One memorable day, after the author's family fled from Moscow to Kazakhstan, his father brought home a map instead of food. This vibrant autogiographical picture book shows how that impractical act fed another kind of hunger.
Graceful watercolor paintings and a compelling tale of city dwelling red-tailed hawks on an apartment house window ledge will engage readers' sympathies and underline the necessity of protecting habitats, even in the heart of a city.
Ali, a contemporary boy in Baghdad, loves calligraphy and, just as his hero, Yakut, did in the 13th century, finds creating beauty to be a refuge from the trials of war. Stylized collage illustrations evoke the elegance of Arabic art.
Sophisticated ideas underlie this story of a Japanese cat searching for the meaning of her name. Young's design helps readers see in unusual ways, from the scattering of haikus over the vertically oriented text to collages which make the ordinary beautiful.
Unusual perspectives, both in illustrations and in multiple points of view, provide a kaleidoscopic survey of those who planned, financed, and built the Statue of Liberty, including a child who donated chicken-raising profits.
Multiple layers convey Lincoln's impact through quotes, free verse accounts of his life, a chronology, and a list of websites. Report-writers and curious readers alike will learn much about our sixteenth President's brilliant visionary leadership.
Veteran performer Christina Moore leads an all-star cast which includes Katherine Kellgren and John Keating. Each narrator plays three or four medieval roles, and together they create a truly astonishing range of personalities. Lively period music rounds out a production that gives young readers entrée into a world they might have missed in print. (10-14)
When Lee Scoresby makes an unplanned balloon descent, he encounters greedy villains, a damsel in distress, and the majestic armored bear, Iorek Byrnison. Pullman narrates in his mellow baritone, and a stellar cast of professionals add drama and excitement. Fans of the Dark Materials trilogy on audio should not miss this brief but welcome prequel. (10-14)
When a tidal wave throws a native boy and a proper Victorian girl together on an island, they discover that "one person is nothing, two are a nation." Pratchett's imagined parallel world features cannibals, hidden treasure, a fair bit of philosophy, and even some humor as Briggs illuminates the fear, desperation, and hopes of those who must go on living in a suddenly altered universe. (14 and up)
The wily Willoughby children are easily a match for their dastardly parents as each group tries to rid themselves of the other. Arte Johnson's off-hand delivery and comic timing perfectly convey this faux-gothic tale. Listeners will even laugh their way through the glossary at the end. (7-10)