Though both the author and illustrator of A Possum’s Tail have worked with British children’s magazine OKIDO—Gabby Dawnay is a regular contributor, and Alex Barrow is the art director—this is their first picture book collaboration. It’s offbeat and endearing, so don’t be surprised if children ask for multiple reads.
It’s 1861, and the men of Keokuk, Iowa, have finally been called to war. Unfortunately for 11-year-old Ike Button, he’ll have to stay behind with the women while his older brothers, father and uncles all serve in the Union Army. Ike doesn’t want to care for his baby cousins when he could be off fighting like the men. Determined to forge his own destiny, Ike conjures up a scheme to go to Missouri and slip into the regiment. But before those ill-conceived plans come to fruition, Ike discovers that the war is happening in Keokuk, too, and he doesn’t need to be a soldier to fight for the cause.
Truly Lovejoy, or Drooly as her brother calls her, tries to stay under the radar. But she’s nearly six feet tall and sporting size 10.5 shoes, so being overlooked is impossible.
Is There a Dog in This Book? had me hooked right from the start, when three adorable, hip cats (Andre, Moonpie and Tiny) welcome readers with a warm greeting on the title page. The trio continues to chat with readers as they notice with alarm that someone has drunk their milk and played with their toy.
Jim Aylesworth’s and Barbara McClintock’s satisfying new book is based on the Yiddish folk song “I Had a Little Overcoat,” which has been adapted to picture book form in various ways over the years, most notably in Simms Taback’s 2000 Caldecott Medal winner, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. Here, author and illustrator make the story their own. It’s a pleasing new adaptation of a treasured story.
If the picture book world has celebrities, Mac Barnett (author of Oh No!) and Jon Klassen (author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back) are two of the biggest. So when the two of them team up, it’s kind of a big deal. The last time it happened, the result was Extra Yarn, which received a Caldecott Honor, among many other accolades. Now the two have paired up again with Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, another wryly subtle, unexpectedly funny picture book about two brothers in search of something extraordinary.
Everyone has thought about what three wishes they would make if they ever found a genie in a bottle. But what if you couldn’t think of three? Or, worse, what if the genie had lost his powers and couldn’t grant them anyway? This is what happens to young Emma in Cornelia Funke’s new book for young people, Emma and the Blue Genie.
Philip C. Stead, author of the 2011 Caldecott winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, brings his considerable talents to this fanciful story of a boy who goes in search of adventure. Sitting on his roof one night, Sebastian decides that there’s nothing very interesting to see on his street: It is definitely time for a change. What spells adventure more than a journey in a hot air balloon, especially one constructed from Grandma’s afghans and patchwork quilts?
Rural North Carolina in the 1920s is modernizing at its own pace. Arie Mae loves her hometown and family, but dearly wants a friend to call her own. When Tom comes from the city to study the old ways of living, she’s sure she has found him, but nothing is ever that easy. Anybody Shining illuminates friendship, family, faith and all the things that can be left behind for the sake of progress.
If you ever find yourself wanting to explain to a child what the phrase “snowball effect” means, pick up a copy of David Mackintosh’s Lucky to aid your cause.