100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Notable 2021 Children’s Book Follow-Ups, Sequels, and Companion Books

This year I’ve noticed a bunch of children’s books that follow previously published books in some way. We have some follow-ups, some sequels, and some companion books. What’s the difference?

A sequel is typically a story that connects to a previous story in some way.

A companion is a standalone story with characters from a previous book.

A follow-up is a word that gets thrown around that could mean sequel or companion, or it might be a story with new characters but in a thematically or visually similar world to a previous story.

I also tried to avoid including obvious series books in this post. For instance, I didn’t include the latest Dog Man book, because we all know that’s a planned series and books will keep coming out.

Any I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Title: Pax, Journey Home

Follows: Pax

Title: Yes & No

Follows: Big Cat, Little Cat

Title: Room to Dream

Follows: Front Desk, Three Keys

Title: Agent Lion and the Case of the Missing Party

Follows: Agent Lion

Title: Billy Miller Makes a Wish

Follows: The Year of Billy Miller

Title: Trick or Treat, Crankenstein

Follows: Crankenstein and A Crankenstein Valentine

Title: Bear Wants to Sing

Follows: King Mouse

Title: Just Like That

Follows: The Wednesday Wars, Okay for Now

Title: Recognize: An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life

Follows: The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth

Title: Big Feelings

Follows: All Are Welcome

Title: Witches of Brooklyn: What the Hex?!

Follows: Witches of Brooklyn

Title: Return of the Underwear Dragon

Follows: The Underwear Dragon

Title: Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge

Follows: Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market, Vamos! Let’s Go Eat

Title: Hurricane

Follows: Blackout, Blizzard

Title: Merci Suárez Can’t Dance

Follows: Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Title: Triceratopposite

Follows: Stegothesaurus

Title: Amos McGee Misses the Bus

Follows: A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Title: Fallout

Follows: Bomb

Title: Scary Stories for Young Foxes: The City

Follows: Scary Stories for Young Foxes

Title: Trillions of Trees

Follows: Billions of Bricks

Title: Out of My Heart

Following: Out of My Mind

Title: The Ambassador of Nowhere, Texas

Follows: When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

Title: Upstander

Follows: Bystander

Title: Tyrone O’Saurus Dreams

Follows: Brontorina

Title: LMNO Pea-quel

Follows: LMNO Peas

Title: I Love My Fur!

Follows: I Love My Fangs!

Title: Friends Forever

Following: Real Friends

Title: Sunny Makes a Splash

Following: Sunny Side Up, Swing It, Sunny, Sunny Rolls the Dice

Title: Randy, the Badly Drawn Horse – and Dandy Too!

Following: Randy, the Badly Drawn Horse

Title: Egg Marks the Spot

Following: Skunk and Badger

Title: This Is Still Not a Book!

Following: This Is Not a Book!

Title: Set Me Free

Following: Show Me a Sign

If you like this post, you might like my newsletter, FROM THE DESK OF 100 SCOPE NOTES. You can click here to subscribe.

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. ESE Librarian Bob says

    Great list!

    I’ll add—

    Title: Set Me Free

    Following: Show Me a Sign

  2. Ooh, this is a wonderfully curated list! Thank you for sharing! So many familiar friends! I can’t wait to see ALL of these! (And now I’ve added to my shopping list. Send funds!)

  3. Ellen N Sigmon says

    Room to Dream, sequel to Front Desk and Three Keys by Kelly Yang.
    Thanks for the list!

  4. Great post!
    I have a companion book coming out with Troy Cummings in October. :)
    NOT NOW, COW (Abrams Appleseed, April 2021)
    ONE SHEEP, TWO SHEEP (Abrams Appleseed, Oct. 2021)

  5. Sarah S. says

    I’d also add: Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares, Tristan Strong Keeps Punching, Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness and InvestiGators Ants in Our P.A.N.T.S.

  6. Love this post. Tracey Baptiste has a picture book coming in Sept. LOOKING FOR JUMBIES which is related to her MG Jumbie series.

  7. Deborah Salyer says

    Great list!! I had missed a couple and grabbed them for my watch list. Most excited about the new Skunk and Badger book. And Just Like That! Maybe his best yet. I’ve read it 3 times already–and read the other previous books too.

    I’d add…
    Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery by Ally Carter, (Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor)
    Franklin Endicott and the Third Key (Book 6 Deckawoo Drive, but maybe my new favorite),
    The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book by Kate Milford (WOW) (Follows The Thief Knot). I bought and read the whole series after reading this. Most interesting series– you can read it in more than one order. How does she do that??

    Picture Books:
    Summer Camp Critter Jitters by Jory John and Liz Climo (Follows First Day Critter Jitters)off
    Off to See the Sea by Nikki Grimes and Elizabeth Zunon (Follows Bedtime for Sweet Creataures)
    The Little Butterfly that Could by Ross Burach (Follows The Very Impatient Caterpillar)
    Farmer and the Circus by Marla Frazee (Follows the Farmer and the Monkey)