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G is for Gladiator: An Ancient Rome Alphabet

Debbie Shoulders, Michael Shoulders (author), Victor Juhasz (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365753

According to Roman legend, what famous twins were raised by a she-wolf? Who wrote the epic poem, The Aeneaid? What famous leader brought law and stability, yet was stabbed to death by a group of senators? Life in ancient Rome was certainly not for the faint of heart! In G is for Gladiator: An Ancient Rome Alphabet, readers are given an A-Z introduction to ancient Rome, including its social, political, and civil customs and practices. Husband-and-wife writing team Debbie and Michael Shoulders explore topics such as Roman law, architecture, mythology, and of course, the ultimate "fight club" (gladiatorial combat). From the relaxed surroundings of the public baths to the rigid codes of the military legions, Rome's ancient civilization is unveiled. Colorful, entertaining artwork from Victor Juhasz, the illustrator of Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet, brings it all to vivid life. Debbie and Michael Shoulders also coauthored D is for Drum: A Native American Alphabet. Debbie teaches middle school and reviews children's literature. An educator for 30 years, Mike now writes and travels year-round, championing literacy. He has written 10 books for Sleeping Bear Press. They live in Clarksville, Tennessee. Victor Juhasz's books include R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet and D is for Democracy: A Citizen's Alphabet. His work appears regularly in many major magazines and newspapers including Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Victor lives in Stephentown, New York.

M is for Maple Syrup: A Vermont Alphabet

Cynthia Furlong Reynolds (author), Ginny Joyner (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366170

In New England Vermonters will be welcoming its state alphabet book, titled M is for Maple Syrup. With colorful pages that focus the spotlight on the flora and fauna specific to Vermont (and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream), the book utilizes a two-tiered educational format where the rhyming verse appeals to younger readers the substantive expository text proves an engaging tool for older students. In Vermont this fall, as it always is, L is for Lake Champlain and R is for the Red Clover, H is for Hermit Thrush and D is for Dairy.

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.

E is for Eiffel Tower: A France Alphabet

Helen L. Wilbur (author), Yan Nascimbene (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307514

From its achievements in architecture (Chartres Cathedral), science (Louis Pasteur), and literature (Marcel Proust), the country of France has had a profound impact on the world. E is for Eiffel Tower: A France Alphabet explores its venerable history and cultural heritage. Sumptuous artwork magnifies each letter topic's poem and expository text. Artists and critics tried to stifle The daring design of Gustave Eiffel. Yet a hundred years later, still it stands A symbol of France to other lands. Young readers can experience the treasures of the Louvre Museum, play hide-and-seek in the gardens of Versailles Palace, or get a bird's-eye view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower. The achievements of Claude Monet and Victor Hugo come to life alongside stunning monuments, breathtaking scenery, and history-in-the-making moments. This is Helen Wilbur's fourth book with Sleeping Bear. Helen also authored Lily's Victory Garden; M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet; and Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet. She lives in New York City. Yan Nascimbene's work includes over 40 books. Among his prestigious awards are the Society of Illustrators' Silver Medal and the Bologna International Book Fair Graphic Award. His book, Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers, received the Society of Illustrators' Gold Medal. Yan lives in France.

S is for Smithsonian: America's Museum Alphabet

Marie Smith Roland Smith (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365685

Where can one find the world's largest mounted African elephant? Or the world's largest blue diamond? Why, at the world's largest museum complex and research organization, of course! In S is for Smithsonian readers can take an armchair tour of the incredible exhibitions and collections found in the Smithsonian Museum. When it opened in 1855, no one could have imagined that the Smithsonian Museum would grow to include 19 museums, nine research centers, or over 130 million objects, artworks, and specimens collected from all over the world. With over 25 million visitors a year, the Smithsonian truly is the world's largest museum! See the airplane Amelia Earhart flew on her solo Atlantic flight. Admire diamond earrings that once belonged to Marie Antoinette. From A-Z, S is for Smithsonian explores the amazing objects and memorable displays that are part of this remarkable museum. Marie and Roland Smith have collaborated on several alphabet titles, including B is for Beaver: An Oregon Alphabet and Z is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet. They live on a small farm south of Portland. The author of many books for children, Roland has also penned Sleeping Bear Press's middle-grade series, I, Q. Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen has illustrated more than 20 books with Sleeping Bear Press, including the bestselling The Legend of Sleeping Bear; The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell; and most recently, Itsy Bitsy & Teeny Weeny. He and his wife, Robbyn, live in Bath, Michigan, on their 40-acre farm and wildlife refuge.

W is for Windy City: A Chicago City Alphabet

Deborah Dover Layne Steven L. Layne (author), Michael Hays Judy Mac Donald (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365708

Lake Shore Drive, the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier...just the mention of these iconic sights conjures up a skyline known the world over as the Windy City. Welcome to Chicago! And there's no better guidebook to the city than W is for Windy City: A Chicago Alphabet. Following the alphabet, the city's character and familiar landmarks are fully captured in poem and expository text. A is for Art Institute or Adler Planetarium. And if we want a "triple A," we'll add the Shedd Aquarium. Young readers can marvel at the treasures on display at the renowned Art Institute, go window shopping along Michigan Avenue's mile-long Magnificent Mile, or take in an afternoon game at Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs. W is for Windy City brings this famous city to life.A faculty member in the Department of Education at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, Dr. Steven L. Layne is a respected literacy consultant and keynote speaker, working with educators and children at schools and conferences throughout the world. With more than 20 years as an educator, Deborah Dover Layne has worked at elementary and middle school levels and has been a reading specialist. Currently, she is an elementary principal in Elgin. The Laynes live in St. Charles, Illinois. Rhode Island School of Design graduate Michael Hays teaches illustration and drawing at Columbia College and lives in Oak Park, Illinois. Judy MacDonald and Michael started Painted Pony Studio in Chicago several years ago, each of them bringing their own unique style to the drawing table while illustrating books and creating art for children.

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.