Reporting: Little, Brown Spring/Summer 2008 (Part Two)
(CONTINUED FROM PART ONE)
At one point we were asked to come up with famous penguin characters in children’s literature. I love me my Opus, but that’s more of a comic strip character (and I am an early Bloom County fan, not the later Outlander stuff). There’s Tacky the Penguin, of course, but not much of anyone else. Enter Sergio. In Sergio Makes a Splash by Edel Rodriguez we’ve a three color picture book title that’s channeling old-timey classics. The creator did such books as Oye, Celia, which was an entirely different kind of book and style. I’ve tentative hopes for this title, so we’ll see how it does. And in checking out Mr. Rodriguez’s blog I happened to stumble on a picture of myself. Odd. Look at a picture of his literary agents. Hello, me!
Tony Abbott is back with another novel after Firegirl. Called The Postcard it was sold as "Chasing Vermeer meets Holes meets Hiassen by way of Big Fish". Huh. It’s a mystery (good) with clues found in an old linen postcard. Abbott apparently collects them from the 40s and 50s and he’s also working in 3 intertwining stories and a hard-boiled crime novel feel. Let’s see how she flies.
I was very very exited to learn that Jimmy Liao who created The Sound of Colors has another book coming out soon. The Blue Stone has, what they call in the biz, "graduation possibilities". The books people give to graduating seniors about life and change and all that jazz. There was an interesting debate that arose when we saw the term "all ages" on our Powerpoint sheets. GraceAnne is not a fan of that particular designation citing it as an unhelpful. It’s an interesting debate. I hate limiting ages in my own reviews since I know that some parents and librarians take them very seriously and won’t give a great book for ages 4-8 to a mature 3-year-old even if they’re ready for it. Then again, some books are simply not for "all ages" so whatchagonnado?
Nobody discussed the sequel to Atherton: The House of Power, which is named Atherton: Rivers of Fire. They were giving out free copies, though, so I snatched one up right quick. And I seem to be the only person I know who didn’t read The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart this year. Now the sequel, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, is due on bookstore shelves on May 1st. Fans of the original will be pleased to learn that "the bucket is back, but improved." I don’t know what that means. Oh. And it’s even longer than the first book. Be warned.
There is also a book coming out that is literally Muppet Babies meets The Wind in the Willows. Lots of beanies and sailor suits. I’ll . . . I’ll just leave it at that.
The Mighty Twelve is an interesting book to look at since it takes the graphic novel talents of GN superstar P. Craig Russell and has him illustrate a book talking about twelve "superheroes of Greek myth". It’s not a graphic novel persay, but it does have a comic font and separate text boxes.
And SPEAKING of graphic novels . . . Okay. So here’s the book that just … wow. I can’t even say it. Remember Michael Hague? He basically illustrated every single classic story I read as a child. Everything from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to The Reluctant Dragon. I always kind of wondered what happened to him. Well, he’s still around and he just made his first original graphic novel. Wow. It’s called In the Small and the premise is that humanity has been shrunk small in the wake of Nature’s disapproval with what we’ve done to the Earth. Sounds a little like The Dark Ground meets Mouse Guard. Hague apparently loves him his Prince Valiant, and the whole thing will be in full-color. I hope the book suggests that Nature has done this to humanity before. That would be a fun twist on the tale.
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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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