Chill Out

with a Cool Book This Winter

Looking to share the joy of reading with your children in the coming year? Check out some new titles that have just hit the market, including the eighth book in the Diary of  a Wimpy Kid series.


Preschool Category

Wait! Wait! Hatsue Nakawaki. Illustrated by Komako Sakai. Translated by Yuki Kaneko.

Wait! Wait! is a gentle story, perfect for toddlers just beginning to explore the picture book arena. With minimal text, repetitive phrases, and simple yet sweet acrylics/oil pencil illustrations, the story follows a toddler’s adventure chasing creatures outdoors. At the end, the child realizes the animals might go away but mom and dad will always return. This reassuring tale is one that takes very young children on a journey of discovery before settling in the cozy arms of their parents.


Count the Monkeys. Mac Barnett.

Illustrated by Kevin Cornell.

If you think Count the Monkeys is yet another concept book, you’re in for a surprise. The title page extends a simple invitation to kids saying, “It’s fun and easy to count the monkeys. All you have to do is turn the page.” But with each new page comes wild and crazy adventure. The funny text and the outrageous art go hand-in-hand, making this counting trip one to remember.  


Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow.         

David Soman and Jacky Davis.

This husband and wife team add yet another companion to the Ladybug Girl series — a perfect choice for cuddling up with your preschooler on a cold winter’s night. Ladybug Girl Lulu and her dog, Bingo, start out with heads high and chins up, looking forward to a fun-filled day in the snow. But the snow is too soft and her mittens too stiff, so Lulu can’t build her snow castle. Then she realizes that as Ladybug Girl she can do anything, and builds a forest of snow animals instead. The brilliant watercolor/line illustrations help the characters bounce out of the pages and complement the accompanying text. The story is about looking for the sunny side of life — especially on a snowy day.




Elementary Category

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen. Claudia Mills. Pictures by Rob Shepperson.

The first book in the new Franklin School Friends series is ideal for introducing kids to beginning chapter books. The principal of Franklin School invites all bookworms to be part of a school-wide reading contest. This sets Kelsey Green, an avid reader, on fire. Her obsession with books heightens (she reads even during lunch time), her competitive spirit kicks in, and she becomes determined to win the honor for her third-grade class. While trying to encourage her two best friends, math wiz Annika Riz, and running star Izzy Barr, she also keeps a check on the class’ reluctant reader, Cody Harmon, and know-it-all close competitor, Simon Ellis. Does her hard work pay off? Come find out. Kelsey reminds us that life isn’t all about winning.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck.

Jeff Kinney.

This popular series continues to encourage and entertain all kind of readers, with laugh-out-loud moments sprinkled throughout the Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley’s diary. Finding new friends in middle school is impossible. When Greg loses his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, to a girl, he turns to the Magic 8 Ball for help. As always, Kinney’s stick figure illustrations add fun to the journal musings. And the author proves once again that you can find a lot of humor in everyday life, especially when you keep your main character stuck forever in middle school.


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

Chris Grabenstein.

Can you find your way out of the library? Especially when it’s designed by the world-renowned game maker? Board game geek Kyle Keeley takes up the challenge, along with his fellow seventh graders. The dozen 12-year-olds write essays to gain entry into the town’s new library. But once inside — how many will find the way out? Read this puzzle-packed adventure and find out. As in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the mystery element takes this story to the next level and keeps you hooked. The novel is so captivating it can be finished in one sitting. It effectively uses children’s book titles, word plays, and picture clues to move the story along. This books sends out the universal message — Reading is FUNdamental!


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