Welcome to our fall 2024 Children’s Preview issue!

For our main feature, we spoke with booksellers about their innovative approaches to getting kids jazzed about reading, including design contests, subscription boxes, and pizza dinners with authors. We also asked publishers to share their most unusual behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the bookmaking process, and talked with British author Katherine Rundell, who is bringing the first book in her hit middle grade fantasy series Impossible Creatures to U.S. readers in the coming season. All this, plus our comprehensive A–Z listings of children’s and YA titles being released between August 1 and January 31.

Happy reading!

About Our Cover Artist

Even with the many accolades Raúl the Third has collected over his decade-long career, “the fact that I get to write and illustrate books, to me, is what I am most proud of,” he says.

Raúl’s journey toward becoming an artist began in Boston, where he “would follow opportunities for whatever project came along.” He created flyers for local neighborhood events and restaurants. He had his art displayed in local galleries and eventually museums. He taught comic book workshops for 10 years at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The city still holds a special place in his heart, as it’s where he currently resides. And the city loves him back. “You walk through the Boston area,” he says, “and you are bound to see my work somewhere.”

Today, you can find plenty of the creator’s books on shelves. In 2014 he made his illustration debut with Lowriders in Space, written by Cathy Camper. Raúl and Camper forged a friendship through their involvement in the nationwide zine community, where self-publishing meant “heading over to the Kinkos and making tons of copies of our books,” he says. The book’s sequel, Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, earned Raúl his first Pura Belpré Award (he now has three, as well as an honor).

“It gives me a lot of confidence,” Raúl says of receiving those awards. “When I started making these books, I wondered, How many people will relate to these characters and the situations that they’re in? And as it turns out, tens of thousands of people have taken to so many different aspects of the book.”

Raúl’s most notable works are his ¡Vamos! series, which marked his authorial debut in 2019. The books feature a crowd of bilingual animals leading everyday lives, influenced by his own upbringing in El Paso, Tex., and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The series title, Spanish for “let’s go!,” stuck because “that means I can basically go anywhere with my characters.” The series has sprouted spin-offs such as the El Toro & Friends series and led to the A Coco Rocho board books. He also has a new series debuting from Little, Brown Ink next January, titled The Snips: A Bad Buzz Day, and a sequel is underway. And a new picture book with Benjamin Alire Sáenz, a fellow writer from El Paso, is out in 2025.

Elaine Bay, Raúl’s wife and also his colorist, is onboard for several of these projects. “It’s like working with my other brain,” she says of their partnership. “I think that’s how the best things in life happen: through friendships and collaborations,” Raúl says. “Nothing that we do happens alone.” —Iyana Jones

Off the Beaten Path: Unusual Tales from Children’s Publishers

Sometimes a book’s journey to publication is straightforward. Other times, it’s a bit more circuitous. We asked publishers to tell us their fun or unusual behind-the-scenes stories.

The Future of Children’s Bookselling

Forward-thinking booksellers are reinventing community programming staples, from author visits to subscription boxes.

Katherine Rundell’s Magic Words

British author Katherine Rundell brings her acclaimed middle grade fantasy series starter, Impossible Creatures, across the pond this fall.

Fall 2024 Children's Preview: Publishers A-C

Fall 2024 Children's Preview: Publishers D-H

Fall 2024 Children's Preview: Publishers I-O

Fall 2024 Children's Preview: Publishers P-S

Fall 2024 Children's Preview: Publishers T-Z