May 15, 2010

Fall 2010 Picturebook Highlights: Candlewick Press

Ready for another long post? Introducing Candlewick's Fall line for the Fall 2010 Picturebook Highlights round-up!

Disclaimer before we begin: I have not seen these books with my own two eyes. As I'll soon be leaving the Odyssey Bookshop to pursue a career elsewhere in the children's book industry (more on that in a later post), I've been going through catalogues but haven't been able to get my hands on the actual books. So, these books have been chosen based on my knowledge of the author and/or illustrator's previous work, the catalogue description, and my own personal taste.

Grandma's Gloves
by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by Julia Denos
9780763631680, $15.99, Pub. Date: August 2010

These charming illustrations showcase the talent of first-time illustrator Julia Denos. More than an "issue book", this picturebook tells the story of a little girl and her grandmother who bond over growing plants and gardening. When her grandmother dies, the little girl is sad until she remembers all the gardening skills her grandmother has taught her. The illustrations capture the love and vivacity of their relationship, as green growing things jump off the page at the reader.

Snook Alone
by Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
9780763626679, $16.99, Pub. Date: September 2010

Though not technically a picturebook, this book is intended for a picturebook-age audience of ages 4-7. The combination of acclaimed poet Marilyn Nelson and award-winning illustrator Timothy Basil Ering (who illustrated Kate DiCamillo's A Tale of Despereaux, among others) is sure to produce a hit. A quiet tale, this story is about a monk named Abba Jacob and his rat terrier, Snook. They live on an island together, but when the two are separated in a storm, the tale becomes Snook's journey finding his way back to his friend.

There's Going to Be a Baby
by John Burningham, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
9780763649074, $16.99, Pub. Date: October 2010

For the first time EVER, husband-and-wife team up for a darling picturebook. John Burningham's witty take on a timeless story of an older sibling's uncertainty over a new family member is perfectly matched by Helen Oxenbury's "freshly enchanting and wonderfully nostalgic" illustrations.

Tiny Little Fly
by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Kevin Waldron
9780763646813, $15.99, Pub. Date: October 2010

I can already tell this is going to be a storytime favorite. Michael Rosen's (British Children's Laureate) simple text creates the sound affects for the animals trying to catch the fly. Tramp, crush, tramp - swat, swoop, snatch - roll, squash, roll: so many sounds and animals to act out with each reading! The tiny little fly lands here and there, while Kevin Waldron helps us imagine a fly's-eye-view of each animal the fly passes.

Fantasy: A Artist's Realm
by Ben Boos
9780763640569, $19.99, Pub. Date: October 2010 

Okay, I'm slipping this in here with the picturebooks. It is definitely an illustrated book, but for the older reader, 7 or 8 and up, all the way through to adults. Ben Boos has created a whole new world (stop singing the Aladdin song, right. now.) with this illustrated fantasy. Welcome to New Perigord, a land full of elves, dwarves, minotaurs, hobgoblins, and much more; scary and mystical, the detail of this land will leave you breathless and inspired to dream up a world of your own.

by Jeannie Baker
9780763648480, $18.99, Pub. Date: November 2010

Having written a paper on Jeannie Baker, I was thrilled to see a new book of hers in the Candlewick catalogue - and what a book it is! The title, Mirror, refers to the dual stories told side-by-side, one of a little boy in Sydney, Australia, one of a little boy in Morocco. The two different cultures are pictured in brilliant collage illustrations on opposite pages so the reader can examine each boy's day, and compare it to their own.

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