Much has been made lately of the so-called (and very popular) “meta” trend in picture books, those stories with intrusive narrators or books that acknowledge that the story is happening in . . . well, a book. The story of Snappsy the Alligator is one such story, and it’s likely that, when 2016 is over, we’ll look back on it as one of the funniest picture books of the year. It definitely kicks off 2016 in high spirits.
Unlike most 12-year-olds who face being uprooted, Jeremiah is excited to move. Hillcrest, Ohio, has one of the best high-school baseball teams in the country, with a state-of-the-art field and a town full of fans. Baseball is especially important to Jeremiah following his heart transplant. Since he can no longer play, Jeremiah must stay on the sidelines and work on his new dream of becoming a coach.
Nothing says summer like a trip to the beach. Getting there is a breeze thanks to the trio of picture books featured below. Each of these seaside stories offers easy escape—just crack the covers and dive right in. No travel necessary!
Fans of Deborah Freedman’s award-winning picture books, The Story of Fish and Snail and Blue Chicken, will delight in her innovative new title, which explores the creative efforts of a mouse writing a story. There’s only one problem: Mouse’s friend, Frog, wants to take part, too, and the two budding authors don’t always see eye-to-eye.
S.E. Grove’s debut novel is set in 1890s Boston, a place that anyone who has read history or historical fiction set in that era will recognize—or will they? This world shares geography with our own, but thanks to the Great Disruption, which happened almost a century earlier, the Earth’s regions became unmoored from time. Although New Occident (where Boston is located) lies firmly in the 19th century, other countries are in the Dark Ages, prehistory or even the future.
Featuring creatures with outsize personalities whose slightly subversive behavior is hugely hilarious, the picture books featured below are about defying expectations and bending the rules. Young readers, show the world who you really are!
“Is it time?” asks Little Blue, who can’t wait to start the blue whales’ summer migration to their feeding ground. In this companion to Meet Me at the Moon, Gianna Marino’s tale of a mother elephant and her child, fathers now have their day.
Twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes is locked up in a “school” for troubled children that is more like a jail with solitary lock-up and nothing but goop to eat. He’s been there for six years, living in drudgery, until one night when a flock of pigeons and a gathering of cockroaches insist he break out to save the last bit of wild.
If Lily Potter and Voldemort had a love child, he would be Nathan Byrn. Born out of an illicit love affair between a White Witch and a Black Witch, Nathan is an abomination, a Half Code. His father, Marcus, is the vilest Black Witch in all of Great Britain. His White Witch mother committed suicide in shame.