cover image The Problim Children

The Problim Children

Natalie Lloyd, illus. by Júlia Sardà. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-242820-2

Seven gifted Problim siblings, each born on a different day of the week, offer an irreverent and delightful twist on the “Monday’s Child” nursery rhyme in this series launch from Lloyd (The Key to Extraordinary). Among them are 13-year-old gardener Sal, a hardworking “Saturday’s child” who grows everything from people-trapping “Wrangling Ivy” to seeping fog; rambunctious “Friday’s child” Friday, who wears a fox costume and speaks in rhyme; and baby Toot, who communicates via different types of flatulence (defined in footnotes). After the children’s home in the Swampy Woods unexpectedly explodes—“Explosions are nature’s way of telling us to start over,” says ever-cheerful 16-year-old Sundae Problim—the siblings relocate to their grandfather’s mansion in the town of Lost Grove, where they become embroiled in a longstanding feud with the villainous Desdemona O’pinion. Family secrets and a fear of the other drive Lloyd’s plot, and the children’s varied talents and humorous antics will leave readers eager to dive into their future exploits. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Feb.)