“Fish Tails” by Sheri S. Tepper. Harper Voyager, 2014. $32.

In this novel, Sheri S. Tepper weaves together the story lines of two of her previous series, The Waters Rising and King’s Blood Four.

This is a complex story line that may seem intimidating to new readers, but it is well-written and the story line is understandable, even if you haven’t read all of the previous works.

Abasio and Xulai are now together and have children. These children are going to be the new face of the planet. They’re part human and part fish.

This is necessary to evolution because the waters are rising and are going to flood everything. In order for this to happen, Abasio and Xulai have to travel from city to city to tell their story and try and recruit people to be parents of the same kind of children.

Along the way, they meet plenty of interesting characters recruited to help them out. It’s a crazy roller coaster of a novel and will have plenty of unforgettable scenes for old and new readers alike.

New readers will get to experience the fun and depth of Tepper’s novels without any previous knowledge of her works and get to meet all of the characters her loyal fans have loved for all of these years.

It’s a unique type of science fiction that any fan of genre should be eager to read.

— Juliette Brandt, Baton Rouge

“Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner” by Gareth Edwards and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. Scholastic, 2014. $17.99.

Gareth Edwards’ debut picture book is another sweet bedtime story in the way of “How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?” by Jane Yolen or “What Do You Do with a Kangaroo?” by Mercer Mayer.

The narrator warns a little boy not to invite a dinosaur to dinner, share his toothbrush with a shark or use a tiger as a towel. On each page, the watercolor and pen illustrations depict the silly antics that ensue as the little boy goes about his bedtime routine with various animals in the way. In the end, he discovers the only animals welcome at bedtime: A teddy bear and a flock of sheep.

Bestselling illustrator Guy Parker-Rees adds a world of charm with his colorful cartoon animals and refreshingly darker-skinned family.

Unfortunately, the story concept is not the most original and the rhymes are sometimes forced. Despite the occasional awkward rhyme, the book is nonetheless cute and fun, an engaging read for children ages 3 to 5.

— Brittany Hart, New Orleans