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July 22, 2005 Edition

Super Grandpa, by David M. Schwartz, illustrated by Bert Dodson

This is based on a true story of a man who loved to bicycle so much that he rode 600 miles just to get to the starting line of a 1000 mile race. 61-year old Gustaf heard about the Tour of Sweden race and wanted to enter, but was turned down by the judges who said he was too old. But Gustaf was stubborn and raced anyway, getting himself to the starting line (all the other racers got to ride the train), making himself a number to wear (zero, since he wasnít really entered), and sleeping on park benches (the other racers stayed in hotels). And he rode - while the other racers slept and had nice meals - and eventually won the race, upsetting the judges but delighting himself and his many fans (including the king!). This book includes an audio cd with the story and a Swedish waltz.

The Thanksgiving Door, written and illustrated by Debby Atwell

Oh no! Thanksgiving dinner is burned! Ed and Ann take a walk to see if the new restaurant down the block is open. And when they find the door open, they go on in. But the restaurant isnít really open - the family who owns it is having a Thanksgiving party. Will they send Ann and Ed home? Why, yes, but only after filling them up with good food, letting Ann hold the baby, and teaching Ed how to dance (Ann teaches the family how to conga). By the end of the evening, everyone thanks each other for making it the best Thanksgiving ever!

Brave, Brave Mouse, by Michaela Morgan and Michelle Cartlidge

Little mouse is not brave - heís scared of all kinds of things. But with his parentís help and encouragement, he begins to feel brave. Brave enough to stay with the babysitter when his parents are out. Brave enough to dip his foot in the swimming pool. Even brave enough to let the dentist look inside his mouth. But is he brave enough to play on the high swings and the shiny slides and the wobbly bridge at the playground? Yes! And no!

Julioís Magic, by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Ann Grifalconi

Julio has learned to carve all kinds of fantastic things from his friend Iluminado, a master carver. Heís even ready to enter the big contest this year - everyone thinks he could win first place. His only competition is his master, and Iluminado isnít going to enter. But Iluminado changes his mind and enters the contest because he needs the prize money. Who will win the contest - the master or the student? Strikingly illustrated using photo collages, this is a wonderful book, with themes of creativity, hard work, and compassion for others.

April Foolishness, by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Itís the first of April, and everyone knows what that means, especially Grandpa, so when his grandkids tell him the goats, sheep, cows, and chickens are running around loose on the farm, he calmly continues fixing breakfast. But when Grandma comes in to investigate all the noise in the kitchen, Grandpa gets a surprise - and Grandma gets the first piece of toast in this charming rhyming story.

Traction Man is Here! written and illustrated by Mini Grey

This treasure had many of us here at the library chuckling - the star is Traction Man, a young boyís Christmas gift. Traction Man volunteers for dangerous missions, like rescuing farm animals from evil pillows and searching for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve in soapy water. But his most difficult mission may be getting over his own Christmas gift, a knitted romper suit in Jungle Green. Ignoring the laughter of the others, Traction Man nobly perseveres and he and his trusty companion Scrubbing Brush eventually earn medals for their bravery.

Hurty Feelings, by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Fragility is a hippopotamus - a really well-built one, and good at all the things hippos are supposed to be good at, like sinking to the bottom of the river, playing soccer, and munching grass evenly. But sheís very sensitive - too sensitive for her friends. Every time they compliment her, she feels hurt and starts to cry. Eventually, she gets very lonely because everyone is too afraid of hurting her feelings to talk to her at all! One day, though, the hipposí soccer game is interrupted by Rudy, who wants to eat their goal for lunch and who knows the power that words have over Fragility. But todayís the day that Fragility learns that not all words are meant to hurt - and Rudy learns what itís like to have hurt feelings.

Good Dog, by Maya Gottfried, illustrated by Robert Rahway Zakanitch

The Chihuahua shows his fierce side, the Pomeranian bemoans his fluffy state, and the bulldog asks for a little affection despite the drool in this short collection of dog poems. Both Gottfried and Zakanitch know that different breeds have different personalities, and they capture each oneís temperament and their underlying dogginess in word and image here. One warning: this book is akin to the Adoptable Animals section in the paper - thereís going to be at least one that you wish you could take home with you!

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