Publisher Preview: Ellen Myrick Presents Small Presses (Part Four!)
This preview of a host of smaller publishers continues! If you missed the first part of this multi-pronged publisher preview, you can catch Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here. Today, we’re kicking it off with some new comics!
Everyday Hero Machine Boy by Irma Kniivila, ill. Tri Vuong
Graphic novel time! It’s funny, but somehow I first heard about this book months and months ago. If you get your hands on an Advanced Reading Galley you’ll see that there’s a blurb from Faith Erin Hicks there that calls this, “Astro Boy meets The Iron Giant,” which is a pretty good description. Our main character is just a kid. A robot alien kid! Shot onto our planet where, thanks to a bird and a karate kicking grandpa, his heart is awakened, now he’s using his powers for good. But is there more to this Machine Boy than meets the eye? Check out the gorgeous visuals in this one:
Thunderous by M.L. Smoker, ill. Natalie Peeterse
This next one is legitimately very very cool. So M.L. Smoker is a member of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana and, while she’s at it, she also happens to be the Poet Laureate of Montana. Not content with that whole “Poet Laureate” thing, she’s now writing middle grade graphic novels, beginning with a story about Aiyana. Sick to death of her Lakota heritage she gets in over her head when her parents are taken to the Spirit World and she’s pursued by a trickster Raven. And just look at that fun art too!
Animal Castle by Xavier Dorison and Felix Delep
Okay, and since my specialty is children’s books, I really and truly shouldn’t show you this particular book, but the art is just so incredibly beautiful that I hadn’t much of a choice in the matter. If ever you liked Animal Farm but wished it were just a little more . . medieval, then I’ve got the book for you. This YA and older tale shows what happens when animals take over a castle. Gritty? You don’t know the half of it.
The Last Rainbow Bird by Nora Brech
Little did I suspect when I wrote my blog post This One’s For the Publishers: Books You Should Bring to America this past March, Floris had already secured the rights to this little Norwegian beauty. When I saw it at the Bologna Book Fair I hadn’t a clue what it was about. I just liked the art. But the plot, if you need one, follows two girls as they attempt to help out their friend, a Professor of ornithology, locate a mate for the last of the rainbow birds. If you’re a fan of a nice susurration then this is definitely the book for you.
Our Incredible Library Book by Caroline Crowe, ill. John Joseph
Sometimes a single image in a book stymies me. Such was the case with this particular title. The plot is quite fun. It essentially chronicles where each of a library book’s stains came from in the course of its life. But then I saw this image. NYC librarians back me up on this one . . .
Is that, or is that not, the Morningside Heights Branch of NYPL? Same window. Same view. Same floor layout. And yet the illustrator, one Mr. John Joseph, is a Colorado man. How could he have replicated it so well? I am flummoxed, that’s for sure.
The Fearless Little Farm Boy by Astrid Lindgren, ill. Marit Tornqvist
There’s no booklist so good that a little Astrid Lindgren (creator of Pippi Longstocking) can’t make it better. Now one of her picture books has been newly reillustrated. Wanna hear something cool? Marit, the new illustrator in question, actually knew Lindgren when she (Marit) was a child. Pretty neat. This particular story is about a bull who is having a bad day. Who can calm him down? Would you believe this kid? Might make a fun pairing with Ferdinand sometime.
Cultured Donuts : Take a Bite Out of Art History by Chloe Tyler
I like donuts. Odds are you probably do too. You know who really likes them, though? Kids. So imagine a book that shows the different styles of different artists all within the context and medium of . . . pink frosted donut. And just because I’m a stand up kind of guy, here’s the Table of Contents on ALL the different donut styles in the book:
Some enterprising donut shop needs to get in on this. Here’s what one of them looks like, by the way:
More next week! Thanks for reading!
Filed under: Publisher Previews
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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