Walter the ferry dog loved to greet cars as they came on board each morning. Fetching the captain's newspaper and tasting the cook's bacon were Walter's other important jobs. Cupcake the Cat was just about the only thing Walter disliked about being a ferry dog. One rainy day the waves were rough and no one was paying much attention to Walter. Even worse, Cupcake was poking him with her paw and playing tricks as Walter was being blamed. He decided it was time to leave the ferry! Once on land he ran, and ran, and ran. Soon the day darkened, and Walter was lost and exhausted. Wondering who would do his jobs on the ferry, he felt a familiar poke from a familiar paw. Would Cupcake help him get back to ferry where he belonged?
One of the most popular animal stories of all time, Anna Sewell's Black Beauty was first published in 1877. Drawn from the original text and intended for even the youngest of horse lovers, Black Beauty's Early Days in the Meadow depicts the first few months of the horse's life as a foal frolicking in the meadow. Artist Jane Monroe Donovan renders the classic story in lush oil paintings that convey a pastoral world of green fields and shady trees, while tenderly capturing the special love between mare and foal. The perfect harmony of words and pictures proves once again that the simplest messages are often the strongest. Readers will relish the sweetness of life in the meadow and the companionship of family and friends.
Reliability, devotion and faithfulness: endearing qualities shared between people and their canine companions. Shep is the true story of a dog that became an inspiration to people around the world. Following the death of his owner in 1936, Shep watched as his body was placed on a train and shipped east. For more than five years, through rain and snow, Shep met every incoming train with hopes that he would see the man who had cared for him. Even today, people visit Fort Benton, Montana, to stand at the grave of a dog whose actions remind us of the true meaning of loyalty and heart.
Scout the Scottie dog lives on the top floor of an apartment building. His favorite toy is his shiny red ball. But it is not just an ordinary ball. This ball can bounce higher than anything. It is rounder than anything. And it is faster than anything. Scout loves it. But one day Scout loses his shiny red ball. Where did it go? How will Scout find his favorite toy? On his search for his missing toy, Scout gets some help along the way and he learns that, while his ball is indeed special, it is not as special as his new friends.
Eleven-year-old Kaden has managed to stay under the radar for most of his life. With the exception of Kubla, a pet crow, Kaden doesn't have any friends his own age and he's okay with that. After all, friends can ask inconvenient questions. Questions like Why do you live with your grandmother and where is your father? Questions Kaden doesn't want to answer. Apart from school and a few trips to town, Kaden and Gram keep to themselves, living a simple life at their cabins outside the small community of Promise. But now Kaden's life is getting a lot more complicated. He's starting middle school, which brings its own set of problems for a boy who doesn't fit in. And then he learns that his father, a man he has never known, is getting out of prison and moving to Promise. After years of being the outsider at school, Kaden is given a chance to come out of his shell when Yo-Yo, a new boy, moves to the area and offers friendship. But can Kaden trust him? Will Yo-Yo be a real friend after he learns about Kaden's father? The true meaning of friendship, love, responsibility, and loyalty is explored in this novel for middle-grade readers.
It's the first day of Zoo School and outgoing Amanda the Panda is ready. She's excited and can't wait to go! But for anxious Alfred the Alligator, the first day fills him with dread. Why does he have to go? Isn't he smart enough already? When Amanda gets to school and sees that everyone seems to have a best friend, she decides that Alfred would be the perfect best friend for her. But what does it mean to be a best friend? Does it mean enjoying the same things or feeling the same way? Amanda doesn't notice that Alfred doesn't like sitting at the front of the classroom. And she doesn't notice that Alfred is miserable when she picks him to play Tag. In fact, Amanda doesn't notice much about Alfred at all. She's too busy enjoying everything all around her. And it's up to Alfred to point out to her how he is feeling. A thoughtful story that explores what it means to be a best friend.
One student from Mrs. Wallace's second grade class will be chosen to tell a special Christmas story at the school assembly. When Redheaded Robbie's name is pulled from the hat, the class groans. Poor Robbie! Whenever he is excited or nervous, his words come out all twisted and confused. How will he be able to tell his Christmas story at the assembly? Won't everyone laugh? With a little help from some friends, Robbie learns that it is not so much how a person speaks but what is said that matters the most.
Paul Bunyan has a BIG problem. He's in love but the lady who has caught his eye will have nothing to do with him. What's a giant lumberjack to do? When Paul Bunyan meets pretty Lucette, he knows she's the gal for him. After all, she's so tall she can't fit into an ordinary cabin. She can churn butter into a thick creamy river, and when she cleans house she can twirl up a tornado! Why, it's a match made in heaven! But to win Lucette's heart, Paul must prove his worth in a love test.
It may be Christmastime but on a small, forlorn farm the holiday season is best forgotten, along with painful memories of loved ones lost. Mother Nature has other plans, however, and a chance snowstorm brings together two unlikely hearts, one human and one beast, yet both yearning for comfort, companionship, and that most elusive gift of all, hope. This lustrous jewel of a story, quietly told and perfectly complemented by soft, evocative paintings, reminds even the most cynical of readers that the heart indeed can recover and go on.
It is the season of Christmas, and that means it is time to trim the tree, decorate the halls, and, most importantly of all, write to Santa with a heartfelt wish for the perfect present. While other children may be dreaming of new toys under the tree or stockings filled with treats, one little girl simply asks Santa for a friend to share her holiday. But this is a pretty tall order for the jolly old man. Can Santa make her Christmas wish come true? Readers of all ages will be cheered to see that Santa manages to find not just the perfect present, but three special gifts. Charming artwork brings to life the joy felt in making snow angels, the satisfaction of a rousing snowball fight, the pleasure of baking holiday cookies, and finally, the inner peace one feels sitting quietly in front of a warm fire - all the more special when done with a new friend. Jane Monroe Donovan has illustrated numerous titles for Sleeping Bear Press, including Black Beauty's Early Days in the Meadow; the bestselling Winter's Gift; and all of the "Likes to Say" books. Jane makes her home in Pinckney, Michigan.
When Lily learns about a lottery for land plots to grow Victory Gardens, she tries to apply. But when the garden club president tells her she's too young to participate, Lily refuses to give up. She knows where there's a house with a big yard. The Bishops live in the largest house in town. It also has the largest yard. But the Bishops' son was the first soldier from the town to die in the war. Now Mrs. Bishop has hidden herself away in their house. When Lily asks Mr. Bishop for the use of a small plot within his yard, his grudging approval comes with the stern warning, "No bothering Mrs. Bishop." As Lily nurtures her garden, she discovers that the human heart is its own garden, with the same needs for attention and love. A former librarian, Helen L. Wilbur now works on the electronic side of the publishing world. Lily's Victory Garden was inspired by family stories of life on the home front during WWII. Helen also authored M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet. She lives in New York City. Robert Gantt Steele has illustrated many projects and books about the American experience. He is particularly interested in military and WWII history. Robert lives in northern California.