Search on ....
Subscribe to SLJ
100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

10 to Note: Spring Preview 2013

It’s time to once again to look at the season before us and say “that looks good”. What follows are books coming out in March, April, and May that appear to have promise.

Picture Book

Giant Dance Party by Betsy Bird; illustrated by Brandon Dorman

April 23 | Greenwillow | Grades K-2

Ever heard of the author? It gives me great joy to tell you that librarian/Fuse #8 Production blogger/children’s literature wit supreme Elizabeth Bird has a picture book coming out in a matter of weeks. And I wouldn’t be talking about it if all signs didn’t point to the positive. It has a cover that will draw eyeballs and a topic (a little girl teaching five giants how to dance) begging for a read-aloud workout. Plus it promises a world’s first: the picture book debut of krumping. Looking forward to it.

Easy Reader

Bink and Gollie: Best Friends Forever by Kate DiCamillo & Alison McGhee; illustrated by Tony Fucile

April 23 | Candlewick Press | Grades 1-3

Well, this is it – the last book in a planned trio. Expect to see my White House Petition to keep the series alive circulating shortly. Bink & Gollie blurred formats, charmed audiences, and will be missed. Here’s guessing they go out on a high note.

Chapter Books

The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems by Lauren Myracle; illustrated by Jed Henry

May 2 | Dutton | Grades 1-3

Kids are always game for some fun-loving realistic fiction. This new series about a younger brother and the schemes he hatches is aimed at the Stink crowd. The fact that Lauren Myracle is at the helm gives me hope that the whole operation is done well.

Middle Grade Fiction

Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

May 7 | Walden Pond Press | Grades 3-6

Well known for his picture book and graphic novel exploits, the man who gives Scieszka a name spelling and pronunciation run for his money is branching out into the illustrated novel. I’m predicting a lot of fun in these pages.

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

March 1 | Scholastic Press | Grades 3-7

If you know any The Wright 3 or Chasing Vermeer or The Calder Game fans out there, let them know that Blue is back. But this time Balliett doesn’t return to the familair trio of characters that populate those three books – this one stands alone. A book about a girl named Early (2013 Name Trend Alert! Early is also the name of one of the main characters (but a boy) in Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early) trying to track down her missing father.


The World is Waiting for You by Barbara Kerley

March 12 | National Geographic | Grades K-2

Having already snagged a couple starred reviews, this book about connecting kids’ current interests with future professions appears to be a winner. Full of stunning photographs.

Deadly! The Truth About the Most Dangerous Creatures on Earth by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Neal Layton

March 26 | Candlewick Press | Grades 3-6

Good ol’ Davies and Layton – still making interesting illustration-based nonfiction. Here they focus on dangerous animals, which tends to be a crowd pleasing topic. Readers should expect to discover a lot of new things.

Pluto’s Secret : An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery by Margaret Weitekamp & David DeVorkin; illustrated by Diane Kidd

March 12 | ABRAMS | Grades K-2

While there are a couple Pluto is not a planet books out there, this one seems noteworthy because:

A: It looks like it will work well for a K-2 audience

B: It goes beyond Pluto, explaining how our solar system (and the objects in it) are classified and arranged.


Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger; illustrated by Matthew Cordell

March 5 | Houghton Mifflin | Grades 1-4

This is a collection of poems that tell a story, accompanied by Matthew Cordell’s black and white illustrations. This looks like a book for pleasure reading and classroom connections alike. I could see this as a cool Poetry Month read aloud.

Graphic Novel

Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball by Charise Mericle Harper

May 14 | Knopf | Grades K-2

You have your low level graphic novels – Babymouse, Lunch Lady – but here we have something for an even younger crowd. Simple and charming. This is the first book in a new series by the Master of Cute (can we call her that?) Charise Mericle Harper. I’ve seen excerpts and I’m looking forward to more.

Look for 10 to Note: Summer Preview 2013 in May

(Top Image: ‘Vainglorious Green?‘ Found on

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Speak Your Mind