By Dev Petty
Illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Curriculum Subject: Humor: General, Personal Development: Friendship
What can you do with two blobs of clay? Create something amazing! But don’t leave them alone for too long. Things might get a little crazy.
In this photographic friendship adventure, the claymates squish, smash, and sculpt themselves into the funniest shapes imaginable. But can they fix a giant mess before they’re caught in the act?
★ “The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own. ” —Kirkus
★ “Petty’s punchy, dialogue-only narrative and newcomer Eldridge’s expressive sculpture give these clay buddies a surplus of personality…. a giddy mix of naive and naughty.” —Publishers Weekly
By Refe and Susan Tuma
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Curriculum Subject: Family Life: School, Humor: General, Adventure: Animals, Personal Development: Self-Discovery
Every November, writer and social media master Refe Tuma and his wife, Susan, work into the night to bring their four children scenes from the secret lives of their toys–specifically the nighttime antics of their plastic dinosaurs. But in the follow-up to the hit What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night, these scampish dinosaurs make the trip to school, hidden in a kid’s backpack. Each scene is photographed in meticulous detail, letting viewers joyfully suspend disbelief and think to themselves–just LOOK at what these diminutive dinos did at school!
“The husband-and-wife team of “Dinovember” fame pose their plastic dinosaurs with props and use perspective masterfully to stage their scenes. Those new to school will be treated to a rather different view of the place and some clever uses of the supplies they have waiting for their own first days. Better add plastic dinosaurs to the shopping list—kids will want in on the fun.” —Kirkus
“The compositions are excellent, the props adorable (tiny lab coats in the science room, a mop-turned-wig for a T. rex), and the hyperbolic narration sustains a fever pitch.” —Publishers Weekly
By Jennifer Brown
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Curriculum Subjects: Personal Development: Friendship, Teen Life: Personal Development, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality
Ashleigh’s boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh’s friends suggest that she text him a picture of herself—sans swimsuit—to take with him. Before she can change her mind, Ashleigh has snapped a photo and hit “send.”
But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb forwards the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. In the midst of the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone— until she meets Mack at community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he’s the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh’s photo and didn’t look.
Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown delivers a gripping novel about honesty, betrayal, redemption, and friendship, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn’t always tell the whole story.
★ “Thousand Words is a powerful, timely, and compulsively readable story…This is an excellent choice for book discussions and a must-purchase for all libraries.” —VOYA
By Patrick McDonnell
Illustrated by Naoko Stoop
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Curriculum Subject: Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance; Emotions & Feelings; Animals: Marine Life
Hoshi the sea star looks up in the sky and sees the stars shining. She wishes that she too could be in the sky amongst the brilliant stars—and as she imagines how much better it would be up in the air, she fails to appreciate the beautiful world that surrounds her underwater. It takes Hoshi’s friends, old and new, to help her realize that her shine comes from within. With gorgeous illustrations depicting colorful underwater life, Shine! teaches about the wonders that can be found inside ourselves.
Naoko’s gorgeous use of plywood as the canvas for her work offers the perfect texture and pattern to evoke waves and sea currents in the underwater scenes.
“Stoop’s art imbues Hoshi with humor and a sweet appeal… This title will be useful in helping children identify and resolve difficult feelings.” —Booklist
“Stoop’s mixed-media artwork adds richness and depth. The many sea creatures, painted on wood grain, are identifiable—scarlet coral, a green crab—and the scenes gain beauty from graded washes of sky and water.” —Publishers Weekly
“The use of a plywood canvas—to which acrylic, pencil, pastel, and ink have been applied and digitally manipulated—cleverly allows the grain of the wood to become the irregular lines of the ocean current or the heat radiating from the sun. The artist employs pattern, color, and scale to create surprises as the pages turn when Hoshi is imagining the wonders in the heavens (while missing the school of minnows, the vibrant coral, and the enormous whale passing by)… Lovely.” —School Library Journal
By Ame Dyckman
Illustrated by Liz Climo
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Pets, Humor: General, Personal Development: Responsibility
Be careful what pet you wish for in the newest picture book from fan-favorite author Ame Dyckman and rising-star illustrator Liz Climo.
When a little boy throws a coin in a well asking for a pet unicorn, he has no idea what kind of trouble he’s in for. Unbeknownst to him, unicorns make the absolutely worst pets: they shed, they poke holes in your ceiling, and they make a big mess. With a knowing wink from Ame Dyckman, creator of Wolfie the Bunny and cheerful illustrations from Rory the Dinosaur creator and Tumblr star Liz Climo, this rollicking story shares all of the ways a pet unicorn can ruin your life, and is sure to have readers in stitches.
“Imaginative fun throughout.” —Booklist
“The tone of the wry, bemused narrator is perfect…and the target audience will likely be eager for a repeat listen.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Climo’s rainbow-bright illustrations take Dyckman’s silly premise to a whole new level of absurdity…. This is a crowd-pleaser, complete with cupcake poops and rainbow burps, and…a welcoming and unobtrusive gender-nonconforming vibe.”—The Horn Book
“Climo creates gleeful unicorn havoc… a lot of mischievous fun.” —Publishers Weekly
By Jerry Pinkney
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Animals, Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Animals, Personal Development: Conflict Resolution, Adventure: Monsters
Jerry Pinkney puts his indelible stamp on another beloved folktale in the same vein as the Caldecott Medal-winning The Lion & the Mouse and the highly acclaimed The Tortoise & the Hare and The Grasshopper & the Ants.
When the three billy goats Gruff are hungry, they see bountiful grass to eat across an old bridge. But the bridge is home to a terrible troll, who is peckish himself, and looking for a tasty morsel to gobble up. In his interpretation of the timeless tale, Jerry Pinkney shows there’s little good to come from greed–but in the end, redemption for even the most trollish bully is possible. A dramatic gatefold heightens the climax of this brilliant rendition.
★ “Pinkney’s creative interpretation adds drama and a touch of morality to this well-known tale… Beautiful, exciting, and memorable retelling.” —Booklist
★ “This will be a sterling introduction to a classic for young kids—the human kind. An excellent and informative note explains Pinkney’s adaptation choices, and the closing endpaper gives a peek at the new goat-friendly troll. ” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
★ “Pinkney’s graceful note invites readers to ponder issues of forgiveness, redemption, and peaceful coexistence in a terrific tale well-suited to family and group read-alouds.” —Kirkus
★ “Pinkney is generous with his gifts; his paintings are splendid, nuanced, and unfailingly entertaining.” —Publishers Weekly
★ “With a seasoned storyteller’s ear for language and an extraordinary mastery of his medium, this wise and gentle bookmaker helps readers see that cleverness, community, and confrontation all have a time and place in dealing with a bully. Sure to become a storytime staple.” —School Library Journal
Elise Parsley studied drawing and creative writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead. During college, Elise also volunteered over 1800 hours helping kids read and learn through an AmeriCorps academic enrichment program in the Fargo, ND elementary school system. Now she helps kids read and learn through writing and illustrating humorous children’s books.
Elise’s debut picture book, If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, DON’T! earned a spot on the New York Times bestseller list. She has since released the second book in the “Magnolia Says DON’T!” series, titled If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T! and has a third adventure, If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, DON’T! coming in May 2017.
What to Expect from a School Visit:
Elise Parsley loves school and library visits, big time! She infuses each presentation with energy, humor, and loads of crowd interaction. Audiences can expect to hear a story (or two if there’s time!) and watch a step-by-step drawing demonstration that teaches kids how to improve their own art or includes a word game. As an added option, Elise can also share how she makes picture books (spoiler alert: it includes lots of writing and drawing and re-writing and re-drawing!). Elise has also been known to haul a keyboard along with her for brief, but fantastic, dance parties. Of course, there’s always a Q&A time from both students and adults, and Elise loves to cap off each visit by signing books and chatting with kids.
Interested in a visit from Elise Parsley? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn More About Elise Parsley’s Books:
By Brandy Colbert
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Curriculum Subject: Mental Illness; LGBT; Alternative Family; Siblings; Girls & Women; Prejudice & Racism
Grades: 10 & up
When Suzette returns to Los Angeles from the boarding school where she was forced to spend the past semester, she’s uncertain of whether she wants to return to Massachusetts or stay in California. CA is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil); and her step-brother Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. When Suzette and Lionel begin to fall in love with the same girl, however, Lionel’s disorder takes a turn for the worse and spirals out of control, forcing Suzette to confront her own demons. Having betrayed a secret girlfriend in her boarding school, allowing her to take the brunt of homophobic bullying, Suzette must face her own past mistakes, come to terms with her bisexuality, and find a way to help her brother, before he hurts himself–or worse.