August 2014



Gems from the Past
For Preschoolers

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CAN'T SLEEP WITHOUT SHEEP
written by Susanna Leonard Hill, illus. by Mike Wohnoutka (Walker Books), 40p, Ages 3-6

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PADDINGTON AT THE BEACH
written by Michael Bond, illus. by R. W. Alley (HarperCollins), 32p, Ages 3-6

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BEAR'S EGGS
written & illus. by Ingrid/Dieter Schubert, (Front Street), 32p, Ages 3-7





Gems from the Past
for Ages 4-8

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PIGS TO THE RESCUE
written/illus by John Himmelman (Henry Holt), 32p, Ages 4-8

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A FLEA IN THE EAR
written by Stephen Wylie, illus. by Ken Brown, (Dutton Children's Books), 32p, Ages 3-7

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CYRUS THE UNSINKABLE SEA SERPENT
written/illus. by Bill Peet, (Houghton Mifflin), 48p, Ages 5-8

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GATOR GUMBO: A Spicy Hot Tale
written by Candace Fleming, illus. by Sally Anne Lambert, (Farrar Straus Giroux), 32p, Ages 4-8





Gems for the Past
for Ages 8-12

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THE FANTASTIC SECRET OF OWEN JESTER
written by Barbara O'Conner, (Farrar Straus Giroux), 176p, Ages 9-12

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

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THE YEAR MONEY GREW ON TREES
written by Aaron Hawkins, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 304p, Ages 10-14

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THE ACTUAL & TRUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF BECKY THATCHER
written by Jessica Lawson, (Simon & Schuster), 224p, Ages 9-12





Gems for the Past
for Ages 12
+

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THROUGH THE SKYLIGHT
written by Ian Baucom, llus. by Justin Gerard (Atheneum Books), 400p, Ages 11-14





Gems for the Past
for Young Adults

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TWO LIES AND A SPY
written by Kat Carlton, (Simon & Schuster), 256p, Ages 14-17

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RUBY RED
written by Kirsten Gier, translated by Anthea Bell, (Henry Holt), 336p, Ages 14-17






THESE WONDERFUL BOOKS

Books are fabulous creatures. They have a mind of their own. At least the best ones do. They introduce us to people and places we would not ordinarily experience.

Whether young or older, children need to listen to age appropriate stories read by adults. This shared experience is enjoyable, uplifting, magical, and fun for all involved.

We promise humor, curiosity, imagination, adventure, action, mystery, friendship, bravery, and so much more from the stories that we recommend.

These are the stories that touch the heart, color the imagination, and delight the mind. So pull up a chair, we will see you there!



For more information on great children's literature for reading to children and by children, visit us at:

www.tchliteracy.com

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 middle graders.

Literacy begins at home by reading to children, and is developed over the years when good literature is available at home and at school for children to listen to and read. We hope that you enjoy our selections.

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.


Preschool
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SLEEPOVER WITH BEATRICE & BEAR
written/illus. by Mônica Carnesi, (Nancy Paulson Books, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-399-25667-7), 32p, Ages 3-5

Despite a rough first impression (Bear sits on Beatrice's carrots while beehive watching) both bear and bunny develop a great friendship. They share kite flying, hide-and-seek, reading aloud, swimming, and pouncing in autumn leaves. "But one day, Beatrice couldn't find Bear anywhere. Where had he gone?" When Squirrel explains that Bear went to hibernate, Beatrice assumes it is a sleepover and rushes to hibernate with him. They read stories and share a cup of warm milk, but when Bear nods off, Beatrice remains wide awake. Realizing that they cannot share everything, Beatrice decides to document her winter activities for Bear when he awakes ("The Great Scrapbook of Winter Delights and Adventures.") Little ones will enjoy the sweet illustrations, especially Beatrice's blanket decorated with carrots, sleep mask, and arms floats for swimming.

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HOPPER AND WILSON FETCH A STAR
written/illus. by Maria van Lieshout, (Philomel Books, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-399-25772-8), 40p, Ages 3-6

Hopper and Wilson's second adventure finds them sitting on their dock contemplating the nighttime stars and deciding that one would make a great night-light or lantern. They fold their paper airplane, fill it with lemonade, pack their flag, take a snack, hug their pet cactus good-bye, and soar into the sky to fetch the perfect star. Deciding on a star proves difficult, as some are too dim, pointy, or sparkly. Arriving on the moon, Hopper takes a nap, while Wilson walks around to the dark side and becomes lost. "Wilson looked up. One star shone brighter and clearer than all the others did. Wilson swallowed his tears. 'That's our star!' His little legs darted across the dark side … to the bright side of the moon. And back to Hopper." Both decide that the stars should stay in the sky, and be enjoyed from home with their pet cactus. The gorgeous illustrations of the night sky will give children a sense of the wonder of creation.

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THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY
written/illus. Kazuno Kohara, (Roaring Book Press, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-596-43985-6), 32p, Ages 3-6

"Once there was a library that opened only at night." From midnight to dawn, a little pig-tailed girl and her three assistant owls help various animal patrons find their perfect books. This one night, the four manage to relocate a band of rehearsing musical squirrels from the reading room to an upstairs activity room and cheer up a wolf weeping over a sad story by reading him one with a happy ending. As dawn approaches the little librarian convinces a slow-reading tortoise to sign up for a library card, rather than trying to finish the 500 remaining pages of his book. After dusting, sweeping, and general cleaning, all that remains is to read to three sleepy assistants. Great library stories are always fun for little ones to hear, especially when accompanied by clever illustrations.

 
Ages 4-8
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WHEN THE WIND BLEW
written by Alison Jackson, illus. by Doris Barrette, (Henry Holt, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-8050-8688-1), 32p, Ages 4-7

The old woman from If the Shoe Fits (Holt, 2001) and her many children return in a rhyming tale about helping others and making things right. A gusty wind blows through a fairy tale European village and upsets various nursery rhymes. "Rock-a-bye, baby, in the treetop. / When the wind blew, the cradle did rock. / When it blew harder, the cradle took flight, / And settled atop an old shoe, laced up tight." Attempting to return the baby to its treetop, the old woman encounters woolen mittens hanging from a tree branch and three sobbing kittens. She also spies Jack and Jill's pail flying by, along with Mary's little lamb, Jack's candlestick, the king's coins blown from his counting house, and Little Boy Blue's horn. Before she can return each item, a gusty wind blows them back to their rightful places and owners, just in time for the old woman to put her children to bed on time. "Though the wind never raced with such fury again, / The old woman thought of that day now and then. / And by keeping her most prized possessions in view / She was always reminded of … when the wind blew."

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BATS IN THE BAND
written/illus. by Brian Lies, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-544-10569-0), 32p, Ages 4-8

After a long winter hibernation, the clever bats from "Bats at the Beach" (2006), "Bats at the Library" (2008), and "Bats at the Ballgame" (2010) return to a deserted summer theatre and prepare for a long awaited concert. With instruments and little ones, bats converge on the theatre to practice while waiting to perform to an anxiously waiting bat audience. "Now on the main stage, there's a hum / of air guitar, and blazing drums. / Hearts are pumping, drums are thumping, / everything that's loose is jumping." As the evening progresses, performances become increasingly lively as a one-bat band, a country bat singing lonesome songs, and a bat quartet playing stringed instruments upside down take the stage. Entertainment is available for the little ones, who are too young to sit through the concert. As daylight approaches, the vivacious music concludes and bats fly home to dream of the next concert. Kids will love the enchanting, fun-filled illustrations that represent the power of music, even in a bat world.

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FLIGHT SCHOOL
written/illus. by Lita Judge, (Atheneum Books, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4424-8177-0), 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" and years to fly. Penguin's never-give-up attitude is a charming way to teach children the admirable quality of perseverance.


Ages 8-12
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LITTLE GREEN MEN AT THE MERCURY INN
written by Greg Leitich Smith, illus. by Andrew Arnold, (Roaring Book Press, $15.99,
ISBN 978-1-59643-835-4), 224p, Ages 9-12

Almost thirteen, Aiden resides and works at his parents' remodeled 1950s motel in Space Coast, Florida near Cape Canaveral. He cleans up, manages difficult guests, clears patio furniture from the swimming pool, and helps with special parties when the space shuttles are launched. As Aiden and best friend Louis (a UFO enthusiast) prepare for the next launch party, they realize that one of the guests may not be human. On the night of the shuttle launch, a strange blackout occurs along the coast, and the launch is cancelled. Skeptical of the existence of extraterrestrials, Aiden watches as a UFO hovers over the motel and crashes into the ocean. When media and scientists descend on the motel, Aiden struggles to keep one of the guest's identity secret. Realizing his connection to the UFO, he aids in an extraterrestrial rescue and discovers an unlikely truth about his own life. With cover-ups, rumors, invasions, UFO conspiracies, media coverage, and quirky characters, kids will enjoy this Sci-Fi/Adventure tale.

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LUCKY DOG: Twelve Tales of Rescued Dogs
written by various authors, (Scholastic Press, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-545-55451-0), 192p, Ages 9-12

Twelve humorous, heartwarming, and uplifting stories surround the Pawley Rescue Center, where dogs and kids are united. Readers meet Foxtrot from "The Incredibly Important True Story of Me!", a feisty Pomeranian who cannot bear to leave behind her best friend, Bear, an Old English sheepdog, when she is adopted. Pumpkin from "Chihuahua Rescue!" is one of 101 Chihuahuas, who creates havoc at the center. In "Foster's Home" a shy, homeless and hungry mutt bonds with a lonely foster child. From "Big Dogs" Beatrice, an ugly and courageous French bulldog rescues his new owner from a bully. A little girl, frightened of dogs, meets and falls in love with Henry, a pie-stealing dog from "The Heart Dog." These stories and more, told from the perspective of both children and animals, are great dog tales for every young reader. According to endpapers, proceeds from book sales are donated to RedRover, an organization dedicated to helping animals in need.

Ages 12+
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SMASHER
written by Scott Bly, (Blue Sky Press, $16.99,
ISBN 978-0-545-14118-5), 256p, Ages 11-15

This science fiction middle grade fantasy will have readers on the edge of their seats as a twelve-year-old hero from the sixteenth century joins a futuristic robot to defeat a murderer from enslaving the world through computer viruses and biology in 2042 Los Angeles. Gifted with magical abilities, Charlie endures life in 1542 England while living with his grandfather. He is rescued from local bullies by a teenage-looking time-traveling robot from the 21st century, who seeks his help harnessing the Hum (a mysterious force in the Universe) to defeat a ruthless genius seeking world domination. Geneva teaches him to time travel by smashing atoms, and together they try to outmaneuver Gramercy Foxx, a cruel enemy of mankind. Unbeknownst to Charlie and Geneva, Foxx can also control the Hum through a computer virus and infect human DNA. When Charlie discovers Foxx's identity, his quest suddenly turns personal. Fast-paced, fascinating, and fun, readers who enjoy suspense, sci-fi technology, and magic will root for this courageous hero.

Young Adult
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THE SHADOW PRINCE
written by Bree Despain, (Egmont, $18.99,
ISBN 978-1-60684-247-8), 496p, Ages 14-18

This retelling of the Hades and Persephone mythological tale finds two teenagers wrestling with family issues, destinies, and a growing attraction to each other. Haden, a disgraced prince of the Underworld, is chosen to travel to the human world to lure Daphne, a strong-willed musical prodigy, into returning with him in order to restore immortality to his dying kingdom. Their destinies are bound together, but their personalities (overbearing versus fiercely independent) often clash. Finding themselves working together to fight evil from the Underworld, they discover a mutual talent for music, realize common family issues, and experience a growing and changing relationship. From car chases, family dynamics, near-death experiences, and lethal Underworld creatures, to war between the gods, and prophesies, Haden and Daphne struggle to rewrite their destinies and change the fate of two worlds. Readers, who enjoy heroes, quests, mythology, adventure, mystery, and cliff-hanging endings, will love this first book in a planned trilogy.

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.

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


Email: info@tchliteracy.com

 



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