Lifestyle

By Kerri Kunkel McPhail

The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse
By Eric Carle, $17.99, ISBN 978-0399257131, ages 3 and above

An artist paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There's a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there's imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle's career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art. (Philomel)

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
By Jerry Pinkney, $16.99, ISBN 978-0316056960, ages 2-4

One of the most acclaimed children's book illustrators of our time now takes his legendary skill with watercolor to new heights in this lavish visual adventure. As a curious little chipmunk leaves his nest to greet the twilight, he gazes at the glittering sky above him. He can't help but also notice the sparkling dewdrops on a spider's web, the lights of the fireflies, and the shimmers of moonlight on the water. "How I wonder what you are!" marvels the tiny creature, launching a dreamlike quest to reach for the stars.

Inspired by one of our most popular children's lullabies, Jerry Pinkney's gentle world—where the loving arms of nature embrace us despite darkness or uncertainty—is perfect for easing little ones into dreamland. (Little Brown)

I Want My Hat Back
By Jon Klassen, $15.99, ISBN 978-0763655983, ages 4 and up

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke. (Candlewick)

Grandpa Green
By Lane Smith, $16.99, ISBN 978- 1596436077, ages 4-8

From the creator of the national bestseller It's a Book comes a timeless story of family history, legacy, and love. Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a farmboy and a kid with chickenpox and a soldier and, most of all, an artist. In this captivating new picture book, readers follow Grandpa Green's great-grandson into a garden he created, a fantastic world where memories are handed down in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten. In his most enigmatic and beautiful work to date, Lane Smith explores aging, memory, and the bonds of family history and love; by turns touching and whimsical, it's a stunning picture book that parents and grandparents will be sharing with children for years to come. (Roaring Brook)

Liesl & Po
By Lauren Oliver, $16.99, ISBN 978-0062014511, ages 8 and up

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone. That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable. Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey. (Harper Collins)

Wonderstruck
By Brian Selznick, $29.99, ISBN 978-0545027892, ages 9 and up

From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner The Invention of Hugo Cabret, comes another breathtaking tour de force. Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary. (Scholastic Press)

Treasury of Greek Mythology
By Donna Jo Napoli, $24.95, ISBN 978-1426308444, ages 8 and up

The new National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology offers timeless stories of Greek myths in a beautiful new volume. Brought to life with lyrical text by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli and stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Christina Balit, the tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa will fascinate and engage children’s imaginations.

National Geographic completes the book with embellishments of each story: sidebars for each god, goddess, hero, and monster link the myths to constellations, geography, history, and culture to help young readers connect the stories to real life events, people, and places. A family tree and a “cast of characters” profile page help make relationships between the characters clear, and a mapping feature adds to the fun and fascination. Resource notes and ample back matter directing readers to more information round out this luminous book. Sure to dazzle all those intrigued with the fantastic tales of Greek mythology and enchant new readers, this vibrant book will soon become a family keepsake. (National Geographic Children's Books)

The Future of Us
By Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler, $18.99, ISBN 978-1595144911, Young Adult

It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out. (Razorbill)


Kerri Kunkel McPhail is an expert in children’s literature and the founder and President of Children's Authors' Ally LLC, the nation's premiere consultant to schools, libraries and conferences seeking topnotch visiting author programs. To schedule an author visit at your school, library or conference, visit www.childrensauthorsally.com.