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. School's out and summer fun is here with a favorite fish to swim through pages with, along with new "Veggies" to grow with and a summer novel read that's sure to cast a spell on teens.
Kohl's Cares, $5, Ages 3 and up
"The Pout-Pout Fish" by Deborah Diesen books and plush toys
Until supplies are gone, Kohl's Department Stores is offering the latest line in the Kohl's Cares program. This time, the theme is a spotlight on the under the water fun characters from author Deborah Diesen. For just $5, kids and parents can pick from three adorable plush characters: Pout-Pout Fish, Crab and Mr. Eight the Octopus. The author's book favorite available are: "The Pout-Pout Fish" and "The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark." This series shares the adventures of Pout-Pout Fish, a gloomy fin friend who suffers from "the dreary wearies" and his bubbly pals, as they learn about the positive approach to life. Visit any Kohl's store or kohls.com/cares for details.
Zonderkidz, $9.99, Ages 4 to 7
"Bubblegum, Maps and Missing Patience" by Karen Poth
Favorite VeggieTales stories from 2011 are brought together in a three-in-one compilation book by author Karen Poth. It is 96-pages and incorporates "LarryBoy Meets the Bubblegum Bandit," "Bob and Larry's Creation Vacation" and "Bob and Larry in the Case of the Missing Patience" into one colorful new book, using the I Can Read! simple text for emergent readers. It's available on Amazon.com or veggietales.com.
Zonderkidz, $3.99, Ages 4 to 7
"VeggieTales: Junior Comes Clean" by Karen Poth
In Poth's brand new VeggieTales I Can Read! book, the crew teaches a lesson in telling the truth when Mess Detectives Bob and Larry are called to investigate Junior Asparagus' messy room. While Junior blames the disarray on a group of menacing Brussels sprouts, his guilt gets the best of him. With the help of Bob and Larry, Junior realizes that lying is never the answer. It's available on Amazon.com or veggietales.com.
Zonderkidz, $3.99, Ages 4 to 7
"VeggieTales: The Case of the Couch Potato Caper" by Karen Poth
The other new VeggieTales I Can Read! tale, inspires children to be active my using an element of mystery. Mess Detectives Bob and Larry are called to solve the mystery of Laura Carrot's peculiar lazy behavior. Spending way too much time in front of the television with the Couch Potatoes, "the laziest potatoes in town," Laura refuses to do her chores, clean her room, and has even lost her homework. But through a successful intervention, Bob and Larry help Laura see that God wants her to work hard. It's available on Amazon.com or veggietales.com.
Simon & Schuster , $16.99, Ages 14 to 17
"Life's A Witch" by Brittany Geragotelis
This 320-page hardcover/paperback set to be released July 9 is the first novel in the "Life's A Witch" series by author and internet sensation Brittany Geragotelis and a perfect addition to any teen's budding library. Picked up by Simon & Schuster after becoming a viral phenomenon by being downloaded a record 19 million times on the online writing site Wattpad, the new and improved paperback version of "Life's A Witch" is being re-released on July 9, 2013. With its "Gossip Girl" meets "Twilight" feel, "Life's A Witch" is able to "spell out" the social problems faced by teenage girls in high school, from dating to popularity. It's available on Amazon.com.
Skyscape, $17.99, Ages 14 and older
"Ghost Time" by Courtney Eldridge
When 15-year-old Thea's math-genius boyfriend Cam mysteriously vanishes from their upstate New York town, the FBI gets involved. Then, when the stars on the school flag go missing and intimate videos of Cam and Thea, which they never took, appear online, the culprit turns out to be other-worldly. It's available June 11 at Amazon.com or visit courtneyeldridge.com.