Publisher Preview: Ellen Myrick (Part Three!)
Cat’s Seasons by Airlie Anderson
You may or may not recall the first book in this particular series, going by the name of Cat’s Colors. In that little book, Cat walked through a gray landscape collecting colors along the way. As it turns out, hundreds of libraries turned that book into a “storywalk” (a popular thing to do for families during the height of the pandemic). Now Cat is back and enjoying the different seasons alongside a host of roly-poly kittens. The art reminds me a bit of Anna Alter’s. Quiet, cute, and simple.
The Unofficial Guide to the Ancient Egyptian After Life by Bastet the Cat and Laura Winstone
I’ll level with you. I’m not quite certain why it is that we haven’t seen more of Bastet in our popular culture. As a kid, I always found her the most approachable of the Egyptian gods. Nice that she finally gets her own moment in the spotlight. Now years and years ago, back when I was still working in NYPL’s Central Children’s Room, someone produced a really remarkable Book of the Dead encapsulation for kids. Trouble is, I can’t find hide nor hair of it online at all. Clearly, then, there’s been a need to try again. This version is definitely more colorful than the last one I saw, and I am okay with that! We desperately need this book on our shelves and stat.
Alte Zachen by Ziggy Hanaor and Benjamin Phillips
All right, folks. Switch your gears a bit. What we actually have here is not a picture book at all but a middle grade graphic novel for 9 to 12-year-olds. Throughout this tale, a grandma and grandchild walk through New York City looking for ingredients for Friday Night Dinner. Along the way, Bubbe is trying to communicate her Jewish heritage to her grandson but she’s kind of cranky so it doesn’t always go well. You see her today as she is, and then also in the past where you witness the events that formed her. Doesn’t the cover have a kind of Simms Taback look to it as well? This is one book I’m definitely looking forward to!
Gold by Jed Alexander
This is actually a book that I’m so excited about that I don’t really even want to talk about it today. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but at the same time I can’t really help it. This is such a gorgeous bit of wordless storytelling that it deserves to be seen widely. If it looks familiar, you may remember that author/illustrator Jed Alexander did a similarly reimagined picture book fairy tale with Red. This book is even better. Set in San Francisco, Alexander wields the color yellow with the greatest of care. Here’s what I wrote to myself about the book:
“Three bears set out on their bikes while a little girl in yellow beelines for their house. In this wordless play on the Goldilocks fable, prepare to have expectations of all sorts upset by a story that redefines what a family can be. Also prepare to be utterly charmed or, at the very least, subtly impressed. We see a lot of books that are skewed takes on Goldilocks (this very year we’ve already seen Bee Waeland’s The Three Bears and Goldilocks) and you kind of get a little sick of them after a while. This book upsets not simply storytime expectations but cultural expectations about who can and cannot be a family. I was pretty much immediately taken in by the San Franciscan setting and the fact that the bears’ bike helmets are so ridiculously small on their huge heads. Then you get to the beautiful use of the color yellow throughout. And of course the mess Goldilocks makes could be attributed to a child trying to “help”. Completely, utterly, wonderful (and wordless!). “
That’s all for today! Stay tuned for the upcoming fourth part in the series. There are LOTS more titles to look out for, you bet.
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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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