The Children’s Book Review | October 4, 2017
20 New Release Picture Books
We have 20 A-mazing picture books to share with you this month. We’re almost positive there are some soon-to-be award-winners hidden among this list. Don’t just take our word for it though, take a gander for yourself! Of the 20 best new picture books we have selected for you to read your way through, we wonder which one you are going to want to read first?
Written and Illustrated by Thyra Heder
Publisher’s Synopsis: Nia loves Alfie, her pet turtle. But he’s not very soft, he doesn’t do tricks, and he’s pretty quiet. Sometimes she forgets he’s even there! That is until the night before Nia’s seventh birthday, when nAlfie disappears! Then, in an innovative switch in point of view, we hear Alfie’s side of the story. He didn’t leave Nia—he’s actually searching for the perfect birthday present for his dear friend. Can he find a gift and make it back in time for the big birthday party?
From the author-illustrator of Fraidyzoo and The Bear Report comes a warm and funny ode to friendship—even when the friends see the relationship, and the world, very differently.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers | October 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1419725296
Written by Julia Denos
Illustrated by E.B. Goodale
Publisher’s Synopsis: Walking his dog at dusk, one boy catches glimpses of the lives around him in this lovely ode to autumn evenings, exploring your neighborhood, and coming home.
Before your city goes to sleep, you might head out for a walk, your dog at your side as you go out the door and into the almost-night. Anything can happen on such a walk: you might pass a cat, or a friend, or even an early raccoon. And as you go down your street and around the corner, the windows around you light up one by one until you are walking through a maze of paper lanterns, each one granting you a brief, glowing snapshot of your neighbors as families come together and folks settle in for the night. With a setting that feels both specific and universal and a story full of homages to The Snowy Day, Julia Denos and E. B. Goodale have created a singular book — at once about the idea of home and the magic of curiosity, but also about how a sense of safety and belonging is something to which every child is entitled.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Candlewick | October 17, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763690359
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Publisher’s Synopsis: This is a story about a duck and mouse who get swallowed by a wolf, and then decide to live in his belly.
Early one morning a mouse met a wolf
and was quickly gobbled up.
When a woeful mouse is swallowed by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs, and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! Turns out it’s pretty nice in there, with delicious food and elegant table settings, courtesy of the wolf’s unchecked gluttony. And there’s something even better: no more fear of being eaten by a wolf! In fact, life is pretty good, until a hunter shows up. . . . With a nod to traditional fables and a wink to the reader, the award-winning Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen offer a tale of cooperation and creative cuisine that is sure to go down easy.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick | October 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763677541
Written by Laurel Snyder
Illustrated by Emily Hughes
Publisher’s Synopsis: In this heartwarming sequel to Laurel Snyder’s beginning chapter book Charlie & Mouse, the two brothers enjoy a special visit from their grandpa, Grumpy. Follow along as they discuss being medium, pounce each other, sing the wrong songs, build blanket forts, and more. Paired with effervescent illustrations by Emily Hughes, this touching, funny celebration of imagination and bonding will enchant readers young and old.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | October 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1452137483
Written by Linda Ashman
Illustrated by Chuck Groenink
Publisher’s Synopsis: Just when William is ready to fall asleep in his cozy cabin, there is a tap on his window. A chilly chipmunk asks to stay, and Will scooches over in bed. “There’s room for two–I’m sure we’ll fit.” The chipmunk is just the first in a parade of mammals, each bigger than the last, until the bed is full. Then a note is slipped beneath the door: “Do you have room for just one more?” William tugs the door to see who’s there . . . only to find a great big BEAR! Is there enough space to spare? Will the other animals be willing to share?
Ages 5-6 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | October 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1484722824
Written by Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Publisher’s Synopsis: A poetic story inspired by Psalm 121
Jordan lives in fear of Tanya, the class bully. But Tanya has worries of her own, no matter how much she tries to ignore them. It seems impossible that Jordan and Tanya could be anything other than enemies, but the Lord is watching over them, guiding each of them along a path that might just help them to understand one another.
Nikki Grimes takes the words of a Psalm 121 and masterfully transforms them into a golden shovel poem of compassion, friendship, and faith. Coupled with powerful artwork from Bryan Collier, this heartfelt story is one that readers will treasure.
Ages 6-10 | Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers | October 9, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0802854452
Written by Céline Claire
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Publisher’s Synopsis: Céline Claire’s heartwarming picture book story delivers a timeless and timely message about the importance of kindness and generosity. With simple and evocative language, it explores how even small gestures can make a big difference to the strangers or outsiders in a community. Artist Qin Leng uses a warm, soft palette in her ink and watercolor illustrations creating a charming and inviting visual narrative that is perfect for young children. This book provides a wonderful opportunity for discussions about being welcoming and helping others in need, including how children can put this into practice by reaching out to the new kid, or the one who seems different. It also works well for character education lessons on kindness, caring and empathy.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Kids Can Press | October 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1771389273
Written by Malala Yousafzai
Illustrated by Kerascoët
Publisher’s Synopsis: Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Malala Yousafzai’s first picture book, inspired by her own childhood.
Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them.
As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.
This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala’s story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Oct. 17, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0316319577
Written and Illustrated by Sharee Miller
Publisher’s Synopsis: Princesses with curls wear pearls.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Oct. 31, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0316562614
Written by Kathryn Erskine
Illustrated by Charly Palmer
Publisher’s Synopsis: Miriam Makeba, a Grammy Award–winning South African singer, rose to fame in the hearts of her people at the pinnacle of apartheid―a brutal system of segregation similar to American Jim Crow laws. Mama Africa, as they called her, raised her voice to help combat these injustices at jazz clubs in Johannesburg; in exile, at a rally beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and before the United Nations.
Set defiantly in the present tense, this biography offers readers an intimate view of Makeba’s fight for equality. Kathryn Erskine’s call-and-response style text and Charly Palmer’s bold illustrations come together in a raw, riveting duet of protest song and praise poem. A testament to how a single voice helped to shake up the world―and can continue to do so.
Ages 6-10 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Oct. 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0374303013
Written by Barbara Herkert
Illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Publisher’s Synopsis: A lyrical biography of E. B. White, beloved author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, written by Barbara Herkert and illustrated by Caldecott honoree Lauren Castillo.
When young Elwyn White lay in bed as a sickly child, a bold house mouse befriended him. When the time came for kindergarten, an anxious Elwyn longed for the farm, where animal friends awaited him at the end of each day. Propelled by his fascination with the outside world, he began to jot down his reflections in a journal. Writing filled him with joy, and words became his world.
Today, Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web are beloved classics of children’s literature, and E. B. White is recognized as one of the finest American writers of all time.
Ages 5-9 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | Oct. 24, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1627792455
Written by Kathryn Otoshi
Publisher’s Synopsis: Draw the Line is a powerful picture book about forgiveness from Kathryn Otoshi, author of the bestselling book One.
When two boys draw their own lines and realize they can connect them together―magic happens!
But a misstep causes their lines to get crossed.
Push! Pull! Tug! Yank!
Soon their line unravels into an angry tug-of-war.
With a growing rift between them, will the boys ever find a way to come together again?
Acclaimed author/illustrator Kathryn Otoshi uses black and white illustrations with thoughtful splashes of color to create a powerful, multi-layered statement about friendship, boundaries, and healing after conflict.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | Oct. 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1626725638
Written and Illustrated by Dan Santat
Publisher’s Synopsis: From the New York Times–bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.
Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?
Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.
Will he summon the courage to face his fear?
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | Oct. 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1626726826
Written by Marc Harshman and Anna Egan Smucker
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Publisher’s Synopsis: In Bear Run, Pennsylvania, a home unlike any other perches atop a waterfall. The water’s tune plays differently in each of its sunlight-dappled rooms; the structure itself blends effortlessly into the rock and forest behind it. This is Fallingwater, a masterpiece equally informed by meticulous research and unbounded imagination, designed by the lauded American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
This book guides readers through Wright’s process designing Fallingwater, from his initial inspirations to the home’s breathtaking culmination. It is a exploration of a man, of dreams, and of the creative process; a celebration of potential. Graceful prose and rich, dynamic illustrations breathe life into the story of Frank and Fallingwater, a man and home utterly unlike any other.
Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | Oct. 17, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1596437180
Written and Illustrated by Sandra Dieckmann
Publisher’s Synopsis: When a polar bear arrives unexpectedly in the woods, the animals fear and avoid him, suspecting him to be dangerous – and his habit of collecting leaves only adds to their distrust. Then one day, they watch as he attempts to fly over the water with wings made of colorful leaves…just trying to go home.
Maybe he needs some help?
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Flying Eye Books | Oct. 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1911171317
Written by Margarita Engle
Illustrated by Raúl Colón
Publisher’s Synopsis: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra finds refuge from his difficult childhood by imagining the adventures of a brave but clumsy knight.
This fictionalized first-person biography in verse of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra follows the early years of the child who grows up to pen Don Quixote, the first modern novel. The son of a gambling, vagabond barber-surgeon, Miguel looks to his own imagination for an escape from his family’s troubles and finds comfort in his colorful daydreams. At a time when access to books is limited and imaginative books are considered evil, Miguel is inspired by storytellers and wandering actors who perform during festivals. He longs to tell stories of his own. When Miguel is nineteen, four of his poems are published, launching the career of one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language.
Award-winning author Margarita Engle’s distinctive picture book depiction of the childhood of the father of the modern novel, told in a series of free verse poems, is enhanced by Raúl Colón’s stunning illustrations. Backmatter includes a note from both the author and illustrator as well as additional information on Cervantes and his novel Don Quixote.
Ages 5-9 | Publisher: Peachtree Publishers | Oct. 1, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1561458561
Written by Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by Mary GrandPré
Publisher’s Synopsis: A gorgeous, lyrical picture-book biography of Vincent van Gogh by the Caldecott Honor team behind The Noisy Paint Box.
Vincent can’t sleep . . .
out, out, out he runs!
flying through the garden—marigold, geranium, blackberry, raspberry—
past the church with its tall steeple, down rolling hills and sandy paths meant for sheep,
He dives at last into the velvety, violet heath, snuggles under a blanket of sapphire sky,
and looks up, up, up . . . to visit with the stars.
Vincent van Gogh often found himself unable to sleep and wandered under starlit skies. Those nighttime experiences provided the inspiration for many of his paintings, including his most famous, The Starry Night. Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime—but he continued to pursue his unique vision, and ultimately became one of the most beloved artists of all time.
From the same team behind the Caldecott Honor Book The Noisy Paint Box, Vincent Can’t Sleep is a stunning book that offers insight into the true meaning of creativity and commitment.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | Oct. 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1101937105
Written by Langston Hughes
Illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Publisher’s Synopsis: “Dream Variation,” one of Langston Hughes’s most celebrated poems, about the dream of a world free of discrimination and racial prejudice, is now a picture book stunningly illustrated by Daniel Miyares, the acclaimed creator of Float.
To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done….
Langston Hughes’s inspiring and timeless message of pride, joy, and the dream of a better life is brilliantly and beautifully interpreted in Daniel Miyares’s gorgeous artwork.
Follow one African-American boy through the course of his day as the harsh reality of segregation and racial prejudice comes into vivid focus. But the boy dreams of a different life—one full of freedom, hope, and wild possibility, where he can fling his arms wide in the face of the sun.
Hughes’s powerful vision, brought joyously to life by Daniel Miyares, is as relevant—and necessary—today as when it was first written.
Ages 5+ | Publisher: Schwartz & Wade | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-039955017
Written and Illustrated by Ellie MacKay
Publisher’s Synopsis: It is a cold and rainy evening when Gran gives her granddaughter something special: tickets to the ballet. Her granddaughter is reluctant to go. The weather is terrible and they have to wear fancy, uncomfortable clothes. But as the curtains rise on The Nutcracker, the girl’s eyes light up as she’s introduced to the magic of the theater. The bright costumes, the intricate dances, the magical music, and a new friend all combine to captivate the girl and to bring color to an otherwise dreary evening.
Waltz of the Snowflakes is Elly MacKay at her finest, mixing her acclaimed paper-cut artwork with vibrant colors in this whimsical, dreamlike, and inspiring wordless picture book. A must-have for any ballet- and theater-obsessed reader and the perfect gift to be shared during the holidays or any time of year when the world outside needs a little bit of color and vibrancy.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Running Press | Oct. 17, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0762453382
Written and Illustrated by Julie Kim
Publisher’s Synopsis: Beautifully illustrated and told by debut author Julie Kim, this picture book in a graphic-novel style follows a young Korean girl and boy whose search for their missing grandmother leads them into a world inspired by Korean folklore, complete with mischievous goblins (dokkebi), a greedy tiger, a clever rabbit, and a wily fox.
Two young children pay a visit to Halmoni (grandmother in Korean), only to discover she’s not home. As they search for her, noticing animal tracks covering the floor, they discover a window, slightly ajar, new to their grandmother’s home. Their curiosity gets the best of them, and they crawl through and discover an unfamiliar fantastical world, and their adventure begins. As they continue to search for their grandmother and solve the mystery of the tracks, they go deeper into a world of Korean folklore, meeting a number of characters who speak in Korean along the way, and learn more about their cultural heritage.
This beautifully illustrated graphic picture book is filled with a number of Easter eggs for readers of all ages to discover, and is inspired by the Korean folktales that author and illustrator Julie Kim heard while growing up. Translations to Korean text in the story and more about the folktale-inspired characters are included at the end.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Little Bigfoot | Oct. 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1632170774