There are a lot of amazing books on Harper's list for the fall, so get ready for a longer-than-usual post. I'm going to follow up with a post of winter holidays-specific books later in the year, probably November or December, as there are several worthy holiday titles, too.
by Andrew Kramer, illustrated by Leslie Lammle
9780061251948, $16.99, Pub. Date: September 2010
Beautifully illustrated, these charming pictures perfectly capture the fun and adventurous spirit of the pajama pirates and their pre-bedtime escapades. The rhyming text tells a story of rowing away in a boat to have a pirate brawl on the high seas. The soothing, gentle rhythm of the story compliments the dusky blues and purples and moonshine color palate used in the illustrations.
Dinosaur Vs. The Potty
by Bob Shea
9781423133391, $15.99, Pub. Date: September 2010
Remember Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime? Well, now it's time to face that potty! With familiar, friendly illustrations, bright colors, lots of humor, and loads of potty-inducing playtime, this book will become an instant potty time classic.
Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique
by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
9780061235924, $17.99, Pub. Date: October 2010
Don't miss the newest, full-size, hardcover, fabulous Fancy Nancy title! In addition to running her fashion boutique, Nancy has to come up with an emergency plan to save her little sister's rained-out birthday party. What fancy ideas does Nancy have to save the day?
Knuffle Bunny Free
by Mo Willems
9780061929571, $17.99, Pub. Date: October 2010
Finally! The last installment of the Knuffle Bunny trilogy. Trixie and her family are visiting her grandparents in Holland. But on the way, a very important friend gets left on the plane! What will Trixie do? Is Trixie a big enough girl to spend a vacation in Holland without her beloved Knuffle Bunny? Find out what happens as Trixie grows up.
by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Maira Kalman
9780061664656, $16.99, Pub. Date: October 2010
Confession: I haven't actually seen this book in person with my own two eyes. Yet. BUT, I generally love the humor of Lemony Snicket, and I like the illustration-style in the cover image drawn by Maira Kalman, SO I'm going out on a limb and recommending this book. This is what the catalogue has to say about this book:
From bestselling author Lemony Snicket and celebrated illustrator Maira Kalman comes an uproarious, whimsical word book like no other.Snicket and Kalman present a startlingly beautiful adventure woven from a practical introduction to thirteen wonderful words, including such marvels as Bird, Dog, Panache, and Haberdashery.
Maira Kalman, renowned for her design—illustrating the New York Times column The Principles of Uncertainty and books such as the bestselling The Elements of Style—carries this madcap adventure to wondrous heights with her vision of a world populated with hats, song, and cake. A rollicking adventure joins forces with magnificent art to create a true celebration of words.
Sounds good, right?!?
I Didn't Do It
by Patricia MacLachlan & Emily MacLachlan Charest, illustrated by Katy Schneider
9780061358333, $16.99, Pub. Date: October 2010
The follow-up to Once I Ate a Pie, this top-notch team has come up with another steal-your-heart picturebook of poems and paintings all from the dogs' points of view. Just as sweet as the first book, you'll be introduced to a whole new cast of dogs and their silly, naughty, loving little worlds
The Secret Message
by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by Bruce Whatley
9781423110446, $16.99, Pub. Date: October 2010
This lyrical retelling of a Rumi poem is not written as a poem itself, but as a delightful, cheeky tail about a parrot who tricks his owner into delivering a secret message. The double-page full-color illustrations help to evoke the beauty, scenery, and culture of Persia.
She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story
by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Don Tate
9780061349201, $16.99, Pub. Date: November 2010
Every spring when I put my baseball picturebook display together, I think to myself, "We need more picturebooks about girls and baseball." An answer to my prayers was found in this fictionalized account of the true story of Effa Manley: a woman who lived, breathed, and worked baseball. As a mixed-race child growing up in the early 1900s, Effa experienced a lot of racism and sexism, but she didn't let that stop her. She organized protests in Harlem, married a ballplayer named Abe who helped start the Negro National League (a black baseball league), and managed the Brooklyn Eagles (a black baseball team). She never stopped working for the rights of black baseball players, and in 2006, she became the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The last two lines of the book say, "On Effa's gravestone it says: SHE LOVED BASEBALL. In 2006, baseball proved it loved her back."
by LeUyen Pham
9780061990298, $16.99, Pub. Date: October 2010
Boy, I'm not a mother yet, and this book still brought a tear to my eye. That's not to say it's over-the-top sweet (though in some ways it is), but there are little elements of sly humor that keep it from being barf-inducing and instead firmly in the "Awww" category. Perfect for mothers and sons, with bold, contemporary illustrations.