Eerdlings

The official blog of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

eBooks

The Child’s Story Bible
by Catherine Frances Vos

Hundreds of thousands of children throughout the world have been introduced to the riches of the Bible through this classic Bible storybook. First published seventy years ago, the much-loved Child’s Story Bible continues to instruct and delight today’s children and parents.

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A River of Words
The Story of William Carlos Williams

Jen Bryant
Melissa Sweet


Willie loved to write — words gave him freedom and peace. But he also knew that he needed to earn a living, so when he grew up he went off to medical school and became a doctor — one of the busiest men in town! Yet he never stopped writing.

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Birdie

Written and illustrated by Eileen Spinelli
Ages 10 to14

A relatable novel-in-verse about loss… and what happens afterwards

Twelve-year-old Birdie Briggs loves birds. They bring her comfort when she thinks about her dad, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Life without her dad isn’t easy, but at least Birdie still has Mom and Maymee, and her friends Nina and Martin.

But then Maymee gets a boyfriend, Nina and Martin start dating, and Birdie’s mom starts seeing a police officer. And suddenly not even her beloved birds can lift Birdie’s spirits. Her world is changing, and Birdie wishes things would go back to how they were before. But maybe change, painful as it is, can be beautiful too.

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Fur, Fins, and Feathers

Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo

Written and illustrated by Cassandre Maxwell

A fascinating and factual book that will delight animal lovers

Abraham Dee Bartlett knew from a young age that he wanted to spend his life working with animals. But in Victorian London, there weren’t many jobs that provided an opportunity to do that. Still, Abraham spent years gaining knowledge and pursuing his dream until he eventually became superintendent in the London Zoo. Driven by his compassion for the animals, Abraham dramatically improved the conditions of the zoo to ensure that the animals could be happy and healthy.

With engaging back matter and charming illustrations, Cassandre Maxwell’s book brings to life the little-known story of the man who helped to create the modern zoo.

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The Right Word

Roget and His Thesaurus

Written by Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

This book is an inviting, visually engrossing portrayal of Peter Mark Roget and the creation of the thesaurus. Readers of all ages will marvel at Roget’s life, depicted through lyrical text and brilliantly detailed illustrations. This elegant book celebrates the joy of learning and the power of words.

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The Second Sky

Written by Patrick Guest
Illustrated by Jonathan Bentley

An inspiring story about finding your true element

Ever since he first hatched, Gilbert has wanted to fly. But with his big, clumsy feet and small, fluffy wings, learning to fly is a bigger challenge than Gilbert anticipated. His fellow penguins tell him to give up, but Gilbert is sure that if he keeps trying, he’ll be able to soar…

Young readers will fall in love with this sweet, motivating story about overcoming obstacles and discovering your hidden talents.

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Phone Call with a Fish

Written by Silvia Vecchini
Illustrated by Sualzo
Ages 5 to 9

A story for anyone who has felt like a fish out of water 

There’s a boy in class who doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t yell when a student steps on his foot, and he writes his answers to the teacher’s questions on the board. One of his classmates is trying to understand why he’s so quiet, but she can’t figure it out. But then one day the class goes to the science museum, and she discovers a phone with an aquarium full of fish on the other end of the line. And the fish, as it turns out, aren’t silent after all—they just have their own way of communicating. 

This empathy-building story will encourage readers to approach others with compassion and understanding.

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The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau

Written by Michelle Markel
Illustrated by Amanda Hall

Ages 5-9

Henri Rousseau wanted to be an artist. But he had no formal training. Instead, he taught himself to paint. He painted until the jungles and animals and distant lands in his head came alive on the space of his canvases.

Henri Rousseau endured the harsh critics of his day and created the brilliant paintings that now hang in museums around the world. Michelle Markel’s vivid text, complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Amanda Hall, artfully introduces young readers to the beloved painter and encourages all readers to persevere despite all odds.

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The Secret Cat

Written and illustrated by Katarina Strömgård

Ages 4 to 8

An imaginative book for anyone who’s ever wanted a pet

Lucy wants a pet more than anything, even though her mom always says no. But one night, Lucy hears a scratching sound from behind her wallpaper, and a ghostly cat named Silvring appears. Silvring takes Lucy on an adventure and introduces her to a world filled with secret pets just like hers. Not all the secret pets are as friendly as Silvring, though.

Filled with magical realism, this beautiful book will resonate with animal lovers of all ages.

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Vanishing Colors

Written by Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen
Illustrated by Akin Duzakin

Ages 5 to 9

A haunting, poignant story about refugees

As a young girl and her mother take shelter for the night in their war-torn city, the whole world appears muted and dark. When the girl wakes in the middle of the night to find a bird watching her, she knows it’s the one from her mother’s stories, who flies down from the mountains to protect people from harm. She tells the bird what her life used to be like, before the war and destruction—she describes her favorite dress, the open market stalls, her dad playing music on the roof. As she continues to remember, colors slowly seep back into her life, and with them comes the courage to hope for a new beginning.

This evocative story is a wonderful conversation starter about an important and timely topic.

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Nasreddine

Odile Weulersse
Rébecca Dautremer

Ages 4 – 9

It’s time to go to market, so Nasreddine loads up the donkey and sets off with his father. But when onlookers criticize his father for riding while Nasreddine walks, the boy is ashamed. The following week, Nasreddine persuades his father to walk, and let him ride — but then people criticize the boy for making his father walk! No matter what Nasreddine tries, it seems that someone always finds something to disapprove of.

Nasreddine is a legendary character popular in stories told throughout the Middle East, and this clever story will bring him to a new audience. Accompanied by stunning artwork, this tale offers a gentle reminder to readers that it isn’t always necessary to listen to the world’s criticisms.

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Outside My Window

Jamey Christoph
Linda Ashman
Ages 4 to 8

A joyous glimpse into different cultures 

Children living in different parts of the world see very different things when they gaze out of their windows. One child looks out over a boulevard lined with palm trees, another sees a train whistling past snow-capped mountains, and another waves to her father as he tends to their garden. But while their lives may seem different, there’s something important that they all share. 

This beautiful book will spark readers’ curiosity and imagina­tion with its celebration of global diversity.

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A Plan for the People

Nelson Mandela’s Hope for His Nation

Written by Lindsey McDivitt
Illustrated by Charly Palmer

Ages 7 and Up

As Nelson Mandela lived and worked under the unjust system of apartheid, his desire for freedom grew.  South Africa separated people by races, oppressing the country’s non-white citizens with abusive laws and cruel restrictions. Every day filled Mandela with grief and anger. But he also had hope—hope for a nation that belonged to everyone who lived in it. 

From his work with the African National Congress, to his imprisonment on Robben Island, to his extraordinary rise to the presidency, Nelson Mandela was a rallying force against injustice. This stirring biography explores Mandela’s long fight for equality and the courage that propelled him through decades of struggle. Illustrated in the bold, bright colors of South Africa, A Plan for the People captures the spirit of a leader beloved around the world. 

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Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation

Written by Pat Sherman
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Ages 8-12

Ben, a young slave, uses every chance he gets to teach himself to read, practicing with the words he sees on street signs and in shop windows and even in cast-off newspapers he finds in the gutter.

But after the Civil War breaks out, his master leaves town and Ben finds himself in a slave prison. One night, the prisoners bribe a guard to get their hands on a newspaper, and to the applause of his fellow slaves, Ben reads aloud the momentous news of Mr. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation — surely one of the most remarkable readings of that document ever.

Based on the true story of Benjamin Holmes, Pat Sherman’s stirring text and the memorable illustrations of Coretta Scott King medalist Floyd Cooper pay tribute to the power of freedom — and to the power of the written word.

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Attack of the Turtle

David A. Johnson
Drew Carlson
Ages 9-14

Based on actual historical events, this adventure story captures the drama of the first submarine used in naval warfare and the struggles of a teenager overcoming self-doubt.

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A Good Day

Written by Daniel Nesquens
Illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora
Ages 4-8

The cat and the tiger are best friends. Every day, the cat enters the zoo and visits the tiger’s cage. They talk about everything, but when the cat confesses that he’d like to be big and strong like the tiger, he’s shocked to learn that the tiger envies him for being free to go wherever he wants. The tiger has a plan to escape from the zoo and find his real home—all he needs is some help from his best friend. 

Animal lovers of all ages will fall in love with this fanciful story about friendship and freedom.

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Sweet Dreamers

Written and illustrated by Isabelle Simler
Ages 4 to 8

A gorgeous bedtime book from an award-winning creator

From the celebrated creator of Plume and The Blue Hour comes another enchanting animal book. Countless cozy animals are settling in for the night, but they all sleep in different ways. A bat dreams upside down, a hedgehog snuggles into a pile of leaves, and a humpback whale spins in its sleep like a ballerina.

With its poetic language and lush illustrations, Sweet Dreamers will dazzle young readers as they drift off to sleep themselves.

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A Year with Mama Earth

Written by Rebecca Grabill
Illustrated by Rebecca Green
Ages 4-8

In September, Mama Earth sighs out the first autumn frost, which crunches under children’s feet. Mama Earth looks after nature’s plants and animals throughout the year—singing lullabies to fat bears in the fall, dressing evergreens in icicles in winter, and waking up the crocuses in spring. And in the summer, Mama Earth sends warm sunbeams to her beloved children, so they can play outside and enjoy the amazing world around them.

With enchanting text and radiant artwork, A Year with Mama Earth offers a joyous celebration of nature’s beauty and the changing seasons.

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Driftwood Days

Written by William Miniver
Illustrated by Charles Vess

Ages 4-7

Under autumn leaves, a boy watches a beaver build a dam. One of the branches slips away, carried downstream by the river. Through the changing seasons, the branch makes a long, epic journey to the sea, before finally getting tossed back onto shore. Changed by the elements, the branch—now driftwood—lies patiently on the beach, until the boy discovers it once again.

Featuring breathtaking artwork by Charles Vess, Driftwood Days offers readers a beautiful, multilayered story about nature, science, childhood, and change.

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Adara

Beatrice Gormley
Ages 9-14

Adara has always longed to do the things that well-brought-up girls of her time are not supposed to do. She wants to learn to read and write — like men. And she wants the freedom to travel — like men — outside the boundaries of her sheltered life.

One day she awakens to a blast of trumpets as the Israelites and Arameans battle just outside the safety of her village walls. Curious, Adara sneaks out to see the battle. Little does she know that this will be her last day of freedom for a very long time.

Sold into slavery, Adara becomes a servant to General Namaan and his family and begins a remarkable journey of self-discovery, healing, and redemption — a journey that, in the end, faces her with the hardest decision of her life . . .

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Letters from Bear

Written by Gauthier David
Illustrated by Marie Caudry
Ages: 5 to 9

Bear can’t imagine a whole winter without her friend, so when Bird migrates south, Bear decides to follow. She’s never left the forest before, but that won’t stop her from crossing oceans and mountains—and sending letters along the way. But a surprise is waiting for Bear on the beach… 

Richly told in amusing letters and lush illustrations, this adventurous story invites readers to consider just how far they’d go for their friends.

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