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March 9, 2007 Edition

Teeth, Tails, and Tentacles, written and illustrated by Christopher Wormell

This gorgeous book is illustrated with woodcuts of animals just made for counting – but – counting what? Not your run-of-the-mill things, that’s for sure! From catfish whiskers to zebra stripes, this will have you and your child searching out things to count from 1 to 20. Each picture shows the numeral, the written form, and an animal part to be counted. There’s lots to talk about here, and Wormell helps out with information in the back about each animal pictured.

Sam is Never Scared, by Thierry Robberecht, illustrated by Philippe Goossens

Our bold narrator, Sam, claims he’s not afraid of anything, not even standing up on the swings or scary movies. His friend Max, on the other hand, is a scaredy-dog who won’t climb trees or go down the slide headfirst. But Sam is afraid of a few things – the dark under his bed, ghosts that might be behind his curtains, and SPIDERS. When Sam finds a spider (with extra-long legs!) on his hand, it’s Max to the rescue – he gently moves it to a leaf. Now, Sam has a new fear – will Max tell everybody that Sam’s a scaredy-dog, too?

How to Be, written and illustrated by Lisa Brown

Tucked within this delightful little handbook of ideas for being a bear, monkey, dog, snake, turtle, and spider, are reminders of what traits make a good person. Follow a girl and her little brother as they pretend to be a brave bear, curious monkey, dancing snake, and more. Fun to act out with little listeners, this is illustrated with droll and humorous line drawings that adults will enjoy as much as kids.

An Island Grows, by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Cathie Felstead

From the beginning, when “stone breaks” and “water quakes” accompanied by simple collage pictures of magma roiling up, readers will be drawn into the story of how undersea volcanic activity creates land. Using powerful verbs and vivid images, Schaefer and Felstead give a spare and elegant explanation of an island’s creation, including the arrival of plants, animals, and humans.

Manny’s Cows, written and illustrated by Suzy Becker

Manny HATES the last day of school when everyone talks about the great vacations they’re going on, because it’s hard to go on vacation when you’re in charge of 500 cows. But then he has a thought - what if he took the cows along? Excited, Manny plans a trip to Niagara Falls, piles the cows into rented buses, and heads down the highway. He doesn’t take into account bus-sickness, potty breaks, and souvenirs, but just when he thinks things can’t get worse, the cows find a way to save the day (and Manny’s vacation). Outrageously funny drawings accompany the optimistic boy and his opinionated bovines on their first (hopefully not last) jaunt together.

Wind-Wild Dog, by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by Kate Kiesler

Once upon a time there was a puppy named Ziva. Her mother was a sled dog, and her brothers and sisters were all taken away to be sled dogs, but no one chose Ziva because she had one blue eye and one brown. Mushers thought that meant she would be untrainable, and she was left alone to become wild at the end of a chain. Finally, one musher took Ziva in, teaching her to love him and then to love pulling a sled with the rest of his team, but he knew she was still wild inside. When the wolves call again, will Ziva stay with the man or will she run wild?

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