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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 5, Number 11 November 2006 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Fiction Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Psychology Shelf Poetry Shelf
Biography Shelf Children's Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Witness to the Twentieth Century
Theodore McNelly
Xlibris Corporation
International Plaza II, Suite 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113
1413465552 $21.95 1-888-795-4274

Witness to the Twentieth Century: The Life Story of a Japan Specialist is the autobiography of a life lived between multiple languages and cultures. Author Theodore McNelly (professor emeritus at the University of Maryland at College Park) tells of his recruitment by the U.S. Signal Intelligence Service during World War II, where he translated secret communications of the Japanese military; his daily life as an intelligence analyst in MacArthur's staff in Tokyo; his career as a teacher of political science at overseas American military bases; and the postwar developments he observed in England, France, Germany, Japan and Korea. Written with scholar's rigor, disseminating the author's life events and scholarly projects as meticulously as any historical study, Witness to the Twentieth Century is a highly insightful personal view of the repercussions of world-spanning changes.

The Fiction Shelf

Before I Go
Riley Weston
Campfire Press
15030 Ventura boulevard. Suite 706, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
0977954323 $21.95 1-818-789-7804

The debut novel of actress, screenplay, and television writer Riley Weston, Before I Go is the story of a mother and daughter in pursuit of a dream. Annie, an ice skating coach and former Olympic hopeful, intensely trains Madison in skating for a chance at great success. At the tender age of sixteen, Madison is so focused upon the dream of earning a gold medal that she is oblivious to the deep feelings her one friend, Jack, has for her. Yet when tragedy strikes, Madison must reexamine her life, and contemplate rebuilding a future that is not centered upon skating - and only then can she come to understand the true blessings that have enriched her life. Highly recommended.

Stay At Home
Sarah Phelan
Blanket Fort Publishing
117 Lakeview Avenue, Lynn, MA 01904
0977992705 $14.95 781-632-1824

Stay At Home: What Happens When Love Won't Take A Time-out? is a sweet and sexy romance novel about the unusual relationship between stay-at-home mother and frazzled daycare provider Janie Hadley, and suavely famous singer/actor Billy Smitts, who is seeking someone to care for his daughter. The two are a most unlikely pair; yet as both of them learn to set aside their differences for the sake of looking after their children, each begins to realize that something is missing from his or her life. A vibrant novel that dares to redefine the concept of "happily ever after".

The Blanchard Brothers Film Company
R. D. Snowcroft
Hampshire House Publishing Co.
8 Nonotuck Street, Florence, Mass 01062
0963681478 $21.95 413-584-1706

Former college instructor and journalist R. D.. Snowcroft presents The Blanchard Brothers Film Company, a novel set at the beginning of the twentieth century - when motion pictures were just beginning to spread as a form of popular entertainment in the nickelodeons frequented by the lower classes, while the upper classes watched theater and the middle classes attended vaudeville. In these times fraught with potential, the hub of motion pictures in America was on the East Cost, not the West; The Blanchard Brothers Film Company is a tale of two brothers whose vibrant studio flourished and faded. One brother was destined for fame and greatness in Hollywood; the other would fall into obscurity. The dynamics of the dog-eat-dog world of popular cinema, even in its infancy, make for a page-turning read steeped in the senses of yesteryear.

The Library Book
John Fiske
Black Spruce Media
8 Indian Hill, Beverly, MA 01965
0978549104 $19.95

The debut novel of John Fiske, The Library Book is a work of historical fiction set in New York's Gilded Age. The protagonist, an architect, strives to discover the relationship between art and artist - which controls which? As he observes his partner during the design and construction of The New York Public Library, he notes the transformations, frustrations, and joyful rewards of the artist's connection with his work. A fine period piece, exquisitely capturing a philosophical quandary and transformation as surely as it brings alive the shining yet corruption-ridden American culture of yesteryear.

Delta Pearls
Judith Bader Jones
Sweetgum Press
713 Tyler Street, Warrensburg, MO 64093
0972870822 $11.95

Written by Judith Bader Jones, Delta Pearls is an anthology of very brief stories - most only a few pages long - set in the Missouri Delta. Ordinary men and women facing challenges from poverty, racism, loss, and their own personal demons populate the pages, and Jones' capture of the Missouri Delta dialogue, as well as Southern culture, atmosphere, and daily life, is exquisite. A treasury of prose gems to savor one at a time or all at once.

Sex, Cheese, and French Fries
Carine Fabius
Kouraj Press
6025 Santa Monica Boulevard #202, Los Angeles, CA 90038
097850030X $16.95

Published author Carine Fabius presents her latest wickedly insightful work, Sex, Cheese, and French Fries: Women are Perfect, Men are from France, a novel of an American woman's relationship with her irreverent French husband. Flavored with the solid feeling of veracity that can only come from life experience, Sex, Cheese, and French Fries pokes fun at relationship foibles, including contentious issues of sex, lifestyle, raising children (or not), politics, language, food, and much more. A delightful skewed, story of the conflicts, trade-offs, and joys of sharing one's life one day at a time.

Oh, Rachel
Janice Irene Meissner
Vantage Press
419 Park Avenue, South, New York, NT 10016
0533152720 $22.95 212-736-1767

Oh, Rachel: An Esoteric Love Story is an emotionally involving romance between a thirty-eight year old woman and the lawyer she seeks legal aid from. Each has strict ethical principles and moral principles; both face quandaries in their daily lives, and the complex interplay of love effects not only on two people, but also on each one's network of family and friends, plays out with realism so strong the reader feels it in the gut. Sometimes torrid, sometimes practical, always resonant, Oh, Rachel is a love affair to remember.

The Creed Room
Daniel Spiro
Aegis Press
PO Box 3023, Del Mar, CA 92014
0974764523 $18.95 858-539-9847

Written by trial attorney Daniel Spiro, The Creed Room: A Novel of Ideas is the riveting story of a schoolteacher caught in the machinations of another. Responding to a most unusual advertisement, he and eight others are offered an unusual proposition: work together for several months to develop a unifying philosophy for humankind, the better to give hope to an increasingly divided world. Though the noble concept appeals to the group, none of them realize at first that their "benefactor" has his own dark purposes for enlisting them. Verbal sparring about fundamentalism, racism, poverty, the existence of God abound, as does the ability to find love even amid a battlefield of ideas. A powerful journey about the quest to bridge an increasingly ideological divides separating American from American.

The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin
John Burns, author; James Coles, illustrator
San Francisco Story Works
386 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
0977422704 $17.95 1-800-304-3269

"The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin" is a delightfully entertaining novel for readers age 5 to 95. Pengey is an inquisitive, orphaned young emperor penguin, who is rescued from the brink of death near an abandoned weather station. Courage, curiosity, and plucky determination all power his penguin heart, and he speaks his mind openly; soon, all his talents will be tested to the utmost for the sake of not only himself, but also his animal and human friends. A charming tale, sure to capture the reader's hearts from the very first page.

Pressed Pennies
Steven Manchester
Sunpiper Media Publishing
400 Denson Road, Hayden, Alabama 35079
55 Summerfield Avenue, Somerset, MA 02725 (author)
0977005046 $15.99

Pressed Pennies is a love story for the twenty-first century. Reflecting the contemporary era of divorce and single parenthood, Pressed Pennies follows the difficulties of living in a non-traditional family, connects love stories of all sizes, and follows the power to cherish living each moment. Pressed Pennies also reflects upon the "American Dream" and its tendency to substitute the latest luxuries, from fast food and day care to computers and cars, for long talks in porch swings and family dinners. A wistful, expressive, and open-minded novel offering an unforgettable portrait of how greatly modern life has changed with the generations.

Call Me The Canyon
Ann Howard Creel
Brown Barn Books
119 Kettle Creek Road, Weston CT. 06883
0976812649 $8.95

Written by prize-winning author Ann Howard Creel, Call Me The Canyon: A Love Story is part love story, part historical western. The young adopted daughter of a Mormon family has lived within the red walls of a canyon all her life; she longs to explore beyond, and when she becomes the canyon guide for a young Easterner, she just might have the opportunity. But is his love truly what she desires most? The allure of gold, the backdrop of the wilderness, and trials of personal faith combine in this captivating and emotional story.

The Chase
Jan Neuharth
Paper Chase Farms Publishing Group
PO Box 448, Middleburg, VA 20118
097295032X, $24.95,

Someone is out to get wealthy lawyer and handsome horseman Doug Cummings who barely escapes death from a suspicious vehicle accident. Set in the elite trophy town and foxhunting community of Middleburg, Virginia, "The Chase" is a riveting novel of suspense and intrigue, greed and revenge, loyalty and love – all against a background of an old-money community sharing the colorful lifestyle of the ‘horsey set'. Author Jan Neuharth's demonstrates a true mastery of the genre with her original and engaging story so well and wonderfully enhanced with memorable characters and unexpected plot twists. A thoroughly entertaining read for mystery buffs, and a welcome addition to community library collections. Also highly recommended is Jan Neuharth's early debut novel "The Hunt", which first established her as a true literary talent of the Mystery/Suspense genre.

Tulips & Roses
Budh-Aditya Roy
Selah Publishing Group
c/o Cate Cummings
7601 East 93rd Street, Kansas City, MO 64138
1589301633 $13.99

Written by India-born U.S. citizen Budh-Aditya Roy, Tulips & Roses is an anthology of ten stories following the life and memory of Jaideep Sen, whose path crossed a wide range of cultural and economic settings. He spread with him the gift of connection; through his subtle influence, others learned of the Divine Spirit in human nature that reaches out to fellow human beings. A treasury extolling the virtues of forgiveness, gratitude, and compassion, Tulips & Roses is a powerful reflection upon holy grace as experienced in simple daily life.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

6 Myths About Alternative Medicine
Colleen C. Badell Ph.D.
Turning Point Press
PO Box 4111, Napa, CA 94558-0411
0976112922 $12.95 1-707-259-1155

Written by Colleen C. Badell Ph.D, 6 Myths About Alternative Medicine: Using It Wisely is a balanced look at the alternative medicine industry - one that both respects the benefits of medical practices such as homeopathy, acupuncture, massage, and other techniques as well as warning consumers against the pitfalls of a questionably regulated, billion-dollar practice. 6 Myths About Alternative Medicine especially warning against the all-too-common Western mentality that curing sickness centers upon taking a pill rather than making responsible choices and effort to live a healthier lifestyle. The six expressly debunked myths about alternative medicine are: healers always know best, it can't hurt you, all remedies are created equal, you can't use it without proof, it's a good substitute for conventional medicine, and spirit is always positive. Neither a unilateral condemnation nor endorsement of alternative medicine, 6 Myths About Alternative Medicine is emphatically recommended reading for anyone considering alternative medical treatment.

Living With Diabetes
James W. Reed M.D., M.A.C.P, F.A.C.E., & Agiua Heath, M.D.
Hilton Publishing
110 Ridge Road, Munster, IN 46321
0974314404 $16.95

Written by James W. Reed M.D., M.A.C.P, F.A.C.E., and Agiua Heath, M.D., Living With Diabetes: A Guide for Patients and Parents is a no-nonsense guide written especially for lay readers, that takes the confusion out of what diabetes is and how best to treat it and live with it. From the different forms of diabetes that are commonly seen in adults and children, to why African-Americans are at risk, to recommended diet and exercise regimens, to how to deal with episodes of hypoglycemia, work with health care providers, or take proper care of oneself when pregnant and diabetic, Living With Diabetes is an absolute "must-have" for anyone who needs practical information on dealing with the condition, whether for oneself, a friend, or a loved one. Highly recommended.

The Self-Help Shelf

Becoming What You Want To See In The World
Mary Claire O'Neal
River Birch Publishing
PO Box 23198, Lexington, KY 40523-3198
097725660X $12.95

In "Becoming What You Want To See In The World: The Art Of Joyful Living", author, speaker, and consultant Mary Claire O'Neal does something that no other self-help manual writer has done quite in the same way before – she examines the ‘physics' of happiness and just how we can ignite and revive our passion an joy in life. Enhanced with personal stories, practical tools, and motivating activities, O'Neal draws upon her years of professional experience and expertise as a seasoned professional to instruct her readers in how they can live more fulfilling, balanced, and meaningful lives. "Becoming What You Want To See In The World" is a thoroughly ‘reader friendly' compilation of clear, concise principles and action plans that are founded upon effective and compassionate communication. If you only have time and energy for one self-help, self-improvement book at present, you would be well advised to make it Mary O'Neal's "Becoming What You Want To See In The World".

Can We Dance?
Susanne M. Alexander
Marriage Transformation LLC
PO Box 23085, Cleveland, OH 44123
0972689362 $18.95

Written by relationship coach Susanne M. Alexander, Can We Dance: Learning The Steps for a Fulfilling Relationship is an in-depth, self-help guide to the skills and communication abilities needed for a lasting, healthy relationship. Covering both romantic (including sexual) relationships and meaningful platonic friendships at length, Can We Dance? explores positive qualities to cultivate in oneself, how to prevent missteps in communication, how to earn confidence, how to keep expectations realistic and discuss them when needed, and much more. A solidly grounded, honest, and practical guide to better understanding and connecting with fellow human beings.

The Psychology Shelf

Women with Attention Deficit Disorder
Sari Solden MS, LMFT
Underwood Books
PO Box 1919, Nevada City, CA 95959
1887424970 $14.95 1-800-788-2123

Written by Sari Solden MS, LMFT, Women With Attention Deficit Disorder is a no-nonsense helpful compendium for women with ADD or ADHD, drawing upon true stories, treatment experiences and histories, and the latest clinical research to provide a plethora of options for improving quality of life. From learning techniques and behaviors to better cope with symptoms - such as planning in advance a course of action to undertake when an ADD attack brings the need to withdraw - to the "MESST" model of Medication, Education, Strategies, Support, and Therapy, to the value of redefining one's self image in a positive light, Women with Attention Deficit Disorder is a "must-read" especially for afflicted women but also filled with valuable insight and practical advice for their friends and loved ones. Highly recommended.

The Poetry Shelf

What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison
Camille T. Dungy
Red Hen Press
PO Box 3537, Granada Hills, CA 91394
159709000X $15.95 818-831-0649

Award-winning African-American poet Camille T. Dungy presents What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison, a collection of free-verse poetry about the vagaries of life, milestone marks, and common day-to-day observations, all narrated with a down-to-earth flavor and a unique gift for succinctly shaping emotion into the briefest of stanzas. A colorful collection that both revels in the joys of life and mourns its tragedies. "Fear": Do not change / your soap. I will not / know you. Fresh / from the shower / you smell sharp, / like a stone. / I know this. / I call it love. // Like my knowledge / of this hillside: sage / on the steepest slope, / eucalyptus, / near the rocky caves. This is how / I find my way home.

The Powow River Anthology
Edited by Alfred Nicol
Ocean Publishing
PO Box 1080, Flagler Beach, FL 32136-1080
0976729156 $14.95

Edited by award-winning poet Alfred Nicol, The Powow River Anthology is an anthology of contemporary poetry by 24 members of the prestigious Powow River Poets. The free-verse creations espouse a variety of themes as diverse as their authors, from a transcript of the words of God to His prophet to coping with the knowledge of what one weighs when stepping on the bathroom scale in the morning to a mother's grief at losing her son. Though each poem is brief, all are brimming with indefatigable human emotion. "Wide Brush": Late afternoon, in the slant winter light, / Where men are painting their white buildings white, / The shadows of their ladders climb the walls / To meet the covering darkness as it falls.

The Long Black Veil
Robert Cooperman
Higganum Hill Books
Po Box 666, Higganum, CT 06441
097765561X $12.95 1-800888-4741

Written by Robert Cooperman, The Long Black Veil is an anthology of free-verse poetry by Robert Cooperman in which each poem tells a piece of a greater story. Monologues reminiscent of balads bring together the tale of a community riven by murder, sex, violence, betrayal, secrets, lies, alcohol, execution, and miscarriage. A grim yet utterly fascinating portrayal of the dark side of a close-knit community. "Ludlow Haversham, the Prosecutor": With an election imminent, / I needed a conviction, especially / since the victim was our banker, / citizens coddled that their deposits / were safe as eagles' eggs in high nests.

Sophia's Lost and Found
Barbara Spring
Publish America
Po Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705
1424125448 $12.95 301-631-9073

Written by Barbara Spring, Sophia's Lost and Found: Poems of Above and Below is a collection of free-form verse embracing the wonders of nature. Short stanzas reflect upon topics as great as global warming to the blissful seasonal transformations wrought in the month of October to the moment-by-moment experience of a lunar eclipse. A quiet, contemplative reflection of forces that transcend and surround humankind. "Ocean Sounds": Bar Harbor lobstermen / know ocean sounds / rolled up form lowly troughs: / sonorous moos of amorous whales / and moans of moonstruck seals.

Lucas Hunt
Vagabond Press
PO Box 4830, Austin, TX 78765
0975571621 $10.00 512-343-1540

Written by Lucas Hunt, Lives is a collection of brief, free-verse poems addressed directly to human lives and dreams - whether written to a sexy mistress, to the unfathomable Muse, to a farmer, and in one sardonic twist of verse, a "Prayer for Idiots". A spot-on accurate cross-section of insights into the uniqueness of not only individual life, but also the seemingly commonplace phenomena that affects it. "Catharsis": Numerous times have I tried / to say something in vain; / Now thunder diminishes and / rain yields way to ribbon.

Mother, Speak To Us Of War
Marjorie Agosin
Western Edge Press
c/o Sherman Asher Publishing
126 Candelario Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
1890932329 $14.95

Ably translated into English by Betty Jean Craige, "Mother, Speak To Us Of War/Madre, hablanose de la guerra" showcases the bi-lingual poetry of Jewish-Latin-American author Marjorie Agosin as she takes on the subject of the human costs associated with the use of military force from the dirty little wars in third world countries to the global conflicts of the industrialized nations. ‘In Whispers': When one began/to speak in whispers/Ever so quietly/To shut the windows in summertime/So as not to heart the cries/Or the body being tortured/When one found it easy/To inform on a young neighbor/For subversive activities/And to turn away/Upon seeing him depart/In the boxcar of certain death//When the river filled with bodies/And people described them as thirsty animals/When the language of newspapers obfuscated/And people did not demand the truth/Then/And only Then/We became cowards

The Super Elastic Traveling Sound Circus
G. C. Rosenquist
Purple Sky Publishing
PO Box 12013, Parksville, MO 64152
0976901781 $15.95

Written by accomplished novelist G. C Rosenquist, The Super Elastic Traveling Sound Circus is a poetry collection assembled from metaphors drawing on all five senses. Each brief, free-verse poem touches upon the common elements that bind humans together as surely as the uniqueness that sets individuals apart. From cosmic concepts such as string theory to painful yet disturbingly common incidents such as divorce to the mysterious beauty of a sea flower, each topic speaks to a different element of the mystery of life. "Circle": I was born in the ocean / I was one-celled once / I know where I came from / Where the hell am I right now? // I left it all behind / I crawled up into the mud / to be where my future lies / Be neath the beating sun

The Mending Worm
Joan Houlihan
New Issues Poetry & Prose
Western Michigan University, 1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5331
1930974590 $14.00 269-387-2562

Written by award-winning poet Joan Houlihan, The Mending Worm is a free-verse poetry collection of brief verses that nonetheless resonate with the very impression of the moment. Each short poem exquisitely captures the essence of experiencing its subject, from rationing in 1945 to the clumsy motions of a somnambulist to the incurable condition that is ardor. A passionate, varied, an delightfully consumable collection. "Preparing Migration": Perfected in high chambers, massed / among leaves, they are many-bodied / and ready to obey / as air changes to its one right pitch. // Inched into moth-hammered sleeves, / autumn feeds its hundred / as they mince along the branch / unstable in their need to lift, then // all wing and hinge, they raise. / This is the way I want you - / as long-awaited, as sudden.

Dreaming at the Gates of Fury
Alexander Taylor
Azul Editions
2013 Park Road, NW, Washington DC 20010
1885214359 $13.00

Written by Alexander Taylor (professor emeritus, Eastern Connecticut State University), Dreaming at the Gates of Fury: New & Selected Poems is a collection of brief, free-verse poetry that expresses modern perspectives on everything from politics ("President Regan's Song") to ordinary day-to-day life ("I Set the Phone Off the Hook") to philosophical mysteries ("Dark Matter"). A descriptive and mindful anthology that evokes moments in time and glimpses into irony through the author's wordsmithing talent. "Angina": Like a hook jerked in your arm, / Brutus-stab, / mortality jolt, / asskicker of hope, / a can of worms.

The Secret Language of Women
Terry Martin
Blue Begonia Press
224 South 15th Avenue, Yakima, WA 98902-3821
0911287574 $15.00

English teacher and published poet Terry Martin presents The Secret Language of Women, an anthology of free-verse poetry that reexamines domestic life from the feminine perspective, reflects upon the sad fragility of all things, and explores innermost hopes and dreams. A gentle, reflective, and insightful whisper into the true meanings behind the building blocks of language. "Until They Told You What it Did to Rachel": and you never even thought about it, / never once considered / how your offhand comparison / to those who had slaughtered / her aunts and uncles / in Dachau, Auschwitz, Treblinka // discounted unfathomable loss, / trivializing her heartbreak / with your careless use / of that one small word. / Tonight, dark trains clatter / the tracks of your dreams.

Crow Call
Michael Henson
West End Press
PO Box 27334, Albuquerque, NM 87125
0975348663 $12.95

Crow Call is a collection of poetry written to eulogize, honor, and cherish the memory of poet Michael Henson's friend Buddy Gray, grassroots activist and co-founder of the National Coalition for the Homeless, who was sadly and mysteriously shot to death by a former client a decade ago. The verses range from regretful elegy to lashing critiques of perpetuated injustice. A moving tribute riven from the wrenching depths of grief, kinship, and respect for noble deeds. "The Song of Damage": There is no calling back a bullet. / The damage cannot be undone. / The hammer trips. / The bullet flies. / The nose of it touches the gate of the body / and opens it like a key. / Quickly, as if it had a plan - / no time for argument - / it pushes all aside. / Nothing stops it. / Nothing dares.

This Sharpening
Ellen Dorewatson
Tupelo Press
PO Box 539, Dorset, VT 05251
1932195432 $16.95

The fourth collection by Ellen Dorewatson (Director of the Poetry Center at Smith College), This Sharpening is an anthology of brief, free-verse poems devoted to marriage, divorce, the longings of love, the pain of seeing love fall apart, and the consolation of motherhood when a long marriage ends. An unforgettably feminine perspective on striving to achieve balance, and the sublime qualities of the mothering life. "Consider": How easily you let go the atticful of books, / loss preferable to visiting past lives, just // as you want to eat years of words - chew / and spit out. Ever mild, you sleep now // with a fierceness under your pillow. / But with what tenderness you regard // the fish on your plate, sweet with hoisin / and nothing you were ever married to.

Mona Poetica
Diane Shipley DeCillis & Mary Jo Firth Gillet
Mayapple Press
408 N. Lincoln Street, Bay City, MI 48708
093241236X $16.50

Edited by Diane Shipley DeCillis & Mary Jo Firth Gillet, Mona Poetica is the first ever anthology of poems inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci's classical and famous artwork, the Mona Lisa. The poems range from reflections on Leonardo's boyhood, to imagining the voice of Mona herself, to thoughts upon the transcendental relationship between artist and canvas. A delightfully inventive and varied tribute to a masterpiece of Western culture and its creator.

Signs of Life
Michael Madsen
13 Hands Publications
914 Westwood Boulevard, #518, Los Angeles, CA 90024
0976726017 $24.95

Actor and poet Michael Madsen presents Signs of Life, a stunning blend of full-color photography and free-verse poetry. Featuring a full-color photographs of unusual signs from hotels, diners, lounges, small businesses, and more, Signs of Life enhances the brilliant glimpses of Americana with scattering of free-verse poems, many of them about life on the road. A vibrantly distinctive compilation that smoothly fuses art, life, experience, and at the close, the tragic site of Terezin. "Terezin": We went to the camp today, / A place of death and horror, / A place like no other I've ever been. // Surviving. Alone. Lost and forgotten. / Left for dead - // Work will set you free: Arbeit Macht Frei

The Biography Shelf

I Survived Cancer but Never Won the Tour de France
Jim Chastain
Hawk Publishing Group
7107 South Yale Avenue, #345, Tulsa, OK 74136
1930709609 $19.95 1-800-462-6420

"I Survived Cancer but Never Won the Tour de France" is author Jim Chastain's personal, funny, poignant, and enlightening; memoir offering a unique, entertaining and informative memoir of living with cancer and dealing with all of its seeming contradictions. Completely candid, illustrative stories of the emotional battles that every cancer patient and their loved ones must go through (including, in Jim's case, multiple cancer surgeries that included the amputation of an arm), "I Survived Cancer but Never Won the Tour de France" is ultimately encouraging in its story of a young man seeking to hold on to his dreams, his marriage, fatherhood, and personal spirituality throughout the life-altering ordeal that inevitable is a part of any cancer diagnosis. Highly recommended reading – especially for patients and their families who are having to copy with the diagnoses and treatment of cancer.

Peeking Over the Edge
Cathy Jo Marley
1094 New DeHaven Street, Suite 100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
0741431696 $14.95 1-877-298-2665

Written by Cathy Jo Marley, whose own experience turning 50 provided inspiration, Peeking Over the Edge... Views from Life's Middle is a memoir of the joy of middle age, candidly exploring the second half of life as a time to be enjoyed to the fullest. From coping with a hysterectomy, to fondly recalling distant memories, to the luxurious yet tawdry experience of reading "bodice ripper" romances and more, Peeking Over the Edge offers a candid glimpse of the simple moments in life, and the relish of adapting to new changes with aplomb. A wonderful amalgamation of insights into the pleasures of life well lived.

Living Jonathan's Life
Scott M. Davis M.D.
Firstep Inc.
39867 Cricket Cove, Palm Desert, CA 92211
0977387003 $15.95 760-275-4318

Written by Scott M. Davis M.D. (ASAM-Certified Addiction Medison Physician of the world-renowned Betty Ford Center), Living Jonathan's Life is the chilling true story of identical twin brothers who share the misfortune becoming addicted to narcotic painkillers. Written in first person perspective, Living Jonathan's Life is an engrossing, solid narrative as well as a sharply cautionary tale against the rising popularity of painkillers - drugs that are more easily accessible than ever thanks to the internet, and that have become the drug of choice among teens, even surpassing marijuana. Extensive appendices filled with information for those struggling with or who know friends and families suffering from addiction problems round out this tell-all story, written not only to express grief and pass on life lessons learned, but also to be of immediate aid to any reader who needs it.

Adventure of Becoming an Airline Pilot
George Flavell
1094 New Dehaven Street, Suite 100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
0741431300 $17.95 1-877-289-2665

Adventure of Becoming an Airline Pilot: My Story as a High School Dropout Who Succeeded by Doing What I Dreamed is the straightforward life story of a pilot who achieved his dream of earning a living through flying for decades, until his retirement in 1995. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate his no-nonsense story of living a pilot's day-to-day life, the pressures, the all-too-minimal pay, close calls with disaster, the experience of handling different types of aircraft, and much more. An extremely candid portrait of a life and career devoted to skillfully handling airplanes, especially recommended for anyone contemplating a similar occupational path for their own life.

Finding Meaning with Charles
Janet Edmunson
Blueline Publicity
PO Box 4726 Portsmouth, NH 03802
0977813304 $15.95 1-603-205-0552

Written by inspirational speaker Janet Edmunson, Finding Meaning With Charles: Caregiving With Love Through A Degenerative Disease is a personal testimony concerning the experience of caring for a loved one through the progression of Parkinson's Plus syndrome. The importance of the serenity prayer - "To accept what I cannot change" - the test of faith in God that is watching a loved one gradually die, and the little day-to-day aspects of life. A profound and soul-baring memoir of observing twilight years.

Failure To Atone
Allen Hassan MD, JD, DVM
David Drum
PO Box 41053, Los Angeles, CA 90041-0053
097760490X $29.95 323-254-2723

Written by Allen Hassan MD, JD, DVM, Failure To Atone: The True Story of a Jungle Surgeon in Vietnam is the memoir of a medical doctor who volunteered to treat injured civilians near the front lines of the Vietnam War. A former US Marine, his work brought him into contact with so much unspeakable cruelty and brutality he became permanently opposed to the horror and tragedy of war. Hassan witnessed American military personnel attacking innocent civilians, soldiers so severely wounded that they were not sent back home for fear of demoralizing the public and undercutting support for the war, the remains of a South Vietnamese solider brutally executed for desertion while an American commander looked on, the remains of babies slain execution-style, and much more. A haunting read, every page poignantly real, and a cautionary tale against the worst that nations at war are capable of.

Child of War
Christel Fiore
1094 New DeHaven Street, Suite 100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
0741431432 $10.95 877-BUY-BOOK

Written by Christel Fiore, a German child who lived through World War II prior to her marriage to a serviceman and immigration to America, Child of War is a firsthand accounting of memories - memories of chronic food shortages that nearly led to the author's starvation, memories of a stoically dysfunctional and patriarchal family that made decisions about her life without consulting her, memories of her own shortsightedness, illogic, and thoughtless cruelty, and memories of the sister whose struggle to survive was even more difficult. Child of War spans the length of the war as well as the occupation and the division of the city of Berlin, ending with the author's sixteenth birthday. A compelling personal insight into the daily difficulties and realities of survival.

Easier Said
LeRoy A. Battle
The Annapolis Publishing Company
114 West Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401
1884878040 $18.50 410-280-1414

Easier Said is the autobiography of Tuskegee Airman, World War II veteran, educator, and jazz musician LeRoy A. Battle, an African-American man whose twentieth century life began during the Harlem Renaissance and grew to encompass multiple dreams. Narrated in a down-to-earth style, and illustrated with vintage black-and-white photographs, Easier Said tells of the importance of perseverance toward goals, especially when in a seemingly unhelpful or prejudiced environment, and the lasting reward of a role model's life lived to the fullest. Enthusiastically recommended.

My Tour In Hell
David W. Powell
Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
1932690220 $26.95 734-663-6861

My Tour In Hell: A Marine's Battle with Combat Trauma is the memoir of David W. Powell, a devout Christian who answered his draft notice to serve with the Marines during the Vietnam War. The horrors he experienced - cruelties, cold-blooded killing, and cowardice under fire among his allies, left a seemingly indelible imprint upon his life. Post-traumatic stress syndrome plagued him, contributing to broken relationships, alcohol abuse, fear of his own emotions and reactions, and a desperate effort to hide the service he willingly gave his country. In 1989, with aid from a technique known as Traumatic Incident Reduction, he was able to reclaim his life; My Tour In Hell spares no detail in recounting the horrors of war and the devastation left in its wake. A gripping, powerful, and intensely personal true story.

Stranger In My Skin
Alysa Phillips
Word Warriors Press LLC
3808 Blaisdell Avenue S, #309, Minneapolis, MN 55409
0974694029 $14.95

Stranger In My Skin is the true-life memoir of author Alysa Phillips, whose adolescence in a conventional Utah town turned dark and oppressive due to her controlling father and her involvement with a threatening boyfriend and his cult-leader father. The physical, sexual, and emotional abuse she suffered in her childhood left long lasting scars that simple "geographic cures" of moving herself from one place to another could not heal. Post-traumatic stress syndrome from the horrors she experienced drove her to mutilate herself and attempt suicide. Her survivor's story of a long, slow struggle toward the semblance of a normal life is an emotionally overwhelming testimony that cannot be put down.

Finding My Irish
Sharon Shea Bossard
Shea Publications
PO Box 238, Lake Zurich, IL 60047
0976757907 $19.95 847-5400-809

Finding My Irish is the memoir of Sharon Shea Bossard and her search to find out more about her Irish ancestry. An old letter mailed in 1949 proved to be the crucial link connecting her family to her cousins in Ireland; together, she and her husband discovered the villages, townlands, cemeteries, and parishes of her grandparents. A journey of self-discovery, pride, wonder, and folklore, Finding My Irish is an inspirational tale especially recommended for anyone preparing to embark on their own search to discover their unique heritage.

Ripples On The Water
Bill Thurwanger
Hudson House
Apt. 1105, 4750 East Union Hills, Phoenix, AZ 85050 (author)
1587768445 $17.95

Author and poet Bill Thurwanger presents Ripples in the Water: Starting Over Once Again, part memoir, part self-help guide written to aid the reader in restoring balance in their spiritual life, in the wake of a divorce or the loss of a loved one. Thurwanger, a devout Christian, learned early in life that God is his best friend; the power of faith to sustain and nurture the soul even in deepest crisis cannot be underestimated. The author speaks of his own painful divorce, and offers encouragement to others who may be struggling in the darkest moments of their lives. Points to ponder and short poems round out this true-life testimony of faith and the quest to live life to the fullest in service to God despite emotionally traumatic separations.

Inside Out Down Under
Diana Somerville
Beechworth Press
PO Box 744, Port Angeles, Washington 98362
0977353303 $18.95

Inside Out Down Under: Stories from a Spiritual Sabbatical is author Diana Somerville's true-life memoir of her year-long trip to Australia, following her own internal paths, in search of her center and discovering the wisdom of the world's oldest indigenous culture. A frank travelogue, that reflects upon Australia's natural beauty and majestic history as well as the author's personal quest, Inside Out Down Under blends wonder, exploration, spirituality, and joy into a thoroughly satisfying travelogue experience.

My Life as a Spy
Leslie Woodhead
Isis Publishing LTD.
7 Centremead, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0ES
0753193663 $32.50

Written by RAF veteran and former Cold War-era spy Leslie Woodhead, My Life as a Spy is a life story of the author's coming of age in trying times. Summoned to serve Her Majesty at the tender age of eighteen, Woodhead was trained in the Joint Services School for Linguistics on the East coast of Scotland, taught a course of total immersion in Russian, and posted to an ex-Luftwaffe base in Berlin, which still bore the marks of World War II. Serving as a clandestine informer amid the ruins of a city immersed in paranoia, Woodhead's true story tells of darkness, deception, imprisonment, brutal interrogation, and the harsh reality of daily life as a spy that was nothing like the fantasies of his boyhood. Highly recommended.

Eliza: An Iowa Pioneer
Frances Bries Wojnar
International Plaza II, Suite 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113
1413490026 $14.00

Written by Frances Bries Wojnar, great-granddaughter of Eliza Rolwes, Eliza: An Iowa Pioneer is a novelization of the author's ancestor, who came to America as a pioneer along with her brother during the first half of the 19th century. A dramatic anthology of frontier stories, as retold and passed down through the generations, Eliza: An Iowa Pioneer offers a fascinating window into the harsh life of yesteryear and the men and women who braved it. An absorbing portrait of a determined and hardy woman.

Friends Don't Quit
Arthur Rathburn
Fort Dane Books LLC
519 High Street, Dane, WI 53529
0977951685, $16.95 1-608-850-3472 (fax) 1-608-849-8530

Based on live interviews, personal documents, and historical research, "Friends Don't Quit: A True Story Of Love And Loyalty In Wartime Germany" is the remarkable and engaging biographical story of Maria, Hannelore, and Kaethe, three women who struggled together to survive as telephone operators during the turbulent rise and fall of Hitler's Germany during the years of the Nazi's corrupting domination over every aspect of German life. The continuing friendship, mutual dedication and compassion, and shared tribulations in the course of their daily lives during times of both peace and war is a testament to the enduring human spirit. Also available as an unabridged audiobook (0977951634, $32.95, CD), and a popular addition to community library Biographical Studies collections, -"Friend's Don't Quit" is deftly written, deeply engaging, often inspiring, inherently fascinating, and highly recommended reading..

Don't Use My Sweater Like A Towel
Jennifer Kelton
Green Knights Press
578 Washington Boulevard, Suite 388, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
097692210X $16.95

Part memoir, part amateur experiment, Don't Use My Sweater Like A Towel is an absolutely uncensored, at times sexually graphic memoir of author Jennifer Kelton's dating and sex life, and her surprisingly structured experiments to discern precisely how much value and accuracy lies in the myriad of dating self-help books and advice available today. Kelton was unable to bear children for medical reasons, and therefore was not under pressure from a biological clock, yet she was searching for the right man to share her life with - most of Don't Use My Sweater Like A Towel recounts the men that she dated, all of whom eventually proved unsuitable for a long-term relationship with her, but many of whom remained good friends after the sex ended. Of especial interest are the chapters in which Kelton reflects on dating advice books, and gathered information from her male friends as to whether women really shouldn't call a man back (the most common answer: if the woman never calls, the man may take it as a sign that she isn't interested), or how many dates there should be before sex (most agreed that it depended on what the people in the relationship felt was right), and similar questions. She also explored the questionable usefulness of bottled human phermones, and offers enlightening ponderings on the latest scientific findings about mating behaviors in the animal kingdom. Perhaps the most valuable advice in Don't Use My Sweater Like A Towel is the importance of having confidence in oneself and respect for others; the author's open story of her dating life certainly proves to be an invaluable and enriching experience.

The Children's Shelf

Charlie's Treasures
Richard Neumann & Dian de Wolf
Stone In The Surf Press
c/o Atlas Books
30 Amberwood Parkway, Ashland, OH 44805
0977460541 $19.95 1-800-BOOKLOG

In "Charlie's Treasures", author Richard Neuman has created an inspirational story of a young boy who shares his collection of marbles (his most valuable possession) with a kindly old man. Enhanced with artwork by Dian de Wolf, this 34-page picturebook embeds a wonderful message of sharing, compassion, and friendship across generational lines -- and what is truly important in our lives. Deftly written and very nicely illustrated, "Charlie's Treasures is itself a true treasure and a welcome, highly recommended addition to family, elementary school and community library ‘family values' collections for children preschool through second grade.

Cha-Cha & Zee Explore Our Nation's Capital
Indigo Tyler
TK Publishing
c/o Perceptive Marketing
13202 Dogwood Blossom Trail, Houston, TX 77065
0976510006 $16.95

Cha-Cha & Zee are two twin penguins who have a taste for travel, exploration and discovery. The only thing they like more than traveling is sharing their new knowledge with others. They visit Washington D.C., the capital city of the United States of America, where they explore several famous sites including the Washington Monument, the White House where the American president lives, the Washington Mall, and the Lincoln Memorial, taking in all the sights and learning of their historical significance and history. Especially recommended for school and community library collections, "Cha-Cha & Zee Explore Our Nation's Capital" is the debut title in a planned series of profusely illustrated and thoroughly ‘kid friendly' excursions to cities and places of special interest in American history for children ages 4 to 8.

The Seraphim Diaries
L. Ellen Gardner
Leigh Gardner
555 Rolling Meadows Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370 (author)
Xulon Press
2180 West State Road 434, Suite 2140, Longwood, FL 32779
1600341721 $15.99

Written by L. Ellen Gardner the Seraphim Diaries: The Light and the Lamb is a young adult novel about Quon, a young seraph angel who dares to leave the safety of the heavenly realms to learn more about the intriguing human world. Befriending two runaway orphan children, Quon becomes involved in a transcendental battle against evil. An engaging fantasy adventure for all ages with strong Christian themes.

The Fire and the Light
Tracy A. Akers
Ruadora Publishing
PO Box 1887, Zephyrhills, FL 33539
0977887502 $12.95

Written by teacher Tracy A. Akers, The Fire and the Light is book one of The Souls of Aredyrah series. A fantastic adventure set in a world where nothing is as it seems, The Fire and the Light follows an ordinary boy and a prince, bound together by bonds of blood and prophecy, in a land cursed by darkness, ignorance, and fear. Both boys crave only a normal life, but the shadowed world around them is desperate for transformation, even though sparking a rebellion could well bring about their own destruction. A poignant epic fable, highly recommended for all ages.

Minn From Minnesota
Kathy-jo Wargin
Mitten Press/Ann Arbor Media Group
2500 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
1587263041 $14.95

Minn is a young mouse who arrives in Minnesota via a bushel of cherries from Michigan. Upon her arrival Minn is befriended by a kind old lady named Gerdie who is willing to share her cozy Minnesota cabin with Minn. But when disaster strikes, Minn becomes lost and must embark upon a danger-fraught journey around the state in order to find her way home to Gerdie and the cabin. This is the second book in author Kathy-jo Wargin's delightful series of superbly written and entertaining books for young readers showcasing this intrepid little mouse and her adventures. Also very highly recommended for school and community collections is the first in the series, "Mitt the Michigan Mouse" (1587263033, $14.95).

Quiet Magic
Pauline McKinnon
ATF Press
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
1863550909 $16.95 703-661-1541

Written by family therapist and educator Pauline McKinnon, who has practiced meditation for over thirty years, Quiet Magic is a novel about a boy immersed in fast-paced life and modern technology. Yet only when he falls ill and must recuperate with old Mrs. Fender does he realize that there is much more to life; fresh air, open spaces, nature, the pleasure of relaxation, and the power to take control of one's future rather than let it be rushed and forced. An insightful parable about learning to manage and balance the stress of modern life, enjoyable for all ages.

Sunbirds and Evergreens
Gordon Zima, author
Paul Zima, illustrator
HuttonElectronic Publishing
160 Compo Road North, Westport, CT 06880-2102
0974289493 $10.00

Written by Gordon Zima, Sunbirds and Evergreens: The Nuk-Chuk Stories is an anthology of stories inspired by the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest. Some tales are fictional; some are grounded in truth or legends. The anthology follows a Native American boy named Nuk-Chuk, who is approaching the difficult journey into manhood. He learns what it is to become mature from the animals, from the process of exploration, and from the challenges he faces both without and within. Black-and-white artwork by Paul Zima enhances this absorbing coming-of-age saga.

Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Idylls press
PO Box 3566, Salem, OR 97302
1595970061 $24.95

Enhanced with thirteen black-and-white illustrations by John Murphy, award winning poet, author and teacher Maureen McQuerry's "Woolfproof" is the story of Timothy James, Sarah and Jessica, three ordinary middle school children who, with the assistance of a mysterious old woman and a magical wolf, find themselves battling with an ancient one-eyed evil from the world of Celtic mythology and the legend of the Wild Hunt. This adventure fantasy for young readers is a superbly crafted entertainment that will engage the attention of children from beginning to end. "Wolfproof" is especially recommended for school and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections.

My Alien Penfriend
Faiz Kermani
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
1420858602 $11.49

Written by London resident Faiz Kermani, My Alien Penfriend is a novel for young adult readers about two children living on opposite sides of the galaxy - one earthling, one extraterrestrial - who communicate and forge a strong friendship. Their interest in one another's planets becomes shadowed by a terrible force that puts them in danger, yet together they discover the true meaning of friendship. My Alien Penfriend is written in the unusual format of written letters between the two, with the occasional newspaper article from both worlds thrown in. A handful of black-and-white illustrations add their own touch of whimsy and wonder to this delightful story.

Sometimes I Get So Angry
David A Anderson, Ph. D. & Paul Sirimongkhon
Pensive Press
205 Bluffwood Drive, Danville, KY 40422
0970905718 $14.50 859-319-2277

Written by David A Anderson, Ph. D. and illustrated by Paul Sirimongkhon, Sometimes I Get So Angry: Anger Management For Everyone is a picturebook about controlling negative emotions before they lead to harm. The text and wildly vibrant illustrations alternate between different types of bad temper, followed by things to think about to help one feel better. Enthusiastically recommended for families as a means of teaching children how to master destructive impulses from the earliest possible age. "Sometimes I get so mad I could hurt someone! / But then I take my thoughts outside and get some exercise and fresh air and I feel much better. // Sometimes I get so bothered I could hate a group of people! / But then I imagine myself as a member of that group, and I begin to understand their behavior, and I see that my enemies could be my friends."

Is That Funny?
B. Patrick Schotz & L. J. Ruell
4N Publishing
44-72 21st Street, D6, Long Island City, NY 11101
0974131962 $15.95 718-482-1135

Written by B. Patrick Schotz and illustrated by L. J. Ruell, Is That Funny? is an easy reader picturebook showing different animals in a variety of impractical yet humorous situations. An accompanying CD features a read-aloud narration of the book, sound effects, a theme song and chuckle-inducing laughter. Is That Funny? is sure to bring a smile to the faces of beginning readers. "A rhino trying to eat a melon stuck on its horn? / Is that funny? // A hamster on a skateboard? Is that funny?"

Alexander The Great Rocks The World
Vicky Alvear Schechter & Terry Naughton
Darby Creek Publishing
7858 Industrial Parkway, Plain City, OH 43064
158196045X $18.95 1-800-328-4929

Written by Vicky Alvear Schechter and illustrated by Terry Naughton, Alexander The Great Rocks The World is a historical biography of legendary conqueror and emperor Alexander the Great. Written especially for adolescents and teenagers, Alexander The Great Rocks The World chronicles the events of Alexander's life, his military conquests, his ideals of unity, his battle tactics, and much more in detailed yet plain-spoken vernacular language. Black-and-white representations of classic artworks and illustrations add a visual touch to this fascinating, easy-to-follow accounting of how Alexander the Great literally changed world history. Of especial interest are the concluding sections that compare Alexander's heroic and villainous legacies - he spread the Greek ideal (if not practice) of democracy, was committed to tolerance, and respected women more than most of his age; but then, he also crushed the practice of democracy in Greece and instigated bloodshed in the form of war and conquest. Enthusiastically recommended especially for grade school and YA library collections.

The 72 Names Of God for Kids
Yehuda Berg with Dev Ross
Kabbalah Centre
155 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017
1571895434 $14.95

Written by the "People's Kabbalist" Yehuda Berg with award-winning author Dev Ross, The 72 Names of God for Kids: A Treasury of Timeless Wisdom introduces young readers to Kabbalah teachings and combinations of Aramaic letters that spell God's names - not ordinary names like Joshua or Sarah, but rather mystical names that can help one quiet selfish impulses, open one's heart spiritually, and become a better person. The names embody positive qualities from stopping fighting to happiness to freedom, believing in ourselves, and much more. The color illustrations express emotion directly to young hearts, in this enthusiastically recommended introduction to Kabbalah spirituality.

The Birds of the Harbor
John Italia & Elena Caravela
Shenanigan Books
129 West End Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901
0972661476 $14.95 908-522-3147

Written by bird lover John Italia and illustrated by portrait artist Elena Caravela, The Birds of the Harbor is a splendid picturebook about a young boy's wish to experience the wisdom of the birds. His strict mother denounces his beliefs as foolish, yet his desire to know leads him to a forbidden visit to the harbor, and an experience with a seagull that will resonate in his imagination and transform him forever. The sweepingly beautiful artwork adds a majestic touch to this wonderful fable.

Christmas Turtles
Sara Ann Denson & Tara McMillen
Purple Sky Publishing
PO Box 12013, Parkville, MO 64152
0976901765 $16.95 816-516-8956

Written by award-winning author Sara Ann Denson and illustrated by Tara McMillen, Christmas Turtles is a picturebook not about live turtles, but rather about a tasty Christmas candy treat made of pecans and chocolate - and the years of tradition that go behind making and sharing it. Written to be read aloud, or for children who are just old enough to be on the cusp of graduating from picture books to chapter books, Christmas Turtles is a delight for the family to share as the holiday season approaches. The final page gives the recipe for making Christmas Turtles in one's own kitchen.

My Mom Loves Me More Then Sushi
Filomena Gomes & Ashley Spires
Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Suite 401, Toronto, ON M5V 2M5
1897187092 $12.95 416-537-7850

Written by Filomena Gomes and illustrated by Ashley Spires, My Mom Loves Me More Then Sushi is a picturebook about a mother and daughter who enjoy making and sharing tasty specialty foods from around the world. From sushi to couscous to crepes and jambalaya, each dish is a delight to create, but the greatest delight lies in the loving bond between mother and daughter. Whimsical color illustrations add a festive touch to this celebration of flavors and family love.

Sandy Claws And Chris Mouse
Lois Shope, Ray Shope, & Michael White
Flutter-by Productions
c/o Integrated Book Marketing
PO Box 321, Kings Park, NY 11754
0971473404 $13.95 631-979-5990

Written by Lois Shope, Ray Shope and illustrated by Michael White, Sandy Claws is a rhyming picturebook about the true meaning of Christmas. When a lonely orphan kitten defends a struggling mouse family from predators, they invite her to share their home - the Chris Mouse tree. Together, kitten and mouse are given the amazing opportunity to witness the birth of baby Jesus, and warm him in his sleep, while other animals decorate the Chris Mouse tree in his honor. An imaginative and warmhearted Christmas story, illustrated in a gently minimalist style.

The Topsy-Turvy Towel
Julie Goulis & John Ferguson
Bubblegun Books
2401 Tremont Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113
0975462121 $14.95 877-471-5718 www.bubblegumbooks

Written by Julie Goulis and illustrated by John Ferguson, The Topsy-Turvy Towel is a rhyming picturebook about three best friends who share a wonderful day together on the beach. Their imaginations transform their simple beach towel into a focus for one fantastic glimpse of adventure after another. The enthusiastic, freestyle color illustrations beautifully enhance the carefree story, rounded out with a handful of sample creative activities on the final two pages.

One Incredible Dog! Kizzy
Chris Williams & Judith Friedman
Moo Press
c/o Keene Publishing
PO Box 54, Warwick, NY 10990
0976680556 $15.95 845-987-7750

Written by Chris Williams and illustrated by Judith Friedman is the latest in the One Incredible Dog! easy reader picturebook series. Black-and-white illustrations depict the daily life of Kizzy, a dog specially trained to help children and adults practice their reading and speaking skills. Kizzy's non-judgmental attitude and love of fun and games is a wonderful thing that helps people of all ages learn and develop. Recommended especially for young dog lovers.

Turtles In My Sandbox
Jennifer Keats Curtis & Emanuel Schongut
Sylvan Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Boulevard, Suite 3, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
097688237X $15.95 1-877-958-2600

Written by Jennifer Keats Curtis and illustrated by Emanuel Schongut, Turtles In My Sandbox is a picturebook about a young African-American girl who one day discovers a nest of turtle eggs in her very own sandbox! She decides to take care of the little terrapins until they hatch and are big enough to feed themselves. Then with the help of experts, she releases them into the bay where they belong. Turtles In My Sandbox is wonderfully educational as well as entertaining, featuring a "For Creative Minds" section of fun turtle facts and instructions for crafting paper replicas of turtles.

A Dachshund's Wish
Joe Tavano & Ji Yu
Traitor Dachshund LLC
Church Street Station, PO Box 1324, New York, NY 10008
097442871X $13.95 212-267-7662

Written by animal welfare supporter Joe Tavano and illustrated by Ji Yu, A Dachshund's Wish is a trade paperback story written especially for young readers who are ready to take the next step from picturebooks to chapter books. Watercolor-style illustrations of a cheerful young dachshund and the animals he meets add a vibrant touch to this heartwarming story, in which young Paws' searches for The Great Mae to have his dearest wish granted - the wish to become a boy instead of a puppy. But when he meets The Great Mae, he learns that there are more to appearances - both those of living creatures and those of innermost wishes - than he ever guessed. Highly recommended.

Old Dog and the Christmas Wish
Christine Davis
Lighthearted Press Inc.
Po Box 90125, Portland, OR 97290
0965922537 $12.95 1-877-385-6837

Written and illustrated by animal lover Christine Davis, Old Dog and the Christmas Wish is a gentle picturebook for young readers about an old dog near the end of his life, and a Christmas angel who grants his selfless wish. When the old dog sees a Christmas manger carving, he notices that several wooden animals are there to greet the birth of a very special baby, but no dog. He wants to join the animals more than anything else, and as his time on Earth comes to a close during Christmas Eve, the angel gives him the opportunity to do just that. A delightful seasonal picturebook celebrating faith and love.

Haunted Hill
Andrew Oliver
Adams-Pomeroy Press
PO Box 189, Albany, WI 53502
0966100972 $12.95 608-862-3645

Written by Andrew Oliver and intended for juvenile readers ages 10-14, Haunted Hill: A Sam & Stephanie Mystery is a novel that touches on serious themes. When Sam and Stephanie investigate a the Wisconsin small-town phenomenon of a mysteriously moaning hill, they uncover a secret that threatens their lives. Worse, one of Sam's brothers could be involved in notorious local drinking and drug parties. Amid the tangle of hidden motives, Sam and Stephanie also cultivate a friendship with two elderly neighbors, and search for clues to a riddle spanning the past century and a half. An adventurous and thought-provoking read for young people.

God is in the Refrigerator
Kimberly King & Erik Jones
5364 Ehrlich Road, #248, Tampa, FL 33624
0977193640 $18.95 877-969-3283

Written by devout Christian Kimberly King and illustrated by Erik Jones, God is in the Refrigerator is a picturebook written to express a profound message of God's love and providence to young people. God is in the Refrigerator tells of how, when a woman and her family were most in need, God answered their prayers in a most unexpected manner, and taught her a lesson she would carry in her heart and pass on to her children and grandchildren. "I have learned to be patient as He works His miracles every day. "He's never in a hurry, but He's never late. You just have to be ready when He knocks so that you can open the door."

The Christmas Book Of Hope
Jeff Verney & Frederick H. Carlson
Integrated Book Publishing
PO Box 321, Kings Park, NY 11754
0977125009 $14.95 631-979-5990

Written by Jeff Verney and illustrated by Frederick H. Carlson, The Christmas Book Of Hope is a Christian picturebook about the power of faith transcending generations. Three hundred years ago, Timmy's ancestor was supposed to receive a book from Santa Claus for Christmas; but the book was lost for centuries - most likely because one day young Timmy would need it more. The book's sacred message is about "the power of prayer and the magic of faith. Most importantly, he read that if you believe in Jesus, God will take care of you, especially when times are bad." A powerful and beautifully illustrated story with a strong Christian message for young readers.

Matthew And The Money Tree
Matthew Lynch & Paul Loudon
Lynch Publishing
2324 Princess Pine Drive, Jackson, MS 39212
0977960854 $14.95 601-506-0382

Written by Matthew Lynch and illustrated by Paul Loudon, Matthew And The Money Tree is a picturebook fable about an African-American boy who sets out in search of the legendary Money Tree. When he sees a drowning man, his compassion causes him to rescue the seemingly helpless victim; in return, the old man guides Matthew to the Money Tree and tells him to "Take as much as you need." Matthew realizes that he needs nothing - his father and family provide for him, and he lives a happy life. "The next time someone tells you that money doesn't grow on trees, remember Matthew, and know that even if it did, you don't need it to be happy." Highly recommended.

Traveling Babies
Kathryn O. Galbraith & Jane Dippold
T&N Children's Publishing
11571 K-Tel Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55343
1559719397 $16.95 952-933-7643

Written by Kathryn O. Galbraith and illustrated by Jane Dippold, Traveling Babies is a picturebook featuring color photographs of how ten different animal babies move around. From loon chicks hitching a piggyback ride, to a kangaroo joey in its mother's pocket, to a lion cub carried by the scruff of its neck, each picture shows a different mode of travel - as opposed to human toddlers, who can move about on a bike or a wagon! The gorgeous natural photography contrasts with the whimsical sketches of little people, in this delightful easy reader.

Christmas At The Candle Factory
Barbara L. Johns & Carolyn R. Stich
Steeple Ridge Publications
7220 Hillside Drive, Clarkson, MI 48346
0976286211 $16.95 1-800-641-5570

Written by Barbara L. Johns and illustrated by Carolyn R. Stich, Christmas At The Candle Factory is a tender holiday story about a candle factory cat who has to cope with looking after a brand new kitten. The feisty kitten is constantly getting into trouble, leaving the older cat at her wit's end... but when the kitten is taken away, the old cat comes to realize how lonely she was before the little one came into her life. A happy reunion just in time for Christmas concludes this wonderful story of friendship. Also highly recommended is the authors' previous picutre book, "The Cat In The Candle Factory."

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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