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
Max and Marla

Alexandra Boiger. Putnam, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-17504-6

Boiger (the Tallulah series) nods to the Winter Olympics in this tale of sled-riding friends, her debut as author. Max, a boy, and Marla, a snowy owl, imagine themselves “true Olympians.” In their alpine village—a cluster of cool-blue houses laden with snow—Max and Marla watch a bobsledder on TV, gear up (“Preparation is key”), and tote their sled outside. At first, they “face technical difficulties” when their stuck sled won’t glide. The next day, they wax the runners and step out again, only to be swept into a tree. With each misadventure, they modify their approach. They exchange knit hats for helmets, bundle up in parkas, and (ill-advisedly) tie themselves to their sled with red string. In Boiger’s softly rounded watercolor-and-ink images, Max and Marla’s brick-red outfits stand out against icy blues, lavenders, and grays. The visual and verbal narrative feels at times too spare, yet Boiger excels at closely observed, affectionate details, like Max carrying a snoozing Marla to bed, or the friends stringing donuts on ribbons to serve as Olympic medals. Ages 3–5. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Seriously, You Have to Eat

Adam Mansbach, illus. by Owen Brozman. Akashic, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-61775-408-1

Capitalizing on the success of his first picture book parody, Go the F**k to Sleep, Mansbach provides a cleaned-up version of its sequel, You Have to F**king Eat, a snarky takedown of juvenile eating habits (or the lack thereof). It must be asked, though: why remove the obscenities from a book aimed squarely at adults? A change like “How the hell are you growing/ when you basically don’t f***** eat?” to “How the heck are you growing/ When you basically don’t ever eat?” is merely cosmetic. And although the punch line, “For me a scotch, neat,” gets an allusive substitution (“For me, a drink that smells like peat”), the page retains its image of a child clinking her glass of milk with the parent’s tumbler. Brozman’s slick, Rotoscope-style spreads show many different adorably pouting children of various ethnicities refusing to eat. This at least lends a little inclusiveness to the verse, whose restaurant-dining, asparagus-eating paternal voice addresses only its own child. This is not a kid-friendly version of the book; it’s merely the original with the fun taken out of it. All ages. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
From Apple Trees to Cider, Please!

Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illus. by Julia Patton. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-6513-1

A mother and daughter go apple picking in a sprawling orchard, “past dappled leaves and through the loud/ and happy apple-picking crowd.” Chernesky (Sun Above and Blooms Below) describes the process of turning apples into cider: cleaning them, dropping them in the shredder, and cranking the press (“Twist and press to squish and mash./ See the cider splish and splash!”). The bustling orchard hosts seasonal fixtures like pumpkin-headed scarecrows, tractor rides, and treats like cider doughnuts and fritters, which are sampled by the orchard’s other high-spirited guests. Chernesky’s playfully chirrupy rhymes and Patton’s (PB&J Hooray) exuberant cartooning deliver a juicy taste of a quintessential autumnal experience. Ages 4–7. Author’s agent: Susan Hawk, Bent Agency. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Agency. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Time for Cranberries

Lisl H. Detlefsen, illus. by Jed Henry. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62672-098-5

When autumn arrives, a boy named Sam helps his parents harvest the cranberries in their marsh. Debut author Detlefsen (who lives on a Wisconsin cranberry marsh herself) vividly details each step, introducing terminology like “booming” (“We keep flooding the picked bed until the vines are completely covered”) and “corralling,” which involves putting on waders and gathering the berries “into one big bunch called the pot.” (When Sam slips, his father assures him, “I always say you’re not a cranberry grower until you fall in.”) Henry (I Love You Near and Far) devotes equal attention to the unique mechanisms of this harvesting process, the alluring rural setting, and the close bond shared by this family of farmers. A glossary, author’s note, and recipes are included. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
My Leaf Book

Monica Wellington. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4141-6

Equipped with a guide to trees, a girl with a crown of ginger hair walks through an arboretum, identifying and collecting a variety of leaves, including honey locust, sweet gum, linden, and maple. Wellington (Colors for Zena) alternates between scenes of the girl on her walk and those of her at home, where she makes crayon rubbings of the leaves in her Leaf Book. Rubbings and photocopies of leaves appear throughout Wellington’s mixed-media images, while tiny sidebars offer details about the trees and leaves presented. The girl’s clipped narration (“Oak leaves are strong. They are good for my art projects. I make leaf prints in many colors”) is perhaps better suited to children learning to read on their own than to story-time sessions. Regardless, many readers are likely to be inspired to turn their own autumnal observations into creative projects. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
My Autumn Book

Wong Herbert Yee. Holt/Ottaviano, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9922-5

In Yee’s fourth seasonal tale (following Tracks in the Snow, Who Likes Rain?, and Summer Days and Nights), the inquisitive girl from his previous books discovers clues that autumn is on its way. Sweatshirt-clad, she ventures outside to observe nature’s changes: “Dogwood shows off/ A new crimson gown./ Oak changes into/ A suit of rust brown..” An array of animals, from cicadas to geese “fly[ing] south in formation,” also sound reminders that summer is ending. Back in her bedroom, the girl fills a jar with acorns she has collected and creates an autumn scrapbook filled with leaves, drawings, and photographs, so that she can remember autumn “When crickets no longer sing late at night/ And the world outside/ Has turned cold, black and white.” Yee’s soft, grainy pencil drawings and contemplative rhymes celebrate quiet moments of exploration and discovery. Ages 2–6. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Fall Is Here!

Frankie Jones, illus. by Fhiona Galloway. Bonnier/Little Bee (S&S, dist.), $5.99 (16p) ISBN 978-1-4998-0110-1

For a black pup and an orange cat, fall brings many simple pleasures: “It’s time for friendly scarecrows... crunchy acorns... walks in the woods,” as well as “bright, orange pumpkins” and ”spooky costumes” in a spread devoted to Halloween. Striped mittens, floral wallpaper, and subtle brushed backdrops offer hints of texture to Galloway’s digital art, dominated by a palette of autumn leaf colors. There’s no plot to speak of; Jones simply presents a cheerful chronicle of the best fall has to offer as the dog and cat anticipate enjoying “yummy pies” and “candy apples,” and rest on “fluffy blankets” before a roaring fire. Preschoolers can also spy additional animals (a squirrel gathers acorns, a mouse peeks out of its hole) in this innocuous board book. Simultaneously available: Where’s the Pumpkin? Ages 1–4. (July)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Counting on Community

Innosanto Nagara. Seven Stories/Triangle Square, $8.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-60980-632-3

Nagara builds on the success of A Is for Activist with a counting book that celebrates active communities. Following some unfortunate apostrophe omissions on the opening spread (“Living in a community,/ it’s a lot of fun!/ Lets count the ways./ Lets start with one”), it’s smooth sailing as Nagara devotes pages to everything from urban farming and chalk drawing to potlucks and protests (“Eight picket signs/ showing that we care”). Nagara’s vibrant digital collages hum with energy as a multicultural crew of children and adults work, play, and collaborate. Brushed, woodgrain-style textures lend an organic feel to the images, while radiating lines in the backgrounds emphasize the idea that close-knit communities like this one have real power. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Under the Sleepy Stars

Stephanie Shaw, illus. by Rebecca Harry. Tiger Tales, $8.99 (22p) ISBN 978-1-58925-204-2

As diurnal animals go to sleep in the forest, an owlet asks his mother about how animal parents care for their young. Shaw quickly establishes a calm, lulling mood through the back-and-forth of the owls’ conversation. “Mama, who sings a song/ until Mouse falls asleep?” the owlet asks. “The crickets sing high notes./ The bullfrogs sing deep,” the mother responds. Harry’s pastel-hued illustrations have a soft, moonlit glow as she shows a cuddly mother bear hugging her cub, an adult deer kissing her offspring, and other quiet scenes of animal affection. While the book doesn’t necessarily distinguish itself from many similar titles, its message about a mother’s unconditional, constant care comes through clearly. Ages 2–5. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | Details & Permalink

show more
Whose Truck?

Toni Buzzeo, illus. by Jim Datz. Abrams Appleseed, $9.95 (16p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1612-6

Buzzeo and Datz follow Whose Tools? by inviting readers to guess whom the operators of six trucks are. Buzzeo’s rhymes (“The weather changes./ Strong winds blow./ Whose truck is this?/ Do you know?”) appear on faux highway signs opposite Datz’s images of the trucks, labeled with tantalizing features like the “deluge gun” of a fire truck or the “telescopic boom” of a crane. Lifting full-page flaps reveals the answers, and as in the previous book, Datz includes a solid mix of male and female workers in a variety of skin colors. A last-page twist reminds readers that toy trucks can be just as fun as the real thing. Ages 2–4. Author’s agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/31/2015 | 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.