Kids New Title Radar, Week of 4/15

Next week brings a new opportunity to get boys excited about reading with a new title from the team of Griffiths and Denton. In picture books, get ready for another sure-fire bedtime book from the author and illustrator who created the enduring best seller, Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site. And, tie-ins are arriving for Lego’s latest theme.

All the titles highlighted here, and more, on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of April 15.

Middle Grade

The 13-story Tree House

The 13-Story Treehouse, Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton, (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends)

Are you a little sick of the refrain, “Boys don’t read … boys stop reading … boys can read but don’t”?

My not-so-secret weapon is Andy Griffiths. Got a third grader who isn’t in to reading yet? Give him Griffiths and Denton’s The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow! and The Cat on the Mat is Flat. It can mean the difference between a kid becoming a life-long non-reader or a fluent confident reader who knows there are books out there to be enjoyed.

This new title is a not-so-tongue-in-cheek memoir of Andy and Terry who live in a 13-story-treehouse, with all the fantasy rooms a kid could dream up; a see-through-pool, a basement laboratory, a marshmallow shooting cannon, a shrink ray AND the ability to transform a cat into flying catnary (click on the cover to see treehouse in its full glory). Let’s not be sexist about the appeal of this volume. All genders of third graders will be fighting over it.

Bad UnicornBad UnicornPlatte F. Clark, (S&S/Aladdin)

Fans of speculative fiction, fantasy adventure, classics like Narnia and modern stories of warlocks and witches will howl with laughter as they readers recognize old and new tropes of the genre.

Middle Grade Series

Septimus Heap, Book Seven  Petrified man

Septimus Heap, Book Seven: Fyre, Angie Sage, (HarperCollins/ Katherine Tegen)

I am thrilled with the arrival of number 7 in this one of my favorite fantasy series for 3rd grade and up.

P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man, Caroline Lawrence,  (Penguin/Putnam Juvenile; RH Listening Library)

Second in this great middle-grade mystery series set in the old West.

For the Librarian 

9780374135065-1My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs, Brian Switek, (Macmillan/Scientific American/FSG)

Brush up on your knowledge of the lateest research on dinosaurs, presented in a fun and engaging way by a young scientist. Also, mine Switek’s blog for fascinating science tidbits to  share with kids.

Picture Books

Steam Train

Steam Train, Dream Train, Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus by Tom Lichtenheld,  (Chronicle Books)

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this rhythmic, rhyming hypnotic vehicle bedtime book from the team who brought us the best selling Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site. It’s another winner.

Love the Bactrian camel!


Again!Again!,  Emily Gravett, (Simon & Schuster YR)

Emily Gravett (Wolves, Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears) is one of the most imaginative, wickedly funny children’s picture book creators today. She scores again with this story of a little dragon with a signature twist at the end that preschoolers will ask for again and again.


9780803735781-1Peanut and Fifi Have A Ball, Randall de Seve, illus by Paul  Schmid, (Penguin/Dial)

Shmid (Pet for Petunia) brings his skill of expressing emotion with color and line to de Seve’s early childhood dilemma of getting someone to share with you.

Penguin on VacationPenguin on Vacation, Salina Yoon, (Walker Childrens)

Salina Yoon, whose boldly colored cartoony figures have great appeal to preschoolers, Do Cows Meow?, begins a new picture book series featuring a little penguin, shown on the cover making friends with a crab.


Spike and Ike Take a Hike

Spike and Ike Take a Hike, S.D. Schindler,  (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen)

Tongue-twisting fun in the rollicking read-aloud as a hedgehog and a coatimundi meet various creatures on their outing, including a “blue-footed booby baby bird.”

TIE-INS — LEGO Legends of Chima

9781465408648 9781465408662

LEGO Legends of Chima: Tribes of Chima, DK Readers (level 2): hdbk and pbk

LEGO Legends of Chima: The Race for CHI, DK Readers (level 3): hdbk and pbk

The various LEGO tie-ins are a huge hit with young readers. Lego’s new Legends of Chima theme launches with a series on the Cartoon Network this summer, an “entertainment zone” in the Legoland theme park, as well as three videogames (for those who were worried by the rumors, the Chima theme will not replace LEGO Ninjago, which continues). Next week, DK is releasing readers to tie-in. Scholastic has already published a Starter Handbook and a chapter book, with more coming in September (all are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet).

Young Adult

Game  Furious

GameBarry Lyga, (Hachette/ Little, Brown YR)

The bloody sequel to I Hunt Killers, in which the son of a serial killer helps police track down a killer.

Furious, Jill Wolfson, (Macmillan/Holt YR)

For the teens who have outgrown the Gods of Olympus series, here is a modern retelling of the legend of the Furies.

Young Adult Fantasy

Taken  Dead Silence

Taken, Erin Bowman, (HarperTeen)

Of interest to the readers of Dashner’s The Maze Runners

Dead Silence, Kimberly Derting, HarperCollins

The fourth in the Body Finder series for the fans of supernatural romance.

Comics and Graphic Novels

Big Nate Game On!Big Nate: Game On! (Big Nate Comic Compilations), Lincoln Peirce (Andrews and McMeel)

Another full-color compilation of Lincoln Peirce’s cartoons featuring Big Nate, the rebellious sixth-grader.

West Coast AvengersAvengers: West Coast Avengers Omnibus, (Marvel)

A bind up of individual comics that include Tigra, Wonder Man, Mockingbird and Iron Man.


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