Ellen Myrick Publisher Preview: Fall 2023/Winter 2024 (Part Two – Pajama Press, Red Comet Press, Scallywag Press & Sleeping Bear Press)
Part Two! This is the post where I round up a bunch of smaller publishers’ publications coming out in Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 (doesn’t that just sound like the distant future?).
To aid me today, I ask that you grant me some patience with these posts. I received feedback recently that while these are nice posts, if I highlight a book and don’t make any kind of a mention of the translator, then what am I even doing? Trouble is, not every publisher provides that kind of information. As such, I’ll make mention of the those people wherever the publishers have taken the time to do their due diligence. Woohoo!
You can see my previous round-up of titles here.
See It Dream It Do It: How 25 People Just Like You Found Their Dream Jobs by Colleen Nelson and Kathie MacIsaac, ill. Scot Ritchie
Publication Date: October 17, 2023
Personally, I don’t think enough attention is paid to those kids that fret constantly about their future. I know that when I was a highly strung child, I perpetuated a continual fret about what my future job prospects might be. It would have done me quite a bit of good to see a book like See It, Dream It, Do It. Career books are always very popular in a library, of course, but I feel like this book offers a level of reassurance that is different. For example, it might say to you, “you like horses – here are the jobs”. Then it’ll show you actual photographs of actual people doing one of these jobs. It even has spinoff jobs as well! With a nicely diverse selection of experts, maybe I just like this book because it appeals to elementary school/middle school me, but doggone it that kid still exists and we have to give her something!
The Great Grrrrr by Marie Sabine Roger and Marjolaine Leray, translator Angus Killick-Yuen!
Publication Date: September 19, 2023
In the case of The Great Grrrrr, the element of surprise is a bit lost when you read the title. This French import is, by all accounts, born for storytimes. In it, a monster is incredibly excited because he gets to deliver a small, pink package. I mean, just look at this punim:
Alas, the woman of the house isn’t home immediately and the monster starts to lose patience:
Long story short, I’m 99% certain that the monster destroys the house. And then the little old lady who lives there comes along . . .
As someone who has been both monster and little old lady in my time, I’m fond of this tale. More to the point, I’m highly intrigued by the way in which Leray depicts those fantastic facial expressions. Just delightful, right down to its endpapers:
The Rescues Finding Home by Tommy Greenwald and Charlie Greenwald, ill. Shiho Pate
Publication Date: September 5, 2023
Does your library hold a program where kids read to dogs? Such programs have been existence for decades now, but that doesn’t mean that the formula to finding the perfect book for a child to read to a pet has been cracked. Enter Tommy Greenwald. Alongside a Charlie Greenwald and an illustrator named Shiho Pate, the three have managed to conjure up a book that may be the perfect reading level for such programs. The essential premise is that it stars two rescue dogs who are adopted together from a shelter. As they explore their new home they make sure to work in plenty of daytime naps along the way. Warning: Cuteness Alert.
Eye Spy by Ruth Brown
Publication Date: October 3, 2023
The old “I spy with my little eye game” gets a kick in the pants thanks to this lovely little, mildly retro, book. With all the trappings of classic Jerry Pinkney, the premise is kind of neat. A range of camouflaged animals appear on these pages and you have to spot them. It’s sort of what you’d get if Animalia spread itself out and worked in some science along the way. Here’s a taste of what I mean:
Okay. I’m a sucker for a good cover. Now feast your eyes on this:
Street Monsters by Barbara Joosse, ill. Kevin M. Barry
Publication Date: August 15, 2023
That’s pretty great.
Also pretty great is the premise. You know when you’re a kid and you’re tucked in bed all safe and sound, when suddenly these awful screetching noises come from outside? The mind may be prey to some pretty wild imaginings when this occurs. Enter, the street monsters. These are, obviously, the monsters that take care of our streets at night. I’ve been a fan of Barbara Joosse for years, and this is precisely the kind of premise that can appeal to kids and their parents alike. And, since this is the year 2023, you even get some swanky nonfiction backmatter with photographs at the end. Not too shabby, eh?
A longer round-up next week, scout’s honor. In the meantime, be sure to keep an eye peeled for these truly interesting looking titles!
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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