g i f t  -  b u y i n g   g u i d e


    books chosen especially by the children, young readers, 
and youth services librarians at perrot library

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Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert


by Lois Ehlert

Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one's quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows. With illustrations made from actual fall leaves and die-cut pages on every spread that reveal gorgeous landscapes, here is a playful, whimsical, and evocative book that celebrates the natural world.



Traction Man is Here, by Mini Grey


by Mini Grey

Traction Manówearing combat boots, battle pants, and his warfare shirtócomes in a box, but very quickly finds the way into the imagination of his lucky boy owner. This superhero searches for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve as the boy makes a game of doing the dishes, and later in the bathtub, he conquers the Mysterious Toes that are stealing his pet, the brave little Scrubbing Brush. Mini Grey's story in words and pictures is an irresistible invitation to the private world of a child's play.



Zen Shorts, by Jon L. Muth


by Jon J. Muth

"Michael," said Karl. "There's a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addie he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth -- and Stillwater the bear -- present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.



Leonardo the Terrible Monster, by Mo Willems


by Mo Willems

Leonardo is truly a terrible monster--terrible at being a monster, that is. Despite his best efforts, he canít seem to frighten anyone. But when he discovers the perfect nervous little boy, will he finally scare the tuna salad out of him? Or will he think of something even better?



Vincent's Colors, by Vincent van Gogh


by Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh is one of the world's most famous artists. Throughout his life, he wrote to his younger brother, Theo, about his colorful, dynamic paintings. This book pairs the artist's paintings with his own words. Van Gogh's descriptions, arranged as a simple rhyme, introduce young readers to all the colors of the rainbow--and beyond. The descriptive words combine with spectacular reproductions of many of the artist's most beloved and important works to create a perfect art book for young and old alike.                                                         

Cinderella, adapted by Barbara McClintock


adapted by Barbara McClintock

Poor Cinderella, who is relegated to a dingy garret room by her duplicitous stepmother and beleaguered by her nasty stepsisters, never gives in to hostility or revenge. Instead, this sweet heroine remains steadfast in her kind, gentle ways, and her generosity flows like a mountain stream. This tale of virtue rewarded is as charming and rich as any prince. McClintock's warm, humorous, and luscious artwork reflects the story's French roots. Coupled with her disarming text will insure that this book will be loved and cherished.




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Dinosaurs: Encyclopedia Prehistorica, by Robert Sabuda


by Robert Sabuda

Open this book and a massive T. rex springs out, flashing a startling jawful of jagged teeth. Inside the amazing Encyclopedia Prehistorica, dinosaurs are "shield bearers" in full-body armor, creatures with frilly headgear, and weighty, long-necked giants. Full of fascinating facts and lighthearted good humor, this breathtaking book offers up-to-the-minute information on more than fifty dinosaur species. With each of six spreads featuring one spectacular, large pop-up as well as booklets of smaller pop-ups and text, Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs is a magnificent display of paper engineering and creativity--an astonishing book that will be read, admired, and treasured forever. Also check out Sabuda's Winter's Tale, a spectacularly engineered (and glittery!) winter-themed pop-up book.




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The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall


by Jeanne Birdsall

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel's sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel's owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures. Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.



Project Mulberry, by Linda Sue Park


by Linda Sue Park

Julia Song and her friend Patrick would love to win a blue ribbon, maybe even two, at the state fair. They've always done projects together, and they work well as a team. Julia's mother offers a suggestion: They can raise silkworms, as she did when she was a girl in Korea. Patrick thinks it's a great idea. Of course there are obstaclesófor example, where will they get mulberry leaves, the only thing silkworms eat?óbut nothing they can't handle. Julia isn't so sure. The club where kids do their projects is all about traditional American stuff, and raising silkworms just doesn't fit in. Moreover, the author, Ms. Park, seems determined to make Julia's life as complicated as possible, no matter how hard Julia tries to talk her out of it.


A Dog's Life, by Ann M. Martin


by Ann M. Martin   

Squirrel and her brother Bone begin their lives in a toolshed behind someone's summer house. Their mother nurtures them and teaches them the many skills they will need to survive as stray dogs. But when their mother is taken from them too soon, the puppies are forced to make their own way in the world, facing humans both gentle and brutal, busy highways, other animals, and the changing seasons. When Bone and Squirrel become separated, Squirrel must fend for herself, and in the process, makes two friends who in very different ways define her fate.

The Star of Kazan, by Eva Ibbotson


by Eva Ibbotson

Annika has never had a birthday. Instead she celebrates her Found Day, the day Ellie and Sigrid found her as a baby abandoned in a church. Ellie is a cook, and Sigrid is a housemaid. They live in a house in Vienna owned by three eccentric professors, and for eleven years Annika has enjoyed living in the servants' quarters, learning how to cook the Christmas Carp and to polish parquet floors to perfection. Still, every night Annika dreams of one thing: her mother stepping out of a carriage in her lovely clothes, smelling of French perfume and holding out her arms to her long-lost daughter. When Annika's mother finally does come to claim her, she learns that she is no servant but an aristocrat whose true home is a castle called Spittal. But at crumbling, spooky Spittal, Annika discovers that all is not as it seems in the lives of her newfound family....



The Liberation of Gabriel King, by K.L. Going


by K.L. Going


Gabriel King is afraid of everything: spiders, the rope swing over the lake, and most of all, going to fifth grade. Frita Wilson, his best friend, decides Gabriel needs some liberating from his fears, so they make a list and plan to tackle each one. But one of the reasons Frita is so determined to help Gabe is that she needs his help, too. Hollowell,Georgia in 1976 isn't exactly the most integrated place, and Frita's the only black student in school in a town with an active Ku Klux Klan. Printz honor winner K. L. Going reaches out to a younger audience in this poignant story of unlikely friends and the summer they learn that facing down your fears is easier with someone by your side.



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The Riddles of Epsilon, by Christine Morton-Shaw


by Christine Morton-Shaw

When Jess and her family move to Lume, a remote island off the coast of England, strange things start happening. Jess discovers an abandoned cottage on her family's property and an eerie presence within. The spirit, Epsilon, leads Jess to a set of three locked boxes, which she can open only one at a time. Jess must unlock the riddles of Epsilon in order to save her mother and place an ancient relic in the right hands--but whose? Guided by the mysterious Epsilon, Jess has limited time to solve the mystery and dispel a curse that has hung over the women in her family for centuries.



Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson


by James Patterson


Featuring characters inspired by the smash hits When the Wind Blows and The Lake House, The Angel Experiment marks James Patterson's explosive debut in the young adult market that is guaranteed to create legions of new fans for this bestselling author. Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: six kids who are 98% human and 2% bird. They grew up in cages, living like rats, but now they're free. When the bloodthirsty Erasers--half men, half wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists--kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission full of action, adventure, and soul-seeking.




Adam Canfield of the Slash, by Michael Winerip


by Michael Winerip

Late for math club, late for jazz band, late for soccer--Adam Canfield has to be the most overprogrammed middle-school student in America. So when super-organized Jennifer coaxes him to be coeditor of the Slash--Harris Elementary/Middle School's student newspaper--he wonders if he's made a big mistake. Not only do editors get stuck with assigning stories, they also have to deal with annoying third-graders like Phoebe, always pushing for a front-page slot. But when Phoebe's article on Eddie the janitor leads to a much bigger scoop, Adam and Jennifer rise to the challenge, risking their principal's wrath to uncover some shocking secrets. Along with a charming cast of characters and plenty of kid-friendly humor, New York Times education columnist Michael Winerip sneaks in some lessons about truth and cover-ups, personal integrity, and the rush that comes from breaking a really great story.



The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan


by Rick Riordan


Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school--again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his best friend? Or not defend himself when his Algebra teacher turns into a monster and tries to kill him? It seems mythical creatures are walking straight out of the pages of Percy's mythology textbook and into his life. The gods of Mount Olympus, he's coming to realize, are very much alive in the twenty-first century. And worse, he's angered a few of them--Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy has just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property, and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus.




Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license--for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world--and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.


Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

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Perrot Memorial Library Youth Services Department, Old Greenwich, Connecticut