Grumpy Pets by Kristen Lombardi
(Abrams Books for Young Readers, March 2016)
Billy’s mom takes him to the pet store to get a pet that will hopefully give him a reason to smile. He’s surrounded by cute, happy dogs and cats — blech! Fortunately, he finds a section in the back of the store reserved for the Grumpy Pets, who are crabby, cranky and moody. A picture book that reminds us that we can all find the right pet if we take the time to look.
Tiger & Badger by Emily Jenkins
(Candlewick Press, February 2016)
Tiger and Badger are best friends. Except when they’re not. They tease, fight and make up, just like any young child. Great dialogue and engaging illustrations make this a clever picture book to read at home or in school.
You Made Me A Mother by Laurenne Sala
(Harper Collins Books, March 2016)
A mother’s love is sweetly portrayed here just in time for Mother’s Day. Young children will be reassured that they are welcome in the world.
Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth by Peter Jarvis
(Candlewick Press, February 2016)
Alan is one scary alligator. And he’s got huge, shiny teeth. When his jungle friends learn that the teeth are false teeth, Alan’s not so scary anymore. And what’s an alligator to do if he can’t be scary? Such a fun picture book for the entire family.
Quickest Kid In Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller
(Chronicle Books, February 2016)
Alta is the quickest kid in her small town, which is great news because Wilma Rudolph is coming tomorrow to ride in the big parade. But then Charmaine appears with brand new shoes, just like Wilma’s. Who’s truly the fastest? And do the shoes really matter? This is a picture book that reminds us about the importance of team work and new friends.
Owl Diaries series by Rebecca Elliott
With an endearing cast of characters, Elliott has created a fun new series for the emerging reader. Children will recognize the school setting and cheer on the owls.
Summerlost by Ally Condie
(Dutton Books For Young Readers, March 2016)
A favorite teen author, Condie is now writing for a younger reader. Cedar’s family is reeling from an awful tragedy when they move to a small town that hosts a big Shakespeare festival every year. She befriends Leo, and the pair work at the festival in order to make money for an anticipated trip. Many people find their way back to family and friends in this heartwarming novel complete with a wonderful mystery to solve.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate diCamillo
(Candlewick Books, April 2016)
Raymie Nightingale’s father ran off with a dental hygenist. She’s certain that if she were to enter and win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, her father will see her name in the paper and return to the family. But first, Raymie has to learn how to twirl a baton, which is how she finds herself in a class with Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinsky. In spite of their rivalry for the competition, the girls find that they have more in common than not and that their friendship will provide a strength and stability they did not know they had. A story full of diCamillo’s signature grace and humor which reminds us of the resilience each of us has deep inside. Simply wonderful.
Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, January 2016)
Twelve-year-old twins Nick and Eryn are understandably curious when their mom tells them they will never meet their step siblings, curious enough to sneak off to meet them against their parents’ wishes. What Nick and Eryn see through a window leads them to question their steps’ identities, their parents’ identities, and their own, as well as their entire world. Suspenseful throughout, the unexpected plot twist makes it especially difficult to wait for the second in Haddix’s new two-book series!
Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
(Little Brown Books for Young Readers, March 2016)
It’s 1943 in the Netherlands, and Hanneke can get her customers almost anything they need — sausage, coffee, kerosene. When one of her clients asks her to find a missing Jewish girl who has been in hiding, Hanneke wants to decline, but can’t. She is drawn into a mystery involving the horrors of the Nazi war machine and the bravery of the resistance. A wonderful new voice in historical fiction.
Tell The Wind & Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
(Clarion Books, April 2016)
In the New York of the future, those who practice Light Magic are pitted against those who practice Dark Magic. Lucie is caught between a doppelganger who saves her beloved and her beloved himself. The author grounds her novel in the bones of TALE OF TWO CITIES and adds plenty of romance, betrayal and honor to keep the reader racing to finish the story.
Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
(Greenwillow Books, February 2016)
Sixteen-year-old Nix Song has lived aboard her father’s ship, The Temptation, ever since her mother, Lin, died in childbirth in Hawaii. Her father, Captain Slate, possesses the gift of Navigation: he can sail his pirate ship to locations real and fictional and to any time period as long as he has an authentic, dated map. For years, Slate, Nix, and a small crew have traveled the globe through time, searching for the map that will take them back to 1868 Hawaii to save Lin’s life. Now they are in 1884 Hawaii in the midst of a plot to overthrow the king. The first of a two-part series, this is an intriguing mix of fantasy, time-travel, and historical fiction not to be missed.