Little mouse-girl Penny has a song in her heart. Well, it’s not just in her heart, because she likes to belt it out. Henkes understands the way families make memories in his first easy reader, an adorable opener to the Penny series. —Booklist. Grades K–2.
This memorable second easy reader about mouse Penny explores the universal childhood experience of naming things, with Penny pondering what to call the new doll Gram has sent her. Henkes skillfully develops his
characters and story using three brief chapters,
accessible language, intentional repetition, subtle clues, and expressive illustrations to great effect. —Horn Book. Grades K–2.
Cousins Lulu and Mellie are best friends. In this modern-day, seaside adventure, the girls are vacationing with Lulu’s parents and their beloved old dog, Sam. Having rented a cottage from a persnickety owner, the family hopes for the perfect week full of reading, kite-building, and marathon-training. However, a wayward stray bounds into their lives and turns their plans upside down (along with a few trash cans along the way). McKay hits the nail on the head in this beginning chapter book. Children will delight in the story of how this thieving menace turns into a brave hero and loyal friend, wiggling its way into the hearts of the characters and readers alike. This book is just right for youngsters ready for chapters, with cheerful black-and-white illustrations on almost every other page. Younger children will also enjoy this story as a read-aloud. The plot is universal and the vocabulary hints of a European setting. Family members sticking together to overcome obstacles is the prevalent theme and the happy ending is hoped for, if not expected. This title should be a staple in any early-chapter-book
collection. —School Library Journal. Grades 1–3.
Before becoming The Babe, George Ruth was just a regular kid growing up in Baltimore. Tracing Babe Ruth’s formative years and his first exposure to baseball at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, this picture book brings history to life showing that even when Babe made it big, he never forgot where he came from. “The art captures Ruth’s irrepressible personality and joy in playing baseball. Yes, the eyes definitely twinkle.” —Booklist, starred review. Ages 6+
If you are not already taken by the strong and beautiful portrait of Nelson Mandela on the front cover, you will be captured by the equally absorbing story of Mandela’s life on the pages inside. Tracing his life from an orphan, to his studies, to his life as an activist, and ultimately as President of South Africa, this picture book brings his courage, strength, and humanity to young readers. Ending on a note of hope, this biography will both educate and inspire the next generation. Ages 6+
Tracing the origins of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1924, Sweet’s biography of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who made the parade balloons come to life, will inspire children that work can actually be fun. Winner of the Robert F. Sibert Medal for the best non-fiction book of 2012, Sweet shows the vision and science behind the balloons through multi-media graphics and textured illustrations. “Sweet tells this slice of American history well, conveying both Sarg’s enthusiasm and joy in his work as well as the drama and excitement of the parade. . .This one should float off the shelves.” —School Library Journal, starred review. Ages 4+