100 Scope Notes
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10 to Note: Spring Preview 2018

Spring Preview 2018

Lot of good-looking books coming out here in the next three months. Here are ten that caught my eye.

Picture Books

Town of Turtle

Town of Turtle 1

The Town of Turtle by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Catia Chien

HMH | April 10 | Grades K-2

Funny and sweet. That’s what I’m expecting with this story about a lonely turtle who ends up creating an entire civilization on the top of his shell. Look for the illustrations to get some attention as well (can I make an early New York Times Best Illustrated prediction?).

Ocean Meets Sky

Ocean Meets Sky 1

Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Bros.

Simon & Schuster | May 15 | Grades K-3

The Bros. Fan are back after that great book they did a couple years back that my students (and I) really liked. This one is about a boy who sets sail to find a secret place his grandfather told him about.

Julian is a Mermaid

Julian is a Mermaid 1

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Candlewick Press | May 22 | Grades K-3

When Julian spots three mermaids on the train, he’s transfixed. When he gets home, it’s mermaid time. But what will his Abuela think? This is a debut that’s already been getting a lot of attention (hello Publishers Weekly starred review) with it’s loving take on identity.

Early Readers

Fox and Chick

Fox and Chick 1

Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier

Chronicle Books | April 17 | Grades K-3

Who’s excited by the prospect of a Sergio Ruzzier early reader? I’m not sure is that’s what they’re calling this new series, but I’m calling an early reader, and I can’t wait to read it.

Chapter Books

Polly Diamond

Polly Diamond 1

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book (Book 1) by Alice Kuipers, illustrated by Diana Toledano

Chronicle Books | May 1 | Grades 1-4

A girl finds a magic book that turns the things she writes into real life. I’m in. Consider me looking forward to this new series.

Middle Grade

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go To School (Book 1) by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Colin Jack

Scholastic | May 29 | Grades 3-6

You had me at “two dogs in a trench coat”. Julie Falatko heads to illustrated middle grade territory with a book that I think might warm kids’ slapstick loving hearts.

Amal Unbound

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin) | May 8 | Grades 5 and Up

I’ve been hearing a ton of positive buzz emanating from this book about a Pakistani girl who finds herself in indentured servitude.


Adventures to School

Adventures to School

Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students Around the World by Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, illustrated by Isabel Muñoz

little bee books (Simon & Schuster) | May 1 | Grades K-3

There aren’t a ton of books that I look at and think “I’ve never seen anything like this before” – this is on of them. Stories of how kids get to school in different parts of the globe. This is a cool idea for a book.

Graphic Novels


Smash 1

Smash 2: Fearless by Chris A. Bolton, illustrated by Kyle Bolton

Candlewick Press | May 8 | Grades 3-7

I was really excited when I saw this. Smash 1 was a great unlikely kid superhero story. But after a while, I wasn’t sure if we’d ever see part two. Good to see part two is coming.

Be Prepared

Be Prepared 1

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

First Second (Macmillan) | April 24 | Grades 4-7

Fresh off her Caldecott Honor for Leave Me Alone! (man, am I happy about that book getting Caldecott love), Vera Brosgol brings us a middle grade graphic novel about the topic that truly will never stop giving: summer camp.

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.


  1. good a blog!

  2. Liz Mabey says:

    Anyone else take one glance at the first two cover images and think “Discworld!?” Or was it just because I happened to be in the middle of _Carpe Jugular_ the day this posted?

  3. Thank you, Travis!
    (I would also call it an early reader, in comic-book form).