Saturday, April 2, 2011

Candlewick Press Fall 2011 Preview

Yesterday I had the chance to go to my very first publisher preview event! It was a librarian's dream...sure, mother nature threw us a curve with an April Fool's day snowstorm, but it was Friday morning, and the coffee was served in Judy Moody faux Starbucks cups. _swoon_. Add in a room full of librarians and book lovers, a life size cut-out of favorites Bink and Gollie, not to mention ARCs of the brand new books themselves, and you've got a recipe for success. (Notice, I didn't even mention the amazing gift bag...oops, there I go - but let's just say it included a copy of Interrupting Chicken!)

Here's what is coming up from Candlewick - Fall 2011. I can't wait to order some of these!

I'm not familiar with the Bear and Mouse books - but they certainly look charming. From earlier books, it's been established that Bear doesn't like birthdays, noise, visitors, and staying up late. Mouse, however, LOVES birthdays, sleepovers and staying up late. In the 4th book, The Sniffles for Bear by Bonny Becker, Bear has gotten a cold. He tends to be a bit of a drama queen, announcing that no one could possibly ever be as sick as he is, and when Mouse comes in to offer him tea, (one of my favorite pages) - shouts "HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?" In the end, Bear does recover, only to find that Mouse has gotten sick, too. The illustrations are delightful and add to the humor of the situation.

Chris Van Dusen is back with another picture book aimed at the early elementary set. Kids will recognize the illustrative style showcased in Mercy Watson and the Circus Ship, and embrace the humor that Van Dusen infuses in all parts of his work. King Hugo demands adoration. He thinks he deserves only the best and doesn't think much of those below him. One day, when he brushes by one of his subjects, who happens to be a sorceress, everything changes. Because of her curse, King Hugo's head grows bigger with each egotistical thing he says. Hilarity ensues and there is a surprise ending with a touch of romance, even. Judging by the fact that my students LOVED Circus Ship and can't get enough of my favorite buttered toast loving pig, this will be high on my list of fall purchases.

The newest Rosemary Wells book, Love Waves, features favorites Max and Ruby, this time in a simple story of family and connection. The idea behind the story is that even when we're apart, "love waves" keep us close to those we love and miss. The colors throughout the book are bright and the love waves are represented by silvery, glittery lines on the page. Sounds like it will be a classic for those children who have trouble with transitioning away from family for school, work, trips, etc.

This next book was my favorite of the day. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen will definitely be in the Zervas Library collection next fall. I'm envisioning reader's theater and making our very own hats already... Candlewick hooked us all up with a pointy red hat in our gift bag, so we'll all be well outfitted. In this story, the text/dialogue is simple and repetitive, but Klassen highlights this with wonderful illustrations that capture the true humor of the bear's hunt for his hat. What can I say, I'm a sucker for funny books. This is sure to be a favorite. Have you seen my hat?

There were more books covered, including Matt Phelan's new graphic novel Around the World, featuring world travelers Thomas Stevens (who circled the globe on a bicycle), Nellie Bly (a journalist who is best known for feigning insanity to get into a an asylum for a story) and Joshua Slocum (a sea captain who circumnavigated the world by boat).

Another interesting release, which I think leans a little too middle grade for the elementary crowd, is Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri. This is the fictionalized story of a real community of urban cowboys in Philadelphia. I will be researching Fletcher Street to find out more about this unique community. Fascinating!

Finally, one I will DEFINITELY read -even though it looks like it's firmly planted in YA (but that never stops me) The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf. This is the story of the Titanic, as told through both familiar and new characters. Voice is a huge theme of the book, and even the glacier has a perspective to consider. Looks amazing.

All in all, a great experience, and I look forward to attending more events like this in the future!

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