Meet Daredevil Duck, who wants very, very much to be brave. Why, he’s just raring to swing from balloons high in the air or speed through the wilderness on his Super Speedy tricycle. He’s dressed for the part, too—decked out in his Hero Helmet, super-cool x-ray goggles and a Super Hero cape (which looks suspiciously like a tablecloth borrowed from the picnic basket).
Clearly it’s not just cats that have nine lives. In Robert Weintraub’s exceptionally well researched and engaging No Better Friend, we meet Judy, a purebred English pointer and hero of World War II.
Fans of Deborah Freedman’s award-winning picture books, The Story of Fish and Snail and Blue Chicken, will delight in her innovative new title, which explores the creative efforts of a mouse writing a story. There’s only one problem: Mouse’s friend, Frog, wants to take part, too, and the two budding authors don’t always see eye-to-eye.
“Let’s get one thing straight right from the beginning: I didn’t set out to be a comma queen.” In fact, Mary Norris explored quite a few interesting career paths before finding her calling as a copy editor at The New Yorker. Her work life began at the age of 15, checking feet at a public pool in Cleveland. She went on to drive a milk truck, package mozzarella at a cheese factory, and wash dishes (all the while managing to pursue a graduate degree in English).
Move over, Mary Poppins, and make way for Ms. Rapscott, Headmistress of the Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents. Elise Primavera, creator of the popular Auntie Claus books, offers a whimsical tale of a most unusual teacher and her school for girls whose parents are much too busy to be, well, parents. In fact, there’s no need for moms or dads to even bother bringing the girls to school, as the admissions materials include a self-addressed box for safely mailing daughters to campus.
Originally published in Israel, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari’s brilliant history of humankind has already become an international bestseller. A specialist in world history, Harari undertakes a daunting task in Sapiens: to examine the rise of our species and discern the reasons behind our remarkable success.
Award-winning illustrator Carin Berger harbors in spring with this warm tale of a bear cub, who, just like impatient human children, has a bit of trouble with waiting.
The indefatigable Mary Pope Osborne returns with a new title in her popular Magic Tree House series. Set in occupied France during World War II, Danger in the Darkest Hour, the first Magic Tree House Super Edition, provides the same reading level as the Merlin Missions (books 29 through 52) but with a longer story and more complex plot.
The diamond mines of Marange in Zimbabwe serve as the setting for this portrait of a family in turmoil, which focuses on a tenacious 15-year-old boy named Patson Moyo. Patson and his little sister, Grace, adore their father, a man who has dedicated his life to teaching. But it is their new stepmother, known simply as “the Wife,” who compels her husband to leave his home and seek wealth by moving to Marange, where her brother James is involved in mining. In Marange, she claims, there are “diamonds for everyone.”
What we usually remember about George III is that he was mad, but there was far more to this complex royal figure. As we learn in debut author Janice Hadlow’s fascinating account, A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III, he had much to keep him busy during his long reign, including a very large family. This biography was originally published in the U.K. as The Strangest Family. It’s an apt title. Hadlow takes as her canvas not simply the private life of one monarch, but the entire House of Hanover, a dysfunctional dynasty if there ever was one.