New Picture Book Releases from Random House Children's Books! ~ The Review Stew
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Monday, September 10, 2012

New Picture Book Releases from Random House Children's Books!

If you have some new readers in your house, the new book releases from Random House Children's Books have some great new ones to challenge your young reader! They offer several books in the Step Into Reading Program!

FOX AND CROW ARE NOT FRIENDS by Melissa Wiley; illustrated by Sebastien Braun
A fresh, funny retelling of the Aesop's fable “The Fox and the Crow”

Fox and Crow can agree on two things: their love of cheese and loathing of each other. These cagey animals will do whatever they can to outwit their sworn enemy and claim sole possession of the prized cheese they keep finding. But they are too caught up in their plotting and planning to realize they’ve picked the wrong house to steal fromsince the mother of the house is one fed up Mama Bear who knows exactly how to contend with freeloaders.

Perfect for newly independent readers who are ready for more involved, episodic stories, this STEP INTO READING Step Three title will be a staple in early elementary classrooms curriculum units about fables.

MELISSA WILEY is the author of The Martha Years and The Charlotte Years books about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ancestors. She writes about children’s books, family, and home education on her blog Here in the Bonny Glen. You’ll find Melissa online at

SEBASTIEN BRAUN studied fine and applied arts at Strasbourg University. He lived in Burgundy where he taught art before moving to Paris and becoming a freelance illustrator. Since 2000 he has worked exclusively on children’s books. You can visit Sebastien online at

MONKEY PLAY by Alyssa Satin Capucilli; illustrated by Ariel Pang
This companion book to Bear Hugs and Panda Kisses features feisty monkeys bringing monkey mayhem to an Indian market.

Monkey Play is an energetic companion to Bear Hugs and Panda Kisses. One by one, monkeys add to the jungle funswinging from palm trees, hiding in an Indian market, and playing from sundown to sun-up! This playful Step 1 STEP INTO READING title features a rhyming text with a bouncy rhythm and bright illustrations.

ALYSSA SATIN CAPUCILLI is one of the most recognizable names in the easy-to-read field. Her super-successful Biscuit books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies in multiple formats. Alyssa is also the author of Bear Hugs and Panda Kisses, Step 1 STEP INTO READING books.

WEDGIEMAN: A Hero Is Born by Charise Mericle Harper; illustrated by Bob Shea
A hilarious, heavily illustrated Step 3 Step into Reading series about a superhero who will go to any lengths to keep our children healthy and make sure they eat their vegetables!

In THE ADVENTURES OF WEDGIEMAN: A Hero Is Born, young readers will follow Veggiebaby from his humble beginnings on his journey to becoming Veggieman. Um, make that Wedgieman, since that’s what the kids in the neighborhood all call him. Let’s face itchildren aren’t the best spellers and, well, wedgies are a lot cooler than veggies!  But it’s not all cauliflower and carrot sticksWedgieman has to fight some pretty bad dudes in his work as a superhero, yet the one battle he can’t seem to win is the one over his superhero name.

Brought vividly to life by Bob Shea’s graphic and stylish illustrations, THE ADVENTURES OF WEDGIEMAN blends Charise Mericle Harper’s outlandish humor with tongue-in-cheek action that will delight young readers. This is the first book in the series, and two more are on the way!

CHARISE MERICLE HARPER has written and illustrated numerous children’s books, including Just Grace; The Power of CuteGigi in the Big CityMilo’s Special WordsGood Night, Leo;Pink Me Up; and When Randolph Turned Rotten. She lives in Mamaroneck, New York, with her husband and their two children. Charise loves creating art and stories, petting her cat, drinking coffee, and eating pie. Visit her at

BOB SHEA is the author-illustrator of the award-winning and bestselling Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, as well as Oh, Daddy!New Socks, and I’m a Shark. He also wrote Big Plans, illustrated by Lane Smith. Bob lives in Connecticut with his family. Visit him at

If you are looking for great books for the younger babies and toddlers in your house, check out some of our favorites from this month's new releases:

A classroom guinea pig finds a way to plant his own garden in this funny tale of pumpkins and patience.

Hercules, a classroom guinea pig, has a revelation when he watches the first graders grow plants from seeds. He wants to grow things, too! And during summer vacation (spent with the teacher’s dad), he gets his chance. With the help of a friendly rabbit, Herky prepares the soil, carefully plants pumpkin seeds, and waits. And waits, and waits.. One of the most important things he learns about gardening is patience. It’s very hard to go back to school when fall comesespecially because his pumpkins aren’t quite ready yet. But in October, the teacher’s dad arrives with a big pumpkin for her class—that just mysteriously grew in his yard! And Herky begins dreaming about next year’s garden. . . .

Kate Duke has created a funny and charming book that shows not just how seeds grow into plants, but also how you need patience to see a long project through.

KATE DUKE has been creating wonderful picture books for more than 25 years. Her best loved tales often include guinea pigs or mice, like Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One, and Guinea Pig ABC. Ms. Duke lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

MINE! by Shutta Crum; illustrated by Patrice Barton
The must-have book about sharing, now available as a board book!

“A delightful example of the drama and emotion that a nearly wordless book can convey. . .. . The laughter of young readers will doubtlessly round out the narrative.”The New York Times Book Review

Have you ever had a toy you really, really liked? Have you ever had a lot of toys you really, really liked?  Have you ever said “MINE!”? If so, this book is for you! Enjoy this playful, picture-based book about two very young children and an adorable dog navigating the troubles and triumphs of sharing, now available in a board book edition.

SHUTTA CRUM is the author of many picture books and novels for young readers, including The Bravest of the Brave, illustrated by Tim Bowers, and Thomas and the Dragon Queen.

A Mary Blair motherlode from the Golden Book archivesnow back in print!

Fans of illustrator Mary Blair will cherish this never-before-published treasury of her Golden Books, which includes material that hasn’t been in print in decades. I Can Fly is here in its unabridged glory, as are Baby’s HouseThe Up and Down Book, and The Golden Book of Little Verses. Many of the finest pages from The New Golden Song Book are included, to round out this gorgeous collection. All of the original artwork has been digitally reproduced, and has never looked more breathtaking.

Academy Award-winning animator JOHN CANEMAKERauthor of The Art and Flair of Mary Blair—wrote the foreword for this highly anticipated book honoring one of the most beloved illustrators of our time.

MARY BLAIR (1911–1978) is revered in both the children’s animation and illustration industries. For nearly four decades, she was involved with many important Disney projects. She created the concept paintings for the animated films Peter PanCinderella, and Alice in Wonderland, and designed the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair exhibit “It’s a Small World.” Mary Blair illustrated only a few picture books, but they include one of the best-loved classic Little Golden Books: I Can Fly.

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* Thank you to Random House Books for their books for review! Disclosure - These books were given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*