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Rags: Hero Dog of WWI A True Story

Margot Theis Raven (author), Petra Brown (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537711

During World War I, while stationed overseas in France with the United States Army, Private James Donovan literally stumbles upon a small dog cowering on the streets of Paris. Named Rags for his disheveled appearance, the little stray quickly finds a home with Donovan and a place in his heart. Although the Army did not have an official canine division, Rags accompanies Donovan to the battlefield, making himself a useful companion delivering messages and providing a much-appreciated morale boost to the soldiers. News about Rags spreads and soon the little dog's battlefield exploits become the stuff of legend. But during a fierce battle near the end of the war, both Rags and Donovan are wounded. Severely injured, Donovan is sent back to the United States. And the little dog with the big heart refuses to leave his best friend's side.

Lizzie and the Last Day of School

Trinka Hakes Noble (author), Kris Aro McLeod (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621312

Lizzie loves school almost more than anything. First she loved Nursery school. She loved Kindergarten even more. When the time comes for Lizzie to start First Grade, she can't wait. Everyone tells her it will be a whole year of school. And Miss Giggliano, the first-grade teacher, tells her class to make this the best year of school ever. Yippee! thinks Lizzie--a whole year of school! And what a year it is. Miss G.'s class wins the Centipede Reading Award. And they even win the Nature Study Award for their bee and butterfly garden. It's a great year! But all great things must come to an end. When the last day of school arrives, Lizzie is dismayed. How can this be? It was supposed to be a whole year! But good news soon arrives and Lizzie, along with Miss G., finds herself in a different classroom and eager to learn!

The Legend of Wisconsin

Kathy-jo Wargin (author), David Geister (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535991

The great Gitchee Manitou has sent Nanabush the Giant Hare to the new north country to give the first animals their names and special markings. But trickster that he is, Nanabush prefers to play silly games. When Ahmik the Giant Beaver lures Nanabush into a chase across the newly formed land and water, their game etches out a beautiful wonderland of islands and ponds and lakes. Readers young and old will enjoy the legend behind the creation of the state whose very name Wisk-on-sin means "place of the beaver."

First Day at Zoo School

Sarah Dillard (author), Sarah Dillard (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537698

It's the first day of Zoo School and outgoing Amanda the Panda is ready. She's excited and can't wait to go! But for anxious Alfred the Alligator, the first day fills him with dread. Why does he have to go? Isn't he smart enough already? When Amanda gets to school and sees that everyone seems to have a best friend, she decides that Alfred would be the perfect best friend for her. But what does it mean to be a best friend? Does it mean enjoying the same things or feeling the same way? Amanda doesn't notice that Alfred doesn't like sitting at the front of the classroom. And she doesn't notice that Alfred is miserable when she picks him to play Tag. In fact, Amanda doesn't notice much about Alfred at all. She's too busy enjoying everything all around her. And it's up to Alfred to point out to her how he is feeling. A thoughtful story that explores what it means to be a best friend.

Brewster the Rooster

Devin Scillian (author), Lee White (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535878

What has gotten into Brewster the rooster? The Macintosh family can't understand why their barnyard pet is crowing at the darnedest things. "I'm worried about Brewster," Magnolia said, mixing carrot cake batter with raisins. "Something has changed. It seems so strange but he's crowing at the oddest occasions." Whether it's the children playing catch in the yard, Zeb painting the barn red, or Grandma Pearl flipping hotcakes, Brewster can't stop from letting out an earsplitting cock-a-doodle-doo that sends the Macintosh family head over heels. When the barnyard brouhaha gets too much, even Doc Sawyer is consulted. But can he figure out how to help Brewster?

Jam and Jelly by Holly and Nellie

Gloria Whelan (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535908

Holly's family lives a simple life in northern Michigan, enjoying the bounty of the earth and very much in step with the rhythm of the changing seasons. But times are hard and a cold winter is coming. Without a warm coat, Holly might not be able to start school. Readers will delight in Mama's solution to Holly's predicament.

Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart

Marybeth Lorbiecki (author), Rene Graef (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535922

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.

The Night Henry Ford Met Santa

Carol Hagen (author), Matt Faulkner (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627536004

Could Henry Ford have taken his idea for an automobile assembly line from the elves at the North Pole? Maybe so. Set just before Christmas in 1908, this charming tale finds Henry Ford puzzling over a way to make his Model T affordable for the average family. His little son Edsel suggests that Daddy write to Santa for advice. Since Santa makes toys for millions of children, Edsel points out, he must know a better way. Henry writes the letter just to please his son, but Santa actually answers by taking Henry to visit his North Pole workshop. When he sees the elves working in a line, each completing just one specific task on every toy that's made, Henry Ford envisions an automobile assembly line. The story not only illustrates that children can teach adults how to dream, but it also provides an author's note with factual information about Henry Ford and the Model T.

Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers

Gloria Whelan (author), Yan Nascimbene (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531665

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Japanese provincial governors had to travel between the cities of Kyoto and Edo (modern-day Tokyo). This 300+ mile journey on the historic Tokaido Road required the presence of one to three thousand attendants (carriers). Yuki's father has been called to Edo and she, along with her mother and pet dog, must accompany him in this royal procession. Yuki does not want to go. She will miss her home and her teacher. But she must not be disrespectful so Yuki captures her thoughts in haiku, a Japanese form of poetry. Once outside the gate How will I find my way back? Will home disappear?

What Dogs Want for Christmas

Kandy Radzinski (author), Kandy Radzinski (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531696

Proving that cats don't have the last word when it comes to making Christmas lists, author and artist Kandy Radzinski returns this holiday season with the canine companion book to last year's favorite, What Cats Want for Christmas. Using witty poems and winsome illustrations, What Dogs Want for Christmas lets our four-footed friends speak for themselves. And what does Man's Best Friend have on his holiday list? Ruffus, a dapper Scottie, would love "something with fur... that once went purr..." while the more practical basset hound Daisy complains, "My ears hang down to my feet. Can you fix them so they're short and neat?" Santa is going to need a bigger sleigh to fulfill some of these holiday wishes!

What Cats Want for Christmas

Kandy Radzinski (author), Kandy Radzinski (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531627

It's the season for giving but do you know what your cat really wants for Christmas? From Kandy Radzinski, the creator of the bestselling The Twelve Cats of Christmas, comes another yuletide treat with an animal twist. What Cats Want for Christmas gives a laugh-out-loud look into the hearts and minds of felines at holiday time. With clever rhymes and colorful illustrations, now cats get their chance to pen a letter to Santa. Forget the catnip! Whether it's Benny who longs for a sweater -- knit of a red Irish setter or Arty who wants a silver dish -- filled with little silver fish, Santa (and readers of all ages) will chuckle with delight at this fun-filled wish list. Cat owners will be tempted to leave this book open to share with their favorite pet. It's the purr-fect gift!

Apple Tree Christmas

Trinka Hakes Noble (author, illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535847

Originally published over twenty years ago, and out of print since 1998, Sleeping Bear Press is proud to bring this beloved Christmas tale to a whole new audience. Moving and nostalgic, and brought to life by glowing watercolor paintings, it reveals the joy of a very special present and the love that a father and daughter share.

Junk Man's Daughter

Sonia Levitin (author), Guy Porfirio (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531603

Even before they immigrate to America, Hanna and her family dream of the new life they will have there. "You will see, Hanna," Papa said. "There are streets of gold." But when they arrive, they find life very different from what they had imagined. Their apartment is small and Hanna and her brothers must sleep on a mattress on the floor. Mama spends her days knitting shawls and sweaters to sell on the streets but no one stops to buy. And Papa can find no work. Hanna looks everywhere for the gold Papa promised them but it is not to be found. What will happen to their dream of a new, better life in America? One day a seemingly insignificant find on a slushy street leads to an opportunity for a brighter future. And like many others before them, Hanna and her family realize that through small steps and hard work they can make their American dream come true.

S is for S'mores: A Camping Alphabet

Helen Foster James (author), Lita Judge (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410308177

Next to baseball and fireworks on the Fourth of July, nothing else seems as American as the family camping trip. From what to pack, where to go, and what to do when you get there, S is for S'mores: A Camping Alphabet takes readers on an A-Z trail exploring this outdoor pastime.

Penny: The Forgotten Coin

Denise Brennan-Nelson (author), Michael Glenn Monroe (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531306

Found by a young boy and placed into his pocket for safekeeping, Penny feels useless compared to the exciting Superball, the shiny Marble, the adventuresome Rock, and the colorful Bubblegum. But as she reminisces about her life and history, she realizes her worth, and it is reinforced by the young boy's need for her in an important decision.

Say Daddy!

Michael Shoulders (author), Teri Weidner (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627530125

Mother shares a book about love while Brother shares a book about friendship. Next Aunt Grace shares a book about adventure. Everyone in this family is eager to share books and have the newest member's affection and attention. But all kidding aside, this family knows the bond that is created when reading aloud with someone you love. When Daddy closed the last page, he smiled at me for hours and said, 'Say Daddy! Say Daddy!' He hoped that would be my first word! But wait. Did we hear correctly? 'Book,' I said. 'Book!'

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.

Small, Medium & Large

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

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366248

It is the season of Christmas, and that means it is time to trim the tree, decorate the halls, and, most importantly of all, write to Santa with a heartfelt wish for the perfect present. While other children may be dreaming of new toys under the tree or stockings filled with treats, one little girl simply asks Santa for a friend to share her holiday. But this is a pretty tall order for the jolly old man. Can Santa make her Christmas wish come true? Readers of all ages will be cheered to see that Santa manages to find not just the perfect present, but three special gifts. Charming artwork brings to life the joy felt in making snow angels, the satisfaction of a rousing snowball fight, the pleasure of baking holiday cookies, and finally, the inner peace one feels sitting quietly in front of a warm fire - all the more special when done with a new friend. Jane Monroe Donovan has illustrated numerous titles for Sleeping Bear Press, including Black Beauty's Early Days in the Meadow; the bestselling Winter's Gift; and all of the "Likes to Say" books. Jane makes her home in Pinckney, Michigan.

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.