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Books for all age levels

February 6, 2019
Amy Phelps , MOV Parent

There are plenty of new books out there for kids to enjoy on a cold winter day.

Two new board books get young kids thinking with "A Little Book About Spring" and "A Little Book About ABCs" by Leo Lionni (Random House, $11.99, ages 0-3.) Inspired by the Caldecott winner's works, these board books use simple themes and words to tell a story of spring and regrowth, and teaching letters and basic words.

Senator Kamala Harris teams with illustrator Mechal Renee Roe to show that everyone can make a difference with her picture book memoir "Superheroes Are Everywhere" (Philomel Books, $17.99, ages 4-8.) With a timeline and photos from Harris' life, she talks about her life story and what makes a hero, from making other people feel special to standing up for what is right. She shows kids that everyone matters and can make a change in other people's lives.

For grade-schoolers, a book tells a mystery and then shows kids how to make their own with "The Story Pirates Present Digging Up Danger" by New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline West and illustrated by Hatem Aly (Random house, $13.99, ages 8-12.) Inspired by 8-year-old Phoebe Wolinetz's contest-winning idea, the story part tells of a ghost-hunting girl named Eliza who is convinced something is haunting the plant shop and is determined to track it down, along with a mysterious missing plant. In the Mystery Creation Zone, the Story Pirates present a guide to show kids, step-by-step, how to create their own mystery. For those interested in creative writing, this would be a great introductory resource.

An evil alient cat is a funny new book for middle-grade readers with "Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat"?by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth (Penguin, $14.99, ages 10 and up.) Klawde, emperor of planet Lyttyrboks, has been exiled to Earth after being stripped of his throne. He's an evil tyrannt, not a basic cat! Raj has just had to move to Oregon after living in Brooklyn, surrounded by friends and cool things. He has no friends now, and is in the middle of nowhere. When his doorbell rings, the last thing he is expecting is Klawde. Will an unlikely friendship spawn? A bit like "Lilo and Stich," this is a funny story that kids will enjoy as two fish out of water come together.

A seventh grade presidential election is told in "President of Poplar Lane" by Margaret Mincks (Viking, $16.99, ages 8-12.) Clover is the second oldest in a large family and just wants her voice to be heard. Mike the Unusual, loves doing comedy magic, but his father thinks he needs more friends. Will he give up magic to win the title of class president? As the two compete to win, they will have to navigate political advisers, gaffes and more. This is a funny story that gives kids a look into the political arena and is also a good story about friendship.

A young girl wants to communicate - with her class and with a whale in "Song for a Whale" by Lynne Kelly (Delacorte, $16.99, ages 8-12.) Iris loves fixing electronics and anything tech. She is the only deaf person in her school, and though she doesn't let that get in her way, she is tired of being talked down to by her teacher and other kids. When she learns about Blue 55, a whale who can't communicate with other whales, she feels for it and wants to help. She wants to use her tech skills to "sing" to him and teach him. But he's in Alaska and she's in Texas. With the help of her deaf grandmother, Iris is determined to sing to Blue. A lovely story from a sign language interpreter that shows heart and determination, this is a good book for middle grade kids.



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