July 2022 Prime Picks
Persian Everyday gathers over a hundred Persian recipes for daily
enjoyment, focussing on no-fuss fare that the entire family can enjoy.
Sabrina Chayour's first
book, Persiana, presented Middle
Eastern food as something an American home cook could easily cook. Since
publishing that book, Sabrina became a stepmother and wife determined to
produce a family-friendly version of her book to compliment and expand the
traditional Persian cookbooks on the market.
Persian Everyday's contents range from all-season salads and small
plates to carbs and fast-made recipes that even the busiest cook will
From a Lamb, Date
& Chile Stew to Sloppy Sabs (a cross between an Indian keema pav and an
American sloppy joe) made with spiced ground meet on a bun, the full-page color
photos and variety of recipes will appeal even to those who already have
Persian cookbooks in their collections, but need a more family-friendly
The Slimming Foodie
The Slimming Foodie in One presents over a hundred one-dish recipes
that are under 600 calories, making for the perfect presentation of a diversity
of food choices that feature a minimum of preparation and a maximum of flavor.
From a surprising
combination of lower-fat flavors in a Philly Cheesesteak Bake to a
vegetable-enhanced Fancy Chicken Kievs with Roasted Tomatoes & Asparagus or
Lemon Chicken with Masala Chickpeas, the multiplicity of this cookbook is
especially pleasing, and as notable as the attractive full-page color photos of
The result will
appeal to the entire family with a cookbook that mixes cultural influences and
flavors for appealing results.
American Dude Ranch
University of Oklahoma Press
American Dude Ranch: A Touch of the Cowboy and the Thrill of the West tackles the history and social impact of the Dude Ranch in America. It dovetails its development as a vacation spot with a consideration of both its attraction and its representation of American images and icons of the old West.
Readers who know
little of this history, and only know about dude ranches from popular films,
might be surprised to learn that dude ranching began in the 1800s as an
attraction for easterners who envisioned the glamorous world of the cowboy.
As the cattle
industry faded, there was clear reason for former ranches to enter the
hospitality industry, using their expertise to recreate bygone times and
experiences for vacationers.
The history and
impact of dude ranching comes to life under Lynn Downey's hand, making American Dude Ranch a highly recommended
choice for American history and hospitality history library collections alike.
The Nature of
Jane E. Hall
The Nature of Creativity: A Mindful Approach to Making Art & Craft
gathers art- and craft-based projects by an artist and embroiderer who links
these endeavors to mindful creativity and awareness.
This combination may
prove unexpected to the usual artistic how-to reader, but it works well. The Nature of Creativity is especially
recommended for new age artists who want to absorb this link in more depth,
through projects designed to enhance both creativity and joyful effort.
From dreamcatchers to
mandalas and fairy monkey purses, the ingredients come from nature and natural
materials found outdoors, creating powerful connections between art, nature,
and mindful thinking.
Lovely color photos
throughout highlight the experience to encourage artists and new age thinkers
The Rise and Reign of
The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History from the Shadow of the
Dinosaurs to Us is an outstanding popular science piece highly recommended
for general-interest readers and science-based library collections.
It tells a history of
how the mammals survived the asteroid strike that ended the reign of the
dinosaurs, evolving into the animals familiar to humans today.
It also follows the efforts
of paleontologists who used fossils and DNA to put together this history,
examining not just mammal evolution, but the interactions and impact of homo
sapiens on the animal kingdom.
The result is a
lively discourse especially recommended for readers who hold a dual affection
for ancient and modern animals, who are interested in links between the two and
the surprising history that ties them together.
The poems in Whale Fall represent strong portraits of
time and nature. They describe human and natural history, and are highly
recommended for literary libraries strong in contemporary environmental poetry
The reflections of a
range of interconnected emotions and experiences come to life in unexpected
visions. Take "Nineteen Spikes," for example. David Baker's evocative
words come to life: "Then the storm
came. It raked our world with terrible teeth./Then dissolved—like a calcium
spike—back into bone—/I see what you mean. But your barn's not really a
barn./Old Lady just sat there—married to the guy fifty years..."
Under Baker's hand,
the "quicksand weight" of memory, experiences, and changing times
swept away by the pandemic allows for connections that eschew cause and effect
for the mercurial tides of extinction.
The collection is a
powerful synthesis of man and nature that requires slow reading and
contemplation for full effect. It's highly recommended for literary collections
featuring Thoreau and other environmental writers.
and Jana Sedláčková's Atlas of Cats (9788000063546,
$17.95) features appealing and fun cat drawings by Giulia Lombardo that
bring to life cat stories. These explore the natural history of felines in an
attractive combination that enlivens the concept of the bedtime story with a
The study reveals
different cat breeds that hold different temperaments and personalities,
reviewing each cat's appearance, evolution over the centuries, and place in
The writing is notably
evocative and lively, as in the description of the Ragdoll cat: "Despite my name, I'm a wild giant. No
toy factor would produce a creature with such a silky coat and such dazzling
blue eyes as mine!"
Kids learning about
cats will relish this fun approach.
Even lovelier is
Radek Malý's Atlas of Extinct
Animals, an oversized survey containing exceptionally beautiful
illustrations by Jiři Grbavičic and Pavel Dvorský.
readers will relish the full-page science drawings that accompany facts about
the Falkland Islands Wolf, the Huia bird, the Long-Tailed Hopping Mouse, and others.
Both are exceptional
books especially recommended for creating eye-catching library displays.
Cat Eyes and Dog
Cicada Books Ltd.
Libraries looking for
an attractive oversized display book about animal and human senses will find that
Cathy Evans's Cat Eyes and Dog Whistles:
The Seven Senses of Humans and Other Animals will attract leisure readers
as well as students.
Becky Therns provides
engaging drawings that bring to life these explorations. The book's
organization is designed to add capsules of information supplemented by
attractive visual embellishments on each sense and how it works in human and
animal kingdoms alike.
The result is a fun
survey that is both educational and appealing.
Six new picture books
from Candlewick are highly recommended choices for elementary-grade readers,
offering winning combinations of lovely images and inviting stories.
A Rose Named Peace: How Francis Meilland Created a Flower of Hope for a
World At War by Barbara Carroll Roberts (9781536208436, $18.99) tells of
Frances, who always wanted to follow in his family's footsteps of growing his
own roses. He also wants to create a new rose, and works hard to make a hybrid
nobody has ever seen before.
World War II changes
his passion, however, as rose beds become vegetable gardens for the war cause.
against all odds, waiting for things to change. When they do, his passion and
pursuits creates something truly meaningful for the post-war world.
illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline enhance a lovely biography picture book that
young readers will find educational and encouraging, with a strong story and
example of pursuing passion against all odds.
Phyllis Root and Gary
D. Schmidt's Celia Planted a Garden: The
Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden (9781536204292, $18.99) tells
of an island girl who moves to a new home, facing the different challenge of
planting a garden in an environment which would seem inhospitable to flowers
Writer, painter, and
gardener Celia Thaxter's life and world (as well as her achievements) are
profiled in a biography of her influences and life. The story draws kids into
an account of perseverance and art with lovely illustrations by Melissa Sweet.
Lily Leads The Way by Margi Preus (9781536214031, $17.99) is not
about a person, but about a small sailboat that is surrounded by cargo ships,
fishing vessels, and "bossy tugboats." All of them seem to hold more
importance than Lily. And they command more respect.
Lily is determined to
make an impact on her world despite her diminutive size, so when she faces a
dilemma with old ships that are sailing to their doom, she steps up in an
Kids will appreciate
the lovely drawings by Matt Myers which brings Lily's nautical world to life.
Nina LaCour's Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle (9781536211511,
$17.99) captures the feelings of a young child who misses a parent. She
actually has two parents: Mommy and Mama. As the story moves through a mother's
absence on a trip and a classroom of kids who miss siblings, parents, and pets,
different losses are assessed and discussed.
Kaylani Juanita provides
colorful illustrations that are inclusive, and which portray a range of
different people and concerns.
Leda Schubert's Firsts & Lasts: The Changing Seasons
(9781536211023, $18.99) focuses on signs of changing seasons and the new
opportunities involved in differences in environment and weather.
Each season concludes
with something to celebrate and something to miss as Leda Schubert discusses seasonal
rituals and activities. These are paired with colorful illustrations by Clover
Robin that capture the various nuances of changing seasons and their pros and
Ted Kooser and Connie
Wanek's Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at
Play Among Figures of Speech (9781536203033, $19.99) receives notable
illustrations by Richard Jones as it profiles evocative poems with lovely
descriptions both fanciful and factual.
provides eye-catching images backed by equally evocative written words about
nature and human activity that give food for thought wrapped in an overlay of attractive,
imaginative free verse.
All are fine choices
for elementary-level libraries seeking evocative picture book additions that
will appeal to a wide audience.
The Depth of the Lake
and the Height of the Sky
The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky, a Junior Library
Guild Gold Standard Selection, is a wordless black and white picture book story
of a boy and his dog. They are leaving the busy city for his grandparents' home
in the country for the summer.
A path leads him to
the forest, where he discovers something unexpected and magical.
Adults who choose
this redolent story for its attractive tale will find it a fine opportunity to
work with kids on the process of filling in the blanks to create a plot that
supports the intriguing drawings.
Poopsie Gets Lost
Hannah E. Harrison
Dial Books for Young Readers
Poopsie Gets Lost will attract young picture book cat lovers with its
engaging story of a pampered kitty whose venture into the world of adventure
turns out to be a little too exciting.
The narrator assumes
an encouraging, observational voice in this story, which provides a unique view
of Poopsie's choices, experiences, and dilemmas.
The lovely color
photos are a highlight in a tale which surveys a spoiled cat's exploration of a
very different world, challenging her in many ways.
Kids who love cats
will find this narrative also holds a lesson for their own ventures into
unfamiliar territory; especially when spiced by a read-aloud parent's
Ruby and the
Itsy-Bitsy Icky Bug
Ruby and the Itsy-Bitsy Icky Bug features fun drawings by Sally
Walker. It explores the dilemma faced by young Ruby when she's confronted with
a particularly determined "Mr. Yuck-Bug" on her window.
Ruby loves all
animals—but she's not a fan of bugs.
And this one is
determined to ruin a perfect sunny Saturday morning by its mere presence.
As Ruby and the bug
butt heads, young picture book readers receive a fun encounter that leads Ruby
not just to a time-out, but taking the time to learn more about her enemy.
participants will appreciate how Ruby resolves an impossible problem, as well
as the opportunity to teach the very young about insects in a dynamic new way.
Simon & Schuster
Three new picture
books, a young adult book, and an elementary-grade story for ages 7-10 provide
new opportunities to attract and encourage young readers, with their vivid
subjects and fun drawings.
The 7-10-year-old age
range will appreciate Bella Swift's The
Pug Who Wanted to Be a Mermaid (9781534486881, $17.99). The tale features a
dog who would be something other than his true form in order to satisfy his
young mistress, who hopes to see a mermaid during the family seaside vacation.
Peggy the pug is
determined to become a mermaid, even though she doesn't know how to swim.
Her quest to conquer
her fears and become something greater than she was born to makes for a
whimsical, fun story.
Jennifer Wagh's Eggasaurus (9781534450066, $17.99) will
reach ages 4-8 with the picture book tale of a boy fixated on having a pet
Max's wish is about
to come true when he receives an order of dinosaur eggs from Eggasaurus—but his
father insists he return them.
efforts to do so backfire in a way that both pleases and stymies Max.
The unusual style of
a story told entirely in back-and-forth letters lends fun and unexpected
pleasure to this whimsical dilemma.
Matthew Forsythe's Mina (9781481480413, $17.99) is a story
about trust and love.
Mina the mouse lives
in a safe world with a zany father who develops schemes based on things he
finds and brings home from the world. Mina loves her father, and his eccentric
behaviors don't bother her ... until he brings home something uncommon and
A fine story evolves,
containing a gentle message for kids that read-aloud parents will find unusual
Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch (9781534466319, $19.99) is especially
recommended for readers of dystopian and survival stories.
It tells of teen
Zara, an escapee from her father's backwoods survivalist compound. She'd
thoroughly immersed herself in the pleasures of technology until a malware
attack stops the nation's power.
Now Zara is faced
with utilizing the lessons from the world she escaped from and has avoided ever
since—lessons about survival that lead her back to a place she never thought
survivalist story's take on coming full circle presents a satisfyingly unique
approach to the subject that will delight YA readers looking for something
All are top
recommendations for discriminating library collections.
Sleeping Bear Press
These new arrivals
from Sleeping Bear Press provide winning stories suitable for picture book
library acquisition, recommended above many other choices.
Lynn Becker's Monsters in the Briny (9781534111493,
$17.99) receives vivid, colorful drawings by Scott Brundage as it explores
monsters that are grumpy, sickly, or sad.
What to do with such
a menagerie of woes? Sing their worries away, of course.
Adults who choose
this story for its read-aloud appeal will find it a fun tale of mythical monsters
that just need a little comfort and understanding from sailors who both rescue
their ship and work together with these formidable beasts to solve problems via
Information about the
creatures and the sea shanties which soothe them accompany lyrics and music for
adults who would translate this book into an entertainment device.
Sophia Gholz's Bug on the Rug (9781534111479, $17.99)
receives fun drawings by Susan Batori, whose whimsical depictions of bugs
brings to life the rhyming story of a rug's appeal to a disparate duo. The
rhymes and sound effects will especially please adults who choose this book for
read-aloud, lending fun to a story which promotes working together, phonics,
and understanding cooperative compromise and problem-solving.
Meeg Pincus offers So Much More to Helen! The Passions and
Pursuits of Helen Keller (9781534111516, $17.99), a different kind of Helen
Keller exploration that benefits from Caroline Bonne-Muller's appealing
Helen Keller's story
has been more than explored in numerous books for all ages, but other facets of
her activist interests, her performances, and her romantic inclinations are
Pincus provides a
winning focus on these atypical facts about Helen Keller, rounding out other
biographies with information that picture book libraries will find essential to
include in their collections.
Adam Lehrhaupt's There Was a Hole (9781534111226, $17.99)
reachs ages 4-8 with its picture book story about strong emotions and how to
Lily finds herself
depressed and sad. It's like she has a joy-eating hole in her chest.
It takes a friend who
has had a similar experience and knows how to heal it to change her trajectory.
Parents who wish to start
the conversation about handling emotions with the very young will find There Was a Hole the perfect place to begin.
All are excellent
choices for leisure and educational pursuits alike.
Rob Kearney & Eric Rosswood
Strong is a picture book story illustrated by Nidhi Chanani. It
tells of Rob, who wants to become a champion strongman with nearly superhuman
But, can a strongman
also harbor affection for colorful attire and rainbow hair?
The story of Rob's
training to be a strongman is nicely juxtaposed with the dilemma of his wanting
to wear "fun and expressive" clothing that is more him than the usual
trappings of a sports champion.
The result is an
engaging story that offers young readers not only insights into the strongman
sport, but the process of integrating one's unique life focus into a demanding
Time Capsule is a picture book story about family keepsakes,
preservation, and creating buried time capsules that bring the past to the attention
of present-day residents. It encourages young readers to think about their
world and the key messages they would send to future generations.
As the young
protagonist uses an empty jar to create her personal time capsule, readers will
appreciate the focus on what's important, what's unusual, and what is
representative about their worlds.
Adults can use this primer as the opener to a discussion about what is valuable in this world, and what future generations should receive to understand the present day experience as seen through the eyes of young readers.