New Book Alerts - Children's Books 

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Previous | Mar 27th, 2012 Edition | Next
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By Spencer Blake.  Candlewick.

A spy reveals startling secrets and carries out a breathless mission — in an astonishing guide that takes the 'Ologies to a new level.The year is 1958, and British spy Spencer Blake, aka "Agent K," is on an undercover mission to expose a deadly criminal organization. As he traverses the globe with his American and Soviet cohorts — from Scotland to Berlin to Las Vegas to Cuba — he furtively records his secret techniques in a manual for new recruits.Once they've primed themselves on the essentials of spy craft, keen-eyed readers will discover that Agent K has been setting them challenges and clues to decipher all along. If they are clever enough to unravel them all, a great reward awaits!

How to Train Your Dragon : A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons, the Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking  

By Cressida Cowell.  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

It's Hiccup's birthday, but that's not going to keep him from getting into trouble. To save his dragon, Toothless, from being banished, Hiccup must sneak into the Meathead Public Library and steal the Viking's most sacred book. But the Vikings see books as a dangerous influence, and keep them locked up and under heavy guard. To save his friend, Hiccup must brave the Hairy Scary Librarian and his dreadful army of Meathead Warriors and face off against the formidable Driller-Dragons. Will he make it out and live to see his next birthday?

The Cat's Pajamas  

By Wallace Edwards.  Kids Can Press.

Like Edwards's previous collection of idioms, Monkey Business (2004), this grouping illustrates figures of speech with outlandish sentences that use and (usually) define them, as well as richly worked paintings. In one, a mouse in a party hat walks along a pipe carrying a piece of birthday cake: "Blanche discovered that finding her way home from the party was a piece of cake." The panels, done in watercolor, colored pencil, and gouache, feature an inexhaustible store of surreal fantasies; there's a frog driving a submersible, a crab tying a giraffe's bowtie, and a panda playing a violin with spaghetti ("In order to have dinner music, Andy was forced to use his noodle"). Cats are tucked into each scene, providing even more reason to explore the images in detail.

Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed  

By Sally M. Walker.  Carolrhoda Books.

Antarctica is a land of frozen secrets, with scarcely a handful that have been completely divulged. Join Sally M. Walker as she explores both historical and modern-day scientific expeditions to the continent and examines what secrets might still be locked in the continent's icy cloak secrets that might help scientists understand what the future holds for Earth and its changing climate.

Is the Guitar for You? (Ready to Make Music)  

By Elaine Landau.  Lerner Publications.

" "When I was stressed out, I'd just grab my guitar. It was a terrific escape. It took me away from everything. It still does." -professional guitarist Cesar Rios "

Inside Tornadoes (Inside Series)  

By Mary Kay Carson.  Sterling.

Tornadoes are the most violent storms on the planet-as these dramatic photographs and gatefolds vividly reveal. Young readers will get the inside scoop on tornadoes in this electrifying volume, filled with powerful before-and-after images of storm sites. They'll discover what makes a tornado, where they strike, and what scientists discover as they risk their lives driving equipment as close as possible to these storms. With first-person accounts of historic storms, fascinating facts on climate change and its potential effect on tornadoes, and hands-on activities, this book will fascinate curious readers.

Roots and Blues: A Celebration  

By Arnold Adoff.  Clarion Books.

Through poems and poetic prose pieces, acclaimed children's author Arnold Adoff celebrates that uniquely American form of music called the blues. In his signature “shaped speech” style, he creates a narrative of moments and joyous music, from the drums of the ancestors, the red dirt of the plantations, the current of the mighty Mississippi, and the shackles, blood, and tears of slavery. Each chop of the ax is a beat, each lash of the whip fashions another line on the musical staff. But each sound also creates the chords and harmonies that preserve the ancestors and their stories, and sustain life, faith, and hope into our own times.

The Arabian Nights  

By Wafa Tarnowska.  Barefoot Books.

With bright, lush, stylized acrylic illustrations, this collection of eight stories from A Thousand and One Nights is designed for reading aloud, but in contrast to many watered-down versions, these tales may find their best audience with older elementary students and middle-schoolers. The long introductory story, Shahriyar Meets Shahrazade, tells of the shah’s discovery of his beloved wife’s betrayal and his shocking decision to marry a new bride every day and then order her death. Then he meets and marries Shahrazade, who persuades Shahriyar to keep her alive by telling him a riveting story each night. Sinbad and Ali Baba aren’t included, but most children will know Aladdin, which is told here in a detailed, relaxed, colloquial style.

Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust  

By Ruth Thomson.  Candlewick.

Through inmates own voices and artwork, Terezín explores the lives of Jewish people in one of the most infamous of the Nazi transit camps.Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany turned the small town of Terezín, Czechoslovakia, into a ghetto, and then into a transit camp for thousands of Jewish people. It was a "show" camp, where inmates were forced to use their artistic talents to fool the world about the truth of gas chambers and horrific living conditions for imprisoned Jews. Here is their story, told through the firsthand accounts of those who were there. In this accessible, meticulously researched book, Ruth Thomson allows the inmates to speak for themselves through secret diary entries, artwork, and excerpts from memoirs and recordings narrated after the war.

The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn  

By Robert Burleigh.  Atheneum.

Everyone knows the story of the raft on the Mississippi and that ol' whitewashed fence, but now it’s time for youngins everywhere to get right acquainted with the man behind the pen. Mr. Mark Twain! An interesting character, he was...even if he did sometimes get all gussied up in linen suits and even if he did make it rich and live in a house with so many tiers and gazebos that it looked like a weddin’ cake. All that’s a little too proper and hog tied for our narrator, Huckleberry Finn, but no one is more right for the job of telling this picture book biography than Huck himself. (We’re so glad he would oblige.) And, he’ll tell you one thing—that Mr. Twain was a piece a work! Famous for his sense of humor and saying exactly what’s on his mind, a real satirist he was—perhaps America’s greatest.

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