Genre Roundup: Halloween Reads

Monday, October 20th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Boo! These Halloween books are sure to make you pull out the costume box and practice your door bell ringing, because it’s time to trick-or-treat! Go to our Halloween Book website to see a full list of our favorite Halloween books!

LittleBoo jkt loresLittle Boo by Stephen Wunderli

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and one little pumpkin seed tries and tries to be scary. But he doesn’t scare anyone . . . not the snowflakes in winter, not the bees in spring, not even the watering can!

The wind tells him to be patient—he’ll be scary soon enough. But waiting is hard. Will the little seed ever be really, truly scary?

This simple story is more than a fun Halloween read—it is a heartwarming tale perfect for any child who can’t wait to grow up.

dog and bearDog and Bear: Tricks and Treats by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Ready for a treat? How about a trick or two? Dog and Bear are back in three new Halloween stories that are sure to delight their many fans and win them new ones. Join them as they search for the perfect costume, hand out candy to trick-or-treaters (or not!), and then go trick-or-treating themselves in this latest installment by award-winning author Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

not very scaryNot Very Scary by Carol Brendler; Pictures by Greg Pizzoli


Melly is a brave little monster who is not afraid of anything. She loves surprises, and when her fun-loving cousin invites her over for a big surprise, Melly excitedly sets out for a visit. On her way, she notices skittish skeletons, a coal-black cat, and even ghoulish goblins following her. But Melly is not scared, no she’s not! Well, maybe just a teensy bit . . .

the monsteratorThe Monsterator by Keith Graves

When he entered a dusty costume store,

one that he hadn’t seen before

He got what he’d bargained for . . . and more.

Enter the Monsterator if you dare.

Put a coin in the slot . . . but beware!

Join Master Edgar Dreadbury as he discovers the Monsterator, a machine that changes people into monsters in this spooky Halloween adventure from Keith Graves.


only a witch can flyOnly A Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee; Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Only a witch can fly.
But one little girl wants to fly—more than anything. So on a special night, with the moon shining bright and her cat by her side, she gathers herself up, she grips her broom tight, and she tries. And she fails. And she’s brave. And she tries again. Until . . .
Utterly enchanting, New York Times best-selling author Alison McGhee’s lyrical language and Taeeun Yoo’s transcendent linoleum block prints create a bewitching tale about finding one’s own path that will send your heart soaring.
Only a Witch Can Fly is a 2010 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.
Don’t forget to visit the website for more Halloween fun!

National Bullying Prevention Month

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 / Share your comments...

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. A month long project where schools, organizations, businesses, and others join together to raise awareness for bullying. Bullying and cyber bullying can be a major problem for young children. Bullying comes in all shapes and sizes, but these books teach us how to deal with our biggest fears and face them in enthusiastic, funny and uplifting ways! Head on over to our bullying website to find all our bullying titles and to find out where you can purchase these books!



AND TWO BOYS BOOED by Judith Viorst

On the day of the talent show, a boy is ready to sing his song, and he isn’t one bit scared because he has practiced a billion times, plus he’s wearing his lucky blue boots and his pants with all ten pockets. But as all of the other kids perform before him, he gets more and more nervous. How the boy overcomes his fear of performing in front of the class makes a charming and funny read-aloud, complete with ten novelty flaps to lift.











BEN RIDES ON by Matt Davies

Ben loves his new bike. In fact, he loves it so much he even likes riding to school (especially if he can take the long way around)! That is, until an encounter with the local bully, Adrian Underbite, leaves Ben bike-less. When Ben discovers where his bike actually is, the reader is in for a dramatic, and literal, cliffhanger. Will Ben ever be able to get his bike back?









OH HARRY! by Maxine Kumin

Harry isn’t the most handsome or graceful horse in the barn, but he has a knack for calming even the most excitable filly. All’s well until the arrival of six-year-old Algernon Adams the Third–a boy with a talent for mayhem. When Algernon finds himself in a pinch, will reliably helpful Harry come to his rescue or go back to sleep and let the little terror figure his own way out of a sticky situation?


Teacher’s Guide: Arcady’s Goal

Friday, October 17th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Here at MacKids we love teachers! For books we think would work perfectly into the classroom setting we create teacher’s guides! Arcady’s Goal by Newbery Honor–winning author Eugene Yelchin is one of these books. For twelve-year-old Arcady, soccer is more than just a game. Sent to live in a children’s home after his parents are declared enemies of the state, it is a means of survival, securing extra rations, respect, and protection. Ultimately, it proves to be his chance to leave. But in Soviet Russia, second chances are few and far between. Will Arcady seize his opportunity and achieve his goal? Or will he miss his shot?

The teacher’s guide includes discussion questions, point of view exercises, learning theme lessons, and more!

Download the full teacher’s guide!

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Interior Spreads: Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 / Share your comments...
Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem.
Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits. From Bob Shea and Lane Smith comes this hilarious picture book, Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads
Here are some of our favorite images from this hilarious book!
“Smith’s over-the-top goofy townspeople are a perfect partner for Shea’s stylistic shenanigans.” - The Horn Book
*”A crowd-pleasin’ knee-slapper that’ll have ‘em rolling in the aisles, yessirree.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
*”Shea’s humor is spot-on in Sherriff Ryan’s unwavering logic . . . and Smith’s illustrations match the deadpan silliness to a tee . . . Another stellar job by Shea and Smith.” – School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“Shea and Smith, the duo behind Big Plans, deliver a western yarn that’s long on cowboy slang and longer on screwball comedy.”- Publishers Weekly

National Book Awards Finalist: The Port Chicago 50

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Congratulations again to Steve Sheinkin. A couple weeks ago we announced The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin had been nominated for a 2014 National Book Award. The finalists have been announced and The Port Chicago 50 has been named a finalist in the Young People’s Literature category. We are so very excited for him. 3d_book_PortChicago50

On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America’s armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.


“Through effective research, Sheinkin re-creates a story that remains largely unknown to many Americans, and is one of the many from World War II about segregation and race that is important to explore with students.” – School Library Journal, starred review

“Sheinkin delivers another meticulously researched WWII story, one he discovered while working on his Newbery Honor book, Bomb….Archival photos appear throughout, and an extensive bibliography, source notes, and index conclude this gripping, even horrific account of a battle for civil rights predating Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review 
In this thoroughly researched and well-documented drama, Sheinkin lets the participants tell the story, masterfully lacing the narrative with extensive quotations drawn from oral histories, information from trial transcripts and archival photographs. The event, little known today, is brought to life and placed in historical context, with Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson figuring in the story.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Sheinkin follows Bomb (rev. 11/12) with an account of another aspect of the Second World War, stemming from an incident that seems small in scope but whose ramifications would go on to profoundly change the armed forces and the freedom of African Americans to serve their country.” – The Horn Book
Visit Steve’s website to learn more about Steve, Bomb, and his other projects!

Out This Week: Discover Something New

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 / Share your comments...

This week is all about learning something new. From what it’s like to live in Soviet Russia to learning about Kwanza, books can open doors and imaginations. This week’s books are filled with great history lessons about . We’ve got Star Stuff which introduces children to Carl Sagan and Iridescence of Birds about Henri Matisse. These beautiful picture books entertain as well as teach! Find a book that sparks your little one’s interest and get to learning!

Picture Books:

Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan

Star Stuff by Stephanie Roth Sisson

My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti

Love Monster and the Perfect Present by Rachel Bright

Beautiful Yetta’s Hanukkah Kitten by Daniel Pinkwater

Frankenstein’s Fright Before Christmas by Ludworst Bemonster

Middle Grade:

Escape by Night by Laurie Myers

Arcady’s Goal by Eugene Yelchin

The Good, the Bad & the Beagle by Catherine Lloyd Burns


Little Humans: Interior Spread

Monday, October 13th, 2014 / Share your comments...

You may have heard of Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, but have you seen LITTLE HUMANS? From the creator of HONY comes the cutest little humans you’ll ever see. Brandon Stanton has again displayed his talent at capturing the extraordinary in the ordinary. You and your child will marvel at the gorgeous photography while also enjoying the simple story. Here’s some of our favorite photographs from the book! If you haven’t already gotten your hands on it, you can order it here.

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Some Doors Are Better Than Others

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Katfish cvr hiresHere are some thoughts from Obert Skye, the author of The Creature From Closet series.


There are doors everywhere—front doors, side doors, big doors, small doors; doors on buildings, doors on cars, doors on cellars, sheds and barns. (Sorry about the rhyme.) The point is there are a lot of doors on the planet and I like that. Who knows what you might find behind them?

Of all the doors in all the world I think that the most exciting one is the closet door. Most people have one, but nobody has one quite as amazing as Rob Burnside. It’s not your normal closet door. It’s heavy and old and unusual. It also has an odd doorknob with a small bearded face on it. Beardy, as Rob calls the face, has the ability to lock the closet and brew strange things behind the door. And now with the release of Katfish, Beardy has let out Rob’s most interesting visitor to date.

Rob had his humorous hands full with the first three creatures to step out into his middle school life. Dealing with Wonkenstein and Potterwookie and Pinocula has been an adventure, but now Katfish is here. Not only is Kat from his closet, but she is also a girl—the perfect visitor to make Rob’s already awkward life even more hilarious.

Kat is a bit different than the rest. She sneaks out of the closet, can shoot arrows, and she has the talent to track Rob down. She also has the ability to make all of Rob’s friends go goofy for her. But there is something about Kat that seems off. All of the other creatures have been clear mash-ups of two different books.   Kat almost seems like a regular girl with mad skills. Of course all that changes when Rob adds a little water.

It is the start of something very fishy.

Rob Burnside is in for it this round. His school is mad at him for things he has done in the past. Rob has to play in the principal’s lame band. And his friends are fighting over the one thing that has the ability to make things right, Kat. Part Katniss and part Little Mermaid it’s no easy task to keep her hidden and wet until he can read the books and figure out why she is here.

When his principal reads The Hunger Games he decides to put on his own version at the middle school called The Fun-ger Games. It turns out to be the very thing that could ruin Rob for good, or fix everything he has messed up in the past. Unfortunately, it won’t be easy, or un-embarrassing.

Actually I think it’s rather fortunate seeing how the results are hilarious.

So go for it! Reach for Beardy and open the closet door. You will not be disappointed by what you find behind it. Sure, you might get a little wet, or end up a bit hungry, but the pain in your side from laughing will make up for it. There are doors everywhere its true, but Katfish is one book that you’d be wise to step through. (More rhyming—sorry.)

Don’t let it swim away, pick up a copy today. (I just can’t help it.)

Here’s something that doesn’t rhyme. Read Katfish.

May your closet always be interesting. Obert Skye


In house love for Rain Rein by Ann M. Martin

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 / Share your comments...

9780312643003Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin came out earlier this week. Today, we have Digital Marketing Associate Stephanie M. on the blog sharing why she could not get enough of this book.


Why I Decided to Read the Book:

I decided to read Rain Reign because it is by Ann M. Martin. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her before, but she just so happens to be the author of The Baby-Sitters Club, the series that defined so many of our childhoods. Also, a book about a girl who’s obsessed with words and rules? Yeah, sounds like my kind of book.


What I Liked About the Book:

What do you like a book like Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin? That the main character and her voice are so strong you hear her in your own head for days after reading? That the story takes a hold of you and doesn’t let you go? That the book is just as beautifully heartbreaking the second time you read it? The answer? All of those things.


My Favorite Character Is:

How can my favorite character not be Rose? I loved her narration, list-making, and obsession with the rules. But I also loved a lot of other characters in Rain Reign. There’s Rain, of course. And Rose’s Uncle Weldon and Parvani, one of the girls in Rose’s class, were both such good people.


My Favorite Scene Was:

My favorite scene was when Parvani told Rose that she found a homonym. I loved that Rose’s classmates started to care about homonyms instead of making fun of Rose for caring about homonyms.


Genre Roundup: Animals

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Elephants and dogs and cats…oh my! Here are some of our favorite animal books that are sure to put a smile on any face! Check out our animal book website.

LittleElliot low res cvrLittle Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato


Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.
With all of my heart, I believe it is true
that there is a heaven for animals, too.
The heaven of animals is a magical place. Angels know every dog’s favorite game; cats bask in their own rays of sunshine; horses thunder across the sky.The loss of a pet is heartbreaking. But in the heaven of animals, the love you have for your animal friends lives on. National-bestselling author Nancy Tillman’s message of comfort will help readers of all ages through the process of grieving and healing.

rupertRupert Can Dance by Jules Feiffer

Rupert has a big secret. When his owner, Mandy, is fast asleep, he likes to slip on her dancing shoes and dance the night away. Then one night Mandy catches Rupert in the act. She’s not upset; she’s thrilled! And she’s determined to give Rupert dancing lessons so he can hone his talent. Rupert is horrified. Lessons are for dogs. Cats like to do things their own way. Dismayed, he loses all interest in dancing and goes into hiding. But Mandy comes up with the perfect plan to get Rupert dancing again . . .


don't feed the boyDon’t Feed The Boy by Irene Latham

No kid knows more about zoo life than Whit. That’s because he sleeps, eats, and even attends home-school at the Meadowbrook Zoo. It’s one of the perks of having a mother who’s the zoo director and a father who’s the head elephant keeper. Now that he’s eleven, Whit feels trapped by the rules and routine of zoo life. With so many exotic animals, it’s easy to get overlooked. But when Whit notices a mysterious girl who visits every day to draw the birds, suddenly the zoo becomes much more interesting. Who is the Bird Girl? And why does she come by herself to the zoo?



fred's bedsFred’s Beds by Barbara Samuels

Fred can sleep anywhere. He has beds all over the house! When his favorite human, Zelda, throws a birthday party, Fred has other things on his mind. How many places can he curl up and fall asleep in, on, and around? Inside a crinkly shopping bag, on a slightly soggy bath towel, and maybe even around piles of old newspapers. But when Fred gets in trouble with Zelda, he must find a way to get back on her good side—and save her birthday party.

Froodle by Antoinette Portis froodle

In a normal neighborhood, on a typical day, the birds chirp, the dogs bark and the cats meow. When Little Brown Bird decides she doesn’t want to sing the same old song, out comes a new tune that shakes up the neighborhood and changes things forever in this funny, innovative book that kids will love to read outloud.

Almost everyone has felt anxiety and uncertainty over a friendship.
Sophie is looking forward to her first sleepover.
She is excited from the tops of her ears to the tips of her toes and has even made a list of all the things she wants to bring over to her best friend Olive’s house. But, when she arrives, a bunny she’s never seen before opens the door.
In this heartwarming tale of first sleepovers, furry animals, and friendship, Marisabina Russo asks the age-old question: can one bunny have two best friends?


Check out our animal book website!