Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a picture book about a legendary trickster, the story of a cat employed at a sumo training center, a middle grade historical novel set in Ireland, and a Hungarian folk tale rendered as a middle grade novel.
Riding a Donkey Backwards: Wise and Foolish Tales of Mulla Nasruddin by Sean Taylor and the Khayaal Theatre, illus. by Shirin Adl. Candlewick, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0507-7. Is he a wise man or a fool? Though Nasruddin has many different names, the protagonist of this picture book is known throughout the Muslim world.
SumoKitty https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-58089-682-5 by David Biedrzycki. Charlesbridge, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-58089-682-5. A scraggly feline stray finds himself in the right place at the right time in this picture book by Biedrzycki (Groundhog’s Runaway Shadow). He needs a steady meal source, and a sumo training quarters needs a mouse catcher.
A Slip of a Girl Patricia Reilly Giff. Holiday House, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-3955-3. Giff loosely based the tenacious heroine of this middle grade novel on her great-grandmother, who was raised in the town in Ireland where the Drumlish Land War of 1881 took place.
Arnica, the Duck Princess by Ervin Lázár, illus. by Jaqueline Molnár, trans. from the Hungarian by Anna Bentley. Pushkin, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-78269-220-1. “Write me a story!” So begins this madcap yarn of clever Princess Arnica and Poor Johnny, who are cursed by the Witch of a Hundred Faces.
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee. Putnam, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-4095-5. In 1890 Atlanta, Chinese-American Jo Kuan, 17, and her guardian, Old Gin, live secretly in abolitionists’ quarters underneath the family home of Mr. Bell, publisher of a failing newspaper. Through an unexpected turn of events, Jo takes on the role of an anonymous advice columnist for the paper. The book received a starred review from PW.
Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0263-2. Based on the 2004 terrorist act that killed scores of schoolchildren in the town of Beslan, Russia, Mayhew’s YA novel details the trauma that overwhelms the community.
As Warm as the Sun by Kate McMullan, illus. by Jim McMullan. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4327-7. Married collaborators Kate and Jim McMullan (I Stink!) tell the story of Toby, a russet French bulldog who has to share his space with a new dog in this picture book.
A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein, illus. by Jerry Pinkney. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4331-4. This deep dive by Wittenstein (Sonny’s Bridge) into the speech that galvanized the 1963 March on Washington stars not only Martin Luther King Jr. but also the colleagues whose support was crucial to him. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
The Magic Flute by Chris Raschka. Atheneum/Jackson, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-4902-1. Dreamy signature spreads by Raschka (New Shoes) capture Mozart’s famous opera scene by scene, explaining the action with simple text and peppering it with speech-balloon exclamations. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black Marcus and Julian Sedgwick, illus. by Alexis Deacon. Walker Books US, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0437-7. Set in WWII London, as German bombings disrupt and destroy life, this ambitious novel from the Sedgwick brothers (Dark Satanic Mills) alternates between two voices: that of the mythical Greek musician Orpheus, and that of Briton Harry Black, a conscientious objector, firefighter, and artist.
Why? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4173-0. A little white rabbit is always asking, “Why?”—to which his kind, even-tempered bear friend usually has a simple but satisfying response.
Our World Is Relative by Julia Sooy, illus. by Molly Walsh. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-29368-8. This picture book is a bite-size introduction to a classic law of math and science.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of August, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar