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.
There’s no doubt that Louis Sachar, the Newbery Medal-winning author of Holes, knows how to draw in his readers. His latest book, Fuzzy Mud, reads like a middle school version of Contagion―it’s a thriller that will have readers quickly turning its pages.
In Jennifer Bradbury’s exciting new work of historical fiction, River Runs Deep, 12-year-old Elias is suffering from tuberculosis in 1842. He’s sent from his home in Norfolk, Virginia, to recover in an underground hut in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. He will be cared for by the real-life Dr. John Croghan, who during one winter ministered to 16 tuberculosis patients, who sought the benefit of the cave's dank air and lived in small rooms built by slaves.
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.