The summer selling season is starting to heat up at Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich, Mass., on Cape Cod. Vicky Titcomb, manager of the 45-year-old family owned and operated store, spotlighted some favorite books she and her staff have been handselling and are eager to introduce to vacationing customers.
There are so many great new picture books that we love. One is Every Turtle Counts by Sara Hoagland Hunter, illustrated by Susan Spellman. It’s a really dear story about a girl who helps save a sea turtle on Cape Cod, but it has a much broader reach. Though it’s not stated, the girl appears to be autistic, and has trouble communicating. There’s a beautiful analogy between the girl and the turtle – both are in their own shells.
Baby’s Got the Blues by Carol Diggory Shields is a really fun book. It’s a very hip story, narrated by a baby, and has great illustrations by Lauren Tobia. It tickles my funny bone. Another great picture book is Jennifer Ward’s Mama Built a Little Nest, which collects great little rhymes about birds and their nests, and the art by Steve Jenkins is beautiful. Nonfiction can be a little tougher to sell, so I’m really happy this is doing well.
A total staff favorite here is Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman, a lovely story about three bears who break their mother’s treasured seashell and sail off to find another one for her. There’s a lot of text to the story, so it’s a good picture book for slightly older children. Another wonderful book is A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna, a big book that opens top-to-bottom rather than side-to-side. In the story, a bored African lion goes to Paris and is perfectly happy when he finds a lion statue in the middle of a traffic circle. The art is astounding, and it’s a great book for parents looking for something really different.
I also love to recommend Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan, which is one of our bestselling children’s hardcovers. We’re finding that word is out about this novel, and kids are picking it up on their own. Other favorite middle-grade books are Tony Abbott’s Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone, which combines adventure, science, and history and is a good choice for both boys and girls, and Lizzy Bennet’s Diary by Marcia Williams, which brings Pride and Prejudice to a younger audience in a really fun and beautiful way. And I’m very excited that Cynthia Kadohata’s The Thing About Luck is now out in paperback – I love her writing and I always recommend this novel highly.
In YA, we’re enjoying handselling Steering Toward Normal by Rebecca Petruck, a great realistic novel about a boy who raises steer in Minnesota and discovers that one of his classmates is his half-brother. Other favorites are Swim That Rock by John Rocco and Jay Primiano, an old-fashioned story about a Rhode Island boy who works hard quahogging to save his family’s diner; E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, a poignant, unforgettable book about a girl whose mysterious accident affects her memory; and Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern, about the relationship between a girl with cerebral palsy and a boy with OCD. The novel is truly well written and the characters are very real.