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The Boy Who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng

Sophia Gholz (author) Kayla Harren (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534138421

Recipient of the 2019 Eureka! Honors Award Winner -Best of 2019 Kids Books - Most Inspiring Category As a boy, Jadav Payeng was distressed by the destruction deforestation and erosion was causing on his island home in India's Brahmaputra River. So he began planting trees. What began as a small thicket of bamboo, grew over the years into 1,300 acre forest filled with native plants and animals. The Boy Who Grew a Forest tells the inspiring true story of Payeng--and reminds us all of the difference a single person with a big idea can make.

A Fist for Joe Louis and Me

Trinka Hakes Noble (author) Nicole Tadgell (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534146174

Gordy and his family live in Detroit, Michigan, the heart of the United States automobile industry. Every night after coming home from work at one of the plants, Gordy's father teaches him how to box. Their hero is the famous American boxer Joe Louis, who grew up in Detroit. But the Great Depression has come down hard on the economy. Detroit's auto industry is affected and thousands of people lose their jobs, including Gordy's father. When his mother takes on work with a Jewish tailor, Gordy becomes friends with Ira, the tailor's son, bonding over their shared interest in boxing and Joe Louis. As the boys' friendship grows, Gordy feels protective of Ira, wanting to help the new boy fit in. At the same time, America is gearing up for the rematch between Joe Louis and the German boxer, Max Schmeling. For many Americans this fight is about good versus evil (US against Nazi Germany). Against the backdrop of the 1938 Fight of the Century, a young boy learns what it means to make a stand for a friend.

Hanukkah Hamster

Michelle Markel (author) André Ceolin (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534126428

The holiday season is a busy time, with people bustling about. And it's a busy time for Edgar, a cabdriver who conveys passengers around the city. All day long Edgar drives his cab; many people going to many different places. At the end of one busy day, Edgar is so tired he climbs into the backseat of his cab to take a nap. But he discovers he is not alone. A little hamster has somehow been left behind from one of the many fares Edgar has driven. Edgar dutifully reports the hamster to the cab company's Lost and Found department, but in the meantime the little creature needs to be taken care of. Edgar brings the hamster to his apartment, making it a bed, feeding it, and even giving it a name, Chickpea. As Edgar starts his Hanukah observance, with no family nearby to share in it, the little hamster becomes more than a casual companion to the lonely man. But what happens when Chickpea's owner is found?

Stompin' at the Savoy: How Chick Webb Became the King of Drums

Moira Rose Donohue (author) Laura Freeman (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534178908

Though a disability stunted his growth and left him with a hunched back, William Henry "Chick" Webb did not let that get in the way of his musical pursuits. Even as a young child, Chick saw the world as one big drum, pounding out rhythms on everything from stair railings to pots and pans. His love of percussion brought him to the big time as an influential big band leader. This picture-book biography details the life of black American jazz drummer Chick Webb, who in the 1930s led one of the big bands of the swing era, earning him the nickname the "King of the Savoy."

Racial Justice in America: Topics for Change

Kelisa Wing, Hedreich Nichols, Leigh Ann Erickson (author)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534186217

Topics on race in America have been avoided in children's education for too long--allowing racist systems to continue to thrive. Racial Justice in America: Topics for Change explores current questions around race in comprehensive, honest, and age-appropriate ways. Developed in conjunction with educator, advocate, and author Kelisa Wing to reach children of all races and encourage them to approach race issues with open eyes and minds.

Headstrong Hallie!: The story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female "Fire Guard"

Aimee Bissonette (author) David Hohn (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534178915

Hallie Morse Daggett loved spending time outdoors, hiking among the tall trees of the forests in California's Siskiyou Mountains. She wasn't afraid of the bears, coyotes, and wildcats. But Hallie was afraid of fire and understood the threat it posed to the forests, wildlife, and people. And more than anything, she wanted to devote her life to protecting her beloved outdoors; she decided she would work for the US Forest Service. But in the 1880s the Forest Service didn't hire women, thinking they couldn't handle the physical challenges of the work or the isolation. But the Forest Service didn't know Hallie or how determined she could be. This picture-book biography tells the story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the first woman "fire guard" hired by the US Forest Service, whose hard work and dedication led the way for other women to join the Forest Service.

T is for Thor: A Norse Mythology Alphabet

Virginia Loh-Hagan (author)Torstein Nordstrand (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534167377

Otherworldly landscapes, thundering soundtracks, epic battles between superhero gods and monsters--current movies and book series have turned Norse mythology into popular commercial entertainment in recent years. But there's a lot more to this mythic universe than trickster Loki and his hammer-wielding god of thunder brother. T is for Thor: A Norse Mythology Alphabet takes readers beyond the movie screen and into the world of Scandinavian mythology, history, culture, and religion. Author Virginia Loh-Hagan not only examines Thor, Odin, Heimdall, and the famous Valkyries, but she also explains and introduces other inhabitants of this nine-realm universe. From learning about Ymir, the first frost giant, to Yggdrasil, the world tree holding everything together, mythology and fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy this alphabetical exploration. Fantastical artwork from Norwegian artist Torstein Nordstrand brings it all to vivid life.

A Girl Like You

Frank Murphy, Carla Murphy (authors) Kayla Harren (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534167421

Every girl is a wonder! A Girl Like You encourages girls to embrace what makes them unique, to choose kindness, and to be their own advocates. In an age when girls can be whatever they want, this books reminds them of all the ways to be beautiful, brilliant, and uniquely themselves.

K is for Keystone: A Pennsylvania Alphabet

Kristen Kane (author), Laura Knorr (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366361

Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, Gettysburg, Ben Franklin's inventions, the Liberty Bell -- there is so much to learn about Pennsylvania's history and geography. K is for Keystone is a wonderful introduction to many of Pennsylvania's unique features for readers young and old."E is for Easton A town where you can see, The birthplace of crayons and markers, In the Crayola FACTORY." "The word Crayola comes from the French word craie (chalk) and the first part of the word oleaginous (an oily paraffin wax). In 1903 cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith created an overnight success with their Crayola crayons made for school use. Seventy-five years later Crayola markers were produced. The Crayola FACTORY in Easton, Pennsylvania, includes a hands-on discovery center and offers demonstrations that show how crayons and markers are made."

Common Threads: Adam's Day at the Market

Huda Essa (author) Mercè Tous (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781534146297

Adam and his family spend an exciting day at the colorful and bustling Eastern Market. But when Adam gets briefly separated from Mom and Dad, he mistakes a friendly, diverse cast of characters for his parents in their traditional Muslim clothing--and shows that we all have more in common than you might think. This nearly-wordless picture book celebrates diversity and community in vibrant, dynamic art.

A is for Abraham: A Jewish Family Alphabet

Richard Michelson (author), Ron Mazellan (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627536356

From Abraham to Zaydee, and from ancient times to modern day, A is for Abraham: A Jewish Family Alphabet encompasses the history of Jewish traditions and customs and how they are practiced today. Following the alphabet, a poem identifies the letter topic while sidebar text provides background information. C could be the challah that my bubbe used to braid, or C could be the chicken soup, when I was sick she made, or chocolate coins on Chanukah we added to our coffers. But I say C should be for Chai "To Life" and all it offers. This joyful celebration of family and heritage includes the meaning behind celebrations such as the Festival of Lights, Passover, and Sukkot; important names and stories from the Old Testament; and how modern-day families continue to celebrate their heritage.

P is for Peach: A Georgia Alphabet

Carol Crane (author), Mark Braught (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366200

As you travel through the Okefenokee Swamp, keep an eye out for Tiger Swallowtails and Brown Thrashers, and be sure to pick some Yellow Confederate Daisies before taking a nap under a Live Oak Tree. This is the Georgia that becomes a wondrous reality within the beautiful rhyming verses of Carol Crane and the colorful images of Mark Braught. At the same time the rhymes entertain and inform younger readers, Crane's in-depth expository text will appeal to older ones, creating a two-tiered teaching tool for educators in the Peach State and across the country.

B is for Big Sky Country: A Montana Alphabet

Sneed B. Collard (author), Joanna Yardley (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366163

"The sky in Montana somehow seems bigger, bluer, and more spectacular than in any other state." Author Sneed B. Collard, III writes, "It's simply because our sky stretches over such an abundance of beauty." In B is for Big Sky Country readers will find out where the Going-to-the-Sun Road really takes you and what city the copper capitol dome calls home.

J is for Jack-O'-Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet

Denise Brennan-Nelson (author), Donald Wu (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366019

Who lit the first jack-o'-lantern? What creature of the night must return to his grave by dawn? And why do we holler "Trick or treat"? J is for Jack-O'-Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet invites you to come along on this A-Z adventure and celebration of all things that "go bump in the night." Poetry and prose combine to entertain and educate. H is for Haunted House A haunted house; you better beware. Only enter if you dare. Monsters lurking, looking mean-- Just can't wait to make you scream! Classic autumn games, jokes, and recipes (including gooey deviled egg eyeballs!) help round out the Halloween festivities.

P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet

Joy Steiner Stan Steiner (author), Jocelyn Slack (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585367566

Continuing the great Discover American State By State series is P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet. That's right, Idaho! Sleeping Bear Press explores the lush land and rich history of a state so often overlooked. Kids of all ages will love the A to Z rhymes boasting about all the riches found within Idaho's borders - from the Appaloosa steed to the zinc mines to Mount Borah, to, you knew we couldn't forget it, the potato. Every page expands on the rhyme and introduces the readers to more interesting facts, places and people that have helped make Idaho the unique treasure it is. Lyrically written by Idaho's own husband and wife team, Stan and Joy Steiner, P is for Potato excels through the love and knowledge of their home state. The text comes dancing to brilliant life behind the talented strokes of illustrator - and Idaho native -- Jocelyn Slack's brush. P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet is as unique as Idaho itself. It's rare to find a children's book on our 43rd state, but it's a great discovery to when you can offer one this well done.

C is for Cornhusker: A Nebraska Alphabet

Rajean Luebs Shepherd (author), Sandy Appleoff (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585367009

Arbor Day, Boys Town, and Kool-Aid are just a few of the marks the Great Plains state of Nebraska has made on American culture. From the state's eastern border along the Missouri River, where Lewis and Clark embarked on the Corps of Discovery expedition, to the towering geologic landmarks of the west, chronicled in pioneers' journals, there are treasures to explore on each page of C is for Cornhusker: A Nebraska Alphabet.Rajean Luebs Shepherd was raised in Michigan and has a degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University. After graduating, she traveled the world for ten years with the international performing group Up With People. A substitute teacher, Rajean enjoys sharing her favorite children's books with her students. She lives with her family in North Platte, Nebraska. With over twenty years in commercial illustration, Sandy Appleoff's work has appeared in a range of venues from corporate advertising, to magazines to children's books to large-scale installation murals. She has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Colorado Mountain College in Aspen. Currently she is teaching and working on an MFA in stage and costume design at the University of Kansas. Sandy lives on a farm in Falls City, Nebraska.

Boris and Stella and the Perfect Gift

Dara Goldman (author), Dara Goldman (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627530477

Boris is a musician, playing the songs he learned growing up in Russia. Stella is a baker, baking cakes and pastries like her father used to back in Italy. Boris and Stella live in the city and are best friends. They like movies, hats, and each other. At holiday time, Stella wants to give Boris the perfect present for Hanukkah. She wants him to know how special he is. Boris wants to give Stella the perfect present for Christmas: she means so much to him. But perfect presents cost money and their bank savings contain very little. To make their dreams of perfect presents come true, Boris and Stella each sacrifice something very special. In a nod to O. Henrys The Gift of the Magi comes this tender story celebrating traditions, friendships, and gifts from the heart.

E is for Enchantment: A New Mexico Alphabet

Helen Foster James (author), Neecy Twinem (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366316

New Mexico rightly earns its nickname "Land of Enchantment" with natural treasures such as the White Sands National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns, and the Gila National Forest. But more than a beautiful landscape, New Mexico is steeped in the mystique, history, and tradition of multiple cultures, including the ancient Aztec and early Spanish explorers. From pueblo villages and stately missions to the nuclear energy research at Los Alamos, E is for Enchantment showcases the past, present, and future of New Mexico. Helen Foster James has been an educator for more than twenty years, and is now a lecturer at San Diego State University. She received her doctorate from Northern Arizona University. One of her goals is to travel to all fifty states, and she's already visited more than half. She lives in San Diego, California, with big stacks of children's books and her husband Bob. Neecy Twinem is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator of more than seventeen published books. She earned a fine arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has exhibited her artwork in the United States and Europe. After a family trip to northern New Mexico, Neecy fell in love with the Southwest and now makes her home in the natural surroundings of the Sandia Mountains area.

S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet

Cynthia Furlong Reynolds (author), Pam Carroll (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535946

The Christmas story and the origin of many holiday traditions are thoroughly detailed in the text of S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet. The first Christmas cards were printed and sold in the United States by a German immigrant in 1874. Long ago, eating pie was believed to bring good luck, and during the holidays they were baked in an oblong shape to look like a manger. The message of Christmas is a message to all the world and is beautifully conveyed and illustrated in S is for Star. Our tradition of gift-giving is based on the Wise Men's visit to Baby Jesus. Nearly every country has its own gift-giving traditions. In Great Britain, children eagerly await Father Christmas. In France, he is called Pere Nol. In Italy, Befana brings presents, and German and Austrian children wait for a visit from the Christkindl. Celebrate these and many other traditions of the holiday season with S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet.

The Legend of Papa Noël: A Cajun Christmas Story

Terri Hoover Dunham (author), Laura Knorr (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535984

Around the world Santa Claus has many names. But in a deep, swampy bayou of Louisiana, he's known as Papa Noël. In such a hot and humid place, there can be no sleds or reindeer, so Papa Noël 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 Noël. 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 Noël is a lesson in fast thinking, as well as a witty introduction to a part of America that's rich in folklore and legend.

The Legend of Michigan

Trinka Hakes Noble (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535977

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.

A is for America: An American Alphabet

Devin Scillian (author), Pam Carroll (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535823

From the British and our Constitution that replaced their rule, to Yellowstone Park and Zane Grey's stories of the west, "A is for America" is a sweeping tribute to all we know and love about our country. With delightful poems that beg to be read aloud, and expository text to broaden a student's horizons, this American alphabet will make you fall in love with the United States over and over again.

Willow

Rosemarie Brennan, Denise Brennan Nelson (author), Cyd Moore (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531641

Miss Hawthorn's room is neat and tidy, not a pencil or paintbrush is out of place. And that's how she likes it. And she likes trees that are colored green and apples that are painted red. Miss Hawthorn does not like things to be different or out of the ordinary. Into Miss Hawthorn's classroom comes young Willow. She doesn't color inside the lines, she breaks crayons, and she sees pink trees and blue apples. What will Miss Hawthorn think? Magical things can happen when your imagination is allowed to run wild, and for Miss Hawthorn the notion of what is art and what is possible is forever changed.

P is for Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet

Carol Crane (author), Helle Urban (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531313

"Across the Atlantic Ocean, a lone ship on a vast sea. Ablaze with new hope, all praying to be free." From the lives of our early settlers, who established the foundations for American freedoms and ideals, to today's celebrations, P is for Pilgrim colorfully examines the history and lore of Thanksgiving. Educators will find the inclusion of the Core Democratic Values of valuable use for the classroom while kids of all ages will enjoy the bright, engaging illustrations and fascinating sidebar text. "Zippy bands zigzagging down the street, zebras trotting, zeppelin-like balloons afloat. Flags flying, banners waving, a Thanksgiving Day Parade playing a happy note."

B is for Buckaroo: A Cowboy Alphabet

Gleaves Whitney, Louise Doak Whitney (authors), Susan Guy (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531320

"L is for lariat or lasso, a loop of rope coiled just so. Swing it wide or swing it low. Hook those horns and yell whoa!" Hold on to your hat and strap on your spurs! Cowpokes and buckaroos of all ages will enjoy this A-Z gallop through the facts, feats, and folks of the cowboy way of life. Even greenhorns are invited to ride this fun-filled range!