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The Dirty Sock Funtime Band is Back!

The Dirty Sock Funtime Band has released their all-new CD, The Dirty Socks Come Clean, an 18-track musical bonanza. Each of the songs is a full theatrical journey, taking the meaning of family-friendly music to a whole new level. As an added bonus, kids' favorite Laurie Berkner is the special guest star. The band' s humor and energy are balanced with clever compositions and smart lyrics that parents will enjoy as much as their children. The Dirty Socks Come Clean is available at,, and on iTunes.

Guess How Much I Love You: Hidden Treasure

Based on the best-selling books by Sam McBratney, in Guess How Much I Love You: Hidden Treasure, Little Nutbrown Hare and his father investigate the world in an animated version on DVD, brought to you by Disney Junior. This debut disc features seven complete episodes, as Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends explore, play and learn valuable life lessons. For ages 3-8.

— Margaret Hut

Book Reviews

By Mary Quattlebaum

babies / tots

Me Too!

Everything Bear does, Chipmunk does, too! This lively tale chronicles the snowy adventures of two friends. The exuberant call-and-response pattern builds in a playful interactive for little listeners, who will love chiming in with Chipmunk's excited "Me too!" every time Bear mentions another activity. The two make a snowman, go skating and skiing and finish their fun with cocoa and cookies by a cozy fire. Valeri Gorbachev's expressive, bright-eyed critters and simple, action-packed text will connect with tots and older youngsters just learning to read. Share this book before the first snowfall to prepare your kids for the white stuff to come.

ages 4 - 7

A Single Pebble

Celebrate the new year with a historic journey on the Silk Road. In 850 A.D., Mei starts a jade pebble on a year-long trip from her home in China. The little rock is passed from Mei's silk-merchant father to a Buddhist monk in Turfan to a sandalwood trader in Kashgar to an acrobatic family in Samarkand to a wily thief in Baghad. The pebble is even captured by a pirate in Antioch! Each traveler emphasizes that the pebble is a "gift for a child," from the land where the sun rises. When the pirate brings the green pebble to his son, Tomasso, in a town close to Venice, the blue glass of their Italian church subtly foreshadows the blue glass bead that Mei has received, back in China, from her returning father. Through striking images in words and art, acclaimed author/illustrator Bonnie Christensen beautifully evokes changing landscapes and cultures. An author's note, map and bibliography provide additional intriguing material.

ages 8 - 10

Iggy Loomis: Superkid in Training

Daniel, the long-suffering narrator of this funny chapter book, is the big brother of a tot named Iggy, a larger-than-life kid who careens about in a cape, plastic fangs and his favorite Sqidboy underpants. According to the cover flap, author Jennifer Allison was inspired to write the book by her three kids, and the closely observed shenanigans and sibling dynamics all ring true. Allison is well known for her Gilda Joyce mystery series for teens, and this engaging new chapter-book series will appeal to a younger crowd. Dynamic black-and-white sketches by Mike Moran enhance the visual impact as well as young readers' ability to decode and better visualize details in the text.