Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a compilation of horror stories, the tale of a boy and his cat, a YA novel about vampires in New Orleans, a street sign story book, and more.
Only If You Dare: 13 Stories of Darkness and Doom by Josh Allen, illus. by Sarah J. Coleman. Holiday House, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4906-4. From creepy dolls to self-aware smartphones, cursed ice cream to prophetic board games, tween protagonists are plagued by speculative terrors beyond their control in Allen’s (Out to Get You) unnerving middle grade collection.
Negative Cat by Sophie Blackall. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-399-25719-3. “Ugh! I’m not so great at reading!” confesses the narrator of this story by Caldecott Medalist Blackall (If You Come to Earth), whose skills improve with the company of his new adopted cat.
Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston. S&S/McElderry, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-7457-4. Fuston’s emotionally charged YA debut mingles popular culture with the pain of grief, diving deep into the well of vampire mythos and New Orleans mystique.
Mr. Walker Steps Out by Lisa Graff, illus. by Christophe Jacques. Clarion, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-328-85103-1. The white figure in the “Walk” sign knows he has an important job keeping a busy crosswalk safe, in this title for fans of Sign Off and Runaway Signs.
The Happy Pumpkin, illus. by MacKenzie Haley. DK, $6.99; ISBN 978-0-7440-3383-0. A round, smiling jack-o’-lantern with red spectacles grows worried as his fellow patch companions—each with a scary visage—get picked on Halloween.
Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins. Chronicle, $15.99; ISBN 978-1-79720-508-3. Using hand-painted paper to create brilliantly hued, shape-based forms that appear against a clean white backdrop, Higgins (Bikes for Sale) examines ways to observe color, shape, pattern, and position. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi, illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal. Viking, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-20270-8. Top Chef and Taste the Nation host Lakshmi lends her expertise to this picture book exploring how cooking can preserve both intergenerational bonds and summer’s bounty.
Mayor Good Boy by Dave Scheidt, illus. by Miranda Harmon. Random House Graphic, $9.99; ISBN 978-0-593-12487-1. In this middle grade graphic novel series opener, a fluffy talking dog and nap aficionado named Good Boy is elected mayor of the town of Greenwood.
Fast Pitch by Nic Stone. Crown, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984893-01-7. Stone’s middle grade novel follows 12-year-old softball-playing Shenice, in a fast-paced and heartwarming story that captures the essence of familial duty through a protagonist with genuine agency.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of August, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.