Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a picture book about a robot going analog, a YA novel about a free-spirited Saudi Arabian teen, a wordless picture book about a kid on holiday, and the latest middle grade novel from an award-winning author.
Unplugged by Steve Antony. Scholastic Press, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-338-18737-3. In this picture book, a tech-obsessed robot discovers the delights of the analog world after the power goes out.
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-374-30544-4. Bhathena debuts with an eye-opening novel about a free-spirited girl in present-day Saudi Arabia. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Vacation by Blexbolex. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $24.95; ISBN 978-1-59270-246-6. The enigmatic visual storytelling of French artist Blexbolex’s Ballad (2013) is more prominent than ever in this reality-bending wordless outing, which can be read as an extended picture book or as a graphic novel.
The Boggart Fights Back by Susan Cooper. S&S/McElderry, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-0629-2. Arriving more than 20 years after Cooper’s The Boggart and The Boggart and the Monster, this magical misadventure finds a new generation of children meeting the “formless and ancient” sea creature and his cousin Nessie.
Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-243328-2. In Coulthurst’s immersive second novel, set in the world of 2016’s Of Fire and Stars, 17-year-old demigod and healer Asra uses her blood magic to help her love, Ina, find her “manifest,” the animal she will magically bond with and change into at will.
I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can’t by Diane Dillon. Blue Sky, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-16690-3. The title of Caldecott Medalist Dillon’s first solo picture book sounds as if it’s about dreaming big, but its real focus is on quieting the internal voice that undermines those dreams.
The Truth About Hippos by Maxwell Eaton III. Roaring Brook/Porter, $15.99; ISBN 978-1-62672-667-3. A girl learns about pygmy and common hippos from the animals themselves, in this irreverent and amusing series opener. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans. Scholastic/Fickling, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-18527-0. In this middle grade novel, two sisters with real-life problems are transported to a fantastical world.
Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart. Scholastic Press, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-338-05388-3. Animal lovers will embrace this tale of canine dedication with a twist, told from the point of view of the dog. The twist? The dog, a mutt named Brodie, has died and returned from the “in-between place”—despite strong warnings not to do so—in order to save his boy, Aiden, from a frightening, unspecified fate.
I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb, illus. by Suzie Mason. HarperCollins, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-284174-2. Today show co-host Kotb offers a sweet, uncomplicated expression of love for a newborn child, inspired by her adoption of a baby girl in 2017.
All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan McCarthy. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-7752-9. Stowed, towed, shunned, shunted, guarded, studied, and eventually incinerated: McCarthy (The Wildest Race Ever) looks at what happened to an unwanted barge carrying more than 3,000 tons of New York trash in 1987, in this well-researched picture book account.
The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Scholastic Press, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-04537-6. First in a trilogy, this fantasy novel from Nielsen (the Mark of the Thief trilogy) advocates tolerance while championing female self-empowerment.
A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers. Algonquin Young Readers, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-61620-723-6. In this middle grade novel, protagonist Nat, daughter of a film star, searches for her mother, and for a friend in transgender classmate Harry.
Love, Penelope by Joanne Rocklin, illus. by Lucy Knisley. Amulet, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-2861-7. Ten-year-old Penelope Bach’s journal to her yet-to-be-born baby sibling forms the basis of Rocklin’s illustrated middle grade novel.
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin, illus. by Brian Selznick. Scholastic Press, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-338-18061-9. In a nearly 200-page chapter book for emerging readers, Selznick and Serlin use pared-down vocabulary and chiaroscuro drawings to follow the titular detective on his sleuthing routine: look for clues, take notes, eat a snack, put on pants, and solve the crime (generally by looking right outside his office door). The book earned a starred review from PW.
Wizard for Hire by Obert Skye. Shadow Mountain, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-62972-412-6. In this offbeat series opener, a young man searches for his parents with the aid of a self-proclaimed wizard, a resourceful girl, and a talking mechanical raven.
Teddy’s Favorite Toy by Christian Trimmer, illus. by Madeline Valentine. Atheneum, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-8079-6. The title character’s play resists gender stereotyping in that he’s allowed the freedom to play with whatever toys he likes in whatever way strikes his fancy—and the result is an imaginative free-for-all. The book earned a starred review from PW.
806 by Cynthia Weil. Tanglewood (PGW, dist.), $16.99; ISBN 978-1-939100-14-6. With a theatrical flair for comedy and drama, songwriter Weil (I’m Glad I Did) offers an improbable but hilarious road trip story about three St. Louis teens seeking out their shared sperm-donor father.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of February, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.