Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Book Wednesday: Stanley's Store

Stanley's Store
by William Bee
The hardest working hamster around is back and busier than ever in Stanley’s Store. The sixth title in William Bee’s much-loved Stanley series, Stanley’s Store invites young readers to explore grocery processes, colors, machines, and community with his loyal cast of rodent friends.

Stanley has fresh fruits and veggies to be unloaded, Myrtle needs help at the cheese counter, Shamus and Little Woo’s groceries must be rung up. Even for an industrious hamster like Stanley, running a store is hard work! With bold digital illustrations and the series’ beloved cast of characters, Stanley’s Store introduces young readers to the daily workings of a grocery store, concluding with the hamster’s comforting nighttime routine that readers have come to love in all of the Stanley’s picture books.

“A satisfying addition to the Stanley the Hamster series.” – Booklist Online

Also be sure to follow Stanley on his blog tour! Dates and locations below: 

We’re stocking the shelves of your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble with this publication produce on March 1st

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Book Wednesday: Prince Ribbit

Prince Ribbit
by Jonathan Emmett
illustrated by Poly Bernatene
In Jonathan Emmett’s clever twist on the “The Frog Prince,” spunky, bespectacled Princess Martha doubts the princely background of a talking frog. While her sisters are convinced that giving him the royal treatment will turn him into Prince Charming (like their story book says), fact-loving Martha knows Prince Ribbit is nothing but a clever, deceptive, and quite ordinary amphibian.  So, armed with the facts from her nonfiction books, she sets out to expose Prince Ribbit and prove to her sisters that “just because it’s in a book doesn’t mean it’s true.” But before “The End,” Princess Martha might just learn that lesson for herself!

From Jonathan Emmett and Poly Bernatene, the team that created the wickedly funny tale The Santa Trap, comes Prince Ribbita delightfully clever piece of meta-fiction for young readers about the pitfalls of trusting everything you read.  In a world where the lines between fact and fiction are often blurred, or ignored entirely, this “fractured fairytale” reminds children to approach every story they read, whether in the library or online, with a healthy amount of skepticism and critical thinking.

“A delightful story to pair with the original fairy tale and an excellent way to begin a discussion about factual books versus fiction.” —School Library Connection

“Readers will take away a universally appealing lesson: it’s fun to be clever.” ―Publishers Weekly

Check out the Prince Ribbit board game and word search on Pinterest!

This title hops into stores and libraries on March 1st, so make sure you capture a copy at your  local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble. Let Martha and her amphibian prince help you open the door to a discussion of fact vs. fiction!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Brunch: Susan Stockdale

Our first Sunday Brunch of the spring season is with award-winning author and illustrator Susan Stockdale!

A former textile designer, Susan Stockdale has always been fascinated by pattern and color. She has written and illustrated a number of picture books—including Spectacular Spots, Stripes of All Types, Bring On the Birds, and Fabulous Fishes—which have received awards from the American Library Association, Bank Street College of Education, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, the National Science Teachers Association, and the Parents’ Choice Foundation. Hear from her now as she shares about her latest picture book, Fantastic Flowers.

Q: What inspired the idea for Fantastic Flowers?

A: While visiting the U.S. Botanic Garden, I was charmed by an orchid that looked just like a monkey’s face. The idea for the book came to me in a flash—a book about flowers that look like other things! It struck me as such a playful and fun theme, but one that could have real educational heft, too.

Q: How did you find these unique flowers?

A: I did a lot of research. I pored over flower books, magazines, and online images. I was looking for the most fantastic and colorful flowers that resembled unusual things—both animate and inanimate.

Q: How did you go about researching them?

A: In addition to my print and online research, I consulted with botanists. I really leaned on them to make sure that my text and illustrations were factually accurate. I probably emailed the pollination expert 10 times with questions.

Q: How does nature continue to inspire your work?

A: Nature is the best designer. I never tire of trying to capture and interpret its magnificent colors, patterns, and shapes in my artwork.

Q: What intrigues you about the intersection of nature and art?

A: I enjoy the challenge of spotlighting specific aspects of nature that might pull readers in—from how and why animals wear their stripes to how flowers resemble other things—in words and pictures.

Q: How do you marry the rhythm of your text with your art?

A: I try to accomplish this with my pagination. In Fantastic Flowers, I featured two single-page images followed by two double-spread images to establish a predictable, rhythmic page turn for my reader that mimics the cadenced text.

Q: What is your process like as both the author and illustrator of a book?

A: My creative process is the same for every book. After coming up with an idea, I research, write the text, sketch the illustrations that would best fit the text, and paint, in that order.

Q: Which authors and illustrators do you admire?

A: I am a big fan of Steve Jenkins, Melissa Sweet, and Peter Sís.

Q: How do you hope teachers will use your book in the classroom?

A: I hope teachers read the book aloud, so children can appreciate its rhythm and rhyme, and that they use it as an introduction to teaching about the splendor and science of flowers.

Q: What do you hope young children will draw from this book?

A: I hope Fantastic Flowers will open young eyes to the surprising beauty and importance of flowers, and inspire children to appreciate and spend time in our natural world.

Learn more about Susan Stockdale's research for and the science behind Fantastic Flowers in her guest post! Get your copy of Fantastic Flowers at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble! 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Free Book Friday: King & Kayla

It's that time of year again! Free Book Friday is back and better than ever. The title of the hour is King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats from Dori Hillestad Butler and Nancy Meyers.

This mystery series is perfect for early readers. Join a lovable dog (King) as he helps his human girl (Kayla) sniff out clues and find the missing dog treats.

Enter for a chance to get a copy and solve the mystery by entering our Goodreads giveaway, starting today and through next week. Don't miss this Free Book Friday!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dori Hillestad Butler

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats

by Dori Hillestad Butler

Giveaway ends February 18, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Book Wednesday: King & Kayla


Dori Hillestad Butler returns to the children’s mystery genre with a brand-new easy reader series starring a lovable golden retriever who helps his human girl solve mysteries.  In the series’ inaugural title, King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats, precocious King helps his human friend Kayla sniff out clues on some treats gone missing. In Book Two, King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code, Kayla receives a letter in the mail written in code, along with her friend Mason, and King must help her find out who sent the letter!

Butler’s King & Kayla series boasts simple, straightforward language with a touch of deadpan humor—perfect for new readers who are full of curiosity and are eager to sniff out answers to their questions.  Kayla’s logical lists, as well as King’s canine assistance, is proof to children that they are capable of solving life’s little mysteries—with a little bit of help. Nancy Meyer’s endearing, full-color illustrations convey the affection between King and his human, even though she misunderstands him most of the time.

“Readers will connect with this charmingly misunderstood pup (along with his exasperated howls, excited tail wagging, and sheepish grins).” ―Kirkus Reviews

"A welcome addition to the beginning chapter book scene. Children will delight in Kayla and her dog King's success in solving mysteries. They will also enjoy the humor found in both the text and illustrations, particularly King's attempts to help Kayla."Diane Nielsen, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, University of Kansas

"Children will relate to the lovable and over enthusiastic character of King who pronounces every food and every activity as 'his favorite.' The owner, Kayla, tries hard to understand his various barks and actions which provides lots of age appropriate humor. These enjoyable stories will delight young readers and make their reading a pleasure." Carla Morris, Theodore Seuss Geisel Committee Chair (2013)

This case-cracking dynamic duo opens investigations on March 1st, so be sure to track them down at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble.  If you do, you’re sure to be one of King’s new favorite things!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Charlie Bumpers' Biggest Fan

Meet Gabe.

Gabe is a reading rebel whose story we had to share. Gabe has been a reader from the moment he could read on his own. In late kindergarten, he began reading books meant for grade levels three and four years ahead of him. Specifically, he began reading Charlie Bumpers.

Once Gabe had read through a few of Charlie's stories himself, he began sharing them with his friends. On the bus to school one day, Gabe was once again urging his friends to read Charlie Bumpers when a rather unfortunate thing happened. Gabe's friend got carsick from reading on the bus! Reading was banned thenceforth to Gabe's dismay. (Like we saidreading rebel).

Since then, Gabe has continued to read, despite the bus ban, and is now inspiring the reading life of his little brother! We'll let Gabe do some of the talking now, but we wanted you to have that introduction first.

Let us know if you have reading rebels in your life! We'd love to share their stories and hear how reading has impacted them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

New Book Wednesday: Fantastic Flowers

Fantastic Flowers
by Susan Stockdale
With engaging rhymes and bright, bold images, award-winning author and illustrator Susan Stockdale introduces young readers to a wide range of unusual flowers. Can you imagine a flower that looks like a ballerina? A baboon? A napping baby?  It’s hard to believe that these flowers are real—but they are!

From the author of Spectacular Spots and Stripes of All Types comes this brilliant bouquet of 17 flowers from around the world that resemble everything from flying birds to laughing bumblebeesFantastic Flowers encourages object identification and inspires children to observe nature more closely.  Stockdale also provides information on the pollination process in the back matter as well as a flower identification guide that includes real pictures of every flower illustrated in the book.

“Optically striking… This is a book to closely pore over” —Kirkus Reviews

“Pick” your own copy of Fantastic Flowers on March 1st in the literary lawns of your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble. Looking for a way to teach budding botanists about plants and their processes? Check out the Fantastic Flowers Teacher’s Guide.