Our literary picks for January.

FOR AGES 3 TO 6

"THE FARMER AND THE CLOWN" by Marla Frazee

A grumpy, serious farmer is working in his fields when a circus train passes by, accidentally losing a baby clown. As the farmer and the little clown spend a night and a day together, a sweet and playful side of the farmer emerges. And when the clown is reunited with his family, the farmer is left with a surprising companion. This beautifully illustrated, wordless picture book is both touching and magical.

FOR AGES 7 TO 10

"THE RIGHT WORD: ROGET AND HIS THESAURUS" by Jen Bryant

From an early age, Peter Roget has a passion for reading, writing and making lists. Then he develops a grand dream: What if there was a book that contained all the ideas in the world - a book where everyone could find the perfect word that describes exactly what they want to express? Throughout his busy and successful life, Roget works on his ambitious book. Finally, the first edition of his thesaurus (the Greek word for "treasure house") is published and becomes an instant hit. This book may inspire children to make their own interesting lists or follow their own passion. It is thoroughly and exquisitely illustrated.

FOR AGES 9 TO 14

"GREENGLASS HOUSE" by Kate Milford

Milo is looking forward to a relaxing winter break at Greenglass House, the smugglers' inn he and his parents live in and run. Then, on the first night of vacation, a parade of mysterious visitors arrives. Each guest has secrets, and each is at Greenglass House to unravel a mystery from its past. Strange objects appear, guests' belongings are stolen and hidden agendas are revealed. Meanwhile, Milo and his new friend Meddy are playing a game, pretending to be characters as they search for the stolen items and investigate the inn's guests. As more is discovered, however, the game becomes truly dangerous, and Milo learns even those he trusts the most are hiding incredible secrets.

FOR TEENS

"THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE" by Julie Berry

When the bad-tempered headmistress and her nasty brother keel over during dinner, the young ladies of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls decide to make the best of a bad situation. They bury the unfortunate victims in the school garden and decide to enjoy the freedom of living in the school with no supervision. However, their plans are made difficult by the constant stream of neighbors and townspeople stopping by the school, not to mention their discovery that the dinner deaths were not an accident but an act of murder. Can the girls evade detection, find the murderer and achieve the dream of keeping their school family intact? This is a good-natured, rollicking farce full of mystery, romance and humor.

-Laura Nawojchik, Youth Services Librarian, Whetstone Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library

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FAMILY APP

Artist Hanoch Piven, author of several excellent picture books, created Faces iMake, an app showcasing his style of illustration. Young users manipulate pictures of everyday objects to create fanciful collages of characters they invent. The pictured objects can be altered in size, position and number, then layered on top of each other. Personal photos can be brought into the mix, as well. Artwork can be shared. The instructional videos by the artist will have children thinking about everyday objects in new ways. Available for the iPhone and iPad. Prices range from 99 cents to $3.99, depending on the platform and package purchased.