It’s been 20 years since Cynthia Rylant’s beloved middle grade novel Gooseberry Park introduced the world to Stumpy the squirrel and her quirky, clever, community-minded friends. Now, the furry and feathered bunch is back in Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan, and readers will delight in discovering that the Gooseberrians are as adorable, smart and resourceful as ever.
Almost-13-year-old Delphine, middle sister Vonetta and baby sister Fern Gaither are back in the final installment of the award-winning series by Rita Williams-Garcia. This time they’re spending the summer of 1969 in Alabama with their grandmother (Big Ma), great-grandmother (Ma Charles) and great-aunt (Miss Trotter).
Tad the tadpole’s dad is a phenomenal frog. With large, noisy Dad as inspiration, Tad learns to sing loudly (especially early in the morning), swim fast and snap up flies with his sticky tongue. Tad follows Dad everywhere, preferring Dad’s lily pad to his own cozy pondweeds. But as Tad grows from happy tadpole to spirited frog, Dad’s lily pad gets smaller, as does Dad’s patience for sleepless nights.
My first thought when seeing the titles of these books was, “I love books about airplanes!” Well . . . now I love books about flies . . . as in insects. These three books for very young readers will open their eyes to the joys and challenges of being a reviled critter in a butterfly world.
There’s No Such Thing as Little takes readers on a fun journey using objects, animals, plants, artwork and even nature to illustrate how little things have the power to have a big impact.
A young boy heads to Coney Island for a birthday outing, his mother treating him to ice cream once they arrive. The word “cream” shows through a die-cut hole (“‘Ice cream,’ I say, my birthday surprise!”), and on the next spread, after the boy drops his snack, we read: “‘Oh no!’ I scream, with tears in my eyes.”
It’s not often you see picture books capable of both humor and genuine creepiness.
Fans of Deborah Freedman’s award-winning picture books, The Story of Fish and Snail and Blue Chicken, will delight in her innovative new title, which explores the creative efforts of a mouse writing a story. There’s only one problem: Mouse’s friend, Frog, wants to take part, too, and the two budding authors don’t always see eye-to-eye.
One day, a man in a dapper tuxedo discovers that a skunk is following him. There seems to be no shaking the stinky stalker—but when at last the man succeeds, his thoughts drift to The Skunk and whatever new mischief he’s making.
Troy Andrews is a 29-year-old bandleader and jazz musician who has performed at the White House, the Grammys and with the likes of U2, Eric Clapton and Prince. He developed his own style of “SupaFunkRock” and, in a wonderful collaboration with award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier, shares his story in Trombone Shorty.