10 to Note: Summer Preview 2016
Here are ten books arriving in June, July, and August that I’m keeping an eye on.
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson
June 28, 2016 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades PreK – 1
I’ve been waiting a while to talk about this one. I’ve been waiting to tell you how it is a delightfully fresh take on a trope as well-worn as they come (back-to-school books). I’ve been waiting to tell you it has humor and heart in spades. And that it is beautifully illustrated by Christian Robinson. Whew! Glad to get that out of my system.
Bonesville by Jean-Luc Fromental, illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet
August 16, 2016 | Abrams | Grades K-2
Skeletons are just universally cool. They can’t escape the fact that they are dead, which imbues them with a creepiness that can be ratcheted up or down as the situation needs. This book, a lower-elementary mystery about a rash of disappering bones, is brought to us by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joëlle Jolivet – the French duo behind the excellent 365 Penguins.
Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Ron Husband
June 7, 2016 | Jump at the Sun (Disney-Hyperion) | Grades K-4
Set in mid-19th century Missouri and based on true events, Steamboat School tells the story of a teacher who wouldn’t let a law forbidding African American education to stop him from opening a new school – on the water.
Class Pet Squad: Journey to the Center of Town by Dan Yaccarino
June 28, 2016 | Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan) | Grades 1-3
We most often see Yaccarino in the world of the picture book, but with Class Pet Squad, he takes on a different challenge – the early chapter book. It’s about a team of class pets that work behind the scenes to keep the school running smoothly. When a student leaves behind a toy, the squad heads out to return it.
Mango and Bambang: The Not-a-Pig by Clara Vulliamy
June 28, 2016 | Candlewick Press | Grades 1-3
Look, I’m just going to state the facts – with books like Princess in Black, Digby O’Day, Rabbit and Robot, Pigsticks and Harold, etc., Candlewick seems to have a better handle on the early reader/beginning chapter book zone than a lot of publishers. Because of this I’m looking forward to Mango and Bambang – an illustrated chapter book that features a girl and her tapir.
Eleven and Holding by Mary Penney
June 7, 2016 | HarperCollins | Grades 3-7
Looks like there’s going to be plenty of emotion in this book about a girl who’s staying 11 until her father comes home from military service.
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson
June 21, 2016 | Walden Pond Press (HarperCollins) | Grades 3-7
Three characters tell the story of their plan to help their favorite teacher, who suddenly announces she won’t be able to finish the school year.
Zoe in Wonderland by Brenda Woods
August 16, 2016 | Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin) | Grades 3-7
Zoe’s internal world is much bigger than her external one. Until her family is forced to relocate and an adventure begins.
Amelia Earhart by Ma Isabel Sanchez Vegara, MARIADIAMANTES
August 9, 2016 | Frances Lincoln Children’s Books | Grades K-3
I’m always on the lookout for new nonfiction series and I didn’t know about this one – Little People, Big Dreams – until I began working on this post. It reminds me of the A Picture book of… books.
Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard
August 2, 2016 | First Second | Grades 2-5
A baby arrives in toll world. Bera is the only one who wants to keep it alive.
Filed under: Previews
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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