Fall 2023


Stories from the Past to Read,
Share, and Treasure

Series for Fall Reading



written & illus. by Jez Alborough, (Candlewick Press, 1998), 32p, Ages 3-7

Eddie and the bear, from Where’s My Teddy? (1992) and It’s the Bear!, (1994) finally establish a friendship by way of their teddy bears. One day while walking through the woods, Eddie comes across a giant teddy bear and decides to hide behind it when he hears Bear coming. When Bear begins to complain tearfully to his teddy about his lack of friends, it is Eddie who answers. Bear isn’t fooled for long, and after his initial shock at find Eddie, the two become life-long friends.

Themes: Animals, Bears, Classics, Friendship, Series
Other Books in the Series:
It’s the Bear
Where’s My Teddy


written by Joy Cowley, illus. by Elizabeth Fuller, (Philomel 2003), 32p, Ages 3-7

Jolly Mrs. Wishy-Washy is back washing and scrubbing her animals. Cow, Duck, and Pig decide that enough is enough, and run off to the big city where they find loads of trouble, get dirty, and end up in the “animal jail.” Rescued by Mrs. Wishy-Washy and back home, they are more than happy to have another bath. A great choice for story time or anytime.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme
Others in the Series:
Mrs. Wish-Washy
Mrs. Wish-Washy’s Scrubbing Machine
Mrs. Wish-Washy’s Tub
Mrs. Wish-Washy Makes a Splash
Mrs. Wish-Washy’s Splishy Sploshy Day
Mrs. Wish-Washy’s Christmas


Boo Boo
written/illus. by Olivier Dunrea, (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), 32p, Ages 2-5

BooBoo likes to eat various morsels around the barnyard, grapes, grain, goat’s food, mouse’s food, weeds, until she swallows a soap bubble and cannot stop burping. She encounters hummingbirds, a snail, a bird, a mouse, hens, a grasshopper, goat, spider, dragonfly, fish, and turtle, but fish advises her to drink water, which she says, “Good food.”

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Food, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series: Peedie: the Forgetful Little Gosling
Gossie & Gertie
Ollie the Stomper
Jasper & Joop
Gemma & Gus
Ruby & Rufus
Merry Christmas Ollie!
Ollie’s Halloween
Ollie’s Valentine
Ollie’s Easter Eggs
Gossie & Friends and the Big Book of Adventures
Gideon & Otto: Best Friends, Lost and Found

AGES 4 - 8


written/illus. by John Bemelmans Marciano, (Viking Children’s Books, 2008), 48p, Ages 4-7

“From an old house in Paris that was covered with vines/Left twelve little girls in two straight lines./Their bags were packed, a camera stowed;/They were ready to escape the cold.” On a visit to Rome in the spring, Miss Clavel’s camera is stolen. Madeline chases the thief through the streets of Rome and discovers many homeless cats that are cared for by the young thief.
Ultimately, Madeline rescues the young girl from a life of crime, and together they find homes for all the cats. After a fifty-year absence in new Madeline books, Ludwig Bemelmans’s grandson has created a delightful tale around some of the more than 300,000 cats that over the centuries inhabited the ruins of Rome’s Torre Argentina.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series:
Madeline and the Old House in Paris
Madeline at the White House


written by Josh Funk, illus. by Brendan Kearney, (Sterling Children’s Books, $14.95, Sept. 2015), 40p, Ages 5+

“Deep in the fridge and behind the green peas, / way past the tofu and left of the cheese, / up in the corner, and back by a roast, / sat Lady Pancake beside Sir French Toast.” Their friendship is legendary, until their neighbor, Miss Brie, mentions that there is only one drop of syrup left, and the race is on to reach the last drop. The competition is fierce as they race past Broccoli Forests, the Orange Juice Fountain, and the Potato Mash Mountain, over beets, behind the dressings, and a bean avalanche.
When Sir French Toast falls into the jam and Lady Pancake is sucked into the Chili Lagoon, the race becomes a sticky obstacle course. The silliness is just plain fun, and readers will be surprised at who takes the last drop. “Trudging back home beneath layers of grime, / Toast said, ‘Perhaps we should not fight next time.’” The fold out page at the end shows the inside of the refrigerator with a shopping list featuring syrup on the freezer door.

Themes: Adventure, Food, Friendship, Humor, Mysteries, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Others in the Series:
The Case of the Stinky Stench
Mission Defrostable
Short & Sweet
The Great Caper Caper


written/illus. by Lita Judge, (Atheneum Books, $16.99, 2014, Apr. 2014), 40p, Ages 4-8

Some are born to fly and some yearn to try, especially for one determined penguin. Announcing that he was “hatched to fly” and has “the soul of an eagle,” Penguin arrives at flight school in a motorboat and cute red goggles, ready for lessons. The teachers have doubts, but allow him to register. He practices for weeks, only to plunge into the ocean after soaring into the sky along with the other students. Flamingo ties fishing line and feathers to his plump body, but with little success. “But Penguin didn’t care. He had soared on the wind, just as he had done in his dreams.” Happily he leaves flight school, but soon returns with another friend, Ostrich, who “has the soul of a swallow.” Penguin’s never-give-up attitude is a charming way to teach children the admirable quality of perseverance.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series:
Penguin Flies Home

AGES 7 - 10


written by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen, (Candlewick Press, 2006), 80p, Ages 6-9

Every Saturday Mr. Watson backs his pink convertible out of his driveway and takes Mercy for a ride. Every Saturday Mercy yearns to drive. This Saturday they find a stowaway in the backseat. It seems that their elderly neighbor, Baby Lincoln, desires a little excitement also. Circumstances take a strange turn when Mercy jumps in Mr. Watson’s lap and commandeers his 1959 Cadillac. Speeding along with a pig at the wheel and pursued by a police car, Mr. Watson is unable to reach the brakes, but Baby comes to the rescue. Back home safe, everyone enjoys Mercy’s favorite—hot buttered toast. Not only a great beginning chapter book, but also a fun read-aloud for adults.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Chapter Books, Families, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series:
Mercy Watson to the Rescue
Mercy Watson Fights Crime
Mercy Watson Princess in Disguise
Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig
Mercy Watson Something Wonky Goes This Way


written by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Arthur Howard, (Harcourt Children’s Books, 2006), 44p, Ages 6-9

Deciding to be neighborly, Mr. Putter offers to help serve tea for Mrs. Teaberry’s knitting club. Everything moves along nicely until Mr. Putter’s cat, Tabby, spies the balls of yarn and unravels Mrs. Fitzwater’s sweater. Mrs. Teaberry’s dog, Zeke, loves potatoes and snatches the fake ones from Gertrude’s hat. Of course, chaos erupts, but Mr. Putter charms everyone with extra bridge mix and lots of tea. This is another fine addition to the Mr. Putter & Tabby series.

Themes: Animals, Chapter Book, Friendship, Humor, Pets, Series
Others in the Series:
Mr. Putter & Tabby Fly the Plane
Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea
Mr. Putter & Tabby Bake the Cake
Mr. Putter & Tabby Walk the Dog
Mr. Putter & Tabby Pick the Pears
Mr. Putter & Tabby See the Stars
Mr. Putter & Tabby Drop the Ball
Mr. Putter & Tabby Hit the Slope
Mr. Putter & Tabby Write the Book
Mr. Putter & Tabby Make a Wish
Mr. Putter & Tabby Paint the Porch
Mr. Putter & Tabby Dance the Dance
Mr. Putter & Tabby Take the Train
Mr. Putter & Tabby Catch the Cold
Mr. Putter & Tabby Row the Boat
Mr. Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans
Mr. Putter & Tabby Clear the Decks
Mr. Putter & Tabby Feed the Fish
Mr. Putter && Tabby Stir the Soup
Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page
Mr. Putter & Tabby Ring the Bell
Mr. Putter & Tabby Run the Race
Mr. Putter & Tabby Smell the Roses


written by Sam Hay, illus. by Marek Jagucki, (Feiwel and Friends, $13.99, Sept. 2018), 240p, Ages 7-11

Two adventure-loving, gadget-obsessed penguins, Jackson and Quigley from the town of Rookeryville, long to join the FBI (Frosty Bureau of Investigation). Dismissed as too young to join up, they are determined to prove their detective abilities. When one of Quigley’s inventions misfires, Secret Agent OOZero Jackson is dropped into an FBI stakeout. There they discover that rare and exotic fish are vanishing from the local aquarium. To solve the crime, they must evade Jackson’s mother’s detective skills, avoid Frost-Wasp Bots, and outmaneuver Coldfinger, owner of the Shark’s Pit Restaurant.
Kids will love this middle grade chapter book with its fast-paced action, penguin humor, and quirky inventions (wall-climbing poo-glue, the voice-activated flipper-print quadruple locking system, and sardine invisibility suits).

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Chapter Book, Heroes, Humor, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series:
Spy Penguins: The Spy Who Loved Ice Cream
Spy Penguins: Golden Egg

AGES 8 - 12


Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall

written by Emily Bearn, illus. by Nick Price, (Little, Brown & Co., 2009), 512p, Ages 6-9

In the dilapidated British home of Arthur and Lucy Mildew and their inventor father, reside a pair of non-adventurous mice, Tumtum and Nutmeg. Their residence, a forgotten broom closet, is as magnificent as the Mildew’s house is shabby. Tumtum and Nutmeg live a quiet life, until one day they decide to repair the Mildew’s Rose Cottage. Rewiring heaters, darning socks, reworking Mr. Mildew’s non-functioning inventions, patching shoes, and making the dollhouse livable is hard work, but very rewarding. Little do they realize what marvelous adventures await them.
With the help of the mouse community, they rescue friends, defeat enemies, emerge victorious, and make their world a better place in which to live. These clever stories from England teach that there are consequences to greed and selfishness, and that happiness comes from loyalty and friendship.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Heroes, Series
Other Books in the Series:
Tumtum & Nutmeg
Tumtum & Nutmeg: The First Adventure
Tumtum & Nutmeg: The Rose Cottage Adventure
Tumtum & Nutmeg: The Pirates’ Adventure
Tumtum & Nutmeg: Trouble at Rose Cottage
Tumtum & Nutmeg: A Seaside Adventure
Tumtum & Nutmeg: The Great Escape
Tumtum & Nutmegs Christmas Adventure


written by Betty G. Birney, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005), 160p, Ages 8-11

In this sequel to “The World According to Humphrey,” the little industrious hamster, returns to Room 26 after Winter break, only to find a new class pet, Og the frog. Humphrey keeps a notebook as he analyzes, solves problems, and tries to make friends with Og. Each chapter ends with a quote or proverb about friendship.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Pets, Series
Others in the Series:
The World According to Humphrey
Friendship According to Humphrey
Trouble According to Humphrey
Surprises According to Humphrey
Adventure According to Humphrey
Summer According to Humphrey
School Days According to Humphrey
Mysteries According to Humphrey, Winter According to Humphrey
Secrets According to Humphrey
Imagination According to Humphrey
Spring According to Humphrey


written by Elise Broach, illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo, (Henry Holt, 2011), 272p, Ages 9-12

Recently arrived from Chicago, three brothers, 11-year-old Simon, 10-year-old Henry (narrator), and 6-year-old Jack envision a boring summer in Arizona, until the day their cat runs away to the forbidden Superstition Mountain.
Against their parents warning, the three chase Josie up the mountain, only to discover three human sculls neatly lined up on an unstable ledge. Rescued from an accidental fall, Jack and his brothers return home to research the mountain’s history and prepare for another trip, this time with a new acquaintance and neighbor, 10-year-old Delilah. The local library provides information on a Lost Dutchman’s Mine, a fortune in gold, strange disappearances, and unexplained murders on the mountain.
The return trip reveals hidden canyons, saddlebags of old coins, a strange map, and a shooting. Adventure, mystery, secrets, and intrigue prepare readers for the next installment of this page-turner trilogy.

Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series:
Treasure on Superstition Mountain
Revenge on Superstition Mountain

AGES 10 - 13


The Door to Time

written by Pierdomenico Baccalario, translated by Leah Janeczko, illus. by Iacopo Bruno, (Scholastic, Inc., $12.99, 2006), 240p, Ages 9-12

An old mansion on the English coast becomes a new home to eleven-year-old twins Jason and Julia. Together with a friend, they discover Argo Manor’s twisting tunnels, strange artifacts, and a mysterious locked door. The previous owner, Ulysses Moore, left behind clues and codes to unlock the ancient door, and they work together to solve the secrets of the mansion and Ulysses strange disappearance.

Themes: Adventure, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series:
The Long Lost Map
The House of Mirrors
The Isle of Masks


(The Genius Factor series)

written by Paul Tobin, illus. by Thierry Lafontaine, (Bloomsbury, 2016,), 272p, Ages 10+

Sixth grader Nate Bannister is an off-the-charts genius usually, but only on Friday the 13th he tries to accomplish three not-so-smart things. This time he teaches his caterpillar math, mails a love letter, super-sizes Proton the family cat, turns him invisible, reverses the formula, and places sections of it onto seven people or things.
When Proton escapes and is determined to destroy the city, Nate enlists the help of his only friend, Delphine. They use every gadget, invention, and theory of Nate’s, including his talking Scottie dog, Bosper, and Betsy, his self driving car, to avoid the criminal Red Death Tea Society, turn Proton back to normal, and try to survive until Friday the 14th. Funny, silly, and kooky, kids will love the huge Catnip Incense Burner, Costume Disintegration Ray, Molecular Scanner, String Theory Net, and the Mechanical Hypnotizing Robot Octopuses.

Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, Humor, Series
Others in the Series:
How to Outsmart a Billion Robot Bees
How to Tame a Human Tornado


written by Blue Balliett, illus. by Brett Helquist, (Scholastic Press, 2006), 272p, Ages 10-12

The two sleuths from “Chasing Vermeer” are back, this time with a friend to solve a mystery surrounding Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Chicago. Calder, Petra, and Tommy are sixth grade students at the University School in Hyde Park, which also owns the Robie House. When the deteriorating house is slated for renovation and ultimately destruction, the three detectives must piece together a puzzle, overcome opposition, and decipher the landmark’s secrets.
With strange sounds coming from the house, shadows behind the art-glass windows, and a moving roof, the restoration turns into a search for hidden treasure and coded messages left behind by Frank Lloyd Wright. Kids will even learn a little about history and a famous architect.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Mysteries
Others in the Series:
Chasing Vermeer
The Calder Game
Pieces and Players

AGES 12 - 15


The Door in the Alley

written by Adrienne Kress, (Delacorte Press, 2017), 320p, Ages 11+

Twelve-year-old Sebastian is a serious rule-follower and never takes chances, until one day on his way home from school he accidentally takes a wrong turn into a strange alley and stumbles upon the mysterious Explorers Society.
The next day he rescues a little pig in a teeny hat, whose owner belongs to the society. He is invited in, has tea with its leader, and begins to work at the Society to avoid being arrested for trespassing. There he discovers strange rooms, the original Filipendulous Five members, and a hidden box containing information about them.
Eleven-year-old Evie is an orphan fleeing from two dangerous men who are seeking a message she carries from her grandfather, a member of the Filipendulous Five. When she seeks help from the Society, she and Sebastian begin an adventure to locate a missing key and her grandfather while avoiding dastardly villains who seek the key.
Readers will enjoy this very mysterious society with its famous explorers, missing persons, hired thugs, perilous chases, a lost map, and two courageous children.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series: The Reckless Rescue
The Quest for the Kid


(The Sinclair Mysteries)

written by Katherine Woodfine, illus. by Julia Sardà, (Kane Miller Books, 2016), 352p, Ages 14+

“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 and considered too old for an orphanage and old enough to support herself, is hired by Sinclair’s as a shopgirl to work in the Millinery Dept. 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 with 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 the intrepid heroes as they solve messages coded in ciphers, uncover police corruption, discover explosive devices, and devour iced buns, while attempting to bring the villainous Baron to justice.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Mysteries, Series
Others in the Series:
The Mystery of the Jeweled Moth
The Mystery of the Painted Dragon
The Mystery of the Midnight Peacock


ALEX RIDER: Secret Weapon:
Seven Untold Adventures from the Life of a Teenaged Spy

written by Anthony Horowitz, (Philomel Books, 2019), 336p. Ages 12-15

After eleven entertaining adventures in the life of the indestructible teenage spy Alex Rider, this newest collection of seven short stories features four previously published adventures and three new stories of a teenage spy, trained by an uncle and recruited by MI6. Infiltrating a terrorist hideout in Afghanistan, fighting to prevent an assassination attempt at a ski resort over Christmas, a school trip with a deadly twist, and more will hold readers on the edge of their seats with the escapes, fights, and brilliant gadgets.

Themes: Adventure, Heroes
Other Books in the Series:
Point Blank
Skeleton Key
Eagle Strike
Ark Angel
Crocodile Tears
Scorpia Rising
Russian Roulette
Never Say Die

AGES 14 - 18


Wars of the Realm

written by Chuck Black, (Multnomah Books, 2014), 320p, Ages 16+

At the age of twelve, Drew Carter’s father, a member of a Special Forces unit, dies in action. Since then, tragedy and heartache seem to follow Drew from one school to another. Over the years his father’s best friend and fellow soldier, Jake Blanchard, helps Drew through his grief, takes him on camping trips, and eventually teaches him combat training.
When college offers Drew a chance to start over, a physics experiment explodes leaving him blind and his high school friend, Ben, missing. After his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers he has skills and sight beyond the normal and can observe what he calls invaders influencing humans for good or evil. When Drew begins to question his sanity, he remembers his father’s advice: “It’s wrong to do nothing when you have the power to do something.”
Determined to thwart the invaders, Drew moves to the inner-city of Chicago, locates Ben, discovers a long lost love Sydney, and protects his neighborhood from a local gang, earning him the nickname of “The Guardian,” which brings him to the attention of the FBI. Teens will enjoy this first book in the Wars of the Realm series containing humor, heartache, suspense, action, a touch of romance, and an insight to the real spiritual battle between angels and demons. Endpapers provide readers with Biblical facts versus the author’s fictional account of each chapter.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Suspense, Intrigue, Series
Other Books in the Series:
Rise of the Fallen
Light of the Last


written by Veronica Rossi, (Tor Teen, 2016), 368p, Ages 16+

After a fatal military accident, 18-year-old Gideon Blake miraculously returns to life with special powers, a strange red cuff, magical weapons, a fiery horse, and a destiny beyond his wildest dreams. He is now War, one of four manifestations of the legendary Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Bible. Given their different personalities and backgrounds, Gideon and the three other Horsemen (Sebastian as Famine, Marcus as Death, and Jode as Conquest), learn to work as a team with mystical weapons, superpowers, and magical horses, and ride forth to fight the evil Kindred.
The story is told by Gideon in flashbacks while under interrogation by government officials. Teens will enjoy this first book in an action-packed, intense duology, filled with intriguing characters, magnificent horses, weapons, a bit of romance, and a quest to save the world from evil.

Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Mysteries, Series
Others in the Series:


The Woodcutter Sisters

written by Alethea Kontis, (Graphia, 2013), 336p, Ages 14-18

Readers who love fairy tales will enjoy this charming mixture of classics. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jack in the Beanstalk, and more are woven into a complex story about seven sisters, a frog prince, battling fairy godmothers, and evil villains.
Sunday Woodcutter, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, discovers an enchanted frog prince, while battling fairy godmothers, and evil villains.
Sunday Woodcutter, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, discovers an enchanted frog in the forest. As their friendship grows into love, Sunday unknowingly breaks his curse and frees Prince Rumbold. As he searches the kingdom for her, the path to true love is filled with obstacles from Sunday’s stubborn family, wicked kings, fairy godmothers, giants, golden eggs, glass slippers, and beanstalks.
Intricately threaded with humor, drama, magic, intrigue, and romance, readers will enjoy the elaborate plots, colorful characters, hidden agendas, family dynamics, and the delectable enchantment of book one.

Themes: Adventure, Families, Folk Literature, Heroes, Series
Other Books in the Series:


Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins
The Woodcutter Sisters

written by Andrew Lane, (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011), 320p, Ages 14+

In the summer of 1868 fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes is sent to live with his eccentric aunt and uncle in their Hampshire mansion. His brother, Mycroft, sends an American tutor to keep Sherlock out of trouble.
When two people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Sherlock, a streetwise orphan Matty, and the tutor’s daughter, Virginia, investigate the bizarre murders. Sherlock encounters mysterious beekeepers, escapes from kidnappers, participate in brutal boxing matches, and thwarts an eccentric crippled mastermind behind the plot to destroy the British Empire.
This action packed first adventure of a young Sherlock Holmes offers a solid introduction to the younger years of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic character. It provides an insight to the adult Holmes’ interest in bees, future drug addition, boxing, sword fighting, and investigation skills he uses later in life. Authorized by the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle, this first adventure detective tale of Sherlock Holmes’ younger years is an engaging tale.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series:
Rebel Fire
Black Ice
Fire Storm
Snake Bite
Knife Edge
Stone Cold
Night Break

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 are filled with imagination and fun. Stories that take children into a world of delight and adventure present storytelling at its best. Children need stories for pleasure, laughter and fun; imaginative and nonsensical stories that may not have a scrap of useful information or lesson, but cheerful and delightful lunacy. Give as many as possible to your children, because imagination and fund are essential to life.

Fall is here, the leaves are turning, the pumpkins are ripe, and it’s a great time for storytelling. The books featured represent some of the best of imagination and fun in children's literature and are presented for the reading and listening enjoyment of all.

For more information on reading to children and great books to read and read aloud, log on to our web site at www.tchliteracy.com. Always remember.

Read to your children before they’re too old
to listen and love the stories you hold.
But after they’re grown, keep reading, no worries,
they’ll never grow tired of hearing great stories.
The Children’s Hour ©2021.


Finger Puppet Book

written/illus. by Yu-Hsuan Huang, (Chronicle Books, Aug. 2023, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-7972-2021-5), 12p, Ages 1-3

Babies and toddlers will love touching, feeling, and snuggling up with Baby Mushroom as she welcomes fall, greets her friend worm, nestles in the leaves, frightens predators with her red cap, loves the rain, and rests under the nighttime stars
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Nature, Series
Other Finger Puppet Books: Baby Bear, Baby Bunny, Baby Chipmunk, Baby Duck, Baby Elephant, Baby Fish, Baby Fox, Baby Giraffe, Baby Hedgehog, Baby Hippo, Baby Kitten, Baby Koala, Baby Llama, Baby Narwhal, Baby Octopus, Baby Orca, Baby Otter, Baby Piglet, Baby Puppy, Baby Raccoon, Baby T. Rex, Baby Tiger, Baby Unicorn, Baby Yeti, Baby Red Panda


written by Colombe Linotte illus. by Claudia Bielinsky, (Twirl/Bayard Editions, $10.99, Aug. 2023, ISBN
978-1-03635-862-1), 20p, 2+

“Goodness gracious! said the elephant. I’ve lost a sock! A sock so gigantic—it’s making me frantic! Where can it be?” Zebra’s striped sock, Monkey’s polka dot sock, Crocodile’s three-toed orange sock, Flamingo’s superb sock, and Tiger’s two socks with little bows are also missing. Where have they all gone? Kids will enjoy the last page of this clever board book that features Octopus with the missing socks on his eight legs saying, “Ooh! Lucky me, I’ve found lots of socks!” The page folds out for a memory game of matching socks with animals. Adults will enjoy the clever introduction of shapes, patterns, and colors to their little ones.
        Themes: Animals, Concept, Humor


written/illus. by Richard Scarry, (Random House, $20.99, Sept. 2023, Board Book, ISBN 978-0-593-64576-5), 14p. Ages 2+

“Busytown is a fun place to live, but it can also be a bit noisy! When you spot the symbols, press the buttons to hear the busy sounds of Busytown!” Children will delight in this interactive board book which features 12 sounds of a noisy town by pressing various icon buttons. Kids will enjoy the busy street where something is always happening, a railroad station with trains pulling in, an airport with noisy planes and helicopters, a harbor of boats returning with loads of fish, a crane operator loading cargo onto ships, and many more sounds on each page. The sound module has an on/off switch with easily replaced batteries. A new generation of Richard Scarry fans will love and cherish his creations as thousands of children have in the past.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Machines, Humor
Other book in the series: Richard Scarry’s Busytown Seek and Find! | Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town | Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy World


written/illus. by Francesca Pirrone, (Clavis Publishing, Inc., $18.95, Oct. 2023, ISBN 978-1605379456), 28p, Ages 3-7

This fifth book in the Piggy series finds our hero rescuing a lonely baby hedgehog in the forest. When the baby continually cries, Piggy finds a veterinarian who tells him the baby needs a house (box), a blanket (lots of love), and goat milk every three hours. Piggy discovers that taking care of a baby is tiring, but his friends come along to help, so Piggy can take a well-deserved nap. “Soon the little hedgehog is a big hedgehog. It’s time to go back to the forest.” When Piggy reflects on how nice it was to care for the hedgehog, he wonders if the little guy misses him too. Find out just how much the little guy misses his surrogate mother in this sweet and special tale of love and friendship.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Heroes
Other Books in the Series: Little Book of Kindness #1 | Little Book of Caring #2 | Just For You #3 | Party For Everyone #4


written/illus. by Salina Yoon, (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, $18.99, Sept 5, 2023, ISBN
978-1-68119-350-2), 40p, Ages 3-7

Penguin is off on another adventure, this time to find treasure under the sea. Looking in hollow logs, dark caves, and a giant kelp forest, it’s not treasure he discovers but a shy and nervous octopus named Ollie, who uses his camouflage to hide. “‘Why don’t you come with me, Ollie?’ said Penguin. ‘But you don’t have to hide from me. I like to SEE my friends!’ “

Upon encountering a shark along the way, Ollie disappears, and Penguin gathers his friends to help search for him. Find out how Ollie overcomes his shyness, and both find the best treasure of all, more precious than jewels—friendship.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Oceans/Lakes/River/Ponds, Series
Other Books in the Series: Penguin and Penelope | Penguin on Vacation | Penguin in Love | Penguin and Pumpkin | Penguin’s Big Adventure | Penguin’s Christmas Wish


written/illus. by Camilla Pintonato, translated by Debbie Bibo, (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Aug. 2023, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-8028-5611-1), 48p, Ages 4-7

When Papa Lion tells his cub, “It’s time to catch your own gazelle”, the little cub believes it’s an easy task – his first mistake. After finding a gazelle, he hides behind a bush and pounces, but misses – his second mistake. Realizing a need to run faster, the little cub lifts weights and laces up his sneakers, but the gazelle jumps higher and runs faster –third mistake. He tries setting traps, scheming, and asking nicely, but nothing works. The gazelle, proud of her victory, becomes bored and looks everywhere for him, only to have him finally catch her. But does he? Kids will love this delightful tale of mistakes, surprises, and new friendships.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Countries & Cultures, Friendship, Humor


written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by A. G. Ford, (Chronicle Books, $17.99, Sept. 2023, ISBN 978-1-7972-2192-2), 44p, Ages 3-7

This latest addition to the Construction Site series finds the crew, Belt Loader, Tractor, Snowplow, Excavator, Dump Truck, and Bulldozer helping a crew of airport vehicles build an expansion for the busy airport. Bulldozer clears a two-mile-long path for another runway. Cement Mixer pours fresh concrete and spreads it out. Crane Truck helps build a new airport addition, and they all work together with the airport vehicles to carry heavy stacks, prep planes, pump fuel, maintain runways, and move luggage.

When a surprise snowstorm hits and covers the runway, the team joins the airport trucks in clearing the runways and de-icing the planes. “This project was a soaring feat / and now this giant job’s COMPLETE! / The airport crew all wave goodbye. / ‘Thanks! Now we can really FLY!’ / So another workday ends … /These teams were strangers. / Now, they’re friends.”

Kids will love the many jobs that make an airport a busy thriving place, the teamwork needed to make it functional, making new friends, and a well-deserved rest after a great job.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Machines, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site! | Mighty, Mighty Construction Site! | Construction Site on Christmas Night | Three Cheers for Kid McGear | Construction Sire Mission: Demolition | Construction Site: Road Crew Coming Through! | Construction Site: Farming Strong All Year Long


written/illus. by Kazuo Iwamura, (NorthSouth Books, $19.95, Sept 2023, ISBN 978-0-7358-4543-5). 32p, Ages 4-7

Mick, Mack, and Molly, three impressionable squirrels return in this third tale about exploring the fall season when everything seems red. They love their warm red sweaters that Mama knitted them, the mushrooms with red tops, red berries, the leaves changing color due to the cold winter coming and even the brilliant red sunset. “And all winter long, no matter how cold it got, the squirrel family kept warm in their red sweaters and scarf.” Kids will enjoy the beautiful illustrations of the fall season as they anticipate the cooler weather that is to come.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Seasons, Series
Other Books in the Series: Hooray for Spring! | Hooray for Summer! | Hooray for Snow | Good-bye, WINTER! Hello, SPRING!


written by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Segio Ruzzier, (Beach Lane Books, $17.99, 2021, ISBN 978-1-4424-6507-7), 32p, Ages 4-7

A little rabbit and frog demonstrate many things for which they are thankful. As they dress to zip around town, they give thanks for their clothes (mittens, coats, boots, and hats), for friends (mailman, grocer, waiter), nature (apple trees and rose bushes), food (warm soup), transportation (bikes, skates, cars), the weather (sun, rain, wind, sleet, snow), insects (beetles, bees, ladybugs), and family (“We give thanks for cousins / and for fathers and for mothers. / We give thanks for grandpas / and for sisters and for brothers. / Aunts and uncles, neighbors too, / grandmas great and greater.”) Kids will love the joy and fun these two friends have with their gentle reminder to appreciate and give thanks everyday.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Family, Friendship, Food, Nature

Ages 4-8

written by Anitra Rowe Schulte, illus. By Christopher Denise, (Two Lions, $17.99, Oct. 2023, ISBN
978-1-5420-2569-0), 48p, Ages 4-7

“Bunny loved the big, wide wood. From sunrise to moonglow, each day was filled with adventure. Then one day, he heard a rustling in the brush. A voice inside said, “Go Find a safe place to grow.” After a long, tiring journey, he sees a magnificent tree in the forest, Willow, who allows him to enjoy the soothing grass beneath her branches. Bunny stays with Willow through the seasons eating clover around her in the summer and warming himself in a winter den underneath her. “Every day was theirs to share. Just Bunny and Willow, Willow and Bunny.”

When a severe storm rips through the woods, Willow lifts her branches and invites the animals to shelter beneath her. Throughout the storm Willow protected them, but her branches were broken, damaged, and forever changed. Bunny wept at the sight but knew it was time the animals returned Willow’s kindness by clearing debris and planting her cuttings in the woods. “The animals often visited Willow to say hello. But Bunny stayed by her side always.” Kids and adults will love the amazing illustrations in this tale of friendship, kindness, and sacrifice.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Heroes, Nature, Values


written by Lisa Mantchev, illus. by EG Keller, (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 2021, ISBN 978-1-5344-3847-7), 40p, Ages 4-8

“Four humans, a rabbit, seven fish, and a rat live inside a twisty-turney house. Plus two cats who live upstairs and three dogs who live downstairs.” The rat, fish, and rabbit all agree that situation is better this way because dogs and cats don’t get along. When a door is accidentally left open, a bold, snoopy cat comes in and proceeds downstairs. Even though the dogs aren’t friendly with the newcomer, they can’t resist showing off their living quarters. The animals finally realize that they have common interests after all (the coldest water upstairs, best snacks downstairs, best scratching upstairs, best digging downstairs). When the cat wonders if there is an in-between place, they find the middle floor as a common ground to find new things together. Many times, changing one’s perspective produces the best results.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Pets


written by Michelle Houts, illus. by Sara Palacios, (Flamingo Books, $18.99, August 2023, ISBN
978-0-593-20690-4). 40p, Ages 4-7

“A scarecrow stood in the garden. Tall, proud, smiling. Like most of us, he didn’t remember the very beginning of his days. He only knew he was created with loving hands. Carefully crafted. Wonderfully made.” A little girl had placed him on his perch, stood him upright, gave him a name, and told him to keep the birds away from her flowers. Each day she read him stories with tales of adventure, courage, and hope on the seas, with kings, queens, dragons, and other scarecrows. “And when she said, ‘The End,’ the scarecrow always felt a little bit taller and braver.”

Year atter year, the girl carefully placed him in the shed for winter and returned him to the garden in spring, until one day a stranger placed in him the garden. Perplexed, the scarecrow waited and waited and remembered her stories of bravery and courage. Discover how Hopefully finds a permanent home where stories are read forever. Kids will love this beautiful tale of courage, hope, the power of friendship, and stories forever remembered.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Values & Virtues


written by Žiga X Gombač, illus. by Maja Kastelic, translated by Olivia Hellewell, (NorthSouth Books, $18.95, Feb 2023, ISBN
978-0-7358-4497-1), 40p, Ages 5-8

Adam Von Trapeze is the youngest child in his famous circus family. Grandpa Angus swallows swords, Grandma Antonia breathes fire, Uncle Artem builds huge human pyramids, twins Aria and Alea juggle on a unicycle and are shot out of a cannon, and his parents, Papa Alexei and Mama Anastasia, dance blindfolded on a tightrope. Only Adam shows no interest in circus tricks or applause. While the family gathers to discuss the problem, they hear a magical sound, investigate, and discover Adam playing a tuba with amazing skill. “With his eyes closed he played his instrument as if in a dream world and with so much skill that members of the Van Trapeze family couldn’t believe their eyes and ears.”

From that day forward, the family features Adam on his tuba while they perform to the delight of audiences. “Sometimes he blew bubbles. And did impressions of an elephant blowing its nose. Every now and then he would hide flowers in his tuba.” Translated from German, this unique tale, with its fetching illustrations, will have readers and listeners cheering for more tales from the circus world.
        Themes: Families, Heroes, Humor, Music


written by Sheryl Haft, illus. by Jeremy Holmes, (Nancy Paulsen Books, $18.99, Sept. 2023, ISBN
978-0-399-54786-7), 40p, Ages 4-8

Mazie has a wonderful imagination and loves building inventions to solve problems for her family. To feed her dog Doodle every morning Mazie invents the Food-o-Matic with pullies and lifters over the top of the refrigerator, the Roly-Ramp to help mom move boxes, the Pulley-Lifter for dad, the Waker-Upper Rocket Machine to wake up brother in the morning, a Bicycle-Bucket Machine to lift Doodle to her tree house, a Teeter-Lever to help brother with his basketball practice and the foldout page featuring the Pulley-Power-Save-our-Dog Tower to rescue Doodle from the top of the roof. Kids will love the colorful and intricate illustrations and may decide to create inventions of their own.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Inventions

Ages 7-10

written/illus. by Sylvie Daigneault, (Pajama Press, $22.95, Aug. 2023, ISBN 978-1-77278-299-8), 64p, Ages 7+

Step inside this delightful alphabet book to solve 26 puzzles, each surrounding a letter of the alphabet. From A to Z each decorated letter is accompanied by a whimsical rendering of animals, vegetables, or minerals to discover. From the letter “S” readers will enjoy the accompanied illustration of “Sleepy Sloths Swaying by the Sea” but upon careful examination they might just discover 12 more items, which may be checked against the endpapers.

From A (Agile Alligators Attempting an Arabesque) to Z (Zippy Zebras Zigzagging out of the Zoo), kids will be drawn to its game-like quality as well as the elegant illustrations in this Absolutely, Absorbing, Addicting, Alphabetical, Adventure.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Concept


THE PUPPY PROBLEM (The Daily Bark series)
written by Laura James, illus. by Charlie Alder, (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, $16.99, 2022, ISBN
978-1-5476-0881-2), 128p, Ages 7-9

City dog Gizmo moves to the country village of Puddle with his owner, Granny, a scooter-riding journalist who is writing her memoirs. He’s very nervous about making new friends, until he meets Jilly, the next-door Irish wolfhound and lovable her puppies. When Jilly explains that the puppies are to be sold off to owners far away, Gizmo, with his nose for a story, comes up with a brilliant idea—start a newspaper for dogs to find local owners. He even helps Jilly learn to read. With the help of Granny’s typewriter, he thinks up just the right words to catch his readers’ attention, takes a photo of the puppies, prints copies on Granny’s photocopier, and heads for the newsstand where Chester distributes the flyers on his doggie paper route.

With all the puppies adopted by local owners, the dogs decide to publish a doggie newspaper with articles on sports, travel, weather columns and call it “The Daily Bark”. Kids should love this humorous and heart-packed tale of friends working together and will look forward to the next installment.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendships, Humor, Pets, Series
Other Books in the Series: The Dinosaur Discovery

Ages 8-12

written by Merrill Wyatt, (Margaret K. McElderry Books, $17.99, 2022, ISBN 978-1-6659-1232-7), 272p, Ages 9-12

The two middle grade detectives, Sloane Osborn and Amelia Miller-Poe, from “Tangled Up in Luck” are on the trail of two million dollars, missing from a famous bootlegger’s Tangle Glen mansion decades ago. Their sleuthing is constantly interrupted by a very intense peony competition, the mansion’s mysterious cook, and Amelia’s family’s’ craziness, only to realize that they are not the only ones searching for the millions. Sloan begins to wonder why there is so much obsession with peonies, how far rival detectives will go to find the missing fortune, and how to find a way off the mansion’s perilous roof. Readers will again enjoy another warm, humorous caper of two girls out to make a name for their detective agency. The Afterword presents historical facts behind the real mansion and its smuggling tunnel used by bootleggers in the 1920s and 30s.
         Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Mystery, Series
Other in the Series: Tangled Up in Luck | Tangled Up in Mayhem

Ages 10-13

written by Deron Hicks, (Clarion Books, $16.99, 2020, ISBN
978-0-358-39606-2), 272p, Ages 10-13

In this second mystery/adventure in the Lost Art Mystery series, finds twelve-year-old Art excited about the upcoming Gala celebrating the opening of the Millennium Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery where his father was recently promoted director. He is also concerned that the newest exhibit may be in danger of a grand heist due to iced mocha, forty-two steps, and a mysterious woman in the museum. Convincing his friend, Camille, that the Gala is the anniversary of an unsolved theft from thirty years ago, they begin investigating various suspicious characters and a chase through D.C. to uncover the scheme of the biggest heist since the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft in 1990 when billons of dollars’ worth of paintings were stolen.

Kids will enjoy the fascinating facts and history lessons surrounding the various pieces of art, in addition to QR codes that link directly to the referenced art in the galleries. The Authors Note provides information on the March 18,1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of thirteen priceless works of art that never have been found.
         Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Mystery, Series
Other Books in Series: The Van Gogh Deception | The Rembrandt Conspiracy


Halloween Stories

written by Alice Schertle, illus. by Jill McElmurry, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), 16p, Ages 3-6

It’s Halloween and Little Blue Truck and his friend Toad are on their way to a costume party and along the way are joined by several costumed friends. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes?” Little ones lift the flap and discover a ballerina duck. Sheep is a clown, cow is a queen, pig is a witch, hen and her chick are pirates, and horse is a dragon. Little Blue Truck is in costume, too. With apple bobbing, jack-o-lanterns, and a lively band, Little Blue Truck’s safe Halloween is filled with fun.
         Themes: Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme, Machines, Series
Other Books in the Series: Little Blue Truck | Little Blue Truck Leads the Way | Little Blue Truck’s Christmas | Little Blue Truck’s Halloween | Good Night Little Blue Truck


written/illus. by Olivier Dunrea, (Houghton Mifflin Books, HC 2010, Board 2013), 32p, Ages 2-5

As the sky darkens and the leaves swirl, Ollie the mummy, Gossie the wizard, Gertie the chicken, Peedie the dragon, and BooBoo, the bunny, creep through the bogs, hoot like owls, howl like wolves, bob for apples, and poke through the pumpkins. The adventures abruptly end as lightning streaks across the sky and they run for the barn, where the last of the Halloween treats are devoured. With a hint of spookiness, the watercolors are a delight for young ones.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Holidays, Friendship, Series
Other Books in the Series: Ollie | Ollie the Stomper | Ollie’s Easter Eggs | Ollie’s Valentine | Merry Christmas Ollie | Boo Boo | Jasper & Joop | Gideon | Gemma & Gus | Gossie & Gertie | Gus | Peedie | Ruby & Rufus | Gossie & Friends: A Big Book of Adventures


written/illus. by Salina Yoon, (Walker Books, 2014), 40p, Ages 3-5

Wondering what warmer climates are like in the fall, Penguin, Bootsy, and friends travel across the ocean on their slowly melting ice flow to a pumpkin farm and swim to shore. At the pumpkin patch, everyone finds their perfect pumpkin except Penguin, who is fascinated with the multicolor leaves falling everywhere.

They sail for home in a gigantic hollowed out pumpkin, towing another filled with pumpkins, leaves, books, blankets, and treasures. Back home, Penguin gives his little brother a pumpkin, and a special surprise.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Holidays, Series
Others in the Series: Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story | Penguin on Vacation | Penguin’s Big Adventure

Thanksgiving Stories

written by Bethany Roberts, illus. by Doug Cushman, (Clarion Books, 2001), 32p, Ages 3-7

Four mice put on a play about the first Thanksgiving. They practice their lines, construct props, and perform as Pilgrim mice that travel across the sea on the Mayflower, land at Plymouth Rock, build new homes, befriend the Indian mice, and celebrate the first Thanksgiving.
         Themes: Animals, Holidays, Series
Other Books in the Series: Birthday Mice | Valentine Mice | Fourth of July Mice | Halloween Mice | Easter Mice | Christmas Mice


written by Jeffrey Burton, illus. by Sanja Rešček, (Little Simon, 2016), 16p, Ages 2-4

To the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” energetic mice pilgrims and lively chipmunk Native Americans, play, cook, share, and give thanks together for their first Thanksgiving meal. Little ones will enjoy the cute twist on the classic nursery rhyme.
         Themes: Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme, Friendship


A Barnyard Counting Bash

written by Julie Stiegemeyer, illus. by Valeri Gorbachev, (Dutton Children’s Books, 2008), 32p, Ages 3-5

Children will delight in this counting and rhyming barnyard story where four noisy turkeys disturb a sleeping farm one night. When the Farmer threatens to make dinner out of them, the animals help conceal the rowdy visitors. The barnyard finally quiets down, including the farmer, until the commotion begins again. Children will enjoy finding the hidden turkeys, who manage to outsmart the farmer.
         Themes: Animals, Concept, Humor, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme

Halloween Stories
AGES 4-8

written/illus. by John Bemelmans Marciano, (Viking, 2013), 48p, Ages 4-8

This Halloween tale finds the famous feisty little orphan helping a ghost. Madeline, the other orphans, and Miss Clavel are unaware that a ghost resides in their Parisian home attic. When Lord Cucuface removes the ghost’s telescope, Madeline and neighbor Pepito devise a plan to return the ghost’s property. Find out how they give Lord Cucuface a fright and help the ghost, just in time to watch a rare comet pass by.
         Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series: Madeline and the Cats of Rome | Madeline at the White House


written by Caralyn Buehner, illus. by Mark Buehner, (Dial Books for Young Readers, $17.99, Aug. 2019, ISBN 978-0-525-55468-4), 32p, Age 4-7

When a surprise October snowfall arrives, children have fun building snowmen and dressing them in Halloween costumes. That night after trick-or treating one boy imagines the fun the snowmen might also have while everyone is asleep.

“It’s a dark and spooky night, but the snowmen aren’t afraid— / They’ll follow one another in a Halloween parade, / Gliding down the moonlit street into the village square, / Beckoned by the twinkling lights and lanterns hanging there.” At a festival that night, the Snowmen carve pumpkins, play games, face paint, bob for apples, enjoy caramel treats, wander through a maze, listen to ghost stories, trick-or-treat for candy on their way home, and leave a special message for the children to find in the morning.
         Themes: Adventure, Holidays, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series: Snowmen at Night | Snowmen All Year | Snowmen At Work | Snowmen At Christmas


written by Wendi Silvano, illus. by Lee Harper, (Two Lions, 2015), 40p, Ages 4-7

It’s Halloween and the barnyard animals are longing for candy and look to Turkey for a solution. To obtain candy he dresses as a ghost, a ballerina, a pirate, and a superhero, but every time the farmer sees through his disguise. “I can see through this trick. Halloween treats aren’t for turkeys. I’m BOO-ting you out!” The animals then suggest a ballerina, a pirate, and a superhero costume, but nothing works, and the farmer turns him away.

Time was running out, until he finally learned that being himself works just fine. When Mable Mayberry, blind as a bat, thinks his costume is marvelous, she gives him all her candy. The animals agree, “It was the BEST Halloween ever!” Kids will love the facial expressions of the animals and Turkey’s inventive costumes.
         Themes: Animals, Food, Holidays, Humor, Series
Others in the Series: Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter | Turkey Claus | Turkey Trick or Treat | Turkey Trouble

Thanksgiving Stories
AGES 4-8

A Thanksgiving Comedy

written by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Frank Ansley, (Antheneum 2002), 32p, Ages 4-7

Come November on the Wishbone Farm customers begin arriving to choose their holiday turkeys. Turk’s parents, oblivious to the truth, believe their son, Turk is bigger and stronger than any bird on the farm and will be chosen for his athletic abilities.

Only the younger brother, Runt, understands that Turk’s assets may be his downfall, and drives the customers away. The family has a change of attitude when a little old lady picks Runt for her table. “Turk saw the look in the little old lady’s eyes. He saw the drool on her lips. He saw the fork in the little old lady’s pocket. He saw the roasting pan in her backseat!”

After the lady is frightened away, the brothers begin to prepare for Christmas customers, this time as camouflaged snowmen.
         Themes: Animals, Holidays, Humor


written/illus. by Helen Cooper, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005), 32p, Ages 4-8

While making pumpkin soup, Duck, Cat and Squirrel discover they are missing the key ingredient — salt. On their shopping trip to the big city, Duck becomes lost when he stops at the Pepper Shop. All ends well with the help of six Police Dogs, four Fire Dogs, and two Foxes.
         Themes: Food, Holidays, Humor


written & illus. by Dav Pilkey, (Orchard Books, 1990), 32p, Ages 4-8

During a school field trip, a bond of friendship develops between the children and the turkeys of Mack Nuggett’s turkey farm. When the children discover that Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, and Grouch are destined for the dinner table, they are devastated and decide to rescue the gobblers from the farmer’s ax. Sneaking eight turkeys aboard the bus in front of an unsuspecting teacher and farmer is hilarious.
         Themes: Animals, Families, Holidays, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme

Halloween Stories
AGES 7-10

written by Angela Shelf Medearis, illus. by Jacqueline Rogers, (Scholastic Press, 1997), 40p, Ages 7-10

“Deep down in the East Texas woods, there stands a beautiful old house that folks in those parts say is haunted by the ghost of Sifty Sifty Sam.” When a realtor, unsuccessful in selling the house, offers a $5,000 reward to anyone who can spend one night in the house, a chef named Dan decides to try. Armed with pots, pans, and food, he encounters a very hungry spirit. Scared witless, Dan soon realizes that delicious food is the way to Sifty’s heart and prepares a banquet for the ghost who hasn’t eaten in 20 years. Dan wins the reward, opens a café, and Sifty agrees to wash the dishes exchange for food and board.
         Themes: Food, Holidays, Humor


written by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen, (Candlewick Press, 2007), 80p, Ages 6-9

Not sure about the princess costume that Mrs. Watson wants her to wear for Halloween, Mercy has a change of heart when she hears “trick or treating”, which might mean buttered toast. Who knew that trick or treating could lead to such an adventurous night, including chasing their neighbors’ cat up a tree, calling the local fire department, sniffing for buttered candy, and back home safe and sound, celebrating with a stack of buttered toast.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Chapter Books, Families, Holidays, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series: Mercy Watson to the Rescue (2005) | Mercy Watson Fights Crime (2006) | Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride (2006) | (Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig (2008) | Mercy Watson Something Wonky Goes This Way (2009)

Thanksgiving Stories
AGES 7-10

The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

written by Laurie Halse Anderson, illus. by Mat Faulkner, (Simon & Schuster, 2012), 40p, Ages 7-10

Realizing that people were beginning to ignore Thanksgiving, Sarah Hale, widowed mother of five, a managing editor, author, and educator, campaigns to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. Sarah wrote thousands of letters to politicians as well as articles imploring her readers to help. States began to comply, but not presidents. After 38 years, a president finally considered her argument about reuniting the nation, and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in November a national holiday.
Endpapers offer additional information on Sarah Hale’s achievements, Thanksgiving history, the year 1863, and the Civil War. “Selected Sources” rounds out a marvelous account of one woman’s dedication and persistence to make a difference in the world.
         Themes: Historical Fiction, Holidays


adapted by Elizabeth Spurr, illus. by Wendy Anderson Halperin, (Antheneum Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 7-10

Adapted from Lucretia Hale’s nineteenth-century classic, The Peterkins Papers, a goofy family nearly misses Thanksgiving dinner when the turkey gets stuck in the dumbwaiter on route from the kitchen to the dinner table. After some discussion, they adjourn to the kitchen and decide to call the carpenter, who tells them that the problem is the weight. With their usual zany logic, Mrs. Peterkin replies, “I’ve never waited so long for any meal.”
         Themes: Families, Holidays, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series: The Peterkin’s Christmas

Halloween Stories
AGES 8-12

written by Robert D. San Souci, illus. by Daniel San Souci, (Doubleday Books, 1992), 32p, Ages 8-11

This adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorn’s original tale tells of a scarecrow that was created out of sticks, tree limbs, and a pumpkin by an 18-century New England witch. Thinking to play a joke on the unfriendly Judge Gookin, Mother Rigby transforms her creation into a handsome man and sends Feathertop to woo the Judge’s daughter, Polly.

The joke backfires when the two fall in love, and Feathertop discovers that he is not human. “Feathertop chanced to look in the full-length mirror on the landing. To his horror, he didn’t see his human form reflected; instead, he saw Mother Rigby’s patchwork of sticks and witchcraft.” After returned to his original form, Feathertop longs for his lost love and Polly yearns for her handsome stranger.

With a change of heart, Mother Rigby decides to correct the situation, the two are reunited, and a lesson is learned about dabbling in magic.
         Themes: Folk Literature, Holidays
Other Books in the Series: Little Blue Truck | Little Blue Truck Leads the Way | Little Blue Truck’s Christmas | Little Blue Truck’s Halloween | Good Night Little Blue Truck


written/illus. by Jill Murphy, (Candlewick Press, Aug. 2015), 280p, Ages 8-12

Mildred Hubble returns to Miss Cackle's Academy, takes more responsibility (lighting the lantern and candelabras in the East Wing), rescues a lovable stray dog, and participates in a talent contest to win a swimming pool for the school. Trouble is never far away, especially when Ethel Hallow is around.
         Themes: Adventure, Holidays, Series
Other Books in the Series: The Worst Witch | First Prize for the Worst Witch | The Worst Witch at Sea | Bad Spell for the Worst Witch | The Worst Witch Strikes Again | The Worst Witch Saves the Day | The Worst Witch to the Rescue

Thanksgiving Stories
AGES 8-12

written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, illus. by Vivienne Tu, (Atheneum Books, 2017), 176p, Ages 7-11

Zack loves working on his grandparents’ farm every weekend, except when Tailpipe spies him. That giant turkey-pecking monster chases him around the farm and delights in accosting him. Determined to find a way to scare the monster away for good, Zack uses various things from his grandfather’s machine shed to build a “turkey-blaster trouble-shooter.”

With the help of two friends, they use a croquet ball, rain gutter, pie tin, gum-ball machine, sewing machine stand, bellows, propeller, washing machine wringer, steering wheel, bicycle pump, water balloons, and marbles to construct a one-of-a-kind contraption. When Josie informs them of a mysterious robber prowling around the neighborhood taking bracelets, necklaces, and coins, they discover strange V-shaped footprints that the robber leaves behind. Find out how the burglary is solved and Tailpipe receives his comeuppance in this humorous homespun novel of family and friends by award-winning Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
         Themes: Friendship, Holidays, Inventions, Mysteries

Halloween Stories
AGES 10-13

The Nightmares That Ghosts Have

written by Louise Arnold, (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2006), 192p, Ages 10+

Tom Golden would have been a normal eleven-year-old, except that his best friend is a ghost. Grey Arthur’s job, as an invisible friend, is to supply Tom with forgotten lunches and pens for class, and to keep bullies away. Grey starts a school for ghosts who are looking to begin new careers as companions to human children. Along with an assorted group of endearing and quirky ghosts, Tom and Grey must solve the mystery of why ghosts all over the world are disappearing at the hand of the Collector.
         Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Holidays, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series: An Unremarkable Boy and a Rather Remarkable Ghost #1 | A Good Day for Haunting #3


written by Clete Barrett Smith, (Disney-Hyperion, 2014), 288p, Ages 10+

Part businessman, part con artist, Nick earns money by supplying test answers and hacking computers to help his single mom pay the bills. When Nick and his buddy, Burger, accidentally cause a delivery truck (driven by a bear) to crash, they discover Halloween costumes with strange abilities. After rescuing the driver, Nick helps with the bizarre deliveries, rescues stolen costumes, saves a Halloween party gone amok, deals with one difficult witch, and solves his family’s financial problems. Zaniness and hilarity abound in this holiday treat surrounding a good-hearted hustler, his crazy sidekick, wormholes, witches, and magical costumes.
         Themes: Adventure, Holidays, Humor

Halloween Stories
AGES 12-15

(Mo and Dale Mysteries)

written by Sheila Turnage, (Kathy Dawson Books, 2014), 368p, Ages 11+

Mo LoBeau’s foster mother, Miss Lana, accidentally bidding on the old historic Tupelo Inn and winning not only the inn, but its resident ghost. Six graders Mo and her partner in the Desperado Detective Agency, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, are determined to interview the young ghost for a class project. In the process, they discover buried treasure, a moonshine still, strange happenings in the inn and surrounding woods, and discover that others in town also have haunted pasts.
Intrepid, plucky, and persistent, Mo finds the answers she seeks as the story confronts issues of abusive and absent parents, illegal activities, guilt, and greed. Humor, colorful characters, family dynamics, Miss Lana’s pithy sayings (“All the world’s a stage, sugar, so hop on up there.”), and Mo’s letters to her missing upstream mother, work together to make this mystery worth uncovering.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Holidays, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series: Three Times Lucky | The Odds of Getting Even | The Law of Finders Keepers

Thanksgiving Stories
AGES 12-15

(Mo and Dale Mysteries)

written by Sheila Turnage, (Kathy Dawson Books, Oct. 2015), 368p, Ages 11+

Shortly before Thanksgiving in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, Dale Earnhardt Johnson, and the newest addition to their Desperado Detective Agency, Harm Crenshaw, involve the town in their effort to find Dale's no-good, kidnapping daddy, Macon Johnson, who escaped jail before his trial. With Tupelo Landing locked down, Dale's brother in danger, break-ins, fires, and bank robberies, evidence is mounting against Macon. Dale refuses to believe that his father is guilty of the current crime spree, but Mo wants to get even for Macon's crimes against her family.

A who-done-it mystery, delightful Southern language, similes (“Miss Lana says reality is like cheap shampoo. Sometimes it takes a while to sink in.”), metaphors, and non-stop action surround three amateur detectives as they cope with sixth grade, desperate criminals, and loyalties to family and friends. Charm and humor abound with screeching guinea hens, adorable puppies, a touch of Hollywood, and an unusual Thanksgiving dinner.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Holidays, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in the Series: Three Times Lucky | The Odds of Getting Even | The Law of Finders Keepers

Thanksgiving Stories
AGES 14-18

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

In 1860 a 15-year-old, who has just completed third grade (for the fourth time), is advised by his teacher that, “As much as I’ve enjoyed your companionship, it’s time for you to brave the world. To spread your wings.”

When an opportunity to purchase 1,000 turkeys presents itself, Simon Green hatches a plan to walk them from eastern Missouri to Denver, Colorado and make a sizeable profit. With his former teacher bankrolling the project, Simon picks up a drunken muleskinner and his dog to help, and eventually a runaway slave, and a sole survivor of cholera on the prairie. Thus begins an unforgettable journey herding the turkeys 900 miles braving weather, rustlers, rivers, Indians, a rogue U.S. Calvary unit, Simon’s unscrupulous father, and a storm of grasshoppers (which the turkeys enjoyed).

Readers will love this heroic young entrepreneur bent on making his way in the world, in this classic and comic western epic featuring a cast of endearing and capable young people with good old fashioned common sense and wisdom. Inspired by actual turkey drives in the American west, the late Kathleen Karr had first-hand knowledge of poultry having grown up on a chicken farm in New Jersey.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Classics, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays, The Wild West

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
6497 Bellcross Trl
Whitsett, NC 27377

Email: info@tchliteracy.com


Copyright © 2023 The Children's HourAll rights reserved.
6497 Bellcross Trl, Whitsett, NC 27377
Tel: 626-393-5899 | Email: info@tchliteracy.com