Volume 4, Issue 9 (September 2017)

Livingstone Crouse

Kisses for Kindergarten
by Livingstone Crouse

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

This is simply adorable! I can’t wait to add it to my family bookshelf. Stella Isabella and her pup win your heart instantly! The rhythmic text and amazing illustrations fill not only the story, but the entire atmosphere with great joy, satisfaction, and triumph.Three cheers for Livingstone Crouse and Macky Pamintaun! It’s lively, endearing, and captures the very best of childhood. And, it even gives you a kindergarten checklist to help set the stage for your little one’s biggest day!

Nickie Hough

Frilly & Trilly: Where does all the money go?
by Nickie Hough

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

This is an adorable way to teach children the reality that finances play in their daily lives. At times, while seeking heartfelt desires, children may find themselves up against opposition. Often, attributing it to the meanness of those who unfortunately have to say no. This thoughtful approach allows for understanding and appreciation in a hands-on visual way. A great experience that should be incorporated into every childhood.

Jessica R. Herrera

The Bad Book
by Jessica R. Herrera

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

The Bad Book is on a mission to destroy all the other library books! This clever approach will make you chuckle as the pages turn, but it will also sneak in a heart tug here and there. Understanding is such an empowering tool. Sharing is so liberating. And together they make a perfect story!

Lea Herrick

Ace, King of My Heart: An Assateague Pony’s Tale of Strength and Survival
by Lea Herrick

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

The wild horses of Assateague Island National Seashore are known by many. However, Herrick brings us in closer and provides a personal peek into this unique wild horse society, from the perspective of one particular pony. The horses, strong enough to survive the hardships of the island’s scorching heat, many mosquitoes, stormy weather, and poor food quality, have formed a distinct horse society. There is much to learn of these true magnificent creatures, and the amazing island on which they live.

Meghan Colvin

Edison’s Overnight Bag
by Meghan Colvin

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

Family is the balance and strength of home and life, and extended family is like the sprinkles and toppings we add to an already delicious treat. Grandparents can add such a special sparkle that rounds out a solid self-appreciation. Edison is becoming quite a little packer. Love, experience, and a subtle awareness of those he shares his time with help him prepare for the MOST of his experiences. Whether going fishing or to a sleepover, he knows just what he needs. And, as a grandma, I can tell you he knows well the answer to his mom’s parting question.

Deborah Hunt

The One Eyed Pug
by Deborah Hunt

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

Giving a pet its forever home gives us serious thought and consideration. We realize it is an adjustment for all involved, and enter into it with determination. In this story, the light is cast on a new perspective, finding the same determination on the side of the pets we choose. Little Pug is moved about, and finds many new places and people in her life. She discovers not all is as she hoped, and though she may long for better things, she is determined to make the best of her situation. Even if it means dealing with difficult adjustments. We look on as this loving little pug navigates her way through disappointment and hardship. In these relative issues, we observe it is possible to find a lasting balance.

Deborah Hunt

Same Inside, Different Outside
by Deborah Hunt

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

The students in Emma’s kindergarten class don’t understand how they can all look so different on the outside, but look very similar on the inside. So Dr. Shaw is coming to visit, and she’s bringing Mr. Bones, who is a real life-size skeleton. Mr. Bones is going to help Dr. Shaw teach her lesson about the human body. I enjoyed the educational approach of this story that also provided an early moral awareness of individual uniqueness, as well as the basic sameness that unites us altogether as one.

Don M. Winn

Sir Kaye: the Boy Knight
by Don M. Winn

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

In the fourth and final episode of this multi-awarded series of Sir Kaye, we find Kaye and his two best friends caught in a dangerous adventure to save his father. Father/son relationships can often be filled with misunderstandings and unnecessary striving. Sir Kaye is driven by his need to prove himself, a validation never truly needed in the eyes of his father. This is a great chapter book series, filled with adventure. Its content is inspiring and relatable. The chapters and book length are well paced and hold the attention to its finish. A great rite of passage experience for all awaking youth.

Ann Marie Gillian

Jim Rat
by Ann Marie Gillian

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

A rat who is also a scientist? An avid reader? A workout enthusiast? Jim Rat has a rather enlightened view of himself. Void of stereotypes or bullied impressions of others, he has quite a healthy awareness of who he is. He is a very different kind of rat. This enjoyable introduction to Jim will encourage children to look beyond definitions and mindsets, to uniqueness in self-discovery. Lighthearted with a weighted message.

Barbara Laban

Moon Princess
by Barbara Laban

Reviewer: Olivia Amiri, age 10

Moon Princess is a heartfelt, adventurous, imaginative story. Sienna and her invisible dog, Rufus have moved from London to Shanghai with her dad. Her dad said they moved to China for work, but it was China where her mom has disappeared. Now Sienna is stuck with a mean housekeeper who starts acting suspiciously. Along Sienna’s adventure to find her mom, she makes friends, meets dragons, visits temples, travels on buses and trains, and meets other invisible animals. But will she find her mom?

James Floyd Kelly

DK Readers L2: The Story of Coding
by James Floyd Kelly

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

DK Publishing brings us another fascinating book on coding. In this technology-based society, our children are incorporating its devices at astounding rates. Though there are debates regarding the impact of this technological takeover, it is a reality of our time. Kelly’s book takes us through a history of programming, bringing to light amazing techniques that only few were aware of at the time. This light has broadened our intellects and stimulated our creativity. Books like The Story of Coding break down complex theories into understandable and achievable possibilities, even for the young. I find them fun, challenging, and empowering.

Lori London

Tripi Takes Flight: The Amazing Adventures of Tripi The Fly
by Lori London

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

Tripi Takes Flight is a wonderful story. Faced with a major challenge, Tripi is able to draw upon his many other great skills and abilities and overcome his one lack that threatens to hold him back. Tripi learns there are many ways to do things, and if the obvious way is hindered, we can always find another. The challenges of life are only limited by the inability to see beyond them. Necessity, they say, is the true mother of invention. This story also provides an audio version.

Kathryn Berla

The House At 758
by Kathryn Berla

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

This YA novel takes us on the long and winding path of forgiveness and healing. Never an easy journey, yet one filled with hope and possibility. Narrated by 16-year-old Krista, we follow her through the pain, confusion, and dreadful sense of loss as she faces the effects of a fatal accident of close loved ones. Recovery is a desperate road, and the wisdom and kindness of those who accompany us can often lead to safe passage.

Holly L. Niner

No More Noisy Nights
by Holly L. Niner

Reviewer: Darleen Wohlfeil

This adorable book grabbed me right at the cover. Illustrator Guy Wolek captures the warmth, patience, and overall heart-winning personality of Jackson the mole with perfection. We can all learn a thing or two as we watch Jackson cope with his new noisy neighbors. Its so much easier with kindness.

Andrew Newman

The Elephant Who Tried To Tiptoe
by Andrew Newman

Reviewer: Julianne Black

The Elephant Who Tried To Tiptoe is an adorable story about a sweet and curious elephant that worries that she isn’t enough because she can’t do some of the things other animals can. It is only after recounting her many positive attributes and blessings that she finds peace and happiness with being who she is. Calming yet fun illustrations and rolling rhythm seem to float the reader through this one and it makes a great pick-me-up bedtime story after a rough day or a reminder to love ourselves and appreciate our own unique abilities at school story hour. A meaningful and inspirational story.

Shamini Flint

Ten: A Soccer Story
by Shamini Flint

Reviewer: Diana Perry

This book is an uplifting and inspiring story and a tool of encouragement and peek into history. It takes place in Kuantan, Malaysia, where 11-year-old Maya dreams of being a soccer star. Unfortunately during this time, only boys are budgeted for soccer equipment. Maya has too many stresses to deal with—her parents fight, she feels like an outcast being the only Muslim in her new school, and she has no idea how to convince the school to find a way to provide equipment to start up a girls’ soccer team—that is, until she convinces enough girls in school to sign up for it. This book inspires young readers to overcome events in which they are helpless to overturn and empower themselves to prevail.

Pete Carter and James Henderson

Our Dog Benji
by Pete Carter and James Henderson

Reviewer: Diana Perry

Benji is a very lovable dog but his young owner doesn’t like everything that Benji chooses to eat. This is the tale of a typical day in the life of Benji—where he goes, who he meets, and especially what he eats. Early readers will find this story funny as they bond with the lovable Benji and will be surprised to learn that there is one human food that Benji won’t eat, which is the same one his owner refuses, too. Kids will wish they had a dog just like Benji.

Lorri Horn

Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver
by Lorri Horn

Reviewer: Diana Perry

What kid can’t relate to having parent problems? Middle-schooler Dewey Fairchild hates that his mom makes him take a bath every day. When he confides in his friends, each of them has a complaint about their parents, too. Dewey realizes that he has a knack for solving problems anyway, so he sets up his “business” and solves parental problems for all his client friends. Dewey can solve any problem parents may cause, but what will he do when the parents who are causing problems are his own? I thought this was a beautifully spun tale. Parents, I advise you to read this book. It makes you wonder just who is training who in the parent-child relationship. Such a fun read!

Suzanne Selfors

Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins
by Suzanne Selfors

Reviewer: Olivia Amiri, age 10

Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins is an entertaining story about family and friendship. What I liked about the story most is that it shows with courage and integrity we can face challenges in life and move forward. A sheltered girl, Lucy moves with her father to the Wild West and finally gets to experience the adventures that she had only read about in books. Lucy meets Spirit, a young wild horse. Both spirited, together they face challenges with courage and honesty.

Stacy McAnulty

Goldie Blox and the Three Dares
by Stacy McAnulty

Reviewer: Olivia Amiri, age 10

Goldie Blox and the Three Dares proves with determination and focus you can successfully complete almost any task. This book is encouraging to girls to look at engineering as not just a “guy’s job.” Goldie’s favorite place on the earth is the BloxShop. The BloxShop is an engineering workshop filled with tools and recycled materials. Goldie always loves a challenge, but doesn’t realize what she is getting into when she finds her grandma’s book of dares. Goldie’s determined, along with her friends, to complete the last three dares in the book before her Gran’s 77th birthday, but can they do it?

Andrew Newman

The Hug Who Got Stuck
by Andrew Newman

Reviewer: Julianne Black

The Hug Who Got Stuck is an amazing visual telling of what happens in our hearts when we withhold love. In a totally fresh allegory, the book creates a visual narrative for our emotional reactions to that moment we are too upset to apologize, forgive, or just love who we want to love. When the hug gets stuck in the icky web of negative feelings, the whole hug factory shuts down, and the heart grows dark. But when the hug lets go and releases itself from the negativity, it can fly out to love its intended recipient and the hug factory starts to whir back into business. The illustrations are as unusual as the story itself, full of detail and meaning wrapped up in a gorgeous layered and multimedia collage. Complete with a hug meter tucked thoughtfully at the end, The Hug Who Got Stuck is another big winner!

by Jennifer Pharr Davis and Brew Davis

Families on Foot
by Jennifer Pharr Davis and Brew Davis

Reviewer: Julianne Black

An outdoor family’s must have! Written in conjunction with the American Hiking Society, Families On Foot covers a lot of ground—from trail mix recipes to first aid what-ifs, this book is a true companion. Compact enough to toss in a backpack but straightforward enough to read in a sitting or two, authors Jennifer Pharr Davis and Brew Davis take you on their own adventures with breakouts from other families on the tips and tricks that make their adventures the most memorable. Cranky teen? Family member with disabilities? Backpacking your baby? It’s all here. No matter what your background is in hiking, there is something for everyone. Now get outside already!

by Joni Klein-Higger

Rainbow of Friendship
by Joni Klein-Higger

Reviewer: Larissa Juliano

The heartfelt message of Rainbow of Friendship is of upmost importance as readers are transported on an emotional journey with ‘Red’ and her apprehension of going to different places with different looking people in Rainbow Row City. Her sweet friends come in the form of colors. What an engaging and inspirational read to reinforce kindness and acceptance of others—especially in today’s world. Rhyming and poetic text flows and includes fun and eccentric names of Red’s new acquaintances (Blue Betty, Pink Patty Puff, Orange O’Shea, and Yellow Yasmina). The colorful ending leaves the reader with a lovely message.

Joni Klein-Higger and Flora Zaken-Greenberg, Ph.D

I Have a Voice
by Joni Klein-Higger and Flora Zaken-Greenberg, Ph.D

Reviewer: Larissa Juliano

One of my favorite parts of reading is relating to the character in some kind of way, having my feelings validated and not feeling alone in whatever struggle I might be experiencing. I Have a Voice encompasses all those qualities and more. The colorful story begins with sweet Jamie, who wants to talk, wants to share, and wants to connect verbally with her friends, but can’t. Her loving and supportive mom takes her to Dr. Faye, who is wonderful at validating Jamie’s feelings and offering her strategies to cope with her anxiety. The last few pages of the book even provide parents and teachers questions and answers about selective mutism. An inspirational, educational, and uplifting book for many children in our communities.

Kathy Strahs

The Lemonade Stand Cookbook
by Kathy Strahs

Reviewer: Larissa Juliano

An absolute must-have for every foodie, craftie, and aspiring young entrepreneur. Kathy Strahs shares how to create yummy concoctions from lemon-orange limeade to cold brew iced tea. Not your typical recipe book though! The whole premise is to spark assertiveness in children to set up and sell these yummy treats. The table of contents is easy to read with recipes in one section, and crafts in the next. Love the encouragement, strategies, and testimonials from other young chefs and artists! The crafts are cute, creative, and use many materials easy to find at home or the dollar store. Gorgeous graphics accompany each double-page spread and steps are easy to follow. Bonus facts are included on cute lemon wedge pictures.

Ferrill Gibbs

The Secret Island of Edgar Dewitt
by Ferrill Gibbs

Reviewer: Diana Perry

Fourteen-year-old Edgar DeWitt is distressed when his parents move from Alabama to Mount Lanier, Washington. Right off the bat, his Southern accent attracts bullies who relentlessly mock and attack him. During one of these chases, Edgar escapes by running off in the forest where he discovers a longforgotten old cabin with a hole in the floor. There is something magical about this hole and Edgar’s curiosity overcomes common sense and fear as he jumps in. Readers will find themselves lost in the magical world along with Edgar, who must make the most serious decision of his life when a wildfire breaks out and his father’s life is in grave danger. Edgar is endearing and the other characters he encounters are perfect for the adventure. A terrific book for any young reader who feels they don’t fit in.

Fracaswell Hyman

Mango Delight
by Fracaswell Hyman

Reviewer: Diana Perry

Seventh-grader Mango Delight Fuller, normally shy and withdrawn, had no idea that she had a talent for running until she beat out Brook in the school race. Brook changed instantly from being Mango’s BFF to her actual enemy. To make matters worse, Brook decides to get even by forging Mango’s name on the sign-up sheet for the school play. Mango, realizing that this may be the excuse she needs to come out of her shell, shows up for the tryouts and to her surprise, gets the lead. Shy kids can use this book as encouragement to try new things and discover their hidden talents. This is the perfect book for all kids to read—kids who bully others, kids who get bullied, and those who witness it all. Not just an entertaining story, this is an educational book parents will want to buy.

Casey Lyall

Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P.I., Book 2)
by Casey Lyall

Reviewer: Diana Perry

Eleven-year-old Howard Wallace and his friend, Ivy Mason, are private investigators. Their principal, however, has forbidden their detective escapades on school grounds. That is, until the school mascot disappears and Coach Williams gets the principal to allow it just this once, provided no one else finds out. Howard and Ivy are thrilled to take on the case until they learn that Carl, the school bully, is not only Coach Williams’ own nephew but is also the one accused of the theft … and they’re the ones who have to prove it’s not him. There are many twists and turns and surprises as this plot unravels as Howard and Ivy put aside their hatred for Carl and find a way to prove his innocence. This story will have readers cheering Howard and Ivy as they follow the clues, including the false leads, to prevail in the end.