Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
(Viking Books For Young Readers, Sept 1999)
It’s time to reintroduce a classic board book which should be on every child’s shelf. It is made to be read over and over again, and both reader and child will delight in finding the hidden fairy tale references on every page. The artwork is timeless.
Heads And Tails by Madeleine Deny
(Twirl Books April 2016)
With cut-outs of each animal just waiting for a young child’s hands, this animal recognition board book is bright and colorful. The young reader can anticipate what comes next!
We Are Growing by Laurie Keller
(Disney Hyperion Books, September 2016)
In the first in a new series edited by Mo Willems (of Piggie & Elephant fame), Keller brings dry humor and thoughtfulness to this story in which blades of grass are contemplating their existence. Each is unique–but what about poor Walt? He’s not the crunchiest nor the tallest. A simple lesson here about learning to accept what gifts we have.
Skunked by Jacqueline Kelly
(Henry Holt & Co, October 2016)
Calpurnia is willing to help when her younger brother and animal lover, Travis, finds and brings home an abandoned baby skunk he has named Stinky. But then, Travis discovers Stinky’s littermate, who, as runt of the litter, needs special care. One skunk is trouble enough, but two are bound to cause a ruckus! Introducing a new early reader series set in 1900s Texas that is sure to charm animal lovers.
Panda Pants by Jacqueline Davies
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, September 2016)
Everyone knows pandas don’t wear pants, but this little panda desperately wants pants––and for many reasons. As father and son stroll through the bamboo, discussing the merits of pants, a snow leopard lurks nearby. Could pants save the day? And what will our panda want next?
The Best Man by Richard Peck
(Dial Books for Young Readers, September 2016)
Richard Peck is a master storyteller, and his newest novel for young readers is no exception. It’s the story of Archer Magill, a sixth grader, who is trying to figure life out and determine who he wants his role models to be. He has wonderful men in his family to choose from: his grandfather Magill, his father, and his Uncle Paul. He finds another in his teacher, a National Guardsman who loves his uncle. This is a story of family and the community in which they live. But don’t let the simplicity deceive you — Peck’s keen eye for observation will make you both laugh and cry.
Thistle Downe by Molly & Gary Whitney
(Bright Sky Press, February 2016)
An adventure tale complete with trolls and fairies, this novel, written by Houstonians, is also a story of determination and discrimination which will resonate with all readers. Our troll hero dreams of a haven–a special house called Thistle Downe. You will be cheering him on!
Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
(Dutton Books for Young Readers, September 2016)
Popular teller of fairy tales, Gidwitz makes a triumphant return with The Inquistor’s Tale. Set in the 13th century, this is the story of three children and their greyhound. All three children are fleeing persecution and trying to save holy books from being burned. Told in the style of the Canterbury Tales, this is delightful historical fiction for tween readers.
Afterward by Jen Mathieu
(Roaring Brook Press, September 2016)
Ethan and Caroline are connected by a horrible event, the kidnapping of both Ethan and Caroline’s autistic brother, Dylan, by the same criminal. Ethan was held and abused for four years, while Dylan was held for a few days. Mathieu’s novel looks at what happens afterward, when both families struggle through recovery. Her realistic depictions of families from the same town but different backgrounds make this story ring heartbreakingly true.
Caravel by Stephanie Garber
(Flatiron Books, September 2016)
Scarlett and her sister Tella have dreamed for years of attending Caraval, a once-a-year event, but their sadistic father won’t let them leave their island, let alone attend something as fantastic as this. On the eve of Scarlett’s arranged marriage, she and Tella receive their cherished invitations to the game and sneak off the island to attend Caraval. Upon their arrival, Tella is kidnapped by Legend, the Mastermind of Caraval, and it’s up to Scarlett to save her.
What Light by Jay Asher
(Razorbill, October 2016)
Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon and sells the trees at a lot in California for the month before Christmas each year. The tree lot has been losing money for several years, so it looks like this year might be the last one. And then, Sierra meets Caleb, who carries the stigma of a mistake he made several years ago. Sierra is determined to help Caleb move forward, but her impending departure proves to be an obstacle their new relationship may not overcome. A delightful novel about forgiveness and redemption.