Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a train tale about resistance, a book about unconditional love, a farm ramble, a bear’s contention with time, and many more.
Mr. Complain Takes the Train by Wade Bradford, illus. by Stephan Britt. Clarion, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-544-82981-7. Mr. Complain, a dour gentleman sporting a green suit and hat, is traveling by animal-populated train to his vacation destination; the only human aboard, he’s not a happy camper. Bradford (There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor) and Britt (Over in the Hollow) make the idea of “rolling with it” vivid and endearingly silly.
You Are Always Loved: A Story of Hope by Madeleine Dean and Harry Cunnane, illus. by Holly Clifton-Brown. Random House, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-30924-7. Congresswoman Dean and her son Cunnane, coauthors of the forthcoming adult memoir Under Our Roof, offer a narrative saturated with figurative language, reassuring children that they are beloved, even in times of trouble.
Early One Morning by Mem Fox, illus. by Christine Davenier. Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-0139-5. It’s morning on the farm, and a copper-haired, pale-skinned boy in bright blue overalls leaves his house “in search of a couple of things for his breakfast,” in this picture book about a farm ramble.
Bear Against Time by Jean-Luc Fromental, illus. by Joëlle Jolivet. Norton, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-324-01135-4. Because Bear can’t decipher analog time, he’s late for school each day and shows up for band practice dressed for gym. Fromental contributes droll narration and Jolivet adds comically chaotic slice-of-life cartooning.
The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-358-35475-8. In spacious verse that mirrors a worried preteen’s breathlessness, Grehan (The Space Between) vibrantly captures the anxious inner landscape of 11-year-old Stevie, an Irish girl missing her estranged father and harboring a secret crush on her friend Chloe.
The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics by Susan Hood, illus. by Christiane Engel. HarperCollins, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-298139-4. In this factually augmented illustrated poetry collection, Hood illuminates the reasons, repercussions, and remedies for humans’ considerable use of plastic.
A House for Every Bird by Megan Maynor, illus. by Kaylani Juanita. Knopf, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984896-48-3. A young brown-skinned artist draws an eclectic group of birds, each with a quirky house that matches their color or size, in this funny and subtly incisive picture book.
Rectangle Time by Pamela Paul, illus. by Becky Cameron. Philomel, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11511-4. Cats magically appear for cuddling when it’s readaloud time, and Paul (How to Raise a Reader, for adults) imagines the ritual from a feline’s point of view.
Nathan’s Song by Leda Schubert, illus. by Maya Ish-Shalom. Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984815-78-1. Everyone in the Russian shtetl loves young Nathan’s singing in this picture book with artist Ish-Shalom’s energetic illustrations full of bright colors and the verve of modern folk art.
Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher. Wednesday, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-25302-6. Schumacher centers storytelling as a means of expression, connection, and keeping the dead alive in this emotionally immersive debut in which a teen investigates a mystery after the loss of her friend.
Cathedral of Bones by A.J. Steiger. HarperCollins, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-293479-6. The Lovecraftian world of Stieger’s (When My Heart Joins the Thousand) middle grade debut unfolds in the city of Eidendel, where the powerful Foundation oversees the training and employment of magic users–Animists–in the service of the Continent’s Queen.
My First Day by Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huy'nh Kim Liên. Make Me a World, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-30626-0. A Vietnamese boy’s journey starts when he steps from his house into a wooden boat. Equipped with a knapsack and a long pole, he sets out across the Mekong River Delta during flood season, when boats are the only possible transportation. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Pepper Page Saves the Universe! by Landry Q. Walker, illus. by Eric Jones. First Second, $22.99; ISBN 978-1-250-21692-2. When protagonist Pepper intervenes in a teacher’s experiment, saving its feline subject, a door to the realm beyond the physical opens, revealing that her favorite comic book stories may be more than fiction in this graphic novel.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of February, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.