Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a YA novel about two teens who bond in Paris, a novel centering ecological issues, a picture book about a garden gnome, and a David Bowie song translated into a book.
Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed. Soho Teen, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-61695-989-0. When 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet (named after Persian poet Omar Khayyam) and university student Alexandre Dumas (named after the French writer, his ancestor), meet by apparent coincidence in Paris one August day, they discover they share a common goal: finding a connection between the 19th-century Dumas and painter Eugène Delacroix.
We Didn’t Ask for This by Adi Alsaid. Inkyard, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-335-14676-2. In a timely novel featuring a large cast from around the globe, Alsaid (Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak) underlines ecological issues while showing the positive impact of creative problem solving and collaboration. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Gnome by Fred Blunt. Andersen Press USA, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5415-9624-5. Blunt (Santa Claus vs. the Easter Bunny) gives garden gnomes a lesson-laden origin story in this tale.
Let’s Dance by David Bowie, illus. by Hannah Marks. Running Press Kids, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7624-6808-9. Bowie considered his 1983 global hit one of his less nihilistic numbers, ostensibly qualifying it for the ever-expanding jukebox picture book genre. Marks (The Panda Problem) works hard to keep the mood light, with peppy vignettes featuring a multigenerational cast of varying ethnicities with bright eyes, wide smiles, and happy feet.
Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-06280-3375. Authors Bushnell (Sex in the City for adults) and Cotugno (99 Days) team up in this novel about a young woman facing assault and sexist power dynamics in a post-#MeToo era.
The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson. Greenwillow, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-269190-3. Picking up nearly eight years after the events of Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, this standalone companion follows 17-year-old imperial ward Lady Red Sparkle Stone, a foundling rescued from enslavement in the original trilogy by Elisa, now reigning Empress of Joya.
Crocodiles Need Kisses Too by Rebecca Colby, illus. by Penelope Dullaghan. Viking, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-451-48007-1. Toe-tapping verse by Colby (Captain Bling’s Christmas Plunder) suggests that creatures who seem homely, scary, or fierce want love as much as anyone.
One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole. Scholastic Press, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-338-35997-8. Cole’s story follows a paper bag from its forest origins to a factory, to a boy’s kitchen table, and into adulthood. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Sorry (Really Sorry) by Joanna Cotler, illus. by Harry Bliss. Philomel, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984-81247-6. At the farm where author and children’s book editor Cotler and artist Bliss’s (Good Rosie!) emotionally honest story is set, bad moods are turned around. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Mrs Bibi’s Elephant by Reza Dalvand. Flying Eye, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-912497-16-4. The children in Mrs Bibi’s town love Mrs Bibi and her pet elephant; when she and her pet go out in the morning, kids use the pachyderm as a playground.
Little Universes by Heather Demetrios. Holt, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-22279-4. Seventeen-year-old sisters Mae and Hannah narrate the tumultuous year following their parents’ death by tsunami in this tale of sisterhood and survival by the author of Bad Romance.
Little Cheetah’s Shadow by Marianne Dubuc, trans. from the French by VeroK Agency. Princeton Architectural Press, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-61689-840-3. This gentle lesson in conflict resolution by Dubuc (Up the Mountain Path) opens as Little Cheetah casts about with a flashlight, looking for Little Shadow.
In the Woods by David Elliott, illus. by Rob Dunlavey. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9783-9. With wispy washes of layered watercolor and mixed media twining expressionistic feeling and key details, Dunleavy conjures a forest world to frame Elliott’s engaging poems about woodland creatures.
Princess Kevin by Michael Escoffier, illus. by Roland Garrigue. Frances Lincoln, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-7112-5435-0. Kevin decides to dress up as a princess for school costume day, “and that is that,” Escoffier writes.
The Dark Matter of Mona Starr by Laura Lee Gulledge. Amulet, $22.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-4200-2. This graphic novel documents the author’s own experiences with depression.
Don’t Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1119-1. Little Crab and Very Big Crab leave their “tiny tide pool” and climb over a massive rock in this picture book, which earned a starred review from PW.
Girl Crushed by Katie Heaney. Knopf, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-984897-34-3. When rising high school senior Quinn, a soccer player, is dumped by her girlfriend a month before school starts, she’s heartbroken and desperately tries to put on a brave front for their mutual friends.
Summer Song by Kevin Henkes, illus. by Laura Dronzek. Greenwillow, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-286613-4. Married team Henkes and Dronzek (When Spring Comes) complete their seasonal quartet with an homage to summer.
They Went Left by Monica Hesse. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-49057-3. After the World War II ends in 1945, protagonist Zofia is alive, and searches across Europe for her brother . The YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
Lila and Hadley by Kody Keplinger. Scholastic Press, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-338-30609-5. When her mother lands in prison, 12-year-old Hadley moves from Tennessee to stay with her estranged sister, Beth, in a Kentucky suburb.
The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson. Delacorte, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11849-8. In this intense, affecting debut, May McGintee is “one of the lucky ones,” though she feels anything but. May is consumed by survivor’s guilt: 11 months ago, she hid in a closet as her genius twin brother Jordan, favorite teacher, and five classmates were shot and killed during band practice.
On the Horizon by Lois Lowry, illus. by Kenard Pak. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-358-12940-0. As a child, two-time Newbery Medalist Lowry lived in Hawaii and Japan, where her father was deployed during and after WWII. Lowry uses that personal lens to view two horrific acts of war in this middle grade memoir.
Explosion at the Poem Factory by Kyle Lukoff, illus. by Mark Hoffmann. Groundwood, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-77306-132-0. Lukoff (When Aidan Became a Brother) imagines what would happen if poems were generated mechanically, in a factory.
The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund. Razorbill, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11491-9. In her debut, Lund takes the right-under-your-nose rom-com trope to the extreme in this YA novel.
Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega. Scholastic Press, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-28012-8. When Dominican-American Lucely Luna, 12, learns that her single father might lose their house, her primary concern is for the myriad ghosts of her family, who inhabit the willow tree out back as fireflies, at least when they’re not manifesting in human form. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, illus. by Dan Santat. Grosset & Dunlap, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-09439-6. For the book’s 90th anniversary, Caldecott Medalist Santat pays homage to the story’s original artwork while giving it his own distinctive polish. The book earned a starred review from PW.
One Earth: People of Color Protecting Our Planet by Anuradha Rao. Orca, $24.95; ISBN 978-1-4598-1886-6. In this series of profiles, Rao, a conservation biologist who notes that “at work, I’ve usually been the only one with a brown face,” centers the stories of 20 environmental activists, all people of color.
Bedtime Bonnet by Nancy Redd, illus. by Nneka Myers. Random House, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-9848-9524-0. “In my family, when the sun goes down, our hair goes up,” begins this story about an intergenerational black family’s nighttime hair routines.
Roy Digs Dirt by David Shannon. Blue Sky, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-25101-2. Roy is a sturdy, uninhibited white pooch with black patches, pointy ears, and a gleam in his tiny eyes, whose raison d’être is dirt, and digging in it.
Brooklyn Bailey, the Missing Dog by Amy Sohn and Orna LePape, illus. by Libby VanderPloeg. Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-525-55273-4. LePape, Bailey’s real-life owner, is ably assisted by Sohn (The Actress for adults) in telling this story about her dog who went missing and was then reunited with her family.
The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead. Random/Lamb, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-101-938096. When eight-year-old Bea’s father comes out as gay, her divorcing parents give her a notebook containing “The List of Things That Will Not Change,” an accounting that helps the girl navigate her shifting family landscape. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Bernard Makes a Splash by Lisa Stickley. Tate, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-84976-660-9. Bernard, a shy hound with soulful eyes and poignantly long ears, is the manager of a pool that hosts an annual global dog diving competition in this picture book.
Knot Cannot by Tiffany Stone, illus. by Mike Lowery. Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-3080-4. Knot, a googly-eyed, looped piece of bright orange rope, “aches to be like Snake,” a bright green reptile who can slither, hiss, and shed her skin to look “brand-new.” But when Snake is threatened by a sharp-beaked bird, Knot realizes he knows something Snake doesn’t: how to tie her into a big, wide knot so the predator can’t swallow her.
Little Pearl by Martin Widmark, illus. by Emilia Dziubak. Floris, $17.95; ISBN 978-178250-599-0. Widmark and Dzuibak (The House of Lost and Found) offer an imaginatively illustrated fantasy with a dreamlike feel in this picture book.
Goodbye from Nowhere by Sara Zarr. Harper/Balzer + Bray, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-243468-5. A moving slice of realism, this YA novel shows how a family crisis impacts many aspects of one boy’s life.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of April, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.