A Long Way From Chicago

long wayWhat happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice–two city slickers from Chicago–make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel’s seemingly sleepy Illinois town?August 1929: They see their first corpse, and he isn’t resting easy.August 1930: The Cowgilll boys terrorize the town, and Grandma fights back with a dead mouse and a bottle of milk.August 1931: Joey and Mary Alice help Grandma to trespass, pinch property, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry–all in one day.And there’s more–much more–as Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma’s, each one funnier and more surprising than the year before. In the grand storytelling tradition of American humorists from Mark Twain to Flannelly O’Connor, Richard Peck has created a memorable world filled with characters who, like Grandma herself, are larger than life and twice as entertaining. And year round, you are sure to enjoy your stay with them.

By The Dawn’s Early Light – Spanish (Libros Colibri)

This Spanish translation of the gentle story By the Dawn’s Early Light reflects an experience familiar to many Spanish-speaking children: life in a household where the parent works at night. There isn’t much time to see Mama; but sometimes, early in the morning, Raquel hears her mother come home. She wakes her brother and they go downstairs to share some quiet time with Mama. Full color.

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale

Carmen Agra Deedy delivers a deliciously inventive Cuban version of the beloved Martina folktale, complete with a dash of café cubano.

Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn t know coffee beans about love and marriage. That s where her Cuban family comes in. While some of the Cucarachas offer her gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her something really useful: un consejo increible, some shocking advice.

You want me to do what? Martina gasps.

At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela s unorthodox suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails The Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love. Soon, only the gardener Pérez, a tiny brown mouse, is left. But what will happen when Martina offers him café Cubano?

After reading this sweet and witty retelling of the Cuban folktale, you ll never look at a cockroach the same way again.