The summer of 1983 was the summer hip-hop proved its staying power. The South Bronx is steeped in Reaganomics, war in the Middle East, and the twin epidemics of crack and AIDS, but Raymond “Smiles” King and Guillermo “Nike” Vega have more immediate concerns. Smiles was supposed to be the assistant crew chief at his summer camp, but the director chose Cookie Camacho instead, kicking off a summer-long rivalry. Meanwhile, the aspiring b-boy Nike has set his wandering eye on Sara, the sweet yet sassy new camp counselor, as well as top prize at a breakdancing competition downtown. The two friends have been drifting apart ever since Smiles got a scholarship to a fancy private school, and this summer the air is heavy with postponed decisions that will finally be made.
Bunnies Binny, Benny, Bernie, Bonnie, and Buddy love doing everything together until Hoppelpopp, a great big rabbit, challenges them to a competition that will determine which of them is the best.
“There once was a bear, a moose and a beaver who loved adventure. But sometimes their competitive natures got in the way of having fun.” One day, the three set off to climb a mountain together. But on the way there, they decide to make it more exciting by turning the climb into a race to the top. It’s only after being sidelined by a series of mishaps — a boulder tumbling down the path, the moose hanging off the side of the cliff, the bear hanging off the moose hanging off the side of the cliff — that the three friends realize competitions don’t always make for a good time.
Princesses Mellie, Allie, and Libby are back in another rollicking, royal adventure. When the girls begin to argue about which princess is the prettiest in the land, they decide to hold a contest.
Get ready, get set, GO! A group of caribou gather together to run a race. Starting at the beginning of the course, readers join in the fun as the caribou engage in some rather outlandish tricks in order to be the first to cross the finish line. (Banana skins, for example, are an effective way to get rid of some opponents.) But in the midst of this titanic struggle for victory, some of the caribou stop to question the merits of their single-minded pursuit of winning at all costs. In the end, the reader is left to decide who the real winner is in this cautionary tale about the ups and downs of winning and losing. Illustrations are cut-paper collage.
Ondu-ahlem carefully trains his pigeons and prepares them for the day when he and other Ethiopian boys test the homing instinct and loyalty of their precious birds.
Outside the King’s palace grows an enormous tree, its top hidden in the clouds. It’s so tall that no one has ever climbed to the top or collected any of its seeds. Rosa’s stepmother and stepsister Irma always call her a monkey because she can climb anything from drainpipes to trees. So when the King proclaims that whoever brings down seeds from the tree will marry his son, strong and sprightly Rosa decides to make her stepfamily regret their words. Shelley Fowles’s enchanting, faux-naïf illustrations highlight this gloriously funny adaptation of a traditional Hungarian folktale.
Christmas from a wombat’s point of view, including competition for the carrots children have left out for Santa’s reindeer, and guess who gets stuck in the chimney?
Helen and her fabled-beast friends help Rona the selkie in a Storm Singer competition. Rona wins by singing up an incredible storm, but part of the prize is to represent the selkies in a much bigger contest. Rona must compete in three gruelling challenges against a mermaid and a blue loon, and carry an important message between the deep sea powers, which will stop them going to war. She desperately needs the help of Helen and her friends. But a giant jellyfish and a terrifying conger eel are among those who will do anything to stop the message of peace getting through. Fans of Helen’s first two adventures will be eagerly awaiting this third thrilling instalment. Set in the north of Scotland, this story introduces yet more fabled beasts inspired by Scottish sea creatures and folklore.
Fresh off his success in solving the Marco Polo murders, Neil FlambÉ heads to Mexico City to take part in the Azteca Cocina — a two-week battle of the chefs. But things start to go wrong at the very first battle: Neil’s box of secret ingredients contains a note inside, telling him that Isabella has been kidnapped. He must lose in the final, or else she’ll be killed! To save Isabella, Neil will need Larry’s knowledge of Mexican history and Spanish, Sean Nakamura’s portable forensic lab, and Angel Jicama’s mentorship. He’ll have to delve into Aztec history, symbolism, and even into the real ruins that are buried under the modern city.