Ellen Myrick Publisher Preview: Fall 2023/Winter 2024 (Part Six – Diamond, Eye of Newt, & Floris Books)
Onward and upward, dear friends! Today I’ve even more books from small publishers to tell you about. Here are links to the posts I’ve done before (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five). And here are the beauties you may wish to know more about:
Shepherdess Warriors by Jonathan Garnier and Amelie Flechais
Pub Date: August 8, 2023
You know what I like even better than warriors? Sheep! This is actually true. And in this graphic novel for kids, I get both! I believe this is a French import (though, alas, I don’t know who the translator might be) and these suspicions are rooted in the fact that it’s already been a winner of the Angouleme Prize for the best graphic novels for kids between the ages of 8-12. This book, the first in a series, is a medieval fantasy inspired by Celtic legends. In it, the men of a village left ten years ago to go fight in the wars but they never returned. Since that time the women have created a kind of Amazonian warrior women group to defend their homes. The story focuses on a girl who wants to be a Shepherdess Warrior too and is growing into that role. Woot! Xena vibes! Love it!
The Garden Witch by Kyle Beaudette
Pub Date: September 5, 2023
The info given about this book compares it to the works of Edward Gorey or Quentin Blake, but I think the true spiritual ancestor of the tale would have to be William Steig, don’t you agree? Our heroine is the titular character herself. She has a marvelous magical garden and that would be great, but there’s one problem. No one wants to buy anything from her or visit the garden. The garden itself pities the poor witch so it makes a sentient turnip boy for her as a friend. And this, as it turns out, is a very good solution. Love the faces in this one, and who can resist talking turnips? Not I, said the fly.
Gwelf: Into the Hinterlands by Larry MacDougall
Pub Date: April 2, 2024
I dunno. They’re telling me that this one is for Redwall fans but with its text-happy layouts and lushly illustrated pages what this truly reminds me of is Dinotopia. But it’s entirely possible that game designer Kyle Beaudette is a fan of Redwall. After all, the story is that he’s been dreaming of Gwelf since he was a child. Is there a category out there for high animal fantasy? Because if so, I think that this fits the bill.
I Will Swim Next Time by Emily Joof and Matilda Ruta
Pub Date: September 5, 2023
Oh yes! This is precisely the kind of book I want to see! First and foremost, Emily Joof is a self-described Gambian – Malian – French Swedish author who chosen as one of 60 Most Influential African Women in Media 2021. So that’s awesome. Next, this is a tale of being afraid to go into the water, sure, but it’s also a story about being brave and taking your time to do the things. For my part, what I love is both the expressions on the characters and the art itself. I mean, just consider these gorgeous waves!! This one is undoubtedly a keeper:
One Christmas in Our Building: A Very Merry Mystery by Johanna Lindemann and Andrea Stegmaier
Pub Date: September 19, 2023
The Pitch: Only Murders in the Building but it’s Christmas and instead of a murder it’s a missing turkey. Who the heck took took this family’s turkey? The book consists of interviews with everyone in the building and, in doing so, that clues everyone in to the fact that they now have no Christmas dinner. I think you see where this is going. What’s nice is that the neighbors all have different traditions and are able to combine them a special day. There are also a range of different kinds of families, which is a must these days. I’m always looking out for more holiday fare, and this one? Fits the bill.
Be More Dog Caroline Crowe and Carlos Vélez
Pub Date: October 3, 2023
I took one look at the very good boy on this cover and instantly was reminded of another dog book from days of yore. Anyone out there familiar with The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins? I was getting some serious Perkins vibes from this book jacket, but as it happens I should have been thinking of a different fictional character: Ted Lasso. You see this dog has a superpower: Happiness. Got a deflated soccer ball? Your dad is gone for the whole day? Let this pup not only distract you but maybe offer you some serious wordless advice that you can use.
And that’s all she wrote, folks! Until next week, I hope you keep these in mind for the fall.
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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