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February 2012

Kidsreads.com Newsletter February 2012
Celebrating February's Extra Day!
Happy Leap Year everyone! I hope everyone is JUMPING into March with a “spring” in their step! We have some great new books in our lineup for you in this newsletter, so start making a list of what you want to read.

Some of you may know that the biggest movie party of the year happened last weekend: The Oscars. One of my favorite movies of 2011, Hugo, based on Brian Selznick’s book THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, won five awards! Two other fun kids' movies also took home awards: Rango won for best animated feature and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won best animated short. And “Man or Muppet” won best original song!

In other movie news, The Lorax, based on the book by Dr. Seuss, hits theaters on March 2nd. This movie look like soooo much fun --- and it is a great way to learn about how and why we should be protecting the environment. By the way, Dr. Seuss’s birthday would have been this Friday, which makes it pretty awesome that the movie releases that day.

We have TWO new special contests for you this month.

In IF ONLY by Carole Geithner, Corinna finds it hard to navigate her world after her mother dies of cancer. As she slowly learns to cope, she encounters highs and lows that turn her eighth-grade year into one unlike any other. We are giving away 25 copies of the book to readers who enter the contest by Wednesday, March 28th at noon ET.

And in Janet Foxley's MUNCLE TROGG, Muncle is the littlest giant on Mount Grumble. Tired of the way the bigger giants tease him, Muncle decides to go on an adventure. And boy does he ever! We are giving away 25 copies of the book to readers who enter our contest by Wednesday, March 28th at noon ET.

Heads up all: March 2nd is Read Across America Day! This is a national celebration of reading designed to inspire new readers and to encourage further those of you who already love to read. Though it occurs but once a year --- on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, another celebration for him --- it reminds all of us about the importance of reading, and encourages us all to revel in the moments when we get to steal away with a good book. Click here to read all about the celebration.

We have 12 new reviews for you, including a new book from Kevin Henkes, PENNY AND HER SONG. The book tells the story of a girl who just wants to SING --- but the babies are sleeping! She can…hardly…hold…it….ahhhh.

We are also featuring a review of ISLAND OF SHADOWS, the beginning of Erin Hunter's Return to the Wild series, her second Seekers arc. In it, the three bears Toklo, Kallik and Lusa try to return home through a wilderness in which no one will guide them. Will they make it?

Speaking of series, our Geronimo Stilton series feature has once again been updated! This time we have added GHOST PIRATE TREASURE, the third installment in the Creepella Von Cacklefur series of books, to the list. In this latest addition, Billy Squeakspeare wants to find out who has been digging holes around his mansion --- which also happens to be where legendary pirate Morgan Darkwhisker is said to have buried his treasure. Could someone be looking for it?

Our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups have both been updated for February with some GREAT new books. Be sure to check these out as you browse the site.

And hey, guess what? We have updated our Coming Soon feature for March and April, so if you are curious about what books are hitting stores in the next couple of months, be sure to check out this feature! We’ve listed all the books that caught our eye --- and we think you’ll love our list.

Don’t forget about our latest poll. We want to know which movies based on books you saw or plan on seeing in theaters or on DVD. Think of this as your own Books-to-Movies Oscars! Whichever movie wins will be sure to thank The Academy --- you, that is.

By the way, we are redesigning Kidsreads.com and hope to have our re-launch ready by the end of March. If there is anything special that you would like to see on the site, please drop Maureen Linehan a note at Maureen@bookreporter.com!

Before I sign off, I must note the passing of Jan Berenstain, author of the classic Berenstain Bears series. She and her husband, Stan, who passed away in 2005, truly loved those bears, who went around the world solving everyday problems in their own hilarious, comforting way. I have fond memories of reading these books to my sons, and I know at least one of our staffers learned to read with them! We are glad we still have books to remember her by!

I better go before it turns into March. I hope you enjoyed your extra day this year! Think of it as a whole extra 24 hours you can devote to…reading!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

 
In Theaters March 2nd: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Dr. Seuss’s classic, The Lorax, will be coming to theaters in 3D on March 2nd (which just happens to be Dr. Seuss’s birthday!). In this much-anticipated film adaptation, twelve-year-old Ted wants more than anything to win the affection of Audrey. One day, Audrey tells him that everything in their town of Thneed-Ville is artificial, and that the one thing she’s always wanted is to see a real live tree. Ted sets out on a dazzling adventure to find one, and along the way he meets the Lorax --- a grumpy but charming creature who serves as a guardian of the natural world.
 
Click here to read more about Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.

 
Now in Stores: PENNY AND HER SONG by Kevin Henkes
PENNY AND HER SONG written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (Picture Book Fiction)
When Penny comes home from school, she is ready to sing her song. But the babies are sleeping, and Mama and Papa are worried that Penny will wake them up. Oh, but it’s a good song, a really wonderful song…and Penny wants more than anything to sing it. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

 
Click here to read a review of PENNY AND HER SONG.

 
Special Contest and Feature: IF ONLY by Carole Geithner

Corinna's world is crushed after her mother dies of cancer. How does she get through the funeral, trays of ziti, a father who can't communicate, the first day of school, Mother's Day, people who don't know what to say, and the entire eighth-grade year?

To celebrate the release of IF ONLY by Carole Geithner, Kidsreads.com is giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is ednesday, March 28th at noon ET.

IF ONLY by Carole Geithner (Fiction)
Corinna's world is crushed after her mother dies of cancer. How does she get through the funeral, trays of ziti, a father who can't communicate, the first day of school, Mother's Day, people who don't know what to say, and the entire eighth-grade year? Despite her alienation from many of her peers, including her best friend, she succeeds in finding support. She dares to bare her innermost fears, hurts and wishes, and even allows herself to have a flowering crush on a boy in the school band. She also finds out deep secrets about her mother that she never knew. It's a year that will change Corinna's life forever.

-Click here to read an excerpt from IF ONLY.
-Click here to read Carole Geithner’s bio.

 

Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Special Contest and Feature: MUNCLE TROGG by Janet Foxley

Giants live on top of Mount Grumble, hidden from humans below. But not all of them are big. Muncle Trogg is so small that he's laughed at by the others for being human-sized. Fed up, he decides to take a look at the “Smallings” he's meant to look like.

To celebrate the release of MUNCLE TROGG by Janet Foxley, Kidsreads.com is giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, March 28th at noon ET.

MUNCLE TROGG written by Janet Foxley, illustrated by O'Kif (Fiction)
Mount Grumble is where the giants live. But (contrary to what you might think, maybe because of their name) not every "giant" (see?) is, um...big. In fact, Muncle Trogg is so SMALL that all the other giants make fun of him for being (uh-oh) people-sized. And toss him around like a football!

Fed up, Muncle Trogg climbs down Mount Grumble to take a look at the Smallings (that would be humans) he supposedly looks like. What he discovers is...

...a sulky green dragon and a terribly sensible girl? But when Mount Grumble is put in harm's way, it's up to little Muncle to be the bigger smallest giant, prove that size doesn't matter, and somehow save his home!

-Click here to read an excerpt from MUNCLE TROGG.
-Click here to read Janet Foxley’s bio.

Click here to read all the contest details.

 
March 2nd is Read Across America Day!
NEA's Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2nd, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. It also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year. In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA's Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages.
 
Click here to read all about NEA's Read Across America.

 
Now in Stores: SEEKERS: RETURN TO THE WILD #1: ISLAND OF SHADOWS by Erin Hunter
SEEKERS: RETURN TO THE WILD #1: ISLAND OF SHADOWS by Erin Hunter (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
In Return to the Wild, the second Seekers arc from Erin Hunter, the three bears --- Toklo, Kallik and Lusa --- face new challenges as they begin their journey home through the wilderness and struggle to find their way with no one to guide them. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

 
Click here to read a review of ISLAND OF SHADOWS.

 
Now in Stores: EARWIG AND THE WITCH by Diana Wynne Jones and Paul O. Zelinsky
EARWIG AND THE WITCH written by Diana Wynne Jones, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky (Fantasy)
Earwig has been at the orphanage ever since she was a baby. She has her best friend, Custard, and everyone always does exactly what she wants. She never wants to leave, so she makes sure no one ever picks her. Then a very strange couple comes to the orphanage and chooses her out of all the other children. Earwig could be in for quite an unpleasant surprise. But so could the very strange couple. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

 
Click here to read a review of EARWIG AND THE WITCH.

 
Now in Stores: THE FOURTH STALL Part II by Chris Rylander

THE FOURTH STALL Part II by Chris Rylander (Mystery)
Mac’s organized school crime business has profited following his takedown of the legendary high school crime boss, Staples. But two new problems threaten to ruin it all. One is a mysterious eighth-grade girl, which can never be good news, and the other is the arrival of a strict assistant principal.

 

Click here to read a review of THE FOURTH STALL Part II.

 
Series Feature Update: CREEPELLA VON CACKLEFUR #3: GHOST PIRATE TREASURE by Geronimo Stilton
CREEPELLA VON CACKLEFUR #3: GHOST PIRATE TREASURE by Geronimo Stilton (Mystery)
Someone has been digging holes around Squeakspeare Mansion at night, and Billy Squeakspeare wants to find out who it is. The dangerous, legendary pirate Morgan Darkwhisker is said to have buried his long-lost treasure near Squeakspeare Mansion years ago. Could he be hunting for his hidden riches? It's up to Billy and Creepella to find the treasure first. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read our Geronimo Stilton series feature.

 
Click here to read a review of GHOST PIRATE TREASURE.

 
Coming Soon: Books Releasing in March and April

Curious about what books will be released in the months ahead? Then be sure to check out our Coming Soon section, where we currently have titles for March and April listed. Please note that we have not included every book coming out, but rather some that caught our eye --- and that we thought should catch yours as well.
 

Click here to see March and April’s releases.

 
Cool New Books for February
February’s roundup of Cool New Books includes ISLAND OF SHADOWS, the beginning of the second Seekers arc from Erin Hunter, which finds the three bears facing new challenges as they begin their journey home through the wilderness and struggle to find their way with no one to guide them; FANCY NANCY AND THE MERMAID BALLET by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, which follows Nancy’s struggle to bring fancy flair to her disappointing role as a tree in her upcoming dance show; PENNY AND HER SONG, Kevin Henkes’s latest picture book that introduces readers to Penny, who wants to sing her really wonderful song --- but her parents are worried she will wake the babies; and a few baseball-themed titles just in time for spring training: A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT, KING OF THE MOUND: My Summer with Satchel Paige, ABCs OF BASEBALL, RANDY RILEY'S REALLY BIG HIT and THERE GOES TED WILLIAMS: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.
 
Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for February.

 
February's New in Paperback Roundup
February’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes KINGDOM KEEPERS IV: POWER PLAY, a continuation of Ridley Pearson’s adventure story that pits the five teens who modeled as Disney Hologram Imaging hosts against the Overtakers, a group of Disney villains attempting to rescue two of their leaders imprisoned by the Disney Imagineers after a violent encounter at Epcot; BEST OF THE BEST, Tim Green’s latest Baseball Great novel that finds Josh LeBlanc trying to balance his parents’ impending divorce with making the winning plays at the Little League World Series; FAIRIES AND THE QUEST FOR NEVER LAND, the third installment in Gail Carson Levine’s chapter book series, in which Peter Pan comes at last and blows fairy dust on Gwendolyn Carlisle; and NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT, Gennifer Choldenko's story of three siblings who find themselves trapped in a fantastical place they've never heard of.
 
Click here to see what's New in Paperback for February.

 
This Month's Reviews
KINDRED SOULS by Patricia MacLachlan (Fiction)
Jake’s grandfather, Billy, hears the talk of birds, is 88 years old, and is going to live forever. Even when Billy gets sick, Jake knows that everything will go on as always. But there’s one thing Billy wants: to rebuild the sod house where he grew up. Can Jake give him this one special thing? Reviewed by Carole Turner.

MR. AND MRS. BUNNY – DETECTIVES EXTRAORDINAIRE! written by Polly Horvath, illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Mystery)
In this hilarious chapter book mystery, meet a girl whose parents have been kidnapped by disreputable foxes, and a pair of detectives that also happen to be bunnies! When Madeline gets home from school one afternoon to discover that her parents have gone missing, she sets off to find them. Reviewed by Kathy Purcell.

THE WINTER PONY by Iain Lawrence (Historical Fiction/Action & Adventure)
A white pony’s life changes forever when he's captured, and years of hard work and cruelty wear him out. When he's chosen to be one of 20 ponies to accompany the Englishman Robert Falcon Scott on his quest to become the first to reach the South Pole, he doesn't know what to expect. But the men of Scott's expedition show him kindness, and he soon finds himself caught up in one of the greatest races of all time. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

THE LIONS OF LITTLE ROCK by Kristin Levine (Historical Fiction)
Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn't have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. This friendship gives Marlee the courage to attempt the scariest of tasks, including giving a speech in front of her entire class. But Liz has a secret --- she is really an African American pretending to be white in order to go to the white school. And in 1958 Arkansas, this is a deadly offense. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE HUMMING ROOM by Ellen Potter (Fantasy)
Roo Fanshaw’s wealthy uncle agrees to take her into his home after she loses her parents. His strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets, and Roo keeps hearing eerie noises. People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth. Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room --- a garden with a tragic secret. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

BLISS by Kathryn Littlewood (Fantasy)
Rosemary Bliss yearns to be a true kitchen magician the way her parents are, literally mixing such ingredients as lightning bolts into the Bliss bakery products, with life-changing results for treat recipients. However, Rose's opportunity for magical cookery seems destined not to be…until her parents are called away from home and a mysterious stranger arrives. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

WARRIORS OF THE BLACK SHROUD by Peter Howe (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
The kingdom of Nebula lies deep in the underworld, where it is always night but never dark. True darkness --- the evil kind --- is lurking, and only a Chosen One, someone with the mark of the Nebulite king, can help save the kingdom from destruction by the Warriors of the Black Shroud. Astonishingly, the Chosen One is a child named Walker, who must first find the light within himself before he can lead Nebula to safety. Can he do it before it’s too late? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

WONDER by R.J. Palacio (Fiction)
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school --- until now. He's about to start fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. Auggie is just an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances? Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.


Graphic Novels:

NINA IN THAT MAKES ME MAD! written and illustrated by Hilary Knight, based on a text by Steven Kroll
What makes Nina mad? Lots of things --- lots of little, everyday things, frustrations that all children will recognize. But Nina knows how to speak her mind and that makes her feel much better. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.

JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER, Volume 1
An old man tells his attentive (and hungry) dog some amazing stories, including some inspired by fairy tales and fables from around the world. Reviewed by John Hogan.


 
This Month's Poll
Which of the following movies based on books have you seen or do you plan to see in theaters or on DVD? Please check as many as apply.

The Adventures of Tintin
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
Hugo
Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer
Mirror Mirror
Mr. Popper's Penguins
The Smurfs
War Horse
Winnie the Pooh
None of the above

 
Click here to answer the poll.
 

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