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A Tuba Christmas

Helen L. Wilbur (author) Mary Reaves Uhles (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534126398

With a family that loves music as much as hers does, it was only a matter of time before it was Ava's turn to pick out an instrument. Her mother plays the piano, her father plays the violin, and one brother plays the cello while the other plays the clarinet. As soon as Ava selects an instrument, she will be able to join them as they practice for the annual holiday concert. And her family has definite ideas on what instrument Ava should select, from the piano to the flute to the violin. But Ava isn't interested in any of them. Ava wants to play the tuba. And she gets her wish. But playing the tuba isn't as easy as it seems. And there is no place for a tuba in the annual concert. But with the encouragement of her music teacher, Ava finds a place for her and her tuba in a special holiday celebration.

Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story

Lindsey McDivitt (author) Eileen Ryan Ewen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534126459

The art and writing of Gwen Frostic are well known in her home state of Michigan and around the world, but this picture book biography tells the story behind Gwen's famous work. After a debilitating illness as a child, Gwen sought solace in art and nature. She learned to be persistent and independent--never taking no for an answer or letting her disabilities define her. After creating artwork for famous Detroiters and for display at the World's Fair and helping to build WWII bombers, Gwen moved her printmaking business to northern Michigan. She dedicated her work and her life to reminding people of the wonder and beauty in nature.

Write On, Irving Berlin!

Leslie Kimmelman (author) David C. Gardner (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534122963

Escaping persecution for being Jewish, the Baline family fled Russia and arrived by ship in New York City harbor in September 1893. Little Israel Isidore Baline is only five years old. After arriving at Ellis Island, the first stop for all immigrants, Israel and his family are ready to begin a new life in America. His family settles in the Lower East Side and soon Israel (now nicknamed Izzy) starts school. And while he learns English, he is not a very good student. According to his teachers he daydreams and sings in class. But while these may not be traits that are helpful in the classroom, these are wonderful tools for a budding singer and composer. And by the time that Izzy (now known as Irving) is a young man, he is well on his way to becoming one of the most well-known composers in America. This vivid picture-book biography examines the life of Irving Berlin, the distinguished artist whose songs, including "God Bless America," continue to be popular today.

Waiting for the Owl's Call

Gloria Whelan (author)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365517

Eight-year-old Zulviya, her sister and her cousin, her mother and her grandmother... they all belong to the loom. For generations the women of Zulviya's family have earned their living by weaving rugs by hand. The rugs are valuable and the women are proud of their beautiful handiwork. But the work is hard. It takes months to weave a rug; each one contains hundreds of thousands of knots. Before one work day has passed, Zulviya will tie thousands of knots. As she sits at her work, Zulviya weaves not one but two patterns. The pattern on the loom will become a fine rug. She weaves a second pattern in her mind. There she sees the green of the Afghani hills, the bright blue of the nearby lake, and the vivid orange of the setting sun. And Zulviya takes comfort in the landscape in her mind. To find recipes, games, interactives maps and much more for this title visit www.discovertheworldbooks.com! Gloria Whelan's other picture books in the Tales of the World series are Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers (2008 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner) and Yatandou (a Junior Library Guild selection). Ms. Whelan lives in Michigan. Pascal Milelli's illustration clients include Harper's, The Atlantic, and Scribner Books. His picture book, The Art Room, by Susan Vande Griek, received the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award from the Canadian Library Association in 2003. Pascal lives in Vancouver, Canada.

The Orange Shoes

Trinka Hakes Noble (author), Doris Ettlinger (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531528

Delly Porter has a happy life. She needs new shoes, but doesn't really mind because she loves the soft, silky feel of the dirt road beneath her bare feet. She's a good artist, too, even if she has to make her own art supplies. And she loves her schoolteacher, Miss Violet, who lets her help in the classroom. Life only looks brighter when Miss Violet announces the school will have a Shoebox Social to help raise funds for new art materials. But when what should be a festive occasion is threatened by prejudice and cruelty, Delly finds out that one must stay true to oneself to successfully navigate life's joys and sorrows. From Trinka Hakes Noble, the author of The Scarlet Stockings Spy and The Last Brother, comes the story of a young girl who learns the most precious things in life are not measured in dollars and cents but by the warmth of one's heart. And that truth, beauty, and love are in the eye of the beholder.

Happy Birthday to You!: The Mystery Behind the Most Famous Song in the World

Margot Theis Raven (author), Chris K. Soentpiet (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531351

To each of us who has enjoyed a piece of birthday cake, the strains of "Happy Birthday to You" are as familiar to our ears as our own names. Yet how many people know the origin of the tune and its place in American history? In 1889 Patty and Mildred Hill, two Kentucky sisters, wrote the words and composed the melody of "Good Morning to All" for their kindergarten students. Initially written as a simple greeting and welcome, they later changed the words and birthday celebrations were forever altered. But it wasn't until 1935 that the sisters' song was fully copyrighted and their names duly credited. Margot Theis Raven, the author of such inspiring children's books as Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot and Let Them Play, relates the story behind one of the most famous and oft-sung songs in the world.Margot Theis Raven's award-winning books are often set against powerful historical backdrops such as America's civil rights period. Her books for Sleeping Bear Press include America's White Table and Let Them Play, which was named a 2006 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Margot lives in Charleston, South Carolina. Chris Soentpiet's numerous books include My Brother Martin and Peacebound Trains and reflect his interest in people, history, and culture. He has won several prestigious awards such as the International Reading Association Children's Book of the Year. Chris lives in Flushing, New York.

Smudge and the Book of Mistakes: A Christmas Story

Gloria Whelan (author), Stephen Costanza (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627530996

The monastery of St. Ambrose is situated on the Irish island of Morcarrick. Here, monks old and young live quiet lives spent in prayer and service. One day the Abbot decides that Brother Bede, their finest illuminator of manuscripts, will illustrate the Christmas story. It will be magnificent, praised throughout the world (as will St. Ambrose). Unfortunately, young Brother Cuthbert has been chosen to assist Brother Bede in this project. Cuthbert is impatient, lacks discipline, and even worse--is known for making mistakes. His nickname is "Smudge." How can someone so ill-suited assist in the creation of the greatest book of all? Award-winning author Gloria Whelan shows that sometimes, when given the right task, someone's greatest weakness can prove to be his greatest strength.

T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet

Kurt Browning Sonia Rodriguez (author), Wilson Ong (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307958

Tutus and leotards, pointe shoes and ribbons, stretching exercises at the barre - these are all familiar images when one is thinking of ballet. But there's much more to this historic dance form than pink tulle. There's hard work with years of study. Following the alphabet, in T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet dancer Sonia Rodriguez, with husband Kurt Browning, introduces this dance form from its beginnings at the court of Louis XIV to basic positions and training to famous stage roles. L is for the Leotard that shows the dancer's form. Whenever they are rehearsing it becomes their uniform. Young readers will find themselves pointing their toes, practicing the five positions, and dreaming of being onstage as a sugarplum fairy or a king with a crown. Sonia Rodriguez has been the Principal Dancer with The National Ballet of Canada since 2000. Her husband, Kurt Browning, is a four-time world champion figure skater. Kurt is also the author of A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet. They live in Toronto, Ontario.Known for his fluid movement and confidence on the ice, four-time world champion figure skater Kurt Browning spins, jumps, and glides his way through the alphabet with A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet. Kurt was the first figure skater to be named as Canada's outstanding male athlete, was honored by Sports Illustrated as one of the 50 greatest sports figures from Canada, and is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Completing the first quadruple jump in competition earned Kurt his way into the Guinness Book of Records. Kurt presently skates professionally with Stars on Ice and lives in Toronto with his wife and son. Wilson Ong went to Brigham Young University, receiving a B.F.A. in painting and drawing. He furthered his studies at the Art Students' League in New York City. He lives in Corning, New York.