Books written and illustrated by Sheila Kelly Welch
One hot August afternoon, Geremy and his neighbor but not-quite-friend, April, are sitting in the vacant lot, feeling bored. All the other children have already gone home, so there aren’t enough to play the usual games. Then April announces that she’s going to blow the biggest bubble in the world. Geremy is certain she can’t do it, so he’s amazed to see the green bubble grow and grow. Over-whelmed with jealousy, he lifts his cat, Fluff, toward the monstrous bubble, assuming her sharp claws will pop it. Instead, his cat is drawn inside the magical bubble.
Readers of all ages will enjoy traveling with these next-door-type characters on their out-of-this-world adventures. LAND OF ANOTHER SUN is a story full of surprises and excitement . . . and the meaning of friend-ship. Ages 7 – 12 Amazon Link
With a pleasing blend of humor, adventure, mystery, and drama, this collection of short stories will appeal to a wide range of young readers. Here are twelve realistic tales centered around contemporary children and the difficulties they encounter in their everyday lives, lives in which horses happen to be key players. Even children who aren’t horse-crazy will be able to identify with characters like Richie, Brent, Lynda, and Janelle, who not only face obstacles but grow and change as they overcome them. There to help them are their equine friends– Rosey, Splashes, Penny, and the others–who save the day, steal the show–and find their way into the hearts of story characters and readers alike. Ages 8-14. Amazon Link.
Marsha is an only child, so she’s excited when she learns that her parents are planning to adopt a little girl. But when Wendy arrives as a foster child, she proves to be very different from the sister Marsha imagined. Wendy is developmentally delayed and acts much younger than her eight years. From a screaming tantrum in a restaurant to wild behavior on the school bus, Wendy creates havoc in Marsha’s life. When it comes time to make a decision about whether Wendy will remain in their family, forever, Marsha has to face her own feelings head on. Ages 9-14 Amazon Link.
Books written by Sheila Kelly Welch
T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he’d lock the door so they’d be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma’s boyfriend got angry at them, he’d try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister out of her bad moods. The only one who understood why she made origami paper cranes and threw them out the window. But now T.J. is sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, wondering if Angela, unconscious after a fall, will ever wake up. Wondering, too, if he will ever feel at home with his and Angela’s new parents—Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy, and Dan, who seems to want a different son. Going back and forth between Now and Then, weaving the uncertain present with the painful past, T.J.’s story unfolds, and with the unfolding comes a new understanding of how to move forward. Ages 10-Adult Amazon Link
Do you believe in unicorns?
Brendan’s older sister, Ami, insists that a dark unicorn is living in the woods near the old farmhouse where they’ve moved after their father’s death. How are Brendan and his identical twin, Nick, going to deal with Ami’s strange, obsessive desire to capture the mythical beast? This is a story about loss and the healing powers of imagination. Ages 10 – Adult Amazon Link.
This book is on Golden Books “Road to Reading, Level 3,” which is for children who are beginning to read on their own.
Prince Omar is very spoiled, and his older brother, Caleb, would like to get the best of his little brother–just once. When each boy receives a pet, Caleb thinks his pet will be better than Omar’s puppy. Caleb is sure he can teach his pet parrot to talk. But the parrot sits in her cage, day after day, with her mouth clamped shut. Ages 4 – 10 Amazon Link.
Here is the true story of the famous Lipizzan horses. Written in short chapters, this book is one that very young readers will enjoy. They’ll learn about these magnificent animals who are trained to perform amazing feats. The photo illustrations were taken in both their native Austria and in the United States at Tempel Farms, Wadsworth, IL, where many of these horses are raised. Ages 5-8 Amazon Link
Laurence Bradley Jones likes to be called L. B., but his sister, Patty, insists on calling him Lazy Bones. She says he’s lazy about everything, including helping her put together puzzles on a rainy day. Patty says that she gets to put the last piece in each puzzle because she’s doing most of the work. L.B. decides to trick her. He hides one piece of a puzzle. When Patty is ready to put in the last piece, it’s missing. While she goes off to hunt for it, L.B. fits it into the puzzle. Poof! Splash! He’s in for a big surprise!
In this easy-to-ready chapter book, children will delight in L.B.’s strange adventure that involves a unicorn with an attitude, a “princess” in distress, and a clumsy dog named Klutz. Ages 7-12 Amazon Link
Written in seven short, easy-to-read chapters, this story is perfect for children who are starting to read longer books on their own.
Nico lives with his family on the most productive little farm in a corner of a beautiful kingdom. His life seems perfect when his father allows him to get Lena, a small, white pony. However, Nico realizes that he will soon grow too big for his pony. He decides to train her to do something that will be so special, his father will never sell her to anyone else. But Nico’s plan backfires when Father brags about the clever pony and makes a bet with the King that could lose not only Nico’s pony, but the family farm as well.
Will Nico and Lena be able to save the day? Ages 7-10 Amazon Link
Books Illustrated by Sheila Kelly Welch
Sometimes Catherine gets tired of people asking her if Carla is really her little sister. The answer is yes, even though they don’t look a lot alike. In a simple, direct, and child-friendly way, Catherine–with the help of her mother, Sherry–tells this story about how one family was formed through birth and adoption. Catherine was adopted when she was a tiny baby, and she joined two brothers who had been born to their parents. When Carla became part of the family, she was already a toddler.
While this story is about one particular family, the emotions and information are universal. Children, whether they’ve been adopted or not, will enjoy learning about Catherine, her brothers, and her talkative little sister.
The Gesell Institute said about IS THAT YOUR SISTER?, “. . . It is a delightful story.” Ages 4-10 Amazon Link
SOMETHING IN THE AIR is a story for young children to hear read aloud or to read on their own. When Ben, an abandoned puppy, is adopted by Mama Cat, he and his kitten sisters learn what being a family really means: sticking together when the going gets tough. Children will recognize their own feelings as Ben struggles to be independent while he learns what it means to truly belong. Ages 2-8 Amazon Link
A novel for middle grade readers and older about Sean Callahan growing up in the 1830s that takes place during the Black Hawk War. Sean must struggle with the battle between his parents over how to treat the Indians and prove his courage to his father. History will come to life as children read about Sean’s experiences — his work in the lead mines, his witnessing of the battle at Stillman’s Run, and his participation in the defense of the Apple River fort. Young readers will be drawn into Sean’s conflicts as he tries to sort out moral issues that are still relevant in today’s world. A Teacher’s Guide is available from the publisher for use in schools. Includes interior lllustrations by Sheila Kelly Welch. Cover and maps by Eric Anderson. Ages 9-14 Amazon Link
In this engaging sequel to Sean’s War, the story of Sean’s life during the frontier days in northwestern Illinois continues. Everything has changed now that Sigrid is gone. Sean struggles to help his father keep food on the table while he knows they both miss more than Sigrid’s cooking. Part of Sean’s emptiness is filled by his developing friendship with a spunky girl, Becky Amos. Together they befriend a new student at their one-room schoolhouse, a Potawatomi Indian boy, Thunder Cloud. When Sean receives two letters, one from Sigrid, one from her doctor friend, he learns that his beloved stepmother and his little brother are in grave danger. Sean and his friends set out on a daunting quest to find his mother and bring his family — and his life — back together. Includes illustrations by Sheila Kelly Welch. Cover and maps by Eric Anderson. Ages 9-14 Amazon Link