By Lyda Whiting



Adventures of Riley: Amazon River Rescue
By Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz,
Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
Riley’s off on another adventure, this time to the Amazon rainforest, where his scientist uncle is studying the Kapok trees. Riley is more interested in the animals, including the caiman, a relative of alligators and crocodiles.

Riley and his cousin Alice follow some mysterious animals deep into the forest, but they get lost. They find a boat tied to a kapok tree, and paddle along the river, looking for the camp. Instead they discover a jaguar, the largest cat in South America — and jaguars can swim! They have a lot to tell Uncle Max when they find him in the huge kapok tree. It turns out the mysterious animals they followed were capybaras, the largest rodents in the world, and not a new species after all.

New readers and fans alike will be thrilled by this new adventure in the award-winning series of books about Riley’s travels. The story is exciting and fun, featuring the beauty and wildness of the exotic animals. Children and adults will enjoy the science facts on each page featuring real scientists who are studying the Amazon. There is a two-page illustration of the different layers of the forest, including animals that live in the emergent layer, canopy, understory, and forest floor.

The illustrations are a unique mix of beautiful photographs and elaborate detailed paintings, showing in detail the colorful diversity of life in the Amazon.

Highly recommended for children ages 2 to 10.

Published by Eaglemont Press, this book is available at your local bookstore.

Who Am I?
Written by Brian D. McClure,
Illustrated by Buddy Plumlee
What do you do when your toe talks back to you? When a passing fly replies to your question? When the wall thinks it knows the answers? How do you keep control when your ear and your eye chime in with their opinions, and your ego and your little child have a disagreement? This boy’s ego thinks that all this nonsense is a threat to its control of the boy’s life. But the boy isn’t fooled by his ego’s tantrum, and discovers the truth of who he is, and of the interconnection of everything.

This fun rhyming story is a natural for reading out loud to each other. Giggles will fill the room when children act out the story and give their own toes and ears a voice. Childlike colorful illustrations fill the pages and bring the story to life.

Funny and simple, this book conveys the gentle message that we are all one, and there is no true separation between your toe, the fly, and the wall.
The first of the “Who am I?” series of books, this deceptively simple story will inspire children to thinking deeply about the mysteries of life, and will bring adults and children closer as they talk about the ideas presented.

Recommended for ages 2 to 8.

Published by Universal Flag Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore.

The Bubble
Written by Brian D. McClure,
Illustrated by Buddy Plumlee
Once there was a little boy who did not want anyone to play with any of his toys. As he grew, he pushed everyone away and spent all his time acquiring and taking care of his things. As a man, he had the best of everything, but refused to share it with anyone. As an old man, he built a big house with a high fence, so he could be left alone with his possessions. But then everything begins to leave him, and he finds himself all alone, trapped inside a bubble of his own selfishness.

This fable has an ending that will surprise and delight all, as it provides an opportunity for parents and teachers to talk to children about what is truly important in life. The spiritual message comes across loud and clear, and will have children thinking about the importance of sharing their toys — and their lives — with others.

Filled with colorful illustrations that draw readers into the story, this book is appropriate for reading aloud as well as for young readers to read to themselves. Another book in the “Who am I?” series, this story will inspire sharing in all who read it.

Recommended for ages 3 to 8.

Published by Universal Flag Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore.

Penelope and Priscilla and the Enchanted House of Whispers
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Troulis
Priscilla and Penelope are twins, but they couldn’t be more different. Priscilla doesn’t care about anything but playing sports and being herself, while Penelope cares most about popularity and clothes. At 12, they are growing apart, but when they move with their mother to the old family house, strange happenings draw them back together, and into a world of magic and secrecy.

The house whispers to them, the neighbors are hostile and strange, and it seems that the neighbor’s cat is spying on them. When they discover an old magical book, the sisters learn that they have to stick together to protect the family secret from the townspeople. They discover talking creatures, including the rat Oswald and the firefly Willow, and become friends with Maggie, their enchanted house.

The sisters learn about their ancestors, the Enlightened Ones, and discover they themselves are destined to carry on the family tradition of witchcraft to protect their family and town from evil forces.
This book is filled with enchantment, mystery, and merriment. Pre-teenagers will love reading the story of these twins as they learn to stick together despite their differences. This is a long book, but the chapters are short enough to allow reading out loud. The only illustrations are small pencil sketches at the beginning of each chapter.

Recommended for ages 9-12.

Published by Twin Monkeys Press, this book is available at your local bookstore.

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