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Learning Powerful Lessons
Learning Powerful Lessons

The Battle of Darcy Lane

Author: Tara Altebrando

Price $14.95

ISBN: 9780762449484/

On Sale: 4/22/2014


  • 2/24/14: Publisher’s Weekly, review (online, February): “Altebrando brings rich, realistic depth to all of her characters… It’s a smart, sensitive portrait of an age when change is in the air, for better or worse.”
  • 2/24/14: Foreword Reviews, review Spring 2014 issue: “…told through elegant prose and authentic dialogue. Julia will become the reader’s best friend even as she loses her own, learning powerful lessons about competition, community, and genuineness.”
  • 3/1/14: School Library Journal, review: “Altebrando’s clear, intelligent writing captures the sweet details that comprise Julia’s everyday life… charming and authentic”


  • 3/4/14:, review: The Battle of Darcy Lane is much more than a triumph-over-a-mean-girl rivalry story. Instead, it is a tender, multi-layered tribute to the celebration of innocence, the power of nature, and the promise of true love. This novel serves as the perfect study of the best and the worst in human nature, and the strength required to remain true to oneself.”
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March is Women’s History Month. Celebrate with Goosebottom Books!

Publisher’s Group West is now the distributor for Goosebottom Books – a small award 34035_130516090313279_3550851_awinning press dedicated to “fun non-fiction” founded by Shirin Yim Bridges, author of Ruby’s Wish.

  • The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Real Princesses won a silver IPPY medal.
  • The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames was named by Booklist as one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Series for Youth of 2012.
  • Horrible Hauntings made the IRA Children’s Choices list with a mention that it “motivated even the most reluctant reader.”

Booksellers are recommending Real Princesses and Dastardly Dames as non-fiction to pair with fiction titles for Common Core Curriculum Standards.  Teacher resources can be found here:

Womens Month sellsheet Real PrincessesWomens Month sellsheet Dastardly Dames

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Kirkus reviews Starting from Scratch from OwlKids

Starting from Scratch is a manifesto that will help kids understand food, appreciate it 9781926973968and, hopefully, be inspired to spend some time in the kitchen. Even readers who decide the kitchen isn’t for them will leave with an improved sense of where food comes from and be able to join in on a conversation that continues from snack time to dinnertime. This book aims to inspire kids to eat better, try new flavors, and understand what’s on their plate.

Take a look at the recent Kirkus review of Starting from Scratch!

“For young people beginning to take an interest in cooking, Canadian food writer Elton offers an overview of the world of food, a context for kids’ adventures in the kitchen.

“So why do we taste different flavors?” “Why are Mexican foods spicier than French foods?” “What is a healthy diet?” These and many other questions are answered in a lively, colorful and matter-of-fact introduction to the culture of food. Topics include the science behind cooking and eating, the global need for sustainable farming, and the day-to-day needs of shopping, stocking a pantry and cooking. Some statements are obvious—we can’t live without food, knives can cut you, clean the dishes and pots after the meal—but what will make the volume of interest to young readers are the eye-catching art and the many fascinating tidbits of information. Cats can’t taste sweet things; a clothespin on the nose not only prevents the smelling of food, but tasting; in 1491, nobody in Europe knew what a tomato was. Three useful appendices offer basic recipes, an approach to pairing foods, a guide to doing measurements and conversions, and a brief but well-selected list of excellent cookbooks.

A lively and informative introduction to food, great for browsing while avoiding shopping or dreaming up the next meal. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)” Kirkus Review Issue Date: February 1, 2014 | Online Publish Date: January 15, 2014

“Have you ever noticed that every carton of orange juice tastes exactly the same?  Or that every box of a particular cereal is identical in texture and flavor?  Or maybe you are curious to know why bubble gum tastes like bubble gum-does the flavor come from the gum tree?” ~ Starting from Scratch from OwlKids




“What you eat is more than what fuels you. It’s who you are.” ~ Starting from Scratch

Starting from Scratch author Sarah Elton’s appearance on Global TV’s The Morning Show 3/5/2014:

Sarah Elton is an author and journalist who specializes in food writing. Her books for adults include Consumed: Sustainable Food for a Finite Planet and Locavore: From Farmer’s Fields to Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians are Changing the Way We Eat. A frequent contributor on CBC Radio, she lives in Toronto. Jeff Kulak is an award-winning illustrator and designer with numerous books to his credit, including the Learn to Speak series, for which he won an Alcuin Book Design Award. He lives in Montreal.

Sarah Elton lives in Toronto, ON, Canada.
Jeff Kulak lives in Montreal, QC, Canada.

Trade Cloth
US $18.95
Owlkids Books Spring 2014
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The Next America
The Next America

Paul Taylor’s will be on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”  Monday, March 10th   and on  MSNBC “Morning Joe” on Friday, March 7th to discuss the book!

Pew Research Center will be releasing new data related to the book in a conference on Friday, March 7th.

The Next America: Young and old in America are poles apart, with dramatically different views about government, politics, race, religion, immigration, family, marriage, and technology. As members of the Millennial generation age into the workforce and electorate at the rate of 10,000 a day, they’re changing the nation’s racial makeup and many of its social and political values. As the Baby Boomers retire at the same rate, they’ll soon constitute what is, by far, the largest cohort of older adults in America’s history—and in the process, they’ll drive Social Security and Medicare into insolvency


AUTHOR: Paul Taylor

ISBN: 9781610393508

ON-SALE DATE: 3/4/14

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Nine Lives and More
Nine Lives and More

Dateline NBC (NBC) – Bradshaw featured as part of an hour-long program on pets

“This fascinating book will be a bible for cat owners.” —Booklist, starred review

“Bradshaw…flags his seriousness of purpose with his subtitle, ‘How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet.’ Bradshaw means to get into the cat brain. He’s already plumbed its canine counterpart, in the 2011 book Dog Sense, which was also grounded in research, not sentiment, and in the idea that pets have inner lives more complicated than we imagine.” Frank Bruni, New York Times

“[A] definitive guide to the origins, evolution and modern-day needs of our furry friends…. A must-read for any cat lover, the book offers humane insights about the domestic cat that challenge the most basic assumptions and promise to dramatically improve our pets’ lives.” —Cat Fancy

“[F]or any who may wonder what their feline companions are really thinking, Cat Sense, by John Bradshaw, provides the best answers that science can give for the time being…. Cat Sense will teach you much about the biology of cats that you never suspected.” Nicholas Wade, New York Times

“[F]or any who may wonder what their feline companions are really thinking, Cat Sense, by John Bradshaw, provides the best answers that science can give for the time being…. Cat Sense will teach you much about the biology of cats that you never suspected.” Nicholas Wade, New York Times

“[Bradshaw] deftly weaves together history, science, cat lore and some interesting predictions on the future evolution of cats as pets and members of human households…. Well-written and as readable as many novels, with graphs, illustrations, photos and boxed vignettes throughout, Cat Sense is a serious look at the science of our feline companions that most cat lovers, owners and breeders will find both educational and enjoyable. It is far more than the typical ‘cat book.” —Cat Talk

“[A]n indispensable addition to the cat-lore canon…. Cat Sense is jam-packed with fascinating (and contrarian) tidbits…covering everything from why cats purr to why they bring us dead things – and why we keep them around, even though their original purpose as mousers is mostly obsolete. Obligatory cat pun coming up … this book is a purrfect gift for the cat lady or cat dude in your life.” Petra Mayer, NPR Books, Best Books of 2013

“Using research, his background in anthrozoology and his personal experiences with cats, Bradshaw has written a scientific book that remains easily accessible to any cat owner. He admits up front there is still plenty to learn about the domestic cat, but Cat Sense is a solid starting point and a must for present owners and potential owners alike. Readers will be more aware of their companions’ behaviors and what those behaviors mean in terms of the human-cat relationship, thereby creating a richer, more fulfilling connection for each.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers

Cat Sense paves the way for the greatest gift we can give our cats: learning what makes them tick…. Cat Sense, a well-researched reference book (chock-full of lovely illustrations) delves into fascinating insights into the feline mind and their physical evolution to the present day…. No one book encompasses all aspects of cats but Cat Sense is a valuable resource with plenty of food for thought about cats today and their future as a species.” —Cat Wisdom 101

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The Magic Bojabi Tree from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Publishers Weekly Review

“Set long ago on a parched African plain, this folktale retelling follows five animals whose 9781847802958search for food leads them to a tree “covered in red, ripe fruit smelling of sweetest mangoes, fat as melons, juicy as pomegranates.” Unfortunately, “the largest python the animals had ever seen” is coiled around its trunk, and the snake won’t budge until the animals provide the correct name for the tree. Zebra sets off to get the answer from Lion, but forgets it on the return trip, as do Monkey and Elephant (for some reason, Giraffe doesn’t take a turn). Tortoise finally gets the job done, walking “carefully and slowly” on the way back and singing a mnemonic ditty (“Bojabi for you. Bojabi for me. What will bring down the fruit of the tree?”). Hofmeyr’s retelling bounds along with lively language and fun characterizations (especially the increasingly annoyed Lion), but it’s Grobler’s manic watercolors that truly provide the book’s energy. The vibrant red and green bojabi tree stands out like a beacon against the dusty African landscape, and his wily animal caricatures brim with personality. Ages 4–7.” (Oct.) ~ Publishers Weekly Reviewed on: 09/02/2013  | Release date: 10/01/2013


Kirkus Review

“In an animated retelling well-suited to reading aloud, this object lesson in the virtues of concentration features starving animals, a tree that must be named to give up its luscious fruit and a particularly bad-tempered lion.

In a time of drought, one tree offers relief. Told by the giant python guarding fruit “smelling of sweetest mangoes, fat as melons, juicy as pomegranates” that the tree must be addressed by name, Zebra, Monkey and Elephant in turn set out to learn it from distant Lion. So self-congratulatory and distractible are all three, though, that by the time they return, they’ve forgotten it. This leaves small Tortoise to crawl slowly, slowly to Lion and then slowly, carefully back, chanting the tree’s name over and over. Readers and listeners are invited to do the same, though considering the tongue-twisting names in other versions of this African tale, “Bojabi” won’t be that much of a challenge. The story’s narrative pattern is humorously highlighted by the increasingly choleric Lion’s ever-louder responses to the animals’ repeat visits. In eye-catching contrast to the wilted-looking sufferers in Grobler’s fine-lined watercolors, both Python and Tortoise sport bright patterns.

A lively alternative to the standard renditions, Celia Barker Lottridge’s The Name of the Tree, illustrated by Ian Wallace (1989), and Joanna Troughton’s Tortoise’s Dream (1980). (Picture book/folk tale. 6-8)” ~ Kirkus Review Posted Online:Aug. 28th, 2013 | Kirkus Reviews Issue:Sept. 15th, 2013

Contributor Information
Piet Grobler grew up on a farm in Limpopo, South Africa. After working as a church minister, he made a career in illustration and now lectures at the University of Worcester. He is the recipient of many international illustration awards, including the IBBY Honours List. His books for Frances Lincoln include The Great Tug of War and Aesop’s Fables with Beverley Naidoo, and Fussy Freya with Katharine Quarmby. He lives in Great Malvern.

Dianne Hofmeyr grew up on the tip of Southern Africa. She graduated as an art teacher in Cape Town and has written several teenage novels and picture books. she has won the M-Net Award for fiction and has two IBBY Honour Books.

Contributor Residences
Dianne Hofmeyr lives in London, United Kingdom.
Piet Grobler lives in Malvern, United Kingdom.



Trade Cloth, Picture Book
US $17.99 /  CAN $19.99
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Fall 2013
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What do Howard Stern, Rachael Ray, and Katie Couric have in common?
What do Howard Stern, Rachael Ray, and Katie Couric have in common?

 Mayim Bialik!


Some great additions to Mayim’s NYC tour:

  • “Rachael Ray Show,” CBS TV (national),      tapes 2/24/14, air date tk
  • “The Better Show,”      Better TV (national; 89 markets), tapes 2/24,      air date tk
  • “Inside Edition,”      ABC TV (national), tapes 2/24, air date tk
  • “Howard Stern Show,” SiriusXM Radio (national),      live, 7-8 a.m. EST, 2/25



In case you missed Mayim on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday, you can watch some of her interview here:

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Kirkus Starred Review for Share from OwlKids


9781771470056When it comes to sharing, kids often have a tough time.
But, as we know, some of the best-learned lessons come from challenging
situations. Share shows, in a gentle but effective way, why it’s important to learn to share.

This sweet tale earned itself a starred review in the Kirkus February 1st issue.

“Mom says it’s important to share, but it’s not always easy.

When a younger bunny cousin comes to visit, he wants to have everything his older cousin has and to do everything she does. Her mother keeps reminding her to share, so she lets him play, with disastrous results, as he is rough and careless. She tries to stay out of his way and play other games or read a book or watch television, but he follows her everywhere and gets involved in every activity until she just can’t stand it anymore. Won’t he ever stop plaguing her and leave? At the end of the day, when he hugs and thanks her, she realizes her mother is right: He copies her actions out of admiration. Morality tales are often pedantic and stiff, but Garland employs bouncy rhymes and a sweetheart of a bunny to get her point across. Even Mom’s offstage voice encourages rather than scolds. Visually appealing type winds its way through the large-scale cartoon illustrations, which feature patterned background wallpaper and lots of pink and green eye-catching details. Bunny and her little cousin are full of life, with facial expressions and body language that match every emotion. Young readers will empathize with both characters and will want to read it over and over.

A warm, cuddly tale and a total delight. (Picture book. 2-6)” Kirkus Review Feb 1, 2014




Sally Anne Garland graduated from the Edinburgh  College of Art and has spent many years illustrating and designing children’s picture books, greeting cards, and other child-oriented products. She lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

Trade Cloth, Picture Book
US $16.95
Owlkids Books Spring 2014
Release date:  2/24/2014


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I Dreamt…A Book About Hope features in LMC reviews

“This book is a beautiful escape from everyday life. The book includes stunning artwork 9781554983308from some of Mexico’s best illustrators.  It is a collaboration and as such the illustrations are varied, each with a different style.  The art adds to the effectiveness of the book in that the “hopeful” illustrations are soothing, and the violent ones convey an effective message.  The original intended audience was Mexican children who have lived through gang warfare and random acts of violence.  However, the book is relevant to children all over the world.  The technique conveys the message and enhances the illustrations.  The text compares violence with positive things, putting a positive spin on very dark subjects.  This beautifully illustrated book could be used as “bibliotherapy” and as a way of opening discussions about topics that are scary for children.  It could be used to begin a writing lesson or a discussion for all age groups.”  ~ Jennifer Welch, Librarian, Thomas Crossroads Elementary School, Sharpsburg, Georgia

 I dreamt that wars are always fought with flowers…


I dreamt of pistols that shoot butterflies…


I dreamt that phones could turn any hurtful words into songs…

Gabriela Olmos is the editorial director at the prestigious Mexican publishing house Artes de Mexico. She is also the noted author of Zoología poética, Pintores mexicanos de la A a la Z and El zopilote y la chirímia. She lives in Mexico City.

Gabriela  Olmos lives in Mexico City, Mexico.
Elisa Amado lives in Toronto, ON, Canada.

I DREAMT . . .    
Trade Cloth, Picture Book
US $18.95
Groundwood Books Spring 2013
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Lola Goes to Work from Creston Books reviewed by Kirkus

9781939547002“Not all working dogs are big and powerful, like police or rescue dogs. Some are tiny and gentle, like little Lola, a 5-pound Yorkshire terrier from California certified as a therapy dog.

Lola narrates her own story with just one sentence per page, accompanied by a high-quality photograph of the adorable dog at home, in training sessions or on visits to schoolchildren and “friends who are not feeling well.” The simple story describes Lola’s challenges in her training to be a therapy dog, which are then echoed in her compassionate assistance to others who are facing different life challenges. The story and appealing photos will draw in preschoolers and children learning to read, including older new readers. Lola is definitely an endearing little character, with charming expressions captured in the illustrations and a tempting cover photo of Lola in her therapy-dog bandanna sitting next to her red plaid lunchbox (almost as big as she is). An author’s note explains a little about therapy-dog training, and a page for teachers offers discussion questions relating to “empathy studies,” as well as suggested activities. There are only a couple of children’s books in print about therapy dogs, and this one has the broadest appeal to different age groups.

Tiny and gentle, but powerful just the same. (Informational picture book. 3-10)” Kirkus Review Posted Online:July 17th, 2013 | Kirkus Reviews Issue:Aug. 1st, 2013




“Lola Goes to Work is narrated in easy-to-understand, simple sentences that add to the story told by the photos. Children age 4 and up will love reading “Lola Goes to Work.”"
— The Midwest Book Review, Children’s Bookwatch, June Issue

 Marcia Goldman has a master’s degree in special education and has worked for 25 years to provide therapeutic-based programs for children with autism and their families. She lives in Atherton, CA.

Lola is a Yorkshire Terrier who is proud to be a certified therapy dog. She uses the skills she learned in doggy therapy training at elder centers, preschools, classrooms, and bookstores.

Trade Cloth, Picture Book
US $16.99 /  CAN $18.50
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