Last week we highlighted new fall kids’ books that will be releasing in the next couple of months. We are clearly excited, hence all the exclamation points, BOLD italicized type and effusive praise. But, we missed a couple of gems that deserve your attention. So, go grab your mid-afternoon chocolate bar....er, we mean coffee, and let your inner child or (or your actual child) ogle over these amazing books.
Kate O’Hearn. HODDER CHILDREN'S, $9.99 (9781444907551)
VALKYRIE by Canadian author Kate O'Hearn, is the first book in the series about a strong female character challenging the rules to find the family of a fallen solider. It has also been selected by The Canadian Children's Book Centre for the fall 2013 edition of Best Books for Kids & Teens.
Here's the book blurb from Kate O'Hearn's website: Freya is dreading turning fourteen – that marks the official end of her childhood and she must now take up the full duties of a Valkyrie – a collector of souls from humanity’s battlefields. But Freya is unlike any other Valkyrie. She doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of the legends before her. As she observes Earth from Asgard, she tries to understand what it is to be human: to make friends with girls her own age and laugh with boys, without the fear of causing their death with one touch. Little does she know that her dreams will soon be realized: on her first battlefield mission, Freya reaps the soul of a soldier with unfinished business that will send her to the human world on a deadly quest. Freya must do battle with both ordinary and extraordinary enemies to create a new VALKYRIE LEGEND.
Christopher Franceschelli. ABRAMS BOOKS, $18.95 (9781419709364)
The next book we are super excited about is ALPHABLOCK by Christopher Franceschelli. With thick pages cut into the shape of each letter, children and parents will enjoy this peek-through guessing game around the letter form itself. Sprinkles, hot fudge, and cherries hint at I’s ice cream sundae, while aquarium accessories hint at F’s fish. As readers interact with the pages, they will familiarize themselves not only with the 26 letters and associated words, but also with each letter’s physicality—angles, holes, and curves, both front and back. With Peskimo’s animated, stylish visuals, this fresh ABC book encourages readers to manipulate the alphabet in a whole new way. See more at Abrams Books: http://www.abramsbooks.com/Books/Alphablock-9781419709364.html.
Praise for Alphablock "The straightforward vocabulary, cheery vintage-style graphics, and neat incorporation of cut-out letters make for a sharply designed package." —Publishers Weekly
"With a pleasing, retro feel, Peskimo’s art uses bold colors in a slightly muted hue and the weathered look of woodblock prints… A visually captivating delight for careful little ones." —Kirkus Reviews
Arlos ARTrageous Adventure
David LaRochelle. STERLING PUBLISHING, $15.95 (9781402792267)
David LaRochelle's ARLOS ARTAGEOUS ADVENTURE is a fun, lift the flap art adventure book that kids will love reading aloud.
Here's the official Book Summary: Arlo's not thrilled when his grandmother says they're going to the museum WHETHER HE LIKES IT OR NOT. But when the paintings start coming hilariously to life, Arlo's in for a big surprise. With 50 fabulously funny flaps to flip, children will discover how cool art can be . . . if you let your imagination run wild.
Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase
Jonathan Stroud. DISNEY HYPERION, $17.99 (9781423164913)
An in house favourite, Jonathan Stroud's LOCKWOOD & CO THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE is a superb, middle grade supernatural thriller that has been described as "Sherlock Holmes meets Ghost Hunter."
Here's the synopsis: A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.
In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?
Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud's internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.
Night Before Christmas
Poem by Clement Clarke Moore. Illustrations by Holly Hobbie. LITTLE, BROWN FOR YOUNG READERS, $20.00 (9780316070188)
Lastly, THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS is a beautiful, hardcover, picture book of a classic Christmas story, reinterpreted by the acclaimed watercolourist Holly Hobbie.
In her fresh imagining of Clement C. Moore's timeless classic, acclaimed watercolorist Holly Hobbie introduces an entirely new character to capture the magic and heighten the wonder of this exciting, mysterious time. Her inimitable illustrations glow with warmth and feeling and will transport you to a place where anything can happen. See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/holly-hobbie/the-night-before-christmas/9780316070188/#desc.