Voyageur is the French word for "traveler," but in the Great Lakes region during the seventeenth century it described those men who made their living trading furs and goods along water routes. Traveling by canoe, these voyageurs helped to establish north woods trading posts and settlements, opening up the West to future exploration. Young Jacques's father is such a voyageur. He works long hours in bitterly cold weather, absent from home for weeks at a time. As he awaits his father's return from a season of trading, Jacques dreams of the day he will hold the canoe paddle and join the ranks of voyageurs. Author Kathy-jo Wargin is known for her many stories celebrating Great Lakes lore and north woods history including the 2001 IRA Children's Choice Award winner, The Legend of the Loon. She lives with her family in Petoskey, Michigan. David Geister's body of work with Sleeping Bear Press continues to grow and includes The Legend of Minnesota, also written by Kathy-jo Wargin. He specializes in historic art and has a background in commercial art. David lives with his family in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The country of Mexico has long been a popular travel destination. But there's much more to enjoy and appreciate than just sunshine and warm temperatures when exploring this region with its ancient history and proud traditions. Enjoy an A-Z tour of our neighbor to the south in P is for Piata: A Mexico Alphabet. Young readers can visit the tomb of a Mayan king, experience the life of the vaquero (Mexican cowboy), attend the world-famous Ballet Folklrico de Mxico, and sample the everyday treat that was once known as the "food of the gods." From folk art to famous people to the original "hot dog," the treasures of Mexico are revealed in P is for Piata. Vibrant artwork perfectly captures the flavor, texture, and spirit of its landscape and culture.To find recipes, games, interactives maps and much more for this title visit www.discovertheworldbooks.com! Tony Johnston's love for Mexico started when her husband's job took them to Mexico City; they then lived there for fifteen years. While in Mexico, Tony wrote in Spanish and had several stories commissioned by the Mexican government. She has published more than 70 books for children and lives in San Marino, California. Award-winning illustrator and designer John (Juanito) Parra studied at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His clients include United Airlines, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, PBS, and the L.A. Weekly. John's first children's book was My Name is Gabriela, about the life of the Nobel Prize-winning poet Gabriela Mistral. He lives in New York City.
The Twin Cities region of Minnesota has long been recognized as a hub of history, culture, commerce, and education. Now in T is for Twin Cities: A Minneapolis/St. Paul Alphabet, readers can explore the many treasures the area has to offer. Visit the celebrated state capitol building in St. Paul, which was modeled after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Meet cartoonist Charles Schulz of "Peanuts" fame and "Prairie Home Companion" radio personality Garrison Keillor, just a few of the famous Minnesotans profiled. And learn why Minneapolis is called the "City of Lakes" while enjoying the Twin Cities region's many outdoor recreational opportunities.
The Emperor has a problem. He wants his people to remember the year in which his son was born. But there is no way to keep track of the years. So the Emperor devises a race in which animals will cross a river. The first twelve animals to reach the opposite side will have a year named after them. Thus, the people will be able to remember the years and the events that occurred. And so the race is set. Rat, knowing he is no match for the rushing water, schemes with Cat on how to cross the river. Together the two convince Ox to carry them across. But halfway across the river, Rat shows his true colors. Will Cat make it to the other side? Which animals will have a year named after them? Accompanied by exquisite watercolor artwork, this charming story explains the origins of the Chinese calendar.
Did you know that natives of the Northwest used dried sharkskin to sand totem poles? Or that horses were called medicine dogs, because dogs had been used to aid in hunting before horses were introduced by Europeans? In "D is for Drum: A Native America Alphabet," readers will get an A-Z introduction to the many customs and cultures of the first people of this beautiful land. Bison, teepees, Kachinas and dugout canoes will all help to paint a fascinating picture of the more than 500 indigenous tribes inhabiting the Americas.
We often sing the "Star Spangled Banner," but what do the words mean? Why did Franklin Delano Roosevelt stay in office longer than any other U.S. president? Following the style of an old-fashioned primer, The American Reader answers such questions as it gives children a modern, well-rounded view of what it means to be a good citizen. Captivating prose, poems, short stories, and games entertain as they teach about the diverse regions of our country, the history of the Pledge of Allegiance, the story of Clara Barton, and the official nicknames for each of our states. A story about Smokey Bear promotes an appreciation of nature and the need to protect it, and another explains how to be helpful and respectful to people with disabilities. The American Reader's lively variety and broad scope will give children of all ages much to learn, think about and enjoy for hours on end.
Elena lives near a small town in western Guatemala. She lives there with her mother, her younger brother, Luis, and her baby sister, Ana. Her father is far away, working on a plantation. Elena struggles to keep up in school. Her teacher says she needs to practice her reading, but it's hard to find time to read. She must help her mother with the cooking and housework, as well as the hard work of planting and weeding their garden. As the big sister Elena is also in charge of watching over Luis to keep him out of mischief. It isn't always easy and she gets impatient with her little brother. But at the end of the day, when Elena shares a book with Luis, carefully sounding out the words, she comes to better understand and appreciate her role in the family.
Founded in 1608, what city is one of the oldest in North America? Where and when was Canada's first road built? What world-famous circus was the inspiration of Baie-Saint-Paul street performers? Discover the answers to these questions, along with other facts, in F is for French: A Quebec Alphabet. Readers young and old can romp the sandy beaches of Les Iles de la Madeleine, visit Montreal's Space for Life (Canada's largest natural science museum complex), brave the arctic cold in the Nunavik region, or sit back and enjoy the music at one of the many performances taking place at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. This richly illustrated alphabet book is bilingual. A poem and informative sidebar text for each letter appears in French with an English translation.
As a young boy in Gujarat, India, Kumar sometimes feels like he lives in two worlds. First there is the old world where people and their choices are determined by prejudice and bigotry. But then there is the second, modern world: in this world Kumar can be friends with whomever he chooses and his future looks bright. As part of the annual Diwali celebration, Kumar is invited to the house of his classmate Andal to watch fireworks. Andal is from a high-caste Brahmin family so Kumar is especially pleased to be included. But there in Andal's house, Kumar's two worlds collide in a very unpleasant way. Instead of being welcomed as a guest, Kumar is sent away, forbidden to join the festivities. Angry and hurt, Kumar is left questioning his place in Indian society. Where does he fit in? To which world does he really belong?
In 1926, 12-year-old Fu Lee lives with his grandparents in a small village in China. He lives with his grandparents because his parents are dead. It is a difficult life but made easier by the love Lee shares with his grandparents. But now Lee must leave all that he knows. Before his parents died, they spent all of their money buying a "paper son slot" for Lee to go to America. Being a "paper son" means pretending to be the son of a family already in America. If he goes, he will have the chance for a better life. But first he must pass the test at Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco. Only then will he be allowed to live with his new family. If Lee makes even a single mistake, he could be sent back to China. Lee knows his grandparents want a better life for him. He can't let them down.
In T is for Territories: A Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut Alphabet, acclaimed storyteller Michael Kusugak gives an A-Z tour of Canada's three territories, the northern region of the country that is a giant in size, history, and culture. Young readers can kick up their heels at the Arctic Winter Games with sports such as the one-foot high-kick, listen to world-renowned storytellers at Whitehorse's International Storytelling Festival, or experience Wood Buffalo National Park where sometimes visitors have to stop and wait for wildlife to get out of the way. Everyone will enjoy this alphabetical journey that showcases the riches of the territories.
Judo, origami, sushi - with just a few words an immediate landscape is conjured: the country of Japan. In K is for Kabuki: A Japan Alphabet, young readers are invited to travel to faraway Japan and explore its rich history, traditions, and role in today's world. Evocative artwork captures the spirit of each letter topic. O is for Origami A paper frog, a paper tree, a paper sunflower just for me, a paper fox, a paper shrew, a paper tiger just for you. From the comic relief of Kyogen theater to the meditative powers of a Zen garden, K is for Kabuki brings the past, present, and pageantry of Japan to life.To find recipes, games, interactives maps and much more for this title visit www.discovertheworldbooks.com! Gloria Whelan is the award-winning author of many children's books including Homeless Bird, for which she received the National Book Award. She lives in Michigan. A librarian by profession, Jenny Nolan has worked for The New Yorker and Rolling Stone magazines and as a researcher for investigative reporters. She lives in Michigan. Oki S. Han's book, Basho and the Fox, was a New York Times best-seller. Her books, Mr. Long Beard and My Hometown, both won the Korea Children's Book Award. In 2005 Oki was selected as Illustrator of the Year at the Bologna Children's Book Fair for My Hometown. She lives in Korea.
What country holds the title as the world's smallest continent and yet the world's largest island? I stands for island, but one that's not too small. Our island is enormous. Just try to see it all! There's no place else quite like it; that is clearly true. Australia is a continent, but it's an island, too. Originally founded as a penal colony, Australia has long been known for its contrasts (think: wild outback and sophisticated Sydney Opera House). Accompanied by vibrant colorful artwork, D is for Down Under: An Australia Alphabet captures the spirit of this proud country and its many treasures, natural and man-made. Visit spectacular Sydney Harbor, try your hand as a jackaroo working a sheep station, or just sit back and enjoy a Vegemite sandwich. Below the starry night glitter of the Southern Cross constellation, Australia's "down under" wonders shine brightly. Devin Scillian is an award-winning author and Emmy-award-winning broadcast journalist. His books with Sleeping Bear Press include the national bestseller A is for America: An American Alphabet. Devin lives in Michigan and anchors the news for WDIV-TV in Detroit. Geoff Cook has been illustrating for 35 years. His career began as a graphic designer, after graduating from Prahran College in Melbourne. Soon realizing he wanted to be an illustrator, he became a partner in the illustration studio All Australian Graffiti. He lives in Australia.
Located just below the Mason-Dixon line, Maryland is flavored with both northern and southern culture and tradition. Defined by the largest estuary in the United States (The Chesapeake Bay), Maryland's historic sites/sights include capital city Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy, Muddy Creek Falls, and the running of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Noteworthy residents include Harriet Tubman and Francis Scott Key.Shirley C. Menendez grew up in Staunton, Virginia, and graduated from Mary Baldwin College. She earned a master's degree in library science from Drexel University. Before joining the administrative staff of Georgetown University, she was a librarian in the Prince George's County Memorial Library System in Maryland and the Westchester Library System in New York. Shirley lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with her husband, who is also a writer. Laura Stutzman graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and in 1984 formed a studio called Eloqui with her husband, illustrator Mark Stutzman. She has created imagery for books and magazines, corporations, non-profit organizations, and privately commissioned portraits. Laura teaches a weeklong camp each year for children grades 8 through 12 who are serious about art. She makes her home in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland.
Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the east coast of Canada, Prince Edward Island measures only 5,660 sq.km. But what this island province lacks in size, it more than makes up for in abundant natural beauty, as well the scope of its influence on Candian history. Combing poetry with informational text, PEI Poet Laureate Hugh MacDonald pays homage to the province's natural splendors and proud history. Readers young and old can visit the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, stroll the streets of historic Charlottetown, or paddle a kayak down the island's nearly 100 named rivers.
Ten-year-old Walking Turtle is of the Lenni Lenape tribe. He lives with his family in a small village alongside the Passaic River in what will become northern New Jersey. They have a relatively peaceful life, with nature offering up a bounty of resources for food and shelter, amply meeting their needs. Walking Turtle is close to his younger cousin, Little Talk. He feels protective of Little Talk, who has difficulty walking. Together they roam the forests near their village, with Walking Turtle carrying his cousin on his back. But in the autumn of Walking Turtle's tenth year, his father tells him that soon he must leave childhood friends behind and begin warrior school. Walking Turtle worries about what will become of Little Talk when he leaves for his training. And what is his future? Trinka Hakes Noble is the award-winning author of numerous picture books, including The Orange Shoes and The Scarlet Stockings Spy. She lives in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
In 1944 a vacant army base in upstate New York became the temporary home of over 900 men, women and children who had fled Europe towards the end of World War II. With little more than the clothing on their backs, Rebekkah and her mother are just two of the many refugees who come to live in the camp. Adjusting to a strange new world and a new language, Rebekkah puts aside her own fears to try and recreate tiny bits of home for her mother. A fictional story based on the real-life experiences of surviving refugees, Rebekkah's Journey shares the illuminating story of one refugee's arrival on America's shores.
In the mid-1800s thousands of pioneers crossed the western plains of the United States using the 2,000-mile pathway called the Oregon Trail. Minnow and her family live in one of the many native villages scattered across the plains. She has a lively sense of adventure and her favorite pastime is swimming in the nearby river where she rightly earns her nickname. Rose and her family are traveling in one of the many wagon trains making their way west. It's been a tedious journey with little excitement. Rose can't wait for something thrilling to happen. And one day it does. On the banks of a rushing river that divides one way of life from another, two very different cultures come face-to-face, with life-changing results.In addition to writing children's books, Judy Young teaches poetry writing workshops for children and educators across the country. Her other books with Sleeping Bear Press include the popular R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet and The Lucky Star. Judy lives near Springfield, Missouri. A graduate of the Ringling School of Art and Design, Bill Farnsworth has created paintings for magazines, advertisements, children's books, and fine art commissions. He has illustrated more than 50 children's books and his book awards include a Teachers' Choice Award, the 2005 Patricia Gallagher Award, and the 2007 Volunteer State Book Award. Bill lives in Venice, Florida.
Segregated Charleston, SC, 1955: There are 62 official Little League programs in South Carolina -- all but one of the leagues is composed entirely of white players. The Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars, an all-black team, is formed in the hopes of playing in the state's annual Little League Tournament. What should have been a time of enjoyment, however, turns sour when all of the other leagues refuse to play against them and even pull out of the program. As the only remaining Little League team in the state, Cannon Street was named state winner by default, giving the boys a legitimate spot in the Little League Baseball World Series held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. While the Cannon Street team is invited to the game as guests, they are not allowed to participate since they have not officially "played" and won their state's tournament. Let Them Play takes its name from the chant shouted by the spectators who attended the World Series final. Author Margot Theis Raven recounts the inspiring tales of the Cannon Street All-Stars as they arrived in Williamsport, PA and never got the chance to play for the title thanks to the bigotry and ignorance of the South Carolina teams. Winning by forfeit, the Cannon Streeters were subsequently not allowed to participate in Williamsburg because they had not "played" their way into the tournament. Let Them Play is an important civil rights story in American history with an even more important message about equality and tolerance. It's a tale of humanity against the backdrop of America's favorite pastime that's sure to please fans of the sport and mankind. This summer will mark the 50th year since the fans' shouts of Let Them Play fell on deaf ears and 14 boys learned a cruel lesson in backwards politics and prejudice. This book can help teach us a new lesson and assure something like this never happens again.
From the quiet grandeur of the Himalaya Mountains to the urban city of Calcutta, T is for Taj Mahal: An India Alphabet showcases India's exotic treasures. Visit the haunting Taj Mahal, a tribute from an emperor to his dead wife. Traverse the bustling streets of Mumbai, the second most populated city in the world. Sample a traditional meal fragrant with garam masala spices, or attend a cricket match where some games have lasted up to five days! Varsha Bajaj was born in Mumbai, India. Her book, How Many Kisses Do You Want Tonight?, was named to the 2005 Texas Library Association 2X2 Reading List. Varsha lives in Houston, Texas. Robert Crawford's paintings have appeared on the cover of major magazines such as The Atlantic and U.S. News and World Report, as well as books. He also illustrated Sleeping Bear Press's The Legend of the Old Man of the Mountain. Robert lives in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Quilting has existed for thousands of years, spanning the globe, practiced by women as well as men, and bringing together communities and generations. F is for Friendship: A Quilt Alphabet examines the subject of quilting, as an art form as well as an item of utility, tracing its early history from a cave in Mongolia to patchwork bedcoverings transported in overland wagon trains to present-day exhibits at renowned museums. Topics include patterns, inventions, and fabric choices, as well as quilts as vehicles of American history. Helen L. Wilbur also authored Lily's Victory Garden and Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet. A former librarian who now works on the electronic side of the publishing world, she lives in New York City. Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen has illustrated more than 20 books with Sleeping Bear Press, including the best-selling The Legend of Sleeping Bear and The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell. He and his wife, Robbyn, live in Bath, Michigan.
Through the voice of a young girl, the life of the people known as Irish Travelers is explored. Megan spends her summers traveling around the Irish countryside with her family. They move from place to place, hauling their camper behind their old car. But they aren't on vacation. This is their way of life. Megan and her family are Travelers. As part of their summer life, Megan's father works odd jobs, from fieldwork to roofing houses. Despite the rough living, Megan loves her life and the freedom that comes from traveling the open road. But at summer's end, when there's no more work to be had, the family moves to the city of Dublin. The camper is parked and they move into a cramped house. Megan and her siblings attend the local school as their parents struggle to make ends meet. And as the seasons pass, Megan counts down the days until she can return to her summer life. Gloria Whelan's other books in the Tales of the World series are Waiting for the Owl's Call, 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. Beth Peck earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has illustrated many books for children, including A Christmas Memory, Just Like Josh Gibson, and Music for the End of Time. Ms. Peck lives in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
Discover the unspoiled beauty of Arkansas in N is for Natural State: An Arkansas Alphabet. Acansa is the Sioux Indian name for the state we know today as Arkansas and this begins our alphabet journey. Next you'll find Blanchard Springs Cavern with its 80,000 bats and then to D is for Diamonds, and learn the Natural State is the only state that mines them. Illustrator Rick Anderson's rich and colorful images bring the beautiful vision of Arkansas to all readers.
Ross & Judy Young's combined belief that children comprehend intricate ideas at a very young age made it possible for them to seamlessly create "S is for Show Me: A Missouri Alphabet." The husband and wife team elegantly synthesize text and illustration to provide a rich texture of the Show Me State. The alphabet book employs a two-tiered approach that reaches Pre-K through 6th grade students. A rhyme for each letter of the alphabet catches the attention of younger readers, while older elementary students grasp a richer understanding of the topic by reading expository information on the same page.
Our continuing alphabet journey takes us to North Dakota, the home to such wide-eyed wonders as bison, mosasaurs and the Red River. Every letter in the alphabet is another chapter of a land rich in history, people and nature. Look to the skies for a bald eagle or to the horizon for a Wild Prairie Rose, the state flower. But no matter where children look in P is for Peace Garden, they're sure to find beauty and state pride on every page. This homespun tour of the Roughrider State uses folksy rhymes and in-depth text to share North Dakota's heritage with everyone. One just needs to open its pages to be taken on tour that will take them to Fargo, Bismarck and beyond. Paying special attention to the flora and fauna as well as the folklore that makes North Dakota a shining jewel in our nation's crown makes this book as important to its people as readers everywhere. Roxane Salonen uses her North Dakota roots to focus on the aspects of the state others rarely hear about. Share in North Dakota's glory and landscape through her glowing prose and illustrator Joanna Yardley's exquisite renderings of a vision rarely seen. P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet is sure to inspire and impress generations of reader for years to come.