Category Archives: A to Z

X is for….

She’s just a little old lady here to take care of three kids, or is she?

Nanny X by Madelyn Rosenberg

When your new nanny arrives wearing a motorcycle jacket, mirrored sunglasses..and a flowered hat?  it’s hard to know what to think.  One thing is clear Nanny X isn’t what she seems! (MR-3/4)

nannyxAlison doesn’t want a new nanny.  She doesn’t want any nanny.  All she wants is for her mom to stay home with her, her brother Jake and baby sister Eliza, instead of returning to work as a lawyer.  Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen and when her mother arranges for Nanny X to take care of them Ali & Jack couldn’t be more surprised by her appearance, or her behavior.  It becomes clear pretty quickly that something sinister is going on.  Nanny X has a secret identity as part of of the Nanny Action Patrol (NAP) – a society of crime stopping secret agents who go undercover as caregivers – and it’s up to Ali & Jake help Nanny X recover stolen diamonds!  Ali & Jake take turns alternating as narrators for a fun story from multiple perspectives.

nannyxreturnsNanny X Returns She’s back for another adventure!  When Nanny X takes Ali, Jake and baby Eliza on a fishing adventure things definitely turn…fishy!  Robotic animals, a baby-wipe thief, and a mysterious character known as The Angler mean another exciting mystery full of humor and adventure.  This time the very fate of our national security could be on the line!  Return to the hilarious world of the Nanny Action Patrol with Ali & Jake.

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Filed under A to Z, Middle Reader, mystery

W is for….

What if all you need is someone who understands you….

When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens

It’s a struggle to adjust to the fishbowl life of the President’s daughter.  Sure it sounds like a cool gig, but the constant supervision by the secret servie, the new school, the “friends” who pretend to like you because your mom is the leader of the free world, and those who are mean and jealous for the very same reason, makes normal life pretty difficult.  The biggest problem is no one really understands you- as very few have ever been in this position before. How is a girl to survive the next four years (oh, no – what if it’s eight?!?!) without a little help. (MR-5/6)

whenaudreymetaliceAudrey is just trying to hang on to what is left of her “normal” life, but being the President’s daughter is making that all but impossible.  Living in the White House is like being permanently grounded, except she didn’t do anything wrong!  And don’t even get started about the kids at Audrey’s school.  Even seeing a movie is a production – and the special privileges make it feel like she’s buying friendships, and it is nearly impossible to find a true friend who doesn’t have ulterior motives.  Just when Audrey feels like things couldn’t get any worse she discovers a hidden diary  – written by none other than Alice Roosevelt, another first daughter who had to navigate the crazy White House life 100 years ago.  With Alice as her guide, Audrey learns to manage her new role while remaining true to herself, all the while gaining confidence and grace.

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Filed under A to Z, History, Middle Reader

V is for….

One little girl shows she’s got what it takes.

Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen

violetthepilotViolet Van Winkle has always been a little different.  Growing up with her father’s junkyard at her disposal she’s always been extremely mechanically inclined.  Since she was little more than a toddler she’s been taking things apart and putting things together, but her truest passion is flying machines.  Violet isn’t understood by her classmates, but if she can win a prize at the air show it will prove to her peers that she has talent.  A detour on the way to the airshow has unexpected results and reveals her true winning character. (PB)

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Filed under A to Z, Picture Book

U is for….

A dying man’s cryptic last words are…

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

undertheeggTheodora Tenpenny’s grandfather was her world, and his tragic and unexpected death leaves her devastated and more than a little worried.  Her mother is eccentric and flighty, her 200 year old home is crumbling around her, and she has little more than $400 in inheritance to keep them afloat.  Worse, her grandfather’s dying words leave her with a mystery surrounding the painting hanging above the mantle, her grandfather’s job as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a secret dating back to World War II.  With some new friends, and creative detective work, Theo discovers that her grandfather wasn’t the man she thought he was, he was much more.  (MR-5/6)

This creative and touching story is a Paperback Pigeon All-Time Top 10 Favorite.


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Filed under A to Z, Art, military history, museum, mystery, New York City

T is for….

Two pig pals – one wants to explore the world and one prefers to stay home.

Toot (& Puddle) by Hollie Hobbie

A globe-trotter and a contented homebody are the best of friends.  One is always off indulging his passion for travel and the other is happily having a delightful time in his own backyard.  Toot and Puddle’s friendship endures despite their differences and each learns to appreciate the other’s way of life, proving there is a perfect place for everyone to call home. (PB)

tootandpuddleToot & Puddle  In a small house in Woodcock Pocket, Toot and Puddle live happily together.  Until Toot decides it is time to see the world and travel around the globe.  Puddle, however, prefers the quiet life of home.  This delightful picture book travels through a year, each month highlighting Toot’s adventures in exotic locations, as communicated via postcard to Puddle.  The facing page tells of Puddle’s exciting year at home, with all the seasonal joys to look forward to in your own backyard.  This lovely tale equally appreciates the wanderer and homebody in all of us.  A Paperback Pigeon All-Time Top 10 Favorite!

topoftheworldTop of the World   Toot’s wanderlust has gotten the better of him again!  When he doesn’t return in a timely manner from a walk, Puddle decides the only thing to do is to go after his dear friend.  Although traveling the world is out of his comfort zone, Puddle embarks on a journey of the utmost importance – the journey to find his very best friend.  Will he find Toot and when he does can he convince him to return home?

homeforchristmasI’ll Be Home for Christmas Toot is attending a family reunion in Scotland, but promises to make it home to Woodcock Pocket for Christmas.  Unfortunately a series of delays cause Toot to make some detours where he finds himself discovering the true spirit of the season.  Will he make it home in time to celebrate with Puddle?  With a little luck and some help from a very special friend, Toot finds his way home for Christmas

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Filed under A to Z, Picture Book, Pigs, travel

S is for….

S if for…


What books are perfect for every age

With wonders to discover as you turn each page?

Will it be The Cat or the Lorax or an elephant named Horton?

Or Yertle, or Bartholmew?  What could be more fun?

For nearly 80 years Dr. Seuss has charmed and challenged young readers with his rhyming prose, whimsical illustrations and fantastical creative universes.   From the first publication of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937  you’d be hard-pressed to meet a child who hasn’t been won over by a Seuss story.  Although they are funny, magical and sometimes nonsensical, the true joy in a Seuss is discovering the real moral heart of each story – and realizing Theodore S. Geisel truly believed, “A person’s a person, no matter how small”.  His belief in children, and their ability to learn from and love literature, is evident on every page.    Here are just a few Paperback Pigeon favorites from the more than 40 Seuss titles to choose from. (PB/ER K-2)

mulberrystreetAnd to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street – The very first Dr. Seuss was rejected by 27 publishers!  This classic tale of a young boys’ journey home from school, and what he saw (or imagined) on the way home appreciates the creativity and ingenuity of make-believe and cherishes the storyteller in all of us!

yertletheturtleYertle the Turtle and Other Stories – Moral tales in engaging rhyme – what a perfect pairing.   Yertle, the greedy turtle king, forces all the other turtles to hold him up to view his kingdom – but when his desire for power and possession goes too far it only takes a tiny action (hilarious to kids of all ages) to bring him back to reality.

grinchHow the Grinch Stole Christmas!  – The enduring tale that reminds all of us that Christmas isn’t about toys and trees, and the joy of the season can impact everyone – even if your heart is two-sizes too small.


greenegsandhamGreen Eggs and Ham – “I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.”  The story of this infamous dish mimics the struggles of every parent to entice picky-eaters to try new foods.  Seuss keeps it funny and lighthearted, but in the end Sam-I-Am wins out and a delicious discovery is made.  PBP Challenge: Can you read the longest page in only one breath?

Do you have an ultimate Seuss fan at home?  Trip It:  with a visit to Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure to see Seuss Landing – and immerse your young reader in the world of Dr. Seuss firsthand!

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Filed under A to Z, classics, Early Reader, Picture Book

R is for…..

With a little spunk and confidence you are sure to make a name for yourself!

Ruby and the Booker Boys by Derrick Barnes

Eight year old Ruby is the youngest in her family, but that doesn’t mean she is a shrinking violet.  Full of spunk and confidence Ruby holds her own with her three older brothers.  Meet this strong, sassy heroine who is unforgettable just by being herself. (ER-2)

RubybravenewschoolBrand New School, Brave New Ruby – In the series debut Ruby is ready to start 3rd grade at her new school.  She’s finally going to school with her brothers, but soon discovers they’ve set quite a reputation for Ruby to live up to.  When she tries to distinguish herself from her family Ruby finds herself in big trouble.  Can Ruby live up to being a Booker while still letting her true self shine?

rubytriviaTrivia Queen, 3rd Grade Supreme – Ruby is ready to take the spotlight in the school-wide trivia contest!  Unfortunately it isn’t open to 3rd graders.  While working to convince the administration of this injustice, Ruby has to decide how to handle competing against her brothers.  Things heat up at school and at home in the race to determine who is going to be the best.

rubysleepoverSlumber Party Payback – Ruby is having a sleepover!  But with three older brothers, who love to pull pranks and cause mischief, you can be sure things won’t go as planned.  Will Ruby’s party live up to her expectations?


rubycheerleaderRuby Flips For Attention – After seeing her cousin cheerleading,  Ruby thinks this is her ticket to finally be the center of attention.  But all those tricks are harder than she thinks, and an accident while practicing sends Ruby to the hospital.  How will she ever get noticed now?

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Filed under A to Z, Early Reader, series

Q is for….

It wasn’t enough that his mom remarried, started a rock band, and is spending a year traveling the U.S. on a mega-tour – turns out his new stepsister has skeletons in her past that are threatening their new life just as they were settling in.  Another day on tour with..

I, Q by Roland Smith

Quest, known as Q, is glad his mom, Blaze, finally found happiness and love with Roger.  He isn’t quite so sure about the new lifestyle though.  Not only did Blaze and Roger get married they also collaborated musically and spawned a huge hit record.  Now Q, and his stepsister Angela (whom he is even less sure of), are spending a year off from school traveling the United States on a concert tour.  Unbeknownst to their parents, who are consumed by the tour, Angela and Q are being threatened by some mysterious characters from Angela’s past.  Adventure and intrigue are at every turn, and every mystery has Q and Angela exploring the coolest spots in each city they visit! (MR-5/6)

Qindependance HallI,Q: Independence Hall – Getting settled into his new lifestyle begins with a cross-country drive from California to Philadelphia in the luxury camper that Blaze and Roger have chosen as their family home for the next year.  Early in the trip things get strange. Are they being followed?  How did Boone, and old roadie friend of Blazes’, find them in the middle of the desert?  Who is he really?  Philadelphia has history at every turn, but it is Angela’s history that is the biggest mystery!  The first book in the series sets the scene for adventure to come across the country!

QwhitehouseThe White House– 24 hours in Washington, DC at the home of the President.  The intrigue and mystery just gets more exciting for Q and Angela, but so does the danger!



QkittyhawkKitty Hawk– The president’s daughter has been kidnapped and Q and Angela are part of the team working to save her.  They follow the trail to the Outer Banks -but will a freak storm ruin their chances?



QalamoThe Alamo – With a huge concert planned at the Alamo Q and Angela find themselves in the heart of Texas, and a the heart of another Ghost Cell attack.   Are they being chased across the country?  Or are they doing the chasing?  All is not as it seems as Q and Angela try to find out if they are the hunted or the hunters!


QWindycityThe Windy City – Q and Angela may have been thwarting international terrorism, but all their parents see is a lack of attention to their studies.  With the threat of boarding school, Q and Angela hit the books when they get to Chicago in order to avoid leaving the tour -which would mean leaving Boone and their work against the Ghost Cell.  But when Boone and the crew don’t make it to Chicago as planned Q and Angela know that there is a mole feeding information to the Ghost Cell.  Who is it?  And how do they stop the Ghost Cell’s next plot – a chemical attack on the Windy City?

QAlcatrazAlcatraz – Things have just become too intense and, although they plan to continue the tour, Blaze and Roger think it is time for Q and Angela to return home to San Francisco and attend boarding school.  It’s a race against time to find the leader of the terrorist cell before Q and Angela find themselves removed from the team hunting the Ghost Cell.

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Filed under A to Z, History, Middle Reader, mystery, North America, travel, United States

P is for….

It begins with “A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy”

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwick sisters are as different as can be, but all of them are truly thrilled to be spending their summer at Arundel, a country estate.  Here they discover a special friendship, the joy of of fresh baked cookies, and endless summer afternoons.  But they also learn of prejudice, the consequences of selfish behavior, and the sting of first love.  A charming, heartwarming tale that is sure to be a classic. MR-4/5

*A Paperback Pigeon All-Time Top 10 Favorite*

penderwicksThe Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy–  When Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty arrive at Arundel they are looking forward to a summer of outdoor adventures on the grounds of this Massachusetts estate, but they never imagined they’d meet a friend like Jeffery Tifton.  The sweet son of Arundels cold and prejudiced owner, Jeffery is in peril of being sent to a military academy his mother hopes will make him more like his grandfather.  Jeffery needs help to avoid this dreaded fate and the Penderwick sisters aren’t going to let their new friend down.  Filled with hilarious misadventures and growing pains, The Penderwicks evokes the warmth and charm essential to a childhood classic.

penderwicksgardhamstreetThe Penderwicks on Gardam Street – Fall has come and the Penderwicks are back home.  Mr. Penderwick has settled into the widower lifestyle, but his sister, Aunt Claire,  thinks it is time he consider dating again.  Leave it to the girls to come up with the “save-Daddy” plan to thwart any progress in his search for a new wife.  Can they ensure his dates are dreadful all this while dealing with neighborhood boys, homework swaps, and soccer drama?  What if the solution to their problem isn’t quite what they think, or any further away than their own neighborhood?

penderwickspointemouetteThe Penderwicks at Point Mouette – This summer Rosalind is off to the beach and the other girls are headed to Maine with Aunt Claire.  Can Skye live up to the pressure of being OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick)?  With their dear friend Jeffrey joining them, things are sure to be full of excitement, confusion, misunderstandings, and adventures.   Luckily their quaint cottage by the shore has some special neighbors who are sure to make certain it’s a summer they’ll never forget.

penderwicksspringThe Penderwicks in Spring – Due March 24, 2015 – Spring is full of surprises and the Penderwicks are sure to be up to mischief in the fourth book about this amazing family!

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Filed under A to Z, classics, Middle Reader, series

O is for….

There is never a dull moment with

Olivia by Ian Falconer

Olivia is a little pig with big personality.  From the moment she wakes up until her third bedtime story she never stops moving, and learning, as she explores her world in typical energetic pre-schooler manner.  Although it’s become a tv series and spawned a variety of early-reader and board books, the first Olivia stories are modern classics that entertain young readers , introducing them to art and culture along the way. PB

*A Paperback Pigeon All-Time Top 10 Favorite*

oliviaOlivia – Meet Olivia as she sings, dances, dresses up, and discovers the world as only this curious, adventurous little pig can.  Even when it lands her in time-out, she’s ready to take every opportunity available to explore her world first hand.  Whether creating her own Jackson Pollack on the wall, or dancing like Degas‘ Dancers, Olivia is ready to try it all – after she moves the cat.

oliviasavesthecircusOlivia Saves the Circus –  When all the circus performers are sick with ear infections it is time for Olivia to take over.  And she can do it all!  Whether taming lions or swinging on the trapeze Olivia proves she has what it takes to be a great leader, all she needs is a little imagination!


oliviaandthemssingtoyOlivia . . . and the Missing Toy – When Olivia’s most favorite toy can’t be found anywhere it is up to her to tackle the things that go bump in the night to get her dearest treasure back.  In true Olivia style, she handles this problem with pluck and saves the day!


oliviaformsabandOlivia Forms a Band – If there are fireworks, there will be a band – at least according to Olivia.  But what will our determined heroine do when she learns there isn’t going to be a band?  Create one of course!  Olivia takes matters into her own hands and puts together a one-pig band to provide the perfect accompaniment for the fireworks show.

oliviahelpswithchristmasOlivia Helps with Christmas – It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Olivia is super busy making sure everything gets done right!  In true Olivia style she guarantees that all the details will be perfect for a Christmas to remember.


oliviagoestoveniceOlivia Goes to Venice – Olivia and her family are off to visit Venice and as usual, hilarity and adventure are at every turn.  Delightfully detailed with photography and art work to introduce young readers to this spectacular Italian city as seen through Olivia’s unique perspective.


oliviafairyprincessesOlivia and the Fairy Princesses – Olivia has never followed the crowd, but she’s feeling overwhelmed by too many sparkly and frilly princesses and she just wants to stand out!  Discover how Olivia stays true to herself and maintains her individuality.


oliviacollectionJust one Olivia story isn’t enough!  Get all 7 classic Olivia stories in The Olivia Collection.

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Filed under A to Z, Art, Picture Book, Pigs