Happy Book Birthday: New Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Graphic Novels

By Libby Stille, Publicist

Check out April new releases from Lerner Publishing Group!

Picture books

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons, written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Mercè López

Lion of the Sky cover

Haiku meet riddles in this wonderful collection from Laura Purdie Salas. The poems celebrate the seasons and describe everything from an earthworm to a baseball to an apple to snow angels, alongside full-color illustrations.

Lion of the Sky spread
Spread from Lion of the Sky

Praise for Lion of the Sky

★”[T]he wonderfully evocative, vivid imagery in text and art also make this a welcome addition for poetry classroom units.”—starred, Booklist

★”Richly rewarding and clever: a visually arresting, inventive treatment of a popular subject.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“The book’s meditative tone and resonant images invite readers to embrace new ways of seeing the world around them.”—Publishers Weekly

“Salas’s innovative language steals the show. . . . Multiple readings are in order: the first few may revolve around riddle solving, while subsequent ones will allow readers to savor the imaginative language and illustrations.”—The Horn Book Magazine

Undercover Ostrich by Joe Kulka

Undercover Ostrich spread

Animals can be sneaky. But do you know who is especially sneaky? Undercover ostriches! They’re everywhere, and they’re masters at going undetected. You’ve probably seen one and just assumed it was another woodpecker or owl. The narrator of this book is on the case, following a single ostrich on his many adventures. Not until the final twist does author and illustrator Joe Kulka let the readers in on the narrator’s true motivation: a peanut collection mission involving undercover elephants.

Undercover Ostrich spread
Spread from Undercover Ostrich

Praise for Undercover Ostrich

“Young listeners will chuckle at the absurdity (and surprise ending), and this classroom-friendly read-aloud has appeal for adults as well.”—Booklist

Graphic novels

Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase by Jorge González

Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase cover

In this wordless graphic novel, Captain Barbosa sails the seven seas with his trusty shipmates: a fly, an alligator, and an elephant. A seagull steals his treasured hat, and Barbosa and his crew give chase through a nasty storm. When Barbosa reaches the seagull’s island, he finds the hat—along with a nest of baby seagulls—and decides even pirates can forgive and forget.

Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase spread
Spread from Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase

Praise for Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase

“Humor abounds, from the absurd casting choices for Barbosa’s crew to the moment when the chortling mariners add an orange pigtailed wig to the captain’s exposed, bald pate.”—Kirkus Reviews

The Invisible War: A World War I Tale on Two Scales, written by Ailsa Wild, Jeremy Barr, Gregory Crocetti, and Briony Barr and illustrated by Ben Hutchings

The Invisible War cover

One Nurse. Trillions of microbes. A deadly WWI battle. In France of 1916, a battlefield nurse is infected by a strain of lethal bacteria while treating a patient with dysentery. This army of bacteria invades deep into her gut, rallying the resident microbes to fight for their lives—and hers! Enter the phage, deadly microscopic predators, ready to wage war and protect their host. This graphic novel examines what happens when bacteria attacks the body and how the body’s defenses respond, drawing upon parallels to wartime combat.

The Invisible War spread
Spread from The Invisible War

Praise for The Invisible War

★”Grossly fabulous.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“[U]nique and instructive. . . . A complementary text to science and history curricula.”—School Library Journal

Middle grade

Last of the Name by Rosanne Parry

Last of the Name cover

Twelve-year-old Danny O’Carolan and his sister, Kathleen, arrive in New York City in 1863. Kathleen refuses to be parted from her only remaining relative, so she finds a job in domestic service for herself and her younger…sister. Danny reluctantly pretends to be a girl to avoid being sent to the children’s workhouse or recruited as a drummer boy for the Union army. When he occasionally sneaks off to spend a few hours as a boy and share his rich talent for Irish dancing, he discovers the vast variety of New York’s neighborhoods. But the Civil War draft is stoking tensions between the Irish and free black populations. With dangers escalating, how can Danny find a safe place to call home?

Praise for Last of the Name

★”An exuberant dash through a pivotal year in American history.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

“Textured and well-researched, Parry’s latest historical novel brings to life New York City during the peak of the Civil War . . .”—Booklist

“An excellent addition to any historical fiction collection; recommended for fans of Little Women or A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.”—School Library Journal

“With loving attention to detail, Rosanne Parry recreates Civil War-era New York City and the struggles of intrepid Irish immigrants. More than a survival story, Last of the Name is a celebration of the power of music and family to sustain us through hard times. Truly a grand adventure!”—Deborah Hopkinson, author of How I Became a Spy: A Mystery of WWII London

“Civil War New York springs to life with danger, humor, and grit. You can feel the dance steps as a young immigrant’s family traditions bring him strength and connection in a challenging new world. Historical fiction with a strong resonance today.”—Emily Whitman, author of The Turning

Last of the Name is a rich, brave, brawling novel of the immigrant experience, bringing the cacophony of Civil War-era New York City vividly to life.”—Susan Fletcher, author of Shadow Spinner, Walk Across the Sea, and Journey of the Pale Bear

Visit lernerbooks.com to read a sample chapter and download a free discussion guide. Plus, read a guest post from author Rosanne Parry.

New series

30-Minute Makers series

30-Minute Makers cover

This maker-focused series features science projects that can be completed in half an hour or less, and include QR codes leading to additional content. These high-interest titles are created in partnership with science project database Science Buddies®, an organization focused on fostering STEM discovery through hands-on explorations.

Colorful Crayola® Crafts series

Colorful Crayola ® Crafts series

Explore science, get creative in nature, and banish boredom with fun and easy Crayola crafts! Easy to follow instructions and photos guide readers. QR codes for each project link to a digital landing page showing more detailed steps and photos.

Disney Great Job Character Guides series

Disney Great Character Guides series
In this lighthearted approach to character education, readers learn what character traits are needed in their favorite Disney and Pixar characters’ “jobs”—such as Elsa’s role as Snow Queen or Woody’s job as Andy’s most beloved toy.

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