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Laurie Berkner “Superhero”

Laurie Berkner is back with a “Superhero,” her first new album in eight years. With jumpy, rhyming and giggle-inducing tracks such as “Pajama Time!” and “The Music In Me,” you and your young ones will be bouncing along to her boppin' songs in no time. You're going to love adding her new album to your fun collection of kid's tunes. Available on her website,, iTunes and

“Sadie McGrady Runs for President”

  Beautifully photographed by Corey Williams, this new book comes just in time for the 2016 election. The main character, Sadie McGrady, is a kid running for President of the United States of America. Can she work hard and get the job? Wonderful for ages five and up, “Sadie McGrady Runs for President” is available at for under $15. Also available on

— Katie Schubert

Book Reviews

Fall Books

By Mary Quattlebaum

babies / tots

Because of an Acorn

This lyrical paean to nature celebrates connectedness and the cycles of growth. An acorn becomes a tree that shelters a bird that transports a seed that becomes a fruit that feeds a chipmunk, etc. The repetition of the words “because of” highlights the importance of each living thing. Each makes a contribution to the vitality of a forest ecosystem. The lush colors and stylized figures of the artwork give a sense of the primal, ancient beauty of this world. Children can follow the different activities of several animals and plants across the turning double-page spreads, until the book itself circles back to its opening image of an acorn becoming a tree becoming a forest. Perfect for autumnal read-alouds.

ages 4 – 9


Emma Bland Smith bases this compelling story on the true tale of a wolf, later named Journey, who set off from Northeast Oregon to travel more than two thousand miles and into parts of the West that hadn’t seen a wolf in many decades. A fictitious child named Abby follows his progress on the internet and thrills to occasional photos taken by hidden motion-sensor cameras. She knows danger lurks for the wolf in lands where ranchers and farmers fear for their livestock, and she is delighted when Journey makes a home in a protected wilderness with a black female wolf he met on the road. Illustrations by Robin James capture the strength and dignity of the wolf and the sweeping vistas and small details of the native flora and fauna that he passes.

ages 10 and up

Florence Nightingale

Clarion, 2016, $18.99 Local author Catherine Reef adds another fascinating biography to a list of acclaimed books about luminaries such as the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ernest Hemingway and Sigmund Freud. Once again Reef uses her scrupulous research in service of a dynamic work of nonfiction, one that places Florence Nightingale in the context of her times. Even as a child in the 1820s, Nightingale visited the poor with her mother. She nursed animals that were sick or injured. Driven by a sense of divine purpose, Nightingale swept through a long life, reaching out to wounded soldiers in the Crimea War, managing hospitals, establishing a nursing school and setting standards still basic to the profession.