It may be hard to imagine a high-energy book that features two brothers arguing about whether to read or surf, but Surf’s Up delivers in a cowabunga way. The brothers are two frogs named Bro and Dude, and illustrator Daniel Miyares brings them wonderfully to life with vivid colors, froggy-eyed expressions and plenty of heart-stopping wave action.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have long been a fan of the superb artwork of Wendell Minor, and Daylight Starlight Wildlife is yet another winner in his long list of children's publishing accomplishments. It's a simple book, suitable for young preschoolers, yet full of understated depth in both prose and illustrations.
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.
Sleepless Knight is a fun camping story told in comic book form for preschoolers and young elementary school students. Creators James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost have previously published a series of award-winning Adventures in Cartooning books, and the fun continues in their new story featuring the exuberant Knight and his sidekick, Edward the horse.