Book Bounty Dec. 1, 2016

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Welcome Book Bounty bibliophiles! As promised, we have made the leap to a new newsletter format. This should be easier on inboxes and not cause filters to block it. We are sending under the SCBWI-IL banner.

We will continue to list our books from our youngest readers to our oldest, but are learning as we go, so please be patient as our functionality may change in coming months.


Picture Books

1. Raisin the Littlest Cow cover

Raisin, The Littlest Cow

By Miriam Busch

Illustrated by Larry Day 

When Raisin's brother is born, EVERYTHING changes for the worse–will she ever be happy again?

  • Honest, funny tale of new siblings
  • Even a little cow has the problem-solving power to turn her worst day around
  • Adorable read-aloud about self-respect and love of family

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

ISBN-10: 0062427636

Release date: March 28, 2017





Where Are The Words?

By Jodi McKay

Illustrated by Denise Holmes 


Period wants to write a story but can't find the words, so his friends offer their help. Question Mark asks around and Exclamation Point finds some enthusiastic words from an unexpected place. Now all Period needs is an idea, but from whom?

  • kids will learn about punctuation through humor
  • a Teacher's Guide and other suggestions for classroom use are available online
  • kids will learn the importance of communication and working together


Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co. 

ISBN: 978-0807587331

Release date: December 20, 2016


Early Chapter Books


Ellie Ultra: Super Fluffy to the Rescue

By Gina Bellisario


When a villain from Ellie's comic book comes to life, Ellie teams up with her dog, Super Fluffy, to save her city from certain doom.  

  • African American main character
  • humorous storyline
  • discussion questions and activities at the end

Publisher: Capstone/Stone Arch Books

ISBN: 1496531469

Release date: February 1, 2016



Ellie Ultra: Team Earth Takeover

By Gina Bellisario

When Ellie takes on an Earth Day project with her best friend, Hannah, she realizes even superheroes need a hand to save the world.  

  • African American main character
  • humorous storyline
  • discussion questions and activities at the end

Publisher: Capstone/Stone Arch Books

ISBN: 1496531434

Release date: February 1, 2016



Nonfiction Picture Books



What to Do When You Feel Too Shy: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Social Anxiety

By Claire A. B. Freeland and Jacqueline B. Toner

Illustrated by Janet McDonnell


This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to overcome social anxiety — so they can join in the circus of fun and friends!

  • This book guides children and their parents through the emotions underlying social anxiety using strategies and techniques based on cognitive-behavioral principles.
  • Through a variety of examples, activities, and step-by-step instructions, middle-grade children will learn how to speak up, participate, and expand their comfort zones.
  • Includes an "Introduction to Parents and Caregivers.”


Publisher: Magination Press

ISBN-10: 1433822768

ISBN-13: 978-1433822766

Release date: December 2016




Comstock Final cover

Out of School and into Nature:  The Anna Comstock Story

By Suzanne Slade

Illustrated by Jessica Lanan

The story of artist and naturalist Anna Comstock — who helped children explore nature's secrets while also proving that women belong in the field of science.

Readers will adore this gorgeous picture book because:


• it shares the true story of a brave, determined young woman 

• Anna Comstock's stunning nature artwork will inspire young artists 

• budding scientists/ecologists will discover some of nature's most fascinating secrets such as spiders spinning sticky webs, tadpoles sprouting stubby legs, water turning into six-sided crystal snowflakes, fuzzy caterpillars changing into butterflies, and much more! 


Publisher:  Sleeping Bear Press

ISBN:  978-1585369867

Release Date:  March 15, 2017





Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear

By Jennifer Ward

Illustrator: Jing Jing Tsong

This book explores different kinds of fur, feathers, skin, and scales in a way that's truly like no other!

  • Perfect for STEAM and Common Core classroom lessons; free lesson plans on author's website
  • Rhythmic, poetic text is wonderful for reading aloud, with back matter providing detailed facts about each animal
  • Bold and colorful digital collage illustrations by New York Times best-selling picture book illustrator Jing Jing Tsong


Publisher: Beach Lane Books 

ISBN 13-978-1481430814

Release date: March 7, 2017




What Will Grow?

By Jennifer Ward 

Illustrator: Susie Ghahremani 

Seeds through the seasons – read, guess and peek – what will grow? 

  • Gouache on wood illustrations include four gorgeous gatefolds
  • Companion title to "What Will Hatch?"
  • Includes fun facts about each featured seed and how to start a garden for each; free resources and lesson plans on author's website


Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens 

ISBN-13: 978-1681190303

Release date: February 14, 2017




Middle Grade Novel


The Matchstick Castle

By Keir Graff

The most boring summer imaginable turns suddenly exciting when an 11-year-old boy meets a madcap family of adventurers living in a dangerously dilapidated wooden house.

This book will delight readers because it is:

  • fast-paced & funny (think Roald Dahl meets the Marx Brothers)
  • "For reluctant and avid readers alike" (Kirkus Reviews)
  • great for classroom or family read-alouds

Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9781101996225

Release Date: January 10, 2017


Nonfiction Middle Grade

finalAlexandra the Great

Alexandra the Great: The Story of the Record-Breaking Filly Who Ruled the Racetrack

By Deb Aronson


Rachel Alexandra tells the gripping story of the underdog filly who, when given the opportunity, mesmerizes the racing world and beyond with a string of unprecedented racetrack achievements.

This book will gallop out of the starting gate when you tell readers it's a:

  • true story for horse lovers of all ages
  • girl power story on four legs
  • the only middle-grade book that celebrates the accomplishments of a female racehorse

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

ISBN-10: 1613736452

ISBN-13: 978-1613736456

Release Date: March 1, 2017



Nonfiction Novel



Loving vs. Virginia

By Patricia Hruby Powell     

Illustrated by Shadra Strickland

In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love, married, and were arrested for it.

  • story of the landmark civil rights case, in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of interracial marriage – 1967
  • "told in spare and gorgeous verse”
  • a story of the devoted couple—Richard and Mildred Loving—who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.


Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 9781452125909

Release Date: January 31, 2017


Nonfiction for the Young Artist

The Curious Artist_Drawing Trees and Leaves


The Curious Artist: Drawing Trees and Leaves

By Julia Kuo and Michael Wojtech

Read about trees in all their forms, from identifying leaves to finding the oldest trees in the world, then use this inspiration for your own drawings! 

  •  vertical-flip book with full-color botanical illustrations of tall trees
  •  field guide illustrations of selected trees, fruit, flowers, and leaves 
  •  drawing prompts and space for drawing

Publisher:  Quarry Books

ISBN-10: 1631592602

ISBN-13: 978-1631592607

Release date:  December 1, 2016