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A season of adventure: stories of challenge, love and friendship to engage young readers.

There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me by Alice Walker Illustrations by Stefano Vitale HarperCollins Children's Books May 2006 $16.99, ISBN 0-060-57080-6 All ages

The prize-winning author's first picture book in 15 years invites readers to celebrate Nature's beauty and connect the earth and the ocean with themselves and their imaginations. The poetic text is accompanied by Vitale's bold and brilliant images.

Away West: Scraps of Time, 1879 by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Gordon C. James Viking Children's Books, March 2006 $14.99, ISBN 0-670-06012-7 Ages 8 and up

The Scraps of Time series chronicles one black family's history. The second novel in the series tells the story of young Everett, who was the first in the family to be "born in freedom." Everett is "determined to make it out West" The possession he holds most dear is an Army medal his father earned during the Civil War. Years later, when the treasure and the history behind it are revealed, the youngsters in the family swell with pride.

I Told You I Can Play! by Brian Jordan, illustrations by Comelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu Just Us Books, January 2006 $16.95, ISBN 1-933-49106-X All ages

Brian loves to play sports: basketball, baseball and football. But his older brother thinks six-year-old Brian is too young to play with his tough friends. When the younger brother finally plays in a game, he proves his skills and becomes "a star"

The Friendly Four by Eloise Greenfield, illustrations by Jan Spivey Gilchrist Amistad/HarperCollins June 2006, $16.99, ISBN 0-060-00759-1 Ages 4 to 8

Four youngsters bond over the summer, and their exploration of friendship and family is presented in free verse. Gilchrist's illustrations capture the kids' playful energy.

Keep Climbing, Girls by Beah E. Richards, Introduction by LisaGay Hamilton Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Simon & Schuster, January 2006 $15.95, ISBN 1-416-90264-3 Ages 8 to 12

Based on a poem by the actor, playwright and poet that was published in 1951, Keep Climbing, Girls is an ode to determination.

The only way to make a bid / for a girl's equality / is to climb right up to the topper-most bough / of the very tallest tree.

The Adventures of Imhotep: The Nile River by Wale Akinje, illustrated by Craig Young Nile Publishing, December 2005 $18.99, ISBN 0-976-64850-3 Ages 5 and up

In this engaging story, Imhotep, a young Egyptian boy, is excited about his first fishing trip with his father on the mighty Nile River. The story is full of historical facts about the Nile and its agricultural importance. But what makes this book unique is that it's printed on handmade papyrus and is also a coloring book.

Read and Rise by Sandra L. Pinkney, photographs by Myles C. Pinkney Cartwheel Books/Scholastic, January 2006 $15.99, ISBN 0-439-30929-8, Ages 4 to 8 "Reading is the highway from / the shadow to the sun," writes Maya Angelou in the Introduction of the inaugural book for the Read and Rise literacy campaign.

The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney Dial Books for Young Readers, May 2006 $16.99, ISBN 0-803-72935-9 Ages 4 and up

The hen seeks help planting and harvesting wheat, but her selfish and lazy barnyard friends refuse her each time. However, when the fruit of her labor--a freshly baked loaf of bread--finally presents itself, it's the hen's turn to say "no." Children will be amused and will learn what teamwork means. Pinkney's dazzling art makes this classic tale extra special.

Mama's Day by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Jan Ormerod Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Apdl 2006, $15.95, ISBN 0-689-83475-6 Ages 2 to 6

In this book of simple rhymes, toddlers will delight at seeing mothers of all races spending fun time with their children, going to places such as the market and the seashore.

Sofie and the City by Karima Grant, illustrated by Janet Montecalvo Boyds Mills Press, March 2006 $15.95, ISBN 1-590-78273-9 Ages 6 and up

Sofie and her family have moved to America from Senegal. She's not thrilled about the move until she makes a friend. The story is simple, and the message that a person creates his or her own happiness shines through.

--Reviewed by Suzanne Rust Suzanne Rust is a contributing editor at BIBR.
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Author:Rust, Suzanne
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2006
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