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D is for Dala Horse: A Nordic Countries Alphabet

Kathy-jo Wargin (author), Rene Graef (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307507

Located in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, the Nordic Countries/Territories are comprised of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Aland. And while they may share a region and some traditions, each has its own distinct geography, history, and heritage. Explore Greenland where, contrary to its name, more than 80 percent of the land is covered by an ice cap. It is home to the polar bear, as well as walrus, reindeer, and seal. Stop off in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmar - the statue of the Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale can be found near the harbor. Visit Sweden's lively Jokkmokk Winter Market which draws visitors from around the world, or sample the tasty fare of a Swedish smorgasbord. D is for Dala Horse: A Nordic Countries Alphabet gives young readers an A-Z tour. Kathy-jo Wargin is the author of 45 books for children, including The Legend of Sleeping Bear. Her many awards include an IRA Children's Choice Award for The Legend of the Loon and an IRA Teacher's Choice Award for Win One for the Gipper. Kathy-jo lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Rene Graef has illustrated more than 70 books for children. The most well-known are the "Kirsten" books in the American Girl Collection and the "My First Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Rene lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, with her family.

E is for Eiffel Tower: A France Alphabet

Helen L. Wilbur (author), Yan Nascimbene (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307514

From its achievements in architecture (Chartres Cathedral), science (Louis Pasteur), and literature (Marcel Proust), the country of France has had a profound impact on the world. E is for Eiffel Tower: A France Alphabet explores its venerable history and cultural heritage. Sumptuous artwork magnifies each letter topic's poem and expository text. Artists and critics tried to stifle The daring design of Gustave Eiffel. Yet a hundred years later, still it stands A symbol of France to other lands. Young readers can experience the treasures of the Louvre Museum, play hide-and-seek in the gardens of Versailles Palace, or get a bird's-eye view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower. The achievements of Claude Monet and Victor Hugo come to life alongside stunning monuments, breathtaking scenery, and history-in-the-making moments. This is Helen Wilbur's fourth book with Sleeping Bear. Helen also authored Lily's Victory Garden; M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet; and Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet. She lives in New York City. Yan Nascimbene's work includes over 40 books. Among his prestigious awards are the Society of Illustrators' Silver Medal and the Bologna International Book Fair Graphic Award. His book, Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers, received the Society of Illustrators' Gold Medal. Yan lives in France.

W is for Windy City: A Chicago City Alphabet

Deborah Dover Layne Steven L. Layne (author), Michael Hays Judy Mac Donald (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365708

Lake Shore Drive, the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier...just the mention of these iconic sights conjures up a skyline known the world over as the Windy City. Welcome to Chicago! And there's no better guidebook to the city than W is for Windy City: A Chicago Alphabet. Following the alphabet, the city's character and familiar landmarks are fully captured in poem and expository text. A is for Art Institute or Adler Planetarium. And if we want a "triple A," we'll add the Shedd Aquarium. Young readers can marvel at the treasures on display at the renowned Art Institute, go window shopping along Michigan Avenue's mile-long Magnificent Mile, or take in an afternoon game at Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs. W is for Windy City brings this famous city to life.A faculty member in the Department of Education at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, Dr. Steven L. Layne is a respected literacy consultant and keynote speaker, working with educators and children at schools and conferences throughout the world. With more than 20 years as an educator, Deborah Dover Layne has worked at elementary and middle school levels and has been a reading specialist. Currently, she is an elementary principal in Elgin. The Laynes live in St. Charles, Illinois. Rhode Island School of Design graduate Michael Hays teaches illustration and drawing at Columbia College and lives in Oak Park, Illinois. Judy MacDonald and Michael started Painted Pony Studio in Chicago several years ago, each of them bringing their own unique style to the drawing table while illustrating books and creating art for children.

L is for Land of Living Skies: A Saskatchewan Alphabet

Linda Aksomitis (author), Lorna Bennett (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307163

Why is Saskatoon called the "Bridge City"? Who were the first inhabitants of Saskatchewan? Where can you find rare plants such as the Prickly Pear Cactus and the Gumbo Evening Primrose? Discover the answers to these questions, along with other facts, in L is for Land of Living Skies: A Saskatchewan Alphabet. Readers young and old can visit the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, study the rare flora and fauna of the Cypress Hills Forest Reserve, enjoy the music at the John Arcand Fiddle Fest, or sample the delights of the Qu'Appelle Valley. From the healing waters of Little Manitou Lake to the otherworldly spectacle of the Northern Lights, everyone will enjoy this alphabetical journey that showcases the riches of Saskatchewan. Linda Aksomitis's young adult novel, Snowmobile Challenge, was a finalist for best children's book in the 2003 Saskatchewan Book Awards. L is for Land of Living Skies is her first picture book. Currently she lives in Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. She travels frequently, giving author talks and lectures and researching future projects. Lorna Bennett attended Grant MacEwan College and the University of Alberta in the Arts/Fine Arts programs. In addition to L is for Land of Living Skies, she also illustrated C is for Chinook: An Alberta Alphabet and M is for Mountie: An RCMP Alphabet. Lorna lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

V is for Von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet

William Anderson (author), Linda Graves (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307491

From "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" to "Doe, a deer, a female deer," many people have grown up humming the tunes or singing the lyrics to the songs from the beloved movie The Sound of Music. But what is the real story behind the brave von Trapp family? V is for von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet gives a behind-the-headlines look at this real-life singing family made famous in the classic movie. Starting with their idyllic early life in Austria where their love of music and performing began, author William Anderson takes readers along on the family's courageous mountaintop escape from Nazi authorities to their new life in America and the famous von Trapp family lodge in the Vermont hills. Meet determined Maria, the dashing Captain, and their talented children; the famous von Trapps whose life story captivated thousands and continues to inspire with its legacy of hope and achievement. Author, historian, and lecturer William Anderson did extensive research and interviews with the von Trapp family. His previous book with Sleeping Bear is M is for Mount Rushmore: A South Dakota Alphabet. William lives in Lapeer, Michigan. Linda Graves is the illustrator of over 30 children's books, published worldwide. She was born in Eureka, California, and graduated with a degree in illustration from San Jose State University. Linda is a member of the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and lives in the woods of Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

I Say Yes! I Say No!

Harriet Ziefert (author), Sebastian Braun (illustrator)

Publisher: Blue Apple Books ISBN: 9781609055806

The bilingual books in the Hola, English! series help teachers and parents guide young children into the back-and-forth of a conversation. I Say Yes! I Say No! is told entirely in simple dialogue between parents and children. It features familiar nighttime and bedtime rituals.

It's Raining Cats and Frogs

Harriet Ziefert (author), Ethan Long (illustrator)

Publisher: Blue Apple Books ISBN: 9781609055813

This bilingual series will appeal both to Spanish-speaking ESL students and English-speaking kids who are learning Spanish. Its Raining Cats and Frogs features plural words and idiomatic expressions. It explores the difference between real and pretend and engages young children in selecting appropriate clothing for wet weather.

Max and Sarah Build a Snowman

Harriet Ziefert (author), Ekaterina Trukhan (illustrator)

Publisher: Blue Apple Books ISBN: 9781609055820

The books in the Hola, English! series were written for Spanish-speaking children new to English and English-speaking children whose parents or teachers want to introduce a foreign language early on. Max and Sarah Build a Snowman teaches numbers and counting within the context of the familiar hide-and-seek game.

Sleepy Barker

Harriet Ziefert (author), Elliot Kreloff (illustrator)

Publisher: Blue Apple Books ISBN: 9781609055837

The Hola, English! series provides children with reasons to talk and things they will want to talk about. In Sleepy Barker, Barker the dog is awakened by one sound after another (howl, hoot, boom) but finally falls asleep after being reassured that mom and dad are there for him.

An Apple a Day: Folk Proverbs and Riddles

Gus Snedeker (author)

Publisher: Mason Crest ISBN: 9781422292587

Have you heard these common proverbs? Let sleeping dogs lie. Where there's smoke, there's fire. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Or what about these riddles? What is black and white and red (read) all over? Why did the chicken cross the road? Why is 6 afraid of 7? Proverbs and riddles are tiny, bite-size pieces of folklore. They make us think. They tease our brains. They may make us laugh. But most of all, they tell us something about who we are and how we see the world.

Why Koala Has a Stumpy Tail

Martha Hamilton, Mitch Weiss (author), Tom Wrenn (illustrator)

Publisher: August House ISBN: 9780874838794

When Tree Kangaroo and Koala dig a well to get some water, Tree Kangaroo ends up doing all of the work and Koala ends up with a stumpy tail in this origin story from Australia.

A Sack Full of Feathers

Debby Waldman (author), Cindy Revell (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434537

Yankel loves to tell stories, as long as they are someone else's. He does not see the hurt that his stories cause, the way they spread and change. Then the rabbi hands him a bag of feathers and tells him to place one on every doorstep in the village. Yankel is changed by what happens and finds himself with his best story yet, one of his very own.

Fiona's Luck

Teresa Bateman (author), Kelly Murphy (illustrator)

Publisher: Charlesbridge ISBN: 9781570916434

The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen in to despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land. Luminous illustrations add to the magic and wonder of this original folktale.

The Ugly Vegetables

Grace Lin (author), Grace Lin (illustrator)

Publisher: Charlesbridge ISBN: 9781570914911

It's easy to appreciate a garden exploding with colorful flowers and fragrances, but what do you do with a patch of ugly vegetables? Author/illustrator Grace Lin recalls such a garden in this charming and eloquent story. The neighbors' gardens look so much prettier and so much more inviting to the young gardener than the garden of "black-purple-green vines, fuzzy wrinkled leaves, prickly stems, and a few little yellow flowers" that she and her mother grow. Nevertheless, mother assures her that "these are better than flowers." Come harvest time, everyone agrees as those ugly Chinese vegetables become the tastiest, most aromatic soup they have ever known. As the neighborhood comes together to share flowers and ugly vegetable soup, the young gardener learns that regardless of appearances, everything has its own beauty and purpose.

The Fox and the Raccoon-Dog

Cynthia Swain (author), Bill Greenhead (illustrator)

Publisher: Newmark Learning ISBN: 9781612691848

Who is the best trickster in Japan? Let the games begin!

Why Hummingbirds Drink Nectar

Cynthia Swain (author), Terry Workman, Lisa Workman (illustrator)

Publisher: Newmark Learning ISBN: 9781612691855

Hitchiti legend has it that hummingbirds ate fish. In this pourquoi American Indian tale, you'll hear an explanation of why hummingbirds dine only on nectar today.

Kanchil and the Crocodiles

Jeffrey B. Fuerst (author), Gary Freeman (illustrator)

Publisher: Newmark Learning ISBN: 9781612691824

Can Kanchil, the little mouse deer, trick a few crafty crocodiles with giant teeth? This Malaysian trickster tale gives a humorous insight into the difference between right and wrong.

Why the Sky Is Far Away

Antonio Blane (author), Gerardo Suzán, A Corazón Abierto (illustrators)

Publisher: Newmark Learning ISBN: 9781612691749

In this Nigerian pourquoi tale, long ago people could take bites of the delicious sky whenever they wanted to. People gobbled and gobbled and gobbled the sky. Soon the sky had to make some changes.

Iktomi and Muskrat

Amanda Jenkins (author), Andrew Carpenter (illustrator)

Publisher: Newmark Learning ISBN: 9781612691756

This is a Lakota Indian tale about Iktomi, a lazy trickster who cannot be bothered to hunt for himself. Instead, he plays tricks and steals rather than earn an honest living. Will Muskrat teach him a lesson?

The Hodja and the Soup

Jeffrey B. Fuerst (author), Bill Greenhead (illustrator)

Publisher: Newmark Learning ISBN: 9781612691671

A poor, hungry man has to pay for simply smelling soup! Here comes the wise Turkish folk hero Hodja to the rescue. What will he do to help?

A Tale of Two Frogs

Martha Hamilton, Mitch Weiss (author), Tom Wrenn (illustrator)

Publisher: August House ISBN: 9780874838121

In this delightful story of perseverance and survival from Russia, two frog sisters learn the truth of that old saying, "It ain't over til it's over," or, "The opera isn't over until the fat frog sinks."

The Drum

Rob Cleveland (author), Baird Hoffmire (illustrator)

Publisher: August House ISBN: 9780874838022

In this story from India, a poor boy's dream of having a drum takes him on an unlikely journey of discovery. He meets several people who guide him along the way. In time, he learns to make his own "magic" in this world.

Rooster's Night Out

Martha Hamilton, Mitch Weiss (author), Baird Hoffmire (illustrator)

Publisher: August House ISBN: 9780874838268

In this chain story from Cuba, Rooster learns that he needs a lot of help from his friends to get cleaned up in time for Heron's party. Then the real fun begins.

The Stolen Smell

Martha Hamilton, Mitch Weiss (author), Tom Wrenn (illustrator)

Publisher: August House ISBN: 9780874838381

In this story from Peru, we meet a baker who is so stingy that he wants to charge people just for smelling his baked goods. When the baker takes his case to court, the wise judge decides to teach the greedy man a well-deserved lesson.

Magic Pot

Pleasant DeSpain (author), Tom Wrenn (illustrator)

Publisher: August House ISBN: 9780874838275

In this story from China, when a woodcutter finds a magic pot that makes two of everything that he puts inside of it, he thinks all of his troubles have disappeared! Or have his troubles merely doubled?