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CNBNews Book Reviews: Children’s Book Holiday Gift Ideas


“The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions” by Tracey Hecht

(NAPSI)—Animals disappearing without a trace? In the first book of the critically acclaimed four-book middle-grade series “The Nocturnals,” we meet three unlikely friends—Dawn, a serious fox; Tobin, a sweet pangolin; and Bismark, the pint-sized sugar glider. When the animals go missing, it’s up to Dawn, Tobin and Bismark to find out why.

With the help of a gentle wombat, a jittery jerboa, a band of coyotes and some kooky bats, the brigade finds itself in a wacky, high-stakes game that will determine their survival. Discover the friendships, teamwork, and humor as the brigade solves the unpredictable mysteries of the night. From Fabled Films Press, buy at

San Diego Zoo Global Press “Hope and Inspiration Series” by Georgeanne Irvine

A collection of heartwarming tales of animals that survived challenges and thrived under the loving care of humans. Author Georgeanne Irvine has devoted more than four decades to raising awareness about animals and wildlife conservation. Now, in a four-book series, she connects children with animals to teach important life lessons of perseverance, empathy, and friendship.

Children and grownups will read the true stories of: “Fabulous Floyd,” the flamingo who never gave up; “Karen’s Heart,” the brave orangutan; “Ruuxa & Raina,” a cheetah and dog’s true story of miracles and friendship; and “Mosi Musa,” a baby monkey raised by his grandma. Accompanying plush toys also available. Buy at

“Jenny’s Pennies: A Nantucket Tradition” by Peter Saverine

“Do you believe in mermaids and wishes that come true? Do you believe in lucky days when someone’s watching over you?” So begins this whimsical tale of Nantucket’s tradition of throwing a penny near the Brant Point lighthouse. This inspirational book is filled with colorful illustrations and verse. Meet a mermaid named Jenny who collects the pennies thrown off the ferry by visitors, young and old, as they leave the quaint New England island, hoping to return.

With the help of her seaside friends, Jenny re-scatters the pennies throughout the island to bring good luck to the finders. It’s a great read-aloud that will inspire you to pick up lucky pennies wherever you travel and believe in their magical powers. Purchase at

“If You Were Me and Lived In…” Cultural series by Carole P. Roman

As Santa gets ready to make holiday stops to all parts of the globe, it’s never too early to start teaching children about that world around them. In her years as a teacher, parent and grandparent, author Carole P. Roman noticed there were few, if any, books about other cultures for young children. Roman has remedied that with a 22-book series covering cultures in every corner of the world.

Roman knows children love to discover the differences and similarities of other people and places in far-off lands. Tailored to children 3 to 8 years old, her writing is simple but does not talk down to youngsters. Get on board and discover the world through the eyes of a young person. Buy at

• BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read. For more reading ideas, visit and subscribe to the weekly newsletter.