Several new books offer a glimpse into lives that differ from our own. Others offer unique insights into the creative process. Happy exploring!
FOUR FEET, TWO SANDALS. Written by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed. Illustrated by Doug Chayka. Eerdmans. $17. Ages 7-10.
Lina and Feroza meet in a refugee camp in Peshawar in Pakistan, a city on the Afghanistan border. Each of the girls finds one yellow and one blue sandal four feet, two shoes. They decide to share the sandals and soon become friends. When Lina s family leaves for America she takes one sandal to remind her of the friend she left behind.
Both story and illustrations capture the uncertainties of life in a refugee camp as well as the courage and sense of hope demonstrated by even the youngest refugees.
TWO BOBBIES: A TRUE STORY OF HURRICANE KATRINA, FRIENDSHIP, AND SURVIVAL. Written by Kirby Lawson and Mary Nethery. Illustrated by Jean Cassels. Walker. $16.99. Ages 4-8.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bobbi, the dog, and his feline companion, Bob Cat, were left to fend for themselves. Eventually they came to a job site and a construction worker who fed them. He took them to a shelter, where the two refused to be separated. Volunteers observing them realized that Bob Cat was blind. The two needed a new home together, and that, too, was an adventure. Children will admire these survivors and the humans who cared for them.
BATS AT THE LIBRARY. Written and illustrated by Brian Lies. Houghton Mifflin. $16. Ages 4-8.
As they swoop through the evening skies, the bats are delighted to find an open window at the library. They try out the copy machine and the water fountain. But the highlight of their visit is a story hour! As they listen they are transported to other times and other lives. Children will recognize characters from many familiar stories. Too soon the skies brighten and the bats must leave. The illustrations capture the joy of this adventure.
Dragon Flight. Written by Jessica Day George. Bloomsbury. $16.95. Ages 10-14.
Creel is a seamstress who counts among her friends a prince and several dragons. When Creel learns a neighboring kingdom is planning an invasion and a dragon war, she contacts Shardas and Velika, king and queen of the dragons. Creel and her friends outwit the invaders and bring peace to the kingdom. Lots of action and intrigue! (A sequel to Dragon Slippers.)
The Fortunes of Indigo Skye. Written by Deb Caletti. Simon & Schuster. $15.99. Ages 12 and up.
How would you react if someone gave you $2.5 million? Would it change your life or goals? Meet Indigo Skye, high school senior, waitress, and recipient of a $2.5 million tip. Indigo is determined not to let the money change her values. However, others in her life have big plans for the money. Readers will be impressed with Indigo s strength and maturity.
Oodles of Animals. Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert. Harcourt. $17. Ages 3-7.
Ehlert introduces sixty-four of her favorite animals with playful rhymes. The illustrations are colorful collage using only nine shapes. This book provides an excellent stepping stone for children to create their own rhymes and illustrations using the same shapes Ehlert selected. You ll need scissors, glue and lots of colored paper.
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