It may be hard to imagine a high-energy book that features two brothers arguing about whether to read or surf, but Surf’s Up delivers in a cowabunga way. The brothers are two frogs named Bro and Dude, and illustrator Daniel Miyares brings them wonderfully to life with vivid colors, froggy-eyed expressions and plenty of heart-stopping wave action.
Imagine if Sherlock Holmes were an 11-year-old girl at a ritzy boarding school. That’s the premise of Friday Barnes: Girl Detective, the first in a series by Australian writer R.A. Spratt. This children’s comedy TV writer and author of the award-winning Nanny Piggins series has crafted a likable, intriguing heroine and a lighthearted, breezy mystery.
British author Cameron McAllister was inspired to write The Tin Snail after seeing a newspaper photo of three prototypes for a car called the Deux Chevaux (or 2CV) that had been hidden in a French barn during World War II and remained there for 50 years. We spoke with the author to learn more about the fascinating true history behind this exciting middle-grade adventure.
The Tin Snail begins in Paris in 1937, when 12-year-old Angelo Fabrizzi sits in a cafe with his father, a pioneering car designer. Inspired by the shape of a lopsided pastry, Angelo gives his father an idea for a new aerodynamic car design. A year later, at the Paris Motor Show, several Nazis clear the way for Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, while Angelo gets behind the wheel of his father’s creation and makes an impactful, unexpected debut.
Take a fresh look at some age-old classics, or stash away some ideas for family fun. It’s a bumper year for children’s gift books, and the stars of this year’s crop include something new for Harry Potter fans, a Star Wars extravaganza and an ingenious offering from David Macaulay for budding engineers.
Oh, how I wish I had a friend like Miss Petitfour, who follows “a strict schedule of fun and more fun.” As her name implies, she’s partial to sweets, and on windy days she uses her tablecloth like a parachute so she and her 16 cats can take to the skies.
Preschoolers will love the topsy-turvy world in The Nonsense Show, the latest book from beloved author-illustrator Eric Carle. In the opening spread, a rabbit magician pulls a boy out of a hat, saying, “Welcome, friends! / Don’t be slow. / Step right up to / The Nonsense Show!”
Lenny & Lucy, the latest picture book from the award-winning husband and wife team of Philip and Erin Stead, is a quietly captivating story about a boy named Peter who moves with his father and a large dog, Harold, to a new home at the edge of a big forest.
The Doldrums is a whirlwind of an eccentric adventure tale centered on Archer B. Helmsley, the 11-year-old grandson of a pair of world-famous explorers thought to have disappeared on an Antarctic iceberg.
Max the Brave is a charming little kitty who looks a bit like a child’s clever thumbprint creation. This mini superhero wears a red cape and appears fierce while proclaiming his pursuit of mice―except for one important complication: He’s not sure what a mouse looks like.