Howard Baltus

Millie and the Moon

Millie and the MoonNew!

How did it get so dark? Millie wasn’t sure. All she knows is that she’s scared. Clutching her teddy bear helped a little, but she always felt safest when Moon glowed just outside her window. Could Moon return full and bright each night like Millie asked? Would others notice? What harm could there be in that? Moon remembered what it felt like to be afraid.

This sweet story begins with a vulnerable mouse named Millie who eventually learns that although the moon can’t stay full for her each night, it always comes back. With help from Moon, Millie is able to put her fear of the dark aside when she realizes that what might be good for one is not always good for all.

**Note: All copies are signed by the author**

Millie and the Moon is available on Amazon.

Leopold the Lion

Leopold the LionNew!

When Jack and Ella come across a friendly–and talented!–lion in their backyard they are thrilled to take him in as their pet. And they’re positive they know just how to care for their new pet, ignoring Grandpa’s cheeky asides. But soon Leopold the Lion grows despondent and chubby. Even the circus who lost him won’t take him back! Do Jack and Ella know what to do to get Leopold healthy again? A sweet story with a subtle commentary on making healthy choices.

Keeping a lion as a pet is never easy. Jack and Ella find a lion in their backyard, a lion that can perform backflips and somersaults on the trampoline! They, of course, want to keep him. Sneaking him by their parents is simple (they are busy, and the role reversal portrayed in their jobs is refreshing). And although Grandpa seems to sense something is up, he lets them be. Jack and Ella feed the lion a steady diet of chips and snacks. When they go to school, they make sure he is occupied with plenty of electronic games. Unsurprisingly, the once-boisterous lion turns listless and lethargic. Barshaw shows him tragically slumped on the floor, barely able to lift one claw to place on the touch-screen of his device. He has no desire to go outside and play. Even when his circus past is discovered, Leopold does not want to perform anymore. Luckily, Jack and Ella (with some help from Grandpa) realize how wrong they were. Lions (and children, by extension) need a healthy diet and exercise. The lesson is obvious, but it’s delivered with a light touch. Details such as the children’s pictorial list of “good pets to get” and a packet of freeze-dried wildebeest (“made with pride”) keep the illustrations lively. Jack, Ella, and their family are portrayed with dark skin and hair, with no obvious ethnic markers, allowing for a wide range of identification. An essential look at the importance of an active lifestyle sneakily disguised as a fanciful feline tale.
(Picture book. 4-7)
— Kirkus Reviews
PreS-Gr 2–Jack and Ella discover a lion doing somersaults on their backyard trampoline and want to keep him. While the siblings easily sneak the wild feline past their distracted parents, their grandpa knowingly quips, “Doesn’t look like an indoor cat to me.” After Leopold is fed a misguided diet of junk food, his fur becomes knotted and the sparkle goes out of his eyes. His physical prowess is also dulled by hours of languidly playing on mobile devices. Barshaw’s ink and watercolor cartoon illustrations drive home the message by showing the former king of the jungle lolling supine on the floor surrounded by empty snack wrappers and pop bottles. When reunited with his circus family, Leopold is unable to do his trademark tricks and is unceremoniously ousted. Jack and Ella bring him back home and, this time, provide a nutritious regime of “freeze-dried wildebeest” and plenty of rigorous exercise. VERDICT A whimsical story that could spark healthy living discussions.
–Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

Happy, Healthy Heart

Happy, Healthy Heart

Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body and it’s important that you take care of it.

Here are a few things you can do to have a happy and healthy heart:

Leopold the Lion by Denise Brennan-NelsonGet moving
Your heart is a muscle and it is stronger if you are active. Try and be active every day for at least 30 minutes. Walk, run, and play every day!

Eat right
Eat the rainbow! Eating colorful foods are good for you. Think apples, oranges, peppers, carrots, blueberries, etc.  Try and eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Leopold the Lion by Denise Brennan-NelsonStay away from sugary soft drinks and fruit drinks.

Get plenty of sleep
The CDC recommends that school-aged children get at least 10 hours of sleep a day.

Don’t smoke!
Cigarettes are toxic and dangerous and smoking them can shorten your life. According to the American Heart Association, smokers die more than 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Make choices every day that will keep your heart happy and healthy.

Download Leopold the Lion Activity Pages
for more tips and ideas on staying healthy.



Dream it. Do it
Eat dessert first
From a family of 10
Imagination is key
Journaling helps
Mom of 2
Nourishes Enthusiasm
One of a Kind
Read, Read, Read!
Trust your instincts
Usually right
Voice opinion
What kids say
Xantippe – not!
Zealous singer