@hmhco Upward Mobility   

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish, by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, 32 pages, ages 4-8.

Tree-climbing goats, walking octopuses, flying snakes, and other creatures make an appearance in the latest scientific exploration by husband-and-wife duo Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Over forty animals climb, jet, roll, and leap through the pages, highlighting all the ways critters move. Expressive paper collage renderings of elephants, springboks, and scallops are accompanied by precise, straightforward text that both informs and delights. A glossary offers further explanation about each creature.

An engaging concept book that nurtures scientific inquiry and artistic creation.

2015 redux

The arrival of another year shepherds myriad award ceremonies for every possible sector, and children’s books are no exception. The Newbery, Caldecott, Carnegie and other award recipients will be announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, being held this upcoming weekend in Boston. These awards recognize the most distinguished contributions to American literature of 2015. (A complete list of last year’s winners can be found here.)

Which new books were your favorites last year? Let’s see if your choices stack up with the judges’ selections!

Rodeo Red, by Maripat Perkins, illustrated by Molly Idle; Peachtree Publishers, $16.95, 32 pages, ages 4-8.

If you use Google’s search engine, you probably noticed the nifty animated Doodle celebrating the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express. In honor of those brave Western riders, today we’re looking at a cheeky children’s book with some cowboy flair. Debut children’s book author Maripat Perkins introduces us to Red, a fiery little cowgirl who keeps order in her neck of the woods with the help of her trusty hound dog Rusty. One day, the Sheriff brings home a tiny deputy whom Red nicknames Sideswiping Slim, and eventually, the little whippersnapper starts to mosey into her territory. Red deals with Slim the best way she knows how – but the Sheriff doesn’t approve. How will these two ever get along? Perkins’ examination of dealing with family newcomers is playful and full of cowboy lingo sure to delight rambunctious rugrats. Adorable and inviting pencil drawings, courtesy of Caldecott medal-winning illustrator Molly Idle (Flora and the Flamingo; Camp Rex), are full of warmth and whimsy – a perfect accompaniment for this ruckus-raising hootenanny.