Emily Ring, manager and event coordinator at Inklings Bookshop in Yakima, Wash., is thrilled with the recent crop of new children’s books – those that already fill her store’s shelves and those that soon will. She shares her enthusiasm for some of her favorite picks from the fall harvest.
One picture book that I’m very excited about is The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood. The Napping House is one of my absolute favorite read-alouds. It never fails to get a rise out of kids when I read it at storytime. To have a new Napping House is the best thing ever! We had a lot of preorders and I’ve been telling people about this book, but honestly we haven’t been able to keep it on the shelf long enough to do a lot of handselling yet.
And another favorite is I Will Chomp You! by Jory John and Bob Shea. It’s a very funny story about a monster who tries to convince kids not to continue reading, because he doesn’t want to share what’s at the end of the book – cakes. I’ve been a fan of Shea since his very first book, and I love handselling him. His books have a particular type of rambunctiousness that really speaks to toddlers and preschoolers. To have a book co-written by these two authors is kind of a dream come true – and it’s every bit as cute as you’d expect it to be.
A book that I am really looking forward to is The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I absolutely cannot wait to share it with school librarians, teenagers, their parents, and people my age – I’m 34 – who like to read YA. It’s the perfect send-up of fantasy and paranormal genres, and focuses on normal kids who are surrounded by supernatural things going on around them, but still have to cope with the everyday issues of being a teenager. Ness is one of those authors who can be funny and poignant at the same time, and this is a book that is both tongue-in-cheek and sincere. It’s a novel I think everyone will enjoy – we’ve ordered it in quantity.
And another book that I can’t wait to sell is Lumberjanes, Vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis. I was an evangelist for the first book. These graphic novels have fun and strong girl characters, and quirky and zany storylines, as well as real emotional depth. This is a series I love to put in the hands of tween and early teenage girls who aren’t interested in reading about passive girl heroines in ball gowns waiting for someone to sweep in and save them.
Another book with a lot of potential is M.T. Anderson’s Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad. I’ve been a fan of this author since Feed, and it’s exciting to see him putting his knowledge of music and history, and his great writing ability, together in such a neat package. This is an ideal book for readers who are interested in reading nonfiction but haven’t found that right book that will compel them to read more of it. I feel that this will be that right book for a lot of kids. And this is a book that I think lots of adults will read. I’m handselling it to teachers and school librarians – this is going to be an essential book for school libraries.
And another book that I know we’ll do well with is The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, presenting the diary of a young working woman in early 20th-century America. I’ve been impressed by everything Schlitz has written, including of course Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!, which won the Newbery. She does a wonderful job bringing historical experiences to life for young readers. This is another book that we are finding school librarians are very interested in. Quality historical fiction is hard to find, and Schlitz is one of the best at writing it.