Here's our monthly showcase of the latest and greatest new selections in media for youth.
From books and games to educational toys and DVDs, there's never a dull moment for active and eager young minds. Celebrate today's Fourth of July with a page by page tour of First Family gardens of the White House or pay a splashy visit to dolphin friends or make some noise with toe-tapping DVD dance steps.
Clarion Books, $16.99, Ages 6 to 9
"First Garden: How it Grew" by Robbin Gourley
Author Robbin Gourley provides a fascinating 48-page tour of vegetable and flower gardens of the First Families of the White House, with detailed written descriptions and also her own illustrations for this hardcover. From President Thomas Jefferson to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the book even includes recipes and a fantastic finale, including photographs of First Lady Michelle Obama's most recent garden landscapes. The book is in stores or at hmhbooks.com.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, Ages 6 to 9
"Eight Dolphins of Katrina" by Janet Wyman Coleman
On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina crashed a 40-foot tidal wave over the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Miss. A family of eight dolphins were swept from their tank and into the Gulf of Mexico. This 40-page hardcover tells this fascinating story about how the dolphins were recovered and found their way home, as told by their trainers. It's available in stores or janetcoleman.com or hmhbooks.com.
Capstone Publishing, $15.95, Ages 6 to 8
"Flood" by Alvaro F. Villa
This 32-page hardcover tells the gripping stories of families who face the devastation of natural disasters. Told without words, using only the intense and beautiful illustrations of the author, a family braces for the worst when rains and flooding threaten their happy home. A substantial portion raised from book sales is being donated by the publisher to the Save the Children program. It's available in stores or visit capstoneyoungreaders.com or savethechildren.org.
Lionsgate Productions, Ages 1 to 4, $14.98
"Barney: Imagine with Barney" by HIT Entertainment
The 76-minute celebration of playtime continues with Barney and his friends as they explore exotic locations near and far through drawing, song and dance. From a tropical paradise brought to life with painting to riding a pretend airplane, lessons in travel and teamwork are highlighted in all four episodes. As a bonus, there's also a game feature included called "Imagination Vacation." It's available in stores July 9, 2013 or at hitentertainment.com.
HIT Entertainment, $14.98, Ages 2 to 6
"Angelina Ballerina: Mousical Medleys" by Lionsgate Entertainment
From parades and musicals to even a dance-a-thon, there are five episodes for 62-minutes of "on your feet" entertainment awaiting with Angelina the Mouse ready to guide every step of the way. It's up to this ever-optimistic ballerina to help her friends find their true talents using the art of dance. It's available in stores July 9, 2013 and at angelinaballerina.com.