Fantasy map book one of many new offerings at library

'It's Not the Stork' explains differences between boys, girls

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2007

Summer reading is in full swing! Here are books for young readers and listeners to help answer questions, solve mysteries and explain the world.

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"The Once Upon a Time Map Book," by B.G. Hennessy, illustrated by Peter Joyce. Where is the Lost Boys' hideout? Can you find your way through Alice's maze? Where are Aladdin and his 40 thieves? Each of the six maps of fairy-tale lands features official bits, such as keys, compasses and grids, but also fun stuff, such as hidden treasure and missing chickens. Tiny details will keep readers poring over maps to Aladdin's kingdom, Neverland, the Land of Oz, Wonderland, the Giant's kingdom and the Enchanted Forest.

"It's Not the Stork," by Robie Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley. What's the difference between boys and girls? How are babies made? These and other crucial questions are expertly addressed, with plenty of child-friendly humor and parent-friendly wording. Written for kids 4 and up, this book shows anatomy and the names of parts for both genders, debunks the stork myth, introduces the idea of good touch/bad touch, and much, much more. Cartoony but very accurate illustrations invite perusal. Use this in pieces to answer specific questions, or read it cover to cover. This is from the same team that created "It's So Amazing!" (for prepubescent kids) and "It's Perfectly Normal!" (for pubescent kids).

"Lights Out," by written and illustrated by Arthur Geisert. The piglet in this story is afraid to go to sleep with the lights off, but parental orders are: "Lights out at 8!" Fortunately, Piglet's pretty smart and devises a remarkable solution. From the cord that Piglet pulls to close the scissors to cut the rope and set the dominoes off all the way to the sand that fills the pan and tilts the scale to pull the cord that switches off the light takes just long enough that the sleepy piglet is in dreamland when the room goes dark. Whew!

"Salad People," by Mollie Katzen. Introducing kids to the kitchen in a meaningful way can be a little tough sometimes, but Katzen makes it easier with these healthy recipes that have both kid and adult taste appeal. Each recipe has a traditional list of ingredients and instructions, plus a double-page spread of pictures for kids to follow and hints for making the recipes less frenzied for adults (such as setting measuring cups inside pie pans so spills are easily cleaned). Illustrated with Katzen's trademark whimsy, this is appealing on so many levels that it is hard to put down.

"The New Girl," by Jacqui Robbins, illustrated by Matt Phelan. What happens when a new girl comes to class? Who will show her around and be her friend? Mia's curious about the new girl's iguana and wants to be Shakeeta's friend, but after Shakeeta threatens a boy who teases her, Mia's also a little afraid. But when neither of them gets chosen to play soccer, they have the time to get to know each other. Wonderful drawings express the mix of curiosity and apprehension that everyone feels when faced with the unknown, changing to joy when the unknown becomes a friend.

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice," written and illustrated by Mary Jane Begin. Beautifully detailed paintings illuminate a young girl's desire to learn magic. Apprenticed to a sorcerer, she finds herself doing more manual labor than magic and takes matters into her own hands. While the sorcerer is away, she bespells a broom to fill a cauldron of water, with disastrous results. What sets this version apart from others I've read is the ending, in which the rash event leads to understanding and eventual mastery of magic.

"Moose Tracks!" by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jack E. Davis. Davis's warm and bouncy pictures show the truth of the matter: There are moose tracks all over the house, from porch to kitchen to bathroom to bedroom. Although the homeowner has friends who are bears, geese, mice and chipmunks, he doesn't know any moose - or does he?


Calling all super sleuths! Sharpen your wits, dress up as your favorite detective, and come help solve a mystery. Join the Juneau Public Library Teen Advisory Board at 7 p.m. Saturday at the downtown library for a Nancy Drew Mystery Night. For more information, see our Web site or call Amelia at586-5303.

As always, placing a hold on our material is easy: Call the Juneau Public Libraries at 586-5249 or visit

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