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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.

J is for Jack-O'-Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet

Denise Brennan-Nelson (author), Donald Wu (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366019

Who lit the first jack-o'-lantern? What creature of the night must return to his grave by dawn? And why do we holler "Trick or treat"? J is for Jack-O'-Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet invites you to come along on this A-Z adventure and celebration of all things that "go bump in the night." Poetry and prose combine to entertain and educate. H is for Haunted House A haunted house; you better beware. Only enter if you dare. Monsters lurking, looking mean-- Just can't wait to make you scream! Classic autumn games, jokes, and recipes (including gooey deviled egg eyeballs!) help round out the Halloween festivities. Atmospheric artwork blends just enough fun with fright to provide the perfect backdrop. One of Denise Brennan-Nelson's favorite Halloween memories is of her daughters wearing homemade skunk costumes, since the girls are "Mommy's little stinkers." Her other books include Willow and Buzzy the bumblebee. When she's not visiting schools to speak to schoolchildren and teachers, Denise is at home in Howell, Michigan. Born in Hong Kong, Donald Wu grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. He studied illustration at the California College of the Arts. Donald's current focus is in children's book illustration, but he also has experience with portraiture and editorial artwork. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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.

P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet

Joy Steiner Stan Steiner (author), Jocelyn Slack (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585367566

Continuing the great Discover American State By State series is P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet. That's right, Idaho! Sleeping Bear Press explores the lush land and rich history of a state so often overlooked. Kids of all ages will love the A to Z rhymes boasting about all the riches found within Idaho's borders - from the Appaloosa steed to the zinc mines to Mount Borah, to, you knew we couldn't forget it, the potato. Every page expands on the rhyme and introduces the readers to more interesting facts, places and people that have helped make Idaho the unique treasure it is. Lyrically written by Idaho's own husband and wife team, Stan and Joy Steiner, P is for Potato excels through the love and knowledge of their home state. The text comes dancing to brilliant life behind the talented strokes of illustrator - and Idaho native -- Jocelyn Slack's brush. P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet is as unique as Idaho itself. It's rare to find a children's book on our 43rd state, but it's a great discovery to when you can offer one this well done.

C is for Cornhusker: A Nebraska Alphabet

Rajean Luebs Shepherd (author), Sandy Appleoff (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585367009

Arbor Day, Boys Town, and Kool-Aid are just a few of the marks the Great Plains state of Nebraska has made on American culture. From the state's eastern border along the Missouri River, where Lewis and Clark embarked on the Corps of Discovery expedition, to the towering geologic landmarks of the west, chronicled in pioneers' journals, there are treasures to explore on each page of C is for Cornhusker: A Nebraska Alphabet.Rajean Luebs Shepherd was raised in Michigan and has a degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University. After graduating, she traveled the world for ten years with the international performing group Up With People. A substitute teacher, Rajean enjoys sharing her favorite children's books with her students. She lives with her family in North Platte, Nebraska. With over twenty years in commercial illustration, Sandy Appleoff's work has appeared in a range of venues from corporate advertising, to magazines to children's books to large-scale installation murals. She has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Colorado Mountain College in Aspen. Currently she is teaching and working on an MFA in stage and costume design at the University of Kansas. Sandy lives on a farm in Falls City, Nebraska.

Boris and Stella and the Perfect Gift

Dara Goldman (author), Dara Goldman (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627530477

Boris is a musician, playing the songs he learned growing up in Russia. Stella is a baker, baking cakes and pastries like her father used to back in Italy. Boris and Stella live in the city and are best friends. They like movies, hats, and each other. At holiday time, Stella wants to give Boris the perfect present for Hanukkah. She wants him to know how special he is. Boris wants to give Stella the perfect present for Christmas: she means so much to him. But perfect presents cost money and their bank savings contain very little. To make their dreams of perfect presents come true, Boris and Stella each sacrifice something very special. In a nod to O. Henrys The Gift of the Magi comes this tender story celebrating traditions, friendships, and gifts from the heart.

W is for Wind: A Weather Alphabet

Pat Michaels (author), Melanie Rose (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531962

Would you like to know the difference between cirrus and cumulus clouds? How much does our atmosphere weigh? W is for Wind: A Weather Alphabet is a swirl of information that answers these questions and many more. Readers will learn that yes, our atmosphere has weight! And if it's sunny, chances are it's heavy. When the atmosphere is lighter, grab your galoshes! W is for Wind is one well-informed children's book from the Sleeping Bear Press family that puts the emphasis on fun and function. It lets children learn all about the weather in a relaxed engaging manner. Professional weatherman and storm tracker Pat Michaels spins the stories on everything from tornadoes and hurricanes to rainbows and evaporation with gusto. His rhymes thunder through the alphabet with excitement and his factual text resonates like the Northern Lights. Readers will turn the pages with lightning quickness to get to the next weather condition and with each page turned they'll be treated to the mystical illustrations of Canadian-born artist Melanie Rose. Perfect in the classroom or the home, W is for Wind captures the love affair we all have with weather. It the perfect complement to a science lesson or to help explain to children what exactly happens when water freezes and much more with easy-to-understand language. Enriching, enlightening and educational could easily be the "E" in this one-of-a-kind weather alphabet book.

E is for Enchantment: A New Mexico Alphabet

Helen Foster James (author), Neecy Twinem (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366316

New Mexico rightly earns its nickname "Land of Enchantment" with natural treasures such as the White Sands National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns, and the Gila National Forest. But more than a beautiful landscape, New Mexico is steeped in the mystique, history, and tradition of multiple cultures, including the ancient Aztec and early Spanish explorers. From pueblo villages and stately missions to the nuclear energy research at Los Alamos, E is for Enchantment showcases the past, present, and future of New Mexico. Helen Foster James has been an educator for more than twenty years, and is now a lecturer at San Diego State University. She received her doctorate from Northern Arizona University. One of her goals is to travel to all fifty states, and she's already visited more than half. She lives in San Diego, California, with big stacks of children's books and her husband Bob. Neecy Twinem is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator of more than seventeen published books. She earned a fine arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has exhibited her artwork in the United States and Europe. After a family trip to northern New Mexico, Neecy fell in love with the Southwest and now makes her home in the natural surroundings of the Sandia Mountains area.

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.

Stella Batts None of Your Beeswax

Courtney Sheinmel (author), Jennifer A. Bell (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537766

Can you keep a secret? Stella Batts has a lot of secrets to keep these days--there's the secret of what really happened to her little sister's pet fish, and there's the secret school project she's working on with her friend Lucy, and there's the secret on the second floor of her family's candy store. Actually, Stella doesn't know the candy store secret yet, because her dad won't tell her. Even though she's eight years old, and that's old enough to be trusted! Stella hasn't told any of her other secrets all week, and some of her other friends are feeling left out. But that's the problem with being told a secret: You have to keep it!

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 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.

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.

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.

Stella Batts Something Blue

Courtney Sheinmel (author), Jennifer A. Bell (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537339

The Batts family has arrived at a hotel in Los Angeles and everything is all set for Aunt Lauras wedding weekend. Stella and Penny are going to be getting a new uncle, and a new cousin! Plus, they get to be flower girls, and wear fancy dresses, and walk down the aisle throwing rose petals. Its going to be perfect--just the way Aunt Laura has imagined it. Just the way Stella has imagined it, too. But sometimes a wedding doesn't happen the way anyone thinks it will--including the bride. Things are starting to go wrong, and Stella is worried that its all her fault!

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.

The Legend of Sleeping Bear

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

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531795

It started with a mother's love... Fleeing from a forest fire, a mother bear urges her two cubs into the watery shelter of a vast body of water. Though it will be difficult, she knows if they can swim across to the opposite shore, they will be safe. With calls of encouragement and steadfast love, Mother Bear guides her cubs across the great lake, Lake Michigan. And the story of what happens once Mother Bear reaches the far shore becomes the legend behind the natural wonder known as Sleeping Bear Dune. In 1998 writer Kathy-jo Wargin and nature artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen combined their talents to bring The Legend of Sleeping Bear to life. Published to wide acclaim, the book was soon named the Official Children's Book of Michigan.

The Legend of the Loon

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

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531818

The fantastic Legend team of Kathy-jo Wargin and Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen have another beautiful book to add to the Sleeping Bear and Mackinac Island stories. A Grandmother's love for her grandchildren is magically portrayed in "The Legend of the Loon". A perfect addition to your collection, this book remains true to the heartwarming qualities you've come to expect from these legendary storytellers.

T is for Touchdown: A Football Alphabet

Brad Herzog (author), Mark Braught (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531993

The sounds of autumn include the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot and the thump of the kickoff starting the first home football game. Sleeping Bear Press is proud to continue our bestselling sports series with Tis for Touchdown: A Football Alphabet. Sports writer Brad Herzog's easy-to-read-aloud rhymes engage even the youngest of readers, while hardcore fans can devour the detailed expository that covers the sport of the pigskin, from A-Z and end zone to end zone. Plays and players are just a few of the topics covered. Brad Herzog's first job as a newspaper sports reporter allowed him to travel with the Cornell University football team. He has been writing about the game ever since. A past Grand Gold Medal Award winner from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Brad has written more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction children's books. Brad lives on California's Monterey Peninsula. Mark Braught's sixteen years of professional experience has earned him prestigious awards from The American Advertising Federation (ADDY), Communications Art, the NYArt Directors Club, and the Society of Illustrators, to name a few. He lives in Commerce, Georgia. Touchdown is his third book with Sleeping Bear Press.