Music relaxes, inspires and excites. These new children's music CDs are lovely, wacky and fun. Prices vary due to sales outlets and digital downloads versus CD options. All are available on iTunes and Amazon, but I always try to promote smaller vendors, and independent sellers and stores.
"Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins & Friends" from ...Read more
These new chapter books will certainly interest boys ages 8 to 12. They include dog tales, a hiking adventure and a plea from a Navy Seal to work harder. Don't forget how important it is for kids to keep reading, especially during the summer.
"The Trail" by Meika Hashimoto; Scholastic Press; 229 pages; $16.99.
Meika Hashimoto's action-packed...Read more
It's pretty nice that many children's book creators have figured out that they can make books to please the palates of both kids and parents. These new books for tots and preschoolers are witty, creative, smart and zesty.
"Triangle" by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen; Candlewick Press; 46 pages; $15.99.
The first in the dynamic duo's new trilogy...Read more
These new reads remind youngsters of the joys of the Fourth of July, the teeming wildlife of ponds and the refreshing feeling of an outdoor nap.
"Blue Sky White Stars" by Sarvinder Naberhaus; illustrated by Kadir Nelson; Dial Books/Penguin; 32 pages; $17.99.
Painted with detailed love by Kadir Nelson, this ode to America's majesty and ...Read more
These new books tell fascinating tales in the uber-popular graphic- or comic book style. From a hip tale of the life of folk singer Mama Cass to a twisted tale of Poughkeepsie, New York, to a new nonfiction-based "Science Comics" series, they make summer reading fun.
"California Dreamin'" by Penelope Bagieu; First Second; 266 pages; $24.99.
Though school is out for the summer for most kids, it's never a good idea to fully give in to electronics and video games. These books keep learning fun. They are exciting, vivid and, in one case, a proactive way to help the oceans.
"Curious Constructions: A Peculiar Portfolio of Fifty Fascinating Structures" by Michael Hearst; illustrated by...Read more
Get a jump on summer reading with this crop of outdoor-themed kid reads.
"And Then Comes Summer" by Tom Brenner; illustrated by Jaimie Kim; Candlewick Press; 32 pages; $16.99.
From decorating bikes for the Fourth of July parade, to setting up a lemonade stand, to asking, "Are we there yet?" on the road trip to the lake on a hot day, Tom ...Read more
Beauty comes in all sizes, shapes, numbers of legs and colors of fur. The animals touted in these new picture books can seem unloved at times but are actually full of tremendous qualities and character.
"Tony" by Ed Galing; illustrated by Erin E. Stead; A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press; 30 pages; $16.99.
This little gem of a book is ...Read more
The Empty PulpitSandra Arrants
Fourteen year old Sherman Thompson has stumbled upon the body of his pastor. Laid out, dead, on the front lawn of the parsonage, Reverend Archibald Temple had a voice of thunder that has been rendered silent forever. Sherman and his sister Grace are determined to find out who killed him and ...
Seems like a good time to remind girls they can do everything boys can and are stronger than they may know. These new books introduce tough girls and women, and even a feminist baby.
"Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports" by Phil Bildner; illustrated by Brett Helquist; Candlewick Press; 40 pages; $16.99.
Chris ...Read more
Fall into a young adult novel, and leave worries behind. These new teen reads are every bit as exciting and absorbing and brimming with timely tops as those aimed at older audiences.
"The Suffering Tree" by Elle Cosimano; Disney Hyperion; 357 pages; $17.99.
Elle Cosimano recently won praise for "Holding Smoke," now up for a Bram Stoker award...Read more
Reading is more important now than ever. Don't let spring fever erase reading time! These imaginative reader series for elementary school kids ages 6 to 9 or 10 are short but very sweet -- and affordable.
"Wild Child: Forest's First Home" series by Tara Zann; Imprint/Macmillan; 138 pages and $5.99 each.
When Olive meets Forest, he was ...Read more
If comedy can get kids to books, then hallelujah! These new picture books will send them off to laugh land and tickle adults' funny bones, too.
"The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors" by Drew Daywalt; illustrated by Adam Rex; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins; 32 pages; $17.99.
The creators of "The Day the Crayons Quit" return with a bombastically ...Read more