The Storm by Marc Harshman, illustrated by Mark Mohr (Cobblehill, $14.99) "The blackness, the roaring wind, the funnel cloud": set on an Indiana farm, a heart-stopping account of the moment a tornado hits-and of the boy who saves his family's horses.
The Butterfly Seeds written and illustrated by Mary Watson (Tambourine, $16) When a British boy bound for America in 1908 bids farewell to his grandfather, the old man presses a packet of seeds into the youngster's hands. A tale of ties across time and distance, signified by a window-box garden flourishing on a tenement ledge.
Heroes by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee (Lee & Low, $14.95) More than 50,000 Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent served in World War II. Their unsung valor is the shining filament running through this tale of a Japanese-American boy who confronts his taunting playmates when they brand him "the enemy."
Harry's Stormy Night by Una Leavy, illustrated by Peter Utton (McElderry, $16) With the wind "whistling around chimneys, ripping through branches," a little boy sings his restive baby brother to sleep. A perfect bedtime book.
Josiah True and the Artmaker by Amy Littlesugar, illustrated by Barbara Garrison (Simon & Schuster, $15) A window on early 19th-century America and a rumination on a portraitist's capacity to penetrate our inner selves, this is a book aspiring artists may remember all their lives. The images possess the delicacy and heft of a well-worn quilt.
A Sweet, Sweet Basket by Margie Willis Clary, illustrated by Dennis L. Brown (Sandlapper Publishing, $15.95) Plaiting sweetgrass, pine needles and palmetto leaf strips, an artisan teaches her grandchildren how to weave baskets-and to preserve a South Carolina lowlands craft tradition that can be "traced back to Africa."
Night in the Barn by Faye Gibbons, illustrated by Erick Ingraham (Morrow, $15) Nestled in the hay, keeping shadows at bay, four boys bed down for a sleepover on an autumn night "darker than dark." Spooky as a swooping owl and sweetly reassuring.
Good Night, Sleep Tight by Penelope Lively, illustrated by Adriano Gon (Candlewick, $13.95) For all children who tumble into bed in the company of a stuffed-animal menagerie: this book will help everyone settle in for sweet dreams.