To celebrate the 150th year of Frederick Warne, publishers of the Peter Rabbit books, Penguin Random House will release “Classic Children’s Tales” ($25) on Oct. 6. The collector’s edition includes “Sly Old Cat” which is a previously unpublished work by Beatrix Potter, author of the Peter Rabbit books. The work also includes Edward Lear’s “Nonsense Songs and Stories” and “The Book of Nonsense,” both beloved rhyming tales. Randolph Caldecott’s “Sing a Song of Sixpence” is included, as is Kate Greenway’s “Mother Goose.” Parents who treasured the stories will want to introduce their children to this book of famous works, and children of all ages will enjoy the timeless tales.
G & D Vintage has introduced three more titles in the Wonder Book classics, a series first published in the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s and long out of print. The editors have culled the files to come up with timeless stories, and have updated the designs and fonts to meet modern tastes. Joining the series now are “Mr. Wishing Went Fishing,” “Animals’ Vacation,” and “Bingity-Bangity School Bus,” all at $7.99 and all suitable for children ages three to five.
“Horrible Harry and the Top-Secret Hideout” (Viking, $14.99) by Suzy Kline continues the series with a tale about protecting the environment. Harry has a secret hideout in the woods outside South School, but developers are planning to cut down the woods and build a big apartment building. Harry has to tell his best friend Doug and the rest of their classmates in Room 3B about the hideout before the damage is done. He introduces them to the tadpoles, salamanders and wildflowers that inhabit the woods and they all decide the spot is perfect for a nature center. However, without the support of the school board, the dream will never come true. To save his woods Harry will have to share his secret with everyone. Can he? This book, on sale Oct. 6, is best for children six to eight years old.
“Bea in the Nutcracker” (Nancy Paulsen Books, $16.99) by Rachel Isadore is a retelling of the classic “Nutcracker” ballet and goes on sale Oct. 6. Bea is Clara, the young girl who falls asleep on Christmas Eve and dreams that her nutcracker is a real soldier who battles mice and travels to magical lands. The book will appeal especially children three or older who are themselves aspiring ballerinas.
“A Passion for Elephants” (Dial, $16.99) by Toni Buzzeo, on sale Sept. 29, is about scientist Cynthia Moss and her fight to save the African elephant. Moss first encountered the animals at Ambolesi National Park in Kenya and decided to devote her career to saving them from ivory poachers. The illegal hunters kill the animals for their ivory tusks which they sell on the black market. Poachers have killed more than 100,000 African elephants in the past three years, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Buzzeo explains in words and pictures how scientists study animals, particularly big animals like elephants, and why it is important to protect them. The book is suitable for children eight to 12 years old.
“The Boo-La-La Witch Spa” (Dial, $16.99) by Samantha Berger arrives just in time for Halloween gifting for three-year-olds. When Halloween is over and the witches are worn out from trick-or-treat night, they go to the Boo-La-La Witch Spa to rejuvenate. While enjoying a cup of Bat-Whisker Tea they indulge in a Broom Bristle Facial or Electric Ell Therapy. The silly rhymes will soon have parents and children laughing together.
“Thanksgiving Activity Book” (Grosset & Dunlap, $9.99) by Karl Jones will keep children ages eight to 12 entertained through the upcoming holiday season. The book has mazes, stickers, and even press-out pieces for making a Thanksgiving table centerpiece. It is chock full of craft ideas, recipes and games all centered on this November holiday. Children can learn about the history of the holiday and the traditional food. Other activity books in this series include “Day of the Dead” and “Chinese New Year.”
In a time where grade inflation is rampant, “An A from Miss Keller” (Putnam, $17.99) by Patricia Polacco shows the real value of a good grade. Though aimed at children ages five to eight, the book carries a lesson for readers of all ages. Trisha is a student in Miss Keller’s writing class, and she has heard the rumor that Miss Keller never gives an A. She soon learns this is true. However, after facing a personal loss, she turns to her writing for solace. The writing she does is so heartfelt Miss Keller tells her, “You’ve given your words wings” and she earns the coveted A after all. The book goes on sale Sept. 29.
“Juliette Gordon Low: America’s First Girl Scout” (Puffin, $7.99) by Kathleen Kudlinski is part of a series about great 20th Century women. More than 59 million women in America were Girl Scouts, and their children are adding to the numbers. Learn the true story of the founder and more about the movement that has spread to 146 countries.