I generally make it a point to profile books that are not only published, but ones that are likely to have made it to the public library system. But today, I'm going to take you into my world of books where I hear about books long before they are published and have the chance to get excited about their release. When I'm really lucky, I get a chance to look at them in a gallery form. There are times that this little perk is all that keeps me book blogging.
So it is with that introduction, that I share three books that I picked up at Book Expo America last week. Three books that made my book blogger heart go pitter-patter.
Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion
by Mo Willems
You know if I went to the Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical than I must have a fond spot for the books. (Okay, and Mo.) The plot of the picture books is simple: girl has bunny, girl loses bunny, girl finds bunny again. But it's not about the plot. In the first book, the subtext is the frustration of a toddler in not being understood (Aggle Flaggle!) and the helplessness of the parent in not understanding. The reward at the end is Trixie's first word - and by extension the families move to the next level of communication. In the second book, the loss of the bunny is surrounded by a conflict with a peer and ends with a discovery of real friendship. The parent conflict contained within is that of mothers and fathers struggling with encouraging strength and independence, yet wanting to save our dear children from any hardship. The third book sees Trixie on a trip to Holland to see her grandparents, and losing Knuffle Bunny this time exposes the whole family to the idea of When Hope May Be Lost. I won't give away the ending, especially in terms of what is learned, but I don't believe that you'll be disappointed. This title is available September 2010.
Clementine, Friend of the Week
by Sara Pennypacker; illustrated by Marla Frazee
If you haven't met Clementine yet, than you really must get to your local library and pick up the first three books in the series. Clementine is another spunky girl, following the trend of Ramona, Junie B.,and Judy Moody. I like all of these characters, but would highlight the differences in Clementine. She's not as bratty as Ramona, she doesn't mix up words like Junie B., and she's not a self-centered as Judy Moody. Instead, Clementine is a artistic, clever, attention-challenged third grader who tries to do the right thing, and it too often goes wrong. Amusingly and charmingly wrong. In this new book, she is shares her excitement about being friend of the week with her slightly older best friend Margaret, who then gives her advice on how to act during the week. Clementine gives it a go, but it doesn't work out as planned. In the end, she realizes that she has been a good friend all along - and maybe even inspired others to greater empathy. It's another wonderful book with a good message and winning illustrations. This title will be available July 2010.
Guys Read: Funny Business
edited by Jon Scieszka
The First Children's Literature Ambassador Jon Scieszka has been spending his time asking, "What about the boys?" With a book release two years ago of Guys Write for Guys Read (right now bargain-priced at $4.80!) and a Guys Read website devoted to good books for boys, Scieszka has again taken on the role of advocate. This new book of short stories features some amazing authors, namely Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Adam Rex, David Yoo, Paul Feig, Kate Dicamillo, Christopher Paul Curtis, Eoin Colfer, Jack Gantos, and Jeff Kinny in a book intended to bring about the funny. After seeing the authors present the concept in a talk at Book Expo America, I have no doubt that they will meet their goal. Any presentation where Groucho glasses are handed out - well, that has to be a good sign. This title will be available September 2010.