Ellen Myrick Publisher Preview: Spring 2024 – Floris and Flowerpot Books (Part One)
It’s that time again! Time to get a sneak peek at a slew of smaller publishers, many from all over the globe, but each and every last one of them with books coming out in the U.S. in the Spring of 2024.
If you’re familiar with these previews then you know the drill. Each week I will quickly encapsulate some of the books coming out in the future that have caught my particular eye. I haven’t read most of these yet, but part of what I like about smaller publishers is that they’re often more willing to take chances on titles that the mainstream Big Five won’t. Ellen Myrick of Myrick Marketing is my source for these titles.
Here’s what’s on the menu today:
Cloudlanders by Christopher Mackie
If I told you that this middle grade novel was the winner of the Kelpies Prize, what would you assume that to be? Perhaps you are thinking that the Kelpies Prize for Writing goes to writers in Scotland who want to start a career in children’s books. If so, you’d be right on the money. Now when I look through the books on these lists, Ellen Myrick of Myrick Marketing is describing them to me, lightning fast, and I’m jotting down notes as quickly as my fingers can type. Sometimes I’ll return to those note and be pleasantly surprised by what I find there. For example, for this book, I wrote that it was, “kind of like The Edge Chronicles by Chris Riddell.” Aww. I liked that series back in the day. Now the premise here is that the world has been flooded so, naturally, kids are living in the clouds. Think of the Island of Misfits Toys, if that island were a floating cloud. Quirky and fun.
Finding the Way to Faraway Valley by Cecilia Heikkilä
This little Swedish import may strike your fancy if you’re on the hunt for picture books about an intergenerational appreciation for nature. In this story a grandfather and his grandcub go camping together. And, naturally, where is the first place you’d want to go if you were camping? The Wilderness Store, of course! This otter is about to become my unofficial avatar:
I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the two bears do indeed locate the valley they seek at some point in the story. At its heart, this is a tale about the need to protect and preserve wild spaces. Timely? You don’t know the half of it.
The Prickletrims Go Wild by Marie Dorléans
And speaking of an appreciation of nature…
It wasn’t that long ago that the librarians in my particular location were oohing, ahhing, and generally cooing over a book called The Night Walk. It was a lovely book. So lovely that when i heard that Marie Dorléans had a new one coming out, I was instantly intrigued. This book, however, has a much sillier bent than the old Night Walk ever did. In this tale the Prickletrim family keeps its garden in complete and utter perfection at all times. Not a blade of grass out of place.
Unfortunately for them, one day their gardener just can’t take it anymore and storms out. That’s when things start to get a little wild. Now the Prickletrims need to decide whether to roll with these changes or not.
I love how the patterns on their clothing never change, no matter what their bodies are doing at any given moment. This is a story informing you to bloom where you’re planted but taken to its logical extreme.
The Bumblebee Garden by Dawn Casey and Stella Lim
Bumblebees are weird. Much weirder than honeybees. Much weirder than carpenter bees. And I’m not talking about the whole flying thing when I say this. No, I think it was a year or two ago when I learned how bumblebees survive. We always think of the queen of a hive as being lazy, just laying eggs and that’s that. Are you aware that a bumblebee queen essentially restarts her hive every spring? She’s completely alone and has to lay the eggs, feed the babies, and regrow her subjects from scratch. Every. Single. Spring. Now, from the team that brought you Spin a Scarf of Sunshine comes a story about harvesting honey, the lifecycle of a bumblebee queen, and onomatopoetic sounds. It’s looks just so lovely:
And look! A true description of how bizarre the queen bumblebee is! See, I wasn’t making it all up:
Born Brave by Megan Bomgaars, ill. Quiel Ramos
Folks, IF we are talking about diverse representation and IF we are talking about getting the voices of people from historically marginalized communities to tell their own stories, THEN it makes quite a bit of sense of have someone with Down syndrome writing books with characters that also have the condition. An advocate for the Down syndrome community, Megan Bomgaars uses this book to discuss the things that are scary and what that feels like.
Now I know that just two publishers isn’t a lot in a single day, but stay tuned and I’ll produce even more in the coming weeks. Until then, let’s all look forward to Spring 2024 and thank you to Ellen Myrick!
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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