The Longest Night by Marion Dane Bauer and Ted Lewin (Holiday House) is a charming story about the winter solstice and the return of longer days. Its lyrical style and beautiful illustrations will make this an instant family classic to be shared with generations to come. Children will ask for this one over and over again!!
Pioneer Girl: A True Story of Growing Up on the Prairie by Andrea Warren (Bison Books) is a true story of the McCance family who settled in a one-room sod house on the lonley Nebraska prairie.
Moose on the Loose by Kathy-Jo Wargin and John Bendall-Brunello (Sleeping Bear Press) is about a moose who tries on your socks, scrubs up in your tub, and needs a kiss before snuggling into your bed for the night. Kathy-Jo Wargin’s silly story told in rhyme, enhanced by John Bendall-Brunello’s whimsical drawings, won’t settle on your bookshelf for long… it is sure to be read again and again.
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone (Candlewick) is about the first female astronauts. Stone (Elizabeth Leads the Way) begins this eye-opening history with the July 1999 launch of Columbia, piloted by Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle, then fills in the details of the women who helped pave the path to this moment. Led by Jerrie Cobb, in 1961 a dozen women “took their shot at being astronauts.” Stone demonstrates how prevailing attitudes at the time (which traveled all the way up the chain of command to Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson), as well as an embittered female pilot, obstructed the path to space exploration for these women, who put their jobs and families at stake in pursuit of their dream. Copiously illustrated with photographs, this volume may well be as revelatory to women’s history and space program buffs as it will be to young readers.
Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures by Menno Metselaar and Ruud van der Rol, translated by Arnold J. Pomerans (Flash Point/Roaring Brook) is a beautifully designed, hand-size volume published in partnership with the Anne Frank House. It makes an ideal gift for any age admirer of Anne Frank. The book takes us inside the pages of The Diary of a Young Girl, via quotes and photographs of pages from Anne’s original journal, and into the Amsterdam annex where the Franks stayed hidden from the world during the Nazi occupation, until, on Friday, August 4, 1944, the Secret Annex was invaded. Pictures taken during Anne and her sister Margot’s early years depict a normal childhood spent at the beach and in school (the cover shows Anne’s passport pictures). Photos of the interior and exterior of 263 Prinsengracht make the journey through this book the next best thing to a visit to what is now preserved as the Anne Frank House.