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A HOUSE FOR MOUSE

Illustrated by Clair Rossiter
Highlights Press, April 13, 2021
ISBN: 1644723417

Mouse is looking for a new house, but everything Bear and Squirrel suggest isn’t quite right. In this Level P Highlights Puzzle Reader, readers can join in the search for a house for Mouse and then find hidden letters throughout the book. The simple text has lots of picture support that will keep readers turning the pages, while the puzzle encourages re-reading. With a bonus matching activity to reinforce vocabulary, kids will love playing along in this forest adventure.

Download Bear and Friends bookmarks here!

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FOX WANTS A PET

Illustrated by Clair Rossiter
Highlights Press, September 21, 2021
ISBN: 164472460X

Fox is looking for a pet, but everything Bear, Mouse, and Squirrel suggest isn’t quite right. In this Level P Highlights Puzzle Reader, kids can join in the search and then find hidden letters throughout the book. The simple text has lots of picture support that will keep readers turning the pages. With a bonus matching activity to reinforce vocabulary, kids will love playing along in this forest adventure.

Download Bear and Friends bookmarks here!

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WHERE IS BEAR?

Illustrated by Clair Rossiter
Highlights Press, April 13, 2021
ISBN: 1644723387

Mouse and Squirrel can’t find their friend, Bear. In this Level P Highlights Puzzle Reader, readers can join in the search for Bear and then find hidden letters throughout the book. The simple story text has lots of picture support that will keep readers turning the pages, while the puzzle encourages re-reading. With a bonus matching activity to reinforce vocabulary, kids will love playing along with this forest adventure.

Download Bear and Friends bookmarks here!

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BARACK OBAMA: FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENT

The Child’s World, January 1, 2021
ISBN: 1503853772

“Briefly examines the childhood, education, adulthood, and presidency of the first African-American president in U.S. history. Additional features include detailed captions and sidebars, critical-thinking questions, a phonetic glossary, an index, and sources for further research.”

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WHO IS JACKIE CHAN?

Illustrated by Gregory Copeland
Penguin Workshop, February 4, 2020
ISBN: 9781524791636

How did Jackie Chan become one of the most recognizable and beloved actors in the world? Find out in this exciting biography of this martial artist turned international film superstar.

When Kong-sang was a young boy in Hong Kong, he enjoyed practicing martial arts with his dad but hated going to school. He was eventually enrolled in the China Drama Academy, where he improved his martial arts skills and became a stuntman. That training led to a successful career as an actor. Kong-sang, now known as Jackie Chan, never gave up on his passion for screwball physical comedy. Luckily for Jackie, his determination paid off. His humor and dangerous stuntwork in films like Cannonball RunRush HourShanghai Noon, and Karate Kid have made him an international star, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be leaving the big screen anytime soon.

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EMERGENCY KITTENS!

Illustrated by Dave Mottram
Random House/Doubleday, January 7, 2020

Got a problem? Having a tough day? Maybe you need… EMERGENCY KITTENS!!!!!

Who needs boring ol’ superheroes who leap giant buildings and run faster than locomotives when your day can be saved by the cuddly, super-cute, full-on feline charm of Mimi, Twee-Twee, and Adorbs, aka EMERGENCY KITTENS!!!

Meet the EMERGENCY KITTENS, a trio of furry, gentle superheroes who come to the rescue with their incredible cuteness when the going gets tough. When bullies steal Sheldon’s ball in the playground, a pack of your usual, everyday, human caped crusaders leaps to the rescue. But when their showy feats of strength and agility fail to impress, some real heroes step in to save the day: EMERGENCY KITTENS!!! With their unending cuteness and unforgivably adorable purrs, this mighty trio of fluffy goodness turns any sticky situation into one of pure cuddles.

Pages of silly, good-natured giggles await any kid who loves superheroes, cats, or really funny read-alouds. And parents and teachers will like the gentle way this story subtly teaches that kindness and cuddles can often solve a problem that strength and muscle cannot.

Free Coloring Pages! Click the image you want.

Reviewers love EMERGENCY KITTENS!

“These kitties will win hearts with a glossy-eyed glance.”Kirkus

“In Emergency Kittens, readers meet Mimi, Twee-Twee and Adorbs who make everything better.  And one look at the cover and it is pretty clear why.

When a group of kids won’t give Sheldon his basketball back, it’s up to this trio of felines to save the day.  What is their super power?  Even this dog fan is mesmerized by their immense kitty cuteness. Shaffer’s text is so fun and Mottram’s illustrations are utterly adorable.”Beagles and Books

“When life serves up calamities that even costumed superheroes can’t handle, here come Mimi, Twee-Twee, and Adorbs—all perky ears, huge, HUGE dilated eyes, and radiant preciousness—mewing, “We make everything better!” Case in point: when his basketball bounces by accident into the hands of a trio of smirking bullies, naive young Sheldon first calls on a corps of spandex-clad crimefighters (“To the playground and beyond!”) for help, only to see them flummoxed by their adversaries’ b-ball keep-away skills. But stand back for the Emergency Kittens, who chase and pounce and stare so fetchingly with bottomless eyes that, in no time, Sheldon has his ball back and those punks are dazzled into bully goo. Even hardened skeptics will fall to helpless babbling at each glimpse of the fuzzy felines gamboling through Mottram’s bright suburban scenes. Perhaps not every disaster can be remedied by irresistible cuteness, but for those that can, remember the kittens’ tagline: “We’re always here FUR you!” Awww.” — John Peters, Booklist

“For real, these kitties will save you. And this story will knock you out with its hilarity, wit, and supreme pacing and voice…the first page, which begins the story with what I can only describe as one of the most perfect set ups I’ve ever read…I could read this book aloud over and over again (usually in an action film voice-over style), which is the true test of a picture book’s quality for me. The plot arcs in such a satisfying way (spoiler: the three dynamic heroes help a boy who’s being bullied), and with funny, madcap, and surprising language. And the ending…while it finishes this story, it’s totally apparent there could be other adventures for these Emergency Kittens. I certainly hope so.”       Alli Brydon, Author

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IT’S A FIELD TRIP, BUSY BUS!

Illustrated by Claire Messer
Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, September 3, 2019
ISBN: 978-1534440814

It’s a Field Trip Coloring Sheet

Busy Bus takes a field trip—and becomes a little jealous of a shiny red fire truck—in a warm-hearted sequel to It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! This darling picture book offers a gentle exploration of jealousy and a reminder that we each have our own unique talents that make us special.

Today is Busy Bus’s very first field trip! He takes the children to a fire house, where they meet Engine Four, a big, shiny, red firetruck. Engine Four has a hose to put out fires, a ladder to reach tall buildings, and a loud and impressive siren. Busy Bus has none of these things. Will the children still like him?

Kirkus:

“Will an earnest school bus get the recognition it deserves?

Colorful, digitally enhanced lino prints and clear, minimal text tell the tale of a yellow bus, aka Busy Bus, on his first field trip. Unfortunately for Busy Bus, the trip is to a fire station to visit a fire truck. To the bus, the fire truck seems superior in every way; it is red, shiny, and huge, with hoses, a ladder, and a siren. Busy Bus looks close to tears—until the station’s captain mentions that there are some things the fire truck can’t do that Busy Bus can: protect children with a stop arm, carry students to and from school, bring kids on trips. An accessible tale of the pitfalls of invidious comparison and the importance of appreciating differences, this deceptively simple description of the ups and downs of new experiences, first field trips, and the characteristics of different vehicles will especially appeal to toddlers and young preschoolers who love buses and trucks. The children are a diverse crew, and their teacher is a black man—a welcome sight, as is the fact that the (light-skinned) firefighter captain is a woman.

Caregivers will find this to be a good conversation starter on topics such as strengths and weaknesses, insecurity, differences, and competition.” (Picture book. 4-8)

School Library Journal:

“VERDICT Many preschool classrooms have a unit of community helpers, and this satisfying story will be perfect for such a unit.”

Sally James, South Hillsborough Elementary School, Hillsborough, CA , Jul 31, 2019

Full review here.

Unpacking the Power of Picture Books:

“As I wrote this draft and saved it to publish now, I had time to think about the importance of young children developing confidence and agency, how they learn to trust older and more experienced kids and adults. I marveled again at the skill in storytelling and simple imagery that brings BUSY BUS to life as so much more than a machine or a character. BUSY BUS is truly a friend to the reader, and a heroic model for the courage he summons despite his self-doubt.” -Sandy Brehl

Full review here.

Bookroo

It’s a Field Trip, Busy Bus! is a “fabulous book about field trips!” See review here.

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VOWEL BLENDS

The Child’s World, January 1, 2020

Simple text and repetition of the vowel blends ‘ai,’ ‘ea,’ ‘oa,’ ‘ee,’ ‘ie,’ and ‘ay’ help readers learn how to use these sounds. Also included are word lists for review, a note to parents and educators, and an introduction to the author.

School Library Journal says…

VERDICT “A first purchase for libraries in need of titles teaching vowel blends or spelling patterns.” Full review here.

Titles include:

The Trail (the sound of AI)
Jean Can Teach (the sound of EA)
Coach Floats (the sound of OA)

Three Bees (the sound of EE)
Spies and Pies (the sound of IE)
Let’s Play (the sound of AY)

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IT’S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS!

Illustrated by Claire Messer
Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, July 3, 2018
ISBN: 978-1481494670

FREE to download

BUSY BUS coloring page
Discussion and Activity Guide

It’s the first day of school! But is Busy Bus ready? Find out in this darling picture book that showcases the excitement and worries little ones experience as they prepare for their first day.

Today is the very first day of school! Busy Bus is excited, but he also has some first-day jitters. Will the children like him? Will he be homesick? What if he gets lost?! Luckily, bus driver Ben knows just what to do to make sure that the school year gets off to a great start.

Praise for BUSY BUS…

School Library Journal – PreS-Gr 1–Although Busy Bus is nervous about meeting the children, Ben the bus driver performs final preparations for the first day by checking the tires, windshield wipers, and other safety precautions to reassure Busy Bus before they pick up the children. The illustrations, created with lino prints, black ink, and digital colors, use rounded shapes and a soft, limited color palette. Each scene takes up the full page spread and the illustrations make good use of white space, especially when framing Busy Bus’s most intense moments of anxiety about whether he will miss home or make new friends. The words and pictures together create the gentle introduction to the school bus and leave readers with the knowledge that Busy Bus is safe, clean, and ready for a great school year. VERDICT An excellent read-aloud for young children, especially during the first weeks of the school year or if children have worries about riding the school bus. – Kelly Topita

Publisher’s Weekly full review is here! “Fans of stories about trucks and how things work will enjoy the behind-the-scenes action at the bus barn…”

Kirkus full review is here! “For vehicle enthusiasts just starting school.”

Youth Services Book Review is here! “A perfect back to school read aloud…This is the perfect addition to back-to -school themed story times or one on one sharing.”

Celebrate Picture Books
Everyday Reading
Unleashing Readers
Everyday Reading
Writing and Illustrating
Kirsti Call
Beagles and Books
Unpacking the Power of Picture Books
Bookworm for Kids
Working Mother
Amazon Book Review

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CITY AND COUNTRY

National Geographic Kids, Sept 19, 2017
ISBN: 9781426328862

Adult and child readers will learn all about urban and rural areas together in this new Co-reader from National Geographic Kids Readers will take a tour through cities and rural areas around the world to learn what life is like downtown, in a farm community, in the mountains, and all around.

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