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  • Sparky!

    Sparky!

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Jenny Offill
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Schwartz & Wade (2014, Mar 11th).
    Pages:   

    The ingenious author of 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore and a brilliant illustrator and production designer of the Coraline movie have created a hilarious, touching picture book perfect for young animal lovers. Like the Caldecott Medal-winning Officer Buckle and Gloria, Sparky stars a pet who has more to offer than meets the eye. When our narrator orders a sloth through the mail, the creature that arrives isn't good at tricks or hide-and-seek . . . or much of anything. Still, there's something about Sparky that is irresistible.  more

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  • Firefly July and Other Very Short Poems

    Firefly July and Other Very Short Poems

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Paul B. Janeczko
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Candlewick (2014, Mar 11th).
    Pages:   

    Celebrated poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko pairs with Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet for a collection of short poems to sample and savor. It only takes a few words, if they’re the right words, to create a strong image. Whether listened to in the comfort of a cozy lap or read independently, the thirty-six very short poems in this collection remind readers young and old that a few perfect words and pictures can make the world glow. Selected by acclaimed poet Paul B. Janeczko and gorgeously illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems invites children to sample poems throughout the four seasons. more

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  • The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art

    The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Barb Rosenstock
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Knopf Books for Young Readers (2014, Feb 11th).
    Pages:   

    Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy: he studied math and history, he practiced the piano, he sat up straight and was perfectly polite. And when his family sent him to art classes, they expected him to paint pretty houses and flowers—like a proper artist.   But as Vasya opened his paint box and began mixing the reds, the yellows, the blues, he heard a strange sound—the swirling colors trilled like an orchestra tuning up for a symphony! And as he grew older, he continued to hear brilliant colors singing and see vibrant sounds dancing. But was Vasya brave enough to put aside his proper still lifes and portraits and paint . . . music?   In this exuberant celebration of creativity, Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPré tell the fascinating story of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the very first painters of abstract art. more

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  • Betty Bunny Wants a Goal

    Betty Bunny Wants a Goal

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Michael Kaplan
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Dial (2014, Mar 18th).
    Pages:   

    For fans of Ladybug Girl and Charlie & Lola, check out the loveable handful nobunny can resist! Betty Bunny puts her own funny preschool spin on soccer (and practice). From the creator of Disney’s T.V. series Dog with a Blog. Soccer is the first sport most kids play, and Betty Bunny is taking the field. She proudly announces that she will score ten goals in her first game. But like most preschoolers, Betty Bunny's ideas are not exactly in line with reality. When she fails to score a single goal, she decides that "soccer is yucky" and stuffs her uniform in the trash. Now it's up to her family to help Betty Bunny see the value of not giving up when things get hard. In a story about hard work and achieving your goals, Betty Bunny learns that with practice, she can do anything. more

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  • Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?

    Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Rita Gray
    Format:   
    Publisher:   HMH Books for Young Readers (2014, Mar 18th).
    Pages:   

    Woodpecker calls from a tree, "cuk-cuk-cuk." Starling sings, "whistle-ee-wee." But have you heard the nesting bird? In this book, we hear all the different bird calls in counterpoint to the pervasive quiet of a mama bird waiting for her eggs to hatch. Fun and informative back matter takes the shape of an interview so that readers learn more right from the bird's bill. Ken Pak's lively illustrations, paired with Rita Gray's words, render a visual and sonorous picture book to be enjoyed by young naturalists. more

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  • Betty Bunny Didn't Do It

    Betty Bunny Didn't Do It

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Stephane Jorisch
    Format:   Hardcover
    Publisher:   Dial (2013, Feb 21st).
    Pages:   32

    Olivia and Eloise, make room for Betty Bunny, a loveable handful nobunny can resist.   From the creator of Disney’s Dog with a Blog, this funny book in the Betty Bunny series shows the value of honesty from a preschooler’s special point of view. When Betty Bunny breaks a lamp, she has a brand-new idea: Blame it on someone else (like the Tooth Fairy)! Then a vase gets broken and Betty Bunny really didn't do it. But now no one in her family believes her. Honest lies, white lies, crying wolf—how can one four-year-old figure out the right thing to do? more

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  • Almost Super

    Almost Super

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Marion Jensen
    Format:   
    Publisher:   HarperCollins (2014, Jan 21st).
    Pages:   

    Perfect for fans of Pixar's The Incredibles, Almost Super is a fresh, funny middle-grade adventure about two brothers in a family of superheroes who must find a way to be heroic despite receiving powers that are total duds. Filled with humor, heart, and just the right kind of heroics, Almost Super is a winning story that will satisfy would-be heroes and regular kids alike.Everyone over the age of twelve in the Bailey family gets a super power. No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it's their duty to protect the world from the evil, supervillainous Johnson family. *shake fists*But when Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny get their superpowers, they're, well . . . super-lame. Rafter can strike matches on polyester, and Benny can turn his innie belly button into an outie. more

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  • A Medal for Leroy

    A Medal for Leroy

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Michael Morpurgo
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Feiwel & Friends (2014, Jan 14th).
    Pages:   

    When Michael’s aunt passes away, she leaves behind a letter that will change everything. It starts with Michael’s grandfather Leroy, a black officer in WWI who charged into a battle zone not once but three times to save wounded men. His fellow soldiers insisted he deserved special commendations for his bravery but because of the racial barriers, he would go unacknowledged. Now it’s up to Michael to change that. Inspired by the true story of Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British army, award-winning author Michael Morpurgo delivers a richly layered and memorable story of identity, history, and family. more

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  • Dog Days: The Carver Chronicles, Book One

    Dog Days: The Carver Chronicles, Book One

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Karen English
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Clarion Books (2013, Dec 17th).
    Pages:   

    It's tough being the new kid at Carver Elementary. Gavin had lots of friends at his old school, but the kids here don't even know that he's pretty good at skateboarding, or how awesome he is at soccer. And when his classmate Richard comes over and the boys end up in trouble, not only does Gavin risk losing his one new friend, he has to take care of his great aunt Myrtle's horrible little dog as punishment.   To make matters worse, Gavin seems to have attracted the attention of the school bully. Will he be able to avoid getting pounded at the skate park? And how is he ever going to prove he's cool with a yappy little Pomeranian wearing a pink bow at his side? more

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  • Under the Freedom Tree

    Under the Freedom Tree

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Susan VanHecke
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Charlesbridge (2014, Jan 7th).
    Pages:   

    Taut free verse tells the little-known story of the first contraband camp of the Civil War—seen by some historians as the "beginning of the end of slavery in America." One night in 1861, three escaped slaves made their way from the Confederate line to a Union-held fort. The runaways were declared "contraband of war" and granted protection. As word spread, thousands of runaway slaves poured into the fort, seeking their freedom. These "contrabands" made a home for themselves, building the first African American community in the country. In 1863, they bore witness to one of the first readings of the Emancipation Proclamation in the South—beneath the sheltering branches of the tree now known as Emancipation Oak. more

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