It’s time to introduce our Fall 2020 list! This season, we can’t wait for you to meet a sweet but restless lion who can’t seem to fall asleep, a problem-solving shrew, and a young detective who’s on the hunt for some notorious candy gangsters. Plus, don’t miss the return of everyone’s favorite hamster in a new adventure with his fire engine, a silly new romp with Mr. Penguin and his spider sidekick Colin, and two new YA novels about claiming your voice. Check out the full list below, and let us know which title you can’t wait to read first!
New Board Books
This board book beginner’s guide offers a thoughtful first glimpse into the world of mammals. Author and illustrator duo Cathryn Sill and John Sill deliver simple and clear descriptions of how mammals look, where they live, what they eat, and how they move around, making this second title in the Discovering Nature series a dependable and informative beginning resource for learning about mammals.
PEEP! A duckling breaks through its shell and immediately attaches itself to a warmhearted young boy, and soon the two are inseparable. But the duckling is growing up, and the boy realizes that one day his friend will have to return to live among its own kind. Coming in board book August 1st, Kevin Luthardt’s deceptively simple story poignantly demonstrates the importance of learning to let go of something you love.
New Picture Books
In this addition to the About… series, award-winning author Cathryn Sill uses simple, easy-to-understand language to teach children about seabirds, and John Sill’s detailed, full-color illustrations show the characteristics of different types of seabirds—from the Magnificent Frigatebird to the Blue-footed Booby. A glossary and afterword provide further fascinating details about seabirds that will inspire readers to learn more.
Arlo is a very tired lion, and he’s tried everything to get to sleep. But the grass is too prickly, the trees are too noisy, and his family wriggles awfully too much. Goodness! How is an exhausted lion ever to get a wink of shut-eye? Luckily, owl has a few tricks up her sleeve. Author-illustrator Catherine Rayner’s breathtakingly beautiful bedtime story has a calming, meditative message of mindfulness and centeredness for reluctant or troubled sleepers.
This story begins quietly as Mouse selects a flower for someone very dear to him. Then the fun begins! To complete his journey, Mouse must make his way through the alphabet—letter by letter and sound by noisy sound. Author Julie Larios and illustrator Julie Paschkis have created an entertaining combination of clever onomatopoeic text and lively, colorful art that will delight young fans and inspire them to create imaginary alphabet adventures of their own.
Stanley’s fire engine needs to be ready for anything. It has a tall ladder, a big water tank, and a long hose. Uh-oh. The fire station has a phone call: Charlie’s barbecue is out of control. CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! Out of the way! Stanley’s on the job! With bright illustrations, adorable characters, and a padded-cover format, William Bee’s Stanley series is perfect for readers transitioning from board books to picture books.
Duck and Penguin do NOT like sleepovers, despite what their owners, Betty and Maud, might have you think. But when Betty and Maud leave the teeny weeny tent, Duck and Penguin have no choice but to stick together. The dark outside is full of strange noises, and they have the oddest feeling that…something…is watching them. This companion to Duck & Penguin are NOT Friends from author-illustrator Julia Woolf is a laugh-out-loud bedtime romp about the secret world of toys and the thrills and anxieties of sleeping over.
When Gnu says that there’s a cave filled with diamonds across the river, Shrew is intrigued. But as Gnu dreams his days away, tossing out ideas about how to cross the river, Shrew tries to make those dreams a reality. Can Gnu’s big ideas and Shrew’s hard work make something remarkable happen? In this entertaining spin on “The Ant and the Grasshopper” that values the roles of both dreamers and doers, author Danny Schnitzlein’s deadpan storytelling is perfectly complemented by illustrator Anca Sandu’s humorous artwork.
Madeline Finn and Star are off to Walker Oaks, a retirement community where Star will take his tests to become a therapy dog. They make their way through a variety of challenges and meet several new friends, but Madeline Finn can’t stop thinking about an elderly man in a wheelchair who never smiles. Is there something she and Star can do to help? This heartwarming companion to Lisa Papp’s Madeline Finn and the Library Dog and Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog explores the therapy dog training process and provides a realistic example of a young person making a difference in her community.
Over millions of years, organisms in Antarctica—one of the most extreme environments on Earth—have evolved in amazing ways that enable them to thrive on the ice, in the ice, and under the ice. How is climate change affecting the creatures that live in this frozen world? Antarctica’s creatures depend on the ice. And in the long run, so do we. This amazing nonfiction picture book provides valuable information about one of the most hostile environments on the planet. Experienced nature writer Mary Batten’s informative text and stunning artwork by New York Times bestselling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez are sure to spark a passion for conservation of this incredible habitat.
After witnessing the 1911 Triangle Waist Factory fire, Frances Perkins decided to work to bring about new laws that would make workplaces safer. As Secretary of Labor in President Roosevelt’s administration—the first woman cabinet member—Frances had the opportunity to achieve her bold vision of Social Security. Deborah Hopkinson’s energetic text and Kristy Caldwell’s appealing illustrations introduce readers to a fascinating woman who has changed many American lives. Back matter features more information about Frances Perkins and Social Security and resources for economic education.
As a young man, William went to work for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, where he helped freedom seekers who had traveled north. One day, a strangely familiar man came into William’s office, searching for information about his long-lost family. Motivated by his own family’s experience, William began collecting the stories of thousands of other freedom seekers and was able to reunite other families and build a remarkable source of information. Award-winning author Don Tate brings to life William Still’s incredible true story and work as a record keeper of enslaved people who had fled to freedom in this first-ever picture book biography of the Father of the Underground Railroad.
New Middle Grade
When notorious candy gangster Eddie de Menthe asks for her help to find a missing teddy bear, Nelle Faulkner is on the case. But as soon as the teddy turns up, Eddie himself goes missing! As a seemingly innocent investigation unravels into something more sinister, Nelle and her friends quickly find themselves swept up in a shady underworld of sweets smugglers, back alley deals, and storefront firebombs. Award-winning author Lavie Tidhar’s action-packed narrative of black market candy rings comes to life through Daniel Duncan’s moody spot illustrations.
Mr. Penguin and his Adventuring gang board a luxury cruise ship for some much-needed rest and a little entertainment. With fish finger sandwiches available twenty-four hours a day, Mr. Penguin isn’t even bothered that he can’t swim and is deeply afraid of water. But when a series of odd events infiltrates a façade of glamorous parties, Mr. Penguin can’t help but feel that something shifty is happening on board, and he soon finds that Adventures are lying in wait after all. This third installment in the humorous, page-turning series from Alex T. Smith is sure to thrill young readers looking for a good adventure.
Haylah Swinton is an ace best friend, a loving daughter, and an incredibly patient sister. Best of all, Haylah’s learning to embrace all of her curvy parts, and one day, she’ll be a stand-up comedian star. So when impossibly thirstalicious Leo reveals he’s also into comedy, Haylah jumps at the chance to ghostwrite his sets. But if Haylah’s ever going to step into the spotlight, first she’ll need to find the confidence to put herself out there and strut like the boss she really is. Rebecca Elliott’s hilarious and authentic narrative voice is sure to capture readers’ hearts as her plus-sized, teenage heroine embarks on a candid and laugh-out-loud journey of family, friends, and fierce mistakes.
Nettie Delaney has just been accepted into a prestigious performing arts school—the very same school her superstar mother attended. But Nettie hasn’t been able to sing a single note since her mother died. Whenever she tries, she just clams up. All may not be lost, however, when Nettie stumbles upon a mysterious piano player in an empty studio after class. Masked behind a curtain, can Nettie summon the courage to find her voice? Or will the pressure and anxiety of performing come crashing down? All about claiming your voice and not throwing away your shot, Vanessa Jones’s moving story of grief and healing is sure to be a pure joy for musical theater aficionados.