Long, long ago, the ancient people of the forest gathered around warm fires and told the tale of a time long past, when the land known as "Michigane" was covered with ice and snow. For thousands of years the cruel North Wind ruled the land North of Up North, chasing away the gentle, benevolent winds from the East, West and South. Winter stayed the whole year round, so nothing could live in Michigane. Not until an old warrior and a young boy traveled through the frigid cold with nothing but warm hearts and an old pair of mittens was there hope that the frozen land would eventually come to life.Trinka Hakes Noble is the noted author of numerous award-winning picture books including The Scarlet Stockings Spy, the ever-popular Jimmy's Boa series and Meanwhile Back at the Ranch (both featured on Reading Rainbow). Her many awards include ALANotable Children's Book, Booklist Children's Editors' Choice, IRA-CBC Children's Choice, Learning: The Year's Ten Best, and several Junior Literary Guild Selections. Trinka makes her home in Bernardsville, New Jersey. The Legend of Michigan is the 20th book that Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen has illustrated for Sleeping Bear Press. His other titles include The Legend of Sleeping Bear, the #1 Midwest bestselling Legend of the Petoskey Stone, and Texas Bluebonnet runner-up Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot. Gijsbert and his family live in Bath, Michigan.
Around the world Santa Claus has many names. But in a deep, swampy bayou of Louisiana, he's known as Papa Nol. In such a hot and humid place, there can be no sleds or reindeer, so Papa Nol rides the river in a boat that's pulled by eight alligators, with a snowy white one named Nicollette in the lead. On this particular Christmas Eve, it's so foggy on the river that even Nicollette's magical glowing-green eyes may not be enough to guide Papa Nol. The alligators are tired, grumpy and bruised from banging into cypress trees, and Papa is desperate to get all the gifts to the little children. Well, "quicker than a snake shimmies down the river," the clever Cajun people come up with a solution that saves the day. A colorfully inventive Christmas tale, Papa Nol is a lesson in fast thinking, as well as a witty introduction to a part of America that's rich in folklore and legend.
It's 1942: Tomi Itano, 12, is a second-generation Japanese American who lives in California with her family on their strawberry farm. Although her parents came from Japan and her grandparents still live there, Tomi considers herself an American. She doesn't speak Japanese and has never been to Japan. But after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, things change. No Japs Allowed signs hang in store windows and Tomi's family is ostracized. Things get much worse. Suspected as a spy, Tomi's father is taken away. The rest of the Itano family is sent to an internment camp in Colorado. Many other Japanese American families face a similar fate. Tomi becomes bitter, wondering how her country could treat her and her family like the enemy. What does she need to do to prove she is an honorable American? Sandra Dallas shines a light on a dark period of American history in this story of a young Japanese American girl caught up in the prejudices and World War II.
The great Gitchee Manitou has sent Nanabush the Giant Hare to the new north country to give the first animals their names and special markings. But trickster that he is, Nanabush prefers to play silly games. When Ahmik the Giant Beaver lures Nanabush into a chase across the newly formed land and water, their game etches out a beautiful wonderland of islands and ponds and lakes. Readers young and old will enjoy the legend behind the creation of the state whose very name Wisk-on-sin means "place of the beaver." Kathy-jo Wargin's most recent picture book honoring the spirit of Wisconsin is The Legend of Old Abe: A Civil War Eagle. Her other books include B is for Badger: AWisconsin Alphabet and The Legend of the Lady's Slipper (Upper Midwest Bookseller's Favorite). Afrequent speaker throughout the country, Kathy-jo lives with her family in Petoskey, Michigan. David Geister also collaborated with Kathy-jo Wargin on The Legend of Minnesota and The Voyageur's Paddle. David is a popular visitor at schools with his costumed portrayals of historic characters. A Wisconsin native, he now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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?