This month the story continues with the return of a rotten apple, the origin story of beloved characters both in fiction and in real life, a world that has been flipped upside-down, and more notable sequels for young readers.
Picture Books and Early Readers
Apple Grumble by Huw Lewis-Jones, illus. by Ben Sanders (Thames & Hudson, Feb. 15 $16.95; ISBN 978-0-500-65244-2)
The Bad Apple is back and grumpier than ever after his run-in with Snake. Now, it’s up to Granny Smith and her posse of golden apples to step in to teach Bad Apple a lesson. But he stoops to a new low and seals them up in a delicious apple crumble.
How to Welcome a New Baby by Jean Reagan, illus. by Lee Wildish (Knopf, Feb. 8 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-43060-6)
This addition to the How to... series is all about welcoming a new sibling into the family. Readers can learn how to get ready for the baby, how to make the baby laugh, and how to help Mom and Dad when things get a little topsy-turvy.
Message in a Bottle by Victoria Kann (HarperCollins, Feb. 22 $4.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-06-300381-1)
Continuing the Pinkalicious: I Can Read Level 2 series, when Pinkalicious and Molly find a message in a bottle, the riddle inside sends them on a mysterious adventure.
Out of a Jar by Deborah Marcero (Putnam, Feb. 8 $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-32637-4)
In this follow-up to In a Jar, Llewellyn does not like to feel afraid or sad, angry, lonely, or embarrassed. So, he comes up with an idea to tuck each of his feelings in a jar where they won’t bother him anymore. But soon he finds that he must tuck away the positive feelings along with the negative. What happens when his emotions refuse to be bottled up any longer?
Twinkle Makes a Wish by Katharine Holabird, illus. by Sarah Warburton (Little Simon, Feb. 22 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-534-42921-5)
Twinkle, the feisty little fairy, makes a wish and quickly learns the power a wish can hold.
Wangari Maathai by Eucabeth Odhiambo with an introduction by Chelsea Clinton, illus. by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint (Philomel, Feb. 1 $14.99; ISBN 978-0-593-35356-1)
The next title in the She Persisted series focuses on environmental activist Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work fighting deforestation in her native Kenya.
Novels and Graphic Novels
Best Friends for Never by Colleen AF Venable, illus. by Stephanie Yue (Random House, Feb. 15 $12.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-984-89566-0)
In the second book in the Katie the Catsitter series, Katie loves skating with the Wheelas and the fact that she’s officially a superhero sidekick. But now that school’s starting, everything’s changing. With the help of 217 slightly out of the ordinary cats, Katie’s going to try to fix things—which is proving harder to do than any skateboarding trick.
Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi (Knopf, Feb. 15 $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-30903-2)
In this companion novel to Pet, after a childhood in foster care, Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the city of Lucille. See our q&a with Emezi here.
Braver and Boulder by John Patrick Green (First Second, Feb. 22 $10.99; ISBN 978-1-250-22006-6)
The fifth instalment in the InvestiGators series finds the InvestiGators having a hard time keeping a low profile, with their new headquarters being a giant robot towering over the city. But with their ears to the ground, Mango and Brash hear mysterious rumblings about Boulder Buddies. Are they just the latest fad or part of a mob-run scheme?
The Dragon’s Dookie by Aaron Reynolds, illus. by Cam Kendell (Roaring Brook, Feb. 1 $13.99; ISBN 978-1-250-20644-2)
In the third book in the Fart Quest series, the Great and Powerful Kevin has a new quest for the heroes: seek out another disgusting ingredient for his mysterious project. Pan, Moxie, Fart, and TickTock must fish a dragon-digested object from deep within a pile of dragon doo. Pan isn’t sure why, but she doesn’t trust Kevin.
Forbidden City by James Ponti (Aladdin, Feb. 1 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-534-47921-0)
After taking down a mole within their organization, the City Spies are ready for their next mission in this third installment of the City Spies series. The sinister Umbra has their sights set on recruiting a North Korean nuclear physicist by any means necessary, and the Spies plan to keep an eye on his son by sending Paris to the chess prodigy’s tournaments in Moscow and Beijing.
Gina and the Big Secret by Judd Winick (Random House, Feb. 15 $13.99; ISBN 978-0-593-37966-0)
The world’s timeline has been turned upside down and now magical creatures are everywhere, a fact which Gina has to fix fast in the eighth addition to the Hilo graphic novel series. With DJ and Hilo’s help, can Gina find the key to turn the world back to what it was?
Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye by Ann M. Martin, illus. by Gabriela Epstein (Graphix, Mar. 1 $12.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-338-61604-0)
Stacey McGill is moving back to New York in the 11th book of the Baby-sitters Club graphic novel. This means no more Stoneybrook Middle School, and worst of all, no more Baby-sitters Club. Stacey’s friends are crushed when they hear that Stacey’s moving, especially Claudia, Stacey’s best friend.
Karen’s School Picture by Ann M. Martin, illus. by Katy Farina (Graphix, Feb. 1 $10.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-338-76251-8)
The Baby-sitters Little Sister Graphix series gets a fifth book, in which Karen has to get glasses. But she doesn’t want them because school pictures are soon and Yicky Ricky will make fun of her.
Midnight Horizon by Daniel José Older (Disney Lucasfilm, Feb. 1 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-368-06067-7)
In the latest installment of the Star Wars: The High Republic series, after a string of staggering losses, the Republic seems to finally have the villainous Nihil marauders on the run, until word comes of a suspected Nihil attack on the industrial cosmopolitan world of Corellia.
Murder on the Safari Star by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman (Feiwel and Friends, Feb. 22 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-22295-4)
In the third book of the Adventures on Trains series, artist and amateur sleuth Hal Beck is looking forward to another railway journey with Nat, his journalist uncle—this time riding the historic Safari Star through South Africa. The journey becomes more eventful when one of their fellow passengers dies on board. Was it an accident, or murder?
Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed (Penguin/Paulsen, Feb. 1 $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-10858-1)
The companion to Amal Unbound follows Omar, who knows his scholarship to Ghalib Academy Boarding School is a game changer and can’t wait to experience all that school has to offer, especially science club and soccer. But when he arrives, his hopes are dashed. First-year scholarship students aren’t allowed to join clubs or teams. When he learns that the school deliberately “weeds out” kids like him by requiring them to get significantly higher grades than kids who can pay tuition, he sets out to change the rigged system. See our q&a with the author.
The Stolen Slippers by Melissa de la Cruz (Roaring Brook, Feb. 1 $16.99; ISBN 978-1-250-31123-8)
Filomena Jefferson-Cho teams up with dashing Jack, adorable Alistair, and glamorous Gretel for another adventure in the land of Never After, this time to get the glass slipper back from Cinderella, in the second installment of The Chronicles of Never After series.
The Subtle Knife Graphic Novel by Philip Pullman (Knopf, Feb. 22 $14.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-593-17692-4)
In the second graphic novel adaption of Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, Lyra steps into a new world and meets Will—a boy on the run and a worthy ally. This is a world where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and witches share the skies with troops of angels. Neither Lyra nor Will suspect how tightly their lives, their loves, and their destinies are bound together—until they are split apart.
The Weeping Tide by Amanda Foody (S&S/McElderry, Feb. 1 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-534-47759-9)
Something is wrong at the Sea in the second book of the Wilderlore series. The weeping tide, a carnivorous algae bloom, is eating up all the fish. Beasts are terrorizing the nearby Elsewheres. And Lochmordra, the Legendary Beast, is rising at random and swallowing ships whole.