"No Other Story" by Cuthbert Soup, for ages 8 to 12: This is the third book in a series that tells the tale of the Cheeseman family, which is Ethan Cheeseman and his three "smart, polite, attractive and relatively odor-free children."
There is no mother is central to the plot, which involves time travel, dinosaurs, Vikings and, yes, gravy-flavored ice cream.
Even if you haven't read the earlier books in the series -- "A Whole Nother Story" and "Another Whole Nother Story" -- you'll find this story exciting and mostly laugh-out-loud funny. While you probably need to be at least 8 to read this book to yourself, it would make a great family read-aloud.
Ask your parents to curl up on the couch or in front of a fire to read a few chapters.
"The Santa Trap" by Jonathan Emmett, illustrated by Poly Bernatene, for ages 5 and older: We're really hoping that none of you reading this is as bad a kid as Bradley Bartleby. Because even Santa finds it hard to put Bradley on a "nice" list.
In fact, Santa won't give Bradley anything but socks, and bad, bad Bradley is fed up with that. So he sets out to trap Santa and steal all the toys that Santa is carrying for good girls and boys.
This funny, beautifully illustrated story will have you talking about the importance of "being good for goodness' sake."
"Let's Make Some Great Fingerprint Art" by Marion Deuchars, for age 5 and older: All you need to enjoy this book is your finger, an inkpad and your imagination. We bet you didn't know that two thumbprints can create a heart or that those same two prints can create pigs, cats, bees or even the alphabet.
The book is filled with clever ideas, but we think the best part is that it will inspire you to come up with more of your own.
"Twelve Kinds of Ice" by Ellen Bryan Obed, illustrated by Barbara McClintock, for age 8 and older: This is a short (just 64 pages) and beautiful book that tells the story of one winter's worth of ice. It starts with the thin ice that forms on a pail of water during the first freeze and continues with the ice that is perfect for a skating party.
Even when winter draws to a close and what's left of the ice are the thawed-out mittens, you know that some ice always remains: the ice of your memories.
"Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris" by Marissa Moss, for ages 9 to 12: Mira is searching for her lost mother, and even if she's looking in the right place, perhaps she is looking in the wrong time. The story moves quickly because it's written as diary entries.
It's a very adventurous tale, but it includes some historic characters and raises fascinating questions about trying to change the past.
Mira's second adventure, "Mira's Diary: Home Sweet Rome," will be published in April.
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