Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a history of NYC, a new perspective on water, a sneezy story, a picture book with an incorrigible protagonist, and many more.
Week of November 29
Four Streets and a Square: A History of Manhattan and the New York Idea by Marc Aronson. Candlewick, $29.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-5137-4. In this ambitious, richly visual “biography of an island and an idea,” Aronson covers 400 years of Manhattan history, beginning with Munsee and Lenape agriculture and continuing through Civil War draft riots, AIDS activism, and Covid-19. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Three Water Drop Brothers by Lee Eun-hee, trans. from the Korean by Asuka Minamoto, illus. by Yoon Mi-sook. Enchanted Lion, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-59270-323-4. This Korean import adds a mythological spin to its explanation of how water explores “the world in different forms and ways.” BolognaRagazzi Award winner Yoon contributes boldly colored art, adding dimension with distinctive cut shapes and myriad patterns.
Castle Gesundheit by Fearing. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1412-3. In this picture book, the occupant of the titular Castle Gesundheit is the Baron Von Sneeze, and both are aptly named: the locals in the adjacent village of Handkerchief “had put up with the Baron’s snuffling, wheezing, and coughing day and night for as long as they could remember.”
Little Messy Marcy Su by Cherie Fu, illus. by Julie Kwon. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7595-5609-6. Bouncy quatrains comprise the text of this classic-feeling contemporary romp. Fu creates a recognizably incorrigible character in young Marcy Su, the well-meaning but chaotic Chinese American protagonist of this picture book debut.
One Day by Lee Juck, trans. from the Korean by Asuka Minamoto et al., illus. by Kim Seung-youn. Enchanted Lion, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-59270-313-5. This deceptively spare picture book follows a child’s plaintive first-person perspective as they come to terms with the loss of their grandfather.
The Cookie Maker of Mavin Road by Sue Lawson, illus. by Liz Anelli. Candlewick, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1997-5. In this picture book, a mystery neighbor delivers cookies to residents on Marvin Road. Loopy, curlicue mixed-media illustrations by Anelli reveal a neighborhood with a glorious variety of architectural styles, blooming flowers, and leafy trees in this winning celebration of community building and quiet generosity.
Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty, illus. by David Roberts. Chronicle, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4521-4270-8. Clean-up time turns topsy-turvy when an interracial family’s mischievous cat jumbles up their to-do list. Pencil and watercolor scenes by Roberts emphasize the increasing goofiness of the family’s repeated efforts to get their mess under control, and light rhymes by McGinty pair smartly with the amusing concept.
You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus. Delacorte, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-593-17586-6. McManus creates another pulse-pounding thriller, this time told through the alternating perspectives of three teens who find themselves at the center of a murder investigation when they ditch school to re-create “the Greatest Day Ever”—the day they first became friends.
Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds, illus. by Raúl the Third. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $13.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-1816-5. Portico Reeves, secret alter ego Stuntboy, navigates tense interactions with bully Herbert Singletary the Worst, the stress of his ever-fighting parents, and his own anxiety, or “frets.” From vibrant, comic book–style art with color by Elaine Bay to running gags and commercial breaks that balance serious moments, there’s plenty to enjoy about this engaging, high-energy collaboration.
Dancing with Daddy by Anitra Rowe Schulte, illus. by Ziyue Chen. Two Lions, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5420-0719-1. Inspired by the author’s three daughters, particularly one with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, this picture book follows Elsie, a girl looking forward to a father-daughter dance, who uses a Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display book to communicate, a gastronomy tube, and a wheelchair.
The Impossible Mountain by David Soman. Little, Brown, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-316-42774-6. Classically drafted, light-filled spreads follow a pair of child heroes through this mountainfaring adventure by Soman set in a European-style walled village.
Fox: A Circle of Life Story by Isabel Thomas, illus. by Daniel Egnéus. Bloomsbury, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0692-4. In this nonfiction picture book from the creators of Moth, luminous collage-style images warm a narrative rooted in birth and death. A long sequence of spreads shows a mother fox hunting for food, then returning to her three cubs, who roughhouse and play at hunting while she’s gone.
Week of December 6
I Know Your Secret by Daphne Benedis-Grab. Scholastic Press, $7.99; ISBN 978-1-338-74633-4. This enjoyable middle grade thriller set in Upstate New York tackles bullying, environments in which it is allowed to propagate, and the importance of speaking truth to power.
Heart of the Impaler by Alexander Delacroix. Swoon Reads, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-75616-9. The fearsome legacy of Dracula is brought to vivid life in debut author Delacroix’s well-researched and uniquely terrifying YA romance novel.
Light for All by Margarita Engle, illus. by Raúl Colón. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-5727-0. The creators pay tribute to the torch held high by the Statue of Liberty, and to new arrivals on America’s shores. Colón’s grainy, organic spreads, his luminous palette, and the grace he gives to the forms and figures warm the pages of this call to conscience.
The Upper World by Femi Fadugba. HarperTeen, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-307859-8. Esso Adenon, 16, is just trying to survive high school in South London, stay out of the Peckham and Brixton gang war, keep his Bénin-born mother stress-free, and find the courage to confess his feelings to his crush, Nadia. But life becomes more complicated when he’s involved in a car accident and time subsequently stops, allowing him to see what Socrates called the Upper World—a place where moments of the past and future collide.
No Beauties or Monsters by Tara Goedjen. Delacorte, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-1480-2. When an incoming high school senior returns to her late grandfather’s house in the middle of the California desert after a several-year absence, she discovers her friend is missing and begins to experience hallucinations. Rylie’s attempts to discern reality from nightmare are engaging, as is her genuine effort to emotionally reconnect with the people around her.
If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich. Wednesday, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-80580-5. For the four members of popular boy band Saturday, life is one big performance: their management company controls their actions onstage and off, and they’re tired of the grind of touring. But during their sold-out European tour, 18-year-old Ruben Montez and Zach Knight grow even closer.
Fools in Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales Edited by Ashley Herring Blake and Rebecca Podos. Running Press Kids, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7624-7234-5. Fifteen authors offer up tales inspired and informed by classic romance tropes in this anthology, which delivers a diverse selection of kisses, confessions, and happy-for-nows.
Love Was Inside by Andrew Joyner. Random House Studio, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-37518-1. Navigating the emotions experienced while everyone was “inside,” this picture book protagonist feels resilience, love, and confidence in the arrival of a joyful day when “everyone would be outside.” Though the Covid-19 pandemic is never specifically referenced, Joyner’s empathic and upbeat picture book should provide comfort.
Escape from Chernobyl by Andy Marino. Scholastic, $7.99; ISBN 978-1-338-71845-4. Alternating perspectives between three heroic young people living in Pripyat, Ukraine, Marino puts a gripping fictional spin on the April 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Strangeville School Is Totally Normal by Darcy Miller, illus. by Brett Helquist. Random House, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-593-30950-6. From games of dodgeball that employ bowling balls to cafeteria meatloaf that sports a black hole and ominous mentions of a third-floor supply closet, Strangeville is indeed the most bizarre school that new student Harvey Hill has attended in this middle grade series launcher.
The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling. Razorbill, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-35043-0. Competitive swimmer Elise Beaumont, 16, has been consumed by grief, guilt, and fear since the mysterious drowning death of her older brother Nick five months ago. She’s also intent on breaking the curse that forces her to have visions of a person’s death when her skin touches theirs, in this chilling YA novel.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of December, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.