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Claymates

Claymates cover

Claymates

By Dev Petty

Illustrated by Lauren Eldridge

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Humor: General, Personal Development: Friendship

Grades: Pre-K-3rd

 

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?

 

Claymates in the Classroom Activity Kit

 

PRAISE

★ “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

 

VIDEOS

 

What the Dinosaurs Did At School

What the Dinosaurs Did at School cover

What the Dinosaurs Did at School

By Refe and Susan Tuma

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: School, Humor: General, Adventure: Animals, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grades: Pre-K-3rd

 

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!

 

 

 

PRAISE

“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

 

VIDEO

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Storyboarding and the Origami Dinosaur Battle that Almost Was

Location Scouting and the Curse of the Flooded 3rd Grade Hallway

You DON’T Want A Unicorn!

You Don't Want A Unicorn coverYou Don’t Want a Unicorn!

By Ame Dyckman

Illustrated by Liz Climo

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Pets, Humor: General, Personal Development: Responsibility

Grades: Pre-K-3rd

 

Storytime Kit

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.

 

PRAISE

“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

 

VIDEOS

The Unlikelies

The Unlikelies cover

The Unlikelies

By Carrie Firestone

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Humorous Stories; Romance; Social Themes: Class Differences; Diversity & Multicultural

Grades: 9 & up

 

Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.

 

Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie’s summer changes for the better when she’s introduced to other “hometown heroes.” These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships–and anonymity–intact?

 

This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.

The Fitzgerald-Trouts

Look Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts coverLook Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts

By Esta Spalding

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Conflict Resolution, Personal Development: Responsibility

Grades: 3-7

 

Meet the Fitzgerald-Trouts, a band of four loosely related children living together in a lush tropical island. They take care of themselves. They sleep in their car, bathe in the ocean, eat fish they catch and fruit they pick, and can drive anywhere they need to go–to the school, the laundromat, or the drive-in. If they put their minds to it, the Fitzgerald-Trouts can do anything. Even, they hope, find a real home.

 

 

Knock About With The Fitzgerald-Trouts coverKnock About With The Fitzgerald-Trouts

By Esta Spalding

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Conflict Resolution, Personal Development: Responsibility

Grades: 3-7

 

Welcome to the further adventures of the plucky Fitzgerald-Trout siblings, who live on a tropical island where the grown-ups are useless, but the kids can drive. In this second installment, the delightfully self-reliant siblings continue their search for a home. This time, their pursuit will bring them face-to-face with a flood, illegal carnivorous plants, and the chance to win an extraordinary prize at a carnival. Will they finally find a place to call home?

 

PRAISE

“Have you ever wanted to live on an island filled with selfish grownups and blood-sucking iguanas hiding in a dark and mysterious forest? Me neither. But the brave and inventive Fitzgerald-Trouts have such fascinating lives that I just might reconsider–as soon as I read this glorious book again, at least twice. I salute thee, Fitzgerald-Trouts!”—Lemony Snicket, author of the bestselling series All the Wrong Questions

 

“Spalding’s playful tone takes the edge off the neglectful parents and dire circumstances, largely thanks to the plucky, self-reliant kids who know (rightly) they are better off on their own.” —Booklist

 

“The Boxcar Children meet Dahl in a Hawaii-like setting here and it’s all sorts of fun, with just enough snarkiness to add edge to the charm and wonder. A clever but subtle twist at the end adds even more amusement, and the overall effect is as pleasing as a tropical breeze.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 

“A touch of Everything on a Waffle weirdness; a touch of The Willoughbys sendup; and a warm, genial, wholly original voice.” —Horn Book

 

“Readers will root for the spunky youngsters [and] relate to the kids’ simple desires for a normal life, complete with goldfish in bowls and room to sleep.”—School Library Journal

Tek

Tek: The Modern Cave Boy coverTEK

The Modern Cave Boy

By Patrick McDonnell

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Family Life: Daily Life and Play

Grades: PreK-3rd

 

Listen to Author Interview Storytime Kit

Tek is a cave boy in love with tech: his tablet, videogames, phone, and TV keep him deep in his cave, glued to his devices, day in and day out. He never sees his friends or family anymore—and his ability to communicate has devolved to just one word: “UGH”! Can anyone in the village convince Tek to unplug and come outside into the big, beautiful world?

 

A distinctive package and design cleverly evokes the experience of using an electronic device that eventually shuts down… and after a magic page turn, Tek (and the reader) reconnects with the real world.

 

PRAISE

★ “McDonnell’s ever-cute creatures deliver the story’s tech-addiction message with a grin, and clever references abound, from the fish that crawls up on land and evolves into a fanged cat to the buffering icon that accompanies Tek’s ‘reboot.'” —Publishers Weekly

 

“McDonnell blends the prehistoric with the present to send a clever reminder to young readers that beyond their electronic realm there is a world waiting to be explored. In an uproariously absurd plot—right down to little Tek’s caveman beard—pages reflect the differences between Tek’s technological world and the great outdoors, shifting from limited scenes set in a tablet format (complete with connectivity and battery icons) to colorful full-page illustrations. Good, snarky fun for parents and kids.” —Booklist

 

VIDEOS

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes

 Adventurers Guide to Successful Escapes coverThe Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes

By Wade Albert White

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Adventure: Mysteries

Grades: 3-7

 

Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin’s Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes–or face the horrible consequences.

 

Packed with action, humor, and endless heart, this debut novel marks the first volume in an irresistible and original fantasy series.

 

 

PRAISE

 

“Tongue-in-cheek writing keeps the story funny and fresh. fast pacing—not to mention dragons and robots—will keep readers invested in this lighthearted new series.” —Booklist

 

“Ridiculous yet nail-biting action, this is a highly distinctive, smart take on the fantasy novel. Readers will find a humorous tale of adventure, friendship, and courage, all led by a brown-skinned protagonist.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

“The first in a fantasy adventure series with a unique crew of characters, this will tickle funny bones and leave readers awaiting the next installment.” —School Library Journal

If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t!

Piano to the Beach coverIf You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t!

By Elise Parsley

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Animals, Family Life: School, Personal Development: Individuality

Grades: Pre-K-1st

 

Storytime Kit Coloring Pages

If your mom says to get ready to play at the beach, she means with a boat, or a Frisbee, or a shovel. She is NOT talking about the piano. But Magnolia is a little girl with a big idea, determination, and one very heavy upright piano that, she insists, she needs to take with her. What’s the worst that can happen? In a riotous series of mishaps, Magnolia quickly learns that–not surprisingly–a piano doesn’t mix well with sand, sun, and seagulls!

 

PRAISE

“Magnolia’s voice is wonderfully childlike… her facial expressions top all, perfectly capturing both her exuberance and her mood swings. A delightful demonstration of just one of many things not to take to the beach; the brainstorming possibilities are endless.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

“Magnolia’s wiser-than-thou narration and Parsley’s energetic illustrations are in perfect comic sync.” —Publishers Weekly

VIDEO

The New Guy

The New Guy

(And Other Senior Year Distractions)

By Amy Spalding

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality, Teen Life: School, Personal Development: Character Development

Grades: 7 & up

 

What’s the only thing that could derail overachiever Jules’s perfect senior year? Alex Powell–former member of boy-band sensation Chaos 4 All and newest transfer to Eagle Vista Academy.

 

Alex seems cool enough when he starts spending time with Jules. In fact, he turns out to be quite the romantic (not to mention a killer kisser). And after getting over the initial shock that someone like Alex might actually like like her, Jules accepts that having a boyfriend could be a nice addition to her packed schedule. That is, until Alex commits the ultimate betrayal, which threatens to ruin her high school career, and possibly her entire future.

 

 

PRAISE

“The sparks that fly between Jules and Alex, the ex-boy band star and newest addition to the senior class, are hot enough to make them a couple worth rooting for.” —Kirkus Review

 

“Spalding excels at creating flawed characters whose own issues and mistakes propel the plot forward…this book will appeal to those who want a gentle high school drama with a touch of romance.” —School Library Journal

 

“The internal conflict between her drive to succeed and her attraction to Alex make Jules the most dynamic character…Jules’s first-person narration pulls the reader into her thoughts and feelings, and her dialogue creates a sense of immediacy.” —VOYA

 

VIDEOS

The Memory Book

memory bookThe Memory Book

By Lara Avery

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Loss, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality

Grades: 10th & up

 

Sammie McCoy is a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as possible. Nothing will stand in her way—not even the rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly steal her memories and then her health.

 

So the memory book is born: a journal written to Sammie’s future self, so she can remember everything from where she stashed her study guides to just how great it feels to have a best friend again. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime-crush Stuart, a gifted young writer home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood friend Cooper, and the ridiculous lengths he will go to make her laugh. The memory book will ensure Sammie never forgets the most important parts of her life—the people who have broken her heart, those who have mended it–and most of all, that if she’s going to die, she’s going to die living.

 

This moving and remarkable novel introduces an inspiring character you’re sure to remember, long after the last page.

 

PRAISE

★ “[Sammie’s] narrative voice is sardonic, distinctive, wildly intelligent, and sometimes hilarious…  Readers will feel her mind and heart shifting with the illness. Indelible.” —Kirkus

 

★ “Avery crafts an emotionally charged story about a young woman who has kept her eyes trained on the future, only to learn that all she has is now…  Avery’s novel stands out for its strong characters, a heartbreaking narrative that shifts to reflect Sammie’s condition, and a love story that will leave many readers in tears.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “Sammie’s voice is a bright, relatable, and uncompromising one, and when her inevitable decline begins, readers will be surprised and pained by it, right along with the book’s fiercely undeterred protagonist. Strengths abound in Avery’s touching novel, and Sammie’s relationships, both friendly and romantic, are no exception.” —School Library Journal

 

★ “Avery brings an emotional honesty to Sammie’s narrative…  Teens will be inspired by Avery’s heart-rending story about a special and intelligent young woman coping with a devastating disease—a story buoyed by the strong love of family flowing through Sammie’s narrative and by an exquisite love story in which Sammie experiences happiness with Coop.” —VOYA