MAY 26, 2014

Book News by Trent Shaw

Welcome to the newest issue of Kids Only. With summer nearly upon us, I thought I'd highlight some titles that celebrate the season – summer break, vacations, camping, & picnics!

There was lots of pre-pub buzz for E. Lockhart's We Were Liars (9780385741262, Delacorte, $17.99, HC) and, I have to say, it's [...]

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Beginning Readers

Shark School

Davy Ocean, Illustrated by Aaron Blecha
(Aladdin, $5.99 each, TP, Vol. 1: 9781481406789 / Vol. 2: 9781481406819)

Young shark fans will likely dive right into Shark School, a brand new chapter book series about Harry Hammer, a hammerhead shark with a penchant for (mis)adventure. Harry Hammer is a hammerhead shark, although he’d rather be a great white shark, or a tiger shark — anything but himself. In the first volume, Deep-Sea Disaster, Harry's class trip to a spooky shipwreck turns dangerous and he's determined once and for all to prove that he's as tough a any shark in the sea. In the second volume, Lights! Camera! Hammerhead, Harry is thrilled when humans show up at Shark Point to film an underwater documentary. He’s sure he’s meant for the spotlight, but will he end up with the starring role of his dreams, or stay in deep-sea oblivion? FICTION/Animals-Marine Life/Action & Adventure

Graphic Novels & Manga

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl

Ben Hatke
(First Second, $12.99, TP, 9781596438767)

Ben Hatke is out with The Return of Zita the Spacegirl, the third and final adventure of everyone's favorite spacegirl. Zita has saved planets, battled monsters, and wrestled with interplanetary fame. But she faces her biggest challenge yet when she's wrongfully imprisoned on a penitentiary planet. Zita has to plot the galaxy's greatest jailbreak before the evil prison warden can execute his plan of interstellar domination! The first two books in the series have turned into steady backlist titles, so expect this to do well. Watch the book trailer here. FICTION/Comics & Graphic Novels-General/Science Fiction Rated E MIDDLE READERS

Also New in Graphic Novels & Manga:

Middle Readers

The Night Gardener

Jonathan Auxier
(Amulet Books, $16.95, HC, 9781419711442)

The Night Gardener is the much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier's exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes (9781419704215, Amulet, $8.95, TP) and follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier's exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read - a spooky Victorian ghost story and a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling. FICTION/Horror & Ghost Stories/Fantasy & Magic/Historical-General/Family-Siblings

Also New in Middle Readers:

Picture Books

Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine

Gloria Whelan, Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99, HC, 9781416927532)

Don't miss Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine, one of my favorite picture books so far this year. Poor Queen Victoria! She loves to swim, but can’t quite figure out how to get to the water without her devoted subjects glimpsing her swimming suit. (Because, of course, such a sight would compromise her regal dignity.) Fortunately for the water-loving monarch, it’s Prince Albert to the rescue with an invention fit for a queen! This quirky tale about the longest reigning monarch in British history is as fun as it is authentic, and the book includes a picture of the actual bathing machine Prince Albert created. Gloria Whelan's rhyming text perfectly captures the attitudes of the era and Nancy Carpenters lively illustrations have an appropriate classic picture book feel. FICTION/Royalty/Historical-Europe/Sports & Recreation-Water Sports

Also New in Picture Books:

Pre School

1-2-3 Peas

Keith Baker
(Little Simon, $7.99, Board Book, 9781442499287)

Keith Baker's great 1-2-3 Peas is now out in board book format. The peas are back to help readers learn to count - first from one to ten, then by tens up to 100. The peas plant, nail, paint, swim, dance, sing and so forth, always engaging with the number in question, rendered largely on the page in a bright bold manner, accompanied by the alphabetical spelling of each number. Baker's rhyming, staccato-like verse ("Five peas painting - brush, brush, brush; Six peas traveling - rush, rush, rush") makes for a fun read-a-loud. Also, look for Baker's companion book, LMNO Peas (9781442489783, Little Simon, $7.99, BB), which released as a board this past January. FICTION/Concepts-Counting & Numbers

Also New in Pre School:

Young Adult

City of Heavenly Fire

Cassandra Clare
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, $24.99, HC, 9781442416895)

Likely to be one of the biggest YA releases of the year, City of Heavenly Fire, Cassandra Clare's sixth and final installment in her Mortal Instruments series, has finally hit the shelves. Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian — but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance. This has been a bestselling series ever since City of Bones was released back in 2007 and sales have increased exponentially with each release, so don't be caught short! FICTION/Fantasy & Magic

Also New in Young Adult: