Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday & Winter Round-Up

It’s that time of year again: bring on the cold weather, cozy blankets, and hot chocolate. And you know what will make all of those things even more festive? Snuggling up next to the fire and reading a good book with the ones you love! Exploring the library this winter break is a great way to plan a day of family fun. While you're there, check out these amazing holiday and winter-y stories from Peachtree. Some will have the family rolling on the floor with laughter while others will touch the soul and warm the heart. You might even find a new holiday classic you will want to enjoy every year with the whole family!

Winter-y Titles

In this gently rhyming board book, simple and evocative language and charming illustrations describe a girl’s experience on a snowy day as she and her pet dog make a snowman, sled, and have other winter fun! Elizabeth Spurr and Manelle Oliphant together create a perfect sit-in-your-lap reading experience for toddlers.

Claude and his best friend Sir Bobblysock are at it again! This time, they go to the Snowy Mountains to swish down the powdery slopes. They throw snowballs, learn to ski, and enter a snow-sculpture contest. But when an avalanche threatens their winter wonderland, Claude must come to the rescue.

All of Penguin’s friends are excited about the upcoming talent show, but Penguin can’t seem to figure out what his talent is. He tries juggling appliances with Bear, doing magic tricks with Rabbit, and burping the alphabet with Fox, but he doesn’t seem to be good at any of it. Stuck behind the scenes organizing, Penguin leaves the contest saddened, the only one who hasn’t received a medal. When his friends decide to throw him a party, but their festivities fizzle, Penguin discovers he might have some special skills after all as he sets to work planning them all the best party ever.

Through simple, easy-to-understand language and beautifully detailed paintings, this guide teaches children what the Polar Regions are and shows how various species of animals and plants have adapted to life in these habitats.
When the television weatherman predicts a big snowfall, the narrator gleefully imagines the fun-filled possibilities of an unscheduled holiday from school. Piling under warm blankets. Sipping hot chocolate in snowman mugs. Building a snow fort. Sledding in the neighbor’s field. In scene after snowy scene, from sunrise to sundown, a pair of siblings, with their father in tow, show how they would make the most of their day off. But when the family wakes up the next morning, they are in for a disappointment. No snow! As the family members pile into the car so they won’t be late for school, an unexpected twist reveals who wanted the snow day most of all.

While her new cubs Snowball and Snowflake are too young to venture far from their den, Polar Star shows them the delights of their ice and snow wonderland home. But when the cubs are old enough to leave the safety of the den, they must learn how to survive in their beautiful yet hostile world and follow Polar Star across the treacherous sea ice in search of food. The remote Arctic world is brought closer to young readers in this dramatic story that follows a mother polar bear and her two cubs from her hibernation and their birth to their long journey together and a hungry male bear they encounter along the way.
Many know the story of Robert Peary’s great 1909 expedition to reach the North Pole. Yet few people know that Peary was joined on this grueling, history-making journey by fellow explorer Matthew Henson. Just born after the Civil War, a time when slavery had been abolished but few opportunities were available for black people, Henson exhibited a yearning for adventure; at the age of only thirteen, he embarked on a five-year voyage sailing the seven seas and learning navigation, history, and mathematics. Henson’s greatest adventure began when he accepted an invitation from Robert Peary to join his expedition to the North Pole. The team endured storms, shifting ice, wind, injuries, accidents, and unimaginable cold. Finally on April 1, Peary, Henson, and four Inuit men began the final 133-mile push to the Pole. 

Inspired by the Great Blizzard of 1947, a young boy trudging through deep snow in her neighborhood park is suddenly hit with a strong wind that grabs his coat and lifts him into the air. As the young boy is soaring over familiar sites—a bridge over a frozen river, a baseball field, and an amusement park—he gains a new perspective, escaping from the routine of everyday life. But when the boy returns to the safety of his home, he is left wondering: Was it all just a marvelous dream?

Under the Snow
When snow falls, we go home where it is warm and safe. What about all those animals out there in the forests and fields? What do they do when snow blankets the ground?

Anna's Blizzard
It is 1888 and twelve-year-old Anna loves her life on the Nebraska prairie where feels most at home. But at school she feels hopelessly out of place. Arithmetic is too hard, her penmanship is abysmal, and stuck-up Eloise Baxter always laughs at her mistakes. But when an intense Nebraska blizzard traps Anna, her schoolmates, and young teacher in the one-room schoolhouse, Anna knows they must escape before it is too late. Does she have the courage and strength to lead her school through the whiteout to safety?

Holiday Titles

All Little Rabbit wants for Christmas is a sled. “Then I would be happy,” he tells his parents before bed. When Christmas arrives, Little Rabbit finds the red sled waiting for him and he cannot wait to show it off to his friends. Everyone begs him for a turn, and Little Rabbit goes off in a huff to sled alone. But when a fast hill and a frozen stream spell trouble for Little Rabbit, he quickly learns the value of friendship.
In the middle of a deep, dark forest, all the creatures are fast asleep. Except for a little gray wolf who can't sleep a wink. But the little wolf knows just what he needs to get a good night's sleep: a teddy bear to cuddle, just like in his favorite story book. But exactly where do teddy bears come from? Little Wolf must set off on an adventure through the forest to find out!

On a cold and clear Christmas Eve night in 1914, British soldiers sit in muddy trenches; on the other side of “No Man’s Land,” German soldiers are doing the same. Suddenly, a strange sound pierces the darkness: someone is singing a Christmas carol in German. Soon carols are sung back and forth across No Man's Land. Then a figure emerges in the dark, carrying a small Christmas tree with lighted candles. Slowly the British and German soldiers leave their trenches, and the war, behind to stand together in the open field. Based on the Christmas Truce in World War 1, Christmas in the Trenches is a timeless tale will capture the imagination of readers of all ages.

It is November 1857 in Savannah, Georgia, and the heat is stifling. Choir director James Lord Pierpont is busy writing a song for the children of the church to perform to usher in the holiday season. As he recalls his own Boston childhood, the sound of sleigh bells, and riding a sleigh through the snow, he gets an idea. A few days later—with the happy sounds of children singing and jingling bells and bags of "snow"—Mr. Pierpont introduces the delighted churchgoers to the charms of a northern Christmas!
Bradley Bartleby is bad. Very bad. To avoid Bradley's wrath, his wealthy parents buy him whatever he wants. All the adults in Bradley's life are running scared—except for Santa Claus, who refuses to give him anything but socks. But Bradley vows to get what he deserves. If Santa won't give him the gifts he wants, Bradley will just have to steal them. It takes Bradley a full year to execute his plan. In the end, he transforms his house into a trap so fearsome even his parents refuse to enter it. With dynamite, trapdoors, guillotines, and tigers in his path, Santa doesn't stand a chance. Or does he?
To Whom the Angel Spoke is the story of three shepherds who were as different as men can be. Yet, one night, those men heard a voice, and because they believed what the voice told them about the birth of Jesus, they were alike.
Julian's parents talk about Santa all the time but Julian thinks he's getting too old to believe in him. Even so, to keep his parents happy, he writes Santa a letter asking for a video game system. His parents think it might be a bit expensive, but Julian is confident Santa can afford it. Sure enough, on Christmas morning, there it is—the exact video game system he asked for. But after all the gifts are opened, Julian's mother spots something else under the tree: a small package wrapped in dull brown paper. No one seems to know where it has come from. Then Julian tears off the paper…and discovers that just maybe he's not too old to believe in Santa after all.
What does Santa do with his hard-earned vacation time? The same stuff you would do to relax and have fun—and a whole lot more—from sumo wrestling to international espionage! But no matter where he goes or what he does, he’s still our beloved Santa Claus!

Look for your favorite Holiday/winter titles at your local library this Winter break!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Brunch with Cathryn Sill

John and I love the world around us and enjoy learning more about it as we work on our About and About Habitats series. We gather information about our subjects from many areas, including some that require travel to experience. When we started working on About Habitats: Polar Regions, we decided it would be fun to visit one. 

Photo credit: Cathryn Sill

Since Antarctica is on the other side of the world and the cost would wreck havoc on our budget, we decided to visit the Arctic. We were there in the summer so the sun never set. Our sleep patterns were disrupted, but because of unlimited daylight we would look for birds and explore without the added pressure of getting finished by dark. Watching Snowy Owls in the beautiful “butter light” at 2:00 am was an experience to remember. When we got tired enough to sleep, we would just close the blinds, turn off the lights, and pretend it was bedtime.

Snowy Owl (photo credit: Cathryn Sill)

A species of bird that we featured in About Habitats: Polar Regions was the Arctic Tern. We really enjoyed watching and photographing them. It was amazing to realize that in just a few weeks they would begin a long journey to Antarctica to spend the summer there. That doesn’t sound like a summer vacation!

Left: Arctic Tern (photo credit: Cathryn Sill)
Right: Arctic Terns, from About Habitats: Polar Regions

Many of the drab-looking shorebirds such as Pectoral Sandpipers that we see on the beach in winter were in the Arctic in the summer wearing their fancier breeding plumage. They were also performing “over to top” courtship rituals that were comical to us but obviously attractive to another bird.

Pectoral Sandpiper (photo credit: Cathryn Sill)

One of the nesting birds featured in the book was the American Golden Plover. Seeing this bird wandering around on the tundra was the inspiration for the illustration.

Left: American Golden Plover (photo credit: Cathryn Sill)
Right: American Golden Plover, from About Habitats: Polar Regions

One of our big wishes for this trip was to see Muskoxen. What a treat to look up on a hill and see a herd of them silhouetted. They thundered past us and we were concerned that we were disturbing them. When they stopped just beyond us and began feeding we realized they weren’t at all concerned about us.

Left: Muskoxen (photo credit: Cathryn Sill)
Right: Muskoxen, from About Habitats, Polar Regions

The natural world is so fascinating!  Our desire is to instill in our readers an awe and appreciation of the many diverse aspects of this wonderful creation!

About Habitats: Polar Regions can be found at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble.

For the About Habitats series Teacher's Guide, click here.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide

We know how difficult it is to find the right present for everyone on your holiday listfrom your little princess-of-a-niece who already has everything, to your old college friend's newborn baby. This year, we're challenging you to nix the good ol' reliable sock gift. Let us help you with our Holiday Gift Guide! A book is like a new gift with every read, and there’s one out there for every reader at any age.

Stocking Stuffers for Little Ones: 

Board Books: Smaller and more durable, board books make great stocking stuffers for little ones just starting to learn about the world around them. Any of these board books would be perfect for sit-in-your-lap reading experiences with toddlers.  (Ages 1-6) 
Hush, Little Ones by John Butler;
Can You Growl Like a Bear? by John Butler;
In the Garden by Elizabeth Spurr;
Fabulous Fishes by Susan Stockdale

Gift Sets for Young’uns:

Little Rabbit Lost by Harry Horse
Little Rabbit Books with Plush: What do you get when you combine the cutest little rabbit with beautifully illustrated and timeless stories? Five adorable books filled with humor and heart to share with your own little rabbit, as well as a huggable Little Rabbit plush doll great for story-time snuggling. (The Little Rabbit Series includes: Little Rabbit Lost; Little Rabbit Runaway; Little Rabbit Goes to School, Little Rabbit's New Baby; Little Rabbit's ChristmasAges 2-6)

Stanley Series: Stanley is always busy doing something – building houses, harvesting wheat, baking cakes, and lots more! Great choices for younger kids curious about different jobs and real-world concepts, the Stanley books are made with padded covers and durable paper stock that look beautiful as a set. (The Stanley series includes: Stanley the Builder; Stanley's Garage; Stanley the Farmer; Stanley's DinerAges 3-7)

For the Dreamer:
P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis

P. Zonka Lays an Egg: While extraordinary hen P. Zonka spends her time taking in the beauty around her, the other hens can't understand why she never lays eggs like they do and think she's just plain lazy. But when P. Zonka finally decides to give egg-laying a try, the other chickens are in for a spectacular surprise! The perfect celebration of artistic dreaminess! (Ages 4-8)

For Those with Royal Aspirations:

Princess and Packet Frozen Peas: Prince Henrik wants to marry an outdoorsy kind of girl, so he tests prospective brides with an entire packet of frozen peas shoved under a flimsy camping mattress. As princess after princess complains, Henrik begins to believe he'll never find the girl of his dreams, until one day she shows up unexpectedly in the form of his old friend, Pippa. (Ages 4-8)
The King of Little Things by Bill Lepp
King of Little Things: In a long ago world of vast kingdoms lives a king who happily reigns over all things small. He has all he needs and doesn't want for more. But King Normous wants to be Ruler of All the World. He gathers his armies and soon he has erased every empire and raided every realm—almost.  Only the King of Little Things stands between King Normous and his goal of conquering the world. But little things can wield great power. (Ages 4-8)

For the Nature Lover:

About Series: Cathryn and John Sill have created a beautiful and extensive series on both animals, and the habitats they live in. Using simple, easy-to-understand language, and striking paintings, this series brings its readers up close to the creatures and worlds presented by offering accurate and interesting content that will appeal to anyone who loves nature. (Ages 3-7)
Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O' Galbraith

Planting the Wild Garden: As a farmer and her son carefully plant seeds in their garden, many seeds are planted in the wild garden, as well. Different kinds of animals, weather, and sometimes extraordinary occurrences transport all sorts of seeds, showing that many elements—some unexpected—work together through the seasons to create and sustain the wild meadow garden. (Ages 4-8)

For the Picky Eater:

The MonsterWho Ate My Peas: What do you dread eating the most? For the hero of this story, it's peas. A young boy thinks he's discovered a way to avoid eating his peas—he makes a bargain with a fiendishly funny monster. First the deal is simple: the monster will eat the boy's peas in exchange for his soccer ball. But with each new encounter, the monster's demands escalate. Eventually, our hero faces a daunting decision—can he conquer his loathing for peas or will he lose his most prized possession? (Ages 4-8)
The Monster Who Ate My Peas by Danny Schnitzlein

For the Cat Lover:

Where is Catkin?: A cat’s curiosity lands him in a tight spot. As Catkin climbs over the wall to hunt, he tries to look for the creatures he can hear, until he gets stuck! Beautiful illustrations and an entertaining seek-and-find element will make cat lovers want to read it over and over! (Ages 2-6)
by James Riordan

My G-r-r-r-reat Uncle Tiger: When Marmaduke the tabby cat discovers a picture of a tiger, he decides they must be related—after all, they both have yellow eyes and stripes! Join Marmaduke as he leads his other feline friends on a daring adventure to the zoo to meet his new relative—face to face… (Ages 2-6)

For the Dog Lover:

Bark Park: Welcome to Bark Park, where dogs of every shape, size, and personality romp and roam. With a rollicking, rhyming text and colorful, simply detailed illustrations, this book offers a delightful, affectionate look at our canine companions and why we love them. (Ages 2-6)
Stay! A Top Dog Story
by Alex Latimer

Stay! A Top Dog Story: Looking after Ben's dog, Buster, is no walk in the park. Buster is messy, he is naughty, he is EXHAUSTING! But Ben loves him more than anything. When Ben goes away, he tells Grampa exactly how to look after Buster. But has Ben remembered the most important thing? Dog lovers will get a kick out of Buster and his loving owner! (Ages 4-8)

For the Adventurer:
Claude in the Spotlight by Alex T. Smith

Claude Series: Claude is no ordinary dog—he leads an extraordinary life! Follow Claude and Sir Bobblysock on their adventures packed with humor and fun, from vacation at the beach to a haunted theater to perform with a dance troupe! These illustrated chapter books make great gifts for little adventurers just starting to read on their own. (The Claude series includes: Claude in the City; Claude at the Circus; Claude on the Slopes; Claude at the Beachand Claude in the SpotlightAges 7-9)

For the Budding Wildlife Conservationist:

A Place for Series: This series introduces readers to some pressing environmental issues facing the world today. Providing basic information about certain species, as well as pointers on how youngsters can help protect these animals in their own neighborhoods, any of these titles, like the newly revised A Place for Birds and A Place for Butterflies, will inspire anyone to do their part in protecting the wildlife around them. (Ages 6-10)
A Place for Birds and A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart

Night of the Spadefoot Toads: When his family moves to Massachusetts, Ben finds a kindred spirit in his eccentric science teacher. Together they explore the varied habitats on her rural property, and Mrs. Tibbets introduces him to the elusive and endangered Eastern spadefoot toads that make their home there. When Ben discovers that Mrs. Tibbets's relatives plan to sell the land to developers, he knows he must try to stop them. Winner of the Green Earth Book Award, this novel by Bill Harley reminds readers that conservation can begin in their own backyard. (Ages 8-12)

For the History Buff:
Finder, Coal Mine Dog
by Alison Hart

Dog Chronicles Series: Learn about history through the eyes of a dog in Alison Harts Dog Chronicles series. In the most recent title, Finder, Coal Mine Dog, Finder joins his owner Thomas working in the coal mines; but when disaster strikes, can Thomas and Finder escape the fires from deep below ground? With three books in the series, each one focusing on a different historical moment, you can discover the roles of dogs during World War 1, the Gold Rush, and coal mining in the early 1900s. (The Dog Chronicles series includes: Darling, Mercy Dog of World War II; Murphy, Gold Rush Dog; and Finder, Coal Mine DogAges 7-10) 

For the Sports Enthusiast:

Fred Bowen Sports Story Series: Baseball, Soccer, Football, you name it! Fred Bowen has a wide ranging list of sports-fiction, perfect for anyone who wants to sink their teeth into an action-packed story centered on sports. Titles like Perfect Game, Double Reverse, and his most recent Out of Bounds, would make great titles for reluctant readers and sports fans alike. (Ages 7-12)
Perfect Game, Out of Bounds, and Double Reverse by Fred Bowen

For the Horse Lover:
Wind Dancer by Chris Platt

Chris Platt Books: Horse-crazy readers will love these books by Chris Platt!  With realistic details about training, competing, caring for these beautiful animals, any of these titles will easily satisfy horse enthusiasts looking for a good book, even if it isn’t quite the same as getting a real horse for the holidays. (Chris Platt's books include: Astra; Storm Chaser; Star Gazer; Moon Shadow; Willow King; and Wind Dancer. Ages 8-12)

For the Classic Lit Lover:
Lilliput  by Sam Gayton

LilliputInspired by Gulliver's Travels, Lilliput is an exhilarating adventure about a girl three inches tall who, for half her life, has been trapped in a birdcage while her giant kidnapper Gulliver sits beside her, writing in a leather-bound book the size of a house. Join Lily as she travels through eighteenth-century London - over rooftops, down chimneys, and into chocolate shops - on a journey to find the one place in the world where she belongs...home. (Ages 8-12)

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: In this playful homage to Charles Dickens, unlikely allies learn the lessons of a great friendship. Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his street-cat life. Tired of dodging fishwives' brooms and carriage wheels, he hopes to trade London's damp alleyways for the warmth of ye olde Cheshire Cheese Inn. He strikes a bargain with Pip, an erudite mouse: Skilley will protect the mice who live at the inn, and in turn, the mice will provide Skilley with the thing he desires most. But when Skilley and Pip are drawn into a crisis of monumental proportions involving a tyrannical cook, an unethical barmaid, and a malevolent tomcat, their new friendship is pushed to its limits. The escalating crisis threatens the peace not only of the Cheshire Cheese Inn but also the British Monarchy! (Ages 8 and up)

For the YA Lit Lover:

Believarexic by J.J. Johnson; Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

Life in Outer Space: Sam is a geek, and he's totally fine with that. He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft - and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, he won't worry about girls. Then Camilla arrives on the scene: beautiful, friendly, and completely irrelevant to Sam’s plan. He is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a plan of her own - and he seems to be a part of it! Sam believes that everything he needs to know he can learn from the movies, but perhaps he's been watching the wrong ones. Humorous and heartfelt, Melissa Keil’s novel is a great read! (Ages 12-16)

J. J. Johnson Books: With three books, all with starred reviews, J.J. Johnson is able to present important issues during adolescence—like body image, friendship, and bullying, and growing up—in a way that all readers can relate to and understand. With great writing and memorable stories, you can’t go wrong with titles like Believarexic, The Theory of Everything, and This Girl is Different. (Ages 12-16)

Still need to look some more? Check out our most recent catalog to see all of our current titles! There are several convenient ways to order Peachtree's titles. You can look at your local indie bookstore, find our books at Barnes & Noble or on Amazon, or order them directly through our website.