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The Nutcracker's Night Before Christmas

Keith Brockett (author), Joseph Cowman (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704281

In The Nutcracker's Night Before Christmas preparations for a doomed stage production of the classic ballet goes from terribly bad to ridiculously worse. Sick stagehands, renegade cats, and crashing Christmas trees have everyone sure that the show won't go on. But it's Christmas Eve and help is on the way! Told in verse with wonderful whimsical illustrations, this story hits all the right notes for holiday reading.

A Cookie for Santa

Stephanie Shaw (author), Bruno Robert (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537742

In this clever twist on the Night Before Christmas story, a gingerbread boy cookie is carefully crafted and placed on a plate. He was made special to serve as Santa's nighttime snack, a homemade thank-you for all the presents he will deliver. The cookie wonders if he is brave enough to face up to his holiday duty. But instead of spending the evening contemplating his fate, the gingerbread boy finds himself facing two rambunctious puppies experiencing their very first Christmas. Their mischief includes a tug-of-war with presents, leaving a big mess. And it's up to the gingerbread boy to save the dayand Christmas!

Lazy Days of Summer

Judy Young (author), Kathy O'Malley (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627536400

From earliest times, the concept of "play" has been part of the human experience. And while some pastimes have gone in and out of favor over the years, some never change or lack for enthusiasts. Using poetry and prose, Judy Young relives many of the familiar games of childhood and invites young readers to join along as she plays Kick the Can, Monkey in the Middle, and Double Dutch jump rope. "The rope starts to turn and I jump with my feet As I sing out a song with the same rhythmic beat, Turn around, touch the ground, first jump slowly, then fast; How many more jumps do you think I will last?" Colorful artwork reinforces the underlying message of the importance of physical play in today's techno-driven world. In Lazy Days of Summer even "older" children will recall the welcome tang of lemonade after a rugged game of tag.Lazy Days of Summer is Judy Young's third book with Sleeping Bear Press. She also wrote the playful and popular Ris for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet, which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. Judy teaches poetry writing workshops for children and educators, and lives near Springfield, Missouri. Kathy O'Malley graduated from Chicago's Columbia College and has illustrated more than 30 children's books. Her artwork can also be found on greeting cards, limited-edition collectibles, and other decorative products. Kathy lives in Glenview, Illinois.

T is for Time

Marie Smith Roland Smith (author), Rene Graef (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621299

T is for a Time Alphabet uses poetry and expository text to explore the concept of time, from explaining basic units of measurement to showcasing important scientific achievements. Topics include famous inventors (Albert Einstein and John Harrison) and important structures and landmarks (Kulkulkan Pyramid and Big Ben). Budding scientists will discover what world-famous stone structure is believed to be an early calendar, follow the voyages of explorer Ferdinand Magellan to better understand the International Date Line, and learn to tell time using the Zulu time system.

Memoirs of a Hamster

Devin Scillian (author), Tim Bowers (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627530088

Night 1 / My life is perfect. / I have a bowl full of seeds, a cozy pile of wood shavings, and room to run. / I'm never leaving here. / Question: Who's the luckiest hamster in the world? / Answer: ME! Seymour the hamster has the perfect life. He has a spacious cage, a constant food supply, and a FuzzyBoy 360 exercise wheel that lets him run to his heart's content. Life could not be better. Or could it? When Pearl the cat tells Seymour of the goodies beyond the safe confines of his cage, he starts to think he's missing out. And out is the new in! It's only after Seymour is out of his cage that he begins to fully appreciate his safe and cozy home.

Frog's Flying Adventure

Eve Bunting (author), Jose Masse (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531061

Welcome to Frog and his world. He enjoys nothing better than spending time floating in his pond or visiting with his friends. He appreciates the simpler things in life and would prefer that things stay just the way they are--nice and peaceful. From acclaimed children's writer Eve Bunting comes a beginning reader series featuring the delightful Frog and his friends Rabbit, Possum, Raccoon, and Squirrel. In Frog's Flying Adventure's trio of stories Frog worries when a flower friend starts to fade, takes to the skies with a sea gull friend, and has trouble falling to sleep.

S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet

Cynthia Furlong Reynolds (author), Pam Carroll (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535946

The Christmas story and the origin of many holiday traditions are thoroughly detailed in the text of S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet. The first Christmas cards were printed and sold in the United States by a German immigrant in 1874. Long ago, eating pie was believed to bring good luck, and during the holidays they were baked in an oblong shape to look like a manger. The message of Christmas is a message to all the world and is beautifully conveyed and illustrated in S is for Star. Our tradition of gift-giving is based on the Wise Men's visit to Baby Jesus. Nearly every country has its own gift-giving traditions. In Great Britain, children eagerly await Father Christmas. In France, he is called Pere Nol. In Italy, Befana brings presents, and German and Austrian children wait for a visit from the Christkindl. Celebrate these and many other traditions of the holiday season with S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet.

Digger and Daisy Star in a Play

Judy Young (author), Dana Sullivan (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704243

Meet Digger and Daisy! They are brother and sister. These dogs like to explore their world and see new things. Sometimes they agree with each other. Sometimes they disagree. But no matter the situation, one thing always stays the same--their love for each other. In playful, simple stories written especially for the K-1 audience, author Judy Young explores the dynamics and nuances of the sibling relationship. In Digger and Daisy Star in a Play, after being cast in a theatrical production, the siblings take different approaches in preparing for the stage. Digger is worried he will forget his lines, while Daisy is confident she doesn't need to rehearse.

Grandma's Christmas Wish

Helen Foster James (author), Petra Brown (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704298

There is nothing like a grandmother's love. This sweet story celebrates the special bond between grandma and grandchild at Christmas time. With a bedtime-friendly singsong rhythm and adorable holiday illustrations, this books is sure to charm children and grandmothers alike!

Love from a Star

Katherine Cutchin Gazzetta (author), Katherine Cutchin Gazzetta (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704595

In a tender story told in verse, a shining star reminds a little bear and his best bunny friend that they are loved, never alone and are always under God's loving care. Accompanied by delicate watercolor paintings by author/illustrator Katherine Cutchin Gazetta, the reassuring text reminds readers and listeners that all is well, making Love from a Star a comfort at bedtime or other difficult times in a childs life.

Digger and Daisy Go to the Doctor

Judy Young (author), Dana Sullivan (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537735

Meet Digger and Daisy! They are brother and sister. These dogs like to explore their world and see new things. Sometimes they agree with each other. Sometimes they disagree. But no matter the situation, one thing always stays the same--their love and concern for each other. In playful, simple stories written especially for the K-1 audience, author Judy Young explores the dynamics and nuances of the sibling relationship. In Digger and Daisy Go to the Doctor, Digger feels unwell and Daisy takes him to the doctor. But the checkup doesn't go as Daisy had planned.

Digger and Daisy Go to the City

Judy Young (author), Dana Sullivan (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621305

Meet Digger and Daisy! They are brother and sister. These dogs like to explore their world and see new things. Sometimes they agree with each other. Sometimes they disagree. But no matter the situation, one thing always stays the same--their love for each other. In playful, simple stories written especially for the K-1 audience, author Judy Young explores the dynamics and nuances of the sibling relationship. On a trip to the city Daisy gets to spend time shopping but she doesn't allow Digger to do anything, telling him he will get lost. But Digger finds a way to do what he wants.

Tallulah

Denise Brennan-Nelson (author), Susan Kathleen Hartung (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621329

Tallulah doesn't look like the other young mermaids living in the ocean. Her tail is a dull gray. And when all the other mermaids go on a quest to find the special gemstones that make their tails sparkle with color, Tallulah doesn't find her gemstone at all. When Turtle suggests that Tallulah searches the Great Lakes she is eager to give it a try, even though the other sea creatures believe mermaids don't belong in lakes. Tallulah explores the Great Lakes from north to south and east to west, until she finds a beautiful Petoskey stone and she realizes that she is finally exactly where she belongs.

The Flying Hand of Marco B.

Richard Leiter (author), Shahar Kober (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621336

A routine ride in the backseat of his parents' car takes a fantastical turn when a young boy opens the car door window. With the click of the seat belt and door locks, Marco B. is securely tucked into the backseat of his parents' car, heading out on a family errand. With the car window opened to the fresh air, this could be the start of any routine trip. But not if you're Marco B. and most certainly not if you're Marco B.'s hand! As the car travels along and the scenery rushes by, Marco B. puts his hand out the window and fantasizes about flying. And once his hand has felt the wind rushing around it, it has no intention of staying in the car. Marco B. soon finds himself on a wild ride up in the sky. Told in rhyming text.

Buster the Little Garbage Truck

Marcia Berneger (author), Kevin Zimmer (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621343

Buster is a sweet little garbage truck. He can't wait to grow up to be a big truck, just like his father. Buster practices driving and lifting and beeping with his friend, Kitty. There's one small problem. Loud noises frighten Buster. When his father takes him to the truck yard to meet the other vehicles, their air-horn blasts and roaring engines send Buster skidding away to hide. He wants to be big and brave, but how can he work with Daddy and his friends when their loud sounds scare him? Buster feels terrible. When Kitty gets into trouble, little Buster musters up his courage to save her.

The Legend of the Beaver's Tail

Stephanie Shaw (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621350

Long ago Beaver did not look like he does now. Yes, he had two very large front teeth, but his tail was not wide and flat. It was thick with silky fur. Vain Beaver is inordinately proud of his glorious tail. When he's not bragging about his tail, Beaver spends his time grooming it, while the other woodland creatures go about their business of finding food and shelter for their families. Eventually Beaver's boasting drives away his friends and he is left on his own. But when his tail is flattened in an accident (of his own making), Beaver learns to value its new shape and seeks to make amends with his friends. Based on an Ojibwe legend.

S is for Sleeping Bear Dunes: A National Lakeshore Alphabet

Kathy-jo Wargin (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781633621381

Following the alphabet this book uses poetry and expository text to explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which is located along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Named for its famed dunes, this national part was designated the "Most Beautiful Place in America" in 2011 on ABC's Good Morning America show. Topics include the park's many natural features such as its dune formations, beaches, and forests, as well as its numerous cultural attractions, including an 1871 lighthouse.

Grandma's Nursery Rhymes: Old MacDonald

Petra Brown (illustrator), Petra Brown (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704199

From the artist of the best-selling Grandma Loves You picture book comes the classic nursery rhyme in board book form. Toddlers will enjoy following along as Grandma MacDonald and her barnyard critters look for chick-chicks. Includes animal sounds activity page.

Grandma's Nursery Rhymes: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Petra Brown (illustrator), Petra Brown (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704205

From the artist of the best-selling Grandma Loves You picture book comes the classic nursery rhyme in board book form. Toddlers will enjoy following along as Grandma lends a helping hand when the spider needs it most. Includes count-the-insects activity page.

The Legend of Mackinac Island

Kathy-jo Wargin (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535960

A beautiful tale of the painted turtle Makinauk, his animal friends, and their discovery of new lands and long-lasting friendship.

The Legend of Michigan

Trinka Hakes Noble (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627535977

Long, long ago, the ancient people of the forest gathered around warm fires and told the tale of a time long past, when the land known as "Michigane" was covered with ice and snow. For thousands of years the cruel North Wind ruled the land North of Up North, chasing away the gentle, benevolent winds from the East, West and South. Winter stayed the whole year round, so nothing could live in Michigane. Not until an old warrior and a young boy traveled through the frigid cold with nothing but warm hearts and an old pair of mittens was there hope that the frozen land would eventually come to life.Trinka Hakes Noble is the noted author of numerous award-winning picture books including The Scarlet Stockings Spy, the ever-popular Jimmy's Boa series and Meanwhile Back at the Ranch (both featured on Reading Rainbow). Her many awards include ALANotable Children's Book, Booklist Children's Editors' Choice, IRA-CBC Children's Choice, Learning: The Year's Ten Best, and several Junior Literary Guild Selections. Trinka makes her home in Bernardsville, New Jersey. The Legend of Michigan is the 20th book that Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen has illustrated for Sleeping Bear Press. His other titles include The Legend of Sleeping Bear, the #1 Midwest bestselling Legend of the Petoskey Stone, and Texas Bluebonnet runner-up Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot. Gijsbert and his family live in Bath, Michigan.

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.

Digger and Daisy Go On a Picnic

Judy Young (author), Dana Sullivan (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537254

Meet Digger and Daisy! They are brother and sister. These dogs like to explore their world and see new things. Sometimes they agree with each other. Sometimes they disagree. But no matter the situation, one thing always stays the same--their love and concern for each other. In playful, simple stories written especially for the K-1 audience, author Judy Young explores the dynamics and nuances of the sibling relationship. In Digger and Daisy Go on a Picnic, Digger and Daisy walk to the park for a picnic. On the way there Digger's keen sense of smell leads him to explore his surroundings, ending up with an encounter with a skunk.

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.

Bear and Bird

James Skofield (author), Jennifer Thermes (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537308

One spring evening an old bear finds a young bird, still learning to fly, has fallen to the ground. When the bear lifts the bird to safety, a friendship begins. Bear and Bird soon become constant companions, spending their days together, searching out berries and watching out for one another. They are only separated during the winter months when Bear hibernates and Bird flies south. As the years pass, their friendship grows stronger. Then one spring day, when Bird returns from his winter trip, Bear is not there to greet him. Days and then weeks pass and still no Bear. When Bird finally learns why his dear friend is absent, memories of their time together bring comfort and acceptance. In this tale of an unlikely but loving friendship, the cycle of life, including its joys and its sorrows, is gently explored.