No Small Thing

Full of heart and humor, this coming-of-age tale is no small thing — the tale of a boy’s search for love and identity in the face of longing, abandonment, and uncertainty.When twelve-year-old Nathaniel and his two sisters discover an ad in the paper for a free pony, they can hardly believe their luck. But what will their mother say? Mom’s been having a hard time ever since Dad walked out on them four years ago. But caring for a pony might keep Nat and his older sister, Cid, from bickering, and it would mean so much to eight-year-old Queenie. It takes some serious persuasion — and a promise to use Nat’s paper route money for the pony’s keep — but Mom finally relents.And so begins a year of self-discovery, as Nat struggles to deal with his father’s absence; look out for his younger sister, who is “different”; and recover from having his heart broken by a rich, pretty girl from school. Life is not always easy, but Nat knows that Smokey, his very own pony, will be waiting for him at the end of each day. Or will he?

Queen On Wednesday

On Wednesday, Thelma is bored—so she decides to become a queen. She makes the royal announcement on Thursday and chooses the royal pets on Friday. But she needs a castle to keep the pets, and royally qualified trainers to tame them, and of course someone to clean up after the messes. It’s enough to give a queen a royal headache. And when Thelma realizes that there aren’t enough beds to hold her royal staff, she flings off her crown and decides that maybe being a regular girl isn’t so boring after all.

Kaytek The Wizard

Kaytek, a mischievous schoolboy, is surprised to discover that he is able to perform magic spells and change reality. He begins to lead a double life as a powerful wizard in the dress of an ordinary boy. Kaytek has great fun using magic to cause strange incidents in his school and neighborhood, but soon his increasing powers cause major chaos around the city of Warsaw. Disillusioned, he leaves the country and wanders the world searching for the meaning of his unique abilities and their consequences.

It’s Our Nature

elieving that animals have feelings, Orozco suggests that humans could learn how to live more harmoniously by looking at how various creatures behave. She gives 10 examples of how specific animals demonstrate tolerance, responsibility, generosity, community, communication, trust, commitment, altruism, and brotherhood. For instance, female elephants generously nurse and protect younger elephants even if the babies are not their own. Wildebeests tolerate zebras that mix in with their herds for protection from predators. Other animals represented include the howler monkey, flamingo, dolphin, armadillo, crocodile, octopus, penguin, and wolf. Each behavior is explained on a spread, accompanied by a simple illustration. Cottin places minimally detailed animal shapes into spare habitats, giving the pages an uncluttered, clean appearance. The art is done in combinations of soft and gentle blues, pinks, grays, yellows, and greens with added browns, black, and white. Bright orange endpapers contrast with the lighter color choices. This attractive title successfully introduces children to different traits that contribute to congenial living and is appropriate for group sharing or individual browsing. It differs from many other animal books because of its emphasis on humans learning from animal behaviors.

Welcome To Silver Street Farm

What are three city friends to do when a couple of newly adopted baby poodles turn out to be rotten hatch into ducklings?  For Gemma, Meera, and Karl, the answer’s easy– turn the abandoned train station into a city farm!  Throw in a friendly policeman, a chicken-herding dog, and a pair of runaway goats, and you’ve got yourself the start of Silver Street Farm– the little farm in the big city.