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M is for Monster: A Fantastic Creatures Alphabet

J. Patrick Lewis (author), Gerald Kelley (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537681

Readers will meet the fascinating main characters featured in many myths and legends. Award-winning children's book author and former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis not only examines creatures of popular legends such as mummies, werewolves, and zombies, but he also introduces lesser-known-but-just-as-menacing monsters such as the Roc and the giant called Xing Tian. Includes origins of the Frankenstein story as well as creatures such as the Loch Ness Monster, Baba Yaga, and the Phoenix. Monster, mystery, and fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy this alphabetical tribute.

Sleepy Snoozy Cozy Coozy

Judy Young (author), Michael Glenn Monroe (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621282

Using a charming combination of poetry and prose, author Judy Young explains the bedtime habits of some common North American animals, including moles, moose, and beavers. Young readers will learn not only where certain animals make their beds but also how and why they sleep as they do. Each animal is introduced with a rhythmic singsong-y, tongue-twisting poem guaranteed to bring smiles and encourage reader participation. The accompanying expository text includes information about the animal's unique sleeping habits. Finally, at book's end, the reader is gently guided back to a soft cozy bed of her own.

Leopold the Lion

Denise Brennan-Nelson (author), Ruth McNally Barshaw (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704250

When Jack and Ella come across a friendly--and talented!--lion in their backyard they are thrilled to take him in as their pet. And they're positive they know just how to care for their new pet, ignoring Grandpa's cheeky asides. But soon Leopold the Lion grows despondent and chubby. Even the circus who lost him won't take him back! Do Jack and Ella know what to do to get Leopold healthy again? A sweet story with a subtle commentary on making healthy choices.

Otter out of Water

Kathy-jo Wargin (author), John Bendall-Brunello (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537247

Have you seen an otter at play in the water? It's long and it's trim and it knows how to swim. It rolls and it spins. It twists and it grins. What if one day that otter jumps out of the water? Would you ask him to play? What if that otter follows you home? Would he bounce on the chairs? Would he skid down the stairs? The author-illustrator team who created Scare a Bear and Moose on the Loose will once again have readers laughing and guessing. This time the hilarity involves an otter out of water!

Black Beauty's Early Days in the Meadow

Anna Sewell (author), Jane Monroe Donovan (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535861

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.

Dozer's Run

Rosana Panza, Debbie Levy (author), David Opie (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537643

Dozer the Goldendoodle has a wonderful life! He and his best friend, Chica, belong to a loving family. They have warm beds to sleep in, enough food to eat, and plenty of room in their yard to play and investigate. What more could a good dog want? As it turns out, Dozer wants an adventure. And when a runner runs past his yard, followed by another, and another, and another, Dozer decides to follow and see what is happening. In May 2011, unbeknownst to his owner, Dozer slipped out of his yard in Highland, Maryland, enticed by the sight of people running past. The runners were participating in the Maryland Half Marathon, a race benefitting the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. Dozer joined the 2,000 runners in the race, inspiring everyone along the 13-mile race course. By the time his adventure was over and he was reunited with his family, Dozer's "Run" encouraged thousands of pledges in support of the Greenebaum Cancer Center. This true story of a playful dog that actually runs a half marathon entertains as well as inspires.

Moose on the Loose

Kathy-jo Wargin (author), John Bendall-Brunello (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535915

What would you do with a moose on the loose? Would you chase him, or race him, or stand up to face him? What would you do with a moose on the loose? What would you do with a moose in your yard? Or in your house? How about in your room? Or in your tub? Would you give him two boats? Would you see if he floats? What would you do? Colorful, comic artwork highlights the hilarity that ensues when wildlife wanders indoors. Can boy best beast? By story's end, young readers will know exactly what to do when a moose goes on the loose!

Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo

Denise Brennan-Nelson (author), Tim Bowers (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531023

Since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, little Stu's favorite place to visit was the nearby zoo. He was there so often that even the animals recognized him. The animals' sounds, from the coos and the snorts, and the squeaks and bellows, and the brays and the whistles, were music to his ears. His mother called it a symphony. Stu loved to pretend to be a conductor when he listened to the animals. But now there is trouble brewing at the zoo. A man wants to take it over and turn it into something else, getting rid of the animals. When the animals learn of his plan, they want to take action. But no one has any ideas. No one but Stu. Young readers will enjoy seeing how Stu steps in to rally the animals to save their beloved zoo.

Shep: Our Most Loyal Dog

Sneed B. Collard (author), Joanna Yardley (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531481

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.

A Giraffe Did One

Jerry Pallotta (author), Tatjana Mai-Wyss (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410310057

Readers have to figure out just exactly what it is these animals are doing. A fun reminder on good manners.

The Little Kids' Table

Mary Ann McCabe Riehle (author), Mary Uhles (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704267

Everyone knows that the little kids table is the place to be for any holiday or family gathering. They just know how to have fun! This silly, rhyming story follows a group of rambunctious cousins from table setting to dessert. A universal theme, The Little Kids Table will have kids--and parents!--howling with laughter.

Where to Sleep

Kandy Radzinski (author), Kandy Radzinski (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410308351

It's the end of a long, play-filled day. Evening is drawing near and it's time for bed. But where can a tired little kitten rest its head? Not in the leafy vegetable patch. Kitten would look for "bunnies to catch." Certainly not with the chicken flock... who "stay up late and talk, talk, talk." Finding the ideal place to settle in for the night is no easy task. But when Kitten is finally ready for rest, sleepyheads of all ages will agree it's in the purr-fect spot.

Colors of Me

Brynne Barnes (author), Annika M. Nelson (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410308535

Intriguing collage illustrations frame this timeless story of a young child who questions the significance of color. Speaking in verse, the child wonders if the natural world believes any particular color to be more important than another. Does the rain think I'm a color when it falls on my head? I wonder if the clouds think I'm a color... maybe they think I'm green or blue or red. The child comes to see the importance of a world filled with and accepting of all colors. Do I have to choose one color? I want to be them all - black, blue, purple, brown, pink, orange, yellow, red, white, and green. The whole world is full of colors - just like me.