A group of frogs are living happily in a peaceful pond, until they discover a surprise visitor: a little pink pig. Sitting contentedly on a rock in the middle of their pond, the pig opens his mouth and says: RIBBIT! The frogs are bewildered at first, and then a bit annoyed—”What did that little pig just say?”, “Does he think he’s a frog?”, “Is he making fun of us?” Soon the pig draws the attention of all the nearby animals; everyone is curious to know what he wants! After much guessing (and shouting) and a visit to the wise old beetle, the animals realize that perhaps the pig was not there to mock them afterall—maybe he just wanted to make new friends! But is it too late? This is a warm, funny, and beautifully illustrated story of friendship, with boisterous RIBBIT!s throughout—perfect for reading aloud.
Young Adult Books:
That Time I Joined the Circus By J.J. Howard
Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake–and facing a terrible tragedy–Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi’s mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn’t there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus’s fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.But then Lexi’s ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it’s Lexi’s own future that’s thrown into question.
With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.
The Beautiful and the Cursed By Page Morgan
Fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series and Lauren Kate’s FALLEN novels will devour The Beautiful and the Cursed, a wholly original interpretation of gargoyle lore.
It was bizarre and inexplicable, but after it happened no one spoke of it and Ingrid Waverly was forced to leave her life in London behind. She had to trade a world full of fancy dresses and society events for Paris with her mother and younger sister, Gabby. In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house her twin brother Grayson found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abbey. A creepy, old abbey with a roof lined in stone gargoyles that one could almost mistake for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson is missing. Yet no one seems to be concerned about Grayson’s whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant who has some secrets of his own. There’s one secret about the city that he can’t keep hidden, though. There’s a murderer on the loose. And every day Grayson is missing means that there’s less of a chance he’s alive. Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead–she can feel it deep in her soul–but she knows he’s in grave danger, and that it’s up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost. Only the path to him is more than she could ever imagine.
Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots
Lorca, the lonely teenager at the center of Jessica Soffer’s emotional novel Tomorrow There WIll Be Apricots (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), is a self-mutilator whose addiction to pain terrorizes her “like an angry wasp”; it’s a poor substitute for the warmth her mother, Nancy, doesn’t offer. Since their arrival in New York CIty, Nancy has been singularly focused on her flourishing career as a chef, and when Lorca is found cutting her thigh with a paring knife in the school bathroom and suspended, Nancy has no patience to spare. Desperate to find a way to connect with her mother, Lorca turns to the one thing she knows makes her happy: food. Lorca has long been adept at whipping up an omelet de fromage or pasta arrabbiata as salve to her mother’s dark moods; now she determines to master her favorite dish: the Iraqi masgouf, a delicate fish concoction requiring intricate preparation. She enlists the help of Victoria, an Iraqi-Jewsish cooking instructor in mourning for her husband, and together the two embark on a journey that takes on a significance beyond their original mission, finding in each other the solace, nourishment and companionship they’ve both been missing. Soffer’s breathtaking prose inter-weaves delectable descriptions of food with a profoundly redemptive story about loss, self-discovery, and acceptance. After seeing an old photo of her mother hiding the scars on her arm by folding it “into herself like a broken wing across her chest,” Lorca realizes: “My mother was like me…it made terrible, perfect sense.”
The Selected Letters of Willa Cather By Willa Cather
“I’m not fond of writing letters,” Willa Cather confided to poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, but nearly seven decades after the celebrated novelist’s death, it’s clear the lady protested too much. Collected for the first time, Cather’s prolific correspondence displays the range and depth of her relationships and traces the evolution of her fact, from her youth on the Nebraska prairie to her sorrow-drenched decline in New York. In that pre-textng, pre-Twitter age, she kept the postal service busy. Cather moved among the eminent literary circles of her day, corresponding with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis and Langston Hughes—but the intimacies of her life she reserved mostly for family and friends. In The Selected Letters of Willa Cather (Knopf), both sides come to life. Virtually every letter contains some insight about writing, a hammer or chisel for her toolbox. “As one grows older one cares less about clever writing and more about a simple and faithful presentation,” she once confessed. “But to reach this, one must have gone through the period where one would die, so to speak, for the fine phrase.” In her last years, Cather withdrew into a cone of morose isolation, plagued by ill health and the horrors of World War II. “I have cared too much, about people and places—cared too hard,” she wrote to her brother. “It made me, as a writer. But it will beak me in the end.” By turns effusive, despairing, mischievous, vain and bighearted, Selected Letters unfolds like an epistolary autobiography, teeming with rich period detail and the savvy observations of a complicated artist at the height of her powers.