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.
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.
Toddlers will delight in this board book highlighting well-known Canadian symbols and traditions, including famous buildings and wildlife. Rhyming riddles frame the questions, while brightly painted clues help the youngest book lover figure out the answer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Young Moses and his family are barely scraping by. He helps his father in their fish stall selling each day's catch to passersby but times are hard in 1889 Baltimore. It's difficult to provide for a family of ten. But when they hear of free farmland out in Oklahoma, it sounds like the answer to their prayers. The family sells all they own and heads west to fulfill a lifelong dream. Their wagon journey, however, is plagued with troubles from ice storms and flooded rivers to diminishing supplies and sickness. Yet Moses and his family persevere. They arrive in time to take a place along the boundary line that marks the staging point for the Oklahoma Land Run. But after making it this far, will even more bad luck prevent them from realizing their dream of owning their own piece of America?
Ella May lives on a plantation but she doesn't live in the great house. She is a slave. It's dark in the morning when Ella May heads to the fields to pick cotton. And it's sunset when she comes home. But her day isn't done, not yet. Ella May still has important work to do. She's got to listen. Each night Ella May and her friends secretly listen outside the windows of their master's house. The children listen in the hopes of gleaning information about their fates and those of their loved ones. Who will be sold? Who will stay? The lives of slaves depended on the inclinations of their owners. They had no control over their daily lives or futures. But they could dream. And when the promise of freedom appears on the horizon, the children are the first to hear it.
B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet takes readers on a journey into one of the most important chapters of our nation's past. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest, most divisive events to take place in America's history, and most certainly ever on American soil. For four years our young country's sense of self and citizenry was shaken to the core as North and South battled each other. B is for Battle Cry brings to life historic battles (Antietam and Gettysburg), renowned leaders (Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee), inventions (ironclad ship and Gatling gun), and inspiring events and documents (the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation). From the first shot fired at Fort Sumter to Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, B is for Battle Cry brings this nation-defining time period to vivid life.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Long ago in a faraway place there lived two mothers. One, a humble peasant woman who struggled daily to provide for her children. And the other, a mother spider who also worked hard to care for her family. And although it would appear they were as different as night and day, these two mothers had more in common than would first seem. As the only holiday gift she can give her children, one cold Christmas Eve the peasant woman goes to the forest to get a tree, never noticing that someone has made a home among its branches. During the night, the mother spider spins webs decorating the tree, resulting in a Christmas that neither mother will ever forget. Based on an old Ukrainian story, Trinka Hakes Noble (The Orange Shoes) crafts an original heartwarming tale of the grace that can be found in the true spirit of Christmas.
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.