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Friday, October 23, 2020

Fantastic New Books To Look For This Fall And Winter

Today I have an incredible list of new and upcoming books to share with y'all...

Candlewick books perfect for celebrating Halloween, Fall, and Winter 


A True Revelation of Spirits, Ghouls, and Hauntings 

by Dugald A. Steer and Lucinda Curtle 

illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert, Garry Walton and Doug Sirois 

Candlewick Press 

 Have you been hearing strange footsteps and knocks, whispers and rattling chains? Perhaps the early-twentieth-century author of this newly discovered tome has some secrets to share. Within the book’s weathered pages you’ll hear of a headless French pirate in search of his missing noggin, a vanishing pair of young trickster twins, a ghostly woman who screams for attention, and other communications from the “fun side.” Readers who wish to plumb the mysteries of the paranormal will find some hands-on challenges to lift their spirits, along with tips on a range of spectral subjects, such as what to pack in a ghostologist’s field kit, how to distinguish the types of ghosts, the best ways to hunt them, and spotting the unfortunate fakes and frauds. Too bad the late author never got to see her guide find its way into the world! But wait—what are those strange and scratchy asides that appear in odd places throughout the book? 


Bears and Boos 

by Shirley Parenteau 

illustrated by David Walker 

Candlewick Press 

 Big Brown Bear and the four little bears can’t wait to dress up for Halloween. Everyone grabs their costumes from the costume box, but — oops! — in the rush, Floppy is knocked on her furry behind, and now there are no costumes left for her! Fuzzy says she’s sorry and offers Floppy a golden gown. Then each of the other bears shares an item with Floppy, and soon she’s dressed like a queen — just in time for the parade! Shirley Parenteau and David Walker combine cheerful read-aloud rhyme and irresistibly charming art in another story for the youngest cubs and their big bears. 



Where’s Waldo? 

Spooky Spotlight Search 

by Martin Handford 

Candlewick Press 

 Somewhere in the darkness, Waldo is venturing across a swamp toward a looming castle, sneaking down to the dungeon and through a creepy gallery to . . . Hey! We didn’t see that twist coming! In Waldo's second adventure featuring this innovative, all-paper design, readers can slide a spotlight searcher under a series of totally dark scenes, illuminating small sections and stealthily moving the light to seek out Waldo and his friends. Everyone’s favorite vagabond is in costume as himself in this Halloween-worthy challenge for eagle-eyed fans. 



Gustavo, the Shy Ghost 

by Flavia Z. Drago 

Also available in Spanish 

Candlewick Press 

 Gustavo is good at doing all sorts of ghostly things: walking through walls, making objects fly, and glowing in the dark. And he loves almost nothing more than playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo is shy, and some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye scream or making friends with other monsters. Whenever he tries getting close to them, he realizes they just can’t see him. Now that the Day of the Dead is fast approaching, what can he do to make them notice him and to share with them something he loves? With fancifully detailed artwork and visual humor, debut picture-book creator Flavia Z. Drago’s vivid illustrations tell a sweet and gently offbeat story of loneliness, bravery, and friendship that is sure to be a treat for little ghouls and goblins everywhere. 


Rise of ZomBert 

by Kara LaReau and illustrated by Ryan Andrews 

Candlewick Press 

 While helping her best friend, Danny, film his latest horror flick, Mellie discovers a scraggly cat behind a dumpster outside the YummCo Foods factory. Mellie names the stray Bert and hides him in her room, knowing her parents won’t let her keep him. But soon Bert has decapitated all her stuffed animals, and before long he is leaving the headless corpses of birds and mice as gifts for her. Danny is convinced the cat is a zombie, living on the brains of his victims. But is that what is really going on? Award-winning author Kara LaReau lets loose a fresh and sharply funny new mystery series, with an irresistible touch of the macabre. Fans of creepy stories and animal lovers alike will devour this fast-moving first episode in one gulp. 



Julián at the Wedding 

by Jessica Love 

Candlewick Press 

 Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol. It’s not long before Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side. Jessica Love returns with a joyful story of friendship and individuality in this radiant follow-up to Julián Is a Mermaid. 



A Polar Bear in the Snow 

by Mac Barnett 

Illustrated by Shawn Harris 

Candlewick Press 

 Follow a magnificent polar bear through a fantastic world of snow and shockingly blue sea. Over the ice, through the water, past Arctic animals and even a human . . . where is he going? What does he want? Acclaimed author Mac Barnett’s narration deftly balances suspense and emotion, as well as poignant, subtle themes, compelling us to follow the bear with each page turn. Artist Shawn Harris’s striking torn-paper illustrations layer white-on-white hues, with bolts of blue and an interplay of shadow and light, for a gorgeous view of a stark yet beautiful landscape. Simple and thought-provoking, illuminating and intriguing, this engaging picture book will have readers pondering the answer to its final question long after the polar bear has continued on his way. 



The Boy and the Gorilla 

by Jackie Azua Kramer 

illustrated by Cindy Derby 

Candlewick Press 

 On the day of his mother’s funeral, a young boy conjures the very visitor he needs to see: a gorilla. Wise and gentle, the gorilla stays on to answer the heart-heavy questions the boy hesitates to ask his father: Where did his mother go? Will she come back home? Will we all die? Yet with the gorilla’s friendship, the boy slowly begins to discover moments of comfort in tending flowers, playing catch, and climbing trees. Most of all, the gorilla knows that it helps to simply talk about the loss—especially with those who share your grief and who may feel alone, too. Author Jackie Azúa Kramer’s quietly thoughtful text and illustrator Cindy Derby’s beautiful impressionistic artwork depict how this tender relationship leads the boy to open up to his father and find a path forward. Told entirely in dialogue, this direct and deeply affecting picture book will inspire conversations about grief, empathy, and healing beyond the final hope-filled scene. 



In the Half Room 

by Carson Ellis 

Candlewick Press 

 The half room is full of half things. A half chair, a half cat, even half shoes—all just as nice as whole things. When half a knock comes on half a door, who in the world could it be? With inventive flair, Caldecott Honor winner Carson Ellis explores halves and wholes in an ingenious and thought-provoking picture book. Ink and gouache illustrations featuring wry detail and velvety textures conjure a dreamlike mood while leaving space for imagining. A celebration of the surreal and the serendipitous and the beauty of the two together, this brilliant picture book will have readers seeing halves with whole new eyes. 



If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here 

by Simona Ciraolo 

Candlewick Press 

 Nothing is better than summer, with its joys of swimming every day and eating ice cream. One little boy’s older sister tells him he’d better make the most of it, because summer is going to end soon. When winter comes, she assures him, it will be cold and dark, and the icy rain will turn to snow. They’ll be stuck on the sofa for days and won’t even dream of eating ice cream. . . . Simona Ciraolo’s expressive illustrations belie the bleak forecast with images of glowing autumn leaves, cozy couch snuggles, wintry play, and sweet desserts. A celebration of the changing of the seasons, this inviting tale shows how much fun can be found around every sunny—or snowy—corner. 


Mary Seacole 

Bound for the Battlefield 

by Susan Goldman Rubin 

illustrated by Richie Pope 

Candlewick Press 

 Mary Seacole spent much of her life on the front lines of the Crimean War, ministering to the wounded, caring for soldiers, and making her mark on the world of medicine. This fascinating biography honors Mary Seacole’s life, from her childhood in Kingston, Jamaica, and her encounters with racist Americans to her treatment of cholera patients in Panama and her bitter run-in with Florence Nightingale, who declined to work with her in Crimea because she wasn’t white. But Mary Seacole knew that the sick and wounded needed her compassion and care, and despite all obstacles, she answered the call to help them. Author Susan Goldman Rubin gives voice to this fearless nurse and healer through captivating details drawn from Mary Seacole’s own writings, while debut illustrator Richie Pope vividly captures her service at the bedside and on the battlefield. Inspiring and engaging, this biography introduces a compelling heroine who rose above barriers to earn a place in history. 




A Train Ride Out of Segregation 

by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein 

Illustrated by James E. Ransome 

Candlewick Press 

 Michael and his granddaddy always stop working to watch the trains as they rush by their Alabama farm on the way to distant places. One day Michael gets what he’s always dreamed of: his first train journey, to visit cousins in Ohio! Boarding the train in the bustling station, Michael and his grandma follow the conductor to the car with the “colored only” sign. But when the train pulls out of Atlanta, the signs come down, and a boy from the next car runs up to Michael, inviting him to explore. The two new friends happily scour the train together and play in Bobby Ray’s car—until the conductor calls out “Chattanooga!” and abruptly ushers Michael back to his grandma for the rest of the ride. How could the rules be so changeable from state to state—and so unfair? Based on author Michael Bandy’s own recollections of taking the train as a boy during the segregation era, this story of a child’s magical first experience is intercut with a sense of baffling injustice, offering both a hopeful tale of friendship and a window into a dark period of history that still resonates today. 


One Mean Ant with Fly and Flea 

by Arthur Yorinks 

illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier 

Candlewick Press 

 Ant and Fly are back! And this time they’re joined by Flea, newly escaped from the flea circus. Our mean Ant, the meanest ant there ever was, doesn’t think much of the tiny, annoying Flea, until Flea’s wits get them out of one sticky situation and . . . straight into another. Ant’s famous temper can’t save them now. The bugs are truly stuck with one another! Author Arthur Yorinks and illustrator Sergio Ruzzier return for the second story in a planned trilogy that introduces a new insect in each book. Picking up where the last tale left off, the text crackles with snappy banter and silly wordplay, while expressive illustrations capture all the entomological action. At heart an ode to the small but mighty, this zany sequel will deliver big laughs for the read-aloud crowd. 



Rain Before Rainbows 

by Smriti Prasadam-Halls 

illustrated by David Litchfield 

Candlewick Press 

 In this heartfelt story about courage, change, and moving on, a girl and her companion fox travel together away from a sorrowful past, through challenging and stormy times, toward color and light and life. Along the way they find friends to guide and support them, and when the new day dawns, it is full of promise. With gorgeous, richly realized illustrations and immense hope at its heart, Rain Before Rainbows holds out a ray of sunshine for anyone looking for light. 

A book from Penguin Kids to read this election year 


We Are All Equal 

By P. Crumble 

Penguin Kids 

A diverse group of animals comes together to celebrate one very important idea: no matter our differences, we are all equal. 
We are all equal, let's shout it out loud. 
We share hopes and dreams, we're equal and proud. 
These animals may all be different from one another, but they know that doesn't matter. They have different lifestyles, different places of origin, different abilities, different types of families, and more. But big or small, weak or strong, native or new to their land, these animals are all equal, with no one better, more important, or more worthy than the others. 
With vivid, vibrant art and a resounding message of tolerance conveyed with a sweet and playful rhyme, this book is a celebration of the many different ways to be, all of which are good, welcome, and equal. 


Fun Christmas Reading from Penguin 



The Classic Illustrated Storybook 

Based on the film written by David Berenbaum 

Illustrated by Kim Smith 

When the beloved movie Elf was first released in 2003, it was an instant hit. One of the few films of the 21st century to earn its place in the pantheon of classic holiday cinema, Elf was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s top five Christmas movies of all time. Now, fans and families can enjoy this hilarious and heartwarming story in Elf: The Classic Illustrated Storybook (Quirk Books; Ages 4–8; On sale: October 6, 2020; Pop Classics series), a delightful, age-appropriate picture-book adaptation by best-selling illustrator Kim Smith. 

Buddy the Elf has more Christmas spirit than anyone, but he’s never quite fit in with the other North Pole elves. It all makes sense when he learns that he’s actually a human and that his father—who is on the Naughty List!—lives in a magical place called New York City. Determined to meet him, Buddy sets out on an epic adventure, where he gets to know his real dad, makes a new friend named Jovie, and teaches everyone the importance of family and the power of Christmas cheer.  

The latest book in the wildly popular Pop Classics series, Elf features Kim Smith’s adorable and vibrant illustrations and is packed with iconic moments and laugh-out-loud lines from the film, including: 

  • Buddy’s journey through the seven levels of Candy Cane Forest and his walk through the Lincoln Tunnel 

  • His unmasking of a fake Santa Claus at Gimbels (“You sit on a throne of lies!”) 

  • Buddy’s day at his dad’s office (“Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”) 

  • His festive first outing with his new friend Jovie 

  • And more! 

With plenty of fan-favorite scenes, readers of all ages will be delighted by this colorful adaptation of one of the century’s most iconic holiday films. A perfectly silly holiday read-aloud for families and young readers, Elf can be enjoyed year after year alongside such classics as How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as Pig the Elf and Olive the Other Reindeer. 


Great Back to School Reading from Pavilion 

Archicards: Build a Skyscraper 

By Paul Farrel 


Glass, concrete, windows, walls, roofs, and more--create your own inner city masterpiece. Following on from Build a Castle, Build a Skyscraper is the second in a new series of graphic-designed cards that allow you to build up and out! 
This pack contains 64 cards (4 x 23/4 inches) of a variety of graphic designs. Clever paper engineering allows you to slot the cards together, building up and out in whichever way you like! Also included is a short 8-page booklet, with descriptions of the card designs and suggestions of stacking methods. The instructions tell you how to build a skyscraper, or you can let your imagination run riot and design your own! 

Renowned illustrator Paul Farrell has designed these cards in a cool, graphic style--turning the image of a skyscraper into a work of art. 


David Roberts’ Delightfully Different Fairy Tales 

By David Roberts 


The fabulous illustrator David Roberts has joined forces with his author sister, Lynn, to produce a humorous and stylish retelling of three classic fairy tales: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel. 
These tales are not as you remember them. David and Lynn Roberts introduce Cinderella as a 1920s flapper girl, Sleeping Beauty as a 1950s science fiction nerd, and Rapunzel as a groovy 1970s chick! 
The different settings mean that there are lots of cool twists in the tales. Cinderella spends an evening in a beautiful art deco ballroom, Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger on a record player, and Rapunzel lives in a 1970s tower block. 
These are classic fairy tales for a modern audience. Sleeping Beauty is woken up by a resourceful young historian (no kissy prince in sight), Rapunzel's boyfriend is in a band, and Cinderella is taken to the ball in a sleek 1920s car. 


Three Wishes 

Alan Snow 


From the creator of The Boxtrolls comes a haunting, beautifully told, and stunningly illustrated Santa Claus origin story. This gorgeous Christmas holiday tale feels like it has always existed. 
As you read this magical story, you gradually realize that all of the Santa's characteristics are being explained--from his red coat, to the flying reindeer and sleigh, how he gets around the world in one night, and why he leaves presents. 
A young boy is herding his family's reindeer when the boy is drawn into a mysterious cave. The cave is the holder of eternal summer, looked after by three strange characters: a wooden creature, a bird, and a fish. Once entered, the cave cannot be left without time in the outside world standing still. In his sadness at not being able to leave, the boy is granted three wishes and chooses freedom, happiness, and time. He is told that they will all be granted--eventually. 
After the first year of working hard in the summer cave, the boy is allowed to see his family in the outside world. Time stands still as he visits his parents, and he leaves gifts behind to show that he has visited. As the years go by, this annual visit continues, and he begins to call on not only his parents but more and more other families...and Christmas traditions, as we know them, start to be created. 

Challenge Everything: An Extinction Rebellion Youth Guide to Saving the Planet 

By Blue Sanford 


A timely new book from a teenage environmental activist who has been called the "British Greta Thunberg" and named one of "the UK’s most impressive young activists" by The Times. 

Time is running out to prevent ecological collapse. The main concern of many young people is climate change and how to combat it, and Challenge Everything offers them a purpose–what to do, when to do it and why to do it. This manifesto is the only official handbook from Extinction Rebellion Youth -- a global movement of hundreds of thousands of passionate activists from all walks of life, including splinter groups for young people, like XR Youth, XR Families and XR Kids -- and will help you to change your life and the world for the better. 

Written by Blue Sandford, the 17-year-old coordinator of Extinction Rebellion Youth London who has left school to dedicate her life to preventing climate change, this book will ask you to challenge everything–challenge government (protest and take peaceful action where necessary), challenge business (decide who you want to support, decide who you want to boycott), and above all to challenge yourself–how can you change your life to make a difference. 

Filled with stories, essays, slogans and inspiring illustrations, this book will cover consuming, actioning, boycotting, campaigning, striking, questioning, rewilding and reconnecting with our planet. It will help the reader to change their mindset, become independent, question everything, and challenge themselves. 

**I received copies of the titles above from the publishers for review/feature purposes. All thoughts, opinions, and reviews are my own. 



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