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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Trendwatch 2012: A Cluster of Chloes, a Journey of Jackalopes

My buddy and fellow blogger Travis Jonker sent me the following images recently:

What are you looking at?  Just a couple shots from the book Oddfellow’s Orphanage by Emily Winfield Martin.  The book is yet another entry into this year’s Oddest Children’s Literary Trend. One of two, as it happens.  I like keeping track of weirdo trends in books for kids.  Last year it was ravens.  This year there are two trends that by some strike of fate’s fancy have all come out in the same publishing year.

Trend #1: Jackalopes

I think I’ve mentioned this in passing but now I’m serious.  Jackalopes are cropping up in books hither and yon this year and it’s time to track ’em down.  Other serious offenders, aside from the aforementioned book  include:

Dragonbreath: Revenge of the Horned Bunnies by Ursula Vernon

I love those Danny books, and this one had the decency to put the jackalope front and center on the jacket.  Another book that did the same was . . .

Project Jackalope by Emily Ecton

They had a much cuter cover originally and then switched it out for this one in the hopes of appealing to boys a bit more.  I like that the new jacket references Duck! Rabbit! none too obliquely.

Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

In the course of this road trip novel a brother and sister head off to find a jackalope of some sort.  No word on whether or not they find it.

But that’s not all.  Another trend is out there, itching to be noticed as well.

Trend #2: Chloe

Specifically, “Chloe” as the name of a character in a picture book.  And if her name happens to get into the title, bonus.  These include:

Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Heather Ross

The book has already earned itself a Year’s Best Swag award in my book.  They sent little tape measures out with the review copies.  Fantastic.

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex

Already reviewed this one this year.  It’s still not out for a couple more months, though, so remember its name.

Chloe by Peter McCarty

It’s a sequel but whatta sequel.  Plus there’s a bunny in it that wears a bunny suit (bunny suits, interestingly enough, could potentially be another trend).

Chloe Instead by Micah Player

Resist that cover . . . IF YOU DARE!!!

Name me any more jackalopes or titular Chloes and I will add them.  And if someone manages to find a book coming out this year starring a jackalope named Chloe, you will win my heart.  Come to think of it “A Jackalope Named Chloe” sounds like the world’s greatest picture book, don’t you think?

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Guess we’re part of the Chloe trend. Our March 2012 picture book, Silly Frilly Grandma Tillie has two sisters named Sophie and Chloe. Interesting how these trends appear, since we named these characters several years ago!

  2. Thirteen years ago a friend had a baby whom she named Emma. I decided to send, as a gift, picture books with Emma in the title. Had to stop at about 12 because it was getting too expensive. There were zillions more.

    And for years I have been giving my son Ben….now 49 years old!….”Ben books.” When he was born (1962) NO ONE was naming babies Ben. Then suddenly every nursery school began to sound like a convention of Jewish accountants: Sam, Ben, Max.

    Now it is all dead presidents (Jackson, Madison, et al)

  3. Wow! That Chloe Instead cover is fantastic. The description in Baker & Taylor is rather interesting, I would say (!). Guarantee that it wouldn’t stay on the new books shelves for long. And I just love Peter McCarty’s picture books; I’m recommending Henry in Love out the wazoo for Valentine stories; everybody immediately loves it and wants it. How can you not?

    I don’t know if it’s a trend, but I know that you have discussed having silhouettes on the covers of stories featuring African-American children….I was pleased to see that covers of The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis, Fire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon (oh, it’s such a long time until August!), and Jump Into the Sky by Shelley Pearsall feature lovely photographs of African-American children on the cover.

  4. Looks like writers are subject to the same trends that make certain names hot for real babies, too:

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      I’d comment on all of this but I’m currently doing a rather high-stepping happy dance over the fact that Lois Lowry just commented on my blog. It is, as you might imagine, remarkably difficult to dance and type at the same time.

  5. If they haven’t already done so, someone just has to write a scene featuring one of those mounted Jackelopes. EW? Alright, never mind. But maybe it’s named Chloe. It could happen, you know.

  6. How dorky is this but I was just getting ready to read back a little to see if Lois Lowry was a frequent commenter! Your comment makes me think not 🙂 The post was great but I would be doing big ole happy dance too!!

  7. …and Lois is funny – even in a blog comment!

  8. And there’s this Chloe entry in the YA category: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe.

  9. A quick Horn Book Guide Online search brings up two 2011 titles — Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma (YA novel) and Naughty Toes by Ann Bonwill, ill. by Teresa Murfin (picture book) — along with 32 other books, most from the past five years!

  10. Here are three more from 2011:
    Moving House by Mark Siegel (picture book; Chloe’s brother is Joey no less)
    Shadow Magic by Kitty Wells, ill. by Joanna Harrison (Pocket Cats series, younger fiction)
    Prince of Dorkness : More Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire by Tim Collins, ill. by Andrew Pinder (YA)

  11. I was just reading Perfect Escape this weekend, and yes, they go to Douglas, Wyoming–Home of the Jackalope–where they climb on the giant jackalope statue, visit the gift shop, consider buying a stuffed, mounted jackalope head, and end up buying a small plush one, tying it to the car’s grille. They name it Jack, but wouldn’t it have been cool if they named it Chloe?


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  2. […] year, Betsy Bird commented on the “Cluster of Chloes” showing up in children’s books. (And, in the comments section, Lois Lowry noted the Emmas and […]