For Younger Readers
I Spy with My Little Eye
by Edward Gibbs
“I Spy” is a game that captivates the interest of most children at a very young age. This book uses the “I spy with my little eye…” format by using peek-hole construction to allow the readers to “spy” the color of an animal. Additional clues are provided in speech bubbles so the child can guess the animal. The blend of common and not-so-common animals makes this a balanced challenge. This book can lead to an endless array of topics for future games of “I Spy” and creative activities about their “finds!” For ages 2 to 6.
The Wonderful Book
by Leonid Gore
What if you came upon a strange object and didn’t know how it was actually used? That is what happens to a variety of animals as they discover a lost book in the woods. Each animal uses the book in a different way to meet its current needs. The rabbit makes a shelter, the bear uses it as a hat, etc. Before long, a little boy discovers the book and sits down to read aloud as the animals gather to listen. True to its name…this is a wonderful book. It not only introduces young children to the purpose of a book, but also introduces them to the wonderful world of imagination. For ages 2 to 5.
For Older Readers
Spirit Animals Book One: Wild Born
by Brandon Mull
In the world of Erdas, a coming-of-age ritual is performed where 11-year-olds discover whether they have a special trait – the ability to bond with a spirit animal. Four diverse children have this special ability to bond, each with a different animal: a falcon, panda, wolf and leopard are revealed to be the spirit animals linked to these characters. The bonds provide both the children and the animals with special powers. As an ancient dark force arises, the children must learn the wisdom and strength of their gifts and complete a hazardous mission to retrieve talismans before their world is destroyed. The story moves along quickly as each character uncovers their role in the pending battle. There is an added excitement to this first in a multiple-author series – the interactive role readers can play online in selecting their own spirit animal and participating in role-playing games. For ages 8 to 12.
The Screaming Staircase: Lockwood & Co.
by Jonathan Stroud
Haunted British estates, three young ghost trappers with psychic sensitivities and an unsolved murder…what more does a ghost story need? In the hands of author Jonathan Stroud, you are guaranteed
well-developed character studies and interplay, suspenseful, action-packed plotlines and deadpan humor. As the trio battle supernatural and human dangers, there are plenty of ghastly perils and close calls to keep the reader engaged. And Stroud admirably lays the groundwork for future volumes in the series for the audience that is left anxiously wanting more. For ages 9 to 14.
Pamela Heller, an artist and education consultant, is an avid reader who endeavors to find books of all genres that are timeless, meaningful, interesting, fun and heartwarming.