Staff Pick

A child growing up in early eighteenth-century England had few reading options: preachy poems, stark rulebooks, and religious texts that made them fear that death was near. Fortunately for more recent generations of young readers, a London publisher and printer named John Newbery thought that these choices were Balderdash! (Chronicle, $17.99). Michelle Markel’s alliterative text exuberantly portrays the story of how Newbery set out to publish books that were delightful as well as instructional. Whimsical illustrations by Nancy Carpenter augment this energetic biography of the father of children’s literature and namesake of the American Library Association’s annual award for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”


Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books (Nonfiction Books for Kids, Early Elementary History Books) Cover Image
By Michelle Markel, Nancy Carpenter (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780811879224
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - April 4th, 2017

Staff Pick

Before he dreamt of hobbits, made-up languages, or the “One Ring to rule them all,” J.R.R. Tolkien was a young boy enchanted by dragons. John Ronald’s Dragons (Roaring Brook, $18.99) soared through the skies, belched flame, and hoarded treasures. Author Caroline McAlister locates Tolkien’s fascination with the mythical beasts in his early childhood and traces its development throughout his life until it bore fruit in The Hobbit’s very own dragon, Smaug. Eliza Wheeler’s illustrations honor John Ronald’s first love with a hidden dragon-like character on every page. Ages 6-9.


John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626720923
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - March 21st, 2017

Staff Pick

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, a scholar living in late-nineteenth-century Jerusalem, was so devoted to reviving Hebrew that he insisted on raising his son, Ben-Zion, to speak The Language of Angels (Charlesbridge, $16.99) and nothing else. It made for a lonely childhood, since neighborhood children spoke Yiddish or other languages. Eventually, Ben-Yehuda realized that the best way to bring back Hebrew was to teach the language to all children, not just one; and so it happened that father and son collaborated to create Hebrew words for modern speakers. Karla Gudeon’s illustrations enhance the emotional arc of author Richard Michelson’s tale. Back matter provides context and explains where this poignant story diverges from the historical record. Ages 6-9.


The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew Cover Image
By Richard Michelson, Karla Gudeon (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781580896368
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Charlesbridge - February 21st, 2017