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? Denise Brennan-Nelson's books with Sleeping Bear Press include the Likes to Say series, Someday Is Not a Day of the Week, and Buzzy the bumblebee. As a national speaker, she travels the country sharing her reading and writing enthusiasm with schoolchildren and teachers. Denise lives in Howell, Michigan. Cyd Moore studied graphic design and fine arts at the University of Georgia. Her work includes posters, billboards, books, and newspaper and magazine articles. In addition to Willow, Cyd is the illustrator of more than 35 books, including the Stinky Face series. She lives in Commerce, Michigan.
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. Judy Young's books with Sleeping Bear Press include the recently released A Book for Black-Eyed Susan and The Hidden Bestiary of Marvelous, Mysterious, and (maybe even) Magical Creatures. Judy speaks at schools and conferences across the country. She lives near Springfield, Missouri. Andrea Wesson studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and has illustrated several picture books, including Not Just Another Moose, Opera Cat, and Argus. She lives in Maryland and would love to live in Miss Wright's house by the beach (but not with a monkey).
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. "Cosmo loved the moon. He had moon pajamas and a moon nightlight and stars and moons all over his bedroom. Every night, Cosmo's mother and father gave him a hug and a kiss and tucked him into his bed. But just as soon as they closed his bedroom door, he threw aside the covers, ran to the open window, and watched as the golden moon came into the night sky just above the sycamore tree. And as a gentle night breeze blew across the curtains, Cosmo would talk and the moon would listen."
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. Sneed B. Collard III is the author of more than 45 books for young people including The Prairie Builders, The Forest in the Clouds, Butterfly Count and B is for Big Sky Country: A Montana Alphabet. Sneed lives in Missoula, Montana. Joanna Yardley has illustrated a number of award-winning children's books. This is her third book with Sleeping Bear Press. She is the illustrator of B is for Big Sky Country: A Montana Alphabet and P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet. Jo lives in Missoula, Montana along with her husband and son.
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.
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. Acclaimed storyteller Marybeth Lorbiecki brings together history and legend for a rollicking American tall tale. Enchanting artwork tenderly gives life to the BIGGEST love story the north woods region has ever seen. Marybeth Lorbiecki has written more than 20 award-winning books, including the acclaimed Jackie's Bat and Sister Anne's Hands (IRA Best Books of the Year 1999). History and conservation are favorite themes in her work. Marybeth lives in Hudson, Wisconsin. Rene Graef is well known as the illustrator for the "Kirsten" books in the American Girl children's book series, and has also illustrated many My First Little House books. Rene's other work with Sleeping Bear Press includes B is for Bookworm: A Library Alphabet. Rene lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
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. Jane Monroe Donovan's parents encouraged her to follow her heart and it led to her love of sketching and painting. Her affection for animals is reflected in much of her subject matter. Jane makes her home in Pinckney, Michigan, with her husband Bruce and their two sons, Ryan and Joey. Other members of their family include their two dogs, Belle and Grizzly, a Siamese cat named Maylee, and their two horses, Ameera and Cherokee Rose. In addition to Winter's Gift, Jane has also illustrated three other titles for Sleeping Bear Press: My Teacher Likes to Say; My Momma Likes to Say; and Sunny Numbers: A Florida Counting Book.
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.
Thea and her dad are always on the move, from one small Cariboo town to another, trying to leave behind the pain of Thea's mom's death. They never stay long enough in one place for Thea to make friends, but when her dad gets work renovating a guest ranch on Gumboot Lake, she dares to hope that their wandering days are over. At the ranch she makes friends with Van, a local boy, and works hard to build the trust of an abused horse named Renegade. When Thea unearths the decades-old story of a four-year-old girl who disappeared from the ranch and was never seen again, she enlists Van to help her solve the mystery. When some disturbing facts come to light, she finally starts to come to terms with the losses in her own life.
Josh Johnson's mother wants him to run for class president. Josh just wants to run and hide. If only there were a club to help downtrodden eleven-year-olds escape their parents' ambitions! But since no such club exists, Josh has to invent one -- he calls it Dunces Anonymous, and before he knows it, the membership is up to three. Magnolia and Wang help Josh lose the school presidential election, but that's just the beginning of the club's activities. Magnolia, pressured by her mom into trying out for the role of Juliet in the school's play, finds herself fending off the advances of an overly amorous Romeo. Wang's father has forced him to join the school chess club, but Wang desperately wants to take fencing lessons instead. As the three friends try to free Magnolia from the school play, liberate Wang from the chess club and get rid of horrible Stacey Hogarth, who has vowed to become the new president of Dunces Anonymous, they realize that they all have talents -- if only their parents could see them.
Eric and Chris are avid geocachers who stumble into a very strange search for a series of geocaches. At first they are merely curious, but as the stakes rise and the challenges become more trying, the boys get truly hooked. Convinced they are indeed on the trail of treasure, they become consumed with the search, and though their quest tests their strength, intelligence, courage and even their friendship, they don't give up.
On a visit to a seaside town in Australia, fifteen-year-old Sam meets Annabel, who works at the local museum. Annabel's interest in history is infectious, and Sam soon finds himself eager to hunt for the remains of a boat called the Mahogany Ship—a shipwreck sought after by many. When a storm creates an erosion hole that exposes a structure, Sam and Annabel are convinced it's the fabled ship. Soon all of the museum staff are at the erosion site to check it out. But the same storm also destroys the museum's power; someone knows the alarms aren't working and steals the museum's most treasured artifact, a large porcelain peacock worth $4 million. As Sam and Annabel search for the thief, they realize there may be a link between the fabled shipwreck and the recent theft.
Following the demise of his first band, Ace has started a duo called Two with Lisa, a girl he has a huge crush on. As Ace and Lisa get serious about their music, Denny, Ace's hapless friend, tries to help out by filming their every move so that he can create the ultimate music video. As a joke, Denny puts together a Two video capturing all of the embarrassing moments—moments that Lisa in particular doesn't want shared. Somehow, the video gets posted on YouTube. Lisa and Ace find themselves starring in the latest comedic viral video. Lisa is humiliated and refuses to talk to Ace—until their fame turns out to have positive results.
At thirteen, Jenevieve has some life issues, some death issues, and some everything-in-between issues. Her mother is dead, she's an outcast at school, her dad's an idiot and her little brother can be pretty annoying. Aunt Guin, who appears to be a bit "reality challenged," turns up just in time to rescue J from a fate worse than death - summer camp. Aunt Guin and her friend Art take J to a decrepit beach-front house where J is expected to sleep outside, eat healthy food and help with the renovations. When she escapes to the nearby sand dunes, she meets a boy named Connor and joins him in his search for a mythical dance hall buried in the dunes.
Lissa is the new kid in town. She is lonely and she blames her mother and her mother's new husband for her troubles. To make matters worse, she has to look after a boy who believes that his dead mother's spirit lives on in the red-tailed hawk that he secretly keeps captive. Ironically, the resulting adventure takes Lissa's mind off her own troubles and gets her a friend to boot!
TJ Barnes is back, playing with his crazy cats, T-Rex and Alaska, helping out in his parents' hardware store and goofing around with his best friend, Seymour. When Seymour announces that he has signed them both up for a football team, TJ fears the worst. Neither of them is huge or mean or able to tackle, catch, throw, run or kick a ball down a field, but Seymour is determined to be a star. With the help of a stack of library books, TJ starts to understand the game but it takes more than a few books to figure out what's wrong with his best friend.
Jake and his younger brother Tommy are visiting family at a beach house on the coast. Having already lost a race to his cousin Lexie, Jake can't resist a second chance at victory when she challenges him again. Only this time it's a boat race-to the legendary Smuggler's Cave and back. The ocean is deep and choppy, and the boat is harder to control than Jake thought it would be. When he and Tommy reach Smuggler's Cave, the unthinkable happens. The boat capsizes, and they are swept into the cave. Lexie comes to their rescue, but the rising tide prevents them from escaping, and the three of them soon realize they are trapped.
Follow the adventures of Buck, a loving family pet, who is stolen from his comfortable home to become a sled dog in the Yukon gold rush territory. As Buck faces freezing temperatures, starvation, and cruelty, he learns that he must be brutal to survive.
This cat goes beyond the call of duty to keep the mice and roaches in order in this cute little poem by T.S. Eliot.