Ready, Set, Read
Three local children’s authors have been hard at work. Here are a few recent arrivals to thrill your kids—from toddlers to tweens.
In a Village by the Sea
By Muon Van | Illustrated by April Chu
For ages four to 10 (grades pre-K to five).
Berkeley author Muon Van, who left Vietnam as a child with the exodus of boat people, brings us In a Village by the Sea, an homage to her homeland’s culture. Magnificently illustrated by Oakland artist April Chu, this story’s poetic language brings emotion and longing to the simple tale of a fisherman’s family, who wait for him by the sea. Chu’s lovingly drawn details will give you lots to talk about with your child, as you explore another way of life yet recognize the similarities to your own lives, such as the importance of home and family. $16.95.
By Mitali Perkins | Illustrated by Jamie Hogan
For ages seven to 10 (grades two to five).
Author of the popular Rickshaw Girl, Orinda resident Mitali Perkins brings us another fresh tale in Tiger Boy. A Junior Library Guild Premier Selection for 2015, the story follows Bengali schoolboy Neel, whose family is counting on him to study hard for a tough math test and win a prestigious scholarship. When he learns that a tiger cub has escaped from the local reserve, and that a nefarious businessman hopes to find the cub and sell it, Neel must decide where his priorities lie. Available April 14, $14.95. Launch party on April 18, visit mrsdalloways.com for more information.
The Code Busters Club, Case #3 and Case #4
By Penny Warner
For ages eight to 12 (grades three to seven).
Danville author Penny Warner’s interactive books, which require readers to solve puzzles and decipher clues within the text, are just the thing for your junior thrill-seeker. The Code Busters Club, Case #3: The Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure takes middle-grade mystery fans on an adventure with the book’s four teen explorers, who have their own club with a secret hideout and passwords. On a class trip, the kids set out to solve the mystery of missing pirate gold by using their code-breaking skills, after learning about the pirate Hippolyte de Bouchard, who raided California’s treasures.
Just released at the end of last year, The Code Busters Club, Case #4: The Mummy’s Curse follows the crew to learn about Ancient Egypt at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, where someone is stealing priceless artifacts. (The museum is in San Jose, so you can take your own mystery solver anytime.) The Code Busters—and their readers—learn about steganography, the study of concealed writing.
An Agatha Award–winning author for Best Children’s/Young Adult Mystery (and nominee this year for Case #4: The Mummy’s Curse), Warner has written more than 50 books and teaches child development at Diablo Valley College. Case #3, $6.99 (paperback); Case #4, $16.99 (hardbound).