Beignets, Bourbon Street, and books. Mint Juleps, Gumbo, and books. Hot and steamy humidity, books, more books, and authors galore!
The American Booksellers Association ABC Children’s Institute conference in New Orleans was definitely the hot spot to learn all about soon-to-be-published books and meet countless authors alongside other booksellers across the country, all with one common love; children’s literature.
I began my three day adventure to Children’s Institute a little star-struck. Okay, if I’m totally honest, a lot star-struck! And not just with all the authors, but with all the owners and booksellers of my favorite bookshops across the United States. I have never met more generous, kind, smart, and fun people that quickly touched my heart in so many ways. It was pure joy to sit back and enjoy the show.
And enjoy I did! And you will, too. Here’s what you need to know and look forward to in the world of children’s publishing.
Andrea Beaty has a brand new series starring The Questioneers: Rosie Revere, Iggy Peck, and Ada Twist. This is her debut chapter book series and the first Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters does not disappoint. I love that her beloved characters can grow up with our young readers.
Mo Willems, author and illustrator of the Pigeon books and the Elephant and Piggie series ,has a new beginning-reader Unlimited Squirrels series with I Lost My Tooth! Willems unique sense of humor will continue to make children giggle with a funny plot, bad jokes, and actual facts about teeth. Both books from the Questioneer Series and the Unlimited Squirrel Series are due out in October. But, you can pre-order them now at BookBar.
Elliott Kalan (head writer of The Daily Show starring Jon Stewart and Mystery Science Theater 3000) has written a fun picture book of mistaken identity, Horse Meets Dog. Yes, the horse thinks the dog is a small horse and the dog thinks the horse is a big dog. The illustrations by Tim Miller enhance the silly story that will make the book easy to read and reread countless times. Horse Meets Dog is available now.
The award winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen will be performing in Denver in October. The story has been reinvented as a must-read novel by the creators of the hit show. Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel will be released in October. I can hardly wait for both the play and the book to arrive!
The most memorable author I got to meet was Jonathan Auxier. He is a master stroryteller, writing a historical magical novel, Sweep, about Nan Sparrow, a chimney sweep in Victorian London when orphaned children were actually used to climb inside flues to clean the chimneys and protect the homes from fire. Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, but doesn’t die. She ends up in an abandoned attic rescued by a golem, which is made from soot and ash. This is not your Bert from Mary Poppins story. But, Sweep will remind you of Charlotte’s Web and the importance of friendship. You’ll be able to read Sweep in September and I hope you’ll love it as much as I did. As an added bonus, Jonathan is a master yo-yo artist, creating amazing tricks! I look forward to introducing him to our middle grade readers.
And the young adult book that had the room buzzing was Sadie by Courtney Summers. The story jumps between nineteen year old Sadie’s journey to avenge her younger sister’s murder in real time and a serial-like podcast retracing her steps. The unique writing style makes for a thrilling read for the true-crime podcast fans. Sadie will also be available in September.
If you are feeling stressed with the wait of all the new books soon to be released, then I would recommend you pre-order Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement, and More by Mallika Chopra (daughter of Deepak Chopra M.D.) coming at the end of August. Mallika is a fun and vibrant teacher offering a how-to books for kids, but I think is valuable for adults raising children, too.
I have more titles and authors I would love to share with you. Stop in BookBar for recommendations, or order online. I hope you enjoy your reading journey as much as I enjoyed my learning journey to New Orleans, and the shopping in the French Quarters
-Marilyn, Children’s Programs Coordinator