Reporting: Harper Collins Fall 2007 Library Preview (Part Four)
No sequels here . . . . oh, who’m I kidding? Of course there were sequels! One good and one unsurprising. The first was the sequel to Swordbird by Nancy Yi Fan called Sword Quest. Of course. The other (and I was excited to see this, even though I never read #2) was Troll Blood by Katherine Langrish. If you haven’t read Troll Fell or Troll Mill, do so. They’re great books. And the oddest sequel mentioned at the table? Donavan’s Double Trouble by Monalisa DeGross, which comes out almost ten years after the first book Donavan’s Word Jar. Later there was another sequel that took even MORE time to come out though, so bear that in mind. I’m looking very very forward to reviewing Leslie Helakoski and Lee Harper’s new picture book Woolbur (the title kind of makes me think of that old cartoon Lambert). Mr. Harper, the illustrator, did everything from subscribing to FiberArts Magazine to visiting local sheep farms to get this book right. He looks as if he even got the anatomy of your average everyday spinning wheel right too. Review forthcoming indeed.
In a surprise twist, it was then revealed that everything we thought we knew about Shel Silverstein was wrong. You thought his first book was with Harper Collins when Ursula Nordstrom discovered him via Playboy Magazine? Think again. He had already had one picture book out with Simon & Schuster in 1964 and it was called Don’t Bump the Glump!: And Other Fantasies. Silly S&S let the book fall out-of-print, so Harper Collins swooped in to make it one of their own. Slightly enlarged images and watercolor washes make this a very interesting addition to the Silverstein oeuvre. The weirdest part? When you look at his author photo, SHEL HAS HAIR!!!! Can we live in a world where a picture exists somewhere of Shel Silverstein with hair? We’re about to find out.
There’s a picture book out by Laura and Jenna Bush, but it hasn’t a title yet. The Powerpoint sheet just listed it as "Bush Picture Book". Sounds like a fine and dandy name to me. The new fantasy book The Magic Thief: Stolen (veeeery Lightning Thief title-wise, is it not?) wins the award of Best Authorial Last Name due to the moniker Sarah Prineas. The British title Finding Violet Park (the winner of the Guardian Award, if I’m not too much mistaken) has been brought to our shores and renamed Me, the Missing, and the Dead. Normally I feel put out when Americans change the name of British books (remember Verdigris Deep?) but if you’re going to give something a new moniker, Me, the Missing, and the Dead is a fabulous way to go. A very Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World cover, though.
To the Barbara Lalicki, Rosemary Brosnan, Maria Modugno table we go. Official sequels? Well, remember Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen? That’s one of those slow-burning cult favorite children/teen books out there. Mikaelsen bounces back now with Ghost of Spirit Bear featuring, yes you got it, a big white bear on the cover! White bear #2. There’s also a new Gail Carson Levine book due on shelves called Ever. I tried to figure out what the fairy tale it was based on would be but was stumped by the description. Money is down on Sleeping Beauty, at this point. There was also a sequel to Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon by Pat Cummings. When I told this to a colleague they asked, "What’s it called? Clean Your Floor, Harvey Moore?" Not quite. Harvey Moon, Museum Boy, comes out some TWENTY YEARS after the first Harvey Moon book (originally from Simon and Schuster too, oddly enough). The nice thing about being an editor is that you can make it your personal mission to either reprint or bug your favorite authors into doing more of what you love.
(CONTINUED IN PART FIVE)
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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