Author and Illustrator, Patricia Keeler Takes On the Sky Pony Q & A

We’re excited for Spring weather and gearing up for the release of some amazing Spring books! To celebrate our excitement, we’re going to be featuring a month of Patricia Keeler! Stay tuned for some giveaways at the end!


 

Lizzie and Lou Seal is a beach mystery for the youngest kids. Lizzie races with her blow-up toy, Lou Seal, out of her beach trailer, across the boardwalk and down to the ocean. But Lou Seal is loosing her puff! A sharp-eyed reader will discover why! When will Lizzie notice? And can Lizzie fix Lou Seal?

Lizzie and Lou Seal will be on sale on April 4, 2017.

Questions for Patricia Keeler, Author and Illustrator of Lizzie and Lou Seal

 

Q:  Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write and illustrate in?

I do picture books because the creation of new story ideas often makes me laugh. It’s just fun to write and draw stories that have blow-up seals for pets, bicycle wheels made of flowers, and rabbits in harlequin pants who carry umbrellas. Getting a story published is a wonderful way to share the joy!

 

Q:  Is it difficult to balance being both an author and illustrator?

Being an author/illustrator is a demanding job, so luckily I’m very good at keeping things under control.

Q:  What are you reading right now?

I’m loving the rhyming story of Leonard’s Beard by Nancy Cote and the button hoarding raccoon in Dewey Bob by J. Byron Schachner. And I want to be as adventurous as the Cinderella character who accidently leaves her pogo stick behind (that the prince finds) in the LOL book The Daring Prince Dashing written by Marilou T. Reeder and illustrated by Karl West.

 

Q:  What is your favorite place to create books?

I do my best work in my studio in Hoboken, New Jersey, in the middle of the night, in my pajamas. With jelly doughnuts.

 

Q:  If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

When researching a picture book about African dance and culture, I came across an opaki. With the ears of a chihauhua, the body of a horse, and the legs of a zebra, this charming animal is actually in the camel family. An opaki can be found in the wild in the forests of the Congo.

It might be a squeeze to have an opaki in my tiny apartment, but there’s a story in the zeitgeist yet to be created about a magical African opaki!

Q:  What’s your favorite GIF?

Lizzie and Lou Seal wait, waiting for their new book!

 

Q:  Milk, dark or white chocolate?

Oh, no! Must I pick one? I love each one of their unique attributes!

 

Q:  What did you want to grow up to be when you were Lizzie’s age?

My favorite book was the strange and wonderful Three Little Horses by Piet Worm. The main character, Peter, dressed up the three horses and took them to meet the queen. I wanted to grow up to ride horses or meet the queen, or both.


Let us know what was your favorite book as a child!

Leave the title and tell us why you loved it in the comment section below.

One entry will be chosen to receive Lizzie’s Favorite Flip Flop earrings!

And that’s not all!

Everyone leaving a comment in the month of March will have a chance to

win the grand prize of a manuscript critique

by Kylie Brien, Assistant Editor at Sky Pony Press!

Next Week:  The Making of Lizzie and Lou Seal

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Five Things Needed in Every Backpack

Deirdre Sullivan, author of Ming Goes to School shares her thoughts on the back-to-school season and a list of the top five things kids must have in their backpack for school!


Going back to school means different things for different families. I am a stay at home mom of four girls, so this time of year can pack in lots of emotions.  Marking the passage of time is always gut wrenching for me.  How is it possible they grow up so fast? And saying good-bye to the unscheduled lazy days of summer is never easy, but looking forward to the new school year can be full of excitement.

What has been successful for me over the last ten years is starting the school bedtime and wake-up routine a few weeks before the first day of school.  Getting the kids on school time seems to alleviate a lot of stress for them and they are well rested for the first day. We spend a good deal of time talking about the start of school and what my kids are looking forward to and what they are less excited about. This dialog uncovers fears or concerns they have and we address them far in advance of the first day.

The five things all kids must have in their backpacks is

  1. A Ming Goes to School picture book
  2. A little note of encouragement from me or their dad
  3. A lunchbox that they have helped pack to make sure it’s stuff they are guaranteed to eat and no one will be hungry
  4. School supplies
  5. Extra set of clothes, especially socks for their cubbies

As much as I cherish the summer days of sun-kissed cheeks and sprinkled ice cream cones, the first day of school has become one of my personal favorites. I’ve survived another summer, and I soak up every bit of silence in the house just before the school bell rings.

Here’s a picture of Deirdre at Ming’s age!

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Ming Goes to School by Deirdre Sullivan, illustrated by Maja Löfdahl

Ming Goes to School_coverMing goes to school, where she learns to say hello and good-bye. She meets new friends and introduces them to old friends (including her favorite teddy). She builds sandcastles and makes snow angels; she traces, glitters, and glues. She is so fearless that when held at sword point, she even walks the plank! And when she’s playing in the mud, she reaches out and touches the worms with her bare hands. But despite those brave deeds, she isn’t quite ready for the big red slide—not yet.

This is a very sweet story with soft, evocative watercolor illustrations that will help kids to grow comfortable with the idea of starting preschool. Ming is curious and playful and ready for adventure, but even she gets scared of new things sometimes. Kids will relate to her desires and fears and will be excited to see Ming at the top of the slide by the story’s end.

A quiet and reassuring picture book for preschoolers (3-5), this is a wonderful going-to-school story that can be read both at home and in the classroom or childcare center. The illustrations provide a lot of diversity of characters, making this feel like any classroom in any school in the country.

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Lilla’s Sunflowers Book Trailer!

Have you seen the beautiful book trailer for Lilla’s Sunflowers by Colleen Rowan Kosinski? Lilla’s Sunflowers hit bookshelves July 5th! Check out the trailer!

Lilla’s Sunflowers by Colleen Rowan Kosinski

Lilla's Sunflowers_coverLilla and Papa enjoy spending magical times in Lilla’s sunflower patch. Before Papa leaves for a trip that will take him far away from home for a long time, Lilla gives him a sunflower seed. “To remember me, Papa,” Lilla whispers.

Seasons pass, and Lilla’s mood falls like autumn leaves. Finally, news comes that her papa is coming home! The following summer, to her surprise, she receives letters from families with photos of their loved ones pictured with sunflowers. She learns that her gift to her father brightened the dark days for many people, and that her one small seed continued spreading sunshine across the country.

Colleen Rowan Kosinki’s lyrical style and whimsical artwork bring this story of love to life. Lilla’s Sunflowers will resonate not only with military families but also with any child missing a loved one. This is a wonderful gift for holidays celebrating our country’s military heroes as well as a quiet story for bedtime read-alouds.

For kids aged 3 to 6, this is a must-have for military families or for families where one parent does a lot of traveling and is away from the home for extended periods of time. It also serves as a charming story about sharing what you have and the benefits that can reap.

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Happy Father’s Day!

Celebrate Father’s Day with a Sky Pony book that honors dads! Check out My Amazing Dad below!

My Amazing Dad by Ezekiel Kwaymullina, illustrated by Tom Jellett

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This dad is not like other dads. He is not good at:

Mowing the lawn,
Getting his children to school on time,
Baking cakes,
Fixing a leaky faucet, or
Remembering bed time

But, he is good at:

Making mazes,
Getting his children to school eventually,
Eating cakes,
Making bubble baths, and
Telling bedtime stories.

And this is what makes him so special.

With bright illustrations from award-winning illustrator Tom Jellett and minimal text by award-nominated Ezekiel Kwaymullina, My Amazing Dad celebrates the unconventional father who may not always get it right but certainly knows how to turn every day into something special.

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Can You Keep a Secret? How to Create Invisible Ink

Close up of a girl asking silence

 

In Kate Scott’s Spies in Disguise series, Joe has to go undercover . . . as a girl!  And he’s not very happy about it. Whether it’s the perfect hideout, disguise, or a message, every good spy needs to know how to keep a secret, and how to pass on secret messages so important information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Now, you can create secret messages, too!

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create your own invisible ink so that your most important messages don’t fall into enemy hands (or your little sisters)!


 

How to Create Invisible Ink:lemon

What you’ll need:

  • A lemon
  • Water
  • Cotton swabs
  • A bowl
  • A piece of white paper
  • A lamp that’s plugged in and on.
  • A grown-up

 

Step 1: Ask your grown-up to cut a lemon in half for you.

Step 2:  Squeeze the lemon into a bowl.

Step 3: Add a few drops of water, and stir the mixture together.

Step 4: Dip a cotton swab into your lemon juice/water mixture and write a secret message on your paper.

Step 5: Let your invisible ink dry. Your message will vanish.

Step 6: Put the paper near a lightbulb of a lamp that’s turned on, and it will suddenly appear. Be careful not to get too close to the bulb. It’ll be hot! You might want to ask your grown-up to help with this step.

 

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Spies in Disguise: Boy in Tights by Kate Scott

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The day starts out like any other until Joe gets home to find his parents packed and ready to run! His dad hands him a disguise and they’re out the door, his mom driving the family to safety as if she were in a Formula 1 car while his dad works the dashboard like an experienced computer hacker. What is going on?

Joe’s parents are no ordinary mom and dad. As professional spies, they are experts in their field, but they’ve been undercover so long that they thought their secret was safe! Now, their covers have been blown, and they’re going to need to start over somewhere else. This time, Joe’s in on the mission. And he’s going to have to go undercover. As a girl.

“No way,” says Joe. “Absolutely no way!” But his family’s safety is the top priority, and the people who are after them won’t be looking for a family with a girl. Joe is about to become Josie, and it doesn’t matter if the tights itch his thighs or that it’s drafty under his dress. It’s up to him to keep his family safe! He’s on a mission, and there might be some pretty cool gadgets involved. Dive into a new chapter book series that is sure to keep you laughing from page to page.

 

 

And coming this Fall: 

Spies in Disguise: Boy in a Tutu by Kate Scotttutu

Joe thought he had the hang of this undercover thing. Sure, he has to dress up as a girl and change his name to “Josie” to keep his family safe, but he can still play soccer, and his new friend Sam knows his secret so he at least has someone to talk to. Not to mention, it’s finally time for Joe and Sam to learn how to be proper spies—gadgets and all! Joe is prepared to prove to his parents that he’s ready for a big mission.

Their first mission isn’t exactly what either of them had in mind, though. Joe and Sam have to go undercover . . . as ballerinas! Joe isn’t thrilled about the idea of wearing a tutu, but he’s more than ready to track down the potential thief of a soccer memorabilia exhibit at the local community center. He will dance like a flamingo if it means keeping the coveted keepsakes of his favorite sport safe.

Unfortunately, Joe and Sam have very different ways of approaching the mission and their tactics clash. Once best friends and partners-in-spying, they now are determined to crack the case without each other. When Joe’s parents get word from HQ that an enemy spy is on their trail, there is no other option for Joe and Sam except to put their differences aside and work together to solve the case.

 

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Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd! To celebrate, check out some of Sky Pony’s environment-related books below!


Pierre the French Bulldog Recycles by Kate Louise, illustrated by Bethany Straker

9781632204110-frontcoverLike most dogs, Pierre, a French bulldog, loves the excitement of digging things up. He hoards his treasures in a hole in the backyard and then makes space for more. One day Pierre tosses some old stuff into the trash can, but he forgets to recycle. Now, instead of being transformed into new things, that plastic bottle and newspaper will sit in a landfill forever! Well, not if Pierre has anything to do with it. He chases the garbage truck through town, but will he catch it in time, or will those treasures be trash forever?

From author Kate Louise comes Pierre the French Bulldog Recycles—a quirky and fun lesson about the importance of recycling. Bethany Straker’s expressive illustrations make this adorable pup come to life on every page and are sure to get kids thinking about the importance of saving the environment one small piece of trash at a time.

A Weird and Wild Beauty by Erin Peabody

9781634502047-frontcoverThe summer of 1871, a team of thirty-two men set out on the first scientific expedition across Yellowstone. Through uncharted territory, some of the day’s most renowned scientists and artists explored, sampled, sketched, and photographed the region’s breathtaking wonders—from its white-capped mountain vistas and thundering falls to its burping mud pots and cauldrons of molten magma. At the end of their adventure, the survey packed up their specimens and boarded trains headed east, determined to convince Congress that the country needed to preserve the land from commercial development. They returned with “stories of wonder hardly short of fairy tales,” to quote the New York Times.

With the support of conservationists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Law Olmsted, and John Muir, the importance of a national park was secured. On March 1, 1872, Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone Park Bill into law. It set aside over two million acres of one-of-a-kind wilderness as “a great national park for the benefit and enjoyment of people.” This important and fascinating book will introduce young adults to the astonishing adventure that led to “the best idea America ever had.” Today over 130 countries have copied the Yellowstone model, and billions of acres of critical habitat and spectacular scenery are being preserved for all of us to enjoy.

This book has a wonderful ecological and historical message for readers ages 12 and up. No book about Yellowstone’s founding has been written for this age group before, yet Yellowstone National Park is a major destination for many families, so many readers will likely have heard of Yellowstone or even have visited there. This is a great book for any school library or for history or science classrooms in middle and high school, where information can be used for research projects.

To Save the Earth by Jules Archer with Foreword by Erin Peabody

9781634501965-frontcoverWith today’s climate change, our environmental problems aren’t going away any time soon.

To Save the Earth looks at the lives of four extraordinary Americans who fought to save our earth. John Muir, a pioneer of conservationism, was the founder of our national park system. Rachel Carson, biologist and author, educated our country about the effects of pesticides and chemical waste. David McTaggart, the organizer of Greenpeace, introduced nonviolent protest into the struggle, while Dave Foreman, cofounder and former leader of the activist group Earth First!, shook up a movement that had grown complacent.

The biographies of each of these figures, as well as personal interviews with David McTaggart and Dave Foreman, help us to understand the environmental movement specific to the United States. With current issues of excessive pollution and climate change, this is an excellent resource for introducing young readers to the cause. Upon first publication, To Save the Earth was chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection, and now, this fascinating and important book is back in print to teach a whole new generation of readers the importance of environmental conservation and preservation.

 

Stella and Steve Travel Through Space! by James Duffett-Smith

9781628738155-frontcoverDid you know that Jupiter is eleven times the size of Earth? The solar system is an incredible place that is still mostly unexplored. So, when Stella and her family move to a new town—where Stella has no friends except for her dog Steve—she goes exploring. In this educational book, travel across the solar system with Stella and Steve as Stella looks for a new home on another planet and imagines what life would be like on another world, from Mercury to Pluto. But along the way Stella learns that Venus has acid rain and Neptune is made mainly of gas, and she begins to wonder whether Earth might actually be the perfect home for her after all.

Featuring a fun and informational story from author James Duffett-Smith, and bold, comic book–style illustrations by Bethany Straker, Stella and Steve Travel through Space shows just how great the Earth is (while providing young children with an early science lesson) in a twist on “there’s no place like home.”

The Little Raindrop by Joanna Gray

9781628738216-frontcoverFrom cloud to puddle, and puddle to stream, the Little Raindrop is making its way on the remarkable journey that is Earth’s water cycle. In this inviting story—illustrated with pastels for a soft, full color—readers are taught about science and nature through a character-driven narrative that leads a little raindrop on a big adventure. With an easy-to-follow plot that teaches precipitation, water flow, and evaporation, The Little Raindrop offers a sweet story full of learning and discovery.

Featuring a heartwarming adventure from author Joanna Gray and beautiful pastel illustrations by Dubravka Kolanovic, The Little Raindrop takes readers on a fun and educational ride through the water cycle.

 

 

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Spring Has Sprung!

Whether it’s a rainy day and you’re stuck inside reading on the couch or out in the sunshine, reading in the sunlight, you can’t go wrong with these books by Nancy Cote:

9781620879917-frontcoverDixie Wants an Allergy by Tori Corn, illustrated by Nancy Cote

It’s Dixie’s first day of school, and some of her classmates are sharing details about their various allergies. Bridget tells of her wheat allergy and how she gets to order a special meal from restaurants. Dixie thinks that must be a really special meal! And Charlie had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance once due to his dairy allergy. Dixie thinks that must have been thrilling! Even Hannah gets to wear a fashionable bracelet due to her peanut allergy. Dixie races home and begins to eagerly search for the slightest sign of an allergy. After many failed attempts, Dixie discovers that she is allergic to something after all. But is getting what you wish for actually as exciting as it once appeared?

Watch the Cookie by Nancy Cote

9781629146300-frontcoverSam and Mousey are best friends, and Mousey is always looking up to Sam and following his lead. They do everything together and share everything, too. So when Sam surprises Mousey with a big chocolate chip cookie, they can’t wait to split it. Unfortunately, Sam really has to go and he has to go NOW! “Watch the cookie. I’ll be right back,” he tells Mousey. Mousey diligently watches the cookie, but it turns out that he isn’t the only one. Pigeons come pecking and ants come marching. Mousey does his best to shoo them away, but it’s only when he yells in his loudest voice that he can scare them off. Just when Mousey thinks he has saved the cookie, a hungry cat appears—and this cat isn’t hungry for a cookie.

Puddle Jumpers by Anne Margaret Lewis, illustrated by Nancy Cote

9781634501859-frontcoverIt’s a rainy day in the month of May and Sam spots a rainbow, and then a puddle. A perfect spring puddle. His mother warns, “No! No jumping in puddles! You must keep clean today!” but Sam can’t stop himself from testing the water with his galoshes. And then the puddle invites him to play. The puddle whispers, “Jump, Puddle Jumper, jump!” and with that very first jump, Sam is off on an adventure of the imagination. He’ll be a frog in a pond, with a hat and some spots and a magic wand. He’ll be a crocodile with pink polka dots and teeth like blades, and a polar bear with purple polar hair. He’s going to jump, leap, dance, plunge, swim, and jump again. Sam is having so much fun in his puddle that even Mom can’t resist. With a leap and a thwump, she’s jumping too, cheering, “Jump, Puddle Jumper, jump!”

9781634502023-frontcoverWatch the Birdie by Nancy Cote

Mousey was watching a baby bird when it fell from its nest. The baby bird is okay, but she can’t fly yet! So how will she get back up the tree to safety? Mousey may be too small to get the baby bird back up by himself, but maybe he can find somebody else who can! Maybe a frog can jump high enough. Or maybe a bunny can hop far enough. Maybe a snail will be able to crawl his way up the tree . . .

Will Mousey be able to save the baby bird? Or will the hungry cat get in the way of Mousey’s valiant attempts? Sometimes it’s just the size of your heart that really counts.

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Sky Pony Books at St. Christopher’s Elementary School

Mary Alice Alvarado shares the story of how Sky Pony books found a home in the library of St. Christopher’s Elementary School. Check it out below!  


Over President’s Week 2016, six major pipes burst in St. Christopher’s Elementary School, in Baldwin, New York. While students and teachers alike were elsewhere enjoying their winter recess, water spilled into several classrooms, ruining countless books and other classroom necessities. Many teachers received the heart-breaking phone call that their classroom was one of the ones affected by the water damage, and that the books they had lovingly accumulated over the years to share with their students, were destroyed.

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Faculty member Mary Alice Alvarado shared the news of the devastation with her daughter, Ronnie, an alumnae of the school and an employee at Skyhorse Publishing. When Ronnie informed some of her fellow Skyhorsers and Sky Ponies about the school’s need for books, Skyhorse galloped to the rescue.

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With a helping hand from many great Skyhorsers (especially Julie Matysik and Brianna Scharfenberg), Skyhorse was able to send dozens of Sky Pony books to the students of St. Christopher’s, who were overjoyed at being able to read with their friends again during recess and play time.

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While all the books that Skyhorse sent were special, some of the students’ favorites included:

Thank you, Skyhorse for your outstanding donation! The students and teachers of St. Christopher’s greatly appreciate it!

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Q & A With Richard Fairgray

Sky Pony author/illustrator Richard Fairgray takes on the Sky Pony Q&A. Check it out!


don't cry work

Q: Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?

It’s kind of a sad story: the day Maurice Sendak died I went into a book store to pick up a copy of Pierre (his best book, possibly THE best book) and discovered that not only did they not have it, but they had NOTHING by him. To add insult, the entire picture book section had been taken over by shrink wrapped books with toys included. Now, I’m someone who loved nothing more as a child than reading books on the floor of a book shop while my mother wandered away to buy hideous plastic shoes or earrings that looked like prizes from a carnival. I would paw through books, finding ones I needed and now that was impossible, I had walked in to a place that was once very special and I had found the books wrapped in plastic. I looked through the meagre selection and was struck by how many of the books just seemed terrible; stories about cows farting or goats farting or people farting, the kind of books I would have laughed at when I was three but never needed to read more than once. Where were the books that would stay with people? Where were the books that kids would cherish and hold onto and reread their entire lives? Those books don’t come wrapped in plastic, I guess. So, I went home and started writing a picture book. Three days later I sent it off to the printers and a month after that it was on shelves nationwide (just not in that terrible chain where everything was untouchable by the kids who liked to read). Since then I’ve been splitting my time between picture books and comics (my usual job).

Q: What are you reading right now?

I just read The Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders, it’s wonderful and I want to write a book that good as soon as possible. I’m also rereading Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem, one of my favorite novels ever, and I have misplaced my copy of Oh What a Paradise It Seems by John Cheever when I was about a chapter from the end (I think I left it on a plane).

Q: If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?

Does the phone book count as a children’s book? If so I would like to be R. Fairgray (this joke makes no sense, I am not really in the phone book).

Q: Where’s your favorite place to write?

In my office, at my desk.

Q: What’s your favorite classic movie?

I think Rear Window is a perfect film, but in terms of rewatchability I would have to go with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Q: If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

It’s unfair to ask me that while my dog is in the room. Check back when he isn’t around to read this over my shoulder.

Q: Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

None of the above. Give me sour candy any day, then tip some tartaric acid on it so it really burns.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?

Hallowe’en.

Q: What’s your favorite emoji?

I cannot answer this question. I am an old grump.

Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were the age of your book’s main character?

The main character in my book is an elderly dinosaur. I’m not yet an elderly dinosaur. But I always wanted to be a writer.


Gorillas In Our Midst by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones

9781632206077-frontcoverGorillas can be hard to spot, because they are masters of disguise and really good at hiding. Gorillas often have jobs where they get to wear masks—that’s why so many gorillas are surgeons, astronauts, scuba divers, and ninjas. There are adult gorillas and kid gorillas. There are even gorillas that go to school with you. You may think you’ve seen a gorilla swinging by before, but it’s much more likely that he was an orangutan—orangutans are terrible at hiding. You will know when there are lots of gorillas living in your midst because the grocery stores will be entirely out of bananas. In fact, you should always carry a banana with you, because you never know when there might be a gorilla around.

 

 

My Grandpa Is A Dinosaur by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones

My Grandpa Is a DinosaurThis little girl has been watching her grandpa for a very long time, and she is almost absolutely certain that he is a dinosaur. So why is it that nobody believes her? Why can’t anyone else see what she sees? He roars! (And no, it’s not just a snore.) He has green skin! (And no, he’s not from outer space.) He even has a tail! (And no, he’s not a horse!) Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, the little girl goes straight to the source. It’s time to ask Grandpa once and for all: is he a dinosaur?

 

 

 

That is Not the Monster We Ordered by Richard Fairgray, Tara Black, and Terry Jones

9781510711365-frontcoverThe day the Turner family gets their very own monster is a momentous event in the neighborhood. Everyone gathers for the occasion. The monster can roar louder than a lion, leap down the stairs better than any Slinky, and eat grass so no one needs to mow. Based on the Turners’ experience, investing in a monster seems like a great idea!

Except, the monster that shows up isn’t the monster they ordered at all. Their monster likes to pull pranks and paint murals, and when he eats grass, he gets gas! He isn’t a good baker and he smells! Will the family return their defective monster? Or will the monster find a way to win their love?

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Happy Opening Day!

In honor of Opening Day, check out some of Sky Pony’s favorite baseball books!


Mo Smells the Ballpark by Margaret Hyde with Nichelle Robinson, illustrated by Aman Chaudhary

Mo Smells the Ballpark 9781628736687

It’s Bark in the Park day at the baseball stadium! Mo, Jasper, Molly, and Lucky are excited to be at the stadium to watch the game. Mo gets busy right away, smelling the peanuts, hot dogs, cotton candy, and more as they make their way down to the field for the doggie parade. But when Lucky dashes onto the field in pursuit of a ball, Mo chases him and becomes wrapped up in a daydream of Team Mo vs. the Big Dog team. Mo and his friends must learn about teamwork, good sportsmanship, and having fun no matter if you win or lose as they face off against a pinched-face pug pitcher.

 

Jackie and Me: A Very Special Friendship by Tania Grossinger, illustrated by Charles George Esperanza

Jackie and Me 9781620876831

Thirteen-year-old Tania Grossinger lives in the famous Grossinger hotel in New York’s Catskill Mountains, but she doesn’t feel like a real Grossinger; her cousins own the hotel, and Tania often feels like she doesn’t belong. Lots of celebrities come to Grossinger’s, but Tania just wants to meet one man: Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play Major League baseball. When Jackie stays at Grossinger’s on vacation, he hears that Tania is a terrific ping-pong player. Jackie invites the young girl to meet him for a game at four o-clock—but she doesn’t believe he’s serious and stays in her room to read. Soon the telephone rings; it’s Jackie, wondering where Tania is! When she dashes downstairs to the game room, the famous Dodgers star is waiting for Tania—and this is the beginning of an unlikely but very special friendship.

 

Welcome to the Show by Frank Nappi

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It’s 1950 and Mickey Tussler—the now-famous pitching prodigy with autism and a golden arm—is back for another baseball season in this third installment of Frank Nappi’s critically acclaimed Legend of Mickey Tussler series. Talk of Mickey’s legendary exploits on the field has grown since his improbable debut two years prior, as have the fortunes of Murph and the rest of the lovable ragtag Brew Crew. Now Mickey, Murph, and Lester find themselves heading to Bean Town to play for the Boston Braves.

The call up is sweet, for all of them have overcome insurmountable odds to get where they are. But life in the major leagues is filled with fast-paced action both on and off the field. The bright lights of Boston hold a new series of challenges, hardships, and life lessons—especially for Mickey, who finds himself a long way from throwing apples into a barrel back on the farm. The three newest Braves have each other to lean on, as well as a new group of fans who are swept away by pennant fever, but balancing everything this new world has to offer may prove to be the greatest challenge of all.

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