Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
The Other Rabbit

Maranke Rinck, illus. by Martijn van der Linden. Lemniscaat USA (IPS, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-935954-46-0

If someone asked David Lynch to create a story based on the game Memory, the result might be something like this picture book from the Dutch team of Rinck and van der Linden, who previously collaborated on I Feel a Foot! (2008). It opens with a Memory-esque scattering of blue squares: “Rabbit is looking for the other rabbit.” Instead he finds a red airplane and sets off to find his pair. “Where’s the other rabbit?” he asks a flock of blue birds that look like they’re on their way to becoming an Escher pattern. They don’t know, and after Rabbit’s plane crashes on an island, he meets a king, a red chicken, herds of animals, and a dragon, all of whom have their own identical matches. From one page to the next, there’s almost no telling what’s about to happen, and the somewhat opaque language doesn’t exactly help (“The fish carry [Rabbit] some of the way. Until they find some other fish and all the fish swim off together”). All in all, it’s more doppelganger creepy than twin cute. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Is Mommy?

Victoria Chang, illus. by Marla Frazee. S&S/Beach Lane, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-
0292-7

Poet Chang (The Boss) makes her children’s debut with a dialogue between children and an unseen narrator, which Frazee (The Farmer and the Clown) draws with raucous exuberance. The cast is a crayon box of round-headed elfin preschoolers—a red one in polka dots, a green one with many pigtails, and so on. “Is Mommy tall or short?” the narrator asks the polka-dot girl. A spread shows the alternatives, comically exaggerated: does her mommy tower over her, or is she a tiny doll? A page turn reveals her shouted reply: “Short!” A child in orange pajamas joins her. “Is Mommy pretty... or ugly?” (the child’s groggy mother awakens with a wild, spiky bedhead and puffy slits for eyes). “Ugly!” yells orange pajamas. The children always choose the rudest option, but the group answers the final question (“Do you love your short, ugly, mean, boring, old, messy mommy?”) with a resounding “Yes!” There are many mothers who feel beleaguered enough without signing up for a readaloud like this, but the children’s anarchic glee rings very true. Up to age 5. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Once Upon a Time in Japan

Japan Broadcasting Corp., trans. from the Japanese by Roger Pulvers and Juliet Winters Carpenter. Tuttle, $16.95 (120p) ISBN 978-4-8053-1359-6

“Tales are the starting-place of wisdom, and their lessons are universal,” writes Pulvers in an introduction to this engaging grouping of eight Japanese folktales. As in many folktales from other traditions, wicked figures get their just deserts (a greedy fox loses its tail after conning an otter out of several meals) and kindnesses are rewarded; in one story, a young man whose magical hood allows him to understand animals uses his power to help heal an ailing merchant’s daughter, whom he eventually marries. Four artists illustrate using a variety of media (scratchboard, paint, digital college); the brevity of the stories and the dominance of the artwork give the book the feel of a picture-book compilation, though some stories (a witch with a mouth on top of her head meets a bloody end in the first tale) aren’t necessarily bedtime fare. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Feathers, Paws, Fins and Claws: Fairy-Tale Beasts

Edited by Jennifer Schacker and Christine A. Jones, illus. by Lina Kusaite. Wayne State Univ., $24.99 (136p) ISBN 978-0-8143-4069-1

In a collection fit for both academic audiences and younger readers curious about the history of tales they thought they knew, Schacker and Jones gather 10 animal-centric fairy tales from around the globe, altering the stories as little as possible—many of these translations and retellings date to the late 19th century, though the tales themselves can be older. Among the most familiar stories are “The Story of the Three Bears” (this version dates to 1890 and features a rude old woman instead of a nosy blonde girl) and the Norwegian tale “East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon.” Kusaite’s expressively drafted pencil illustrations lavish attention on the fur, feathers, and scales of the majestic, mysterious creatures at the heart of these stories. Ages 8–15. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes

Rick Riordan, illus. by John Rocco. Disney-Hyperion, $24.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4231-8365-5

The demigod son of Poseidon offers his take on 12 figures from Greek myth in this irreverent and informative follow-up to Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods (2014). Jokey contemporary references appear in quick succession (“We know you have a lot of options when choosing a directional wind, and we appreciate your business,” Zephyrus, god of the west wind, tells Psyche); Rocco takes a comparatively old-school approach with his moody portraits of Hercules, Atalanta, and others. Percy’s existing fans and newcomers will be equally delighted. It’s worth it just to watch Riordan/Percy squirm through the myths’ ickier details, such as Pasiphaë’s seduction of a bull: “This is a good time for all of us to put down the book again, run around in circles screaming, ‘Ewww!’ and wash our eyes out with Visine.” Ages 8–12. Agent: Nancy Gallt, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
True Heroes: A Treasury of Modern-Day Fairy Tales Written by Best-Selling Authors

Ally Condie, Shannon Hale, et al., photos by Jonathan Diaz. Shadow Mountain, $19.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-62972-103-3

Proceeds from this collection of 21 stories—contributing authors include Ally Condie, Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, Bobbie Pyron, and J. Scott Savage—benefit the Anything Can Be project, which fights pediatric cancer. The stories are inspired by children with cancer, and photographer (and Anything Can Be founder) Diaz presents dramatic photographs of the children dressed as firefighters, superheroes, pirates, and more to open each story. Hale recasts Lilly, born with Ewing’s sarcoma, as a warrior princess facing down a goblin army, while Liesl Shurtliff weaves an imaginative Alice in Wonderland–style story, complete with size-shifting, for a girl named Jordan, who died months after being diagnosed with bone cancer. The photography, heroic adventures, and profiles of the children who inspired them add up to a project that’s inspiring and moving on multiple levels. Ages 8–11. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Mythical Creatures

Theresa Breslin, illus. by Kate Leiper. Floris (SteinerBooks, dist.), $24.95 (194p) ISBN 978-1-78250-195-4

In a companion to An Illustrated History of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales, Breslin presents 11 tales about creatures of Scottish legend. Each opens with a brief introductory passage providing historical or geographical context, and a glossary defines potentially unfamiliar creatures, places, and terms, from bana-bhuise (witch) to wheest (be quiet). The child-centric stories unfold with a natural storyteller’s cadence: a boy named McKenzie learns that the monster of Loch Ness is more helpful than fearful, while a tale about the lighthouse at Bell Rock, built to keep sailors safe from mer-folk, features a cameo by a young Robert Louis Stevenson. Leiper’s illustrations are gracefully integrated into the text passages and make it easy to see Scotland as a place where magic lurks in every bog, crag, and stretch of coastline. Ages 6–up. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Creatures of the Deep

Matthew Rake, illus. by Simon Mendez. Lerner/Hungry Tomato, $7.99 trade paper (32p) ISBN 978-1-4677-7643-1

In one of four titles launching the Real-Life Monsters series, Rake rates 10 ocean-dwelling animals with extreme characteristics according to size, power, strength, aggression, and deadliness. In last place, the lowly blobfish earns only six points (“The blobfish’s saggy, droopy flesh means it doesn’t have much muscle”), while the fabulously named “sarcastic fringehead” (after the Greek word sarkasmos) transforms from a mild-looking fish into a viperlike horror, earning 10 points for aggression alone. Photographs of each animal fill the pages, augmented with occasional diagrams—readers won’t soon forget the terrifying, gaping jaws of creatures like the anglerfish and goblin shark. Simultaneously available: Creatures of the Rain Forest, Creepy, Crawly Creatures, and Scaly, Slippery Creatures. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Koala Hospital

Suzi Eszterhas. Owlkids (PGW, dist.), $18.95 (44p) ISBN 978-1-77147-140-4

In this first book in the Wildlife Rescue series, photographer Eszterhas documents the work of Cheyne Flanagan and volunteers at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie, Australia, where they rehabilitate injured, sick, and orphaned koalas. After being examined at the hospital, baby koalas are sent to live with human foster mothers: “The joey will cling to the foster mom as she moves around the house, even while she watches TV, washes the dishes, or reads a book.” The moments captured in Eszterhas’s crisp photographs are as adorable as one would expect, and facts about koala characteristics and behavior provide a sense of the marsupials’ behavior once they are released into the wild, and end sections discuss conservation efforts. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Secret Bay

Kimberly Ridley, illus. by Rebekah Raye. Tilbury House, $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-0-88448-433-2

Told from the perspective of an estuary, this rhyming story (a follow-up to The Secret Pool) explores the animal and plant life within this habitat. Among the subjects covered are horseshoe crabs, mummichogs (also known as mud minnows), “Midges, mosquitoes, and big greenhead flies,” among many others. Although Ridley’s verse can be a tad corny in places, and Raye’s illustrations waver between polished and more roughly sketched, they combine to convey a marshland brimming with life: “Cordgrass is swishing all over my shores./ Pickleweed covers my soft, sandy floors.” Detailed sidebars and extensive back matter provide a wealth of information about the creatures that make their home in tidal estuaries. Ages 6–11. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/28/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.