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Some of the Year's Best Kids Books: Picture Books, 2012

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Monty Python comes to the middle-grade novel. Magic is draining from the world. Magicians are getting testy. They’re a lot harder to manage these days, and 15-year-old Jennifer, former foundling and current head of Kazan Mystic Arts Management (levitating carpets for cleaning purposes and pizza delivery, etc.; general magic-for-hire) has her hands full. And that’s before she’s elevated to the position of the Last Dragonslayer—particularly since the Last Dragon is such a quirky, lovely character. Clever, imaginative (and silly) for Terry Pratchett fans. Grades 6–10.
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The Last Dragonslayer: The Chronicles of Kazam, Book 1 Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780547738475
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - October 2nd, 2012

Ocean Sunlight

Not being science-y at heart, I love books the bridge the gap between poetry and fact. Molly Bang’s Ocean Sunlight has done just that in this lovingly scripted exposition of the sun, the sea, the algae, and us. In the voice of the sun, Bang spins a simple elegant tale of sunlight’s role in the food chain. Perfect for 4- to 6-year-olds, I also keep one on the shelf for myself when I want to be filled with wonder. Grades K–3.
Reviewed by: 
Tera
Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780545273220
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: The Blue Sky Press - May 1st, 2012

One Cool Friend

Well-bred young man Elliot brings home a penguin from the aquarium under the nose of his absent-minded father. While waiting for their imminent discovery, the two unlikely friends engage in all kinds of icy escapades. Delightful just for its elegant illustrations, this wry book offers up a surprising and immensely satisfying twist. If David Small had not already generated more than one Caldecott, this would likely be the next winner. Preschool–Grade 3.
Reviewed by: 
Tera
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One Cool Friend Cover Image
By Toni Buzzeo, David Small (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780803734135
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - January 10th, 2012

And Then It’s Spring

“First you have brown, all around you have brown / and then there are seeds / and a wish for rain…”

Surrounded by nothing but the barren brown of winter, a bespectacled young gardener and his coterie of animal companions plant the first seeds of spring. They patiently examine the stubborn brown, fret over the possibility of peckish birds and stomping bears, and listen for the green buzzing of nascent life below the earth. A gentle, wistful palette, exquisitely crafted woodblock and pencil detail, and direct, intimate language leave the reader sharing the same hope, doubt, and ultimately joy at the sweeping green of spring’s arrival. Preschool–Grade 2.

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Eileen
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And Then It's Spring Cover Image
By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781596436244
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - February 14th, 2012

Boot and Shoe by Marla Frazee

Nearly identical littermates Boot and Shoe take two divergent adventures after chasing the same pesky squirrel. Just when it seems they will never find each other again, they reunite under their favorite tree: …“even in the worst of times a dog still needs to pee.” An understated text, perfect comic timing, and a visual triumph of fluid motion, precise lines, and emotional expression combine to create a charming ode to friendship. Preschool–Grade 2.
Reviewed by: 
Tera
Boot & Shoe Cover Image
By Marla Frazee, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781442422476
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beach Lane Books - October 2nd, 2012

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer

“Thank God for Ian Falconer and his Olivia. She is the popular school-age pig, the latest in a line of independent, high-spirited young ladies that goes back at least to Madeline and Eloise, and also includes Frances the badger and Lilly the mouse. Her seventh full-fledged adventure, Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, is, to my taste, her best since her introduction 12 years ago as a fashion-conscious, Degas-loving heroine with a thing for Maria Callas and a talent for ‘wearing people out.’… In this volume Olivia confronts one of the most pressing challenges facing her generation: the princess scourge.” —Bruce Handy, New York Times. Princess-obsession age & up.
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses Cover Image
By Ian Falconer, Ian Falconer (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781442450271
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - August 28th, 2012

Z Is for Moose

It begins innocuously enough—A is for apple, B is for ball. But wait—what is that moose doing in the picture? There’s one creature in this alphabet book who just can’t wait for his turn. Will Moose make it to the M’s or will he get the boot because he’s already caused too much of a mess? You’ll have to peek inside to find out what happens in this cheeky page-turner of an ABC book. Grades K–2.
Reviewed by: 
Tera
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Z Is for Moose Cover Image
By Kelly Bingham, Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060799847
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - February 28th, 2012

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

When Wilfred sees Marcel, he just knows this moose belongs to him. But Marcel seems oddly disobedient to Wilfred’s rules for the perfect pet. Worse yet, Wilfred encounters other folks who think this moose belongs to them. A hilarious tale about the true meaning of belonging; part of the visual charm of This Moose Belongs to Me is the moose meandering in a foreground-ish sort of way across the Western landscapes of Alexander Dzigurski. Look for paintings of Santa Cruz and Carmel among them. Grades K–3. —Tera
Reviewed by: 
Tera
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This Moose Belongs to Me Cover Image
By Oliver Jeffers, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399161032
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Philomel Books - November 13th, 2012

Life in the Ocean by Claire A. Nivola

In this lyrical biography of renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle, whales move like sparrows; otters, ballerinas. Bioluminescent creatures flash with blue fire, like fireflies in open air. As much a celebration of the ocean’s grandeur as Earle’s personal story, Life in the Ocean allows us to enter “the blue heart of the planet” through Earle’s eyes. Claire Nivola’s stunningly detailed watercolors capture everything from the immensity and grace of a blue whale to the Paul Klee–like vision of the sea 3000 feet down. “After reading this, I have a mounting sense of regret for not becoming an ocean biologist.” (Eileen). Grades 1–5. —Tera & Gā

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374380687
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - March 13th, 2012

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