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

Published:

Author events, from press releases:

Author Samar Nouri Book Signing Event

WHEN: 12/01/12

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

WHERE: Mocha Joe’s 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. She’s 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 man’s 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

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 they’re looking for something to do to cheer them up. Want to know what adventures they find? Want to know what happens to Roberta and Mildred’s 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 isn’t hers? Then follow this endearing cast of characters as they enjoy their time together and learn important lessons.

A perfect addition for any child’s 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 children’s 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 show’s 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. Pluto’s 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 pain—physical 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 aren’t 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 don’t want to lose the spiritual side of their lives . . . For people of different faiths or backgrounds or who aren’t even sure they’re religious. These essays don’t 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 nation’s 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 Illustrated’s 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. “Poseidon’s 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 O’Reilly (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. “Ripley’s 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. “Devil’s 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 America’s 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 O’Reilly, 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 O’Reilly, 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 O’Reilly, 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 O’Reilly 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 O’Reilly, 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 O’Reilly 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 children’s books celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas

By KAREN MACPHERSON, Scripps Howard News Service

Celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas this year with some of these great new children’s books:

BOARD BOOKS:

-- Everyone’s 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 O’Keefe 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 Patricelli’s 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. Alko’s 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 Shea’s comic story and zany artwork will hold wide appeal for preschoolers, who also will readily identify with Dinosaur’s 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 Santa’s sleigh to get a taste of the carrots put out in houses worldwide for the reindeer delivering Christmas gifts. French’s story is comic and succinct, while Whatley’s illustrations emphasize both Wombat’s 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. There’s “reading by the fire quiet,” ‘’blown fuse quiet,” ‘’snow angel quiet” and many other quiet moments that -- taken together -- create a memorable holiday. Underwood’s 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 Pirate’s 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 children’s gifts

By KAREN MacPHERSON, Scripps Howard News Service

Looking for some entertaining book-related holiday children’s gifts? Here’s a look at some great possibilities for all ages:

SPECIAL BOOKS:

-- “Where’s Waldo?,” created by Martin Handford, turns 25 this year, and kids can celebrate with updated anniversary editions of “Where’s Waldo?” and “Where’s 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 you’ve 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 Children’s 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 Reinhart’s 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 it’s Reinhart’s 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 Horacek’s 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 “Don’t 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, there’s “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 you’ve 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 firefighter’s 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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