Kids New Title Radar — Week of Feb. 11

Picture books are in the spotlight this week, with new titles from several old favorites. In Young Adult, a dystopian novel, Maggot Moon, breaks new ground and causes controversy. These titles, plus several more, are on our downloadable spreedsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 11.

Picture Books

  Maisy Learns to Swim 978-0-7636-6242-4

Maisy Learns to Swim: A Maisy First Experiences Book, Lucy Cousins, (Candlewick)

Maisy Grows a Garden: A Maisy First Science Book, Lucy Cousins, (Candlewick)

It’s time to refresh the preschool collection with these two new titles from early childhood rockstar, Cousins. In the first title, part of the Maisy First Experiences series, she goes to her first swim class. In the second, a Maisy First Science  book, kids can use pull-tabs to learn what will grow from the seeds Maisy plants.

Stink and the Freaky Frog FreakoutStink and the Freaky Frog Freakout (Book #8), Megan McDonald, illus by Peter H. Reynolds, (Candlewick Brilliance Audio)

If someone made me pick my favorite series for newly fluent readers, my first choice among second and third grade early chapter books would be Judy Moody and her little brother Stink. I was positively gleeful when I heard that the next one was imminent.

One GorillaOne Gorilla: A Counting Book, Anthony Browne, (Candlewick)

As demonstrated by the cover, every one of the primates in this series of portraits display a distinct personality. The book ends with U.K. Children’s Laureate Browne’s own self-portrait and a group of other humans, to show that, despite their variations, they are,  “All primates. All one family. All my family, and yours!”

Doug UnpluggedDoug Unplugged, Dan Yaccarino (RH/Alfred A. Knopf)

Picture books about the  difficulty of making friends are featured in this week’s NYT Book Review‘s “Children’s Books” column. Yaccarino’s book, in which a young robot discovers the joys of the analog life, is called the “pick of the litter.”


Young Adult

Maggot MoomMaggot Moon, Sally Gardner, Julian Crouch, (Candlewick; Briliance Audio)

On PW’s list of Most Anticipated for Spring (Children’s): “Gardner’s story of a boy taking a stand against a totalitarian government was one of the much-discussed titles at last year’s Bologna Book Fair. While dystopian YA novels are a dime a dozen these days, Gardner’s (alternate) historical setting and dyslexic narrator set this book apart.”  It’s continuing to provoke discussion; reviews are polar opposites. Kirkus calls it “a book with a message but no resonance,” while VOYA see is as a “dark, haunting tale of secrets, lies, and those who fight for the truth.” The Wall Street Journal is a fan, calling it “a brilliant, shattering” novel that “suddenly [makes] dystopia feels new again; it reclaims its power to shock.”

Out of the EasyOut of The Easy, Ruta Sepetys, (Penguin/Philomel)

Septys’ first novel, Between Shades of Gray, may have gained some readers who expected a quite a different book, but with a similar title. This new title is set in the New Orleans’ French Quarter. Librarians on YA GalleyChat were “head over heels in love” with it, calling it “very smart, very realistic, and very much an award-winner with juge crossover appeal.” Reviewers concur. Says Kirkus,”With a rich and realistic setting, a compelling and entertaining first-person narration, a colorful cast of memorable characters and an intriguing storyline, this is a surefire winner. Immensely satisfying.” It is also reviewed in Sunday’s NYT Book Review


Indigo SpellThe Indigo Spell, Richelle Mead, (Penguin/Razorbill)

The third book in The Bloodlines series got advance attention from Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog; “After her (hot!) dalliance with the irresistible Moroi Adrian in The Golden Lily, Sydney is struggling more and more to stick to her Alchemist teachings…[and] dares to hope that she might break free of the life she’s known… and embrace a love she thought to be forbidden…Edward Cullen, eat your heart out.” The adaptation of Blood Sisters, the first in Mead’s Vampire Academy series is moving forward. It is set to be directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Spiderwick Chronicles) with Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) and Australian actress Lucy Fry set to star. Production is expected to begin this summer.

SeverSever, Lauren DeStefano, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The Kirkus reviewer was not a fan of this third book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, ” in this rushed effort to tie up loose ends, holes are left in its wake. Fans will delight in the symbolism and clues from the cover, but they will ultimately find the trilogy’s conclusion unsatisfactory.”  DeStefano has just signed a deal for a new series, The Internment Chronicles, set to be begin next April with Perfect Ruin.


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