On the bookshelf

The Call of the Swamp

By Davide Calli & Marco Soma

This is the remarkable story about a unique orphan adopted by a sweet man and wife. Boris grew up happy, but one day the wind changed and he smelled the swamp for the first time. He went to his birthplace, even found a group of creatures who looked like him. But he realized home was with those who loved him.

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France​
By Mara Rockliff​
​Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
When Ben Franklin traveled to France during our War for Independence, he was asked by the King and Queen to discover what a young scientist named Dr. Mesmer was doing. It seemed more like magic than science. Franklin used the scientific method to investigate and realized that Mesmer was relaxing his subjects enough that they used their own minds to solve their illnesses or to imagine dangers!​
POE: Stories and Poems​
​By Gareth Hinds
Those who love the brilliant and sometimes creepy literary works of E.A. Poe will love this graphic adaptation of seven of his famous works. Powerful images combined with Poe’s texts make for a wonderful way to appreciate Poe’s genius again. (Gareth Hinds has worked the same magic on Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, The Odyssey, and Beowulf.)

Children's Books

The Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid​
​By Kara LaReau
​Illustrated by Matt Myers
Louie and Ralphie Ratso want to turn a vacant lot in their neighborhood into a Big City Fun Time Arcade. It’s a great plan, but is the nearby house really haunted? And does Ralphie really like the girl at school called Stinky Stanko? When he gets to know her, he realizes she’s very nice and he’s really sorry he invented her nickname. Can the kids work together to make the arcade?​

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers presents two books

Nile Crossing

By Katy Beebe

llustrated by Sally Wern Comport

​​Beebe tells of Khepri, a boy in the Egyptian New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC). On this day, he crosses the Nile with his father, not to fish with him as usual, but to start a new life, a student learning to be a scribe.

​ “La La La”

​By Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)

​A story of hope illustrated by Jaime Kim

​A sweet little girl can’t seem to find anyone to hear her song. She travels alone through the woods, singing to the falling leaves and then the big bold moon, feeling very lonely. As she lies sleeping, she hears a big bold voice singing back to her—it’s the sun!

God gave us Family
By Lisa Tawn Bergen 

Art by David Holm

In this book from Waterbrook Press, Little Pup learns how God creates families of all kinds. Every family is different , made up of different people, but they all bring joy and a critical sense of belonging to everyone in them.

Make a Change
By Rhonda Lynn Rucker with James “Sparky” Rucker

Illustrated by Brock Nicol

This book from Pelican Publishing is based on ordinary people who confronted racism. In 1960 Knoxville, TN, Marvin wonders why he can’t sit at the grill in Rich’s department store. The sign says, “Whites Only”, but why? Marvin’s mom allows him to join a prayer vigil in front of the store, and some young whites join the mostly-black crowd of Christians. Change was coming.

Older Reviews are available on the Archived Page.

Baabwaa & Wolliham
By David Elliott
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Baabwaa is a sheep who loves to knit, while his pal Wolliam is a sheep who loves to read. One day they set off to have an adventure, and were enjoying some grass when a weird sheep with a long, rangy tail, a sharp whiskered snout, and a filthy wool coat approached them. It’s a wolf! But the two sheep realize that he can’t read, so Wolliam teaches him. It changes the wolf’s life!
​The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate
By Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
TPIB and the Goat Avenger had just stuffed a monster back into the hole to Monster Land. In their celebration they didn’t see another sneaking out. TPIB sneaked back into the castle of Princess Magnolia, then set out for her friend’s kingdom, Princess Sneezewort. But the new monster followed in disguise. The two were having a grand time when they heard a cry for help. Magnolia changed into her costume while Sneezewort decided to be a superhero too: The Princess in Blankets. The two capture the new monster and send it back home to Monster Land.
Boo Who?
By Ben Clanton (age 2-5)
Boo is new. He wants to fit in, but he’s a ghost among young robot, wild thing, dinosaur, and rabbit. They can’t always see him, but they are all friendly. However, Boo can’t catch or pickup sticks, or play tag, so they decide to play “Hide N Seek”. Finally, a game that Boo can play! His name is Boo, and now he fits in.
42 is Not Just a Number
By Doreen Rappaport
April 15,1946, something extraordinary happened in American baseball. Branch Rickey, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, offered a job to one of the stars of the Negro Leagues, Jackie Robinson. He would have to be a very special person, for his position as the first black professional baseball player in America would make him a target of racist epitaphs and hatred. But Mr. Robinson was a man of great integrity and strong Christian faith. He weathered the cruel taunts and Jim Crow laws to break the color barrier in pro athletics. Every April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball!
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library​
​By Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Eric Velasquez
During the Harlem Renaissance an Afro-Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg created the 135th Street Library to house his enormous collection of books, letters, music and art from Africa and the African diaspora. It became the Division of Negro History, Literature and Prints at the New York Public Library, and a century later it is the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. His legacy is explored in this remarkable book for young readers.

“Pop-Up Shakespeare “

​From Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor

​The Reduced Shakespeare Company (ages 7-10)

​​This marvelous pop-up book is loaded with cool stuff about one of the most influential authors of the last millennium. For example, there are sections for the categories of his plays: comedies, histories, romance, and tragedies. Each features short explanations of the play and main characters. It’s a great way to teach young readers about everything Shakespeare wrote!

“Halloween ABC”
By Jannie Ho (from Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press)

​This funny little board book teaches the alphabet using images from Halloween and harvest. A is for apple, B is for Bat, C is for cauldron, 
D is for dark, E is for eyeball, F is for Frankenstein, and so forth all the way to Z is for Zombie. It’s silly and fun while being educational!

Peppa Pig’s Pop-up Princess Castle​

Our favorite porcine family returns in a playset with five pop-up sense, press-out characters, moving parts, flaps to lift, and a storybook featuring Princess Peppa, Prince George, Daddy King and Mama Queen.

​Jonathan Swift-Gulliver’s Travels: Voyage to Lilliput​​
​Retold by Martin Jenkins
Illustrated by Chris Riddell
The most popular of Swift’s satirical stories can be enjoyed by young and old alike in this clever and delightfully-illustrated new edition! Intended to mock the cultural clashes between classes in English society, it also works as a wild and exciting adventure for young readers.