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.
When I was younger, I was a huge fan of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novels A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, in which a girl is whisked from darkest India to a very different environment in England, usually in the wake of a family tragedy. As captivating as those novels were to my preteen self, what was always missing was a real portrait, not just a glimpse, of what the heroine’s life was like in the exotic place from which she came. Katherine Rundell’s Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms does exactly that.
According to author Jessica Lawson, Tom Sawyer was a tattletale and Becky Thatcher was the real rascal getting into all sorts of trouble in St. Petersburg, Missouri. That’s the inventive premise of this gem of a chapter book that stirs up all of the ingredients of the American classic to create a thoughtful, energetic new debut novel.
What happens when a group of middle school geniuses trains for months to win a special contest at a Disney World-style Florida theme park called Incredo Land? That’s the premise of Bringing Down the Mouse, a page-turning caper whose hero is sixth-grader Charlie Lewis, known as “Numbers,” the nerdy son of an MIT professor dad and a mom with two Ph.D.s.
Don’t get too attached to the protagonist in Pardon Me! He pays the ultimate price for his bad behavior in this be-good-or-else cautionary tale from Daniel Miyares, his debut picture book as both author and illustrator.
From the best-selling author of Airborn and This Dark Endeavor comes another cinematic adventure. In this historical steampunk folktale, young William Everett is traveling across Canada on the maiden voyage of The Boundless. With seven miles of cars, including enough freight cars to form a circus “town,” The Boundless is the longest train in the world.
Brimsby is a hat maker. He lives in a tiny cottage in the country, and his best friend, a badger, visits daily to chat over delicious hot tea. When his bestie leaves to become a sea captain, Brimsby is lonely and sets out to make some new friends. Birds high up in a tree are too busy keeping warm to pay him any mind. When Brimsby returns with hats for each, large enough to cover their nests and keep out the wind and snow, he makes more than enough new friends in one fell swoop.
Imagine a fluffy yellow chick who, instead of wings, has very long, skinny and dangling arms. Elizabeth Rose Stanton’s debut picture book, Henny, is a gentle tale about just such a chicken. Preschoolers will relish this saga about the pluses and minuses of being different. On some days Henny feels triumphant as the other barnyard animals gaze at her in awe; but at other times, they simply...
Books about bunnies are sweet, right? Not one that’s created by the imaginative team of Jon Scieszka (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales), Mac Barnett (Extra Yarn) and illustrator Matthew Myers (Clink). Their irreverent picture book, originally titled Birthday Bunny, starts out harmlessly enough with an inscription from Gran Gran to Alex, wishing her “little...
Vee Crawford-Wong has a mouthful of a name that says a lot about him. His Chinese father gave him a first name with no Chinese translation because, as he tells his frustrated son, “We wanted to unburden you from a commitment to artificial meaning that comes with a family name.” Gee, thanks, Dad. He gets “Crawford” from his Texan mother, but she won’t say a thing...