Carrot & Pea by Morag Hood
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2017)
Carrot does not fit with a crowd of peas. How does one adapt and be accepted? In this delightful picture book with few words, the message is clear: even though Carrot cannot roll or play hide and seek very well, there’s room for all on this plate.
Places To Be by Mac Barnett
(Balzer and Bray, April 2017)
Two animals celebrate all the places they can be in this lovely picture book from Mac Barnett (Extra Yarn and many more) and Renata Liwska (The Quiet Book). There are places to be muddy and picky and bored and scary. Wonderful illustrations describe all kinds of feelings. A great introduction to emotions and vocabulary!
A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
(Roaring Brook Press, March 2017)
Each animal in Bert’s backyard likes something different on this beautiful sunny day. What Cat likes best might not be the same thing that Chickadee likes best. Author/illustrator Lane Smith delivers a stunning and clever book, perfect for the home, library or classroom. For all ages!
Be Quiet by Ryan T Higgins
(Disney-Hyperion, April 2017)
The three mice from HOTEL BRUCE are trying to write a wordless picture book, but they can’t stop talking. Ryan Higgins’s hilarious dialogue and clever drawings allow readers to explore the concept of wordless picture books and literary terms in a very fun way.
The Legend Of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt
(Balzer & Bray, April 2017)
Three warriors — Rock, Paper and Scissors — dominate their peers in head-to- head battles, but find no joy in victory, because there is no risk of defeat. One day, the three meet and find true joy in competition because they never know who will win. Full of laugh-out-loud moments, this clever story is enhanced by Adam Rex’s illustrations. A delight to read over and over again!
Tales For The Perfect Child by Florence Parry Heide
(Atheneum Books For Young Readers, March 2017)
Ruby doesn’t want to watch her little brother, but watch him she does as he creates mayhem while their mother takes a bubble bath. Harriet is a very good whiner because she practices, and, as we all know, practice makes perfect. Ethel’s parents never want to see her chewing bubble gum again and they don’t! Beginning readers will delight in these eight tales of cleverly mischievous—but lovable–children who obey their parents’ wishes but achieve their own goals.
Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff
(GP Putnam and Sons for Young Readers, January 2017)
Brian is facing his worst summer ever when he is shipped out to stay in Boring, Illinois, with his equally boring aunt, uncle, and cousin Nora. Lost in the woods behind their house, Brian and Nora discover Matchstick Castle, a seven-story ramshackle house, complete with a ship on the roof (in case of a flood, of course), and its owners, the eccentric, adventurous van Dash family. Summer gets a lot more exciting with new friend Cosmos van Dash, a summer that includes buried treasure, wild animals, an uncle lost somewhere in the house…and in just a few days Boring City Hall plans to tear Matchstick Castle down!
Chester & Gus by Cammie McGovern
(Harper Collins, April 2017)
Chester has always wanted to be a service dog, but when he fails his certification test, he is adopted by a family to be a companion to Gus, their ten-year old son with autism. Gus is different from the other humans Chester has met. He doesn’t really talk and sometimes doesn’t even want Chester in the room. But Gus is Chester’s person and Chester is determined to figure out how to be the best dog possible for Gus.
Addie Bell’s Shortcut To Growing Up by Jessica Brody
(Delacorte Books For Young Readers, February 2017)
All twelve-year old Addie Bell wants is to be sixteen. Then she can have her own phone, wear makeup and drive a car. On the night of her twelfth birthday, Addie wishes on a magic jewelry box and wakes up to find herself sixteen. She’s friends with popular mean girl Clementine , has a makeup vlog and a closet full of cool clothes. But she’s lost her best friend Grace and discovers that driving and trigonometry are really hard! A very cute novel that reminds us we need to be careful what we wish for!
Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray
(Little Brown Books For Young Readers, April 2017)
In a desperate bid to save her friend during the practice run for a space war, Noemi discovers an abandoned spaceship and Abel, the original mech (an artificial being with self awareness and immense intelligence). Abel’s programming requires him to submit to Noemi’s leadership, propelling them on a last-ditch effort to halt the war and save both Earth (the aggressor here) and Genesis, Noemi’s home. Creative world-building combined with thoughtful consideration of free will, loyalty and love make this a first rate novel.
Rebel of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
(Viking Books for Young Readers, March 2016)
Amani Al’Hiza longs to escape her life in the small desert town of Dustwalk, where her life will end either with her marriage to a man that she does not love (her uncle is one of the suitors being considered) or at the end of a rope after one of her daring outbursts that she can’t seem to keep contained. After a particularly eventful pistol-shooting competition, Amani is suddenly freed from Dustwalk and has the chance to chase after the freedom that she has always wanted. But not all is well across the desert. A war of mythic creatures is brewing, and a rebel prince is working to put himself on the throne. Amani discovers that nothing she knows is certain, not even what she knows about herself.
Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
(Roaring Brook Press, October 2016)
Printz award winner Marcus Sedgwick combines Russian history and fairy tales in this story set during the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. Arthur Ransome, a British author, finds himself in Russia as a news agent for a British newspaper. He’s drawn closer and closer to the personalities at the heart of the revolution — Lenin, Trotsky and others — as he continues to send news to the West. He falls in love with Trotsky’s secretary and tries to keep his moral compass while planning his escape to the West with her. Part fairy tale, part historical fiction, it is entirely engrossing.