Secrets of the Vegetable Garden—A Shine-a-Light Book
Author Carron Brown
Illustrated by Giordano Poloni
Garden-lovers and their grandkids will revel in this unique book. A vegetable garden grows under the sun. If you look closely between the stalks, beneath the leaves, and under the soil, you will spot the animals and plants living there. Children can hold each page up to the light or shine a flashlight behind the page to reveal what is unseen in and around the vegetable garden. The story follows the growth of a tomato plant, from seed to fruit. See the seeds in the soil, the ladybugs hiding under a leaf, and the bees getting their daily dose of pollen. Each reader will discover a small world of great surprises on this delightful book.
Toad Makes a Road
Author/Editor Phil Roxbee Cox
Illustrator Stephen Cartwright
Ages 3 -5 | $6.99
Usbourne Phonics Readers are bright and adorable, with flip-out pages to give young readers a chance to guess what will happen next in this fun story.Toad Makes a Road is all about the oa sound, in words like toad, load, road. Toad has a problem: because she lives on a hill, there is no way for a delivery truck to come to her house. So, Toad must build a road! I love that the story touches on overcoming an obstacle through determination and hard work. The illustrations are colorful, the text is easy to read, and the rhyming makes for an entertaining and interactive reading experience. The book includes an index that shows and explains the phonic breakdown of the words used in the story.
By Matthew A. Cherry
Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Ages: 4–8 | $17.99
Zuri loves her beautiful hair, but — just like her — it has a mind of its own: It kinks and curls every which way. So, when a special day comes for Zuri, her hair has to be just right! With Mommy out of town, Daddy steps in to help. He thinks it will be a piece of cake… and you and your grandchildren will giggle at all the different hair styles he comes up with. Matthew A. Cherry’s Hair Love is an empowering tale about loving who you are, including your natural hair. It’s also a joyous celebration of daddies and daughters. Vashti Harrison’s bright and colorful illustrations capture the joy and confidence that is childhood from the view of a spirited little girl and her devoted father. The story is based on Cherry’s short animated film of the same name.
Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush
Written by Melissa Stoller
Illustrated by Sandie Sonke
Ages: 4–8 | $16.99
After her magic paintbrush mysteriously disappears, Scarlet doesn’t think she can paint anymore. She tries to with non-magical tools, but she’s never satisfied with the results. It’s only when Scarlet finds her magic paintbrush, again, does she realize she has her own way of painting — and, even if her art is not perfect, her art is still a creation that comes from deep inside of her. Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush is a delightful and encouraging story about a little girl who realizes that, with her own magic, she can paint whatever she wants. Melissa Stoller’s inspiring text and Sandie Sonke’s charming illustrations bring this valuable lesson to life. Be sure to check out the cute dog on each page.
Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor
By Laurie Wallmark
Ilustrated by Katy Wu
5 years and up | $16.95
Who was the real Hedy Lamarr? Was she a beautiful movie star, a brilliant inventor — or both? This engaging picture book introduces young readers to both sides of Hedy Lamarr, often remembered for her acting career and beauty. But behind that pretty face was a superb mind, a little-known fact until just recently.
Laurie Wallmark helps young readers understand Lamarr’s quest to break the mold society forced upon her. Wallmark traces Lamarr’s immutable curiosity and perseverance from World War II to Lamarr’s revolutionary scientific discoveries later in life. Lamarr comes to life through quotes and Katy Wu’s creative illustrations, wonderfully complimenting the easy-to-read text. Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life is a vivid testament to an extraordinary woman and could serve as an inspiration to readers of all ages. Highly recommended. lauriewallmark.com
Martin & Anne The Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank
By Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg
8 – 14 years | $17.99
The lives and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Anne Frank are described in parallel in this beautiful picture book. Born in the same year but a world apart, Martin and Anne faced prejudices from the time they began school. Whereas one saw “Whites only” signs, the other saw “No Jews allowed” signs — but that didn’t stop either of them from dreaming of a better world and becoming beacons of inspiration long after their lives were cut short.
Author Nancy Churnin purposefully states that Martin grows up to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and that his assassination at age 39 cannot diminish his message of peace and equality; Anne’s life ended at 15, but her legacy lives on through her diary. The book embraces their unifying message that “Love is stronger than hate. / Kindness can heal the world.” Yevgenia Nayberg’s illustrations present King and Frank in a modern tapestry of colors, helping make the tough subject of discrimination more palatable for young children. Martin & Anne is a must-read to learn more about the parallel life experiences of these remarkable visionaries. All Churnin’s books have free Teacher Guides and projects on her website: nancychurnin.com/teacher-guides/
This wonderful and fun reference book answers many of kids’ most burning “Why?” questions. You and your grandkids will love the colorful photos that are paired with easy-to grasp answers to questions like, “Why are swimming pools blue?“ “Why do bats sleep upside down?” “Why do dogs sniff everything?” and “Why don’t penguins get cold ?” With hundreds of subjects from silly to serious, this book encourages kids to be curious, ask questions, and explore our amazing world. To be honest, I loved reading this book. I learned so much that I did not know. I am sure you and your grandkids will feel the same.
Food Fight! A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What and Why Through the Ages
Author: Tanya Steele
Ages 10 and up
Hardcover | $19.99
National Geographic Kids
Get ready to dig in to some human history through the lens of food to answer questions not usually known. Did you know that Christopher Columbus set out on his famous voyage in search not of the new world, but cinnamon? Did you ever wonder why M&Ms were invented? (Hint: That candy coating isn’t just for decoration!) Each chapter focuses on a major period of world history from Prehistoric cavekids to Ancient Greece to present day and beyond. Every page has a colorful collection of photos and illustrations informative sidebars and historical pictures. Discover Yucky Habits of Yore,” quizzes, and period-accurate recipes that will transport you and your grandkids taste buds back in time. So, take a curious journey through time and learn how food shaped our global history and culture.
Weird but True Christmas 300 festive facts to light up the holidays
Ages 8 – 12 | $8.99
National Geographic Kids
Even Christmas can be weird — it’s true! If you are looking for something different to fill stockings this year, look no further then this little gem of a book. It is chock-full of fun and wacky facts from around the world about the most wonderful time of year. I must admit I learned a lot while reading it. Did you know the amount of ribbon used to wrap gifts each Christmas is enough to tie a bow around the entire planet? Each page has between 1 to 3 facts and is filled with colorful pictures and illustrations. You and your grandkids will chuckle as you read the pages together.
Holidays Around the World Celebrate Hanukkah with Light, Latkes, and Dreidels
This lovely book is filled with vivid photography and engaging text. Readers will learn about the historical and cultural significance of Hanukkah and why it is celebrated around the world. From the lighting of the menorah to the special foods that are shared to the spinning of the dreidels, you will get insights about the holiday’s traditions and the Jewish faith.
Holidays Around the World Celebrate Kwanzaa with Candles, Community, and the Fruits of the Harvest
Author: Carolyn Otto
Consultant: Keith Mayers
Ages 7-10 | $7.99
Celebrate Kwanzaa will engage the whole family as they to learn about this special holiday . The book introduces children to the seven symbols of Kwanzaa, and several of its traditions, like dancing, feasting, and making gifts. It’s an educational book that won’t overwhelm your kids, but will get them excited about the seven days of Kwanzaa. The photographs bring the holiday and its celebration to life.
Heidi Frankel began her career in sales and marketing in Los Angeles. Upon moving to Dallas, she has worked in both television and radio as a creator, producer, writer, reporter, and co-host. Recently, Heidi served as managing editor, writer, business development, sales and marketing for The Senior Voice newspaper. Throughout the course of her career, she has interviewed such celebrities as former Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman, pop-culture icon Stan Lee, astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Hayes, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and even former President George W. Bush when he was Texas Governor. Heidi lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband. They have one son. She enjoys gardening, exercise, spending time with her sweet cats, Virgil and Aeschylus. Heidi is a passionate advocate for the 50+ community.