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.
Most people don’t think much about homonyms or prime numbers. But most people aren’t 12-year-old Rose Howard, whose every waking moment is spent thinking about just those things. So it’s especially good luck that both her name (Rose/rows) and her dog’s (Rain/reign) are homonyms.
“I’m a risk taker.” With that short sentence, readers are introduced to Arcady, a goal-scoring, wisecracking soccer star. However, very few people know just how good Arcady is at soccer. Arcady is a resident of an orphanage in Soviet Russia intended for children of enemies of the Soviet state. Instead of fame and fortune, Arcady plays for stolen rations and survival.
In what has to be the best-named picture book of the year, Newbery Medalist Patricia Mac-Lachlan brings readers the story of the young Henri Matisse and his childhood inspirations, with eye-catching illustrations from Hadley Hooper.
It’s one thing to learn your ABCs. It’s quite another when Oliver Jeffers is in charge. His new picture book, Once Upon an Alphabet, contains 26 very short stories, beginning with “An Astronaut” and ending with “Zeppelin.” Preschoolers and beginning readers will delight in these vignettes featuring everything from a lumberjack who repeatedly gets struck by lightning to, of all things, a puzzled parsnip.
In this standalone companion to the Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning Elijah of Buxton, author Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the Canadian town founded in the 1860s by former African-American slaves. Although few of the original settlers still live in Buxton in 1901, one of their descendants, Benji Alston, stands out. An aspiring newspaper reporter, Benji understands the power of the written word and enters an apprenticeship with Miss Cary, the daughter of real-life Mary Ann Camberton Shadd, an abolitionist and journalist in neighboring Chatham. Also residing in Chatham is Alvin “Red” Stockard, who is often mistreated by his bitter and racist grandmother, who suffered during the Irish immigration to Canada during “The Great Hunger.”