Book List

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

Tallulah: Mermaid of the Great Lakes

Tallulah: Mermaid of the Great LakesReleased in April….

Tallulah doesn’t look like the other young mermaids living in the ocean. Her tail is a dull gray. And when all the other mermaids go on a quest to find the special gemstones that make their tails sparkle with color, Tallulah doesn’t find her gemstone at all. When Turtle suggests that Tallulah searches the Great Lakes she is eager to give it a try, even though the other sea creatures believe mermaids don’t belong in lakes. Tallulah explores the Great Lakes from north to south and east to west, until she finds a beautiful Petoskey stone and she realizes that she is finally exactly where she belongs.



A group of young mermaids is given instruction on searching for a personal gemstone to enhance their tail colors and deign magical powers that allow them to assist mariners and create “enchanting melodies.” Platinum haired Tallulah (her name is Native American for “leaping water”) lacks success until her companion Sea Turtle convinces her to move her quest from ocean to the Great Lakes. After exploring the many pleasures of these waters, they finally locate a Petoskey stone that transforms her tail and inspires her song as the Great Lakes Mermaid. Hartung’s cartoon watercolors of young mermaids and undersea flora and fauna will enchant preschoolers. The expected array of blues and greens brighten with the inclusion of corals in orange, pink, and purple. VERDICT Ideal for fans of the Great Lakes region, the basic story could be appealing to a wider audience.

–Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA

Teach Me To Love

Teach Me To Love

Animal or human, babies are eager to learn new things, especially about our great big world and life in general. Now these tender “Teach me . . .” moments between parent and offspring come to life in animal family photos and gentle verse.

I want to learn.

Teach me, okay?

Show me, show me,

show me the way.

And so babies learn to follow, to play, to share, and to love, all because someone showed them the way. From bear cubs to ducklings to a sweet little kitten, the universal questions of how to navigate life are sweetly asked in Teach Me to Love. Written in rhyme the book may even provide human parents with a resource for the request Teach me to read!


Little Halloween

Little HalloweenTen Halloween-related topics are presented in a rhyming riddle format with illustrated clues and answers. Costume, candy, and black cat are included in this board book.

He’s Been a Monster All Day

He's Been a Monster All Day by Denise Brennan-NelsonAfter an especially “busy” day, a preschool-age boy overhears his mother say, “He’s been a monster all day.” So the little boy starts to fantasize about what life as a monster would be like. “I wonder why Mommy thinks that of me? / I guess if she does then a monster I’ll be! / I’m big and strong! / I grumble and growl / and scare people off / with a sneer and a scowl. / Being a monster is fun!” There are no rules to remember or manners to follow. And monsters can stay out as late as they please, scaring everyone away. As it turns out, being a monster isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. No one wants to be friends with a monster. And who will read a story and tuck a monster into bed? Maybe being a little boy isn’t such a bad thing after all.


With his rosy cheeks and impish smile, how could the little boy in this picture book possibly be mistaken for a monster? But that’s exactly what his mother, surrounded by a path of destruction, calls him: “He’s been a monster all day!” The boy, who overhears her, looks so sad about being called a monster that readers and kids will likely feel sorry for him. In response, the boy says, “I wonder why my mommy / thinks that of me? / I guess if she does / then a monster I’ll be!” At this point, the book shifts into fantasy as the boy, depicted by Moore as a warty, toothy green creature, sets off on a mud bath–filled, monstertruck-driving, manner-free romp. Eventually, though, he realizes nobody wants to befriend a monster, and hopes “maybe by now / Mommy forgot.” (Aww.) With sound effects throughout, this rhyming read-aloud provides the opportunity for discussing appropriate and inappropriate behavior with preschoolers, as well as the concept of unconditional love.

— Ann Kelley, Booklist

He’s Been a Monster All Day!

A mother’s descriptive complaint sets her misbehaving preschooler to imagining the enjoyment of the crude mischief of a monster’s life.

Transforming himself into a scaly-skinned, green-faced ghoul, this boy begins to growl and grumble, sneer and scowl. He befriends the pet monster under his bed and makes general mayhem. This little guy revels in the grime of the gooey, slimy mud, loudly revving up his monster trucks and staying up all night, unafraid of the dark. But without manners and basic courtesy (please and thank you), he realizes that playing solo is disappointingly unpleasant. “Being a monster isn’t so great. / I’m going home—hope it isn’t too late….” Cozy in bed, sweetness returns him to a brown-haired, smooth-featured, sleepy little human. Moore’s soft-toned, gentle and whimsical cartoon drawings in pencil and watercolors easily complement the smoothly readable, rhyming text.

— April 1 Issue of Kirkus Reviews


Willow and the Snow Day Dance

Willow and the Snow Day DanceMr. Larch is not a very neighborly neighbor. He never has any visitors. His gray, gloomy house never has any decorations. He avoids everyone and everyone avoids him.

But now Mr. Larch has a new neighbor. Willow and her family have moved into the bright yellow house directly across the street.

Willow loves her new house and neighborhood. She loves the summer and planting her garden. She loves the fall and sharing vegetables with her neighbors. And when winter arrives, she loves that, too. She can’t wait for the first snowfall because she has found the perfect hill for sledding. And it’s right behind Mr. Larch’s house.

Can Willow melt his cold heart in time to enjoy a Snow Day?

Denise Brennan-Nelson’s books with Sleeping Bear Press include the Likes to Say series, Someday Is Not a Day of the Week, and Buzzy the bumblebee. As a national speaker, she travels the country sharing her reading and writing enthusiasm with schoolchildren and teachers. Denise lives in Howell, Michigan.

Cyd Moore studied graphic design and fine arts at the University of Georgia. Her work includes posters, billboards, books, and newspaper and magazine articles. In addition to Willow, Cyd is the illustrator of more than 35 books, including the Stinky Face series. She lives in Commerce, Michigan.


“Kids will find inspiration in their own power to make changes after reading about the resilient Willow”
— School Library Journal, April 2011

Teacher’s Guide:

  Willow and the Snow Day Dance


Willow by Denise Brennan-NelsonMiss Hawthorn’s room is neat and tidy, not a pencil or paintbrush is out of place. And that’s how she likes it. And she likes trees that are colored green and apples that are painted red. Miss Hawthorn does not like things to be different or out of the ordinary. Into Miss Hawthorn’s classroom comes young Willow. She doesn’t color inside the lines, she breaks crayons, and she sees pink trees and blue apples. What will Miss Hawthorn think? Magical things can happen when your imagination is allowed to run wild, and for Miss Hawthorn the notion of what is art and what is possible is forever changed.






“Teachers aren’t the only ones teaching in this picture book about a precocious girl who has her own ideas about what makes good art. Fortunately, Willow doesn’t bend to the strict art teacher’s rules in this poignant story about celebrating individuality and being true to your heart.”
Kansas City Star, Aug. 16, 2008



2009-2010 Kids’ Wings Award List – By Kids’ Wings Creative Educational Associates (
2008 National Parenting Publication Honor Award (NAPPA) 08
2009 Storytelling World Honor Award – Young Listeners category 08
2009 Mom’s Choice Award Children’s Picture Book – Inspirational/Motivational – Gold 08
2009 Mom’s Choice Award Distinctive Illustration – Gold 09
2009 Mom’s Choice Award Most Outstanding Children’s Book for 2009 09
2009 Kansas State Reading Circle selection for the 2009 Catalog in the intermediate school division. 08
2009 Children’s Choice Book Award Finalist, Grades 3 – 4 (IRA/CBC – voting concludes at the end of April 2009) 09
2009 IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Reading List 09

Teacher’s Guide:

  Willow Teacher's Guide Complete

Someday is Not A Day of the Week

Someday is Not A Day of the WeekWe’ve all wished for Someday to get here, and now it is. Follow the tale of the young beaver, Max, and his quest to spend quality time with his parents and family. The tale for the ages and ageless will bring a happy tear of joy and love and a smile to the face of every child who undoubtedly heard the answer “Someday” after having asked “When?”

An inspiring read for all of us, Someday finds Max looking for “Someday” on his calendar and realizing if it did exist, it would surely be the busiest day of the week. Don’t pass on the chance to share this tale of love and the importance of family.



“If we could only have one more day of the week, would that make us more conscious of the opportunities missed? This beautifully illustrated book is a needed reminder of what we all know is important but, sadly, may sometimes forget.”
Lois Proctor, The Bookseller, Summer 2005



2006-07 Children’s Crown Gallery Award Nominee – a children’s choice, 05
Children’s Choices 2006 (IRA/CBC) 06
2006 Foreword Children’s Picture Book of the Year Finalist06
2006 Writer’s Notes Book Award Notable06

Teacher’s Guide:

  Someday Teacher's Guide

Penny The Forgotten Coin

Penny The Forgotten CoinFound by a young boy and placed into his pocket for safekeeping, Penny feels useless compared to the exciting Superball, the shiny Marble, the adventuresome Rock, and the colorful Bubblegum. But as she reminisces about her life and history, she realizes her worth, and it is reinforced by the young boy’s need for her in an important decision.



“This is the best ‘dual’ picture book I have read. The concept is still novel in and of itself-having two stories going on at once for different ages-and the story and pictures make the book simply wonderful. Highly Recommended.”

–Library Media Connection (March 2004)



2004-05 Keystone to Reading Book Award Nominee


Teacher’s Guide:

  Penny The Forgotten Coin

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