OCTOBER 20, 2014

Book News by Trent Shaw

Welcome to the newest edition of Kids Only. I've noticed some great wordless picture books released over the past few weeks so I thought I'd highlight some here (along with one that's the complete opposite).

Don't miss Before After (9780763676216, Candlewick, $19.99, HC) an amazing new book from the French duo Anne-Margot [...]

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Beginning Readers

Princess in Black

Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
(Candlewick Press, $14.99, HC, 9780763665104)

Shannon and Dean Hale have just released The Princess in Black, the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers. Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones when the monster alarm sounds! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret — she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before her secret is discovered? Full-color illustrations from LeUyen Pham add to the fun. FICTION/Action & Adventure/Humorous Stories/Girls 7 Women/Royalty

Also New in Beginning Readers:

Graphic Novels & Manga

Explorer: The Hidden Doors

Kazu Kibuishi, Editor
(Amulet Books, $10.95, TP, 9781419708848)

Explorer: The Hidden Doors, the third entry in Kazu Kibuishi's hit anthology series, is just out. A bullied boy discovers a door guarded by a sly monster . . . A painting of a door opens in a forgotten Egyptian tomb . . . A portal in the park promises to turn you into a much cooler version 2.0 — if you can just get the bugs out. Edited by New York Times bestselling comics creator Kazu Kibuishi (the Amulet series),this new volume in the highly praised series gathers some of the foremost and fastest-rising talents in comics for kids: Jen Wang (Koko Be Good), Johane Matte (Explorer: The Mystery Boxes), Steve Hamaker (colorist of Jeff Smith's Bone series), Faith Erin Hicks (Friends with Boys), and many others. FICTION/Comics & Graphic Novels/Fantasy & Magic/Short Stories Rated E MIDDLE READERS

Also New in Graphic Novels & Manga:

Middle Readers

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting the Great White Sharks of California's Farallon Islands

Katherine Roy
(Roaring Brook Press, $17.99, HC, 9781596438743)

Shark fans should pour over every page of Neighborhood Sharks, an intimate portrait of the life cycle, biology, and habitat of the great white shark. A few miles from San Francisco lives a population of the ocean's largest and most famous predators. Each fall, the great white sharks return to California's Farallon Islands to dine on their favorite meal: the seals that live on the island's rocky coasts. Massive, fast, and perfectly adapted to hunting after 11 million years of evolution, the great whites are among the planet's most fearsome, fascinating, and misunderstood animals. Katherine Roy visited the Farallons — a wildlife refuge that is strictly off-limits to all but the scientists who work there — and captures it all in stunning, vibrant illustrations. Check out a great time-lapse video of Roy creating a page of the art here. NONFICTION/Animals-Marine Life

Also New in Middle Readers:

Non-Book & Specialty Items

Press Here Game

Hervé Tullet
(Chronicle Books, $19.99, Non-Book, 9781452137360)

The magic of the New York Times bestseller Press Here is now available in game form! Hervé Tullet has reimagined his groundbreaking book in an entirely new dimension. Players take turns completing color sequences by placing red, blue, and yellow playing pieces on one of twenty-five fabulously designed game boards. What seems like a simple choice is likely to lead to animated discussion as players come to understand the visual logic at the heart of the game. With two levels of play to choose from — so that it's easy enough for a toddler to grasp, but also complex enough to challenge older siblings and adults — this engaging game delivers hours of entertainment for the whole family. NONFICTION/Games & Activitites/Concepts-Colors/Concepts-Size & Shape

Also New in Non-Book & Specialty Items:

Picture Books

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters

Oliver Jeffers
(Philomel, $26.99, HC, 9780399167911)

Well it appears that this will be the second holiday season in a row where the "go-to" children's book is by Oliver Jeffers - and very deservedly so. Following last years The Day the Crayons Quit, Jeffers is out with Once Upon an Alphabet, and it has the feel of an immediate classic. From an Astronaut who’s afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, Once Upon an Alphabet is a creative tour de force from A through Z. Slyly funny in a way kids can’t resist, and gorgeously illustrated in a way readers of all ages will pour over, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet in a way that will forever raise the bar. Stock up on this one! FICTION/Concepts-Alphabet/Humorous Stories

Also New in Picture Books:

Pre School

Fox on the Loose!

Matthew Porter
(Little Bigfoot, $9.99, Board Book, 9781570619281)

Be sure to take a look at Fox on the Loose!, a great new board book from Matthew Porter. A mischievous red fox is up to no good when the cheeping baby chicks wake up the goose. The goose wakes up the sheep, and so on until mister fox is chased out of the barnyard by the trusty guard dog. As with Porter's previous board book, Tails Chasing Tails, he renders the animals in a friendly, big-eyed manner on bright, colorful backgrounds painted on blocks of wood. FICTION/Animals-Farm Animals

Also New in Pre School:

Young Adult

The Doubt Factory

Paolo Bacigalupi
(Little, Brown and Company, $18.00, HC, 9780316220750)

A book HIGH on my to-read list is Paolo Bacigalupi's The Doubt Factory. Everything Alix knows about her life is a lie. At least that's what a mysterious young man who's stalking her keeps saying. But then she begins investigating the disturbing claims he makes against her father. Could her dad really be at the helm of a firm that distorts the truth and covers up wrongdoing by hugely profitable corporations that have allowed innocent victims to die? Is it possible that her father is the bad guy, and that the undeniably alluring criminal who calls himself Moses — and his radical band of teen activists — is right? Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities were both fantastic and I have no doubt this will be just as good. FICTION/Action & Adventure/Law & Crime/Family-Parents/Social Issues-Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance

Also New in Young Adult: