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Winter's Gift

Jane Monroe Donovan (author), Jane Monroe Donovan (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531443

It may be Christmastime but on a small, forlorn farm the holiday season is best forgotten, along with painful memories of loved ones lost. Mother Nature has other plans, however, and a chance snowstorm brings together two unlikely hearts, one human and one beast, yet both yearning for comfort, companionship, and that most elusive gift of all, hope. This lustrous jewel of a story, quietly told and perfectly complemented by soft, evocative paintings, reminds even the most cynical of readers that the heart indeed can recover and go on. Jane Monroe Donovan's parents encouraged her to follow her heart and it led to her love of sketching and painting. Her affection for animals is reflected in much of her subject matter. Jane makes her home in Pinckney, Michigan, with her husband Bruce and their two sons, Ryan and Joey. Other members of their family include their two dogs, Belle and Grizzly, a Siamese cat named Maylee, and their two horses, Ameera and Cherokee Rose. In addition to Winter's Gift, Jane has also illustrated three other titles for Sleeping Bear Press: My Teacher Likes to Say; My Momma Likes to Say; and Sunny Numbers: A Florida Counting Book.

Saving Samantha: A True Story

Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531436

Illustrator Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen and wife Robbyn team up again for another wildlife tale drawn from their encounters with the animal kingdom. Told in journal form and rendered in beautifully detailed artwork, the van Frankenhuyzens give a "day in the life" view as the fox Samantha begins her journey from injured kit to independent adult living on her own. Always respecting the boundaries between the wild and the human ways of life and based on years of work as licensed wildlife rehabilitators, Gijsbert and Robbyn recommend readers "do not try this at home." Saving Samantha is Gijsbert's fourteenth book with Sleeping Bear Press. He has also illustrated the best-selling The Legend of Sleeping Bear, The Legend of Leelanau, and most recently The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell. He and Robbyn live with their daughters in Bath, Michigan, on a 40-acre farm.

Adopted By An Owl: The True Story of Jackson the Owl

Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531276

From the Author (Robbyn van Frankenhuyzen): "For twenty years we have rehabilitated a wide variety of wild critters, from fawns, foxes, skunks, and crows to opposums, raccoons, rabbits, and owls. Some of the animals were injured adults, others were orphaned babies, but all of them were in need of a little help to get them back into the wild. Growing up on a farm, as well as my training as an animal technician, prepared me for many of the medical situations that arose. Gijsbert took every opportunity to sketch, paint, and photograph our temporary guests during their stay on the farm. More importantly, Gijsbert was issued all the Federal and State permits needed to care for birds of prey. Without these permits, we would never have been able to care for hawks and owls. For good reason, caring for these birds is very tightly regulated and closely monitored. Taking an owl from its nest is dangerous and illegal. We have cared for many Great Horned Owls but none of them were like Jackson, the owl in this story. His personality was unique from the very beginning and we know that we were lucky to have shared such a close bond with this wild bird. This is the true story of his life with us. Enjoy." With illustrations from Gjisbert (Nick) van Frankenhuyzen, noted wildlife artist and illustrator of our Legends series as well as The Blue Spruce by Mario Cuomo and L is for Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet.

D is for Desert: A World Deserts Alphabet

Barbara Gowan (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410310699

D is for Desert: A World Deserts Alphabet uses the alphabet to explore desert regions around the world, explaining the science behind what determines a desert and showcasing fascinating features and desert inhabitants. Budding scientists will traverse the rocky deserts of Mongolia astride the Bactrian camel, spy on the poisonous Gila monster and other lizards in the Sonoran Desert, discover geological wonders in Bryce Canyon National Park, and learn about desert weather phenomena such as dust storms and flash floods, and much more. A glossary of key desert-science terms and concepts is included.

Goliath: Hero of the Great Balitmore Fire

Claudia Friddell (author), Troy Howell (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365746

In 1904 the city of Baltimore was almost destroyed by fire. Hundreds of firemen, policemen, soldiers, and citizens battled the blaze for three days. The disaster brings out the best in man and the bravest of deeds, but one hero stands head and shoulders above all...literally. Goliath is a fire horse assigned to Engine Company 15. He is massive in size and mighty in heart and steadfastness. To the men of Engine Company 15, Goliath is the ultimate fire horse. He is the lead horse for the team assigned to pulling the mammoth Hale Water Tower No. 1. When the fire alarm sounds, calling them to action, Goliath leads his team into the blaze. Soon his lifesaving actions will lead him into the pages of history. Masterful artwork from acclaimed illustrator Troy Howell brings this true story to pulse-pounding life. Educator Claudia Friddell says of her work researching Goliath, "It was a privilege to meet and interview firefighters and fire historians about the Baltimore Fire of 1904." Goliath is her first children's book. Claudia lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Artist Troy Howell has had a prolific career as a children's book illustrator with countless books to his credit, including The Secret Garden, The Ugly Duckling, and Favorite Greek Myths. He received his formal art education from the Art Center in Los Angeles and the Illustrators' Workshops in New York. Troy lives in Falmouth, Virginia.

First Dog's White House Christmas

Beth Zappitello J. Patrick Lewis (author), Tim Bowers (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307545

Once upon a time a dog traveled the globe in search of the perfect home. He visited many countries, learned interesting facts, and made new friends. And he did find that perfect home ...at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, to be precise. A very special address with a very special family. And now at Christmastime, Dog learns that his new home hosts a very special holiday party. With a lot of important visitors on the guest list, it's going to take a lot of preparation to get this "house" ready for the holidays. It's all paws on deck to make sure everything is in order, from the sparkling tree in the Blue Room to the delicious gingerbread house in the State Dining Room. But Dog is curious about how the rest of the world celebrates and he asks his international guests to share their favorite holiday traditions. And when the festivities start there's no stopping these tail-wagging partygoers! J. Patrick (Pat) Lewis lives in Westerville, Ohio, and is the author of 60 books for children. He visits elementary schools and speaks at literature conferences. This is his second book with his daughter, Beth Zappitello. Beth has a marketing company and lives in Portland, Oregon. Tim Bowers has illustrated more than 25 children's books, garnering such awards as the Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best" list. Tim lives in Granville, Ohio.