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More Fun Less Stuff 

In our hectic, fast-paced, highly stressed lives, is it possible to have more fun with less stuff? Absolutely, according to Betsy Taylor, author of the More Fun Less Stuff Starter Kit, a fun, easy-to-use book packed with practical tips on how to simplify your life, free up time, money and personal energy and protect the environment. More Fun Less Stuff by Betsy Taylor, Chelsea Green Publishing, Betsy Taylor, $11.99.

The Simpler Family: A book of smart choices and small comforts for families who do too much 

This book offers amazingly simple, proven ideas to organize family time and money. Learn how to add more enjoyment and meaning to your family's life than you ever thought was possible. At the same time it will teach you how to reduce stress and confusion, reduce your time away from your family, even reduce your work hours. You might be able to eliminate one income - and still live better than you are living now! The Simpler Family by Christine Klein, Robins Lane Press, $16.95

How to raise a Gentleman
How to Raise a Lady

By Kay West, Rutledge Hill Press, $14.99

Boys will be boys, they say. And, girls will be girls.  And though parents may sometimes think otherwise, the terms "boy" and "gentleman" and "girl" and "lady" are not mutually exclusive.  Boys and girls can master the art of common courtesy and its natural progeny:  good manners.  Approachable guides to good manners featuring a common sense collection of real-life advice, time-tested tips, and lessons learned.

Grandparenting
Grandma Online: A Grandmother's Guide To The Internet 

Age need not stand in the way of technology. With thoughtful and humorous step-by-step guidance, this book rejuvenates a youthful spirit and makes exploring the World Wide Web literally seem like child's play. Anyone who wants to learn more about the Internet can accelerate into the fast lane of the information superhighway with this virtual road map that takes readers anywhere they want to go, including right into the hearts of their grandchildren. Adventurous grandparents can learn to:
* Send mail to or chat with anyone in the world for free
* Make new friends or reconnect with old
* Create personalized electronic greetings
* Design custom CD for a special holiday
* Plan fun-filled vacations, bargain shop, or trace the family tree 
Grandma Online: A Grandmother's Guide To The Internet by Kathleen Shaputis, Ten Speed Press, $14.95.

New and Expecting Parents
Baby Names Now From Classic to Cool - The Very Last Word on First Names Baby Names Now by Rosenkrantz and Satran, St. Martin's Press, $12.95

Baby Be Loved - A great gift idea for yourself or a friend!
By Susan Ann Selfox, Mason Publishing, Available now. $24.95. (spiral bound vertical hanging calendar book)

Baby Be Loved is a one-stop source of activities, information and inspiration for new parents.  Contains daily parent-child activities - things to do, songs to sing, senses to stimulate and more are designed and timed to aid mental and physical development each and every day of the first 24 weeks of baby's life. Available at any bookstore; call toll-free 866.244.4477 or visit www.BabyBeLoved.com.

Birth Your WayChoosing Birth at Home or in a Birth Center
By Sheila Kitzinger, DK Publishing, March 2002, $17.95

Birth Your Way offers a wealth of practical, comprehensive information for any pregnant woman considering an out-of-hospital birth.  Contains first-hand accounts of women's personal birth experiences, 40+ full-color photographs and illustrations, an invaluable Q & A section in each chapter, a complete list of references and useful addresses - essential information for health professionals, midwives, parents and partners alike.

tomorrow's baby: the art and science of parenting from conception through infancy
By Thomas Verny, M.D. and Pamela Weintraub, Simon & Schuster, Available now, $26.

An internationally acknowledged expert in early human development, Dr. Thomas Verny draws on his knowledge of the latest scientific research to explain how, with planning and proper support, parents can create an ideal environment for their babies. Dr. Verny advocates "conscious parenting" which begins with the parent's or caregiver's informed acceptance of the enormous challenge of raising and nurturing a child. He offers a wealth of practical suggestions, from optimal prenatal communication to enhancing infants' emphatic abilities, as well as advice for building language acquisition, enhancing intelligence, and developing other social skills. Now, for the first time, parents can learn how to help actualize their child's full potential, beginning with conception.
All Ages
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE HORRIBLE NO GOOD VERY BAD DAY

by Judith Viorst, Simon and Schuster, $5.99 pa, $15 hc.

Men In Black notwithstanding, most moms know how to tell the aliens from the real earth children. You say, "I do not like them, Sam-I-Am..." and the earth child says, "I do not like green eggs and ham". Or perhaps you start out with "In the Great Green Room...." And the alien child looks at you like you were from...outer space! Classic children's books not only enrich our children's lives-they add to the adult vocabulary the way Judith Viorst's now-30 years-old ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE HORRIBLE NO GOOD VERY BAD DAY has taught us "I could tell it was going to be a terrible horrible no good very bad day." It's like Aurora in Steel Magnolias telling her friends, "I've just been in a very bad mood for forty years," but funnier.

No household on earth ought to be devoid of at least one copy of this

book. There are days when the cat throws up in your shoes, the stove catches fire and the refrigerator is growing science projects in the bottom drawer when you can only add, "I think I'll move to Australia". Without classic picture books, we wouldn't have the articulate ability to recite heartfelt refrains from children's literature. Whether you are a baby bird looking for its mother and finding only Snorts, or a relentlessly pirouetting Angelina crying out "I have to dance!" your life can be enriched by children's stories even if you don't have any kids. Picture books make great presents for adults and your local friendly independent bookseller will be happy to make recommendations for any and all occasions.

But when the drive shaft of your car falls out forty miles from nowhere in the middle of the Reservation or you drive away from the gas pump forgetting to take the nozzle out, there is only one book that will soothe the gaping hole in your psyche: Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. Buy it and share it.

By, Gwynne Spencer, author of WHAT'S COOKING IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE (Linworth, 2001), RECIPES FOR READING (Linworth, 2002) and HAVE TALENT WILL TRAVEL: A GUIDE TO AUTHORS, STORYTELLERS AND ILLUSTRATORS WHO WILL VISIT YOUR SCHOOL AND LIBRARY (Linworth, 2002). You can contact Gwynne at pengwynnes@aol.com

The Ring Bear 

When Cornelius Callahan's grandson was four years old he was told by his mother that he was to be the "ring-bearer" in his uncles wedding. Two weeks after agreeing to this interesting assignment, Nicholas asked his mother, "When do I get my bear costume?" This charming and true story, an "...out of the mouths of babes" tale, became the inspiration for Callahan's newly-released and classically-told fairy tale, "THE RINGBEAR." But fairy tales are not just for children - as the French writer and pilot, Saint-Exupery, said, 'Fairy tales are stories for children with meanings for adults'. "THE RINGBEAR" tells the story of a young bear who doesn't know what kind of bear he is until he is given a splendid and lasting identity after he rescues a wedding that has gone amiss...."And ever since, the bear has been known as Ringbear. And he attends all the weddings." The story, recommended for all young children, is a classical children's fairy tale. The RingBear by Cornelius Callahan, Sextant Press, Inc. $14.95. Suitable for all young children.

Tangle Fairies 

A fun and inventive story about what really happens while children sleep. As children escape to dreamland, Tangle Fairies wake-up to start their day. Some Tangle Fairies have a great time telling jokes and playing tug-of-war with the sheets; others try badminton and tennis with lint balls. Still others make slides or weave beds using children's hair. As dawn breaks, the Fairies grow tired and make beds for themselves under the mattress or in the children's hair. These Tangle Fairies are the mischievous characters who are to blame for the knotted, tangled hair that children must deal with when they wake up in the morning. Tangle Fairies by Steve Tiller, $13.95. Suitable for children of all ages.

Stranger in the Woods: A photographic fantasy

Winter is a magical time. After a snowstorm has blanketed the woods, the animals emerge to feed. The birds alert the deer that a stranger has been spotted. "Who-hoos in the woods?" asks the owl of many questions. While the chickadee and the mouse offer to try and find out more about the stranger, the rabbit and porcupine don't want to be the brave ones to go first. Others in the forest family vie for their chance to see if the stranger is a friend or a foe. Curious and eager to solve this mystery, one by one they follow the trail and come across the stranger. The breathtaking photographs of animal wildlife in a backdrop of winter wonderland bring this story to life. Stranger in the Woods by Carl Sams and Jean Stoick, $19.95.

Award winning Best-selling Books, Prints and Paintings by N.A. Noel

"All God's Creatures Go To Heaven," featuring Noel's Faces of Angels series, speaks to children about death, hope, life, joy, purpose and love. "Believe" is a book of angelic artistry and poetry for children and adults alike. "Joy in Simplicity," depicts the natural rhythm of Amish life as described by Noel's artwork and the lyrics of our greatest poets. "On Earth as it is in Heaven," tells the story of Rosie, a child angel who returns to Earth bringing poetic messages of living life to the fullest. "I am wherever you are," conveys the messages of hope and healing, especially to those who have lost a child. Noel's portraits portray children's innocence, a strong sense of family and community, and the value of honesty transcending racial difference and separating continents. Her books celebrate the spirit, touch the soul and beautifully reflect the divinity within each of us.
Faces of Angels Series by N.A. Noel, $19.95 each.

Ages 3 to 6

Stripe's Naughty Sister

By Joanne Paris, Carolrhoda Books, 2002, $15.95, hardcover

Just like many older siblings must do, Stripe takes care of his mischievous little sister in this new picture book. Expected to take care of his little sister, Stripe is faced with a task familiar to many older siblings. Siblings of all ages will recognize their own family in this special story about an older brother rescuing his younger sister. With brightly colored and richly textured illustrations, Stripe's Naughty Sister is a simple, yet charming, read-aloud story the whole family will enjoy.

INTRODUCING A NEW SERIES: "RAINBOW FISH AND FRIENDS"
Where Caring and Sharing Are Always in Vogue
How do you teach a four-year-old compassion, empathy, or respect? Kindness has been and continues to be the prevailing theme of Rainbow Fish. Based on the highly acclaimed and best-selling Rainbow Fish books, this new series features Miss Octavia Cuttle's school of fish and their humorous adventures, many of which explore the important themes of friendship, compassion, and getting along with others. 
THE COPYCAT FISH begins with a brand-new school year. Rainbow Fish is having problems with Tug, a younger fish, who copies everything he does. With the help of Miss Cuttle, Rainbow Fish learns a lesson in patience, and Tug learns to appreciate his own abilities. THE COPYCAT FISH text by Gail Donovan, $3.99
A FISHY STORY features Puffer who loves nothing better than entertaining his class with a good story. However, when his stories begin to sound too good to be true, he must learn to regain his classmates' trust. A FISHY STORY text by Gail Donovan, $3.99 
LOST AT SEA finds the class on a school trip, and everyone in the class is assigned a buddy. When Rainbow Fish loses buddy, Tug, everyone joins in on the search. LOST AT SEA text by Gail Donovan, $3.99
In HIDDEN TREASURES, Miss Cuttle asks each student to bring in a "treasure," but no one in the class can seem to agree on what makes something special. HIDDEN TREASURES text by Gail Donovan, $3.99 
Ernest and the BIG Itch

It's sometimes hard for children to understand the importance of finding ways to resolve differences. A fun way to help kids grasp this principle is by sharing Ernest and the BIG Itch, the newest title from Barnesyard Books. This delightful story is about Ernest the donkey, who unknowingly upsets some of the other barnyard animals in his quest to scratch his BIG itch. When the animals work together, they find that they can come up with a solution that makes them all happy.  

Thousands of children--and their parents--have already fallen in love with Ernest and his barnyard friends in the previous titles in the series: Twist and Ernest and Teeny Tiny Ernest.  All of the books in this series have been charmingly illustrated by Carol A. Camburn. (To read more about these books, the author, or the illustrator, visit www.barnesyardbooks.com.)

Words Are CATegorical introduces: 
A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink:  What is a Noun?                $5.95
Hairy Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective?
To Root, to Toot, to Parachute:  What is a Verb?                $14.95

By Brian Cleary, Carolrhoda Books. Ages 7-9.

What a fun way to learn.  These whimsically illustrated books are clever and can be used as a lesson in grammar or just a fun read-aloud for any age.  Humorous rhymes amuse any listener and the lesson can be taught effortlessly.

Order toll-free 800.328.4929 or visit www.lernerbooks.com.

Ages 3 to 11

"The Calico Buffalo" - A Tiny Champion for All People
by E.J. Stapleton, BOSC Publishing Company, 2001, Available Now, $15.95.

The Calico Buffalo tells the fable of a baby buffalo, born to the leaders of the buffalo nation, who is colored like a calico kitten. The Calico Buffalo is the story of this buffalo nation's journey to find what should be done with so unusual a child, and a story of one nation's journey toward tolerance, acceptance and enlightenment. It is a call to celebrate the richness of diversity, in all of its forms.

In the tradition of Aesop's fables and stories like The Jungle Book and The Lion King, the beautifully illustrated new children's book "The Calico Buffalo" aims to teach children the importance of diversity-and the tragedy of exclusion, of any kind.

The Calico Buffalo tells the fable of a baby buffalo, born to the leaders of the buffalo nation, who is colored like a calico kitten. The Calico Buffalo is the story of this buffalo nation's journey to find what should be done with so unusual a child, and a story of one nation's journey toward tolerance, acceptance and enlightenment. It is a call to celebrate the richness of diversity, in all of its forms.

"Each buffalo child is quite perfect at birth

It needs no permission to live.

Some nod of approval or threat of removal

Is something that's not yours to give."

-Acclaimed Children's Book Named Finalist for Nautilus Award

Liz Smith, nationally syndicated columnist, said, "We can always use a brand new legend in this old world and now we have one-The Calico Buffalo. This is a charmingly painted story punctuated with beautiful poetry. It is a life lesson calling us to decency and tolerance and the right to be or look or feel odd and strange. The Calico Buffalo will clutch your heart even as its villain, Thorn, catches your imagination. Bravo to EJ Stapleton and India Baldwin."

Note: At the request of EJ Stapleton, BOSC Publishing will donate the author's royalties in equal portions to The Home for Little Wanderers (www.thehome.org) and The Jessie-Bullens Crewe Foundation (www.jessiefoundation.org), both non-profit organizations that provide much-needed services for children.

MORGAN THE DOG Book Series
Morgan the Dog: The Day the Magic Began

Youngsters are introduced to an animal shelter and taught about the value of considering a mixed-breed dog when looking for a pet.

In this first book, Morgan is rescued from an animal shelter by a young girl named Brittany and then he saves her from drowning, Future books in this series will feature Morgan and Brittany involved in a variety of intriguing situations around the world, each of them providing readers with factual information and valuable life lessons.

There is also a companion website: www.morganthedog.com which captures Morgan's unique personality and reflects the special relationship between a young child and her dog. You can also visit www.FiveStarPublications.com/books/morgan for more information.

By Heather Irbinskas, Morgan House Publishing, $14.95, Hardcover, 2002

Storybook Parties

 Children's Favorite storybooks come alive. 50 complete themed storybook parties. Storybook Parties is divided into three age sections: Preschool 3-6 years; Elementary 6-9 years, and Preteen 9-12 years. Takes the most popular books for children and tells how to host a "storybook" party around the books. Fun, interactive parties perfect for parents that want to inculcate a love of reading in their children. It immerses the child in the story through special recipes, dressing up, playing games, and many other exciting activities. Each party includes a brief quote from the book to set the stage, introductory comments, ideas for homemade invitations, costume suggestions, decorating tips, games and activities to do during the party, refreshments to serve, and prizes and favors to send home with the guests. Storybook Parties by Penny Warner, Liya Lev Oertel, Meadowbrook Press, $9

Kid's Book to Welcome A New Baby!
By Barbara Collman, Marlor Publishers, September 1999, $12.95. Ages 3-11.

This book helps older children feel special and to understand how important they are to the family when a new baby arrives.  Filled with educator-approved activities, the book is designed to help strengthen the bond between parents and child at what is often a stressful time for a child.  The book has activities such as drawing pictures, creating small gifts for the new baby, learning about their own birth, and helping the child feel good about his own self-image.

Special Interest

Especially for Urban Moms

The Big Rumpus
By Ayun Halliday, Seal Press, May 2002, $15.95.

If there could ever be a book of party stories about raising kids, this is it.  Picking up where Erma Bombeck left off, Ayun Halliday, off-off Broadway actress brings her inimitable, biting wit and inexhaustible supply of joie de vivre to the daily theater of the absurd that is family life in the big city.  Blending caustic humor with the exuberant joy of watching her children grow to the point where they can match her one-liner for one-liner.  Any strolled-mom, urban especially, will relate to the chaos unraveled and immortalized in this hilarious new book. 

"The Aliens Have Landed" 

Children will love the world of Kenn Nesbitt, a world where he talks about mashed potatoes on the ceiling, kangaruplets, the pain of shots, awful brothers and sisters, skunks falling in love, anti-gravity machines and other funny, imaginative subjects. The poems selected for inclusion in the book were tested by a panel of elementary and middle school students. The Aliens Have Landed by Kenn Nesbitt, Meadowbrook Press, $15

"Oliver Gets Hearing Aids" 

A feel-good book for hearing-impaired children. 
A charming paperback picture book designed to help hearing-impaired children feel comfortable with their hearing loss and hearing instruments. The book can also assist children with normal hearing understand the challenges faced by their hard-of-hearing peers. Available from local audiologists and hearing professionals and from Phonak Systems at 800.679.4871 or www.phonak.com
Oliver gets Hearing Aids, by Riski and Klakow, Phonak Hearing Systems, $9.95

Living with Childhood Cancer: A Practical Guide to Help Families Cope 

A comprehensive resource for all involved, offering practical strategies for coping with the emotional impact accompanying the disease and improving quality of life. Living with Childhood Cancer by Leigh Woznick and Dr. Carol Goodheart, APA Lifetools, $19.95

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