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Hooray for Birds!

Best-selling children's author-illustrator Lucy Cousins, gets young readers moving in her latest book, “Hooray for Birds!” Birds of all feathers flock together in this fun, rhyme-filled celebration of fowls. From the rooster's “cock-a-doodle-doo” at dawn to the owl's nighttime “tuwit, tuwoo,” the cheeps and tweets of many bright and beautiful avian friends will have children eager to join in as honorary fledglings. This book will hold the attention of even the smallest bird-watchers, whether at story time or just before settling into their cozy nests to sleep. $15.99, wherever books are sold.

Amazon Original Special

An American Girl Story – Ivy amp; Julie 1976: A Happy Balance Living in 1976 San Francisco, Ivy Ling is a 10-year-old Chinese-American girl who struggles with finding a balance between her two cultural identities. With the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the Vietnam War so recent, embracing her heritage doesn't feel appealing to young Ivy. All she wishes is to be like her all-American best friend, Julie Albright. But when Ivy's All-City Gymnastics Tournament and her family's big Chinese New Year dinner land on the same day, she must decide whether to choose her new culture over her family's traditions. Available for Amazon Prime members to stream or online at If not a member sign up for a free trial at

— Jenny L. Heinbaugh

Book Reviews

Books for Mother’s Day

By Mary Quattlebaum

babies / tots

Color Wonder: Hooray for Spring

Local author Chieu Urban gives a big shoutout to spring in this intriguingly designed board book. She pairs a simple rhyme about the season and a specific color with bright, stylized pictures to playful effect. For example, the double-page spread about red includes an exuberant ladybug and crimson tulips. Little ones will be curious, too, about the large cut-out circle in the middle of each page and the color wheel that, when turned, takes learning to the next level. By manipulating the wheel, youngsters can match the color to appear in the circle with that of the object – or name a completely different color. Lots of fun for active little minds and fingers.

ages 3 – 7

Fantastic Flowers

Susan Stockdale is well known for beautiful nonfiction books that entertain and educate kids about the natural world. Her most recent offering includes her winning combination of poetic text, stunning art and informative back matter. Kids will love looking at and learning about the white Dutchman’s breeches that resemble “upside-down pants,” the monkey orchid with its whimsical “face” and the orange trumpet creeper named for the brass instrument.[  ]{.Apple-converted-space}There are “prim ballerinas,” “parrots in flight,” icecream desserts and even hot lips in this celebration of nature’s ability to surprise and delight. [  ]{.Apple-converted-space}A family read-aloud and flowers for Mom should make her Mother’s Day a happy one.

ages 3 – 12

The End of the Wild

Eleven-year-old Fern loves and relies on the woods close to her rundown home. She forages there for mushrooms, ramp and other wild edibles, using cooking skills learned from her late mother to feed her younger brothers and stepfather. The kindly stepfather hopes to get a job with a fracking company, one of the few available to him because of his war-induced hearing loss and PTSD. But Fern knows this work will destroy her wild sanctuary. To complicate matters, Fern’s wealthy maternal grandfather thinks the stepfather is an unfit parent and plans to remove the kids from his care. Fern is a resilient young hero with a tender heart, and this novel is a nuanced take on a hardscrabble community trying to scrape a living from the only resources at hand.

Mary Quattlebaum is the author of 24 award-winning children’s books, most recently “Together Forever: True Tales of Amazing Animal Friendships,” and a popular school/conference speaker.