Best wishes to the following iconic characters or beloved books celebrating anniversaries this season.
Superman turns 70 this year, and Knopf is marking this milestone with the publication of Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman, illustrated by Ross MacDonald. The book tells how writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, two misfit teens in Depression-era Cleveland who were more like Clark Kent than his alter ego, created this superhero and published his adventures in comic-book format.
Two new Random House titles commemorate Yertle the Turtle's 50th birthday. Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective contains commentary and archival images contributed by Charles D. Cohen; the anniversary edition includes two bonus stories, “The Ruckus” and “The Kindly Snather.” Also due is a party edition of Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories with a foil cover, for which a floor display is available.
Paddington also has a 50th birthday this year, and this bear from Darkest Peru reappears in Michael Bond's A Bear Called Paddington: 50th Anniversary Edition. Featuring art by original illustrator Peggy Fortnum, this Houghton Mifflin release is Paddington's first full-color edition.
A 50th-anniversary edition of Joan Walsh Anglund's A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You is due out from Harcourt with a 75,000-copy printing. With sales of more than four million copies in over 14 languages, this tribute to friendship was the first of Anglund's 120-plus children's books. The publisher has created a counter display for the small-format gift book, and the author, now 80, will make select promotional appearances.
First released 35 years ago, Marlo Thomas's Free to Be... You and Me returns in an updated, redesigned anniversary edition from Running Press. Packaged with a CD containing songs from the original tie-in album, the volume includes new contributions by Peter Sís, Drew Barrymore, Peter H. Reynolds and others. A 75,000-copy printing is on order for the book.
Katharine Holabird's Angelina has been happily pirouetting for a quarter century and now stars in Angelina Ballerina 25th Anniversary Edition. Illustrated by Helen Craig, this Viking title features a fittingly sparkly cover.
Fifteen years after its hardcover publication, Allen Say's Caldecott-winning Grandfather's Journey appears in paperback for the first time. This tale of one man's love for two countries will be published by Houghton Mifflin's Sandpiper imprint.
And soon to appear are 10th-anniversary editions of Walter Wick's Optical Tricks (Scholastic) by the I Spy photographer, and Holes by Louis Sachar, a Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Frances Foster novel that won both the Newbery and National Book Awards.