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The Legend of Papa Noel: A Cajun Christmas Story

Terri Hoover Dunham (author), Laura Knorr (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535984

Around the world Santa Claus has many names. But in a deep, swampy bayou of Louisiana, he's known as Papa Nol. In such a hot and humid place, there can be no sleds or reindeer, so Papa Nol rides the river in a boat that's pulled by eight alligators, with a snowy white one named Nicollette in the lead. On this particular Christmas Eve, it's so foggy on the river that even Nicollette's magical glowing-green eyes may not be enough to guide Papa Nol. The alligators are tired, grumpy and bruised from banging into cypress trees, and Papa is desperate to get all the gifts to the little children. Well, "quicker than a snake shimmies down the river," the clever Cajun people come up with a solution that saves the day. A colorfully inventive Christmas tale, Papa Nol is a lesson in fast thinking, as well as a witty introduction to a part of America that's rich in folklore and legend.

D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet

Helen L. Wilbur (author), Jaime Corum (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537261

The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States. But don't call it just a horse race. This annual May event, known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports," is steeped in tradition and pageantry far beyond what happens on the track. Following the alphabet, D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet uses poetry and expository text to explain this world-famous event. Topics include famous jockeys, legendary horses, fabled Bluegrass farms and owners, as well as offering a behind-the scenes view of thoroughbred breeding and racing. Readers young and old, along with horse enthusiasts and diehard Derby fans, will enjoy this celebration of one of the most prestigious sporting and cultural events in our country.

P is for Pirate: A Pirate Alphabet

Eve Bunting (author), John Manders (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537674

The word pirate means one who plunders on the sea, and piracy has been around for as long as men and women have longed for adventure and lusted for riches. But it wasn't all fun and pillaging! Being a pirate was not an easy life. Written by award-winning author Eve Bunting, poetry and expository text are used in this alphabetical examination of the history of piracy. Topics include legendary ships, fabled hideouts, and notorious villains like Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. Includes the pirate code of conduct as well as the different occupations aboard ship.

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.