So as crazy as it sounds, some 2014 titles have been wandering into my arms. And if that weren’t enough, some of them look positively awesome. With the given understanding that I’ve only read a few of these (and they were picture books, so I’m not exactly straining my abilities here) I present to you some 2014 titles that I, at the very least, am rather interested in taking a closer gander at on January 1st:
Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle
It’s almost here! For those of you who, like myself, enjoyed Federle’s 2013 debut in Better Nate Than Ever (I watch the trades daily for the moment when E.T.: The Musical actually becomes a reality), the sequel is on the horizon.
Yellow Is My Color Star by Judy Horacek
When Horacek appeared on the U.S. stage again this year with Mem Fox’s Time for Bed, I was thrilled. I consider her work on Where Is the Green Sheep? to be a seminal delight. Now Horacek’s breaking out on her own, and here’s the result. Man oh man, I like how she draws people.
Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins
He’s done bones. He’s done why you should smile at monkeys. He’s done the actual size of gorilla hands, and the best way to clean hippos, and all manner of interesting stuff. Now he tackles eyeballs. And to this we say, high bloody time.
How to Cheer Up Dad by Fred Koehler
THIS is how you write a picture book. It is amazing. The kid perspective is spot on from start to finish. Keep tabs on Koehler. He’s one to watch.
The Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Lofton
I could have just taken the official jacket and used it for this post but I wanted you to see the sheer number of blurbs they have all over the galley’s cover. This is just a smattering. I think they’re on the back and maybe inside as well. Note too that it’s a book starring an African-American girl. Penguin is making a concerted effort in 2014 to up the number of multicultural characters in middle grade books. As you will soon see.
Sparky by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Chris Appelhans
No. Do not even attempt to resist this. You cannot. You are powerless against it. I’m going to go out on a limb (ha ha) right now and say this: With apologies to Eric Carle, this is the best damn sloth-related picture book I have ever read.
Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover by Josh Schneider
Adoration. There is little else that I can say. The love I feel for this is extreme. It’s the ending, man. I’m not even going to ruin it for you. Just read this when you can.
Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
Because sometimes you gotta love the weird. Weird is easy to write but hard to do well. This book is about a chicken with human arms. To those of you who are instantly interested, this one’s for you. It is done exceedingly well.
The Ghost of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage
Helloooooooo, sequel to Three Times Lucky! And with a ghost to boot? Woo-hoo!
Saving Baby Doe by Danette Vigilante
Don’t know much about this one but the cover’s great and the author’s last name is “Vigilante”.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods
If the name “Brenda Woods” sounds familiar, she’s the one who wrote St. Louis Armstrong Beach a couple years ago. On the strength of that I’m looking forward to reading this one as well.