While these may be the dog days of summer, fall is looming just around the corner, as are publishers' big fall releases. This season we'll see a number of award-winning and bestselling authors and illustrators returning with new books, including the teams of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, Sarah Stewart and David Small, Vivian Walsh and J.otto Seibold; picture books written by Margaret Atwood, John Irving and Karen Hesse; and new novels from Richard Peck, Polly Horvath, Ruth White, Carolyn Coman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Cornelia Funke, Meg Cabot, Nancy Farmer and Christopher Paul Curtis.

Perusing the listings, it becomes clear that science fiction and fantasy are still strong, with a good number of sequels and debut titles making their way to bookshelves this fall. Chick lit for teens and tweens is an ever-growing trend, as seen by the large number of series, as well as one-off titles, devoted to love, romance and friendship. And the trend of celebrities picking up the pen continues: this season's crop includes picture books from Billy Joel, Tiki and Ronde Barber, Mia Hamm and former New York City mayor Ed Koch, as well as new titles from Jamie Lee Curtis, John Lithgow, Lynne Cheney, Katie Couric and LeAnn Rimes.

Along with a comprehensive look at the titles being published this season (and a sneak peak at spring 2005), we offer two features. The first takes a look at mass merchandisers and the increasing role they play in the sale of children's books. We also reveal the roundabout route some children's book staffers took to get to where they are today.

Happy reading!

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Sidebar Columns Spring 2005 Sneak Previews