Arts, Culture & Media

Recommendations for children's books

The World's Carol Zall joins host Lisa Mullins to discuss holiday reading suggestions for kids from around the world.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter S�s (2010).
From the time he is a young boy, Neftal� hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftal� knows he cannot ignore the call. Under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows. . . Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Mu�oz Ryan and Peter S�s take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination.

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton (2010)
See More about the making of the book at Chris Haughton's website
Uh-oh! Little Owl has fallen from his nest and landed with a whump on the ground. Now he is lost, and his mommy is nowhere to be seen! With the earnest help of his new friend Squirrel, Little Owl goes in search of animals that fit his description of Mommy Owl. But while some are big (like a bear) or have pointy ears (like a bunny) or prominent eyes (like a frog), none of them have all the features that make up his mommy. Where could she be? A cast of adorable forest critters in neon-bright hues will engage little readers right up to the story's comforting, gently wry conclusion.

Mad at Mommy by Komako Sakai (2010)
Little Bunny is REALLY MAD at his mommy. She sleeps too late.She talks too much. She watches her silly grown-up shows instead of cartoons. And she gets mad for no reason � like just a few little soap bubbles on the floor. It's time for Little Bunny to SPEAK OUT. And time for a hug later on. With the charming illustrations and spot-on understanding of young children's thinking, Komako Sakai brings us a REALLY ANGRY � and ultimately sweet � new story.

There are no Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz (2010)
Our lovable feline friends Tiny, Moonpie, and Andre have are filled with the spirit of adventure: they want to go off to explore the world! They have their suitcases packed and are ready to set out, but can't get out of the book. They try pushing their way out and jumping their way out, but nothing seems to work. Finally, they get a brilliant idea: they decide to wish themselves out! But they're going to need help. Will it work? Are you missing them yet?

Gods & Heroes by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda (2010)
For all of recorded history, humans have sought to understand Earth's mysteries in the realm of the divine � and aspired to conduct themselves as heroes. Only gods, of course, could push the sun across the sky,forge entire continents, and impel mountains to touch the clouds. In this stunning volume, the incomparable team of Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda take us to Ra-Atum's land in Ancient Egypt; above the Grecian clouds to Zeus's Mount Olympus; up to Norse god Odin's frozen north; to the Far East, where the Jade Emperor sits in the heavens; into the wilds of Oceania, where Pele's volcanic rage simmers below the earth; and to many more lands and times, all rich with sacred myths and legends. The creators of the New York Times best-selling Encyclopedia Prehistorica series offer a mythic look at the mysteries of the past with an entire pantheon of remarkable pop-ups.

Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-up Book by Ruth Wickings and Frances Castle (2010)
Do you delight in seeing an ingenious pop-up �pop� but feel utterly daunted at the thought of making one yourself? Get your hands on this all-in-one guide and kit, combining the simplest of instructions and the coolest of components for creating a pop-up dragon, castle, jungle scenario, and Frankenstein scene. There's no need for scissors or glue, thanks to press-out, pre-scored, peel-off sticky-back pieces. And for those inspired to learn more, there's also a guide to basic folds and techniques�plus a sample pop-up robot showing how those techniques may be used. The kit's eye-popping features include a roaring dragon, a medieval castle, Frankenstein's laboratory, and a jungle scene full of animals for you to assemble.

The Ten PM Question by Kate de Goldi � (2010)
Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons is a talented kid with a quirky family, a best friend named Gigs, and a voice of anxiety constantly nibbling in his head: Could that kidney-shaped spot on his chest be a galloping cancer? Are the smoke alarm batteries flat? Has his cat, The Fat Controller, given them all worms? Only Ma, who never leaves home, takes Frankie's worries seriously. But then, it is Ma who is the cause of the most troubling question of all, the one Frankie can never bring himself to ask. When a new girl arrives at school�a daring free spirit with unavoidable questions of her own�Frankie's carefully guarded world begins to unravel, leading him to a painful confrontation with the ultimate 10 p.m. question. Deftly told with humor, poignancy, and an endearing cast of characters, THE 10 P.M. QUESTION will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart.

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