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Books as Gifts

Holiday Buying Guide 2010

Penguins graphic

What better gift to give than one that can be shared again and again?

Books are just that kind of gift. They create memories, too, when read by and with children. This year's list was carefully crafted with just one idea in mind — to find books so engaging that the TV is happily turned off and the iPod and electronic games are put away. Books open new windows to the world.

Seasons Readings from Reading Rockets!



For 0-4 year olds

American Babies

By: Global Education Fund
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Simple sentences connect babies from diverse backgrounds, each portrayed in a full-color photograph on sturdy pages.

Bears! Bears! Bears!

By: Bob Barner
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

A simple, rhyming text and crisp, bright illustrations introduce bears from around the world. Brief information at the end of the book provides a bit more information making this a book that can be used as a story or to introduce a variety of bears.

Bravo

By: Ginger Foglesong Guy
Illustrated by: Rene King Moreno
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Two children go outdoors to collect musical instruments for a joyful parade and are joined by friends. The children march, play, and sing to the delight of their families. Simple words in English and Spanish combine with soft illustrations for a satisfying story.

Ducking for Apples

By: Frances Berry
Illustrated by: Hiroe Nakata
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Five ducks ride on bicycles for an apple-picking adventure. The rhyming text and gentle illustrations create a playful, satisfying, everyday adventure.

Hello, Puppy!

By: Jane Cowen-Fletcher
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

A young child gets to know the new puppy. Simple questions followed by straightforward responses are accompanied by realistic illustrations for a winning effect.

I Like Fruit: A Touch & Feel Book

By: Lorena Siminovich
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Crisply lined and clearly placed illustrations of different fruits are arranged by color on sturdy pages. Embedded in illustrations on each double-page spread is a textured part that suggests how the fruit feels when touched.

I'm 3! Look What I Can Do

By: Maria Carluccio
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

From going to the potty to using utensils, the many things that young children can do everyday are affirmed in bright, open, and cheerful illustrations and simple text.

Little Owl Lost

By: Chris Haughton
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The little owl searches for his mother when separated from her, but his descriptions aren't very clear. At last, a concerned squirrel helps reunite baby and mother. Muted colors and broad shapes are used in this appealing story.

Market Day! Colors; Shapes, Opposites, Numbers

By: Victoria Roberts
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Four board books are included in a well-built cardboard case with a handle. Each concept is clearly, briefly presented in minimal text and cheery illustration, just right for young hands or for sharing.

Oh, Daddy!

By: Bob Shea
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The blue hippo dad does everything wrong — much to the delight of his young son who knows how to do many things, from getting dressed to giving hugs. Parents and children will enjoy the fun though adults may appreciate father hippo's technique the most.

Pet Shop Follies

By: Mary Ann Fraser
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The animals in a pet shop decide to put on a show to attract visitors when no one is coming in to meet them. Children will enjoy the imaginative illustrations and simple text.

Push Button

By: Aliki
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

A little boy loves to push buttons and they're everywhere: on the telephone, on his umbrella, on toys, and more. But when his finger is sore, he discovers books and blocks don't involve buttons! Signature illustrations are used in this rhythmic book.

Soup Day

By: Melissa Iwai
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

A mother and her child get the ingredients for soup on a snowy day and then add everything to the pot. The pair plays snug and warm while the soup simmers until Dad comes home when they enjoy soup together. Crisp collage and a simple text make for a cozy read.

The Baby Goes Beep

By: Rebecca O'Connell
Illustrated by: Ken Wilson-Max
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Baby and parents share a full day from the time the baby awakens until bedtime — with recognizable activities along the way. Lively, rhythmic language and bright illustrations appear on sturdy pages.

Tiny Little Fly

By: Michael Rosen
Illustrated by: Kevin Waldron
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Tiny Little Fly sees many things and lands on something quite large: a series of bigger animals. No matter, Tiny Little Fly won't be caught and zooms away. A large format and textured illustrations combine with a rhyming text for a simple, satisfying saga.

Tubby

By: Leslie Patricelli
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Join the parents of a bald little baby as she (or is it he?) plays imaginatively in the bathtub and grows out of diapers in two charmingly simple board books. Each is sure to engage both adults and children as they grow.

For 4-5 year olds

Alfie Runs Away

By: Kenneth Cadow
Illustrated by: Lauren Castillo
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When his mother gives away his too-small shoes, Alfie decides to runs away from home. His mother helps Alfie pack for a sojourn to his own back yard, and welcomes him home with open arms. Gentle illustrations convey Alfie's recognizable range of emotions.

Beaver Is Lost

By: Elisha Cooper
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A beaver's adventure begins on a log that floats away from his home and into the city. Before finding his way back, the beaver has many plausible adventures. The action is depicted in well-placed, realistic illustrations in a nearly wordless book.

Chicken Little

By: Rebecca Emberley
Illustrated by: Michael Emberley
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Chicken Little is bonked on the head by an acorn, the not-too-bright bird assumes that the sky is falling and so begins his journey. Along the way, he is joined by other equally clueless birds all of which are nearly eaten by a wily fox. Bold, colorful, abstract illustrations augment the humor in this simple retelling.

Guinea Pigs Add Up

By: Margery Cuyler
Illustrated by: Tracey Campbell Pearson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When a second guinea pig is added to keep the first classroom pet company, the animals quickly add up — until they find other homes and are subtracted. The rhyming text is as fast and funny as the animated cartoon illustrations.

Gunner, Football Hero

By: James Ransome
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Short and round, Gunner Smith didn't look like a football player but he practiced hard enough to make third-string quarterback on his town's Pee Wee team. Gunner gets his chance to use his arm in the championship game in this bright tale with a surprise ending.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

By: Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by: Felicia Bond
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The tale of the generous boy who gives a mouse a cookie with unexpected and very funny consequences celebrates its 25th anniversary with a special edition. End pages have a board game that can be played by two or more players.

Immi's Gift

By: Karin Littlewood
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

As Immi fishes through an ice hole, she finds a host of colorful objects beginning with a red bird. Each item ultimately decorates her igloo, introduces her to animal friends, and speaks to the power of imagination. At the end of the season, Immi sends her white bear into the hole; it is then found by a child on a tropical beach.

Looking Closely in the Rain Forest

By: Frank Serafini
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Each double page begins with a question, "Look very closely. What do you see?" and a partial photograph. A page turn provides the answer and the contextualized image as well as a bit more information about the rainforest plant or animal.

Madlenka Soccer Star

By: Peter Sís
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Madlenka dreams of being a soccer star in this third book about the city-dwelling girl. She leaves home in her soccer togs playing imaginary games until she's joined by one friend and then a team full of children. A note about soccer history concludes the book.

Miss Lina's Ballerinas

By: Grace Maccarone
Illustrated by: Christine Davenier
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Eight little girls study ballet with Miss Lina in the town of Messina — and happily arrange themselves in four groups of two. There's a bit of concern upon the arrival of ninth girl until Miss Lina suggests a new configuration. The light, lively illustration, rhyming text, and school of girls are reminiscent of the Madeline books.

Moon Bear

By: Brenda Guiberson
Illustrated by: Ed Young
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Lyrical questions and answers and textured collage illustrations introduce the Moon Bear and its seasonal habits. Additional information about this endangered animal is appended to add another dimension.

Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo

By: Kevin Waldron
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The animals in his care overhear what zookeeper Mr. Peek mutters to himself, setting off a series of misunderstandings. Expressive illustrations and lively language add to the humor of this satisfying saga — just right for a laugh and to generate discussion.

No More, Por Favor

By: Susan Middleton Elya
Illustrated by: David Walker
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Children everywhere — including the young rainforest animals — tire of eating the same thing. Happily, the animal parents in this lively book come up with a tasty and creative solution in this colorful, rhyming story that sprinkles Spanish throughout.

One Too Many: A Seek & Find Counting Book

By: Gianna Marino
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

One flea is joined around a wooden trough by 2 cows, 3 horses … up to 12 bats — but there is one too many when a skunk arrives! Realistic illustrations and numerals show the increasingly crowded and then suddenly empty scenes, to create an unusual counting book.

Shark vs. Train

By: Chris Barton
Illustrated by: Tom Lichtenheld
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Two boys with toys begin a contest, pitting shark and train to see who will win the various contests. As the challenges grow, so does the size and perspective of the illustrations until the boys end for lunch. The portrayal of children's imaginative play is spot-on.

Sky-High Guy

By: Nina Crews
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Jack and Guy, his action figure, don't always play with Jack's little brother, Gus. When Guy gets stuck in a tree, however, the brothers cooperate to get him down. Inventive play is portrayed by white lines over crisp, realistic photographs.

Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp!

By: Margaret Mayo
Illustrated by: Alex Ayliffe
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Meet massive, wrinkly, stiff-tailed, feathered and more dinosaurs as they stomp, guard, and gulp through this colorful pages of this rhythmic, attractive book. Pronunciation help for dinosaur names is provided on the end pages.

The Day of the Dead

By: Bob Barner
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Bright illustrations convey the festive traditions of the Latin American celebration known as the Day of the Dead accompanied by a straightforward Spanish/English text. An endnote about the holiday as well as the inspiration for the art are included.

The Gobble Gobble Moooo Tractor Book

By: Jez Alborough
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Sheep climbs on the tractor while Farmer Dougal sleeps, making the sound of the engine as he sits behind the wheel. Other farm animals join them, each adding their voices until the cacophony awakens the farmer. Colorful, comic illustration and onomatopoeia encourage participation.

The Perfect Gift

By: Mary Newell DePalma
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Through a series of mishaps, Little Lorikeet's perfect strawberry is lost and the little bird has no gift for her grandmother. When all attempts to retrieve it are futile, Lorikeet and her friends make something that lasts much longer: a storybook for Grandma.

The Wonderful Book

By: Leonid Gore
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Though none of the animals know what they've found in the woods, they all find a use for it until a little boy picks it up. He wonders what the book is about, then begins to read its stories aloud to the animals. Children will enjoy knowing what the animals find long before they do.

Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

All the animals get ready when Cat the Cat announces that it's time to sleep; that is, everyone but wide-eyed Owl. Comical, cartoon illustrations on spare backgrounds and sparse text make this just right for new or emerging readers.

For 6-7 year olds: To read on their own

About Raptors: A Guide for Children

By: Catherine Sill
Illustrated by: Jon Sill
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Highly realistic illustrations and brief, lucid text introduce birds of prey that live in many different habitats. A glossary, additional information about the habitats depicted, and bibliography complete this informative, engaging introduction to raptors.

Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

By: Nikki Grimes
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The bright, lively, and one-of-a-kind girl is back, this time to find out the difference between wanting something and actually needing it. Dyamonde is caught by her own cleverness, sure to gain readers' empathy.

Art and Max

By: David Wiesner
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The unexpected occurs when two lizards — one an accomplished artist, the other a beginner — begin painting. Fast-paced and often funny, the two voices of the characters are as distinct as their individual creative process. This ingenious book works on several levels.

Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon

By: Jennifer Holm, Matthew Holm
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Babymouse is back, this time to win the contest for selling the most cupcakes in support of a new school library. As in others of the satisfying, humorous series, Babymouse's imagined scenarios are shown in pink.

Bink & Gollie

By: Kate DiCamillo, Allison McGhee
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bink and Gollie are as different as possible in appearance, likes, and styles. In spite of their dissimilar approaches, the girls remain the best of friends in what may be the first of a fresh new series.

Can I Play Too?

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Snake asks to play catch with elephant and Piggie but gets beaned by the ball as he has no arms with which to catch it. The friends come up with a creative solution for them all to play catch. Cartoon illustrations are as clear as the speech bubbles in this funny addition to the series.

Knuffle Bunny Free

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Knuffle Bunny is accidentally left on the plane when Trixie and her parents visit the grandparents. Though Trixie is miserable without her snuggle buddy, she finds him on the plane bound for home where Trixie shows remarkable growth and selflessness. A note from Daddy completes the book's emotional circle.

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same

By: Grace Lin
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Even though Ling and Ting are identical twins, they are not the same. How they differ becomes clear in short chapters in this winning book just right for new readers. The charismatic Asian-American sisters are depicted in word and illustration with humor and affection.

Mercy Watson Fights Crime

By: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: Chris Van Dusen
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Mercy loves buttered toast, so she assumes someone is making it when she hears the noise in the kitchen. What she finds, however, is a thief trying to steal the toaster! What follows is funny, fast, and very much in keeping for Mercy Watson.

Stone Rabbit: Ninja Slice

By: Eric Craddok
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In this latest in the graphic novel series, Stone Rabbit and his friend save a homemade pizza business, defeating the incredibly speedy but totally mediocre new pizzeria, the Ninja Slice. Lots of comic book illustration and action create the book's appeal.

You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together

By: Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrated by: Michael Emberley
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Humorous illustration and color-coded, rhyming text present retellings of familiar fables that include the morals (though with a light touch). Newly independent readers will have fun reading the short, snappy text with a second reader as they enjoy the cheery visuals.

For 6-7 year olds: To read with you

City Dog, Country Frog

By: Mo Willems
Illustrated by: Jon J Muth
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

On his first day in the country, City Dog not only runs off-leash but befriends a frog. Dog and frog play through summer and remember their fun in autumn, but frog leaves in winter. Life's cyclical nature is shown in dramatic watercolors and frank text for a moving tale.

Dust Devil

By: Anne Isaacs
Illustrated by: Paul O. Zelinsky
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Angelica Longrider, the "wildest wildcat in Tennessee" and larger than life (first introduced in Swamp Angel) moves to the open spaces of Montana where she finds a fine, feisty steed to be her sidekick. This original tall tale is folksy in its telling and exaggerated paintings, and sure to please.

Elsie's Bird

By: Jane Yolen
Illustrated by: David Small
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Elsie and her father leave Boston to begin afresh after Elsie's mother dies. Elsie takes with her a pet canary. It is Timmy Tune and a host of other animals that help Elsie turn "her house into a true prairie home." Lyrical language and evocative watercolors tell a touching story.

Imogene's Antlers

By: David Small
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

One Thursday morning, Imogene wakes up with a large pair of antlers atop her head. Her mother faints but others in her privileged household find many uses for them. This funny fantasy is as fresh as when first published 25 years ago and is sure to delight a new generation of readers.

Old Abe, Eagle Hero: The Civil War's Most Famous Mascot

By: Patrick Young
Illustrated by: Anne Lee
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The bald eagle that came to be known as Old Abe, a heroic Civil War mascot, began as a small eaglet found by Chief Sky. Old Abe's remarkable tale is based on a true story presented in uncomplicated text and evocative watercolor and line illustration.

Snook Alone

By: Marilyn Nelson
Illustrated by: Timothy Basil Ering
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Snook, a small rat terrier, happily lives and works with his monk friend on their isolated island sanctuary until separated by a storm. Poetic language combines with evocative illustrations to convey the range of authentic emotions, happily concluding with dog and man reunited.

The Carnival of the Animals

By: Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by: Mary GrandPre
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

New poems, many rhyming, describe the animals introduced in Saint-Saens' orchestral music that was first performed in the 19th century. Semi-abstract illustrations accompany the verse. The book includes a music CD to bring the carnival of animals to life for a new generation.

The Rabbit Problem

By: Emily Gravett
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A calendar is cleverly used in this story of one lone rabbit. The tale begins in January and ends a year later with a surprise popping up for the reader. Humor abounds in the asides and added-in invitations, announcements, and Fibonacci mentions in this bouncy book for sophisticated readers.

The Snow Leopard: The True Story of an Amazing Rescue

By: Juliana Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The rescue of a baby snow leopard named Leo found on a mountain in northern Pakistan is chronicled in handsome, well-captioned photographs and detailed text. The collaboration between Pakistan and the United States results in a new home for Leo and the possibility of new ways to help endangered animals.

Wonder Horse: The True Story of the World's Smartest Horse

By: Emily McCully
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bill Key, born a slave, overcame many obstacles to become a veterinarian and a businessman. Key's horse, Jim, was eventually recognized as the world's smartest horse and accompanied Key in his work with the Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This fascinating story is based in truth.

Young Zeus

By: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young Zeus — the Greek god who grew up to rule on Mount Olympus — is introduced with contemporary language and lighthearted illustrations. The large format effectively supports the myth's grand proportions.

For 8-9 year olds: To read on their own

100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days

By: Bruce Goldstone
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Celebrate each day of school from 1 to 100 with a different activity. The suggestions are diverse and illustrated by photographs placed in a large format. They range from science to physical movement to personal hygiene with lots more in between.

A Book About Color

By: Mark Gonyea
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Straightforward language and boldly colored illustrations of geometric shapes combine to present an overview of color mixing and the color wheel for young artists. Not only is the book attractive, it is also informative and engaging and just may inspire artistic exploration.

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring

By: Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jordan
Illustrated by: Brian Floca
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The combined talent of three geniuses — Martha Graham's choreography, Isamu Noguchi's art, and Aaron Copland's music — brought the ballet "Appalachian Spring" to life in October 1944. Graceful illustrations combine with poetic, highly detailed narrative for a riveting account of this achievement. Notes and sources are included.

Calvin Coconut: Zoo Breath

By: Graham Salisbury
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Fourth grader Calvin Coconut is back for another adventure. Calvin's new dog, Streak — who has extreme halitosis — and his science "discovery" project intersect before Calvin's mom makes him return Streak to the shelter. Calvin is a recognizable character in plausible situations.

Clementine, Friend of the Week

By: Sara Pennypacker
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clementine is back, this time named her 3rd grade classroom's Friend of the Week. Things don't go as planned, of course, but Clementine figures out more about true friendship in this latest book featuring the energetic, irrepressible, and always likeable heroine.

Lizards

By: Nic Bishop
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Known for his close-up, full-color photographs of animals in the wild, Bishop turns his lens to a variety of lizards from around the globe. The informative, striking book demonstrates that "lizards lead lives that are full of surprises."

Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum

By: Meghan McCarthy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Though it's unlikely that anyone has ever heard of Walter Diemer, chances are they've used — or at least heard of — his invention: bubblegum. Diemer's story from accountant to successful inventor is presented in a lively text with cartoon illustrations.

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Realistic illustrations and a straightforward retelling of one episode of the legendary Robin Hood's triumph in an archery contest provides a satisfying, accessible introduction to the heroic outlaw and his band of Merry Men.

The Fantastic 5 & 10 Cent Store: A Rebus Adventure

By: J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrated by: Valorie Fisher
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The townspeople are flummoxed when a new store mysteriously appears. But Benny Penny examines its mysterious stock — from the flying toaster to a walking teapot. Surreal illustrations correspond with the story revealed rebus-style, with words and pictures. The truly fantastic tale is told in complete words at the end.

For 8-9 year olds: To read with you

¡Olé! Flamenco

By: George Ancona
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The rich history of the dance known as flamenco is explored in crisp text and dynamic photographs. Readers then learn more about specific aspects of flamenco when introduced to a young dancer named Janira Cordova. Ancona's affection for his subject — people as well as the art form — is evident throughout this informative book.

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

By: Candace Fleming
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Jack is invited to the princess' birthday party but is too poor to buy a worthy gift so instead bakes a cake. It never gets delivered, however, but the clever boy gives the most lasting gift of all: an engaging story. Lively language and humorous illustrations are used in the original story told in the tradition of a folktale.

In the Wild

By: David Elliott
Illustrated by: Holly Meade
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A variety of animals are presented, beginning with "The Lion/[that]stands alone/on the grassy plain…" A large format supports the bold, open woodcut and watercolor illustrations and evocative poetry that will read aloud well.

Mirror

By: Jeannie Baker
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Two stories of two boys on different continents are told almost wordlessly; their tales are both dissimilar and similar, and unknowingly intersect. One boy and his family live in Australia, the other in Morocco (North Africa). Each story is told in textured collage illustrations presented literally side by side.

Nancy and Plum

By: Betty MacDonald
Illustrated by: Mary GrandPre
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The characters first introduced in this novel (originally published in 1952) remain fresh and engaging. Orphaned sisters, Nancy and Pamela (aka Plum), are determined never to spend another Christmas with mean Mrs. Monday. It is available again with new illustrations and an introduction by National Book Award winner, Jeanne Birdsall.

Soar, Elinor!

By: Tami Lewis Brown
Illustrated by: Francois Roca
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Elinor Smith was a girl whose dream of flying was realized in the 1920s, a time when girls and women weren't encouraged to do so. Based on a real person, Elinor's story is well told and dramatically illustrated. Equally interesting is the author's endnote in which she reveals how she researched this fascinating woman.

The Fantastic Owen Jester

By: Barbara O'Connor
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Owen Jester finally captures the biggest frog in the world and names him Tooley Graham, but Owen has an even bigger secret. What Owen and his buddies along with a know-it-all girl do with that secret creates a memorable adventure, deftly told.

The Secret Cave: Discovering Lascaux

By: Emily McCully
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

While looking for gold, four French boys accidentally discovered what was to be considered the best preserved and most famous prehistoric art. How the Lascaux cave was found is presented here in rich watercolors and stimulating text. The author's note provides additional information as well as a photograph of the discoverers.

There's a Princess in the Palace: Five Classic Tales

By: Zoe Alley
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Children familiar with the traditional versions of well-known princess folktales (e.g., Cinderella, Snow White) will giggle at the clever parody that brings the stories together in this oversized book. Humor abounds in the comic book style format and in asides and comments made throughout.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

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