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10 to Note: Spring Preview 2017

Spring Preview 2017

This warm weather in February is the real “spring preview”, amIright?


Here are ten books I’m looking forward to this spring.

Picture Books


South 1

South by Daniel Duncan

Abrams | May 2, 2017 | Grades K-2

What is it about this book that is appealing to me? I want to dig into this. Okay, first of all there’s a cutaway boat on the cover. I love cutaways. The story is about a fisherman forming a friendship with an injured bird. I love gruff characters showing their soft side. It’s a debut. I love seeing a book from someone I’ve never seen a book from before. Alright. My excitement for this book all makes sense now.



Jabari 1

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Candlewick Press | May 9, 2017 | Grades PreK-2

Do you jump off the high dive? Not me. I’ve jumped off my share of piers and stuff in my day – how else you gonna get in the water when you’re on a pier? But high diving boards? Nah. All this is to say that I respect Jabari. Little guy’s brave, wanting to make the big leap. This is another debut.

Early Readers

Good for Nothing

The Good for Nothing Button! by Charise Mericle Harper and Mo Willems

Disney-Hyperion | May 2, 2017 | Grades K-2

This latest installment in the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series is about a button that does nothing. But, strangely, also does a whole lot. It’s deep. It’s funny. It’s read aloud ready.


Triangle 1

Triangle by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Candlewick Press | March 14, 2017 | Grades K-3

Is this an early reader? Barnett dropped a Frog & Toad reference in the announcement, so I’m putting it here. Triangle wants to play a trick on his friend Square. And T is committed, man – travels all the way to Square’s house and pulls the prank. Square takes offense and soon the tables are turned. But are they? This the first book in a shape book trilogy from Barnett & Klassen.

Chapter Book


Daisy Dreamer and the Totally True Imaginary Friend by Holly Anna, illustrated by Genevieve Santos

Little Simon | April 4, 2017 | Grades K-4

Daisy draws her imaginary friend, who comes to life. Who’s going to tell her story? Daisy is up to the task. This is the first book in a new illustrated chapter book series.


Olga 1

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel

HarperCollins | March 14, 2017 | Grades 3-7

A 176 page graphic chapter book from Elise Gravel? I’m in. A girl finds a strange creature in her garbage can one day – what is it? Olga has no idea, but she knows she loves it. She sets out on a mission to find out more about her new pet.


This is How

This is How 1

This Is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe

Chronicle | May 2, 2017 | Grades K-2

You know what we could use a little more of right now? People putting themselves in the shoes of others. This book does just that, showing a typical day for seven kids in different places on the globe.

It also inspired this tweet by @shannonozirny, which all 90s R&B fans will appreciate:


Shell 1

Shell, Beak, Tusk: Shared Traits and the Wonders of Adaptation by Bridget Heos

HMH | April 4, 2017 | Grades 1-4

When animal share key traits yet aren’t part of the same animal family it’s called convergent evolution. Never heard of it before. Bridget Heos brings the concept to young readers with this book. Also, the photos look great.

Graphic Novel

One Trick Pony

One-Trick Pony by Nathan Hale

Amulet Books (Abrams) | March 14, 2017 | Grades 3-7

“Robot pony helps defeat invading aliens”. How does that grab you? In this book Nathan Hale goes from his familiar historical haunts (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales) to a future full of electricity guzzling space insects. It’s the first fiction graphic novel he’s both written and illustrated.

Real Friends

Real Friends

Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

First Second (Macmillan) | May 2, 2017 | Grades 3-6

As Smile and Sisters have shown us, kids are into graphic novel memoirs. Because of this, I got pretty excited when I saw that Hale and Pham were teaming up to make one. And now it’s almost here – hurry up spring.

See you back here in May to preview the summer.

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 scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.