Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a book about a clueless magician, a YA novel about a coven of witches, a picture book about a girl and her hair, and a picture book about two gravity-defying characters.
The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers by Pseudonymous Bosch, illus. by Shane Pangburn. Dial, $15.99; ISBN 978-0-5255-5232-1. Unabashedly clueless Oliver is ill-suited for two roles that Bosch (the Secret Series) slyly gives him in this raucous series opener: magician and investigator.
The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0096-6. In this haunting contemporary fantasy set in a small town nestled among California’s redwoods, a young woman comes into her own power as a witch.
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, illus. by Vashti Harrison. Kokila, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-525-55336-6. Based on Cherry’s animated short film of the same title, this picture book about a black girl and her hair pairs the first-time children’s book author and Harrison, an author, illustrator, and filmmaker.
Abner & Ian Get Right-Side Up by Dave Eggers, illus. by Laura Park. Little, Brown, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-316-48586-9. In the style of Hervé Tullet–like interactive volumes, Eggers (What Can a Citizen Do?) starts his latest picture book with two characters who defy gravity, sticking out from the left and right sides of a spread as if mounted there.
Glitch by Sarah Graley. Graphix, $26.99; ISBN 978-1-338-17451-9. In this middle grade graphic novel, 14-year-old Izzy promises her friend Eric that she will wait to play Dungeon City until the weekend, when they can enjoy it together. But when the video game arrives, she opens it up and gets sucked in—literally.
A Zombie Ate My Homework by Tommy Greenwald, illus. by Dave Bardin. Scholastic, $6.99; ISBN 978-1-338-30592-0. This spry series launch introduces Norbus Clacknozzle, a product of the U.S. government’s Project Z, founded to create zombies and release them to terrify residents, thereby uniting a divided nation against a common adversary.
Road Tripped by Pete Hautman. Simon & Schuster, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-0590-5. Stiggy, 17, has a lot of questions about why his girlfriend, Gaia, dumped him, and why his father committed suicide, and he’s not finding any answers in his Minnesota suburb.
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata, illus. by Julia Kuo. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-4664-8. With trademark faith in her protagonist’s resilience, Kadohata (Checked) depicts an ugly chapter of history through the eyes of 12-year-old Hanako, whose parents were coerced into renouncing their American citizenship in a U.S. internment camp during WWII. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai. Holt, $21.99; ISBN 978-1-250-31410-9. Lai centers her incisive illustrated middle grade novel debut on Jingwen, who moves from his unspecified home country to Australia with his mother and younger brother Yanghao after his father’s death.
Dream Within a Dream by Patricia MacLachlan. S&S/McElderry, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-2959-8. Newbery Medalist MacLachlan again concisely and authentically conveys character and emotion in this novel about two siblings spending the summer on their grandparents’ Deer Island farm. The book earned a starred review from PW.
My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illus. by Zeke Peña. Kokila, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-525-55341-0. When Papi gets home from work in his truck, his daughter is ready for their ritual, a nightly motorcycle ride through their California town. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Busy Babies by Amy Schwartz. S&S/Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-4510-8. Babies and their guardians appear in eventful scenes illustrated in gouache and pen and ink, with detailed patterns and splashy colors.
Undaunted: The Wild Life of Biruté Mary Galdikas and Her Fearless Quest to Save Orangutans by Anita Silvey. National Geographic, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4263-3356-9. Silvey (Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall) spotlights another groundbreaking primatologist in this handsome photobiography of Galdikas, who was mesmerized by a photo of an orangutan while studying zoology at UCLA and knew she wanted to study wild primates.
Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-2501-9. In this heartfelt middle grade mystery, an autistic girl becomes an amateur detective after money is stolen from her English teacher father’s desk at school and he is blamed for the theft.
Sisters: Venus & Serena Williams by Jeanette Winter. S&S/Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-3121-8. Winter offers an affectional, dynamic picture book biography of the tennis champions.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of May, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.