Young readers are lucky to have a new book posthumously published by Bernard Waber, the talented creator of more than 30 titles, including the beloved Lyle the Crocodile series.
Bernice Gets Carried Away begins with a zinger: “It was a horrible, dreary day, and it suited Bernice’s mood just fine.” This young cat stands sulking behind a tree while her animal friends enjoy an outdoor birthday party. No doubt young readers will sympathize with Bernice’s plight, since birthday parties can frequently be filled with intense emotions and overwhelming disappointment.
Self-confidence is not all it’s cracked up to be, as we learn from ebullient little Poppy in Susan Eaddy’s Poppy’s Best Paper, charmingly illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet.
Bear enjoys his house in the woods and the perfect solitude it offers. When a group of rabbits build a house up the hill and get too neighborly, he’s less than kind about it. Can he learn to adapt, or will Those Pesky Rabbits destroy his peace?
When Burdock—a one-eyed cat named for the prickly burr seeds that inspired Velcro—discovers that Dewey Baxter is planning to burn down his barn, it becomes his mission to save the barn’s inhabitants. It isn’t long before the whole farm—workhorses Tug and Pull, Fluff the sheep, Figgy the pig, Mrs. Brown the cow, Nanny the goat and her kid, Tick—work with Burdock to concoct an escape plan.
Tamara Ellis Smith’s first novel sweeps readers up in a tale imbued with magical realism, a definitive mix of gritty realism and magic that allows the possibility for life-affirming choices.
Calpurnia fans, rejoice! Callie Vee, heroine of Jacqueline Kelly’s Newbery Honor winner, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, is back. The sequel picks up in the year 1900, just after a rare snowfall in central Texas fulfills one of the budding young scientist’s dreams.
In the author’s note of The Night World, Caldecott Medal-winning author-illustrator Mordicai Gerstein writes, “I’ve . . . been a great watcher of sunrises; to me, they are like watching the creation of the world.”
Graphic novels are all the rage with young readers these days, but this fact can be frustrating for adults who are trying to encourage kids to read more complex material. Thank goodness veteran comic-book creators Robert Venditti and Dusty Higgins have created a hybrid sure to satisfy both camps in Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: Attack of the Alien Horde. Sixty-five of the 304 pages are comic panels drawn by Higgins, while the rest is prose written by Venditti.
In Ruby on the Outside, Nora Raleigh Baskin gives readers a serious, relatable look into the criminal justice system and its ripple effects. The story of Ruby, her aunt and her mother contributes to the growing body of children’s literature highlighting nontraditional family structures.