Children’s book publishers were highlighting titles for all ages and interests as BookExpo got underway on Thursday. On the picture book side, HarperCollins will offer Good Day, Good Night (Oct.), an unpublished manuscript by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Loren Long, a companion to Brown’s Goodnight Moon. Publicity director Caroline Sun called it “a natural companion” to Brown’s Goodnight Moon. Another lead title for the house is Shel Silverstein’s Runny Babbit Returns (Sept.), a sequel to the posthumously published Runny Babbit.
At Chronicle, Her Right Foot marks Dave Eggers’s debut on the publisher’s list; the picture book about the Statue of Liberty is illustrated by Shawn Harris. Abrams’s lead picture book, Princesses Wear Pants (Sept.), is co-written by Today show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim, and illustrated by Eva Bryne; Guthrie is hosting this morning’s children’s breakfast.
Middle graders can look forward to the 12th Wimpy Kid book, The Getaway, due from Abrams/Amulet on November 7. The release of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul movie last weekend has triggered “a really nice bump in sales,” said children’s publisher Andrew Smith. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine is a never-before-published story by Mark Twain, finished by Philip Stead and illustrated by Philip and Erin Stead, and due in October from Doubleday.
Candlewick, celebrating its 25th anniversary at the show, is highlighting Mira Bartók’s The Wonderling, first in a middle grade fantasy series with a Dickensian scope, which has been optioned by Fox for both TV and film. At Little, Brown, big titles for the season include The Magic Misfits (Nov.) by actor Neil Patrick Harris, who will be narrating the audio version. “Audio is great for reluctant readers and those with disabilities,” said LB’s Megan Fitzpatrick. “It really is a way to kick start and facilitate a love of reading.”
Graphic novels for young readers remain very popular. Newbery Honor author Victoria Jamieson’s All’s Faire in Middle School is due out from Dial on September 5, and The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag (Graphix), a Middle Grade Editors’ Buzz book, has recently been picked up by Fox Animation.
For teens, the big news at Knopf is the first volume in Philip Pullman’s long-awaited Book of Dust series; La Belle Sauvage pubs in October with a 500,000-copy first printing. Macmillan had an interactive "Grishaverse" display greeting readers on their way into the show, to promote Leigh Bardugo's forthcoming story collection, The Language of Thorns (Imprint, Sept.), and the author's signing sold out quickly on Thursday. "Fans have been cosplaying as her characters, and now we're even seeing fans dressed up as Leigh," said publicity director Molly Brouillette Ellis.
Other major YA titles, among many others, include All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press, Oct.); Marieke Nijkamp’s Before I Let Go (Sourcebooks Fire, Jan. 2018), the author’s anticipated second novel, following This Is Where It Ends; Dhonielle Clayton’s The Belles, out from Disney-Hyperion in early 2018; Renegades by Marissa Meyer; Kristin Cashore’s Jane, Unlimited (Penguin/Dawson, Sept.); E. Lockhart’s Genuine Fraud (Delacorte, Sept.); and Warcross by Marie Lu (Putnam, Sept.).
“For YA, I’m most excited to see Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End,” said Jamie Thomas, manager of Women and Children First in Chicago, Ill. “Silvera’s approach to the young gay male experience has become more refined with each book he’s written.” She was also looking forward to Shadowhouse Fall (Scholastic/Levine, Sept.), Daniel José Older’s follow-up to Shadowshaper. “Older writes characters who are diverse and entertaining but most of all are completely badass,” she said.
Several publishers noted an ongoing interest in nonfiction across age groups. Dutton publisher Julie Strauss-Gabel was talking up HelloFlo: The Guide, Period by Naama Bloom, founder and CEO of HelloFlo.com, and Glynnis MacNicol, cofounder of TheLi.st. Though her list mainly features fiction, Strauss-Gabel has seen a larger trend of more nonfiction for young readers. “The bar is also going up, in terms of quality,” she said.
Also on the nonfiction side at Penguin is the Girls Who Code series, a cross-imprint publishing program in partnership with Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, which launches this summer and will include a fiction line for tweens.
For younger nonfiction readers, Charlesbridge is publishing Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone by Alice Brière-Haquet and illustrated by Bruno Liance, which was acquired at the Bologna Book Fair. And the striking cover art for another picture book, Chris Barton's Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion, illustrated by Victo Ngai, drew visitors to the Lerner booth.
Disney, meanwhile, is continuing to find success pairing big-name authors with big-name properties: among them, Jason Reynolds’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man (with a jacket by another Spidey fan, Kadir Nelson); Drew Daywalt and Matt Myers’s Star Wars tie-in, BB-8 on the Run; and Matt de la Peña’s picture book Miguel and the Grand Harmony, illustrated by Ana Ramírez, based on Pixar’s forthcoming Coco.
In other comics-meets-YA news, at the Marvel: Page to Prose panel, Rainbow Rowell announced that she’d be bringing back the cult comic,The Runaways,for Marvel; the relaunched series will get underway in September, illustrated by Kris Anka.
This article has been updated with additional information.