Saturday, November 19, 2011

Alexander McCall Smith's book for early readers

The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case
Random House, April 2012

Alexander McCall Smith's first book for children, though set in Africa, is accessible to children from around the world. Precious would like to be a detective, and soon she gets the chance to solve her first case. Someone has been stealing the cake and treats Precious' classmates bring for lunch. While no one has caught the culprit, some of Precious' classmates have accused a plump boy named Poloko of stealing the snacks. But Precious doesn't think Poloko did it, and she doesn't think anyone should be blamed without evidence. Precious develops an ingenious way to catch the thief- and it's not who everyone thought it was! Readers of all ages and backgrounds will delight at the surprising ending.

Iain McIntosh's woodcut illustrations can be found on every page, attracting and holding the attention of children listening to the story. For those reading on their own, the illustrations break up the text into manageable chunks while the sophistication of the design will be enjoyed by adults coming to the book after reading The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

Friday, November 18, 2011

William Joyce is Back in Books!

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce and Laura Geringer

After a decade away from picturebooks (during which he worked on such movies as Toy Story) William Joyce is back! The Guardians of Childhood is a series that will be comprised of chapter books, picture books, and movies, all on amazing folkloric characters such as the Sandman, the Man in the Moon, Mother Goose and others. Nicholas is an outlaw and one of the greatest swordsmen ever seen. But when Pitch, the king of nightmares, starts sending bad dreams to the children of earth, what side of the battle will Nicholas choose? This epic tale has it all: magic, fights, dreams, heroes, robot-golems, and even yetis. A great read-aloud for ages 5+, and read-alone for kids ages 8-12. –Marika

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

3 New Comics...

Tina’s Mouth An Existential Comic Diary
written by Keshini Kashyap, illustrated by Mari Araki

Tina starts her diary for an English project on existentialism, but more importantly, it’s a diary of how existentialism relates to her life. From getting dumped by her best friend, to crushing on a cute skateboarder, Tina’s very real life is related to philosophy through the pages of her diary. A realistic comic of high school, friends, and family both funny and enlightening. Ages 13-18.

written by Chris Wooding, illustrated by Cassandra Diaz

When I opened my Galley box from Scholastic, the cover of this book caught my eye. The style looked familiar. I checked the illustrator. Cassandra Diaz. I knew a Cassandra Diaz. Then I turned the book over: "Cassandra Diaz is a recent graduate of the Maryland Institute, College of Art." Yes, that Cassandra Diaz! So, part of the reason I am so excited about this book is because this is the first published book to wander acr

oss my desk illustrated by someone I went to college with. While I only saw the first few pages in color, they have me anticipating the finals- Cassandra's palettes are beautiful.

Manga, demons, missing princes, magic, and epic
battles...Pandemonium has them all. Seifer’s greatest accomplishment may be his Skullball prowess, that is until he is taken to the royal palace to impersonate the missing prince. Can Seifer fool the palace staff, the prince’s family, the kingdom’s enemies, and an enormous pet cat? This face-paced and exciting graphic novel combines adventure, humor, and a spark of romance. Ages 10+.

Flight of Angels
conceived and illustrated by Rebecca Guay, written by Holly Black, Bill Willingham, Alisa, Kwitney, Louise Hawes, and Todd Mitchell

When a group of the fair folk find a mysterious angel on the ground, they decide to conduct a tribunal. What follows are a series of frame tales, each written by a different author and exploring the concepts of sin, love, and death. As with all debates of heaven and hell, there is no right answer, and readers from varied spiritual backgrounds will find the text approachable. Each author’s tale fits into place, and Rebecca Guay’s illustrations are stunning. All in all, a lavishly and lusciously illustrated graphic novel for art and fantasy lovers. Ages 14 and up.