Kids New Title Radar, Week of 7/22

How time flies. Next week brings the fiftieth in the now classic series, Magic Tree House #50: Hurry Up, Houdini! (Random House BYR). Also cause for celebration is another new title in a series, My Weird School Special: It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green! (HarperCollins), the perfect early chapter books for newly fluent readers.

Below are some other titles to on our radar for next week. All the titles highlighted here, plus many more, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of 7/22.

Picture Books

The Case of the Missing DonutThe Case of the Missing Donut, Alison Mcghee, Isabel Roxas, (Penguin/Dial)

This one leapt instantly to the top of the must-read pile on the basis of Alison McGhee’s name alone. Love her picture books, A Very Brave Witch and Countdown to Kindergarten illustrated by Harry Bliss and her gently lyrical books with Peter Reynolds. We adore her partnership with Kate DiCamillo, in the award winning series, Bink and Golly. Her middle grade Julia Gillian trilogy is an under-the-radar gem.

She has broken out new illustrators like Taeeun Yoo who was perfectly matched in her Only a Witch Can Fly. Now we have this lovely picture book illustrated by Isabel Roxas in her U.S. Debut. McGhee’s dry humor is perfectly matched with these “pictures that tell more than the words.”

Kirkus concurs; “Roxas’ charming illustrations are drawn with graphite and colored digitally in subtle but appealing hues. A hint of sepia echoes the faux homespun language and Western theme. They showcase a clean, friendly small town of leafy streets and small shops, populated with perky cartoon-style characters.”

Planes Fly!Planes Fly!George Ella Lyon, Mick Wiggins, (S&S/Atheneum BYR)

An exuberant celebration of nearly everything about flight, from the plane parts to the thrill of being in the air (of course, there’s nothing about long security lines or lost luggage). The bouncing verse mimics the exhilaration of flying and the retro illustrations do what early travel posters were designed to do; make you want to be a part of the fun (check out the spreads on Edelweiss).

Middle Grade

True Blue ScoutsThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Kathi Appelt, (S&S/Atheneum BYR)

Kathi Appelt is a singular voice and got raves for The Underneath, but that story of darkness and betrayal cloaked in lyrical language was not my cup of tea. For those, who, like me turned the pages of The Underneath with trepidation, fear not. As librarians often say, every book is not for every child. This one is, as I write in my review  in last Sunday’s NYT BR.

Binny for ShortBinny for Short, Hilary McKay, (S&S/Margaret K. McElderry)

If you haven’t discovered Hilary McKay, her humor, her characters and her ability to express children’s “big feelings” within the context of family life, you are in for a treat. Do not miss Saffy’s Angelthe beginning of the Casson family series. Binny for Short introduces us a strong, sensitive and expressive little girl in the midst of big changes and developing friendships.

BlufftonBluffton: My Summer with Buster Keaton, Matt Phelan, (Candlewick)

Matt Phelan takes us to places that we have never been and may never have experienced except through his exquisite visual storytelling. In this case, it’s a little-known artist’s colony on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1908.


Young Adult

The Counterfeit Family treeThe Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong, L. Tam  Holland, (S&S BYR)

Vee Crawford-Wong has been assigned to write his family history. Only as he tells it, in his family “We didn’t like to upset each other. That’s why we couldn’t talk about anything. That’s why I didn’t know anything. That’s why I couldn’t do my homework which is why I was going to flunk history. It was all my parents’ fault.” Debut author Holland has captured the authentic snarky voice of this high-schooler delving into his families secrets.

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