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BOOK NOTES: More book news, Dec. 1, 2012

Published: December 1, 2012 4:00 AM

Author events, from press releases:

Author Samar Nouri Book Signing Event

WHEN: 12/01/12

TIME: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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WHERE: Mocha Joes Coffee House, 3707 Darrow Road Stow, OH 44224

WHAT: Nouri, a resident of Ravenna, OH, will be available to sign copies of her book, Syria and Summer. Samar Nouri, a Syrian refugee, has been running her entire life. Shes always dreamed of a life of freedom; free from the oppression of her people, her father, even her husband. She dreams of the day when she and her children can live in peace, far from the flying bullets, crashing car bombs, and the weight of a mans hand. Samar shows the true spirit of motherhood: protecting her children, preserving her family, and trying to create a happy life. However, she is doing so on the backdrop of the war-torn Syrian city of Damascus. In Syria and Summer, the reader is taken on an unforgettable journey of a mother, a wife, a woman. This epic tale of perseverance and determination will inspire, enrage, and encourage its audience for years to come.

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Author Aileen Stewart Book Signing Event

WHEN: 12/02/12

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TIME: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Seven Hills Community Center, Christmas Craft and Holiday Gift Fair, Seven Hills, Ohio 44131

WHAT: Stewart, a resident of Shelby, OH, will be available to sign copies of her book, Fern Valley.

Follow the adventures of delightful young farm animals who are just like you.

Fern Valley is home to a group of wonderful animals who have fun and face some of the same problems children everywhere do. Roberta and Mildred Cornstalk are creative chickens dealing with the loss of their beloved granny, and theyre looking for something to do to cheer them up. Want to know what adventures they find? Want to know what happens to Roberta and Mildreds brother, Edward, when he goes fishing, what birthday surprise is in store for Betsy Woolrich, or what lesson Kimmy Curlytail learns when she keeps something that isnt hers? Then follow this endearing cast of characters as they enjoy their time together and learn important lessons.

A perfect addition for any childs personal library and a joy for families to share, Fern Valley is a collection to be treasured for many years to come.

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Channel 19 Anchor Lydia Esparra to Visit the Learned Owl Book Shop

Thursday, December 6th 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Lydia Esparra will be at the Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St, Hudson) to share her childrens book, Heaven Is All Around You. Motivated to write the book after she lost her sister to colon cancer, Esparra has crafted an uplifting and inspirational story that shows kids it is possible to cope with the death of a loved one. Esparra knows talking about death with children is a very difficult thing, as her sister struggled with that too. She is hoping the words in her book will help lift the burden.

Lydia Esparra, Emmy winning new anchor at WOIO Channel 19, is a Youngstown native and a graduate of Ursuline High School and Ohio State University. She comes from a family of 10 children and was a member of the family band, described by Memby Esparra as the Puerto Rican version of the Partridge Family.

For more information, contact the Learned Owl Book Shop at 330-653-2252.

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Terry Pluto Returns to the Learned Owl Book Shop

Saturday, December 8th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Terry Pluto will be at the Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St, Hudson). Pluto will be greeting fans and signing copies of his new book, Faith and You Volume 2. Plutos new book includes 35 essays about faith in everyday life, including such real-world topics as how to make friendship more meaningful, relating better to our siblings and parents, handling stressful holidays, dealing with jerks, losing a pet, and more.

Of his Faith and You column, Terry writes, My goal is not to convert anyone reading the paper. It is to make them think, and to bring some comfort. I write for people who are struggling with faith, or people in painphysical or emotional. My job is to give them a voice, and to talk about the kind of faith we need to get through what life throws at us each day. Terry writes for people who arent always confident in their beliefs but know faith is still important to them . . . For people who sometimes get mad at their church or disagree with their pastor yet dont want to lose the spiritual side of their lives . . . For people of different faiths or backgrounds or who arent even sure theyre religious. These essays dont claim to have all the answers. But the questions they raise give readers something to think about all week.

Terry Pluto is a sports columnist for The Plain Dealer. He has twice been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the nations top sports columnist for medium-sized newspapers. He is a nine-time winner of the Ohio Sports Writer of the Year award and has received more than 50 state and local writing awards. In 2005 he was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame. He is the author of 23 books, including The Curse of Rocky Colavito (selected by the New York Times as one of the five notable sports books of 1989), and Loose Balls, which was ranked number 13 on Sports Illustrateds list of the top 100 sports books of all time. He was called Perhaps the best American writer of sports books, by the Chicago Tribune in 1997. He lives in Akron, Ohio.

For more information, contact the Learned Owl Book Shop at 330-653-2252.

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Best-seller lists

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

Associated Press

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

2. Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke (Threshold Editions)

3. The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

4. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

5. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)

6. The Last Man: A Novel by Vince Flynn (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

7. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little, Brown)

8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

9. Cross Roads by Wm. Paul Young (Faith/Words)

10. Poseidons Arrow by Clive Cussler (Putnam)

11. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)

12. The Sins of the Mother by Danielle Steel (Delacorte)

13. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom (Hyperion)

14. Winter of the World by Ken Follett (Dutton)

15. The Panther by Nelson DeMille (Grand Central Publishing)

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. Killing Kennedy by Bill OReilly (Henry Holt and Co.)

2. Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

3. The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss (New Harvest)

4. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham (Random House)

5. Guinness World Records 2013 by Guinness World Records (Guinness World Records)

6. No Easy Day by Mark Owen (Dutton)

7. The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver (Penguin)

8. Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (Faith/Words)

9. I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak by Joel Osteen (Faith/Words)

10. America Again by Stephen Colbert (Grand Central Publishing)

11. Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road by Willie Nelson and Kinky Friedman (Willie Nelson)

12. The Last Lion by William Manchester (Little, Brown)

13. Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin (Touchstone Books)

14. The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw (Penguin)

15. Ripleys Believe It or Not! by Geoff Tibballs (Ripley Publishing)

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS

1. Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson (Vision)

2. Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

3. Jack Reacher: One Shot: A Novel by Lee Child (Dell)

4. V Is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton (Berkley)

5. Hotel Vendome by Danielle Steel (Dell)

6. Devils Gate by Clive Cussler (Berkley)

7. 1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber (Harlequin Mira)

8. Glad Tidings by Debbie Macomber (Harlequin Mira)

9. Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag (Signet)

10. My Kind of Christmas by Robyn Carr (Harlequin Mira)

11. A Winter Wonderland by Fern Michaels (Zebra Books)

12. The Drop by Michael Connelly (Grand Central Publishing)

13. Golden shores by Nora Roberts (Silhouette Books)

14. Already Home by Susan Mallery (Harlequin Mira)

15. The Litigators by John Grisham (Dell)

TRADE PAPERBACKS

1. The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts (Berkley)

2. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)

3. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

4. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

5. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Vintage)

6. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James (Vintage)

7. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Mariner Books)

8. Bared to You by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

9. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster)

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books)

11. The Innocent by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

12. Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult (Atria)

13. The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of Americas Future by Jonathan Cahn (Frontline)

14. To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal (WaterBrook Press)

15. The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien (Mariner Books)

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST-SELLERS

Associated Press

FICTION

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

2. Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

3. Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke (Threshold Editions)

4. The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

5. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

6. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)

7. The Last Man: A Novel by Vince Flynn (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

8. Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)

9. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little, Brown)

10. Disney Bedtime Favorites by Various (Disney Press)

NONFICTION

1. The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold, Chanda A. Bell (CCA&B)

2. Killing Kennedy by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

3. Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

4. The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss (New Harvest)

5. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham (Random House)

6. Killing Lincoln by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

7. Guinness World Records 2013 by Guinness Book Records (Guinness Book Records)

8. No Easy Day by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Dutton Books)

9. LEGO Ninjago: Character Encyclopedia by DK Publishing (DK Publishing)

10. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young (Integrity Publishers)

FICTION E-BOOKS

1. Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Random House)

2. The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

3. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)

4. The Last Man: A Novel by Vince Flynn (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

6. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

7. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

8. All In by Raine Miller (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

9. The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts (Penguin Group)

10. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)

NONFICTION E-BOOKS

1. The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss (New Harvest)

2. Killing Kennedy by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

3. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster)

4. Damaged by Cathy Glass (HarperCollins)

5. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934-1941 by William L. Shirer (Rosetta/Books)

6. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

7. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill OReilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

8. No Easy Day by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Penguin Group)

9. Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

10. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham (Random House)

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS

Associated Press

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

2. Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

3. The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition by Carol V. Aebersold, Chanda B. Bell (CCA and B)

4. The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

5. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)

6. The Last Man: A Novel by Vince Flynn (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

7. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

8. Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

9. Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke (Threshold Editions)

10. Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)

11. The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts (Berkley)

12. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)

13. The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss (New Harvest)

14. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

15. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

16. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Vintage)

17. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

18. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James (Vintage)

19. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

20. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

21. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster)

22. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little, Brown)

23. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill OReilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

24. Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

25. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

For the extended, interactive and searchable version of this list, visit http://books.usatoday.com/list/index

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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Great new childrens books celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas

By KAREN MACPHERSON, Scripps Howard News Service

Celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas this year with some of these great new childrens books:

BOARD BOOKS:

-- Everyones favorite monkey leads the way in Happy Hanukkah, Curious George (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $7.99, ages 2-4). This board book, written in a lively verse by Emily Flaschner Meyer, comes with a series of tabs on the right-hand side. Each tab has an illustration on it and leads to a two-page spread highlighting a Hanukkah activity. The illustrations by Mary OKeefe Young nicely echo the style of the original Curious George books by Margret and H.A. Rey.

-- Author/illustrator Leslie Patricelli has a genius for making board books that will amuse both little ones and their parents as she demonstrates once again in Fa La La (Candlewick Press, $6.99, ages 6 months-3 years). The cheerful Baby who stars in all of Patricellis board books takes on Christmas with typical verve and energy. This is an endearing, secular introduction to the season.

-- For a lovely and simple look at the religious aspects of Christmas, try Stable in Bethlehem (Sterling, $6.95, ages 6 months-3 years). Written by Joy Hulme and illustrated by Dan Andreasen, this board book offers a countdown theme, rhyming verse and soft-colored artwork.

PICTURE BOOKS:

-- A young girl shows why she loves being a mix of two traditions in Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama (Knopf, $16.99, ages 3-6). Written and illustrated by Selina Alko, the book highlights elements of both holidays -- setting up the menorah, cooking latkes, decorating the Christmas tree and hearing the story of the birth of baby Jesus. Alkos first-person text works well here to draw in young readers, and her vibrant mixed-media illustrations add further charm.

-- Those mischievous dinosaurs from the best-selling How Do Dinosaurs? series are back with two comical holiday-themed books: How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? and How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? (Blue Sky/Scholastic, $16.99 each, ages 3-7). As always, author Jane Yolen and illustrator Mark Teague have a blast playing up the humor inherent in the contrast between huge dinosaurs and their toddlerlike behavior as they explore aspects of each holiday.

-- Rambunctious Dinosaur tackles the holiday season in Dinosaur vs. Santa (Disney/Hyperion, $15.99, ages 3-5), the latest in this series. With a Roar! and another Roar!, Dinosaur deals handily with decorating and parental presents, but can he be good enough to ensure a gift from Santa? As always, author/illustrator Bob Sheas comic story and zany artwork will hold wide appeal for preschoolers, who also will readily identify with Dinosaurs emotional energy.

-- Author Birdie Black and illustrator Rosalind Beardshaw team up to offer young readers a delightful new Christmas book in Just Right for Christmas (Candlewick Press, $15.99, ages 3-7). The story begins on Christmas Eve and shows how a bit of last-minute creativity and a lot of love can turn one roll of red cloth into numerous gifts, from a cloak to a scarf. Young readers will love the rhythm of this fablelike story, as well as the cheerful illustrations, particularly the last two-page spread showing everyone with their new gifts -- all cut from the same cloth.

-- Wombat loves carrots and will stop at nothing to get them, as can be seen from the hilarious new volume in the Wombat series. In Christmas Wombat (Clarion, $16.99, ages 3-7), author Jackie French and illustrator Bruce Whatley show what happens when Wombat follows the carrot trail on Christmas Eve -- even hitching a ride on Santas sleigh to get a taste of the carrots put out in houses worldwide for the reindeer delivering Christmas gifts. Frenchs story is comic and succinct, while Whatleys illustrations emphasize both Wombats sass and cuddliness.

-- In The Christmas Quiet Book (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $12.99, ages 3-6), author Deborah Underwood spotlights the many kinds of holiday quiet. Theres reading by the fire quiet, blown fuse quiet, snow angel quiet and many other quiet moments that -- taken together -- create a memorable holiday. Underwoods lovely text is complemented by the muted but fine illustrations by Renata Liwska.

-- Award-winning author Geraldine McCaughrean offers an understated, lyrical retelling of a holiday favorite in The Nutcracker (Chronicle Books, $19.99, ages 3-7), illustrated by Kristina Swarner. But the real star of this show is the paper engineering by Alan Brown and Julia Froehlich, which allows readers to turn a page and see the set -- or illustration -- change before their eyes.

-- Pirates and cowboys are two perennial favorites of young readers. In A Pirates Twelve Days of Christmas (Sterling, $14.95, ages 4-7), author Philip Yates and artist Sebastia Serra give a pirate twist to a favorite holiday carol, while in Cowboy Christmas (Golden Books/Random House, $10.99, ages 3-6), author Rob Sanders and illustrator John Manders show how the holiday can be celebrated in buckaroo style.

-- Former tugboat captain George Matteson and his wife, Adele Ursone, present a fascinating, unusual look at the holiday in The Christmas Tugboat (Clarion, $17.99, ages 4-8). Featuring luminous artwork by James Ransome, this book tells the true tale of how Matteson and his wife and daughter used their tugboat one year to lead a barge containing the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree from upstate New York to Manhattan.

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Good book-related holiday childrens gifts

By KAREN MacPHERSON, Scripps Howard News Service

Looking for some entertaining book-related holiday childrens gifts? Heres a look at some great possibilities for all ages:

SPECIAL BOOKS:

-- Wheres Waldo?, created by Martin Handford, turns 25 this year, and kids can celebrate with updated anniversary editions of Wheres Waldo? and Wheres Waldo Now? (Candlewick Press, $16.99 each, ages 6 up).

-- Fans of Fancy Nancy will enjoy a special paper tote complete with a plastic pink handle that contains four paperback Fancy Nancy books (HarperCollins, $11.99, ages 4-7).

-- Peter Rabbit lovers will revel in The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit (F. Warne, $20, ages 3-6). Written by actress/screenwriter Emma Thompson and illustrated by Eleanor Taylor, this book is a much-larger-sized, but still charming sequel to the tiny original volumes written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. A CD of Thompson reading the story is included.

-- For more rabbit fun, try The Adventures of Little Nutbrown Hare (Candlewick Press, $16.99, ages 3-6). Written by Sam McBratney, best-selling author of Guess How Much I Love You, these four stories show Little Nutbrown Hare exploring his world, but always ready to return home for a hug.

-- You may not know her name, but youve likely seen the artwork of Mary Blair, who contributed her talents to such Disney films as Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Blair also illustrated picture books, and now a new generation can enjoy her stylized art in A Mary Blair Treasury of Golden Books (Golden Books/Random House, $19.99, ages 3-6).

-- Silliness reigns in Bananas In My Ears (Candlewick Press, $15.99, ages 7-10). Two former British Childrens Laureates, author Michael Rosen and illustrator Quentin Blake, have teamed up to present a delightful collection of nonsensical stories, poems, riddles and rhymes.

POP-UP BOOKS:

-- Star Wars fans will be thrilled by artist/paper engineer Matthew Reinharts newest pop-up look at the films in Star Wars: A Galactic Pop-Up Adventure (Scholastic, $36.99, ages 8 up). This book includes a working lightsaber, but its Reinharts genius for paper engineering -- pop-ups, pull tabs, etc. -- that will take readers breath away.

-- Learning about opposites is hands-on fun with Popposites (Kingfisher, $16.99, ages 3-6). Author Mike Haines, illustrator Julia Frohlich and paper engineer Keith Finch add little touches of humor throughout the book.

-- Kids can learn about numbers with the help of some animal friends in author/artist Petr Horaceks brilliantly colored One Spotted Giraffe (Candlewick Press, $15.99, ages 3-5).

-- The world is literally at young readers fingertips with My Pop-Up World Atlas (Candlewick Press, $18.99, ages 5-8), created by award-winning geographer/author Anita Ganeri, illustrator Stephen Water and paper engineer Andy Mansfield.

ARTS AND CRAFTS BOOKS:

-- Inside each beautifully crafted wooden Storybox (Guidecraft, $50, ages 4-8) created by author/illustrator Steve Light, kids will find small resin hand-painted characters, props, settings and a booklet containing a particular story. Choose your Storybox from among this quartet now available: Hansel & Gretel; Little One Inch (a Japanese folk tale); Rapunzel; and The Girl Who Loved Danger (a story from the Congo).

-- Known for her detailed, elegant illustrations, artist Jane Ray offers young readers a new twist on an old tale in Cinderella: A Three-Dimensional Fairy-Tale Theater (Candlewick Press, $19.99, ages 4-7).

-- Maisy, the popular mouse who stars in books by author/artist Lucy Cousins, turns her exuberance to showing how to make some simple arts-and-crafts projects in Create With Maisy (Candlewick Press, $16.99, ages 4 up).

-- The mischievous Pigeon created by author/artist Mo Willems offers hours of activity fun for kids in the voluminous Dont Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book! (Hyperion, $19.99, ages 3 up).

-- Does your gift list include a princess fan? Make Your Own Princess Tiaras (Klutz, $16.99, ages 4-7) is sure to be a hit.

-- Young gumshoes can learn from the master -- Sherlock Holmes -- in How to Be a Detective (Candlewick Press, $19.99, ages 7-10), written by Dan Waddell and illustrated by Jim Smith.

ANIMAL ANTICS:

-- Ten mini photo-filled books fill the back of a cardboard truck in Baby Animals: Zoo on the Move (Kingfisher, $19.99, ages 3-6). Each book has a different focus, from Baby Animals At Night to Baby Animals In the Wild.

-- Dinosaur-obsessed kids will love three new volumes. First, theres Rumble! Roar! Dinosaurs! (Random House, $6.99, ages 3-6), a pop-up book by Matthew Reinhart. Also check out Dinosaurs: In Your Face! (Random House, $9.99, ages 6-9), a book written by Robert Bakker and featuring special 3-D illustrations by Luis Rey. (Note: 3-D glasses are included.) Finally, Dinosaurs: A 3-D Pocket Guide (Candlewick Press, $8.99, ages 4-10) makes a fabulous stocking stuffer.

-- Take poems by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson and others, add photos by National Geographic and youve got the spectacular Book of Animal Poetry (National Geographic, $24.95, ages 5 up).

FOR YOUNG FACT-CHECKERS:

-- Kids can get a hands-on look at space exploration in Legendary Journeys: Space (Kingfisher, $19.99, ages 7-12).

-- Looking for a stocking stuffer for a curious kid? Try the photograph-filled Quiz Whiz (National Geographic, $9.99, ages 8-12), which features 1,000 questions about all kinds of topics -- plus the answers.

-- Learning is loads of fun for little ones with Five Little Monkeys Jump Into Learning (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, ages 3-5). The package includes storybooks, workbooks, an audio CD, stickers and more.

-- With 5,000 Awesome Facts (National Geographic, $19.95, ages 8 up), kids can learn all kinds of interesting tidbits, from the fact that a firefighters gear typically weighs 60 pounds to the fact that the average American eats about 12 pounds of chocolate annually. Filled with photographs, this beautifully designed book is organized into two-page spreads that each focus on a different topic, making it easy and fun to read.

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