It’s back to the future with this roundup of 10 summer releases that threaten to pull me away from my other favorite warm weather activity – consuming Oreo blizzards. Not a simple feat. June, July, and August – let’s see what you’ve got…
Bink and Gollie, Two for One by Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile
June 12, 2012 | Candlewick Press | Grades 1-3
In the Top 20 Books of 2010 list Mr. Schu and I put together, the first Bink & Gollie was our top choice. I’m glad to see there are more adventures on the way.
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
August 7, 2012 | Random House | Grades 5-7
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more anticipated middle grade release in 2012 than Rebecca Stead’s Liar & Spy. Winning the Newbery (with the astounding When You Reach Me) has a way of building interest. Stead keeps things in New York and mysterious for Liar & Spy. That sound you don’t hear is me not complaining one bit.
Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
July 1, 2012 | Scholastic | Grades 3-7
Kate Messner is on one heck of a run right now – putting out books at a steady clip to critical praise and popular success. Here’s guessing Capture the Flag, about a trio of kids solving the mystery of a missing Old Glory while snowed in at the D.C. airport, will continue the streak. And it never hurts that it sports one of the most eye-catching covers of the season. Agreed?
Dinos Are Forever (The Adventures of Jo Schmo #1) by Greg Trine, illustrated by Frank W. Dormer
July 3, 2012 | Harcourt | Grades 1-4
In my experience, the readership of Captain Underpants is mostly boy. This illustrated early chapter book series looks to appeal to a similar sensibility (see: wacky as all get out), but features a girl protagonist. I say it has high interest written all over it.
Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown
August 21, 2012 | Simon & Schuster | Grades K-2
You know how judges on American Idol (at least back in the glory days when I was watching and Paula was completely crazy) say to a particularly talented contestant, “I’d listen to you sing the phone book”? If Peter Brown chose to illustrate the phone book, I’d be first in line to have a look. The man seems to turn out delightful artwork with each new release. Now teamed up with Aaron Reynolds (Joey Fly, Private Eye), Brown goes for a retro Twilight Zone vibe.
My Snake Blake by Randy Siegel, illustrated by Serge Bloch
June 19, 2012 | Roaring Brook Press | Grades PreK-1
A snake that can communicate with his owners by spelling out words with his body? You think I’m not going to be interested in that? Already sporting a starred review from Kirkus, this is a book that looks like it will be making a lot of fans in the near future.
The Superheroes Employment Agency by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
July 24, 2012 | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Grades 2-4
I love it when poetry can attract a new audience, and Marilyn Singer has a knack for bringing poetry outsiders into the fold (as evidenced most recently by her 2010 release, Mirror Mirror). This collection of B-list superhero-themed poems looks to be an attention-getter.
Super Science: Matter Matters! by Tom Adams, illustrated by Thomas Flintman
August 14, 2012 | Templar Books | Grades 2-5
You don’t usually see the words pop-up and chemistry anywhere near each other, which has me interested in this unusual (and, by the looks of it, unusually fun) book about the “key elements of science”.
The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins by HP Newquist
August 7, 2012 | Houghton Mifflin | Grades 5 and Up
When nonfiction can turn heads and offer high-quality content, it’s worth sharing. This history of “the most important tissue in the body” has promise in both departments.
Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
August 1, 2012 | Scholastic | Grades 5-7
Can we start calling Doug Tennapel “The King of Weird”? Please? You gotta admit – that would look cool embroidered across the back of a satin jacket. With his first two books (Ghostopolis and Bad Island), this graphic novelist never settles for standard. Cardboard fits this broken mold, as a cardboard box comes to life.
Look for Fall Preview 2011 coming in August.
(Top Image: ‘summer background‘ http://www.flickr.com/photos/28801512@N00/558105541)