Kids Can Press was next on the list and they’ve an interesting selection, fer sure. Mr. Maxwell’s Mouse by Frank Asch was such a hit that now there’s a follow-up by the name of Mrs. Marlow’s Mice. You know, when William Wegman puts dog heads on human bodies, it depresses me. Why is the case not the same for cats then? I cannot say. Technically this should look like a crazy Monty Python amalgamation. Instead, I find it rather lovely. Pretty kitties. The furry hands do weird me out a little, though.
I wasn’t aware of it, but Kids Can Press is also responsible for that hip Visions in Poetry series. I reviewed Casey at the Bat last year. Now they’ve decided to go the Edward Lear route with a particularly hip Owl and the Pussycat with illustrations by Stephane Jorisch. The owl is wearing this grey suit and briefcase along with… are those ankle boots? Awesome. And the pussycat is wearing this truly mod yellow tank top with a thin black dress and clunky boots. Honestly, these characters even getting together in the first place is what’s going to encourage ME to read the book. Here’s the description of the book in the catalog: "… an aristocratic owl from Owl Heights and a bohemian pussycat from the other side of the tracks find each other.. Jorisch’s playful and fantastic interpretation, inspired in part by Lear’s own illustrations as well as the films of Fellini, the art of Miro and The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, is a celebration of love and an exhilarating journey that takes us beyond the quirky charm of this favorite poem."
Unfortunately, Kids Can Press hasn’t put ANY of their newest titles up on their website yet. I’d link to them, but they’re nowhere to be seen. Alas.
A big hello goes out to Kane/Miller Books, of course. Poor, Kane/Miller almost didn’t get any books to present at the conference. Even as I appeared they were in shock from almost having not gotten their important shipment. 2007 looks like a strong year for the troop, what with books like The Zoo and The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley spotting their releases. A tip of the hat to them then.
I love all small presses, but my heart belongs to the smallest of them all. I am hoping that with the rise in popularity regarding Shaun Tan and his new book The Arrival, hopefully some people will feel obligated to seek out Simply Read Books and their previous Tan publications like The Rabbits and The Lost Thing. These two titles came out some years ago, but everyone and their brother should own them. They’ve flown under the radar too too long.
Anywho, I fell in love with Simply Read Books this time last year when I got a gander at their selection. When You Were Small. Mocking Birdies. That ABC book by Matthew Porter. Their books are beautiful to look at and lovely to see. This year they’ve a couple nice new selections. Matthew Porter’s got a counting book called Count the Birdies. There’s this truly gorgeous alphabet book called Ryan Heshka’s ABC Spookshow (winning the Best Halloween Book of the Year Award by a long shot). And for the capper there’s The Moon Rock. Check out its website, first of all. Again, I haven’t seen the text for this title so it may or may not have stellar writing. But in terms of the big presentation, this book may garner some buzz.
That’s the gist of what caught my eye. Though bear in mind that what I picked up I have not mentioned. And despite my Book Expo haul, I ended up with a very heavy suitcase at the end of it all.