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T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet

Kurt Browning Sonia Rodriguez (author), Wilson Ong (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307958

Tutus and leotards, pointe shoes and ribbons, stretching exercises at the barre - these are all familiar images when one is thinking of ballet. But there's much more to this historic dance form than pink tulle. There's hard work with years of study. Following the alphabet, in T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet dancer Sonia Rodriguez, with husband Kurt Browning, introduces this dance form from its beginnings at the court of Louis XIV to basic positions and training to famous stage roles. L is for the Leotard that shows the dancer's form. Whenever they are rehearsing it becomes their uniform. Young readers will find themselves pointing their toes, practicing the five positions, and dreaming of being onstage as a sugarplum fairy or a king with a crown.

A Book for Black-Eyed Susan

Judy Young (author), Doris Ettlinger (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307538

When ten-year-old Cora and her family leave their home in Missouri, their hearts are filled with the hopes and dreams of a bright future gleaming with promise and opportunity. But the journey west by wagon train is harsh, and tragedy strikes swiftly and unexpectedly. Now Cora and her father must steel themselves for a different future from what they had carefully planned. How can they move forward when their hearts are broken? But move on they must, and Cora takes comfort in her new baby sister (named Susan after the black-eyed flowers). When Cora learns she and Susan are to be separated at the end of their journey, she looks to the past to help craft a link to their new lives. Judy Young is an award-winning author of children's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her other books in the Tales of Young Americans series are Minnow and Rose (2010 Storytelling World Resource Award) and The Lucky Star (2009 Storytelling World Honor Award). Judy lives near Springfield, Missouri. Doris Ettlinger graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and has numerous picture books to her credit, including the award-winning The Orange Shoes. Doris lives and teaches in an old grist mill on the banks of the Musconetcong River in western New Jersey.

P is for Prairie Dog: A Prairie Alphabet

Anthony D. Fredericks (author), Doug Bowles (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307729

Fact: At one time prairies covered about 40% of the United States but today only about 1% of North American prairies exist. P is for Prairie Dog: A Prairie Alphabet explores North American prairies as it explains their important role and showcases their wonders. Science writer Anthony Fredericks gives an A-Z tour of the many facets and fascinating facts of the prairie ecosystem. Inhabitants including the bison, the quail, and, of course, the prairie dog are highlighted along with descriptions of insect and plant life. Former schoolteacher Tony Fredericks is an award-winning author of many nature and animal books for children. A frequent presenter at schools and conferences across the country, Tony teaches education courses at York College in York, Pennsylvania. Doug Bowles has been a freelance illustrator for more than twenty years. His books for Sleeping Bear include One Kansas Farmer: A Kansas Number Book and S is for Sunflower: A Kansas Alphabet. Doug lives in Leawood, Kansas.

The Town that Fooled the British: A War of 1812 Story

Lisa Papp (author), Lisa Papp (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307880

St. Michaels, Maryland, is a town of shipbuilders whose reputation for crafting powerful schooners carries far beyond the shores of young America. And once the War of 1812 starts, that's not necessarily a good thing. For the British have targeted the town as part of their campaign to defeat America in its fight to maintain its independence. And now, in August of 1813 the British fleet is sailing up the Chesapeake River to St. Michaels. The town's militia is assembled but no one expects they can win the fight against the powerful British cannons. Citizens are being evacuated and the town is in turmoil. All young Henry Middle wants to do is find his father amid the chaos of the coming attack. The lanterns he carries will be of use to the militia. As Henry works to conquer his rising fear, he realizes he may hold the answer to outsmarting the British in his very hands.

F is for Friendship: A Quilt Alphabet

Helen L. Wilbur (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307798

Quilting has existed for thousands of years, spanning the globe, practiced by women as well as men, and bringing together communities and generations. F is for Friendship: A Quilt Alphabet examines the subject of quilting, as an art form as well as an item of utility, tracing its early history from a cave in Mongolia to patchwork bedcoverings transported in overland wagon trains to present-day exhibits at renowned museums. Topics include patterns, inventions, and fabric choices, as well as quilts as vehicles of American history.

T is for Titanic: A Titanic Alphabet

Debbie Shoulders, Michael Shoulders (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307903

In T is for Titanic, husband-and-wife writing team Michael and Debbie Shoulders sift through the stories, documents, and artifacts surronding the famous ship, giving a you-are-there view to one of the greatest disaster stories.

Megan's Year: An Irish Traveler's Story

Gloria Whelan (author), Beth Peck (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307927

Through the voice of a young girl, the life of the people known as Irish Travelers is explored. Megan spends her summers traveling around the Irish countryside with her family. They move from place to place, hauling their camper behind their old car. But they aren't on vacation. This is their way of life. Megan and her family are Travelers. As part of their summer life, Megan's father works odd jobs, from fieldwork to roofing houses. Despite the rough living, Megan loves her life and the freedom that comes from traveling the open road. But at summer's end, when there's no more work to be had, the family moves to the city of Dublin. The camper is parked and they move into a cramped house. Megan and her siblings attend the local school as their parents struggle to make ends meet. And as the seasons pass, Megan counts down the days until she can return to her summer life.

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.

Goliath: Hero of the Great Balitmore Fire

Claudia Friddell (author), Troy Howell (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365746

In 1904 the city of Baltimore was almost destroyed by fire. Hundreds of firemen, policemen, soldiers, and citizens battled the blaze for three days. The disaster brings out the best in man and the bravest of deeds, but one hero stands head and shoulders above all...literally. Goliath is a fire horse assigned to Engine Company 15. He is massive in size and mighty in heart and steadfastness. To the men of Engine Company 15, Goliath is the ultimate fire horse. He is the lead horse for the team assigned to pulling the mammoth Hale Water Tower No. 1. When the fire alarm sounds, calling them to action, Goliath leads his team into the blaze. Soon his lifesaving actions will lead him into the pages of history. Masterful artwork from acclaimed illustrator Troy Howell brings this true story to pulse-pounding life. Educator Claudia Friddell says of her work researching Goliath, "It was a privilege to meet and interview firefighters and fire historians about the Baltimore Fire of 1904." Goliath is her first children's book. Claudia lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Artist Troy Howell has had a prolific career as a children's book illustrator with countless books to his credit, including The Secret Garden, The Ugly Duckling, and Favorite Greek Myths. He received his formal art education from the Art Center in Los Angeles and the Illustrators' Workshops in New York. Troy lives in Falmouth, Virginia.