by Lara Neel, Trade Marketing Manager
I shared a list of maybe-new-to-you books last summer. Here’s a short roundup of a few more delightful titles that deserve a close look.
Russ and Gus are bored…until they take a tub for a ride. This fun photographic easy-to-read story features the short “u” vowel sound.
Kane Press’s new series of super simple easy-to-reads, Bright Owl Books, launches with Molly Coxe’s five photographic stories, which feature the short vowel sounds and are each only around 100 words.
These irresistibly silly stories help kids learn to read through repetition and by teaching the basic building blocks of reading—vowel sounds—giving kids the perfect start on educational success.
“Splendid introductions, chock-full of villainous revelations and insights both figurative and literal.” Starred review, Kirkus
“The star of the show is Perrin’s impish yet warm illustrations, filled with surprises and much humor. … The writing is also delightful” Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
“The beautifully designed Inside the Villains provides shivery delights for children.” Shelf Awareness
Ed. Note – This is a book you really have to experience, because it has all kinds of lift-a-flaps and other secrets to reveal. In an attempt to show just a bit of what it can do, I got to play with it and make some gifs. My favorite is the witch! – Lara
Author David Lucas was kind enough to answer a few questions about this engaging book. Here’s one:
You have said before that your work is a mixture of myth, fairy tale and autobiography, are there any parts of I Was Made For You that are autobiographical?
Everyone (if they’re honest) feels as if they’re unraveling at some point in their lives – and it’s actually vital to be able to re-invent yourself, to let go and allow yourself to change in a changing world. At key points in my life, I’ve had to allow myself to ‘unravel’, disassembling my ideas of who I am and re-knitting a whole new idea of me. It’s something we all have to do. Any big turning point – a new job, getting married, becoming a parent, etc., all mean having to re-make ourselves.
To be new, but somehow still the same, still true to ourselves. Actually discovering new depths within ourselves.
I have a 4 year old daughter, Cecily, – and becoming a father has been a huge, difficult change for me. I can’t put myself first anymore, and now I realize how self-involved I used to be. How narrow my life was.
As a parent you are always aware that what you do, and how you live, will have a lasting impact on your child, sometimes in unexpected ways. It’s often the little things we remember, as we grow up.
Every day is like a stitch and before you know it you’ve knitted a life…
That’s true of the relationship between parent and child and also true of how we ‘knit’ our own lives – even our own fate – day by day.
In mythology, fate was seen as a thread that the three Fates spun, wove (knitted) and cut.
When the calendar changes from one year to the next, people like to celebrate! But there’s more to New Year’s than a ten-second countdown. Learn about how our calendar came to be what it is today, and find out how people all through history have celebrated the start of a brand-new year!
Holidays & Heroes brings to life the people whose holidays we celebrate throughout the year. Enriched with colorful historical images, books in this series will engage children in the stories behind our holidays and the people they honor.
Jeanne Willis also answered a few questions for us. Here’s an excerpt:
You have said before that many of your ideas for books come from dreams, conversations with strangers, and other events from your life – what inspired you to write Not Just a Book?
I was inspired to write Not Just A Book because they’re such useful objects, as well as being great to read, of course. I have just used a whole pile of them to stop the Giant Atlas Moths I breed from flying down the gap at the top of my bookcase. They fly loose in my attic office so I have to make sure they don’t crash and hurt themselves. They have a 23 cm (9 inch) wing span!
Not Just A Book is a showcase of all the different things a book can be. Other than reading, what was your favorite thing to do with a book when you were a child? Is it still your favorite today?
My favorite thing to do with a book when I was little was to press leaves and flowers which I collected on walks in the countryside, then when they dried, I made pictures with them. I also used books to prop up my teddies when me and my sister had Teddy Bear’s Picnics. And sometimes, if my sister was mean to me, I would snap my book shut on her nose.
“Packed with beautiful large-format, full-colour infographics and maps, this amazing river ride is a beautiful gift for adults, a lively reference book for children, and a teaching tool in classrooms. Each map and illustration is full of fascinating facts about nature, culture and history, with major events and historical figures featured alongside favourite stories and icons.” – Lancashire Evening Post (UK)
“Rivers manages that rare thing of taking facts, history, knowledge, and presenting them in a way that makes them feel magical.” – Rogan Books (UK)
Queen Panda hasn’t been able to sleep for days. Her subjects are worried and exhausted from serving her day and night. Something must be done! As news spreads throughout the kingdom that a reward will be given to whoever can make the Queen sleep, animals from faraway places rush to the palace to try their luck. Who will find the magic solution to Queen Panda’s problem?
Bright illustrations bring together animals from all over the world in this humorous and clever bedtime story.
“Simply gorgeous in pictures and words, this is a terrific read-aloud selection and a great story to spark conversation.” – starred review, School Library Journal
“A touching, understated story about the transformative power of friendship” – Kirkus Reviews
“[A] heartwarming tribute to creatures of the Arctic that offers a gentle ecology lesson as well…” — starred review, Booklist
“[A] tribute to environmental awareness and cultivating a healthy respect for the fierce beauty of the frozen North.” — starred review, Foreword Reviews
“Parental love, sound ecological advice, and breathtaking illustrations all in one.” — starred review, Kirkus Reviews