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D is for Dala Horse: A Nordic Countries Alphabet

Kathy-jo Wargin (author), Rene Graef (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307507

Located in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, the Nordic Countries/Territories are comprised of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Aland. And while they may share a region and some traditions, each has its own distinct geography, history, and heritage. Explore Greenland where, contrary to its name, more than 80 percent of the land is covered by an ice cap. It is home to the polar bear, as well as walrus, reindeer, and seal. Stop off in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmar - the statue of the Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale can be found near the harbor. Visit Sweden's lively Jokkmokk Winter Market which draws visitors from around the world, or sample the tasty fare of a Swedish smorgasbord. D is for Dala Horse: A Nordic Countries Alphabet gives young readers an A-Z tour. Kathy-jo Wargin is the author of 45 books for children, including The Legend of Sleeping Bear. Her many awards include an IRA Children's Choice Award for The Legend of the Loon and an IRA Teacher's Choice Award for Win One for the Gipper. Kathy-jo lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Rene Graef has illustrated more than 70 books for children. The most well-known are the "Kirsten" books in the American Girl Collection and the "My First Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Rene lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, with her family.

Lily's Victory Garden

Helen L. Wilbur (author), Robert Gantt Steele (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365722

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.

L is for Land of Living Skies: A Saskatchewan Alphabet

Linda Aksomitis (author), Lorna Bennett (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307163

Why is Saskatoon called the "Bridge City"? Who were the first inhabitants of Saskatchewan? Where can you find rare plants such as the Prickly Pear Cactus and the Gumbo Evening Primrose? Discover the answers to these questions, along with other facts, in L is for Land of Living Skies: A Saskatchewan Alphabet. Readers young and old can visit the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, study the rare flora and fauna of the Cypress Hills Forest Reserve, enjoy the music at the John Arcand Fiddle Fest, or sample the delights of the Qu'Appelle Valley. From the healing waters of Little Manitou Lake to the otherworldly spectacle of the Northern Lights, everyone will enjoy this alphabetical journey that showcases the riches of Saskatchewan. Linda Aksomitis's young adult novel, Snowmobile Challenge, was a finalist for best children's book in the 2003 Saskatchewan Book Awards. L is for Land of Living Skies is her first picture book. Currently she lives in Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. She travels frequently, giving author talks and lectures and researching future projects. Lorna Bennett attended Grant MacEwan College and the University of Alberta in the Arts/Fine Arts programs. In addition to L is for Land of Living Skies, she also illustrated C is for Chinook: An Alberta Alphabet and M is for Mountie: An RCMP Alphabet. Lorna lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

V is for Von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet

William Anderson (author), Linda Graves (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307491

From "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" to "Doe, a deer, a female deer," many people have grown up humming the tunes or singing the lyrics to the songs from the beloved movie The Sound of Music. But what is the real story behind the brave von Trapp family? V is for von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet gives a behind-the-headlines look at this real-life singing family made famous in the classic movie. Starting with their idyllic early life in Austria where their love of music and performing began, author William Anderson takes readers along on the family's courageous mountaintop escape from Nazi authorities to their new life in America and the famous von Trapp family lodge in the Vermont hills. Meet determined Maria, the dashing Captain, and their talented children; the famous von Trapps whose life story captivated thousands and continues to inspire with its legacy of hope and achievement. Author, historian, and lecturer William Anderson did extensive research and interviews with the von Trapp family. His previous book with Sleeping Bear is M is for Mount Rushmore: A South Dakota Alphabet. William lives in Lapeer, Michigan. Linda Graves is the illustrator of over 30 children's books, published worldwide. She was born in Eureka, California, and graduated with a degree in illustration from San Jose State University. Linda is a member of the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and lives in the woods of Berkshire County, Massachusetts.