When trucker Jo hits the open road, her faithful little doggy pal, Big Al, is always with her. The two make a fine traveling team until Big Al gets distracted after a potty break at a rest stop and wanders off. In her rush to get back on the road, Jo doesn't realize her best buddy isn't in the truck cab. As soon as Big Al figures out what has happened, he is determined that nothing will distract him from his plan to wait for Jo to come back. Well, almost nothing. When you're a dog, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar and tempting sights and smells, and even new humans. Told in both Jo's and Big Al's voices, this heartwarming story of separation and joyful reunion is based on a true event.
The Color Collector is a poignant story about newness, friendship, and common ground. When a boy notices the new girl picking up all manner of debris and litter on their walks home from school he wants to know why. So she shows him the huge mural she's created in her room that reminds her of the home she left behind. He learns all about where she's come from and they both find how wonderful it is to make a new friend.
Bear is tired. The weather is getting cool and he's ready for a nice long nap--he's got earmuffs and a brand-new door to keep out the noise, plus a pair of fluffy slippers. Meanwhile, real estate mogul Woodpecker finds his recent homes…missing. And he follows the trail of debris right to Bear's new front door. When he "tap tap taps" to talk to Bear about it, the two engage in a feisty exchange of name-calling and gossip with the rest of their forest neighbors. Can they patch it up--literally--before Bear loses too much sleep?
Raccoon loves making snowmen. He practices all winter with his rolling, his stacking, and his decorating. He doesn't overlook any detail and his snowmen are perfect. When his friends come by, Raccoon is certain that they will also want to build snowmen. And they will need his help. But following Raccoon's directions aren't that easy. Poor Rabbit can't find the right snow (someone has used it all); Fox doesn't have the right tools (someone isn't sharing them); and Mouse can't decorate her snowman (someone has taken the best items). And that someone is Raccoon. When his friends have decided they have had enough, Raccoon realizes too late the error of his ways. But is it too late? Will his friends give Raccoon one more chance to work together to build a totally different kind of perfect snowman? This ideal-for-every-time-of-the-year story celebrates the bonds of friendship and the power of forgiveness.
Napoleon, the spiffiest chameleon in the jungle, is a pretty happy guy. And why shouldn't he be? After all, he loves living on his spiffy limb, and blending in with its colorful foliage. And after a few missteps, he now has friends. Mike the monkey and Polly the parrot often come to play. The spiffy limb shakes with fun and it seems like the laughter will never stop. Except it does when Mike meets Mooka and Polly meets her Pedro. His friends have found their perfect mates and Napoleon is now back to being on his own. What will it take for the loneliest chameleon in the jungle to find his own true love?
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.
Buster is a sweet little garbage truck. He can't wait to grow up to be a big truck, just like his father. Buster practices driving and lifting and beeping with his friend, Kitty. There's one small problem. Loud noises frighten Buster. When his father takes him to the truck yard to meet the other vehicles, their air-horn blasts and roaring engines send Buster skidding away to hide. He wants to be big and brave, but how can he work with Daddy and his friends when their loud sounds scare him? Buster feels terrible. When Kitty gets into trouble, little Buster musters up his courage to save her.
One spring evening an old bear finds a young bird, still learning to fly, has fallen to the ground. When the bear lifts the bird to safety, a friendship begins. Bear and Bird soon become constant companions, spending their days together, searching out berries and watching out for one another. They are only separated during the winter months when Bear hibernates and Bird flies south. As the years pass, their friendship grows stronger. Then one spring day, when Bird returns from his winter trip, Bear is not there to greet him. Days and then weeks pass and still no Bear. When Bird finally learns why his dear friend is absent, memories of their time together bring comfort and acceptance. In this tale of an unlikely but loving friendship, the cycle of life, including its joys and its sorrows, is gently explored.
Meet Digger and Daisy! They are brother and sister. These dogs like to explore their world and see new things. Sometimes they agree with each other. Sometimes they disagree. But no matter the situation, one thing always stays the same; their steadfast love and concern for each other. In playful, simple stories written especially for the K-1 audience, author Judy Young explores the dynamics and nuances of the sibling relationship. In Digger and Daisy Go to the Zoo Digger tries to imitate the various animals they see while Daisy tries to tell him what he can and cannot do.
Miss Wright is a writer. She enjoys her work. Each day she sits at her desk and writes stories with marvelous characters who live exciting lives. But, except for the click-click-click of the keyboard, it is quiet in Miss Wright's office. Too quiet. And too lonely. So Miss Wright decides she needs a pet to keep her company. But finding the perfect pet may not be as easy as it sounds. A mynah bird is too quiet, a cat makes her sleepy, and a hamster running around on its wheel makes Miss Wright dizzy. What's a lonely writer to do? As the happy ending to her story, Miss Wright finds not only the perfect pet but also the perfect helpmate to her work.
Mr. Larch is not a very neighborly neighbor. He never has any visitors. His gray, gloomy house never has any decorations. He avoids everyone and everyone avoids him. But now Mr. Larch has a new neighbor. Willow and her family have moved into the bright yellow house directly across the street. Willow loves her new house and neighborhood. She loves the summer and planting her garden. She loves the fall and sharing vegetables with her neighbors. And when winter arrives, she loves that, too. She can't wait for the first snowfall because she has found the perfect hill for sledding. And it's right behind Mr. Larch's house. Can Willow melt his cold heart in time to enjoy a Snow Day?
Day One I swam around my bowl. Day Two I swam around my bowl. Twice. And so it goes in this tell-all tale from a goldfish. With his bowl to himself and his simple routine, Goldfish loves his life..until one day... When assorted intruders including a hyperactive bubbler, a grime-eating snail, a pair of amorous guppies, and a really crabby crab invade his personal space and bowl, Goldfish is put out, to say the least. He wants none of it, preferring his former peace and quiet and solitude. But time away from his new companions gives him a chance to rethink the pros and cons of a solitary life. And discover what he's been missing.
Cosmo loves the moon, and the moon loves Cosmo. They both come to realize though that lots of things depend on the moon - the ocean tides, morning glories, and the dogs, who can't stop howling. A magical book about the power of friendship and the nature of responsibility, Cosmo's moon will charm everyone who's ever been bewitched by the beauty of the moon.
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?
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.
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.