Break out the cake and streamers; this crop of books for children and young adults are celebrating big birthdays this year. From a picture book classic to a world-changing middle grade fantasy series, the publishing world has plenty to celebrate in 2018.
Grin and Bear It: The Wit and Wisdom of Corduroy
Based on the characters created by Don Freeman, illus. by Don Freeman and Jody Wheeler (Mar. 27, Viking, $12.99 ISBN 978-0-451-47929-7).
First published in 1968, Freeman’s enduring teddy bear Corduroy has remained in print all these years, while going on to have many more adventures since his first picture book outing. Viking has embarked on a yearlong marketing campaign for the bear’s 50th birthday, along with the release of Grin and Bear It, an illustrated advice book, as well as Corduroy Takes a Bow by award-winning actress Viola Davis, a new story about the bear’s first trip to the theater, due out in September.
This year marks the 15th birthday of children’s book publisher Enchanted Lion, which has championed new and almost-forgotten books from around the world for young readers. As part of its birthday celebration, Enchanted Lion will reprint The Jungle by Helen Borten, which was originally published in 1968. 2018 is also a milestone for backlist title Big Wolf and Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, which celebrates its 10th year in print.
Ramona the Pest
By Beverly Cleary (Apr. 1, HarperCollins, paper $7.99 ISBN 978-0-380-70954-0).
Pestering readers for 50 years, Beverly Cleary’s now-classic series celebrates a big birthday. The first volume of the series gets a new printing, and social media shareables were created to coincide not only with Ramona’s birthday, but Cleary’s as well (April 12).
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
By Chris Crutcher. (Apr. 15, Greenwillow, paper $9.99 ISBN 978-0-06-268774-60).
The YA novel celebrated its 25th anniversary with a paperback redesign and reprint. Crutcher’s Running Loose also celebrates 35 years in print, and Crutcher’s latest novel, Losers Bracket, was published in April.
By Charles Portis (Overlook, paper $12.99 ISBN 978-1-4683-0125-0). The adult novel, which in addition to being adapted for film twice has also been adapted into a young readers edition, has enduring crossover appeal, following the story of 14-year-old Mattie Ross on a rampage of revenge. This year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the book, Overlook reprinted a new edition of the adult version in May. Overlook also donated 300 copies of the young readers edition to the Oxford American’s April celebration of Portis and his work.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
By Richard and Florence Atwater (June 5, Little, Brown, paper $7.99 ISBN 978-0-316-05843-8).
The story of a house painter and his surprise Arctic guests marks 80 years in print this year, with a redesigned, re-illustrated paperback edition. The book is an enduring bestseller, with an average of 60,000 copies selling a year.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
By J.K. Rowling (June 26, Scholastic, paper, $12.99 ISBN 978-1-338-29914-4).
For some, it’s difficult to remember the landscape of children’s literature before the boy wizard came along. This year, Potter celebrates 20 years in print. To celebrate, Scholastic has marketing events throughout the year, highlighted by a 20th-anniversary edition of the entire series, with new covers illustrated by Brian Selznick, followed by Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay on November 16.
The Widow’s Broom: 25th Anniversary Edition
By Chris Van Allsburg. (July 3, HMH, $18.99 ISBN 978-1-328-47019-5).
The Caldecott-winning picture book creator has seen several of his titles translated to the screen, most recently with Jumanji’s second adaptation. His spooky Halloween picture book gets a new edition in time for its 25th anniversary.
By Janell Cannon. (Aug. 7, HMH, $18.99 ISBN 978-0-544-87435-0).
The little picture book bat celebrates a 25th birthday with a new edition. The book received the 1995 ABBY award on publication, and has subsequently been translated into more than 30 languages. The new edition features crafts and activities, and enhanced artwork.
By Kevin Henkes. (Sept. 15, Greenwillow, $17.99 ISBN 978-0-688-11450-3).
This gentle picture book about a mouse and his fuzzy blanket earned a number of accolades when it first published 25 years ago, including a Caldecott Honor and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor. Greenwillow will celebrate the book with a social media campaign and storytime video with Henkes.
By Peter H. Reynolds. (Sept. 15, Candlewick, $15 ISBN 978-0-7636-1961-9).
Celebrating 15 years in print, Reynolds’s book has inspired artists of all ages to create. The 10th International Dot Day, marking the book’s birthday on September 15, will be celebrated among educators and retailers worldwide with creative events.