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I Don’t Want To Wash My Hands
Written and Illustrated by Tony Ross
Ages 2 – 5 years
This little princess does not want to wash her hands. After all, in one day, she has washed them so many times — before eating, after playing in the dirt, after she sneezed, and even after she used her potty. And every time she’s reminded to wash her hands, she asks, “Why?” Because of germs and nasties, her maid says, that are too small to see. This sweet and timely book helps teach wee ones the importance of handwashing in a fun way with colorful, expressive illustrations.
By Dan Brown | Illustrated by Susan Batori
Ages 3 – 7 years
Dan Brown, the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code, has new credentials on his impressive resume: children’s book author and composer of the music from Wild Symphony. Wild Symphony is a unique and entertaining picture book with delightful rhyming text. Playful Maestro Mouse, trusty baton in hand, brings readers along as he plans to put on a concert with his animal friends. Each of these musically inclined critters offers a bit of advice for life’s journey. Their wisdom inspires conversations about our unique selves, the importance of never giving up, and the benefits of slowing down and enjoying our day. Susan Batori’s beautiful illustrations add some kid-friendly humor. A simple anagram is hidden on every page, adding to the fun; when placed in the correct order, the letters spell out the name of a musical instrument in the orchestra. Children and adults will enjoy reading along, or they can listen to the 21 original pieces of music as they read. Each animal’s personality has a unique piece, and listeners can use a free interactive app for cell phones to play the right song at the right time. You and your family will enjoy beautiful illustrations and the creative story, and the original music over and over again. It is a true multimedia experience.
Beautiful Shades of Brown: The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring
Written by Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Felicia Marshall
Too often, great artists of color are left out of our history books. Beautiful Shades of Brown takes a beautiful step towards redressing that wrong with the first picture book about Laura Wheeler Waring, an artist who grew up in a segregated America and used her paintbrush to fight for equality. Today, Waring’s paintings of such luminaries as Marian Anderson, W.E.B. DuBois, and Alice Dunbar Nelson are part of the National Portrait Gallery collection in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Seven of her magnificent paintings are reproduced in the book. The School Library Journal praises illustrator Felicia Marshall for her “artistic tribute rendered in the style of Waring’s paintings” and calls the book “A meticulously crafted account of a trailblazing artist.” A Mighty Girl pick, as featured on Good Morning Texas with Jane McGarry onWFAA-TV, Beautiful Shades of Brown comes with free teacher guides, resources, and projects available on Churnin’s website.
The Wizard of Oz | A Little Princess
Illustrated by Carly Gledhill
Ages 0 – 2
The Bedtime Classics is a charming series of board books that take classic works of fiction and simplify and shorten them for the youngest reader. Each story in the series breathes new life and fresh faces into famous tales such as The Wizard of Oz and A Little Princess. Carly Gledhill’s illustrations are beautiful and vivid, with diverse characters. They are perfect two-minute stories that will delight children, parents, and grandparents, alike. Readers will feel good about introducing children to some of the most iconic stories of literature, building libraries with these unique editions.
The other titles in the series are Alice in Wonderland, The Nutcracker, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Three Little Pigs.
For Spacious Skies:
Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for “America the Beautiful”
Written by Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Olga Baumert
Ages 4 – 8
Nancy Churnin and Olga Baumert bring the life of Katharine Lee Bates, author of the poem behind “America the Beautiful,” to audiences of all ages with this gorgeous picture book biography. Follow the unforgettable journey of a girl who grew up to be a poet and professor, accompanied by brilliant illustrations from Olga Baumert. As a child during the Civil War, Bates dreamed of using her love of words to heal her broken country. With “America the Beautiful,” that’s what she did, urging everyone to “crown thy good with brotherhood,” and reminding us we’re all one family “from sea to shining sea.” Bates stood up for a woman’s right to vote and lived to cast her ballot in 1920, making this book a perfect choice to honor the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. For Spacious Skies was written with the support of Bates’ great grandniece. You’ll find free teacher guides, resources, and a project on the author’s website at nancychurnin.com.
Little Kids First Big Book of Science
Written by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Ages 4 – 8
This book is a colorful introduction to the captivating world of science. It explores the many different scientific fields, what scientists do, and the fantastic things they study: animals and plants; oceans and space; earthquakes and volcanoes; sound and light; and more! Children and adults alike will enjoy fun activities, games, and simple experiments that encourage interactive learning. The images are bright, and the text is perfect for four- to eight-year-olds.
Nope. Never. Not For Me!
Written and Illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
Age 3 – 7
Some children can be picky eaters! To encourage healthy eating for kids, it sometimes takes creativity and fun. It wasn’t until my Mom told my son broccoli were little trees that he would gobble them up. In this adorable book, a little girl refuses to try a piece of broccoli until her mom guides her through a fun exploration of the new food. The little girl first looks, then sniffs, then touches, and then, finally, takes one teensy bite. Her varied reactions are precious. To find out if she eats this food and tries others, read this humorous and well-illustrated book.
The Little Engine That Could
Written by Wally Piper
Re-Illustrated by Dan Santat
Everyone remembers the little train that, despite her small size, victoriously brings her cargo of toys and goodies to the little children waiting on the other side of the mountain. In this anniversary edition, the text is the same as it was when first published in 1930. But the illustrations have been beautifully reimagined by Caldecott-winner Dan Santat, bringing the bright blue little engine into the 21st century. The positive message of I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, has encouraged and inspired children to pursue their dreams no matter the obstacle. Letters from country music legend Dolly Parton and Santat bookend the story. This update is one you will want to read over and over again.
Song Written By Joe Roposo with Bruce Hart and Jon Stone
Illustrated by 18 Talented Artists
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street, 18 picture-book artists each bring their talents to illustrate their interpretation of a different line from the show’s iconic song, “Sunny Day.” The award-winning and bestselling list of illustrators includes Christian Robinson, Tom Lichtenheld, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Leo Espinosa, Dan Santat, and more. Sunny Day is a beautifully illustrated tribute to Sesame Street — and to the generations of children who have grown up watching the show and singing along.
Say Hello, Lilly
Written by Deborah Lakritz
Illustrated by Martha Avilés
Age 3 – 8
Lily is a shy little girl. But, one day, she wants to volunteer with her Mom at Shalom House, a senior living community. At first, Lily stays close to her Mom, overwhelmed by all of the new people she meets. Soon, however, she begins to feel more comfortable and finds the courage to talk with others. As her birthday approaches, she looks forward to each visit. Lily makes friends with the older residents and joins in on activities, even bringing a few of her own to share. Published in 2010, this is an oldie but a goodie. The colorful illustrations represent the joy of intergenerational relationships. Even though the story takes place in a Jewish environment, it is a story many can relate to: that of a little girl, working to overcome her shyness.
Lawrence: The Bunny Who Wanted to Be Naked
Written/Illustrated by Vern Kousky
Ages 3 – 7
In this charming book, Vern Kousky takes a look at the sensitive mother-child relationship that has gone to the extreme. Ever since he was a tiny bunny, Lawrence’s mother has loved to dress him up in all the most fashionable clothes: the brightest colors and the most unusual styles. But Lawrence hates wearing clothes. None of the other animals wear clothes, including his mother! When Lawrence comes up with an ingenious and mischievous — but also, caring — plan to turn the tables on Mom, readers of all ages will smile at the outcome. Children can relate to Lawrence’s quest for independence, just as parents will identify with how hard it is to let go of your special bunny. This book is perfect to read aloud, celebrating individuality and problem-solving. The watercolor illustrations are adorable and draw you into the story.
The Crayons Christmas
Written by Drew Daywalt
Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Ages 3 and up
This unique book is the perfect gift for fans of the duo’s previous books, The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home. It is so cute in its presentation, all from the Crayons’ point of view! Your little readers will learn how young Duncan and his family celebrate the holidays, and the fun way the Crayons appreciate being an important part of Duncan’s life. Included are the actual letters the Crayons write — each of which can be pulled out and read. You and your kiddos will find stickers, games, punch-out ornaments, and more fun activities. Fans will delight when grey Crayon writes to Duncan that he is visiting his family for Chanukah. The Crayons’ personalities come alive through Daywalt’s original text and Jeffers’s illustrations. If this is your first Crayon book, you will be excited to read them all.
Written by Sheryl Haft
Illustrated by Jill Weber
Ages 2–5 years
This adorable, festive story reimagines a classic bedtime book with an energetic Jewish family gathering for Chanukah to see Bunny “Bubbala” (the Yiddish term for “sweet child”). Bubbies, zeydes, a dreidel, and even a shmear on a bagel fill the pages of this parody of Goodnight Moon, but with a very different type of bedtime! The whole family is full of enthusiasm, love, and Yiddish sayings! Instead of speaking in whispers, this Bunny’s bedtime includes dancing, kvelling, and, of course, lots of noshing. This delightful story celebrates the Jewish values of cherishing your loved ones, expressing gratitude, and being generous. The book includes a phonetic glossary to teach wee ones a bit of Yiddish. The last page serves up a potato latke recipe from cookbook author Ina Garten, TV’s Barefoot Contessa! With its rhyming text and fun illustrations, this little book presents the tradition of Chanukah and family time in a beautiful, enjoyable, and essential way.
In Honor of Grandparents Month
DEAR GRANDCHILD, THIS IS ME
A Gift of Stories, Wisdom and Off-the-Record Tales
Produced by Waterbrook
The best gift a grandparent can give is a piece of themselves that will stay with their grandchildren forever. Using this beautiful journal, grandparents can capture the details of their unique experiences, sharing both valuable life lessons and words of wisdom. There are built-in envelopes to stash special letters of encouragement for specific occasions in your grandchild’s future. Write out recipes, add photos, and create your family tree. There are even off-the-record questions to prompt fun stories. It is a perfect way to capture memories and milestones for the loved one close to your heart. Verses and illustrations from a variety of artists will inspire your journey. ORDER THE BOOK HERE
The Peculiar Pig
Written by Joy Steverwald
Illustrated by Joy Steverwald
Ages 3- 6
Being different is always a good thing, and this adorable picture book proves it. The Peculiar Pig is a sweet and funny story of a brown dachshund puppy who wanders into the pigpen one day and is welcomed by the mother pig. Penny doesn’t understand why she’s different — she only knows that Mama Pig loves her just the same as the rest of the litter. Penny’s siblings, however, are puzzled by her peculiar behavior, like digging with her paws instead of her snout, along with her loud, sharp “oink.” But when danger strikes, Penny’s peculiarities prove to be strengths, and the piglets see that sometimes it’s good to be a little different! The text is easy to read and touches your heart. The illustrations bring the family to life.
Snowmen at Halloween
Written by Caralyn Buehner
Pictures by Mark Buehner
Ages 3- 7
After a surprise Halloween snowfall, some children build a row of snowmen, dress them up in scary costumes, and then trot off to trick-or-treat before bed. But what do snowmen do after everyone is fast asleep? Your grandkids will delight in all of the snowmen’s antics as they do tricks on skates, bump into one another like happy clowns, carve pumpkins, and get their faces painted. The lyrical text and lively illustrations make the snowmen pop off the page — and the book is good for re-reading, too: The author has included hidden creatures to find on each page. I love Caralyn and Mark Buehner’s wonderfully interactive story, and I think you and your grandkids will, too!
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. ORDER THE BOOK HERE
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. ORDER THE BOOK HERE
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
Read the Hollywood Reporter’s article on Hedy: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/two-new-children-s-books-celebrate-actress-inventor-hedy-lamarr-1183496?fbclid=IwAR1QcSL2G-0nrV5OetnXX6y_KBnBP-Lq5FeSXck4sZQSTID0KhqcCGDXeL8
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/
Project for the book: http://www.nancychurnin.com/kindredspirits/
Little Kids First Big Book Of Why 2
Author Jill Esbaum
Hardcover | $14.99
National Geographic Kids
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
Author: Deborah Heiligman
Ages 6 – 9 | $7.99
Consultant: Rabbi Shira Stern
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.